Age of Sigmar/Tactics/Death/Flesh-Eater Courts
Grand Alliance Death
- 1 Why Play Flesh-Eaters Courts
- 2 Rulebooks
- 3 General Thoughts
- 4 Allegiance Traits
- 5 Command Traits
- 6 Artifacts
- 7 Lore of Madness
- 8 Endless Spells
- 9 Warscrolls
- 10 Battalions
- 11 Army Building
- 12 Allied Armies
Why Play Flesh-Eaters Courts
Imagine this. A glorious army of marching men-at-arms, disciplined, stoic and determined as they storm forward in organized ranks, watched by the steely eyes of their heroic commanders. By their side, mighty knights clad in full battle plate, resplendent in their shining armor, stomp across the ground with massive bejeweled two-handed weapons in hand, led by the strongest and boldest of their Champions. Above, warriors with angelic wings soar through the sky, intoning prayers and hymns of praise to their gods and their sovereign, filling all with pride to be in the court. Even holy beasts such as gryphons and majestic dragons take flight, their great bellows an inspiration to the humble men below. At the heads of the army, stands the King. Wearing fine armor and plate, he strides forward with confidence and utmost conviction, ready to put those who threaten his people to the sword.
Of course, that's what they think. And it's probably why you're here.
In reality, it's a terrifying horde of stinking, pallid creatures. Swarms of ghouls compete with each other to be first into the fray, scrabbling at their enemies desperately, dragging and tearing apart their enemies. Huge cannibals charge into the fight, shattering the battle line with their charge. Horrid, flying monsters impale unfortunates, while giant undead dragons and terrorgheists cut bloody swathes through formations of troops. At the head of it all, stand the proud ghoul kings and archregents. Inhumanly fast and durable, such bestial vampires rip apart scores of foes with horrifying ease, while their so-called holy prayers and spells take the form of dark death magic laced with the traces of their delusion.
Welcome to the court. And welcome to the feast.
- You can play an army of Nemesor Zahndrekh turned up to 100 with a sprinkling of cannibalism.
- They favor an aggressive playstyle. In fact, they can give the Daughters of Khaine a run for their money.
- You want to play an undead faction that doesn't (exclusively) serve the big, bony douchebag.
- You dish out Mortal Wounds like they were candy. For a good example, there's the Abhorrant Ghoul King on Royal Terrorgheist. With the right combination, he can get Always Strikes First and deal 20+ MORTAL WOUNDS from his Terrorgheist's Gaping Jaw!
- Their insane nature opens up many narrative ideas for your battles, as well as conversion opportunities.
- With Bravery 10, they'll only run if they're pounded into the ground and even then there's a chance they'll stand.
- As is typical of Death faction armies, your heroes are the lynchpin. If you lose them, it's an uphill battle, even moreso than normal Death factions, as they have summoning magic but you don't anymore.
- Low saves everywhere. Even your heroes have lower saves than their equivalents in other armies.
- Expect accusations of being a tier-whore as they're quite good in the competitive meta.
Faction rules and abilities: Battletome Flesh-Eater Courts (2019)
Latest Matched play points: Flesh-Eater Courts Errata
Core rules: here
Matched play rules, battleplans and expansions: Generals Handbook 2019 + Core Book + Malign Sorcery Book. Alternatively, everything is collected in the AOS Gaming book.
Supplement all the above with any Errata and Designers' Commentary from the FAQs.
So, how do the Flesh-Eater Courts look? This battletome, while seemingly lazily done, has actually gifted the sons of Ushoran a TON of ways to play. The Skaven kinda got the short end of the stick, being nerfed and having multiple ways of exploding, plus VERY restricted battleline. But us? Our battleline is incredibly flexible, and the Grand Courts do an incredible job of changing our playstyles. As such, this book is a ton of fun, plus the lore's amazing.
Some general tips that should be noted for new Flesh-Eater players: This army is hilariously easy to build up thanks to the Start Collecting! Flesh-Eater Courts box, which gives everything you need, and if you have a Skaven friend, Carrion Empire is another incredible deal. If you can, try getting the Nightfeast Hunters Skirmish box as well.
The lore of this army is fucking awesome. It's easily one of the most unique. So experiment! Try all kinds of things with your lore. Go insane, it's in theme.
Models wise, the army is still great. But when painting the inevitable horde of ghouls, try taking breaks now and then between your batches of ghouls by painting your heroes or monsters or horrors. It really helps break the monotony of painting ghouls. And don't be afraid to convert! Your guys are completely crazy, so go nuts with conversions! The Varghulf model is incredibly old but still good, but if you wish, there are tons of cool models that fit on 60mm bases that work great as a conversion! Don't forget, your courtiers must be made from the same boxes as your normal mooks, so plan out in advance how you're gonna build your boxes. For example, in my case: I had 3 boxes of Crypt Horrors/Flayers, and I used the parts inside to build 3 Crypt Horrors, 3 Flayers and 2 Haunter Courtiers and 1 Infernal Courtier. For Ghast Courtiers, try finding conversions, because you do NOT want to take that single model out of your ghoul blob and be left with 19 odd ghouls. Currently the official base size for Ghast Courtiers is 32mm, so keep that in mind.
In terms of playstyle, I have no idea why but a LOT of FEC players have this weird Blisterskin Flayer or Gristlegore Monster Mash fetish. Keep in mind, Flayers are NOT reliable whatsoever. Same with your monsters. This will be touched upon again later. Large groups of flayers with the feeding frenzy command ability will put out an obscene amount of mortal wounds.
The most important part of the playstyle that should be remembered is this: Your units are overpriced like all hell for good reason. A unit of Horrors is the same cost as a Fellwater Troggoth unit that has outright better stats. Why? Because you can bring your Horrors back, they can't. You can summon entirely NEW units as well. So focus on that. Your units generally suck, and rely on synergies to bring out the best in them. There was a lot of crying about the new Feeding Frenzy being overpowered, but it's really useful at making flesh-eaters viable. SO remember: One of your greatest strengths is your numbers and sheer attrition power. There are few armies in the game that can throw so many bodies on the board, or regenerate so much, which is why you should try to focus on that.
Most importantly, have fun with the Courts of Ushoran! This is an incredibly cool army that also loves conversions, so let your imagination go wild!
- Deathless Courtiers: Each time one of your units wholly within 12 inches of your general or friendly FEC hero takes a wound or mortal wound, they get an extra 6+ save. Classic Death allegiance ability. Not amazing, but it’s quite reliable and helps make up for your poor average save. Works with both courtiers and Abhorrants, so try to ensure that all of your MORDANTS are within range of any COURTIERS or ABHORRANTS to get the most out of this.
- Feeding Frenzy: It’s been HUGELY improved. It’s now a command ability that you can use immediately after any FLESH-EATER COURTS unit has piled in and made its attacks, wholly within 12" of any FLESH-EATER COURTS HERO, increased to 18" if the general uses the command ability. That unit gets to pile in and attack AGAIN! RIP AND TEAR! Normally your units are relatively weak, but with this you can seriously pump out good damage. However, this means that you need to spend your command points carefully. There’s also some serious utility with this ability, as piling in again means you get to effectively move 6 inches in the combat phase, allowing you to either attack vulnerable heroes, or pull your opponent’s shooting units into the fight. You can also use this to swarm objectives better with Crypt Ghouls, letting you claim them, especially since you will usually have a LOT of them. But be extremely careful that you don’t pull in your opponent’s stronger melee units.
- Court of Delusions: With this, you get to choose an ability for your entire army before choosing your command trait. Can drastically alter how you play your army, so choose...carefully. Notable this gives you a unique set of tactical options. Up against a gunline? go Crusading Army. Trolls? Royal hunt and so on.
- Crusading Army: You can add 1 to run and charge rolls for Flesh Eater Courts units. Solid, and can add up to a few extra made charges over the course of a game. Somewhat weaker than before, no free re-rolls unlike last time. Still solid, but pales a bit in comparison to The Feast Day (Will be discussed below).
- The Royal Hunt: Your entire army can reroll hit and wound rolls of 1 but only when attacking monsters. Ok, but extremely dependent on your opponent’s army (and by extension, your local meta). The main problem being that many of your units have innate access to re-rolls, such as crypt Horrors or ghouls, while Zombie Dragon Ghoul Kings could potentially cover re-rolling wound rolls. However, it’s better with your big monsters and Crypt Flayers, who have less access to re-rolls.
