Faction Focus: Nighthaunt
Welcome to Faction Focus – a daily series on Warhammer Community examining the various armies battling for supremacy in the Mortal Realms. For new players, we’ll be looking at just why you might want to make any given army your own, while if you’re a veteran, this is where you’ll find in-depth insights into what the latest rules changes mean for you…
In this Faction Focus, we’re checking out the Nighthaunt – sinister, incorporeal spectres who despise the living and haunt the Mortal Realms in pursuit of vengeance…
In the Mortal Realms, the dead do not rest easily. Those departed souls too wicked to join Sigmar and too fearful and craven to join Chaos find themselves in the kingdoms of Nagash, the God of Death. Appointing himself their eternal jailor, Nagash arms the Nighthaunt with a portion of his power and sends them forth into the realms to prosecute his will, turning their immense bitterness and fury at the living into a weapon of war.
Implacable in Defence…
Nighthaunt armies are great for catching opponents unawares. All Nighthaunt units ignore your opponent’s Rend stat, so they’ll stand up against just about any weapon your foe throws at them – even Ghal Maraz itself will struggle to displace a Spirit Host.
…Terrifying in Close Combat
Offensively, the Nighthaunt tear through foes with a deluge of mortal wounds, whether at range or with their Frightful Touch. No matter how armoured your foe is, you’ll be able to take them out.
Tyler Mengel is a Golden Demon-winning painter, keen player, master converter and longtime friend of Warhammer Community. As the commander of a substantial Nighthaunt army, it’s safe to say he’s pretty excited about what the new edition might bring:
What attracted you to Nighthaunt?
Tyler: I’ve always liked the Death range for Warhammer Age of Sigmar but had already painted legions of Skeletons, so I was looking for something different. Back when the plastic Spirit Hosts came out, they immediately became some of my favourite miniatures. Not only are they great-looking models, but they can be incredibly easy and quick to paint, while still looking fantastic!
There’s just something undeniably cool about an entire army of ghosts. It’s a truly terrifying idea if you think about it from the perspective of the lowly Freeguild soldiers who will have to hold the line against them.
What are your top tips for Nighthaunt players?
Tyler: The Nighthaunt army is extremely durable – with most models in the army having a 4+ save that can’t be modified in any way, they can take a lot of punishment. Spirit Hosts make a great shield unit, as with 3 wounds each and their Ethereal rule, it’ll take a lot for the enemy to chew through them. I typically run at least two units of six to be the anvil upon which I smash the opposing army. Hexwraiths are great as objective grabbers – as one of the fastest units in the army, I typically use them as outriders and run them along the flanks of the battlefield to harass weaker units. With their increased mortal wound output, they can dish out the damage pretty effectively as well.
What advice would you give to a new Nighthaunt player?
Tyler: Spirit Hosts, Spirit Hosts, Spirit Hosts. These guys are worth their weight in gold. They form the solid core of your army and look great as well. Though I would suggest picking up at least one of everything from the faction since they all have a unique role to fill. With all of these exciting new models coming out, the options available to you will only expand! If you’re wary of jumping in fully, try building a 1,000 point army first, you’ll be surprised at how quickly that fills up, as well as how quickly you can get it on the tabletop fully painted. From there, it’s only a short hop away from a larger army and eternal damnation and servitude to Nagash… er, I mean, from having a really fun army to play that looks great on the tabletop and chills your opponents’ very souls.
As previewed at Warhammer Fest, Nighthaunt fans are in for a treat this June, as the ranks of the unquiet dead are bolstered by a vast wave of reinforcements. You can look forward to fielding a whole new range of units and heroes including some of the most spectacular (and spooktacular) Citadel miniatures ever made. And of course, you’ll have a brand new battletome to go with them.
More often than not, the souls that find their way to Nagash are of a somewhat middling quality – the poor schmucks who weren’t good enough to be reborn as Stormcast Eternals or evil enough to dedicate themselves to Chaos. Gathered together in vast, unhappy hordes, these souls are eternal prisoners of Nagash and take sick delight in bludgeoning enemies with the various chains and manacles that bind them in service to the Grand Necromancer.
Nagash has a twisted sense of justice, and each member of the Nighthaunt is shaped to reflect their crimes in a previous life. The Glaivewraith Stalkers were those who hunted men for sport and pleasure – now, they still work as huntsmen, drifting slowly and unstoppably towards their quarry, pursuing them for months (or even years!) if they have to.
Grimghast Reapers are the souls of schemers, plotters, assassins, and those who murdered through subterfuge in their former lives. Nagash has punished these souls by turning them into frenzied, indiscriminate murderers, blind to their foe and attacking with wild, unfocused slashes.
In their former lives, Lord Executioners were hangmen and headsmen who knowingly dispatched the innocent, or simply enjoyed their work a little too much. Nagash now employs them in permanent service to ensure none escape the justice of Shyish.
Guardian of Souls
The Guardian of Souls is a first for the Nighthaunt – a Wizard! The Guardian of Souls acts like a lure-light for the rest of the Nighthaunt, drawing them towards living prey…
A new Knight of Shrouds
Finally, we got to check out the new, mounted Knight of Shrouds – the perfect hero for keeping up with your Hexwraiths, or any other fast-moving Nighthaunt units that might be on the way…
Of course, we saw a lot of these models at Warhammer Fest this weekend, but what do they bring to the army? We know you’re itching to see what these units do in battle, so here’s one of their Warcrolls – the Spirit Torment: the chain-bound essence of a former jailer, tasked by Nagash with ensnaring the souls of his enemies. Especially those pompous golden ones…
We’ve just scratched the surface of what’s on the way for the Nighthaunt – check out the official reveal trailer to see if there are any other units you can spot:
There are still many more exciting reveals to come – if you’re hungry to learn more, check back tomorrow for another Faction Focus, and some news about some upcoming rules changes…