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  1. #1
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    TK (new player) and Luck

    Hi all,

    I'm new to this forum, new to TK, and new to WHFB in general. I've played only a handful of games, and a pile of random skirmish scenarios. I picked TK for a variety of reasons, but one in particular thats relevant right now: I have bad, bad luck. I don't play well with dice. TK looked, to me as someone with admittedly a pretty minimal grasp of the WHFB system, to be less dependent on dice rolls than others: No chance of fleeing from battle, no chance of spell failure.

    But in the couple games I've played, I've noticed a disconnect from the strategies that I read (mostly on this forum.) A lot of strategies seem to depend on things going right that to me, have unacceptable chances of failure.

    Here's an example from the 4 games I used a scorpion in:
    Game 1: 3-4 turn, scattered into a group of white lions. Achieved 0 kills, died to CR.
    Game 2: 2-3rd turn: Misfire, poof.
    Game 3: (Don't remember the turn) Scattered off the table.
    Game 4 (2 scorpions): One arrived on turn 5, killed a BSB, then was too far away to do anything for the rest of the game. (The other was not placed underground, and chased things around all game. I consider this one the most successful scorpion use to date even though he didn't kill anything because he sure annoyed them.)

    The tomb scorpion is awesome. Everyone tells me this. Its statline tells me this. But ICFB seems so hideously unreliable. The potential scatter radius is huge, and thats assuming it even comes up. Now granted, it has a 50% chance to pop up in turn 2, but some people seem to take it for granted that it will pop up and devestate a war machine in turn 2-3, when there's a high enough chance that it won't that basing your strategy on its success seems disasterous.

    (And don't even get me started on my 1st turn SSC going nuclear)

    So how do you account for this?

    A lot of strategy seems to revolve around smacking things around with the SSC, and relying on scorpions to take out characters/war machines. Do you assume they will succeed and write off games where they don't as a lost cause? (I am assuming no, you don't.) But if thats the case, then that means planning your battles without what are arguably some of your armies best resources.

    Right, so whats my actual question(s). How often do you use ICFB? Is it common to take 2 scorps/swarm and only bury one?

    If the opponent places Supermage McDefenseless at the edge of the table, how close do you place the marker and whats the acceptable risk for scorpions scattering?

    If that does fail, what do you do? Do you have a contingency plan in place before you lose the scorpion? (And if so, how badly does that hurt your deployment) or do you just assume it will succeed, then only come up with a contingency after it fails?

    And finally, the SSC. I just don't know what to do with it. Its so devestating when it works, but honestly, I'm tempted to go with something else, even if it does a quarter of the damage but spring a skeleton gasket for 2 turns then explode. Unlike the scorpion, I don't see any way to hedge your bets with the SSC.


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  3. #2
    King of Librarium's Tombs Phoenix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sathanas View Post
    So how do you account for this?
    The fact that it costs less than 90pts?? lol

    Luck has nothing to do with it in general... Well, over the course of many games atleast, your Scorps should do some damage and your SSC should get a good number of kills before going suicidal lol.

    Scattering is something you need to account for before hand. Dont put a scorp too close to a table edge, or an enemy unit it cant handle. So to be honest, games 1, 3 and 4 are more player error than bad luck.


    Ok, Onto the actual questions:
    How often do you use ICFB? Is it common to take 2 scorps/swarm and only bury one?
    I always bury both in tactica positions when needed. If the enemy has no war machines or similar targets then they start in my main battle line.

    If the opponent places Supermage McDefenseless at the edge of the table, how close do you place the marker and whats the acceptable risk for scorpions scattering?
    11" away from each table edge, he wont scatter off then and at worst he wont be more than a turns movement away. Just get good at distance estimation

    If that does fail, what do you do? Do you have a contingency plan in place before you lose the scorpion? (And if so, how badly does that hurt your deployment) or do you just assume it will succeed, then only come up with a contingency after it fails?
    Of course, you have to. I play a defensive line, around a Casket and SSC, but with Chariots moving fast when needed on the flanks. However when the enemy gets close, im usually able to make a quick switch, grab the initiative and go on the offensive with Ushabti (these guys are lethal when well supported), and other units, to devastating effect

    And finally, the SSC. I just don't know what to do with it. Its so devestating when it works, but honestly, I'm tempted to go with something else, even if it does a quarter of the damage but spring a skeleton gasket for 2 turns then explode. Unlike the scorpion, I don't see any way to hedge your bets with the SSC.
    Practice guessing ranges, buy a lucky dice and hope for the best But if you want to try something else, go for it! Just cos everyone says something is a MUST, doesnt mean you have to take it... it is your army


    Edit: Oh yeah, and welcome to fantasy, Tomb Kings and the realm of Librarium
    Last edited by Phoenix; December 9th, 2009 at 19:39.

