Welcome to a new series of mine, Warband review, where I review a faction from the tactical board game Warhammer Underworlds developed by Games Workshop. In every article, I’ll be breaking down the Warband’s top cards and giving my own rankings to each, so you can get a good feel for how they will play before you buy them. In today’s article, I'll be going over the mighty Ironsoul’s Condemnors, one of the two Warbands found in the Dreadfane boxed set, a fantastic kit to get you started with the hobby!
Warband Overview: Ironsoul's Condemnors
Ironsoul's Condemnors are a relatively small warband compared to others; with only three models to use, you may think they are quite weak. Yet every single member of Ironsoul’s Condemnors is a bold and fearless Stormcast Eternal, able to take a whole heap of punishment on the board and dish it back at their enemies in droves.
Warband Keyword: Knockback
Knockback is a great positional ability, as it gives you lots of options on how to control the board. If a weapon or ability has knockback, then on a successful wound, the enemy fighter will be pushed back a number of hexes equal to the knockback number plus 1. For example, a weapon with a knockback of 1 would push an enemy back 2 hexes. This is fantastic for clearing space, and makes Ironsoul's Condemnors excellent tactical fighters.
Each fighter in this Warband inspires after rolling a crit in either attack or defence. This is most likely going to occur on the fighters with lots of attacks, as they have a higher chance of rolling a crit. However, you can use upgrade cards to improve your rolls somewhat. It is normally quite easy to inspire this Warband.
To begin with let’s go over the Warband themselves, starting with their stoic leader, Gwynn Ironsoul.
As the fearless leader of the Warband, Ironsoul packs a huge punch, but is deceptively good on defence. Each Stormcast has base 4 wounds and 1 shield, which are great on their own, but when combined with her other abilities make a hefty bonus! Her 3 attacks hitting on hammers is a superb starting point, able to knock off a few wounds from tough fighters like Orcs and Dwarfs, or even outright squish smaller enemies like Skaven or Goblins! However, the best part of her kit comes from when she is inspired. When any fighter in Ironsoul’s Warband rolls a critical either in attack or defence, they flip over to become inspired.
Whereas the base Ironsoul is no small challenge, her inspired side is nigh unstoppable! Now boasting 2 shields instead of one, her defence doubles, making her incredibly tanky. If that wasn’t enough, her Mace now goes up to damage 3, with a knockback effect! This special rule allows her to hurl enemies away exactly where she wants them, be it straight into another ally, or right into a gaping chasm, the choice is yours!
Brodus (or Bro as I like to call him) can be found right at home in the midst of the enemy, he is the brawler of the Warband, wielding a mighty two-handed Stormsire Greatmace. At a base, he starts with a brutal 3 damage attack, which is incredibly good for simply smiting an enemy in one go off the board. It even has knockback by default! As with Ironsoul, Brodus gets more powerful when he inspires, and his gigantic mace also gains cleave. This allows him to just ignore enemy shield rolls completely, and with the right upgrades he can be truly terrifying to face for certain opponents.
One of my personal favourite attacks of his is Chanelled Blow. This deadly attack has Scything; meaning he hits ALL enemies adjacent to him. What more is there to say… surrounded by pesky skeletons? Chanelled Blow. A few Orcs giving you a tough time? Chanelled Blow. Just don’t overstretch, tempting as it may be to just run him forward and swing, Ironsoul’s Condemnors are best played together with their overlapping and teamwork style of play.
At first glance, Tavian doesn’t seem very special. Compared to the other two fighters, he seems to a relatively ‘average’ fighter (if such a word can be used to describe a Stormcast Eternal!). Tavian is best played in a flex playstyle, utilising his high attack and high chance of knockback to score your objectives and control the board. I’d recommend keeping him close to the other two fighters and always going for the knockback attacks. Even with Tavian’s mighty profile, he falls quite quickly to concentrated enemy attacks.
Rather than go over all 36 Warband-specific cards, I’m mainly going to touch on the ones I think are the best. This will highlight cards that I think are more interesting/competitive, and allow you guys to get a good idea of where to start when deck building for Ironsoul's Condemnors.
Top Picks: Objective Cards
One glory for knocking an enemy back. Fantastic. As mentioned, every single fighter has knockback of some kind, so this card is an absolute gem for pretty much any Ironsoul’s deck. Its tactical versatility is incredibly strong and overall its it very easy to score.
This is a very flexible card. Whilst it requires certain positioning, Knockback really helps to alleviate some of the problems you may face. For a 'score immediately' objective, you can’t go far wrong with this one!
Two Glory for an end phase card is a pretty tempting offer - big bonus points for it being pretty simple to score too! Its conditions are very reasonable but it will require some deck building nuance to make sure your fighters become inspired.
Top Picks: Upgrade Cards
Aetherically Charged Weapon
Superb. Re-rolling an attack dice for a Warband that loves critical rolls is absolute gravy. It increases your chances of inspiring dramatically. What more can I say? Its a must-take upgrade.
Makes your fighters much tankier. From personal experience this card is an absolute lifesaver for this Warband. It allows your Stormcast to survive potentially fatal attacks and keep fighting. A solid auto-include.
Do you like one-shotting enemies? Who am I kidding - we all do! Punishing Blow is a risk, but when it works, it works HARD. Able to knock off half a Troll’s health or instant kill even a Chaos Warrior if you roll well. Fun and flavourful makes it a top pick for me!
Top Picks: Gambit Cards
A faction-specific push card is brilliant. This gives you the ability to move enemies around exactly where you want them, and opens up so many tactical options for your gameplan. Overall a great card to have.
A free Guard action without using up a precious activation slot? Yes please! Guard makes your fighters much hardier in defence. This is great card to use after an aggressive play into enemy territory.
Whilst it may seem too random to be effective, just the chance of being able to hit your opponent back out of sequence is too good to pass up! A solid card, if a little unreliable at times.
Final Warband Thoughts: Ironsoul's Condemnors
Overall, I’d say Ironsoul’s Condmenors are a great beginner Warband for newer players. Still, they have plenty of nuance and flexibility in their core cards that allow veterans of Warhammer Underworlds to enjoy a nice challenge. This Warband is very easy to learn, but difficult to master. Knockback can be a tricky rule to get used to, but once you have grasped it these Stormcast become very deadly in the right hands!
Well, that’ll do it from me for this article! I’d love to hear your thoughts on who I should review next, as well as any comments on feedback. I’m always up for a discussion. In the meantime, have fun and roll on!