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huitzilopochtli
17-08-2007, 20:41
well they seem to be in this situation.

i've been thinking about investing in one for my army and am seriously doubting its usefulness. i love the panic rules and skulls of the foe is perfect for most armies, however i play against vampire counts with my TKs, and lacking psychology, his skeletons would be little affected by this stone thrower.

am i right in thinking that this is the case? or would it still be a wise investment for its normal effects?

having yet to win with my TKs, (i know they have a learning curve to them but this is ridiculous) i'm desperate as to what to put into my list. so, supposing the SSC is not the best route, what would be for my TKs to hit these vampires hard?

i'll be posting a list soon for anyone who's interested in lending some advice.

thanks to all replies.

Oberon
17-08-2007, 21:04
As it is considerably more cheaper than the bone giant, and VC canīt raise other than zombies/skeletons it does have its uses against VC even though itīs panic rules donīt work. No regiment likes to get a template-worth of boulders/skulls in the middle of it, and as it is no armour saves, black knights just die. D6 wounds (wasnīt it magical too, or was it only flaming?) could put some serious hurt on spirit hosts too.

Besides: you might not always play against VC, and against others skulls of the foe are awesome.

Mazdug
17-08-2007, 21:10
I would say go for it, although I might not go for the standard 2 and would instead probably include the casket of souls. The thing about screaming skull catapults, is that with even one, you get 2 stonethrower shots a turn. This is good because it lets you really zero in on your targets, especially since your second shot is in a different phase, so you've already been allowed to measure the first one ;). Now, even without panic, most vampire counts armies are still chalk full of things that are good for suishing with tremendous rocks from the sky, especially those pesky black knights and grave gaurd that your infantry (the crappiest infantry in the warhammer world) is not going to fare well against. Now, while firing off 4 enormous rocks a turn might seem awesome against most armies, the casket of souls is a pretty good bet on its own against VC. Considering how low most VC troops leadership is, you can kill great numbers of them if they stray away from their general, which ghouls and direwolves are both likely to do. If you can stick your casket on a nice high hill in the middle of the board, chances are he is going to have to look at it if he wants to get to you, which he is going to want to do, since you can shoot the crap out of him, and he can't do diddly to you. My suggestion would be take one of each, and some nice blocks of skeleton archers, and make him come to you. When his now depleted lines hit yours, you countercharge with your chariots/ushabti, and it should be a wrap.

Lord Inquisitor
17-08-2007, 21:14
well they seem to be in this situation.

i've been thinking about investing in one for my army and am seriously doubting its usefulness. i love the panic rules and skulls of the foe is perfect for most armies, however i play against vampire counts with my TKs, and lacking psychology, his skeletons would be little affected by this stone thrower.
Firstly, it's been a while since I played TKs, but isn't the special "fear" effect something you have to pay extra for?

Secondly, they're most certainly very good against VC, because we don't have much in the way of anything to engage your stone throwers with.

The TK magic makes them extra nasty. You can fire them in the Magic phase, with your best guess. You can then fire them AGAIN in the shooting phase and since the enemy hasn't moved, you should be able to correct your guess to land it with pinpoint accuracy. You can use the threat of a magic stone thrower to draw out the enemy's dispel dice and scrolls - one of those things firing twice scares me, which may mean that you only get to fire it once - but it will give you more freedom in the rest of the magic phase - the psychological effect of a screaming catapult isn't just limited to the troops on the table - you can scare your opponent too.

huitzilopochtli
17-08-2007, 21:22
ok thanks everyone. i know what i'll add to my list next time i can. :)

theunwantedbeing
17-08-2007, 22:36
Remember your units crumble as well as his.
Which means your a damn sight more difficult to break than the average army.Plus you can raise all your units back to full strength,rather than just your skellies.

