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Returning to Warhammer 40K: starting the Night Lords

Night Lords Chaos Space Marines Starting

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#1
Magnus Thane

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After a long time i'm returning to the WH40K fold more for the hobby than playing.
I had to get rid of a lot of stuff to make space and r/l reasons. (a move for one)

 

I did keep the collection of stuff I had gathered over the years for a Night Lords project that I never got around to.


I have quite a lot of Space Marines (vanilla,) on the sprue, some Space Wolves on sprue, a bit of CSMs on Sprue, roughly 2 sets of Dark Vengeance chaos set and a few Dark Vengeance Dark Angels lying around.

This means I also have like 2 Hellbrutes I think to field.
A handful of metal CSMs that are OOP. (black blister with golden warhammer logo)

1 box of Assault Marines.

1 metal sorcerer.

A box of Scenic bases.

And... a lot of Night Lord conversion bitz. Both the GW ones and some external ones.

Shoulderpads, creepy helmets and quite a lot of jetpacks.

 

My plan was and is to go for the 'plunder armor' through the years. And go for the popular interpretation from the novels where Night Lords are super elite marines desperately looting supplies from the enemy but also ideas from standalone novels such as the use of cultist forces etc.
I believe the Carcharadon novel had some nice stuff in it about the Night Lords using paramilitary / semi disciplined Cultists. The Black Hand or something? I may be mistaken. 

 

Now due to financial reasons I want to try and keep the costs limited only picking up a thing or 2 once in a while.

 

 

1) Given that it'll take quite a while to finish this project I'm hoping to keep things somewhat simple and thematic. Preferably with a focus on footsloggers.

2) I will invest in good scenic bases for the cultists and heroes -> adds a bit of flavor.

Now I did have questions for you guys.
I want the list to work but not be hypercompetitive. But at least decent.

I'm going for safe choices where possible that will remain valid long term. 
 

Do you guys have some tips on:

 

1) Small or great CSM squads? 5 or 10 man squads and what weapon combinations? I was surprised to find that unlike in the days of long ago a lot of people seem to like to play with 5 man CSM squads.
2) What weapons/equipment should I give the basic CSMs? Back when I played it was a good thing to give them sword and pistol. I seem to remember people liking to field them with the Khornate and Chaos Undivided icon.
3) How big would you field Raptor squads and with what armaments?

4) Cultists should be barebones equipment wise? Or as upgraded and big as possible?

5) The Dark Vengeance guys are clearly Chosen. Any suggestions on their use?

 

Tactic wise. If I wanted to go heavy on footsloggers. Would this work somewhat decently:

 

1) Protective meatshield(s) of Cultists. (2x 20 man groups?)

 

2) Havocs using Lascannons and the likes I steal from Space Marine sprues for firepower.

3) Several small squads of kitbashed Raptors to swoop in and swarm isolated units?

 

4) Follow up the cultists wave with the CSMs, who in turn are followed by 2 or so squads of Chosen and a suitable HQ or 2? (basically a 3 wave offensive with it's flanks protected by the Hellbrutes and the Raptors?)

 

 

5) Finally there was a new Start Collecting Box announced and a Strike Force. 

The strike force is good value for money (but pricey still!) and i'm no longer a big fan of Rhino and Termies. (used them in the past too much in my Black Legion and Dark Angels)

The Start Collecting set is affordable and looks like it might mix in well with what I got. Though supposedly they're not very kitbasheable?
What do you people think of it in the context of Night Lords?

 

6) I am very unfamiliar with the units in the Start Collecting Box. Apparently it's recycled from Shadowspear?
Is it worth doubling up on this set?
I noticed there are possessed in there which were never that good. Are they now?
And Obliterators which I used with my old Black Legion (my first 40K army at least 15 years ago!!!) but they were not that loved.

 

7) Bonusquestion. Are Chaos Bikers better nowadays? They are expensive and in the past always lambasted as being awful. But they might fit the NL theme somewhat. And I never used bikes in the past.

 

 

Stupid questions probably...
But it has been a long time!

 

AVE DOMINUS NOX!!!

 

 


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#2
Closet Skeleton

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The marines in shadowspear can be kitbashed fine, easier than the dark vengeance chosen at any rate. The Possessed in there are two Greater Possessed who buff the strength of regular possessed and fight as elite choices of 1.

