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Showing content with the highest reputation since 01/25/2020 in Blog Entries

  1. 10 points
    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 strengths; it's easy enough for any army to be fielded and do what it says on their warscroll cards. It is much harder to win against an opponent who is intent on outplaying them. 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. Know your tricks and tactics: 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. Depending on battleplan, 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. 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 artifacts, 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. 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 minimum-sized-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 buff 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 (+30% chance to cast a spell 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. 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, passive "re-roll 1's" to any units within range of the bubble, Bladegheists get a re-roll everything buff with him nearby. But his real benefit is 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 whenever 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" inches 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. All the rest of the heroes, including Olynder, are situational at best and filler on the shelf at worst. 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 is minimal. Lord Executioner is hard 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 10 or more in a unit, and that alone is reason never to bring less than 20. Grimghast Reapers: Your unsung heroes of any self-respecting Nighthaunt army. Reapers can perform many roles, and do so with little-to-no hero support. Their 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. You will almost always want to max out this unit's size, even if you are going for MSUs everywhere else, as a full Reaper blob will more than makeup for their cost in any battle. 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, you'd be wrong, unfortunately. You're not going to pack more than 4 of these to a single unit, and unless they become much cheaper, you're not going to try to bring more than what's required for The Condemned battalion. They only have 15" of range and wildly swingy D3 attacks each. Any number of things could make this a great unit (solid 3 attacks each, how about?), but unless you really need another Spirit Torment and don't have a free hero slot for him, you can bring a pair of these to extend his buff through Another Link in the Chain. 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, 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. 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 (Aetherquartz Brooch much?). 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+. 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. 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 Wraith, Reapers, 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 Souls. Captured 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 Cage, Lifestealer, 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 artefacts in addition to any that come with Nighthaunt. You also gain access to any artefacts that exist in the realm you fight in, should you and your opponent decide to fight in one. This can potentially give you two 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 Aetherquartz Brooch - Hysh: Whenever you spend a Command Point roll a dice. On a 5+, you get another new Command Point. In an army that starves for CPs, this is an auto-pick for me. Gryph-feather Charm - Ghur: -1 to be hit, +1 movement. Taken more for the reduced hit chance than the movement, it can help a needed hero or general stay alive. Gildenbane - Chamon: All other artefacts within 3" are depowered. Shut down an enemy artefact? I can think of a hero or two that could make use of this. Miasmatic Blade - Shyish: -1 to be hit. Same as the Gryph-feather Charm but without the movement. Same reason to take it if you find yourself on Shyish. Sword of Judgement - Ulgu: A modified hit roll of 6 grants D6 mortal wounds, but only against heroes or monsters. Pair with a Knight of Shrouds on foot, and for every CP spent, this range increases by 1. 3 CP would mean a 3+ on a roll is D6 mortal wounds. If you've got the CP to spare and need that monster dead, why not? 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 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. 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 Underworlds. DHs 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. Pair them with a model-return mechanic that also operates at the start of the hero phase, and you can get those models back with the buff, thanks to the phase not changing and the shenanigans that come with choosing the order of events. This means you could dispel an Endless Spell, even your own from the previous turn if you had to, and reverse the damage via Ruler of the Spirit Hosts, Nimbus of Power, and Deathly Invocation. 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. Unfortunately, since No Rest for the Wicked takes place during the hero phase, and not the start of it, models returned with that ability won't benefit from the buff. (See: Activation Wars) 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 Reikenor, Balewind Vortex, Chronomantic 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. Artefact Shutdown: For a nice distraction, a Lord Executioner with his own 5+ Disembodied Skulls, in addition to the 6+ Deathless Spirits, can be hard to remove. Give him Gildenbane from Chamon and shut down an enemy artefact for as many rounds as it takes to kill him. 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, 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 - 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 Three - 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 third 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 Coach. Knight 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 Four - 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 Chainrasps. Dolorous 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. Woe to Those Afar Our Lady of Grief (Olynderbomb) The Emerald Host (Knightbomb)
  2. 7 points
    I'm not exactly the greatest/fastest painter, elite tournament gamer/game breaking list-builder, or even have the biggest or largest hobby collection. I tend to minimize buying big models and almost never buy repeat models of the same unit. Hell, as of late, I've made it a habit of only buying Two-Player Boxes, then never proceeding to build them. There's still a sizable collection of models that haven't been built yet, including some that I bought as far back as the start of my collecting project (more on that another day). Every year, I take roughly one-two weeks to set out and take inventory of every model in my Age of Sigmar hobby collection, and re-evaluate where I want each army to go/stand. Here's all of it, sitting on a queen sized bed, in all it's poorly stored and unbuilt glory: Yes, it's a lot to cover. I may even share it on this here blog when it's finished. I say "When" because it was progressing smoothly until last Friday night, when my wife woke me at 1:30 in the morning to let me know that she was pretty certain that her water just broke. Eighteen hours later, our two beautiful "Hobby Ruiners*" were born, taken to the NICU, and we've been stuck here at the hospital since (helps to get a sleeping room, and then be snowed in during the biggest snowfall here in over three decades). We're hoping to take one home tomorrow and another a day later, and there's a part of me that's been both longing for hobby time again, and feels a pit of guilt that I could ever want to hobby instead of caring for their precious little souls. For now, au revoir Hobby Time! * I kid, I love them considerably more than 75,000 points of plastic army dudes.
