• Roll-up! Roll-up! Come one and all the fantastic Turning the World to Darkness painting competition. Welcome to any skill level, you can find out more here.
  • It's time once again to ferret out those murderous vampires in a new VAU - Vampires Amongst Us. A cross between Cluedo and a roleplay, sometimes gory and often hilarious! Find out more here.

Summoning for Newbies

Disciple of Nagash

The Perverted One
Staff member
Feb 12, 2008
So, for some of us getting back into AoS after a long hiatus, the summoning mechanic can be a bit a different concept to wrap our head around after previously casting spells.

Can anyone provide a bit of a friendly overview, and maybe examples of good tactics?
Jan 1, 2017
Sorry, missed the question the first time you asked it... :redface:
I'll try to summarise a little, but I've got a question:

do you mean the summoning into play of entire units, the mechanic of bringing back dead models/units, or both?
Jan 1, 2017
Let's try to make up a sort of short summary (sorry DoN, but i'm not talented as @Malisteen for this sort of thing...

Before Legions of Nagash and 2nd edition, things were kinda like this:

Bringing back dead models in a unit: the banner of the unit was able to raise a certain number of dead models (depending on what kind of unit. for skeletons it was a d6, for guards a d3)

Summoning units to the table: you had to keep in reserve a certain number of points (example: in a 2000 pts army, you could field 1700 pts… 300 pts were kept away, to summon units during the game, with the appropriate spell)

Things were not limited to this, but this was more or less how it worked.

Now, things are changed.

AoS second edition: basically, to summon new units (or bring back destroyed ones) doesn't require to have a pool of reserve points. If you meet a certain number of conditions, you can do it for free.

Legion of Nagash.
When you play LoN, you can place 4 gravesites on the battlefield, that work in many ways:
1 - you can "keep away" a unit with the keyword "summonable", without placing it on the battlefield, and summon it n the battlefield when a hero is near a gravesite.
2 - You can raise dead models in a unit with the keyword "summonable", tnx to the abilities of heroes (that work on all the battlefield) and that number can increase if the unit is also near a gravesite.
3 - if a "summonable" unit is destroyed, you can bring it back in its entirety for free, if you have a hero near (9") a gravesite, fielding the unit within 9" from that gravesite, at more than 9" from enemy models.

If you play nighthaunts using their new battletome, then there are no gravesites, but heroes (and magic) can bring back dead models

If you play Flesh Eater Courts, also in that case heroes let you bring back dead models

NEXT TO COME: some useful basic trick….
Last edited:


Vampire Count
Oct 28, 2011
If I may...

I've been toying with the Flesh Eater Courts while I prepare my Nighthaunt army, and I have some experience with them in some 4 - 5 games I've played them:

Summoning with Flesh Eater Courts

It's a bit strange that other armies got an update that allowed them to play "actively" with their summoning mechanics, but the Flesh Eaters only got a "Use once per game" summoning, without doing anything else. This is, somewhat cheesy, since all you have to do is field any Abhorrant Ghoul Kings and you get extra units.

So, the more Ghoul Kings you field, the more units you get. They all cost a Command Point, but once you've used them, you have nothing else to do with your CPs, other than the generic use of them. This may seem like the "toll" for this army, but it doesn't feel like a negative aspect of them. Many of my oponents have complained that this "easy-to-use" summoning is just too powerful, since it will effectively increase the value of any Ghoul King to that of his summoned unit, so you're actually bringing many more Points to the table than your opponent.

You can summon
10x Ghouls
3x Crypt Horrors or Flayers
1 Courtier

Once per model with that command ability. 5 Ghoul Kings will give you 5 new Units on the field, which is absurd.

And that's about it. However...

Using the Command Trait "Majestic Horror" allows you to use your General's summoning twice in the game, which I found is quite powerful. Plus it seems to be the best Command Trait you can use (because it is the one that nets you the best advantage)

Resurrecting Slain Models is achieved with:

Crypt Ghast Courtier to resurrect Ghouls nearby, even from different units, very realiably.
Crypt Infernal and Haunter Courtiers to resurrect Crypt Flayers/Horrors nearby, even from different units, somewhat unreliable, but every success give a 4-Wound model back.
Varghulf Courtier that can resurrect any of the above, with their respective values.

These mechanics seem alright, which depend on Courtier models being alive and supporting, but they are much more undewhelming than the Legions of Nagash, but better than the Nighthaunt ones.

Tactics-wise, you may want to summon your Crypt Horrors/Flayers/Courtiers as soon as possible, since they'll take a while to get to the center of the action, from the edges of the battlefield.

However, you can delay summoning Ghouls so that they can capture objectives in the right moment, or hunt down prey that has gotten away or that pesky wizard that keeps going back. Most gunlines will cover their "blind" spots, not allowing anything to be set up more than the standard 9'' for placing new units, and the Flesh Eaters are not as adept at deepstriking than, for instance, the Nighthaunts, but are better than the Legions.

All in all, Flesh Eaters are somewhat "broken" I'd say, and could use a tuning to bring them on par with other summoning mechanics.