“This is not mere vengeance, this is redemption. My right to destroy is greater that yours to live; remember that, when we come for you.”

Talos Valcoran, 1st Claw, 10th Company, M41.

My chosen Legion in Horus Heresy: Battles in the Age of Darkness was no easy decision and was based primarily from a few key books that I either read, or listened to in the space of a week. My first Heresy Purchases were actually Anacharis Scoria (on preorder) and a Warhound Titan – both purely on aesthetic alone, with the intent to run them as a Warpsmith and a Warhound in Warhammer 40,000.

If you take nothing else away from this post, take this away. Asking others “What Legion should I play” or “What Legion is the best” is totally the wrong question to be asking. Horus Heresy is a gaming system that is predicated on narrative – thus, whilst there are stronger Legions than others, it shouldn’t matter to a player. We all play what we play because we enjoy playing that Legion. The question you should really ask yourself is “What Legion do I enjoy the background and paint scheme of”. This is because you’ll be thinking narratively and painting their scheme, or some permutation if it – so having a legion you love is very important.

With the influx of Warhammer: 40,000 players recently, it’s an important point to make. Win At All Costs (WAAC) is not the way to play, Heresy is all about personal choices and enjoying the game.

Lore & Rules:

The books I refer earlier to are well know to Night Lords players. If you haven’t had a read, grab a copy, it’s something you won’t regret,

1. Aaron Dembski Bowden – The Night Lords Trilogy (ISBN-10: 1849706123). Comprising of Void Stalker, Soul Hunter and Blood Reaver, this book follows First Claw during M41. Its a masterpiece of interlinked works and a twisting tale – which causes the reader to consider their initial thoughts about the characters by the end of the book.

2. Aaron Dembski Bowden – The Prince of Crows (ISBN-10: 1849707839). Books about Jago Sevatarion, the First Captain of the Night Lords don’t really come better than this. It shows the fractious nature of the Night Lords, coupled with the desperation of fighting a crusade that, quite frankly, they’re not designed to fight. This is the book that showed me the utter duality of nature of Konrad Curze, Sevatar and the Legion in the round.

3. Guy Haley – Pharos (ISBN-10: 9781784964917). Why did the Night Lords fracture would quickly and early on? This book is the answer to that. It’s also a solid story that now continues into the Solar War – following the exploits of Gendor Skraivok and Krukesh the Pale. A must-read for Night Lords fans.

Finally, Guy Haley – Konrad Curze is a solid book to get into the mindset of the legions father.

With regards to rules, for Night Lords players, you’re looking to purchase the Age of Darkness Rulebook for the core rules, the Legiones Astartes Army List book for the common Units and Rites of War and the Legiones Astartes Legions book, which up until the release of Campaign Book 9 will hold all of the Night Lords rules you require. That’s £120 of books alone, so the common thought is to go on eBay and strike up a bargain – however buyer beware! There are some of the older books, named identically. These aren’t a bargain as they’re missing a swathe of entries. Buy once, buy right.

Fan art for Talos Valcoran. In the background, Malcharion the War Sage, Lucorophys of the Bleeding Eyes and Mercutian, with his signature Heavy Bolter. Credit: Google Images, Original Source Unknown.

Other reading that really helps sculpt the method of warfare into the readers mind is the Horus Heresy Campaign Book 2 Massacre. This is available from Forgeworld in Softback for £40. It’s worth it at that price. There’s a whole chapter aligned to how the Night Lords fight, what equipment they use, heraldry, color schemes and notable battles. This is all brilliant information for sculpting a narrative behind your army lists and as a handrail for painting.

An except showing some of the artwork contained within Book 2. Credit: Games Workshop, Forgeworld,

The lore is incredibly important in Horus Heresy. Having a legion that you’ll enjoy building and painting is critical – so invest in the lore.

Modus Operandi:

It’s key to point out that the Night Lords aren’t shoe horned into one specific modus operandi. It stinks of a lack of imagination when you look at Warhammer 40,000 and see armies of Raptors and the profusion of the saying “Night Lords are the Raptor Legion”. Whilst it’s true, the Night Raptors of the Night Lords did indeed become Chaos Raptors, they actually represented a small percentage to how the Legion fought.

In fact, when you read Betrayal, Pharos and Prince of Crows you realize that actually the Night Lords are an incredibly versatile legion, using any and every means possible to induce a single thing; fear.

This isn’t to say that you’ll be successful in playing the legion the same way other legions are used, or that the fear rule is particular strong because it isn’t. Night Lords are often referred to as a “closet melee” legion. This is because they have a relatively small player base in comparison to other legions and that the melee component of the Night Lords isn’t widely known about outside of Night Raptors.

