Warcry – Underworlds Fighters Order

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Welcome to this episode of Optimal Game State. In this article we’re looking at the Order Bladeborn warbands, these are the Underworlds models that also have rules for Warcry. In an earlier video I looked at the rules on how to use this fighters in your Warcry warband, so if you want to know more about that check that video.

That said, let’s get stuck in as we have a lot to cover.

We start with Morgaweth’s Blade Coven followers of Morathi out for blood. These are notable as we’re expecting another Underworlds Warband soon enough that will have more Daughters of Khaine.

They are led by Morgaweth who is a Hag Queen, she costs 20 points more and gets 4 wounds, reach of 2, and an extra point of crit. She also gets a Double ability unique to her, Daughters of the First Template which is an amazing extra attack for a nearby Blade Coven fighter. If that was a triple it would be good, as a double it’s amazing.

Kyrae is a Blood Stalker but 15 points more for 2 more wounds. Her ranged attack is high variance, you’ve only got two attacks and you’re fishing for crits to get that 5 damage. 

Khamyss is a Sister of Slaughter costing 20 more and only getting 2 wounds for that.

Lethyr and Kryssa are Witch Aelves but cost 30 points more for only 2 wounds.

So overall pretty disappointing, Morgaweath’s ability is great but the extra cost isn’t really worth it. 

Next up the Chosen Axes, 4 Fyreslayers wielding axes and not much else. They have a double that can be used by any except Fjol-Grimnir, their leader, which will add 2 to their attacks for the activation which is a straight upgrade on the generic Onslaught.

Fjul-Grimnir is a Auric Runefather with 4 extra wounds, one extra hit and one extra crit damage for 55 points. The Runefather has an average damage of 5.5 versus T4 and Fjul Grimnir brings it to 7.5. So you’ll have to consider whether you think that is worth it. It’s roughly a 30% points upgrade for 25% more wounds and 25% more damage.

Vol Orrukbane is close to a Hearthguard Berserker with Broadaxe, he’s 10 points more with 2 more wounds, but loses reach 2 and has one less strength.

Tefk and Mad Maegrim mare both Vulkite Berserkers with 2 more wounds for 20 more points. I think realistically, we’re better playing this warband.

Elathain’s Soulraid

This warband is a rollercoaster. We have a fancy leader, a second in command with sword and shield, a harpoon fighter which is always fun, and 2 beasts! The Idoneth Deepkin options are actually quite narrow, so extra options are definitely welcome.

Elathain is a Soulrender, but 35 points cheaper getting +2 wounds and losing just 1 crit damage from his melee. You take the Soulrender for its double which is a net effect. Elathain loses that but gains his own version which is essentially identical. So Elathain is a fantastic option, since you’ll be relying on the ranged weapon rather than the reach weapon, typical damage drops from 6 to 4. If that’s not something you’re happy with, you always have the option to take the Soulrender instead, so this is a straight win.

Tammael’s closest equivalent is the Thrall which is the cheapest fighter in the warband. Tammael is 5 points more, gets 2 more wounds, changes the reach of 2 into a range of 8 and loses 1 attack. His ability is a classic harpoon effect for a triple. So a bonus attack and then pull them back a number of inches equal to the value of the triple. Usually this will be to pull a fighter out of position, maybe off an objective, into melee with another fighter, or sometimes into lava which is always fun.

Fuirann is essentially a brand new profile for the Idoneth who skip straight from the thralls to their wyrm riders. Compared to the Thrall she is 40 points more, +1 toughness, double the wounds, and with a much better damage profile, going from 3 to 4 average.

Last up, we have the two critters. Again with no equivalent. Dunclaw is tough as hell. Due to his low number of attacks, his damage is merely 3.67 but getting a +1 attack from onslaught will up that to 5.5 which is pretty good.

Spinefin is the same cost as the Thrall but speed 12 and slightly worse damage. These are both Beasts, so no carrying treasure which can be annoying. While they aren’t necessarily instant takes, they are meaningful options that have their place.

For me Elathain and Tammael are the standouts in this warband,  a net and a harpoon effect for a total of 235 is decent.

Thundriks Profiteers.

