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Vampire Lords . . . What Happened?

Mad 'At

Dumb enough to work
Staff member
True Blood
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Apr 2, 2011
Messages
2,363
#51
@Vipoid Have you checked out The 9th Age? It is a different game altogether but in some ways closer to WFB than AoS is. There is also quite a lot of customisation for the Vampires in the Vampire Covenant army, and they are generally really quite powerful. Could be up your alley :)
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2017
Messages
599
#52
Sorry, I was asking about death (specifically Legion of Nagash). Since you mentioned that killing the Slann would end the game (it seems the boot is on the other foot ;)), I wondered if GHoN actually had a way to accomplish that.
Actually, GHoN got little ways to kill a Slann, so I would adopt a different tactics, and let the giant frog live its life.
AoS is a game that's mostly based on movement, and Seraphon is one of the most mobile army in all the game, while LoN is mostly a slow army.
You don't want to chase someone's quicker than you, you don't want to try to adapt your style to the strenghts of an opponent, but you want to play on your strong points.

Seraphon will have less models than you, and only in the latter turns they will have greater numbers (tnx to summoning); use hordes to swarm objectives and then sit there, healing from the shooting and counterattacking the units that will try to move you away from them.
It's a game of attrition that you could lose, but not without collecting a sufficient number of objectives points, that will let you win the game.
 

Malisteen

Master Necromancer
True Blood
Joined
Sep 23, 2009
Messages
2,137
#53
AoS is heavily objective based in the majority of scenarios, with grabbing objectives early and holding them as long as possible being the better part of victory. It's not uncommon for one side to nearly or even completely table the other and still lose the game, particularly in tournament games that rarely have time to finish all rounds.

While the undead in general seem pretty slow moving, most undead factions have access to several deceptively fast units and/or deployment shenanigans. Dire wolves, hexwraiths, grimghasts, winged or mounted or dragon riding vampire lords, vargheists, crypt flayers, dragon or terrorgheist riding ghoul kings, gravesite deployment triggered by fast moving heroes, ghoul battalion outflanking, legion of night outflanking, ghoul king summoning abilities, nighthaunt deep striking, deathmarch & sacrament bonus movement, multiple sources of casting roll bonuses to reliably cast cogs, even tomb kings have cavalry and chariots and necroknights and settra's slingshot ability that was so terrifying in 2016. The undead in age of sigmar are deceptively fast, able to put units where they need to be as early as turn one.

Unfortunately, turn one too often isn't fast enough. One of the big weaknesses of undead in aos currently is battalions, we just dont have many, and the ones we have arent particulatly great. Not points efficient, not great bonuses, not great unit selection or flexibility, etc. The unit selection & flexibility is the big thing. In aos battalions get to deploy as a single drop, and many factions have large & flexible battalions that let them deploy their entire army this way, and since the player who finishes deployment first gets to choose who goes first in the first battle round, such armies basically always get that choice against the undead.

This means that even if you do take advantage of speedy units and deployment trickery, a canny opponent can still grab objectives and block off aggressively placed gravesites before you get to go, and imo this is the main thing stopping undead in general and Legions in particular from being tier one competitively.

Sure, we have other weaknesses - we are vulnerable to hero sniping (not because our heroes are weaker, but because they do more for us so it's more worth targeting them), have limited ranged ability of our own (though ranged builds in general are NOT dominating the current meta), and are generally lacking in both rend to bypass enemy armor and good armor saves of our own, but none of that hurts terribly much, and we're still imo solidly tier two, able to bounce back with incredibly aggressive units supported by some highly effective heroes and recursion mechanics that boarder on the downright unfair.

In fact, there are many more casual scenes where the undead (TK excluded, tho some are still traumatized by the 2016 tk rules) are considered the most broken/powerful armies in aos. Casual players tend not to exploit one drop battalions, since you dont get to use all your favorite models that way, and they often don't even play to the objectives except as an afterthought, ending up with games that boil dorn to a big melee in the middle of the board, and most undead factions, legions in particular, are nigh unbeatable in that sort of brawl of attrition.

External balance aside, internal balance isnt perfect either. Zombies are largely obsoleted by skeletons, wight kings by vampire lords (outside of maybe the deathmarch battalion), grave guard by the new grimghast reapers, black knights aren't enough tougher or harder hitting than dire wolves to make up for the higher point cost and not being battleline, etc.

But there's still a ton of playably valid options and builds, and vampire lords are a common sight in many of them. They are in fact so good that you'll even see nighthaunt players sometimes running them as allies, despite the fact that allied units dont get to benefit from any faction rules (which includes artefacts and spell lores).

What you dont usually see, at least not in games of 2k points or more, is (non-dragon-riding) vampire lords as the general of an army. A vamp lord on its own is dangerous, but not so dangerous that dedicating the resources necessary to bring it down is an easy choice. After all, the grimghast reapers its supporting are still quite deadly on their own. But if its also your general, that's another story entirely. Not that you never see infantry generals in legion armies, but when you do they're played quite conservatively, well screened and held further back, at least until enemy units are engaged. Necromancers are often a bit better in that sort of position, especially as the otherwise very useful in this context flying speed of winged vamp lords makes them unable to benefit from line of sight blocking forests, though that absolutely is not a deal breaker.

What you'll see more than that is monstrous generals. Nagash is a beast in aos2e, dragon lords, particularly with one of the defensive artefacts, are every bit as powerful as any herohammer aficionado might want. Mortarchs are... alright, but without access to the top end defensive artifacts and with worse armor and fewer wounds than dragon lords you often have to play a bit conservatively with them as well, which as with infantry generals slightly favors the more casty oriented arkhan who generally wants to hold back anyway over his vampyric peers. The new dragon lord special character is alright, trading the security of a defensive artefact for improved offensive abilities. Outside of the legions, terrorgheist riding lords are the most common ghoul king general. While nighthaunts don't really have that sort of monster hero to lead their army, but also don't rely on their general for as much either.

To be clear, again, this is fairly typical in aos. More monstrous type generals are the norm at 2k points or above, and where they aren't its because they're either not available and/or because the general just contributes less to the army, in which case a non-monster general might be used to distract attention from another more expensive target.
 

Vipoid

Necromancer
Joined
Apr 27, 2012
Messages
875
#55
@Vipoid vipoid - i apologize. I'm too easily frustrated by this sort of thing, that's on me. I should never posted any additional replies in this thread after the first one.
I'm sorry, too. It was never my intention to annoy people by posting here.

I'll do my best to avoid posting any complaints or such in future.

@Vipoid Have you checked out The 9th Age? It is a different game altogether but in some ways closer to WFB than AoS is. There is also quite a lot of customisation for the Vampires in the Vampire Covenant army, and they are generally really quite powerful. Could be up your alley :)
It does look interesting, but I fear no one in my group plays it.

Still, I'll ask the AoS players and see if any of them want to give it a try sometime. Cheers.

Actually, GHoN got little ways to kill a Slann, so I would adopt a different tactics, and let the giant frog live its life.
AoS is a game that's mostly based on movement, and Seraphon is one of the most mobile army in all the game, while LoN is mostly a slow army.
You don't want to chase someone's quicker than you, you don't want to try to adapt your style to the strenghts of an opponent, but you want to play on your strong points.

Seraphon will have less models than you, and only in the latter turns they will have greater numbers (tnx to summoning); use hordes to swarm objectives and then sit there, healing from the shooting and counterattacking the units that will try to move you away from them.
It's a game of attrition that you could lose, but not without collecting a sufficient number of objectives points, that will let you win the game.
Hmm, okay. Seraphon seem quite different to the Lizardmen I remember fighting in WHFB.

