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So after a few days of reading threads saying that Tomb Kings were hit unfavorably by the new rules, I felt the need to share my thoughts on the new rules and how much they favor a Tomb Kings player who is willing to adapt.
First, phases changes:
Movement: A free reform combined with urgency is absolutely sick for Tomb kings. Every unit we have essentially has a (move * 2) + 2d6 bubble of chargeable area. With a free reform, move, and magic move we now have one of the most maneuverable armies in the game. In addition, the 2d6 charge is a bonus to almost every unit we have. Bone giants can now effectively charge 12+2d6, further than enemy cavalry, Tomb guard on foot can get 8+2d6, 10 if you bring the +1 move banner. In the last game I played vs brettonia, I actually ended up causing my friend to rage quit when i turned my bone giant around and made a 23" charge move in one turn.
Magic: Although the + to dispel and the + to dispel dice is an obvious nerf, they are far outweighed by the huge gains we have gotten. Having 2d6 power dice usable for bound items makes them a near guarantee or a huge dispel sink. Also, the fail on 1-2 means that to seriously prevent a spell 2 dice are *required*. In addition, at 2250 you can now easily bring significantly more magic. High priest, TK, priest and TP are an easy sell and bring 6 casts and 11 dice. Combine that with how much better our major spells are (smiting now counts towards combat res. and urgency giving a charge that is longer on average) and our magic is more potent than ever. Generally, there is 1 spell per a game that is really the make or break mark. With the amount of magic we can bring and the limit of 1 dispel scroll, it is next to impossible to stop a unified casting of urgency or smiting. Casket hits into combat, nuff said there.
Shooting: blocks of 40 skeleton bowmen. Catapults are now generally better vs anything not highly armored and downright brutal vs monsters.
Close combat: With all of our units only getting 1 attack each anyway, the extra ranks are highly efficient for us. Fights will be bloodier which could be bad. Striking in initiative order makes charges much trickier, but since we don't lose attacks for casualties it really doesn't matter much. In 7th I found that my characters caused a significant amount of the wounds. More chars = more wounds. The nerf to fear is unfortunate, but in 7th most important units brought immune to psych or fear anyway, so very rarely was this actually a factor.
Army composition: 25% lords means that LHP + TK are an easy reality. If you want to get real fancy you could fit 3 bare bones Tomb Kings into a 2250 game. This rule is a major nerf to monstrous mounts, which we don't have. 25% characters makes the Icon bearer a very viable choice. 25% core doesn't really affect us since most 2250 Tomb Kings lists were 25%+ core anyway (since scorpions took up most the rare choices and are cheap). The plethora of new magic items is sexy. TK magic items were sparse and lacking, common items fill in a ton of holes and round out our characters nicely.
Units that are significantly better:
Skeleton archers: hordes of archers get 30 shots (+30 magic shots) per a turn. True LoS makes it easier to see the target you want to shoot. a 40 strong horde of archers gets 21 attacks in close combat and is so big it will be tough to eat through. Add in Scorpion armored character and you have the biggest tar pit ever. With how many shots these can throw, I personally don't see any reason to bring skele's as HW/shield + LA, They're gonna die in close combat anyway. I expect to see skeletons as 100% of most TK list's core choices.
Chariots: Although hugely nerfed, they gained the Vanguard ability. Could be extremely effective as artillery and archer killers, depending on how big people bring units of archers on average. I expect to see a lot less of these.
Tomb Swarms: just as much of a steal as they always were.
Tomb Scorpions: now count for flanking and rearing bonuses (from what I understand). No longer fill most of the valuable special slots.
Tomb Guard: 2 ranks + magic attacks is a significant improvement. A little bit tougher to really fit into a list now though.
Ushabti: 6 ushabti are now 18 s6 attacks plus 3 auto hit s6 attacks. downside is that they have marginal initiative and are extremely expensive. Could be terribly effective as a flanking charger or possibly alone, but will definitely have to avoid spears or s5+ attacks.
