Tabletop - Post FAR1.0
Here is my deck guide for The Grymwatch.
The Grymwatch are a very powerful warband due to their fast speed, great inspire condition, really good inspired stats, amazing faction cards, and the unique ability to bring two ghouls back per game for for free. Their main weakness is the fragility of their fighters and potential to bleed glory, but this can be overcome with correct positioning, target priority, and counter-play.
Due to their faction cards, I think the most straightforward way to play the Grymwatch is an objective/aggro flex style, so that is the direction of this deck.
If you have played Thorns, Guard, Gitz, or Skaven in the past, this warband should feel very natural. If this is your first time playing this style of warband, this warband is a great place to start since they are one of the best at it.
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The style of the deck is objective/aggro. The goal is to control the board state and hold objectives in order to inspire and gain glory, then tool up your fighters with upgrades and your opponent’s fighters.
Martyred - A great card that helps make up for losing fighters and frequently wanting to go second in most rounds.
Calculated Risk - This objective is very easy to score, and can importantly be scored while doing other things like charging or moving onto objectives.
Defending the Hearth - A great card as the enemy will very likely be moving into your territory and you will need to kill them.
Keep Them Guessing - A great card that is usually worth working towards. Remember that the Duke’s Muster ability completes the Ghoul Call action at the start of the action phase, which counts toward scoring this objective.
In the Name of the King, Swift Capture, Shifting Madness - Amazingly good Surge cards that reward you for holding objectives and can frequently be scored together or one after another.
Incomprehensible Scheme, Supremacy, Path to Victory - You will want to be on objectives anyway for the Surge objectives, so these cards are easy to plan for and give great rewards if you can pull them off.
Fired Up - A very easy to score objective for this and many warbands.
Opening Gambit - A fairly easy to score end phase card.
The gambits in this deck help you position onto objectives and ensure you inspire in the first round.
Pit Trap, Snare - Great ways to boost the damage of your attack and secure kills. Snare only works for Hunters, but you have five of them.
Appaling Visage - A great push card, very useful in the first round to get enemy fighters out of your territory.
Transfixing Stare - A great card against melee fighters, and useful for keeping fighters out of your territory.
Pack Advance, Irresistible Prize, Restless Prize - Use these cards to get your fighters onto objectives.
Haymaker - Great for making sure an attack goes through, especially in the first round before you have inspired.
Shifting Reflection - A sneaky card with a number of uses including helping to score Swift Capture and Shifting Madness, pulling an enemy fighter closer for the kill, and closing distance across the board. You can also combo this card with Restless Prize to really surprise an opponent.
Strident Summons - Use this to have a Ghoul show up when the other player isn’t expecting it.
The upgrades in this deck help ensure your ability to hold objectives, keep your fighters alive, and do damage.
Crown of Avarice - Helps make a fighter less attractive to kill. If used on the Ghoul, could possibly it more than once. Great for putting on a fighter that is holding an important objective.
Faneway Crystal - Helps to close distance and reach important objectives.
Heroic Vision - A great card to make the Duke or other fighter very accurate.
Potion of Rage - Use this to ensure an important attack lands.
Sudden Growth, Impervious Delusion - Use these to make your fighters much harder to kill. When used together, these cards make the Duke very annoying.
Aura of Command - A great upgrade for helping your fighters get where they need to be using fewer actions and push cards. Great for helping to score In the Name of the King or Swift Capture.
Seized Weapon - An amazing card for doing the last point of damage on an opponent’s fighter. The Weapon profile is okay, but really just a bonus.
Well Motivated - A copy of Great Strength, good on almost any fighter as needed.
Larval Lance - A great card for any of the Ghouls, especially deadly in round 3.
This deck is an interesting one in that it has different priorities as the game progresses.
In the first round, the main priority is to inspire your fighters by keeping the enemy fighters out of your territory, and not losing any of your important fighters. In the second and third rounds, the focus shifts from this to killing enemy fighters and securing the objectives on the board.