Oh, I've got a quick rules question regarding summoning - does summoning new units (like you mentioned Seraphon can do) or reviving lost units (e.g. with the Endless Legions ability) require Reinforcement Points? I've seen them mentioned a few times, but I've also seem people talk about Endless Legions like it only costs the Command Point.

That aside, do you happen to know anything about fighting Stormcast, Nighthaunt, Orcs, or Ogres with Legion of Nagash? I think these are the armies I'm most likely to see in my group.


AoS is heavily objective based in the majority of scenarios, with grabbing objectives early and holding them as long as possible being the better part of victory. It's not uncommon for one side to nearly or even completely table the other and still lose the game, particularly in tournament games that rarely have time to finish all rounds.

While the undead in general seem pretty slow moving, most undead factions have access to several deceptively fast units and/or deployment shenanigans. Dire wolves, hexwraiths, grimghasts, winged or mounted or dragon riding vampire lords, vargheists, crypt flayers, dragon or terrorgheist riding ghoul kings, gravesite deployment triggered by fast moving heroes, ghoul battalion outflanking, legion of night outflanking, ghoul king summoning abilities, nighthaunt deep striking, deathmarch & sacrament bonus movement, multiple sources of casting roll bonuses to reliably cast cogs, even tomb kings have cavalry and chariots and necroknights and settra's slingshot ability that was so terrifying in 2016. The undead in age of sigmar are deceptively fast, able to put units where they need to be as early as turn one.

Unfortunately, turn one too often isn't fast enough. One of the big weaknesses of undead in aos currently is battalions, we just dont have many, and the ones we have arent particulatly great. Not points efficient, not great bonuses, not great unit selection or flexibility, etc. The unit selection & flexibility is the big thing. In aos battalions get to deploy as a single drop, and many factions have large & flexible battalions that let them deploy their entire army this way, and since the player who finishes deployment first gets to choose who goes first in the first battle round, such armies basically always get that choice against the undead.

This means that even if you do take advantage of speedy units and deployment trickery, a canny opponent can still grab objectives and block off aggressively placed gravesites before you get to go, and imo this is the main thing stopping undead in general and Legions in particular from being tier one competitively.
Thank you for that detailed explanation. If our opponents usally go first and can get to objectives first, do we have any good counterplays?


Sure, we have other weaknesses - we are vulnerable to hero sniping (not because our heroes are weaker, but because they do more for us so it's more worth targeting them), have limited ranged ability of our own (though ranged builds in general are NOT dominating the current meta), and are generally lacking in both rend to bypass enemy armor and good armor saves of our own, but none of that hurts terribly much, and we're still imo solidly tier two, able to bounce back with incredibly aggressive units supported by some highly effective heroes and recursion mechanics that boarder on the downright unfair.

In fact, there are many more casual scenes where the undead (TK excluded, tho some are still traumatized by the 2016 tk rules) are considered the most broken/powerful armies in aos. Casual players tend not to exploit one drop battalions, since you dont get to use all your favorite models that way, and they often don't even play to the objectives except as an afterthought, ending up with games that boil dorn to a big melee in the middle of the board, and most undead factions, legions in particular, are nigh unbeatable in that sort of brawl of attrition.

External balance aside, internal balance isnt perfect either. Zombies are largely obsoleted by skeletons, wight kings by vampire lords (outside of maybe the deathmarch battalion), grave guard by the new grimghast reapers, black knights aren't enough tougher or harder hitting than dire wolves to make up for the higher point cost and not being battleline, etc.

But there's still a ton of playably valid options and builds, and vampire lords are a common sight in many of them. They are in fact so good that you'll even see nighthaunt players sometimes running them as allies, despite the fact that allied units dont get to benefit from any faction rules (which includes artefacts and spell lores).

What you dont usually see, at least not in games of 2k points or more, is (non-dragon-riding) vampire lords as the general of an army. A vamp lord on its own is dangerous, but not so dangerous that dedicating the resources necessary to bring it down is an easy choice. After all, the grimghast reapers its supporting are still quite deadly on their own. But if its also your general, that's another story entirely. Not that you never see infantry generals in legion armies, but when you do they're played quite conservatively, well screened and held further back, at least until enemy units are engaged. Necromancers are often a bit better in that sort of position, especially as the otherwise very useful in this context flying speed of winged vamp lords makes them unable to benefit from line of sight blocking forests, though that absolutely is not a deal breaker.
Well, if it helps, I can get behind using a Necromancer as my General. It would at least let me be more aggressive with my Vampire Lords, without fear of losing my general.

If I go this route, I'm presuming it would be a good idea to have a unit of 10 skeletons or Dire Wolves to hang out with him at the back of my army (for LoS and to shift wounds to)?

What you'll see more than that is monstrous generals. Nagash is a beast in aos2e, dragon lords, particularly with one of the defensive artefacts, are every bit as powerful as any herohammer aficionado might want. Mortarchs are... alright, but without access to the top end defensive artifacts and with worse armor and fewer wounds than dragon lords you often have to play a bit conservatively with them as well, which as with infantry generals slightly favors the more casty oriented arkhan who generally wants to hold back anyway over his vampyric peers. The new dragon lord special character is alright, trading the security of a defensive artefact for improved offensive abilities. Outside of the legions, terrorgheist riding lords are the most common ghoul king general. While nighthaunts don't really have that sort of monster hero to lead their army, but also don't rely on their general for as much either.

To be clear, again, this is fairly typical in aos. More monstrous type generals are the norm at 2k points or above, and where they aren't its because they're either not available and/or because the general just contributes less to the army, in which case a non-monster general might be used to distract attention from another more expensive target.
I wish I was more into the big monster generals, it seems like it would solve a lot of problems. :tongue:

Out of interest, what do Nighthaunt do for their generals?


Thank you, by the way. I appreciate you taking the time to give me such detailed information and advice.


I still hope for Vipoid to return...
Aww, thanks. :redface:
 
Joined
Jan 1, 2017
Messages
599
#56
Hmm, okay. Seraphon seem quite different to the Lizardmen I remember fighting in WHFB.

Absolutely yes, Seraphon are very different from Lizardmen.
Actually, their main featuure as army is the ability called "Lords of Space and Time".
Each round, a Seraphon unit can be teleported in any part of the battlefield, by rolling a dice:
1-2: nothing happens, the unit stays immobile, cannot move or charge
3-4: the unit is teleported at more than 9" from enemy, cannot move but can charge
5-6: the unit is teleported at more than 9" from enemy, and can also move
If the general is a Slann with Great Rememberer as command trait, then up to TWO units can be teleported this way, each turn.


