Mastering Ironskulls Boyz: Part 2.

•January 8, 2021 • Leave a Comment

Welcome back!

In part 2, the plan is to quickly go over the strengths and weaknesses of the Ironskull’s Boys ready for building power and objective decks. I have previously said that I’m looking at the warband as a brute force, attrition based warband. I think they have some real efficacy in that area.

Da Gud:

  1. The Boss!

    Gurzag is one of the biggest strengths of Ironskull’s boys, as he is an absolute beast, and in my mind technically borders on the ‘big guy’ category that Mollog and Hrothgorn occupy, especially since the changes to gaining glory for kills. Only a single +1 wound makes him worth 2 glory, and he is worth keeping alive!

    A 3 damage attack straight out of the gate with 2 smash is very unusual for an uninspired fighter and 5 health is really good. making him very scary on round one, and a good way of scoring kills before the upgrades start rolling in. He is good for scoring primacy by one shotting things. Boss choppas make him pretty accurate when he inspires, but I dont think he needs to inspire to start Krumpin’.

  2. Health.
    The Ironskulls boyz have 17 health between them, which is high for a non-horde warband and allows them to keep grinding away in a war of attrition against other warbands.

  3. Easy Inspire Condition.
    Taking damage, any damage, this goes along with the previous point, that you aren’t super worried about chip damage as most of your fighters get better when they Inspire. Notably, Bonecutta inspires to have the same attack profile as Gurzag, which can be a real surprise to your opponent, especially if they focus down the big guy first.

  4. Unique Ploys.
    Kunnin’ but Brutal and Brutal but Kunnin’ are cards they share with Morgok’s crushas, but are still really good in terms of Direchasm Meta, or at least as I understand it, being able to make a charge and only gain a move token, and the ability to push up to three spaces after any attack action (even if it wasnt sucessful!) are really good and allow the ‘ardboys to generate extra action economy, and being able to make extra attacks in a round is always good, especially in a war of atrittion. These two are also reactions, and take place during the activation, so I dont think they count towards scoring frantic exchange.

    ‘Avin a good time is another example of this, letting you attack again in the power step. It is sad that keep chopping has rotated out, but there is likely to be a similar card or a reprint appear soon, even if it isn’t seen for the next 12 months.

Der Bad:

  1. Speed.
    The whole warband is speed 3, and remains that way even when inspired. As the seasons have progressed, this means that the relative speed of the Boyz has gone from being ‘average’ to ‘slow’. This can cause problems against warbands that want to deploy away from you and score passive glory or cash in on objective tokens. You can also find yourself fighting on two fronts if faster warbands can skirt around your meatballs (Orcballs?) deep into your half and plonk themselves on a feature token. Without power cards, the Orcs have no ability to damage anything more than 4 hexes away. This is probably the most important thing to keep in mind when building decks, as a slow aggro warband is really gonna need help getting into close range and punching people.

  2. Hakka and Basha.

    These two can be problematic for both you and your opponent. I’m listing this as a weakness, because they need investment to really be able to stand up and be counted. Uninspired, their attack profiles are the same as the un-named members of some warbands. They have as much punch as petitioner #1-3, chainrasp #2+3, and the Bat Squig. Inspired, they are slightly more dangerous, going up to 3 fury and 2 damage, but still lagging behind when compared to fighers in more ‘modern’ warbands. Working around this is surprisingly easy though, as almost any attack upgrade card is better than what they have as standard, and so an Amberbone Sword or larval lance can make them infinitely more threatening and blindside your opponent. Even the new Soultooth Bow is a better weapon than either of them has as standard and can turn one of the two dolts into an archer as accurate as Gurzag, but with a much greater threat range.

  3. Defenses.
    1 Block across the warband gives you a 50/50 chance of scoring a sucess each time you are attacked, regardless of what else is going on, but it never gets any better. This can really hurt, as most attcks will be odds-on to hit you (54% for 2 smash and 55% for 3 fury) and there isnt very much you can do about it, as going on guard doesnt adffect the odds by very much, and your really want to be moving agressively rather than sitting on guard.

    This does mean that the -Defence upgrade cards in Direchasm are of great value for the warband, as there is no negative effect for using them.

  4. Old Cards and limited upgrades.
    Out of the 10 warband-specific upgrades that the Ironskull’s boys have access to, 9 of them are limited to one or two fighters, and some of them are quite strong, but others are very conditional and/or situational. this leads to higher chances of them not being useful, and a reliance on universal cards. This is true for the objectives and ploys that they have as well, but I will be discussing this in greater depths in parts 2, 3 and 4.

