rippas drool

Rivals in Gnarlwood – New rules, no deckbuilding just dice, all fun

Warhammer Underworlds Gnarlwood has a heap of new rules changes. What does this mean for our old favorite warbands? There was a rivals tournament at Combat Company so it’s a great time to find out.

But first… a quick update on the blog

It’s been a while and a few months since my last post. The reason for that is because many of us (Craig included) in the gaming group are deep into another tabletop game called Marvel Crisis Protocol. It’s a longer form game than Underworlds and plays on a larger table. To summarize this game for the GW audience: Imagine a Warcry action economy, with marvel superheroes, except the terrain isn’t really for cover but rather objects to throw at enemies.

Back to underworlds!

Local gaming store The Combat Company ran a rivals tournament this month with a pretty strong showing here in Sydney. We got old timers and new faces coming out to compete.

Rivals is back!

I brought Rippa’s Snarlfangs myself (easy warband to play and powerful Rivals deck) but here is the full list of warbands that showed up to the party

  • Rippa’s Snarlfang’s (x2)
  • Gorechosen of Dromm (x2)
  • Hexbane’s Hunters
  • Sons of Velmorn (x2)
  • Blackpowder’s Buccaneers
  • Starblood Stalkers (x2)
  • Grashrak’s Despoilers
  • Exiled Dead

vs Exiled Dead

First game was a total blowout and this luckily for me a favored matchup for [Rippa]rippas-snarlfangs-1 card image - hover. [Rippa]rippas-snarlfangs-1 card image - hover himself has the ability to take out two fighters in one activation using his main attack followed by his dog bite reaction. A few early lucky rolls and you’ve got enough glory to get your upgrades flowing. Even if they can bring back all the fighters you have no issues killing them again.

Rippa's vs Exiled Dead Warhammer underworlds
Nom nom nom zombie meat

During our second game the exiled dead managed to take out both Rippa and [Meaneye]rippas-snarlfangs-3 card image - hoverearly on, leaving [Stabbit]rippas-snarlfangs-2-inspired card image - hover all by himself. Luckily one major rule change made a comeback possible

A fighter with one or more Charge tokens cannot be activated unless each surviving friendly fighter has one or more Charge tokens. When a fighter with one or more Charge tokens is activated, that fighter cannot make a move action or a superaction

This makes Rippa and friends far more lethal (and other low model count warbands). While you can’t charge again (since it prohibits moving), you can still continue to attack or go on guard.

Another very important rules change and recent FAQ is the reaction chains. Exiled dead actions no longer block reactions and reactions themselves no longer block opponent reactions. This was key since [whu card type image iconFurious Reprisal]Furious Reprisal card image - hover is an important card in the Snarlfang kit.

A few scything attacks later and I’ve caught up to the Exiled dead’s glory count. However the delve rules themselves have changed, and this is important if you wish to ever score [whu card type image iconConquered Land]Conquered Land card image - hover.

In place of playing a power card, a player can instead delve by flipping one feature token, if a friendly fighter that is not staggered is on that feature token. When they do so, they stagger that fighter. Each player can only delve each feature token once in each power step.

This is a critical rules change when facing exiled dead. In the previous ruleset you could simply flip down any objectives that happen to be face up and then score [whu card type image iconConquered Land]Conquered Land card image - hover, but this is no longer possible if you’re staggered. Warbands like Exiled Dead can actually give you stagger on some of their attacks, which can prevent you from setting up a [whu card type image iconConquered Land]Conquered Land card image - hover score.

vs Gorechosen of Dromm

Now this is a brutal matchup. On paper I thought that Rippa’s would be at a disadvantage because the multiple attacks would feed them blood tithe tokens, which would power them up too much. However as the game progressed I realised their defensive rolls aren’t very good (staying on 1 Shield) and it’s quite possible for your Doggos to eat through their wounds quickly.

Another thing that gives Rippa’s an edge is the fact that 2 of 3 of the Gorechosen are large fighters (5+ wounds) while all your fighters start at 4 wounds. This makes their bounty much juicier and rewards you more for killing their fighters.

Setting up a [whu card type image iconConquered Land]Conquered Land card image - hover play by delving one of the objectives.

What a slugfest, and after trading blows there was only [Stabbit]rippas-snarlfangs-2-inspired card image - hover and an injured [Gorehulk]gorechosen-of-drom-2-inspired card image - hover facing off. I was down by 2 glory but a [whu card type image iconVindictive Attack]Vindictive Attack card image - hover, a lucky roll and [whu card type image iconLay Waste]Lay Waste card image - hover scored closes the game in my favor.

Rippa Mirror Match

I joke that this matchup is the one where you just switch your brain off and roll dice, but is it really a joke though? Kent was piloting the opposing doggos

So many attack actions

I made several errors, one of them is deploying into the corner on Ultimatum Engine, which got my own fighter trapped. Big oopsies moment. Here’s an illustration so you know what not to do next time.

For those wondering why would you play this board, well

  • 1. I like injecting some crazy into my games
  • 2. Kent has more experience playing Rippa’s than I do, so I wanted to try to throw him off with an unusual board choice.

Well it didn’t work and I lost the Rippa mirror match. It turns out empty bravado and hoping for crits doesn’t beat experience piloting a warband. Either way Kent took 1st place and asserted his position as the better Rippa’s player.

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