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Getting Started With Nighthaunt
Screaming from the underworlds of Shyish, a procession can be heard; slying their way through buildings and terrifying any who dare enter their hallowed grounds. Nagash’s attempts to control the magic of Shyish using a momument known as the Black Pyramid backfired and resulted in a Necroquake that shook the foundations of the Realms. From those foundations, awoken and angry, the ghostly Nighthaunt arose. Now under the command of the Mortarch of Grief, Lady Olynder, the Nighthaunt processions ride forward to do Nagash’s will…
From the other side of our look into the Soul Wars beginner set, the Nighthaunt are the shock troopers of death, utilising heroes to buff their hordes of deathly ghosts to overpower enemies, or slow big units down using their ability to regenerate models back from the dead and ignore mortal wounds with various abilities. I would say this a medium difficult army, taking a little bit of forward thinking to effectively use their various abilities to great effect. The drawback is that despite their amount of abilities, most units only have a wound of 1, with a low armour value, resulting in a large death pile should you fail multiple save rolls.
The Nighthaunt as a faction has a few abilities which aid the army in different respects. The most important of these is the Deathless Spirits ability, which gives the army a 6+ ignoring wounds rolls so long as the unit is within 12’’ of a General or Nighthaunt Hero. This ability, despite being a 6+, can save your army from heavy losses to large pools of weapon damage, as well as giving you some mortal wound ignorance. One other powerful ability your army has is the Wave Of Terror, which if a Nighthaunt Unit makes a 10+ on a Charge Roll, they can immediately fight as if it were the fight phase. This is incredibly powerful, giving your army two chances at attacking on that turn, possibly decimating whatever they’ve charged into.
Other abilities include Aura of Dread, a -1 Bravery to all enemies within 6’’ of your Nighthaunt, Feed on Terror which allows a Nighthaunt Hero to heal a wound should those enemies fail a battleshock test, and From The Underworld They Come, which allows you to setup under half your army in reservations to summon on later turns anywhere on the board 9’’ away from the enemy (similar to the Stormcasts Scions of the Storm Ability). Finally, the Nighthaunt General also gains an exclusive Command Ability, Spectral Summons, which allows him to teleport a unit back to him entirely within 12’’ of him and 9’’ away from enemies. Pretty decent if you need to relocate a unit in danger, or if you need to draw units back to aid your General.
Unlike the Stormcast, the Nighthaunt don’t have various subfactions. To make the army easier to explain, I will briefly cover the various roles of the army, broken down into the Heroes, Battleline Units and Elite Units.
The Heroes of the Nighthaunt are the backbone of this army and where most of your abilities come from. Without the Heroes, the army would have no way of increasing their units strength and thus would fall to pieces very quickly. The Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed, the Spirit Torment and the Guardian of Souls are regarded as the must have three heroes for their abilities to buff the attacks of lesser units, and returning lost units to the battlefield.
The Battleline of the Nighthaunt form the bulk of your army, which unless you are taking a more Elite army, are normally the focus of your abilities from your Heroes. The most generic and cheapest Battleline you can take are the Chainrasp Horde, an effective and basic troop choice that are better taken as large units, which can bog an opponent down or can draw the abilities of the heroes to dish out a lot of dice rolls of damage. Another good Battleline choice are the Grimghast Reapers, exclusively battleline to the Nighthaunt. In larger units, they can sweep into the enemy and more often than not leave very little in their wake thanks to their -1 rend and their Reaped Like Corn ability to reroll failed hit rolls.
The elite units of the Nighthaunt can make your army even greater depending on how you want to structure your army. These units are not necessarily required, but definitely useful in certain situations. Two examples of good elite units are the Myrmourn Banshees, which are one of the few non-wizard units in the game capable of dispelling spells and endless spells. They enjoy doing this so much, that they actually buff their attacks when they do so, dishing out some pain on those meddlesome wizards. The Bladegheist Revenants however, are a true elite unit that can really crunch an enemy, with abilities to retreat and charge, adding attacks if they do charge, and rerolling hit rolls should a Spirit Torment Hero be 12” near them.
Building An Army
Now we’ve covered what the Nighthaunt are all about, we can look at the Soul Wars box and build ourselves our 1000 point force. Theres a lot to choose from in the box, including a variety of heroes, some battleline choices and some elite choices. To have an effective force however, I would look at doing something of the following:
Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed
Guardian of Souls
Chainrasp Horde x20
Grimghast Reapers x10 (4 from Box)
Bladegheist Revenants x10
Glavewraith Stalkers x4
Extra Command Point
Total Points: 980 Points
This list utilises the best bits out of the Soul Wars Box, while adding in some good units from other products. Our choice of General would be either the Knight of Shrouds or the Spirit Torment, preference to what command trait you would give them, while having all three heroes strengthens your Deathless Spirits range and gives you access to extra attacks, reroll hits of 1 and wound rerolls.
We’ve opted to take all 20 of the Chainrasp Horde in a single unit, gaining the benefit of rerolling wound rolls of 1 for having more than 10 models, and took 10 Grimghast Reapers as a good knife to slice out sections of the enemy.
Meanwhile, the Bladegheist are where you really want to focus your abilities, with their ability to retreat and charge being another effective away to scalpel out enemies. The Glaivewraith Stalkers are a cheap unit that can be used to sit on an objective in the back while the rest of your force does the fighting. We have some points leftover, so investing 50 points into an extra command point is very good - especially with how command point heavy the Nighthaunt can be.
Continuing this list depends on where you wish your Nighthaunt army to go. If you’d like to focus on a Horde heavy army, taking another unit of Chainrasp Horde is a must, since the unit can goto a maximum of 40! Taking some Grimghast Reapers in a horde army is also effective, though pricey in terms of points.
If you want a more Elite Heavy army, you want to minimise the Battleline, and focus more on your Elite Units, such as the Bladegheist Revenants and Dreadblade Harrows. I would also suggest building your army around one of the Battalions found in the Battletome, such as the Shroudguard or The Condemned. These Battalions give your army an extra ability to certain units that are included in the Battalion, as well as an extra command point at the start of the game for a small point cost.
This concludes our look at Nighthaunt, as well as our look at the Soul Wars Box. Next time, we will look at one of the factions from the Grand Alliance of Destruction.