Wrapping it up

So I had played 4 games, won the 3 and lost 1. I think I was placed 3rd or 4th going into the final game, but unfortunately I wasn’t able to participate.
I was the highest ranking TK army after Saturday – that was my main objective, considering that I wasn’t there for the last game.
I later found out that Mikkel (who I played against in the 3rd game) had won the tournament, and my final placement was 8th - not bad when you consider I didn't play the final game. If I had played a draw in the last game, I would have been in shared third place - but even a 30-0 win wouldn't have given me the victory.

Learning Points / Things to try out next

Well as always there were ups and downs in the army - I'll run through the different elements..

Tomb King – As always, the Flail of Skulls bashed some heads – It’s definitely a worthwhile item, but I didn’t really use the Cloak of the Dunes at any point. My two main infantry regiments were kept together at all times anyway, so it really was a waste. But in an infantry-based army it’s definitely worth considering.
Lich High Priest – Having some protection for him is a nice feeling – but I failed every single Ward Save I rolled – I’m not going to dismiss it because of that, but maybe I should go for the Plaque – being able to re-roll his dice should be some good. I think it would have been useful 3-4 times in the tournament, where a low roll on his incantations meant that my opponent could dispel with 2 dice instead of being forced to use dispel scrolls / let it through.
I am very happy with the way he worked out – It packs a lot more punch (magic-wise) to have a High Lich rather than two Tomb Kings.
Liches – I am very surprised that they both stayed alive all the games – except in the final turn in game 3, they both came through for me. And you can’t argue with the value of 4 dispel scrolls. My decision on going big on magic paid off.
Tomb Prince – This is probably the only character I’m not really happy with – and I have never been. He just doesn’t pack enough punch, even in a chariot. I can see a couple of options.
- Keep him mounted in a chariot, but go for US 5 and use him to flank charge stuff.
- Put him on foot, put DoE on the Tomb King and give the foot-prince the Flail. Helps sorting things like swarms and multiple wound monsters out, and makes him capable of taking out most other hero-type characters.
- Try out the Chariot of fire, and maybe use 2 chariot regiments together on one flank.

Skeleton Regiment – 25 seems like a very good size for a unit like that. I thought about lowering them to only 20, but I remember several times in the tournament where I was glad that I had 25. I will try to get another regiment – maybe only 20 strong – together.

Skeleton Archers – while not a total waste, I used them in a different role than I thought I would. I usually used them 4 models wide and 3 ranks deep (front + 2 more). It’s because there’s simply not enough room to fit a long string of archers, because my deployment was usually so compact. I’d be better off with regular skeletons with 4+ armor save – maybe 14 of those, so when both liches join, they get full rank bonus. Also, just a champ and banner, not a musician. Several times I had to expand their frontage to avoid having to place characters in second rank.

Heavy Cavalry – I used 16 and 8, and as usual they were a real threat. The regiment of 16 got quite big and maybe a bit too difficult to manoeuvre around. Maybe 12 is the correct number – still US 24, rank bonus +2, banner +1. On the other hand, the regiment of 8 was perhaps a bit too small – it didn’t take a lot of casualties for them to become a non-threat. Maybe 2 regiments of 12 – one with War Banner, one with Summoning Banner – the summoning one at the front of things?

Chariots – I like chariots – I really do. They look great on the battlefield and great on paper. However, I am repeatedly disappointed with them on the battlefield. I know that they can’t break big regiments head-on (but who expects that from a 120 point unit?) but they have let me down a bit too often.
Although they definitely have their use in the army, I’m hesitant to scrap them completely – maybe I’ll try having two regiments in the army, or keep them in reserve, ready to fill gaps and bring them forward once my infantry blocks have had the chance of engaging the enemy.

Tomb Scorpions – As always, they performed very well – I really can’t imagine my TK army without two of these. While I won’t add a third, I have considered adding a Tomb Swarm or two, to take some of the pressure off the Scorpions – after all, swarms can hunt war machines just as efficient, leaving the Scorpion free to attack more juicier targets.

Tomb Guard – I must admit I was a bit disappointed in that regiment. Maybe it’s because the cat’s out of the bag concerning the Icon of Rakaph, but the Guard didn’t really get into decisive combats. But maybe it’s not really their fault – I wanted to use their reforming ability to engage things behind my lines, but too often the pressure was on them from the front. Maybe I should use two big skeleton blocks and then the Tomb Guard as the unit initially protecting the Hierophant, between (and often a bit behind) the skeleton blocks. I’ll try it out.

Screaming Skull Catapults – While I think the scatter / misfire dice let me down this tournament, every game had moments where I thought ‘If just this shot doesn’t scatter’ – I had guesses right in the middle of heavy cavalry, on top of black coaches, a lord on hippogryph and so on – I didn’t really get to use the ‘Skulls of the Foe’ for anything – but that’s because I was busy shooting the heavy stuff. I can guess reasonably well up to 30 inches and I managed to place a shot 48” on top of a black coach that was then destroyed – but that was with a bit of luck involved too - so they always seem worthwhile to me.

Bone Giant – Oh my god – the MVP of the tournament – or so it seems. In the first game, he survived being charged by a Bretonnian Lord on a Hippogryph, he was shot 3 rounds by 35 archers, then he terror’ed a full regiment of knights with a mage off the board, only to succumb to a Grail Knight charge in the last turn. In the second game, he didn’t shine as much – his WS3 and the nurgle flies/ward save will do that, but he still held off nurglings and beasts of nurgle. 3rd game he protected the liches very well and had a crack at a Slann, and almost got to him – and he terror’ed terradons away. Final game he brought down the hammer on some unfortunate zombies and held a charge from 3 vampires.
He really lends some help to difficult matchups – he’s great against other undeads, where he can really pack some punch to the WS2 regular troopers. And being a Terror-causer also counts for a lot – especially since his T5 W6 3+-save butt can take some punishment.

Other Ideas that might be worthwhile
I have thought long about using the Standard of the Sands – it’s a 75 points banner (so it goes on the BSB) that can be activated once per game, and will stop the enemy from marching that turn. In the back of my mind, I thought about the impact it would have on every game as we played, and I can honestly say that it would have mattered in every single game – most against the Sylvanians, less against the Bretonnians (surprisingly). A full turn of shooting/rearranging – I guess that bringing the other army down to my crawling pace can help a lot.

Also, I’ll definitely use carrions – everyone was surprised that I didn’t have them. I had two unused special slots available, so that would easily be 2 x 3, but I saw other tomb king players fielding 5 in a single regiment – for flank bonus and such.

So some kind of March-block is definitely worth looking into, although with my skeleton regiments, my opponent is supposed to come out and fight..

Finally
I want to thank the tournament organizers for a great event! I thoroughly enjoyed it, and look forward to Battle Rage Ballerup 05 – I promise I’ll be there Sunday this time!

Looking ahead, the next tournament should be interesting - It's the 'Bunker Alliance Cup', which is a team tournament in the start of march. I'll be teaming up with my long-time friend Martin Palmus and his Empire army. Definately looking forward to it!

Cheers Torben

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