Age of Sigmar Zombie Tactics
-This will be some tips and tricks for playing a Deathwalker themed army in AOS with the most recent rule set, all the rules shall be taken from the Legions of Nagash army book-
Perks of a Deathwalker army - Well other than being a horde of the living dead. wanting nothing more than to devour the flesh of all they come across, the play-ability of the army is surprisingly high with the current rule-set, since Legions of Nagash came out zombies and skeletons have suddenly become a force to fear rather than just a core unit to ignore but thankfully you will only need as many zombies as you start the game with as you cannot summon them out of nowhere.
Flaws with a Deathwalker army - Though it may not be seen as a flaw, sheer numbers does come with a downside, the time it takes to move models, telling units apart and transporting even for low point games could be difficult but if your willing to put some money into a carry case or maybe even some movement trays made for age of sigmar it could lighten your burden, i know it has for my zombie horde, the other issue is that there are no zombie themed heros anymore since the necromancer on corpsecart is no longer an option, i have combated this via converting zombie "vampire lords" and using converted necromancers (who could really be classed as a zombie hero anyway.)
Alignment - Undead (obviously) Upon use of the zombie army in trial games i have found the Legion of Sacrament to be the most useful set of rules, command traits and artifacts to get the army moving in the right direction, i shall go through some base rules for the legions of nagash army along with the supplements you get from aligning with Sacrament.
Magic - All Wizards in the legion get to take an additional spell from the Lores of the dead, always useful and available in every legion, when most heros you field will be casters in this army. Also the Legions of Sacrament also get +1 to casting rolls.
Unquiet Dead - Much like beastmen herdstones before the battle begins you set up two graveyard markers on your own side of the battlefield and two on the opponents, these gain you a few ability's, you can place units within the graveyard at the start of the game and summon them out much like deep striking if you have a death hero within 9 inches of it, though i doubt you will use this much for the deathwalkers as trying to place 60 zombies in a 9inch bubble away from enemy's by 9inchs may be difficult, its the next ability which comes in handy.
Each gravesite gets the ability "Invigorating Aura" where you choose a friendly summonable death unit within 9 inches of the gravesite and return D3 models to that unit (if they are 1 wound models) which in our case is zombies! when you consider 60 strong units of zombies could easily be within range of multiple gravesites that could be a good few extra zombies each turn, but that is not all! This is where the Legions of Sacrament comes in, you gain the ability "The Masters Teachings", this will be a BIG weapon for your army and will likely be played around to keep the horde going, when you destroy an enemy unit you want your foe to be within 6inches of a gravesite, if they are you roll a dice and on a 4+ you bring an ENTIRE dead unit onto the battlefield from that graveyard, yes that means a full 60 zombies you could have lost earlier in the game.
Ontop of this you get the 6+ ignoring wounds and mortal wounds for everything within 6 inches of the general AND the Endless Legions command ability for your general, much like the graveyard but without needing a foe to die near it, you can select a wiped out unit and set it up within 9 inches of a graveyard within 9 of your hero, as long as you wall for your heros you will do just fine!
On the Note of walling for your heros, this is where your Artifact will come in, Shroud of Darkness This artefact gives you a -1 chance of foes hitting your hero, -2 if they are out of 8 inches of it! this will put most ranged units at a 6+ to hit your general allowing them to move about among your horde summoning back the dead! When you stack this with the command trait Mastery of Death Which means all Death units within 6 inches of your commander move 3inches in every hero phase before moving or running, your horde shall be getting across the battlefield at a mighty 4+3+d6 inch range, a minimum of 8 when running, a max of 13! and dont forget, thats still 7 inch movements with a minimum of 6 inches on the charge for zombies! more if you roll higher than 6.
ANYWAY, enough with the detailed stuff out of the way, lets get down to tactics, units and points!
Heros - Hero wise you will be wanting at least one Vampire lord, their command trait to grant a death unit an additional attack shall be vital for the zombie horde, turning 60 bites into 120, he can use this ability multiple times but only one different units each time, THIS is likely going to be the bulk of your command point uses, ontop of that the ability to select three units to return d3 zombies to and being formidable in combat, throw him on a horse for an extra pair of attacks and walk him around with the horde, enemys shooting at him will be a -3 due to the artefact and him being next to a horde.
Next will be your standard Necromancers unsurprisingly you may have multiple of these, getting good coverage of the board and having as many pairs of d3s returning as possible, ontop of being able to dish out shields to units will always make them popular, not to mention their ability to throw mortal wounds and wounds to hordes within 3inches will keep them healthy.
While there could be other options, i believe these two will make for the best heros within a death walker army.
Core - Well obviously... ZOMBIES!
Coming in cheaper as units of 60, zombies are an amazing unit, while their stats alone are... to be desired, since when was a zombie or two a problem? its when they horde up that they cause terror to any across the board from them, if a unit is 20 or more they hit and wound on a 4+ rather than a 5+, if there are 40 or more 3+ instead, that horde suddenly has an over 50% chance of hitting and wounding, however, that is when the corpse cart comes in, when within 9 of a corpse cart, zombies are at +1 to attack, now being 2+ to hits, 3+ to wound, though with one attack each.... oh wait, we have a vampire lord as our general, granting the unit an additional attack each! 120 attacks with high odds of hitting and wounding! constant ways of returning them from the dead or summoning their whole units to gravesites, zombies are pretty horrific to face.
Other Units - Corpse carts are a necessity for this army to work, the addition to hit chance ontop of this having one of each options a good shout, the loadstone gives your casters +1 to cast, stacking with your legion bonus AND allows you to reroll the dice to determine the amount of zombies returned to a unit by necromancers and vampires within 6 of the cart, the brazier however subtracts 1 from enemy casting within 18 inches of it, and if a enemy caster somehow gets within 6 of it, in each hero phase on a 4+ they take a mortal wound, both very useful though you will likely end up with more loadstone carts as you will want to keep their buffs going and have lots of spread on them.
Dire wolves- Some well needed speed for the zombies, the direwolves also gain a benefit from the corpse cart, giving them a 4+ save, with a 10 inch move and 2 wounds each they also rock the summonable keyword making for a powerful unit for outflanking heros from gravesites or running alongside your own hero as protection.
Zombie Dragon - While this wont benefit the army as much more than a unit to soak hits, the zombie dragon is something i just enjoyed fielding, nothing puts the fear into an army like an endless horde backed by a rotting dragon, while the point sink could be used to field more zombies or an additional hero, even if you dont use it much id still grab one, (it has zombie in the name)
Allies - While this may stray from the "theme" of the dead walker army, ive chosen to convert everything from and into zombies so the army matches, if you wish for some more competitive viability, there is a rather good hero within one of the allies to the Legion of Nagash, the Nighthaunt.
Kurdoss Valentian, The Craven King, a hero who could be useful allied to the force for two reasons, one being his character slaying ability, for his points cost he can do some real damage on the battlefield. But most importantly he has an ability which activates at the start of every opponents hero phase, when they gain their command dice, on a 5+ they lose it and you gain it, a good way to pool command dice for your extra attacks, or for your necromancer to get a unit to pile in an attack twice in the combat phase that turn.
While i doubt you will see this kind of army around often, ive very much enjoyed the start of making my own deathwalker army and hope you find this helpful when choosing your units for your army.
My first 750 point army is made from 80 zombies in 2 units for 40, a corpse cart with loadstone and a vampire lord on Nightmare and will keep growing from there!