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Tutorial Dinosaurs in the Desert, a Lizardmen vs Tomb Kings Tactica

Discussion in 'Lizardmen & Saurian Ancients Tactics' started by airjamy, Jan 29, 2015.

  1. airjamy
    Razordon

    airjamy Active Member

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    Dinosaurs in the Desert, a Lizardmen vs Tomb Kings Tactica

    As an army that is almost never played in the competitive scene due to the non-competitive nature of the army, a lot of people do not know a lot about the Tomb Kings. It is an army that can shine, especially with the new Nagash rules. I think that the changes that happened for TK have made them more competitive, and only time will tell if we will see them on the big stage again. Because of this, a lot of people don’t know the basics of the army, and that is way I have put down some basic notes about the army.

    General misconceptions about the TK

    1. The TK have no Hierophant anymore, this rule used to be that the TK and the VC had a main magician, if he died the army would start to crumble. As from the new Nagash rules, every mention to this in the TK book is considered obsolete. The TK also are not obliged anymore to take a wizard, you can now play legal TK in tournament settings without a wizard.
    2. The TK can march if they are within 12’’ of the General. This is not part of Inspiring Presence, and is thus not modified by being on a Monster.
    3. The TK have a lot of magical movement, but they can never charge in the magic phase. Also units that came on the field on that turn using It came from Below can never charge on that same turn.
    4. TK never have any modifiers when shooting, positive or negative. This means that every model in the army that can shoot will hit on a 5. The only way to stop this is using spells that cancel shooting altogether or that directly influence BS. Small sidenote, in the last book you could shoot twice with a Screaming Skull Catapult (TK stonethrower). This is no longer possible.
    5. The TK is not a list of mass healing. Units can only be healed 1d3+1 for each time an augment spell is cast on them, and the Undead Constructs(the units you actually want to heal) can only be healed for 1 wound each phase. This is the TK lore attribute, and even though it’s nifty and strong from time to time, you will never see a unit of 30 guys that have been slaughtered last turn just jump back up again.
    6. The TK are Undead. This means that they are Unbreakable and Unstable, and that they can only march within 12” of the General. This makes them really reliable, they will never run from something unexpected (say a panic check) and they will never break from combat. If you charge into a unit of 60 skeletons, you are 100% certain that you will never break that unit turn one, or in the coming turns for that matter. They also must elect to Hold when charged, so they can never Stand and Shoot, which is silly but a boon for LM players.

    With that out of the way, it is important to say that the TK book was made with magic in mind. TK troops are all Unbreakable, and this makes them very reliable. Often enough, the right buffs at the right time make the usually expensive and ineffective TK units very strong. This is an army that uses the speed that magic gives them to get in the right position, and then charges. Bowline lists are also quite viable with Casket of souls and the Hierotitan. You will also notice that I do not write about any special characters in this guide, in my club there is a strong anti special character meta so I have no experience in playing with or against them. Any input from somebody that has experience against them is more then welcome to contribute.

    I will now break down all the units with an individual threat level, what these means I have wrote down below.
    X: Dead. These units are useless units in the TK list, and are either used as options in friendly battles or not at all.
    XX: Negligible. These are units that need help from other units to do their job or they are simple anvils or chaff that can’t really do massive damage on their own. In the right situations these units can do some damage or anchor a battle line however, so they should not be written of immediately.
    XXX: Moderate. These are the mainstay units in a TK list that will have to do at least some damage to mitigate their points cost, and often enough they are more than ready to do just that in a battle against LM. From this threat level onwards you should note where your opponent deploys these units and react accordingly.
    XXXX: Strong. Expensive, or crucial units in a TK list that are either really good at what they do or that are often part of the core of the enemy strategy.
    XXXXX: Must kill. These units do so much damage over time that they will have to be stopped or else you will face the consequences. Have Chameleon Skinks or other Skinks ready to harass these units, or have at least some plan to deal with them.

    You will see that I rate the TK characters quite high as threats, this because a TK list often revolves around characters giving buffs to the units they are with. Take note where a TK player deploys his characters, often the buffs synergize well with the unit he is with to make the unit a lot stronger.

    Lords

    XXXX Liche High Priest: Level 4 wizard that can have spells from the lore of Nehekhara, Light and Death. Even after the Nagash books that made sure that you did not have to take at least one, I still expect to see at least one Nehekhara wizard in every TK list. Liche priest can make your day really bad with their plethora of buffs and debuffs. Against other armies, I would classify this as a XXXXX unit, but as we have strong magical defense from our Slann we can usually stop the worst spells. Taking both Scroll and Cube against the TK should be considered.

    XXX Tomb King: The armies namesake is the lord level CC character. Overshadowed by the Tomb Prince in effectiveness, as the 70 extra points that you pay for the King are not effectively used at all. Can be mounted on a Sphinx and a chariot, and only the latter is considered slightly competitive because the omni-present cannons just are too strong against these then very expensive Sphinxes. On a chariot they are also very expensive, but in a massive chariot unit this might be fun. Gives his WS6 to the unit he is with, always. This WS buff can’t be improved by weapons such as the Fencer’s Blades. Is also Flammable but will often have the Dragonbane Gem to mitigate this and damages the unit(s) or model that kills him via The Curse (D6 S5 hits). It is only unit in the book that can use the strongest TK magic item, The Golden Death Mask of Kharnut, which makes enemy units within 6’’ unable to use their generals Inspiring Presence and the BSB Hold your Ground rules and makes the wearer cause Terror. This is very strong against the Skaven, not so much against us, even though it might break your TG Slann bunker, but as they are still steadfast this item will still be not very strong against us.

