Tomb Kings are one of those armies that you don’t see a lot of and I’d never played against them before, so I was eager to try my luck when Dan offered the chance. I brought along my Lizardmen, as they’re the army I’d feel most comfortable playing an unfamiliar foe.
We rolled for a scenario and got the “Dawn Attack”. Dan set up his lot first, and seemed to not be too hampered by his dice rolls at all. My luck was worse, and as you can see my deployment really couldn’t have been worse, with all my tough units split between the extreme left and right flanks, with only skirmishers and salamanders in the centre.
Effectively my force would fight as two separate armies, but the skink priests in the centre would at least be able to channel the Slann’s magic into the majority of Dan’s army.
Force rosters consisted of:
- Slann Mage Priest with 19 Temple Guard
- Two units of 20 saurus
- Three salamanders
- Skink cohort with two kroxigors
- Four units of 10-12 skinks with blowpipes
- Two skink priests
- Queen Khalida and about 30 skeleton archers
- Two units of 4 chariots
- A unit of 21ish Tomb Guard including a priest and a herald
- Three necropolis knights
- The Casket of Souls
Game was 2400pts.
The Tomb Kings aren’t built for speed and shuffled slowly forwards. My abundance of wizards allowed me to shut down their magic phase and a few arrows wafted over to my side of the board.
In reply the lizardmen got on the march, the salamanders and some skinks making a beeline for the swamp in the centre. I figured his Necropolis knights and monster wouldn’t fancy digging them out and they’d be able to usefully enfilade his whole line. Some skink blowpipery managed to thin out the chariot corps that was threatening to smash into the lizardman left next turn.
As expected, the chariots rammed home against both skink units. The fight furthest on the flank was more matched as the chariots had been badly shot up before charging in, but the other chariot unit was in better shape and won their fight easily. Unluckily for them they failed to kill the skink shaman and he managed to outpace them on his flee roll. They followed up into a clipping contact with the saurus.
Elsewhere some shooting and magic thinned out more skink skirmishers on my left flank.
In my turn I declared a charge with my stegadon, and a huge charge roll had it go thundering across the board into Khalida’s unit. Magic was fairly uneventful with a bit of dispelling on my part and Dan throwing in his dispel scroll to shut my attacks down. The salamanders were now in range to start burning up some Tomb Guard, which they did very effectively.
The stegadon did well, mowing down a huge amount of skeletons, but there were plenty more where they came from. I’m normally quite wary of sending the steg in unsupported, but stubborn helps it hang on if it’s in trouble, and I had two big saurus cohorts tromping up behind it so I figured it was a good way of pinning down his general and her shooty unit for a while.
The weakest chariot unit on the end of the line was exposed to a charge from the skink cohort which went predictably badly for the chariots. The charging skink cohort was at +4 combat resolution and the saurus were at +2 before any attack dice were even rolled. The undead are never going to do well against superior fighters with superior combat res in units with small numbers of wounds. Still, the chariots had cleared out all my skinks on this flank, which would stop them machinegunning the flanks of his tomb guard and warsphinx. An even exchange, I reckon.
Dan decided to commit his necrosphinx, I had forgotten it was a flyer and could charge me from its position behind the skeleton/stegadon combat. He threw it in against a small unit of skinks, presumably hoping to break them and follow up into my Temple Guard:
The giant stompy monster did as well as you’d expect, but the skinks held, which annoyed Dan no end. Good stuff!
The stegadon continued to chew up the skeletons, but was slowly being worn down too.
In my turn I opted not to try to charge his Tomb Guard with my saurus, they looked a little too strong still and I wanted to get another round of shooting in with the trio of salamanders. Unfortunately the salamanders chose this turn to slack off, either eating their lunch (grilled skinks again!) or rolling badly. Minimal effect on the Khemrians.
The skinks facing the necrosphinx finally got wiped out. Surprised they lasted that long TBH. In brighter skink news the remains of a unit of skirmishers shot the Casket of Souls to bits and weathered the resulting detonation. Not quite sure how their poison darts are quite so effective against luggage, but hey ho.
Dan took advantage of my reticence on my right flank and threw both the Tomb Guard and his warsphinx into my saurus. Saurus are nasty in a fight, but that kind of firepower was too much for them and they got walloped, but held their ground rolling snake eyes for their break test!
The situation for his general Queen Khalida was also looking dire, so he charged the necropolis knights through the edge of the swamp (only one wound) and hit the stegadon in the flank. And a lucky thing too as the fight wiped out the last of the skeletons and left Khalida stranded with only a single wound left!
The necrosphinx took one look at the giant unit of temple guard bearing down on it and flapped away to safety.
This would be the last turn as we were out of time, but there was plenty of action left for my last phase.
The embattled saurus on my right flank got some welcome help as the skink cohort piled into the warsphinx’s flank. Alas the tomb guard and their characters were on fine form, slaughtering every last one of the saurus, leaving the lizardmen well down on combat res. The skink cohort decided enough was enough and legged it, escaping and leaving the tomb kings in uncontested control of the right flank.
On my left things were looking better, one saurus regiment charged Khalida and the temple guard charged the necropolis knights. Annoyingly the saurus rolled abysmally for charge range and went 1″, meaning they had achieved precisely nothing all game. Thanks a lot Dawn Attack deployment rules! The nearby tiny unit of skinks attempted to make up for this by polishing Khalida off but Dan remembered at the last minute that she was immune to poison and she scraped through the battle with her last wound intact. Things went less cheerfully for the necropolis knights, who got their arse handed to them on a plate by the temple guard and dematerialised.
The battle was over, but who had won? My right flank had collapsed, by the only combat effective unit the tomb kings had at the other end was their necrosphinx. Totting up victory points it came to:
- Lizardmen = 999pts
- Tomb Kings = 1091pts
So a hard-fought draw! If only I’d managed to finish off the queen in my last turn!
A good game overall though. We’re having a lot of fun playing random scenarios down at the club, as they often have a huge effect on how the battle plays out.
Thoughts on the Tomb Kings
Their constructs are very tough, pretty much everything is rolling 6’s to wound against these guys. Dan was right to throw his chariots into suicide chargers to wipe my skink screens out, or else I could have been peppering his big guys and really hurting them. As it was both big constructs (beautifully painted by Dan, btw) came through largely unscathed. The tomb guard are also nasty, proving more than a match for my vanilla saurus regiment once they had a few characters in the front rank. Unfortunately with a Slann in my army I had limited room for saurus heroes and opted for skink shamans instead.
Their magic isn’t too intimating, consisting mostly of augments for their own guys, although the Casket of Souls can dish out some hurt and will soak up dispel dice.
Beyond the tomb guard they don’t see to have much in the way of effective infantry, so using terrain can be a good way to cut down on charge options from all those monsters/cavalry/chariots. If you’ve got light troops and skirmishers get them into cover and they should be able to outmaneuver and/or shoot the Khemrians, and your opponent will think twice about going in to get you. What it won’t help you with is avoiding their shooting. Their lack of shooting penalties means they can be moving and cutting down skirmishers in cover quite happily. In my case my stegadon took his big unit of archers out of the shooting game in turn two, they could have thinned me out quite a bit otherwise.
They’ve got a lot of options in their list though, two tomb king armies could look very different. Overall they could be quite a fun opponent.