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Warhammer Underworlds Wyrdhollow Unboxing and Review

The Gnarlwood is an infamous place of savagery and violent death, and has had much focus in Warcry – however deep below the surface, among the roots of the Gnarloaks themselves small warbands fight for glory!

In Warhammer Underworlds Wyrdhallow, up for pre order today, two of these forces face off against each other. Domitan’s Stormcoven, a band of Stormcast Knight-Arcanum have been drawn towards a magical tempest set in place by Ephilim’s Pandaemonium, the loyal servant and daemonic spawn working for a Gaunt Summoner. If the magical storm triggered by the arcane engines of the crashed Seraphon ship get’s out of hand then the Mortal Realms could be flooded with new breeds of daemonic horrors.

In this review and unboxing we’ll be taking a look at the contents of the box, checking out the miniatures and exploring what is in store for the decks of both warbands. We’ll also be taking a look at what rules have changed, as this time round there are a couple of things that have been tweaked for Underworlds.

Massive thanks to Games Workshop for sending us a free early review copy to check out on the site. If you would like to help support Sprues and Brews then why not order your copy through our affiliate Element Games and save yourself some money too? We also now have a Patreon page too!

We’ve also filmed a full unboxing and video review which you can see just below or over on YouTube

So gather your warband, build your deck, and get ready to head back to Wyrdhollow deep beneath the Gnarlwood…

Warhammer Underworlds Wyrdhollow Unboxing and Review

So what’s in the box?

If you have pick up any of the previous Warhammer Underworlds boxes then you know what is in store here – The box contains the rules, containing everything you need for playing games of Underworlds, A full set of dice (including magic dice), two sheets of tokens, and two double sided boards and 4 decks of cards, one for each warband and 2 rivals decks that can be used by any warband (Including existing ones you own, or ones purchased seperatly)

The star of the show as ever are the miniatures however. Two warbands are included with very different asthetics

As a fan of all this Chaos, Ephilim’s Pandaemonium are the winners here as we get to see Tzeentch turned up to 11 with some rally weird stuff! Each of the models in the warband is just all kinds of bizarre – from the freakish mutant fish monster Apo-trax, Flamespooler – a Tzaangor having a really bad day, Spawnmaw which is a nightmare fusion of a horror and teeth, little cutie Kindlefinger and the main man himself, Ephilim. Each of these are a real joy to paint and an excuse to go crazy with some wild colours! I decided to go for lots of bright pinks, blues and greens – and I’m excited to see some really out there paintjobs for them!

On the other side of the box we have the Stormcast Eternals with Domitan’s Stormcoven. Once again we see some really dynamic and fun miniatures, with chucks of magically projected masory flying through the air, Leona Stratosi doing her best Vision impression floating into battle. I’m really looking forward to painting up these to add to my Hammers of Sigmar, but Dave has been working on the warband in this box and gone for a silver scheme for them which works really well with the new models!

The Rules

So what has changed in the new rulebook? Well we actually see a couple of new additions that should mix up games of Warhammer Underworlds and give players different options in play style. You can still delve, however doing so now puts a stagger counter on your fighter, and if you already have a stagger counter you cannot delve. If you are staggered a player attacking you gets to re-roll one dice in the attack or casting roll, making you quite vulnerable to incoming attacks.

Making targets staggered is made easier with the addition of two new actions – Stun and Barge.

Stun has you choose an adjacent fighter and place a stagger token on them, and barge allows you to move and then stun a target – however if you do this you get a stagger token on yourself too. This is a nice bit of risk/reward in allowing you to weaken up an enemy target at the cost of exposing yourself to attack too. And of course there are cards in the deck that trigger off this status meaning that often you will want yourself to be affected by it!

Other than this, we have essentially the same rule set – it’s been tweaked and refined each time a new book comes out, and with Rivals format now a dominant way of playing the game I also think that Underworlds is the most accessible it’s been since it came out too, making it much easier for someone to pick up their favourite warband and just start playing!

People who maybe played at the dawn of Warhammer Underworlds will probably need to bring themselves up to speed on the rules however, as a few things have changed over the year such as the concept of delving, and the fact that if all friendly fighters have charge tokens on them you can now perform additional actions with them, again giving you more options for the more aggressive warbands out there!

Next let’s take a look at the two warbands included in the box along with their own decks

Ephilim’s Pandaemonium

The Pandaemonium is an interesting Warband with it’s own unique mechanic “Change”

Every model except Ephilim has the “Changer” keyword, and those models cannot be given attack action upgrades. However each at the start of each round before the first activation you play the change round and work through the following sequence:

  1. Inspire a Changer
  2. Stagger a Changer
  3. Give a Changer a guard token
  4. Push a changer 1 hex

This will trigger each round as long as the criteria can be met – if for whatever reason a stage cannot be met then the entire sequence ends. This is really cool and allows your warband to do some fun stuff “out of sequence” and get tokens down on them before anyone starts moving. While Stagger can be a downside, there are cards in the deck that want your fighters to have those tokens.

