• Aman

Product Review: The Grymwatch

Updated: Oct 6, 2019


It's crazy to think that not only are we currently playing in the third season of Warhammer Underworlds, but that we are also already getting our hands on the first warband outside of the core set! And boy oh boy, what a warband they are.


In this article, I will be reviewing all the contents that come inside the Grymwatch 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.


Time to slay the beast in the mountain!

Models:

As we have come to expect from the Underworlds series, the production quality on the boxes is top notch. Packaged at a high level, the faction outwork is prominently displayed on the front. Personally, I enjoy the illustration as it captures the gristly level of brutality these creatures are willing to inflict. Plus, first female crypt ghoul ever!


You are probably wondering - "who are the Grymwatch?" Well good reader, check out this description in the image below.

Pretty cool back story, eh?

The models themselves have been molded in a forest-green color. However, unlike some of the other greens we've seen before, this is a much cooler color choice. I think its perfect for this warband. Furthermore, the models are just awesome! All of the members display unique wargear and quirks that instantly mark them out. My only feedback would be that I wish that Gristlewel's model was a bit more imposing. He looks very small and weak, especially when you are comparing him to what he can do on his fighter card.


In general, all the warbands are fairly easy to assemble, especially when following the assembly guides. I will say, these models were a bit more, and I use this term lightly, complicated to build. Still I had them up to par in minutes and the hold is quite tight as well. However as always, I recommend glueing your models together for a maximum hold.


Be careful when building Gristlewel by the way - the way his weapon and head fit together worked differently for me than what was demonstrated in the instructions. Furthermore, there are a lot of small and delicate parts, so be careful!

Warband:


So the inspire mechanic for this warband is pretty simple: if there are less than two enemy models in your territory at end of any action phase, your warband inspires.

That's insane.


This inspire condition forces your opponent to play aggressively which has some serious negative consequences or just forces them to ignore it - allowing you to inspire. Either way, it's a win-win for the Grymwatch.

Duke Crakmarrow is one hell of a fighter. Seriously, he's probably got one of the best fighter cards in the game, even for a leader.


Four movement, one dodge, four health, and a range two weapon that hits on two smash and deals two damage is pretty potent. When he inspires, he deals three damage with cleave and gains a bump in movement and defense.


And if that wasn't all, he also has Ghoul Call action that allows him to bring back a Crypt Ghoul (3 eligible fighters) back on the board if they were previously out of action. Sure, they scatter but you can position it most times to where you can get the desired outcome. Oh, and it happens automatically at the start of every round too.


This guy makes or breaks your warband early so keep him safe in the early game. Towards the end of the game, don't be afraid to get him in there to mow down your opponents. He's literally the perfect love child between Skritch and The Warden.


Gristlewel is your beat-stick (no pun intended). Four movement, one dodge, and three wounds seem okay but it's the damage output you should be focused on. He can do three damage off the bat. Granted, it only hits on two fury but we all know there are ways in which you can manipulate that.


Once inspired, Gristlewel becomes a bit more accurate and gains a bit of a movement boost as well. Remember, he does not have the crypt ghoul label so he will not be coming back after the enemy takes him out.


This great-sword wielding ghoul is your initial source of big damage. Whether playing offensively or defensively, set things up to where Gristlewel can get a solid countercharge. Most fighters can't take three damage and those who can won't be standing for very much longer.


Valreek the Tracker has the honor of being our first female ghoul model ever to grace Warhammer in general. Pretty cool! Stat-wise, she's pretty alright. We've got four movement, one dodge, and three wounds. Her melee attack is a bit on the weaker side of things but two damage is respectable, even if you are hitting on two fury.


Once inspired, she bumps up to two dodge and five movement and her weapon becomes a bit more accurate. Oh, and she starts off as a Hunter too.


Other than that, Valreek doesn't really have much to write home about. She's not labeled as a crypt ghoul so she can’t be returned to the field via Muster. Her strength lies in some of her specific upgrades but even then, I am not sure you take any cards that rely on her - she's pretty squishy.

The remaining three crypt ghouls all share similar fighter characteristics and weapon attacks. Aside from a couple unique rules/reactions there isn't much else to say.


They are your chaff, your objective holders, and your bait. Don't be afraid to be a little bold with them as they can come back, sometimes even in your opponent's backline. This makes for attacking enemy fighters or capturing additional objectives much easier.