    Heroes

    XXXX Tomb Prince: Now we are talking, this is one of the most strong Hero options in the game in my opinion. 3 Wounds, T5 and always giving his WS5 to the unit he is with. This WS buff can’t be improved by weapons such as the Fencer’s Blades. Is also Flammable so he will also often get the Dragonbane Gem to mitigate this and has the Curse to damage the unit(s) or model that has killed him (D6 S4 hits). Can be put on a chariot or a Sphinx, Sphinx will rarely happen because of the strength of cannons while the chariot option is quite viable in a unit of 4 chariots. This gives a very strong hammer unit with a high WS and density of attacks. They are also strong in large Tomb Guard units, as they give WS to their S4 or S5 KB attacks. They are often kitted for survivability with a GW and the Armour of Destiny or the Armour of Silvered Steel with a Dragonbane Gem. The first build is quite strong against our Cowboys, while the other one is easily handled by our Cowboys. Be afraid for this guy when he charges into a small unit (such as 15 Saurus) with a unit of chariots, because he will break it. Often best to kill the Prince with CR since he does not have his saves against that. Try to focus him with Pit or Spirit Leech if he is in Deathstars that you cannot charge.

    XXX Liche Priest: Standard issue lvl 2 mage. Can take Nehekhara, Light and Death as lores, and is often used as a scroll caddy. Can take a horse. A few setups can be used for him, he can be in a small unit of cavalry with the lore of Death to snipe characters with something like Spirit Leech or he can use the lore of Light to bolster a battle line in a unit archers.

    XX Tomb Herald: Standard issue BSB. Has KB and can tank a wound for a Tomb King or Tomb Prince as long as he is in the same unit and when neither of them is in a Challenge. BSB’s are not very important for the TK, they only let your soldiers crumble one wound less due to CR when they are in range of the BSB, which is a lot worse than the rerolls none Unbreakable armies get. Can take a banner to hide a unit using It Came From Below, but as that unit can’t charge when it gets unto the table and because it is very expensive, this will never be seen in a competitive list. Weak stat line, weak BSB effects, the only thing I see this guy do is snipe your Cowboy with his KB because you ignored him as you should, so just look out for that.

    XXX Necrotect: Gives Hatred to the unit he is with and gives Undead Constructs within 12’’ 6+ regen. Seems to be a cheap, solid hero, the trick is that once he dies he immediately stops giving Hatred to the unit he is with. As the TK have generally pretty low I, he is focused and killed before his hatred actually comes into effect. We can't use this tactic as well as other armies, as we are even slower than some TK units. This is why I rate him XXX, a buffed TK unit with Hatred can really plough through a lot of things. Often seen in units of Tomb Guard to make their KB hit more often. Dangerous against some of our units, negligible against others if he is killed before he gives Hatred. Weak stat line.

    Core units

    XX Skeleton Warriors: At 2 slaves per model these guys are the ultimate Unbreakable tarpit. If you charge into a unit of 50 of those, know that you will be in combat for at least 2 turns, and that you might even get some return damage if these guys get buffed with something like KB. Can be upgraded with Spears and LM, but no sane TK general will ever do this because this makes the unit a lot more expensive while it ads close to nothing. Can be burned with a Salamander quite efficiently, so it should be burned as a target of opportunity, but there are better units to burn. Weak stat line with a WS of 2.

    XXX Skeleton Archers: The main way of making use of the Arrows of Asaph (always hitting on 5’s) rule is this unit, there are bowline TK lists that are built on this unit. Strong against Chameleon Skinks and Skirmisher Skinks as they simply ignore the Chameleon and the Skirmisher rule. Can get multiple shots (2) (without the -1 to hit modifier) from a spell, so that’s when these guy start shooting in earnest. When you know you are playing against TK, I would take no Chameleon Skinks at all. I would instead take multiple smaller units of Skinks when you are playing against a non-bowline army to kill monsters. If you are playing against a bowline, double up on Saurus and charge those bastards, your skinks will be close to useless in this matchup (save Skroxigor units, they do not lose their Skirmisher or Chameleon advantages) . When you face TK in a tournament setting and when you have Chameleon Skinks in your list, you could try to Mindhammer your opponents to shoot your Saurus, but a TK general that knows LM will focus your Chameleons and there is really little you can do about it. Take the damage, and save the best positions for shooting for your other Skinks, as they will be shot later and thus they might have a turn to fire at say a Sphinx. The saving grace is that their shooting is only S3, so the shots should simply bounce of our Saurus and other non-Skink units. These guys are generally the reason your Skinks will not be able to kill the larger Undead Constructs against a savvy TK general, and even non bowline armies sometimes have units of 15 or 20 as bunkers for Liche Priests and targets of opportunity such as our Skinks. These units should be burned with Salamanders when possible, they are quite expensive per model and you will generally want to protect your Skinks from them. It’s to bad that their return fire is quite strong, and that they have longer range then our Salamanders. Weak stat line with a WS of 2.

    X Skeleton Horsemen: Expensive skeletons on horses that generally do nothing. They have Vanguard, so they are used in some lists as War machine hunters, but as our only war machines are mounted on Stegadons they simply have nothing to kill in our list. Will often die to a stand and shoot from our Skinks completely if they have blowpipes, they will take heavy casualties against Javelin wielding Skinks. Simply don’t see anything happen from these guys except redirection, but any unit in Warhammer can do that. Weak stat line with a WS of 2.

    XX Skeleton Horse Archers: These are much better redirectors then the Skeleton Horsemen as they are Scours and Fast cavalry, and they have bows to harass our Skinks to boot. These guys will be the possible bodyguard of a Liche Priest on a horse, or they will run around, redirect things and be a general nuisance. Such as all regular skeletons, they have a WS of 2, but that will not matter as much as these guys do not want to fight in CC. Still, they do not do a lot of damage but should be considered for the redirection damage they can do.

