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As the Nighthaunt Taketh: A beginner's guide

EnixLHQ

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First, let me get some disclaimers out of the way: I play Nighthaunt and Legion of Grief exclusively. I love my ghosts and rather find novel ways of playing them than chasing the meta. I have not competed in any tournaments. I have been in the game for about a year. This blog, and anything else I post, is my opinion and is only backed up by my own experiences. If you want to hear about how a noob has kept his love of the Nighthaunt alive and has won more than they have lost in their local games, then please keep reading.

 

Welcome fellow Shepherds of the Damned

I'm not going to stand here, beside you, and gesture to the war-torn battlefields after your conquest as though anything I have told you here today was why you won your battle. How you win with your processions of murderers, necromancers, and healers who drew the ire of Nagash is ultimately up to you. I will, however, tell you what I know and point you in a direction. And, hopefully, that direction is onward, ever forward, to inevitable victory.

 

First, What the Nighthaunt Are and What They Are Not

The Nighthaunt are not titans on the battlefield. We are not unkillable elites. We will never push up the middle of the battlefield and lay waste to everything in our path, nor will we ever hold territory against an unmitigated onslaught.

What we are is a tactical strike force.

Nighthaunt asks of you to know your opponent. They will know their own strengths; it's easy enough for any army to be fielded and do what it says on the warscroll cards. It is much harder to win against an opponent who is intent on outplaying those strengths. Sometimes it will be a clear counter; we are faster, we hit harder, or we can resist their damage. But, in most cases, it will come down to playing the objectives and keeping your opponent on the back foot.

The key to winning as Nighthaunt is to know your opponent's pressure points and how to apply enough pressure, while not over-exposing your own.

 

General Tactica

Play the objectives: There are very few battleplans that require you to take on the big bad across the table directly, and those that do often have a more fair way to gain those points other than total annihilation. We are a superior army when it comes to objective claiming and defending with our quick units, teleportation, and From the Underworlds. By default, the rule to claim an objective is to simply have more of your models within 6" of the center of it at the end of your turn than your opponent does, and it remains yours so long as your opponent can't beat that count at the end of their turn, even if your models are no longer there. A battleplan has to specifically alter these rules if they require anything else --and some do-- so always be sure you are up on the objective capture requirements being used. And then be ready to abuse them.

Know your tricks: Use the rules as written to your advantage. For example, most battleplans don't require you to hold an objective, just to claim it and then deny your opponent from claiming it by keeping them out of range. That could be as simple as zoning in on the objectives on turn one with From the Underworlds and then charging with everything at the enemy just to deny them getting close enough to flip the claim in the turns limit. Further, abilities like From the Underworlds and Spectral Summons exhaust movement, but aren't moves themselves, meaning you can exploit some battleplan objective rules and a few enemy movement lockdown abilities.

Expand your tactics: Most Age of Sigmar armies could be classified as "Hammer and Anvil" style armies, or you will see a lot of common tactical advice given out that fall along these lines. This really isn't our style. Nighthaunt is all about tactical styles that expose and hunt for weaknesses. I will go into more detail for three styles of tactics in the Writs of the Mortarch section at the bottom of this guide.

Take battalions: One or two, given points being played. In our army battalions are synonymous with specializing or equipment load-outs. They allow you to counter an enemy by choosing from a variety of benefits that usually exploit specific enemies. Does your opponent love close combat? Shroudguard is a solid counter. So is Chainguard. Does your opponent have high saves? Dolorous Guard can bring some Mortal Wounds. Battalions also have a few passive benefits to keep in mind as well; each one grants your army another Command Point at the start of the game, another artefact you can equip on a hero and the choice of placing all units within that battalion at the same time otherwise known as a "one-drop." Note that this one-drop feature does not know distance or boundary, so you can certainly split that one-drop across the battlefield and From the Underworlds all at once if you wanted. 😉

Target weaknesses: Most other armies depend on their heroes the same as we do. Units will often have banner carriers, musicians, or icon bearers. Some armies are powerful but slow, and some are fast but relatively weak. Some can lock an opponent in place. And we can exploit all of it. With our flying, we can move over and retreat through the front lines to attack a hero or general or claim an objective. We have artefacts, like Slitter, than can halve a unit under the right conditions or can target specific models. Reikenor can use his Corpse Candles on particular models to remove buffs from a unit. Spectral Summons can be used to not only pull a unit back after taking too much damage but can be used to reposition after units move and change the points of battle, or get a unit out of a lock. The point here is to know what your opponent plans on bringing, knowing what their army is known for, and being ready by bringing tools that can remove what they need working for them to win.

Don't forget your own buffs: Our most essential buffs come in two forms: our heroes and our battalions. Though some units, like the Bladegheist Revenants, have built-in buffs or special effects when a specific other model is nearby, the majority of your power will come from choosing the right hero to support a unit, or the right battalion to give a benefit. I will get into more detail in what those buffs are below, but the takeaway here is that by leveraging what a hero or combination of heroes can give you will help set up your threat units.

ABW12: Always be within 12 inches. If you can't do anything else, at least make sure that your units are always within 12" of your heroes. You don't really want them in combat if you can help it, but you have to keep them close. Oftentimes this means your hero will be running more than anything else, and running into position ahead of your charging units. This will put pressure on yourself to make those charge rolls, lest you leave your hero hanging in the open, but you will want --need-- your heroes giving out their Deathless saves at all times. So bring a ruler and use it religiously, and be prepared to spend that Command Point on rerolling that charge.

 

Tools of Terror

Let's get into things a bit deeper. Let's talk about what we can do. I won't get into everything, but I'll list what I think are our most useful abilities and tactics that use them.

From the Underworlds They Come: Half of the units we bring to a battle can go into the Underworlds and can sit there for up to 3 turns, and brought out anywhere on the board more than 9" from an enemy. I cannot overstate how useful this is. Depending on the kind of list you want to build, you will want to either place your objective takers or threat units into the Underworlds. The very act of putting something in the Underworlds means your opponent will have to mind their own deployments lest they open up a window for you to exploit a vulnerable edge or backline. For more about this, check out Writs of the Mortarch at the bottom of this guide.

Wave of Terror: This is arguably our second most crucial ability, and it alone can win you the battle or turn the tide of a losing war. Unfortunately, this sliver of Nagash's power is as fickle as he is, and if you're unlucky enough never to see it in a fight, it could cost you the game. Each time you charge, should you roll a natural 10 or higher, you trigger the ability to pile in and fight as though it was the combat phase. It's not the combat phase, however, which means that your opponent gets no counter-attack. That natural 10 is a bit of RNG, only having a 16.67% chance of occurring per throw and is not in our favor. This is why we like to build our lists with a lot of smaller units, affectionately called "MSUs" or multiple-small-units (though we will still rarely run minimums, just smaller than maxed). You will want to strike a balance between the number of chances you get to throw those dice on a charge, the amount of heroes you will want to have around to cover those units that charged and potentially spend CP to re-roll a charge, and the models you could lose in a counter before needing to return models or risk losing the unit.

Deathless Spirits: As long as a hero is present, that hero and any nearby units get a save-after-save to ignore a wound on a 6. This is important since it is our only method, other than model-return mechanics, to mitigate mortal wounds and damage that gets past our unmodifiable 4+ save. As with Wave of Terror above, this ability both allows you and requires you to make choices about unit sizes. A larger unit can charge in without a hero and get by on a large model count to keep their effectiveness up, but medium-to-small sized units are going to rely on Deathless Spirits to not evaporate too quickly. You might find a tactical advantage of letting a unit or two advance without this protection, but if you are not shoring up the difference elsewhere, you will feel the loss all too soon.

Flying: Flying is more than just ignoring terrain. It's also ignoring models. Nothing can get in your way when you're moving, which means that you can spend your moves getting into optimal positions despite your opponent's best efforts to screen you out. You still have to follow the basic rules of movement, can't end a move closer than 3" to an enemy, for example, but now that bubble of protection no longer forces your units to have to skirt around them to get to the other side. Just fly over. Where this ability shines the most is when retreating. Retreating is a normal move with a few caveats attached to it; you give up your shooting and charge, and you have to end outside 3" of all enemies. But that doesn't mean "away," so you can retreat right over the top of an advancing enemy line to set yourself up in their backfield or claim an objective. A couple of our units, Bladegheist Revenants and Glaivewraith Stalkers, can retreat and charge in the same turn, making them powerful users of this ability.

Spectral Summons: As long as your general is alive and on the field, for a Command Point, they can pluck any unit, hero or otherwise, from anywhere on the battlefield and drop them wholly within 12" of the general and more than 9" from any enemy. The apparent use of this ability is to pull back a unit that's on the verge of being lost and heal them up from our various sources. But, it can also allow a particularly fast general, like a Dreadblade Harrows, to pop in at any open space and reposition a threat unit or objective holder.

 

The Undying Dead

We don't have an overabundance of ways to dig into the grave to grab new recruits in the heat of battle. If there was ever an argument to play Legion of Grief over Nighthaunt, this is it. But, we are not without our tricks when it comes to keeping our units full of death dealers, and when effectively used, this little bit can go a long, long way. Below I will list our sources of healing starting with the most models that can be returned, then abilities that require managing wounds, then those that only heal wounds.

Ruler of the Spirit Hosts: Command Trait - D3 models to a unit within 9" of general, at the start of the hero phase. Our number 1 most selected Command Trait and for a good reason; it's free, it can't be interrupted, and it brings back full models regardless of how many wounds a model in that unit might have to heal. This is extremely powerful when used on units with multiple wounds, like Hexwraiths and Spirit Hosts, but don't let that stop you from using this to bring back a few more Chainrasps if you need to.

No Rest for the Wicked: Olynder's Command Ability - 1 model to each unit within 12" per Command Point, during the hero phase. Our Lady, if she's our general, can bring back 1 model to all units that happen to be within --not wholly within-- her for a CP. This has a real trade-off: on the one hand, if she's surrounded by friendly units in the thick of battle that 1 CP can bring back a potential ton of ethereal flesh. On the other hand, if Olynder is your general and you are not running the Dolorous Guard to beef up her potential wounds, you run the risk of losing her before she could have her moment in the emerald light. And, it costs CP, which is a premium and arguably better spent on a Spectral Summons or a charge re-roll.

Nimbus of Power: Black Coach - D3 models to one unit wholly within 12", at the start of the hero phase. Exactly the same as Ruler of the Spirit Hosts, but with a larger range (mind the "wholly") and from a non-hero (also non-summonable 😠) model that can change up its role from support to attack when needed. The Black Coach is already a beautiful and useful model that should appear in almost every list, but as a support piece, you can keep your units healthy in the early-to-mid game before you charge the Coach into the face of that unsuspecting guy across the field once it hits level 3+.

Captured Soul Energy: Spirit Torment - D3 (or 3 if Stormcast) worth of models returned to a unit within 6" if 3 enemy models died anywhere on the field when the combat phase transitions to the battleshock phase. Or, you can opt to heal this many wounds to any 1 target, including heroes. This is one versatile ability and might merit bringing as many Spirit Torments you are comfortable with. The only drawback here is that if you want to bring back Hexwraiths or Spirit Hosts, this is the first of the healing abilities that you would need to roll a 3+ or a 5+, respectively, just to bring back one model. But, the trade-off is that you can target heroes (or other non-summonable units) for that heal, including himself.

This is where things change for us. Everything above returned models without requiring you to heal the targeted unit first. For 1-wound units, the below won't be an issue, but if you plan on putting any of these supports near multi-wound units, you're going to have your hand forced.

Deathly Invocation: Vampire Lord (ally) - D3 wounds must be healed if possible, otherwise worth of models returned to up to 3 units within 12" at the start of the hero phase. Why would you ever want to spend points bringing in an ally that isn't ethereal, doesn't benefit from or offer Deathless Spirits, and takes a leader slot? Because Deathly Invocation can target 3! separate units to get D3 models back. Sure, if one of those units needs to be healed first, you're doing that, but when you have two more units to target, it's not a hard choice to make. And the Command Ability: Blood Feast to add +1 attacks to a unit for an entire round helps.

Spectral Lure: Guardian of Soul's unique spell - D6 wounds must be healed if possible, otherwise worth of models returned to any unit wholly within 24". Probably the very definition of risk-vs-reward for us you have here the potential of returning a full 6 models to a 1-wound unit, or even up to 2 Spirit Hosts, to a unit allllll the way over there, but on a spell that requires a 6 to cast, can be unbound, and only one attempt to cast it no matter how many GoS's you have. This would be downright amazing if it could cast on a 4, especially when comparing it to everything else listed here, but the best you will be able to do about that is spending an artefact slot on Wychlight Lantern to get a +1. As an aside, the other Guardian of Souls artefact, Beacon of Nagashizzar, can add +3 to the models/wounds returned to a unit. Still, if you're going to give the GoS any artefact the Wychlight is statistically more sound (+25% more likely to be successful after an unbind attempt vs. +3 models).

