Age of Sigmar – Nighthaunt Battletome Review – Part 1

Nighthaunt Tome

Nighthaunt, what makes them great?

Ghosts? More ghosts? And criminals dying, coming back, dying again, coming back again and bloodthirsty ghosts. Nighthaunt is a bunch of spectral killers in search of those who dare to draw breath in their sovereign lands. When these ethereal hosts fall upon their prey, an eternity of cruelty and horror is bound to follow.

Nighthaunt is a very hard army to master, they are all about tactics and playing the board. Before this new Battletome, we always had to stay within 12″ of heroes to gain benefits, but no more! If you like to play an army that can become very tanky and move around with great speed, dish out nasty damage and look amazing, then the new Nighthaunt is for you!

So let’s get into it.

What’s in the book and what will we be covering?

  • Beautiful artwork
  • Lore
  • Painting Guides
  • Army Processions
  • Allegiance Abilities
  • Army Enhancements
  • Artifacts of Power
  • Spell Lores
  • Path of glory
  • Warscrolls

All spells and enhancements will be ranked according to my own personal preference and opinion, but let me know what you think in the comments below!


Main differences between the previous Battletome and this

  • More Damage: We always lacked on some serious damage to contend with big wound monsters with low saves. Now we have more consistent damage and better rend.
  • No more within 12″: In the last Battletome, we had to always stick together. Play either a Death Star, a Death Ball, or split our army. Nothing could go off on its own because then we’d not be near enough to a hero and so lose their ward, reducing our overall defense. This is no more. It’s now army wide.
  • More playability: Going off the above bullet point, we dont need to constantly stay near heroes. We can expand for more board control allowing us to really split up and take the board.
  • Speed: Pretty much everyone now has 8″ movement. This is insane because we also have fly. Our army now has become one of the quickest in the game.

Army Rules



If you want a bit more control against your opponent to hold those troublesome enemy units in place for a while with chaff. Or to just stop them getting away from your damage dealers, then this is the one for you. Gaining control over your opponent to keep them off the objectives is vital sometimes, and this offers that control up. However, I feel the other processions can just do a little bit more in terms of control and strength so I personally rank this a bit lower.

Rating: D


If your opponent has some big monsters you want to chip away at to knock them down a few brackets, or some enemy chaff which you just want to keep on low wounds, this is for you. With an 88.33% chance to deal damage each battles round , it’s just amazing. With a minimum of 2 model it’s a no brainer really – who doesn’t like free damage?

Rating: A

The Scarlet Doom allows Bladegheist Revenants to be taken as battleline.

Bladegheist as battleline is just awesome. It gives you some real change to Nighthaunt lists. These units pack a punch and can dish out some serious damage, with their new +1 to attack on charge. So that’s 3 attacks each on a charge! This is great if you want to take loads of Bladegheists and do some serious damage.

I will add that since the new GHB, and Battleline being able to attack in ranks of 2, this boosts the power of Revenants by a lot!

Rating: A+

The Quicksilver Dead allows Dreadscythe Harridens to be taken as battleline.

This is also a really amazing procession as Dreadscythes are one of our biggest damage dealers. These girls can dish out 4 attacks at 4+ to hit and wound with 1 damage a piece, but get +1 to hit and wound if any models within 6″ have died. Mix this with not being able to take ward saves and you’ve got nice damage (but very situational).

Rating: B


Battle Traits

Aura of Dread: Enemy units are terrified while they are within 3″ of any friendly Nighthaunt units. While a unit is terrified, it cannot issue or receive the Inspiring Presence command. This ability has no effect on Nighthaunt units.

This is really going to cripple destruction and low bravery armies.

Ethereal: Friendly Nighthaunt units have a ward of 6+. In addition, friendly Nightahunt units can retreat and still charge in the same turn. Ignore modifiers (positive and negative) to save rolls for attacks that target friendly Nighthaunt units.

Absolutely amazing, we don’t just keep the un-rendable we can charge and retreat which makes the new and improved wave of terror insane! Mix that with the above Scarlet Doom and that’s Bladegeist dealing mortal wounds on each charge. I can’t think of anything bad about this, just a straight-up good change which we needed.

