Legions of Nagash: The Grand Host of Nagash and New Summoning
Nagash is one of Warhammer Age of Sigmar’s most iconic characters – a figure whose power and drive threatens even the gods of Chaos. With Nagash and his machinations taking centre stage during the Malign Portents, it was only fitting that his armies had a battletome that truly represented the horror of battling the God of Death.
Legions of Nagash is more than just a battletome – it’s a reboot for Death as a whole, designed to bring them in line with modern Warhammer Age of Sigmar. The core of the army still plays as it should – endless, regenerating hordes of low-level infantry, reinforced by powerful elite units – but they have been bolstered with a range of synergies, new artefacts and abilities that open up a vast array of effective armies.
We’ll be previewing the Legions of Nagash in depth every day this week, starting with the changes to summoning and the Grand Host of Nagash – a relentless allegiance that’s particularly cool for players who love Deathrattle skeletons.
Firstly, summoning for Death units has been fundamentally changed in the new battletome, regardless of how you build your army. Rather than being summoned through magical means, several Death units now possess the Summonable keyword. This keyword unlocks all sorts of synergies and combos with the rest of your army, the simplest being that most Death heroes now possess an ability called Deathly Invocation. This ability heals a number of Summonable units every turn or restores lost models to the unit. Its effectiveness depends on the strength of the given Death character – Nagash, for example, affects five units, while a humble Wight King will heal two.
This ability stacks, so by taking several Death Heroes, you’ll be able to render your favourite units nigh unstoppable – as if trying to chew through a horde of Grave Guard wasn’t already tricky enough!
Dedicate your army to one of the Legions of Nagash, and you’ll be able to make Summonable units even more powerful with gravesites – areas of the battlefield that represent sealed tombs, long-lost barrows or just mass graves from ages past. Every Legions of Nagash army gets to place four gravesites on the table – two in their territory and two in the enemy’s. Summonable units can be set up to emerge from these gravesites later in the game, and they have a similar effect to Deathly Invocation, healing nearby units. As such, Death armies can control territory on the board more effectively than ever before – after all, the leisurely pace of a 60-strong unit of Zombies doesn’t hurt so much when you bring them onto the board 9″ away from the enemy…
The Grand Host of Nagash
While the other Legions use cunning, strategy or magic to win their battles, Nagash prefers to batter his foes down with raw attrition and terrifying demonstrations of power, sending wave after wave of the undead to grind his foes into submission. On the tabletop, this is represented by Legions Innumerable:
Combined with gravesites and Deathly Invocation, you could see your units restored by 3D3 models every turn, if not more, making your units even more difficult for your enemies to chew through. Indeed, they’ll be forced to chase down and annihilate weakened squads, lest they be restored in later turns.
If you love Deathrattle units, then you’ll find the Grand Host of Nagash the perfect allegiance. For one, you’ll be able to take Grave Guard as Battleline in the army, and for another, there are a couple of Command Traits and artefacts that specifically aid these most relentless servants of Death. Lord of Nagashizzar, for example, allows you to maximise the attacks of a nearby unit. Combine it with a nearby Wight King and a Necromancer casting Vanhel’s Danse Macabre, and you could quite easily get 162 (yes, one hundred and sixty-two) attacks out of a unit of 20 Grave Guard.
A note to my erstwhile editors – my calculations here are based on a unit of 20 all getting their attacks – not implausible thanks to their small base size! The unit has 2 attacks base, plus one for the champion. This is then increased by 2 by the Wight King and the Lord of Nagashizzar ability. This brings the unit up to 81 attacks – which, attacking again with Vanhels would give you 162 attacks. WOW.
The Ossific Diadem, on the other hand, provides additional durability to your Deathrattle units, stacking well with Deathless Minions to make them very hard to kill indeed.
Of course, if you’re looking for some more elite units to support your horde of Skeletons, then you’ll want to pick up some Morghasts – deathly angels personally created by Nagash to prosecute his will. In the Grand Host of Nagash, Morghasts gain a +1 bonus to Attacks, making them particularly effective when equipped with spirit halberds.
Finally, if you’re looking for an elite way to theme your Death army, the First Cohort warscroll battalion is ideal. Representing Nagash’s elite, you’ll be able to make the God of Death even more durable by allocating wounds he suffers to nearby units of Morghasts – because trying to bring down Nagash wasn’t daunting enough without help…
Nagash himself will also be able to take full advantage of two new magical lores – but that is a tale for tomorrow. Come back then when we’ll be looking at the masters of Death Magic – Arkhan the Black’s Legion of Sacrament. In the meantime, Nagash is available right now – order him here.