Age of Sigmar/Tactics/Death/Soulblight Gravelords
Grand Alliance Death
Darkness falls across the land and the midnight hour is close at hand. Time to remind the Mortal Realms of the Vampire Counts of old with their successors, the Soulblight Gravelords.
- 1 Overview
- 2 Why Play Soulblight
- 3 Allegiance Abilities
- 3.1 Battle Traits
- 3.2 Dynasties
- 3.2.1 Legion of Blood
- 3.2.2 Legion of Night
- 3.2.3 Kastelai
- 3.2.4 Avengorii
- 3.2.5 Vyrkos
- 3.3 Spell Lores
- 4 Warscrolls
- 5 Battalions
- 6 Army Building
- 7 Allies
- 8 Tactics
Classic undead army, rebranded with new skeletons, zombies, and plastic blood knights!
Why Play Soulblight
You want a resilient army made up of undead troops and vampire generals.
- The army is tenacious. It has multiple army wide mechanics for resurrecting fallen troops and Bravery 10 across the board. Soulblight Gravelords can feel impossible to hurt most of the time, you simply resurrect big chunks of your army for free every turn, and heroes who don't die in one turn can make full recoveries just by staying on the offensive.
- Lots of different play styles, depending on which Bloodline you choose.
- Lots of new models, particularly if you want to play the Vyrkos Dynasty.
- Tons of magic, and often on particularly resilient characters.
- Mortal Wound dispensaries everywhere. Between the Bloodseeker Palanquin, Mortis Engine, Zombies, Terrorgheist, Grave Guard, Wight Kings, and all your magic, you'll have lots and lots of ways of poking your enemy with annoying mortal wounds.
- Almost zero units with ranged attacks. Magic helps fix this, but at the end of the day you still have to get in range of your enemy to start hurting them, which can be frustrating because...
- Much of the army is slow, and barring a couple teleports you have pretty mediocre movement shenanigans.
- You need to protect your heroes far more than other armies. Losing a Loonboss in Gloomspite Gitz sucks, but he's cheap and shitty and was mostly there to provide command abilities. Losing a Vampire Lord hurts because not only did you pay a decent chunk of points for them, you've also lost a wizard, a source of resurrecting, and a decent combat lord who ALSO provided command abilities.
- You are relying pretty heavily on characters to get shit done. Basic zombies, even in a big horde with a Corpse Cart or two nearby won't have the sort of killing potential to be a big threat; it's only after you buff them with heroes that they start being truly scary. This ends up with the eternal balancing act of having enough bodies on the board to buff, versus the expensive heroes who buff them. While we're better off than say, Nighthaunt about this, we still can struggle with affording all the heroes and units.
- The Unquiet Dead: Place four gravesites; two in your deployment area, and two outside your deployment. They must be more than 1" away from terrain or objectives. One of your Summonable units for every unit that you regularly deploy can be set up in reserve and pop up within 12" of one of these gravesites, so long as there are no enemies within 9". These gravesites also act as focuses for some of your other traits.
- Deathless Minions: The Gravelord version of the classic 6+ death save after the save . All Soulblight Gravelords units wholly within 12" of a gravesite or friendly hero can make a 6+ save after the save to ignore a wound or mortal wound.
- Endless Legions: This lets you respawn your destroyed zombie or skeleton units with the Summonable keyword wholly within 12" of one of your gravesites at the end of your battleshock on a 5+ die roll, with a +1 for each enemy unit you destroyed earlier that turn. They only come back at half strength and must be placed at least 9" from enemies as well.
- Locus of Shyish: Gravelords get to resolve their lore spells (NOT their warscroll spells, arcane bolt or mystic shield) twice if they get an unmodified 9+ on their cast roll, provided it's not unbound.
- Reanimated Horrors: Non-death models within 6" of your Deathrattle or Deadwalker units get a -1 to their bravery, or -2 if they are within 6" of two or more of them.
- Deathly Invocation: Gravelords Heroes can heal a number of summonable units within 12" of d3 wounds/equivalent models. The Mortarchs get four units, vampires can do three, while wights and necromancers can top off two. Unfortunately, a unit can only benefit from this once per turn, and can't get the healing if they were already healed by Nagash's beefed up version of this ability in the same turn.
The fancy name for the five subfactions for Soulblight, each with a full complement of relics and command traits, and all of them have access to at least one special character.
Legion of Blood
Regal and lethal, these schemers are the all around sub faction, though their specialty lies with the Deathrattle.
- Immortal Majesty: D3 additonal models flee if they fail a battleshock test within 3" of any Legion of Blood Vampire units.
- Favoured Retainers: Ignore negative modifiers to hit and wound rolls for Legion of Blood Deathrattle while wholly within 12" of Legion of Blood Vampire or 18" of the general.
- Premeditated Violence: Unmodified hit rolls of 6 are 2 hits.
- Soul-crushing Contempt: -1 brave within 3. Synergy with their battle trait, but probably still bad. Secondary opinion, combined with Reanimated Horrors and a bravery-debuffing endless spell like Horroghast or Suffocating Gravetide, you can quickly delete whole units of enemies with a single leadership failure. Plop this on a Wight King for the double stack.
