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?
Artifacts of Power
Path of glory
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!
Have you heard the call of the Ethersea? Do you steal the souls of sentient creatures to prolong your own life? Do you like to move fast and hit hard while looking fishy and fabulous? Then Idoneth Deepkin is the faction for you!
The obvious place to start collecting an army of watery aelves is the Vanguard: Idoneth Deepkin box, available from Games Workshop or your favorite local game store.
The box is great value. Here’s what you get:
10 Namarti Thralls. The backbone of virtually any Idoneth Deepkin army, these Battleline units hit like a truck but are relatively fragile. The kit has only one weapon option with a few different visual choices.
3 Akhelian Guard. These ultra-fast flying cavalry can be built as either Morsarr Guard (spears) or Ishlaen Guard (swords). I highly recommend building them as Morsarr Guard, as the offense-oriented eels are more widely usable in a variety of different lists.
1 Akhelian Allopex. Think of it as a flying gun platform that can also bite people. Very fast and decent at both shooting and melee. Comes with a choice of harpoon launcher or net launcher. Build your first shark with the harpoon, as the net is more situational.
1 Isharran Soulscryer. The Deepkin’s only Priest character. While he’s nobody’s first choice of hero, “Mister Pointy” still has his uses, especially in the 2022 Matched Play season.
Alternative Starting Points
If you can find it, the old Start Collecting: Idoneth Deepkin box is a little cheaper but still provides good value. You’ll get the same 10 Thralls and 3 Akhelian Guard, but you’ll miss out on the Allopex. In place of the Soulscryer you get the Isharran Soulrender, arguably a much better hero. If you’re starting out with the Soulrender, consider choosing the Mor’phann sub-faction to get the most out of him.
If you can find the 2022 dual-faction box Fury of the Deep, the Idoneth Deepkin half comes with 10 Thralls, 10 Namarti Reavers (mobile ranged battleline) and one Akhelian Thrallmaster (a buffing hero that improves Thralls). This might be a good option if you’re splitting the box with a Fyreslayers player, or if you plan to focus on Namarti and avoid the eels and sharks.
Your First 1000 Point List
Here’s how to build your first 1000 point Idoneth Deepkin list:
Allegiance: Idoneth Deepkin – Enclave: Dhom-Hain – Grand Strategy: The Creeping Gloomtide – Triumphs: Inspired
Leaders Isharann Soulscryer (150)* – Artefact: Dritchleech – Universal Prayer Scripture: Curse Isharann Tidecaster (150)* – General – Command Trait: Teachings of the Turscoll – Lore of the Deeps: Counter-current
Battleline 10 x Namarti Thralls (130)* 10 x Namarti Reavers (170)*
Units 1 x Akhelian Allopexes (165)* – Razorshell Harpoon 3 x Akhelian Morrsarr Guard (195)*
This list can do something in every phase of the game. While fragile, it has access to two Isharran rituals (Creeping Mist during Low Tide and Deepsight during High Tide) that can keep you safe from shooting and protect your Namarti, respectively.
We’ve chosen Dhom-Hain for our enclave as it will allow us to get a bit more out of our two Namarti units, and maybe even pull off a cheeky double attack with the Namarti Thralls.
A typical deployment would be to set up defensively behind your Gloomtide Shipwreck and keep the Soulscryer off the board, accompanied by the Reavers, the Allopex or even both. With your one-drop battalion, you’ll usually want to give away first turn to force your opponent to come closer (allowing you to hopefully grab the double turn). Based on your opponent’s army and deployment, decide whether to use Teachings of the Turscoll to reverse the order of the tides to your benefit.
The game plan is to whittle down your opponent with shooting before charging in with your eels, shark and Thralls. Deep-strike the Soulscryer and friends in at an opportune time to grab an objective or harass the opponent’s backline. Use his Curse prayer along with Namarti shooting and melee to hopefully break even the largest enemy unit.
Want more infantry? For an alternative list, lose the Tidecaster and add 10 more Thralls, bringing that block up to 20. You’ll have more bodies and more presence on the board, but you’ll be missing any form of magic.
Looking for something that’s high risk/high reward? Lose the Soulscryer and Tidecaster and add an Akhelian King. You’ll have no magic (unless you give him Arcane Tome and Flaming Weapon, which you absolutely should), no rituals, and you’ll be spending a quarter of your points on one very fragile hero. On the other hand, he’s extremely deadly and he buffs your Akhelian units. While amazing in a larger game, he may not be the best choice when you’re just starting out.
Pricing It Out
So how much will this list cost you?
Vanguard: Idoneth Deepkin
Battletome: Idoneth Deepkin
Purchasing from eBay or your local game store can drop these price by 15-20%
Let’s talk about the ur-kraken in the room: The Gloomtide Shipwreck. It’s currently out of stock on Games Workshop’s website and very expensive on eBay. Your best bet is to scour local game stores in search of one.
This is an important model for your army, but you can make do without one if you’ll be playing casually at first. My advice is to use a template or proxy model until you find one or they come back in stock online.
So you’ve played a few games at 1000 points and you want to expand your army. What’s next?
First things first: grab yourself an Akhelian King. The Slap-King, as he’s known, is a fantastic finesse piece which can reliably delete the enemy’s biggest threats and almost guarantee you the This One’s Mine! battle tactic. Just be careful with your positioning and watch out for Unleash Hell and Stomp.
I strongly recommend at least another 10 Namarti Thralls. They may be eye-less but they’re not harmless, as their 2″ reach and surprising damage output can chew through most enemy units.
To support your Thralls and Reavers, you could consider investing in heroes such as the Isharran Soulrender, Lotann or the Akhelian Thrallmaster. The Soulrender is a particularly good choice, as he unlocks the popular Mor’phann enclave.
