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Sception

Master Necromancer
True Blood
Sep 23, 2009
2,252
This is another project I've been working on in my spare time, a homebrew update to the Legion of Sacrament for use with the Soulblight Gravelords battletome. I don't think the loss of the Grand Host of Nagash too terrible a blow - both the Vyrkos and the new Legion of Blood present decent subfaction options for Sblight Glords players looking to run a deathrattle heavy force, and you can run nagash in either of them, though admittedly you to miss out on morghasts. However, the loss of the Legion of Sacrament is more of a blow. Not only is there no option to run Arkhan with an army that fits his old legion, there's also no Soulblight Gravelords subfaction that really focuses thematically and mechanically on necromancers and summoning specifically, and that's the motivation for this particular project.

I hope to eventually turn this into a professional-looking little PDF supplement with formatting similar to the battletome, timeline, fluff section, pictures, maybe even a little 'how to paint' section. Any feedback on what I've got so far would be greatly appreciated.




Alternate Lineage for Soulblight Gravelords: the Legion of Sacrament, Version 0.4


The Legion of Sacrament - A Legacy of Death

The Legion of Sacrament was the personal undead legion of Arkhan the Black, tasked by Nagash with his most sensitive and critical missions. The Legion of Sacrament was instrumental in building, protecting, and maintaining the secrecy of the great hidden tomb complexes within which the Ossiarch Legions were painstakingly assembled over the course of millennia. During the Age of Chaos they were charged with defending Stygxx, Nagash's final refuge, while the Great Necromancer recovered from his defeat at the Everchosen's hands. The Legion of Sacrament was responsible for bringing a mountain of Shyishian realmstone to Nagashizaar one grain at a time, and using this raw material to construct the great inverted Black Pyramid with which Nagash unleashed the Necroquake upon the Realms. Before the Bonereapers marched to war, no other undead legion was as accomplished or as feared as the Legion of Sacrament.

It is a morbid testament to Arkhan the Black's callousness and single minded devotion to his master that he consigned his entire legion to the grim fate of the Ossiarch Tithe the moment their ages-long work was complete. Necromancers who had raised entire armies of undead and Vampires who had laid civilizations of the living to waste, Arkhan's favored pupils and trusted disciples who had studied and labored and fought at his side for thousands of years - all were dragged away screaming at the Mortarch of Sacrament's command, to be harvested alongside with the common skeletons and zombies. Their bones were added to the ranks of the Null Myriad's mortek guard, their arcane talents were stripped from their souls to contribute to the Myriad's mortisans. Their betrayed trust was left behind, deemed to be without value by the one they had called their master, and their friend.

This supplement can be used with the Soulblight Gravelords battletome in order to play a Legion of Sacrament army, for use in Age of Sigmar games representing historical battles where Arkhan's legion took part, or hypothetical 'what if' battles representing what might have happened differently had the Legion of Sacrament not been destroyed. These rules can also be used to represent Soulblight Gravelord armies which are not part of the Legion of Sacrament, but share its focus on necromancers and reanimated hordes of lesser undead rather than the more elite vampire heroes and units that dominate the Soulblight Dynasties. Perhaps your army are among the rare survivors of the Legion of Sacrament, and hope that by proving themselves against Nagash's enemies they might somehow rekindle Arkhan's favor, or perhaps your army represents the personal forces of an independent cabal of necromancers attempting to carve out their own empire rather than seeking the protection of vampiric patrons.


Rules Disclaimer

The rules presented here are not official Age of Sigmar rules. As such, you may only use these rules with the advance permission of your opponent.


Playing a Legion of Sacrament Army

When you choose a Soulblight Gravelords army, you must give it a lineage keyword as described on page 72 of the Soulblight Gravelords battletome. When you do so, you may choose to give your army the Legion of Sacrament keyword instead of choosing one of the lineages listed in the battletome. A Soulblight Gravelords Legion of Sacrament army has the following additional options and restrictions:

  1. You may field Arkhan the Black, Mortarch of Sacrament from the Ossiarch Bonereapers battletome. If you do so, he gains the Soulblight Gravelords and Legion of Sacrament keywords, but does not count as a Soulblight Gravelords hero for the purpose of the 'Deathly Invocation' battle trait. Additionally, a unit may not benefit from both Deathly Invocation and Arkhan's 'Mortarch of Sacrament' ability in the same turn. Arkhan the Black counts as a general, in addition to the general chosen for your army. Arkhan the Black knows all the spells from the Lore of the Deathmages, in addition to the spells listed on his warscroll.

  2. You may field units of Morghast Harbingers and Morghast Archai from the Ossiarch Bonereapers battletome. Morghast Harbingers and Morghast Archai in your army gain the Soulblight Gravelords and Legion of Sacrament keywords.