Be careful though, you don't want to be feeding your opponent too much glory. One dodge and two health is pretty easy to get through, especially with all this ensnare running about.

See above.


See above.


See above.


Lastly, we have the bats! Like the ghouls, these guys can be used in a plethora of ways - whether it's for bait or for going on the assault


Six speed, once inspired, is very nice and can help you deny your opponent objectives or even get to an out of reach fighter. The two dodge and three health also helps loads with survivability.


Faction Objectives:

Bravely Done!: Not a bad card but certainly not easy to score. The high numbers certainly give you the potential to score this card. Still, not entirely sold on it due to the specific limitation.

Rating: C


Charnel House: This one seems pretty hard to score. Generally, you'll be wanting to either table your opponent or get really close to doing so every game. While you can build into it, I don't think it works and it’s definitely not consistent. Seems cool if you get if off though.

Rating: C


Conquering Heroes: Due to their fast movement and Muster mechanic, scoring this card is actually fairly simple. Not a bad one to include.

Ratting: C


Defending the Hearth: This is pretty much an in-faction Defensive Strike and as such, it's a pretty good card - especially if you have three objectives on your side.

Rating: A


Ghoul Pack: Without any innate pushes, this card requires too much setup to score.

Rating: D


Glory of the Court: This card is pretty much an auto-include. 50% of the time, you'll be inspiring after the first turn. Take it!

Rating: A

In the Name of the King: Aside from having one of the coolest names for a card, this card is busted. This should be very easy to accomplish, even if you don't have three objectives on your end because it scores after an activation. You should take this card.

Rating: A


Incomprehensible Scheme: Another easy to score card for this warband. Half the time, you will own three on your side, and the other half you'll be able to use your superior movement and Muster action to either stop your opponent from holding any or capturing more objectives.

Rating: B


Mordant Triumph: This card could be an end game scorer for you but it seems a bit tough to pull off considering you only have six surge cards in your competitive decks now. I can see this causing you to brick too.

Rating: C


Mouths to Feed: Essentially if you eliminate more than half of the enemy warband, you can get two glory in an end phase. It's actually not a bad card at all. In addition to being really good at capturing objectives, you have two fighters who can really put the hurt on to your opponent. Furthermore, your expendable crypt ghouls can be weapon caddies as well.

Rating: C


Pervasive Delusion: An in-faction Ploymaster, this is another solid card.

Rating: B


Shifting Madness: This card is insane in that you can get super lucky with this card and score it in the first round. Even if you don't, it is still worth taking as you'll have a pretty easy time scoring it.

Rating: A

Faction Power Cards:

Appalling Visage: A unique take on the sorely missed Distraction. Great for zoning out opponents and helping you protect your fighters.

Rating: B


Combat Drill: A solid way to help some of your less accurate fighters with hitting their intended targets. You are limited to using a fighter who is in range and even with four movement, your choices can be limited. Think twice before committing a fighter to move to support an attack that might still fail!

Rating: C


Double Time: This card is pretty solid if you are making a last minute dash towards an objective. This can also help you score Longstrider and Burst of Speed.

Rating: B


Horrifying Spectacle: The idea behind this card is pretty neat however in practice, I don't think you ever take it. Your warband already inspires easily enough.

Rating: D


Pack, Advance: This card is very strong, especially early game when your crypt ghouls are alive. Excellent for offensive and defensive use.

Rating: A


Recycled Riches: You could be cheeky with this and ensure you get the right card back if you've only played one faction card. However, if you don't draw this early it becomes pretty unreliable and not worth the power card slot.

Rating: D

Scrabbling Claws: This card, depending on the situation, can be quite powerful. Taking away a hard earned upgrade can be game defining moment and can help eliminate a fighter with wound inducing upgrades or dial down a fighter with offensive upgrades. Imagine taking away Tome of Offering from Mollog.

Rating: B


Shattering Impact: If you want to take an effect like this, just take the card above. This particular card has too many negatives.

Rating: D


Stench of Victory: Movement shenanigans are nice but I think the real use of this card is to help with nabbing objectives, if you can position this right. Rating: C


Strident Summons: Standard bring-a-fighter-back card we see in the other factions with similar abilities. I think it’s useful and quite powerful but I don't think it’s mandatory.

