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Showing content with the highest reputation since 09/27/2019 in Blog Entries

  1. 19 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 own strengths; it's easy enough for any army to be fielded and do what it says on the warscroll cards. It is much harder to win against an opponent who is intent on outplaying those strengths. Sometimes it will be a clear counter; we are faster, we hit harder, or we can resist their damage. But, in most cases, it will come down to playing the objectives and keeping your opponent on the back foot. The key to winning as Nighthaunt is to know your opponent's pressure points and how to apply enough pressure, while not over-exposing your own. General Tactica Play the objectives: There are very few battleplans that require you to take on the big bad across the table directly, and those that do often have a more fair way to gain those points other than total annihilation. We are a superior army when it comes to objective claiming and defending with our quick units, teleportation, and From the Underworlds. By default, the rule to claim an objective is to simply have more of your models within 6" of the center of it at the end of your turn than your opponent does, and it remains yours so long as your opponent can't beat that count at the end of their turn, even if your models are no longer there. A battleplan has to specifically alter these rules if they require anything else --and some do-- so always be sure you are up on the objective capture requirements being used. And then be ready to abuse them. Know your tricks: Use the rules as written to your advantage. For example, most battleplans don't require you to hold an objective, just to claim it and then deny your opponent from claiming it by keeping them out of range. That could be as simple as zoning in on the objectives on turn one with From the Underworlds and then charging with everything at the enemy just to deny them getting close enough to flip the claim in the turns limit. Further, abilities like From the Underworlds and Spectral Summons exhaust movement, but aren't moves themselves, meaning you can exploit some battleplan objective rules and a few enemy movement lockdown abilities. Expand your tactics: Most Age of Sigmar armies could be classified as "Hammer and Anvil" style armies, or you will see a lot of common tactical advice given out that fall along these lines. This really isn't our style. Nighthaunt is all about tactical styles that expose and hunt for weaknesses. I will go into more detail for three styles of tactics in the Writs of the Mortarch section at the bottom of this guide. Take battalions: One or two, given points being played. In our army battalions are synonymous with specializing or equipment load-outs. They allow you to counter an enemy by choosing from a variety of benefits that usually exploit specific enemies. Does your opponent love close combat? Shroudguard is a solid counter. So is Chainguard. Does your opponent have high saves? Dolorous Guard can bring some Mortal Wounds. Battalions also have a few passive benefits to keep in mind as well; each one grants your army another Command Point at the start of the game, another artefact you can equip on a hero and the choice of placing all units within that battalion at the same time otherwise known as a "one-drop." Note that this one-drop feature does not know distance or boundary, so you can certainly split that one-drop across the battlefield and From the Underworlds all at once if you wanted. 😉 Target weaknesses: Most other armies depend on their heroes the same as we do. Units will often have banner carriers, musicians, or icon bearers. Some armies are powerful but slow, and some are fast but relatively weak. Some can lock an opponent in place. And we can exploit all of it. With our flying, we can move over and retreat through the front lines to attack a hero or general or claim an objective. We have artefacts, like Slitter, than can halve a unit under the right conditions or can target specific models. Reikenor can use his Corpse Candles on particular models to remove buffs from a unit. Spectral Summons can be used to not only pull a unit back after taking too much damage but can be used to reposition after units move and change the points of battle, or get a unit out of a lock. The point here is to know what your opponent plans on bringing, knowing what their army is known for, and being ready by bringing tools that can remove what they need working for them to win. Don't forget your own buffs: Our most essential buffs come in two forms: our heroes and our battalions. Though some units, like the Bladegheist Revenants, have built-in buffs or special effects when a specific other model is nearby, the majority of your power will come from choosing the right hero to support a unit, or the right battalion to give a benefit. I will get into more detail in what those buffs are below, but the takeaway here is that by leveraging what a hero or combination of heroes can give you will help set up your threat units. ABW12: Always be within 12 inches. If you can't do anything else, at least make sure that your units are always within 12" of your heroes. You don't really want them in combat if you can help it, but you have to keep them close. Oftentimes this means your hero will be running more than anything else, and running into position ahead of your charging units. This will put pressure on yourself to make those charge rolls, lest you leave your hero hanging in the open, but you will want --need-- your heroes giving out their Deathless saves at all times. So bring a ruler and use it religiously, and be prepared to spend that Command Point on rerolling that charge. Tools of Terror Let's get into things a bit deeper. Let's talk about what we can do. I won't get into everything, but I'll list what I think are our most useful abilities and tactics that use them. From the Underworlds They Come: Half of the units we bring to a battle can go into the Underworlds and can sit there for up to 3 turns, and brought out anywhere on the board more than 9" from an enemy. I cannot overstate how useful this is. Depending on the kind of list you want to build, you will want to either place your objective takers or threat units into the Underworlds. The very act of putting something in the Underworlds means your opponent will have to mind their own deployments lest they open up a window for you to exploit a vulnerable edge or backline. For more about this, check out Writs of the Mortarch at the bottom of this guide. Wave of Terror: This is arguably our second most crucial ability, and it alone can win you the battle or turn the tide of a losing war. Unfortunately, this sliver of Nagash's power is as fickle as he is, and if you're unlucky enough never to see it in a fight, it could cost you the game. Each time you charge, should you roll a natural 10 or higher, you trigger the ability to pile in and fight as though it was the combat phase. It's not the combat phase, however, which means that your opponent gets no counter-attack. That natural 10 is a bit of RNG, only having a 16.67% chance of occurring per throw and is not in our favor. This is why we like to build our lists with a lot of smaller units, affectionately called "MSUs" or multiple-small-units (though we will still rarely run minimums, just smaller than maxed). You will want to strike a balance between the number of chances you get to throw those dice on a charge, the amount of heroes you will want to have around to cover those units that charged and potentially spend CP to re-roll a charge, and the models you could lose in a counter before needing to return models or risk losing the unit. Deathless Spirits: As long as a hero is present, that hero and any nearby units get a save-after-save to ignore a wound on a 6. This is important since it is our only method, other than model-return mechanics, to mitigate mortal wounds and damage that gets past our unmodifiable 4+ save. As with Wave of Terror above, this ability both allows you and requires you to make choices about unit sizes. A larger unit can charge in without a hero and get by on a large model count to keep their effectiveness up, but medium-to-small sized units are going to rely on Deathless Spirits to not evaporate too quickly. You might find a tactical advantage of letting a unit or two advance without this protection, but if you are not shoring up the difference elsewhere, you will feel the loss all too soon. Flying: Flying is more than just ignoring terrain. It's also ignoring models. Nothing can get in your way when you're moving, which means that you can spend your moves getting into optimal positions despite your opponent's best efforts to screen you out. You still have to follow the basic rules of movement, can't end a move closer than 3" to an enemy, for example, but now that bubble of protection no longer forces your units to have to skirt around them to get to the other side. Just fly over. Where this ability shines the most is when retreating. Retreating is a normal move with a few caveats attached to it; you give up your shooting and charge, and you have to end outside 3" of all enemies. But that doesn't mean "away," so you can retreat right over the top of an advancing enemy line to set yourself up in their backfield or claim an objective. A couple of our units, Bladegheist Revenants and Glaivewraith Stalkers, can retreat and charge in the same turn, making them powerful users of this ability. Spectral Summons: As long as your general is alive and on the field, for a Command Point, they can pluck any unit, hero or otherwise, from anywhere on the battlefield and drop them wholly within 12" of the general and more than 9" from any enemy. The apparent use of this ability is to pull back a unit that's on the verge of being lost and heal them up from our various sources. But, it can also allow a particularly fast general, like a Dreadblade Harrows, to pop in at any open space and reposition a threat unit or objective holder. The Undying Dead We don't have an overabundance of ways to dig into the grave to grab new recruits in the heat of battle. If there was ever an argument to play Legion of Grief over Nighthaunt, this is it. But, we are not without our tricks when it comes to keeping our units full of death dealers, and when effectively used, this little bit can go a long, long way. Below I will list our sources of healing starting with the most models that can be returned, then abilities that require managing wounds, then those that only heal wounds. Ruler of the Spirit Hosts: Command Trait - D3 models to a unit within 9" of general, at the start of the hero phase. Our number 1 most selected Command Trait and for a good reason; it's free, it can't be interrupted, and it brings back full models regardless of how many wounds a model in that unit might have to heal. This is extremely powerful when used on units with multiple wounds, like Hexwraiths and Spirit Hosts, but don't let that stop you from using this to bring back a few more Chainrasps if you need to. No Rest for the Wicked: Olynder's Command Ability - 1 model to each unit within 12" per Command Point, during the hero phase. Our Lady, if she's our general, can bring back 1 model to all units that happen to be within --not wholly within-- her for a CP. This has a real trade-off: on the one hand, if she's surrounded by friendly units in the thick of battle that 1 CP can bring back a potential ton of ethereal flesh. On the other hand, if Olynder is your general and you are not running the Dolorous Guard to beef up her potential wounds, you run the risk of losing her before she could have her moment in the emerald light. And, it costs CP, which is a premium and arguably better spent on a Spectral Summons or a charge re-roll. Nimbus of Power: Black Coach - D3 models to one unit wholly within 12", at the start of the hero phase. Exactly the same as Ruler of the Spirit Hosts, but with a larger range (mind the "wholly") and from a non-hero (also non-summonable 😠) model that can change up its role from support to attack when needed. The Black Coach is already a beautiful and useful model that should appear in almost every list, but as a support piece, you can keep your units healthy in the early-to-mid game before you charge the Coach into the face of that unsuspecting guy across the field once it hits level 3+. Captured Soul Energy: Spirit Torment - D3 (or 3 if Stormcast) worth of models returned to a unit within 6" if 3 enemy models died anywhere on the field when the combat phase transitions to the battleshock phase. Or, you can opt to heal this many wounds to any 1 target, including heroes. This is one versatile ability and might merit bringing as many Spirit Torments you are comfortable with. The only drawback here is that if you want to bring back Hexwraiths or Spirit Hosts, this is the first of the healing abilities that you would need to roll a 3+ or a 5+, respectively, just to bring back one model. But, the trade-off is that you can target heroes (or other non-summonable units) for that heal, including himself. This is where things change for us. Everything above returned models without requiring you to heal the targeted unit first. For 1-wound units, the below won't be an issue, but if you plan on putting any of these supports near multi-wound units, you're going to have your hand forced. Deathly Invocation: Vampire Lord (ally) - D3 wounds must be healed if possible, otherwise worth of models returned to up to 3 units within 12" at the start of the hero phase. Why would you ever want to spend points bringing in an ally that isn't ethereal, doesn't benefit from or offer Deathless Spirits, and takes a leader slot? Because Deathly Invocation can target 3! separate units to get D3 models back. Sure, if one of those units needs to be healed first, you're doing that, but when you have two more units to target, it's not a hard choice to make. And the Command Ability: Blood Feast to add +1 attacks to a unit for an entire round helps. Spectral Lure: Guardian of Soul's unique spell - D6 wounds must be healed if possible, otherwise worth of models returned to any unit wholly within 24". Probably the very definition of risk-vs-reward for us you have here the potential of returning a full 6 models to a 1-wound unit, or even up to 2 Spirit Hosts, to a unit allllll the way over there, but on a spell that requires a 6 to cast, can be unbound, and only one attempt to cast it no matter how many GoS's you have. This would be downright amazing if it could cast on a 4, especially when comparing it to everything else listed here, but the best you will be able to do about that is spending an artefact slot on Wychlight Lantern to get a +1. As an aside, the other Guardian of Souls artefact, Beacon of Nagashizzar, can add +3 to the models/wounds returned to a unit. Still, if you're going to give the GoS any artefact the Wychlight is statistically more sound (+25% more likely to be successful after an unbind attempt vs. +3 models). Beyond this are the rest of our healing abilities. They will not return models, but they still have their purposes. Spectral Tether: Spell Lore - D3 wounds only to heroes only within 12". Lifestealer: Spell Lore - Deal D3 wounds within 12", caster heals that much. Feed on Terror: Heal 1 wound to a hero within 6" of an enemy unit that fails battleshock. An unfortunately rare occurrence nowadays, but worth keeping in mind. Harbingers of Grief They don't have any choice but to heed Our Lady's commands, but that doesn't mean we don't have a few stand out heroes that put in the extra effort in the field. Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed: Needed for the Forgotten Scions battalion, and one of the leader options for the Shroudguard battalion. He can spend a Command Point to grant a unit +1 attacks. This ability can only be used in the combat phase, but it can be yours or theirs, meaning you can pump up a few units for a counter-attack your opponent might not be expecting. In terms of firepower, this is the best buff you can bring in most cases. It will have the most impact on units with low to-hit/to-wound attack profiles. Even more so with units with double-digit model counts. Knight of Shrouds (on foot): Also one of the leader options for Shroudguard. He can spend CPs to give every unit in a bubble around him +1 to hit. This is stackable, so 2 CP is +2 to hit within that bubble. A great hero to pal around with Dreadscythe Harridans or Myrmourn Banshees to get their enhanced damage profiles through. Reikenor the Grimhailer: The last of the options for Shroudguard and one of the best wizards in the game. We don't have great spells, but there are a few you'd want his ability to get either a +1 or +3 to cast on, like his Wraithstorm spell, Lifestealer, or the endless spell Chronomantic Cogs. More importantly, his Corpse Candles target specific models, so you can spot-remove a banner carrier and rob an opponent's unit of their buff. Guardian of Souls: Necessary for the Chainguard battalion and is a wizard that comes with the only model-return spell we've got, Spectral Lure. Give him Spectral Tether, and you've got a dedicated healer. Too bad there's unbinding likely, and unless you give the GoS the Wychlight Lantern artefact there won't be much to ensure the cast. He's got a passive +1 to Wound bubble, though. That's... helpful. Dreadblade Harrows: You get two of these in a box, which is great for the Forgotten Scions, but unless you run that battalion, you'll only need one. He makes a great general thanks to his teleportation ability, so he can stay safe, show up to use a command trait like Ruler of the Spirit Host, cast a spell if he has the Midnight Tome artefact, or use the Command Ability: Spectral Summons to teleport units to him. He breaks the game in terms of mobility and objective capture, especially combined with From the Underworlds They Come. Spirit Torment: This pretty much rounds out any of the "must-have" heroes. Necessary, along with Chainghasts, for The Condemned battalion, Mr. Torment also brings a passive re-roll 1's to hit for any units within range of his 12" bubble with Nagash's Bidding. This might not seem like much at first, but any units swinging with high attack profiles, like Spirit Hosts with their 5+/4+, will get more benefit from this buff--which is free and always on--than they would from an extra attack that costs CP. Even more so for any unit that wants more 6's. Bladegheists get it even better, getting a re-roll misses buff with him nearby. Additionally, he brings Captured Soul Energy, which is one of the few healing or model-return abilities we have that can't be interrupted (the others being Ruler of the Spirit Hosts, the Black Coach, and Olynder). It triggers if at least 3 enemy models were killed in a round by the time a battleshock phase starts, and if so, heals either D3 (or 3 if those enemies were Stormcast) wounds or models to a unit within 6" of the Spirit Torment. Very versatile, as you get to choose if you want to heal or return models even if they're damaged, or you can opt to heal heroes, and the whole bit works whenever three enemies are killed, so even in your opponent's turn. Note that it can only trigger once per turn per Spirit Torment, so if you want more than D3 models returned this way, bring another ST and kill another 3 enemy models. All the rest of the heroes, including Olynder, are situational at best and filler on the shelf at worst. The Lady herself can dish out a fair amount of mortals at a short range consistently, and her shooting is an ability so it can be still used after a run. Kurdoss Valentian is a beat stick, just in case you need hero support while directly targeting the enemy general, and his ability to steal CP has some value even though it can only potentially steal the one your opponent gets at the start of the turn. Lord Executioner is slightly harder to kill, Tomb Banshee can scream at low Bravery targets, and the Cairn Wraith is so cheap he can just be there to make sure your out-of-pocket units can have Command Abilities options and their Deathless Spirits save. Those Who Are Tormented Let's briefly touch on each of the units that have notable roles in our army. Battlelines Chainrasp Hordes: The two primary purposes of these little guys are to hold objectives and to swarm enemy units. On their own, their large unit sizes can mean that they are a lot to chew through and can buy time even with no hero support. In smaller numbers and with hero support, they can easily put out good damage. They have a built-in buff to reroll Wound rolls of a 1 if there are more than 10 in a unit, and that alone is reason never to bring less than 20. Grimghast Reapers: The Reapers primary purpose is to target enemy hordes, getting free re-rolls against 5 or more models. But, thanks to their long-range weapons and easily fighting in two ranks they are great against even elite units, provided you can max your potential attacks using that range. They are expensive, though, putting less wounds on the table for the points than Chainrasps. But they are also faster and deadlier. Spirit Hosts: These multi-wound ghosts have three primary purposes, balancing their risk and reward options. Their high attacks count and Frightful Touch mean they can reliably damage targets with high save values more so than standard attacks; 2+ enemy saves mean nothing with a lot of 6s. Their large base sizes make them for an excellent hero screen. If you are willing to pile 6 of these guys together, then you also have an objective camper not likely to give up its spot anytime soon. With any of the model-return abilities available to us that don't rely on wounds, you can make a big enough blob of these immortal. Hexwraiths: Until recently, our calvary battleline was nothing to look at. Effectively a quarter of a Spirit Host in every way except speed, you would be forgiven thinking these guys are best left in the stables. They see new purpose within the Dolorous Guard, however, as the battalion abilities grant extra health for a general on a very reliable 2+ roll, and boost their wound and mortal wound potential on a charge. With their two wounds each and packs of 5, they are great for quick objective grabs and holds or hero hunting while waiting for support to arrive. Others Bladegheist Revenants: Your baseline threat unit who can do amazing damage, retreat and charge in the same turn, and who's built-in buffs might just be overkill. This unit doesn't need any buffs to perform well (other than charging), but any hero can only help them do better. It's good to keep in mind that they could have some Chainghasts nearby for the buff without a Spirit Torment even on the board, but if you're going to invest in any elites for the support I'd go with a hero to grant Deathless Spirits. Dreadscythe Harridans: With a little support, these ladies can do more damage than the Bladegeists, but require at least +1 to hit from a Knight of Shrouds (on foot) to match them. This makes them carry an intrinsic cost: 1 CP and a KoS to match Bladegheists, 2CP and a KoS or 1CP and a Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed to outperform them. If you have CPs to spare, then Dreadscythes can pack a surprising punch. Their debuff of -1 to hit for all enemy units within 3" seems great, but when you factor in that it only works on enemies with a natural Bravery of 6 or lower, it won't find much use. Myrmourn Banshees: A threat unit that is the epitome of risk vs. reward. They can unbind or dispel as though they were wizards, with a +1 to the unbind for every four models in a unit. It's short-ranged, though, only working within 18" for the unbind and 6" for the dispel, but if either is successful, the Banshees buff themselves +1 attacks (the dispel does D3 damage to the unit, so without healing you'll lose models). In terms of damage potential, 12 of these ladies can outperform 20 Bladegheists with just that self-buff alone. This scales quickly with any more buffs you can toss their way. Chainghasts: I talk up some Hexwraiths, but wait until now to even mention Chainghasts? You'd think that as our only non-hero ranged unit, you might want as many of these guys as you could, right? Especially considering our only other units with range are Lady Olynder, the Black Coach, and Tomb Banshee? Well, not exactly. You're not going to pack more than 4 of these to a single unit, and unless they become much cheaper, you're probably not going to try to bring more than what's required for The Condemned battalion. In the ranged department you're looking at 15" and wildly swingy D3 attacks each. However, they do have a trick up their sleeves with in melee: they get 1 attack per model within 2" when they are activated. What do you do with that? Well, if you charge these guys into a horde pack and determine you've got some 10-15 attacks, why not use that 2" reach and slam them all into the hero standing next to them? Still, without some assistance to their ranged I feel these guys are a bit one-trick and easy to snipe. Another Link in the Chain is great for when you want some Spirit Torment buffing but can't fit another one into your list, so that's something to consider. Glaivewraith Stalkers: You've got, like, 30 of these, right? Sorry about that. They shoved handfuls of these in Storm Strike, Tempest of Souls, and Soul Wars starter sets, so most players will have an abundance of these guys. I won't harp on them and say they're literal trash, they can be converted into Reapers after all, but they aren't great. They do have some redeeming qualities to keep in mind; they are cheap, come in units as small as 4, have 2" range that can add up if you have a lot of them, they can retreat and charge in the same turn, and re-roll failed hits if they've charged or been charged. Despite this, they will do a massive 50% less damage than Bladegheists if the gheists charged that turn. Worse, this gap only lessens to 30% if Bladegheists didn't charge. Their battalion, Death Stalkers, doesn't help this situation much either, buffing that 50% deficit to 30% of charging Bladegheists (or breaking even if the 'gheists didn't charge), but only to one enemy unit for the entire game. You really might want to convert these or wait for them to get a Dolorous Guard of their own. Battery-Powered Curse Hearse Does the Black Coach deserve its own section? You bet your sweet Necromancer and/or Vampire that's bound, gagged, and chained in the back it does! This beautiful, ornate, gloriously gothic centerpiece is what the Nighthaunt are! I mean, look at it! Name a more gorgeous thing. I dare you. I'll wait... Nothing, right? And it's a great unit on top of that. The Black Coach Aesthetics aside, what you have here is an excellent support piece that can transition into several roles as you see fit, giving you some proper dynamic choices through the course of a battle. It's not a hero, so it won't be giving out any Deathless Spirits saves, nor is it "summonable," which is the keyword all our troop units have that allow our healing-mechanics to work. So, its healing is going to have to come from itself or a Spirit Torment (see how versatile they are?). Thankfully, it can do just that. Evocation of Death is the primary ability that powers the rest of its set. Roll 3 dice at the start of each battle round, no matter who's going first, and look at the results. Each 4+ is a level gained for Evocation of Death, and each turn, you have three more chances to add additional levels. Nimbus of Power is the first level and instantly sets itself as another Ruler of the Spirit Hosts as well as a self-healer. This is already amazing, but wait, there's more. Unholy Vigour, second, which allows re-rolls of 1 for all its melee weapons (all of them, horses too), and it can now run and charge in the same turn. Spectral Scythes is the level you will want to wait for before you put this thing into combat. This level empowers the Coach to let you pick a unit within 1" after it charges and roll a die and on a 2+ deal D3 mortal wounds to it. Insubstantial Form, fourth. Now it can retreat and charge, which it absolutely should. Witch-fire is fifth. Just start burning everything within 3" of this thing every hero phase by rolling a dice for each enemy unit in range and on a 4+ deal D3 mortal wounds. This is a lot, and combined with its other abilities like Frightful Touch on the Reaper Scythe and Relic Bearer's Spectral Claws, and Reaped Like Corn (which is only on the Scythe), and the option to bring the Soulreach Grasp, you might be asking just what are you supposed to use this thing for? Behemoth in Battle The Black Coach has three primary uses, any two of which you will choose for its life in the game; Corpse Cart and either Soul Sniper or Reaper on Wheels. Corpse Cart: In the early phases of the game, the Black Coach supplies you with another D3 of uninterrupted model-return. If you intend on layering this with other model-return abilities, you've got a strong support structure to keep behind your front lines while not risking putting your general in harm's way. There's too much firepower building up to keep the Black Coach behind forever, but don't begrudge the effectiveness of using it to zone-out flanking attacks, shepherding units as they push forward, and providing a target to shoot at that's not your other threat units. Soul Sniper: Going this route means you elected to take the Soulreach Grasp instead of the Reaper Scythe, which will give you a ranged option for the shooting phase. It's only 10" and a single attack, but it has -3 rend and D3 damage. Not bad since you get to use this twice (shooting and combat phases) even if engaged, but not likely to mean much without a buffing hero nearby. This can be the better setup if some high-save enemy units are advancing on you thanks to that -3 rend, but unless you can reliably land those Grasp attacks you'll want to keep the Coach at range and keep healing, which unfortunately means losing out on the rest of the Coach abilities. Reaper on Wheels: This route means leaning heavily on the Reaper Scythe and the collection of other abilities to do a ton of damage before the poor thing gets inevitably blown from the field. Almost all of the Coach's powers are melee-centric; the Reaper Scythe being the only weapon choice to benefit from Frightful Touch and Reaped Like Corn, and the rest of the kit wanting to hug enemy units. Knowing the Coach can eventually run and charge, moving anywhere between 15" to 20" if not too damaged, then you simply hold it back until level three, and then bring it into combat. Level three will take two turns, on average, which is plenty of time to see where things are lining up on the field. At that point, target that ranged squad in the back, the melee unit that's punishing your threat unit, or an exposed hero and snap the reigns. If possible, keep it within a friendly hero for Deathless Spirits, or a friendly unit for Nimbus of Power. Which is better? When comparing the Soulreach Grasp vs. the Reaper Scythe you're only talking about a single wound in favor of the Scythe on average, assuming you're attacking twice with the Grasp and the only buffs come from Unholy Vigour and Frightful Touch. The gap increases to 2 wounds if Reaped Like Corn can be used. What this means is that it's a matter of time. The Grasp has a chance to do less damage over time, but at range, while the Scythe will do more damage but only in direct combat. The break seems to be about 3 rounds. Any less and the Grasp wins assuming you got at least 1 wound at range. More than 3 and the Scythe wins. All To Come Within the Fold So we've covered all the units that could be considered Nighthaunt Proper that's wholly within the battletome, but for those wanting to shine their Nightmare Lantern's alluring light into other "realms," you can call upon a few more lost souls. From Forge World, you can snag the Mourngul. From Warhammer: Underworlds, you can recruit the Briar Queen and her Thorns. Forge World Mourngul: From GW's resin model store Forge World you can grab this guy. It has rules and points, so it's a legal model, but there are some tradeoffs for not coming from GW's mainline. First among them are the points; this tall boi is the most expensive single model you could put on the table, even more than the Black Coach. Second, for all those points, you're getting a warscroll card that has seen a rewrite to nerf it in a pretty substantial way. Lastly, to offset the power the Mourngul previously had, it's a Monster and not a hero. A few armies have abilities and attacks that get buffed when targeting a monster, and not being a hero means no Deathless save and no potential artefact. This means that despite its strengths, you are either throwing it away as an expensive distraction or supporting it with a hero, or in the very least, Shademist or Mystic Shield. Monsters also can't benefit from cover, but Nighthaunt can't do that anyway, so that's not a loss. But, what this model can do, in addition to becoming the de-facto damage magnet as soon as it's on the table, is bring sweet, sweet bloody carnage. It's fast starting at 12", has a 2-Mortal Wound Frightful Touch, starting with eight attacks with which you could get those MWs, and the second-best natural attack profile we have to back it up when you don't score those MWs. Oh, and it can heal itself D3 wounds if it killed anything via Devourer of Flesh and Souls to try to stay at its top profile, and has a passive -1 to hit rolls for all enemy models within 6" with Ghastly Apparition. Note that this last bit is models, not units. Ghastly Apparition will shroud any friendly units you have palling around with the Mourngul too, so long as the attacks originate within that 6" bubble. Drop the Mourngul with From the Underworlds on some unfortunate unsuspecting target, nail that charge, and revel in piling bodies, especially so if that target is already engaged in a fight. Underworlds The Briar Queen: From GW's sister game Underworlds, you can pick up the warband Thorns of the Briar Queen and use those models on the table with rules that aren't too bad. The Queen and her six unique Thorns come as a set, meaning that for the slightly inflated cost of a hero, you get a free screen as well. The Briar Queen herself is a wizard and comes with the spell Howling Vortex which is a tactical choice of a spell to be sure. With a casting value of 7, 18" range that targets a spot on the table, and 6" area of effect from that spot, you can splash any number of enemy units in that radius with this spell. You then have to roll 2d6 and either beat each enemy unit's movement characteristic or roll a double, and if so, they suffer 1 mortal wound and have their movement cut in half. If you can pull this off, half movement can be a nice way to buy some time on a unit or several units that are more than 12" out, but this quickly loses its usefulness once the threshold for a reasonable charge roll is crossed. She can back up her spell with three ranged attacks at 10" on 3's and 3's with 3 rend (one damage each, ha), and whip in melee once at 3", on 3's, 2 rend, but D3 damage. All in all, there's a lot to the Queen that can be useful, but you'll be hard-pressed fitting her in anywhere that another hero wouldn't be more helpful. The added tax for her Thorns doesn't help this, either, as though they provide a useful screen, they are just Chainrasps that retain their rerolling wound rolls of 1 if two of the six are still around. This doesn't make her terrible, though, just tactically challenging. If she can slow even one fast unit