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AoS3 - Soulblight Gravelord Discussion


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Looks like a decent list! I'd question whether the Burning Head is worth it over a better chance at a Triumph maybe, that's all.

I do also think, in this meta of Mortal Wounds, that Grave Sand Shard could be good to weather a big turn from something like Lumineth. A 5+ deathless save becomes pretty spicy when Grave Guard and Blood Knights are rerolling 1s from their banners. I suppose I'm just very used to having my stuff shot off the board that the -1 to Wound in combat aura hasn't been so great for me.

I've written a few lists that contain 2 x 5 Blood Knights and 20 Grave Guard with a 20 Zombie screen, I do want to experiment with Vhordrai a bit more thanks to his -3 rend, I'm just a sucker for a big centrepiece (currently using Nagash a lot). I've used Mannfred a bit and he's great, however sometimes I wish he had a bit more of a punch.

I do enjoy Spell Portals for Belladamma also, getting a turn 1 Lycancurse off if you go for an Alpha maybe.

Here's what I have lined up to try, once I finish painting this second batch of Blood Knights.

 

Allegiance: Soulblight Gravelords
- Lineage: Kastelai Dynasty
- Mortal Realm: Shyish
- Grand Strategy: Prized Sorcery
- Triumphs: Inspired

Leaders
Prince Vhordrai (455)**
- Lore of the Vampires: Amethystine Pinions
Vengorian Lord (280)*
- General
- Command Trait: Rousing Commander
- Artefact: Grave-sand Shard
- Lore of the Vampires: Amaranthine Orb
Belladamma Volga, First of the Vyrkos (200)**
- Lore of the Vampires: Soulpike

Battleline
5 x Blood Knights (195)**
5 x Blood Knights (195)**
10 x Dire Wolves (135)*
20 x Deadwalker Zombies (115)*

Units
20 x Grave Guard (280)**
- Great Wight Blades
- Reinforced x 1
3 x Fell Bats (75)**

Endless Spells & Invocations
Umbral Spellportal (70)

Core Battalions
*Battle Regiment
**Battle Regiment

Total: 2000 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 1 / 4
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 132
Drops: 2
 

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@Liquidsteel

Absolutely agree with you, it's a very close call between the grave sand-shard and the fragment of the keep. I'm personally leaning towards the grave sand-shard, but whenever I suggest that online I tend to get people telling me I'm crazy for not doing fragment of the keep, so just in there as a placeholder. 

Mortal wound based shooting (Lumineth, DoK, Seraphon) is much more of a problem for Soulblight than rend based shooting or combat imo, so I definitely see the value in Grave Sand Shard (which is also useful for a critical turn when all the damage hits against things which aren't mortal wound shooting). 

The burning head is just to give me an additional bit of mortal wound output if needed. I'm down a little on the damage output by dropping the VLoZD, but up on mortal wound output with the +2/+1 cast wizards including Bella. Also the triumph is not so important for me with Mannfred in there, so it'd be more about possibly denying my opponent a triumph, I'll try the burning head and drop it if it doesn't come up enough.

I really like your version of the list! Vhordrai having AP-3 and an additional attack on his lance is really strong. I struggle to leave mannfred out of the list though, as he's just brilliant! My favourite unit in the book so far.

Edited by Vik Vijay
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Yeah I think there's even an option to go Vhordrai + VLoZD but it means cutting the Grave Guard and putting a second unit of Zombies back in.

I've often found myself rather underwhelmed with the Vengorian on the damage side of things; so many times he does nothing with his low rend and 4s to hit on the claws, I think Flaming Weapon is probably a trap spell to be honest unless you're clearing chaff). 280 points is quite expensive if all he will really do is provide support.

I do love the Grave Guard though and Mannfred is a fantastic force multiplier, not to mention the tricks he can get up to with his teleport.

Honestly despite some parts of the book feeling rushed and lacking synergy, the variety in list building options is fantastic.

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@Liquidsteel

The Vengorian lords damage can be okay-ish with certain buffs -> Rousing commander buffs all his profiles, mannfred +1/+1 makes a big difference and Bella's exploding 6's help. It's a lot of work to get the output from him, but he's decently offensive + defensive for his points cost I think whilst still being able to take trait+artefact! 

