Author Topic: Empire Versus Lizardmen Tactica  (Read 7238 times)

Offline Scalenex

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Empire Versus Lizardmen Tactica
« on: December 29, 2012, 11:39:16 AM »
Part One, Lizardmen vs. Empire

I am a new Empire player.  I have played a few games with my Empire but I have not yet played Lizardmen yet.  This means I'm hardly an expert on the Empire.  I am a fairly experienced Lizardmen player.  In return for the insights you guys have given me in helping start my army, I am going to betray my race with this Tactica.

General Stuff

Cold Blooded:  All Lizardmen have this rule.  They roll an extra die on all leadership tests and drop the highest die.  In general, the lower the leadership test required the better this is, we are about four times more likely to roll snake eyes than other armies.  If you are trying to break a LM unit, keep in mind that they will pass their tests approximately as well as you could if the test were one higher (LM testing at 7 will pass roughly as often as Empire testing at 8).  When facing a griffin’s blood roar, LM would roll four dice and remove the highest and the lowest number. 

Aquatic:  All Skink and Kroxigor units have Marsh Strider, River Strider, and Lake Strider.  Troglodons have Aquatic too though they are rarely chosen in competitive lists.  Aquatic units can march freely across rivers, but most of the LM’s heavy hitters can’t do this.  Aquatic units get soft cover when in water features giving them a tiny bit of protection against BS based shooting.  This means that terrain that is dangerous for most units is protection for Lizardmen.  It doesn’t usually affect games much because Saurus units and most dinosaurs.  are still hindered by water features.

Predatory Fighter:  All Saurus and Kroxigor (but not their mounts) gain an extra bonus attack in close combat for every six they roll on their regular attacks.  This comes with a (small) drawback.  A Saurus unit or character will automatically pursue any broken enemy unless a friendly Skink character is within 6 inches.

Scaly Skin:  All Skinks have Scaly Skin 6+.  Most Saurus units have Scaly Skin 5+.  The larger units have Scaly Skink between 5+ and 2+.   Scaly Skin lets Lizardmen keep pace with other armies rather than surpass them since relative few LM units wear any armor over their Scaly Skin though shields are fairly common.

Variety:  Lizardmen have a little bit of everything available to them, kind of like the Empire (if you overlook that Lizardmen’s “everything” is lacking artillery).  Rather than retype all the basics about common LM army builds, I’ll just link the appropriate thread from Lustria’s Tactica, http://www.lustria-online.com/viewtopic.php?f=9&t=9005&p=69148#p69148

Lizardmen are a jack of all trades, and a master of none….okay they are the master of one:  magic, more on that later.  Like Empire lists they tend to work best with a combined arms approach.


Saurus:   Saurus Warriors outclass Empire State Troops.  Saurus hit harder, have more attacks, and have better saves.  Saurus Warriors will win against any un-buffed State Troops if they aren’t flanked or otherwise double teamed.  Saurus Warriors can hold their own against un-buffed Great Swords.  Saurus  Warriors do not dominate cavalry.  The low armor saves of your foes mean Saurus won’t get a lot of kills, if the knights aren't carrying great weapons, they won’t get many kills after the charge round either.  The solution is straight forward:   either double team a Saurus block or buff the units fighting them with a magemobile or warrior priest.  If you can double team a Saurus unit AND buff your troops, even better.

Skink Cohorts, Vanilla:  With a Weapon Skill and Toughness scores of 2, Skinks are no match for State troops.  They aren’t without their merits.  They have a base movement of 6 and they throw poisoned javelins.  Skink Cohorts are useful as cheap screens or redirectors.  They can also serve as (somewhat expensive) tarpits.  Since javelins are quick to fire, Skinks are considerably deadlier when garrisoning a building.  If they are near the BSB and/or general the stubbornness, they won’t move from said builidng till they are all dead.  That’s one volley of poisoned javelins every shooting phase and another one every building assault from Stand and Shoot.  Cohorts can take an upgrade for poisoned melee attacks now, but few LM players view that upgrade as worth the points cost.

Skink Cohorts, Skroxigor:  The nickname LM players use for Skink Cohorts with Kroxigor added in.  Kroxigor add a lot to the mix.  They confer Fear, add an extra point of leadership, and provide three Strength 7 attacks each.  The Kroxigor can only be individually targeted by Empire models in the front row of a close combat by anything not in base contact.  This makes Skroxigor blocks dangerous to tough targets like knights and the STANK.  The Kroxigors inflict painful hits and much of the damage they take in return are absorbed by five point Skinks.  The weakness of Skroxigor blocks is that they tend to lose CR.  Once they lose Steadfast, they tend to break fairly easily.  A cannonball plowing through a Skroxigor block will still hit a Kroxigor if it’s next in line.  One third of BS based shooting will randomly go towards the Kroxigor regardless of the ratio of Skinks to Kroxigor.  This applies to impact hits too, so the Skroxigor are still a unit you probably want to keep away from your tanks.