Oh, I've got a quick rules question regarding summoning - does summoning new units (like you mentioned Seraphon can do) or reviving lost units (e.g. with the Endless Legions ability) require Reinforcement Points? I've seen them mentioned a few times, but I've also seem people talk about Endless Legions like it only costs the Command Point.
Summoning in 2nd edition is different from 1st one.
1st ed: Seraphon (and also other summoning armies as Tzeentch) can summon a unit with the proper spell, but the points cost of the unit must be held in a reserve pool; basically, in a 2000 pts game, if i field 1600 points, i can summon 400 points.
2nd ed: summonings are FREE (no points must be kept aside)... if some conditions are met. examples:
for Seraphon, if the Slann chooses to not cast a spell, he collects 3 summoning points; if a Slann does nothing and it's the general, in a turn can collect 10 summoning points (which can be increased by other things). WIth 6 summoning points can be summoned a 10 skink unit. 24 sp are needed to call an oldblood on carnosaur.
for LoN: they can bring back for free all summonable units that have been destroyed, but the unit must be set within 6" of a gravesite and more than 9" from enemy


That aside, do you happen to know anything about fighting Stormcast, Nighthaunt, Orcs, or Ogres with Legion of Nagash? I think these are the armies I'm most likely to see in my group.
I will cover this later.
However, keep in mind that SCE will probably have a Lord Celestant on Stardrake... the guy costs more than 500 pts, but he eats hordes for breakfast.
 

Malisteen

Master Necromancer
True Blood
Joined
Sep 23, 2009
Messages
2,137
#57
I'm sorry, too. It was never my intention to annoy people by posting here.

I'll do my best to avoid posting any complaints or such in future.
It's not complaints in general. I mean, I have several complaints about AoS myself. The single deployment battalions is weird to begin with, the first deployed gets to choose first turn is bad regardless of whether my armies can play that game or not, the double turn is bad and obnoxious, even if its something we have to lean on ourselves. Honestly, the biggest problems with AoS revolve around the player turn scheme. One player doing all their stuff with all their units, then the other player following with all their stuff, is just bad design. It can cause whatever player isn't going to get bored and become distracted, it causes a lot of arbitrary balance problems, and the things I have the biggest problems with - first deployed chooses first turn and the double turn in general - are problems because they dramatically exacerbate the problem with the turn order to begin with.

these are problems that whfb shared, that 40k still shares, but that aos made even worse. And there's an obvious alternative baked right into aos with how the combat phase works - alternating unit activations is simply much better game design, and the movement and shooting phases should work the same way. Sure you might need to adjust some things - charging might need to be added to regular movement so you don't just have units kiting each other around, melee might need a buff, or shooting a debuff, to compensate for the fact that melee currently gets two activations per game round for each one that shooting units get - maybe successful chargers could fight an immediate round of combat? Eh, I don't know.

And there are other problems as well. Points costs are arbitrary and rather inconsistent, especially points costs for battalions, though thankfully points are updated once a year now so if something's dramatically under or overpointed you don't necessarily have to wait up to a decade for a new codex to fix it. The way realm lores (introduced in the malign sorcery book) work isn't great. Etc etc.

Plenty of valid complaints to be had.

What I have (admittedly too much, and again I apologize) a hair trigger on is complaints in the form of or adjacent to "it's different therefore it's bad" which I've seen out of nerd hobbies a bit too often, whether in warhammer or D&D or what have you. Not liking something because it's different from what you liked is perfectly valid, but there's nowhere to go with it, and debating it too often comes down to attacking someone for liking different things, which is bleh.

But again, I overreacted, that's not what was happening here, and I apologize for reflexively thinking it was.

..............................

That aside, do you happen to know anything about fighting Stormcast, Nighthaunt, Orcs, or Ogres with Legion of Nagash? I think these are the armies I'm most likely to see in my group.
stormcasts are probably the strongest faction right now, but they're also a huge faction, with less than perfect internal balance, so how strong they are and how to fight them will vary significantly based on what they're actually bringing. The newer, sacrosanct stuff is mostly their strongest stuff to my understanding, but I don't have a lot of experience against that stuff because the stormcast players I've personally played the most against were mostly playing armies built on the first edition starter box stuff. The new stuff seems much stronger, but it's also still new, so proper responses are still being worked out. They've only just started to show up on the tournament scene, due to the painting delay.

Orcs come in a few varieties from elite melee ironjaws to hoardy savage orcs which tend to spam bowfire. None are that terribly concerning. Standard LoN tactics should work fine against them. Ogres likewise have some variety. The stronger ones are the mostly mounted and monster heavy beastclaw raiders. They've got tough, hard hitting brute melee mashers and painfully accurate and super deadly to heroes snowball hucking elephants. Sacrificial screens to absorb stonehorn charges before counter-charging with units behind are helpful, and you'll want to keep your support heroes further back than normal until you can land a few wounds on the thundertusks. Even just a few wounds will drop the snowballs from nigh-instant-kill 6 mortal wound shots to a dangerous but more manageable d6 mortal wounds instead.


Thank you for that detailed explanation. If our opponents usally go first and can get to objectives first, do we have any good counterplays?
First is that you absolutely do have to force them to go first. If you say "I'm not going first anyway, so what does it matter", and build a slow plodding counter-charge oriented infantry force, place all your grave markers conservatively, and deploy all your units, such that you /can't/ dominate the board on your first turn /even if/ you go first, then your opponent gets to /make/ you go first, knowing you can't capitalize on it anyway, and then play normally and threaten you with a game ending double turn.

So you absolutely need to take fast units, capitalize on deployment shenanigans, threaten aggressive gravesite deployment (which requires both forward gravesites /and/ fast heroes who get move forward to activate them - another point in favor of vampire lords, whether flying or mounted, as support heroes), take advantage of outflanking options if playing legion of the night, deploy aggressively forward, etc. Doing all this can leave you somewhat exposed, but you have recursion mechanics to fall back on to absorb losses that might result. The point is, if your opponent does get to choose first turn, you want to force them to do so.

You'll also usually have numbers, especially against the specific opponents you mentioned, so taking all the objectives AND denying you use of forward gravesites for deployment is likely to leave them spread a little thin, and this allows you to land a heavy counter attack, one that you can especially hammer home when and if you get that double turn. Pick a weak point in the opponents probably-spread-thin line, use your speed to overwhelm it, spread out from there. Hope there's enough time left after breaking the enemy's army to make up the difference in objective points.

It's a bit of an uphill climb, sure. Again, I don't personally think the Legions are tier one in the current tournament meta, though others might disagree with me. But it's playable. It's a game. Especially in local settings where you're not as likely to time out and be unable to finish all five rounds.

AND, again, if you're not playing in a high end tournament setting, there's a good chance your opponent won't be one dropping their army, won't be playing for objectives, will just want to beat face. And in that sort of game the legions aren't just competitive, they're arguably outright overpowered.


Well, if it helps, I can get behind using a Necromancer as my General. It would at least let me be more aggressive with my Vampire Lords, without fear of losing my general.

If I go this route, I'm presuming it would be a good idea to have a unit of 10 skeletons or Dire Wolves to hang out with him at the back of my army (for LoS and to shift wounds to)?
if you can keep him largely out of sight, but still within casting range of your forward units, then a bodyguard of a few skeletons or wolves might be enough, but more likely you'd want him surrounded by the bulk of your forces, say positioned between two big skeleton blobs, or a big blob of skeletons and another of grimghasts. passing wounds to summonable models is a good defense, but a better defense yet is keeping enemy models out of short/melee range entirely by simply body-blocking them. Long range is still a threat, but if you're going for this kind of setup you should be looking for a solid ranged defense artefact anyway. Something like the legion of sacrament's shroud of darkness, which will impose a -2 hit penalty on long ranged fire, on top of the -1 look out sir penalty for being near another unit of 5+ models. You do want to be close enough to use your spells effectively. Vanhels works as long as the necromancer is within 18" of the friendly unit you want to buff. Necromage lore spells are mostly 18" as well, but they're debuffs rather than buffs, you you'll need to be a bit further forward to threaten enemy units. Not that big a deal unless you're running multiple necromancers though (which you should probably consider honestly, necromancers are awesome), as vanhels really is quite good on it's own.

