3ed Nightstalkers - Will these units get left behind in the Surge?

With the base game shipping with NS I expect there to be a huge number of players taking NS. Having loved the build options in Trident Realm the options in NS really appeal to me.It seems there are a good few synergies to be found with the auras and the range of super cheap hordes, glass cannons and viable shooting spam are enough to tax my list building mind.

There are a couple of units that stick out a bit as ones I don’t think I would ever take. I’m intrigued what others think.

Horror Riftweavers
Seem like a super hero but take one of the oh-so essential monster spots. for 30/45 pts more I can take a far more tactically flexible unit. with CS(1) d6+6a and individual they can at a pinch be back line defence against fliers etc but I think a shade is better option and Me4 just makes them feel like a naff giant that won’t benefit from flanks? A carry over from the Vanguard sets meaning too many horrors in people’s collection?

Needle Fangs
I love the models and can just see how cool they would look. They embody the crawling nightmare of the army but for 25pts more in the chaff slot I can get a troop of phantoms? Better Range, Fly, Better Me, Better Ne, Better De? The horde looks handy but the nerve is very low combined with de2 and even though you may get some flanks the bigger footprint may make this hard?

In a sightly impulsive moment I have one of these as I liked the look of the model but for the points I just feel I can spend another 25 and get a Terror which having used a couple of times is amazing. Me3 on “Giant” style units is incredible with all that CS and combined with ensnare and -/19 AND regen(!) it means it’ll stick around for ages. Stealthy helps out against the de4 from shooting. The Shadow Hulk feels like roadblock but not as good. If the intention is to use offensively then it’s comparable to a horde of butchers (admittedly with less CS)

Portal of despair
90pts for the ability to inspire seems great on the face of it but I think I’d sooner take a horror with the inspiring talisman and let them contribute to the battle! The horror is cheaper and a far better support piece. Yes it means you can’t “throw” inspiring the other side of the battle field but ensuring the horror is covering the bulk of the force until the mindthirst comes into play seems a big enough gamble.

What do you think? Wide of the mark? Interesting by the above it narrows it down to only would viable Titan. I am sure there is synergy that people can get to work with the other two but I don’t they suit the way I aim to play


I’d say the Portal has a couple of things that the Horror doesn’t.
Firstly is Dread. An excellent addition to any army, but one I’m aware you can pick up relatively easily elsewhere in the Nightstalkers.

The other thing is it is a Scoring Unit, and one with De5 and -/16 Nerve. I can see it being a good Loot carrier and its Inspiring boost being limitless range means you can add US wherever needed.

1 Like

I agree with you on most of these.

The Riftweaver is one of those units that might be ok but is fairly meta dependent. I can mainly see it being used as a back line defender but its not really very good at anything. I don’t expect to see many of these.

I think Shadow Hulk is actually really good, but suffers by comparison with the Terror because Terrors are sooo good. Def5 -/20 is a lot of nerve to shift and Me3 on a Giant is excellent. But I agree that I would just try and find the 25 extra points for the Terror every time.

I actually think the Portal is excellent though. 90 points for a Def5 /-16 point on unit strength that can move around the board and has 3 Me4 attacks with Dread. TBH I see the Visions from the Void as just a nice perk. I’d pay the 90 points, find an objective marker in the corner of the board and force your opponent commit a far more expensive unit to deal with it or give up the objective.

Yeah I’d not even thought of loot tokens. It would be excellent for Loot and Push.

I’d be looking at my PA to be my loot hoover. Not quite as sturdy but I’m a fan of things having more than one function.

I’ve never really seen the big monsters (with a few armies’ exceptions being hammers. They always seem to lack the quantity of attacks and are poor me. The NS options do move into this role a little with that me3 though. Terror may wind because I think it’ll be easier to paint :joy:

I’m surprised and a little disappointed that the Terror went to Me3+, as we’re seeing it disrupts the internal balance of the Stalkers to buff them that hard :confused: Also maybe I’m a little Q_Q because I run lots of Krakens, and the Terror was basically a stealthy Kraken in 2E … but here I am in 3E with my Krakens hitting on 4+ still :stuck_out_tongue: (while Coral Giants hit on 3+, which I’d argue should be the case for Terror : Shadowhulks too)

The controversial one in my mind based on the list mentioned in the post, is the Shadow-Hulk. The points went spiked from 170 to 225, but got Stealthy, Def 5, and Giant random attacks. The price increase changed my list significantly. Playstyle changed for me as well. I liked the expendable monsters. I think it’s intended to be a "solid monster"now with the def increase and randomized Att spike chance. 3+ Me will do more than 3-4 wounds that the normal giants do, but is it worth the 225? Does it have a place? As a front line hammer, I think can be selected. However, I feel the Terror is easier to use in a list due to it’s superior survivablity… The Terror behaves a lot like an Ensnare unit.

NightStalkers have lots of monster variety, So, I think what we can expect some different play styles. with 2 voidlurkers, 2 Shadowhulks and Dreadfeinds running around.

’ are some of these units unusable?’

