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  1. Wondering how to run a Grand Alliance of Death Army with FEC, LoN, NH, and OBR. Is there anything out there that has rules for that? I'm mainly asking because most death factions have their own mechanics and rules that they need to be able to run, and those are highly dependent on their allegiance abilities. Like OBR relentless discipline points. So I'm trying to figure out how to run an army made up of all death. I mean they have similar mechanics for the most part but just called different abilities. Also what would be used for battleline? Just the LoN battleline? Or battle line from any of them? If anyone has any suggestions or can direct me where to find rules for this it would be much appreciated.
  2. First, let me get some disclaimers out of the way: I play Nighthaunt and Legion of Grief exclusively. I love my ghosts and rather find novel ways of playing them than chasing the meta. I have not competed in any tournaments. I have been in the game for about a year. This blog, and anything else I post, is my opinion and is only backed up by my own experiences. If you want to hear about how a noob has kept his love of the Nighthaunt alive and has won more than they have lost in their local games, then please keep reading. Welcome fellow Shepherds of the Damned I'm not going to stand here, beside you, and gesture to the war-torn battlefields after your conquest as though anything I have told you here today was why you won your battle. How you win with your processions of murderers, necromancers, and healers who drew the ire of Nagash is ultimately up to you. I will, however, tell you what I know and point you in a direction. And, hopefully, that direction is onward, ever forward, to inevitable victory. First, What the Nighthaunt Are and What They Are Not The Nighthaunt are not titans on the battlefield. We are not unkillable elites. We will never push up the middle of the battlefield and lay waste to everything in our path, nor will we ever hold territory against an unmitigated onslaught. What we are is a tactical strike force. Nighthaunt asks of you to know your opponent. They will know their own strengths; it's easy enough for any army to be fielded and do what it says on the warscroll cards. It is much harder to win against an opponent who is intent on outplaying those strengths. Sometimes it will be a clear counter; we are faster, we hit harder, or we can resist their damage. But, in most cases, it will come down to playing the objectives and keeping your opponent on the back foot. The key to winning as Nighthaunt is to know your opponent's pressure points and how to apply enough pressure, while not over-exposing your own. General Tactica Play the objectives: There are very few battleplans that require you to take on the big bad across the table directly, and those that do often have a more fair way to gain those points other than total annihilation. We are a superior army when it comes to objective claiming and defending with our quick units, teleportation, and From the Underworlds. By default, the rule to claim an objective is to simply have more of your models within 6" of the center of it at the end of your turn than your opponent does, and it remains yours so long as your opponent can't beat that count at the end of their turn, even if your models are no longer there. A battleplan has to specifically alter these rules if they require anything else --and some do-- so always be sure you are up on the objective capture requirements being used. And then be ready to abuse them. Know your tricks: Use the rules as written to your advantage. For example, most battleplans don't require you to hold an objective, just to claim it and then deny your opponent from claiming it by keeping them out of range. That could be as simple as zoning in on the objectives on turn one with From the Underworlds and then charging with everything at the enemy just to deny them getting close enough to flip the claim in the turns limit. Further, abilities like From the Underworlds and Spectral Summons exhaust movement, but aren't moves themselves, meaning you can exploit some battleplan objective rules and a few enemy movement lockdown abilities. Expand your tactics: Most Age of Sigmar armies could be classified as "Hammer and Anvil" style armies, or you will see a lot of common tactical advice given out that fall along these lines. This really isn't our style. Nighthaunt is all about tactical styles that expose and hunt for weaknesses. I will go into more detail for three styles of tactics in the Writs of the Mortarch section at the bottom of this guide. Take battalions: One or two, given points being played. In our army battalions are synonymous with specializing or equipment load-outs. They allow you to counter an enemy by choosing from a variety of benefits that usually exploit specific enemies. Does your opponent love close combat? Shroudguard is a solid counter. So is Chainguard. Does your opponent have high saves? Dolorous Guard can bring some Mortal Wounds. Battalions also have a few passive benefits to keep in mind as well; each one grants your army another Command Point at the start of the game, another artefact you can equip on a hero and the choice of placing all units within that battalion at the same time otherwise known as a "one-drop." Note that this one-drop feature does not know distance or boundary, so you can certainly split that one-drop across the battlefield and From the Underworlds all at once if you wanted. 😉 Target weaknesses: Most other armies depend on their heroes the same as we do. Units will often have banner carriers, musicians, or icon bearers. Some armies are powerful but slow, and some are fast but relatively weak. Some can lock an opponent in place. And we can exploit all of it. With our flying, we can move over and retreat through the front lines to attack a hero or general or claim an objective. We have artefacts, like Slitter, than can halve a unit under the right conditions or can target specific models. Reikenor can use his Corpse Candles on particular models to remove buffs from a unit. Spectral Summons can be used to not only pull a unit back after taking too much damage but can be used to reposition after units move and change the points of battle, or get a unit out of a lock. The point here is to know what your opponent plans on bringing, knowing what their army is known for, and being ready by bringing tools that can remove what they need working for them to win. Don't forget your own buffs: Our most essential buffs come in two forms: our heroes and our battalions. Though some units, like the Bladegheist Revenants, have built-in buffs or special effects when a specific other model is nearby, the majority of your power will come from choosing the right hero to support a unit, or the right battalion to give a benefit. I will get into more detail in what those buffs are below, but the takeaway here is that by leveraging what a hero or combination of heroes can give you will help set up your threat units. ABW12: Always be within 12 inches. If you can't do anything else, at least make sure that your units are always within 12" of your heroes. You don't really want them in combat if you can help it, but you have to keep them close. Oftentimes this means your hero will be running more than anything else, and running into position ahead of your charging units. This will put pressure on yourself to make those charge rolls, lest you leave your hero hanging in the open, but you will want --need-- your heroes giving out their Deathless saves at all times. So bring a ruler and use it religiously, and be prepared to spend that Command Point on rerolling that charge. Tools of Terror Let's get into things a bit deeper. Let's talk about what we can do. I won't get into everything, but I'll list what I think are our most useful abilities and tactics that use them. From the Underworlds They Come: Half of the units we bring to a battle can go into the Underworlds and can sit there for up to 3 turns, and brought out anywhere on the board more than 9" from an enemy. I cannot overstate how useful this is. Depending on the kind of list you want to build, you will want to either place your objective takers or threat units into the Underworlds. The very act of putting something in the Underworlds means your opponent will have to mind their own deployments lest they open up a window for you to exploit a vulnerable edge or backline. For more about this, check out Writs of the Mortarch at the bottom of this guide. Wave of Terror: This is arguably our second most crucial ability, and it alone can win you the battle or turn the tide of a losing war. Unfortunately, this sliver of Nagash's power is as fickle as he is, and if you're unlucky enough never to see it in a fight, it could cost you the game. Each time you charge, should you roll a natural 10 or higher, you trigger the ability to pile in and fight as though it was the combat phase. It's not the combat phase, however, which means that your opponent gets no counter-attack. That natural 10 is a bit of RNG, only having a 16.67% chance of occurring per throw and is not in our favor. This is why we like to build our lists with a lot of smaller units, affectionately called "MSUs" or multiple-small-units (though we will still rarely run minimums, just smaller than maxed). You will want to strike a balance between the number of chances you get to throw those dice on a charge, the amount of heroes you will want to have around to cover those units that charged and potentially spend CP to re-roll a charge, and the models you could lose in a counter before needing to return models or risk losing the unit. Deathless Spirits: As long as a hero is present, that hero and any nearby units get a save-after-save to ignore a wound on a 6. This is important since it is our only method, other than model-return mechanics, to mitigate mortal wounds and damage that gets past our unmodifiable 4+ save. As with Wave of Terror above, this ability both allows you and requires you to make choices about unit sizes. A larger unit can charge in without a hero and get by on a large model count to keep their effectiveness up, but medium-to-small sized units are going to rely on Deathless Spirits to not evaporate too quickly. You might find a tactical advantage of letting a unit or two advance without this protection, but if you are not shoring up the difference elsewhere, you will feel the loss all too soon. Flying: Flying is more than just ignoring terrain. It's also ignoring models. Nothing can get in your way when you're moving, which means that you can spend your moves getting into optimal positions despite your opponent's best efforts to screen you out. You still have to follow the basic rules of movement, can't end a move closer than 3" to an enemy, for example, but now that bubble of protection no longer forces your units to have to skirt around them to get to the other side. Just fly over. Where this ability shines the most is when retreating. Retreating is a normal move with a few caveats attached to it; you give up your shooting and charge, and you have to end outside 3" of all enemies. But that doesn't mean "away," so you can retreat right over the top of an advancing enemy line to set yourself up in their backfield or claim an objective. A couple of our units, Bladegheist Revenants and Glaivewraith Stalkers, can retreat and charge in the same turn, making them powerful users of this ability. Spectral Summons: As long as your general is alive and on the field, for a Command Point, they can pluck any unit, hero or otherwise, from anywhere on the battlefield and drop them wholly within 12" of the general and more than 9" from any enemy. The apparent use of this ability is to pull back a unit that's on the verge of being lost and heal them up from our various sources. But, it can also allow a particularly fast general, like a Dreadblade Harrows, to pop in at any open space and reposition a threat unit or objective holder. The Undying Dead We don't have an overabundance of ways to dig into the grave to grab new recruits in the heat of battle. If there was ever an argument to play Legion of Grief over Nighthaunt, this is it. But, we are not without our tricks when it comes to keeping our units full of death dealers, and when effectively used, this little bit can go a long, long way. Below I will list our sources of healing starting with the most models that can be returned, then abilities that require managing wounds, then those that only heal wounds. Ruler of the Spirit Hosts: Command Trait - D3 models to a unit within 9" of general, at the start of the hero phase. Our number 1 most selected Command Trait and for a good reason; it's free, it can't be interrupted, and it brings back full models regardless of how many wounds a model in that unit might have to heal. This is extremely powerful when used on units with multiple wounds, like Hexwraiths and Spirit Hosts, but don't let that stop you from using this to bring back a few more Chainrasps if you need to. No Rest for the Wicked: Olynder's Command Ability - 1 model to each unit within 12" per Command Point, during the hero phase. Our Lady, if she's our general, can bring back 1 model to all units that happen to be within --not wholly within-- her for a CP. This has a real trade-off: on the one hand, if she's surrounded by friendly units in the thick of battle that 1 CP can bring back a potential ton of ethereal flesh. On the other hand, if Olynder is your general and you are not running the Dolorous Guard to beef up her potential wounds, you run the risk of losing her before she could have her moment in the emerald light. And, it costs CP, which is a premium and arguably better spent on a Spectral Summons or a charge re-roll. Nimbus of Power: Black Coach - D3 models to one unit wholly within 12", at the start of the hero phase. Exactly the same as Ruler of the Spirit Hosts, but with a larger range (mind the "wholly") and from a non-hero (also non-summonable 😠) model that can change up its role from support to attack when needed. The Black Coach is already a beautiful and useful model that should appear in almost every list, but as a support piece, you can keep your units healthy in the early-to-mid game before you charge the Coach into the face of that unsuspecting guy across the field once it hits level 3+. Captured Soul Energy: Spirit Torment - D3 (or 3 if Stormcast) worth of models returned to a unit within 6" if 3 enemy models died anywhere on the field when the combat phase transitions to the battleshock phase. Or, you can opt to heal this many wounds to any 1 target, including heroes. This is one versatile ability and might merit bringing as many Spirit Torments you are comfortable with. The only drawback here is that if you want to bring back Hexwraiths or Spirit Hosts, this is the first of the healing abilities that you would need to roll a 3+ or a 5+, respectively, just to bring back one model. But, the trade-off is that you can target heroes (or other non-summonable units) for that heal, including himself. This is where things change for us. Everything above returned models without requiring you to heal the targeted unit first. For 1-wound units, the below won't be an issue, but if you plan on putting any of these supports near multi-wound units, you're going to have your hand forced. Deathly Invocation: Vampire Lord (ally) - D3 wounds must be healed if possible, otherwise worth of models returned to up to 3 units within 12" at the start of the hero phase. Why would you ever want to spend points bringing in an ally that isn't ethereal, doesn't benefit from or offer Deathless Spirits, and takes a leader slot? Because Deathly Invocation can target 3! separate units to get D3 models back. Sure, if one of those units needs to be healed first, you're doing that, but when you have two more units to target, it's not a hard choice to make. And the Command Ability: Blood Feast to add +1 attacks to a unit for an entire round helps. Spectral Lure: Guardian of Soul's unique spell - D6 wounds must be healed if possible, otherwise worth of models returned to any unit wholly within 24". Probably the very definition of risk-vs-reward for us you have here the potential of returning a full 6 models to a 1-wound unit, or even up to 2 Spirit Hosts, to a unit allllll the way over there, but on a spell that requires a 6 to cast, can be unbound, and only one attempt to cast it no matter how many GoS's you have. This would be downright amazing if it could cast on a 4, especially when comparing it to everything else listed here, but the best you will be able to do about that is spending an artefact slot on Wychlight Lantern to get a +1. As an aside, the other Guardian of Souls artefact, Beacon of Nagashizzar, can add +3 to the models/wounds returned to a unit. Still, if you're going to give the GoS any artefact the Wychlight is statistically more sound (+25% more likely to be successful after an unbind attempt vs. +3 models). Beyond this are the rest of our healing abilities. They will not return models, but they still have their purposes. Spectral Tether: Spell Lore - D3 wounds only to heroes only within 12". Lifestealer: Spell Lore - Deal D3 wounds within 12", caster heals that much. Feed on Terror: Heal 1 wound to a hero within 6" of an enemy unit that fails battleshock. An unfortunately rare occurrence nowadays, but worth keeping in mind. Harbingers of Grief They don't have any choice but to heed Our Lady's commands, but that doesn't mean we don't have a few stand out heroes that put in the extra effort in the field. Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed: Needed for the Forgotten Scions battalion, and one of the leader options for the Shroudguard battalion. He can spend a Command Point to grant a unit +1 attacks. This ability can only be used in the combat phase, but it can be yours or theirs, meaning you can pump up a few units for a counter-attack your opponent might not be expecting. In terms of firepower, this is the best buff you can bring in most cases. It will have the most impact on units with low to-hit/to-wound attack profiles. Even more so with units with double-digit model counts. Knight of Shrouds (on foot): Also one of the leader options for Shroudguard. He can spend CPs to give every unit in a bubble around him +1 to hit. This is stackable, so 2 CP is +2 to hit within that bubble. A great hero to pal around with Dreadscythe Harridans or Myrmourn Banshees to get their enhanced damage profiles through. Reikenor the Grimhailer: The last of the options for Shroudguard and one of the best wizards in the game. We don't have great spells, but there are a few you'd want his ability to get either a +1 or +3 to cast on, like his Wraithstorm spell, Lifestealer, or the endless spell Chronomantic Cogs. More importantly, his Corpse Candles target specific models, so you can spot-remove a banner carrier and rob an opponent's unit of their buff. Guardian of Souls: Necessary for the Chainguard battalion and is a wizard that comes with the only model-return spell we've got, Spectral Lure. Give him Spectral Tether, and you've got a dedicated healer. Too bad there's unbinding likely, and unless you give the GoS the Wychlight Lantern artefact there won't be much to ensure the cast. He's got a passive +1 to Wound bubble, though. That's... helpful. Dreadblade Harrows: You get two of these in a box, which is great for the Forgotten Scions, but unless you run that battalion, you'll only need one. He makes a great general thanks to his teleportation ability, so he can stay safe, show up to use a command trait like Ruler of the Spirit Host, cast a spell if he has the Midnight Tome artefact, or use the Command Ability: Spectral Summons to teleport units to him. He breaks the game in terms of mobility and objective capture, especially combined with From the Underworlds They Come. Spirit Torment: This pretty much rounds out any of the "must-have" heroes. Necessary, along with Chainghasts, for The Condemned battalion, Mr. Torment also brings a passive re-roll 1's to hit for any units within range of his 12" bubble with Nagash's Bidding. This might not seem like much at first, but any units swinging with high attack profiles, like Spirit Hosts with their 5+/4+, will get more benefit from this buff--which is free and always on--than they would from an extra attack that costs CP. Even more so for any unit that wants more 6's. Bladegheists get it even better, getting a re-roll misses buff with him nearby. Additionally, he brings Captured Soul Energy, which is one of the few healing or model-return abilities we have that can't be interrupted (the others being Ruler of the Spirit Hosts, the Black Coach, and Olynder). It triggers if at least 3 enemy models were killed in a round by the time a battleshock phase starts, and if so, heals either D3 (or 3 if those enemies were Stormcast) wounds or models to a unit within 6" of the Spirit Torment. Very versatile, as you get to choose if you want to heal or return models even if they're damaged, or you can opt to heal heroes, and the whole bit works whenever three enemies are killed, so even in your opponent's turn. Note that it can only trigger once per turn per Spirit Torment, so if you want more than D3 models returned this way, bring another ST and kill another 3 enemy models. All the rest of the heroes, including Olynder, are situational at best and filler on the shelf at worst. The Lady herself can dish out a fair amount of mortals at a short range consistently, and her shooting is an ability so it can be still used after a run. Kurdoss Valentian is a beat stick, just in case you need hero support while directly targeting the enemy general, and his ability to steal CP has some value even though it can only potentially steal the one your opponent gets at the start of the turn. Lord Executioner is slightly harder to kill, Tomb Banshee can scream at low Bravery targets, and the Cairn Wraith is so cheap he can just be there to make sure your out-of-pocket units can have Command Abilities options and their Deathless Spirits save. Those Who Are Tormented Let's briefly touch on each of the units that have notable roles in our army. Battlelines Chainrasp Hordes: The two primary purposes of these little guys are to hold objectives and to swarm enemy units. On their own, their large unit sizes can mean that they are a lot to chew through and can buy time even with no hero support. In smaller numbers and with hero support, they can easily put out good damage. They have a built-in buff to reroll Wound rolls of a 1 if there are more than 10 in a unit, and that alone is reason never to bring less than 20. Grimghast Reapers: The Reapers primary purpose is to target enemy hordes, getting free re-rolls against 5 or more models. But, thanks to their long-range weapons and easily fighting in two ranks they are great against even elite units, provided you can max your potential attacks using that range. They are expensive, though, putting less wounds on the table for the points than Chainrasps. But they are also faster and deadlier. Spirit Hosts: These multi-wound ghosts have three primary purposes, balancing their risk and reward options. Their high attacks count and Frightful Touch mean they can reliably damage targets with high save values more so than standard attacks; 2+ enemy saves mean nothing with a lot of 6s. Their large base sizes make them for an excellent hero screen. If you are willing to pile 6 of these guys together, then you also have an objective camper not likely to give up its spot anytime soon. With any of the model-return abilities available to us that don't rely on wounds, you can make a big enough blob of these immortal. Hexwraiths: Until recently, our calvary battleline was nothing to look at. Effectively a quarter of a Spirit Host in every way except speed, you would be forgiven thinking these guys are best left in the stables. They see new purpose within the Dolorous Guard, however, as the battalion abilities grant extra health for a general on a very reliable 2+ roll, and boost their wound and mortal wound potential on a charge. With their two wounds each and packs of 5, they are great for quick objective grabs and holds or hero hunting while waiting for support to arrive. Others Bladegheist Revenants: Your baseline threat unit who can do amazing damage, retreat and charge in the same turn, and who's built-in buffs might just be overkill. This unit doesn't need any buffs to perform well (other than charging), but any hero can only help them do better. It's good to keep in mind that they could have some Chainghasts nearby for the buff without a Spirit Torment even on the board, but if you're going to invest in any elites for the support I'd go with a hero to grant Deathless Spirits. Dreadscythe Harridans: With a little support, these ladies can do more damage than the Bladegeists, but require at least +1 to hit from a Knight of Shrouds (on foot) to match them. This makes them carry an intrinsic cost: 1 CP and a KoS to match Bladegheists, 2CP and a KoS or 1CP and a Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed to outperform them. If you have CPs to spare, then Dreadscythes can pack a surprising punch. Their debuff of -1 to hit for all enemy units within 3" seems great, but when you factor in that it only works on enemies with a natural Bravery of 6 or lower, it won't find much use. Myrmourn Banshees: A threat unit that is the epitome of risk vs. reward. They can unbind or dispel as though they were wizards, with a +1 to the unbind for every four models in a unit. It's short-ranged, though, only working within 18" for the unbind and 6" for the dispel, but if either is successful, the Banshees buff themselves +1 attacks (the dispel does D3 damage to the unit, so without healing you'll lose models). In terms of damage potential, 12 of these ladies can outperform 20 Bladegheists with just that self-buff alone. This scales quickly with any more buffs you can toss their way. Chainghasts: I talk up some Hexwraiths, but wait until now to even mention Chainghasts? You'd think that as our only non-hero ranged unit, you might want as many of these guys as you could, right? Especially considering our only other units with range are Lady Olynder, the Black Coach, and Tomb Banshee? Well, not exactly. You're not going to pack more than 4 of these to a single unit, and unless they become much cheaper, you're probably not going to try to bring more than what's required for The Condemned battalion. In the ranged department you're looking at 15" and wildly swingy D3 attacks each. However, they do have a trick up their sleeves with in melee: they get 1 attack per model within 2" when they are activated. What do you do with that? Well, if you charge these guys into a horde pack and determine you've got some 10-15 attacks, why not use that 2" reach and slam them all into the hero standing next to them? Still, without some assistance to their ranged I feel these guys are a bit one-trick and easy to snipe. Another Link in the Chain is great for when you want some Spirit Torment buffing but can't fit another one into your list, so that's something to consider. Glaivewraith Stalkers: You've got, like, 30 of these, right? Sorry about that. They shoved handfuls of these in Storm Strike, Tempest of Souls, and Soul Wars starter sets, so most players will have an abundance of these guys. I won't harp on them and say they're literal trash, they can be converted into Reapers after all, but they aren't great. They do have some redeeming qualities to keep in mind; they are cheap, come in units as small as 4, have 2" range that can add up if you have a lot of them, they can retreat and charge in the same turn, and re-roll failed hits if they've charged or been charged. Despite this, they will do a massive 50% less damage than Bladegheists if the gheists charged that turn. Worse, this gap only lessens to 30% if Bladegheists didn't charge. Their battalion, Death Stalkers, doesn't help this situation much either, buffing that 50% deficit to 30% of charging Bladegheists (or breaking even if the 'gheists didn't charge), but only to one enemy unit for the entire game. You really might want to convert these or wait for them to get a Dolorous Guard of their own. Battery-Powered Curse Hearse Does the Black Coach deserve its own section? You bet your sweet Necromancer and/or Vampire that's bound, gagged, and chained in the back it does! This beautiful, ornate, gloriously gothic centerpiece is what the Nighthaunt are! I mean, look at it! Name a more gorgeous thing. I dare you. I'll wait... Nothing, right? And it's a great unit on top of that. The Black Coach Aesthetics aside, what you have here is an excellent support piece that can transition into several roles as you see fit, giving you some proper dynamic choices through the course of a battle. It's not a hero, so it won't be giving out any Deathless Spirits saves, nor is it "summonable," which is the keyword all our troop units have that allow our healing-mechanics to work. So, its healing is going to have to come from itself or a Spirit Torment (see how versatile they are?). Thankfully, it can do just that. Evocation of Death is the primary ability that powers the rest of its set. Roll 3 dice at the start of each battle round, no matter who's going first, and look at the results. Each 4+ is a level gained for Evocation of Death, and each turn, you have three more chances to add additional levels. Nimbus of Power is the first level and instantly sets itself as another Ruler of the Spirit Hosts as well as a self-healer. This is already amazing, but wait, there's more. Unholy Vigour, second, which allows re-rolls of 1 for all its melee weapons (all of them, horses too), and it can now run and charge in the same turn. Spectral Scythes is the level you will want to wait for before you put this thing into combat. This level empowers the Coach to let you pick a unit within 1" after it charges and roll a die and on a 2+ deal D3 mortal wounds to it. Insubstantial Form, fourth. Now it can retreat and charge, which it absolutely should. Witch-fire is fifth. Just start burning everything within 3" of this thing every hero phase by rolling a dice for each enemy unit in range and on a 4+ deal D3 mortal wounds. This is a lot, and combined with its other abilities like Frightful Touch on the Reaper Scythe and Relic Bearer's Spectral Claws, and Reaped Like Corn (which is only on the Scythe), and the option to bring the Soulreach Grasp, you might be asking just what are you supposed to use this thing for? Behemoth in Battle The Black Coach has three primary uses, any two of which you will choose for its life in the game; Corpse Cart and either Soul Sniper or Reaper on Wheels. Corpse Cart: In the early phases of the game, the Black Coach supplies you with another D3 of uninterrupted model-return. If you intend on layering this with other model-return abilities, you've got a strong support structure to keep behind your front lines while not risking putting your general in harm's way. There's too much firepower building up to keep the Black Coach behind forever, but don't begrudge the effectiveness of using it to zone-out flanking attacks, shepherding units as they push forward, and providing a target to shoot at that's not your other threat units. Soul Sniper: Going this route means you elected to take the Soulreach Grasp instead of the Reaper Scythe, which will give you a ranged option for the shooting phase. It's only 10" and a single attack, but it has -3 rend and D3 damage. Not bad since you get to use this twice (shooting and combat phases) even if engaged, but not likely to mean much without a buffing hero nearby. This can be the better setup if some high-save enemy units are advancing on you thanks to that -3 rend, but unless you can reliably land those Grasp attacks you'll want to keep the Coach at range and keep healing, which unfortunately means losing out on the rest of the Coach abilities. Reaper on Wheels: This route means leaning heavily on the Reaper Scythe and the collection of other abilities to do a ton of damage before the poor thing gets inevitably blown from the field. Almost all of the Coach's powers are melee-centric; the Reaper Scythe being the only weapon choice to benefit from Frightful Touch and Reaped Like Corn, and the rest of the kit wanting to hug enemy units. Knowing the Coach can eventually run and charge, moving anywhere between 15" to 20" if not too damaged, then you simply hold it back until level three, and then bring it into combat. Level three will take two turns, on average, which is plenty of time to see where things are lining up on the field. At that point, target that ranged squad in the back, the melee unit that's punishing your threat unit, or an exposed hero and snap the reigns. If possible, keep it within a friendly hero for Deathless Spirits, or a friendly unit for Nimbus of Power. Which is better? When comparing the Soulreach Grasp vs. the Reaper Scythe you're only talking about a single wound in favor of the Scythe on average, assuming you're attacking twice with the Grasp and the only buffs come from Unholy Vigour and Frightful Touch. The gap increases to 2 wounds if Reaped Like Corn can be used. What this means is that it's a matter of time. The Grasp has a chance to do less damage over time, but at range, while the Scythe will do more damage but only in direct combat. The break seems to be about 3 rounds. Any less and the Grasp wins assuming you got at least 1 wound at range. More than 3 and the Scythe wins. All To Come Within the Fold So we've covered all the units that could be considered Nighthaunt Proper that's wholly within the battletome, but for those wanting to shine their Nightmare Lantern's alluring light into other "realms," you can call upon a few more lost souls. From Forge World, you can snag the Mourngul. From Warhammer: Underworlds, you can recruit the Briar Queen and her Thorns. Forge World Mourngul: From GW's resin model store Forge World you can grab this guy. It has rules and points, so it's a legal model, but there are some tradeoffs for not coming from GW's mainline. First among them are the points; this tall boi is the most expensive single model you could put on the table, even more than the Black Coach. Second, for all those points, you're getting a warscroll card that has seen a rewrite to nerf it in a pretty substantial way. Lastly, to offset the power the Mourngul previously had, it's a Monster and not a hero. A few armies have abilities and attacks that get buffed when targeting a monster, and not being a hero means no Deathless save and no potential artefact. This means that despite its