    XXXX Skeleton Chariots: Now we are talking, the only unit in WHF that is a unit of chariots. Has 6 attacks per model plus D6 S4 impact hits on the charge and has great synergy with most of the TK buffs. The best example is of the fact that the TK spell that gives a unit KB also gives the impact hits of the chariot KB (the models gets KB for his CC attacks, and as impact hits are CC attacks which are delivered as ranged attacks, they get also KB), so hide your Cold One Knights against a unit buffed by this. Also has 2 bow shots per chariot for extra Skink harassment, and they can get magic standards. This unit is the epitome of a hammer, they can break a lot of things on the charge. I once killed a Hydra when these monsters were still overpowered with a unit of 4 of these on the charge, without buffs. Do not underestimate their charge, especially if they have a character with them. Their downside is their relative cost, 27.5 slaves per model, and they only have T4 W3 and an armour save of 5+, so standing and shooting and general magic missiles tend to make their number dwindle rapidly. They also have a WS of 3, as they are ‘’elite skeletons’’, which is actually a big deal against us as our Saurus do not hit these guys on 3’s. Another problem for these guys is Steadfast, they want to break the unit they charged in on the first turn so they can get their impact hits again, they quickly die in prolonged combat because they lack staying power. Consider flank charging this unit with a Salamander or Razordon, it is quite likely that they are majorly bummed by this as they only have S3 attacks when they are not charging. It should also be noted that they cannot march, because they are chariots.

    Special units

    XXXX Tomb Guard: S4 T4 elite infantry with KB. Can take halberds or sword and board, both are considered viable. Can chop trough units of Saurus with the right buffs, and this is often the place where Tomb princes will reside because WS5 S5 KB attacks are good. May take a magical standard. This unit a deadly to Cold One Knights and Cowboys because of their KB, I would almost never charge them in, especially from the front. They are I3, so they hit at the same time or sooner than most of our units. Is also often the place for a Necrotect to reside as Hatred and KB synergize well with one another. They are slightly expensive, so if you see a unit of 40 of these guys they will have to do a lot of chopping to get their points back. Their S4 T4 is not as good against us compared to other armies because we often have S4 and T4 ourselves. When they have halberds, they die like flies because then they only have a 6+ save. Is often the place where the Banner of the Undying legion is put into, this banner is the only real form of reliable healing in the list. This is a bound spell which heals D6+2 wounds in a unit. A savvy TK general will make you use all of your dispel dice, and then he will cast this bound spell with his last dice. He only needs to res 4 TG in a game to make the banner point efficient, this is often already achieved with the first ‘’surprise’’ cast. This is a unit your Salamander will love to burn, especially when they are only wearing Halberds because then they have no save against the fire. If your Salamander can get in range, fire at this unit. This is the best target for the Salamander in this list. The spell that gives units KB gives these unit KB on a 5+ as well, so this makes them an even bigger danger to our Cold One Knights.

    XXXXX Necropolis Knights: The first Must Kill unit in this guide, and that is for a reason. These Snake Surfers are strong, and we haven’t got a lot of good answers against them. They have a 3+ armour save, which is extremely good for TK standards, and they have KB on the riders and Poisoned attacks on the snakes. Both the Snake and the Rider are capable fighters, and they have a combined 5 attacks per model. I would say launching poisoned darts in their mids is quite effective to take them down, as is a unit of Skroxigor due to the fact that they are only T4 and because Kroxigors will ignore their armor, which is their main way to defend themselves. The problem with this is that they are quite fast, with M7, Swiftstride and the capability to march. A savvy TK general will know their strengths and weaknesses and pick his fights accordingly. A Stegadon with Sharpened Horns charge might work, but I have never gotten this off myself as the Snakesurfers are a lot faster than Stegadons. They also have poisoned attacks, so they get through the thick hides of our beloved big dinosaurs quite easily if you do not kill them with lucky charges and lucky strong impact hits. Be wary, and have a plan to take them down.

    XX Tomb Scorpion: In the last book, this guy was an auto include in every list because he buried himself at the start of the battle and he could charge on the turn he came out. Many a dwarven gunline has fallen to these giant scorpions, but they have lost their capability to charge on the turn they came out so they became quite useless, even as War machine hunters. They do have S5 and T5, KB and Poisoned attacks, so they are now often used as chaff. They die very quickly to Skink fire because they only have an armor save of 5+ and 3 wounds. They also have a very small base, so redirecting with them is quite hard. They are not impossible to redirect with, but they are not as good at it when compared to units such as skeleton bowmen or Carrions. Not completely useless, but expensive for what it brings to the table and without the old utility.

    X Ushabti: 25 slaves models with an ogre bull stat line, and the only ‘’saving grace’’ is that they are Undead? These guys took a massive hit with the new TK book, and I really do not see any place for them in the list. Necropolis Knights are only 7.5 slaves more expensive, and they give so much more. Their stat lines, with M5 and T4 are simply too bad to cost this much. Can be given Great bows, which gives them S5 shooting. Sounds great in theory, until you remember that you are paying 25 slaves for this single shot, at BS2. They then also lack GW’s, so they only hit at S4 in CC then. They can’t even be healed as other models can, because they are undead constructs they can only be healed for one wound every turn, which is basically nothing. Awesome models, just no use for them.

