All posts by Brett Martin

I re-joined the hobby in 2020 like so many others, splitting a Tempest of Souls with my wife. To my surprise she took the Nighthaunt leaving me with Stormcast. Fast forward a couple of years I'm still adding to the 4k points I have trying to make them competitive. I jumped into 40k in 2021 and about to start my 3rd 40k army in the last year, this time Word Bearers. Currently I run Grey Knights in both 40k and Kill Team. Otherwise I'm in NSW and struggling to find time and budget while dealing with a young family. Who also have armies.

Top Three AoS Lists for the Sacramento GT

This is the Top Three AoS Lists for the Sacramento GT (Sacremento Slam) that took place in the USA on 27th and 28th July. It involved 12 players vying to be crowned champion in a 5 game tournament.

Before I jump into the Top Three AoS Lists, I wanted to remind everyone of our friendly Discord server where you can join in the conversation with the Woehammer crew and suggest articles or series for the website.

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Also if there’s a one day or two day tournament you’d like us to cover drop us a comment on this post and we’ll have a look at it for you.

The Top Three AoS Lists

Army Faction: Seraphon
Army Type: Coalesced
– Subfaction: Thunder Lizard
– Grand Strategy: No Place for the Weak
– Triumph: Inspired

Engine of the Gods (265)*
– Command Traits: Prime Warbeast
– Artefacts of Power: Arcane Tome
– Spells: Hand of Glory
– Prayers: Curse
Skink Priest (90)*
Prayers: Heal
Doralia ven Denst (115)*
Slann Starmaster (265)**
Artefacts of Power: Itxi Grubs
– Spells: Stellar Tempest
Stegadon with Skink Chief (305)**
Skystreak Bow
– Artefacts of Power: Fusil of Conflagration
– Mount Traits: Beastmaster
Saurus Astrolith Bearer (140)**

Saurus Guard (115)*
Saurus Knights (110)***
Stardrake Icon Bearer
– Wardrummer
– Celestite Warspear and Powerful Jaws
Stegadon (270)***
Skystreak Bow

Bastiladon with Solar Engine (250)

1 x Purple Sun of Shyish (70)

1 x Realmshaper Engine (0)

**Command Entourage – Magnificent
***Bounty Hunters

TOTAL POINTS: 1995/2000

Brett: All the big things Thunder Lizard list with minimum battleline. The Purple Sun to back up the Starmaster, this is more a combat list than casting after all. Just the 3 casts from the Starmaster, 1 from Arcane Tome and prayers from the Skink Priests (importantly they also have an unbind for Endless Spells). The Starmaster is casting at +1, +2 within 12″ of the Saurus Astrolith Bearer and most likely a +1 from the army. Doralia is along for her endless spell removal, the witch hunter is also very good at removing small casting heroes. A nice bonus with a lot of Nighthaunt lists around. 2 Stegadons, both crews are using the Skystreak Bow for a little 24″ shooting in addition to the Solar Engine (on Bastilidon). Great way to pressure all of the shorter range units.

3 Artefacts, from Warlord and Command Entourage. In series they create a wizard (Arcane Tome), heal and allow a recast (Itxi Grubs) and On top of the +1 to casting for coalesced the Battle Traits of Seraphon continue to be what makes the army so effective. -1 to incoming damage, an additional attacks for the Jaws, and summoning. 6 to 10 points are very easy to achieve each turn and give you the broadest range from Skinks, to Saurus (Guard or Knight) – screens and objective to a Salamander Hunting Pack for offense. Beastmaster on the Stegadon with Skink Chief in accordance with the Thunder Lizard mandatory requirements (+1 attack to the mounts weapon) is no penalty.

Overall Thunder Lizard continues to be successful because it’s a well rounded army with a lot of key abilities. Adding the Purple Sun (casting on a 5 most likely) just makes it that much more spicey and buffs all of the incoming attacks which is very useful to Seraphone (most of their attacks lack much rend). Since much of their damage is at range they avoid the issues with the Sun and can dispel it if it goes wild. John scored well through out and was the only undefeated entrant. Target priority would be hard to determine with this list and mortal wounds from ranged very useful to chip damage from it before closing. Most of his opponents were short on both shooting and mortals.


Army Faction: Daughters of Khaine
Army Subfaction: Zainthar Kai
– Grand Strategy: Bloodthirsty Zealots
– Triumphs: Bloodthirsty

1 x Hag Queen (110)*
Prayers: Sacrament of Blood, Curse
1 x Slaughter Queen (130)*
Prayers: Catechism of Murder, Sacrament of Blood
1 x Melusai Ironscale (115)***
– Command Traits: Zealous Orator
1 x Bloodwrack Medusa (130)***
Artefacts: Shadow Stone
– Spells: Mindrazor
1 x High Gladiatrix (90)***

5 x Blood Stalkers (180)*
5 x Blood Stalkers (180)*
10 x Blood Sisters (280)**
20 x Sisters of Slaughter (270)**
– 3 x Death Pennant Bearer
– 4 x Hornblower
– Kruiplash and Bladed Buckler
5 x Blood Sisters (140)**

