Initial Impressions – First Review – UKGE – WWGC1 – WWGC 2 – Season 2 Review Part 1 – Season 2 Review Part 2
The Godsworn Hunt, Playstyle Guide
Collecting together everything I’ve ever written about the Godsworn has made it abundantly clear why I suck at every other warband. The Darkoath are the only warband I’ve devoted any time to since their release. I’m determined to get everything I’ve learned out there before Season 3 comes and shakes everything up again!
Here is the deck I’m currently using, built based off of the decision-making process I go over in Part 1 (which I’ve made a few cheeky edits too). Now time to go through how to pilot the Godsworn Hunt on the tabletop.
Unlike Magore’s Fiends, The Godsworn Hunt don’t just want to cram everybody as close to the enemy as possible in a bid to bury an axe in the head of the enemy. We’re not Khorne, we’re Chaos Undivided. As far as I can tell this means we are fighty, but don’t salivate at the idea of losing a limb in battle. As such we need to place our boards, and by extension our spawn hexes, with certain priorities in mind. The crucial board placement/deployment considerations for each fighter are as follows:
- Grawl: Can he kill himself? You might plan to score Martyred another way, but you better have Grawl on suicide standby in case your opponent’s wits or their dice mean they won’t do the deed for you. It’s ok to off Grawl, he actually tastes better than you’d think in a lasagne.
- Jagathra: Is she in charge range? As your primary method of scoring a Turn 1 Change of Tactics, you don’t want her right at the back of your board. Jagathra isn’t a keenly felt loss early, so punting her Javelin for at least one glory (from CoT) is the best way to score this objective and ramp up your heavy hitters. You might also manage to get Calculated Risk, or even Precise Use of Force from her charge!
- Grundann: I put him forward. Grundanns powerful thighs are capable of propelling him toward your foe without the aid of Hidden Paths or Faneway Crystal, so don’t worry about having him on an edge hex. Put him 4-5 hexes away from an opponent, you want him out of enemy range, but close enough to be an early kill threat.
- Shond/Theddra: If you’re against armoured foes, Shond gets the edge hex. If not Theddra does. Put the other fighter somewhere behind Grundann and hope Spectral Wings is enough to fling them in.
- Ollo: He goes as close as he can when the others are put down. If you are planning to get What Armour? you can always swap him to just behind Grundann.
Knowing how you want your fighters arranged will help you decide your board setup. Here is an example:
Now against a deck more aggressive than yours, you want to make the enemy come to you. Essentially you stand outside their range while they are in your range. Always be aware that aggro warbands will be packing movement shenanigans, this Magore will be flying in with Hidden Paths sooner or later. That’s why we’ve tucked Shond away at the back, ready to counter.
Grawl can suicide
Jagathra can charge
Grundann is looking scary + if Riptooth inspires and charges he ends up next to a lethal hex.
We’re ready to Hunt.
Against more defensive opponents, you can afford to set up in a more typically aggro formation. The reason for this is we are still not breaking any of the deployment conditions mentioned earlier. Graw’ls still ready to Martyr himself, Jagathra is in charge range, Shond’s on the edge hex to start cleaving his way though some unsuspecting Stormcast and Theddra’s ready to follow up Grundann’s initial foray into enemy territory.
This is all well and good if you win the roll-off, but if you lose the roll off you’re going to have to make some sacrifices. I think my considerations listed earlier, work well if you take them roughly in order of priority (at least the first two do). My reaction board if I think I am playing into a defensive warband is the Arcane Nexus, purely because it has lethal hexes for Grawl and a good spread of spawn hexes to makes sure a few fighters start as close as possible to the enemy. Against aggressive warbands I prefer the Shattered Refractor, as 4 of the spawn hexes are central, meaning no matter where your opponent positions your board youll be able to maintain some distance from the enemies initial assault.
The Initial Draw
Upgrades are the name of the game for the Godsworn, so we want to see easy Score Immediately cards (#Surge) or Spoils of Battle Turn 1. Cards that make our chaos hearts jump for joy are things like Calculated Risk, Change of Tactics, Martyred and sometimes Precise Use of Force. Cover Ground is perfect if you’ve drawn Spectral Wings, or have a way to equip Faneway or Sprinter. If you don’t have one of these Objectives or Spoils of Battle in hand, I’d consider binning the Objective hand. Against some warbands with lower wound count models you can take more dangerous hands into the first round and hope to get glory from killing the opponent, however this is definitely a risky strategy as most of these warbands run Last Chance and Rebound.
