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AidenNicol

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Blog Entries posted by AidenNicol

  1. AidenNicol
    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.
     
  2. AidenNicol
    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.
     
  3. AidenNicol
    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.

     
  4. AidenNicol
    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.
  5. AidenNicol
    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.  

  6. AidenNicol
    Details
    Date: 16th November 2019
    Army: Legions of Grief with Buff-o-Rama
    Opponent: Regan O'Halloran - Legion of Night with Debuff Focus
    Game Type: Matched Play 2000pts
    Scenario: Border War 2019 (rolled at random)
     
    Setup
    We rolled out the random terrain and ended up with a healthy blend of new and old rules, with the large centerpiece terrain model and the piece next to it yielding overgrown which would have been neat if either of us had shooting attacks or any ranged focus. We placed our Gravesites predominantly on (my) left side, both clearly planning to strongly contest the point there. Regan won the rolloff, but with no Commanding or Arcane terrain on the table he opted to take the side with the least terrain to prevent him moving around, being fully aware that my army cannot receive cover saves from terrain anyway. In a canny play of tactics Regan didn't deploy his Vargheists till the end, and opted to NOT ambush anything in his army. Of course by the time this revealed itself, I had placed my 40 Chainrasps behind my army to cover off any potential ambushes (last game we played he ambushed and killed two support heroes nearly immediately), his subtle mind-game tricking me into deploying my army further back from him than I normally would, ensuring I would be making no massive moves into his army turn 1. With both sides set up and Regan having the choice of who would start, he categorically selected me (man loves that Double Turn potential) and gave me the first move.

    (Besides what is visible above, Regan has paid for a Balewind Vortex and an extra Command Point. I have also paid for an extra Command Point)
     
    Battle Round 1 - Bore-der War
    Having been given turn 1 in Border War, I began the process of doing exactly what everyone playing Border War on turn 1 EVER does, moving up to tag the side objectives and score 5 points. My hero phase was brief, immediately failing to cast Mystic Shield on turn 1 always gets my hopes high. I had some good runs, had to spend a Command Point to nab a 6 to run after the Chainrasps on the right rolled a 1 and was rewarded by receiving 2 Command Points back from my Vassal/Broach combo. My troops moved up on all fronts to insulate my home objective (and Gravesites) and the flanks secured both objectives with enough models to make sure Regan would need to seriously commit to take each from me. Confident I had taken the best available course of action, I passed to Regan.
     

    Regan's hero phase was a lot more exciting than my own. He immediately summoned a Balewind Vortex while dropping Morbeg's Claw, granting his Necromancer and Mannfred von Carstein +2 to their casting rolls. Largely out of range for now (and with my Myrmourn Banshees close at hand) they kept their casting succinct, laying down Mystic Shield and Van Hel's Dance Macabre on the leftmost unit of Skeletons with Swords. Neferata blessed the unit of Vargheists nearest to her with Dark Mist, and both units then immediately closed in on my unit of Myrmourn Banshees.

    I had left a 5" gap between my unit of Dreadscythe Haridans and my Myrmourn Banshees, ensuring that no massive boost to movement could place a model between the units in the move phase, and that a charge that carried the unit over the front rank would draw both into combat and guarantee the destruction of the enemy. Regan rolled a modest charge and instead opted to dump all of his attacks into the Myrmourn. Half the unit was immediately evaporated, and the other half was able to kill a Vargheist in the other unit before meeting the same fate themselves. Regan's other flank failed to get enough skeletons into range of the point to capture it from me, and he scored 3 points.

    Priority Phase came around with myself winning the toss. With no Predatory spells in play and me being close enough to Regan to immediately cop a charge from him should he go, I elected to take the turn.
    End of Battle Round 1 Score: Aiden 5 - Regan 3
     
