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D.R.A.I.C.H. - Tomb Kings (8th ed) 
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Executioner
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D.R.A.I.C.H. - TOMB KINGS (TKs).

1· Introduction.
2· TKs: Magic Phase.
3· TKs: Magic items and combos.
4· TKs: Chariots, Tomb Scorpions, Screaming Skull Catapults and quick review on other troop choices.
5· Example of a TK power list.
6· Magic against TKs.



1· Introduction.

Hi there,
First of all, I'd like to point out something: this is a compilation of several conclusions and thoughts on playing against Tomb Kings that I've collected through more than 30 games against a TK player (a close friend of mine). This guy has played with this army for more than 6 years, lots of games, more than 30 games in 8ed and more than 10 8ed tourneys getting top 5 (20+ people). This are all the guarantees we can offer. We are not tactical geniuses, nor unbeatable players, all we can offer is to share our experiences so far. Hope it helps. Also, please forgive my bad english. And without further ado, let's begin:

I play a lot against TKs with my regular oponent and I must say that TKs have become much better with 8ed rules. IMHO, TKs can easily counter pretty much any of our troop choices and are just "hard mode" for us druchii.
Speaking of a certain TK character or a certain TK troop involves speaking of a variety of other troops. This should give us a clue. TKs need a high grade of coordination to win games. Fortunately for them, they have a super-reliable magic phase, the most reliable magic phase of the game, to help them. They can actually counter pretty much anything we throw at them with their defensive playstile: sittin back and heavy shooting at threats and then charging into favourable combats via incantation spam. We must try to pose several threats at a time to make them divide incantations, aim at killing Priests...whatever reduces their capability to focus/spam incantations.
The fact is that the TK army has two big flaws: expensive troops and poor stats (with a few exceptions). For example, they have to pay 9 points for a skelleton that hast the same profile as an ordinary Goblin. Only thanks to their incantations can they reach success.



2· TKs: Magic Phase.

TKs need their magic to win games. I can't stress how important magic is to a TK player. Playing against the druchii, a TK player will use magic to:

1st: Kill the Hydras. He will do it, only bad luck will prevent a TK from getting rid of them before they even have a chance to breath on something. And he will do this by firing each Skulthrower twice in a turn, and there's very little you can do about that.

2nd: Focusing fire on our elite troops or immediate threats such as harasser/warmachine hunters.

3rd: Getting key charges.

So, let me explain how TK magic phase works. First, let's remember the different incantations:
-There is a D6 S4 missile.
-Another one for an extra shooting round
-Another one for an extra combat round (only 1 attack per model)
-Finally, there's the wounds regeneration incantation: will heal D3 wounds to characters, D6 to Grave Guard and the best D6 out of a 2D6 roll to Skellies.
Incantations can't cause Miscast/IF and will be successful even with a natural 1 or 2 in the roll (and of course won't cause the caster to loos concentration). Also, there's a certain order they must follow to throw incantations, but it's not very important: first bound spells, then Kings, then Princes, then lord level Priests, then Priests and then the Hierophant.
So, let's suppose TK list includes 2 Kings (2 incantations each, 1 PD per incantation) and 3 Priests (1 incantation each, 2PD per incantation) at 2.5k points. This means, a total of 10 PD in incantations. We are likely to get 3-5 DD from WoM. Pretty uneven actually.

How does a TK succede at killing Hydras:

-Incantations are aimed at Screaming Skull Catapults (SSC from now on). 7 incantations: 1PD, 1PD, 1PD, 1PD, 2PD, 2PD, 2PD. Even if we have a lvl4 SSorc, with 5 DD we won't be able to stop that: attempts at 1DD are risky and attempts at 2DD are useless. So both SSCs fire at our Hydra(s) (SSCs=flamming catapults that cause panic).

Most usually, the TK player will still have incantations left to throw some missiles or get the Archers to fire too. Once the TK player kills the Hydras or injures them badly, he may start focusing fire on our elite troops.
Conclusion: most of the times, the SSCs will fire 4 times in a turn against Hydras. You'd better not rely on them to win the game. But magic does not only enhance their fire power. It also helps them move.

How does a TK succede at getting the key charges:

A typical mistake against TKs is to think that it's a slow army and that, therefore, you will get the charges. Well, in fact, their infantry can charge further than any infantry in the game and as much as most cavalries in the game. This is because they will use incantations to get the charges, which means they will charge twice their M stat + 2/3D6. Furthermore, TK troops may go for a swift reform, then move and then charge: this is, they may charge whichever unit gets in range, despite this unit not being initially in their LoS. And this range is large. Infantry will charge 15 inches on an average roll, chariots will charge 24.

Remembering this is important. It makes Shades/Harpies/DR's life a lot harder. A TK common tactic to protect Skullthrowers is to have small Chariot units near them, so that they can reform and charge harasser units thay try to get anywhere near the Skullthrowers. And those units won't survive the light chariots charge. This tactic can also be applied to Archers.

Also, remember about this when you try to redirect a TK's units. Maybe you used a DR unit to avoid a flank charge into your Warriors, but the "redirected" unit will take a swift reform to avoid it and charge in the magic phase. And having 10-15 PD in incantations will help the TK achieve this. There's another way a TK unit can avoid being redirected: the redirecting unit will be blasted away by D6 missiles, then the unit moves, then it charges. This will take only 3 incantations to work.
As you can see, Magic is key for a TK player. A very successful general tactic for a TK player consists on using the first 2 turns to focus fire on main threats, and then charging into favourable combats in turns 3-4.

Winds of Magic:

Many people see the Wizard Hat as a good item for a TK list. I personally don't think so, but i can see where this idea comes from: WoM provide TKs with PD that they wont use, so why not taking the Wizard Hat to use them?.

