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End Times Chalk Talk-Nagash

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   Having a hard time finding a good chat thread on the internet focusing on the tactics around Nagash so I figured I would start one here.Theres info about how others have faired using him or fighting against but they tend to be rather shallow.


  Undead Legions being a new army for me is quite daunting as I haven't played WHFB for much over a year and I was playing the OnG`s which are fun but seem to be a higher skill level army and not so much fun for a new player.So far ive liked the way UL play especially liking the Undead rule and not having to worry  about keeping moral boosted on units.


  Since  deciding to move toward a Nagash build ive been taking notes on what I think I should build toward an "on table" starting army and a list of potential summoned units and prioritizing them.


 First off the things that really get me stoked about doing a Nagash UL army;


 -Im a sucker for the big ass cool monster things and it seems the less competitive they are the more I try to make it work!..Im such a sucker for the "rule of cool",lol


 -I think summoning your army onto the battlefield can be challenging in itself but can also be deadly with his 36" range..actually I think the 3x summoning range is much more valuable than the 3x unit point value..though many don't seem to think about it that way.Having both those rules could possibly be the most broken part of this model.Yeah..heres 15 Black Knights facing the flank of your warmachines..no scatter possibility, no mishap chance...


 -The selection of models between the two armies makes for a lot off depth and something that will keep me busy for many months trying out different combos.


-From study of the Lore of Undead,it seems to me that its pretty much built for Nagash even though all can use it ,you really need all the features that Nagash brings to make it reliable.Sure it can be a neat supplement for an army with a lot of 1-2 lvl mages but if you want to use the real power of the Lore I think you need at least an Arkhan build and more likely Nagash.



 - And finally, Skeletons are easy to paint!


 On to were im at with my builds at this point.


  I plan to start with pretty much a full core list of TK`s with 6 Chariots,Skeleton Warrior block(bunker with Prince and Herald) 2x Archer units and a Casket of Souls..I thnk the Casket is almost a must take in the list for added reliability in the magic phase.And finally a Skull Catapult.

 The VC components on the board will probably be a Mortis engine,Vargiests,and Spirit Hosts.

 Not planning to add anymore Lords or Heros at start as I could probably get one summoned in game at some point.


  As for summoning I will probably have a Skeleton block,small Zombie block and a Dire wolves block for the infantry choices..interesting one here is that Cairn Wraiths are actually an infantry choice and I could summon a small group of 2 with a Tomb Banshee with basically rolling one die and getting a 4+..something to try and throw out if your opponents tapped ou.

  As for Monstrous inf I will probably do a boosted summoning of 6 Crypt Horrors..that could be done with a 4 dice throw easily.I may also pick up some of the new Morghasts for this slot,fluff wise they are almost a must take..

  Cavalry is tougher to get out there,needing the 16+ to summon but would likely result in 10+ fully kitted out Black Knights(probably 15) or a kitted out row of 5 Blood Knights with Magic standard and all that.Chariots are something I probably wouldn't bother with unless maybe the starting 6 were all dead .Plus ill have my Hexwraiths to toss out there...into someones rear area.

  Swarms and Monstrous beasts are pretty easy to get out and I can see ill probably be getting more Spirit hosts as I can see dropping 6 into the face of a large troop block being very effective(assuming they have low magic attack of course) .Interesting note here is that Sepulcher stalkers and Tomb Scorpions are the only Monstrous beasts available to use between both armys.I really like the Sepulcher stalker models so yeah...they are are popping up somewhere to administer a facial.

  And finally Monsters...I actually don't plan to even try getting one summoned.I may try mixing up my starting army to include one as I really like the choices available in both armies.


 I can see that its pretty important that the units summoned are as large in points as the spell allows and to try and use the boosted value at every opportunity.But other than that I don't know enough about what other armys could do to a build like this so ive got tons to learn.

 I have read that cannons are the bane of Lord and Heros so I can see that my first summoning targets will likely be the opponents gunline flanks..and that's another thing I like about Nagash..4+ ward.


