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TerrorPenguin

Penguin's Deathlords Blog

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Hello all,

Inspired by @Ben's podcast this morning and having just attended a tournament, I thought I would start up a deathlords blog to catalog my thoughts on using this army. I'm intending for it to be my main army for a while, but am going to try and run it in a number of different ways (more summoning, less summoning etc.)

Here it is in it's current form:

Army.JPG.af3b9069e253b2d8411a28a12bd1013b.JPG

So currently you start with

Mannfred (General)

Arkhan

4 x Morghast Archai

2 x Morghast Archai

2 x Morghast Archai

This leaves you with 240 points for summoning. 240 means everything is divisible by 60, so I keep 2 units of zombies (60 each) and 2 units of spirit hosts (120 each).

This is the army I took to the alliance tournament at the weekend, here's a quick summary of the battles I had with it:

Battle 1 - Ironjawz

First game was Blood and Glory against Tom Wall's Ironjawz. Tom was a great opponent and I was fairly happy about the matchup as it had no shooting! Basically this ended up as a smash up in the middle, the Archai supported by Mannfred are beasts, but when Mannfred goes down (as he did in every game) they become less reliable. On one turn (turn 3) in particular, I failed pretty much every save. Despite this, this game actually went down to the last roll as I summoned zombies on to two objectives we were drawing right until the end, when Tom managed to kill just enough zombies to gain control of the third objective and the game. 

Major Loss

Battle 2 - Stormcast

This was against Andy. This was pretty much a non-game because of my strategy (I don't play much stormcast) but also because anything with shooting just rips through this army. Scenario is Border War. I loose prioiryt and my opponent gives me first turn. Turn one I summon some spirit hosts onto one of the objectives and then move my block of 4 Archai onto it. The other four (in two units) advance onto the second objective. Mannfred moves up enough to keep the morghasts in his re-roll bubble. Arkhan sits at the back of the board. His turn one, two winged shooty stormcast with some horrible arrow pile shots into Mannfred and take him off straight away. The other shooty stormcast pile arrows into the morghasts and remove a couple of them. Then the hammerstrike stuff comes down and take off Arkhan in one turn. Game over at this point, he has my back objective and is scoring four. While I still control the others it doesn't take much for him to wipe me off the board.

Discussing it afterwards, he suggested I castle up and summon onto the objectives to force his hand. I agree this would have been better than what I did, but think that the amount of shooting would have still left me very vulnerable in this. Other lesson learned: take a los blocking piece of scenery with you to tournaments!

Major loss to me - 2000 - 0

Battle 3 - Death

Steve had a really cool Death army including Nagash, black knights, some harbingers and a mortis engine. I'm on the bottom table at this point so this game is pretty relaxed. The scenario is gift from the heavens. I deploy relatively spread across the board with the Morghasts edging up a touch. He does about the same. He wins priority and takes next turn with his meteor falling in the centre of the board. Mine lands in the right hand side. He has 10 skeletons on his objective and everything else rushes the Morghast and Archai in the middle. There are 4 Archai and Mannfred surrounded by Nagash, 10 black knight and two harbingers. Nagash wipes Mannfred out before he does anything (a common theme). Unfortunately, Nagash also knows all of my spells as well as his own, so uses Arkhan's spell to great effect as well. I really enjoyed this game as it felt like either of us could clinch it at either point. But, the Archai made a tactical retreat away from Nagash and piled into the Skeletons in the next turn to clear them off his objective, in the same turn his spirit hosts piled on to my objective so I had to clear those off. Eventually this came down to me delaying him scoring on his just enough and me scoring on mine to win 15-14. Great game

Basically, I learnt what I think I already knew, this crumbles to shooting, which is so prevalent in the game right now. It is a great fun army to play when your opponent is melee focussed as well and does give a different play style with summoning, but you either go turn one or play for the long game with them (summoning early enough to be able to move, but late enough that your opponent remembers that you have it!).

I am playing spiders with this list tonight and then will try and swap out Mannfred for a larger summoning pool and try and get the Mourngul in. 