Beyond this are the rest of our healing abilities. They will not return models, but they still have their purposes.

Spectral Tether: Spell Lore - D3 wounds only to heroes only within 12". 

Lifestealer: Spell Lore - Deal D3 wounds within 12", caster heals that much.

Feed on Terror: Heal 1 wound to a hero within 6" of an enemy unit that fails battleshock. An unfortunately rare occurrence nowadays, but worth keeping in mind.

 

Harbingers of Grief

They don't have any choice but to heed Our Lady's commands, but that doesn't mean we don't have a few stand out heroes that put in the extra effort in the field.

Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed: Needed for the Forgotten Scions battalion, and one of the leader options for the Shroudguard battalion. He can spend a Command Point to grant a unit +1 attacks. This ability can only be used in the combat phase, but it can be yours or theirs, meaning you can pump up a few units for a counter-attack your opponent might not be expecting. In terms of firepower, this is the best buff you can bring in most cases. It will have the most impact on units with low to-hit/to-wound attack profiles. Even more so with units with double-digit model counts.

Knight of Shrouds (on foot): Also one of the leader options for Shroudguard. He can spend CPs to give every unit in a bubble around him +1 to hit. This is stackable, so 2 CP is +2 to hit within that bubble. A great hero to pal around with Dreadscythe Harridans or Myrmourn Banshees to get their enhanced damage profiles through.

Reikenor the Grimhailer: The last of the options for Shroudguard and one of the best wizards in the game. We don't have great spells, but there are a few you'd want his ability to get either a +1 or +3 to cast on, like his Wraithstorm spell, Lifestealer, or the endless spell Chronomantic Cogs. More importantly, his Corpse Candles target specific models, so you can spot-remove a banner carrier and rob an opponent's unit of their buff.

Guardian of Souls: Necessary for the Chainguard battalion and is a wizard that comes with the only model-return spell we've got, Spectral Lure. Give him Spectral Tether, and you've got a dedicated healer. Too bad there's unbinding likely, and unless you give the GoS the Wychlight Lantern artefact there won't be much to ensure the cast. He's got a passive +1 to Wound bubble, though. That's... helpful.

Dreadblade Harrows: You get two of these in a box, which is great for the Forgotten Scions, but unless you run that battalion, you'll only need one. He makes a great general thanks to his teleportation ability, so he can stay safe, show up to use a command trait like Ruler of the Spirit Host, cast a spell if he has the Midnight Tome artefact, or use the Command Ability: Spectral Summons to teleport units to him. He breaks the game in terms of mobility and objective capture, especially combined with From the Underworlds They Come.

Spirit Torment: This pretty much rounds out any of the "must-have" heroes. Necessary, along with Chainghasts, for The Condemned battalion, Mr. Torment also brings a passive re-roll 1's to hit for any units within range of his 12" bubble with Nagash's Bidding. This might not seem like much at first, but any units swinging with high attack profiles, like Spirit Hosts with their 5+/4+, will get more benefit from this buff--which is free and always on--than they would from an extra attack that costs CP. Even more so for any unit that wants more 6's. Bladegheists get it even better, getting a re-roll misses buff with him nearby. Additionally, he brings Captured Soul Energy, which is one of the few healing or model-return abilities we have that can't be interrupted (the others being Ruler of the Spirit Hosts, the Black Coach, and Olynder). It triggers if at least 3 enemy models were killed in a round by the time a battleshock phase starts, and if so, heals either D3 (or 3 if those enemies were Stormcast) wounds or models to a unit within 6" of the Spirit Torment. Very versatile, as you get to choose if you want to heal or return models even if they're damaged, or you can opt to heal heroes, and the whole bit works whenever three enemies are killed, so even in your opponent's turn. Note that it can only trigger once per turn per Spirit Torment, so if you want more than D3 models returned this way, bring another ST and kill another 3 enemy models.

All the rest of the heroes, including Olynder, are situational at best and filler on the shelf at worst. The Lady herself can dish out a fair amount of mortals at a short range consistently, and her shooting is an ability so it can be still used after a run. Kurdoss Valentian is a beat stick, just in case you need hero support while directly targeting the enemy general, and his ability to steal CP has some value even though it can only potentially steal the one your opponent gets at the start of the turn. Lord Executioner is slightly harder to kill, Tomb Banshee can scream at low Bravery targets, and the Cairn Wraith is so cheap he can just be there to make sure your out-of-pocket units can have Command Abilities options and their Deathless Spirits save.

 

Those Who Are Tormented

Let's briefly touch on each of the units that have notable roles in our army.

Battlelines

Chainrasp Hordes: The two primary purposes of these little guys are to hold objectives and to swarm enemy units. On their own, their large unit sizes can mean that they are a lot to chew through and can buy time even with no hero support. In smaller numbers and with hero support, they can easily put out good damage. They have a built-in buff to reroll Wound rolls of a 1 if there are more than 10 in a unit, and that alone is reason never to bring less than 20.

Grimghast Reapers: The Reapers primary purpose is to target enemy hordes, getting free re-rolls against 5 or more models. But, thanks to their long-range weapons and easily fighting in two ranks they are great against even elite units, provided you can max your potential attacks using that range. They are expensive, though, putting less wounds on the table for the points than Chainrasps. But they are also faster and deadlier.

Spirit Hosts: These multi-wound ghosts have three primary purposes, balancing their risk and reward options. Their high attacks count and Frightful Touch mean they can reliably damage targets with high save values more so than standard attacks; 2+ enemy saves mean nothing with a lot of 6s. Their large base sizes make them for an excellent hero screen. If you are willing to pile 6 of these guys together, then you also have an objective camper not likely to give up its spot anytime soon. With any of the model-return abilities available to us that don't rely on wounds, you can make a big enough blob of these immortal.

Hexwraiths: Until recently, our calvary battleline was nothing to look at. Effectively a quarter of a Spirit Host in every way except speed, you would be forgiven thinking these guys are best left in the stables. They see new purpose within the Dolorous Guard, however, as the battalion abilities grant extra health for a general on a very reliable 2+ roll, and boost their wound and mortal wound potential on a charge. With their two wounds each and packs of 5, they are great for quick objective grabs and holds or hero hunting while waiting for support to arrive.

Others

Bladegheist Revenants: Your baseline threat unit who can do amazing damage, retreat and charge in the same turn, and who's built-in buffs might just be overkill. This unit doesn't need any buffs to perform well (other than charging), but any hero can only help them do better. It's good to keep in mind that they could have some Chainghasts nearby for the buff without a Spirit Torment even on the board, but if you're going to invest in any elites for the support I'd go with a hero to grant Deathless Spirits.

Dreadscythe Harridans: With a little support, these ladies can do more damage than the Bladegeists, but require at least +1 to hit from a Knight of Shrouds (on foot) to match them. This makes them carry an intrinsic cost: 1 CP and a KoS to match Bladegheists, 2CP and a KoS or 1CP and a Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed to outperform them. If you have CPs to spare, then Dreadscythes can pack a surprising punch. Their debuff of -1 to hit for all enemy units within 3" seems great, but when you factor in that it only works on enemies with a natural Bravery of 6 or lower, it won't find much use.

Myrmourn Banshees: A threat unit that is the epitome of risk vs. reward. They can unbind or dispel as though they were wizards, with a +1 to the unbind for every four models in a unit. It's short-ranged, though, only working within 18" for the unbind and 6" for the dispel, but if either is successful, the Banshees buff themselves +1 attacks (the dispel does D3 damage to the unit, so without healing you'll lose models). In terms of damage potential, 12 of these ladies can outperform 20 Bladegheists with just that self-buff alone. This scales quickly with any more buffs you can toss their way.

Chainghasts: I talk up some Hexwraiths, but wait until now to even mention Chainghasts? You'd think that as our only non-hero ranged unit, you might want as many of these guys as you could, right? Especially considering our only other units with range are Lady Olynder, the Black Coach, and Tomb Banshee? Well, not exactly. You're not going to pack more than 4 of these to a single unit, and unless they become much cheaper, you're probably not going to try to bring more than what's required for The Condemned battalion. In the ranged department you're looking at 15" and wildly swingy D3 attacks each. However, they do have a trick up their sleeves with in melee: they get 1 attack per model within 2" when they are activated. What do you do with that? Well, if you charge these guys into a horde pack and determine you've got some 10-15 attacks, why not use that 2" reach and slam them all into the hero standing next to them? Still, without some assistance to their ranged I feel these guys are a bit one-trick and easy to snipe. Another Link in the Chain is great for when you want some Spirit Torment buffing but can't fit another one into your list, so that's something to consider.

Glaivewraith Stalkers: You've got, like, 30 of these, right? Sorry about that. They shoved handfuls of these in Storm Strike, Tempest of Souls, and Soul Wars starter sets, so most players will have an abundance of these guys. I won't harp on them and say they're literal trash, they can be converted into Reapers after all, but they aren't great. They do have some redeeming qualities to keep in mind; they are cheap, come in units as small as 4, have 2" range that can add up if you have a lot of them, they can retreat and charge in the same turn, and re-roll failed hits if they've charged or been charged. Despite this, they will do a massive 50% less damage than Bladegheists if the gheists charged that turn. Worse, this gap only lessens to 30% if Bladegheists didn't charge. Their battalion, Death Stalkers, doesn't help this situation much either, buffing that 50% deficit to 30% of charging Bladegheists (or breaking even if the 'gheists didn't charge), but only to one enemy unit for the entire game. You really might want to convert these or wait for them to get a Dolorous Guard of their own.

 

Battery-Powered Curse Hearse

Does the Black Coach deserve its own section? You bet your sweet Necromancer and/or Vampire that's bound, gagged, and chained in the back it does! This beautiful, ornate, gloriously gothic centerpiece is what the Nighthaunt are! I mean, look at it! Name a more gorgeous thing. I dare you. I'll wait... Nothing, right? And it's a great unit on top of that.

The Black Coach

Aesthetics aside, what you have here is an excellent support piece that can transition into several roles as you see fit, giving you some proper dynamic choices through the course of a battle. It's not a hero, so it won't be giving out any Deathless Spirits saves, nor is it "summonable," which is the keyword all our troop units have that allow our healing-mechanics to work. So, its healing is going to have to come from itself or a Spirit Torment (see how versatile they are?). Thankfully, it can do just that.

Evocation of Death is the primary ability that powers the rest of its set. Roll 3 dice at the start of each battle round, no matter who's going first, and look at the results. Each 4+ is a level gained for Evocation of Death, and each turn, you have three more chances to add additional levels. 

Nimbus of Power is the first level and instantly sets itself as another Ruler of the Spirit Hosts as well as a self-healer. This is already amazing, but wait, there's more.

Unholy Vigour, second, which allows re-rolls of 1 for all its melee weapons (all of them, horses too), and it can now run and charge in the same turn.

Spectral Scythes is the level you will want to wait for before you put this thing into combat. This level empowers the Coach to let you pick a unit within 1" after it charges and roll a die and on a 2+ deal D3 mortal wounds to it.

Insubstantial Form, fourth. Now it can retreat and charge, which it absolutely should.

Witch-fire is fifth. Just start burning everything within 3" of this thing every hero phase by rolling a dice for each enemy unit in range and on a 4+ deal D3 mortal wounds.

This is a lot, and combined with its other abilities like Frightful Touch on the Reaper Scythe and Relic Bearer's Spectral Claws, and Reaped Like Corn (which is only on the Scythe), and the option to bring the Soulreach Grasp, you might be asking just what are you supposed to use this thing for?

Behemoth in Battle

The Black Coach has three primary uses, any two of which you will choose for its life in the game; Corpse Cart and either Soul Sniper or Reaper on Wheels.

Corpse Cart: In the early phases of the game, the Black Coach supplies you with another D3 of uninterrupted model-return. If you intend on layering this with other model-return abilities, you've got a strong support structure to keep behind your front lines while not risking putting your general in harm's way. There's too much firepower building up to keep the Black Coach behind forever, but don't begrudge the effectiveness of using it to zone-out flanking attacks, shepherding units as they push forward, and providing a target to shoot at that's not your other threat units.

Soul Sniper: Going this route means you elected to take the Soulreach Grasp instead of the Reaper Scythe, which will give you a ranged option for the shooting phase. It's only 10" and a single attack, but it has -3 rend and D3 damage. Not bad since you get to use this twice (shooting and combat phases) even if engaged, but not likely to mean much without a buffing hero nearby. This can be the better setup if some high-save enemy units are advancing on you thanks to that -3 rend, but unless you can reliably land those Grasp attacks you'll want to keep the Coach at range and keep healing, which unfortunately means losing out on the rest of the Coach abilities.