    Battle Round 2 - Dirty Debuffs, Done Dirt Cheap
    In keeping with the grand tradition, I opened my turn by attempting to cast Van Hel's Dance Macabre on my Grimghast Reapers and immediately failed to cast it. Disappointed but not surprised, I ordered my ghostly legions into a full advance.  The Dreadblade Harrow warped into being within 9" of a Gravesite, and the 40 Chainrasps moved up to replace the 20 Dreadscythe Harridans as they began their advance forward to the Varghiests. On the left flank, the 10 Chainrasps advanced JUST far enough to recap the objective from Neferata and her backup Skeleton dancers. On the right flank, the Chainrasps and Dreadscythe Harridans heavily consolidated their grip on that objective, and the Grimghast mobilized forward to charge the 40 Skeletons with Spears. With the moves finished, the Dreadblade Harrow called to beyond with a Command Point (and got it back) to return my slain Myrmourn Banshees to existence. The Grimghast Reapers then swept in, intent on sweeping the skulls from the skeletal bodies of their opponents.
    Activating the Grimghast Reapers first (being consciously aware that the massive pile of attacks from the Skeletons would be adequate to brick the unit entirely) I started swinging my scythes around. Without a single buff the unit managed to strike down half the unit, clipping it's combat effectiveness on the strike back. Regan then activated his Vargheists into my Dreadscythe Harridans on the other side of the table. Fortunately, I rolled extremely well on armor saves and Deathless Minions saves, and lost barely a handful. In retaliation they shaved away both Vargheist units, leaving a single model in each unit. The Skeletons struck back on the other flank, but their reduced numbers and impressive saves from the Grimghast Reapers saw only 3 fall. Regan spent a Command Point (and got it back) on the Skeletons to dodge the brutal Battleshock test. I scored another 5 Victory Points and the turn passed to him.
    Regan's hero phase began with no less than 10 Skeletons returning to his unit of Skeletons, giving them their combat buffs back. Then he began casting some magic from his Necromancer, Mannfred and Neferata. After a few unmodifed 9's to cast on Fading Vigor and Overwhelming Dread he had turn my Dreadscythe Harridans into having 1 attack and hitting at -1, then popped a Command Point to use Neferata's Twilight Allure to make sure the turn went his way. Regan's moves were relatively conservative - Mannfred drifted behind the Balewind Vortex to bide his time, Neferata advanced to make sure she could charge the Chainrasps holding the left objective on a 3, and everything else largely stayed where it was. With no shooting either, he went straight to charges. Predictably, Neferata and her entourage of Skeletons thundered into the 10 Chainrasps. Predictably Regan opted to activate his Skeletons fighting the Grimghast Reapers first, and pumped 100+ attacks into them. Amazingly 3 Grimghast Reapers survived. The Dreadscythes were pumped up by the Knight of Shrouds to have a more reasonable hit rate and were able to slice apart the last Vargheist in one unit and leave the other bitterly wounded. Neferata obviously killed 10 Chainrasps, though it was actually a close thing. The Grimghast Reapers spitefully murdered another handful of Skeletons before disappearing in the battleshock phase.

    Going into the Priority Phase, Regan was able to beat me in the roll and take the turn. While a double turn at the start of the third battle round would be damning, his unit of Skeletons with Spears had a unit of Chainrasps in front of them to prevent their easy advance (I had a feeling this could happen) and the other flank had to stay where it was to prevent a mass sweeping advance from my main force.
    End of Battle Round 2 Score: Aiden 10 - Regan 8
     
    Battle Round 3 - Vampire Queen, Deceiver, Mortarch... Assassin?
    The Gravesites once again were good to Regan, bringing his large Skeleton unit even closer to full fighting strength. The debuffs (almost) all went off again without a hitch, this time Neferata's Dark Mist was unbound by a unit of Myrmourn Banshees, netting themselves an extra attack in the process. The Dreadscythes had been once again heavily clipped in their effectiveness, and in an extreme display of believing in the heart of the cards, Regan burned his last Command Point for Neferata's Twilight Allure, and was rewarded for his faith by getting the point back. The movement phase was largely uneventful, with the Skeletons with Spears advancing to the 3" mark from the Chainrasps, and Neferata moving into position to tag the entire left half of the table with her aura. Mannfred smelt weakness on the wind and charged the debuffed Dreadscythe Harridans, and the Skeletons then expectedly charged the Chainrasps. What wasn't expected however was Neferata then charging 11" to place herself behind my army and in range with my... Dreadblade Harrow. Having horrific flashbacks of the last time Regan pulled a similar move, I spent a Command Point at the start of the combat phase on All Out Defense, scoring a Mystic Shield-esque reroll of 1's to save. I also popped the Knight of Shrouds Command Ability Spectral Overseer twice to grant +2 to hit rolls to units wholly within 12" of himself,  offsetting Twilight Allure's -1 to hit. Neferata went first and threw everything she had into the Dreadblade, who, astoundingly, only took 3 wounds total. Neferata's infamous Dagger of Jet failed to instantly slay the Dreadblade Harrow, and her assassination attempt was foiled. The Dreadscythes, pumped up to not being completely worthless by Spectral Overseer, were able to score a few hits on Mannfred's Armor of Templehoff, which negated one wound and saw him take a meager 3. The Skeletons swept away the Chainrasps immediately, and Mannfred was able to kill half a dozen Dreadscythe Harridans with sweeping blows from Gheistvor. Neferata faced 8 attacks from 4 Myrmourn Banshees, and with their hit and wound rolls buffed by the Knight of Shrouds and Guardian of Souls respectively, she was torn to pieces and banished to Nulahmia. Regan had recaptured the side objective and scored a solid 5 Victory Points and pulled ahead to 13.

