Event Recap: Fiending for Glory
Updated: Jan 30, 2019
This past weekend was a doozy! There were two Underworlds tournaments on Saturday and Sunday with each being on the other side of town. Saturday's tournament was held at Fat Ogre Games & Comics and I anticipated an aggro meta. Naturally, I took Magore's Fiends as I figured if things were going to get close and personal, they'd be my best chance. This was also the second tournament of the month, out of six, that had a Shadeglass trophy up for grabs and I wanted to see if I could continue the win streak.
As you can see, the Blood God's followers were able to take many skulls for the Skull Throne and continue my win streak. The Fiends performed to expectations and after a nail-biter of a finale, ended up being the top (daemon) dogs. Below, I will do an overview of the warband, share my deck and explain the card choices, recap the games I played, and describe my tournament experience.
Note: For a general overview of Magore's Fiends and aggro play in general, please check out one of my previous articles here.
Magore, as you would expect from the leader of Khorne warband, is an excellent combatant. His offensive stats and wound total are solid, and the addition of cleave is icing on the cake. Rolling two smashes to hit regardless of inspiration or not, Redhand has a 65% chance to successfully hit a fighter rolling a single block and a 59% chance to hit a fighter who is dodging. He also is at a 26% chance to roll a successful critical hit. As you can see, he can be quite accurate which is great because like the rest of his warband, he inspires when an attack activation succeeds.
With two damage, he can take out most fighters and once inspired - only the toughest can survive a hit from the blood warrior. Its also hard to hide from Redhand as he gains an additional movement which can extends his reach. The downside is that he only rolls a single block for defense and is extremely susceptible to cleave. Mathematically, if someone with cleave does successfully strike him, he only has a 17% chance, pre-upgrade, to defensively succeed. To offset this, he boasts an impressive four wounds and can take a hit or two before going down.
I recommend setting him up in the middle area of your board so he isn't susceptible to first turn charges. Once you start piling on an upgrade or two, charge him into the foe at the end of phase one so that when the next phase starts, he can start collecting his gristly trophies. Another thing to note is that a mid game charge via Hidden Paths or Faneway Crystal can really turn the tide and take out a key fighter. Keep in mind that Magore, and the rest of this warband for that matter, live and die by their rolls. If the dice are hot, you can easily wrack up the glory and if they are cold well, you'll be a sad representative to the Blood God indeed.
Ghartok Flayskull is better than most "regular" members in other warbands. Pre-inspiration, the likelihood of successfully striking an enemy with block is 54% and a 59% when targeting fighters with dodge. Either way, there is a 26% chance to successfully and critically strike. Uniquely, at least before inspiring, Flayskull has a special rule stating that he cannot be driven back. This means even if an attacking fighter is able to move him back after an attempted attack activation, he just stays put. He also has a reaction that allows him to immediately attack an assailant who fails to successfully make an attack action. Its only a measly one damage with a 22% chance to succeed against block fighters and a 25% chance to hit a fighter that dodges. You also have a 14% chance to roll a critical success. Still, it can be useful and even take out a fighter once the damage has started to pile up.
Post inspiration and in addition to the movement gain, Ghartok gains an attack dice on both his regular attack and reaction attack. This is fantastic as accuracy is of the utmost importance for this warband. His regular attacks strikes with a 70% chance against blocking fighters, a 74% chance against dodging ones, and has a 36% to successfully crit. His reaction attack hits blocking fighters 40% of the time, dodging fighters 44% of the time, and has a 26% to roll a critical success. Again, like his commander, he gains no defensive dice and is weak to cleave.
Out of personal preference, I use Ghartok as my expendable fighter. I usually set him up on an edge hex and often closest to the enemy. This helps with baiting out charges while also giving him access to Hidden Path shenanigans. Furthermore, he is ideal for scoring Extreme Flank should you choose to take it.
Zharkus the Bloodsighted:
Zharkus is pretty much identical to Ghartok's stats and rules. I usually set him up on the closest starting edge on the other side of my starting board. This allows Zharkus a quick move, if necessary, to the edge hex to help with scoring objectives while also giving him access to Hidden Paths. Play him similarly as Ghartok and you should be good.
