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Comprehensive Death Tactica post General's Handbook

Aug 19, 2016
Newest Changes:
- Added Deathmages, Deathrattle, and Deathwalkers
- Added a table of contents, normalized entries for ease of finding (ctrl+F is your friend!)
-added clarity to what the scores mean, while simplifying
-adjusted a couple of typos and wrong numbers
Next update: Flesh Eater Courts!

Table of Contents:
1.1 Beasts of the Grave

2.1 Deathlords
2.2 Morghast Archai
2.3 Morghast Harbingers|
2.4 Nagash
2.5 Arkahn the Black
2.6 Neferata
2.7 Manfred
2.8 Neferata's Blood Court

3.1 Deathmages
3.2 Mortis Engine
3.3 Necromancer

4.1 Deathrattle
4.2 Black Knights
4.3 Grave Guard
4.4 Skeleton Warriors
4.5 Wight Kings
4.6 Legion of Death

5.1 Deathwalker
5.2 Corpse Cart
5.3 Dire Wolves
5.4 Zombies

Comprehensive "Death" Tactica

Hey everyone, new to the forums but not to minitures. I've been playing WH40k and WHFB off and on for over 10 years, in addition to Warmahordes and Malifaux. Recently, i've taken an extremely keen interest in Age of Sigmar(AOS), since the general's handbook improves the game manyfold. However, in all of my googling and searching, i've found there isn't much in the way of tactica for playing death. So, I set out on a personal project to do it myself. I hope everyone finds this to be useful. I posted this here on Carpe Noctem mostly because I couldn't really find another forum that seemed more appropriate. If anyone knows of a better place for this, please let me know, I'll be all too happy to move this post to it's proper home.

Some general information as to how this post was written:

-Everything is alphabetical when practical

- Post begins with a quick faction breakdown, followed by a break down of each alliance and it's entries. Battalions will be added later.

-Because rules are online, I will only be glazing over what the models do and the numbers on their entries. Points will be referenced indirectly so that anyone with a basic knowledge of the scale of the point system will understand the entries cost, however, anyone looking in will not be able to accurately guess the price of models in game that has not already bought the general's handbook.

-Models are scored out of 5 points, which is a indication of their overall value. Models will be scored twice, once while playing in that sub alliance, once while playing Grand Alliance Death (G.A.D.). Models are also scored in relation to other models in Death, which means that although the faction as a whole is treated as being "in a bubble", individual entries are NOT. This is important to remember.

1 Point: You should feel bad taking this model, unless it's a themed game.

2 Points: You should probably feel bad taking this model. There are better options available.

3 Points: You probably shouldn't feel bad taking this model. Although not great, there are lists or combos that you could do to make it work. However, it almost certainly won't be maximized.

4 Points: You shouldn't feel bad taking this model. It's very good at what it does, and is viable in a lot of situations.

5 Points: You should feel bad NOT taking this model, or it's downright mandantory.

-Because models receive a full, comprehensive breakdown in their own alliance along with formations, the final breakdown for playing out of Death will simply be point categories, along with some general tips and suggestions.

- Finally, models are scored using 2,000 points as the game size.

"So, you want to be a Necromancer, huh?"
First of all, to newer players reading this, welcome again to playing Death. AOS is a game built around the aggressor. It's significantly easier to cause damage then it is to receive or mitigate it. That being said, the strongest advantage Death has is their static ability to mitigate damage from their Alliance Trait, and the multiple different ways we have of healing models or adding slain models back to a unit. They also provide more static buffing and intrinsic unit synergy then almost any other army. In any mini's game, what you bring is almost as important as how you play. When playing Death, I would argue that the two actually go hand in hand. List construction is a tad more important, but even more rewarding then for playing other armies.

The main weakness the army has, and historically has for those of us who played VC in Warhammer Fantasy, is that our range options are extremely poor. Even the Tomb King players reading this will remember that although their archers never took modifiers, they still hit and wounded very poorly, and were unlikely to do much other then maybe plink wounds off of chaff models. Anyone with a decent save or tougheness would weather the storm undamaged, and that has mostly not changed for us here in AoS. We have to get in close.

You will need to have a plan on how to take down large dragons or demons that charge you first, or how to clear huge units. You will need a plan on how to get your models across the board in one piece....or as few pieces as possible (sorry zombies/skeletons!).