Reaper on Wheels: This route means leaning heavily on the Reaper Scythe and the collection of other abilities to do a ton of damage before the poor thing gets inevitably blown from the field. Almost all of the Coach's powers are melee-centric; the Reaper Scythe being the only weapon choice to benefit from Frightful Touch and Reaped Like Corn, and the rest of the kit wanting to hug enemy units. Knowing the Coach can eventually run and charge, moving anywhere between 15" to 20" if not too damaged, then you simply hold it back until level three, and then bring it into combat. Level three will take two turns, on average, which is plenty of time to see where things are lining up on the field. At that point, target that ranged squad in the back, the melee unit that's punishing your threat unit, or an exposed hero and snap the reigns. If possible, keep it within a friendly hero for Deathless Spirits, or a friendly unit for Nimbus of Power.

Which is better? When comparing the Soulreach Grasp vs. the Reaper Scythe you're only talking about a single wound in favor of the Scythe on average, assuming you're attacking twice with the Grasp and the only buffs come from Unholy Vigour and Frightful Touch. The gap increases to 2 wounds if Reaped Like Corn can be used. What this means is that it's a matter of time. The Grasp has a chance to do less damage over time, but at range, while the Scythe will do more damage but only in direct combat. The break seems to be about 3 rounds. Any less and the Grasp wins assuming you got at least 1 wound at range. More than 3 and the Scythe wins.

 

All To Come Within the Fold

So we've covered all the units that could be considered Nighthaunt Proper that's wholly within the battletome, but for those wanting to shine their Nightmare Lantern's alluring light into other "realms," you can call upon a few more lost souls. From Forge World, you can snag the Mourngul. From Warhammer: Underworlds, you can recruit the Briar Queen and her Thorns.

Forge World

Mourngul: From GW's resin model store Forge World you can grab this guy. It has rules and points, so it's a legal model, but there are some tradeoffs for not coming from GW's mainline. First among them are the points; this tall boi is the most expensive single model you could put on the table, even more than the Black Coach. Second, for all those points, you're getting a warscroll card that has seen a rewrite to nerf it in a pretty substantial way. Lastly, to offset the power the Mourngul previously had, it's a Monster and not a hero. A few armies have abilities and attacks that get buffed when targeting a monster, and not being a hero means no Deathless save and no potential artefact. This means that despite its strengths, you are either throwing it away as an expensive distraction or supporting it with a hero, or in the very least, Shademist or Mystic Shield. Monsters also can't benefit from cover, but Nighthaunt can't do that anyway, so that's not a loss.

But, what this model can do, in addition to becoming the de-facto damage magnet as soon as it's on the table, is bring sweet, sweet bloody carnage. It's fast starting at 12", has a 2-Mortal Wound Frightful Touch, starting with eight attacks with which you could get those MWs, and the second-best natural attack profile we have to back it up when you don't score those MWs. Oh, and it can heal itself D3 wounds if it killed anything via Devourer of Flesh and Souls to try to stay at its top profile, and has a passive -1 to hit rolls for all enemy models within 6" with Ghastly Apparition. Note that this last bit is models, not units. Ghastly Apparition will shroud any friendly units you have palling around with the Mourngul too, so long as the attacks originate within that 6" bubble. Drop the Mourngul with From the Underworlds on some unfortunate unsuspecting target, nail that charge, and revel in piling bodies, especially so if that target is already engaged in a fight.

Underworlds

The Briar Queen: From GW's sister game Underworlds, you can pick up the warband Thorns of the Briar Queen and use those models on the table with rules that aren't too bad. The Queen and her six unique Thorns come as a set, meaning that for the slightly inflated cost of a hero, you get a free screen as well. The Briar Queen herself is a wizard and comes with the spell Howling Vortex which is a tactical choice of a spell to be sure. With a casting value of 7, 18" range that targets a spot on the table, and 6" area of effect from that spot, you can splash any number of enemy units in that radius with this spell. You then have to roll 2d6 and either beat each enemy unit's movement characteristic or roll a double, and if so, they suffer 1 mortal wound and have their movement cut in half. If you can pull this off, half movement can be a nice way to buy some time on a unit or several units that are more than 12" out, but this quickly loses its usefulness once the threshold for a reasonable charge roll is crossed. She can back up her spell with three ranged attacks at 10" on 3's and 3's with 3 rend (one damage each, ha), and whip in melee once at 3", on 3's, 2 rend, but D3 damage. All in all, there's a lot to the Queen that can be useful, but you'll be hard-pressed fitting her in anywhere that another hero wouldn't be more helpful. The added tax for her Thorns doesn't help this, either, as though they provide a useful screen, they are just Chainrasps that retain their rerolling wound rolls of 1 if two of the six are still around. This doesn't make her terrible, though, just tactically challenging. If she can slow even one fast unit down with her spell or hide behind a durable screen for a couple of shooting/combat phases, she could easily be worth bringing.

 

Processions, the Jailed Forced to March

We have a total of 9 battalions and 2 super-battalions. That's...a lot. But, as I have been stating throughout this guide, our battalions are less army-wide buffs as they are configurations that allow you to build up specific tactical advantages for several units of our army. I won't get into all the battalions here, but I will highlight a few of my favorites. Also, remember that any battalion you take is also another Command Point at the start of the game, as well as an artefact you can equip on a hero.

The Dolorous Guard: One of the three new battalions the December White Dwarf magazine gave us, this battalion delivers two utilities for the price of one. The first thing it does is allow your general, whoever it may be, to enjoy a pseudo-wound pool of +20 at the minimum. It does this by allowing you to redirect wounds your general takes to any of the Hexwraith units this battalion requires. The requirements are simple; at least 2 units of Hexwraiths, at least one of them 3" or closer to the general when it takes any damage, and a 2+ roll right after a failed save. Suddenly Lady Olynder can be a centerpiece threat unit again, carrying within her retinue 27 wounds at a minimum that she could heal up with a Command Point. Other generals would make great use of this, as well, like the Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed, but I'll get into that at the end of this guide. The second thing this battalion does is give those Hexwraith units a buff on the charge, granting +1 attacks to both the scythes and the horses. At first, this might seem lackluster, but statistically, this makes a pack of 5 Hexwraiths just over half the effectiveness of Spirit Hosts with their Frightful Touch, but with much more movement. Combined with the right general, that effectiveness skyrockets past Spirit Hosts and can make for a terrifying offensive line. This mega-wound general and all the mortal wounds you could want make this battalion great against heroes and high save elite units.

The Forgotten Scions: The other regular battalion from the December White Dwarf requires you invest in a Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed (which you should be taking anyway) and two Dreadblade Harrows. At first blush, this might feel like a hefty tax having to take an extra DH that you wouldn't dare put into combat, but I challenge you to look into the utility of this battalion instead of its threat. First off, this battalion grants that KoSoES a passive +1 attacks to his sword, and it also allows free use of his Command Ability once per round. This increases his damage output significantly, and potentially his healing as well thanks to Sword of Stolen Hours, and also the damage of the units around him. But, this entire battalion can be one of the most versatile utility battalions we've got. Slap a couple of key artefacts on those Dreadblades, and you have spot support magic (Midnight Tome and Shademist), movement buffs (Pendant of the Fel Winds), or an artefact carrier that you can keep out the danger of battle.

The Emerald Host: The only super-battalion I'll get into detail here, this is the third of the offerings from White Dwarf. I only want to point this out because it's cheap, and requires no more than the taking of both battalions above to unlock it. What it does is give an enemy hero of your choice a permanent -1 save from all attacks that target that hero. This can be devastating on the right target, bringing some enemy's +2 save up to a +3 and netting a whole 50% more potential damage on it. Also note that this debuff comes from all sources that are "attacks," not just from your army. In most cases, that might not make much of a difference, but in a team or multiplayer game, you just brought a powerful debuff everyone benefits from. And, though I'm not aware of any abilities acting this way if your enemy can damage themselves for a buff and that counts as an attack, well that's debuffed as well. This, a CP, artefact, and one-drop option on the other two battalions above? Not bad. Not bad at all.

Shroudguard: For such a simple battalion, the net benefit of it cannot be understated. Two units of Bladegheists, our baseline threat units, get a Frenzied Fervor save of 5+ instead of a Deathless Spirits 6+. What does that mean? It means your 16.67% chance to ignore damage doubles to 33%. In a game of dice and random numbers, giving two of some of your best units a 33% chance to just totally ignoring incoming damage is nothing to scoff at. It's no wonder you see this battalion everywhere. It does have some drawbacks to note, however. It's still a Deathless save, so you still need a hero nearby to grant it, and you need the hero you chose to include in this battalion to see the Frenzied save. A hero that, by the way, doesn't benefit from that tasty save he's handing out. Despite that, this battalion is excellent for some good ole' fashioned warmongering and tieing up some enemy threat units.

Deathriders: I'll mention this one only briefly because it sees some competitive play, though I expect that to change a bit with the Emerald Host. With this battalion, your Black Coach, two units of Hexwraiths, and a Dreadblade Harrow or two all now get to nail Wave of Terror on a natural 9 instead of a 10 on a charge roll. This buffs the chances of WoT triggering up to 27.78%. Oh, and they all get a +1 to charge rolls. I mean, when you absolutely, have to, gotta, need to slam that Black Coach into someone's kneecaps from across the board, this battalion can't be beaten, but I'll argue you'll have a better offensive chance and output with an MSU army and spending those Dreadblade points in Forgotten Scions.

The Condemned: Now, have you ever looked at your two packs of 20 to 40 Chainrasps and thought to yourself, "I think these need to kill more?" Ever wondered what would happen if you could shove all of them into a wide enemy front line and then grab all your dice, and all your opponent's dice, just so you could roll all the attacks? Then this is the battalion for you! The buff this battalion gives is simple; Chainrasps can now reroll all failed hits if wholly within 15" of a Spirit Torment or Chainghasts. That, combined with the Chainrasps built-in buff to reroll Wound rolls of 1, and you got yourself one of the best damage dealing battlelines out there. Use this battalion to target armies that bring very big bad units, but not a lot of individual units. You can potentially tar up a couple of enemy units with one large blob of these guys, and since you're required to take two, you might tie up an entire army advancing line. This battalion loses its effectiveness if your opponent brings a lot of units to the table, though, and even more so if they are fast. If that's the case, you're better off with a maxed Reaper unit.

Chainguard: Personally, I have found the utility of this battalion to dwindle as of late, but I'll mention it here because it still serves a purpose. Like The Condemned, it requires two units of Chainrasps with anywhere from 20 to 40 models in them. And, you're taking a Guardian of Souls (and, if you're listening to me, giving him the Wychlight Lantern). Now, any time the GoS's Spectral Lure spell goes off on one of the Chainrasp units, an additional D6 models return. This sounds great for plopping down on an objective, or as a thicket of brambles to choke an enemy into a bottleneck, but it suffers from the same issues the GoS himself does. Namely, this entire battalion requires you to not only be able to get a casting value 6 spell off (I wonder what could help that?) but that it's also not unbound. I suppose if that all works out, you have 2D6 Chainrasps coming back, but only to one of the units. Even if you brought multiple GoS's that spell can only be attempted once a turn. My point here is that you don't want to play a game of attrition as Nighthaunt, we're not equipped for that. As shock troops, you need to get in there, steal your objectives, and deal damage to key targets. This battalion does none of that.

The rest of the battalions are situational at best. The Execution Horde helps the already hard-to-kill Lord Executioner be even more hard to kill, which is great if you need to hold the line but falls short unless you're pairing it with any of the whole-model-return abilities (not worth-of-models) and effectively taking them away from where they might be more useful. Death Stalkers grant an enemy unit a debuff of +1 to hit and wound against them, but only from the Cairn WraithReapers, and Stalkers in this battalion. And Shrieker Host forces enemy battleshock rolls of 1 to be re-rolled and prevents Inspiring Presence. If the majority of our enemies didn't already have either a great Bravery characteristic or battleshock immunity abilities, this might be more competitive, but as it is, I don't think it's worth taking when we have so many better choices above. Lastly, the grand super-battalion Nighthaunt Procession reeks of the old age of this battletome, but it didn't age as well as the rest of it. All it does is turn Deathless Spirits into Bound Beneath Indomitable Will, which sounds cool as hell, but only drops "wholly" from the save range. I suppose that's powerful enough on its own, if very outdated when compared to recent armies, but by the time you could field a Nighthaunt Procession, you're likely going to have the hero cover you'd need for Deathless anyway.

As a reminder, you are tailoring your battalion choices to your opponent's weaknesses. My quick impressions on them here are only surface level. Know your battalions backward and forwards, and you will find yourself selecting the perfect counter. I might have put down a few battalions here as worthless, but they really aren't if they exploit an enemy. I've seen a Shrieker Host dominate, once. Just once. But you get the idea.