strengths, you are either throwing it away as an expensive distraction or supporting it with a hero, or in the very least, Shademist or Mystic Shield. Monsters also can't benefit from cover, but Nighthaunt can't do that anyway, so that's not a loss. But, what this model can do, in addition to becoming the de-facto damage magnet as soon as it's on the table, is bring sweet, sweet bloody carnage. It's fast starting at 12", has a 2-Mortal Wound Frightful Touch, starting with eight attacks with which you could get those MWs, and the second-best natural attack profile we have to back it up when you don't score those MWs. Oh, and it can heal itself D3 wounds if it killed anything via Devourer of Flesh and Souls to try to stay at its top profile, and has a passive -1 to hit rolls for all enemy models within 6" with Ghastly Apparition. Note that this last bit is models, not units. Ghastly Apparition will shroud any friendly units you have palling around with the Mourngul too, so long as the attacks originate within that 6" bubble. Drop the Mourngul with From the Underworlds on some unfortunate unsuspecting target, nail that charge, and revel in piling bodies, especially so if that target is already engaged in a fight. Underworlds The Briar Queen: From GW's sister game Underworlds, you can pick up the warband Thorns of the Briar Queen and use those models on the table with rules that aren't too bad. The Queen and her six unique Thorns come as a set, meaning that for the slightly inflated cost of a hero, you get a free screen as well. The Briar Queen herself is a wizard and comes with the spell Howling Vortex which is a tactical choice of a spell to be sure. With a casting value of 7, 18" range that targets a spot on the table, and 6" area of effect from that spot, you can splash any number of enemy units in that radius with this spell. You then have to roll 2d6 and either beat each enemy unit's movement characteristic or roll a double, and if so, they suffer 1 mortal wound and have their movement cut in half. If you can pull this off, half movement can be a nice way to buy some time on a unit or several units that are more than 12" out, but this quickly loses its usefulness once the threshold for a reasonable charge roll is crossed. She can back up her spell with three ranged attacks at 10" on 3's and 3's with 3 rend (one damage each, ha), and whip in melee once at 3", on 3's, 2 rend, but D3 damage. All in all, there's a lot to the Queen that can be useful, but you'll be hard-pressed fitting her in anywhere that another hero wouldn't be more helpful. The added tax for her Thorns doesn't help this, either, as though they provide a useful screen, they are just Chainrasps that retain their rerolling wound rolls of 1 if two of the six are still around. This doesn't make her terrible, though, just tactically challenging. If she can slow even one fast unit down with her spell or hide behind a durable screen for a couple of shooting/combat phases, she could easily be worth bringing. Processions, the Jailed Forced to March We have a total of 9 battalions and 2 super-battalions. That's...a lot. But, as I have been stating throughout this guide, our battalions are less army-wide buffs as they are configurations that allow you to build up specific tactical advantages for several units of our army. I won't get into all the battalions here, but I will highlight a few of my favorites. Also, remember that any battalion you take is also another Command Point at the start of the game, as well as an artefact you can equip on a hero. The Dolorous Guard: One of the three new battalions the December White Dwarf magazine gave us, this battalion delivers two utilities for the price of one. The first thing it does is allow your general, whoever it may be, to enjoy a pseudo-wound pool of +20 at the minimum. It does this by allowing you to redirect wounds your general takes to any of the Hexwraith units this battalion requires. The requirements are simple; at least 2 units of Hexwraiths, at least one of them 3" or closer to the general when it takes any damage, and a 2+ roll right after a failed save. Suddenly Lady Olynder can be a centerpiece threat unit again, carrying within her retinue 27 wounds at a minimum that she could heal up with a Command Point. Other generals would make great use of this, as well, like the Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed, but I'll get into that at the end of this guide. The second thing this battalion does is give those Hexwraith units a buff on the charge, granting +1 attacks to both the scythes and the horses. At first, this might seem lackluster, but statistically, this makes a pack of 5 Hexwraiths just over half the effectiveness of Spirit Hosts with their Frightful Touch, but with much more movement. Combined with the right general, that effectiveness skyrockets past Spirit Hosts and can make for a terrifying offensive line. This mega-wound general and all the mortal wounds you could want make this battalion great against heroes and high save elite units. The Forgotten Scions: The other regular battalion from the December White Dwarf requires you invest in a Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed (which you should be taking anyway) and two Dreadblade Harrows. At first blush, this might feel like a hefty tax having to take an extra DH that you wouldn't dare put into combat, but I challenge you to look into the utility of this battalion instead of its threat. First off, this battalion grants that KoSoES a passive +1 attacks to his sword, and it also allows free use of his Command Ability once per round. This increases his damage output significantly, and potentially his healing as well thanks to Sword of Stolen Hours, and also the damage of the units around him. But, this entire battalion can be one of the most versatile utility battalions we've got. Slap a couple of key artefacts on those Dreadblades, and you have spot support magic (Midnight Tome and Shademist), movement buffs (Pendant of the Fel Winds), or an artefact carrier that you can keep out the danger of battle. The Emerald Host: The only super-battalion I'll get into detail here, this is the third of the offerings from White Dwarf. I only want to point this out because it's cheap, and requires no more than the taking of both battalions above to unlock it. What it does is give an enemy hero of your choice a permanent -1 save from all attacks that target that hero. This can be devastating on the right target, bringing some enemy's +2 save up to a +3 and netting a whole 50% more potential damage on it. Also note that this debuff comes from all sources that are "attacks," not just from your army. In most cases, that might not make much of a difference, but in a team or multiplayer game, you just brought a powerful debuff everyone benefits from. And, though I'm not aware of any abilities acting this way if your enemy can damage themselves for a buff and that counts as an attack, well that's debuffed as well. This, a CP, artefact, and one-drop option on the other two battalions above? Not bad. Not bad at all. Shroudguard: For such a simple battalion, the net benefit of it cannot be understated. Two units of Bladegheists, our baseline threat units, get a Frenzied Fervor save of 5+ instead of a Deathless Spirits 6+. What does that mean? It means your 16.67% chance to ignore damage doubles to 33%. In a game of dice and random numbers, giving two of some of your best units a 33% chance to just totally ignoring incoming damage is nothing to scoff at. It's no wonder you see this battalion everywhere. It does have some drawbacks to note, however. It's still a Deathless save, so you still need a hero nearby to grant it, and you need the hero you chose to include in this battalion to see the Frenzied save. A hero that, by the way, doesn't benefit from that tasty save he's handing out. Despite that, this battalion is excellent for some good ole' fashioned warmongering and tieing up some enemy threat units. Deathriders: I'll mention this one only briefly because it sees some competitive play, though I expect that to change a bit with the Emerald Host. With this battalion, your Black Coach, two units of Hexwraiths, and a Dreadblade Harrow or two all now get to nail Wave of Terror on a natural 9 instead of a 10 on a charge roll. This buffs the chances of WoT triggering up to 27.78%. Oh, and they all get a +1 to charge rolls. I mean, when you absolutely, have to, gotta, need to slam that Black Coach into someone's kneecaps from across the board, this battalion can't be beaten, but I'll argue you'll have a better offensive chance and output with an MSU army and spending those Dreadblade points in Forgotten Scions. The Condemned: Now, have you ever looked at your two packs of 20 to 40 Chainrasps and thought to yourself, "I think these need to kill more?" Ever wondered what would happen if you could shove all of them into a wide enemy front line and then grab all your dice, and all your opponent's dice, just so you could roll all the attacks? Then this is the battalion for you! The buff this battalion gives is simple; Chainrasps can now reroll all failed hits if wholly within 15" of a Spirit Torment or Chainghasts. That, combined with the Chainrasps built-in buff to reroll Wound rolls of 1, and you got yourself one of the best damage dealing battlelines out there. Use this battalion to target armies that bring very big bad units, but not a lot of individual units. You can potentially tar up a couple of enemy units with one large blob of these guys, and since you're required to take two, you might tie up an entire army advancing line. This battalion loses its effectiveness if your opponent brings a lot of units to the table, though, and even more so if they are fast. If that's the case, you're better off with a maxed Reaper unit. Chainguard: Personally, I have found the utility of this battalion to dwindle as of late, but I'll mention it here because it still serves a purpose. Like The Condemned, it requires two units of Chainrasps with anywhere from 20 to 40 models in them. And, you're taking a Guardian of Souls (and, if you're listening to me, giving him the Wychlight Lantern). Now, any time the GoS's Spectral Lure spell goes off on one of the Chainrasp units, an additional D6 models return. This sounds great for plopping down on an objective, or as a thicket of brambles to choke an enemy into a bottleneck, but it suffers from the same issues the GoS himself does. Namely, this entire battalion requires you to not only be able to get a casting value 6 spell off (I wonder what could help that?) but that it's also not unbound. I suppose if that all works out, you have 2D6 Chainrasps coming back, but only to one of the units. Even if you brought multiple GoS's that spell can only be attempted once a turn. My point here is that you don't want to play a game of attrition as Nighthaunt, we're not equipped for that. As shock troops, you need to get in there, steal your objectives, and deal damage to key targets. This battalion does none of that. The rest of the battalions are situational at best. The Execution Horde helps the already hard-to-kill Lord Executioner be even more hard to kill, which is great if you need to hold the line but falls short unless you're pairing it with any of the whole-model-return abilities (not worth-of-models) and effectively taking them away from where they might be more useful. Death Stalkers grant an enemy unit a debuff of +1 to hit and wound against them, but only from the Cairn Wraith, Reapers, and Stalkers in this battalion. And Shrieker Host forces enemy battleshock rolls of 1 to be re-rolled and prevents Inspiring Presence. If the majority of our enemies didn't already have either a great Bravery characteristic or battleshock immunity abilities, this might be more competitive, but as it is, I don't think it's worth taking when we have so many better choices above. Lastly, the grand super-battalion Nighthaunt Procession reeks of the old age of this battletome, but it didn't age as well as the rest of it. All it does is turn Deathless Spirits into Bound Beneath Indomitable Will, which sounds cool as hell, but only drops "wholly" from the save range. I suppose that's powerful enough on its own, if very outdated when compared to recent armies, but by the time you could field a Nighthaunt Procession, you're likely going to have the hero cover you'd need for Deathless anyway. As a reminder, you are tailoring your battalion choices to your opponent's weaknesses. My quick impressions on them here are only surface level. Know your battalions backward and forwards, and you will find yourself selecting the perfect counter. I might have put down a few battalions here as worthless, but they really aren't if they exploit an enemy. I've seen a Shrieker Host dominate, once. Just once. But you get the idea. Spells in the Wake of the Necroquake When it comes to spellcasting, Nighthaunt could stand to have a few more options. While we have a few stand-out Spell Lores we can choose from, our Endless Spells belong on the shelf and far to the back. I'll go over our wizards, their casting options, our spells, and some generic Endless Spells that you might want to consider. Wizards Reikenor the Grimhailer: If you're going to invest in a spellcaster, Reikenor might be at the top of your list. He's no slouch with his Fellreaper if you need to swing it at an enemy unit with 5 or more models in it, but it will be his Corpse Candles that will seal his seat on the court. Corpse Candles allows him to deal 1 mortal wound to either any specific model within 12" of Reikenor or to himself, and if that wound ends up allocated either gain a temporary casting bonus of +1 or +3, respectively. The immediate caveat of this ability is that the damage must take, so if your opponent can shrug the damage or Reikenor himself makes the Deathless Spirits save that he has to attempt, then there's no bonus. But, the hidden power of this ability is in the selection of enemy models; you can select a unit's icon bearer or musician and snuff them right out of the pack, taking their buffs with them. Reikenor also brings his own unique spell Wraithstorm, which on a 7 will do D3 mortal wounds to a unit within 12", and if it kills a model will trigger another D3 mortal wound one more time. Lady Olynder: Of course, Our Lady is on the list. She's a level 2 wizard, which means that she can cast and unbind twice. Olynder also comes with her own unique spell Grief-stricken, which on a 7 will make an enemy unit within 18" have to subtract 1 from all their hit rolls, while also granting +1 to all melee weapons that target them. Unfortunately, Olynder does not have access to access to any casting bonuses, so even her own spell is a hard cast with a high chance of failure. Still, her other abilities can more than make up for this slap in Our Lady's face, provided you can keep her safe enough to use them. Guardian of Souls: The last of our allegiant wizards, this is also our only unnamed one and means that you can assign an artefact to him that neither Reikenor or Olynder can have. The GoS has access to a set of artefacts that are unique to him: Lightshard of the Harvest Moon, Wychlight Lantern, and Beacon of Nagashizzar. If you have been following my hints elsewhere in this guide, then you know that I think that Wychlight is the only real option, and maybe now you see why. Casting bonuses come very rarely to us, and an extra digit on the die roll can make all the difference. Vampire Lord (ally): It's worth mentioning the Vampire Lord. Since he sees a lot of play as a Nighthaunt ally, it's fair to point out he's a wizard, too. Though he does not have access to any of our Spell Lores, he could attempt a generic Endless Spell if he wanted, but more importantly, Mystic Shield will always be in his spellbook. Spell Lores Soul Cage: A tactical spell if there ever was one with two effects baked in, Soul Cage can be a nasty bit of magic in the right spot. For a casting value of 6, a unit within 12" loses its ability to retreat and must now wait until the end of the combat phase before it can fight. Going "at the end" means it's likely that the unit you're targeting won't be able to fight back until after the two or more units you just shoved in its face have had a swing. But this spell can also buy time, which sometimes is all you need. You could breach an enemy's 3" bubble in some way, like via model-return, and then lock that unit down with this spell. Spirit Drain: What Spirit Drain is, is easy to cast. On a 4, within 18", roll a die for every Wound characteristic your target has, and for each 6 give out a mortal wound. Considering that's only a 16.67% chance, per die, to do damage, you won't see this spell taken very often. Still, feel it out if anyone tends to bring a double-digit Wounds hero to the table. Lifestealer: With a casting value of 7, you'll probably find it's the best on Reikenor. It's just a D3 of mortals within 12", but it returns that much to the caster. Snuffing those candles on himself doesn't seem so bad of an idea anymore. Nailing the cast and preventing the unbind with his bonuses make this almost his sure-pick spell. Reaping Scythe: Now, this is an underestimated spell. Casting value of 4, so really reliable, and it gives any single weapon the caster's holding re-roll both hits and wounds until the next hero