Games Workshop revealed the next release for small-scale miniatures wargaming line Warhammer Underworlds would be a two-person starter set aimed at introducing new players to the fantasy-themed Age of Sigmar format.
Inside is everything a pair needs to begin duking it out, including tokens, essential rules, dice and two warbands from different factions. For those unfamiliar, warbands run quite smaller than traditional Warhammer armies - somewhere between four and six units - which means skirmishes prioritise guerilla tactics and individual positioning rather than plastic blobs and double handfuls of dice. It’s why we listed Warhammer Underworlds as one of the better miniatures titles beyond that standard Warhammer experience.
Players can either take control of the Stormcast Eternal’s Storm of Celestus, comprising three warriors and one loyal gryph-hound or Drepur’s Wraithcreepers, a four-unit Nagash warband. Each specialise in different tactics and bring contrasting abilities to the field. Speaking of, the two included battleground boards are double sided to depict a range of locations with various terrain modifications and hazards. Capturing and holding high ground is just as important in Underworld’s smaller-scale battles.
Practiced skirmishers will already know that building the card decks that power their warbands provides the deepest tactical element in the game but can also act as a large barrier to entry for the uninitiated. This new starter set circumvents that by packaging preconstructed decks that Games Workshop claims should provide plenty of interesting battles without any modification.
If the Warhammer Underworlds starter set reads as underwhelming to players already bought in, that’s likely by design. Each new box the company has put out since introducing the less-expensive and more approachable game mode has added mechanical wrinkles, modified the base rules with new warband abilities, and expanded the pool of neutral cards that players need to be aware of in their opponents’ decks.
None of that is necessarily bad - if Games Workshop is good at anything lately it’s consistently supporting game modes with a steady stream of content. But establishing a baseline experience allows interested players - whether they arrive from outside wargaming or simply want a pared-down version of the larger-scale traditional format - to acclimate themselves to Underworld and be more likely to invest in the several other warbands currently available. To wit, the preview page links to a couple of painting tutorials for the included armies. Any Warhammer fan knows beautifying your crew is at least half the fun of the hobby.
Warhammer Underworld’s starter set will be available to pre-order through Games Workshop’s website starting April 10th, but the price is not currently known.