Product Review: Beastgrave & Accessories
Updated: Sep 23, 2019
Warhammer Underworlds season 3 is finally here! As I am sure many of you are aware, Beastgrave is coming. The Warhammer Community Team has been previewing loads of really cool information in regards to the set and how the game will evolve with the bringing in of the new set.
I would like to thank Games Workshop for sending me this preview copy early so that I could review the contents.
Now while getting products prior to their release date it extremely rewarding, I will admit, it was quite a challenge in order to actually get it in my hands...
After receiving the notification that I was to receive the product, I waited patiently for a couple days as I had it shipped to work place - I get a lot of things I don't want to lose sent there. One morning I was starting to get a bit worried. So, I managed to get the tracking number from my contact at GW and called the shipping company. Turns out, they delivered the package to the wrong address two days prior!
Panicking, I spent well over an hour on the phone speaking with multiple reps until I was able to get some information on where they had sent it. Strangely, the company in question deemed my work address to be a fake address even though they deliver and pickup packages from my office daily. 🤔At a loss at what to do with the package, they just delivered it to my local Warhammer Store - I know, super lucky.
During my lunch break I drove over to the store and the manager, who had received word prior, was super kind and handed me the stuff. I was even late to a meeting, thankfully so was half the team! The things we do for love (insert Jamie Lannister meme).
In this article, I will be reviewing all the contents that come inside the Beastgrave box set. This includes the boards, warbands, and rule book. Furthermore, I will review each and every card in the set.
Time to enter the hungry mountain!
As I mentioned earlier, Warhammer Underworlds Beastgrave is the third installment in the Warhammer Underworlds game created by Games Workshop.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with Warhammer Underworlds, this game is the only game produced by Games Workshop designed from the ground up to create a competitive experience. It is marketed and touted as: the ultimate competitive miniatures game. In my humble opinion, I don't think that's incorrect.
Sure other games have competitive formats but every game of Underworlds played, whether at home or at a major tournament, is designed to foster competition with a clear winner and a loser.
However if competitive gaming is not your thing, don't be alarmed. Underworlds is still a fantastic game that offers plenty of fun, tactical stimulation, and quick games. Most people in the community, which is great I might add, play over a pint with some friends. The best part is, the game is extremely easy to pick up but offers loads of depth.
So what exactly is the Beastgrave starter box?
Well good reader, it is the most recent and official starter set for the game. If you want to get into Underworlds, this is the box to do so. For reference, Beastgrave is the official name of third season of Warhammer Underworlds. Season 1 was named Shadespire and Season 2 was named Nightvault.
As demonstrated in the photo above, there are a ton of items included in the box set. First off, we've got the two warbands included: Grashrak's Despoilers (6 fighters) and Skaeth's Wild Hunt (5 fighters). Both the warbands have some pretty epic names and even better looking models.
In addition to that, we have a 40-page rule book, an 8-page learn to play booklet, a how-to-build guide for the models, and a small little piece detailing the lore.
One of the best bits about the rulebook, it's that there is a ton of information on the lore surrounding the location known as the Beastgrave. For those unfamiliar, the Beastgrave is literally the name of a mountain located in the realm of Ghur. Now like all things existing in this primal realm, everything is alive and lives their days out as both predator and prey.
The Beastgrave literally calls to the beings around it slowly enticing them to the center of the mountain. Whether it's through visions of glory or with promises of endless loot, locals and wanderers eventually find themselves drawn towards the mountain only to be trapped forever...
Furthermore due to the Necroquake, Nagash's magical catastrophe that occurred during the that changed the nature of magic in the Mortal Realms. Due to this phenomena, the curse of the Katophranes trapping the inhabitants of Shadespire and the deeper catacombs of the Nightvault have been able to escape - magically transported to new realms. Unfortunately, the curse has followed them and when they fight against new warbands, the curse spreads to them as well. Pretty cool stuff, eh?
Additionally, there is a bit of lore surrounding the two new warbands we've seen online: Rippa's Snarlfangs and the Grymwatch. The lore on the latter is particularly good.
Taking a page from the recent Dreadfane release, the wording around the rules seems much tighter. With this greater sense of clarity, I expect there to be less debate on how certain rules work which is very exciting.
