List Breakdown Recap – Legion of Grief at Masters 2019
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.
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.