In my second venture into the land of Khemri and the Tomb Kings I went over to Stockport to try out Element Games to play somebody also testing his list for the Tournament I am going to in Sunderland. So here we have Tomb Kings vs High Elves.
The Mission is Battle for the Pass, which means you play from narrow end of the board to narrow end. If units flee of the board they are dead, but perusing units stop (unlike regular games). We are using the Tournament rules, so 2 power dice for a Bound Spell, and no more than caster level plus 2, plus any special dice. So a level 2 liche priest can use 4 dice max to cast a spell. A Level 2 Night Goblin would be able to use 5 as they get a Magic Mushroom Dice.
We did have a brief game before this to give me a chance to see what High Elves do which resulted in a turn 3 tabling for me.
Tomb Kings: Tomb King, Level 4 Liche Priest, Necrotect, two level 2 Liche Priests, 25 Skeletons, 2 blocks of 15 Skeleton Archers, two blocks of 4 Ushabti, 6 Chariots including the Tomb Herald, 18 Tomb Guard, a Screaming Skull Catapult, and a Casket of Souls (Ark of Covenant)
High Elves: Alarielle (Special Character), Level 4 Wizard, Battle Standard Bearer with World Dragon Banner, Hero on bird,30 archers, 2 Pheonixs, 50 man horde of White Lions with Great Weapons
With the armies deployed, and a fairly large gap between the two armies the movement of the Tomb Guards is limited. The Skeleton Archers garrison the tower for protection, the Ushatis amble forward, so too the rest of the army. Due to a vanguard move by the High Elves the Chariots elect to charge, but due to speed of the High Elves easily escape. The Tomb Guards elect to not follow and jst move forward a little.
Magic phase and the winds are in my favour scoring 10 dice. 6 are immediately used to summon a skull swarm which is sent straight at another set of knights taking out 1 of them. the template lands nicely behind the knights preventing a flee move.
Casket of Souls is dispelled. and Screaming Skull misses.
High Elves, the fleeing knights rally, the other knights move forward. In fact the whole army moves forward. The Pheonixs start to line up for their charges. High Elf archers are in range but due to distance don’t really pull much off. They spend all their power dice dispelling the Skull Swarm.
The first Ushabti unit elect to charge the reformed knights, who choose to flee again however with a redirect land in the flank of the Hero on a flyie boi. The Chariots line up for a charge, the Tomb Guards amble forward, and the other Ushabtis charge the other knight unit.
Magic phase sees Protection Aura cast on Ushabtis, and Killing blow on Tomb Guard more as a charge these next turn and you’re fucked move as they aren’t in combat.
Casket of Souls fails.
Archers take 30 pot shots and kill 1.
The Screaming Skull catapult aims at the middle of the White Lion horde, but with a scatter goes 8 inches left landing directly on the Orange Pheonix’s head killing it instantly.
In Combat the 4 Ushabti’s win against the knights, but those brave bastards manage to hold pass their break test to fight another day. In the other Ushabti combat we see the hero take a bit of a beating too but again, he holds his ground.
High Elves next, and the Blue Pheonix bombs forward into the Undead Warriors, the fleeing knights realise the Chariots are preparing a charge on the White Lions move inbetween to block the charge. The HE Archers take some better aimed shots, but at this range even their insane Ballistic Skill means not much is done to the chariots.
The Blue lad dominate the Skeletons Warriors, but one bird can’t kill enough Skeletons to worry me in a turn.
The Tomb Guard rear charge the Blue Boi, the Chariots charge the 4 remaining knight, the other Ushabti’s remain in combat.
Magic, lots of dice, not that it matters but killing blow (doesn’t work on monsters) is cast on the warriors to try to resurrect more warriors (2 of which come back). Casket of Souls, fails…
The rock lobber misses the White Lions. The archers take out a couple of White Lions.
