View Full Version : Barrow Kings in combat

02-11-2005, 21:46
Ok, I just decided to create a 2000 pts Barrow (Tomb) Kings army for a tournament in april. Since I've never played with anything non-living (hell, it's the first time I play an evil race) army, I'm a bit curious as to how to use them. I will post my first idea of an army here, so please, experienced TK players, tell me what you think of the list, and how to use it. And give me any hits you can offer ;)

Tomb King
2 Liche Priests
20 skeletons
20 skeleton spearmen
3 chariots
3 chariots
8 Heavy Cavalry
Tomb Scorpion
3 Ushabti
Bone Giant

As you see, I'm going all-melee. My last army was an artilley-heavy Averland force, so I want change. I have some nice magic items in there to help boost my forces in close combat (as well as making my hierophant flying). So what do you guys think? Is it a working force, or should I leave some infantry in favour of artillery (which I find cowardice, it is a risky and therefore interesting army in that perspective)? All hints appreciated! :)

03-11-2005, 01:12
I'd suggest posting a list in the Army List forum. I'm afraid I am not all that familiar with TK. It looks like a good list to start with, but you might want to add a few more to your chariot units. It would seem to me that 4 or 5 per unit would be quite effective, since you could get 4 into combat with a typical ranked unit, and they would be able to soak up missile fire better. Swarms mighht be a helpful addition, since they get tons of attacks and are pretty durable with 5 wounds a piece.

Hopefully others can be a bit more helpful for you.

03-11-2005, 03:04
TK heavy cavalry is a bit delicate for its cost (and the fast cavalry just sucks due to its inability to flee or march). Doesn't pack much of a punch, either. Most of the tougher TK lists I've seen don't run that model at all, and I'd drop 'em unless you've already bought the Battalion!

(in any case, eight is a bad number for cavalry. Six with no command or ten with a banner is the way to go)

Ditto on the skeleton spears. You want to win with static combat resolution rather than kills, and hand-weapon-and-shield for the 4+ save is the best way to do that. Paying extra points for large skeleton blocks is also bad.

20 models isn't all that much for r'n'f skelly block - maybe drop one down to 10 archers instead (& boost the other to 25 or 30)? TK archers are very good, and are even better if you can sit a Liche next to them so they can fire twice.

A Bone Giant is a bit redundant when you've got two blocks of chariots, and he also dies more easliy than people realise. If you don't want an (awesome!) Screaming Skull Catapult, I'd suggest dropping him for a second Scorpion and a unit of Carrion.

Why Carrion? Because of Urgency! Careful placement of your Liche Priests means a unit of Carrion can run down any fleeing unit anywhere on the board. A flying marchblocker + warmachine hunter on top of that is just gravy.

Is the King going to be in a chariot? King plus chariot unit plus Banner of the Undying Legion makes for a pretty hot central combat unit...

Edit: If you want to go infantry-heavy, buy another box of skeletons and boost both units up to 25. A large unit of Tomb Guard with the King in the middle is another tactic I've seen people rave about - though they seem a bit to expensive to me.

I know you don't want ranged, but I think you'd genuinely benefit from 1-2 units of ten skellies with bows without sacrificing your combat focus - Arrows of the Asp mean they're great for clearing away skirmishers and other fast troops (which'd otherwise be hard to hit) at long range, and you really need more ways to do that. The last thing you want is for your cumbersone chariot units to have to chase fast cavalry all over the board!

03-11-2005, 09:47
Flypaper: You are obviously really into the Tomb Kings, so your tactical advice is great. Thare are a few problems though. a) The army is based around the remains of Heinrich Kemmler's army (Hierophant), with Krell mounted in a chariot as Tomb King. I will also feature sveral units of corrupted Tree Spirits (Treekin Ushabti, Treeman Bone Giant), and since I really want to convert these guys, they have to stay. b) I can't afford everything I want. Since I have a limited time to collect this force, I'll go with the Batallion Box, that's the reason for fielding Heavy Cavalry ("Heavy"). Tje reason for fielding Spearmen is simply that I like variation. My goal with the army is an (at least rather) effective force, that looks great on the battlefield and is heavily themed.