Riptooth, your favorite good boy, is the best fighter in the warband. The daemon hound starts with an impressive four movement and four wounds. Perhaps the most impressive aspect is that he rolls three fury for two damage. Defensively, like the rest of the warband, Riptooth rolls a single dice however its a dodge, so its a bit worse. Still, Riptooth requires a 55% chance to successfully hit fighters with a single block and a 58% chance when facing fighters with a single defense. If you roll a successful critical, which there is a 36% chance, your percentage to win against blocking fighters jumps on to 62%!
Post inspiration, Riptooth gain a movement and damage gain of one. Movement five is huge and really bolsters his threat range while mitigating the downside of using movement impairing upgrades. The three damage also one shots most fighters in the game, making the hound a truly impressive combatant. Don't forget that he gets another dodge dice as well, improving his survivability dramatically.
I recommend playing Riptooth similarly to Magore. Keep him protected initially and then charge at the end of phase one. Following that, he can chew his way through your opponent warband with relative ease.
Note: This deck was heavily influenced by Mike from Steel City Underworlds which you can find here.
Starting off with the two restricted cards, Extreme Flank is a staple as it helps score the glory early if you manage to draw it during phase one. With a bit of adjustment to your game plan, you can score it in later phases too. Escalation is great because you upgrading your fighters in natural for both you and your opponent and getting rewarded for it as solid. Strong Start marks the first non restricted card and its pretty easy to score as your goal is to take enemy fighters out of action and since your fighters are pretty beefy comparatively, its a great addition to the deck.
Solid Gains is reliable because you score when you gain three glory in the round which should be achievable as you have a couple score immediate cards and you are awarded for removing enemy fighters from the board - again your game plan. Master of War is included because if you can score an immediate objective, you can then use that glory to play an upgrade on a fighter which will score the card, as long as you play a gambit card. Denial is also quite likely to score because you are the aggressor. Your opponent will almost always play defensively against your warband and will be less likely to have a fighter on your side of the board at the end of the game.
All three of these cards immediately reward you for successfully getting an attack activation off, plus they help cycle through your objectives. What Armour? is an excellent score card as Magore has an innate cleave and Riptooth gains it when rolling a crit. Show of Strength rewards you for eliminating a fighter with your leader which, in theory, should be easy. Victorious Duel is scored when Magore takes out the enemy leader. This last one is a bit harder to score reliably but when it goes off, its a solid boost. Keep in mind that Magore can actually score all of these cards at once if he successfully eliminates the enemy commander. Its rare, but when the stars align, its insane.
Shining Example is reliable in that Magore inspires fairly easily, couple this with your two instant inspiration ploy cards, and you really see how consistent it can be. Ploymaster rewards you for playing a bunch of ploys which is great because as an aggressive warband, you rely heavily on your ploys to assist in the slaughter. Lastly, Rivers of Blood is a bit harder to score. Usually, all of your fighters won't have a wound on them till the later stages of the game and at that point, you probably won't have all four standing. This is offset by the inclusion of Shardgale in the deck.
Ready for Action is, in my opinion, the best card in the game and should be taken in every deck. Extra attack activations after buffing a fighter are fantastic, more so in an aggressive warband. My Turn, in the same vein, gives you an extra attack activation by benefiting off your high health fighters. Lastly, Earthquake was included to deny objective based warbands from scoring a ton of glory towards at the end of a phase.
Both Furious Inspiration and Inspiration Strikes allow your fighters to perform at peak efficiency before they even have to swing. This means that when they hit, some hit harder while others hit more accurately. Either way, that is awesome. Spectral Wings gives your threat range a big boost and helps reach those hard to reach fighters.
Shattering Terrain takes advantage of you pushing or driving back enemy fighter and penalizing them with a damage. Shardgale can help scored Rivers of Blood and help eliminate damaged enemy fighters. Do note that both can combo with My Turn. Dual of Wits helps you cycle through your power deck and reach those coveted upgrades and ploys which are essential to your gameplan.
Spoils of Battle helps by upgrading a fighter without spending a coveted glory token. Its also great in the first phase as you might not have any glory accessible too. Lastly, Hidden Paths gives your fighters the ability to take out fighters who have purposely been placed far away from you. It also offsets leaving your fighters behind when trying to score Extreme Flank.