Now we’re getting into the big centerpiece models. The Eidolon of Mathlann is a huge support hero that comes in either Sea (spellcasting) or Storm (combat) flavors. The Eidolon of the Sea is currently your best bet for a reliable spellcaster in the entire faction, and it also brings along a massive bravery buff and an excellent warscroll spell. Definitely a worthwhile investment.
Finally, the Akhelian Leviadon is a hefty model with a hefty points cost (and price tag), but as the faction’s only monster he doesn’t disappoint. The titanic turtle is a shooting, fighting, tanky monster that protects and buffs your Namarti. If you happen to choose the Nautilar enclave, the Leviadon’s attacks become truly terrifying against heavily armored targets.
Good luck harvesting the souls of your enemies! If you have any questions or want to share your ideas for starting an Idoneth army, dive into the comments section below.
It’s been a long while since I have managed to pen down one of these, life and laziness are insurmountable stumbling blocks on occasion it seems. Today I am running my Harlequins against the might of the Dark Angels 1st Company. Harlequins is an army I am still very much learning but having a ton of fun doing so. Turns out speed is quite fun to play with, who knew? Beware of horrendous decision making inside, not advised for sensitive viewers or children.
Harlequin List (Light Saedath Battalion):
2x Troupe Masters (1 with Cegorach’s Rose, Favoured of Cegorach, Player of the Light, 1 with Foot in the Future, Veiled King and the Storied Sword)
Death Jester with Rift Ghoul and Eye of the Laughing God
My opponent is the Defender. I start by moving his bottom right objective down and away from his home. Above all I need him to not sit in his deployment and score hundreds of points on Stubborn Defiance, Banners and the Primary by not interacting. (note we played it here as selecting secondaries before moving objectives, since the timing seems to coincide in the book.) He then moves his home objective back and behind obscuring, and my home objective to be more exposed. I finish off by moving top left back to make it harder for his durable but slow obsec bricks to get there. My priority objective is my bottom left objective, his is the bottom right.
My opponent, showing exactly 0 respect for my army, deploys it all on the line, determined to push those blocks of brutal bodies forward as quickly as 5″ movement and advance rolls allow. He combat squads the maximum Bladeguard Veterans squad and one 10 man Terminator squad. On my side, each boat has a troupe squad inside, with my 3 characters starting embarked. (Sad Solitaire noises. No one ever wants to allow him in a boat). I deploy everything that cannot be obscured 5″ back from the line, to ensure that I am not taking any unnecessary stormbolter fire.
We roll off and my opponent goes first. I elect not to phantasm, as I am hidden from 90% of his shooting not worried about whole 5 missiles he’ll fire off this turn.
Battle Round 1:
My opponent moves out aggressively, raising a sole banner on his home objective, and settling in with a 5 man terminator squad to score stubborn defiance. Anything with a missile launcher does not advance. Between light saedath (cannot be hit on an unmodified 1-3 outside of 12″) and some lackluster rolling he only manages a single wound on my bottom starweaver from his whole army. Turns out I was right about not worrying about some desultory missile fire. Narrator: He was not right. That single wounds goes unsaved and rolls a 6 for damage to blow up my boat. Oof. Classic Aeldari arrogance gets some beautifully poetic comeuppance
On my turn I move the dismounted troupe squad to my home objective. They perform RND (they pass the roll, but this was unnecessarily risky). I *move the two northern transports up to the top-left objective, my Veiled King and Death Jester transports to within fusion range of the terminator squad, and I line up my voidweaver on the same. One boat with just troupes touches into the center objective, and I stage my bikes behind the ruin to get into his deployment next turn.
After the 14x shuriken cannons, 5 fusion pistols, 4 neuro disruptors, 2 shuriken pistols, 3x prismatic cannon and one Death Jester shrieker cannon opens up on the 5 man terminator squad in the open, the thrice damned sergeant still stands. I fire and fade my voidweavers back behind obscuring. My opponent scores 3 points on grind, while I get my 3 on stranglehold. We both score the mission 3 points.
End of Battle Round 1:
Harlequins 6 : 6 Deathwing
Battle Round 2:
He scores 1 point on banners, 2 on stubborn defiance and 8 on primary. His bottom right Bladeguard raise a banner. The Deathwing move aggressively into the middle. He lines up charges into my starweaver on the middle objective with his jump chaplain and the terminators. His bottom 10 man terminator squad move towards my home objective as fast as their stumpy legs allow. In the north, his hero-sergeant and the 3 man Bladeguard goes into the starweavers. His rapid advance leaves a very convenient 25mm hole next to his Ravenwing Apothecary… My Solitaire starts salivating from his hidden position on my home ruin.
Between shooting and charges he fails to blows up any more of my boats in the north. His jumppack chaplain charges my central starweaver. I use the light saedath strat to move it just far enough to still edge onto the far border the objective, but far enough to make the charge for his terminators unfeasible. After some consideration between my bikes and boat, the chaplain ends up going after the boat. I elect to take armor saves to kill the boat, disembarking the troupes inside onto the point to give me a 12 on primary in my coming turn. He gets his 3 on the mission.
My turn 2 I move aggressively in the North. One squad of troupes disembark and performs RND. The downside of my 12 on primary is I cannot flip the middle objective for Deadly Performance, so reckon I need to make a play for his home objective. (In hindsight, I made a massive mistake here. I had 2 easy kills in shooting, and I could have fire and faded the bikes into his deployment to get my deadly performance. I did not need to FnF the voids, just get a narrow angle on the terminator sergeant and the bladeguard. I already had stranglehold locked down, and I did not have enough to take down the terminator squad far enough to out obsec him on his home if all the charges did not hit).
