The Night Lords Continue to Evolve!

Hey everyone, Reecius here with an updated version of my Night Lords list with thoughts on the changes and tactics for its use. As always, check the Tactics Corner for more great articles!

So anyone that has hung around Frontline Gaming for any length of time knows, I am a huge Night Lords fan. While I typically like the “good guys” in a setting, something about these sinister warriors has always appealed to me. Their duality of seeking to instill order by any means necessary is both horrible and awesome. Night Haunter, their Primarch, is also a certified bad ass….and madman! With the release of the Chaos Space Marines Codex the opportunity to create cool, themed Legion armies is just incredible!

My nerdiness aside, I have been having tremendous success with my Night Lords but have been playing them largely in proxy or unpainted. And as I draw even nearer to completing my Raptors Space Marines (and man, they will look awesome once I get all the transfers on them!) I have my eye on my next hobby project.

Getting so close to done!

So before I show the latest version of the list and explain the choices, here’s a few things that I do when I write a list.

  1. I don’t use “soup” Detachments. I just don’t find it to be fun or flavorful.
  2. My Night Lords will be a pure army, only Night Lords detachments even if it is not the optimal choice.
  3. I insist on using at least some actual Chaos Space Marines in my army!
  4. I play my models as close to WYSIWYG and I try to use models I already have.
Unit Force Org Cost # Total Weapons Cost # Total Total Notes
Outrider Night Lords       Command Points 1
Lord with Jump Pack HQ 93 1 93 Lightening Claws 12 1 12 Claws of the Black Hunt, Mark of Khorne
Raptors Fast Attack 17 5 85 Plasma Gun 13 2 26 Mark of Slaanesh
0 Combi-Plasma 15 1 15
Raptors Fast Attack 17 5 85 Melta Gun 17 2 34 Mark of Slaanesh
0 Combi-Melta 19 1 19
Raptors Fast Attack 17 5 85 Plasma Gun 13 2 26 Mark of Slaanesh
0 Combi-plasma 15 1 15
Battalion Night Lords       Command Points 3
Daemon Prince with Wings HQ 170 1 170 Malefic Talons 10 1 10 Mark of Slaneesh
Sorcerer with Jump Pack HQ 114 1 114 Force Axe 16 1 16 Mark of Slaneesh
Chaos Space Marines Troops 13 5 65 Auto Cannon 20 1 20 Mark of Slaneesh
0 Combi Bolter 2 1 2
Chaos Space Marines Troops 13 5 65 Auto Cannon 20 1 20 Mark of Slaneesh
0 Combi Bolter 2 1 2
Cultists Troops 4 11 44 0 Mark of Slaneesh
Cultists Troops 4 11 44 0 Mark of Slaneesh
Vanguard Night Lords       Command Points 1
Exalted Champion HQ 70 1 70 Power Axe 5 1 5 Mark of Khorne
Berzerkers Elites 16 10 160 Chain Axe 1 10 10 Mark of Khorne
0 Icon of Wrath 10 1 10
Chaos Rhino Transport 70 1 70 Combi Bolter 2 1 2
Berzerkers Elites 16 9 144 Chain Axe 1 9 9 Mark of Khorne
0 Icon of Wrath 10 1 10
Chaos Rhino Transport 70 1 70 Combi Bolter 2 1 2
Chaos Terminators Elites 31 10 310 Power Sword 4 10 40 Mark of Slaanesh
0 Combi-Bolter 2 10 20
Totals     61 1674       325 1999  
Command Points: 8       Detachments: 3

Previously, I wrote at length about the Terminator Bomb and how effective it could be. However, after giving it a lot of thought that unit, while potentially devastating (and I have won games with it, before) it is very much a case of many eggs in a single basket. It also has multiple failure points and if any of your critical psychic powers fail to go off, you can be left with a massive points investment bearing no dividends.

Need to blow the dust of this gent!

So I began messing around with it and came up with the above. The Chaos Terminators unit is still there, still mean as can be, but toned down significantly. By dropping them to the cheapest configuration and moving some units around I was able to free up enough points for a second unit of 9 Berzerkers! These killing machines are hands down, one of the best units in 40k at the moment. Where one unit in a Chaos Rhino can be dealt with fairly easily, two is vastly more likely to get in to enemy lines and go chop-chop!