In combat the Ushabtis on both sides of the table win, and the impact hits alone (14) from the Chariots into the other knights renders them dead. With a rear charge and a couple of wounds on the bird, the Tomb Kings actually win a combat, but the bird now in Generals Inspiring presence holds his ground.
The High Elves make their move now, and elect to charge the 6 Chariots with the White Lions. The Archers climb in a tower to get some protection and take out a stupid Level 2 Liche priest who was standing in the open.
Magic and HEs cast some buffs giving them an insane 3+ Ward Save, not that it matters in this combat as the Chariots are dead before they get to hit back, the White Lions line up to engage the Warriors who are still locked in with the Blue Boi, The Blue Boi takes out a few more Warriors but it isn’t enough, even with hits and wounds on a 6 it loses combat, and this time fails it leadership. The Tomb Guard elect to chase but run into the brick wall that is the White Lions.
The Both units of Ushabti’s elect to charge the White Lions, one in the rear, one in the front along with the Tomb Guards as well as the lone Undead Warrior flank charging.
The other level 2 liche priest realises the Blue Boi is fleeing near him, and elects to run it down, a little wizard just slayed a giant bird. He goes back to his grave overly chuffed with himself.
In the magic phase the Casket tries to shoot the archers and fails, the screaming skull shows how it is done and hits the archers and who then run away with a failed panic test.
In anger the Liche Priest lobs a vortex of Skulls at the horde of White Lions, despite passing over about 20 only 3-4 are killed (stupid ward save).
The combat is terrible, all those charges mean nothing as the White Lions smash fuck out of all 4 units that charged them killing the 15 or so remaining Tomb Guards, the Tomb King, and the 6 Ushabti’s. The Tomb Kings Curse takes out a few more.
High Elves turn and all they can do is rally the archers, and carry on combat. The one remaining Tomb Guard is dispatched. But not before the Skull Vortex randomly moves over them killing a couple more.
Final turn and for giggles the Skeleton Archers walk out of their tower and with 30 shots at the White Lions killing 1.
Utterly bereft at what has fallen his mighty empire, the Level 4 Liche Priest gallops to the side of the White Lions and casts Skull Vortex. Taking the unit down to 12. Not bad considering it started at 45. With his remaining 8 dice, he spends 6 giving the Archers killing blow, and lets the casket of Souls have another pop. It fails. So does the Screaming Skull Catapult.
High Elves elect to do nothing in their turn, they simply don’t want to risk charging the skeletons with killing blow.
The game ends.
After the points are toted up, the High Elves win by 400 points. Not too bad as this means under tournament rules he’d get 12 points and I’d get 8. With the points so close I could have potentially won if my ushabtis and Tomb Guards were not massacred. There was some lucky moves such as the Screaming Skull beaning the Pheonix, some good casts with 3 Skull Vortexes coming off, with 2 miscasts that didn’t do any significant damage.
What did I learn?
Well that is the big question isn’t it. There was a lot of luck in that the charges, and dead Pheonix. But the main thing I learnt was restraint. I didn’t need to charge everything into a Death Star Unit. I should have gunked him up and ran away while I was winning. Sacrificing one unit of Ushabtis for a turn would have given me enough time to fucking leg it with the other units. The mass loss on that one turn wouldn’t have happened and potentially that 400 point loss would have been a 2-300 point victory.
Things to try next time. 3 blocks of 3 chariots. Getting more impact hits is more useful than having fewer stronger ones. To get these to fit into 2500 I need to drop the Warriors.
The casket of souls is consistently failing to cast in this tournament meta, bu the D3 extra spells is invaluable and meant for 3 of 5 magic phases I had 10-12 power dice to play with which meant all those skull vortexes. Maybe drop a liche priest, having 2 level 2s and a level 4 isn’t that useful. better to concentrate the dice more on 2 spell casters and the casket rather than splitting 4 ways. This would save 105 points, meaning more chariots, or perhaps the warriors.