1 x Avatar of Khaine (155)*

1 x Bloodwrack Viper (80)

1 x Heart of Fury (45)

5 x Khinerai Heartrenders (95)*

*Battle Regiment
**Bounty Hunters
***Command Entourage – Magnificent

TOTAL POINTS: (2000/2000)

Brett: Having the misfortune to run into John in round 3 ended David’s run then. With only the 10 x Blood Stalkers in 2 x 5 model units this list would struggle to tackle the Stegodons and Bastildons. That leaves their heroes which aren’t the best trading pieces outside of the High Gladiatrix. With 10 wounds on a 5+ save and a 6+ ward the 5 model units are very fragile. The same is true of the Blood Sisters, this list would be difficult to play unless you were prepared to lose one or more of those units a turn. Ranged is best because Zainthar Kai fight again on death.

2 Priests with 4 spells including Sacrement to advance the Blood Rights table, Curse (MW on a natural 6 to hit) and Catechism of Murder for exploding 6s. Only one wizard with a single cast, the Bloodwrack Viper might not be used a lot. Particularly with Mindrazor being so good. There heroes are mostly in place to buff the larger infantry units, advancing Blood Rites and improving damage dealing. The High Gladiatrix brings a interesting, if difficult to use, assassination ability.

Ultimately David was able to score well throughout, looking at the run through the tournament quite a few of the the lists were susceptible to the sort of pressure DoK are good at. It’s an interesting take on DoK with so many MSU blocks, it would be good to see more games with it.


Army Faction: Ossiarch Bonereapers
Subfaction: Petrifex Elite
– Grand Strategy: No Place for the Weak
– Triumph: Bloodthirsty

Arkhan the Black (340)
– Spells: Protection of Nagash
Mortisan Soulmason (115)
Artefacts of Power: Godbone Armour
– Spells: Mortal Contract

Kavalos Deathriders (190)
Mortek Hekatos
– Necrophoros
– Nadirite Blade and Shield
Mortek Guard (280)**
Mortek Hekatos
– Nadirite Blade and Shield
– 2 x Necrophoros
Mortek Guard (280)**
Mortek Hekatos
– Nadirite Blade and Shield
– 2 x Necrophoros

Morghast Harbingers (360)*
Spirit Halberd
Necropolis Stalkers (175)*
Necropolis Stalkers (175)*

1 x Purple Sun of Shyish (70)

1 x Bone-tithe Nexus (0)

*Bounty Hunters
**Expert Conquerors

TOTAL POINTS: 1985/2000

Brett: The current meta is wide open and there have been a few sightings of Ossiarch Bonereapers but they are still far from common, 3rd is a strong effort going 3/5 losing to 1st and 2nd in the final 2 rounds. A pretty traditional Ossiarch list, with Arkhan the Black and a Soulmason as the only heros. The points are tied to the Battleline (Mortek Guard are beefy and dear) with a large unit of Harbingers in bounty hunters to punish the unwary. 5 spells base but Arkhan has additional spells as well as buffs to casting on a degrading profile from his staff. Arkhan is the natural choice for Purple Sun (casting on a 6 for him). He is also a solid combat hero but you don’t want to get him into combat too early due to his casting.

The Soulmason offers re-roll hit rolls of 1, he has an ability where at the end of the hero phase he could apply it to up to D3 models which is a good reason to have him. The points saved on heroes have gone to the combat units, 2 x 20 Mortek Guard (40 wounds) and the reinforced Harbingers (4). Harbingers are very dear, they have a great stat-line but are pretty expensive per wound. Deathriders (and the Harbingers) for some mobility. Again there are a few MSU in the list that are vulnerable to being pickup relatively easily. The idea behind the list is pretty simple, the Mortek Guard camp objectives and you try to bait your opponent into you. They have a 4+ save and 6+ ward but most units have a movement of 4″ to 6″. They are vulnerable to shooting (as happened here).

Scott did see off a few of the meta’s current stars in the first 3 rounds. This list does give you quite a few options and at least some units that can seek to go wide if needed.


Army Faction: Hedonites of Slaanesh
Army Type: Invaders
– Subfaction: The Lurid Haze
– Grand Strategy: Take What’s Theirs
– Triumph: Bloodthirsty

Sigvald (205)*
Keeper of Secrets (400)*
– Command Traits: Feverish Anticipation
– Sinistrous Hand
– Spells: Slothful Stupor
Synessa (260)**
– Spells: Born of Damnation
Soulfeaster Keepers of Secrets (385)**
Artefacts of Power: Oil of Exultation
– Spells: Progeny of Damnation
Infernal Enrapturess (130)**

Blissbarb Archers (140)*
Hellstriders with Hellscourges (135)*
Blissbarb Archers (140)**
Hellstriders with Hellscourges (135)**

1 x Purple Sun of Shyish (70)

1 x Fane of Slaanesh (0)

*Battle Regiment
**Battle Regiment

TOTAL POINTS: 2000/2000

Brett: Double Keeper of Secrets in a 2 drop list with Synessa (for her wonderful gaze) and a Purple Sun just to make your opponent’s life difficult. But wait there’s more – in a spell heavy meta let’s introduce a character that forces opposing Wizards within 24″ to reroll successful casts and cause them D3 mortal wounds every time they cast a double. I give you the Infernal Enrapturess. Like Tzeentch, Slaanesh armies usually have a reasonable number of casts, 5 this time, and an extra dispel from the Enrapturess. Invaders allow up to 3 generals in the army (for command point and command purposes), only 2 are listed for this army though.