Only 17 more to go….

To accompany these bad asses is one of the best new units available to Chaos Space Marines, the Exalted Champion! He is an incredible force multiplier and butt kicker in his own right. If you use melee to deal damage in your CSM army do yourself a favor and add one of these to your list. I plan on using my beautifully painted Sevetar as mine! And no, I did not paint this model but it came out great. I am actually considering not counting his glaive as an axe but a power sword as that gives me the choice to take the Murder Sword which has a ridiculous name but on the Exalted Champ with rerolls to hit and wound can put an ass whipping on even mega tough units like Magnus.

But, back to the Terminators! Taken bare-bones, they’re actually very reasonably priced and quite good. They drop down and pump out 40 Storm Bolter shots which in a meta filled with chaff units, is very valuable. With the Mark of Slaanesh, they can do that twice with the application of the Slaanesh stratagem, Endless Cacaphony. Again, combo this with Prescience and the Chaos Lord with Jump Pack or Daemon Prince to reroll 1’s and you’ve got 97% accuracy. Apply the incredibly powerful Veterans of the Long War stratagem for +1 to wound and you will shred almost anything you shoot at that isn’t heavily armored. But, with that volume of shots, you will take a bite out of even high toughness targets.

The Power Swords, beyond being cheap, are AP -3. With the application of VotLW (assuming you used Warp Time to get them in to range to charge) they are better than Power Axes. As Prescience is still in effect, they’re hitting on 2’s in melee as well. If you manage to get the Exalted Champ nearby to reroll wounds as well, they become positively fearsome. As they have the Mark of Slaanesh, you can cast Delightful Agonies on them from the Daemon Prince or Chaos Sorcerer to give them a 5+ FnP, and use In Midnight Clad (Night lords Stratagem) on them to make them -1 to hit, too. You then have a brick of very durable Chaos Terminators right in your opponent’s face that must be dealt with!

The Lord and the Raptors also drop in and blast things with plasma and melta. I have really come around on melta the more I play competitively. While plasma seems superior mathematically, the reality of the tabletop often means you get one chance to really take down a critical target and in that instance, melta is more reliable. I may actually swap another unit out to the melta configuration. They all rock MoS to double shoot if the needs arrive where as the Lord has the MoK to double punch if he needs to. Once the drop and pop tactic is over, the Lord goes ham. The Claws of the Midnight Hunt, beyond sticking to the Night Lords theme, are boss! They hit very hard and a Lord with Lightening Claws look so KEWL! Depending on my opponent I either take the Lord of Terror Warlord trait if my opponent is at all susceptible to morale (forcing your opponent to roll 2d6 and take the highest for morale) or Night Haunter’s Curse for some clutch rerolls when he needs it most, particularly on charges and saves as he already rerolls hit and wound rolls.

I didn’t want to use any Cultists in my list but you simply need screens. As I have not way to create a buffer against enemy deep striking and infiltrating units, I had to have something to get punched in the face, and Cultists are it! Not a glamorous job, but a vital one.

As I insist on using some Chaos Space Marines in my army, I took a page out of my Raptors army and am using some cheap(ish) Tactical Squads to camp objectives and pump out some small arms fire. The Autocannon is a bit pricey (it should come down a bit, IMO) but 48″ range is very useful for a unit that will often be firing down range. I could always swap out to the Heavy Bolter if needs be.

Lastly, the Daemon Prince and Sorcerer are there to provide psychic support and more melee punch. The Daemon Prince is a good candidate for the Intoxicating Elixir relic giving him +1 strength and attacks, and often takes Prescience as his power or Delightful Agonies as they have longer range and he is often not close enough to cast Warp Time. The Sorcerer then typically takes Warp Time and Delightful Agonies or Death Hex depending on who I am facing.

The real magic of the army kicks in when I start piling in to my opponent with lots of units, lowering their leadership by -3 or -4. With the Chaos Lord’s Warlord trait, if you do some damage to multiple units and they don’t have significant morale control, units start vaporizing as members of them run away.

Beyond that though, the army looks cool, is themed, is fun to play and is effective. I believe putting less emphasis on the single Terminator unit and instead grabbing another unit of Berzerkers will be a big net positive over more games.

What kind of Chaos lists are you all building?

