|Releasing all dem souls!|
In a previous article, I wrote about how to play with both VC and TK in the same army. I mentioned in there that the Casket of Souls was practically a must take in all lists. Why is that? Well, here are some of my reasons:
- It gives you +D3 PD to use per phase, and it doesn't have to be for the casket. No matter how you dice it, there's just not many things in the game that gives you this kind of advantage. You want it to boost your normal casting? Go ahead. You want to use the Casket? Sure. You want to feed your Peripat? That's fine too.
- It gives you a pseudo-shooting option that you will always have.
- It allows you to remove a key pieces off the map if it goes off. I'm talking about serious key pieces here: The Skullcannon is Ld.7 with 4 wounds, Empire Cannons away from their general are also under threat, Ogre Ironblasters are Ld.7, although 5W will be harder to manage. Most of the other danger pieces only have 3 wounds. Elf RBTs only have 2W are are Ld.8; thus auto-dying on average rolls. Mournfangs in a flanking position are now suddenly threatened big time, so are most low Ld. chaff: Furies, Dogs, Sabertusks, the list goes on. And it has the potential to bounce.
- Once your opponent have figured out that this is a dangerous piece on the battlefield, he will throw dice to dispel it. The fact that he has to throw DD at a FREE spell potentially (D3 averages 2 dice free), you will now be ahead in the magic phase. This increases the chances you will have VDM, Desert Wind, or anything else you want to conjur up with your opponents are on a 2-dice deficit. If he fails to dispel and loses concentration, while the probability is low, it's just a shutout.
- This limits your opponent's movement, deployment and chaff potential. Will he risk bounces and lose large amounts of low. Ld chaff? He will need to deploy tight, or not be very careful of his movements or risk getting blasted off the board. Forget about low Ld flankers, forget about warmachines trying to get flank shots, anything that can possibly threaten flanks is also threatened by the Casket if their leadership is low enough.
- With Peripat and Casket, you're literally +2 PD/DD on your opponent from the beginning of the game. You get 2 from the casket, you decide to bank it, and thus you're up 2 while you negotiate your existing magic phase. This is free advantage on both offense and defense.
- It works with a number of things that messes with your opponent's leadership. Doom and Darkness makes it more effective, Golden Death Mask of Kharnut, Aura of Dark Majesty, anything that reduces or prevents superior leadership from being used. While I'm not saying that this is the best use of points in the army, the synergy is there and cannot be overlooked.
- It's relatively cheap, small and you can keep it out of LoS because it doesn't need it to do its stuff. The effect is Direct Damage. It's also T10, I've had people shoot it with a cannon and call it a waste on a 1,2,3. Most people don't even bother with it, and if you tuck it away in a corner without LoS, no one really bothers.
Aside from the magic that Liche Priests can offer, I don't think there's too much from the book that VC can use to their advantage. If only Tomb Kings can take their steeds, maybe I would be able to utilize that Golden Deathmask in more of my army lists. Sadly, that is not to be.
What would I change in my existing VC army to incorporate the Casket and Liche Priest? Cut the Vargheists and Necromancer for a Lv.1 Liche Priest, Lore of Nehekhara with a dispel scroll. Unless you get something you really want, you'll almost always default of Invocation of the Desert Wind. Otherwise, just place the Vargheists for the Casket and you're good to go.