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Oh wow love this army and write up, thanks for sharing, gorgeous paint job too man!

I had some mates attend Alliance comp too and said it was a blast..

The more am reading the more it seems that Death struggle with taking shooting at times, and yet we have minimal shooting to give back out..

It'll be great hearing jownuou get on against Jen spiders (is that Williams army by any chance!?)..

 

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Always nice to see a well painted army in force, and I'm glad you had fun at the tournament. I tend to place mid table most of the time at local tournaments, so I'm not unfamiliar with the feeling of receiving a right drubbing. 

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14 hours ago, Greetings from the Warp said:

Oh wow love this army and write up, thanks for sharing, gorgeous paint job too man!

 

12 hours ago, CoffeeGrunt said:

well painted army in force

Thank you both, my painting is very average - the morghasts, spirit hosts and zombies are mine; I had the Mortarchs comission painted

14 hours ago, Greetings from the Warp said:

It'll be great hearing jownuou get on against Jen spiders (is that Williams army by any chance!?)..

Yes it was Will's spiders! I got a major in the end, but it did come down to priority in the last turn.

So, we roll for blood and glory. Will has 4 arachnaroks and a tonne of smaller spiders. Will castles his spiders and puts all his buffs on. Turns over to me, I push the four archai up forwards hoping for the double turn charge. The other two blocks of two move up to cover objectives and Manny moves up a touch to make sure the re-roll one bubble is where it needs to be. Get the double turn and the archai go into two big units of smaller spiders, take one out completely, fluff the attacks on the other one. Because of Will's castling, it takes him a little while to get his big spiders out and into combat. I chop away at spiders, removing the other unit. 

Because of the way this game scores, I am basically trying to wipe out the small models and then he only has the arachnaroks, which will need to be spread over the board. The archai go into more spiders. Eventually manage to kill two Arachnaroks, but the 4 man unit of Morghasts is gone. Mannfred wiped out one of the Arachnaroks, gets counter charged by another and goes straight. We are now 4/4 in Mannfred deaths and 2 rounds of combat in 4 games (as in, he's attacked twice, in the last four games). 

Turn four I summon some zombies onto one of the objectives just to force Will's hand and some spirit hosts to hopefully tie up one of the spiders.  It all comes down to the final turn roll, because Arkhan is sat at the back magicing (BTW - no more than three mortal wounds from his spell again...) he's nearly on full health. Zombies on one objective, Morghast retreats onto another, Arkhan rolls a 6 for his run and manages to fly 21" across the board near the other objective for the major.

This was a great matchup, Will had shooting but it was hitting on 5+ wounding on 4+ which meant not a huge amount of it went off. The mortal wounds that this army can dish out is significant, but the Morghasts extra save against mortal wounds meant they stuck around longer than other armies might have done. Summoning really helped and not popping it in the first turn meant I had a plan for subsequent turns.

I'm going to drop Mannfred for a larger summoning pool. I think I can get a Mourngul out on a 6+, maybe 5 with some terrain luck. His only advantage at the minute is that people focus on him rather than Arkhan, as alpha striking Arkhan would take me out of the game. 

 

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Edited by TerrorPenguin
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Great to see someone putting in the effort to make this work!!  I loved playing death lords at alliance and will be following this with interest.  ?

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Its cool to see such a unique army!

I am off to my first tournament at the end of may.  I was hoping to take a mortarch (maybe two) in a 1750pts list. However, the more i hear the more i think i will not take any, which is a shame as they are great models.  I think im going for two big (40) units of skeletons, a necromancer and a wightking with infernal banner.  After that, im looking around for ideas how to fill the rest of points out.

 

How do you find spirit hosts work?  Did you ever summon hexwraiths?

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no luck with curse of years. Damn. Some day, when you really get it off, it'll be so much sweeter. -Too bad about Mannfred,  maybe in your coming games summon mournful or any other big screen presence first turn, so as to keep arkhan from being your only big eye-catching target for opponent. 