Rating: B


Aura of Command: Very strong card that allows numerous benefits due to the move actions - great for nabbing objectives as well. It's essentially the same as The Warden's innate ability and we all know how good it is.

Rating: A


Drawn to Weakness: Pushes are awesome but since this fighter can't hold an objective, I don't really see the point. Furthermore, the fighter moves six hexes - you shouldn't need to push it.

Rating: D

Grip of Madness: This pretty much gives your fighter the benefits of being on guard when they are holding an objective. Seems like it could be pretty useful but not sure if it's worth the upgrade spot.

Rating: C


Heroic Vision: Making any fighter hit more accurately is awesome. Having your heavy hitters hit even more reliably is better than awesome.

Rating: B


Hunter's Nose: This upgrade is perhaps why Valreek is not labeled as a crypt ghoul. It's a really strong upgrade in that your opponent's fighters all gain the quarry label. Valreek also gets an extra dice on the attack. That all sounds pretty good but you lose it if Valreek isn't on the board. It's also a dead card if you draw after she's removed from the board as well. Mixed feelings on this one.

Rating: C


Impervious Delusion: Very strong card. This makes your leader, or anyone else really, extremely survivable. If you get the Duke to five health, it will take your opponent three attacks to take him out without ploys! Ouff. Rating: A


Right-Hand Ghoul: Again, this ties into the whole pack advance/move as a mob idea. However, Gristlewel is best used smashing your opponent's fighters into the ground, not running around following his commander.

Rating: D


Seized Weapon: Awesome art, awesome concept, and awesome card. The upgrade itself isn't bad at all but you are taking this for the point of damage. One glory token in exchange for dealing a damage doesn't sound like a bad deal to me.

Rating: A

Severed Trophy: It's like Trophy Hunter but for your leader. It's definitely a good card, especially if you decided to build an aggressive list. I'm also not sure if you take it as it requires your leader to be adjacent (he has a range two weapon) and it might not be conducive to a defensive or objective styled list.

Rating: B


Well Motivated: In-faction Great Strength and, as we all know, that's pretty solid.

Rating: B

Universal Objectives:

Coveted Spoils: It's a nice payout for sure but the requirements are pretty tough. You could maybe do this with Thorns or the Gitz, especially if you get off Abasoth's Unmaking. Still, it's a tall order.

Rating: C


Dug In: This card rewards you going all in on the objective strategy but is a bit too heavy handed on the requirements. I suppose you could build a deck around it and get it off from time to time. I doubt it though.

Rating: D


Fateful Strike: Pretty easy to score in theory as nowadays there's all that two dodge running around. Just be careful for defensive crits!

Rating: B


Path to Victory: Very strong card as it's pretty easy to hold two objectives as long as you have more than three fighters. Taking an enemy fighter out of action might be the hard part and generally, that's not too bad of an ask.

Rating: A


Scrum: Goblins/Thorns score this super easy, as well has perhaps other high model count warbands as well. Passive glory is always a good thing.

Rating: B


Swift Capture: Fantastic surge card that buffs objective play even more. Pretty easy to score too.

Rating: A

The Beast is Slain: If you plan on playing warbands with access to hunters than this is a pretty decent objective. Eliminating enemy leaders is pretty difficult but if we start seeing more ways to add the quarry label to fighters, this could be a staple.

Rating: B


The Great Hunt: I like the options here. At best, it's like Singled Out for a hunter. At worst, it's having to have three hunters alive, each with an upgrade.

Rating: C


To the End: I don't see anyone scoring this regularly unless you are throwing away your opening hand. Seems risky and not worth the payout.

Rating: D

Universal Gambits:

Cloaked in Shadow: I really like the design behind this - it's very thematic. However, because it's only until the end of the next activation, I don't see this being beneficial too much. Sure, in some cases it could shine but I'm not sold on it yet and I don't think I will ever be.

Rating: C


Desperate Fight: I suppose you could use this as an "eject button" of sorts if you really want to get away from an opposing fighter. Too unpredictable for my liking.

Rating: C


Exhaustion: I think this card can be good but it is certainly challenging to use to effectively. It can be played around as well if your opponent is wise to your deck.

Rating: C


Fate's Decree: This card is incumbent upon the fact that your opponent even has cards that interact with this. Furthermore, it's not reliable enough.