Here we have the Khadaron Overlord warband, there are a lot of cool options here but I’m not really expecting a lot as the current Khadron Overlords are pretty good and the move 3 fighters were boosted for this edition. The warbands ability is a triple that gives a bonus attack action if they are within 6 inches of Bjorgen and it’s round 3 or later.

First is Bjorgen Thundrik himself, 25 points more than an Aetherchemist with 4 more wounds. The ranged weapons are very different, but Bjorgen sneaks ahead with 5.5 damage compared to the Khemists 5.0. The real question then is whether the other fighters getting to use the warband ability is worth the extra cost for Bjorgen.

Khazgan is a Endrinrigger but costs 30 more. He loses 1 strength dropping the damage from 5.5 to 4.5 but gains reach of 2 on his melee weapon which is pretty nice. So he can move his 10 and still attack from safety. 

Lund is a Grunstock Thundered but 20 more points with no other change.

Enrik is a little more interesting, he’s a Arkanaut with Volleygun for 40 more points, a 50% increase but he also doubles his attacks, taking it from 2 average damage to 4. That’s pretty good. With a range of 15 he’s going to be able to attack most things on the board and two attacks are 8 damage which should take down chaff fighters with ease.

Garodd is the equivalent of an Arkanaut with Axe and Pistol. The Arkanaut is a fantastic piece, but that’s mostly because he’s a mere 50 points. Garodd is 20 points more and only gets +2 wounds. So he’s probably a pass.

I do have this warband myself, although I’ve yet to finish painting them. Personally, I’l be running them as normal Khadraon fighters. It’s all costing more without too much of a benefit, although Enrik Ironhaul with that volleygun might be worth considering.

Myari’s Purifiers

These came in the Direchasm box. Four Lumineth Elves in total, a spell caster, archer, and two melee fighters one with a two hander and one with a sword. 

Myari is comparable to the Calligrave, although 30 points more. For that you’re getting just 2 wounds. He does get a triple ability Dazzling light which reduces the attack characteristic of nearby enemies, but the Calligrave gets an equivalent which can be placed anywhere and reduces crits by 1. So the effect isn’t as good but as a double it’s a lot easier to use.

As Myari has the scout runemark, this opens up the Sharp-Eyed Scryhawk double which allows him to increase the attacks against a target. This is particularly good if you’re using ranged attacks that can’t use the Onslaught ability and would be able to easily pick out a target. This includes Myari who gets a big bonus from it as he only has 2 dice base on his ranged attack.

Senaela is a Sentinel but 5 more expensive for 2 more wounds. I think you’d typically go for the generic Sentinel but having the option if you have a few points spare is nice.

Bahannar is a Stoneguard with Great Hammer for a crazy 25 more points and only 2 wounds. Definitely something to run as a normal Stoneguard.

Last we have Aileen, who is a Bladelord but 5 cheaper, losing the reach of 2 but gaining 2 wounds. I quite like this option, although I suspect in many cases I’d probably stick to the Bladelord Profile.

Overall, this warband gives the Lumineth some options rather than obvious upgrades. 

Next up the Starblood Stalkers. We know the Lizardmen are getting an upgrade in a few months and this warband was the first sign of that. Although they’ve been out a good few years, they already had the new design for the Skinks and Saurus and look fantastic.

We have a Sorcerer, a Saurus Warrior, 2 skinks with blowpipes and 2 with melee weapons.

Kixi-Taka is a Skink Starpriest but 20 points cheaper. He has the exact same stats but loses the Priest runemark so he loses out on the direct damage double. Instead he gets a triple that adds 1 to the move the toughness of fighters within 9 inches which is a massive range. The board is 22 by 30 inches, and this is essentially a 19 inch diameter circle, so if Kixi is in the centre almost all of your warband will get the bonus.

Klaq-Trok is the Saurus Warrior, he’s in a bit of a weird spot. As he’s not a leader, his closest equivalent is the Saura Guard but although he loses the reach, he has an extra attack dice and almost double the wounds. He’s closer to the Saura Guard Alpha who has that extra attack dice and a little more health. Klaq-Trok is 190 though, so that’s a premium but you do get a hero style fighter without taking up a hero slot.

Huachi and Xepic both offer new profiles for the Skinks. They’re each 10 to 15 points more expensive but do have +2 wounds and increase the strength of the melee attack by one. I’m not sure I’d actually take them but they do offer the option.