    My turn opened with a massive power-play. From my Gravesites. Dreadscythe Harridans had their numbers restored fully to 20 as they conga-lined off the fight and over the central terrain piece to wrap around Regan's exposed home objective, and the Chainrasps that had taken by-blows from Mannfred's repeated Winds of Death blasts returned to full strength. The Necromancer, likely suddenly aware that his point cost was coincidentally the same as bumping my unit of Grimghast Reapers to 30 and taking a Prismatic Pallisade, suddenly pulled his finger out and cast Van Hel's Dance Macabre successfully on the 15 Dreadscythe Harridans near him. The Dreadblade Harrow, playing it safe after his brush with death, warped into the center of the Chainrasp Horde holding the home objective. The Dreadscythes near Mannfred promptly retreated and wrapped themselves tightly around the opposing home objective, After the forces had moved into position, the Dreadblade Harrow once again exercised his mastery of the dark arts and returned 20 Grimghast Reapers to the table. The Dreadscythe Harridans thundered into the Chainrasps, supported by remaining wholly within 12" of the nearby Knight of Shrouds. The Myrmourn Banshees, retaining their bonus attack due to the wording of Spell-Eaters, closed in on Mannfred and his supporting units to ensure he didn't chase the retreating Dreadscythe Harridans. The Skeletons had their numbers obliterated by screeching Dreadscythe Harridans finally having a chance to trade blows, and the Myrmourn Banshees took the brunt of Mannfred's enraged fury, halving the unit. The remainder struck back, crippling Mannfred down to a mere handful of wounds remaining. The Skeletons received Regan's last Command Point to stay on the table and denying me the side objective by a single model.

    Taking the home objective from Regan while retaining my own netted me 5 points, and I won the priority roll. Surveying the table, Regan opted to surrender as my return of the Grimghast Reapers and ability to summon 2 units of 10 Chainrasps onto the left objective meant I would capture all the points in the concurrent turn.
    End of Battle Round 3 Score: Aiden 15 - Regan 13
    Final Outcome: Major Victory to Aiden and the Legion of Grief.

    Conclusion
    What went well
    Not investing points into buffing the Grimghast Reapers and instead supporting the less efficient factors of the army (Myrmourn Banshees, Dreadscythe Harridans) gave the army a consistency it carried all game. Reviving slain units every battle round after round 1 ensured a brutal attrition game that favored me. Screening my heroes (mostly) well ensured all 4 lived till the end of the game. What went poorly
    The Dreadblade Harrow nearly dying to Neferata was a massive misplay by me, he should never be in a situation where he can have an enemy successfully pile into him. I should have just tagged the unit of Skeletons with Spears on the flank with Grimghast Reapers and waste their combats rather than fight them head on. Make more use of All Out Defense rather than just when desperate to stay alive as it will improve the durability of my threat units, which are almost always illegible to receive it due to being wholly within 12" of a Knight of Shrouds or Guardian of Souls. All around a great game. Regan's debuff list caught me off guard at first and almost stole the game early on. After his recent defeats of me I was however able to apply what I had learned and pull out a win to bring our scoreboard back to an even 3/3. 
    Regan's twitter: @PaintPyrow
    My Twitter: @ThreeTwoPrince
  7. AidenNicol
    Introduction to The Blog
    Hey all, Aiden here. Might maybe remember my blog last year on Skaven Pestilens where I churned out article after article on the army before the Skaventide update at the start of this year. Wasn't really my thing so I started focusing on my Slaanesh. Then they got updated and I didn't like playing "OP" and went looking for something that I could enjoy but would reward good gameplay knowledge without making me feel like the army was doing all the work for me.
     