As I said, I don't think this item is actually good. It leaves characters unprotected and is completely random. TKs depend on their incantations, so the more characters they field, the better the list becomes, tactically speaking. On the other hand, they need to keep their characters "alive", so they need to somehow protect them and this may mean taking less but better protected characters. It's the TKs challenge to choose the right number of characters and the appropiate protection for them. So far, at 2.5k games, 2 hitty Tomb Kings with Wards and 3 Priests with a few interesting magic items seem to work wonders.

Back to the idea of making use of the WoM roll, IMHO the way to go is by including 1-3 bound spell items such as the Ruby Ring of Ruin or the Banner that casts incantation of Djedra (the one that regenerates wounds on the unit). The advantage of these items is that they're cheap or are carried by units, not characters. This allows to keep a high number of characters and to make use of those PDs, resulting in overwhelming magic phases of 10-17 PD.
By including a few bound spells, TKs can get overwhelming magic phases.

Casket of Souls:

This is a gear option for High Priests and Priests. It works as an ordinary incantation with power level = 2D6. As incantations, it can't get IF nor fail with a natural 2. It will cause any model/unit that can see it to take a 2D6-L test. The result is wounds taken, no AS. Of course, these are magical wounds. Also, the Casket will apply a -1 modifier to any casting attempts our Sorceresses (this is not part of the bound spell, so it will affect us however we dispell it or not).

The Casket's buffs are actually good, but it's points cost (165 points) is just very high, IMHO. For those points, the TK player can field another Priest (115 points) and pay half the cost of a Tomb Scorpion (85 points) or get some extra Bound Spells (such as a 2d6 S2 missile, cool for taking down harasser units).

Also, the Casket cannot move and has no I stat, so the Priest will be stuck in the rear lines, vulnerable to possible warmachine hunters, Pits of Shades, Purple Sun, Pendulums and cannon balls and the likes. Also, it won't be able tosupport main melee troops when combat starts due to being stuck in the rear lines. I'd be glad to face a Casket of Souls when playing against TKs, very easy VPs and not a great effect on a L10 army like mine.

As a final note, the psychological effect of the Casket is very strong. Most opponents will fear a bad roll on their PoK bearer, etc. Don't get too obsesed with it and pay attention to other incantations. If you fear it so much, just have your unkillable lords stick to units, so it doesn't have to take the test.


So, now we know what to expect from TKs magic phases.



3· TKs: Magic items and combos.

Magic items are also important for TKs. As we know, they have access to some bound spells to enhance their magic phase, but there are some other important items to know about. I don't know the exact english names, sorry:

-Flail of Skulls:
It's a flail that will cause non saved wound to double. This is a very useful weapon against us druchii (in fact, it is a very useful weapon in general) because of the following:
-It will take down any injuried Hydra that comes near the Tomb King. This means that the TK player no longer needs to kill 2 Hydras. Killing one and damaging the other is ok now.
-Also, the Flail significantly shortens any Khaeleth bearer's life expectancy, for obvious reasons.

-Spear of Antharhak:
It's a lance (+1S when charging if mounted) that will heal a wound on the bearer or the bearer's unit whenever the bearer inflicts a non saved wound.

-Armor of the Scorpion:
When losing a combat, half of the CR can be ignored and the bearer will suffer 1 wound that cannot be saved. For example: Tomb King in skellies loose a combat by 10, the Tomb King takes 1 wound and 5 skellies crumble.

-Pectoral of Shapesh (?):
This will transfer a non saved wound to a friendly model within 4 inches with 4+ in a D6 roll.

-Amulet of Pha-stah (?):
Will cause any Talisman, arcane item or enchanted item not to work, but the bearer can't take any other magic items. This will cause PoK/Ward Saves and Crown of Command to be useless against the bearer. This is an easy way, though risky, of taking down an "unkillable" lord/BSB. Don't expect to see it very often, only in big games (over 3k points).

-Brochure of the desert:
An extra Dispel Scroll.

-Hieratic vessel (?):
One use only. Arcane item (only on Priests). Will allow the bearer to throw an extra incantation. This item can be game breaking when played correctly.

So this are the most noticeable TK items. Now, let's see some interesting magic item combos, paired with incantations that my TK opponent uses:

-The D6-Star:
With 3 Priests. One of the Priests (never the Hierophant) has the Ruby Ring of Ruin, the Hierophant has the "extra-incantation-item". All three Priests target an enemy unit and throw: Ruby Ring of Ruin, D6 missile, D6 missile, D6 missile and another D6 missile for a total of 5D6 S4 missiles with only 3 incantations. In subsequent turns this can be performed but will only throw 4D6 S4 missiles. Range for the missiles is 18 inches.
This missile spam seeks to blast away our elite infantry. Pairing this with light shooting, the TK player can destroy 20 man BG/WEs in a turn.

What can you do about this?. This "performance" needs only 3 incantations (with 2 PD each) so we can try an dispel them if we have enough DD, but that will mean letting all incantations thrown at SSCs through...it's up to us.

-"Sponge Bob" and friends:
This is the best anvil unit available for a TK player. And a pretty good anvil if you ask me. This can be played as part of a points-denial list, but will also perform great in tournament environment.

"Sponge Bob" is a Tomb King with the Spear of Antharhak, Armor of the Scorpion and Pectoral of Shapesh (this one is only optional) in a unit of approximately 40+ skellies. The idea here is that you may win a combat against them, they loose by 20, only 10 skellies die with the Armor, the Tomb King takes a wound and then heals himself back with the Spear. Then, the unit can be healed back to 40 models and in the process our units take casualties.

This unit has won my TK opponent lots of games. It will sit in front of the opponent's hardest hitting unit and tie it forever. It works thanks to the Tomb King's natural resilience (T5, W4 and a "4+ WS" from the pectoral), so that he can inflict himself 1 wound with little risk. The unit may include the banner of the undead legion, which is a bound spell that will cast the reraise incantation on the unit, to further help the unit recover from combat.

So far, this unit has engaged and survived all of my hammer units, including a combat against a non injured Hydra in the rear, 14 WEs in the flank and 6 CoKs in the front. The combat lasted for 4-5 rounds of combat, CoKs and Hydra eventually fled and WEs died.

How do I counter this unit? This unit will be seeking to tarpit my hammer units, so I'll just try to tarpit it so that my hammers con go earn VP somewhere else. In order to tarpit it, I'll use big Warrior units or any Steadfast/Stubborn big unit.

-Tomb King with Flail of Skulls:
This is one of the TK's hammer unit. Tomb King with Flail of Skulls and 4+ Ward Save in a unit of Tomb Guard with the banner that gives +1 to hit in HtH. With WS 6, the Tomb King is expected to hit on 2+ with 4 S7 attacks. This is very good against monstruous infantry and Monsters, but just doesn't cut it agains rank&file units. This unit will also have great success against characters because of loads of S4 KB attacks and the Flail.
It's big flaw is that Tomb Guard can only be 25 man strong: kill half the models and the unit crumbles.

How do I counter this unit? Don't send injured Hydras, don't send the unkillable Lord. Instead, I send big units of WEs/BG that will just beat this unit with ease. I'll be careful about placing my injuried Hydras or key characters any near of this unit because they can get to charge them and earn easy VPs.

These are the nastiest surprises my TK opponent can bring, from my druchii PoV. Just be aware of them when playing against TK.


Last edited by Pjeos on Fri Dec 31, 2010 3:05 pm, edited 3 times in total.



Sat Dec 25, 2010 7:49 pm
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4· TKs: Chariots, Tomb Scorpions, Screaming Skull Catapults and quick review on other troop choices.

First, on with the quick review on TK's troop choices. I won't be writing about characters since they're quite simple once you know what magic items they can be wearing.

Core:

Skelletons: Rank&file unit. Extremely expensive for their poor stats. When joined by a "Sponge Bob" King, they can become extremely durable as they are actually easy to reraise back to full health after combats.

Archers: These ignore impact modifiers, which means they'll be shooting at 5+ unless you can lower their BS via Miasma or Word of Pain. They are annoying because their killing power on the game is small enough to not be worth wasting PD in them, but big enough to help damaging infantries and killing harasser units.

Special:

Tomb Guard: S4, T4, 1A, KB.

Ushabti: Monstruous infantry, S6 (no GW), T4, 3A.

Swarms: Swarms -_- with poisoned attacks.

Carrions: Eagle size, can form units so that they resist light shooting, but can't march.

Rare:

Bone Giants: Giants with 3+AS and a cool rule which is called something like "unstoppable assault". This rule allows them to make an extra Attack for each successful wound inflicted in that combat round. Doesn't apply to Attacks during the magic phase. These guys can take on big elven units (save WEs) and cause them serious damage.


Finally, i'll comment on 3 troops that are specially nasty for us druchii: Chariots, Tomb Scoprions and Skullthrowers. In any TK list, you can expect to see at least 2 Skullthrowers, at least 2 Tomb Scorpions and at least 1 unit of Chariots.

Chariots

"Light" chariots: T4 and will cause D3 impact hits when charging. Problem is that they can form units going from 3 to 12 Chariots. Chariots have enough hitting power to beat down any harasser unit we can throw at them but they can't match any of our close combat units, except possibly Warriors if they manage to flank charge.

Keeping this in mind, we can expect Chariots to fulfill two different roles:

a) Anti-warmachine hunters (3 strong units, 120 points):

Skullthrowers are TK's best rare troop, and can be game-breaking. A TK player will always devoute 2 or 3 units to protect his/her beloved catapults. Most usually, Chariots and Archers will fulfill this role.

And they really shine at this. Impact hits will easily win them combats against light, fragile units such as Shades/Harpies/DRs. Since they can charge soooo long, they can easily handle these harasser units, specially when they come one at a time.

When it comes to protecting the Skullthrowers, a TK player won't doubt to invest all incantations in getting the Chariot charge through. This is why it's important not to send warmachine hunters forward in the first turn. Having no other threat to deal with, all incantations may go to get those charges and we will have to suffer catapults all the game.

Instead, we wait untill turn 3, when our melee troops can threat the TK player with charging, and see him divide incantations. Either he will let the harasser units live or let us get the charges. Front charges aren't that dangerous from their PoV, but multi-charging and flank charging are and the TK player will want to avoid that.

As a secondary use of the Chariots, the TK player can use them to prevent Shades deploy any near from the Skullthrowers by deploying them (had a big trouble trying to explain this XD) like this:


Instead of: Ch Ch Ch (looking forward), deployed like this: Ch> Ch> Ch> (in a conga line parallel to their side of the table). So that the unit has a front of 6 inches and, when deployed in the flanks, it takes a lot of the Shade's available space. As they are fast cav, when the game starts they can reform and position to charge any Shade unit that dared to deploy 12 inches from them, and this will save the TK player some incantations that may use as missiles for other harasser units or whatever.

As you can see, this small Chariots units will make Shades/Harpies/DRs' life a lot harder.

b) As a Tomb King/Prince's bodyguard:

A Tomb King may join a Chariots unit and, if so, it may ride it's own flamming chariot. This flamming chariot causes D6+1 impact hits and of course has the Flamming Attacks rule. This can be specially nasty against Hydras because, if the King's chariot manages to inflict 1 wound to the Hydra (not that difficult actually), then the Hydra will loose Regen for the rest of the phase. This is, the Hydra dies.

All in all, i don't see this very often even against DEs. Skullthrowers are actually good at taking Hydras down and having the Tomb King mounted means he is likely to get far from his other troops and that's not what a TK player wants for his Tomb King.

A Prince may also join a Chariots unit, but i'd only expect to see this in rather big games. As we know, TK players need every incantation and Princes only provide 1 incantation (1D6 "power level") so including them means taking less Priests/Tomb Kings and, therefore, less magic power. And there's still little use for such a unit. Even with a Prince, Chariots can't expect to win a combat against our melee troops and as a support unit it's extremely expensive and vanilla Chariots do already do well in that ror.

I do fear a lot more vanilla Chariots, they're cheaper and allow Characters to stay together to form a strong core.


TOMB SCORPIONS

There is not much discussion about these guys despite being very good troop types. Overall, the TK army has two big flaws: poor stats and high prices. They were already overpriced in 7ed and now, with 8ed's new fear rules, they are even more overpriced than before. 9 points per skelletons that have the same profile than a Goblin...

Well, Tomb Scorpions are, with Skullthrowers, a nice exception to this. They come in at 85 points each, have M7, 4A, S5, T5, 5+ AS, Poisoned Attacks, KB, Stomp and will loose 1 wound less when crumbling due to their "Artifact" rule.

Their tunneling rule allows them to appear anywhere the TK player chooses with a 4+ roll in 1D6 in turn 2, 3+ in turn 3...etc. And they may charge when they arrive. They have to roll scatter dices just like a catapult to see how far from the intended point do they arrive. In case of having a Missfire roll, they may die . But this isn't too common.

When they arrive, they become a pain. They can hold Warrior units for too long due to their natural resilience, their killing power and the "Artifact" rule. Warrior units with SSorceresses in them will draw all their attention as the Scorpion can take the SSorc down and still survive for 2 or 3 rounds of combat. He may even be healed back or get support with some flank charge. Trying to assist the charged unit is risky because you may still loose your Lvl4 and will expose units to a counter charge if you don't manage to kill the Scorpion. Also, if you play a shooty list, Scorpions can devastate your S3 gunline with ease.

Thay can also flank charge small units of WEs (14 or less units). First round of combat will see WEs hit the Scorpion, causing an average 2 wounds, receiving 3 wounds, loosing combat by 1-2, loosing Hatred and loosing Frenzy. Now our WE's can't take on any of the TK's melee troops. This is actually irritating. BG and R&F won't suffer that much.

Problem with this guys is that they move 7 inches and can charge when they arrive, so they can choose the unit they want to engage with. And we can only wait to countercharge, so they'll inflict damage before we actually have a chance to deal with them. Remember, with the aprppiate support, this guys will charge 7+7+2D6 inches, which is an average roll of 21 inches. Also, they may use their movement to sort out obstacles and get the charge. So, essentially, it's like a 21 inches charge than can pivot 2+ times. Impressive, and all for just 85 points, whatever you do to get rid of him will get a lot of effort for just 85 VPs...

So, how to counter them?. I usually field 1 Rending Stars/Manbane Assassin that will hide in the Lvl4 unit. When the Scorpion charges, the Assassin will help a lot killing it. Later, the Assassin may go hunt the other Scorpion with his Rending Stars. But not many people field Manbane Assassins. Some good options for a countercharge are CoC and DP Masters. These have a great manouvrability and have good chances of killing the Scorpion.

Also, as Tomb Scorpions will probably seek to hunt our SSorceress down and given the fact that SSorcs can be decisive to win the game, we can run a PoK SSorc. With PoK, the SSorc is very likely to survive several rounds of combt against the Scorpion, allowing other units to countercharge and finish it off. This way, we can play our SSorc in an aggresive way, luring Scorpions while getting good positions for her spells (specially when using Lore of Death, due to it's overall poor range).

Anyway, you'd better assume the Scorpion is gonna kill something and just try to minimize it, i.e: keep Sorceress far from the "tunneling" marks.


I can't give true advice against Scorpions. You just know what to expect from them: they're elusive, hitty, durable and cheap (god, so damn cheap). You'll have to improvise something. After 30-40 games, i've still not come up with a "fixed" tactic against them because they're so damn flexible...


SCREAMING SKULL CATAPULTS

Finally, Skullthrowers. Having already spoken about TK's magic and general approach against druchii, we already know what these warmachine roles are. Their main objective in every game is to kill big monsters and/or weaken elite troops. And they will force Panic tests with -1 modifier. Against us druchii this means that their to-do-list is something like this:

1-Kill or leave Hydras at 1-2 wounds so that they canbe handled by Tomb Kings later.

2-Killing WEs/BG/Warriors...all that stuff with T3, little AS. Warriors babysitting a Lvl4 should be in range of the BSB as much as possible because Panic tests at L8 (with -1 modifier) can be nasty...

Skullthrowers are, from my PoV, essential to the TK player. If they succeed in taking down (or seriously damaging) Hydras, the TK will have a much more relaxed game. But if they don't, the TK is likely to loose the game.

As i said before, you will see Chariots and Archers sitting near Skullthrowers, making it truly hard for our harasser units to get to them. Also, they will be near infantries so that characters can sing at them. So, a front charge seems rather unlikely. Trying to reach them from the flanks is "safer", but will mean that our warmachine hunters will be much more likely to fail panic tests, i.e: the Shades unit is destroyed by a Chariot charge, missile spam or whatever...and the nereby Harpies flee in Panic.

If you wanna tailor a list against a TK player, a DP Master will be a great addition. This guy has all the tools to deal with Skullthrowers and can be handy against Scorpions (just pray to not get KB'ed): he has good L, good armour, good killing power, movility, maneouvrability. He can move to the flank, survive a possible missile spam, survive any amount of arrows and a score a charge and get rid of 1 or maybe 2 Skullthrowers. Just be careful about Chariots as they can, and will, tie the Master up for a looong time. Remember that they may charge even if they didn't initially see your Master. And that their average charge roll is 23-24 inches.

· Shadowblade:
Also, you can go choose Shadowblade to take care of SSCs, if you are allowed special characters. With the latest FaQs, he can infiltrate warmachines and be revealed since turn 2. This means you can actually take down 1 SSC in turn 2 while focusing all your warmachine hunters(harasser units/Masters) in the other one.

