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[Warhammer-Community]Steve and Josh’s Shadespire Warbands: Part 2 – The Decks

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After weeks of practice play and painting, Josh and Steve have transformed from Shadespire novices to masters of the Mirrored City – but only one can be the Warhammer Community champion. Our two heroes have decided to settle the issue once and for all with a deciding game:

Josh: At last! The tie-breaking game between Steve and I arrived. With the scene set at one victory apiece, this game would establish who is the best Shadespire player and who has the best warband. If you’ve yet to read the account of our previous conflicts, you might start here.


After playing a couple of games, I decided that this was the time to have a go at building my own deck. In my previous games, I’ve played pretty aggressively with lots of objectives based around killing the Stormcast Eternals. But after watching the deck-building advice videos on the Warhammer Community website, I decided that, in this game, I would play more defensively – and I built my deck accordingly. I know, I know. Khorne Bloodbound in a defensive game? What are these words you are speaking? But it works, and Khorne will be pleased with the end results. I started by looking at what objectives I had and straight away included all five of the numbered objectives followed by Supremacy, Denial and Conquest. Supremacy, in my mind, is an auto-include, and with five fighters in my warband, it instantly allows me to hold multiple objectives with relative ease. Conquest is a great one for the Bloodbound; as most Stormcast players (Steve) will also play a defensive game, it means that I have to get up close and personal, which suits the Bloodbound just fine. Denial can also give Garrek’s Reavers an easy three glory points, especially as you’re going to be pushing forward and denying the Stormcast the chance to take ground.


After these, I decided to focus on some killing cards (there’s only so defensive a Bloodreaver can be, after all), such as It Begins and A Worthy Skull. It Begins is pretty much guaranteed, especially in the later phases of the game, and a Worthy Skull, well, it’s fun killing your opponent’s leader, so why not? The last two objectives I decided to take were Coward and Annihilation. Coward can play to your favour, but if you’re close to one of the Stormcast models and they’re not dead, you’re probably going to lose that fighter. Of course, there is a chance they might run away. I decided to include Annihilation, as it doesn’t have a deadline like Khorne’s Champion, and if you get to the end of the game with it in your hand and a good number of your fighters left, you have a solid chance at scoring five glory – especially if you’ve already diminished your opponent’s numbers.


With my Power deck, I followed the rule of twenty cards, breaking it down to ten ploys and ten upgrades. With my Upgrade cards, I decided on a selection of specific character upgrades, such as Blood Slick, Wicked Blade and Whirlwind of Death. I particularly like Wicked Blade, as it makes Arnulf a much more potent fighter despite his 2 wounds. Two more Upgrade cards I like to include are Great Fortitude and Great Strength. Great Fortitude can make an additional fighter capable of surviving those powerful Stormcast attacks, and Great Strength means that you can one-hit-kill one of Steelheart’s Champions.


There are plenty of Ploy cards for the Bloodbound, and Final Blow is one of my favourites alongside Sidestep and Confusion. I think the best bit of advice I could give is to build your Objective deck first, and then consider which Power cards will get your guys to achieve them. One great example is Sprint; this card allows your fighter to suddenly double their move distance, and if there’s a last minute objective that could give you the game, it’s well worth it.


With my deck built, I was ready for the roll-off, which to my delight,  I won and decided to let Steve go first. Not much happened in the initial activations. I drew some cards, moved my guys onto three objectives and held my ground. My plan was working; I had drawn Supremacy and Hold Objective 4, giving me a mighty four glory points at the end of the first turn. Steve had scored a few meaningless points as well. It was these four glory tokens that would be the building blocks for my assault!


Winning the roll-off for the second time, I let Steve take the first activation again, playing to the advantage of numbers for the Bloodbound and forcing Steve’s warband to plan ahead with fewer models to react with. By the end of the second activations, I had positioned Garrek at the front, but not too far from the support of the Blooded Saek, and I had plenty of glory tokens to spend; it was now time for some Upgrades.

I could see that Angharad Brightshield was within striking distance of Saek, so I decided to risk giving him both Great Strength and Great Fortitude and hope it paid off. At the same time, I upgraded Garrek with Bloodslick. In Steve’s third activation, Brightshield remained where she was and I decided the time was right to strike! With a mighty charge from Saek, he swung his axe at Brightshield, hitting twice. Steve could only look on in horror as his defence dice failed to save her and she was cleaved in half by Saek’s bloody axe, earning me another glory token.