I kill the chaplain with shooting from the troupe squad, the bladeguard and terminator sergeant (finally the damnable nerd eats it) evaporate from the weight of most of my armies shooting. 1 terminator dies on his home objective to the troupes and the Death Jester in the boat. I disembarked the rose queen to guarantee the bladeguard dies, but she ends up not being needed. I fail the 5″ charge into his home objective with my troupes in the centre even with a reroll, but I left 2 toed into the middle to keep my stranglehold intact in case of this exact situation. My horrifically misplayed skyweavers get brutalised by the terminators. RIP skyweavers. You deserved better. My blitzing solitaire thoroughly and effortlessly rips through the exposed apothecary, but gets killed straight through his -1 to hit, no rerolls, 3++ invuln with a luck reroll due to his singular inability to pass even a single save whenever he happens to fight bladeguard.
End of the round I score my 3 on stranglehold and 4 on RND. I miss deadly performance due to incredible stupidity (its definitely not real stupidity, just part of the carefully crafted clown performance. Definitely. Maybe.) but thankfully he also misses grind. We both got our 3 on the mission
End of Battle Round 2:
Harlequins 28 : 20 Deathwing
Battle Round 3:
My opponent still has so much BEEF on the board its honestly scary. He scores 3 on stubborn defiance, 2 on banners and 8 on primary. He finally takes the centre with the one 10 man brick, while his 5 man bladeguard saunter back over to his home to help stem the tide coming next turn. His southern 10 man brick continue their trudge to my home objective.
They knock out a voidweaver, while the centre squad kill the boat next to them and utterly annihilates the 4 troupes on the centre objective. The 4 man on his home kills 2 disembarking troupes (I’ve been very lucky on my disembarking models not dying). He scores his 3 on the mission.
My turn 3 I get 8 on primary. I embark the troupes on my top left and the rose queen back into boats. In the top middle I have a boat very precisely placed to get the 5 man troupes just over 6 inches from the centerline after a disembark and move to get my 3rd quarter for RND. I collapse everything else in range on his home objective. Between the fusion and neuro pistols, the DJ lending his cannon and rift ghoul mortals, and finally the veiled king and the 2 troupe squads swinging into them, the terminators are knocked out. I take down his bannner and cap his stubborn defiance scoring. The Veiled King gets back into the starweaver with the Curtain Falls. Fighting someone just to hop back into a boat is totally fair and balanced and I love every minute of it. With his apothecary dead I can start working on whittling down his bricks too, with the voids taking down 2 marines.
End of the round he scores his grind, I get my 3 on the mission, 4 on RND and 3 apiece on stranglehold and deadly performance.
End of Battle Round 3:
Harlequins 49 : 39 Deathwing
Battle Round 4:
I’ve got a decent lead here, but I am fast running out of material and ways to deal with the terminator bricks that don’t involve a tape measure. He scores 1 banner and 8 on primary, but 0 on stubborn defiance. He spreads the center brick between the middle and his home objective, while the southern brick finally gets close to my home objective (a mere 1″short, but he decides he wants the shooting and will just charge me to get on the point. If I run away with the light strat at least he costs me primary).
He kills 2 troupes with bolter fire in the north. In the south he bounces off the voidweavers, and the troupes on the point runs away so his terminators are stuck outside my objective. The bladeguard mince my Death Jester, boat and the troupes on his home objective. The Veiled King does not roll a one to die on disembark and I cry from happiness.
My turn 4 I score only 4 on primary. I run the troupes back onto my home objective to flip it for Deadly Performance. In the North I commit the remaining 3 man, the rose queen onto the terminators. I advance the Veiled King to try and knock his bottom right Bladeguard off their points factory as a bit of a hail Mary.
On my home objective I get a bit lucky with the void weavers and the troupes, and bring the terminators down to 4 models. The Veiled King manages to kill only one Bladeguard (he feels real bad into transhuman), while the remaining 2 knock him down to a single wound. In the North I kill 4 out of 5 bladeguard after fusions and melee, and the rose queen gets back into the boat. We both get our 3 on the mission. He gets 3 on grind, while I get my 3 apiece on stranglehold and deadly performance.
End of Battle Round 4:
Harlequins 62 : 54 Deathwing
Battle Round 5:
He scores a 1 on banners and an 8 on primary. He does not get his Stubborn Defiance thanks to the “consecutive command phases”requirement. Keeping it to a 5 has been massive for me.
His southern terminators obliterate my troupes on my home objective, and park themselves in light cover. In the north he gets as many terminators as possible onto his home objective. The lone bladeguard kills 2 troupes. My Veiled King on the bottom right kills another bladeguard before dying. He scores 3 on the mission
My final turn I yet again display my staggering stupidity by going for an entirely unnecessary play. I score my primary on the bottom of the turn, so the smart thing to do have been to disembark the troupes on my top left, advance the transport onto the centre and just take my 8. Instead I try to go for the 12 AND try to deny my opponents grind. In order to accomplish either of these I need to get very lucky, accomplishing both is a pipe dream.
My voidweavers jet forward onto the objective. My lone transport gives himself options into the sole surviving bladeguard on my opponents home objective and the terminators on mine. The boat on the top left toes into the centre objective while giving the troupes inside range to the terminators on my home. The rose queen disembarks and advances to try for a 7″ charge into the bladeguard on the bottom right. I’m trying to do way too many things here with low odds of success instead of consolidating my efforts. Going for a 12 on primary but dropping to a 4 if I fail, trying to deny grind but guaranteeing it if I bounce, trying for my 3 points priority objective AND trying knock down my opponents last banner.
In the north the lone fusion troupe kills the BGV, while in the south two transports, 2 voidweavers and the 5 man troupe squad inside the centre objective boat kills 3 terminators. The rose queen predictably fails her charge with a reroll. The voidweavers charge, fails to do any damage and gets a boat blown up for their effort.
I score 4 on primary, 3 on deadly performance, but I miss my stranglehold. My opponent scores grind them down and 1 more on his banner.