Carrion: Horribly nerfed by the new addition =(. Pretty much worthless now with their 2+best 2 out of 3d6 charge.
Bone giant: 12+2d6 magic charge. 5 s6 + d6 s6 attacks on infantry. A strong armor save and good toughness which are now necessary since you will see attacks against you. Combine its fast move and its great damage and this guy will eat cavalry alive. It can effectively move faster than heavy cavalry and without their precious lances, cav have almost no chance of killing him.
Catapult: Major con in the fact that it no longer ignores armor. more reliable and still very effective. Most definitely still worth the points.
Overall, I believe we have gained significant strength in every area. We shoot more, fight more, get off way more magic and have mobility that is nearly broken. Discuss.
Replying to your comments:
1) I said "effective charge range." For example, a block of skeletons can swift reform in the movement phase, then move 4. in the magic phase, if they get urgency they can now charge 4+2d6. During one turn they have reformed and moved 8+2d6.
2) You obviously haven't read the errata which can be found here:
Basically errata states that Tomb King spells go off exactly as they did previously. The crazier dispel scrolls are rather expensive, not sure if they will be popular or not.
3) you can start your skele's as 20x2 wide and then swift reform them as soon as things are getting close, ergo 40 shots early on. Even at 10x4 you are getting 30 shots per turn standard.
4) I agree here, but we gained a ton of armor possibilities in this edition (in 7th best armor a TK/TP could have was 3+ or 4+. You can get 2+ with rerollable or 4+ with a 4+ ward easily with several chars) and T5 is no laughing matter.
5) Hills no longer matter. I don't *want* them to get into close combat but if you think they will *never* get into close combat then you are pretty jaded. eating through 40 archers will be a time consuming endeavor, especially with the extra magic meaning we can ressurect much more.
6) Chariots cant really operate alone anymore, due to stubborn if more ranks meaning they are unlikely to break anything and do not have longevity.
7+ heck yes
9) With the ability to bring more points in characters now and the requirement of 25% core, its tougher to bring a big expensive block of special. If you are using most of your 25% Lord and 25% hero, which you should considering how efficient our characters are, that leaves 25% of your army for special + rare. It is tough to bring a significant block of Tomb Guard in 562 points (25% of an army).
10) Horde ushabti would be *way* too expensive point wise and would be highly unmaneuverable. I3 and t4 5+ armor means they will be cut up by a lot of stuff.
Perhaps you should read the book a bit more.
Also, gonna throw the army list I'm thinking of up here:
Tomb King with Wizarding Hat and light armor/great weapon
Liche High Priest with a steed and Hieratic Jar
Tomb Prince with Great weapon and Scorpion armor
Icon bearer with light armor, steed, and banner of the undying legion
Liche priest with casket of souls and a dispel scroll
Skeletons x38 with bows, standard and musician
Skeletons x38 with bows, standard and musician
Skeletons x14 with bows (basically a unit to hold the LHP)
Screaming Skull Catapult
Screaming Skull Catapult
Bone Giant (anti Cavalry)
not sure about the bone giant vs some Tomb guard, but this army has some sick possibility. 2d6 power dice + 11 from priest type spells. 2-4 catapult shots per turn and 74-180 arrows per turn. two skeleton archer units are huge tar pits, to further hold units while the light of death continues to go off.
Hi the8bit, wecome to LO.
I totally agree with you about the chariots. Much as it pains me to say it, these are all but dead now methinks (at least in their current role).
Bone giants are even worse under 8th ed than they were in 7th, but each to their own I guess. Bear in mind that you'll likely be seeing less cavalry than you used to though.
You're kinda all over the place with your list IMHO, but you should probably win a prize for writing a list that had no specials and no hammer units.
My advice would be to drop the giant and at least one of the archer blocks for 2x tomb swarm (to hunt war machines) and 3x scorpions (anti war machine & character assassination). Spend your remaining points on Ushabti and/or tomb guard (both hammer units) -and you're good to go. If you're really worried about cavalry then go with TG.
Hope that helps you bud.