And remember, Frontline Gaming sells gaming products at a discount, every day in their webcart!



About Reecius

The fearless leader of the intrepid group of gamers gone retailers at Frontline Gaming!

53 Responses to “The Night Lords Continue to Evolve!”

  1. Avatar
    Beau September 10, 2017 10:28 pm #

    Looks pretty cool to me, the khorne JP lord leading all the slaanesh raptors hurts my soul a little bit though.

    • Avatar
      Max Mustermann September 11, 2017 1:06 am #

      That’s the beauty of non-cult legions. They worship whoever the heck they want and get bonus points for religious tolerance within the warband.

      • Reecius
        Reecius September 11, 2017 7:50 am #

        Exactly! The mixed god army totally fits and it is actually reflected in the books, too.

        I was actually considering making 1-2 of the Raptors units MoN to take the Icon of Despair to stack even more leadership debuffs, muahaha!

        • Avatar
          Beau September 11, 2017 9:45 am #

          I think you should. It looks pretty cool if you can squeeze all 4 gods into 1 undivided warband and earns kudos points.

          Wasn’t criticizing having the khorne lord in there btw just thought it was funny to have him in combat next to the raptors. You know that khorne would whisper in his ear for him to give a chop to an unsuspecting slaanesh worshiper!

          • Reecius
            Reecius September 11, 2017 9:59 am

            lol, too true! And yeah, definitely a place for Nurgle in Night Lords as they get that additional -1 to morale.

  2. Avatar
    ivestar September 10, 2017 11:13 pm #

    i thought so too, until i realised there were 2 large units of Berzerkers in there.

    • Reecius
      Reecius September 11, 2017 7:51 am #

      Zerker time! They are just too good. I may experiment with a unit of Noise Marines instead but we’ll see.

  3. Avatar
    Broxus September 10, 2017 11:51 pm #

    Nice update. Reeicus if you could help us blood angels players come up with competive lists so see don’t give up hope you would become a legendary hero. Right now we just seem to be in a really bad place and it’s getting very frustrating.

    • Reecius
      Reecius September 11, 2017 7:52 am #

      Blood Angels have a lot going for them, IMO. But, yeah, I would be happy to share my thoughts.

      • Avatar
        Broxus September 12, 2017 12:13 am #

        Are you playing with the new codex or index? The index may be the cause of the current problems for most people. I am hoping they get some much needed points reductions and other synergy buffs.

  4. Avatar
    Marius Xerxes September 11, 2017 12:12 am #

    Dual Plasma Pistols on the Raptor Champs put’s out as much shooting as the Combi-Plas at 12″ but costs a point less. Plus, they can be used within 1″.

    Is there a reason you go with combi-plas instead? Or is it a case of that’s the models you have so you roll with it?

    • Reecius
      Reecius September 11, 2017 7:52 am #

      The Combi-plas keeps you lethal beyond 12″ range. Dual pistols is solid, and looks baller, but the combi-plas makes me more versatile and I get to retain a Chainsword for the bonus attack.

      • Avatar
        Marius Xerxes September 11, 2017 11:42 pm #

        Makes sense. I’ve not had luck with the unit surviving long after the initial drop, so going cheaper for equal effectiveness at 12″ was where I focused.

        Though I have been using them as an Ivan Drago “If he dies, he dies” suicide drop to get at the targets I really want.

        • Reecius
          Reecius September 12, 2017 7:53 am #

          lol, Ivan Drago, nice reference.

  5. Avatar
    OnboardG1 September 11, 2017 1:16 am #

    Have you considered trying to squeeze a Contemptor with a butcher cannon in there anywhere for an extra -2Ld penalty?

    • Reecius
      Reecius September 11, 2017 7:53 am #

      I have strongly considered that. The additional ld debuffs is brutal and can seriously vaporize enemy units.

      • Avatar
        OnboardG1 September 11, 2017 11:41 pm #

        Can confirm, forcing three terminators to run away after killing one with the cannon is super funny.

  6. Avatar
    Broxus September 11, 2017 1:59 am #

    Nice update and writeup. I really like these types of articles. Reeicus do you think you could help us blood angels players come up with competive lists? You would become a legendary hero to many if you did.