  3. 7 points
    My List for the Tournament (Note, I left my Jezzails at home for Saturday so we used proxies.. disregard the giant Rooster 😅) Game 1: StD - Blood and Glory StD List T1 He wins priority and goes first. Daemon Prince + Be'lakor run up onto terrain and blacken them, blocking LoS. Otherwise, Knights and Karkadrak move up on the left side. Bells rolls +1 to casts, Vermintide goes off and does 1 MW to Be'lakor. Due to the now LoS blocking terrain, I decided to shoot at his Chaos Lord on foot in the middle of the board and they take it off. T2 I win priority.. however I determine I have no good targets for shooting and pass it to him. I move Vermintide into the Karkadrak doing 2 and Be'lakor heals 1. I unbind both his Realmscourge Rupture and Enfeeble spells. Combat has the Knights + Karkadrak charge in, killing all 20 Clanrats. Bell rolls an 8 and does a couple MW to the Daemon Prince and the Monks do 3 from the Book. I get MMMWP + Vigordust + Spark out on the Acolytes which is all that really matters. Jezzails leave the Karkadrak on 2 wounds and the Acolytes dump 6 shots into him finishing him and the other 21 in range of the Knights proceed to do ~46 damage after saves if I recall. T3 He wins priority. Vermintide puts 2 MW's on Be'lakor while mid and he proceeds to run him middle. Middle and right Chaos Warriors start heading to my bottom right. Daemon Prince charges into the Clanrats, killing a good amount, however they somehow manage to finish it off. Bell rolls a 3 and Death Frenzy goes off. I run everything up to start working towards capping the objectives and the Jezzails finish off Be'lakor. He concedes as I end up winning the roll-off. Skaven Major Victory ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Game 2: IJ - Better Part of Valour IJ List (He was 50 under as he didn't know you could only buy 1 extra CP) T1 He wins priority and makes me go first. I deployed to deny any chance at a T1 Hand of Gork.. unfortunately, I couldn't really do much other than take 4 off the Maw-Krusha with what few Jezzails were in range of it. His turn, he Mighty Destroyers the bottom Pigs and then proceeds to run everything else up as far as possible. Bottom combat has the Pigs kill 12 Clanrats but do nothing in return. T2 He gets the double. Everything charges and he kills the bottom and top Clanrats as well as 1 Jezzail. Bell rolls an 8 and throws out 1 MW onto bottom pigs (but literally rolls 1-3 for every other unit) while throwing out Vermintide and doing 2 to the Maw-Krusha. MMMWP + Vigordust onto Acolytes. I teleport the Jezzails to the top of the board who do largely nothing to his top Pigs unit.. but the Acolytes kill the Maw-Krusha and remaining 2 Pigs in front of them. Monks charge in and only 4 manage to not get in combat.. but without Death Frenzy (failed on a 3) their overall damage was absolutely abysmal and my opponent made some of craziest saves I've ever seen. What he does kill manages to toss out a couple MW's here and there however. T3 He wins priority again. Teleports 10 Brutes behind Jezzails who proceed to make their charge and kill them all, giving him the objective which he burns. I concede as I cannot mathematically do much else considering the position he's left me in. Skaven Major Loss ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Game 3: Sylvaneth - Scorched Earth Sylvaneth List T1 He wins priority and goes first as I counter-deployed against his Drycha with the Jezzails. I unbind his spell to summon woods but the TLA summons one middle-right. Drycha teleports behind middle woods to block LoS from Jezzails and then she proceeds to shoot off 5 Clanrats from top side. Bell rolls a 5 but only does 1 MW to Drycha. Vermintide goes out and does 2 to Arch-Rev in middle woods, but Death Frenzy\MMMWP aren't worth casting this turn. I teleport the Jezzails to the top side (note, 1st picture shows them a bit out of range; they were nudged during deployment on accident and he allowed me to move back wholly within 6") and bring Drycha down to 1 wound after shooting; I would've killed her but I forgot to use a Spark for the +1 damage. 4-4 | T2 He wins priority. I move Vermintide and decide to make it hit the Drycha with 1 wound, and it manages to do 6 MW's. He summons 10 Dryads into middle-right woods. 20 Spites teleport to middle woods and charges them into the bottom Clanrats, killing 10. The Clanrats + Bell manage to kill 9 Spites, but 9 more run to BS. Bell rolls an 8, but only does d3 MW's to the remaining bottom Spite unit finishing them off. I auto 6"-run the bottom and top Clanrats (14" movement) and take control of both his front objectives. Fully buffed Acolytes manage to get fully in range of the 20 Spites up top and do 75 damage... damage dice pool below for 'proof'. Note that is of course with the +1 damage from the Spark. I burn both objectives, scoring 5. 13-8 We roll off, but I win priority and he concedes. Skaven Major Victory ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Overall Thoughts So yeah, I like this list a lot. Plenty of bodies, 3 threats.. well, 2 threats. I'll be honest I didn't like the performance of the Monks at all but I know I also could've potentially deployed\used them a bit more aggressively. Across all 3 games they just felt like a waste of points and they did nothing for me except make movement take longer. Of course.. The Jezzails and Acolytes are a different story, doing their job every time they needed to. The Jezzails would've had a couple more 1-shot kills, but for some reason I keep forgetting that they get a Spark as well. Anyway, game specifics: StD game: The Jezzails forced my opponent to go first as he knew I would just shoot off Be'lakor. Assuming this and knowing he had no deepstriking, I screened up and waited for that first wave to hit. He did make sure that his Knights were out of range LoS and not being able to hit Be'lakor\the Daemon Prince had me worried at first. I knew since the Knights couldn't hit me T1, I was safe to keep everything where it was since he would at most just be able to kill the 20 Clanrats and the Acolytes would take the Knights + Karkadrak off the board, which they did. I would say I played this about as perfectly as I could have. IJ game: I gotta say.. I was slightly salty at this one for a bit. I can say with 99% confidence the double-turn is what caused the loss here. I felt I deployed to the best of my ability to counter against a double turn (maybe I could've thrown the Jezzails middle instead of bottom) but.. it just wasn't enough. I had to counter the threat of Hand of Gork which meant my frontline would be a bit thin since I needed to conga my Clanrats thanks to the massive board space this battleplan has. While I wiped the Maw-Krusha and Pigs on the bottom side, the top side just couldn't deal with the entire rest of his army. Again, if I had perhaps placed the Jezzails mid and shot off the Shaman to prevent a teleport I could've done a bit better, but then I wouldn't have pushed enough damage through on the Maw-Krusha to kill it (it reduced the Acolytes -2 rend to -1 and I just barely killed it) so.. who knows. New opponent, but a great guy and hope to play him more in the future. Sylvaneth game: I felt I played this about as perfectly as I could have as well. I enjoy having so many drops as it allows me to bait out most opponents and I can counter-deploy easily. The Clanrats are my first 3 drops 99% of the time so I can place the power-units and their buffing Wizards accordingly. With the shorter board space of this battleplan, I had a much easier time on deployment as I knew he had no teleports without woods behind me. I bided my time waiting for the Kurnoths to come down, but the moment I saw I could burn 2 of his objectives I went for it even if it meant leaving the Acolytes\Jezzails open without a screen. So yeah, it was a good weekend, going 2-1 and taking 2nd by only 5 points. I have my Tzeentch order coming in so.. you may be seeing that in the future for a bit. Next weekend may have the return of OBR for a short time, although I've considered running a 6 Fiend list again to try it one more time. Thanks for reading, as always.