 

Spells in the Wake of the Necroquake

When it comes to spellcasting, Nighthaunt could stand to have a few more options. While we have a few stand-out Spell Lores we can choose from, our Endless Spells belong on the shelf and far to the back. I'll go over our wizards, their casting options, our spells, and some generic Endless Spells that you might want to consider.

Wizards

Reikenor the Grimhailer: If you're going to invest in a spellcaster, Reikenor might be at the top of your list. He's no slouch with his Fellreaper if you need to swing it at an enemy unit with 5 or more models in it, but it will be his Corpse Candles that will seal his seat on the court. Corpse Candles allows him to deal 1 mortal wound to either any specific model within 12" of Reikenor or to himself, and if that wound ends up allocated either gain a temporary casting bonus of +1 or +3, respectively. The immediate caveat of this ability is that the damage must take, so if your opponent can shrug the damage or Reikenor himself makes the Deathless Spirits save that he has to attempt, then there's no bonus. But, the hidden power of this ability is in the selection of enemy models; you can select a unit's icon bearer or musician and snuff them right out of the pack, taking their buffs with them. Reikenor also brings his own unique spell Wraithstorm, which on a 7 will do D3 mortal wounds to a unit within 12", and if it kills a model will trigger another D3 mortal wound one more time.

Lady Olynder: Of course, Our Lady is on the list. She's a level 2 wizard, which means that she can cast and unbind twice. Olynder also comes with her own unique spell Grief-stricken, which on a 7 will make an enemy unit within 18" have to subtract 1 from all their hit rolls, while also granting +1 to all melee weapons that target them. Unfortunately, Olynder does not have access to access to any casting bonuses, so even her own spell is a hard cast with a high chance of failure. Still, her other abilities can more than make up for this slap in Our Lady's face, provided you can keep her safe enough to use them.

Guardian of Souls: The last of our allegiant wizards, this is also our only unnamed one and means that you can assign an artefact to him that neither Reikenor or Olynder can have. The GoS has access to a set of artefacts that are unique to him: Lightshard of the Harvest Moon, Wychlight Lantern, and Beacon of Nagashizzar. If you have been following my hints elsewhere in this guide, then you know that I think that Wychlight is the only real option, and maybe now you see why. Casting bonuses come very rarely to us, and an extra digit on the die roll can make all the difference.

Vampire Lord (ally): It's worth mentioning the Vampire Lord. Since he sees a lot of play as a Nighthaunt ally, it's fair to point out he's a wizard, too. Though he does not have access to any of our Spell Lores, he could attempt a generic Endless Spell if he wanted, but more importantly, Mystic Shield will always be in his spellbook.

Spell Lores

Soul Cage: A tactical spell if there ever was one with two effects baked in, Soul Cage can be a nasty bit of magic in the right spot. For a casting value of 6, a unit within 12" loses its ability to retreat and must now wait until the end of the combat phase before it can fight. Going "at the end" means it's likely that the unit you're targeting won't be able to fight back until after the two or more units you just shoved in its face have had a swing. But this spell can also buy time, which sometimes is all you need. You could breach an enemy's 3" bubble in some way, like via model-return, and then lock that unit down with this spell.

Spirit Drain: What Spirit Drain is, is easy to cast. On a 4, within 18", roll a die for every Wound characteristic your target has, and for each 6 give out a mortal wound. Considering that's only a 16.67% chance, per die, to do damage, you won't see this spell taken very often. Still, feel it out if anyone tends to bring a double-digit Wounds hero to the table.

Lifestealer: With a casting value of 7, you'll probably find it's the best on Reikenor. It's just a D3 of mortals within 12", but it returns that much to the caster. Snuffing those candles on himself doesn't seem so bad of an idea anymore. Nailing the cast and preventing the unbind with his bonuses make this almost his sure-pick spell.

Reaping Scythe: Now, this is an underestimated spell. Casting value of 4, so really reliable, and it gives any single weapon the caster's holding re-roll both hits and wounds until the next hero phase. Mitigated by the fact that it only targets the wizard who cast it, the only native wizard who'd benefit from it is Lady Olynder, and oh does she ever. Re-rerolling fails on her Staff of Midnight, when combined with the rest of her damaging abilities, makes her into a curb-stomping Queen. With the Midnight Tome, there are a few other heroes who might like this spell, too; Knight of Shrouds (either one), Spirit Torment, or even Dreadblade Harrow.

Shademist: Since, as an army, we will want to focus on staying alive, and in the fight, Shademist is likely the superior spell for any wizard who's not Reikenor or Lady Olynder. Maybe even if they are. Casting on a 6, a Nighthaunt unit wholly within 12" gains a buff of -1 to wound rolls for all attacks that target that unit. Not a lot of abilities buff wound rolls out there, so this tends to be a harder counter to taking damage than -hit effects. And, having it doesn't preclude Mystic Shield or All-Out Defense from also being used for extra protection. To give you an idea of how powerful this is, a reduction of 1-to-wound is about 25% less damage on average coming in.

Spectral Tether: If it weren't the only spell that we have that can heal heroes, I'd say this was a hard pass. Casting value of 6, 12" range, and D3 wounds, it's not a lot of healing when compared to the myriad other ways we can put wounds back into a unit. But, since this can only work on heroes, and our heroes lack sources of healing, this becomes a spell to factor. I would bring a Spirit Torment, instead, unless this spell were going to a Guardian of SoulsCaptured Soul Energy can't be interrupted, after all.

Endless Spells

First, a word of advice: If an Endless Spell has a casting value of 6 or less, it's fair game, though you may want a Guardian of Souls with a Wychlight attempting it. However, if you're looking at a 7 or higher, save that for Reikenor. There are a few reasons for this; you want an initial casting roll that's good enough to cast the spell, you want an unbind that's more likely to be higher than your opponent can roll, and if they are spending casting slot on dispelling it that's one less spell they can cast that phase.

Chronomantic Cogs: Well, of course! Why? It's so much utility in an itty-bitty, casting value 7, package. In fast mode, everyone gets +2" to movement and +2 to charge rolls. Yes, your opponent, too. But, this allows our already fast units to get down the battlefield that much faster. On average, our units will move 10", and is arguably more bang for the spell than your opponent will get seeing as how you'd use it on your turn first. The charge roll bonus also allows any of those units you just dropped in From the Underworlds now make contact on a 7. In slow mode, this allows your wizard to cast an additional spell and re-roll saves. Don't repeat a common mistake, though; wait until you're ready to move up the field, drop from Underworlds, or have a lot of charging you need to make before setting up the Cogs. The longer it's out, and speeding up time, the longer your opponent can use it, too.

Prismatic Palisade: Wait, hear me out. Cheap, 5 on the casting roll, and it's a big ole bright wall you can put between you and their ranged units. It's complete cover if a 1mm line from the center of any of their bases passes through the Palisade on the way to the center of yours. Sure, they'll move around it on their way to get to you, but more importantly, they'll have to. And maybe get blinded in the process. There's a lot of ranged units out there, at least make them work for their shots.

Aethervoid Pendulum: Yeah, I'm upset Shyish Reaper is as bad as it is. Know what isn't? This. Sure, it costs more, but it's slightly easier to cast on a 6, does more wounds, and is much less likely to get in your way. It just moves the direction you set it unless it doesn't.

Emerald Lifeswarm: Want another source of model-return? For a casting value of 6, you can set this down in the thick of your army and watch it return D3 models to one unit within 1" of it. It's predatory, so unless you want to see it start fluttering toward your opponent, you'll probably want to go second once you get it out, but that's not such a bad thing if you're combining a lot of other model-return abilities along with it. Better, you can also park it in your backfield and use Spectral Summons to pull units back to heal up. Either way, this allows us to be a bit more resilient if you think it's worth the cost.

Geminids of Uhl-Gysh: This one might be a sleeper hit. Little tricky to set it up with it's 18" range and requirement to be tethered to each bit no further than 6", but if you can manage it, each one will do D3 wounds to whatever they pass through. But, even better, one of the Geminids will debuff the unit -1 attacks, and the other -1 to hit, and can provide a considerable survivability buff to friendlies in the area. It's a casting value of 7, so it may be best to attempt it with Reikenor, just in front of a screen of soon-to-be charging ghosties.

Balewind Vortex: Imagine how funny it is to see Reikenor sitting on top of one of these. You and your opponent will be laughing. He'll stop laughing, though, when your Wraithstorm now has an 18" range. Or maybe you cast Balewind and then with the extra spell cast it gives you, cast Geminids at 24," and that wipes the smile off their face. Soul CageLifestealer, or Shademist all at 20"? With a casting value of 6, you can let anyone try to cast it, but as always, Reikenor is your best bet. This Endless Spell grants the wizard atop of it an additional spell attempt and +6" range to whatever they cast, and +1 to Saves. You're not taking this why? Oh, because it's an instant kill for your wizard if you don't adequately protect him and we're ethereal so that Save bonus means nothing.

 

Relics Primed for Corruption

I have a few artefacts that have become favorites, each with a utility that I think benefits a Nighthaunt army in some novel and meaningful ways. As an army, you can choose whatever your home realm is and gain access to that realm's artefact in addition to any that come with Nighthaunt. You also gain access to the artefact that exists in the realm you will fight in, should you want to make a last-second addition before a fight. This can potentially give you two different realms of artefacts to choose from and can compliment Nighthaunt artefacts nicely.

Nighthaunt Only

Shadow's Edge: Frightful Touch on a 6, but D3 mortal wounds instead. On any hero you can pump up the number of swings on; this can toss some excellent saveless damage.

Slitter: After picking this weapon's carrier to fight, but before they pile in, select an enemy model within 1" and roll a dice. If higher than the model's Wound characteristic, that model dies. Use this after the enemy unit has attacked so that they can no longer move for the rest of that phase. If the model killed breaks up the unit more than 1", it is out of cohesion, and additional models have to be removed until it is back in cohesion. Play this smartly and slice units in half. Be aware that abilities or effects that modify the characteristic count toward the total, but damage does not.

Headsman's Judgement: +1 to hit and wound rolls for one of the bearer's weapons. Simple yet effective.

Midnight Tome: Turns the bearer into a Wizard granting one spell/unbind, and a spell from Nighthaunt Spell Lore. The unbind alone can be worth it, but a well-placed Shademist is even better.

Pendant of the Fel Wind: The bearer of this artefact grants +3" of normal movement to all Nighthaunt units wholly within 12" at the start of their move. This means you can move the units that are near the bearer first and give them the extra movement, and then the move the bearer closer to another set of units, and they can then be moved with the extra movement as well. We're already fast, but with this, we're dogs after a bone. Excellent when combined with Flying and getting over those screens.

Realm Artefacts

Rest in Peace Malign Sorcery aretefacts... Gone are the Aetherquartz Brooches and Gryph-feather Charms. Dead are the Gildenbanes. With the release of General's Handbook 2020 each realm now only comes with one artefact, a change which is intended to put more emphasis on the selection that come in each army's battletome instead of seeing the same handful across every army. Still, despite this (and the heavy-felt loss of Aetherquartz Brooch) there are a few realm artefacts worth considering. Remember, you can choose a Realm of Origin; where your army hails from, as well pick the one in whatever Realm of Battle you happen to end up, giving you potentially two more options. Here are my pics, ranked from best to worst.

Gravesand Brooch - Shyish: You can re-roll save rolls of 1 for attacks that target the bearer. A free Mystic Shield? Stronger on us than you might think. Between this and anything below, this might be best we've got.

Everspring DiademGhyran: In your hero phase, you can heal 1 wound allocated to the bearer. A minor heal potion, eh? Given that our heroes are rather wounds-light, and healing them is more of a trick than a mechanic for us, healing one a round shouldn't be overlooked, especially since our heroes wear targets on their backs.

Predator’s Torc - Ghur: You can re-roll charge rolls for the bearer. Not so important for a Wave of Terror attempt, but you don't want to leave your threat units without hero support and this could mean the difference of making that happen. The re-roll Core Rule means you only get one re-roll of the charge per declaration, but it's free saving you a Command Point. Given that you generally don't want your heroes in combat you can weigh risk vs. reward for this artefact.

Incandescent Rageblade - Aqshy: Pick 1 of the bearer's melee weapons. If the unmodified hit roll for an attack made by that weapon is a 6, that attack scores 2 hits on the target instead of 1. Make a wound and save roll for each hit. This is an additional hit, so on the Lord Executioner or Cairn Wraith you can gain an additional effect. A 6 on either hero triggers both their warscroll effect and this artefact's effect, but only for one of the hits each. For example, if a Lord Executioner rolls a 6 to hit his warscroll gives that attack 2 damage. This artifact then grants 1 extra hit, but it will still be 1 damage. Similarly the Cairn Wraith's 6 would score both a mortal wound (and no further rolls for that damage) and an additional hit.