I really like the tokens included in this set by the way. The level of detail is superb. Also, they've updated the back of the wound tokens so that they can be doubled as counter tokens as well! (RIP #tokengate)
I mean seriously, just look at all the cool designs surrounding the borders. They make me want to stop using the promotional acrylics tokens I have and use these new ones!
A really cool feature that adds a breadth of fresh-air to the game is the addition of the feature token. These tokens are really cool in the fact that one side, they are the regular objectives that we know and, debatably, love! However, on the other side, they are lethal tokens as well.
Fighters and cards will have have certain abilities that will allow players to flip the tokens during the game. Not only does this provide another strategy you have to play around, it makes fighting over these objectives even more deadlier.
My favorite addition to the core rules is the placement of the lethal hexes. After each player sets up their objectives tokens, players will then take turns placing a lethal hex - anywhere on the board! Calculated Risk anyone?
We've seen the continuation of the keywords used in Dreadfane. Ensnare and Scything are awesome and a very welcome addition to the game.
Furthermore, there are two new types of fighter labels that have been added to game: Hunter and Quarry. Fighters either start as a Hunter/Quarry or can become either one of the two via gambits and upgrades. These keywords allow fighter to use special abilities and powerful gambit cards reserved just for Hunters and/or Quarries.
The implication is that Hunters benefit when attacking their prey aka Quarries but sometimes its worth it to be a Quarry and take that risk for some powerful upgrades/abilities. Think of it this way, when you back your prey into a corner - that's when you see their true strength come out.
Another neat rules change is how super-actions work as well as the guard action. In terms of the latter, fighters who have a guard token cannot be driven back!
There are some changes to way fighters inspire. Now, fighters inspire after an action or super action is resolved. It's a subtle change but pretty big for a couple of the warbands out there. I really like it.
Additionally, we have an extremely detailed combat sequence diagram on the backside of the rulebook. This will come super handy when working with unique card interactions, namely reactions.
There are plethora of other surprises in store for you when perusing through the rulebook. Those were just a couple of my favorites.
The fighter cards, as usual, look awesome. Unlike Dreadfane, these cards come with the same artwork on both the un-inspired and inspired sides. Don't worry though, I am sure you can nab some of the promotional cards at an organized play event soon.
There are four board sides included in the set and as you can see, they are just gorgeous. Although I will always have a special place in my heart for the green and blue tones of the Nightvault, these Beastgrave boards are a welcome change. Furthermore, all four board layouts are brand new and never been seen before.
The top left is named the Wyrmgrave and the board on its left is titled the Shrine of the Silent People. On the bottom left, we have the Abandoned Lair and the bottom right board is called Living Rock.
Furthermore, there are 11 fighter cards, 102 upgrade, ploy, and objective cards (faction specific and universal), 126 tokens, and 11 Warhammer Underworlds dice.
As always, there are three packs of cards included. One for Skaeth's Wild Hunt, one for Grashrak's Despoilers, and one for Extra Cards. Per the recommended guidelines, I suggest each player pick up a warband specific deck and after a couple games, including the universal cards as well.
Lastly, the box is quite spacial and contains plenty of room for all of its contents. Furthermore, there are a plethora of plastic bags includes as well so you can store your tokens once you pop them out.
"Loathsome, unruly and driven by a savage thirst to destroy anything pure, Grashrak’s Despoilers are a brutal warband of gor-kin who would turn on each other in a moment if they weren’t already busy hating everyone else even more. To them, Beastgrave is no mystical marvel or store of hidden treasure, it’s simply another hunting ground where they can prove their deadly might and find new victims to tear asunder."
As you can see, these models are gorgeous - in a really primal and guttural way at least. Each fighter bursts with personality and is easily distinguishable from the rest. I particularly like the Ungors - my favorite is the one cutting himself across the chest with his knife. It just oozes character. 😉
I do think that the design team made Draknar, the one holding the severed head, a bit too imposing. Honestly, he looks like the true leader of the warband.
The dark brown really suits the warband's aesthetic as well in case you decide not to paint them. Remember, it is perfectly acceptable to not paint your miniatures for Warhammer Underworlds. You can just quick snap them together and start playing.
Note: I do always recommend you glue your models for the best fit.
The inspiration mechanic for these guys is reminiscent of the Garrek's Reavers in that a certain number of fighters need to be out of action in order for them to get buffed up. In this case, it is when two enemy fighters are taken out of action.
If you are fighting against any medium to large sized warband, this inspiration mechanic seems particularly juicy. Get a couple early eliminations and your fighters will plough through their opponents.
