Welcome to Librarium Online!
I played my first game in a really long time just yesterday, against lizardmen. We played a 1500pts game, and I was severely outnumbered, though it was a fairly even battle until I had an unlucky magic phase toward the end, not getting anything through and leaving my crucial unit ripe for a rear-charge by a full block of saurus and a unit of skinks... eek.
It was a real learning experience and I discovered some things to do in the future which would have helped, and so made a 2000pt list.
I was versing 3 blocks of 16 saurus, one with a Slann; a skink priest, 3 skirmisher units of skinks, three salamanders, and three of the monster-sixed GW-lizard things.
I had 24 TG with a TK, 3 chariots, 19 bow skellies with LP, 2 scorps, a catapult, 7 light horsemen. I basically chucked in everything I had just to make up the points, and I knew from the beginning it was a bit of a weak list...
I put a bunch of magical gear on him, including the cloak of dunes; I know, wierd, but it worked! I needed my LP near the bows and ssc, so I had my TK zipping up and down Urgency-igying my units. My chariots connected with a charge in my 1st turn, and in the next my TK was back in the safety of his TG unit. Totally worth the 20pts.
I deployed one, and had one underground. The deployed one charged a unit of skink skirmishers in turn 2 (lizardmen were first in turn pecking-order), and in the same turn the other one appeared... and scattered almost all the way back into my deployment zone *sigh*.
Because of the scatter, my only real choice was to charge it into a 16-strong block of saurus. The saurus were completely basic, no command, no upgrades.
Against the saurus I feel I was lucky, and against the skinks, very unlucky; both scorps lasted exactly 3 combat rounds. Yes, a unit of 10 skinks killed my beloved Tomb Scorpion... So many 6s
The lesson learned? I will always deploy my scorps; it just isn't worth the risk, and that is just my opinion. Secondly, every combat round I kept thinking 'damn, if only I had a bit more support in the combat, I could cream these suckers'. So now I will put my scorps together, and they will charge units together. Their movement is awesome (for tomb kings...) and I could easily set up at least a flank if I had two in tandem... by why not 3? That would rock.
I had these deployed in 2 ranks for max shootiness, and they stood on the spot the whole game. They were very........ poor. I got my first volley of the game off with Smiting, and cause a grand zero wounds on a saurus block. After that my opponent promptly laughed and didn't bother wasting his dispel dice on the unit for the rest of the game, saving them up for my urgencies and combat-smiting instead.
The entire game, they only killed about 4 saurus, out of at least 80 shots.
I also discovered that by standing still, even though I got more shooting in, I was a sitting duck, and I was easily outmanoeuvred. I have now decided that bows are a bonus, and should be treated as such. I've pumped up my unit to add more ranks, and will direct them as I would a normal skellie combat unit, and just use the shooting as I edge closer to the enemy to score a few bonus wounds.
Also, 20 skellies just didn't cut it. They were charged by the three aforementioned GW-lizard monster things, and survived the first round. I pumped them back up with Summoning, but I could tell in two more combat rounds they would have been finished.
The Tomb Guard:
These guys were really solid; they didn't really do much in the way of killing stuff, but they didn't need to; their toughness was their best feature, keeping them alive from magic missiles, salamanders, and CC, so that when my TK sliced up a few saurus, I had enough ranks behind me to cause the saurus to break, even with their precious Slann's leadership
My poor, poor horsemen. Due to unlucky positioning I had no choice but to charge them headlong into the unit of three salamanders, getting them killed in one round; at least it slowed the enemy down a bit.. sort of... Horsemen are too much of a gamble, and too hard to use effectively, so I won't be bothering again.
Were surprising... 3 basic chariots with the Icon of the Seeing Eye. The Icon was a WASTE and did not affect things at all. Never again.
But the chariots took 3 volleys of poisoned darts and still held out. They ran a skink unit off the table and overran his skink priest. Despite earning their points back in that way, they earned them back doubly just by being a nuisance and distracting his skinks from the rest of my army, and even seemed threat enough for my opponent to start sending a saurus block that direction (who promptly chewed the chariots to bits, but still! It was worth the distraction!)
Chariots are ace, but I still fear they might be too flimsy. I will experiment using them, but I think I would rather bigger/ more blocks of skellies first.
The star of the show; hailed screaming skulls down onto the saurus/slann unit three times, bringing it down to about one rank plus the slann. Against the lizardmen and their damn cold-bloodedness, the Skulls of the Foe weren't much use, so in games versus lizards (or other ridiculous Ld armies) I probably won't bother.
