Start Competing: Flesh Eater Courts

Credit: Robert "TheChirurgeon" Jones

Faction Overview

After offending Nagash, the Flesh Eater Courts were cursed to become cannibalistic ghouls who that are infected with a type of sanity that deludes them into seeing themselves as Noble beings. Where as reality shows them as horrific beings of undeath, they see themselves chivalrous Kings and Knights embarking on noble quests. On the table, Flesh Eater Courts are a powerful melee force, who has a mix of overwhelming numbers and more elite units that can defeat their foes with a dizzying number of attacks. Finally they have access to giant skeletal dragons and bats to use as mounts, who’s power can strike fear into the most stalwart of opponents.

Strengths

  • Easy to Start – Flesh Eater Courts may be the easiest army to begin with in Age of Sigmar. 2 to 3 Start Collecting sets and you get almost everything you need to play, as the kits within can build multiple different units. That’s not even just compromising with “close enough”. It’s almost everything you would need short of an Arch-Regent and the terrain piece.
  • Powerful summoning – One of the better summoning mechanics in the game its easy to overwhelm your opponent with numbers. They can come in through outflanking, requiring your opponent to think strategically on how to block your entrance.
  • Feeding Frenzy – A universal command ability to your army, allowing you to pile in and attack again. It’s very easy to overwhelm an opponent through sheer number of attacks.
  • Summoning – Many of your Heroes can summon new units in with their warscroll command abilities, giving you more units than would normally be seen in a standard sized game.

Weaknesses

  • Lack of unit variety- Flesh Eater Courts are another army who’s models used to be part of a much larger army in Warhammer Fantasy Battles, and then got broken off for Age of Sigmar. As a result  they don’t have a ton of unit variety and a lot of your lists will look the same. Thankfully that’s rarely a problem and they do have more options than many similar armies.
  • Lack of Ranged Options – You are a Grand Alliance Death army. As a result you don’t have many missile weapons so close combat is pretty much your option.
  • Subpar saves – Nothing in your army beats a 4+ save innately, not even your mounted Heroes. This doesn’t tell the whole story of course, you have ways of working around this, but be wary of high rend armies.
  • Command Point Hungry – Some of your army’s best strengths are wrapped up in the Feeding Frenzy command ability and summoning command abilities on your Leaders warscrolls, and yet you don’t have a ton of easy ways to generate CP, so you need to be on the lookout for ways to maximize their use.

Competitive Rating

Strong. While not quite the competitive darlings they once were, they continue to put up a strong showing. Being able to overwhelm your opponent with numbers cannot be overstated, and you get to rock one of the better mounts in the game.

Army Abilities

Deathless Couriers

Every death army gets a 6+ Feel No Pain save when within 12″ of a Hero, and this is yours. Your saves are pretty poor overall so keep your most important units shielded in this bubble to mitigate some of the damage.

Courts of Delusion

A customizable battle trait that can be selected instead of a Grand Court (your subfactions). Before choosing your Command Trait you can pick one of these 6 abilities, and they affect your entire army:

  • Crusading ArmyAdd 1 to run and charge rolls for friendly units. Pretty good, your strong lack of ranged options makes this really damn helpful for getting into melee as fast as possible A
  • The Royal HuntYou can re-roll hit and wound rolls of 1 for attacks made by friendly units that target a monster. If you knew what your opponent’s list was you might be able to prepare to dispatch the monsters, but in a tournament setting you usually can’t so it’s very iffy. C+
  • The Feast DayOnce per turn, you can use the Feeding Frenzy command ability without a command point. Awesome, the only thing keeping you from using this as often as you might like is command points and this gives you a free use A+
  • A Matter of HonourYou can re-roll hit rolls of 1 for attacks made by friendly units that target a hero. If the target is a general, you can re-roll wound rolls of 1 as well. Hero hunter abilities can be chancy but it affects your whole army which helps this a lot. B
  • The Grand TournamentYou can re-roll hit rolls of 1 for attacks made by friendly heroes other than your general. Eh, you’ll have Heroes to go around, usually, but there’s much better army-wide buffs to pick from in this list. C
  • Defenders of the RealmYou can re-roll save rolls of 1 for friendly units that have at least half their models wholly within their own territory. Situationally useful, as its going to depend on your map layout and where the objectives are. B-

These don’t see a lot of use because Blisterskin is so good, but if you want to do your own thing with your own artefacts, these can be worth looking at as they are quite good.

