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Jan 3, 2023
Hi there, Im new to both forum and the AoS , so thanks for having me and i look forward to be a part of community :). I've played some Warhammer 40k before, but that was just for fun in a small group of friends, where my list was made up of "cool models", and i didn't care much about winning, which is great, but now that I have the opportunity to start over, I want to try my luck at this part of the hobby that I've always been unfamiliar with - make some more competetive lists and maybe try some local tournaments.

I come here to seek especially the opinions of more experienced players, any advice, comments and criticism is even welcome. I'm aiming for the final list to be able to bring some fun and possibilities on the table itself and to put up any kind of fight, of course for this I still need experience and the number of games played but this will come with time, and I would like to get myself into this with a good base.

To the point, after a few days of reviewing rules and materials in this topic I decided to build something for 2000 points (to create an image of which models I will need, which ones I want to test, etc.) based on Vyrkos Dynasty (it seems quite universal and as a khorne player in 40k I've always wanted to try some magic, plus the leader models looks awesome).

The list itself looks like this:
Army Faction: Soulblight Gravelords
Army Type: Vyrkos Dynasty
Grand Strategy: Take Whats Theirs
Triumph: Inspired

LEADERS - 1075
Necromancer - 125
- General
- Arcane Tome
- Spoor Trackers
* Deceripfy
Belladama Volga - 200
* Soulpike
Vampire Lord on Zombie Dragon - 435
- Sangyrson
- Deathlance
- Foetid Miasma
* Flaming Weapon
Radukar the Beast - 315

Deathrattle Skeletons -80
- Standard Bearer
- Champion's Mace or Halberd
Dire Wolves -135
Deadwalker Zombies - 120

OTHER - 560
Black Knights - 200
- Reinforced
- Hornblower
- Standard bearer
Corpse Cart - 80
- Unholy Loadstone
- Corpse Lash
Grave Guard - 280
- reinforced
- Great Wight Blade
- Hornblower
- Standard bearer

TOTAL - 1970

Warlord with Artefacts of Power - Necromancer, VLoZD, Belladama, Deathrattle Skeletons
Bounty Hunters - Grave Guard and Zombies

The plan for the use of this list was to operate on a three-group basis:
1. Radukar and black knights as a relatively fast team able to attack from the flanks or quickly occupy objectives depending on the game scenario, I thought about assigning them to Vanguard Battalion but unfortunately radukar has too many wounds to be a part of it. In this setup, black knights are meant to support and cover the radukar, deliver if needed decisive wounds if the radukar fails to eliminate the target, using the buff from him, battle trait from Vyrkos Dynasty and possibly an all-out attack, which would allow them to make a decent hit despite their average stats thanks to their movement I could basically allocate all the command points from the first turn to effectively fight of this group (the rest will be slowly go forward), in addition Deadly Coordination would provide a momentary hit on the same target as radukar or the next one (if I understand its effect correctly) to pave the way for further moves.
2. the VLoZD by itself as a model with a lot of attacks and wounds, whose task would be to eliminate targets tough enough and dangerous enough for infantry, entering the middle of the battle and making a fuss, perhaps trying to eliminate the enemy's general if he is close to the battle itself, it would be the second striking force right after the group with the Radukar which could force the enemy to focus on one or the other allowing the free group to operate.
3. The last group would be responsible for taking control of the center of the battlefield or a specific target once it "gets there", supported by Corpse Cart (which seems to be useful as for these points with so many spells available) and Necromancer, in addition Belladama along with Wolves, as a kind of rapid response group allowing to reinforce a specific area of the map, block enemy units, create some Wolves, and generally be quite flexible in this arrangement supporting a 40 figure infantry march and 10 Skeletons that can stay behind, protect the rest from a possible deepstrike, or maintain control of some point on my side of the table.

I have some doubts about the list, about whether my logic in creating it has any bearing on the gameplay itself, about the use of Black Knights (although I admit that these models have really charmed me and I would like to have them in the list), the amount of zombies, which maybe should increase at the expense of Grave Gurads or Black Knights, additionally selected spells (although this is to be tested in the game itself), maybe replacing VLoZD with Vengorian Lord, which will decrease the offensive potential but add some points for zombies or wolves, I will be grateful for any comments as well as help in improving the list itself.

The Sun King

Staff member
True Blood
Aug 22, 2012
Hello AmperomierzWojtek ! Welcome welcome - awesome to have you here!

So first, I will just direct your attention to two resources you might find useful:
Handbook: Soublight Gravelords - Carpe Noctem
Article: Wargaming Heuristics - Carpe Noctem

If you haven't looked at them already, it might be worth giving it a quick look.

I will definitely recommend going in the direction you are talking about - it is what I would call "All comers lists", meaning that they are versatile and can adapt against most armies.

