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AoS 2 - Nighthaunt Discussion


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3 hours ago, EnixLHQ said:

I don't see Mourngul in the list of points. Is it listed elsewhere?

You're right it's not on there. It should be located in the Compendium: Monstrous Arcanum PDF which is legal in Matched Play but has yet to be updated.

4 hours ago, EnixLHQ said:

The concept of throw-away or distractionary units needs another fresh new look. I've always advocated for other tactical styles for Nighthaunt like Envelopment and Pincer, as Hammer and Anvil is not our style, but now any hangers on are going to be forced to see things in more of this direction. No more 40 unit anvils. No more high mortal-wound hammers or daggers. Time to start thinking about out-juking, out-maneuvering, and out-sniping your opponent. This includes using spells like the one that turns heroes into monsters as disctrationary "yes, please unbind this" spells to let our native ones through more often.

Another banger read as always. I agree with this for the most part. The only thing I'm having trouble with is the idea of trying to focus on other strategic methods of gameplay instead of just how most other armies tend to focus on which is broadly, "focus damage on how threat targets, play objective." I know that's a very simplistic way of looking at it and is way more nuanced, but I can't think of a way for us as an army to either do enough damage to clear threats to some armies (elite armies) or have the survivability to handle our opponents attacks (anything ranged, big bruiser units). The math is still out as the new edition hasn't started yet so none of us really know yet how it will turn things out, but that is my current struggle.

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Glaives are our cheapest unit if you have points left over, but with objectives staying controlled that's one less niche they could've had.  4 models slipping past enemy lines might work but they equally are likely just to be killed dead before that happens. The kicker is they are actually no more points efficient than reapers, 10 = 152.5pts but you aren't battleline, and lose 8" move in exchange for fall back and charge.  Perhaps they are more likely to get their rerolls than reapers now, but 4 models with 1 wound just feels awful.

Don't get me wrong, we're literally bottom of the pile now so we can only get better or remain the same, but I am just not feeling especially hyped at the prospect of reapers being incredibly meta until our book drops and hopefully gives us a total overhaul.  That said from reading other threads other armies seem to be facing similar issues so it sounds like the points don't make a huge deal of sense across the board.

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1 hour ago, CaptainSoup said:

You're right it's not on there. It should be located in the Compendium: Monstrous Arcanum PDF which is legal in Matched Play but has yet to be updated.

Another banger read as always. I agree with this for the most part. The only thing I'm having trouble with is the idea of trying to focus on other strategic methods of gameplay instead of just how most other armies tend to focus on which is broadly, "focus damage on how threat targets, play objective." I know that's a very simplistic way of looking at it and is way more nuanced, but I can't think of a way for us as an army to either do enough damage to clear threats to some armies (elite armies) or have the survivability to handle our opponents attacks (anything ranged, big bruiser units). The math is still out as the new edition hasn't started yet so none of us really know yet how it will turn things out, but that is my current struggle.

I suppose I could expand the tactics section of the guide to get into this a bit more, but the general gist of these other tactical styles is that when you don't have damage, defense, or overwhelming numbers there are a still a few tricks you can do. But, very importantly, they are very much tricks and taking risks that when they don't pay off feel very bad.

Hammer and Anvil is very easy to read. There's nothing to it; just gum up whatever you can and make your opponent trade models with you for a while, and then sweep in with something that's very killy and mop up. Phoenix Guard and Crossbowmen. Mortark Guard and Mortek Crawler/Kavalos Deathriders. Zombies/Skeletons and Blood Knights. Almost every army is built for this, and even the ones that aren't still try to use it. The key here is that your anvil is just as important as your hammer. Lose either and your ability to take on the enemy army is vastly reduced.

Envelopment is the same thing, but with a few more moving parts. Basically, as soon as you add in a skirmishing unit, or roaming kill unit, or you're Tzeentch and you were making your killboxes, this was the tactic. Box up or funnel your enemy into a disadvantageous position, but the means as to how aren't as important. Positioning is. Get your enemy into a nice range and then just nuke the square foot of space you can. Rinse and repeat. This tactic puts way more emphasis on the "hammer" than the anvil, because the point isn't to trade models at all. It's to nuke. So, generally, you will have multiple smaller anvils running around who will likely die in any encounter, but can shape up the enemy army into killable zones.

