Review: Warhammer Underworlds Harrowdeep

Games Workshop have kindly sent me an early release copy of Harrowdeep for review purposes. This set goes up for preorder on the 16th October 2021 and is available to buy in store and online from the 23rd October 2021. There is a price increase this year. Its predecessor Dire Chasm was £50 and Harrowdeep is £65.

I played a lot of Shadespire and Nightvault, so I’m excited to dive back into the depths with Harrowdeep. In this post I’ll share my thoughts on the minis and my experience playing the new game with my wife Jo and her experience as an absolute beginner.


  • 9 Citadel miniuatres
  • 114 Tokens
  • 52 Page rulebook
  • 2 Double sided game boards
  • 9 Fighter cards
  • 32 Truthseeker cards
  • 32 Da Kunnin’ Krew cards
  • 48 universal power and objective cards
  • 36 Grand Alliance power and objective cards
  • 11 Harrowdeep dice

This new Underworlds game is set under the seas of Ulgu in labyrinthine mazes. The game boards do a great job of capturing the feel of dark, dank areas of the shadowsea. The models aren’t heavily nautical in appearance which is a missed opportunity. There are subtle nods though, including Mannok’s head cage which is diving bell-like, Shank is armed with a net and probably the most seafaring visual cue of all is Stormrider’s “parrot”, ok it’s an Aetherwing but it still counts. Mannok da Kunnin actually has a bird on his shoulder in true pirate fashion.

I’ve assembled all the push fit models in around 90 mins. The sculpts are really nice. Xandiers’ Truth Seekers are wearing the new Thunderstrike armour with the addition of hooded capes. The models go together really nicely with a lot of join lines hidden. Some areas like Taros’ belly and Xandire’s shoulders will need some greenstuff to fix gaps but it’s minimal.

As with all Underworlds miniatures they are dripping with character. I love the Hobgrot with all his bags of treasure and the shoulder pads of the Stormcast each feature animals. Xandire and Stormrider have birds whilst Dhoraz has a Warthog. These are going to be great miniatures to paint.

Fun factor

To see how fun the game is, I challenged my wife Jo to a game once our little one had to gone to bed. The box estimates the game should take 30 minutes to play but it took us double that due to checking rules. After a few more games I think we could get it down to 45 minutes. 30 minutes seems a bit of a stretch.

Set up

We started the game by working through the rulebook, deciding who would place the game board first, dealt objectives, set up models etc. I haven’t played Underwords since Night Vault and my wife has only ever played once before. So we were both going into this as complete novices.

End of turn 1

The first turn saw the Kruleboyz attempt to sneak into the Stormcast territory but poor Gikkit was smashed to a pulp by Dhoraz’s massive hammer. Torka Tuffskul and his leader Mannok sought revenge and dispatched Dhoraz by tag teaming and getting those all important supporting attacks. It took a few activations to send Dhoraz back to Azyr and during which he was left with a single wound and became Vunverable scoring glory with Stubborn Yet objective. With Dhoraz gone his companions become inspired and score the Stalwart Few objective. The Kruleboyz score Born Survivors for having 1 friendly fighter out of action on turn 1.

End of turn 2

Turn 2 saw the warbands meet in the middle with the Xandire’s Truthseekers showing how tough they are by suffering lots of damage but not falling in return they focussed their efforts on Mannok and gave him 4 damage leaving him with one left. The Kruleboyz Boyz start to take the lead with 6 Glory to the Stormcasts’ 5 Glory.

End of turn 3

Turn 3 was brutal (and not kunnin) for the Kruleboyz with Xandire dispatching Mannok and Stormrider busting into enemy territory with Taros to score We Suffice. Shank is also dispatched and without those supporting dice Torka Tuffskul just could not land a blow on Xandire. The Stormcast claim many of their objective cards giving them 11 glory whilst the Kruleboyz do the walk of shame back to the swamps with 7 Glory.

But was it fun? Yes in parts. The thing that wasn’t fun was the terminology. We felt like lawyers at times looking up the definitions. That kind of sucked the fun out of the first game having to stop to work out how to score a glory after two subsequent reactions have been played in the same phase. I swear it use to be clearer in Shadespire and just say score a glory point for playing two ploy cards. By the end of our first game some of the terminology was starting to sink in like Vulnerable meaning a fighter left with 1 wound. Jo commented on the game saying “it’s not a good game for beginners, it’s too confusing” and I would agree with her. If you are a beginner I recommend you start reading the rulebook at the back with the Glossary first. All the keywords, terminology and jargon is there. Read this first to familiarise yourself with the language, it’ll help you decipher the rules easier.


