Warhammer Army Project/Tomb Kings
- 1 Tomb Kings: Warhammer Army Project, 9th Edition Tactica
- 2 Why Play Tomb Kings
- 3 Notable Changes from 8e
- 4 Special Rules
- 5 Equipment
- 6 Magic
- 7 Unit Analysis
- 8 Regiments of Renown
- 9 Building Your Army
- 10 Tactics
- 11 Playstyle
- 12 External Links
Tomb Kings: Warhammer Army Project, 9th Edition Tactica
Created by Mathias Eliasson, this project was a homebrew attempt at giving many of the units, nations, and factions that never got Armybooks of their own (and those left behind and never got one in 8th Edition) such a thing.
It should also be noted that Eliasson is constantly updating his work, so don't expect this page to stay current forever. If anyone wishes to actually update this page and the items that need it, later on, go ahead.
Why Play Tomb Kings
Besides all the bling and skull accessories with options for colors other than red? Or besides liking the idea of an ancient civilization returning from the dead to wreak havoc on their enemies and seek revenge for the decline of their nation? Maybe you're just a fan of the Mummy movies and want to fight on the titular character's side, they're all good reasons.
For one, almost the entire army is just skeletons. Thus with some greenstuff, bits, and a box of redshirts, you can avoid paying $16 for a generic character or $55 for ten slightly more armored troops than the $40 for 16 core. Furthermore, the customization freedom is amazing.
Tomb Kings are a pretty fragile army and unforgiving one as they have sat near the bottom of the power rank totem pole for a while in 8th, with many exceptions and special rules to keep in mind while playing, so it is not recommended for beginners who are just learning the ropes. Like their Egyptian parallel, Tomb kings are reliant upon light infantry blocks, regiments of archers and skirmishing light cavalry, with a heavy reliance upon magic for supporting and debuffing (according to myth anyway). Unfortunately, armour is a rare sight in the Tomb king army with only two units having natural saves greater than 5+, so your troops being numerically superior to your opponent's while supporting each other is a recommended position to take.
A point to note; many other armies take having troops on standby to flank for granted, but flanking is necessary for Tomb King victory as virtually all your units are inferior to their counterparts in other armies. With this in mind, you must be very careful when maneuvering troops and know that battlefield tactics (both yours and your opponent's) are crucial to victory or defeat.
A few points about this army that does not apply to other mortals (and sometimes immortal armies). Every unit has these special rules: Unbreakable, Unstable, Fear, and Undead. Undead tells us that every Tomb king unit is reliable - fragile but reliable. A unit will not break and run because of a bad dice roll, so there is little to fear about losing combat. However, because of Unstable, a unit will lose the number of Wounds equal to how many points it lost a combat by (if it has lost combat) and while not so troubling when it happens to a large block of skeletons, it is a great concern for Monsters, small elite units, and lone characters. Finally, because of Fear, it is perfectly possible to bring a unit down a peg in combat against any unit in the Tomb king army if the opponent makes a bad dice roll. There are also ways to increase the chance of a failed leadership test. NEVER forget to make your opponent take that Fear test, as its one of your key strengths.
In addition, there are special rules that only apply to Tomb Kings. These are: Animated Constructs, Arrows of Asaph, and Entombed Beneath the Sands (EBTS). Animated constructs identify the unit as a magical automaton made of bone/stone/metal/tar etc. that is not a skeleton. This includes the likes of the Ushabti and Warsphinxes, and by having this special rule a unit suffers one less Wound due to Unstable and automatically has a 5+ Armour Save (note it does not specify that this is a scaly skin save, nor does it imply that it is given by any kind of armour thus making things that "ignore armor" still have to make this roll). Arrows of Asaph applies to every unit in the army with a ranged weapon, and it essentially states that the unit will never benefit from bonuses or suffer from penalties when shooting, allowing a unit to move, fire directly into cover, fire though a unit, fire at long range, etc. all without suffering penalties like other armies. EBTS allows the unit to enter play from reserve anywhere on the board (those familiar with the 'other' Warhammer can think of it like deepstriking) with the ability to Move (but not Charge) on the turn it arrives, although the downside to this is the high potential for scattering away into terrain since it doesn't arrive exactly where you choose, and the 1 in 6 chance of rolling a misfire on the artillery dice with another 1 in 3 chance of killing off the unit (the other 2 options are not so bad). Finally, Rob Cruddace has seen fit to completely remove any ability for a Tomb King unit to make a normal March move for absolutely no good reason and kept the restriction from the previous Army Book that limits their Charge reactions to just Hold, meaning Skeleton Archers cannot Stand And Shoot.
So altogether the army as a whole will be very slow and inflexible in comparison to other armies who are perfectly capable of moving twice their Move distance with their respective units.
Tomb king units, like Vampire Count units, can reliably resurrect Wounds and models in units from casting buffing (AKA Augment) spells in the Lore of Nehekhara, allowing for many units in the Tomb Kings army to Tarpit another, pricier unit and still sustain the combat for a extended period of time as long as they receive magic support.
Like Vampire Counts, Tomb Kings have a leader character. Called the Hierophant, he is the highest Wizard level character who MUST be in the Lore of Nehekhara. Models in his unit have Regeneration (6+), which is nice, and if he dies your army starts to Crumble which means each turn your army takes a Leadership Test unit by unit, taking Wounds by the amount they fail it. Unlike the Vamps, you cannot replace the Hierophant; once it dies, you're on a short time limit to win before the metaphorical Deathstar finishes blowing up. Not fun by any measure.
The Battle Standard Bearer lets any units within 12 inches take one less Wound of damage from Unstable or Crumble, so keeping the troops near Old Glory is a big advantage.
tl:dr; Tomb Kings are a jack of all trades but a master of none.
Notable Changes from 8e
- Pharaohs can actually ride horses
- Ushabti are better supported by spells
- Being classified as Animated Constructs actually gives you quite a few immunities to otherwise dangerous spells and powers.
- have unbearable archers that ignore hit penalties, and many are also fast movers.
- despite ignoring hit modifiers, most of your army's arrows only hit on 5+ unless you have a pharos (then hitting on 4s).
- Undead: Undead are now a type of Animated Construct, with all the statues also made of dead people. Alongside all the immunities they have, they also cause Fear and have Unstable. All Undead are still incapable of marching unless joined by a model with My Will Be Done. Keeping a BSB within 12" of one can reduce the wounds suffered by Unstable/Hierophant's Death by 1.
- As a faction focused on speed and flanks, not marching can be a problem at times. Your only means of mitigating this is either with spells or by attaching a model with MWBD and/or Chosen Bodyguard (aka Tomb Kings and their Heralds).
- This change lets lore of Nehekhara repair Ushabti and Necrosphinxes but you remain vulnerable to anything that affects the Undead.
- Hierophant: Same as before, your most powerful Nehekaran Lore wizard must become your Hierophant. They give an attached unit a 6+ regen, but if they die the entire army must test Ld every turn or die unless another Hierophant can be found.
- My Will Be Done!: A necessity for your forces, this rule is what makes Tomb Princes and Kings (as well as Settra, Phar, Amanhotep and Tutankhanut) indispensable. This allows the character's unit to use their WS. This is vital in making your skellies viable in combat and must never be ignored.
- There are two exceptions to this rule: Mounts (who shouldn't be your main source of damage anyhow) and Tomb Heralds (who tend to have a WS just as good, if not better, than your HQ).
- Arrows of Asaph: No penalties for shooting bows. Ever. Now you have no excuse to not run with bows. Queen Khalida approves.
- Entombed Beneath the Sands: It's essentially Ambushers except it's in the Remaining Moves sub-phase with scatter and a risk for a mishap (1-2 dead, 3-4 try again next turn, 5-6 random placement)
- Tomb Blades: Weapons of all Tomb guard of all kinds and Heralds. Condenses the rule sthat they have Killing blow and Magical attacks.