Nighthaunt has none of the above. I mean, we had some anvils, but not really, right? Not with a 4+ Ethereal. We made some pseudo-anvils with Emerald Host, but still no longevity. So we can't rely on any anvil tactic. We can envelop, but we also lack the sheer firepower to nuke a killbox, so that tactic won't work.

So of the major tactical styles left (there's one more, but we don't leverage flying as a source of damage, so no use talking about it) is Pincer. The idea of Pincer is that because we can't stick around to fight it out, and we can't usually wipe an entire enemy unit in one go, nor can we carpet bomb an area, so all that's left is to assassinate and control resources.

Basically, most armies are fighters and barbarians. We have a few armies who are wizards and sorcerers. But us? We're rogues. We need to backstab or steal the BBEG's bag.

We can do this through our mobility and MSUs. We have just enough staying power to distract enemy units and tie them up, and we have just enough kill power to selectively erase heroes and other small units. Pincer spreads out your units, seeks to control the board in terms of being where the enemy wants to be before they can get there, takes objectives early, and then runs a distraction campaign disorganizing your opponent until the points are in our favor. We don't fight in straight up brawls unless that's part of the plan for a larger move later, or we're sure our attack lands a devastating blow.

I used to watch old tournament videos and recaps of Nighthaunt wins back when we were a force to be feared (somewhat) and that's what I consistently saw. Those players never tried to meet the enemy in the middle of the board and duke it out, they always skulked around the edges, teleported, and ran everywhere. There's been 3 or 4 NH tournament wins that were considered upsets because the NH player won without any models left on the table, they got enough points to secure the objective win and then ran out the clock by letting opponents chew on the ghosts until it was too late to score. By far the best NH win I saw was from Ben Johnson himself, who went 5/5 at Blackout back in 2018 with this list. It wouldn't stand a chance today (though now that I look at it...), but his tactics do. All 5 were major victories, he won all the extra kill points, and denied his opponent those points. He did it by being sneaky, appearing to play slowly (as in somewhat afraid to get into fights) but really setting up the board in his favor, abusing CP in a way we can't anymore, using terrain to completely block line of sight (yeah, we don't benefit from cover but you can't charge/shoot what you can't see at all), and then never attacking an enemy unit without at least 2 of his units in the fight.

But tactical armies like NH didn't sell, so here we are.

1 hour ago, Benlisted said:

Glaives are our cheapest unit if you have points left over, but with objectives staying controlled that's one less niche they could've had.  4 models slipping past enemy lines might work but they equally are likely just to be killed dead before that happens. The kicker is they are actually no more points efficient than reapers, 10 = 152.5pts but you aren't battleline, and lose 8" move in exchange for fall back and charge.  Perhaps they are more likely to get their rerolls than reapers now, but 4 models with 1 wound just feels awful.

Don't get me wrong, we're literally bottom of the pile now so we can only get better or remain the same, but I am just not feeling especially hyped at the prospect of reapers being incredibly meta until our book drops and hopefully gives us a total overhaul.  That said from reading other threads other armies seem to be facing similar issues so it sounds like the points don't make a huge deal of sense across the board.

Technically, objectives were always handled this way. Only a couple battleplans said you had to camp them, and then in GHB 2020 we got a couple that said specifically a battleline or hero had to camp them. But, in all other cases you could flip them and then run away. What's changed now is that the designers are trying to point that out, among other things, and shake people up. They want a more tactical game, hence the loss of the uberpowerful battalions. Time to get our shenanigans on.

And, no, we're not the bottom of the pile. I'd like to introduce you to Beasts of Chaos, oh and I see Sylvaneth trying to a get a word in, too. They're both talking over LoN who's just going to leave now.