If you’re finding yourself a little disparaged by that last statement, don’t worry. The Night Lords core rules do really tie you in to the narrative of the gaming system and the legion and are fun:

A Talent For Murder: This core rule effectively means that as long as you outnumber an enemy in melee, you get +1 to hit and +1 to wound at the initiative step your units fight. It’s incredibly effective and makes the legion potent in melee. If you aren’t getting A Talent For Murder off in melee as a Night Lord player, your probably doing something wrong or purposely pushing the army that way.

Nostraman Blood: This core rule is the first of the debuffs the legion experiences. Due to the Night Lords application of Tactical Cowardice, all models fall back 1” further than normal. If you fail a pinning check, you can choose to fall back. This part of the rule can be useful to save that unit that is likely to be absolutely smashed up by an opponent – but doesn’t come up terribly often.

From The Shadows: This core rule provides a 5+ cover save to your army. This can then be combined with effects such as Stealth, Shrouded and Night Fighting. The more common example of this is how a unit of Night Raptors with Konrad Curze can get a 2+ cover save in the first turn. Broken down as 5+ for From the Shadows, 4+ from Night Fighting, 3+ from Curze’ Stealth, 2+ from Curze’ Shrouded. It’s very effective.

Night Vision: This core rule gives all of your army Night Vision, so the effects of Night Fighting don’t affect your enemies cover save.

Seeds of Dissent: This core rule rounds out the debuffs. If your warlord is slain the whole army takes a Leadership check as if they lost 25% of their strength. Combine this with Nostraman blood and you can have a very nasty situation on your hands if you’ve been a bit ballsy with your warlord.

The Night Lords also get a few bonuses when it comes to war gear and options. Notably, we have the Nostraman Chainglaive. It’s a nice weapon, being +1 Strength, AP3, Rending, Two Handed. En masse it can cause some nasty results, but under the rules today, only Night Raptors can take them as such. It’s also 10pts a pop, so you need to make a serious decision about taking them over Power Weapons too. Due to be released at the time of writing is its lesser brother the Nostraman Chainblade. This has been seen quickly edited in the rules preview for Contekar Terminators, with them originally having Chainglaives. It’s effectively lost its +1 Strength and Two Handed, but has retained AP3 and Rending. It’s effectively a power sword at this point.

As a Legion, we are one of the few that can organically equip our Terminators with a Deep Strike, for 15pts. Yes, you read that right Warhammer 40,000 players… Terminator deep strike isn’t a standard deployment method. You can get it through Rites of War (more on those later) and a legion specific character or two, but in the most part, they don’t get it. Finally, we have Trophies of Judgement – which is the rules for adorning everything with fallen and flayed enemies! It grants the unit fear, or enhances the effect of fear that a unit may already have. It’s quite cheap on characters, being 5pts, but gets very expensive for units under the Horror Cult Rite of War.

Legion Specific Units

We already have a few unit specific units, with more releasing in Campaign Book 9. Something to note is that a lot of these were added in Book 2, therefore we have had 6 books of power creep added on top. Don’t get disheartened just yet though, for one, there’s hope that Book 9 will resolve the issues. I’m covering units that have special rules, not stylized units such as the Night Lords Leviathan Siege Dreadnought or Night Lords Praetors.

Night Raptors: These guys are the predecessors to Chaos Raptors and have all the attitude to go with it. The Onslaught special rule provides each Night Raptor with D3 extra attacks on the charge instead of the usual 1. Normally a Headsman gets 2 Attacks and a Night Raptor gets 1. This, combined with Hammer of Wrath, WS5 and A Talent For Murder (they’re jump infantry so are bulky) makes them… fairly savage at best and ok at worst. They’re swingy, which isn’t great.

The bad part is the cost. They’re 150pts for a squad of 5 with chain swords and bolt pistols and a further 20pts per model, up to 15 max. Add in Nostraman Chainglaives or power weapons and you’re looking at 350pts for ten. That’s before looking at specialist weapons like melta guns or plasma guns. The other big issue is they aren’t scoring as standard and only the Huntmaster takes meltabombs. Unfortunately, this means that Assault Squads are able to deal with any threats better per point than Night Raptors. I take them because they’re cool – and in the hope that Book 9 sorts them out with either points drops or some rules added in to make them better.