 

Best chaos space marine unit is either a full blob of twenty or 5 with heavy bolter, boltguns and combi-bolter and chainsword on the champion to be cheap and hold ground. All of them need cover to not just evaporate.

 

Bikers are okay if you're prepared to use them tactically and also have a lot of shots. Damage 2 weapons melt them if there's no other target.

 

Lascannon havocs are too expensive since havocs are now caped at 5 strong so can't take ablative wounds. Spammed autocannon or heavy bolter havocs are very good.

 

Raptors have to either be 5 man deepstrike units with 2 plasma and combi-plasma or the melta equivilants or big 15 man units that need sorcerers babysitting them to getting into combat.


Edited by Closet Skeleton, 15 November 2019 - 02:29 PM.

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#3
Magnus Thane

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The marines in shadowspear can be kitbashed fine, easier than the dark vengeance chosen at any rate. The Possessed in there are two Greater Possessed who buff the strength of regular possessed and fight as elite choices of 1.

 

Best chaos space marine unit is either a full blob of twenty or 5 with heavy bolter, boltguns and combi-bolter and chainsword on the champion to be cheap and hold ground. All of them need cover to not just evaporate.

 

Bikers are okay if you're prepared to use them tactically and also have a lot of shots. Damage 2 weapons melt them if there's no other target.

 

Lascannon havocs are too expensive since havocs are now caped at 5 strong so can't take ablative wounds. Spammed autocannon or heavy bolter havocs are very good.

 

Raptors have to either be 5 man deepstrike units with 2 plasma and combi-plasma or the melta equivilants or big 15 man units that need sorcerers babysitting them to getting into combat.

 

Thanks for the feedback!

...I did not realize the CSMs had sunk so low... Oo;

 

I presume the blob of 20 is for if you go melee with them?
 

These Greater Possessed are worth fielding on their own? (trying to gaug the usefulness of that box)

 

Are landraiders and rhinos actually still used a lot?



#4
Wayniac

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Don't forget the awesome Reaper Chaincannon for 5-man CSM. 8 (!) shots with the same stats as a heavy bolter but only 24" range; while that seems like a loss it synergizes well with boltguns and the 8 shots helps offset the -1 if you have to move. Most people say to put them on havocs and have a 24" range of death to anything but don't underestimate having them spread out in normal squads.
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- Wayne aka "Wayniac the Indecisive"


#5
Magnus Thane

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Don't forget the awesome Reaper Chaincannon for 5-man CSM. 8 (!) shots with the same stats as a heavy bolter but only 24" range; while that seems like a loss it synergizes well with boltguns and the 8 shots helps offset the -1 if you have to move. Most people say to put them on havocs and have a 24" range of death to anything but don't underestimate having them spread out in normal squads.

 

Thanks for the tip!!!



#6
Closet Skeleton

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Thanks for the feedback!

...I did not realize the CSMs had sunk so low... Oo;

 

I presume the blob of 20 is for if you go melee with them?
 

These Greater Possessed are worth fielding on their own? (trying to gaug the usefulness of that box)

 

Are landraiders and rhinos actually still used a lot?

 

Taking a landraider is basically a fail condition. Not enough firepower when empty and too expensive as a transport when so many chaos units teleport.

 

I found Rhinos to be very good especially with the second combi-bolter as an upgrade. The havoc launcher is more miss than hit but I took them anyway.

 

Greater Possessed are probably better on their own than buffing possessed who don't benefit much from +1 strength anyway (their weakness is the random attacks) but I've never seen one in a tournament list. They also buff any <Legion> daemon so can combo with an awful lot of things. Only time I used them it was a narrative event and they did better than the possessed they were trying to buff (who just died).

 

Blobs of twenty are for hiding in a crater near an objective and firing bolters. Not great with Night Lords since unlike Black Legion and Iron Warriors they don't have easy access to morale mitigation.

 

Don't forget the awesome Reaper Chaincannon for 5-man CSM. 8 (!) shots with the same stats as a heavy bolter but only 24" range; while that seems like a loss it synergizes well with boltguns and the 8 shots helps offset the -1 if you have to move. Most people say to put them on havocs and have a 24" range of death to anything but don't underestimate having them spread out in normal squads.

 

The 24" range is a big issue if you're objective camping but I've never seen chaincannon havoc squads do well.