I know what you are thinking - what about when they fight against three man warbands? Well, that is a really good point. It is definitely going to be harder and that's why I think most of the fighters are front-loaded on their stats. Once inspiring, aside from Grashrak bumping up a wizard level, they don't really change too much.
Still, I think the warband has the correct tools in place via their cards and abilities to help give them that killing edge.
The Bray Shaman leading this motley warband sports fairly decent characteristics. Like many leaders, he's got four wounds and like most wizards, he's got a two smash attack that deals two damage. The wounds still don't make up for his poor defensive characteristics. Four movement is nice though. The parallels to Garrek here are quite obvious and I daresay uncanny despite the fact that he functions as more of a support hero.
Overall, the leader isn't too bad but he's nothing special either. Sure, he's a wizard but the level 1 prior to inspiring hurts. I'm a bit disappointed that the fighter does not have an innate ranged magical attack - I think that could have opened up a couple of (magical) doors for him. Due to the unreliable inspire mechanic and low starting wizard level - I don't see magic heavy builds being too competitive, if at all.
The bread and butter of Grashrak though is his Ritual counter mechanic. Not only does he start the game with a counter, every time an opposing fighter is eliminated, he gains another. You can spend these counters, before the attack roll, in order to re-roll a friendly fighter's attack roll. Not too shabby.
Again, the concern here is that it's not that good against low model count warbands. Unless you can get some early takedowns, I don't see this being too useful in those specific matchups.
Off the bat its pretty evident that Draknar is your beat stick. I mean starting out with a two smash three damage attack is pretty gnarly. Three wounds is okay and means he's decently survivable but I would have liked to see four wounds on him. I mean the model is huge. Thankfully, he defends on a block which is better than a dodge, in most cases anyways.
As many people of pointed out online, he sports similar stats to Blooded Saek from the Reavers warband. Honestly, you probably play him in the exact manner too.
Despite being your finisher, watch out for the fact that although two smash attacks are nice, they don't hit as reliably as you'd think. Use the Ritual counters, especially the free one you get early, to ensure this mighty beastman guarantees a take down is paramount.
Once inspired, Draknar gains cleave and his attack characteristic switches up to three fury. I can see the lore reasons behind this - imagine a beastman getting even more frenzied as he sees his enemies fall, swiping his massive axes back and forth. Quite the image.
Game play wise, that technically translate to a higher percentage of hitting though. However, I dislike it. I can't ever roll fury so this just means I will be relying on rolling crits!
Be sure to keep him safe as he is a huge threat. Your opponents are going to look for opportune moments to annihilate him.
The biggest and the strongest of the Ungors, Murgoth Half-Horn is rather unimposing. As you can probably guess, his Ungor lackeys don't have too strong of stats either.
He's got four movement, one dodge, three wounds, and a melee attack that deals two damage hitting on two fury. That's to be expected though, you can't have every fighter in a 6 man warband hit like a truck. The stats are nothing to write home about but they aren't that bad either.
Accuracy is a huge problem with Murgoth. Perhaps the warband was designed with less accurate attack due to the Ritual counter system but in this case, I think it's a waste. Even when inspired, I am not sure I would use it unless I really needed to.
He's definitely a utility piece that can bait a charge or provide support to the two beastmen mentioned above. The interesting thing to note is that Half-Horn sports the Hunter keyword. This means he has access to some powerful hunter specific cards like Snare that can amplify his damage output.
Gnarl and Ushkor are two Ungor archers who sport the Hunter keyword. Stat-wise, they are essentially identical - they both have four movement, one dodge, two wounds, and similar attack profiles.
The only real difference between these fighters is that once they inspire, Gnarl's melee attack bumps to three fury while Ushkor's ranged attack goes to three fury.
Being Hunters does provide some usefulness though and I think they can situational benefit from it. I wouldn't build my deck around that but if a situation arises in which a ploy or gambit could benefit a specific line of play - it might be worth the risk.
These guys are best used as objective holders and bait. Be careful though, you don't want your opponent to get easy glory via eliminations and surge objectives off these guys so be smart with their placement.
Rounding out the warband, and Ungors, is Korsh the Sneak. Similarly to his smaller brethren, this fighter sports some below average stats. He's got four movement, one dodge, two health and a melee attack that hits on two fury for one damage...
