Welcome to Librarium Online!
Topic of the Week - Liche Priest and High Liche Priest
This is the start of a new series, that will hopefully bring new ideas and tactics to the forums. Each week, a new topic will be posted up about a different unit in the army book. This gives you your chance to discuss the unit to its fullest. So, please leave your comment!
This week's topic is - Liche Priest and High Liche Priest
How important to the army are these characters? Why take them over the Prince or King? What items do you give them? What options are worth it for them?
I take two LPs. The heiro always gets the cloak for survivability. The second stringer gets to man the casket. I take a King over the HLP for personal reasons, either one can be an effective choice.
IG since 1999 __ DA since 2002 __ Tau since 2005 __ SoB since 2007
Brets 1997-1999 __ TK since 2009 __ Empire since 2010
Well, let's start with my take on the HLP. I actually like taking him even though it pretty much means I'm going chariot-less (less than 3k). I tend to like defensive armies and the LHP is pretty well suited for that; especially since chariots are seldom seen in a LHP list. He's just about all the magic you'll need aside from maybe 1 regular priest and a bound item or two or casket. And because of that, I don't mess around with tooling him up; I give him all the protection he needs. He pretty much always gets the cloak of dunes and the golden ankhra. I also like giving him the plaque; it's great rerolling those 5's and 6's and turning them into 12's and 13's. It's an expensive investment but I'm never sorry that I take that setup.
As far as regular priests go, I don't give them a whole lot of items. Perhaps the collar and jar; never give them any items that require close combat. I'd never give the plaque to a regular priest as I don't see the return on investment nearly as high as putting the plaque on a LHP (re-rolling 2 3d6's or 1 2d6....big difference). Scrolls are of course a given on LPs. And there's the obligatory LP on a steed with the staff of ravening setup who is great at picking apart weak units......"how many hits does that staff inflict???" As soon as that question is answered the dispel dice usually come out. The hits are weak but against a T2 or T3 unit with little/no armour, it can cause some damage. That being said, don't take the LP on a stead with the staff against dwarves.
As far as taking a LHP or a King, that all comes down to whether you want to play offense or defense. I suppose you can mix and match, but mainly the King is for offense and LHP is for defense. I would probably say you could make a better defensive king list than an offensive LHP list, but that's just my opinion. Units in my LHP army a typically slower....archers, ushabti, skelly tarpits, etc. A lot of time, I don't even advance...yeah yeah, boring I know. Though, bombarding the enemy with 4 catapult shots and lots of arrows does have it's fun.....for me, not the enemy.
As for deciding between that extra prince or LP, I guess it depends on if I feel I need more magic in my army. If it's an LHP army, then I would favor princes as I would want more punch in my units. If I had a king, then I'd favor LPs because, well, my magic has to come from somewhere. Though I certainly feel a prince has his place in every army because of what you get for so little points.
LHP's and LP's importance? Well, they are what makes the army go, so, I'd say they are about the most important pieces in a TK army.
I invariably use 2 liche priests and a king.
Although the HLP will almost guarantee you dominance in the magic phase, the loss of core chariots and DoE means it can be very hard for us to convert that into a decisive advantage -HLP lists typically don't have the muscle to capitalise on the extra magic without skimping on other areas of the list. If you compare some of the king/HLP forces in the army lists thread and count the number of hammers in each you'll soon see what I mean. There are seemingly never enough special slots to go around as it is -even without adding chariots to the equation.
The inability to use the DoE is also a factor because if you lose your SSC to enemy action or a misfire then there a whole load of units that you will just not be able to deal with efficiently (if at all).
Like Marnepup, I also have the second priest put on a red shirt and man the casket but I give him the collar of Shapesh so he can transfer any wounds onto the nearby SSC or unlucky bow dude. You really do need the ward save on a casket priest IMHO as he is a sitting duck without one. I also tend to give this priest the heiratic jar so that he can force through an extra SSC shot during the early turns.
My heirophant is usually mounted on a steed and given SoRav. Aside from effectively increasing the range of his incantations, I find the extra mobility of the mount and look out sir! roll granted by his unit of light cav is usually more than adequate to keep him safe so long as you're careful about your placement. SoRav is great for all the reasons JL177 mentioned and just about every army will have something that will be decimated by it... even against high toughness foes the sheer number of dice rolled means you can generally score enough 'lucky' hits over the course of a game to make your points back with it. This also frees up the cloak of the dunes for use on the King and simultaneously allows you a great deal more flexibility in his use and makes getting the points back for the DoE easy.
Because Sun Tzu would play Tomb Kings...