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WFB: Tomb Kings Win It

11 Minute Read
Jul 12 2014
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Over the past several years I have not heard much in the way of good builds for Tomb Kings as a tournament worthy army. Well, Cody Jensen just proved that wrong at Wet Coast this last week.

Wet Coast

I talked about Wet Coast in my tournament prep article a few weeks back, but to summarize: Dan Miner has been running this 2 day GT for 12 years stating in his interview with Dimensional Cascade that “Beer and Warhammer are synonymous”. Up here in Vancouver, BC that really is true.

Wet Coast is a bragging rights event and saw 42 players this past weekend. Dan has been changing the format of the event and the scoring to something similar to what I did with Kippers’ last year. It helps that local TOs like Dan and I work together and conspire with the same sources (othose who attend or events) to improve the local meta and GT experience. In previous years WetCoast had judged comp with scenarios simply a variation of what were in the rule book. This year scoring and comp changed in a big way.

Scoring & Comp

When hearing comments from those new to gaming in our circuit we heard comments of “This format seems to be unique to BC” which from what I hear of other circuits is true.

If you remember me talking about Kippers’ last year I told you how I did scoring with the scenarios from the rulebook ever so slightly adjusted so that, for example, breaking point in Blood and Glory did not mean the game was over, simply awarded extra victory points to the first person that breaks their opponent. We also made it so victory points were not the only way to win the tournament, adding in objectives and secret missions.

This year the scoring at Wet Coast was similar to Kippers’. Judged comp was completely eliminated, the scenarios continued to be a slight variation of those in the rule book and the use of Strategy Cards and Objectives occurred to create more balance in the army lists and encourage people to move away from Net lists and death stars and “encourages outside the box thinking…this system is outside the box enough to balance armies without judged comp.” (Dan Miner)

It worked. And considering Tomb Kings won Best Overall I would say we are certainly accomplishing something good for the meta.

My Weekend

I did settle on taking the Empire army and finished the weekend 1-1-3 as far as the battle victories went and finished with a whole 81 out of a possible 270 points. Not my finest let me assure you, but considering this was my very first time using Empire at 2500 points I am ok with that.

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Scenario #1: King of the Hill 

Deployment: Battle Line
Rules:
– To claim the hill a unit must be partially on the hill.
-Only one unit may claim the hill even if multiple units are on the hill.
-The hill is claimed by the unit that has the most wounds remaining (excluding characters)
Points Awarded:
+100VP points for the unit on the hill
+100VP point if the claiming unit has a banner (excludes BSB)
+100VP points per rank bonus of the claiming unit (maximum 300)
Special Rules: STEADY BOYS All unit on the hill have the ITP special rule

For this scenario I played against Brian B’s Coal Miner Dwarves. I chose the strategy card to get a unit with a banner in his deployment zone, he chose to try to kill my level 4 caster.

Despite Brian holding the hill at the end of the game, he was unfortunate to only kill my rocket battery and

the warrior priest while I killed over half his army. I held two objectives to his one and managed to both succeed with my strategy card and so him from succeeding with his. We had a great game, unfortunately I managed to get my demi gryffins in his flank early on and pushed my way down his flank before he could counter it. Brian was a great opponent and we had a good time making our models beat on each other.

Scenario #2 : Burning Banners

Deployment: Blood and Glory
Rules:-There is no breaking point for fortitude-A banner is considered destroyed if a unit containing a banner no longer has a banner by any means. This includes breaking from combat, destroyed by magic or shooting, also units that have fled off the table and have not returned by the games end have there banners counted as destroyed.
Points Awarded:
+100VP per banner destroyed
+300VP for a destroyed Battle Standard
Special Rules:
DEATH FRENZY Nominate an enemy unit, this unit gains the Frenzy special rule. The unit nominated can not be a character or warmachine. If the unit already has frenzy it gains no additional attack. 

For this scenario I played against Jordan with his Warriors of Chaos. Jordan had a single hell cannon, several chariots, two marauder horsemen units, two casters, a unit of warriors, a chimera and farming prince.
I chose the strategy card to kill his largest core unit which was one of the maurador horsemen units. He chose to go after my level 4 caster.