 Any of you Vets have any ideas as to how to best field Nagash or how to deal with him?

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Here is my 2500 point Nagash list:


Nagash (5 Undeath/1Death/1*Vampire/1Light) and Ryze


Necromancer (Level 2 Vampire)

Dispel Scroll


38 Skeleton (VC) Warriors Full command

38 Skeleton (VC) Warriors Full command


30 Zombie Horde w/ Standard

30 Zombie Horde w/ Standard


5 Hexwraith


5 Hexwraith


1 Spirit Host


1 Spirit Host


1 Spirit Host


Casket of Souls




It plays to the strengths of Nagash. Which is to raise what you truly need when and where you truly need it. It should be the closest thing to a guarantee you'll get for a good magic phase, and a dominating magic phase. Which you'll need. My preferred Magic phase with this list would be a double one. The reason for the 5 spells in Undeath is to "guarantee" all the spells you actually want or need. You could probably drop to 4 if you wanted, but I can use any of the spells and want to make sure I get the ones I truly want. I want 4, 5, 6. I'm thinking of upping it to 5 spells in Undeath and dropping Light signature. (shrug) The Signature Death spell, unless I can pull Soulblight, or Purple Sun against certain armies. The Signature Vampire spell, always traded for. The Signature Light spell, and you can trade that if you feel like it. I like to have a good cheap Magic Missile in my arsenal of spells though.


In this list I play a lot of ethereal. Against some armies they are money as a stopgap. If you get a chance to hold up a unit of knights or a steamtank with a spirithost, super sweet. At the bare minimum they will be speed bumps and redirects. Hexwraiths have a different purpose. They play the roll of the warmachine hunters, speedbumps (although expensive), and all around choice target. You are going to need to give your opponent some other choices to deal with other than Nagash.


My core is there to give me my fortitude. My core choices are definitely not everyone's core choices though. I like Skeletons. That's all I have to say about that.


Casket/Herotitan are there to ensure a good magic phase. Hopefully a dominating magic phase.


So the breakdown of the units I'd personally summon.


Razkhar- The Abyssal Swarm (Spell 4) - Boosted - 8 Sepulchral Stalkers. 8 artillery of auto hits that will still be able to shoot just after this magic phase. Still wound the fastest units on 6s with no armor save. Yes please. Unboosted - 4 spirit host.


Kandorak - The Harbinger (Spell 5) - Boosted - Casket/Terrorgheist. Unboosted - I don't know. Build a cool character.


Akar'aran - The Dark Riders (Spell 6) - 10 Hexwraiths/8 chariots w/ musician/9 Bloodknights.


Ryze - The Grave Call (Signature) - Boosted - 11 Crypt horrors w/ champion.



As far as Strategy with Nagash. Keep him alive. Block line of sight as best you can to any and all warmachines until you can deal with those warmachines. Yes, he has 7 wounds and a 4+ ward. That wont be much comfort when 2 lucky dwarf cannons plow through him. So the best I can say is to protect him as best you can. That will be tough. He will be your opponents number one target.

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  Ive been looking at the Herotitan as a replacement for the Mortis engine as I see that extra d3 casting is very nice,however I also like the extra defence that the growing regen save that the engine gives,it seems that by turn 3 if they haven't gotten Nagash down then it will be all but impossible with a 4+ +..assuming that's how it works and the thing doesn't get killed or blowup on its own.


  Yeah I see were you are at with the Lore of Death ..it seems 4 is the minimum for these builds.


 Also I was thinking since I don't have another caster in the base build I could summon in a Mastermancer or maybe just a Heromancer with a dispel or feedback scroll.

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rcnjack- the Mortis engine regen save aspect works as a static+1 with the range of the bubble changing each turn.

  Yeah but it gains +1 to the save each turn doenst it..to a max benefit of 4+?..so by turn 3,assuming Nagash is within range of the bubble he will be getting a 4+ regen along with all the other units in the bubble too.Is that how it works?


 Edit..ahh yeah I see what you are saying about that..so units without a regen would get a 6+.I got the changing radius each turn thing mixed in with the +1 to the regen save,heh.


