Order is not the only force pushing back against Be’lakor and the legions of Chaos. Lady Olynder and Katakros had successfully captured a small piece of Eightpoints and found themselves pushed back by Be’lakor’s return. Lady Olynder is mobilizing her forces to fight back.
Alongside Legion of Chaos Ascendant, Nighthaunts received the biggest benefit from this book. They received two new subfactions, a new Leader, an updated warscroll and a battalion. The Nighthaunts have been a faction that have been dragging for a while, suffering pretty badly from first Battletome Syndrome, and generally being ignored in supplements after. Does this change things for them? Let’s see!
In a rather bizarre move, Nighthaunts didn’t have any subfactions for a very long time. You can’t even blame this on Early Battletome Syndrome because Stormcast Eternals got 6 on the same day! It’s likely they didn’t initially feel that every army needed to have them and some would simply go without. This ended up being a miscalculation and left Nighthaunts on the backfoot in many tourneys. Even Gloomspite Gitz eventually got subfactions in White Dwarf but until now, Nighthaunts were left hanging. Was it worth the wait?
The Emerald Host
The Emerald Host is an elite band of Nighthaunts who Lady Olynder dispatches to destroy foes who have earned her ire.
- Allegiance Ability: The Emerald Curse – Before the first battle round you may pick one enemy Hero and reduce their save by one for all attacks. Holy crap! As more armies have begun to build around lynchpin centerpiece models like Katakros, Teclis and Archaon you can pick out the unit most likely to give you trouble and make them much more vulnerable.
- Allegiance Ability: Knights of Regret – Add 1 to the attack characteristics of Hexwraiths who charged and make them take wounds for your general on a 2+. Hexwraiths are pretty underutilized and this actually might be a huge boost to help bring them over the top to be more useful
- Command Trait: Lord of the Host – Free one time use of the General’s warscroll command ability. Like a free CP but more restrictive, on the right General that can be pretty handy.
- The Traitor Knight’s Blade – Add 1 to the attacks of a Knight of Shrouds. You can avoid this by not giving your artefact to a knight of shrouds. It’s definitely not bad though.
Particularly for an army that hasn’t had any subfactions yet, this is a pretty notable step up! Almost every thing in here is worth taking and the Allegiance Ability is going to be very powerful. Many armies have a centerpiece character who is the most dangerous and making their save worse is going to at least make your opponent hesitate.
Reikenor’s own personal retinue, though he doesn’t need to accompany them, there are benefits to doing so.
- Allegiance Ability: Unrelenting Taskmaskers – There is a lot going on here but the short version is Chainrasps and Glaivewrath Stalkers get rerolls on all failed hits for being near Spirit Torments or Chainghasts. Chainrasps and Glaivewrath Stalkers also gain an extra d6 restored slain models when Spectral Lure or Temportal Translocation is used on them. Given how easy it is to restore dead Chainrasps this is going to be obnoxious to put up with and support an actually already good unit. To get the most out of this players will need to be very careful about keeping units within fairly close proximity to each other, which can be a bit to manage, and watch for players trying to rip the seams of their army’s support.
- Allegiance Ability: Acolyte of the Grimhailer – If you bring Reikenor he is also counted as a General in addition to whomever you selected. This doesn’t have any direct benefits as Reikenor doesn’t have any command abilities, let alone those locked behind being a General, but it can come into play during certain battleplans where the General is counted for scoring.
- Command Ability: Death Comes Swiftly – A Chainrasp unit or a Glaivewrath Stalkers unit near a Hero can move an additional 6”. Again, Chainrasp hordes are a huge staple to Nighthaunt armies as a legitimately good battleline unit and this gives them much more maneuverability. Combined with their already decent move speed of 6” for a battleline and the ability to fly they can tie up units with turn 1 charges or grab a far flung objective your opponent left unguarded. There’s a lot of utility here.
- Artefact: Corpse Candle – A really cool one, the General gets to take one of Reikenor’s Corpse Candles from his data sheet and use it once per battle (it’s only one candle after all). In addition to its normal use of adding 1 or 3 to a casting roll, it has a combat function where you can use the same mechanic to add 1 to hit rolls or 1 to hit and wound rolls depending on where the mortal wound is directed. Although only once a battle it can be clutch for so many characters as it can be equally useful for a Wizard or a combat character. An artefact with such flexibility is a rare find and removes the thing of it being mandatory.
