Kings of War/Tactics/Twilight Kin
Why Play Twilight Kin
The Twilight Kindred were one of the earlier armies produced by Mantic, combining elements of Dark Elves and Drow with some demonic support. The models in the range were all over the place, from a really good sorceress to some less than stellar infantry models. They were the only first edition army to not appear in the second edition core rule book. Mantic plans to redo the entire line with new models, new units, and new fluff. Until that happens, however, they have provided a tournament legal temporary list on their website so you can still field your old units or similarly themed Dark Elves miniatures from other lines.
Army Special Rules
- Cruel Masters: All units in this army have Vicious unless otherwise noted. Solid.
- Archfiend of the Abyss: Large demonic hero to go with your Lesser Abyssals. Comes standard with Brutal, Crushing Strength (2), Fury, Inspiring, Thunderous Charge (2), but can also buy Fly and Lightning Bolt (5). This thing had a pretty good stat line, but at 250 points base you're paying a ton for something that is going to probably do about 7 wounds per turn. It has 9 attacks that hit on a 3+ and most likely will wound on 2+ with a re-roll, so it will do damage, but you probably want it to fly if you're planning to use it differently than a Hydra, so there's another 50 points put into it. Effective, but very spendy.
- Army Standard Bearer: Same hero as every army. For 50 points you get a source of Inspiring. You needed a use for all those banner bearers from first edition anyway, so might as well use them in this slot.
- Ba'su'su the Vile: The living legend that seems to be in half the evil army lists in the core rule book. He comes with Crushing Strength (2), Fly, Individual, Inspiring (Gargoyles only), and Regeneration (5+). He also still makes a unit of Gargoyles defence 4+ and gives them Crushing Strength (1) for 20 points. In a lot of ways he fits the same role as an Archfiend of the Abyss, but is more maneuverable on his smaller base and Nimble from his Individual rule. He's still really expensive though, so only take him if you got a specific plan for him and his Gargoyle pals.
- Dark Avenger: Crushing Strength (1) on an Individual. They don't have Inspiring, but they are the second cheapest hero available to you. Starts on foot, but can take a horse or a pegasus as mount options. This is your most basic combat hero, which honestly tend to be kind of situational in non-narrative games. They are dirt cheap however, so they're not costing you much and they have a very small unit footprint.
- Dark Avenger on Abyssal Fiend: The hero version of your large cavalry. Crushing Strength (2), Regeneration (5+), and Vicious make him one of your better melee heroes, especially since he hits on a 3+ and has a good defence of 5+. He's actually cheaper then mounting a Dark Avenger on a pegasus, which means your choice is more of do you want Fly or an extra point of Crushing Strength and Regeneration (5+). The added defensive abilities and point in Crushing Strength make him more survivable, but there are definite advantages to having Fly. Either choice is good, just make sure you know what you want each one to do if you take them.
- Dark Lord: Dark Lords are an Army Standard Bearer mixed together with a Dark Avenger. They get Inspiring from the former and Crushing Strength (1) from the latter. They do this at a cost of both heroes put together plus 10 more points. They can be mounted on a horse, but unlike a Dark Avenger they cannot be mounted on a pegasus. In a lot of ways you'd probably be better just taking a Dark Avenger and an Army Standard instead, but if you only have one hero slot available there are worse things you could do.
- Dark Lord on Battle Dragon: Your dragon mounted hero. For special rules you get Crushing Strength (3), Fly, Inspiring, Lightning Bolt (5), and Vicious. This is a useful change, as instead of the standard Breath Attack you get an 18" spell to represent their own breed of dragon. Very solid hero choice for the army, giving you that mix of ranged and melee effectiveness you expect from a dragon mounted hero.
- Dark Lord on Black Pegasus: This is much better then the base Dark Lord. For 40 points you gain Fly and Thunderous Charge (1), but lose Individual. This gives you the flank and rear bonuses you want on a flying hero, although it leaves you open to some brutal counter-charges as usual. Probably a better choice in most situations then the basic Dark Lord.
- High Priestess of the Abyss: Your spell caster hero. Comes with Fireball (10) on foot, but can be mounted on a horse and has access to Bane Chant (2), Lightning Bolt (5), and Wind Blast (5). Sadly you can't mount one on a pegasus, so your Morathi model isn't getting a home in the army. She's got a bad stat line, but that's good in a way because it keeps her costs down and makes her your cheap source of spells. Regardless, if you want a caster this is your only option in the army.