  3. Your army may not include any mercenary units.


Battle Traits - The Master's Teachings

  1. Black Disciples: The Necromancers of the Legion of Sacrament were without peer, for they had studied their dark art at the feet of Arkhan the Black himself.

    Legion of Sacrament Necromancers gain a +1 bonus to casting rolls.

  2. The Corpse Geometries: Arkhan taught his students how to manipulate the hidden leylines of Death Magic which flow through the Realms. This forbidden knowledge enabled the commanders of the Legion of Sacrament to raise armies of the undead with a flick of their wrist and a single terrible word.

    You gain a +1 bonus to the die roll for the Endless Legions battle trait as long as one or more friendly Legion of Sacrament generals are on the battlefield.


Command Traits - Necromantic Savants

  1. Emissary of the Master: While most of the Legion of Sacrament's work was done in secret, sometimes a show of force was required. At such times this dread champion could always be found leading the charge at the vanguard of Arkhan's forces.

    You can re-roll failed charge rolls for friendly Legion of Sacrament units that are wholly within 9" of this general.

  2. Mark of the Favored: This general earned the rare favor of Nagash himself. Foes who sought to harm them would suffer the Great Necromancer's wrath.

    Whenever an opponent rolls a natural 1 on the hit roll for an attack that targets this general, the attacking unit suffers one Mortal Wound.

  3. Dark Acolyte: This arcane prodigy impressed even the Mortarch of Sacrament with their talent, and was always eager to test new spells and curses on Arkhan's enemies.

    The general is a Wizard who knows the Arcane Bolt and Mystic Shield spells, as well as one spell chosen from the Lore of the Deathmages. If the general is already a Wizard, they instead know one additional spell chosen from the Lore of the Deathmages.

  4. Mastery of Death: Perhaps this relentless taskmaster would not have driven their minions so hard had they known the reward that would be waiting for them when the work was complete.

    At the start of your Hero Phase, friendly Legion of Sacrament Summonable units that are wholly within 9" of this general and more than 3" from any enemy units may make a normal move up up to 3" (they cannot run).

  5. Peerless Commander: This champion of undeath possessed an indomitable will which they could project through their soldiers across an entire battlefield.

    Friendly Legion of Sacrament units may roll for the Deathless Minions battle trait while they are wholly within 18" of this general, instead of the usual 12".

  6. Bound to the Master: This general bound their soul to Arkhan the Black, allowing the mortarch to see through their eyes and channel a measure of his power through their bodies.

    This general may use Arkhan the Black's "First of the Mortarchs" command ability.


Artefacts - Sacramental Implements

  1. Spiritcage: This Ivory lockbox would shudder with a barely contained hunger. It captured the souls of Nagash's enemies and channeled their spiritual energy to invigorate nearby undead.

    The Spiritcage activates the first time an enemy hero is slain while within 6" of the bearer. For the rest of the game, add 1 to wound rolls for attacks made by friendly Legion of Sacrament units that are wholly within 9" of the bearer.

  2. Shroud of Darkness: Woven from strands of pure night, this shadowy mantle rendered its wearer nearly invisible.

    Subtract 1 from hit rolls for attacks targeting the bearer.

  3. Asylumaticae: This casket contained the spirits of aspiring necromancers who were driven insane by the horrific complexity of Arkhan's teachings. By opening the casket a necromancer could put the spirits' wasted talents to better use, but risked being driven mad themselves.

    Wizard only. At the start of your Hero Phase, you may declare that the Asylumaticae is open or closed. If it is open, roll a die. On a 1, the bearer may not attempt to cast any spells that phase. On a 2+ the bearer may attempt to cast one additional spell that phase.

  4. Wristbands of Black Gold: These ornately crafted wrist guards acted as negative lodestones, deflecting incoming arrows, bullets, and even cannonballs.

    Roll a die each time you allocate a Wound or Mortal Wound to the bearer resulting from a ranged attack. On a 4+ that wound or mortal wound is negated.

  5. Sacramental Standard: This banner was sewn together from the skin of Sigmarite battle wizards, and anointed in the blood of chaos sorcerers.

    Wight King only. Subtract 1 from wound rolls for attacks made by enemy units within 6" of the bearer. In addition, re-roll successful casting rolls for enemy Wizards within 6" of the bearer.

  6. The Black Gem: When this obsidian crystal was shattered, it released a tiny mote of pure entropy capable of snuffing out the soul of the first creature it touched.

    Once per battle in your Hero Phase you may declare that the bearer will shatter the Black Gem. Choose an enemy model within 6" of the bearer and roll a die. On a 1 nothing happens. On a 2-5, the chosen model suffers d3 mortal wounds. On a 6, the chosen model is slain.