    Ghosts Ahoy
    When Nighthaunt dropped at the start of "Age of Sigmar 2" I was relatively apathetic to them. I thought their design aesthetic was fantastic, but straight out the gate they weren't considered particularly good and the level of exposure they had short of the odd niche win was merely their best units being cherry-picked into Legions of Nagash and seeing the Legion of Sacrament to horrendous dominance with 60 Grimghast Reapers (Punitive measures were taken against this eventually by nerfing Reapers, which only hurt generic Nighthaunt even more) which didn't look overly fun to me, so I forgot about them. 
    When Forbidden Power was announced however, I saw that it would feature rules for Defenders of Lethis (literally who) and the Legion of Grief. As i thought Legions of Nagash was a pretty well put together book customization-wise i was immediately interested and picked up a copy of Soul Wars as well as a big haul of Nighthaunt models to get me off the ground. 
     

     
    Wanting to play into the theme of it being Olynder's legion, I purchased her as well as other models that played into her aesthetic. I would quickly discover that ironically including Lady Olynder in a Legion of Grief list massively hamstrings it's effectiveness, but trial and error are vital. With a tournament (Sigmar at Winterdale Tavern) exactly one month away from this 2000pts of models arriving I thought well alright, let's see if I can pull this one off.
    Over the course of the month I played numerous trial games with different lists, trying out both Nighthaunt and Legions of Grief to see what suited me better. I found Nighthaunt to be a little inconsistent and the battalion I had chosen (Shrieker Host) to be largely too situational to be worth it's cost and thus committed to Grief. When I discovered that the idea of Grief wasn't actually to be scary and ****** with battleshock, but is in fact to settle down, build a farm and raise a nice crop of Command Points Olynder was promptly dropped from the list to allow a non-named character to step in and take the trait Vassal of the Craven King (it's Aetherquartz Broach, but a trait) and another character to take the Aetherquartz Broach (it's Vassal of the Crave.. you get the point). It was all coming together.
     

     
    The army was painted in time and we made it to the Winterdale Tavern (https://www.winterdaletavern.co.nz/) for the event. It was a one dayer designed to expose the venue to the AoS community and the event did not disappoint. Not often the TO does a Mitre 10/Bunnings style Sausage Sizzle immediately after round 1 for the attendees. My results were 2 wins and 1 loss, the loss is pictured above where I was unable to deal with four Vampire Lords on Zombie Dragons (piloted by NZ #1 two years running Matt Britton) quickly enough to seize victory. The army performed above my expectations, and simply, I was in love.
     
    Conquest of the Mortal Realms (Wellington, surrounding areas)
    With my choice cemented and my Slaanesh sold, packaged and in the mail to an undisclosed location, i was ready to go. First things first, i needed to expand. Having a painted 2k list is nice, but without additional options (additional options that aren't garbage, go away Lord Executioner) there isn't a lot of room for flexibility. With NZ Masters 2019 a month away ya boi pulled his signature move and ordered another massive horde of models to paint in a month.
     

     
    Oops. My Element Games crystals had stacked high enough i was able to nab a Spirit Torment and Chainghasts for free for casual games with the local club and I was able to pick up a limited edition Guardian of Souls from a lad online. The rest of the purchase requires no explanation.
     
