Hey fellow spooky humans, welcome to the rundown of my Cancon 2019 Army List. I want to preface this rundown with a quick note on the type of tournament weekend I want to have. My main goal in attending Cancon this year is to have 6 great games against people I’ve never played before- not to win the event. If you’re looking for a rock hard cutting edge tournament list then this rundown may not be for you. What the list does do however is give you a few cool tricks to pull off and the opportunity to compete in every scenario and against every match up. If you like the idea of controlling your opponent’s movement and striking hard and fast wherever they’re weakest whilst slinging around the end given form in the Purple Sun then read on, because you’re in for a treat!
Not technically an allegiance ability but every unit in the Battletome has this ability which allows you to ignore modifiers to your save characteristic, get good at rolling 4s or more and you’ll be laughing as your opponent’s hard bought rend is for nought.
Aura of Dread
This ability is the first of a slew of combos this list employs on the battlefield, reducing the bravery of enemy units within 6″ of friendly Nighthaunt units by one increases the chance of battle shock affecting your enemy.
This ability grants you a 6+ damage prevention roll for friendly Nighthaunt units wholly within 12″ of a Hero. Always something to be thinking about when moving your units and making charges to ensure your units survive an enemy turn.
From the Underworlds They Come
The Nighthaunt version of deploying in reserve and setting up later in the game 9″ from enemy units. For every unit you deploy on the table you can set up one unit in the Underworlds. Generally the way I’ll play this will depend on whether I get the choice of going first or second as you may need to deploy enough chaff to protect your valuable heroes and units. Always deploy The Black Coach on the table so it can start its Evocation of Death from the first battle round. Also use the Dreadblade Harrow as a non-deployment by placing him at the very back of your deployment zone- he doesn’t need to use this allegiance ability to be 9″ away whenever he wants to. Use your high drop count to keep your opponent in the dark as to where your main force will appear whilst they deploy their army. If your opponent is likely to take the first turn or if no mans land is 18″ wide make sure to deploy all your wizards on the table to start utilising these units from the first hero phase.
Feed On Terror
This ability combos well with Aura of Dread allowing you to heal a Hero within 6″ of an enemy unit that has failed a Battleshock test.
Wave of Terror
This is where the army can be really scary and seriously play with your opponent’s head as your 14 units move in range for charge there is bound to be a few big charge rolls in there that can literally swing a game into your favour at the roll of a dice. Some nighthaunt players will say this is too unreliable to count on but if you have enough units you can stack the odds in your favour. Note that the extra round of attacks happens in the charge phase allowing you to strike before Eels set of their voltaic blasts and before Fanatics pound your spectral skull to dust with their giant flailing hunks of metal. It also means enemy units like Sequitors won’t get to use their shield ability that activates at the start of the combat phase.
Artefacts, Command Traits & Abilities
This is the only unique command ability in this list but boy is it a doozy. Teleport your Dreadblade Harrow at the start of your movement phase and then use this also at the start of the movement phase to bring as many units over to support him as you have command points. The ability to redeploy units across the battlefield in the late game is invaluable so if he starts to take on some damage teleport him away into a back corner somewhere until you need him again.
Generally if you’re not using the command points for this ability you will be using them on Forward to Victory to get extra shots at those cheeky 10+ charges.
Ruler of the Spirit Hosts
One of the methods for you to bolster your depleted units, this ability allows you to return D3 slain models to a unit within 9″ of the Dreadblade Harrow. This is particularly useful if you get a chance at a double turn allowing you to replenish the key unit you just charged into combat after teleporting.
Pendant of the Fell Wind
This artefact is simply fantastic, turning your Bladeghiest Revenants and Grimghast Reapers into movement 11″ spooks and catapulting your Black Coach and Reikenor the Grimhailer 17″ across the battlefield. Start as much of your army as you can wholly within 12″ of the Spirit Torment and to make the most of this move the Spirit Torment last to bring even more units into his area of affect.
Beacon of Nagashizzar
This artefact on your Guardian of souls is great for ensuring you replenish the unit you need when your opponent fails to unbind this crucial spell. Returning 4-9 models will bring your Bladegheists straight back to full strength and go a good way towards bringing back most of your Grimghasts or Chainrasps.