    X Tomb Swarms: The forgotten cousins of the Scorpion, these guys have taken the same hit as the Scorpion in the fact that they can no longer charge on the turn they get onto the table using It Came From Below, and their very weak stat line gives them no use in the current TK army. Poisoned attacks on 5 attacks per model is the only saving grace, but their M4 will make sure that the enemy will never fight with these guys unless he wants it. They have the same statline as our Swarms, but instead of the pretty good rule that grants other units Poison that we have, this unit has a pretty bad alternate way to deploy, and is more expensive. Just so you see how bad these little buggers are. Will always never be taken in any list. Flies and bugs don’t hurt Dinosaurs.

    XX Carrions: Flying S4 T4 models with 3 attacks apiece. They are priced pretty ok, and they are often used as War machine hunters in the TK list. We do not have any war machines, but their saving grace is that they are quite strong against our units of Skinks with their S4 and T4. 3 of them are about the same price as a unit of 10 of our Skinks, so they will more often than not kill them if they get into CC. Their downside is that they have only 2 wounds and of save of any kind, so if they are in bad luck, they will never make it to the Skink unit in question because they would be shot out of the sky.

    XXXX Khemrian Warsphinx: A strong T8 (!) infantry slaying monster with KB and a Breath Weapon (S4) to boot. Can forgo all the attacks of the beast in total (not the crew) for a single Thundercrush attack against war beasts, swarms or infantry, if the attack hits, you will endure a stone thrower hit which counts for CR. Causes Terror. Against almost any other army, I would rate this guy XXXXX because T8 is so hard to take down, especially if the Liche Priests start healing the bastard. It has 2 downsides against us. Our infantry has T4, so the S3 stone thrower hit does not as much damage. Also, Skinks love shooting at this guy, they ignore his T8 and he then only has 5 wounds and a 5+ save! The problem with this last thing is that most TK generals know how badly poison murders their beloved Sphinxes, so they will shoot any Skink within a square mile of the Sphinx, and with their Arrows of Asaph shooting, they are quite good at this. The Sphinx also has a S4 breath weapon to defend itself against Skinks, you should be prepared to lose a unit of Skinks to this attack. A Skroxigor unit will die to the stonethrower attack very quickly, and your Kroxigors are still only wounding the Sphinx on 5’s. The Sphinx often dies to units with a high density of attacks, simply because the S value of the unit in question almost does not matter. The ‘’normal’’ ways to kill it is winning due to static CR, cannons, and things as the Pit of Shades, this beast only has I1.

    XXX Sepulchral Stalkers: The only unit of the TK I have never played with, so this guy is the hardest for me to review. It seems to be quite strong against us, as instead of your Toughness, this beast uses your Intiative as a Toughness value when shooting at you. It shoots an artillery dice worth of shots per model, a misfire means that the Stalkers themselves get d3 wounds. They can also use It Came From Below, and they are the only unit to use it well as they can shoot on the turn they come out. They would be the best War machine hunters, but they cannot wound models without Initiative values (normally you can, and they would count as automatic wounds, but it is stated in their own rules that they cannot wound models without I values). They are about as durable as Ushabti, but because of their shooting attack and S5 they are about as strong as them in CC, and they have It Came from Below and their shooting attack to boot. You will not see big units of these, because the It Came From Below rules are to risky for that, and they can only perform their task well when deployed like this. A unit of 3 can one shot a Cowboy, especially a Scarvet, without a ward save on the turn they come out, as they do ignore armour saves, so do not deploy your Cowboys solo when fighting against these snakes.

    Rare Units

    XXX Necrolith Colossus: Monster with Predatory Fighter like capabilities called Unstoppable Assault. Every 6 they roll to hit they get an extra attack. These attacks can generate addition attacks, so it is better than our Predatory Fighter. In theory, you can have infinite attacks. It’s downsides are its low WS of 3 and its low I of 1. It causes terror, and it is often given an additional handwpn to make it easier to generate additional attacks. It also already has S6 and T6, so the GW option is not as impactful as you might think. A Necrolith Colossus can also take a Bow of the Desert, a bolt thrower which it can use when moving. It’s shooting cannot be buffed by TK magic however, and a model that costs 85 slaves is better in CC then as a walking bolt thrower that only hits on 5’s, so generally you will see CC upgrades on this guy. A Colossus wielding a Giant Bow is a model that does have some great conversions. Tactics wise, this is quite a standard monster with no stand out features. Skrox will kill it, mass Skink fire will kill it, massed infantry will kill it, you get the point i think? It is something some TK players bring alongside their Tomb Guard units as a supporting unit.

    XXXX Hierotitan: His nickname is the Kink of Bling due to the fluff written over this guy. GW has no official model for this guy, which absolutely sucks. He is very strong in bowline armies, as he ads D3 to the casting attempt of each TK wizard within 12’’ of him. He can also cast Shem’s Burning Gaze and Spirit Leech as bound spells. Especially Spirit Leech is good against us, as our LD is quite low on average. The Hierotitan itself has a LD of 8, so you will have a 50% change to take damage when the Hierotitan tries to use Spirit Leech on our best targets, our Oldbloods and Scar-Veterans. Be wary of this, you might just lose a Cowboy to this guy due to a final power dice if you do not expect this. It is also a quite capable fighter, it is a Necrolith Colossus with 3 attacks and without the improved Predatory Fighter. It also causes terror. Expect this guy to anchor a battle line, buff a lot of spells, cast some itself and then support a unit in a charge. Very dangerous.