Normally if we draw a 4 or 5 upgrade hand, we’re considering binning it. With Godsworn bear in mind you’re not only binning upgrades, you’re binning inspire conditions. A gambit dense deck is a joy for most warbands, but for the Godsworn it means you can’t inspire your fighters on demand. Fortunately, our deck is built around getting early glory and upgrades, so an upgrade rich hand is still one we can work with.
If you do bin your opening hand, be mindful of what upgrades you’re throwing. Are you losing mobility or damage? These are things you’ll have to play around later. Be very careful when binning cards that can score cover ground, you only have 3 in your deck!
Once you’ve settled on your opening hand, it’s time to crack some skulls!
Turn 1: Stalking your Prey
Turn 1 is all about gathering glory and gearing up. Focus on carefully scoring your easy objectives, committing as little as possible unless an early opportunity for a crucial kill presents itself. In general Turn 1 will have you:
- Scoring some objectives with Jagathra’s charge
- Maybe offing Grawl
- Drawing cards – If you are planning a big attack, you want accuracy/damage boosts, don’t be afraid to draw for them if you aren’t going to get glory any other way
- Positioning fighters – If you aren’t charging but want to be able to next turn, it’s worth an activation to set yourself up for a future charge.
Ideally you want as few deaths as possible, and the deaths you do have will preferably be Grawl and Jagathra. If you get to the end of Turn 1 with a couple of glory points and key fighters in good positions, you’re on track for a perfect Turn 2.
In the end phase you might have bagged Victory after Victory or Combination Strike if you have had a good draw. After scoring spend your glory carefully, making sure you don’t king-make a model that can get picked off if your opponent gets the first turn.
Don’t equip Faneway Crystal in the end phase, either hold it or bin it. You can argue it’s worth equipping if you plan to charge right off the bat, but if you lose the roll off then your opponent can move away from objectives and you’re stuffed. The exception to the rule is if there are multiple fighters targetable by a Faneway charge, or you plan to just score Cover Ground with the card and don’t care where you end up.
Be wary of holding Combination Strike or Victory After Victory across turns. Sometimes it works out, but often holding these cards for too long can stymie your glory flow. With practice you’ll get a feel for when to keep and when to bin these cards.
Turn 2: Time to Strike
Turn 2 is when we turn up the heat. You should be hitting that glorious 4 damage threshold by now, and you’ll have accuracy upgrades to boot. With Ready for Action in hand not even Mollog is safe. Now’s the time to start picking enemy models off. Priorities tend to go as follows.
- Deck Champions: Playing against Guardians? Ylthari may have multiple cards in the deck targeted specifically for her, killing her makes part of the opponents deck useless. Aim for the Tome bearer if you’re playing into an Acolyte opponent. Take Skritch out of Skaven warbands. Snipe Thundrick before he finishes handing out promotions like sweets! If he’s finished promoting, get Ironhail down to deny Get Thee Hence!
You get the drift, take out whichever fighters do the most for your opponent’s deck, it might not always be the models you’d think to hit first.
- 4 wound fighters: If you have A Worthy Kill in then this one is a given. Kill a big nasty enemy and rake in 3 glory for your trouble!
- The most dangerous enemy model
- The safest enemy model to attack
Start picking your way through your opponents warband. Now you will lose fighters to the counterattack, and that’s why picking away the fighters that do the most work for your opponent’s objective deck is crucial. You want to be scoring more from the kills than your opponent, and you want to have models remaining when all is said and done. Remember to empty your hand aggressively if you have Improvisation, so you can play it and get three new cards to keep having fun with. Don’t save your combo until late in the turn otherwise you can’t take advantage of the new cards Improvisation would get you.
Remember Crown of Avarice is a defensive upgrade. Put it on the fighter you don’t want to die, not on a fighter you think the enemy will kill. Remember your opponent will do their utmost to avoid triggering Crown of Avarice, so it’s always good to give them a reason to leave your biggest threat alive.
Get scoring, and get your upgrades equipped in such a way that you still have multiple threats going into Turn 3. We need to cement our lead into the home stretch.