Treasures from the Necropolis
- Destroyer of Eternities: 60pts. Aimed at you a fighting chance against monsters, what more could you want? Well we could actually do with a few extra points to spend on something to, well... keep that 270 point lord alive. With little access to armor, 40 points isn't much to spend on protection, especially since the glittering scales are 25 points. A tomb herald can potentially take some of the fire but he can only soak one wound per turn. Other than that, the tomb king can wallop away with a one handed S7 sword that dices monsters for lunch.
- Blade of Antarhak: 50pts. A defensive magic weapon, this expensive god-send can keep a flimsy tomb king alive for those vital few turns at the cost of a potential strength boost, useful when gearing a Tank King.
- Scorpion Armour: 40pts. While this is no stronger than the default light armour available, this is your means of keeping a unit hanging as long as possible, minimizing all wounds suffered when factoring Combat Resolution.
- Collar of Shapesh: 25pts. This lets you shove unsaved wounds the wearer suffers onto other models in the unit. This means that you can turn that whole unit of skeleton warriors into a wall of ablative wounds, though you must make sure that the unit keeps itself together.
- Golden Death Mask of Kharnut: 50pts. The Death mask is quite a expensive item for what it does, and it's 35 Pts, making it take up a sizeable portion of a Herald or Prince's allotment. This item is vital for breaking through a opponent line and into his rear, as it prevents a unit from using the general's "Inspiring presence" and the BSB's "Hold your Ground", thus rendering a unit horrifically vulnerable to failing a LD test and subsequently run down. It is because of this, the Death mask is a favored item to equip a Tomb King mounted on a chariot, who can ensure that the unit of chariots he is leading will break and run down any unit they charge.
- Cloak of the Dunes: 35pts. It wouldn't be so bad if you could join flying units and perhaps move more than 10' a turn, the flyby damage is nothing more than a gimmick due to the low number of low strength hits which are only really useful against light units, which you should be avoiding with solo characters in the first place.
- Neferra's Scrolls of Mighty Incantations: 30pts. An insta-cast item which is only really effective on high level liche priests, however a higher level also increases the chance of a miscast. If you need something to happen so badly that it's worth causing your liche priest to combust, chances are it's a one trick pony and shouldn't be considered in the first place.
- Enkhil's Kanopi: 15pts. Not a bad curveball for 25 points but highly situational so more often than not it's a waste of points.
- Banner of the Hidden Dead: 60pts. A little bit tricky since you're sending a unit to EBTS, but thankfully this permits a nominated unit and any other EBTS gets to re-roll their scatters. However, this demands that the standard bearaer be alive, as killing them kills the unit you nominated as well.
- Standard of the Undying Legion: 30pts. Pricey and a competent opponent will never let it activate (which means it's ridiculously useful).
Lore of Nehekara
Lore Attribute: The Restless Dead: Allows you to regenerate D6+1 wounds worth of models to a unit that successfully receives one of your augments. Any MI, MC, MB and Monsters will only get one wound back per magic phase. Bummer. That being said, it's basically the only way to survive in a game. Keep spamming augments on your Tomb Guard or whatever else and you can win any war of attrition.
- Signature Spell: Khsar's Incantation of the Desert Wind: (CV 5+) This spell is Tomb King's version of marching. It allows one friendly Undead units within 24" (all within 12" if boosted (CV 10+)) to take a free extra move. You can't charge but it is still useful especially if you have lots of slow foot soldiers.
- Djaf's Incantation of Cursed Blades: (CV 7+) Short-range augment that grants killing blow to a unit OR if the unit already has KB then it works on 5's and 6's. This spell is usually only ok but if you're playing against lots of knights or other heavy armor unit's it's particularly useful. Fun Fact: if you cast this on chariots their impact hits get KB and that can get STUPID.
- Neru's Incantation of Protection: (CV 9+) Gives a unit a 5+ ward save. This is the best way to protect those poor bastard sphinxes with only a 5+ armor save and really everything else in your army. Combined with the lore attribute, this can really draw out combat.
- Ptra's Incantation of Righteous Smiting: (CV 9+) Gives a unit 1 extra attack per model and also multiple shots (+1) for the non-Warmachine ranged units. This works on mounts, each rider of a sphinx, etc. and can really dish out some pain. People claim that a unit of Bowshabti with this can become very powerful but I have never seen it. This boosted spell has the largest bubble range at 12". Yes that means every friendly unit within 12" of your priest gets bonus attacks and models back. It works with the Necrolith Colossus' Giant Bow, making it potentially useful (it hits on 5's, but being able to shoot twice can help mitigate that, and if you hit both times, that can really put the hurt on enemy monsters).
- Usirian's Incantation of Vengeance: (CV 10+) Subtracts D3" of movement from an enemy unit and forces them to take dangerous terrain tests even on open ground. Occasionally very useful, but usually not so great. In theory, this is good on footslogging hordes because if you use it with Khalida archer spam, that 200 blocks of zombies - now M1. However, this is more of an inconvenience on a mounted army and a gunline/archer army won't give any fucks.
- Usekhp's Incantation of Desiccation: (CV 11+) Subtracts 1 from an enemy unit's strength and toughness. This spell can really mess up your opponent hard. Watch the Ogre player's face when he finds out your halberd tomb guard is hitting on 3's (with prince/king) and wounding on 2's against their ironguts. This can be boosted to subtract d3 from S and T but -1 is usually enough to do the trick since you will be seriously risking a miscast if you boost this one.
- Sakhmet's Incantation of the Skullstorm: (CV 15+) Generic vortex. Not really worth it. Buffs are better.
Lords & Heroes
NOTE: Under the current edition of WHFB, Named Characters tend to be overpriced. That being said, the following Named Characters do have certain wargear, or a combination of different wargear that are unique to them, as well as a few Special Rules. You could take another model and emulate one of the Characters from scratch to save you a few points. Just remember, if you really need to field a Named Lord/Hero, you can go right ahead, but be sure you're getting your points worth.
For Tomb Kings, contrary to most armies, the special characters offer some flavor and options that are not possible to emulate with normal characters. Some even find the army hard-pressed to compete without them.
- Settra the Imperishable: Sporting a magnificent beard at a godly 560 points, Settra represents the pinnacle of Tomb King special characters, a good thing too as he was the first of the priest kings of Khemri after years of strife between the desert tribes (in other words, the first true Tomb King), and since then his only undefeated enemy was time itself. Supreme leader of all Tomb Kings. Settra must be the Army General, no two ways about it, and gets the expanded 18" range to Inspiring Presence alongside an 8" bubble to use My Will be Done even when inside a unit. In addition, due to being a Level 2 wizard with Lore of Nehekhara, he can also be the Hierophant if you so desire - not that this is a good idea as you'd want a Liche Priest so you can cast other spells and because you never want to put so many eggs in one basket, even with his double curse (the second spreading weaker hits but to anyone within 2d6"). In terms of mobility, Settra must be fielded upon The Chariot of the Gods and may never be taken on foot (however he may be dismounted should the chariot be destroyed), and the chariot itself possesses a reasonable movement value of 8", four basic Skeletal Steeds (note this makes his base width 4"), a statline with five across, and Flaming and Magical applied to all of its Impact Hits. In melee, Settra shines however, with a powerful statline of WS7 and five S6 Attacks and T5 with his unmodifiable 4+/4++ save and Magic Resist 1 to protect him, with the added benefit of his Blessed Blade of Ptra ignoring Armour Saves, giving him Flaming Attacks, and a permanent To Hit for Shooting and Close Combat debuff of -1 should a Character or Monster be hit by it.
