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Here in the TK forum we get a lot of posts which run along the lines of ''New to TK / have the battleforce / first 1000pts / help me get started''. And so i've finally decided to get around to writing a basic introductory guide to playing Tomb Kings.
This first post will contain all essential information and summaries for new players, but please feel free to post replies containing opinions and thoughts etc, and from those i can add to this.
So, lets get started!
First off, your Essentials. You are going to be needing the Tomb king Army Book. First and foremost, take a good read through. This is your bible, know it well. You will soon see that, unlike most other Fantasy armies, you must include 2 Characters in your army. A General, and a Hierophant.
Ill start with the General. In lower points games (less than 2000pts), this will have to be a Tomb Prince. Expensive, but you really do get what you pay for. He is a fantastic Hero, with a superb statline (I don't know of any other heroes offhand that have 3 Wounds, that's a normal Lord equivalent!)
An effective and cheap setup for a Prince at low points is to give him a Great Weapon (GW) and the Collar of Shapesh (CoS). This ensure fantastic strength and a good save (which will result in the loss of skeletons, but they are expendable anyway) on top of the 3 Wounds and Toughness 5 he has already.
So, onto the Hierophant. This will have to be a Liche Priest for now. The (generally) compulsory item for any Hierophant is the Cloak of the Dunes (CoD). This will ensure that you are able to keep your Hiero away from harm (a vital part to any TK strategy, do not let the Hiero die) as well as making it easier to get key spells where you need them, when you need them. The short range of your spells may be difficult to get to grips with at first, but remember, none of them need Line of Sight, except the Magic Missile. Use this to your advantage if you need to.
Ok, so back to the army book. You'll see that, like every other army, you will require at least two core units, and at least one of these should be a large unit of Skeleton Warriors. Its your choice between Bowmen or Skellies with hand Weapon + Shield + Light Armour (HW/S/LA)
Whichever you choose, 19 is a good number to start with as it means then when the Prince joins the unit, it will create a nice unit 5 wide, with 4 ranks (5x4)
You'll note that the Princes Spell, or Incantation, an only be cast in the unit he has joined. This gives Bowmen an advantage in earlier turns, as the spell will be usable on the bowmen in shooting at the enemy, but its likely the opponant wont care about the Skeletons moving so much if you go with HW/S/LA.
However later on, you will likely find yourself in combat, and this is where the save of the HW/SLA skellies will come in handy, in keeping them alive just that little longer, and meaning you need to use less incantations on healing the unit.
Oh, and finally, never make or use Spear Skellies.
Again back to the army book. Its a good idea to have a second good read through. See what appeals to you, see what units you like the look of. Personally i always think its best to create an army around models and tactics that you like and that appeal to you.
So, to get going, youll be needing your first models. A Tomb Prince and Liche Priest are a must, so go with the Tomb Prince Blister (Same as the tomb King blister, just choose your favourite of the models) and then the Liche Priest blister, which contains a Foot Priest and a Mounted Priest. Use the one on foot for now, though the Mounted one will come in very useful later on.
On top of this, you'll be wanting the Battleforce. Its fantastic value. You get 32 skellies, 3 Chariots and 8 Cavalry, all with full options. I recommend to make the following:
19 Skeleton Warriors with HW/S/LA
3 Skeleton Command (for the HW/S/LA unit as optional command)
10 Skeleton Bowmen
3 Chariots (No command yet)
6 Light Cavalry (leave the other two cav in bits, not so useful to make them now, leave them for possible future use)
In addition to this, there are a few ''essentials'' which come highly recommended for use by myself and many players.
- Screaming Skull Catapult
- Tomb Scorpion
- Tomb Swarm (Cheap, and a cheap Scorp sub when points/choices are limited)
Id advise getting yourself one of each of the above to begin with (two Swarms, as they come in a blister pair).
Starting off small, Tomb Kings players often find victory quite difficult at low points, due to the restrictions on the army. Please don't let this put you off though. Once you've built up to 2000pts, you'll be commanding one of the best, most powerful and most reliable armies in Fantasy!
Border Patrol Rules
These rules mean that your Hierophant also acts as your General, removing the need for a Tomb Prince.
The best army that i have managed to come up with for Tomb Kings is as follows, and with it ive had pretty good success:
Liche Priest (Hiero) with Cloak of the Dunes
20 Skeleton Bowmen
1 Tomb Swarm
5 Light Cavalry
Screaming Skull Catapult
Ill mention one very important thing now, practise at range guessing, it will help so much with the SSC. And/or, you can just memorise enemy positions, and movements, and calculate ranges in game. I prefer the second method, its more accurate and I rarely miss a shot by more than 1".