- Aristocracy of Blood: 12" reroll charge aura. This is good.
- Aura of Dark Majesty: Subtract 1 from hit rolls targeting the general in melee. Solid choice.
- Walking Death: If an unmodified wound roll is a 6 for the general, that wound does mortals equal to the damage of the weapon used. Could be good on the Vengorian Lord.
- Sanguine Blur: +3" of pile in while wholly within 12 of the general. Doesn't let a unit fight from further away, but +3 pile in is great just in general, and who doesn't want 9" pile in zombies?
- Ring of Dominion: When you fight, pick one model within 3" and roll a dice, on a 5+ you do mortals equal to the weapons damage. You can't pick any weapon that charts or has a see below rule.
- Shadeglass Decanter: After set up, but before first round, pick a hero. If that hero and the bearer are on the battlefield at the start of your hero phase you roll a dice. If it's equal to or greater than the current battle round, the hero takes a mortal. This is hilarious.
- Orb of Enchantment: Once per battle, pick one enemy hero within 3 and roll a dice. On a 3+ that hero can't fight this phase. This is random, once per game, and insanely power. None of those things make for a good artifact of power to pick.
- Soulbound Garments: You're wearing a player character's clothing for some reason, this gives you +1 to save rolls. Nice.
- Oubliette Arcana: Once per enemy hero phase, when they cast a spell and it's not unbound, you can roll a dice. On a 5+ it's unbound. Extra unbinding is always good.
- Amulet of Screams: Once per game when an enemy casts a spell that isn't unbound you can deal d3 mortal wound to them. Trash.
Legion of Night
Mannfred's bloodline are tricksy, with their primary feature being outflank, with some nice command traits and artifacts to strategize around. They pick up an extra battleline in vargheists as a bonus.
- The Bait: +1 to save rolls on the first turn for Deathrattle and Deadwalker units. Since these are likely the first to move into the line of fire, you'll be needing that boost to defense.
- Ageless Cunning: You can set up one unit in reserve for every unit you have placed on the board and bring them in with ambush 6" from a board edge outside of 9" from enemy units at the end of your movement phase. At the start of round 4, units still in reserve are destroyed.
- Above Suspicion: Deep strike the general from outflank onto the board anywhere on the battlefield at the end of your movement fase. (Outside of 9 from enemy units like normal)
- Swift Form: 2+ Movement. Good if you’re using the footslogger Vampire for some reason.
- Unbending Will: No battleshock wholly within 12 of the general. Better than it seems, as you're likely to suffer heavy casualties with zombies and skeletons, and even leadership 10 won't save you forever, but this will.
- Merciless Hunter: +1 to wound rolls for general in melee.
- Unholy Impetus: If the general slays an enemy model in close combat, all friendly units wholly within 12" get +1 attack on all their melee weapons until the end of the phase. Changed to wholly within 12 instead of 3, probably your best choice.
- Terrifying Visage: Subtract 1 from wound rolls against the general in melee.
- Vial of Pure Blood: Once per battle, in your hero phase, you can say that the bearer will drink from their vial of pure blood. If you do so, add 1 to hit and wound rolls for attacks made with melee weapons by the bearer until your next hero phase.
- Shard of Night: Ignore the Rend characteristic of missile weapons when making save rolls for attacks that target the bearer.
- Gem of Exsanguination: Once per battle, at the start of the combat phase, you can pick 1 enemy unit within 6" of the bearer and roll a dice. On a 1, nothing happens. On a 2-5, that unit suffers D3 mortal wounds. On a 6, the unit suffers D6 mortal wounds.
- Chiropteran Cloak: If the unmodified hit roll for an attack made with a melee weapon that targets the bearer is 1, the attacking unit suffers 1 mortal wound after all of its attacks have been resolved.
- Morbheg's Claw: In your hero phase, you can say that the bearer will carve sigils into the ground using Morbheg’s claw. If you do so, add 2 to casting rolls for friendly Legion of Night Wizards wholly within 12" of the bearer until your next hero phase. However, the bearer cannot make a normal move, make a charge move, shoot or fight until your next hero phase.
- Curseblade: After armies have been set up but before the first battle round begins, you can pick 1 enemy Hero on the battlefield. In your hero phase, if the bearer and that Hero are on the battlefield, roll a dice. On a 5+, that Hero suffers 1 mortal wound and you can heal 1 wound allocated to the bearer.
Kastelai are the entourage of Prince Vhordrai in the magically teleporting crimson keep, and seem to be the replacement for the old blood dragons, and similarly lean into blood knights, who they get as battleline.
- The Shifting Keep: Kastelai Blood Knights up to half your unit count can be placed in reserve instead of on the battlefield, and be setup within 6" of any table edge and more than 9" from enemies at the end of your movement phase. The pretty standard rider of them being destroyed if not place by round four also applies.
- Might of the Crimson Keep: Vampire keyword units gain a characteristic bonus when they destroy units; Bloodied Strength: +1 damage to non-mount melee weapons if it was a Hero/Monster, Stolen Vitality: +1 to it's wounds if it had 3+ wounds, or Absorbed Speed: +2" to run and charge for everything else. Infinitely scaling Blood Knights could be kinda scary although suspect these are technically Keywords being added onto the Units Warscroll hence the naming of each type.