Konrad Curze leads a Night Raptor Claw into an enemy Tactical Squad

Terror Squad: Super-spooky squad. They are effectively a legion Veteran Tactical Squad with the ability to take melee or shooting output focused weapons. They have bolt pistols and chain swords, granting you an extra attack, which is nice, as you already have 2 per model. This means you’ll get 4 attacks per model on the charge, rerolling 1s to hit and wound. That’s very good, especially when combined with A Talent a for Murder. They also gain infiltrate, precision strike, preferred enemy (infantry) and fear as standard. Infiltrate means they can often outstrip the support provided by the rest of your army – which is something to be concerned about because they’re expensive!

They’re 125pts for a squad of 5 and a further 15pts per model up to a max of 10. So, a full squad will set you back 200pts for Boltguns, Chainswords, Bolt Pistols, infiltrate, fear, precision strike and preferred enemy (infantry). Here’s the thing, you won’t want to stop there though. They can take Volkite Chargers. This gives you an Assault 2, 15” S5, AP5, deflagrate weapon. Combining that with preferred enemy (infantry) and you have a solid amount of what is known as the choom-train for mulching Power Armour. This will set you back around 250pts per squad.

So they’re a lot of points. That’s also before you give the Headsman melta bombs (the only one in the squad who can take them – another major problem comparing them with Veteran Tactical Squads they’re based on) and Artificer Armour. If you’re wanting transports, you’re looking at drop pods. 35pts for a normal drop pod looks good, but I’d seriously consider the Anvillus Pattern Dreadclaw Drop Pod. Expensive at 115pts, but they do give you something the squad lacks otherwise: mobility. If you infiltrate, they’re down and moving minimally. If you’re in a drop pod it’s the same. If you’re in a Dreadclaw, you can seriously reposition over large distances and choose your fight – tactical cowardice.

My Terror Squads cost 375pts for ten, equipped with Volkite Chargers and artificer Armour on the Headsman in a Dreadclaw. This allows me to prosecute a target, reposition and prosecute another target with minimal risk of being smashed up by Comtemptors etc.

My “First Claw” Terror Squad in MkIII Iron Armour with Skull visages crudely marked on their helms with crushed bone, standing in front of their Dreadclaw. Credit: David Braines, the30kchannel

Jago Sevararion: Sevatar is one of those models that we all love and loathe in equal measure. He’s reknown as being an amazing fighter in the lore, but his rules just don’t match up. He comes with his own Warlord trait, which as of the last FAQ effectively allows you to infiltrate 3x infantry units into battle. This, ladies and gentlemen, means you can make a seriously horrible move of infiltrating Legion Terminators in, whilst inside dedicated transport Spartan Assault Tanks. Bawk.

He gets precognition as a psychic skill, but it’s severely limited (2 warp charges and a reduced Leadership if you perils), it’s something that you’ll find yourself relying on to keep him alive though. If you’re going against a psychic heavy legion like Thousand Sons, Word Bearers or Daemons of the Ruinstorm it counts for nothing as they’ll deny it without a doubt. Master of the Atramentar does mean Legion Terminators don’t scatter within 6” of him when entering from Deepstrike however.

He gains instant death for his attacks in a challenge as part of the dirty fighter special rule. This is pretty good, but and it’s a big but… he’s in Power Armour. This is odd, as he is modeled in ornate artificer Armour. What it means is that even though he has an Iron Halo for those pesky Paragon Blades, he will die to much lesser attacks, having a 3+ Armour save. He has a Mastercrafted Nostraman Chainglaive, but that suffers due to the fact that an unnamed praetor costs not-so-much more and has a Mastercrafted Paragon Blade.

Effectively, he is a nice model, but his rules just don’t back up who he is, or why you’d bother to take him over an unnamed praetor. This is really why you just don’t see him played that much – he dies to stiff breezes. Such a shame, that will hopefully be fixed in Book 9. I take him purely because… well it’s Jago Sevatarion, the Prince of Crows.

Mid-paint of my Sevatar model,

Kheron Ophion: Known colloquially as The Coward, Ophion is anything but his namesake. He is one of the HQs that is interesting to play by virtue that as he gets more wounded, he gets better! Ophion has The Bloody Aegis which Increases Ophion’s invulnerable save to 3+ in close combat. In addition, any model that targets Ophion with one or more attacks in an assault and scores an unmodified 1 on at least one of those dice, has its WS halved when targeted by any of Ophion’s close combat attacks until the beginning of the next Game Turn. This is strong and thematic as Ophion is the first to offer to stay behind during the Thramas Crusade and fight the Dark Angels as the remainder of the Night Lords flee.

