“Nighthaunt Gheistgales” is the name of one of the Death warbands available for Warcry. You can find all cards to play this warband in the “Bringers of Death” book released in December 2020.
If you already have a Nighthaunt army, you already have enough miniatures to play Warcry: all you need is to buy the expansion book and join someone with a board, the rules and some scenery.
This warband is characterized by a really powerful ability: flying. In a game where scenery has an important role, being able to ignore it can make the difference, especially on a race to that far off objective.
Combine this with a decent toughness and you have a really solid and versatile warband.
This short introduction takes you through the fighters of the warband, their abilities, and a few tips on strategy and painting the models.
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What changed in the Warcry: Bringers of Death Book for the Nighthaunt Warband?
Note: The new Warcry books released with Tome of Champions 2020 brought some changes in how Thralls, Monsters but especially Allies work. The roster of available leaders has been massively increased and it’s now possible to use more than one as a “Hero” (1 in matched play and up to 3 in a Narrative campaign).
Link to the 4 new books:
– Warcry: Sentinels of Order (all Order warbands updated)
– Warcry: Harbingers of Destruction (all Destruction warbands updated)
– Warcry: Agents of Chaos (all non-warcry specific Chaos warbands updated)
– Warcry: Bringers of Death (all death warbands updated)
In the Bringers of Death book Nighthaunt saw the size of available fighters triple: from 7 to 21, from 2 leader options to 12. Few abilities were added to the roster, in particular on leaders, although the previous ones are unchanged.
The new fighters are:
- Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed
- Dreadblade Harrow
- Lord Executioner
- Spirit Torment
- Knight of Shrouds
- Cairn Wraith
- Guardian of Souls
- Slasher Crone
- Tomb Banshee
- Dreadscythe Harridan
- Myrmourn Banshee
- Bladegheist Revenant.
The new abilities are: Harrowing Shriek, Beheading Strike, Stolen Hours, Phantasmal Discorporation, Unholy Light and Captured Soul-Energy.
Background and Lore of the Nighthaunt Warband
The Nighthaunt are evil spirits cursed by Nagash to suffer for eternity.
The God of Death, in his twisted sense of justice, left them enough memories of their past life to torment them forever, in their constant hatred for the living.
Used mostly in vast groups as vanguard of Nagash’s armies, small detachments are extremely useful for delicate tasks thanks to their ethereal status and resistance to damage.
The Nighthaunt presence in the Eightpoints intensified after the Necroquake, a ritual summoned by Nagash, and even more appeared since Katakros, Mortarch of the Necropolis, led an invasion of the Eightpoints and secured the Shyish gate. Since then gheists and other dangerous spirits populate the Bloodwind Spoil and in particular Lost Velorum, a subterranean spectral kingdom.
Overview and Points for the Fighters in the Nighthaunt Warband
Note: if you haven’t read the basic rules for Warcry before reading this article, it might be helpful to know that the game’s abilities are activated by using 6 dice that you roll at the start of your turn.
If two of the dice show the same value, they can be used to activate a Double ability. If three show the same value, they can be used for a Triple ability, and so on.
So, when this article refers to an ability being a Double, a Triple or a Quad, it refers to this system. It might sound a bit confusing, but takes no time to get used to when you start playing
Knight of Shrouds
- Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed: 265 points
- Knight of Shrouds: 230 points
There are two types of Knights of Shrouds: cavalry and infantry. Both have the same weapon profile and runes so what differentiates them is the movement 10 for the mounted one. He is also the most expensive model on this warband but compensates with the highest wound characteristic in pair with the Spirit Hosts (30).
Their attack is good (4 attacks at Strength 4) and sits in the middle compared to the other leader options. Their special ability (Stolen Hours, a Triple) allows them to heal for how much damage they inflicted making them highly survivable.
Knight of Shrouds are a valid option as first Leader, but also a potential good Hero in a mixed warband.
Dreadblade Harrow: 250 points
Dreadblade Harrow is another cavalry option with average attacks, movement 10″ and a special ability that allows them to tele-transport anywhere on the battlefield. While it is a powerful ability that allows you to chase runaways or secure an objective last minute, it does require to not be within 3″ of an enemy before using it and outside of 5″ range when redeploying.