Value is an interesting one. When Shadespire came out it was £35 and the Warbands were £17.50. Harrowdeep is £65 and the current Warbands released during Direchasm as £25. It makes me wonder if the Harrowdeep season of Warbands price will increase to £30+. Suffice to say the price feels a bit high which matches the higher level gameplay. Shadespire felt entry level and open to everyone. Harrowdeep has leaned into its title of “The Ultimate Competitive Miniatures Game” and is aimed at tournament players. Newbies are in for a steep learning curve to get started and would probably be better off buying the £40 Warhammer Underworlds Starter Set first with it’s stripped back rules.

As an investment this game is heavily supported with expansions and a new season every year. It’s easy to find tournaments and people to play. It’s not a 5 minute wonder, it’ll have you hooked collecting the warbands and cards as you seek to build the ultimate deck.

Check out this tutorial for painting Hobgrots, it’s perfect for Krookgrin…
…and here’s a tutorial that’ll work great for Xandire’s Truthseekers.

Do you like our tutorials and reviews? Here is what you can do to support us: Check out the websites of our sponsors, place your next orders at Wayland Games by clicking here or at Element Games by clicking hereThank you very much, we appreciate any help to keep us going.

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Dung Farm – A Crossfire Battle Report

I’ve been gearing up to pay Dung Farm from Hit the Dirt for a couple of years now. I posted my Balagan version of the Dung Farm a few weeks back and, as you might recall, the table has lots of Ravines, thorn fields and thorn thickets. It took me a while to collect this … Read more

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Steve Balagan

Tutorial: How to paint Black Templars Crusader Squads

In this post, I’ll show you how to paint a Crusader from the Black Templars from the Black Templar Army Set. I painted this model in 24 easy to follow steps. You’ll learn how I paint black armour, cream tabards, bright yellows and more. This tutorial is perfect for any black armoured space marines like Raven Guard and Death Company. Find out how in this tutorial.

This tutorial assumes you have a good understanding of how to paint Warhammer miniatures. With each picture is the corresponding instruction. Each step shows the Citadel paint(s) I used. You’ll find a list of all the paints used in this tutorial at the end of the post.

How to paint a Black Templar Crusader

Undercoat your model with black undercoat spray. I used the Army Painter one.

Basecoat the entire model with Corvus Black. You can brush it on in a couple of thin coats. I use an airbrush to speed things up

Thin some Dark Reaper paint with water on a mixing palette (old white tile is perfect) and apply really wide highlights to the armour.Repeat this a second time to increase the intensity of the colour of these translucent coats.

Paint a wide highlight to the edge of the armour using Thunderhawk Blue.

Create a mix of 50:50 Basilicanum Grey and Contrast Medium and cover the whole model. This will blend the previous layers and shade the Corvus Black layer with a darker shade.

Thin edge highlight the armour with Russ Grey. Thin with a touch of water to help flow the paint from the bristles. You don’t want to dragging the paint off the brush tip as it’s hard to be accurate.

Corax White can be a pain to use and sometimes has the consistency of cottage cheese but if you get some out of the pot and mix some water with it on a mixing palette its good to go. Paint the shoulder pads, chainsword, eyes and tabard with it. You can leave the shoulder pads off the model and spray those with a white undercoat spray if you want to save time.

Paint the tabard and oath parchment (purity seals) with Screaming Skull.

Create a mix of 50:50 Skeleton Horde and Contrast Medium and carefully paint it into the folds and creases of the tabard and parchment. A light coat is perfect, don’t overwork it when it’s wet. Once dry, repeat to increase the intensity in the deepest folds.

Highlight the edges and raised areas of the tabard and parchment with Wraithbone. hin with a touch of water to help flow the paint from the bristles.

Paint the chest Aquilla with a couple of coats of thinned Liberator Gold.

Wash the chest Aquilla with Contrast Aggaros Dunes.

Basecoat the belts and pouches with Mournfang Brown.

Apply a wash of Contrast Cygor Brown to the belts and pouches.

Apply edge highlights of Skrag Brown to the pouches and belts.

Paint the eyes and chainsword with Yriel Yellow. This might take a couple of thin coats to get a nice coverage.

Carefully paint in a single stroke of some Contrast Iyanden Yellow down the middle of the chainsword blade’s flat surfaces. A single stroke is best, if you dab it or over work it you can get weird tidemarks. I start at the top of the blade and work down to the hilt. Once dry then repeat to increase intensity. Run some Contrast Iyanden Yellow into the eye socket.

Edge highlight the chainsword blade with Dorn Yellow. Add a dot of Dorn Yellow at the corner of the eye (nearest nose).

Basecoat all the metal parts with Leadbelcher.

Create a mix of 50:50 Basilicanum Grey and Contrast Medium and apply a heavy wash over the metal areas.

Edge highlight the metals and golds with Runefang Steel. Also paint the rivets with Runefang Steel.