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Jordan’s chariots ripped through my units and he danced the horsemen around anything I sent after them. in the end he tabled me, though it took 6 turns to do it. My dice really did abandon me in that game. I couldn’t roll less than a 10 for leadership and when it came to armor saves, to hit, or to wound I rolled several handfulls of 1s.  I scored a big 0 for that one. It was a great game, Jordan was suitably drunk and we had lots of laughs over the terrible way I was rolling dice.

I did learn something new from Jordan. I failed to ensure I had an artillery dice with me (horrible considering how often I need one). Jordan suggested that I roll a D6 and multiply the result by 2, using 6s to signify the miscast. It worked brilliantly! I was surprised (and felt a little dumb) that I hadn’t heard of that or thought of that before.

Scenario #3: Fickle Winds 

Deployment: Dawn Attack
Rules:
-Characters are not rolled for random deployment and are instead deployed normally
Points Awarded:-All VP scored from wizards, or characters that can channel are doubled.
Special Rules: POWER DRAIN When channeling POWER dice a roll of a “1” causes you to lose a power dice.

This game I played against Nicholas J with his unique themed Orcs and Goblins. Nick did a sea theme. His Mangler squigs were sharks, his chariots were very large seahorses, his pump wagons were crabs and his orcs were lizardmen-like in appearance but were actually another sea creature. I can’t recall what company he said did the sculpts but they were very cool. I chose to try to kill his highest level wizard (and failed). I think he opted to try for my general. It was a very tight game and could easily have gone either way, but I’m the end it turned out to be a draw. I would love to see his army once it is painted, it has the potential of being a great display.

Scenario #4: Death and Honor

Deployment: Meeting Engagment
Rules:
-Characters are not rolled for reserves and are instead deployed normally
-Nominate a single unit to be your “Honor Guard” this unit is deployed with out rolling for reserves and gains the ITP special rule, this unit must contain a banner and may not be a character.
Points Awarded:-All VP scored from the “Honor Guard” are doubled
Special Rules: SHOCK AND AWE A unit that has been selected as the “Honor Guard” may once per game reroll it’s charge distance.

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I played game 4 against Big Pat’s Warriors. They were similar to Jordan’s with some differences and heavily converted. Big Pat ran one unit of warriors, two hound units, 2 chariots, juggers, 3 chimeras, and a Daemon prince. In this game I tried for killing the BSB. His was to kill my biggest core unit (my 50 man Halberd unit with two detachments). To say my dice abandoned me again with be an accurate description, though I did hold on until turn 6.

Bottom of turn five I admit I got really frustrated because some other players who were done their games wandered by and offered their unsolicited advice. I wanted to shout at them and finally did speak rather harshly to one (who apologized). I got stuck in a situation where I knew I was going to be multi charged and had to decide what to do. I wish I had taken pictures of it. There were 30 halberdiers left, facing on an angle with both my rocket battery and hell volley blaster nearby. His warrior block charged in my front arc, I held. His juggers charged in my flank and knowing his daemon prince would follow and possibly one chimera I seriously debated fleeing. Even a short flee would land me in a way I would bounce to behind the artillery but still be on the board. It was bottom of five, I had the potential to rally. I decided to hold instead. He did 22 wounds. I did one to the Daemon prince. I lost my BSB, failed my steadfast check, fled and got caught. Exactly what I had feared would happen. It cost me the game and two objectives. He got a perfect game.

Scenario #5   Land Claim

Deployment: Battle Line
Rules:-The board is divided into 6 2’x2′ sections of disputed new land
-A unit is only eligible to claim a section if it has a banner
-If a unit spans mulitple sections it can only lay claim to the section where it’s banner is (Whichever section the banner is in)
-No more than one unit may claim a section.
-If more than one unit lays claim to a section the unit with the most wounds wins the claim
Points Awarded:+100VP per section of land claimed
Special Rules: FOG OF WAR Any unit wishing to fire a weapon in the shooting phase on turn 1 must first roll a dice to see if it can find it’s target through the fog. On a roll of 4+ they see the target and may fire normally, otherwise the attack failed, and no other target may be selected.