- Beacon of Bloodshed: After the general charges you do d3 mortals on a 3+ to one unit. Combined with Arcane Bolt and Monstrous Rampage, a VLoZD can do 3D3 mortal wounds in the fight phase.
- Master of Retaliation: At the end of the combat phase if this model was wounded and not slain, you pick a unit within 1" and do d3 mortals on a 2+. Trash.
- Power in the Blood: If an enemy is destroyed within 6" of this model he also gets Might of the Crimson Keep even if he didn't kill them. This is bonkers, and will probably be the go to choice.
- Rousing Commander: Once per game at the start of combat you can give all Kastelai Dynasty Vampire units the Bloodied Strength and Stolen Vitality abilities for that phase, if they didn't already have them. This is honestly one of the strongest single turn effects in the game, and might actually get chosen.
- Swift and Deadly: Reroll charges while within 12" of the general. Arguably stronger than Rousing Commander overall because buffs are irrelevant if your units fail their charge rolls. Kastelai armies are based around consistent charging each turn so getting into combat is paramount.
- A Craving for Massacre: Run and charge on the general. Good for getting in there fast, but probably not worth it.
- Sword of the Red Seneschals: If an enemy model is slain by the bearer's melee weapon, add +1 to wound roll attacks made by a friendly unit wholly within 12" of the bearer until the end of the phase. Does not affect the bearer since the buff happens after the bearer makes their attacks.
- Bloodsaint's Shield: Enemy Wizards within 6" of the bearer subtract -1 from casting rolls.
- Standard of the Crimson Keep: Missile weapons shot at the bearer subtract -1 from hit rolls.
- Shard of Grave-Sand: At the start of the hero phase, the bearer crushes the Shard and adds +1 to Deathless Minions rolls for friendly units wholly within 12". Once per game.
- Fragment of the Keep: Enemy units within 6" of the bearer subtract -1 from wound rolls. Extremely good because all of your units want to be in melee all the time and it's an AOE debuff that can affect multiple enemy units.
- The Red Casket: At the start of your charge phase, you can add +3 to your charge rolls. Once per game.
Monstrous looking vampire-centaurs that only feed on the blood of great beasts. They get battleline zombie dragons and terrorgheist and appropriately have a heavy lean to these monsters.
- Cursed Abominations: Terrorgheists and Zombie Dragons get to have a mutation. You get 1 per army, and 1 more per battalion you take.
- Monstrous Might: Subtract 1 from wound rolls against your monsters in melee unless the opponent is also a monster. This should help keep your big guys alive for a little longer than normal.
- Unstoppable Nightmares: In the combat phase you can pick one of your monsters to fight at the top bracket. Each monster can only do this once per battle, so having a bunch of monsters is going to be good.
- An Eye for An Eye: +1 damage until the end of the phase if this model is damaged. Really solid on the Vengorian Lord.
- Master of Retaliation: At the start of the combat phase roll a dice for every enemy unit within 3 of the general. 5+ you take a mortal wound, and can only attack this general in that phase after the general has already fought this phase. This is... weird. It protects you from attacking until you attack, so it makes you want to have him in with a unit to soak damage.
- Unhinged Rampager: Reroll charges for the general. Boring but useful.
- Breath of the Void Maw: Once per battle, in your hero phase, you can pick 1 enemy unit within 6" of the bearer that is visible to them and roll a dice. On a 3+, that unit suffers D6 mortal wounds.
- Ghorvar’s Collar: Once per battle, at the start of the combat phase, you can say that the bearer will don Ghorvar’s collar. If you do so, you can re-roll wound rolls of 1 for attacks made by the bearer in that phase.
- The Furious Crown: Once per battle, at the start of your charge phase, you can say that the bearer will unleash the fury of the crown. If you do so, after the bearer makes a charge move in that phase, you can pick 1 enemy unit within 1" of the bearer and roll a number of dice equal to the charge roll for that charge move. For each 5+, that enemy unit suffers 1 mortal wound.
- Maddening Hunger: Once per turn, at the start of the combat phase, you can pick 1 enemy model with a Wounds characteristic of 1 that is within 3" of this model. If you do so, that enemy model is slain and you can heal 1 wound allocated to this model.
- Urges of Atrocity: Once per battle, this model can run and still charge later in the same turn.
- Nullblood Construct: Re-roll successful casting rolls for enemy Wizards within 9" of this model.
Bestial Fantasy Russian Vampires who run with the pack, especially dire wolves. This is the kind of army that wants plenty of heroes to buff their humanoid and lupine zombies alongside the kind of tactics that wolves would use.
- The Strength of the Pack is the Wolf: Vyrkos Deadwalker and Vyrkos Deathrattle units within 9" of a Vyrkos Vampire Heroes get +1 to their wound rolls.
- The Strength of the Wolf is the Pack: Those same Vyrkos Vampire Hero Wizards get to reroll cast rolls.
- Pack Alpha: The general gets to use of their command abilities for free once per turn. Probably the strongest choice and pretty good in an army that will have a lot of command abilities to choose from.
- Driven by Deathstench: You can re-roll charge rolls for friendly Vyrkos Dynasty units wholly within 9" of this general. Also good.
