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New to the game - need advice about units

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  • New to the game - need advice about units

    Hello guys,

    so I'm another one of those "refugees" that loved to play Warhammer Fantasy but doesn't enjoy GW's AoS.

    Anyway. I've always played the undead in ye ol' days. But I wanted to take a new approach to an army of Nightmares. How very fortunate that there is a litteral army of creatures that haunt you in your darkest dreams!

    Now I understand the general mechanics of the game - threaten the flanks, bait charges, block with chaff etc. But I still have some trouble wrapping my head around what each unit is (supposedly) designed to do.

    I've tinkered with a few lists and would love some feedback! I'll post a list here and explain why I took the units and what I want to use them for:

    The Anvil

    2x Scarecrows (Reg)
    1x Butchers (Horde) w/ Blessing of the Gods

    I want to deploy these guys in the centre of the board like this: Scarecrows Scarecrows Butchers

    The 'Crows are just there to get in the way or to bait a charge (I want to maybe surge them forward). The Butchers are a bit more durable with Def 5+ and might get a flanking charge off if something charges the Scarecrows to their left. They only hit 50% of the time so I gave them the Blessing to help them a bit.

    The Second Wave

    1x Reapers (Reg) w/ Maccaw's Potion
    1x Shadow Hulk
    1x Dread-fiend

    I'll deploy these behind the Anvil. The Scarecrows will hopefully get charged and routed so that I can then engage the enemy with the Second Wave, preferably on the flanks. The Reapers and the Shadow Hulk both aren't hindered by Terrain and the Dread-Fiend is nimble and fast enough to get on the flank anyway.

    The Support

    2x Horros w/ Drain Life
    1x Planar Apparition
    2x Screamer

    The Horrors can surge my Anvil and help a bit with healing dudes. The Planar Apparition is there to heal or maybe tie stuff up. I feel like I need to take that much healing as most of our units have quite low defense.
    The Screamers are just there to soften up some targets.

    The Hammer

    2x Fiends (Horde) (one w/ Brew of Strength)

    I want to deploy my Cav on the flanks and just slam them into the sides of anything I want off the table.

    So the gameplan is to shuffle forward with the Scarecrows and Butchers. I might surge one or two of those units to bait a charge. This would place my opponent's units into a bad position and open up flanking-charges.
    If I am patient enough I might be able to circle around the opposing army with my Fiends and get some tasty rear charges off.

    I would love a brief overview of the units and how they perform for you. For example I think Phantoms look neat but might not get much done with only 10/12 attacks. The Shade and Void Lurker both seem like good brawlers but are just so expensive. The Terror looks really solid as a grinding machine. Blood Worms look like the permium Scarecrows since they could actually punch back. No idea about the Mind Screech. Dopplegangers seem good but gimmicky. Specters - no idea. Shadowhounds look almost interchangeable with Fiends. Reapers look brutal but squishy so I don't know if I have to take two or three Regiments. Butchers seem like a solid frontline shield.


  • #2
    Hi there! Welcome to KoW and the 'Stalkers!

    Scarecrow regiments are good chaff. With stealthy, they are less vulnerable to shooting. They never waver at awkward moments and they die quickly, allowing the second wave to get in quickly. Don't expect them to survive a charge from anything but the weakest of units. I find that accurate placement of them is more important than speed; I never trust the randomness of surge. I tend to use 3 regiments of them to protect 3-4 troops of reapers.

    Anything behind the Butchers will be waiting a long time to get into combat - you don't want your reapers behind them. The Monsters may be able to multicharge with them however.

    Reapers are great at dealing damage, but even the regiment can be one-shotted by a decent unit, or multicharge. I've found troops to be superior, much cheaper and almost as killy. I also think the potion will be wasted on them - just pick lane without difficult terrain. The fiends would benefit more from it.

    Horrors are really expensive, and I think your only viable heal target will be the butchers. I use as many shambling units and use surge once in 2-3 games - and it usually turns out to be a bad idea or just fail completely. I still take one for banechant and to discourage flyers landing too near my rear, but I do slightly resent them.

    You might consider Elven Wine on the fiends - nimble really helps to circle round.

    Bloodworms are much more of a tarpit than scarecrows - even though they have the worst nerve in the game. I wouldn't bother with regiments of them - they won't do much good and lose many of the benefits 'crows have as chaff. In a horde or legion they have a lot more staying power, lifeleech 2 is helpful for that. They would be good backed up by a healer, but you'd want to come in round the sides of them, rather than waiting for them to die.

    The shade is a great flying character. They're good for disrupting shooting/flyers, hunting war engines/ characters. They are expensive - but all flying characters are.

