Warhammer Underworlds: Wintermaw Review

Last Updated on June 4, 2024 by FauxHammer

Grab your coat, it’s getting pretty chilly in the new season of Warhammer Underworlds. Read all about it in our Warhammer Underworlds: Wintermaw Review.

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Warhammer Underworlds: Wintermaw Review – Summary

Wintermaw kicks off a new season of Warhammer Underworlds in typical style. A gorgeous box filled with all you need to get started with Warhammer’s Age of Sigmar’s deck-building skirmish game, Wintermaw is also replete with some of the coolest – and weirdest – models we’ve seen in an Underworlds Warband yet.

Warhammer Underworlds: Wintermaw Review – Introduction

With all the hype and speculation about Warhammer Age of Sigmar Fourth Edition currently kicking around, it’s easy to forget about some of Games Workshop’s other spin-off titles. However, it’s been about six month since Warhammer Underworlds: Deathgorge dropped (though time remains a big ball of wibbly-wobbly timey-wimey stuff that makes no sense to anyone – seriously, how is March 2024 already done?!), so this release shouldn’t come as a surprise to anyone.

Whether you’re an ardent gamer or just a hobby painter, Warhammer Underworlds releases are always worth a look. For gamers, Underworlds is a fast-paced deck-building and skirmish game that can be played in half an hour or so, and requires a lot less time and monetary investment to get into than both Warhammer 40,000 and Age of Sigmar. However, it still rewards people for getting truly stuck in with deck building and warband selection mechanics, and allows you to really personalise your experience playing too.

Painters should always rejoice whenever Underworlds is mentioned too. Underworlds plays host to some of the most exciting and unique miniatures you’ll find anywhere within the worlds of Warhammer. From dynamic goblins to unique Stormcast Eternals (a rare thing, I lknow!), weird and wonderful Tzeench-worshipping weirdos and georgeously-sculpted vampires, there is a set of Underworlds models out there for every hobbyist no matter your experience.

So, what awaits in the Wintermaw?

Warhammer Underworlds: Wintermaw Review – What’s New?

Here at FauxHammer.com, we’re miniature painters and collectors before we’re anything else, so reviewing an Underworlds set is always an interesting journey for us.

These boxes are primarily aimed at people who want to get stuck in to this game – not, necessarily, at painters and hobbyists. That said, we’re big fans of Underworlds as a game. It’s not too difficult to pick up, and is actually a lot of fun once you get your head around the rules. If you ever played Magic the Gathering: Arena of the Plainswalkers, Underworlds could be seen as the meatier, more Warhammer-ified version of this game.

Players each choose a team of miniatures that they control on a hex-grid battlefields littered with traps and objectives, and aim to with the game by scoring Glory Points. Depending on the squad of miniatures you choose, their Fighter cards, and the ability deck you play along with them, how you generate Glory Points may change: some decks are weighted more towards clever play, securing objectives, and bamboozling your foe. Others are more about exploiting the skirmish game elements of the game: thumping your opponents into opposition, kickin’ butt and takin’ names – that sort of thing.

So, what’s new with Wintermaw?

As usual, the new season box comes with the Rivals Decks you need for the two new warbands, as well as two new Universal Decks – the Rimewyrm’s Bite and the Hungering Parasite. Hungering Parasite is described as “a technical control deck”, in which a parasite attached to one of your fighters is used to control the field – and provide bonuses to your allies – whilst the Rimewyrm’s Bite is build around exploiting the Rimewyrms that lurk within the Wintermaw’s fictional setting, mastering environmental elements of play.

As per this breakdown article on Warhammer Community’s website, each new warband and deck plays very differently. The Skinnerkin are all about getting stuck in and hacking chunks off your opponents. Once you’ve dealt enough damage to your foes, your warband will begin to inspire – thus, become all the more powerful. They are a much more straightforward, “traditional” warband that are much easier for newcomers to play straight out of the box. The Brethren of the Blot play in the reverse to this: a control warband, the Brethren actually begin the game inspired – a representation of the “divine charge within them”. Playing the Brethren is all about knowing how to master the ebb and flow of this ability and utilise it against your foes at the correct time. Compared to the Skinnerkin, they are considerably more technical and will appeal more to veteran players.

Warhammer Underworlds: Wintermaw Review – Contents

We’ve come to expect a lot from these Warhammer Underworlds boxes. Over the last few years, they’ve set a consistently high standard with the quality and the completeness of their contents.

So, how will Wintermaw follow up against this pedigree?