Game 5 I played against Dan N with his Dwarves. I had to try to kill Dan’s General, who turned out to be the slayer special character I can’t recall the name of and was a lot harder to kill than I expected. Dan had to get a unit with a banner into my deployment zone. Not a feat I expected possible for Dwarves, but be hanged if he didn’t manage to get a perfect game against me.

We had a lot of fun playing game 5, didn’t take it very seriously at all. He game me the choice of whether his organ gun would shoot my demi gryphons or my knights, didn’t shoot my general off the gryphon  right off. I chased his two gyrocopters around the board all over the place, stupidly letting them kite me around. I lost my casters early on, making us even for magic phases, his warriors were tough as nails. And yes, in the end he completely wiped me out, got all three objectives AND succeeded with the strategy cards to get a perfect game.

What did I take away?

I miss my Bretonnians! I could not believe how much difference it made not having the Blessing of the Lady to roll the ward saves when I failed armor. My Men at Arms unit for my Brets usually had a Damsel with the Prayer Icon of Quenelles and the Crown of Command making them almost better than the Grail Reliquae. I could not believe how much of a difference that made.
Detachments are amazing! My Jamie said to me that parent units pass on all the good stuff and hang onto the bad and he was right. Steadfast, Hatred, Immune to Psychology…and my opponents don’t get points for them until they kill the parent unit…I think I’ll be looking to take more.


The guys from Dimensional Cascade are as awesome as they sound. Dimensional Cascade is another podcast from the Pacific Northwest region that I have recently started to listen to. They are also involved in organizing the Pacific Northwest as part of the US Masters circuit, for which Wet Coast was one of the events. They did live recording at the event and published an episode of their podcast within days of the event. I had great conversations with all of them and really enjoyed their armies and watching their games.

Any army can work. This style of tournament without judged comp or extensive comp systems/rules changes like ETC or Swedish comp but adding different elements to the game (battle points, tactical points and strategy points) allows for any army to be viable. You may not be able to accomplish everything in every game, every time but it has the flexibility to allow everyone to play the list they want no matter how fluffy and still have the chance to do what that list is good at and have a chance to see success in their games.

Tomb Kings for the Win

Cody Jensen of the Abusement Park gaming club here on Vancouver Island took a Tomb King army that he had been building and painting for our local Escalation League. Cody wound up with 201 out of 270 points, (click here to see the breakdown of the results for the tournament). 
So what did he take? 
Here is the breakdown of Cody’s 2500 point List

Khalida
Tomb Herald – BSB, Banner of Eternal Flame, Halberd, Shield
Liche Priest, Level 2, Dispel Scroll
Liche Priest, Level 1, Forbidden Rod
Liche Priest, Level 1, Power Scroll
50 Skeleton Archers, Musician, Standard
6 Skeleton Chariots, Standard, Banner of Swiftness
5 Skeletal Horse Archers
3 Necropolis Knights, Standard
Hero-Titan
Casket of Souls
2 Screaming Skull Catapults

Cody was one of five players going into day 2 at 3-0. Based on the Strategic and Tactical points he got matched up against the White Walker Ogres of Dale Johnson, host of Chumphammer for Game 4 and lost.  It was his only loss of the weekend.

In talking with Cody he said there was one crucial charge he had hoped to redirect that did not succeed and after that Dale was able to work his way through the army more readily than Cody wanted him to but in the end it was a good game.

The Next One

With Wet Coast wrapped up and Cody having won it with Tomb Kings we’re all looking forward to the next event. I think everyone here will think twice about calling Tomb Kings a weak army and I hope that more “under dogs” will start surfacing. Wet Coast makes the second event this year that an under dog has won a BC tournament (Bretonnians won Gottacon), would love to see the tradition continue.
I’d love to hear everyone’s thoughts on Cody’s list and encourage you all to keep an eye on events up here in the Pacific Northwest. If you can attend the events here you should, we do things a little different but I don’t think you’d regret coming out. In the end we have a lot of fun and everyone has a fair shot.
I’m going to leave off this time with the words of Anthony from Dimensional Cascade:

Do not let anyone tell you an army is not viable. Run what you want to run. 

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Jen A
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