Warhammer Underworlds Direchasm: Khagra’s Ravagers Warband Review
This review is a little late as unfortunately the warband only arrived a couple of days ago, however we wanted to give you all a flavour of the latest addition to Warhammer Underworlds Direchasm
Warhammer Underworlds to me, is one of the best boxed games Games Workshop have released (spoiler alert, it ranks pretty high in my Top 3 over on this week’s podcast).
Khagra’s Ravagers is the latest warband to be released for this season of Warhammer Underworlds, Direchasm. It features a elite band of Chaos Warriors as they look to desecrate the battlefield and destroy all those who oppose them.
In this review I’ll be looking at the miniatures, the character cards and some of the included Gambit, Upgrade and Objective cards.
I’m by no means a competitive tournament player when it comes to Underworlds, however I hope this review gives you an insight in to how the warband works and whether or not you should add them to your collection
First and foremost we have the warband’s miniatures themselves.
As is common with Underworlds, the warband share a coloured sprue. In this instance, that sprue is a very dark grey, almost the same grey as your normal sprues!
The detail, as is the case with almost everything Warhammer puts out at the moment, is crisp. Each model is decked with Chaos icongraphy and share the same visual aesthetic as the Slaves to Darkness Chaos models. Each comes with a suitable Chaos-y detailed base, which really compliments the models.
The shield on Razek can be left on the sprue, allowing you to paint all the detail that would otherwise be hard to get to on the model. As with all the rest of the Underworld’s warbands, they are all push fit miniatures. It is well worth taking the time to clip these off the sprue with care and use a hobby knife to ensure no bits of sprue are left on the model to prevent any of the push fit parts from going together. Zarshia’s staff is the only point on the sprue I would advise could be snapped if care isn’t taken.
Khagra’s Ravagers ‘Desecrate’ Ability
Before we look at the warband’s fighters in a little bit more detail, at this point it is worth talking about the warband’s unique ability, Desecration Tokens.
Included with the cards you’ll have a handy reference card for what this ability does. In essence you can desecrate objectives across the board, preventing your opponent from completing objectives whilst securing your own and setting your warband on the way to inspiring.
This is a very unique, and interesting gameplay mechanic, something we haven’t really seen in this season, or previous seasons of Underworlds. When you desecrate an objective you place a token upon it. It’ll take a little getting used to, as it almost works as a secondary objective in many ways. In practice, it may also be a little difficult to use correctly, as the token can be easily removed should the objective be flipped or an enemy fighter is upon the objective come the power step phase of the game.
It cannot be ignored however, as desecrating objectives helps to inspire your fighters (all 4 require 3 or more Desecration tokens to be on the battlefield after an activation for your fighters to inspire) and many of the objective cards available to you play off this ability.
The Warband’s Characters & Abilities
Weighing in at 4 fighters, this is a fairly elite warband.
Your leader is Khagra the Usurper. She is armed with a damage 3 mace with Knockback, which requires a hammer to be successful on two dice. She has the Sacrifice ability, which allows her to desecrate an objective that she, or a model she has just slain, is standing on. She’s not the quickest, with a movement value of 3, however she is fairly armoured, requiring shields when defending. She has a respectable 4 wounds.
Once inspired she gains a point of movement and an extra defence dice.
Zarshia Bittersoul is the caster of the group, and in my opinion the best looking miniature in the warband. She is a level 2 caster with a Range 2 melee ability and Range 3 casting ability, both of which deal 1 damage. She also has a movement value of 3 and 1 shield defense. Zarshia also has the Sacrifice ability, as well as Spite-Tongue Curse. If an Attack action fails with this fighter, she suffers Backlash, damaging her. This can be prevented using an upgraded which we will discuss later. She does only have 3 wounds, so you really don’t want to be damaging yourself!
When Zarshia inspires she gains damage 2 on her cast which is very handy as it dramatically increases her combat ability.
Dour Cragan looks very similar to the classic Slambo model. Armed with two Hellforged Weapons, he does flat 2 damage from the word go. He has an ability called Despoil, so when he is holding an objective, at the end of the action phase he desecrates that objective. He has 4 wounds, movement 3 once again and 1 defence dice needing a shield.
Inspiring him gives his weapon Cleave and he gains an additional point of movement.
The final fighter in this warband is Razek Godblessed. An axe and shield are his choice of weapons, and like Dour, he does flat 2 damage on his standard profile. He’s also got 4 wounds and movement 3 and shares the same Despoil ability that Dour has.
Inspiring Razek gives him another defence dice (he has a shield after all!) and an extra point of movement.
All of the fighters in this warband don’t gain a massive amount from inspiring, but it’s still worth achieving, in particular for Zarshia and Razek. Luckily, once you have 3 or more Desecration tokens down your whole warband will inspire.
