Updated: Oct 3, 2019
There seems to be a lot of new questions popping up from new players with the release of Beastgrave, so I thought I would try and clear up as many questions as possible with this post.
Q: What is Warhammer Underworlds Beastgrave?
A: Warhammer Underworlds is a competitive miniatures/card game that uses a combination of cards, models, dice, and boards.
The standard format of the game involves picking one warband (there are currently 20 to choose from, with at least 6 more coming out this year), building a deck of cards to support them, and pitting your Warband against other player's Warbands and decks in a one versus one match that typically consists of one to three games.
The game is simple to learn, but contains a lot of depth when it comes to tactics, playing different warbands, and honing you deck building skills.
The game was designed with tournaments in mind, which vary in size from 6+ players at local store "Clash" events to over 100 players at the largest "Grand Clash" events. These events can last anywhere from an afternoon to two days, and can consist of as many as 9 rounds at the largest events.
Games Workshop is doing a great job supporting the game and it's events with lots of prize support consisting of promo items like acrylic versions of tokens, alternate art cards, event exclusive dice, and the ever popular Shadeglass trophies. They also recently announced they would be having their first Grand Master's event next year at the 2020 NOVA Open in VA, which is an exciting step in the game's competitive development.
Beastgrave is the third season of Warhammer Underworlds, following Shadespire (season 1), and Nightvault (season 2). Each season typically contains new mechanics, hundreds of new cards, and eight new playable warbands.
Q: How does collecting the cards work?
A: There are two kinds of cards, Faction cards, and Universal Cards.
Faction cards come with the Warband they belong to, and can only be used by that Warband. They typically build into the strengths of that warband, and frequently allow them to do things other Warband's cannot.
The Universal cards are split throughout every starter and expansion set of the game, and can be used by any warband. The cards in each expansion are not random. Each expansion will always come with the same set of cards, so it easy to know where the cards you want can be found. You can filter what cards come in each set at and of these deck building sites.
In order to build competitive decks, it is assumed that players will collect most or all of the universal cards in a season. Doing so gives you all of the options you need to build a flexible deck, as well as giving you eight warbands to play with.
Unlike some other games, the structure of Underworlds assumes players will want to try to play most or all of the different warbands each season, rather than just stick to playing one for the whole season. Doing so is also encouraged from a player skill standpoint, since playing as the different factions is a great way to become adept at different strategies, and understand each matchup. Understanding and embracing this concept will help you get the most out of your collection, and should make purchasing new warbands and cards more exciting.
Q: That sounds great! What do I need to start playing?
It has everything you need to get started playing including the rules, game boards, two warbands, and all of the dice and tokens you will need to play.
It's important to note that although the starter set comes with two warbands and you can of play it with another person, it isn't really designed to split between more than one person, since each player will need their own set of boards, and will typically want to play both warbands at some point.
Q: What do I need after that?
A: Well, that will depend on how you want to play the game.
So far, Warhammer Underworlds is structured like this:
Each year is considered a "season" of the game.
Each season consists of one starter set that contains: two Warbands and their faction cards, 2 boards, 19 universal cards, and all the dice and tokens you need to play - About $70
6 expansion packs that each contain one Warband, their cards, and about 30 universal cards - About $30 each
One board expansion that includes one double sided board - About $30
One card expansion containing 30 cards that are a mix of faction and universal cards - about $20
This ends up being about $300.00 per season, or $25.00 a month once you are caught up.
If you just want to play casually with family and friends that do not own the game, you should feel free to collect the models you like and think they will enjoy playing with. Because you can control what cards are played by building your own decks, you can make sure that the decks are about the same power level, and ensure that your games are fun that way.
If just you and a few friends plan to play only among yourselves, then it is usually best to communicate how you want to play, and build your collections accordingly. More cards is usually an advantage, so you will want to try and collect cards and warbands at a similar rate, or communicate with each other about what cards or sets you want to include in order to have fun and balanced games. Because it is just you and your small number of friends, you can really do whatever you want to.
Q: What if I want to play competitively?
A: In order to play at the highest level, you should plan to buy all of the cards that are currently in rotation.
