• Aman

Product Review: Rippa's Snarlfangs


Hot on the heels of the Grymwatch, we've finally gotten our 4th warband of Beastgrave! Wow, we are halfway through the season already...that's pretty wild to think about. I guess time flies when you are having fun and boy are you going to have fun with this rowdy bunch of goblins.


In this article, I will be reviewing all the contents that come inside the Rippa's Snarlfangs Expansion. This includes the models, fighter cards, faction cards, and universal cards. Furthermore, I will be sharing my thoughts on how to best pilot the warband.


I would like to thank Games Workshop for sending me a copy to review early so that I could share this awesome information with you all.


Let's ride!

Models:

Again, as we have come to expect from the Underworlds series, the production quality on the box is top notch. Packaged at a high level, the faction outwork is prominently displayed on the front. The artwork displays the Snarlfangs with a very kinetic energy and those wolves look massive. It's a perfect representation of the models. Speaking of which...

The models are beautiful. Well, as beautiful as goblins riding wolves can be. Again the sense of movement and ferocity are fantastic. The models are packed with detail as well. Rippa's mount is missing an eye and there are a bunch of trinkets all of the models. All three models looks great as a unit but are still individually recognizable. Kuddos to the miniatures team.

Interestingly, the warband is molded with a grayish color. I was hoping for more of a greenish color but I suppose we've got plenty of those. Come to think of it, the wolves are gray so it makes sense.


In general, the warband is fairly easy to assemble, especially when following the assembly guide. Look out for some of the smaller pieces - they can bend if handled roughly. Still I had them ready in minutes. The hold was quite tight as well. However as always, I recommend glueing your models together for a maximum hold.


The lore behind these guys is pretty neat too. In typical goblin fashion, a murder plot goes awry and now our "heroes" are on a quest to retrieve the biggest Choppa they can find to claim their "rightful" leadership of their tribe. Great stuff, really.

Fighters:

Rippa is worthy of the term leader - he's got a pretty beefy profile and is definitely one of the strongest fighters we've seen in Beastgrave. A two smash, two damage attack seems pretty standard for most commanders nowadays and the single block is nice as well. He's definitely one of the best goblin fighters around, especially with that four health.


What makes Rippa, and his compatriots, unique is that they're our first mounted combatants in Underworld and, as such, have a cool attack profile for their mounts. The Snarlfang's Jaw attack hits on a single smash and deals two damage. Not bad. The interesting thing about it is that the attack is that it is a reaction and it automatically happens after any of the riders make an attack action. Keep in mind that they do have to be in range and other reactions could block the their attack window. Still, hitting 50% of the time for two damage is certainly respectable. If you are interested in the math behind their attack actions, check out this awesome article over on Well of Power here.


Once inspired, the warband's stats do change up a bit. Namely, all three of them swap over to two dodge, they all get a bump in their movement, and their wolf attacks hit on two fury. Technically, the wold attack does become more accurate, but you are relying on crits. Personally, I can never roll fury so I have mixed feelings about it.


Rippa's inspire mechanic isn't too hard to accomplish - you just have to equip two upgrades on him. Ideally, you score some quick glory via eliminations or passive objectives and you're good to go. The inspiration mechanic forces you to make your leader beefy and it's really not a bad thing to do. Make him a threat and force your opponent to deal with him. It'll help your other fighters, but more on that later.


Narkband gains an additional attack action in the form of his bow (he has one on his hip) - it's a range three, two fury, one damage attack. The attack itself isn't that exciting but I suppose it's a nice to have as a utility that can be used in certain situations. In addition to that, his melee attack becomes more accurate as it goes to three smash. His defense also swaps over to two dodge which cannot be understated - you have a higher chance of rolling critical success.


Overall, he's a solid melee combatant that can be enhanced to become a combat monster. Be smart on your engagements or else you might lose him quicker than you'd like. If you play it right, he can really set the tone and put your opponent on the back-foot early.


Stabbit shares a similar profile to his commander in most respects and as such, is a decent combatant. The biggest stickler here is that his melee attack is nowhere near as accurate or as potent as Rippa's.


This particular wolf rider has a melee attack that hits on two fury and deals one damage. One damage! You'd think a goblin charging on the back of a wolf would deal a bit more than that... The nice part is that it is range two however, if you do strike from maximum range, you probably won't be able to make your wolf attack.


Aside from that Stabbit also has four move, one block, and four health.


Stabbit's inspire condition differs from his commander's in that it triggers when Rippa is the target of an attack action or is out of action. It's a fairly unique condition and one that doesn't resemble anything we've seen before. This further reinforces the intended play style of the warband in that you want Rippa to force a reaction from your opponent. If Rippa is busy engaging with the enemy, and hopefully taking some of them down too, then your other fighters are able to pursue other initiatives.