Because Sun Tzu would play Tomb Kings...
Honestly, I don't feel like TK really have what I would classify as "hammer units" that are efficient. Perhaps Ushabti now with the changes, but they are still awfully expensive (390 for 4). I am on the fence on them and hopefully I will get into a few games this week and see how they fare.
You say Tomb guard are a hammer, but with 1 str 4 attack per a model at ws 3, they really don't kill much. In the past, Tomb Guard have essentially been a huge meat shield for the Tomb King and a ton of Static combat res. Skeletons are still a pretty good meat shield and bring the same combat res.
Maybe I need to start rethinking some strategy now that we have enough mobility to actually pull some maneuvers.
Still, with an allowed 50% of your army as characters and a required 25% as core, I continue to sit and think about whether tomb guard are really better enough to justify taking up that precious last 25%.
I built that army pretty quickly, but I think with a few tweaks it could be powerful. The goal was to rule over the Magic and Shooting phase and stall combats. Now that you mention it, I think I'm gonna make it my goal to win a game with an army that has 0 special/hammer units. However, I will modify the list soon and post it somewhere more appropriate methinks. It is still sick to see how much we can now lord over the magic phase. Even if we don't get gigantic upgrades in October, I think Tomb Kings will move up towards at least the middle of the pack. If nothing else, the changes + common magic items mean we can finally bring a variety of lists. No longer will you start a game and your opponent immediately knows you have a TK with DoE/CoS and a LP with CoD and the jar.
I guess you could use a unit of chariots to rear an enemy for the +2 combat res and the initial attacks, but it sucks that they don't break ranks. They would be OK at killing war machines but cant charge turn 1 if you use vanguard. Would be good vs 7th edition archery units, but nowadays I think most archer units are gonna have too many models to be taken out by chariots.
We kind of already had a thread about this but mo' discussion is mo' betta I say!
One misconception though:
Smiting does not count toward combat resolution. I know the sentence in the FAQ that might make one think so, but they're just deleting that because its so outdated (Our army book was written what? 3 editions ago?). This BRB better clarifies that a) units in cc never take any panic tests, evar and b) any wounds caused outside the CC phase don't count for CR, evar. Just like if a stone thrower hit scattered into a unit in cc, those wounds would not count. The entire sentence they deleted was just superfluous garbage.
On to other matters in no particular order:
Movement changes are nice, but remember everyone else got them too. Whereas we used to have enormous mobility superiority with Icon of Rakaph+normal movement/reform+magic move/charge, everyone else can now pull off some of our signature stunts. We do benefit a little in the fact that we couldn't march anyway so we lose nothing on a musician reform.
A Bone Giant's charge bubble was already 18" before, now bumped up to an average of 19", with less reliability. Reliability was what the whole army was based on, so that's a bit of a wash for 1". One bad charge roll and he's sitting out by his little lonesome waiting on the countercharge.
The whole "On a 1 or 2 dispel fails automatically" is HUGE for us (I had missed that rule previously). I'd focus less on the number of Incantation dice you can throw out and more on the number of casts. Dare your opponent to throw one die at My Will Be Done. Dare him to fail a dispel before its Casket time.
Also don't underestimate the scrolls you're going to see. With the power of the new lores and lord availability I'm not seeing many lists that don't take a lv4 and a lv2 at least. With that many spells being flung around, people ARE going to start carrying them and often.
The real problem for our magic is that the things it does matter very little (note "very little", not that they don't matter at all) in 8th ed. Who cares if you can guarantee to get the charge off when getting the charge off matters so little now? Who cares about the undead maneuvering into a flank position when they can't deny rank bonuses? Who cares about another volley of S3 bows? Now yes, those things are still going to cause some harm, but not a lot.
Huge gaping holes that I've found after actually playing TK a few times in 8th now:
BSB's. They are our bane now. The ability to reroll ALL leadership based tests in BSB range is sickening. Unless your opponent drops a Dragon on the field, aim everything you have at this guy. It neuters too much of what we need to do. Nothing will make you think "why god, why?" quite like scoring a direct hit with the SSC, having half the hits fail to wound, another half saved, and then the Panic test rerolled.