- Settra rolls the roles of caster, melee DPS and support into one package, and a mobile one at that. All of this does come at a cost however; Settra is fragile compared to some armies' special characters, only sporting Heavy Armor and mounted status to provide an Armour Save of 4+ and the 4++ Ward and Magic Resistance buffing his Ward Save to 3+ against spells. Furthermore, while his T5 will resist some of the S3/4 hits you will take, his large base size will ensure that he will receive a load of those attacks. A good and fluffy general, recommended in larger games for his Ld and MWBD bubble, along with an ace model.
- High Queen Khalida: Hail to the Queen, baby. Killed by her cousin, the first vampire, she prayed to the snake god to be cured and died a paladin. Now she's back as the #2 supreme Tomb King to slaughter vampires and keep leading her people in worship of sneks. A radical change from prior incarnations, she is now significantly cheaper at 315 points and arguably better for it. She retains much of her old statline with WS6, BS3, S4, T5, W3, and a LD of 10. Unique in the army for being fast with M6, five Attacks, and ASF on top of I9 making her the fastest Tomb King character available and able to even bonk an Elf before it can react, which coupled with her Poisoned Attacks and a restored 4+ regen save makes her a very formidable melee character against basic troops. However, Khalida is best known as the posterchild of Tomb King archer lists everywhere, as her MWBD has been altered to grant her BS3 rather then her WS6 to any unit of Archers she joins in addition to granting their Shooting Attacks Poisoned, ramping up the damage output of the unit. Two other minor notes: Khalida also has Hatred against Vampire Counts and a bound PL5 spell which inflicts 2D6 S4 hits against a unit within 24".
- She makes a good general for archer-heavy lists, but a fragile one so if you take her, keep her in a unit, preferably buffed with some form of protection (like Incantation of Neru). Coupled with Sepulcheral Stalkers, she'll ensure you have the damage to wipe out a good amount of the opposing force before they reach you.
- Grand Hierophant Khatep: The Grand Hierophant during the reign of Settra, Khatep was banished from the kingdom after Settra's resurrection for withholding the secrets of the priests from Settra, and has since been cursed to wander the world in search for a solution to Nagash's curse. A level 4 wizard that has the loremaster of Nehekkara, Khatep is the casting alternative to Arkhan at a similar price of 340 points with the added stipulation of being forced into being the Hierophant. While being forced to use the lore of Nehekhara, he makes up for the limitation by being a Loremaster as well as boosting both the healing of the Lore Attribute and granting a 5+ regen. The crowning jewel of Khatep is certainly his staff, which allows him to reroll all of the dice in a single casting attempt once per turn, allowing risky moves to be pulled with marginally less fear, and unlucky fails or miscasts to have a second chance. A final point would be the Scroll of the Cursing Word, a one use item that works like a dispel scroll and ends all further casting attempts for one turn on a single wizard if they fail a Toughness test, and D3 automatic unsaveable wounds if they fail it on a 6. In case this wasn't clear enough, the item is incredibly unreliable, and highly situational if you intend to harm the caster instead of just dispelling. Overall, Khatep can be an acceptable choice; being the mandatory Hierophant frees your other priests to use the Lores of Death and Light, and gives you access to all of the spells. Just keep him in a big unit with a protective buff get some value from him.
- Arkhan the Black: Once one of Nagash's lieutenants during the reign of Nagash until he took a spear to the heart, and has since been resurrected as a Lich upon Nagash's return. As the plan to resurrect Nehekhara didn't work out as planned, Arkhan buggered off for a couple of hundred years, and has only recently returned, hiring his services and armies out like some sort of mercenary corporation to anybody who pays the right price. At 360 points, he is a Level 5 Death Wizard that can be your army's Hierophant. 6 Spells with a +5 to Cast/Dispel. Yeah, you know you're spoiled for choices here. The Tomb Blade also works as a localized Restless Dead whenever he makes a kill in close combat, raising one wound of his own unit for every one he causes (make note, he has a reasonable statline for dealing with footsloggers but only has T5 to protect himself). His final piece of equipment (not counting the book) is staff of Nagash, an arcane item that can store up to three dispel dice in your opponents magic phase and converted to power dice in your own magic phase. He also comes with the option to ride a chariot, then the option to upgrade that chariot with he ability to fly and/or take two additional steeds for extra close combat attack output. In conclusion, Arkhan is a solid anti monster and debuff caster, while Tomb blade may be a bit "meh" and the staff of Nagash dependent on the outcome of the magic phase, he also fields a strong statline for personal protection and a superior casting/dispelling bonus above almost all other wizards. A good wizard but a Glass Cannon. Keep him away from the front lines or in a big unit.
- An interesting addition to the new armybook is the options Arkhan has to his chariot. On top of the typical scythes, he can also grab extra ponies to ape Settra in every way (though he lacks all the reasons to join a unit of chariots) as well as the ability to cause Terror or Fly. That grants you some serious mobility, though it gimps your choices of movement.
- King Phar: Ruler of Mahrak and the closest thing Settra has to a sworn enemy who isn't named Nagash. He already acts as a mini-Settra by being half the Imperishable one's price (250, 305 if you buy the chariot) and acting as the mandatory general, though banning any other Tomb Kings or other characters from joining his army hampers your choices. Lacking any other special rules, his role as a beatstick is a bit more clearly recognized with WS6 and S5/T5. His weapon is a magical one-handed flail that deals d3 wounds and has both a light armour that re-rolls all wound rolls against him and a shield that debuffs all models in b2b with him with -1 to hit whenever he makes his parry save.
- Amanhotep the Intolerant: Ruler of Zandri who had the misfortune of being robbed multiple times and in response built up a massive tomb ship of his own. He has the basic statline of a TK character with Hatred, dual weapons that grant ASF and +1 to all Combat Resolution, and light armour that gives a 3++ ward when he's on his last wound, but his most remarkable feature is his bombardment. As he lacks any shooting, he can instead use his massive ship to fire an S7 flaming magical blast with a d6" scatter, with misfiring only blocking it for the next turn.
- Sehenesmet: Vizier of Quatar and master architect. Sehenesmet is a costly mix between Necrotect and Liche Priest, being a level 2 wizard of Nehekhara with magic resist 2 as well as having the Necrotect's stone shaper with a 5+ regen. While he has a great weapon that can fire as many magical missiles as there are unsaved wounds that he inflicted in close combat, this is at the cost of becoming I1 and thus beat out by even lizardmen and dwarfs. Instead, use him because he swaps around the entire army allotment chart by making special/rare stone constructs (Monstrous Infantry, Monstrous Cavalry, Monstrous Beasts or Monster units) core/special while making all other core/special units into special/rare. Sure, this is a costly deal as you are no longer able to summon shittons of skellies, but you now have a ton of Ushabti and Stalkers to throw around like nobody's business.
- Prince Tutankhanut: Prince of Numas who decided to turn his body into solid gold and a total reference to King Tut. He's THE most protected TK with a 2+/4++ save that turns to 2+/3++ when riding a chariot. His weapons are a normal Arrows of Asaph bow and an armour-ignoring halberd.
- Scythan Warriors: The biggest curiosity of Not-Tut is his ability to buy a variant of Horse Archers that lack both Arrows of Asaph and Undead. This means that you have a force of actually usable fast cavalry archers that aren't held down by the general liabilities of the undead, but with a middling Ld score of 7, you must be careful with them and make sure they stay on the archery.
- Prince Apophas: A complete douchebag who killed the entire royal family and declared himself king, leading to a rebellion against him and a lulzy divine punishment of being not allowed to die until he claimed the soul of someone who's soul is equal to his own (something that is impossible). He's a very odd character, he appears to be an assassin except that normally an assassin in Warhammer hides in a unit until the most appropriate time, where he's be whipped out right under the opponent's nose and wrecks a valuable unit and ASF/high Initiative and massive damage. Apophas on the other hand can never join units, and only has the option to appear using EBTS. There is a downside however, as he is unable to Charge on the turn he appears, but can move, which makes the inevitable wall of lead or iron pelted his way a little easier to deal with.