Edited by Closet Skeleton, 16 November 2019 - 11:21 AM.

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#7
Doom Herald

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I found that bikers work well now that we have Bolter Discipline. Give the biker champ a second Combi-Bolter. I have a 5-man squad that puts out 24 bolter shots after 14" movement and you can still add specialist weapons on top of it. Weapons that do more than one damage tend to melt them though.

I always run Raptors as 5-man squads with max plasma. I drop 2 units with a Lord with max plasma and supercharge all the squads plasma. It's a nice delete button.

Oblits I didn't think I would like, but they usually do REALLY well. Deepstrike them and they eat things. They are usually tough enough to take a lot of damage too. One popular method of using them is to make them Nurgle and deepstrike them with a Feculent Gnarlmaw (provides extra cover to NURGLE DAEMONs).

Greater Possessed are good characters, the buff is ok, but they shine in melee on their own.

I don't usually use many large units or the troops from CSM Codex. In addition to the Morale issue, large units are easier to kill than several small units because of the way the shooting phase works. You have to declare what weapons are firing at who for the whole shooting unit before any dice are rolled. Look at it as condition A vs condition B:
A) You have a 20-man unit that your enemy is shooting at, 12 shots hit, wound, and go through saves. You lose 12 1-wound models and have to make a morale check against the losses which will probably kill your unit.

B) Your oponent makes the same number of successful wounds/damage but you have 4 5-man units. Your oponent either declared all shots at a single unit, which results in only that unit being lost along with the 7 excess damage or they split it between your units. In the latter case, you might have whole units untouched or suffering only small casualties (and passing the resultant morale) or in worst case, split evenly among your units resulting in 4 2-man units needing to make morale against 3 lost models which is still better odds than the 8 trying to make morale vs 12 casualties.
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#8
Magnus Thane

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Thank you all for the awesome feedback.
Got some Skaven I plan to finish this and next month.
And then i'll begin the kitbashing and prepwork.
Invested in some 2nd hand stuff on ebay. Left me with quite a few rhino's, some Havoks, bikes and a landraider with 5 termies.
I'll focus on building up some basic marines, some 5 man Raptor squads and the rhino's for now.

I'm also going to use the Havoks for proxy Oblits using their bases but putting on 2 man 'weaponteams'.
The new oblits are on the same size base currently as Termies?


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#9
nusphigor

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new oblits are in terminator bases, yes

I'm starting with night lords too, so cheers on the new project!


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#10
Slaanbull

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new oblits are in terminator bases, yes

I'm starting with night lords too, so cheers on the new project!


No, they are supplied with 50mm bases. :)
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#11
Doom Herald

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Is there a thread for people working on Night Lord armies? I know there's a community thread, but it seems more lore oriented than project oriented.

#12
Panzer

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Is there a thread for people working on Night Lord armies? I know there's a community thread, but it seems more lore oriented than project oriented.

 

It's for anything, really.


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#13
SanguinaryGuardsman

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Do you guys have some tips on:

 

1) Small or great CSM squads? 5 or 10 man squads and what weapon combinations? I was surprised to find that unlike in the days of long ago a lot of people seem to like to play with 5 man CSM squads.
2) What weapons/equipment should I give the basic CSMs? Back when I played it was a good thing to give them sword and pistol. I seem to remember people liking to field them with the Khornate and Chaos Undivided icon.
3) How big would you field Raptor squads and with what armaments?

4) Cultists should be barebones equipment wise? Or as upgraded and big as possible?

5) The Dark Vengeance guys are clearly Chosen. Any suggestions on their use?

1.  5 man ... CSM in general are weak with an ill-defined role.  Obviously cultists are lame but cheap but who actually wants to run them in a fluffy or semi competitive list?  Stick with 5 man CSMs and add a bit of flavour to the champion like a stormbolter and/or powerfist.  

 

2. Mark of slaanesh, 1 autocannon/heavy bolter with a storm bolters on the champ.  Have them sit in the backfield on objectives and use the heavy weapon to pickoff weak stuff or try to take that last wound off of something nasty.

 

3.  Since Nightlords have some of the best raptor stratagems you could take them in any direction and not mess things up by much.  I think for semi competitive and fluffy lists you will want 10 warptalons in a bigass blob with the mark of khorne and at least 10 raptors in pretty much any configuration.  Either of these units will be deepstriking and using "We have come for you" to totally mess up all those tactical geniuses that think falling back and shooting you off the table makes them Napoleon.