  4. 5 points
    The rest of my bases have arrived. See the awesomeness below, plus @TwiceIfILikeIt and her contribution. #dragonforgedesigns
  5. 3 points
    Please see Part 2 of my article on the Activation Wars as kindly published on AoS Shorts: https://aosshorts.com/nicolab-the-activation-wars-part-2/
  6. 2 points
    Oh geeze it's been a while since I last posted anything here... there's likely a backlog to catch up on. Ages ago I picked up the original Underworlds box and it has sat unplayed, though the models have sat on the painting table for a while. Recently we decided that lunchtime boardgames in the office were called for as people were being a bit antisocial. Underworlds seems like a good option, so I started putting paint to models... starting with my favourite looking set, Zarbag's Gitz. Can't go wrong with a bunch of Moonclan grots! Along side the Underworlds project, I'm starting to rebuild my old Warhammer Quest collection, so the Gitz will be doing double duty in the dungeons. Rather than working through the monsters by level, I've decided to go by faction and grots have always been entertaining little blighters with some fun models.
  7. 2 points
    They are watching us. From the moment we crossed over into this fecund place in search of it, I knew eyes on me, felt its attention shift, infinitesimal speck by speck, a vast consciousness like the hive mind of a colony of wardroth grubs turning its antlered head our way. Even now, it tracks us through the tumbling vales, and what it sees, it wishes to destroy. It dreams of ending us, of trampling us, of impaling us on those magnificent horns, of returning us to the soil and the wind. The mortal coil! Is this what it feels like, to be studied, to be read? Is this what my subjects experience, when I look for the secrets in their skin? We came for a book, but already I have gained something far greater: wisdom with which to fill a tome of my own! Of course, such a text will warrant the finest materials. A bolt of buckskin shall do nicely. Or, failing that, a ream of aelfhide. I shall weave a placeholder from their hair! Her song holds no sway in these old trees. They stir with a different sound. Stop running, child, and you may just hear it: the wind in the boughs, like the billowing of vast wings; its keening shriek, like that of a beast in pain. You may yet hear it, if you just stop running. You may yet sing with them. Yes, little princeling. Catch your breath and raise your voice and sing with the children of the night, even as they catch you. A choir of screams, in harmony! "Awake, O dead! Crawl from your mountain tombs. Once more, the dispossessed have cause to march upon the forests of the aelves: my cause! No root nor branch nor witch-forged blade will spill your blood this time..." * I hear it then: a tapping, the patter of fleshless fingertips between the stalactites. Overhead, blackness, impenetrable except for that sound and something else, almost inaudible, a keening pitch. Scree scatters before my boots, the darkness a precipice over which I dangle, every step my last. One more. Up ahead, a glimmer of light. One more. The entrance is in sight. One more. They are waiting for me, outside, unpacking the camp by torchlight and the glare of the zephyr spites. One more —Wait. Silence has descended over me like a fresh darkness. What of the tapping? Nothing, just that whine, needling into my ears, growing higher, cutting sharper. The dead wolf’s bite didn’t wound so deep. My groan echoes around me. The blackness swallows it utterly, then spits it back in a scrabble of scratches and the flutter of wing beats. I imagine a mainsail filling over and over with competing winds, impossibly vast in the shadows. Run run run —My every footfall kicks pebbles and stones, glottal pops marking my flight. One more step. A smell washes over me, a rotting tide. One more step. The entrance looms before me, my exit now, and I make out the silhouettes of my comrades, moving about camp. Is that their laughter I hear, or have I gone mad? One more step — * See how quickly they die, how easily they rise again? Necromancy, a written art, its secrets consecrated in blood, His Word made flesh. For the longest time, that was all I saw; runes and languages that sought to confound me even as I learned them. Never did I stop to study that on which they were written. Their medium: human skin, gut for binding, and flesh of a different kind, sprouted from the sodden earth, grown into great forests before being hewn and pulped. That flesh is silent now, but in fair Ghyran, it still sings, the very wind whispering with untold secrets, a shiver down my spine. So I walk that land, and beneath those trees I read again, my fingers teasing stories from the throats of sylphs and the aelves that dance with them, my tongue the sorrow that defines their tales. What more could the undying ask for than that: Nature, a book that never ends! Such a shame that they won’t stop screaming. How is one supposed to read, surrounded by such a racket? Read more about Tale of Instahammer Werble-1C267E295.MP4
  8. 2 points
    These guys are certainly proving fun to paint! All contrast & metallics so far. Very happy with the purple going into pink on the hair and loincloths too.
  9. 2 points
    “Do you feel it, Neferata? Do you feel the silent angles of the Corpse Geometries growing sharper about you? The charnel mathematics of Usirian have drawn you here...” This week, I Am Reading: Neferata: The Blood of Nagash by Josh Reynolds. The book continues pretty much directly on from The Rise of Nagash trilogy by Mike Lee so of course I got stuck straight in. What did I think? If you’re in thrall of the Queen of Mysteries, this is a must-read, offering a first-person glimpse into the mind and machinations of the First Vampire and her movements post the fall of Lahmia. The narrative focuses on the kingdom of Strigos and weaves Neferata's fate alongside those of Ushoran, W'soran, and (to an extent) Abhorash, as though the four weren't inextricably linked already. The fact that they have found each other again, despite having scattered after the fall of Lahmia, is called out and goes on to set up the theme that all are one with Nagash, symbolised over and over across the book through the black sun and the Crown of Nagash. For me, this is a story about free will and identity. "Neferata pushed herself to her feet. The voice of the crown — Nagash's voice — was back, smashing at her doubts and worries and fears. For an instant, she wondered if this was how others felt when she turned her gaze upon them." Don't let that fool you — there's intrigue and bloodshed aplenty. The rough'n' ready Strigoi warriors offer a satisfying foil to Neferata and her handmaidens. The ladies get their fair share of action, and when their claws are out, Neferata's enemies die. Flashbacks illuminate what happened to Neferata between the sacking of her city and her arrival at Strigos while conveniently introducing us to the origins of each of her closest handmaidens. My favourite thing about the book? Any book or story offering insights into how the First Vampires think and act is a must-read for me. Neferata lives up to her reputation as a manipulator, coercing warlords and sweet-talking the Lord of Masks as though they were chess pieces, but we also see Abhorash and his get (including some familiar faces!), Ushoran and the madness that slowly envelops him and his doomed bloodline, W'soran, hiding in the dark places beneath the mountains like a hungry spider... For acolytes of W’soran, the story also sets up the sequel, Master of Death. (Review coming soon.) Haven't read Neferata: The Blood of Nagash yet? Order a copy, turn down the lights, and dive in...
