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A Stroll(Az) In The Sand

tomb kings 2500 strollaz

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#1 Stymie Jackson

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 06:31 PM

This is a tale of the ill-fated Dwarf King, Thorgit the Arrogant, who ruled over a series of holds in the Border Princes over 300 years ago. Famous, even amongst Dawi, for his ill-temper, stubborness and pride, he led a series of invasions against neighboring Tomb King and Araby dominions. This is the story of one of those battles...


"My Lord! The undead advance to meet us!" Thorgit whirled around, spilling foamy beer all over the sand-encrusted ranger that appeared behind him. The suds carved runnels through the dirt and grime on the doughty rangers face but the dwarf didn't even so much as grimace at the liquid assault.


"Valaya's teats! Don't sneak up on me like that!" roared the King, trying to hide his surprise behind anger. "Now quit tip-toeing about like some Elg prostitute at Fleet Week in Barak Varr and give me your report!"


Used to this sort of abuse from the young Lordling the ranger stuck a stubby finger into his ear and scratched out some grit. "Large formation my Lord. Three skeleton units, large number of chariots, at least one large beasty. Plus one of those Caskets is being dragged along. They will be upon our positions within the hour."


"Pfah! Pathetic resistance! Draw up the lines! Load the cannons! Prepare to repel the assault!"


Pausing a beat the ranger responded. "We have no cannons my Lord. You left them behind when they slowed down the march. And we be outnumbered three to one."


"Impudent whelp!" The King ignored the fact the grey-bearded ranger was probably three times his age. "Setup an ambush or whatever it is you above ground freaks do! I HAVE A BATTLE TO PREPARE FOR!"


Taking the opportunity the ranger vanished as quickly as he arrived. Standing nearby and shaking his grey head, the venerable Runesmith Krall the Morose finally decided to speak up.


"My Lord, we may want to consider a tactical advance to the rear. We've lost track of our Quarreller and Warrior units during the last sand storm. They probably returned to Redstone mines...that is after all the rally point you so wisely chose prior to..."


"SILENCE! I have no need of your nannying and nagging. I only tolerate your presence in honor of my dearly departed father. Why he counted you among his advisors I'll never know. Now why don't you make yourself useful and bang on some tongs or something." Turning away to his guard dwarves he began calling for his armor and wargear.


"Well, this isn't going to go well." The dour ranger was chewing on a stalk of wild wheat as he stared at the oncoming skeletal horde. He turned briefly to the wizened Runesmith at his side. "We don't have the numbers to hold this position."


"Aye, the only possibility we have is to attack, drive into their midst and destroy their commanders. Without their priests and princes this undead army is worthless."


"Did ye strike the runes on the banners?"


"Aye Ranger, I have. You will not be exposed in your forward position for long.


"Did they King order it?" The ranger smiled around the stalk as he said this, already knowing the answer.


"That young fool? He couldn't order a bath in a cathouse properly. Fortunately he's so impetuous he'll think it was his idea and not the runes power driving the Throng forward."


"Welp, that's for the best. We'll keep them off the army until you can bring the lads to grips..." The rest of what he was about to say was lost in a roar of machinery and steam as two gyrocopters buzzed the Dawi formation. "Ah, the ancestor gods smile up on. At least we have the engineers to help. I'm surprised they got those things working again with all the sand that gummed up their engines."


Before the Runesmith could reply a roaring shout was heard over the blast of Dawi horns. Over a small rise appeared a tide of Orange and Pink as a slayer force made an appearance.


"Grimnir! Grimnir!"


"Aye laddie, we're not alone in this fight. Take your forward positions, I'll try to keep the King from messing this up too badly..."


"Grimnir! Grimnir!"


The shouts and roars of the trollslayers filled the air as the rest of the Dwarven force cheered. Across the battlefield the silent undead hordes shambled slowly forward making barely a sound...


2500 Point Battleline

Tomb Kings vs. Dwarves!


Thorgit's Overland Throng


Dwarf Lord


2xRune of Might, 3xRune of Warding, Rune of Stone




Rune of Spellbreaking, Rune of Stone




Master Rune of Grungni


Dragon Slayer


27 Slayers

Musician, Standard

Strollaz Rune, Rune of Sanctuary


15 Irondrakes

Full Command, Trollhammer Torpedo


39 Warriors w/GW

Full Command


23 Longbeards w/Shield

Musician, Standard

Strollaz Rune


10 Rangers



10 Rangers





Tomb King Army


Tomb King



Tomb Herald

Banner of the Undying Legion



Tomb Prince

GW, Chariot

Armor of Destiny


Liche High Priest

Level 4, Nek


34 Tomb Guard w/Shield

Full Command


27 Skeletal Archers

Full Command


39 Skeleton Warriors

Full command


6 Chariots




Bone Giant w/Extra Hand Weapon


Screaming Skull Catapult




Casket of Souls



After crumble a new Heirophant can be chosen (like Vampires)

Friendly units within 12" of the Tomb King General can march

Constructs heal 1 wound per spell cast, not per phase

Characters on chariots use a merged profile (like Monstrous cavalry)

Chariots count as Fast Cavalry

Owning player must chug a beer every time a character dies


Edited by Stymie Jackson, 26 January 2015 - 11:05 PM.