‘An Da Ugly:

As pointed out in the Warband Review: Episode 4 With Tim Grieves on the path to glory podcast, the warband is considered old, and underpowered when compared to more recent releases, but they do have some cards with effects that are very similar to those considered favouribly even in the Direchasm release reviews. The way Heartstone Amulet and ‘Ard Head work is the same, even if one is only avaliable to Hakka and Basha.

It is possible that opponents will underestimate the older Orc warband, as they are often grouped in a B or C tier of warbands, now this can open up extra opportunities in games. Unfortunately, they have a reputation for a reason, you may not have the tools avaliable to capitalise on these opportunities. If you get the chance though, get to scoring! Attack every turn you can, keep hitting them, keep scoring your objective cards, and make sure you disrupt as many positional plays your opponent makes as you can.

Next time, I plan on looking at the faction and championship legal universal ploys avaliable to the Ironskull’s Boys. Im gonna be putting forward the first part of my power deck for the Direchasm release Meta aggro deck and explaining my choices. I have just downloaded and installed the Underworlds mod for Vassal, so I hope to get some playtesting done over the next few weeks/months.

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Mastering Ironskull’s Boyz: Part 1

•January 6, 2021 • Leave a Comment

Part one: Choosing a Warband!

I’ve already done this one, as I have painted my Warband up and have photos of them eager and ready to hit the table!

The first attempt I’m going to have at mastering Warhammer: Underworlds is with the Ironskull’s Boyz.

In this short intro post, I want to detail my reasons for choosing them and go into the aesthetics of the miniatures in a general sense to set the stage for more detailed examination in future posts.


The orcs (orruks?) look brutal, plain and simple, Ironskull and Bonecutta look dynamic and brutal. Their weapons and armour look battered and chipped, but still functional, so that’s cool, especially for models from the very start of Shadespire! Unfortunately, Hakka looks a bit t-posed, and I think Basha looks derpy, but together they look really orky!

I also like how the faction cards are orky too, although they are a bit dated when compared to the orky cards found in Morgruk’s Crushas both Warband have the same Brutal/Kunnin’ gambits though, which is great!

General or Primary Playstyle:

Ironskull’s Boys are often seen as a pure aggro Warband, described as a ‘brute force’ style with some small surgical elements. The plan is simple, you rush your meatballs forward into enemy territory and start swinging, often leaving Gurzag until your final activation of the round to limit his exposure to counter attacks. The surgical aspect comes when you can Voltron up a fighter and send them zooming into a key target with spectral wings or similar, or after your opponent has moved forward to retaliate against your aggressive charges.

When is this happening?

I plan on drafting a few of these up, and then queue them up to be posted every other day, but there might be a week between each batch being written and the next set of posts coming out, but the more games I can get in the faster I will be able to get them out, so keep posted!

But… Why??!?

To be honest, I love the minis, and I want to get some reps in with them. They are my first fully painted Warband and are therefore gonna get some love. I’m hoping that a bit of focus on one Warband will mean my gameplay and understanding will improve as I’ve played no end of different warbands at my local club with mixed results!

The internet also seems to hold the opinion that they are a bit dated, especially when compared to the aggro warbands that were released after them, such as the Crushas, Rippa’s Snarlfang, and Magore’s Fiends. That just makes me want to play them a bit more though!

What am I brewing? – 

I’d like to do something on and off during this series and hint at some things that have caught my attention whilst I’ve been working on this series. Hopefully, it will be somewhat related to the Warband at hand, but it might not, so there will be a little bit of something random, partly to get my thoughts on paper, and hopefully to inspire people to try new things. ‘Brewing’ is something I’m borrowing from Magic: the Gathering, where you build strange decks and see if you can make a concept/combo work, and hopefully I can come back to ideas as the season progresses!

Current brew: Lost page purifiers!

New Content: Warhammer Underworlds!

•December 22, 2020 • Leave a Comment

So, recently (and pre-covid) I bought into the end of season 3 of Warhammer:Underworlds and have had some great games of it, both up my local gaming club, and at home with my 10-yr old daughter.

I know that i’m getting the new Direchasm core set for xmas, and wanted to document my experiences with the new season on here.