He also gets a rule named after himself, The Coward. Once Ophion has lost a single wound, he gains Feel No Pain (4+). When reduced to a single wound remaining, upgraded to Feel No Pain (3+). This means he actually has better staying power than Jago Sevatar on the table. Finally, Ophion has his own Warlord trait called Aberrant Bravery. As long as Ophion’s controlling player has less Victory points than his opponent, Ophion and any Night Lords units within 12” of him gain the Stubborn special rule. Additionally, the controlling player may always choose to re-roll, or have his opponent re-roll, any failed dice roll to determine if the game continues for another turn. Whilst not as strong as Sevatar, this trait is useful in ensuring that Nostraman Blood doesn’t come into effect. The best bit, is that Ophion is 165pts. With the fact he has a Power Axe, instead of an AP3 Nostraman Chainglaive, he’s a fairly competitive choice when compared to Sevatar. As he is a member of the Kyroptera, he fits nicely with a narrative too.

Flaymaster Mawdrym Llansahai. Imagine being an utterly insane primus medicae who no one really trusts. Well, that’s the Flaymaster. As well as granting Primus Medicae benefits, he also has a few neat rules. The first being Unfit for Command. This rule basically says he can never be your compulsory HQ choice because not even the Night Lord will tolerate him! The next rule The Devils Luck is really nice. It allow him to reroll failed look out sir and feel no pain rolls – it’s what kept him alive and last man standing against daemons in a previous game where literally everyone else died! An interesting character, who I’ve found quite useful. One to experiment with for sure.

Konrad Curze: The Night Haunter! 435pts of shadowy death. Where to start.. well.. let’s look at his Wargear. The Nightmare Mantle: well, it grants him a 2+ Armour save that will deal with most of the casual weapons fire on the table and a 4++ for anything more serious. It’s not foolproof, but it works well enough when you remember that he also has Stealth and Shrouded to bump up his cover saves too. The Nightmare Mantle also confers Hit & Run and D3 Hammer of Wrath. He has the rule Jump Infantry to replicate how he moves in the lore, so he is also bulky. This is a bit of an aside, as because he is a Primarch, he doesn’t get Legiones Astartes (Night Lords) and therefore no A Talent For Murder and doubly so because as Jump Infantry the only transports he can ride in are Thunderhawk or Storm Bird. If you see someone playing him in a Spartan – they’re cheating.

What about his weapons then? Well, he has Mercy and Forgiveness, his artificer wrought Lightning Claws. They’re S6, AP2, Shred, Murderous Strike, Specialist Weapon (no extra attack), Paired (+1 attack). That last bit is an odd one, but hey, in all, Mercy & Forgiveness are standard fare for a Primarch, nothing really to right home about. They do the job.

He then has The Widowmakers. 12” range, S4, AP5, Assault 3, Lethal Precision. You can see what Forgeworld were aiming for here. Throwing weapons that can pin Squad Sergeants to walls and Curze then tears into them in melee. Problem is, artificer Armour. So these never really seem to do anything unless you roll the ever elusive 6+ on the wound rolls.

So, he’s fairly brutal in melee, has some ranged weapons that are average at best and has some nice saves available. Well, he also buffs the army. Hold onto your hats, because when Curze is in an army, he can elect for the first turn to be Night Fighting and as Sire of the Night Lords, he confers fear to the units with Legiones Astartes (Night Lords). Units that already have Fear now impose a -1 to the Leadership value. That’s fairly nice buffs, especially to Terror Squads or Night Raptors with Trophies of judgement. As the King of Terrors, Leadership against him is taken at -3 and if he takes part in an assault that destroys an enemy squad, then all enemy units within 12” line of sight, subject to fear must take an immediate morale check or fall back.

So our Lord Primarch can hide in the shadows, conferring a 2+ cover save for turn 1 to himself and a squad he has joined, move rapidly across the battlefield, mince through Power Armour and provides some nice, if not overly strong buffs. I like Curze. He dies every time I’ve put him into combat with another Primarch, which is annoying as in the Lore he is pretty hench, let’s face it. Keep him chewing through an enemies troops choices and deny them the ability to score. Tactical cowardice from the highest level.

The Night Haunter, stood over the corpses of Dark Angels.

Contekar Terminators. At the time of writing, these are a bit of an unknown. The Nostraman Chainblades personally look uninspiring, as do the Heavy flamers, but I have interest in the Volkite Cavitators. This is predominantly down to my love of the choom train! I’ll definitely be getting some, but at the minute there isn’t enough information out there about them to make solid decisions on how they’ll play.