Tok and Otapatl both are new for the standard Lizardman list although we’ve seen something similar in the Hunters of Huanchi warband from the recent Warcry box. These are both 10 points more but they have an extra 2 wounds, double the range at 12 and bring the strength from 1 to 3 as well as having better crit damage. Tons of upgrades. Otapatl also gets a double for a free move if he’s not within 12 inches, and lets face it if he was he’d probably be attacking them.

Lots of great options here from the Starbloods and as Kixi-Taka’s ability just says friendly fighters, he can be a powerful asset to any warband, especially ones looking to run move 3 fighters. 

Time to move over to some Stormcast.

First we have Steelheart’s Champions, the original Underworlds warband. We have 3 classic stormcast and they all share the same ability which is a Double reducing hits and crits against the fighter by one for the remainder of the round.

Severin is a Knight Questor but 15 points more. That gets him 2 wounds more but since he’s not got a shield that’s also 1 toughness less and he loses the Shield Bash ability. Instead he gets access to Lay Low the Tyrants, a double that lets him increase his strength and attacks by 1 if he’s attacking a fighter with base wounds of 15 or more. It’s an upgrade to Onslaught and as he’s at strength 4 already is a pretty good one. Strength 5 will help against the majority of fighters with high health. As he’s still 5 toughness, losing the shield isn’t too bad so the question you have to ask is whether the ability is worth 15 points. It actually might be.

Obryn and Angharad are a little easier. They are straight points increase for only 2 wounds, and unfortunately those are 30 to 55 point increases ruling them completely out.

The Farstriders take a different approach. The Vanguard used to be a total menace in the early years of Warcry;. The combination of tough to kill with strong ranged attacks along with their use of cheap Gryph Hounds and Aetherwings for objectives was a winning combination. 

Their leader is Sanson Farstrider, a Hunter-Prime with 5 extra wounds, 2 less range, and 40 extra points. He does get access to the triple Guided by the Astral Compass which could get 3 free moves if you were playing all the Farstriders.

Almeric and Elias are both Vanguard-Hunters but 30 more points for just 2 wounds and 2 less ranged. So unfortunately the Farstriders are going to get left behind. As cool as the ability might have been, it’s not worth 100 points.

Stormsire’s Cursebreakers are the Evocators. This is the Stormcast chamber that has all their Warriors as Wizards or maybe it’s all their Wizards as Warriors. Either way, sword and lightning bolt.

Averon is a Lord Exorcist for 25 more points. He loses 1 damage from his base melee and gains a triple that will do targeted damage. Triples aren’t easy to control the value for, and this ability is doing on average 2 damage per value. If it was a double I’d be interested, but for 25 points I think we move on.

Ammis and Rastus are both Evocators. Ammis increase the crit damage by 1 while Rastus increases the strength by 1, but that’s for 30 points each, so unfortunately this warband isn’t offering much beyond great models for the generic fighters.

Moving over to the Sylvaneth we have Ylathari’s Guardians. I’m entirely sure how to describe these tree people. I guess one’s a sorcerer, one’s a warrior with a big sword, one’s got a big axe and the last has a bow. They all have pretty typical human stats, move 4, 3 toughness, and 10 to 12 wounds for the fighters and 20 wounds for the hero. They have two abilities, a double that increases crit damage by one, not typically great. And a Quad for the leader.

The Leader is Ylathri. She’s comparable to a Branch Wych but 20 points more and 2 move slower. That’s pretty damning. Her ability is a [Quad] which does AOE damage equal to the quad value. That could be a [Quad] 6 hitting 5 targets, but the reality is you’re lucky to even get a [Quad] 1 in a game so let’s not get picky about the value.

Skhathael and Gallaghann are a lot more expensive than the Tree Revenant, but the Sylvaneth are a bit weird in that they’ve got just a few cheap troops around the 65 to 75 point range with the next cheapest starting at 130. So these new fighters offer a lot as there’s no one else at this range. For reference we have the Tree Revenant who is the cheapest option. Skathael has 2 more wounds but the core stats are the same otherwise. The Tree Revenant is average damage of 3 while the other two are both 4. Gallaghan is paying a lot more for that, he does get reach of 2 which helps his case, but it’s still 40 more points.