  I may change up my Core a bit then if I stick with the Mortis engine.

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Iraf: Nagash knows nine spells with one being Ryze so you'll need one more generation. I highly recommend that roll be on UD as Nagash's worth goes down noticeably per summon you don't roll.


I've seen several people build their Nagash lists with the damage in the base list and just summon in chaff, but I like to split the difference. From personal experience, an "ideal" phase for him is something like a six or eight on doubles before casket. Especially for the first two turns (when your opponent likely has a scroll) it's of paramount importance to get at least one summon off. Otherwise it doesn't matter if you summon some Black Knights to kill my warmachines on turn 4+ as your opponent is likely elbow deep in your soft UD core. Nagash does not often play like normal undead as he generally doesn't have the power or the time to recuperate losses against an even moderately attentive opponent due to his need to summon for the first few rounds. My list functions around this principle.


Nagash (6 Undeath, 1 Vamp, 2 Nehekhara) 1,000


Necromancer (Vamp) 65


3 Skeleton Chariots: standard bearer 175

3 Skeleton Chariots: standard bearer 175

30 Skeleton Archers: Master of Arrows; musician; standard bearer 210

5 Dire Wolves 40

5 Dire Wolves 40


Khemrian Warsphinx 210


Casket of Souls 135

Terrorgheist 225

Terrorgheist 225


2,500 points


The hardest thing to summon is a monster for Nagash and it also happens to be the worst dice-to-points ratio due to the model count limit so I focused on bringing a few before hand. The Warsphinx has done alright in the past, but mostly is just in the list for rule-of-cool and the fact that I don't have a pressing need for anything. Generally I don't waste magic phases trying to cast offensive spells, but if I need to I'll summon a High Liche Priest to do it for me. If Nagash fails a cast, I swap to throwing max dice at the casket (sometimes I do this against artillery lines as well).


Against combat-ready opponents I tend to focus on summoning unboosted swarms so I can get six Spirit Hosts and chaff them up for awhile, but I also have the dogs for some first turn chaff so I can focus on summoning in damage. My go-to summon is Dark Riders with the best unit being Necropolis Knights. Nagash gets to summon six of these bad boys with FC per summon and I tend to run them five wide to slam most hordes (only need 150mm wide to get all five into combat). Another common summon is the middle Ryze to get 20 GG with Great Weapons and the Banner of the Barrows. Summon a moderately armed/armored Tomb Prince to go with them and they can handle most flank/rear engagements. Most of the time this list needs to summon combat blocks to get decisive victories so I stay away from Sepulchral Stalkers, Catapults, and the like (although Stalkers do have situational use against dangerous low-I monsters).


My core consists of what I consider necessary for the list. The chariots are amazing at popping small chaff/fast cav without getting themselves killed and produce quite a volume of attacks to help extricate summoned units. The dogs are there to die, but they have the hidden benefit against smaller non-engagement armies with a long reach and ability to knock an elf or two down by charging. The archers are another nice bit of chaff deletion that secures precious points in my backfield while generally being a low priority target.


The specials in the list are a little light as I focused on monsters over blocks, but the Warsphinx can be a boon. In most of my games he's died turn one or two to shooting and even when he's made it into combat he just gets scythed down (T8 is rather useless when attached to a 5+ AS), but he is a nice model and is squishy enough to attract attention while hard enough to take a cannon or two round one for something more important (read as: anything else not core in this list).


Rares are where the power is for undead. I used to bring the Hierotitan, but found that too many of my points were going into augmenting Nagash's magic which made the games more unbalanced affairs. A lack of balance is how you lose to skilled opponents so I swapped him out after awhile. What I now have in rares is much more deadly with the double TGheist and Casket combo. Terrorgheists are absolutely obscene against most any opponent and, with Nagash's summoning capabilities, sniping out the leadership or just compartmentalizing it gives them a boost that's hard to get with standard VC/UL. The casket is, of course, a very powerful piece of kit and tends to stay hidden away giving me dice the whole game.


