Wednesday, 16 July 2014

Game 14 - Tomb Kings - (2012/02/12)

CanCon 2012 - Battle 8 - Battleline

There might be many things that you want from the good tournament. One of these for me is to meet great opponents leading armies I do not usually have a chance to fight against. So far I had a lot of luck in that department. Even the games against HE armies were very interesting as I have never played "civil wars" and also the armies were very different too. I faced Lizardmen for the first time, WoC too (at least in 8th edition) and now I was about to play against Nick and his Tomb Kings. Nick had a fantastic army with incredibly converted models. He borrowed it from his friend as he has just started collecting TK and didn't have enough models on his own. I must also say that Nick was a true gentleman and it was a great pleasure to meet him and play against him. What is more he forbid anybody to vote for the army he brought in the "best painted" competition since he didn't paint it himself and even put a huge sign in front of it so that people didn't vote for it "by mistake". I know that if I didn't find out I would fall into that trap for sure :)
Tomb Kings - Army List

Liche High Priest - Lore of Nehekara (I really don't remember what he had, possibly Talisman of Preservation as it was quite popular item)
10 Archers
13 Archers
14 Archers
3 Chariots

4 Chariots, Banner of Eternal Flame
7 Skeleton Horsemen
3 Necropolis Knights
3 Necropolis Knights
3 Stalkers
6 Carrion
Casket of Souls

As you can see a little bit of everything which makes this army very interesting. 3 unit beneath the sands only added to the game as they can be very dangerous in my opinion. It is hard to predict where they appear but rushing forward might not be the best option either as you leave your back unprotected. Big constructs form a fantastic centerpieces of the army but are also, well, tough :) The titan can be defeated but Warsphinx is a bigger problem. I was not sure if I could really harm it, although with many attacks it should be possible to overcome its ability to do a lot of damage to infantry units with its speciall attack, breath and thunderstomp.

Tomb Kings have also a very interesting magic and with special abilities granted by Casket and Titan I was sure I would face some difficulties in the magic phase. I must admit I was very excited to have a chance to play against TK which, in my opinion, might be a very interesting army to play with despite general opinion of it being weak.

My own army list for the reminder:
Outcasts - Army List

Archibald the Archmage, Level 4, Annulian Crystal, Dragon Bane Gem - High Magic
Bob the BSB, Dragon Armour, Shield, Great Weapon, Radiant Gem of Hoeth - High Magic

20 Spearelves, Musician, Standard,
20 Spearelves, Musician, Standard
10 Archers, Light Armour, Musician
10 Archers, Light Armour, Musician

10 White Lions, Musician, Standard, Banner of Eternal Flame
10 White Lions, Musician
9 Swordmasters, Blademaster with Amulet of Light, Musician
8 Swordmasters, Musician
8 Swordmasters, Musician
5 Dragon Princes, Musician
5 Dragon Princes, Musician
5 Ellyrian Reavers, Musician, Bows, Spears

Great Eagle
Great Eagle


High Priest (from memory): Destert Wind, Protection, Smiting, Dessication
Elven BSB - Drain Magic, Shield of Saphery
Archmage - Drain Magic, Shield of Saphery, Courage of Aenarion, Fury of Khaine, Vaul's Unmaking

Armies arrayed for battle - 3 units are still beneath the sand. And some quicksands between the hill and palm trees on the East :)
Deployment after vanguard move

This time I wanted to try weak center deployment and I build two task groups on each flank. I also attached each character to one flank so that either units had higher leadership or could take re-rolls. After seeing the deployment Nick build I decided to be aggressive on Western flank and defensive on the East. If the opportunity can be created to attack the titan I would use it, otherwise I wanted to avoid Sphinx. Nick won the roll-off and his army animated by the will of the High Priest moved forward.

Tomb Kings - Turn 1

Carrions attack reckless light cavalry
Tomb Kings in their (not that)slow but purposeful advance

 Carrions spotted light cavalry just beyond the hill and attacked immediately. Ellyrians elected to stand and shoot and that combined with vicious fight they put up meant that despite losing two of their numbers they held their ground.