Command Ability: Feast of Frenzy

The trait your enemies all fear. Whenever a unit finishes its attack phase and is within 12″ of a friendly Hero or 18″ of your General, you can use this command ability to have that unit immediately attack again. The value of this is obvious, if your units fails to kill a unit, pop this and make sure they stay down. You only need to use this after the attack is completed so there’s no downside, other than burning through CP. You can only use this once per unit per turn, however.

Credit: Games Workshop

Grand Courts

Morgaunt

Morgaunts lean toward a more horde based approach, which happens to be how Flesh Eater Court armies already roll. All their buffs are concentrated around boosting SERF units (which as of right now is limited to Crypt Ghouls, your cannon fodder) being near your Heroes, or vice-versa. It’s a pretty good faction all around if you want to shovel a bunch of models around, and has gained popularity in recent months.

  • Army Ability: Bloody Loyalty – Reroll 1s to hit for Courtier units wholly within 12″ of a Serf unit. Decent buff as that’s not too hard of something to set up, you should always have cannon fodder following Heroes, if theyre not on a mount.
  • Command Ability: Heaving Masses – When a SERF unit is destroyed, on a 4+ you can return that unit to its full strength within 6″ of the board edges. Being contingent on a 50/50 dice roll makes this so difficult to recommend. If it works out, it can really be a game changer, but if it fails you burned a CP on something you could be spending on Feeding Frenzy.
  • Command Trait: Savage ChivalryReroll hit rolls of 1 for the general if they are within 12″ of Serfs. Not bad, as you should always be having your retinue follow the General around anyway.
  • Artefact of Power: Decrepit CoronetDo not take battleshock tests for friendly units wholly within 12″ of the bearer, or 18″ if the bearer is your General. This is a bit of a mixed bag, you’re undead so all your units have 10 Bravery, but particularly under Morgaunt you have at least a few rather large units where even that 10 might not be enough. All in all a solid artefact that fits the faction.

Hollowmourne

Similar to Morgaunts, but boosts the more “Elite” options of the army. Instead of SERFS, the subfaction keyword relies on KNIGHTS (Crypt Flayers and Crypt Horrors). Crypt Horrors also become a Battleline option which is very convenient, though you’re still going to want to bring at least one squad of Ghouls along.

  • Army Ability: Shattering Charge – Reroll Wound rolls of 1 for COURTIERS and KNIGHTS if they just charged that turn. Rerolling wounds are less common than Hits so these are always well appreciated, bit of a drawback that it has to be the turn you charged but do it right and that’s probably all you’ll need.
  • Command Ability: Ravenous Crusaders Add 1 to run and charge rolls for units within 9″ of a Hero, or 18″ of the General. Additionally they can run and charge in the same turn. Pretty good, but has some downsides compared to the Blisterskin Army ability. Notably it’s a command ability, so your precious CP could be lost on a charge that doesn’t pan out.
  • Command Trait: Grave Robber – Add 1 to Damage and attacks Characteristics for all melee attacks when within 3″ of an Enemy Hero with an Artefact. Eh, it’s powerful when it works sure but Hero hunter abilities are already potentially niche, and this is making it even more hyperspecific.
  • Artefact of Power: Corpsefane GauntletDeal D3 Mortal wounds on the charge on a 2+ for the bearer. Nice bit of extra damage.

Blisterskin

Your go to for the competitive circuit. Blisterskin is hands down the best all-around choice. It’s bonuses are powerful and benefit almost every unit in the army, everything a good subfaction does. As a nice bonus, Crypt Flayers also become Battleline, giving you a more beefy option than the horde-like Crypt Ghouls.

  • Army Ability: Blistering Speed – +2″ movement to everything with no limitations. Wow! This is a major reason Blisterskin is so beloved. Due to your lack of ranged options, you want any asset you can get to get yourself into the fray faster is sorely appreciated.
  • Command Ability: Lord of the Burning Skies – Pick a friendly unit that can Fly, it can then be relocated anywhere on the field within normal deep strike rules (i.e. more than 9″ from the enemy). More situational, but you’ll definitely have 1 or 2 characters on mounts you can use this on.
  • Command Trait: Hellish Orator – On a 4+ gain a Command Point. Another clutch ability, as you need more points to fuel Feeding Frenzy.
  • Artefact of Power: Eye of Hysh – Enemy units have -1 to hit all friendly units wholly within 6″ of the bearer with ranged attacks. This is a bit of an iffy one because you’ll often be using large squads or large monsters, both of which can be difficult to fit within 6″ of the bearer. It still helps, especially since it does apply to the bearer as well.