#2 Stymie Jackson

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 06:38 PM



Closeup of Scouts



Pregame: Ancestral Grudge roll is a '1'. Rangers deploy away from the Chariots and take their chances with the bone giant. The idea is to get to the SSC and Casket as quickly as possible...i'll gladly trade both units of Rangers to accomplish this as that will also hopefully keep the Bone Giant out of the main combats.


The entire dwarf line Strollaz forward 12"...except the Irondrakes which is the only main unit without Strollaz.


TK 1

The Tomb Kings get first turn, even without the +1 for finishing deployment first. The chariot block, with two characters, immediately charges the Warrior Horde with BSB.


Magic is double 3s...after channels and the casket it works out to 10-4 in dice. Protection (5+ ward) on the chariots is dispelled. The casket goes of on the right Gyro, doing two wounds. The bounce fails to injure the Irondrakes.

Finally I use spellbreaking on Smite on the chariots. If the chariots are buffed I'm almost certainly going to break.


SSC gets a direct hit on the longbeards, killing 6! The archers manage to pick off one slayer.


In combat 22 S5 impact hits result in 16 dead Dwarf warriors. Combat sees another 6 dead, reducing the unit to 18 strong. The Dwarves in return kill 2 chariots and do 2 wounds to the herald.


NOTE: If smite went off I'd probably have lost enough Dawi to not be steadfast. If protection went off I'd probably not do enough to remove that 2nd rank...fortunately I'm still steadfast and hold on the BSB re-roll.


End of Turn:



Dwarf 1:

The Dawi open with a charge on the chariots from the slayers. The longbeards, Irondrakes, Rangers and Gyro's all push forward.


The Dragon Slayer challenges and gets the herald and is immediately killing blowed. The chariots and TK characters then butcher 2 more slayers and 4 warriors. In return the slayers do 8 wounds, and even with the BSB and Warriors failing to do anything they win by 4...the Chariot unit is reduced to the Tomb Prince, a nearly dead Tomb Herald, and one chariot.


End of Turn



TK 2:

The Tomb Guard charge into the Longbeards, both units with their armies respective King.  The bone giant charges the closest rangers who pass terror but whiff on their SnS.


The other TK units adjust and the Stalkers make their ambushers roll but promptly roll a misfire and are delayed again.


Magic is 13-6. First Cursed Blades is cast with IF on the chariots (result is a 9, putting 1 wound on the Liche High Priest and dropping 6 dice). This also restores two wounds to the chariots. With the last two dice available, the Banner of the Undying Legion is also cast with IF! This ends up restoring 6 more wounds to the chariots.


The SSC direct hits the left gyro and outright destroys it!


In combat the Tomb Guard champion challenges the Lord and gets killed (+1 overkill) for his trouble). The rest of the TG kill 1 Longbeard, while the Tomb King adds another. The longbeards do nothing but stick on the BSB re-roll. Whew.


The Bone Giant goes crazy with his special attack and stomp, killing 8 rangers. He does take two wounds in return and restrains pursuit, turning to face the other rangers.


In the main fight the BSB takes the last wound off the Herald in a challenge. A horses kill a slayer and killing blow two warriors, while the crew kills two more warriors. The prince does 3 warriors in before the last few warriors kill a chariot outright and the slayers crush another. The last chariot crumbles, leaving the Prince on his own.


Tomb Guard Charge



TK 2: Bone Giant Charge



TK 2: End of Turn



Dwarf 2:

The rangers declare a charge on the SSC and make it. The last gyro drops its bomb on the scorpion, doing no damage.


The rangers totally fail to do any damage to the pathetic skeleton crew and crumble two with combat resolution, leaving them primed to take a Bone Giant in the rear, instead of over-running into the Casket as planned.


The Tomb Prince, surround on all sides, manages to Killing Blow the BSB with directed attacks, and ends up taking two wounds from crumble, staying alive on one wound as everyone else whiffs or bounces off his ward save.