  10. 2 points
    The Storm of Sorrows Legion of Grief at CanCon2020 Hello there people, been a hot minute hasn’t it? I’ve been a little too busy to spin yarns about my personal favourite sowers of terror and woe, but I’m back and ready to burn CP like they’re going out of fashion. Without further ado or preamble, the list I will be taking to CanCon 2020. The List As regular readers can clearly see, changes have taken place. Friendship has been ended with Dreadscythe Harridans, now max-size blocks are my best friend. CanCon (and the TransTasman Cup held the night before) are competitive events, so any illusions around having a “fun” list have been dropped. Below is a rundown of the changes made between Masters2019 in NZ and CanCon this coming weekend. Guardian of Souls – Removed I said in my pre-masters post that this little lad was on performance review and he just didn’t make the cut, forcing me to outsource his role to a more competent hero. 140pts is simply too much for a cut-rate Vampire Lord who’s regen is tied to an unbindable spell with no buffs to cast. The +1 to wound was the only thing keeping him in the game, and frankly having +1 attack works better than that in this army. Maybe see you later in the new Nighthaunt book buddy, until then you’re gonna collect some dust for me. Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed – Replacing Guardian of Souls The Knight of Shrouds will be replacing the Guardian of Souls as the +1 to attack command ability brings far more utility to my list than +1 to wound and occasionally bringing back dead models. He is also far, far more mobile and therefore better at hero-driven scenarios and chasing after units to provide Inspiring Presence and All-Out Attack. Dreadscythe Harridans – Removed I was blinded by my buyer’s remorse with these lasses, they simply are not good enough for their cost. Point for point they cost the same as Grimghast Reapers so you would expect them to be every bit as powerful as them. Do you remember Dreadscythes dominating the meta? Me neither. Chainrasp Hordes – Increased a unit of 10 to a unit of 40 Something everyone can agree on, Chainrasps are the best unconditional battleline GA: Death has ever cast it’s eyes across. They’re especially powerful in an allegiance that can bring slain units back, as killing 40 once is an uphill battle. Killing them twice? Good luck. Grimghast Reapers – Increased from 20 to 30 The king hitters of the ghost roster, a unit of 30 of these featured in nearly every top Legions and Nighthaunt list since the day they came out. A unit of 20 is durable and threatening, but with a 2” range a unit of 30 is stronger in every possible way as the only drawback, some models not being able to strike, is not an issue here. The 30 models with a 4+ ethereal save will blockade any foe, and hack them to pieces in short order. Myrmourn Banshees – Added another full unit As the Realmscape Magic is active at CanCon, nearly from day 1 we have had chatter in the NZ competitive scene heading over that they plan to abuse this as much as humanly possible. Expecting their behavior to be the norm among the Australian competitive scene and having no viable way of abusing it myself, I set about doing the next best thing… riding those coattails directly to victory. Any player attempting to spam magic or endless spells risks turning my Myrmourn Banshees into absolute engines of destruction, given they are now paired with the KoS on Ethereal Steed to give them an additional attack on top of their +1 for an unbind and +1 for a dispel. The Stated Goal This list is extremely transparent. If the enemy lack numbers, or the ability to punish my numbers in any meaningful sense, I will swamp the objectives and slowly trade them out of the game as my models drag themselves back up and into the fight to keep them locked in place as my threat units sweep in and over for the kill. The strategy is tested and time-honored, and is sure to give anyone unprepared for it one hell of a headache. With seven games ahead spread over 3 days, I may indeed be in need of a Command Point to resummons myself back from the cold void of death. Reminder to anyone going over to CanCon to drink up, stay hydrated, and if you see me come say hi. I’ll be the ridiculously hairy short man with the obnoxiously loud voice. Twitter: @ThreeTwoPrince
  11. 2 points
    I had 10 guys done already, and was adding more, but as of tonight I have added the standard bearer and champion, so now I feel like I have a proper 20-man unit ready for the table. Yay!
  12. 1 point
    My List Game 1: Nurgle - Shifting ObjectivesNurgle List T1 Main Objective is right side. I go first and get MMMWP off on the Fiends and teleport the Jezzails over to the right.. and they manage to get the GUO down to 1 wound left. The Windlaunchers where out of range due to the Jezzails blocking their path, but they did manage to kill 1 1\2 Drones. His turn has the GUO heal back to 10 wounds which definitely pretty frustrating that I failed by 1 wound but.. nothing else really happened aside from him slowly moving forward. 5-0 Skaven T2 Objective stays right side. I get priority, and yet again fail to shoot off the GUO. I rearrange Clanrats on objectives to force him to have a longer charge and get the HPA up the center to engage the Plaguebearers. His turn has me unbind or him fail any useful spells but he manages to kill a Jezzail with Arcane Bolt. He charges the Plaguebearers into the HPA and do 2 wounds.. meanwhile it hits back and takes off 12. 10-0 Skaven T3 Objective stays right side. He wins priority and takes me off the left objective with his Harbinger and 5 Blightkings. HPA takes Plaguebearers down to 4 remaining but dies in the middle from the Blightkings that charged in, but I roll a 5 and it comes back with 4 wounds. On my turn I finally take off the GUO and drones. I get my middle Clanrats out of the middle to take care of the Nurglings in my backline as my hidden agenda was to not have any enemy units in my territory at the end of the game. 13-2 Skaven T4 Objective moves to the left side. I win priority and he calls the game as I'll easily take mid and he won't be able to recover from the points deficit. Skaven Major Victory _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Game 2: Stormcast - Scorched Earth (2018)Stormcast List (player didn't have list, so this is from memory.. not sure on artifacts\trait\etc) T1 He goes first, fails to get off the Comet and I unbind the Dias cast. A handful of Clanrats get shot off.. but the 10 Evocators came down on the right side, made a 12" charge and killed all but 9 Clanrats and the HPA.. which yet again came back but only on 1-wound. It swings back and kills 2 but he still takes the objective after BS with only 1 Clanrat remaining with the HPA. I get off MMMWP and reshuffle Clanrats to project a screen closer to the 20 Sequitors. Shooting phase has the Jezzails shoot off all but 2 Evocators on the right side and the Fiends kill around half the Sequitors. The rest of the Evocators run from BS. 4-2 Stormcast T2 I get the double turn, MMMWP goes off again and I prep 20 Clanrats to make a run towards his back left objective that's only being held by the 5 Judicators. The Fiends shoot off the rest of the Sequitors and he calls the game. We quick play a few things and I would shoot off the Knight-Incantor to shut off the comet and there isn't much he can do at this point to pull it back after I killed ~1k points worth. _____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Overall Thoughts I'm liking the list so far. I don't put a batrep up of every game I play, but this was the 1st time I played with the HPA and definitely loved it more than the Monks. More testing will need to be done.. I mean it didn't get to do anything against the Stormcast and I got lucky with rolling a 5 both times for it to not die. I hate GUO's and their inability to die, but my opponent rolled some monster FNP saves. Not much to say overall.. I have a variant where I swap Fiends for Acolytes, but I dunno. I really want to keep the 9 Jezzails as they're so incredibly useful\threatening against any army so I don't want to swap them for 30 Acolytes + Fiends (which, as I mathed out before works well enough with Deranged Inventor). The thing with this setup is that the HPA and Jezzails can both act alone and that's great to have. Also, I wasn't sold on Skitterleap but I don't know that I replace it... the only thing I would replace it with is Warpgale and I'm not sure it's a valid tradeoff for the utility of Skitterleap. Anyway, good games, but more practice required. I'm hopefully going to be able to bring my Hallowheart list to the next tournament, so if anyone is interested in seeing that be sure to check the blog every week or so.. I generally only post about a game in the relevant faction thread. Thanks as reading, as always.