Skink Skirmishers:  Just like the cohort Skinks but with Skirmish.  Their greater mobility means they can serve as screens and redirectors even better.  They can also run around and nickel and dime stuff with their shooting.  There are a lot of lightly armored or unarmored units in most Empire lists, so there is likely something for Skinks to shoot at all game.  Skink Skirmishers either have poisoned javelins and shields or poisoned blowpipes.  Blowpipes have multiple shots, but to be able to still hit on 6s they need to stay within six inches or forgo moving.  Most, but no means all LM players prefer javelins and shields.

In a multi-unit melee, they can help swing the combat in the LM player but for the most part Skink Skirmishers crumple in a single round of close combat versus almost anything.  The banes of Skinks Skirmishers on the Empire list are many.  Magic missiles, the Volley Gun, Fast Cavalry, and Knights (though your knights are probably better used against stronger targets). 

Because Skink Skirmishers have poison and a twelve inch march move, you should probably avoid a shooting contest between Skinks and Archers or Huntsman.  You should definitely charge them in lieu of shooting if you are facing Skink Skirmishers with Pistoliers or Outriders.   A shooting contest with handgunners or crossbowmen will turn out even worse for you because the Skinks can loop around your blocks pretty easily and really make their opponents suffer for having move-or-fire.


Jungle Swarms:  Formerly they were nigh-unplayable, swarms have become both cheaper and better in the new book.  Swarms are still not super popular, but they have made a small resurgence into LM lists despite being moved from Core to Special.  They are cheap enough to be a decent stalling unit now.  They gained a potent new ability.  They bestow Poisoned attacks on all friendly units in the same melee so if they provide a flanking support attack to a unit of Saurus the Sauri will become much more potent.  Basically if you are a multi-unit melee like this, try to take out the Swarms first.  Since Sauri have Initiative 1 or 2 you might be able to remove the poisoned attacks altogether before the Sauri can strike you.

Chameleon Skinks:  Chameleon Skinks have blowpipes and with BS4 so they can hit on 6s even when taking multiple shots at long range while moving.  In addition to the -1 penalty to shoot at them for being Skirmishers, they get another -1 penalty for their Camouflage abilities.  This means shooting at them with just about anything that is BS based will do negligible damage to them.   They are very potent war machine hunters due to multiple poisoned shots.  They can also inflict a lot of damage with their little darts to anything with weak armor saves.  With their high BS scores and multiple shots coupled with the ability to scout means they can do everything skink skirmishers can do only better.  Not only do they hit more often but they get to their targets faster.

Shooting at them with BS based attacks isn’t very effective, so how do you get rid of them?  Magic missiles obliterate them.  As badass as they with the shooting phase, they fight as crappy as any other Skink in close combat, so if you can get the charge on them, they will die.  You can also smack them with a mortar shell to devastate the unit and likely panic them since camouflage will not stop a giant template.

Terradons:  Terradon riders are the tougher than ordinary Skinks, which isn’t saying much.  That means they can actually make themselves felt with a flank attack, and they can beat most war machine crews. Besides war machine hunting and general interference.  They can specifically charge master engineers for some easy points.  They can also chase after pegasi mounted enemy characters though a well armored Captasus should be able to hold his own against three Terradons.  The Volley Gun and magic missiles will REALLY hurt them.  They can be upgraded with flaming ranged weapons but that won't matter much against Empire lists.

Ripperdactyls:  I have not tried this new unit yet.  They are essentially a stronger harder hitting Terradon (killing blow and armor piercing).  They have Frenzy which means you may be able to force them into a close combat they don't want to fight (that's good for Empire) but they can't be panicked with shooting until they lose a round of close combat (that's bad for Empire).

Temple Guard:  Temple Guard are fairly similar to regular Saurus only they WS4 and they have halberds and light armor (the light armor is mostly cancelled out by no parry saves).  While perfectly capable of carving up most Empire infantry, they hit hard enough to put some wounds on knights.  The real power of the Temple Guard is their Sacred Duty.  When joined by a Slann, they are Stubborn and Immune to Psychology.  Most Slann are also BSBs.  Rerollable Stubborn means that if you want to eliminate at Temple Guard block (and the Slann leading them) you pretty much have to kill a Temple Guard to the last man (and then you can usually auto-kill the Slann by breaking the unit if the Slann is the BSB).  Temple Guard are the only non-BSB unit we have that can take magic standards.

In addition to Sacred Duty and elite stat line, you have to deal with the fact that the Temple Guard will be at Ground Zero for any beneficial spells the Slann will be throwing out.  You should do as many of the following four things as you can:  whittle them down with shooting, double team, buff the units fighting them, hit them with magic.  In the new book Slann are now allowed to leave a TG block.  If a TG is chewed up and the unit is not engaged, the Slann will probably abandon ship and revert to being a solo Slann, but targeting the TG block with everything you have is still a good idea.

