The Beardgrave fan season for Warhammer Underworlds adds four new Dwarf warbands, new season rules, new universal cards, and rebalances five classic warbands. Long-time Underworlds player Math – aka Wathlab on Reddit – published the print-and-play fan expansion online on Tuesday.
The four new warbands are Grung’s Runekeepers, Fulgrim’s Doomseekers, Hergar’s Brewmasters, and the Citadel Dwarven Ancestors club. The plot for Beardgrave sees them delving under Shadespire in search of a cure for a dread curse that afflicts the Duardin race.
The five re-tuned warbands are The Sepulchral Guard, skeletons in service to the Soulblight Gravelords; Spiteclaw’s Swarm, a horde of vicious Skaven ratmen; the Wurmspat, Nurgle-worshipping plague knights; Morathi’s Blade-Coven, a team of misbegotten daughters of Khaine; and The Chosen Axes, avaricious Duardin Fyreslayers.
These warbands were released in earlier seasons of Warhammer Underworlds, before warbands were packaged with pick-up-and-play Rivals Decks. Math says that “for each of them I’ve designed a modern 32 card deck, with no trash cards anymore and also some good buffs when needed”.
The season rules include Drift Hexes, which add +1 Move to fighters that start their activation standing on the hex. There’s also a lot of focus on objectives: the Superior Position special rule grants a bonus to the warband that holds the most objectives, from a free upgrade at the end of the first turn, to an unspent glory point at the end of the third.
Math estimates he’s played “probably over 1,500” games of Underworlds, and has been working on Beardgrave for three years. The whole project started as an April fool’s joke in 2020, when Math posted a picture of a fake Warrior card to Reddit – this would later become the leader of the custom Brewmasters warband.
Since then he’s created other custom warbands and revamped the Chosen Axes. He committed to the full season project in October 2022. He says he simply wants more Dwarf warbands in the game: “Seasons 1 and 2, Shadespire and Nightvault respectively, saw the release of one Dwarf warband each… then nothing”. He also wanted to redress the balance between aggressive playstyles and objective-grabbing playstyles, which has been skewed “during some periods in some specific seasons”.
Math says that “more than 50 or 60” players helped him with the design process, providing advice, feedback, and playtesting. He says that most recent playtest games, both between the warbands and against official ones, have finished with extremely close scores, “a 0-4 glory difference”.
All in all, this fan season is a really sizeable piece of work – you can see Math’s notes and download Beardgrave at this link. If you haven’t played in a while, this could be an excuse to dust off an old warband from your favourite Age of Sigmar army and give it a spin in the Rivals or Nemesis format against a warband from Warhammer Underworlds Gnarlwood.
If you’re a fan of fantasy Dwarves, keep your eye on our Warhammer: The Old World guide – we’ll put in everything we learn about the stumpy beardy grumps in the upcoming game, as Games Workshop releases new information.