phase. Mitigated by the fact that it only targets the wizard who cast it, the only native wizard who'd benefit from it is Lady Olynder, and oh does she ever. Re-rerolling fails on her Staff of Midnight, when combined with the rest of her damaging abilities, makes her into a curb-stomping Queen. With the Midnight Tome, there are a few other heroes who might like this spell, too; Knight of Shrouds (either one), Spirit Torment, or even Dreadblade Harrow. Shademist: Since, as an army, we will want to focus on staying alive, and in the fight, Shademist is likely the superior spell for any wizard who's not Reikenor or Lady Olynder. Maybe even if they are. Casting on a 6, a Nighthaunt unit wholly within 12" gains a buff of -1 to wound rolls for all attacks that target that unit. Not a lot of abilities buff wound rolls out there, so this tends to be a harder counter to taking damage than -hit effects. And, having it doesn't preclude Mystic Shield or All-Out Defense from also being used for extra protection. To give you an idea of how powerful this is, a reduction of 1-to-wound is about 25% less damage on average coming in. Spectral Tether: If it weren't the only spell that we have that can heal heroes, I'd say this was a hard pass. Casting value of 6, 12" range, and D3 wounds, it's not a lot of healing when compared to the myriad other ways we can put wounds back into a unit. But, since this can only work on heroes, and our heroes lack sources of healing, this becomes a spell to factor. I would bring a Spirit Torment, instead, unless this spell were going to a Guardian of Souls. Captured Soul Energy can't be interrupted, after all. Endless Spells First, a word of advice: If an Endless Spell has a casting value of 6 or less, it's fair game, though you may want a Guardian of Souls with a Wychlight attempting it. However, if you're looking at a 7 or higher, save that for Reikenor. There are a few reasons for this; you want an initial casting roll that's good enough to cast the spell, you want an unbind that's more likely to be higher than your opponent can roll, and if they are spending casting slot on dispelling it that's one less spell they can cast that phase. Chronomantic Cogs: Well, of course! Why? It's so much utility in an itty-bitty, casting value 7, package. In fast mode, everyone gets +2" to movement and +2 to charge rolls. Yes, your opponent, too. But, this allows our already fast units to get down the battlefield that much faster. On average, our units will move 10", and is arguably more bang for the spell than your opponent will get seeing as how you'd use it on your turn first. The charge roll bonus also allows any of those units you just dropped in From the Underworlds now make contact on a 7. In slow mode, this allows your wizard to cast an additional spell and re-roll saves. Don't repeat a common mistake, though; wait until you're ready to move up the field, drop from Underworlds, or have a lot of charging you need to make before setting up the Cogs. The longer it's out, and speeding up time, the longer your opponent can use it, too. Prismatic Palisade: Wait, hear me out. Cheap, 5 on the casting roll, and it's a big ole bright wall you can put between you and their ranged units. It's complete cover if a 1mm line from the center of any of their bases passes through the Palisade on the way to the center of yours. Sure, they'll move around it on their way to get to you, but more importantly, they'll have to. And maybe get blinded in the process. There's a lot of ranged units out there, at least make them work for their shots. Aethervoid Pendulum: Yeah, I'm upset Shyish Reaper is as bad as it is. Know what isn't? This. Sure, it costs more, but it's slightly easier to cast on a 6, does more wounds, and is much less likely to get in your way. It just moves the direction you set it unless it doesn't. Emerald Lifeswarm: Want another source of model-return? For a casting value of 6, you can set this down in the thick of your army and watch it return D3 models to one unit within 1" of it. It's predatory, so unless you want to see it start fluttering toward your opponent, you'll probably want to go second once you get it out, but that's not such a bad thing if you're combining a lot of other model-return abilities along with it. Better, you can also park it in your backfield and use Spectral Summons to pull units back to heal up. Either way, this allows us to be a bit more resilient if you think it's worth the cost. Geminids of Uhl-Gysh: This one might be a sleeper hit. Little tricky to set it up with it's 18" range and requirement to be tethered to each bit no further than 6", but if you can manage it, each one will do D3 wounds to whatever they pass through. But, even better, one of the Geminids will debuff the unit -1 attacks, and the other -1 to hit, and can provide a considerable survivability buff to friendlies in the area. It's a casting value of 7, so it may be best to attempt it with Reikenor, just in front of a screen of soon-to-be charging ghosties. Balewind Vortex: Imagine how funny it is to see Reikenor sitting on top of one of these. You and your opponent will be laughing. He'll stop laughing, though, when your Wraithstorm now has an 18" range. Or maybe you cast Balewind and then with the extra spell cast it gives you, cast Geminids at 24," and that wipes the smile off their face. Soul Cage, Lifestealer, or Shademist all at 20"? With a casting value of 6, you can let anyone try to cast it, but as always, Reikenor is your best bet. This Endless Spell grants the wizard atop of it an additional spell attempt and +6" range to whatever they cast, and +1 to Saves. You're not taking this why? Oh, because it's an instant kill for your wizard if you don't adequately protect him and we're ethereal so that Save bonus means nothing. Relics Primed for Corruption I have a few artefacts that have become favorites, each with a utility that I think benefits a Nighthaunt army in some novel and meaningful ways. As an army, you can choose whatever your home realm is and gain access to that realm's artefact in addition to any that come with Nighthaunt. You also gain access to the artefact that exists in the realm you will fight in, should you want to make a last-second addition before a fight. This can potentially give you two different realms of artefacts to choose from and can compliment Nighthaunt artefacts nicely. Nighthaunt Only Shadow's Edge: Frightful Touch on a 6, but D3 mortal wounds instead. On any hero you can pump up the number of swings on; this can toss some excellent saveless damage. Slitter: After picking this weapon's carrier to fight, but before they pile in, select an enemy model within 1" and roll a dice. If higher than the model's Wound characteristic, that model dies. Use this after the enemy unit has attacked so that they can no longer move for the rest of that phase. If the model killed breaks up the unit more than 1", it is out of cohesion, and additional models have to be removed until it is back in cohesion. Play this smartly and slice units in half. Be aware that abilities or effects that modify the characteristic count toward the total, but damage does not. Headsman's Judgement: +1 to hit and wound rolls for one of the bearer's weapons. Simple yet effective. Midnight Tome: Turns the bearer into a Wizard granting one spell/unbind, and a spell from Nighthaunt Spell Lore. The unbind alone can be worth it, but a well-placed Shademist is even better. Pendant of the Fel Wind: The bearer of this artefact grants +3" of normal movement to all Nighthaunt units wholly within 12" at the start of their move. This means you can move the units that are near the bearer first and give them the extra movement, and then the move the bearer closer to another set of units, and they can then be moved with the extra movement as well. We're already fast, but with this, we're dogs after a bone. Excellent when combined with Flying and getting over those screens. Realm Artefacts Rest in Peace Malign Sorcery aretefacts... Gone are the Aetherquartz Brooches and Gryph-feather Charms. Dead are the Gildenbanes. With the release of General's Handbook 2020 each realm now only comes with one artefact, a change which is intended to put more emphasis on the selection that come in each army's battletome instead of seeing the same handful across every army. Still, despite this (and the heavy-felt loss of Aetherquartz Brooch) there are a few realm artefacts worth considering. Remember, you can choose a Realm of Origin; where your army hails from, as well pick the one in whatever Realm of Battle you happen to end up, giving you potentially two more options. Here are my pics, ranked from best to worst. Gravesand Brooch - Shyish: You can re-roll save rolls of 1 for attacks that target the bearer. A free Mystic Shield? Stronger on us than you might think. Between this and anything below, this might be best we've got. Everspring Diadem - Ghyran: In your hero phase, you can heal 1 wound allocated to the bearer. A minor heal potion, eh? Given that our heroes are rather wounds-light, and healing them is more of a trick than a mechanic for us, healing one a round shouldn't be overlooked, especially since our heroes wear targets on their backs. Predator’s Torc - Ghur: You can re-roll charge rolls for the bearer. Not so important for a Wave of Terror attempt, but you don't want to leave your threat units without hero support and this could mean the difference of making that happen. The re-roll Core Rule means you only get one re-roll of the charge per declaration, but it's free saving you a Command Point. Given that you generally don't want your heroes in combat you can weigh risk vs. reward for this artefact. Incandescent Rageblade - Aqshy: Pick 1 of the bearer's melee weapons. If the unmodified hit roll for an attack made by that weapon is a 6, that attack scores 2 hits on the target instead of 1. Make a wound and save roll for each hit. This is an additional hit, so on the Lord Executioner or Cairn Wraith you can gain an additional effect. A 6 on either hero triggers both their warscroll effect and this artefact's effect, but only for one of the hits each. For example, if a Lord Executioner rolls a 6 to hit his warscroll gives that attack 2 damage. This artifact then grants 1 extra hit, but it will still be 1 damage. Similarly the Cairn Wraith's 6 would score both a mortal wound (and no further rolls for that damage) and an additional hit. The rest of the realm artefacts are situational. Our Nighthaunt artefacts are demonstrably more powerful or fill in our niches better, but if you want to give a combat hero a re-roll hits or wounds, give those a gander. However, whatever you do, avoid the Plate of Perfect Protection from Chamon. It literally does nothing for us thanks to our Ethereal. Architectures of Torture Next, let me touch on a few things I'd want you to keep in mind as you tackle the challenges of enemy armies and tactics. These are a few guiding principles that have seen me to victory more often than not, and I hope they do the same for you. Always do this: Use From the Underworlds for at least one unit: You never know when an opportunity might show up, and just having something in reserve can save a bad game or keep an opponent too worried to commit fully. Build your list with a focused goal: We are often not considered competitive or tournament-level because we suffer from the "one list does not fit all" problem other armies with above 50% win-rates don't have. Don't try to do too much with a single list. Instead, focus on a clear goal, like objective claiming/holding, and hone your list to support that goal. Moreover, having a clear plan means that when things go wrong, you still have sight of your goal and can more easily get back on track. Mystic Shield: Cast this whenever you aren't casting Shademist or another spell. Mystic Shield is very powerful for us, and it helps it's easy to cast. All-Out Defense: An excellent substitute for casting Mystic Shield if you can spare the Command Points. Consider Some Tricks: All-Out Attack: If you have the Command Points, re-rolling 1s to hit can be a snap damage boost. This is best when used on units with high attack profiles, or any units that'd like to see more 6's. Underworlds Chainrasps: A standard strategy is to put one or two units of Chainrasps into the Underworlds to drop on an objective right away. Careful with this, because if your units are too small or not supported with a hero, you might have thrown away your units for not much gain. Harrow Hopping: Another classic strategy is to use the Dreadblade Harrows to teleport to a position and, if he's your general, spend a Command Point to Spectral Summons a unit onto it. Great for holding objectives. With the Forgotten Scions battalion, you can update this strategy to use both DHs to claim a couple of objectives until danger gets too close, and then drop some Chainrasps or other units out of Underworlds. DHs are also great if carrying support artefacts like the Pendant of the Fel Wind and Midnight Tome, to hop in for some support wherever it may be needed. Cheap Hero Hunting: Two 5-man Bladegheist squads with either a Spirit Torment or a Chainghasts unit can be a cheap set to drop from Underworlds. If you can set this up twice, you can snipe an enemy backline. Vicious Spell Eaters: A pack of Myrmourn Banshees can dispel an Endless Spell at the start of the hero phase (Designers’ Commentary, July 2019) as if they were wizards, but will suffer D3 mortal wounds for doing so. The buff they receive from this, +1 attacks, is not contingent on taking the damage or losing models, so if you pair them with a model-return mechanic that operates before the combat phase you can get those models back with the buff, since it's the unit receiving the buff and not the individual models within it. This means you could dispel an Endless Spell, even your own from the previous turn if you had to, and shrug the wounds or reverse the damage via any of our model return abilities, and then attack in the combat phase with a full unit of +1 attacks. You can even use this to your advantage "moving" your screamy sisters closer to an enemy unit or up the board by returning the models in any configuration that supports both the ability used and unit cohesion. Olynderbomb: (600+ points at the time of this writing) Expensive and requires Lady Olynder to be your general, but combining her with the Dolorous Guard is an efficient way to put a threat on the field. You can either set this down on an objective and challenge your opponent to remove you, or you can drop her from the Underworlds to wreak havoc on dangerous targets. Knightbomb: (520 to 840+ points at the time of this writing) Starts out less expensive than an Olynderbomb, but can balloon if you want to invest in it, and leaves your general with a better Command Trait. Take a Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed as your general, give him Shadow's Edge for mortal wounds or Headsman's Judgement for normal wounds, and Dolorous Guard for health and mortal wounds. This will save you a few points but net a similar, close-range experience to an Olynderbomb. If you take Forgotten Scions to give the Knight an extra attack and to spend his free ability on himself, as well as spend a CP on either Hexwraith unit, you have a mortal wound nuclear bomb that funds itself. Reikenor the Unending: Grab Reikenor, Balewind Vortex, Chronomantic Cogs, and Lifestealer. Snuff a candle on Reikenor use the bonus to get up on the Vortex. Snuff another on himself and cast Lifestealer at 20". On the next turn, snuff another candle on Reikenor and put down the Cogs. Turn them slow. Snuff another candle on himself and cast Wraithstorm at 18". Follow up with another snuffed-on-himself Lifestealer at 20". At worst, Reikenor will have 3 wounds on him, but more likely less. Now from turn 3 on, you'll have 3 spells to cast, one of which should be Wraithstorm, the other Mystic Shield at 24" on something, and the third Lifestealer. Measure things out carefully to stay out of danger, and balance the Corpse Candles not to kill him. And then, when ready, turn the Cogs fast and land your charges. Vortex Bounce: There is an initial extra boost to spell range when you cast Balewind Vortex. You cast it 1" away from you and add the huge base of that thing because it is now treated as your casting model. That's an additional 5" you can sneak out of it on top of the innate 6". Also, when it gets dispelled, you set up a whooping 6" away from it. Because it's a set-up and not a move, you do not count as having retreated. A great way to get your caster out of a fight they can't win and still be able to charge to where they can. Bonus points if you let your Myrmourn Banshees do the dispelling. (credit to The_Dudemeister for this one) Writs of the Mortarch Lastly, a few list-building tips and strategies with examples that I hope will help you firmly set your position as a Mortarch of your own sect of Nighthaunt. How to build a Nighthaunt List Step One - Goals: Start any list-building venture by first thinking about what you want to accomplish. This is by far the most critical step because if you are not clear on what it is you want to do with your list, you will find yourself making sub-optimal choices to fill in gaps and rushing to create lists that don't really accomplish anything. Setting a clear goal