Rites of War (RoW):

One of the easiest ways to start an army is to choose a Rite of War to build around. They’re often thematic and the legion specific ones, doubly so. A RoW is effectively like a formation. You get benefits and debuffs for building the army to fight in a certain way. Now, the Night Lords do well without a RoW too, so don’t feel that you must choose one.

What you do need to have to run an RoW is a Master of the Legion. This most notably comes in the form of Praetors and Legion specific characters. The Night Lords have three Legion specific RoW that I’ll be discussing:

Horror Cult: This is the stereotypical Warhammer 40,000 Night Lords RoW. It allows you to field Night Raptors as troops. This comes with some advantages, namely the fact that Night Raptors can really shift across the table and with Nostraman Chainglaives or power weapons, they can cause some carnage. Factor in a few Jump Apothecaries and up their resilience to create miniature deathstars. Murdermoons if you will. If you really want to take the narrative forward, then you can equip any Legiones Astartes (Night Lords) squad with Trophies of Judgement for 25pts per squad. Expensive, but thematic. This grants that squad the fear special rule. For rule of cool, this RoW is pretty great, but it’s hard to get right on the table and as such you don’t see much of it.

The detraction for this RoW mainly sits in the fact that if there is an enemy within 12” of them (anything with Legiones Astartes (Night Lords) can harm in melee), then they must declare a charge to it in the charge sub phase. Chainblades are +1S, melta bombs will hurt vehicles, so there’s very little you won’t be charging. This doesn’t seem like a massive problem, until you factor in that with most weapons you’re giving the Night Raptors can only just harm them.

This RoW is all about careful manoeuvre warfare and avoiding obvious roadblocks by your opponents, because you really don’t want your expensive troops choices being tied up uselessly or simply cut down in overwatch. It’s rewarding, but difficult.

Terror Assault: This can be summed up in one sentence – sneaking scary boys in to your enemies back lines to cause utter chaos. This RoW comes with some absolutely stonking benefits and a very strong debuff. The benefits come in the form of Night Fighting in Turn 1 on a 2+, Turn 2 on a 4+ and Turn 3 on a 6+. During Night Fighting, Legiones Astartes (Night Lords) gain +1 Initiative and +1 to their run moves. If you’re positioned correctly to take advantage of this cover of darkness rule, then it’s quite strong! Claw Assault enables Terror/Tactical/Veteran squads to take Dreadclaw Drop Pods or Legion Drop pods as dedicated transports. This gives a lovely narrative and manoeuvre element to the army. Finally, you must take Terror Squads as compulsory troops and must take an additional compulsory troop. This effectively means 3x Terror Squads, so as an example, I’m sinking c.800pts into 3x 10 man squads alone to look to maximize legion rules against the enemy.

A Terror Squad Claw gets involved with an Emperors Children Tactical Squad.

The detractions start and end at Heavy Support. The single Heavy Support slot. Most end up dropping in a Sicaran Arcus Strike Tank, Deredeo with Arachnus Las or Leviathan in a drop pod into this slot. The reality is, this list suffers with Anti tank, so you’ll be looking to your 3 Fast Attack slots to make up the deficit. This normally comes in the form of Kraken Penetrator equipped Primaris-Lightning Strike Fighters and Javellin Attack Landspeeders. However, Jetbikes are a solid choice that you shouldn’t ignore in either Fast Attack or Heavy Support.

This RoW is the one I play the most. Yes it’s limiting, but the bonus rules are so fluffy and nice that it kind of doesn’t matter. As I say in the30kchannel battle report – work with the RoW you choose and it’ll really come alive.

My Leviathan Siege Dreadnought and it’s a Dreadnought Drop Pod. Credit: David Braines, the30kchannel

The Cross Of Bone: This RoW has been listed on Warhammer Community recently. It’s a little odd in the fact it seems to take the detractions of Horror Cult & Terror Assault and combine it with a benefit you probably don’t need. That benefit comes with the fact that for every non-compulsory HQ you take (so, starting at your second HQ slot), you can take an extra Elite choice. That’s ok, but you start with 4 Elite slots as it is, and this RoW doesn’t move Contekar or Legion Terminators to troops choices, so you’re still looking at c.400pts of Tactical Squad before you’re building your “core list”. But actually, it gets worse, as you need to take an extra compulsory troop choice. So that’s c.600pts of Tacticals, plus your compulsory HQ choice. That leaves c.2200pts for Elites, Fast Attack and Heavy Support in most cases. That’s…. not a lot.

