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The Dread King

Staff member
True Blood
Jan 28, 2012
Here is the old Arkhan. It's time to update the right hand of Nagash to 8th edition. If possible, could he be affordable in his chariot in a 3000pt battle? 750 points (with chariot included) might be a little too powerful for most games. Maybe the chariot could be less lethal but Arkhan could still be amazing. I don't know what should happen to him right now though, but I think that something should happen. Here is the profile:

Arkhan the Black ...................620 pts. - Not yet updated

M 4/WS 8/BS 4/S 5/T 5/W 4/I 6/A 5/Ld 10

Arkhan is a Lvl 4 wizard. He may choose spells from either the Lore of Shadows, Death, or Nagash.
He may cast all four Rituals of Nagash per magic phase thanks to the Staff of Damnation

(All Arkhans equipment is considered the superior original version of the copies seen used by the Vampire Counts)

The Tomb Blade of Arkhan
The sword was fashioned by Arkhan countless years ago, the enchantments within stealing the souls of those it slays infusing it master with necromantic might
For each model killed by this blade, a unit or model within 12" is healed, which can be Arkhan himself. This may not take wounds or a unit above their original starting number / size

The Book of Arkhan
As the most trusted of Nagash's Dread Lords, this book was gifted by the Dark Lord to wreak havoc in his name
This Book combines the abilities of Books 4 & 7 of the Books of Nagash. This means he may add 1PD to any casting attempt which cannot cause IF, but may still cause a miscast, and any enemies within 6" suffer -1 to their to hit roles for combat or shooting.

The Staff of Eternal Damnation
The skull atop this black staff glows with baleful magic, it's power driving the dead around it on with terrible hunger
Allows Arkhan to cast all 4 Rituals of Nagash per magic phase instead of the normal 2.

The Scarab Armour
Surrounding the Dread Lords body is a cloud of enchanted Scarabs. These creatures will protect their masters life and will throw themselves in front of any perceived threat.
Confers a 4+ ward for the Bearer and any mount.

Special Rules:

Master of Undeath
Arkhan gains a +1 to cast spells from the Lore of Nagash. This is in addition to the normal +1 for a total of +2.

The Right Hand of Nagash
Unless Nagash is present, Arkhan must be the armies general. He also causes Terror

The Black Tower
Through his superior tactical knowledge and the abilities of his tower, Arkhan always strikes when it will prove most advantageous to him.
Any army with Arkhan as the general may add +2 to the roll, to see who gets the first turn.

Mount(one choice only)
The Manticore Chariot - 265pts
This hellish construction was made by Arkhan from the remains of a Manticore he slew with his bare hands. Fused together with a Khemrian chariot it has carried its master loyally for hundreds of years, its claws and teeth killing as it did in life.

Counts as monster with the following profile:
M 8/WS 3/BS 0/S 5/T 5/W 5/I 3/A 4/Ld 4

Special Rules
-Massive Bulk
The bulk of this creature of nightmares causes horrific damage as it ploughs into the enemy, its wheels, claws and fangs tearing apart its foes with ease
Causes D6+4 S6 impact hits upon charging, however it makes no other attacks for that turn.
-Large Target
-Creation of Arkhan: Should Arkhan be killed the Manticore Chariot is also destroyed immediately.


Aug 29, 2011
RE: Updating Arkhan the Black to 8th ed

Here are my suggestions, based on my understanding of Arkhan from the Nagash trilogy books and the various Undead/TK book etc. Note that it's been a while since I've read theese book, and I might have forgotten some details here and there, but I imagine that goes for all of us..

-Fist off, reduce his stats significantly. WS 8 is FAR beyond how I see him as a fighter, and so is I 6 and 5 Attacks... He could never challenge a Vampire Lord in a melee fight. What Kempt him alive was his magics, his cunning and his willingness to do anything to survive. Yes, I know he is mentioned as a great warrior in the army books, but those are pretty vague references which often have little root in reality (which is how I interpret things AFTER having read the Nagash Trilogy, the most detailed account we have of things, and it is also the latest source as well). The cunning Arkhan makes for a much better special character in my mind at least.

-Not really sure what casting all 4 rituals of nagash each phase means (I remember reading something on this on the forum a long time ago though), but if this is "auto-cast" (meaning not using dice from the power pool), it would become too good in my opinion, no matter how petty those rituals were.. I can't imagine any Rituals of Nagash being that petty in the first place. If the power dice come from the pool as normal though, that changes things quite a bit.

-The Scarab armour is a bit booring in my opinion (as there are so many 4+ Ward saves items aleady), and is also mystifies me a little how a flying swarm of enchanted scarabs would intercept something like a cannonball, rock lobber, mortar shell, etc.. The name of the item is good for him though, but I personally would change the mechanics of it.
If I'm not mistaking, the old model has some robes on him, and the Arkhan of the TK army book has no armour at all for protection. Maybe he doesn't really need one for that matter.