    XX Necrosphinx: This is a flying Warsphinx without the crew, the breath weapon and the stonethrower attack. To make up for this it has KB and it has a single attack with HKB and S10. This thing has Monster hunter written all over it, but it is simply not strong enough to take on most other monsters. It only has 5 attacks against other monsters (it has Thunderstomp against infantry, but not against monsters which it looks like this guy should target) and relying on your HKB to do anything is foolish. At best, it has a 1 in 10 chance to kill something with HKB, and that is without wardsaves. It seems weird to give a flying T8 model only two stars, but it does not have enough hitting power to justify its massive cost of 125.5 slaves. It also has I 1, so it dies quickly to any regular unit of infantry. This might be the one thing your Chameleon Skinks shoot at because it might fly towards you, faster than any other unit, so that’s a plus I guess? The only use for this unit is to have funny lists about what your HKB killed in your life, and believe me I tried to look for other things. You could say that its KB is a redeeming factor, and it will probably fare well against a unit of Cold One Knights, but this isn’t really an argument in the TK list. Every TK unit has the potential to get KB via a cheap spell, and there are more units that simply have KB, such as Tomb guard and the other, much better, Warsphinx. Mine killed an Imperial BSB, a Maneater and a Giant with its HKB before I converted it into a Warsphinx, as any sane TK general will.

    XXX Screaming Skull Catapult: Standard issue catapult that makes every unit wounded by it take a Panic check, much like our Salamanders. Has a way to expensive upgrade to make that panic check on -1 LD. Often seen in TK armies to kill monsters, as Necrosphinxes just don’t cut it, and in bowline armies to offer high S shooting. Very unreliable, because it is a stonethrower. In the book prior to this, TK generals could shoot these bad boys twice a turn, once in the shooting phase, once in the magic phase. This was great in the old days of guessing, now they are not quite that good. Their shooting can’t be buffed by TK magic.

    XXXXX Casket of Souls: A special warmachine with T10 (!) and some other nifty abilities. It gives the TK +D3 power dice each turn, this is the most important reason to destroy it ASAP. It makes the TK’s magic phase a lot more stable, as they are never to low on PD due to this effect. Multiple Caskets do not make this effect stack. Its primary offensive function is a bound spell called Light of Death. It hits automatically, and makes the unit hit by it take a LD test on 3 dice, and every point the unit failed the test by they take a wound with no armor saves allowed. LM get to use their Cold Blooded special rule to protect them to this somewhat, you get to roll 4 dice when hit by this spell and you discard the highest. This seems to mitigate the damage somewhat, but unless we have a Slann we generally have low LD, so expect some damage from this spell if you let it go off. After this already pretty bad effect it can bounce to another enemy unit within 6’’ on a 3+, just like Chain Lightning. A unit can only be affected once by this each Magic Phase. Your enemy will have one Casket, it will be in the core of their army and you will have a very difficult time getting to it with Skinks to poison that T10, because they will be shot to bits. It only has 3 wounds, so the Baby Stegadon’s Giant Bow is actually quite good at taking it down when it scores a poisonous hit, so try shooting it at the Casket when you can for that lucky hit. A solution to this guy is the Pit of Shades, it has no I value so it dies automatically when hit. Even if you get into CC with it, it is guarded by 2 TG with KB and GW’s, and if it dies it does D6 S6 hits to every unit within 12’’ on a 4+, with no armour saves allowed. This explosion is quite leveling, so should you kill the Casket while it is still deep in enemy lines, it might win you the game. This warmachine gives strong effects that synergize well with the rest of the TK, and it has a devastating attack that will do damage unless you dispel it.

    Tomb King Magic

    TK magic is all about the right buffs on the right unit on the right time. Most of the lore and the best spells of the lore are buffs and hexes, and this is how you should look at this lore. It does some healing, no massive raising like the VC. A cunning TK general will use the lore to put units in the right places and use the hexes on your units to stop them in their tracks or to lower their S and T.

    The threat assessment I used for the spells is comparable to the regular threat assessment from units. X means that the spell is dead, and from XXX you should really take note who your opponent targets with this spell. Most magic phases are handled on a case by case basis, as the amount of dice, any modifiers and he situation on the table will be vastly different most of the time. This guide should at least give you some handles on dispelling the TK Magic Phase.

    XX Lore attribute, The Restless Dead: Every time an augment spell from this lore is cast on an undead unit (It works on every undead unit since The End Times) it regains D3+1 wounds worth of models. It can never bring unit above their starting number, nor can it raise new units. With this you can revive command groups, but this lore attribute can never be used to heal characters. It can only heal one wound per Magic phase on Undead Constructs. Most TK augment spells are bubbles, so it can heal a lot of wounds if there are a few models missing in a lot of units around the wizard. It is also good at healing chariots, as they are very expensive per wound, and thus are the wounds healed very valuable.

    XX Signature spell, Khsar’s incantation of the Desert Wind: An augment spell that is the only one that is always cast in a bubble, it has a 12’’ range on normal casting difficulty and it has a 24’’ range on the boosted version. It makes the targeted units move another time as if they were in the Remaining Moves sub phase, so TK units can never charge using magical movement. This is also the cheapest way for TK to heal units, as it is the cheapest bubble. Used to have the nickname the TK march, as this was the way TK got double movement to actually move around a bit. Now that TK can march when they are within 12’’ of the general, so this can make units very fast. Quite often you will want this spell to go through because there are worse spells to suffer. A unit of regular skeletons can move 16’’ in a single turn using this, so it might be worth dispelling from time to time. Chariots also cannot march, so they also benefit a lot from this extra move. It is hard for the TK player to use this spell for anything really important, as the TK player often telegraphs his intentions through the movement phase, and if there are some really bad moves to be made by the TK player it is often obvious and thus easy to dispel. Just look at any charges the TK player might block with this extra movement, this is the worst thing he can do with this spell.

