The eternal question.

Horrors vs flayers.

I think this is one of the commonest questions when people are making their FEC lists.

So instead of doing individual rundowns of horrors and flayers, I decided it would be more informative to do a comparison of horrors vs flayers.

I’ll say up front.  I’m a horrors guy.  Hopefully by the end of this, you will be as well. I have played both extensively, and horrors always seem better.

In-Game Guide


Units That Synergise With It

Synergies wise, both horrors and flayers have their respective courtiers that can add back models into their units, and the courtiers are almost exactly the same in terms of how they do that.  And vargulf can add both horrors and flayers back in any combination and is generally better than a courtier.

Units it Synergises With

see above

Allegiance Abilities

Skip To Bottom


Skip To Bottom


Skip To Bottom


Skip To Bottom


Skip To Bottom


Skip To Bottom

How to Use the Unit in Game

Skip To Bottom

Pros & Cons

Let deep dive into their warscrolls shall we?  Let’s start with the challenger: the flayer

The flayer has a 10” ranged attack that auto-hits basically. You roll d6+1 and compare that to target bravery. The difference is done in mortal wounds. It’s a weaker version of the terrorgheist death shriek.  And tbh, even if you roll a 6, comparing to 7 bravery is not going to net you that many mortal wounds, so really this shriek is not super useful, maybe a few mortals here and there.  Still, the horror does not have a shriek, so there’s that.

In melee, it has 1” reach with 4 attacks (infernal has 5), 4/3/-1/1 with 6 to hit causing mortal wound instead.  So with 4 attacks, hitting twice, maybe a 6 every so often, -1 rend is nice in an army that depends on its big monsters for rend, doing just 1 damage.  Not that impressive. 

Let’s look at the horrors now.  Horrors have 1” range, 3 attacks only, 4/3/-/2 damage.  The haunter makes 4 attacks.  What’s a HUGE DEAL here, is that they can reroll ALL FAILED HITS if within 15” of a ghoul king (not wholly within, just within).  So these guys are hitting 2-3 times at least.  Now the 0 rend hurts them sometimes, but you gotta pick your targets, and not a lot of things in Sigmar have better than 4+ save.  All wounds are doing 2 damage, which is awesome.  And any 6s to wound does 3 straight damage.  This adds up!  On top of that, horrors heal 1 wound in your hero phase.

Both units in large numbers (like 9-12 man units) are very hard to kill, with the 5+ save, possibly 6+ death save.  The horrors heal 1 per model per hero phase as well.

I’m not good at math, but I think on an average of 4+ save, horrors end up doing more damage, especially in larger numbers. With a ghoul king nearby. And why would they not have a GK nearby! Between dealing with a ghoul king on terrorgheist and a massive 9 man unit of horrors, the opponent has bad options.

In the grand scheme of things, the difference is probably not HUGE, and maybe comes down to personal preference.  Let’s consider that current competitive FEC lists are really monster-mash (so 4 GK on terrorgheists or 3 with arkhan, and min ghoul units), you are just using horrors and flayers in minimum 3 man units being summoned on the board edge, where they will not be terribly effective, but it’s free models basically.  The other maybe competitive way of playing FEC is with ghoul patrol, where you are buying big blocks of ghouls, so probably not bringing any horrors or flayers, except during summoning.  And if you want big blocks, in a battalion (like deadwatch), or as battleline, you have to put a crappy weak courtier as the general.  So basically, if you are using these guys competitively, they are probably just summoning fodder, so maybe we don’t have to spend too much time arguing about this after all?

But horrors are better.  In my play experience, they just do more damage.  You hit someone with some 3 damage swings and they take notice. 

So play horrors.

No need to argue!

Hobby Notes

Both models come from the same box.  Both are easy to build.  Painting can be as easy as spray prime, wash, and dry brush, but there’s lots of nice little details to pick out like bones and claws and gravestones.

Honest Goblin




My Bio:

Flesheaters courts

legions of nagash



daugters of khaine

Gaming style:

usually aggressive!

More rundowns by Darren Tse