not only means having a sharp idea of what you want to do with your list, but it also challenges you to evaluate each choice you make for their individual merits, as well as their contribution to obtaining your goal. You might think that your goal is obvious: to win. But that's not going to be good enough for our kind of army. Your opponent is going to want to win, as well, and will be bringing tools to the table to do just that for themselves. Instead, your goals need to be more precise than that. Here are a few examples: Capture Two Objectives on Turn 1, Hold Two Objectives for at Least Three Turns, Take an Opponent's Objective, Eliminate a Certain Enemy Hero, Eliminate a Certain Enemy Unit, Eliminate the Enemy General, Defend Two Heroes for at Least Three Turns. A good source of goal ideas are Hidden Agendas, too. Whether or not you actually use them in a game, they can be great guiding ideas to shape your army around. Your games are going to be a combination of at least two of these goals; primary and secondary. All of your goals should absolutely be your driving force in the game, so don't discount the "secondary" as any less important. Calling one primary and other secondary does have a benefit, though. Your primary goal is going to be your direct tactic while your secondary is going to be your indirect tactic. When you build your list, your primary direct tactic is what you are going to be spending your game achieving while your indirect tactic is going to be what you use to assist your primary. In terms of the kinds of units that translates into, if your primary direct tactic concerns objectives, build most of your list to allow you to take them and keep them. If your primary direct tactic is to hurt enemy units, take more units that can deal damage and meet the enemy on your terms. The rest of your list should support your indirect tactic. Your goals are also going to be informed by your available models, the points limit of the game, your tactical prowess, and your opponent--any of which may or may not be known to you before showing up to play. More importantly, by selecting your goals first, you will already start making choices about how you are going to build to achieve them and know what to do when you encounter your opposition and setbacks. Step Two - Tactical Structures: There are many styles of tactical play available to Age of Sigmar armies. Hammer and Anvil, for example, is a very popular choice for most armies given its real-world historical significance and ease-of-use. Though there is no wrong choice in tactics if you are having fun playing, there are certain styles that work better for us than others. Let's detail three of these styles and how they pertain to Nighthaunt. Hammer and Anvil: This tactic gets all the fame and glory. It is the most basic and straightforward of the army-style tactics, can be deadly offensively, and can dominate the field defensively. It's also the most adaptable tactic to the large swath of army types available to play. If you are paring up against an opponent who knows their stuff, chances are you will see a variation of H&A. The concept is simple; the bulk of your force is comprised of either a lot of wounds or a lot of armor, a thick shield of toughness that acts as a solid platform--an anvil. The rest of your army is comprised of a highly mobile--or ranged capable--hammer. The anvil serves as a stationary or slowly mobile fixed force that ties up enemy movement through combat. Once engaged, the hammer comes sweeping in to slam upon the opponent from the other side. The opponent, then, is caught between the two forces and is left with a bad situation. It cannot run because of the anvil, and it cannot stay and fight because of the hammer. However, this technique has a downside that Nighthaunt makes evident either using it or playing against it: Hammer and Anvil tactics rely on some kind of overwhelming power. You either need to greatly outnumber your opponent and tie them down or greatly out-fight them while you've got them. Anything less and you will have a crippled army trying to defend a losing position. As Nighthaunt we simply lack a sturdy enough of an anvil to make great use of this tactic; our best saves are 4+, our most wounds are Chainrasps, and our best fences, Spirit Hosts, are just too expensive. But, for our opponents that happen to use H&A, our creative uses of Fly, Underworlds, and Spectral Summons can render an anvil useless giving us a huge advantage against it. Envelopment: The Macedonians created H&A and then the Romans perfected it. But then Carthage comes along and decimates it with this tactic. Envelopment doesn't rely on anything overwhelming at all to get its job done. Instead, this tactic focuses on exposing weaknesses in an opponent's army, and targeting in a more direct way their lifelines and advantages. It works by first identifying your opponent's likely strengths--such as their their H&A tactic--and avoiding them altogether. Envelopment is synonymous with "flanking" and opts to ignore the more heavily-guarded or deadly front or advancing side of an army and sweeping around the side to strike at the meaty sides and rear. This is generally done with a H&A-style deployment, but the anvil in this case is purely a diversionary device. It gets the attention of your opponent long enough for you to drop or maneuver your more killy units around the side. The advantages of this tactic are that it requires far less of a body count to be effective, you usually have clear lines of retreat or regrouping should you need it, and a confused or off-put opponent who now needs to hurriedly plan their next move. However, a high degree of coordination is required to make this tactic work, which means more extensive planning and forethought. Also, if you are unable to establish an element of surprise in your opponent, you could be setting up your threat units to get wiped from the board. Pincer: If H&A is considered to be a brute force tactic, and Envelopment might be considered dirty trickery, then Pincer should be considered elegance in motion. Older than both the tactics I described above, this tactic was first outlined by Sun Tzu. You know, the guy who wrote The Art of War in 500 B.C.? You might have heard of it. "When your quarry goes to ground, leave no ground to go to." "What is of supreme importance in war is to attack the enemy's strategy." Sun Tzu wrote the definitive structure of war for any army who does not want to, or cannot, strike from a position of ultimate power. Sun Tzu wrote a book about tactics that are tailor made for Nighthaunt. In fact, I might even go so far as to say that when Nighthaunt were designed The Art of War might have been the inspiration. As such, I believe tactics such as Pincer are our superior mode of choice. Fundamentally, Pincer is a lot like Envelopment, but instead uses two or more maneuvering elements. Instead of sweeping around to one side or another, you move your units in from both sides, or all angles, to encapsulate your opponent's resources or threats. This works perfectly with Underworlds and Spectral Summons, allowing us to stage our mobile and bloodthirsty units in out-of-the-way locations, if even on the table, until they are needed. You can lean on the diversionary tactic of Envelopment to try to set your opponent off-foot but you don't rely on it, needing it only to pull your opponent out of formation and exposing one or two angles of vulnerability. This means you can set up your pseudo-anvils or posture like you are using Envelopment, and if your opponent catches on and neutralizes them your true Pincer tactic comes into play to make them pay for it. The simplest way to engineer this strategy is to place your diversionary units or mobile screens on the field while you place your threat units into reserves. You then push forward with your fielded units, knowing full well they are temporary, before summoning in your reserves to deal out the devastating damage a bit later. The advantages of this tactic are that it is quick to set up, is flexible enough to adapt to most situations, and can provide an effective and damaging response to any pain points. The disadvantages, however, are that this will require planning several steps ahead of your opponent, careful coordination of all your units, and the potential of over-committing units to a lost cause. I have a clear favorite here, but all three tactics are certainly viable for use on the table. Selecting one early and adapting it to your goals will allow you to make better decisions about the following steps. Step Three - Troops: The backbone of any good team is not the leaders that lead them, but the team members who put in the effort. An army is no different. Now that you have a clear goal in mind, your troop choices become much more manageable. If, for example, your goals were to take a couple objectives by the end of turn 1 and then hold them for as long as possible, you might already be looking at large blobs of Chainrasp Hordes and Spirit Hosts to put in the Underworlds, or Hexwraiths to move and run up the board. If your goals are to fight for objectives and defend the objective holders, then you might lean more toward Grimghast Reapers and Bladegheist Revenants as damage dealers and Glaivewraith Stalkers as cheap objective holders. Your troop choices need to reflect your goals. Reject anything that doesn't fit. Step Four - Heroes: Heroes are our linchpins, but not so much so that you should be building your list around them. There will be scenarios in which you will design hero-centric lists--an Olynderbomb being a good example--but in a competitive sense, your heroes are best thought of as your support structure and not your primary focus. They are the bones underneath the muscle. They should come fourth in your decision-making process. You need heroes for Deathless Spirits saves, a few bring buffs to enhance units, and they are your only source of healing and model-return mechanics. But, except in the rarest of cases, none of them will be the unit that wins the game. It will be the troops they are supporting that do that. So, make choices that compliment the troops instead of the other way around. Spirit Torments are great with Bladegheists, other heroes, and the Black Coach. Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed is great for anything that wants to have more attacks. Knight of Shrouds on foot is great for anyone not already swinging at 3+ or better. Guardian of Souls for clutch casting or his +1 to wound rolls. Depending on your point limit, you will have a hard cap on how many heroes you can bring, and my rule of thumb is to take that limit and subtract 25%. That means for a Vanguard (1,000+) match aim for 3 heroes, and for a Battlehost (2,000+), aim for 4. This allows for some room for customization without running too few heroes. If, after your 3 or 4 Nighthaunt heroes, you want to grab a Vampire Lord, go for it. If you wish, you can spend those points on a battalion. Or slot in another hero. Step Five - Enhancements: By now, you should have a firm idea of what your list is going to do. You have your goals, the units that will achieve those goals, and the heroes who will back them up. Now, it's time to think about enhancing them. Battalions, although important, fall into this step. So do Endless Spells, terrain items, and supplemental unit choices. None of the options at this step should be the decision that makes or breaks your army. Instead, they should be the kinds of choices akin to sharpening your weapons or reinforcing your shields. Your game shouldn't hinge upon if you took Shroudguard, or if The Condemned vs. Chainguard was the better use of Chainrasps. Dolorous Guard might be your key to keeping your general alive, but your list can't depend on the DG to succeed unless that was your primary goal. These enhancement choices should give an already formidable list an edge that's needed to secure a win. Final Step - From the Underworlds: Finally, you've got a list of ghostly delights, and it's time to think about how you are going to use them. You aren't done building an army until you consider the pre-game and early-game tactics you will employ utilizing that army. A good deployment can just as easily win you the game as a bad deployment can lose it, and you could have crafted the perfect list only to see it swallowed whole by a wrong decision you made on turn 1. From the Underworlds is going to be the most reliable tactic, hands down, you can use to protect yourself from a bad start and take an advantage in the early game, and this final step is going to try to teach you how to use it properly. Final Step A - What's Going into the Underworlds: You get to put half of your units into the Underworlds, but you're going to want to select which ones and how many do so carefully. Again, refer back to your goals. The units that support your secondary goal are likely going to be the ones you're going to want to put into the Underworlds. For example, if your primary goal is to eliminate at least two enemy units and your secondary goal is to cap objectives by the end of turn 1, you will want to put the objective takers into the Underworlds for a quick drop while your threat units engage and tie up the units you're targeting. If your goals are the reverse of this, then put your threat units into the Underworlds to drop down and distract your opponent while you march your objective takers up the field. Refer to Step One - Goals section again to decide which goals to focus on and how to build a list to support them. Final Step B - When To Deploy from the Underworlds: You have until the end of your movement phase in the third turn to drop units you put in the Underworlds. This gives you plenty of time. Once again, your goals are going to dictate when you're going to drop the units you put in reserve. Objective takers, for example, you'll likely drop turn 1. Defenders, attackers, strike units, or an Olynderbomb, might wait all the way until turn 3, or whenever the timing was right. Underworlds is a tactical choice, and so will require both planning and patience. If you are unused to From the Underworlds and tend to feel exposed, practice with objective holding or light skirmish units until you feel comfortable enough to place high-value units there, and adjust your goals and lists to support that. Sample Lists and their Goals And now for the section that everyone's been waiting for; just what does all this fancy-talk of building lists actually look like. I'll include a few examples here, each that I consider to be of a competitive level. This means that I've played the list more than once and it won the majority of the time. This also means that these examples are snapshots in time; they worked for me and my local meta and at the points they currently are. If and when points change, or the meta changes, this section will fall out of date and may not be as valid. I will try to keep it updated. Mortal Reign mk. 2 WARNING: THE BELOW LISTS ARE NOW OUT OF DATE! Temporarily. Our points our out for our battletome, but not for our White Dwarf battalions. As such I will hold off on updating this section until the PDFs drop. I will leave these here for the time being, but will replace them all with updated versions as I play them. Woe to Those Afar Our Lady of Grief (Olynderbomb) The Emerald Host (Knightbomb) Pressing on the Pain (Pincer tactic) Portraits of Grief As a bonus, if you ever wondered what this pontificating Mortarch might model and paint their army, catch the gallery below. 💀☠️⚰️
  3. Behold the Grand Procession of the Enixian Nighthaunt Gathered en masse in numbers untold. Well, actually, the number is 270 (about a dozen not pictured) models and is worth over 8,000 points with battalions. ☠️