    The End of All Things (But Mostly Just this Article)
    This brings us up to speed. The Grimghasts are on my desk being painted with every spare second I get, and every day draws nearer to flying down to Christchurch (our country is largely two big islands, sadly this event is on the island I don't live on) and going for gold with Olynder's Legion of Grief. I'll be posting a lot of hobby content as I go, and a ton of Battle Reports with local legends and fellow players in my local club. Will be posting a lot on twitter (@ThreeTwoPrince) and the various Age of Sigmar Facebook groups in New Zealand. Cheers for reading.
  8. AidenNicol
    Dead things dreaming in the darkness.
    Nothing stirred in the utter blackness of the Deepknell Depths. Nothing living remained in the vast catacombs and narrow tunnels to make a sound. The last incidental collapse of rock, or old bones finally falling apart to clatter across the coarse ground, had happened decades ago. No noise sounded in a place where nothing happened, and nothing ever happened down in the dark. So they had accepted a long time ago, that it was better to simply try to stop existing at all than to wrack and rage at the injustice of their fate. The people above had chosen to spend their lives as coin, and discard them when it suited them. 
    Cold and forgotten.
    Those people had long since passed into the dirt, their progeny and their progeny after them living quiet and comfortable high above the erstwhile crypt. So quiet not even the slightest sound carried down into the dark. A peaceful life built on the suffering of thousands, ironically mounted above their very tomb. No passage down to the Depths existed, no crack for air to pass through or natural current of water. Noxious gasses were commonplace in the tighter tunnels, but they were oddly repellent to flame rather than conductive - early attempts at clearing the Depths of it's vermin infestation had involved the hurling braziers of flame both natural and otherwise down, achieving nothing more than the odd short-lived fire and scorched whisker, par for the course with the Skaven regardless.
    Choking throats long-since rotted away.
    When it became clear that the only solution was to confront the beasts in their own tunnels, hard choices needed to be made. The people of Deepknell Rock were largely peaceful, and were forced to petition the Stormcast Eternals, newfound defenders of Aqshy, to assist them lest their city and the Realmgate within fall to the insidious corruption of the Skaven. When the lightning-men arrived however they were not greeted by the familiar colors and heraldry of the Hammers of Sigmar, but the stark white and sky-blue of the Knights Excelsior. The Knights were a very different breed to their golden armored brethren, and immediately set to work. Forbidden from leveling the whole mountain, caverns and all, due to the presence of the Deepknell Realmgate, they came up with an elegant solution. The city had long housed an impressive prison complex, serving as the jailing quarters for the whole region. The prisoners within were offered a choice by the Knight's leader Cerrus Sentanus, they could die in their cells or take up arms and head into the caverns to redeem themselves and, if they emerged, win their freedom.
    A choice between death and worse is no choice at all.
    The people of the city had cheered as they marched into the Breach, and despite their situation the First Penal Legion of Deepknell felt themselves swell with pride. They had been dealt a hard hand, but one they had aided in drawing themselves, and those that lived through this would be welcomed back into a grateful city. They lit their lanterns, straightened their backs, and marched down into the dark.
    Warp-lightning flashes searing cavern walls.
    The Skaven are a perfidious race, and deep in the Depths they'd had nothing but time to prepare. Blasts of acidic green lit the caverns as engines of death lanced hellish energy through the ranks of the Penal Legion, with every strike claiming half a dozen lives. Neither force was well trained in the arts of war, and in that dank and dark battleground they fell to disorder, fighting as back-alley cutthroats in the dying light as the lanterns faded and the warp-lightning engines fell to the flaws of their own design. The last light to go out in the dark was the only natural source, the light filtering in from the Deepknell Breach entrance. There was no longer a way out.
    A prison, traded unknowingly for a grave.
    The bitter irony was not lost on the former prisoners. Sentanus would keep his word, freedom awaited any of the men that emerged from the caverns. It seemed he had simply ensured that promise could not backfire. Runes of sealing had been inscribed into the now-sealed entrance, a potent force that would ensure the Skaven Gnawholes present in the structure offered them no escape. Sentanus had cleared house effectively, dealing with both the Skaven infestation and the criminals his Stormhost harbored such contempt for. With the natural airflow cut off entirely by the enchantments of the Knights Excelsior the damned criminals and Skaven alike died by degrees as their own panic rapidly consumed the available oxygen. Within hours, every soul under the mountain lay dead, their throats clawed to bitter ruin by their own hand.
    The rope would have been cleaner.
    Within weeks the people of Deepknell Rock had stopped mentioning the prison that now stood empty at the edge of the city.
    An axe would have been kinder.
    Within years the last insect had died, having gorged itself on the last remaining flesh of the last corpse.
    The price paid by the guilty forgotten by the innocent.
    Within decades the First Penal Legion was forgotten. The Knights Excelsior had moved on to less remote climes, and the people of Deepknell Rock had used the breaking of Sigmar's Tempest as an opportunity to build a bustling hub at the edge of the realm. Aqshy was not hospitable by definition, but they had made a life among the geysers of boiling steam and hissing rocks. And far beneath them, the dead granted a mausoleum of their own by the cruelty of the Stormcast, had slipped into languid dreams to cope with the passage of eternity in the dark. Until, on an unusually quiet night both above and below the rock after a season of dark tribulations unprecedented in the fiery realm, a bow-wave of amethystine energy rippled through the world and set hot skin to cold sweat.
    He calls.
    A thousand pairs of blue eyes lit up in the dark, the first light the cavern walls had known in decades. Scraps of bone swathed in ethereal blue mist seemingly pulled from the wave of energy itself lifted from the ground, dark animus hoisting the ruined corpses like marionettes on strings of cast-iron chain. As one they looked to their warden, the only soul beneath the mountain who had not come from a cell. Silent as the grave, as soft as the breeze who's touch they had forgotten, he pointed up through the rock to where a sleepy city was coming awake in surprise.
    We answer. 
     