The Liche Priest:
He had several magical items, none of which were used. From now on he'll only be taking a dispel scroll or heiretic jar, and nothing else. If I had a HLP I would give him the Plaques as better rolls would have helped every now and again...
Or lack there of. This basically lost me the game; even after some awesome charges, I couldn't position my units where I needed them as I couldn't get any Urgencies through. Power dice, power dice, power dice; from now on I will do everything I can to increase the number I have.
If you have any competing ideas to what I have said I would lover to hear! Maybe I was just doing everything wrong and that is why my units sucked XP I know I wasted a lot of my points on magical garbage...
Anyway, as a result of this learning experience, I have come up with a new army list for 2000pts. Comments on the list would be great. I thought it best to post the list in this section because of all my ranting, so I hope that is okay!
Light Armour, Hand Weapon,
Enchanted Shield, Dragonhelm,
Collar of Shapesh
High Liche Priest
Neffera’s Plaques of Mighty Incantations
Light Armour, steed
Staff of Ravening
29 Bow Skellies
29 Bow Skellies
24 Tomb Guard
Banner of the Undying Legion
Screaming Skull Catapult
Screaming Skull Catapult
The basic tactica is the skellies and TG lumber forward, the catapults pummel, and the Icon Bearer rides with the 3 Scorpions. I'd have like full units of 40 skellies, but couldn't squeeze the points...
The bearer/scorps would be deployed on the flank of my army, max move to engage as soon as possible, and rip through enemy units as a team. The bearer is to help stop the scorps from crumbling, and to give a little support with the staff of ravening or draw Dispel dice. Though thinking about it, he could probably do the same thing with the ruby ring... thoughts?
All in all I should have 12 'power' dice; TK: 2, HLP:6, LP: 2, SoR: 1, BotUL: 1, = 12
I have no idea if a list like this would work, but having a team of scorpions seems like a good idea... In a Grand army I could take 6!! Ah, the possibilities
Anyway, sorry for the rant, I hope I didn't expose my tactical inferiority too much
Ok, so you have picked up some good points. I will let you know what i have learnt as well from my games:
Tomb Scorpions should be deployed against anything without warmachines. Otherwise you have to put pressure on them with something else. the scatter is not that bad, and dont forget that you do not have to charge on the turn they come out. move to the side of a unit and threaten its flank. they will have to reform and expose their flank to the rest of your army, or take a flank charge next turn, and not get 2 ranks attacking. When deploying them with the rest of your army, use them as hammer units. beside and slightly back from a block of skeletons, enough to get a flank charge in, but back enough to not take the charge. still - use them on their own. if you want to hit hard with 3 models, use Ushabti - they hit harder and cost less.
Skellies ARE awful. there is no getting around that. you need to maximise their shooting to get any use out of them. a unit of 40 skellingtons, with volley fire and 4 ranks of 10, will only kill 5 T3 models with no armour on average. Against any elite troops those odds drop to 2 at a time. just use them as road blocks to redirect an enemy if they are small units, or take them is mass numbers (25+) and magic the hell out of them. And I agree with moving them. But backwards. 2" each turn for a unit can equal a failed charge. Then you can charge them.
Tomb guard are solid. I have found that they are no match for an opponents elite units. Their best ability is to get the extra round of combat and roll some killing blows. the banner of the eye helps with this a lot. Give the character in them the Ironcurse icon to give the entire unit a ward save againd warmachines. Or mirage standard, to really annoy their shooting.
Light horsemen I have found should be used as harrasment troops. With only 7 of them, you probably would have been better of running straight past the enemy and shooting them continuously. they can reform for free, so a complete turn around is possible at the end of their move. If you can get more together (15+) then you can use them in combat. 3 ranks should be enough to disrupt after losses, and with a flank or rear charge, you should win combat. But i have found Heavy Cavalry are better suited to that. And salamanders are really annoying now. so don't get to down about that.
Chariots are one of those units that need a major rethink for us. They no longer can be used to charge in, Auto Break and roll over into the next enemy. Now we have to use them as harrassers. And at their current points cost they are hard to get their cost back. I have had limited sucess with them when adding in a Prince with the chariot of fire and either the mask of EEE! or Sword of striking, so that they can get a double move, and the vangard ability gets them in combat straight away. Again - they need to be used on the flank or rear to make sure the enemy does not get two ranks attacking, and the charge to get the impact hits. A nice tactic is to get around the flank, with one unit still within range of the LP, cast the spell, then reform past the enemy. A reform is allowed as long as no model moves DOUBLE its movement. Chariots cannot march, and so it is pefectly legal. again - this means they have to make a choice - go for the chariots and reform, exposing a flank to the rest of your army, or take the charge next turn and be stuck in combat for at least two turns. Until we get some news on having less than 5 models for a rank, i beleive that 4 chariots is probably the best number for the moment.
