View Full Version : Thinking of starting Tomb Kings... couple questions

15-08-2007, 04:32
This would be my first real fantasy army (I have some wood elf models but I never really intended on playing) after playing 40k for some years, but I have a few questions

1. How do they play? Are they competitive?
2. What should my first purchase be? (after the army book)
3. Anything else I should know about these guys?

15-08-2007, 04:42
1) First of al, all warhammer fantasy armies are more or less competitive. how you compose the arnylist, how you deploy and how you play determine how well you will fare, and not so much wich army you play.

Tomb kings are a army with a learning curve, and they generally perform better in larger battles (from 2000 points) because their characters and magic phase are fairly important.

There are different ways to play a tomb king army. You can play offensive with lots of chariots (it's the only army with regiments of chariots), or defensive with lots of archers. It may seem that skeleltons make poor bowmen, but the fact that they always hit on a 5+ and can shoot twice in a turn makes them some of the most deadly archers in the game.

2) your first purchase should be skellies, they form the backbone of your army (har, har, my sense of humor has improved after 5000 years of brains floating in embalming fluid)

3) Dunno. play with them and get a feel for the army. don't be discouraged if you loose a lot in the beginning.

15-08-2007, 05:26
A couple months ago, a large number of Warseer members, including myself, wrote articles on each army to help out people who were looking into an army or just trying to find something that might interest them.

I believe that the Tomb Kings article should help answer a lot of questions you have and ones that you haven't even thought of yet.


Hope that helps!

15-08-2007, 07:58
I wrote the review on Tomb Kings so hopefully I can help here a bit.

1. How do they play? Are they competitive?
- Tomb Kings rely heavily on magic, no army list can succeed without magic obviously. It depends on what you want in your TK list, you can go with a Tomb King character and go fast MSU chariot heavy, you can also go with a construct army that has a lot of hard hitting units (tooled up characters, scorpions, ushabti, bone giant). Finally, you can also go with a shooty army as TK archers always hit on a +5 roll and combined with the Queen special character, each archer has poison attacks.

TK do have a learning curve to them, it's probably steeper than most armies and they remain not so popular. The models are a pain to assemble, but painting them tends to be relatively easy. However, they are very competitive and have some of the best units in the game IMO (scorpions, SS catapult)

2. What should my first purchase be? (after the army book)

A lot of people recommend the battalion box, however be warned that you'll probably end up not using the calvary riders for most games. I'd also start with liche priests blister, tomb king/prince blister, and a tomb scorpion blister (or two or three, lol) as they are mandatory in most armies. After that it depends on what list you decide on, so either more infantry, chariots, or constructs.

3. Anything else I should know about these guys?

Like mentioned, the learning curve is a little tough with TK, especially if they are your first army. Their magic phase is unique to them so you pretty much need to memorize it and the order in which to go because it really does matter and opponents will call you on it. TK can be relatively money and time consuming to assemble, so I'd decide on what army type you want first before buying random minis you may never use in your lists.

Think that's about it, enjoy, :)

15-08-2007, 11:02
1.They play like a tomb kings army.It all depends on your specific army setup.
Everything in the list is viable,so there are loads of different builds so I cant really say on how they play.
ie. an empire cavalry army plays nothing like an empire gunline,yet both are empire armies.
There is a fairly steep learning curve,although if your a half decent general this wont be a problem,if your used to chaos or ogre kingdoms it may be a bit tricky to adjust but you will come off a much better general for it.

Is it competetive?
Its as competetive as the player is,just like every other army out there.
Being competetive depends more on your opponents,their lists and how you are going to be playing against them with your particular list rather than the armybook.
Dont ask such daft questions......(yes it is competetive).

2.First purchase,a unit of skeletons or 2(core) a tomb prince(general) and a liche priest(heirophant).Seeing as these are what you need to have in the army.You then get whatever else you may need for the army you are wanting to make.

3.Anything else?The magic phase and the order it works in is the trickiest bit of a tomb kings army so if you can master that easily enough you'll have no problems.
Skeletons are apparently tricky to assemble.....although I've never had any difficulties myself.

