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Behold the Grand Procession of the Enixian Nighthaunt Gathered en masse in numbers untold. Well, actually, the number is 258 models and is worth over 8,000 points (as of GHB'19/WD'19) with battalions. ☠️
Battleplan: Places of Arcane Power Total Points Played: 1520 Terrain: Random per GHB, no terrain with warscroll cards Armies Legion of Grief Heroes Dreadblade Harrow General - Command Trait: Vassal of the Craven King Necromancer Artefact: Aetherquartz Brooch Spell Lore: Dread Withering Guardian of Souls Spell Lore: Dread Withering Knight of Shrouds Battlelines Chainrasp Horde x20 Chainrasp Horde x20 Other Grimghast Reapers x30 Dreadscythe Harridans x10 Dreadscythe Harridans x10 Cities of Sigmar Heroes Celestial Huracanum Annointed Freeguild General Non-Heroes Phoenix Guard x20 Phoenix Guard x20 Freeguild Crossbows x20 Freeguild Crossbows x20 Deployment Gravesites: I deployed three of my gravesites in a triangle. The first two went to either side of the center objective, just outside 9" from it. I had to place one fully in my territory, but the other I placed just on the other side of the dividing line. The third point of the triangle was just outside 9" from the center objective on my side of the field. The fourth gravesite I placed in my opponent's deep field, a full 9" from both board edges. This meant that the first turn would be spent outside of any of their auras, but counting on my opponent's traditionally slow speed I wasn't concerned that I couldn't reach them even if he went first. Cities of Sigmar won the roll-off and deployed first. He opted for a tight formation, hugging the offset side of the board in order to keep everything within the various auras available to him. This placed him just opposite the center objective from me, but closer to the one on my left than the one on the right. I decided to split my deployment. In the center I deployed my Grimghast Reapers, bulking them up in front of my Necromancer. To the objective on the right (hidden by the haunted house) I placed both units of my Dreadscythe Harridans and my Knight of Shrouds. That left both of my units of Chainrasp Hordes to deploy as close as I could get them to the far left objective. The terrain there pushed me a bit further out than I'd like. Gameplay CoS finished deployment 4 units before I could, so priority went to him to decide the first round. He opted I move first. This was unusual. He usually moves first, and in half measures to bait you to into range of his crossbows. But, me putting the bulk of my forces directly opposite him, as well as a grave in his backfield, he needed a moment to try to figure just what I was up to. Passing the turn to me I moved normal moves on all my units, making sure to stop just short of where his crossbow range would be after his move, and ran my heroes toward each objective behind their screens. On his move, his slowness meant that even after his move I was out of range of all but a couple spells. He cast them, some mortals were dealt to me that I couldn't shrug successfully, but in the end round 1 passed without much incident. Round two came to me first. I spent my Hero phase giving my Reapers Mystic Shield, which was successful and not unbound. I didn't have anything else defensive to cast, and he was still out of range for Dread Withering, so I spent my round just making sure my heroes could cap each objective and that they were protected by a ton of models for fencing. His half was spent pelting both my Reapers and Chainrasps with his ranged while moving his melee closer. Still, just out of range for a charge. Some easily-passed Battleshock rolls later and the turn was over. End of Round 2 Score: LoG 3 points, CoS 0 Turn 3 was my opponent's. This...did not go well for me. It was a bloodbath. It was a goddamned massacre! Spells ripped through my Reapers, ranged attacks eviscerated both them and my Chainrasps, but only after he focused Guardian of Souls for 4 wounds and melted my Necromancer off the board. My Deathless saves just didn't roll high enough, and after losing my Necro I was losing Reapers by the handful. Heroes were targeted and erased. Reapers were softened. Rasps were mostly intact. My response was swift. Rasps and Reapers charged, but only the Reapers made it. Without my artefact I opted not to spend any CP yet for the charges in case I need them to bring back my units. The Reapers engaged, and after the exchange I wiped out half of one of his Guard units and splashed a few MWs onto the hero parked with them, but on the counter attack my Reapers were no more. My silent wish? To get the top of the next round and bring back my Reapers, either at the gravesite where my Dreadblade was already parked, or at the gravesite in my opponent's backfield. End of Round 3 Score: LoG 7 points, CoS 0 My wish was denied. CoS got the top of turn 4. Woe was my poor Guardian of Souls. Woe was another handful of Chainrasps. Worse than that, his magic and his advancing ranged line brought woe to my Dreadblade. Say a silent prayer for him, because he did all of nothing this entire game and on the verge of his entire worth being paid for in the form of Endless Legions, he popped like a Nurgle pustule, unable to move out of the way before they came gunning for him. (He's in the picture near that far gravesite because I was talking out what my next move was going to be to my friend, and now he's taunting me.) After his cloud of bolts was over, he was able to advance onto the center objective and claim it. Meanwhile, his other Phoenix Guard split off to head for the next nearest objective, engaging my Chainrasps and removing them from the board. Mid-Round 4 Score: LoG 7 points, CoS 1 On my half of the turn, I took stock of my situation. My only hero left was my KoS. My only units left were my Dreadscythes. It looked pretty bleak. But then I started counting. Despite losing almost everything, all I needed to do was hold my last objective. My Dreadscythes finally moved (represented here by some Glaivewraith proxies). 