The rest of the realm artefacts are situational. Our Nighthaunt artefacts are demonstrably more powerful or fill in our niches better, but if you want to give a combat hero a re-roll hits or wounds, give those a gander. However, whatever you do, avoid the Plate of Perfect Protection from Chamon. It literally does nothing for us thanks to our Ethereal.

 

Architectures of Torture

Next, let me touch on a few things I'd want you to keep in mind as you tackle the challenges of enemy armies and tactics. These are a few guiding principles that have seen me to victory more often than not, and I hope they do the same for you.

Always do this:

Use From the Underworlds for at least one unit: You never know when an opportunity might show up, and just having something in reserve can save a bad game or keep an opponent too worried to commit fully.

Build your list with a focused goal: We are often not considered competitive or tournament-level because we suffer from the "one list does not fit all" problem other armies with above 50% win-rates don't have. Don't try to do too much with a single list. Instead, focus on a clear goal, like objective claiming/holding, and hone your list to support that goal. Moreover, having a clear plan means that when things go wrong, you still have sight of your goal and can more easily get back on track.

Mystic Shield: Cast this whenever you aren't casting Shademist or another spell. Mystic Shield is very powerful for us, and it helps it's easy to cast.

All-Out Defense: An excellent substitute for casting Mystic Shield if you can spare the Command Points.

Consider Some Tricks:

All-Out Attack: If you have the Command Points, re-rolling 1s to hit can be a snap damage boost. This is best when used on units with high attack profiles, or any units that'd like to see more 6's.

Underworlds Chainrasps: A standard strategy is to put one or two units of Chainrasps into the Underworlds to drop on an objective right away. Careful with this, because if your units are too small or not supported with a hero, you might have thrown away your units for not much gain.

Harrow Hopping: Another classic strategy is to use the Dreadblade Harrows to teleport to a position and, if he's your general, spend a Command Point to Spectral Summons a unit onto it. Great for holding objectives. With the Forgotten Scions battalion, you can update this strategy to use both DHs to claim a couple of objectives until danger gets too close, and then drop some Chainrasps or other units out of UnderworldsDHs are also great if carrying support artefacts like the Pendant of the Fel Wind and Midnight Tome, to hop in for some support wherever it may be needed.

Cheap Hero Hunting: Two 5-man Bladegheist squads with either a Spirit Torment or a Chainghasts unit can be a cheap set to drop from Underworlds. If you can set this up twice, you can snipe an enemy backline.

Vicious Spell Eaters: A pack of Myrmourn Banshees can dispel an Endless Spell at the start of the hero phase (Designers’ Commentary, July 2019) as if they were wizards, but will suffer D3 mortal wounds for doing so. The buff they receive from this, +1 attacks, is not contingent on taking the damage or losing models, so if you pair them with a model-return mechanic that operates before the combat phase you can get those models back with the buff, since it's the unit receiving the buff and not the individual models within it. This means you could dispel an Endless Spell, even your own from the previous turn if you had to, and shrug the wounds or reverse the damage via any of our model return abilities, and then attack in the combat phase with a full unit of +1 attacks. You can even use this to your advantage "moving" your screamy sisters closer to an enemy unit or up the board by returning the models in any configuration that supports both the ability used and unit cohesion.

Olynderbomb: (600+ points at the time of this writing) Expensive and requires Lady Olynder to be your general, but combining her with the Dolorous Guard is an efficient way to put a threat on the field. You can either set this down on an objective and challenge your opponent to remove you, or you can drop her from the Underworlds to wreak havoc on dangerous targets.

Knightbomb: (520 to 840+ points at the time of this writing) Starts out less expensive than an Olynderbomb, but can balloon if you want to invest in it, and leaves your general with a better Command Trait. Take a Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed as your general, give him Shadow's Edge for mortal wounds or Headsman's Judgement for normal wounds, and Dolorous Guard for health and mortal wounds. This will save you a few points but net a similar, close-range experience to an Olynderbomb. If you take Forgotten Scions to give the Knight an extra attack and to spend his free ability on himself, as well as spend a CP on either Hexwraith unit, you have a mortal wound nuclear bomb that funds itself.

Reikenor the Unending: Grab ReikenorBalewind VortexChronomantic Cogs, and Lifestealer. Snuff a candle on Reikenor use the bonus to get up on the Vortex. Snuff another on himself and cast Lifestealer at 20". On the next turn, snuff another candle on Reikenor and put down the Cogs. Turn them slow. Snuff another candle on himself and cast Wraithstorm at 18". Follow up with another snuffed-on-himself Lifestealer at 20". At worst, Reikenor will have 3 wounds on him, but more likely less. Now from turn 3 on, you'll have 3 spells to cast, one of which should be Wraithstorm, the other Mystic Shield at 24" on something, and the third Lifestealer. Measure things out carefully to stay out of danger, and balance the Corpse Candles not to kill him. And then, when ready, turn the Cogs fast and land your charges.

Vortex Bounce: There is an initial extra boost to spell range when you cast Balewind Vortex. You cast it 1" away from you and add the huge base of that thing because it is now treated as your casting model. That's an additional 5" you can sneak out of it on top of the innate 6". Also, when it gets dispelled, you set up a whooping 6" away from it. Because it's a set-up and not a move, you do not count as having retreated. A great way to get your caster out of a fight they can't win and still be able to charge to where they can. Bonus points if you let your Myrmourn Banshees do the dispelling. (credit to The_Dudemeister for this one)

 

Writs of the Mortarch

Lastly, a few list-building tips and strategies with examples that I hope will help you firmly set your position as a Mortarch of your own sect of Nighthaunt.

How to build a Nighthaunt List

Step One - Goals: Start any list-building venture by first thinking about what you want to accomplish. This is by far the most critical step because if you are not clear on what it is you want to do with your list, you will find yourself making sub-optimal choices to fill in gaps and rushing to create lists that don't really accomplish anything. Setting a clear goal not only means having a sharp idea of what you want to do with your list, but it also challenges you to evaluate each choice you make for their individual merits, as well as their contribution to obtaining your goal.

You might think that your goal is obvious: to win. But that's not going to be good enough for our kind of army. Your opponent is going to want to win, as well, and will be bringing tools to the table to do just that for themselves. Instead, your goals need to be more precise than that. Here are a few examples: Capture Two Objectives on Turn 1, Hold Two Objectives for at Least Three Turns, Take an Opponent's Objective, Eliminate a Certain Enemy Hero, Eliminate a Certain Enemy Unit, Eliminate the Enemy General, Defend Two Heroes for at Least Three Turns. A good source of goal ideas are Hidden Agendas, too. Whether or not you actually use them in a game, they can be great guiding ideas to shape your army around.

Your games are going to be a combination of at least two of these goals; primary and secondary. All of your goals should absolutely be your driving force in the game, so don't discount the "secondary" as any less important. Calling one primary and other secondary does have a benefit, though. Your primary goal is going to be your direct tactic while your secondary is going to be your indirect tactic. When you build your list, your primary direct tactic is what you are going to be spending your game achieving while your indirect tactic is going to be what you use to assist your primary. In terms of the kinds of units that translates into, if your primary direct tactic concerns objectives, build most of your list to allow you to take them and keep them. If your primary direct tactic is to hurt enemy units, take more units that can deal damage and meet the enemy on your terms. The rest of your list should support your indirect tactic.

Your goals are also going to be informed by your available models, the points limit of the game, your tactical prowess, and your opponent--any of which may or may not be known to you before showing up to play. More importantly, by selecting your goals first, you will already start making choices about how you are going to build to achieve them and know what to do when you encounter your opposition and setbacks.

Step Two - Tactical Structures: There are many styles of tactical play available to Age of Sigmar armies. Hammer and Anvil, for example, is a very popular choice for most armies given its real-world historical significance and ease-of-use. Though there is no wrong choice in tactics if you are having fun playing, there are certain styles that work better for us than others. Let's detail three of these styles and how they pertain to Nighthaunt.

Hammer and Anvil: This tactic gets all the fame and glory. It is the most basic and straightforward of the army-style tactics, can be deadly offensively, and can dominate the field defensively. It's also the most adaptable tactic to the large swath of army types available to play. If you are paring up against an opponent who knows their stuff, chances are you will see a variation of H&A. The concept is simple; the bulk of your force is comprised of either a lot of wounds or a lot of armor, a thick shield of toughness that acts as a solid platform--an anvil. The rest of your army is comprised of a highly mobile--or ranged capable--hammer. The anvil serves as a stationary or slowly mobile fixed force that ties up enemy movement through combat. Once engaged, the hammer comes sweeping in to slam upon the opponent from the other side. The opponent, then, is caught between the two forces and is left with a bad situation. It cannot run because of the anvil, and it cannot stay and fight because of the hammer. However, this technique has a downside that Nighthaunt makes evident either using it or playing against it: Hammer and Anvil tactics rely on some kind of overwhelming power. You either need to greatly outnumber your opponent and tie them down or greatly out-fight them while you've got them. Anything less and you will have a crippled army trying to defend a losing position. As Nighthaunt we simply lack a sturdy enough of an anvil to make great use of this tactic; our best saves are 4+, our most wounds are Chainrasps, and our best fences, Spirit Hosts, are just too expensive. But, for our opponents that happen to use H&A, our creative uses of Fly, Underworlds, and Spectral Summons can render an anvil useless giving us a huge advantage against it.

Envelopment: The Macedonians created H&A and then the Romans perfected it. But then Carthage comes along and decimates it with this tactic. Envelopment doesn't rely on anything overwhelming at all to get its job done. Instead, this tactic focuses on exposing weaknesses in an opponent's army, and targeting in a more direct way their lifelines and advantages. It works by first identifying your opponent's likely strengths--such as their their H&A tactic--and avoiding them altogether. Envelopment is synonymous with "flanking" and opts to ignore the more heavily-guarded or deadly front or advancing side of an army and sweeping around the side to strike at the meaty sides and rear. This is generally done with a H&A-style deployment, but the anvil in this case is purely a diversionary device. It gets the attention of your opponent long enough for you to drop or maneuver your more killy units around the side. The advantages of this tactic are that it requires far less of a body count to be effective, you usually have clear lines of retreat or regrouping should you need it, and a confused or off-put opponent who now needs to hurriedly plan their next move. However, a high degree of coordination is required to make this tactic work, which means more extensive planning and forethought. Also, if you are unable to establish an element of surprise in your opponent, you could be setting up your threat units to get wiped from the board.

Pincer: If H&A is considered to be a brute force tactic, and Envelopment might be considered dirty trickery, then Pincer should be considered elegance in motion. Older than both the tactics I described above, this tactic was first outlined by Sun Tzu. You know, the guy who wrote The Art of War in 500 B.C.? You might have heard of it. "When your quarry goes to ground, leave no ground to go to." "What is of supreme importance in war is to attack the enemy's strategy." Sun Tzu wrote the definitive structure of war for any army who does not want to, or cannot, strike from a position of ultimate power. Sun Tzu wrote a book about tactics that are tailor made for Nighthaunt. In fact, I might even go so far as to say that when Nighthaunt were designed The Art of War might have been the inspiration. As such, I believe tactics such as Pincer are our superior mode of choice. Fundamentally, Pincer is a lot like Envelopment, but instead uses two or more maneuvering elements. Instead of sweeping around to one side or another, you move your units in from both sides, or all angles, to encapsulate your opponent's resources or threats. This works perfectly with Underworlds and Spectral Summons, allowing us to stage our mobile and bloodthirsty units in out-of-the-way locations, if even on the table, until they are needed. You can lean on the diversionary tactic of Envelopment to try to set your opponent off-foot but you don't rely on it, needing it only to pull your opponent out of formation and exposing one or two angles of vulnerability. This means you can set up your pseudo-anvils or posture like you are using Envelopment, and if your opponent catches on and neutralizes them your true Pincer tactic comes into play to make them pay for it. The simplest way to engineer this strategy is to place your diversionary units or mobile screens on the field while you place your threat units into reserves. You then push forward with your fielded units, knowing full well they are temporary, before summoning in your reserves to deal out the devastating damage a bit later. The advantages of this tactic are that it is quick to set up, is flexible enough to adapt to most situations, and can provide an effective and damaging response to any pain points. The disadvantages, however, are that this will require planning several steps ahead of your opponent, careful coordination of all your units, and the potential of over-committing units to a lost cause.

I have a clear favorite here, but all three tactics are certainly viable for use on the table. Selecting one early and adapting it to your goals will allow you to make better decisions about the following steps.