I'd actually run Pinions over flaming weapon on second thought for my list on the vengorian lord. He can just cast arcane bolt instead if pinions isn't needed so gives some more flexibility. He's the one most likely to have a spare cast for bolt, after Bella casts exploding 6's + damage spell (lycancurse or burning head) or mystic shield if out of range, and Mannfred casts mystic shield (or debuff, in which case vengo lord casts mystic shield) and damaging spell (wind of death) or mystic shield if out of range. 

The army book is super varied, it's hard to hone down into one true optimal list, there's a lot of different builds in there!

Edited by Vik Vijay
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Yeah, I think he has done work for me once, which was something crazy like 16 damage to a unit of plaguebearers. All 3 claws hit and did like 15 damage on their own. This was indeed under Mannfred's aura and with flaming weapon active, as well as all out attack to negate the -1 to hit.

At the same time he has done zero damage to a lot of things.

Still, he has a relatively small base and can spike, and you're absolutely correct that Rousing Commander buffs every profile. Food for thought for sure.

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I know most of the metagame discussion seems to be centered around 2000 point games, but my local group is mostly sticking to smaller games for now, mostly 1000 points.  Anyone else playing smaller games?

 

Here's what I'm fielding tonight:

Allegiance: Soulblight Gravelords
- Lineage: Vyrkos Dynasty
- Grand Strategy: Hold the Line
- Triumphs: Bloodthirsty
Radukar the Wolf (150)*
- Lore of the Vampires: Amethystine Pinions
Necromancer (125)*
- General
- Command Trait: Master of Magic
- Artefact: Arcane Tome (Universal Artefact)
- Universal Spell Lore: Levitate
Lady Annika, the Thirsting Blade (110)*
30 x Deathrattle Skeletons (255)*
- Reinforced x 2
20 x Deadwalker Zombies (115)*
10 x Grave Guard (140)*
- Great Wight Blades
2 x Kosargi Nightguard (95)*
*Battle Regiment

Total: 990 / 1000
Reinforced Units: 2 / 2
Allies: 0 / 200
Wounds: 86
Drops: 1
 

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46 minutes ago, vlad3theimpaler said:

I know most of the metagame discussion seems to be centered around 2000 point games, but my local group is mostly sticking to smaller games for now, mostly 1000 points.  Anyone else playing smaller games?

 

Here's what I'm fielding tonight:

Allegiance: Soulblight Gravelords
- Lineage: Vyrkos Dynasty
- Grand Strategy: Hold the Line
- Triumphs: Bloodthirsty
Radukar the Wolf (150)*
- Lore of the Vampires: Amethystine Pinions
Necromancer (125)*
- General
- Command Trait: Master of Magic
- Artefact: Arcane Tome (Universal Artefact)
- Universal Spell Lore: Levitate
Lady Annika, the Thirsting Blade (110)*
30 x Deathrattle Skeletons (255)*
- Reinforced x 2
20 x Deadwalker Zombies (115)*
10 x Grave Guard (140)*
- Great Wight Blades
2 x Kosargi Nightguard (95)*
*Battle Regiment

Total: 990 / 1000
Reinforced Units: 2 / 2
Allies: 0 / 200
Wounds: 86
Drops: 1
 

Initial thoughts are you are lacking some true damage threats/hammers. The 10 GG and 20 zombies might be able to do it, but they are really the only threats in your list and they aren't fast nor durable. Annika, much like all the new named vampire lords, seems like a waste of points in basically every situation as she isn't a force multiplier, caster, or damage dealer. If possible I would replace her for a unit of fel bats, and then use the points to try to squeeze in another threat, or just drop her for more grave guard. 

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I've been having a lot of luck with this list:

Spoiler

Allegiance: Soulblight Gravelords
- Lineage: Legion of Blood
- Grand Strategy: Prized Sorcery
Triumphs: Inspired
Wight King on Skeletal Steed (130)*
- General
- Command Trait: Aristocracy of Blood
Vampire Lord on Zombie Dragon (435)*
- Deathlance
- Artefact: Amulet of Destiny (Universal Artefact)
- Lore of the Vampires: Amethystine Pinions
Belladamma Volga, First of the Vyrkos (200)*
- Lore of the Vampires: Soulpike
20 x Grave Guard (280)*
- Great Blades
- Reinforced x 1
20 x Grave Guard (280)*
- Wight Blades & Crypt Shields
- Reinforced x 1
5 x Black Knights (120)*
5 x Black Knights (120)*
5 x Blood Knights (195)*
5 x Blood Knights (195)
Chronomantic Cogs (45)
*Battle Regiment