  4. #3
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    Whoa, fast reply!

    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenix View Post
    The fact that it costs less than 90pts?? lol
    I'm not worried about the points so much as I am concerned about the enemy I needed dead still being very alive. Especially if its something like a warmachine. I'm a at a bit of a loss as to how to deal with something like that if my scorpion bites it.

    I mean, its one thing if you realize "Hey, I can pop up a scorpion and mess with his [character / bsb / fleeing unit]" If it works, awesome, if not, like you said, only 90 points gone and you aren't much worse off than before.

    What I'm concerned about is when you get into situations where a warmachine is tearing you apart (My hiero gets torn apart by canons and bolt throwers, but this is probably related to us not playing with any LoS blocking terrain.) and you NEED something dead. The scorpion just doesn't seem reliable enough for that.

    I haven't played with the SSC enough to know how well I like it or not - I just know that the first turn explosion when I did use it was extremely aggravating.
    Quote Originally Posted by Phoenix View Post
    Edit: Oh yeah, and welcome to fantasy, Tomb Kings and the realm of Librarium
    Thank you! many more questions to come

  5. #4
    King of Librarium's Tombs Phoenix's Avatar
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    Heh, i was just looking in the right place at the right time i guess Lucky, cos my LO activity has dipped recently... anyway:

    Yes, T1 SSC suicides are irritating. After years of gaming, it doesnt stop bein irritating. But then again, it also continues to be game winning when it does work

    As for Scorp backup, consider a nice unit of 3-5 Carrion. Magical charge on these guys? Yup, effective 40" charge range

    As for no terrain... that sucks How on earth are you meant to keep anything protected? (If you face a lot of gunlines, i can tell you my favourite tactic if you like It requires terrain though...)
    What do you usually do with your Hiero? As you seem to have read up a bit, ill assume he has the Cloak of the Dunes? If not, try it out And when the enemy if far away, place him in a nice big block of skellies for protection.

  6. #5
    Member Enigmatik1's Avatar
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    You really can't completely negate the randomness of ICFB or the SSCs. As you've noticed, however, you do have more control over ICFB.

    It's extremely helpful to be able to put down your marker last in deployment and when you do, always put it down as if you expect it to scatter the max distance away from where you want it in the totally wrong direction and adjust placement accordingly to minimize this risk. Never expect the marker to stay where you put it, because it won't.

    There's nothing you can do about misfires. They blow, which is part of the reason why I only run 1 SSC and 1 Scorpion in my lists. I'm rather like you. I don't like randomness and I like things to do what I want them to when I want them to (hence, I'll never play O&G despite liking them otherwise), even if they do it poorly (yes, I'm looking at you Skeletons!!!!)

    I've found the best way to approach dealing with these random factors in an otherwise reliable army is plan around them as if the models in question didn't exist or were doomed to fail on general principle. Expect your SSC to blow up Turn 1. Expect your Scorpion to either not show up, scatter into oblivion or appear so out of position it's worthless so that when it happens it's no big deal.

    One thing about the Scorpion I've noticed is that once you put that marker down, that spot attracts a lot of attention. Softer units will quickly move away from that spot, often to their detriment. Your opponent may devote more of his resources to jibbing your Scorpion when it arrives to minimize the havoc it can reign on his backlines. Remember, while it's awesome, it's only 85 points. I view it much in the same light as I view the Casket of Souls. I don't ever expect it to do much other than mess with my opponents head and cause them to make tough choices that interrupt their battle plans. They serve me well in that regard.

    Edit: Otherwise, Phoenix and Nagash, when he has awakened from the Death Sleep, are great sources of information. Me, I just go by instinct and in this regard, being a pessimist by nature has served me rather well.
    Last edited by Enigmatik1; December 9th, 2009 at 20:04.

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    Hiero always has CoD, usually the jar (which I tend to pop early since he gets smashed )
    My opponents are dwarfs, other dwarfs, high elves, wood elves. I'm not sure how many cannons it takes to qualify as a proper gunline, but they seem to have enough.

    I haven't used carrion yet - I misread the rules when I first started and thought they were horrible (doh), but they're on the list for the next set of games. How do you get a 40" charge though? After the first move aren't they out of range of the priest usually?

