Kings of War/Tactics/Nightstalkers

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Why Play Nightstalkers[edit]

You want to play an army of spooky creatures, but don't want to play demons or undead.

Do you wake up every morning dehydrated, your shirt soaked in sweat? You toss and turn in the night. A full eight hour rest is an elusive concept. A sense of anxiety grows as the day goes on because as your waking hours pass, you grow ever more tired. No matter how beautiful the sun set is, you feel unable to enjoy it. To you, the sunset is a call for you to return to a prison in your own mind. A hellish torture with no escape, no rescue and no parole. You've moved past dreams about scary monsters long ago. The nightmares have escalated to visions of your most cherished loved ones dying at your own hands. Hands that move slowly to draw out the agony. If that messed up shit describes you, Nightstalkers are the army for you.

Army Special Rules[edit]

  • Mindthirst: All units in this army gain Inspired status whenever it's 12" away from an enemy with inspiring. That means his standard bearer is better for you than him, and will see reduced usage as he decides when to employ him. TL;DR expect to see inspiring opponents to suicide rush or flee. Most of the core has no waver, and it has a large selection of monsters to better suit your tyranids Ghost models.
  • Trans-dimensional: All units in this army have Stealthy unless otherwise noted.

Unit Analysis[edit]

Hero[edit]

  • Banshee: Flying magic hero. Comes base with windblast 7 but can upgrade to have lightning bolt 5 too. Unless you have a plan for the windblast it's better to stick to the screamer for the lightning.
  • Dread-fiend: Large cavalry combat hero. Kitted out with nimble so could be used for character hunting. Great for flanking, since it only has 5 attacks, but an otherwise terrifying statline and isn't an individual. Give it Ensorcelled armour and it can really bog down a unit you want out of the game for a while.
  • Horror: The surge caster. Has surge 7 and can buy banechant. Obviously you want this character if you take lots of shambling.
  • Shade: The combat individual. Does what combat characters do plus fly. Can turn him into a flying phaoroah with Enscrolled armor.
  • Void Lurker: The monster hero, plus wings and regen.
  • The Dream Hunter [1]: A pretty standard hero stat line with Crushing Strength (1), Individual, and Lifeleech (2), but what really stands out is that this creature gives every Nightstalker unit you control within 9" Lifeleech (1), or +1 to an existing Lifeleech. This is really powerful, but requires you to deploy your army around the Dream Hunter and move in unison. You do get a lot of wiggle room at 9", so take advantage of it to maximize your Lifeleech bubble.

Infantry[edit]

  • Blood Worms: Lifeleech 2, like zombies sans rats. A legion of these bastards makes one very sticky tar pit.
  • Doppelgangers: These guys can assume the melee, attack and crushing strength values of their opponent, which means they're as good as their opponents. These things are murder against hammer units, monsters, and anything that missed defense class, and would be OP if gobbos didn't piss all over them unmolested. Typical PCP pipe dream of a best use scenario: Yo' dawg, I heard you like elite infantry! Hmm, 27 +2 attacks with 3 crushing strength? I'll take those. You get the idea.
    • Who gets 27 attacks hitting on 2s with CS3?
  • Spectres: The only ranged infantry unit in the army. Has firebolts and piercing one. Hits on 4+, which is really good, but the short range firebolts means less shots and you are more likely to move around. With pathfinder it makes sense to put these guys in terrain. With stealthy and cover bonuses they would be hard to hurt but can provide plenty of damage.
  • Reapers: These are your berserker infantry. Hit on 3+ with crushing strength one gives them the ability to hurt basically everything. The best part is the number of attacks. 20 on a troop or 25 on a regiment! Some of the most cost effective melee in the game.
  • Scarecrows: They have a legion option. They have shamble. No waver, and they die faster than anyone else in the list. In a list of gribblies they're your economy anvil.
  • Phantoms: Essentially the same as wraiths from the undead list, but trade away the 6+ defense for stealth and a slight discount. All the typical shenanigans of flying surge units apply.

Large Infantry[edit]

  • Butchers: Basic large infantry. Have CS 2, but are shambling. Has relatively high armor for the night Stalkers, so makes good front line troops.
  • Needle-fangs*: This unit is pure screening. Height 0, vangaurd, crappy to hit and crappy nerve. Even with that, they can't be ignored. Pathfinder too.

Cavalry[edit]

  • Shadowhounds*: Really fast and nimble, but relatively expensive. They need to hit first and hard or won't service a grindfest. They cost the same as your Fiends, so you'll have to decide if you'd rather have nimble, regen and thunderous charge over crushing strength, vicious and a notch more attacks and nerve. Note: they are height 1, meaning your Mind-screech/ Screamer can fire over them.

Large Cavalry[edit]

  • Fiends: Lots of attacks, vicious, CS 1 and decent speed. Great hammer unit, especially with a magic item to give them extra CS.
  • Nightmares*: Flying flaming horses! They have decent melee stats, but also windblast. Definitely a flanker unit with its relatively low attacks. The windblast can also be used to push your opponent into terrain (make their charges hindered), move them closer to a surging unit, or sideways so they lose line of sight or be pushed into a front charge instead of flank.

Monsters[edit]

  • Mind-screech: Piercing 3 firebolts! This guy is your answer to defense 6 spam. The lower height means he is easier to hide behind your line.
  • Planar Apparation: Strange monster. Has regen 4+ and heal 7. Role appears to be a healer for units that it can hide behind such as butchers or fiends.
  • Screamer: A discounted version of the Mind-Screech. Lightning bolt 5 is still pretty great. You can have two of these for the price of one Mind-Screech.
  • Shadow-Hulk: Night Stalkers version of a giant. Very high CS but low attack values. High nerve with no waiver. A little slower but 3+ melee is much better!
  • Terror: Interesting statline. Really low defense but regen 4+. Combined with the high nerve and lack of waiver this guy should be able to survive shooting pretty well. The ensnare should also help it fight some, but not all melee units. Lots of attacks with CS 1 and 3+ to hit is nothing to laugh at.

War Engines[edit]

  • Portal of Despair [1]: This is an advanced deployed debuff machine. Gives all badguys close to it -1 nerve. Really cheap but can only take 1. Probably helps with domination missions best.

Tactics[edit]

Abuse the hell out of his leadership.

The army as a whole does well on the offensive, but has little in the way of defense. This means shooting will hurt, an be wary of envelopement, you're not going to survive.

Your advantages are against shooting, but compared to other armies your defense is low. Your nerve is slightly elite but the waiver gap is wider than normal, so you are much more likely to get that result.

You need to take advantage of your stealth so getting a -2 to hit against you with cover is great. -3 is even better with your individuals! But, your wider waver range, low defense, and lack of inspiration still can make shooting difficult to deal with. This is where nightmares and Shadowhounds can make a difference.

It's probably not possible to build a jack of all trades army with the NS. The units are all very expensive so picking a range focus or melee focus only seems to work best.