We’ve already discussed this guy at length above but he can also be a handy character killer doing 2 damage when he charges with his 3 sword attacks and potentially getting to swing twice thanks to Wave of Terror
Again we’ve already talked about his Spectral Lure spell bringing back 4-9 models into a summonable unit but this guy also provides a fantastic buff to friendly units wholly within 12″. Keep your Bladegheists and Reapers close and savour the wails of your foe as these devastating units wound on 2s thanks to +1 to wound.
Lady Olynder, Mortarch of Grief
A relatively resilient hero with 7 wounds and some decent combat output with 3 -2 rend attacks that do D3 damage, where the Lady comes into her own is through her swathe of abilities. Grave-sands of Time allows you to either inflict D6 mortal wounds on an enemy hero within 6″ of Olynder or heal D6 wounds allocated to her. This, combined with Lifting the Veil can allow you to do 2D6 mortal wounds to an enemy hero within 6″ or alternately just Lift the Veil at any enemy unit within 12″ at the start of each of your hero phases. Mortarch of Grief combos with your Aura of Dread making an extra model flee from any unit that fails a battleshock test within 12″. Finally Wail of the Damned is an ability that activates at the start of your shooting phase meaning you can run your Mortarch up the battlefield and really punish low bravery armies like the majority of destruction.
As a 2 cast wizard Lady Olynder‘s unique spell is also fantastic allowing you to both scupper your opponent’s combat output whilst also compounding your own against a critical unit within 18″. Make your bladegheists hit on 2s and make them more resilient at the same time as long as you focus your forces against the target unit.
With 14″ move and 7 wounds Reikenor can generally be wherever you want him to be on the battlefield. 4 attacks with Fellreaper that can do mortal wounds on natural rolls of 6 to hit and the Reaped like Corn ability can allow you to clear out objectives held by units such as Liberators and Khineri whilst they have 5 or more models. Where Reikenor really comes into his own however is as a Wizard who by snuffing out his Corpse Candles can give himself either +1 or +3 to cast. Sacrifice a wound off the Grimhailer to reliably cast The Purple Sun or get a free arcane bolt on an enemy within 12″ to make his next spell that little bit easier to cast.
Reikenor is a single cast wizard who has a unique spell called Wraithstorm which does D3 mortal wounds to an enemy unit within 12″ which, if it kills a model will inflict another D3 mortal wounds to the same unit.
Already discussed his artefact utility but why take this guy over a cheaper hero? He has decent combat output and provides a re-roll 1s to hit buff to units wholly within 12″. He is also another method for ressurecting models back into your units or healing your hero models. Importantly this regeneration happens at the start of the Battleshock phase allowing you to reclaim an objective your opponent thought they had secured before they score or to safeguard a hero against an oncoming enemy turn. Make sure you keep your Spirit Torment within 6″ of a few different units each turn to give you options of where to heal.
This girl has got a great ranged attack with 3 attacks at -3 rend at 10″ and decent wizard combat with -2 rend on her Briar Whip in Melee. The reason for taking her is her spell though, Howling Vortex allows you to pick a point on the battlefield within 18″ and potentially halve the move characteristic of any enemy unit within 6″ of that point whilst doing some mortal wounds to boot. This is the first part of the control combo with Shackles and the Purple Sun and will no doubt surprise your opponent when it goes off.
Chainrasp Hordes & The Thorns of the Briar Queen
These guys are the chaff but if they get off a 10″ charge they can be dishing out 40 attacks which if you have the Spirit Torment and Guardian of Souls nearby can do a decent amount of damage. Don’t rely on these guys to survive a hit but if they do retreat them out and heal them up to provide screens later on in the game.
People will talk about how broken these guys are until they get a points hike from higher up but in this list they play as an objective clearing unit rather than an indestructible hammer of whirling scythes that come back to life at full strength at the whim of their general. Start these guys on the board to scare your opponent from charging headlong towards your lines then teleport them next to your Dreadblade Harrow with a command point to strike from unexpected quarters. Charge them in behind your Bladegheists and utilise their 2″ reach to strike from the safety of that unit.