Hit penalty artefacts don't help against snowballs, those hit on a 2+ regardless of modifiers, so you'll just have to stay out of range until the thundertusk takes some wounds.


I wish I was more into the big monster generals, it seems like it would solve a lot of problems. :tongue:
Definitely something to think about. Age of Sigmar is still sort of herohammery, but in a different way that whfb. It's got a sort of 'hierarchical perspective' thing going, where bigger = more important = more badass, whether 'big' means a single huge model or a huge unit of many tiny models. This is the case in the lore as well, where the actions and motivations of deific figures like Sigmar, Nagash, Alarielle, or Morathi loom large, while the common soldiers and people get relatively little attention. That's gotten better recently, but it's still noticeable.

Even if you're not running a monstrous or monster-riding general, I'd still recommend considering adding a monster or two to your army. A terrorgheist in particular is a valuable tool, with its bite and scream both able to penetrate the heavy armor saves that can otherwise be tricky for our faction. The scream is especially effective given the multiple stacking bravery penalties available to a legions of nagash army (undead banners and the necromancer spell overwhelming dread being the most obvious and commonly used, but morghasts can impose an additional penalty, as can legion of blood units generally, and there's probably a couple others I'm forgetting). If nothing else, it's a large, imposing piece that will distract lightning bolts and snowballs away from your necromancers and vampire lords.

Out of interest, what do Nighthaunt do for their generals?
Usually a knight of shrouds, mounted or otherwise. A useful model with some good buffs and decent command ability options, but not game ending if lost, and they can be part of a decent formations with the sword-wielding-wraith unit. Reikenor the Grimhailer (spellcasting wraith on an undead pegasus) is very popular as a special character, but is usually not the general except in very small games without room for multiple heroes. He's mostly there to cast the 'chronomantic cogs' spell from the malign sorcery expansion (+2 to all movement and charge distances for friends and enemies, a big boon to nighthaunt armies with multiple melee units manifesting 9" away from enemy units), and once that's up he can put out a fair bit of melee or magic damage (in subsequent rounds the cogs can even be used to cast a second spell instead of increasing movement, provided reikenor hasn't moved away after placing them), but he's a big enough target without being your general, and as a special character can't take command abilities if you do make him your general. The basic, non-special character wizard, the guardian of souls, is also a decent option for your general, and is a great support hero regardless.

Some players like the other special characters as generals - the ghost bride mortarch or the king on floating throne, their names are escaping me for the moment. They're alright, but like reikenor are only barely more durable than a basic knight of shrouds, while unlike reikenor they're a lot more expensive points wise. They've got some good abilities, but it's difficult to make use of them without leaving them overexposed. If you use them, I'd recommend holding them as one of your reserve units to deep strike, hoping to tie up enemy threats before they have a chance to target your expensive special character, but that's just a thought, not based on any actual experience running them.


In terms of general advice, for a typical 2k army, I'd recommend 3 maxed out large melee blocks chosen from some combination of skeleton warriors (so many attacks) and grimghast reapers (rend! speed! flight! ethereal!), the latter being added to legions of nagash armies via errata. The reapers in particular are fantastic, but you should be warned, a lot of their power comes from points efficiency, which might get nerfed (again, points are updated every year now), and the errata that adds them to legions of nagash may get withdrawn at some point in the future, forcing them into your allies points, where they'd lose access to deathless minion saves and command point recursion, making them still good, but not nearly /as/ good.

beyond that, take a few units of dire wolves (usable in fewer large or more small units as you prefer, play around to see what works for you), 2-3 support heroes in any combination of vampires & necromancers, something to threaten heavily armored units (maybe a terrorgheist, maybe some morghast harbingers with halberds, maybe a big unit of spirit hosts or some hexwraiths if you trust your luck to roll sixes, maybe a couple banshees, maybe a vamp lord on zombie dragon or allied ghoul king on terrorgheist with attendant summoned crypt flayers), maybe a casting buff (lodestone corpse cart of mortis engine), and be sure to leave 100 or so points left over for extra command points (you get 1 extra cp per 50 points you don't spend) to use on unit recursion. And just see what you can make of that. Convert up some small markers for gravesites, place a couple in territory you control so you can rely having access to them, place a couple more aggressively within striking distance of objectives, keep at least one big unit of skeletons or grimghasts in reserve to threaten gravesite deployment, and see what you can do with it.


Legions of nagash have a lot to wrap your head around - tons of units, tons of allegiance rules, traits, and artefacts between the four different legions you can choose from, and two very different but very good spell lores to pull from. The gravesites in particular are tricky and require a lot of finesse and strategy to get the best use of them, but at the same time they're super rewarding and extremely thematic to play with, they make games very narratively engaging, with necromancers and vampires literally raising the dead from the earth during the game. Once you've got it working for you, it is a LOT of fun, and invites a lot of interactive, dynamic play from your opponents as they fight to keep your characters away from sources of fresh corpses, or desperately try to take out your general to keep the dead from rising up over and over again. Do be prepared for that to happen though - even with big monstrous generals your opponent is going to want to take them out, and if they dedicate enough effort to doing so they will more often than not bring them down before the game ends. You just have to make it as hard as possible to do, and to punish them as hard as possible for any mistakes or overreach they commit in the process.


To be clear, while I think AoS 2e is an improvement on 1e, I still don't think the core game is as good as oldhammer fantasy, and I too miss the fun of tinkering with the finer details of list construction, equipment etc. But there is still a lot there to mess with, and regardless of the quality of the game as a whole, the experience of playing the undead in AoS 2e, whether ghouls, ghosts, or legions (though sadly not tomb kings), is about as fun and engaging as the undead have ever been in any GW game.
 

Malisteen

Master Necromancer
True Blood
Joined
Sep 23, 2009
Messages
2,137
#58
Some list examples

What I currently run:

Allegiance: Grand Host of Nagash
Mortal Realm: Shyish
Vampire Lord On Zombie Dragon
(440)
- General
- Deathlance & Shield & Chalice
- Trait: Lord of Nagashizzar
- Artefact: Ethereal Amulet
- Lore of the Vampires: Amethystine Pinions

Necromancer (110)
- Lore of the Deathmages: Overwhelming Dread
Vampire Lord (140)
- Mount: Flying Horror
- Lore of the Vampires: Amaranthine Orb

40 x Skeleton Warriors (280)
- Ancient Spears
5 x Dire Wolves (60)
5 x Dire Wolves (60)
30 x Grave Guard (420)
- Wight Blades and Crypt Shields
4 x Morghast Archai (440)
- Spirit Halberds

Total: 1950 / 2000
Extra Command Points: 1
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 138

This is a semi-casual list for my not-especially-competitive local scene. It runs grave guard instead of grimghasts for aesthetic and thematic and model-having reasons, even though grimghasts are both better and cheaper. It runs archai instead of harbingers for the same reasons, but harbingers would definitely be better here now that they can take the halberds. Of course, another big grimghast or skittle horde would be better still, and save points, but i like the morghast models, dont even own 30 grimghasts yet, and my local scene is NOT that competitive (I've honestly been considering switching to tomb kings).

But otherwise, the list has some numbers, a fair bit of grand host synergy, and can be most anywhere turn one, especially the dragon lord with pinions who likes to rocket up the board and summon the graveguard from an aggressively placed gravesite if the opponent is foolish enough to allow it.