down with her spell or hide behind a durable screen for a couple of shooting/combat phases, she could easily be worth bringing. Processions, the Jailed Forced to March We have a total of 9 battalions and 2 super-battalions. That's...a lot. But, as I have been stating throughout this guide, our battalions are less army-wide buffs as they are configurations that allow you to build up specific tactical advantages for several units of our army. I won't get into all the battalions here, but I will highlight a few of my favorites. Also, remember that any battalion you take is also another Command Point at the start of the game, as well as an artefact you can equip on a hero. The Dolorous Guard: One of the three new battalions the December White Dwarf magazine gave us, this battalion delivers two utilities for the price of one. The first thing it does is allow your general, whoever it may be, to enjoy a pseudo-wound pool of +20 at the minimum. It does this by allowing you to redirect wounds your general takes to any of the Hexwraith units this battalion requires. The requirements are simple; at least 2 units of Hexwraiths, at least one of them 3" or closer to the general when it takes any damage, and a 2+ roll right after a failed save. Suddenly Lady Olynder can be a centerpiece threat unit again, carrying within her retinue 27 wounds at a minimum that she could heal up with a Command Point. Other generals would make great use of this, as well, like the Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed, but I'll get into that at the end of this guide. The second thing this battalion does is give those Hexwraith units a buff on the charge, granting +1 attacks to both the scythes and the horses. At first, this might seem lackluster, but statistically, this makes a pack of 5 Hexwraiths just over half the effectiveness of Spirit Hosts with their Frightful Touch, but with much more movement. Combined with the right general, that effectiveness skyrockets past Spirit Hosts and can make for a terrifying offensive line. This mega-wound general and all the mortal wounds you could want make this battalion great against heroes and high save elite units. The Forgotten Scions: The other regular battalion from the December White Dwarf requires you invest in a Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed (which you should be taking anyway) and two Dreadblade Harrows. At first blush, this might feel like a hefty tax having to take an extra DH that you wouldn't dare put into combat, but I challenge you to look into the utility of this battalion instead of its threat. First off, this battalion grants that KoSoES a passive +1 attacks to his sword, and it also allows free use of his Command Ability once per round. This increases his damage output significantly, and potentially his healing as well thanks to Sword of Stolen Hours, and also the damage of the units around him. But, this entire battalion can be one of the most versatile utility battalions we've got. Slap a couple of key artefacts on those Dreadblades, and you have spot support magic (Midnight Tome and Shademist), movement buffs (Pendant of the Fel Winds), or an artefact carrier that you can keep out the danger of battle. The Emerald Host: The only super-battalion I'll get into detail here, this is the third of the offerings from White Dwarf. I only want to point this out because it's cheap, and requires no more than the taking of both battalions above to unlock it. What it does is give an enemy hero of your choice a permanent -1 save from all attacks that target that hero. This can be devastating on the right target, bringing some enemy's +2 save up to a +3 and netting a whole 50% more potential damage on it. Also note that this debuff comes from all sources that are "attacks," not just from your army. In most cases, that might not make much of a difference, but in a team or multiplayer game, you just brought a powerful debuff everyone benefits from. And, though I'm not aware of any abilities acting this way if your enemy can damage themselves for a buff and that counts as an attack, well that's debuffed as well. This, a CP, artefact, and one-drop option on the other two battalions above? Not bad. Not bad at all. Shroudguard: For such a simple battalion, the net benefit of it cannot be understated. Two units of Bladegheists, our baseline threat units, get a Frenzied Fervor save of 5+ instead of a Deathless Spirits 6+. What does that mean? It means your 16.67% chance to ignore damage doubles to 33%. In a game of dice and random numbers, giving two of some of your best units a 33% chance to just totally ignoring incoming damage is nothing to scoff at. It's no wonder you see this battalion everywhere. It does have some drawbacks to note, however. It's still a Deathless save, so you still need a hero nearby to grant it, and you need the hero you chose to include in this battalion to see the Frenzied save. A hero that, by the way, doesn't benefit from that tasty save he's handing out. Despite that, this battalion is excellent for some good ole' fashioned warmongering and tieing up some enemy threat units. Deathriders: I'll mention this one only briefly because it sees some competitive play, though I expect that to change a bit with the Emerald Host. With this battalion, your Black Coach, two units of Hexwraiths, and a Dreadblade Harrow or two all now get to nail Wave of Terror on a natural 9 instead of a 10 on a charge roll. This buffs the chances of WoT triggering up to 27.78%. Oh, and they all get a +1 to charge rolls. I mean, when you absolutely, have to, gotta, need to slam that Black Coach into someone's kneecaps from across the board, this battalion can't be beaten, but I'll argue you'll have a better offensive chance and output with an MSU army and spending those Dreadblade points in Forgotten Scions. The Condemned: Now, have you ever looked at your two packs of 20 to 40 Chainrasps and thought to yourself, "I think these need to kill more?" Ever wondered what would happen if you could shove all of them into a wide enemy front line and then grab all your dice, and all your opponent's dice, just so you could roll all the attacks? Then this is the battalion for you! The buff this battalion gives is simple; Chainrasps can now reroll all failed hits if wholly within 15" of a Spirit Torment or Chainghasts. That, combined with the Chainrasps built-in buff to reroll Wound rolls of 1, and you got yourself one of the best damage dealing battlelines out there. Use this battalion to target armies that bring very big bad units, but not a lot of individual units. You can potentially tar up a couple of enemy units with one large blob of these guys, and since you're required to take two, you might tie up an entire army advancing line. This battalion loses its effectiveness if your opponent brings a lot of units to the table, though, and even more so if they are fast. If that's the case, you're better off with a maxed Reaper unit. Chainguard: Personally, I have found the utility of this battalion to dwindle as of late, but I'll mention it here because it still serves a purpose. Like The Condemned, it requires two units of Chainrasps with anywhere from 20 to 40 models in them. And, you're taking a Guardian of Souls (and, if you're listening to me, giving him the Wychlight Lantern). Now, any time the GoS's Spectral Lure spell goes off on one of the Chainrasp units, an additional D6 models return. This sounds great for plopping down on an objective, or as a thicket of brambles to choke an enemy into a bottleneck, but it suffers from the same issues the GoS himself does. Namely, this entire battalion requires you to not only be able to get a casting value 6 spell off (I wonder what could help that?) but that it's also not unbound. I suppose if that all works out, you have 2D6 Chainrasps coming back, but only to one of the units. Even if you brought multiple GoS's that spell can only be attempted once a turn. My point here is that you don't want to play a game of attrition as Nighthaunt, we're not equipped for that. As shock troops, you need to get in there, steal your objectives, and deal damage to key targets. This battalion does none of that. The rest of the battalions are situational at best. The Execution Horde helps the already hard-to-kill Lord Executioner be even more hard to kill, which is great if you need to hold the line but falls short unless you're pairing it with any of the whole-model-return abilities (not worth-of-models) and effectively taking them away from where they might be more useful. Death Stalkers grant an enemy unit a debuff of +1 to hit and wound against them, but only from the Cairn 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 artefact in addition to any that come with Nighthaunt. You also gain access to the artefact that exists in the realm you will fight in, should you want to make a last-second addition before a fight. This can potentially give you two different realms of artefacts to choose from and can compliment Nighthaunt artefacts nicely. Nighthaunt Only Shadow's Edge: Frightful Touch on a 6, but D3 mortal wounds instead. On any hero you can pump up the number of swings on; this can toss some excellent saveless damage. Slitter: After picking this weapon's carrier to fight, but before they pile in, select an enemy model within 1" and roll a dice. If higher than the model's Wound characteristic, that model dies. Use this after the enemy unit has attacked so that they can no longer move for the rest of that phase. If the model killed breaks up the unit more than 1", it is out of cohesion, and additional models have to be removed until it is back in cohesion. Play this smartly and slice units in half. Be aware that abilities or effects that modify the characteristic count toward the total, but damage does not. Headsman's Judgement: +1 to hit and wound rolls for one of the bearer's weapons. Simple yet effective. Midnight Tome: Turns the bearer into a Wizard granting one spell/unbind, and a spell from Nighthaunt Spell Lore. The unbind alone can be worth it, but a well-placed Shademist is even better. Pendant of the Fel Wind: The bearer of this artefact grants +3" of normal movement to all Nighthaunt units wholly within 12" at the start of their move. This means you can move the units that are near the bearer first and give them the extra movement, and then the move the bearer closer to another set of units, and they can then be moved with the extra movement as well. We're already fast, but with this, we're dogs after a bone. Excellent when combined with Flying and getting over those screens. Realm Artefacts Rest in Peace Malign Sorcery aretefacts... Gone are the Aetherquartz Brooches and Gryph-feather Charms. Dead are the Gildenbanes. With the release of General's Handbook 2020 each realm now only comes with one artefact, a change which is intended to put more emphasis on the selection that come in each army's battletome instead of seeing the same handful across every army. Still, despite this (and the heavy-felt loss of Aetherquartz Brooch) there are a few realm artefacts worth considering. Remember, you can choose a Realm of Origin; where your army hails from, as well pick the one in whatever Realm of Battle you happen to end up, giving you potentially two more options. Here are my pics, ranked from best to worst. Gravesand Brooch - Shyish: You can re-roll save rolls of 1 for attacks that target the bearer. A free Mystic Shield? Stronger on us than you might think. Between this and anything below, this might be best we've got. Everspring Diadem - Ghyran: In your hero phase, you can heal 1 wound allocated to the bearer. A minor heal potion, eh? Given that our heroes are rather wounds-light, and healing them is more of a trick than a mechanic for us, healing one a round shouldn't be overlooked, especially since our heroes wear targets on their backs. Predator’s Torc - Ghur: You can re-roll charge rolls for the bearer. Not so important for a Wave of Terror attempt, but you don't want to leave your threat units without hero support and this could mean the difference of making that happen. The re-roll Core Rule means you only get one re-roll of the charge per declaration, but it's free saving you a Command Point. Given that you generally don't want your heroes in combat you can weigh risk vs. reward for this artefact. Incandescent Rageblade - Aqshy: Pick 1 of the bearer's melee weapons. If the unmodified hit roll for an attack made by that weapon is a 6, that attack scores 2 hits on the target instead of 1. Make a wound and save roll for each hit. This is an additional hit, so on the Lord Executioner or Cairn Wraith you can gain an additional effect. A 6 on either hero triggers both their warscroll effect and this artefact's effect, but only for one of the hits each. For example, if a Lord Executioner rolls a 6 to hit his warscroll gives that attack 2 damage. This artifact then grants 1 extra hit, but it will still be 1 damage. Similarly the Cairn Wraith's 6 would score both a mortal wound (and no further rolls for that damage) and an additional hit. The rest of the realm artefacts are situational. Our Nighthaunt artefacts are demonstrably more powerful or fill in our niches better, but if you want to give a combat hero a re-roll hits or wounds, give those a gander. However, whatever you do, avoid the Plate of Perfect Protection from Chamon. It literally does nothing for us thanks to our Ethereal. Architectures of Torture Next, let me touch on a few things I'd want you to keep in mind as you tackle the challenges of enemy armies and tactics. These are a few guiding principles that have seen me to victory more often than not, and I hope they do the same for you. Always do this: Use From the Underworlds for at least one unit: You never know when an opportunity might show up, and just having something in reserve can save a bad game or keep an opponent too worried to commit fully. Build your list with a focused goal: We are often not considered competitive or tournament-level because we suffer from the "one list does not fit all" problem other armies with above 50% win-rates don't have. Don't try to do too much with a single list. Instead, focus on a clear goal, like objective claiming/holding, and hone your list to support that goal. Moreover, having a clear plan means that when things go wrong, you still have sight of your goal and can more easily get back on track. Mystic Shield: Cast this whenever you aren't casting Shademist or another spell. Mystic Shield is very powerful for us, and it helps it's easy to cast. All-Out Defense: An excellent substitute for casting Mystic Shield if you can spare the Command Points. Consider Some Tricks: All-Out Attack: If you have the Command Points, re-rolling 1s to hit can be a snap damage boost. This is best when used on units with high attack profiles, or any units that'd like to see more 6's. Underworlds Chainrasps: A standard strategy is to put one or two units of Chainrasps into the Underworlds to drop on an objective right away. Careful with this, because if your units are too small or not supported with a hero, you might have thrown away your units for not much gain. Harrow Hopping: Another classic strategy is to use the Dreadblade Harrows to teleport to a position and, if he's your general, spend a Command Point to Spectral Summons a unit onto it. Great for holding objectives. With the Forgotten Scions battalion, you can update this strategy to use both DHs to claim a couple of objectives until danger gets too close, and then drop some Chainrasps or other units out of 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. The buff they receive from this, +1 attacks, is not contingent on taking the damage or losing models, so if you pair them with a model-return mechanic that operates before the combat phase you can get those models back with the buff, since it's the unit receiving the buff and not the individual models within it. This means you could dispel an Endless Spell, even your own from the previous turn if you had to, and shrug the wounds or reverse the damage via any of our model return abilities, and then attack in the combat phase with a full unit of +1 attacks. You can even use this to your advantage "moving" your screamy sisters closer to an enemy unit or up the board by returning the models in any configuration that supports both the ability used and unit cohesion. Olynderbomb: (600+ points at the time of this writing) Expensive and requires Lady Olynder to be your general, but combining her with the Dolorous Guard is an efficient way to put a threat on the field. You can either set this down on an objective and challenge your opponent to remove you, or you can drop her from the Underworlds to wreak havoc on dangerous targets. Knightbomb: (520 to 840+ points at the time of this writing) Starts out less expensive than an Olynderbomb, but can balloon if you want to invest in it, and leaves your general with a better Command Trait. Take a Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed as your general, give him Shadow's Edge for mortal wounds or Headsman's Judgement for normal wounds, and Dolorous Guard for health and mortal wounds. This will save you a few points but net a similar, close-range experience to an Olynderbomb. If you take Forgotten Scions to give the Knight an extra attack and to spend his free ability on himself, as well as spend a CP on either Hexwraith unit, you have a mortal wound nuclear bomb that funds itself. Reikenor the Unending: Grab 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. Vortex Bounce: There is an initial extra boost to spell range when you cast Balewind Vortex. You cast it 1" away from you and add the huge base of that thing because it is now treated as your casting model. That's an additional 5" you can sneak out of it on top of the innate 6". Also, when it gets dispelled, you set up a whooping 6" away from it. Because it's a set-up and not a move, you do not count as having retreated. A great way to get your caster out of a fight they can't win and still be able to charge to where they can. Bonus points if you let your Myrmourn Banshees do the dispelling. (credit to The_Dudemeister for this one) Writs of the Mortarch Lastly, a few list-building tips and strategies with examples that I hope will help you firmly set your position as a Mortarch of your own sect of Nighthaunt. How to build a Nighthaunt List Step One - Goals: Start any list-building venture by first thinking about what you want to accomplish. This is by far the most critical step because if you are not clear on what it is you want to do with your list, you will find yourself making sub-optimal choices to fill in gaps and rushing to create lists that don't really accomplish anything. Setting a clear goal not only means having a sharp idea of what you want to do with your list, but it also challenges you to evaluate each choice you make for their individual merits, as well as their contribution to obtaining your goal. You might think that your goal is obvious: to win. But that's not going to be good enough for our kind of army. Your opponent is going to want to win, as well, and will be bringing tools to the table to do just that for themselves. Instead, your goals need to be more precise than that. Here are a few examples: Capture Two Objectives on Turn 1, Hold Two Objectives for at Least Three Turns, Take an Opponent's Objective, Eliminate a Certain Enemy Hero, Eliminate a Certain Enemy Unit, Eliminate the Enemy General, Defend Two Heroes for at Least Three Turns. A good source of goal ideas are Hidden Agendas, too. Whether or not you actually use them in a game, they can be great guiding ideas to shape your army around. Your games are going to be a combination of at least two of these goals; primary and secondary. All of your goals should absolutely be your driving force in the game, so don't discount the "secondary" as any less important. Calling one primary and other secondary does have a benefit, though. Your primary goal is going to be your direct tactic while your secondary is going to be your indirect tactic. When you build your list, your primary direct tactic is what you are going to be spending your game achieving while your indirect tactic is going to be what you use to assist your primary. In terms of the kinds of units that translates into, if your primary direct tactic concerns objectives, build most of your list to allow you to take them and keep them. If your primary direct tactic is to hurt enemy units, take more units that can deal damage and meet the enemy on your terms. The rest of your list should support your indirect tactic. Your goals are also going to be informed by your available models, the points limit of the game, your tactical prowess, and your opponent--any of which may or may not be known to you before showing up to play. More importantly, by selecting your goals first, you will already start making choices about how you are going to build to achieve them and know what to do when you encounter your opposition and setbacks. Step Two - Tactical Structures: There are many styles of tactical play available to Age of Sigmar armies. Hammer and Anvil, for example, is a very popular choice for most armies given its real-world historical significance and ease-of-use. Though there is no wrong choice in tactics if you are having fun playing, there are certain styles that work better for us than others. Let's detail three of these styles and how they pertain to Nighthaunt. Hammer and Anvil: This tactic gets all the fame and glory. It is the most basic and straightforward of the army-style tactics, can be deadly offensively, and can dominate the field defensively. It's also the most adaptable tactic to the large swath of army types available to play. If you are paring up against an opponent who knows their stuff, chances are you will see a variation of H&A. The concept is simple; the bulk of your force is comprised of either a lot of wounds or a lot of armor, a thick shield of toughness that acts as a solid platform--an anvil. The rest of your army is comprised of a highly mobile--or ranged capable--hammer. The anvil serves as a stationary or slowly mobile fixed force that ties up enemy movement through combat. Once engaged, the hammer comes sweeping in to slam upon the opponent from the other side. The opponent, then, is caught between the two forces and is left with a bad situation. It cannot run because of the anvil, and it cannot stay and fight because of the hammer. However, this technique has a downside that Nighthaunt makes evident either using it or playing against it: Hammer and Anvil tactics rely on some kind of overwhelming power. You either need to greatly outnumber your opponent and tie them down or greatly out-fight them while you've got them. Anything less and you will have a crippled army trying to defend a losing position. As Nighthaunt we simply lack a sturdy enough of an anvil to make great use of this tactic; our best saves are 4+, our most wounds are Chainrasps, and our best fences, Spirit Hosts, are just too expensive. But, for our opponents that happen to use H&A, our creative uses of Fly, Underworlds, and Spectral Summons can render an anvil useless giving us a huge advantage against it. Envelopment: The Macedonians created H&A and then the Romans perfected it. But then Carthage comes along and decimates it with this tactic. Envelopment doesn't rely on anything overwhelming at all to get its job done. Instead, this tactic focuses on exposing weaknesses in an opponent's army, and targeting in a more direct way their lifelines and advantages. It works by first identifying your opponent's likely strengths--such as their their H&A tactic--and avoiding them altogether. Envelopment is synonymous with "flanking" and opts to ignore the more heavily-guarded or deadly front or advancing side of an army and sweeping around the side to strike at the meaty sides and rear. This is generally done with a H&A-style deployment, but the anvil in this case is purely a diversionary device. It gets the attention of your opponent long enough for you to drop or maneuver your more killy units around the side. The advantages of this tactic are that it requires far less of a body count to be effective, you usually have clear lines of retreat or regrouping should you need it, and a confused or off-put opponent who now needs to hurriedly plan their next move. However, a high degree of coordination is required to make this tactic work, which means more extensive planning and forethought. Also, if you are unable to establish an element of surprise in your opponent, you could be setting up your threat units to get wiped from the board. Pincer: If H&A is considered to be a brute force tactic, and Envelopment might be considered dirty trickery, then Pincer should be considered elegance in motion. Older than both the tactics I described above, this tactic was first outlined by Sun Tzu. You know, the guy who wrote The Art of War in 500 B.C.? You might have heard of it. "When your quarry goes to ground, leave no ground to go to." "What is of supreme importance in war is to attack the enemy's strategy." Sun Tzu wrote the definitive structure of war for any army who does not want to, or cannot, strike from a position of ultimate power. Sun Tzu wrote a book about tactics that are tailor made for Nighthaunt. In fact, I might even go so far as to say that when Nighthaunt were designed The Art of War might have been the inspiration. As such, I believe tactics such as Pincer are our superior mode of choice. Fundamentally, Pincer is a lot like Envelopment, but instead uses two or more maneuvering elements. Instead of sweeping around to one side or another, you move your units in from both sides, or all angles, to encapsulate your opponent's resources or threats. This works perfectly with Underworlds and Spectral Summons, allowing us to stage our mobile and bloodthirsty units in out-of-the-way locations, if even on the table, until they are needed. You can lean on the diversionary tactic of Envelopment to try to set your opponent off-foot but you don't rely on it, needing it only to pull your opponent out of formation and exposing one or two angles of vulnerability. This means you can set up your pseudo-anvils or posture like you are using Envelopment, and if your opponent catches on and neutralizes them your true Pincer tactic comes into play to make them pay for it. The simplest way to engineer this strategy is to place your diversionary units or mobile screens on the field while you place your threat units into reserves. You then push forward with your fielded units, knowing full well they are temporary, before summoning in your reserves to deal out the devastating damage a bit later. The advantages of this tactic are that it is quick to set up, is flexible enough to adapt to most situations, and can provide an effective and damaging response to any pain points. The disadvantages, however, are that this will require planning several steps ahead of your opponent, careful coordination of all your units, and the potential of over-committing units to a lost cause. I have a clear favorite here, but all three tactics are certainly viable for use on the table. Selecting one early and adapting it to your goals will allow you to make better decisions about the following steps. Step Three - Troops: The backbone of any good team is not the leaders that lead them, but the team members who put in the effort. An army is no different. Now that you have a clear goal in mind, your troop choices become much more manageable. If, for example, your goals were to take a couple objectives by the end of turn 1 and then hold them for as long as possible, you might already be looking at large blobs of Chainrasp Hordes and Spirit Hosts to put in the Underworlds, or Hexwraiths to move and run up the board. If your goals are to fight for objectives and defend the objective holders, then you might lean more toward Grimghast Reapers and Bladegheist Revenants as damage dealers and Glaivewraith Stalkers as cheap objective holders. Your troop choices need to reflect your goals. Reject anything that doesn't fit. Step Four - Heroes: Heroes are our linchpins, but not so much so that you should be building your list around them. There will be scenarios in which you will design hero-centric lists--an Olynderbomb being a good example--but in a competitive sense, your heroes are best thought of as your support structure and not your primary focus. They are the bones underneath the muscle. They should come fourth in your decision-making process. You need heroes for Deathless Spirits saves, a few bring buffs to enhance units, and they are your only source of healing and model-return mechanics. But, except in the rarest of cases, none of them will be the unit that wins the game. It will be the troops they are supporting that do that. So, make choices that compliment the troops instead of the other way around. Spirit Torments are great with Bladegheists, other heroes, and the Black 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 Five - Enhancements: By now, you should have a firm idea of what your list is going to do. You have your goals, the units that will achieve those goals, and the heroes who will back them up. Now, it's time to think about enhancing them. Battalions, although important, fall into this step. So do Endless Spells, terrain items, and supplemental unit choices. None of the options at this step should be the decision that makes or breaks your army. Instead, they should be the kinds of choices akin to sharpening your weapons or reinforcing your shields. Your game shouldn't hinge upon if you took Shroudguard, or if The Condemned vs. Chainguard was the better use of 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. Mortal Reign mk. 2 WARNING: THE BELOW LISTS ARE NOW OUT OF DATE! Temporarily. Our points our out for our battletome, but not for our White Dwarf battalions. As such I will hold off on updating this section until the PDFs drop. I will leave these here for the time being, but will replace them all with updated versions as I play them. Woe to Those Afar Our Lady of Grief (Olynderbomb) The Emerald Host (Knightbomb) Pressing on the Pain (Pincer tactic) Portraits of Grief As a bonus, if you ever wondered what this pontificating Mortarch might model and paint their army, catch the gallery below. 💀☠️⚰️
  2. 13 points
    A blog entry which collects all the background and photos of my Freeguild Army. It will collect the posts from my painting log thread into a nice blog post! Towards the east of Ghur lies a region of deserts. They are greatly affected by the unstable magic of other realms, an effect I termed Realm-Bleed during my travels. The northerly desert is an icy, stone-strewn tundra where little thrives. The magic of Shyish bleeds into the northernmost edge of this tundra, ensuring that which does survive the sparse wilderness is truly hardy and fearsome to face in combat. The southern desert is a sandy region where waves of dunes ripple across the horizon. This desert is hot, and the further south one travels, the greater the effects of Aqshy Realm-Bleed. The two deserts are split by a strip where, against all odds, life thrives. This tropical oasis features a vast lake and rivers that feed farmlands before reaching the Eastern Sea. To the north and south of the bountiful lands are the Twin Jewels of the Deserts - Kislavia and Ajier. Kislavia is the city that lies to the north of the oasis. Its people are rugged and used to fighting the cold. They are experienced hunters and have tamed a number of the fearsome beasts that inhabit the northern tundra. While the majority of the population live in the city of Kislavia, there are a number of nomadic tribes that roam the wasteland for food, as well as dangers in the form of monsters and enemies. The tribes can be distinguished by the colours of the tassels their carry. Some tribes specialise in archery, others in trade, while a rare few focus on taming the wild creatures of the tundra. In times of war the tribes will band together to protect Kislavia. These occasions see a formidable force of spearmen, archers, handgunners and beast-riders marching in unison. These dangerous times even see marble-clad remnants of Sigmar's Stormcast and the reclusive Rieklings, or Ice Goblins, join the tribes of Korgoria to protect their lands. Tribesmen Freeguild General The Kalisha tribe is one of the main tribes that make up the Kislavia population. They live a nomadic lifestyle in the region surrounding the capital. They specialise in archery and hunting. Often they will hold archery competitions, both on foot and on horseback. The targets of these challenges range from small, speedy hares to larger beasts like thundertusks. The tribesmen can usually be identified by the pale tassels they wear on their helmets or their immaculately kept bows and quivers. The huntsmaster I met hunted alongside a large hawk who could spot a moving hare from a mile away. He was a stern drillmaster, and often surveyed his men to ensure they were operating perfectly. His right hand was missing its little finger, and, though its disappearence was never explained, I do believe his bad-tempered hawk was responsible. Kalisha Archers Kalisha Archers Closeup The Tradiki tribe are a gregarious tribe famed for its diplomatic ties and trading links. Rivalry does occur douring peacetime between the Tradiki and the Kaslisha, due to the former's desire for technological progress and development, and the latter's wish for traditional arms and rituals. Despite this, there have been numerous occasions where the tribes unite to fend off a greater threat. The Tradiki are identifiable by their ponchos and woollen gloves. They contribute sharpshooters specialising in the use of handguns to Kislavia's armies. Their technology is acquired through trade with Kislavia's Sky-Dawi Enclave. Tradiki Handgunners Handgunner Champion Handgunners Surveying Ammo-Runner In times of great danger the tribes of Kislavia will band together to defend their territory. In these cases specialists from each tribe form units, such as the Kalisha forming groups of archers and the Tradiki forming units of handgunners. Less experienced members of each tribe will join mixed groups of spearmen. These diverse units can even feature some of the braver Ice Goblins from the more civilised tribes that trade with the Tradiki. Spearmen from various tribes Champion Front ranks raise shields! Ice Goblin Allies, an unlikely source of allies that joins the Kislavian forces in times of great danger. The Ursaria tribe is the smallest of Kislavia's Great Tribes. However, it is one of, if not the most, influential tribes in the region. Its members are renowned for their taming of the greatest predators of Ghur's tundra. The tribe will bring its heavily armoured lancers and their ferocious Ursus mounts to battle in Kislavia's defense. A regiment of Ursus lancers is a truly terrifying sight, with both rider and mount working in unison due to their mutual respect. Ursus Lancers Ur-Sak Boris is the leader of the Ursaria tribe. He is easily spotted with his bright red robes and his pristine gold armour. Many legends have been created by the great warrior, his gleaming white blade - Fang - and his enormous mount Kariina. Kariina is a great urserine, a species related to the ursus. Urserines never stop growing, therefore their size is a great indictor of a specimen's age and exerience in battle. Kariina is huge, and those who are not wary of her will soon be crushed beneath her tremendous hooves or savage teeth. . Ur-Sak Boris on the great Karina.