Problem with him is that once he takes down the SSC, he will be unprotected in the open, so he can be targeted by missiles and Archers, easily giving away 300 VPs. On the other hand, you make sure you get rid of one of the SSCs really fast and that you'll force the TK player to divide incantations and make some of his/her units turn back to shoot/missile Shadowblade to death, which is actually a dangerous maneouver.



Not much else to say about Skullthrowers.



5· Example of a TK power list.

This is my regular opponent's tournament list and it does very well against DE. Of course this does not mean there is only one power list, but so far we've only found one all-round list that worked for us:

-Tomb King with Flail of Skulls, Dragonhelm and 4+ Ward Save.
-"Sponge Bob" King
-Priest with Ruby Ring of Rhuin and Brochure of the Desert
-Priest with Hieratic Vessel (Hierophant)
-Priest with Dispell Scroll
-35 Skellies with Full Command and Banner of the Undead Legion
-2 x 10 Archers with Musician
-2 x 3 Chariots with Musician
-20 Tomb Guard with Full Command and that banner for +1 hit modifier in close combat
-3 x Tomb Scorpions
-2 x Screaming Skull Catapult


Last edited by Pjeos on Wed Dec 29, 2010 3:32 pm, edited 2 times in total.



Sat Dec 25, 2010 7:51 pm
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6· Magic against TKs.



Death Lore:

Character sniping, this lore will put the TK player under a lot of pressure. I don't like this lore very much when facing other armies because those tend to have few, over-protected characters. But this is not the case of the TKs: Tomb Kings are durable, but Priests most usually will carry arcane items and little to no protection. If you manage to kill 1 or 2 Priests, you're gonna be under a lot less pressure.

Purple Sun is a very good spell against TK. However, it's not that great. I mean, most people see it as a I-win-spell, and that's not the case. In turns 1 it is not likely to reach Skullthrowers, in turn 2 and 3 will be dispelled with "dispel scrolls" if no IF and in turns 4-6 Skullthrowers are no longer key units of the TK army. And by turn 2, those Skullthrowers will have already killed/badly injuried Hydras. So, as a warmachine killer, this spell is not very likely to succeed against TK.

However as a R&F killer, this is a very great spell. TKs can reraise skellies nearly as fast as Sun kills them. But, if they are forced to reraise skellies, they won't be able to deal with harasser units or to spam incantations at Skullthrowers, so this can be a good way to try and shut down TK's magic phase. Also, having the TK player throw Dispell Scrolls at the Sun will allow our Sorceress to aim at their Priests and kill them fast.

Buuuuuut...remember Tomb Scorpions?. Tomb Scorpions and Death Lore's overall poor range can ruin your day. As soon as i say i'll be playing Death Lore, my TK opponent will use his 2-3 Tomb Scorpions in a defensive way: placing tunneling marks in places where my Sorceress will have to be in order to reach his priests. This is already risky because, should i loose my SSorceress, game is over. Going for empowered spells means: a) no Fate of Bjuna, so only 2 character sniper spells; b) more demanding spells=a lot less pressure on the TK player. In the Tomb Scorpions vs SSorceress battle, the winning side gains a lot of advantage: if you manage to avoid Scorpions and kill Priests, fire Suns, etc, you get advantage; if the Scorpions engage the SSorceress, you loose.



Dark Lore:

Cool because you can burn his DD with Bladewind, for obvious reasons. Also, Soulstealer and Block Horror will hurt a lot on Skellies and Tomb Guard respectivelyand, as with Purple Sun, spells that put serious damage on TK troops can force the TK opponent to waste incantations on healing models back. Word of Pain is ok, as usual. And Chillwind and Doombolt can seriously hurt Chariots/Archers.

Also very cool because with Sac Dagger, you throw all your spells nearly every magic phase, which means your are posing several threats at a time: destroying catapults, killing lots of skellies/Tomb Guard, etc. So that the TK player will definitely have to divide incantations into repairing damage back and going on with his battle plan.



Those two have work well for me so far. They put pressure on the TK player. And that means divided incantations. And that is goooood against an army that depends so much on focusing, focusing and focusing fire power and incantations.

Shadow is still cool and will work in the same fashion as it works against many other armies: gaining advantage in close combat, etc, so not a bad choice at all. But Shadow magic isn't reliable when it comes to putting the TK player under pressure since turn 1 and that's why I personally don't find it that good against TKs.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

This is it as far as I'm concerned. Hope it helps. Also, will update with any useful information other users may provide.

See ya.


Sat Dec 25, 2010 7:52 pm
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looks like a very solid D.R.A.I.C.H article, well done. One question. Why is that particular Tomb King build know as 'Spongebob'? Just because he is annoying and impossible to get rid of?

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Sat Dec 25, 2010 8:30 pm
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Hi there,

@Malus99:

We've named "Sponge Bob" that Tomb King build because of the fact that this guy can "absorb" charges from nearly any unit in the game and hold them for several rounds of combat. It was initially named "The Sponge" but then renamed him as "Sponge Bob" just for fun XD.


Byee


Sat Dec 25, 2010 10:27 pm
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Thanks PjEOs for your Christmas gift! :D You're part of the "Best of" fame table!
just a small regret... no fancy emphatic title? :P such as re-kill the un-dead, or bury them down again! or bones go home! or Skull School, or (in a corsairish way) make yours the ancient treasures of forgotten realms.

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Last edited by Calisson on Sun Dec 26, 2010 11:06 am, edited 2 times in total.



Sun Dec 26, 2010 8:37 am
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ahh Calisson your such a romantic, many of the witch kings tactical advisors like their information bleak, straight and to the point, seems you corsairs are more prone to ostentation and flights of fancy ;)

You wouldn't happen to have a really big hat with feathers in it by any chance? :lol:

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Sun Dec 26, 2010 10:52 am
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Malus99 wrote:
You wouldn't happen to have a really big hat with feathers in it by any chance? :lol:
No I don't.
Well, more exaclty, no more. I've sold it already. Was it yours that I stole that day? If you want it back, I can tell you a place in Karond Klar where they may still have it for a decent price.
Compliments by the way, nice taste, I made good money from that booty.
Yarrrr!

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Last edited by Calisson on Sun Dec 26, 2010 3:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sun Dec 26, 2010 11:00 am
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touché!

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Sun Dec 26, 2010 11:25 am
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Seems to me that the supreme sorceress should get the pendant of khaleth vs TK. That pretty much takes scorpians out of the equation. A scorp allocating all it's attacks to her should do 0 wounds. Give her the pendant, sac dagger/focus familiar and whip of agony and she has a good chance of taking down that scorp thanks to her unit's SCR and the wound she may do.

Also, you should (if you have the models) field corsairs instead of warriors. Half the wounds from TK bows and SSCs make this a no-brainer. Plus one unit can be immune to psych through the sss making them more reliable at getting to the TK battleline. KNights and chariots should also be used in preference to the more squishy executioners, BG and witches. Crossbow units are, of course, good too as they cause damage which creates a need for the TK player to 'waste' incantations healing his own troops instead of moving or blasting you as you advance.

Harpies are a no-brainer. Even at ws1 from the failed fear test, 6 harpies still do well vs catapult crew and in 8th, TK players can't protect the crew by deploying a prince in the unit.

A cauldron or two should still be worthwhile too. Only wounded on a 5+ by the centre of the SSC and still gets a ward save after that. You would hope they would focus some fire on it and leave your troops alone as they advance. With all those poisoned attacks it should even fare well vs a scorpion. Just keep them more than 24" from the archers, especially if khalida is there.

For magic lores, it might be worthwhile considering fire since it has 2 buff spells for your units and a spell that punishes enemy units that move. With TK models being so expensive and fragile, damage dealing lores are quite valuable and fire is right up there with dark for damage dealing.

In terms of special characters, Shadowblade may be worthwhile for halving the TK artillery fire. Mally, big softy that he is, may also be considered. His lore is useful, he can hold his own in fights vs TK fighter characters and his spellshield will pretty much kill/hurt any caster who tries to blast his unit to pieces. Lokhir can do well, with even the archers having a few ranks in TK armies. Hellebron is a waste, going down in a couple of phases to r'n'f. Morathi would be good, but on the peggy, she is going to attract SSC fire and with no 'LoS' roll, it's 50/50 whether her ward saves her. Malus could be considered, but with TK being so mobile, you basically have to activate the daemon earlier than you want to, so only do it with a very large unit of knights IMO.

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Sun Dec 26, 2010 6:19 pm
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Hi there,

Sulla:

PoK on SSorceress seems the perfect way to counter Scorpions and now i come to think about it, i think i'll include it in the article. However, i don't like to tailor lists against specific armies/opponents and, therefore, play with tournament lists. In these lists igive PoK to my Dreadlord/Masters. Very good point anyway.

Corsairs instead of Warriors mean slightly better AS against shooting (16% less wounds), but their higher cost means taking lesser models (30% less). Also, will be harder to gain ranks with Corsairs. Not a big fan of them neither in tournament lists nor against TKs.

Crossbows are no pain to a TK player. They lack the killing power to force the TK player to waste incantations in healing. Unless you're fielding looots of them. Anyway, you'll probably see the TK player deploy 25 inches from you so that you waste the first turn moving. TKs play defensively (AFAIK) so they won't try to get to you, they'll force you to get to them, they have far better ranged damage output than us.

Harpies are of course great. But don't assume they'll get to charge SSCs because they can easily be charged by whatever or taken down by Archers/missiles. Instead, think of them as a way to force the TK player divide incantations with a chance of eventually getting the charge. Remember that a TK can mass incantations enough to deal with lots of Harpies and still fire his SSCs so if you wanna get that charge, take lots of them. 4+ units at 2.5k games.

CoB is pretty good, that's for sure. Ward Save on Hydras will significantly increase Hydras chance to make it into combat.

As for Fire Lore, i've never tried it since i only see 2 interesting spells: the Fire ball and the Flamming sword of Rhuin or whatever they're called (dunno the exact english name sorry XD). The Fire Ball may not be casted to units in combat so no pressure once in combat. The flamming cage is not that useful since the TK will only really need to move in certain turns and he/she will have his 2 Dispell Scrolls to evade the cage if needed. In the case of big skellies units, he may even ignore it to later spam incantations in healing (since he no longer needs to fire SSCs).

On the other hand, Dark Lore has 3 missiles all of which can be casted every turn with average WoM rolls. Soul Stealer and Black Horror on top of this and you can have very damaging magic phases. Having soo low casting values, you can throw all your 4 spells every turn with ease and make sure you deal some damage. Fire Lore has higher casting values so less spells casted, easier for the TK to dispel one, suffer another and heal wounds taken. So, all in all, i don't find Fire Lore as damaging as Dark Magic, but can be a very good Lore too.

As for Shadowblade, please correct me if i'm wrong but i thought he could no longer infiltrate warmachines since these are no longer infantry.

Generally speaking, we don't play special characters so i completely forgot about them. Malekith...mmh, i don't think any Priest will try to blast him and he is afetr all not deadlier than ordinary Dreadlords so i can't see him as a good addition to the list. Morathi is cool if you can afford to pay the extra points. Lokhir can gain several attacks agaist big units, but those big units are not very likely to be destroyed if Lokhir is not somehow backed up with multiple charges/magic...Dunno, i don't ussually play special characters so i can't give useful advice on them, sorry.

Thanks for those very good points regarding PoK on SSorcs, Fire Lore, Shadowblade (if he happens to be able to infiltrate warmachines, that would be grrrreat).