Total: 2000 / 2000
Reinforced Units: 2 / 4
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 120
Drops: 2

Usually start the Grave Guard in the ground and have a unit of blood/black Knights escort the Wight King wherever I want Grave Guard to come up so that they can reroll the 9" charge. I know people don't rate black Knights very well, but I'm getting a lot of use out of their min 5 unit size with cav bases stretched out. They are just there to screen and be bodies on an objective,  but can also just push up the board and bait charges/ contest objectives for a turn. I've been able to summon them back very early thanks to how fragile they are T1 and how quickly my damage ramps up T2 when Grave Guard come up. Going to try something similar in Vyrkos and kastelei (fragment of the keep looks so tasty) eventually.

Edited by Verminlord
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I've been getting some more reps in with variations on the triple necromancer list. This is my most recent build:

 

Spoiler

Legion of Night

Mannfred - Amethystine Pinions, Soul Harvest

Necromancer - General - Master of Magic, Overwhelming Dread, Spectral Grasp

Necromancer - Morbheg's Claw, Levitate, Prison of Grief

Necromancer - Fading Vigor, Decrepify

Corpse Cart with Unholy Lodestone

Mortis Engine

2x 20 Deadwalker Zombies

1x 40 Deadwalker Zombies

2x 5 Blood Knights

Umbral Spellportal

Chronomatic Cogs

 

I think I might swap out pinions for something else (probably Soulpike or Amaranthine Orb) as I rarely need the extra movement.

Aside from that though it plays very well. You still get +2 to cast on turn 1 if you need to move Morbheg's Claw up the board, and you get up to +4 to cast if needed, which is enough to force magic through even against heavy anti-magic opponents.

The AOE damage potential is very high. Mortis Engine plus Wind of Death plus potentially Soul Harvest through spellportal can really chew through clustered small heroes. Mortis Engine also gives you something to Unleash Hell with. It's definitely a high variability take though. In some matchups it's pretty ******, but in others it's an all-star. At the very least it allows you to push with Mannfred while still keeping +1 to cast on him.

One thing that I'm considering is Reikenor the Grimhailer + Mortalis Terminexus allied in. Reikenor is just a solid warscroll and MT is insanely good. Fitting it would be very tough though. Dropping a Necromancer would be an obvious start, but finding the other 125 is tricky. One could drop the 40 zombies to 20, change 20 zombies for 10 skeletons and 20 zombies for 10 Dire Wolves. That would fit.

 

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15 hours ago, Btimmy said:

Initial thoughts are you are lacking some true damage threats/hammers. The 10 GG and 20 zombies might be able to do it, but they are really the only threats in your list and they aren't fast nor durable. Annika, much like all the new named vampire lords, seems like a waste of points in basically every situation as she isn't a force multiplier, caster, or damage dealer. If possible I would replace her for a unit of fel bats, and then use the points to try to squeeze in another threat, or just drop her for more grave guard. 

I know Annika isn't popular, but I really like her model and wanted to give her a shot since I just built her.  I only have one unit of grave guard and no bats so far, but I'll aim to remedy that if we start playing larger games regularly.

I was playing against stormcast (my 4 games of aos so far have all been against stormcast by 2 different opponents) and the mission was the one with set up in opposite corners (first blood?)

Sadly, Annika got taken out pretty quickly, without doing much other than giving the grave guard +1 to wound on 1 round of combat.  But that was enough for the grave guard to kill the unit they were engaged with, and then they got to pile in and fight again thanks to Vanhel's dance macabre and beat up the unit that killed Annika.  They were my mvps as usual, and even at 10 models, they wreck stuff, especially when they get to fight twice and/or get an extra attack.

The skeletons as always hit like a wet noodle, but they did what I wanted them to do, which was run to the center objective and refuse to die.

 

My zombies never got into combat this game, but they just sat on an objective most of the game, so I'm okay with that for 115 points.

We called the game at rd 4 as we were short on time and I had a significant lead in points.  I think that as we get more experienced, we'll be able to play faster, but we're still at the stage where a lot of time is spent checking on how things work.

 

Also, even with my necromancer having the extra cast, I still never cast his chosen spell, since it was usually vanhel's and mystic shield.   I think the artefact was still worth it, though.