However, as you can infer, there's a bit more to Korsh. I mean he is very sneaky.
The Sneak comes with an innate action that allows him to move from on edge hex to any other charge hex. Yep, it's a built in Hidden Paths albeit with a stronger downside. Still, you can use this action to nab last minute objectives or provide some unexpected support.
Oh and yes, there are some obvious implications with Shortcut and Keep Them Guessing which makes them auto-includes with this faction.
Once inspired, his attack becomes a bit more accurate, he gains another dodge (super sneaky), and when using his action, you gain a move token. Much better as now he can attack on the following turn.
Korsh is a lackluster fighter but his true worth is in his ability. Keep him safe and when the time is right, strike (read: score Shortcut).
Now, onto the faction specific cards!
Note: As per my previous articles, I'll be using the following rating system.
A score of "A" means that the card is very powerful and should almost always be included in your deck builds. "B" means that the card is strong and will usually be included, but not always. A score of "C" means that card can be good in certain situations but will usually require extra support. Lastly, a score of "D" means the card is on the weaker side of things. It doesn't mean that it is inherently bad but perhaps can be considered hard to use or counter intuitive to your game plan.
Please keep in mind that these are my personal opinions. You might rate these cards differently.
Grashrak's Despoilers Cards:
Bestial Cunning: This is pretty much an in-faction Ploymaster. It's fairly powerful in its own right as you can control it in its entirety. Sure, you might be draw dependent but you'll score it eventually.
Blood Ritual: If you save your initial free Ritual counter and manage to kill an enemy fighter to get another one, you've pretty much scored this card. Still, I am personally not too much of a fan.
Bloodshed: Essentially, you have to eliminate three enemy fighters in order to score 3 glory. Depending on the opposing warband, that can be quite the tall order.
Conquerers: So this is an interesting card. In theory, you can ensure you score this by stacking certain gambit cards but since the majority of your fighters have such poor stats, I really wonder how you score this card reliably.
Despoilers: This cards is insane - its a score immediate Supremacy that can be scored right after an activation. Take it - I wouldn't be surprised if there were universal versions of this card as well.
Killing Blow: This is essentially Precise Use of Force except you have to pretty much one-shot the opposing fighter. Solid card.
Proven Superiority: This is a pretty neat card in that it kind of performs like Victorious Duel. Getting two glory to eliminate the opposing enemy leader is solid. Furthermore, Grashrak is defensible enough as well.
Raiders: A score immediate version of Conquest... kind of. This card rewards you for playing aggressive and is fairly easy to score since most of your warband is decently fast.
Swarm the Battlefield: This is a fairly decent card but I think it requires too much setup to be scored effectively. Plus it can be countered as its a bit obvious.
Stampede: This is a super easy to score and is something you'll probably run - I would just be wary about the quality of your charges. Sometimes you maybe be forced to make sub-optimal charges should this card be in your hand.
Survival of the Fittest: I like this card because whether you are having a good game or a bad game, you can score it fairly easily.
Taint of Ruin: This card probably isn't going to be taken much for the fact that it is reliant of drawing gambit spells and them being successfully cast since Grashrak has no innate spell to spam.
Bull Charge: Gaining an innate is extremely powerful in this game and this card shores up one of this warband's major weaknesses. It is a must have.
Baying Hated: Being able to deal an extra damage during a melee attack is always nice - I just dislike the one time benefit as you can miss.
Berserk Bellow: Being able to push an opponent is always worthwhile. In this instance, the fighter can be pushed fairly far which can be useful with all those lethal hexes lying around.
Bestial Vigor: This spell is only really worthwhile if your warband is inspired. If you do take it, the extra movement boost is huge as it can lead to insane objective grabs or unexpected charges.
Blood Taunt: This card provides a fighter with immediate defensive benefit while also enhancing their accuracy tremendously in the next activation. That's pretty good, despite the fact that your fighter has to take a damage. It's probably worth it.
Baying Anger: Gaining a temporary accuracy buff is always good but is doubly good with this particular warband. Hitting things seems to be hard and increasing those odds is always welcome.
Devolve: Dealing a damage with a spell is historically very powerful. Requiring a critical roll to do so is most certainly not. With a very low chance to cast this, even on two dice - I don't see this being worth your time.