Feverish Anticipation (re-roll run rolls within 12″) from the mandatory requirements for Lurid Haze. Healing spell (Progeny of Damnation), turn off command abilities (Slothful Stupor) and hero heals (Born of Damnation). Sigvald is as always a swingy combat hero, the number of attacks determined by his charge roll and +3 to charge. He normally picks up something important. Neither Keeper of Secrets is a combat powerhouse (but they aren’t weak either) at least compared to other Greater Demons. The Soulfeaster is a forgeworld variant that loses the potential for a ranged weapon and has an intriguing warscroll ability. You offer your opponent to allow a hero to accept temptation. If they refuse, they take D3 mortal wounds. If they accept then they have 1 more attack this round, at the start of the next combat phase they roll a dice, 4-6 they are slain.

The battleline units are both thin and slightly fragile (as are the heroes for the most part). That allows Depravity Points to accumulate quickly though, Slaanesh relies on speed an summoning to overwhelm you. Shutting it down against invaders is tough with multiple generals and in this case multiple Keepers of Secret to play around. And a Purple Sun just to make life harder (the -1 to saves is pretty strong).Special mention to Synessa’s Staff, D3 if you make a save, D6 if you fail, you are only safe on a 6. Always an interesting army to play, their speed means it’s hard to prevent scoring but their fragility means you can score well into them.

Final Tournament Placings

Hobby – What did I get up to in July (Winter)?


This year so far I’ve been concentrating on my Grey Knights (40k) which I only started in January. Having reached about 3500 points and taken them to their first tournament on top of their successful crusade campaign I’ve had time to return to AoS. My first army in Warhammer was and is Stormcast Eternals, this month has seen a return to painting and preparing models for the first time in a while. I also took some time to start my 3rd 40k army and add to my Kill Team collection.

The forces of Sigmar preparing for battle

Tournament Action (40k)

Very early in the in the month I attended a local 2 day 40k tournament with 36 players. I took a Paladin centric Grey Knight list and went 3/5 losing my first and second games. I put most of that down to lack of practice – I’d only ever run my paladins in a crusade game which was TTS I think.

Grey Knight Tournament Army

Strong points were the interceptors and Draigo. Dreadknights continue to disappoint. I love the way that Grey Knights are active in all phases and Interceptors speed. With the tournament done I’ve pretty much completed my army, just one Rhino I’d like to add. And maybe a Land Raider in the future. I would still like to run a list with a Land Raider full of Purifiers for the laughs.

Rise of Sigmar

After the tournament the crusade I’ve been part of since the start of the year took a break. That gave me time to seek out a few games of AoS. At the same time a club not far from me (Borderline Gaming) set up a TTS tournament. It’s not the same as face to face of course but you do still get a few good games and always learn something.

So far I’ve had 3 games and lost all badly, 2 with Sigmarines and 1 with Ironjawz. To cap that of I managed 2 face to face games, losing one and winning the other (yesterday as I write this). I was running Stormcast Eternals in both games. Following the loss I decided to make some major changes, I wanted dragons and Paladins. Problem was that I hadn’t built/painted them.

My Annhilators with Grandhammers were assembled and I had started the gold on them that’s it. I wasn’t even sure where my box of dragons was (I bought them on release and parked them, I want at least another 2 but they have been out of stock for so long.


So I’d given myself a week to assemble 2 dragons and paint them and 6 Annihilators. Then I realised that where I thought I had 6 Retributors I only had the 3 I’d gotten from Ebay. Almost 2 years ago I bought the Thunderstrike Brotherhood start collecting and promptly built the Lord Relictor (the only way to get the kit) and for some reason lost in the mists of time, 2 Liberators. I tracked it down and built the 3 Retributors. Now I had 6 Annhilators, 3 Retributors and 2 Storm Drakes to paint or build and paint in a week.

Hi tech equipment (rattle cans are go)
Only Retributors left to paint (ignoring the dragons)

I didn’t quite get there as you can see below. All of them made it to the game but I may have broken my rule about painted models.

My almost painted army – the Retributors are in the middle and the naked, wingless Drakes at the back

All of this diverted me from finishing my Ironjawz. I am painting 3 more Gore Gruntas, a Shaman and 2 Warchanters with 5 Brutes to assemble. They’ve been sitting on my table staring at me for 3 weeks with their bad Zenithal prime. They were waiting for the new Citadel paints, then paladin painting and now the dragons. But it’s a new month so there is hope.