  3. 12 points
    Over the years I've painted multiple undead armies, including several Tomb Kings forces. It's kinda my jam. Then they went away. Tomb Kings were crushed. Generic undead armies were ... well ... made 'meh.' Nighthaunts were cool but not really my giggidee. Flesh Eaters? Nah. Not really undead in my book. Now we have Bonereapers. Utter control. Cold calculation. Enforcing of a dominating will. Bones. Hell yes. This blog will journal my experience with the Ossiarch Bonereapers over the next few years. I encourage you to view it and share your thoughts. Critique is welcome! I've posted some photos in other threads, but I'll post them here as well. I'm experimenting with colors, but right now I'm leaning toward the red guys as my primary legion with the green and purple as support legions (lore to follow!). Anyway, here are some early shots. I'm looking forward to sharing this journey with all of you.
  4. 10 points
    A curious thing happened last weekend. For the first time (ever?) I finally finished painting every single model in a Warhammer army. Usually as hobbyists, we end up buying a little too much, so even if we're happy with the state of our 2000 point army, we inevitably have a few extra models (or maybe a lot extra) that end up sitting in a box somewhere and never finished. So this is a real sense of accomplishment to have finally painted every single model I own for my Flesh-Eater Courts army. And of course, nothing else is more appropriate than taking some family photos of the army in their completed glory. The army in all it's glory. I tallied up all the units, and it clocks in at just under 4000 points before battalions. I am very satisfied with the contents of the army, I won't be able to run any list that spams a singular unit, but it's very balanced in the models in the army and looks exactly how I think an army should do on the tabletop. Lots of little guys, fewer of the big guys, and even fewer of the real big guys! The royal family. Other than Duke Crakmarrow, every single character in the army is converted in some way. Certainly one of my objectives for the army was to make more interesting versions of the Courtiers than the slightly different build (or specific build) you get in the box. This is the model that started the entire army. I had seen a conversion in White Dwarf where someone had converted the free Slaughterpriest from White Dwarf into a Vampire Lord. I thought it looked amazing, but could go a step further in the 'Vampire-ness' by adding things like the cloak. At one point, he was indeed going to become a regular Vampire Lord, but back when I was starting this army late 2017, I was cautious about starting another 'non-battletome' army (I had already collected Slaves to Darkness and Free Peoples at this point as my main Age of Sigmar armies - little did I know Legions of Nagash was around the corner), and for Vampires I also wasn't going to be happy spending a small fortune on Blood Knights. Converting Dragon Princes for Blood Knights was also a bit more than I wanted to chew in terms of conversions of the army. So Flesh-Eater Courts it was, and I ended up being happy with the enlarged look of the Crypt Horror hand on the model. This guy right here is my favourite model in the entire army. As mentioned, I really wanted the Courtiers to stand out and I think this guy aces it. From the modified pose where he's running along with weapon in one hand and a slab of masonry in the other, to the bulky spiked shoulder pad, to finally the spikes from the Zombie Dragon kit jutting out of his back, it all just works really well together. This guy is my least favourite model in the army. He has the opposite problem, he doesn't stand out. The cape he has just kinda blends in due to the wings, and his spikes aren't even as impressive as the ones on the regular Crypt Infernal models in my army. It just didn't really work out with this guy, and in the end I whacked a regular Vargheist head on just to make him stand out a little. If I had an extra model, this is the one guy in the entire army I'd redo. For the Crypt Ghast Courtiers, I have had some Daemonette bits lying around for ages now. Obviously I didn't want to break up a box of Ghouls to make a Courtier and be left with 9 models, so I figured I could convert the Ghast Courtiers out of Daemonettes. In hindsight, I wouldn't have used the heads with the spectral hair as what has happened in the past is that people have confused a Ghast Courtier as a Tomb Banshee. Overall I'm pretty happy with the conversions. The 2nd one (the one on the right) which was completed much more recently, I did consider having a more hunched over look more akin to Valreek from the Grymwatch, but didn't feel like I was going to pull it off. Funnily enough, the second one (which I'm a bit happier with the dress on) did get me thinking about perhaps a small unit of Daemonettes (maybe Warcry) in dresses could be cool unit to make. The Ghoul Kings are the old Strigoi Vampire models. I had picked some up a while ago in a buy of a bunch of metal models and didn't really remember about them until I was perusing through my boxes more recently and thought I may as well use them. Better to have some dedicated foot models in case I wanted to use both the Kings on Foot and mounted. I only had a head for one of the models (and it's fairly enormous), so I ended up just putting on Ghoul Heads with some minor green stuff work. Lastly the Throne + Endless spells. I think these were probably some of the most enjoyable things in the army to paint. The throne in particular is a lot of stone, a lot of bone, a lot of drybrushing and a lot of blood. And that's a wrap. The entire army is painted, and most of it is based. I just need to track down some more tufts of a certain kind to finish off about 30 models in the army, and then it's complete, for now? I think I probably have enough appetite with the army to paint one more start collecting box if it came down to it. When I built the Zombie Dragon, I definitely tossed up whether or not just to build a second Terrorgheist as I felt it'd be more useful, but wanted the Zombie Dragon to 'complete' the army. So we'll see, but it's definitely time to be starting a new painting adventure.
  5. 8 points
    I wanted to make my Katakros pretty colourful, probably as a reaction against all the dark and monotonous styles other players seemed to be going for. His base still needs work- but the individual miniatures are now finished. Now on to the rest of the army
  6. 8 points
    I got sick of batch painting and decided to paint up all the mages I had found through eBay or miniswap. Magical spell effects are one of the most fun things to paint! And if you saw the first post (with all the Island of Blood models) and wondered where the archmage was, here's your answer...
  7. 8 points
    Recently I took my Kharadrons to a doubles tournament in run by the @Hampshire Hammerers in Winchester with @Azamar and as such I had to get my 1000 points painted beforehand! It's my first force I've actually got painted and I'm really happy with it It's been super nice to play with fully painted models too!! We ended up coming third out of four teams which meant we lost out on the coveted engraved wooden spoons (Boo) but I managed to win favourite/best painted army! Which I'm quite pleased with. My opponent on Wednesdays club game (where I took these photos) also let me take some nice shots of my units vs his painted ones. So enjoy! Now to just do my board for armies on parade!!
  8. 7 points
    A story of a siege The triple walls of Knossus have stood inviolate for centuries. During the long age when Sigmar retreated behind the gates of his realm and plotted his mighty counterstroke against the Dark Gods, Knossus survived, ensconced behind its great barriers. They are permanent fixtures in the landscape of Chamon, as enduring as any mountain. I have been told that the outermost wall has only been breached twice since its construction. The third wall, the highest and mightiest, has never been so much as attacked. It is an impressive feat, both militarily and architecturally. But the Age of Chaos is over. Sigmar returns to the realms, bringing with him the promise of a new dawn and a new era of striking back against the evils that have so long plagued the lands of the free peoples. And so I, Lord-Ordinator Cignirus of the Sigmarite Brotherhood, stand before the mighty defenses of Knossus tasked with their destruction. It is a common misconception that all the free peoples that remain within the realms have welcomed Sigmar’s righteousness back with open arms. Safely tucked away in Azyrheim, the lords and ladies of the Celestial Realm quibble about the foolishness of the Sylvaneth and their mystical queen, or shake their heads at the folly of the Kharadron or the Fyreslayers who turn their backs on open acceptance of Sigmar’s grace. They forget, or perhaps, pointedly ignore, the fact that there are many men who do not march back into the fold of the god that seemingly abandoned them. When they do deign to acknowledge these wayward kingdoms, the powdered courtiers of Azyrheim attribute their reticence to the influence of the Dark Gods, a common enough cause, I will admit, but not always the case. For many, neither the independence of survival nor the bitterness surrounding Sigmar’s withdrawal, no matter how justifiable it was, are easily wiped aside. Thus, it happens that the Stormcast Eternals, crafted to destroy Chaos and pave the way for humanity’s return to glory, are forced to turn against the very beings we are made to protect. Such is the case with the proud Knossians. Knossus in and of itself is not the most prosperous or mightiest of cities. The depredations of long years of survival have done little to enhance its power, though its people are relatively wealthy in comparison to many of its less fortunate neighbors who suffered under the yoke of Chaos. Rather, it is Knossus’ strategic position that makes it worthy of interest. Sitting on the edge of the rolling green dunes of Chamon’s Malachite Desert, the city provides a key, if not absolutely essential, post for supporting any campaigns or trade routes into and around those thankless veridian wastes. In a sense, Knossus is the gateway to the malachite expanse, and with the forces of Chaos still present within this realm, and quite possibly within the desert itself, the city must be part of Sigmar’s empire. There is also the very simple fact that an independent human kingdom refusing to align with the forces of the Azyr presents tangible political and diplomatic problems for the God-King. Not only does it inspire opposition among other local hegemons that our forces may encounter, it leaves a potential vulnerability in our growth. While Knossus has stood strong against Chaos for centuries, who is to say if the Dark Gods will turn the full force of their gaze upon it in their desperation to combat Sigmar’s surging strength? In leaving it to its own device, we risk it one day falling into a corrupted kingdom of Chaos and then remaining poised to strike like a Nurglite’s rusty knife held to our throats. The worthies of Knossus will not make a compact with Sigmar. They rebuffed our ambassadors and rejected any overtures for peace. After so long standing alone against the forces of destruction, they refuse to bend the knee to what they view as yet another would-be conqueror. Their defiance is misguided, but I cannot fault them for it. If I were in a similar situation, cloaked in some of the greatest fortifications of Chamon with generations of experience in the art of siege warfare under my belt, I would most likely feel the same. As blasphemous as it may sound coming from one such as myself, Knossus owes nothing to Sigmar or the forces of the Azyr. All they have built and maintained during the darkest of times is their own. I can respect that, admire it even, but that does not change my purpose here. They have marked themselves as the God-King’s foes and will be dealt with as such. For the last three years, Marshal Henrik Rothgau has laid siege to Knossus with an impressive force of Freeguilders and a sizable detachment from the Ironweld Arsenal. They have not even come close to breaching the first wall of the city. At every turn, the defenders of Knossus stifle Rothgau’s assaults and baffle his siege efforts, thanks in no small part to the genius intellect of the city’s greatest engineer-savant, Hypatia the Wise. With a variety of tricks and traps built up through centuries of experience, the Knossian garrison remains inviolate. Three years is too long for this siege. With the forces of Chaos potentially regrouping in Chamon to push back against the advancing armies of Azyr, control of the Malachite Desert cannot be left uncontested. At the order of Sigmar himself, I have been told to take command of this siege and end it. I will do just that. In truth, I think Rothgau is relieved. This siege is a thankless task for an ambitious man. Master Engineer Orthcoe, leader of the Ironweld detachment, was less thrilled about my arrival at the head of a small cohort of the Sigmarite Brotherhood Stormhost, but he does not have the authority, or the courage, to countermand me. Reluctantly, he turned over control of his precious weaponry to me in all but name, and now I count the Ironweld’s resources alongside my own siege forces brought from Azyrheim. He is foolish to complain. I am a Lord-Ordinator of the Stormcast Eternals. There are no better masters of siege warfare in the entirety of the mortal realms. We are handcrafted for the task. I am even more unique among my brothers. Most Lord-Ordinators are siege-masters, but they do not relish it. They are creators first, concerned with the construction of Stormkeeps and raising new cities for the glory of the God-King. They revel in building up, not tearing down. Not so for Cignirus of the Sigmarite Brotherhood. I am a destroyer. Some of my fellows consider me strange for this, but I care little for their commentary. Many Lord-Ordinators know that they were architects or sculptors or philosophers in their past, before their ascension. I was not that. I was never that. I was a destroyer in a past life as well, but not a barbarian potentate or skilled champion like some of my kind. Among the civilized lands and civilized warfare of the Perugian kingdoms of Chamon, I was Dandolio, also known as the Architect of Death. In a culture obsessed with sieges, my fellows viewed me as the preeminent master of the trade. Why Sigmar chose to elevate me when the realms of Perugia collapsed one by one under the relentless tread of Chaos, I do not know. Dandolio was not a hero, was not even a good man. But he was brilliant and he was ruthless. Maybe Sigmar simply needed more Stormcasts like that in his ranks. Stormcasts who can handle situations like Knossus without qualm or hesitation. I put out one last call for parley with the Knossians. This is the only chance for them to rethink their decision, for even the most stubborn men tend to change their views when faced with the might of a Stormhost. Clad in the stark white and purple armor of the Sigmarite Brotherhood, I march out into no man’s land between our siege lines and the first wall of the city. My chosen second, Liberator-Prime Malthusian, is with me, as is Knight Vexilor Centra, bearing her banner high for all to see. Looking distinctly uncomfortable within bow range of the walls, the portly Marshal Rothgau and a hand-picked honor guard of the Akkadian Janissaries that serve with him follow behind us, their silver breastplate glinting in the harsh light of the Chamonian sun. The worthies of Knossus stand arrayed before us in a tight huddle, attended to by a contingent of the elite of their military, the Cathrapactii. These heavily armored knights remind me somewhat of Stormcast Eternals, though their bronzed scale mail and faceless helms are distinctly unique to their city. A man, who Marshal Rothgau has reliably informed me is War-King Damon, the de facto military leader of Knossus, steps forward out of the huddle to address me. Damon is clad in a more elaborate suit of Cathrapactii armor, his ornate helmet tucked under his arm, revealing an old face, lined with scars and adorned with a magnificent grey beard. Despite the fact that three Stormcasts stand before him, crackling with the power of the Azyr, the general seems undeterred. He reminds me of one of the great plains lions of Ghyran, facing down against the beasts who would threaten his pride. I preempt him before he can speak, my voice booming with the power of thunder. Let it never be said that Lord-Ordinators are more seen than heard. “War-King Damon,” my formal words roll across the churned earth between us, “worthies of Knossus, I am Lord-Ordinator Cignirus of the Sigmarite Brotherhood. By the authority of the God-King, I welcome you back to the fold of the free peoples of the realms. Let us lay down our arms and enter into compact with one another.” Damon stares at me, seemingly unimpressed. “So you are as big as they say. I really do wonder what they feed you in the Azyr,.” The old man smiles at me, his air jaunty and courageous, “I will admit, I had always wanted to see one of your kind in person.” “Ask and you shall receive.” The War-King snorts as I continue, “I did not come to bandy words, War-King. What is your answer?” “Our answer is the same as it has always been,” a clear, calm voice rings out from the huddle before the War-King can reply. An older, stately looking woman dressed in the flowing cream robes of a scholar steps forward. She seems even more formidable than Damon, who gives her a sideways look before bowing his head. The woman’s hair is shaved, another scholarly mark, and her bright blue eyes shimmer, not with fear but with keen interest. For a moment, I feel like one of the Ironweld’s machines under the scrutiny of Master Orthcoe. There is a kinship here with her that I rarely feel with mortals. I smile behind my faceplate, though they cannot see it. “You are Hypatia the Wise.” The woman bows, seemingly uncaring of whether her robes are dirtied in the mud of no man’s land. “My reputation precedes me, Lord-Ordinator Cignirus, as does yours. I have heard some in Knossus say you were once Dandolio of Perugia, the infamous Architect of Death.” “And if I was Dandolio once?” I rumble, amused. “I have read your treatises,” she replies, her eyes glimmering, “I would be most eager to test my siegecraft against yours.” Despite myself, I find I am impressed with this old woman and her defiance. “Bold of you, my lady,” I declare, “but it need not come to that. What is your answer?” “The answer is no, of course.” Hypatia’s voice is firm and unrelenting, like a teacher lecturing a wayward student, “For generations, Knossus has stood against every invader that has thrown themselves at our walls. Orruks, ogors, the dead that walk, even the servants of the slavering gods. We did not fight and die for lifetimes to throw away our independence to your God-King simply because he wields the magic of the skies and demands our fealty.” “It does not have to be this way,” I reply, extending a second chance and feeling a strange bite of regret. These are a proud, capable people. “You can join with us, as many others have. Together, we can fend off all the enemies of humanity.” “Oh, but it does,” Hypatia responds. “We will not yield, not even to you, Lord-Ordinator. You will have to pull down our walls, brick by brick, before the people of Knossus will swear fealty to a tyrant, even a shiny, golden tyrant such as yours.” Liberator-Prime Malthusian tenses at that and War-King Damon’s hand falls to his sword hilt, but I gesture slightly at my second and he relaxes, though he too now has his hand on his hammer. Hypatia seems unphased. “You speak brave words, Hypatia the Wise.” I heft my hammer up onto my shoulder in a casual gesture of strength that draws a few murmurs from the crowd of Knossian dignitaries. “I assume she speaks for all of you?” I direct the question at War-King Damon, who simply nods, his hand still on the hilt of his sword. “She does.” “So be it. There will not be another parley. Prepare yourselves, people of Knossus. The wrath of Sigmar is upon you.” The worthies of the city mutter among themselves at my declaration, but their engineer-savant silences their concern with her words. “We will weather the storm, as we always have.” Hypatia remains unimpressed. For a second, our eyes meet and we reach an unspoken understanding. She is not a fool and knows this is the end for Knossus, I can tell. I would not be surprised if she felt that way from the moment she saw my fellows and striding across the battlefield towards her. Everything that comes after this is merely delaying the inevitable. But the Knossians, who have built themselves around their walls as much as their walls are built around them, will not surrender. This will be the magnum opus of Hypatia and the magnum opus of her people. I will grant them a siege worthy of it. “You have one hour before hostilities resume.” I take one last look over the worthies. They all face me unbowed, though I imagine more than a few have knocking knees. War-King Damon yawns as if bored with it all. I pause and linger on Hypatia for a second longer than the rest. She bows her head slowly as if in acknowledgement, her blue eyes still glimmering, and I respond in kind. Then I turn my back on them and march away. It is time to destroy. ********* One of my few real, clear memories from my time before my first death is from childhood. My father, whose name and face I cannot recall, gave me a gift for my seventh, or perhaps eighth, birthday. It was an ornate, elaborate puzzle box from some Chamonian tinkerer, a beautiful thing with sliding tiles and switches. Each time you moved the wrong tile in the sequence it reset, scrambling part of the pattern again and forcing you to relearn things you already knew. It was infuriating. I remember someone, maybe my mother or a sibling, referring to it as impossible. I think I solved it before I was ten. All sieges ever since have been that box, a complex puzzle that requires precision and careful decision-making, where each misstep is punished with the scrambling of the pattern in new and confusing ways. And so, I begin to test. Under my guidance, the Freeguilders and Ironweld laborers dig salients and saps at the correct angles, getting the trenches ever closer to the wall but denying the deadly fire of the enemy’s ballistas and onagers. Celestar batteries with Stormcast crews are emplaced in forward positions alongside the guns of the Ironweld, and the crackling blast of lightning is added to the percussion of blackpowder and the whump of catapult stones. The wall shudders under the increasingly close impact of our siege weapons, but it does not break. Woven through with metals and soaked in the natural magic of Chamon, the walls are far too solid to collapse under such a generalized barrage. My first true assault takes a week to prepare. Four siege towers, built to my specifications and the exact measurements of the wall, rumble forward across no man’s land. Marshal Rothgau, standing next to me as we watch the engines advance, reminds me for the upteenth time that he has tried such a frontal assault before. I nod but say nothing. In truth, I do not expect it to succeed. The towers are loosely manned with what Rothgau assures me are entirely volunteers from his Freeguild forces, and thought I doubt that I do not challenge him on the point. This is merely the first part of the pattern, the first move on the puzzle box. A scribe next to me marks down the position of each battery of enemy artillery that opens fire on the towers as they advance, so that we can target them later. One tower does not reach the wall. The enemy focuses almost all their batteries on the trundling edifice. I have designed these weapons to be sturdy, but the constant barrage viciously rocks the engine. Holed with onager stones, a ballista bolt tipped with a jar full of Knossian balefire slips through its defenses and impacts inside. Hungry red flames, generated through some sort of chemical compound or alchemy known only to Hypatia the Wise, swarm up the wooden interior of the tower. Men fall screaming to the ground, engulfed in fire, as the tower itself quickly collapses into a crackling pyre that burns for two days straight. The other three engines, however, align along the wall relatively unscathed, the sturdiness of their construction ensuring their path. Before the ramps atop the towers can drop and release the troops within, the defenders reveal one of their secrets to me. Vents, previously unseen to any observer, open halfway up along the wall, allowing gouts of searing steam to blast out across the fronts of the engines. The steam surges through any gaps in the defenses, broiling the men inside and setting the internal structures alight. It is brutal and effective. “Steam cannons,” murmurs Orthcoe alongside me, lowering his telescope shakily as the towers begin to collapse, “by Sigmar…” “Never seen those before,” Rothgau adds with a grunt, “damned shame.” I say nothing, merely making the mental note of the vents locations and capabilities. As the burning towers fall away from the wall, I turn and head back to my command tent. One piece of the puzzle, at least, is known. ******* For the next two days, my artillery batteries smash the locations we noted during the tower assault. I focus the celestars on the hidden vents, and before long they begin to crack, revealing gaps in the walls exterior that my artillerists continue to slam bolt and shell into. For the first time, the possibility of a breach becomes a real threat to the defenders of Knossus. They respond accordingly. The first raid of the flying men takes even me by surprise. A wave of winged shapes swoop down from the third wall, gliding over the other two bastions and straight above the artillery pits. Strapped into mechanical contraptions made from light metals and fabric, lightly-clad men of Knossus fly in a gentle curve over our forward trenches, dropping jars full of balefire and handfuls of small darts that slam down into the earth, often through anyone unfortunate enough to be hit with one. Laborers, engineers, and Freeguilders scatter in panic as blooms of red flames burst seemingly out of the ground, vaporizing cannons and their crews before men even have a chance to react. By the time I have rallied the Judicators among my contingent to return fire with their mighty bows, the raiders have flown back over the first wall and out of range, their deadly cargoes expended. It takes time for us to get the aftermath under control. In order to smother Hypatia’s balefire, we are often forced to simply bury the burning gun pits with dirt, granting the mangled wreckage of both weapons and men hasty graves. The defenders harass us the entire time, hurling ballista bolts and stones at work parties desperately fighting to keep the fires from spread. Orthcoe is beside himself, for the Ironweld Arsenal and its machines have suffered the most from the raid, but I ignore his bleatings. More guns will be summoned, the Ironweld will be paid for their losses, and the attack has not done enough to deter our assault. Within hours, many batteries are firing again, and the defenders are back in the same situation they were. I have lost none of my Celestar ballistae, and I have them take over the heavy aspects of the barrage until the Ironweld engineers can repair and refit. At dawn on the next day, the Knossian flying men appear again, just as I expected. As they swoop past the first wall, Brother Venatos and his three fellow Prosecutors tear down from the clouds above on golden wings, hurling their javelins with pinpoint accuracy. So far, I have kept the wrathful sky warriors of Sigmar well-concealed, hoping to use them to destroy siege engines at critical moments, but I cannot deny them this. There is no doubt in my mind that the Knossian fly machines are a marvel, but the Prosecutors cut through the air like star falcons, as if they were born to it. Indeed, it could be argued that they are, all things. The machinery of men, no matter how well-designed, cannot stand before their wrath. Flying men explode in midair as Prosecutor javelins trigger their payloads of balefire. Like a flock of Azyr sparrows with an aetherhawk in their midst, the Knossian fliers panic, scattering and attempting to reach their walls. Some lose control of their frames, tumbling to the ground below in a chaotic jumble of wire, linen, and metal. More drop from the sky as javelins transfix them, splintering their harnesses and smashing their wings. The Prosecutors continue to pursue them until they reach the first wall, where a barrage of darts, arrows, and stones drive the Stormcasts back. It is a good hunt for the Prosecutors, and Brother Venatos is beaming with triumph as he returns to me, a mostly intact flying frame in his hands. “A gift for you, Lord Orindator,” he rumbles cheerfully back at our camp, laying the frame down on a table in my command tent. “Beautiful,” I reply, running a hand carefully over the device, testing wires, probing joints. I have no idea how he managed to get it off of its owner without damaging its intricate mechanisms. I will ask another day. “Thank you, Venatos.” “It was my pleasure,” he chuckles, “We must show them who the true masters of the sky are.” “Indeed,” I remark, my mind already starting to drift from the bluff Prosecutor and focusing almost entirely on the device before me. “Can you cross the walls?” I add absentmindedly, removing a pair of overly sized spectacles from my work apron’s pocket and putting them on. Concentrated as I am on the device, I pretend to ignore Venatos rolling his eyes at the eccentricity. Of course, I do not need the spectacles, but for some reason, it feels right to wear them, so I do. There is nothing more to it. “No, Lord-Ordinator, we cannot” Venatos continues, his smile replaced with a brief flash of annoyance, “I will credit them for that, the amount of projectiles these Knossians can throw at us is truly impressive.” I look up from wiggling the wings of the flying frame, using a brilliant system of cords that seem to tie around the flyer’s individual fingers. “Fear not, Venatos. I will find work for you and your cohort yet. Be ready for the flyers to come again, do not wander far.” My response to his concerns is half-hearted, I know, but as I said, my mind is already on other things. The Prosecutor nods and heads out into the camp to celebrate his victory, leaving me to marvel at the work of Hypatia and the Knossian craftsmen as I dismantle it, piece by piece. ******* With the flying machines grounded, the defenders of Knossus have little choice but to turn to other means to try and silence the weaponry pounding the vulnerabilities in their wall. The raids start to come at night within days of the flyers’ defeat. Small groups of men, sneaking around in the darkness, hurling jars of balefire or simply cutting the throats of sleeping crews or bivouacs full of exhausted aborers. Only once do the raiders attempt to destroy a celestar battery. The resulting bloodbath as the unsleeping Sacristan Engineers manning the ballista turn their short, stabbing blades on the lightly-armed and armored attackers is enough to convince the Knossians not to try such a strike again. They stick to the mortal elements of the force, and at Marshal Rothgau’s request I begin having Liberators patrol the trenches regularly throughout the night, though the solution is tentative at best. It is a group of Freeguilders, the Iban Rangers from Ghyran, who break the monotony of the raids, and in doing so grant me the means to quickly breach the first