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Warhammer Underworlds Direchasm Unboxing and Review

We have survived the Shattered City and ventured deep into the Beastgrave, but the Warbands of the Mortal Realms still fight on in Direchasm, the latest season of Warhammer Underworlds! Check it out in our video review and unboxing below! Or read on for the full lowdown.

Up for pre order today is Warhammer Underworlds Direchasm, the new starter box for the absolutely awesome miniatures/card game mashup that began with Shadespire. In it’s fourth season now, Underworlds quickly became a firm favourite at Sprues & Brews HQ for its quick paced gameplay, addictive deck building and stunning miniatures. I was rather excited when we heard that Games Workshop were sending us a copy to unbox and review and promptly started digging through my Underworlds collection to ready my warbands for the new season! With the game up for pre order this weekend, we have eagerly ripped the cellophane off the box ready to crack it open and show you what’s inside!

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Warhammer Underworlds: Direchasm Review

If you have not played Warhammer Underworlds before then it is essentially a board game, a miniatures game and a card game all rolled into one! Because of this, the box is absolutely jam packed with goodies!

Firstly we get the game boards themselves, these are compatible with all existing Underworlds tiles, and at this point we now have a massive collection of them to select from for your games! I love the colours of these boards so much more than the early Shadespire and Nightvault ones. These are illustrated to represent the Direchasm, the roots of the mountain itself where the action in this season unfolds.

Inside is also a sheet of tokens to represent objectives, dangerous hexes, glory, wounds, actions and even generic tokens to use for any warband specific abilities. We also get a mysterious Primacy token that is used for one of the game’s new mechanics.

A set of custom dice is also included, giving you enough dice to play the game straight out of the box. Rather snazzy faction themed dice can also be picked up, and let’s face it, we are all suckers for extra dice to add to the collection!

Also included in the box are two brand new warbands – Myari’s Purifiers, a team of Lumineth Realm-Lords from the realm of Hysh, and the Dread Pageant, a horrific Slaanesh Mortal warband.

The Models are absolutely gorgeous and are a joy to paint up! We didn’t have much time to get them ready for this review, but as they are push fit they can be assembled in no time, and using a combination of Citadel Paints it is very easy to get them battle ready for your games!

The Purifiers match the aesthetic of the Lumineth Realm-Lords range, but have some exciting hints towards what we might get in the future in the form of what looks very much like a reimagining of a High Elf Swordmaster! The bases even include some of the scenic elements shown on other Lumineth kits such as the trees and blades of grass, allowing you to tie these into your Age of Sigmar army.

The Dread Pageant are equally stunning models and are a making me look forward to the upcoming Slaanesh release for Age of Sigmar very much! I really hope that we get both the light infantry seen in this box plus the Slaangor as units we can take in a Hedonities army, as they are among my favourite models yet!

Both of these forces also get a pre-made deck of cards for use in the game

This is something we have seen with every warband since Beastgrave, and means that each faction can be used straight out of the box without having to create a deck first. This was often a barrier to new players who did not necessarily know what power and objective cards they needed to have in their decks. By making each warband (including those in the expansion sets) usable as soon as you open the box, it means that you can get a taste for how the warband plays before you get round to tweaking the deck yourself. It’s worth noting that all the cards in each of those decks is locked to that specific warband and they dont contain any generic cards.

And speaking of deck tweaking, a set of “Extra” cards is also included. Here is where all the generic cards live that can be used to supplement any of your warbands. In this deck we also get the Primacy card .

Primacy is a new mechanic that only comes into play if you have a card in your deck that mentions the Primacy Token. If you do, then the Primacy rules are in effect for that game. Primacy adds an addition resource in the form of the Primacy Token, this token will swap back and forth among players as one of 3 conditions are met:

  1. A friendly fighter takes out an enemy fighter who had no wound counters on them
  2. A friendly fighter takes an enemy leader out of action
  3. A warband holds 4 or more objectives

The token will switch ownership every time one of these are met, and so it may change hands a couple of times a round. Whoever is holding the token at the end of the round gets to flip over one of their spent glory tokens allowing them to spend it a second time! This is a great addition that adds an additional element to your games and gives you something else to think about!

Interestingly this rule is not mentioned within the rulebook itself, it simply exists on this card as a “plug in” rule for when you have any cards that interact with it. This does mean that over the course of the season we could potentially see Games Workshop drop in similar mechanics and interactions as part of the supplemental warbands.

We see the Hunter and Quarry keywords returned, but they are joined by a new one in the form of Hunger mentioned on a couple of the cards – I imagine this will also be expanded upon in the supplemental warbands, perhaps the Vampires teased on Warhammer Community would be the perfect fit for a hunger focuses warband?

Across the 3 decks you get a total of 60 Power Cards and 36 Objective Cards, giving you lots of options for your deck building. And don’t forget that you can also use cards from older seasons of Underworlds too! While the older sets eventually get phased out, the rotating pool of cards available leads to a great amount of choice and customisability in building your deck.

Stay tuned to the site as we will be looking at some of our favourite cards later in the week!

Moving on to the rules in the box! First up we have the Start Here guide, which shows the components, the assembly instructions for the warbands and a tutorial that teaches you the basics of the games and how actions and combat works. If you are a newcomer to the game then this will be a great entry point!

The main Rulebook itself doesn’t stray too far away from the format of Beastgrave, this is still the Warhammer Underworlds that you know and love, but there have been a couple of little tweaks here and there. for example if you take a fighter out of action who has 6 or more wounds you now gain an additional point of glory! Support also seems to have been simplified in that regardless of how much support your opponent has, you will always get to count support results based on how many allies you have in adjacent hexes.

For anyone new to the game, the book is broken down into manageable chunks that explain all the mechanics clearly and easily to follow, while a comprehensive glossary at the back contains everything that you may need to look up during a game. The back cover of the rulebook also has a reference guide showing flow charts for combat actions, a fully mapped out breakdown of how successes translate to results and a breakdown of the rounds and phases. Games Workshop have really tightened up the rules presentation in this book, making it the easiest to follow Underworlds rulebook yet!

At a price tag of £50 I feel this is a little steeper than earlier editions of the game (Though to be fair this is the same price point as last season’s Beastgrave) but still offers good value for money in a fully contained 2 player experience that also offers additional cards, tiles and warbands for established players. If you are interested in the system and want to dip your toe in, you are still getting some gorgeous Citadel Miniatures that represent a good chunk of the value of the box. As the games only last around 30 mins or so, this is a great game to pull out at the end of a club night. It’s also a nice way to introduce people to the Warhammer hobby, as the boardgame and cards format is more accessible to people who may not have played a tabletop wargame before. Warhammer Underworlds also works great as a multiplayer game, with up to 4 players able to battle over the Direchasm!

Warhammer Underworlds has gone from strength to strength and Direchasm is the best edition of the game so far, which refines the game to an excellent and easily accessible system.

Warhammer Underworlds Direchasm is available to order today and will be released on the 12th December

Games Workshop provided Sprues & Brews with a copy of Direchasm for review purposes.

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