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It might be a bit premature to talk about this, but how do you guys see Gravelords faring in the future? At the moment, Gravelords are a solid battletome that does well in trournaments, and I think it's mostly due to strong fundamentals. The book is able to compete in every phase except shooting and generally has lots of solid warscrolls in it. My hope is that Gravelords are like Cities of Sigmar, where they have enough tools to adapt to metagame changes without becoming outclassed, even though they don't have any game-shaping combos in the book.

Also, what do you think are likely points changes for the future?

Personally, I expect Mannfred and Blood Knights to potentially go up. Mannfred because his warscroll has the closest thing to an abusive ability on it in G-Lords, and Blood Knights because they are very spammable at the moment (even though I think their scroll is just solid, not overpowered).

Nagash might want to keep going up, but 1000 points is the limit before he's unable to be included in 2000 point lists, so there is not much room there. I think Nagash is the best balanced, points-wise, of all the god models, though.

As for point reductions, there actually does not seem to be much need to adjust units downward. Other than Black Knights, only some of the Cursed City units come to mind, but I doubt they will be adjusted.

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Yeah you can already see pretty good list variety, you can go full zombie horde, a mixed horde and monster, or full monster/hero/godhammer as you please, which can help adapt to what is at hand. 

With Kruleboyz I think we are going to see a very strong army, and new Stormcast already seem decent. Nurgle should be next and is currently very strong, so if they improve it might start to shape list building. My hope is that some of the next few releases can help curb some of the Lumineth stuff going on, if taking mass sentinels or 3 wind spirits becomes less viable, it helps our Monsters stay alive. It's not fun having your VLoZD shot off turn 1 without anywhere on the board to hide (bar LoN ambush).

Nagash is very good right now, though someone plagued by his miscasts. He still offers a lot (the command ability is SO good) even when he miscasts, but I imagine it's the difference between being a reliable "5-0" list as people put it and just a solid "4-1". I don't think he will go up. I wish he had some sort of protection, for example miscast but can keep casting at -1 or something.

For me, I'm still new to competitive 2 day tournaments (had my first the other week, went 2-3) so I'm not too fussed whether a list is 5-0 or 4-1, for me it's about being able to deal with most of what I can expect to face, and have a fun time doing it.

Outside of that team event in Poland, Blood Knights spam hasn't hit the table yet from what I can see, so maybe they will be okay. At most I am considering 4 units anyway, so I think I will be okay. I'm over 7k painted as we speak, I could actually play vs myself without needing to share models and run competitive lists on both sides, which is great.

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8 hours ago, vlad3theimpaler said:

Sadly, Annika got taken out pretty quickly, without doing much other than giving the grave guard +1 to wound on 1 round of combat.  But that was enough for the grave guard to kill the unit they were engaged with, and then they got to pile in and fight again thanks to Vanhel's dance macabre and beat up the unit that killed Annika.  They were my mvps as usual, and even at 10 models, they wreck stuff, especially when they get to fight twice and/or get an extra attack.

How did Annika give GG +1 to wound in combat? She has no command ability or otherwise to do so. 

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1 minute ago, Btimmy said:

How did Annika give GG +1 to wound in combat? She has no command ability or otherwise to do so. 

She's a Vyrkos Vampire Hero, thus gives out +1 to wound to Deadwalkers and Deathrattle units wholly within 9", as part of the Vyrkos sub allegiance abilities.

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9 hours ago, vlad3theimpaler said:

I know Annika isn't popular, but I really like her model and wanted to give her a shot since I just built her.

For what it's worth, you could probably run Annika and Kritza even in fairly competitive Vyrkos lists. They are not bad enough to be completely worthless choices.

Between Kritza and Annika, Kritza probably has a little more play because he's cheaper and can be used to ensure that you have a general on the field most of the time in Vyrkos. He can definitely tag along with a unit of Grave Guard to give them that +1 to wound and just help out a bit with his Vampire Lord damage profile. His resurrection means that you might get him back in a surprising location at some point down the line if he dies, which can be valuable.

Annika is cool, too, though. She has this thing going for herself where she's actually kinda tough to remove. She asks your opponent the question: Are you willing to dedicate enough attacks to remove a 6 wounds, 4+/4++ model in one turn? Because if not, she will heal back up if she kills anything at all. I would say her function is to lock weaker units in combat for as long as possible. Certain units will not be able to kill her easily in a turn, while she gets to chip away at them until they retreat. If they are slow enough, she might even be able to charge them again and keep going.