Regarding the list, it looks fine but I have some ideas for tweaks:
  • I am not a fan of the Corpse Cart in a fast army like yours. It is too slow to keep up and be where it needs to be, also you have too little infantry for it to make a big difference. I would cut it and save the points for something else.
  • The Black Knights reinforced are an awkward unit. I see what you want to achieve but they have really big cavalry bases and it is hard to get everyone into combat - you also only get one try at their impact hits, so two units of 5 is generally better. With your particular list, I would suggest bringing Dire Wolves instead of Black Knights as they have more wounds for the points and can act as bodyguards for Belladamma.
  • If you want hitting power I would cut the Corpse Cart and the Black Knights and bring 5 Blood Knights to ride around together with Radukar - they are tanky and hit way harder than Black Knights.
  • You are going quite magic heavy - and magic is quite unreliable, so before you commit much in terms of buying models, I would suggest that you try testing in some 1000 pts games and see if you like playing magic heavy armies.
If you have any questions don't hesitate to ask :)


Unas the slayer

Staff member
Jan 1, 2017
Northern Italy
First of all, welcome to CN AmperomierzWojtek

i'll echo what The Sun King said and i would add another thing.
Are you sure about the Necromancer? you are saving points and you could well turn the necromancer into a Vampire Lord. This would give you an extra vampire (to further exploit the Vyrkos command trait) and access to Crimson Feast command trait, which has a offensive power similar to the effect of Danse Macabre, without having to rely on a spell (of course, buffing the grave guards)
Jan 3, 2023
Oh wow, thanks for that response!

As for the sources you cited, I read them before just constructing the list, perhaps I did not make the right conclusions or focused too much on a concept I came up with which is the reason for all my doubts and questions.

If it's not a problem, I'd like to ask you to answer some of the doubts and questions that have arisen at this stage as we continue to work on the list itself:

Perhaps it's a bit pointless to forcefully make black kngihts make sense, but the fact of the matter is 10 is overkill, I thought about the fact that troop size might be problematic but found that then all 10 could make use of Deadly Coordination, which might not be worth focusing on so much, although from the beginning I assumed that they were only to add a few missing wounds, by which I wanted to slightly improve the effectiveness of the radukar and will reduce the potential wounds it will receive back, in addition, a little reduce the randomness of at least with its D3 wounds from the Piercing Blade to make sure he will eliminate the target, what's more 6" charge from balck knights and the fact that the radukar can run and charge would allow them to stay relatively close to each other and when needed to block the enemy and give Radukar to operate which at 100 points and together with the wolves that he can summon seemed sensible to me and the fact itself, in addition I wanted to make use of them due to the fact that they are in the "start collecting" box so having 20 grave guards in the plan anyway would make it agreeable economically which is also some kind of determining factor.

Would leaving only 5 next to the radukar, which would further fulfill a plan taken up somewhere, and directing them rather to destroying slightly tougher infantry or heroes with fewer wounds, still let them run over the table and take objective control and adding another pack of zombies for the points gained? Would Corpse Cart then make sense? I'll admit I like the buff for magic it offers and since it would already be on the battlefield why not get the most out of it, basically it's a walking buff for 80 points which in itself as I think of it doesn't sound particularly convincing :/, although having a similar move to the zombies themselves its job would be to simply stay close enough to them by running if necessary. Perhaps getting rid of the Necromancer and adding a second pack of wolves and putting them together as a Deathstench Drove (which gives an extra attack to units of that battalion at 9" from the cart) and putting them in the custody of Belladama would be more value in terms of points? But doesn't giving up on the Necromancer again weaken the value of the cart? Maybe replacing the VLoZD would allow me to gain a few points however at this point it is a biggest source of solid damage and I don't know if a slow infantry block would be able to make up for the difference in damage inflicted?

On the subject of focusing on magic, I played a couple of 1000 points games using Table Top Simulator to decide which faction I like best and finally which dynasty (I was also considering the Legion of Blood), as well as to learn the rules of the game itself through practice It will also be the first place where I would like to test these list and I am quite convinced of the direction that was taken, the mechanics look more interesting, as far as I am concerned, than in 40k and it gives lot of fun through options to play with.

The Sun King

Staff member
True Blood
Aug 22, 2012
You have definitely come to the right place - we love going deep into strategic discussions on this forum <3.

A couple of thoughts:
  • Deadly Coordination is not a major boon and should not be your focus for your listbuilding. It is a nice little bonus, but it will not change combat drastically.
  • Soulblight Gravelords struggle with damage output, so you should try to focus on how to increase that. Including a unit of 10 Black Knights is not the way to go - as they cannot fight their way out of a wet paper bag. Which leads me to my next thought.
  • Don't push shit up hill :P - it's an old adage, but it holds true that if you have a unit that is bad then putting a lot of effort into making it better will never make it great. I am here thinking about your efforts to make the Corpse Cart and the Black Knights have synergy with the rest of the army. Black Knights are not bad, but they are not an offensive threat, for that role you should take Blood Knights. Corpse Carts are not bad, but they don't fit well with your fast list, they are more suited for footslogging armies with big blocks of infantry.
  • I argue from the position of what is most competitively viable, but if you have constraints in for instance what models you have already bought, then I need to approach it differently :)

Jan 3, 2023
Glad to hear that, there are certainly few more things to discuss :D.

There's a lot of truth in what you say, insisting on units you have a liking for is rather unlikely to work on a more competitive table. As for the purchases themselves I'm not going to buy the models before I'm sure the list is ready, I mentioned this because here where I live Start Collecting is priced the same as two boxes of Grave Guards, so I basically i can get Black Knights and Wight King as a " free gift", so using the Black Knights would simply make them less dusty on the shelf :P.

After reading all the tips I think Unas The Slayer made a cool hint with taking Vampire Lord, Vanhel's Danse Macabre from Necromancer definitely appealed to my imagination and by summing up his tasks and the fact that the zombie has 1 attack makes it a better choice. In addition I got rid of the cart and 10 skeletons and 5 black knights, instead I found points to add another squad of wolves and zombies, where the point value of the whole list is 1980.​

However, I have some doubts about it final I left 1 squad of black knights, maybe I will test it on virtual fields and check its sense, because even that 1 mortal wound generated by them after charge may be what radukar will need the question is it worth 100 points? probably not, but further it is cheaper than wolves which allows me to add some more units (20 zombies and 10 wolves)
However, with this comes another doubt - are 40 zombies and 20 Grave Guards plus 20 wolves is enough to be able to make it to the battlefield?
  • As for the zombies I'm a little worried that by the time they get there there will be nothing left of them, in this aspect the slightly more expensive skeletons seem to be a better option even without mortal wounds, but since both units provide relatively low damage isn't it better to focus on the more durable unit?
  • Focusing more on reaction play then maybe I picked the wrong dynasty? looking at the blood knights units themselves seem relatively fit for purpose in this approach nevertheless they are expensive and would work better as Kastelai dynasty?
  • Another approach maybe ignore the zombie hordes to tie up more cavalry OR at the cost of 40 zombies and leftover black knights to earn some points choose the cheaper Vampire Lord or Wight King to make the grave guard battleline then afford two units of blood knights...?
  • ... Or is two units of this cavalry is too much then instead of it and I should take 20 deathrattle skeletons and replace Wight King with VL which sounds more sensible it seems on the battlefield only won't it worsen the overall damage inflicted by the army?
Where I final have in my mind few combinations that could work better:
  • 20 grave guards, 20 deathrattle skeletons, 20 wolves, 5 blood knights, Radukar, Belladama, VL and VLoZD
    • less infantry but seemingly tougher, which should fulfill their map control tasks rather than focusing on killing the enemy (although the grave guard and wolves combined in the Bounty Hunters battalion can do at least a little i hope), with the damage of vampire lords and support from belladama with wolves, and somewhere on the flanks radukar with cavalry pursuing objectives depending on the scenario.
  • 20 grave guards, 40 zombies, 20 wolves, 5 black knights, Radukar, Belladama, VL and VLoZD
    • More zombies and wolves seemingly greater capabilities of the infantry itself the rest of the tasks unchanged except that the radukar itself certainly weakened relative to the rest of the proposals
  • 20 grave guards, 20 wolves, 10 blood knights, Radukar, Belladama, Wight King/Kritza and VLoZD
    • Basically getting rid of the infantry, putting the duty of controlling the center or back on the grave guard and possibly wolves, while geting more solid offensive capabilities, the cavalry being able to act more independently without needing the radukar, can be its support and take action itself, nevertheless a little shortage of infantry can be a problem when it comes to scoring the objectives, and I don't know if the grave guard will last long enough for the remaining units to do enough damage to the enemy, additionally such a list could work better in Kastelai dynasty where blood knights are stronger and have options for deepstrike

The question is which of these options is more convincing or if they make any sense at all :D?