In the Power Step, I decided to play Final Blow on Saek, as I knew Severin Steelheart was close by with several upgrades of his own. In the third activation, I advanced Karsus and inevitably lost Saek to Steelheart, but I had the last laugh as I dealt damage to the hero of Sigmar. The fourth activation was pretty quiet; I held my ground, drew another card and upgraded Karsus with Whirlwind of Death. In the end phase of turn two, I was able to score Denial and It begins, however, I wasn’t convinced that the loss of Saek was worth the single glory of It Begins. The score was 9 – 6.

In the final turn, Steve won the roll-off and opted to go first. I knew that with the objectives in my hand, I needed to push forward and begin to play more offensively. Steve held his ground and pushed his guys together in the first activation. With two heavily upgraded and mighty heroes of Sigmar standing together, this was going to be a fight to the very end. In my activation, I pushed Garrek towards Objective 3 and played Sidestep on Targor. I needed to get all of my warband into Steve’s territory. In the second activation, I charged Karsus into Obryn the Bold, knowing that Arnulf was close by ready to finish him off in the third or final activations if needed. Steve had other plans. In his third activation, Steve decided to charge Steelheart straight at Garrek, leaving him wide open and alone. Needless to say, Garrek was nothing but a bloody mess on the ground as Steve rolled two critical hits on Garrek and had an upgrade giving him +1 damage. With the loss of Garrek, and holding Objective 3, I pushed Targor forward and into Steve’s territory. I knew that I had the game, and with Conquest in my objective hand, the game finished with the score of 12 to the Bloodbound and 10 to the Stormcasts.


After playing several games, I know the Bloodbound can be unforgiving to play, but it’s still very satisfying to play and win with them. The Bloodbound’s strength comes from their deck and upgrading the guys to be brutal in the later phases of the game. I think my deck still needs some tuning up, but with the expansion packs coming out soon who knows what potential these bloody warriors of Khorne have.

Steve: So, I lost the deciding game with Josh. That is a bitter pill to swallow, I can tell you, and Josh has taken full advantage of his well-earned bragging rights here in the office. [Editor’s Note – He really has. Someone needs to take him a peg down the Lunchspire ladder so he’ll stop going on about it.] After having read what he wrote above, I can see why, with the great thought and preparation that went into his game. I am but a simple man, and I rarely take the time to consider how various rules best interact with each other in order to try to win. My tactics are generally more along the lines of “What would look cool?” and “What story am I trying to tell?”. In choosing my deck, I followed those same thoughts and went for virtually every Liberator specific card I could find, the only exceptions being 4 of the Hold Objective X cards, as I could only take 12; some of the generic ones are pretty fun to try to achieve. I know from other Stormcast players in the office that they are very good when used in a defensive capacity, and so tried to loosely keep that in mind when weeding out cards. One piece of advice I had been given is to try not to go beyond the minimum card limit for ploys and upgrades, as it is very rare you will ever get through them all and too many will mean you are less likely to get that one card you need in order to enact a specific tactic.


Despite our wildly differing approaches to our decks (I mean, I really can’t recite which cards I had like Josh, as the intricacies weren’t important to me), I found that we both still had a really enjoyable game that was still pretty close when all was said and done. I can appreciate that this game has HUGE competitive potential (right up Josh’s street), but what I have taken mostly from our games is that this is not the whole story. If you want to just play a quick game without having to go too in-depth, this game won’t just spiral away from you. So, whilst I said at the start that it was a bitter pill to swallow, having lost to Josh, I don’t really mind, as I thoroughly enjoyed our series of games and am truly looking forward to the next one.

Thanks, guys! If you’re looking to prove your superiority over your friends or gaming group, the Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire Core Set is available online or in your local store, or order the Sepulchral Guard and Ironskull’s Boyz expansions now.

Also, the world’s very first Grand Clash was going on at Blood & Glory this weekend, so be sure to subscribe to our Twitch channel to watch the final battle. 

The post Steve and Josh’s Shadespire Warbands: Part 2 – The Decks appeared first on Warhammer Community.

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