The Nighthaunt are an army of cursed spirits, plucked from the corpses of battlefield traitors, criminals and damned sent back to fight for control of the Realm of Ghur by Nagash, the Great Necromancer.
Individually, the ethereal damned of the Nighthaunt are no great threat, easily struck down by a foe with enough belief and faith to do so. But Nagash’s chosen find great strength in their speed and numbers. Nighthaunt armies overwhelm their enemy, choking them under a sea of spectral warriors.
If you wish to lead this army of the dead and hope for success in your conquest of Ghur, you must learn the strengths and weaknesses of the Nighthaunt.
Raise a Ghastly Horde
The early stages of battle are the most difficult for Nighthaunt commanders. The Chainrasps and Craventhrone Guard you can summon from the Black Rose Cemetery are swift but vulnerable. The opponents you face can easily defeat these spirits.
However, as the Nighthaunt, you can field more units than your enemy and recruitment costs are lower. You must make this your strength and expand quickly. Send your swift spirits to capture Arcane Conduits, take the bonus resources you gain from those conquests and grow your army.
For every bastion you build on an Arcane Conduit, the number of units you may summon simultaneously increases. As you expand your reach over the battlefield, building more structures, you will find you can replace even significant losses much more quickly than your foe.
Nighthaunt armies find strength in numbers not only because it means more blades and bows for striking at your enemy but also because of the Wave of Terror ability. Soldiers with this upgrade fight more effectively when near other units with the same upgrade. Chainrasps deal more damage; Craventhrone Guard fire their Soulhunter’s Crossbow faster; Myrmourn Banshees gain increased armour; and Grimghast Reapers swing their Slasher Scythes more swiftly.
If you grow your army large and fast, you can overwhelm even the most stubborn enemy.
To learn more about map control, abilities and building your army, read our Beginner’s Guide to Realms of Ruin.
The soldiers of a Nighthaunt army may be physically weak, but their ethereal nature affords them unique protection: a Spectral Shield. This ghostly barrier blocks all incoming damage until it collapses; only then do the Nighthaunt’s foes’ start to damage the unit.
The Spectral Shield recharges whenever a unit is out of combat, reducing the need for soldiers to return to the Black Rose Cemetery to heal and reinforce their ranks. This protection is even more vital for the Nighthaunt, as this faction has no Healing Bastion.
If you have the opportunity to delay an assault until your units’ Spectral Shield recharges, or if you can withdraw from combat to recover the ethereal barrier, it may make the difference between success and failure in your next engagement.
Using the Nighthaunt’s heroes’ abilities, you can drive your army to greater heights in their crusade against the living. Each leader of the dead has the means to restore themselves or the soldiers around them, allowing your troops to remain on the frontline longer.
The Knight of Shrouds is a master tactician wielding the Sword of Stolen Hours. They can use this blade to draw life from nearby enemies, damaging them and restoring himself. In the early game, this mighty warrior is threat enough to hold back your assaulting enemies while your procession grows in strength.
The Guardian of Souls keeps vigil over scores of the dead, a beacon of souls in the underworld. On the battlefield, Nightmare Lantern in hand, they can lure the damned to the battlefield to heal and reinforce nearby units. Left unsilenced by the enemy, the Guardian can bring a Nighthaunt army back from the brink of defeat and lead it to victory.
Awlrach the Drowner doesn’t restore Nighthaunt troops directly, but the murderous ferryman can teleport units to and from battle. You can use this power to transport fresh units to the front or near-vanquished ones back to the healing aura of the Black Rose Cemetery.
Fear on the Frontlines
Nighthaunt don’t only rely on their numbers to defeat their enemies; the dead warriors wield fear as a weapon. As a commander of their army, you can use the horrific nature of the Nighthaunt units to disrupt the frontline, driving your foes from their carefully chosen positions.
Multiple Nighthaunt units have abilities that strike fear into their enemies' hearts, and each is most effective for different tactics. Hexwraiths, for instance, may use Spectral Touch to cause any opposition near them to turn tail and run. This powerful ability is excellent for ending stalemates, breaking nearby units out from their combat lock, either to withdraw and restore their Spectral Shield or to free them to use the abilities that are disabled when they’re in combat.
The Mourngul, with its Ghastly Terror ability, can leap into combat, causing damage to its victims and forcing them to flee. As a targeted ability, you can select which enemy unit you would like to scare and drive from the battlefield. It is an excellent way to grant a momentary reprieve from a powerful enemy hero’s assault.
Awlrach the Drowner can charge through battle, passing through the flesh of the living, terrifying every unit he travels through. When facing an entrenched enemy, few entrances are more disruptive than Awlrach’s Scything Ram, sending carefully prepared battle lines scrambling in his wake. Make sure you exploit the chaos by sending an army in behind the ferryman.
Bring Out the Dead
Each faction in Realms of Ruin has a unique ability you unlock upon upgrading your Command Point to level four. The Nighthaunt’s Faction Ability is particularly cruel, weakening your enemy’s forces while bolstering your own.
If you raise the Black Rose Cemetery to its top level, you are rewarded with the Funeral Toll faction ability. This deadly power lets you bathe an area of the battlefield in a life-sapping light, draining enemy soldiers of their health. Any troops that succumb to Nagash’s power are resurrected as a unit of Chainrasps for you to control.
The Chainrasps will only have a brief life, command their broken souls in the name of the Great Necromancer and send them to kill their former allies.
Lean into the strengths of the Nighthaunt faction, and you will carve a path through the warring factions of Ghur, earning Nagash’s approval.
Act swiftly in battle, taking ground, growing your army, and swarming your enemy with the souls of the undead. The Nighthaunt’s strength is in their numbers, not in the thickness of their armour.
If the forces aligned against you back you into a defensive position, your ethereal units may struggle to hold the line. At those moments you can use fear to break free, fall back, restore your Spectral Shield, replenish your army’s numbers and redouble your efforts to break the enemy.
Warhammer Age of Sigmar: Realms of Ruin is available to play NOW on PC, PlayStation 5 and Xbox Series S|X.