The 9th Age/Tactics/Undying Dynasties

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The fair use The 9th Age expy of the Tomb Kings of Warhammer Fantasy, itself a mummy/skeleton-only expy of Ancient Egypt.

Why play Undying Dynasties[edit]

One of the two undead armies playable in 9th age. Undying Dynasties are thematically based on ancient Egyptian/Mesopotamian societies. Giant stone pyramids are the real-estate of choice in the nation of Naptaan, and each one is occupied by a mummified noble who rules over his or her own personal livid dead army. These armies, which are led by pharaohs, and imbued with unlife by withered liches, comprise of vast ranks of skeletal infantry, cavalry, and chariot teams. But the bone-train doesn’t roll to war alone. Alongside the osseous masses stride stone statues, carved by Naptaan’s architects, and given animus through ancient rituals. These statues are anthropomorphic representations of the many deities the Naptaanese worship. They include in their number animal headed humanoids, giant sphinxes, scorpions and scarabs, as well as more bizarre and nightmarish creations.

Undying Dynasties are a synergy based army. While other factions such as Khans or Warriors of the Dark Gods can rely on the strengths of their individual units to win fights, your lowly skellingtons are going to need the buffs provided by their heroes, gear, and spells in order to survive. A poorly made list will be curb-stomped in short order, whereas a well constructed one will be extremely competitive. Players who relish meticulous planning and fiddly in-game gambits will enjoy fielding an Undying Dynasties army.

Have a lot of Lethal and poison attacks to ignore rolls.

Currently considered one of the best factions in-game.

They may not be as spammable, unkillable or have some of the definitively best units in-game as VC, but UD has more intriguing things you can do.

Tactics[edit]

The tactics are current as of version second edition.

Army Rules[edit]

Resurrected An additional characteristic on all of your unit profiles. Shortened Rsr, determines how many health points are raised with the H spell.

Autonomous Undead units that are entirely autonomous may march normally wherever they are.

Dust to Dust When your Hierophant is removed, every unit in your army with Dust to Dust must make a discipline test and lose HP based on how much they failed by. You can nominate any wizard model to be the new Hierophant, but every turn you don't have one your army continues to crumble.

Ensouled Statue Model has undead, dust to dust, and takes reduced damage from unstable and dust to dust. Exists to differentiate between your stoned buddies and your skeleton normies.

Hierophant one of a kind. Your army must include a Hierophant. When the Hierophant casts the H spell they may have it affect any unit within 18" instead of the normal restrictions.

Underground Ambush The model follows the rules for ambush, but instead of from the board edge you place them anywhere on the table. Has a chance to get moved randomly, if that random movement puts them close to terrain or another unit, they may lose some models.

Undying Will Units with one or more models with Undying Will gain +2 offensive and defensive skill, Lethal Strike, and replace their aim with (4+). Characters, beasts, ensouled statues, and harnessed models are not affected.

Mummy's Curse When this model is removed as a casualty, the model that removed it takes 1 hit with str 6 AP 10.

Poison & Lethal Strike: not unique rules but a lot of your elite units have it. Triggering on 6s, poison let you ignore wound rolls on 6 to hit(overcome monsters with high Res), and Lethal Strike turns 6 to wound into Ap10 that ignore Fortitude saves(overcome heavy armour and trolls).

Armory[edit]

Aspen Bow It's a normal bow that always hits on it's unmodified aim. Means your trash skeles can hit things better but limits buffs to shooting.

Great Aspen Bow Same as above but str 5 AP 2.

Hereditary Spell[edit]

Death is Only the Beginning This spell isn't its own spell, instead, DiOtB is an attribute spell that is cast with any non-attribute non-bound spell any Death Cult Hierarch casts by adding +2 on the casting value. The affected unit raises health points equal to its resurrected characteristics. Characters and Models with towering presence are capped at 2 HP per phase.

Monarchs of Undeath[edit]

These are large scale options to change how your Undying Dynasties army plays. Changes to specific units are listed in their entries while the big changes are listed here. You are required to have a Pharaoh general to take these.

Commander of the Terracotta Army Your army gains +1 resilience (often equates to a -1 to enemy wound rolls) and ensouled statue (Tomb Architect can give any skeletons Fortitude(5+) for more chaffing), but at the cost of reduced resurrection values to 1, -1 to Agility(your usually going last anyway), and underground ambush and Light Troops being stripped from all your units.

  • Tomb Architect will be leaning on more to holding the army together then wizards. The Skellys can hold longer, but you fill your list more with already Ensouled Statue units to cut costs.

