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PJetski

The Grymwatch

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Here are my first impressions:

PROS:

  • 7 fighters, 3 of them can be respawned
  • Fighter card action (Great for Keep Them Guessing)
  • The Duke is a great fighter, inspiring to 2/3 Smash with Range 2 and Cleave
  • Everyone inspires at the same time
  • Great inspire condition
  • Fast! Move 4 base, everyone inspires to 5, and bats are 6
  • Loads of great objectives that don't rely on getting any kills
  • Faction version of Defensive Strike
  • Surge Supremacy
  • Can score Longstrider and Burst of Speed with the right gambits

CONS:

  • 7 fighters means you have to fill every starting hex
  • Ghouls are fragile; you will feed your opponent glory a steady stream of glory all game long
  • Rebound, Last Chance, etc. have rotated out of the game so your tools to deny kills are few and far between
  • You must respawn ghouls that have died at the start of your turn, even if you don't want to
  • Ghoul respawn location is randomized
  • Only 2 competent fighters, the rest heavily depend on attack upgrades
  • Rely on gambits for action economy
  • An upgrade that does 1 damage immediately
  • No wizards
  • No Range 3 attacks
  • No baseline Cleave or Knockback for What Armour? and Get Thee Hence

It seems like the Grymwatch easily slot into a control playstyle. In the first round you want to try to score some positional objectives while keeping the enemy out of your territory in the first phase, then in rounds 2 and 3 you can go on the offensive.  You want to absorb charges with your ghouls then riposte with the Duke and Gristlewel then riposte.

Unfortunately their damage is pretty poor so you will be relying heavily on gambits to deal the extra damage you need for kills, but you also rely on Gambits for added mobility.

It will be easy to keep slower warbands out of your territory because Move 3 doens't allow them to get very far, but faster warbands (and Mollog) can get deeper into your territory. I think upgrades that give your minions Knockback (Mutating Maul, Hammer of Scorn) become more important when you need to push fast warbands out of your base, but I'm not sure if they can make the cut when there are so many good faction upgrades.

I have attached my first draft of a deck, let me know what you think

Grymwatch.PNG

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I'll be taking my Grymwatch out for their first games this weekend and I'm excited to see how they handle. I'd planned to pick the set up for new unviersal cards to use in my Eyes of the Nine deck, but they seem like they'll actually work better for the early-objective-later-offensive style I'd been trying to use with the Eyes. I don't have nearly as many cards that would help increase the nameless minions' damage output yet, but I figure without those they'd still serve pretty well as objective grabbers and supporting fighters for the named ghouls.

Does it seem like offsetting the boards as far as possible will be the strategy everybody uses with these guys?

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Here are my impressions after the first week, testing it against both control and aggro playstyles.

Overall I found that this warband must inspire on round 1 or it falls behind very quickly. The additional stats are necessary to keep up with other warbands in round 2 and 3.  You need a deck that can reliably keep enemies out of your territory in the first round, so late game cards like Larval Lance, Inspired Attack, Denial, etc. can't be clogging up your opening hand.

It may seem like you want to place boards first so you can get 3 objectives, but this warband has enough mobility to score objectives even when placing second. Against aggro you want to place second because the lane control is too important for a warband with 7 fighters that start with bad stats - you want to take away as many advantages as possible from an aggro warband.

Lethal hex placement is very important. Use it to create a chokepoint for enemies coming into your territory so you can score kills while pushing them out, or place it in front of your objectives so you can threaten kills if they come to push you off. Place it 3 hexes away from your objectives to limit Profiteer/Farstrider shooting options.

Cards I found to perform well, as expected:

  • Most of the objectives
  • Most of the upgrades
  • Pit Trap, Snare, Encroaching Shadow - Most of my kills were from lethal hexes or these ploys. These were invaluable against 4+ wound fighters, and against weaker fighters (Chainrasp, skeletons, etc.) it allowed me to use my 1 damage fighters to score kills. 
  • Seized Weapon - It's a damage ploy that doesn't take up a ploy slot. Awesome!

Cards that worked better than expected:

  • The bats - This fighter is not just a danglebro! Starting with 3 health makes him a good damage sponge, and his high movement and flying lets him leap over the frontlines to grab objectives
  • Scrum - This card is incredible. I am going to slam this into so many decks that I make from now on
  • Appaling Visage - Not only can it guaranteed push people out of your territory to get the inspire, but it can also push them into lethal hexes. Sometimes two!
  • Transfixing Stare - This was incredibly important to shut down aggressive melee warbands like Stormcast
  • Madness Dart - I was on the fence with this one, but af
  • Survival Instincts - Permanent guard isn't just good for staying alive, it's also great for standing on objectives
  • Crown of Avarice - I knew this would be good, but sticking it on Night's Herald with his -1 dice ability made him a real nuisance

Cards that worked worse than expected:

