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Nighthaunt Gheistgales Warcry Warband & Guide, Tactics and Overview

“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.

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

What changed in the new edition for the Nighthaunt Warband?

4 new profiles have been added following the small release at the beginning of 2022: Scriptor Mortis, Krulghast Cruciator, Craven Huntmaster and Craventhrone Guard.

Apart from that Nighthaunt were massively debuffed, with Toughness reduced for all fighters to 4 (from 5), few wounds were adjusted up but most decreased and the Spirit Hosts went from 1/4 damage to 1/3 (his ability transforms all hits in critical hits). On the positive side some weapon profiles were touched up and both Tomb Banshee and Chainghast saw their range increase (to 10″ and 12″ respectively).

Nighthaunt abilities changed a bit from the previous version, in particular the Lord Executioner does not behead anymore and the Scriptor Mortis was introduced with a new ability. Unholy Light now heals D3 wounds rolling individually for each fighter.

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 Shroud on Ethereal Steed

Knight of Shrouds

  • Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed: 270 points
  • Knight of Shrouds: 190 points

There are two types of Knights of Shrouds: cavalry and infantry. Both have the same weapon profile and runemarks so what differentiates them is the movement of 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 (28).

Their attack is good (4 attacks at Strength 4) and sits at the high end 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: 235 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 235 points model with average attacks and costing a Triple seems a bit of an overkill extremely situational.

Guardian of Souls: 175 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 D3 wounds to every friendly fighter within 6″, rolling individually. It may not seem much but for a warband with an average of 8-10 wounds it can be up to 20% and has a decent area of effect.

As a good support unit, it may not be your first option as a leader and rather use it as a Hero otherwise you may want to build some protection around him.

Spirit Torment: 195 points

The 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: 175 points

Between the Leaders, the Lord Executioner is the heaviest hitter with 2 attacks at Strength 5 for 3/6 damage. But he doesn’t have anything else to add, meaning there are better and more useful leaders out there.

Hexwraiths

  • Hellwraith: 200 points
  • Hexwraith: 160 points

The Hexwraith add extra flying movement (10″) to an already fast warband with just average attacks (4 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.

Grimghast Reapers

  • Extoller of Shyish: 135 points
  • Grimghast Reaper: 105 points

The Extoller is one of the cheapest leaders. At a decent price for 15 wounds and a Toughness of 4, 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 less 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 attacking the targeted enemy. However, this one has to be already wounded and within 3”.

They are a solid choice as elite units.

Cairn Wraith: 180 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 2/4 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: 175 points

The Tomb Banshee has a ranged attack that is her strongest (2/5 damage) and can reach 10″ with no minimum value, meaning she could use it also on melee.

However, her special ability Frightful Touch, that allows to treat all hits as critical hits, works only on her melee profile (4 attacks with 4 damage on critical hit) that is still a good profile is you have the Triple to use.

An all-round leader and a valid option at a decent cost.

Dreadscythe Harridans

  • Slasher Crone: 165 points
  • Dreadscythe Harridan: 105 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.

Chainrasps

  • Dreadwarden: 125 points
  • Chainrasp: 85 points

The leader of the Chainrasps is the cheapest 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 12 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, despite being the cheapest unit available in the warband is 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 for Nighthaunt Warcry

Spirit Host: 170 points

They are the most expensive non-leader fighter available to the Nighthaunt and for a good reason. With 28 wounds and toughness 4 it’s going to take time 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 3 damage you are assured to do some damage.

Chainghast: 130 points

The best characteristic of the Chainghast is to be the ranged unit with the longest range in this warband with 12″ range at Strength 4. He is more elite than other fighters with 15 Wounds but pays a hefty price for this despite the lack of special abilities.

Bladegheist Revenant: 100 points

The Bladegheists compete with the Grimghast Reapers and at a similar cost they have Strength 4 instead of 3 but no extra abilities and only 1″ range.

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 for Nighthaunt Warcry

Glaivewraith Stalker: 90 points

The Glaivewraith Stalker, available in the cheapest box for Nighthaunt (10£ for 4 models), has been revalued in the newest edition. It has now a similar cost as the Chainrasp but 2″ range weapon and extra damage on critical hit (1/3).

While, they don’t have any special ability, it can still be used to swarm the enemy the same way as Chainrasps with their 6″ movement.

Glaivewraith Stalker for Nighthaunt Warcry

Myrmourn Banshee: 120 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).