Finally, I apologize for the walls of text I am trying to present the thinking somehow by which it may look not concrete.
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The Sun King

Staff member
True Blood
Aug 22, 2012
All three list ideas would work. The question is then, what type of play do you enjoy? The first one is the most all round list and is versatile. The second one is the most tanky and has the most wounds. The third one is the fastest and most killy, but also the most fragile.
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Jan 3, 2023
I thought about it and concluded that maybe vyrkos, my approach and pressing specific Leaders will not give me what im looking for. I tried a totally different path with some ideas i got at the start (to have a magic oriented and flexible army) and manage to create something like this:

Allegiance: Soulblight Gravelords
- Lineage: Legion of Blood
- Grand Strategy:

- Triumphs: Defend What’s Ours

Wight King on Skeletal Steed
- General
- Command Trait: Aura of Dark Majesty
- Universal Spell Lore: Flaming Weapon

Neferata, Mortarch of Blood (345)
- Lore of the Vampires: Vile Transference
Coven Throne (290)
- Lore of the Vampires: Amethystine Pinions
Necromancer (125)
- Lore of the Deathmages: Decrepify

20 x Grave Guard
- Great Wight Blades
- Reinforced x 1

20 x Deathrattle Skeletons (160)
- Reinforced x 1
5 x Black Knights (100)

10 x Blood Knights
- Reinforced x 1
3 x Vargheists (155)

Endless Spells & Invocations

Total: 1995 / 2000

Some explanation:
  • Wight King - mainly to provide Grave Guard as a battleline additionally it can support deathrattle units, I was thinking to use it as a dynamic unit that can provide re-roll of 1 for troops (optional but can be useful for grave guard), eliminate light targets, use Invigorating Aura when needed or hit harder with Flaming Weapon
  • Neferata - to be a kind of anvil, although here I do not know if the idea is accurate, she is quite durable and can heal more than other vampires, in addition, she can cause some wounds and be a threat for enemy heroes, providing infantry a relatively safe way forward, mainly focusing on protecting Grave Guards.
  • Coven Throne - The idea is based on buff Blood Knights first, after using command ability they will be able to hit even harder, additionally +1 save will allow them to act more individually and at least survive a little more, then thanks to Amethystine Pinions provide some mobility and maybe try to focus on Grave Guard when Blood Knights make the first two/three hits and infantry reach the enemy, also provide some wounds by being near the fight
  • Necromancer - mainly to provide additional attack for the Grave Guard, but if I understand the description of the deatrattle skeletons correctly, they could bring back models twice in one phase with this, so it may allow me to keep this unit in shape an extra round or two.
  • Grave Guard - an additional source of damage, enhanced with an additional turn of attack would be a smaller hammer of this army
  • Deathrattle Skeletons - push forward, cover Grave Guard if needed, focus on taking over objectives
  • Black Knights - battleline for 100 points looks like not the worst addition, they can support the Wight King if needed, but mainly their job would be to disturb the enemy and be a rather annoying unit, if the battle scenario requires it they can occupy more far away objectives or eliminate smaller infantry units, tie them up with fighting to prevent them from reaching the Grave Guards and Necromancer.
  • Blood Kingths - the main hammer, be fast and hit hard, with assured boosts and mobility can be a threat to the enemy (here I am not sure whether to use them as 5+5 or 10, the first option is more flexible but the second allows much better concentration of buffs)
  • Vargheists - a unit that would provide a little more flexibility on the battlefield, without them the list has basicly no deepstrike, additionally as vampires they can provide Battle Traits on more models, they are fast and can make a fuss although this is the unit I have the most doubts about
  • Horrorghast - the use of the remaining points, I do not know if it is a good choice but with quite mobile wizards I can make use of it and by blocking Commands in battleshock round boost the effect of battle trait

It seems to me that this may be a better direction in terms of list building however, I have a few doubts:
  • The lack of Vampire Lords - I am taking away the benefits of an interesting ability of Legion of Blood, I was thinking to replace maybe the necromancer and in this way be able to cast better spells which would at least allow me to effectively cast Invigorating Aura, however it seems to me that the necromancer combines better with the units included
  • Small amount of infantry, here I was thinking of getting some points by getting rid of Vargheists, this way I could add either another 20 Deathrattle Skeletons and leave endless spell, or get rid of both things and this way as I mentioned above use vampire lord instead of Necromancer
  • Again the question about the use of Blood Knights and Neferata, in the first case I don't know if I should use them as two separate units or one big and if Neferata is able to survive som hits and be some sort of tank, or should i get more skeletons/zombies for that in addition, another group of skeletons would allow to fill babttleline and if more points are needed I could sacrifice Wight King for it, in whose place I could put a vampire lord or Cado Ezechiar (this one seems quite interesting because it could fulfill the tasks of its predecessor and if necessary resurrect more models)

I would appreciate your opinions on this direction I have taken and some tips on the mentioned problems. I will probably try to test this and one of the earlier lists in the next few weeks and clear up some doubts,
Thanks in advance for your feedback

The Sun King

Staff member
True Blood
Aug 22, 2012
I like this list! One thing to consider is that next season will be about foot heroes, and you don’t have many of those, but I don’t recommend that you build your army based on rules that will change in 6 months. Just something to think about.

For Grand Strategy I would suggest that you take Take What's Theirs, as you are not running a defensive list and you want to get into the opponent's territory anyways. You should also pick a triumph - I would go with Bloodthirsty to make your Grave Guards charge more reliable.
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