Both lose out on the Warrior runemark which gives the Tree Revenant access to Walk the Spirit Paths, an amazing teleport ability. You aren’t going to have enough Triples for every fighter, but it’s a loss nonetheless.

Ahnslaine is almost identical to the Gossamid Archer apart from the runemarks and the move of 10. If you check out the Gossamid Archer model you’ll see there is a flying insect attached to the back. Ashnslaine is the Archer without the bug. At 50 points cheaper, she’s a pretty good deal. The range attack has even 5 more range. The average damage is only 1.67 though, so although Ahnslaine is a great option, she might not get a lot of work done.

So the warband as a whole offers some interesting side grades but nothing that stands out.

Sticking with the Sylvaneth, we have Skaeth’s wild hunt. Rather than a merge with trees, these elves have gone for deer, some more than others.

We have 5 in total, Skaeth the leader and 4 relatively cheap fighters of 70 to 80 points. 

Skaeth is tricky to find a fighter to compare against. He’s very fast at speed 8 and hardy enough with 22 wounds. His attack is only 3 average damage, but does have an impressive 8 range. 

For Sheoch and Karthaen, like before, we’re looking at the Tree Revenant as a comparison. Pure stats, Sheoch and Karthaen are better, they’re getting +1 move and Karthaen gets +2 wounds all for a 5 to 15 points increase. The damage profiles are better, the Tree Revenant has an average damage of 3 while Sheoch is up to 3.33 a considerable increase and Karthaen is a little less at 3. Both are good upgrades for the points but again they lose access to the teleport. 

Karthean does have his own runemark, Bulwark which opens up the triple Might of Kurnoth. He blows his horn and rallies his warband to fight harder. Anyone within 6 inches of him gets +1 attack to their melee attacks. The benefit will vary on the fighter but typically it’s best on high damage fighters with low number of attack dice. Best case for the Sylvaneth is a Kurnoth Hunter with Scythe who would get a 2.5 damage increase.

Althaen is the archer of the warband. Like we did in the previous warband we can compare Althaen to the Gossamid Archer but it might just be easier to compare to Ahnslaine directly. Ahnslaine looked like a good alternative as a non-flying archer but Althaen has all the same number but with move 5 instead of 4 and for

 5 points cheaper, so Althaen is a straight upgrade on Ahnslaine.

Last up with Lighaen, who should be taken by all Sylvanth warbands because pets are great. This big cat costs 5 more points than the Tree Revenant but is twice as fast and loses 2 wounds. The big bonus for the Tree Revenant is access to the teleport triple, but Lightaen is zooming across the battlefield anyway, so someone else can use the Triple.

I like this warband a lot, lots of new profiles for the Sylvaneth which is great to see.

The last warband we have isn’t from The Tome of Champions but instead appeared in White Dwarf 477. This warband is part of the Thunderstrike Stormcast chamber. These are the new style Stormcast that came out with the Dominion release. A little less chunky.

This team has 3 Stormcast and one birb. The Leader has this funky lantern while the other two have a big two hander and a bow. This warband brings three new abilities, with each of the stormcast getting a unique ability.

Calthia Xandire is the leader of this warband and is similar to a Lord Imperatant. She’s cheaper by 30 points, loses 5 wounds and the range attack. Her melee attack is similar, she gets an extra dice but one less crit. She’s doing an impressive 6.67 average damage up from the 6 of the Lord Imperatant. Calthia is also a little faster at 5 move which is pretty big.

She has her own special double, Lantern Astrala which reduces the value of abilities used by enemy fighters. This is a little niche, but if you know your opponent’s ability options well, it might have some uses.

As she has the Champion and Hero runemarks, she does get access to the Coordinated Strike triple which is a really good action bonus. If it was just move, this would be a really good ability but you also have the option for attack actions so this can be quite big. A triple getting two extra attacks is pretty crazy. Unfortunately, it is visible, so Calthia doesn’t get the extra action herself.

All round, a pretty great option. You’re really just trading the ranged ability for a more solid melee fighter.

Error – I picked the wrong Annihilator, the stats and name are right but the image is wrong. The 2 handed is called the Grandhammer. The stats in the above card are the version with shield. The Grandhammer is the popular one, which is 1 strength highter, 1 toughness lower, and has reach 2.