Boards and Objectives:
If you win the board roll off it is frequently a good idea to choose board placement in order to offset the boards enough to make it difficult for the other player to move enough fighters into your territory. This is especially important again fast, large, aggressive warbands like Despoilers and Godsworn Hunt. Only choose to take three objectives if you are confident that you can keep the other player’s fighters out of your territory, or do not think they will try to stop you from inspiring.
When placing the objectives, be aware of where your Ghouls will be and try to place them within 2 hexes of them, since Pack advance is an amazing push card, but only works on the Ghouls. Also keep in mind that Swift Capture requires an objective in enemy territory, so consider placing on close to the line, especially if you are placing 3 of them.
When you set up your fighters, put the ghouls in the front, and your other fighters in the back. Because you can bring them back, you don’t mind losing the ghouls early, and as long as they don’t die over and over, losing on or two can actually be a good thing since bringing them back gives you a lot of board presence and control in the later rounds. If the opponent had their way, though would never attack the Ghouls, but by putting them in the front, you force them to.
The Duke is your most important fighter, so make sure he is somewhere safe, especially in the first round. Valreek and Greatsword are also important, since their inspired profiles are quite good in the second and third rounds, though you may need to use them to hold off the other player in the first round, so put them in the middle/back of the board.
The Duke’s Harriers are very useful for a few reasons. The first reason is that they are immune to lethal hexes. It is very likely that your opponent will place their lethal hex behind one or more of your starting hexes, and by placing the Harriers next to it, you can avoid having place a more vulnerable fighter there. The second reason the harriers are useful is that they are the fastest and most accurate of your pre-inspired fighters hitting on three fury. This makes them very useful for charging enemy fighters that you want to push back into a lethal hex, off an objective, and/or out of your territory. For your opponent, the Harriers aren’t much of a threat, but they can be very annoying, so using them aggressively can focus some of the other player’s resources on them instead of your other fighters, who may be doing more useful things like holding objectives. If they are left alone, they can be made annoying with upgrades like Well Motivated, or just knock enemy fighters around. For these reasons, the Harriers are best placed towards the front with the Ghouls.
Play Style Tips:
If you don’t have any great moves available to you early game, just move a Ghoul onto an objective, perhaps even one in your opponent’s territory. Your opponent doesn’t know what objective cards you have, and the threat of scoring cards like Swift Capture, In the Name of the King, and so on is too big for them to ignore. By forcing them to focus on the ghouls, they are not doing the things that actually hurt your game plan such as killing your important fighters or stopping you from inspiring, and might even be helping you score Martyred. If the do leave the fighter on the objective, it just makes it easier to score your hold objective cards later on.
If the other player isn’t moving their fighters into your territory, don’t worry too much about attacking them. Focus on scoring surges objective cards and perhaps disrupting enemy positioning with the harriers.
If the other player is trying to stop the inspire, do everything you can to stop them while still trying to score your other cards. Appalling Visage is a great card for this, but so is simply killing the enemy fighters with cards like Haymaker, Potion of Rage, Pit Trap, Seized Weapon, and Snare to help your attacks count.
At the end of the first two rounds, try to have as many fighters on objectives as possible, even if you can’t score anything related to objectives in that round. Because the Surge hold objective cards like In the Name of the King, Swift Capture, and Shifting Madness are scored automatically at the end of an activation, it is very possible to draw into them at the end of the round, and score them right away in the next round if you have the right positioning.
Be aware where objectives 1, 2, and 3 are in order to plan on scoring Shifting Madness, ideally automatically in rounds 2 and 3 by starting the round on that objective.
Try to avoid losing the Duke in the first round. After that, it may be worth being aggressive with him if he can get an important kill, but be aware that you cannot bring Ghouls back without him. He is very powerful (better stats than Skritch!) so it is a good idea to use him, just make sure you have the ploys and upgrades to make his attacks count and keep him around long enough to make a number of his very powerful attacks.
When you bring Ghouls back, try to either put them out of danger in your backfield, or on the far side of the board to threaten objectives and force the other player to split their resources between territories.
Thanks for reading! If you try out this deck, let me know! I'm interested to know what works and what doesn't. If you make any changes that work well, I'd be interested to know that as well.
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