Of the two new allegiance it’s hard to say which is better. I think Reikenor’s might be a bit better in how it gives a lot of buffs to many units, particularly Chainrasps, something you were bringing a lot of anyway. Neither is particularly bad though so Nighthaunt players are sure to be very happy.
We got one returning star, the Dreadscythe Harridans and a new guy, Krulghast Cruciator.
Rather surprisingly, the Dreadscythe Harridans got a slight update in the form of a new warscroll. The changes aren’t huge, their profile has remained the same with 1 wound, 8” movement and 4+ (unmodifiable) save. Their weapon profile is likewise identical, 3 attacks with 4+, 3+, -1 Rend and 1 damage.
There are minor blink-and-you’ll-miss-them changes to their abilities. Slasher Crones, previous the leaders can now be one in five which grants an extra attack for larger groups. Harrowing Shriek now subtracts -1 from hit rolls for units with bravery under 7. This is a pretty large breaking point for many units, so it greatly expands who it can access. Finally Murder Bloodlust took a bit of a hit as instead of increasing damage by 1 it now does 2 hits, which you still need to roll for.
This all comes with a 20 point price hike for 5. Is it worth it? I dunno. They didn’t see a lot of play before and the changes seem a net negative now that you have to roll for bonus attacks.
A brand new leader released with the book, Krulghasts are ghosts of those who died on the torture rack. They’re a pretty solid combat addition to the nighthaunts, rocking a ranged attack of 12” with 4 attacks, 3+ to hit, 3+ to wound, -2 rend and damage 1. The melee profile is similar, with -1 rend instead of -2.
As a very nice bonus, Empowering Excruciation makes it so if you successfully wound an enemy model all Nighthaunt units wholly within 12” of the Cruciator get a 5+ Feel No Pain instead of the usual 6, which is huge for Nighthaunts given their saves cannot be improved.
All in all, a very solid leader option, at a cheap 120 points. He’s a solid combat character but the Nighthaunt Leader roster is quite crowded, it’s hard to say if he can muscle in.
The Sorrowmourn Choir
This ones for the ladies, Lady Olynder and her favoured spirits they will unleash their girl power on the Mortal Realms
- Lady Olynder
- 1 Dreadscythe Harridans
- 2 Myrmourne Banshees
Well that’s why the Dreadscythes got an update! It’s an interesting one, Lady Olynder gains a bunch of bodyguards, if any attacks target her, roll a die and on a 2+ the wound transfers to another unit within 3”.
Of note, with this Battalion Lady Olynder is treated as an additional General alongside whoever your “normal” one is. This is huge because Lady Olynder’s built in command ability to resurrect 1 unit from every summonable unit within 12” only works if she’s the general. Now you can get access to this ability without needing to sacrificing a command trait.
The battalion itself is pretty solid. In a more shooting heavy meta (or if Olynder unfortunately gets locked into combat) the ability to deflect wounds can be a life saver, and then Olynder can bring back the units who fall in the process. Banshees and Olynder are a popular take so you likely won’t need to convince people too hard to take 2 units of it. The Harridans might be harder, but the benefits are good and may be difficult to ignore for Olynder, who is traditionally a vulnerable target.
Personally of all the armies in the book, I think Nighthaunts got the best boon from Be’lakor. A lot of this has to do with them missing a lot of crucial components to an army. As the last army without subfactions they at least now have 2 to work with and they’re both very good. The Emerald Host is going to be strong for counteracting powerful Heroes who dominate much of the meta game right now and Reikenor gives a lot of general purpose buffs to the units that you were taking anyway. Both are extremely versatile factions that will benefit a lot of potential playstyles and I’d say it was worth the wait for Nighthaunt players and this book would be an auto-buy for all of them.
Next Up – Legion of the First Prince
Next up we’re finally going for the main event you’ve been waiting for. Be’lakor himself and The Legion of the First Prince!