  13. 1 point
    Lots to assemble (pictured), 32 painted (pictured), plus lots assembled but not primed yet (pictured previously). Progress! I did the math finally, and I have about 9500 points in the house, not including any battalions. So much fun!!!
  14. 1 point
    The Tree-Saver She watched anxiously as the tree lords strode away, their crunching steps always somehow softer than she’d imagined. They had a grace about them that was at odds with their jarring, hardwood armor. Eliriya suspected that there was more to the sylvaneth than simply sentience in tree-form. She had seen the revenant farmers nurturing young hunters and slow-growing lordlings, and she wondered what other spirits coursed through the children of the forest. As the last of the wargrove faded from view, only Eliriya Tree-Sister and her young charge remained. The Undissons had long allied themselves with the sylvaneth who inhabited the foothills and valleys below their icy lands. After generations of scholars had apprenticed and labored alongside the spiritual gardeners as they grew the next generation of forest people, Eliriya alone had been deemed worthy of learning the secrets of the soul-pods. When her brother, last of her family’s line, had been cut down by a plague-rotten knight she prayed to the clan’s patroness and was shocked to see not only the queen of the winter storm in her dreams that night, but the Everqueen as well. Eliriya’s grand work had never quite earned the acceptance of the grove’s other residents, but he grew nonetheless. As his bark had grown harder and viney reach expanded, his sapling-kin had taught him to hear the forest’s songs and listen to its needs. But while they learned to race along hidden pathways as every prior generation of guardian, her brother only grew heavier of fist and of preference for the mountain stones he stacked and balanced everyday. Snapping back from her memories, the priestess looked over at her brother’s reincarnation. He was straining to lift a small boulder the size of a grown dwarf and place it atop the tenth stack in his circle. With a comically small growl, C’Drak lifted the stone into position. Breathing heavily, he took in his latest creation before finding a seat in the center of the ring. There he let himself root into the earth and absorb her strength. He stretched towards the sky, soaking in what little warmth the winter sun could offer. The warrior-to-be drifted off into slumber while his sister and caretaker smiled proudly. That peaceful moment would be short-lived however. In the distance Eliriya could make out the discordant sounds of rusted war gongs and bent tin chimes. The defilers were coming and the few tree kin left in this valley had left for the march. C’Drak was preternaturally strong for such a young sapling, but he was still a babe compared to the great tree-lords that had grown in this grove previously, and even they had failed to hold off the tide of filth closing in on her mountain home. While he napped and soaked up the Living Realm’s bounty, Eliriya combed the plot and those neighboring theirs that had been left empty. She had previously never been allowed on those grounds. The novice gardener filled her pack and pouches with forgotten soulstones, tiny wooden carvings, and all manner of other trinkets that could amplify her connection to earth and ancestor alike. With their belongings ready, the adopted sister of the forest and favored daughter of the mountain knelt and quietly sang a woodland hymn. The small fox previously darting from shrub to stone finally settled nearby, its glittering spirit trail fading into the wind. Her heart swelled knowing that her ancestor-guide was near. Though Eliriya did not open her eyes to see them, she could feel the presence of other sprites and spirits of the forest as they joined her song of friendship. Her whispered final lines gave way to a roar of defiance. Eyes crackling with lightning and fists hard as ice, she emptied her lungs and beat the ground in furious rhythmic challenge. With a thud, C’Drak’s heavy fists joined her own, his eyes ablaze with the mountain’s power. In unison they stomped, punched, surged upwards and slammed down into the dirt. Chests heaving and steam rising from their mouths, the unbowed duo took a moment to enjoy the echoes of their ancient war dance. ...And then they left, climbing an imperceptible trail amongst the stone and rubble towards the elevated home of the Undissons. She had hoped that if a last stand was to be made, her toils alongside the Sylvaneth would’ve been the catalyst for a great alliance between the races. Instead she brought no aid and knew this climb would be her last before finding an honorable death alongside her last remaining kin. It appeared that the time of the Undissons was coming to an end. At least their deaths would be in the spirit gardens, honoring them through their sacrifice.