- The Feast Day: You can use the Feeding Frenzy command ability without spending a command point once per turn. Incredible. Also note that it doesn't specify a specific turn in which it applies... so you can use the command ability during your opponents turn once for free as well! You will always get mileage out of this one. By far best all-round delusion (once again excluding Grand Courts, but more on that below). It used to be so bad, but it’s now a great choice if you wish to save command points for other things, such as summoning more mordants or the generic ones.
- A Matter of Honour: Your units can reroll hit rolls of 1 when targeting heroes. If it's the enemy general you can reroll wound rolls of 1 too. Much more universal than Royal Hunt, so worth a look. Good choice, especially since it applies to your whole army. It’s generally a nice bonus, but might depend on what your opponent brings.
- The Grand Tournament: Heroes other than your general can reroll hit rolls of 1. It is specific and obviously only useful if you've got a bunch of heroes, but if that's the army you're running then it can hurt a lot. If you are running an Archregent, Foot AGK or Courtier General and at least one (two+ preferred) mounted AGKs, this could be worth it. Consider your heroes. The mounted AGKs will benefit a lot from this. Your foot AGKs are solid fighters, but remember that your Haunter Courtier is unlikely benefit much from this. Same with the Varghulf Courtier, both of whom usually have innate re-rolls. Overall, an honestly strong choice if you bring a lot of mounted AGKs. Not as much utility as The Feast Day or Crusading Army, but re-rolling those dreadful ones with your mounted Terrorgheist’s Fanged Maw is amazing.
- Defenders of the Realm: Reroll saves of 1 for all units with at least half of their models in your territory. Since you don't have much in the way of long-range attacks, you're probably going to need to be aggressive, so this won't be useful. Running this with King's Ghouls and two 40 Ghoul blocks could make for a more defensive army. Even if you have to be defensive, this isn’t that strong. Your units have weak saves across the board. HOWEVER, if you are really dead set on this, then consider what units will benefit most from it. Ghouls are unlikely to benefit much, but your monsters and ABHORRANTS will, with their solid 4+ saves. Once again, a somewhat situational delusion, but definitely has its uses.
The best delusion is The Feast Day, by far. Crusading Army and maybe The Grand Tournament might be worth a look depending on your list. The others tend to be too situational or don't offer anything else that FEC don't have access to via other means.
Now instead of a delusion, you get to choose one of the the Grand Courts! Kind of like Beasts of Chaos Greatfrays or Stormcast Stormhosts. You get a specific delusion, a command trait, an artifact and your own command ability. So unlike the Delusions, you get a command ability to make up for the fact that you MUST take the command trait and artifact. All of them are pretty solid, and it means that you have a gigantic amount of customization for your army. These ones hugely change up your army’s playstyle.
Morgaunt Grand Court
- Ability: Blood Loyalty
Solid. Your MORGAUNT COURTIERS wholly within 12" of a MORGAUNT SERFS (your crypt ghouls) unit, re-roll hit rolls of 1. Haunter and Varghulf Courtiers have relatively easy access to re-rolls, unlike Ghast and Infernals, who will definitely benefit a lot. However, the best part of this ability is this: Your MORGAUNT SERFS wholly within 12" of your COURTIERs activate Boundless Ferocity at 10 or more models. Boundless Ferocity is the new fancy name for Battalion Strength, meaning that your ghouls get an extra attack (usually 3 attacks total), at 10+ models. This is incredibly useful, as it means that 20-ghoul blobs are viable, and summoning a ghoul unit may actually do something. Of course, be careful of the range. As well as the fact that ABHORRANTs cannot activate it, only COURTIER units can.
- Command Ability: Heaving Masses
Your opponent is going to destroy lots of ghouls. What do you do then? You bring even MOAR ghouls. You can use this command ability when any MORGAUNT SERFS unit is destroyed, and you roll a dice, on a 4+, you get to set up the exact same unit wholly within 6" of any edge of the battlefield, and 9" from enemies. This is actually really useful. The biggest weakness is that you're spending a command point for a 50% chance of bringing back a unit, which is risky, though better than those Hammers of Sigmar gits. The most obvious use is in gaining insane amounts of attrition pressure. BUuuut, you also should remember: You can choose ANY edge. There are a lot of ways to use this. If you have multiple units of 10-20 ghouls, you can try your luck with this to let those ghouls attack from unexpected angles, tying up shooty units, and possibly killing squishies, especially if you summon a COURTIER using an Archregent or zombie dragon ghoul king. Still great to use on big groups though. See the smaller groups as an ambush party of sorts. They have the flexibility and small footprint to go after your opponenent's backline, while having the damage (Keep Blood Loyalty in mind) to seriously dent stuff. Remember though, you can only use this when a unit is destroyed, so if the roll fails, those guys are permanently gone, so don't be a smartass trying to bring units back from the dead.
- Command Trait: Savage Chivalry
You can re-roll hit-rolls of 1 for your general if they are within 12" of a MORGAUNT SERFS unit. Look carefully at "WITHIN". Your Mounted ghoul kings just need a tiny part of their base to be within 12" and they get the re-rolls. Doesn't seem like a lot, but it's a very useful buff. But remember carefully who benefits most from this. Varghulf and Haunter Courtiers benefit little, so your best bet would be ABHORRANTs, but don't forget that this CANNOT affect a royal terrorgheist or zombie dragon mount. That said, it's not a jaw-droppingly good command trait, but you honestly can't go wrong with this. Reliable if a little boring.
- Artifact: Decrepit Crown
This special artifact which allows your units to ignore battleshock while WHOLLY within 12 inches of the wielder, 18 if the general Carries it. Most would dismiss this as weak since Death units have bravery 10 (which is awesome), but you’re playing crypt GHOULS. These guys die like flies, and while they won’t run like a Skaven, you will still lose a LOT to battleshock. This also saves your CPs from being used on Inspiring Presence. Your monsters don't care about battleshock, but Crypt Ghouls most certainly do. And while Crypt Horrors and Flayers don't usually care about battleshock, the fact that this still buffs them shouldn't be forgotten. Terrible battleshock rolls, heavy casualties, losing those Crypt Horrors/Flayers is PAINFUL. So this is honestly a great artifact.
Overall, a great Grand Court. Remember, this focuses a LOT on your Serfs/Crypt Ghouls, who are excellent at killing lightly-armored foes. For sample lists, you could try multiple units of 10-20 ghouls as screens and fodder to die for your bigger blocks of 30-40, and use Heaving Masses for them to either threaten objectives or threaten the enemy backline. Also, try bringing rending units, such as Flayers or monsters. In this kind of list, having a Courtier or two would be extremely useful, such as using an Archregent or Zombie Dragon Ghoul King's summon ability. Generally best to summon either Ghasts or Varghulfs, since they can replenish those units, AND use the Feeding Frenzy Command ability on said units.
Hollowmourne Grand Court
- Ability: Shattering Charge
Your COURTIER and KNIGHTS units get to re-roll wound rolls of 1 in turns that they charge. This is scary good at increasing your damage, and you can squeeze out all the mileage from this with Feeding Frenzy. All your COURTIERS benefit, but monsters like your Varghulf and Haunter Courtiers will go nuts with this. Your KNIGHTS, Horrors and Flayers both benefit hugely from this, especially because they pump out so many attacks. It's also worth mentioning that while your zombie dragon ghoul kings can cast his unique spell to get full re-rolls, it's not guaranteed to go off, and sometimes it may get unbound. While this shit? This shit means shit's going down son, guaranteed so long as you get that charge. Speaking of which...
- Command Ability: Ravenous Crusaders
You can pick any HOLLOWMOURNE unit wholly within 9" of a HERO or 18" of your general, and they get add 1 to run and charge rolls, and can even run and charge. This significantly increases your threat range, and gives you the flexibility to attempt long bomb charges. It also works with your units that you summoned, since they now just need an 8 to make a successful charge. However, this command ability requires you to THINK. Don't spam it or you will most definitely run out of command points. You don't always wish to throw your horror deathstar as fast as possible at your opponent. It's easy for your units to accidentally run OUT of your synergy and buff ranges, leaving them as easy pickings. So be very careful with this.
- Command Trait: Grave Robber
Once again, doesn't affect mounts. So no cheesing with your royal mounts. Your general adds 1 to attacks and damage while within 3" of enemy HEROES with an artifact of power. Even though it doesn't affect your mount, Abhorrant Ghoul Kings and Archregents actually benefit a LOT from this. They have a lot of attacks, so that added damage will hurt. However, it's difficult to get close to enemies with artifacts of power. So it might be really good on Varghulf Courtiers or mounted Kings, units that can fly and pick their fights. It's also worth remembering that your general doesn't need to attack the hero with an artifact, you can actually tear apart that unit your opponent was screening his hero with.