Byee


Sun Dec 26, 2010 9:25 pm
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I think Lore of Shadows is the way to go against TK even though it gets no mention in the article. Pendulum and Pit of Shades may not be as destructive as Purple Sun, but they are easier to cast and, if you have both, give you two initiative-based spells to take out catapults and other stuff. Miasma makes TK shooting hit on a 6, and Withering makes chariot units very vulnerable to Dark Elf missile fire.

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Sun Dec 26, 2010 10:58 pm
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Hi there,

I did actually mention Lore of Shadows. In my experience, this Lore works against TKs in the same fashion than against many other armies, but is not the one i feel more comfortable with.

I've played Shadow Lore against my TK opponent in nearly 80% in my games because i try to always use tournament lists (only recently have i started using Dark Magic). Shadow Lore is a great lore, versatile, always useful thanks to it's hexes, but it won't put the TK player under pressure for the following:

-Miasma:
Will make 1 Archers unit hit on 6+. I don't really find it worth the effort. Instead, can lower a unit's I for a greater Pit of Shades effect, though this would mean not throwing PoS at SSCs.

-Enfeebling:
As usual, a good spell to lower incoming hits. Not specially suited for TKs, still a great spell that can work fine against any army.

-Withering:
Generally speaking, Withering can work fine when followed by mass Xbow shooting if the targeted unit tryes to get to you. But it doesn't work that fine when the target unit tends to stay back.

Also, think of this: Archers can deal with our Xbows easily (though slowly) and can be healed pretty fast. Chariots themselves can be healed back and will try to stay out of range (which is not difficult) to be hit on 6+. There's also the new rules for getting cover.

Theoretically, Withering seems to be the way to deal with Chariots: Withering+light shooting. But in my experience, this won't work because Chariots are played defensivel. Also, you'll want the big spells to get through and will usually not have enough PD, or will need Withering to support your melee units, just in the same fashion we happen to use it against other units.

Pendulum:
If your sorceress can cast the non-empowered evrsion, she is dangerously near thee TK lines. I try to keep my Sorceress relatively far from them as they can get truly long charges (average 15 inches) and loosing her means loosing the game. Still, it's good to take warmachines down and SSCs are no exception.

Pit of Shades:
Scatter is really a big flaw compared to Purple Sun, bit this is still a big pain for the TK units. Problem is that your successful casts may be dispeled via Dispell Scrolls.

Mindrazor:
Meh, we all know how this works: you get into combat, butcher enemy unit, win the combat. Mindrazor'ed WEs can beat nearly anything the TK army may field except Sponge Bob and friends, who will survive the initial round and will take healable damage in subsequent rounds.


So, as i said, Shadow Lore will work pretty much the same than against other armies, that is: well. I didn't comment on this Lore because it is so wide-known i think it needs no explanation. Shadow is great, will work well and will work well too against many other armies out there.

On the other hand, Dark Magic will put high damage since turn 1 (5 out of 6 spells are damaging) and a Death Lore Lvl 4 can win the game for you thanks to high damage (Purple Sun) and character snipping.

If i had to rate these three Lores when facing TKs, i would say: Death is 9, Dark is 8 and Shadow is 7.


Byee


Sun Dec 26, 2010 11:43 pm
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PjEOs wrote:
As for Shadowblade, please correct me if i'm wrong but i thought he could no longer infiltrate warmachines since these are no longer infantry.
...
Shadowblade, if he happens to be able to infiltrate warmachines, that would be grrrreat.
Shadowblade can indeed start from within a warmachine, as written in his entry.
And this is not a mistake: Shadowblade's entry has been FAQed, but not that part.
As a result, he removes one of the warmachine servants (removing 1 wound) and start being in melee with the warmachine.

The difficulty with Shadowblade is that he can be revealed only in turn 2 or thereafter, leaving a free shooting turn.
Another difficulty is that he usually shreds apart the warmachine he appears in and remains in the open, vulnerable to any shooting or magic missile.
This is why most players consider him not worth his (expensive) pts.

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Mon Dec 27, 2010 9:05 am
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Spot on!

One thing Ive realised is that we have a stronger "buff" when the Casket of Souls attacks, but dont rely on it, especially for beasties. Still trying to figure out if "Model's Line of Sight" DOESN'T include a 360 LOS anymore after last game

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Tue Dec 28, 2010 3:10 am
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Hi there,

I edited the article to include some info about Shadowblade and using PoK in SSorc as a way to counter Scorpions both in their roles of mage hunteers and barrier against Deah Lore, credit goes to Sulla and Calisson.

Also included some info about the Casket of Souls, which i completely forgot about since my opponent never fields it.

@L1qw1d:
I didn't fully understand what you wrote about us having a strong buff when Casket of Souls comes into play :S forgive me for my poor english, but could you please explain it please?. I thought a Buff is something that provides a benefit but i can't see how could the Casket of Souls possibly benefit us :s

Also, regarding the LoS issue with the Casket of Souls, simply put, it will affect any model that can see it.

Byee


Last edited by Pjeos on Wed Dec 29, 2010 4:19 pm, edited 2 times in total.



Wed Dec 29, 2010 3:48 pm
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Fast cav and skirmishers cannot shoot 360 -- that was 7th Ed. ...

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Wed Dec 29, 2010 4:04 pm
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Hi there,

I thought he was puzzled because of that. That was a common mistake back in 7ed and caused many confusions, so i thought he could have taken it wrong as a residue of a common issue in 7ed XD. Edited.

Byee


Wed Dec 29, 2010 4:19 pm
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Quote:
This is a gear option for lord level Priests (does anyone know which is their english name? XD) and Priests.


high priests are lords, priests are heros.....you'll also see abbreviations like LHP (liche high priest) or LP (liche priest).

Another note on the casket which I don't recall seeing.....the priest will almost always carry a 4+ ward save which of course gives the entire model the 4+ ward. So 4 or 5 (depending on whether there's a priest or high priest manning it) T10 wounds with a 4+ ward that can be healed; not easy to bring down with magic or shooting. The 4+ ward could make it difficult in combat too with only 6 models being able to attack. And the casket guards hurt if they get a chance to attack; they each have 2 S6 attacks (great weapons) with killing blow.

