All the information we know about Warhammer Underworlds: Beastgrave. This page will also be the home of my Warhammer Underworlds: Beastgrave review when my preview copy turns up 🙂
You can also check out my getting started with Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire page, the recently updated official Games Workshop Beastgrave website and the amazing Can you Roll a Crit? website. You can check out John’s reviews of:
Warhammer Underworlds: Beastgrave
As with previous editions of Warhammer Underworlds, Beastgrave starts with the Core Set. Rules, boards, tokens, dice, card decks and the two starter set warbands.
The game is set in the savage depths of Ghur, as the warbands move out from the Necroquake-damaged Mirrored City of Shadespire, to the latest area blighted by the Katophrane curse.
The game comes with a quick start guide as well as the most comprehensive rule book ever produced for Warhammer Underworlds. It has lots of charts and diagrams to explain rules interactions, as well as the lore and art of Beastgrave.
Warhammer Underworlds is a card and miniatures game. The card sets have been revised for this season, with the starter set including two pre-made decks, plus some extras. There are reprints of Universal cards like Confusion, as well as new cards like Snare which demonstrate new game mechanics in this season.
Every Warhammer Underworlds warband for the Beastgrave season will come with a minimum-sized deck’s worth of cards – 10 Upgrades, 10 Gambits and 12 Objectives, so you can play straight out of the box.
The Core Set also comes with all the dice and token sets you’ll need. Objective hexes are now double-sided and certain card mechanics will see the objective hexes flip to being lethal hexes mid-game. Players also now have the ability to place a free lethal hex anywhere they like during set-up.
Finally, the oh-so-important double-sided gaming boards. Warhammer Underworlds gives you many different potential battlefield set-ups to test your skills. All four layouts are new.
How to Play Beastgrave Video
Games Workshop have produced another great introductory video from Becca Scott.
Beastgrave: What are the changes?
So, if you are familiar with Warhammer Underworlds, what are the main changes to the rules?
- Guard: Fighters on guard can no longer be driven back – useful for objective holding warbands (Eyes of the Nine, The Chosen Axes)
- Lethal Hexes: At the start of each game, both players each have the option to place a free lethal hex anywhere on the board (except for on other lethal hexes, starting hexes and hexes containing objectives). Use them to screen your objectives, or to encourage your opponent to move forward towards you.
- Feature hexes: objective tokens can now be flipped and turned into lethal hexes. The cards in future Beastgrave expansions can flip multiple features at once.
- Hunter and Quarry: keywords can be attached to fighters using certain cards. Particular key for those warbands who generally try to upgrade and empower a single key fighter. Some of the most powerful upgrades in Beastgrave require you to have a specific keyword to use.
- Superactions: multiple actions taken at the same time (for example, Charge which is a Move and Attack). Key for warbands with attack actions that target multiple fighters (such as Ironskull’s Boyz and Mollog’s Mob). Surge objectives or Inspire conditions are now only met once the superaction is over.
Beastgrave: Competitive play
For those experienced Warhammer Underworlds players, Beastgrave marks the first time that Games Workshop is introducing the retirement of cards. The aim is to make sure that the game remains fun, fresh and accessible to new players. No need to buy every season of the game that has ever been made.
Games Workshop are introducing three formats for competitive play:
- Championship – main format for Grand Clashes and similar events
- Alliance – a three-player format for team events
- Relic – lets you use cards from previous seasons
Every time that Games Workshop releases a new season, only the universal cards from the two most recent seasons will be legal for competitive play.
The following cards will always remain playable:
- warbands and warband cards
- cards printed with a particular warband symbol
- cards which have been reprinted in the most recent sets – for example, Hold Objective cards from Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire remain valid because the same cards exist in Beastgrave (its just the art that is different).
Warbands and warband cards will remain unaffected and will always be playable. The same goes for cards printed with a particular warband symbol.
Grashrak’s Despoilers are fast, deadly and gunning. They have ambushing abilities, dark magic and ranged attacks. The first Bestigor, Ungors and Great Bray-Shaman models for the Mortal Realms. For more on Grashrak’s Despoilers, check out the warband page.
Skaeth’s Wild Hunt
Skaeth’s Wild Hunt are the first sight of the Kurnothi – aelf-like creatures and true guardians of the woods. Fast and highly specialised – able to take down opponents at range. For more on Skaeth’s Wild Hunt, check out the warband page.
Games Workshop have already revealed a new upcoming warband – Rippa’s Snarlfangs! Channeling the spirit of the steppe-riding Goblin wolf-riders of the World that Was, Rippa’s Snarlfangs will be raiding across Ghur.
There are a large number of accessories with Beastgrave 🙂
Dice and card-sleaves 🙂
A counter set to cover off all the new game mechanics with the new Warhammer Underworlds: Beastgrave warbands.
A roll-out mat (hopefully not folded into a square box like the previous version of the neoprene mat). It is the same layout as previous versions, but updated with a Beastgrave background.
The standard Warhammer Underworlds carry case updated for the Beastgrave season.
And last, but certainly not least, the Beastgrave terrain set for showing blocked and lethal hexes on the new Beastgrave boards. The Primal Lair set represent Ghur, but I reckon they would also be perfect as scatter terrain on a Chamon board too given those columns.
Beastgrave: the Novel
Beastgrave also has a tie-in novel by CL Werner exploring the setting (both hardback and ebook). The hardback comes with three cards from Warhammer Underworlds: Nightvault with Black Library-exclusive art.
Ghur is a realm of vast wilds and savage beasts. Few are more vicious than the herdchief, Ghroth the Rootcutter. Brutal and ruthless, he leads his warherd from one massacre to the next, slaughtering all who defy him. Yet this is not enough to sate Ghroth’s bloodthirsty ambition – to become the mightiest of beastlords. When a fearsome vision promises Ghroth the power he craves, he leads a small band of warriors far across the wastes to seize the relic that will make all beastkin submit to his dominion.
But Ghroth’s ambition is not unopposed. Rivals within his own warherd seek to cheat him of the prize he covets, and in the enchanted forest of Thornwyld, an enemy of a different kind stirs. The branchwraith Kyra has also had a vision, an apocalyptic foretelling of the destruction Ghroth will unleash upon her home. Gathering a retinue of dryads, Kyra hastens to thwart Ghroth’s hunt – either by killing him or destroying the dark relic he seeks.
The trail will lead both beastkin and sylvaneth across perilous wastelands. But no danger is greater than that which waits in the mountain tomb of the godbeast. It is a place of terror and legend, a place spoken of in frightened whispers. It is a placed called Beastgrave.Back cover description
Two of these objective cards reward you for upgrading your fighters with Katophrane Tomes from the various Nightvault warband packs. Acolyte of the Katophranes gives you glory for each such tome your warband controls at the end of the game, while spreading them across your warband can give you a massive late-game glory boost with Preserve Their Knowledge.
Not everyone in the Warhammer Underworlds is a bookworm though,* and Disdain for Knowledge lets you score additional glory for killing opposing fighters who have Katophrane Tomes.