  9. AidenNicol
    Details
    Date: 27th October 2019
    Army: Legions of Grief with Grimghast buff-train focus
    Opponent: Regan O'Halloran - Legion of Night with Nightfall Pack
    Game Type: Matched Play 2000pts
    Scenario: Border War (rolled at random)
    Few pictures were taken for this report as at the time I wasn't planning on spontaneously starting a hobby blog, the future ones will be LITTERED with them.
     
    Setup
    Regan and I were both playing an allegiance that utilizes Gravesites, and despite my army not being from Legions of Nagash technically it still allows Regan to use mine just as much as he allows me to use his. Naturally there was a lot of umming and ahhing about how to place these without helping the opponent too much, but with us both being relatively inexperienced we largely placed them around areas we wanted to make plays happen.
    The table scenery was absolutely LITTERED with Inspiring and Damned, with a single piece of Commanding terrain on Regan's side (he explicitly chose to deploy on it despite being less reliant on CP, knowing how desperate my army is for extra CP and denying me it would be a good path to victory). With neither of us having clunky terrain pieces we moved into deployment.
    Regan was easily able to outdrop me (most armies can) and deployed all of forces on the table except 6 Vargheists, who opted to lay in ambush. I deployed the majority of my army, performing my now staple "stashing Myrmourn in a Gravesite" mindgame. 
     

    Thoroughly outdropping me, Regan elected to take first.
     
    Battle Round 1 - Drop Claws on 'Em
    Regan began his hero phase by promptly summoning a Balewind Vortex and making use of his Necromancer's artefact of power, Morbheg's Claw. This little diamond in the rough allows the bearer to declare they won't move in exchange for giving all friendly wizards within 12" +2 to cast. He then cast up a storm of buffs and moved forward very conservatively, just enough to take the two side objectives. Content, he passed the turn to me.
    I began by attempting to cast Vanhel's Dance Macabre and failing, an ominous sign. Deciding to not try anything too fancy, I moved up gently enough to take the two side objectives back off Regan and score myself 5 points to equalize the score. My army was kept tight enough that in the event Regan got the priority I would be able to make use of my wholly within start of combat phase abilities, and ended my turn.
    I won the priority, and elected to take the turn.
     
    Battle Round 2 - The Part Where it All Went Terribly Wrong
    I opened by not bothering to cast Vanhel's and instead summoned a Prismatic Palisade near Regan's 3 Vargheists and min unit of Skeletons to make the right-hand objective a pillow fight. My Dreadblade Harrow general warped forward towards the right-hand objective (remember this, it's important) and then pushed my Chainrasp units forward to tangle his army up before it could move freely. My army abandoned my board edge largely, moving forward aggressively and leaving the support heroes up the back with open board behind them, and confident in my choices and assured I was the tactical mastermind the voices tell me I am, I magnanimously handed over to Regan's turn.
    Regan promptly shored up all the buffs under the sun and ambushed my arrogant ass immediately. A unit of 6 Vargheists swooped in from the table edge and immediately made a charge into my back line of Grimghast Reapers while another unit of 3 used their flying move to vault directly over my Chainrasp Horde and throw themselves into the now horribly exposed Dreadblade Harrow. Meanwhile on the left-hand side of the table, a unit of Grave Guard sitting roughly around Super Saiyan Level 4 slammed into 40 Chainrasps. I wasn't terribly concerned as my Chainrasps have survived worse.
    Battle round 2 ended with a Dreadblade Harrow barely clinging to life and surrounded by monstrous vampire creatures, half of my Reapers torn to shreds by another unit of beasts. The Reapers retaliated and slaughtered 4 of the 6 monsters but they had done their job. The Reapers were tied to them and unable to head forward to assist my army, and the Dreadblade was sitting on 1 wound with any number of heroes able to Arcane Bolt him the moment Regan's next turn began. The 40 Chainrasps were basically turned to mist instantly by the Grave Guard. Summed up, going into priority roll 2, things could have been going better for me.
    I won the roll, saving the game from an early end. I opted to go first obviously.
     