One of the units I expect wont see much play : Shadowhounds* - 5 pts cheaper… Hit on 4+ 10 Att, 125 pts Mindthirst, Nimble, Regeneration (5+), Stealthy, Thunderous Charge (1). Basically require a flank to get to use 20 Att, in which 10 will hit, and TC1 , No strider or Pathfinder. So odds are they will charge and cross terrain or objective. likely allowed to wound on 4+ as most targets they want to attack to get there points value are 5+ def in my mind as Cav. 5 wounds? That isn’t horrible if one can make all those conditions happen. They remind me of lesser, weaker Werewolves from Undead. Niche finesse piece that requires a savy player and an opponent that will ignore them. Since they are irregular, they really are limited to small size I expect a Chaff duty and at 125 I’ll pass when I could use Fiends which are a lot like WyrmRiders, that swung to the “weaker/cheaper” this edition. I dont think players will play with more than 1 and the same for shadowhouds. I think one could play with them as chaff, but they are more a liablity at 125pts than specters at 90 pts.

Another unit I’m not fond of are the slow Doppelgangers. What a great concept to use the enemies strengths against them. However, what I’ve seen, In order to do this strategy I feel it needs speed to take the initiative. Otherwise, why not just use Reapers? At Spd5 it’s failing the tools to implement the different kinds of scenarios. Basically its askign them to be a back line unit to avoid cav and flyers and hopefully they wont die being limited to only a regimet. Spd 7 and flying would be very interesting, and making them like Wraiths point cost.

1 Like

Dumb question, but my book still isn’t here: Are Screamers still in the NS list? My suspicion is no, with the changes to the Mindscreech (lightning / caster monster), but I haven’t been able to figure out from rumors and report lists.

Merged two into one unit i’d think.

The Mindscreech and Banshees are going to be interesting together. WB5 with damage and 12 LB from 2 MS on the same target might be worth it. Still around 3 points of damage on a Def 5 target so not exciting. But the windblast makes it interesting pushing targets off objectives and outside of zones while causing some pain.

Old Mindscreech vs. New.

I’m loving doppelgängers. US 3 and be 15/17 for 145pts is a great buy. 10pts for the mead and deploy with some butchers as support and you should be able to to dictate a charge. Maybe using some chaff.

1 Like

I feel needle-fangs might still find a place in my army as screens (generally for reapers). I want the screen to die after taking a single charge, so paying for higher def is a waste. Likewise they only need to keep ahead of the reapers so speed 7 is fine. And as height 1 I can potentially double charge with the reapers behind them.

The loss of scout/vanguard really hurts them for this role though. With scout they could ensure they wouldn’t get wavered in my deployment zone and give cover to the reapers further up the field. They also might be too easy to kill with shooting now too.

But my alternative will be scarecrows, not phantoms.

Wow. Butchers lost Shambling?

The whole army list lost shambling, but kept fearless where we had it.

Shadow hulk has become a stealthy colossal giant instead of a budget monster, which fits the model I guess. The terror needs support, with De 3+ you don’t need something very impressive on the flank to put it down, of even getting charged by more than one Me 3+ unit, shadow hulk can run on its own a little more safely.
Doesn’t out weigh your points, but something to consider. Ml

Shadow hounds are in a odd place.
Light to medium cavalry role, a bit expensive to be chaff and the regen will often be wasted on a troop.
I see them as a unit that’s more about projecting a threat and forcing your opponent to be more careful than actually dealing damage. Plus regen to survive little cuts, so will require your opponent to spend time
and effort of with good troops to get rid of them.

Faster dopplegangers would be ridiculous, from a game design point of view, letting dopplegangers dictate charges would be a bad idea. So that kind of concept has to end up as a second line unit.
Currently they’re a good amount of US for the price and a threat to good units your opponent has to worry about. Their role is later in the game and don’t expect too much from a 145 point unit.

Very powerful then

For people who have actually used them, how are Soulflayers? I know they were generally reviled as Nightmares, but I was curious about leaning into them in 2E, and even more so with the point drop in 3E. Loss of nimble is a thing, however if the goal is to wind blast with them then single pivot should get 'er done. Oh, and they gained stealthy! Which helps with lowish Def and Nv.

“The terror needs support, with De 3+ you don’t need something very impressive on the flank to put it down, of even getting charged by more than one Me 3+ unit, shadow hulk can run on its own a little more safely.”

I’m on the side that Terrors are Bad Ass. Statistically, I find their closest match is the Ensares.

Comparatively, I would say they are not far off. few points on nerve, a few different abilities. Differences in US and unlocks. I’d expect, in cover they make an excellent anvil, just like the Ensnares.

For about the same investment, using the Mindthirst and stealthy, they make a great front line unit. Need to protect the flank, but it will take something really espensive to break the front. double the cost likely. Needs to hit on 3+ and have 20+ Att and be 2 units. Need to get to 12 wounds to get 7+ twice because of mindthirst. Most one can get is CS1 value against them. So those points are wasted in the attack. 20 Att at 4+ to hit because of ensnare is still only 6.7 wounds. So 2 units will be needed. so 40 Atts rolling average. Thats crazy.


With this in mind, the Terror is bad ass. There is no natural predator for the Terror or Ensnares when attacked from the front.

So if the Terror is in cover, I wouldnt expect it to go down, even with 475+ points into killing it. I woudn’t even consider trying to take it out with a dragon or other Titan. not enough attacks.

Even a Dragon flanking on 3+ to hit CS3 is still only doing 11 wounds to a -/19. I dont expect it to do down, and on the next turn it heals 50%. and you counter charge with everything behind the terror.

This is my Terror that replaced a Shadowhulk in V3.

1 Like

I would say if I am after Windblast I would run banshees or Mindscreeches. losing Nimble means the Soulflayers have lost their big flank threat. Phantoms just fill that role better for me.

I hadn’t noticed Phantoms kept their nimble! Also fearless with a higher Nv for fewer points …