- Kin of the Wolf: Once per battle, at the end of your movement phase, you can say that this general will summon a pack of Dire Wolves to the battlefield. If you do so, you can add 1 unit of up to 5 Dire Wolves to your army. Set up that unit wholly within 9" of this general and more than 9" from all enemy units. Fluffy but Radukar the Beast is simply better at it.
- Hunter's Snare: If this general contests an objective, the number of models this general counts as is equal to their Wounds characteristic.
- Spoor Trackers: At the start of your hero phase, friendly Vyrkos Dynasty Deadwalker units wholly within 9" of this general can make a normal move of up to 3" (they cannot run). Give it to a general that can keep up with their wolves (unless a horde of fast walking zombies is what you want).
- United by Blood: This general can attempt to unbind 1 spell in the enemy hero phase in the same manner as a Wizard. If this general is already a Wizard, they can attempt to unbind 1 extra spell in the enemy hero phase. May see some use in small games.
- Ulfenkarnian Phylactery: Friendly Soulblight Gravelords units are affected by the Deathless Minions battle trait whilst they are wholly within 18" of the bearer instead of 12". Give it to a Necromancer sitting behind your line to grant greater flexibility to other heroes or give it to a Vampire Lord on Zombie Dragon or Wight King leading your more mobile units on the flank.
- Cloak of the Night Prowler: The bearer can pile in an extra 3" when they make a pile-in move. Situational, but may occasionally allow your flying Vampire Lord to hunt an enemy Wizard behind the enemy line ~~(remember that you have to move closer to the closest enemy model though).~~ In 3.0 you have to end as close to the **unit** as when you started. Not the model
- Sangsyron: Pick 1 of the bearer’s melee weapons. If the bearer made a charge move in the same turn, add D3 to the Attacks characteristic of that weapon until the end of that turn. Better on a Vampire Lord on Zombie Dragon.
- Vilnas’ Fang: Once per battle, in your charge phase, you can say that the bearer will be imbued with Vilnas’ stealth. If you do so, until the end of that phase, add 1 to charge rolls for the bearer for each other friendly Vyrkos Dynasty Vampire Hero on the battlefield. Might be OK on turn 1 if you have a coterie of Vampires and a priority target.
- Terminus Clock: Once per battle, at the start of the enemy hero phase, you can say that the bearer will stop the Terminus Clock. If you do so, until the end of that phase, subtract 1 from casting rolls for enemy Wizard. Will help you shut down one enemy magic phase.
- Standard of the Ulfenwatch: Once per battle, at the start of the hero phase, you can say that the bearer will raise the standard of the Ulfenwatch. If you do so, until the end of that turn, each time your opponent spends a command point, roll a dice. On a 5+, you receive 1 extra command point. Pass, until AoS 3.0 brings more command points to the game.
There are two spell lores to pick from, one for your necromancers and the two Mortarchs, and one for your vampires, with Nagash getting all of them. There is also an additional spell, Invigorating Aura, that ALL your wizards get for free, and may be cast by any number of spell casters in a turn.
- Invigorating Aura: Casting Value 8. Pick 1 Summonable unit wholly within 18" of the caster. You can heal up to 3 wounds, or return slain models that have a combined wounds characteristic of 3 or less to it. Add +1 to the casting roll for each hero on the battlefield. No unit can benefit from this more than once per turn. Even more healing options is always welcome, especially with deathly invocation only being used once per turn per unit now.
- Blades of Shyish: Casting Value 5. Roll a dice for each enemy unit within 12" of the caster. On a 3+ that unit suffers a mortal wound. Not terrible on Vampires with large bases; a VLoZD can cover a lot of enemy units within 12" on a 130mm base.
- Spirit Gale: Casting Value 5. Pick 1 enemy unit wholly within 18" and roll 2D6. If the roll is greater than that unit's bravery, that unit suffers a number of mortal wounds equal to the difference between the unit's bravery and the 2D6 number rolled. Meant to stack with the army's bravery debuffs; has the potential to be devastating to small elite units.
- Soulpike: Casting Value 6. Pick a unit wholly within 18". If that unit tries to charge, roll a number of dice equal to the charge value. For each 4+ the unit suffers a mortal wound. The real power of this spell is making your opponent reconsider whether it's worth charging your unit, not the actual damage it inflicts.
- Amethystine Pinions: Casting Value 5. Add +6" to the caster's Move characteristic, which is great for throwing your vampires into the thick of it from far. Does not stack with Locus of Shyish.
- Vile Transference: Casting Value 7. Pick an enemy unit within 3". Roll a number of dice equal to the unit's wounds characteristic. For each 6, the target suffers 1 mortal wound, and you heal 1 wound. Looks pretty terrible at first glance, but it's meant to be used on enemy heroes and monsters where you might not trigger The Hunger because you didn't kill the model in a single round of combat.
- Amaranthine Orb: Casting Value 6. Pick a point within 9" of the caster, and draw an "imaginary straight line" from the point to the caster. Roll a dice for each unit the line passes by, and on a 2+ that unit suffers D3 mortal wounds. Does not work on Death units so feel free to draw a line over your own units. A risky choice in tournaments since you cannot alter your list once it's submitted and Death is a very popular faction.