Edited by EnixLHQ
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5 hours ago, EnixLHQ said:

I used to watch old tournament videos and recaps of Nighthaunt wins back when we were a force to be feared (somewhat) and that's what I consistently saw. Those players never tried to meet the enemy in the middle of the board and duke it out, they always skulked around the edges, teleported, and ran everywhere. There's been 3 or 4 NH tournament wins that were considered upsets because the NH player won without any models left on the table, they got enough points to secure the objective win and then ran out the clock by letting opponents chew on the ghosts until it was too late to score. By far the best NH win I saw was from Ben Johnson himself, who went 5/5 at Blackout back in 2018 with this list. It wouldn't stand a chance today (though now that I look at it...), but his tactics do. All 5 were major victories, he won all the extra kill points, and denied his opponent those points. He did it by being sneaky, appearing to play slowly (as in somewhat afraid to get into fights) but really setting up the board in his favor, abusing CP in a way we can't anymore, using terrain to completely block line of sight (yeah, we don't benefit from cover but you can't charge/shoot what you can't see at all), and then never attacking an enemy unit without at least 2 of his units in the fight.

Is there anywhere I can watch these older games? I feel seeing the tactics would help me a lot! Maybe I'm not searching the correct key words on youtube.

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Battle reports are pretty easy to come by, but a lot of them feature Nighthaunt as an exhibition army and generally fumble over rules or generally don't do a ton of review, so you're going to have to do your research on the players to see if they even play the army.

Your best bet for tournament play is to find articles first. Try looking for write ups of tournament coverage, and you may find clips in the story.

You can start your journey down the rabbit hole here. 

Videos of tournament coverage will be rare, but interviews with players is out there. Try AoS Coach for that.

Then, dive deep into some NH players Twitter or other social media. Like Ben's. You'll have to go back quite far, though.

Lastly, get yourself some podcasts. Bad Dice, this site, has one but I've never followed it. But I used to follow Notorious Age of Sigmar and Rolling Bad. They had pretty good coverage in the before times, but like pretty much all coverage NH and LoG were afterthoughts to them and so only gave passing coverage. Notorious actually laughed at the topic of Nighthaunt.

I haven't had time to get into it, but since I like Doug from 2+ Tough a lot I figured I'd follow his buddies over at Rerolling Ones. Doug, at least, is very balanced in what he gets in to from a book and lore perspective, but don't expect gameplay analysis from him. RR1s, though, I hear is all about that.

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We need a redesign on what the faction is intended to do.

It feels like they really wanted to make a army that played outside the rules, unrendable saves while doing mortals, everything flying and interacting with bravery all felt like attempts to make an army that stood apart and functioned outside the standard.

If they want to recapture that feel, I honestly think they should make NH;

3+ Ethereal, 6+ ward or 4+ ethereal 5+ ward army wide

Expand Frightful touch to be a buff we can cast on whole units, either giving them a 6+ frightful or boosting their current 6+ to 5+

Either more bravery debuffs or more access to shutting down 'ignore bravery tests' mechanics

Regenerating d3 models per unit per turn.

 

And then naturally rebalancing points accordingly

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3++ is one of the greatest cancers of 40k (only 2++ is worse) and GW erased it from nearly all armies there.

3+ ethereal sound awfull and too powerfull.

5+++ ward we can easily have for 120 points, and I think it is a fair trade.

One of the most hilarious things that "Frightful touch" already have ALL swamp orruks in dominion and all Teclis aelves, but not nighthaunts - creations of pure magic. Thats a pity.

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I've been out of town all week, so I have just been absorbing everything as it happens. Here's some thoughts that I haven't seen too many people mention on this forum:

  • While Grimghast Reapers got cheaper in blocks of 10 or 20, they are more expensive in blocks of 30 as they no longer receive the horde discount. 
  • Hexwraiths got hit hard, but with the deletion of battalions they're now the only way of making a survivable general. I'm not sure if it's worth blocking/making the Slay the Warlord battle tactic, but it's worth considering. Also, Lady Olynder remains one of our better options for dealing with monsters. 
  • Harridans are getting rather good. They're also worth reinforcing potentially due to being able to tag more units with Harrowing Shriek. A lot of meta armies/units now get affected by that ability (Sons of Behemat/Idoneth/Stormcast/Kruleboyz/Seraphon/Lumineth, etc.)
  • Speaking of that, people are sleeping on Tomb Banshees. Most monsters have lower bravery, as do many of the top armies (especially now that Tzeentch has taken a hit). They're in tough against Bravery 10 armies, but they can do a lot of work against the armies listed in the previous point, especially now that units may be smaller and armies will need to take more battleshock tests. 
  • Sadly, the cheeky "Kevin" tech of running a Cairn Wraith with Shadow's Edge no longer works. Time to use my Cairn Wraith model as a conversion for a Hexwraith champion. 
  • The updated rules for the Mourngul could be huge as could any Day 1 FAQ. We'll just have to see on that. 
  • A Krulghast Excruciator as general with Ruler of the Spirit Hosts sitting in midst of 9 Spirit Hosts is a pretty darn good anvil. Spirit Hosts took a hit due to the new rules on coherency, but they can still be rather survivable. 

