Games Workshop has revealed changes to the rules of Age of Sigmar skirmish spin-off Warhammer Underworlds that’ll arrive in next season’s core set, Warhammer Underworlds: Gnarlwood. A preview article published on GW’s Warhammer Community site on Wednesday gives a first look at the changes coming in the Gnarlwood rulebook – including letting models move twice per round, and allowing warbands that go all out with charges to take extra actions afterwards.
The biggest changes affect the action phase and add more mobility to the game. As in previous seasons of Underworlds, models that move during the action phase receive a Move token; previously, models couldn’t make another move after getting that Move token, but Warhammer Underworlds: Gnarlwood drops that restriction.
This may seem minor, but trust us, it’ll make your fighters much more manoeuvrable. “It’s great for scoring objectives that need you to enter enemy territory, or jumping on far-flung feature tokens,” GW says.
Gnarlwood adds further fleet footwork to Underworlds matches by tweaking the rules for charging. Models that charge pick up a Charge token, which previously prevented them from taking any further action during the turn. Gnarlwood introduces a narrow exception: if every surviving model in your warband has a Charge token, those models can take Guard or Attack actions.
With the tight action economy of Underworlds – just four activations per player per round – only the smallest, most belligerent warbands will benefit from this rules change, but they will benefit a lot.
WarCom highlights the Gorechosen of Dromm and Morgokk’s Krushas as likely beneficiaries: if you kept your warbands from the original Shadespire season, you could dust off Ironskull’s Boyz or Magore’s Fiends and see if the update to charging helps them succeed in the new Nemesis format.
Each season of Underworlds introduces new mechanics to match the game’s setting – in Gnarlwood, GW is adding Cover and Snare hexes to reflect the tangled undergrowth of Age of Sigmar‘s Realm of Beasts. Wednesday’s WarCom preview doesn’t specify exactly how Cover will function, though it may be like the Gloom effect from Harrowdeep, which improved models’ defensive abilities.
Snare hexes will inflict the Staggered status effect on models that move into them (voluntarily or otherwise), giving them a Stagger counter, stripping off their Guard counters, and allowing enemies to re-roll one attack die against the model. Attacks and other effects will also hand out Stagger counters, though WarCom hasn’t shared an example yet.
It’s very likely that Snare and Cover hexes will be on one side of this seasons’ feature tokens, with Objective hexes on the reverse. Feature tokens will be placed objective-side-up in Gnarlwood, a return to the placement rules from Beastgrave and Direchasm seasons, which WarCom calls “A real boon for warbands such as the Starblood Stalkers or The Chosen Axes, who inspire by holding objectives”.
With double-movement and objectives face-up from round one, Gnarlwood may be the time for nimble, objective-grabbing warbands to shine.