wall. Scouts and trackers, they quietly follow a group of raiders back into the no-man’s land on their own initiative and discover two carefully hidden sally ports at the base of the wall. It is all the information I need, and I congratulate their beaming chieftain on his men’s skill and success after he delivers the news to a disgruntled Rothgau and myself. Rothgau, no doubt jealous that his Janissaries must share glory with someone else, is angry with the Iban for not consulting with him before going on their hunt. Both the chieftain and I ignore him. The Rangers have just opened up the opportunity to crack the first wall of Knossus for the third time in the city’s history, they do not need the approval of one Freeguild marshal. After discussions with my Stormcast brothers and one brief but victorious skirmish with a screaming Master Engineer Orthcoe, I put my plan into motion. Two batteries of the Ironweld’s most powerful guns are placed as close as possible to the hidden sallyports without exposing them to enemy fire. The cannons relentlessly pound the gap being opened in the wall, slamming shot after shot into the damaged section over the course of two days. A handpicked guard of Liberators under my lieutenant Malthusian sends a nighttime raid attempt fleeing in shambles, closing that option off to the defenders. It is too much for them to bear. At noon on the third day of the bombardment, the sallyports fly open with the wailing of horns and the rolling of drums. The thundering of hooves heralds the emergence of a massed wedge of Cathrapactii, their armor glittering brilliantly in the midday sun, harnesses and weapons jingling in the desert air. It is an impressive sight, those nobles warriors surging forward to defend their city, enough to stir the heart of any warrior. I watch through a spyglass as the wedge forms, spearing straight for the guns. A despondent Orthcoe grinds his teeth next to me, nervously fidgeting with his own telescope as the enemy elite draw closer and closer to his beloved machines. At the last second, I give the signal, and a Stormcast clarion rings out across the siege lines. Three days earlier, when the batteries were dug in the night, Retributor-Prime Borduna and her fellow Paladins were hidden not far in front of the guns, carefully concealed under camouflage coverings and a thin layer of turf to deter detection from the wall. They have waited there ever since, as still as the statues of heroes lining the Worldwall of distant Sigmaron. When the call reaches their ears, they surge up from their hiding place, throwing off dirt and netting, and rumble forward to meet the charging Cathrapactii. To the Knossians, it must seem as though the giant warriors clad in immense white and purple sigmarite simply sprung up from the ground. Their shock is undoubtedly absolute, but they are too close to do anything else but lower their lances and continue the charge. On the field before the first wall, the flower of the Knossian military meets the greatest infantry in the Stormhosts. For a moment, it feels as if the entire battlefield holds its breath, waiting for the clash. Then all is noise as the two sides meet and Borduna’s warriors sheer through the Cathrapactii like the keel of a ship splitting a wave. Men and horses scream between the thundering booms of the Retributors’ lightning hammers, which send the elite of Knossus hurtling through the air with each blow. The scale mail of the Cathrapactii is nothing against the magically empowered strikes of the Stormcast weapons, and their lances snap and shatter against the heavily armored forms of the Paladins. As per my instructions, Borduna and her cohort carry straight on through the broken wedge of Cathrapactii, rolling towards the open sallyports like one of the raging green sandstorms that scour the Malachite Desert. Desperately, the remaining defenders try to seal the portals, but the assault is too sudden and their efforts far too late. Armor coated a deep red with the gore of men and beasts, the Paladins carry on into the exposed sallyports, lightning hammers whirling and booming. Screaming Bashi-Bazouks of the Akkadian Janissaries rise up out of the siege trenches and surge after the Stormcasts, piling their armored bodies in to exploit the gap. Within a matter of hours, the first wall has fallen and the forces of Sigmar are storming through the city’s outermost ward. My army cheers as the wall’s mighty gates swing open and the banner of Azyrheim is raised over the gatehouse. In my mind, I hear the snap-click of the first puzzlebox lock opening. I smile. *********** We find the broken body of War King Damon among the corpses of his Cathrapactii. Marshal Rothgau, Malthusian, and myself converge on the dead general, while a bodyguard of Janissaires keeps watch at a respectful distance. Damon’s magnificent white beard is stained a wine-dark with blood and his eyes, so full of defiance upon our one meeting, stare sightlessly into the sky out of the broken remains of his helmet. For some reason I cannot explain, I bend down and gently close them. There is a moment of silence before Rothgau pipes up. “That’ll set the ****** back a bit, make no mistake.” I sigh, looking up at the first wall, the top of which is now swarming with watchful Freeguilders and note-taking Ironweld personnel. “Indeed, it is almost as damaging for Knossus as losing the first wall. They will fight harder now though.” The marshal spits and grunts in vague agreement. He looks down at the corpse and chuckles darkly. “We should string the old heretic up. Run him around in front of the next wall like a damned marionette. Let them see what becomes of those who defy the will of Sigmar.” Though I say nothing, I feel an unexpected sense of anger rising inside me as Rothgau continues darkly, “I say, we don’t even need the whole body. Just the head would do. We could wire it up even, make it look like it’s talking. See how the Knossians like their War King coming back to say hello, eh? Huh, what do you think, you decrepit bloody traitor?” The marshal punctuates his last words with a kick, flopping Damon’s already broken form over onto its side. “Marshal,” I spit out, my voice lashing like lightning in a summer storm, “may I see your blade?” The portly man stares at me confused, a slightly incredulous look on his porcine features. “Your blade? If you please?” I repeat again, just as firm as last time. Hesitantly, unsure about what is to come, the Marshal draws his sword and hands it to me. I grab it by the middle of the blade, unconcerned with the thought of it cutting through my sigmarite gauntlets. It is a beautiful weapon in the style of an Akkadian scimitar, though Rothgau himself is not from that culture. I study the jewel-encrusted hilt for a moment and note the beautiful patterning of the steel. “A magnificent blade, Marshal. A weapon worthy of great respect.” The Marshal nods, still confused. I smile darkly under my faceplate and snap the blade with a clench of my armored fist. The broken pieces of the scimitar thud into the mud of the battlefield, except for one shard I grind in my fist. I lock eyes with Rothgau, who seems to have turned a lighter shade of pale, from fear or from anger. It is probably a mixture of both. “My apologies, Marshal,” I say, ensuring that my tone conveys anything but, “I appear to have broken your weapon. It is so easy to forget proper respect during trying times such as these, wouldn’t you agree?” Eyes still fixed on the bulging orbs of Rothgau, I open my gauntlet and let the dust that was the center of his sword flutter to the ground. The Marshal nods and swallows, going another shade paler. Behind his bodyguards watch the exchange in stunned silence. “Good, I’m glad you understand,” I continue, “You will grant War King Damon a proper burial with full honors. It is the least he deserves for his bravery. In fact, we shall do so with all these warriors, they have earned that right. Am I understood?” Rothgau nods again, his double-chin wobbling slightly as he swallows once more. “Excellent, I knew you would agree. Let us meet tomorrow to discuss our plans for the second wall.” I turn my back on the Marshal and his men, looking once more at the wall and already turning my mind towards what lays behind it. The Freeguild commander says nothing as he leaves, simply scurrying back to his bodyguard and departing as quickly as he can. He leaves the broken remnants of his sword behind, another addition to the detritus of the battlefield. All is quiet for a long time before Malthusian’ stentorian tones break the silence. “You should not antagonize him, Lord-Ordinator.” “Should I not?” I reply forcefully, turning to face my lieutenant, “He is a fool. In two weeks, we have done what he was unable to achieve for years. A lazy, gutless pig of a man. Now that,” I add, pointing at the dead War King, “is a hero worthy of name, an actual leader of men. Would that we had him with us instead of that useless Marshal.” “But he would not follow Sigmar.” “But he would not follow Sigmar, Liberator-Prime,” I sigh, “and so I destroyed him. As I will destroy all this.” My arms sweep out to encompass the walls of Knossus. “Because that is what I am meant to do, whether I like it or not.” I feel him tense at those last few words, so against my reputation. In truth, I have surprised even myself with that sentiment. The Liberator-Prime chooses not to mention it. “You admire them, these Knossians?” Malthusian’s voice is not judgmental, though I cannot see the look on his face behind the helm. “Do you not, Malthusian? How many men, true men, uncorrupted by the Dark Gods or driven by fear of that vicious bag of bones in Shyish, can actually stand before Stormcasts and defy us? It is an admirable thing.” The Liberator-Prime shrugs noncommittally. “A foolish thing, Lord-Ordinator.” “The two are often intertwined.” My lieutenant chuckles darkly at that. “Please see that the burials are done properly, Malthusian. It is not much to ask. If Damon and his people fought with us, he would number among our heroes.” “As you wish. This will not earn you any favors among the Knossians though.” Shrugging, I turn and begin to walk back towards camp. “That is not the reason for it, Liberator-Prime, as you well know.” ****** Sitting slightly higher than the outermost defenses, the second wall of Knossus is just as impressive of an edifice. The city runs to within a short distance of the bastion, where well-ordered houses and streets give way to an open killing field, pre-sighted for bombardment from the defenders’ artillery. I spend some time alone, wandering the streets of the captured ward of the city, examining architecture, making notes with a stylus, mapping out the grid upon which it all is constructed. In truth, I am impressed with the Knossian buildings. They are mostly simple, yet surprisingly elegant, two story affairs, made often of marble but primarily of green bricks created from the malachite sands of the desert nearby, giving each street a hue that would not be out of place in distant Ghyran. Even ruined as many are from wayward artillery strikes or the depredations of looting Freeguilders, they remain solid, impressive domiciles, laid out on a detailed system of streets that makes it easy to find one’s way almost anywhere in the city. Truth be told, the organization of it all puts Azyrheim to shame, though I do not say it aloud. I am standing in a deserted open market square, admiring a statue of a scholar crafted from some rare mineral compound, when the first rumbles shake the streets. Frankly, I should not be as surprised as I am. The Knossians, canny defenders that they are, have left behind parting gifts for any invader that breaches the first line of defense. Hidden caches of balefire roar into life across the captured districts, sending men screaming through the streets and destroying many wagons and supply carts that have already moved into the city. Worst of all, I witness a handful of lightning bolts crack upwards into the Chamonian sky, signaling the first Stormcast losses of the siege. It takes two days for us to get the raging fires left in the wake of the traps under control. Two days without sleeping, battling the crimson concoctions of Hypatia while the defenders on the second wall hurl a seemingly inexhaustible barrage of artillery fire down on anyone they can spot. At the end, when the last fire is out, Malthusian informs me that almost three hundred men and four Stormcasts died in the initial release of balefire and subsequent burning and bombardment. Significant losses. Many commanders would balk, some would blame themselves or pray for guidance or swear vengeance on their enemies. I do none of that. Under my helmet, free from Malthusian’s appraising gaze, I smile. These detonations are not done from far away. The Knossians lack the ability to achieve that particular feat. That means someone has come from behind the second wall and sprung these horrors upon us manually. That means there is a vulnerability to exploit. That means I will find it. If I need any further proof of my theory, the raids confirm it. The night after the fires are extinguished, as the army prepares to rest, the attacks come hard and fast. The Knossians, experts in their craft, show us just how well they have prepared the interior of their city for defense. Men die as hidden pots of balefire gut the houses they are sleeping in. Entire buildings collapse as carefully built-in mechanisms are triggered to bring them crashing down. Secret passages open in walls, revealing knife-wielding killers that pounce upon unsuspecting men. It is a night of chaos and the next that follows is not much better. Hypatia reveals a new weapon, a throwable clockwork device, the size of a small pot, that spools out thin wire and spins it around at incredibly high speeds until it is exhausted. The whipping strand mangles limbs, breaks bones, and slashes worse than any Azyros Starblade. Freeguilders take to calling them “topac”, which Venatos explains to me is the name of spinning tops all Akkadian children play with. I trust his explanation, for the Prosecutor-Prime has a strange way of knowing such things. Whatever the origin of their nickname, the topac prove to be yet another deadly threat in the Knossian arsenal. A pattern to the raids soon becomes clear. First comes a pot of balefire, hurled near a gunpit or into a house. As men panic to escape and others rush to assist, a handful of topac are thrown nearby, causing carnage among anyone caught in the open. The raiders slip back into the darkness before anyone even knows where they are. It is brutal and efficient. Such an attack costs us the life of Master Engineer Orthcoe. A topac shreds the cautious Ironweld leader as, in a moment of surprising boldness, he rushes to save one of his beloved guns from an expanding balefire. It is a lamentable loss, but not a significant one. Marshal Rothgau, looking pale, informs me that they had to clean him up in buckets. I’m not sure why he felt the need to share that detail, but it seems important to him, so I do not comment. Orthcoe’s replacement, a stern, one-eyed Duardin named Bardik Grimgok, seems far more amenable to working with me and, unsurprisingly, far more proficient at siege warfare than his predecessor. I explain my theory about the tunnels for access and the squat, grey-bearded Ironwelder agrees almost immediately. His engineers, in particular those drawn from the Dispossessed, begin hunting for the passageways that we assume run beneath our feet. In the meantime, I step up Stormcast patrols and encourage Rothgau to set up a nightly rotation of Iban Rangers to stalk the darkened streets. Raids continue, but their impact begins to lessen as parties of saboteurs are caught out and killed before they reach their targets. Stroke and counterstroke. Slide this tile, push this piece, solve the puzzle. It is as simple as that. I admire the ingenuity that went into the topac, and spend long hours with my spectacles on examining them in my tent, fiddling with the mechanism, analyzing Hypatia’s near flawless craftsmanship. For the first time, I consider what wonders she might have created in times of peace. There is an uncomfortable sensation in my chest as I follow that line of thought. Guilt? Regret? Sadness? I am not sure and try my best not to dwell on it. Sigmar took a destroyer and made a greater one. At night, wandering the shadowy streets of Knossus, I wonder how such a discerning architect could have left room for this weighty sensation in my soul. ********* The second wall falls after almost a month. It is longer than I would have liked, but it takes time for Grimgok and his engineers to map out the subterranean network and launch their counterattack. Beneath the streets, in tunnels far too small for the likes of Stormcast, the Dispossessed and other Ironweld laborers fight a brutal battle for supremacy. Mine and countermine are dug, tunnels are collapsed on pursuers, tapocs and balefire slaughter to match the deadly explosives and grudgeraker blasts of the engineers. As stories of these fearsome battles beneath the surface emerge, I hear Freeguilders speaking thankfully of only having to face the continuous barrage of arrows and artillery fire from the second wall. I smile at that. Unsurprisingly, the Knossians reveal a handful of mining devices that make it far easier for them to counter our efforts. Powerful, hand-cranked drills for close in work, self-propelling clockwork devices that shovel dirt at impressive rates, steam cannons that fill entire tunnels with scalding blasts of moisture, and even automata that dig and pick like laborers. The Duardin encounter all these and more. But Grimgok and his fellows will not be deterred. This is their realm, and the Knossians, no matter how adept, are intruders there. Eventually, they triumph. The Ironwelders reveal their fearsome Drakkthrunds, which spear gouts of liquid flame down tunnels and through even small boreholes, roasting Knossian engineers and warriors by the dozen. Automata are smashed with hammers and steam cannons redirected or simply blasted away with explosive charges. Finally, a dirty, grinning Master Engineer arrives in my tent to give me the good news. The Ironweld have secured enough space for a mine and have started preparing to bring down a section of the wall. I smile back and shake his hand in the traditional Duardin fashion, congratulating him on his work and informing him that I will honor his clan in the records of Sigmaron. I pretend not to notice when he blushes under the grime that coats his face. Above ground, amid a raging artillery duel, my siege trenches finally reach close enough to enable a direct assault on the bastion. When the signal is given, the Duardin light their charges and detonate the mine. The resulting explosion shakes the earth, sending men stumbling, rattling windows, loosening doors, and driving animals into a panic. There is a massive dust cloud, and for a moment, it is as if the entirety of the city is coated in a dirty, clinging shroud of dust. As the detritus starts to settle, the massive gap in the walls is revealed, wide enough for an entire regiment of men to march through twenty abreast. The Duardin have done remarkably well. With a battle cry for Sigmar, the Janissaries pour through the gap once more, but this time the Knossians do not even try to contest it. They fall back to pre-built defense positions in the streets of the city’s middle quarter and fight us for every inch. The full might of Hypatia’s inventiveness is released in that street brawl. Self-propelled battering rams rumble down alleyways, steam cannons blast through open windows, topacs whirl, and even the previously seen mining automata are repurposed for violence, carving into Freeguilder assaults as if they were rockfaces to be smashed asunder. As Rothgau’s men battle through the butchery, a column of Stormcast under Malthusian drives straight through the street defenses towards the main gate of the third wall, like a spear cast from Sigmar’s very hand. Above them, Venatos and his Prosecutors dip and dive, hurling lightning javelins at rooftop snipers and smashing any war machines they see. Columns of lightning occasionally spike into the air as here and there one of my brethren succumbs, but the Knossians can truly do little to stop us. As the formation punches through the last few lines of defense lying between them and the third wall, the defenders begin a rapid withdrawal of their forces into the final stronghold. A rearguard of Cathrapactii, hungry for revenge, hurl themselves suicidally into the Stormcast column, and somewhat miraculously, briefly halt its advance. I arrive to support my brothers with Borduna and her Paladins in tow, but by the time we dig our way through the determined knights, the great gate is shut and barred. Still, the second wall and middle district now rest firmly in the hands of Sigmar. One more lock on the puzzle box clicks open for me and I cannot help but feel accomplished. ******** “I have lost more men in these last two months than I have lost in three years!” Marshal Rothgau is raging at me over the map table in my command tent, even his mustache is quivering with anger. Honestly, I am impressed that he found the courage. Since the death of Orthcoe, the Freeguild commander has looked worse and worse. His skin is paler, he sweats more, he is more temperamental and on edge than ever before. He was not prepared for this. “We have also made far more progress.” My response is quiet. I will allow him this anger. “More progress?” He roars, “More progress? My Janissaries are gutted! The Ironweld have lost men and machines at an almost constant rate!” Grimgok, sitting in the corner of my tent smoking a pipe, says nothing, merely grunts and sucks on his pipestem. Rothgau continues, heating up to his subject, “The second wall cost us a thousand dead! A thousand! The raids, the weapons, the engines, you are destroying my army.” “Sigmar’s army.” I note, and the Marshal flusters, his mustache wiggling and his double chin wobbling. He slams his fist down on the table I am leaning over. “Sigmar’s bloody army then, you pedant. At this rate, you will kill us all! When that last wall falls, there won’t be anyone left to see it except you Stormcasts. They should never have sent you here, you thrice damned butcher!” “Enough,” I rumble, raising my hand to indicate he should stop. He pauses, the anger still smouldering in his eyes. “That is enough. You forget your place, Marshal Rothgau.” “I forget my place?” He spits, “You care more for these ****** Knossians than you do for the true sons of the Azyr! You seem quick to forget who you actually fight for, Stormcast. Some chosen of Sigmar you turned out to be.” All noise in the tent stops. The junior officers of the Freeguild and Ironweld who have been wincing their way through the commander’s tirade gape open-mouthed. Next to me, I can feel the tension rippling through Malthusian’s armored frame. Even the unflappable Grimgok takes out his pipe and raises his eyebrows. Rothgau realizes he has gone too far and starts to gawp like a fish pulled out of water. I stare at him over the rim of my spectacles, letting him squirm. “Lord-Ordinator-” “You are fortunate, Marshal, that you said such things to me. There are those among my Brotherhood that would’ve killed you just now.” Rothgau says nothing and fails to meet my gaze. “I know your men are dying. I know they are at their limit. I know that I have asked much of them, more than has been asked of them since this siege started. But we have done much. “We,” I raise my voice so that everyone in the tent can hear me clearly, “are the first army in history to attack the third wall of Knossus. Not the spawn of Chaos, nor the Greenskins nor the chittering ratmen hordes. No one else could have done this. No other army. I am proud of you all.” I stab a finger down at the map of the third line laid out in front of me. “Will you lose your courage now? The end is in sight. You must stay strong for a little longer. I believe you can.” The Marshal’s face has turned red. In his corner, Grimgok nods thoughtfully, blowing another puff of smoke. The other leaders present in the tent visibly take heart in my words. Such praise from a Stormcast is not easily ignored. “I believe we are done here for the day, gentlemen,” I sigh, “we will continue tomorrow morning.” The dismissal is clear. Rothgau says nothing, merely picks up his shako off the map table and strides out, his officers following silently in his wake. The Iban chieftain winks at me as he leaves, flashing a brief grin before ducking out the tent flap. Only Grimgok and Malthusian are left. The older Duardin eases himself out of a sitting position, grunts in my direction, and tromps out of the tent, pipe still clenched in his teeth, no doubt to go check his gun pits for the umpteenth time that day. “He is not wrong, Lord-Ordinator,” the Liberator-Prime admonishes when the tent is clear. “For Sigmar’s sake, Malthusian, not this again.” I throw up my hands in a gesture of exhaustion. “You’re bleeding them white, I know you realize that.” He stares down at the map table, refusing to meet my gaze. “They are only mortal.” “They are tools in the service of Sigmar, like you and I. You know this.” “So clinical, Lord-Ordinator, so cold. I expect nothing left from the famous Cignirus, master of destruction.” I close my eyes and sigh, taking off my spectacles and placing them back into a pocket into my work apron. Absentmindedly, I rub the bridge of my nose with giant fingers. “We are at the end, Malthusian. The Freeguilders have done enough, more than enough even. This third wall will be the duty of the Brotherhood alone. All I need is for Rothgau and Grimgok and their forces to man the guns and protect them. I will batter a hole in the wall and we Stormcasts will take the breach.” “As simple as that?” “Yes, do you find it acceptable? Or will you call me butcher too? Insult my dedication to Sigmar and his people?” “He should not have said that,” Malthusian notes, unhooking his helm from his belt and placing it back on. “If it is to be the Brotherhood, then let us end it quickly. They all deserve that much.” I bow my head in agreement as the Liberator-Prime makes for the entry of the tent. “Malthusian,” I add, stopping him for a moment, “you did not mention my interest in the Knossians.” “I did not,” he replies over his shoulder, “there is nothing to say.” “Nothing?” “Nothing, Cignirus,” he continues, using my given name for the first time since our arrival in the city, “save that, perhaps, you are not so different from your brother Ordinators as you believe.” He leaves me with those words. They rattle around my mind as I turn back to my map and focus on laying out the siege lines. Malthusian is right. I will end it quickly. They all deserve that. ****** It takes three more months to end the siege of Knossus. Three months of all the artillery I can sight relentlessly pounding the same spot of wall. The Knossians attempt desperate repairs, but they cannot stop the force of so much weaponry. They throw all that they can against our positions. Mobile rams, automata, flying men, raiding parties lowered down the face of the wall, portable steam cannons, devices that fling hundreds of darts at a time in a wall of pointed death, but none of it is enough. Under such a relentless barrage, even the amazingly sturdy walls of Knossus must break, and they do, with a section collapsing wearily but hesitantly one day, like an old prizefighter losing his final bout. Alongside Master Engineer Grimgok, I study the breach that the Sigmarite Brotherhood must take. It is a sharp slope, difficult to ascend, but not impossible. The scree and loose dirt could prove challenging, and the defenders will have time to fortify the gap, but it is not insurmountable. At least, not for Stormcasts. “A fine breach,” Grimgok mutters, lowering his telescope, “still, glad it’s not me going up it.” I chuckle. “I appreciate the sentiment, Master Grimgok. I assure you my brethren and I are actually looking forward to the assault.” The Duardin shakes his head and puts away his telescope. “You’re leading it then?” “I could not do anything else.” I put away my own telescope, and think of the brutal battle to come. No one has ever taken a breach easily. This one, I imagine, would be particularly difficult. “A fine thought, Lord-Ordinator, fine indeed,” the Duardin materializes his customary pipe from some pocket or pouch and lights it, staring out over the defenses. “When will you go?” “Tonight, if Sigmar is willing. Marshal Rothgau is mustering his Janissaries and the Rangers to follow us up. This will end now.” “By Grungi, I hope so. Been a brutal siege, these last few months. I tell you, these Knossians can fight hard, for manlings that is,” The Master Engineer puffs on his pipe contemplatively. “We’ll keep the guns firing right up until you go, slow down their chance of setting up a nasty surprise for you lot. Don’t you worry. Go with Sigmar, Lord-Ordinator.” I nod respectfully and shake his hand in thanks. I am glad to have him managing the guns at my back. ****** Night falls, and as the Sigmarite Brotherhood musters in the forward defensive lines, I stare up at the breach as shot and shell light up the darkness again and again. The Knossians are there, massing on the crest. I see their outlines with each flash. Somewhere behind them in the city, our mortars must have ignited a supply of balefire. Red flames burn hungrily in the middle of Knossus, backlighting the walls with a sinister crimson glow. It looks like a scene out of the apocalypse. For the beleaguered, tired defenders of the city, it truly is. I step out to the top of the trench, looking back over the small force of Stormcasts assembled behind me. They were never a big contingent, less than fifty warriors and a handful of Sacristan Engineers, down to forty-five after the siege. I pray they will be enough as I heft my hammer. “This is the end, my brethren. The last test. We go into the crucible of war, but it shall not melt us.” They nod at that, readying weapons, checking shield straps and bow strings one last time. “We are the Sigmarite Brotherhood! Chamon’s metal is in our very bones! There is not any enemy alive that can stop our advance! What are we?” “Forever unbroken!” The traditional war cry of the Sigmarite Brotherhood rolls up the breach ahead of us. Let the Knossians know what comes for them. “WHAT ARE WE?” “FOREVER UNBROKEN!” Louder now, as the cohort climbs out of the trenches, falling into a familiar formation as we begin to trudge up the breach. Some Freeguilders call it the tortoise, others the snapback, after a particularly aggressive breed of turtle. To me, it is the testudo, an old name I recall from Perugia. The Liberators advance, holding their shields tightly in front and above for cover. Judicators follow along in the center, firing their arrows through small gaps in the shields. The Paladins are here too, waiting for the formation to get close enough before rolling out into the front ranks to bring destruction to our enemies. Above, Venatos spins and whirls with his fellows, dropping down like birds of prey to pepper the defenders standing at the top. The guns fall silent as we begin our climb, but the peace lasts not even a split second before the Knossian defenders set to work. Flaming bales of hay are thrown down the slope, skidding over shields and landing behind us, illuminating the testudo’s advance for the defenders above. Arrows and darts rain down like a Ghyran monsoon, smacking against our formation and occasionally whickering off of the armor underneath. Searing bolts of light lunge outwards, ahead of our advance, as the Judicators slay unfortunate defenders