Also, vamp lord on zombie dragon -Mannfreds cousin Kevin Von Carstein maybe?- could work with the spirit hosts, giving them rerolls for those mortal wounds as well as give you a more tanky bulls eye for opponent leaving Arkhan to his shenanigans. But then your summoning pool would off course not be that much bigger than now - 20 pts.

Edited by Teletomas

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A mortis engine(or two?) could also be great for this list, with the one time heal -seeing that most of your army is 3 wounds or more. Would also give Arkhan +1 to cast, other than the morghast +1 to summon

Edited by Teletomas

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Awesome write up love it.. Will's army does look tough with all that spider action, and sounds like super close game and you played the mission well congrats!!

we had Will, Dan and Jack come over from Imps - was great meeting them?

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It's great to see you've started a blog you'll probably find it really useful way to to keep track of your hobby progress, show off your work and get tips from others to improve your army/game.

Your army is up to a really nice standard now and the blue/green spirt effect throughout the different units gives great coherency to the army.  Your custom bases are really cool too, how did you go about making them, sculpted then press moulded?

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On 15/03/2017 at 9:16 PM, Rob said:

Great to see someone putting in the effort to make this work!!  I loved playing death lords at alliance and will be following this with interest.  ?

Cheers Rob - telling that the bottom two tables contained three death armies, two with nagash and the other was this one! (Nothing to do with my playing of course ;) )

On 15/03/2017 at 9:43 PM, MightyOwl said:

How do you find spirit hosts work?  Did you ever summon hexwraiths?

The spirit hosts are OK as roadblocks, they seem to do more mortal wounds for me than actual wounds. If we ever got a +1 to hit spell they would be amazing. I've never used hexwraiths, just because I don't have the models - should probably try them...

 

On 16/03/2017 at 9:27 AM, Teletomas said:

A mortis engine(or two?) could also be great for this list, with the one time heal -seeing that most of your army is 3 wounds or more. Would also give Arkhan +1 to cast, other than the morghast +1 to summon

Yep agree, but like @CoffeeGrunt says it would break allegiance. I think I will mess around with having some zombies in it and trying for a more horde approach. The Mortis Engine is a really cool model, would like to own one (or two!)

On 16/03/2017 at 1:28 PM, cb_rex said:

It's great to see you've started a blog you'll probably find it really useful way to to keep track of your hobby progress, show off your work and get tips from others to improve your army/game.

Your army is up to a really nice standard now and the blue/green spirt effect throughout the different units gives great coherency to the army.  Your custom bases are really cool too, how did you go about making them, sculpted then press moulded?

Cheers dude, yes I'm hoping to try and learn something. See if I can make my moaning about death justifiable.... ;)

The bases are sculpy and one of those rollers from greenstuff world - I'd like to add a bit more to them - they need a drybrush and a few more details but this was to be ready for alliance and I knew I wouldn't be in for a painting award, they just had to be something I was happy with

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Battle 5 - Fyreslayers

This was against Jon at the club, who has recently sold all his filth in anticipation of the new dwarf release. Because there isn't a huge amount of shooting in this list I thought it would be OK. After rolling escalation four times in a row (and neither of us could be bothered to set it up) we just decided to play gift from the heavens. I don't know all of Jon's units but he has a twenty man unit of beserkers, some characters, some more shooty ones that can give things cover saves, two magmadroths with different characters on them and another twenty man unit of beserkers that was deployed underground. And a Celestial Hurricanum.

Turn one is typical gifts - buffs go up and no one moves. I go a bit mad and do the thing I said I wouldn't do, and use all my summoning points in turn one summoning a unit of spirit hosts. 6 appear across the board basically to act as a roadblock for his army. I forget that his army can pop up and so a roadblock is basically useless = so I move up the board ever so slightly, but am conscious of the beserkers popping up and so try and keep everything slightly less than 9" away from each other. 

Turn two his gift lands on a flank. He has a huge piece of mystical terrain in his deployment which proceeds to give him re-rolling wounds for the rest of the game (doesnt' fail one) and he re-rolls hits because fyre slayers. He pops a unit of beserkers around his objective and starts to score. Other stuff shoots at things, a few wounds are chipped off here and there.