Gristlegore

This is your “all monsters” faction. Gristlegore makes Terrorgheists and Zombie dragons Battleline, so you can fill your list with all dragons and gheists. Gristlegore used to be significantly more popular than it is now and could give Blisterskin a run for its money in terms of competitive viability, but the price increases of the Monsters neutered it quite a bit.

  • Army Ability: Peerless FerocityOn a 6 to hit with a Monster or Hero, makes 2 hits instead of 1. Given the sheer number of attacks your Monsters get, combined with Feeding Frenzy, this can proc surprisingly often.
  • Command Ability: Call to War – When a Hero or Monster who has not fought this turn dies and is within 9″ of a friendly Hero (or 18″ of the General), it can pile in and attack with all Melee weapons before finally dying. Gives you a last second shot if things didn’t go as planned and one of your Monsters eats it faster than you expected.
  • Command Trait: Savage StrikeYour General always fights first. Useful, because your opponent will try and take your General down first if they can.
  • Artefact of Power: Ghurish MawshardOnce per battle, you can select an enemy model within 1″ of the bearer. Roll a die, and if it beats the model’s wounds characteristic, it is slain. Not so great, because its very luck driven and the models you want to target will often be easier to take down the old fashioned way.

Command Traits

The first 3 traits for both are identical.

Royalty (Abhorrent Heroes)

  • Bringer of Death – You can re-roll wound rolls for attacks made by this general. Your Generals are all good in melee so they can all benefit from this A-
  • Frenzied Flesh-eater – You can re-roll hit and wound rolls for attacks made by this general if there are any enemy models that have suffered any wounds within 3″ of this general. Situationally useful, if youre going at elite units or Heroes it’ll really come in handy but against 1 wound hordes it wont do much B-
  • Savage Beyond Reason – If the unmodified hit roll for an attack made with a melee weapon by this general is 6, that attack inflicts 2 hits on the target instead of 1. Swingy, but youll get tons of attacks thanks to feeding frenzy B+
  • Majestic Horror – If this general is chosen as the model that uses a command ability that summons  models to the battlefield, they can use it without a command point having to be spent. These command abilities are powerful but are luck based, so essentially getting a free CP to spend on them is a good deal B+
  • Dark Wizardry – Add 1 to casting, dispelling and unbinding rolls for this general. You’ll be using your Abhorrents for their spellcasting prowess often so anything to help that is good A
  • Completely Delusional – Once per battle, if this general has not been slain, you can pick a new delusion in your hero phase to replace the original delusion you chose for your army. If you didn’t choose a grand court and would like to have some flexibility, this can help make those more niche options more valid, as you can swap to them as necessary. B

Nobility (Courtier Heroes)

  • Bringer of Death – You can re-roll wound rolls for attacks made by this general. A
  • Frenzied Flesh-eater – You can re-roll hit and wound rolls for attacks made by this general if there are any enemy models that have suffered any wounds within 3″ of this general. Same as the Abhorrent version, if youre going at elite units or Heroes it’ll really come in handy but against 1 wound hordes it wont do much B-
  • Savage Beyond Reason – If the unmodified hit roll for an attack made with a melee weapon by this general is 6, that attack inflicts 2 hits on the target instead of 1. Swingy, but youll get tons of attacks thanks to feeding frenzy B+
  • Hulking Brute – Add 1 to this general’s Wounds characteristic. Eh, boring but practical B-
  • Cruel Taskmaster – If this general uses a Muster ability you can re-roll the dice for this general that determine if slain models are returned to units. The luck of these, on the Haunter/Infernal ones especially, make this a tempting take. B
  • Dark Acolyte –  This general gains the WIZARD keyword and can cast and unbind spells in the same manner as an Abhorrant Ghoul King. This is interesting, not limiting it to just casting Arcane Bolt, it’s common to take ghoul kings on mounts but the unmounted version isn’t without merit, particularly his spell. B

Mount Traits

As usual, you get one mount trait for free and an additional one for each Battalion you take.