  7. Avatar
    Horton September 11, 2017 2:32 am #

    I like it! The CSM codex is just so good. You can do soooo much with it. Ive mainly been making Alphegion and World Eater lists.

    • Reecius
      Reecius September 11, 2017 7:54 am #

      Right?! They have SO many options and play-styles, I love it.

  8. Requizen
    Requizen September 11, 2017 6:49 am #

    I got smashed by the 10 Termie bomb yesterday. Slightly different, he had Combi-plas and Abbadon.

    So he ended up giving them Prescience, and being near Abbadon they were hitting on 2+ rerolls overloading Plas (with no chance to explode thanks to +1 to hit) and they could do that twice with Endless Cacaphony! Not much can stand up to that unless you castle up super super hard.

    • Reecius
      Reecius September 11, 2017 7:58 am #

      Yeah, the Combi-Plas Termie bomb is devastating. Toss Abby in there for more melee punch and few armies can overcome that.

      What you have to do is either have strong psychic defense (to stop Prescience but especially Warp Time) and/or buffer units. If you have a few units that you can sacrifice, especially if they can infiltrate, you can keep units like the Termie Bomb so far away that their impact is dramatically blunted by keeping them out of double tap and assault range.

      They drop down, nuke a chaff unit, then you counter-strike. It’s like trading a pawn for your opponent’s queen.

      • Requizen
        Requizen September 11, 2017 8:10 am #

        Yep. Really thinking of adding Ratlings and Scout Sents into my army just to castle harder against Alpha Strike armies like that. But once they have that 5+FNP spell on them, even hitting them back can be difficult! Might even be worth getting some sacrificial Primaris Psykers or a Culexus to try and do some Denies.

        • Reecius
          Reecius September 11, 2017 8:30 am #

          Dude, 100%. I take 3 individual Scout Sentinels for exactly that purpose. They Scout forward, keep things away from me and then run after objectives. If I go first vs. a shooty army, they run forward, flame on and then assault a shooting unit to stop it form shooting next turn. Too valuable to not use them!

          The Culexus, especially paired up with another psyker for DtW, is great for that.

          • Avatar
            abusepuppy September 12, 2017 3:53 am

            Out of curiosity, Reece, what do you arm your Scout Sentinels with? I’m been toying around with a trio of them, but I’m not sure whether I like the Autocannon, Missile Launcher, or Heavy Flamer better.

          • Reecius
            Reecius September 12, 2017 7:50 am

            I run Heavy Flamers, buddy. I find it to be the best weapon and it fits my Catachan theme.

          • Avatar
            abusepuppy September 12, 2017 4:21 pm

            Yeah, makes sense. Those autohits are nice.

          • Reecius
            Reecius September 12, 2017 4:30 pm

            It really is, and it allows them to stay mobile and gives them some bite in overwatch as they often get assaulted.

  9. Requizen
    Toxie234 September 11, 2017 8:27 am #

    So wait… If my unit has a specific mark I get to use that unique strategem???

    • Reecius
      Reecius September 11, 2017 8:30 am #

      Yup! Mega powerful ability.

      • Requizen
        Toxie234 September 11, 2017 9:04 am #

        wow i never knew that

        • Reecius
          Reecius September 11, 2017 9:28 am #

          Pretty sweet, right?!

  10. Avatar
    Freeman September 11, 2017 9:18 am #

    I’ve been running a very similiar list lately. With the plasma bomb. Hardcore NL fanboy here as well. I’ve enjoyed units of bikes as well three turbo boosting up turn one with nurgle icons really lay the morale debuffs so the plasma only needs to do a couple of wounds to multiple units. Great article (both of them) I really agree with your approach to building correctly fluffy tourney lists! Looking forward to seeing you play the list on the stream one day?!

    • Reecius
      Reecius September 11, 2017 9:31 am #

      Thanks! What I love most about 8th ed is that you can be both true to the lore AND competitive. That is the best of both worlds. I’ve been considering MoN as well for that lovely extra morale debuff!

  11. Avatar
    Joel Traveller September 11, 2017 9:25 am #

    Why don’t you take any warp talons? Honestly just curious.

    • Reecius
      Reecius September 11, 2017 9:28 am #

      I have lots of melee, I need more shooting, honestly. Warp Talons don’t hit that hard, they are more for tying things up and taking away overwatch, but Terminators largely don’t care about overwatch.