In my now-dozens of games with him, Nagash has only actually died once although he's come close several times. Every time this has happened it had nothing to do with cannons or other artillery, but instead some damnable 2D6 hits spell. So I caution you to be obsessive with Nagash's defense. Generally I play very aggressively and treat everything in a list as chaff if the need arises, but this is not something you should do with Nagash. The combination of his absolute need to summon (and how that alters your list choices) and huge point denial if left alive means he's somewhat of a king on the Warhammer chessboard which is not something I personally feel is true of any other piece I field (and I play a lot of armies). Anyway, it may seem obvious to say "don't get Nagash killed," but it is something that you should be thinking about at the start of every movement phase and every dispel attempt. He really is above the rest of the rabble.

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Yeah but it gains +1 to the save each turn doenst it..to a max benefit of 4+?..so by turn 3,assuming Nagash is within range of the bubble he will be getting a 4+ regen along with all the other units in the bubble too.Is that how it works?


 Edit..ahh yeah I see what you are saying about that..so units without a regen would get a 6+.I got the changing radius each turn thing mixed in with the +1 to the regen save,heh.


  I may change up my Core a bit then if I stick with the Mortis engine.

It also wouldn't be all that great for Nagash as he already has a 4+ ward save and the two don't mix.

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Iraf: Nagash knows nine spells with one being Ryze so you'll need one more generation. I highly recommend that roll be on UD as Nagash's worth goes down noticeably per summon you don't roll.

Good catch. I don't know why I thought 8 spell generation. /shrug. Yes, Id go 5 Undeath 1 death 1 light 1 vampire and Rize

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  Got a Question for ya Kremmet..not sure if this has come up in the games you have played with Nagash .


 But if you summon a Caster can you use that caster in that magic phase?...not sure how often one would want to do that but I can see as a game develops there may be a desire to get a certain spell off and bringing in a lvl 3(Or even a lvl 4) caster gives a fair chance at getting a specific spell you may not have in the current mix...

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  • 2 weeks later...

 OK..I`ve decided to go all out with a summoning list for the upcoming Rampage,its only 1500 points but I don't really care much about winning and am itching to start testing a summoning build.




 This is my list I will likely take but i~m certainly open to suggestions,though time is running short to obtain and build new models.


 I wanted to have a powerful summoner that's rather difficult to take out so im starting with a Vamp Lord lvl 4 mounted on a Coven throne;


This is my scaled down version of Nagash:)



  Her loadout is...

-Heavy armor

-Enchanted Shield

-Talisman of Preservation

-Master of the Black Arts

-Biting Blade


 Should be kinda tough to just blow off the board with both the mount and the Lord having 4+ wards...I don't think I can do much better between the two books.Plus I wanted to be able to pack a punch if needed.




 The remainder of the list;


 3-Skeleton Chariots w/standard


 14 Skeleton Archers w/standard


 30 Skeleton Warriors w/Full command


 Necromancer lvl 1 w/Channeling staff


 Casket of Souls


 2X Spririt Hosts ( may run these as ones)



 Summoning options I have now:


  Casting on a 9+

  10 Skeleton Warriors w/light armor


  Casting on a 10+

 9 Dire Wolves


 1 Sprit Host


 Cairn Wraith


 Necromancer Lvl 1




 Tomb Herald


 Casting on 14+


 20 SKeleton Warriors w/light Armor


 25 Zombies w/standard


 14 Skeleton Archers w/master of arrows


 Casting on 16+


 3 Varghiest 1 being a vargoul


 3 Crypt Horros 1 being a Cryot Haunter


 Corps cart


 5X Hexwraiths


 5X Black Knights w/Lances/barding/champ and standard


  I have some extra skeletons to build still but to meet some of these amounts I would have to use casualties that start on the board,


  Casting on a 24+


 Skull Chukka catapult ( probably not gonna bother with this though)


 I know its weak but im mostly interested and getting some experience with unit summoning and placement. and then see how they effect the fight.





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