Skirmisher: Being able to move with any fighter and then being able to immediately make an attack is strong. However, the two ranged attacks in this warband are pretty pitiful. Unless you are setting up to score another card like Keep Them Guessing, I'm not sure if this is an auto include.
Vile Invaders: A very strong card, you essentially get to push four (majority) members of your warband two hexes. This quite frankly is very good on its own and becomes even better if manage to make the two big beastmen Hunters as well.
Weight in Numbers: If you are able to set this up right, this becomes a very powerful card that can reach absurd levels of damage. More likely though, you'll probably only be able to assist with a single fighter which makes this card very similar to Baying Anger.
Blinding Attack: Decent upgrade that probably won't see use due to the fact that it is tied to a specific member of your warband and he already has a ranged attack. Rating: D
Bloodcrazed: This is pretty much Great Strength but with a slight limitation in that someone involved in the fighting needs to be wounded. Not a tall order since there are lethal hexes everywhere. Fairly solid card.
Dogged Survivor: Again a cool idea that probably won't see play due to the fighter restriction.
Cursed Flint: Gaining cleave is nice but this attack profile leaves something to be desired.
Endless Hatred: This card would have been awesome if not for the fact that it was limited to a single fighter in your warband. It could get uses but its a dead card if Gnarl is out of the game.
Heedless of Pain: We all appreciate how good Great Fortitude is and for that reason this card requires consideration, even with its restrictions. Another wound on your main damage output isn't too bad.
Jabbing Spear: The reward is not worth the investment or the deck slot as those fighters attack profiles are so bad, gaining an extra range will not help.
Trophy Taker: Solid upgrade for your best fighter. Even gaining one glory because of this is well worth this card's inclusion. Just be careful as Draknar will be a well sought out target in all of your games.
Sorcerous Trinket: Re-rolls are awesome and this card really makes Grashrak a reliable caster. Again, its value diminishes a little bit because of the lack of innate spell but its still good.
Savage Bolt: This is a solid attack profile, I just wish it was on Grashrak's fighter card. If you want to take this card, you can - but I doubt I will be spending much time investing in the magical side of things with these guys.
Skaeth's Wild Hunt:
"Spiritual avatars of nature in its most primal and aggressive state, Skaeth’s Wild Hunt are savage – yet noble – worshippers of Kurnoth, god of the hunt. Preying on those who would despoil nature, now they work tirelessly to slay those infected with the Katophrane curse to prevent the corruption from spreading further."
These models are exquisite in how they are able to portray such a varied sense of motion while still looking beautiful. Due to the fact that this is a never before seen faction in the Age of Sigmar setting, the appeal is even greater.
The parallel between these guys and the beastmen cannot be understated as well. They are both essential half-beast fighters who are two sides of a coin. The design team have really taken that concept and run with it. If there are more Kurnothi on the way, then I am sure they'll look fantastic as well.
Generally, I like all of the models but my favorite is Althaen because you can really see a lot of character in her pose - she's just taken the perfect shot while moving and that moment is captured superbly. Of course, I love Lighaen as well - who doesn't love lions?!
As one would expect from aelven models who live and protect the wilds, the warband is molded in a warm, mossy green color. Remember, it is perfectly acceptable to not paint your miniatures for Warhammer Underworlds. You can just quick snap them together and start playing. When building this warband, just be careful when it comes to Skaeth - that spear and torso can be tricky.
Note: I do always recommend you glue your models for the best fit.
This warband's inspiration mechanic is fairly interesting in that they need to have a charge token at the end of any phase - which generally means they have had to have made a charge actions. Cards like Tome of Glories and Bag of Tricks can also result in fighters gaining charge tokens but a majority of the time, you are going to be charging a lot with these guys.
While this inspiration mechanic is fairly reliable, it's also quite perilous as well. If you are not wise to positioning or commit too early, it can result in the loss of a model. Still, the high movement can offset this somewhat.
Another challenge when facing the inspiration mechanic is that fighters will rarely, if ever, be inspired in the first round. This means planning your moves ahead is paramount as you'll need to commit early in some cases while still hoping to survive to reap the benefits.
Starting the game off with four wounds, five movement, and a single block is pretty impressive for the leader of this band of lithe aelven warriors. His attack profiles are pretty solid too with a one-use range three, two smash attack that deals one damage regularly and two on the charge. His melee attack is also not too bad - it hits on three fury and deals two damage.