Once inspired, Stabbit's profile does change a bit - he gets a boost in movement and his defense swaps over to two dodges. Additionally his wolf attack gets a bit more accurate, statistically at least. His melee attack also gains some accuracy as three fury is pretty solid. Unfortunately, he still only does one damage. I know, it's a bit perplexing. On the bright side there are two different attacks now: one has knockback and one has scything. If you decide to use the latter, keep in mind that the range for that attack is only one.


It's pretty clear that Stabbit is not a frontline fighter. Sure, he is a bit tanky once inspired but his damage output is very low. If you throw on some strength inducing upgrades or even a weapon, his appeal does jump up a bit. If not, he is best used as a supporting piece. Use him to help Rippa get those key takedowns or to deny your opponent's objective game.


Rounding out this peanut gallery, we have Mean-Eye. He's the ranged fighter in the group in that he's got a range three, one damage attack that hits on two fury. That's pretty standard for goblins archers, so nothing to be surprised by there.


Again, he shares identical stats to his mates in that he has four movement, one block, and four wounds. His wolf also has the Snarlfang's Jaws action too.


Mean-Eye has the same inspire condition as Stabbit. Once inspired, the archer's bow gets a bit more accurate and starts hitting things pretty decently. Aside from that, you can expect the same bump in movement, swap to two doge on defense, and that changes to the wolf attack.


This fighter is also best used a supporting piece. The interesting thing is, is that if you fire from a distance, you can't follow up with his mount's attack. As a result, this fighter has a bit of an identity crisis. I guess you could make a charge action, take a point black shot, and then follow up with wolf attack reaction but that doesn't seem very viable, or even reliable. I'd recommend keeping him safe and have him either finish off enemy fighters or be used as a disruption tool.


Note: I did my best to make the cards look as close to professional as possible. I took single photos and cropped each image individually. This was done for two reasons: I wanted to provide the best viewing experience for you guys and also because I will be sharing these images with the Underworlds Deckers team so that all of the deck builders get updated as soon as possible. That way, you can hopefully start building decks as soon as today. With that being said, I know the pictures aren't perfect. Please excuse any imperfections or poorly cropped 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.

Faction Objectives:


Please keep in mind that these are my personal opinions. You might rate these cards differently.

Burning Spite: This is an interesting card to start things off. Essentially, if you can get your opponent to target Rippa with an attack, your other two fighters will inspire. This will allow you to score this at the end of your opponent's next activation assuming you don't lose a fighter. Generally, I like passive surge cards but I think there may be better ones out there. It's not bad though and I can see a bunch of people taking it.

Rating: C


Chase Down: This is a pretty decent surge card as well. While it does seem easy in theory, I do feel like it's pretty predictable though and can be easily disrupted. I think, with the help of push cards as insurance, you could probably score this decently.

Rating: D


Conquered Land: Now this card is pretty fascinating, especially in the current meta. As we've seen with other factions with similar cards in past, this type of card can be pretty reliable. However, with objective tokens becoming a highly sought after commodity, I'm not sure if you're going to see this much. After all, why would you put one or more objectives in enemy territory, or even in no man's land, when half your opponent's are going to Grymwatch and Thorns of the Briar Queen? Seems risky.

Ratting: C

Cruel Hunters: I really like this card. As long as two enemy fighters are out of action and you've got one fighter in enemy territory, you'll net a solid two glory. This card was made for Rippa.

Rating: B


Feeding Time: I'm a bit iffy on this one. On one hand, you could probably score this eventually. On the other hand, relying on a one smash or two fury attack to hit and eliminate a fighter just doesn't make sense to me.

Rating: C


Lay Waste: This is an in-faction version of Annihilation. As much as I would like to say that this could work, I really just don't see it happening. Leave this one at home.

Rating: D

Leading the Charge: This is an excellent surge card as it's effectively a two glory objective (one for the score and one for the elimination). Rippa will charge things and he will chop them up to pieces. Just be careful not to overcommit him early.

Rating: A


Loaded with Plunder: This is another great card. Just stack a bunch of upgrades on any of your fighters and you'll score two glory. The most likely candidate is Rippa but if he happens to be out of action by the time you draw this, just throw three upgrades on another fighter.

Rating: A


Marking your Territory: This being an end phase cards makes it a little less reliable then I would have liked. Obviously you're playing an aggressive warband so it kind of makes sense. Still, there are always fighters on objectives nowadays and I think there are better one glory end phase objectives out there.