Terrorgheist

  • Deathly Fast – This model can run and still shoot in the same turn. Death Shriek isn’t nearly good enough to waste on this. C-
  • Razor-clawed- Improve the Rend characteristic of this mount’s melee weapons by 1. More rend is great, and a maw with -3 rend is no joke. B-
  • Horribly InfestedThis model’s Infested ability inflicts 3 mortal wounds instead of D3 mortal wounds. Bit of a double edged sword since Infested can hurt your guys too, I generally don’t want to recommend traits that require you to die to get results C
  • Horribly Resilient – This model’s Royal Blood ability heals 3 wounds instead of D3. Already pretty hard to kill this makes them maddening. B+
  • Gruesome Bite – Re-roll failed hit rolls for attacks made with this mount’s Fanged Maw. Your fanged Maw is the best weapon on the mount, this is a no brainer to improve it. A-
  • Devastating Scream – Add 1 to each of the Death Shriek values on this model’s damage table. Still subject to diminishing returns and the potential to run into a high Leadership army making this moot. C

Zombie Dragons

  • Deathly Fast – This model can run and still shoot in the same turn. Slightly better than the Terrorgheist version since the ranged attack is a bit more reliable, it’s still best to focus on getting these guys in melee. C+
  • Razor-clawed- Improve the Rend characteristic of this mount’s melee weapons by 1. Identical to the Terrorgheist and good for the same reasons. B-
  • Baneful Breath –  You can re-roll wound rolls for attacks made with this model’s Pestilential Breath. Actually good since the pestilent breath is a more traditional ranged attack that suffers from an unfortunate degrading wound roll in its stat block. B+
  • Horribly Resilient – This model’s Royal Blood ability heals 3 wounds instead of D3. Same as the Terrorgheist version. B+
  • Necrotic Fangs – You can re-roll the Damage characteristic roll for this model’s Snapping Maw. Functionally identical to the Gruesome Bite trait A-
  • Death From The Skies – You can deep strike your zombie dragon in, which gives your opponent yet another headache to adapt to around the outflanks you will be inflicting on them. Sadly it does drop you outside pestilent breath range though B-

Artefacts

Royalty Treasures (Abhorrent Heroes)

  • Signet of the First Court – If the unmodified wound roll for an attack made by the bearer with a melee weapon is 6, add 1 to the damage inflicted by that attack. Swingy as these usually are, you get a ton of attacks when you factor in feeding frenzy that this should proc fairly often. B
  • Splintervane Brooch Subtract 1 from casting rolls for enemy wizards while they are within 18″ of the bearer. Great way to sabotage your opponent and be annoying, but theres also the risk they don’t have many wizards, so consider that. B
  • Blood-river Chalice – Once per battle, at the start of your hero phase, the bearer can heal up to D6 wounds. Most anyone who could take this havs a lot of healing options already and this is at a high risk of doing nothing C-
  • The Grim Garland – Subtract 2 from the Bravery characteristic of enemy units while they are within 6″ of the bearer. Bravery adjustments don’t do much on their own, even if this ones better than many with the -2. C+
  • The Dermal Robe – Add 1 to casting, dispelling and unbinding rolls for the bearer. Powerful, you need the help you can get so give this to your Archregent and let them go to town. A
  • Heart of the Gargant – Once per battle, at the start of the combat phase, the bearer can re-roll failed wound rolls for the bearer and their mount in that phase. You need to know exactly when to use this but it can stop a potential death C

Noble Heirlooms (Courtier Heroes)

  • Keening Bone – Pick one of the bearer’s melee weapons. Increase the Range characteristic of that weapon to 3″. The situations where you really need a 3″ melee weapon on a hero are way too marginal to be useful D
  • Medal of Madness – Once per battle round, the bearer can use a command ability on their warscroll without a command point being spent, and they are treated as if they were a general when they do so. Only useful on Haunted/Infernal Courtiers, decent way to not risk losing a CP on a 5+ dice roll. B
  • The Flayed Pennant – You can re-roll charge rolls for friendly units wholly within 12″ of the bearer. Pretty decent for making sure you get stuck in when you need to B
  • Carrion Wand – In your hero phase, the bearer can attempt to cast the Arcane Bolt spell as if they were a wizard. Not bad but not worth wasting a artefact slot on either B-
  • The Fleshform Raiment –  Subtract 1 from the Bravery characteristic of enemy units while they are within 3″ of the bearer. Bravery adjustments don’t do much on their own, pass C
  • The Bilious Decanter –  Once per battle, at the start of the combat phase, the bearer can add 2 to the Attacks characteristic of the bearer’s melee weapons in that phase. Timing is important but this can be pretty damned powerful on a Varhulf Courtier B
Credit: Games Workshop