These upgrades are all designed to ensure you do more damage when you are able to successfully strike and enemy fighter. Concealed Weapon is usually placed on either Riptooth, Ghartok, or Zharkus as they roll three dice when attacking post inspiration. Either way, all your fighters benefit from them. Also, Gloryseeker is great for taking down high health opponents, especially those with wound enhancing upgrades.
Speaking of wound enhancing upgrades, Deathly Fortitude and Sudden Growth both grant much needed survivability to your warband. Do keep in mind of the minus two move penalty. I recommend playing them after your fighters are in the thick of it. Trophy Hunter, the only faction upgrade taken, turns Magore into a glory churning engine. Two glory for taking an enemy fighter out of action is nothing to scoff at.
Potion of Rage grants you greater accuracy which helps when you are really trying to take a fighter out. Rising to the Challenge gives a single fighter an additional wound and dice to attack when Magore is taken out. This is pretty beneficial in general, more so as you probably need the stat gain if your leader falls. Faneway Crystal helps you get close to hard to reach opponents. Furthermore, claiming an objective can hamper your enemy's gameplan and also give you the edge at the end if you are anticipating a tied glory score.
Potion of Grace is unique in that you can remove a move token placed next a fighter. So, you can move, take the move token off, and the charge with the same fighter in the same phase over multiple activations should you chose to do so. The tactical flexibility offered here is huge. Lastly, The Formless Key, is great for grabbing that extra glory at the end of the game to give you a boost. It combos well with Faneway Crystal.
The quarterly official Underworlds event was hosted at Fat Ogre Games & Comics. I had never been to the store before but I really enjoyed my visit. They had a large space with even larger selection of games and systems. The store is located in the Woodlands and while that is considered part of the Greater Houston Area, it can be quite the drive. To make matters worse, there was major construction taking place on the only freeway that lead to the location. Because of this not only was the tournament delayed an hour and a half, a couple players ended up not attending. It personally took me over an hour to reach there.
Still, I saw some friendly faces and even two new one - its exciting to see the hobby growing! In total, we had six players attend and brought the following warbands: Zarbag's Gits, Ironskull's Boyz, Stormsire's Cursebreakers, The Chosen Axes, and two sets of Magore's Fiends.
The tournament used a best of three format with similarly performing players getting matched up in the following rounds. Due to their being six players, one of the winners would have to play an opponent who lost their first game in the second round. Win record was supreme here and in the event of a similar performance, glory difference would decide the winner.
Round 1: Chosen Axes
I got paired up with Will's angry dwarves! My opponent was seeking revenge for our previous encounter and was sporting a new and improved deck. That and knowing I would get into the mix with Fjul rather quickly, I went in wary.
In game one, I lost board but I didn't mind because I got to place three of the objectives. I opted to go with the Katophrane's Reliquary while Will chose The Cursed Oubliette. For some reason, I decided to take notes on a piece of paper, pictured on the bottom right side and ended up misplacing it. In short, the game was a one sided bloodbath.
I won the game 11-0.
In game two, Will won the roll off again and we selected the same boards. I drew my power cards first and as usual, I drew four upgrade cards. I tossed the hand. My objectives were Shining Example, Show of Strength, and Ploy Master.
To start things off, I drew a power card and added Potion of Constitution to my hand. Will decided to draw a power card as well. I then charged Ghartok at Mad Maegrim and missed. I played Shattering Terrain in the power phase and Will decided to play Earthquake. Grimnir then charged Ghartok and missed, that was then followed up with Indomitable. Zharkus then charged Mad Maegrim which only dealt one due the damage reduction from my opponent's ploy. Still, my blood warrior inspired. Tefk charged Zharkus and dealt two damage driving him back and then playing Treasure's Lust on Fjul, placing him on objective three. I responded by playing Spoils of Battle and equipped Magore with Concealed Weapon. On the charge, I rolled a crit and successfully eliminated Fjul scoring me Show of Strength. I then played Potion of Constitution on my leader, followed it up with Ready for Action, and then struck at Mad Maegrim, eliminating him as well. This scored me What Armour? and drew Strong Start which, per my interpretation and TO's, scored me another glory. Vol was placed on objective five. I scored Rivers of Blood, Shining Example, and Ploymaster in the end phase.
Winning the roll off in turn two, I charged with Magore at Vol and missed. I then played Sudden Growth on Magore. Will played The Earth Shakes and moved Tefk next to both Vol and Magore. In my opponent's activation, Vol swung and missed my leader again. I played Great Strength on Zharkus and in my activation, charged him into Tefk, successfully removing him from the board. Vol failed to land a hit again and I responded by moving Riptooth to the left side of the board with some help from Spectral Wings. Vol missed yet again. I moved Ghartok to the right side of the board. Vol finally managed to hit Magore, eliminating him. In the end phase, I scored Extreme Flank.
In turn three, I went first again and Zharkus charged Vol, missing. I played Furious Inspiration on Riptooth. Vol swung at Zharkus and missed yet again. I played Hidden Paths on Riptooth, placing him next to Vol. Despite rolling three hits, Riptooth's attack action was blocked with a crit. Vol, the poor dwarf, missed his swing at Riptooth. I drew a power card and played. At this point we just cycled objectives.
I comfortably won 17-5.
Round 2: Ironskull's Boyz
My second opponent, Mike, is a really nice and enthusiastic player. I really enjoyed speaking with him at the last tournament but we didn't end up matching against each other. I was looking forward to testing the Fiends against his Boyz and to prove that mine was the superior aggro warband.
I started with winning the board roll and unsurprisingly, we both selected Katophrane's Reliquary. I oriented the board so that I had more starting hexes closer to his side then he had to mine. My strategy was to force him to come to me and I take him out piecemeal.
My starting hand was Denial, Shining Exmplea, and Master of War. I tossed it and picked Extreme Flank, Rivers of Blood, and Ploymaster - much better. My power cards consisted of Furious Inspiration, Shattering Terrain, and three upgrades...
Winning the roll off, I forced Mike to go first and he ditched Contained and drew another objective. I drew a power card and of course, got another upgrade. Hakka moved over to objective one and I responded with moving Ghartok to the left board edge. Bonekutta moved in front of Basha. I drew power card again and got another upgrade, unbelievable. Mike then chose to draw a power card as well and I played Furious Inspiration on Riptooth. My opponent responde by playing Cruel Taunt and got it off! Poor Riptooth was no longer inspired and could not be for the rest of the game. Refusing to let misfortune alter my gameplan, I charged Riptooth into Hakka but it was blocked with a critical. I ended up scoring Extreme Flank and played Deathly Fortitude on Riptooth before drawing more power cards.
Phase two started with Gurzag charging at Riptooth and even with a single die, I rolled a successful dodge! Mike then followed his action with the card, Brutal but Kunnin which allowed him to move Gurzag back to his starting hex. I opened up by moving Ghartok three hexes to the right. Hakka charged Riptooth and missed and I played Gloryseeker on my hound. Riptooth then attacked Hakka and successfully hit with a critical. The orruk was pushed back and I scored What Armour?. Bonekutta responded by charging into Riptooth successfully damaging him for two and drove the daemon dog back. Mike scored Call of the Waaagh! and played Champion's Fortitude on Bonekutta. Riptooth charged and hit Bonekutta but with the re-roll, he survived with another crit. My opponent played Gorkamorka's Blessing and charged Basha into Riptooth dealing two damae and knocking him back into the corner. Magore came in for Hakka but again the attack was blocked by a critical roll. I ended up playing Shardgale and Earthquake which led me to score Rivers of Blood and Ploymaster.
Magore swung at Basha but the kunnin' orruk was able to roll yet another crit. I played Inspiration Strikes on Zharkus. Basha attacked Magore and hit for two damage, I played Potion of Rage and Sudden Growth on my commander. Redhand then charged at Basha and blew the Potion of Rage, eliminating the pesky orruk and scoring Show of Strength. Bonekutta charged Riptooth and even though we tied on rolls, driving a fighter back when he can't causes the hit to land and my good boy went down. For my last activation, I threw away Victorious Duel and drew Strong Start. Mike drew a power card. I ended up scoring Escalation and Strong Start while my opponent scored Good Scrap.
I won the game 12-5.
In game two, Mike won the roll off and set the board up like this. I decided to switch things up and select The Shattered Tower while Mike selected Pentinent's Throne.
