Age of Sigmar/Tactics/Death/Nighthaunt
Grand Alliance Death
Get ready to have Grim Grinning Ghosts playing on a loop because the ghosts of the Mortal Realms have come out to socialize!
- 1 Why play Nighthaunt?
- 2 Rulebooks
- 3 Rulebooks
- 4 Allegiance Abilities
- 5 Warscrolls
- 6 Battalions
- 7 Super-Battalions
- 8 Army Building
- 9 Allied Armies
Why play Nighthaunt?
- Army wide Ethereal rule means enemy rend has no effect at all on your save rolls.
- Army wide ignore wounds and mortal wounds on a 6.
- Army wide fly means you pay no heed to the idea of "Battle lines", just go above your enemy and hit them where it hurts.
- Strong leadership and small army size means routing is never an issue
- Dish out mortal wounds like it's nobody's business.
- GW support, with some of the best models released recently.
- You have one of the best mobility in the game. With deep strike, teleportation, and that all of your units fly. You can run around your enemy(or crash into them like a screaming banshee train) with ease! and you're not all that fragile too.
- 12 hero options to choose from. Spoilt for choice.
- Your main motivation is hatred of Sigmarines.
- Our army-specific Endless spells have cool models.
- Stupidly easy to paint. Just undercoat them white and apply some pale shades of greens or blues to give them a spooky appearance.
- Despite perfectly fitting the aesthetic, Mortis Engines aren't Nighthaunt units.
- Our army-specific Endless Spells suck crunch-wise, either being overcosted for what they do or too unreliable.
- Like a lot of Death armies, your heroes are the chain that binds the army together. If they get killed you might as well go back to the grave.
- 12 hero options to choose from. Whaimmagonnadoo?
- Not all those 12 options are all that superb either
- Pray to Nagash for those 10's on the charge, because you're going to need them.
- Eats Mortal Wounds like a chump; you're going to need that 6+ FNP, since that's almost all you get.
- Depending on your opinion of mono-pose models, you will either love or hate the Nighthaunt range.
- They are very bad to transport. Many Nighthaunt models are made with a single small connecting point to the base along with parts that stick out like small bits and weapons. Take a leaf from Sylvaneth (hehe) when it comes to transporting your army anywhere, lest you snap your precious models and doom yourself with trying to superglue a 2mm surface together.
- Ethereal is a HEAVY point tax. You'll feel that all your models are 10-30% more expensive point wise than they would be due to not being affected by Rend. And in some match ups, Ethereal means very little.
The Nighthaunt Battletome has all the Warscrolls, Battations and Allegiance Abilities.
- This should be supplemented with the Nighthaunt Errata and Designers' Commentary from the FAQs.
- Matched play points are in General's Handbook 2019.
- Alternatively up to date warscrolls can be found in the WH AoS app. Warscrolls on the GW webstore match those in the Battletome.
As with all factions you'll want:
- The core rules are either downloadable or in the Core Book.
- Games taking place in a Realm need the Realm of Battle rules from the Core Book.
- In you want to take advantage of realm specific artefacts you'll need the Artefacts Of The Realms section from the Malign Sorcery book.
- Matched play battleplans are split across the Core Book and General's Handbook 2019.
- All books should be supplemented with any updates from the FAQs.
Faction rules and abilities: Battletome Nighthaunt
Latest Matched play points: Nighthaunt Errata
Core rules: here
Matched play rules, battleplans and expansions: Generals Handbook 2020, plus the battleplans from the Core Book and Endless Spell rules from Malign Sorcery.
Supplement all the above with any Errata and Designers' Commentary from the FAQs.
- Aura of Dread: -1 Bravery to enemy units within 6" of yours. Decent, but nothing special.... until you read below.
- Deathless Spirits: Each time a NIGHTHAUNT unit takes a wound/mortal wound, if that unit is wholly within 12" of your general or any other NIGHTHAUNT HERO it can ignore the wound on a dice result of 6. Given how fragile a lot of your units are, this is a godsend.
- Feed on Terror: If an enemy unit fails a battleshock test, a NIGHTHAUNT HERO within 6" heals 1 wound. Adds a bit of sustainability considering how you desperately need to keep your heroes... unlive?
- From the Underworld They Come: For each unit you set-up on the battlefield you can keep them in reserve. Then you can deep-strike them with all of the normal limitations (9" range, can't move yadda yadda). No need to roll a dice now!
- Wave of Terror: When a NIGHTHAUNT unit makes an unmodified charge roll of 10+. The charging unit can immediately fight, and can still fight again in the following combat phase.This is fucking illegal and incredibly powerful.
- Spectral Summons: A Command Ability for your general. At the start of your movement phase pick a friendly NIGHTHAUNT unit on the battlefield, then teleport it to your general. Entirely within 12" of your general and 9" from any enemy unit. Great to pull a unit away that's been charged by something that's about to wreck them or to charge with something pulled from the backline or to support a unit with another HERO or... you get the idea.
- Hatred of the Living: Your general can re-roll all hits unless the target has the DEATH key word.
- Terrifying Entity: At the start of the enemy movement phase, roll a d6 for each enemy unit within 3" than your general. If the result is equal to or greater than their bravery characteristic, that unit must retreat. Combos with your -1 bravery aura from Aura of Dread. Amazing against mob armies with low base bravery. Get them to retreat and then charge them again for the chance of that tasty, tasty 10+ charge.
- Lingering Spirit: The general gets +1 wound. Absolute trash unless for some reason you're using one of the more subpar heroes.
- Spiteful Spirit: If an enemy unit inflicts a wound on your general in melee combat, roll a d6. If you roll a 5+, enemy unit takes a mortal wound after all attacks have been made. Good on a Knight of Shrouds.
- Cloaked in Shadow: Gives -1 to hit for ranged attacks vs. the General. It's worth noting that with Look Out, Sir! it becomes -2.
- Ruler of the Spirit Hosts: At start of hero phase, return d3 models to a friendly SUMMONABLE NIGHTHAUNT unit within 9" of the general. Use on Hexwraiths or Spirit Hosts for maximum wound-return efficiency.
Weapons of the Damned
All Artefacts in this list requires you to pick one of the bearers melee weapons
- Shadow's Edge: An unmodified hit roll of 6 using that weapon deals d3 mortal wounds and the attack sequence ends. Basically gives a HERO an improved Frightful Touch, note that this does stack if they already have that rule. Kind of wasted on weapons with a damage stat higher than 1, but funny on a Cairn Wraith who can smack down 2+d3 MW each time he get's a 6.
- Reaper of Sorrows: Before attacking, roll 2D6. If the rolls exceed the target units Bravery then the Rend characteristic of this weapon is changed to -3. Since there is very little overlap between "units with low Bravery" and "units against which -3 Rend isn't wasted", better skip this one.
- Balefire Blade: Add 1 to the weapon's damage characteristic. Not bad on a Knight of Shrouds on mount, since it give's him a nice flat 3 Damage. If your taking the Nighthaunt battalion which gives him an extra attack, consider it.
- Slitter: Every time the bearer is chosen to fight, but before piling in you can roll a dice against a model within 1". If the roll exceeds their wound characteristic, it is slain. Meaning you can pick the model you want to be removed from the unit, not your opponent. This can lead to some very interesting situations, considering the new rules for cohesion...
- Headsman's Judgement: Add 1 to the hit roll and wound roll. Just in case you'd like your Executioner to be able to pull his weight. Or stop pretending and give it to a Knight of Shrouds.
- Shrieking Blade: Subtract 1 from hit rolls made with melee weapons against the bearer.
Relics of the Underworld
- Cloak of the Waxing Moon: In melee, the owner's Deathless Spirits save works on a 5+ (normal wounds only).
- Pendant of the Fell Wind: Add +3" to the movement of any Nighthaunt units wholly within 12" of this character at the start of their phase. Perfect when the 6" Move of Spirit Hosts and Chainrasps aren't doing it for you, or combine with Chronomantic Cogs for Grimghast Reapers who move 13" and then charge 2d6+2".
- Dreadbolt Ring: If this model inflicts one or more wounds in the combat phase, then inflict d3 mortal wounds on an enemy unit within 3" after this model has finished attacking.
- Mirror of Screaming Souls: At the start of your shooting phase, roll 2D6 for each enemy unit within 8" of the bearer. If you roll above bravery, 1 mortal wound. Decent on a banshee or durable beatstick.
- Midnight Tome: The model becomes a Wizard and can cast/unbind once per phase and knows the two basic spells. If the model is already a wizard, it can cast one more spell.
- Covetous Familiar: At the start of each combat phase, roll a dice for every enemy unit within 3". On a 2+ they take a mortal wound. Better than the Dreadbolt Ring if you wanna get surrounded by multiple units, plus it goes off before anyone attacks.
Guardian of Souls with Nightmare Lantern only.
- Lightshard of the Harvest Moon: Once per battle, at the start of the combat phase, every NIGHTHAUNT unit wholly within 12" of the bearer rerolls all to hit when they attack in the combat phase.
- Wychlight Lantern: Add 1 to the bearer's casting roll.
- Beacon of Nagashizzar: Add +3 to the heal or resurrect roll when the bearer casts Spectral Lure.
Notable Artifacts of the Realms
Blade of Secrets- perfect for a dreadblade harrow unit that can teleport next to a caster and stop a specific spell that is causing your army grief for the rest of the game.
Lore of the Underworld
Like several armies you get a set of spells available to any NIGHTHAUNT WIZARDS.
- Soul Cage: Casting Value 6. If successfully cast pick an enemy unit within 12” of the caster that is visible to it. Until the start of your next hero phase, that unit cannot attack in the combat phase until all other eligible units have done so. In addition, the unit cannot retreat. A very nice way to deal with deathstars by using this and charging multiple units at it.
- Spirit Drain: Casting Value 4. If successfully cast pick an enemy model within 18” of the caster that is visible to it. Roll number of dice equal to the wounds characteristic of the model. For each roll of a 6+ the model suffers 1 mortal wound. A Monster killer if there ever was one. Remember it's the Characteristic, so you can use this on a big beastie on it's last leg(s) to finish it off.
- Lifestealer: Casting Value 7. If successfully cast pick an enemy unit within 12” of the caster that is visible to it. The unit suffers D3 mortal wounds. For every mortal wound inflicted in this manner, the caster heals 1 wound. This works great with Reikenor the Grimhailer. Snuff out your own corpse candle and cast this powerfully spell on a natural 4, and have a guaranteed wound to heal!
- Reaping Scythe: Casting Value 4. If successfully cast pick one of this models melee weapons. You may reroll all failed to-hit and to-wound rolls made for that weapon until the start of your next hero phase.Great on any kind of HERO that you turned into a wizard since most of them are beatsticks.
- Shade Mist: Casting Value 6. If successfully cast pick a Nighthaunt unit within 12” of the caster. Until the start of your next hero phase, subtract 1 from all wound rolls made for attacks targeting this unit. Revel in your unrendable, resurrecting, -1 To Wound Chainrasp as your opponent tries to desperately get them off that objective. Stack with Lady O's unique spell on the attacking enemy unit for extra tears from your opponent.
- Spectral Tether: Casting Value 6. If successfully cast pick a friendly NIGHTHAUNT HERO unit within 12”. That unit immediately heals D3 wounds.
New to Second Edition, you're the other first to gain Faction Exclusive Endless Spells! These can only be cast by NIGHTHAUNT WIZARDS or NAGASH, SUPREME LORD OF THE UNDEAD. However, these are honestly pretty crap if used with Nighthaunt.
- Shyish Reaper: The Shyish Reaper has a move of 8", and damages units by flying over models. The issue is that with its base being nearly 3", it can effectively only move 5", although this can be slightly extended due to it pivoting before it moves. It is more likely to deal damage to stuff with better save characteristics. Think for a moment - what armies around like to field lots of models with a 4+ save or better? Unfortunately, the top of the list is Nighthaunt. This spell is more likely to damage your own units than the enemy, most of the time. Although, with 3+ Mortek Guard trolling around, it may not be a horrible choice.
- Vault of Souls: It's a floating bomb that deals Mortal Wounds, and it explodes into D6 Mortal Wounds when it dispenses 20 of them. With how hard Predatory Endless Spells are to predict, this thing is too likely to turn and explode next to you at a critical moment. It may be worth considering, however, due to how cheap this bastard is, and how good our mobility is. Dropping it off as a parting gift from a deep striking Wizard can be delightfully good as they get snagged by Spectral Summons.
- Mortalis Terminexus: It's a big floating Hourglass that either deal D3 Mortal Wounds to everything within 6" or heal D3 Wounds to everything within 6". It does not return dead models. In an army that already has great regeneration, mediocre regeneration that can't restore dead models is not worth taking. Avoid it. The model is cool, though, so use it as a proxy for the Chronomantic Cogs.
Some of the generic Endless Spells are also worth considering.
- Suffocating Gravetide: Now, let's not kid ourselves. The Suffocating Gravetide isn't strictly GOOD, but what it is is cheap. At 20 points, it's worth tossing in if you have a few points to spare once you've built your list, since they won't do anything for you otherwise. The Gravetide deals D3 mortal wounds to each unit it even slightly passes over, and inflicts a -1 leadership penalty on them, which can synergize with the -1 from Nighthaunt. The Gravetide is also on a pretty big base - it can be useful to plop it right in the way of an enemy unit and block them from getting that critical objective. The fact that the Gravetide provides cover is almost irrelevant to you - units with Ethereal can't benefit from cover, and you'll rarely care anyway.
- It also looks good next to your Nighthaunt, with the same design aesthetic.
- Chronomantic Cogs: Oh here we go. For a quick refresher, you need to have a WIZARD within 9" of the Cogs to activate them, and when you do you choose one ability to last until your next hero phase. If you slow down time, the controlling wizard can cast one additional spell in your hero phase and re-roll save rolls. If you speed up time, you add 2 to the move characteristic of and charge rolls for every unit on the board. While this doesn't sync with your allegiance ability(the rule specifies unmodified 10+), you still really want to get your charges off, and a +2 is huge, especially if you're going for risky charges from out of reserves.
- Aethervoid Pendulum: Good for a 50 point spend when you don't feel like the Gravetide but don't have the 50 spare for a command point. The Aethervoid Pendulum avoids the main problem of predatory endless spells by always moving in one direction, which means it's telegraphed, but also means it will never turn against you just because you get a double turn. It deals D6 mortal wounds to anything it flies over or lands 1" from - send it towards the enemy, ideally at an allegiance terrain piece or objective they can't afford to step away from. Even if it doesn't do damage, it crimps your opponent's options, and that's always good.
The common keywords of these warscrolls are: DEATH, MALIGNANT and NIGHTHAUNT.
- Lady Olynder, Mortarch of Grief: (200pts) First new Mortarch since the End Times. She is all about dealing mortal wounds on the enemy in multiple ways: is surrounded by banshees that deal 6 Spirit Host attacks in melee, once per battle can either heal D6 wounds on herself or deal D6 Mortal wounds on an enemy hero within 6", in every hero phase picks an enemy unit within 12" and inflicting mortal wounds on it on a 2+ roll (the wounds are equal to the roll result) and then heals D3 wounds on herself if she managed to kill at least a model, in shooting phase rolls 2D6 for each enemy unit within 10" and deals them D3 mortal wounds if the result is higher than their bravery, and also adds an extra fleeing model to every enemy unit failing battleshock tests within 12". Her exclusive spell takes an enemy unit and gives it -1 to their hit rolls and +1 to the hit rolls made against it in melee, and her command ability restores a dead model in every SUMMONABLE Nighthaunt unit within 12" - but only if she's your general. If you're looking for a support general it's a toss up between this and a generic general with Ruler of the Spirit Hosts - RotSH can heal multiple models from one unit rather than one per unit, but importantly doesn't use a command point. Olynder isn't really a support unit like her model suggests; she's an assassin that you drop in to your enemies backside or deathstar and wreak havoc upon them with mortal wounds, your other units have better damage-to-point ratio but since her's is almost entirely with mortal wounds you bypass a lot of those 3+/2+ saves with rerolls fuckers that you have a hard time with.
- Be careful using this gal. 7 wounds with a 4+ save and an ignore wounds on a 6 is not that durable, and the fact that she needs to be fairly close to the fighting just makes her more vulnerable.
- , Unlike the other Mortarchs, Olynder isn't a monster and does benefit from the Look Out Sir, which coupled with her unrendable save increases her survivability. She's right in the middle of Mortarch durability behind Katakros (with his combined 20 wounds, superior save and the option to auto-heal 3 wounds on himself a turn) and Neferata (who has superior CC healing to Arkhan and Mannfred, her immune to rend spell and her 1- hit debuff aura).
- <ASSEMBLY TIP> Gaps ahoy! There is a bulb that helps you to align the 3 pieces that make up her veil and headpiece. Snip that bulb off so you can still get rid of gaps whilst keeping her entire veil as a subassembly for easier painting. Her entire assembly is also resting on one single damned stalk of her gown. Find a way to stabilize her if you don't want to be the one grieving.
- A more viable strategy involving the pale lady now exists via the new Battalion from the White Dwarf. Taking her as your general can help keep her alive thanks to the body guard battalion, which lets her stand around on the field and fight without getting wasted instantly. Plus, her command ability lets you regenerate those Hexwraith body guards, and her spell helps with their subpar accuracy.
- Kurdoss Valentian, The Craven King: (180pts) The General Killer. Usurper. Nagash' Monument to Dickishness. A flying beatstick with a very good but unreliable debuff. He has 6 Spirit Host attacks like his wife, his other weapon in melee is the Sepulchral Sceptre, a weapon with 5 attacks on a 3+/3+ roll with -2 rend, each dealing D3 wounds (D6 if you rolled a 6 to wound) and rerolls failed hit rolls against the enemy general. Also, in each enemy hero phase, when they get their command point you can steal it on a 5+ roll, which can take away some armies command abilities. There's really not much else to say about him, fly him into your enemies behind and wreck face.
- When Kurdoss was first resurrected he said "Kurdoss does not serve!", "But neither does he rule!" said the two Servants beside him and they laughed!
- Unfortunately as neat as he is at being a combat character, he does little to nothing for the army outside of CP stealing. Thus he tends to be overshadowed by nearly all the other leaders with the lack of synergy buffs. Plus 7 wounds, even with ethereal, isn't exactly too tough.
- Reikenor the Grimhailer: (170pts) Both a warrior and a wizard. Gets a souped-up version of the scythes we saw on Cairn Wraiths, Hex-wraiths and Grimghast reapers, getting the usual reroll on bigger units plus dealing mortal wounds instead of regular one on a hit roll of 6. His spell deals D3 mortal wounds on an enemy unit within 12", plus D3 more if the first ones killed something. When casting, can either deal 1 mortal wound to an enemy within 12" or himself, getting respectively +1 or +3 to the cast roll. Consider using this guy to cast your Endless Spell, just in case your opponent wants to dispel it.
- As this ability targets a specific model in a unit, you can use it to split coherency and open the way to clearing multiple models off the table if you are feeling evil. Use with cogs, do this twice, earn the undying hatred of your opponent.
- The Briar Queen: (180pts) Must include her Thorns of the Briar Queen. The first Mirrorghast Banshee, she's a wizard with 3 ranged attacks with -3 rend, hitting and wounding on 3s... sadly, only doing 1 damage each, breaking the numerical focus. Her melee attack hits at 3", hitting and wounding on 3 as well, -2 rend, doing D3 wounds. Her unique spell hits all enemies 6" of a point 18" away from her; if the roll is either greater than the target's Move value, or a double, it suffers a mortal wound and has halved movement until her next hero phase.
- Knight of Shrouds: (100pts) Our first genuine commander model. Blessed with the same defenses as a Cairn Wraith but with an additional wound, he's pretty tough. With basically a Vampire Lord's melee profile (Damage 2 instead of D3) he's not a pushover. His Command grants Nighthaunt units WHOLLY within 12" +1 To Hit, meaning he can hit on a 2+ himself and can counteract those pesky To-Hit penalties. In a Nighthaunt army with some allies, he's absolutely fantastic. He's tough as nails and regenerates if you kill an enemy HERO. It also adds a bonus to Dreadblade Harrow as per the dreadblade warscroll.
- With the release of the new book following AoS 2, this guy has had some ups, but mostly some downs. With Spirit Hosts and Hexwraiths getting MWs only on unmodified sixes, and the rampant nerfing of the Mournghoul, this guy isn't cranking out the MWs like he used to. Plus, with the new book, there's not a lot of units that necessarily need that bonus, or can actually fit with his 12" aura, thanks to the accursed Wholly Within change. Plus, he's only got 5 wounds on a 4+, and his movement is rather pitiful. He may not be the worst hero, but outside of maybe buffing some smaller units, stick to the KoS on mount.
- Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed: (120pts) Mounted variant of the guy above. Similar stats, with double the movement and, weirdly, only one extra wound (In contrast to the Grimhailer and other mounted heroes who have 2 more wounds than regular) plus the extra attacks from the spooky horse, and his command ability gives +1 attacks at a Nighthaunt unit wholly within 18" instead. Actually a better general for your Spirit Hosts now that they deal mortal wounds on an unmodifiable 6. It also adds a bonus to Dreadblade harrow as per their warscroll. Also, when comparing him to a Vampire Lord, keep in mind that while a Vampire Lord's ability does last till the end of your next Hero phase, it cannot in any way affect units coming in from deep strike; luckily, since the KoSoES's command ability occurs in the combat phase, he is the perfect front-lines commander to help buff a unit that's coming from the underworld.
- Keep in mind, with the right buffs, the KoS can also be surprisingly killy too. Giving him a decent weapon artifact, and taking him in the right battalion can make him a decent beat-stick, perfect for warmachine or hero hunting.
- Guardian of Souls with Nightmare Lantern: (140pts) First real wizard for the army. His exclusive spell restores d6 wounds to a SUMMONABLE unit within 18" or resurrects models with a combined wound count equal to the d6 roll, while he also makes every Nighthaunt within 9" add 1 to their wound rolls, which is phenomenal for most units and inconsequential to Spirit Hosts.
- Suffers from the "I'm so good at supporting the army that everyone guns for me" syndrome. Many NH players find their guardians dying real fast when people figure out they're the key to victory! Be sure to surround them with bodies and even then aren't protected from Mortal Wound sniping. You should consider taking two - the aura stacks, which means if you've got two of them on hand your chainrasps are wounding on 2s, but even more importantly, it lets you spread your Guardians out for redundancy and keep from losing your wound bonus, your heals, AND your magic to a single model.
- One thing to note is an artifact, the Beacon of Nagashizzar, which the Guardian can take. It upgrades the Guardian's unique Spectral Lure spell from restoring d6 wounds to D6+3 - it's a lot more reliable. However, the Wychlight Lantern does help the spell itself more reliably go off. Your choice between more models returning, or returning models reliably.
- Guardian of Souls with Mortality Glass: Same as above, but instead of buffing wound rolls forces enemy units within 9" to roll a single die when charging. He uses the spell Temporal Translocation which on a 6 allows one unit within 24" of the caster to make a normal move of 6" that can be used to retreat but still allows it to charge later in the turn. Great spell on everything other than Bladegheists and Glaivewrath Stalkers with a Deathbeat Drummer (they already can do this). Sadly the model was event exclusive, so good luck getting a hold of it.
- As of the GH19, this poor sap is no longer a matched play unit, due to him lacking a points profile. Still fun to use in regular play, and who knows, maybe he'll get a release with a new book. But for now, he's strictly narrative only.
- Spirit Torment: (120pts) The sleeper hit of the Nighthaunt hero lineup. He has a 12" aura that lets friendly Nighthaunt re-roll hit rolls of 1, which can make your force significantly better. He has average defensive stats but packs a surprising punch in melee thanks to his chains being a D3 damage weapon. He also heals units or restores models within 6" provided at least 3 enemy models were slain by the beginning of the Battleshock phase (this checks in both your turn and your opponent's turn, so it's potentially 2d3 models per battle round). The Spirit Torment is a must - put him close to where the fighting is thickest, and you'll rarely go wrong.
- However, do consider what you're actually getting here for 120 points; you get some decent, but conditional, regeneration, and a re-roll 1's aura that you can just pay a command point to get anyways. This guy will be frustratingly useless if you can't kill those 3 models per turn, and is most likely best suited to be paired with a unit of Bladegheists, who get to re-roll ALL hits instead of just 1's. Otherwise, stick him with your Dreadscythes or Chainrasps, as they have the most to gain.
- Lord Executioner: (80pts) Your generic Hero killer. Gets an average weapon that deals 3 wounds if you roll a 6+ to wound, rejects mortal wounds on a 5+ roll and can give -1 to hit rolls at an enemy hero within 3" in melee. That last ability is the only real reason this would be worth taking, and even then he's probably not worth the points.
- What he does boast, however, is being a tougher hero. That 5+ against MW will save your ghostly ass at times, and that -1 against heros can help mitigate flying bricks like Mawcrushas and Keeper of Secrets from totally smashing you.
- Dreadblade Harrow: (90pts) Mounted lieutenant that can warp on the field instead of moving regularly as long as he's not engaged in melee and a sword that gets different buffs depending on what he does (+1 damage in the turn he charged, +1 attacks in every other turn and can also reroll every 1 to wound if a Knight of Shrouds is within 9" from him). At first, he seems rather pointless aside from flanking long-range artillery or mages. But then you realize that his teleportation trick works at the beginning of the movement phase, much like your deathly summons, and because of this, you pick the order they go off. So say hello to your new Undead Taxi cab.
- Aside from teleportation shenanigans, Dreadblade Harrows are an awkward choice - they don't really offer much damage, they don't have supportability, and they need to buddy up with the Knight of Shrouds to get the most out of them.
- with the expansion of generic command ability. They can reliably deal them out at any time.
- Some conspiracies suggest DBH was supposed to be a unit, not heroes. But some weird book shuffling occurred. After all, it is a little weird to sell 2 heroes in a single EZ to build box
- Cairn Wraith: (60pts) The Cairn Wraith was an important forerunner in the aesthetics of the Grimghast Reapers, Reikenor, and lots of other Nighthaunt units. Unfortunately, the fact is that the Nighthaunt update kind of left the Cairn Wraith behind, as it no longer has a niche of its own. But what it still has going for it isn't completely useless; this guy may not be precisely tough or extraordinarily deadly in melee, but what he does bring is a good close combat profile and a incredibly small base; this sucker is on a 25mm round, for some ungodly reason, making it him easy to hide in a horde. Coupled with a 2" range, this guy can sit comfortably in a unit of 20 or so chainrasps, and when they're charged, this guy can help support them via CP abilities while still knocking back some wounds. Plus, while this guy only has 4 wounds, this can often cause an opponent not to throw as much damage at him as they probably need to, or perhaps too much.
- Another neat trick with the Cairn Wraith has to do with his Frightful Touch ability; If you have a spare artifact with no where to go, toss him the Shadows Edge. Now, every time you roll a 6 to hit, this dude is popping off 2+d3 MW. While not exactly reliable, this will suddenly make a Character most people ignore suddenly far scarier.
- Tomb Banshee: (80pts) For all intents and purposes, a Banshee is more or less a Cairn Wraith with much weaker attacks (though at -2 Rend, that's pretty decent) and a scream attack that causes damage off of Bravery. The Tomb Banshee fills an interesting role in the army, capable of being played both offensively defensively. Thanks to the 10' range on her scream, she can deepstrike in and still fire off a scream; while this is less effective against Death and Celestial Seraphon, this is still a great way to throw some wounds at the enemy with a lucky roll. This can also be especially deadly if you roll high against a misplaced Skaven or Goblin hero. Defensively, she is a nice way to add some punch to what may normally be a lack luster combat unit like Chainrasps or Spirit Hosts. Simply placing her behind them, and firing off your scream can chip away even at the mighty Stormcast or Chaos Warriors.
- is a great choice when facing Skaven, Grots, Khorne, Warclans or Cities of Sigmar. And she should be heavily considered if your running bravery reducing endless spells. Her mobility and scream power is not to be ignored.
- Spirit Hosts: (SUMMONABLE, Battleline only in a Nighthaunt army, 120pts, Min:3, Max:12). Compared to other swarms, Spirit Hosts have fewer Wounds, but way better attacks and a 4+ unrendable save, which makes them pretty tough against anything but Mortal Wounds. Effectively, they have a rather low damage output, but the vast majority of their damage is in Mortal Wounds, which makes them great, especially against stuff with big saves and high rend. Be'lakor in particular hates these things with a passion. Their Frightful Touch ability got changed to on work on an unmodified roll of 6, less synergy but you don't get fucked by hit penalties anymore. Your main reason for taking these guys, however, is their ratio of wounds per model, which when paired with some of Nighthaunt's ability to resurrect entire models, becomes a very lucrative way to bring back wounds. However, keep in mind that a unit of 3 Spirit Hosts is only 40 points away from 20 Chainrasps. Unless you're investing in the requisite abilities, Chainrasps have them beat in points per wound. When you use these guys, make sure you're respawning them, as well as using their 4+ effectively. Also, don't forget that you can almost always count on at least 1 MW per Spirit Host base. This may not seem like a lot, but with a WoT charge, you can effectively get 6 guaranteed MW on a unit just from 3 Spirit Hosts.
- Chainrasp Hordes: (SUMMONABLE, Battleline, 80/280pts, Min:10, Max:40) The actual troops for the army, thanks to the new edition. Classic swarmy troops that deal a huge bunch of attacks, also reroll every 1 to wound as long as they're more than 10. Get a bunch of heroes around them to buff their attack stats and enjoy. These guys are your bread and butter horde choice, providing a more numerous battleline. While Grimghasts are deadlier, and Spirit Hosts are both tankier and resurrect wounds more efficiently, Chainrasps have them both beat on cheap bodies. These are the guys you want to stick on objectives and control the board, and while they certainly aren't on the level of Grimghasts, they do have the potential to deal a bit of damage from sheer weight of attacks. 280 points for 40 bodies is a steal, especially with 2 attacks base and a 5+ ethereal. But just make sure that your giving them proper hero support; an unsupported horde of Chainrasps will vanish under a dedicated assault, and bravery 10 only gets you so far in Battleshock. And speaking of Battleshock, your Chainrasps are only Bravery 6 without your Unit Leader AKA Candlabra man. Things that can snipe specific models can make your battleshock test even more painful. A Guardian of Souls is never a bad support choice for these guys, and Shademist is a superb choice if your casting on the first turn. And while the Chainguard battalion is risky, it's hard not to feel satisfied seeing your unrendable horde rematerialize.
- When running these ghosts, your going to want to really pick a role for them and stick with it. 10 Chainrasps serve as a cheap battleline filler, and a decent screen. If you're going for a bit more of an offensive bent to them, using them in 20 with a buffing hero or as part of the Condemned can see them do a bit of damage. 30 is to be avoided, since for 40 more points, you get another 10. But taking 40 can be a real problem as well; It's gonna be tricky as hell to keep them wholly within the range of your buffs unless you bring a KoS on mount or some Chainghasts for your Spirit Torments. But, 40 is good if your really maxing out your regeneration with the Chainguard battalion.
- Grimghast Reapers: (SUMMONABLE, Battleline only in a Nighthaunt army, 160/420pts, Min:10, Max:30) Band of scythe guys. A troop with a slightly worse version of the Cairn Wraith's scythe, while the leader gets a bell that deals a mortal wound for each model it killed with regular wounds. This unit is a flying blender, so it's no wonder they're your most expensive Battleline. Hordes beware.
- These guys have gotten into a weird position; in LoN and LoG, they're undeniably the best possible choice for an elite blob of anvils that can also grind through enemy units, and then come right back thanks to healing. However, in Nighthaunt, their worth is much more questionable; point per point, they fall behind units like Bladegheists when it comes to damage dealing when on the charge, and against elite units, Dreadscythes are more powerful thanks to the extra attack and bonus damage while also being slightly cheaper. Another knock against them is the fact that their horde bonus only hits at 30; It is nearly impossible to get 30 Grimghasts wholly within our range. Overall, if you run these guys, use them as a horde killer, and keep them in blocks of 20 for better buffing.
- Hexwraiths: (SUMMONABLE, Battleline only in a Nighthaunt army, 140pts, Min:5, Max:20) Kinda average but can still be useful in certain situations. They hit with a bunch of decent attacks, and have a decent chance to damage enemy units they move over the top of by dealing a mortal wound on a roll of 5+ for each Hexwraith that flew over them and are very fast. Do not forget that you cannot end your movement within 3" of the enemy, so think of this ability as 12-3" if you intend to charge the enemy after that. They are also very durable and have a solid if a bit lackluster, weapon profile. These bois are your artillery killers. Fly them right over enemy battle lines and crush enemy archers and the like. You take these guys as a tactical option, rather than as a beat stick.
- One of the few units that can cause damage while retreating, which is done in the movement phase. Flying over a unit or two (don't forget your D6 run while retreating) counts for triggering their special ability.
- If taken in the battalion with the black coach, these guys get an even better chance to strike during the charge phase since they only need an unmodified 9+ charge roll. Another synergy comes with the Black Coach, as it too restores models, not wounds, to a unit. Thus, you can get anywhere from 2 to 6 wounds back per Black Coach.
- In the white dwarf battalion, these guys do become a more viable combat unit, perfect for harrying flanks or hunting down really obnoxious targets like Skyefires or Skaven Warmachine units, while also serving as an awesome bodyguard unit. With a buff from a Knight of Shrouds, you can have each Hexwraith hitting with 4 attacks each with their scythes, and 4 attacks with their horse on the charge; at first, this may not sound like a lot, but in a bigger unit, you can slam an opponent with 80 attacks from just a unit of 10 Hexwraiths. On average, a unit of 5 KoS-buffed Hexwraiths on the charge will do about 4 MW before even factoring in their regular attacks. Not bad for a unit that's also there to take wounds for your boss.
- Glaivewraith Stalkers: (SUMMONABLE, 60pts, Min:4, Max:16) These guys are Bladegheists, but worse in every way. They do reroll every failed hit roll in the turn they're engaged in combat (either if they're the ones who charged or not), and they also can get a drummer to retreat and charge in the same turn. Take note that at 15 points, 6" move and 1 wound a piece, these guys are slightly cheaper then everyone but Dreadscythes, but are by far worse. With a weapon profile thats the same as Chainrasps, these guys are by no means elite. If you must use them, your best bet is running them at max size as a way to try to get the best use out of WoT with their retreat and charge ability.
- Opinion: Never take them. Period. Grimghast reapers do more damage, Bladegheists are faster and do their retreat and charge stick better, and Dreadscythes are cheaper for a better profile. Not to mention the pokey sticks aren't battleline and move slower for almost the same price per model. As a comparison, for 3 points more per model you can bring bladegheists instead.
- Consider: By simply clipping off the horse face to leave an empty cowl and turning the blade 90 degrees, you can turn these guys into more Grimghast Reapers. Probably a better use of the model.
- Myrmourn Banshees: (SUMMONABLE, 70pts, Min:4, Max:12) Little tykes that can unbind spells and get an extra attack each if they succeed into doing it (But if you do it on an Endless Spell, they also suffer d3 wounds and basically die a lot). Since they each have 1 attack that does D3 damage, you effectively double their damage output any time you unbind a spell. Also, since spells are one of the main ways of dealing Mortal Wounds, and since Mortal Wounds are the only way to reliably kill your spooks, the fact that these ladies can unbind them makes them a must-have for your army. However, with only 4 models and a 4+ save, they're fragile - run them in blocks of 12 with healers or not at all.
- These ladies can kill; that's for certain. The problem is getting them to the right time and place to do so, without having them get killed before they get there. Like said above, they get crazy good with buffs, so make sure to use your deepstrike and Spectral Summons ability to help keep them alive. Another thing to look out for is their 4+ to hit; this sucks ghost balls. Always make sure they're either in Spirit Torment, KoS or any other re-roll or hit modifier range.
- Chaingasts: (SUMMONABLE, 70pts, Min:2, Max:4) Spirit Torment's best friends. If they're within 12" from him, they extend his "everyone within 12" rerolls 1 to hit" ability by also emitting it. In melee, their scourge weapons dishing as many attacks as there are enemy models in the range. One of not very many NH units to get a shooting attack, and a fairly decent one at that.
- Their role is to boost the Spirit Torment's aura across half the table, and they're good at it. Use them for that and plink with their shooting weapons while spreading the re-roll love to your units. (Let it be noted that unless you got the Soulreach Grasp for your Black Coach, it is the only shooting weapon any of your units get). However, in a pinch, these guys can do quite a bit of work in melee as well; throwing them against 28mm hordes can really let them shine, and in cases like Plague Monks, these guys can soften the blow for units that come after them.
- Bladegheist Revenants: (SUMMONABLE, 90/320pts, Min:5, Max:20) With an 8" move and a very good weapon profile, Bladegheist Revenants are great at first glance. Second glance reveals a bonus attack on the turn they charge and the ability to retreat and charge, meaning they get 3 attacks in essentially all of your combat phases. Then you notice the fact that when they're near a Spirit Torment(or Chainghasts repeating the aura), these guys re-roll ALL their hit rolls instead of just 1s. The only downside Bladegheists have is they'll draw a lot of fire. Run them in blocks of 10 or even 15 to avoid losing the entire unit, and keep a Guardian of Souls on hand to revive dead models and make their swords wound on 2s.
- Dreadscythe Harridans: (SUMMONABLE, 70/260pts, Min:5, Max:20) They apply -1 to hit against enemy units within 3" of them unless they have a Bravery of 6 or more (remember Nighthaunt Allegiance decrease it by 1, so even units with 6 bravery fall within this range). Decent in melee, with -1 rend and a chance for extra damage, with 3 attacks each. With support from a KoS on Steed or an allied Vampire Lord, their attacks can add up pretty quick.
- With the current GHB 2020, these gals have gone down to 70 points, taking the spot for one of the cheapest damage dealer units in the book. For a mere 260 points for 20, when compared to the Bladegheists and Grimghasts 320, these ghoulies are nearly 60 points cheaper at max size. And what your getting for that 70 points is frankly, awesome. Deeply consider taking these as your cheap damage dealers, or part of the shrieker host battalion, since their bang for their buck is absurdly cost effective.
- Thorns of the Briar Queen: (SUMMONABLE, 0pts) The Briar Queen's personal squad of six Chainrasps; can't be taken without her. In lieu of numbers, they reroll ones if an enemy unit is within 3" of 2 models of theirs(so almost always). Otherwise, a slightly undermanned Chainrasp Horde. Use them as a road bump, or something to tie up ranged units or warmachines.
- Black Coach: (220pts) This thing is not only aesthetically stunning but also a monster in-game: With 12 wounds, 14" movement with fly, and a 4+ ethereal save, it's not going down anytime soon. It has either a single shooting attack with a petty 10" range, but it does do D3 damage and has rend -3 or it's regular Cairn Wraith scythe. However, it is downright terrifying in combat: Not only does it have
43 melee profiles, but the reaper scythe of the rider can also reroll hits against units with 5+ models (or a single attack with a rend characteristic of -3, D3 damage if you took the ranged profile.) These weapons along with the relic bearers' Spectral Claws(which goes down in attacks as it gets wounded) have the Frightful Touch rule. It's Evocation of Death works like this now: At the start of each battle round roll 3 dice, on a 4+on EACH 4+ it gains one level of power. Each level stacks and lasts for the rest of the battle.
- Level 1: Heal d3 wounds at the start of your hero phase and return d3 slain models to a NIGHTHAUNT unit within wholly within 12" of it.
- Level 2: Re-roll 1's to hit for this model and can run and charge in the same turn
- Level 3: After charging pick a unit within 1" of it, roll a dice, on a 2+ that unit suffers D3 mortal wounds
- Level 4: Can retreat and charge in the same turn.
- Level 5: At the start of your hero phase, roll a dice for each enemy unit within 3" of this model on a 4+ deal D3 mortal wounds.
- While it's a bit of a mixed bag, the mix is all things that you want and your opponent doesn't want on the table. It is almost impossible to ignore thanks to the huge amount of attacks and mortal wound opportunities it has. And it needs a huge amount of firepower to remove so even if it gets taken down early the rest of your army should be in quite good shape still. Also, the synergy this thing offers to Nighhthaunt is pretty excellent; outside of Olynder and RotSH, this baby is your other primary way to bring back multiple models at once, AKA, bringing back Hexwraiths and Spirit Hosts.
- Now, with GHB19, this baby is a cheap as chips 220 points; to put it this way, it offers almost the same amount of damage as a Cairn Wraith and 10 Chainrasps would put out anyways, with plenty of Frightful Touch. The general way to use this bad boy is start it off as a defensive piece, using it to help regenerate your screen of Spirit Hosts or Hexwraiths, and maybe giving a bit of damage through it's scythe. But once you get that second or third level, it's time to let this bad boy fly into the enemy and help finish off lightly wounded units. It's also worth noting that this thing is pretty easy to keep in tip-top shape since most Nighthaunt heroes and spells have ways to heal this bad boy.
- Mourngul (Forgeworld): (270pts) As of the new edition a whole bunch of FW big boys have had stat changes. The Mourngul has been changed to be a bit more in line with the rest of the new Nighthaunt. First, his 3+ save is now a 4+ save, which is bad. And second his 6+ to hit that generated extra attacks that became 6+ deal additional damage has been replaced with Frightful touch, dealing 2 mortal wounds on a 6+ to hit, which is good (especially against well armoured heroes). With 8 attacks this is very scary note that it's an unmodified hit roll, so a Knight of Shrouds won't affect it's mortal wound generation. 10 wounds and his -1 to hit aura makes him quite tough in combat, but will melt to shooting. Fact is, the Mourngul was never a real beatstick, more of a distraction Carnifex. He's definitely lost some of that power, but now you have a whole army of synergies to play with, so he might still have a place in your lists.
- If the FW Model is too expensive, simply build two Mournghouls from one Aleguzzler Gargant - and you still have the lower half left to build a zombie gargant.
- The Mourngul is no longer the all-star that he was in GA:Death back in AoS 1.0, but after some serious point drops, he has some viability. The key to using this monster is mostly in picking his fights, and helping support other units already wedged into combat. His -1 to hit aura helps keep other units alive, while throwing down some MW with his claws. He can't finish off whole units anymore on his own, but he can certainly eat through a wave of chaff and draw attacks (and attention) from more important units.
(580pt. min. - 820pt. max)
A Guardian of Souls and two Chainrasp Hordes with 20+ models each
The Heart of the Horde:The Guardian of Souls can bring back 2D6 models to one of the units of Chainrasps when he casts Spectral Lure.
When paired with the Beacon of Nagashizzar the Guardian can bring back 2d6+3 models (average 10) every turn on a 6. This is ridiculous, and will force your opponent to spend their limited unbind attempts on it, every turn. What's that? Your massive damage unit almost thrashed the battleline of Chainrasp Horde? Don't worry about it, they'll all be right back. This is almost mandatory for anyone wanting to attempt the "endless horde" army style in Nighthaunts.
- Keep in mind that his Battalion ENTIRELY relies on being able to get the Guardian of Soul's spell off; and sure, it may be sweet to see that 2d6+3 Chainrasps pop back up, but the second the enemy sees this, their going to start throwing their considerably more powerful anti-magic at us. This makes this entire battalion a gamble, since if you happen to fight army that's good at magic, or has good ways at stopping magic, then congratulations, you just spent a bunch of points on an artefact and a CP.
(670pt. min. - 990pt. max)
A Spirit Torment, a unit of Chaingasts and two Chainrasp Hordes with 20+ models each
Cruel Taskmasters: Re-roll failed hit rolls for attacks made by the Chainrasp Hordes while they are wholly within 15" of the Spirit Torment or Chainghasts. This is an excellent pick, and choosing between this and the above battalion is hard. Extending the aura and making it a full reroll miss effectively makes chainrasp 3+ to hit. Add in guardian of souls buffs and you have 3+/3+ battle line that can get to four attacks each with other effects.
- First and foremost, this is our most expensive Battalion; and it is for a good reason as well. In a similar vein to the Death Riders, ShroudGuard and Chainguard, this is more of an "upgrade" rather then a straight up bonus. But arguably, this is one of the better bonuses we can get, since it gives the Spirit Torment and Chaingheists a formidable buff to their range. Another good thing to note is, that just like the Bladegheist rule, you don't actually need to have the Spirit Torment nearby to get the bonus for the Chainrasps, meaning it's entirely viable to run one block of Rasps with the Spirit Torment and then another block of Rasps with the Chaingheists. Than way, both Blocks get those sweet, sweet re-rolls. If your going to be running offensive Rasps, pass over the Chainguard and look towards these bad boys.
(580pt. min. - 1380pt. max)
A Cairn Wraith, 2 units of Grimghast Reapers and 2 units of Glaivewraith Stalkers
Soul-marked Prey: After setup is complete, pick an enemy unit to become 'Soul Marked' by this battalion. Add 1 to hit and wound rolls for attacks made by this battalion against the marked unit. This can be used to get rid of your opponent's power-units, like large groups of chaos warriors or sequitors.
- How do you balance being forced to take a really good unit with a really good buff? By making you take 2 terrible units and a slightly mediocre one. The Glavewraiths are a tax, simple as that, and an expensive one at that. Costing you at the very least 120 points, this effectively doubles the cost of the battalion. Until Glaviewraiths get better or cheaper, this battalion should be avoided at all costs.
(830pt. min. - 1890pt. max)
1-2 Dreadblade Harrow, 2 units of Hexwraiths and a Black Coach
Spectral Spearhead:Add 1 to charge rolls for units in this battalion. In addition, an unmodified charge roll of 9+ allows the unit to fight immediately (replaces allegiance ability). Overall, this is a solid choice, and if you were planning on bringing a Dreadblade, a Black Coach and some Hexwraiths, this should be your go-to. All three units synergize really well, and a Dreadblade is a must for a really fast moving army. The Black Coach works very well with the Hexwraiths, since it can help heal them, and then help finish off the enemy.
- Funny enough, after the discount, it's entirely possible to make a complete 2000 point army by just taking two battalions, and then running four units of 10 Hexwraiths each. Is this a good use of your points, and or money? Probably not, but it could be fun.
- Raises your chances for the charge bonus from 16.7% to 27.8%.
(540pt. min. - 1620pt. max)
One Lord Executioner and 3 units of Spirit Hosts
The Headsman's Masses:Subtract 1 from the hit rolls of attacks that target this battalion's Lord Executioner while a Spirit Host unit is within 6" of the attacking unit. In addition, add 1 to the hit rolls of attacks made by the Lord Executioner while any Spirit Hosts are within 6" of the target unit. His job will be to tarpit enemy heros or sit around and bring back his spirit host buddies with the Ruler of the Spirit Host command trait.
(560pt. min. - 1280pt. max)
A Tomb Banshee, 2 units of Dreadscythe Harridans and 2 units of Myrmourn Banshees
Mournful Wailing:Re-roll battleshock rolls of 1 for enemy units while they are within 6" of any units from this battalion. In addition, Inspiring Presence cannot be used on enemy units within 6" of any units from this battalion.
Really good for the 'Leadership attack' strategy, however given that Seraphon, Daemons and well, DEATH, are popular armies, and have almost exclusively Bravery 10, this will be fairly hit and miss. Even with the maximum -3 to bravery, a bravery 10 model goes to 7, averaging 0 mortal wounds from banshees. This is probably more for someone who wants to run a gimmick list, or know that their local meta is low-bravery armies. In the latter case, it will be "frightening" how fast you lose your friends. heh...
(410pt. min. - 930pt. max)
1 Knight of Shrouds or Reikenor the Grimhailer and 2 units of Bladegheist Revenants
Frenzied Fervor: Replaces the 6+ ignore wounds from the allegiance ability to a 5+ for the Bladegheist while wholly within 12" of the KoS or Reikenor.
This one has some really neat Synergy with the Ruler of the Spirit Hosts Command Trait. Make the Knight of Shrouds your General and pick this as his Command Trait. Now your Knight of Shrouds has a -1 to hit with Ranged Weapons (thanks to the Bladegheist Revenants blocking him), the Bladegheists can shrug off wounds and mortal wounds on a 5+ (thanks to the Battalion ability) and should a Bladegheist Revenant fall, this Command Trait will instantly let you set up some extra Bodyguards.
The Forgotten Scions
1 Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed and 2 Dreadblade Harrows
Gharest Malcor, the Traitor Knight: Add one to the attacks characteristic of the Knight of Shroud's Sword of Stole Hours. In addition, once per battle round, you can use the command ability on his warscroll without a command point being spent.
The Dolorous Guard
(400 pt. min. - 2360 pt. max) 2-4 units of Hexwraiths
Knights of Regret: Add one to the attacks characteristic of melee weapons used by units from this battalion if they charged in the same turn. In addition, if your general is within 3" of any friendly units from the battalion, on a 2+ you can pass on wounds and mortal wounds.
(3730pt. min. - 12350pt. max)
1 Shroudguard and 6 Battalions chosen between the others in the Battletome
Do you know Deathless Spirits? That allegiance ability we described above that makes everyone ignore wounds at a 6+? The battalion units replace it with... something a little better? The drawback is that it only works on heros from this battalion, but that hardly matters, since your bound to have 6 seperate heros due to the battalions. What it does give is that it removes the word "Wholly" from our Deathless Minions aura. So we get the (longer range) legion version of it, and makes larger battles a little easier to manage.
The Emerald Host
(920 pt. min.)
1 The Forgotten Scions, 1+ The Dolorous Guard, and any number of The Condemned, Chainguard or Death Stalkers
The Emerald Curse: After armies are set up, but before the first battle round, you can pick 1 enemy hero. Subtract 1 from save rolls for attacks that target that hero.
Note that the way this ability is worded, you don't need to be part of the battalion to take advantage of this ability, so only take optional sub-battalions if you're trying to get a single drop army.
Start with Soul wars, and then get another Soul Wars half. This gives you the 40 chainrasps you need as the core of most lists. Converting Glaivewraith Stalkers into Grimghasts is as easy as trimming the skulls and spikes and turning the blades 90 degrees. Run a Knight of Shrouds on Steed, two Guardians of Souls, two blocks of 20 Chainrasps, a unit of 10 Grimghasts, and the Chainguard battalion, and you have a decent list that's exactly 1k.
A sweet/fun spot for this army. Tons of heroes. Tons of ghosts. Since nearly the entire Nighthaunt range is easy-to-build, putting together a functional 2000pt list is fairly inexpensive and beginner-friendly. At this points value, you should be allying in a Vampire Lord for extra healing(give him the wings so he doesn't get left behind if your force has to jump a wall). Generally at this level you'll want to have a big, powerful deathstar of your chosen killer unit(Grimghasts, Bladegheists, or even Harridans) surrounding and buffed by your heroes(Spirit Torment, at least one Guardian of Souls, and Vampire Lord at a minimum) plus two blocks of 20 Chainrasps to hold terrain. Once you've filled in those essentials, you'll still have a few hundred points to play around with - maybe add Lady Olynder for serious mortal wound output, maybe an endless spell and a unit of 12 Banshees to feed the endless spell to so you can boost their attacks. So many possibilities....
Definitely consider taking a Vampire Lord. The DEATHLY INVOCATION ability is amazing, as it can dish out a huge amount of healing to your most critical units. The Vampire Lord costs only a little more than your Knight of Shrouds on Steed and has the same Command Ability and similar damage output. The only difference is the lack of Ethereal (And the lack of a Deathless minion save) and more reliable self-healing.
If you want to deploy a MALIGNANT army consider the Mortis Engine, if only because it's part of Start Collecting - Malignants. Otherwise, build it as either a Bloodseeker Palanquin or Coven Throne, since Soulblight are Nighthaunt allies while Deathmages are not for some reason. The Coven Throne deserves a special mention. They provide Deathly Invocation to help regen your ghosts, they are a Wizard, and their command ability is pretty good allowing any DEATH unit to reroll 1s of attacks, wounds, and saves. If you bought the Nighthaunt start collecting, it might be time to convert those Mortis Engines into Coven Thrones. Keep in mind that the Coven Throne is pricey though. But giving your Nighthaunt re-rolls to wounds, hit, and essentially a AoS 2.0 Mystic Shield, it is very recommended. For added fluff points, give it the Ethereal Amulet from Malign Sorceries for a ethereal save, just like your ghostly pals.
The foot-slogging/flying/Nightmare-riding Vampire Lord has a great buff to toss at your Hexwraiths, though sadly the one on zombie dragon is too expensive to take as an ally. Mannfred von Carstein is also nice because his Dread Abyssal is surrounded by spirits so he fits the theme, because he's very powerful and his buff aura is amazing and because he can summon more Nighthaunts for you every turn.
For Legions, no cheese is spicier than the triple whammy Grimghasts. Take a vampire lord, a Necromancer and a Knight of shrouds on ethereal steed, a guardian of souls with lantern, and a giant honking unit of Grimghasts (Preferably 30). Use the command abilities of both the vamp lord and the knight of shrouds to bump your guys up to 4 attacks each. Next, have your necromancer cast Vanhels Dance Macabre on them so they can fight twice. Did someone say 240 attacks at 3+\3+\-1\1? Now you see those four units you charged, now you don't. Add in a Coven Throne for its CA, and suddenly, they're all re-rolling their wounds.
Honorable mentions should also go out to Morghast Harbingers and Arkhan the Black. Morghasts add in a good source of Rend -2 and Damage 3 attacks that Nighthaunt lack outside of spamming Mymourn banshees and Kudross. Mobility isn't as much a problem either, since you'll most likely be dumping half your Nighthaunt army on the enemy turn 1, and the rest on turn 2, so trust me, your enemy will have more to worry about. This lets your Harbringers to get up the field relatively quickly.
Arkhan also fills a hole in a Nighthaunt army, that hole being reliable magic support. Besides having a good unique spell, and the ability to extend both his and your other Nighthaunts spells, he can also cast the spells of other Death Mages, meaning that you'll get essential spells like Soulcage off.
Lastly, as of his new (Ossiarch Bonereapers) warscroll, his Deathly Invocation will return a flat 3 wounds worth of models to 4 different units - that's guaranteed Spirit Hosts or a crapton of 1 wound models returned.
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