I plan on reanimating a format of posts that I last saw used on the Team Covenent blog, during the first edition of Monsterpocalypse, about mastering a single monster and really diving deep into the specifics of it, and matchups etc.

The template was called Mastering Monpoc, and was presented in a 31-day (or post) format. I plan on converting it for use with a warband from Underworlds.

Now, I dont think I’ll be able to manage 31 posts all about the same warband right away, so Initially, Im gonna start with a more manageable (lol) 14 post Template. [Found Here]

Day 1: Choose a Warband. Discuss options and why the Warband was chosen

Day 2: Detail the Warband’s strengths and weaknesses

Day 3: Gambits, What are you putting in your deck, what style of cards work, and what doesn’t.

Day 4: Upgrades, What are you putting in your deck, what style of cards work, and what doesn’t.

Day 5: The Battle Plan. What goes into the objective deck?

Day 6: The Whole Package. The decks are assembled, how do they fit together, what cards help you score what objectives, and who gets the upgrades?

Day 7: Boards, what works, what is foundation/ reaction. can you longboard or offset?

Day 8: Placing objectives and Lethal Hexes, both on your board, and your opponent’s.

Day 9: The Best Laid Plans. How can you lose now that you’ve settled on your Warband? – What can you do to prevent that?

Day 10: Local Meta. Who are you facing often and why? How will you combat that?

Day 11: Broad Meta. What does the internet think is the way to play? How will you combat that?

Day 12: Application. A battle report with the list you made

Day 13: Revisions. What are you changing now that you’ve done all this analysis?

Day 14: Reflection. What have you learned on this 2 week journey?

I plan on starting with a warband I’ve been pretty excited about running, The much maligned Ironskull’s Boyz, and I hope that other people will find this of use, as I think they still can work in a new meta.

I’m not sure when I’ll get this started, but i plan on doing posts 1-5 before i schedule them to be uploaded 1/day 🙂 I won’t be able to do days/ posts 12-14 until after I come out of Lockdown , hopefully in the new year!

What If? – French Armour in Operation Sealion.

•February 20, 2018 • Leave a Comment

I got invited to join in an ongoing operation sea lion campaign with my early war French. The game is 500 points, and I’ve decided to take a silly tank platoon.

It has been a great opportunity to build one of my Three Warlord Games Char b1 bis, that arrived at Christmas, and 3 of the Renault ft-17’s I bought from Mad Bob Miniatures last year.

The current list is

Char b1 bis, regular 260 (command tank)
Renault ft\17 regular 35
Renault ft-17 regular 35
Renault ft-17 regular 35
Renault ft-18 regular 65

Light howitzer regular 0

Citroen kegresse armoured car, inexperienced 52


It might do well, it might not, but it should be fun to play!





New armies, new game!

•February 18, 2018 • Leave a Comment

ok, so I’ve been really lax in sharing my painted armies, some of which I’m quite proud of!

I have a new phone, and new apps, so I’m gonna see if it’s easier to post content like this!

I have a weird war ersatz army, good and evil armies for lotr sbg and other bits and bobs to start sharing!

I must do this every January…

•January 18, 2017 • Leave a Comment

Just realised I have about 10 drafted blog posts all half finished and no actual content on here!

Keep and eye out for the following:

K47 wierd war Germans,

Bolt Action French

Blood Bowl Chaos Pact

More 30k World Eaters.

Just as soon as i finish writing them up and posting them !

Suddenly! Epic 40k

•October 17, 2016 • Leave a Comment

This weekend, I have managed to only paint a single model, and an Epic scale one at that!

This is my Tzeenchian ‘counts as’ Banelord Titan. I may have gone a little bit overboard with the weathering on the metals, with rust, oil and verdigris on the metalwork, and some heat damage on the Magna-melta  to boot! The faces on the flat panels didnt quite go to plan, but they were fun to do!



I am pleased with how he turned out. Next up is a pair of warhounds and some Slannesh Daemon engines to back him up. As well as a mountain of Deamon and mortal infantry that makes the list useable.

For anyone that actually reads this far, I actually won a game of 30k with my World Eaters! WOOOO! – I was gonna do a Battle rep. but I had left my camera in the car. :/ Maybe next time eh?

My next scheduled game of 30k is 2500 points vs  admech at Black Dragon in Hinkley. I am gonna get my Malcador built and painted in prep for that, not that I expect to win, but new toys need building and painting! As ever, C&C are welcome. Thanks for reading!