    XXX 1, Djaf’s incantation of Cursed Blades: A cheap augment spell that gives a single unit KB in CC. If it already has KB or HKB it makes them also work on 5’s. The boosted version increases the range to 24’’. The downside of this spell for the TK is that it is no bubble, so it barely heals anything and it very much shows the hand of the TK player when he casts it on a unit. It has combo’s with:

    Chariots. As I already mentioned in the chariot section of my guide, all the attacks of the chariots get KB, including impact hits. This murders cavalry, but it also does a number on Temple Guard. Be wary when you have to sustain a chariot charge and the enemy has this spell.

    Tomb Guard. In prolonged combat, having your KB hit on a 5 and 6 is a game changer, and this will make this unit from a cavalry killer into a Saurus killer as well. Be wary of this when the opponent has this spell and when you are in combat with a large unit of Tomb Guard with a valuable unit such as a Saurus horde.

    XXX 2, Neru’s incantation of Protection: Augment spell that gives a unit a 5+ ward save. The boosted version of the spell gives this effect to every unit within 12’’. Fine spell for the TK for that extra cannon protection for the larger Undead Constructs and for a nice boost in combat. We do not have any warmachines though, so it is somewhat of a lower priority for us. Giving units with no save or just a 6+ 5++ can flip a combat, or keep your unit just that longer bogged down in a unit of skeletons than you wanted, so this spell is something to keep in mind especially if your opponent runs a magic-heavy list. Not as bad as the two haymaker spells in this lore, yet it should not just be ignored.

    XXXXX 3, Ptra’s incantation of Righteous Smiting: Now we are getting onto the big ones, especially the boosted version is very strong. It is an augment spell that gives the target plus one attack and it gives every target multiple shots (2) if the model is armed with a bow or greatbow. This is good already, but the boosted version targets every undead unit within 24’’. The single version is bad enough, but the boosted version can easily target entire armies. This spell is what makes bowlines viable, as it can double the shots of even 100 Skeleton Archers. It is also good in CC armies, as it sometimes doubles the attacks of units and because it gives extra attacks to characters. That Tomb Prince in a challenge will do a lot more damage with that extra attack. Casting this spell while there were multiple combats going on can win you a lot, it heals a lot, it is easily in range of a lot of units no matter where the Liche Priests are and it has won me a lot of games. Must have in bowline armies, very strong in every army. Combo’s with:
    Skeleton bowmen. As I mentioned, this multiplies shots by 2, and when there are 100’s of them, even S3 hits start to hurt.

    Tomb Guard. These units often have Necrotects in them to grant them Hatred, and the extra attacks are more valuable when they have a high S and all sort of nifty special rules tacked onto them, such as KB and magical attacks.

    Chariots. Every chariot base gets 4 extra attacks when targeted by this spell because there are 2 guys on every chariot, and every chariot is pulled by 2 horses. 10 attacks per base plus impact hits are a lot of hits, and the heals are strong on this unit of chariots as well.

    Necropolis Knights. The Snakes and the Knights both get an extra attack, and because they are high in S and WS, and because they have special rules tacked on.

    XX 4, Usiran’s incantation of Vengeance: A hex that makes the target suffer a minus D3 to M and it treats all terrain as dangerous terrain, and it must test it every time it moves. The boosted version increases the range. A spell that is good against hordes and hordes of Skaven, and it is good to stop units from moving. It does not really stop a unit though, as it only chews of a few inches of your charge range. Often easy to ignore, is only hard to ignore when it targets very expensive units that really need to get a charge of. Has no synergy with the lore attribute.

    XXXXX 5, Usekhp’s incantation of Desiccation: My personal favorite, a hex spell that that knocks down 1 S and T is good any day of the week. This is strong whenever a unit of yours is about to take damage from almost any source. The boosted version is hard to cast (22+) but even stronger, it knocks down S and T D3. If one of your units gets hit by the boosted version and your opponent gets to roll a 3, even Skeletons wreck your Saurus. You should always be wary of this spell as our units often rely on high T values to keep them safe, even the meanest dinosaur is a wimp with only T and S 3. Has no synergy with the lore attribute.

    X 6, Sakhmet’s incantation of Skullstorm: Stupendously weak magical vortex with a small template on 15+ to cast that does a regular strength 4 hit when it hits something. Remains in play, so It can hit feebly at you for multiple turns if your opponent is really lucky. The placement of this thing is also very random, so it might even hit the TK’s own forces. The boosted version makes the spell even more difficult to cast on a 25+ and it makes the template a large one. There is slight combo potential with the Incantation of Desiccation, the low S value of the spell is then slightly mitigated, but if you can get these 2 massive spells of against LM, the Slann must be dead so you almost have already won. The reason that this spell is so bad because the TK book was published shortly after the release of the 8th edition, so magical vortexes were new and GW noticed that the Pit of Shades was slightly too strong. They were very careful with vortexes after that, and the TK got the short end of the stick on this. This spell will almost always be swapped with the signature spell when playing against LM with TK. It is sometimes ok when cast on Elves, but as we have high T, this spell should suck up the entirety of the opponents Magic Phase, kill some Skinks or TK, and then it will fizzle out. Has no synergy with the lore attribute.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2017
  2. Scalenex
    Skink Priest

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    Re: Dinosaurs in the Desert, a Lizardmen vs Tomb Kings Tacti

    Thank you for meeting my 2015 challenge and filling in our long running gap in the Tactica Index.

    I am curious if you view Kroxigor as a good potential counter against big TK monsters or do you view them as an arrow magnet points sink?
     
  3. airjamy
    Razordon

    airjamy Active Member

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    Re: Dinosaurs in the Desert, a Lizardmen vs Tomb Kings Tacti

    You are welcome Scalanex, im only to happy to oblige! Tk is still a rare army to collect, the End Times have not changed that.