Overall, as someone who didn't like running units of 40 Chainrasps, I'm rather excited by the points changes compared to other armies. 

8 hours ago, Zashier29 said:

Is there anywhere I can watch these older games? I feel seeing the tactics would help me a lot! Maybe I'm not searching the correct key words on youtube.

Most battle reports that you can watch don't feature Nighthaunt. They're just not a good enough army to be taken or shown off at tournaments. However, the Borderline Gaming YouTube channel features quite a few. 

I'd also say that it's worthwhile to watch battles that don't feature Nighthaunt to learn how various armies play and to think about how you'd counterplay them. 

My favorite resources include Season of War (YouTube), JustPlay - Tabletop Wargaming (YouTube - used to do a podcast regularly), and any battle report done by The Honest Wargamer / TSportsNetwork (Twitch and YouTube). 

In particular, if you subscribe to TSportsNetwork on Twitch, their recent Super Series games are well worth a watch. They manage to broadcast 4 games at once, and there's never really any down time so it makes for the most consistently exciting video battle reports I've ever seen. 

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1 hour ago, EnixLHQ said:

Here we go: https://www.warhammer-community.com/2021/06/20/the-soul-wars-are-over-but-the-nighthaunt-still-have-plenty-in-store-for-the-new-edition/

Nevermind. Nothing new and even a mistake. First the Metawatch article and now this.

Feels bad to see official blurbs about our army given so little import.

This has been the case for most of these articles, especially for armies that aren’t played much.
 

James Tinsdale is a great player, but is known for playing IDK. He does have a video of playing Nighthaunt against KO after BR:Be’Lakor on the JustPlay YouTube channel. 

But theses articles are really focused for beginners. 

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17 minutes ago, dmorley21 said:

This has been the case for most of these articles, especially for armies that aren’t played much.
 

James Tinsdale is a great player, but is known for playing IDK. He does have a video of playing Nighthaunt against KO after BR:Be’Lakor on the JustPlay YouTube channel. 

But theses articles are really focused for beginners. 

It cites Be'lakor and the Harridan's warscroll change directly, but then includes the old rule for Murderous Bloodlust. Easy mistake? Maybe. But it also was the focus of that part of the article.

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2 hours ago, EnixLHQ said:

It cites Be'lakor and the Harridan's warscroll change directly, but then includes the old rule for Murderous Bloodlust. Easy mistake? Maybe. But it also was the focus of that part of the article.

Yeah I just noticed that too. Kind of invalidates the rest of the article. If they made that mistake who know what else they made wrong in the article. When they mentioned reapers having 2in range I was hoping that meant they weren't going to change them, but now who knows.

Most of these article don't say much. Mostly about how great the All out Attack/Defense commands are, which of course they are they're good for all armies. Then they mention abilities that were already useful for a particular unit.

I understand GW wanting to white wash these articles and have them only be skin deep tactically, but it seems to be getting a bit silly at this point. Ah well.

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On 5/20/2021 at 5:56 PM, The_Dudemeister said:

I hope it's not too telling that they couldn't find other people to feature in their article than a playtester with a wrong list and a guy whose list consists of 700 points of heroes to support min-units of Chainrasps and max unit of Glaivewraith Stalkers.

Exactly a month ago we had the last article about Nighthaunt and they screwed that one up too. I'm now convinced that the rules team truly has no people who actively play or even care about Nighthaunt. Our army is just made for the models, the gaming part is completely neglected.