  15. 1 point
    “Akhmen-hotep, Beloved of the Gods, Priest King of Ka-Sabar and Lord of the Brittle Peaks, woke among his concubines in the hours before dawn and listened to the faint sounds of the great army that surrounded him.” For this week's Am Reading, we take a look at the Warhammer Chronicles trilogy The Rise of Nagash, by Mike Lee. I picked up this collection last year as preparatory reading for my new death-themed army. The background and lore is a huge part of the hobby for me — so much so that I often write entire novels to bring my collections to life — and a series digging into the Great Necromancer and the history of necromancy itself was a no-brainer. It should be said that I also have a long-lived interest in ancient Egypt and the Old World's geographic equivalent, Nehekhara, so the series had a lot going for it before I'd even turned the first page. What did I think? As deep dives into ancient Nehekharan culture, warfare, and religion go, the three novels in this series smash it. From the first few pages, I found myself drawn in by the setting and the details that bring it to life. The Nehekharans genuinely belief their gods fight with them on the battlefield, if only they uphold their covenant and make the ritual sacrifices necessary to invoke them: "Akhmen-hotep and the nobles of the great army gathered by the waters of the oasis, glittering in their martial finery, and offered up sacrifices to the gods. Rare incense was burned to win the favour of Phakth, the god of the sky and bringer of swift justice. Nobles cut their arms and bled upon the sands to placate great Khsar, god of the desert, and beg him to scourge the army of Khemri with his merciless touch. Young bullocks were brought stumbling up to Geheb's stone altar, and their lifeblood was poured out into shining bronze bowls that were then passed among the assembled lords. The nobles drank deep, beseeching the god to lend them his strength." And to all intents and purposes, their gods do fight with them, blessing the many priest kinds and cohorts of Ushabti bodyguard throughout the books with divine gifts befitting each god's realm of power. Having only known ushabti as animated temple constructs built by the Nehekharan's necrotects, it's fascinating (and quite inspiring) to read about the regiments of god-heroes who went on to inspire the creation of those statuary. It's small yet creative liberties like this that really bring the Nehekharan's living culture to life for me, across the first book in particular. Explored across two timelines in the books, Nagash's quest for dominance over all Nehekhara and the priest-kings' campaign against him form the driving force of the story, and I would've loved to read more about the characters we meet over the course of the series, perhaps at expense of some of the battle scenes, of which there are many. As well as the more character-driven parts of the story, I particularly enjoyed the way Lee explores the Nehekharan response to the undead, which is all the more horrifying for their beliefs in the sanctity of death and the afterlife. As a reader, I'm quite familiar with the concept of the undead as a Warhammer army and fantasy trope, but Nagash the Sorcerer offers us a glimpse of a people coming into contact with it for the very first time: "Something heavy crashed against the side of the chariot to the priest king's right [...] A terrible stink emanated from the attacker, and Akhmen-hotep smelled bitter blood and freshly ruptured bowels [...] It was one of the Usurper's tormented soldiers, clad only in a ragged, blood-stained kilt. Its chest was misshapen, having been crushed by the bronze-shod wheel of a chariot, and a spear point had torn open the warrior's cheek [...] Akhmen-hotep choked back a cry of horror. Nagash's unholy powers were far greater than he imagined. The dead rose from the bloodied earth to do his foul bidding!" My favourite thing about the book(s)?The epic trilogy offers a fascinating look at Nagash’s origins and the influences that shaped his rise to power, as well as his relationship with the vampires and all things undead. This is something that Games Workshop really seems to have run with in the Age of Sigmar setting ("All are one with the Great Necromancer") so I found it really interesting to see this theme play out here, so early into Nagash's story. The relationship between my vampire protagonist and his get, and in turn Nagash and my vampire protagonist, is central to the novel I'm currently drafting, and I gobbled up any and all inspiration I found across this series in relation to Nagash's control over the vampires and those touched by necromancy: W'soran made his way towards the king's dais. Hunched, growling figures paced him from the shadows along either side of the hall [...] Of course they served the Undying King [...] Every creature within sight of the great mountain, living or dead, likely bent its knee before Nagash's might. W'soran did so as well, falling onto his knees before the dais. Of course, my favourite character is W’soran. From the moment I learned that he featured as a PoV character in the series, I had ordered the omnibus. Lee does a wonderful job of capturing his character. As you might expect from the progenitor of a bloodline that goes on to become as reviled as the Necrarchs, some of the most affecting descriptions come not from W'soran but those of other characters observing him. (I'd love to share these here but I wouldn't want to spoil anything for you. Let's just say that long before W'soran's physical form one day degenerates into something you might recognise more immediately as a Necrarch now, there are aspects of his characterisation that inspire horror and awe even amongst his vampire lord equals.) If you have any questions about the book or you want to compare good ol' fashioned notes, drop me a message! Haven't read it yet? Order a copy, turn down the lights, and dive in...
  16. 1 point
    "With a gesture, my wailing attendants dissipate, revealing a slew of previously unheard sounds: the scrape of leather on stone, the flutter of robes caught in the wind and a quiet scratching, which could as readily belong to claws scrabbling at rock or the dutiful drag of nibs across parchment. Their aroma betrays them; turning from the bruised skyline, I watch while the brotherhood assembles around me, crawling like the great bats of the Blood Wastes into the tower’s belfry..." Dark Awakening, Ch. 1 Blood Knights don’t immediately marry with the Necrarch theme but they’re a mainstay Soulblight unit, so a little conversion work was in order to breathe (un)life into these classic Vampire Counts (and a stray Tomb Kings) sculpts. For my first Sunday Spotlight, here’s a group shot of the Acolytes Five. Gifted the Soulblight Curse by a son of the Ancient One, even these lowly get are but extensions of his implacable will. Be it battle, reconnaissance, sermon or ritual, they enact his commandments unfailingly, for he is all things to them: Master, Teacher, High Priest, Father, and who are they to disappoint him, after all he has done for them, after all he promises to do? Keep your eyes peeled (!) for individual spotlights over the coming weeks.