Your catapults should be aiming at his combat units,things he cant raise back to full strength,like black knights and wights and such.
Also going for his general is always worth a go,seeing as hits ignore armour saves and do D6 wounds you can do some serious damage to his characters,all it takes is 1 failed ward save and a half decent roll and he's gone.

The casket of souls is rather good vs skeletons and zombies.Your going to be doing on average 6 wounds to a unit of skeletons hit by the light of death,which is quite a lot.
Your guaranteed at least 1 wound on a skeleton unit which can potentially remove a rank bonus,which requires a full raise spell to correct.

You basically just fight him with his own tactics,but with the added benefit of being able to shoot the guy while doing so,and being able to raise slain troops.

huitzilopochtli
17-08-2007, 23:54
unfortunately my opponent instantly goes magic heavy when he sees my casket, and i have only ever managed to get it off once, whereupon it managed to wipe out a measly 12 models (skeles) from what was i think three units.

Malorian
18-08-2007, 01:20
Not useless, just not as effective. As said above, target grave guard and black knights.

I'd take bone giants though. Bone giants are perfect againt other undead. Just charge in and kill them all : ) He also has no warmachines to take them out.

pcgamer72
18-08-2007, 07:41
I'd suggest trying out a Bone Giant as well. 3s and 2s with unstoppable assault can get out of hand real quick with just a little luck.

Nagash333
18-08-2007, 17:26
Casket doesn't have to be even cast to be effective, just watch yout opponent save dispel dice for it thereby letting you cast the much more deadly movement 'chariot flank' attack.

Also Screaming skulls quality against wights and spirit hosts

Alathir
19-08-2007, 03:02
The screaming skull catapult is one of the best war machines in the game, hands down.

I've lost two games to it before I even had my turn! never underestimate it's strength, the -1 to leadership is devastating, a little too devastating if you ask me.

Against VC, it wouldn't be AS effective but still viable. However, a bone giant will probably be better, they have no shooting to take it down and would tear apart their troops.

StormCrow
19-08-2007, 03:18
I'd go for a bone giant against vampires, 3's to hit and 2's to wound with unstoppable assault on their core troops is devastating, i wiped out a zombie unit on the charge and that was with fairly poor rolling.

I'd advise against the SSC in favour of a casket of souls usually, or free up the points from not using rare slots for more chariots; which also work wonders against enemy undead.

itcamefromthedeep
19-08-2007, 22:05
Don't forget that the casket tkes one away from the casting rolls of your opponents' spells.

SSCs work well against Wights and the Black Coach, as mentioned earlier, but it can do noticable damage even against Skeletons. I would have no problem going with the catapult.

Mazdug
20-08-2007, 17:09
The -1 to casting rolls of the casket is no laughing matter, especially for an amry so reliant on casting as the vampire counts. Forcing him to use more dice to average a succesfull casting roll means he gets of less spells, and that alone is a huge edge when engaging your only rival in the realm of battles of attrition. (Lets be honest here, I suspect that after most Tomb Kings vs Vampire Counts games, there are a lof of troops left on the board, the exact opposite of your standard elf vs elf battle).

Moepho
20-08-2007, 20:03
I've had mixed results with it. Everything from it blowing up on me first turn to Single shotting a Dark Elf Sorceress and bolt thrower crew in the same shot.

One thing is consistent you need to have a priest around it for that second shot

Also, you'll need a lot of priests (and bound items) so you don't get shut down in the magic phase vs. Vampire Counts (which they can do easily).

I'd recommend 1 catapult and 1 casket. Park the casket where it can be seen and place the catapult somewhere within 12" of it.

Zoolander
20-08-2007, 22:16
The SSC is the only the best catapult in the game. The hits are magical and flaming, it causes panic at -1 leadership with the heads, and it can fire twice a turn using magic. Even if an enemy destroys the crew, you can rez them. It's awesome!

Now, against VC, it does become slightly less useful because you won't have panic tests, but the hits will destroy black knights, black coaches, etc. and the hits are magical, being one of the only war machines that can hit spirit hosts and banshees, for example. So it's not entirely useless against a VC list by any means. Get one.