Also, you'll see i say use 20 bowmen. Yet above, from the battleforce, i said just make 10. Solution? Just place the 10 Bow models at the front of the unit, and bulk out the rear ranks with HW/S/LA skellies. I do this all the time, in friendly play its totally fine, and i've done it in competitive games too.
If, for some reason, you are unable to play by the Border Patrol army construction rules, then you'll be needing a fully legal 500pt force. Again, a recommendation:
Tomb Prince (General) with Collar od Shapesh + Great Weapon
Liche Priest (Hiero) with CotD
12 Skeleton Bowmen / 6 Light Cav
1 Scarab Swarm
Screaming Skull Catapult / Tomb Scorpion
As you can see, there is a vast difference between this and the Border Patrol list. With this, you will likely really struggle to pull a victory against most enemies. But don't let it put you off, just get to 1K asap. And who knows, one good SSC shot may even win you a game alone.
Onwards to 1K
With the Batallion and your two key Characters, that should give you a decent force of around 700pts. In order to round this out well, add in the SSC and a Scorpion, as well as the second Priest. And here, i will recommend a new addition; 3 Carrion. If you can get to grips with these Flyers early then they can prove to be a great addition later on. Look for first turn (magically assisted) charges with them against warmachines, lone characters, and other key, weak targets.
Following this, your 1K list should look something like this:
Tomb Prince w/ CoS + GW
Hierophant w/ CotD
Liche Priest w/ Steed
19 Skeleton Warriors w/ HW/S/LA + Musician
1 Tomb Swarm
Screaming Skull Catapult
This comes to 975pts, giving you a little room for customisation. You may wish to give the Hieratic Jar to a Priest. if you do, give it to the Hiero, as its use is far more tactically advantageous at the end of a Magic Phase.
You could upgrade the SSC, that extra Ld penalty for the enemy is a killer.
Command on the Skellies maybe?
OR, have the large Skellie unit as Bowmen, possibly getting in both Swarms and then some...
There are many more options too, i havent even mentioned Light Cav! A straight out swap for something.
Just fiddle with the Core selection a bit and see what selection you prefer.
The SSC is your main source of damage in this list, able to take out lots of infantry, or a few heavily armoured Knights, with each shot. Hence, it does mean the list acts rather defensively. However the fact you have the Carrion, Scorp and Chariots do add it a great offensive, being fast and making use of special rules and magic, they can hit surprisingly hard against weaker enemy units. Just beware of Heavy Armour and fully ranked infantry. Lack of kills for you, and static resolution for the enemy will see these off quickly. Pick your fights with care.
The TK army is reliable, it will do what you want, when you want. And with that SSC staring in the face of the advancing enemy, you should be able to pretty much control any battle.
So, get out there and give it a few games. Get your tactics together, look at the army book, make sure you get the rules consistent and memorised, especially your magic.
Congratulations! You are now the proud owner a fully able Tomb Kings army, on its way to glory!
With your 1000pt army completed, playtested and hopefully winning, you'll want to start looking at moving towards larger games. You have played with a good range of the TK units, and should understand how the army works, that all units need to work together successfully, that your Characters are key models, so, what to do...
Well, where you go from now on, really is completely up to you!
Like the chariots? Perhaps you want more, a whole army of them maybe. Then at 2K a King is for you. Get ready to build yourself a Chariot legion.
Like the Skellie Warriors, but would love them so much more if they were just a little better? Turn your eyes to Tomb Guard.
Has that SSC impressed you will its ability to defeat a while army before they have even got close to you? Maybe you want another...
What about magic? Fancy something a little more destructive? Casket of Souls maybe. Or do you just love being able to make your army do exactly want it wants and just a little more would be perfect? Then a High Liche Priest is your Lord of choice, really power up the magic phase.
Perhaps you've found that your army is lacking something, hitting power in combat perhaps. Ushabti are expensive, but a unit of 4 is points well spent. Not to mention they are some of the most beautiful models ever created by GW (Games Workshop, not Great Weapon lol).
The Bone Giant is another option for a hard hitter, although it is pretty expensive. Depending on how lucky your SSC is, the Giant also tends to do less damage in the average game. The model is nice, so if you really have your heart set on one, go for it. If you decide on a fast offensive Chariot army, then definitely get one in, your Rare choices will be empty otherwise.
So, there we go. Hopefully this guide will be of great help to many TK players new to the army, or new to warhammer, or even if you are a bit of a veteran and just had a read to widen your knowledge. Thanks for reading
This guide will be updated and modified as necessary, and as i think of new things to add or change.
If anyone has any comments or questions lease feel free to leave a reply and ill do my best to answer them. Don't be afraid to ask about anything TK related, ill happily share more opinions and information with you if you wish, and answer any questions you may have.