We have one last advantage, which is that we are the strongest summoning army in the game.
This is balanced, unlike in pretty much every other mini's game ever where summoning is extremely powerful, because of how summoning is wired in this game. Think of summoning as an advantage available to you, but not one that you have to use, or even will use every game, as there are also large downsides entailed with it. It's simply a tool on the belt that you as a player will have to decide if you want to utilize it or not for playing a game.


1.1 Beasts of the Grave: Currently as of this writing it's two models, with no leaders or battle line. Literally not selectable as an alliance. Also, the only models in it are also in other factions. Because of this redundency, these guys are skipped.

2.1 Deathlords: Here we have all of the "big bads" for the armies of Death. For players that want to play a very small, elite army focused strictly on quality over quantity, then look no further.

We have two options here for Morghasts, the Morghas Archai and the Morghast Harbingers. They are purchased in squads of 2-6, and they cost the same regardless of which are purchased. They also have the same Wounds, move, save, and bravery, and hearlds of the accursed one special rule, so instead I'm going to just breakdown their other rules, advantages and disadvantages.

2.2 Morghast Archai :
+ Great durability at their cost
+ Static damage reduction against mortal wounds makes them require a dedicated effort to put in the ground
+High damage and rend values make them excel at slaughtering large models or elite units
- Weaker against anything that isn't elite or a leader then the harbinger counterpart
-Much lower threat range then their harbinger counterpart

These guys are your true shock troops or your heavy elite infantry, regardless of playing Deathlords or G.A.D. They're worth looking at in almost every list IMO despite their high price point. They are slightly outshined by their harbinger counterpart when fighting against most models in the game however.
When playing Deathlords, these guys receive a 5/5.
When playing G.A.D. these guys receive a 4/5.

2.3 Morghast Harbingers :
+Decent durability at their cost, although not as good as the Archai
+These guys are literally a lawnmower when fighting anything with a lower save
+Extraordinary threat range with a 9in move and a 3d6 charge
- Rend of only -1 means these guys don't do nearly as well against heavier infantry
- No defenses against mortal wounds means these guys have to be selective about targets

When playing Deathlords, these guys receive a 5/5
When playing G.A.D. these guys recieve a 3/5

These guys are your bread and butter. They're almost a 4 in my opinion in G.A.D, but not quite. When playing actual deathlords, you'll want at least 2 units of each that way you have good flexibility. Overall, a phenomnal unit. The Morghast are probably some of the best entries available to death. The harbingers receive a 3/5 mostly because death has other decent ways to handle chaff, but they have somewhat limited options at removing big monsters or heavy infantry units efficiently. The -2 on their weapon (and the Morghoul, your other premier monster cracker/heavy infantry battering ram) are your main weapons to deal with that.

2.4 Nagash :
Changing up styles a bit here, I'm going to start with Nagash. Normally, I would score Nagash and give a break down, but frankly I feel that all that is necessary is a short conversation. He's somewhat lackluster in my opinion at 900 points. It's not that he's per say weak, it's just that his largest strength (summoning) isn't that powerful in AOS.
The best way I could see nagash played would be starting the game with just Nagash and a bunch of units of zombies to fill battleline, and then mass summoning whatever works best against your enemy. This could be strong, but there's a strong potential for backfire, especially if the enemy goes first and has artillery. Frankly, I would leave him at home. He's just not worth 900 points. He does have an incredible command trait just begging to be busted open, however.

Mortarchs: So, we have 3 available to us. They have a lot of similarities, but each offers different strengths and weaknesses. To cover the identical similarties, they are all wizards, their mounts behave exactly the same in terms of profiles, they have the same wounds, bravery, and save, they all have the feaster of souls special rule, and they all cost around 400 points, although there's a little fluctuation here which will be noted.

