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Armies of the Mortarchs

Discussion in 'The Teachings of Abhorash' started by Mioum, Jul 17, 2015.

  1. Mioum

    Mioum Crypt Horror

    Jul 3, 2010
    Hey everyone!

    With the other topic about creating the four missing Mortarchs with regular characters, I'm curious about what kind of army each Mortarch would command. Some have obvious theme, others would be more generic, but it would be cool if all of them have a little something to go with them.

    I'm not looking for a complete list (though feel free to do so if you wish!), but more a general feel of the army. Using the Undead Legion list is ideal so we can mix and match. Any idea for count-as to fit a theme is also welcome (example; this model would fit perfectly as a Tomb Scorpion in a pirate list for Luthor Harkon!)

    Here's an easy one to start;

    Krell, Mortarch of Despair

    Krell army would be an elite one, using Skeletons as core and maybe some TK Horsemen, and Grave Guards and Black Knights as special to represent his Doomed Legion.
  2. Malisteen

    Malisteen Master Necromancer True Blood

    Sep 23, 2009
    In part, this depends on timing, but assuming a roughly middlish end times setting (ie, Nagash is back, the mortarchs ARE mortarchs, etc)

    Arkhan: Morghasts definitely, plus a TK heavy mix of VC and TK stuff, leaning towards the dry (skeletons, archers, skeletal horse/chariots, tomb guard, catapault) and the ghostly (spirit hosts, wraiths, hexwraiths). Backup casters more likely to be liche priests than necromancers, fighty sub-heros more likely to be tomb princes than wight kings. Maybe some statue stuff - particularly heirotitans, ushabti, scorpions, and necrosphinxes. Stalkers / snake riders also seem fitting. Magic heavy, with lich priests. Casting support from casket and titan rather than mortis engines or corpse carts. Morghasts take the roll of casting support in AoS, since titans don't exist, caskets don't benefit arkhan (though you might take one anyway if you have 2 or more priests), and the mortis engine still doesn't strike me as an ideal thematic fit. In 8th, lean on Undeath, TK, and Death lores, in AoS, summoning heavy. Minimal vampires or zombieish / fleshy undead, though the TK vultures fit well enough, as do zombies raised from the fallen during the game. Nagash-worshipping ghoul cults can also fit if he's marching out of Nagashizar.

    Neferata: vampire heavy in the heroes section with a focus on lahmianesque upgrades (quickblood, etc), particularly use of the coven throne. Blood knights out of rare to represent seduced/turned heroes and warriors of other races. No varghulfs/vargheists, though. The rest a TK heavy mix of VC and TK stuff, leaning towards the clean/dry end. Tomb Guard rather than Grave Guard. Ushabti rather than morghasts, horrors, or gheists for monstrous infantry, especially if you can find larger scale egyptiany looking ladies that one could reasonably construe as statues of Neferata. I don't know where you'd look for that sadly. A mix of melee (vamp lords/heroes in skeleton infantry/cavalry busses, blood knights) and ranged (skeletal archers, horse archers, bowshabti, catapaults). Less magic focus (a few strong vampyric casters in the heroes and lords sections, but no necromancers or liche priests, and not as much support in the form of caskets or engines or the like). Magic more in the form of buffs/debuffs/direct attacks rather than summoning (Death / Shadow rather than Vamp / Undeath).

    Dieter: I'm assuming Dieter before the end of the Khemri campaign, after which he's more Cerberus or Charon to Nagash's Hades, and I don't see him actually leading armies at all, instead channeling death magic and the spirits of the dead to the Mortarchs who do. VC based Necromancer, Zombie, and ghost spam. Big blocks of zombies backed up by corpse carts and double mortis engines, with more raised during the game by multiple necromancers & master necromancers, including Dieter, who flies around wherever his bubbles are needed. Maybe a few morghasts, though fewer than Arkhan would use. General theory is to gunk enemies up with zombies, and then scream at them with banshees / mortis engines while they're bogged down. Zombified animals (dire wolves, fell bats) thrown at enemy ranged units and war machines in the hopes of tying them up before they can bring down Dieter himself.