  12. Michael Corr
    Michael Corr September 11, 2017 9:52 am #

    Playing against Chaos for the first time in 8th edition this week. Looking forward to seeing all the new tricks they can bring to the table!

    • Reecius
      Reecius September 11, 2017 10:00 am #

      They’re extremely good, very flexible with powerful shooting, melee, psychic abilities and reserve tactics. They have everything you need to win in 8th ed.

  13. Avatar
    Jim September 11, 2017 10:31 am #

    I have a question about the Berserkers, if they have both Chainaxe and Chainsword do they always get the bonus attack from the Chainsword or do they have to dedicate a single attack to it first to get the bonus attacks from the Chainsword? So can they have 2 Chainaxe attacks plus the bonus Chainsword, or do they have to go 1 Chainaxe attack and 2 Chainsword attacks?

    • Avatar
      Jim September 11, 2017 11:18 am #

      If someone could get me an explicit answer and pages to reference that would be great, this has lead to hot arguments in the past.

      • Reecius
        Reecius September 11, 2017 12:35 pm #

        You just get a free attack with the Chainsword as it says. It is confusing to people only because it is a new mechanic but the rule on the weapon is actually very clear.

        So a Berzerker gets 2 Chainaxe attacks and 1 Chainsword attack for “free” so to speak.

        Same with Vanguard, if you give them 2 Chainswords, they get 4 attacks, total. 2 on their profile and 1 from each chainsword.

  14. Avatar
    David Hayden September 11, 2017 11:23 am #

    I have a list with 4 Demon Princes, 4 Chaos Lords, 4 units of 10-15 Cultists, and a Dark Apostle.

    I’ve been trying to figure out what to fill out the rest of my list with. Night Lords with Raptors or Terminators or Alpha Legion with Plasma bikes are my finalists.

    • Reecius
      Reecius September 11, 2017 12:33 pm #

      Both good choices. I find you need ranged firepower to really compete, though.

      • Avatar
        David Hayden September 11, 2017 2:37 pm #

        That’s why I’m leaning toward the Raptors with Plasma dropping in with a Lightning Claw lord for my dakka. Might drop the Dark Apostle to get more firepower.

        • Reecius
          Reecius September 11, 2017 3:04 pm #

          Yeah, you need long ranged firepower I find to deal with certain enemy combinations. Things that stay away from you and shoot, for example.

          • Avatar
            David Hayden September 11, 2017 4:00 pm

            I’ve got Combi-plasma with the four Chaos Lords on Bikes. That’s pretty much it. I can’t bring myself to take Havocs or Tanks for anything long range. Don’t know why.

          • Reecius
            Reecius September 11, 2017 5:10 pm

            Eh, no biggie. Play what you like to play. You can make it work with speed and short ranged firepower.

          • Avatar
            David Hayden September 11, 2017 9:10 pm

            I hope so. If not, it’ll be fine. CSM are my fun army. When I get serious, I bring the Ynarrii out! 😉

  15. Avatar
    Threllen September 11, 2017 6:15 pm #

    Hey Reece, have you played around with Warp Talons at all? I haven’t gotten to use them yet but I’m wondering if they’re any good in this edition. Last edition they were pretty garbage and the assault from Deep Strike + immunity to overwatch might make them alright in this edition but they’re still fairly expensive.

    Do they have any use as MSU or would you have to just focus on one big squad with a Warptime for a guaranteed charge?

    • Reecius
      Reecius September 12, 2017 7:52 am #

      They’re good for sure, but their main purpose is to tie things up and take away their overwatch. They don’t do a ton of damage (unless you are World Eaters). For my army, the Terminators go in hot and they don’t care much about overwatch so I don’t need it as much.

    • Avatar
      David Hayden September 12, 2017 8:11 am #

      I haven’t played with them, only against them. The Talons were effective against all my Eldar infantry, except the Wraithguard/blades. If I used them, I’d stick to soft targets, or like Reece said, use them to tie things up. They aren’t garbage anymore, but they have specific uses.

      • Reecius
        Reecius September 12, 2017 8:24 am #

        Yeah, exactly. Against things like Wraithguard with D-Dcythes they’re amazing as they take away that brutal overwatch, etc.

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