10 votes, rating 5.2
I recently took an Underworld team into the NAF Midspring MayHem. The team did very well placing 7th of 172 in the European event. I'm writing this blog as a way of collecting my thoughts on the team as I had a lot of fun with them and aim to keep them going for future events.
Several years ago (apologies I can't find the exact one) I read a forum post stating:
"Underworld come with enough integral Rerolls I never take more than one and at 70K each they are too expensive anyway".
For whatever reason when I was debating which team to enter into the Midspring MayHem, this comment resurfaced in my mind. I agreed with the basic premise of it and decided to test its validity. Furthermore, I wanted to create a team that I'd not seen before, that was a least a little bit different and see if I could make them work.
Firstly I created the team called the MordHeim MayHem:
- Gutter Runner
- 3 x Clanrats
- 4 x Goblins
- 4 x Snotlings
So 15 players, with all my positionals coming in at 745TV. With 405TV left to play with, I was able to hire a Master Chef and take 2 x bribes. For skills I took the following:
Troll - Block
Blitzer - Mighty Blow
Gutter - Block
Thrower - Leader
Clanrat - Wrestle
Clanrat - Wrestle
Clanrat - Dirty Player
So, I now had a dedicated blitzer, my big guy was able to block and absorb some hits whilst being a roadblock. A Blodge Gutter Runner remains one of the best players in the game. Leader guaranteed me at least one RR if the Chef misfired and 2 x Wrestle clanrats seemingly bought out some risk of not having tackle and tied in nicely with the dirty player. Furthermore, although not restricted to this particular tournament, I ensured that I didn't have more than two of any particular skill, allowing me to simply copy and paste the team layout into other tournaments that may be more restrictive with skill quantities.
Game 1: Khorne
Game 1 was a brutal affair, out muscled quite significantly and against a very good coach who took Block on all 4 Bloodseekers and Bloodspawn augmented by 2 x Guard Khorngors and a Sure Hand Khorngor, I knew my UW would be in for a hard match. In the first half the Chef stole both rerolls only for the Kick Off to return one. We were able to foul the Bloodspawn to death but got pummelled all over the pitch. A very lucky 4+ dodge, 3+ dodge and 1D block popped the ball free, ultimately leaving the Khorne team needing a 3+ catch and 2 x GFIs to score with no RR. Sadly they made it and with that the score was 0-1 at the half.
Second half saw the chef steal all the rerolls again. A relatively quick score due to increasing pressure from the defending Khorne team saw the score tied at the midway point. Due to some very good play by Milman, at T16, Khorne needed another set of 3+ catch and 2 x GFIs to score with no RR. Fortunately they failed the first GFI and the game ended 1-1.
Thoughts - Khorne are tough in the hands of a good coach. We were outbashed the entire game. My blitzer and troll struggled to remove players and my DP was the star of the show. Sadly the ref was observant and both bribes went in the first two fouls severely curtailing my ability to use the DP. I really liked the Chef stealing the rerolls as at the very least it made the game very tense for Khorne and most definitely was the reasoning the game ended in a tie.
Game 2: Norse
Game 2 was a swingy affair. The first half saw the UW steal the ball and score whilst the DP was removing players rapidly. My blitzer and troll decided to show up as well and contributed by KOing some Norse. The second half however......least said soonest mended. Murphy's Law was in full effect and everything that could go wrong did. That being said I also played poorly. Despite this I was still confident of winning by delaying the tying score. I was wrong, so very wrong. When an AG 3 blitzer completes the following: 4+ Dodge, 5+ Pickup, 3+ Dodge all without a RR there's not much you can do. This was followed by another 4+ catch and 3+ dodge from a Valk (who at least burnt her integral Catch RR before getting it on the second go). The Valk was able to go onto score and the game ended 1-1.
Thoughts - Felt a little hard done by here. As I mentioned above the dice swung hard from first to second half but poor play on my part combined with red hot dice by my oppo was enough to turn this into a draw. No regrets on the team, some regrets on the decisions made in the 2nd half.
Game 3: Chaos Renegades
Game 3 and our third straight bash opponent. Still you take what you're given. Chef stole some more rerolls and the Renegades Leader skill was burnt quickly. My blitzer (finally) hurt someone and my DP yet again came through BHing the Mino and then proceeding to hurt and KO several other players. Solid dice all round for the UW but the Chaos Renegades were unlucky at key times. The Chef was massive here and any slight variation in luck bought the Renegades to a screeching halt via a turnover. The game ended 2-0.