Cold One Cavalry:  Sauri are stronger than humans, but COC are roughly equal in ability to Inner Circle Knights for a larger points cost.  The Saurus’ better stats are balanced out by the Empire’s better armor and having lances instead of spears.  Over thousands of years of Lizarmdan society no Skink weapon smith ever said “what if we used a really BIG spear!”    Cold Ones hit harder than horses, they have Stupidity which is a drawback, but Lizardmen don’t fail their leadership tests too often so that’s not a huge draw back.

Empire knights are much cheaper though, and Core, so you have LM beat there.  A cavalry versus cavalry smackdown will likely go to whichever side gets the charge.  Cold Ones are more dangerous when hitting your flanks than when targeting their mirror opponents.  They also serve as buses for mounted Saurus characters.  They have the T4 score of all Saurus units, and 2+ armor saves, so you need to make sure whatever units you have fighting them hit at high strength.  Cold One Cavalry are now cheaper than they used to be (barely if we take the spears which are now optional), but they can't take magic standards anymore.

Kroxigor:  Monstrous Infantry.  They are slightly better than ogres because they are Coldblooded and 4+, Aquatic, and have a slightly faster move.  They cost noticeably more than ogres though.  They are still normally taken with Skinks.  When you see them as a standalone Special unit, it is usually a small flanking unit of three or four.  They have become slightly cheaper and now hit at S7 instead of S6.  As we LM players get more used to the new book, Kroxigor are likely to become slightly more common.  They can wreck havoc on knights or tear apart a STANK if you let them.

In the unlikely event you see a larger block of Kroxigor, it’s probably going to make a run for your STANK or Chicken Kngiths.  Don’t let them do so.  Throw a block of state troops at the Kroxigor so their S7 attacks go to waste.  At 50 points each, Kroxigor will not kill their points back against weak troops, especially given that their great weapons force them to go last.  200 points of State Troops should be able to hold their own against 300 points of Kroxigors.

Stegadons:  Stegadons are monsters, but they play like chariots.  Very hard hitting, tough wearing chariots.  Stegadons will devastate your infantry, especially if they charge in combination with a block of infantry.  Cannons will laugh at the Stegadon’s formidable T6 AS4+.  If you cannot kill them with a cannon, try to charge them with knights.  A Stegadon loses a lot of its killing power when denied impact hits, so charging Stegadons with anything will be bad for the big dino.  While they are Stubborn, they won’t last long against most things unsupported.

Stegadons have five Skink riders.  The damage the Skinks do is pretty minimal.  They have poisonous javelins which mostly just give Stegadons a very small Stand and Shoot.  They also have a great bow that functions as a S5 bolt thrower with Poison (the auto-wound applies to the first model hit only).  The great bow can’t be used to stand and shoot and can’t fire while marching.  It’s not uncommon to see Stegadons never fire.  When they do fire, they usually miss.  If it does do something useful, please excuse your LM opponent for dancing with glee.  We are contractually required to celebrate anytime the great bow does anything good, it’s our only traditional artillery piece and it’s not very good at what it does.

Stegadons can now be upgraded with Devesating Charge and/or the ability to do d3 wounds with their impact hits (not valuable against most Empire units unless they charge the STANK which means the Steggy will probably die if the initial charge round doesn't kill the STANK).

Bastilodon:  A completely new unit.  They have a 2+ Armor save so they are a tough nut to crack with things that aren't cannons.  They don't have the damaging power or wounds of a Stegadon though.  They are a buff wagon that can fight.  They have two options, the Ark of Sotek and the Solar Engine.  The Solar Engine is more popular by a wide margin.

The Ark of Sotek can add bases to friendly Swarms and automatically shoots snakes (low strength attacks) at enemies.  It's only a d6" range but needn't roll to hit.  The Solar Engine passively buffs all friendly units Initiative score by 1.  This matters little to Empire players.  Skinks already have better Initiative than Empire and Saurus Warriors still have less Initiative than Empire troops after the buff.  This does allow Saurus Cavalry and Temple Guard to attack at the same time as Empire troops though.  More importantly the Solar Engine has a potent (but random) bound spell.  Considering how damaging it is, it’s pretty cheap to cast.

Beam of Chotec – Innate bound spell (power level 3). This is a magic missile with range 24”. If cast, roll a D6. All attacks are flaming.
On a 1, D3 Str3 hits
On a 2-3 D6 Str4 hits
On a 4-5 2D6 Str5 hits
On a 6 2D6 Str6 hits, target also at -1WS and -1BS until next Bastiladon magic phase
« Last Edit: May 16, 2014, 08:01:07 PM by Scalenex »
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Offline Scalenex

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Re: Empire Versus Lizardmen Tactica
« Reply #1 on: December 29, 2012, 11:41:15 AM »

Salamanders:  What LM players in traditional artillery, they make up for in dinosaurs that act like sort of like artillery.  Salamanders, point-for-point are the most dangerous thing the Lizardmen can throw at the Empire (even though they went up in cost in the new book).  Salamanders are Skirmishers with a six inch move.  They can’t march and fire anymore so they usually won’t shoot you on turn one but their attack is fairly potent.  Their attack shoots the flame template an artillery die in inches from the Salamanders mouth based on how the player points the template.  The attack does S4 with 3 points of armor piercing.  This is devastating to tightly packed infantry (though cavalry has enough armor to not worry about this a lot).  A unit that takes even a single wound must take a panic test, even if the casualties are well under 25%.    If the misfire is rolled, the Salamander eats some handlers.  Given that their Monster reaction test still benefits from Cold Blooded, they pass their reaction tests more than half the time (it is funny when they roll the “defend fallen master” which translates to them defending the contents of their stomachs).