The rest of the army moved forward in formation and first attempts to shoot at elven warriors were unsuccessful. Elven Archmage was also careful not to let the power of the casket to be unleashed.

Outcasts - Turn 1

High Elves on the march
Dragon Princes counter charge

Dragon Princes wasted no time to help Reavers but carrions proved a little more difficult to destroy and one "bird" kept fighting. The rest of the army moved carefully towards the enemy trying to keep proper distance. Archers aimed at chariots in front of them but were unable to break any of them permanently. Magic was not yet that efficient with Shield of Saphery protecting Spearelves on the Eastern front.

Tomb Kings - Turn 2

A nasty surprise for High Elves!
Two units emerge from beneath of the sands

Chariots attempted to charge archers but both units fled and undead charioteers had to slow down. One of the archers unit was a little bit too enthusiastic in their feigned flight and they run from the battle permanently. Big constructs also attempted some charges and Dragon Princes withdrew as well. Then the sands started to shift and two units, necropolis knights and stalkers, emerged to join the battle. Stalkers used their Gaze but it not only didn't harm elven knight at all but also destroyed one of their numbers. What is more, second unit of necropolis knights was entombed too tight and didn't emerge at all (EDIT: Unfortunately for Nick he rolled a misfire for this unit and it didn't take the part in the battle). Despite not so perfect appearance of new units they now posed a real threat and elven army had to respond to it very quickly.

Outcasts - Turn 2

Elves rearrange their formation to meet more immediate threat (while Nick is already checking what this how this new situation can benefit him :))
High Elves prepare to meet Tomb Kings attack

Dragon Princes charged their new target and such was the strength of their attack that entire bowmen unit of Tomb King army perished. Elven Knights swiftly reformed to face another unit of enemy archers.

Swordmasters and White Lions formed double line formation to take any charge coming from Necropolis Knights while lone survivor from light horse blocked the path for strange creatures to attack other elven units in more coordinated fashion with chariots. Finally Spearelves pulled back to be able to charge the Knights in the flank if such opportunity arises.

In the center Spearelves reformed to face stalkers and Dragon princes rallied to form a perfect formation for a combined charge. Great eagle on the East blocked warsphinx from joining the fight while Swordmasters shuffled to its flank.

Another archer unit didn't want to continue to fight and it was up to the Archmage alone to destroy enemy from the distance. What he did by casting magic missile at chariots, reducing their number to 2. Now Elves braced for impact.

Tomb Kings - Turn 3

Chariot attack!
Powerful attack by Tomb Kings army

High Priest gave the order to attack and charioteers obeyed. Before they hit their enemy High Priest made white lions much weaker than they usually are. That proved fatal for chracians as they didn't harm charging chariots that much and were destroyed to an elf in return. Victorious chariots pursued into Swordmasters while nearby necropolis knights were delayed by brave reaver only a little longer and they reformed to face Spearelves.

Stalkers shifted a little and again failed to harm Dragon Princes but Chariots hit the flank of Spearelves hard. Despite that (and thanks to protection of the Shield of Saphery) elven warriors held although suffered greatly in the attack. They managed to reform to face their foe too.

Outcasts - Turn 3

Counter attack hits hard too
Elves clear the center - at least for a while

Dragon Princes are very busy this time and hit yet another unit of undead archers. It seems the burning sun and a lot of charging started to have its effect as they failed to destroy this unit and were locked in combat.

Swordmasters finished off two chariots and with second unit reformed to face Necropolis Knights while Spears closed their ranks and locked their shields.

Dragon Princes defeated two Stalkers easily and also reformed to help Spearelves while powerful counter attack by White Lions led by BSB from the flank saw all the chariots destroyed. The center was clear for a moment but two hulking constructs were dangerously close and ready to push forward.