    Needlefangs are a decent alternative to scarecrows for chaff. They're quite a bit faster but not much more expensive. They won't block LOS to reapers, but will still give them cover and the reapers may be able to double charge with them.

    I've heard fiend hordes still need help to one-shot most things, but they're certainly a popular choice. I run 2 regiments to protect my flanks more than trying to win them.

    Spectres are a decent little shooting unit, useless in melee - which makes them cheaper. 4+ ranged is good though and good speed. They also have the advantage of stealth in a shoot out and high nerve. They're fairly similar in function to the screamer.


    • #3
      Whilst I don't play Nightstalkers, I do take some as allies. One of the units I use is Doppelgangers and I use it exactly like you use your Second Wave units. Anything that's going to one shot a reasonable unit is going to be a good target for a Doppelganger regt. I think they are a decent unit that does something that nothing else can do.

      Also, for your Scarecrows, might you consider some Spectre troops instead? If they're there just to effectively die, causing a bit of shooting damage on their way out might be an alternative?

      Just a few ideas to consider...


      • #4
        I have played my Night Stalkers quite a bit, and I would say the anvil role doesn't exists with them. I have tried using a legion of Blood Worms, but it just isn't worth it. I have found much more success in going all chaff and hammers.

        For chaff, I initially used three regiments of Needle-fangs. But their nerve is a really big weakness, since they waver all the time and disrupt your plans, getting in the way of your own troops as much as your opponent's. I tried using Spectres instead, and I like them much better. They are marginally more expensive, but fill a secondary role with their shooting attacks (mainly clearing enemy chaff, but they can also do some real damage if left alone). I think I am going to paint up a few more troops of them and try them on a larger scale.

        For hammers, Fiends are obviously a good choice. The nerf in CoK2017 made them kind of glass hammers, but they still hit just as hard. A minor weakness, though, is that they don't one-shot units like the really good hammers in this game (Stampede, Ogre Chariots, Direfang Riders,...). For that, they need support.

        Another good hammer is the Void Lurker. I cannot imagine a Night Stalker army without at least two of these (well, actually I can, but I don't think it will be competitive). Either use them to support your Fiends (to get that all important rout) or group up three of them and delete a unit every turn.


        • #5
          Thank you for the input!

          How are those troops of Reapers playing out for you? They strike me as a berserker unit - lots of damage output but almost no defense. Into what units do you charge them?
          The Elven Wine looks like a solid choice for those Fiends!


          Good idea with those Dopplegangers! I'll look into those. Maybe proxy them to see how they do for me.

          I may need to rephrase "The Anvil" to "The Roadbump". ^^" The Void Lurker looks strong but it is so very expensive! One might be good but taking three is little excessive for my taste.

          Any good experiences with the Butchers? They seem quite solid to me. Def 5+ is nice but they lack things like Regen or Ensnare to make them a real tarpit. So they would need a healing support.

          What about the Terror? Fearless, lots of CS(1) attacks and Regen (4+) and Ensnare help it to stick around.


          • #6
            I haven't used Butchers, but I have used Fire Elementals extensively, both in Nature and Salamander armies, and I like them. For 20 extra points, you lose Pathfinder and get Stealthy, Mindthirst and one point of nerve instead. A decent trade. The only problem is that the surge tax is really steep for Night Stalkers, 90 points compared to 40 for Nature and 35 for Salamanders (although you might argue that Salamanders pay more, since their Mage-priest is somewhat overcosted the way he comes).

            The Terror is extremely situational. Against certain types of enemies he is a beast, but most of the time I don't feel he is worth his huge points cost.


            • #7
              I play Rhordia, but I have played a lot of Stalker lists and thinking about starting an army for fun. One thing I have observed from an opponents point of view is that the Monster choices for stalkers are horrible to play against. I tend to get good results from Stalker lists that have a lot of infantry, but those players that just use a system of 1 Monster per regiment of chaff across their list causes me all sorts of problems. Speaking at a recent tournament to an elf player, they agreed with me that the Stalker Monsters can really ruin your day, while the infantry are not so troubling.
              I thought I'd post that as sometimes looking at it from an opponents point of view can really help. The more monsters the better in my opinion, mixed in with chaff infantry.
              Last edited by ChopperHarris5; 09-07-2018, 01:12 PM.


              • #8
                Good point! To look at your army from the opponent's perspective is always a good idea. Which monsters in particular do ruin your day? Only Void Lurkers or is the Shadow Hulk stronk too? (SHADOW HULK SMASH!)