They are not half bad in close combat.  Once most targets they can burn are engaged in close combat, expect the Salamander to charge an artillery piece or back up friendly infantry with a supporting flank charge.

Salamanders should probably be your first priority of things to eliminate.  Salamanders don’t have a lot of wounds so their T4 AS 5+ is not that hard to beat.  Salamanders have the Monsters and Handler rule randomize all hit received.  This means Salamanders effectively have a 5+ Handler Save against everything you throw at them other than Wulfhart’s Hunters.  An effective way to kill a Salamander team is to successfully charge it (Salamanders have no Stand and Shoot).  Even if you make the Salamander flee, it will not be able to shoot at you next turn and possibly be out of a position for the turn after that.  A cannon ball will usually make short work of a Salamander if the shot doesn’t land on a handler.  Barring that, magic missiles or massed regular shooting can take out Salamanders pretty well.

They don't have a max unit size anymore but since Salamanders are now competing with far more potent options in the Rare category than they used to, I doubt you'll see even the most single-minded LM player fielding more than six.

Razordons:  Once, the Razordon is like Salamander’s less talented brother.  Razordons have gained substantial new abilities in the new book and went down in points cost (though they still aren’t super popular).  They now have Quick to Fire, and an 18 inch range.  With their BS skill, they typically score between 1 and 5 hits with their S4 shooting.  Their stand and shoot rolls twice as many dice making it very lethal (though it doubles the chance of a rolling a misfire).  Razordon have the same basic statlines and close combat power of Salamanders and the same handler rules.  When you do see Razordons, they will likely providing a protective screen to the more deadly skirmishing units on the LM lists and/or protecting a lone Slann.  A small segment of the LM community have been experimenting with very large units of them (6 or so) and this seems fairly potent.

Ancient Stegadons:  They have one less attack and Initiative then regular Stegadons but they more than make up for this by being Strength 6 instead of 5.  They also have a one point better armor save for the beast and the howdah.  The extra strength is wasted on most Empire infantry, but their great strength and armor lets them fight heavy hitters like knights and great swords better.  They also have two giant blow pipes in lieu of the great bow.  Basically they shoot a bunch of darts at a twelve inch range.  With a high volume of shots, they are far less likely to miss entirely than the great bow.  It can also be used for a Stand and Shoot meaning they aren’t as helpless when charged as their weaker counterparts.  They have the same monster upgrade options as lesser Stegadons.

Ancient Stegadons can now swap their blowpipes for an Engine of the Gods WITHOUT requiring a Skink Priest (though Skink priests can still ride them if an EOTG is bought with Hero points).  The EOTG's powers have been reduced in that they are now less potent but strengthened in that all three powers are always "on" and the player no longer has to choose one at a time.  EOTG provide a 6+ Ward save to nearby friendly units (against CC AND shooting), reduce casting difficulties of a chosen Lore by -1 and zap nearby enemies.  If you see an EOTG Steggy, it is nearly always the first thing you should shoot your cannon at.

Troglodon:  They can be taken as a Rare or ridden by Skink Oracles.  They can fight.  They don't LIKE to fight, but they can do it.  Troglodons are mainly a support unit.  They can channel power dice, and Slann can use them for Line of Sight to cast magic missile and direct damage spells.  They have a potent one-use ability too.  They can double the effectiveness of Predatory Fighter for the army for one turn.  They also spit acid though it's not very powerful or accurate.  If you can't hit them with a cannonball charge them.  They are okay fighters, but they aren't as tough as they look.


Slann:   Where to begin?  Slann can be fielded in a number of ways but most players choose the Bunkered Slann or the Lone Slann.  Bunkered Slann are camping out in the second row of a block of Temple Guard.  The upside is they are hard to get to and make the Temple Guard nigh unbreakable.  They can also cast magic missiles and direct damage from the second rank of the unit, even if it’s engaged in close combat.  The downside is that the Slann isn’t very mobile and miscasts are often very expensive taking multiple Temple Guard down with most miscasts.  Lone Slann are fielded with no defending units at all.  They float around wherever they want and cast spells.  They are mobile and cheaper (Temple Guard are pricy).  They are also somewhat more exposed and vulnerable.

