1. This site uses cookies. By continuing to use this site, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. Learn More.
  2. Please welcome Irisado and Borgnine to the Moderation team! They have proved themselves invaluable for the past few years and now they may make their efforts to make this forum a great place direct!
  3. The General's handbook has been updated, what fun awaits the undying hordes?

Army-Specific Tactics - Tomb Kings

Discussion in 'Army Specific Tactics' started by MasterSpark, Apr 2, 2010.

  1. MasterSpark

    MasterSpark Nostalgian Staff Member True Blood

    Nov 26, 2008

    This thread is for archiving the various tips, builds and strategies that can be of use when fighting the Tomb Kings. This first post will periodically be updated to include the input that has been given in the thread. The categorization is the same as with the earlier threads,

    Effective Tactics / Units to Use

    Tactics / Units Not Recommended to Use

    Enemy Items / Units / Tactics to Watch Out For

    :siren:Note that this is not the place for in-depth discussion in regards to the advice that is shared. If you wish to debate on any specific topic, you're free to start up an independent thread in the main section of The Teachings of Abhorash instead.:siren:

    Thank you. :)
  2. Seneschal

    Seneschal Liche True Blood

    May 15, 2008
    --Toughness 8 Sphinxes got you down? Charge a solo spirit host at one and hold it up the entire game. Enemy spells can still hurt you of course, as can a support unit (making you crumble with a flank charge and banner for example).
    Usage of ghoul units is also recommended against sphinxes as they have a 5+ armor save and that's it (they DO have a spell that gives units a 5+ ward and a necrotect character within 12" gives all constructs a 6+ regen save so just be wary of that). Enough poison attacks will bring the T8 sphinx down to the ground.
    Something I suggested to a beastmen friend of mine was the use of the Relic Sword. It allows you to always wound on 5's and it's the same cost as a single ghoul so it's pretty cheap.

    --Necropolis Knights giving you problems? Bring units with Str 5 or greater (hello, grave guard) and chop through their 3+ armor saves. The NK's have killing blow on the riders and poison attacks from the serpents as well as initiative 3. The mounts are Str 5 while the riders have spears so they only have Str 5 on the charge. Be wary of fighting them with heroes as the KB swings could spell trouble for your characters.

    --Run rings around the army. Remember, Tomb Kings cannot march, ever. Nope, not when the general is around, no not when their uber special character is on the field and no, not on nights of the full moon either. They can NEVER march, use that to your advantage. If the opponent brings a unit of tomb guard, don't engage it. They have movement 4 (5 if they actually use banner of swiftness) and have been known to lose races with slugs. Ignore them and tear apart the rest of the army. Be cunning, pick your spots when facing this army. Their chariots go 8, knights go 7, warsphinxes go 6. Carrion and Necrosphinxes can fly but they can only move 10" at a time.
    Adding to the above, stop their movement spells. TK lore's default spell Desert Wind and Lore of Light's Timewarp increase their maneuverability. Stop these spells from being cast to make your job of picking your fights easier.

    --Don't worry about fighting their characters. Vampires are far better in combat than any Tomb King (except for Settra and Khalida but I can't recall their stats/combat abilities) so don't be afraid of fighting them. Yes, it's better to kill rank and file with our QB/RF combo of doom so I'm just saying this so you don't sweat them.

    --Kill the heirophant. Every TK army has one and your opponent is required to name them at the game's start. The heiro is the highest level caster in the army and MUST use lore of nehekhara (unless they are using Arkhan The Black, he's a special character Death wizard who gets around that rule). Killing the Heiro has the same effect as killing the vampire general, albeit more dramtic since we can have a backup caster who "takes control" of the army and they cannot. Leadership in the TK army is better than in past editions with 5 being the minimum for skellies and 8 being the score on the constructs.