Last edited by Phoenix; July 5th, 2009 at 11:26.
I notice you didnt even mention the tomb giant. I find this odd, many people seem to not use the tomb giants at all. This puzzles me....I have looked over the giants rules and rolled for the unstoppable assault and you can hit, with ease, double the amount of attacks you have and at his strength he can wipe out entire units without breaking a sweat. Why is everyone against this not so gentle giant.
40,000- 7,000 Points Chaos Space Marines=18 and 17
40,000- 2,500 Points Tau Empire=1 and 2
Thanks for the feedback guys
- Only WS3, so against most units, he hits on a 4+, not that fantastic bering in mind he only has 5 Attacks, and hence Unstoppable Assault doesn't work out to be that amazing
- Only T5, and Very vulnerable to Warmachines, especially D3 wound bolt throwers, and being a large target too, he can be brought down so easily.
- You can get 2 Upgraded SSCs for the cost of 1 Giant!
Hi all, I just won an out of package casket on ebay and I was wondering if it is suppose to come with a base or not. The one I am getting is not coming with a base, but I noticed the pictures for the casket on the GW site shows it mounted.
Also, how viable is the casket in 2k point games? It seems like alot of points stuck in an immovable unit similar to the anvil for the dwarfs.
I figured I'd post this here instead of starting a new thread for it, especially since I'm tomb king beginner.
Now you've got me curious as to why the casket shouldn't be put onto a base.
Last edited by Hiratu; May 24th, 2008 at 02:51. Reason: spelling error; added last sentence
1st off, no, the casket doesnt actually come with a plastic base as such. The ones shown in pictures are made for the model from scratch, or from other bases. If you want a base (though its probably best not too tbh, i can explain if you want but if youre happy to take my word for it thats great ) anyway... want a base, make one from a large movement tray.
Second, a Casket is very viable in 2K
- It means your magic phase is dominant (so long as the Character setup isn't completely ridiculous)
- Helps with defence and magic defence. Terror within your defensive line can be great and the -1 to enemy casting is nice
- Your opponant will not want the Casket to go off in the magic phase, so they will either save and throw a scroll or 3 dispel dice at it. That's a scroll/3Dd that aren't being used to stop your incantations, and so it really helps in getting key spells off.
- If the Casket does get a chance to go off, well the potential destruction is awesome!
- Best used deployed near by to an SSC, as the priest cant really leave the casket, its good to always have somewhere critical for his spell to go early.
- Protecting the Casket priest from Cannonballs etc can be costly, you'll need that 4+ Ward. But for a 50/50 chance of saving him i don't think the extra points are worth it. If he gets shot, so be it. Just send in the Scorps to get revenge on the Cannons.
In the end, its player preference. In a defensive TK list, its usually Casket + SSC, or Dual SSCs.
If you see the Casket as an offensive powerhouse (That its spell will dominate all) then its really not for you.
It is a defensive rock to base an army around, and tactically its the most influential unit choice in the TK army (With the possibly exception of taking a King, but a King is influential on you, the Casket is influential on the enemy) Fear on two levels, in the rules and in the opponant. Its a great thing to see
Dont want this thread to get too long on one topic, so:
Also, being in a wood, if the spell does go off then it wont be able to affect flanking units etc, as they wont be able to see the side/rear of the Casket through the trees.
Last edited by Phoenix; May 24th, 2008 at 00:52.
The casket is quite viable in a 2k list but don't expect it to be allowed to cast often. What it does do is cause your opponent to hold onto dispell dice so that your other incantations are allowed to go through uncontested. If you do use it, i'd advise putting it right at the edge of a wood so flyers can't easily get to it, a wooded hill is even better as the position will give you a commanding view of the battlefield while still providing protection from flyers and some protection from shooting. Also, NEVER have your hierophant manning the casket.
Personally I don't use my casket at 2k but rather two catapults since they are game winners and the casket is quite expensive. I'd say its more viable at 2.5k, but quite a few players use it at 2k, and use it very sucessfully.
Posts merged to keep the 'FAQ' of this thread short post count wise, Phoenix
Last edited by Phoenix; May 24th, 2008 at 01:00. Reason: Dont want this thread to get too long on one topic
Atlast a Dummies Guide to Tomb Kings
I find that if you have a group of tomb guard, Position a SSC on a conviently located hill nearby take out any big ranged units that will deplete the numbers of your guard.
By the way i have a few questions i need you too answer...
1) Should my tomb prince (with GW) join the guard?
2) In the "Tomb Guard Command Set" Does it come with 3 models (banner,champ & music) ?
Thanks for your time and thanks for writing this guide
2 - Yes
- No problem I enjoy it.