  4. NIGHTHAUNT: The Garrison Of Nacht'Tor This thread is going to be a lore and painting log for my Nighthaunt Army going forward. I am also making a small Free Guild warband for Skirmish that will most likely balloon into a full on Free City force, so it seems like a perfect way to work on both army's lore to have them somewhat intermingled. Starting off here I am putting down the basic background for the army as a whole and its history, posts following this one will go into more detail of the characters and units as they are painted to flesh everything out, and if everything goes to plan I will also be making themed terrain to go with the armies. A DOOR TO THE UNDERWORLD In the realms of Ghyran, in the north western frontiers, is the budding free city of Fendale. this bustling city arose around what the citizens dubbed the Shade Vale, a wooded and ridge hemmed pass that had nearly always been cloaked in mists. In the midst of this vale exists a small realm gate to the Realm of Life's antithesis , Shyish. Twisted vines and dark flowers cover an arch of stone that some argue was a natural formation, others suggest it was raised by someone in the Age of Myth. Regardless, this minor gate offered a direct connection with mortal realms in the Amethyst realm and the exchange of goods and cultures that goes with it. While the gate could only allow five or six men to march abreast, it was large enough to allow the passage of wagons and riders which soon saw the outpost settlement built nearby to grow and thrive into the current Free City of Fendale. It was not lost on those first pioneers and settlers the dangers that were part and parcel of living on a gateway to Death itself. The realm gate was sectioned off from the city proper, and the defenses of the city were as thickly bristling with guns and clock work facing the gate that made the city flourish as they were facing outwards to other threats of the mortal realms. In those early days incursions from Shyish were rare but serious, and a stalwart family of noble bearing took it upon themselves to secure the gateway as well as potential profits that controlling the Shyish side of the gate could entail. The family Holsstok led the expedition into Shyish to raise the castle of Nacht'Tor. For generations the keep stood upon grey hills surrounded by deep and haunted woods that seem to stretch out for leagues to the south and east, and a rolling dune desert to the north and west. Rumor suggested the wide expanse of wood that seemed to have no end was called The Harrowmark by those whom the Holsstok's deemed so foolish as to live amid the wood. Reports of Outriders into the deserts told of burrowing beasts and giant scorpions, as well as endless marches of skeletal undead off toward what they deemed the edges of the Amethyst Realm. Trade with sky ships from The Harrowmark, as well as other dotted mortal kingdoms and even some Skeletal Lords, proved to be lucrative between Castle Nacht'Tor, and both the Holsstok family and the Free City of Fendale beyond the gate in Ghyran. Likewise, the goods traveling into Shyish could potentially have turned the tide for the people of The Harrowmark or the dunes to the north, yet the attentions of Nagash would be drawn to the keep and the Free People's intrusion. While the existence of Nacht'Tor and the Free People flowing into Shyish had not escaped notice, their machinations were paltry and mortal affairs in comparison to the larger game. If it were not for the small gateway being used by Sigmar's agents to infiltrate the realm of Shyish as Nagash's grand plans came closer to completion, perhaps Nacht'Tor would have escaped the judgement of Nagash. Unfortunately, the family of Holsstok bore the Twin Tailed Comet of Sigmar upon their crests, and no agent of the God-King would be denied passage through their gates. Raids by Vangaurd Hunters on the skeletal processions, seers and agents probing Shyish looking into Nagash's activities, and in some cases chambers of Stormcasts marching through the gate of Nacht'Tor brought upon the castle and the Holsstoks, Nagash's justice. THE DOOM OF NACHT'TOR From the north west marched a skeletal legion to lay siege to the castle. Though they were large in numbers, the rattling legion of the wight king who had been sent to seize the gate had little in the way of magical or monstrous support. The Holsstok Outriders reported to their Lord, the Duke Aldrik of the approaching army. The castle had staved off ambitious necromancers and dark creatures of The Harrowmark in the past, and the walls and corridors of Nacht'Tor were spell warded against the infiltration of geists and other spirits. The Duke's son, the Marquess Arnold Holsstok roused the riders of Nacht'Tor to go out and meet the enemy in the open desert plains before their power would be lost amid the rugged terrain directly around the castle. With the mage Lord Aldrik remaining behind to hold the castle in his old age and with spell instead of blade, the Knight-Hosts of Nacht'Tor sallied to meet the seemingly over matched skeletal forces approaching from the blasted plains. No sooner had the riders of Nacht'Tor cleared the foothills and tangled fringes of The Harrowmark, did beasts and creatures of the night detach themselves from the twisted limbs of the forests. Vile flesh eaters, dead walkers, and winged things bristling of fur and boney growths launched an assault against the walls of Nacht'Tor. Despite this treachery, it takes few brave men with good positions to hold against larger and fearsome foes. The guns of Nacht'Tor roared, and the Einhundert Greatswords held the walls with tenacious will alone. The Duke Aldrik scoured the walls clean of climbing creatures with spell and word. Out upon the plains Marquess Arnold drove his men deep into the skeletal lines, crushing bone and scattering ranks of the dead like leaves before the wind. The young Holsstok was a proud and ambitious young man, and only the sounds of the guns coming from Nacht'Tor slowed their headlong rush. He was brash, but no fool, and the Knight-Host of Nacht'Tor cut their way clear of the scattered deathrattle to ride hard back to the castle, its realm gate, and his father. The Einhundert slew ghouls and beasts by their hundreds, but gaps allowed beasts and other dark things over the walls of Nacht'Tor. Riders being dispatched through the realm gate to warn Fendale and request reinforcement were pulled violently from their saddles as they rode in the High Hall to the ancient gateway, and dark creatures instead began issuing forth into Ghyran. The Castellan and his wardens sounded the horns, drawing the attention of Duke Aldrik and his Einhundert. Brave freemen bearing Holsstok colors littered the ramparts and gave in to the outer curtain wall as the Einhundert fell back to secure the gate and defend the Duke as he rushed to reinforce the faltering wardens. The battle on the inner wall was as ferocious as it had been on the outer walls, as the much reduced garrison of Nacht'Tor had less wall to hold. The handguns and pistols of the defenders had long since run dry of ammunition, and it fell to halberd and blade to win the day. The final doom though had not yet fallen. Young Arnold's host met ambush and rearguard of the half dead hosts assailing his family's keep, yet the Knight-Host rode through them as if fired from a cannon. The outriders and Knights of the Holsstoks took wild glee in both the hunt and the thunder of hooves, and half starved cannibal beasts did little to slow their stampede home. Some were pulled from their horses to die or fight alone amid the bramble, but most drove directly into the dark trails surrounding the keep to hunt the leaders of the rabid foe. Rising from the frenzied enemy rose the Courtiers of the flesh eating mob, with gruesome pennants that were mockeries of the black and gold of the Holsstoks own colors. A wild eyed beast who fancied itself a debauched king charged to meet the young Marquess, and the battle spilled all across the wooded paths of The Harrowmark's fringe that surrounded the siege. Within the castle the swarms of the craven seemed to thin, and the men of Nacht'Tor dared hope they had weathered the storm. Yet into the courtyard strode rank and file of skeletal soldiers, remnants of the forces that had been arrayed upon the plains, and among them were not only the grinning skull of the wight king who led them but also two gnarled figures in amethyst robes bearing cloth covered mirrors. From his place at the door to the High Hall where the realm gate stood, Duke Aldrik was too slow to see the doom. Drawing back the coverings the necromancers dashed the mirrors upon the courtyard stones with a soul chilling shriek. The wave of released geists and hungering spirits carried past the carefully crafted wards flowed through the defenders in a rush. Hands gripped the hafts of halberds so tightly the knuckles popped as men died breathless and unable to even defend themselves. Duke Aldrik warded himself and those who remained of the Einhundert, but the swirl of spirit hosts plucked men from the wards and dragged them screaming into garish swirling green light. The doom of Nacht'Tor had come, and the Duke Holsstok of Nacht'Tor and his Einhundert champions fought to the last gasp to die at the thresh hold of the realm gate back to Ghyran, back to life itself. He would not go quietly into death however, and with his last strength he sent a bolt of arcane power into the key stone of the realm gate, blasting chunks of ancient mortar from the passage between worlds. With a sickening crack and the feeling of chill air rushing past, all the fires of Nacht'Tor were snuffed out and the lights of the castle went dark for the first time in so many generations. Of the very few of the garrison of Nacht'Tor who had escaped the doom into Ghyran, none could say what happened to Young Arnold and his mounted host as they dueled the cannibal courts amid the misted woods of The Harrowmark. All that the Free City of Fendale would learn is that the gate to Shyish was seemingly sealed, and none from the keep nor any expedition that had gone that way would return. AS IT IS NOW When the realms were rocked by the Necroquake, the connection in the Shade Vale seemed to stutter to life. On particularly dark nights, the mists would rise from the undergrowth of the Shade Vale, and the ancient doorway would hiss and shudder before waning open like a soup bubble brought to existence in its thresh hold. It would take some time before any gate wardens or other brave or foolish souls to dare crossing that door way after mapping out the patterns in its openings and closings. Those that crossed found a dead and ruined keep, the pennants and accoutrements of the Holsstoks longs since rotted away. The gates of the keep remained intact, though the great doors and portcullises were shattered and their remains strewn about. The land about the forsaken place remained as it was remembered. Some claim they have seen apparitions of men still standing sentry upon the walls. Other wilder eyed men who claim to be survivors of larger expeditions lost through the gate claim they were assailed by an entire garrison of spirits as they passed the gateway, trapped behind ghostly doors and portcullises made of bramble and dead wood. Now the women of Fendale tell the tale of Nacht'Tor and the curse upon the Holsstoks. They say they are forever bound to garrison the gateway between Ghyran and Shyish, trapped in an eternal and desperate siege of their home where they fight imagined and retargeted foes in their desperate last memories of life, to die again and again upon the ramparts of the cursed keep. They tell of the Marquess Curse to forever ride to the aid of his father and to always arrive just late. They speak of the ruined and fallow temple to Alarielle that stood in the keep, and of the tormented spirits of her devoted who had tended that place. The shadowy keep on the other side of the Shade Vale, is a story to frighten children in the Free City of Fendale, and one to frighten the most stalwart defenders upon the ramparts.
  5. 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.
  6. Keldimir looked over at the Spirt Torment and checked that he was keeping the Chainrasp Horde in some sort of order and was pleased with what he saw. Without his brother Gathus at his side, Rasark was a sharper and stronger Gheist. Nagash had seen the constant and deep-rooted hate that each brother had for the other in life, and when the time was right, he took their souls and made them fight together in the Reaper Brigade. Forcing them to be near one another so that their hate made them fight harder but, on this occasion, Gathus had been summoned by Lady Olynder and when the Mortarch of Grief herself called, you went. Rasark was stronger without him. Keldimir looked back at his charges. The Spirit Hosts were writhing around, moving in and out of each other, the wisps changing to form faces twisted into grotesques visages of pain and torment. They stayed near, him captured by his aura. Waiting for his commands. Two Chainghast also floated nearby. Strange gheists that seemed to be almost catatonic until something was in range and then they would shoot out huge locks and chains as they approached, turning into frenzied whirlwinds of pain and injury when engaged with the enemy. The Reaper Brigade had been travelling through Ghyran from the Necrotic Edge to Witherdwell when they caught sight of a small Beast Herd. Keldimir’s forces were also reduced. But the will of Nagash is overpowering and when the enemy are seen they are to be killed, their souls returned to their rightful owner and for Death to be a step closer to ruling the 8 realms. With the Spirit Hosts laying low in a small arcane grave yard and Rasark slowly moving through an old building that would cause even the greatest fighters to lose their bravery, Keldimir moved to look at what the herd consisted of, his steed clanking on the bit. Looking for a weakness, waiting for the right time. To the left of some Wyldwoods were 20 Bestigors. To the right of the trees there was a Ghorgon, a huge monster that was pacing up and down, bellowing and snorting. Scraping at the floor with his boulder like hooves. Near to the Herdstone was another 10 Bestigors, a Great Bray Shamen and the Beastlord. As he watched, his steed exhaled sharply and let out a low whinny. Thee Beastlord turned and look straight at them. His beast senses keen from centuries of fighting. Keldimir saw the beast’s nose wrinkle as he sniffed the air, and then he bellowed. A sound that alerted the whole herd and they all looked towards him. The fight was on. But he was ready for all are one in Nagash, Nagash is all. Keldimir watched as the Beastlord, with 10 Bestigors beside him ran towards the ruins with Rasark and the Chainrasps. Had Keldimir been human, he would have been terrified of the banner held by the unit. It was decked with Stormcast Armour and weaponry, Sigmar’s Troops, the most heroic of souls, stolen from Nagash and so it would have served an awesome sight, but it was of no use against his Nighthaunt. As for how to defeat them, he knew they needed to hold this building if they were to be victorious. Rasark, thinking as one with the rest of the Brigade. moved his Chainrasps to hide inside and all 20 floated into a defensive formation. On his right, 10 more Bestigors ran around the Wyldwood towards the Graveyard and the Ghorgon started to walk towards them too. The sounds of war urged Keldimir onwards, bellowing, and bleating Beasts, the thunderous sound as the Ghorgon walked towards them, snarling and roaring. Any mere mortal would have been intimidated but The Reaper Brigade, as diminished as it was, were not. Suddenly, the Chainghasts wailed and came to life, the Ghorgon was in range. They attacked, padlocks as big as human heads flew out on ethereal chains big enough to dock ships in the high seas, smashing into the Ghorgon as he tried to swat them away. Some of them hit, tearing huge chunks of flesh from his side but a monster as big as the Ghorgon would take a lot before it stopped. A clash of weapons, echoing from the building to his right signalled the Bestigors clashing with the Chainrasps. From what could be seen from his vantage point, it looked like the Bestigors had left their General behind. 10 Bestigors were no match for 20 Chainrasps and Rasark, so Keldimir turned back as the Ghorgon reached the Graves. The Spirit Hosts screeched and clawed their way to the Ghorgon as he attacked the Chainghasts, angered by the wounds he had suffered. His blade like hands and slavering maw ripped into them and they screamed and fled as they were defeated, he turned his attention to the Spirit Hosts and attacked them over the walls, ripping them to pieces too. The last one of the three flew towards the Ghorgon and with his blades and claws, the Ghorgon took further injuries. He was beginning to slow down, blood pouring from his wounds. The Chainrasps had torn the Bestigors to shreds causing the last few to run away, partly because of their losses but also due to the old terrifying ruins. Keldimir, seeing the time as right, played the ace up his sleeve. Another horde of 20 Chainrasps had been making their way to the Great Bray Shamen at the Herdstone via the Underworld. They came out of the ground and moved towards the Beast Wizard as he sacrificed Ungors to his own Gods. Keldimir scoffed at the futility. All are one in Nagash. Nagash is all. The Beastlord stopped in the middle of the battlefield. Too far from the Bestigors to save them, and so would end up facing 20 Chainrasps on his own, odds he was old enough to know were way off. He turned around when he noticed his Great Bray Shamen stop chanting and sacrificing just in time to see him be dragged down into a sea of ghosts. A huge bladed hand then caught Keldimir on the side of his head, tearing the cheek piece away and stunning him, even being ethereal, he was not immune to being wounded or feeling pain. He turned, raising his Sword of Stolen Hours up. Stopping the next attack and the next. Rasark, seeing his General in combat, raced over and engaged the Ghorgon too. The distraction was enough as the Knight of Shrouds found his composure and cut and sliced his way around the attacks of the Ghorgon. It bellowed and roared in agony, as it slumped down onto its knees, collapsing to the side and lay against the wall of the graveyard. Its eye wildly looking around as it breathed its last breaths. Blood soaking the ground. It bellowed again refusing to die. It kicked out, trying to stand but it couldn’t. A pitiful wail. A final breath and then peace. Keldimir looked around. The Beasts were defeated. The 10 Bestigors to the left had just made it to the Graveyard as the Ghorgon was killed and so turned and run. The Beastlord had left too, his forces depleted, he would no doubt cower in the woods and forests and rebuild. Keldimir called his forces and continued his march to Witherdwell.
