This list is designed to be as all-comer as possible. It uses spells for defense, the banshees’ unbinds for control, and command abilities for offense.
The main focus is to use the Grimghast Reapers and Bladegheist Revenants to control the flow of battle and the Myrmourn Banshees for threat removal. However, you can use the Vampire Lord and Knight of Shrouds‘ abilities to turn any of the units into a Bully.
Battle Traits (come with Nighthaunt Allegiance)
Aura of Dread: -1 Bravery to enemy units while w/in 6″ of friendly Nighthaunt.
Deathless Spirits: 6+ Damage Prevention roll while wholly w/in 12″ of friendly NHNT Hero.
From the Underworlds They Come: Half your units can be setup in reserve and can deepstrike at the end of your movement phase.
Feed on Terror: Heal 1 wound to friendly NHNT hero w/in 6″ of an enemy unit that failed BS test.
Wave of Terror: A unit can attack immediately in the charge phase on an unmodified charge roll of 10+.
Command Ability (comes with Nighthaunt Allegiance)
Spectral Summon: At the start of the movement phase pick a friendly NHNT unit on field, then teleport it to your general, wholly within 12″ of your general and 9″ from any enemy.
This is combines nicely with the Dreadblade Harrow‘s Phantasmal Discorporation ability. Teleport him somewhere else on the board and spend a command point to bring another unit with him.
Artefacts, Command Traits & Abilities
Ruler of the Spirit Hosts: At the start of the hero phase, return D3 slain models to a summonable NHNT unit w/in 9″ of the general.
This is a good choice because it doesn’t have the wholly within requirement AND it’s D3 models, not wounds. So the Dreadblade Harrow can teleport, bring a unit with him, and keep them alive. This synergizes well with the Vampire Lord‘s Deathly Invocation ability.
Vampire Lord: +1 Attack to friendly Death unit w/in 15″ at the start of the hero phase.
This ability is superior to the Knight of Shrouds on Steed‘s because this lasts until your next hero phase, as opposed to being just in the combat phase.
This is best used on Grimghasts or Banshees to make them hit on 3’s.
Ethereal Amulet on the Vampire Lord to make him more survivable by ignoring rend.
Can deepstrike every turn with its ability. As the general, it can use Spectral Summons to reposition a unit. This increases the army’s mobility, allowing you to have more flexible tactics and adapt to your opponent or the battleplan.
Gives a +1 to Wound Splash Buff to friendly NHNT wholly w/in 9″.
Spectral Lure – Heal D6 wounds or return D6 ‘wounds worth’ of models. This is best used on your largest units.
Shademist – Cast on a Nighthaunt unit wholly w/in 12″. Enemy units are -1 to Wound against that unit.
The Mortality Glass limits enemy charge rolls to 1 dice while w/in 9″ of this model.
Temporal Translocation – Give a friendly NHNT unit wholly w/in 24″ and make a 6″ normal move with it in the hero phase.
Soulcage – Pick a visible enemy w/in 12″ of the caster. Until your next hero phase, that unit can’t attack until all other eligible units have attacked.
Gives a +1 to Hit Splash Buff to friendly NHNT units wholly w/in 12″ at the start of the combat phase.
Heals 1 wound if it kills anything at the end of the combat phase.
Once per battle in the hero phase, it can use it’s Chalice and heal D6 wounds.
In the hero phase it can pick three different summonable units w/in 12″ and heal D3 wounds or return D3 ‘wounds worth’ of models to each one.
Spend a command point and give +1 Attack to a death unit w/in 15″ until your next hero phase.
Put all this together with the Ethereal Amulet and you have a very tanky hero that buffs your army better than the KoS on steed does.
NOTE: Since this hero is not Nighthaunt, it does not get the Deathless Spirits save or give it to your army.
Re-roll hit rolls against units w/ 5+ models. So they’re better at killing units than heroes.
You can use this unit as an aggro piece as well. Use their reputation to distract your opponent.
2 attacks per model; 3 attacks if they charge.
Can retreat and charge in the same turn; so they should never be locked in an unfavorable combat for more than one turn.
Can unbind a spell w/in 18″; getting +1 to unbind per 4 models. So a unit of 12 gets +3 to unbind. If they succeed, they get +1 Attack until your opponent’s next hero phase.
They can also dispell one Endless spell in your turn. If they do, take D3 mortal wounds but get +1 Attack until your next hero phase.
They are a good answer to elite casters like Arkhan or Nagash and, with Rend -2 and D3 damage each, this unit is the primary target for the Vampire Lord. They can be utterly terrifying with 3 Attacks each.
2 x (10) Chainrasp Horde: Battleline and bodies for home objectives.
Magic, Endless & Realm Spells
See the Heroes section for spell descriptions.
After Action Report (Adepticon)
I took my list to Adepticon and it didn’t perform well at all.
It was a combination of rough matchups and the realms.
Game 1 was against Bryon Orde, of Facehammer fame, and a full Kunnin Rukk so it was over by turn 2. The sheer amount of shooting being done in the Hero and Shooting phases crippled my army after the first round. He won priority for turn 2 and we talked the rest of the game out. It was still a great game though because I got to play and chat with Byron. He’s an awesome guy and really gave me a lot of tips on how to handle his army next time I face it. We even chatted about painting and hobby which we are both really passionate about. He complimented my painting, especially the banshees, so I felt like a winner 🙂 . It was great times but, in the end, Major Loss.
Game 2 was Focal Points against Gloomspite Gitz in Hysh. This game is an example on how the realms can skew the scenario in one army’s favor when they otherwise would’ve been evenly matched. It has Pha’s Protection (-1 to Hit spell). The realmscape was Dazzling Glow (-1 to Hit if in cover). Those two things plus grots with netters meant I was -2 to -3 to hit the entire game which really reduces my army’s potency. Nothing against my opponent; he took advantage of the situation and played exactly how he needed in order to win. It just left a sour taste in my mouth. Major Loss.
Game 3 was Total Commitment, in Chamon, against a Grand Host of Nagash List. It had Vamp Lord on Zombie Dragon, 2 x 4 Morghasts, and loads of skellies on his objectives. It was a fast and hard hitting list that could’ve beat me. 4 Morghasts doing 20 attacks that are 3 damage each is really rough for Nighthaunt. On average my ethereal save with ignore half of the attacks, meaning I still have 10 attacks = 30 damage to save on 6’s. He sent one unit of Morghasts down each side of the board. The unit on the right got stuck into my 30 grimghasts who ground them down over 3 turns. The Morghasts on the left almost one-shotted my 20 Bladegheists. I retreated them out of combat and back to my objective. As a former Khorne player I hate retreating, but this was key because it allowed me to grow some back and continue to outnumber him on my objective. I kept casting Curse of Rust (-1 to Hit, -1 to Saves) and Shademist (-1 to Wound) on the Morghasts which turned it into a slow grind in my favor. He yolo’d his Vamp Lord on Zombie Dragon into my center. I used my Vamp Lord and Knight of Shrouds to buff up the banshees (+1 Atk and +1 Hit) and they one-shotted the Dragon. After turn 3, he only had skeletons on his objectives so I sent my 30 Grimghasts over and claimed one. In the end, I pulled out a Major Win.
Game 4 was Knife to the Heart, in Shyish, against a Legion of Night list with Mannfred, 20 Grimghasts, 40 skeletons, 4 Morghasts, and dire wolves for objectives. He took first turn and surrounded my army. I spent the whole time punching out of it. Mannfred was always casting Unnatural Darkness (-1 Hit) on whatever unit I was trying to punch with. The banshees were nearby but couldn’t unbind anything because the guy kept rolling 11’s for all of his spells. My only chance was for turn 3 to teleport the Dreadblade and my Bladegheists 9″ from his objective and hope for a 9″ charge which I failed (even after spending 2 command points). So, in the end, the dice just didn’t go my way. Major Loss.
Game 5 was Relocation Orb, in Ghur, against a Deepkin list with 14 Eels and 2 Eidolons. I was on the back foot the whole game. He was in my face turn 1 with all of the eels. He won all the priorities and gave me first turn every time. So even if I could get away from the eels, I would only score 1 point to his 3 every turn. Major Loss.
I still really like my list but it’s just so easy for people to counter Nighthaunt. -1 Hit is really rough for my army, as well as mortal wounds or tons of dice.
Also, Nighthaunt are very sensitive to the Realms. It can really juice them up or shut them down. I don’t think it’s a good or bad thing. I love the realms and will continue to use them. It just makes Nighthaunt that much harder to play at a consistent level.