Rating: C

No Mercy: So this is another interesting card. Usually you'd need two activations to score this outside of a power card. However, since your wolf's attack action still counts as part of your fighter, you can hit with a melee attack and then react with your wolf to finish off that wounded fighter. Again, that's putting too much stock into those wolf attacks and I do believe you can find better surges out there to meet your quote of six score immediates.

Rating: C


Plunderers: Another decent end phase card. Ideally, since you only have three fighters, this should be pretty easy to work towards. Drawing it early can brick your hand though.

Rating: C


Swift Hunters: This is probably one of the more reliable end phase card available to these guys but again, I just don't think its worth taking. Sure you are going to be moving and charging but I don't like being forced to use my activations in a certain way. More often, it can cause a conflict and contradict with the "best" line of play at the time. Doesn't seem like its worth the headache, especially for one glory. Rating: C

Faction Power Cards:

Defensive Maneuver: Solid card that allows you to charge in, push away, and be on guard with two defense dice, assuming you are inspired. Not only does it make your fighter a lot harder to hit, it also forces your opponent to either charge or burn a push card. Now that is value.

Rating: B


Furious Reprisal: This card is awesome. Essentially, if someone goes for one of your fighters, even if they miss - you get to attack them back for free and re-roll any number of dice. This is like Aggressive Defense and Fulled by Fury built into one! Keep in mind that you do have to be in range to make that attack.

Rating: A


Hamstring: So this is kind of like an in-faction Transfixing Stare which is quite valuable as that card is just bonkers right now. Again, the problem is that you have to rely on a mediocre attack to succeed. If you really want to lock down an opposing fighter, I guess you could use an accuracy buff to increase your chances of hitting with your wolf attack. It's amazing when it does manage to go off.

Rating: B

Narrow Escape: So if you do plan on taking the aggro route with these guys, which seems likely, then this is a solid card to have in your repertoire. Being able to actively choose when to reduce damage, regardless of the source, by one is pretty nifty.

Rating: B


Pack Tactics: So in theory this card seems really good but I doubt you'll have your fighters next to each other too often. At worst this is an in-faction Sidestep and as such still seems pretty solid.

Rating: B


Savage Mauling: So this is pretty much like a hard to use version of Inspired Attack. If you are able to set it up though, it's a good card. However, I think I would rather just take the aforementioned card instead.

Rating: C

Smell Weakness: I'd like this card if it didn't have the requirement of your opponent having wound tokens on them. Ensnare and cleave are nice but not via power cards, especially ones that force hard stipulations on you.

Rating: D


Unbridled Ferocity: This card kind of shores up one of the weaknesses I see with the warband - the wolf attacks aren't very accurate. If you think its worth building into then this is probably one of the best cards for it. I don't know if I feel too strongly about it either way.

Rating: C


Venomous Spittle: This card could be a reason as to why you try to get those wolf attacks to land. Again, I just don't think the wolf attack is reliable enough to plan around consistently. Furthermore, taking a damage at the end of the action phase isn't really that good. It would take at least two turns for a fighter to be removed if they had 3 or more wounds.

Rating: D

Vindictive Attack: Awesome card. Accuracy buffs are always nice and much needed, especially when you are the aggressor. Take it!

Rating: A


Bonded: This is literally an in-faction Spiritbond but it doesn't require another fighter to be linked to your fighter. That is huge! This not only makes the goblin on top considerably more accurate, it makes your wolf attacks more reliable as well. Fantastic.

Rating: A


Boss Hat: I love the flavor of this card. Eventually, Rippa will go down in a game and giving a fighter an additional wound and damage is massive. The only downside is that Rippa is down and out. Hopefully it's at the end of the game.

Rating: B

Circling Hunter: Movement shenanigans make sense and being able to dance around your opponent seems kind of useful. I think the idea of the card is more useful then it's application in-game. There are similarities to Duelist's Speed and Blessing of Hydragos but those cards aren't seen much nowadays.

Rating: C


Embittered Survivor: Additional wounds are always awesome, especially when you are brawling.

Rating: B


Fiendish Jab: I wish this card didn't have the critical roll requirement. An inspired Stabbit can roll critical successes pretty decently but I generally don't find single fighter upgrades to be worth a deck slot.

Rating: D

Hidden Slitta: It's an okay melee attack for Mean-Eye but I don't think it's worth a spot in your deck due to the restrictions on the fighter. I wouldn't take this card even if it didn't have a restriction on who could use it quite frankly.

Rating: D


Hunt as One: This is pretty nifty if you can pull off the supporting fighter trick. I personally don't find it very appealing. Sure, your offensive and defensive rolls become much better but how often are you going to have two fighters supporting each other in a three fighter warband?

