The Godsworn Hunt
Games Workshop continue to outdo themselves with new mechanics and gameplay nuance contained within each successive release. The most recent addition to the chaos legions in the Underworlds looks to be thus far the most flexible. The Godsworn Hunt boast ranged attacks, high movement, spells and an inspire condition that allows you to choose your champions for each game. These Slaves to Darkness seek to prove their worth to their fickle gods.
Theddra Skull-Scryer on first glance is a nimble but fragile punk rocker with an average attack profile which improves when inspired. Having access to 3 damage is brilliant, having 3 wounds isn’t. She is also the first
wizard Shaman to increase in level upon inspiring, making an early upgrade even more crucial. Her worth in the warband is difficult to ascertain without first seeing the faction specific Gambit Spells she has access to. However with the repertoire of universal cards sure to be increasing the already existing pool of viable universal Gambit Spells, I think it’s safe to say you’ll want to look after this savage shaman. It seems like Theddra will require a degree of precision and care to make full use of her magic and damage whilst keeping her alive.
Grundann is the Godsworn Hunts attempt at doing a Saek. Naturally the Hunt aren’t meant to be as aggressive as the Bloodreavers, but Grundann once inspired can do everything the Khornate hard-hitter can except for cleave. Grundann is also a lot easier to inspire, and therefore you’ll have access to that juicy 5 move a lot earlier on. This axe wielding wildling is a strong candidate for your first upgrade. Boost him with Haymaker to guarantee a deadly charge!
Jagathra brings the first one use only ability to the game. Having lost most of her javelins gambling on Seraphon being included in Nightvault, she treasures her final pokey projectile. The free +1 damage on charge is very nice against either horde warbands to pick up early glory, or against higher wound warbands in combination with cards like Trap, Pit Trap, Haymaker and Fighters Ferocity. I don’t think it would be unreasonable to expect a faction specific score immediately for taking an enemy out of action with a javelin charge. Or an upgrade that gives her a new spikier javelin, with fire, and lasers…
Shond took Saeks cleave whilst Grundann had the damage, speed and accuracy. Until he is inspired Shond isn’t a particularly reliable hitter, however he is one of the 3 models in the warband (not counting Jagathra’s javelin) capable of hitting for more than 1 damage off the bat. Shond will most likely form part of the second wave of offense, waiting to gain an extra attack dice and cleave before risking his life. It’s worth noting that on inspiring he clearly finds a breastplate along with whatever upgrade you chose to give him, as he gains block defense, rather than an extra move.
Ollo rounds out the ranged contingent of the Godsworn Hunt. With a decent threat range and cleave once inspired, he can become one of the more reliable archers in underworlds. Anyone who has played into the most recent iterations of the Farstriders will have encountered the super fun ranged damage combos with cards like Encroaching Shadow, Fighters Ferocity and Trap pinging you down from 3 hexes away. Ollo gives the servants of chaos access to some of that potential. He also jumps up to two dodge dice when inspired. Duck and weave Ollo, duck and weave.
Grawl is, well, I’m sure he’s a trier. I feel if you are banging upgrades onto Grawl (unless there are some super cool faction specific ninja dog upgrades which allow you to replace him with Riptooth) then your game has gone very wrong indeed. His uninspired profile is decidedly uninspiring, so unless cards turn things around you probably won’t be using your activations on this guy, especially with 5 other models to play with.
The Revealed Cards
Oath: a solemn promise, often invoking a divine witness, regarding one’s future action or behaviour
The Oaths are an incredibly cool mechanic allowing Godsworn players to capitalise on strong hands and even mind-game their opponents. Certain Oaths – such as Oath of Supremacy – become apparent as soon as you start moving onto objectives even without having revealed the card to your enemy. In these cases showing your opponent the card is less of a detriment to your plans than say showing Oath of Murder. However seeing Oath of Murder is far more likely to influence what your opponent does. Warbands like Thorns of the Briar Queen, who may want to fling the leader in for harassment, may reconsider their plans. Magore may suddenly find himself unwilling to walk down any of these Hidden Paths he keeps finding everywhere. Oath of Denial is perhaps one you want to keep to yourself unless you have either wiped out the enemy, or you’re sure that they have absolutely no movement shenanigans left up their sleeve! Learning to play with and against Oaths will hopefully turn out to be a fun and important mechanic for everyone trapped in Shadespire with the Godsworn Hunt.
Death or Glory!
The faction specific power cards we’ve seen look incredibly thematic. More than any other warband this one seems to radiate the goal of certain members levelling up through a game to become the (anti)heroes of the chaos gods. Seized Trophy changes your inspire condition from “apply an upgrade” to “body some fools”. My gut feeling is you probably want to be inspired before you start the bodying process, however this card may find a place in some more hyper-aggressive builds. Brutal Sacrifice might as well be called “Sorry Marley”, as either Theddra or Grundann will end up curb-stomping the dog to inspire and acquire a tasty upgrade. You can also score Martyred, but you risk scoring Strong Start for the opponent. Spoils of Battle is probably safer, but no where near as fun! Path to Glory seems like an auto-include if it is indeed +1 health, as its Great Fortitude and Light Armour combined without losing crit defences! More cards like this please for my magical marauders!
Slaves to Darkness!
I’m super hyped for the Godsworn Hunt. They have the speed of the Bloodreavers, with magic and ranged attacks to boot! The Oath system looks like a clever and important tool to take advantage of. The model/characters each feel unique, as a motley crew a brutal barbarians should. To top it off, if one of your fighters just isn’t rolling dice well, gut them, and give someone else a go!
I hope you guys join me on the…
Path to Glory!