silhouetted too long above us. Soon, the balefire begins to rain, sticking to shields, clinging to tunics, burning fiercely. But the testudo is undaunted. We continue our slow advance, even as topac are added to the avalanche of death crashing down up on us. Wires whip and whirl, slashing through sigmarite plate. Finally, a Stormcast falls, the crack of lightning and blinding flash of a bolt arcing skyward signalling his demise. Another collapses as his shield is split asunder. A ballista bolt, carefully aimed from a device on the ridge line, slams through his , chestsending him tumbling back through the formation before he dissolves. Above, the Knossians begin to cheer. “Forever unbroken!” I cry, pushing the Liberator before me forward, keeping the formation moving. Malthusian takes up the cry, and it becomes a chant as we approach the top. A wall of pike meets us there and the testudo begins to dissolve. Screaming Knossians fling themselves over the lip of the slope, their eyes wild and manic in the sickly light of the hay bales as they hurl balefire pointblank into our faces. Another Liberator collapses, consumed by flames, and his killer screams as he suffers the same fate. I push my way to the front of the shieldwall, Borduna and her Paladins following in my wake. I emerge into a thicket of pikes, one of which pierces through the gap in my shoulder plate. With a grunt, I snap the shaft in my hand, ripping out the offending point and hurling it back like a javelin towards the defenders. Others press forward to take its place, but I batter them aside with my hammer and push on. For a moment, a strange thought strikes me: Dandolio could never have done this. It is knocked out of my mind in an instant as I shove my way forward through the forest of points, cracking shafts and driving their owners backwards. A Cathrapactii pelts out of the enemy spearmen, swinging a large, thin, two-handed blade. The haft of my hammer intercepts the blow, snapping the sword, and I slam the butt of my weapon into the knight’s chest, crushing armor, ribs, and organs. With a cry to Sigmar on my lips, I swing my hammer in a figure eight, knocking aside spearmen in a welter of gore, and the Paladins swarm up into the gap. Hammers rise and fall, exploding with force, pulping Knossian bodies like rotten fruit. The Liberators push in behind our armored wedge, and the battle spills over the top of the escarpment. A group of Cathrapactii charge forward in an attempt to solidify the wavering line, and I surge into them, hammer whirling in a storm of destructive fury. Enough Liberators are over the edge now to form a shield wall. Judicators fire up from below, shooting in between their fellows’ legs, punching arrows into the guts of screaming spearmen and furious Cathrapactii. The defenders fight with the mad fury of the truly hopeless, but once the Sigmarite Brotherhood sets a shieldwall, it is inviolate. To their credit, the Knossians hold out against us for nearly an hour atop the third wall before it is over. The defenders die to a man and take ten more Stormcasts, including the indomitable Borduna, with them. Venatos informs me much later that it may be the longest recorded stand of truly mortal troops against any Stormcast force. I trust him on that. The corpses are piled knee-deep as I turn to Malthusian. His armor is colored crimson like mine, and somewhere in the melee half his helmet was cracked leaving half of his face exposed. Behind us, there is a dull roar as the Freeguilders below witness Knight-Vexilor Centra raise her banner high. They come charging forward up the scree, ready to pour into the city and finish the siege. “Take them forward,” I yell raspily over the noise of the army’s ascent. “You know what to do.” “Of course Lord-Ordinator,” he bellows to be heard, “and you?” “Leave me,” I reply, hefting my hammer to my shoulder, “There is something I must do.” I make my way through the streets of the inner ward of Knossus. Once I am down from the wall, it is pandemonium. Knossians hurtle through the streets, torn between fighting the balefires consuming their city and engaging the attackers that seek to do the same. While some try desperately to extinguish the fires, others throw themselves into burning buildings. A woman and her child run screaming from me, disappearing into the fire-licked shadows of an alley. As I turn another corner, a charred Cathrapactii crawling along the ground reaches out vainly to me with a gurgle. I bring my hammer down swiftly, fulfilling his unspoken request. All around me is destruction. I feel liquid running down my face and tell myself it is sweat. The puzzle box is finally open, and I am afraid I do not like what I find inside. My route, which Venatos spotted painstakingly from above three days ago, leads me through the chaotic streets to a tower in the center of the city. Two Cathrapactii, wearing elaborate plumes in their helms, stand sentinel in front of the door, unmoving despite all that is occurring around them. They draw their long, thin blades, almost simultaneously, when they see me emerge out of the darkness and smoke. To them, I must look like a monster from nightmares, but they do not hesitate. Their swords whirl and swing and I smack the strikes aside with my hammer. They deflect my return blows with the skill of swordmasters, lashing back with ripostes that scrape across my sigmarite, probing for gaps in my armor. Back and forth in front of the door we fight, before finally my hammer breaks through the first knight’s guard and smashes him into the dirt. His fellow doesn’t hesitate, using the opening my killing blow leaves to slam his own blade through a ****** in my waist armor. I roar in pain, backhanding him with a fist and snapping his neck. Grunting, I pull his blade out of my gut and throw it to the ground. The wound aches, but I do my best to shrug it off as I slam open the door before me. At the top of the tower, I walk down a long hall, with large windows gazing out across Knossus. It is a breathtaking view of the doom that I have wrought. The harsh red light of the balefires is all that illuminates this place, casting rippling shadows on the lofty ceiling. I realize, with some trepidation, that fire has started to spread into the hall itself, licking through a broken window near the stairs and setting curtains alight. I ignore it for now, striding past inventions, models, easels crowned with drawings, and a variety of workbenches that crowd the space. I take care not to damage any of them. A solitary figure stands outside on a balcony, gazing out at the burning city. Hypatia the Wise has changed little since I last saw her, still clad in her simple cream scholar’s robes. “Lord-Ordinator,” she says calmly, turning towards me as I step out of the workshop and into the night air. It is cooler here, above the flames. Her features are haggard in the crimson glow, but her eyes are still bright and sharp. “I must congratulate you on doing what no other has done.” I bow slightly in acknowledgement. “I could say the same of you, my lady. Few in the Mortal Realms could withstand what your city has for so long.” She smiles sadly, her blue eyes echoing the heartbreak in her soul. “We lost though, didn’t we? I knew from the moment I saw you that it would end this way, but even I could not imagine… this.” She gestures back at the city. I say nothing, standing like a statue in the flickering light. The fire inside is starting to catch, burning models and inventions, consuming the parchments and their easels. “What will become of my city?” she says wistfully, looking out at the destruction. “What of my people?” “Those who surrender now will be shown mercy. They may stay and see what is to come, or will be granted passage to wherever they choose in the Realms.” She nods at that, as I continue, “As for your city, I will rebuild it. It will not be the Knossus you fought for, but its spirit will survive. I swear it.” She makes a strange sound, at odds with the horror around us, and I realize that Hypatia is laughing. “ “You will rebuild it? You are a destroyer. A man cannot change his ways so easily.” “I am not a man,” I rumble. “Indeed, you are not, Lord-Ordinator.” The engineer stops laughing and pulls something out of her robes. It is a thick leather tome, filled with parchments, many of them loose. Fire is filling the workshop now, but neither of us pay it any attention. “I have a favor to ask of you, my enemy. This,” she sets the tome on a small table on the balcony, “is everything. The sum total of my life’s work. All that I have done. Will you take it? I know you are a destroyer, Lord-Ordinator, but can you preserve this one thing?” I nod solemnly. “I will, my lady.” “Thank you,” she sighs, as if any immense weight has lifted from her shoulders. “May I ask one more favor of you?” I nod again. “Can I see your face?” I reach up and unclasp my helm, hooking it to the belt at my side. She looks at me for a moment, observing my scars, my beard, staring into the grey flints of my gaze with her own blue eyes. Tentatively, she reaches up and touches my face gently, before withdrawing her hand. “You are such an amazing creation, Lord-Ordinator. Thank you.” Hypatia takes one last look at her burning city, then bows her head before me. She does not kneel to me, even now. “Make it swift,” she says softly, “precise. As all things should be.” I raise my hammer and grant her request. ******** Malthusian finds me in the morning, sitting on the edge of an immense decorative fountain is some dirty, smoky market square. His armor is covered in ash and blood, and at some point in time, he has discarded his broken helm completely. He approaches me calmly, but does not sit. I look up at him over the rim of my spectacles, lowering the material I am reading. “What news, Liberator-Prime?” “It is over, Lord-Ordinator. The Ironwelders have brought the fires under control, and the Paladins have dealt with the last few remaining holdouts.” There is a weariness in his voice, but he remains standing. “Any survivors?” “Some,” he remarks, absentmindedly kicking over a loose green brick with the toe of his sabaton. “Most Knossians are dead, but a handful surrendered. They are in shock now, the Janissaires have them under guard until we can deal with them correctly.” He narrows his eyes and looks at the book in my hand. “Reading something, Lord-Ordinator?” “A gift,” I remark, “of sorts.” He leans on his shield, digging into the dirt and soot that coats the square. “She is dead then?” “Yes,” I look past him, to the still smouldering ruins of Hypatia’s workshop tower. A fitting pyre for her, in truth. “She was quite brilliant.” There is a timbre of sadness in my lieutenant’s normally unruffled voice. “Yes,” I reply, looking down at the drawing of some advanced farming implement on the page in front of me, “a true genius, they are hard to find.” Malthusian says nothing, and the two of us wait in companionable silence for a while. “Rothgau is dead,” Malthusian eventually mentions, “his heart gave out apparently, right at the foot of the escarpment.” I am surprised that I feel an actual twinge of sadness. The Marshal was a disrespectful fool, but to labor so long at this task and not see it completed, that is a tragedy. I say none of that, merely grunting in response. “What will you do now, Lord-Ordinator? Which siege calls us onwards?” I look up at Malthusian and shake my head. “No siege, brother. I think I will stay here, help rebuild this.” I gesture with one hand around the ruined square, “There is much to be done.” The Liberator-Prime says nothing and I pretend not to see a small smile creeping across his normally stony face. “As you say, Cignirus. As you say.” He stretches and slings his shield onto his back, “Do you require anything else?” “No thank you, Malthusian. You are dismissed.” He bows and stalks off into the streets, snapping a few words of command at a group of Janissaries struggling to move a dirty statue across the square. I watch him go, before staring up at the clouds of smoke still forming over the city. Briefly, I think of an old puzzle box and wonder airily what became of it after it was solved. I can’t seem to remember for the life of me. Shaking my head, I push up my spectacles, open the tome, and continue to read.
  9. 7 points
    Review - The Emerald Host Thanks to Mr Anthony Poole on the ole Twitter machine, I have been able to see the new Nighthaunt battalions designed to represent Lady Olynder's dark and powerful Emerald Host, lets get stuck in. First Expectations When the Emerald Host was announced I was reasonably excited. Earlier Tome Celestial releases have either been a pleasing little addition (Anvils of the Heldenhammer sub-chamber) or an overtly pushed "probably to sell a particular under-performing model" release (Syll'esske and their Host). As anyone who reads here knows, I've never been a fan of Nighthaunt WHEN COMPARED to Legion of Grief. I had hopes that this release may give Nighthaunt some edge, maybe make them a more compelling choice. And worst to worst, hopefully the battalions would be cheap so Nighthaunt could have easier access to artifacts and CP while MAYBE getting a decent ability in the mix. Was I disappointed? Not even slightly. Lifting the Veil But you aren't here to read the faded dreams and distant longings of the local madman. You're here for substance, for something to sink your teeth into, the real meat and bones of the affair. And I would never deny you either. Well well, aren't these lovely. Thematic, with a delicate splash of lore to whet the whistle of those that enjoy that sort of thing (you know I do), a spice of viability at Warhost level gameplay (pour that right on) and a finishing touch of not being overpowered enough to attract undue attention (slide right under that radar baby) we have the finished product. But let's talk about each in scintillating detail. The Forgotten Scions - The Gang goes Horse-Trekking Already I'm in love. Use a command ability... for free? Well just move aside Archaon, a new Everchosen is in town. A Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed is always going to be something Nighthaunt wants to take, and Dreadblade Harrows are THE unit for teleporting about in hero-centric missions and serving as a vehicle for the generic Command Abilities like All Out Attack and Inspiring Presence. Now take all of that and add a free spend on the Command Ability, while ALSO giving you a Command Point for taking a Battalion in the first place. KoSoES command ability is a premium tag on units that either have decent rend, or have potent on-hit effects. If only we knew a suitable unit that needs the help, and can actually keep pace with Malkor and his Lads. If only... The Dolorous Guard - Nobody Expects the Spectral Inquisition Oh lord Nagash yes. This is a battalion to finally make Hexwraiths worth taking. Using Malkor's command ability on these lads will have them attacking 4 times each on the charge, that's 40 attacks from a unit of 10. To make matters even sweeter, Melkor can hang out with them on the front lines and never die thanks to them shouting "Look Out Mr President" every time harm flies his way. Good thing Mr Melkor can take a Command Trait (he isn't actually a named character) called Ruler of the Spirit Hosts to return D3 slain MODELS to a unit nearby. Yes models, not wounds. A match made in Shyish. The Emerald Host - Mr Melkor's Wild Ride Yes, yes yes. No this might not be OP at Battlehost level games, but we weren't starving for a one drop option at that level anyway. What this WILL be viable at however is Warhost level, where it will be VERY viable. An amazingly cool, cavalry themed army that yields a whopping FOUR command points at the start of the game, one-drops the list (definitely take one of the two Chainrasp battalions here, Death Stalkers is a bait) and pops the ability to take the enemy general down a peg. Troubles with Katakros? Archaon up your nose? Got a Rotigus you just can't shake? Drop that armor save by 1 and watch as your Myrmourn Banshees turn Katakros into a 6+ save. I do however have a very interesting notion. "Any number of warscroll battalions"... does that mean we can take zero and only need to take Forgotten Scions and The Dolorous Guard to take this? I would await an FAQ but if we can... lordy lord. Overview Only one disappointment, where on earth is Olynder? The whole article talks about her history and grandiose power across the realms of death, but this battalion doesn't have a way to take her. Otherwise, I love this stuff. I'm a happy ghost. Look forward to some playtesting blogs with it.
  10. 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.
  11. 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.
  12. 7 points
    So I finished my first unit of Blightkings yesterday after a long break from painting stuff. Im very happy with how they came out and have two more units unpainted. Next I might work on a Verminlord Corruptor or a block of Plague Monks have to see what I'm feeling like. So here is the full unit of Kings These two are my favourite ones I did. I really love the helmets on these guys. And here is everything I have ready right now. 5 Monks, 5 Blightkings, Lord of Plagues and a Glottkin. The tree behind there is still a WIP but it will be a nice Gnarlmaw proxy
  13. 6 points
    Legion of Night - The Blades Edge - AqshyMy List LoN List T1 As usual, going off memory so I don't take up time by note-taking, IE things may be a bit wrong but the ending score is correct. Also, yeah.. I need to take a picture at the end of each round instead of just "whenever I remember to take one". I win on drops and allow him to take T1. Boring T1 as expected; he moves everything forward and buffs up the right unit of Skeletons. On my turn, I largely do the same but don't bother with MMMWP and Death Frenzy fails to go off on a 3. I do as much as I can to negate the 2x10 Hexwraiths he has waiting in deepstrike. The Jezzails shoot off the right-side Necromancer. 3-3 beggining of T1 T2 I win the roll off, but allow him to go first. For this new battleplan, whoever is going second get's to remove an objective, so I removed his central objective to coax that unit of Skeletons forward into my Stormvermin. He wades forward a bit, but fails to get off any spells aside from Mystic Shield on the Vampire Lord. He brings the Hexwraiths in on both sides (would've been nice if I took a picture to show that, eh?) but only the left side manages to charge into the 40 Clanrats. Combat has ~8-10 Clanrats die and they swing back to kill 2. My turn, Acolytes get MMMWP but I fail Death Frenzy again on a 5. I retreat the left Clanrats out and charge back in to make sure only 2 of the Hexwraiths can actually get in combat. The Jezzails shuffle to the left while the SV shuffle up a bit more but try to stay out of charge range of the middle skeletons in case he get's priority. The Acolytes shoot into the 40 Skeletons to the left and do around ~41 wounds, killing all of them while the Jezzails shoot off ~2 more Hexwraiths. 6-6 beginning of T2 T3 I win the roll off again via tie and decide to take it. He removes my central objective. I don't bother with MMMWP but I fail Death Frenzy again.. however I can't wait another turn to get the SV into combat and the Skeletons may charge them anyway. Left Clanrats retreat and I get 1 onto his left objective. I don't buff the Acolytes with Deranged Inventor so they only manage to shoot off 2 more Hexwraiths while I instead give it to the Jezzails who take out the left side Necromancer and 2 more Hexwraiths after shuffling to the left some more. I get the SV within 6" of the middle Skeletons and make a 10" charge to get ~24 into combat with them while the left Clanrats charge back into the remaining 2 Hexwraiths to keep them getting to my Acolytes. Combat has the SV kill all 40 of the Skeletons but they just barely miss killing the Vampire Lord who has 1 remaining wound. For his turn, he fails his spells again but he brings back the left unit of Skeletons on the same side. The right Skeletons and Hexwraiths charge the 40 Clanrats while the Knight of Shrouds charges into the left Clanrats. Only ~4 Clanrats die on the left and I lose 14 from the right but use my 1 CP to negate BS. 9-9 Middle of my T3 T4 I win the roll off via tie again and take it. He removes my left objective. Death Frenzy finally decides to go off but I don't bother with MMMWP again. Shuffle the Acolytes and Jezzails up a bit and get the SV within a 7" charge of the right Skeletons, meanwhile both Clanrats units retreat and reform (with the left unit running to get 5 on his objective to take it back from him). Acolytes finish off the remaining 2 Hexwraiths while the Jezzails do 10 MW's to the Knights of Shrouds, killing him. The SV roll a 12" charge and I get all but ~10 into combat while the right Clanrats charge the Hexwraights again to put more bodies on my right objective and ensure only 1 Hexwraith can swing into combat. I'm out of range for the +1 attack, but the SV still manage to kill all ~27 Skeletons as well as the Vampire Lord, so he removes the unit as the rest will BS off. He has no spells left, so he moves the left Skeletons to cover his objective and charges them into the remaining Clanrats while resurrecting another Skeleton unit on the right side, however he fails the charge with them into the SV. Skeletons kill all but 2 Clanrats but the Bell is in range to keep them alive and in combat in case he gets a double turn. 12-10 end of my T4 T5 I get the roll off again and take it. He removes my right objective. MMMWP goes off and I don't bother trying to get DF off on the Acolytes. The Acolytes run up and kill ~half the Skeletons (lots of damage 1 rolls this time) while 5 of the Jezzails (buffed with Deranged Inventor) take the Wight King down to 1 wound remaining; he just barely made the two 6+'s that he needed. I decide to try and charge in the Bell as I have nothing on the left objective and with the remaining Skeletons BSing off the board after combat would end, he calls the game there as I will control it for another 2 points. 14-10 Skaven Major Victory end of game Overall Thoughts I definitely love this list after my first game with it, but I definitely made deployment errors. The Jezzails had slim pickings for heroes as he made sure he didn't put down his Wight King until after I put the Jezzails down. They were still able to do their job with the 2 Necromancers, but not putting them by the Gnawhole to potentially teleport them or at least have them in range of more heroes hurt me. That said, he told me if I had deployed them there he would've brought down the Hexwraiths T1 anyway to negate that. The only thing I'm currently iffy about is the Bell.. I haven't used it in probably 8+ months and I can't say I miss it. All it managed to do was roll for the MW's which never did anything at all due to my inability to roll 4+'s; even if I did it wouldn't have mattered against anything but his heroes who were either dead from Jezzails or out of range of it. I know it's meant to be utility and really is just there for the BS, but it seems to have a very difficult time keeping up with the SV who it's mostly for. Of course, I don't know that I would replace it with anything until I've had my other 2 games, but there isn't anything I would consider replacing it with except for Thanquol. If I dropped at least 1 Bombardier down to an Engineer then I would have enough after taking the Jezzails to 6. That's a tough call for me as 9 ups the consistency factor, but I would have a more reliable Death Frenzy cast as well as more anti-horde, which isn't super needed with Acolytes and SV already in. Anyway, thanks for reading, I may have another today and tomorrow so check back.
  14. 6 points
    So I have some Grots my guys. Hope you liked looking at my horde of green dudes.
  15. 6 points
    So I have been playing mostly Troggoths since the release of Gloomspite Gitz. Decided for December fluff tournament here I would go with a Squigalance. Recently finished these guys.
  16. 6 points
    After many hours of setting up games, handling so many models and conducting deployment shenanigans I have finally cracked the code on doing these things the easy way. We have a "Tape measure companies hate him, find out why" situation here. The solution: 9'' chopsticks bought in bulk. As many of you have discovered GW has settled on rules' that generally rely on distances/ranges that have some multiple of 9, mostly concerning the core book, realm and scenario rules. I wish to show how and why chopsticks can be a reliable and effective gaming tool at multiple stages of your AOS game. The first thing a game needs is a scenario and a corresponding deployment area for each player. Some people line up dice along the boundaries, others stretch their tape measure across the table as the boundary line but chopsticsks can serve as a flexible tool to draw out those jagged deployment zones. In the following example, we are playing the "Relocation Orb" scenario and only had to measure one distance on a board edge to quickly determine where I could deploy. In this example, deployment area and player territory are one in the same. You'll also notice, that my opponent now doesn't have his measuring tape available to check threat ranges of my units or his own. A small inconvenience but sometimes annoying if say, I forget my measuring tape as well and we have to share. Also my opponents territory boundary is very precariously placed; it stresses me out. I'll survive. Personally I like to place my armies in the center of the board before we start where we can't deploy anyways. Knowing the deployment boundary ahead of time makes this possible. Maybe I'm showing off cool models or just being practical, I'll never know. Below is being fully deployed using our territory lines. But what if territories divide the table exactly 50-50? As an added bonus, these chopsticks can be used to setup your units more than 9'' away from enemy territory with a few exceptions on that distance of course. My favorite example is this tool's effectiveness for the "Knife to the Heart" scenario. Not only is it in a zig-zag pattern for player territory but also demands a 9'' distance from the center line. Effectively, you end up with corners AND a curved corner to deploy around sketched out below. Instead of making small adjustments with measuring in multiple directions, or even making a second deployment line altogether, I just put multiple sticks down to my model. I tried to crudely sketch those above in Player A's territory as an example. Moving to the gameplay itself, the most immediate use of chopsticks comes from special deployments mid-game or movement shenanigans in general. Units pop up in weird places, often stretched out a bit to maximize charge potential if you get that sweet sweet 9 on dice. Often, you find yourself between multiple enemy models and having to constantly adjust every single one of yours so they are outside of 9''. Or worse you realize too late that not all of them can be set up. Sad. Never fear! For the chopsticks are here! In the above example, my stormfiends are pulling a sneaky one on the unsuspecting bestigor by tunneling up to protect my gun-line. I was backed up against a corner but it worked out in the end. Before placing a single model down or even committing to a particular area to deploy, the sticks hit the table to "sketch" where and how I could deploy. Before looking at this area of the table, I even put a few sticks down elsewhere to see if I could be more aggressive. With having so many of this tool, I could just leave it all over the table, and use all of that saved time measuring to instead think tactically and make the best move for myself. More time rolling dice, less measuring I say! The fun part using this sketching tool, is that you can use it proactively to protect yourself from your opponents shenanigans as well. Just leave a bunch these on your backline to be very transparent with opponents about what they could realistically deploy behind you. The final note about bringing this tool: sharing is caring; let your opponent use them too! Everything I described above can benefit your opponent's ease of play. If both of your are saving time and headache with fancy maneuvers there's more time having fun. I should say that for all of you experienced players, perhaps you are already a pro at all of these parts of the games and don't need to be adding more to your gaming tool kit. But I offer up all of these pointers as an option to have in your back pocket. Perhaps you don't have an army or allegiance rules that demand so many measurements but like I said before, your opponent might. Everything comes down to finding 9'' chopsticks or their equivalent just to be clear. Please measure them first silly. Bonus tip: Chopsticks serve as a great utensil I hear, especially for those mid-game snacks Yummy.
  17. 6 points
    Here is the first completed unit of Thralls, the Flame Reavers. I like to name my units and characters, and hopefully come up with background as well. These are going to be my more elite unit of Thralls, the ones that are approaching almost Ahkelian levels of combat expertise. That's why this unit has mostly swords. The next unit will have more of the glaive/axe weapons as they will be the conscript unit. Next up on the painting table will be the Soulrender!
  18. 6 points
    With quite possibly some major points changes looming around the corner, I wanted to paint a picture of what Skaven units are used in tournaments currently (i.e. since the last major change in the summer). Therefore, I checked events on tabletop.to with more than 15 participants and noted which units were used. I did find 74 different lists, however I wasn't interested in who did well or what the top lists were. Rather my interest was what people felt comfortable bringing to a tournament. The following list shows if a unit was included, not how often. It is of course not exhaustive and I'm quite certain that I made mistakes here and there, but nonetheless I feel confident that this provides pretty good picture. Unit absolute percentage Clanrats 63 85.1 Engineers 52 70.3 Plague Monks 51 68.9 Screaming Bell 49 66.2 Stormfiends 28 37.8 WL Vortex 28 Jezzails 27 36.5 Grey Seer 19 25.7 Arch-Warlock 19 Plague Furnace 17 23 Warpseer 16 21.6 Vermintide 13 17.6 Acolytes 12 16.2 Thanquol 10 13.5 Deceiver 10 Corruptor 10 Ratling Guns 9 12.2 WL Cannon 9 Doomwheel 7 9.5 Plague Priest 7 Warbringer 5 6.8 Clawlord 4 5.4 Stormvermin 4 Warpfire 3 4.1 Warpgnaw VL 3 Skreetch 3 Deathmaster, HP Abomination 2 Censer Bearers, Flayers, Clawlord on Brood Horror, Master Moulder, Giant Rats, Gutter-, Nightrunners 1 Including Forgeworld models and endless spells, Skaven have currently access to 44 unique units. 23 of these are used in more than 5% of tournament lists. 13 are used more than 15% of the time. 63 of the lists were mixed Skaven, 7 Pestilens, 3 Skryre and 1 Eshin. Skryre heroes forming such an easy and effective power-pair with most shooting units is the reason you see them essentially in every list. When you look at the placings, it feels noteworthy that the same lists (with minimal variations e.g. picking different endless spells for the same points) can go 4-1 or 1-4. None of the major archetypes are consistently superior, rather they depend on the commander, match-ups, scenarios etc. With a few exceptions, e.g. Doom Flayers, most units that aren't chosen aren't even bad, just sub-optimal - maybe not even that. The gap is in most cases far smaller than people assume and can often be fixed with a small push (-10% cost) and a small pull (+10% for the popular option). Others, like Hellpit 2d6 movement, would require a warscroll change to make them truly desirable.