I'd go for a bone giant against vampires, 3's to hit and 2's to wound with unstoppable assault on their core troops is devastating, i wiped out a zombie unit on the charge and that was with fairly poor rolling.

I'd advise against the SSC in favour of a casket of souls usually, or free up the points from not using rare slots for more chariots; which also work wonders against enemy undead.

3'S TO HIT? Only vs. zombies maybe... vs. anything else it's almost always 4's to to hit. The Giant just isn't worth the points. He's just too expensive and too easy to kill with combat results. A much better combo would be an SSC and a Casket.


Not useless, just not as effective. As said above, target grave guard and black knights.

I'd take bone giants though. Bone giants are perfect againt other undead. Just charge in and kill them all : ) He also has no warmachines to take them out.

Giants need 4s to hit almost everything. This means out of 5 attacks, 2 will wound, and then another 1 with US. He won't need a war machine for that. Versus a unit of skeletons, they will probably cause no wounds to him, but beat him in combat results (+3 for rank, +1 for out number, +1 for banner). And the following rounds, it only get worse for the giant. I've seen this fight more times than I can count. The Giant is not worth his points on average. If your opponent is smart, he will send his vampire, black knights, or smarms after him, but even a unit of lowly skeletons can handle him easy.

Azmazi
21-08-2007, 03:19
I have to agree with Zoolander here, as I am a player that plays both VC and TK's.

The Giant is usually only good if he goes in with another hard hitting unit, like Ushabti, when then he is evil as all hell.

Personally I will also bring something else up. Not all VC's don't have shooting. For one, my Necrarch List had 2 DoW Cannons as rares. Now people laugh when you bring up DoW items; however, they are used a lot with Power gaming lists. So never think...oh they don't have that, also remember that DoW can add in, and VC can take all of the DoW, and most of the RoR (Except a few like the Cursed Company and etc.)

I will state this though, do not use Chariors against a VC army, go with HARD hitting things. Especially if you know they run a lot of things like Grave Guard and Black Knights. Ushabti and Tomb Guard are going to be your friends against this, and the SSC to back them up and lessen their numbers before they go into the combat. Str4 Chariots will get laughed at by GG and BK's, and even so with skeletons and zombies, as they will most likely beat you based on out number, and even if they lose, they will just restore the wounds and surpass the original amount, and next turn...well you will lose next one by combat res.

Remember some of this when you play against them, this is a war of attrition as said earlier, your best weapon is breaking them down by high str to ignore those saves and winning res by wounds + ranks.

Scythe
21-08-2007, 09:58
Versus a unit of skeletons,

Remember skeletons are only WS2...

But the real question you should be asking yourself is: why would I want to use a Bone Giant to kill skeletons and zombies?

StormCrow
21-08-2007, 11:40
Giants need 4s to hit almost everything. This means out of 5 attacks, 2 will wound, and then another 1 with US. He won't need a war machine for that. Versus a unit of skeletons, they will probably cause no wounds to him, but beat him in combat results (+3 for rank, +1 for out number, +1 for banner). And the following rounds, it only get worse for the giant. I've seen this fight more times than I can count. The Giant is not worth his points on average. If your opponent is smart, he will send his vampire, black knights, or smarms after him, but even a unit of lowly skeletons can handle him easy.

I hit black knights in the flank with a bone giant; killed them all and their thrall within 2 turns. And skeletons are WS 2 so thats 3's and 2's. Like i said; useful for demolishing core troops in VC ;).

W0lf
21-08-2007, 12:13
Skull catapults are useless?

Oh very dear.. no.. just no.

They are in my opinion the best artilary in the game. I bet i can find at least 10 people that agree aswell.