Step Three - Troops: The backbone of any good team is not the leaders that lead them, but the team members who put in the effort. An army is no different. Now that you have a clear goal in mind, your troop choices become much more manageable. If, for example, your goals were to take a couple objectives by the end of turn 1 and then hold them for as long as possible, you might already be looking at large blobs of Chainrasp Hordes and Spirit Hosts to put in the Underworlds, or Hexwraiths to move and run up the board. If your goals are to fight for objectives and defend the objective holders, then you might lean more toward Grimghast Reapers and Bladegheist Revenants as damage dealers and Glaivewraith Stalkers as cheap objective holders.

Your troop choices need to reflect your goals. Reject anything that doesn't fit.

Step Four - Heroes: Heroes are our linchpins, but not so much so that you should be building your list around them. There will be scenarios in which you will design hero-centric lists--an Olynderbomb being a good example--but in a competitive sense, your heroes are best thought of as your support structure and not your primary focus. They are the bones underneath the muscle. They should come fourth in your decision-making process.

You need heroes for Deathless Spirits saves, a few bring buffs to enhance units, and they are your only source of healing and model-return mechanics. But, except in the rarest of cases, none of them will be the unit that wins the game. It will be the troops they are supporting that do that. So, make choices that compliment the troops instead of the other way around. Spirit Torments are great with Bladegheists, other heroes, and the Black CoachKnight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed is great for anything that wants to have more attacks. Knight of Shrouds on foot is great for anyone not already swinging at 3+ or better. Guardian of Souls for clutch casting or his +1 to wound rolls.

Depending on your point limit, you will have a hard cap on how many heroes you can bring, and my rule of thumb is to take that limit and subtract 25%. That means for a Vanguard (1,000+) match aim for 3 heroes, and for a Battlehost (2,000+), aim for 4. This allows for some room for customization without running too few heroes. If, after your 3 or 4 Nighthaunt heroes, you want to grab a Vampire Lord, go for it. If you wish, you can spend those points on a battalion. Or slot in another hero.

Step Five - Enhancements: By now, you should have a firm idea of what your list is going to do. You have your goals, the units that will achieve those goals, and the heroes who will back them up. Now, it's time to think about enhancing them. Battalions, although important, fall into this step. So do Endless Spells, terrain items, and supplemental unit choices. None of the options at this step should be the decision that makes or breaks your army. Instead, they should be the kinds of choices akin to sharpening your weapons or reinforcing your shields. Your game shouldn't hinge upon if you took Shroudguard, or if The Condemned vs. Chainguard was the better use of ChainraspsDolorous Guard might be your key to keeping your general alive, but your list can't depend on the DG to succeed unless that was your primary goal. These enhancement choices should give an already formidable list an edge that's needed to secure a win.

Final Step - From the Underworlds: Finally, you've got a list of ghostly delights, and it's time to think about how you are going to use them. You aren't done building an army until you consider the pre-game and early-game tactics you will employ utilizing that army. A good deployment can just as easily win you the game as a bad deployment can lose it, and you could have crafted the perfect list only to see it swallowed whole by a wrong decision you made on turn 1. From the Underworlds is going to be the most reliable tactic, hands down, you can use to protect yourself from a bad start and take an advantage in the early game, and this final step is going to try to teach you how to use it properly.

Final Step A - What's Going into the Underworlds: You get to put half of your units into the Underworlds, but you're going to want to select which ones and how many do so carefully. Again, refer back to your goals. The units that support your secondary goal are likely going to be the ones you're going to want to put into the Underworlds. For example, if your primary goal is to eliminate at least two enemy units and your secondary goal is to cap objectives by the end of turn 1, you will want to put the objective takers into the Underworlds for a quick drop while your threat units engage and tie up the units you're targeting. If your goals are the reverse of this, then put your threat units into the Underworlds to drop down and distract your opponent while you march your objective takers up the field. Refer to Step One - Goals section again to decide which goals to focus on and how to build a list to support them.

Final Step B - When To Deploy from the Underworlds: You have until the end of your movement phase in the third turn to drop units you put in the Underworlds. This gives you plenty of time. Once again, your goals are going to dictate when you're going to drop the units you put in reserve. Objective takers, for example, you'll likely drop turn 1. Defenders, attackers, strike units, or an Olynderbomb, might wait all the way until turn 3, or whenever the timing was right.

Underworlds is a tactical choice, and so will require both planning and patience. If you are unused to From the Underworlds and tend to feel exposed, practice with objective holding or light skirmish units until you feel comfortable enough to place high-value units there, and adjust your goals and lists to support that.

Sample Lists and their Goals

And now for the section that everyone's been waiting for; just what does all this fancy-talk of building lists actually look like. I'll include a few examples here, each that I consider to be of a competitive level. This means that I've played the list more than once and it won the majority of the time. This also means that these examples are snapshots in time; they worked for me and my local meta and at the points they currently are. If and when points change, or the meta changes, this section will fall out of date and may not be as valid. I will try to keep it updated.

WARNING: THE BELOW LISTS ARE NOW OUT OF DATE!

Temporarily. Our points our out for our battletome, but not for our White Dwarf battalions. As such I will hold off on updating this section until the PDFs drop. I will leave these here for the time being, but will replace them all with updated versions as I play them.

Woe to Those Afar

Spoiler

Allegiance: Nighthaunt
Mortal Realm: Any

Leaders
Dreadblade Harrow (90)
- General
- Command Trait: Ruler of the Spirit Hosts
- Artefact: Your choice
Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed (120)
Reikenor the Grimhailer (170)
- Lore of the Underworlds: Lifestealer
Spirit Torment (120)
- Artefact: Pendant of the Fell Wind

Battleline
20 x Chainrasp Horde (160)
20 x Chainrasp Horde (160)
30 x Grimghast Reapers (420)

Units
10 x Bladegheist Revenants (180)
10 x Bladegheist Revenants (180)

Behemoths
Black Coach (220)

Battalions
Shroudguard (110)

Endless Spells / Terrain / CPs
Balewind Vortex (40)
Prismatic Palisade (30)

Total: 2000 / 2000
Extra Command Points: 1
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 125
 

This is one of my favorite lists. It showcases a ton of what the Nighthaunt can do, some of our best-looking models, and can shut down a range- or magic-heavy opponent.

Goals: Primary - Shut down enemy ranged. Secondary - Take and hold 2 objectives.

Underworlds: Chainrasp Hordes x2

How it works: Since the primary goal is to shut down enemy ranged or magical units this list brings a few ways to do it, while the secondary goal of securing two objectives will be held by the Chainrasps.

Reikenor leads the effort by setting up the Balewind Vortex so he can put the Prismatic Palisade out in front of either a ranged unit or whoever will be casting the spells you want to avoid. Don't put it too close to them, mind the angle and put it in such a way that they will have to move if they want a line of sight of whatever's important to you. After that, let him cast his spells on whatever's available. Prioritize Wraithstorm on ranged/magic units, Mystic Shield if you can't do that, and Lifestealer to heal. Use the Dreadblade Harrow and Spectral Summoning to move Reikenor and the Balewind Vortex as a single package if you need to reposition him.

Meanwhile, on one side the Black Coach, the KoSoES, and the two units of Bladegheists will fly up to quick-engage the least protected ranged/magic targets. The KoSoES buff the Bladegheists with Frenzied Fervor, as well as Lord of Gheists that can either keep the Bladegheists at 3 attacks in the opponent's turn, or 4 on yours. The Black Coach should be in support mode using Nimbus of Power on the Bladegheists until it can engage at level 3. It should also draw any fire that might get through.

The Reapers (needing a bit less support) are accompanied by the Spirit Torment and head up the other side. The ST should be able to return enough Reapers to keep them viable for quite a while, despite his buff not helping if the Reapers engage a unit with more than 5 models. And while the whole group will be slower than the other group, it will be deadly in its own right and should target whatever you need to be tied up. The ST can run the whole time. If by some miracle he doesn't get targeted and your forces happen to collide, don't forget the Bladegheists get their Fearful Frenzy buff from him which can be a nice boost late game.

Drop the Chainrasp Hordes on objectives as soon as that's possible. Once your advancing line has cleared up enough of the opposition move them forward to grab or hold more unless the battleplan requires objectives to be camped to earn points. The Dreadblade Harrow supports them with Ruler should they need some model-return, and should teleport and Spectral Summons them to new objectives if running is less optimal.

Our Lady of Grief (Olynderbomb)

Spoiler

Allegiance: Nighthaunt
Mortal Realm: Any

Leaders
Lady Olynder, Mortarch of Grief (200)
- General
- Lore of the Underworlds: Reaping Scythe
Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed (120)
Spirit Torment (120)
- Artefact: Pendant of the Fell Wind
Cairn Wraith (60)
- Artefact: Any

Battleline
5 x Hexwraiths (140)
5 x Hexwraiths (140)
20 x Chainrasp Horde (160)
20 x Chainrasp Horde (160)
30 x Grimghast Reapers (420)

Units
10 x Bladegheist Revenants (180)
10 x Bladegheist Revenants (180)

Battalions
The Dolorous Guard (120)

Total: 2000 / 2000
Extra Command Points: 1
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 132

Another list I love because it lets us put our Lady of Grief back into the battle to preside over her victories once again. This list specializes in hunting elite units and/or enemy heroes. It's a more ambitious list and requires more patience than the one above, but can be devastating if executed well.

Goals: Primary - Bait enemy units out of pocket. Secondary - Nuke high-threat targets. Tertiary - Claim and hold 2 objectives.

Underworlds: Chainrasp Hordes x2, Lady Olynder, Hexwraiths x2

How it works: Your primary goal with this list is to put your opponent on an edge. With Lady Olynder and her DG in the Underworlds, they will already know you plan on dropping them and nuking some tasty targets, so your primary goal is already partially complete before the turn even starts. The rest of it will be accomplished by running the Bladegheists and Reapers in at, wait for it, tougher targets. 

The Bladegheists are backed by the Spirit Torment to get their Deathless Spirits and Fearful Frenzy buffs. With the Pendant of the Fell Winds, they should move quickly up the board to get into position, swinging hard when they do. Choose a target that begs to bait your opponent into committing more assets to the fight than would be wise for them.

Meanwhile, the Reapers, accompanied by the Knight, will head for another target. The same goal as the Bladegheists, the Reapers will have both Deathless Spirits and Lord of Gheists to swing at any horde units (preferably) or another tougher unit that begs your opponent to overcommit. The Cairn Wraith accompanies the Reapers. He blends in, can be easily forgotten mixed in with all the other scythe wielders, and so provides a buffer for Deathless Spirits for them when the Knight gets targeted.

Drop in the Chainrasps on a couple of objectives. This time around they won't have any hero support unless you decide to pull one back, so make sure you've got everything else screening well enough first.

Finally, be patient, and wait for the right time to drop the bomb. You have two options for her; either drop Olynder on an objective that's right in the thick of danger and dare your opponent to remove her, or drop her in a pocket that you're working hard to open up near one of your opponent's most important units.

The Emerald Host (Knightbomb)

Spoiler

Allegiance: Nighthaunt
Mortal Realm: Any

Leaders
Dreadblade Harrow (90)
- Artefact: Any
Dreadblade Harrow (90)
- Artefact: Midnight Tome - Shademist
Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed (120)
- General
- Command Trait: Ruler of the Spirit Hosts
- Artefact: Shadow's Edge
Spirit Torment (120)
- Artefact: Pendant of the Fell Wind
Cairn Wraith (60)
- Artefact: Slitter

Battleline
5 x Hexwraiths (140)
5 x Hexwraiths (140)
20 x Chainrasp Horde (160)
20 x Chainrasp Horde (160)

Units
10 x Bladegheist Revenants (180)
10 x Bladegheist Revenants (180)
2 x Chainghasts (70)

Battalions
The Forgotten Scions (140)
The Dolorous Guard (120)
The Condemned (150)
The Emerald Host (80)

Total: 2000 / 2000
Extra Command Points: 4
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 109

This leverages the entirety of the Emerald Host to set up a Knightbomb and supporting units. This is by far the most advanced list. It's very risky and requires total commitment to the Knightbomb for it to work. Since a ton of points is tied into the battalions you will need to make sure you squeeze every ounce of potential out of their cost. Also, with no Reaper blob to soak up hits, you will have less time to deploy units from the Underworlds before you become too compromised.

Goals: Primary - Bait enemy units out of pocket. Secondary - Nuke high-threat targets. Tertiary - Claim and hold 2 objectives.

Underworlds: Chainrasp Hordes x2, Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed, Hexwraiths x2, Chainghasts

How it works: The entirety of the Emerald Host can be 1-dropped, so that's everything but both units of Bladegheists and Cairn Wraith for a total of 4. Though you may still not win the drop war and go first, there's a chance. Don't listen to the nay-sayers that say that it doesn't matter, the power of choosing the first turn is powerful, even if you opt to pass it. More than that, because the entire list is so drop-friendly, you can leverage the simultaneousness of the drops across the Underworlds to bait your opponent to counter you.