  7. https://twitter.com/guillaume_gte/status/1234579674048667648
  8. Nagash looked deep into the realms at the innumerable battles and wars that were being played out over the Mortal Realms, watching with hawk like eyes that transcended space and time. His plans were coming together. The Necroquake had been successful. All souls will be his at the end. A Knight of Shrouds caught his attention. It's mind was as sharp as the Sword of Stolen Hours that it was wielding. His aura of Death was as a beacon to Nagash, a bright black glow that drowned out the souls around him. He watched with interest. Rarely does a soul stand out as being as black as the one he watched now. Keldimir was it's name. Without speaking, and in the blink of a mortal eye, Nagash scoured the realms for suitable companions, souls as dark as Keldimir, with the wit, guile and servitude that would make the most of this newly found Knight of Shrouds . He found them one by one, separated by the distance of the realms as measured by men but as close as pages in a book in when viewed by Nagash. Amondor - a Lord Executioner. Grinderel - a Guardian of Souls. Rasark and Gathus, a particularly intriguing pair of Spirit Torments, brothers in life and again in Death. Nagash weighed up his choices. Yes. These would make for a formidable Army. An army that would reap souls for Nagash and bring them back to him. For all are one in Nagash and Nagash is all. Nagash seized their souls and bought them before him as Arkhan looked on. Keldimir bowed. "I am here, my King". The Reaper Brigade was formed.
  9. If I kill 3 Stormcast Eternals models in a turn, can I return 3 one-wound models (e.g. Chainrasp Horde) with the Spirit Torment's Captured Soul Energy ability, or just D3? The popular interpretation seems to be that I can return 3, but the warscroll doesn't explicitly state this. Thanks for your help!
  10. *PHOTOS UPPED BACK IN THE LAST POST* Another blog after my destruction one This army is born with the gh 2 , I really like the idea of an army of ghost coming out of nowhere Summoned by their ancient ruler . So here are my 3 unit of six spirit host in their first step , just a hand of nihilak oxide diluted 2:1 with lahmian medium: and now as with every army I start the conversion for the general, it's still a wip I need to add other wrapping and change the bottom part of the scythe ,I'm particularly fond of the Crown the wing are just hood's decoration not meant to be real wings Next will be converted banshee starting from sister of avelorn comments & critics welcomed
  11. I am in the process of creating my first ever painting video. I am new to the whole thing and still waiting for a microphone to arrive in the post, but I have painted and filmed these guys. Speed painted nighthaunt. Stay tuned for more info.....😊
  12. Hi all, I’m a returning player and picked up soul wars as I love the Nighthaunt army. I am aware of information online of how to expand this army however I was wondering what the best way is keeping in mind the whole of Death. My questions are: Can I expand my army with other faction of death, I like Ossiarch Bonereapers for example can I expand my army with them? Is it a good idea to mix death factions? What’s the best way to expand Nighthaunt baring these first two questions in mind? Thank you all.
  13. https://twitter.com/guillaume_gte/status/1234579674048667648
  14. https://twitter.com/guillaume_gte/status/1234579674048667648
  15. https://twitter.com/guillaume_gte/status/1234579674048667648
  16. OBR has allies in the story of Wrath of the Everchosen -Only a minor spoiler for WotE ahead, nothing about the conclusion. People who comment please avoid spoilers as well- So in the story of the book, one of the first things Katakros does in his plan to seize the Eightpoints is realize his units will hard pressed to push through the defenses of Chaos’ Dreadholds. In a move a smart general would make, he sends word to Lady Olynder to lead her procession as a vanguard for his forces as they can pass through the walls and gates with ease, and open the way for his soldiers. In the first battle, the death alliance even raises the bodies of the dead chaos defenders as zombies as send them through the Endgate as chaff to cover the OBR advance. This happens several times, showing narratively, that Katakros is not above using other types of undead when he rightly realizes that they would be better tools for the job than his elite troops. He willingly initiates alliances with Nighthaunt and Deathmages (who made zombies for him). Let OBR use, and be, allies on the tabletop. It would only take one sentence to solve the “relentless discipline for command abilities” problem, by not letting RDP be used for command abilities of non OBR units. It remains one of the more disappointing choices in my eyes that Nagash’s view of a united undead-topia are spearheaded by a force unable to take or be allied in other forces, solely because of poor design choices.
  17. The Storm of Sorrows Legion of Grief at CanCon2020 Hello there people, been a hot minute hasn’t it? I’ve been a little too busy to spin yarns about my personal favourite sowers of terror and woe, but I’m back and ready to burn CP like they’re going out of fashion. Without further ado or preamble, the list I will be taking to CanCon 2020. The List As regular readers can clearly see, changes have taken place. Friendship has been ended with Dreadscythe Harridans, now max-size blocks are my best friend. CanCon (and the TransTasman Cup held the night before) are competitive events, so any illusions around having a “fun” list have been dropped. Below is a rundown of the changes made between Masters2019 in NZ and CanCon this coming weekend. Guardian of Souls – Removed I said in my pre-masters post that this little lad was on performance review and he just didn’t make the cut, forcing me to outsource his role to a more competent hero. 140pts is simply too much for a cut-rate Vampire Lord who’s regen is tied to an unbindable spell with no buffs to cast. The +1 to wound was the only thing keeping him in the game, and frankly having +1 attack works better than that in this army. Maybe see you later in the new Nighthaunt book buddy, until then you’re gonna collect some dust for me. Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed – Replacing Guardian of Souls The Knight of Shrouds will be replacing the Guardian of Souls as the +1 to attack command ability brings far more utility to my list than +1 to wound and occasionally bringing back dead models. He is also far, far more mobile and therefore better at hero-driven scenarios and chasing after units to provide Inspiring Presence and All-Out Attack. Dreadscythe Harridans – Removed I was blinded by my buyer’s remorse with these lasses, they simply are not good enough for their cost. Point for point they cost the same as Grimghast Reapers so you would expect them to be every bit as powerful as them. Do you remember Dreadscythes dominating the meta? Me neither. Chainrasp Hordes – Increased a unit of 10 to a unit of 40 Something everyone can agree on, Chainrasps are the best unconditional battleline GA: Death has ever cast it’s eyes across. They’re especially powerful in an allegiance that can bring slain units back, as killing 40 once is an uphill battle. Killing them twice? Good luck. Grimghast Reapers – Increased from 20 to 30 The king hitters of the ghost roster, a unit of 30 of these featured in nearly every top Legions and Nighthaunt list since the day they came out. A unit of 20 is durable and threatening, but with a 2” range a unit of 30 is stronger in every possible way as the only drawback, some models not being able to strike, is not an issue here. The 30 models with a 4+ ethereal save will blockade any foe, and hack them to pieces in short order. Myrmourn Banshees – Added another full unit As the Realmscape Magic is active at CanCon, nearly from day 1 we have had chatter in the NZ competitive scene heading over that they plan to abuse this as much as humanly possible. Expecting their behavior to be the norm among the Australian competitive scene and having no viable way of abusing it myself, I set about doing the next best thing… riding those coattails directly to victory. Any player attempting to spam magic or endless spells risks turning my Myrmourn Banshees into absolute engines of destruction, given they are now paired with the KoS on Ethereal Steed to give them an additional attack on top of their +1 for an unbind and +1 for a dispel. The Stated Goal This list is extremely transparent. If the enemy lack numbers, or the ability to punish my numbers in any meaningful sense, I will swamp the objectives and slowly trade them out of the game as my models drag themselves back up and into the fight to keep them locked in place as my threat units sweep in and over for the kill. The strategy is tested and time-honored, and is sure to give anyone unprepared for it one hell of a headache. With seven games ahead spread over 3 days, I may indeed be in need of a Command Point to resummons myself back from the cold void of death. Reminder to anyone going over to CanCon to drink up, stay hydrated, and if you see me come say hi. I’ll be the ridiculously hairy short man with the obnoxiously loud voice. Twitter: @ThreeTwoPrince
  18. If you haven't read round one, The Christmas Day Massacre, over here, give it a gander. It has videos! Unfortunately round two will not. Sorry! For the rematch we used the exact same lists as we did on Christmas day, no alterations or substitutions were allowed. The only changes were the battle plan, the terrain placement, and however we decided to deploy and play. Battleplan: The Relocation Orb Terrain: Open War Terrain 35-36, no terrain with warscrolls Deployment I won the roll-off and deployed first. I deployed pretty much identically as I did the previous game; Olynder into reserves along with eventually the rest of the "Olyderbomb", and everything else on the table. In this battleplan I opted to be on the south side of the map, once again setting my Bladegheists directly across from the objective, and my Chainrasps Hordes on either side of the map to get ready to catch the orb when it flies either way. One of my Dreadblades backed up the Bladegheists and the other one of the 'rasp hordes. Cities deployed pretty much the opposite of how he did last time. Instead of placing his Demigryphs and General on Griffon into reserve, only his Crossbows and General on foot took time off the table. Everything else he set square in the center with a flank of Guard, split in two units, on either side of the table. In essence, his deployment mirrored mine, but with his threat units already on the table. I finished deployment first and opted to go second. Gameplay I'm sorry to say this was another quick game. 3 turns in total, and a loss for me and my Nighthaunt. Oh, sorry, spoilers. But, the point of this and the last game were to test the Dolorous Guard with Olynder, not win, and that is exactly what I did. So, given that, I'm going to focus on Our Lady and her retinue's performance in this, which was phenomenal. I went second in order to give Cities a chance to open a backfield option for me to drop the bomb, but he was wise and, understandably, wary from the last encounter and didn't provide the opportunity. Instead, I was forced to either hold the bomb in reserve for another turn and let him beat on my Bladegheists, or drop it in front of them and just get the ball rolling. I opted for option two and dropped the whole lot right in front of both his General on Griffon and Celestial Hurricanum. So, let's cut to the good stuff, why not. What the Dolorous Olynderbomb does well is nuke. On the turn I dropped them they couldn't engage, only one unit of Hexwraiths made the charge, and so I denied it and chose to stand ominously there, instead. But on top of the second turn I won the roll and, this time, REMEMBERED my hero phase. I got off both Soul Cage and Grief-Stricken, and then proceeded to just delete the General. Imagine this: You've got the wound-potential of Lady Olynder; Lifting the Veil for 2-6, Wail of the Damned for another 1-3 if you beat the bravery check, an average of 2+ more from her staff, and another 2+ from her Handmaidens for anywhere from 1 or 2 wounds to 13+. Pretty good, if a bit swingy. But what if I told you that you can pretty much eliminate that swingyness? How, you ask? Simple: Hexwraiths. I brought two units of 5 Hexwraiths, who on the charge can average 2+ MWs and another 4+ standard wounds each unit. Now, especially if you get Soul Cage off, you're swinging for 6 MWs pretty much minimum before they can retaliate, but more likely more than that. Oh, and why not add the Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed and pop his +1 attacks on Olynder and both Hexwraith units? Doesn't 13 wounds and 11 MWs on average sound great? I thought it might. On turn 2 I engaged the General on Griffon. He didn't survive. On turn 3 I engaged the Celestial Hurricanum. It didn't survive. Both turns my opponent tried to snipe Olynder by targeting one unit of Hexwraiths that weathered the attacks exceptionally well instead of going directly for her. This puts your opponent on the back foot when engaging your general and the Dolorous Guard is in play; do they go for the general on the chance enough damage gets through, or do you try to eliminate the extra health pool and damage first? Neither choice is good for them, which is great for us. The reason I lost is that I didn't play the objectives at all and wasn't able to claim any points by end of turn 3. I could have, if I had remembered my KoSoES had the Pendant of the Fell Wind I would have been able to cover the objective without question from turn 2 on no matter where it was on the map, but I didn't because me playing a game and remembering everything I can do IN that game are just not things that seem to happen. It's what separates the casuals from the pros, and I'm afraid I'm a filthy casual. Summary The goal of these rounds was to test Lady Olynder backed up by both the Dolorous Guard and Forgotten Scions against a more modern army from a new book and answer two questions: Is Lady Olynder relevant again? Are these new battalions any good? So, let's answer question 1. Is Lady Olynder relevant again? Yes, with certain caveats. Olynder can play only a couple of roles solidly; a support level 2 wizard with a powerful spell or a mortal wound assassin. She lost relevance because as newer books came out other casters started getting natural ways to buff their casting chances, or longer range spells for the same cast value, and putting her in position to use Grief-stricken also meant throwing her away after a round or two. And that was the better option. To actually use her MWs to benefit you needed to get closer, 10" at least, and that meant melee combat where she would surely take her 7 wounds pretty quickly. Not anymore. With the Dolorous Guard, it became very clear that a 2+ is going to be likely to give her staying power. On average 1 of every 4 or 5 wounds will hit her, meaning she can be expected to soak up all 27 wounds before she drops with a minimum DG deployment and decent rolls. And I'm talking in a single turn. Give her a hero phase to breathe and watch her heal from Grave-sands of Time if she's too low, or Lifestealer/Spectral Tether if she takes that, but more likely just popping CP to bring her DG back and refiling her health pool. The drawbacks are still quite terrible, though. Being honest here, to make Olynder a model you want to place on the board in her current state you will need to spend her points and the DG's minimum points. You're looking at a new hero, basically, costing 600 points. 