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Book of the Dead-Tomb kings The Basics
So you have awakened from death to find that you are not in a paradise as promised by your priests, but rather a despoiled city. Do not worry rise from your tomb, shake the dust from your wrappings as marshal your armies, yours is the power to conquer, yours is the power to reshape this world into your vision of paradise
3) Core units
4) Special units
5) Rare units
7) Magic items
Tomb kings have strengths and weaknesses like all armies, lets start by having a look at these.
Tomb kings have many advantages these are;
Reliability; Tomb kings may not have the best troops but they certainly have the most reliable, as all troops are undead they will never run or panic or fail a fear test when you least need them to. The enemy will have to wipe the unit out to the last model to finish them off and this can be incredibly annoying, especially if a lich priest is nearby casting djera's summoning on them.
Psychology; The other main advantage of the tomb kings army, everything causes fear or terror which means if you outnumber an enemy that is not immune to psychology or causes fear themselves theyâ€™ll run automatically if you win the combat, units wishing to charge will have to pass a leadership test to do so and if you charge a unit and they fail there fear test theyâ€™ll need sixes to hit you, psychology is a wonderful thing. The important thing is to make sure you make the enemy take all its fear tests.
Tomb kings core troops are really quite weak but this is offset by the fact that they are undead and have arrows of the asp. This means youâ€™ll always hit on a 5+ , this is better than it sounds and can be quite unnerving to the enemy as you can move and fire, fire at models in cover ,anything you like and always hit on a 5+, they also have access to two different types of fast Calvary including the awesomely effective chariots and above all they have Tomb Scorpion.
Tomb kings weakness are obvious they begin to crumble if they lose a round of combat if the hierophant is killed the entire army will begin to fall apart, there core units are not the best fighters in the game and they are unable to take heavy Armour for any unit.
a less obvious weakness is the hieratic order this means all incantations, bound items are cast in a particular order this means two things one if you use a incantation before a bound item you cant use that item this turn and two your opponent knows whatâ€™s coming for example the casket of souls light of death is going to be last and can save his dispel dice for it ect. This can be used to your advantage by a shrewd player but is still more of a disadvantage than an advantage
despite this there advantages easily out weigh there weaknesses as an entire army that will never break and causes fear is rather a daunting prospect to face and though requiring a high level of strategy to use to there full potential they are one of the most rewarding armies to play if you can play with them well
The important thing to remember when choosing characters is that a tomb king army has to have one priest or high priest to be the hierophant and one tomb king or tomb prince to be general
Tomb Kings one of the best characters in the game high toughness, strength and wounds as well as a decent ws means that your tomb king can go toe-to-toe with almost any other character in your opponents army. But wait thereâ€™s more not only do you get a great close combat fighter but you also get to take core units as core and cast two incantations a turn at power level of d6 as well as allowing skeletons access to magic banners, remember he is flammable so stay away from warpfire throwers and the like . And if he is killed (not likely) make sure he uses his curse. All in all the best character to take for a tomb kings army
High Lich Priest
The wizard of the army these guys can give excellent magic support for your army. If taken he will be your hierophant, as your hierophant it is very important to protect them as if he dies your army will probably follow suit. Casting automatically with a power level of 3d6 up to two incantations a turn he is one of the most efficient wizards in the game, they also have access to the casket of souls An excellent addition to the army though I would only suggest taking him in a magic heavy army as otherwise a tomb king is a much better choice
Tomb Prince's a powerful additions to an army at toughness 5 and three wounds they can take a lot of punishment, not as good as a tomb kings of course but if you take a high lich priest or have a spare character slot he'll do you proud. Remember he is flammable and can cast one incantation a turn. if he is killed don't forget his curse
The only reason to take this character is to gain access to the high point cost magic banners, if you donâ€™t plan on taking one of those then don't bother with him. If you do remember he has the t killing blow special ability, as long as you don't take a different weapon from the list
Lich priest's are an integral part of ant tomb king army, You have to take at least one to be your hierophant (or a high lich priest) but I suggest taking at least two if not more in your army, as there incantations to replenish lost models or make another model move are very important to your army, they can also cause a unit to have another shooting or combat phase. As your hierophant it is very important to protect them as if he dies your army will probably follow suit. They also have access to the casket of souls.