- On the point of moving, Apophas can Fly, has Strider and causes Terror, allowing him to port around the battlefield at will and potentially threaten light units with Terror checks, and if that fails he is certainly capable of dealing with any small units like Dire Wolves or Pistoliers in combat. That being said, there is not much else he can do but threaten warmachines, as his stats are pretty poor with WS4 S4 T3 W4 I1 A5. As you can see he isn't going first against anything but Zombies and Steam Tanks, and the T3 excludes him from any combat against elite or large units although he does have a 4+ Regeneration save to at least keep him from being killed by a stray flying rock. In addition, he has two special abilities that are quite useful in a pinch, the first being Soul Reaper which allows Apophas to reroll failed rolls To Hit and wound against a character chosen before the game during combat (the character Apophas is there to kill in the first place), and the ability to use a S2 Breath Weapon, and deals 2d6 S2 hits to anyone within 2d6" whenever he dies.
- As you can see Apophas is less of a assassin character and more of a scout hunter, wizard slayer and warmachine hunter. If you take him, use him carefully and then only if you have the points to spare.
- The Herald Nekaph: Bodyguard and Herald of Settra the Imperishable. The character is mediocre, as he's got a touch of wasted potential on top of a price hike. Very mediocre statline of WS5 S4 T4 W2 I3 A3 LD8 for a 160 point undead combat hero with KB. The problem is he only has light armour to save him from wounds, immediately discounting any use his Sworn Bodyguard special rule may have as he is so fragile for a super-champion. Ideally, he must challenge where he gains a 5++ ward save and has his KB activate on a 5+, while his new weapon doubles any wounds he deals for the sake of Combat Resolution. Yet he will usually endure a barrage of hits from his opponent first, and the aforementioned stats and armour leave him little chance against most enemy equivalents...until you read the other new stuff. His Vambraces of the Sun make all cc attacks against him take -1 to hit, which is minor, but his biggest gift is the Amulet of Neru, which SHUTS OFF ALL TALISMANS, ENCHANTED, AND ARCANE ITEMS IN B2B. While a far cry from shutting off all magic items, this does give him a reliable means of hunting down wizards and other heroes who rely upon magical items to protect themselves while wearing mundane armour. Why do I call him wasted potential? Because his special rule Herald of Despair is so good, and it is wasted on a character who must challenge, and most likely get himself killed at the first opportunity. It forces your opponent to take fear tests on 3D6 like the vampire counts banner, discarding the lowest result, which is exactly what Tomb kings need in greater quantities. A situational character, take him only if you can spare the points or are playing a fluffy game.
- Ramhotep the Visionary: A sneaky little git that circumvented the natural process of being interred in the pyramids he builds by masquerading as another necrotect overseeing the construction until the time came to commit ritual suicide, which is when that the "other" necrotect suddenly found himself force fed the poisoned elixir while Ramhotep made a hasty escape. A little bit proud and vain, he has become quite pissed seeing his "masterpieces" falling into ruin, or falling into the greedy grasping hands of lesser civilizations. Cheap for a named special character at 110 points, but ludicrously expensive in comparison to the normal Necrotect (only 60 points) and whether the increase in cost is worthwhile is up for debate. In addition to the normal Necrotect special rules, Ramhotep grants Frenzy to the unit he is with, and while this does increase the initial damage output it will only last until you lose combat, and the odds are simply based on the army that the unit will lose to anything competent in combat no matter how many upgrades the unit has (since he can't join a unit of something that can actually win a combat). In addition, a single Animated Construct unit is given the ability to reroll failed Armour saves, which immediately provokes the thought of a unit of Necropolis Knights with their 3+ Armor saves as standard being re-rollable, which is very welcome now that the random assignment bullshit is dead. It is worth noting that Ramhotep is very fragile at T4 and W2 with only Light Armor for a save. Take him only for a very buffed construct to do the heavy lifting, although the 50 point upgrade for a large unit of Necropolis Knights or maybe an important Sphinx is indeed worth it.
- Tomb Kings/Princes: Both of these will be looked at together since they're pretty similar. Tomb Kings are not mandatory (despite the name of the book), but in most cases, you will take one as a General. They have high Toughness, a fine number of Wounds, and good Leadership, but (as you might expect) a low number of attacks and a rather sad Initiative (4 for kings, 3 for princes). However, he is no melee beatstick; his true purpose lies in his rules, especially My Will Be Done. Essentially, any non-mount model in his unit gets to use his Weapon Skill. This provides a major boost to the survivability of your models in combat and helps with the low average WS of the army. Of course, your Tomb King (and Princes) can't be everywhere at once, so you should form a priority list of who should get it. Units that are already fairly decent should probably be on top; Tomb Guards, for instance, benefit immensely from MWBD, whereas the rule is generally a waste on basic Skeleton Warriors. They also inflict a "curse" attack on death, making your enemy think twice about setting an elite character-killer on him. The Tomb King is also Flammable, being a mummy. This is quite unfortunate, as most enemy heroes will have Flaming Attacks to deal with Regeneration. Both levels can be taken down in a flash, which makes their high(ish) level of Wounds a moot point (bring Dragonbane Gem or the Dragonhelm and give those flaming attacks the middle finger). Finally, a Tomb King on a chariot can join units of chariots. He cannot take non-magical heavy armour. As such, he must invest heavily in magic defense items, which many other races do not have to do. A friendly reminder to take the Fencer's Blades, as it gives your Tomb King WS10, which with MWBD gives an entire unit WS10.
- Liche High Priest/Liche Priest: Fairly cheap for a caster yet still on the expensive side of cheap, the Liche priest is an essential component of your army. This is because the army requires one caster to be the hierophant. Unfortunately, the hierophant must be the wizard with the highest level in the army and must also be taking the lore of Nehekhara; these two factors severely limit the flexibility of the Liche priests when choosing their spell lores. Both of the alternative options, Light and Death, are both superior to the lore of Nehekhara in one way or another.
- Tomb Herald: Cheap combat characters, far cheaper than tomb kings, being merely a tomb guard with better stats(WS4, S4, T4, W2, I3, A3, Tomb Blades), and a Bodyguard (more on that later) with the option of being the BSB and being mounted (Yayyy). The character is underwhelming in combat, It is simply undeniable. its combat potential is poor, with low initiative and Weapon skill forcing you to compensate with the use of magic items in order to compete with the faster, stronger hero choices of other races. The one niche where the herald really shines is acting as a living shield for a designated Tomb King. The bodyguard rule allows you to reallocate one random wound directed at the Tomb King onto their Herald each phase before saves are taken, therefore allowing the Tomb King to allocate their valuable magic item allowance to big swords with which to cut people up without worrying about having his head caved in - Unless your King's in a challenge, in which case you just bought a paperweight. Note that the wound is allocated before saves are taken, so if you wish to load the herald up on magic armour and nearly double his cost to mitigate that one wound per phase, no one will frown at you.
- With the expanse of generic Magic banners and letting your horsemen and chariots march, you can find something good like giving Chariots the Wailing or Ranger's Standard or give your tomb guard MR.
- Necrotect: The redone Undead rule gave this guy a MASSIVE boost in viability. The necrotect comes with Hatred (everything) and provides that special rule to any unit he joins, effectively turning them into dark elves. he packs a little bit of combat potential, at S and T are 4 with two attacks and paired weapons, he might be capable of taking out a few minions. Finally, any stone construct (Monstrous Cavalry, Monstrous Beasts or Monsters)within 12" gains a 6+ regeneration save, making him a necessity in any statue army.
- Skeletal Steed: At last, the Kings and Princes deign themselves fit to ride these simple beasts, and for that the universe is grateful. This means that your skeleton horsemen can finally be of use in combat. The tradeoff is that your leaders all have terrible protection and your horses are no exception.