The Tomb King refuses the Dawi Lord's challenge...something he'll do the rest of the game. Retiring the the rear, the LB kill 1 TG, the King adds another 2 and then 2 more crumble as Dawi parry saves keep off any damage in return.


End of Turn



Edited by Stymie Jackson, 26 January 2015 - 10:32 PM.

#3 Stymie Jackson

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 06:38 PM

TK 3:

The Bone Giant rear chages the rangers while the rest of the army again moves around to support the Tomb Guard...the archers reform to face the surviving Gyro.


Winds of Magic are 10-6 this round. Again Cursed Blades go off on the TG, healing back 3. The rest of magic is stopped.


Shooting finishes off the gyro.


In combat the BG kills 4 rangers and takes 1 wound from the 4 rangers fighting him. The other 6 rangers manage to kill the last SSC crewman. The rangers hold.


The Tomb Prince kills 1 more warrior before he is beaten to death (again)...his curse kills 2 warriors and 1 slayer. There is only the dwarf command left on the warrior block!


(no pic for some reason!)


Dwarf 3:

The slayers, after reforming at the end of the last combat, flank the Tomb guard. The 3 remaining warriors back up a little to preserve points as long as they can. The Irondrakes finally get in range of something.


The Irondrakes open up on the Scorpion, hitting 5 times and totally failing to wound on any of them.


The Tomb Guard kill 5 Longbeards and 4 slayers before losing a total of 10 in return to combat and crumble.


The Bone Giant kills 3 more rangers and the last three run off the board.


End of Turn



Dwarf 3: Closeup of Slayer Charge



TK 4:

The Skeleton warriors make a long charge (11") into the slayers. The Stakers finally land, behind the Irondrakes and near the surviving 3 Dwarf warriors.


Magic is 8-4. All fails to cast or is dispelled.


The Stalkers stare two Irondrakes to death as all the skeletal archer arrows bounce off their armor.


The Tomb Guard go nuts, killing a bunch of Longbeards and Slayers, breaking the Longbeards and Lord who run for it! They then reform to face the slayers.


End of Turn


Dwarf 4:

The Lord and Shieldbeards continue their 'strategic withdrawal'.


The Irondrakes fast reform and blast one stalker to pieces.


The slayers lose 4, while they kill 3 TG and 2 skeletons AND put a wound on the Tomb King, who finally decides to get into the fight now that the Dwarf Lord is gone. They lose but of course don't care.


End of Turn



Dwarf 4: Closeup on Irondrakes



TK 5

The Scorpion, who moved around the flank last turn, charges the Irondrakes.


Magic is 7-4. The Priest IFs a bubbled smite on every unit. Miscast is a 6 and he takes another wound and the rest of the dice, along with 4 archers. A few models are healed to every unit within 24".


The stalkers kill two of the three remaining warriors. The archers finish off the champion.


The Scorpion and ID fail to hurt each other. Combat is a draw and the ID reform to face. The slayers kill 4 more TG, but take 5 losses in return.


End of Turn



Dwarf 5:

Straight to combat. The tomb scorpion kills 1 Irondrake but takes 1 back and another from crumble. The slayers finally die, killing a handful of skeletons with deathblows.


TK 6:

The Irondrakes manage to finish off the Scoprion and face the snakes. Nothing else of note happens.


Dwarf 6

The Lord doesn't quite flee off the battlefield. The Irondrakes in the end charge and wipe out the Stalkers.


End of Game



FINAL: TOMB KING VICTORY (roughly 500 points difference)

The Lord, Shieldbeards, Irondrakes and Runesmith survive (~1000 points)

-claimed BSB and 1 unit banner

The Skeleton warriors, Tomb Guard, Bone Giant, Skeletal archers, Casket, King and High Priest survive (~1500 points)

-claimed BSB and 1 unit banner (Shieldbeard...it was shown as fleeing which is inaccurate of course)

Edited by Stymie Jackson, 26 January 2015 - 11:00 PM.

#4 Stymie Jackson

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Posted 26 January 2015 - 06:38 PM

Sorry about the crappy pictures...phones suck and my camera was down.


Anyway, this was not meant to be a competitive match but more of a fun one. The TK list was decent but totally lacking in fast chaff which was something I knew would be coming. As such I wanted to show my opponent the value of simply horse archers and things like that. A good Strollaz list with Rangers is a way to do that.


To make the game even more challenging for the Dawi we used a bunch of rules for the TK I've seen in tournament comp packs around here. The Chariot changes are really the big ones...fast Cavalry on chariot units makes them very deadly and merging the profile really helps against cannons and the like. Here it kept the Herald alive for one more turn and then the prince on the following turn. Ending that combat faster would have possibly changed the game.