Paint the wax seal with Screamer Pink.

Wash the wax seal with Screamer Pink.

Edge highlight the wax seal with Emperor’s Children.

The base rim is Steel Legion Drab. The sand is painted with Deathclaw Brown, dry brushed with Bestigor Flesh and then Screaming Skull. The rocks are painted with Zandri Dust and dry brushed with Morghast Bone and finally dry brushed with Screaming Skull.

Paints you will need for this tutorial:

  • Black undercoat
  • Corvus Black (Base)
  • Dark Reaper (Layer)
  • Thunderhawk blue (Layer)
  • Basilicanum Grey (Contrast)
  • Russ Grey (Layer)
  • Corax White (Base)
  • Screaming Skull (Layer)
  • Skelton Horde (Contrast)
  • Wraithbone (Base) 
  • Liberator Gold (Layer)
  • Aggaros Dunes (Contrast)
  • Mournfang Brown (Base)
  • Cygor Brown (Contrast)
  • Skrag Brown (Layer)
  • Yriel Yellow (Layer)
  • Iyanden Yellow (Contrast)
  • Dorn Yellow (Layer)
  • Leadbelcher (Base)
  • Contrast Medium (Technical)
  • Runefang Steel (Layer)
  • Screamer Pink (Base)
  • Druchii Violet (Shade)
  • Emperor’s Children (Layer)

Paints you’ll need for the base:

  • Deathclaw Brown (Layer)
  • Bestigor Flesh (Layer)
  • Zandri Dust (Base)
  • Morghast Bone (Base)
  • Screaming Skull (Layer)

If you need to expand your paint collection to follow the tutorial, check out our partner stores Wayland Games and Element Games, which offer an amazing range of paints at a discount.

Hope you enjoyed this tutorial. If so, leave a comment or reaction below, and if you got any questions, leave them here so I can answer them for you.

If you want to support me personally, please consider buying one of my products from ebay shop. Thank you.

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15mm Sci Fi Salamanders & $1Tanks

As my 15mm collection slowly becomes fully painted, I’m increasingly painting the weirder and smaller factions. These are Khurasan Meso-Nai, xenophobic salamanders in power armour. 

 My daughter had already posed them on blocks; she approves of their eel-like faces; as she likes to chase eels in the clear freshwater creeks near where we live.

The bigger 15mms are actually quite good; these lizards are actually ~20mm. There’s quite a bit of variation in 15mm, as much as 25-32mm ’28s.’   I feel these and the bigger Blue Moons look quite OK, whereas the puny Rebel synths are simply too small, regardless of sculpt quality.  

The tanks are $1 no-name brand from K-Mart: actually intended to support 6mm mechs as Baneblade-esque megatanks, they still show well how 15mm and 6mm vehicles can do double duty in a range of scales; here acting as small scout tanks in 15mm.

I’m slowly finishing painting; some Shivan witches and Sahadeen desert tribesman are my last main 15mm factions to go. I do like these GZG gun drones as they do squad support duty for a range of armies.

15mm continue to be fun and rewarding to paint; I still think they are the optimal size for platoon+ battles or anything where vehicles are the stars, but you still want infantry to be individually based and look decent. These guys would have taken an hour and a bit from start to finish. 

I’m slowly switching to 28mm Mantic for my homebrew sci fi horror rules; they should paint up soon. My initial assembly observations of my Enforcers box is they are a bit weedy and lacking quality compared to my GW Tau & IG, but in Australia they are 20+ for $35 instead of GW’s 10 for $70; so at  $1.60ea compared to $7ea (a quarter of the price) I am inclined to be pretty forgiving.


Video Showcase: Space Marine Heroes Series 1

I thought celebrating 10 years of Tale of Painters would be the perfect occasion to finally make one of the announcements from my 2021 hobby resolutions come true and launch my YouTube channel with my first ever video: an epic showcase for my Space Marine Heroes collection. Feast your eyes on this.

I always wanted to make my own videos and looked enviously at Garfy’s video editing skills. In my job, I’ve supervised a few video and TV commercial projects, but I’ve never done the production myself. Encouraged by Garfy, during the pandemic I finally found the time to learn video editing myself.

And here is the result. A showcase video for my Space Marine Heroes collection, of course inspired by all the trailers from Games Workshop. I would be very happy about your likes and subscriptions!

I hope to provide you with more and more video content in the future, and soon have video tutorials and reviews up and running. If you want to support me, so I can invest in better video equipment and do this more regularly, then check out my Patreon, and in the meantime have a look at Garfy’s channel, which has already a lot of great hobby videos including a mind-blowing trick to clean the lids of stuck Citadel paint pots.

Now on YouTube: Space Marine Heroes Series 1 Showcase

I hope you like my first video, leave me a comment, and until then, happy hobbying!

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