Hierophant protection. Gone are the days of playing hide and go seek with the Cloak. You must invest significantly in protection for your hierophant. Characters do not get a Look Out, Sir! if they do not match the type of unit they are in, so mounting him in a unit of archers is out (someone correct me if I misread that, but I'm pretty sure its correct). That leaves 3 options: You could invest in a unit of light horsemen big enough to withstand a little shooting (inefficient in my book). You could opt to leave him on foot in a unit of archers, possibly even still using the Cloak to fly him out to another unit when his is threatened. The third option is the Casket and I must say, its pretty phenomenal protection now, especially with the Golden Ankhra and the ability to be healed. It also comes with a glowing neon sign saying "HIT THIS LIKE THE FIST OF AN ANGRY GOD".
Warmachines. The SSC got nerfed (if you were any good at range guesses before), meanwhile all those thowers and cannons with their own stat lines got really really nasty. Carrion are useless now. Shooting, even after you get it in range, needs 5's to hit and 6's to wound. Chariots might work with Vanguard but they are huge targets. Light horsemen can actually be beat in combat by a lot of warmachine crews. Swarms and scorpions are a great answer, just pray they come up in time and that you don't need your scorpions to do 4 other jobs.
Enemy mages. Our tools to pick them off are a little light, the new lores hurt baaaaaad, and we've never been the greatest at dispelling. Again, the casket helps and Scorpions are great.
Hammer unit. No matter if you are going to sit back and shoot, or meet the enemy midfield, you need at least one. Warhammer is still won by vp and objectives, and we're not going to heal ourselves into victory. The new point allocation system is the real problem to face here. Ushabti now do what chariots used to do really well, but they are expensive (in points and $$) and a touch fragile. The Icon Bearer may finally see use in a list now to carry the BotUL or Mirage Standard to cover up their weaknesses and let them take objectives. Tomb Guard are option #2, and are still actually a pretty good bargain for their point cost, but don't hit nearly as hard. Killing blow is not for decimating rank and file, which is what you need a hammer to do. Chariots.... well, don't even think about it.
To conclude my novel, a few things that really shined for the TK:
Scorpions are FANTASTIC now, as if they weren't before. Rear/flank charge bonuses are fun! And four attacks is just right to cut down the number of attacks a rear rank will get back on you. You wouldn't want to kill the entire thing (I could find nothing about taking casualties out of a middle rank or moving back to attack).
We are REALLY good at killing elite infantry. Swordmasters are lol. Anything that's too expensive to field in a large block is fodder for us.
Likewise for monsters. Dare your opponent to plop a hydra down, just dare him ^_^
I disagree I think they are far better now. I have tried them in 8th and they haven't failed me yet. There high T and decent armour save makes them strong enough to survive things hitting them and the thunderstomp really helps them do the killing they should have been able to do last edition.Bone giants are even worse under 8th ed than they were in 7th, but each to their own I guess.
Of course like all the hitters in our army they will need a skeleton block to take away the opponents steadfast (by having more ranks than them)
I've thought long and hard about how to get some kind of use out of chariots...they can't take on infantry blocks by themselves, and they can't strip ranks via flank charge. They are, however, extremely fast, and they do get the bonus for flank and rear charges. So I've found two uses for them.
1. Flank/rear charges. This almost certainly requires that you send along a prince with the death mask. Terror reinstates autobreak on top of the flank/rear charge bonus. With the terrorizing prince, it's a 300 point investment...but if you're building a more elite force (more TG, fewer bowmen), 120 of those points are core, helping meet the minimum. The alternative terror bomb requires a king, since you'd need the cloak and the mask, and it leaves the king extremely vulnerable.
2. They replace carrion as the most viable non-ICFB war machine, mage, and skirmisher hunters.
Last edited by Marnepup; July 14th, 2010 at 17:16.
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