Warscroll Battalion

The following Warscroll Battalion can be used in Soulblight Gravelords armies of any lineage, provided your battlepack allows Warscroll Battalions and you have your opponents permission to use rules from this unoffical supplement.

Necroresonant Choir: While necromancers can be powerful spellcasters in their own right, the greatest necromantic rituals require multiple necromancers working together in concert. At the direction of a Mortis Engine's corpsemaster, a coven of necromancers can weave their spells into a symphony of dark magic far beyond their individual abilities.
Organization:
  • 2+ Necromancers
  • 1-2 Mortis Engines
Abilities:
  • Necroresonance: A choir of screaming banshees and chanting necromancers join their voices into a deafening arcane cacophony.

    Necromancers in this battalion can attempt to cast an additional spell in your Hero Phase as long as they are wholly within 6" of a Mortis Engine in this battalion.
 
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Disciple of Nagash

Oldblood
Staff member
Feb 12, 2008
27,732
Just got around to reading this. Admittedly I have limited experience of AoS so far, so others like @The Sun King might be better placed to give constructive advice.

One of the main things for me is around the Necromancers themselves. I know it would be a new unit / scroll, but it would be good to see some kind of stronger Necromancer perhaps. I'm thinking where I would like a potent Necromancer/Liche as my general in an army that doesn't include Arkhan, and be assured he has some staying power.

I like Command Traits, as well as nod to the Wristbands of Black Gold 😁 Are you expecting that you can still take vampires as normal in this legion?
 

Sception

Master Necromancer
True Blood
Sep 23, 2009
2,252
For this project, I'm specifically aiming for something that will layer easily over the current battletome, so I'm trying to avoid entirely novel units, apart from the couple pulled in from OBR. That said, necromancers are already quite strong between their great signature spell, great spell lore, and ability to use cheap summonables as bodyguards. If you get a chance to try these rules, I think you'll find that even a little bit of extra help on top of all that will go a long way.

That said, I'm certainly open to the idea of adding a new unit or two as a later stand alone homebrew project. Kind of tangential to the necromancer discussion, but I've been thinking about what death priests could be like, and I'm thinking such would be a good mechanical implementation for the cursed city gravekeeper, if for nothing else than how absolutely metal "Bury the Living" and "Exhume the Dead" would be as spell names.
 

Sception

Master Necromancer
True Blood
Sep 23, 2009
2,252
Eh, in retrospect I've been convinced, and will begin work on drafting a 'deathmage on mortis engine' unit to this project. Also, could you move the thread over to the new homebrew project section?
 
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The Sun King

Moderator
Staff member
True Blood
Aug 22, 2012
3,926
Copenhagen
Looks good. However, I do think that Corpse Geometries is to good. Allegiance abilities are normally more circumstantial.

Shrouded in Darkness also seems like a no-brainer.
 

Sception

Master Necromancer
True Blood
Sep 23, 2009
2,252
Keep in mind that a number of things have to line up for corpse geometries to trigger. First, endless legions can only happen if one of your summonable units has already been destroyed, so it's not something that's likely to even be possible in the first turn of the game, possibly not even the first two depending on how priority works out. Second, it does require you to have a general on the table, so your opponent has counter play options which they can conceivably put into effect before you've even had a chance to use the ability. Endless legions itself has further counterplay options since you can be zoned out of gravesites. You also make, at most, one endless legions roll per battle round, with only a 1/6 chance that this ability will influence the result of that roll. Between games that are over or effectively over in less than six battle rounds and the likelyhood that you won't even have the option of rolling for this in the first battle round, we're talking about an ability that will /maybe/ matter once every other game, and even then that's only if your opponent isn't able to prevent it outright by assassinating your general.

When it does make a difference, it's pretty good, getting half a slain summonable unit back, but given the limitations on its use I really wouldn't call it any less circumstantial than the subfaction bonuses afforded to the other lineages. I really don't see how these lineage battle traits are out of step.

In an earlier draft of these rules, the corpse geometries ability required a friendly legion of sacrament general to be within 9" of one of your gravesites, not just on the table. I received feedback that the ability was too minor to make that kind of finicky positioning requirement worth the extra mental space, and in retrospect I kind of agreed with that feedback.


...

The shroud of darkness, though, you may be right, and I've been struggling with that item in particular. The previous version of the shroud only worked for ranged attacks, but imposed a -2 penalty on attacks made from more than 8" away. -2 penalties are contrary to basic design in 3e, so I made the -1 apply to melee as well, figuring that would be a neutral trade off, especially as there are other sources of -1 to hit penalty available to the faction that would not stack with this. I also wanted to avoid the previous situation where wristbands of black gold and shroud of darkness imo overlapped too much, as both were artefacts providing extra defense specifically against ranged attacks. That comparison would be an even bigger problem if the shroud of darkness only worked on ranged attacks and was limited to a -1 penalty, making it basically just an objectively worse version of the wristbands, at which point it's not worth the text to print it.