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15 hours ago, Btimmy said:

How did Annika give GG +1 to wound in combat? She has no command ability or otherwise to do so. 

Vyrkos allegiance ability.  
Add 1 to wound rolls for attacks made with
melee weapons by friendly VYRKOS DYNASTY
DEATHRATTLE and VYRKOS DYNASTY
DEADWALKERS units while they are wholly within 9"
of any friendly VYRKOS DYNASTY VAMPIRE HEROES.

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14 hours ago, Neil Arthur Hotep said:

For what it's worth, you could probably run Annika and Kritza even in fairly competitive Vyrkos lists. They are not bad enough to be completely worthless choices.

Between Kritza and Annika, Kritza probably has a little more play because he's cheaper and can be used to ensure that you have a general on the field most of the time in Vyrkos. He can definitely tag along with a unit of Grave Guard to give them that +1 to wound and just help out a bit with his Vampire Lord damage profile. His resurrection means that you might get him back in a surprising location at some point down the line if he dies, which can be valuable.

Annika is cool, too, though. She has this thing going for herself where she's actually kinda tough to remove. She asks your opponent the question: Are you willing to dedicate enough attacks to remove a 6 wounds, 4+/4++ model in one turn? Because if not, she will heal back up if she kills anything at all. I would say her function is to lock weaker units in combat for as long as possible. Certain units will not be able to kill her easily in a turn, while she gets to chip away at them until they retreat. If they are slow enough, she might even be able to charge them again and keep going.

I think Kritza is probably a little better overall, but I bought Annika first because I like her model.  My opponent did think that her 4+ aftersave looked pretty scary, but I rolled poorly enough that he was able to bring her from 6 down to 0 in one round.  I still think she has potential, but I needed to not make it so easy for a squad of annihilators to pop in and charge her.  I'll give her another go soon and see if I can utilize her better.  

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Hi all, i want to buy and paint up some crimson court models and use them as allies in a 1000/1500p nighthaunt list for fun. But i dont own anything about them really. I was wondering what would be the best use for them. I'll probably run them along some spirit hosts and Lady O. Would this be a total waste and should i start a mini soulblight army? Or should i use one of the models as a vampire lord? Dont really know what to do with them. What are their strenghts and weaknesses? Thanks!

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55 minutes ago, Iksdee said:

Hi all, i want to buy and paint up some crimson court models and use them as allies in a 1000/1500p nighthaunt list for fun. But i dont own anything about them really. I was wondering what would be the best use for them. I'll probably run them along some spirit hosts and Lady O. Would this be a total waste and should i start a mini soulblight army? Or should i use one of the models as a vampire lord? Dont really know what to do with them. What are their strenghts and weaknesses? Thanks!

If you take the Crimson Court, you get one warscroll for Prince Duvalle and one for the other guys. The entourage is not anything special, but Prince Duvalle is at least a 3+ save wizard with a +1 to hit spell. Taken together, they are not really competitive at their 200 points (you could get Belladamma Volga for the same point cost), but they are fine.

If I remember right, the Vampire Lord is no longer a great ally choice in Nighthaunt, since their +1 attack command no longer works on Nighthaunt units. Otherwise, the Vampire Lord is almost exactly like Prince Duvalle, except he can fly and does not have a warscroll spell.

Personally, I would say just run the Crimson Court as allies. They are OK: They still have 10 wounds for their 200 points, can cast a spell, and they hit decently hard. It's not an optimal choice in any list, but I think if you are just playing for fun, they are not completely useless.

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Sadly a lot of what used to make soulblight units useful allies for nighthaunts is gone.  I think you could make a solid case for Vengorian Lords, with their debuff aura and Nighthuant's lack of good monster options.

The Crimson Court are a vanity unit even in Soulblight, though.  You take them because the models are amazing and you want to show them off, not because you expect them to do anything, and they can do that just as well as allies in a Nighthaunt list.

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3 hours ago, Btimmy said:

can you use deathly invocation to heal a unit that comes back via endless legions?

Also does the -2 to bravery from the allegiance abilities get capped by the -1/+1 at most rule?

There is nothing about Bravery being capped in either direction in the core rules. So yes, it does stack as it states in the SG book.

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