Warhammer Underworlds in China

The next destination on our journey around the globe brings us to China! More specifically we are speaking with players in Southern Mainland China. Two nice fellows answered the questions which I hope to meet during my next stay in China: Alf and Laurent. Thank you, guys!

I combined their answers to the questions for a convenient read:

In which country/region/city are you mainly playing WHU?

Alf is from France but living in Shenzhen and plays WHU since it release in places all over China. Laurent is mainly playing in Shanghai and Shenzhen.

WHU kicked off with what we used to call the “shadies night” in a known bar once per week, it was a great excuse to get some beers and games going with friends, which ultimately started to spread.

Alf is also the creator of one of the biggest miniature painting groups in China and people were coming to visit Shenzhen and catch the virus, spreading it even further.

Do you have access to all warbands? How easy/fast can you obtain WHU supplies?

Yes of course, but it had ups and downs. In order to understand why, one must be familiar with things like taobao (added by red.: Chinese online sales platform). The continuous struggle with the customs, translation check ups in order to verify it doesn’t disturb the integrity of the party, or even simply if you are located in Shanghai/Shenzhen/Hong Kong due to the fact those cities own a GW store vs the rest of the territory.

Even something like Chinese New year had some terrible impact on the release pace of some warbands like Spiteclaw’s Swarm and the Chosen Axes.

At some point, GW also decided not to stock English products any longer, which ultimately led to a certain backlash from the community.
Now that it is solely produced in china, most problems got solved, and we can expect the products on release day, although in limited quantity still when it comes to English.

Direct orders from local gaming stores take 3-4 weeks leadtime.

Casual three player match of WHU at a local pub in China (picture by Alf)

Is there a competitive scene? Who organises events: players, Games Workshops, Local Gaming Stores?

There is indeed a competitive scene, mostly in Hong Kong and Shanghai, while Shenzhen is still far behind.
There’s very few LGS in China due to the fact it remains a very young hobby, it’s mainly organised by the different GW stores in those cities.

Laurent pointed out that some local clubs run their own events as well.

How many players attend these events and how often do they happen?

There were events with 20 players, yet some others with only 4. It’s a bit difficult to quantify since China is so big.
On average there are two or three events per store yearly. In some place they run tournaments once per quarter.

If you should summarise your regional meta, how would you describe it?

Alf points out that mainly the games in China are friendly. In Shenzhen they do not play it so much anymore sadly. Having personal issues made it hard for me to keep the interest going, “shadies nights” (now called the “undies nights”) kind of died end of 2018. Our local GW tried to keep people motivated, but it turns out to be too competitive, and loses the friendly and chill set up.

Laurent describes the meta as mixed with everything included from very casual to competitive. There really is a large range of ages and skills.

Another casual WHU play at the pub in China (picture by Alf)

Is your regional community influenced by the “global” meta (e.g. by Grand Clashes in the UK, Europe, USA, etc. or perhaps from facebook groups)?

Many people tried to copy paste some decks found on internet; without a clue on how to play them. Most of the time it didn’t go well against the more experienced players we have around. Other than that, there’s a lot of experimenting. Competition should not exclude the fun!

Is WHU growing or declining in your region?

A bit of both. There is renewed interest to finally just crumble back down as everyone is busy with their own lives. It is truly up to people to get organised. On the large scale it could be described as growing Laurent added.

WHU: Online – Yes or no?

Both Alf and Laurent agree on “Yes!”. TTS was already a great way to remotely play, but an official game is even better. Alf’s main contern is that the game might be cluttered in over-priced DLC.

I have been writing with Alf on WeChat (In a nutshell a Chinese version of WhatsApp – please don’t beat me to it) for a while and he mentioned that there are two groups of communities in China: the international one and the Chinese one which is much bigger. Oddly both worlds rarely mix together due to the language barrier.

I hope to get some insights from the Chinese community in the future as well!

That’s it from China (for now!). Thank you both for taking your time to get through these questions. Next up: USA (South California)

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