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Advice for Tomb Kings tactics & army list

Discussion in 'Other Armies Discussion' started by Lizards of Renown, Aug 24, 2020.

  1. Lizards of Renown
    Skink Priest

    Lizards of Renown Well-Known Member

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    PLOT REVEAL SCENE:

    Wide angle camera view on a lone tower on top of a hill, in the middle of a forest. It is dark and lightning flickers from a distant storm although no sound can be heard.

    As the camera slowly zooms in, snapshots of the forest highlighting the lack of noise and animal life.

    A small light flickers in the top room of the tower.

    CGI camera view zooming in on the top window, getting slowly faster and faster as scratching can be heard, getting louder and louder.

    Camera switch to view from the window to a close up on pen and parchment. Scratching is loud now and interspersed with muttering.

    Cut to Lizards of Renown at a small table, a worn copy of the BRB and Tomb Kings army book to his left and parchment on his right. Crumpled papers litter the floor.

    LOR: (Muttering)... make them pay.... yes.... yeeeeeessssss.... they WILL pay... I'll show them it was folly to mock the Lords of Nehekhara!

    Cut to external view of tower, the storm is right above now and lightning flashes down into the forest.

    LOR: (Screaming) THEY WILL PAY FOR THEIR INSOLENCE!!! SETTRA DOES NOT SERVE!!!!! HE RULES!!!!!!

    -

    (ahem)

    Sorry, got a bit mad scientist there (but I think @Nazqua and @Tk'ya'pyk will appreciate it).

    Okay, so my current crazy idea is pretty much a shooty only army...

    I took note of what you said about the chaff war. It was a very good point and I'd forgotten that he has some very decent and fast chaff (Chaos Hounds) as well as some pretty tough ones.

    I also saw that my army (as laid out) had almost no chaff and nothing really to take out enemy chaff.

    So then I had a moment of madness and came up with a list that I think I'll try just for (as one of my co-workers likes to say) "shits and giggles":

    Liche High Priest (Level 4), Talisman of Protection, Lore of Nehekhara

    4 Liche Priests (One Level 2), Power Stone, Dispel Scroll, Lore of Light (Light Council)

    5 x 30 Skeleton Archers*

    12 Ushabti with Great Bows
    2 x 3 Sepulchral Stalkers

    Hierotitan
    Necrosphinx
    Casket of Souls

    * My friend and I play that you have to have the official models but you can have them armed with whatever you want. I literally have to use TG to be archers to make this many Archers but it's legal based on our house rules (if it goes well, I'll be getting more skeleton archers)

    As is probably obvious, the whole point is to win between shooting and magic.

    I will have the element of surprise on two points: 1) magic phase as my friend hasn't played TK's before. Even if he took counter-magic measures I will be averaging 2-4 extra power dice each phase between CoS and channeling and 2) not having invested points in chariots as he knows that I'm itching to use them and he will be investing points to counter this.

    The archers have three purposes: a) counter enemy chaff, b) act as chaff themselves (and can be the subject of buffs to make them do some damage before being wiped out) and c) overcome by numbers meaning if I'm firing at WoC units with 150 shots I'll be averaging something like 8 dead a turn just from them.

    Ushabti to get buffed for multiple shots and exclusively go after the CK unit.

    Necrosphinx for damage control, to handle Vanguard or Ambushers.

    Will it win? Probably not as the odds are stacked against me, but it will be fun. Even if just to see his face as I lay out the army.
     
    Last edited: Sep 11, 2020
  2. Lizards of Renown
    Skink Priest

    Lizards of Renown Well-Known Member

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    What did you think? I feel like a good debate of it's surprise/craziness value versus actual experience versus mathhammer... :5
     
  3. NIGHTBRINGER
    Slann

    NIGHTBRINGER Second Spawning

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    Once again, I'll present you with my honest personal thoughts, ideas and analysis. I could well be wrong.

    In short, I think you're going to have a good turn 1 and 2, followed by really bad turns 3, 4, 5 and 6.