You have some interesting points that I'll consider though. I guess that arechers are out, simply because I have decided to play allinfantry. That probably sucks tactically, but Hell, I like the feeling of it (can't really see guys without eyes firing bows, they are more like stumbling across the field). The Carrion are a real pain though. I originally planned to field a unit, but I ran out of points. The Tomb Scorpion will probably fill at least half their role, but I sorely miss them. If I want to keep my Treeman, what would you replace with Carrion?

The Tomb King is mounted in a Chariots (Chariot of Fire, really ;) ), and he will join a units of charioteers with Banner of the Undying Legion. Funny you said that, means that I did something tactically right at least ;)

I'm planning on getting the Batallion next week, and then start experimenting with the army, but honestly: Do you think I could win with it? What armies provide most threat? What should I look out for? Ideas would be great ;)

04-11-2005, 05:45
You are obviously really into the Tomb Kings, so your tactical advice is great.

Nah, just obsessive-compulsive. I researched them pretty heavily a couple of months ago trying to decide if I wanted to run with 'em as my next army*, & followed some pretty in-depth discussion (including some 14-page whoppers) over on the Khemri forum. So it's hearsay, but it's well-informed hearsay. :o

Tactically, there's two arguments I surrender unconditionally to: "I like the models", and "this is what I can afford". So fair enough all 'round. ;)

Not sure what else you can cut. The second unit of chariots is important to support the first (plus they look cool), but you might find that without a character to give it Urgency they'll be left behind a lot... Oh, and I would definitely only run six of the eight cav models - convert the other two into something cool for another army so you don't feel they're wasted!
If you do run all eight, I'd recommend six in the front row with two trailling behind to soak up casualties rather than the box's 4x2 formation, as it's very unlikely that you'll actually get into combat with that rank bonus intact.

Overall: you might find that list is not quite good enough at doing any one thing in particular. You're depending on multiple units to hit the opposition at the same time - because no single block is a powerful enough "breaker" to reliably take out an infantry line on its own - and can't kill their screens or the skirmishers which would prevent you from doing so. On top of that, you've got no range - so your opponent has every incentive to force you to cross the entire board inch by tedious inch while they dispel only Urgency every turn.

On the plus side, you've got some decent tools against cavalry - high strength monsters, outnumbering with fear, decent magic, and they're always going to come to you. Also, damage magic shouldn't worry you much simply because there are no sweet targets (with the unfortunate exception of the cavalry!), and they can all be resurrected. Large infantry blocks are also vulnerable to both the Giant and the chariots - but against a true horde army you might have trouble killing enough cheap rank and file to make up the points.

*I decided against it at the time just because Tomb Kings don't scale very well - they're very weak at anything under 2000 points and extremely powerful over 2500. I'm getting tempted again, though...

04-11-2005, 20:54
Well, I play the TK off and on so I'll tell you what I've found:

I agree with flypaper, the spearmen are stupid quite frankly. You want the staying power of the skeletons to hold units until you can flank them. The spearmen will drop like flies. Also, the carrion are (In my oppinion) way more effective and reliable than the scorpion. I say take out the scorpion and find a way to put in carrion. I respect that you are using the heavy cav. because they are in the box, but generally they are not really any good. I agree with flypaper again on the catapult, that thing is great. Anyway, sounds like a really fun theme. Tell us how you do in the tourney.

05-11-2005, 00:13
Cool idea Takenoko!

Just wondering what you were going to convert the Tomb Scorpion into to fit the Heinrich Kemmler's army theme?

05-11-2005, 13:47
LeBeauMort: I'm using a Fen Beast as my Tomb Scorpion. I have no problem with it materialising from the mud behind the enemy lines, but I do find it a little bit hard to motivate the Movement of 7 ;) However, since it is painted, it's got to stay...

I'm considering replacing the cavalry with Carrion. If I van afford o, I probably will. And I take your advice of replacing the spears with hand weapons. I wouln't give them armour, though, unless I decide to sculpt chain mail. We'll see.

I will soon start my thread in P&T, I'll just have to get my pictures into my computer (I really hate all things electronical :cries: )

05-11-2005, 20:30
I agree with most of the comments that flypaper has made. Although I disagree slightly with the comment about the bone giant. I find he is durable compared to most units in the army and only may seem easy to kill as the opponent devotes a lot of time to try and take him out. This of course gives you the opportunity to move the rest of your army into a position where they can hurt the enemy whilst being relatively unscathed.