2 CPs on their runs to net a full 14" movement, they barreled into the bottleneck of the terrain to deny my opponent movement toward my KoS. The KoS himself moved back just enough to still cap the objective at the edge of the 3" this battleplan demands. I formed the Hot Gates from 300 (not really) using my Dreadscythes as the doors and the terrain as the walls. Now, the ball was in my opponent's court. End of Round 4 Score: LoG 10 points, CoS 1 He won the roll off for turn 5. He capped his second objective. He engaged my Dreadscythes, who despite their lack of buffs and lack of Deathless managed to hold their own with minimal losses. They swung back hard, those 2 damages on nat 6 wounds hurting his melee line. The turn passed quickly. Mid-Round 5 Score: LoG 10 points, CoS 3 At the top of my turn, all I could do was laugh. I had cinched the game. All I had to do was pass the turn and take my 4 points. But first, I had to press my attack with the Dreadscythes just for fun. I had never fielded them before, and while my original plan was to spend some CP on them and get them close to a GoS and see just what they could do at full tilt, I was very surprised how they performed without all that. I'm so used to my Bladegheists only having 3 attacks on a charge, but now that I have used my Dreadscythes I think their -1 hit bubble is way more powerful a buff than a 3's-across-the-board attack profile by a mile. My opponent, my friend, is used to seeing the same from me, so he was eager to see how they performed as well. They piled in to attack his ranged line and managed, at 6 or 7 models, wipe half of his unit. Their counter-attack was nerfed to near-ineffectiveness. The other unit came at his Guard which took the beating much better, but I rolled well enough on the wounds and he not so well on the saves that even a number of them fell. We both were very happy to see these guys swing for the fences, and they will be a staple in my games to come. Final Score: LoG 14 points, CoS 3 What went well Battleplan Not only did I have more heroes on the table with which I could grab an objective, their even distribution meant that the battles themselves were fairly easy to predict. Deployments alone were enough to know where the pain points were going to be. Terrain Terrain will almost always favor Nighthaunt units, and here was no different. Being able to fly meant that I could ignore most of it, where my opponent could not. I was able to make use of the pinch points on the sides (again, these were determined randomly via GHB, and he chose the side of the table we started on) and force the battles to occur on my terms. Speed Once again, Nighthaunt's speed is one of our stellar qualities. Being able to cover the distance to the objectives so quickly meant I had the early advantage on points. This speed also meant that I could take the fight to him further out away from those objectives in case I needed to recoup before he could cap them. Gravesites Placing three of my graves so close to each other proved a game-changer in terms of keeping my opponents occupied longer than he wanted to be. He had to eat up 3 turns just getting through my regenerating Reapers, which while that went by fast and I couldn't stand up to the sheer amount of wounds he could put out, it didn't matter in the end. That bought me all the time in the world. My fourth gravesite? He eyed it every turn, every move. He had to factor it in with every choice he made. The only time he was ever confident with a choice he was making was after he realized he had my general dead-to-rights and knew he could kill him. Deployment For the first time I felt solid about my deployment strategy. This is in part due to the battleplan and partly the gravesite locations. I felt confident that I could meet his challenge head on instead of an uphill battle. And it helped that I put so much pressure on my opponent from turn 1 that a whole detachment on the right side of the board was ignored until it was too late. What went wrong Hero placement? I should have either turfed my Necromancer to the left side and the GoS center, or some other mix similar to that. The Necromancer got a Danse off, and while it was nice I was throwing attacks against a battleline that was saving on 4s with a save-after-save of 4s, who could strike back with 2+s or 3+s with lots of attacks. Perhaps with a GoS backing my Reapers more of my own wounds would have gotten through instead of buffing my Chainrasps that saw no real action. In addition, I was afraid of advancing my Dreadscythes because I knew they would go in buffless. Dreadscythes They took too long to do anything. If I had parked my Necro where the KoS was I could have had them swinging for 3A/2+/2+/-1/1 and sometimes 2 damage, assuming my GoS was nearby as well. Instead, I benched some of my best ghosts on the sidelines to watch the whole battle. In the end that was probably the better move, but I'm thinking not. OMG DAT DAMBLAGE Since getting the Cities book I have not won a game against them until now. Hallowheart, Hammerhal, and now Phoenix Guard, my friend is really good at finding unit synergies that this book offers and bringing out the pain. He regularly can put together a kill team that can swing with the best damage profiles, save with the best protections, and toss in the right buffs at the right time to make it all just an overwhelming force. I am saying this is something that went wrong because we're capable of this, too, albeit in a more focused manner, and I didn't pull that off. But, this proves a point that Nighthaunt are an objective-game army. I tried to meet him in the middle and take on his entire army with 30 Reapers. That didn't go so well. We're ethereal, and we're already dead, but that doesn't stop us from being sent back to the grave.
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