15-08-2007, 12:11
tomb kings are GREAT! it's competitive, it's unbreakble, it's shooty without penalty, it's magic always work, the only drawbacks you cannot march (but like you need it anyway :) ).
Here is my strategy when playing tomb kings, make sure are your units stick together (at least within range of available liche priest and tomb king/prince) so that your magic effectiveness never had to waste. Some magic items are useful but try not spend much (buy magic items that help you protects your liche priest from my viewpoint OR magic item for extra incantations). And also do not worry about 'crumble' as long your king/prince live, you can play tomb kings army to the end.
Record playing tomb king (5 games, 5 wins, 0 draws, 0 losses, yea, just start playing it on 2000pts games, reason of winning = magic always WORKS)

15-08-2007, 17:07
They are an excellent army (I just made 102 battle points at the ETC tournament, out of 120 possible), but they are difficult to use for a beginner.

In fact my first advice would probably be to pick a different army and take the Tomb Kings as your second army in a year or two. Unless of course you are a fast learner and good at the game, then you will be in a little trouble to begin with but you should quickly catch up.


Mad Doc Grotsnik
15-08-2007, 18:36
First up, buy the book. It's a small investment.

Then go over it with a fine toothed comb. See what models appeal to you, and arguably less important (from my point of view!) which rules appeal to you.

The Batallion box is an excellent place to start, as it gives you the core of your army right there and then.

After that, see how it goes. I'd definitely reccomend a Prince in a Chariot, leading Chariots in small games. Spanks my Empire infantry every single time!

But as others have said, Tomb Kings, like all Warhammer armies, work best from around the 2,000 mark!

15-08-2007, 18:49
All im offering is fantasy is best at 2000 pts and that you should ALWAYS take a high liche priest at 2k.

15-08-2007, 18:56
As a TK player I don't think a high Liche Priest is always best at 2k Tomb Kings can be brilliant and surprise the hell out of the enemy...

But I will say that TK are definitely best at 2k.

15-08-2007, 19:42
'Tomb Kings can be brilliant and surprise the hell out of the enemy'

Compared to any other armies CC Lord choice they are pretty pants imo.

Plus the TK boosts one units abilitys.

The HLP boosts 3. (2 units to cast at + help liche priests indirectly by adding more magic)

Mad Doc Grotsnik
15-08-2007, 20:14
Actualy Wolf, depending on your deployment, the Tomb King can boost two units.....

But I've found you need around two Liche Priest of whichever level to really get to the nitty gritty of Tomb Kings.

And do not underestimate Carrion now! Send them over enemy lines just as Terror Causing units strike, or behind units which are about to get a visit from Mr Catapult. Flee through them and it's curtains. If not, your still march blocking.

Also, to the original poster, remember, your spells ALWAYS work, unless the enemy declares he is dispelling them. This can be a real chore for your opponent, as sooner or later, he has to pick which spells to allow through, and which to attempt to dispel. This is a mighty boost. And why? Most armies aren't guaranteed to get off any spells, and will need at least 3 dice to even consider the higher cost ones.....

15-08-2007, 20:34
I also believe that the Tomb King can be a great character. When he wears the Crown of Kings, he can really annoy opponents with his spells. People don't often want to use scrolls on a 1d6 power level, which means they will often roll and sometimes fall short of the mark.

Since the Tomb King can cast on units within 6'' of him, he can often cast on a SSC the first turn or another unit of chariots/tomb guard later in the game.

16-08-2007, 07:23
1. How do they play? Are they competitive?
My description, as a rookie TK general myself, would be that they are like a piece of elegant music piece by Liszt or Bach. All the units coordinate like rhythmic flow, and if you orchestrate those units well, they will consume and grind your enemies to obvilion in mere moment. However, one wrong note (or unit movement or whatever), the coordination will be broken and your army will be in danger.
2. What should my first purchase be? (after the army book)
I'd say battalion+Tomb Prince+Liche Priest and you got yourself a 1000 pointer
3. Anything else I should know about these guys?
..... they are awesome?