Discorporate: You can use this command ability when a friendly Nighthaunt unit is picked as the target of an attack in the shooting or combat phase. That unit has a ward of 5+ instead of 6+ until the end of that phase.

We don’t benefit from all-out defense or mystic shield, so this is our alternative, a very good addition.

Wave of Terror: After a friendly Nighthaunt unit finishes a charge move, you can look up the unmodified charge roll for the charging unit on the Wave of Terror table below, pick 1 enemy unit within 1″ of the Nighthaunt unit, and then apply the relevant effect from the table to that enemy unit. If you prefer, you can pick an effect for a lower unmodified charge roll (e.g if you rolled an 8, you could choose to apply the Shriek effect instead of the stun effect)

This is, in my opinion, the best change. I did love Wave of Terror before this change, as attacking in the charge phase was amazing, but 10+ was hard to get.

What makes this amazing is it can stack, so this makes MSU (Minimum Sized Unit) really good to fish for those different effects. This is really good for stacking those saves to help get rid of your enemy’s save stacks. Now that we can charge and retreat it gives us more chance to stack or get the roll you want.

Frightful Touch: If the unmodified hit roll for an attack made by a friendly Nighthaunt unit is 6, that attack wounds the target automatically (do not make a wound roll)

This is a great addition to our army. Before we lacked in damage, now we dish out damage. It’s a shame it isn’t mortals, but I think that could have been a touch too much. Even so, with the amount of dice we will be rolling, auto hits are not going to go amiss.

Vanishing Phantasms: At the end of deployment, before determining control of objectives, you can remove up to 3 friendly Nighthaunt units from the battlefield and place them to one side to be set up in ambush as reserve units. At the end of your movement phase, you can set up 1 or more of the reserve units in ambush on the battlefield, more than 9″ from all enemy units.

This is a big change from the original half an army in reserves, but with all the alterations, I can understand why they’ve gone with it. It’s still brilliant as you can hide up to 3 of your heroes or put in an ambush party. Still very good for Nighthaunt.


Command Traits

Lingering Spirit: This General has a ward of 4+ for damage inflicted by mortal wounds.

This is very situational. It’s good as it makes the General harder to hit, but we have access to two ways of getting 5+ ward and I feel there’s much better options to choose from.

Rating: D

Hatred of the Living: You can re-roll hit and wound rolls for attacks made with melee weapons by this General that target an enemy unit that does not have the Death keyword.

Depending who you put this on, it can make your General quite the beat stick. Re-rolling everything against targets who don’t have the Death keyword is fantastic.

Rating: B

Terrifying Entity: Enemy units are terrified if they are within 6″ of this General instead of 3″ for the purposes of the Aura of Dread battle trait.

This is very situational and depends which army you are facing, For Armies with very low bravery this is fantastic, but for anyone else it feels like a waste.

Rating: C

Spiteful Spirits: At the end of the combat phase, if this General was allocated any wounds that were not negated during that phase, you can roll a number of dice equal to the Wounds characteristic of this general. For each 4+, each enemy unit within 6″ of this General suffers 1 mortal wound.

With the right combo this can really turn into a fantastic comand ability – look out for my Nighthaunt guide for more combos.

Rating: A

Ruler of the Spectral Hosts: Once per battle, at the end of your movement phase, you can pick 1 friendly Nighthaunt Summonable unit that has been destroyed. After you pick a unit that has been destroyed, roll a dice. On a 4+, a new replacement unit with half of the models from the unit that was destroyed (rounding up) is added to your army. Set up that unit wholly within 12″ of this General and more than 3″ from all enemy units.

Wow, 50/50 chance to bring back half a squad? If you choose a fully reinforced unit, that’s a block of 15 coming back into the opponents. Definitely one to leave until late rounds.

Rating: A+

Cloaked in Shadow: This General cannot be picked as the target of a shooting or combat attack by more than 1 unit per phase.