    * though I don't feel post-Khemri Dieter would lead armies, you could justify him at the head of an all-or-mostly ethereal type army of ghosts. No real good rules available to represent post-Khemri Dieter himself, though, whether in 8th or AoS, so I don't personally feel this is a very viable theme outside of homebrew.

    Mannfred: Vamp Heavy VC list supported by fleshy undeads. Vamps / ghoul kings as heroes, vargheists in special (plus summoned by mannfred, especially in 8th where they're his best summoning option), blood knights and black coach in rare. possibly some hero level necro support. If looking for caster support, then mortis engine. Mix of ghoul/zombie/skeletons for infantry. If a ghoul king in your hero complement, then some horrors. Some spirit or wights stuff works, too. Manny very much fits with a 'little bit of everything from the Vamp Count book' approach, but vargheists especially are favorite and frequent tools of his.

    Nameless: oddly enough, makes more sense with a brainwashed empire army than a vamp counts one, supplemented by a tide of zombies - those the nameless has driven to mindless self-slaughter, whose less interesting but no less useful bodies continue to toil in the nameless one's service after death. If 8th, take advantage of the fact that undead legions are 'neutral' on the alliance chart. In age of sigmar, take advantage of the fact that you can just field whatever you feel like, plus that you get Kemmler back, so you can use his rules to represent the Nameless. Either way, half ramshackle, infantry-heavy Empire ('poor folks' units like free company and huntsmen rather than 'rich folks' units like gryphon knights or great swords or steam tanks; Flagellants are ESPECIALLY fitting) and half assorted zombie-related VC stuff (zombies, dire wolves, corpse carts, necromancers, etc) does the job.

    Vlad: In the end-times period, I have a hard time believing the living of Sylvania are enough to provide Vlad with the sort of mixed human-undead armies he would have led back in his heyday, so I actually don't recommend the living/undead alliance that I do for the Nameless. Rather, a more elite VC army (skeletons and wights, blood knights, black coach) plus maybe a couple necromancers, plus a few zombies raised during the battle or in recent ones. He would likely find ghouls a bit distasteful, so maybe not those, and probably fewer ghostly type units than the more specifically magic-oriented mortarchs.

    Walach Harkon: small, fast, hard-hitting cavalry army. Mounted vampire heroes, Skeleton horse from the TK side, black knights, blood knights, Walach on his dragon. Maybe some dire wolves / fell bats.

    Luthor Harkon: this is a bit harder to wrap my brain around. Zombie pirates? Works as a theme in warmachine, but there's less support for it in Warhammer land. I think I'll leave this one for somebody else.

    Sadly, there are no specifically ghoul-themed mortarchs, and though ghoul type units can fit as a secondary theme in Arkhan or Mannfred led armies in particular, there are no named mortarchs for which an explicitly ghoul-themed list built around ghoul kings, ghouls, horrors, varghulfs, and terrorgheists make sense. Of course, by the mid point of the End Times, Nagash has already lost several mortarchs (betrayed by Walach and the Nameless, Dieter no longer a general of his armies), so there are open slots for some sort of homebrew ghoul Mortarch, perhaps the Prince of the Nagash-worshipping ghoul cults of Nagashizar, a mad ghoul king who believes themselves to be descended from Nagash himself. Hopefully AoS will bring us a named ghoul hero that could perhaps be retro-fitted into end times fluff for those sticking with 8th edition.
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2015
  3. Mioum

    Mioum Crypt Horror

    Jul 3, 2010
    Yes, I myself aim for some middle-ish End Time (and 8th edition ;)). I'll play a 'campaign' of sort soon-ish with some friends, and the plan is to have each battle featuring a different Mortarch, and ending with a last battle that include Nagash and the Mortarch that survived their battle or something like that. And I want to theme the army around them as much as I can :)

    Thanks for that, good food for thoughts! I'll probably ends up with some purchase to do as I'm lacking a few options right now. A Mortis Engine is probably the thing I want to add the most to fit some armies. A Terrorgheist would also be good, but as you said, no real Strigoi theme for the Mortarch so it's not a mandatory choice for any of them.

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