600 points for a 6" move, two spells/unbinds, 2-9 MWs at range, but suddenly 24 wounds when in melee range. A melee range that is her base plus 10 hexwraith bases long, wide, or otherwise configured for that 3" battalion requirement. 600 points for a hero that is still 2 drops. 600 for a hero that has to be your general. No, you won't see her burning up tournament tables anytime soon. Don't get me wrong, she's now extremely powerful when built this way, but for that many points there will just be better options. Question two, are these battalions any good? Oh my Nagash, yes! Hexwraiths are legit! That extra attack on the charge adds up across 10 models, making them put out slightly less mortal wounds than two packs of Spirit Hosts, but with twice the speed. They play different roles, of course, but with the side-buff of the Dolorous Guard Hexwraiths are now legitimate options for battlelines and swinging at anything with a high save. Did I mention that one of those two big bads I absolutely nuked in both games had a 2+ save? Well, it did, and both times the Hexwraiths brought the MWs that made the difference. Now, I had them paired with a slow general, so their Spectral Hunters ability never saw any play. There just wasn't enough movement to set it up. Maybe with a faster general that will show itself to be useful, but what's great here is that's a sheer bonus and not a necessary mechanic you need to maneuver in order to make these guys work. No, +1 attacks on a charge and a minimum 10 models in close proximity pretty much fixes their problems. It's almost like GW is telling us we were playing them wrong all along... And as for the Forgotten Scions? This is less easy to put a pin on the exact reason this battalion is good or bad. On the good side of things who doesn't like a free +1 attacks to a unit for a combat phase. And since it's any combat phase, this free activation can mean a counter-attack boost in your opponent's combat phase when they are not expecting it. But, it doesn't fix the Knight's lesser quality buff, being that it doesn't extend the duration of the +1 attacks beyond a combat phase, and that free activation is once per battleround. Oh, and who brings two Dreadblade Harrows? That's a point tax if there ever was one. Still, there's room for synergy here. The battalion gives the Knight his own buff passively, meaning it can stack with an activation, netting him 6 attacks if you want to get freaky with it, and all for free. Without any other support he's going to be swinging for the skies like that. Make him your general and bring the Dolorous Guard and now we're looking a truly formidable force. What kind of artefacts should he have like that? Shadow's Edge is suddenly relevant; a D3 Frightful Touch on 6 attacks? That's about 3 MW on average and another 3 savable. How about Headman's Judgement? 6 attacks at 2+/2+/-1 and 2 damage each? About 6 standard wounds. Oh, what about Slitter? Want to make your opponent lose half a unit on their turn? With a 12" movement across the whole lot, you're likely going to be right in the middle of whatever unit you're going to take on, and if you can take the hits first (which you can thanks to DG) then when it's your counter, slit the middle and see if they are out of cohesion at the turn of the phase. Yeah, these are good. If I were to rank them: Dolorous Guard > Forgotten Scions > Shroudguard > The Condemned = Chainguard, and then maybe Deathriders. The rest? The rest of what?
  19. Battleplan: Duality of Death Total Points Played: 1520 Terrain: Open War Terrain 55-56, no terrain with warscrolls Armies Nighthaunt Heroes Lady Olynder General Spell Lore: Soul Cage Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed Artefact: Pendant of the Fell Wind Dreadblade Harrow Artefact: Midnight Tome - Spell Lore: Shademist Dreadblade Harrow Artefact: Atherquartz Brooch Battlelines Chainrasp Horde x10 Chainrasp Horde x10 Hexwraith x5 Hexwraith x5 Other Bladegheists x20 Battalions The Dolorous Guard The Forgotten Scions Cities of Sigmar - Living CIty Heroes Freeguild General on Griffon General Command Trait: Ironoak Artisan Artefact: Ghyrstike Freeguild General Celestial Hurricanum with Celestial Battlemage Spell Lore: Ironoak Skin Battlelines Demigryph Knights x3 Demigryph Knights x3 Freeguild Crossbowmen x30 Freeguild Guard x20 Deployment - Video! Click Me! Cities of Sigmar won priority for deployment and placed his Freeguild General on Griffon and both Demigryph Knight units into reserve. Rather than split the rest of his forces, he gathered them across from the left objective (from my perspective). In forward deployment were his Freeguild Guard, in rear deployment were his Freeguild Crossbowmen. The Freeguild General and the CHwCB ended up adjacent to the Crossbowmen and behind the Guard. My Nighthaunt deployments started with a power move, placing Olynder, the entirety of the Dolorous Guard, and the Knight of Shrouds into the Underworlds before putting my first unit on the table, prompting my opponent to decide his picks with limited information. We allow battalion deployments to work as written, so when I placed my KoS into reserve, the rest of the Forgotten Scions appeared on the board, one in each deployment zone directly in line with either objective. I placed my Bladegheists right against the deployment zone close to the left objective, opposite my opponent's forces, and then one batch of Chainrasp Horde behind them. I placed my second Chainrasp Horde, who were my last deployment, at the closest edge of the right-hand deployment zone to that objective. CoS retained priority by finishing his deployment first. He elected to go first. Gameplay Turn One Cities opened the turn casting Ironoak Skin on his Freeguild Guard, giving them a -1 to be wounded. He then marched them forward, able to secure the objective and provide a line for his Crossbowmen and heroes. Shooting was not fully in range, so a few wounds were tossed at my Chainrasps and Bladegheists damaging them 4 and 2 respectively (I think). There was no other battle options available at this point, so it was on to an inconsequential battleshock phase, and then on my my rebuke. CoS: 1 point, NH: 0 points I began my half of the turn attempting to cast, and failing, Shademist. Par for the course, really. I then ran my lonely Chainrasps on the right-hand side of the field into objective range and then teleported the Dreadblade on that side to cuddle up with them. On the left side, I quickly moved my Bladegheists into charge range to engage Freeguild Guard. My Chainrasps being my only battleline, I wanted to turtle them up with my Dreadblade so I pulled them both back into cover (we don't get a cover bonus, but line-of-sight still counts for ranged!) and let them cower. At the end of my movement phase, seeing my opponent committing all of his ranged on this side of the board, I opted to drop my Olydnerbomb now and line her up right at minimum range, flanked by her Dolorous Guard on either side and the KoSoES tucked narrowly behind her. For the shooting phase she Wailed at the Crossbowmen for 3 wounds and at the Hurricanum either nothing or very little, and then we moved on to the charge phase. All units failed their natural charges, but I felt getting the Bladegheists into trouble right away was necessary, so I burned a CP (no refund) for a re-roll. On this chance they made the charge. Between the charge and pile-in they had enough movement to line up in two ranks with enough space for that second rank to be in their 1" range. 11 wounds later, the counter-attack was muted by all the gore flying around. Cities opted to spend a CP to keep the rest of his Guard from running in the battleshock phase. CoS: 1, NH: 1 End of Turn 1 - Video Turn Two I scored the double turn (YAY!) but in my unbridled joy I completely forgot my entire hero phase (WHAT)... By all rights this should have spelled the end for me. No attempt at Shademist for my Bladegheists, no attempt at Grief-Stricken on the Hurricanum, no attempt at Soul Cage on the Hurricanum, and no Lifting the Veil. What the hell was I thinking?! At least I remembered to gather my CP for the turn and move right into the movement phase, pulling my Bladegheists back to get into charge range again. Knowing they would land another charge, I bring my cowardly Chainrasps out of hiding to put them in objective-claiming range if my 'gheists could finish the job on the Guards. Meanwhile, Olynder and her retinue selected their dance partners for the evening and sauntered up to the 3" barrier. For shooting, she Wailed some more (and THEN I realized my missed hero phase, so I wailed as well), and then we got to business with the charges; all made them easily with the KoS achieving Wave of Terror (with me forgetting the battalion's buff to his attacks). Once into combat proper, the beat was properly dropped and the KoS took the mic for some dubstep beatboxing, spending his free Command Ability on Olynder, and my bank of CP on both units of Hexblades, himself, and with range to spare on buffing the Bladegheists, as well. Thanks to the Aetherquartz my 3 CP remained at 2 after the breakdance showdown. The resulting bloodletting reduced the Freeguild deployed models from 52 to 4. CoS: 1, NH: 4 End of First Half of Turn 2 - Video (prepare for salt) CoS had to answer, and try he did. Being denied any semblance of a hero phase (so we're even now) he jumped to his movement phase. He summoned up his reserves, dropping one set of Demigryph Knights in charge range of my Chainrasps and Dreadblade who had been ignored so far on the right-hand side of the board. His second set of Demigryphs flanked my other Chainrasps. Finally, his Freeguild General on Griffon zoned in as close as he could to Olynder, determined to ask for this next dance. He then promptly failed all three charge rolls... He was forced to engage in combat with his already-bleeding-out General on foot who was promptly slapped off the map. Note: It is here I commit a grievous sin! Several, even! Pulling out my White Dwarf magazine I noticed that I had been neglecting my KoS's extra attack for the battalion. But, worse than that, my thick sexy Dwarf (the magazine) knocked our videographer's coffee over, dousing his leg in cold brew. It was decided right then that no matter the outcome of this macabre ball that I, the Spiller of Nectar, the Defiler of Grounds, had lost this game. Despite my now permanent title of shame and irredeemable loss, we continued on for spectator's sake. End of Turn 2 - Video (more salt, and some coffee) Points? What are points? Uh, CoS: X, NH: Y Turn 3 Turn 3 began with CoS getting the dice off. The Demigryph Knights on the left side of the board made their charge and put down both the Chainrasps and my Dreadblade that carried the Midnight Tome, robbing me of that objective. On the other side of the board, his second set of Demigryphs got in close enough to contest the other objective and deny it to the both of us. And his general? Well, all the abilities he had at his disposal, with any points he could shove down his throat, and all of the 2+/2+ shenanigans he could muster, he just couldn't contend with the new massive wound pool Olynder had with the Dolorous Guard. By splitting his attacks he put some wounds on the KoS, but but the majority of them pelted Olynder in the face. But, of the 9 wounds that made it, 4 Hexwraiths (2 on each side) ended up taking the brunt of it saving Olynder the indignity of having to eat more than 1 wound herself. In the end, the Living City just couldn't deliver enough firepower to offset the massive early damage, and after a bit of theorizing of my half of the round, CoS conceded. Winner: Nighthaunt (but not really because of that coffee thing). End of First Half of Turn 3 and Concession - Video Summary It's honestly hard to tell how well the two new battalions operated for me. On the one hand, organizing them into an Olynderbomb Underworlds deployment, coupled with the Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed's Command Ability spam made just about the entire army an amazing threatening presence. But on the other hand, at least at 1520 points, it left so little for any support units that if enough pressure were to be applied to them, like what happened at the top of turn 3 to my Chainrasps and Dreadblades, I could have been left chasing objectives or going for total annihilation in order to win. Ultimately, this game ended up so one-sided that several key abilities or scenarios were never tested, such as having to spend CP to resurrect models and seeing how much power-per-point that can be balanced at, or how much whole unit loss I could take before feeling the misfortune. In this configuration there are multiple ways to play this to try to offset these weaknesses. Opting to keep my objective campers in the Underworlds and utilizing the Pendant of the Fell Wind a bit more for a game-start deployed Olynderbomb, for example. But, this game couldn't do much to teach me any of that. This wasn't helped by the abysmal rolling of my opponent. Some days you just can't roll a 3+ to save your life, and this was one of those days for him. The salt you begin to hear in the videos has everything to do with consistently rolling a handful of 1s throughout the game. Not much to be said about that, really. But, there were some lessons learned on his side of the board in terms of coming up against the scary Nighthaunt again (he wasn't a fan of our LoG battles namely for the lack of any real threat on the table and feeling like I was only playing and wining by spending the sheer time on it). There will be a rematch very soon. I will bring this same list with no alterations, and we'll see how it holds up.
  20. 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.
  21. mcfishstick

    Warcry Death Assemble!

    The warbands of Death unite in the Varanspire wastelands. The realm of Chaos will soon feel the might of Nagash! A group shot of my 3 death warbands for Warcry: Nighthaunt - Beacon of the Sorrowful Legions - Bel-Oren's Grim March Flesh-Eaters - Seekers of the Sun

    © mcfishstick

  22. Through the grim wastes of the Varanspire marches the Beacon of the Sorrowful. The lost spirits are drawn to the gloomy candle light.

    © mcfishstick

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