Furthermore, he is a Hunter which means he innately has access to some powerful gambits and upgrades which amplify is lethal potential.
Once inspired, Skaeth's javelin attack, if you haven't used it yet, becomes very accurate while his melee attack gains the Scything key word which means his attack targets all adjacent enemies. Furthermore, he gains an additional dice on defense.
The Huntsman is a powerful fighter who will probably perform as your beat-stick. If you are cognizant of when to commit and when not to over commit - I think you will find Skaeth to be a very powerful fighter who can lay waste to his prey reliably and quickly.
In what I believe is the first time ever, we have a fighter who is the only wizard but who is not the leader of their particular warband. Woo game design!
Karthaen is a solid fighter with wizard level of one, four movement, two dodge, three wounds and a melee attack that hits on two smash for two damage. Not bad.
What makes him standout though is that he has an innate action called the Hunting Horn. When this action is made, Karthaen gains a Horn counter which allows the warband to re-roll any of dice in the next attack roll made by a friendly fighter. Keep in mind that this is not a reaction so you have to use it. It's a worse version compared to Grashrak's ability despite the fact that you can re-roll all the dice. Still, not a bad ability and can probably come in clutch from time to time.
When inspired, the Huntcaller jumps to five movement and three damage.
Sheoch, who has a name which is very fun to say, sports what looks like to be the average stats we've come to expect from fast and lightly armored warbands. Four movement, one dodge, three wounds is fairly standard and reminiscent of fighters from the Godsworn Hunt. His attack is fairly standard as well in that it hits on two smash and deals two damage.
Once inspired, this tracker gets a bump in movement and his attack action gains cleave while also becoming more accurate as well. He also gains a re-roll on his defensive rolls which is pretty neat and helps out a lot with his survivability.
Sheoch is best used as a support piece, complementing Skaeth and Karthaen when he can. With the right upgrades, Sheoch can also become a huge threat to blocking fighters as well.
Althaen is the ranged fighter of the warband who also has fairly decent stats. Four movement, one dodge, and three health seem fair enough while her attack action is range three attack that deals one damage on two smash. This profile reminds me of Ahnslaine, the archer from Ylthari's Guardians. In fact I believe they are the only two fighters, at the moment, whose ranged attacks hit on smash and don't use guns.
Inspiring her, which seems to be a bit easier of a time due her massive threat range, provides this archer with a bump in movement, the ensnare keyword on her attack, and the same innate re-roll that Sheoch gets.
Althaen is going to be your harasser and perhaps even your engager. With additional damage dealing options, she can reliably take down/finish off fighters with low health, especially the dodging kind.
Lighaen is a Malkyn - beasts who bond themselves with aelves who worship Kurnoth. Now all the cat lovers can rejoice!
Unfortunately, that's where the cool stuff ends. This feline has five movement, one dodge, and two wounds which means that when things go down - he isn't go to last long at all. His melee attack isn't remarkable either - two fury, one damage.
When inspired, Lighaen becomes a bit more respectable in the fact that he gains a dodge while his attack becomes more accurate and also gains ensnare.
Lighaen is best used as a supporting piece or even bait. Just remember, even a strong breeze can kill him so be careful.
Skaeth's Wild Hunt's Cards:
Aspects of Kurnoth: Decent card and significantly easier to score in the latter stages of the game. Does require a lot of work though.
Cry of the Wild: So making the hunting action is fine, keeping Karthaen alive until the end of the turn is not - especially when your opponent knows you have this card. Also, during the later game, being forced to use the Hunting Horn action can actually be a sub-optimal activation.
Gifts of Kurnoth: Simple enough - again it's telegraphed and not necessarily the optimal way to spend your glory points for upgrades.
Hunt's End: This card is super strong because eliminating a four wound fighter isn't too tall of an order and we've seen cards like it be very successful in other warbands. The fact that it also doubles as Supremacy just pushes it over the top. Having to reliable ways to score this card is fantastic and provides options.
Kurnoth's Snare: With the addition of players placing lethal hexes on the board and the increase of them on boards in general, this card is very easy to score.
Purifying Rites: This card is similar to Reclaim the Lamentiri and as a result we know its good. In theory, you could score it just off a single objective. Just be sure be smart about your objective placement and remember what your opponent is playing.
Ritual Kill: This card might require some movement setup to get right but when it goes off, its essentially giving you an extra glory for eliminating an enemy fighter. It can be played around though so look for ways to counter the counter play.