Spells

Lore of Madness

  • Bonestorm – Casting value 5. Roll a die for each enemy unit within 12″ of the caster. On a 2+ that unit suffers 1 mortal wound. Not great since it’s per unit, so at best it might chip a wound or two off. C-
  • Spectral Host – Casting value 6. Pick a friendly unit wholly within 12″ of the caster that is visible to them and unit can fly until your next hero phase. If already has fly it can run and still charge in the same turn. If the casting roll was 10 or more, you canpick up to 3 friendly units to be affected by the spell instead of 1. A very flexible spell that gives your opponent nowhere to hide. Either get that huge unit of Crypt Ghouls over a wall blocking their way, or let your Terrorgheist cross the field in record time. A-
  • Monstrous Vigour – Casting value 5. Pick 1 friendly Monster within 24″ of the caster that is visible to them. Until your next hero phase treat that monsters’s wound table as if it had taken no damage. Really good, especially in Gristlegore lists but most everyone has a Terrorgheist or two that can use this. B
  • Miasmal Shroud – Casting value 5. Pick 1 enemy unit within 18″ of the caster that is visible to them and roll 3 dice. For each 5+ that unit suffers 1 mortal wound. In addition, if you rolled doubles reroll hits against that unit, and if you rolled triples reroll hits and wounds. Note that it doesn’t say you need to get 5+ triples or doubles, three 2s would do the trick for example. Still rather iffy because the statistical odds of getting triples is dicey at best, but doubles out of 3 dice aren’t too unrealistic. Otherwise this is like a worse smite so your mileage may vary B
  • Deranged Transformation – Casting value 6. Pick a friendly unit with a Wounds characteristic of 6 or fewer that is wholly within 24″ of the caster and visible to them. Add that unit’s Wounds characteristic to its Move characteristic until your next hero phase. If the casting roll was 10 or more, you can pick up to 3 friendly units instead of 1. Good in more elite lists, pretty useless to Crypt Ghouls for obvious reasons, but many Courtiers and Knight units can get some mileage from this. B
  • Blood Feast – Casting value 7. Pick 1 enemy unit within12″ of the caster that is visible to them, and a friendly unit within 6″ of that enemy unit. The enemy unit suffers D3 mortal wounds or D6 if the casting roll was 10 or more. Then, heal the selected friendly unit by that many wounds. For Crypt Ghouls you can return an equal number of units back from the dead. Good for longevity as many of your units are rather delicate. B+

Endless Spells

Cadaverous Barricade

Casting Value 5. Place it up to 24″ away from the caster, grants cover against ranged attacks and halves movement speed of units that begin their move within 3″ of it, DEATH units are excused. Drop it either on something that needs protection, or to slow down an encroaching enemy. Versatile and fairly cheap spell. B+

Chalice of Ushoran

Casting Value 6. Keep track of each model slain within 12″ of the chalice and then at the end of the turn roll a die for each of those. For each 4+ heal a wound to a friendly unit within 12″ or restore a lost Crypt Ghoul. Solid on paper, finicky in practice as it’s 12″ means it only has a limited coverage area that you can get the most out of it. B-

Corpsemare Stampede

Casting Value 7. Predatory endless spell that movers 14″, roll 5 dice for each model you pass over, for every roll that is higher than the unit’s wound characteristic, deal a mortal wound. On a 6, deal D3 mortal wounds. Pretty good version of these predatory spells, especially for low wound hordes but its an expensive spell at 70 pts. B

Battalions

A lot of good battalions to choose from because of the limited model selection, you’ll likely fulfill many of them by happenstance. An extra CP is a good investment due to needing them for Feeding Frenzy.