Slann have Ld9.  Nothing else in the LM list does, so a Slann is always general when they are on the list.  Slann are the only non-SC unit in all of Warhammer that can be the general and BSB at the same time.  Taking a magic banner does not prevent the Slann from taking other magic items.  Thus the Standard of Discipline is very popular giving the Slann an Ld of 10 with no real drawbacks.  A Slann BSB does auto-die if his unit is broken.  Because of this you don’t see lone Slann taking battle standards very often, not without the Crown of Command anyway.  Slann BSBs die when they break more often than dying as a result of having their wounds taken out.  That usually means you have to kill every single Temple Guard first.

Slann don’t fight at all.  Their lone Skink attendant does their fighting for them and the attendant doesn’t fight any better than a garden variety Skink.  The Slann can take a beating though.  They have a 4+ Ward Save, T4, and 5 wounds.  They can take a 60 point upgrade to make them Ethereal and Unstable.

Slann can take any of the eight BRB lores.  They can also take High Magic or Wandering Deliberations (WD).  High Magic Slann can spend 15 ss to take Lore Mastery and get eight spells.  Most do so.  WD Slann have all eight signature spells.  There are fans of every lore in the LM community (I personally try not to play the same lore more than two times in a row if I can help it).  All Slann can use Skink Priests to determine line of sight and Troglodons for casting magic missiles and direct damage spells.  Most all comers lists these days seem to use High Magic or WD Slann.

High Magic is exactly the same as what the High Elves (and now Wood Elves have) but with a radically different lore attribute.  Whenever a Slann casts a High magic spell, a Slann may choose to "forget" a High Magic spell and then roll a spell from any of the eight lores in the BRB taking the signature spell if they prefer.  This allows some list tailoring on the fly.

Slann disciplines have changed substantially.  The strongest disciplines have been tapped with the nerf bat or removed entirely.  The weaker disciplines were made cheaper.  What Slann lost in raw power, they gained in versatility and options.

Slann can't get a bonus power die on every spell they cast any more but they have two disciplines that are almost as good (especially since they apply to power AND dispel dice now).  One upgrade lets a Slann roll three dice to channel power and dispel dice (this is making the Channeling Staff more popular all of a sudden).  The second new discipline lets a Slann save unused dispel dice for the next round as a power die.  There is a 1/6 chance of the saved dice dissipating but it's still a nice power.  The Ethereal upgrade now comes with Unstable and costs more.

Slann can't avoid a miscast altogether anymore but they can buy a relatively cheap power that lets their player adjust a miscast chart roll by one point in either direction letting them choose a less severe miscast.  Becalming Cognition was nerfed a lot.  Instead of negating enemy sixes, it allows a Slann to reroll a single failed dispel roll per phase.  Useful, but not game breaking like before.  Less popular powers include the ability to bestow Terror on itself or a unit of TG it joins, Magic Resistance d3, and the ability to TRY to heal lost wounds on the Slann each round.

Old Bloods and Scar Veterans:  Saurus lords and heroes respectively.  Scar Veterans can serve as BSBs.  They usually serve as BSB in Slann-less list or when the Slann on the list is not bunkered in a unit.  Old Bloods and Scar Veterans can ride Cold Ones which among other things boosts armor saves by 2 points.  We LM players don’t have access to Full Plate so often take this route.  Most Saurus characters are either tooled out for inflicting high strength hits (to take out units like knights and the STANK) or tooled out to have extra attacks (to drive up CR when fighting mass units).  Saurus characters have a slight edge against similarly pointed Empire characters in a challenge unless said Empire character is wielding a runefang in which case the Saurus’ mighty toughness and armor save will be worth nothing.

Both Old Bloods AND Scar Veterans can ride Carnosaurs.  Carnosaurs have their uses, but they are a subpar choice against the Empire.  They are a lot of points invested in a giant cannon magnet.  Carnosaurs inflict S7 d3 wound hits.  That’s overkill against pretty much everything on the Empire list except the STANK and Chicken Knights.

Skink Priest:  Skink Priests have done well for themselves in the new book.  They used to be limited to the Lore of Heavens, now they can take Heavens OR Beasts.  That's exciting for us LM players because it means we can finally use Transformation of Kadon and we have easy access to Wyssan's Wildform, probably the best signature spell in the game.  Skink Priests are usually put on lists in order to caddy arcane magic item.  They also are used on Slann-less lists to provide some magical power, but the real power on a Slann-less list is generally from the Solar Engine and sometimes Engine of the Gods.

Skink Chief:  Skink Chiefs have comparable stat lines to Empire Captains except they can only take light armor and shields (or BRB magic armors).  They can serve as BSB but very few players choose to do so since they bruise in stiff wind.  They are not very threatening unless they are riding a dinosaur (even then they aren’t the scariest things in Lustria).  They have become substantially cheaper in the new book and can ride Stegadons, Ancient Stegadons, Ripperdactyls, or Terradons.  A Skink Chief on a Ripperdactlyl is pretty dangerous to a magemobile, mage, or war machine.

Special Characters:  Mazdamundi is the equivalent we have to the Emperor.  He is expensive and rides an Ancient Stegadon.  He can fight okay for a Slann, but his biggest claim to fame is a 3+ Ward Save and lore mastery of any Lore.  A fluffy choice, especially against Empire since he is one cannon ball away from being turned into basically an ordinary Slann.