    I do not think that Kroxigor are good counters to TK monsters. Skink shooting and magic are way better direct counters even though the TK can handle them quite well most of the time. I already mention in my tactics against the Sphinx that high density low strenght attacks are the cure to the Sphinx, even the Cowboy's or Kroxigor's mighty S7 still only wound the Sphinx on 5's, its simply not good enough in my opinion. If you would put a unit of Skroxigor against a Sphinx id almost think that the Skinks do more damage to the Sphinx.
     
  4. miturian
    Saurus

    miturian Member

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    A thing to keep in mind:

    arrows of asaph are really very strong against light troops, including terradons and rippers. usually, after vanguard, a unit of ripperdactyls will be at long range, have skirmish, and probably some sort of cover. AoA does not care about any of those things. This means that the skeleton archers are either x2 or x4 as likely to hit as a standard BS 3 bowman.
    For the same reason it is very easy for the TK to force panic tests in skink skirmishers outside of the leadership bubble. If you think you are going up against a bowline, bring big monsters with armour saves, cowboys or saurus blocks. Nothing that relies on modifiers to make it through the rain.
     
  5. airjamy
    Razordon

    airjamy Active Member

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    Something i hoped that was clear, but you might be right in the fact that it can't be mentioned enough. No modifier shooting is good, especially in the great numbers TK can bring it, but it is all still S3. It is a bit like the WE army, they have a hell of a lot of good shooting that has a lot of hits, but in the end, it is still S3. Don't let it hit units that can't take a lot of S3 hits though.
     
  6. n810
    Slann

    n810 First Spawning

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    :shifty: I believe one of the special characters gives them poisoned shooting and maybe better BS skills ? :walkingdead:
     
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  7. Pinktaco
    Skar-Veteran

    Pinktaco Vessel of the Old Ones Staff Member

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    Yeh Khalida give them her own BS and poisoned. I believe TK couple that with the multiple shot spell to make for a deadly ranged unit.. you know, until something closes in on them.
     
  8. n810
    Slann

    n810 First Spawning

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    I imagine it's murder on all of our squishy skink units.
    :hurting::hungover::hungover: <- <- <-<- <- <-<- <- <-:walkingdead::walkingdead::walkingdead:
     
    Last edited: May 20, 2015
  9. airjamy
    Razordon

    airjamy Active Member

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    I have little experience with the TK SC's, as my club sortoff does not like to play with them. Khallida makes the unit which she is with BS3(and without modifiers, so) and she can give other units theupgrade for poisoned attacks for 2pts per mode. It seems strong, but all the shooting is still S3. It will kill or skinks, and that will make the TK monsters pretty hard to kill, but that achery unit costs close to 500 points, and then you also need the magic giving the double shot buff(Incantation of Vengeance). It seems like a strong combo, but it just to costly to be actually good..
     
  10. miturian
    Saurus

    miturian Member

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    Well, that's the thing. usually you hide the squishies behind cover, but as long as the archers can see even part of the unit, they hit on 5+. As I see it, just don't bring squishies at all (except for the poison skinks that we have to bring to kill those T8 monsters).
     
  11. Pinktaco
    Skar-Veteran

    Pinktaco Vessel of the Old Ones Staff Member

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    also it's only one unit. Having 100 archers shooting skinks come off as kinda a waste :p
     
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  12. NIGHTBRINGER
    Slann

    NIGHTBRINGER Second Spawning

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    YUP... let them shoot at skinks all they want, allowing the bigger stuff to move in for the kill.
     
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  13. miturian
    Saurus

    miturian Member

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    but who said 100 archers? sure, that's what it's going to be at 2500 pts, but a lot of people (especially the kind who are going to read tacticas) try out lower points. at 1k, getting a skirmishing unit to run off the board after 1 round of shooting is not a bad trade. and that still leaves the shooting from any chariots and horse archers.
     
  14. airjamy
    Razordon

    airjamy Active Member

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    This is the point exactly, you don't want to shoot at skinks, it's super overkill. I also did not intend this tactica for games played at 1K, does anyone these days? At 1K, TK are even worse then at 2.4K or more regular tournament standards. You want a wizard, and you want a CC character, so you are already 250 down in points. If you want a Khalidabomb at 1K that is your entire list, and that unit can't even stand and shoot, and you are depending on the double shot spell which you only get 30% of the time with a lvl 2.

    In lower points, you might see a TK archer bunker of 10-20 to ploink of units like our skinks, and yeah, i guess you will lose some skinks to this. Not a big deal at all though, a unit skinks is 70 points, even in low point games you can sacrifice some skinks. Not to mention that our skinks even have armour saves against these shots.

    For those interested, if i play low point TK, i go full mounted. No wizard (you don't have to with the End Times rules), a prince on a chariot, 10 other chariots for core, fill out with Sphinxes and Necropolis Knights You have an ultra fast hard hitting force backed up by T8 monsters. It dies super hard to certain lists (it will never kome close to killing something lik 50 halbediers, let alone a hard of more hardy troops) and even a single lost monster due to cannon balls will hurt a lot, but as low point games are often decided on coinflips due to the hurt of losing one random unit due to bad luck, i like to bring coinflip lists.
     
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  15. Pinktaco
    Skar-Veteran

    Pinktaco Vessel of the Old Ones Staff Member

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    No but the
    You do realize that khalida is a 365pts special character right? She dies very easily on close combat with no saves and only T5 and 3 wounds.
    You wouldn't want to plop her into a 20 man unit just to give them BS3 and poison.