    Fortunately, most of us are at the stage of the game where list strength, tactics, or even luck don't determine who wins: Almost all of our games have been decided by someone slipping up horribly from misinterpreting the rules.

  8. #7
    King of Librarium's Tombs Phoenix's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sathanas View Post
    I haven't used carrion yet - I misread the rules when I first started and thought they were horrible (doh), but they're on the list for the next set of games. How do you get a 40" charge though? After the first move aren't they out of range of the priest usually?

    Fortunately, most of us are at the stage of the game where list strength, tactics, or even luck don't determine who wins: Almost all of our games have been decided by someone slipping up horribly from misinterpreting the rules.
    Well, your Priest has the cloak, he can also fly. If you were using terrain then for example your Carrion go on the far side and your Priest stays behind it (Notice that 3/4 of the TK spells dont need line of sight ). Alternaively, they dont need to move the full 20" in the movement phase. If your Pries is at the front of your dep. zone, and has a 12" spell range, then without him moving the Carrion have a nice potential 32" arc or charge, 8" into the enemy dep. zone at best. Its all about positioning and tactics

    Rules wise, thats ok Its just one big learning curve for you and your friends, youll get it eventually And if you ever need help, LO is always here

    Oh yeah, one final thing. Dont get too disheartened if you don win much to begin with, its commonly known that TKs have the steepest learning curve of all armies, due to their uniqueness really. Stick with it, and once you get there, the army is one of the most powerful you can own

  9. #8
    High Priest of LO Nagash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sathanas View Post
    I haven't used carrion yet - I misread the rules when I first started and thought they were horrible (doh), but they're on the list for the next set of games. How do you get a 40" charge though? After the first move aren't they out of range of the priest usually?

    Fortunately, most of us are at the stage of the game where list strength, tactics, or even luck don't determine who wins: Almost all of our games have been decided by someone slipping up horribly from misinterpreting the rules.
    If you don't want to go on with the idea of having a LP fielded with CotD (which I often recommend), you could just mount him on a horse It's 8" movement for him, 20" for the carrions. The difference should now be 12" which is the exact range of the spell - PERFECT if you want to field a LP mounted on Steed with SoR and find a use of him in the first turn, hehe

    Misinterpreting the rules is an acceptable mistake, mate You'll learn from every mistake you'll make... How boring wouldn't it be if you knew everything before you even started?!?

    Welcome to LO!


    //Nagash

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    Quote Originally Posted by Nagash View Post
    If you don't want to go on with the idea of having a LP fielded with CotD (which I often recommend), you could just mount him on a horse It's 8" movement for him, 20" for the carrions. The difference should now be 12" which is the exact range of the spell - PERFECT if you want to field a LP mounted on Steed with SoR and find a use of him in the first turn, hehe
    The missing piece for me was using cover - moving a priest out from the starting line on turn 1 just seemed overly dangerous, but durr, don't put him in the open.

    Thats a good idea with the SoR mounted priest though... I like getting two uses out of a move.

    New, unrelated question: Whats the average number of dispel scrolls to take? I frequently lists with zero for friendly games, and loaded up with them for more tournament geared lists. Which makes sense I suppose, since you are trading points for a guaranteed dispel which removes uncertainty. (Up until now this has been a moot point, since I play dwarves [zero scrolls] and magic heavy HE [lots] ) Whats a good number to take if you don't know your opponent in advance or you can't change up between games?

  11. #10
    High Priest of LO Nagash's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sathanas View Post
    The missing piece for me was using cover - moving a priest out from the starting line on turn 1 just seemed overly dangerous, but durr, don't put him in the open.
    Put him in a unit of Light Horsemen These will act as bodyguards for him and still not sink his ability to move freely on the battlefield (light cav you know, hehe)

    Quote Originally Posted by Sathanas View Post
    New, unrelated question: Whats the average number of dispel scrolls to take? I frequently lists with zero for friendly games, and loaded up with them for more tournament geared lists. Which makes sense I suppose, since you are trading points for a guaranteed dispel which removes uncertainty. (Up until now this has been a moot point, since I play dwarves [zero scrolls] and magic heavy HE [lots] ) Whats a good number to take if you don't know your opponent in advance or you can't change up between games?
    I would say on or two scrolls Always good to have at least one in handy if your opponent would choose to cast a spell with 5 dice or something similar If you spend more than 50 points on DSs, you've paid too much for nothing...


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