I drew Extreme Flank, Escalation and Vicious Duel and decided to keep it because of the former being too easy to score here. My power cards consisted of three upgrades, Earthquake, and My Turn. I won the roll off and elected Mike to go start things off.
Gurzag made a move action onto objective four (the middle one) and I responded with shuffling Ghartok over a hex to the left. Basha came in and charged Zharkus but missed. Zharkus swung back and missed too. Bonekutta came raging in and charged Zharkus as well but I was able to block it with a crit. Zharkus then retaliates at Basha again, this time dealing two damage and inspiring them both. Hakka came joined the mob and swung at Zharkus dealing a single point of damage, driving my fighter back away from the edge hex. I responded with My Turn and Mike played Dual of Wits. I moved Zharkus back to his original hex and swung at Basha, but Mike saved him by playing On Your Feet and successfully rolling. He then played Ghoulish Pact on Hakka and put Waagh! on him.
As you can see here, Zharkus was able to hold his own against three orruks! For the final activation of the round, I charged Magore into Basha and rolled a crit but Mike rolled a crit too....this was getting ridiculous. I ended up scoring Extreme Flank while my opponent scored nothing. I put Trophy Hunter on boss man.
Winning the roll off, Magore swung at Basha and missed but I followed by playing Deathly Fortitude on him and reacted with Ready for Action. Electing to attack again, I finally took down Basha. I was rewarded with two glory and scored Show of Strength and Strong Start. Mike played Havin' a Good Time on Hakka but failed to get the roll of. I inspired Riptooth with Furious Inspiration and Gorkamorka's Blessing was played too, giving his fighter plus one damage. Hakka attacked Zharkus and was able to take him down and Mike then played 'Ard 'Ead (spelling?). I responded by playing Gloryseeker and Potion of Rage on Riptooth. As one might expect, I charged Riptooth into Bonekutta and took him out. Gurzag then charged Riptooth and dealt three. I moved Ghartok towards the middle of the board. Hakka charged Magore. My leader swung back but only dealt two due to the one point damage reduction. Mike scored Punch Up and I scored Escalation.
Going into the final phase, Magore hit and felled Hakka scoring What Armour? and the extra glory from Trophy Hunter. I then played Great Strength on him while Mike played Legendary Swiftness on Gurzag followed by a successful Cruel Taunt on Magore. That's twice now its gone off! The big boss made a move action to behind Riptooth. I responded by sicking Riptooth on him. The good boy deals four and drives him back. I followed up Shardgale to finish the enemy off. We finish by cycling objectives and I scored Solid Gains, Master of War, and Denial.
I won the game 16-4.
Round 3: Zarbag's Gits
We made it to the top table!
My final opponent of the day was Josh who also was at last week's tournament. Josh is an extremely kind guy who enjoys the game whether its going well for him or not. Either way, I was going to enjoy this series.
He was playing Thorns of the Briar Queen then but today he brought the Gits. I have always found this matchup to be favorable to the Fiends, at least when I have been playing the goblins.
In game one, I won the roll off and oriented the board as such. I picked The Katophrane Reliquary while Josh opted for The Ruptured Seal. I didn't draw well at all. It seemed to be a recurring a theme throughout the day - I just kept drawing a bunch of upgrades.
Josh won the roll off and elected to go first. He moved Snirk up three into my side of board and then inspired per his rules. Riptooth charged in for the closest squig and missed. Drizgit charged Riptooth and hit him for two. I drew a power card and played Furious Inspiration on Magore. Bonekrakka charged Riptooth and ate him. With one of my greatest threats down early, I opted to draw a power card. Red Kap moved up and Dibbs scurried along as well. Magore charged Snirk but the pesky fanatic ended up dodging. Josh scored Mad Scurry while I scored Extreme Flank, I also played Potion of Grace on Zharkus.
Snirk kicked off the next phase again and ended up swinging around in a circle. I played Inspiration Strikes on Zharkus and my opponent responded with Dual of Wits. Magore charged Snirk again and missed. I played Sudden Growth on my commander and swung again. Sadly, I missed. Drizgit charged Magore and scored a hit, an extra damage was dealt due to Trap. I pitched an objective card and drew another one. Snirk started flailing around again and dealt a hit to Magore. I exchanged another objective and Josh played Sneaky Step in the power phase moving Prog to the edge. He drew a card. Zharkus went in for Drizgit and hit, Josh played Rebound but failed. He scored Loner and Shining Example while I scored nothing.