Inspire is also a weird one for this warband – the leader requires two inspired Changers for him to inspire, and the others require every friendly fighter to inspire. Due to this the entire warband’s inspire potential really depends on who you inspire during the Change sequence – for example, you should have Ephilim inspiring in the second round as long as the chosen Changers are still alive, with the final two members of the warband inspiring in the final round. This does give you a little control on when things inspire as you know (With the insight of Tzeentch perhaps) when your warband is going to inspire, and so can plan ahead somewhat.

Ephilim is a level 1 wizard who becomes level 2 if he is within 3 hexes of 2 friendly fighters, and he has a nice damage 2 range 4 magical attack that should keep him safe from close fighters. Once inspired he also gains a power card when a friendly fighter is taken out of action

Spinemaw is pretty nice with a 3 dice damage 2 melee attack that does extra damage to large targets and a range 3 magic attack, he’s also really fast at movement 5

Kindlefinger reduces the damage of incoming attack actions and also has a range 3 attack that does extra damage if fired at point blank range.

Flamespooler has a cool range 3 attack that places a token and deals additional damage the start of the following round for a “burn” style effect.

Apo-trax the Starefysh is the final member of the warband, who hits suprisingly hard at 3 damage if he doesnt have a move or charge token – helping you get things into range with him is his ability to push an enemy fighter 2 hexes during the final power step of each round.

As you can see above, most of their objectives revolve around interactions with casters or Changers, of which your warband has lots of! One interesting objective is Nine Fates in which you have to control objectives totaling exactly 9 (Objective 4 and 5 for example) for 2 glory, or 3 if this is made up of 3 objectives (5, 3 and 1 for example)

As for gambits we have lots of ways of dishing out stagger, enhancing ranged attacks and movement shenanigans that will annoy the opponant.

Finally the upgrades are on the whole all about enhancing the attacks and spells of the warband, granting additional range and damage and making your Changers quicker. Ephilim himself gets a nice range 4 attack that then damages or heals every model within a hex of that target.

Domitan’s Stormcoven

The Stormcoven are another warband with some fun mechanics. For the Stormcast, their inspire condition is when every other friendly fighter is out of action. However, each of them has a reaction that allows a single fighter to inspire after another friendly fighter’s activation – this is then immediately followed by another reaction that triggers on that inspire. Each other friendly fighter is then unispired meaning that each time you take an action you can have one of the other fighters flip, make their unique reaction, then take their turn next triggering the next stormcast to inspire and do their action. This is a nice fun mechanic that will lead to some clever play in ordering which of them goes in what order.

From a stats point of view all 3 of them have similar weapons, with the main difference between them coming with their inspire reactions.

Sarphon allows you to push a friendly fighter one hex when inspired, Leona (Who can fly due to her levitation powers) gives all friendly fighters +1 move and flying, and Domitan himself staggers each enemy unit within 2 hexes!

I can see some really fun combos bouncing these between their various states – and interestingly they all have the leader symbol when inspired too!

As you can imagine, a lot of their objectives revolve around spell casting, cycling inspire states and triggering the reaction abilities which are all things you’ll want to be doing during your turn anyway. There’s also cards for doing multiple moves, multiple actions etc, making this a pretty good deck for scoring points.

Gambits feature lots of spells to take advantage of your spellcasting abilities and even more ways of cycling inspire states (Which can cause some of your reactions to trigger multiple times and ensure the fighter you want to end the round inspired is so in order to set up your chain of reactions for the following round)

Finally the upgrade cards give you lots of control such as being able to draw power cards when an enemy plays one, make your range longer and cause it to stagger, or to change every result in a casting roll to channel (lightning bolts)

They look a fun warband to use, especially for those who like the fun of switching between inspire states and casting lots of spells!

Seismic Shock

The first of the two Rivals decks is Seismic Shock which is all about magical supremacy – as you can see from the cards below this is all about out casting your opponent and enhancing your own fighters with magic

Toxic Terrors

The Second rivals deck is all about Poison. Poison is dealt from the gambit cards (and can also be triggered by some upgrades) and place persistent effects on enemy models. For example, Ill Prepared puts a move token on an enemy and stops them from making attack actions until the end of the round, or freezing venom stops the fighter from making superactions. There’s lots of cool stuff like this in the deck, with objectives being based on the application of these poisons.


So what do I think about Wyrdhollow? This is a really fun set that adds 2 interesting warbands with some absolutely gorgeous models. If you havn’t played underworlds for some time then this is a great time to jump back into the system, as while some rules have changed from earlier incarnations of the game, a lot of things are a lot tighter now with players having more options on what to do. The included rivals decks are also great fun adding some different ways to use existing warbands, or even a chance to bust out an old one that was collecting dust!

I do think the pace of the release cycle is a little rushed now with two big boxes a year, I do feel the focus on rivals makes this much more accessible for players who were maybe a little intimidated by the deck building aspect, while still allowing that as an option for experienced players.

I look forward to seeing what warbands are coming out following this box, and if we perhaps see some glimpses towards the future of Age of Sigmar through the warbands.

Warhammer Underworlds Wyrdhollow is up for pre order today and is released Saturday 6th May

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

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