Cannibal Court

  • 1 Royal Family
  • 1 Attendants at Court
  • 1 Deadwatch
  • 1 Abattoir
  • 1 Ghoul Patrol 
  • 1 King’s Ghouls
  • 1 Royal Mordants
  • 1 Royal Menagerie

If your General is an Abhorrant Ghoul King or Archregent then they get all the command abilities of every other unit in the Battalion. Actually a clever ability and pretty fun, but being a super battalion it comes with the same roadblocks, you’ll just never get to use this.

Royal Family

  • 1 Abhorrant Archregent or 1 Abhorrant Ghoul King on Royal Terrorgheist or Royal Zombie Dragon
  • 2-6 Abhorrant Ghoul Kings

Allows you to roll an extra die when using Courtier’s abilties to bring back models. Pretty easy to fill out because you’ll likely want the Archregent and a Ghoul King on Terrorgheist on any list you build, as one more Ghoul King isn’t a heavy ask B

Attendants at Court

  • 1 Crypt Haunter Courtier
  • 2 units of Crypt Horrors

Reroll all hit rolls for units in this battalion if an Archregent or Ghoul King is your General. If you brought the Crypt Horrors anyway this is pretty good. B

Deadwatch

  • 1 Crypt Infernal Courtier
  • 3 units of Crypt Flayers

In your hero phase a unit from this battalion can pile in 3″ and attack. A fairly popular pick for Blisterskin, since it makes Crypt flayers battleline anyway, and that unit can potentially attack 3 times in one turn as a result if you use feeding frenzy. Definitely worth looking at B+

Abattoir

  • 1 Crypt Haunter Courtier
  • 2 units of Crypt Horrors
  • 1 unit of Crypt Ghouls

Roll a die for each enemy model within 3″ of a unit from this battalion, on a 6 deal a mortal wound to that unit. A bit too swingy to consider, even if the  entry cost isn’t that bad. C-

Ghoul Patrol

  • 1 Crypt Ghast Courtier
  • 3 units of Crypt Ghouls

Allows you to outflank every unit in the battalion by bringing them in on the table edge within 6″. Really good for keeping your opponent on their toes as they will have to protect the table edges. Crypt Ghouls are a default battleline option anyway so its entirely possible you can make 3 units of them, and a Ghast Courtier is a cheap investment. B

King’s Ghouls

  • 1 Crypt Ghast Courtier
  • 1 unit of Crypt Horrors
  • 2 units of Crypt Ghouls

Do not take battleshock tests for any units within the battalion as long as they’re within 18″ of the Courtier. Pretty meh as your Bravery 10 rarely cares about battleshock tests. D

Royal Mordants

  • 1 Varghulf Courtier
  • 1 unit of Crypt Horrors
  • 1 unit of Crypt Flayers
  • 1 unit of Crypt Ghouls

In the Hero phase, pick one unit within 18″ of the of the courtier and they can make a free move. Pairs wonderfuly with Blisterskins +2″ to movement. B+

Royal Menagerie

  • 3+ Royal Terrorgheists or Royal Zombie Dragons in any combination

Heal D3 wounds in the Hero phase for every unit in the Battalion within 5″ of another unit of the Battalion. Likely only practical in a Gristlegore list as this does not count the mounted versions, but in a Gristlegore list practically mandatory. B

Credit: Games Workshop

Units

Leaders

You have a glut of Leader options for an army with such a limited line. A lot of the abilities do cross over, or are redundant so make sure to double check you’re not including things that can have a role better served with a different unit.

Abhorrant Archregent

Much to the frustration of many, this Hero was only able to be found in the Carrion Empire box for many months, but it’s finally sold separately and thank Nagash for that! The reason their rarity frustrated people was their lynchpin nature in the army. This guy is your Vampire Lord equivalent, he does it all. He casts spells, he tears it up in melee, has the ability to summon a new unit in, and regenerates health every turn. There’s not enough nice things to say about this guy, his unique spell is powerful, but with a low casting cost. Taking one is basically mandatory, taking 2 is not out of the question.

Abhorrant Ghoul King

Your big Hero, and comes in three varieties, on-foot and on 2 different mounts: The Terrorgheist and the Zombie Dragon. All 3 comes with their own spells and command abilities, making them very different. The on-foot version is like a discount Archregent, his spell works very similarly but grants 1 attack instead of D3, and he can summon 10 Crypt Ghouls with his command ability instead of the more flexible Archregent version. Still a weaker Archregent is still threatening, but you may want to look at bringing them in on a Terrorgheist or Zombie dragon first to give them more punch.