Rating: D


Loping Strides: An additional two movement would put any of the fighters at movement seven once inspired. That is nuts! Solid card and can take your opponents unawares.

Rating: B

Pack Leader: This upgrades makes your wolf attacks significantly more reliable. I think this card is worth taking just because Rippa is supposed to be your combat monster but I can see why you wouldn't want to take up a slot in your limited deck space with this card as well.

Rating: C


Quickdrop Venom: Rolling a 50/50 to deal an extra damage seems mediocre. I much rather go with an upgrade like Great Strength though instead.

Rating: D

Universal Objectives:

Beyond Mortal: Cool artwork but at this time, I don't really see this being scored by anyone, especially the latter option. I guess Mollog could reliably.

Rating: D


Brought to Bay: This is pretty much advancing strike but for hunters. If you have a predominantly hunter warband, I think you definitely take this card.

Rating: A


Committed: So this is kind of interesting. The former option seems harder but the second option could work. In theory, you could set up for Scrum during the last activation in the round and then hope to score this in the end phase as well. Personally, it seems like a lot of work and even then, the power step can ruin your plans.

Rating: D

Duck and Parry: Another interesting card here. Guard is more prevalent now due to the fact that you can't be knocked back. Additionally, in theory, it should also make you survivable as well. I'm not entirely sold on it though as the attack has to fail. You are relying on your opponent's rolls as well as your own which aren't controllable. Furthermore, if you are on guard, your opponent will probably stack the odds in their favor via power cards.

Rating: C


Gathered Momentum: Solid card and super easy to score. The fact that most of the Beastgrave warbands have such high movement makes this an auto-include for them, especially since this doesn't require a dice roll. I really like it - plus Spectral Wings coming back makes this accessible to slower warbands as well.

Rating: A


Run Ragged: This is super hard to score as you need every fighter to have either a move or charge token. Controlling your own fighters is one thing but hoping your opponent does the same? Unlikely. Hoping your opponent falls for it after they've seen you play it once? Yeah, that's not going to happen.

Rating: D

Steady Assault: The wording on this card is a bit off for me. I guess it means you attack with a single fighter three or more times? If that is the case, then it really only works for Mollog and the Snarlfangs.

Rating: C


Temporary Victory: Oh man, this cards is insane. I don't think I'd mind it as much if the Grymwatch and the Despoilers didn't already have in-faction versions of this card. This is a meta-defining card that you will have to plan for and hope to counter. If you are playing the objective game, you have to take this card.

Rating: A


Veteran Survivors: This is cool card in terms of design. Most of the Hunter warbands are fairly aggressive so the likehood of you having three or more survive at the end of a game is low. I guess you could do it with Despoilers or Grymwatch. The latter could pull it off more often since the Duke is a hunter and the ghouls can come back.

Rating: C

Universal Power Cards:


Dangerous Prize: The concept behind this card is cool as it effectively acts as a deterrent to objective play. Unfortunately, I don't see it being played very much. With all the surge objective token scoring going on, taking a damage doesn't seem like a detrimental event for your opponent or their fighters.

Rating: D


Downwind: Pushing a friendly hunter closer to an enemy feels good. Making that enemy fighter a quarry doesn't seem that exciting though. I guess if you combo it with cards that buff you attacking a quarry, it seems beneficial. For the time being, I view this card as an aggressive version of Sidestep.

Rating: B


Hostile Ground: This is a pretty decent card. Lethal hexes are everywhere and we've all had many games where fighters on both sides are tip-toeing around them. The issue here is that the enemy fighter needs to be in your territory. Generally, if you are running chip damage gambits, you are hoping to engage the enemy. So, this cards seem slightly counter-intuitive. I suppose it's decent for defensive warbands.

Rating: D

Hunting Band: Putting a hunter on guard can definitely increase their survivability especially since most of the hunters we've seen so far defend on dodges. Seems useful enough but I'm not sure it would make the hard cuts when finalizing your deck.

Rating: C


Invert Terrain: I'm really happy to see a decent flip card. The mechanic was highly touted and we haven't really seen it in the game yet, at least consistently. While limited to spell casters, this can really take an opponent unawares if they don't tech for it. This in a Guardians deck could be interesting. Ylthari could effectively shut down 3 objectives - pretty gnarly. The only reason this is a "C" instead of a "B" is that the token can be flipped back.

Rating: C


Overkill: So this is an interesting piece of design. It rewards you for hitting like a truck and gives you a spent glory token. It's a solid reward but doesn't feel too bad for your opponent as you can't use it to put an upgrade on a fighter. I also like how it is a reaction. Reactions can be blocked by other reactions! Overall, I like the idea of the card - not sure if it's worth running though.