The poor poor Ironjawz, prepped and waiting (the Lord Castellant was painted that week)

Warhammer 40k

Finishing my Grey Knights early in the month also coincided with the release of Chaos Space Marines. I’ve been patiently building my collection from the start of the year starting with some 2nd hand models. I bought an ultrasonic cleaner to strip them and have stripped most of the army. A few models were added, like the Dark Apostle (from the Combat Patrol) and a Master of Possession (Start Collecting).

Word Bearers are my next army and I painted my first 3 HQs in July. Word Bearers is close enough to Red Corsairs that I can run them as that as well. I might be thinking about a very fast list as well.

Dark Apostle, Master of Possession and a Sorcerer looking for Space Marines

On top of that I’ve also begun assembling some more Salamanders for my son to paint, Tyranids for my daughter and been dabbling in Kill Team 2.0. More on Kill Team in the future but I have full rosters for Grey Knights, Legionaries, Novitiates (Battle Sisters) and Harlequins.

What’s next?

Having started on my Word Bearers/Red Corsairs I’m also looking for my next Age of Sigmar army, I have finished my Stormcast (mostly) and my Ironjawz. I know from 40k that I want mobility and activity in most phases. I have some Slaves to Darkness and Chaos bits and pieces lying around. Oh and a Nighthaunt army I dare not assemble ahead of a house move. I’m also happy to go in a completely different direction, even elves, do I hear the calling of the sea? I’d would really like to hear other ideas and about what armies work for you.

Vanguard: Nighthaunt – Beginners 1,000 Point Army

Nighthaunt – the true children of Nagash

Have you felt the chill of the grave rising through a faint mist? You enjoy painting pale figures stalking out of the horizon and falling on your enemy like the tide? Or have you read the lore and know that Nagash is the true inheritor of the World that Was and you want to join the right team? Have you decided it is time to up your miniature storage game?

Even before the release of the new battle tome we were seeing a small resurgence including a top 10 at LVO for the Nighthaunt. A faithful band of followers, leavened with new recruits, has kept the faction alive in the competitive scene. With a new tome, and the move to smaller hero based armies, it’s perhaps one of the best times to start Nighthaunt.

When they were first introduced the Nighthaunt were competitive but they faded a little with the arrival of the Elves (Daughters of Khaine, Idoneth and finally Lumineth). As an army they reward considered play and take a little bit to get the best from. Nighthaunt suits a player that is willing to take their time and wants to make the most of their opponents’ mistakes.

AoS 3.0 and the new battle tome sees a major change in their play style but they retain their mobility which is one of the best reasons to play them. They also have access to and strong synergy with possibly, at least in my opinion, the most interesting model in the game – Nagash.

The Nighthaunt Vanguard set makes it easy to get into the army and gives you a reasonable starting position.

Let’s look at building a 1000 point list from the Vanguard:Nighthaunt set.

The List

Allegiance: Nighthaunt

– Procession: Emerald Host

– Mortal Realm: Ghur

– Grand Strategy: Hold the Line

Triumphs: Bloodthirsty

Knight of Shrouds (135)*

– General

– Command Trait: Ruler of the Spirit Hosts

– Artefact: Pendant of the Fell Wind

Reikenor the Grimhailer (190)*

– Lore of the Underworlds: Shademist

20 x Chainrasps (220)*

– Reinforced x 1

10 x Grimghast Reapers (165)*

10 x Grimghast Reapers (165)*

3 x Spirit Hosts (125)*

*Battle Regiment

Total: 1000 / 1000

Reinforced Units: 1 / 2

Allies: 0 / 200

Wounds: 61

Drops: 1

The Cost

Reiknor the Grimhailer£26$42€34$55
Grimghast Reapers£60$100€80$77
Battletome: Nighthaunt£32.50$55€42.50$84

With typical game store discounts (15% to 20%) this would reduce to between AUD$338 to AUD$353.

Key Units

I’ve used the full Vanguard box including the Knight of Shrouds. This creates some issues with the choice of small heroes, for a 1000 point list I would normally prefer to use a Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed and a Guardian of Souls. Instead I’ve used Reiknor to provide some mobile threat and casting with the Knight of Shrouds.

The first key unit though isn’t a unit, the Procession, Emerald Host, will get a lot of work done for us through the Emerald Curse

The Emerald Curse

After armies have been set up but before the first battle round you can pick D3+1 units on the battlefield. At the end of each battle round you roll a dice for each unit you picked, on a 2+ it suffers D3 mortal wounds (D3+1 for monsters)

That’s at least 8 free wounds per game (on average) and potentially many more. The curse could easily clear a battleline unit per game.

Knight of Shrouds

Our General in life and now in death, chosen today because Reiknor can’t take a command trait and for Nighthaunt one trait is very important – Ruler of the Spirit Hosts. This brings half of a destroyed unit back once per game which can be helpful with the 4+ save (and 6+ ward) most of your 1 wound units have. Unfortunately while he’s effective in combat his warscroll abilities are not useful in our list. The Spectral Overseer ability allows a unit to Redeploy or Unleash Hell without using a command point. We have one shooting unit and it’s not in this list. He does have an ability to allow successive activation in the fight phase which can be useful. Otherwise he brings 5 attacks hitting and wounding on 3s with -1 rend and 2 damage. 

WeaponNo. of AttacksAvg HitsAvg WoundsAvg Damage 
Sword of Stolen Hours53.3333.05*6.11
*Includes auto-wound on 6 effects

Reiknor the Grimhailer

With lots of choices for heroes I’ve used Reiknor, who is a bit expensive at 190 points, because he gives some mobility and is a wizard with combat capability. To get value from him you will need to use him in combat but with only 7 wounds and a 4+ save he can be pretty squishy even with a 6+ ward. He needs to be accompanied by the Spirit Host for their “bodyguard” ability which restricts him to an 8” move. So what does he bring? His combat skills first:

WeaponNo. of AttacksAvg HitsAvg WoundsAvg Damage 
*Includes auto-wound on 6 effects

As a wizard he may cast one spell and deny one spell. I’ve given him Shademist which has a casting value (CV) of 6 and allows him to grant a friendly unit within 12” -1 to incoming wound rolls. He can place this on himself. He also brings special ability to improve his casting (Corpse Candle) and a warscroll spell (Wraithstorm).

Corpse Candle

In your hero phase, before this unit attempts to cast a spell, you can say that you will snuff out a corpse candle. If you do so, pick either this unit or 1 enemy unit within 12” of this unit. The unit you picked suffers 1 MW. If the MW was suffered by an enemy unit, add 1 to the casting rol. If the MW was suffered by this unit, add 3 to the casting spell.


A spell with a casting value of 7 and a range of 12”. If successfully cast, pick 11 enemy unit within range and visible to the caster. That unit suffers D3 MW, if any models are slain that unit immediately suffers an additional D3 MW.

Corpse candle is extremely useful, easily reducing Shademist to a CV of 5 (>60% success rate) as well as inflicting a MW. The other profile is more situational but if you used Corpse Candle and then Wraithstorm, Wraithstorm would go off on a 4 (>75% success). Wraithstorm is situational though but a good way of chipping a hero or potentially clearing a small screen. To get both damage rolls the best targets are single wound models but a single D3 is still stronger than Arcane Bolt.




Our big block of ghosts with attitude, there is nothing subtle or amazing here. They all have 1 wound, a 5+ Save (and 6+ Ward), hit on 4s, wound on 4s and do one damage. But they can also be brought back to life by our heroes. On the charge they add one to wound rolls. What does this all mean (if they can all hit the same target). And they autowound on 6s.

WeaponNo. of AttacksAvg HitsAvg WoundsAvg Damage 
Malignant Weapon* 4122.772222
*With all-out attack and a charge, +1 to hit and +1 to wound.

You might not get the whole block of 20 into the same target but they are capable of overwhelming a lot of threats. The autowound on 6s means more than 6 wounds on average which increases the number of wounds significantly. The Nighthaunt Ethereal ability (that grants the 6+ ward) lets them fall back and charge every turn. It’s easy to make them wound on a 3+.

The downside is that they have no save against -2 Rend or better, realistically a charging Fulminator could remove the unit in one round.

Grimghast Reapers

Our hammer units in this list with their Rend – 1 weapons and their 3 attacks so long as there are more than 5 models in each unit. Run here as smaller 10 model units to give operational flexibility, it is always worthwhile to have the Death Knell in the unit.

WeaponNo. of AttacksAvg HitsAvg WoundsAvg Damage (pre-saves)
Slasher Scythe and Death Knell3012.513.3314

The Death Knell would be a lot better with flat damage rather than D3 but it still contributes reasonable damage. Against a 2+ save (-1 Rend makes this 3+) the unit will still do 4.66 damage and are threatening against a lot of armies. Unfortunately they can be removed if they are left exposed without Shademist or All out Defence.


Spirit Hosts

They have an incredible 6 attacks each, in this list they are here mostly to hold backline objectives or, when required to act as bodyguards (their new ability lets them take a wound for a hero within 3” on a 3+ in place of the heroes ward save). The downside is no rend and only one damage per wound but they still autowound on 6s.

WeaponNo. of AttacksAvg HitsAvg WoundsAvg Damage (pre-saves)
Spectral Claws and Daggers187.53.75+36.75

Concept of Operations

This list is meant to be straightforward and adaptable. Everything is in a battle regiment to give control of priority, however there is an option to place 3 of the battle line infantry into Expert Conquerors and the remainder into a Battle Regiment. Expert Conquerors makes the infantry count as 3 models on objectives – the Chainrasp would count as 60 models. Our Preference is to go second to make your opponent come to you (keep out of line of sight if they have shooting) and hopefully get the double turn. You can also redeploy up to 3 units via Vanishing Phantasms into reserve before the start of combat and then set them up in ambush (9” from the enemy). 

Then buff the Chainrasps and use them to dominate the centre of the field (or anywhere else).. I mean grant them All out Attack, with a CP, from the Knight of Shrouds and make sure they charge or fallback and charge each turn. In activation, from the second round onwards start fighting with your Knight of Shrouds to take advantage of the double activation (your Knight fights and then one of other units immediately – normally the Chainrasps). If you have Grimghast Reapers in range they are a better recipient of AoA and the immediate activation.

Within this list the Spirit Hosts are mostly intended to provide a Bodyguard role to Reiknor but they are also available to take objectives in the rear. This list is vulnerable to shooting (a weakness of nighthaunt) especially Vanguard-Raptors. If they are present try to make sure that at least some of the Chainrasps are not visible and then remove the visible models first. This way you can still return models with the Spirit and Guardian.

In summary this is just a sample of what you could do, from the Vanguard: Nighthaunt box set. I would prefer to replace the HQs with a Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed and a Guardian of Souls for their warscroll abilities and bringing our Triumph into play (975 of a 1000 points). The biggest advantage of the Guardian is his ability to return models which transforms this list into a very frustrating defensive list with bite.

Next Steps

The easiest way to bring this list to 2000 points is to add Nagash, God of the Unquiet Dead. This takes the list to 1955 but you do lose the one drop Battle Regiment. Ideally you’d remove the Spirit Torment (it’s roll is replaced by Nagash) and either have 2 units of 20 Chaingasts and add some Craventhrone Guard or Hexwraiths. You could reinforce the Spirit Hosts into a unit of 6 then.

Alternatively play into the small heroes and bring in Lady Olynder and the Krulghast Cruciator along with the Black Coach for some more punch. I would still look to move to 2 units of Chainrasp and a unit of 6 Spirit Hosts to meet battleline requirements. Myrmourn Banshees and Bladeghast Revenants have done well in the new book and can be useful additions.

Bonus List – Arena of Shades

I started writing using the Arena of Shades box set but I wasn’t happy with the list but I’ve since found synergies that make could make it work really well so as a bonus for anyone still reading I’ve included the list: 

Allegiance: Nighthaunt

– Procession: Scarlet Doom

– Mortal Realm: Ghur

– Grand Strategy: Hold the Line

Triumphs: Bloodthirsty

Scriptor Mortis (155)*

Spirit Torment (115)*

Guardian of Souls (150)*


Command Trait: Ruler of the Spirit Hosts

Artefact: Cloak of the Waxing Moon

Lore of the Underworlds: Shademist

10 x Bladegheist Revenants (175)*

10 x Bladegheist Revenants (175)*

5 x Craventhrone Guard (115)*

4 x Myrmourn Banshees (105)*

*Battle Regiment

Total: 990 / 1000

Reinforced Units: 0 / 2

Allies: 0 / 200

Wounds: 45

Drops: 1

The Cost

Arena of Shades$320
Guardian of Souls*$35+10
Bladegheist Revenants$77
Battletome: Nighthaunt$84

As always, look for discounts.

This list is a lot more fragile but also a lot more aggressive. The Scriptor Mortis is a very interesting model with the ability to make life very difficult for smaller support heroes or even monsters by stripping wounds in every round. Scarlet Doom applies mortal wounds on the charge, and you can fall back and charge every round. You can have one unit of Bladegheist hitting and wounding on 2+ with 3 attacks each. The Craventhorne Guard’s shooting might seem a bit underwhelming until you remember that they may be put in reserve and return in an ambush position within 9” of an enemy and they may shoot through cover. That is you can put them in an obscured position and fire away.

As always I’d love to see how you plan to use Nighthaunt, will you be grabbing some of the new models (Awlach or the Scriptor) or building lists from what you already have. 

Vanguard: Nighthaunt – Is it Worth it?

Nighthaunt: Vanguard – First Impressions Review

On the weekend Games Workshop finally announced new Vanguard sets, 3 in total, Skaven, Daughters of Khaine and Nighthaunt. Ahead of the weekend pre-orders, we at Woehammer thought reviewing it would be a good idea and spent some time deciding if it offered a good way to begin a Nighthaunt army.

What’s in the box?

LeaderKnight of Shrouds
Battleline20 x Chainrasps
Battleline10 x Grimghast Reapers
Battleline3 x Spirit Hosts
Vanguard: Nighthaunt

34 Miniatures with one small Hero (HQ), and 33 melee troops all of which are battleline coming to a total of 645 points.

Purchased individually these models would be AUD$320 without discount, and all indications are that it will be priced at AUD$190, which makes it great value.

Knight of Shrouds£21$35€27$55
Grimghast Reapers£30$50€40$77
Spirit Hosts£18$32€23$48
Vanguard: Nighthaunt£80$130€105$190

This set has the battlelines to meet requirements for 750, 1000 or 2000 point games (not recommended) and best of all you could buy multiple copies. Except for the Knight of Shrouds these are staple units you would see in many competitive lists.

With the Chainrasps to act as anvil and the Grimghast to provide the hammer the 2 work well together and also compliment the Knight of Shrouds ability to allow sequential activation. Combined with Nighthaunt’s allegiance ability to fall back and charge every turn it’s very easy to supercharge the Grimghast with a 3rd attack creating a serious threat.

The Spirit Host offer good value through their number of attacks, 6s autowound for Nighthaunt giving 3 autowounds per attack on average. They also serve as a bodyguard granting a hero within 3” a 3+ ward with the Spirit Hosts taking the damage. This is essential if you are going to use the Knight of Shrouds ability

The choice of hero for the box is the biggest issue. The Knight of Shrouds abilities don’t really work well with the other units, his warscroll includes free Redeploy and Unleash Hell. For an army with almost no ranged damage. Nighthaunt live and die with their wizards and the Guardian of Souls would have been a better choice. His mounted brother, the Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed, is superior; granting an All out Attack for free. Compared to the Grey Seer included in the Vanguard:Skaven set it seems like a weaker choice.

Other criticism are minor, the units are more old school Nighthaunt and really only work well in 2 processions (Sub factions) – Emerald Host and Grieving Legion. Bladegheist Revenants would have had more options than the Grimghast. None of the new scuplts (Craventhrone Guard, Scriptor Mortis or Awlach the Drowner) are included and as a direct match up, it is weaker than the other Vanguard boxes released on the same schedule. That said this box is more of an option for multiple copies than the other 2 (although 2 Warpfire Cannons might not be terrible).

Overall this is a solid basis for a Nighthaunt Army. All it needs is your choice of heroes and it’s time to assert Nagash’s claim to the realm.

Stormcast Eternals – Beginners 1000 Point Army

Are you a long time 40k Space Marine pilot looking for a new, but familiar, challenge or someone that likes being good at everything but not spectacular? Do you long to be the bedrock on which a new world is built?

If the answer is yes then I have the solution for you. And it involves a lot of gold.

Stormcast Eternals (SCE)

These returning heroes have everything, stalwart infantry, Heroes that not only buff but also slap pretty hard, mortal wound shooting and if you want cavalry then they do it right – with dragons.

I am going to run you through a few options to get started in the faction and give you a solid base for a competitive army. SCE start collecting boxes are out of print now, they were the SCE half of the starter kits in 1st and then 2nd edition. But they are one half of the current AoS Starter sets and we will be looking at a list built from the Extremis or Harbinger Starter Sets. These lists are intended to be competitive but might not quite reach the top table. I won’t be featuring Vanguard Raptors, Fulminators or Storm Drakes. Or not yet (read to the end).

There are a lot of avenues to collect SCE models, they have been one half of the starter sets for all three (3) editions of Age of Sigmar (AoS) and featured in the Moral Realm magazine. They have the largest model range in AoS and can be allied into all order armies or take allies from all order armies.

Warhammer AoS Extremis or Harbinger Starter Sets

The Harbringer Set

The current AoS starter sets offer 2 armies, SCE and Kruleboyz Orcs as well as a core rule book and a special campaign book. The Extremis set adds some useful Terrain pieces. For SCE the set provides:

LeaderLord Imperitant with Gryph hound
Battleline5 x Vindictors
Praetors3 x Praetors
Extremis/Harbinger Stormcast Eternals

The List

Allegiance: Stormcast Eternals
Stormhost: Hammers of Sigmar (Scions of the Storm)
– Mortal Realm: Ghur
– Grand Strategy: Hold the Line
– Triumphs:

Lord-Castellant (155)*
Lord-Imperatant (175)*
– Command Trait: Shock and Awe
– Artefact: Arcane Tome
– Spell: Celestial Blades

5 x Vindictors (130)*
5 x Vindictors (130)**
3 x Annihilators with Meteoric Grandhammers (240)**
3 x Praetors (165)*

*Battle Regiment
**Hunters of the Heartlands

The Cost

To create this list I’ll start with the Harbinger set and a Warcry: Thunderstrike Stormcast Eternals. This great value box provides both a second set of Vindicators and our Annihilators. You’ll also need a Battletome. The prices by region are shown below;

Harbinger Starter Set$120$99€80£65
Lord Castellant$65$38€31.50£24
Warcry: Thunderstrike Stormcast Eternals$98$60€50£37.50
Battletome: Stormcast Eternals$84$55€42.50£32.50

As always third party stores offer between 15% and 20% discount, which could reduce this to about $306 AUD.

(If you’re in the UK you could sign up to SCN Hobby World’s mailing list and receive 25% off the RRP – Peter)

Key Units

Lord Imperatant

Source: Games Workshop

Say hello to our General, the Lord Imperatant. While no slouch in combat he isn’t here for his combat ability so we’ve given him the Arcane Tome making him a wizard able to cast one spell and unbind an opponent’s spell. We’ve given him the spell Celestial Blades which casts on a 5 and gives a unit of your choice within 18” +1 to wound rolls. This means he can make Praetors or Vindictors hit on a 2+. But his best trick is his warscroll ability, Guided by Lighting

Guided by Lightning

Once per turn, at the end of your movement phase, pick 1 friendly STORMCAST ETERNALS THUNDERSTRIKE unit with a Wounds characteristic of 3 or less that is in reserve. When you use the Scions of the Storm ability they may be set up more than 7” rather than 9” from enemy models.