  19. 5 points
    I am proud to present you one of my greatest treasures: Prince Rodrik's Band of Questing Knights Yes, you can trust your eyes. These are the original miniatures (well at least 6 of 8 ) from the Battle Report "The Folly of Prince Rodrik" from White Dwarf No. 305 (pages 34-47). I bought them directly from GW employee Andrew Hoare, who built and painted 4 of them. He put the knights on eBay in August 2011, but just listed them as "Unique painted and converted Bretonnian foot knights". I spotted and identified them as the original knights from the WD battle report. So I was quite lucky to get them. They are absolutely unique. Before you ask, I already tried to find out what happened to the other two knights. Here's the answer I got from Andy Hoare: Here is the page from White Dwarf 305 that shows them: Here are some more detailed pictures of each knight: Prince Rodrik: Eduard the Enviable: Pietre, Beloved of Yordane: Fabien the Sophist: Roland the Bold: Harold the Filthy:
  20. 5 points
    My List Skaven List T1I outdrop him and let him go first. Not much happens other than him getting right outside of my spell-range and getting off Vermintide for a free FP. He kept his Acolytes back a bit, which will come to hurt him later. Skaven end of T1 On my turn I get off Spellportal and kill enough Clanrats on the left to BS the rest off the board while ensuring that nothing is range of his 9 Jezzails other than Kairics if he ends up going next. Skyfires knock a few wounds off the Bell but not much else. 2-2 End of T1 T2 He wins priority and goes first. He clears off 10 Kairics with the Jezzails and charges in 40 Clanrats. Luckily, none of his Acolytes are in range to do anything on the right, but the left side ones take 4 off of Be'lakor. After combat he has a little over half the Clanrat unit left and saves them with a CP as they were outside the range of the Bell. He ends up having 1 more model on my objective to claim it. Skaven end of T2 I put pretty much everything into those remaining Clanrats to take them down to ~10 remaining.. but the Changecaster whiffs horribly rolling 3 MW's total across Pink Fire and Bolt against the Bell, bringing it down to only a couple remaining wounds. Be'lakor runs straight past the Acolytes on the left to take his unoccupied objective. Skyfires shoot off 4 Jezzails and charge into the 20 Acolytes and wipe them while both remaining Clanrat units get counter-charged by Kairics to keep him off objectives. 7-7 End of T2 I win the next roll off and he concedes. At this point I would easily be able to table him (except for maybe 2 heroes hiding around the building in the back) and he would have no way to catch up. Tzeentch Major Victory Overall Thoughts So yeah, playing not Changehost is pretty fun. It definitely feels light not having any Pinks on the board and just 30 Kairics, however it should be able to somewhat reliably get 10 FP on T1 to at least get some Blues out if needed. Definitely need more practice with it as it's the first time I'm running it, but I see a lot of potential. While Be'lakor didn't get to use his ability (I wasn't going to use it until T3 if his Jezzails or Acolytes had potential to get closer) I think his usefulness is perfect, even though Enfeeble was obviously useless against an all shooting Skaven setup. His biggest downfall was not having his Acolytes trailing the asses of those Clanrats really; he needed to be very aggressive against this list but he only managed to be aggressive with Clanrats, which were no threat to anything.. especially with the anti-horde spells I was able to throw out. Planning to run this list along with some other ideas for awhile (with a scattering of Fyreslayers 😉) to take a bit of a break from Skaven. Thanks for reading, as always.
  21. 5 points
    Behold the Grand Procession of the Enixian Nighthaunt Gathered en masse in numbers untold. Well, actually, the number is 270 (about a dozen not pictured) models and is worth over 8,000 points with battalions. ☠️
  22. 5 points
    Just finished the general for my army- Huron, a Nomad Prince. He's using the forest-greens from the rest of the elves, but with some blues to indicate his alliance with Hysia.
  23. 5 points
    I realised i hadn't gotten my full army out, so I did! This is all the Cities models I have, but is well over 2,000pts. I'll be running the army as different cities and swap in models depending on what works in each city, but to start, it'll be a Hallowheart (or Magic type city using Hallowheart rules). All armies will have Huron, the Nomad King, as it's general. Here's the full list- Huron, Nomad Prince General, comes with 10 Pheonix Guard as his retinue. All elves will be forest themed with green cloaks. His adjutant will be one of the battlemages, or the Runelord or the Warden King, depending on the build. Battlemages and Sorceress The battlemages are composed of the regular battlemage models, an Isharan Tidecaster with some bits snipped off and the staff replaced with a sisters of the thorn one and a Gloriel Summerbloom model, again with the ball replaced with a sisters of the thorn staff. Warden King and Runelord These guys will be used to buff the 30 Ironbreakers. Sisters of the Thorn I've always loved these models, plus they're wizards that move far! I've worked up two of the bases to show the forest theme I'm going for- All city inhabitants- the humans and dwarves- will have cobbled street basing. The elves will have wood themed basing. Huron, reflecting the fact he straddles both the city and the wilds outside, is sitting on the edge of the forest, with half his base having cobbled street effect. Gyrocopters These fellas are just fun. Models are great and they're not that expensive points wise. The Last Argument of Kings, Greywater Artillery Company I like the crew models for these and always good to have some shooting in the army. Luminark of Hysh I always need to have an obnoxious base for any army, and this is the Cities one. A bridge over a stream! I'll fill the river with poured resin, something I've never done until the Sisters of the Thorn basing. That's it! Currently getting through the Sisters of the Thorn and loving doing the basing.
  24. 5 points
    The Celestial Hurricanum is now complete! It's about 10hrs paint time total, though with a model this size that's a speed paint pretty much! Love the details on this model. Likely next model will be the Dwarf Runelord as a break from such a complex model!
  25. 5 points
    Hi all, it´s been a long time since the last update so I tought I may share some pictures of my baddies. Currently only the husskard is really concidered to be finished as I´ve put some time and effort into him to make him ready for our great painting competition here at TGA. The Stonehorn Riders (Tentacles-Mount) needs some touch ups all over, the Frostlord still lacks the reins and I struggle to come up with how to improve the Thundertusk. Nevertheless, I already love the models. I hope you enjoy them, too!
  26. 5 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/
  27. 5 points
    The rest of my bases have arrived. See the awesomeness below, plus @TwiceIfILikeIt and her contribution. #dragonforgedesigns
  28. 5 points
    The blood red sky drenches a desolate span of the Scarlands. Khorgos Khul, the mighty lord of the Goretide has caught wind of the rise of the Ossiarch Bone Reapers of the Black Pyramid. At this time he gathers his lieutenants around the Dreadhold to discuss how they will destroy this menace. "There is only one lord of Skulls" Khul decries. "Where is Kranar Bloodhammer my trusted Skullgrinder, we must start the forges of war!" This week I will be working on painting Kranar Bloodhammer a Skullgrinder for my blades of Khorne army. I am basing the Skullgrinder off of the paint scheme of the bloodwarriors posted on the Youtube Warhammer Channel by Duncan Rhodes. I will also be leveraging techniques by Tyler Mengal depicted on his website. Below are pictures of Khul himself and his current lieutenants.
  29. 5 points
    Battleplan: Places of Arcane Power Total Points Played: 1520 Terrain: Random per GHB, no terrain with warscroll cards Armies Legion of Grief Heroes Dreadblade Harrow General - Command Trait: Vassal of the Craven King Necromancer Artefact: Aetherquartz Brooch Spell Lore: Dread Withering Guardian of Souls Spell Lore: Dread Withering Knight of Shrouds Battlelines Chainrasp Horde x20 Chainrasp Horde x20 Other Grimghast Reapers x30 Dreadscythe Harridans x10 Dreadscythe Harridans x10 Cities of Sigmar Heroes Celestial Huracanum Annointed Freeguild General Non-Heroes Phoenix Guard x20 Phoenix Guard x20 Freeguild Crossbows x20 Freeguild Crossbows x20 Deployment Gravesites: I deployed three of my gravesites in a triangle. The first two went to either side of the center objective, just outside 9" from it. I had to place one fully in my territory, but the other I placed just on the other side of the dividing line. The third point of the triangle was just outside 9" from the center objective on my side of the field. The fourth gravesite I placed in my opponent's deep field, a full 9" from both board edges. This meant that the first turn would be spent outside of any of their auras, but counting on my opponent's traditionally slow speed I wasn't concerned that I couldn't reach them even if he went first. Cities of Sigmar won the roll-off and deployed first. He opted for a tight formation, hugging the offset side of the board in order to keep everything within the various auras available to him. This placed him just opposite the center objective from me, but closer to the one on my left than the one on the right. I decided to split my deployment. In the center I deployed my Grimghast Reapers, bulking them up in front of my Necromancer. To the objective on the right (hidden by the haunted house) I placed both units of my Dreadscythe Harridans and my Knight of Shrouds. That left both of my units of Chainrasp Hordes to deploy as close as I could get them to the far left objective. The terrain there pushed me a bit further out than I'd like. Gameplay CoS finished deployment 4 units before I could, so priority went to him to decide the first round. He opted I move first. This was unusual. He usually moves first, and in half measures to bait you to into range of his crossbows. But, me putting the bulk of my forces directly opposite him, as well as a grave in his backfield, he needed a moment to try to figure just what I was up to. Passing the turn to me I moved normal moves on all my units, making sure to stop just short of where his crossbow range would be after his move, and ran my heroes toward each objective behind their screens. On his move, his slowness meant that even after his move I was out of range of all but a couple spells. He cast them, some mortals were dealt to me that I couldn't shrug successfully, but in the end round 1 passed without much incident. Round two came to me first. I spent my Hero phase giving my Reapers Mystic Shield, which was successful and not unbound. I didn't have anything else defensive to cast, and he was still out of range for Dread Withering, so I spent my round just making sure my heroes could cap each objective and that they were protected by a ton of models for fencing. His half was spent pelting both my Reapers and Chainrasps with his ranged while moving his melee closer. Still, just out of range for a charge. Some easily-passed Battleshock rolls later and the turn was over. End of Round 2 Score: LoG 3 points, CoS 0 Turn 3 was my opponent's. This...did not go well for me. It was a bloodbath. It was a goddamned massacre! Spells ripped through my Reapers, ranged attacks eviscerated both them and my Chainrasps, but only after he focused Guardian of Souls for 4 wounds and melted my Necromancer off the board. My Deathless saves just didn't roll high enough, and after losing my Necro I was losing Reapers by the handful. Heroes were targeted and erased. Reapers were softened. Rasps were mostly intact. My response was swift. Rasps and Reapers charged, but only the Reapers made it. Without my artefact I opted not to spend any CP yet for the charges in case I need them to bring back my units. The Reapers engaged, and after the exchange I wiped out half of one of his Guard units and splashed a few MWs onto the hero parked with them, but on the counter attack my Reapers were no more. My silent wish? To get the top of the next round and bring back my Reapers, either at the gravesite where my Dreadblade was already parked, or at the gravesite in my opponent's backfield. End of Round 3 Score: LoG 7 points, CoS 0 My wish was denied. CoS got the top of turn 4. Woe was my poor Guardian of Souls. Woe was another handful of Chainrasps. Worse than that, his magic and his advancing ranged line brought woe to my Dreadblade. Say a silent prayer for him, because he did all of nothing this entire game and on the verge of his entire worth being paid for in the form of Endless Legions, he popped like a Nurgle pustule, unable to move out of the way before they came gunning for him. (He's in the picture near that far gravesite because I was talking out what my next move was going to be to my friend, and now he's taunting me.) After his cloud of bolts was over, he was able to advance onto the center objective and claim it. Meanwhile, his other Phoenix Guard split off to head for the next nearest objective, engaging my Chainrasps and removing them from the board. Mid-Round 4 Score: LoG 7 points, CoS 1 On my half of the turn, I took stock of my situation. My only hero left was my KoS. My only units left were my Dreadscythes. It looked pretty bleak. But then I started counting. Despite losing almost everything, all I needed to do was hold my last objective. My Dreadscythes finally moved (represented here by some Glaivewraith proxies). 2 CPs on their runs to net a full 14" movement, they barreled into the bottleneck of the terrain to deny my opponent movement toward my KoS. The KoS himself moved back just enough to still cap the objective at the edge of the 3" this battleplan demands. I formed the Hot Gates from 300 (not really) using my Dreadscythes as the doors and the terrain as the walls. Now, the ball was in my opponent's court. End of Round 4 Score: LoG 10 points, CoS 1 He won the roll off for turn 5. He capped his second objective. He engaged my Dreadscythes, who despite their lack of buffs and lack of Deathless managed to hold their own with minimal losses. They swung back hard, those 2 damages on nat 6 wounds hurting his melee line. The turn passed quickly. Mid-Round 5 Score: LoG 10 points, CoS 3 At the top of my turn, all I could do was laugh. I had cinched the game. All I had to do was pass the turn and take my 4 points. But first, I had to press my attack with the Dreadscythes just for fun. I had never fielded them before, and while my original plan was to spend some CP on them and get them close to a GoS and see just what they could do at full tilt, I was very surprised how they performed without all that. I'm so used to my Bladegheists only having 3 attacks on a charge, but now that I have used my Dreadscythes I think their -1 hit bubble is way more powerful a buff than a 3's-across-the-board attack profile by a mile. My opponent, my friend, is used to seeing the same from me, so he was eager to see how they performed as well. They piled in to attack his ranged line and managed, at 6 or 7 models, wipe half of his unit. Their counter-attack was nerfed to near-ineffectiveness. The other unit came at his Guard which took the beating much better, but I rolled well enough on the wounds and he not so well on the saves that even a number of them fell. We both were very happy to see these guys swing for the fences, and they will be a staple in my games to come. Final Score: LoG 14 points, CoS 3 What went well Battleplan Not only did I have more heroes on the table with which I could grab an objective, their even distribution meant that the battles themselves were fairly easy to predict. Deployments alone were enough to know where the pain points were going to be. Terrain Terrain will almost always favor Nighthaunt units, and here was no different. Being able to fly meant that I could ignore most of it, where my opponent could not. I was able to make use of the pinch points on the sides (again, these were determined randomly via GHB, and he chose the side of the table we started on) and force the battles to occur on my terms. Speed Once again, Nighthaunt's speed is one of our stellar qualities. Being able to cover the distance to the objectives so quickly meant I had the early advantage on points. This speed also meant that I could take the fight to him further out away from those objectives in case I needed to recoup before he could cap them. Gravesites Placing three of my graves so close to each other proved a game-changer in terms of keeping my opponents occupied longer than he wanted to be. He had to eat up 3 turns just getting through my regenerating Reapers, which while that went by fast and I couldn't stand up to the sheer amount of wounds he could put out, it didn't matter in the end. That bought me all the time in the world. My fourth gravesite? He eyed it every turn, every move. He had to factor it in with every choice he made. The only time he was ever confident with a choice he was making was after he realized he had my general dead-to-rights and knew he could kill him. Deployment For the first time I felt solid about my deployment strategy. This is in part due to the battleplan and partly the gravesite locations. I felt confident that I could meet his challenge head on instead of an uphill battle. And it helped that I put so much pressure on my opponent from turn 1 that a whole detachment on the right side of the board was ignored until it was too late. What went wrong Hero placement? I should have either turfed my Necromancer to the left side and the GoS center, or some other mix similar to that. The Necromancer got a Danse off, and while it was nice I was throwing attacks against a battleline that was saving on 4s with a save-after-save of 4s, who could strike back with 2+s or 3+s with lots of attacks. Perhaps with a GoS backing my Reapers more of my own wounds would have gotten through instead of buffing my Chainrasps that saw no real action. In addition, I was afraid of advancing my Dreadscythes because I knew they would go in buffless. Dreadscythes They took too long to do anything. If I had parked my Necro where the KoS was I could have had them swinging for 3A/2+/2+/-1/1 and sometimes 2 damage, assuming my GoS was nearby as well. Instead, I benched some of my best ghosts on the sidelines to watch the whole battle. In the end that was probably the better move, but I'm thinking not. OMG DAT DAMBLAGE Since getting the Cities book I have not won a game against them until now. Hallowheart, Hammerhal, and now Phoenix Guard, my friend is really good at finding unit synergies that this book offers and bringing out the pain. He regularly can put together a kill team that can swing with the best damage profiles, save with the best protections, and toss in the right buffs at the right time to make it all just an overwhelming force. I am saying this is something that went wrong because we're capable of this, too, albeit in a more focused manner, and I didn't pull that off. But, this proves a point that Nighthaunt are an objective-game army. I tried to meet him in the middle and take on his entire army with 30 Reapers. That didn't go so well. We're ethereal, and we're already dead, but that doesn't stop us from being sent back to the grave.
  30. 5 points
    My List Game 1: CoS (Anvilguard) - Border War Their List T1 I outdrop him so I decide to go first. I could see he was lining up for some endless spell shenanigans so I wanted to shut that down asap. The Crawler got an extra attack, aimed 3 at 1 Sorceress and 1 shot at another and managed to kill both of them right away. I grab the 2 middle objectives and prepare for his potential double turn. I largely killed his plans (Vitriolic Spray + Spell Portal + Shooting) after those 2 Sorceress snipes, so all he can really do is move up and hope for a double while shooting off 1 Deathrider with the Ballistas. 5-1 OBR T2 He gets the double and immediately the Ballistas kill another 1 1/2 Deathriders. Combat has middle and right Mortek get charged by the Drakespawn and Dreadlord gets into the middle as well... but all of his attacks largely bounce off, only kill 2 of the Mortek. The right side Mortek kill all 5 Drakespawn and the middle take out 3 Drakespawn and put 3 on the Dreadlord. Not being afraid of his 1 remaining Sorceress, I decide to throw 4 shots at the Darkshards, killing 15 of them. The 20 Mortek on the right side charge into and kill the Dreadlord, but the Acidic Blood killed 8 of them in return while the middle unit finishes off the 2 Drakespawn. The Liege Kavalos + 3 Deathriders charged into his left Ballista and killed it. 10-2 OBR T3 He wins the roll off and uses Shadow Daggers to take 2 off the Liege Kavalos and then charges with the Black Guard. Combat has the Assassin pop up but.. he unfortunately doesn't roll any 6's to hit and everything bounces off the Liege Kavalos. Liege then swipes at the Black Guard, killing 4 but they do nothing in return thanks to his 2+ save and the cover bonus negating their rend. This time I decide to shoot at the Black Guard and kill 10 with the Crawler while the middle and right Mortek units converge and charge onto his objective with the Bleakswords and remaining Darkshards. I swing into the Bleakswords, killing all of them and take the objective where he calls it. 19-3 OBR Overall Thoughts A great first game with OBR. The only thing I was forgetting was the exploding 6's for the Guard\Deathriders in the first turn and the CP stealing of Katakros.. but it didn't really matter. I knew I needed to go first here before he could Vitriolic Spray something through the portal and shoot it to death and targeting two 6+ save Sorceress' was a given.. and the +1 to hit completely negating Look out, Sir is simply great. I'm still not sold on taking 2 of them.. I think 1 does it's job well enough honestly. Not much else to say about this game in particular though.. it went about as well as I could have hoped and don't think there was anything different I would've done. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Game 2: Mawtribes - Shifting Objectives Their List T1 He outdrops me and elects me to go first. Main objective is middle. After the last game, I decided I was probably safe to take T1 and decided to aggressively move up on all 3 objectives. The only thing of note was that the Crawler managed to do 5 damage to a Glutton unit. I was going to put shots into his Butcher, but my opponent wasn't aware of how true LoS worked in AoS (and thus his Butcher he was trying to hide was still visible) so I just gave him a pass and shot at the Gluttons instead. He gets a crippling -1 save off on my right Mortek unit but nothing manages to get in. On the left however, his 12 Gluttons get in and he kills 13 Mortek in total and they manage to swing back to kill 5 Gluttons (I couldn't roll my saves, but fully buffed attacks managed to get through pretty well) but none run from BS. 5-1 OBR T2 He gets the double turn, objective goes left side. Things start real south at this point.. -1 save on the right Mortek again and he gets everything into.. well, everything. The right Mortek units get's obliterated by the -1 to hit Frostlord and the Ironguts as they effectively are at 5+ saves with the spell and rend.. even rerolls couldn't save me. By the end of it, I have only a handful of Mortek left on the right. The middle and left side Gluttons take a bit of a beating however, but he still outnumbers me on both objectives and I roll decently on saves for both units. I didn't really feel like I had any decent targets for the Crawler, and assumed the remaining Mortek and Katakros could finish off the left Gluttons, so I chose to shoot at the Leadbelchers, removing 2. Combat was largely ineffective.. the Deathriders kept fighting the Leadbelchers on the right and killed them while the Liege-Kavalos charged and did 2 wounds to the Frostlord and got whacked down to 2 in return. I managed to kill enough of the middle Gluttons to get that objective back with my 10-unit of Mortek. Oh, and yeah Katakros didn't do much but it would've been enough for me to take back that objective had he failed 1-2 saves. Nothing runs from BS yet again. 6-6 Tie T3 Unfortunately, he wins priority here which pretty much sealed the deal, especially with the main objective going to the right side that he clearly had won. He kills the Liege, 3 Deathriders and I call it there. I likely would've wiped the left and middle Gluttons, but I didn't believe I could stand up to what he had left in order to catch up. We were short on time and Idon't think I would've have been able to take it back in 1 turn with what little I had remaining. 9-8 Mawtribes Overall Thoughts So, I think if we had a bit more time I actually could've brought it back.. if I won a priority roll at least. I really think that's what was a deciding factor here is that he won both priorities. Hitting that right and left side Mortek as hard as he did pretty much sealed their fate when the only source of healing I have is Katakros and he was out of range of the right side Mortek anyway. He had enough to offensively deploy on 2 sides while I largely stacked everything to the left, though I don't think it really mattered what I did in that regard. I didn't expect those 12 Gluttons to stick around for so long and them counting as 2 bodies per model greatly helped him as I was only barely in range of the objectives. Overall I think I played it well enough.. I don't even think being less aggressive on that first turn and jumping on the objectives really would've made a difference as his double turn would've had everything in range anyway and there would've been no contesting those objectives if he locked me in deployment. ____________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________ Conclusions So yeah, I love the army. It's not too strong, not weak by any means but it does have it's weaknesses. I think they will do well competitively, but I'm not convinced in the slightest we're looking at another 70% win ratio Slaanesh here. I still have some learning with them but... man, they really make me just want to sell my CoS that I recently got into because the play-style is just so perfect for me and I really enjoy them just as much as my Skaven. More specifically I think part of this is due to the fact that they don't require any heroes nearby to give them buffs and they largely get everything they need on their own.. anything extra such as +1 to hit or RR 1's have a large enough range on them for them to not need to be babysat. As far as this list goes, I don't know what I will change. I really want to give Arkhan a try, but after having so much RDP I really don't know how to feel. I was getting 9-10 RDP every turn throughout the day and I used almost every single one of them. It really allows you to just stack 2-3 units with everything in multiple phases... having only 4-6 available would feel like a whole other play-style in itself as you would need to be far more selective. I don't know what I would change in this list in particular as I don't have enough to throw in another 200 point unit like a Harvester but I also wasn't entirely impressed with the Deathriders. I would somewhat like to drop them for 10 more Mortek or a Boneshaper + Endless Spells. Anyway, I'm loving them and plan to playing them a lot in the foreseeable future, that's for sure.