Catapults should now be a staple of every TK army that plans to take any shooting, and a LP with each one, or TP if you cant spare the points. The double shooting is a killer, and skulls of the foe is more often than not very worth it. Elves on LD 7 for a panic test is funny. and great when those hordes come at you.
In terms of characters, You are better off going fo Quantity over Quality. a naked LP in a unit will do just as good as a fully equiped one, and a TK or TP with light armour and a great weapon are killer additions to your unit. A HLP is also better off naked except with a ward save. You want these characters to upgrade your units. concentrate your magic on something you need to get off, either the catapult and skellies when the enemy approaches, or the TG and Scorps to get them an extra round of combat.
This also helps with the number of Power dice you get. And your staff and Banner work off your power dice roll, not like the old rules. so you can throw 2 or three dice into their cast. and you can use power dice to dispel and remains in play spell. I am running with at least 4 characters, 2 LP, 2 TK and a casket, plus the staff of ravening and banner of the undying legion. A HLP is great, but for his price i can get another TK, who gets two casts like the HLP, and is better in combet. And I need the combat assistance.
Out if our spells, i would say summoning is not worth it unless you have a free cast with nothing else to do. you cant get enough models back unlike vampires to make a difference against most armies, and anything that can survive the combat (Ushabti / Scorpions) is usually too far away or heals really slowly.
As for the list, what is the point of having an icon bearer run forwards with the scorpions. on a horse he can get one shotted by any unit (no look out sir), and is combat res the real thing that killed you in that game? One unit of 40 Anything will stop you dead in your tracks. Steadfast will always win against single models, even cavalry. Tomb kings are best suited now to single minded lists. Either take a shooting army that excels at that (2 SSC's, 2 units of bow skellies, enough dice to get every unit fireing twice) or a combat army that moves top fast to get everthing (Chariots, Cavalry, Scorpions and Ushabti, each backed by casters so everything can get that free move).
PS - point dont add up. Not enough Core- you need at least 25% as core. in a 2000 points list you need 500 points. and the staff is and arcane item - cannot be taken by anyone but Wizards.
One more thing. I you go for a shooting army. Take the Casket of souls. It costs the same as a decked out LP, but gives the LP toughness 10 agaainst shooting / magic. It effects any unit facing it, even those in combat, adds an extra -1 to enemy casting (Dont forget this, as a spell that fails to go off means they cant cast another spell with that wizard) andbest of all, gives the enemy an extra two dice to have to save to dispel it. even a heavy magic army like elves only get a maximum of 6 dispel dice. TK - 2, LP - 2, LP - 2, Casket - 2. Plus whatever bound spell you have. Cant stop them all! - this is the basis for all Tomb kings Armies. - "You cant stop them all"
Anyway - Rant over. And tactics are learnt from experience. If you dont try, you cannot learn. Look at every battle, see where you went wrong, but also where everything went right. Then you will see how to change your list.
I'll look at your list in a separate response.
IG since 1999 __ DA since 2002 __ Tau since 2005 __ SoB since 2007
Brets 1997-1999 __ TK since 2009 __ Empire since 2010
No problem with the HLP, but I might give him the 4+ invulnerable save or the collar of shashep even if it meant dropping the plaques.
The LP...is he naked or what? It looks like you gave the icon bearer the staff of ravening, and I don't know if that's legal. But a mounted LP with staff of ravening sounds pretty sweet! I wouldn't take an IB, I'd take a TP....with GW.
Your two units of bowmen look just right (other than 29 being a crooked number, hehe)!
TG looks great. I use the EotSE, but BotUL is a common, and very good, alternative.
Three scorpions, fantastic. Please, try ICFB deployment for all three of them, and use them redundantly. One ICFB unit dedicated to a task is unreliable, but 2-3 virtually guarantees success. And with M7, after they're done killing things in the enemy backfield, they can easilly get back to your side of the board for a supporting rear charge.
Two skullapults, perfect.
I don't like the plan for the three scorps and IB. They don't remove steadfastness, they don't remove rank bonus to combat resolution, and I honestly don't see how the IB stops crumble on the scorpions.