Another imo stronger list that I've toyed around with:


Allegiance: Legion of Sacrament
Mortal Realm: Shyish
Arkhan The Black Mortarch of Sacrament
(320)
- General
- Lore of the Dead: Overwhelming Dread (Deathmages)

Necromancer (110)
- Lore of the Deathmages: Fading Vigour
Vampire Lord (140)
- Mount: Flying Horror
- Artefact: Shroud of Darkness
- Lore of the Vampires: Vile Transference

5 x Dire Wolves (60)
40 x Skeleton Warriors (280)
- Ancient Blades
40 x Skeleton Warriors (280)
- Ancient Spears
30 x Grimghast Reapers (360)
Terrorgheist (300)
Soulsnare Shackles (20)
Prismatic Palisade (30)

Total: 1900 / 2000
Extra Command Points: 2
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 155

This list has the full three blocks that I do recommend at 2k points. Out of them, both the spearletons and the grimghasts deploy via gravesites, with the other skittle block bubble wrapping my casters, sword armed because screen units usually dont get to engage three ranks deep anyway.

Legion of sacrament boosts casting, and the army has several great spell options, particularly debuffs that give opposing units a very hard time. The endless spells provide additional disruption and some ranged defence for arkhan. Terrorgheist helps threaten armor and distract attention away ftom the casters & infantry.

Both arkhan and the gheist could be replaced with a single vamp lord on zombie dragon plus a second vampire or necromancer, with points to spare. But I do like having arkhan's casting and (possibly even more significantly) unbinding bonuses available, and if nothing else he can always threaten a 'hail mary' curse of years. Plus he's a great model, and probably the most competant & compelling death character in the AoS lore, so I do like having him on the table.

Though some might feel he's strayed into mary sue-esque territory, with deathstroke/batman levels of flanderized competence. Arkhan ALWAYS wins, even when it seems he loses its only because his super double secret plan required him to do do, so actually he won anyway, and Arkhan is ALWAYS manipulating the actions of everyone around him, up to and including Nagash. I still think it's fun and funny, but your mileage will vary as to whether it's just obnoxious at this point.


Anyway, I'd also suggest an alternative-alternative nagash list example, but while quite strong, at 860 points (even post nerf I'd never field him without the umbral spellportals) he really skews the rest of your army, and is even further from your non-monsterous preferences than the anove lists.
 
Last edited:

Malisteen

Master Necromancer
True Blood
Joined
Sep 23, 2009
Messages
2,137
#59
Beh, here's an example nagash list anyway

Allegiance: Grand Host of Nagash
Nagash Supreme Lord Of The Undead
(800)
- Lores of the Dead Spell 1: Overwhelming Dread (Deathmages)
- Lores of the Dead Spell 2: Fading Vigour (Deathmages)
- Lores of the Dead Spell 3: Amethystine Pinions (Vampires)

Necromancer (110)
- Artefact: Grave-sand Timeglass
- Lore of the Deathmages: Decrepify

Vampire Lord (140)
- Mount: Flying Horror
- Lore of the Vampires: Amaranthine Orb

40 x Skeleton Warriors (280)
- Ancient Blades
5 x Dire Wolves (60)
5 x Dire Wolves (60)
30 x Grimghast Reapers (360)
Umbral Spellportal (60)
Soulsnare Shackles (20)

Total: 1890 / 2000
Extra Command Points: 2
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 116


The general outline of what I consider a 'typical' undead legion list is still there, but its at least one big unit down from either of the above, with less board presence than even my inefficient casual list. Assuming realm lores are in play, a nagash list like this can be devastating, but is very vulnerable to losing on objectives, even in games where it wipes the opponent out altogether. Some armies however, especially in a casual context, simply cannot deal with a nagash list like this, and it can lead to bad play experiences for opponents even if they do win, because having your army spend the game huddled in terror on objectives while a kaiju monster you can barely scratch and his retinue of killer ghosts who wont stay dead as long as he's still up rampages around the board smashing your army just slightly too slowly to make up the victory point deficit after wiping you off the table doesn't exactly *feel* like winning.
 
Last edited:
Joined
Jan 1, 2017
Messages
599
#60
it can lead to bad play experiences for opponents even if they do win, because having your army spend the game huddled in terror on objectives while a kaiju monster you can barely scratch and his retinue of killer ghosts who wont stay dead as long as he's still up rampages around the board smashing your army just slightly too slowly to make up the victory point deficit after wiping you off the table doesn't exactly *feel* like winning.
xD


on a side note, i get that rules are explicitly clear on this, but the fact that a wipe-out doesn't give you automatic victory, perplexes me to no end... even if for some scenarios it would make sense.
I know many gaming groups that house-rule it.
 

Vipoid

Necromancer
Joined
Apr 27, 2012
Messages
875
#61
Sorry for taking a while to reply, guys. I was quite busy and there's a lot to reply to.

Absolutely yes, Seraphon are very different from Lizardmen.
Actually, their main featuure as army is the ability called "Lords of Space and Time".
Each round, a Seraphon unit can be teleported in any part of the battlefield, by rolling a dice:
1-2: nothing happens, the unit stays immobile, cannot move or charge
3-4: the unit is teleported at more than 9" from enemy, cannot move but can charge
5-6: the unit is teleported at more than 9" from enemy, and can also move
If the general is a Slann with Great Rememberer as command trait, then up to TWO units can be teleported this way, each turn.
Wow, yeah this sounds very different from the Lizardman army I last fought against.

Summoning in 2nd edition is different from 1st one.
1st ed: Seraphon (and also other summoning armies as Tzeentch) can summon a unit with the proper spell, but the points cost of the unit must be held in a reserve pool; basically, in a 2000 pts game, if i field 1600 points, i can summon 400 points.
2nd ed: summonings are FREE (no points must be kept aside)... if some conditions are met. examples:
for Seraphon, if the Slann chooses to not cast a spell, he collects 3 summoning points; if a Slann does nothing and it's the general, in a turn can collect 10 summoning points (which can be increased by other things). WIth 6 summoning points can be summoned a 10 skink unit. 24 sp are needed to call an oldblood on carnosaur.
for LoN: they can bring back for free all summonable units that have been destroyed, but the unit must be set within 6" of a gravesite and more than 9" from enemy
Hmm, okay.

However, keep in mind that SCE will probably have a Lord Celestant on Stardrake... the guy costs more than 500 pts, but he eats hordes for breakfast.
Well, given that my army is mostly infantry, that's more than a little concerning.

Would a terrorgheist (with no rider) or any of my Vampire/Necromancer characters be any use against that?


on a side note, i get that rules are explicitly clear on this, but the fact that a wipe-out doesn't give you automatic victory, perplexes me to no end... even if for some scenarios it would make sense.
I know many gaming groups that house-rule it.
Ah, I'd better check that with my gaming group, just in case. Though obviously I'd prefer not to be tabled in the first place. :tongue:


What I have (admittedly too much, and again I apologize) a hair trigger on is complaints in the form of or adjacent to "it's different therefore it's bad" which I've seen out of nerd hobbies a bit too often, whether in warhammer or D&D or what have you. Not liking something because it's different from what you liked is perfectly valid, but there's nowhere to go with it, and debating it too often comes down to attacking someone for liking different things, which is bleh.

