The Daughters of Khaine return to Warhammer Underworlds Nethermaze!
Today I’m reviewing the Shadeborn for Warhammer Underworlds Nethermaze season 6. First thing, thanks to Games Workshop for providing this to review for free. As always I aim to be honest, impartial and constructively critical. I’ve also done this as a more in-depth YouTube video which you can check out here:
The Shadeborn are shadow assassins from the Daughters of Khaine. They stalk the depths of the Nethermaze for its secrets while also hunting foes and those who have wronged the fickle Morathi.
This is a 4 fighter warband, putting them closer towards the elite spectrum of teams. You have 4 activations but losing a fighter can leave you with spare things to do.
The Shadeborn are a nice looking warband but are basically a re-posing of the Warcry team, which is a little shame. Otherwise they come in purple-coloured plastic and are a little annoying to build. Outside of that, my favourite is the leader although I feel painting them would be a pain due to all their shadow cloaks.
Your leader is an assassin and can fly. Her weapon can either have cleave or ensnare each time she attacks. Shadow Ambush is a neat ability all fighters share but you basically cannot use it round 1 without push cards to get you off starting hexes. Her inspire condition isn’t too easy either, even if she just has to target.
Slythael inspired just goes to 3 smash and gains grievous, that’s it. Not bad but she doesn’t really need to inspire.
Drusylla has a decent range 2 attack but is only 1 dodge and 3 wounds. She does get to re-roll a defence dice while in a cover hex though. Inspiring is kinda okay but problematic vs low wound teams.
Inspired makes her go to 3 damage and get 2 dodge along with a scything attack. Inspire her ASAP.
Sylarc is a level 1 wizard. He has 2 attack actions which are fine and has a good spell action that can wound unwounded fighters.
Inspiring gives him 2 dodge and ensnare on his gun, you’re inspiring for the 2 dodge.
Valyssa has combo, nice to see it still survives somehow.
Inspiring gives her 2 dodge, grievous and cleave.
Overall the warband is kinda…misleadingly good if that makes sense? Sure they can teleport but only as a charge action and not during round 1 without push cards. Your leader has cleave or ensnare but is only 2 smash while everyone else is 3 wounds 1 dodge until inspired. They have tricks and can do work but you have to play very carefully with them until you can attack for kills.
As always I’ll go through the faction cards going from okay cards to my top picks.
A Vicious Kill is just kinda hard to setup.
All is Shadow is just an alright 3rd end phase objective.
Fighting in the Shade should have been 2 glory.
Sadistic Tendencies is not worth it for 1 glory.
Prolonging the Inevitable is situational and hard to setup.
You ideally want to kill vulnerable fighters, not leave them alive to potentially kill you first.
Surge Assassinate but alright.
Objectives Top Picks
Very easy to score, great 2 glory.
Nowhere to Hide synergises with your teleport ability.
The Shadows Deepen is pretty easy.
Same goes for Umbral Raid.
Unseen Malice once again synergises with your teleporting.
Shadow counters are pretty much useless in my eyes, not great.
It’s an okay spell but not something I’d run.
As I said, don’t care for shadow counters.
Healing Potion is better.
More unneeded shadow counters.
Gambits Top Picks
Rippling Darkness is great ping damage.
A great way to do surprise attacks in the power step.
Smoke and Mirrors is great swapping.
Suffocating Shadows is much better attack dice nerfing.
Vanish into the Gloom is nice teleportation.
Amulet gives +1 wizard level but the spell action is meh.
Braces is okay but limited damage reflection.
Ruthless Aim is okay but too situational.
Umbral Glaive is fine but locked to a single fighter.
Upgrades Top Picks
Abyssal Guidance is nice accuracy.
Aided By Darkness is a great faction great strength.
Nice damage reduction, even if locked to your leader.
Rapid Fire has unlimited use and double shooting is great.
Shadewalker gives fly and +1 move, nice.
Voidling is like the parasites in Returnal. Just a very neat upgrade for you.
Overall the Shadeborn are very nice but have to be played super carefully. You can’t be too agressive and need to spend round 1 setting up your teleport charges. Your leader and wizard are nice, but have 3 fighters with 3 wounds and 1 dodge is rough. They have tricks but you need to plan your moves, basically like how assassins should.
- Nice miniatures
- Great mobility
- Decently strong leader
- Good faction cards
- 3 fighters with 3 wounds and 1 dodge
- Need to spend round 1 setting up
- Kinda boring visually, just a re-pose of the Warcry team
- Shadow counters, while kinda okay, are just an uneeded counter mechanic
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.
I also have a Patreon you can check out if you want to give me a little more support.
The Shadeborn are still pretty neat, just not as good as Skittershank’s Clawpack personally. Fun and threatening on paper but not as good in-practice.
So if you’re being stalked by shadow-merging Aelves, remember all is not lost as long as you can roll a crit!