End of Battle Round 5:
Harlequins 69: 68 Deathwing
Whoooof that was close. I played my Deadly performance very badly, and similary there was no reason for me not to put a de-meched troupe squad back into deepstrike to get my 12 on RND, especially once it was clear that squad is about to get punked (looking at you home objective boys). I am happy with the secondaries I picked, but there is definitely some improvements to be made in my execution of them. This was my first game fielding a 2 man bike squad as utility. I really liked having them as an option, but I threw them away for no gain, and I missed getting a free 3 points with them early game with a Fire and Fade play. Having them survive later to help the Veiled King clear the bladeguard would have cemented a very comfortable victory.
I also really like the 3 man void weavers still, even after the substantial nerf, but they suck a lot of CP. In this match I think I could’ve afforded to be a lot more cavalier with them. My opponent never really did a whole lot of damage even when he could line up the missile launchers. Especially in the early rounds I think I could have just played angles with them and forgoed the FnF to keep the CP to keep my troupes dealing mortals at full clip.
All in all this game was a lot of fun and a good learning experience. This Deathwing list is a bit of a gatekeeper in my opinion, but if you just let it be it can and will score high just for existing. Disrupting my opponents scoring is a playstyle I very much enjoy, but I think it highlights my own “playing the mission” with this list needs some more reps.
Thank you kindly for reading, I would love to hear your thoughts on the clash!
On May 14, I attended my first ever Warhammer grand tournament. This is the story of how I won two games, almost won a third, and had a damn good time meeting a lot of really cool people.
The place? Detroit, Michigan. The field? 34 players. The event? Motor City Mayhem. The battleground? A faded Best Western hotel just off the highway, where the lobby floor was always wet but the staff were always accommodating.
I arrived a day early in order to take in the sights of Detroit. While I won’t go into too much detail, if you ever find yourself in that part of the world make sure to check out Belle Isle Aquarium (America’s oldest aquarium!) and John K. King Books (America’s second-largest bookstore!). And for the love of god, try the local rectangular pizza.
Then Saturday rolled around and it was time for the games to begin.
Now here’s where I admit something embarrassing: I had only played two games with my army list prior to this. Why would I do something so stupid? Well, I have a small toddler who dictates what I do with my free time. Also, I thought I was playing a different list until a week before the tournament.
Long story short: I submitted a list that centered around a Krondspine Incarnate. Then the tournament organizers updated the event packet to disallow a certain unit. I’ll give you one guess what that unit was.
So the Incarnate was out. But as the Girl Scouts say: improvise, adapt, overcome. I peered inside my Ikea Detolfs to see what other models were painted and ready to go. Here’s what I came up with:
Quite the mixed bag. You’ve got two flavors of eels, two styles of Namarti, a couple of sharks, two support heroes, an Eidolon of the Sea and a fully tricked-out Akhelian King (a.k.a. the Slap-King).
Why Dhom-Hain for my enclave?
I thought their ability for Namarti Thralls to charge and fight again after killing an enemy unity sounded extremely cool… if I could pull it off. (Spoiler alert: I did not pull it off once during the entire weekend.)
Why these battleline troops?
I was curious to see how the eels performed. The Thralls and Reavers, however, were a calculated decision. The new Idoneth Deepkin battletome relies on a strong core of Namarti, and I had identified the block of 20 Thralls as one of my biggest sources of reliable damage.
Why these heroes?
Well, it’s hard to say no to the Slap-King. While a little tricky to use, he’s more than capable of earning double his points back with a well-timed charge. How does 7 attacks, hitting on 2s, wounding on 2s, rend -3 and damage 4 sound to you? And that’s just his first weapon (he has four).
The Eidolon of the Sea (hereafter to be known as the “Seadolon”) is a major winner from the new battletome. While useless at melee and shooting, he’s a wildly efficient spellcaster and unbinder of enemy spells. One of his warscroll spells, Tsunami of Terror, can strip the armor from your opponent’s toughest units, and with his surprising durability (12 wounds, a 5+ ward and reliable self-healing) he can even be used as a sacrificial lamb to tie up an enemy unit or absorb an Unleash Hell.
Match 1 versus Maggotkin of Nurgle – Drowned Men
Opponent’s list: Great Unclean One, Horticulus Slimux, Orghotts Daemonspew, Beasts of Nurgle, Plaguebearers
They say battles are won or lost in the mind before a single shot is ever fired. They might be onto something there.
My first opponent of the tournament, Jeremy, was playing a Maggotkin list. I’d never played against Maggotkin but I’d heard rumors about the new battletome – specifically about all the tournaments they’ve been winning. I was keen to see how my fishy aelves would fare against them.
I out-dropped my opponent and gave him the first turn, hoping he’d move into a position where I could charge with my King and eels – and even, fingers crossed, take a double turn.
He simply moved everything onto the mid-board and ended his turn, daring me to come closer. I took the bait, charging with my eels, King, sharks and Thralls. Unfortunately, it wasn’t a very clean or well-positioned charge, as I could only get my King onto his Great Unclean One and not the eels.
Meanwhile, I had misplaced my Thralls so the only thing they were able to charge was the Plaguebearers. Turns out, Plaguebearers are tanky. I thought my Thralls could chew through them but it didn’t work out that way.
On the other side of the board, my Slap-King did a mighty 20 damage to the GUO. However, he rolled an improbable amount of ward saves and stayed standing. My eels and sharks managed to kill a few Beasts of Nurgle, but his center held.
My opponent then took a double turn and used it to go on a rampage with Orghotts and the GUO. After that, what was left of my army was worn down by the weight of Disease points.
In the end, I think I may have been a little intimidated by facing Nurgle for the first time, causing me to under-think my deployment. If I’d placed a few units differently, my first turn would have been much more effective and the game might have been a lot closer.
RESULT: Loss, 12-39
Match 2 versus Sylvaneth – Gnarlroot
Opponent’s list: Warsong Revenant, Treelord Ancient, Spirit of Durthu, Arch-revenant, Branchwraith, Tree-revenants, Kurnoth Hunters with bows, Dryads
Ah, the classic Warsong Bomb list. Soon to be replaced by the new Sylvaneth battletome, the Warsong Bomb – in which a Warsong Revenant powers up their spellcasting while unleashing magic blasts through an Umbral Spellportal – was one of the only competitive lists available to Sylvaneth in third edition.
