Empire of Dust Heavy Hitters discussion

I’m working on an Empire of Dust list (skeleton spearmen horde, revenant horde, 2 enslaved guardian hordes, 2 mummies troops, 2 scavenger regiments, monolith, soul snare, 2 balefire catapults, back line Pharaoh, cursed high priest), and I’m running into some interesting decisions on the ‘heavy hitter’ monsters/heroes to help back it up. I keep going back tot he Bone Giant, since it seems like a good baseline to everything else.

Bone Giant
Pros: good defense, good speed, good nerve, okay-to-good attacks, great CS. Cons: not very maneuverable.

Reanimated Behemoth
Pros: DE 6 and no attack randomness. Con: worse Sp, CS, and Nerve, LESS maneuverable, HUGE flanks.

Undead Wyrm
Pros: GREAT speed, more maneuverable (nimble, fly), Cons: more expensive and less durable, plus still shambling.

Revenant on Undead Great Burrowing Wyrm
Pros: maximized Att, add-on ranged attack, and no shambling = more maneuverable on it’s own, Cons: more expensive for basically the same thing but always rolling 6s on # of attacks and no shambling.

Revenant King on Undead Great Flying Wyrm
Pros: SUPER maneuverable (fly, SP 10, nimble, no shambling), Inspiring, can have Surge and a ranged attack, Cons: SUPER expensive, and it doesn’t seem quite worth the points for all that.

I know the choice depends mainly on what I want to use it for, so I’ll break it down:
—Front Line Hitter: Bone Giant, Reanimated Behemoth, Revenant on Undead Burrowing Wyrm
—Outflanking Support: Bone Giant, Undead Wyrm, Revenant on Undead Burrowing Wyrm, Revenant King on Undead Flying Wyrm
—Backline Shenanigans: Revenant on Undead Burrowing Wyrm, Revenant King on Undead Flying Wyrm (Maaaaybe Undead Wyrm, but for the points it seems like a Flying Pharaoh is just better at it)

I’m leaning on the Revenant on Undead Burrowing Wyrm just for the sheer utility, but I’m not sure. I kinda want to know what other Empire of Dust players use, and how they do it, so any advice or commentary would be appreciated.

Good day kind sir.

I do not play EoD, but played quite a bit of undead before starting up my Trident Realms.

Just want to make a point about the Undead Wyrm. You listed the fact that he is shambling as a con, and I think that is a mistake.

The undead Wyrm plays a different role to the Burrowing and Great Flying Wyrm. I won’t go into too much detail about those 2, since they play essentially the same as any other big flying beasty, but the Undead Wyrm is different… it has Shambling, and that is magical.

Lets first consider why some people see shambling on the Wyrm as negative: You can’t double pace. This limits the standard shenanigans of other flying beasties of flying over enemy units and then being a nuisance. But the wyrm plays differently.

Lets first consider the Wyrm’s greatest strength: His maneuverability. That baby is Speed 10, Nimble, can fly over things AND can be surged! The level of non-linear threats is insane to tract. The only down side is his base size. Remember, that unless your opponent has phalanx/ensnare, he will keep his nimble when damaged.

There are so many ways to use this. One easy way is to keep him on a flank, hold him back from your main battle line, and simply threaten those flanks or enemy cav, you still charge 20"

He is not a mainline tank, like a giant or such, but I suggest give him a go, the threat vectors it has, along with its crazy damage is well worth it!


Why don’t you think the undead wyrm would lose nimble when damaged? You lose both fly and nimble when disordered right?

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@g00dr0 is correct, in the rulebook it is the last line of Fly in the special rules section

“While Disordered, this unit cannot use the Fly special rule.
In addition, if a unit with Fly also has the Nimble special rule, then the Nimble special rule is also lost while the unit is Disordered.”

If it only had Nimble @Tagakoner would be correct, only Disorder caused by Phalanx or Ensnare units removes Nimble when it is present without Fly.

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Units with the fly special rule lose the nimble special rule when disordered.

On the OP: I like the bone giant.
So 7 and a small base can get it into all sorts of surge charges. It’s also solid attacks and nerve, not spectacular, but solid. Unlike a big flying thing, it’s cheap enough to use as a blunt instrument though. You’re not wasting potential that you paid points for if you just grind with it in your front line.

The more relevant question is what you need for your army? If you are running a compact and slow army like EoD is want to do, then having a flyer off on its own might not actually help. How tricky will it be to get it to work with your army?
The strength of EoD is that you can surge and your access to drain life.
Surge makes your opponent careful and it almost impossible not to give you a flank eventually.
A good amount of drain life can win fights that you should lose, making your units more dangerous than they appear and to paid for.
If you drain life for 5 or 6 damage, that’s as good as getting the first charge on average units and then you undo the damage I did by charging you. I go from having damage in you to effectively having been charged twice. I go from a fight I expected to grind out to losing a unit.
It means that your units die on the charge or win.

I think that bone giants play into that better than a dragon equivalent flying off on a flank somewhere.

I apologise, I forgot about that caveat to the fly rule. Thanks for the clarification.

I still think the Undead Wyrm is still pretty useful, although I think he is a bit of a finesse piece. Won’t get value in every army comp or against every opponent.

@Caleb just a note on your army composition. You have two mummy troops. Might I suggest you try and bump them to regiments? That extra nerve on the unit is clutch. Mummies don’t have spectacular burst damage, they are a grinding unit. Their entire kit is built for this (Me 4+, De 5+ and regen), with their CS 2 they can do damage against anything, but will need time to kill it. So I have found having that extra nerve is tremendously helpful. In my undead list I used to run a regiment of them with the +1 nerve item (brew of courage?) and had a griffon banner nearby. A De 5+ Nerve -/20 with regen 5+ is a VERY tanky unit. They almost function similar to how some people will use a giant.

Agree on the mummies, you need them durable.
I didn’t even notice they were troops because I assumed that they would be regiments and skimmed over it.