- Overwhelming Dread: Casting Value 5. One enemy unit within 18" takes a -1 to hit until your next hero phase. A cheap and decent debuff for your hordes.
- Fading Vigor: Casting Value 6. One enemy unit within 18" loses one attack from their melee weapon until your next hero phase. Another debuff, but a lot less generalized. Might be useful for zombies or skeletons, who are expected to last longer and would already topple over from a stiff breeze.
- Spectral Grasp: Casting Value 6. Select one setpiece within 18" of the caster. Until your next hero phase, all enemies within 3" of that setpiece has their movement halved. One of those spells that's really dependent on how the arena is laid out, ranging from crippling to utterly useless.
- Prison of Grief: Casting Value 6. Pick one enemy unit within 6" of the caster; any time this unit plans to move, they must roll a d6 and stay paralyzed on a 6". Great for foiling jukes and making sure that your guys get the first hit in.
- Decrepify: Casting Value 6. Select one enemy hero within 18" of the caster. This hero loses one attack and reduces the damage value by 1 for one melee weapon.
- Soul Harvest: Casting Value 7. All enemy units within 3" suffer d3 mortal wounds immediately. For each hit that isn't saved, you can roll a d6 and restore a wound to the caster on a 5+. Ultimately, this is more of a hinderance than a means to actually clear units. If you're lucky, you might have actually popped a Liberator or a chaos warrior, but you won't actually win a fight against them as a measly necromancer. (But Mannfred might)
- Vampire Lord(140 pts): The average vampire is pretty potent for a warrior with flight, a modest weapon with -1 Rend and the ability to heal d3 wounds whenever it kills an enemy model in combat - meaning that you might actually be able to hang on even if you just kill a few models in a mob each turn. It's also a wizard with a command ability that gives one summonable unit extra attacks, which you'll need because those goons are going to go down quickly.
- Vampire Lord on Zombie Dragon(435 pts): Lost a lot of it's healing ability with Chalice of Blood being gone but The Hunger being buffed to D3 instead of 1 could make up for it. Also lost Dread Knight Command Ability (not sure why it has no Command Ability presume AOS 3.0?), Blood Boil renamed to Curse of Exsanguination but remains the same. As for the buffs Deathlance Charge got a damage increase from 1 to 2 dmg and improved the rend by 1. Ancient shield is now baked into his stats giving VLoZD a +3 Armour Save. All in all VLoZD depending on the Dynasty will still be an absolute killing machine on the charge.
- Coven Throne(310 pts): You want a hero who does everything? This is the Bad Bitch Wagon. A flying Wizard with mortal wounds, 25 attacks per turn in melee (granted, they aren't the best attacks, but you do get a hell of a lot of them), and an absolutely disgusting command ability. You WILL be using this command ability as often as possible, as it gives a +1 to hit AND wound AND improves armor saves. Plop a Coven throne down next to 10 Blood Knights and they're basically unkillable. Not to mention, the unique spell rolls 3d6 versus a target's bravery, and if they fail they CANNOT target the Coven Throne in any way, with attacks or abilities, until it wears off. The only real downside is that it's an enormous target, and any sane player will throw everything they can into killing the Bad Bitch Wagon.
- Bloodseeker Palanquin(290 pts): A giant artillery chariot, it's chief weapon instantly deals MWs to all enemies within range (though this range decays with damage), a potent force for an army with no artillery to speak of. The unique spell allows it to suck out more MWs from an enemy hero, and if that hero dies close enough, this can also lead to buffing friendly vampires. Simply put, this shouldn't be your lone hero, it should be accompanying your general (if you're not grabbing a named hero anyways).
- Vengorian Lord(280 pts): The angrier monster vampire, but actually a bit more defensive than the normal ones or the zombie dragon. Compared to the base vampire, they have an aura for debuffing enemy Rend and a spell to make it easier to harm enemies. If one of your units kills an enemy unit within 12", their command ability helps that unit heal some wounds to keep them running.
- Wight King(115 pts): The pure beatstick of the heroes. While the weapon's about as effective as the vampire's, though the wight king also deals a mortal wound on a nat 6 to hit. His command ability's specifically made for skellies, making a Deathrattle unit within 12" re-roll 1s to hit in melee. If you're planning to focus more on the bone-boys, then you'll be just well-served by this guy as you would with a vampire.
- Wight King on Skeletal Steed(130 pts): For 15 more points than the footsloger, you get +2 wounds and triple your movement, and swap out the chance at mortal wounds on 6's for more reliably causing them on the charge. Otherwise, he remains the hero of choice for supporting the bonepile and is especially served by joining a pack of black knights.
- Necromancer(125 pts): A wizard clad in tatters. Then again, why would he need anymore when he can just have some nearby summonable units soak up the wounds for him. Indeed, he does need them around because aside from summoning them and using them as meatshields, he can also cast a unique spell that can let them fight again, a stark upgrade from the vampire lord's command ability and only casts on a 6+.
Nagash and Soulblight named characters with a dynasty (save the Cursed City characters) all have a special rule that allows them to be treated as general in addition to the one that you choose in an army of their dynasty (or any of them for Nagash). You can use this to your advantage if you want to utilize the generic command abilities, or in certain battle plans.