Unfortunately, it only works if you cast your spells. This would prove to be a major problem for my opponent, Matt, as my Seadolon just would not stop unbinding his spells. Matt, however, was very nice about this. His enthusiasm and positive attitude made for a really fun match.
I gave Matt turn one. He split his forces and moved up to the mid-board. In my counter-attack, I was able to completely take out one flank of Dryads and a Treelord Ancient with my King, while pinning the other flank (Durthu and the Kurnoth Hunters) in place with the Ishlaen Guard.
Although Durthu hits hard (he wiped out all 20 Thralls in a single round!), my King was able to cut him down. With the Warsong Revenant having failed to set up his spell-bomb, I went on to clean up the board.
The result wasn’t close, but this game was a blast thanks to Matt being a really fun opponent.
RESULT: Victory, 31-13
Match 3 versus Soulblight Gravelords – Kastelai Dynasty
Opponent’s list: 20 Blood Knights, Vampire Lord on Zombie Dragon, Necromancer, Coven Throne, Dire Wolves
My opponent in this game, Austin, seemed a bit unsure of his army going into this match. And there was a good reason for that: The battleplan was Tooth and Nail, a weird scenario which you don’t often see at tournaments.
In Tooth and Nail, you can’t set up any units in reserve. Which sucked for Austin, because setting up Blood Knights in reserve and then bringing them on from the board edge is the entire gimmick of Kastelai Dynasty. His summoned units also couldn’t charge after summoning, which is another blow for a Soulblight army.
To make matters worse, the board for our game was covered in large pieces of blocking terrain. Most of my units could simply fly over it, but his knights would have to go around. This would allow me to pick my battles and take out his units of five knights one at a time.
After setting up, he gave me first turn and waited for my army to come to him. I moved up but stayed just out of engagement range. Once it was my turn again, the Slap-King was able to assassinate the Vampire Lord on zombie dragon before it could really do anything.
Realizing he was out of position, Austin actually gave away a double turn on Turn 3 (never seen anyone do that before!) so that he could pull back his army and remove one of my objectives.
But it wasn’t enough, and the Slap-King continued on to remove the Coven Throne and Necromancer, handing me the game.
My opponent for this match, Paul, was a younger guy who was at the tournament with his dad. Which is adorable, and total Parenting Goals. Paul was also an awesome opponent who basically apologized for taking the classic “Morathi and the Bow Snakes” meme list. He told me he was looking forward to the new Daughters of Khaine battletome so he could run literally anything else.
After winning priority, Paul gave me first turn. From here on out, we would trade double turns back and forth for almost the entire match!
My Reavers shot apart a unit of Witch Aelves, killing all but one (that lone aelf would come back to haunt me later). He then got the double turn and pushed up the left flank with the Shadow Queen. My plan was to pull back and try to ignore her while pushing the other flank where his bow-snakes and support characters were hanging out.
That plan did not go so well. The Shadow Queen ate every single one of my Reavers and Thralls, while the bow-snakes rained down fire on my other flank, almost killing both my sharks. Things looked bad. But I wasn’t down and out just yet.
Taking a double turn, I rolled my Slap-King and eels through a screen of Witch Aelves and right into his bow-snakes, wiping them out. My King went on to kill his General, the Medusa, and get stuck into Morathi herself.
On Turn 4, he wheeled the Shadow Queen around and aimed her at my remaining units. She killed my eels, but my King was able to finally slay the rampaging god.
At the end of all five rounds, we were completely even on points. We had both taken Hold the Line as our Grand Strategy, and all my battleline units were dead. So were his… except for that one pesky Witch Aelf that was hiding in the corner of the battlefield! This gave him an extra three points and the victory.
In the end, this game was an absolute blast, full of twists and turns and high drama. It was probably the highlight of the entire weekend. My opponent played a great game and fully deserved the win, even though I can’t help but wishing I’d rolled one more hit on that unit of Witch Aelves!
RESULT: Loss, 21-24
Match 5 versus Soulblight Gravelords – Vyrkos Dynasty
Opponent’s list: 60 Zombies, Prince Vhordrai, Lauka Vai, Necromancer, Vampire Lord, Dire Wolves, Skeletons, Corpse Carts
I’ll be completely honest: This wasn’t a fun game. After two straight days of Warhammer, I was getting tired and losing focus. And after the thrills and spills of the previous game against Daughters of Khaine, facing 60 zombies felt like a brutal slog.
Zombies, man. They have so much going on. Double piling in, returning slain units, buffing auras, piling in different directions until they’re stretched across the board like a weird misshapen Katamari of bodies. Zombies are a lot.
It didn’t help that my opponent, Rob, played a slow game, with his double turns feeling like an eternity. I don’t blame him for this. He was micro-managing his tiny dead dudes and explaining his army mechanics as he did so, as any good opponent should. It just took soooo loooong.
You know, maybe this says more about me and my own impatience. I may have to do some soul-searching here.
Anyway, I flubbed this match. I deployed my Gloomtide Shipwreck and Namarti units completely wrong. Then I decided to send my King and eels after his support characters in the back, when I should have tried to end the double threat of Vhordrai and Lauka early in the game. The final result was an ignominous defeat, but at least now I know how zombies work (and I know to ask for a chess clock next time).
RESULT: Loss, 12-32
If you’re just starting your Warhammer journey and thinking of taking the plunge into events, I am here to tell you: competitive Age of Sigmar is incredibly fun. It was a pleasure to play against passionate, experienced opponents at a well-organized event. Everyone should try going to a GT at least once, if only for the wealth of knowledge you can glean from your fellow players.
Plus, I got to meet Tyler Mengel and he complimented my painting. That was almost worth the entry fee alone.