 

4.  Nightlords dont really have the tools to get the most out of cultists.  I would keep them at 10 man and only run the minimum to form battalion.  Ideally you should run 0 but CPs are hard to come by sometimes.

 

5.  For semi competitive play... stormbolter+chainsword with the mark of khorne in a rhino.  For fluffy stuff... do whatever looks cool.  



#14
Magnus Thane

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Having finished the Skaven project I began kitbashing for the coming years Night Lords project.
Modifying my Dark Vengeance Chaos Space Marines (love those models) to be either veteran regular CSM or Chosen to be fielded for fluffy reasons.

I also kitbashed 2 second hand rhino's already and fieldrepaired a 2nd hand Devastator.
 

I'm still waiting on a few bits to start making the Raptors. (and the talk of Warp Talons has made me consider using leftover lightning claws for warptalon kitbashing... and converting the 3 Chosen I got into Warptalons)  

 

I ordered the new codex at the local store but i'm only dropping by in a month.
I believe we no longer have melee + bolters?
Given that I do associate a certain gory 'personal' touch with the Night Lords it seems like it would be interesting to field some proxy kitbashed Berserkers as their dedicated assault troops.
Currently what has the favour? 2x 10 men in a rhino (with rhino was the default back in my day but I noticed this is far less now) or just 20 of the lunatics screened by some fodder cultists?



#15
Kain Mor

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As an assault supplement to a Night Lords army based around shooting and warp talons I like to toss 9 zerkers and the Master of Executions in a rhino. If you wanted more you could always do a second rhino with a squad of ten. The master of executions is incredibly cheap at 60 pts and he is a beast in melee. I usually mark him Slaanesh and get the Elixir as an extra relic for +1 S and +1 A. I think the common argument is to mark as khorne to the fight twice stratagem, but I find I always have better use for those three CP. with the elixir he has 7 S10 attacks hitting on 2s in the first round of melee...
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#16
Doom Herald

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I believe unit Champions and Chosen can use melee weapons with bolters (I will check later to confirm) also, Lords/Sorcerers/Exalted Champions can definitely take combi-weapons and melee weapons.

As far as Berzerkers, it depends on the points I think. I rarely play games over 1500 pts and most are 1000. For me, an 8-man unit with an Exalted Champion and Dark Apostle or Lord in a Rhino works great. With the Prey on the Weak strat (+1 to hit) you will be hitting on a natural 2+, soLords are probably more reliable. Alternatively, Apostles can take either the -1 to be hit prayer or the enemy morale nerf prayer for a little added versatility. Giving your Berzerkers -2 to being shot (prayer + In Midnight Clad strat) might be worth the chance of not being able to re-roll all hits, especially when you can probably use Prey on the Weak to hit on 2+.

Charge with Rhino, charge with infantry, re-roll hits, re-roll wounds (from Exalted), attack again, make enemy roll morale (if they survived) with -3 to LD (Berzerkers +2 characters), shut-off morale boosting auras if need be (Vox Scream strat), watch the enemy die or waste 2 CP to keep their crippled unit alive for a turn, move on (possibly with a -2 to be hit on your Berzerkers). As an alternate end to your initial Berzerker assault, you can use We Have Come For You to pin the remaining models so that your opponent can't shoot your Berzerkers.

In larger armies, I've heard people will often use 2 9-man teams with one of the previously mentioned characters each in their own Rhino. In larger games still, people might do the same but with a third unit of just Berzerkers in a Rhino. Personally, I dont think they are tough enough to survive as a large unit footslogging in the shoot meta that is 8th. Also, line of sight is from any point on the model to any point on the model, meaning those cultist screens probably won't actually block any enemy units line of sight to your Berzerkers.

Edited by Doom Herald, 28 December 2019 - 08:29 PM.

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#17
Magnus Thane

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I see.

To sum up, I'll start with:

 

2x5 kitbashed Raptors. Each squad has 2 Plasma Guns and 1 plasma pistol on the boss.
Depending on the other resources I have weapon wise...
I could add 1 or 2 more squads.

 

Given the -1 leadership hijinks is there a spot for 2 small assault Raptor squads? Armed with say flamers?
 