Kroak is a mummified Slann.  He is actually a competitive choice.  He bestows a penalty to be hit and unbreakable on Temple Guard.  He can only cast one spell but he cast it as many times as he has power dice.  Strength 4 hits that strike every unit within a radius chosen by the spell intensity.  This can be cast out of himself or more commonly Skink Priests.  Most Kroak lists set up a Kroak bomb by sneaking a Skink Priest deep within enemy lines and blasting away.  Kroak’s miscasts are a practically a slap on the wrist got him.
Kroq-Gar is a fluffy Oldblood on a Carnosaur.  Due to his lack of Ward saves, and high points cost, he is the perfect cannon magnet.

Tehenhauin is the cheapest SC Lord.  A L3 Beasts Caster on a 40 mm that can join Swarm units.  He can fight about as well as an Empire Captain when you factor in his poisonous attacks though his saves are mediocre.
Tetto’eko is the most popular Lizardmen special character (it’s not even close).  Sometimes called the mini-Slann because he rides a small palanquin and sits in the second rank of Skink units like a Slann does in Temple Guard.  He doesn’t cost a lot considering how much he brings to the table.  He is a L2 Lore Master of Heavens.  He boosts channeling attempts (most of the time anyway), bestows d3 Vanguard moves on his army, and he can reroll dice to see if Comet of Cassandora arrives to either delay or hasten their landing.

Chakax is a fluffy Scar Veteran intended to be the ultimate Slann bodyguard but he costs too much for what he does.  You will probably never seem him fielded against you.

Gor-rok is a SC Scar Veteran you are likely to see once in a while leading a large block of Saurus Warriors.  He hits hard and has Toughness 6 and Stubborn.

Tik’Taq’To costs a lot, but is dangerous to the Empire at least.  He bestows Ambushers on a unit of Terradon riders.  You do not want Terradons showing up directly behind your artillery line if you can help it.  If you do see this happen to you, magic missiles are your friend.

Oxyotl is a Chameleon Skink hero that can fire three shots per round and as sniper.  Basically he’s a LM Witchhunter with Scout instead of Magic Resistance.

Magic Items:  Blade of Realities is a sword that ignores Armor and Ward saves.  The cost takes up a lord’s entire magic item allowance so you will probably never see this.

The Pirahna Blade costs half this and it bestows d3 wounds and armor piercing on the character.  The Rules as Written allow this to be paired with the Sacred Stegadon Helm of Itza for terrifying results.  The Helm bestows +1 Armor save as with most helms and also boosts the wearers Toughness by 1 and gives him d3 Impact Hits (so these could be made to be armor piercing d3 wound impact hits).

The Skavenpelt Banner bestows Frenzy and Hatred (Skaven), but you won’t see this much because it’s BSB only.  The Jaguar Standard gives units Swiftstride but you will see this one even less because it’s so expensive for what it does.

The Cube of Darkness has a 5/6 chance of dispelling a spell and has a 5/6 chance of snuffing out any Remains in Play spells.  If you cast a RIP early, a canny LM player may let you, then use the Cube on the next spell and remove both spells with one item.  This item is practically standard issue in LM lists that do not use RIP spells themselves (since the Cube eliminates ALL remainins in play spells, not just enemy spells).

The Plaque of Dominion is a bound spell that makes all enemy wizards within 18 inches subject to Stupidity.  Most Wizards can pass a Stupidity test so this doesn’t seem like a big deal, but remember that wizard bunkers with Stupidity also have Immune to Psychology, so they can’t choose to flee if charged.

The Cloak of Feathers makes a Skink character on foot fly.  Since Skink Chiefs can just take flying mounts, the Cloak is usually used to let a Skink priest help a Slann aim spells or set “Kroak Bombs.”

The Horn of Kygor bestows frenzy on dinosaurs within 12 inches, once per game.  Not worth the points.

The Egg of Quango is a hand grenade that inflicts hits once per game like the Bastiladons Solar Engine.  It can be triggered at the start of any close combat round whether the LM charged or received a charge and whether the bearer is in base contact with the enemy or not meaning you are just as likely to see this item carried by Skinks, Sauri, or Slann.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2014, 08:40:49 PM by Scalenex »
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Offline Scalenex

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Re: Empire Versus Lizardmen Tactica
« Reply #2 on: December 29, 2012, 11:42:11 AM »
Part Two, Empire versus Lizardmen


Melee State Troops and Militia:  I don’t have enough experience with Empire yet to be able to name a best anti-LM state troop.  I think they are similar enough that there isn’t a proverbial nickels worth of difference between the various choices.  For a proverbial penny’s worth of difference, I’d go with Halberdiers.  The extra strength will help you since a lot of the LM army list has high toughness scores and most have at least a 6+ armor save.  The Swordsmen WS 4 will help against Saurus since they have WS3 and the extra saves will be nice, but it is probably not critical.

There is likely to be a lot of low strength poisonous Skink shooting coming your way so it MIGHT be worth considering buying shields for your troops where it’s an option, especially for your detachments since they tend to attract the most Skink fire.  I think militia are probably the weakest anti-LM troop on the Empire list because they have no armor and weak attacks.

Handgunners/Crossbowmen:  Did I say militia was the weakest anti-Lizardmen troop you had?  I meant these guys are the weakest.  A small number of these guys might let you seal the deal on some victory points by wiping out small fleeing units but other than that they won’t do much.  I don’t see them hitting hard enough to make Saurus feel threatened or hitting often enough to make Skinks feel threatened.

These guys are move or fire and Skink Skirmishers can march 12 inches then fire.  They can literally run circles around your block shooters and the lack of armor will sting.  You’d probably be slightly better off with Handgunners than Crossbowmen, since the armor piercing will be useful against all the Scaly Skin saves everyone has.  Lizardmen players rarely make their foes come to them so the extra range of crossbowmen is not likely to be as useful as it would otherwise be.

Archers:  The mobility offered by Skirmishing will let archers compete against Skinks.  Skinks probably still have a the edge since they are faster and have poison but if you got to take Core shooters, take archers.  Archers have far better range and fight moderately better in close combat, so they should be able to at least threaten enemy Skirmishers.  If you keep forcing Skinks to leave the charge arcs of your archers, you can theoretically herd them wherever you want.

Knights and Inner Circle Knights:  I’m on the fence.  I think great weapons will be handy for wounding Saurus and the larger dinosaurs but as a Lizardmen player all of my Empire opponents thus far have taken lances (do they know something I don’t?).  The 1+ armor save is hard for Lizards to overcome.  Saurus are pretty strong but on the whole the LM lack very hard hitting targets.  Once knights are hitting at Strength 3, they won’t kill many Lizards though.  That’s why you probably want to take Inner Circle Knights over vanilla knights, especially if you go with Lances.

Knights of either stripe are good because they are mobile.  If you close the distance quickly LM skirmishers have fewer opportunities to ruin your day.  Running down skirmishers is also great fun.  You can also use the THREAT of running down skirmishers to make them back away from your most skirmisher vulnerable units.  The bane of your knights is Skroxigor.  The puny Skinks will serve as shock absorbers for your knights mighty hits while the Kroxigor cleave through your armored units at their leisure.  You can partially mitigate this by targeting the Kroxigor but then you will get less CR than you would otherwise so I’d only try this with Stubborn Knights.


Great Swords:  Great Swords hit hard enough to consistently wound most things on the Lizardmen list.  Don’t get cocky.  With the extra attack, higher toughness, and parry save Core Saurus Warriors are still roughly as lethal as Swords are.  Great Swords are good, but if you really want them to be successful, make sure they have a warrior priest in the unit and/or have a magemobile nearby to buff them.

Flagellants:  I’ve never seen these guys in action and you guys at the Electors Forum don’t seem to use these loveable crazies very much.  In Theory Hammer I think they’d work nice as small expendable units.  They charge or get charged, they win initiative over any Saurus character and smack the crap of their opponents with the flails.  Next turn when their flails are hitting at strength 3, so it really doesn’t matter if they die then or not.  I think a steadfast spearmen block with deep ranks would probably make a better tar pit with against Lizardmen than a unit of Flagellants will be.

Huntsmen:  Like archers but you could theoretically use your Scout drop to make them more annoying and threatening.  They should be able to threaten Skink Skirmishers and Salamanders but Razordons and Chameleon Skinks outclass them by a fair bit.  It’s probably best to use Huntsmen defensively by deploying them in places where you want to keep Chameleon Skinks out of.

I know Markus Wulfhart is the least popular Empire SC, but Markus Wulfhart really struck me as an anti-Lizardmen character when I read about him.  He can put the hurting on Stegadons, Carnosaurs, and Troglodons (not that you are likely to see many Carnosaurs or Troglodons on an anti-Empire list).  More importantly, Wulfhart’s Hunters seem a far greater threat to Razordons and Salamanders because they shoot around the handlers.  Bastilodons seem off to hook thanks to their great armor saves.

Demigryph Knights:  If the dice gods don’t look with disfavor on your Chicken Knights, they should do well.  Strength 5 armor piercing will take the armor save of Saurus, Kroxigor, and Temple Guard to zero and wound on 3s.  They will conversely be hard for your opponents to wound.  Since the front row can attack Kroxigor in the second rank now, Chicken Knights have less to fear from Skrox units than before and they can make the Kroxigor pay for having Always Strikes Last.

Reiksguard Knights:  I don’t see how these guys would play much differently than Core knights.  Unless your Reiksguard get outflanked somehow (which is fairly unlikely with Lizardmen) I don’t see Reiksguard as needing their Stubborn against Lizardmen very often though it may come in handy if you want to assassinate the Kroxigor from a block of Skroxigor.