Lord of the Barrow Legion Your skelingtons gain heavy armor and killier weapons and your scarabs are scary ghosts, but you can't take any of your big scary monsters or use scout and underground ambush.

  • This becomes a Bone centric Vampire Counts list with Cavalry and Chariots getting lances for that devastating charge.

Unit Analysis[edit]

Characters[edit]

Pharaoh 250pts. Great offense skill, above average HP, good strength and high Resilience, packaged in with Undying Will and Fearless. What's not to like? Well, he has flammable and lackluster weapon and mount options. You will be using his special equipment to not just keep him alive, but to kill things as well. Be careful where you put him, you'll be putting 400+ points into him.

  • Terracotta: +1(6) res -1(2) agi for 15 points.

Nomarch 140pts. Baby Pharoah. Less than half the cost of a big Pharaoh. You're taking him to buff units with Undying Will.

  • Terracotta: +1(6) res -1 (2)agi for 15 points.

Death Cult Hierarch 130pts. Your wizard option, and the cheapest of the bunch. You'll be taking at least one so you have a Hierophant, but 2 or 3 won't hurt and their path options are very flexible.

  • Terracotta: +1(4) res -1(1) agi for 15 points.

Casket of Phatep 225pts. not a character, but here it is. Functions as a specialized wizard that screws with enemy wizards and can chunk enemy units if your opponent doesn't blow dispell dice on it.

  • Terracotta: +1(6) res -1(2) agi for 15 points.

Tomb Harbinger 160pts. Your BSB and duel monster. They have Lethal Strike and Poisoned attacks, pump up their attacks and they can be scary to fight. Use them as a force multiplier if you have spare points.

  • Terracotta: +1(6) res -1(2) agi for 15 points.

Tomb Architect 205pts. If you have a lot of stone guys, take at least one of these. They give a unit of statues Fortitude (5+), making them tankier in an already very tanky army.

  • Terracotta: +1(5) res -1(2) agi for 15 points. Any unit in your army can now gain Fortitude (5+).

Character Mounts[edit]

Skeletal Horse Same stats as a core skeleton but faster. Only really useful if you're running an all cavalry list or if you need some extra speed on your Hierarch.

Skeleton Chariot For more points than a horse you get two horses and impact hits. Be sure to have a unit of chariots to party with so your character doesn't get sniped out, but a pretty good fast option.

Amuut Big rock snake. Slightly slower than a horse, but you're taking it for the 3 poisoned attacks. Only available for a Harbinger or Architect.

  • Barrow Legion: cannot be taken.

Ark of Ages Available for your Hierarchs, makes them tankier and buffs their range.

  • Terracotta: does not gain the +1 res.

Sha Guardian Take your favorite king, now put them on a giant stone bone kitty and it's party time. Not only do they have incredible armor, resilience, and take half hits from multiple wounds, but they also chunk out 4 attacks with lethal strikes and poisoned attacks. It will cost you about the same as a pharaoh.

  • Terracotta: does not gain the +1 res, but still Res 6.
  • Barrow Legion: cannot be taken.

Core[edit]

Skeletons 150pts for 20 + 7ppm. garbage little guys, but a decent armor save and your resurrections will keep them going. They are very cheap, with shields and Undying Will makes them better than a lot of core options. You could give them spears for more attacks (shouldn't for the parry, unless you have a master plan to use chaff to kill things).

  • Terracotta: +1(4) res -1(1) agi for 2 points/model.
  • Barrow Legion: must take heavy armor 1 point/model. May replace shields with halberds for 1 point/model. Extra Protection and halberds make hoards deadlier

Skeleton Cavalry 170pts for 10 + 12ppm. About the same stats as a skeleton riding a faster skeleton. Use it how you would skirmish shock cavalry, but rely on magic instead of their armor to survive.

  • Terracotta: +1(4) res -1(1) agi for 1 points/model.
  • Barrow Legion: may take lances for 1 point/model. May gain +1 armor at the cost of -1 adv -2 march for 5 points/model.

Skeleton Charioteers 290pts for 3 + 75ppm. take two skeletons, have them ride two fast skeletons and give them impact hits. Pretty strong for their price and have options for range and deal great damage on the charge. Have fun hoarding them up.

  • Terracotta: +1(5) res -1(1) agi for 15 points/model, max unit size of 6.
  • Barrow Legion: may replace halberds with lances for 5 points/model.

Core + Ancient Ordinance[edit]

Skeleton Archers 115pts for 10 + 10ppm. throw enough shit at a wall and some will stick. If you're taking them, go for the sheer volume of fire. putting a Nomarch with them increases their power with every archer the unit has.

