Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A closer look at Tomb Kings

I'll give you guys a long list of things I like about the new Tomb Kings book.
  • I really like Settra in this book.  475 is a small point cost to pay for such a legendary icon of Tomb Kings.  Even though he's not as godly as before, he's still pretty good.  He's got a awesome number of special rules, my favorite being that his My Will Be Done spreads to every unit within 6" of him.  That means everyone within 6" of him will have WS7, which also means normal WS3 troops will be hitting things on 5s.  You add in his 4+/4++ save and his weapon that permanently reduces his target's chance to hit by -1 for the rest of the game and you've got yourself a winner.  I know if I was playing TK, Settra will be at the head of my warhost.  He's awesome, he's iconic, he's fluffy and he's balanced.
  • The Herald Nekaph is also pretty good.  He's 120 points, slightly more expensive than regular fighty heroes but he adds awesome special rules.  The always issue and accept challenges might be a little bad, but his Herald of Despair and Flail of Skulls is pretty awesome.  Enemy units in base contact with him roll an additional dice for fear tests, discarding the lowest.  And Flail, well, is still Flail of Skulls that does 2 wounds on top of him being S6 in the first round of combat.
  • Grand Hierophant Khatep.  For 330 points, you're paying for a Loremaster of the TK lore and a godly magic item.  The Liche Staff allows him to re-roll any casting roll per turn and combined with Loremaster, this puts him at a very comfortable purchase price.  However, I can see that many people will argue that a Lv.4 High Priest costs ~100 less and can take Death or Light depending on what you want.
  • As for normal lords and heroes, these are the ones that caught my eye:  The Tomb King is a good buy because he can spread his WS6 to whatever unit he joins.  Throw him in a big TG unit with FC and you're pretty much good to go.  You can build him killy if you want or just do what I do:  Give him a GW, Glittering Scales (WS6 will hit you on 5s), and Golden Death Mask of Kharnut.  I really think Golden Mask is ridiculously OP vs. some armies.  For 60 points, you cause Terror and enemy units within 6" of you cannot use their general's leadership or their BSB's re-roll.  Let that soak in for a minute.  OK, let's continue.
  • Liche High Priests are pretty cheap Lv.4s and will make you happy for ~200 points, a little more with magic items.  Tomb Princes are cool because for 100 points, you can spread his WS5 to whatever units and can throw down some Great Weapon/Flail action himself.  You can also mount him in a Chariot and buff up the killing potential of your improved Chariots.  I'm not really feeling the Tomb Herald but he is a pretty decent buy because he can take a Halberd and offer up a free wound for your Tomb King.  At 60 points, I don't see why not, especially since you can mount him in a Chariot and throw out some Flail attacks on the charge.  Liche Priests at 70 points is a bargain considering how most lists are going to rock a Lv.4 and a supporting caster.
  • Now, Necrotects are something I want to talk about.  They're dick cheap, 60 points is a bargain for making the unit you're in Hatred.  I just find it ridiculous that they put a Egyptian guy with a Whip in the game lol.  Protected category much?
  • As for the rest of the units the book, I'm fairly pleased.  4 point Skeleton Warriors who can be given Light Armor for 1 point and can hold the line vs. anything while your improved Chariots crash into the enemy is a godsend.  I look at the VC 8pt Skellies and just laugh, considering that your TK/TPs give them a permanent Crown of Command while adding their attacks to the combat res as well.  Archers are good still because they always hit on a 5, Horseman make for good misdirects because of their 8" move and Vanguard, and Skeleton Archers can Scout move with Fast Cav rules.
  • Chariots got improved because they can take a magical banner worth of 25 (old, but still good), their crew have Hand Weapon, Spear and Bows, and they now hit enemies with increased damage and improved ranks.  They can rank up in 3s now and for each additional rank adds +1 strength to their D6 Impact hits.  That's just really solid.
  • Tomb Guard are now down to 11 ppm and that's all you need to know.  With KB, Light Armor/Shield standard, they can be given Halberds but who really cares.  For 11ppm, you can take a huge block of 6x5 with FC for 360 points.  This is rock solid and with the TK's ability to give them 5+ KB or Hatred or WS6/5, these guys are your super stars when it comes to killing heavy infantry.
  • Necropolis Knights are pretty good and Tomb Scorpions are still pretty good for their points.  Where the Necropolis Knights are great flank chargers because of their 7" move and good # of poisoned/KB attacks, the Tomb Scorpions are now more roadblocks more than anything.  They can no longer come out and charge whatever they want, but they can come out and move in front of a vital charge or misdirect accordingly.
  • As for the bigger monsters, like the Warsphinx and the Necrosphinx, I don't really see a everlasting place for these models.  Yes, the Warsphinx rocks infantry regiments in close combat with its uberstomp and the Nerosphinx can chop a Hydra in half, but a cannon or two will still put these down before they can do anything.  Even the Necrosphinx, who can fly, can't really dodge a cannonball because it can't march.  If I was to take one, I would take the Necrosphinx because of its greater threat range and its HKB vs. bigger monsters.  Besides, I think it looks cooler.
  • This leaves us with the Casket of Souls.  This thing needs to be taken in every, single game.  It's a Warmachine with T10 and gives you +d3 PD per turn for dirt cheap.  It practically pays for itself (Bound 5) with its average of 2 dice and gives your magic phase extreme flexibility.  It's really a no-brainer, take it in every list.  If the Light of Death goes off and bounces around expensive models like Chaos Knights, Blood Knights or Dragon Princes, bad things just happen.  Oh, and if you IF, it doesn't matter because it's an innate ability.
  • I guess I should mention that the Screaming Skull Catapult is meh.  It's more expensive and Stone Throwers now allow armor saves.. so yeah.
  • Oh, and the Neferra's Scrolls of Mighty Incantations is overpowered for 50 points.  You throw dice and it adds more dice equal to your casting wizard's level for free and it IFs on any doubles.  Yeah, this is going to get banned soon (just like PS, Teclis and BoH for me).

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