Don't lumber forward with the skellies, there's nothing gained by rushing into melee, and nothing lost by getting an extra turn or two of shooting before melee.
I'd take the ruby ring over the staff...it's fewer, but stronger attacks...and it's much cheaper than the staff.
Anyway, with BotUL and the ruby ring, you can throw as many power dice as you want/have, not just one, but remember that if you get two sixes, you lose the item (it still works with irresistible force, this time, but then basically crumbles). With the incantations, you don't use power dice... TK magic is extra powerful because your incantations don't come out of the power dice pool, but bound items work the same way that they do for other armies...so if you get a 4 and a 2 on the winds of magic roll, your opponent gets 4 DD...and you get 10D6 worth of incantations PLUS 6D6 to spend (max) on your bound spells...throw jsut two at the ring/staff and two at the banner...and it's 14 dice against 4.
IG since 1999 __ DA since 2002 __ Tau since 2005 __ SoB since 2007
Brets 1997-1999 __ TK since 2009 __ Empire since 2010
Sectuxand Marnepup have given some good advice and where we might differ is mostly down to personal choice. Rather than discect each post I'll just offer a couple of generalisations that I think will help you out no end.
Simply put, you're not using your units to their best effect.
For example, you mentioned how dissappointed you were with the performace of your archers but that is simply because you were shooting at the wrong target. Try not to shoot at whetever happens to be nearest or look the scariest -shoot at what your bow dudes will be most effective against. In this case that single mistake meant that not only were your archers wasted, but you also lost a scorpion later on to 'just ten skinks'... or 'arrow fodder' as you might like to think of them.
On a broader note you're running a very defensive list but trying to use it too agressively. You don't have to charge in just because something is in range (as with the scorp, cavalry etc) -especially if said combat is going to be a foregone conclusion that's not in your favour. A quick bit of mental arithmatic to count up the expected number of wounds dealt by each side is your best guide at first, but eventually you'll get a feel for what you can and can't handle with any given unit.
I hope you found those points constructive floyd, and are not discouraged. TKs are by far the hardest army to get to grips with IMHO because you need to get a lot of little things right for seemingly anything much to go well. It takes time and experience but that makes them very rewarding to play.
Last edited by Vallah; November 1st, 2010 at 19:03.
Because Sun Tzu would play Tomb Kings...
Keep trying, and at the moment, large blocks win.
Marnepup, when you say 60 skellies, you mean 2 units of 30 right? As the maximum unit size is 40... Just had to check. Otherwise, I am glad I joined this forum. Great ideas and tactics coming out here, things I would not have thought of!
Last edited by Sectux; November 1st, 2010 at 23:57.
Wow, lots of great feedback! Thanks so much to everyone for spending your time.
I have reconsidered the whole Icon bearer-on-a-horse tactic and taken the bearer from the list. I thought the extra point of avoided crumble due to combat res would help make the scorpions extra-resilient, but if the bearer can't last then there is no point.
I wasn't sure about the staff of ravening either, so thanks for the clarification; I thought it was a bit strange giving it to a bearer
Also I didn't know bound items worked like that now! I was doing my incantations properly, but I was only giving 1D6 to each bound item. Now that I know how to use those properly I should be able to draw more dispel dice out of my opponent.
To Marnepup, I will trust your advice and deepstrike all the scorpions together. Though just to check, is the point to deepstrike them all to the exact same location/ target? I'll play a few games and see how it goes. My list was bad, and yes you are right, I shouldn't base my judgements on the one game!
I still don't think I can use the horsemen or chariots competently enough to want to take them just yet, and I also have trouble working out how to fit them into the army style. As Sectux said, it is better to go all-shooting oriented or all-combat, which is something I can see the logic in, and I think that is something which failed me in the other list. It would be fun to have a fast-hitting combat army, but it seems so hard to construct a Core from just horses (which I am still hesitant about) and chariots, without resorting to padding with skellies... And if you have to have skellies then I would be inclined to take archers over hw/shield, so that leaves me a little at odds.
I think for now I will go with the two units of 30ish bow-skellies. With the accumulated shots, as Marnepup pointed out, things should hopefully improve, and I will follow Vallah's sound advice and target things the skellies are capable of handling and making a difference on, rather than the scary things.