    IMO for her price her buff should be an aura. Having a 50 or 100 skeleton archer unit can only shoot at one target and die the second they see close combat.

    but to comment on your point - if a 450-500pts unit can make a skink unit flee then I'll take it. It's still a victory in my book because that'll be one more round for our scar vet to close in.
     
  16. miturian
    Saurus

    miturian Member

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    I feel like we're talking past each other.

    I am not talking about khalida, at all. I hope we all agree that "arrows of asaph" is in effect without khalida on the table? I'm in a very strict "no special characters"-meta, so I really never take those into consideration.

    (rereading the above, I see that indeed the general conversation has drifted over to including khalida, but please notice that I do not refer to her, even indirectly, anywhere)

    My point is that we have a lot of light utility troops that are threatened by AoA, and at least for me, it was surprising to do the math and actually see how nice AoA is against, for instance, ripperdactyls (as was made pretty clear in my last battle report). I completely agree that this is less of a problem for high points levels where the TK will usually bunch the archers together in one big unit, which should be shooting at expensive stuff. But smaller units of archers, either in lists with just few archers, or small lists, or a list with many medium sized archer units, will most probably do relatively well against a "mobility"-themed lizardmen army with lots of light skinks.
     
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  17. miturian
    Saurus

    miturian Member

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    some hints on sepulchral stalkers:

    they hurt. they are 55 pts / model, so slightly cheaper than razordons, with similar number of attacks. Against initiative 1 targets (kroxigor & SW) they wound on 4+, with no armour saves. Against skinks, it's 6+. But since they hit automatically (and ignore armour saves), it is really quite amazing. If a unit of 3 pops up next to a cowboy (meaning within 15 inches), they will, on average, put 2.5 wounds on him before ward saves. If it's a saurus regiment or kroxigor bus with no solardon nearby, it turns into 7.5. The main thing to know about them is that they always have to use the highest initiative of the target. So, our dinosaurs get to use the skinks' initiative, meaning that the stalkers only wound on 6+. Still, that means a unit of 6 will kill any of our big monsters on the turn they appear, on average.

    Math Edit: number-crunching gives that 5 stalkers (same price as an ancient steg) will do 4.17 wounds on a steg in their first turn, and have a 40% chance of doing 5.

    The obvious counter to stalkers are skinks, and getting into cc as soon as possible. If you are running a skink cloud or have jungle swarms, you can try to place a unit behind your lines to whittle down the stalkers. Most likely this won't keep them from sniping whatever they intended to, but at least you'll get to them in the following round. If you have skink characters and your opponent brings stalkers, you can place the characters in your saurus bus. That means they will suddenly wound on 6+ instead of 4+, and since it is distributed as for shooting, they can't kill the skink.

    I would upgrade their threat-level to XXXX.

    Also, correction: TK can never stand and shoot (only hold), so the stalkers can't stand and shoot with their gaze either.
     
    Last edited: Jun 12, 2015
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  18. Pinktaco
    Skar-Veteran

    Pinktaco Vessel of the Old Ones Staff Member

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    Are these actually used in all comers lists? Because I don't see them being useful against stuff like elfs and their actual combat stats are not that good. Other than that it's true they can hurt our cowboys, but I suppose one way to counter it would be to deploy a cowboy in a unit. Hell I suppose he could even go into a skink unit?
     
  19. miturian
    Saurus

    miturian Member

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    no idea, perhaps not? they're good against stuff with low initiative and high armour / toughness.

    still, if we actually do meet them, even though that might be rare, they will be a problem :) So I stand by my XXXX-recommendation

    also, it's probably worth noting that they will most likely come on the board outside of our charge arch, so they are going to get at least two rounds of shooting, if we don't kill them with shooting or magic.
     
    Last edited: Jun 13, 2015
  20. airjamy
    Razordon

    airjamy Active Member

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    As mentioned, this is the unit i have the least experience with in the TK army, I have never even seen it on the table. I never entertained the notion that you can move with them after you came up from ICFB, i saw their only 8" range to be to close to make a reliable roll on ICFB to actually always make that shooting attack. With these rules, you can make that shooting attack, and i will mention it in the review. I will also bechanging the fact that they can Stand and Shoot. I do not even know why i put that there, it is obvious that they cannot.

    I still think that they are worth only three X's. They are not a: '' Expensive, or crucial units in a TK list that are either really good at what they do or that are often part of the core of the enemy strategy''. You need a massive investment in points in them, 330 points, to make them kill a Stegadon on the turn they come up. Do not forget that a TK player will never want to do this, if you missfire with ICFB. Do not that they missfire on a missfire roll, but also when they scatter under a unit or terrain, so in the best case they have a 1/6 chance of missfiring. When they missfire, 33% of the time the unit is dead, 33% of the time the other player gets to deploy the unit, then they might just as well be dead, and 33% of the time they move onto the table from a random edge which is very often very bad. I would only field 3, due to their very unstable deployment rules, which they do need to perform their task. Outisde of this, enemies will just charge them before they get their shooting attack of. I also dissagree with the two turn thing, they are T4, with a 5+ save while healing them is almost impossible. They will suffer heavy damage on the turn they come out, a second volley, especially when you expect them to be still at full numbers,is very unlikely. For a brief comparison, our Sauri at 11 points have the same toughness, the same WS, a better save and a pary save compared to these lads, they are squishy as fuck.

    In summary: there will never be a big units of Stalkers in the core of the TK strategy, because their deployment is to risky. They are not really good at what they do, they can get lucky and get a good shooting turn of and kill a monster, but this will very rarely happen, and it will almost never happen when run in normal units of 3. They do have a chance to: ''do some damage to mitigate their points cost'', so i feel like they are fine at 3 X's. Still thanks for the insight.
     

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