Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire Ruins

One of the main things I like to be able to do when getting into a game is be able to provide all the bits necessary to host a few tables. By host I don’t mean to just have the bits available required to play, but to have tables that can immerse the players into the setting as much as possible. A game like Warhammer Underworlds doesn’t have a lot of the 3D features you see in the more traditional minis games as it’s pretty much a board game. However…there are blocked hexes and these can provide that little bit of dressing to represent models slinking about the ruins of the Mirrored City.

First, I want to lament the boards that have come out since the initial release, Shadespire. Here are two Shadespire boards. Notice the granularity and level of detail in the art. These boards are really good and match the small details on 28-32mm models really well.

Now, here are two boards that came out with the following set, Nightvault. These aren’t bad, but there’s a big difference between these and the boards above. ‘Big’ being the key word here. The Nightvault boards look to have been designed under different art direction or something.The visual features are…larger, less detailed. Compared to the Shadespire boards, these look like they were drawn with those fat crayons used in primary school.

I’m not a fan of the Nightvault boards at all…so I bought extra sets of the Shadespire cardboard and those are the areas I set my games of Underworlds around. What follows is simply a series of blocked hex terrain pieces I picked up from the Hexy Store under the ‘Shadowpike‘ line. A front shot, followed by a bird’s eye view of the sets.

These are great and fit in really well with the Shadespire boards. There’s a little bit of a disconnect with Nightvault’s clunkier board I feel.

There was an expansion board released between Shadespire and Nightvault which appears to me to be a sort of hybrid of the two. I can see the granular, detail art deep into the board, but the fatter, less detailed stuff on top. I went ahead and picked these up as the last of the ‘good’ boards. Fortunately, there’s also ShadowPike terrain for it as well.

Living in the US, I went ahead and picked up the limited release, beginner friendly version of Warhammer Underworld, Dreadfane. Its board is on the Nightvault end of the spectrum, but I thought it quite possible that I would want to play on the simplicity of the Dreadfane board (single board with objectives printed on), so went ahead and cobbled together some terrain from the older Arcane Ruins set from Citadel. I hung some creature heads on the wall to represent maybe some of the creatures who died fighting long ago against the wicked creations of the Katophranes in the dreaded Dreadfane arena.

So, those are the boards I’m gaming Underworlds in. I plan to pick up some BeastGrave stuff, but I’m not going into the setting as much as I did here, and will continue to use Shadespire as the setting of my games. I like the bases I’ve done for my warbands and how they tie into these boards, plus the Shadespire setting allows me to have mini ruins to game in since I never fully realized a Mordheim table.

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