- Twilight Assassin: Your mixed combat hero. This dangerous being comes with Crushing Strength (1), Individual, Piercing (1), Stealthy, Throwing Weapons, and Vanguard, which is pretty standard for these assassin type heroes in other armies. He hits everything on a 3+ both at range and in melee, which is solid, but like a lot of these characters he lacks a significant number of attacks with only 4 base. Not terribly effective at hero hunting, which seems to be the intended purpose, can move in behind a unit to try and get extra attacks. You're probably better served by a High Priestess of the Abyss or mounted hero.
- Blade Dancers:
- Gargoyles: Available in troop size only. They hit on a 4+ with a low defence of 3+, but they gain Fly and Regeneration (3+). You want to use this to harass the flanks of smaller enemy units so you don't get wiped out before you can use your Regeneration. Low model count means you're fleeing on an 11, which isn't very high at all, so you need that Regeneration to reduce your total wounds on the unit.
- Lower Abyssals: Oh man, your very own daemonette unit, just like in Storm of Chaos. They are irregular, but come with Fury and Regeneration (5+). You can take them up to horde size and like their Forces of the Abyss counterparts they can switch to two-handed weapons to gain Crushing Strength (1) at the cost of 1 point of defence. They make pretty good meat shields, which is what you want them for. Take them at horde strength and tar pit a unit for the whole game.
- Reaper Guard:
- Dark Knights: Your heavy cavalry riding on Cold Ones or Steeds of Slaanesh or whatever. They have Thunderous Charge (2), which is nice, but means they're only hitting hard before taking damage. This means you want to compare them to the other melee cavalry, your Abyssal Riders. Dark Knights are 45 points cheaper, and for that difference in cost you lose Regeneration (5+) and 3 attacks, and trade out a point of Crushing Strength for Thunderous Charge. Their footprint is also smaller, which is never something to be scoffed at. Like most units, you're getting what you pay for, just expect them to slightly under-perform Abyssal Riders.
- Heralds of Woe: Only available in troop strength, Heralds of Woe are your mobile ranged cavalry unit. They come with Bows and Nimble, plus Vicious from the army special rule. They hit on a 4+ at range with 7 attacks, so you want them riding into terrain and firing from safety to force nerve tests if you can, but they're not terrible as mobile archers in a pinch. Keep them at distance if you can and just harass unengaged units from afar.
- Abyssal Riders: The heavy-hitting large cavalry choice. Comes with Crushing Strength (1) and Thunderous Charge (1), making it slightly better in some situations than Darkscythe Chariots in melee. These also have more attacks and better defence than the other option, in addition to a very handy Regeneration (5+). They are more expensive, however, and lack a ranged attack so you'll always want these things in melee.
- Darkscythe Chariots: Your second large cavalry choice. This is a pretty middle of the road choice. They're not very defensible, only have a defence of 4+, but they hit in both melee and ranged on a 4+ as well. They also come with Thunderous Charge (2), which you would expect on a chariot. They're cheaper than Abyssal Riders as well, but just not as durable and filing a slightly different role as they seemed geared towards being a mobile ranged weapon platform that can attack in melee in a pinch if needed.
- Hydra: This beast is just like the Forces of Nature version. Comes with Crushing Strength (2), Regeneration (5+), and Pathfinder, but sadly lacks Vicious. It has 5 attacks base, but gains an extra attack for each wound on the creature. With a routing value of 17, this gives you a lot of potential for expansion. This beast is very killy and will be healing wounds every movement phase. Highly recommended.
- Twilight Bolt Thrower: A copy of the Elf Bolt Thrower, except it trades out Elite for Vicious. This war engine has Blast (D3) with Piercing (2) and the standard reload rules. Not spectacular by any means, but it is your only available option on this front. Trading out Elite is pretty brutal because now you only hit on a 4+ without that re-roll on a 1. This means you're missing half the time, but you do get two shots so it's not all bad.
- Twilight Dragon Breath: For the same cost as the Twilight Bolt Thrower you get the same stat line, but instead of a 48" 2 shot Piercing (2) attack you get Breath Attack (15). This makes it hit more reliably, but it is also in a lot more danger of being destroyed since you need to be up in your opponent's face to fire. These two war engines are fulfilling very different roles; this one is good for forcing nerve tests on unengaged melee units.