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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
"...generalship should be informing list building." - Sir Biscuit
"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Tomb Kings - A wee gander at their magic users.

So then folks, initial lookity loo at the Tomb Kings magic phase. Very much just my thoughts on the prominent stand-outs, after a first read of the book. So, the Tomb Kings magic phase. Well, ********* would accurately cover it. *********ing horrible that is! Wait, that still doesn't tell you if it's good or bad. Well, I'm sure you guys will be able to work it out as we go through it, right?

Now, I'm a long time undead fan, and always wanted to start Tomb Kings. But could never justify another 100 or so undead after my 400 or so from my VC army. Now I have an excuse.... sooooooo!

First (and most importantly) we need to look at the Wizards. A lot of people have been looking at the lore on various sites, but I'm more interested about the platforms they're on. After all, with no wizard left, you can't cast. This brings me nicely to my favourite wizard in the book.

Arkhan the Black. Now, Arkhan has a few things going for him. First one being that he is all 8 kinds of awesome! If you know your background anyway, having Arkhan in the book is cool. Now, lets have a look at this big guy. The main attraction to Arkhan is his book. This guy is actually carrying the Liber Necris (or is it Mortis?) around. That's cool. What does it do? Well, glad you asked! It adds one to his Wizard level.

*Bystander looks at his statline*
"So, he's one of those crappy warrior lords who's a level 1 mage?"
"No. He's a level 4 normally."
"Oh, level 4 is pretty nice with that statline I guess."
"Oh no sorry, he's Level 4 before the book."

;] Yeah folks. WHFB's first ever Level 5 Wizard is here. I really feel like O Fortuna should be playing or something. Now, the advantages of being a level 5 only really come to bear when you combine it with certain other abilities within the book. But, on the face, a +1 to cast and dispel is nice, as is the extra spell. Lorewise, Arkhan is stuck with the lore of death, which isn't a bad thing. It adds a lot of nice ranged potential to the army, and can pick off some things that scare Tomb Kings. Like Monsters, or War Machines. Or you know, Teclis. :P

Otherwise, he's carrying a pair of chibs, which give him a wound back whenever he kills something. Not at all bad, considering he's strength 5. This is massively important, making him very resistant to that damned sniper of mass destruction that is Dwellers Below, while at the same time allowing him to kick a little bit of tail in close combat. But it's definitely not his main role, he should be doing the standard caster thing. Sitting in a bunker behind your main lines. He's also carrying a nifty little item that allows you to store up to 3 Dispel Dice and add them to your power pool. Useful in some games, it's pretty much a judgement call. These days I reckon you're (probably) going to be better just saving Dispel Dice for a counter offense. I mean, a lot of the stuff that bothers people doesn't really bother Tomb Kings. The main ones I can think of off hand that you have a realistic chance of stopping are things your opponent is going to put so many dice into they'll force through anyway. Only thing I can really think of at the moment that wont be 4D'd is Flesh to Stone.

Ok, so who's next? Well, Grand Heirophant Khatep (I hope that's his name! This is what happens when you review books pre-release). This guy is also very very very good. Make absolutely no mistake, if I could take these 2 guys, I absolutely would. They're magical bombshells. What does Khatep have going for him? Well, he has a traditional wizard backline, so he is pretty much relegated to the backlines like a normal wizard. Not necessarily a bad thing, but based on his power, be careful with Dwellers. He has loremaster, which is awesome. 7 Spells >5 >4. Thing is he's got the Lore of Nehekhara. Now, don't get me wrong, that's not at all a bad thing! It just means his offensive output will not be as high as one of the Death Wizards (I'll review the Lore of Nehekhara later). The big thing with this guy though, is his pokey stick. His staff lets you reroll one casting roll per turn. This is HUGE! You can force/remove miscasts, and are a lot less likely to "fail that cast on a 10 on 2D6". Which happens sadly often. Now, that's more likely (10 on 2D6 with a level 4) with Tomb Kings than in other armies? Why? Well, keep reading. Finally, he has a nifty little Scroll that makes your opponent's wizard choke up if he fails a toughness test, and has a really luck sacky way to kill him too. Hi Teclis.

The nice thing? Arkhan clocks in just over 350pts, and the Grand Heiro is just over 300.

Ok, next up we have the Liche High Priest. Well... he's got a pretty bad statline to be honest, but they're cheap. Not really much to say about this guy. He's a level 4.... he gets Light, Death and Nehekhara. I'd make sure you had Death and Nehekhara in your army, and you have the option for Light, which does help you out, but I'd probably prefer the raw killy of Death. However, playtesting is needed. (: Same goes for Liche Priests really. They're just standard level 3+1s and 1+1s. You've all seen it a million times before. (:

Ok, now for the two really interesting bits!

The Casket of Souls! Well this thing has 2 awesome points going for it. The first and most important is that it generates D3 power dice. But the cool bit it's it not for itself. It's just for the army. This is awesome, as you can give them to Arkhan (who will give them back after he Purple Sun's something). Basically, it's a nice, versatile tool.  Of course, the main thing a casket is known for is The Light of Death. This works sort of similarly to how it did. Basically, it'll do more damage now (usually) to one unit, but no longer hits the whole table. Now, you pick a unit, it takes a LD test on 3D6, and you take as many wounds as you failed by. Thing is, now it's a proper LD test. Say hi to Doom and Darkness for me. :P. It also bounces to nearby units on a 3+, which is pretty cool. Realistically this thing is just useful to have, and at just under 150pts, there is NO REASON to not bring one, just for the addition to your magic phase. They added this thing and basically if it dies it explodes, but it should be 9 miles away from everything anyway, as the spell (which is Power 5 by the way, forgot to mention) has a 48" range. Again, I can't say much about this thing, it's pretty simple to use. Save 2 dice for the end. Realistically though, if you're casting this and your opponent has saved 2 dispel dice for it 'specially, don't cast it. He gets a +4 on you. Cast something with a wizard and get a +2-3 to his roll. ;]

Finally, the new addition the magic line up. This guy makes a MASSIVE difference. It's called the Heirotitan. And it's awesome. Basically, nearby wizards get +D3 to all casting rolls. He's under 200pts, similar to a Bone Giant (less good in combat) and knows 2 bound spells. Chances are you wont cast the Bound Spells very often, but the bonuses to cast are absolutely massive. I would literally use this guy as a bodyguard for your liche priests. Keep him near them, and use him to keep them safe from harm. And he'll return the favour by making them awesome! I mean, +8 to cast. Purple Sun on 3D6 anyone? Jesus, it's awesome! :D Downsides are, he's pretty fragile (everything but the casket is in this book), but you can heal him up a wound a turn, so he "should" be alright. :3 Keep him out of combat though, unless you absolutely know he'll be ok.

So, finally, my lineup. In my 2400pt list, I have the following:
Arkhan the Black
Liche High Priest, Level 4, Enkhil's Kanopi
Casket of Souls

Basically, I should be sitting on 11-12 power dice, I'll cast your generic lineup (some buffs, some damage), before going for a big purple sun on an infantry regiment, hopefully flying back up to about 8+ dice again, then casting the important stuff, such as the casket, and the movement spell from the nehekharan lore.

Basically folks, TK magic is awesome. ;]

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