- Artifact: Corpsefane Gauntlet
When the model with this artifact charges, you can inflict D3 mortal wounds on a 2+ against ONE enemy unit within 1". It's a very small effect, since the bearer may not make that many charges. HOWEVER, there are some uses to this. Infantry units have the wounds to laugh it off, so pick your charges wisely. Monsters with damage tables would utterly hate taking D3 wounds, as it can knock them down a peg even before your guy swings. Heroes usually have about 5 wounds, and as such this can seriously hurt them. Squishy glass cannon units with lots of damage may also hate this, especially 1 wound units like Bestigors, Grimghast Reapers, Bladegheist Revennants, Bloodletters, heck, even Loonsmasha Fanatics.
In conclusion, quite a killy Grand Court. My personal favorite because I'm in love with Horrors. Ravenous Crusaders should be used wisely and as a sneaky trick, since you can use it to surprise your opponent with extended threat ranges. It's also very good for summoned units to fish for those 9" charges. These armies would probably like using a mounted ghoul king or varghulf courtier general to make use of Grave Robber, while the Corpsefane Gauntlet does great on anything, though aggressive heroes that will most certainly get stuck in will like this. Interestingly, Varghulf courtier or mounted king generals could get a lot of mileage by having having the Gauntlet, since they have the mobility to pick their targets and get to artifact-carrying heroes, while having the stats to massively benefit from the Grave Robber buffs. Don't forget, your Horrors become battleline if you choose this Grand Court. After some testing by the noble kings of the Grand Alliance community, it can be said that Hollowmourne is surprisingly strong. Deranged Transformation on one unit of 6 Horrors, Ravenous Crusaders on another unit of 6, allows for incredible mobility. Don’t use this to alpha strike, instead, use it as a scalpel. Such Horrors work great in an Attendants at Court battalion, use this to target enemies that your Horrors are good against, while the rest of your army moves into position.
Blisterskin Grand Court
- Ability: Blistering Speed
All your BLISTERSKIN units gain 2 inches of movement. This is honestly incredible. You will ALWAYS get a use out of this. There's little to be said, other than the fact that you will normally outrange your opponent in terms of threat range. This allows you to cross the board faster, and forces your opponent to play conservatively, as they have to watch for you, because with this, you have the ability to pick your fights with this kind of insane mobility.
- Command Ability: Lords of the Burning Skies
Used in the movement phase, you get to choose BLISTERSKIN unit with the FLY keyword. You can remove it from the battlefield and set it up again 9 inches away from any enemy models. They can't move after that. Nice. Unfortunately, being limited to flying units does restrict it quite a bit. Try not to use this for alpha strikes, as you have little ways to buff up an alpha strike to do it reliably or even kill the stuff you charge. Instead, the mere threat of it is a boon. Your opponent has to set up to prepare for any potential attacks from unexpected angles. Use it also for objective grabbing or you can set up your monsters/flayers a good distance away from the enemy such that they can't charge your units easily, while yours can (Your guys have a LOT of movement, so use it). It allows you to threaten your opponent and spread them thin. Don't forget, you can still shoot. Flayers get to shoot, and they can deal decent damage en masse, while Terrorgheists and Zombie Dragons have outright terrifying ranged attacks, especially the Terrorgheist. (Cast that fly spell on some ghouls and now they can teleport).
- Command Trait: Hellish Orator
While this general is ON the battlefield, at the start of your hero phase roll a dice, on a 4+ you get a command point, in addition to your normal. Because we have no cap on CP generation, this is a great command trait. Especially with how CP hungry we are. This will always be useful, although it being random is a partial issue, of course, but it’s better than many other command traits. Try to ensure your general stays alive then, for example, an Archregent kept at the back, because if he’s dead (most mounted kings will eventually get targeted and hoses down) or deep striking (Zombie Dragon kings can do that), this trait won’t work.
- Artifact: Eye of Hysh
Subtract 1 from hit rolls for attacks made within missile weapons that target a friendly BLISTERSKIN unit wholly within 6” of the bearer. The biggest weakness is the 6” range. However, it does work on the Bearer himself. Can be situational, especially against melee-centric armies like Ironjawz or Khorne, but will usually get at least some mileage. Don’t try to brick up your entire army around the Bearer though, it will be extremely awkward and difficult considering the large footprints of your army. Still a decent artifact.
All in all, a great Grand Court with lots of utility based artifact and trait. It’s useful, although it’s strengths are not immediately obvious and require finesse in using. One of the most important things about this is the fact that Flayers become battleline. Generally, Blisterskin Flayer lists have become competitive, and are seen as surprisingly strong, due to a mix of excellent mobility, lots of mortal wounds and a LOT of armor piercing damage, while still able to clear hordes quickly.
Gristlegore Grand Court
- Ability: Peerless Ferocity
If the unmodified hit roll for an attack made by a GRISTLEGORE hero or GRISTLEGORE monster is 6, that attack inflicts 2 hits on that target instead of 1. Make a wound and save roll for each hit. Insanely powerful when used with Ghoul kings on terrorgheists with gruesome bite. You can easily fish for Fanged Maw hits, and if you do get a hit roll of 6, your attack still explodes. However, one attack will be converted into 6 Mortal wounds and its attack sequence ends, while the other will make a wound roll as normal. It allows you to deal mortal wounds, followed by the chance to toss out some extra 2 rend damage. Add Feeding Frenzy, and you’ll see the reason why Mounted TG kings are now a staple in competitive play. However, try not to use this trick so much, it WILL lose you friends. Seriously, I’ve seen it.
(the seq END so you can't make that combo) Nope, FAQs have confirmed that each effect will trigger ONCE. So as described above, 1 hit becomes 2, and one of those hits will trigger Gaping Maw.
- Command Ability: Call to War
If a friendly GRISTLEGORE hero or GRISTLEGORE monster that has not fought in a combat phase is slain while wholly within 12" of a friendly hero (or 18" of the general), you can use this command ability to let it pile-in move and then attack with all its melee weapons. You can use Feeding Frenzy right after Call to War, if you want to lose more friends. Very useful, especially if Monstrous Vigor is on that dead unit. It allows you to squeeze all the value out of your guys. Especially powerful on any Terrorgheist, because their bite doesn’t degrade as they get wounded. However, this should not be used every time you lose someone. Try only to use it for your stronger heroes/monsters, or you’re gonna waste Command points that could’ve been used for feeding frenzy on your healthier units.
- Command Trait: Savage Strike
This general fights at the start of the combat phase before the players pick any other units to fight in that combat phase on a turn they made a charge (via GHB2019 FAQ). This general cannot fight again in that combat phase unless an ability or spell allows it to fight more than once. This is exactly why Abhorrant Ghoul King on Terrorgheist generals are so powerful.
It takes priority even in your opponent’s combat phase, which is insane because you can still use Feeding Frenzy. this isn't true anymore since it now only works when you charged. Once again, try not to cheese with this too much or you’ll literally be That Guy. There’s good reason why the FEC Start Collecting got sold out at LGS because of Legions of Nagash players.
- Artefect- Ghurish Mawshard
It's a d6 roll and if you roll over your targets wounds characteristic they're slain! Also ONCE PER BATTLE!!! Unfortunately this doesn't work on big things, so if you knock that Bloodthirstier down to 3 wounds remaining, you can't use this to finish it off since it has 14 wounds base on its warscroll). Also needs to be used at the start of the combat phase and 1" range.... Maybe worthwhile on something with a decent save, mortal wound negation and/or ethereal special rule. Still, versus a 3 wound model, it's a 50/50 chance.
Overall, a very strong Court. There was an errata where monsters without king riders don’t count towards Behemoth, which is crazy good. (Cry your hearts out Beastclaw raiders!). Even so, spamming monsters is not that cheesy, it’s when someone spams 2-3 Ghoul King’s on Terrorgheists all with gruesome bite, that’s just disgusting. But if you really want to smash someone you really don’t like, then that’s a good sample list for you.
There are now 2 tables: Royalty and Nobility.
Royalty: ABHORRANT HEROES only
- Bringer of Death: Your general can reroll wound rolls of 1. Pretty solid for a close combat monster general.
- Frenzied Flesh-eater: Reroll failed hits and wounds if there are any wounded models within 3". As wounds only get allocated one all of the unit's attacks have been resolved, reliability will depend greatly on how many multi-wound models your opponent is fielding.
- Savage Beyond Reason: Unmodified hit rolls of 6 explode into 2 automatic hits. Competes with Frenzied Flesh-Eater. This is also very good, since your abhorrants have so many attacks that they can do a LOT of damage with this. However, less reliable than Frenzied Flesh-Eater, since those 6s may not always happen.
- Majestic Horror: If you have a summoning Command Ability, use it for free. It will save you one command point. Which can actually mean a lot. It means that your Archregents/Ghoul Kings don't need to hang around the throne, or can work great with your mounted kings. It's not as game breaking as before, but you can hardly go wrong with a free command point.
- Dark Wizardry: Add 1 to the General's Casting, Dispelling and Unbinding rolls if they're a Wizard. This is nuts. It's an incredible command trait, especially for your Archregents, who can cast 2 spells AND unbind 2 spells a phase. This is probably the strongest and most reliable trait for a foot ABHORRANT hero, who usually prefer to support than fight. Your mounted kings work best with the more combat-oriented traits above, and even then, they may prefer this due to the fact that your kings aren't that scary in combat.
- Completely Delusional: Once per battle, if your general is still alive, you can change your current delusion to a new one. You cannot choose a Grand Court though. Actually quite good, as your delusions are actually solid. It does give you huge flexibility, for example, start with Crusading Army to NYOOOOOOM up the board, then change to Feast Day when getting stuck in. Or use Defenders of the Realm if you're expecting an alpha strike, then swap to Feast Day to boost your combat power. The possibilities are actually limitless.
Definitely a great table. Your close combat generals would appreciate almost any of the combat traits, Majestic Horror is a great utility trait that will always get work done no matter what, Dark Wizardry is just crazy good, while Completely Delusional is an incredibly strong trait that requires finesse to use but is greatly rewarding when used well. Archregents will love Dark Wizardry, that is a given.
Nobility: COURTIER HEROES only
- Bringer of Death: Your general can reroll wound rolls of 1. Pretty solid for a close combat general. Haunter and Infernal Courtiers will like it, and Varghulfs will love this.
- Frenzied Flesh-eater: Reroll failed hits and wounds if there are any wounded models within 3". See above.
- Savage Beyond Reason: Unmodified hit rolls of 6 explode into 2 automatic hits. This is great. Your Haunter Courtier has multi damage weapons that will love exploding dice, and your Varghulf Courtier will go nuts with this, thanks to his insanely high damage output, while your Infernal Courtier will certainly appreciate this.
- Hulking Brute: Add 1 to your general's wounds. Not bad. But generally quite unimpressive compared to the other options.
- Cruel Taskmaster: You can re-roll the dice when using the Muster ability. Less potent for a Ghast Courtier, since ghouls are regenerated on a 2+. However, this is a godsend for Haunter or Infernal Courtiers, since a re-rollable 5+ is technically equivalent to a 4+. Keep in mind that any dice can be rerolled, including successful rolls, so that Varghulf Courtier who brought back a bunch of ghouls can actually reroll the dice and fish for 5s and 6s. A very good trait. *Actually, if you reroll, you must reroll ALL the dice. So more of a safety net if you roll terribly than a constantly reliable trait.
- Dark Acolyte: You're a WIZARD, Harry! A flesh-eating and completely insane one, too. You also get to cast 1 spell, unbind 1 and know the Black Hunger spell. This is another insanely strong trait. Being a FLESH-EATER COURTS WIZARD means that you can cast Endless Spells, and you also know one spell from the Lore of Madness (More on that later). This is extremely good, but since feed on Dark Magic only triggers if an ABHORRANT casts a spell, it falls short in that regard.
Overall, a great set of command traits. This whole table generally does best with a Varghulf Courtier general, but the others can work. Combat generals should probably grab Savage Beyond Reason, while anything else should usually get Dark Acolyte. Cruel Taskmaster is crazy good but depends heavily on what you need. Usually, another wizard is better than rerolling your muster ability.
There are 2 sets of artifacts now, one for Abhorrants and one for Courtiers.
Royal Treasury: ABHORRANT HEROES only
- Signet of the First Court: Unmodified wound rolls of 6 by the general get damage increased by 1 for that attack. Most Abhorrants have a lot of attacks, so they can definitely get some serious mileage out of this. Somewhat overshadowed by the support artifacts, but great if you want a damage focused abhorrant.
- Splintervane Broach: Enemy Wizards within 12 subtract 1 from their casting rolls. Very nasty if you can get within range, but a lot of Wizards will just move out of range of it, so unreliable. Having said that, with the arrival of Malign Sorcery and increased focus on magic, this is definitely a more viable option than in AOS 1.0. If you are playing a one off against a magic heavy opponent or have a magic heavy local meta, it definitely bears consideration.
- Blood River Chalice: Once per game heal D6 wounds on your character. Best on a mounted ghoul kings who just shifted down a wound level to bounce him back up. It's a great artifact. Wasted on foot kings, who only have 6 wounds, or Archregents, who already heal 3 wounds instantly. This should always be given to mounted kings, who can heal D6 from this, then D3 from their Royal Blood ability, which can mean a TON of wounds recovered. Excellent artifact, you can get a ton of mileage out of this. In practice, many opponents will try to one shot the bearer so he can't use it. If you can predict when he's gonna do it, try casting Unholy Vitality (Your TG riding king's unique spell). Even if your opponent manages to kill him, he would have wasted so much damage on your character trying to kill him.
- The Grim Garland: Enemy units within in 6 subtract 2 from their Bravery. In practice, this means 1 enemy unit, but this is still incredible. An autopick for any Flayer or Terrorgheist heavy list. Your shooting attacks will deal huge amounts of damage, and that's not even taking into account the horrendous battle shock that you have to take, normally forcing the wasting of a LOT of command points for Inspiring Presence.
- The Dermal Robe: Add 1 to casting, dispelling, unbinding rolls for bearer. Once again, just plain insane. You can either stack it with Dark Wizardry for a godlike caster who can compete with Arkhan and even Nagash, or you can give it to someone else to spread your spells around. Generally best with Archregents once again, who are complete gods of magic for the flesh-eaters. This is an insanely good artifact, that you seriously cannot go wrong with.
- Heart of the Gargant Feast: Once per game rerolls to wound for your character. Solid, but limited, probably better to take something that helps more than one unit. What he said. The artifact is relatively meh, but if you truly wish to use it, use it with a strong mounted king, and buff him with stuff like Feeding Frenzy, the Archregent's Ferocious Hunger, Zombie Dragon King's Malefic Hunger, you get the idea, especially if you REALLY want something just that dead, since the aforementioned spells actually buff your mount too.
Noble Heirlooms: COURTIER HEROES only
- Keening Bone: One the bearer's melee weapons has its range changed to 3 inches. Formerly seen as a joke, but it's a very interesting artifact. 3 inches is massive, and as such, when piling in your hero, this can be used as a very nasty surprise. This actually makes for a great hero killer, especially after piling in. Feeding Frenzy can be used to get even more threat range, allowing you to hit squishy support heroes standing behind, or attack powerful melee characters from a safe range - behind his own troops.
- Medal of Madness: Once per battle ROUND this now allows the Courtier to use one of the three generic command abilities for free. (per the FAQ)
- The Flayed Pennant: Re-roll failed charge rolls for FLESH-EATER COURTS units wholly within 12 inches of bearer. Oh how the mighty have fallen. Yet, not all hope is lost. Still makes for super cool conversions, such as a Chaos warrior's banner, or heck even a Bloodletter's Bloodsoaked Banner. This is arguably stronger than before. It's effect is permanent, and once again, a Varghulf carrying this could zoom around, buffing everyone you need to buff. Free re-rolls means more CPs saved, and thus more Feeding Frenzies, or more summons or more Grand Court command abilities. Just make sure you position your Courtier to be where most of your charges will be made.
- Carrion Wand: Bearer can cast Arcane Bolt like a WIZARD. If he's already a WIZARD, basically if he has the Dark Acolyte command trait, add 1 to casting rolls for Arcane Bolt. Not amazing, but it's interesting, since you can use Arcane Bolts to snipe enemy characters. It's decent, though not that useful.
- The Fleshform Raiment: Subtract 1 from bravery of enemy units within 3 inches of bearer. A straight downgrade from the Grim Garland. In every single case, you should take Grim Garland over this. Abhorrants have access to larger bases, and the debuff is far more painful. However, if you still want this artifact, then you should probably take both this AND the Grim Garland. If you want the bravery bomb, then you pretty much HAVE TO COMMIT. Still not the most recommended choice.
- The Bilious Decanter: Wow. Once per battle, add 2 to the attacks of the bearer's melee weapons. It goes without saying, but Varghulfs benefit massively from this. They have the most accurate attacks, a ton of damage, good rend, and this just boosts it to ridiculous levels. Use Feeding Frenzy to get the most out of this baby. And it's still incredible on Haunter or Infernal Courtiers, who will definitely love the extra damage.
Similar to artifacts, you can pick one to give to your mounted ghoul kings. And for each battalion you have, you can pick another. Completely independent from artifacts, which is awesome. Designer's Commentary also confirms that these traits may be duplicated, unlike Artefacts of Power.
TERRORGHEIST TRAITS: HERO mounted on Royal Terrorgheist only
- Deathly Fast: This model can run and still shoot in same turn. It's decent, it means an extra D6 inches to your Death Shriek, but you can't charge, which is the main problem. Plus the D6 is unreliable. Overall, not a very good trait.
- Razor-Clawed: Actually not bad. But relatively weak on a Terrorgheist, since most of his damage comes from his bite, which already does mortal wounds and has a TWO REND. A bit situational, since not many things have such a good save to warrant a -3 rend modifier.
- Horribly Infested: When the monster dies, inflict 3 mortal wounds instead of D3 with the Infested ability. This is actually really good. A mounted king built for damage can swoop in the middle of the enemy, devastate them, explode and deal a ton of wounds. A very solid trait for Terrorgheists.
- Horribly Resilient: Heal 3 wounds instead of D3 for Royal Blood. Wow. This is yet another solid trait, as it can bring you up on the damage table easily. Another really good trait.
- Gruesome Bite: Re-roll hit rolls with the Terrorgheist's Fanged Maw. This is almost always the best trait to pick. A 4+ rerollable is better than a 3+, significantly improving your accuracy. Plus, you can fish for more mortal wound hits, which is utterly terrifying. A must-pick to skyrocket your damage potential.
- Devastating Scream: Add 1 to the roll for Death Shriek. Not very strong, since it's only one extra wound. Overshadowed by the other traits here.
Kings on Terrorgheists should usually prioritize Gruesome Bite, while Horribly Resilient and Horribly Infested are other great choices. The others are usually not that powerful, or are too situational.
ZOMBIE DRAGON TRAITS: HERO mounted on Royal Zombie Dragon only
- Deathly Fast: This model can run and still shoot in same turn. It's decent, it means an extra D6 inches to your Pestilential Breath, but you can't charge, which is the main problem. Plus the D6 is unreliable. Overall, not a very good trait.
- Razor-Clawed: Actually a good choice for your zombie dragon. Most of his damage comes from that brutal claws, and 2 rend on those is terrifying. He doesn't do mortal wounds like a Terrorgheist, so extra rend is honestly much more useful for him.
- Baneful Breath: Re-roll wound rolls for Pestilential Breath attacks. A very solid trait. Your accuracy is incredible, and you'll hit almost every single time. The biggest weakness of this is the unreliability of the damage D6. It's a decent choice.
- Horribly Resilient: Heal 3 wounds instead of D3 for Royal Blood. Wow. This is yet another solid trait, as it can bring you up on the damage table easily. Another really good trait.
- Necrotic Fangs: Re-roll damage rolls for your Snapping Maw. Not bad. But given the bad hit-rolls of this weapon, it can be skipped since the hardest part is hitting in the first place.
- Death From The Skies: STEEL REEHN. Your Dragon can appear anywhere on the board at the end of the first movement phase. Actually a super good trait. Not for first-turn charges. But because your King can basically be where he is needed most. Maybe your Horrors are already getting stuck in, and need your king for the hit re-roll aura and the Malefic hunger buff? Or those Ghoul Patrol Crypt Ghouls are trying to charge and might need a Forward to Victory? There's a ton of possibilities with this trait, which gives you massive flexibility.
Death From The Skies should be given first priority, while Razor-Clawed and Horribly Resilient are possible but worthy choices.
Notable Artifacts of the Realms
Lore of Madness
FLESH-EATER COURTS WIZARDS only. Each WIZARD gets one spell from this list. They can actually have multiple copies of the same spell, they just can't attempt it more than once in the same hero phase. Also, Courtiers with Dark Acolyte get spells from here, since they are wizards in a Flesh-Eater Courts army.
- Bonestorm Casts on a 5. Roll a dice for each enemy within a foot, and on a 2+ they take a mortal wound. Decent enough as your second or third pick, and as a plus you get to yell out BONESTORM!
- Spectral Host Casts on a 6. This one lets a unit within 12 fly. If it could already fly they can run and charge. Be still my unbeating heart, this one is amazing. Blisterskin flayers with an average threat range of 25 inch threat are really rather worrisome. Roll a 10 and it'll target 3 units. Neat. ( pairs well with the blisterkin command ability and any non flying units).
- Monstrous Vigor Casts on a 5. A monster gets to pretend it isn't wounded. REALLY good in Gristlegore, but otherwise probably less good than the other options on the list.
- Miasmal Shroud Casts on a 5. Roll 3 dice, for each 5+ you do a mortal to the target unit. If you roll a double they get -1 to hit. A triple they also get -1 to wound. Interestingly enough it doesn't HAVE to do mortals to nerf the unit, so on triple 1s they're still useless.
- Deranged Transformation Casts on a 6. This one is... actually pretty good!. It adds a unit's wounds to their move, as long as it's less than 7 wounds. Suddenly a unit of flayers gets +4 move, and that's really rather cool. Similar to Spectral Host, and just like it, you can target 3 units if you roll a 10+. Very good, albeit situational compared to Spectral host. You need to build your list around this. Your Horrors and flayers will benefit a LOT from this. Gaining 4 inches move is no joke, and significantly increases your threat range. Deranged Transformation needs to be considered properly. Horrors will appreciate this the most, as you can now pick and choose your favored targets.
- Blood Feast Casts on a 7, pick an enemy within 12 of the caster, and a friendly within 6 of that unit. D3 mortals to the baddies, d6 on a 10+. The friendly heals for 1 for each wound done, or if they only have 1 wound, aka ghouls, you can bring back that many dead dudes. Pretty solid spell, and a good way to keep your big scary dragons in fighting form!
Cadaverous Barricade: Casting value 5 endless spell that doesn't move, non-DEATH units within 3 inches of this model that start a move suffer a halved distance when making moves. This includes charges, runs, retreats, whatever. It's only 30points for a wall of bullshit that will make your opponent tear his hair out. Unfortunately, it doesn't affect Death units. However, bear in mind that this thing also gives cover to units being shot by ranged weapons, so long as the shot unit is within 1 inch of this spell, and if the attacker is closer to the wall than they are to the unit they're shooting. Remember. How much shooting do you actually have? Flayers, Terrorgheists, who do mortal wounds, zombie dragons, whose rend of -3 does not give a shit. So that pretty much never helps your opponent. Plus it has a longggg range of 24 inches. There are several ways to abuse this thing. Firstly, if your opponent is unfortunate enough to not be dead, a Cadaverous Barricade in the middle of his army will ruin his plans. Plus, you can also dump it in the middle of combats to deny pile in space for your opponent's scariest monsters and fighters, or block off units trying to claim objectives. Endless Spells are counted as friendly models, so you can only move through this if you can fly (or have some similar ability). You'll be making everything walk around the flimsy metal fence!
Chalice of Ushoran:An endless spell that doesn't move, count the number of models slain within 12" (Not wholly within, and not units), at the end of each TURN, roll a number of dice equal to that count. For each 4+, heal 1 wound or return a model with a Wounds characteristic of 1 to any FLESH-EATER COURTS unit or model. This is the example of the perfect endless spell. It ties perfectly into our playstyle. Put in the middle of a huge scrum, and watch as this, combined with mustering, just brings back most of your army. It's still relatively cheap at 50pts, making it easy to slot into any list. Your opponent will do his utmost to dispel this, so you're probably only able to use it in your turn, but that means one less casting attempt for your opponent. Don't be afraid to dispel it yourself, though, if the fighting moves somewhere else, and you might need to relocate the Chalice. Remember, you can use it to heal multi-wound models like Horrors and Flyers, but you can't return a model. So for the sake of Nagash, bring ghouls if you want the most out of this. Ghouls drop like flies, so use it to heal either your ghoul units, or your stronger hammers, such as monsters, Horrors, Flayers, or your Courtiers. Don't always depend on whether your opponent's going to bring a horde to feed your damn chalice, just feed it yourself.
Corpsemare Stampede:a Predatory spell that rolls 5 dice against each unit it moves over. For each roll that beats (not equals) the unit's wound characteristic, inflict 1 mortal wound, if 6 was rolled, deal d3 Mortal wounds instead. Very strong. Hordes will cry against this, and it even moves 14 inches and flies. While the enemy can certainly send it right back at you, if you have it go over his whole battleline, then he'll have to run it through his lines AGAIN to whack you with it, forcing him to move it away, which could endanger his backline if they're too close. Casting value of 7, making it annoying to dispel without buffs. Overall, an excellent choice. Plus, even if it does trample your guys, your guys have the sustain to tank it, the enemy doesn't. And it's not even expensive.
The common keywords of these warscrolls are DEATH and FLESH-EATER COURTS. Apart from the Ghoul King (in all his variants), the Terrorgheist and the Zombie Dragon all the units also have the MORDANT keyword.
These are your typical leader Heroes. Each of them comes with a Command Ability and each is a wizard. Though none of them can use summoning magic as such, each Abhorrant variant can summon new units. Ghouls for the footslogger, Crypt Horrors/Flayers for the one on Terrorgheist, Courtiers for the one on Zombie Dragon and any of your choice for the Archregent. Thanks to the non-existence of summoning magic in this army, these Commands are the only way to set up entirely new units. Compare Commands and unique spells to find out which ones you want to have in your army.
- Abhorrant Ghoul King on Terrorgheist: (420pts) This count also as Behemoth. Oh heck yes. The Ghoul King adds a lot to the already powerful Terrorgheist, such as magic and a Command Ability. This guy can grant a 5+ save-after-the-save to a Flesh-Eater unit and can summon new units of Crypt Flayers or Crypt Horrors. Other than that, it's a Wizard, it has a Command and it has three powerful melee profiles in addition to a dangerous not-a-breath-attack. Remember, his command ability has some serious utility. Flayers have a ranged attack, which while bad at long range, will do some damage. Horrors are not bad, and can divert your opponent's attention and effort from your mainline, even worse if they get a charge off.
- Abhorrant Ghoul King on Zombie Dragon: (440pts) This count also as Behemoth. Exactly what it says on the tin. Just like the variety on the Terrorgheist, this one here has some seriously powerful buffs. First of all, as a Command, he can summon new Courtiers OF ANY TYPE (who can then proceed to summon more foot soldiers). Then, his unique spell makes a 10" bubble centered on the Ghoul King which grants rerolls To Wound to ALL Flesh-Eater models. On top of that, the Zombie Dragon heals D3 Wounds each Hero Phase. Both mounted Ghoul Kings are excellent choices, but eat points REALLY fast. This King's command ability is excellent. To put it simply; ALWAYS summon a Varghulf Courtier. He's a high damage fighter, who replenishes ALL your guys, is fast, and still gets a Look Out Sir! This summon should be used wisely, and can be used for multiple ways. Maybe an ambushing unit of ghouls needs a hero's Forward To Victory, or a Blisterskin Flayers unit wants a Feeding Frenzy buff but are too far. This can go a long way.
- Abhorrant Ghoul King: (160pts) Not that murderous when compared to a Vampire Lord in terms of killing power, but absolutely amazing when compared to the average Wizard. Their unique spell grants a Flesh-eater unit one more attack with each melee weapon, which makes Crypt Ghouls and Horrors better and Varghulfs terrifying, but if you cast this on a Ghoul King on Terrorgheist, he'll pluck whole units apart by himself. Another thing that needs to be addressed is that a Ghoul King is a fucking cockroach. 6 Wounds at a 4+ save and a regeneration of D3 Wounds a turn means the enemy either dedicates entire war machine salvos to kill this guy or he'll be good as new two turns later. Sure he can't go toe-to-toe with an Ironjaws Megaboss (who can?), but he'll survive stuff that could easily overkill most other buffers and wizards. His command ability seems weak, but can be very strong in Morgaunt. 10 Ghoul units get an extra attack if close enough to a Courtier, significantly increasing their damage output. Furthermore, these units can claim objectives and just be incredibly annoying. Plus it's free if used closeby the Charnel Throne.
- Abhorrant Archregent: (240pts) Essentially a souped-up footslogger Ghoul King. Has an extra wound and attacks, but his major advantage over the vanilla one is his magic, with the ability to cast an extra spell and a variant of the Ghoul King's spell that grants d3 attacks. Also heals a flat three wounds per turn. He also combines the summoning abilities of all the different Abhorrent Ghoul Kings. He can either summon a unit of 20 Ghouls, 3 KNIGHTS or a Courtier. This adds a degree of flexibility mid-game. If you take one, place him close to the (free) charnel throne to use his summon ability without paying a CP. Remember, he is NOT a dedicated fighting hero, but he can do some work. Try not to risk him in melee. His support value is just too good. He's basically a direct upgrade over a foot Ghoul King. And don't forget, he can regenerate 3 wounds. The Ghoul King's a cockroach? Fuck that noise. This guy will never die unless your opponent truly commits to murdering him off the board. Remember, his command ability is crazy versatile. Use it wisely, according to the situation at hand.
- Also, remember that as his spell and the normal foot Ghoul King's are different, they stack. A potential 4 extra attacks on a unit is ruinous, especially with feeding frenzy.
Courtiers are more support Heroes and beatsticks, not proper leader types and thus come without any Command Abilities or magic. What they do is still very important though, as of they can Resurrect Slain Models, as of second edition. Keep in mind though that they cannot set up new units, only the Ghoul Kings can do that. This is not to say your Courtiers are less important though as they can, for example, add Ghouls to a unit until it gets its Battalion Strength back. As they don't have the Monster Keyword despite appearances, they all benefit from Look Out Sir.
- Varghulf Courtier: (160pts) The most versatile of all the courtiers - The Varghulf flies, has a 10" move and a bunch of strong attacks with more if it's in melee with ten or more models. This courtier is at it's best supporting your knights and serfs against chaff and mass battleline - with the aforementioned attacks bonus, Feed on Dark Magic, and Feeding Frenzy (not to mention artifacts to bump up it's attack potential), you are looking at an excellent battleline buster. Don't let him get into combat with tough hammer units or heavy-hitting monsters - 8 wounds and a 5+/6++ save goes far too quickly. It heals D3 Wounds at the end of each combat phase where it slew any enemies and can reroll To Hit if an ABHORRANT casts a spell within 18" of him (Feed on Dark Magic). Oh, and unlike other courtiers, he can muster Flayers, Horrors, and Ghouls. An excellent summoning choice - summon it in near units in combat at the table edge, in range for Feeding Frenzy, or place it range to support mass Ghouls - a very versatile part of the FEC army.
- Crypt Ghast Courtier:(60pts) A teeny tiny Ghoul champion upstart. That's what he is. He has a bunch of weak attacks and is still somewhat fragile for a Hero, with 4 Wounds and a 5+ save, similar to a Loonboss. His real use is in resurrecting, on average, 5 Ghouls per Hero Phase (yes, that means you can heal Ghoul units back to the point where their size-bonus activates) and he makes them stronger if he personally kills an enemy. Only use this as a last resort, though, as his reviving is superb and he's too fragile to risk in melee.
- Crypt Haunter Courtier: (120pts) A slightly stronger Crypt Horror champion who can summon more of his flunkies. That last part alone is already cool, as Crypt Horrors are very powerful, but the fact that the Courtier is strong in melee and regenerates should not be forgotten. If he is your general, Crypt Horror Becomes battleline; With AOS2 making it so everyone can use Command Abilities, you won't feel that you're losing something when you make him your general. The Gutbusters Gorger model will make for a perfect Crypt Haunter Courtier if you don't want to go the conversion/special paint job route. Equip him with a high-rend weapon from Malign Sorceries and keep near an ABHORRANT for rerolls to hit and he'll destroy almost anything he comes up against.
- Crypt Infernal Courtier: (120pts) Blessed with everything a Crypt Flayer needs to be good. 5 attacks with 2 damage already make him as good as a small squad of normal Crypt Flayers and instead of a milquetoast Bravery-scream, he breathes fire. This guy is an absolute powerhouse AND he can Resurrect Crypt Flayers. If he is your general, Crypt Flayer Becomes battleline.
Duke Crackmarrow: Monster hunter from Beastgrave. You have to take this guy and his band (the grymwatch that we will analyze later) for 120 points. While those bands usually suck when used into normal battles, this guys are really good in what they do. The Duke had a fine weapon, the halberd (2",3A,3+,3+,-1,2D) which makes him a good hero killer, but a really terrifying monsters killer, adding one to his damage if he attacks a monster. If you play him into a Flesh-eater court army, you add many ways to give him extra attacks with spells and also make him attack again. Don't get fooled, if rightly buffed this guy can take down many monsters in one turn. Also, he can easily Resurrect his companion, rolling six dice and for every 2+ Resurrect a model. This means that you will probably refill the unit even if just a guy survived. Note also that you can use them in every army as mercenary, and this isn't such a bad idea.
Unlike their unit entries in Grand Alliance: Death, the Flesh-Eater Courts cannot use summoning magic as their warscrolls kept the summoning spells on them or have the Summonable Keyword. Not to fear though, you can still pile heaps of new models onto the table with this army.
- Crypt Ghouls: (Battleline Min:10 Max:40 100/360pts) Your basic infantry and not too shabby, all things considered, especially since just about everything in this army either makes these little guys better or allows you to toss more of them onto the board. They get two attacks each with a third if the unit's big enough and they have a 6+ save, which may sound bad but is actually pretty good because that means unlike, say, Zombies, Ghouls can actually make use of
cover andMystic Shield. If you want to capitalize on Ghouls, just remember to bring some Crypt Ghast Courtiers to keep your units nice and big and remember that all in all, the save-after-the-save buff of the Terrorgheist-Ghoul King is probably better than a simple Mystic Shield at keeping your Ghouls on the board longer.
- Grymwatch: (Disclaimer! They aren't serfs, but being basically a different flavor of crypt ghouls I put them here for making my work easier) at a first look these guys are the looser version of the ghouls. 5 of them attack with bone weapons (1",2A,4+,4+,/,1D) and the bats with their fangs (1",d6A,4+,4+,/,1D). Their attacks are quite bad indeed, but then you read their abilities and everything change. This guy's weapons deal 2 damage instead of one on Monsters. You are probably playing them in a Flesh-eater army, so there are many ways to get extra attacks and attack twins in the combat phase. These guys then turn into a really good unit of monsters slayer, with the only downside of don't have rend at all. Also, their second ability is to take wounds at a 4+ instead of their hero, the Duke. Consider to use them as a health bar, because only the Duke is an incredible monsters slayer all of his own.
- Crypt Horrors: (Battleline if a Crypt Haunter Courtier is your General Min:3 Max:12 130pts) . Simply put, Crypt Horrors are Ogre equivalents. 4 Wounds, 5+ save. 3 attacks with no Rend and 2 Damage each. You know, the usual. These here also regenerate and get rerolls To Hit if a Ghoul King is nearby, thereby eliminating their only real weakness. Take this first. Flayers are also useful, but more gimmicky skirmishers compared to the powerful sledgehammers the Crypt Horrors are.
- Crypt Flayers: (Battleline if a Crypt Infernal Courtier is your General Min:3 Max:12 170pts). Their melee profile is the same as that of Horrors with one more attack, but with only damage 1 and rend and the chance to inflict mortal wounds. Then you see that they have a scream attack that inflicts mortal wounds equal to the bravery they beat on a 2d6(-2 on the roll if not within 3" of the target). Then you finally realize they're not meant to be powerhouses. They're harassers and tarpits, just like Razorgors for the Beastmen and are very useful when summoned via Command Ability, because they are fast enough to close the distance quickly.
Unlike the versions in Grand Alliance: Death, the warscrolls for this army actually have the Flesh-Eater Courts keywords and are thus susceptible to the awesome buffs you dish out. Never forget that, as it gives you an enormous edge.
- Royal Terrorgheist: It's powerful, with its Shriek being downright terrifying. (Optional Battline: if Gristlegore 300)
3D6 minus Bravery mortal wounds, eh? That'll halve a Liberator unit on average.Unfortunately, someone at GW noticed just how powerful this was and now it's 6+D6 minus Bravery Mortal Wounds. And while this has dramatically cut down on the maximum damage, it has also made it much more reliable. They also decided to make the Terrorgheist's regeneration dependent on having a Ghoul King of any kind close by, but in exchange, they gave it a better 4+ save and even stronger attacks than before. It also explodes into a bunch of mortal wounds when it dies, which can make your opponent hesitate to finish it off, at which point it will regenerate and eat his sorry ass. In short, a Terrorgheist has the works: High flying Move, lots of wounds with a good save, very high damage, a dangerous shriek and if run alongside a mounted Ghoul King, great regen.
- This is Battline if you're playing Gristlegore. Just show up to a 2000 point game with 7 models on the table and smile at your opponent.
- Royal Zombie Dragon: (Optional Battline: if Gristlegore 300) Don't. Scroll way up. Play this thing with the Ghoul King on top. Seriously, the Ghoul King adds so much to this thing it isn't funny. As in, another melee profile, powerful regeneration, magic, and a Command Ability.
- Except in the case of Gristlegore when this thing becomes Battleline. BATTLELINE DRAGONS. It's like the weird lovechild of Beastclaw Raiders and Order Draconis!
- Charnel Throne: Gives +1 bravery to Flesh-Eater units within 1" and -1 bravery to anybody else. If an Abhorrant Ghoul King or Archregent is within 1 inch of it (Recommended to sit on the throne itself for badass points) they get to use their summoning command ability for free. This doesn't apply to the mounted Ghoul King command abilities, so no cheesing. While it seems shit at first glance, there's actually gold hidden in that pile of shit. Using command abilities for free is incredible, because those saved Command Points WILL add up to a TON of points, which means a LOT of Feeding Frenzies and other command abilities over the whole game. The other effects rarely come up due to how aggressively the Flesh-Eater Courts play, but could be useful. And remember, that Charnel Throne? That big, ostentatious and grand chair? It's denying space to that tree-humping Sylvaneth bastard, so you can go ahead and kiss your throne and thank it for watching your ass.
Found in the Flesh-eaters Courts Battletome.
An Abhorrant Archregent, Abhorrant Ghoul King on Royal Terrorgheist or an Abhorrant Ghoul King on Royal Zombie Dragon and between 2 and 6 Abhorrant Ghoul Kings (Min: 560; Max: 1400)
Your basic leader Battalion buffs nearby Courtier muster abilities. Really only useful for larger games or an elite focused army. If you have a bunch of the old Strigoi Ghoul King models lying around, by all means, play it.
Attendants at Court
Found in the Flesh-eaters Courts Battletome.
A Crypt Haunter Courtier and two units of Crypt Horrors (Min: 550; Max: 1510)
A very nice formation. Their reroll To Hit abilities, which normally hinge on a Ghoul King being close by, are now always active in this Battalion.
Found in the Flesh-eaters Courts Battletome.
A Crypt Infernal Courtier and 3 units of Crypt Flayers (Min: 740; Max: 2270)
Slightly bigger Battalion but worth it, as it allows one unit to pile in and attack in your Hero Phase as well as in the Combat Phases. Turns their decent attacks into terrifying attacks.
Found in the Flesh-eaters Courts Battletome.
A Crypt Haunter Courtier, two units of Crypt Horrors and a unit of Crypt Ghouls (Min: 660; Max: 1880)
Roll a D6 for every enemy model within 3" of any model from this battalion at the end of the combat phase. On a 6, their unit takes a Mortal Wound. That's a lot more chance to mortal wounds than it was previously as you'll rolling in both your turn and your opponent's, plus it can trigger the same turn you charge into combat. This is, again, in addition to any other damage they will do during the game.
Found in the Flesh-eaters Courts Battletome.
A Crypt Ghast Courtier and 3 units of Crypt Ghouls (Min: 540; Max: 1320)
Lets any unit from the battalion outflank. In your first movement phase, you must set them up within 6" of any table edge.
Found in the Flesh-eaters Courts Battletome.
A Crypt Ghast Courtier, a unit of Crypt Horrors and 2 units of Crypt Ghouls (Min: 600; Max: 1600)
Only lets you ignore battleshock while close to the Courtier now, which may not last long unless you can hide it (behind the Horrors for example). But with command points being so useful now, it may be worth it for the Inspiring Presence saving.
Found in the Flesh-eaters Courts Battletome.
A Varghulf Courtier, a unit of Crypt Horrors, a unit of Crypt Flayers and a unit of Crypt Ghouls (Min: 710; Max: 1960)
In your hero phase, one unit from the battalion wholly within 16" if the Varghulf may make a normal move. Watch your Crypt Flayers fly from one end of the board to the other in one turn :-)
Found in the Flesh-eaters Courts Battletome.
3 or more Royal Terrorgheists or Royal Zombie Dragons in any combination (Min: 1020; Max: no max)
Each model may heal D3 wounds if they are within 5" of any other model from the battalion. Keep an ABHORRANT nearby and your Terrorgheists will be healing 2D3 wounds in each of your hero phases! Also, Designer's Commentary has stated that GRISTLEGORE monsters that are Battleline are NOT Behemoths, so there really is no limit to how big this battalion can be.
Found in the Flesh-eaters Courts Battletome.
1 of each of the following battalions: Royal Family, Attendants at Court, Deadwatch, Abattoir, Ghoul Patrol, King's Ghouls, Royal Mordants and Royal Menagerie (Min: 5730; Max: )
For the filthy rich. If your general is an Archregent or Ghoul King from this battalion, it also has the command abilities of any other units from this battalion. Really nothing to write home about, as this basically means they will have one extra summon of 10 ghouls during the battle. Whoo.
King Vlagorescu's Ghoulish Host
Found in the King Vlagorescu's Ghoulish Host box.
An Abhorrant Ghoul King on Terrorgheist, a Varghulf Courtier, a unit of Crypt Horrors, a unit of Crypt Flayers and a unit of Crypt Ghouls (Min: ; Max: )
The same reform ability the Royal Mordants get and more interestingly the entire Battalion has a chance of piling in and attacking in your Hero Phase.
Flesh-Eater Courts Royal Hunt
Found in Flesh-Eater Courts Starter Kit '1 Ghoul King on Terrorgheist, 1 Unit of Crypt Horrors, 1 Unit of Crypt Ghouls' (Min: ; Max: ) +1 to attacks by any model of the hunt in 10" of King - No obvious Battalion cost at this stage
The Arcasanctorian Guard
Found in Carrion Empire An Abhorrant Archregent, a unit of 3 Crypt Flayers, a unit of 3 Crypt Horrors, and a unit of 20 Crypt Ghouls (Min:840 ; Max:840)
Units from this Battalion reroll failed charges and don't take battleshock. For 110 points, in addition to the exacting unit size restrictions, this is utter garbage.
Just buy two Start Collecting! boxes to start. That's it, you will get 20 Ghouls, a practically obligatory big monster, three Crypt-ids and a Courtier of your choice, there you have an 900 points army, excluding the additional big monster, which you could use to make a Vampire Lord on Zombie Dragon and a Ghoul King on foot (this last guy will fill your 100 points army perfectly) and two spared Crypt models. Here you have enough saving to buy yet another SC! box, mainly for the extra Ghouls and Crypt guys. From there, you can freely go crazy.
The new nightfeast hunter box is a good deal as well! 20 Ghouls and 3 Crypt for $65 US. Though at this point, the Start Collecting! Box is only a little more, and you'll get the Terrorgheist, but only ten ghouls.
If you chose the Terrorgheist, a good next step would be three boxes Crypt Horrors. Build one as a Crypt Haunter Courtier and the other eight as Crypt Horrors. This supplies you with an Abattoir Battalion, some Crypt Ghasts and a big monster-riding general.
If you chose the Zombie Dragon, you may want to add some Crypt Flayers instead. Have your general summon a new Crypt Infernal Courtier every turn and have them summon Crypt Flayers until all your models are in play.
If you chose to build the foot-slogger, get another such kit asap, build both monsters as Terrorgheists and put the second Ghoul King on the second bat, since normal Terrorgheists profit massively from having a Ghoul King on monster along for the ride.
"Royal" Air Force
For competitive play (2000pts) try this list, I've played several battles (vs order and chaos armies) and still have to find this armies adversary.
- Battlescroll: Deadwatch 6 Crypt Flayers 6 Crypt Flayers 9 Crypt Flayers 1 Crypt Infernal Coutier - Abhorrant Ghoul King on Terrorgheist - Varghulf Coutier
This army is fast, all of them fly, regenerates units (flayers) and is full of possible mortal wounds dealing which are quit the deal.
Normal set up would be the 9 flayers in the middle with the 6 flayers each covering its flanks.
the Infernal (who has to be the general in order to make flayers battleline) and the varghulf hug each other and if possible cover behind the 9 flayers for adding losses. The Abhorrant Ghoul King on Terrgheist can be used for support on a flank though keep him close to the frontline for his delicious spell for 5++ save against all kinds of (mortal)wounds. Now with the Deathless minions rules you get for having the Death Allegiance from the Generals Handbook
(actually, because you have to have the Flesh-Eater Courts allegiance in order for Flayers to be Battleline, you can't use any of the Death allegiance abilities, you can only pick one allegiance)(see General's Handbook FAQ)(See Also, the thing in the actual Flesh-Eater Courts allegiance concerning Mortal Wounds), you'll have a 6++ (5++ if you choose or roll that one command trait for your general) save against wounds and mortal wounds. Enjoy your 9 flayers with 5+, 5++, 6++/5++ with casualty replenishment for each 5+ on 12 dice all the while they deal wounds and mortal wounds both in close combat and your hero phases! I've seen them tear down Alarielle due to volumes of attacks and those delicious mortal wounds. Watch out for negative modifiers against your flayers (they'll lose the mortal wounds on 6s when they have a -1 to hit) and protect your Infernal and Varghulf!
Negative modifiers do not prevent you from generating mortal wounds with your flayers as the ability states it happens on an unmodified roll of a 6
Beware though, Deadwatch has been massively nerfed, since now only 1 unit of Flayers can attack per hero phase. Don't let it stop you from playing this, but it's definitely weaker than it used to be.
One SC Army
Actually you can get your first 980 pts army with one "SC" box and "Endless Spells" box:
Just build your Crypt guys as Crypt Haunter Courtier and Crypt Infernal Courtier. Also you can build your Crypt Ghast Courtier with reamining parts and some green stuff. Choose Gristlegore Grand Court and take your Ghoul king and Terrorgheist separately.
- Abhorrant Ghoul King(160pts) - Crypt Ghast Courtier(60pts) - Crypt Haunter Courtier(120pts) - Crypt Infernal Courtier(120pts)
- 10 Crypt Ghouls(100) -battleline
- Gristlegore Royal Terrorgheist(300pts) -battleline
- Chalice of Ushoran(50pts) - Corpsemare Stampede(70pts)
- The logical choice for allies would, of course, be other Death units. You can only ally Deadwalkers, Deathlords and Deathmages.
- Corpse Carts and Mortis Engines provide solid allies that boost your casting, which is crazy good for Flesh-Eaters who rely a LOT on magic. Mortis Engines are probably best, since they are tough, boost casting, can deal lots of mortal wounds and can heal your guys. Corpse Carts are a little squishy and don't do much other than buff Deadwalkers units, which you have little use for.
- Dire Wolves are decent, being relatively fast. HOWEVER, as badass as undead royal hunting hounds may look like ,they synergize not even a little bit with your guys. Try not to use them. Zombies are pretty meh, as they require you to commit a lot of resources into making them work, while your ghouls work so much better with your army.
- You've got access to the Mortarchs too. Out of all of them, Arkhan is probably best. Mannfred is expensive as hell, and has little utility since he's mostly a magic and combat beatstick, which isn't what your army really needs. Neferata is decent, but then you'd be pissing off Ushoran, although her Twilight's Allure command ability and her unique spell is solid support. Arkhan is best because he's not too expensive, and can cast your Flesh-Eater spells, if he's close enough to your wizards, while having a boosted unbind/casting roll. Sure, he's not gonna do much damage in combat like Mannfred, but who needs to when you have Curse of Years?
- Morghast Archai and Harbingers are decent, but once again, they have little synergy with your army. They're not bad for anti-armor though, especially those sweet 2 rend halberds, which can help cover your lack of armor piercing.
- Don't use a Necromancer. Just don't. None of his keywords work with yours. The Mortis Engine, however, is just plain great.
- Blacksmoke Battery: Good for ranged coverage, something your forces don't have.
- Greyfyrd: Fyreslayers are an incredibly good tarpit if you get the right units. And a magmadroth is a good choice for hordes centered armies.
- Grugg Brothers: You can have two giants for 320 who get the ability to re-roll hit rolls of one of they are close one to another. Also this gives you an excuse to create zombie giants, which is never a bad thing.
- Gutstuffers: Offensive glass cannons who can easily take a horde or a monster without problems.
- Nimyard’s Rough-Riders: Can be useful for some threat saturation, or to delete tarpits standing in the way of your cannibals.
- Order of the Blood-Drenched Rose: Give your Ghoul Kings some proper horseback knights to work with.
- Rampagers: Fast and highly offensive warband that can easily get a charge at round one or two at worst.
- Skroug’s Menagerie: The most versatile company thanks to it's big range of units.
- Sons of the Lichemaster: The only time it is okay to use a Necromancer. He gives an extra attack to nearby skeletons and zombies.
- Tenebrous Court: Field these units as your mercs and Nagash will laugh away his sides at your utter stupidity.
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