What’s next? I’m working on an article about list-building using the new Idoneth Deepkin battletome, to help you get the most out of your own Slap-King and friends. And I can’t wait to attend my next GT, probably with a different list this time. Although the Incarnate is tempting, chatting with fellow Deepkin players at the event has convinced me I need to paint up an Akhelian Leviadon…
Have you recently attended your first GT? Planning to go to one? Drop us a comment below and let us know what you think.
I’ve been into Warhammer pretty much all my life on and off. I remember getting my first box of Warhammer from a toy store in my local village.
Going in and looking at the box of Eldar Guardians (Thinking it was pre-built), my first impression was “wow – where has this been all my life?!” … until I got home and opened the box and saw the piece of unbuilt plastic. Luckily this didn’t deter me. I got some super glue and some of my dad’s cutters and sat at the dining room table and built my first models. I’m not sure whether the rush came from building, or from the superglue fumes, but I was hooked!
After they were built and sat on the table, my addiction started. I got my dad to take me back to get some Dire Avengers (my first metal models, well, the heads at least). Then one thing led to another and over the next few years, I eventually had a big Eldar army, enough to battle with.
I remember my first game – I had no idea what I was doing, hadn’t read any rules, didn’t even have a tape measure. I played a lad who had Necrons, we just made stuff up and just played “toy soldiers” until I was getting battered and tried to call in a huge ship destroyer. At this point another player overheard me and lectured me for at least 20 mins saying how I can’t do that and I need x and y and z. This was when I realised I didn’t like the “battling” so I collected and painted.
After a few years my collection got bigger. I started collecting the old Lord of the Rings Middle Earth magazines and just played soldiers with myself and “play battles”. Then eventually I just got bored and they ended up in the loft (or bin, as my parents got sick of them being everywhere. bye-bye Eldar!)
Fast-forward about 10 years, I bought Thunder and Blood Age of Sigmar Starter and got back into the hobby, but this time a different side Age of Sigmar, not 40k. I built these up and pained them (awfully).
As you can imagine, the addiction kicked in again and out of the loft came all of my old Middle Earth figures. I really just looked at them on my shelves and painted now and again (still no battles).
Mortal realms! This was the start of something beautiful. I started up the Mortal Realms magazines and Warhammer was pouring in weekly, starting my love of the ghostly Nighthaunt. One thing led to another and before I knew it, I had a few armies.
Present-day, at the time of writing this I have currently
4-5k of Nighthaunt
4-5k of Nighthaunt
2-3k of Kruleboyz
2kish of Tzeentch
2k Thousand Sons
Plus pretty much all the Warhammer quests
Bit of a jump in 3 years?
I’ve been playing Age of Sigmar with friends for about 2 years now and absolutely love it. After dabbling with 40k before I got into the Mortal Realms (as I bought some Thousand Sons) I realised the AoS rules are far superior in every way, much easier to learn and just so much more streamlined.
With having so many armies you can imagine playing them all is hard, especially when I always gravitate back to Nighthaunt. I’ve barely played Tzeentch because when I had them they were meta and I didn’t want to take a meta army to play my friends, so they got shelved. I bought Kruleboyz because they looked utterly amazing and I’ve played them quite a few times but due to their mechanics, they are very hard to play.
So, for years I mainly played my close friend (shout out to Kieron Webber), he mains Stormcast and Sylvaneth which (unfortunately for me) are both absolute beasts against Nighthaunt. So for a long time, I pretty much lost every match I had, it even got to one point where I spat out my dummy and said I’m not playing Sylvaneth (bloody Kurnoths!)
We played many games of Nighthaunt vs Stormcast. These were fun close matches and really got into the late rounds, and both of us honed our craft and became better players.
Then AoS 3.0 hit, and all new rules to learn! This took some getting used to but we got there, still mainly playing different lists from night haunt and Stormcast both really enjoying it. Then the Stormcast tome hit.
My win rate became none existent and Nighthaunt just crumbled, so I changed to Kruleboyz for a bit, I absolute love-hate the army but they are so hard to play. I’ve won quite a few games and lost quite a few – I’ve found that if you don’t do mega damage first turn you are going to struggle.
I’m going to speed up a little now because if you’ve kept up this far you’re better than me, I fell asleep 20 mins back.
Kieron, his partner, my brother and I went to Warhammer one beautiful Friday for Kieron’s birthday. Best day I’ve had for years, I felt like a little boy going into Toys R Us for the first time. I was giddy all day, then I spotted Lumineth and fell in love and went home and bought a small army.
Which brings me to now! As a thank you for sticking with me this long, you can take a look at some of my ugly paintings. You’ll be seeing more of me soon, drop me a comment below if there’s anything you want to hear about!
Hello Woehammer readers (Woe-bros?), I’m Xander and I’m excited to be here!
I’m a competitive Age of Sigmar player, a narrative Warcry player and an average-at-best painter. My forces include Idoneth Deepkin, Gloomspite Gitz, Stormcast Eternals and Slaves to Darkness, with many other unfinished armies lurking on plastic sprues in my Hobby Closet of Shame. (On a related note, I’ve asked my day job if they can just send my pay check directly to Games Workshop every two weeks, as it would save everyone a lot of time.)
My goal here on Woehammer is to help new and aspiring players get into the game, and maybe give experienced players a few new ideas as well. The Warhammer hobby is deeply rewarding, but it’s also vast and difficult to wrap your head around. I want to help you cut through the confusion, get your pretty models on the table and start rolling some dice.
Like many Warhammer geeks, I became hooked on the hobby at a young age. I have fond memories of my brothers and I painting Warhammer Fantasy Lizardmen and Dark Elves in our parents’ garage, sweating in the summer heat as we hunched over lead-based pewter models that were, in all likelihood, slowly poisoning us.
When Age of Sigmar launched, I didn’t immediately jump on board. But I was intrigued. Blowing up the Old World? Golden-armored Stormcast fighting semi-naked dwarves inside volcanoes? Clearly something awesome was happening. But it wasn’t until the Idoneth Deepkin that I, ahem, took the plunge.