Turn 3: Finish Them
Turn 3 is about finding your opponents way back into the game and denying it. This might actually mean getting the hell out of dodge. Have a good look at the glory difference, the type of opponent and what cards have been played this game. If your opponent is an aggressive player and their mobility cards have been used, you can run. They won’t be able to score anything. If instead they still have a cheeky Hidden Paths in their deck, it might be worth caving the last models head in just to be safe. There’s no hard and fast rule here, just try to focus on glory denial (if you have a lead). This will be easier in games 2 and 3 of a set, make sure you pay attention to your opponent’s cards game 1!
Seriously though, if you have the game under wraps throwing stray attack actions around is just asking to have some devastating game ruining Rebound rob you of a win.
Remember this deck doesn’t have a Turn 3 objective, so be wary of big glory swings in the last turn. Think about cards like Denial, Pure Carnage, Acolyte of the Katophranes and Superior Tactician.
If you have spare activations put fighters on objectives, this will win you games on tiebreakers. Remember Grawl can’t hold objectives!
When Things Go Wrong
Sometimes the game won’t go as smoothly as this. Grundann will whiff odds-on attacks, Shond will get picked off by a clever opponent, and your objectives will laugh at you as they brick over and over again. This is the nature of the game, and we have to get accustomed to dealing with these situations if we want to snag victory from the jaws of defeat! First off:
- If you can’t score objectives, bin them. You can’t afford to languish without glory as the Godsworn. It hurts to see tasty objectives go but you need a hand you can score otherwise you’ll be stuck the whole game with an uninspired warband
- Spoils of Battle! The card exists only for bad games, but when they come round this card is a get out of jail free. No Glory? No problem!
- Grundann and Theddra can still dish out some damage uninspired, these two along with Jagathras spear are your chance to net kills early game without upgrades.
- Bin power cards you’re not using, don’t hold onto things that might be good later. If you fall behind, you need cards you can use now.
- Move onto objectives in Turn 3 – gotta love tiebreakers!
Good Hunting; Beastgrave Awaits!!
That about does it for my Godsworn guide, I hope you have found this useful! The Darkoath do require some practice to get your head around but learning them is incredibly rewarding.
Some people have even won trophies with them!
This is my last article until I’m back in November, entering the throes of Beastgrave. Make sure no-one forgets about the Hunt while I’m gone!
I go to meet my Dark Destiny
Thank you for such a deep analysis of this warband! I’ve just started Underworlds and while my Eyes of the Nine hold up decently against my son’s Magore’s Fiends, with Godsworn Hunt it’s been a complete nightmare. Whether it’s not having glory to upgrade and inspire, not having wizard levels to cast gambit spells, having objectives which forced you to charge the Fiends, having too many character-specific upgrades which become useless because they died when Magore looked at them, and not being able to survive with a single dodge, you’ve been through and addressed all of these things! I love the Godsworn Hunt, and really want to make them work, but we’ve only got the Nightvault Core Set, Godsworn Hunt, Magore’s Fiends, Eyes of the Nine, Zarbag’s Gits, Spiteclaw’s Swarm and Sepulchral Guard (we, um, bought those which looked really nice without thought for what cards they held).
If I could buy another couple of warbands to try and get many of these nifty cards in, which two (or three) warbands would you recommend that could get me at least halfway to having a playable deck? Finally, would you ever revisit Godsworn Hunt with Shadespire cards rotated out and Beastgrave in, or are older warbands just unable to stand up to the new ones well enough? Thank you so much for any advice you can give!
Sorry Ian, don’t know how i missed this earlier!
Thundricks expansion is crucial for Calculated Risk, however with season 2 rotating out soon you may want to hold off. Gathered Momentum, which I think is in the Grymwatch expansion, is a good card. Cover Ground i also serviceable and is in the gift pack.
Godsworn will always have the glass cannon niche covered. very few warbands can reach the speedy damage that the GSH can. Currently aggro warbands are suffering slightly due to a lack of good end phase cards to score. This means they rely very heavily on every attack landing. With Fuelled By Fury gone there is also more of a struggle on the accuracy front. If these issues are solved with new universals there is no reason the Godsworn Hunt cant be a force to be reckoned with again!