  • Terracotta: +1 res -1 agi for 1 point/model.
  • Barrow Legion: must take heavy armor for 1 point/model.

Skeleton Scouts 140pts for 5 + 11ppm. avoidance cavalry. Abuse their aspen bows to get the most out of their movement.

  • Terracotta: +1 res -1 agi for 1 point/model.

Ancient Ordinance[edit]

Shabti Archers 200pts for 3 + 90ppm. Great Aspen Bows carryed by a brute is nothing to sneeze at, but Aim (5+) is... Statistically, you can put a Str 5 hit on any unit within 36" for every 3, but the price and the lack of buffs make them a niche choice. You could still play them like normal Shabti (move and shooting don't matter to UD) to make up the point with melee.

Sand Stalkers 250pts for 3 + 65ppm. Weird medusas that can throw out a lot of AP10 shots at short range, and wounds based on Agility. It depends on who you're fighting, but it will pay for itself. Devastating to Dwarfs, Orks, Goblins, Ogres, and Monsters.

Charnel Catapult 200pts. Can fire as a normal catapult with good strength, or as a weak catapult that forces panic checks. A flexible Warmachine but suffers from aim (5+). Being normal undead, the catapult can benefit from Undying Will.

  • Terracotta: +1 res -1 agi for 10 points.

Special[edit]

Necropolis Guard 200pts for 15 + 19ppm. Slightly better elite skeletons with Bodyguard (any character), Lethal Strike, and Poisoned attacks. Like most elite undead, their killing power comes from their special attacks rules rather than states. You will be giving them a shield or paired weapons depending on what you want to do with them. Paired weapons are usually better than halberds because of their special rules, more attacks will generate more 6s, meaning more kills.

  • Terracotta: +1(5) res -1(2) agi for 6 points/model, max unit size of 30.
  • Barrow Legion: must take heavy armor for 1 point/model, max unit size of 35.

Tomb Cataphracts 300pts for 3 + 105ppm. Your monstrous cavalry and hot damn are they good. Necropolis Guard on a poison stone snake. 3 HP each, 3+ armor, and 5 attacks. Well worth about 100 points a model. They can additionally be upgraded with an Underground ambush, making them extra scary flankers.

  • Barrow Legion: cannot be taken.

Shabtis Your troll Expy. Base 210 for 3 + 80 points each doesn't look bad, but you will be giving them a weapon if you want them to efficiently kill things (Paired Weapons +14ppm for Att4 + stomp or Halberd +15ppm for S6 Ap3). Shabtis are your source of consistent high strength and Ap attacks, but in an army with plentiful access to poisoned attacks and lethal strikes, they tend to be overshadowed by necropolis guard (when your not rolling badly). The main benefit of shabtis is they have smaller unit footprints and Increased makes them more maneuverable than your hordes of infantry.

Great Vultures 155pts for 21 + 21ppm. Some little flying annoyances. They have no defenses to speak of and a decent amount of ok attacks. If you're taking them, it's going to be as chaff for your big hitters or clog that Warmachine.

  • Terracotta: may not be taken.

Scarab Swarms 130pts for 2 + 40ppm. Each base gets 5 attacks with poison and can make full supporting attacks. You can get 30 attacks out of a max sized unit. They can hold their own with distracting and large health pools, but their low resilience and lack of any saves will ensure they get destroyed if unsupported.

  • Terracotta: may not be taken.
  • Barrow Legion: must be made kickass ghost for 28 points/model, max 4 models per unit, max 7 models per army. Gains Aegis (5+, 3+ vs non-magical attacks), ghost step, and magical attacks, but reduces their resurrected value to 1.

Mason's Menagerie[edit]

Battle Sphinx 480pts. Chunks out 12 attacks on a charge. Now add a breath weapon, Res 8 and a 4+ save. Your opponent will have to focus hard on each sphinx to take it down. With all its 8 Str4 Lethal Strike Light Lances and 4 Str5 poison attack and Breath Attack, its best suited to deleting low armour, Res 3 units.

  • Barrow Legion: cannot be taken.

Dread Sphinx 450pts. A sphinx that said screw you to all the little guys on top and opted to take a giant axe on its own into battle. It does nutty damage to other monsters, but you have better tools to do that with, he is still pretty good as he can fly into enemy flanks after he doses his job.

  • Barrow Legion: cannot be taken.

Tomb Reapers 330pts for 2 + 210ppm. They are in a weird spot, they fill a similar role as Tomb Cataphracts, monstrous flankers. they fly and have around better stats than a Tomb Cataphracts except for armor. They are more expensive but reportedly cost-effective in units of 4. They are meant to be tougher Shabtis that fly over obstacles to flank monsters while Tomb Cataphracts destroy infantry flanks.

  • Terracotta: may not be taken.

Colossus 410pts. Our giant is better. Don't bother with the Giant Aspen Bow, it will only hit 2 times in a game if you're lucky and you have better shooting elsewhere in your army anyways. Although less defense then a Battle Sphinx, its D3 Grind and 6 Str6 Ap3 attacks wrecked High amour, Res 4-5 enemy like odors, orcs, and knights. Paired Weapons give them +1 attack and ignore enemy parry, and the Scales of Destiny are a handy way of getting some spells into your opponents face on an incredibly tanky chassis in exchange for some offense.

  • Barrow Legion: cannot be taken.

Entombed[edit]

Sand Scorpion 175pts. A pretty cheap scary monster that can surprise onto the board anywhere. They will make their points back wherever they pop in.

In addition to scorpions, the Entombed category also includes all units with Underground Ambush, meaning you can't have all of your army pop onto the board turn 2.

Magic Items[edit]

Weapon Enchantments[edit]

Godslayer 75pts. Great weapons only, makes it awesome. The model gains +1 attack, Divine attacks, Magical attacks, and Multiple wounds (2 vs Aegis). Note that the multiple wounds apply to conditional aegis saves, even if they don't protect against this weapon. Have fun making your WDG opponent cry.

Scourge of Kings 35pts. hand weapons or paired weapons only. The attack value is set to 6 and reroll failed wound rolls in a duel. Handy for your harbinger to make use of his poison and lethal strikes.

Armor Enchantments[edit]

Jackal's Blessing 100pts. +2 hp and Fortitude (5+). Great. A meh armor save doesn't matter too much when your characters have 5 to 6 hp.

Sun's Embrace 40pts. shield only. The wielder gains distracting. Again, your characters already have great resilience and an easy means of regaining wounds. A 4+ armor save and penalty to be hit is all you'll need.

[edit]

Banner of the Entombed 45pts. Core and BSB only, max 2 per army. Now your skelingtons can be anywhere! You can't increase the unit size, but that shouldn't matter to much. You're putting a decent chunk of troops on the enemy wizard. A BSB that takes this banner only affects themselves, so if you need your bsb with your army, don't bother.

Artefacts[edit]

Sacred Hourglass 120pts. the bearer may reroll failed casting attempts, but only if the casting attempt was made with 2 dice. One of the best spellcasting items in the game. Your wizard now gets multiple attempts at spamming, making your magic phases go a long way.

Crown of the Pharaohs 90pts. Increases the bearer's commanding presence by 6". At the start of each turn, your pharaoh or nomarch can apply its Undying Will to any unit within 12" instead of the unit it is in. Now multiple units of infantry are scary as your opponent has no good options for who to fight.

Steeds of Nephet-Ra 60pts. Models on skeletal horses or chariots only. The bearer's unit gains ghost step and +4 march. Your scary chariot horde just got a lot faster.

Book of the Dead 50pts. The bearer can cast Death is Only the Beginning as a bound spell in a 12" aura. Hot damn. Be careful of your opponent dispelling it, but in the right place, this will do work.

Blessed Wrappings 45pts. +1 hp and loses flammable (does not prevent model from gaining flammable from other sources). Combine with Jackal's Blessing to get 7 HP chariots on the field.

Ankh of Naptesh 45pts. The bearer gains Hierophant and the bearer's unit gains Fortitude (6+). Drop it in your skele horde to make them more durable, but be aware that if the bearer dies you just lost your Hierophant no matter what the character was and dust to dust will fuck you. Always have a backup wizard.

Death Mask of Teput 45pts. Enemy units in base contact with the bearer suffer -2 offensive skill, usually maths out to a -1 to hit. Again, penalties to be hit will make your army more survivable.

Sekhem Sceptre 45pts. Gives the bearer autonomous and stubborn. Put it on your Hierarch or Architect that will be far from your general so they can actually move around on their own.

Sandstorm Cloak 40pts. Models on foot only. The bearer gains Fly (5", 15"), light troops, swiftstride, and a Sweeping Attack with a lot of hits but low strength.

Scroll of Desiccation 15pts. After choosing sides, pick one terrain feature on the table and delete it. The terrain there becomes just a dangerous terrain (1), but only to enemies. Watch the elves' eyes as their trees turn to sand.


The 9th Age Tactics
General
Armies