Weekly update 09/10/16

•October 9, 2016 • Leave a Comment

I planned on doing an update post with things I’ve been working on to go up on eitther Sunday or Monday each week in order to keep getting things done.

This week though, I have done next to nothing, Training at work, coupled with people being off and pulling overtime has left me with very little time for hobby. So, this week I have built a Contemptor with a single arm (magnetised OFC) and I have begun to paint my Dreadclaw Drop Pod.


Weathering so far is from a can of black spray, directed at the underside of the miniature and some basic blacklining with some washes into the recesses. I need to add the blue markings and Legion symbols.


My old metal Preadator has been Blacklined ready for painting this week too! although it means less chainaxes on the table everytime he sees play, its nice to have a bit of fire support from something that isn’t a Land Raider!


As ever, Thanks for reading!







Holy Crap…

•October 2, 2016 • 1 Comment

Wow, it has been over a year since my last post on here… I’m not dead, just working, studying and doing things slowly.

It probably didnt help that i made some terrain for the gorkamorka campaign that fizzled after about 3 games 😦


Looking Forwards though, since then I have started to build and paint a World Eaters Force for games in the Horus Heresy. I’m yet to win with them, but I’m still hopeful, and having found a local resevior of players nearby, I am excited to continue working on the army.


Here is one of my tac squads, and assault marines, all equipped with chainaxes. They need finishing off, but I wanted paint on them ASAP.

My Praetor with Paragon-ax and My Legion Praevian with Inducted Vorax Bodyguard. I love the Praetor, but the Vorax seem to just get shot off every game.

My painted Support section, two Dreadnoughts with Carapace Havok Launchers and a Vindicator. Next to the Vindi, you can also see my 1st two attack bikes, who belong to a squadron of 6 ATM.

So Far, I have lost vs 40k Eldar, and Two different players with Iron Warriors. So I have been buying new toys as my budget allows. I’m currently working on more assault marines, more attack bikes, a Dreadclaw drop pod and a twin CCW Contemptor. I also have some bike Apocatharies and a Malcador sitting ready to be put together.


Thanks for reading, C+C always welcome.



X Wing elimination tournament!

•October 4, 2015 • 4 Comments

Sorry for yet another Xwing post  but I’ve signed up for an 8 man, single elimination tournament  with some interesting rules and wanted to share my thoughts on the subject:

The rules are:

– 40pt squadrons
– No large bases
– Must take two ships

This is really cool for a number of reasons,  but not having a shuttle avaliable makes me sad :,(

The low points value is going to limit the type and ps of avaliable ships, because lots of normally strong builds cost too much to fit into the format, such as super fell, corran  horn or anything in a defender!

From discussions I’ve seen being held on our local club’s facebook threads, the khiraxis fighter, y-wing, Z-95 and new T70 hold favour with the rebel and scum players, focussing on jousting strength and winning on or just after the first pass. This list is a great example of this school of thought:

Z-95 Headhunter: Black Sun Soldier (13)
Cluster Missiles (4)
Glitterstim (2)
Z-95 Headhunter: Black Sun Soldier (13)
Cluster Missiles (4)
Glitterstim (2)
— TOTAL ——- 38 pts

Thats a lot of dice for alpha striking! I can see it being a bit of a one-shot though and if you dont have an overwhelming  advantage you might struggle to see out he game.

Turrets cost a lot of points, so I think that one or two may see play but no more than one/list.

As far as Imperial discussion, arc dodgers seem to be in  favour, with either double interceptor w/autothrusters or a named pilot plus a basic tie fighter, im sure that a doubl tie/fo or double tie fighter might make an appearance.

Im tempted to try a basic academy pilot  paired with a sigma squadron phantom with some toys:

TIE Phantom: Sigma Squadron Pilot (25)
Stygium Particle Accelerator (2)
Intelligence Agent (1)
TIE Fighter: Academy Pilot (12)

I hope with this list that the PS 3 and inteligence agent means I can get some damage off on the phantom using its decloak moves, without suffering too much incoming fire, as agi 2 and an evade isnt the best defence in the game. With the limited points, Ps 3-5 is likely to be in the upper ranges  seen, unless there are named Tie fighters or F/O flying around, and gives the phantom a chance to alpha strike its target with its 4 or 5 dice attack.

If this format seems cool, feel free to try it yourself! I’m honestly not sure where James found it, but it’ll certainly shake things up for a couple of games!

If you have any ideas/ suggestions feel free to leave them in the comments section below!