Oh and in case you didnt know artilary is far from useless, thus the best artilary... do the math

Zoolander
21-08-2007, 21:58
I hit black knights in the flank with a bone giant; killed them all and their thrall within 2 turns. And skeletons are WS 2 so thats 3's and 2's. Like i said; useful for demolishing core troops in VC ;).

Well, anything flanking a unit can do serious damage if they're able to break ranks. The trick is, getting the giant to flank. Now that attack from the front will yield a very different result. Like I said, he's a great support unit. On his own, he's not reliable enough to be used.

Angelwing
22-08-2007, 01:11
I'll chime in with ' catapults are excellent!'
Against VC's its best use is to crush black knights and grave guard. Spirit hosts and black coaches are the next targets.

I'd combine it with a casket against VC's, to get that -1 on casting, and force your opponent to hold onto dispel dice.

forgottenlor
22-08-2007, 09:10
Here is some math for you:
Against WS2 giants or zombies the giant hits 67%, wounds 83% with no armour saves (even for skeletons with a 4+ save)
The means on 5 attacks you get 2.777 kills before unstoppable attack then 1.45 kills in the second reroll phase and then .72 kills in a third reroll phase.
That's about 4.8 kills a round. This means the bone giant will probably be tying or losing combat by 1 against any skeleton or zombie unit with a banner.
In either case he won't lose any wounds.

Scythe
22-08-2007, 09:51
Which is not all that usefull. Killing 5 skele's/zombies a turn hardly strikes me as worth it, especially since they can be summoned back. Add in a fighty character on the skeleton/zombie side, and things change drastically.

huitzilopochtli
22-08-2007, 22:32
ok, catapults on the "to get" list. ;) thanks to all your enthusiastic replies, comments and pieces of advice. :)

and just to add a little on the bone giant...

i was experimenting in the probability of wounding with him while factoring in random occurrences such as luck, (ok i got bored and started rolling a handful of dice when an idea hit me to roll dice as if it had charged a unit of skeles), when i found out how good he could be.

with a little bit of luck bone giants can easily take down entire units of skeletons ON THEIR OWN. granted this requires that "little bit of luck" but with some magical assistance on the turn they charge (i'm assuming they get the unstoppable assault rules then as well, but i will check to be sure) they can quickly mince through core blocks of troops.

my record for rolling dice to hit and wound is 17 wounds. a 20 strong unit would be completely destroyed by such an attack. this is an unlikely coincidence i'll admit, but even so its unlikely odds like this that overthrow gameplans. ;)

ok just looked at the FAQ... the magical assistance of the bone giant isnt that helpful. however i also noticed that the bone giant has a total of 5 attacks. something i didnt count for when i was rolling (i didnt have my book with me). which means i could have gotton a load more wounds...

Scythe
23-08-2007, 07:24
Well, play as you like, but I don't count on luck to win games. The bone giant is rather unreliable, and does not cause enough wounds on average to win combat (or score decend damage, for that matter), so I do not concider it a very valid option. Even more, the chances that you run into a skeleton or zombie unit without character support are slim, and even if you do, such unit is hardly worth that many points. ;)

Mazdug
23-08-2007, 18:29
my record for rolling dice to hit and wound is 17 wounds. a 20 strong unit would be completely destroyed by such an attack. this is an unlikely coincidence i'll admit, but even so its unlikely odds like this that overthrow gameplans. ;)

That is pretty unbelievably lucky. I had a friend roll almost all 18s for a D&D character once, and I suspect the chances are about the same. TO get that, all 5 of your initial attacks would have to hit and wound, then do the same again, then do the same again, and then miss a couple of wounds. Thats an aqful lot of never rolling 1's and rarely rolling 2s. I think the bone giant is cool and all, but until they switch the rules for the incantation of righteous smiting so he makes all his attacks in the magic phase, I'm not going to bother with him.

Moepho
24-08-2007, 20:03
Well, play as you like, but I don't count on luck to win games. The bone giant is rather unreliable,

Everyone seems to forget about the artillery dice....a catapult is far from reliable. It can miss or blow up itself up rather easily. A bone giant never kills itself....