    You have essentially no combat units in the entire list (the Necrosphinx is the closet thing you have, but it stands very little chance against any of your opponents 4-5 dedicated combat units). As such, you completely concede the combat phase to your opponent.

    So it comes down to... can you win a game when completely conceding a phase of the game? YES... but, certain things have to be in place:
    • Conceding the movement phase ➨ By conceding the movement phase, I mean that your army is largely stationary, but you'll still have to deploy well and make minor adjustments to line up engagements with your incoming opponent. The trick here is that you have to significantly out range your opponent, thereby forcing them to come to you. This is your classic gunline build, of which Dwarfs are the best example (but many other armies can pull it off as well).
    • Conceding the magic phase ➨ Dwarfs are once again the classic example. Magic defense is required, which Dwarfs can bring in spades. If you're not Dwarfs, it is pretty tough to completely give up on the magic phase. This is why most non-Dwarf armies field a level 4 wizard (or at the very least a level 2 + scroll).
    • Conceding the shooting phase ➨ This is probably the easiest phase to concede, and many armies/builds do so. Some armies have next to no shooting (Chaos) and other armies can easily create solid lists without choosing to incorporate a significant amount of shooting. As long as you can get favourable match ups, close combat can easily make up for a lack of shooting.
    • Conceding the close combat phase ➨ This is probably the trickiest one to employ. This is the classic avoidance build. Wood Elves are the classic example of how this strategy can be successfully employed. I believe it requires three things, without which, it will fail miserably. First, the player must have a high degree of skill/generalship. It is not an easy strategy to employ and a player will be greatly penalized for any mistakes. Second, the player must have significant ranged capabilities (magic / shooting) and/or be able to set up situations where they only engage in very limited CC that is highly stacked in their favour. Lastly, the player must have great mobility and superior chaff play. Tomb Kings are slow. Your opponent will march straight for your lines, and there is nothing you can do about it. Sure he'll take some damage coming in, but once he hits your lines, your forces will be decimated. You have nothing to protect your back lines (in fact your army is composed of predominately back line squishy units). The DP and the Chaos Knights can arrive turn 2 and the Warriors should be there by turn 3.

    You previously stated (accurately in my opinion)....
    I agree with your analysis that your friend's army (which is composed of nothing less than 4+ armour saves, discounting chaff of course) is pretty resilient to missile fire. Some TK archers will still be useful for chaff removal, but 150 archers is a very significant investment (900 points before command). My actual Khalida list has less archers than that.

    So why the complete 180 degree change of heart?

    From what I have read, Bowshabti are not that impressive on the field (although, I have also heard from a minority of players who do like them and find success with them). The problem is that of the 12 shots they put out, only 4 will hit on average. Against the Knights you'll average 1.7 wounds per round of shooting. Admittedly, you might be able to double this with magic because of the threat your Banishment spell imposes (Banishment is the #1 priority to dispel). Is that output worth the cost of a 600+ point unit? If you can keep them off this unit, it will be interesting to see.

    If you do decide to use the list, I'll be interested to see how the game plays out. Maybe you can find a way to make it work, but I find it very risky. I do like the inclusion of the Stalkers though! In the end though, the list has to work for you and your particular play style! As you say, it will be an interesting and fun experiment. Then we can tweak and revise, if necessary.

    I'd say of the three lists you have posted, I think the first one stands the best chance. That's just my two cents though. We got to get some more people involved in this analysis and list building process!

    Thoughts?
     
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  4. Lizards of Renown
    Skink Priest

    Lizards of Renown Well-Known Member

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    :D [LoR rubs hands together, shoots cuffs and cracks knuckles]

    And once again, I appreciate you taking the time to go through it. Because of my life scheduling, I don't get to play that often so I like to work over and create ridiculous or crazy lists see how I think they would turn out, etc. It helps when there is another viewpoint on the line that has played a lot that can add some experience into the mix. Each time I get new input, I can look over the lists in a new light.

    That said, I may end up playing the list I put up just to see how it does in real time. We'll see. In the meantime, it's great to discuss and throw concepts about.

    Hmmmm.... These are great points and makes for some good analyses of the list.

    Why 180 degree change of heart? Well, I was working over the list to see how I can play to my strengths as he has genuinely very little weaknesses to exploit.

    I took a look over the four categories that you gave above:

    1. Movement: I concede here automatically almost. There is no way as a Tomb Kings army that I'll be able to feasibly out move WoC. I will have to utilize the deployment phase as smartly as possible to lessen the blow but there is nothing I'm going to do here. The fastest units I have (Chariots, Horsemen, Horse Archers) will be ground to pieces if they are caught away from the main body of the army.

    So, nothing to do here.

    2. Magic: This is where I need to shine. I have been repeatedly told by the very friend that I am playing (as well as others) that to rely on magic alone is folly as it can be fickle. As a Tomb Kings army with CoS and Hierotitan, I will have a very heavy advantage. Even if he has taken a dispel scroll that will be good for the first banishment and I can even tempt it out by utilizing all bound spells first (including CoS which just by itself is one he'll want to dispel otherwise I can get a chain reaction going through each unit of the army as I know he'll be advancing as a battle line to prevent any chariot charges to the flanks from rolling through units).

    I've been trying to capitalize on this through the list.

    3. Shooting: I have more resources for shooting than he does. The Hellcannon still packs a pretty serious punch in the shooting phase, but I plan to have one Stalker unit go after him and hopefully neutralize while the other goes after the Chaos Knights unit. Otherwise, I was entertaining the concept of overcoming through numbers with the large units of Archers and Bowshabtis. If the Archers get engaged they will die just as quickly as normal Skeleton warriors or TG (if not buffed by a TK, which doesn't really seem worth the points investment considering at best I will still be a sub-par combat unit), but could still do some damage if buffed by Lore of Nehekhara spells.

    4. Combat: I feel I have to concede this here. Even with my fantastical ideas about how much damage two huge units of Chariots could do, They would take care of maybe one unit, possibly two if I was very, very lucky and then he would still have 3 left which I would have no handling for and he would roll over me. So basically no viable.

    I could make one TG unit able to do some damage with a TK, but in the grand scheme of things this would MAYBE take care of one WoC unit and this not even definitely.

    So, I resolved to try out some unorthodox tactics and make a pretty much entirely shooting army.

    Theories:

    1. If I concentrated the other Stalker unit, Bowshabtis and magic attacks on the faster moving units (DP, CK) then I could bring them down to a point where the Necrosphinx could charge and at least keep busy while I deal with the rest.

    2. 150 shots with mathhammer isn't great but again if concentrated on one unit could whittle it down enough that it could get bogged in a combat with a huge archer unit (or two even).

    3. I have a couple of spells that I can utilize to slow down some of the other units from the Lore of Nehekhara with the dangerous terrain one and Net of whatever it is.

    4. Plan to have the Stalker unit neutralize the Hellcannon and then go after the flanks of the slower moving infantry.

    Yes, there are holes in the above and it would need luck to succeed, but I figured it was worth a try since like you said I'm playing in hard mode and with the rules/army list as it is I'll need to try something daring.

    Of course, the funny thing is that I'm not dead set on this list. It was a "Hmmmm.... I wonder...." type of list and I like making lists and discussing them anyways :D

    Your move ;)

    (meaning: Thoughts?)
     
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  5. Lizards of Renown
    Skink Priest

    Lizards of Renown Well-Known Member

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    @The Red Devil would you mind awfully moving this over to the new forum area in WHFB?

    Thank you!
     
  6. Lord Agragax of Lunaxoatl
    OldBlood

    Lord Agragax of Lunaxoatl Well-Known Member

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  7. Lizards of Renown
    Skink Priest

    Lizards of Renown Well-Known Member

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  8. Killer Angel
    Slann

    Killer Angel Prophet of the Stars Staff Member

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  9. Lizards of Renown
    Skink Priest

    Lizards of Renown Well-Known Member

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    Okay, I'm working on another idea now. Will probably post it tomorrow.

    (although... any thoughts on my last post on the army list @NIGHTBRINGER ?)
     
  10. NIGHTBRINGER
    Slann

    NIGHTBRINGER Second Spawning

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    If your friend plays dual Hellcannons as you previously suggested, one Stalker unit will not be sufficient in taking them both out. Firstly, his Hellcanons may be deployed far from each other. Second, if they are deployed together, as you focus on one Hellcannon, the second one can line up a charge.

    There is no way you can match WoC in close combat one for one, you'll need superior positioning (multi charges, flank charges, etc.) and/or magical support. That said, that doesn't mean that you can't at least contest the phase. In your last army list, you have zero serious close combat units. That means that once he hits your lines, it is all over. In my opinion, the only way you can get away without any serious combat units is with an avoidance build. However, an avoidance build relies heavily on superior movement, which TK clearly don't have.

    So all in all, don't think of each phase as an absolute win or an absolute loss. There are gradations. Close combat is typically the most devastating phase in the game in terms of causalities caused. If you can't avoid CC such as in a Wood Elves avoidance list, you must have some sort Close Combat presence on the field (even if it is less than that of your opponent). Simply put, your opponent will be able to collect more victory points in the CC phase than you will in the Shooting + Magic phases.

    The problem is that once they make it into close combat, you can no longer shoot at them. And with such quick moving units, he should be in close combat by turn 2 (or 3 at the latest).

    Such large number of shots will cause some damage, and concentrating fire is definitely the way to go. However, it will be difficult getting all those units in range of a single target. To have all your archers fire, you'll have to have extremely wide frontage (15 models wide for a unit of 30 models). Such units are difficult to maneuver. Also, even with their small bases, 150 models, especially in 5 separate units, has a large foot print on the battlefield. Positioning will be tricky. Most importantly, that is a very large expenditure of points. Even though they will cause casualties, they will be hard pressed to make up their points cost.

    That's a good strategy. The longer you can keep them from hitting your lines the better.

    That might be a bit optimistic. Your stalkers will arrive turn 2 at the earliest. If all things go well, you might be able to neutralize a Hellcannon in 2 turns or so. Then you'll have to turn the stalkers around (and they can't field a musician). So in a best case scenario, you'll have them properly faced by the end of turn 4, by which point the WoC will be on the other side of the battlefield.



    It should make for an interesting and enjoyable experiment. I can theory hammer all I want, but maybe you can exploit tactical errors committed by your opponent and win the day. Also, you might be better able to utilize such a list than I would. I just know that personally, I could not field a TK army without some sort of significant close combat potential.
     
  11. Lizards of Renown
    Skink Priest

    Lizards of Renown Well-Known Member

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    So I think I'll tweak the list but, like you say, it will be an amusing experiment to do.

    I think I'll leave this thread at that, since with my schedule I have no idea when I'll actually play the list (and my enthusiasm for tweaking it has spluttered out for the moment).

    When I have it properly scheduled, I'll get excited about it again, do a bunch of tweaking and then give it a go.

    Be assured I'll do a battle report on it!

    Thanks to everyone who chipped in with viewpoints, experience or advice. I appreciate it all!
     
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  12. Killer Angel
    Slann

    Killer Angel Prophet of the Stars Staff Member

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    Be assured i will wait for it! :D
     
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  13. NIGHTBRINGER
    Slann

    NIGHTBRINGER Second Spawning

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    Settra's minions of the unending desert report that you are betraying Nehekhara to the Ogre Kingdoms. The king of kings is most displeased. :p
     
  14. Lizards of Renown
    Skink Priest

    Lizards of Renown Well-Known Member

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    [Scrabbling in the dirt, abasing himself]

    "NEVER GREAT KING!

    "Verily, I only seek to employ and exploit their goldlust and lack of honor to neutralize the enemies of the great one and remove all barriers to a world ruled by Nehekhara!"

    :D

    After Ogres will be Daemons of Chaos, then those are my four armies covered.
     

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