2.5 Arkhan the Black :
+Easily the cheapest, clocking in at over 100 points less then the most expensive
+ Strong synergy with other casters
+Easily the most magic focused
+Brings an interesting spell in curse of years which on a good amount of luck can essentially erase a unit from a board
+Minor extra bonus towards summoning
-Sucks in close combat compared to the other Mortarchs
- Doesn't really do much other then cast spells or boost magic

When playing deathlords, this guy receives a 2/5
When playing G.A.D., this guy receives a 4/5

Long story short, this guy buffs the hell out of other casters, and there aren't enough casters in Deathlords to warrant him. I suppose you could do something like run all 3 Mortarchs (that would be a sick battalion GW, if you're reading this!), but that combo would clock in at an ungoddly ~1250points, and I'm not sure it would be worth it.
That all being said, there are many support casters in G.A.D., and the huge static range boost he brings could easily sell him to me in a caster/buff bot themed death army.

2.6 Neferata :
+ Has a chance to instakill heavy infantry or woudned characters/monsters
+ Summons vampire lords off of succesful kills of enemy hero's, which is itself a solid support piece
+She herself is a solid support piece, although not quite as good as Mannfred
+slightly cheaper then Mannfred
-Mannfred exists

When playing deathlords, this lady receives a 2/5
When playing G.A.D. This guy receives a 4/5

So, I honestly feel there's nothing wrong with Neferata. She's a cool combination of enemy hero/monster hunter and buffbot. She's a strong choice, except for the fact that Mannfred exists, who hits harder, is harder to put in the ground, and has a similar level of support ability to the army. The only real major advantages Nefe has over Mannfred is that she can occasionally instagib models, and that on killing an enemy hero she makes a good support piece for free in doing so. To be fair, these are strong advantages.

2.7 Mannfred von Carstein :
+Hits extremely hard in close combat, as he can plausibly get his primary weapon attacks up to hitting and wounding on a re rollable 2+, which is nuts
+On that note, hands out a phenomenal re roll buff to his entire army
+Armour of Templehof is one of the strongest defensive abilities in the entire death alliance
+Essentially has a static +1 to cast and unbind once he's dug into combat
+Doesn't have much in the way of a defined weakness
-...other then that he's the most expensive Mortarch of the 3 by a slim margin

When playing Deathlords, this guy receives a 5/5
When playing G.A.D., this guy receives a 4/5
In my opinion, he's the best Mortarch hands down. Between his vigour of death command ability being an amazing support ability, his weapon hitting the hardest hands down and the most consistently out of the 3, and the incredible difficulty an opponent can have at putting Mannfred into the ground compared to the other two Mortarch's, he's the clear winner. A lot of it comes from the armour of templehof, frankly. With the other mortarchs, if the enemy is running any kind of artillery or models that cause few wounds but each wound causes heavy damage, the armour adds a very deep level of staying power that the other two Mortarch's lack. This also makes it much more likely that he will be able to feast on souls constantly. (It's worth noting that Mortarch's can get up to a 2+ save, so against mass weak saves they should weather the storm largely unhampered)My advice would be to have him near the front lines, chewing through units every turn, up to and including heavy infantry. If you get the charge off, targeting an enemy monster or hero on a strong mount is also very practical. He's not invincible, but he's certainly hard to put down. If you seriously want to play Deathlords, you need to own him IMO. The only real contest between him and Neferata is that Nefe brings a good amount of defensive capability, while Mannfred brings offensive capability galore, which means that they more or less come down to player preference and the model capabilities. Obviously if a player wants a more defensive army when playing G.A.D., nefe wins out. Defensive isn't really an option for Deathlords, and Mannfred performs better on his own as well.

2.8 Neferata's Blood Court: For now, I'm holding off on reviewing this because I haven't written a tactica or review of the Coven Throne.

My opinion on Deathlords as an alliance: Overall, although you can technically play them
as a stand alone alliance, and actually have a decent army, overall they are better being added to G.A.D. Armies. All of the entries other then Nagash have a plethora of strong options and combinations with the faction, and when played as alliance you will be horrifically outnumbered which can cause massive issues.

3.1 Deathmages: So these guys are seriously not playable as a faction, but they bring two support pieces to G.A.D., which are the Mortis Engine and the Necromancer.

3.2 Mortis Engine :
+ Strong magic manipulation in terms of dice values, essentially making it significantly more likely your spells go off and that you can unbind your opponents
+ Once a game, 4-24, average 14 inch heal/damage nova
- Weak in combat
- Has a rather conditional ranged attack
- very weak in close combat

Alright, so this model's best place is probably on the shelf unfortunately. It's a gorgeous model, but at almost 200 points it doesn't hand out nearly enough advantage for it's price. This is partially because magic is overall not a huge part of playing death. If we get some kind of comprehensive lore, something to make models like Nagash or Arkhan more viable, then the mortis engine would come right in line.

A brief discussion on why this guy is weak in close combat. Most people see 12 attacks that cause mortal wounds on to hit rolls of 6 and think that's solid. For one, that's only when it's at full health, which although it will probably reach the enemy at full health or near that amount, it will not stay there for long once it's tied down. For two, these attacks hit on 5's and wound on 4's. You've already removed the 6's for mortal wounds, so about 2. Then you have 2 or 3 5's that wound on 4's. Maybe a save or two. 2 mortal wounds and 2 saves for a 180 point behemoth is super lackluster, in terms of averages. The rider's one staff attack is also somewhat negligible in terms of average damage output. It doesn't belong in close combat, and it should be treated as such.

Overall, if there were just some kind of way to really make magic a powerful contension force out of death then this guy would shine. As it stands, there isn't. I think the best part might be a really well timed nova of healing/damage.

When playing G.A.D. , this guy receives a 2/5

3.3 Necromancer :
+ Really useful spell
+ Can shift damage from himself to another unit, sometimes heavily trading down on damage received
+ Decent move if on a horse (aways have him on a horse if you can)
+ Okay seriously that spell is extraordanarily useful
-All he brings is the spell and it's kind of an iffy pricetag for the spell
-Competes against Lich Priests, who are the same price, have a weaker and more narrow buff spell, but bring a once per game dispel which could be game winning, although priests are very awkward unless playing a tomb kings themed army

So the necromancer is pretty easy to break down, because the only reason to bring him is Vanhel's Dance Macabre, which raises the question of how good is the spell, and how likely is he to just get murdered before contributing?

Well, VDM allows a single unit (selected from a very generous selection of keywords) to pile in and attack twice in a combat phase. That's extraordinary, no iffs ands or buts about it. The catch is keeping him alive. He's got an extra 4+ save more or less to push off any wound to another unit (this can be nice, as if he gets fried by artillery he can shrug it off and just hand off one mortal wound, which can then be alliance traited away hopefully), but a poor save and meh wound count on his own. So he's a tad dice dependent, but might survive a long time.

Overall his value really depends on what you're playing. If you can get one good cast off on an important combat, and you feel he can do it consistently in your list, then he'll pay himself back and then some.

When playing any G.A.D. Army with lots of targets(flesh eater courts?), he gets a 4/5
Otherwise, he gets a 1/5.

4.1 Deathrattle : If you want to play an army of skeletons, then look no further! These guys provide the grand alliance with some of our cheapest footsoldiers and cavalry, along with some HQ's that have decent interaction with Deathrattle models. They probably won't be winning in tournaments, but they'll make for a great thematic army.

4.2 Black Knights (THEY ALWAYS TRIUMPH) :
+ cheap cavalry
+decent save against small arms fire (can easily get up to a 3+ on a good board)
+better on the charge, will almost always get the charge
- although better on the charge, they don't throw nearly enough dice to be that threatening
- they fold like a lawn chair to any attack with rend
-cheap cavalry does not mean cheap

So, these guys come in at 5 at a time, up to 20. Taking a full block of 20 can be extremely costly, and I wouldn't advise it. At nothing else, you probably won't ever get all 20 into range in melee, and it's an extraordinary point sink. If you want to play a thematic death rattle army, they're worth looking at. If I wasn't playing deathrattle, I would honestly rather either take hexwraiths
or a unit of 2 morghast.

When playing G.A.D., these guys get a 2/5
When playing a Deathrattle army, these guys get a 4/5

4.3 Grave Guard :
+ Decent offensive output for their price
+ Cursed weapons is a decent damage boost
- Expensive
-Pretty slow
- For being the deathrattle heavy infantry, they really can't fight heavy infantry well

These guys were incredible in WHFB, both out of VC or from the Tomb Guard equiv out of Tomb Kings. Overall, they've lost a lot in their transition to AOS. Honestly, they just cost too much to really be worth looking at from anything other then a Deathrattle themed army.

If playing G.A.D., these guys receive a 1/5
If playing Deathrattle, these guys receive a 3/5

4.4 Skeleton Warriors :
+Can get up to a respecatable damage output for chaff
-Zombies exist

Ah, skeles. The iconic undead. They find their place here in the Deathrattle line up, and they certainly aren't bad. They're cheap, come back in droves, get bonuses for having large units....
Honestly their only issue is that zombies exist and do basically the same thing for Death (cheap battleline filler), but at a slightly higher premium. If you don't have zombies, or have some synergies with the Deathrattle keyword, these are your battleline, and then some.

If playing G.A.D. these guys receive a 1/5
If playing a Deathrattle army, these guys receive a 5/5

4.5 Wight Kings :
+ Great buffing ability for Deathrattle
+ 2 variants, both have their strengths
+ Can be suprisingly mobile
- In the grand scheme of HQ's, they don't do as much as the big models
- They have to be the general to really be useful, which is a high opportunity cost

These are the Deathrattle commanders, the leaders of the skeleton hordes. You can equip them with a baleful tomb blade (always take a horse with this option), and a standard that gives you an extra 6+ save against any wound that actually removes a model from your table (this is important, because it quickly decays in value with multiple wound models), or with a black axe.
These guys are stuck on foot, but they hit significantly harder, has a narrow chance to instagib a unit, and they take reduced damage from their armor. Certainly more of a frontline fighter.
They also have a great buffing ability for deathrattle units in their command ability.

So the question is, which one to take?

Both, ideally. If you are playing to a deathrattle themed army, you'll need the front line fighter (there is almost nothing in the entire deathrattle line up that causes damage other then a wight king with axe), and the supportive ability.
If you aren't playing to an almost exlusively deathrattle themed army, I would probably leave them at home.
If for some reason you can only take one, the black axe wins out in my opinion, if only by a thin margin. The extra 6+ save against wounds that would remove the model (read: almost all of them, deathrattle has mostly one wound models), is not as good as thepersonal offensive and defensive boosts that the black axe brings.

If playing G.A.D., these guys receive a 2/5
If playing a Deathrattle army, these guys receive a 5/5

4.6 Legion of Death Warscroll Battalion :
+ Costs half as much as a wight king, so overall rather affordable
+ Ramps up the recovery available to you, particularly in the black knights and grave guard
+ Doubles the movement of your infantry, and still provides a minor speed boost to your cavalry
- Kind of encourages taking large units of grave guard and black knights, which is awkward

So overall, I actually really like this formation. It fixes a lot of the crippling issues that deathrattle has, which is it's mobility, and ramps up the staying power a little bit, which means units have to be wiped to the man before they really stop being a threat. That could take a while with this many bodies, and the large mobility boost (basically getting two moves a turn) helps you get on objectives fast, and stay on them. As much as possible, you want your enemy to have to kick you off places, and not be the force trying to dislodge. IMO, it's the only way to play a deathrattle army if you want to play one.

If I was playing a themed Deathrattle army at a casual event or maybe just for a more laidback game, it would look something like this.

Legion Of Death:
Wight King with Black Axe
3x 40 skeleton warriors
25 Grave Guard with wight blades and crypt shields
15 Black Knights

-Wight King on a nightmare with Baleful Tomb Blade

This is an army that actively tries to win by just being difficult to remove from the table, given that even your basic skeletons have an okay save, followed by a 5+ (you did take ruler of the night didn't you?), followed by another 6+. I don't think you'll be winning any major events with this, but you'll have a surprisingly playable army given how meh the entries are otherwise.

A final note about Deathrattle: Malisteen made a very important point to me in a private message, and I would like to thank him again here. Many of the tomb kings models (basically all the things that involve skeletons but not mummies or just stone constructs, including the Khemrian warsphinx and Necropolis Knights!) have the Deathrattle keyword, which means they fit seamlessly rules wise into the army. Frankly, if an individual was dead set on playing a Deathrattle army for whatever reason, I would strongly recommend trying to get ahold of both a unit of Necro knights and a Warsphinx. IF you can find them without costing yourself an arm and a leg. As I understand it, the TK stuff going off the shelves from GW as driven the prices on the army through the roof. Archers might also not be a bad addition here (archers shooting 3 times, even if they hit on 5's and wound on 4's, can put a decent dent in a unit with a poor save).
It's not a must have by any means, but it certainly is a strong addition.