On a 250 points model with average attacks and costing a Triple seems a bit of an overkill extremely situational.
Guardian of Souls: 220 points
The Guardian of Souls introduces ranged attack to an otherwise melee focussed warband. With damage 3/6 and range 3-7″ you probably want to make most use of it and keep him far from the centre of the fight.
His special ability, Unholy Light, for a Triple heals 1 wound to every friendly fighter within 6″. It may not seem much but for a warband with an average of 8-10 wounds it’s around 10% of the total and is an area of effect.
A good support unit may not be your first option as a leader but a good Hero or you may want to build some protection around him.
Spirit Torment: 240 points
Spirit Torment is the second heaviest leader in the warband with Strength 5 and damage 3/5. He is also one the most expensive and his ability, Captured Soul-energy, for a Quad allows to heal friendly fighters in range as long as he kills an enemy.
The ability itself is really good but does cost a Quad (compared to the Guardian of Souls triple) and requires killing an enemy.
Lord Executioner: 240 points
The Lord Executione is the heaviest hitters between the leaders with 2 attacks at Strength 5 for 3/6 damage. The critical damage can go up to 9 at the cost of a Double, Beheading Strike, but for someone with only 2 attacks but Strength 5, seems too little.
His high cost means also that there are better and more useful options out there.
- Hellwraith: 235 points
- Hexwraith: 185 points
The Hexwraith add extra flying movement (10″) to an already fast warband with just average attacks (3 at Strength 3 but with 2″ range) but some more than welcome high Wounds characteristic (20).
The Hellwraith is the leader of this unit increasing the critical damage by 1 point (4 total).
All of them have access to Frightful Touch that treats every hit as a critical hit. This is where more attacks or better Strength would have made these fighters essentials. As it is they are a nice option to consider but not an auto-include.
- Extoller of Shyish: 195 points
- Grimghast Reaper: 135 points
The Extoller is one of the cheapest leaders. At a decent price for 20 wounds and a toughness of 5 it can be really resilient, but there are much better options considering he has no special ability apart from resurrecting fallen comrades.
The Reapers share the same base stats as the Extoller with half the wounds, the same 2” range for attacks and a really useful quad ability, Reaped Like Corn, that allows them to hit every surrounding enemy.
If you are short on quads, their double, Soul Marked Prey, allows you to get +1 Strength on any friendly miniature targeting a wounded enemy within 3” of them.
They are a solid choice as elite units.
Cairn Wraith: 220 points
The Cairn Wraith model is one of the oldest of the range and one that inspired the amazing miniatures that form this army/warband.
He is the rightful leader of a Grimghast Reaper army, with better attacks (3 at Strength 4 for 2/5 damage) and same abilities: Soul-marked Prey and Reaped Like Corn. Despite his high cost he is the only leader able to use in total 4 abilities (including the generic for all leaders and the generic for the warband) and with 2″ range he can do some damage without entering directly the fray.
Tomb Banshee: 210 points
The Tomb Banshee is another of the oldest models of the range and the second model to have a ranged attack in the warband. With 3-9″ range it’s also the one that can go further for a good damage (2/5).
Her melee attacks are also decent with 4 on critical damage, becoming important because her special ability, Frightful Touch, allows to treat all hits as critical damage independently on the range. Only drawback the small number of attacks per action: 2.
An all-round leader and a valid option at a decent cost.
- Slasher Crone: 220 points
- Dreadscythe Harridan: 145 points
The Dreadscythe Harridans are terrifying melee fighters able to pin in place an enemy up to 6″ far at the cost of a Triple (Harrowing Shriek). This ability is extremely useful to force the opponent from losing a turn or giving some respite to some just summoned fallen comrades.
The high number of attacks (5 at Strength 3) justifies the average cost of these ladies.
The Slasher Crone is their leader that adds extra damage to her arsenal (2/4 instead of 1/3) for a price in line with the rest of the warband.
- Dreadwarden: 150 points
- Chainrasp: 80 points
The leader of the Chainrasps is the cheapst option as a leader and is treated as a minion benefitting from the same double ability, Chilling Horde, where every Chainrasp next to another can get an extra attack per activation.