My gift lands central. I keep Mannfred at the back, helpfully out of range of his command ability (doh) doing nothing as I'm now too afraid to lose him. Arkhan curse of years something and does a couple of wounds. The archai move up to the hurricanum and fail a short charge. The other archai also fail a charge into a magmadroth. The spirit hosts get in and do a decent amount of mortal wounds - fyreslayers get a 4 up save. They take off about 5 of the beserkers around the objective.

Turn three I get priority. Curse of years does a couple of wounds to a magmadroth; The archai get in and take off the hurricanum (phew). The other archai get into the magamdroth and do a decent amount of wounds to it. None of it's abilities go off. In Jon's turn he shoots and magamdroths off the archai, the spirit hosts all get killed. In his turn I finish off the magamdroth and don't do much else.

He pops his beskerers up and challenges for the objective. The other magmadroth charges Arkhan and I brick myself. I have to kill all of the beserkers to keep scoring. Luckily the magma droth is just out of range. I think John could have charged it differently and stopped me scoring but hey. The beserkers put a few wounds on Arkhan and Mannfred. Arkhan; Mannfred and the Archai kill a load of beserkers and the rest flee to Battleshock.

Turn four. If I win priority I have a chance. I win it. Now all I have to do is kill this magmadroth (full health) and then just get to his objective to stop him scoring for one turn. AND THEN IT HAPPENS. CURSE OF YEARS. I'd almost given up on this spell. I roll 10 dice, I get one six. I roll it again, six. I roll it again, six. I start to get excited, but realise it never actually works - does it? Roll again five. ******, it's happening. Roll again, four and that's it, it can't fail and the magmadroth leaves. I apologise to John. Arkhan look smugly at me and I beg him to do it again at some point. Then he legs it over to the objective. We don't play out the rest, just the crucial dice rolls, Mannfred would have pinned the slayers in place, Arkhan would have sat close enough to his objective to stop him scoring.

Lessons learned: I will stop being rude about curse of years. I must not summon in the first turn. I also need to stop moaning about how underpowered death is - yes Mannfred and Arkhan are a bit wobbly for their points but 9" move and fly on the Archai is way more powerful than I first gave it credit for. Being able to retreat over units is huge. It does feel like an 'old' style army to play but is still a load of fun. 

TL;DR - Curse of years clutched me the win.

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Edited by TerrorPenguin

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Those magical moments when something so ridiculous actually works in spectacular fashion. Great little report with even better pics. Keep up the great work!

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!!!

Arkhans been holding out for this moment, the sneaky ******, but I think you can ask him to maybe chime in a bit more and earn his points, now that you've seen what he can do.. Anyway Well done! And on only one dice. Suspense!

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So I mixed it up this week with mixed results. My list was:

Allegiance: Deathlords

Leaders
Arkhan The Black Mortarch of Sacrament (340)
- General

Battleline
Morghast Archai x 4 - 480

Morghast Archai x 2 - 240

Morghast Archai x 2 - 240
Total: 1300/2000

700 point summoning pool. 

Two games this evening, both against Tzeentch.

Basic trick on this is to try and get a Mourngul in their faces (9" away because of Arkhan's command ability) on the roll of a 6 (+2 from Arkhan, +1 from summoning from Arkhan, +1 because of the Morghasts)

First game - three places of power. Take first turn, fail the mourngul summon, summon a Cairn Wraith. Basically in this game I get double turned, most stuff gets taken off from shooting (although the Arhcai take off a splendid amount of Tzangors). Turn two the Mourngul comes out but it's too late. Arkhan gets shot off by skyfires. It does highlight the main issue with this army - vulnerability to shooting. Playing Arkhan only is high risk high reward. But three places of power is really difficult because of needing to cast the cairn wraiths early as it takes them a turn to start to score. 