- Nagash(970 pts): The supreme lord of the undead has increased in points cost yet again, now a whopping 970. He gets access to all 13 spells in the book in addition to his own, giving him a good versatile selection for him to use, and gives him more flexibility than casters who must select their spell. Beyond that he's largely the same as he always has been, but keep an eye out to which Dynasty that you play him with, as several of their traits are tied to the Vampire keyword and he will not benefit/proc benefits.
- Neferata, Mortarch of Blood (Legion of Blood, 365 pts): A lot more direct compared to Manny, and by necessity. Not only can she heal more from killing compared to the average vampire, but she also has a weapon that can insta-kill a model. She also has two tricks that really help her army. First is her command ability, which gives enemy melee attacks within 12" of her -1 to hit with the range now unaffected by how many wounds she takes. Her signature spell also make a friendly unit immune to negative save modifiers; that's right, not rend, but negative save modifiers. Have her cast this and Mystic Shield on Blood Knights for a 2+ unrendable save. This makes her a viable strongpoint for Legion of Blood armies, but also a visible target.
- Mannfred Von Carstein, Mortarch of Night (Legion of Night, 380 pts): The lord of assholes returns, just as dangerous as before. While he's still pretty dangerous between his own weapons and his beastly mount, his role remains being an elusive prick who bounces across the field to pick off the weak bits. Not only can he fly, but he can also redeploy wherever he wants once he's stuck in combat. The moment he kills something with his sword, he can then boost a Summonable unit, and this can stack with his command ability so his lackeys can fight on without his direct intervention.
- Prince Vhordrai(Kastelai, 455 pts): Has had a nerf to Breath of Shyish being a flat 6 MW is now D6 and also now is only usable on a 3+ without the previous modifier of +1 if Vhordrai had slain an enemy model in the previous combat phase. Has had a buff to Bloodlance Charge much the same as VLoZD +1 dmg and added 1 rend and buff to The Hunger being D3 instead of 1. Of note he retains Chalice of Blood which VLoDZ did lose and still retains his Command Ability Fist of Nagash and his Spell Quickblood. Overall Kastelai players may prefer using him over a VLoDZ for the extra few points until AOS 3.0 reveals the new Command Abilities for Generals.
- Belladamma Volga, First of the Vyrkos(Vyrkos, 200 pts): Though she can't fly, she's very fast and comes with a whirlwind of attacks thanks to her pet wolves. She's best run with some dire wolves, who can act as her meatshields as well as benefiting from her command ability (which lets them pile in an additional +3", meaning their engagement range is 6"). Also helpful is that she's a powerful wizard with two special spells, one that deals MWs and replaces the slain models with Dire Wolves, and the other making the target friendly unit deal double the hits on a 6+ to hit roll. If you plan on playing her, keep her behind plenty of dire wolves, and grab someone else if you plan on supporting the rest of your legions.
- Radukar, The Wolf(Vyrkos, 150 pts) now no longer needs to be taken as a complete set with all the other cursed city models so could be brought in on his own. Though a good beatstick you might just be better off just bringing his beast mode variant, as you can't bring them both.
- Radukar, Gorslav the Gravekeeper(Vyrkos, 75 pts):
- Torgillius the Chamberlain(Vyrkos, 115 pts):
- Watch Captain Halgrim(Vyrkos, 80 pts):
- Radukar, The Beast(Vyrkos, 315 pts): Wow what a real melee beatstick this dude is! Can run and charge same turn, 3+/3+ 12 attacks -1 rend 2 dmg or d3 dmg with Piercing Blade (Bloodslick Claws able to do 2x MWs on 6s), pseudo in built Gryph Feather Charm -1 to hit, the generic "The Hunger" all Vampire Lords seem to have now and 12 wounds make him quite tanky as well. His CP abilities are pretty nuts too able to give a bubble of +1 attack to all Soulblight Gravelord units within 18" of him if he made a charge in that turn, notice how it says keyword "Soulblight Gravelords" this actually makes your Blood Knights very frightening with Radukar being able to keep up with them quite nicely being able to run and charge same turn. Summoning 10 Dire Wolves within 12" of him once per battle also quite a neat trick good for outflanking/capturing points but slightly limiting with the 12" bubble and 9" away from enemies. Very amazing points cost for the utility he provides. Also of note Curse City heroes/Radukar the Wolf cannot be in the same army as Radukar the Beasts lore is after Cursed City.
- Kritza, The Rat Prince(Vyrkos, 95 pts): Largely a cheaper Vampire Lord, Kritza trades off a point of armour for an extra wound, and swaps spellcasting for a -1 th hit in melee against him and a rather impressive ability to, when slain, be set up again elsewhere on a 4+ role, making him relatively resilient despite also lacking 'The Hunger'.
- Annika, The Thirsting Blade(Vyrkos, 110 pts): Another lord equivalent, Annika also swaps armor for wound, and her spellcasting for 4+ wound negation and completely healing all wounds when she slays a model instead of d3.