As described here, the normal format of the game will only include cards from the two newest seasons of the game. At the time of this article, that means that the cards from Beastgrave and Nightvault will be legal for competitive play while the cards from Shadespire will not.
Games workshop has assured us that the Warbands from the older seasons will continue to be legal, so if you feel like collecting, painting, or playing one of those warbands, feel free to do so, but none are needed to play competitively.
Q: So along with Beastgrave, should I just buy everything from Nightvault now?
A: If you can, yes.
It costs about $430 full retail price for the Beastgrave starter box and all of season 2 (The Nightvault starter set, 8 Warband expansions, The Forbidden Chambers board pack, and the Power Unbound card pack), but the models are great, the warbands are all fun to play, and the universal cards will all be legal for the next year.
Note that the reboxed versions of Garrek's Reavers and Steelhearts Champions are considered to be a part of season 2 and have universal Nightvault cards. You will want to buy those as well, unless you can find the currently out of print Echos of Glory card pack, which contains the same universal cards as those boxes.
It is also worth noting that the Dreadfane box (only currently sold in the US and Germany) is an optional, stand alone but cross compatible board game that you don't need to buy unless you want those warbands, since it does not contain any universal faction cards. Also, Games Workshop has said that it plans to release the two Warbands it contains separately in the future to all markets, so there isn't a big rush to pick it up now if you don't want to (although i do think it is a fun game mode and a great way to run introductory games to new players).
Q: What if I want to start a little slower?
A: Perfectly understandable, and very doable!
If your focus is on playing competitively, I would recommend starting by purchasing the following:
The Beastgrave starter set
The Power Unbound card pack
The Thundrik's Profiteers Warband expansion for Nightvault (a great warband, and lots of great cards)
The Zarbag's Gitz Warband expansion for Nightvault (a great warband, and lots of great cards)
This costs about $160.00 and will give you a great core to learn the game with, and figure out what styles of play you like. Then you can plan to get:
Any new Beastgrave warbands as they come out. These will have lots of new cards for the current Beastgrave season.
Any other Nightvault warbands you are interested in playing first. These will have more cards, and be generally fun to play.
As you get better at the game, you can study the cards on any of these deck builders and plan out your purchases based on the cards you need and the warbands you want to play.
Q: How do I get better at the game?
A: The short answer is: play lots of games!
The long answer is, play lots of games, and learn as much as you can from other players, which is there this website comes in (the goal is to info-blast you to the top tables)!
Warhammer underworlds has lots of wonderful content creators working passionately to produce articles, videos, podcasts, and live streams all about every aspect of the game, and diving in to this content can be a great way to gain knowledge, tips, tactics, and combos much faster than it would take for you to learn them all on your own. You can see a
Here at Well of Power, we have also cataloged hundreds of these articles, podcasts, and videos in our Web Content Library where you can easily filter content by the warband you are wanting to learn more about, and find the information you need to build decks and get better as a player.
We also have a collection of user-submitted deck guides for the different warbands that can help you discover new ways to play, or be a solid starting place for creating your own decks.
Another great way to learn more about the game is to interact with other players in one of the
Warhammer Underworlds communities on Facebook, Reddit, and Discord, where other players are always happy to talk about tactics, build decks, show off their models, and share what parts of the game they are passionate about.
Q: That sounds good, but where do I play games?
A: The easiest place to find out would be a Games Workshop store, but there are also many 3rd part stores and gaming groups around. I recommend searching on Facebook for Underworlds groups local you your area, or asking in some of the online communities listed here.
Many stores will have a weekly night of the week for Underworlds players to meet, and regular tournaments to compete for prizes.
You can also travel to the larger "Grand Clash" events held throughout the world (mostly in the UK and USA currently, but also in Australia and perhaps elsewhere in the future), which are typically also announced in the various communities.
Q: Sounds good!
A: Yay! Thanks for reading :-)
Do you have any new player tips of your own, or think I missed anything? Let me know in the comments.
Also, If you have any other questions I might have missed, feel ask in the comments and I'll do what I can to answer them.