-Nearly everyone I see that makes special characters, add a forth wound to their lords, and it is starting to get a bit tiresome. Arkhan was never especially big, nor did he have a powerful frame etc. If it wasn't for the Incantation of Reaping spell, he'd be truly dead several times over. He is first and foremost a spell caster, even though he is a competent fighter. Don't know what the Lore attribute is for the Nagash Spell Lore, or if there are any healing spells available, but I think that this should be the way to go with him.

-+2 to see who gets the first turn is almost a guarantee that you wil lget the first turn. +1 is a huge advantage, and should be more than enough. I'd consider granting him some other small ability on account of this tower instaed. How about one "cavalry" unit that can "ambush"? Arkhan did command Nagash's cavalry after all... Just a thought.

-Tomb Blade of Arkhan should specify UNDEAD unit may be healed, in case there are cultists and such in the list. a technicality, but It could be an important one.

-Personally I think the Manticore chariot should use its S of 5 for the Impact hits, as that is the norm and I don't really see the justification for S6 here. Something like a Stegadon could certainly claim the same bonus to strenght is such a case.
Also, and this is because I have forgotten what the old undead book said on the subject, did Arkhan kill the mantocore by himself? By hand? A bit over the top, in my opinion, but then again, that is because I consider the Arkhan we are presented with in great detail in the latest Nagash Triology Books as the "correct" one, and what has been said about him in historical timelines (that he died "gloriously" defending Nagash's escape etc) as historical inaccuracies at best.

As far as points goes, this is a non-issue for me, as that is only relevant on the finished "product" as it were, and I don't have enough of an insight of the project as a whole to offer a balanced opinion on it. I'm assuming that things will be changed to go with 8.ed here, and will be changed around a bit before points really need to be taken into consideration.

Those are my first thoughts on the subject. I think the Arkhan of the TK book is a good base to build on to be honest, although certain things must certainly be changed to fit within the framework of the project as a whole. I hope the feedback was helpful, and didn't come off as overly critical. I hope the feedback can be of some use.

The Dread King

Staff member
True Blood
Jan 28, 2012
RE: Updating Arkhan the Black to 8th ed

I have to make a point here. Arkhan is mentioned, in several accounts, as the greatest swordsman of his time (in life), and some accounts also say that he came back, weaker but greater, after his ressurection. Arkhan has, clasically, been an all-rounder. He is mentioned by certain accounts as more powerful in combat than Nagash. However, your point is quite correct, maybe his fighting skills should be toned down. But we cannot base a major Warhammer character on one book and a Tomb Kings army book. Games Workshop only wants Nagash and his allies to get weaker because they don't want players that aren't Vampire Counts players to feel disappointed that they didn't get an awesome, necromantic superman. Games Workshop wants to make money, not epic fluff that will deter buyers from armies other than Tomb Kings and Vampire Counts. Still, like you said before, maybe Arkhan's comat abilities should be toned down. But we should see other opinions on this thread before we make any major changes to Arkhan the Black.


Aug 29, 2011
RE: Updating Arkhan the Black to 8th ed

I know Arkhan was depicted as a great warrior in the 4.ed Undead book, but much has changed since then. We now have a detailed trilogy of that time, which actually grants us insight into both Nagash and Arkhan like we never had before.
My personal view of the "facts" presented in the old Undead book, is that it is what is known based on myths re-told for centuries, before being written down (much like I view the bible and other religious texts), and that the Nagash trilogy (as well as the crossover into the Sigmar trilogy) are the most accurate sources we have, since they are not written from a historical point of view.

That's my view on it, but I totally understand it if you choose to take the more legendary/epic approach to the Legion of Nagashizzar project, but one of the problems with this, is that you can quickly find yourself with some very expensive characters that becomes next to impossible to use on account of their cost, which renders the whole thing a little pointless. It goes without saying that a lvl 4-5 necromancer with ws 8, S5, T5, W4, A5 as well as good items and special rules are going to cost...

Yes, Arkhan was a good fighter in life, and he should still be one, but so is a Chaos Warrior, a Sword Master of Hoeth, Blood Knights, etc.. My point is that there is lots of room to reduce him, and still claim that he is a "good" warrior, especially since he is now a liche, and thus less agile than he was in life etc..
Just saying that there are room to reduce his cost, and at the same time allow him to fit his own fluff, especially the newer (and in my mind, vastly more accurate) books.

In addition to this, I imagine the LoN army as a whole aims for somewhat of a Horde aspect to it, but that gets very difficult with such expensive characters.

I hope I don't come off as to critical, since I do like a lot of what I've seen on the LoN project here on the site, and I think that it is cool that someone takes the time to do this. :) And yes, you should get feedback from the others involved as well before changing things too much, as chanaging him "drastically" can have implications on the other lords/hero choices of the list as well I guess.

Incidentally, my own "LoN" project was what made me find this site in the first place (but then I jumped ship so to speak, and started the Bloodline Legacies project, so this project was put on hold).

Disciple of Nagash

Staff member
Feb 12, 2008
RE: Updating Arkhan the Black to 8th ed

[mod]Thread Temporarily Locked to focus on resolving other threads first.

This thread will be re-opened at a later date.

Title also update to as per standard[/mod]

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