It's been a bit of a hassle, and the version here is the result of multiple revisions already. I'm starting to wonder whether I should just drop one of the two entirely and replace the other with something else, maybe something taken from the old Grand Host list. I'm certainly open to suggestions on this topic.
 

The Sun King

Moderator
Staff member
True Blood
Aug 22, 2012
3,926
Copenhagen
You might be right on the Geometries. Would have to playtest it to see how often it comes up. Have you played with it yet?

Regarding shroud of darkness I think you are in the right track thinking of exchanging it for something different.
 
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Sception

Master Necromancer
True Blood
Sep 23, 2009
2,252
You might be right on the Geometries. Would have to playtest it to see how often it comes up. Have you played with it yet?
Only against myself, and I don't have the competitive background for that to mean anything. I'm hoping to start going to game stores again later this summer, but haven't had the chance yet
 
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Sception

Master Necromancer
True Blood
Sep 23, 2009
2,252
1k blood & glory, 2e rules, roughly 4x4 table

LoS:

Necro: overwhelming dread, general, bound to the master, shroud (earlier version same as LoN, ie -1 to hit in the shooting phase, -2 from more than 8 inches
Necro: fading vigour
20 skeletons
corpse cart w/ lodestone
20 zombies
5 blood knights - I assumed riders of ruin would effectively allow retreat & charge
2 harbingers w/ halberds


OBR - Null Myriad

Liege - general w/ myriad's trait and artefact
Mason
20 Morteks
5 deathriders
crawler
nexus


Was a smashing victory for the legion of sacrament, but subfaction rules didn't play too much part. Nexus in the middle divided the battle into two halves - general, zombies, cart, blood knights vs. mason & morteks; necro, skeletons, & harbingers vs. riders & liege, with the crawler in the middle of the board to benefit from both liege and mason in the first turn. OBR finish deploying first, opt to go first in the hope of causing some damage with the crawler before LoS have a command point to inspire with. buffs on crawler, units advance slightly while staying in range to cap his objectives, crawlers deals 13 wounds to the zombies after saves & wards, they suffer 5 more from battleshock, dropping them to 2.

LoS turn no spells are successfully cast thanks to nexus/bad rolls/lucky unbind. general & cart start running to join the skeletons, leaving the now 3 zombies to cap their objective, while the hammer units move up. Harbingers roll stupid high charge on 3d6 but are still out of range of the heroes & crawler, so opt to hop over the nexus to tag the morteks rather than engage the deathriders. The blood knights charge the morteks from the other side, splitting them in a pinsir so they couldn't pile in effectively. Morteks take significant damage even through shield wall.

LoS gets double turn. danse on skittles, dread fails - don't remember if it was onbound or bounced by null myriad trait. Blood Knights RoR over morteks and charge the crawler. Harbingers kill more morteks, lose one of their own in return, blood knights smash the crawler outright

Liege and Riders charge the skellies, do a fair bit of damage, but the skellies hold thanks to their revival mechanic, danse, & inspiring presence. blood knights charge them in the back, killing the liege, the last of the morteks finish off the harbinger, but there's not enough left of them to do anything, at this point its clear the blood knights will finish everhting up.

Pretty solid win for LoS, but less due to LoS specifically being good and more down to luck on priority rolls, obr not working terribly well at this points value, me not playing the obr well, and blood knights being beastly. I never lost a summonable unit - the last three zombies sat on their objective for the rest of the game - so legions/geometries never had a chance to come into play. My casting rolls were mostly too bad for +1 to cast to make that much difference, I never had spare command points for 'first of the mortarcs (in my head it would have let the necromancers support each others' side with debuffs, but I needed CP to inspire and the blood knights didn't need debuffs to win combats anyway).

...

also none of it mattered because a few days later the 3e leaks started landing and it became clear the game was going to change too much for 2e testing to really mean anything anyway.

I'll need 3e games, and against real people, but that won't be possible for me personally until later this summer - end of july, into august maybe. And that's assuming I can find players willing to try games against homebrew rules that otherwise stick to matched play and don't cloud results with other homebrew/anvil/narrative rules/etc.
 

The Sun King

Moderator
Staff member
True Blood
Aug 22, 2012
3,926
Copenhagen
Very insightful and interesting read, thank you! How do you feel about priority rolls in general? Do you think they are too swingy/impactful?
 

Sception

Master Necromancer
True Blood
Sep 23, 2009
2,252
I was one of those who was hoping GW would do away with the double turn in 3e, yeah. Instead they doubled down on it as one of AoS's unique defining features. Which it is, but it's possible for a feature to be uniquely bad.

But whatever, I still thought 2e was good despite the double turn, & 3e has done some stuff to mitigate it.
 

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