Only lich priests or high lich priests can be mounted on these and its usually better to leave your hierophant on foot. If you have an extra one take a cloak of dunes instead unless your low on points or a going for an entirely mounted army.
Tomb kings, Tomb princes and icon Bearers favored mode of transport. Tomb kings army chariots are different from other armies as they only do d3 impact hits and only increase the Armour save of the model by 1 rather than 2. They are however fast Calvary and can form units. A mounted tomb king/prince is deadly if however you get hit by st 7 hit bye a chariot, in my opinion this is worth the risk and if you are having a unit of chariots in your army(and you should) they should always be accompanied by either a tomb king or prince .
Casket of Souls
Technically not a mount but this is the best place for it. available to high lich priests and lich priests the casket of souls is a very effective addition too your army. it causes all wizards to have minus one on there casting rolls, causes terror and casts the ever popular light of death. This is cast like a spell at the very end of the magic phase and causes all enemy models with a line of sight to the casket who are not in combat to suffer 2d6 +2 minus the units leadership wounds. this is deadly against some armies and while less effective against others (dwarfs) its still worth having. Never put your hierophant on top of a casket of souls and remember the priest can still cast his one incantation.
3) Core units
Whets to say about skeletons they always hit on a 5 + with there bows and can be armed with spears and light armor for +2 pts a model. A skeleton is there to shoot its arrows and cause fear. Don't expect them to stand up to other more effective close combat troops but you can always rely on them to hold other units up and if you take the maximum of 40 armed with spears they can break a lot of the smaller elite units other armies might field
there swarms but there slightly worst as they take wounds from combat resolution as opposed to just being unbreakable. Poison attacks are good though and they can be used to screen your archers or casket of souls from charges as they are small and can be seen over. they also benefit from the came from below rule which allows them to come up somewhere else on the battlefield
Skeleton Light Horsemen
These are excellent they fill the usual roll of fast Calvary but thanks to there magic bows they will always hit on 5+ even after moving or shooting at single characters, if you take them just remember to use them as there intended
Skeleton Heavy Horsemen
These are more medium than heavy in my opinion there alright but they are only light Armour and spears rather than the full lance heavy Armour ect. If you plan on having an all mounted army then a couple of these are good. Otherwise chariots are much better though if you prefer to have a rankable unit or can't afford the chariots these are the next best thing
If you take a tomb king that makes these core rather than special. The second best unit in the game after tomb scorpions, chariots no army should be without them fast Calvary, impact hits are an absolute must have. Put a tomb king or prince in there to really deal out the damage and you've got yourself a solid unit capable of killing lots of the enemy. If your feeling adventurous you can take a unit of twelve while not really effective they do increase the survivability of the unit and really are quite a sight on the field(and looking cool is as good a reason as any)
4) Special Units
If you choose not to have your prince or king mounted then this unit is the next best thing, toughness 4, killing blow, ability to take a magic banner unlike most of your army this unit can stand up to most other armies units and win though you shouldnâ€™t get carried away.
The worst unit in the entire army bar none. they sound alright for taking down war machines or lone characters but they really are not any good, especially when you realize what special unit you cant take to fit them in, anything they can do a tomb scorpion can do better Take them if you like but donâ€™t say I didn't warn you
Expensive at 65 points each but very effective. st 6 3 wounds 3 attacks these guys can cleave through other units like butter, just be sure to support them and try and get the charge because though they are not fragile they are certainly better off charging. They are undead constructs so they have a 5+ save and take one less wound from combat resolution than normal.
