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Posted: May 7 2012, 11:01 AM
Member No.: 2,415
Joined: 5-August 08
I came back from a 2500 pt tournament this past weekend and boy... am I disillusioned.
I went 2 wins and 3 losses. I brought 2 level 4s (Neh & Light), a BSB, 30 archers, 32 skeletal warriors, 8 skeletal horsemen, 12 archers, 5 horse archers, 4 chariots, 4 Necropolis Knights, 2 units of 3 Stalkers, Casket and Titan.
My two wins were against Beastmen (boy is that telling). My three losses were against Ogres, Lizardmen (narrow loss), and Warriors of Chaos. Ogres & WOC were wipeouts.
As a general premise, I've always said TK need to have a good army, good deployment, good tactics, and good dice to stay competitive. However, I find this almost impossible in a 5 game tournament. Asking Tomb Kings to be consistent over 5 games is quite frustrating.
I can sum up quite easily how I lost my games.
Game 2 - opponent's 2 saurus units on turn 2 rolled a 9 to charge my chariots and a 9 to charge my necropolis knights. I was expecting him to make one, after which I would light buff the unit for a win. Whoops! Bad odds led to bad results.
Opponent's High Roll on Charge = Lose.
Game 3 - Scenario was Dawn Attack. My Lvl4 Light, BSB, and Skeletal Horsemen were deployed left. Everyone else was center and right (Hierophant rolled right). Top of 3, Opponent's Mournfang rolled 11 to charge my horsemen. His Ogres rolled a 10 to hit my BSB/Lvl4 that were hugging the board edge. He blew away my lvl 4 and I couldn't recover as he proceeded to roll my flank. The Hellheart (20") coupled with Dispel Scroll meant my magic failed me when I needed it.
Scenario (can't march fast enough back to lines) = Lose.
Opponent's High Roll on Charge = Lose.
WS2 skeletons unable to fight well = Lose.
Magic unreliable (Hellheart with Dispel Scroll) = Lose.
Game 5 - WoC. Both stalkers failed to emerge turn 2. Hierotitan and Skeletal Warriors charge his khorne guys, where I hoped Speed of Light would allow me to live and grind it out. Warriors failed the charge and the Titan got butchered. My level 4 miscast casting Speed of Light on Titan and got sucked into warp turn 3. I proceeded to fail to cast and get low magic rolls thereafter. 12 impact hits with killing blow in the flank killed 2.
Bad Dice = Lose.
WS2 Skeletons unable to fight well against Chaos Warriors = Lose.
Game 2 was a tough fight and enjoyable. Game 3 and 5 were gut wrenching losses. I've had time to reflect on the army and Tomb Kings some more. Some tournament level thoughts.
Scenarios such as Dawn Attack can easily be an auto-loss due to deployment issues.
Lore of Light might not be enough. WS10 is great but S3 troops don't do jack. Hatred is so prevalent right now. I think I need to go back to Death.
Magic is very unreliable, even with the casket. If an opponent packs a Level 4 and a dispel scroll, he might be able to stop that one critical magic phase. Considering what we're trying to boost... warriors outright die without support. Constructs tend to do better but only because they aren't WS2. They need more than 1 augment/hex in that combat. That isn't guaranteed. In my area (Northern California), there are lots of OK and WOC running around, both of which can slaughter troops with multiple attacks.
I lost games 2 and 3 because my opponents made both their long charges. I can't do anything about it and that's just dice talking.
Whether I had Stalkers or Sphinxes wouldn't change my losses. It just feels like Tomb Kings without special characters aren't consistent enough to go 5 rounds. The other Tomb King player went 1 and 4. He had King on chariots with Mask, 4 Knights, Necrosphinx, and some other units.
As for the Stalkers, I'm in a weird love/hate relationship. I want the Stalkers to come up Turn 2 to start shooting. At the same time, as frustrating it is for them both to not show up, they are equally aggravating to my opponent when they show up turn 3 and I use them as sacrificial units instead. Granted, I'm trading 165 points to save a 280 point unit but what choices do I have? Plus I had them painted up so I want to get some more mileage out of them.
The only things consistent during the entire tournament were my Hierotitan and 30 Skeletal Archers. Not having that D3 bonus is a world of difference. Opponents would ignore the 30 archers as a threat and I'd slam into their flanks, buff it up with magic and reform to suddenly have ranks that could negate steadfast.
So I suppose I'm going back to the drawing board but the long term prospects of being consistent certainly isn't promising in my environment.
Posted: May 7 2012, 11:27 AM
Awesome Tomb Lord
Member No.: 3,424
Joined: 5-April 11
=> I feel your pain...but 2 wins with TK is really effing impressive!
=> Agreed. Other armies can swing and miss on one of these, sometimes even two. TK _require_ all elements to be perfect. Not fair, really.
=> I am finding this to be accurate in most cases. While I don't believe our chariots, for example, absolutely require a charge to do well (since they have so many attacks each and heal easily), taking that away is a devastating blow. Many of the units we would want to charge can afford the risky charge against us first, knowing they would have been charged by us next turn anyway. A fluky die roll can doom our army since we cannot react to it or move to support a doomed combat.
I'll say it again: Crumble, lack of steadfast, lack of marching, and lack of charge reactions is in NO WAY a fair price to pay for being unbreakable.
=> It is indeed one of the tougher scenarios to deal with, but then again we do well in B&G and Watchtower. Plus, I have found that if I build my list and plan to account for it, I can do rather well with it while my opponent suffers from a dispersed battle line.
Start out with both wizards in one unit so they cannot be separated. That helps. Also, roll to deploy whatever your main unit is first. If you get a center or you-pick roll, place the unit at the edge of the center zone, hugging either the right or left. That will make it so that only 1 in 6 rolls will send a unit to somewhere it cannot support the rest of the army. Nothing is perfect, but that's not bad considering.
=> Yep. That's why I have settled in to using my S6 bow ushabti and will upgrade my colossus models to bows once the kit comes out. If you can kill enough before the Warriors arrive, and slow them with Vengeance, you stand a chance. Never take skeletons (knives) vs Warriors (guns).
=> I'm loving light, but then again, I'm construct heavy. Light + Cursed Blades = dead stuff.
=> Yep. It is. That's why I feel Light+Nehek+Titan+constructs is one of the better approaches to TK. So many little spells that all help the guys do better really means you don't need one killer spell to get off. A combo of a few little ones can do it. Power Stone and Wand of Jet really helps too.
=> I'm in the same boat. Sometimes they kill a hydra. Sometimes they kill themselves. Sometimes they do both. They are a Skaven unit dressed up like undead.
True scholars have more than just one book to study.
Posted: May 7 2012, 11:35 AM
Member No.: 4,201
Joined: 24-June 11
Disagree. You can simply have characters in units, then roll for the units without having to worry about where the characters go. See my recent batreps for a Dawn Attack that I won convincingly in.
In my opinion, it never was. It lets your army do what it already does, but faster (including dying!). Death is by far the better choice because it synergizes better with other abilities and makes up for TK deficiencies, like ignoring armor saves and generally dealing death and havoc.
Take more! Make sure you don't need a particularly critical magic phase. Take so many nasty spells that they don't know what to stop. The tournament I went to this weekend was a great example of that. Everybody wanted to stop the casket and character-zappers for sure, but the other spells not so much (I had 13 for them to worry about). Their mistake!
Don't write off your dudes yet. I have a 2400 tournament next month that bans SC for every stupid reason ever, so I'm going to give it a try and see what happens.
Posted: May 7 2012, 04:52 PM
Member No.: 2,415
Joined: 5-August 08
In Dawn Attack, I had my characters in two units. First unit rolled a 1 (lvl 4 with warriors) and second unit rolled a 2 (Light with BSB and horsemen).
As for Lore of Light, I found the spells I consistently cast were Speed of Light, Pha's Illumination, and Banishment. Birona's Timewarp was hard to cast at range 12. When all the spells went off, my opponent was hitting on 6s.
Theoryhammer now... Speed of Light when you have the same weapon skill improves your hitting by 16% and they hit you less by 16% (from 4s to 5s), and 33% if from 3s to 5s. Now let's look at Soulblight. Same range except that they wound you 16% less (assuming they need 3s or worse to wound) while you wound them 16% more (assuming you improve by 1 pip). If I took a Tomb Prince, I'm essentially investing 150 points to ensure I don't need to cast Speed of Light to not suck. I'm starting to warm over to that idea.
So this brings me to the spells on spells issue. I had all the spells I wanted but I didn't have enough dice. Drawing out the dispel scroll early is nearly impossible against good players (CoS sucks out scrolls against mediocre players - good players shrug it off due to general and BSB). For me, let's say skeletons versus Ogres/Saurus/Chaos. Against Ogres/Saurus, dispelling Speed of Light matters. Everything else is not as important. Bironas and Smiting essentially gave me the IG flashlight army - lots of dice hoping for anything but it's still hitting on 4s and wounding on 5s with armor. By the way, Dessication being an 11 to cast did me no favors since your chance of failing to cast is 1/3-1/6 with a Hierotitan nearby.
In any case, I'm thinking of bringing back the Tomb Prince in the army. It makes me less reliant on one facet of magic to boost my troops. With the Lvl 4 Death wizard, I get LD9 spirit leech to boot.
Posted: May 7 2012, 06:26 PM
Member No.: 4,150
Joined: 14-June 11
Why diden't you bring atleast a couple of sphinxes and some SSC?
At first sight your list seems weak and way to dependet on magic, and as you said "Magic is very unreliable, even with the casket." So don't use that many points in magic.
Also, get some more redirectors, so that you don't get charged in those crucial turns.
Life sucks, and then you crumble...
Posted: May 9 2012, 05:28 PM
A bug in the Swarm
Member No.: 5,180
Joined: 9-May 12
I was trolling through this forum and noticed your quick batrep of your SAWS Challenge experience. I didn't get a chance to talk to you after the tourney (our group decided to start the trip back before the awards were handed out). You'll remember me; it was my buddy (Beastmen) who you played in Rd 4 on that Ice Table (my game finished early and I came to watch yours a little).
I was very interested to see how your army performed in that tourney, and I'm sorry to hear you were so disheartened by its performance. I had a couple of thoughts for you:
Interesting concept... Are you saying you setup with the intention of giving your opponent two charge options and hoping only 1 would be made? I'm a little confused by this plan. It would seem like you would be better served by moving both the chariots and the knights back (or not up as far) so that the saurus units would need 11's or 12's to make the charges (with your +3/4 and SS over him, why give him a chance to make it?) Obviously I didn't see your setup here, so I don't know how viable those options were, but it just seems counterintuitive to hope *some* (but not all) above average charges would be made against units that crumble. Especially with as difficult as it should be for the knights to be healed back up. Just my theorizing here...
Game 3 - No real comments here, tough luck really. It's one of my least favorite scenarios, and I can't imagine how much tougher it is for TK (though I guess I'll find out whenever I get my army started). It ruined my Ogres too, against an all Khorne Deamon army with a JugStar and Skulltaker... would have been an interesting matchup if we both could have deployed the way we wanted to. I almost would just scratch this game from memory and just put it down to all dumb luck. It seems to me like most of our tournaments out here don't use this scenario anyway (its not in QCR right? )
I'm kinda wondering if maybe your magic setup isn't as good for the build you took. It seems like Light works really well with more constructs (like Sleboda's AFTK), while Death would help out your shooting and mid-to-low level troops you are taking. I'm looking at the list thinking "where's the hitting power?" and coming up with "the knights, and the HT in a pinch".
Don't give up on the TK's, I want to see them do well in our area (it's my next planned project in a couple months or so.)
|Flies For Tears||
Posted: May 9 2012, 06:29 PM
A bug in the Swarm
Member No.: 5,181
Joined: 9-May 12
Hey Bad Mojo, I was the other TK player at the SAWS challenge.
I ended up going 1 and 4. Though, if I could redo all those games, I think I could go 3, 1, and 1.
My list was gimmicky. In short:
30 Tomb Guards w/ Prince and halberds
L4 LHP Lore of Nehekara
7 Chariots w/ TK and Golden Deathmask
25 archers as bunker for LHP
2 x 5 horsemen for redirectors/speedbumps
Casket and my magic phases were hands down my MVPs. Except for game 5, I had advantageous magic phases all tourney.
My LVPs were my Tomb Guard. They really only came to party in one game. Game 4 (my major victory + objective)
My opponents in order were: WoC (who went on to win overall), WoC, Beastmen, Dwarf gunline, and Vampire Counts
Looking back, I should have won Game 1, it was stupid play on my fault. My chariot bus could have crushed/overrun everything, (as he had no big groups of anything) but I matched them up against the knights and didn't swing the combat with any magic.
I didn't 6-dice the casket. In fact I did nothing intelligent all game, except my initial deployment. (it was only my 3rd game with TK's ever)
Game 2, I should have reformed w/ my chariot bus, instead of overrunning. I was trying to gamble and get to his warshrine after clobbering a unit of Tzeentch Warriors. I was also relying on my Necroknights living for at least a combat phase. What ended up happening was my chariots (even with banner of swiftness) rolled 3 on their overrun, fell short. My necroknights died and he got a reform, then a flank next turn.
My Necrosphinx ended up killing (with hero chop after 2 phases) his Hell Cannon and rear-charging a unit of warriors (and winning somehow!) My casket obliterated his chaos knights in one go.
Game 3 - Beastmen.
Bad Mojo went on to play the same guy in his Game 4. I played this game stupid as well, and should have been able to eek out a draw. This was my Dawn Attack game, and deployment really messed me up. My priest ended up too far from my other units to help with anything.
In an effort to keep my chariots from being charged (getting the charge is important) I threw them out alone into a big block of steadfast beasts. Ended up being swarmed by multiple units. Casket killed a ton of chaff.
Game 4 - Dwarf gunline
I was sweating this match up the most as he had tons of war machines, heavy armor, and lots of stubborn. Luckily this game the casket went buck wild. On the first turn it destroyed an Organ Gun, 2 Cannons and damaged a unit. On the second turn it damaged 2 units and destroyed a Flame Cannon. The necrocat rolled an 18 on his swiftstride charge (so 22 inches wooo!), and sliced down a gyrocopter that chose to flee (from a good chunk of distance away) then ended up pinning a unit of hammerers for at least 3 turns, slowly chopping away.
It ended up a major victory w/ objective as the chariot bus rolled up the flank, and then along the whole back line, while the TG and NecroKnights double charged his anvil.
Game 5 - Vampires (and a king of the hill objective)
I was simply out-bodied in this match up. He had sooo many models I just.. how do you kill that many? I threw a 5 dice Skull Storm at one point, rolled a misfire and it moved 4 inches across my archer bunker (killing 15 or so). The next turn my LHP ended up being sucked into the warp on a 5, 6, 6 miscast/IF, causing an immediate crumble which due to LD 8's and 10's wasn't a problem. It was the crumble 2 turns later that brutalized me, but I was already losing.
I can't think of a way I could win game 5, other than somehow getting my LHP up along the flank of my opponent and throwing a large template skull storm 40 inches, then following it up with all the charges I needed. He was running a block of 50+ zombies, 65 skeletons, 15-20 black knights, 5 blood knights, bunch of hosts, some fell bats, and a red fury lord.
I felt overall, aside from Dawn Attack, I deployed very well. I was able to create the match-ups I wanted (though... I learned they were not the match-ups I should have wanted). Throughout the tourney I totally forgot to make my opponents take fear/terror checks, and that could have been a big difference.
The TK weaknesses I felt most keenly were our speed. TK's are just too slow. If my units are spread out, my movement spell is useless. I hate that I cannot even use the movement spell to HEAL if my troops are in a fight. It wont target engaged units.
My next list, to reflect what I've learned (and how I like to play) will be something like:
8 Chariots + TK w/ Deathmask
2 War Sphinx
15 Horse Archers w/ L4 Nehek and L2 Light
Of course I auto-lose Blood and Glory. I am going to try to build an entirely MV4 free list though, whatever I end up with running.
I didn't feel disheartened after the whole affair, but I did feel that it would be an uphill battle as opposed to Empire and Skaven. (the other armies I've played a bunch) Both of which get to impose their will on phases of the game much easier. I also felt completely out-matched by Vampire Counts. Even after a few days of mulling the game over in my head, I don't have a reasonable solution to how I could have pulled out a win.
Posted: May 9 2012, 08:07 PM
Member No.: 2,415
Joined: 5-August 08
I'm not a fan of 8 TK chariots with TK because anything with Stubborn (or Steadfast) will pin it in place and the unit then gets flanked. That's when the horrific combat res begins. The Death Mask makes it an all or nothing proposition.
As for Light magic, it really shines when buffing up 1 unit continuously. That isn't too different from Nehekara magic, although Nehekara magic is mostly a 12" range. That's where we got Sleb's illustrious WS10/I10, 4A, 5+ Ward Ushabti. So is it worthwhile to double down that way? I'm not so sure anymore, which is why I'm swinging towards death because the spells they provide are much more different than Nehekara. Other than Soulblight, which it doesn't hurt to have, all of those spells are snipe and Purple Sun. In a tournament setting, that's really good stuff to have. Purple Sun keeps Ogres and Lizardmen honest.
I'm re-tooling the list now that there are no composition issues for the time being.
Here are my unit grades:
Lvl 4 Light: B. I found myself casting Speed of Light and Pha's Illumination. Banishment was occasional. Birona's was ok. The problem was that early on, I wish I had death magic such as Caress or Soulblight. Once in combat, I still wished I had soulblight. Against Ogres, I wished I had Purple Sun. Death magic (other than Sun) wouldn't have been as effective against Ironguts since they'd still wound on 2s but they would take more casualties. Admittedly, Net of Amyntok did hold up the Slann for 2 turns. The flip side would've been Caress going after his Skink Priest.
Lvl 4 Nehekara: C+. The magic was mediocre. Smiting for 60 shots would be intimidating if I had good spells backing it up (i.e., Dessication and Soulblight). Skullstorm was worthless as I always had better things to do with my power dice.
BSB: B-. Didn't do a whole lot except help for reforms and reduce losses with my constructs. That's what he signed up to do.
30 Archers: B+. It was an annoying unit. More importantly, the unit got several critical flank charges off given how wide it is.
12 Archers: C+. Sometimes it was the mage bunker. Often times it got in the way.
5 Horse Archers: B. They were sufficiently annoying throughout the tournament to earn their keep. Will consider investing in another unit.
8 Horsemen: B-. They were cheap and kept my mage around. Next time I am dropping the banner and reducing it to 6. That way it becomes more disposable.
4 Chariots with Flaming Banner: C-. At 250 points, it was way too expensive to recklessly throwaway. Opponents would pin it with a throwaway unit, forcing me to charge (and get countercharged) or get stuck. I am dropping it down to 3 with nothing except musician.
31 Skeletons: D+. They are terrible without support. Because magic was erratic, I couldn't support giving them decent weapon skill. I will give them another shot with a Tomb Prince. That way Soulblight is the only support I need.
4 Necropolis Knights: B+. They wrecked stuff but also died. I think they really need to expand up to 6 or more to be consistent.
Stalkers: C. They are Orcs in disguise. Best moment was two of them killing a Gorgon. But then again... it's a Gorgon.
Casket: B. Reliable power dice.
Hierotitan: A-. Reliable Titan does everything I expect it to do. Every time he died, I felt its loss in my next casting phase, moreso than the Casket.
Posted: May 10 2012, 06:51 PM
The Eclipse King
Member No.: 727
Joined: 29-June 05
Such a shame Speed of Light doens't grant BS10 as well, now that would be something.
I'm surprised you've rated the 8 horsemen over the chariots.
Posted: May 15 2012, 06:55 AM
A bug in the Swarm
Member No.: 5,143
Joined: 2-May 12
Tbh I'm not really surprised that the list didnt do fantastic as it seems a relatively soft list. Only one light wizard and one medium unit of knights meant that the lore wasn't being used to it's full potential(banishment s6 etc.). Same thing with the warriors buffing crap units is still crap compared to good units with the same buffs so adding a prince isn't really going to help. Personally I dont think we have a ranked up unit that can take a charge:
-tomb guard, probably can but with M4 and no marching the only things that will charge are units that can smack them up
-Skellies, just die yes you can buff them, raise them, support them but they still die and drag other units in the same combat down too
-Chariots maybe(never tried) but really who sets these up to get charged?
-Cav, see Skellies above
As a result I see no place for ranked combat infantry in the tomb king army.
This leaves us with sphinxs and knights to hold a charge which they do very well and with higher movement can get into decent positions. However you seem to have found this out for yourself the hard way.
I'd recommend some SSCs as they wreck units with dessication and soulblight along with killing some otherwise hard to kill stuff(hydra, hellpit, general big nasties). Other than that at least 6 for the knight unit.
As for the games, in game 2 PREMEASURE, if you dont want to be charged then stand M+12" away from it or throw some horsemen in the way.
Against ogres I think Light TK have a bad time while death are ok, as mentioned above put characters in units before rolling will help.
Warriors is just a bad match up period though charging skellies into khorne warriors is worse than suicidal and relying solely on stalkers to kill armour is risky at best. Other than that bad luck happens .
Hard luck and keep trying