Also to Vallah, I think you are right in that I was playing too aggressively; I am somewhat impatient and always want to jump into the fray (something which makes me a very volatile Dnd player!), and because of that I don't always think my options through as thoroughly as I should. To be honest, I never really thought of moving my Tomb scorpion to the Saurus' flank (!) as Sectux suggested. In fairness, the terrain was very tight and I probably wouldn't have been able to, but still, I should have thought of it at least! I am going to write a palm-card or two with some little tactical reminders, so that when I get lost in the heat of battle I have something to keep me from making stupid decisions
Focussing on the list, I am still pretty happy with my special and rare choices overall. I will keep Skulls of the Foe in mind when versing different enemies, but I am not sure whether I will always be able to find the points...
For my core, I have bumped the number of skellies up by two per unit, just to make them legal (an oversight I made before, thanks Sectux).
The main decisions I am having trouble making are with my lords and heroes... After everyone's advice, I am just a little too unsure of what to take to fully compliment what I have. I have 716 spare points which I can (but don't have to spend all of) on lords and heroes. At 2000pts, how many kings/prince/LPs do I really need?
I am able to afford a Tomb King with 50pts-ish items (I was thinking simply GW and Armour of Silvered Steel), a Tomb Prince, 2 Lps, and still have 200ish points which could be spent on a Casket and a few extra items...
The Tomb King would definately go in my TG unit, and I am fairly set, unless otherwise convinced, on having him in the army. But for the rest, just because I can afford it isn't good enough reason to take it, as I found out. Looking at that Tomb Prince, I don't really know what to do with him...
If I took out the casket and the prince I could afford a HLP, and have 70pts left over to buy items. Are three priests, one of which is a HLP, total overkill?
What do you think I should spend the points on? (If I have enough spare points I could add skull of the foe, or boost the archer units a little more maybe?)
Another quick question; which would be more effective on the TG unit; the BotUL, or IotSE? They are both useful for different reasons; I am leaning toward the Banner simply for it's Bound, but if I end up with lots of magic casters it might not be needed for that... Thoughts?
Thanks again to everyone for their insightful responses! I am definitely not discouraged at all, but I AM feeling more confident now! I wouldn't want to play an army other than Tomb Kings, even if I lost every game I ever played with them... Though I am sure I will win some
a) You're running the Dunce Cap (aka the Wizarding Hat) to protect your King from failing a dum-dum check.
b) You're running an aggressive list and don't want to risk your units pursuing fleeing units into unfavorable situations.
Otherwise, don't bother.
Tomb Kings and Princes don't tend to need a lot of gear to function in general. You should be spending points on these characters to give them specific purposes, i.e. the Tar Pit King w/ Spear of Antarhak, Scorpion Armor, Shield, etc. Liche Priests are a bit more problematic since other than a Ward Save item, they don't necessarily need anything else either however additional bound items are almost a necessity depending upon your opponent. The Kanopi is a no-brainer against Ogres, for instance and the Staff of Ravening is useful against Elves. The Jar and Plaques both bring more dice advantage to the list, but the Jar especially isn't as crucial as it has been in years past.
I still keep the IotSE on my chariot bus. That's because I don't want my 7 attack Tomb King flubbing his rolls! You'd also be surprised how much damage the rest of the unit can do when they're hitting on 3s and not 4s against standard infantry. Keep them away from things like Phoenix Guard or Chaos Warriors and they're still pretty good.
TG are a bit harder to give a banner to for me. Since the other two obligatory banners are often taken in my lists, I go with the Razor Standard as my default banner, with Eternal Flame against Skaven, Vampire Counts and Wood Elves. I've often thought about actually running an Icon Bearer in my TG unit so that I can stack the Icon of Rakaph and the Ranger Standard in the same unit just for the amusement factor of seeing this unit making hairpin turns and cruising through terrain. I haven't gotten around to it yet though.
Do watch your points totals though. I believe with 8th Core has to have a minimum of 500 pts invested in a 2k list. Some opponents might ding you for it.
I notice a lot of apathy towards to ol Icon Bearer. I find personally that he's really useful in larger point games to hang out with a unit of Tomb Guard. The Ld re-rolls, the one less crumbling and the banner/items he can use are all nice little bonuses to a strong TG unit. Add in full command and a TK for extra fun and excitement.
Also, I use him against some armies (especially any army using High Queen Khalida) for the Standard of the Sands. Forcing the enemy to move a piddly distance on their first turn absolutely cripples some armies. The -1 Ld combined with the SSC's SotF (You did take the double catapult with the SotF right?) can send some armies screaming off the board.
So in smaller point games the IB is about as useful as a one legged man at an ass-kicking contest, but in some larger games it becomes a whole bunch better.