Your whole list, other than the Lord Castellant, are Thunderstrike.

He can also issue a command without using a command point once per battle on top of a handy little shooting attack and his companion animal.

Lord Castellant

Source: Games Workshop

Our second in command, he brings significant combat prowess (and a friendly gryph hound) but mostly he’s here for his Lantern. 

Warding Lantern

In your hero phase either pick one STORMCAST ETERNALS unit wholly within 18” granting them a +1 to save rolls; or an enemy unity wholly within 18”, if you pick an enemy unit roll a dice, on a 2+ the target suffers D3 mortal wounds.

Drop him behind your Annihilators and they will be very annoying with a 2+ save.

Vindictors (Battleline)

Source: Games Workshop

Your basic 2 wound troop with a nifty spear giving them a 2” range and a 3+ save. They’ll lurk at the back or can be dropped in close to an enemy thanks to the Guided by Lightning. They have 2 attacks each, 3 for the sergeant (Prime), doing a Mortal Wound on an unmodified roll of 6. On average then you can expect:

WeaponNo. of AttacksAvg HitsAvg WoundsAvg Damage (pre-saves)
(+1.8 MW)
(+1.8 MW)

With Celestial Blades this increases to 4 wounds plus the mortal wounds. This is equivalent to 2 ardboyz after saves. 

Annihilators with Meteoric Grandhammers

Source: Games Workshop

Finally our hammer unit, these beasts cause mortal wounds when they land, charge and even die. And they hit very hard. WIth the Lord Imperatant on the Field you can place them just over 7” from an enemy unit and they can reroll the charge giving them an almost ⅔ chance of making the charge.

With the Lord Castellant to support them you can improve their Save to 2+ with 3 wounds making them much harder to remove. Shock and Awe also gives them +1 to their hit rolls when on the turn they arrive in and they are -2 rend. So if they make the charge:

WeaponNo. of AttacksAvg HitsAvg WoundsAvg Damage (pre-saves)
Meteoric Grandhammer108.36.920.8

With their arrival and charge contributing another 5 Mortal Wounds.

Used carefully this is something your opponent is going to have to play around. They can potentially delete a Mawcrusha in a round.


Source: Games Workshop

Probably my favourite model of the new Thunderstrike line these are meant to be a bodyguard unit but it is a unique version of bodyguard. At the start of the battle you nominate a unit that they will protect. Everytime a wound would be taken by the unit they are protecting you roll a dice, on a 1 or 2 the wound goes through to the Hero they are protecting, 3 or 4 to the Praetors and on a 5 or 6 it is negated.

They are no slouches in combat either with a combined 10 attacks hitting and wounding on 3s and doing 2 wounds for a successful attack.

Concept of Operations

Our list is not an alpha strike monster, instead it allows you to control the board and make your opponent play to your strengths. There are 3 key feature that make the list harder to deal with and you need to keep in mind.

  • Hammers of Sigmar have a 6+ Ward save if they are near an objective
  • Scions of the Storm lets you place units in reserve and bring them on to the table at the end of any of your movement phases (so Turn 1).
  • Thunderstrike units inflict mortal wounds on death – for every wound killed in that Turn they roll a dice, on a 6+ that inflicts a mortal wound – a real kill me and I’ll hurt you.

For Scions of the Storm you need to have one unit on the field for every unit you put into reserve. And the Lord Imperatant must be on the field for Guided by Lightning to work. The ideal set up then is to start with one unit of Vindicators, Praetors and the Lord Imperatant on the field. The Annihilators, Lord Castellan and other Vindicators are deployed in reserves.

Set the units on the field up in cover and play to go second, your ideal start would see your opponent look to engage you and let you choose a unit to drop the Annihilators near and destroy. The Lord Castellan is there to give the Annihilators a +1 save just in case. You then have the 2nd Vindictors to drop in another round, they can’t reroll but they can still start just outside 7” from an enemy. Don’t drop them too early though – the value of the Annihilators and Vindictors increases the longer the game goes.

I would use the Lord Imperatant and the Praetors to cover one objective with the Praetors covering the Lord and the Vindictors another depending on the mission. If it was a 3 or 4 objective mission I would put all of them on the home objective. 

Overall this is a flexible list that lets you get to the table with an effective force while you only need to build 18 models.

Next Steps

SCE are in a good place at the moment so you have a few options to build your list into a solid 2000 point. Another Warcry kit combined with vanguard raptors and a Knight Relictor gives you a straight forward 1985 list build on this base. But taking those same Vanguard Raptors and adding some Stormdrakes (2) or Fulminators (4) gives you a lot of mobility. If you are worried about the extra VP from the Fulminators then run them as Desolators.   Lastly, there is a potentially cheaper option. AoS 3.0 was introduced with the Dominion Battlebox, this set included the same units as the Starter Sets we’ve looked at with more heroes, Vindicators and Annihilators. All up this box has 1415 points. If you look carefully you should be able to find an unsold kit or at the very least a Stormcast half and it offers a very affordable way to begin.