Since the release of the models, I have considered the Sepulchral Guard the nicest in
Shadespire Warhammer Underworlds. I assumed that with seven fighters they would be powerful and, combined with their beautiful sculpts, that they would be very popular.
Time has shown that I was wrong, raw numbers of fighters does not make for a powerful warband, indeed there is fairly strong initial evidence to say that smaller warbands are more powerful. Whether this is because they have:
- no duff models to bleed glory;
- enough activations to control the speed of engagement, stopping you bringing all your minions to bear;
- activation advantage on the first turn;
- that they can afford to more easily draw cards without sacrificing activations for models meaning that they inherently cycle the deck better
I am not in a position to say, but I digress.
I didn’t pick up the Guard initially, because I knew I was moving Down Under and couldn’t justify filling my suitcase with plastic. By the time I left for Australia I had only played with my own Gurzag’s Boyz and some borrowed Chosen Axes, though all 8 warbands had been released.
Once established in Sydney, I set about acquiring all of the warbands, to allow me to compete. I ended up using a hybrid passive-aggressive Stormcast deck, which I am very happy with.
However, I have never given up on the idea that the Sepulchral Guard have potential, and so I have set out to redeem them.
I constructed an initial deck using my self-imposed guidelines, and a theory of how they could be made to work. Yesterday I had the opportunity to test my ideas against an opponent. Sam and I played two games, at Good Games Town Hall. I took ruthless advantage of the length of time he has been away from the game and his inexperience with the Fiends and, after a solid first victory (15-4), having set the boards in my favour. I scraped a second win (15-12) when Sam had the opportunity to dictate the field of conflict.
I learnt a lot about how the Guard play in these games. Firstly, I will lose models, it’s inevitable but it feels like a betrayal coming from the high health and solid armour of Steelheart’s Champions. Secondly, my opponent is unlikely to be able to wipe the entire warband out.
I often find that cards that seemed perfect in the theory stage of deck building come as shocking when you draw then and end up wondering whether you had been drinking when you built the deck. Yesterday was no exception, two games have shown me some places that my objectives could be tweaked to make them more reliable, but I think my general theory was sound. I’m happy with the way the power deck worked and it will remain the same for the next iteration of the deck. My next step will be to try and retest the deck against an opponent playing defensively.
The general impression of the authors of this blog is that the three deck archetypes are analogous to rock paper scissors.
- Defensive play is rock, and will ignore aggressive play.
- Aggressive play is scissors, and will beat objective play.
- Objective play is paper and will outscore defensive play.
I do love the models for Guard, but yeah, the playstyle is what concerns me with them. That being said, I’ve played against them a handful of times and they did seem fun to play, and I do also love a challenge.
I’m planning on updating the deck before playing them again. If I’m happy at that point I will look to take them to a tournament on the first of October.
Could you give an example of an Objective deck that you feel consistently outscores a Defensive deck? Our meta has basically shown these to be pretty bad, the prevalent huge hands of defensive players means pushing people off objectives is really easy. Pure tile objective decks seem to lose to defensive decks around 6 to 10, in every game.
I’ll look to do a follow up article in the next couple of weeks, which will cover what’s in my deck and why it’s there.
Keys are the key to outscoring defensive decks. They tend to invest in upgrades that keep them alive rather than ones that score glory.
Hmm. Sounds good. I’m not sure I see how keys would help against dedicated decks full of push ploys that draw their entire decks. Maybe it’s just a meta difference.