  31. 5 points
    Details Date: 10th November 2019 Army: Legions of Grief with Penumbral Engine Opponent: Kyle Duncalf - Draichi Ganeth Daughters of Khaine with Morathi Game Type: Matched Play 2000pts Scenario: Starstrike 2019 (rolled at random) Setup The board yielded a large amount of varied terrain rules, including a Commanding piece that had me salivating. Naturally Kyle took this side, to my dismay. I set up my Gravesites to be spread fairly evenly with Starstrike being relatively unpredictable, with 2 placed in front of my Penumbral Engine (represented by the square of blue dice, mine is still on sprue and i was meant to build it the night previous but ended up babysitting). Kyle easily outdropped me, having 7 to my 13. Having free choice of who starts and losing nothing by going second due to it being Starstrike, Kyle gave me first turn. Didn't bother with a battle mat as it was a torrential downpour and the nearest one was inside. Battle Round 1 - The Worst Trade, Maybe Ever Acutely aware that a double turn would absolutely obliterate me, I was somewhat cautious to do anything too dramatic. I collected my free CP from the Penumbral Engine, spread out my backfield to prevent the two enemy units of Khinerai Heartrenders from having an easy ambush on my vulnerable support heroes, and moved my Grimghast Reaper bomb forward to the Gravesite 8" in front of it so it was tagged by 3 whole Gravesites as well as surrounding a Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed, giving them decent durability. My choices were down to holding back and risk the Daughters of Khaine getting a double-turn and boxing me in my own deployment for the remainder of the game, or move forward and deny this at the risk of facing an even more lethal double turn. I could have placed Gravesites hard behind his army and warped my general to them to bring on flanking units, but I was aware Kyle would simply drop his Heartrenders on the Gravesites and I would lose use of them completely. Apprehensive but confident I had done all I could, I passed to Kyle. Kyle immediately began the bufforama on all of his threat units, particularly the Witch Aelves adjacent to my Grimghast Reapers. I kept asking him if he planned to cast Mindrazor (an exceptionally powerful spell and arguably the best in their book, it's literal only counter are ethereal models with bravery 10 as it grants improved rend, as well as improved damage if the target's bravery is lower than the attacker) which he politely ignored. Catechism of Murder (6's to hit inflict 2 hits) failed to go off (phew), but they still received received Sacrament of Blood (treat the battle round as one higher for their allegiance ability), the Witchbrew buff (reroll wound rolls + immunity to battleshock, often called Sippy Cup) from the Hag Queen behind the unit. Morathi, the High Oracle of Khaine and First Sorceress of the forgotten Druchii nation attempted to cast a single spell and failed it. The Cauldron of Blood awoke it's Avatar of Khaine and the army advanced forward, everything that could run and charge ran, and the Avatar fired a stream of boiling blood into the Grimghast which splashed off them harmlessly like water on rock. Then the Witch Aelves hit my front rank and swung 20 Aelves worth of attacks at full buff with bonuses on the charge to hit. The result is below. 5 Reapers remained standing. With their effectiveness utterly obliterated and the size of the unit diminished to the point it was only withing range of a single Gravesite before moving, i allowed battleshock to remove the unit rather than waste a point planning to return them to the other end of the table immediately and abandon the left flank to the aelf rampage. I had traded 30 Grimghast Reapers, costing 400+ points, for a single Witch Aelf. If i failed to return the unit, this would lose me the game. At the end of this round going into the second we rolled for the first objective, which naturally landed center field i middle of some Witch Aelves. I rolled for my Penumbral Engine and it remained on the mode that gives me free CP. Priority roll came about with myself winning ties, sadly I rolled a 2 to Kyle's 4. He opted to take the turn. Battle Round 2 - The Shadow Queen Emerges Kyle, unimpressed with Little Morathi's behavior thus far, transformed her into her monstrous Shadow Queen form. The Hag and Slaughter Queens kept their buff train rolling, ensuring that the Witch Aelves were at peak efficiency. The army moved forward again and the Avatar of Khaine managed to laser off a few Chainrasps, which i pulled off the table away from the 6" pile in of the Sisters of Slaughter. Few charges took place, Morathi and the Slaughter Queen moved into the Dreadscythe Harridans on the right flank and promptly were surrounded. The Witch Aelves that had just finished destroying my Grimghast Reapers ran forward and wiped out the Myrmourn Banshee unit on the flank as well as the Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed. The Harridans managed to score the 3 wounds on Morathi she can take each turn, and the Slaughter Queen dodged death against the bone claws of the Harridans. Morathi roared in range and lanced out with Heartrender and her envenomed tail, but many blows fell flat as they simply passed through the ethereal forms of her attackers. While the Shadow Queen is more than capable of taking out whole units at a time, the deadly rend of her weapons had no purchase here and only 7 Dreadscythe Harridans fell. I spent a Command Point to ensure they remained on the table, and Kyle scored for controlling the center of the table. As my turn began I made an attempt to cast Vanhel's Dance Macabre with the Necromancer, which Morathi denied immediately. The invigorating aura of my Gravesites returned my Dreadscythes almost to full fighting strength, and the Chainrasp Horde units around the middle of the table were fully restored as well. As the movement phase began my Dreadblade Harrow disappeared into thin air... appearing directly within 9" of the Gravesite near Morathi and just out of range of her shooting attack. With a whispered curse and the expenditure of a single CP, 30 Grimghast Reapers materialized within shouting distance of Morathi. My Chainrasp Horde secured the center of the table to protect my nascent advantage on the right flank, and the Harridans shaved off another 3 wounds from Morathi while she failed to kill more than 2. The Penumbral Engine abandoned me right when i needed it as I rolled for it, switching to a presently useless Mystic Shield provider and stripping me of my valuable CP farm. The remaining objectives fell from the sky... both landing on the far left a whole board away from where my powerbase lay. We hit priority, and Kyle won again, opting to take the turn. Battle Round 3 - Deadlock Kyle buffed up, got his army up with all of their special effects and as many prayers as available to make sure his effectiveness was peak. The Slaughter Queen even used her prayer to enhance her weapon, planning to try carve as many Grimghast Reapers down as possible when they charged in on my turn, and as many Dreadscythe Harridans as possible before then. Morathi halted her attack on the ghosts swarming her briefly to attempt to cast Arzunipal's Black Horror, only for a lowly Necromancer to unbind it and end the attempt. The Khainite cultists began consolidating their board state, forced to split away from my onslaught to capture the new objectives. Morathi, angered by her failed casting, directed her poisonous gaze at a Knight of Shrouds who narrowly dodged being destroyed instantly. Morathi attempted to set about with her spear and end the perfidious gheists attacking her, but was instead brought down to a single wound herself. The Slaughter Queen charged into the Dreadscythes and sliced at them with her Deathsword, but failed to fell enough to make a difference. As my turn begun the Necromancer successfully cast Vanhel's Dance Macabre on the 40 Chainrasps, Morathi failing to deny it. The Chainrasps then moved into position to drag the Cauldron of Blood while surrounding the Sisters of Slaughter holding the objectives on their side of the table. The Dreadblade Harrow disappeared in a wink and appeared in front of the Witch Aelves holding the backfield objective, and with another gesture summoned 24 Myrmourn Banshees to stand between himself and the aelves. The Chainrasps swept in and around doomed Sisters of Slaughter, and tagged the Cauldron of Blood on the back of it's base to prevent it supporting the line-holding attempt against the inbound Grimghast Reapers, who themselves came tearing down on Morathi and the Slaughter Queen as a stepping stone to the middle objective. Confident a crippled Morathi and lone support hero could not diminish 30 Grimghast Reapers, I activated my Chainrasps first and slaughtered the Sisters of Slaughter through sheer weight of attacks. Morathi flailed at the spirits, but to little avail. The Slaughter Queen weathered the scythes of 8 Grimghast Reapers, only to have her soul blasted from her body by the unit's Extoller of Shyish, his Deathknell erasing her permanently. With the table now significantly leveled out between the two armies, and the tide of board control turned towards myself, priority meant everything. Unfortunately, should Kyle win the toss he would be able to simply move forward into my Grimghast Reapers with his screen unit to prevent me receiving both a move AND a charge with them next turn, and fall back with everything else to secure 2 of the 3 points. However if i won it, i would be able to swamp all three objectives as well as return my 2 units of slain Chainrasps to completely dominate the table and pull ahead by a handful of points by turn 5. Sadly Kyle won the roll, and we called it. His early game lead had proven too much to overcome with my attrition, late game focus. THis pulled Kyle ahead in our personal standings to a clean 2/1 to him. Conclusion - What went well Bumping up to two units of Dreadscythes after my game against Regan proved to be a wise choice, they once again pulled their weight. Dreadblade Harrow lived the whole game while contributing to game state in every turn, improving on my failings in the last game. I was able to more effectively screen off attacks against valuable units, and gauged the worth of each fight a lot better this time around. What went poorly The Grimghast Reapers dying immediately because I went too far ahead was preventable, I should have forced the enemy to have to cross the whole table to alpha me if they got a double turn. Penumbral Engine is wildly inconsistent, it would be fine if it was free but it cost me 100pts so I'll be saying goodbye to it. Two units of Myrmourn is one too many for Legion of Grief, two is more viable in Nighthaunt where you can pop them up near enemy casters turn 1, not in Grief where doing so costs a wasted Gravesite.
  32. 4 points
    My List OBR List T1He outdrops me and goes first. Objective is middle. He makes a unit of Fiends -1 to hit with Katakros and puts up Nagash's Protection on Arkhan and starts advancing the majority of his stuff towards the center while keeping 1 unit of 20 toward each side. On my turn I fail Bridge and he unbinds MMMWP after I RR it to a 7. This really hurts me as it means I won't be able to claim middle on this turn as I won't be in range to clear off the Mortek.. even if I was, without MMMWP it would've been near impossible. I manage to do 7 MW's to the middle Mortek with Cracks Call. Other than that, I Gnawhole 6 Fiends to the right side where they get Deranged Inventor + a Spark from the Skitterleaped General and take 20 Mortek down to 2 remaining while the middle Mortek get taken down to 8 remaining from the middle Windlaunchers. end of T1 T2I get the double. Objective moves right. I fail MMMWP on a RR of 5.. so things aren't looking too hot. Without MMMWP, there was no point in the Bridge so I inch everything up a bit more. Both units of Fiends manage to finish off the right and middle Mortek unit. He gets Arkhan and some Immortis into the right Fiends and middle Clanrats respectively. Fiends lose 1 1/2 models to Arkhan and the Clanrats get blasted down to ~10 remaining, but I manage to keep him from claiming either objective. end of T2 T3He gets a double. Objective moves middle Katakros and the middle Immortis pack finish off a Clanrat unit while Arkhan and the other Immortis kill off all but 1 Fiend on the right. I get MMMWP on the Fiends and get my general back to the middle. Fiends remove 3 Immortis just barely and both Clanrat units charge to keep everything in place for a potential double turn while allowing me to claim both. end of T3 T4He gets priority. Objective stays middle. Arkhan and Katakros debuff the hell out of the Fiends to make them RR 6's to hit and be at -1 to hit. He kills off all but 3 Clanrats which secures him 2 objectives. I get off MMMWP and take Katakros down to ~16 wounds with Cracks Call + Warp-lightning. Shooting takes him down to 9, but man those RR 6's hurt. I rolled 4 of them on the Windlauncher shots which rolled back into 2 misses.. I ran out of Sparks at this point so they weren't getting any additional damage. At this point I knew I likely had lost the game so I charged in the Fiends... and they actually killed Katakros by 1 wound, surprisingly. end of T4 We roll off again and he wins it, so I concede as I have no-way to catch up on points since the primary moved to the left side. So long as his left unit or Mortek remained over there he would've taken a big lead and I wouldn't have been able to reach them with the Fiends. Skaven Major Loss Overall Thoughts I love this list, but yeah you definitely feel it when things don't go your way... but I mean, that's the case with any list built around Skryre shooting (unless it's 24 Jezzails 😉). This wasn't so much as case as Arkhan unbinding anything as it was the fact that I just couldn't roll 7+ on 2d6 to save my life. I think had I been able to get out that Bridge and MMMWP then it would have been a different story. I could've spent that turn killing the middle Mortek and the double turn with taking out the Immortis while Clanrats held up Arkhan and Katakros or zoned out objectives. Had I got the priority going into T3 I could've made a comeback, but unfortunately that didn't happen and I lost the rest of the priorities. Ah well. Will be testing this out a bit more as well as the Grinder list some more throughout the rest of the week.. maybe a Tzeentch game as well for those interested. Thanks for reading.
  33. 4 points
    ~ I got that Old Black Magic, rolling in ~ More Pics: Work in Progress: After a year of mostly not working on it, I've finally finished painting my old school Arkhan on flying chariot conversion. I'm honestly really quite happy with it. Now I just need an army for him to lead. I'm not lacking the models for it, I’ve got like 20,000 points of warhammer undead in varying states of assembly & painting, but shamefully I only have exactly 5 fully painted models. ~ behold, the entirety of my collection, if you only count the stuff I've finished painting ~ Every couple years I’d throw together a ‘manageable starter army’ from the shame pile and pretend like I’m going to get it painted. And I'll make some progress, but never actually finish anything, and that’s probably how things are going to go this time too, after all it’s not like I don’t have four or five other projects waiting on hold, but w/e, finishing my Arkhan conversion has me feeling motivated, so I’m ready to try again. This blog seems a good enough way to track my progress.
  34. 4 points
    I know it's been a bit, but here we are. Covid, Trump, the Cleveland Browns. It's all evil and distracts me from the hobby. I've made progress. I'm over 1500 points now!!! I clearly will need to go back and add dark brown lines between the bones, but that's a thing to do to the whole army at once later on. For now, here we are. Crawler and Big Guy ready.
  35. 4 points
    This evening I played Take and Hold vs @TwiceIfILikeIt. She crushed me in two turns with her squigs. The deathriders and Zandtos were eaten by a mangler. The Guard were downed by hoppers. My Boneshaper and other Guard could not leave our objective, and even if they could, they were too slow to get to the other side. The Shieldwall re-roll saved not one single wound, and the Deathless Warriors roll saved about two wounds. Oh, plus, not a single 6 on hit rolls with Nadirite weapons all game. Plus, not one spell was successful, nor did I unbind any. In other words, the survivability and extra hits main benefits of the battleline never manifested. She played very well and deserved the win. Congrats to her! The photos attached show the final situation. Clearly the reason the Nexus did nothing was its lack of paint (we could't wait for it to be painted before our first game, but it's on the docket --- soon!). I will get you next time! :fistshake: Point of note: I did not take Petrifex, but I did note the times when the +1 save would have helped. It was a total of two wounds that would have been saved. Two. But yeah, Petrifex is soooo OP (not).
  36. 4 points
    I just finished the first of three Boneshapers. Now I have 850 pts ready to go. Getting close to my first game. I experimented with this guy, and the remaining characters will benefit. He's got issues, but that's ok. Anyone got some Lamenters Yellow they want to sell/trade?
  37. 4 points
    GHLUBLARGALGURGLE!!! 170 pts of tentacled horror ready to haunt my table. C’thulhu would be pleased. The beastmaster chaperone is not glued in place, just pinned, so the angle’s a bit goofy. But I need to move on to something new already. Going to update some corsairs for the army. This was a lot of fun to paint, but I kept repainting areas over and over. I just couldn’t get the dark plates on the back to work, until I realized the secret was to reverse it out, and paint a light colour between the plates. I’ve seen something similar on tortoise skin, where dark plates sit on light skin, giving a really interesting contrast.
  38. 4 points
    I've done a single cavalry guy. I need to get better. Here he is.
  39. 4 points
    So playing vampire coast on Warhammer total war and seeing another gallery post using CoS to make them inspired me to do the same. I've always wanted to do a wraith fleet army and I really like zombies so this seems a perfect fit! The first of my works in progress is my boat based monstrosity, which will either end up as a steam tank or hurricanum. Struggling a bit finishing this one but it's coming along nicely enough. I also made a black coach ages ago when they were tiny, its mast has fallen off but with a new one and some crew I could probably use it as a chariot. And finally we have ZOMBIE HANDGUNNERS! No explanation needed really.
  40. 4 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
  41. 4 points
    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.
  42. 4 points
    You, dear reader, might have heard that Monks have been reworked and that you, dear reader, should be furious. How furious? Let's take a look. AoS_Skaven_Warscroll_card_Plague_Monks.pdf Edit: fixed the stave damage. A sad day, as it appears I can't read. How much damage does it do? Comparison Staff (30 models) vs. Blades (20 models) Save Staff charge Blades charge Staff no charge Blades no charge 2 8.33 6.96 5.56 4.63 3 16.67 13.89 11.11 9.26 4 25 20.83 16.67 13.89 5 33.33 27.78 22.22 18.52 6 41.67 34.72 27.78 23.15 - 50 41.67 33.33 27.78 Alright, you mutter, but we used to do more, didn't we? How much damage did we lose? (Foetid Blades, 30+ bonus applied, damage per model) Save Old Charge New Charge Old no charge New no charge 2 .46 .35 .31 .25 3 .83 .69 .56 .46 4 1.2 1.04 .8 .69 5 1.57 1.39 1.05 .93 6 1.94 1.74 1.3 1.16 - 2.22 2.08 1.48 1.39 Between 10% (vs 6+) and 24% (vs 2+) for Blades. Particularly for higher saves PM lost a lot of their effectiveness, which has implications for list building (see below). Now that you have dried your eyes, i hear you sobbing about staves, which were always stronger on the charge. Do I have to change my staves now? The basic problem is similar to the classic sword vs. spears debates: one has lower damage but 2" reach. It all boils down to a simple ratio: how many staves do I need to get into combat to break even with blades. As a rule of thumb: 25% more. Losing the 30+ bonus doesn't change this ratio, losing the 20+ bonus means the ratio shifts to 34%, but at this point this is only theoretical, as you won't have problems fitting <20 25mm bases into combat. How can I change the ratio? By affecting the hit-roll, as it is the only difference between the profiles. Having a worse chance to hit, staves profit more from re-rolls and +to hit (but also suffer more from - to hit). Corruptor CA: 10% more Vigordust Injector: they now have the same profile, and every additional model is a damage bonus. So when do I choose staves? If you want to use Vigordust or the Corruptor on your PM, then this is a very strong option, as you should easily get those additional models in. Otherwise, getting 25% extra models in requires you to keep enough of them alive so that it matters. So... change them? That depends. The difference, in most cases, isn't dramatic. Blades are, as before the safer option, while staves have higher damage potential. You read all this, but your grumbling does not cease. How does this compare to our other options? 100 pt damage efficiency vs. 4+ save. (What is the problem with this metric? ) Plague Monks: charge 14.9 no charge 9.9 Stormvermin 6.6 (extra attack: 9.8) Rat Ogors/Wolf Rats 4.7 (Moulder buff + Rabid Crown: 7.9) Acolytes 3.5 (MMMWP + Spark: 11.7) Censer Bearers 8.3 (PM nearby, charge) Night Runners 3.2 (40 shots, 20 melee attacks) Dispirited by our lack of options, anxiously you ask: What about my Furnace? Given the price advantage of now 40 points to the Bell, it's worth asking by how much the damage is increased. (per model, vs. 4+ save) charge (% increase) no charge (% increase) re-wound Blades 1.04 -> 1.32 (27) .69 -> .88 (28) Staves .83 -> 1.06 (28) .56 -> .7 (25) + attack Blades 1.04 -> 1.39 (34) .69 -> 1.04 (34) Staves .83 -> 1.11 (34) .56 -> .83 (48) Noteworthy increases, although not amazing when compared to e.g. MMMWP, which for SF or Acolytes more than doubles the damage. The Furnace is a good option if you want the additional battleshock immunity, but is by no means mandatory. Seeing you lie on the floor like a fainted goat, I ask myself: How does this change list building? The change definitely emphasized the role of PM as a destroyer of the poor and downtrodden, aka the blokes without armour. Before they actually had enough damage output to just crack open all but the most hardened (2+, 3+ re-rollable) armour, now they will struggle a lot more. This makes it even more important to combine them with high rend and mortal wounds. Being the sophisticated creatures that Skaven players are, most mixed lists already did this anyway. I feel that with the small price increases we have to deal with, double PM lists are still an option, but probably more matchup dependent. A typical 20-20-20 Clanrats + 40-40 PM list might want to drop one group and include 20 CR and 15 Acolytes/3 Ratling Guns. Personally I'll take a look on how the meta develops in the future, but want to test replacing one group of PM with a group of Warpfire-Ratling-Doomflayer Stormfiends , as they now seem to be more in line regarding their damage output. Conclusion: did we die and is this hell? I like to rant about GW's design decisions and arcane reasoning as well as the next man, but this was actually well done. As a Skaven player of course I would have preferred a less harsh penalty (e.g. a better on 6 ability), and this will hurt pure Pestilens lists a lot, which were already among the lower performing lists. They did achieve their goal of making PM vastly less annoying to play, and especially play against, while also not ruining the unit or necessitating a switch to one or the other gear option. For this they do deserves respect. It might have been nice though not only to have been beaten with the stick, but to have been offered a carrot afterwards. Half the units being essentially never played, with another bunch being one the fringe, it would have been nice to see some price reductions. Lowering Rat Ogors to 90 pt would not have broken the faction, but allowed them to be a viable alternative. Alas, maybe the next GHB will ease the pain of our brothers Eshin, Moulder and Verminous.
  43. 4 points
    List Breakdown Recap – Legion of Grief at Masters 2019 Overview Gidday all, Aiden’s back with a recap looking at how my list did at Masters and the changes I’d make from my various games and the experience I gained. With the list breakdown post currently being my most read post on this blog, the format is going to quite literally be a copy paste deal where I show what I originally said, then I respond to it based on how it all played. I’ve neatly done my responses in a good honest ethereal blue so it’s clear where my reviews can be located for each paragraph and breakdown. The List Allegiance: Legion of Grief Mortal Realm: Hysh Leaders Dreadblade Harrow (90) - General - Trait: Vassal of the Craven King (whenever you spend a CP, roll a dice. On a 5+ you get 1 CP) Necromancer (130) - Artefact: Aetherquartz Brooch (whenever you spend a CP, roll a dice. On a 5+ you get 1 CP) - Spell: Dread Withering (-1 to a unit’s save rolls within 18” of the caster) Guardian of Souls with Nightmare Lantern (140) - Spell: Dread Withering (-1 to a unit’s save rolls within 18” of the caster) Knight of Shrouds (100) Battleline 40 x Chainrasp Horde (280) 10 x Chainrasp Horde (80) 10 x Chainrasp Horde (80) Units 20 x Dreadscythe Harridans (280) 15 x Dreadscythe Harridans (240) 12 x Myrmourn Banshees (210) 20 x Grimghast Reapers (320) Endless Spells / Terrain / CPs Extra Command Point (50) Total: 2000 / 2000 Extra Command Points: 1 Allies: 0 / 400 Wounds: 147 Allegiance Choice – The Legion of Grief Anyone familiar with my dreams of a competitive ghost army knows I’m in a perpetual pull between the Nighthaunt and Legions of Grief allegiances. Nighthaunt offers battalions, Wave of Terror and a flexible deployment method, Legion of Grief offers Gravesites and all the thrills that come with them. Given the local meta has a proclivity for taking lots of threat units, I valued the defensive capabilities of Gravesites and they won out this time. I will however be trialling Nighthaunt post-Masters to see if I want to take them to CanCon. Review: This went very well for me. There was one time in the whole event where I would have had an advantage running pure Nighthaunt allegiance and that lasted all of 15 minutes. Legion of Grief remains the vastly superior choice to Nighthaunt, for the time being. The ability to bring back units that have been slain allows the ghosts to play around burst damage and attrition, two fields that the Nighthaunt allegiance was heavily outclassed by when people were attempting to run it competitively. Realm Choice – Hysh, Realm of Light Lol, you know why I picked this. At this stage Aetherquartz Broach is going to end up in my Last Will and Testament. Review: God bless this hot mess, Aetherquartz Broach isn’t going ANYWHERE any time soon. Dreadblade Harrow – General – Vassal of the Craven King This one goes without saying. The combination of his ability to teleport basically wherever he needs to be every turn to resurrect fallen minions and the sheer power of the command trait Vassal of the Craven King singlehandedly prevent Olynder from ever being ran in her OWN legion. The Dreadblade is no close-combat king, he’ll struggle in a fight against even the most basic of chaff, but what he lacks in punch he makes up for with sheer utility. His movement happens at the START of the movement phase, and resurrection can be used at the END, ensuring he is always right where he needs to be to pull a unit out of the dirt. He’s a good boy. Review: Always a good choice, doesn’t really require much explanation. Everything above remains correct, and through clever gameplay and execution my Dreadblade Harrow spent at least 2CP every game on resurrection while not dying even once over 5 games. Necromancer – Aetherquartz Broach – Dread Withering Another that goes without saying. Pre-Grief, Nighthaunt players were willing to give up their first CP of the game just to sneak one of these into their army with Sons of the Lichemaster. His unique spell turns any of the threat units in this army into a slaughtermachine, and his Deathly Invocation is always handy if he’s near said units. Giving him Aetherquartz Broach makes sense because he can be kept the safest of my 4 heroes (except the Dreadblade, but never put all the eggs in one basket) so I don’t need to fear losing it. I’ve also given him Dread Withering in the even I need to dig through a high save value. Necromancer is another good boy. Review: Quietly powerful, the Necromancer was able to do good work over the course of the event. I found I strongly preferred his Vanhel’s Dance Macabre on the big blob of Chainrasps, especially if it had charged. The only change I would make here is giving his Aetherquartz Broach to the Dreadblade Harrow as the Necromancer is a Nagash-damned bullet magnet for threats and the Dreadblade managed to survive 5 times out of 5 to the Necromancer’s 2 out of 5. Guardian of Souls with Nightmare Lantern – Dread Withering This lad is less certain than the previous two. He’s here purely for his Nightmare Lantern buff that provides a radiant wholly within 12” bubble of +1 to wound for NIGHTHAUNT units. Weighing in at 140pts, this guy is 8 Myrmourn Banshees’ worth of model and I’m grimly aware of it whenever he under-performs. A vulnerable character with only 5 wounds, this can be smacked out of the game by an opportunistic chaff squad or just a good round of shooting. However despite these flaws, when he’s in the right place at the right time the Guardian of Souls can guarantee a unit of Dreadscythe Harridans or Grimghast Reapers will destroy their targets, and even give Chainrasps a dangerous punch. His spell is not worth relying on but it’s nice, he’ll mostly cast Dread Withering. An average boy, with a lot to prove given he replaced the Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed and a potential Triumph. Review: Ooooh bad news Guardian of Souls, you’re out of the band. 140pts is just too expensive for a radiant +1 to wound attached to an extremely vulnerable threat magnet. He died in nearly every game, failed to cast constantly and overall was a disappointment. “Dice games and external factors” you say to me, but for 20pts less I can have a Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed throwing out +1 attack, comparable to +1 wound, with no dice roll. Which I intend to. See you next GHB Guardian of Souls, don’t call me unless you’re 100pts. Knight of Shrouds My personal favorite character in the army, nay, the Nighthaunt line-up in general. He’s very simple, a cheap close combat bruiser with a niche healing mechanic and a very powerful command ability. Spectral Overseer can turn even the infamously swingy Myrmourn Banshee melee profile into a weapon of nuclear destruction, and he spends most of his time smack in the centre of a unit of Dreadscythe Harridans. Serving as the nozzle of the funnel I pour all my excess Command Points into, he supports the team, he looks after the ‘Rasps and he’s the type of guy who’s happy to sober drive the Black Coach home. A very good boy, potentially the best boy. Review: What a good lad. Made the army work in every game while slapping to death any unit that had the AUDACITY to try and confront him head on. 100pts for this bloke is a steal, and he pulls the hard work every time. The only change I would make is have him dedicated to following around a unit that rewards his bonuses to hit more with damage output. Dreadscythe Harridans really couldn’t get it over the line but the Myrmourns slaughtered elite units with ease when buffed, and the Chainrasps smashed aside any threat with superior weight of dice. Chainrasp Hordes Hands down the best generic 80pt Battleline available to the entire Death Grand Alliance (fight me Skeleton Warriors). Chainrasps are another very simple unit, they have an Ethereal 5+ save and if there’s more than 10 of them, reroll 1’s to wound. Like any Death unit, their big vulnerability is mortal wounds and magic, but they make up with this with high bravery and the occasional deflection of a -3 rend attack that should by all rights erase them. They swamp objectives well, and nothing crushes the enemy spirits more than resurrecting 40 Chainrasps right as they manage to finally brick them the first time. Review: The only, only change I’m making is DOUBLING UP on that unit of 40. These little beauties were directly involved in every victory and close defeat all weekend. When squatting on Gravesites these little lads are nigh irremovable and bringing back the unit of 40 was impossible… because no opponent successfully managed to stomp it out. Let the ghostly glow of my ocean of Chainrasps become my signature, because all they do is win win win. Taking them out of the movement trays (following the lead of top NZ player Mitch Harty and his Skaven deployments and maneuverings) helped me think outside the box and make better use of their absolute area denial. Dreadscythe Harridans Alright these are a stylistic choice if I’m being honest. I bought 4 boxes when I started playing Nighthaunt (wanted to run a Shrieker Host to ****** off Skaven players) and ever since I’ve tried to make them good. They bring a lot to Legion of Grief as the best of the Big Three Nighthaunt threat units (Grimghast, Dreadscythe, Bladegheist) for buffing with the Knight of Shrouds command ability given they’re cheaper than the other 2 while having the most output raw damage wise with 2CP invested. Their -1 to hit aura also tends to come in handy against Destruction armies (well well well) and their large footprint and Ethereal save give them a wide range of options to contribute to the force. Review: Not great. Running Dreadscythe Harridans is a risk because their -1 to hit aura is a large part of their points cost but it will come into effect maybe 40% of the time due to popular armies tending to boast high bravery (Slaanesh, all Death armies, Stormcast Eternals) or boosts and rerolls that let them effectively shrug off the debuff (Skaven, Daughters of Khaine). The Dreadscythe’s only major contribution over the weekend was their large base size helping to zone off enemy units, and I could have achieved that with twice their number in Chainrasps for the same cost. Outside of running my meme-tier Shrieker Host in local games days, these ladies will be sitting on my shelf for a while. Myrmourn Banshees World’s most monopose unit. Coming in at a grand total of 4 available poses, which is 3 more than they have attacks. What they do have however is -2 rend and D3 damage on said attack, and they get a bonus attack for unbinding enemy spells, which they also get a large bonus to do. They can also dispel an endless spell at the cost of taking D3 wounds (happens at the start of the phase, do it near a gravesite and you’re golden) which ALSO gives them +1 attack. With even a single bonus attack this unit becomes scary, with 2CP invested from a Knight of Shrouds there isn’t a single thing they won’t kill. With only 12 in the unit, it’s not very hard for the enemy to murk this unit pretty quickly, but it would be a shame if somebody… brought them back. Review: Oh damn, it’s the golden girls. How does such a small unit over-perform so hard? They had no equal this event save the Chainrasps. One opponent outright refused to cast spells all game because he knew if he rolled a low but successful cast I would obliterate him with them immediately. Fantastic vehicles for the CP Farm that Legion of Grief is, these models are absolutely what you want in this list. And if 12 doesn’t quite cut it for you… perhaps 24? Grimghast Reapers A unit that needs neither justification nor explanation. Grimghast Reapers single-handedly kept Legions of Nagash relevant during the Daughters of Khaine Winter, and even bumping their cost to 160pts for 10 couldn’t hamper their effectiveness. Point them at an enemy threat unit and watch it die. Invest some CP in them and watch the enemy army die. When THEY die, bring them back. Rinse and repeat. Review: Yeah you don’t need me telling you these guys kick ass. Only change I would make is up the unit to 30 of them. They can just roam around the table with no support and still threaten anything the enemy may have half-capable of contesting them. They can fight over top of other units, reach over chaff screens to slap a cowardly hero hiding behind them and cheat their way up the table by taking 3 Damned Terrain sets of mortal wounds then immediately healing off 3 Gravesites and a Necromancer on turn 1. They’re good, and unless the GHB slaps them with ANOTHER unmerited points hike (stop punishing us for the behavior of Legion of Sacrament) they’ll stay golden. The Plan for the Future Obviously I’m taking the Legion of Grief to CanCon. I changed my twitter bio to feature “Number One Legion of Grief” and frankly I can’t come down from that level of behavior. Look forward to a similar list breakdown (and consequent review) in January when we take these ghosts straight to Canberra, Australia.