Thoughts - DP for the third straight game was huge and 50K bribes feels almost criminal for a team with relatively easy access to a DP. Chef again played a large part in forcing turnovers.
Game 4: Halflings
Game 4 and our first non bash opponent. Still I went into this one fairly nervous. I don't know what it is about Flings, largely I suspect it's that I'm not that good a coach but I always struggle against them. The 2 Chefs had a cooking contest and RRs traded hands back and forth. For both halves I was left with just my Leader RR (my Chef stole 2 followed by the Flings Chef stealing them back). This was not a bad thing and it game me practise at RR management. The first 5 turns were hectic and I felt on the ropes on occasions. At this point the dice showed up and completely and utterly derailed the Fling's plans. They simply couldn't get anything going. UW capitalised on this by 3D blocks where we could and fouled like our lives depended on it. The game ended 2-0 and we inflicted a staggering 7 cas on the plucky little guys.
Thoughts: I was worried a lack of tackle would hurt me here but this was mitigated by 3D blocks where possible. The Chef was interesting. Whilst it didn't gain me any RR, it also didn't gain the Flings any as the one's they stole from me had been stolen by me seconds before. This did lead to more turnovers at the end of each half as the Flings became more and more desperate. DP was huge again but largely this was decided by some awful dice by the Flings.
Game 5: Wood Elves
So 11 players on the WE team, 9 with dodge and me with no tackle. Yeah so despite this, we set up on defense and our MB blitzer and DP both came in big. We began whittling the WE away, injuring and KOing several. We even popped the ball free but were unable to recover. The woodies scored on Turn 6 and the UW were able to 2 turn for the tying score. 1-1 at the half.
Down several players the WE put up a valiant defence. A leaping Strip Ball Wardancer popped the ball free from the Gutter Runner only to see it land in the hands of the troll. Trollololo then lumbered down the pitch and the removal of woodies continued apace. Despite the sending off of the DP, several of the smaller greenskins stepped up (and stepped on) continuing to foul downed elves. The highlight of the 2nd half was a -3D on the troll by a wardancer which saw the ball freed. Sadly for the elves and lucky for me, it was deep in the elven half of the pitch and speedy Gutter Runner was able to scoop and score. Final score 2-1.
Thoughts - Chef was less of a factor in this one but he did remove some of the elven safety blanket. DP and MB blitzer was the stars here. The lack of tackle whilst a worry was largely negligible and the 2 x wrestle clanrats did a solid job of covering the gap. I think in a more skill restricted tournament (ie no more than 2 of any one skill), this would have been a different game altogether with not so much dodge cover and the Chef may have played a bigger part.
Game 6: Dark Elves
This was a hard one. The DE did a solid of denying me blitzes and fouls before scoring midway through the first half. The UW were able to tie it up by the end of the half. The crucial point here was the injury to the Leader Runner. This meant when the Chef stole both RR for the second half the DE had no RR at all.
This didn't really affect the DE at all until late on and their Witch Elves consistently cage dived with an accuracy like I've never seen before. The lack of RR did hurt at the end with a 1D block (skull) flooring the Witch Elf and allowing me to stall it out for another turn. Final score was 2-1.
Thoughts - DE are tough, the MB blitzer injuring the leader caddy and the Chef stealing the 2 RR in the second half were the highlights. The rest of the game became an increasingly nervous affair with the UW barely hanging on despite some vigorous man (rat?) marking by the DE.
What started off as a bit of a gimmick actually turned out to be surprisingly effective. I had a lot of fun with them, so much so they'll be my default go to tournament team for the foreseeable future. It was nice to see UW do well without relying on star players and having 4 of 6 opponents all remark on never having seen an UW team with Chef was a nice bonus.
6 games is clearly far to small a sample size for any real thought provoking conclusions but I will say despite how good he was, I'm still not entirely sold on the DP Clanrat. If / when it goes wrong, you're down a St3 positional on a team that needs all the strength it can get. For TV1100 tournaments, I'll lose a bribe and swap DP for a Sneaky Git Gobbo. The quality of the fouls will worsen but the quantity 'should' increase and quantity has a quality of its own.
If you got this far, thank you for reading and I hope you try this variation of UW out, I strongly recommended them!