Rating: C

Spinetoad Toxin: So if you are able to set this up while holding this card in your hand, I think the effect can be pretty nasty. My concern is drawing this late in the game and it not being a deterrent for your opponent to move said fighter.

Rating: C


Tracking: Buffs to movement are always nice and can help with objective grabbing or running away. The bonus to being a hunter seems nice. It's literally Spectral Wings for hunters.

Rating: A


Unexpected Peril: Another flip card! Flipping a token in your territory seems decent enough, especially if you're going for one of those objectives that requires you to hold all objectives in person's territory. Again, if your opponent doesn't tech for the flipping, you could wreck a warband that is relying on objective tokens to win.

Rating: C

Amberbone Hammer: So now that we've confirmed for sure that amberbone weapons are a thing, I expect them to have similar stats to their nullstone cousins. In this case, the hammer is pretty much the same as its predecessor who never saw play. However, that extra glory point is really enticing and this will probably see play because of it.

Rating: B


Avatar of the Ur-Grub: So this is a VOLTRON like mechanic in which you can stack Ur-Grub upgrades on a fighter to transform them into the avatar of Ur-Grub. Seems cool and has some pretty powerful effects. Since we've only seen one Ur-Grub card, it's hard to say how often we will see this. For now, I'll give it a good rating as the value on the card is awesome. Again, it may not be worth it to work towards so keep that in mind as well.

Rating: B


Hidden Presence: This card is pretty solid for protecting a key fighter from being targeted by the powerful gambits your opponent has taken to shut you down. Generally, I don' know if it's good enough. However, it is tempting to take just so you can avoid getting hit by a Transfixing Stare.

Rating: C

Hungry Realmstone: Being able to stack damage buffs on a fighter is pretty cool. Giving up hard earned glory to do so is most certainly not. Hard pass.

Rating: D


Iara's Instant Shield: So if your fighter is a wizard, you cast a spell and if successful you can re-roll your defense dice. It's a free spell because it's a reaction when you get attacked. Cursebreakers love it!

Rating: B


Inescapable Blow: Seems like we are going to have attacks in which fighter's can "combo" off of. If that is the case and it becomes widespread, then this card will see some play. If not, I don't think you'll ever see it.

Rating: C

Lethal Snares: Flipping a feature token automatically seems pretty good, especially if you are trying to deny objective play. Due to the fact that this is equipped during the power phase, your opponent can try to counter your intended flipping spot. Still, it seems like a fun card and can seriously ruin your opponent's day, especially if they don't tech to flip.

Rating: C


Opening Strike: I like how the artwork here lines up with Inescapable Blow. By itself, this card is bad. If you combine it with another combo card, the damage does start to pile up. However, I don't think its worth the upgrade spots.

Rating: D


Repeating Mirror: Copy one of your opponent's non attack action spells during the course of the game. Seems neat in principle but I don't see it being played as you won't always guarantee you'll be playing against a warband with a wizard.

Rating: D

Sting of the Ur-Grub: The first Ur-Grub upgrade we've seen in the set - this card is pretty strong. Essentially, it's a Great Strength but limited to range one. That's not bad at all. In fact, this card is so good for aggro warbands. More reliable damage is always well received.

Rating: B

Final Thoughts:


Overall, the warband places a significant emphasis on Rippa. If you can keep him alive and develop him as a threat, your opponent is forced to play into him. This means your other two fighters should inspire and then be able to utilize their high movement and health pools to either assist in the carnage, or play the disruption game. Either way, things are going to get bloody.


The key to these guys is going to be timing your charges wisely while ensuring you don't over commit. If you can successfully navigate that fine line, you should find relative success with them.


I can see their appeal. At first, I was fairly critical of their stats but after getting some games in and leveraging their powerful faction cards, I can say that they're fairly solid. I definitely think they are a high skill warband and can be unforgiving at times. However, they are loads of fun. I've been having a blast playing them!


So, should you buy the Rippa's Snarlfangs expansion for Warhammer Underworlds Beastgrave?


Yes, you should!


As I mentioned earlier, the warband is a ton of fun to play and has some really unique mechanics. Whether playing with or against them, you'll surely be in for a treat. Furthermore, the neutral cards in this expansion are solid and can help boost the power level in any of your decks, regardless of the warband you are building for.


If you would like to pre-order Rippa's Snarlfangs, head on down to your local Warhammer Store or local gaming store. If you prefer to shop online, check this out here.


I hope you enjoy your games with Rippa's Snarlfangs over the coming weeks. Look out for more content coming out in regards to them over the next couple days.


Cheers,


Aman

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