- Lauka Vai, The Mother of Nightmares (Avengorii, 285 pts): The new monster as a hero, acting a named vengorian lord. She's very potent, acting as combat superiority between her spell nerfing enemy charges and her aura nerfing enemy rending. She's meant to be crushing the enemy, with a charge bonus like the mounted vampire lord, and the chance to run and charge on the same turn - though this is at the cost of her command ability, which influences friendly monsters.
- Prince Duvalle & The Crimson Court (200 pts): Duvalle is pretty gimped for a vampire, lacking flight or any weapons aside from his sword, though he also comes with a unique spell useful for zeroing in on an enemy unit. His court aren't quite as durable, though one acts as a beef wall and they can effectively hop through terrain so they can kill whoever Duvalle targets.
- Deathrattle Skeletons (85pts/10, max 30, Summonable): Renamed and remodeled skeletons with mediocre weapons with no rend. Come with the ability to re-roll 1s on their Deathless Minion's checks. Also helping bolster their numbers is the ability to resurrect models slain during the fight phase.
- Deadwalker Zombies (115 pts/20, max 60, Summonable): The real disposable fodder, not even getting a save. Fortunately, they have a much larger range to get stuck in and consolidate an additional 3", so they can get stuck in pretty quickly. Also helpful is that they can rise up again from the fight phase very easily on a 2+. They can deal a mortal wound if they roll a nat 6 to hit, and that will help if the enemy in question lacks any sort of protection. However, considering how much of a joke they are in combat, don't expect them to kill much. Alternative opinion: mortal wound on a hit roll of 6 is not a joke. Consider that with 6" pile in it is easy to get large number into combat, with vampire lord buff and/or Radukar buff, a fairly cheap unit of zombies can dish out a scary number of mortal wounds per turn.
- Dire Wolves(135 pts/10, max 30, Summonable): These are a solid option, being surprisingly tough with 2 wounds and fast as fuck. Not only are they great at grabbing objectives, but they have the same speed as Blood Knights, making them a suprisingly good option for a Khastelai army. You can also run them with Radukar for some wolf-centric buffs, although it should be noted they don't get buffs from corpse carts anymore. And of course, they're still SUMMONABLE, meaning they get all the same benefits as Skeletons and Zombies. Overall, probably one of the better offensive options for your fodder, although they lack the staying power of Skeletons even with Endless Legions.
- Terrorgheist (Battleline in Avengorii, 305 pts): Big boi, retains the same stats it had before, unfortunately the inability to fish for 6s with Gaping Maw like our FEC brethren can do kinda makes the points cost potentially not worth it also has no way of healing without investing in Mutations in Avengorii and costs 5 more pts than a Royal Terrorgheist. Interestingly is battleline in Avengorii Dynasty.
- Zombie Dragon (Battleline in Avengorii, 295 pts): A massive monstrosity, now without a vampire riding on top. It retains its multitude of attacks as well as its breath weapon, ideal for dissolving mobs. Of course, its issue is that it's pretty flimsy with only a 4+ save protecting it. Even if it's battleline, this is a hefty investment without any way to ensure its survival.
- Mortis Engine (200 pts): For when you want a bloodseker palanquin but lack the spot for another hero or need more mage support. This retains the wail of the damned for popping through the enemy mobs, but is instead more for boosting magic rather than vampires, as all wizards add a +1 for casting within 12" of this engine. It also has a once per game power to release another blast that deals MWs to those within range of it.
- Grave Guard(Battleline with a Wight King General, 140 pts/10, max 30, Summonable): Essentially tougher skeletons with a full command group that enables them to charge at 6 or more. While they can't reinforce themselves in combat, they have the option between either a sword and shield (giving them a 4+ save) or a big sword with damage 2, and both weapons deal mortal wounds on a unmodified 6 (wound roll). Since they're still summonable, you can make them a bit more reliable as a bunker against archers.
- The Sepulchral Guard (80 pts): The Shadespire warband. Though you have plenty of models, you're not going to get much out of them since most of the weapons lack any form of Rend and even a nat 6 to hit just deals an additional hit. Really, they're just a more easily maintained pack of skeletons that can't be summoned. As long as the leader remains, he can raise d3 of his boys each hero phase.
- Black Knights(Battleline in Legion of Blood, 120 pts/5, max 30, Summonable). Your skeletal cavalry, equipped with a full command group and 0 rend weapons. Fortunately, they can deal mortal wounds on the charge, which is what they'll rely on to make the most out of their attacks.
- Corpse Cart with Unholy Lodestone (80 pts): A mobile support unit for your necromancers and goons. All of your wizards add +1 to their casting rolls for being wholly within 12" of this cart, which you'll need because your army depends on those spells. Your zombies also pick up a 6+ save for being within 12" of the cart, the which you'll probably not be needing.
- Corpse Cart with Balefire Braizer (80 pts): While the Unholy Lodestone makes the cart into a support unit, this is more of a debuff unit. Enemy wizards suffer a -1 to casting for being within 18" of this fiend, and enemies within 9" of this cart suffer -1 to wound in melee - not much against dedicated bruisers, but it can be annoying for otherwise normal foot soldiers like Freeguild.