To be honest, I can’t quite figure out if this is good or not. It allows you to protect your hero from being shot at or attacked by more than 1 unit – in melee this is very situational because our heroes don’t have a very big base. The chances of getting more than 1 unit attacking is very low (it’s mainly for shooting I think) so in that respect it’s a solid command ability, but again, situational.

Rating: B

Artefacts of Power
Relics of the Underworlds

Cloak of the Waxing Moon: Subtract 1 from the attacks characteristic of melee weapons that target the bearer (to a minimum of 1).

This is really good if you want to throw a hero into the fray and cause havock and take less damage against those big hitters.

Rating: B

Pendant of the Fell Wind: Subtract 1 from wound rolls for attacks made with melee weapons by enemy units while they are wihin 3″ of the bearer.

This is fantastic, especially with our Wave of Terror reducing their hit by 1. This combo can bolster our defences even more and make us a pretty hard to hit army!

Rating: A

Midnight Tome: Wizards only. Once per battle, if the bearer attemps to cast a spell that would summon an endless spell, that spell is automatically cast with a casting roll of 12 that cannot be modified (no not roll 2D6 and it cannot be unbound.

Another situational item, this can be very good against a strong casting army and you just want to get that Cogs or Terminexus off without worry about it being denied. I just feel there’s much stronger artefacts out there.

Rating: D

Weapons of the Damned

Shadow’s Edge: Pick 1 of the bearer’s melee weapons. If the unmodifed wound roll for an attack made with that weapon is 6, that attack inflicts D3 mortal wounds on the target and the attack sequence ends (do not make a wound roll or save roll).

More damage? Why wouldn’t you take this? Well, it’s not quite as straightforward as that. Stick this on Cain Wraith or something similar and you’ve got a little mean machine. However, I can only really imagine taking this as a bit of fun rather than min/maxing.

Rating: B

Reaper of Sorrows: Pick 1 of the bearer’s melee weapons. Before the bearer attacks with that weapon, pick 1 enemy unit within 1″ of the bearer and roll 2D6. If the result is higher than the target’s Bravery characteristic, that weapon’s Rend characteristic is -3 for attacks made against that unit unitl the end of that phase. That weapon’s Rend characteristic is -4 instead of -3 if the target is terrified.

This is one scary weapon! Give this to any none unique hero who hits hard and he’s going to be auto hitting. If you need to be within 1″ of an enemy, they are going to be terrified anyway, so -4 rend is something to fear!

Rating: A

Slitter: When you pick the bearer to fight for the first time in a turn before the bearer makes a pile-in move, you can pick 1 enemy model within 1″ of the bearer and roll a dice. If the roll is greater than that model’s Wounds characteristic, that model is slain.

Free kill on units? This is really good for your heroes you get into melee as you’re going to be getting a free kill each turn (if you roll above their wounds of course).

Rating: B

Infernal Treasures

Lightshard of the Harvest Moon: Once per battle, at the start of the combat phase, you can say the bearer will release the baleful gloom of the Lightshard. If you do so, add 1 to the Attacks characteristics of melee weapons used by friendly Nighthaunt units wholly within 12″ of the bearer until the end of that phase.

This is insane, plus 1 attack for everything in 12″ – do we need to take any other artefacts? This is monsterous and a must have, yes it’s once per battle but that could easy be the decider in killing that unit which scores you an objective which wins you a game!

Rating: A+

Beacon of Nagashizzar: Once per battle, in your hero phase, you can say the bearer will call the souls of the lost to the Beacon’s light. If you do so, you can return 1 slain model to each friendly Nighthaunt Summonable unit on the battlefield.

I like this, really good if you combo with Lady Olynder’s new ability and pretty much bring back half your army. This can really turn the tide of battle – notice it’s 1 slain model, so this could be a low wound Chainrasp, or a 3 wound Spirit Host.

Rating: A

Soulfire Ring: At the end of the combat phase, you can heal up to D6 wounds allocated to the bearer if any attacks made by the bearer in that phase slay an enemy model.

Really good for keeping key heroes alive, and whats even better it heals at the end of the combat phase so may save you a command point on using Heroic Recovory.

Rating: B

Covetous Familiar: Enemy units that finished a pile-in move within 3″ of the bearer suffers 1 mortal wound after the pile-in move is made.