Warhammer Underworlds Wintermaw Review Box

So, in numbers, the box contains:

  • 2 x Warhammer Underworlds Warbands
    • 1 x Brethren of the Bolt (5 miniatures)
    • 1 x The Skinnerkin (5 miniatures)
  • 1 x Warhammer Underworlds: Wintermaw Rulebook
  • 4 x Card Decks
    • 1 x Brethren of the Bolt Fighter Cards and Rivals Deck
    • 1 x Skinnerkin Fighter Cards and Rivals Deck
    • 1 x Rimewyrm’s Bite Rivals Deck
    • 1 x Hungering Parasite Rivals Deck
  • A boatload of tokens
    • 38 x Glory Points
    • 8 x Activation tokens
    • 24 x wound counters/generic counters
    • 6 x Raise tokens
    • 13 x Move/Charge tokens
    • 13 x Guard/Stagger tokens
    • 2 x double-sided blocked/cover feature tokens
    • 1 x double-sided scatter token
    • 9 x double-sided objective/cover feature tokens
  • 2 x double-sided game boards
  • 1 x set of Warhammer Underworlds dice

We’ll have a look at all of this in a little more detail below.

Wargear

So, here’s everything.

Warhammer Underworlds Wintermaw Review Contents (2)

On the left you’ve got your rulebook and the double-sided A4 construction guide for the two warbands. On the right, you’ve got the double-sided gaming boards. Top centre you’ve got the 100+ tokens that come with this set. At the bottom, you’ve got the four card decks – as well as a Warhammer Underworlds: Wintermaw-themed envelope that you can keep all four of the card decks tucked away in. This is a new inclusion for this set, and we’re here for it!

In fact, this envelope isn’t the only thing that’s been added to help keep the contents of this box looking nice: the boards come in a paper sleeve, and there is a sheet of thin paper added between some of the components too. All this helps ensure your gaming bits stay looking nice for longer.

We’ll start with the rulebook. We’ve said it before, and we’ll say it again: Warhammer Underworlds rulebooks dance a fine line between being a beginner’s resource and a veteran’s reference guide. Whilst the book will walk you through each step of a game of Warhammer Underworlds, it’s not necessarily the easiest thing to kick-start your Underworlds career with. Whilst you could learn to play Warhammer Underworlds from this rulebook – such is how good the writing and guide within is – it would be a lot easier to grab one of the starter sets and go from there.

It does, however, contain the new setting and lore info you need to understand the narrative behind the seasonal transition from the Deathgorge to the Wintermaw – so if you’re a fan of Warhammer’s setting, the couple of pages in this book dedicated to that sort of thing will be right up your street. And, of course, there is a page given over to showing off Games Workshop’s in-house ‘Eavy Metal painters’ efforts on the models in this set.

The tokens and cards – rather like the book, if we’re being honest – are what you’d expect. Of good stock and quality, these’ll certainly see you through the next Underworlds season without any issues. I had no snags or tears on any of the tokens when removing them from their boards, and their icons are really clear and easy to see at tabletop distance.

Finally, we arrive at the boards themselves. Like everything else in these sets, the all-important gaming boards that come with new season Underworlds boxes have a serious standard to live up to.

So, here’s both sides of the first board…

Warhammer Underworlds Wintermaw Review Board A Side 1 (2)
Warhammer Underworlds Wintermaw Review Board A Side 2

…and both sides of the second.

Warhammer Underworlds Wintermaw Review Board B Side 1
Warhammer Underworlds Wintermaw Review Board B Side 2 (2)

When playing Underworlds, one of the first things two opposing players do is select a board and then select a side of the board they want to place – this is a tactical move, as it helps form not only the arena, but lines up where certain features and objectives can be placed. Because either board can be played on their side, it’s important to have a level of visual synergy on each face so when placed together, there’s a degree of continuation from surface to surface. Decked out in wintery-themed artwork, not only is there a good sense of coherency across the artwork, but these high-quality boards come with an appropriate fold that does not damage the artwork on either side of the board. Top marks from us.

We’re off to a smashing start – but how do the all-important minis fare?

Miniatures

As is the norm with Warhammer Underworlds, all the miniatures in the new Wintermaw box are push-fit. You also get two complete Warbands so you can start battling right out of the box!

The Skinnerkin

The Flesh-eater Courts have really been enjoying the attention they’ve had lavished on them over the last few months. What started with the Royal Beastflayers back in the Warcry: Nightmare Quest box became a completely new army box of its own, a host of character miniatures, and even the impressive Ushoran, Mortarch of Grief miniature.

It was just a matter of time, then, before they came crashing into the rime-encrusted world of Warhammer Underworlds. And here they are.

Warhammer Underworlds Wintermaw Review Skinnerkin

The Skinnerkin are a fairly standard Flesh-eater Courts fare: fanged ghouls up to no good, though these chaps are led by the Courts’ first female character: the teriffying master-butcheress Gristla Tenderhooke.