  44. 4 points
    The Post Masters Post Hey all. I did say there would be one. I had planned to get this out a little sooner but needed some time to detox. Masters 2019 was a reasonably mixed bag, with the Top 20 players for 2019 majority living in the North Island only 11 of them accepted the invite. This is not out of the ordinary, no masters event has ever been attended by more than 65% of the Top 20. However due to the nature of the event and it being in the South Island, only a single North Island player who didn’t make the Top 20 (number 21 on the rankings) accepted the invite and the rest of the numbers were filled by locals, causing the field to go as deep as number 85 on the standings. The result was the top quarter of players largely playing others in their bracket, while the middle pack had an awkward disparity in levels of skill and experience. Another bugbear some players from the North had during the wind-up to the event was the introduction of soft scores into Masters. The previous Masters events have categorically lacked these, a fully painted army and perfect sportsmanship aren’t fields to be rewarded, they’re expected. These soft scores caused heavy consternation initially, though I personally defended them saying that as long as people maintained the standard expected from previous Masters events, they’d receive full points in these fields anyway. Given I played five full, five turn games over the weekend I’m obviously not going to cover them all. I will post my results for each match, and I plan to cover off my game against New Zealand Master 2019 James Page and my personal favorite game of the event against NZ Warhammer icon Shaun Bates in future posts as they characterize what happens in the worst possible matchup and what happens in the best (army-wise). So without further ado, the results. Game One · Opponent: Big Waagh · Scenario: Duality of Death · Secondaries: Secret Mission and Defend (both achieved) · Outcome: Major Loss Opponent would go on to win the event. A canny player, James used his superior movement and the ability to decide who starts to tag both objectives on turn one while throwing disposable units of Ardboyz into my only units capable of contesting these points. As I was unable to retreat and push the enemy off the points in the same turn I lost this one handily. Game Two · Opponent: Cities of Sigmar – Living City · Scenario: Scorched Earth · Secondaries: Terrify and Ancient Heirloom (both achieved) · Outcome: Major Win I made my opponent start as I had the choice, and interestingly he summoned Chronomantic Cogs and immediately set it to speed up time, while deploying his whole army directly in front of me (the tournament ruled that all woods on the tables were Citadel Woods, an interesting concept none of the northern players abided by in games between each other due to it not being in the pack. However it seems my opponent misread/cheated me here as Living City can’t just deploy on Citadel Woods. This would be the beginning of my disappointment). Not realizing my opponent was not actually allowed to do this, I simply charged headlong into him, obliterated a full 60% of his army immediately and burned all the objectives on the table turn two. The decision to set Cogs to speed up time sealed my opponent’s defeat more or less immediately, as well as his cocky (and illegal) choice of giving me his army as a stepping stone to get to his objectives. Overall a frustrating game as I spent far too much of it having to read my opponent’s battletome and correct countless errors that came up. Game Three · Opponent: Stormcast Eternals – Anvils of the Heldenhammer · Scenario: Border War · Secondaries: Invade and Onslaught (both achieved) · Outcome: Major Win This game was a rough one for my opponent. Shaun’s army excels against all comers unless they have large numbers with resistance to battleshock, or the ability to get around his devastating rend. Conveniently I had both in spades, so Shaun’s superior ability to play the game didn’t mean a lot in the face off 150 wounds hiding behind an ethereal save. Shaun and I yarned the majority of the game, engaged in flagrant cheating and deception, then wrapped up quickly to get a beer and get ready to shoot back to our accommodation for more yarns and beer. Intermission This was the highlight of the weekend. One of The Boys (Cameron, Seraphon) has a lovely family home locally overlooking the ocean with a fantastic outdoor eating area. Local legend Richard acquired vast sums of meat as a tithe-offering and manned his barbecue, bring succor to the masses. A few of the locals made it up as well as all the players who traveled for the event. We had a fantastic time, had some good chats and overall it was a perfect experience. The next day we rose early, briefly debated the virtues of going to the Zoo, then made our way down to a local café for a group breakfast. Given the large number of Wellingtonians in the group we needed to get some avocado toast in their systems before they start shriveling up. We took pictures, I mounted an antique motorbike and smashed back a milkshake and mince on toast for breakfast. Overall pretty fantastic. Remembering we had come down for a Warhammer tournament, we paid up and headed to the venue. Round Four · Opponent: Grand Alliance Chaos – Everchosen Battalion · Scenario: Gifts from the Heavens · Secondaries: Dominate and Seize (both achieved) · Outcome: Major Victory This was a slow-burn game. My opponent was hesitant to leave his deployment knowing that I would swamp him and fly directly over him to the objective, and resolved to turtle up. The game boiled down to me mowing my way diligently through the numbers while constantly reviving my losses to ensure control of my home objective. This was the game in which I entered the “Grief Zone”, spending 7 Command Points in a single turn, while starting on only 2. This made my army in the last turn of the game majority hitting on 2’s rerolling 1’s, wounding on 2’s, with the enemy saves diminished by my rend and Dread Withering. Round Five · Opponent: Skaven · Scenario: The Better Part of Valour · Secondaries: Ancient Heirloom and Sacrifice (failed to earn Sacrifice) · Outcome: Major Loss This game was extremely swingy the whole way through. I used my gravesites to sneakily move around his overwhelming numbers while keeping his rats locked on his side of the table for the first 3 turns by callously discarding my Grimghast Reapers and Dreadscythe Harridans, fully intending (and succeeding) to return them to the table due to my general being so far removed from the game I could safely bet on it. My army copped massive waves of shooting but rolled less well than against the Longstrike Stormcast and I was pushed back to my deployment. A dicey Skitterleap from a Verminlord Warbringer burned an objective of mine and pushed the game towards my opponent, ending things. Final Results · Win/Loss: Three Major Wins / Two Major Losses · Secondaries: Nine Achieved / One Failed · Kill Points: 6260pts · Paint Points: Full Points · Sports Points: Full Points Overall, my issues with Masters 2019 stem strongly from the scoring. I defended the soft score element to those that didn’t like them, explaining that if we maintained our usual standard these wouldn’t matter. However, many people had armies that were not completed, lacking basing on models, having less than 3 colors and a variety of other issues, only to receive full paint points. I purchased and painted my army to it’s (in my opinion) high standard and full rubric in less than a month, only for it to be considered equal to these other armies. Furthermore, I experienced numerous issues over the event with opponents either not knowing their rules or misrepresenting them, and even experiencing the poor sports of a player constantly interjecting into my game rudely and into the TO when he attended the table, only for full sports to be awarded across the board. These issues are not unique to this tournament, and overall I’ve no doubt not representative of the scene in the South Island. However I was disappointed to travel down for a Masters event only for it to be this way. Many of my friends declined to attend due to issues with the harshness of the painting rubric making them fear they would lose out for not being as talented painters, only for it to not matter at all. I was sadly disappointed, and given the severe financial expense of the weekend compared to the payoff have little desire to travel beyond the capital city any time soon. Despite these flaws I met a good collection of people, and I hope I acquitted myself well enough that they don’t unfollow me the moment they read this. I initially only wanted to cover the positives, but as my local club explained to me people who know me know my thoughts, and to cover less than that would be disingenuous.
  45. 4 points
    List Breakdown – Legion of Grief – NZ Masters 2019 Overview Gidday all, Aiden here with the first “List Breakdown” for this blog. I had planned to do this the night before Masters but with me flying down tomorrow lunchtime and then likely drinking from there on out I’m not going to have the time. New Zealand Masters 2019 is the third Masters event our country as hosted, we have had one for every full year of Age of Sigmar gameplay since the game began. I’ve attended all of them so far, but this will be my first not running Skaven. In NZ we send out invites to our top 20 players then as people accept or decline, we work our way up the rankings from 20 to make up the numbers, with usually just over half of the top 20 being able to attend. Our country provides a unique challenge to masters attendance numbers, namely being split into two large islands (named Te Ika-a-Maui and Te Waipounamu by the native Maori culture. In true colonial fashion, European settlers applied their own well thought out and creative names for them, North Island and South Island respectively), despite this challenge to attendance we have had a good turnout for the event. The field is an interesting spread, with each of the Grand Alliances being well represented. The most represented is Destruction, with a wide range of Big Waagh lists, Ironjawz and a Gloomspite player. Death is the least represented with just myself and a Legions of Nagash list. How they do and general stats will all be covered in a post tournament report next week. The List Allegiance: Legion of Grief Mortal Realm: Hysh Leaders Dreadblade Harrow (90) - General - Trait: Vassal of the Craven King (whenever you spend a CP, roll a dice. On a 5+ you get 1 CP) Necromancer (130) - Artefact: Aetherquartz Brooch (whenever you spend a CP, roll a dice. On a 5+ you get 1 CP) - Spell: Dread Withering (-1 to a unit’s save rolls within 18” of the caster) Guardian of Souls with Nightmare Lantern (140) - Spell: Dread Withering (-1 to a unit’s save rolls within 18” of the caster) Knight of Shrouds (100) Battleline 40 x Chainrasp Horde (280) 10 x Chainrasp Horde (80) 10 x Chainrasp Horde (80) Units 20 x Dreadscythe Harridans (280) 15 x Dreadscythe Harridans (240) 12 x Myrmourn Banshees (210) 20 x Grimghast Reapers (320) Endless Spells / Terrain / CPs Extra Command Point (50) Total: 2000 / 2000 Extra Command Points: 1 Allies: 0 / 400 Wounds: 147 Overall very standard Legion of Grief fare for me. I’ve ran this self-same list for 10+ games now, with a variety of wins and… learning experiences. Overall it works well and what it does well, and has some weaknesses which can be covered with placement and planning. Below I have outlined the choices I made with this army, and why I made them. Allegiance Choice – The Legion of Grief Anyone familiar with my dreams of a competitive ghost army knows I’m in a perpetual pull between the Nighthaunt and Legions of Grief allegiances. Nighthaunt offers battalions, Wave of Terror and a flexible deployment method, Legion of Grief offers Gravesites and all the thrills that come with them. Given the local meta has a proclivity for taking lots of threat units, I valued the defensive capabilities of Gravesites and they won out this time. I will however be trialling Nighthaunt post-Masters to see if I want to take them to CanCon. Realm Choice – Hysh, Realm of Light Lol, you know why I picked this. At this stage Aetherquartz Broach is going to end up in my Last Will and Testament. Dreadblade Harrow – General – Vassal of the Craven King This one goes without saying. The combination of his ability to teleport basically wherever he needs to be every turn to resurrect fallen minions and the sheer power of the command trait Vassal of the Craven King singlehandedly prevent Olynder from ever being ran in her OWN legion. The Dreadblade is no close-combat king, he’ll struggle in a fight against even the most basic of chaff, but what he lacks in punch he makes up for with sheer utility. His movement happens at the START of the movement phase, and resurrection can be used at the END, ensuring he is always right where he needs to be to pull a unit out of the dirt. He’s a good boy. Necromancer – Aetherquartz Broach – Dread Withering Another that goes without saying. Pre-Grief, Nighthaunt players were willing to give up their first CP of the game just to sneak one of these into their army with Sons of the Lichemaster. His unique spell turns any of the threat units in this army into a slaughtermachine, and his Deathly Invocation is always handy if he’s near said units. Giving him Aetherquartz Broach makes sense because he can be kept the safest of my 4 heroes (except the Dreadblade, but never put all the eggs in one basket) so I don’t need to fear losing it. I’ve also given him Dread Withering in the even I need to dig through a high save value. Necromancer is another good boy. Guardian of Souls with Nightmare Lantern – Dread Withering This lad is less certain than the previous two. He’s here purely for his Nightmare Lantern buff that provides a radiant wholly within 12” bubble of +1 to wound for NIGHTHAUNT units. Weighing in at 140pts, this guy is 8 Myrmourn Banshees’ worth of model and I’m grimly aware of it whenever he underperforms. A vulnerable character with only 5 wounds, this can be smacked out of the game by an opportunistic chaff squad or just a good round of shooting. However despite these flaws, when he’s in the right place at the right time the Guardian of Souls can guarantee a unit of Dreadscythe Harridans or Grimghast Reapers will destroy their targets, and even give Chainrasps a dangerous punch. His spell is not worth relying on but it’s nice, he’ll mostly cast Dread Withering. An average boy, with a lot to prove given he replaced the Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed and a potential Triumph. Knight of Shrouds My personal favourite character in the army, nay, the Nighthaunt line-up in general. He’s very simple, a cheap close combat bruiser with a niche healing mechanic and a very powerful command ability. Spectral Overseer can turn even the infamously swingy Myrmourn Banshee melee profile into a weapon of nuclear destruction, and he spends most of his time smack in the centre of a unit of Dreadscythe Harridans. Serving as the nozzle of the funnel I pour all my excess Command Points into, he supports the team, he looks after the ‘Rasps and he’s the type of guy who’s happy to sober drive the Black Coach home. A very good boy, potentially the best boy. Chainrasp Hordes Hands down the best generic 80pt Battleline available to the entire Death Grand Alliance (fight me Skeleton Warriors). Chainrasps are another very simple unit, they have an Ethereal 5+ save and if there’s more than 10 of them, reroll 1’s to wound. Like any Death unit, their big vulnerability is mortal wounds and magic, but they make up with this with high bravery and the occasional deflection of a -3 rend attack that should by all rights erase them. They swamp objectives well, and nothing crushes the enemy spirits more than resurrecting 40 Chainrasps right as they manage to finally brick them the first time. Dreadscythe Harridans Alright these are a stylistic choice if I’m being honest. I bought 4 boxes when I started playing Nighthaunt (wanted to run a Shrieker Host to ****** off Skaven players) and ever since I’ve tried to make them good. They bring a lot to Legion of Grief as the best of the Big Three Nighthaunt threat units (Grimghast, Dreadscythe, Bladegheist) for buffing with the Knight of Shrouds command ability given they’re cheaper than the other 2 while having the most output raw damage wise with 2CP invested. Their -1 to hit aura also tends to come in handy against Destruction armies (well well well) and their large footprint and Ethereal save give them a wide range of options to contribute to the force. Myrmourn Banshees World’s most monopose unit. Coming in at a grand total of 4 available poses, which is 3 more than they have attacks. What they do have however is -2 rend and D3 damage on said attack, and they get a bonus attack for unbinding enemy spells, which they also get a large bonus to do. They can also dispel an endless spell at the cost of taking D3 wounds (happens at the start of the phase, do it near a gravesite and you’re golden) which ALSO gives them +1 attack. With even a single bonus attack this unit becomes scary, with 2CP invested from a Knight of Shrouds there isn’t a single thing they won’t kill. With only 12 in the unit, it’s not very hard for the enemy to murk this unit pretty quickly, but it would be a shame if somebody… brought them back. Grimghast Reapers A unit that needs neither justification nor explanation. Grimghast Reapers singlehandedly kept Legions of Nagash relevant during the Daughters of Khaine Winter, and even bumping their cost to 160pts for 10 couldn’t hamper their effectiveness. Point them at an enemy threat unit and watch it die. Invest some CP in them and watch the enemy army die. When THEY die, bring them back. Rinse and repeat. The Game Plan Nice try James (my round 1 opponent) and anyone else attending, a wizard never reveals his secrets. Look forward to how it all turns out in the post tournament review, and all the pictures to come which will end up on my twitter at @ThreeTwoPrince.
  46. 4 points
    What does a fashionable gentle-rat choose when it wants to kill man-things? The choice is yours, but there are some options that are more efficient than others. Monks (damage per model, vs 4+ armour) Blades Staves Base 0.56 0.51 30+ 0.80 0.84 +Charge 1.20 1.4 + Filth or Rabid 1.60 1.9 Staves are almost always better, especially the more buffs are applied. Getting the charge is crucial. Blades of course also profit by the aforementioned, are however a more stable choice for when things go awry. Due to the re-roll they are consistent even with low model counts. From a practical standpoint it has to be said that running Staves won't make you popular (the only friend you will ever need is the horned rat anyway!) and is quite a chore. Sorting a hundred dice and more into four piles is just not enjoyable gameplay for most people. As long as Blades are a justifiable option I will run them. Clanrats (damage per model, vs 4+ armour) Swords Spears 20 swords equivalent in spears Base 0.13 0.083 31 30+ 0.33 0.22 26 + Gnash Bones 0.44 0.33 27 + Warbringer CA 0.61 0.45 27 The important part is the third column. Imagine you get 20 swords into combat, how many spears would it take to get the same amount of damage? At it's core this tells you, unsurprisingly, that you need a couple more spears. Therein lies the problem. Spears can afford to lose fewer models than Swords. Yes, you could potentially do more fighting in three ranks, but giving the rate Clanrats die you probably won't. In addition spears suffer more from penalties to hit. Going from 4 to 5 is a heavier loss than going from 3 to 4. (On the plus side: blocks with spears look great. ) Why would you even care how much damage Clanrats do? Well, used as 20-rat screening unit you don't. If we assume a points increase for Plague Monks in the future, running two 40-rat blocks with a Clawlord can be a viable alternative in the sense that your anvils do some damage in return and you diversify your win conditions. Stormfiends (per model equipped, vs 4+) damage MMMWP a) Launcher (+ spark) 3 6 Warpfire is just mortal wounds = 1/2 models in range. b) Ratling (10 shots, + spark) 4.4 8.9 Grinderfist 2.2 4.4 c) Doomflayer (+1 to hit) 3.7 5.8 Shocking Gauntlets 3.3 6.3 (if fishing for 6s, re-rolling only fails: 5.3) Both melee variants are pretty much equal, concerning their average damage as well as their reliability (or lack thereof). Despite not regularly seeing them, i believe that a unit of 3 with Warpfire brings a lot to the table. There are few matchups where a Flamethrower will be a complete waste and even then you can use the model as a sacrificial lamb in the way the mainstream ranged unit uses it's melee bro. In particular builds that are already strong against MSU/single target (e.g. double bell with chain warlock and Jezzails) can profit from having an anti-horde option. The only thing that has a hard time justifying itself is the Grinderfist. Failing to arrive 1/3 of the time is critical. As well as the general problem with deepstriking SF this way: Warpfire is out of range, the "normal build" needs to be buffed in order to do work. Unless you run some form of original build that tries to mass deepstrike most of their army, I wouldn't advise building it. Deathmaster (vs 4+ armour) Weeping 1.8 Fighting 1.6 Fighting Claws with: Sword of Judgment 5.3 Jadewand 2.8 Rune Blade 3.1 Clan Eshin units follow the classic fantasy archetype of the assassin, with one exception: they aren't deadly. The Deathmaster follows this philosophy strictly. He has great utility and can really surprise your opponent both by appearing out of nowhere as well as not doing anything once he appeared. Lucky procs of SoJ can of course be good, but sacrificing your artifact slot (you are Skaven, you probably only have one) for not even 4 bonus mortal wounds is just not an amazing option. Vigordust Injector on Fiends, Monks or Vermin can do this far more reliably. Master Moulder (vs 4+ armour) Lash 1.3 Things-Catcher 1.3 A question of aesthetics, typical for clan Moulder. Some 3" fighting shenanigans are always appreciated and can give you that extra bit of damage to tip the tides. It probably won't however. Using enough Moulder units to justify a support hero for them means that you need to put some extra effort in though. Given the length of the book there are surprisingly few choices hidden away and with the exception of Stormfiends none of them fundamentally change anything about the units. I do hope this was helpful to all of you losing sleep over Clanrat equipment!
  47. 4 points
    I am competing in a one-day event in Wicklow this Sunday which, after a brief sojourn with the Maggotkin of Nurgle, I will use to dip my toe back into the Pestilent pool. The event will be 3 rounds, 24 players and 2000pts. The Irish AoS meta is interesting, in that there isn't one. The lads and ladies here tend to play offbeat armies, and even those damn Northies who come down to take our women and our podiums mostly bring their whackier, less optimal lists to the party. There's a significant chance there will only be a single Slaanesh player there, a man who unsurprisingly struggles for friends in our scene. So this is the list I am bringing, aptly titled SPEAK PRRRRRRIEST Allegiance: Skaventide Plague Priest on Plague Furnace (200)- General- Trait: Verminous Valour- Artefact: Liber Bubonicus Horticulous Slimux (220)Plague Priest (80)Plague Priest (80)Plague Priest (80)Plague Priest (80)40 x Plague Monks (280)- Foetid Blades- 1x Icon of Pestilence- 1x Contagion Banner- 1x Doom Gongs- 1x Bale Chimes40 x Plague Monks (280)- Foetid Blades- 1x Icon of Pestilence- 1x Contagion Banner- 1x Doom Gongs- 1x Bale Chimes40 x Plague Monks (280)- Foetid Blades- 1x Icon of Pestilence- 1x Contagion Banner- 1x Doom Gongs- 1x Bale Chimes40 x Plague Monks (280)- Foetid Blades- 1x Icon of Pestilence- 1x Contagion Banner- 1x Doom Gongs- 1x Bale Chimes10 x Plague Monks (80)- Foetid BladesExtra Command Point (50)Total: 1990 / 2000Extra Command Points: 1Allies: 220 / 400Wounds: 211 The list is very simple, with as few interacting mechanics as possible. I often design lists in this way, as my basic cognition and memory are as deficient as my spine after years of rolling Plague Monk combat phases. They never tell you that you should be legally required to attend manual handling training before starting a Pestilens army. It's an immense physical undertaking, like doing the Tour de France without drugs. There is no magic, making me very vulnerable to magic. But then again, I am utterly immune to the all-consuming fury of never getting a spell off. My general is the Furnace, and he is pretty important. He's tough, getting Look out, Sir against shooting and combat, and able to pass off wounds with Verminous Valour. With the Liber Bubonicus, he can perform both offensive prayers from the footslogging Priest's warscroll, as well as his own buff prayers. This gives my army 7 prayers in total, making Great Plagues extremely likely, and allowing me to deliver mortal wound payloads to multiple units at a 16" distance. Not too shabby. If needed, I can castle up around the Furnace to take advantage of his battleshock immunity bubble, preserving my CPs for other important things like rerolling charges. I got addicted to Feculent Gnarlmaws from my foray into Nurgle, and Horticulous has been chosen for his ability to plant one of these bad boys at the start of a hero phase. Giving Nurgle units the ability to run and charge if they begin their charge phase within 7" of it, my 40-Monk units are suddenly very mobile and able to attack objectives deep in enemy territory. Two of the battleplans in play have deployment zones that are only 18" apart, so this could be quite significant. The star of my army, of course, are my 170 monks. I presume I don't have to explain how I plan to use this finesse unit, but I should probably give that friendless Slaanesh player a call and see if he wants to hang out. I will be back with my report as early as I can next week, if you have any comments or questions on my list, please leave them below.
  48. 4 points
    Since they show up in most competitive Skaven lists and have a bad reputation: are Plague Monks overpowered? Breaking down the damage (Pair of Foetid Blades, vs 4+ AR, damage per model) with Bale-Chime (without) 100 pt efficiency (without Bale, cost 300) Base 0.56 (0.50 ) 8 (6.7 ) 30+ 0.80 (0.74 ) 9.4 (7.5 ) +Charge 1.20 (1.11 ) 17.2 (14.8 ) + Filth or Rabid 1.60 (1.48 ) 22.9 (19.7 ) Both Prayers 2.14 (1.98 ) 30.6 (26.4 ) Picking Staffs is better if you can get the charge or buff them. However they are very reliant on the charge, annoying because of all their rolling and less reliable due to no inherent rerolls. How does this compare to...? Most mixed lists use them without buffs, since a Plague Furnace means a 200 pt investment. It is a decent combatant, but will get eaten by most dedicated monsters/hammers. Monks are glassy as can be but work in Skaven lists because of Death Frenzy. They are balanced around their need to get the charge and their 20/30+ unit bonuses and having (mostly) no rend. The main issue is not that they themselves are amazing, but that they are annoying. A box full of dice, rerolls, 4 separate piles of dice due to two "on 6 rules", (2 weapon profiles if you use Staffs. The solution can't be to just flat increase points since this just hurts pure Pestilens (who have no other choice) and Nurgle (who need all the love they can get). Rather removing the Bale-chime option lowers damage by ~8% (Foetid Blades vs 4+ AR) and particularly removes two dice piles. 6s on hit should feel like something special. Double damage does this, - 1 rend mostly feels like a waste of time. The good news is that you can do this yourself since it is an optional piece of equipment, the bad news is that instead of a rework of the warscroll there will most likely be another point increase.
  49. 4 points
    Finished my Terrorgheist and managed to take some proper photos! Also some of my 1st Arch Regent as a bonus.
  50. 3 points
    Time for the first blog update! Been pretty busy with real life stuff recently but still managed to get some hobby in. Really enjoyed painting to podcasts in the evenings. The last couple weeks I've completed my freeguild guard and built up the darkshards. Pretty rusty at painting so took a couple models to get back into it, though overall very pleased with how they turned out. Learnt a couple painting tips along the way too! Here's all 14, went for a blue and white colour scheme with purple and red highlights. Just got to try and wrangle another 6 from somewhere to bring it up to the full squad. Dwarves closeup. These were the first I finished and were stripped and rebased from my old fantasy army. Think they're looking good and especially pleased with the bases. Command squad. The kit bashing came out pretty well, particularly the masked drummer. Still got to work out a freehand design for with the banner, but got to practise a bit more before trying that. The rest of the boys. I feel the kit bashing really added some character; Lanky McDwarferson with the steam gun, pet rat guy, stump leg guy etc. (names tbc) Pre-undercoat darkshards. Pretty much straight out of the box. Added a couple arrow stands and backpacks here and there. Plus used greenstuff to add the freeguild captain greatsword to the unit champion. Definitely a bit out of practice with the green stuff as it was a bit messy sculpting (probably wasn't wet enough) but should look fine once its painted. Also added another small dagger to the bottom for some Darth Maul vibes. Finally my sorceress. Just a hag queen model I got off ebay atm but planning on attaching a sisters of the thorn staff for her other hand. Also considering greenstuffing some fabric for a dress to make it look a bit more battlemage than stripper-witch. Will see just have to see what I'm feeling when I've got the other kits. Next steps include painting up the darkshards and buying either the hurricanum (I have some conversion ideas) or the sisters/concussor
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