So what do you gain other than extra elite slots? If your independent character is alone or in a squad with no other independent characters then they get +1 attack. Additionally, if you slay the enemies warlord with one of your Independent Characters, then you get 1VP. That’s pretty good in the round. The problem starts when you realize that models are to consolidate the full movement towards the nearest enemy within line of sight. If no enemies are in line of sight, then they consolidate toward the enemies deployment zone. This is pretty limiting. It’ll see you drawn off objectives, into the arms of something nastier or generally roadblocked. The wording is pretty odd too. Technically, the full movement of a consolidate move is 6”.

It’s yet to be seen what the final iteration looks like and how the Contekar rules will interact with the RoW, but it looks difficult to plan and play which is why I want to at least try it!

Tips on units:

I’ve already covered some tips and my own opinion on some of the Legion specific units, but in this section, I’ll cover some more that fall outside of legion specific units.

Jetbikes. Legion Skyslayer jetbikes can be just as effective as a well positioned Leviathan in a drop pod. You can take 5 of them in that single slot and run them with multi melta, plasma cannons or Volkite culverins. They’re ok at shooting then. But the real noise comes from melee. This applies to all Jetbikes. Jetbikes are very bulky and Legiones Astartes (Night Lords) therefore you’re pretty much assured of getting A Talent For Murder off. Factor In they have bolt guns and chainswords too and you have a fast moving wrecking ball that can do both Anti tank and Anti infantry. The one thing you need to be careful of is Nostraman blood kicking in, as Jetbikes fall back 3D6. There is a RoW that supports the fielding of an army comprised pretty much entirely of Jetbikes. Something I want to try out when funds permit.

Dreadclaw Drop Pods: Offering a solid redeployment ability to Terror Squads and a level of protection they don’t normally have (Jink) is pretty solid. Expensive – but still good. If you’re looking for a cut price alternative, Legion drop pods do a similar job for turn 1, but you can suffer in later turns. If you’re using the Orbital Assault RoW – this are a valid option for Tactical Squads to take.

Legion Terminator Squad: With a distinct lack of true Atramentar, you’ll be fielding the generic Legion Terminators. Whilst Tartaros armour can run, Cataphractii armour has far more survivability. Look at how you’re going to get them where you need them. Deep strike is a novel legion ability, but comes with risks. If it goes seriously wrong, they gone. Also, neither can really cover distance well on the table.

So you’re looking at transports. Dedicated transports like Landraiders tend to limit your ability to outnumber, Spartans are nice, but a bit WAAC at times when you’re fielding 2-3 of them. what about a Storm Eagle? There’s risk, if it dies big, it’ll generally be the end of what it’s carrying. But if it gets to where it needs to be, it can do damage. Bear in mind though, you won’t be assaulting until T3 at the earliest. This can work in your favour, but if you fail the Storm Eagle reserve rolls, it can work against you too. Just something to consider. Want to go big? Thunderhawks and Storm Birds are the top dogs – but both are overcosted and a narrative choice over any actual gameplay benefit. Saying that, I adore my Thunderhawk.

Weapons then. Well, once again, Volkite chargers really give you weight of fire, and deflagrate always helps. But you could also start decking your Terminators out with Plasma/Combi-Plasma too for that nasty one turn rain of destruction. Remember, grenade and volkite aside, all other combi weapons are one use. For melee, if you’re running Cataphractii then you can’t go wrong with Power Axes or Chainfists. Though Chainfists do cost a sweet packet to field, it does give a nice anti armour capability with armourbane. Lightning claws are ok, just don’t expect great things from them against other terminators. Generally, I run Cataphractii with 1x Chainfist, 9x Power Axe and 10x Volkite Chargers. This comes in at 405pts. They do well, and under cover of darkness and with A Talent for Murder they can be exceptionally good.

Javelin Attack Speeders: Missile speeders are cheaper, but in the world of Spartan Flare shields, the Las Cannon is king. 75pts gets you a twin linked Las cannon and melta on a Javelin speeder chassis. If you want to push out the boat to 85pts you can take two Hunter killer missiles too. Up to three per Squadron, but they’re very effective and can reposition very quickly. Cheap, effective and fluffy!

Night Lords Javelin Attack Speeders eye up an enemy Spartan. Credit: David Braines, the30kchannel

Tactical Squads: Yes, the humble Tactical Squad. 145pts with Bolters and Chainswords for 10. 265pts for 20 with the same fit. You’ll want the extra attack the chainswords grant them too. People can tend to forget about Tactical Squads being effective, but they can. Fury of the Legion allows you to fire bolters twice in a turn for forgoing shooting in the following turn. It’s actually quite good. Ok, you’re getting only 2 attacks per model (3 on the Sergeant), but on the charge, that’s 34 attacks for the ten man squad and a whopping 64 for the 20 man squad. Then factor in Legion rules….