Run Down: Great card and works well with the inspiration mechanic as well. Take it.
Run Through: Another great card that rewards you for something that will probably naturally happen.
Safety in Swiftness: Another card that aligns with your game plan. Just be careful about your charges because if one of those three fighters gets eliminated, you don't score it.
Slay the Corrupted: If things go average, you can probably score this card against most warbands. The problem is when you are facing a three man warband. If you don't wipe them out - this card is useless.
Soulbinding: Super strong card as we know from Harness the Storm. You will need to pack some spells in the deck though to trigger it.
Binding Wind: This is Transfixing Stare but on steroids. I like the card and think you should probably take it - just be wary that if your wizard is gone, this card is useless.
Fleet of Foot: Solid card that can help you touch all our fighters during an activation. The flexibility is provides is awesome as well as you can spend your activations doing something else.
Healing Breeze: Seems like a lot of work to get someone healed just for one wound. I can see the benefits but I don't think I would take it.
Hunt in Concert: Solid card, especially for a warband with such high movement. It help gets you where you need to go.
Might of Kurnoth: The utility this cards provides cannot be understated - it's going to be super clutch at times. My concern is that, if Karthaen is out - this is a dead card and that it also requires a focus to cast. Also what happens if you miss?
Pounce: A very strong card - especially when using it to increase your odds of hitting an opponent. The specific limitation, which will hurt you from time to time, about the enemy fighter having to have a wound token holds this back from a higher rating.
Retrieve Javelin: As much as I want to say a lot of good things about this card, using one of your deck slots for this card does not seem worth it especially since Skaeth only wants to use it when he charges.
Song of Swiftness: Another great card that relies on Karthaen staying alive. I like the idea of it and it can really benefit you. But at this point - your opponent knows to take out Karthaen and if he goes down - dead card.
Strike in Concert: The card gives you a damage boost if you're able to set up an attack action that benefits from support. Even then, you can still miss and this card is useless.
Swift as the Wind: This card is pretty solid and can really take an opponent by surprise. Great for setting up for a long range charge or nabbing an objective.
Battle Cry: The idea is cool but in practice, it doesn't really provide the usefulness you'd think it would.
Divine Strength: If you really want someone to gain knockback, then I suppose it works. I wouldn't take it.
Great Strides: Gaining two additional movement is huge and can be super useful. However, I just don't think these guys need it. It is a nice to have for sure though.
Hale Charm: Damage mitigation is super important now and with a low health warband like this, the card could be difference between it taking two attacks to take down a friendly fighter or just one.
Hunting Aspect: This card's sheer volume of stats is actually impressive. Still, I doubt you'll take it as Lighaen will rarely survive late enough for you to use it.
Kurnoth's Mark: Getting that re-roll on defense is huge and can really boost the survivability of Skaeth and Karthaen. The fact there is a small chance you can put this upgrade on for free makes this one almost a no-brainer.
Shield Slash: This provides your leader with an accurate attack that can one-shot most fighters and seriously damage everyone else. I like it.
Vicious Darts: This is pretty much a spell version of Dark Darts but with Ensnare. Again, its restricted to Karthaen so it could be a dead card in your hand. Still, it has its uses and can really bop a bunch of low-wound dodging fighters too.
Eye of Kurnoth: This is a strong card as four of your fighters are hunters and the extra dice is going to be very helpful. Gaining ensnare is just the icing on the cake and so you'll want to put this on everyone but Althaen as she already has ensnare.
Fast Shot: I generally stay away from single fighter restricted upgrades but I think this one has potential. Two attacks every time you activate Althaen can be huge, especially with Gloryseeker.
Starter Set Universal Cards:
Annihilation: Cool concept, very hard to do.
Conquest: Quite manageable, especially with fast hitting warbands. You only need one fighter left to score it.
Denial: Another card that you can plan for especially when you bring the fight to your opponent.
Hold Objective 1-5: Generally, these cards are okay. Personally, I would never take them as there are too many of them and I'd rather fill my objective deck with more diversity. Still, a great way to learn the game if you are new to Underworlds.
Supremacy: Solid card that can be scored more often than not. If an objective focused game plan is what you desire, this is a staple.
Confusion: This card can open up a lot of possibilities for you. Generally you can move an enemy fighter out of position to make them more enticing to attack or switch with a fighter on an objective for either scoring or denial purposes.