Berserker-wise i'll start with making 2x 9 for now. Just a collection of lunatics equipped with a random assortment of melee weapons and  bolt pistols.

 

Instead of going for Havoks i'm going to make a weaponteams based on Oblit Bases. 1 melee equipped guy with a heavy / special weapon guy.  

I am thinking of repurposing some of my kitbashed Dark Vengeance Chosen as H.Q.'s / Master of Executions.
Are Chaos Lords nowadays baseline fielded on the greater Lord bases? As usual it seems to 'depend' a bit on it. Is there a community preference?


Edited by Magnus Thane, 29 December 2019 - 08:39 AM.


#18
Kain Mor

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Pretty much every character in the codex goes on a 40mm base like terminators do, regular infantry on 32mm bases
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#19
Magnus Thane

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Many thanks for the assistance all!

If anyone else has some armybuilding suggestions or feedback feel free to let me know! :)



#20
Doom Herald

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In regards to the Raptor Champion, I will point out that he can be equipped with a combi-plasma, which will allow 2 plasma shots at 12" range, or even 2 pistols which I believe is 1 point cheaper. The combi-plasma is a better choice on the champion than 2 pistols. That said, in early 8th I was using 2 plasma pistols on my raptor champions because I needed the extra points and it didn't really affect them. Of course, if you want them to have a melee weapon, 1 pistol or a combi-plas is the way to go.

I havent really tried assault raptors, it seems like unless you are fighting IMPERIUM they arent really worth it. Remember if you give them a flamer, they will be deepstriking out of range. Leadership debuffs are not a totally reliable tool, but it can synergise well. Other than the obvious use in morale, there's a tzeentch and slaanesh daemon power that can wreak havoc when paired with Ld debuffs.

If you want go look more into Ld stuff, I have a thread that recently got added to the CSM resources list that has [I'm pretty sure] all of the current related abilities as well as links to threads with the other CHAOS factions enemy Ld lists. The Flayer relic has done pretty well for me and I actually see enemy units die fairly often to morale. If you spread pressure and hit multiple units, they have to decide what units to save with the auto-pass strategem and even then it costs 2CP. They never really plan on needing to use it so they hate when they do. Also, they will just as often not use it since they want the CP for other things. Some armies are immune to morale though, even with Vox Daemonicus and Vox Scream, meaning Ld should be a secondary focus if you dont know what your playing. That said, Cacophonic Choir and Treason of Tzeentch are two Daemon powers that will synergize well even against armies that ignore morale.
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#21
Magnus Thane

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Many thanks for your feedback. Much appreciated!



#22
Doom Herald

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You're very welcome.

Here's the link to the thread I mentioned:
http://www.bolterand...y-ld-interacts/
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#23
MegaVolt87

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Regular raptors with just CCW + BP, no assault weapons, fist or claw champ, haven't been a premier assault unit since 3.5 dex. However, they are more of a bully unit to tie up heavy weapons units, squishy characters, screen sweeper etc. If you want more FA because of rule of three, 4 bikes with 2 plasma/melta w/ combi plas/melta champ would complement the 5 man 3 special raptor units well. Only bad thing is the bike sculpt is ancient, hasn't held up well- just like possessed. 


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#24
Magnus Thane

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Regular raptors with just CCW + BP, no assault weapons, fist or claw champ, haven't been a premier assault unit since 3.5 dex. However, they are more of a bully unit to tie up heavy weapons units, squishy characters, screen sweeper etc. If you want more FA because of rule of three, 4 bikes with 2 plasma/melta w/ combi plas/melta champ would complement the 5 man 3 special raptor units well. Only bad thing is the bike sculpt is ancient, hasn't held up well- just like possessed. 

 

Given the moddeling fun and the fact I got quite a few spare jump packs... I may also make one or 2 ones like that.
Tying down stuff with it sounds interesting. For that use it may be better to go for 2x 5 man Raptor packs as well to get the - on leadership?

The other Raptors i'll field i'll go with the plasma I think as you guys pointed out.

Bikes... I got some second hand ones to convert. They are going to be used but not yet got a wave of vehicles and chosen/termies to do and a wave of Raptors first.
I'll take your advice into account though.



#25
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5 man melee raptors won't make it to melee. 5 man MSU melee units in rhino's will (eg- 2 x5 zerks w/ fist champ + rhino) would. 10 man raptors for melee would make it. 


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