- Skeleton Chariot: Tomb Kings and Princes only. The classic standby. Though you have the horse now, but it's hard to not want to make use of those chariots whenever you can, especially with their protection.
- Khemrian Warsphinx: Tomb King only. Killer riding an infantry mulcher. You're wasting My Will Be Done, but the lord with Sword of Bloodshed and Battle can mulch armies.
- Tomb Barque: Liche High Priest only. Wizard of flying buff chariot. This grants you a rather protected platform from which you can cast important spells and runes.
- Skeleton Warriors: These guys are your basic infantry. And yes, they absolutely suck as much as their statline would suggest. Luckily, they're also among the cheapest infantry in the entire game. They're also Unbreakable and can heal with the Lore of Nehekhara. On the other hand, these guys really, really fear Unstable, since they don't get a benefit from Steadfast and they almost definitely won't win a combat, meaning they'll just crumble away. Don't even think about giving them spears, either: you add 25% to their cost for a few more pitiful attacks. It's always better to load up on more bodies. Also, don't bother putting a Tomb King or Prince in the unit; My Will Be Done will not help them. The only reasonable way to use them is to field them in hordes. Then field hordes of hordes. Generally speaking, they aren't as good as Archers or Chariots, but they will give you a numerical advantage (albeit a partially-negated one, as you get no benefit from Steadfast).
- Skeleton Archers: You get the basic package, the same statline as your skeleton warriors including the BS of 2 (hitting on 5+) for double the price (like wtf?). However they benefit from the Arrows of Asaph special rule, meaning they will not suffer negative modifiers when shooting (and they need it! Being BS2 is already low enough without all the modifiers they might get e.g long-range shots, move and fire), allowing the unit to fire into cover, fire on the move, fire under the effects of spells, etc. which is quite helpful in placing strain upon an opponent who is looking to shelter units away from a ranged barrage.
- Tomb Swarms: Like the Tomb Scorpion, scarab swarms are not necessarily combat units, as their price makes buying many a liability. They do offer more utility to an army that fields them, as they possess the EBTS special rule, which means they too can pop up behind the opponent's line to cause mischief, as well as poison and Undead. They are normally favored over scorpions to kill warmachines, as they are significantly cheaper to field en masse, and are less likely to die to a point-blank cannon shot. Finally, it should be noted that Tomb Swarms possess the poisoned attacks special rule, which combined with their 10 attacks and wounds, opens up possibilities for nibbling at lightly armored monsters, this is because, with their S and T of 1, most infantry will be wounding the swarm on twos or threes, which puts the high strength of the monster to waste when hitting swarms. Note, do not reliably expect to kill monsters with Tomb swarms but don't immediately dismiss the thought.
- Skeleton Horsemen: Unfortunately the unit is stuck in a void of not knowing what it wants to be, it has the fast cavalry, obviously for either hitting an opponent's warmachines or moving into flanking position, but it also possesses the same statline as a normal skeleton with the addition of a mount, spear, and shield, which makes the unit entirely unsuitable for combat, especially when the price for each horseman is twice the price of a fully geared skeleton and there are currently no combat bonuses for charging cavalry aside from +1 strength on the spear. The only niche this unit falls into is flanking to deny steadfast, as all other units in the army that can reliably get a flank charge are either unable to form ranks or are ludicrously inefficient when they do so. A small block of 10 skele-ponies, on the other hand, can get the charge, and stay around long enough to disrupt the opposing unit. all for the "meager" cost of 120 points.
- Since Kings and Princes can now ride skele-ponies, this makes taking a unit of them less of an outright embarrassment thanks to MWBD. With a Tomb Prince's WS5 and Tomb Herald grabbing a banner, you can create a strong and cheap Deathstar hammer.
- Skeleton Horse Archers: A more suitable cavalry unit, horse archers replace the shield and spear for a bow at 1 additional point, in addition to also possessing the Arrows of Asaph. Like on foot, horse archers never count bonuses or penalties when rolling to hit, which is quite useful when they're BS2. Unfortunately, they only carry standard bows, which renders their damage output pitifully low, hence they are normally used to redirect charges and hunt for warmachines.
- Skeleton Chariots: Chariots have been and will be, the mainstay of many Tomb king armies, and for very good reason. They are widely considered the shock troops of the Tomb king army, they pack a plethora of small bonuses to aid in their role. Mobile Missile platform and Powerful chargers. Chariots are toughness 4 basic, the crewmen are WS 3 and have 2 attacks each (2 crewmen per chariot in addition to also carrying spears, javelins, and bows). The only issue with the unit is the high cost, at 48 points each a unit of chariots is a valuable and expensive asset that must be committed carefully, It must be stressed that it is always to your advantage if you charge chariots in the flank against a unit that has lost steadfast, rather then charging chariots directly into the front of a unit. Ensure the unit you charge will be damaged beyond combat capability with the impact hits, and tidy up whatever is left with the crew attacks, thus reducing the damaged returned to the chariots and potentially routing the unit and running them down. Charging a horde of chaos warriors head-on is never a good idea, even if you attach a Tomb King on a chariot.
- Tomb Guard: The elite infantry choice of the Tomb king army book, and a clear step above skeletons, with a higher WS, S, T, I and LD in addition to also possessing Tomb Blades and light armour as standard. This huge boost is reflected in the increase to points cost, standing at 10 points each, a unit of tomb guard is normally a large points sink. Normally a tomb guard unit is the center of attention when it comes to buffing units with a tomb king/necrotect/augment spells etc, and rightly so for such buffs are not wasted, especially when the unit can be given halberds to boost their strength to 5 to further increase their damage output, but do note that this costs an additional point, making the unit very expensive.
- Necropolis Knights: While skeleton horsemen are the light cavalry of the tomb king army, necropolis knights are the heavy cavalry. Monstrous mounts sporting a fearsome statline, the defining feature of this unit is the 3+ armour save when with shield, which is the highest basic save any unit in the TK army can possess, giving this unit a relatively high level of staying power. Even though it possesses such a save, it excels as a flanking unit in support of a large block of skeletons or tomb guard, and even though it is in direct competition with chariots, necropolis knights are more than capable of competing for a place in an army list. The rider is a buffed tomb guard, with the same statline aside from WS 4 and A 2, who also packs a spear and the killing blow special rule. The mount, on the other hand, has Ws3 S5 T5 A3 W3 and I3 allowing it to churn out enough damage to quickly earn it points back in short order, especially when we also factor in an Impact hit and poisoned attacks. Obviously, the necropolis knights favor prolonged combat whilst a unit of chariots depend upon breaking a unit on the charge, but in addition to flanking, necropolis knights also make a reasonable unit for hunting monsters, as the high strength of both the rider and mount on the charge means that many monsters will be wounded on 5s if not 4s and the poisoned attacks of the mount can wound on 3s. Finally, for an additional 5 points, a unit of necropolis knights can be deployed in reserve and enter play though EBTS, allowing you to push your opponent on two fronts with two fairly strong lines (that is if you don't get a spell of bad luck)
- Sepulchral Stalkers: Another unit designed to enter the board though EBTS, however, rather than acting as a flanker, the stalkers possess a unique offensive ability more suited for hunting heavy armor and monsters. Each stalker fire 3 S4 Armour ignoring, Killing blow shots, and use opponents initiative rather than their toughness to wound. This allows many monsters and heavy infantry to be wounded on 5s and even 4s with no chance of their armor saving them. Obviously, this ability is very handy for dealing with monsters, but do not forget that EBTS does not prevent you from shooting, thus allowing you to deliver the unit anywhere and set them upon anything, allowing for greater freedom of choice when using the unit. If you so wish it is possible to have your stalkers engage in close combat, and as long as the unit in question is light/facing the other way and engaged/ or half-dead, and still come out on top with a fairly healthy profile with Ws3 S4 T4 W3 I3 A3 and halberds, they cannot survive in a general brawl all by themselves, no, but it is perfectly acceptable to deliver a rear charge in order to break an enemy unit.
