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12Jul/180

Warhammer Underworlds: Shadespire – Ironskull’s Boyz

Where there is chaos and destruction, Orruks cannot be far away. Somewhat close to the Khorne Bloodbound warbands (Reavers and Fiends) in their intention / motivation, we see what separates the Green from the Red, in this review on the Shadespire warband of Ironskull's Boyz.

Earlier this week, I started the coverage on the Shadespire warbands with the Sepulchral Guard.

Warhammer Underworld Shadespire - Ironskull's Boyz Warhammer Underworld Shadespire - Ironskull's Boyz

Ironskull's Boyz is a 4 Orruk strong warband expansion for Warhammer Underworlds Shadespire and costs 22.50 EUR. It comes with the pre-coloured two sprues (in matching orcish green!), a card deck and brief instructions on the assembly.

The card deck covers 64 cards, 4 cards for the warband itself, 29 are unique cards for the Orruk warband and 31 universal cards (split across objectives, upgrades and ploys) to be used with any Warhammer Underworlds warband.

Warhammer Underworld Shadespire - Ironskull's Boyz Warhammer Underworld Shadespire - Ironskull's Boyz Warhammer Underworld Shadespire - Ironskull's Boyz

As with all the Shadespire miniatures, these are push-fit, so they can be assembled without the use of glue. In addition they come with pre-sculpted bases, so all you need is brushes and paints to complete the miniatures, no PVA, glue or flock (or at least optional). Casting is really good, very crisp details and great use of the space within the sprues.

Warhammer Underworld Shadespire - Ironskull's Boyz Warhammer Underworld Shadespire - Ironskull's Boyz Warhammer Underworld Shadespire - Ironskull's Boyz

Let us begin with the man, better said Or(ru)k himself - Gurzag Ironskull. He's the name giver of the crew. Standing out with his size - even among Orruks -, wearing a cloak (that seems to be a thing with the commanders in Shadespire, if you see Steelheart or the Sepulchral Warden), and a heavy choppa in each hand. A very strong and fierce pose. I like the pelt on the shoulder. Gurzag is inspired by receiving damage. As soon as he loses a wound, he gets inspired. This is a general rule among the Orruk warband and makes them react faster and more frenzy, compared to the Reavers, who need three fighters to be taken out of the game to be inspired.

Warhammer Underworld Shadespire - Ironskull's Boyz Warhammer Underworld Shadespire - Ironskull's Boyz Warhammer Underworld Shadespire - Ironskull's Boyz
Warhammer Underworld Shadespire - Ironskull's Boyz Warhammer Underworld Shadespire - Ironskull's Boyz Warhammer Underworld Shadespire - Ironskull's Boyz
Warhammer Underworld Shadespire - Ironskull's Boyz

Basha is another Orruk going for dual wielding heavy hitters. He can push back enemies after critical hits. The iron armour is kept in the style of the Black Orcs of 7th edition Warhammer Fantasy Battles from 2007 (Those are now called 'Ardboyz in Age of Sigmar).

Warhammer Underworld Shadespire - Ironskull's Boyz Warhammer Underworld Shadespire - Ironskull's Boyz Warhammer Underworld Shadespire - Ironskull's Boyz Warhammer Underworld Shadespire - Ironskull's Boyz

Hakka keeps the dual wield, but with choppas this time. Has access to cleave and wears a prominent Iron Gob to protect his face. Actually, with the name Ironskull, I would have expected for the leader to wear either the metal plate that Basha or the Iron Gob that Hakka has. As this is plastic, it would be easy to do a head swap with either of those.

Warhammer Underworld Shadespire - Ironskull's Boyz Warhammer Underworld Shadespire - Ironskull's Boyz Warhammer Underworld Shadespire - Ironskull's Boyz Warhammer Underworld Shadespire - Ironskull's Boyz

The last of the quartet is Bonekutta, with a double handed heavy choppa.

Warhammer Underworld Shadespire - Ironskull's Boyz Warhammer Underworld Shadespire - Ironskull's Boyz Warhammer Underworld Shadespire - Ironskull's Boyz Warhammer Underworld Shadespire - Ironskull's Boyz

And the whole warband together. They carry all the weapons 'Ardboys have access to and are a very bulk, heavy armoured bunch.

Warhammer Underworld Shadespire - Ironskull's Boyz

As these are 'Ardboys / Black Orcs, they are among the largest of the Orcs / Orruks. You can see this clearly in the first comparison with an Old Space Ork Goff Boy and a 6th Edition Orc Boy. Other companies offer orcs as well, the left one is from Wargames Factory, the one on the right by Mantic Games from their Kings of War range.

Warhammer Underworld Shadespire - Ironskull's Boyz Warhammer Underworld Shadespire - Ironskull's Boyz

As with all the cards, you can look them up in the card library on the Underworld Community page. Among the uploads you can find some popular and effective deck builds from tournaments as well. Right on top of the listing, you'll find the AdeptiCon 2018 Grand Clash Winner build.

This warband is a very aggressive set up. You need to get in there to receive wounds, so you can inspire your warriors. They have medium movement of 3, are on eye level on their defense stats with the Stormcast Eternals and even have a soldier more on the board. I'd rate them somewhere between the two starting set warbands of the Reavers and Steelhearts Champions. Not as fragile as the Bloodbound, but more agile as the Stormcast. With 4 wounds among the warriors and 5 for the leader, you can play defensive as well - if you need to. I think that makes this warband quite beginner friendly. The card deck rewards the aggressive play, as you can unlock a lot of objectives rather easily (for example Call of the Waaagh! or Dere's more of us.)

And a group picture of Ironskull's Boyz.

Warhammer Underworld Shadespire - Ironskull's Boyz Warhammer Underworld Shadespire - Ironskull's Boyz

Conclusion
There are a couple of different motivations for the several races of the Warhammer World to come to Shadespire, and the eternal fighting and bloodshed might initially be more Khorne like, but definitely appeals to the Orruks and their Whaaagh! as well. Besides that, Orcs are such a basic part of the Warhammer lore, that there would be something missing, if they weren't part of it.

This kit is 22.50 EUR like the other supplements, and available without the Shadespire card deck for 20 EUR as an Easy-to-build kit as well. Compared to the regular 'Ardboys, this set is a bit expensive, as for 22.50-25 EUR you were be able to buy a regular set of 10 Black Orcs / 'Ardboys from Games Workshop. That box was replaced with a unit of 15 for 45 EUR. With the argument, that you have a proper hero included, and those are at least 26 EUR, the price evens out and moves towards reasonable.

As for the casting quality, I surely do not need to say much to that. It is Citadel, properly casted in the UK, very few mould lines and crisp details. The sculpting and overdrawn features make the models quite easy to paint, especially for beginners. The faces of the Orruks have become wilder, more brutish, compared to the Orcs of the 200x. I personally prefer the old faces, as they had a bit larger, more overdrawn features like the lower jaw. But as mentioned above, head swaps are among the easiest of conversions. The hard edges of the Orruk design separate the individual parts and areas of the models very clearly, guiding paint and brush alike, and making it easy to apply wash and highlights. So not only stat and game wise this set might be the one to suggest to new comers to the hobby, but paint wise as well.

Warhammer Underworlds is a brand by Games Workshop.

The reviewed product item was provided by the manufacturer.

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