                • #9
                  I really like the Terror on paper, but at the same time it definitely feels like it's only as good as you as a player are good at surging it into a flank. If you are only charging it into fronts, then it seems like it's about 20-40pts too expensive.


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Causalis View Post
                    Good point! To look at your army from the opponent's perspective is always a good idea. Which monsters in particular do ruin your day? Only Void Lurkers or is the Shadow Hulk stronk too? (SHADOW HULK SMASH!)
                    The shadow hulk... I do think the speed is a problem for this guy, too easily surrounded and picked off. No stealth either, so there's a pretty big target on them, and they aren't very tough really, once they start being targeted. Maybe I just had a bad experience, and they are pretty cheap. But I think I'd take a dread fiend ahead of them every time .


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Myriad6 View Post

                      The shadow hulk... I do think the speed is a problem for this guy, too easily surrounded and picked off. No stealth either, so there's a pretty big target on them, and they aren't very tough really, once they start being targeted. Maybe I just had a bad experience, and they are pretty cheap. But I think I'd take a dread fiend ahead of them every time .
                      Good call on the non-stealthyness of our Giant! But he is fearless and routs at 20 so I can imagine that it would take quite a bit of dedicated shooting for him to die (fade away?). I'll try him anyway since I've ordered this handsome guy:


                      But how does the Dread-Fiend work out for you? It seems reasonably priced for what it brings to the table. But with only 5 attacks it seems more like an annoyance than an actual threat.

                      Thoughts about putting the Diadem of Dragonkind on Phantoms or the Dread-Fiend? Or the CP of Retribution on some Scarecrows/Butchers?

                      Also: Shadowhounds. Yes they are irregular but they are fast, nimble and have regen. So they shouldn't have problems getting into the enemy's flank and dish out the damage. Maybe with Brew of KE or Brew of Strength.


                      • #12
                        Following on with the Monster question, I was at a tournament recently and one of my opponents played with two Terrors. I think if you can paly with 2 Terrors or 2 Void Lurkers may be worth more than playing with one of each. Mid Screetch and a unit or two of Spectors can be a pain too.
                        I think the Shadow Hulk is decent for his points, but the others cause me much more problems.


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Causalis View Post
                          Thank you for the input!

                          How are those troops of Reapers playing out for you? They strike me as a berserker unit - lots of damage output but almost no defense. Into what units do you charge them?
                          4 Troops of reapers are my main damage dealers, so they go up against most frontline units. I try to clear the chaff out before they attack. Against hordes I'd try to put them in with some back up, or 2 troops if I can manage it. Against high def, I'd try to banechant them. 20 attacks on 3+ does serious damage to hordes, and with CS2 they're a threat to high def stuff too. Worst match up I've come across is dwarf beserkers or brocks. Their really high nerve and cheap cost comparatively is a great counter to the reapers. They do want to kill stuff without being attacked back, but if they are counter-attacked and killed - there's another 3 waiting to take their place. I run a very MSU (multiple small units) strategy. No unit is worth more than 10%, so the loss of any given unit isn't a big deal.

                          Most memorable performance was when a dragon front charged them. It bounced (a slightly below average result, but not that unusual). They counter charged with bane chant and wavered it, killing it next turn.


                          • #14
                            Well, yes, the shadow hulk *does* have lots of modelling potential. And certainly isn't so bad as to be unplayable. The Dread-Fiend, I guess you could put an item on them but I've mostly gone with just the blade of slashing. It does only have 5 attacks basic but, being nimble large cavalry, you can get a lot of flank charges. And it's tough enough to be used as a blocker in a pinch.

                            Shadow Hounds, nimble, which is good. I've been using a troop of them, they are rather accident prone, even one or two hits will often waver or destroy them. And they're sometimes out of mindthirst range. But the speed does come in very handy sometimes. I'm not really convinced what they bring to the table in comparison to phantoms though, I guess they can at the double which makes them a bit faster, but shambling flyers are just very good .


                            • #15
                              My army is really coming together! I can definitely recommend the Malifaux Minis (especially the Neverborn) from Wyrd Miniatures to represent some units. For example, I got the Alternative Hungering Darkness as a Terror, the Gaki as Fiends and the Insidious Madness as Butchers (although these guys are a bit small).

                              So far I have:

                              Planar Apparition
                              One Regiment of Scarecrows
                              One Horde of Butchers
                              Two Hordes of Fiends
                              One Troop of Phantoms

                              My Shadow Hulk should arrive soon and I'll pick up my Void Lurker this Saturday.

                              Can you recommend some magic artefacts aside of the usual suspects like Brew of Strength, Caterpillar Potion, Sharpness etc.? There are some cool and unusual items out there and I wonder if you discovered some sweet combos.