Yaaar let’s loot the Underworlds!
Welcome to this review for Warhammer Underworlds Harrowdeep for the 3rd warband (out of 4) for the season. First of all, thanks to Games Workshop for providing this to review for free. If you prefer, I have done this as an in-depth video review on YouTube:
Blackpodwer’s Buccaneers are pirates of the Ulglu oceans. After a fierce storm they got washed under the waves, somehow not drowning, and instead ended up in Harrowdeep. Now they continue to loot and pillage their way in the Underworlds, hoping not to die in the process.
The warband consists of 5 miniatures, the “average” size for fighters in a warband. You have 1 pirate Ogor, 2 Gnoblars, a monkey and a bird. They’re okay. Big loss for the Ogor not having a pirate hat, just feels very plain. Otherwise everything else is fine but having just a monkey and a bird is a little boring. The Gnoblars are full of character though.
Sprues are in dark grey, oddly not blue. It’s fine, if not fitting. The miniatures go together fine, although Blackpowder is a bit fiddly.
Blackpowder is 6 wounds, 1 block with 3 movement. He has a gun, which he can only fire with swag counters, that is range 3, 3 fury and 2 damage. He also has a Great Cutlass which is range 2, 2 smash, 3 damage. Being able to only fire the gun via counters is not good, especially with only starting with 1 and how hard they are to store up. The shooting attack is just okay, locking it behind tokens feels awkward.
After discarding your second swag counter, Blackpowder Inspired just goes to movement 4 and his gun goes to 4 fury. If you discard 2 swag counters when shooting it has Ensnare as well. Not really worth the 2 cost. Just okay, doesn’t need to be inspired to work.
Kagey is a Gnoblar. His range 3 grapnel is nice but him (and the rest of the warband) only inspire off of performing a Light-fingered reaction. Not only do you have to succeed with an attack action (at least this can be done via upgrades), it has to succeed against someone with an upgrade to break. You get a swag counter too but really…not that good. He can also fly, because of his rope. That’s…okay.
Inspired, Kagey is better. Movement 4 and 2 dodge is nice as well as 3 fury on the grapnel.
Peggz has a peg leg. Limited by range 1 is not good.
Peggz inspired gets a nice defensive, mobility and offensive buff but if he’ll survive long enough to inspire is another question.
Mange is movement 4 with 2 dodge. He has a nice dagger with Grievous that allows him to do 2 damage about 40% of the time. Also has a nice mobility reaction when near the Gnoblars.
Mange Inspired goes to move 5, dodge 3 and Ensnare. He’s pretty good. Oddly a good offensive fighter. For this warband anyway.
Shreek is a bird. has a similar push reaction while near your leader and counts as being supported by him too. Good mobility and another decent attack profile. Remember, it is a beast so no weapon upgrades.
Shreek inspired gets dodge 3 and stagger. Nice but not desperately needed.
I’ll go over faction cards then universal cards. I’ll rate them from okay/bad to my favourites. I’ll be more brief here but if you want in-depth thoughts, I go over them in my video review.
Aspiring Tyrant is just too tough to score early.
Bold Tales has the same issue but just is even more difficult to score.
Brutal Belaying doesn’t have enough supporting tools in the warband to be reliable unless only used with Shreek.
Loaded with Booty is just too difficult to score with you needing to store up swag counters while also being on tokens.
Maneater is too match-up dependent, especially in Rivals as the deck lacks damage upgrades.
Smash and Grab is just situational and puts too much reliance onto light fingered.
Tall Tale is another victim of being too situational, especially early game.
Objectives Top Picks
Brash Braggart is easy to setup and score, especially early game with your last activation.
Broadside is fine if you’ve built around swag counter generation.
Eyes on the Prize is good if you focus on swag counters and hoard them, the 2nd option isn’t likely to be scored.
Gold Diggers is basically a nice twist on Swift Capture. Remember you just have to be on feature tokens, not control them.
Treasure-Hungry is nice simple end phase glory.
Hasty Shot is not good when you have to discard a card to use it, even if it is an attack in the power step.