    Battle Round 3 - How the Turntables Turn
    Beaten, battered, and wondering whether it was too late to cancel the sale of my Slaanesh army, i began rebuilding my defenses. The Grimghast Reapers managed to receive the benefit of no less than 5 Gravesites and a Deathly Invocation, restoring the unit to fighting strength. The Dreadblade, denied his warping ability due to being in combat, opted to simply flee as far as possible to the other side of the table from the bat monsters. The Grimghasts received Vanhel's, while the Myrmourn emerged and began advancing towards the enemy ranks as kites and to stop the enemy Necromancer having free reign of his board side, while the Dreadscythe Harridans moved up to clear out the skeleton chaff denying me objective control. The combat phase was one for me, with only the Myrmourn under-performing against the Grave Guard. The Vargheists were swept aside by scythes and the Grimghast were now free to move in their next turn. Bringing the score closer to equal, I passed the turn back to Regan. 
    Regan behaved unexpectedly, matching my wanton aggression with EVEN MORE AGGRESSION. Mannfred von Carstein grew bored of watching from the sidelines and heeled Ashigaroth forward to flank my Grimghast Reapers on their left side, simultaneously baiting me, supporting his nascent Grave Guard and genuinely threatening my Reapers all at once. Mannfred destroyed the Dreadblade Harrow with contemptuous ease, taking away my ability to return destroyed units. Keeping away from the Reapers, Mannfred as ever made sure there would be minimal consequences for maximum dickery.
    I won another priority roll, clinging on for dear life.
     
    Battle Round 4 - Go Not Gentle into that Good Night
    Regan, having considerately relived me of my casting heroes and general, streamlined my turn rather effectively. With no spells to sling, speeches to give or gotcha moments to pull out, I kept things simple. I moved forward with everything, and made one hell of a charge. The Dreadscythes swamped the Vampire Lord hiding in cover in Regan's back line while the Reapers got 15 into reach of the skeleton bomb defending his home objective, and 8 within range of Mannfred. Scythes started swinging and hook hands a-slashing, and when the dust cleared i had evened the odds across the table. Mannfred was bloodied and bruised, and the Skeletons standing between me and my chance at clawing victory from defeat where obliterated.
    Sadly Regan promptly reminded me that while Mannfred is known as a traitor, a schemer and unlikely to win beauty competitions, he's also a pretty good Necromancer. The Skeletons I had swept aside like corn reemerged and swamped the rear objective, while Mannfred simply tagged my Reapers to keep them locked in place. With a lead of several points, Regan ended his turn.
    Regan won the priority roll, whereupon we called the game as all he needed to do was pass his turn.
     
    Conclusion - 
    What went well
    Dreadscythes are really good and I need two run two units Grimghast Reapers are gross, and don't need much support to do well Dreadblade teleportation is amazing when done right What went poorly
    Dreadblade teleportation is awful if you behave aggressively against things that will just one-shot him Be mindful of blocking off board edges for ambush units Ethereal Saves aren't actually a free pass and anything with enough attacks will slice through them Over all i was pleased with the army itself, if not the outcome. Everything that went badly on my end was due to me misplaying or making bad judgement calls, rather than inherit weaknesses in the army. It didn't help that Regan is a strong opponent and also knows me well enough to know when I'm getting too cocky. Looking forward to seeing his army when it's fully painted as he's also the Valley's resident commission painter and he does great work.
    Regan's twitter: @PaintPyrow
    My Twitter: @ThreeTwoPrince
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