Second game - take and hold. Tzeentch again but a very fluffy tzeentch army with warriors of chaos, marauder horsemen, kairic acloytes and a couple of casters. Only two casters in a tzeentch army. This game goes to plan - the Mourngul goes off first turn and although it doesn't get the charge, it basically makes him commit a block of warriors to it to hold it up. Arkhan and the Archai go through one flank and just murder all of the infantry. This army had no monsters and just didn't have answers to the high rend high damage my army could put out. He did take a batallion which gave everything one rend, which did result in a lot of the Archai going down, but in the end he conceded, as it was 11pm and the Morghasts were munching through units.

Thoughts - Arkhan and the Morghasts still allows you to summon the Mourngul and 5 other 60 point units. It seems like a really flexible list and although you can answer three places of power, the extra turn of not scoring, or not summoning something really relevant is key.

I'm wondering about adding 3 units of zombies as my battle line, taking less archai and adding a necromancer as having Arkhan on summoning duty does mean you are rarely mystic shielding something.
 

Forgot to take any pics, but here's one from the store owner on twitter:

17553848_10155133884656252_5516465237043

Edited by TerrorPenguin

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It's moving things pretty far from the original premise, but if you do drop allegiance to trade ghasts for zombies and add a necromancer, then you can give the necro the sword of unholy power to let you summon the mourngul automatically instead of having to roll for it.

Or, I suppose, you could just deploy the thing, and not have to roll for it or use up your artefact...

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2 minutes ago, Sception said:

It's moving things pretty far from the original premise, but if you do drop allegiance to trade ghasts for zombies and add a necromancer, then you can give the necro the sword of unholy power to let you summon the mourngul automatically instead of having to roll for it.

Or, I suppose, you could just deploy the thing, and not have to roll for it or use up your artefact...

Yes! I do like the sword, as putting a mounrgul 9" from their army is likely to disrupt any sort of game plan - even if it does end up dying. If only I could give Arkhan the artefact...

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You could also take Heinrich Kemmler. His spell can heal your units 1 wound per turn inside of 18" and he gets to cast two spells instead of one... If you need him for the mystic shield buff, he's your man. But the real fun in the Arkhan/necromancer list is the fact that Arkhan has the skeleton keyword and therefore necromancers van hels dance macabre works on him as well, giving him 24 dice to attack with each attacking round..... But again, no mystic shield.... Why not necro as well as Kemmler? this way you get the possibility of van hels, mystic shield and the Kemmler heal as well as Arkhans summoning.

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4 minutes ago, Teletomas said:

But the real fun in the Arkhan/necromancer list is the fact that Arkhan has the skeleton keyword and therefore necromancers van hels dance macabre works on him as well, giving him 24 dice to attack with each attacking round

No, surely that's not right, vanhels targets 'deathrattle', not 'skeletons', no?

No?

OMN, you're right, holy bologna, that... changes some things.

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17 minutes ago, Sception said:

No, surely that's not right, vanhels targets 'deathrattle', not 'skeletons', no?

No?

OMN, you're right, holy bologna, that... changes some things.

haha fun right? Skeleton. Makes him insanely meleeish. Also, remember, Arkhan learns spell that nearby death casters can cast, so he can van hels quite easily

 

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probably still better to cast it on a dedicated melee block, like 40 skeletons or 20 grave guard or 6 necroknights, especially as use by Arkhan requires you to commit him to melee which I don't like to do willy nilly, and he needs to survive a return swing between attacks which will probably reduce the number of attacks he puts out on the second swing, but it definitely opens up some options, and it will be a nasty surprise to the folks I play against, considering I've never even thought to do that before.

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Yes completely right, but opens up possibilities in a list that already carries skeletons or zombies as well as Arkhan. After he's been casting van hels on your infantry for a couple of turns, you get to surprise opponent with his optimally 16" move and a tough two time attack. If you run with Neferata as well, he could potentially get to hit with no penalty, as he could steal her spell and use on his target... But thats extremely situational as well as some pretty one sided tricks... Still, a good one to remember in an Arkhan list.

Edited by Teletomas

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