On the other hand, it is not extremely survivable with only 16 wounds and a toughness of 4.
As all Nighthaunt he does not hit hard either (2/4), their strength is in numbers. It is a good option if you are planning a horde warband.
Chainrasp Horde, despite being the cheapest unit available in the warband are costed higher than equivalent units in the other warbands thanks to his ability to fly and a relatively high Toughness (4).
With damage 1 / 2 and strength 3 will be a long process to put down the tougher opponents, so they are probably best suited to grab objectives or slow down the enemy.
Spirit Host: 220 points
They are the most expensive unit available to the Nighthaunt and for a good reason.
With 30 wounds and toughness 5 it’s going to be difficult to pull them down.
Normally they wouldn’t hit too hard, but their triple, Frightful Touch, allows every hit to be treated like a critical.
If you have a double and use the Grimghast special ability you can raise the Spirit Host strength to 4 and with 6 attacks for activation with every hit doing 4 damage you are assured to hurt badly the toughest units in the game.
Chainghast: 170 points
The best characteristic of the Chainghast is to be the only pure ranged unit in this warband with 8″ range at Strength 4.
He has also higher wounds than the rest of the warband (15) and movement (6″).
He pays all of this with a price higher than the rest of the warband despite the lack of special abilities.
Bladegheist Revenant: 135 points
The Bladegheists do not have the same range as Chainghasts but an otherwise similar profile at a cheaper cost.
They compete with the Grimghast Reapers and at the same cost they have Strength 4 instead of 3 but no extra abilities.
In a warband with an average low Strength (3) is really worth to have a slightly higher characteristic but lose the 2″ range and all extra abilities?
Glaivewraith Stalker: 120 points
The last unit is a real pity: a nice model, available in the cheapest box for Nighthaunt (10£ for 4 models), is halfway between a Chainrasp and a Grimghast Reaper.
However, has an attack slightly better than a Chainrasp but no special ability and a much higher cost compared to the Chainrasp.
When taking a Grimghast, for 15 points more you get their 2 special abilities, +1” movement and +1 damage on critical making the Stalker a poor option in most scenarios.
Myrmourn Banshee: 145 points
The Banshee is slightly more expensive than a Grimghast but adds considerable weight to the table with +1 strength (4) and more damage on a normal hit (2, 4 on a critical).
They do not have any special ability, however, and, despite Toughness 5, with 10 wounds they are extremely vulnerable to critical hits.
Another relatively expensive unit for this warband with some good traits and the ability to return
back if the leader is still alive and you get a good Triple…
Abilities for the Nighthaunt Warband
- Aura of Dread (Double, Everyone): subtract 1 to the Strength characteristic (to a minimum of 1) of an enemy fighter.
- Soul-marked Prey (Double, Grimghast Reaper and Cairn Wraith): -1 Strength to a wounded enemy fighter.
- Chilling Horde (Double, Dreadwarden and Chainrasp): +1 Attack and +1 Strength if close to another fighter with same runemark.
- Beheading Strike (Double, Lord Executioner): add up to 3 to critical hits damage for one attack action.
- Stolen Hours (Double, both Knight of Shrods): heal this fighter for how much damage he delivered this activation.
- Frightful Touch (Triple, Spirit Hosts and Hexwraiths): each hit scores critical damage.
- Harrowing Shriek (Triple, all Dreadscythe Harridans): prevents movement or disengage from an enemy within range on a 3+.
- Phantasmal Discorporation (Triple, Dreadblade Harrow): transport the unit anywhere on the battlefield.
- Unholy Light (Triple, Guardian of Souls): heal 1 Wound to all nearby friendly fighters.
- Spectral Summon (Triple, all Leaders): set up again any fighter taken down.
- Reaped Like Corn (Quad, Grimghast Reaper and Cairn Wraith): damages all visible enemy fighters within range.
- Captured Soul-energy (Quad, Spirit Torment): heal all nearby friendly fighters when taking down an enemy.
Strategy and Tactics for the Nighthaunt Warband
The Nighthaunt as a warband is extremely versatile, especially after the latest update that introduced cavalry, ranged options and more leader.