Eldritch Haze: This can help make your wizards a bit more survivable during a round. It has a 50% chance to go off on one dice.
Marked: This card can be used for offensive or defensive purposes. Either you want an enemy to be a quarry so you can use your bonuses against them or you make your own fighter a quarry to gain benefits from that. Either way - this enables you to use other potentially powerful cards but isn't very impactful on its own.
Sidestep: Such a good card, it can help you in a plethora of situations.
Snare: This is a very strong card if you warband includes hunters. Free damage is busted!
Caltrops: This is a neat little upgrade that can perhaps deter someone to come attack you. At the very least, doing a damage to the opposing fighter isn't a bad thing.
Great Fortitude: Solid and reliable. More wounds is huge.
Great Speed: For slower fighters, this can be a game changer.
Great Strength: This card is very good because more damage generally means more eliminations which generally translate to you winning the game. It's a staple for me.
Predatory Instinct: Making a fighter a Hunter can potentially be very strong. With a limited card pool, I am hesitant to make a decisive decision.
I was genuinely surprised to see some of the other accessories in my preview box. Once again, thank you to Games Workshop for sending these items my way to review.
Rejoice! It seems GW learned from their mistakes in the past and the new playmat is no longer packaged via folding. As you can see below the item comes neatly rolled.
Once you open the box and un-roll your playmat, you are greeted to the standard template you've come to see on the premium mats. The layout is identical to the Nightvault one.
One thing I did notice was that the Nightvault playmat, in comparison, was a lot brighter. The colors here seem a but muted. I am not sure on whether this was by design or not.
Furthermore, the sides of the mat do furl up a bit. If you plan to keep rolling it up for storage or transport, that might be something you have to deal with.
Faction Specific Card Sleeves:
Continuing the trend we've seen for the past two seasons, Beastgrave warbands will also have faction specific card sleeves.
This time around, we've got a vibrant red color finish which I personally love (red is my favorite color). The sleeves feel great and retain that smooth finish. They shuffle well and it seems the quality of the sleeves has improved greatly.
The sleeves come in packs of 70 (40 power cards, 20 objectives, 10 clear) which is awesome as in the past, I know many have complained about having to switch cards between sleeves. Now, you can easily build a deck and have some extra sleeves for cards you've been thinking of switching in and out. Super convenient.
Below you can see that cards fit nice and snug. Can't say enough about that red.
Warband Specific Dice:
Well, it wouldn't be a review on my blog without mentioning some dice! As per previous custom, every warband in Beastgrave will receive a custom pair of dice specific to their faction.
Skaeth's Wild Hunt dice look awesome. The attack dice are vibrant but easy to read. The defense dice are also fairly easy to see as the orange sticks out nicely on the bone. I am surprised they didn't go with a greenish color palette since these guys worship a nature god but the orange works. They really wanted to focus on their hair, eh? These could also double as dice for Chosen Axes as well!
Grashrak's Despoilers dice feature a dark gray/blue tone that works surprisingly well. I am generally not a fan of metallic pips but in this instance - I like it. Although not as easy to read as the Wild Hunt dice, the results came up distinguishable enough. The defense dice are my favorite part - that contrast is nice and its very clear.
Whether you are a collector or a die hard follower of either warband - I recommend you grab some dice. They are a nifty addition to your game and who knows, they might roll you more crits!
Warhammer Underworlds Beastgrave takes the core concepts laid down by its predecessors and takes the game up a notch. The game feels cleaner and more streamlined while still providing the depth we know and love.
Veterans of the franchise will find the new changes refreshing while adding more to the game tactically. If you are new to Underworlds and want to get started, then this set is the number one thing should get as it has the most up to date rules. Plus, you get a ton of stuff.
So, should you buy the Beastgrave start box?
Well yes, you very much should. Even if you are unsure if you want to take the plunge to the whole range, this starter set will provide you with everything you need to play. Furthermore, the re-playability is huge if you decide to just nab this as a board game as well.
If you are looking to pre-order Beastgrave you can visit your local gaming store or check out this link right here.
The Beastgrave starter box will release on September 28th, 2019.
So if you've managed to make it this far - thank you for taking the time to read my detailed review. I hope you enjoy your time in the Beastgrave, I know I surely will.
Stay tuned for loads of more content in regards to Warhammer Underworlds and Beastgrave.