The latest season of Warhammer Underworlds (Nightvault) has been out for a while now. Adding new cards and combos to the already-monstrous amount available. It would only be a matter of time before the cream started to rise to the top and catch the eye of the holders of the mighty ban hammer.
This monday Games Workshop took their most recent swing with said ban hammer. This occurred via an update to the banned and restricted list for the game. Let’s take a quick peek at what has changed on the list and how it might impact deck building.
BANNED – Extreme Flank
I’m going to say that from the get-go that I don’t really like the concept of banning cards, speaking honestly. Unless they turn out to be supremely overpowered or completely destroy the game by making it a negative play experience. I do not think at Extreme Flank fit either of these categories in what I’ve seen. However, I am fairly certain that ever since it’s release in Underworlds I have not faced an opponent who did not have it in their deck. It has been absolutely everywhere!
I admit that I also have had it in every deck since it’s release. Being able to score it easily with every warband had simply made it an auto-include which is the only reason I can think it has been banned. The purpose of the banned and restricted list in Underworlds seems to be to keep the meta fresh. The minute a card becomes an auto-include it becomes a target for that ban hammer. Will this massively alter deck building? Probably not. Whether you’re an aggressive player, objective grabber, or tricksy spells and gambits player having this probably won’t alter the way you go about your business. There are a plethora of cards out there at your disposal that can score you two glory. You are just probably going to have to pick something that is more suited to your play style.
Although, I do feel that an outright ban may have been a bit harsh on this occasion.
Restricted – Superior Tactician
I think we all saw this coming, didn’t we? Superior Tactician becomes the first of the 3 glory cards in Underworlds to be put on a restricted list. This has been another firm favourite of mine in my deck building as well as in competitive decks the world over.
If you are confident in your deck and your ability to score your objective cards, then again this was an auto-include. I’d typically see it as a much-welcomed glory boost at the end of the game. I’d imagine Games Workshop are hoping that putting this in the restricted list might mean that people now need to pick a new end-game card. This in turn might encourage more aggressive or tactical game play. There are currently a lot of cards that do not see the light of day because this card is so much better than the rest of the third end phase cards.
Will being on the restricted list put people off? I don’t think it will. A nice try from Games Workshop but I do not think this card is going anywhere anytime soon, and we may see a slight change in 1 point glory cards as people try to keep it in their decks.
Restricted List – Sudden Growth / Deathly Fortitude
Both of these cards do exactly the same thing though are not the only occurrence in the Underworlds either. They feel like fairly balanced cards, with a fair risk and reward that would certainly fit less-aggressive warbands. Tank up your character but slow them down, perfect for fighters not keen on going anywhere in a hurry.
Unlike the previous two cards, these are not necessarily meta-changing auto-includes. However, these two cards do fall victim to the arrival of one particular character in the game.
The infamous “one Troll wrecking ball”, Mollog. An extra 4 wounds on the one character you want to keep on the board is great. Stick an extra 4 on Mollog and suddenly you could be dealing with having to put through 11 damage. This would mean getting up-close and personal to something that, when inspired, can batter anyone. Making both of these restricted is a smart move in this occasion. All of a sudden you need to pick between some sweet, immediate-score aggressive objectives in exchange for keeping the big guy alive.
Personally, scoring glory is the key for me. With these card on the list it has already encouraged me to look at new upgrades and to maybe actually use some of the other members of the warband. Bat Squig can be a menace with the right upgrades. Now with two slots potentially being freed-up we could see this current one-man-band become a devastating double-act.
A polite round of applause
All in all, I think what Games Workshop are trying to do with these tweaks is great. Any way to keep a meta and game fresh and encourage change is fantastic.
Not only that but the FAQ was released alongside this. Several points in the FAQ were discussed quite heavily in the forums and on social media. Including a handful of items on there perhaps need a little bit more clarification.
Games Workshop managed to jump on it instantly. Highlighting changes and clarifying what they meant the very next day. I have to say that this deserves a round of applause. I certainly hope they keep up the good work when it comes to the FAQs they release for Underworlds. Responsiveness is key in this age of social media. Getting it right the first time would help, of course, but mistakes do happen.
What are your thoughts? Would you have liked to see more cards on the list? Let us know in the comments. Should you find yourself keen to see more of what we have to offer then do check out our other articles on Underworlds. Be sure to have a look at the other glorious hobby chatter we have going on, too. As always, you can follow us on our Facebook page, as well.
(Psstt keep an eye out for my next article where I’ll be breaking the rules with Mollog’s Mob!)