This is a weird one, 1 mortal isn’t a lot of damage, but now that we can retreat and charge it can be very nice for extra damage each turn. Can’t say it’s a game changer but free wounds is better than none.

Rating: D

Wychlight Lantern: Wizard only. Once per battle, this Wizard can attempt to cast 1 additional spell that it does not know from the Lore of the Underworlds.

Not too bad if you’re going against a strong casting army and need to get off those spells, really good as a lot of our wizards only have 1 spell.

Rating: C

Lore of The Underworlds

Soul Cage: Soul Cage is a spell that has casting value of 7 and a range of 12″. If successfully cast, pick 1 enemy unit within range and visible to the caster. The strike-last effect applies to that unit until the end of the turn.

Amazing spell in our arsenal, with our 10+ strike last ability on Wave of Terror, this is there as a back up incase we don’t get that 10+ charge. Having this is really good for allowing us to get as many strike lasts as we can to truly output some scary damage.

Rating: A

Spirit Drain: Spirit Drain is a spell that has a casting value of 7 and a range of 18″. If successfully cast, pick 1 enemy unit within range and visible to the caster. Roll a number of dice equal to the number of models in the target units. For each 6, that unit suffers 1 mortal wounds.

I personally think this is just a fun spell, nothing better than using it on large units and rolling 10+ dice. Then watching those 6s. (or not)

Rating: B

Lifestealer: Lifestealer is a spell that has a casting value of 7 and a range of 12″. If successfully cast, pick 1 enemy unit within range and visible to the caster. The target suffers D3 mortals wounds. You can heal 1 wound allocated to the caster for each mortal wound that was allocated (and not negated) by this spell.

This is a nice spell to top up your heroes, quite a hard cast but another heal is nothing to scoff at. Always nice to have just incase, but there are some other better spells. Unless you’re going for a spell heavy list, you’ll find you won’t need this much.

Rating: D

Seal of Shyish: Seal of Shyish is a spell that has a casting value of 5 and a range of 12″. If successfully cast, pick 1 friendly Nighthaunt unit wholly within range and visible to the caster. That unit has a ward of 5+ unitl your next hero phase.

Our very own Mystic Shield equivilent, 5+ ward is amazing making us even harder to hit! This mixed with Discorporate can turn your front line into even tougher units!

Rating: A

Shademist: Shademist is a spell that has a casting value of 6 and a range of 12″. If successfully cast, pick 1 friendly Nighthuant unit whilly within range and visible to the caster. Subtract 1 from wound rolls for attacks that target that unit until your next hero phase.

This has always been amazing, -1 to wound is really good as not many armies can buff wounds, so it again makes us even tankier and combo’d with Seal of Shyish, you can turn a unit into a beat stick and force your opponent to put more numbers into the unit.

Rating: A+

Spectral Tether: Spectral Tether is a spell that has a casting value of 4. If successfully cast, remove the caster from the battlefield and set it up again on the battlefield more than 9″ from all enemy units. The caster cannot move in the following movement phase.

Wow, we have our own teleport! This is just fantastic, cheap casting and being able to move the caster 9″ away from the enemy anywhere on the battlefield. There are endless possibilities for this spell – it can be used to capture objectives or block a unit, just to name just a few. Personally, I think that this is by far our best spell.

Rating: A++

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking Warscrolls and Path to Glory. I feel those need their own blog! So wait until part two where I go into the warscrolls and Path to Glory.

Overall so far, I think these changes are exactly what we needed. Nighthaunt were always hard to play and needed to avoid combat and capture locations whilst blobbing mass units. But now we can punch back, we can still play defensive, but if we get attacked, we punch back hard. I’m really happy with everything and from the few games i’ve played. It’s just want we needed. But wait until you see the warscrolls, now they are some juicy changes!

See you next time.

Keep Spooky my Etheral Friends!

4 thoughts on “Age of Sigmar – Nighthaunt Battletome Review – Part 1”

    1. When I do my guide that will be A+ infinity. This guide is all about individual scoring. When I do guide I’ll go into combos etc.

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