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Age of Sigmar: How to Play Nighthaunt

5 Minute Read
Apr 07

Today we look into the Nighthaunt faction of Age of Sigmar. Sometimes that sheet floating in the wind really IS out to get you.

In the wake of Nagash’s sound defeat at the hands of the bright aelves, it’s easy to forget the huge stir he caused when he introduced a brand new Mortarch and unleashed the angry spirits of the Nighthaunt, kicking off the Soul Wars. Well, the spooky boys and their banshee queen haven’t forgotten, and they’re still just as potent as they were when the war began. Here are some quick tips for running the Nighthaunt and a few sample units you won’t want to leave buried.

Who are the Nighthaunt?

The unquiet dead has always plagued the Realms, spirits rising up in areas of great strife or where the magic of Shyish is strong. However, it wasn’t until Nagash elevated the Mortarch of Grief Lady Olynder that they became an organized fighting force and ushered in the Soul Wars. Spurred on by the cataclysm of the Necroquake, the Nighthaunt spilled out of cracks across every realm to claim souls for the Great Necromancer, the shades robbed of their eternal rest by the corrupting influence of their Mortarch.

Why Play Nighthaunt?

Nighthaunt are a swift shock army that can control the board with a solid line or sweep across their foes in a flurry of spectral weapons. They can be molded to fit several playstyles, have a mix of powerful combat and support heroes, and as Death can even return from the dead. If you saw the charge of the dead in LotR’s Return of the King and thought, “Yeah, I wanna do that,” then this is the army for you.


  • You can murder your enemy’s bravery and deal extraordinary damage via battleshock
  • You can teleport around the map to be exactly where you need to be
  • What terrain? You are a ghost, you walk through walls
  • You can jump back from the dead or heal your heroes
  • You are a mortal wound factory, and you are eager to distribute your product
  • Ethereal means Rend is nothing to you


  • You are VERY hero dependant, and if they go down, so will you
  • You need your spells, so if you go up against an army that can take them away, you won’t fare well

Signature Rules
The following rules apply to all Nighthaunt

  • Aura of Dread – Enemies within 6″ of your units have -1 Bravery, which combined with all the other Bravery shenanigans in your army means you’ll be able to break your enemies for sure.
  • Deathless Spirits – As long as a unit is wholly within 12″ of a friendly Nighthaunt hero, they ignore wounds and mortal wounds on a 6+. While this is a really awesome rule, it means you absolutely need to keep your heroes alive.
  • From the Underworlds They Come – The reverse of the Stormcast ability to drop half of their army from the sky, this allows you to set up half your army in the spirit realm to arrive outside 9″ of enemy units at the end of any movement phase. This is huge for positioning and setting up devastating charges.
  • Feed on Terror – Any time an enemy fails a battleshock test within 6″ of a Nighthaunt hero, that hero heals a wound. Considering how easy it is to make your opponent fail Battleshock tests, this is great for keeping your combat heroes alive.
  • Wave of Terror – If you make an unmodified charge roll of 10 or more for a Nighthaunt unit, they get to fight at the end of the charge phase AND in the following combat phase. On a unit like the Black Coach or Hexwraiths, this could be a single-turn unit wipe.
  • Spectral Summons – An army-wide command ability that allows you to teleport a unit to your general wherever he is on the battlefield. This is amazing for pulling a unit out of an unfavorable combat or setting up a devastating charge.

Nighthaunt doesn’t have subfactions.


5 Key Units

Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed – A fast combat lord with a sword that steals wounds from enemy heroes and a command ability that buffs a unit’s Attacks. This guy will almost always be your general, unless you bring one of the special characters.

Guardian of Souls – Your primary support caster and the main healer of your army. NEVER leave home without at least one of these, especially if you bring Chainrasps.

Chainrasp Horde – Your mainstay battleline unit. Very dangerous in large numbers and surprisingly killy.


Hexwraiths – Shock battleline at their finest, with the ability to deal mortal wounds when they move AND when they attack. Amazing battleline choice when combined with the movement shenanigans.

Black Coach – Your big bad murder boat. This thing can wipe out a unit a turn, or two if you get a high charge roll, and will be the bane of your opponent’s existence.

Sample Army (1000 pts)

Army: Nighthaunt

Leader: Knight of Shrouds on Ethereal Steed. General. Command Trait: Ruler of the Spirit Hosts.

Leader: Guardian of Souls. Lore of the Underworlds: Soul Cage. Artefact: Beacon of Nagashizzar.

Battleline: 30 Chainrasp Horde.

Battleline: 5 Hexwraiths.


Battleline: 5 Hexwraiths.

Unit: Black Coach

How to Play Nighthaunt

Use your regenerating Chainrasps as a tarpit while your shock cavalry and Coach mop up the enemy. Keep moving and make all your charges count (and hurt).

For Nagash!

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