Next we have Dhoraz Giant-Fell. He’s 35 points more than an Annihilator with Meteoric Hammer. That might seem like a chunky price, but the Annihilator is a very popular fighter because it hits like a truck with 7 average damage. Dhoraz is doing the same, but faster with 4 move. For that you are losing out on 2 toughness, but for fighters of strength 4 or less that makes no difference.

So you are paying a premium to get +1 move, I think this will take some testing but I suspect that’s a good deal. Dhoarz gets an ability all to himself, it’s a double that can force a target to take a bonus disengage action. That can be good to push a target off an objective or to make them waste an action if they want to hit Dhoraz back.

With the Brute runemark he also has access to the same Quad as the Annihilator but I’d only use that if it was a quad 3 or better doing at least 6 damage as using the Quad for Rampage instead will give you an attack instead of the damage. As with many of these quads, it’s a nice option to have.

Then we have the Archer, Luxa Stormrider. This fighter is 5 points more expensive than a Viglor and has an identical stat-line. They both have the Scout runemark so can access the Triple Guiding Lightning which will light up an enemy they’ve already targeted with their ranged attack. That gives subsequent attacks by anyone an extra dice. The damage on the bow is 3, so an extra dice is another 1.5 damage which is decent. Obviously, this scales really well if you have more fighters on the target, especially big hitters like Dhoraz who would get 2.3 extra damage for that 1 dice.

Alternatively, Luxa has another Triple, Quick Volley which will give her an extra 2 dice on her next ranged attack. As ranged fighters don’t have access to the double Onslaught, this is a really nice alternative. As she only has 2 dice, it’s basically an extra attack. This is a nice option, but I really like the Guiding Lighting ability and in most circumstances would use that instead, so I’d probably favour the basic Vigilor instead.

Last up, we have Taros. The Thunderstrike chamber does not have access to the Aetherwings that’s reserved for the Vanguard Auxiliary chamber. So this is a really nice addition to the roster. Taros is super fast at 12 move with fly, but easy to kill with only 2 toughness and 6 wounds. Unlike the Vanguard Aetherwing, Taros is considered a beast, so no holding treasure or opening doors. The Aetherwing also has a reaction letting friendlies reroll a dice versus an enemy target who moved too close.

So Taros is weaker than a straight Aetherwing, but even then, the profile is a brand new option that the Thunderstrike chamber didn’t have before and on that alone is worth it. Notably, this also opens up Taros to all the other Order warbands, as they just need to take Calthia as a hero and then Taros is available as a fighter.

I think this is a pretty great warband. Not only are they adding new and interesting options to the Thunderstrike, but as Calthia is good all the Order warbands benefit.

There are three missing Order warbands. The first two are Stormcast. Ironsouls Condemners and the Storm of Celestus. These are both easy to build kits that got Underworlds cards. For Warcry purposes, they’re just normal compendium fighters so we’re not expecting any special rules for them. The last warband though is possibly one of the most asked for warbands, Hexbane’s Hunters. These came out in the Nethermaze of Underworlds releases where for some unknown reason, we didn’t get any rules. Current White Dwarf releases are for newer models like the Looncourt, but it would be a real shame to skip this Witch Hunter warband so I still have hope we’ll see their rules soon enough.

There is another Underworld warband that didn’t get a White Dwarf update, this is the Shadeborn warband. They all have equivalents for the Khainite Shadowstalkers so this Underworlds box is more an expansion to the warband than a Bladeborn group. I have to admit, I quite like this approach and honestly would love to see some Underworlds warbands that expand out the Warcry only factions like the Iron Golems of Corvus Cabal with new sculpts.

And that’s it, every Order Bladeborn warband.

A lot of these fighters provide alternatives and extra profiles rather than straight power, which can only be a good thing. A few are notable though. 

I think Elathain is a good option as a cheaper Soulrender and there are a few options in his warband that look interesting.

  • I quite like the Starbloods, who make some nice options for the Lizardmen and also make a great addition to the Hunters of Huanchi while still keeping the theme.
  • The Sylvaneth warbands are interesting options, but the only stand out for me is the Cat Lighaen, although Karthaen with the Horn ability could be great in the right warband.
  • Xandire’s Truthseekers were designed with the current edition in mind, and it definitely shows. Nothing super powerful here, but they do open up some good options and every time you have a good leader he opens up new fighter options to every warband in the greater alliance.

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