Easy to underestimate what a single squad can do, and there is plenty of 20 man transport systems in game to take them to where they’re needed.

Example Lists:

This section is comprised of my own personal base lists. 3000pts, around a centralized theme, for those who might want a steer as to what a list might look like.

Terror Assault. This list is based around the narrative of a rapid deployment force. Ejected from their battle barge, the force is designed to rapidly enact terror warfare on the enemy before withdrawing back to the battle barge.

‘Sevatar’ 175

Chaplain: Crozius Arcanum (axe); artificer armour; thunder hammer; volkite charger; melta bombs; refractor field; Trophies of Judgement 150

10 Terror Squad Executioners: Headsman (artificer armour; volkite charger); 9 Terror Squad Executioners; 9 × volkite charger 260

Anvillus Pattern Dreadclaw Drop Pod 115

10 Terror Squad Executioners: Headsman (artificer armour; volkite charger); 9 Terror Squad Executioners; 9 × volkite charger 260

Anvillus Pattern Dreadclaw Drop Pod 115

10 Terror Squad Executioners: Headsman (artificer armour; volkite charger); 9 Terror Squad Executioners; 9 × volkite charger 260

Anvillus Pattern Dreadclaw Drop Pod 115

9 Terminators: Terminator Sergeant (volkite charger; chainfist); 8 Terminators; 8 × volkite charger; 8 × power weapon 368

Storm Eagle Assault Gunship: hull-mounted twin-linked multi-melta; 2 wing-mounted twin-linked lascannon; armoured ceramite; extra armour 290

Xiphon Pattern Interceptor: ground-tracking auguries; chaff launcher; armoured cockpit 225

Javelin Attack Speeder Squadron

Javelin Attack Speeder: pintle-mounted multi-melta; hull-mounted twin-linked lascannon; hunter-killer missiles 80

Javelin Attack Speeder: pintle-mounted multi-melta; hull-mounted twin-linked lascannon; hunter-killer missiles 80

Javelin Attack Speeder: pintle-mounted multi-melta; hull-mounted twin-linked lascannon; hunter-killer missiles 80

Leviathan Pattern Siege Dreadnought Talon

Dreadnought Drop Pod 100

Leviathan Pattern Siege Dreadnought: Leviathan siege drill; cyclonic melta lance; 2 × torso-mounted twin-linked volkite caliver; armoured ceramite 325

2,998 points

Armoured Caradara. This list is based right out of Book 2: Betrayal. The Night Lords can and do operate Heavy Armour forces. I didn’t want to go full Armoured Spearhead RoW as I like having friends. I think this captures the ethos behind the Armoured Caradara without going too hard. For a little extra spice, you could add in Sevatar in place of the Praetor without concern – enabling infiltration of 3x infantry units in their dedicated transports.

Praetor in Terminator armour: volkite charger; Paragon blade (master-crafted); digital lasers; iron halo; Trophies of Judgement 207

10 Terminators: Terminator Sergeant (volkite charger; chainfist); 9 Terminators; 9 × volkite charger; 9 × power weapon 405

Spartan Assault Tank: auxiliary drive; armoured ceramite; flare shield 380

10 Terminators: Terminator Sergeant (volkite charger; chainfist); 9 Terminators; 9 × volkite charger; 9 × power weapon 405

Spartan Assault Tank: auxiliary drive; armoured ceramite; flare shield 380

10 Veteran Space Marines: Veteran Sergeant (artificer armour); Resolve; 9 Veteran Space Marines; melta bombs; 2 × plasma gun 225

Rhino: pintle-mounted multi-melta 50

10 Veteran Space Marines: Veteran Sergeant (artificer armour); Resolve; 9 Veteran Space Marines; melta bombs; 2 × plasma gun 225

Rhino: pintle-mounted multi-melta 50

Sicaran Arcus Strike Tank: turret-mounted twin Arcus launcher (Skyspear warheads); armoured ceramite; 2 sponson-mounted heavy bolters 260

Sicaran Battle Tank: armoured ceramite; 2 sponson-mounted heavy bolters 205

Sicaran Battle Tank: armoured ceramite; 2 sponson-mounted heavy bolters 205

2,997 points

Horror Cult. This list is based around a very fast moving army core that has heavy gunship support to add its weight in firepower and hopefully clear any potential tar pits the Night Raptors would have to charge.