The best unit in the army. killing blow, poisoned attacks, it came from below magic resistance (1) undead construct these guys are just so good its not funny. They increase the versatility of your army ten fold as you can choose if you need them buried to kill of war machines or leave them setup to take charges anything you like. Just remember they are unit strength 4 not 5 so they cant get rid of ranks but there still the best. They can take no whole units and win
5) Rare choices
This guy is tough, If you manage to get a charge with him his special rule will destroy that unfortunate unit , the important thing is to support him as once the initial charge is over if his not helped he will be in trouble. He also causes terror which is important to remember. His an undead construct which when combined with his heavy Armour gives you a save of 3+.A very good choice for any army
Screaming Skull catapults
Screaming skull catapults these things are great against pretty much everyone. the ability to cause a panic test is great and if you upgrade to skulls of the foe the panic test is at minus one. your incantation of smiting works on these so you can use the first shot as a range tester or to get over a misfire result. In my opinion this is a better choice than the giant though both are very good choices
A note on incantations. They always cast even on a double one and if your opponent has something that causes a negative to your casting value and it drops to 0 it still casts and if that opponent then tells you that because he has a +1 to his dispel rolls he doesnâ€™t need to use any dice you tell him otherwise. Also you never miscast or cast with irresistible force and write down your hieratic order so you donâ€™t forge to use one of your priests or items as that can be disastrous
Magic should be used in support of your troops; As most of the spell directly effect your own units. Also make sure he is in position to cast his incantations as this can make or break your entire plan .
Sekhubis incantation of vengeance
Basic magic missile. only time I've ever used it was against a skaven assassin that was skitter leaped within range of my casket of souls. it killed him, take from that what you will
Horekhahs incantation of righteous smiting
This is the most important incantation you have. It allows you to get another round of shooting or close combat attacks which can make all the difference in a close game
Mankhara's incantation of urgency
the move spell almost as important as urgency but not quite. if there is a charge you really need to get its important thing to remember is to have as many lich priests or tombkings/princes within range of the unit to increase the chance of success with this incantation
Djera's incantation of summoning
A good annoying spell not as effective as the summoning of the vampire counts as you can only ever have as many models as you started but still very good as you can use it to heal characters or even you undead constructs if needed. An all together effective spell though not as important as the big two more important than incantation of vengeance
7) Magic items
Destroyer of Eternities
for 70 points you get a great weapon and killing blow, as well as the option of using its special ability, to hit any models in b2b contact with you twice these benefit from killing blow and great weapon so are very good. Your Tomb King will have to be on foot. A very good weapon, especially against Calvary
Crook and Flail of radiance
against lightly armored armies such as skaven or elves this is devastating, especially if wielded by a tomb king, 5 attacks at strength 5 that go first will destroy entire ranks if your in a chariot its even more destructive. excellent item
Blade of setep
This weapon it ignores Armour saves but if the Armour is magic it destroys it on the first successful hit. A decent item
The Blade of Mourning
This item is interesting, if you win the combat it doubles all negative modifiers for the subsequent break test. A reasonable item but certainly not one of the best
Flail of Skulls
A flail that doubles unsaved wounds its good but as the +2 strength only lasts one round so unless your reasonably sure of breaking the unit or killing the character in one round the subsequent round could be a problem if there heavily armored
Spear of Antarhak
This allows you to restore one wound on either yourself or your unit for each wound you cause. this is a good item and is very effective when combined with the scorpion Armour or Armour of ages and a collar of shapesh
attacks count as poisoned and re-roll misses its a good weapon but it has three problems 1) it can only be taken by high or normal liche priests and they suck at combat
2)to use it your priest will need to be in combat and he should never be in combat
3)your priests should never be in combat
Armour of Eternity
Causing all enemies to re-roll there to wound roll is very good especially when your toughness 5, but against some armies this is pointless. A good item but too expensive
One of my favorite items, this Armour means your character will only ever take 1 wound from combat resolution and if your in a unit you can take up to half the wounds that would be caused and reduce them to one, a great item especially when combined with a ward save or spear of antarhak, also one of two choices to get your tomb king/prince heavy Armour
Armour of Ages
the other way to get heavy Armour this Armour give you one extra wound for the grand total of 5 for a tomb king or 4 for a prince this Armour when combined with a ward save can extend your tomb kings life exponentionally, I always take it if Iâ€™m playing an army that may have flaming weapons e.g. skaven
Shield of ptra
This shield is a normal shield except on a successful save all enemies b2b contact have there ws reduced to 1 for the remainder of that round, decent but not good
A 4 + ward save is always nice
Crown of Kings
This allows your tomb king to roll 2d6 and choose the highest score for his incantations, ok but there a better things to spend your points on
Amulet of Pha-Stah
nullifies talismans, arcane items and enchanted item, but you can take no more magic items. Not with the trade off of having no magic items to nullify those groups of magic items
Collar of Shapesh
a 4+ ward save for 25 points the catch one friendly model within 4 inches has to take the wound, but considering the caliber of most of your troops not terribly upsetting.
