Top 5 Underworlds Warbands in AOS (…And One Epic Fail)

There are two common themes with Underworlds warbands:

  • The models range from very good to magnificent
  • The warscrolls range from flat to intriguing

It’s those last lot that we’ll be focusing in on today. They don’t generally see a lot of play competitively – although Number One Will Shock You with its aggressively undercosted Pitched Battle profile – but the ones we’ve picked out here today are at least usable, and they all have something about them that’s worth a second look.

After we’ve enjoyed running through those (with some notes on how to use them), I’ve got my own nomimation for the weakest effort so far, and then we’ll wrap it up with a spectacularly dumb list featuring every one of the Destruction Warbands.

Ready? Let’s go.

The Top 5 Warbands

5. The Wurmspat

Credit: Games Workshop

As far as small wizards on foot go, this saucy minx is a tough nut to crack. 7 Wounds on a 4+ save is already a great start, but it’s when you add her bodyguards into the equation that it gets a bit nice. Fecula comes with a retinue of two 4-wound Blightkings who can absorb her wounds on a 4+, as well as being able to stand their own ground (as you’d expect of Blight Kings).

She also has a decent Warscroll spell that cranks out a straight 3 Mortal Wounds: it’s at short range, but Fecula is tough enough to be up there mixing it, so this could combine nicely with Plague Wind or Deluge of Nurgle to chip off a support character who’s perched behind their screen.

The icing on the cake is access to the excellent Nurgle spell lore, and a once-per-game ability to cast twice. She is unfortunately casting spells from scratch, but at 180 points this is something I would happily run in a casually competitive setting.

4. Hrothgorn’s Mantrappers

Credit: Games Workshop

The ability to start off the table is automatically strong, so already we know that Hrothgorn has at least some utility. What helps us a little more is that he has the Ogor keyword, so he’ll count as 2 models in Mawtribes Allegiance, and have a chance at cracking off some Mortal Wounds with the Everwinter to boot.

Like most of these Warbands they count as two drops, but at least in Hrothgorn’s case it’s two “dead drops” starting off the table, as your opponent slowly reveals their hand.

There are a few nice applications of his deepstriking ability:

  • Since Hrothgorn counts as 2 models, he and his chums can potentially pop up, count as 6 between them and steal an Objective from a careless unit of 5 enemy models
  • You can bring him down near your Mawpot, for a mid-game healing pulse after your Stonehorns have driven forward
  • He can even pop up in range to have a couple of pot shots with his Crossbow, getting the extra ammo from a nearby Quiv

Last but not least, we have Bushwakka’s Trap. I guarantee that your opponents will forget about this in the heat of battle, no matter how much you emphasize it beforehand. And if that does occur, I wouldn’t categorize this as a Gotcha moment in the feelbad sense: your opponent has to take some responsibility for managing what’s going on in the game.

So as long as you’ve told them what it does before you start rolling dice, and you’re not deliberately hiding the marker in a dark corner that they can’t see, it feels like this is intended to catch people whose concentration sags: it is literally a trap, after all.

3. Grashrak’s Ravagers

Credit: @Eat_Bray_Love

Another Wizard, another set of Bodyguards. OK, we’re off to a good start. What elevates Grashrak is his Warscroll spell: D3 Mortal Wounds and +1 to Hit a given unit in combat. This works in so well with the Wildfire Taurus Endless Spell, giving BOC all the tools they need to double down on dogpiling a single key enemy unit.

Zap them with mortals, zap them with more mortals, then kick the crap out of them with your Bestigors and Bullgors while they just stand there and take it like a good ‘un. It’s BOC o’clock.

2. Zarbag’s Gits

Credit: Plastic Craic

There’s a lot to like about the wee man. First up we have his one-off +2 to cast, which can be great for forcing through a clutch early spell: maybe a Hand of Gork to Alpha Bunker 60 Grots onto an Objective, or maybe Zarbag himself is the target of the teleport, and then you rip Geminids or Pendulum through their army. I had a lot of fun running this combo with Zarbag as an ally in Bonesplitterz when he first came out.

The lone Fanatic was stupidly good back then, but even since they ruined changed how Fanatics work, he’s still a useful little bugger. One trick you can pull here is to pop him out behind his host unit when they get charged by a combat monster, so although chums get wildly overkilled, at the end of the turn he’s still standing there: it’s one model a piece on the Objective, and you hold the gold for an extra turn.

Fuck you, Archaon.

Although the Gits aren’t a bodyguard unit, it’s often still useful to have some throwaway crap to stand in a Gnawhole or zone out a deep strike. The Squigs can even skirmish a little if required, and last but not least we have Zarbag’s Warscroll spell: if you can force your opponent to retreat off an Objective (especially the tight 3″ bubbles in Better Part of Valour or Places of Arcane Power), it’ll be the most table-flipping rage fun they have experienced in a long time.

He also makes a great stand-in Madcap Shaman model, if you just want access to the Moonface Mommet in Gloomspite Gits.