5.1 Deathwalkers:
This is where all of the zombie and zombie support for Death lays to rest at. There's not much to say about them. They are another “faction” that can not be played in a bubble, as awkward as that is.

5.2 Corpse Cart :
+ Fairly affordable
+ Buffs zombies, which is kind of nifty
+ Provides either a minor casting buff or enemy casting debuff
- Mostly just buffs zombies, which is so so at best

Honestly, this is a model that you get what you pay for. It's not very expensive, but it also doesn't do very much. The casting buff is probably a lot more useful for you then for the debuff it can give to the enemy casters. Either way, however, it has a very nice range, and it's mostly player preference. They also provide a +1 to hit for zombies within 9in, although that buff is located on zombies and not the corpse cart, and improve the save of dire wolves by 1(also on the dire wolf entry and not the cart),which is kind of awkward. Honestly it's value mostly depends on how many zombies you are taking since the wolves won't be nearby.

If taking zombies to simply fuffill battleline req's, AND a lot of magic, this model gets a 3/5
If taking zombies to simply fuffill battleline req's, and little magic, this model gets a 1/5
If taking hordes of zombies, this model gets a 5/5.

5.3 Dire Wolves :
+ Extremely points efficient
+ Good staying power for their cost
+ Honestly there's not many weaknesses I can say about the unit
- Tomb Scorpions Exist? Which is kind of a weakness I guess?

In terms of points efficiency, these guys are amazing. A squad of 5 costs you half as much as a Wight King, but takes almost twice as much dedicated effort to take down. They're mobile, have acceptable damage output (good on the charge). They're awesome flankers, good at quickly targeting cannons or artillery, or just being a harrassive unit. The only thing better IMO out of death at doing what they do is a single tomb scorpion, which can show up within 6 inches of a cannon and charge the same turn, usually making it in. That can be played around somewhat by the enemy, however, AND it requires you to have a tomb scorpion. If their lack of keywords isn't prohibiting you from the alliance you want, I would always take at least one.

If playing G.A.D., and you don't own a Tomb Scorpion, these guys get a 5/5
If playing G.A.D., and you do own a Tomb Scorpion, these guys get a 3/5.

5.4 Zombies
+ Cheapest model in Death
+ Battleline
+ Get better for taking large units
- Really don't do anything other then shamble in a horde and fill battleline

So, yes, you can take huge squads of 40 and a corpsecart and giggle at your zombies that hit on 2's and wound on 3's...but they only have 1 attack, movement 4, no rend, and cause one damage. You are literally relying on encircling the enemy to really get hits in. They also have no save which means they fold like a lawn chair. IMO, take as many minimum squads as necessary to help you fill battleline and leave it at that.

When playing G.A.D., these guys get a 5/5

Next time.... Flesh Eater Courts!
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Jul 30, 2016
Keep it coming! I really appreciate what you've given us so far, and I feel like this could be an invaluable resource to the growing AoS community, especially if it convinces more people to come over to the dead side!
Jun 27, 2014
I love this, but why use 2500 as the baseline, when 2000 is the general tournament and community standard?

Thanks for making the effort though, it's widely appreciated.
Aug 19, 2016
Our local community has been doing 2500, but the more I look around the more I see 2000 as well, so I think that will be a changed reference point. Certain numbers have been changed or adjusted to reflect this, along with a couple of minor clarifications.
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Master Necromancer
True Blood
Sep 23, 2009
I think you're over-estimating the value of morghasts in generic death-alliance armies. In pure deathlords armies, sure 5/5, in as much as they're obligatory. But in a generic death army, they're just too expensive, imo. Personally, I'd rate them 3/5. Good enough to field without feeling bad about it, but not something to reach for unless you wanted to field them for thematic or aesthetic reasons to begin with.

Arkhan's spell range boost is, imo, a non issue. Fielding a named general means giving up on command traits, which are simply too good for death armies. A named character needs a truly stunning command ability to be worth that trade. Settra provides the most notable example. Otherwise, you're going to field a generic hero as your general regardless, at least in grand alliance lists, and since none of our subfactions really get anything worth noting for pure armies yet, I see no reason why you would ever run anything other than a full death alliance army, at least for the moment.