Once I saw those beautiful sea-aelves, I was hooked (sorry, I swear that’s the last fish pun). Since then it’s been a wild ride through Age of Sigmar, Warcry and even the Soulbound roleplaying game. With the launch of AoS third edition, I made a commitment to really learn the game and get into the competitive scene.
My first one-day event was last month. My first grand tournament is this weekend. And I’m taking Idoneth Deepkin.
I can’t wait to tell you all about it. In the meantime, check out this gallery of my Warhammer escapades.
At time of playing/writing, Custodes are yet to recieve their well deserved nerfs. This game was an exercise in trying to build a game that would be enjoyable for my opponent, by building weaknesses that he can attack and interact with into the army, without building a completely useless force that neither of us would enjoy. Sadly finding this middle ground is an exercise that I have had to repeat with some regularity lately. This author at least, is waiting for the promised balance dataslate with great hope and anticipation.
That said, going into this battle I set myself some army building ground rules to make sure my opponent has a fun game facing the horrendousness that is the current Custodes book. No Trajann, no bikes outside the single bike captain, and since I have no desire to see my mortal dependent Thousand Son’s opponent cry, no Emperor’s Chosen 4+++ vs mortals.
With that in mind, I built a joint Shadowkeepers and Sisters of Silence force. The further I got into building this list, the more the idea of a Witchseeker force thrown together for an expedition into Thousand Sons controlled space to recover a relic to serve the shadowy agenda of the Shadowkeeper Shield Captain started to appeal to me. So the narrative was born.
Leader of the Host: Eorl the Young, Shield Captain on Dawneagle Jetbike, titled the Lockwarden, of Superior Creation, carrying the Stasis Oubliette. Tip of the spear of the offensive against the witches.
Unstoppable Destroyer Fëanor, Shield Captain in the Praetorian Plate Terminator Armour, famed for his ironclad Impregnable Mind.
Knight Centura Elbereth, Mistress of Persecution, carrying the Excruciatus Flamer.
The Centura leads 5 prosecutors, 9 Witchseekers and an Anathema Psykana Rhino to the expeditionary force.
2 squads of Sagittarum Custodes, a lone Allarus Custodian, one squad of Venatari, one squad of Wardens of the Vaults make up the body of the host.
When word of the possible presence of Magnus reaches Eorl, he requests the honoured entombed to walk. 4 ancient names answers his call. Elendil and Isildur, Galatus pattern, and Gil-Galad and Elrohir, Achillus pattern will stride the witching world.
Responding to the hated presence of the null-maidens and the unwelcome tread of auric boots on the witching world, Magnus himself descends to the field.
From the mists rise 2 squads of 5 rubric marines and a squad of 10
2 squads of 5 Scarab Occult Terminators grind to their primarch’s side.
10 Tzaangors make their braying appearance
Ahriman and 2 sorcerers marshal the Rubricae.
We are playing mission 22 Conversion from the Nachmund 2022 mission pack.
Custodes: Assassinate, Stranglehold, Abhor the witch
We both deployed relatively conservatively, his Terminators and Rubrics in the North outside of the charge range of my dreadnoughts and the pistols of the Venatari. My Witchseekers and Knight Centura start in the rhino. My katah’s are Calistus, Dacatarai, Kaptaris. I won the roll off to go first.
In my command phase I activate the Calistus stance to roll 2D6 drop one for advances. I advance my single allarus terminator onto the middle objective, fly my venatari up to touch the north west objective and advance the other sagittarum squad into the ruins behind them. My south west saggitarum walk up to my home objective to draw a bead on the rubrics opposite. The dreadnoughts, wardens and prosecutors shuffle around so I can keep hiding some infantry pieces to throw out one per turn onto the centre. The achillus dreadnoughts draw lines of sight on the top Scarab squad. I position the north galatus slightly forward of the rest, so I have a closest dreadnought to eat the smites and hopefully absorb a bunch of hate with the 5++ vs mortals strat.
The witchseekers get out of the rhino, get a big six on their advance to flood his south eastern objective. I fully expect them to get slaughtered next turn, but they have 2 very important objectives. Kill the tzaangors to prevent my opponent from gumming up the centre, and shut down his banner. They set up at maximum distance from the Tzaangors, with the Centura right behind to provide her auras. After disembark I throw the rhino forward to hopefully touch the 10 man rubrics and force my opponent to divert some of his central units to deal with the sisters.
The witchseekers immolate the tzaangors utterly, and the Centura picks up 2 rubrics with her Excruciatus flamer. My southern Sagittarum account for one more. On the North Side my sagittarum, Galatus and 2 Achillus dreads manage to pick up 4 rubric marines and 2 scarab terminators. In the charge phase my rhino manages to touch his southern rubrics, and is slapped for 2 wounds as a reward.
In his turn my opponent brings Magnus and his sorcerers forward to deal with the dreadnoughts. I explain the Praetorian Plate counts-as-4-obsec-models-teleporting captain’s shenanigans, which leads to some deliberation on where he wants to commit. He ends up playing fairly cagey, not moving into the middle yet until he’s dealt with my dreadnoughts. Rubrics raise a banner on his home objective. He lines up his middle scarab squad to deal with the witchseekers, and positions Magnus and the 2 sorcerers with lines of sight to my dreadnoughts. I help him measure out to make sure no model is in range of more than 1 sister’s squad debuff, and he keeps his psychic interrogation sorcerer just outside of the terminator captain’s deny.
Now all set to smite the unworthy from his sight, he gets to work. The centre scarab terminators get +1 to hit, the north terminators get -1 to hit and a 4++ invulnerable save. The bottom rubrics smite a couple of wounds off of the rhino. The allarus terminator takes 2 wounds, and after spending a CP to give my Galatus a 5+++ against mortals, a deny on a low smite, and some (un)lucky rolls he takes 4 wounds, down to 5. He tears secrets from the mind of my bike captain for 3 points.