Praetor: Rite of War (Horror Cult); bolt pistol; Paragon blade (master-crafted); volkite charger; melta bombs; digital lasers; iron halo; Trophies of Judgement; jump pack 220

10 Night Raptors: Huntmaster (artificer armour; Nostraman chainglaive; melta bombs); 9 Night Raptors; 9 × Nostraman chainglaive; Trophies of Judgement 390

10 Night Raptors: Huntmaster (artificer armour; Nostraman chainglaive; melta bombs); 9 Night Raptors; 9 × Nostraman chainglaive; Trophies of Judgement 390

10 Night Raptors: Huntmaster (artificer armour; Nostraman chainglaive; melta bombs); 9 Night Raptors; 9 × Nostraman chainglaive; Trophies of Judgement 390

10 Night Raptors: Huntmaster (artificer armour; Nostraman chainglaive; melta bombs); 9 Night Raptors; 9 × Nostraman chainglaive; Trophies of Judgement 390

Apothecarion Detachment

Apothecary: jump pack 60

Apothecary: jump pack 60

Apothecarion Detachment

Apothecary: jump pack 60

Apothecary: jump pack 60

Javelin Attack Speeder Squadron

Javelin Attack Speeder: pintle-mounted multi-melta; hull-mounted twin-linked lascannon 75

Javelin Attack Speeder: pintle-mounted multi-melta; hull-mounted twin-linked lascannon 75

Javelin Attack Speeder: pintle-mounted multi-melta; hull-mounted twin-linked lascannon 75

Javelin Attack Speeder Squadron

Javelin Attack Speeder: pintle-mounted multi-melta; hull-mounted twin-linked lascannon 75

Javelin Attack Speeder: pintle-mounted multi-melta; hull-mounted twin-linked lascannon 75

Javelin Attack Speeder: pintle-mounted multi-melta; hull-mounted twin-linked lascannon 75

Fire Raptor Gunship: 2 × turret-mounted Reaper autocannon batteries; 4 wing-mounted Hellstrike missiles; armoured ceramite 260

Fire Raptor Gunship: 2 × turret-mounted Reaper autocannon batteries; 4 wing-mounted Hellstrike missiles; armoured ceramite 260

2,990 points

Angels Wrath. This list is based on Book 2: Betrayal, where it speaks of Night Lords descending in Storm Eagles, blaring the screams of their flayed and crucified victims from vox mounts. There’s 60 Tactical Marines, 9x Terminators with combi plasma, a Fire Raptor, a null deployment, a high mobility force and snap shooting at the flyers to deal with. The downside, you need to be rolling well on reserves to do well with it.

Kheron Ophion of the Kyroptera 165

Flaymaster Mawdrym Llansahai 135

20 Tactical Space Marines: Tactical Sergeant (artificer armour; chainsword; melta bombs); 19 Tactical Space Marines; bolters; chainswords 280

Storm Eagle Assault Gunship: hull-mounted twin-linked multi-melta; 2 wing-mounted twin-linked lascannon; armoured ceramite 285

20 Tactical Space Marines: Tactical Sergeant (artificer armour; chainsword; melta bombs); 19 Tactical Space Marines; bolters; chainswords 280

Storm Eagle Assault Gunship: hull-mounted twin-linked multi-melta; 2 wing-mounted twin-linked lascannon; armoured ceramite 285

20 Tactical Space Marines: Tactical Sergeant (artificer armour; chainsword; melta bombs); 19 Tactical Space Marines; bolters; chainswords 280

Storm Eagle Assault Gunship: hull-mounted twin-linked multi-melta; 2 wing-mounted twin-linked lascannon; armoured ceramite 285

9 Terminators: Terminator Sergeant (combi-weapon; chainfist; grenade harness); 8 Terminators; Terminator armour (Cataphractii); 8 × combi-weapon (plasma); 8 × chainfist 458

Storm Eagle Assault Gunship: hull-mounted twin-linked multi-melta; 2 wing-mounted twin-linked lascannon; armoured ceramite 285

Fire Raptor Gunship: 2 × turret-mounted Reaper autocannon batteries; 4 wing-mounted Hellstrike missiles; armoured ceramite 260

2,998 points

Summary. This is far from a rigid and “correct” account of the units and how to build lists. Everything is personal. Lists especially so. I like to read books and build from lore, where I can’t, I fill in the spaces with your own imagination. Basically, what I’m saying here is twofold:

1. Your army is your own, put your personality in it.

2. Your experience may differ, there’s no right way (other than complying with the rules), so experiment and see where it takes you!

Thanks for reading, this article will be updated regularly.