Tomb Kings - Turn 4

The fight continues with casualties on both sides

It is not yet decided who is going to get an upper hand!

Hierotitan and Warspinx attacked White Lions and Spearelves. Both units elected to withdraw, as there was no chance to fight against two big constructs at the same time. Although both units escaped Spearelves fled from the battle completely.

Another unit of Spearelves suffered from the attack of the Necropolis Knights but remained steadfast knowing help is on its way. High Priest, however, made sure that his minions are protected and one Swordmaster unit started to feel much weaker than a second ago and it was not the effect of the sun.

Dragon princes tried to hit the archers as efficiently as possible but in the end one stubborn skeleton refused to crumble to dust.

Outcasts - Turn 4

Can Dragon Princes win the battle for HE army?

Swordmasters charged the flank of the Necropolis Knights but combination of powerful Nehekaran spells meant that the fight continued with some casualties on both sides. Dragon Princes who initially positioned themselves to charge the other flank of the enemy knights spotted high priest and his horemen bodyguards and charged them instead. If their attack succeeds then entire undead army might crumble to dust. Unfortunately it was not to be and Caledorians failed to destroy enough skeleton horsemen to do so. They were in big trouble now (EDIT: out of 8 attacks I got all hits only to ...  roll four 1's to wound :))

Second unit of Dragon Princes finally destroyed the last archer. Great eagle tried to kill the guardians of the casket of souls but it failed and fled while on the East Swordmasters failed to reach Archers through quicksands.

Tomb Kings - Turn 5

The constructs are unstoppable

Hierotitan and Warsphinx make a short work of Dragon Princes and High Priest is also able to rise back his fallen bodyguard. All units reform to face the elven regiments on the West which managed to finally destroy Necropolis Knights. Casket of Souls moved away from the line of sight of Dragon Princes but by doing so it was not active this time.

Outcasts - Turn 5

Last charge but devastating effect!

Elven units were really tired now and only tough constructs remained as viable targets so elven commanders didn't risk such attack. However, one opportunity presented itself and remaining Dragon Princes leveled their lances to avenge their companions and charged against seemingly distant high priest. Elven cavalry were swift as a wind though and this time their lances hit home so hard that there was not a single horseman standing after the combat. The entire undead army hasn't started to crumble just yet but it was clear that with the loss of the mind that animated them they will not fight again. (EDIT: It was one of these glorious moments when your last chance to win battle is to make that very long charge and you do get the roll of 11 needed to hit home! :))
After-battle thoughts

As it turned out after my 5th round we just reached the time limit. It was clear that I won the game and Nick had not much to do if we had a chance to continue with his two constructs and casket plus small archer unit. I was very happy that that last charge happened and made up for unlucky rolls of the first DP unit as it gave me 14-6 win.

It was a great game against fantastic opponent and I was happy to hear that Nick enjoyed it too. We both shared our lucky and unlucky moments in quite similar measure so there was no feeling on either side to be "cheated out by the dice" so to speak. Sure, had that second necropolis knights appeared I would be in much bigger trouble but I still had lions and DP to deal with them. Or another DP and Swordmasters. I guess it was not easy for Nick to decided where to put them in the first place.

I must say that TK magic can still be quite relentless. First, Nick had such a fantastic choice of spells and bound spells that it was very difficult to predict what is he going to cast and decide what to stop. Casket always helped to get extra dice and increased result for casting value thanks to hierotitan ability meant it was even harder to dispel these spells. Also, signature spell is very interesting as it usually is the one that people let go and gives unique opportunity for TK units to move in different directions. Once you move in one direction in movement phase and then you can fool your opponent in the magic phase by shifting units to place them in even more favorable position. Something other armies cannot do, it's like free reforming!

I still don't know how to deal with warsphinx (well, I have an idea but need to test it first :)) so I was glad I managed to avoid it for long enough. Although it cost me some Spearelves fleeing from the table too :)

All in all a great finish to the fantastic tournament :) 

Thanks for reading!

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