  • Conquering Heroes - This was too risky against aggressive warbands and didn't offer enough glory against control
  • Ghoul Pack - This is harder to do than it seems (defintiely much harder than Scrum) and there are better Surge cards out there
  • Shifting Madness - Either the easiest objective or the hardest objective. I prefer consistency, and this feels like a high roll card to me
  • Upper Hand - Banned cards don't perform very well!
  • Lethal Ward - This is the worst damage ploy card, and with Seized Weapon there is enough instant damage in the deck
  • Irresistable Prize - It's a lot better to make the objective move where you want
  • Strident Summons - I didn't use it once across 10+ matches. You can't respawn your best fighters, and the free ghoul in round 2 and 3 was usually enough.
  • Spectral Armour - Survival Instincts seems to be better, but I like the combination of these two cards together
  • Faneway Crystal - I never found that I needed the extra mobility to score objectives. The game is all about controlling the center of the board now; flank attacks are not as useful any more. It's not worth diving that deep with the Duke, and without ranged attacks the rest of your fighters are very limited in their aggressive potential with this card
  • Spirit Bond - This is unfortunately the 4th  best choice for a restricted slot

Cards I swapped in:

  • Path to Victory - Big glory gain and it is a lot easier than trying to score Tactical Supremacy
  • Combination Strikes - I'm not 100% sold on this one but I can't think of a better one
  • Pack, Advance! - I can't believe I didn't have this one before. Not only can you immediately change the entire board state, but you can use it to do stuff like push an enemy off an objective then push a ghoul onto it to score In the Name of the King and/or Swift Capture on your turn.
  • Combat Drill - This card pulled everything together. It helps score Keep Them Guessing, it gives you support on attacks, it allows you to charge your Duke for his Range 2 attack and immediately put a wall unit in front (like the Night's Herald for his -1 Dice ability!). This card is so good that I'm considering running Recycled Riches just to get it back in my hand
  • Frenzied Search - The condition of holding an objective is almost passive, and discarding the worst card in your hand to dig 3 deep is a small price to pay for a huge benefit. I can comfortably run 22-24 card decks when Frenzied Search provides so much card cycling.
  • Restless Prize - This card has helped me score objectives while playing safe against aggro and steal objectives from other control warbands. I highly recommend running this card because it's like the oil you need to keep your decks running squeaky clean.
  • Sudden Growth - This was necessary to keep the Duke alive in some matchups, and in other matchups it was used to make my respawned fighters even harder to remove. I wish I could run another one.

I'm going to do more playtesting this week and post an updated decklist after that.

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Scrum is an auto include and auto score for Gitz. With the placement of squigs, I'm not sure there's anything your opponent can do to keep you from scoring it after the first activation. assuming you have it in hand of course. 

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I've played maybe 20 games with them so far, one tournament and prepping for another one this weekend. 

I found they work well for a Hold Objectives with some control style deck, their faction objectives and ploys are just so strong for this playstyle. Unfortunately, I feel this build performs pretty poorly against Profiteers, since they just get knocked off tiles pretty easily., and don't have the damage to go aggro vs dwarves. They also seem to struggle with a dedicated objectives Briar Queen due to action efficiency, and Aggro Mollog since Ghouls get ruined by the spin and the Duke gets bopped by club. 

It's weird because I feel like they should be A Tier, it's just they have a very bad matchup vs all the other A tier factions. With the exception of Cursebreakers, because with the inclusion of Madness Darts they absolutely ruin the Stormcast. 

They're definitely meta defining, but awkwardly I don't know if they'll win a Grand Clash, at least based on the current card pool. I'd probably put them as a solid B tier, but you can definitely sneak some huge high scoring games from people since they're both new and complex. 

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30 minutes ago, Namiriel said:

I've played maybe 20 games with them so far, one tournament and prepping for another one this weekend. 

I found they work well for a Hold Objectives with some control style deck, their faction objectives and ploys are just so strong for this playstyle. Unfortunately, I feel this build performs pretty poorly against Profiteers, since they just get knocked off tiles pretty easily., and don't have the damage to go aggro vs dwarves. They also seem to struggle with a dedicated objectives Briar Queen due to action efficiency, and Aggro Mollog since Ghouls get ruined by the spin and the Duke gets bopped by club. 

It's weird because I feel like they should be A Tier, it's just they have a very bad matchup vs all the other A tier factions. With the exception of Cursebreakers, because with the inclusion of Madness Darts they absolutely ruin the Stormcast. 

They're definitely meta defining, but awkwardly I don't know if they'll win a Grand Clash, at least based on the current card pool. I'd probably put them as a solid B tier, but you can definitely sneak some huge high scoring games from people since they're both new and complex. 

Hmmm that's not consistent with my experience so far. I have found favourable matchups against Thorns because you have better movement, better damage, and you can bring fighters back. You can play the aggressor to deny them objectives while simultaneously scoring with your superior Surge+objective cards. The Butcher with +1 damage (or a damage ploy) and Crown of Avarice is a nightmare for Thorns to deal with.

The matchup against Profiteers is roughly even - they have range, but you have the mobility. The Profiteers don't have the mobility to reliably deny the Grymwatch inspire condition, so if you can avoid letting them shoot you turn 1 then you should be in the clear. It starts to tip in the Grymwatch's favour if they pick the right boards to have good Blocked Hex placement.

Aggro Mollog is an interesting matchup. You need to keep the Night's Herald adjacent to Mollog as much as possible. If you get Madness Dart it becomes almost impossible for Mollog to land a blow.