A brilliant harassing unit which for 90 points dishes out a surprising amount of quality attacks on the charge. I usually start these guys in the underworld and bring them up near Reikenor to make use of the Shroudguard’s ability whilst keeping them safe from shooting. These guys will die fast if your opponent gets a chance to swing but with enough 10+ charges they won’t get that opportunity. Try and keep them wholly within 12″ of either the Spirit Torment or Chainghasts when they attack for rerolls to hit. These guys can also retreat and charge which you should always be doing for extra chances at those 10+ charge rolls.
Use these guys to boost the range of your Spirit Torment‘s ability or send them off on their own to snipe a character with -2 rend shooting at 15″ or mince a hero standing next to a horde. These guys get 1 attack for every enemy model within 2″ in combat so in ideal circumstances you can very reliably bring down a Cauldron of Blood with only 2 of these fellas if its standing next to a big unit of Witch Aelves. If you get a 10″ charge off with these guys they can even bring down a large unit on their own in 1 turn.
The Black Coach
Probably my favourite model Games Workshop has released to date and a fantastic chaff clearer which powers up throughout the game with it’s Evocation of Death ability. I take it with the Reaper Scythe because more often than not you’ll be wanting to run and charge with this behemoth. It has a decent amount of mortal wound potential and when fully powered up can cause havoc in the enemy back lines or on their weak flank whilst you hold their power pieces in place with spells. The coach is also massive allowing you to screen charging lines on your hard hitting units and divide your enemy’s force. Unfortunately between printing the instruction booklets and the battletome the Black Coach lost the Hero keyword meaning it’s useful to send it in supported by a hero for Deathless Spirits. With a command point run of 6″ and starting next to the Pendant of the Fell Wind this guy will be moving 23″ across the board before charging so go get that backline objective!
This battalion consists of the 2 units of Bladegheists and Reikenor the Grimhailer and grants the Bladegheists a vital 5+ damage prevention roll in stead of Deathless spirits whilst they are wholly within 12″ of Reikenor. Keep them close and frustrate your opponent like a Plaguebearer or Witch Aelf.
Magic, Endless & Realm Spells
Shademist is generally a first turn spell for your Guardian of souls as later on they’ll be occupied with healing your units. Stick it on the Black Coach and zoom it up the board to hold up a unit or chuck it on a hero in a hero scoring scenario to keep them alive a bit longer with -1 to wound against them.
Nice and simple, heal up a friendly hero within 12″.
This one is a good balance between healing and doing damage so after you’ve sacrificed Reikenor for the purple sun cast use this to bring him back up to health if Olynder hasn’t already helped him out with Spectral Tether.
An 18″ spirit host that gets better the bigger your opponent’s model is, regardless of how many wounds they’ve been allocated. Is Archaon left on a few wounds? Roll 20 dice and every 6 is a mortal wound to finish that guy off.
The second piece in the control puzzle, this spell will halve the movement of enemy units within 6″ of the Shackles. Throw this and Howling Vortex on the same point on the battlefield and your opponent will be halving their movement twice! If you’re in the realm of Death this spell has an effective threat range of 27″ so you can even pin your opponent in their deployment zone. Alternately in Chamon the realm spell allows you to halve an enemy’s movement again, watch those Eels crawl across the board at you 1.75″ a turn!
The Purple Sun
Here it is… the moment you’ve all been waiting for… this is the end given form! Cast this bad boy on a 5 with Reikenor and send it forward to slay all in its path. Well 1 in 6 people in its path that is. This spell is a massive bully piece that will control your opponent’s movement almost as much as Shackles will. Nothing is more satisfying than watching this big purple ball float across the battlefield slaying outright Dracolines and Kurnoth Hunters alike. Once your opponent sees what it does they will waste spell casting trying to dispel it and avoid its 9″ threat range like its the plague or alternately hand you priority rolls on a platter to simply not get hit by it. All your units are low wounds easy to bring back so don’t be afraid of getting hit yourself, just try not to lose a key character to its wrath.
So now that you have a rundown of the list you can see that it excels at holding up your opponent and punching hard into their weak flanks. Its a very tactical army to play with a lot of wholly within bubbles to keep track of but once you get the hang of it you’ll be having close games against every opponent in every scenario. If that isn’t the most rewarding way to play this great game then I don’t know what is. Thanks for taking the time to read along, let me know in the comments if you’ve got any questions or if you plan on testing the list out yourself and if it has inspired you, give it a big old thumbs up!