16-08-2007, 23:15

Hope that helps!

It would if the link wasn't borken... :(

17-08-2007, 00:57
I personally have a different opinion so ill go down the line listing the units as well.

1. As everyone has mentioned they play differently than any other army in WHF, being this most usually tell people to start with another army first. Main reason being is that this army doesn't truely teach you the basics of the game since you cannot use half of it. (Marching, rolling for spells, different lores of spells, caster magic phase of rolling for a spell. etc.) The army is a top one in its ability to put a player on lockdown if they aren't careful, and its hard to break.

2. As mentioned perfectly earlier. Army Book, Battalion box, Tomb Prince and Liche Priest. Gives you if I remember correctly almost perfectly 935 points if you max out items etc.

3.Yes and I will go beyond what everyone else did, and you will see I disagree with some of the others up top but I will list why.

1st. Blocks of Skeletons are your MUST. You need to run at least 2 of these. No if, ands or BUTS ABOUT THIS. They are your units to use to tie up important units and to keep them tied up while you break them down slowly. The smallest size you should make them is at least 25, since you cannot restore men beyond the unit size.
2nd. in 2k+ Ignore Chariots, Archers, and Cavalry. Ill list why.
Their cavalry has bad weapon skill, so they miss a lot, they have a weaker armor and only S4 on the charge(Really weak for cavalry...actually the weakest besides Goblins, and they have better weapon skill.)
Archers are useless unless you run them with Khalida Neferher, and she is too expensive for 2k (Well you could, but it limits you later on.)
Yes they hit on a 5+, however they also have to roll to wound, and being that they are S3, they usually don't drop much. Not to mention other nations archers are about 2-3 points cheaper too.
Lastly, chariots for TK are only good in lower point games. They have half the impact hits of a normal chariot, and lower strength and wounds. The only upside is they are cheaper then normal.

Now units to look into and the reasons why.
Tomb Guard: Great units, main reason is they have killing blow but they also stick very well and are good flanking units and line units. Lowest unit size I would take them too is 20, but also remember, its pretty easy to bring these guys back up in relation to their lower armor save over their VC brothers the Grave Guard.
Ushabti: GOD SENDS!!! These units are evil incarnate when they hit a flank. Their high strength basically makes them good for breaking down units with high armor, best use for them is use a block of skeletons or tomb guard to take a charge or a hit, and use these boys to flank, their us3 allows them to negate ranks on that flank as well. Average size is usually no more and no less then 3

Carrion Birds: I personally don't like them because they take up a special slot for what they do, but their main job is to be used as rear area hits and march blocking. Average size of unit is usually 5

Tomb Scorpions: Almost a tie with Ushabti, if it wasn't for their lower unit strength. Good str, tough, and also have a dual ability which makes them great, basically allowing them to either hide underground or deploying. The main reason I like them is for their poison attacks and killing blows; however, a poisoned hit cannot killing blow, so some people hate it for that reason.

Screaming Skull Cata's: Probably in my eyes the only unit of ranged fire (besides something like a casket of souls) worth taking in TK. They are great weapons for breaking units, especially since with a Tomb Prince near by or a Tomb King, you can have them fire twice in one turn. This is also a unit you never take only 1 of. You either run 2 of them or none at all. This is something you will see why when you play.

Bone Giants: Great line breakers, paired with some Ushabti they can break even the heavest units. They also have the highest armor save your units can get also, making them very hard to kill, especially since you can just heal them. They have high str, and good toughness. They only have 2 downsides. Their extremely low initative and only unit strength 1

Out of the heroes I personally perfered running a Liche High Priest, two Tomb Princes and 1 Liche Priest. This gave me a good solid magic phase and it allowed me to keep my princes in my 2 units of skeletons keeping them moving with my Ushabti and Giants supporting their flanks.

Thats just my personal opinion.

17-08-2007, 11:24
It would if the link wasn't borken... :(


for some reason there is '_0' at the end of the first link that doesn't belong there.