So anyway, yeah, if you field arkhan, he's not going to be your general, that will probably be a vampire lord, tomb king, ghoul king, black axe wight king, or the like in smaller games, and a royal warsphinx, terror lord, dragon lord, or some other such in larger games. And you know what? Good, then, that his command ability isn't better, and thus more expensive, because you won't be using it anyway. Arkhan will be there to greatly enhance your magic ability through applying his casting bonus to the spells of your other support casters, and by adding a little extra melee muscle charging to support combats once the enemy's heavy hitters are tied up with other units and won't be able to target him.

All in all, I'd say he's worth his points, but isn't really anything to get worked up over. 3/5 sounds like a fair rating for him in generic death armies.

Leaving aside that I don't think pure subfaction armies are ever worthwhile for death, not when zombies pay battle line requirements cheap as chips, if you DO want to play a Deathlords alliance, then Arkhan still hase a role to play. He won't have any support casters to draw from, he won't get to cast a necromancer's vanhels at +2. Instead, his role is closer to what it is in free play AoS games, as a summoner.

You field arkhan plus morghasts filling your game requirements, and arkhan then becomes a portal to bring on your mournghuls, skeleton archers, bat swarms, banshees, spirit hosts, etc. Mannfred and Neferata don't have the casting bonuses to make this work, and Nagash is so expensive that you won't really have any points left over to summon with after paying for him and his requisite morghast escort, so this definitely gives Arkhan a unique niche in a pure deathlords army.

Not enough to make up for what he loses when playing pure subfaction instead of alliance, but personally, after considering this a bit, I'd call him a 2/5 there instead of a 1/5.

I agree that nagash is too expensive to field in matched play, at least with how the rule of one and summoning restrictions work. If he were six hundred, even seven hundred maybe. But nine is too much. That said, both arkhan and nagash may improve dramatically if and when we see alliance-level spell lores, or changes to the summoning rules or rules of one (ie, if instead of limiting a spell to only be attempted once, it was limited to only be attempted on a particular target, both arkhan and nagash would get a fair bit better).

For mannfred and neferata, I don't have too much comment, except that you might be slightly overvaluing mannfred's command ability (especially in generic death armies where it means giving up on command traits of generic heroes whose command abilities are pretty much as good or better anyway), and slughtly undervaluing neferata's (again, especially in generic armies, since neferata's penalty can be stacked with that imposed by cursed book, mournghul, etc).

I don't really contest the ratings given here, though. Mannfred is, imo, the clear choice for best general in pure deathlords armies, much as I question their value, while in regular death armies 4/5 for both sounds about right.
Jun 13, 2015
Good post but their's a few things i would like to say myself,

Morghast are great for sure but their biggest problem i see is that they don't heal or resurrect their model and their save isn't that strong so anything with rend will tear them apart. This is a huge drawback if you compare them with other hard hitters like necropolis knight who are cheaper, hits hard too and can come back with banner and spell or blood knights who are just awesome (my opinion is a little biased on blood knights i know but i love them so much! ahah!).

The best use i had with Morghast is to place archai behind a zombie wall on an objective and use that 3' reach without getting hit in return. For harbingers i don't own any but some people on this forum mentionned them has a flying missile. You summon them near a juicy target and hope to charge in the same turn with their 3d6 charge range. Has Malisteen has said Morghast are more of an 3/5, They look awesome, are mobile and hits hard but they are not as survivable as some other units in our army who can do the same thing for approximately the same point cost

For the Mortarch you have done a good comparison but i prefer Nef a bit compare to Mannfred because of her stronger defense buff but that is my personnal taste (and Nef with blood knights is the perfect combo for me :D ) But correct me if i'm wrong, the armour of Mannfred protects you against one wound after damage of the weapon has been calculated not before. For example our battle trait is used after damage and the wording is similar to the one of the armor for Mannfred
Aug 19, 2016
I totally agree that Necro Knights are probably better at cracking these kinds of units/surviving, but TK are also very awkward right now given that you essentially either have the models, or you don't. Therefore, for most players, Morghast are much easier to get ahold of, and they can still fill the role if played properly. I do agree that the fact that every wound is permanent with no recovery is extremely painful compared to most of the rest of the faction.

Either way, thank you for the feedback!