As part of my Faction spotlight series I’ll be looking at the Sepulchral Guard today.
Catch up here:
All factions are capable of winning an Event and we’re in a really good place for Game Balance. The warbands in the Mid-Tier are warbands that I see as having an inherent weakness but their strengths can overcompensate for this.
Why are Sepulchral Guard Mid-Tier?
TL:DR – The Sepulchral Guard suffer because of their Inspiration condition, and are seen to bleed Glory. This has changed somewhat with the BAR List as there are less killy Score Immediately objectives. The Guard have a strong Glory stream coming from Hold Objective, Positional, & Combat objectives. When they have three objectives they are firmly Tier 2, when they have only two objectives there is definitely an argument they drop to Tier 3.
Sepulchral Guard have some giant strengths but also some terrifying weaknesses. I have placed them in Tier Two as I believe that once you have a strong knowledge of their strengths and weaknesses and have a lot of practice games under your belt, they become a force to be reckoned with. Sigmar forbid you underestimate the spooky scary skeletons as they can certainly give you a run for your Glory.
One of the greatest strengths the Sepulchral Guard have is that their Glory stream can come from a multitude of places. They have the Petitioners whose job it is to score positional objective cards like Supremacy, Extreme Flank, Keep them Guessing and utilise the Keys to allow an updraft of Glory in the Third End Phase. Whilst the warband also has competent fighters in The Warden & The Champion to score kill orientated objective cards like Skills Unforgotten, What Armour? And Strong Start.
Where their single biggest weakness lies is in their Inspiration Mechanic. To get inspired a model must be removed from the table and brought back by the Warden (or Ploy) typically this concedes a minimum of one Glory to the opponent (though likely more due to Score Immediately cards) and spends an Activation. No other warband is punished so harshly just to Inspire, and this has to happen TWICE for the Warden to Inspire. For this reason, Martyred has become almost an auto-include in their deck because it helps reduce your core weakness, whilst Inspiration Strikes is also a strongly favoured card as it helps unlock passive objectives like Shining Example & Fired Up.
The warband also has a less then stellar movement value of 2 when uninspired, allowing the majority of warbands to dictate the engagement. Sepulchral Guard needs to load up on movement ploys (which we now have plenty of!) to keep themselves relevant. If the Guard don’t get three objective hexes, they can seriously struggle to reach their opponent’s objective hexes. I’ve joked that they are almost like a typewriter in that they move forward just to die and be respawned where they started.
The Nightvault token system did a LOT to rectify the problems the warband suffered. Now when a model is returned to the table it does NOT have the tokens attached to it when it was removed. Which allows you to Move/Charge/Attack again making your activation to resurrect a model more worthwhile. The warband has a high skill ceiling and at times it feels like you need to see into the Matrix just to figure out how you end up scoring Supremacy whilst also having all the Keys in the correct place. With ploys like Confusion, Confused Priorities, Sidestep, Shifting Shards, and the Shardcaller Upgrade it’s possible to manipulate the board so much that I’ve certainly had games where I just sit for a few minutes staring at the board with my brain feeling like this…
The Sepulchral Guard are NOT an easy warband to pilot, and you would be well within your right to believe that they don’t deserve their place in second tier but with their nemesis Great Concussion gone, and the slew of easily scored Score Immediately objectives restricted the warband is not the push-over of yestermeta that you remember. You’ll need a solid plan for disrupting their Hold Objective play!
Where do you rank the Sepulchral Guard? Let me know in the comment section below & sign up to the mailing list so you don’t miss out on any future articles!