Morale is something that has had minimal impact on the game to date – most of the armies with the ability to run large mobs of units have rather easy ways to circumnavigate this. Night Lords certainly will not change this – Synapse, Commissars and Mob Rule, etc. will still be able to largely ignore these effects but if there are ways to remove those characters, you’re going to be putting a lot of pressure on those types of armies they are not accustomed to. It can also invalidate the MSU protection against Morale as suddenly losing one model can become four. It’s not going to evaporate weakened enemy units like the fluff blurb suggests (even if you could get three units within range of multiple MSU units, -3 on Morale still requires you to kill three models from each to get them to a 50% chance of taking extra Morale losses) but can certainly magnify damage at key points in a game. Is it the best thing ever? No. Is it better than Iron Warriors? Yes. Will it at times have no baring or impact? Yes. Their stratagem we have been shown is also great – -1 to hit on a particular unit after an enemy has declared shooting can reduce an important units shooting effectiveness and also protect that important unit. It’s easy to get around but will mess up the opponent’s shooting order.
Legion Focus: Night Lords
The Chaos Space Marines codex is nearly here, and with it, rules for seven Chaos Legions as well as Renegade Chaos Marines. We’ll be previewing these in detail in the coming week, as well as looking at some of the new Stratagems and the best units in the new codex for each Legion. We’ll be looking at the Emperor’s Children, Iron Warriors, Night Lords, World Eaters, Alpha Legion, Black Legion, Word Bearers and the Renegade Chapters. If you’re wondering where the Death Guard and Thousand Sons are, don’t panic! Both these armies are getting Codexes of their own.
The Night Lords are famous for two things – their use of fear as a tactic and their distinctive winged headgear. Thanks to their new Legion Trait, the Night Lords are one of the most interesting forces in the new Chaos Space Marines codex, able to maximise casualties in the Morale phase and devastate even the most stalwart of soldiers.
The Legion Trait
Terror Tactics means that a Night Lords assault army is going to be very dangerous in the Morale phase – with -3, even high-leadership models risk suffering additional casualties.
The Best Units
Raptors have always been popular among Night Lords players, and in the new codex they’re an incredibly strong pick – use yours right and even Grey Knights will be running. Three units of Raptors equipped with Icons of Despair can knock enemy leadership down by 5 whole points – enough to turn even small losses into devastating mass panics in the enemy army.
Night Lords Chaos Lords with Jump Packs are going to number among the deadliest combatants in the 41st Millennium. Take yours with the Claws of the Black Hunt, Night Haunter’s Curse and Diabolic Strength from a nearby Sorcerer and your lord will be dishing out six Strength 7 Attacks, each doing D3 Damage at AP -3 with rerolls to wound. With a reroll to a failed charge, this is a great assassin unit for killing key characters such as Primaris Apothecaries.
How to Use Them
If you’re playing Night Lords, you’ll want to take as many fast moving and morale-modifying units as you can. Throw in some Daemonic allies in the form of Be’lakor and you’ll be able to bring enemy Leadership down even further – focus on doing a small number of casualties to as many units as possible every turn, and let Morale tests handle the rest.
It’s worth noting one of the evilest strategies available to the Night Lords in the new codex: their Stratagem, In Midnight Clad.
Why is this so powerful? Psychological and shock value. You declare this Stratagem AFTER your opponent has already started firing – meaning if they’ve decided to overcharge plasma weapons, suddenly their own models will be getting slain on a 2 or less. You’ll be able to catch powerful shooting units unawares with this one, and just having a Command Point spare at all times will mean your opponent is less likely to risk overcharging their weapons. With Hellblasters arriving on tabletops very soon, you’ll need defence against plasma, and this is a great way to get it.
Of course, if you’d rather not sneak around and prefer engaging your enemies more directly, there’s a Legion for that – come back tomorrow for our preview of the World Eaters.