  17. 1 point
    Battleplan: Duality of Death Total Points Played: 1520 Terrain: Open War Terrain 55-56, no terrain with warscrolls Armies Nighthaunt Heroes Lady Olynder General Spell Lore: Soul Cage Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed Artefact: Pendant of the Fell Wind Dreadblade Harrow Artefact: Midnight Tome - Spell Lore: Shademist Dreadblade Harrow Artefact: Atherquartz Brooch Battlelines Chainrasp Horde x10 Chainrasp Horde x10 Hexwraith x5 Hexwraith x5 Other Bladegheists x20 Battalions The Dolorous Guard The Forgotten Scions Cities of Sigmar - Living CIty Heroes Freeguild General on Griffon General Command Trait: Ironoak Artisan Artefact: Ghyrstike Freeguild General Celestial Hurricanum with Celestial Battlemage Spell Lore: Ironoak Skin Battlelines Demigryph Knights x3 Demigryph Knights x3 Freeguild Crossbowmen x30 Freeguild Guard x20 Deployment - Video! Click Me! Cities of Sigmar won priority for deployment and placed his Freeguild General on Griffon and both Demigryph Knight units into reserve. Rather than split the rest of his forces, he gathered them across from the left objective (from my perspective). In forward deployment were his Freeguild Guard, in rear deployment were his Freeguild Crossbowmen. The Freeguild General and the CHwCB ended up adjacent to the Crossbowmen and behind the Guard. My Nighthaunt deployments started with a power move, placing Olynder, the entirety of the Dolorous Guard, and the Knight of Shrouds into the Underworlds before putting my first unit on the table, prompting my opponent to decide his picks with limited information. We allow battalion deployments to work as written, so when I placed my KoS into reserve, the rest of the Forgotten Scions appeared on the board, one in each deployment zone directly in line with either objective. I placed my Bladegheists right against the deployment zone close to the left objective, opposite my opponent's forces, and then one batch of Chainrasp Horde behind them. I placed my second Chainrasp Horde, who were my last deployment, at the closest edge of the right-hand deployment zone to that objective. CoS retained priority by finishing his deployment first. He elected to go first. Gameplay Turn One Cities opened the turn casting Ironoak Skin on his Freeguild Guard, giving them a -1 to be wounded. He then marched them forward, able to secure the objective and provide a line for his Crossbowmen and heroes. Shooting was not fully in range, so a few wounds were tossed at my Chainrasps and Bladegheists damaging them 4 and 2 respectively (I think). There was no other battle options available at this point, so it was on to an inconsequential battleshock phase, and then on my my rebuke. CoS: 1 point, NH: 0 points I began my half of the turn attempting to cast, and failing, Shademist. Par for the course, really. I then ran my lonely Chainrasps on the right-hand side of the field into objective range and then teleported the Dreadblade on that side to cuddle up with them. On the left side, I quickly moved my Bladegheists into charge range to engage Freeguild Guard. My Chainrasps being my only battleline, I wanted to turtle them up with my Dreadblade so I pulled them both back into cover (we don't get a cover bonus, but line-of-sight still counts for ranged!) and let them cower. At the end of my movement phase, seeing my opponent committing all of his ranged on this side of the board, I opted to drop my Olydnerbomb now and line her up right at minimum range, flanked by her Dolorous Guard on either side and the KoSoES tucked narrowly behind her. For the shooting phase she Wailed at the Crossbowmen for 3 wounds and at the Hurricanum either nothing or very little, and then we moved on to the charge phase. All units failed their natural charges, but I felt getting the Bladegheists into trouble right away was necessary, so I burned a CP (no refund) for a re-roll. On this chance they made the charge. Between the charge and pile-in they had enough movement to line up in two ranks with enough space for that second rank to be in their 1" range. 11 wounds later, the counter-attack was muted by all the gore flying around. Cities opted to spend a CP to keep the rest of his Guard from running in the battleshock phase. CoS: 1, NH: 1 End of Turn 1 - Video Turn Two I scored the double turn (YAY!) but in my unbridled joy I completely forgot my entire hero phase (WHAT)... By all rights this should have spelled the end for me. No attempt at Shademist for my Bladegheists, no attempt at Grief-Stricken on the Hurricanum, no attempt at Soul Cage on the Hurricanum, and no Lifting the Veil. What the hell was I thinking?! At least I remembered to gather my CP for the turn and move right into the movement phase, pulling my Bladegheists back to get into charge range again. Knowing they would land another charge, I bring my cowardly Chainrasps out of hiding to put them in objective-claiming range if my 'gheists could finish the job on the Guards. Meanwhile, Olynder and her retinue selected their dance partners for the evening and sauntered up to the 3" barrier. For shooting, she Wailed some more (and THEN I realized my missed hero phase, so I wailed as well), and then we got to business with the charges; all made them easily with the KoS achieving Wave of Terror (with me forgetting the battalion's buff to his attacks). Once into combat proper, the beat was properly dropped and the KoS took the mic for some dubstep beatboxing, spending his free Command Ability on Olynder, and my bank of CP on both units of Hexblades, himself, and with range to spare on buffing the Bladegheists, as well. Thanks to the Aetherquartz my 3 CP remained at 2 after the breakdance showdown. The resulting bloodletting reduced the Freeguild deployed models from 52 to 4. CoS: 1, NH: 4 End of First Half of Turn 2 - Video (prepare for salt) CoS had to answer, and try he did. Being denied any semblance of a hero phase (so we're even now) he jumped to his movement phase. He summoned up his reserves, dropping one set of Demigryph Knights in charge range of my Chainrasps and Dreadblade who had been ignored so far on the right-hand side of the board. His second set of Demigryphs flanked my other Chainrasps. Finally, his Freeguild General on Griffon zoned in as close as he could to Olynder, determined to ask for this next dance. He then promptly failed all three charge rolls... He was forced to engage in combat with his already-bleeding-out General on foot who was promptly slapped off the map. Note: It is here I commit a grievous sin! Several, even! Pulling out my White Dwarf magazine I noticed that I had been neglecting my KoS's extra attack for the battalion. But, worse than that, my thick sexy Dwarf (the magazine) knocked our videographer's coffee over, dousing his leg in cold brew. It was decided right then that no matter the outcome of this macabre ball that I, the Spiller of Nectar, the Defiler of Grounds, had lost this game. Despite my now permanent title of shame and irredeemable loss, we continued on for spectator's sake. End of Turn 2 - Video (more salt, and some coffee) Points? What are points? Uh, CoS: X, NH: Y Turn 3 Turn 3 began with CoS getting the dice off. The Demigryph Knights on the left side of the board made their charge and put down both the Chainrasps and my Dreadblade that carried the Midnight Tome, robbing me of that objective. On the other side of the board, his second set of Demigryphs got in close enough to contest the other objective and deny it to the both of us. And his general? Well, all the abilities he had at his disposal, with any points he could shove down his throat, and all of the 2+/2+ shenanigans he could muster, he just couldn't contend with the new massive wound pool Olynder had with the Dolorous Guard. By splitting his attacks he put some wounds on the KoS, but but the majority of them pelted Olynder in the face. But, of the 9 wounds that made it, 4 Hexwraiths (2 on each side) ended up taking the brunt of it saving Olynder the indignity of having to eat more than 1 wound herself. In the end, the Living City just couldn't deliver enough firepower to offset the massive early damage, and after a bit of theorizing of my half of the round, CoS conceded. Winner: Nighthaunt (but not really because of that coffee thing). End of First Half of Turn 3 and Concession - Video Summary It's honestly hard to tell how well the two new battalions operated for me. On the one hand, organizing them into an Olynderbomb Underworlds deployment, coupled with the Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed's Command Ability spam made just about the entire army an amazing threatening presence. But on the other hand, at least at 1520 points, it left so little for any support units that if enough pressure were to be applied to them, like what happened at the top of turn 3 to my Chainrasps and Dreadblades, I could have been left chasing objectives or going for total annihilation in order to win. Ultimately, this game ended up so one-sided that several key abilities or scenarios were never tested, such as having to spend CP to resurrect models and seeing how much power-per-point that can be balanced at, or how much whole unit loss I could take before feeling the misfortune. In this configuration there are multiple ways to play this to try to offset these weaknesses. Opting to keep my objective campers in the Underworlds and utilizing the Pendant of the Fell Wind a bit more for a game-start deployed Olynderbomb, for example. But, this game couldn't do much to teach me any of that. This wasn't helped by the abysmal rolling of my opponent. Some days you just can't roll a 3+ to save your life, and this was one of those days for him. The salt you begin to hear in the videos has everything to do with consistently rolling a handful of 1s throughout the game. Not much to be said about that, really. But, there were some lessons learned on his side of the board in terms of coming up against the scary Nighthaunt again (he wasn't a fan of our LoG battles namely for the lack of any real threat on the table and feeling like I was only playing and wining by spending the sheer time on it). There will be a rematch very soon. I will bring this same list with no alterations, and we'll see how it holds up.
  18. 1 point
    Took a break from painting due to well, life. I’m now a grandfather! Lots of other stuff going on that’s not nearly as much fun, but I’ll save that for therapy. Anyways... warlocks. Love the concept, like the individual models... but I’ve been trying to get excited about painting them for years. My primary issue is that there is no real variety in their poses or gear. Individually they look dynamic, but as a group they’re a bit lacklustre, particularly when sitting next to models designed since rank n’ file was jettisoned. So I’d paint a couple, figure out the colours... then lose steam as I realized I’m painting the same model ten times. I got the bright idea to turn them into riding bowmen. I got the inspiration from Mongol riders, with special saddles that allowed them to sit higher when they shot their bows, similar to the dark elf saddles. I may be wrong about them being Mongol, could have been Chinese. I haven’t been able to find the reference, but it’s not important. My first attempt was frustrating. I used a bow and arms from a Melusai archer. The arms were a good proportion for the warlock body, but the bow was just far too tall to be fired from horseback. I ended up buying the wood elf stag riders to use their torsos, but that was a dead end as well. Enter... the Namarti. Elves bodies, good proportions, shortbows. They were perfect, and surprisingly easy to fit on the existing lower bodies. I liked the neck armour and belts as well, they added some colour to the riders, which helps tie them in visually to the rest of my army. Throw on Melusai quivers, and they looked like light, fast archers. Exactly what I wanted. Took me a while to figure out the heads. So many options, but in the end I decided to go with executioner heads. I like the sleekness of them, and decided that hair would look too busy with the quiver. I may add some very short hair, which won’t interfere with the quivers, but that’s a later problem. On that note... anyone have spare executioner heads? I should have ten, but managed to lose four. Ah well, I’ll figure something out. After all the time wasted on figuring out how to end up with a product I would be excited to paint, these ended up being surprisingly fast to assemble. Now, time to paint!
  19. 1 point
    Hey! It's been a looong time since I last posted in this blog (nearly two months!). Well I haven't forgotten about Port Stellis at all, I was just working on some other projects meanwhile. Anyway! Here are my first vanguard stormcast from the Stellar Champions stormhost: three Vanguard Raptors with Hurricane Crossbows. Back then, when I started to assemble them, I had the choice to equip them with Longstrike Crossbows or Hurricane Crossbows. When we look at their stats and ability, the Lonstrike Crossbows are obviously meant as some sort of sniper rifles: with them, the raptors can shoot once per turn over a long distance and with great accuracy. They are perfect to snipe at enemy heroes without taking too much risk. However I dont think it is particularly exciting to play with sniper stormcast who sit on their butts and shoot at the enemies from afar. Which is why I preferred to equip my raptor guys with Hurricane Crossbows: more firepower (6-9 attacks) but shorter range (18") and lesser accuracy (4+ /4+). That way the raptors will have to get quite close to the enemies and thus more exposed to danger. On another topic, I have slowly started to prepare my corsairs aelf from Port Stellis. And I decided I will convert all or most them, using a few bits from WH40K dark eldars, to make them look like a motley crew (by the way, the corsairs from WHFB look a bit to homogeneous for my taste). Here is a preview of my first Port Stellis corsair: That's all for now! I will probably paint my Vanguard Hunters next and continue to assemble/convert my corsairs meanwhile.
  20. 1 point
    Next up for the Tzeentch faction are the Tzaangor. I love the idea of these variant beastmen (it would be great to get some plastic kit Khornegor, Pestigor and ... Slaaneshgor?) and these particular ones are my favourite Tzeentch models. I went for the 'standard' colours of The Cult of The Transient Form - there's lots of colour options, but I think gold+turquoise is pretty Tzeentch. The Silver Tower Tzaangors come in two identical sets of three, but it didn't seem right for anything of Tzeentch to look the same, to I took out my clippers for the next set. These are fairly tricky kits to convert - you get some odd pieces during assembly, so it's more involved that just switching around the arms or heads. But I think I did a decent enough job. So that was the Silver Tower set done, but to play them in Age of Sigmar, I needed a minimum of 10, not to mention some command options. To keep them matched to the others, I got four more Silver Tower Tzaangor and converted them into Brayhorn, Icon Bearer, Mutant and Twistbray. So that's the full ten, and they are awash with details. The armor, skin, feathers, claws, beaks, icons, weapons - most of the character models I've painted didn't require as much work as each individual Tzaangor. That said, I really like the way they've come out, they were a lot of fun to paint (and if they took longer, I guess the fun was stretched out, so why am I complaining?). They're pretty effective on the battlefield too - the poor Besitgor have been replaced as the elite beastman unit. More Arcanites to follow!
  21. 1 point
    It's been a while since I revisited this army, but the release of the Tzeentch battletome has inspired me into adding more units. I liked the mention in the fluff that Tzaangor will brand chaos monsters like Cockatrice and Jabberslythe with their own marks (shame you can't do that in the game) So to get me started: a Tzeentch Magister with his head swapped for a Tzaangor (the severed head that comes with the Darkoath Chieftain) The hunched posture and the claw-feet work well with the new head (even if he does look a bit like a weedy Tzaangor or a dismounted Shaman). But it adds a bit more magic to the warband! All change!
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