Rating: D


Frenzied Search: The net here is only +1 but it could potentially help you fish for the right card for the right situation. I suppose it could be game winning at times but to me it seems okay.

Rating: C


Madness Dart: This card is awesome. It only affects attack actions so magical users are free from its tricks. Still, Mollog rolling to hit on two fury? Sign. Me. Up.

Rating: B

Mass Upheaval: Hard to cast and even then, not reliably as you are relying on another roll to successfully flip the tokens. Hard pass.

Rating: D


Restless Prize: Awesome card and great for objective and counter objective play. It’s also nice for setting up some sick faneway charges. I expect everyone to run this card so be ready for the counter play!

Rating: A


Shifting Target: A bit heavy on the requirements but can be super useful against dodging fighters. No range limit either!

Rating: C

Universal Upgrades:

Amberbone Axe: Looks like we've come across this season's set of signature weapons. Like previous axe weapons, there is an option to throw it but I don't see it being worthwhile. The awesome part about these weapons is that you can get extra glory when eliminating an enemy fighter with them. Very cool and I am looking forward to seeing more.

Rating: A


Bloodthief: An okay weapon that hits pretty decently. The heal is nice but only useful for the high wound warbands/fighters.

Rating: C


Hunter's Reflexes: You can make any fighter a hunter which opens up a whole realm of possibilities. The push mechanic is cool but situational.

Rating: C


Larval Lance: This is one of my favorite cards so far. The design is awesome and the weapon's power really shines late game. Imagine: in the third phase you get a two range, three smash, three damage attack...wow.

Rating: A


Mazzig's Many Legs: If this was a straight up gambit spell, I think it would see use and play. However, because it is an upgrade that requires an action as well to see any benefit, I would never take it.

Rating: D


Soothing Companion: As long as you do anything but attack, you get healed. Seems okay, maybe useful for Mollog?

Rating: C

Stoneform: Losing a movement value for being branded as a quarry and gaining the ability to not be pushed could be solid for objective play. I'll pass though.

Rating: D


Survival Instincts: This one is a little better as you get to always be on guard. I think dodging fighters prefer this more but it’s still decently useful despite the fact that you make yourself potentially more susceptible to hunters.

Rating: C


Trophy Belt: I love the design behind this and the idea of getting spent glory tokens. This is a very strong card and is bound to get you an extra glory token or two, every game.

Rating: A

Grymwatch Card Sleeves:

Like every warband released prior to this, the Grymwatch will be getting their own faction card sleeves as well.


As I have mentioned in my previous article, they are a vibrant red color that looks particularly striking. The sleeves feel great and retain that smooth finish. They shuffle well and it seems the quality of the sleeves has improved greatly from the past two seasons.


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.


If you want to show off your loyalty to the Grymwatch or simply rock some really cool sleeves, check those out!

Grymwatch Dice:

Well, it wouldn't be a review on my blog without mentioning some dice and just like all the warbands who come before them, The Grymwatch get their own fancy dice.


I like the colors they've decided to go with here. You can get the faction sense of decay and bloodthirsty behavior.The red and green contrast nicely which allows you to clearly see the result. The defense dice particularly standout and follow the same theme as the two prior dice sets.


The dice roll well and are easy to read so whether you are a collector or a die hard follower of this warband - I recommend you grab some dice. They are a nifty addition to your game and who knows, they might roll you more crits!

Final Thoughts:


After analyzing all the cards that have come in the set and getting my fair share of games this past week, I can comfortably say that the Grymwatch are powerful warband that offers a lot of different ways to play them. Either way, I think they're all pretty fun but the warband really shines in objective play. They are very good at it due to their high model count, mobility, and hidden power houses. With that being said, they are a bit fragile and can lose fighters pretty quickly should they find themselves in a poor position.


So, should you buy The Grymwatch expansion for Warhammer Underworlds Beastgrave?


Definitely.


The Grymwatch are a meta-defining warband with access to solid fighters, strong faction cards, and powerful objectives. Furthermore, they are a great place to start your forays into objective play, if you've never tried it before, as they are fairly straightforward to play.


If you would like to pre-order the Grymwatch, head on down to your local Warhammer Store or local gaming store. If you prefer to shop online, check out this site here.


I hope you enjoy your games with the Grymwatch over the coming weeks. Look out for more content coming out - I've got a massive collaboration series in the works!


Cheers,

Aman

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