Entombed beneath the sands, awaiting resurrection as the sun-bronzed warrior kings they were promised to be and subsequently resurfacing as withered, undead abominations has left the Tomb Kings vengeful and jealous of all living beings. Driven by vengeance & the unending need to conquer new territory, they along with legions of their loyal former troops and towering enchanted constructs have one goal……to defeat all who stand in their way!
Personally, this was of huge importance to me. Having been, without doubt, my most eagerly awaited wargames release of perhaps the last decade! Since GW first mooted the concept of an undead army based upon Ancient Egypt it has had me gripped.
The new Tomb Kings army book is 96 pages of fantastic imagery that continues the new hardback format. The entire publication is presented in glorious full colour, although, in keeping with the new format, it has a much darker feel. As one has come to expect from GW the book is replete with many beautiful, new works of art. All of the information is presented in an updated and easily understandable way.
On Closer Inspection
What was really important to me was what changes the near nine-year-wait for a second book would bring? Again, a book review coming on the basis of not having ‘field tested’ the army under 8th edition rules, one could not hope to unlock all of the subtle nuances that will no doubt arise given the sands of time (pun intended!). I could not help but feel that this time they had got it right.
As with any change of army book, there are winners & losers, ups & downs or comings and goings.
Biggest Positive Changes:
Too many to mention!
The addition of the much-needed Necro/War sphinx (reviewed separately) adds the, now mandatory, ‘Big Guy’. This direction was almost inevitable to keep the army ‘in pace’ with all the rest, while the iconic sphinx made the choice almost obvious.
But the addition of the Necropolis Knights/Sepulchral Stalkers, the as yet unseen Heirotitan (wave 2 anyone?), and the Ushabti with strength 6 bows were all a little less obvious (but all very welcome indeed!) as was the ability of the Tomb Prince/King to bestow his WS on all in his unit. Reduction in points for the basic skeletons was a must along with the introduction of Arkhan and the Necrotect character.
Bringing the previously unique magic phase into line with 8th Ed rules was a move, which to my mind, was both inevitable and necessary. Removing the ‘stumbling around’ created by the lack of knowledge on the part of any opponent (or, indeed, the player himself) of a magic system which was anathema to the newer, faster rules was a sure sign that this was an army to be taken much more seriously this time around.
Biggest Negative Changes:
The removal of the ‘uniqueness’ of the Tomb Kings magic is a two-edged sword.
I could whine about my favourite models (the Ushabti) taking a hit from strength 6 changing to 4 and the lack of reinstatement of any Mummies being a chance left wanting.
However, these issues are all cosmetic. Otherwise, everything is much better.
On the Tabletop
A somewhat unknown quantity due to the timing of this review, however, I sincerely believe the Tomb Kings time is at hand and many seasoned players will underestimate them at their peril! My initial gut feeling, is that this new army book will put the Tomb Kings much higher up in the rankings. Definite tourney winners in the near future me thinks!
The production values, quality, appearance etc. are all unequalled in the hobby. An essential purchase for any serious Warhammer Fantasy Battle player. 8/10.
Robin Cruddace, step on up! A surefire hit certainly not a hint of disappointment, at least, not on my part. as a time-served apprentice in the Khemrian way! What has been so long in the making has been worth the wait.
Having been of the opinion that the Tomb Kings concept was brilliant in 2002, the preceding army book had a feel of having been ‘rushed out’. This book by comparison shows much greater consideration and understanding for the subject matter. 8/10.
Still, that’s an average of 8/10 overall & my Mummy gives a big, bandaged thumbs up!
*Accurate as of 28th April 2011.