Edited by The_Dudemeister
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I went down the Facebook rabbit hole. If their rants are to be believed then apparently every faction article released for this new ruleset has at least one mistake. The conspiracy is that it's because they are operating under different warscrolls than we currently have. If I were to take a guess, though, Occam's Razor would suggest the writers, players, and editors are just under a time crunch and aren't catching mistakes.

But a point was made that I don't see the rules making a call on: Suppose your line of Reapers is accompanied by a Spirit Tournament and are facing a unit with 5+ models. You decide to use the CA All-out Attack. 1: Do you get to choose if the unit benefits from RRall or RR1, or are you forced to use one over the other based on some order of operations? And 2: Does adding +1 to hit change the above at all or have another hidden caveat?

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4 hours ago, EnixLHQ said:

Insult to injury or more to come? You decide, because the #NewAoS page hasn't updated for Nighthaunt yet.

Nothing special. Same happened with Nurgle, they just took some time to update there. I was checking while waiting for ours.

 

Regarding it, the only positive things I could take away where:
 

  • We are not worse than before, at least
  • They sure as hell should notice now the sad spot that we are in right now. After all, they had NOTHING to say about us, and had to make do with whatever they could grasp. The "biggest winners" in particular was a joke, with a General that shouldn't be one, with a "trick" as old as our battletome, and nothing, nothing related to the new edition or rules.

In conclusion: either they keep neglecting us, or a battletome must be in the way. If it wasn't already, they should start working on one after this public humiliation 😆

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Goonhammer has been posting some articles worth noting, one about coherency rules and how it's not as awful as you think and about Matched play setup and missions and what to expect from them (from the CRB anyway). It's worth a read.

https://www.goonhammer.com/ruleshammer-age-of-sigmar-3-0-coherency-rules/

https://www.goonhammer.com/age-of-sigmar-3-0-core-book-matched-play-battleplans/

Some key takeaways I've noticed is how for 25mm models you can technically still conga line as long and everyone is physically touching, and that there are different ways to legally and strategically arrange your models outside of rank and file.

As for the matched play article, a lot of the ways you gain VP revolve around attacking heroes and units while primary scoring revolves around holding objectives. It also seems that mystical terrain isn't a thing in matched play (at least from the CRB) so that's one less thing to worry about during a game.

11 hours ago, EnixLHQ said:

But a point was made that I don't see the rules making a call on: Suppose your line of Reapers is accompanied by a Spirit Tournament and are facing a unit with 5+ models. You decide to use the CA All-out Attack. 1: Do you get to choose if the unit benefits from RRall or RR1, or are you forced to use one over the other based on some order of operations? And 2: Does adding +1 to hit change the above at all or have another hidden caveat?

As far as I understand you should be able to use both. The only restriction I'm aware of for hitting is a +1/-1 cap after modifiers. It doesn't say anything about restricting rerolls.

EDIT: Misread what the question was. My bad.

Edited by CaptainSoup
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1 hour ago, CaptainSoup said:

Goonhammer has been posting some articles worth noting, one about coherency rules and how it's not as awful as you think...

https://www.goonhammer.com/ruleshammer-age-of-sigmar-3-0-coherency-rules/

Definitely worth a read. But they themselves come to the conclusion that the coherency rules are awful.

Most importantly though the article is solely about screening. It doesn't mention how it impacts piling in and getting attacks in afterwards and how wrapping units is gone even a single time. 

Screening isn't a problem. We haven't lost models. Split the old 20 man Conga line and make several min-sized roadblocks. The 3" bubble does the rest to screen the opponent out.

Also if you're focussing on janky workarounds that we'll see in play... where is the Tokyo drifting cavalry? You know people will string them out sideways and move horizontally like crabs! GW is giving us crabs because we asked for crabs 😋

My problem with the coherency rules is that my Bladegheists have to stay in a vaguely rectangular shape even after engaging a small elite unite and me getting way fewer attacks in.

That being said I still think we haven't been hit as hard as other factions. Our main screen are on 25mm. And our main damage-dealing blob is blessed with 2" range

Edited by The_Dudemeister
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