- Fell Bats (75 pts/3, max 9, Summonable): Roving irritants and screens. They're about as flimsy as zombies with their only redeeming factor being their mobility. Not only can they fly, but they can also retreat and charge at the same turn, making them annoying to catch in a crowded space. Launch a kamikaze attack with them on this big Lumineth archers bunker to have them lose one precious shooting phase.
- Vargheists (Battleline in Legion of Night, 155 pts/3, max 9): Some furious monsters that come with -1 Rend so they can at least rip through armor and focus more upon overwhelming enemies with their swings. However, they're glass cannons with only a 5+ save to protect them. Fortunately, you can throw them in reserves and then drop them at a later turn, primed and ready to lash out at whatever they come across.
- Blood Knights(Battleline in Kastelai Dynasty, 195 pts/5, max 15): The moment we've all been waiting for; Blood Knights, bane of The world-that-was, are reborn in fabulous plastic! Some of the most iconic heavy calvary since Bretonnia got squatted, these guys are both tough and hard hitting, with a 3+ save, 3 wounds and vampire kill/regen, accompanied by quality 3/3+/3+/-1/1 attacks that gets +1 damage on the charge, (along with their mounts trampling, but those rarely amount to much in the long run). They can also go over units in their movement phase, if they start within 3" of one and only over those with 3 or less wounds and without mounts (so for example, Orruk Brutes are game but Kavalos Deathriders aren't) and deal d3 mortal wounds on a 2+ if they do. They are expensive, but worth investing in if you need a good hammer. Special mention should go to Kastelai Blood Knights, who can outflank if set up in reserves.
- Kosargi Nightguard (Vyrkos, 80 pts/2, max 4):
- Vargskyr (Vyrkos, 115 pts):
- Vyrkos Blood-Born (Vyrkos, 125pts/3, max 5):
They didn't even try this time around, just 4 battalions and one mega battalion. Not even special Battalions for each Bloodline. It's pretty clear why they're so lackluster now that 3.0 rules are out: Warscroll Battalions are no longer allowed in matched play. Sucks, but at least you're not really losing anything important, unlike your flesh-eater cousins.
2+ each of Vampire Lords and Blood knights, plus either a Coven Throne or Bloodseeker Palanquin (100 pts)
The Blood is the Life: Units here regain D3 wounds per hero phase.
1-2 Corpse Carts, and 2 each Deadwalker Zombies and Direwolves (100pts)
Nexus of Malevolence: Any of the battalion's units wholly within 12" of a corpse cart get an extra attack with their melee weapons.
A Wight King, 1-3 Grave Guard, 1-3 Black Knights, and 2+ Deathrattle Skeletons (120 pts)
March of the Dead: The Wight King chooses 3 units wholly within 12" from this battalion to gain 3" movement.
2-3 Vargheists, and 2-3 Fell Bats (80 Pts)
Swooping Predators: Battalion units get +1 to hit rolls on a turn they charged.
Legion of Shyish
Generic all Battalions 1x Red Banqueters, 1x Deathmarch, 1x Fellwing Flock, 1x Deathstench Drove (60 pts)
Horror Unending: No longer required to roll a d3 for Deathly Invocation will always be 3.
Given its contents, and depending on the bloodlines that you are going to play, Start Collecting! Flesh-Eater Counts is once again one of the best products GeeDubs has to offer. Get as many as you need or want for you Battleline Zombie Dragons, Terrorgheists or Vhargheists. While you can't use the ghouls, they have the same base size as zombies, and look zombie-ish...
At the moment of writing this, if your local store still has a Start Collecting! Skeleton Horde, or an even rarer Battleforce with them, you can grab them and get you Mortarch of choice (but can't use Arkhan, as he is not part of the army roster) while getting extra Black Knights and Skellies, who also happen to be Battleline choices. Alternatively, if you can find a Start Collecting! Malignants box, you can build your choice of Bloodseeker Palanquin, Coven Throne or Mortis Engine, as well as some Black Knights; you won't be able to use the Spirit Hosts in the army though, unless you take them as Nighthaunt allies, or use them for kitbashing parts.
Some early purchases to consider:
- Some good endless spells are invaluable, especially in a faction with as much magic as SBGL, and a Horrorghast stacks nicely with Reanimated Horrors for a decent, cheap leadership bomb of -3 to 4. Lauchon the Soulseeker is another excellent choice as you don't mind losing a single zombie or skeleton but LOVE the free movement.
- Drogg Fort-Kicka: The Mega-Gargant allocated as an ally for DEATH armies, he's a big smashy monster with the extra ability to deal out some easy mortal wounds to a bigger unit, and most importantly, the ability to destroy terrain. This includes faction terrain, so send him after that lumineth waterfall and the wizard sitting on it, the priest standing on an altar of blood, or knock a ghoul king off his throne.
- 525 is a high cost for an allied monster, though it does make for a good fluffy choice in the monster heavy Avengorii Dynasty.
- Nighthaunt: Sadly, since they rely on 'summonable', and most of your abilities are specifically SOULBLIGHT summonable...not actually a good deal. Still, they have some very nice units...
- Flesh Eater Courts: You share units, they have some nice ghouls that in a pinch can 'counts as' zombies, and they have a powerful wizard AND a spell that buffs the heck out of them? A very nice choice.
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