Quote:
It works as a bound spell with power level = 2d6


Actually, it works exactly like an incantation; it's not a bound spell.


Wed Dec 29, 2010 10:47 pm
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Hi there

I don't think that the Priest's Ward Save applies to guardians (are you sure about this?), but in case it does, with a 4+ Ward Save, the Casket is a lot more resilient, true. Still, i find it vulnerable and not very dangerous for us druchii. Making it more expensive is only better for us. I mean, a Priest with Casket with a 4+ Ward Save comes in at 325 points, which is the cost of 2 Priests and a Tomb Scorpion. A High Priest with a Casket and a 4+ Ward Save comes in at 455 points which is the cost of 4 Priests...

They key for incantations to succeed is to maximize the number of them you can throw each turn. It's way better to have 3 incantations with 1 PD each than having 1 incantation with 3 PD. By throwing lots of incantations, the TK player can burn our DD and minimize the effect of our +4/+2 modifiers to dispell attempts. Keeping this in mind, the TK player will try to field as many characters as possible while keeping them decently protected. And this is why we can't see the Casket of Souls as a good addition to the army when facing druchii. It will take the place of additional Priests, it will prevent the Priest taking it to properly support the rest of the army and it won't have a noticeable effect in the druchii L10 army.

I can't see the Casket as a dangerous element in the TK army. It is only really dangerous to our "unkillable" Lords, but they can stick to units and avoid the tests. Still, they would need a very high roll to suffer wounds.


Byee


Thu Dec 30, 2010 3:00 pm
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Quote:
I don't think that the Priest's Ward Save applies to guardians


You take the highest armour and ward save available with war machines now, so yes the 4+ ward applies for the whole model. (at least that's what it says in the FAQ for the casket)

Well, the price of the casket is the same as a priest plus an item for that priest so you pretty much keep the same number of incantations (1) for the same number of points. And the incantation from the casket can be quite deadly so it's not like you're paying for a poor spell.

I do agree that since a druchii army has fairly high leadership that the casket won't have as big an effect as it would other armies, but still can be a pain if the rolls get lucky. It also could do nothing sometimes but so do other spells. I also think that since it comes at the very end, dispel dice are almost always saved for it (at least 2).

It is expensive though, but so is just about everything else in the TK army. I would only take it for higher point games for sure (at least 2500) as it just sucks up too much of the total points.


Thu Dec 30, 2010 3:54 pm
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Hi there,

I never save dice for the Casket incantation :D. Instead, i just try to make sure i charge it with a few Shades/DRs, kill the 2 guardians on the charge, win combat by 2-3 and see the Priest crumble.

But as you say, the Casket can have a happy turn and ruin our day, but that's just not too often. The Casket can be brilliant against VCs, O&G, Ogres, etc...but not that great against DE, mho.

If i happen to face a TK army with a Casket, i will try even harder to kill one of the other Priests, ignore the Casket and have a nice game against a low ammount of incantations devouted to charges/shooting.

The big mistake against the Casket is to save dice for it, thinking it will destroy your army, therefore allowing all other incantations to get through, which will definitely destroy destroy your army. On an average roll (7)against L8, our units will take 1 wound. If within the general's range, will take -1 wound...



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Thu Dec 30, 2010 9:45 pm
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Charge the casket? Those things are usually better protected than dwarf anvils of doom (cause anvil can defend itself quite reasonably)

For me to get to a casket I'm used to have to get through one or two fully ranked units first... not a job for fast cav/harpies.
Also, with true LoS now, only sure way to avoid being hit by casket is to turn your back to it.

Also, you use General's Ld for Ld tests... Casket (and banshee howl) is not an Ld test, is a comparison with a statistic (which granted, you choose best available to the unit). So General only helps if it's his unit being hit.

If you value your harpies, you won't let casket take effect (or they will all die a gruesome death, making killing catapults that much harder)

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Thu Dec 30, 2010 10:45 pm
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Hi there,

If the Casket were hiding behind infantry units, none of my units would have to take a test...:D

Also, my harasser units (DRs and Harpies) are fast/maneouvrable enough to reach the Casket by turn 3-4 attacking from the flanks. Sure this is difficult, for the same reasons as with SSCs, but that's why i choose to wait untill turns 3 and 4. These turns are charging turns and my harasser units get a lot of freedom to try and get to the rear lines. And since they no longer have 360º LoS, it's way easier to avoid looking at the Casket.

Regarding the General's L, I understand it this way: troops must use their General's L for L tests and 2D6+2-L is a test. Not a psychology test, but still a L test. So I should use my General's L for those, shouldn't I?. In the same fashion, an ordinary T test consists on rolling under your T in a D6, but there are some other T tests such as Fate of Bjuna.

I've met people who agreed with me and many other people who didn't, I where both points come from, but I'm more convinced by my current interpretation of the rule. Your thoughts?.

Anyway, if I happened to be wrong, all you need is to keep your harasser units safe, avoiding to let them look at the Casket (pretty easy) and wait for the key turn to send them forward and reach the rear lines. Just dispell the Casket incantation in that turn and that's it.

I've never had much trouble with the Casket, really. I'd rather face a High Priest with Casket and Ward Save than 4 additional Priests in a Skellies bunker with Sponge Bob and Friends that can self-singing incantations eating my VPs, mho.


Thu Dec 30, 2010 11:26 pm
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2D6+2-Ld is not a leadership test, just like charging (M + 2D6) is not a movement test. Characterisitc test are clearly defined on page 10 of the BRB.

Also, turning your back to something does not mean that you can't see it anymore. The old LoS rules (where stuff needed to be in your front arc to be seen) have been replaced by the true LoS and additional rules for shooting/charging/magic/etc that say that you can only do those things when the target is in your front arc.


Fri Dec 31, 2010 12:39 pm
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