But again, I overreacted, that's not what was happening here, and I apologize for reflexively thinking it was.
No worries. :thumbsup:

stormcasts are probably the strongest faction right now, but they're also a huge faction, with less than perfect internal balance, so how strong they are and how to fight them will vary significantly based on what they're actually bringing. The newer, sacrosanct stuff is mostly their strongest stuff to my understanding, but I don't have a lot of experience against that stuff because the stormcast players I've personally played the most against were mostly playing armies built on the first edition starter box stuff. The new stuff seems much stronger, but it's also still new, so proper responses are still being worked out. They've only just started to show up on the tournament scene, due to the painting delay.
Hmm, I think the chap at my club got two of the starter boxes, so hopefully his army will mostly be that.

Orcs come in a few varieties from elite melee ironjaws to hoardy savage orcs which tend to spam bowfire. None are that terribly concerning. Standard LoN tactics should work fine against them. Ogres likewise have some variety. The stronger ones are the mostly mounted and monster heavy beastclaw raiders. They've got tough, hard hitting brute melee mashers and painfully accurate and super deadly to heroes snowball hucking elephants. Sacrificial screens to absorb stonehorn charges before counter-charging with units behind are helpful, and you'll want to keep your support heroes further back than normal until you can land a few wounds on the thundertusks. Even just a few wounds will drop the snowballs from nigh-instant-kill 6 mortal wound shots to a dangerous but more manageable d6 mortal wounds instead.
Okay, I'll bear all that in mind. Thank you.


First is that you absolutely do have to force them to go first. If you say "I'm not going first anyway, so what does it matter", and build a slow plodding counter-charge oriented infantry force, place all your grave markers conservatively, and deploy all your units, such that you /can't/ dominate the board on your first turn /even if/ you go first, then your opponent gets to /make/ you go first, knowing you can't capitalize on it anyway, and then play normally and threaten you with a game ending double turn.

So you absolutely need to take fast units, capitalize on deployment shenanigans, threaten aggressive gravesite deployment (which requires both forward gravesites /and/ fast heroes who get move forward to activate them - another point in favor of vampire lords, whether flying or mounted, as support heroes), take advantage of outflanking options if playing legion of the night, deploy aggressively forward, etc. Doing all this can leave you somewhat exposed, but you have recursion mechanics to fall back on to absorb losses that might result. The point is, if your opponent does get to choose first turn, you want to force them to do so.

You'll also usually have numbers, especially against the specific opponents you mentioned, so taking all the objectives AND denying you use of forward gravesites for deployment is likely to leave them spread a little thin, and this allows you to land a heavy counter attack, one that you can especially hammer home when and if you get that double turn. Pick a weak point in the opponents probably-spread-thin line, use your speed to overwhelm it, spread out from there. Hope there's enough time left after breaking the enemy's army to make up the difference in objective points.

It's a bit of an uphill climb, sure. Again, I don't personally think the Legions are tier one in the current tournament meta, though others might disagree with me. But it's playable. It's a game. Especially in local settings where you're not as likely to time out and be unable to finish all five rounds.

AND, again, if you're not playing in a high end tournament setting, there's a good chance your opponent won't be one dropping their army, won't be playing for objectives, will just want to beat face. And in that sort of game the legions aren't just competitive, they're arguably outright overpowered.
Interesting. Well, I'm definitely not aiming to play in any high-end tournament settings (or indeed, any tournaments at all). So hopefully I won't have to worry about any hyper-competitive stuff.

Even so, I'll do my best to play as you suggest. I'll aim to get a feel for whether my opponent is playing for the objectives or just trying to kill stuff and adapt accordingly.

if you can keep him largely out of sight, but still within casting range of your forward units, then a bodyguard of a few skeletons or wolves might be enough, but more likely you'd want him surrounded by the bulk of your forces, say positioned between two big skeleton blobs, or a big blob of skeletons and another of grimghasts. passing wounds to summonable models is a good defense, but a better defense yet is keeping enemy models out of short/melee range entirely by simply body-blocking them. Long range is still a threat, but if you're going for this kind of setup you should be looking for a solid ranged defense artefact anyway. Something like the legion of sacrament's shroud of darkness, which will impose a -2 hit penalty on long ranged fire, on top of the -1 look out sir penalty for being near another unit of 5+ models. You do want to be close enough to use your spells effectively. Vanhels works as long as the necromancer is within 18" of the friendly unit you want to buff. Necromage lore spells are mostly 18" as well, but they're debuffs rather than buffs, you you'll need to be a bit further forward to threaten enemy units. Not that big a deal unless you're running multiple necromancers though (which you should probably consider honestly, necromancers are awesome), as vanhels really is quite good on it's own.

Hit penalty artefacts don't help against snowballs, those hit on a 2+ regardless of modifiers, so you'll just have to stay out of range until the thundertusk takes some wounds.
Regarding the last point, would the Wristbands of Black Gold be a better choice - to give my general some protection from the Snowball (and other auto-hitting abilities)?

Definitely something to think about. Age of Sigmar is still sort of herohammery, but in a different way that whfb. It's got a sort of 'hierarchical perspective' thing going, where bigger = more important = more badass, whether 'big' means a single huge model or a huge unit of many tiny models. This is the case in the lore as well, where the actions and motivations of deific figures like Sigmar, Nagash, Alarielle, or Morathi loom large, while the common soldiers and people get relatively little attention. That's gotten better recently, but it's still noticeable.

Even if you're not running a monstrous or monster-riding general, I'd still recommend considering adding a monster or two to your army. A terrorgheist in particular is a valuable tool, with its bite and scream both able to penetrate the heavy armor saves that can otherwise be tricky for our faction. The scream is especially effective given the multiple stacking bravery penalties available to a legions of nagash army (undead banners and the necromancer spell overwhelming dread being the most obvious and commonly used, but morghasts can impose an additional penalty, as can legion of blood units generally, and there's probably a couple others I'm forgetting). If nothing else, it's a large, imposing piece that will distract lightning bolts and snowballs away from your necromancers and vampire lords.
Well, I'm more than happy to use a terrorgheist in my army.

I'm just not keen on having my general mounted on a monster.


Usually a knight of shrouds, mounted or otherwise. A useful model with some good buffs and decent command ability options, but not game ending if lost, and they can be part of a decent formations with the sword-wielding-wraith unit. Reikenor the Grimhailer (spellcasting wraith on an undead pegasus) is very popular as a special character, but is usually not the general except in very small games without room for multiple heroes. He's mostly there to cast the 'chronomantic cogs' spell from the malign sorcery expansion (+2 to all movement and charge distances for friends and enemies, a big boon to nighthaunt armies with multiple melee units manifesting 9" away from enemy units), and once that's up he can put out a fair bit of melee or magic damage (in subsequent rounds the cogs can even be used to cast a second spell instead of increasing movement, provided reikenor hasn't moved away after placing them), but he's a big enough target without being your general, and as a special character can't take command abilities if you do make him your general. The basic, non-special character wizard, the guardian of souls, is also a decent option for your general, and is a great support hero regardless.

Some players like the other special characters as generals - the ghost bride mortarch or the king on floating throne, their names are escaping me for the moment. They're alright, but like reikenor are only barely more durable than a basic knight of shrouds, while unlike reikenor they're a lot more expensive points wise. They've got some good abilities, but it's difficult to make use of them without leaving them overexposed. If you use them, I'd recommend holding them as one of your reserve units to deep strike, hoping to tie up enemy threats before they have a chance to target your expensive special character, but that's just a thought, not based on any actual experience running them.
Cheers. I just found myself curious when you mentioned that Nighthaunt doesn't have any big, centrepiece units to use as Generals.


In terms of general advice, for a typical 2k army, I'd recommend 3 maxed out large melee blocks chosen from some combination of skeleton warriors (so many attacks) and grimghast reapers (rend! speed! flight! ethereal!), the latter being added to legions of nagash armies via errata. The reapers in particular are fantastic, but you should be warned, a lot of their power comes from points efficiency, which might get nerfed (again, points are updated every year now), and the errata that adds them to legions of nagash may get withdrawn at some point in the future, forcing them into your allies points, where they'd lose access to deathless minion saves and command point recursion, making them still good, but not nearly /as/ good.

beyond that, take a few units of dire wolves (usable in fewer large or more small units as you prefer, play around to see what works for you), 2-3 support heroes in any combination of vampires & necromancers, something to threaten heavily armored units (maybe a terrorgheist, maybe some morghast harbingers with halberds, maybe a big unit of spirit hosts or some hexwraiths if you trust your luck to roll sixes, maybe a couple banshees, maybe a vamp lord on zombie dragon or allied ghoul king on terrorgheist with attendant summoned crypt flayers), maybe a casting buff (lodestone corpse cart of mortis engine), and be sure to leave 100 or so points left over for extra command points (you get 1 extra cp per 50 points you don't spend) to use on unit recursion. And just see what you can make of that. Convert up some small markers for gravesites, place a couple in territory you control so you can rely having access to them, place a couple more aggressively within striking distance of objectives, keep at least one big unit of skeletons or grimghasts in reserve to threaten gravesite deployment, and see what you can do with it.


Legions of nagash have a lot to wrap your head around - tons of units, tons of allegiance rules, traits, and artefacts between the four different legions you can choose from, and two very different but very good spell lores to pull from. The gravesites in particular are tricky and require a lot of finesse and strategy to get the best use of them, but at the same time they're super rewarding and extremely thematic to play with, they make games very narratively engaging, with necromancers and vampires literally raising the dead from the earth during the game. Once you've got it working for you, it is a LOT of fun, and invites a lot of interactive, dynamic play from your opponents as they fight to keep your characters away from sources of fresh corpses, or desperately try to take out your general to keep the dead from rising up over and over again. Do be prepared for that to happen though - even with big monstrous generals your opponent is going to want to take them out, and if they dedicate enough effort to doing so they will more often than not bring them down before the game ends. You just have to make it as hard as possible to do, and to punish them as hard as possible for any mistakes or overreach they commit in the process.
Thanks for your advice and suggestions regarding list-building (though I'll probably want to play some games before considering new investments). Yeah, there's a hell of a lot to take in with regard to different subfactions, artefact tables, alliances etc.

To be clear, while I think AoS 2e is an improvement on 1e, I still don't think the core game is as good as oldhammer fantasy, and I too miss the fun of tinkering with the finer details of list construction, equipment etc. But there is still a lot there to mess with, and regardless of the quality of the game as a whole, the experience of playing the undead in AoS 2e, whether ghouls, ghosts, or legions (though sadly not tomb kings), is about as fun and engaging as the undead have ever been in any GW game.
I can probably live with most of the changes to AoS, but the one thing that does sadden me is the separation of Ghouls from the rest of the undead stuff (I know you can technically ally them in, but then they don't get the LoN rules and have little to no synergy with other LoN stuff). I was particularly surprised about the Varghulf and Vargheists being Ghoul-exclusive. I always thought they were more vampire-y than Ghoul-y, but I'll admit that it's been years since I read the fluff for them so I could just be misremembering.


Some list examples

What I currently run:

Allegiance: Grand Host of Nagash
Mortal Realm: Shyish
Vampire Lord On Zombie Dragon
(440)
- General
- Deathlance & Shield & Chalice
- Trait: Lord of Nagashizzar
- Artefact: Ethereal Amulet
- Lore of the Vampires: Amethystine Pinions

Necromancer (110)
- Lore of the Deathmages: Overwhelming Dread
Vampire Lord (140)
- Mount: Flying Horror
- Lore of the Vampires: Amaranthine Orb

40 x Skeleton Warriors (280)
- Ancient Spears
5 x Dire Wolves (60)
5 x Dire Wolves (60)
30 x Grave Guard (420)
- Wight Blades and Crypt Shields
4 x Morghast Archai (440)
- Spirit Halberds

Total: 1950 / 2000
Extra Command Points: 1
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 138

This is a semi-casual list for my not-especially-competitive local scene. It runs grave guard instead of grimghasts for aesthetic and thematic and model-having reasons, even though grimghasts are both better and cheaper. It runs archai instead of harbingers for the same reasons, but harbingers would definitely be better here now that they can take the halberds. Of course, another big grimghast or skittle horde would be better still, and save points, but i like the morghast models, dont even own 30 grimghasts yet, and my local scene is NOT that competitive (I've honestly been considering switching to tomb kings).

But otherwise, the list has some numbers, a fair bit of grand host synergy, and can be most anywhere turn one, especially the dragon lord with pinions who likes to rocket up the board and summon the graveguard from an aggressively placed gravesite if the opponent is foolish enough to allow it.


Another imo stronger list that I've toyed around with:


Allegiance: Legion of Sacrament
Mortal Realm: Shyish
Arkhan The Black Mortarch of Sacrament
(320)
- General
- Lore of the Dead: Overwhelming Dread (Deathmages)

Necromancer (110)
- Lore of the Deathmages: Fading Vigour
Vampire Lord (140)
- Mount: Flying Horror
- Artefact: Shroud of Darkness
- Lore of the Vampires: Vile Transference

5 x Dire Wolves (60)
40 x Skeleton Warriors (280)
- Ancient Blades
40 x Skeleton Warriors (280)
- Ancient Spears
30 x Grimghast Reapers (360)
Terrorgheist (300)
Soulsnare Shackles (20)
Prismatic Palisade (30)

Total: 1900 / 2000
Extra Command Points: 2
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 155

This list has the full three blocks that I do recommend at 2k points. Out of them, both the spearletons and the grimghasts deploy via gravesites, with the other skittle block bubble wrapping my casters, sword armed because screen units usually dont get to engage three ranks deep anyway.

Legion of sacrament boosts casting, and the army has several great spell options, particularly debuffs that give opposing units a very hard time. The endless spells provide additional disruption and some ranged defence for arkhan. Terrorgheist helps threaten armor and distract attention away ftom the casters & infantry.

Both arkhan and the gheist could be replaced with a single vamp lord on zombie dragon plus a second vampire or necromancer, with points to spare. But I do like having arkhan's casting and (possibly even more significantly) unbinding bonuses available, and if nothing else he can always threaten a 'hail mary' curse of years. Plus he's a great model, and probably the most competant & compelling death character in the AoS lore, so I do like having him on the table.

Though some might feel he's strayed into mary sue-esque territory, with deathstroke/batman levels of flanderized competence. Arkhan ALWAYS wins, even when it seems he loses its only because his super double secret plan required him to do do, so actually he won anyway, and Arkhan is ALWAYS manipulating the actions of everyone around him, up to and including Nagash. I still think it's fun and funny, but your mileage will vary as to whether it's just obnoxious at this point.


Anyway, I'd also suggest an alternative-alternative nagash list example, but while quite strong, at 860 points (even post nerf I'd never field him without the umbral spellportals) he really skews the rest of your army, and is even further from your non-monsterous preferences than the anove lists.

Beh, here's an example nagash list anyway

Allegiance: Grand Host of Nagash
Nagash Supreme Lord Of The Undead
(800)
- Lores of the Dead Spell 1: Overwhelming Dread (Deathmages)
- Lores of the Dead Spell 2: Fading Vigour (Deathmages)
- Lores of the Dead Spell 3: Amethystine Pinions (Vampires)

Necromancer (110)
- Artefact: Grave-sand Timeglass
- Lore of the Deathmages: Decrepify

Vampire Lord (140)
- Mount: Flying Horror
- Lore of the Vampires: Amaranthine Orb

40 x Skeleton Warriors (280)
- Ancient Blades
5 x Dire Wolves (60)
5 x Dire Wolves (60)
30 x Grimghast Reapers (360)
Umbral Spellportal (60)
Soulsnare Shackles (20)

Total: 1890 / 2000
Extra Command Points: 2
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 116


The general outline of what I consider a 'typical' undead legion list is still there, but its at least one big unit down from either of the above, with less board presence than even my inefficient casual list. Assuming realm lores are in play, a nagash list like this can be devastating, but is very vulnerable to losing on objectives, even in games where it wipes the opponent out altogether. Some armies however, especially in a casual context, simply cannot deal with a nagash list like this, and it can lead to bad play experiences for opponents even if they do win, because having your army spend the game huddled in terror on objectives while a kaiju monster you can barely scratch and his retinue of killer ghosts who wont stay dead as long as he's still up rampages around the board smashing your army just slightly too slowly to make up the victory point deficit after wiping you off the table doesn't exactly *feel* like winning.
Cheers for showing me those lists. Yeah, Nagash is quite far from my preferred playstyle. And since I'll be playing casually, it seems like using him at all might be something of a Richard-relocation.


I actually had a go at making an army list and came up with these:

Grand Host of Nagash
Vampire Lord w/ Flying Horror, Chalice - 140 (Vile Transference, Terrorgheist Mantle)
Vampire Lord w/ Chalice - 140 (Spirit Gale)
Vampire Lord w/ Chalice - 140 (Soul Pike)
Necromancer - 110 (Overwhelming Dread, General - Lord of Nagashizzar)
Necromancer - 110 (Fading Vigour)
30 Grave Guard w/ Shields - 420 (Musician & Banner)
40 Skeletons w/ swords - 280 (Musician & Banner)
40 Skeletons w/ swords - 280 (Musician & Banner)
Corpse Cart w/ Unholy Lodestone - 80
Terrorgheist - 300
2000pts

Legion of Sacrament
Vampire Lord w/ Flying Horror, Chalice - 140 (General - Mastery of Death, Vile Transference, Shroud of Darkness)
Vampire Lord w/ Chalice - 140 (Spirit Gale)
Vampire Lord w/ Chalice - 140 (Soul Pike)
Necromancer - 110 (Overwhelming Dread)
Necromancer - 110 (Fading Vigour)
5 Dire Wolves
40 Skeletons w/ swords - 280 (Musician & Banner)
40 Skeletons w/ swords - 280 (Musician & Banner)
40 Skeletons w/ swords - 280 (Musician & Banner)
2 Bat Swarms
Corpse Cart w/ Unholy Lodestone - 80
Terrorgheist - 300
2000pts

(These were both written before a lot of the advice in this thread, so I didn't leave any unspent points for extra CPs. Also, I'm just using the models I currently own - so I fear Grimghast Reapers are currently off the table.)

I know the Terrorgheist Mantle probably isn't great, but it seemed like it might be quite fun (I deliberately didn't take it on my general, though, since I thought he'd probably wouldn't want to get that close to the enemy).

If you're wondering, I only gave one Vampire Lord wings just to differentiate them a little more.

Anyway, if you have any advice for one or both lists, I'd really appreciate it.

Otherwise, thank you for all the help and advice you've given me already. :)
 

Malisteen

Master Necromancer
True Blood
Joined
Sep 23, 2009
Messages
2,137
#62
Terrorgheist mantle works fine. Ive run it a few times - on a flying vamp lord for ease of positioning and on a banshee for double scream, and both worked well for me. Usually I only break it out in an army using a battalion, as the second artefact the battalion allows, as I usually prefer a protective artefact on my general first, or, if running nagash, I like the gravesand timeglass first, but the cloak absolutely works.

Additional artifacts, along with expanded rules and spell lores for realmscapes, and the physical models for a bunch of endless spells, are available in the malign sorcery box, but thats a bit of an investment if you're not yet sure you want to get into the game.

Gold bands are more helpful against snowballs, yes.

For a more informed take on the high end competitive meta than mine, check out the "just saying" wargaming podcast. Its done by a couple of british guys who are much mire acfive and involved in the tournament scene. They recently put out an episode listing their current rough tier rankings.

For casual play, those lists look good. A bit more heroes than i typically go for, but the redundancy shoyld be helpful. I'd suggest making at least one more of the vamps either flying or mounted, even if its a counts as, "she can turn into a bat" sorta thing. Having more fast/flying heroes to choose from can really expand your options in gravesite deployment tricks.

As you test stuff out, try all the different legions, as they all have selling points (though admittedly legion of bloods are rather limited if you arent running at least a few blood knights).

Oh, and vargheists /are/ a soulblight/undead legion unit. The ghoul army gets their own version of the unit, crypt flayers (vargheists, but with crypt horror backs and faces). As a unit on their own vargheists are alright. Fast, decent attacks with some rend, pricey but not at all too pricey for what they do. The legions have several units in the 'fragile fast elite melee hammer' category, including vargheists, blood knights, and two different morghast units, and on base stats and points, vargheists are actually near the top end of thst category. The problem with them is nothing really buffs or supports them meaningfully beyond those base stats.

Legion of blood leaves them out of the buffs it offers to other vampires, so if you're looking for a fast elite melee unit you're more likely to reach for the knights.

Soulblight doesnt make them battleline anymore, so by the time you're even thinking about taking them you already have multiple blood knight units and dont need another fast fragile melee hammer.

They're in mannfred's formation, but it's not super great, and while it buffs them a little, it doesnt give them the specific buff that they needed to not be painfully outclassed by harbingers in mannfred's legion, namely a boost to long range charge reliability to better take advantage of Legion of Night's outflanking ability.

Grand host offers an extra buff to morghasts generally, which again makes it hard for vargheists to stand out in a similar role.

They're probably best in legion of sacrament, which doesnt buff any of our fast hammer units so the decent base line abilities of vargheists dont get overshadowed, but thats also the legion where they least fit thematically.


And all that's before you consider grimghast horrors, a semi-elite summonable hoard, able to take advantage of gravesight and invocation healing, gravesight deployment, command point recursion, and summonable buffs like the vampire's command ability and the necromancer's signature spell, plus nighthaunt buffs from a knight of shrouds, guardian of souls, or spirit torment, and a unit that also has the good attacks with rend and reasonably fast flying speed to handily fill your fast hammer needs but with a wound count and ethereal save that means they're not at all finnicky or fragile like our other melee hammers.

Altogether they're both our strongest horde unit and our strongest melee hammer, and while skeletons at least still fill battleline slots, morghasts, vargheists, and blood knights dont even have that going for them (in legion armies at least).

In a casual games that doesnt matter so much, and i want to stress that vargheists are a perfectly good unit that will absolutely perform for you if you take them and play them with a bit of care. But in competitive games the entire class of units they belong to has pretty much been obsoleted by the grimghasts.
 
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