Abhorrant Ghoul King on Royal Terrorgheist

Of the two mounts, the terrorgheist is the more popular choice and a lot of that has to do with it having more tools up its sleeve. The Death Shriek is a ranged attack with a Leadership based mechanic, which means it’s either really good or really not. If you fight an Undead or Daemon arm you’re in for some trouble but against others it has varying degrees of success. It also explodes on death, giving you a chance to finish off an opponent who dare kills it. The summoning command ability allows you to bring in 3 knights, which essentially means Flayers and Horrors, making it a bit more useful than the other 2 King’s summoning abilities. Finally and most notably, the unique spell for the Terrorgheist version allows you to change a units 6+ FNP to a 5+, making them almost as hardy as Nurgle for a bit. Like the Archregent, it’s not unusual to see 2 of these, but taking 1 is almost always a given.

Abhorrant Ghoul King on Royal Zombie Dragon

The Zombie Dragon isn’t as good as the Terrorgheist, but has its niche. It’s much better at dealing with hordes, as the Pestilent Breath autohits if you roll beneath the number of models in the unit. The unique spell is very powerful, allowing units wholly within 16″ of the caster to reroll all wounds. If you have space it’s worth trying to fit them in, but at 440 points it’s hard to just squeeze one in. Whether or not you take this or a second Terrorgheist is personal preference.

Varghulf Courtier

A beat stick with a lot of utility, he’s basically all the other courtiers in one package. Varghulfs get stronger when allies cast spells around them, gain more attacks against hordes and can summon back models your rank and file. A solid pick, though pretty expensive. Many tournament lists will usually bring one along because they make such an effective Hammer combined with the buffs they grant the army.

Crypt Ghast Courtier

Not really worth taking. Their ability to regenerate lost Crypt Ghouls is better done by the Varghulf and Trophy Hunter is too difficult to set up. at only 4 wounds and a 5+ save this guy likely isn’t killing anything without putting himself significantly in harms way. You have safer ways of granting bonus attacks to units.

Crypt Infernal Courtier

If you have Crypt Flayers (and if you are playing Blisterskin you likely have a few) then this guy is a great companion. The Infernal Courtier is a beat stick who can respawn lost Crypt Flayers on a 5+, which while Varghulfs can do this too, their point cost can get out of hand quickly. Worth slipping into a list if you have room.

Crypt Haunter Courtier

Sort of the Crypt Horror mirror to the Infernal courtier, this ones abilities are a bit over the place. He can bring back lost Horrors similar to the Infernal or Varghulf Courtier, but also can regenerate lost wounds on himself and reroll all hits if near an Archregent or Ghoul King. The problem is he is not nearly as good in combat as either of those courtiers, diminishing his usefulness. Worth considering in a Hollowmourne list perhaps.

Battleline

Crypt Ghouls

Your only battleline by default but they bely a surprising strength. While incredibly flimsy by default, with a 6+ save, they can hit very hard. Each model gets 2 attacks (3 if the unit is 20 or more) with a respectable 4+ to hit and wound, and the ability to reroll all 1s to hit if any Ghoul Kings or Archregents are nearby, they will fold pretty quickly but can deal a surprising number of wounds if they get in the hits first. You’ll probably want at least one large group in most lists, but many will settle for smaller groups of 10, using different battlelines granted by their subfaction of choice, or a mix.

Other

Crypt Flayers

Battleline in Hollowmourne armies or if a Crypt Infernal Courtier is your General. They inherit a weaker version of the Death Scream from Terrorgheists (Based off a pure roll of the dice rather than bonuses) and dealing mortal wounds on 6s to hit, they do contrast with Horrors in that they do have rend. Outside your most expensive Heroes and Behemoths, that’s hard to come by so these can be worth considering in case you go up against Stormcast or something similar.

Crypt Horrors

Battleline in Blisterskin armies or if Crypt Haunter Courtier is your General. Nasty things, they function as weaker Ghoul Kings, regening 1 wound per turn, rerolling all hit rolls while close to an Archregent or Ghoul King and dealing more damage on 6s, these brutes hit pretty nasty. The only downside is lack of rend which can make them less effective against units with good saves. You’ll need to make up for this with volume of attacks.