    --Things to look out for;
    --Casket of Souls. Kill this thing quickly. Yes it blows up when it dies but it absolutely crushes the vampire army in the magic phase. It's bound spell picks any unengaged unit within 48" and makes them take a leadership test on 3d6 and then the target takes the difference in wounds (as long as the roll exceeds their Ld score) with no armor save at all (they are also magical, flaming attacks, too). Example; Johnny's unit with Ld 5 is targeted by Rothgar's casket. The 3 dice are rolled and the results are 1, 3, 6. The numbers are added together making the result a 10. Thus, the target takes 5 magical, flaming wounds with no armor saves. THEN after that happens, Rothgar rolls one die. If he gets a 3 or higher, the "Light of Death" as the spell is called bounces onto another unengaged unit within 6" and so and so forth. Nasty, eh? Make this thing your priority when choosing targets for vargheists, TG's and even fell bats.

    --Screaming Skull Catapults. Basic stone thrower. Str 9 under the hole. It's also flaming and magical so nothing in our list is safe from it. Mortis Engines are in trouble if this thing is on the table (and you usually see 2 of them!) I think fell bats are better at handling the crew of these than the casket.

    --Necrosphinx. I'm actually going to start bringing 2 of these myself in my TK lists. They fly, have thunderstomp and 5 attacks. WS 4, Str 5, killing blow on all of them. The FIFTH attack, however, is strength 10 with heroic killing blow so watch out! Other than that, they aren't really impressive. Yes, they are T8 but they have only have 5 wounds and a 5+ armor save. Be very careful when fielding a dragon or abyssal terror and one or two of these are on the field.

    --Spell of Cursed Blades. This spell gives a unit killing blow. If they already have killing blow, the ability goes off on 5's! Imagine fighting tomb guard with this buff on them! How about a pair of necrosphinxes or 5+ knights?

    --Massed archer fire/smiting spell. TK archers always hit on 5's regardless of modifiers. You can mess with this by using Miasma, lowering their BS so they need 6's. A lot (though not all, it depends on your area and the tourney format) of TK generals bring archers en masse and try to get the smiting spell off (gives a unit either 1 more attack or 1 more shot until the next friendly magic phase). The buffed version of this spell affects units within a bubble. You don't want two units of 30 archers attacking you with the smiting buff on them...ouch!

    That's all I have for now, I gotta run. I'll add more later
  3. Johnny-Crass

    Johnny-Crass Moderator Staff Member True Blood

    Jan 25, 2012
    Two quick things.
    1. You do not drop the lowest dice. Casket is a LD test on 3D6 period. Not fun stuff.
    2. Out of all the new books Tomb Kings have the best special character. Hell I would put Khalida up with the best special chars in the game. Only spell that can save you from her is curse of the midnight wind.
  4. Drakhaol Von Carstein

    Drakhaol Von Carstein Ghoul

    May 22, 2012
    Thanks Sen for this updated. Very thorough and comprehensive. That being said I wish I had read it yesterday BEFORE I played against my buddies TK for the first time...... It wasn't pretty....

    Looking forward to what you guys bring for the other armies!
  5. Seneschal

    Seneschal Liche True Blood

    May 15, 2008
    Ya know with all the Empire/LZ/Screaming Banner jazz etc out there I got confused when I posted that. Thanks for spotting it, Johnny, I'll edit the post.
    I'll do a thorough review on Khalida next time. In combat she's good but a VL can take her down as she's a fragile target.

    Glad we could help, Drakhaol, we still have plenty more to do...
  6. rothgar13

    rothgar13 Vampire Count True Blood

    Jan 26, 2012
    Good stuff here. Gets me motivated to write up some of my own.
  7. Seneschal

    Seneschal Liche True Blood

    May 15, 2008
    Rothgar, you honor me. I'm sure your Beastmen write up will be quite informative. I'll be doing Wood Elves next since I've been facing them recently.
  8. Chaos_Born

    Chaos_Born Master Necromancer True Blood

    Jan 17, 2012
    :siren:Out of Date Posts Deleted:siren:
  9. Count Vashra

    Count Vashra Lord of Shadows True Blood

    Sep 29, 2013

    Tomb Kings cannot March. Outmanoeuvre them.

    Only two characters in the book have a chance of standing up to a Vampire Lord (even a strong Vampire), and even then they need a bit of luck. Challenge them, kill them and overkill for crumble.

    Army Special Rules

    Nehekharan Undead: Same as Vampire Counts Undead.

    Battle Standard: Same as Vampire Counts Battle Standard. If present, eliminate to speed crumble.

    Arrows of Asaph: Tomb Kings never modify their BS when firng. Only effects that directly change BS affect Tomb Kings missile units. This means you can't hide behind cover or anything, and closing is even more import, because range won't save you.

    Animated Constructs: A special rule for the giant animated statues the Tomb Kings use. They have a 5+ Armour Save and -1 crumble, but can only regain 1 Wound per phase. Use this to damage them at your leisure, knowing you are in no hurry because of slow Wounds restoration.

    Heirophant: One Liche Priest (Wizard) in the army must be the Heirophant. He must use the Lore of Nehekhara, and grntas his unit Regeneration (6+). If he dies, it's like our General dying, but Tomb Kings don't have the ability to use back up Heirophants.

    Entombed Beneath the Sands: A unit with this special rule in reserve can place a counter anywhere on the battlefield, further than 1 inch from Impassable terrain or models, and then rolls the Scatter dice. If they land in terrain, off the board, or on models, they roll a D6 to see if they are a)destroyed b)placed by opponent or c)placed back in reserve. However, they cannot charge in the turn they arrive. You should be able to divert a unit to deal with a EBtS unit, because the units that can do it aren't a threat if you act quickly. There is a magic banner that grants this rule to a unit worth up to a certain points level, 175 I think.


    I'll start with special characters, as they are often present whenever points allow. They are almost compulsory for Tomb Kings to be competitive. Remove them and you have a much better chance of winning.

    Special Characters
    Settra the Imperishable: The most powerful (and expensive) character in the book. He is a Level 1 Wizard with Nehekhara, but this is so they can reflect his fluff and have no Liche Priests and still have a Heirophant, or if he's used up too many points for a Liche Priest, as he is a special version of a Tomb King (combat Lord).If he is used as Heirophant, this means you can eliminate the Heirophant and general in the same turn, making it easier to destroy the army. He, like all Tomb Kings/Princes, has a rule called My Will be Done, which grnats his unit (not mounts) his impressive Weapon Skill 7. His version, The Will of Settra, affects all units within 6 inches, so you have to destroy him otherwise you'll be facing Weapon Skill 7 Core and Special. His Crown of Nehekhara gives him 18 inch Inspiring Presence.
    He and his chariot, which he must use, have a 4+ Ward Save, and his Chariot of the Gods does D6+1 S5 Impact Hits. His Spear of Ptra weakens opponents by giving them -1 To Hit each time he causes an unsaved WOund on a character or Monster in close combat, and gives him Always Strikes First and Flaming Attacks that allow no Armour Saves, making him extremely deadly in combat. The Curse of Settra will mean that the model that kills him will take quite a lot of hits after killing him. However, a lack of Magical Attacks means that a Cairn Wraith or Tomb Banshee can tie him up (in a challenge, of course). Terrogheist however is easier. He will be in a Chariot army so watch out for the other units.

    Queen Khalida: Special Tomb King (Queen). Always Strikes First, staff containing a Bound spell that causes damage, and increases her unit's BS to 3. meaing Arrows of Asaph is now Always Hits on 4+. Also Hates Vampire Counts. se Ethereal character, Vampire Lord or drown in bodies. Her archer unit also has Poison, so be careful with your monsters. Death snipe.

    Prince Apophas: Special Tomb Prince, but operates more like an Assassin. Sent back to the land of the (un)living to reap souls for the Nehekharan God of the Dead, he picks a target character at the beginning of the game and re-rolls failed rolls to Hit and to WOund against that target. He flies, has Regeneration (4+), a Breath Weapon and explodes on death. However, he can't join units, so just send Hexwraiths or a Spirit Host after him. He has Entombed Beneath the Sands as well, but as usual this has the problem of no charging on the turn he arrives.

    Ramhotep the Visionary: Special Necrotect. Bonuses to Animated Constructs and Frenzy and Hatred to unit, but not that impressive. He also grants the ability to re-roll failed Armour Saves to a random Animated construct unit. Bait him with Wolves and outflank with Grave Guard.

    Grand Heirophant Khatep: Special Liche Priest. Loremaster Nehekhara and can re-roll any casting result, including Miscast. Either you'll be able to Disepl him or he'll kill himself, which the Tomb Kings can't afford. Focus your Disepl dice on his spells. Death snipe him. Also has a special Dispel Scroll that can harm the caster of the spell that it dispelled, but it's on a 6, so I would just leave it out of your calculations.

    Arkhan the Black: Special Liche Priest. Death Wizard, and is not forced to change his Lore of he becomes Heirophant. Level 4, but one of the Books of Nagash gives him Level 5, meaning he has 5 spells and can only lose Wizard Levels by losing his book. This means the player might be braver in 6-dicing spells, as 'lose Wizard Level' miscast results won't apply to him as much. Each unsaved WOund he causes in close combat restores a Wound to his unit, so make sure he's only fighting what you've sent to destroy him, as chaff will just rejuvenate his unit. He can take a flying chariot. Stop him, as he can be the Heirophant and restores his unit. Ride through with Hexwraiths, or Scream.

    Tomb Kings: These are the generic Lord characters, with an almost identical Hero version called Tomb Princes, different only because of -1 Weapon Skill and -1 Strength on The Curse (causes damage to the model/unit that killed it). They are Flammable as well, so Hexwraiths will laugh.
    They have a rule called My Will be Done, which grants their Weapon Skill to a unit they are in (not mounts). This means that one or two Tomb King units will have WS 5/6, without magic. However, apart from 1 more Wound, they have an otherwise worse profile than an equivalent Vampire/Lord.
    In addition, a Tomb King (or special version) will often be the General, so killing him will mean that if you manage to kill the Heirophant (see below) the effect will be slightly more serious.

    Liche Priests: Lord High Liche Priests, Hero Liche Priest. Generic casters. Light, Death, or Nehekhara. One must be Hierophant. Grants Regeneration (6+) to unit. However, must take Lore of Nehekhara (weakest of the Lore choices they have, but other non-character Liche Priests can take Light or Death) and if dies army crumbles. Like us, but no back up caster abilityRegular models have LD5 and Animated Constructs have LD 8, so crumble won't be an instant win button, but can be devastating if the dice smile on you. It is a good idea to try to kill the Heirophant, removing a Wizard (who might be the only Nehekhara Wizard in the army, shutting down the healing) and making it so that some Tomb Kings die every turn, making it slightly easier to win. In addition, if you can get a character to crumble (unlikely) then you've killed 200+ points for 'free'. However, expect the Heirophant to be well defended. It is a good idea to go after any Liche Priest with the Lore of Nehekhara, in fact, because the Nehekhara Lore Attribute restores D3+1 Wounds to a Nehekharan Undead unit that has been successfully targeted by a Lore of Nehekhara Augment. Also it slows their army, if the Nehekhara Wizards have opted for signature spell (bubble, targets move 8 inches. Basically Vanhel's without combat bonus option).

    Necrotects: Give Hatred to unit and Regeneration(6+) to Animated Constructs (Sphinxes and statues) within 12 inches. Kill to weaken animated construct units, and removed combat ability from units.


    Skeleton Warriors: Exactly the same as ours, but will be taken more often as no Zombies. Zombies chaff these well, as same role but cheaper.

    Skeleton Archers: Bows. Arrows of Asaph means they never modify their BS due to cover, etc, to balance BS 2 to some extent. All bow units have this. Because no modifiers affect their shooting, cover and distance are useless against them (except 48 inch Gaze). Close as quickly as possible.

    Chariots: Chariots, riders are hit on one die score lower than normal. Can be joined by chariot-riding Tomb Kings and Tomb Princes for My Will be Done. Have bows and spears, with two riders (character replaces one). Can be fielded in units. Destroy with Hexwraiths.

    Tomb Guard: Like Grave Guard, but can take Halberds. Chaff up.

    Animated Constructs. Expensive. Great Weapons or S6 bows. Chaff up.

    Tomb Swarms: Poisoned Swarms with Entombed Beneath the Sands. Never considered them, so can't really comment.

    Carrion: Similar to Ogres in Strength and Toughness but Fly, and Movement 2 when grounded. Clear with Gaze of Nagash or your own bats (either type).

    Sepulchral Stalkers: Monstrous Beasts with a shooting attack that causes Wounds=Artillery dice result, Misfire D3 Wounds to unit. 1 die per model, S1 vs I, magical, no Armour Saves.

    Necropolis Knights: Animated Construct Cavalry 3+ Armour, riders have Killing Blow and spears. Mounts have Poison. May be upgraded to have EBtS, and can be combined with Necrotects for extra abilities. Expensive for few attacks. Send Zombies/Skeletons.
    Khemrian Warsphinx: Monstrous Animated Construct without Fly, but still can have Poison and Flaming breath weapon. Crew are 4 Tomb Guard with Spears and Killing Blow, or a Tomb King/Prince However, because My Will be Done does not grant Weapon Skill to mounts, this option wastes the King/Prince's main ability, and is therefore unlikely to be used. If used, however, use a Spirit Host to tie it up.


    : Flying Animated Construct with one s10 Killing Blow attack, and optionally posion. Spirit Host will do the job nicely.

    Casket of Souls: Is a Warmachine (T10) with a Bound Spell that forces a Leadership Test on 3D6- Leadership to cause Wounds. 48 inch range, so keep Terrogheist/Mortis Engine/characters away. On 3+ it affects another unit. It keeps rrolling until no more targets not already affected within 6 inches. Only massive Wizard-containing units (Wizards to heal) will destroy it. Protected by 2 Tomb Guard with great weapons. If it is destroyed by an external force, it explodes. Miscast or keep dying do not trigger explosion, just removal from play. However, T10 so excessive force will be needed. Focus Dispelling on it, Also, as long as there is at least one still operating, grants +D3 Power dice. This means that eliminating it will also weaken the Tomb Kings magic phase. Try Curse of Years.

    Screaming Skull Catapult: Stone Thrower with magic flaming sones. Causes Panic Test if unsaved Wounds are caused. Skulls of the Foe gives -1 Leadrship. Warmachine, so use Dire Wolves, hexwraiths, Bat Swarms, etc.

    [Tomb Scorpion: Monstrous Beast with Posion, killing Blow, Entombed, and Magic Resisistance (1). Spirit Host.

    Hierotitan: Grants +2 casting bonus to Wizards using within 12 inches (not cumulative) and has Light and Death Signature as Bound Spells. Monster Animated Construct. Eliminate to weaken Magic Phase.

    Bone Giant: Combat Animated Monster. Red Fury on first turn of combat (but continues until no more unsaved Wounds are caused, and can have either Great Weapon or S6 bow, but not enough shots for it to be worth it. Any high strength unit can deal with it.

    When facing Tomb Kings, use cavalry, marching and chaff. Focus on characters, and take advantage of no marching. Heirophant must be declared, so you'll know where to look when you want to start collapsing his army Also you'll have somewhere to throw any Flaming attacks you have. Hopefully this is informative enough.

    This is from memory. I can't remember the Heirotitan or that other giant monster, and anything else I missed or did wrong, I'll be happy to change.


    The Lore of Nehekhara: This is the Tomb Kings unique Lore. The Heirophant must have it. Lore Attribute The Restless Dead grants D3+1 Wounds to Augmented Nehekharan Undead. Animated Constructs only get 1 Wound per phase.

    The signature spell grants an immediate normal move to the targets, and while it cannot move units more than once, it can be cast more than once to get The Restless Dead. because of this, concentrate on Wizards who switch to this spell, as they will be trying to keep the army moving quickly.

    The other spells have effects such as Extra Attack/Multiple Shots (2X), Killing Blow, or KB on 5+ if already, vortex spell, and hexes.
  10. Mioum

    Mioum Crypt Horror

    Jul 3, 2010
    Hey guys, just wanted to correct a few things I read here to make sure everyone get the rules right. Here's the error that I noticed while reading;

    Casket attack are not flaming.

    It is indeed 1 wound per phase maximum for the constructs.

    Just to correct the mechanic of EBtS, you place a marker on the table, within 1 inch of units and not on impassable terrain, then roll the artillery and scatter dice. If the marker scatter under a unit or impassable terrain, the marker is moved to the closest edge of what it's under. If the artillery dice is a misfire then you roll on the mishap table, wich can a)destroy the unit, b)make the unit not emerge and try again next turn, and c)make them enter from a random board edged instead.

    His weapon grant him ASF, flaming attacks and allow no armour saves. Plus when wounding a character or monster, it suffer -1 to hit, much more nasty than -1WS!

    This character has EBtS, and when he appear on the battlefield he then nominate his target (must be an enemy character), and he re-roll to-hit and to-wound against it. His regen is also a normal 4+ regen.

    One of the other advantage of him is that one random unit with the Animated Construct rule will be re-rolling armour save. This mean that when he's around, you'll always see a single (or rarely two) unit of Necro Knights as the sole Construct unit in the army. That will grant them a 3+ re-rollable save wich is quite good.

    Arkhan is not forced to be the Hierophant, but he can, despite him using lore of death instead of the lore of Nehekhara. His book doesn't give him an extra level, but make him level 5. That mean that even when he loose levels (from a miscast for example), he still is a level 5 when casting/dispelling thanks to the book.

    Just to note that the WS of a Prince is 5, and a King 6, not 6 and 7. And I don't know why you call the Leadership "unusually low", as they have L9 and 10 respectively. Regarding the item you talk about, I'd like to know what it is because nothing like that exist!

    They don't have magical attacks, and they can have halberd, not flail.

    They are closer to Ogres than Fell Bat :) They have S4 and T4, and 3 attacks each, so they are better fighter than Fell Bats. They can surprise people sometime.

    They are a Monstrous Beast unit that use the Entombed rule. They don't have bound spell, but regular shooting attacks that fire a number of shots equal to an artillery dice (1 dice per model, so usually 3 dices). Those shots hit automatically, are S1 versus the Ini instead of T, and are magical and allow no armour saves. A misfire cause D3 wounds to the unit.

    This one is a rare choice!

    The two Casket Guard have great weapon, no magical attacks. It won't explode if it miscast of if the Keeper die, only when removed from the table (aka, when it totally die). Only the Keeper can make use of the bound spell though, so if he's dead, they can't cast the Light of Death bound spell. Also, it grant +D3 power dices, but not dispel dices.

    This is the special choice! Also the base price is cheaper than a Terrorgheist, so it's not even close of being 300+ pts :)

    This is also a special choice! It's also a Monstrous Beast, not a monster. It is indeed a Construct, with poison attacks, killing blow, and magic resistance (1).

    It grant +D3 to the casting result for any wizards withing 12 inches, so it work on lore of death and lore of light as well.

    Just to note that Unstoppable Assault work only on the charge, and contrary to Red Fury, the Giant can keep killing models as long as he score unsaved wounds, so with some insane luck they can kill and kill and kill!

    The signature spells grant all units in the range a normal move, so infantry will move 4 inches, cavalry and chariots will move 8 inches, etc.
  11. Count Vashra

    Count Vashra Lord of Shadows True Blood

    Sep 29, 2013
    :slapface::slapface::slapface: I was doing all this from memory, so I must have gotten some things messed up. Editing time!

Share This Page