They do not have any special ability, however, and, despite Toughness 4, 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…

Thorns of the Briar Queen (885 points)

  • Briar Queen: 200 points
  • Varclav the Cruel: 130 points
  • The Ever-Hanged: 105 points
  • Thorns of the Briar Queen Chainrasp: 90 points

The Thorns of the Briar Queen is a Nighthaunt Bladeborn warband from Warhammer Underworlds Season 2.

  • Howling Vortex (Triple, Briar Queen): a chance to damage and reduce movement to an enemy within range.

The Briar Queen, as all Nighthaunt, can fly but is also one of the few with a ranged profile (up to 9″). She is similar to the Tomb Banshee only with 1 more attack in melee (3 for 1/4 damage) and her ability can damage and reduce the Move characteristic of an enemy 9″ away. It works on a 4+ (as many dice as the ability’s value) but reducing move is one of the best things you can do in Warcry except outright killing your opponent.

Varclav is a special Chainrasp with better damage (2/4) and double the wounds (16). As all Minions (everyone else in this warband and every other Chainrasp) he can increase his attacks and Strength by 1 as long as there’s another minion nearby. With that damage and 4 attacks at Strength 4 he is bound to do some damage, although he costs almost like 2 normal Chainrasp.

The Ever-Hanged is cheaper than Varclav, with better damage than a normal Chainrasp (1/4) and slightly higher wounds (10).

The Thorns of the Briar Queen Chainrasp is a special fighter that can be taken 4 times instead of 1. Each is slightly more expensive than a normal Chainrasp for higher damage on a critical hit (1/3). It may be worth the cost considering the ability to increase the attacks (Chilling Horde) in the hope to roll some 6s.

And don’t forget the Briar Queen can bring back one at a time with the Nighthaunt leader’s ability.

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): Add +1 Strength to all melee attacks against the targeted wounded enemy.
  • Chilling Horde (Double, Dreadwarden and Chainrasp): +1 Attack and +1 Strength if close to another fighter with same runemark.
  • 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): A chance to prevent an enemy in range from moving or disengaging.
  • Phantasmal Discorporation (Triple, Dreadblade Harrow): If the unit is not within 3″ of an enemy, reposition it anywhere outside of 5″ from any enemy.
  • Unholy Light (Triple, Guardian of Souls): Heal D3 wound to all nearby friendly fighters (roll individually).
  • Sentenced to Eternal Torment (Triple, Scriptor Mortis): 6 damage to an enemy if a dice roll is lower or equal than the current round.
  • Spectral Summon (Triple, all Leaders): Set up again any fighter taken down with as many wounds left as the value of the ability.
  • Reaped Like Corn (Quad, Grimghast Reaper and Cairn Wraith): Up to 6 damage to all enemy fighters within range.
  • Captured Soul-energy (Quad, Spirit Torment): After taking down an enemy, heal up to 6 wounds to all friendly fighters nearby.

Reaction for the Nighthaunt Warband

Introduced in the new season of Warcry, Reactions are things that can be done in certain circumstances, but always during the enemy turn. They cost one action, so they can be used only by fighters that have not activated yet or are waiting. There are 3 universal reactions and one specific to each warband:

Flickering Form (Everyone)

  • When: An enemy ends a move within 3″.
  • What: Relocate this fighter anywhere but at the same distance from the moving 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.

The Untamed Beasts Warband

Pros and Cons of the Nighthaunt

Pros:

+ Versatile and quite forgiving
+ Fly is, in general, an amazing ability
+ Summoning back models is a powerful ability, tactically satisfying and thematically fitting

Cons:

– 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, 2 Glaivewraith Stalkers and 1 Chainrasp. All available from the Soul Wars starter set for an all-round warband with weight, healing and numbers.

Thorns of the Briar Queen: Briar Queen, Varclav the Cruel, The Ever-hanged, 2 Thorns of the Briar Queen Chainrasp, Spirit Host and Grimghast Reaper. You need to keep two Chainrasp in reserve, but in a narrative campaign you can bring them on as soon as you increase your point limit.

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.

The latest additions to the warbands can be found in the single boxes like:

Or in unit boxes like:

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:

from the newest contrast paint using Warp Lightning, to the paints specifically designed for this army (Hexwraith Flame and Nighthaunt Gloom) to other technical colours like Nihilakh Oxide.

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.

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