- Tomb Scorpion: The Tomb scorpion has lost the crown for EBTS king and has unfortunately been relegated to a distraction role. The issue with the tomb scorpion lies in the high points cost to wounds ratio and an unreliable system to deliver several scorpions in one place to threaten the rear of a unit, a problem necropolis knights have solved by being able to field a large number in a single unit. As a result, scorpions are best used to menace warmachines or force an opponent to redirect one of his units to clear the lone monstrous beast running around behind his lines, as it does not matter what unit charges the rear of another unit, the combat bonus is still the same. That being said, the scorpion is perfectly capable of surviving one round of combat in the rear of most units with a toughness of 5 and 3 wounds, and it may even cause a few casualties itself as it possesses Ws4 S5 I3 A4 with poisoned and killing blow. Oh, and as a side point, it also has magic resistance 1, carried over from the previous edition.
- Ushabti: Previously, Ushabti were THE shock troopers of a tomb king army, now they have fallen into the gap of uselessness that occurs when newer units can do the same job but be better at it. The Ushabti has lost the basic strength of 6 and has instead received a generic monstrous infantry statline of Ws4 Bs2 S4 T5 I3 A3 W3 Ld8 and light armour, which now comes with the option of taking a great weapon, paired weapon or great bow. The price was cut even further than in the 9th, leaving Ushabti as 42 points per model unit that act as a middle-point between Tomb Guard and Necropolis Knights, though certainly underwhelming when compared to the monstrous infantry of other armies. The only niche now seen by many tomb king players, is a heavy ranged unit, as great bows are strength 5 and as Ushabti do not benefit from bonuses when shooting or suffer from penalties, the law of averages states that one in three shots (six for being still) per turn will hit, which, therefore (theoretically) allows you to allocate a single S5 hit on any unit in 30" so it might be useful for picking off knights or dropping the wounds on a monstrous creature. For 126 points for a unit of three upgraded with bows potentially worth it.
- for +2ppm, yous can give them an upgrade to make them less outclassed in cc: KB, SB +1, +1M, Re-roll hits of 1 in CC, or get to attack back for each successful Wound inflicted upon them.
- Carrion: Unfortunately, with the changes to flyers and undead in general, Tomb king flyers don't really have the fly special rule, so most of the time they basically have hover special rule, which immediately curtails the possibilities for carrion, as it will most likely take twice as long to reach a point on the board when compared to the fliers of other races unless assisted by magic. Other than that, Carrion has a fairly decent statline for their cost in points at Ws3 S4 T4 W2 A2 I2 for 20 points. However, it should be noted that carrion do not possess armor, so they should not be expected to engage with combat units and come out unscathed, instead, it is advisable to use them to clean Warmachine hunters and light cavalry that slip past your lines, or harass a ranged unit that is a little too close to the front.
- Bastethi: In case you were ever wondering if there was a Khemrian equivalent to Bastet, the cat-headed Egyptian Goddess, you have these mummified kitties as proof. They're a bit confused in use, as they possess Vanguard and ASF as well as a statline that's a step up from the average wolf or warhound, but also possess two bound spells (Cursed Blades and Righteous Smiting) to use with miscasts instead harming them. Bastethi is used to support your flanking force, providing buff magic if you can't spare a priest to go with them.
- Ammuts: Your other new warbeasts, these are crocodiles fused to hippos fused to lions. These things are clearly meant for combat though with a 6+ natural armour in exchange for a price that's over twice the Bastethi and the loss of the Undead rule. Their Killing Blow lets them recover lost wounds and with re-rolls to wound Destruction Armies, they're a good way to fill in an assault list if you want something other than more bones.
- Screaming Skull Catapult: The primary "conventional" artillery of the Tomb king army, the screaming skull catapult brings vital ranged unit crushing ability coupled with the potential to deliver a high strength package to any monster anywhere on the field, all for the price of 100 points. In terms of damage output, the screaming skull catapult is identical to any other normal stone thrower, with the same small template, same strength 3 and the same strength 9 under the hole with D6 wound multiplier. However, the hits also have the Flaming Attacks for dealing with treemen, in addition to its pinnacle selling point, the ability to force a morale check on any unit who has taken at least one casualty exactly as though they have been reduced by 25%, this is obviously an effective combo with doom and darkness, allowing you to force a vital unit into retreat, or better, off the board. Alternatively, instead of using spells to reduce the opponent's leadership, you can upgrade the catapult to inflict a -1 leadership penalty on any unit taking a morale check from the catapult.
- Bone Thrower: At last, you have another war machine to add to your inventory: A bolt thrower that shoots sharpened bones at people. At only 35 points, this does open you up to a much cheaper option for a static gunline so you can load up on skellies for mobbing.
- Tomb Barques of Usirian: A brand-new unit giving you the equivalent of a hovering Corpse Cart and expensive mount for your priests. It's a flying chariot with 4+/6++ save, and its ability to immediately deal 2d6 S2 hits in b2b and 5 crewmen with spears+bows give it a bit to protect itself, but it should never be in the front lines. Its role is to boost other units with one of three powers (give itself Ethereal, enemies within 12" reroll all 6s to hit in cc, or friendly wizards within 6" gain Loremaster) each turn. Unlike other contemporaries, these are not locked from doing consecutive buffs, allowing you to spam spells with your priests or blunting big combat. Partner up with the Casket to make your wizards even better.
- Khermrian Warsphinx: A fancy unit to the Nehekharan army, keeping in line with the monster craze that's been running though GW head office. Immediately obvious, the warsphinx is designed to soak up elite units and other monsters that pose a threat to your lines, with a statline of Ws4 S5 T8 W5 A4 I1 you can see anything short of a shaggoth with a great weapon is going to need a 6 to wound, and if mass light attacks do manage to accumulate enough 6s to pose worry, a 5+ armor save should stop some of them. In addition, the warsphinx comes with a howdah carrying 4 Tomb Guard with Tomb Blades. It should be noted that these Tomb guard are immune to damage, and are treated like riders on a cavalry model, so when a initiative test is forced upon the sphinx, you will take it a the highest(I3 of the Tomb guard) of the combined profile. The warsphinx also has a unique attack (only against units smaller then monstrous infantry) in the form of the Thunder Crush, which essentially trades all of your normal attacks for one attack that, if it hits, acts as a direct impact from a stone thrower, allowing you to place the small blast template anywhere touching but not overlapping the sphinx, and anybody under the center takes a strength 9 hit with multiple wounds D3 and everybody else under the template takes a strength 3 hit. Obviously, this is very useful for taking huge chunks out of hordes, but due to the WS 4 of the sphinx, you must gamble with your damage output. On a final point, it is possible to upgrade the warsphinx to have poisoned attacks and/or a S4 flaming breath weapon.
- Necrosphinx: Advertised as a monster killer, the necrosphinx is one of the few units currently in existence that carries a natural attack with heroic killing blow special rule, giving it the potential to wipe almost any monster out on a lucky dice roll at a modest price of 225 points. An important point to note is the statline, being a variant of the warsphinx, has a toughness of 7, allowing it to remain locked in combat with almost any monster without much fear of losing, this is coupled with 5 attacks and strength 5 to clean up almost anything currently present. A note on the HKB, every turn you must nominate one attack before rolling to hit to strike at strength 10 and have the HKB special rule, this is obviously your primary source of damage against other monsters(it should be stressed this is only one attack with 50% of hitting most things that have a Ws higher than 3), while against infantry sized models, you also possess killing blow on your normal attacks. In addition, the necrosphinx has the ability to fly, which is awesome. May also be upgraded to have poison attacks, event more monster killing.