Golden Eye of Rah-Nutt
Tired of your chariot being destroyed and your tomb king having to take the pedestrian route up the battlefield then this is the item for you a 5+ ward save for your chariot and it nullifies auto destruction. Great item if you plan on mounting your tomb king in a chariot
Magic resistance (2) for you and any unit you accompany is nice against magic heavy armies pointless against others
Death Mask of Kharnut
Want to strike terror into the hearts of your enemy then this is the item for you. allows you to cause terror not terribly good but not really worthless either depends on the army your playing
Brooch of the great desert
A dispel scroll by any other name will still be the same. If your taking a few dispel scrolls take one of these just for fluff reasons
chariot of Fire
Makes your chariot cause d6+1 impact hits that are flaming. Good item but I always have to wonder why something as flammable as a mummy would ride around in something on fire..
Cloak of the dunes
Lets the model wearing it fly. but you cant charge with this special move. Good for liche priests in making sure there where they have to be when they have to be there
Icon of ruler ship
Can take this as well as another enchanted item increases unit strength by one only take this if you donâ€™t plan on putting your Tomb King in a unit as otherwise it is not worth it
Vambraces of the sun
Causes one model in b2b contact to lose one attack you choose which if they have different types. A good item when used in combination with other items such as Armour of ages
Staff of ravening
3d6 st 2 hits is about as annoying as a fly bite to most armies though it is reasonable for eating up your opponents dispel dice
Neferra's plaques of mighty incantations
re-roll dice for incantations but have to re-roll all or none. good but I prefer hieratic jar
Staff of Mastery
+1 to your power level for incantations decent but nothing to write home about
allows you to cast another incantation in your magic phase, this is very good as you can draw out all your opponents dispel dice then when he thinks he got away with it bang out comes this item. Note this is an exception to the hieratic order as it is used after incantations
when activated usefully all remains in play spells are negated at power level 4 this is a good item as if your opponent wants to dispel it he need to use two dice to be safe, it is limited though.
standard of the sands
Playing a defensive army, have a spare character slot for an icon bearer then this is for you it stops all marching for one turn even dwarfs cant march this is very good if your playing defensive as an extra round of shooting is always appreciated and will annoy the hell out of your opponent if you use it during a breakthrough scenario. It also causes minus one to all rally attempts made while it is active
Banner of the Hidden Dead
Feeling sneaky then this is a must. though it is limited as you can only fit 100points worth of core troops it can be a good surprise causing a unit to appear on the flanks of an enemy just before a charge or to block an important charge of your opponents a good item but again you need to give up one of your character slots to take it
icon of the sacred eye
+1 to hit on first round of combat is good, also if you feel sneaky give it to an icon bearer and put him in a unit with a bone giant, hitting on 3 + and wounding on 2+ on average combined with the giants unstoppable assault is very good for you and very bad for your opponent
I missile weapons hitting using ballistic skill suffer a minus one to hit penalty and against missile weapons such as cannons and stone throwers that require no to hit roll it gives the unit a 5+ ward save. Not bad and good for a unit of chariots to increase its survivability. essential against shooty armies
icon of rakaph
Given to a unit of tomb guard or skeletons and it allows them to have one free reform at the start of there turn. this is good but not really great
standard of the cursing word
great against armies with low leadership and remember if your against skaven that its there own unmodified leadership so they donâ€™t get any bonuses for strength on numbers
Banner of the undying Legion
bound level 3 djeras incantation on the unit is good especially if your trying to eat up dispel dice but there are better banners.
That is it I may write a more in-depth article at a later date but for now I hope this guide will help you reclaim your lands and treasures. Good luck. For the glory of nehekhara
By King Phesphestus Tomb Lord of Lybrasia
(Disclaimer: This is by a friend off of a different site, it is no way mine. Enjoy)
I am greatly indebted to your friend. Some great tips for someone who has yet to play a game of WFB with my new tomb kings?
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