Makeshift Munitions is fine but just not that great to get to use a 3 fury damage 1 range 3 attack.
Snack Break is not good. Run Healing Potion instead.
Gambits Top Picks
Been There is some nice extra mobility, especially after your leader has moved.
Done That is fine, good for swag counter generation.
Flurry of Claws is extra attacks from your bird. It’s good.
Gold Rush is more nice mobility.
Grand Theft (Auto) is taken mainly due to easy swag counter generation.
Punytive Damage punishes people who don’t attack your leader.
Reckless Raid is good despite the defence drawback.
Charge token makes Legendary Looter not good.
Liberated Map is not good mainly because you basically cannot place objectives on edge hexes anymore.
Odd reaction window clashing potentially, +1 range for -1 dice is not good.
More Shot gives piercing from your gun but relies on scatter. Nah.
Pointy Bits is just not a useful upgrade at all.
Scavenged Shot is only good if you’re super desperate to shoot.
Tiny Braggart would have been good if not for having been locked to Peggz.
Upgrades Top Picks
Cache Compass gives mobility bonuses and helps inspiring.
Thieving Grapple is kinda good…just.
Troggoth Grease, always being on guard is nice.
Now the universal cards in this expansion.
Find a Path is too restrictive, at least for early round 1 glory.
Generous Blessing is only good if you play Wurmspat.
Indifferent End is too situational.
Same goes for Last Stand.
Ordered Reality is only good if your opponent runs Illusion upgrades. The other part is just as bad.
Path of Destruction requires too much killing for 2 glory.
Going in for the Kill is okay but feels like a 3rd round objective.
Objectives Top Picks
Let Shadows Lie is pretty good for control teams.
Make a Path is easy aggro glory.
Path of Destruction is great for death players wanting to do aggro.
Illusory Maze is too situational.
Shadow Balm is outclassed by Healing Potion.
Spiralling Confusion is a weird take on Confusion.
Land Grab was good but is too tired to ending in no mans land.
Victory’s Reward is just not good, even for Khorne.
Playful Shake is once again too situational.
Gambits Top Picks
Nice mobility with guard if a companion.
Grievous Gyre is nice aggro mobility.
Halls of Hidden Eyes is nice cover hex counterplay.
Unlikely Hero is good for weaker fighters.
Plunder the Graves lol. A Grymwatch card now for all of death. Why did they even need such astrong card.
Adept’s Smoke is just too situational for use.
Locking Hunter and Grievous into a companion is not great.
Average card draw.
Vital Spear is too inaccurate to be good.
Upgrades Top Picks
Bound Spell is great generic support for ping damage decks.
Granting the cover hex bonus everywhere is nice.
Encrusted Key is pretty good for end game glory.
Shadow Keeper allows constant guard with a very minimal drawback unless you have defence 4.
Shared Glory is great for supporting aggro builds.
Gifted Speed is a Beastgrave reprint but for Chaos.
Wrecker’s Scorn is nice destruction objective removal.
Blackpowder’s Buccaneers Overview
The warband is okay. Nothing to get excited or upset about, just average. There’s nothing wrong with that, especially as we reach 40 warbands. Shame the universal cards bundled in aren’t too exciting either.
- Thematic pirate warband for casual play
- Alright in terms of power
- Not being another broken big fighter with lots of small fighters warband
- Warband feels like a miss-match of fighters, minimal synergy
- Swag counter generation and use is too tough and restrictive
- Blackpowder’s gun is too weak for being locked behind tokens
- No pirate hat, not even a hook, eye-patch or peg leg on Blackpowder
As I said, they’re fine. Would I buy this warband? Probably not. They don’t really excite me from either a gameplay or miniature perspective. Really glad the warband is not broken though.
If you want to buy this warband you can do so via Games Workshop or my affiliate link at Element Games that will get you a 25% to 15% discount.
That’s it for another look into Harrowdeep. How does a warband survive drowning deep beneath the depths of an ocean? Who knows! All I know is that you can still loot and crit at the same time!