- Necrolith Colossus: The renamed and reimaged bone giant, the colossus is an incredibly cheap monster in relation to its statline, with a multitude of weapon options that allow you to tailor its role in your army. coming in at 170 points, the colossus sports a basic statline of Ws3 Bs2 S6 T7 W5 I1 A4, as you can see, it has sacrificed Weapon skill, initiative, and attacks in order to sport both strength 6 and toughness 7, allowing the colossus to definitely compete in a one on one situation with other monsters that lack an auto-hit/wound attack mechanic(giants in particular). The weapon options available can either compensate for the low number of attacks by taking two hand weapons(5 points) or maximize strength by taking a great weapon (10 points). Be a better cheap infantry blender or a discount Necrosphinx. you could instead take the Bow of the Desert (20 points), which gives the colossus a mobile bolt thrower that has all of the basic bolt thrower stats (S6, rank pierce, ignores armour, D3 wounds). Obviously this choice is designed for defensive lists who still wish to take a sturdy offensive unit, and it would not be so bad if the colossus wasn't BS 2 and the bow was not so expensive and applied for a close combat benefit. With the presence of the Bone Thrower, you can safely ignore this option. Ultimately, I would advise selecting the close combat weapon option that would best suit the target of your colossus. Finally, we have the defining trait of this monster, and quite an entertaining one at that, as when the colossus charges and engages in combat, every successful unsaved wound caused in that one combat round grants an additional attack, allowing for a vast quantity of wounds to stack up if you are particularly lucky. With this ability, it is perfectly possible for a colossus to break an engaged unit by smashing into their flank though the sheer amount of wounds churned out, so it is advised to hold one next to a tarpit until you can get an opponent's unit locked into combat. Give this model WS 10 with the spell from the lore of light and watch as he crushes through rank and file troops like they're made of butter. He'll pump out so many attacks that will hit because of the WS10 that his special ability will keep allowing you to attack over and over. Throw in Bjona's Timewarp as well and watch enemy units evaporate at base contact.
- Hierotitan: A magical support variant of the colossus with an identical statline aside from -1 attack, the Hierotitan, while being passable in close combat, it's strength lies in the two bound items it carries and it's passive buff. At face value, the bound items are of little note, one contains Shem's burning gaze (PL3), and the other contains spirit leech (PL4) at relatively low casting values, not enough to be reliable on one dice, but low enough to warrant consideration should they be in range, as it is perfectly possible to drain a few wounds from a monster heading towards your lines. In addition, the Hierotitan makes an excellent support unit for any unit containing a Liche Priest. Place a caster in a unit of skeleton spearmen (preferably in horde formation) and put a Hierotitan on the flank. Not only does this make the unit a bigger threat but the additional +D3 to cast for your wizard is a big bonus. Also, a devastating combination if you can fit a Casket into your list which makes for a nasty magic phase - when done with a L4 priest this tactic, this has been playtested to give an advantage in winds of magic 80% of the time and also gives the occasional +7 to casting attempts.
- Casket of Souls: Powerful rare choice and reasonable for the points cost. This is most effective in static armies and can provide a major magic boost (making it attractive in a TK army). they net D3 more magic dice a turn and its bound spell can be nasty, making an enemy unit take a leadership test on 3D6. They then take a number of wounds equal to how much they fail by, on a three-plus it bounces to another unit with 6". Just ensure that it is aimed at an enemy with friends that aren't stuck in. For the points value, it may even edge out the Screaming Skull, but the Screaming Skull doesn't risk blowing up your own army when it dies.
- Khemric Titan: In the pursuit for a legit giant, Mathias decided that the Tomb Kings would need something more than just more giants. Instead, they got...the mother of all beetles. Like the Hierotitan, it possesses a list of bound spells (A PL5 magic missile that's a magical S6 bolt thrower, a PL3 penalty to hit and charge, and a PL3 wound recovery to keep it trucking), but the thing isn't meant to be hanging around. It's meant to rush forth and use its various types of murderizing implements (rolled like a giant would) and die gloriously, throwing 2d6 S2 hits to all idiots within 6".
Regiments of Renown
Building Your Army
Buying Your Army
The Battallion is a great way to start. It comes with a unit of all the core or you could build the archers as warriors and make some archer horseman with the bows. It's better to equip your 40 skeletons as warriors so you'll have a sizeable hordish unit although you'll then have to make horse archers. From there it depends what build you want but obviously you need a priest or some other wizards.
Now that you're ready to march to war with the Undead Kings of Ages Past, it's time to think about which of the Undead Kings (or Queens) you're marching with. One of the biggest selling points of Tomb Kings is how well the army can do in a multitude of different configurations. There's no "Set" list (just a "Settra" one) that is deemed the best- they all have merits, and one or the other might work better for you based on your local meta and playstyle.
- The Unending Horde: Pretty simple, really. Skeletons. Lots and lots of Skeletons. Multiple units of 100+, big blocks of Spearmen and Tomb Guard, backed up by the Banner of the Undying Legion and Nehekharan Augments and Light Magic Buffs, invariably with Tomb Kings or Tomb Princes leading the way with My Will Be Done. Turn those cheapo Skittles into killing machines, and keep coming back for more even when the enemy outmatches you. There's a couple of variants on the Horde, as well. You will need a good deal of magic support with TK hordes as you will need to keep up your numbers and buffs.
- Another approach with this is using a lot of small skeleton warriors units. No one will break in combat, gives you an advantage in the deployment phase and it's so damn annoying for your opponent. I used this approach several times and my opponents were always doubting which small unit of warriors to charge. Flank charges were my easiest and best friend. Throw in some warsphinxes between the small units and your opponent doubts as hell. Steadfast is lost on TK hordes so might as well give it a try.
- Khalida/Archer Spam: What it says on the canned ham. Instead of footslogging Warriors, take Archers, and pincushion the enemy to death. With Khalida, that's a lot more arrows hitting the target, and Poison is just the icing on the cake. Try spell 3 of LoN.
- TombStar: The Tomb Guard deathstar. Usually consists of a blinged out Tomb King, Necrotect, and Battle Standard Bearer Tomb Herald at the forefront of a massive block of Tomb Guard. It will kill anything it touches. The trick is getting it into combat. Do not try this against elves/VC or any other magic heavy army, as they will drop everything the have on it and crumbling is bad.
- And the Tomb Kings Rode to War: Chariots. Oh Ancient Gods, Chariots. Also known as the more evocative "Bone Train", this army features units of 3 to 6 strong Chariots running everything over front and center, often supported by Settra or Arkhan.
- Action Figure Tomb Kings: This list essentially boils down to "How many Animated Constructs can we get in the list?" and features blocks of
Ushabti, Necrolith Colossi, Hierotitans, Sepulchral Stalkers and Necropolis Knights as the main damage dealers. If you have an army like this and don't bring at least one Necrotect, you're more hollow in the head than a Screaming Skull.
- Why Did It Have To Be Snakes!: Utilizing one or two 6 strong units of Necropolis Knights backed up by Light magic. Is shown to deadly effect in multiple Tourneys.
- TombKittens: Tomb Kings can fit 7, 8 or even more Toughness 8 Sphinxes in a list, with 3 Warsphinxes, 2 Necrosphinxes, and both Kings and Princes riding the giant stone cats. Sure, you'll lose 1 a turn to an opponent with a cannon- but you have more Cats than the game has Turned (except if you are able to field that many cats your opponent can (and will) field more than 1 cannon (expect 3min against any army which can have cannons).
- Entombed: Similar to a Spess Marine Drop-pod list, but from the other direction, and, you know, actually cool. Uses naturally Entombing units, as well as the Banner of the Hidden Dead to ensure that almost all your army emerges wherever the hell you want it to on the board.
Those are just a few of the more 'thematic' lists out there- many more feature a hybrid of these, or unique strategies altogether. Again, the beauty of Tomb Kings (aside from Khalida) is the versatility of the army.
Tomb Kings have access to three lores: Nehekara, Light, and Death. Since you're required to take at least one priest with the lore of Nehekara (specifically your highest level wizard [in case of tie you can have one be another lore]). Use Light and Death depending on the opponent. Lore of Death is useful for extra power dice and character sniping. You can use the spell to make your skeleton warriors cause terror, for example if they were versing Ogres. Purple Sun of Xerus is a hit or miss power. If it ends up among your troops, their usually low initiative will see it backfire horribly. Lore of Light is a better choice. Speed of Light is excellent, especially on Sphinxes, as they go from Initiative 1 to 10, and it makes their Thundercrush/Decaptiating Strike more likely to hit them before they hit you. Bjona's Timewarp is great as it give you ASF, an extra attack and double movement, off-setting your inability to march and your low initiatives (unless your versing elves). For example, use Lore of Death against Orcs and Goblins, use Lore of Light against Vampire Counts or Warriors of Chaos.
See army composition for some builds, otherwise you want to keep your casters and general alive as you will suffer hugely from the lose of ether of them (crumbling is bad). Beyond that you will want plenty of fodder to soak up hits from magic and warmachines as well as giving you some ware to put your heroes. Protect your Hierophant, by giving them at least a Ward save. Also keep them in a unit unless you have no choice.
Take what advantages you can. When augmented, some Tomb Kings units can be devastating, though un-augmented Tomb Kings are a mid-to-lower tier army. A few of your advantages over other armies include units of chariots, EBTS units (when they work) and the ability to ignore negative modifiers when shooting. For the Lore of Nehekhara, focus on the augmenting spells to heal your troops.
Like vampire counts you will need some solid numbers unless you are fielding a lot of constructs. Also units should be big enough to soak at least one round of lost combat and still be effective otherwise a good sized unit of knights or a fast moving block of heavy troops can ruin your day very quickly. Remember, you are undead, you are unbreakable and scary, use that mercilessly against your enemy.
In order to make up for the lack of constitution of the standard undead, the army must contain a liche priest, who can regenerate units. Unfortunately, it is the liche priest who keeps the army alive. If killed, each turn all friendly undead units must pass a leadership test or die. Due to the standard leadership of most skeletons being terrible, they'll drop like flies. just be strategic where you place your hierophant and this won't be a concern, or give him a 4+ 45 point ward save.
In this army, many defensive units exist. Archers
almost always always hit on a roll of a 5 or a 6. A Casket of Souls, which is just a super-powered box (think the Ark of the Covenant as depicted in "Indiana Jones: Raiders of the Lost Ark" if you haven't seen it, get off this site right now and go watch it, don't come back until you see its face-melting capabilities) that can annihilate units that come into its range and line of sight on top of that it spreads to another target within 6inches and if you miscast this bitch nothing happens other than it goes off, I usually throw 5 or 6 dice on dis bad boy to get a miscast, usually people throw all they're dispel dice at this baby raper. The army also contains a catapult capable of firing skulls. For tanks, the army has undead constructs, which are usually just whatever random shit a liche priest could find and put together in the shape of a giant, a man-eating scorpion, or an animal-headed god. They also get a sphinx(fuck yeah) you must mean the god damn WARSPHINX MOTHER FUCKER, YES THIS THING IS A BULLET MAGNET, BUT THAT DOESNT MATTER CAUSE ITS TOUGHNESS 8, give this bad boy righteous smiting and you get 8 attacks with its crew, give it cursed blades and its thundercrush will smush even chaos warriors with their bullshit saves. if that's not enough for you, it can have poised claws and breath fire.
So apparently someone deleted the epic strategies provided by a fellow anon, so I am here to present to you the finest aged cheese, that our enemies may faint at its stench.
We will start with our beloved CORE.
Chariots, oh yes, how we can have chariots for our core, these death machines with wheels can shoot arrows when they aren't busy running shit over, they got 2 of the most brutal horses as well as 2 guys with whips and spears riding them, (the whips aren't as much for the horses as much as whooping the enemies ass) with your D6 impact hits, 2 horse and 2 crewmen attacks *2 attacks per crewman* you get 6 attacks per chariot, 3 chariots and that's 18, give these mother fuckers righteous smiting and now your at 30, let's say you wanna run shit over even faster, then you throw cursed blades on them and their impact hits gain killing blow. AND TO TOP IT ALL OFF, THEY WILL REBUILD THEMSELVES, YES THAT'S RIGHT, they are not animated constructs so they get the full D6+1 wound from their lore
- PS They get +1 str on a charge, but impact hits don't*
THE CHARIOT TRAIN 10 chariots 1 tomb king on a chariot 1 tomb herald on a chariot *Banner of the undying legion* welcome to the pain train
Archers well not much to say about these guys, I only know a couple of good uses for them, run them in a squad of 20 get some shots off, enemy gets close, reform into 5x4 ranks use them to flank the side of your enemy as they charge your warriors. and NEVER take light armor, its a waste of points, a champion is a waste too and so is a banner, only the musician is worth it. lets say you wanna cheese them up a bit, get a squad of 40-50 and throw in our beloved High Queen Khalida, not only is this bitch the bane of your enemy's heroes, but now this unit of 50 archers became the squad that will blacken the sun and rain poisoned death upon your enemies, YES THEY BECOME POISONED, you give these mother fuckers some righteous smiting and your looking at 70 shots from a squad of 50, enough shots to kill anything with multiple wounds or whittle down some ogres or w/e, now i know what your thinking, what if they get into close combat, well i have a suggestion that no one else uses because they are fucking stupid, the banner of the hidden dead, while it may only go up to 150 points of your core, you can get a unit of 30 skeletons to pop out and defend what ever is coming your way, you can put them in a horde formation to block multiple enemies, or you can put them in ranks to win a combat, either way your enemy will see to the destruction of death archers, so you gotta take this, and they wont see it coming, throw in some necropolis knights and tomb scorpions to hit the flank and your back on the offensive, be sure to make your unit the maximum 12inches away, that way, in case they die on the initial charge, your opponent has to get very lucky to make his overrun into the archers, allowing for another deadly salvo of arrows to watch your opponent ragequit
skeleton horse archers can be fun to harass your opponents, they are very unlikely to get charged when play right and will piss off your fellow dwarf player when all his cannons died in turn 2, i personally don't like them but they serve their purpose.
ok now we can move onto fun stuff, our special units
TOMB GUARD DEATH STAR, oh man how i love these guys, you tired of getting butthurt by chaos warriors? well here is your god damn unit, get a monster sized unit of these bad boys and watch them killing blow the shit out of the enemy, i wouldn't recommend halberds unless you are expecting anything immune to killing blow. Grab necrotect or your best friend Ramhotep the Pissed Off, he will make sure they get the job done right, one crack of his whip and BAM your unit has frenzy and hatred, rerolling all their missed extra attacks, but say you wanna fucking hit ALL THE TIME, give em a tomb king or prince and then watch as your enemy fades away turn after turn, give them righteous smiting and cursed blades and you'll be sure to win combat against any infantry unit, because on god damn 5+ you'll be hitting your killing blows.
MOTHERFUCKING SNAKES ON THESE MOTHERFUCKING PLAINS, two other Allstar units the Tomb Kings gain are the Necropolis Knights (called either MOTHERFUCKING SNAKES or Snake Surfers) and the Sephrucal Stalkers. The former are Tomb Guards mounted on animated cobra statues that are very venomous and the latter are undead, half-men half-snake golems who's gaze turns you to sand. Necropolis Knights can be taken in units of at least three and can be deployed via Entombed Beneath The Sands to bring their multiple poisoned and killing blow attacks to bear. With a 3+ armor save they boast the best natural armor save available to the Tomb Kings.
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