TOMB KINGS RARE CHOICES REVIEW
NOTE: Just a bit of a disclaimer, I will be looking at all the choices within the army book and by no means do I know or realize every combo/tactic that can be achieved with this army. The following is a "highly" opinionated review and by no means should be considered complete or the "Right Way" to build/collect/play the faction in question. Mistakes will be made so do not take everything written as complete fact. Useful/helpful User input is highly encouraged. Enjoy!! :D
My Preferred Units: (64)
THE TOMB KING RARE CHOICE MODELS, ARE A RARITY.
Theres one aspect of the Tomb King Army Book, that seemed rather weird in my own opinion. While it's possible to find models for the Casket of Souls, Necrosphinx, and Screaming Skull Catapults. It's no longer possible to find a Necrolith Colossus(aka the old Bone Giant, can't imagine why they changed the name? :D haha ) or the newest entry the Hierotitan. My guess is that they are making new kits for them, probably a combo split kit. Until then we shall have to wait and see what future waves have in store. But what are my thoughts on the current rare choices in the TK book? For the most part I think that the rare section has been designed to complement your previous choices from the Special section so that you can make your list more dynamic and flexible. Lets take a deeper look into the ancient tome for a better understanding on what rare choices are viable within the TK book.
CASKET OF SOULS
Looking at the new Casket of Souls, it becomes rather clear in a hurry that it has a place in the Tomb Kings army. However I don't believe it's an auto-include, or as game changing as it used to. It can cast a innate bound (5) spell type ability called "Light of Death". Its range 48 and you roll 3 dice adding the result, while comparing the Ld of the opposing unit. Subtracting the difference into wounds against the unit. The most significant part of this is that it can jump to other enemy units within 6 on a 3+. The Casket also adds D3 common power dice to the magic dice pool. Heres the underlying problem when using the casket during a game. Every turn you roll a D3 and recieve the power dice, if you decide to cast the bound spell then you aren't adding the dice towards more important TK spells(Like Smiting, or the movement spell) therefore risking potentially low dice rolls. The other choice is to have the D3 added towards the important magic spells, but in that case you are wasting the bound spell and spending 135pts for D3 dice, which could only be one extra dice a turn. The Bound spell is good, but will be limited against high Ld armies or giant units. Where I see this unit's potential going as an effective warmachine/support sniper. So if you have not taken any warmachine/support killing units, then the casket is an awesome alternative and thats it's main role now.
-Deploy on a flank, so that it can cover most of the board and prevent smaller units from supporting the main opposing line
-The casket is a warmachine and is able to move now. It can explode if it dies, so keep this in mind when deciding where to deploy it
-Go after opposing cannons, stone throwers, and bolt throwers because they will kill your big beasts
-Next to the Screaming Skull Catapult this models is one of the only long range weapons in the TK army.
Ah yes the good old Bone Giant, hum that seems akward? So for very obvious reasons this model has had a name change. For the most part the model has roughly the same stats as before, but has a new weapon option in the form of the Giant Bow. Now it seems like an interesting new addition for the model, since the current model doesn't support it suggesting that like the Ushabti this model is being redone. Unlike the Ushabti though, it seems like a waste on this model for 20pts extra. Personally I would take the great weapon, because this model is already attacking at Int 1, so nothing has really been lost. Finally the Unstoppable Assault rule makes a return, allowing this beast to tear through units. Basically on the turn that this model charges each wound it inflicts grants an additional attack, note those additional attacks also benefit from this rule as well. Mind you Thunderstomp is not included in this. Key words here would be the turn it charges, so basically if you charge it, then good bye additional attacks. I can really see this monster going against multi-wound, high toughness models. With Strength 8(great weapon), this model could really beat up monstrous infantry. It provides an interesting alternative to the War Sphinx, but I don't believe it replaces it. The War Sphinx is built for killing scores of standard infantry, while the Necrolith Colossus targets high toughness units. I feel sorry for the guy that gets both units in the flank.
-Great for clearing out speed bump units, allowing a clear path for the rest of the army
-This monster is good, but alot more vulnerable having only Toughness 6
-Needs to get the charge off, so make sure to set up ideal counter charge situations with fast cav or other re-directors
-Deploy towards the center so that it can reach combat as soon as possible
Make sure to check out @sedge55for other Tomb King Models
Nothing like having that new model smell, except when no model exists yet, oh well. The Hierotitan is a very interesting model because it is very clearly a "support" monster. It will be taken for it's built in support abilities like Spiritual Conduit, which allows you to add a D3 modifier to any magic dice roll, your wizards attempt while within 12. I really like the Hierotitan, he allows you to have a more commanding magic phase, but also provides two built in bound spells which are the signatures from the lores of light and death. I like Spirit Leech, which allows the titan to potentially kill an opposing character in the magic phase, while smacking the unit around in the combat phase. Compared to the other monsters in this book the titan is a bit of a light weight, but it's abilities more then make up for that.
-This monster will want to escort the main lvl 4 wizard of the army, so that you are more likely to get those key spells off
-As a result he will be guarding this unit the entire game
-Towards the late game, this monster comes into it's own once all your other beasts have bit the dust.
SCREAMING SKULLS CATAPLUT (64)
Not much has changed here actually. It is basically a 90pts stonethrower with the option for an upgrade that makes the opposing unit suffer a panic test at -1 Ld. The Cataplut already causes panic and is flaming, so it will be very useful for several obvious reasons....cough Hellpit Abomination.....Cough. Still very useful and next to the Casket it's the only other longer ranged weapon.
-SHOOT at units
-SHOOT at big monsters
A strange beast for sure, it can fly but since it can't march it can only hop 10 inchs a turn. There is Heroic(?)Killing Blow on one of its attacks and box standard Killing Blow on the rest. However the key problem I see though with this monster is not with the before mentioned downsides. It's actually because of the Str 5 attacks it has. Back in my War Sphinx review, I mentioned that a chariot was able to hold back the Sphinx because we just couldn't do enough damage. The Killing Blow does make a difference some of the time, but considering how rare it is you really can not rely on it. Also since only one attack has HKB good luck getting it on that key turn. It has been suggested that this monster can kill high armour targets, but again it's strength value holds it back. This monster is otherwise identical in stats to it's counterpart, so it can perform similar road block roles. I don't see this monster killing units on its own. It also has the option for poisoned attacks, which I would take this time because it would make more of it's attacks deal damage against targets. Sure if you get a poisoned attack then KB doesn't work, but not all attacks will be poisoned so it's worth mentioning.
-Place on the flank so that this monster can go after the weak part of the battleline
-A great unit for setting up counter charges, because it can hold units in combat early on, allowing the army to line up and counter charge
-A must have unit if you decide to go the monster mash army
-Heroic Killing Blow
ROUNDING OUT THE RARE
Going back to what I said earlier, the rare should complement your selections in the Special section.Therefore alot of the time it will be based off what you have for points left. If magic is your main focus then a Hierotitan is a must include, making your magic phase alot more potent. The Casket of Souls is also very useful in this regard, if you have decided to have a strong magic phase. The Cataplut is just that a Cataplut, take one...probably 2 and you won't regret it(unless 9th edition nerfs them lol). Lastly the Sphinx and Colossus are great for just generally killing stuff, I tend to lean more towards the Colossus because of it's general usefulness. The Necrosphinx is still useful, but only in certain builds like the monster mash build..more on that later. Time to see what the Characters have to offer....
Till Next Time