Also, people just assume if you have a liche priest you are going to automatically get a second shot. It's still a spell... it can always still be dispelled (rather easily if you roll pathetic). Even it works, that's a SECOND chance to misfire or deviate as well....

When it works...the catapult is great, but it can also be worthless in games.

huitzilopochtli
24-08-2007, 23:24
Everyone seems to forget about the artillery dice....a catapult is far from reliable. It can miss or blow up itself up rather easily. A bone giant never kills itself

the most unreliable unit for the tomb kings... the tomb scorpion. twice now i have hidden it beneath my enemies. twice now has it failed to appear until the 4th turn, and twice it has failed to make it above ground. i now have the greatest resentment for this creature, its war machine and character hunting skills have yet to be proved. the catapult at least has made its points back. ;)

as for my bone giant rolls, i forgot about the extra attack so i started rolling 4 dice only. for the first two rounds (maybe three) all four hit and wounded. then for three or four three did. and finally 2 plucky dice just refused to miss until they had destroyed the unit. ah yes, very lucky rolls, but it happens, and when it does all you can do is smile. :):):)

Dragon Prince of Caledor
25-08-2007, 04:40
The one time you land the shot will be worth it as with all stone throwers. To add insult to injury attmept to land them (to the best of your abilities along with good rolls) to land them on his characters. One failed lookout sir = dead character.

Scythe
29-08-2007, 11:41
Everyone seems to forget about the artillery dice....a catapult is far from reliable. It can miss or blow up itself up rather easily. A bone giant never kills itself....

Also, people just assume if you have a liche priest you are going to automatically get a second shot. It's still a spell... it can always still be dispelled (rather easily if you roll pathetic). Even it works, that's a SECOND chance to misfire or deviate as well....

When it works...the catapult is great, but it can also be worthless in games.

Well, I admit it is more of a risk/reward/costs thing. Maybe it would be more fair to say that both the giant and the catapult are not terribly reliable, but the catapult costs only half a bone giant, which makes it less of a loss if it blows up in your face.

Zoolander
30-08-2007, 01:20
Well, I admit it is more of a risk/reward/costs thing. Maybe it would be more fair to say that both the giant and the catapult are not terribly reliable, but the catapult costs only half a bone giant, which makes it less of a loss if it blows up in your face.

And it's much easier to get your 100 pts back from the Catapult than with a 220 pt giant.

W0lf
31-08-2007, 20:43
maybe im **** scared of them becoz my locals main TK player can guess within about 2 mms with his skull catapults and i field chosen warriors/knights and 4 heros.

He has actually sniped my mounted exalted with MoT from his saddle with a catapult shot...

he rolled a hit and his guessing was that damn good.

Not to mention the 2 45 pt chosen next to him where killed.

(oh and the previous turn i lost like 6 21 pt chosen warriors)

huitzilopochtli
01-09-2007, 18:59
okokok, i caved. after trying out my yet-to-be-painted catapult i'm taking back everything bad i said about them. so far it has been destroyed once and raised back, panicked an entire unit of black orcs which were subsequently charged off the table, killed a rank of iron breakers, and given my liche priest on the casket something to do when the rest of the army is out of range. thanks for the persuasion. ;)

He Who Is Him
01-09-2007, 21:09
I love dropping flaming skulls on my dwarf buddy's iron breakers, they're the best target practice a TKer could hope for. And they make the most satisfying squish when their flesh is forced through the tiny holes in their armor. Nothing is as good as a hot pool of dwarf insides to relax in after a you have crushed their fire base.

huitzilopochtli
01-09-2007, 23:57
yep, and if they panic on the off chance, your chariots are there to wipe up the mess. :) just waiting to try this thing out against some 2+ AS black knights. mwahuahuahuahua! :evilgrin: