Friday, July 15, 2011

Tomb Kings, The future of Metal and Iron Wolf/Black Ivan

Tomb Kings Predictions and Analysis
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Tomb Kings are an army that holds alot of memories for me, painful ones ;). When I first started playing warhammer fantasy, back towards the end of 6th edition Tomb Kings were a fairly powerful army and in the right player's hand could unleash upon their foes untold number of defeats. I was playing my empire during this time and anyone who's played pre-8th will know just how powerful a unbreakable fear causing army can be, especially one that can surge across the table into your lines by turn 2. In a way I have to thank the Tomb Kings, because they made me a better general and allowed me to be more competitive. As a result I know alot about the Tomb Kings, even though I never collected the army.

While originally there have been several types of army builds for Tomb Kings, eventually 3 main armies begain to surface from the sands. First was the Chariot army lead mostly by a Tomb King and several Tomb Princes(Don't forget the mandy Hierophant priest). This army would rely on the shear amounts of chariots that it could bring to bear on the enemy. Combined with the extremely reliable TK magic this army could get into any position and almost always charge(which was way more important back then). Shooting armys aslo hated this, since other monsters like carrion and tomb scorpions, would just destroy traditional gunlines. However while this particular build was very powerful, it lacked staying power and while it could pack a punch. It was crucial for the TK player to break their opponent in 2 turns, otherwise they would usually be grinded down by smart opponents. 

The next key build was the High Liche Priest army with large blocks of skeleton archers (around 20ish), tomb guard(with prince), that had other key elements like skull catapults and the CASKET OF SOULSS! http://www.youtube.com/user/VaulSC?blend=1&ob=5#p/u/320/9IDNC0ObtAk (2mins 51sec, jk Vaulsc is great and if you really want an idea of what a pro TK player is like, check out some of his earlier vids). This army was fairly solid and with the current book it might still be a viable build against certain armies, another variation on this army is using the Tomb Queen special character making your archers have poisoned attacks :).

Finally there is the combined arms army which is the mid ground between the other 2 lists. Taking a Tomb king on foot in a massive tomb guard unit, followed by lots of archers and several small units of chariots for counter charging, and some other key tricks like the carrion 40 inch fly(remember when that was annoying), and tomb scorpions. A solid build for sure, with as many variations as there are types of monopoly games. 
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But wait, why don't we see the Tomb Kings as much anymore? There are several key factors like how old this book is and the sheer amount of rewording that the current book needs. Next the arrival of the Vampire counts was an omen of doom for Tomb Kings; since they could also command a truly powerful magic phase, this limited the TKs and to make matter more annoying they didn't run away, making a chariot army difficult to be competitive with against them. Now this wouldn't have been such an issue with the Tomb Kings, but as fate would have it every tournament would be full with vampire counts and they would have to face off against them on a daily basis. This only got more compounded with the arrival of Daemons of Chaos and the other big releases (Dark Elves, High Elves, WoC, Skaven, Lizardmen in no particular order). All of these armies could command a powerful magic phase which limited the TK's influence; since they require a great magic phase to succeed the Tk players were hit on hard times. Its hard when the only way to effectively move your army is limited and as a result they would move half the amount of speed and couldn't engage into the every key combat.
 
With the arrival of 8th edition, the Tomb Kings soon hit the shelves of many gamers, because with the changes to fear and terror, the last bastion of KAPOW!! left in the army. Which allowed them to break units far more easily in the past was forever changed. Also combined with the new steadfast rules and the initial shift towards infantry, the Tomb Kings very much like the wood elves needed to be re-evaluated. I'm not saying that those armies are unplayable, heck I think every faction has the chance to win at a tournament, its just that current Tomb Kings players need to approach the game differently then before and adjust to the new game landscape, very much in the same way as several other 6th edition books.

 
ON SECOND THOUGHT.......
Wow, the sudden release of the Tomb Kings in 2 weeks time is truly exciting! Our store should have the preview models and copies in shortly, once the book gets over the border of course (apparently customs thinks this book is truly dangerous, so its been held up......      :(    )
Predictions, well from what I can gather its safe to guess that the Tomb Kings will have their own unique lore like before, but will have the option to take other lores(Life and death apparently?) They will have a spell attribute that allows them to raise another soldier as well. Hard to say what else with regards to the magic phase will be different. Obviously there are 3 new plastic kits that are being released, The sphinx, tomb guard, and the Necropolis knights/sepulchral stalkers kits. These new monsters and monster cav, will add a much needed punch to the TK, allowing them to go toe-toe with other factions larger units and monsters. Tomb guard in plastic is fantastic and I'm sure you will be able to take them at a reduced cost. The knights/stalkers are going to be an interesting option, because combined with chariots they can quickly engage support elements and hopefully do massive damage to infantry with their "Turn them all into dust" ability :). I should be able to see the new book a little bit before the release and I quite excited to see what changes will have been made.

ALL THE NEW TOMB KINGS MODELS ARE UP ON ADVANCED ORDERS ON THE MAIN GW SITE, MAKE SURE TO TAKE A LOOK IF YOU HAVEN'T ALREADY http://www.games-workshop.com/gws/catalog/armySubUnitCats.jsp?catId=cat440004a&rootCatGameStyle=wh


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OUT WITH METAL,,, in with the plastic.

By the time I'm writing this blog post, it will be known worldwide that GW has stopped supplying metal models and but it hasn't been officially been made public by them. However, there are several important signs that suggest that this has started to happen. Talking with my local games store owner, he mentioned that several Tomb Kings blisters that had been put on the original order form, have been withdrawn by Games workshop. They also have been systematically been removing metal products from current order forms and across multiple games systems. Now this comes as no surprise, because GW has been slowly getting away from metal and using a great deal more plastic kits and molds. However this sudden shift to systematically remove any metal products from all of their games systems, has me alittle worried. In the long run I feel that this is by far the best move GW can make as a company moving forward, but its really in the short term that really hurts games and collectors alike. How long will it take for them to completely replace current kits from ranges like warhammer 40k and lord of the rings? If they even decide to replace them. Games like fantasy seem to be in better shape, but every army still have some metal characters and in certain cases whole units that are only avaiable in metal (Dwarves, Tomb Kings anyone?) Sure the TK are getting some new kits but what about all the old rare and special choices?  There are quite a few. Its difficult to say how fast this change will take place or if certain army ranges will be redone systematically over time or get left with half a mini range. We shall see.



SPEAKING OF METAL

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With the arrival of Wrath, Privateer press has showcased the newest Khador warcaster the Iron Wolf  and his trusty character warjack Black Ivan. 


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Now this came out of pretty much nowhere, but again PP shocked the masses again by stating that the new character warjacks will be upgrade kits to the current plastic warjack chasis. Seeing that the last batch of character warjacks have been based off from similar heavies (Ex: Scourge, is a converted Vanquisher) then it can be implyed that each new character warjack will be based off a similar warjack from the basic plastic heavy kits. However its too early to tell. Heres hoping that the protectorate of menoth warjack is a converted templar!!



Anyways that all I got for this week  and

Till Next Time

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Adam Tremblay

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