Hello once more, my friends! Settle in for our last entry in the Thematic Army series until TWW3's launch. Hopefully this can be a fun little distraction while we await the next set of reveals that is likely coming out next week.
These builds are designed to be themed around the Legendary Lord's bonuses, gameplay, overall roster utilization (between all LL's in a faction), background lore, location, and starting units, in that order. The entire point of these builds is to force, by means of fun themes, myself and perhaps others to utilize units in their campaigns that they may otherwise not use.
The Tomb Kings have some units that are not buffed by any Legendary Lords, but are
buffed by the Dynastic Lords that you unlock via technology. I have chosen to ignore these secondary lords' buffs and have just allocated units between the LL's in my typical fashion. I always have additional thematic gameplay beyond just the army composition for my faction leader, and I'm sure many of you do as well. I just can't talk about all of that in these posts or they'd be far too long. So, with that said, let's get to it:
1) Settra the Imperishable
Settra on Chariot of the Gods, melee focus
Liche Priest (Death) on Skeletal Steed*
Necrotect on Skeleton Chariot
Tomb Prince on Skeletal Steed
The Khepra Guard
Tomb Guard x2
Tomb Guard (Halberds) x3
Skeleton Chariots x3
Skeleton Archer Chariots x3
Bone Giant x2
Khemrian Warshpinx x2
*Switched lore from Light to Death
Playing as Settra is actually the catalyst that inspired me to start playing with thematic builds. I was not a fan of chariot gameplay, but I knew he was the chariot guy, and I decided to expand my playstyle. I went a little too
heavy with the chariots to be honest, but the fact remains that it made me a better player and ultimately led to these posts, so I guess he can add an accolade to his list of titles.
Anyway, for the official build, I've given Settra enough chariot units to check the box but not so many that the micro becomes unmanageable. Luckily, this build doesn't have a back line to defend, so you can focus more on cycle charging. He buffs Tomb Guard the most and is the main faction leader, so those units are his. You can actually get three total units of Khepra Guard, but they are not shielded, so be wary of this. Settra receives increased replenishment for Tomb Guard, so the regeneration of the Khepra Guard is slightly less useful than it is with other lords. Settra has a Khemrian Warsphinx as a mount option, and while I ultimately have him on his unique chariot, it felt appropriate to have a couple of them in his army. He starts with one, and you can justify the second as the mount that he didn't take. The Bone Giants are not buffed by any Lord, so they're a free allotment. I chose Settra to receive them to grant more anti-large and ranged capabilities to the army, as it is otherwise anti-infantry primarily.
There are a lot of characters in this army, but it sort of makes sense for someone as vain as Settra to have a retinue of supplicants. I gave him a Death caster to include all of the lores available to the Tomb Kings. The Necrotect is actually in every LL's army. Nobody buffs Necrotects, but all the LL's have constructs. It only makes sense to include the Necrotect, who in this case is on a chariot because he's with Settra. The Tomb Prince is on a Skeletal Steed rather than a chariot because this way he retains the anti-large property, adding some utility to the army (it doesn't need any more anti-infantry).
2) Grand Hierophant Khatep
Khatep on Casket of Souls
Necrotect on foot
Tomb Prince on foot
Skeleton Warriors x2
King Nekhesh's Scorpion Legion
Tomb Scorpion x2*
Chosen of the Gods
Ushabti (Great Bow) x3
Screaming Skull Catapult x2
made a great argument for putting the Tomb Scorpions with Khatep.
Khatep, though mounted on a Casket of Souls, does not buff them. Arkhan does. I was advised in my Vampire Coast post to not worry so much about matching mounts to units, and this is further proof that such advice is sound. However, Khatep still has an artillery vibe, so I gave him the Screaming Skull Catapults, which aren't buffed by anybody and were therefore available. Khatep has the lowest-tier infantry, but he provides physical resistance and leadership bonuses to all infantry, so he achieves the most with them. I have, however, given him the monstrous infantry to balance the scales somewhat.
Khatep is the only LL to buff Ushabti and cavalry, but I felt that I couldn't include both without cluttering the army. I valued Ushabti more highly than cavalry for Khatep, and gave the cavalry to Arkhan instead.
The Hierotitans go to Khatep for starting with one. The Necrotect is a given, but on foot because a single chariot unit didn't feel right. The Tomb Prince is similarly on foot, but this is more due to the fact that this army composition is more defensive and doesn't require great mobility to keep the backline safe.
3) High Queen Khalida
Khalida on Necroserpent
Liche Priest (Light) on Skeletal Steed*
Necrotect on Skeleton Chariot
Usirian's Legion of the Netherworld
Nehekara Warriors x3
Blessed Legion of Phakth
Skeleton Archers x4
Eyes of the Desert
Sepulchral Stalkers x2
Venom Knights of Asaph
Necropolis Knights x2
Necropolis Knights (Halberds) x2
*Switched lore from Death to Light as a nod to Khalida's hatred for vampires, and to utilize all of the lores.
Khalida's army builds itself more so than the other Tomb King LL's. Apart from the characters and infantry, she has a unique buff for every unit in her army. She buffs archers particularly well, which is why they are 1/4 of her build. Rather than explain unit by unit, I'll just list the buffs: Increased missile strength and ammo for Skeleton Archers and Sepulchral Stalkers, increased melee defense and attack for Sepulchral Stalkers and Necropolis Knights. Simple, but good.
There are lots of constructs here, hence the Necrotect. It's on a chariot because it has to keep up with the units that it's there to buff. Here are my justifications for the Nehekara Warriors: a) Process of elimination - Settra gets the Tomb Guard, Arkhan has his unique infantry, and Khatep is too far away from Nehekara to have "Nehekara Warriors". b) The goal with Khalida's army is to have ranged superiority, ideally having the enemy army come to you. If that is the case, then you can field a ranged front and the melee lacking shields isn't such a big deal. If the enemy has artillery that forces you to advance instead, then shields don't do anything for you anyway.
4) Arkhan the Black
Arkhan on foot
Liche Priest (Shadows) on Skeletal Steed
Necrotect on Skeleton Chariot
Crypt Ghouls x4
Storm Riders of Khsar
Skeleton Horse Archers x2
The Flock of Djaf
The Sphinx of Usekph
Casket of Souls x2
Arkhan is on foot because he doesn't have a unique mount and that's ok. I personally don't mind foot lords. The Shadows caster seemed most appropriate for Arkhan, and the Necrotect again is a given when there are constructs. Arkhan has access to a few Vampire Counts units: Fell Bats, Dire Wolves, Crypt Ghouls, and Hexwraiths, and that is in the order of how useful they are. The former two are early-game units that will be phased out of your main army. The Crypt Ghouls and Hexwraiths have to be included to adhere to Arkhan's schtick, but as I said before, I also gave the regular Tomb King cavalry to him as well. It increases the amount of micro, but Arkhan's start isn't for beginners anyway. I don't think that anyone would disagree that the Tomb Scorpions fit Arkhan's aesthetic nicely, but as for the Necrosphinx, all I can say is this: once more, none of the LL's buff these units. It's strange how many units in the TK roster are only buffed by redline skills. The Carrion give the army some air units, which for me really helps blend the TK and VC army build style. I also gave Arkhan the anti-large single entities. They'll be useful when fighting the errant Bretonnians or the other TK factions. Lastly, the Caskets of Souls go to Arkhan because he increases their missile strength, which you may note is one of their two most important stats. Nobody else boasts even half as much, so to Arkhan go the spoils.
Tell me what you think! I don't know how many of you revisit these posts after the initial read, but I have made edits to them after reading your responses every single time, I believe. I really do value your input, but make sure that you give me a reason! I have no problem making a change if a solid argument is brought forth, and I frequently find myself enjoying the change much more, because I have the satisfaction of knowing that it's increasing the thematic quality of the build rather than just allocating leftover units.
Wood Elves https://forums.totalwar.com/discussion/288448/my-take-on-thematic-army-compositions-wood-elves
Dark Elves https://forums.totalwar.com/discussion/293037/my-take-on-thematic-army-compositions-dark-elves
High Elves https://forums.totalwar.com/discussion/293966/my-take-on-thematic-army-compositions-high-elves
Vampire Coast https://forums.totalwar.com/discussion/295947/my-take-on-thematic-army-compositions-vampire-coast