Whilst some of the minis amidst the Skinnerkin are, perhaps, a little too derivative of the new Crypt Guard for my liking, Gristla makes for a murderously magnificent miniature. Adorned with her various implements of slaughter and draped in her ragged apron, Gristla looks every bit the bloodthirsty butcher you want her to be. Accompanied as well by a winged ghoul, there’s still a good amount of diversity in this kit – and a good sense of scale and different levels of textures for painters to really get stuck into.

The biggest problem with the Skinnerkin, however, is not the Skinnerkin’s fault. In all, they’re a really nice, characterful bunch of deranged killers – but they suffer mainly because of who they are currently packaged up with.

Remember how I said the Skinnerkin were cool, but kinda lacked a bit of originality? Well, allow me to introduce you to the…

Brethren of the Bolt

I’m not allowed to use expletives on FauxHammer.com, but I really cannot stress how much I flippin’ love these miniatures.

Warhammer Underworlds Wintermaw Review Brethren of the Bolt

The Brethren of the Bolt figures are a right proper bunch of weirdos. Their lore states that they believe bolts of lightning to be of the divine essence of Sigmar, and thus spend their days trying to get struck by lightning.

What’s more, the leader of this warband is truly unique. Called Pater Filius (Latin for “father” and “son” respectively, this is about to become super relevant, so remember this) – Pater Filius is actually two people. Look closely – you’ll see that the model isn’t some weird man-with-a-head-in-his-stomach mutant (not beyond the realms of possibility for Warhammer, I know). This model is, in fact, a man riding on another man’s shoulders.

This miniature, Pater Filius, is in fact two people called Pater and Filius respectively. Pater is the helmet-wearing chap sitting on the shoulders of Filius, who is peering out through the opening in the coat.

It’s this sort of whacky character design that really helps bring Warhgammer Underworlds to life. With entire units absolutely drenched in character and originality, no matter your area of interest there’s almost certainly an Underworlds Warband for you. And I think the whacky and wonderful Brethren of the Bolt might be mine.

That said, however, I did actually have a tough time assembling these. Some of the push-fit pegs really did not want to slot into their respective holes – particularly those attaching the miniatures to their bases.

Still, these models are nuts. I love them. Here are mine, all painted up to more-or-less match the box art.

Warhammer Underworlds Wintermaw Review Brethren of the Bolt Painted (SMALL)

What fun figures they are, too. They are, at points, challenging to paint due to their sculpts – Pater FIlius in particular is a real test of your patience and painting abilities. With so many partially-obscured details, such as the characters’ half-covered faces, the Brethren of the Bolt definitely aren’t for the faint of heart – but they are incredibly rewarding to get all painted up.

Warhammer Underworlds: Wintermaw Review – Price and Availability

Warhammer Underworlds: Wintermaw will have a price of £65.00GBP/$95.00USD/€80.00EUR, which is consistent with the last two Underworlds releases. For this price, you get two complete Warbands – the magnificent Skinnerkin and weirdly wonderful Brethren of the Bolt – which, we estimate, would normally set you back around £52.00GBP/$84.00USD/€68.00EUR, as each Warband and their associated card deck(s) come with a price point of £26.00GBP/$42.00USD/€34.00EUR straight from the Games Workshop webstore. Add to this all the other goodies – the boards, the rulebook, the tokens and the dice – and you’ve likely got yourself quite a fair deal.

Warhammer Underworlds: Wintermaw Review – Final Thoughts

The GoodThe Bad
Some of the most unique and characterful Underworlds minis yet
Complete box full of high-quality goodies
Everything you need to get playing Warhammer Underworlds
New quality assurance/quality of life extras
Skinnerkin miniatures just aren’t anywhere near as cool as the Brethren of the Bolt
Brethren of the Bolt minis were weirdly tough to assemble

Wintermaw kicks the next season of Warhammer Underworlds off in style. The inclusion of new quality-assurance/protective measures (whatever it is you want to call the envelopes, sheets between components, whatever) is a great start to what is a really enjoyable set. As ever, the cards, tokens, boards and book are all of great quality – such as one would expect when buying Underworlds products. The Skinnerkin miniatures are great, but suffer from the success of the bafflingly brilliant Brethren of the Bolt. That the latter figures were a bit of a pain to build is hopefully an issue limited only to mine and perhaps a bad mould day in Nottingham, but I would advise caution to anyone who find themselves with a set of these – just in case.

Historically, we’ve tended to always give Underworlds sets a 4-star review for being “pretty damn good, but not quite perfect”. Wintermaw is no different – there are a handful of pinchpoints and niggles, but these are far-outweighed by the overall quality of what’s on offer in this set.

★★★★

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VoltorRWH

Rob has spent most of the last 20 years playing World of Warcraft and writing stories set in made-up worlds. At some point, he also managed to get a Master's degree by writing about Medieval zombies.

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