At the beginning of the third phase, Josh won the roll off for the third consecutive time. Gobbalug charged Magore and struck him down. Knowing I could't come back from this, I conceded to just start the next game. Poor rolls, a small case of analysis paralysis, and bad draws cost me this game.
At this point, I went into "focus mode" and stopped taking notes. I did try to record the next two games via an app but unfortunately, the data didn't save correctly. Guess I need to delete some pics off my phone.
The following games are brief summaries as I am going off pure memory. I apologize for the inconvenience.
Game two, I lost the board roll off and picked The Shattered Tower while Josh stayed with The Ruptured Seal.
I had played conservatively the first phase as I was trying to score Extreme Flank and cycle power cards. Josh came in again, thinking he could gang up on me again and finish me quick. I remained patient and waited till the last phase of the turn before charging Riptooth into Snirk. I dealt three damage thanks to a critical and then played Shardgale. I scored What Armour? and then Extreme Flank in the end phase.
Phase two started off with Bonekrakka charging into Riptooth, he missed. Riptooth then responded by eating him. With my rolls regaining their mojo, I proceeded to play hyper aggressive and ended up taking down a majority of his fighters. Understanding that he was going to lose the game, Josh conceded at the end of phase two.
Man, what a game. My luck turned around and playing conservatively worked out. I truly exemplified the midrange play style and reaped the benefits. Onto game three!
Winning the board, I set up similarly as the two previous games with the exception that I narrowed the path between boards. This would allow me a defensive benefit versus Snirk as his chances of hitting a wall or his own warband were higher. I picked The Katophrane Relic and Josh changed things up and selected The Pentinent's Throne.
I played the game out similarly to the previous game as I drew Extreme Flank in my opening hand for the third time this series. Josh played a bit more conservatively but understood that he needed to take me out to win since I had three objectives. At the end of the first phase, Magore, with the help of Spectral Wings, nailed Gobbalug into the dirt scoring me What Armour? and Show of Strength. I played Furious Inspiration on Zharkus and Inspiration Strikes on Riptooth.
Phase two started with Magore charging into Bonekrakka and eliminating him too. I followed up with Sudden Growth to ensure his survivability. Drizgit came in and scored a hit on my leader. I responded with My Turn and took him out too. Riptooth charged intro Snirk during my activation and took him off the board. Stikkit came in and shot Magore, wounding him. Zarbag also cast Jealous Hex on Magore. I then equipped Zharkus with Faneway Crystal and charged into his back line, eliminating Dibbz. Prog charged Zharkus and wounded him. I finally moved Ghartok and placed him onto objective five. In the power phase, I played The Formless Key on him too. Zarbag charged Zharkus and wounded him for two drove him back.
Phase three, I won the roll off again and charged Zharkus into Prog and eliminated the netter. Zarbag swung and finished off Zharkus. I charged Riptooth into another archer and took him out with three crits! Understanding that there was no coming back from this, Josh conceded. Well played man!
Finally relaxing after a nail-biter of a round, I was able to successfully nab the trophy with Magore's Fiends. As I mentioned earlier, the Fiends live and die by their rolls. That is perhaps why I don't think they'll ever be a tier one warband. They just aren't that consistent enough.
Shout out to the players who attended the event and Fat Ogre Games & Comics. Everyone put their best food forward and exhibited fantastic sportsmanship. Special mention to Josh, my final opponent, for being kind, entertaining, and a great player. He piloted those goblins fantastically.
In this current meta, Magore's Fiends are the premier aggro warband and can perform quite well when the dice gods are in your favor. One thing of note is that their faction cards aren't attractive as the neutral cards and thus they rely heavily on them. Furthermore, your game plan is pretty transparent, even if you are losing. No matter the state of the game, you have to keep playing aggressive, especially if you are behind on glory. Protecting Magore early is of the utmost importance as well. Still, the warband can perform well and go toe-to-toe with the best of them. Give them a try and make the Blood God proud!