Pre-Built Deck Cards
Time to look at some cards! I’m not going to look at all of them in this review, however I have picked out a couple.
With all the recent warbands you get two packs of cards, one of which is a pre-built deck ready to play with. The other features a variety of gambit, upgrade and objective cards that can be used with any warband.
I’ve picked out a couple first of all from the pre-built deck. Let’s have a look!
- Gifted Sorcerer: Remember earlier when I mentioned that should your caster fail an attack action she gets Backlash? Well this upgrade card allows her to re-roll one dice for the casting rolls and spell action attack rolls.
- Bolstered By Hate: Like the standard Great Fortitude card, this upgrade gives your fighter + 1 Wound. Simple. Effective. Because its a faction specific card you could double it up with the aforementioned Great Fortitude.
- Blazing Runeshield: Another upgrade card, this one can be equipped to all of the fighters, minus Zarshia. This means your fighter cannot be dealt damage by spells.
- Blasphemous Cuirass: This upgrade reduces the damage of an incoming Attack action by 1, so long as you roll at least 1 shield on your defence dice. The amount of fighters in the game now that deal multiple damage makes this a very handy upgrade on whoever you put it on. Essential if you want to ensure one of your fighters lives.
- Power Reclaimed: Moving onto power cards, this one is really fun. If your Leader (Khagra) dies, this card promotes Zarshia to your leader, immediately giving her an additional wound and wizard level. Great for denying your opponent’s objective for killing your warband’s leader.
- Mask of Darkness: Gambit Spell time! Ever wanted to teleport one of your fights to an enemy objective? This is the spell for you! If cast, pick one of your friendly fighters within 3 hexes and teleport him to an objective in enemy territory. Use it on Cragan or Razek to desecrate an enemy objective!
- Flames of Spite: The deck features a number of cards which increase the attacking performance of your fighters. This power card is one of them, giving an attack +1 damage.
- Eye of the Gods: Possibly my pick of the deck, this card can only be used when you kill an enemy leader. It grants your leader either +1 Dice, +1 Damage, Cleave or Ensnare. The buff you choose affects your leader’s Range 1 or 2 Attack actions. Whats more, the effect is persistant until your leader is taken out of action
- Glorious Slaughter: One of two objective cards I’ve picked out. This one gives you 2 glory points should you take out 3 or more enemy fighters. As the Ravagers are combat proficient, especially with the amount of attacking upgrades and gambits you can bestow, your going to be killing fighters!
- Brutal Desecration: Every deck needs an easy to achieve objective to gain a glory point. This is that card for the Ravagers. Desecrate an objective. Achieve this objective card. Gain a glory. A must for every deck I think.
With every warband you always get some additional cards that you can add to your deck, or alternatively use with your other faction decks. A lot of the ones included with this set play on the Hunter and Quarry mechanics.
Again, I’ve picked out a few notable mentions:
- Unafraid: In the end phase, should you have a fighter positioned within 2 hexes of one or more enemy fighters, you gain 2 glory points with this objective card. Easy to achieve and a great return!
- Magical Mark: 1 glory point to the wizard holding an objective. Again, straight forward to achieve. Great for Stormsire’s Cursebreakers.
- Scavenged Armour: Would you like another way to give a fighter another wound? Here you go, an upgrade card that gives your chosen fighter another wound. The only stipulation is that you cannot equip this onto a fighter in your own territory (because he has scavenged it, obviously!)
- Storm of Foreboding: A gambit spell, which if cast gives your friendly fighters +1 Attack actions. This persists to the end of the current round. Doesn’t have a specific range, so all of your fighters are affected. Very handy.
- Beast Trail: Movement is key in Underworlds. This power card allows one Hunter or Quarry fighter to move from an edge hex and teleport to another edge hex on the battlefield.
Khagra’s Ravagers are a very combat focused warband, with the added bonus of the Desecration mechanic.
I cannot decide whether or not I like the extra mechanic. At face value it appears easy to stop, but it can potentially grab you a good amount of glory, and let us not forget once 3 Desecration tokens are down your warband inspires, giving them some minor improvements.
I really like the pre-built deck, it feels solid and allows you to get a real feel for what the warband does. The extra cards are a mixed bag, with some really good notable additions that could prove to be a real boon for some warbands, including the Ravagers.
All of the warbands so far revealed for Direchasm have featured superb models, probably some of the best from Underworlds full stop. Khagra’s Ravagers are no exception, I really like every sculpt in the box and cannot wait to start painting them.
If you play competitively, you’ll want to pick these up for some of the extra cards, but even if your not wanting to ‘catch them all‘ when it comes to cards the warband makes an interesting and fun additional to the game.
You can pick up Khagra’s Ravagers from Element Games to save some cash!
Matt has been painting his, and you can check out his stream where he painted the cloaks below: