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 Allegiance Abilities
- 4 Warscrolls
- 5 Battalions
- 6 Super-Battalions
- 7 Army Building
- 8 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.
- 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.
- 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; your going to need that 6+ FNP, since thats almost all you get.
- Depending on your opinion of mono-pose models, you may either love or hate the Nighthaunt line of models.
- 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 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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: Your opponent is at -1 to wound in melee against the owner of this cloak.
- 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 Ghrimghast 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: Each combat phase, roll a dice for every enemy unit within 3". On a 2+ they take a mortal wound. A perfect little bonus for a melee character, since it's a flat 50% to cause an unsaveable wound. Better than the Dreadbolt Ring if you wanna get surrounded by multiple units.
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.
- 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". 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. Avoid it.
- 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. Avoid it.
- 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 30 points, it's worth tossing in if you have 30-40 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". 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. If anything she is probably maaaarginally more durable than the 3 big mortarchs. Someone do the maths.
- <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 greiving.
- 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 within 9" +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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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).
- 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.
- 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.
- 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. It's not tanky, not a great duelist, not decent support, and not a good blender. However, what the Cairn Wraith does bring to the table is a reliable source of damage and Deathless Spirits for your big blobs of Grimghasts for a tidy 60 points. Consider him if you already have some cogs and nothing else to spend those points on.
- 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. Much like the Cairn Wraith, the update left the Tomb Banshee lacking any particular role.
- is a Tech choice when facing Grots.
- 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 your choosing to invest in the requisite abilities, Chainrasps have them beat in points per wound. When you use these guys, make sure your respawning them, as well as using their 4+ effectively.
- 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 unreadable horde rematerialize.
- 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. hoard beware
- 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.
- Glaivewraith Stalkers: (SUMMONABLE, 60pts, Min:4, Max:16) Another unit with annoying attacks. They reroll every failed hit roll in the turn they're engaged in combat (either if they're the ones who charged or not). 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, you might want to bring larger units of them to prevent the "ye olde hexwraiths-getting-deleted-in-a-single-turn" conundrum. Have a hero that heals/resurrects float around with them, and turn that 1 Wound per Model disadvantage into some tasty tasty enemy-morale-breaking heals/resurrects.
- Opinion: Never take them for anything but character hunting or as a cheap list filler. Grimghast reapers do more damage. Not to mention the pokey sticks aren't battleline and move slower but worst of all are MORE expensive than the grimghasts when they have the same number of models. 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.
- 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.
- Don't let their multi attacks ability fool you, these guys cannot hold up in melee. 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 (which it might be noted that unless you got the Soulreach Grasp for your Black Coach, it is the only shooting weapon any of your units get).
- 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, 80/280pts, Min:5, Max:20) Weirdly faced and scythe limbed bitches. They apply -1 to hit against enemy units within 3" of them unless they have a Bravery of 6 or more (remember Nighthaunt Alligences decrease it by 1). 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. Decent melee support that makes it harder for ghosts to re-die while also inflicting wounds.
- 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.
- 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 4 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 battleround roll 3 dice,
on a 4+on EACH 4+ it gains one level of power. Each level stack and last 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.
- Alternative take: This grab bag of random rules doesn't add up to as much board presence as you might imagine, and it just isn't worth 280 points when stacked up next to 40 chainrasps or more reapers. That said, the model is stunning, and that alone may be reason enough to field one.
- Alternative take 2: 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.
- Mourngul (Forgeworld): (280pts) 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. But the icing on the cake is that the Mourngul has dropped a whopping 100 points, from 400 to 300. 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.
- Alternate take, he's terrible, even at 300pts. With only a 4+ save and having lost any protection against mortal wounds, his absolutely brutal degradation chart and very low wound count become massive issues, especially considering that you can't buff his damage output very much anymore. His 8 attacks sound good until you realize he also lost a point of rend which means that even after mortal wounds, he's still not even going to be killing a 5 wound 3+ save hero on average and will be absolutely shredded by horde type units, even through his heal. After what...5 rounds of nerfs now it's finally time to leave the Mourngul on the shelf.
- 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.
(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 manditory for anyone wanting to attempt the "endless horde" army style in Nighthaunts.
(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. Superb.
(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.
(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).
- 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. When made your general and the Cloaked in Shadows trait, that'll give him a whopping -3 to hit from range, leaving him a 4+/6++ and a additional 5++ against MW. He'll basically never die, but unless you give him a good artifact, he'll never kill anything either.
(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. This combo basically turns him into General Spookfucker, at least in terms of Durability.
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 giveis that it removes the word "Wholly" from our Deathless Minions aura. So we get the 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. 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 the same as your Knight of Shrouds on Steed and has the same Command Ability and similar damage output. The only difference is the lack of Ethereal.
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 Palaquin 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-rolld 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 Venhals Dance Macarbe 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 Harbringers 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.
- Blacksmoke Battery:
- Grugg Brothers:
- Nimyard’s Rough-Riders:
- Order of the Blood-Drenched Rose:
- Skroug’s Menagerie:
- Sons of the Lichemaster:
- Tenebrous Court:
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