Behemoth

Royal Terrorgheist

Batlleline in Gristlegore Armies. All of its abilities were discussed in the version with a Ghoul King riding on it, and frankly there’s not a ton of reason to take this unless you’re playing a Gristlegore list. You’re already sinking a huge amount in for this, give him a bad ass warrior-wizard rider as well.

Royal Zombie Dragon

Batlleline in Gristlegore Armies. Same story as Terrorgheists, just give them a rider, unless it’s a Gristlegore list.

Scenery

Charnel Throne

Counts as Inspiring for Flesh Eater Courts armies and Sinister for everyone else (+1 and -1 Bravery, respectively). Also allows an Archregent or Ghoul King within 1″ of the Terrain Piece to use their summoning command abilities once per turn without spending a command point. It’s free so might as well!

Credit: Games Workshop

Army Lists

List building for FEC is a strange venture compared to many other lists. There aren’t many units to choose from but there also aren’t as much in the way of dead weight as you normally see in most battletomes. I’d argue almost every unit has a place, which leads to a lot of interesting divergences in the exact mix of units you should bring. In general Archregents are mandatory, and buying a battalion and/or extra CP is a good idea to help fuel your rather expensive command ability heavy units.

As for factions, Blisterskin was the goto for a long time but you do see others in the wild do just as well, there isn’t any really bad ones, even if Blisterskin is the most adaptable to every unit. I’m going to demonstrate this through 2 lists, as usual.

Will Haye’s Blisterskin List

Allegiance: Flesh Eater Courts
- Grand Court: Blisterskin

Leaders
Abhorrant Archregent (240)
- General
- Command Trait: Hellish Orator
- Lore of Madness: Deranged Transformation
Abhorrant Ghoul King on Royal Terrorgheist (420)
- Artefact: The Grim Garland
- Lore of Madness: Spectral Host
- Mount Trait: Gruesome Bite
Varghulf Courtier (160)
- Artefact: Eye of Hysh

Battleline
6 x Crypt Flayers (340)
6 x Crypt Flayers (340)
20 x Crypt Ghouls (200)

Units
3 x Crypt Horrors (130)

Battalions
Royal Mordants (120)

Endless Spells / Terrain / CPs
Extra Command Point (50)

Total: 2000 / 2000
Extra Command Points: 2
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 109

This list went 2-1 in the Rockport December RTT in December 2020. Will’s list is notable for a few reasons, notably the mid sized unit of Crypt Ghouls, rather than opting for the full sized commonly used in many lists. He also elected to go with 2 mid sized Crypt flayer squads to round out the battleline and some Horrors for the Hammer. The Hero choices are pretty standard, an Archregent to lead the army, with a Ghoul King on Terrorgheist and Varghulf Courtier to act as heavy hammers to clear out enemy forces. The battalion and extra CP grant some badly needed fuel for Feeding Frenzy and summoning as well.

Bill Souza’s Hollowmourne List

Allegiance: Flesh Eater Courts
- Grand Court: Hollowmourne

Leaders
Abhorrant Archregent (240)
- Artefact: The Dermal Robe
- Lore of Madness: Spectral Host
Crypt Infernal Courtier (120)
- General
- Command Trait: Grave Robber
Varghulf Courtier (160)
- Artefact: Corpsefane Gauntlet

Battleline
9 x Crypt Flayers (510)
9 x Crypt Horrors (390)
40 x Crypt Ghouls (360)

Battalions
Royal Mordants (120)

Endless Spells / Terrain / CPs
Chalice of Ushoran (50)
Extra Command Point (50)

Total: 2000 / 2000
Extra Command Points: 2
Allies: 0 / 400
Wounds: 133

A similar list with some notable differences Hollowmourne specializes in more “Elite” units, the Flayers and Horrors, and this list pushes a more balanced number of both and then are balanced out by a maxed out Crypt Ghoul bomb. We again see the Abhorrant Archregent and Varghulf courtier, and rounded it off with an Infernal Courtier, likely to fulfill the battalion. This list went 3-0 in the Backyard Invitational in December 2020.

Wrapping Up

And that’s it! If you play FEC or are hoping to learn we would love to hear from you, please reach out to us on Social Media or contact@goonhammer.com!