With nothing else to occupy myself with in the evenings, my newfound Warhammer Warcry hobby has taken on a life of its own. I recently finished painting the Catacombs starter set and decided that next I would focus on building and painting as many Age of Sigmar warbands as I could to fight in the depths of the fiery catacombs.
Last time I painted a Seraphon warband, and now was the time for the Nighthaunt.
The Nighthaunt are a warband of ghosts, ethereal terrors consumed by their hatred of the living. They belong to the Order of Death who seek to turn all of creation into one endless tomb. Or so I’ve been told.
And with that in mind I had to try really hard to resist the urge to paint all them like Boo from Mario 64.
Overall, I was less pleased with the finished result of these models – I think I overdid it with the dry-brushing – but on the whole they look OK and they make a perfect fit-for-purpose, tabletop ready warband.
Bringers of Death
The armies in Warcry are broken down into four Grand Alliances: Order, Chaos, Death and Destruction. Each order has an accompanying book with includes all the fighter statistics for the armies of that order. The Nighthaunt belong to the Bringers of Death and that book includes 21 different fighter types allowable in Warcry. For my warband I used six different types of fighter.
To help build my warband I picked up a copy of the Bringers of Death as well as a set of Nighthaunt fighter cards. These proved really useful when putting together my Seraphon warband last time, so I was hoping they’d do the same here.
And with any luck, unlike the last time, I’ll actually build a warband that is playable inside the rules of Warcry, and not one with too many heroes – thankfully we all have the good people over on Reddit to make sure nothing like this escapes the net again.
Games Workshop did release a Nighthaunt warband for Warcry, but unfortunately I was too late to the party, and it’s now near impossible to get hold of for a sensible amount of money. So, instead, using the Brings of Death book and Nighthaunt fighter cards, I selected the models I wanted and then found three sets of Nighthaunt that would make up the majority of my fighters. This included a Glaivewraith Stalkers set, a Myrmourn Banshees kit, and a Chainrasp Horde. All three boxes were the Easy-to-Build sets, but they still look really cool. In theory this would only give me a maximum of four fighter types for my warband, but with a bit of glue and absolutely no idea what I was trying to achieve, I was able to kit-bash an additional two fighters (more on what kit-bashing means later).
Once I had built the models and trialed a paint scheme, it was time to begin painting. Here, I was attempting to batch paint the whole warband. This really sped things up and because I wanted to achieve a relatively homogenous appearance for my ghosts it made a lot of sense. It was a bit risky though; if I didn’t like the way they looked, I’d have to re-do the entire army. Thankfully that wasn’t the case.
The paint scheme for these models was relatively simple, with only a few differences between fighter types. They all started off with the same coat of Wraith Bone primer.
I then used three technical paints to create the ghostly and ethereal cloaks, blending them where the paints met. First I used Nighthaunt Gloom on the upper sections, then Hexwraith Flame for the mid section, and finally Nihilakh Oxide for the lower portions. For any flesh or bone areas I used Skeleton Horde contrast paint, and then finished off with Snakebite Leather and Leadbelcher for any wooden or metal areas on weapons or chains. The only model that deviated from this is the Myrmourn Banshees which I used Blood Angels Red for the corsets.
Having completed the first base coat I then used a dry-brush of Longbeard Grey over all of the models to bring out some of the detail and to slightly mute the colors of the vibrant technical paints. Once this first dry-brush was complete I highlighted first with Ulthuan Grey and then with White Scar. This finishing with dry-brushing and highlighting gave better results with some of the models than others, but on the whole it worked to give my warband the homogenous look I was going for.
I then focused on the bases. First painting the Abaddon Black and finishing off with the same dry-brush and highlight process as the models, but adding Celestra Grey in there too, to help push the details even more.
As mentioned above, I didn’t quite have enough fighter types from just picking up the three boxes, but I didn’t want to spend any more money on this warband – especially one that wouldn’t use all of the models I purchased (you can only have a certain amount of points in a warband, and if I used all models from all three sets, that would already be double to allowed points). So I decided to try my hand a kit-bashing two new fighter types.
As I’ve mentioned before I’m new to this hobby and am slowly learning the lingo. I now know the difference between “tabletop ready” and “parade ready“. I know that you want your models to really “pop”. And now I know that when you build a new model using the parts from other sets, this is called “kit-bashing“. I wanted to add a Spirit Host and Grimghast Reaper to my warband, so I got my exacto-knife and gorilla glue and set about “frankensteining” some ghosts.
First I took off the head from one of my Glaivewraith Stalkers and attached the skeletal head from a Chainrasp. This gave me the body for a Grimghast Reaper. Then I removed the glaive and re-attached the blade at a 90 degree angle to the wooden staff handle and I had a perfect scythe. For the Spirit Host I simply glued the top half of two Chainrasps onto a Myrmourn Banshee and voila! I was quite impressed with my efforts – although others may not be…
1,000 points Nighthaunt Warband
So, with the painting complete I had my 1,000 point warband ready to go. My leader would be the Dreadwarden. At a cost of 150 points, he’s not too expensive, and he does have the added bonus of his Spectral Summon special ability that allows him to return a friendly fighter that has been taken down to the battlefield.
For the muscle in this warband I chose to include two Glaivewraith Stalkers. At 120 points, they’re 25 points cheaper than the Myrmourn Banshees and there is very little difference between the two fighter types. Perhaps I will include the banshees once I’ve dominated a few territories and my points allowance goes up.
The kit-bashed Spirit Host is the most expensive in this warband at 220 points. However, it does have 30 wounds – meaning it will stay the course longer – and also has the Frightful Touch ability.
Backing up the Spirit Host will be the Grimghast Reaper. 135 points seems reasonable for this fighter and he also has a special abilities, Soul-Marked Prey, which adds bonuses to friendly fighters, and Reaped Like Corn which attacks all enemy fighters within three inches of the this fighter.
Finally, the Chainrasp Horde – at 80 points each only three of these will make my first warband, but as they progress through a campaign their ranks will be joined by their fellow ghosts. Like all the others in this warband the Chainrasps have the Fly runemark, which unsurprisingly means they can fly. They also have Chilling Horde ability which gives a bonus when allies are within a certain number of inches.
Possible Nighthaunt Hero
Finally, once this warband gets to a point where it can add adidtional leaders as Heroes, I would want to include a Cairn Wraith fighter. I really like this model and it looks super cool in monochrome – which is a surprisingly difficult painting style to achieve (this was my third attempt). The Cairn Wraith is 220 points to add to your warband, but it is tough, hits quite hard, has the Spectral Summon ability, as well as the Reaped Like Corn and Soul-Marked-Prey abilities.
I’ve tested out my Nighthaunt warband a couple of times and they have so far worked out fine. They’re not as strong as the Seraphon, from last time, or as hardy as the Stormcast Eternals, but with a bit of luck they still manage to take down quite a few enemies.
Next time I’m moving over to the Order of Destruction and am going to try to put together a warband of Orruks. These think-skinned brutes will present a totally different style of play for me, and I’m hoping my painting skills can do them justice.