Drop 1: Put one unit of Bladegheists on the table. Drop 2: the other unit. Drop 3: The Cairn Wraith in the middle of both Bladegheists. Drop 4: The Spirit Torment drops in with the Cairn Wraith while both Dreadblade Harrows can be placed anywhere. The KoSES, both Hexwraith units, the Chainghasts, and both Chainrasp units go into the Underworlds.

Before the game starts proper, select an enemy unit and give it the Emerald Curse. You have a lot of choices for this, either the first unit you'll encounter, the biggest threat unit your opponent has, or the enemy general are all great picks. Choose whatever's appropriate.

After that, the strategy is pretty simple. You have a ton in Underworlds, and two teleporters on the field. If you have a clear opening to an objective, grab it, either with a DH or dropping a Chainrasp Horde on it. If you need to wrestle one away, send the Bladegheists toward it with the two heroes in tow. If you engage with the Bladegheists, try to have the Cairn Wraith in the middle and don't select him to fight until after the enemy has exhausted the unit he's within 1" of so you might be able to break the enemy's coherency with Slitter while they have no moves to consolidate. With the ST there, if they're going to target a hero they'll likely choose him over the Wraith, so keep him just close enough to provide his buff and return models.

In this list, Chainrasps aren't de facto objective holders since they have the Cruel Taskmasters buff. Instead, as long as a Spirit Torment or Chainghasts nearby, they can assist or full-on fight their own fights. Keep this in mind since you don't have Reapers shoring up your threat potential. However, whatever role they do the DHs will have to perform the opposite; if the Chainrasps are out fighting the DHs will need to claim objectives, or if the Chainrasps are taking objectives then at least one of the DHs can be close enough to try casting Shademist.

Finally, you are going to have to get the Knightbomb out into the fight as soon as you can, but in a favorable position as possible. Fortunately, since they have been in the Underworlds that shouldn't be much of a problem, and all your extra Command Points, combined with the free Lord of Gheists activation per round, will make sure you have plenty of extra attacks to just absolutely nuke whatever they touch, so you need less of an optimal drop than you do a productive one. If you see your list taking a lot of hits hard and fast, drop the Knightbomb right next to the fight and erase the threat. If you see your opponent holding back, capitalize by dropping it right in front and chew through. If the unicorn opportunity appears to drop the bomb on the enemy threat units, then, of course, take it. When you take it is up to the damage you're taking first.

Pressing on the Pain (Pincer tactic)

Spoiler

Allegiance: Nighthaunt
Mortal Realm: Any

Leaders
Lady Olynder, Mortarch of Grief (200)
- General
- Lore of the Underworlds: Reaping Scythe
Spirit Torment (120)
- Artefact: Pendant of the Fell Wind
Guardian of Souls with Nightmare Lantern (140)
- Lore of the Underworlds: Spectral Tether
- Infernal Lantern (Artefact): Beacon of Nagashizzar

Battleline
5 x Hexwraiths (140)
5 x Hexwraiths (140)
40 x Chainrasp Horde (280)

Units
20 x Bladegheist Revenants (320)
20 x Bladegheist Revenants (320)

Behemoths
Black Coach (220)

Battalions
The Dolorous Guard (120)

Total: 2000 / 2000
Extra Command Points: 1
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 129

As the title suggests, this list seeks to employ Sun Tzu's Picner tactic on the battlefield. This can be a bit risky as there are a lot of points tied up in "throwaway" units and your main objective-claiming unit will be at a disadvantage should you get a battleplan that requires you to hold an objective. However, if properly used you can potentially table your opponent early even when starting from a bad position. It will not rely on "shock troop" style gameplay, and so should give you more options during the game. This list has an advantage against ranged and/or horde units. I would not recommend it against elites without considering your tactical advantage.

Goals: Primary - Bait enemy units out of pocket. Secondary - Nuke high-threat targets. Tertiary - Claim 1 objective and roam for more.

Underworlds: Dolorous Guard (Lady Olynder, Hexrwaiths x2). Optional: Chainrasps

How it works: This list employs two diversionary setups; The Dolorous Guard with Lady Olynder, and the Black Coach. Your Pincer units are the Bladegheists.

At 8 drops you are most likely going second, so this guide will assume that is the case. Deploy your field units close to the board edge. Keep the Black Coach, Spirit Torment, at least one unit of Bladegheists together. You can deploy them further out, but mind your opponent's movement and range capability and take care not to take any damage on their first turn. They will likely seize the advantage and claim an objective, set up their screens, and seeing Olynder off to the side they will likely try to cover any gaps to not let an Olynderbomb through.

On your turn start moving everything forward. Go slowly, carefully, minding any ranged, or taking any unneeded damage. Cast Mystic Shield on your Black Coach, which should be positioned forward your Bladegheists as a physical blocker and screen. At the end of your movement, choose a spot to deploy Olynder and her guard. Remember that unlike other lists her purpose is not to be the real threat, but don't throw her away, either. Choose a spot close enough to your opponent's squishy important units as you can, but away from anything that could potentially take her down too quickly. Once she is on the table she will start drawing fire; she is enough of a threat that if left alone she will nuke her way across a backfield so she will be engaged, concentrating some resources on her location. Remember not to charge her in without at least one Hexwraith unit within 3" of her to keep her wounds up.

On your second turn move up the Black Coach, ST, and Bladegheists. Always keep the Coach as cover. Move or drop the Chainrasps on to an objective, if possible. Move Olynder and her guard into position for her ranged attack and some charges.

Here you will make a choice; if your opponent committed fully to Olynder, or moved so far up the table as to be in charge range of the Black Coach, consider engaging them now. Olynder will last a couple of rounds with her Guard, and the Black Coach can deal some damage and take a few hits as well. But, their purpose is to lock ranged and/or threat unit damage on them, so if they are not yet engaged with those units you will need to hold off and keep your Bladegheists healthy. If you charge them in now you will have to quickly follow up with the Pincer move and flank the opposites or sides of whatever units Olynder and the Black Coach engage. This is the important part: do not engage your Bladegheists into units that are not in combat with either Olynder, her Guard, or the Black Coach unless they are specifically a ranged unit. Even if the opportunity seems ripe for abuse, you will need to focus down the units your distractions are engaged with first or you will never clear them.

Ideally, you will want Olynder and the Dolorous Guard engaged with your opponent's ranged or a threat unit. You will want the Black Coach also engaged with a ranged or threat unit. You will then want your Bladegheists to swing to either side of the Black Coach to finish off that unit. Or, if space is cramped or a side is exposed to the enemy, keep the Black Coach to one side and rush the Bladegheists in together on the other, keeping the Coach for cover.

Meanwhile, your Chainrasps and GoS should be taking an objective or moving on to claim another.

If you can cripple your opponent's offensive capabilities in your first exchange with them the game is yours. It's only a matter of time before you wipe up the rest of the board and their only hope will be to tie you up enough to keep counting whatever objectives they still have. If you can't, your win will come from your own objectives as you deal enough damage over the coming turns to effectively stop your opponent's progress.

 

Portraits of Grief

As a bonus, if you ever wondered what this pontificating Mortarch might model and paint their army, catch the gallery below. 💀☠️⚰️

 

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8 hours ago, Tamachan said:

Great article and interesting insights.

I found that at times, the likelihood statements were slightly confusing or might be even wrong, though.

Let's take this example:

 

How did you calculate the 33% increase from a 6+ to a 5+ safe? It's either a 50% increase in relative terms (twice as likely to roll a 5+ than a 6+ terms) or a lot clearer in absolute terms a 33% chance to save instead of a 16.6% chance to save. I think to talk about percentages in absolute terms would be clearer in your text.

Keep up the great work.

The chance to roll a 6 on a single six-sider is 16.6%. The chance to roll a 5+ on a single six-sider is 33.3%. It is a total chance of 33% to make the save on any given throw. That is an absolute increase of +16.6%, and relative increase of 50%.

But, to tell someone they will take either 16.6% or 50% less damage isn't accurate since a player won't be looking at an individual dice throw and would be looking at the total dice they have to roll once their standard saves have failed, a number that is a variable. Assuming the player reading my guide is a beginner (like I was) and would just like to know what to expect with a better save as they toss 3, 4, 5, or more dice hoping for that 5+ Frienzied save, saying you're increasing your chance TO 33% for damage negation is accurate.

Does that make sense? With Mathhammer we have to be careful not to see the forest for the trees.

Annotation 2020-06-29 091312.png

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15 minutes ago, EnixLHQ said:

 Assuming the player reading my guide is a beginner (like I was) and would just like to know what to expect with a better save as they toss 3, 4, 5, or more dice hoping for that 5+ Frienzied save, saying you're increasing your chance TO 33% for damage negation is accurate.

Stating it as an increase TO 33% is correct - regardless of whether you are a beginner or not - and regardless of how many dice you roll. 😉

I couldn't get this from your statement "Just how much more saving is that? Why it's 33%. In a game of dice and random numbers, giving two of some of your best units a 33% increase in the chances of just totally ignoring incoming damage is nothing to scoff at."

 

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Please don't get me wrong, I really appreciate your work on this very comprehensive guide. However, I have to get back to some numbers, as they seem implausible to me. Let's work on this to further Nagash's realm! 🙂

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Glaivewraith Stalkers: You've got, like, 30 of these, right? Sorry about that. They shoved handfuls of these in Storm Strike, Tempest of Souls, and Soul Wars starter sets, so most players will have an abundance of these guys. I won't harp on them and say they're literal trash, they can be converted into Reapers after all, but they aren't great. They do have some redeeming qualities to keep in mind; they are cheap, come in units as small as 4, have 2" range that can add up if you have a lot of them, they can retreat and charge in the same turn, and re-roll failed hits if they've charged or been charged. Despite this, they will do a massive 50% less damage than Bladegheists if the gheists charged that turn. Worse, this gap only lessens to 30% if Bladegheists didn't charge. Their battalion, Death Stalkers, doesn't help this situation much either, buffing that 50% deficit to 30% of charging Bladegheists (or breaking even if the 'gheists didn't charge), but only to one enemy unit for the entire game. You really might want to convert these or wait for them to get a Dolorous Guard of their own.

I agree that the unit underperforms, but I am not sure, in which scenario you calculated the 50% less damage of Bladegheists? If you quote numbers like these it's good to be transparent about your assumptions (How many Bladegheists vs. how many Glaivewraith Stalkers, attacking a unit with which armor save).

This page allows to create exact scenarios with fancy graphs: https://aos-statshammer.herokuapp.com/

Otherwise it's probably best to leave out exact numbers.

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The Emerald Host: The only super-battalion I'll get into detail here, this is the third of the offerings from White Dwarf. I only want to point this out because it's cheap, and requires no more than the taking of both battalions above to unlock it. What it does is give an enemy hero of your choice a permanent -1 save from all attacks that target that hero. This can be devastating on the right target, bringing some enemy's +2 save up to a +3 and netting a whole 50% more potential damage on it. Also note that this debuff comes from all sources that are "attacks," not just from your army. In most cases, that might not make much of a difference, but in a team or multiplayer game, you just brought a powerful debuff everyone benefits from. And, though I'm not aware of any abilities acting this way if your enemy can damage themselves for a buff and that counts as an attack, well that's debuffed as well. This, a CP, artefact, and one-drop option on the other two battalions above? Not bad. Not bad at all.

Did not understand how bringing up a save from +2 to +3 leads to "50% more potential damage". It leads to 16.6% more potential damage.

 

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Shademist: Since, as an army, we will want to focus on staying alive, and in the fight, Shademist is likely the superior spell for any wizard who's not Reikenor or Lady Olynder. Maybe even if they are. Casting on a 6, a Nighthaunt unit wholly within 12" gains a buff of -1 to wound rolls for all attacks that target that unit. Not a lot of abilities buff wound rolls out there, so this tends to be a harder counter to taking damage than -hit effects. And, having it doesn't preclude Mystic Shield or All-Out Defense from also being used for extra protection. To give you an idea of how powerful this is, a reduction of 1-to-wound is about 25% less damage on average coming in.

This is likely the same mistake here. Reducing 1 to wound is not 25% but 16.6% less damage incoming. 

 

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Spectral Lure: Guardian of Soul's unique spell - D6 wounds must be healed if possible, otherwise worth of models returned to any unit wholly within 24". Probably the very definition of risk-vs-reward for us you have here the potential of returning a full 6 models to a 1-wound unit, or even up to 2 Spirit Hosts, to a unit allllll the way over there, but on a spell that requires a 6 to cast, can be unbound, and only one attempt to cast it no matter how many GoS's you have. This would be downright amazing if it could cast on a 4, especially when comparing it to everything else listed here, but the best you will be able to do about that is spending an artefact slot on Wychlight Lantern to get a +1. As an aside, the other Guardian of Souls artefact, Beacon of Nagashizzar, can add +3 to the models/wounds returned to a unit. Still, if you're going to give the GoS any artefact the Wychlight is statistically more sound (+30% chance to cast a spell vs. +3 models).

You usually cast Spectral Lure on a 6+. Having a +1 bonus turns this into a 5+. This means you improve from a 72.2 probability to 83.3 probability. How do you get to a +30% chance to cast the spell?

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All-Out Attack: If you have the Command Points, re-rolling 1s to hit can be a snap damage boost. This is best when used when you're going to throw 15+ attacks (that's about where the +50% damage threshold is), or any units that'd like to see more 6's.

Didn't understand what 15+ attacks has to do with +50% damage threshold. Can you explain what you mean by that?

Again, just working to improve the guide.

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4 hours ago, Tamachan said:

This is likely the same mistake here. Reducing 1 to wound is not 25% but 16.6% less damage incoming. 

This is an English discrepancy not a maths one. If previously your opponent wounded on a 3+ but now wounds on a 4+ you have reduced the incoming damage by 25%.

 

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22 minutes ago, Spears said:

This is an English discrepancy not a maths one. If previously your opponent wounded on a 3+ but now wounds on a 4+ you have reduced the incoming damage by 25%.

 

Oh, I see where you getting at. The problem/confusion with this statement is that it needs an absolute base to be calculated. (That's why I prefer to express probability statements as percentages based on a D6, i.e. increasing the wound roll for the enemy is a 16.6% reduction of the likelihood to wound.)

In your example specific example of wounding on a 4+ instead of 3+ this is a 25% reduction of damage indeed. That does not work for a reduction from 4+ to 5+ or 2+ to 3 though. Therefore the statement that increasing the wound roll by 1 reduces incoming damage by 25% is not correct in many cases. Does that make sense? That's what confused me.

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Which presumably is why the op has written "To give you an idea of how powerful this is, a reduction of 1-to-wound is about 25% less damage on average coming in." 

 

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52 minutes ago, Spears said:

Which presumably is why the op has written "To give you an idea of how powerful this is, a reduction of 1-to-wound is about 25% less damage on average coming in." 

 

Sorry, I'm not sure I understand your reply. How does that connect to my post?

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56 minutes ago, Tamachan said:

Sorry, I'm not sure I understand your reply. How does that connect to my post?

Because it qualifies the 25% as being About and Average. It's a beginners guide and the maths is sufficient for what is being illustrated, although i do think some of the numbers might just be wrong. 

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I'm going to take the time to go through each of the concerns here, but before I do let me give a general disclaimer about my position about all these statistics:

First, I'm not going into this being defensive. There were a couple good catches here that I will use to update my guide. However, since I will be throwing out some numbers here it is going to look like I'm trying to defend my points with math, and that can seem harsh. That is not my intention. It's just for clarity.

And second, be careful of mathhammer.

I don't know of an easier or faster way to kill your enjoyment of the game than to mathhammer it into the ground. By adhering to statistics and math over your enjoyment of the game you will often find yourself in situations where your statistically-perfect unit or army gets inevitably shafted by dice probability or your own tactical mistakes stemming from those numbers. There is a danger to succumbing to a general smugness that comes from thinking you are starting from a superior advantage. I am not saying anyone here correcting me is being smug, but I am speaking from personal experience that trying to math every move is a frustrating waste of time, taxes your enjoyment of the game, and makes you less fun to play against. This is not to say that you shouldn't learn and know your army and know its strengths and weaknesses--you absolutely should--but please make sure you are enjoying your time with the hobby first and foremost, and that everything else comes second. /soapbox

Okay, now on to my self-defense.

8 hours ago, Tamachan said:

I agree that the unit underperforms, but I am not sure, in which scenario you calculated the 50% less damage of Bladegheists? If you quote numbers like these it's good to be transparent about your assumptions (How many Bladegheists vs. how many Glaivewraith Stalkers, attacking a unit with which armor save).

I used https://aos-statshammer.herokuapp.com/ just like you did. What likely skews our agreement here is unit size, using all available buffs on the warscroll, and the enemy save. Whenever possible I try to skew my statistics and math to real-world expectations and point-to-point comparisons.

In this case, a single model of Bladegheists vs a single model of Glaivewraiths, if you enable all the buffs on each (charged and ST on 'geists, charged on 'wraiths) is 25% more damage for the 'geists against a 4+ save.  But at max unit size, 20 for the 'gheists and 16 for the 'wraiths, the 'geists will do 66.24% more damage assuming all the models could attack, which isn't a realistic scenario. However, 10 'ghests who can all attack, and 12 'wraiths who also all can attack, which both cost the same amount of 180 points, is a difference of 49.36708860759494 damage. Granted, I rounded up instead of down to 49.4%.

8 hours ago, Tamachan said:

Otherwise it's probably best to leave out exact numbers.

Exact numbers have a way of not being exact. As I said above, any change of the variables involved, sample size, or even replication size can skew the results. Very few people who mathhammer actually use statistically sound biases and frequently find themselves subject to something called "P-hacking" whether they mean to or not. In order to prevent that as much as I can for myself, I try to stick to comparisons that are likely to show up on the board or be a factor in people's lists. For example, point-for-point comparisons because most people will wonder what to do with 200 points and not 20 vs 16 models, and reasonable expectations of how many of those models will actually be doing something, which I will get into below. I'm just trying to offer "back of the napkin" math and do so only in areas where it illustrates the point.

8 hours ago, Tamachan said:

Did not understand how bringing up a save from +2 to +3 leads to "50% more potential damage". It leads to 16.6% more potential damage.

This is likely the same mistake here. Reducing 1 to wound is not 25% but 16.6% less damage incoming. 

You usually cast Spectral Lure on a 6+. Having a +1 bonus turns this into a 5+. This means you improve from a 72.2 probability to 83.3 probability. How do you get to a +30% chance to cast the spell?

Didn't understand what 15+ attacks has to do with +50% damage threshold. Can you explain what you mean by that?

Again, just working to improve the guide.

It's 50% more damage that gets through the save based on the pior examples. Not your rolls, theirs. Which is a sliding scale. +2 to +3 is 50%. +3 to +4 is 25%, +4 to +5 is 20%. It's the end-result we're looking at here.

As for Spectral Lure, casting is two dice needing to meet or exceed a base value. In this case 6. The probability of a 6 or higher appearing on two dice is 

6 13.89
 
7 16.67
 
8 13.89
 
9 11.11
 
10 8.33
 
11 5.56
 
12 2.78

 or a total of 72.22%, like you say. Dropping that cast to a 5+ adds 11.11% to that pool, making it 83.3%. Again, just as you say. Until you factor in the unbind attempt. Those 72% and 83% chances are for your roll, now you have to see if an opponent can snipe it and unbind you. Assuming you made the exact roll you needed to make to cast each time (6) then your opponent needs to roll a 7 to beat your roll, no matter your bonus. They'll have a 58.34% chance to undo you. If you add this in, then your actual chances of getting the cast off is 72-58=14% for the 6 and 83-58=25% for the 5. So, you have a 25% chance at getting the spell through with the +1. So, if I were to correct it I would drop the 30% statement I made down to 25%, which I can do. And honestly, I got the original 30% from TellTaleNoob. I assumed I could shorthand it by stealing his stat.

And lastly, the 15 attacks statement. This one I need to go back and reword for sure. I don't mean that All-Out Attack will increase your damage by 50%. I'm trying to say that spending a CP on All-Out Attack will be worth more on units that can throw out more attacks in general, and that I personally don't like spending it on units that won't be throwing out at least 15, because 15 seems to be the breakpoint of reasonable attacks you can actually get to throw and is 50% more damage than if you threw any less

In before that gets challenged, here is my math on it. Let's assume that you have Y unit with X number of attacks and no other buffs. You may or may not have various ways of increasing the number of X, like the Knight of Shrouds on steed's CA or Bladegheists charging. 10 Bladegheist attacks will average 2.96 wounds against a 4 save. 15 attacks will average 4.44 wounds. That's 50% more. For Spirit Hosts, let's say you had 12 vs 18 attacks. 12 is an average of 2.5 wounds and 18 is an average of 3.75 wounds. Again, 50%. This will hold true across most units that have ways of generating both below and above 15 attacks, making it the breakpoint. So, if you want to know where to spend a KoSoES CA, look for places to push the number of attacks to at least 15. And if you are looking for where to spend CA on All-Out Attack, don't waste it on units who will be attacking less than 15 unless it's all you've got (and aren't spending the CP on charge re-rolls instead).

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3 hours ago, Spears said:

Because it qualifies the 25% as being About and Average. It's a beginners guide and the maths is sufficient for what is being illustrated, although i do think some of the numbers might just be wrong. 

Which ones? I want to be as accurate as I can, even if I am glossing over how I get there for the sake of the reader.

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I really appreciate the time that you took to answer my questions. I absolutely agree on your caution about mathhammer and I am not trying to accuse you of being defensive. My point was that IF people engage in mathhammer it's important to do it right or when assumptions are made to make them transparent. The latter point helps to make sure that I understand you correctly.

@ Blade Gheists vs. Glaivewraith Stalkers: Thanks for the clarification. That makes sense to me.

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It's 50% more damage that gets through the save based on the pior examples. Not your rolls, theirs. Which is a sliding scale. +2 to +3 is 50%. +3 to +4 is 25%, +4 to +5 is 20%. It's the end-result we're looking at here.

Okay, so if I understand you correctly, you were just referring to the change from +2 to +3, which as you state would be an increase of 50% damage that gets through (in relative terms), which is the same as my statement that you increase the likelihood to make damage by 16.6% in absolute terms. Get your point here. (Yet your example only holds for the 2+ to 3+ change, but therefore saves the reader from engaging in his/her own computations.)

15 hours ago, EnixLHQ said:

As for Spectral Lure, casting is two dice needing to meet or exceed a base value. In this case 6. The probability of a 6 or higher appearing on two dice is 

6 13.89
 
7 16.67
 
8 13.89
 
9 11.11
 
10 8.33
 
11 5.56
 
12 2.78

 or a total of 72.22%, like you say. Dropping that cast to a 5+ adds 11.11% to that pool, making it 83.3%. Again, just as you say. Until you factor in the unbind attempt. Those 72% and 83% chances are for your roll, now you have to see if an opponent can snipe it and unbind you. Assuming you made the exact roll you needed to make to cast each time (6) then your opponent needs to roll a 7 to beat your roll, no matter your bonus. They'll have a 58.34% chance to undo you. If you add this in, then your actual chances of getting the cast off is 72-58=14% for the 6 and 83-58=25% for the 5. So, you have a 25% chance at getting the spell through with the +1. So, if I were to correct it I would drop the 30% statement I made down to 25%, which I can do. And honestly, I got the original 30% from TellTaleNoob. I assumed I could shorthand it by stealing his stat.

Okay, thanks for clarifying that you included the ban rolls here. I wasn't sure about that. I think that the calculation is likely incorrect though, because you cannot assume that you either roll a 6 or a 7 (including the +1) and your opponent has to simply beat that. Actually your opponent has to roll +1 higher than you without the buff and +2 higher than you with the buff. This should be in the likelihood range well below 50% (you said 58.53%). So in order to get the correct number (or test whether TellTaleNoobs statement is correct) one would have to multiply the chance of casting a spell successfully with the likelihood of your opponent not banning it. I might take some time on the weekend to do that. 🙂

15 hours ago, EnixLHQ said:

And lastly, the 15 attacks statement. This one I need to go back and reword for sure. I don't mean that All-Out Attack will increase your damage by 50%. I'm trying to say that spending a CP on All-Out Attack will be worth more on units that can throw out more attacks in general, and that I personally don't like spending it on units that won't be throwing out at least 15, because 15 seems to be the breakpoint of reasonable attacks you can actually get to throw and is 50% more damage than if you threw any less.

Okay, that makes sense to me. Thanks again for the clarification.

I hope I didn't get across as being a mathhammer zealot, but I wanted to make sure that I understand what you were advising. I think the process of discussing helped me to get most of your points and I hope it can improve/make the guide a bit more clearer while still staying beginner friendly.

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Updated:

  • Relics Primed for Corruption artefact section updated with the new GHB2020 selection (and some passive-aggressive salt).

Coming soon:

  • Updated sample lists with new points (once the NH PDF supplement drops)
  • A new "all-comers" list designed to be as solid and versatile as possible against all opponents.
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Really looking forward to the all-comers list... Might let me start a nighthaunt army.

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