The best thing about Grymwatch is that they can switch to aggression fairly easily if you stuff their deck with damage ploys.

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I think the Grymwatch is a very good warband for DM's. It's a box of 6 ghouls and bats, which are always useful to have. You can get lower quality ones for the same price, buy honestly, why would you?

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Huh, I'd agree your experience is virtually the opposite of mine lol. 

My games vs the Briar Queen have been action one they push to all their objectives, and use Centre of Attention and confusion to get me off my objectives. 

I don't see how you could keep Profiteers from shooting you, unless you roll hot and get the very unlikely go first to back up. In which case the dwarves just walked forward. 

I'm running 2 great strength, pit trap/Snare, Larval Lance and  Seized Weapon, and it still seems hard to go aggro since Ghouls just die when they're touched. 

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Do you think the plan for some of those match ups is "don't score any turn one objectives but make 4 charges" ? 

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2 minutes ago, Namiriel said:

Do you think the plan for some of those match ups is "don't score any turn one objectives but make 4 charges" ? 

No, I would play it like controlled aggression. You keep trying to score your deck but you also go in for kills when you can get them. Ghouls without support are not going to get any kills, but once you throw upgrades on them they should be able to get kills against Thorns and Profiteers.

The cool thing about Grymwatch is that the consistent high glory they can earn without fighting means the enemy must try to fight you. You let them come to you and then counterattack on your terms. 

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Yeah, I get that, I just don't think the match ups especially if you only have 2 objectives are close to where you're saying. 

I'm kind of considering putting stuff like Keep Moving in as a safer way to score passively than some of their objective based cards. Dig In is a huge score if you draw into it turn 2 off a turn 1 Supremacy, but multiple scores you can't get on t1 is too rough. 

(apologies for the potato, that deck wasn't working on mobile) 

IMG_20191022_113707798.jpg

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I got some games in against the Wild Hunt, Mournflight, and the first set's Stormcast this weekend. The Wild Hunt game went in my favor in turn two after some good positioning and pushes to keep the elves off my board, Stormcast was pretty even until I randomly respawned Night's Herald next to his heavy hitter, but the banshees seemed impossible to manage with their movement tricks and their two defense dice were hard to overcome at the start.

I think Blazing Soul will have to be a feature in most of my decks, since we have some easy single-glory surge objectives and getting the Duke or Valreek inspired feels like it could be just enough to swing a game if we can't keep the enemies out on turn one.

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2 hours ago, Namiriel said:

Yeah, I get that, I just don't think the match ups especially if you only have 2 objectives are close to where you're saying. 

I'm kind of considering putting stuff like Keep Moving in as a safer way to score passively than some of their objective based cards. Dig In is a huge score if you draw into it turn 2 off a turn 1 Supremacy, but multiple scores you can't get on t1 is too rough. 

(apologies for the potato, that deck wasn't working on mobile) 

IMG_20191022_113707798.jpg

You are running a lot more mobility and objective holding focused cards, so it makes sense that you would be struggling when it comes to kills. The best defense is a good offense.

I would swap out cards like Dug In, Countercharge, Double Time, and Aura of Command to focus on more aggressive options. I also really don't like Larval Lance, since it's not really worthwhile until Round 3 and the first 2 rounds (especially the first round!) are much more important for Grymwatch.

You can see in my current deck here I have a strong focus on objectives as my primary focus, but there is enough aggression/counter-aggression packed in there to help secure kills and stay alive in the early game.

Grymwatch 1.1.PNG

Edited by PJetski
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Thanks! Those changes are kind of what I've been thinking, though keeping Double Time. It's such a big surprise card near the end of turn 2-3 to have a ghoul run 10 to get a free objective. I think I may have been somewhat too focused on their strong Objective deck

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18 minutes ago, Namiriel said:

Thanks! Those changes are kind of what I've been thinking, though keeping Double Time. It's such a big surprise card near the end of turn 2-3 to have a ghoul run 10 to get a free objective. I think I may have been somewhat too focused on their strong Objective deck

If you need to grab a free objective then I think Faneway Crystal would be better for that purpose, as it doesn't use up a gambit slot. The gambit slots are more valuable to me than the upgrade slots for this warband.

I think Double Time only worth  a gambit slot if you are running Longstrider/Burst of Speed.

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I played a little event on the weekend, my first since Beastgrave came out. I took my gitz, and played against Grymwatch twice.

First game, my opponent was unlucky, and I played well (but with two glaring mistakes, the first was thinking their inspire condition was countered by a single fighter in their half, the second was forgetting I had rebound in hand) that cost me - leading to a 2 glory loss. 

The second game, I was absolutely trounced. It wasn't even close. Seems as though Grymwatch are the warband to beat so far this season, so i'm looking to counter them hard. So what is going to hurt them the most? I'm thinking of playing the snarlfangs as my next competitive warband, as they look fun - and could be a good counter to the grymwatch with their fantastic speed and ability to split damage across multiple models (and the associated knockbacks that come with that). Trophy Belt and Tome of Offerings can lead to some big glory totals against them. 

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