I was expecting to lose at least the Galatus dreadnought here, so I feel quite lucky thus far. He spends CP to power up his central terminators and take aim at the witchseekers. He hands me 9 5+ saves on my 9 sisters. I figure if I make even one or two and force him to commit a bit more here, that would be quite nice.
The rest of his shooting removes the allarus terminator on the central objective and knock another wound off my galatus, 4 remaining.
We both scored 2 on the mission, End of Turn 1, he got 3 on psychic interrogation, I got 3 on stranglehold.
Custodes 5: 5 Thousand Sons.
Time to roll the dice. I get my 8 on primary. I move out most of my forces into the open. If this turn flubs I’m going to be very exposed, smack bang in mortal range of a whole lot of hurt. He does not have whole lot of things standing between me and his characters, and if I get to them I can hopefully cripple his output. The three dreadnoughts in the middle charge forward, one of them getting reroll wounds of 1 from Wisdom of the Moritoi. My prosecutors move into the middle objective to get my stranglehold and to cover his whole northern force in the -1 psychic bubble. My shield captain moves as far forward as he can to give himself options into the characters if I manage to kill the scarabs. Northern sagittarum and Venatari moves into range of the scarabs. The southern Galatus moves forward to have something that can punch his final scarab squad next turn.
The scarabs evaporate in a storm of adrathic and kinetic destroyer fire straight through their layered defenses. The bike captain has free reign now, and puts 6 wounds onto his demon prince thanks to Lockwarden. In the south the knight centura picks up another 2 rubrics. I’m starting to suspect this flamer may actually be good.
The bike captain and the Galatus charges Ahriman, and he gets spitted immediately on the Interceptor lance. The Galatus consolidates into the foot sorcerer. I breathe an immense sigh of relief. Downing Ahriman is huge! I still have nightmares from a game with the 8th ed. Custodes dex, where Ahriman solo took down a full health Telemon straight through his 5++ vs mortals. Not this time Ahriman. This time you can sit down nerd.
I get my 3 stranglehold, 7 on abhor and 3 on assassinate. I’ve done a lot of damage, and taking down Ahriman (one of his main damage dealers) feels big. Now we just need to weather the storm.
He scores 8 on primary. He positions Magnus, the sorcerers and the demon prince to deal with the Galatus and bike captain. His centre scarabs walk up to kill the prosecutors and take the middle. He needs a big psychic phase here, and possibly a big melee phase. I fully expect to lose the captain and the galatus, and hopefully no more than one of the achillus to still be in good shape.
What follows is one of the worst psychic phases I have ever had the (mis)fortune to witness. Through cabal points and copious rerolls the man still managed to perils three times. Fortunately one was on Magnus, who cannot suffer perils of the warp. Between the prosecutors debuff, a very lucky 4+ deny and the impregnable mind captain flexing his rock hard brain, he only managed to reduce the bike captain to a single wound and the galatus to 2. The scarab terminators handily cleared the middle of prosecutors in a hail of inferno fire. (We later determined that he only managed to shoot a single soulreaper volley all game between the 4 guns in the list . He either killed his target with the bolters or lost the wielder before it got to shoot)
My knight centura finally succumbs to the rubrics in the south east.
Fight phase, make or break time.
Magnus charges the Galatus and the captain. The demon prince flies over the swirling melee to land behind the bike captain. The disc sorcerer lends his staff to finally killing the bike captain. Very unhappy with the shifting balance of power in the centre, the praetorian plate captain activates his teleporter to appear between the disc sorcerer and the demon prince.
The bike captain makes Magnus fight last. I’m hopeful of tanking the demon prince in the face, but I have no intention of losing the Galatus and the bike captain to a single model activating before either get to swing.
The demon prince roars and swings and falls flat on his ugly face against the combination of – 1 attack and only wounding on 4’s from arcane generic alchemy. Only 2 saves to make, and the bike captain has no intention of dying to some jumped up blue johnny. He swings back with half of his attacks (Conniving Plate says hi) and eviscerates the demon prince (turns out no invulnerable saves are very good against a 3++ for a turn. Who knew?). Magnus splits his attention between the Galatus and the captain. The captain finally goes down, but – 1 to hit from the Galatus shield, no rerolls from emperors auspice and a very lucky 4++ sees him shrug off the blade of Magnus. He only rolls a 1 on the extra mortals, and the Galatus lives on 1 wound. The sorcerer on disk swings and bounces of the Plate terminator captain. The Galatus puts all his attacks into the sorcerer he piled into the previous turn, reducing him to mist with 12 unsaved damage. The allarus captain decapitates the sorcerer on disk
End of the turn and all is dust. Unfortunately for my opponent, just not the kind that resides in gold and blue armour.
Somehow I ended up doing more damage to him on his own turn. Shadowkeepers are real good guys, especially if your opponent suddenly forgets how to do mortals with his psychic army.
I max out my abhor the witch in a single turn, go up to 12 on assassinate. My opponent got his 3 on psychic interrogation and 3 on stranglehold. We both got 2 on the mission. After the dust has settled (hehe) I scored 40 points this turn. Abhor the witch is totally a fair and balanced secondary, nothing to see here.
Custodes 45 : 22 Thousand sons
We roll out the fight vs Magnus and the terminators in the middle to see if any magic happen, but at this point the writing is on the wall. We both put our armies out there to go for the back breaking turn, but my back is only very lightly bruised.
Final score Custodes 100 : 62 Thousand Sons
Elrohir the Achillus puts his spear through the heart of the demon primarch, earning a name on his first outing as part of my army. The last scarabs are overwhelmed. The Shadowkeepers walk tactically victorious from the field, but with Eorl the Young severely wounded, and his entire sisters contingent dead, dying or otherwise incapacitated the Shield host’s strategic goals have been stymied. For now…