The January news recap is back on time!
Welcome to this month in Warhammer Underworlds for January 2021. This is your one stop shop for everything Warhammer Underworlds related and once again there’s been a lot of news for our favourite competitive arena combat game.
I’ve also made this on YouTube if you prefer video content which can be accessed below:
Updated 2021 Roadmap
As I reported on in the December episode, Games Workshop released an updated Roadmap for Warhammer Underworlds Direchasm. Due to delays in shipping, all the releases have been pushed back a bit. Khagra’s Ravagers were pushed back to a February release, the Starblood Stalkers in March, the Crimson Court for April, then 2 warbands for May and 1 for June. While official announcement of this is great, as there was a lot of confusion going around with the release dates, I would have liked the double-release in May to be spread out more. To be fair, both warbands in May could be released at the same time but we’ll have to wait and see.
The Crimson Court Revealed
During Games Workshop’s the Dead and the Divine Twitch live stream, they revealed what the 3rd Direchasm warband was; the Crimson Court! This entirely vampire warband represents the Soulblight faction from Age of Sigmar. It’s a 4 fighter warband containing: Prince Duvalle, Gorath the Enforcer, Vella Von Faine and Ennais Curse-Born.
I can’t put my finger on it, but Gorath is just my favourite for some reason. He’s just looks so firm and…muscular.
Anyway, glimpses of Prince Duvalle’s fighter card shows he has an ability called Bloodthirst which he gains when he has 3 or more Hunger counters and prevents him going on Guard. While Bloodthirsted, his Possessed Blade goes to -1 attack dice but +1 damage. He also has an ability called the curse which, at the start of the round, gives either him or his warband a Hunger counter. It’s not entirely clear but it shows that the Crimson Court will heavily focus around the Hunger mechanic. Which shouldn’t be a surprise as they’re, well, vampires.
Lovers of Vampire Pirates will be disappointed but that was a stretch in itself. I like the look of the warband. Each vampire seems to be a call-back to the Von Carsteins, namely Vlad, Mannfred, Isabella and Konrad.
Starblood Stalkers First Look
The first Visions of Glory article dropped for Warhammer Underworlds. This new series of articles is designed to show what’s coming ahead in the future for our game. For the first article, the Starblood Stalkers were revealed. The warband consists of a Skink Priest called Kixi-Taka, 3 Skinks, a Saurus and a Chameleon Skin. The warband was shown to have Asterism faction gambits which look like they mirror the Wurmspat’s Cycle gambit cards in terms of keyword naming.
The warband, or at least Kixi-Taka, seem to inspire after an activation if holding 3 or more objectives. This may or may not be easy but we’ll need to see the whole warband first. Kixi-Taka also has an Apple of Eden from Assassins Creed which allows him to flip a feature token as an action while in enemy territory and then Deal 1 damage to an enemy fighter within 1 hex of that token. It’s nice but he is only 3 wounds.
As someone who has been waiting forever for the Seraphon to make their way into the Underworlds, even going as far to make my own Skink warband, this pleases me greatly. I’ve waited so long, almost as long as I waited for Slaanesh. Direchasm continues to grant me the desires I’ve wanted for this game.
Warhammer Underworlds Online News
Warhammer Undeworlds Online had a very busy month in January. First Steel Sky Productions released another roadmap for the game. This time it details the releases for January to April. While vague in its details, I’m fine with this as it is very hard to stick to fixed dates at this time and we still have an idea of what is coming out. Notable things include Stormsire’s Cursebreakers and 2 more new warbands which could be Beastgrave warbands from the hints of the developers. We also get, er, emotes. Well, they’re better than nothing. Although I WILL send love hearts to my opponent every time I roll a crit. This is the way.
WUO Pricing Change
Warhammer Underworlds Online also announced a pricing restructure for the game. This sees the base game go down to £7.99 but reducing the warbands you get from 6 to…2. You get Steelheart’s Champions and Magore’s Fiends with all other previous warbands moving to DLC. If you wanted to buy the 4 warbands you normally got with the core game (Ironskull’s Boyz, Sepulchral Guard, Farstriders and Spiteclaw’s Swarm), it will now cost you £27.95 compared to £23.99.
While I get the reasoning for this, it’s not a good move. Sure the barrier of entry has lowered but so has the amount of choice on offer too. The game’s monthly player stats have been really bad, with December averaging on 14 players and 12 for January. I don’t see how this will encourage a massive influx of new players. A free to play model instead would have been more appealing but I assume the work needed to implement that along with possibly the limits of their license with Games Workshop may have prevented that.
Still, pricing alone is not the main issue with the game. It still comes down to lack of content, low player count, low card pool and huge difficulty spikes for new players with no real offline content. I would have loved to see more universal cards instead along with a spectator mode for tournaments and streaming so the game could be better shown off to everyone.
For Podcast Corner in January 2021, Path to Glory kicks things off with 2 new episodes. The first focuses on Direchasm Deck strategies, an early deep-dive into the brand new mechanics and deck archetypes for you to get your brains around with the launch of the new season along with which warbands help support each the best. Next is their episode interviewing Daniel who won the January Vassal Clash, talking about his decision-making processes and what he did in order to win the tournament.
Battle for Salavation returns with their own look at the Dread Pageant and the Direchasm universal cards, featuring their decklists and matchup ratings.
January also sees the return of What the Hex?! after a mini hiatus with their review of the Warhammer Underworlds Direchasm core set.
I also returned to podcasting again with Crit ! Cast episode 7: Running Tournaments and Events. In this episode I talk with the King of Kanada, Derek, talking about his experiences running the Canadian Grand Clash and then we go over all our tips and advice as TO’s as to how you can run you own tournaments for Warhammer Underworlds. Crit ! Cast is also now on Spotify too! So I’m now on even more platforms for your audio pleasure.
Tournaments and Events
Tournaments for January saw the Straight Outta Shadespire webcam tournament continue with it’s monthly schedule of 4 best of 1 rounds. The player named RG won with his use of Myari’s Purifers. The next tournament is due on the first week of February and sign up details can be found here.
The Vassal Clash returned with an impressive pull of 51 players. After 2 days of best of 3 format games, Daniel and his Myari’s Purifers proved to be triumphant, surprising many with his superb win. Daniel has been playing for a number of years now, travelling internationally to Grand Clashes. He does really well in his local scene in the Czech Republic and his win is really amazing considering his young age too. A great achievement. The next Vassal Clash will be in February as Skirmish Format with details about how to join and play via the Vassal Discord which you can join with this link.
Summary of my January Content
January 2021 was a fairly quiet month for me. I dropped the December news content for Warhammer Underworlds along with my 7th episode for Crit ! Cast. I also dropped my review for Khagra’s Ravagers. While the warband was up for pre-order in January, it is released in February which is why I’m not covering in this January episode. Still, my in-depth review has all you need to know for the new warband from tactics, card reviews and example decklists which you can find here.
January 2021 was a little messed up due to global delays but we were still treated to a deluge of news, previews and new content. Khagra’s Ravagers even technically dropped in January too, at least for early access reviewers. While the release schedule has been pushed back, we have a far more concrete idea of what’s coming thanks to Games Workshop’s updates.
The New Year is now. The Direchasm is open wide, unleashing all its secrets for us. We’ve seen a glimpse of Khagra’s Ravagers and now we eagerly await for the Starblood Stalkers. Skinks are the greatest, some even understand the power of crits.