1. Morgwaeth’s Blade-coven

Credit: Games Workshop

80 points? 80 points? Are you having a fucking laugh?

For context, the standard Hag Queen at 90 points is already a highly competitive choice: Witchbrew gives out two huge buffs. Making her better, giving her more wounds and more bodies, and setting her at 10 points cheaper frankly beggars belief. I honestly wonder if it’s a mistake or typo, so I’d maybe hold off for GH21 before investing.

Of all the Underworlds Warbands, this is the one I see picking up podiums and GT wins. Their points are completely out of step with the rest of the game and as part of DOK, they slot right into a top tier army. Watch ’em go.

Epic Fail

Take a bow, Morgok’s Krushas.

Credit: @SedoFerre

These awesome models deserved so much better. Even Warhammer Community struggled to put a positive spin on this lot:

It’s Brutes! But there are less of them!

Whoop de doop.

What I would have liked to have seen here was a Brute Chieftain. The Brutes Warscroll has a lot of problems: woeful bravery, cripplingly slow movement and the most generic “combat unit” profile in the game at 3/3/-1/1.

A good starting point might have been for Morgok to have addressed any one of these issues, so whether or not it ends up being competitively efficient, at least he has a reason to exist: maybe he makes them run and charge, or maybe he gives them an extra pip of rend or a mortal wound on natural 6s to hit. And that’s just off the top of my head.

This actual Warscroll displays such an extravagant lack of creativity that it could have been written under duress in a prison sweatshop. If you are reading this now and are being forced to write these Warscrolls against your will, please send out a coded message to the world by claiming there’s not enough data to do a proper FAQ, and we will find you and send help.

What’s Next?

Keeping my Destruction hat on for a moment, there’s a new warband coming out for Bonesplitterz down the track: these will be the first Age of Sigmar release for the Savages, and the models look amazing:

Credit: Games Workshop

We’ve kicked this idea around in the Bonesplitterz WhatsApp and what we’re hoping for is a Wardokk with a unique new dance (rather than a spell): specifically, we want a Rend Dance, to give a nearby unit an extra pip of rend on a 3+.

Please make it so.

There’s also the minor matter of the Vampires warband going on pre-order this weekend:

Credit: Games Workshop

There’s a huge amount of buzz around this one for the models alone, so my advice is if you want these minis (you do), get your orders in early and often.

Have you got a list for us?

Oh yes, and it’s fucking terrible.

Behold, a Mixed Destruction army featuring every one of the Warbands:

Allegiance: Destruction

Gatebreaker Mega-Gargant (490)
 Command Trait: Wild Fury
 Artefact: Battle Brew
Mollog (170)
Zarbag (160)

20 x Shootas (120)
30 x Savage Orruks (300)
30 x Savage Orruks (300)

3 x Hrothgorn’s Mantrappers (0)
4 x Ironskull’s Boyz (80)
3 x Morgok’s Krushas (90)
7 x Zarbag’s Gitz (0)
3 x Rippa’s Snarlfangs (80)

Endless Spells / Terrain / CPs
Scrapskuttle’s Arachnacauldron (40)

Total: 1990 / 2000
Extra Command Points: 0
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 231

Shoutout to my boy Dalton Copeland for the idea of using a Mega Gargant in a Destruction army, so he can have some fun with the Command Traits and Artefacts. What I’ve gone with here is Wild Fury and Battle Brew: kick off hitting and wounding on 2s and 2s with Battle Brew, then since you’ve automatically taken damage, Wild Fury kicks in and you’ve got extra attacks for the rest of the game.*

We couldn’t quite sneak in Geminids for my favourite Zarbag play, but the Arachnacauldron gives you access to the Gits spell lore, and you’ve got plenty of small trashy units to wear the D3 mortal wounds if needed: Itchy Nuisance will allow us to make an enemy unit fight last, while we swamp it across successive pile ins with the Ironjawz and other combat units.

The Big Fella is our main threat and of course only counts as one for controlling objectives, but we do have a lot of Grots and Orruks swarming around his ankles to mitigate that weakness.

With 5 units that can take a late game Hand of Gork to steal an objective, Hrothgorn popping up and Rippas Snarlfangs zipping around the edges, we’ll be playing cat and mouse, planting our feet with the big units while we scramble and hustle in an attempt to steal away the game with assorted crap.

This list is frankly not good – there’s one too many Mollogs for that – but I would be happy enough to take it to a one-dayer for the lulz. The only thing really stopping me is that I don’t own Morgok’s Krushas, and that Warscroll will sadly not be prizing open my wallet.

So there we are! There are a few gems up there, and here’s hoping that the Bonesplitterz contingent earns its place on the top table.

I’ll follow this up with a Warcry equivalent – and there are some genuinely competitive units in there – but until then: May Gork bring you Strength, may Mork bring you wisdom.

* I also want to point out that Tubs has recently posted a (much better) Mixed Destro list up on Twitter with the same loadout on the Mega-G, arrived at independently.

Tubs is great value, so if you don’t already follow him on Twitter, go do so:

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