The rangers I explained in deployment what their plan was...not sure if that was the best, but I wasn't going to let them get rolled over by chariots so they had to really be on that side. The fact they couldn't kill ONE skeleton in combat against the SSC ruined the plan...otherwise they would have over-run out of range of the Bone Giant and been on the casket pretty quickly.


The gyros did nothing but that was a bit of bad luck. They did move as fast as they can forward every turn so it wasn't like they were messing around. They and the Irondrakes REALLY needed vanguard. I'm convinced now that you will need to take as many vanguard gyros as possible when running a list like this simply so they can get in position to do their job.


I was really hoping to get one into B2B with his LHP...especially since the LHP ended the game on one wound.


The Irondrakes themselves spent too much time running forward. They also were laughingly bad at shooting (dice more than anything else) but great in CC and demolished a lot of constructs easily while being hard to kill. They need Strollaz.


Longbeards are good. But they are limited and I find them over-rated by many people. They don't kill anything decent in close combat. They had a hard time taking out T4 5+/6++ enemies which aren't exactly the toughest of enemies. They themselves are really tough which is their main purpose. Expecting them to kill anything more than gobbos or core elves is expecting too much. Part of it this game is of course the fact the TG had WS6. That's not going to help their cause much.


The King. Yeah, I knew this would happen. I'm not a fan of Dawi Lords and this game shows why. If you are fighting someone that isn't stupid a Lord is a liability other than absorbing damage. He'll never kill anything of value unless your opponent is dumb, or is wanting a good story with big guys facing off. Even with Strollaz he's a overpriced for what he does.


I was forced to challenge because my opponent wisely lined his lord up on the opposite side of my Lord. As he got the charge off he dictated who was were....you can't 'make way' when you are in B2B with enemies. And longbeards aren't killing something with T5 W4 any time soon.


Dawi lords suck. Hopefully you guys fight enemies more concerned with stories than playing hard. It's why I laugh at Ungrim Incarnate. He is great in combat for sure. But he won't see combat thats worth his points unless your opponent lets you.


Still a king is fun, he's just not competitive. And might is awful. I rarely take lords so I wanted a magic weapon for once. Better off with a GW...he was nearly worthless against Rank and File as it was.


In the end I think this game highlights the weaknesses of Strollaz. If I wanted to be more competitive I'd take more of an Ambush/Strollaz hybrid. The simple problem is you can only take three runes of Strollaz, or four if you invest in hammerers. The next time I'll be taking less strollaz and more miners instead!


So yeah...Strollaz=gimmick. Ambush=better. I knew this going in, but again I was looking for surprise and fun.


Oh, and Grungni sucks. I don't know why everyone loves it so much outside of a gunline. I prefer my Tank BSB to no end...but of course, if you want Strollaz that's not an option. I saved one slayer from arrows with it. Yay!


Slayers are cool. Deathblow makes them useful. With Unbreakable they are really good. They came close to wiping out the tomb guard. If the chariot fight went faster the game would have been different.


And GW>Shield on the Grungni BSB IMO. At least that way he kills stuff sometimes. He did do damage against chariots and killed the Herald this game before he failed his ward and got KB'd by the prince. The shield would have been worse for sure in this game.


Anyway, hope you all enjoyed the report. Despite all the crying above it was actually a very fun game, a totally different game, and quite challenging. I recommend everyone trying it against your normal opponents.

Edited by Stymie Jackson, 27 January 2015 - 06:38 PM.

#5 Cuthbo


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Posted 26 January 2015 - 10:39 PM

Great stuff! Love the story :)

#6 winsafra


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Posted 29 January 2015 - 05:09 PM

Excellent story and battle report despite the loss!

#7 Gorath


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Posted 02 February 2015 - 07:19 PM

Thanks for sharing, it takes courage to post a loss. Great story!

#8 Awooga


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Posted 05 February 2015 - 10:02 PM

Great to see this type of list in action – and really liked the story. Excellent work. Think Hammerers would certainly help this build - possibly with Groth. I think Strollaz on the BSB would have helped as well as putting him into a third combat unit. Still, a decent build all round and nice one for trying something different and sharing!

#9 Nihmwit


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Posted 07 February 2015 - 08:47 PM

Always great to see a strollaz list.


Totally agree about needing strollaz on the Drakes.  I do this by sticking Grungni, strollaz, and stubborn on the BSB and deploying him in the Drakes, who are sporting 2x slowness.  Most folks don't even bother charging them.


Disagree about the Long Beards.  In this case you threw them against their perfect foil; a unit just as tough, with better WS and init, and KB.  So, elite core troops against elite special troops.  And they lasted that long?  Heck, that's a testament to LB toughness!

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