They don’t hit hard unless you manage some good combination of synergies like marking a prey with a Grimghast and finishing it off with the 12 attacks at strength 4 and damage 4 of a Spirit Host. It does require to have a Grimghast and a Spirit Host next to your target and the use of a double and a triple, but it is quite cost-effective.
In all other scenarios the warband will fly over the terrain to gather objectives, putting numbers against your opponent when required and returning back into play as long as you have your leader on the table and a Triple available.
The units are all well distributed, allowing a mix of more basic units like the Chainrasps with more elite units like the Reapers and the Spirit Hosts for a real fun list building activity.
Alternatively you can have an extremely elite warband with the new additions or something more thematic and fun: the options are now endless.
Decent toughness will allow them to survive most fights, if you have the time on your side. Time-based missions in which you have to kill specific enemies within 3 or 4 battle rounds will be your biggest problem. And criticals, those hurt all low-wounds characters.
In summary, this warband is recommended for beginners as more forgiving than others and quite flexible.
Pros and Cons of the Nighthaunt
+ Versatile and quite forgiving
+ Fly is, in general, an amazing ability
+ Summoning back models is a powerful ability, tactically satisfying and thematically fitting
– Low damage (unless you can get off some abilities)
– Can struggle on some missions
Some thematic warbands for the Nighthaunt
Just for fun here we present few thematic warbands, meant more for fun or narrative context than for competitive play. Note that in narrative play you need to control at least two territories before mustering your first hero.
Girl Power: Tomb Banshee as a leader, a Chainghast (using the Briar Queen as model), 2 Myrmourn Banshee and two Dreadscythe for an all-female warband. Quick (average Movement 6″), ranged options, lots of attacks in the Dreadscythe and higher damage in the Myrmourn.
Soul Wars: Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed as a leader, Guardian of Souls as hero, 2 Grimghast Reapers and 3 Chainrasps. All available from the Soul Wars starter set for an all-round warband with weight, healing and numbers.
How to buy a Nighthaunt Warband
Note: all prices used are standard Games Workshop prices. It is possible to get the different things cheaper (check the links for prices).
The Nighthaunt army features in the starter sets for Age of Sigmar 2.0, therefore many models are available in those boxes for a good discount.
For more information consult the review of those sets, but if you can split the Stormcast Eternals part with a friend, the Tempest Souls box for 50£ provides 4 Grimghast Reapers, the Extoller, 5 Glaivewraith Stalkers, 10 Chainrasp and their leader, the Dreadwarden. Soul Wars adds to this list the Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed, a Spirit Torment and a Guardian of Souls.
Outside of those collections, you will surely want a box of Grimghast Reapers that allows you to assemble 9 Grimghasts and one Extoller and the unit is also extremely useful in any Death army for Age of Sigmar.
Not available in any starter set but extremely useful, for 16£ you can buy 3 Spirit Hosts and you may want to have at least one of these big boys in your army.
The cheapest option to obtain Glaivewraith Stalkers is the Easy to Build set that provides 4 of them for 10£, however, it may be the last of your purchases.
Finally, a box of 10 Chainrasps (including the option for one Dreadwarden) costs 25£.
If you need even more options, the Thorns of the Briar Queen warband include 7 miniatures including 5 Chainrasps and an alternative Dreadwarden or Banshee.
New fighters added with the Bringers of Death book:
The latest additions to the warbands can be found in the single boxes like:
Or in unit boxes like:
- Hexwraiths (5 including leader)
- Dreadscythe Harridans (10 including leader)
- Bladegheist Revenants (10)
- And Crawlocke the Jailor (Spirit Torment plus 2 Chainghasts).
In summary to start your warband you will need around 50£ (the cost of a Tempest Soul box from GW store) but if you are planning to expand into Age of Sigmar keep in mind the Grimghast Reapers don’t come in their minimum unit size and I would recommend buying as soon as possible a box of Spirit Hosts to go along with it.
Tips on painting a Nighthaunt Warband
In the Citadel website and the Community articles there is plenty of guides on how to paint these spectres in every shade of gloomy colours:
Do you have some sweet looking Nighthaunt painted up?
I would very much like to display them right here on this page.
All you have to do is send my some files. You can read more about how to make that happen here.