Pistoliers/Outriders:  Use your Fast Cavalry to wipe out or drive away Skink Skirmishers, Chameleon Skinks, and Salamanders.  Watch out for Razordons.  With their potent Stand and Shoot they are the only skirmishing unit the Lizardmen have that can defend itself particularly well against your light cavalry (when they don’t misfire anyway).  Generally speaking you want to charge your skirmishing opponents rather than shoot at them.  Skink shooters will be able to fire more shots back at you with poison and without -1 to hit.  Razordon are the exception.  Since you don’t want a double Stand and Shoot you should generally try to shoot them rather than charge them.

Great Cannons:  Playing against Lizardmen without at least one cannon is probably not a good idea.  Cannons are nasty against our big dinosaurs (Stegadons, Carnosaurs, Bastilodons, Troglodons).  They are pretty nasty against our medium dinosaurs (Salamanders and Razordons) but there is still a one in three chance your cannon ball will be wasted on a handler.  They can also tear holes through even the toughest infantry.

Mortars:  Strength 2 armor piercing isn’t a lot of damage, but remember that Skinks have Toughness 2 and Armor save 5+ or 6+.  That means you have about a 50% of killing any Skink hit with the template.  The template is big enough that you should be able to hit most or all of a skirmisher unit.  This can let you kill Chameleon Skinks without suffering the -2 penalty to hit.  You can also really knock a Skroxigor block down a peg if you can get the center hole on a Kroxigor.  You have a good chance at killing a Kroxigor and an even better chance of forcing a panic test from the sheer volume of Skinks lost.

Remember that Salamanders and Razordons use the toughness of the dinosaur so despite the handlers have Toughness 2, shooting a Mortar at them is a bad idea.  The mortar will not do much against Saurus.  Still, mortars are more deadly against Lizardmen than against most other armies.  Usually Engineers are most helpful when attached to Volley Guns but given the utility mortars have at squashing skirmishers, they may help you more by rerolling scatter dice.  If you deploy your Mortar and Hellblaster near each other, your Engineer can flatten some Chameleon Skinks in turn one and then switch to the Hellblaster after the war machine hunters are all dead.


Hellblaster Volley Gun:  It still needs BS to hit so you probably won’t be able to stop Chameleon Skinks from advancing into your gun line, but the volume of shots should still decimate regular Skink Skirmishers and Terradons.  It also hits hard enough to put decent wounds on Kroxigor, Temple Guard, and Saurus Cavarly.

Hellstorm Rocket Launcher:  Haven’t seen these bad boys in play.  Theoryhammer, I would call this an anti-Skink weapon, but I’d probably rather go with the Mortar.  If the Lizardmen army is formed up around a Slann BSB in Temple Guard, the whole army is likely clustered tightly so even a widely scattering rocket salvo should hit something.  Against the less common LM armies built around mobile units or monsters the rockets will probably not do much.

Steam Tank:  I would say the STANK is the best anti-Lizardmen Empire unit.  The mounted cannon works as well against Lizardmen as the vanilla cannon.  They also will grind down about any Lizardmen unit they come into contact with.  A deep ranked Skroxigor block is about the only non-magical way a Lizardmen player can take a STANK down without sacrificing half the army to take it down.  Many Lizardmen players when faced with a STANK will try to bypass it by either moving around it or tar pitting it and focusing on the rest of the Empire units. 

Magemobiles:  Against most armies, Luminarks, Hurricanums, and the War Altar of Sigmar are almost required to let your troops stand toe-to-toe with most other armies.  What more can I say than use these top heavy chariots to buff your men and try to box them in.  They are fortunately harder for Terradons and Chameleon Skinks to kill than your artillery is.  You have to be careful about the new Ripperdactyls.  They hit hard enough to threaten your magemobiles.


Mounts:  When Lizardmen players see an enemy character on a special mount, our first instinct is to shoot it down with Skinks.  This means a Captasus with Full Plate Armor is relatively safe and while a lord riding a griffon is relatively vulnerable.  Deploy your flying characters appropriately based on this knowledge.  A Lizardmen player’s second instinct is to use magic to down a character on a special mount, so use your dispel dice with care.  Note that the Heavens lore attribute affects flyers and the majority of LM army lists have a splash of Heavens in them.

The armor save bonus from a barded warhorse is nice and Lizardmen have relatively few ranged attacks that would really make a mounted character miss his Look Out Sir so it is worth considering putting mounted characters in infantry blocks even though you wouldn’t consider do so against an army with artillery.

Witch Hunter:  If you are feeling lucky you can take a Witch Hunter to try to kill a Slann.  If you are feeling sneaky, you can take a Witch Hunter to “try to kill” a Slann.  You see, most LM players are so paranoid about losing their Slann that they will probably make a response to a Witch Hunter disproportionate to the actual threat presented.  This will relieve a lot of pressure off the rest of your army.

Note that a Slann can take an upgrade to be immune to non-magical damage and/or take an item which boosts their Ward Save to 2+ against shooting.  Slann in Temple Guard rarely take those defensive items (unless they player is REALLY paranoid).  Slann deployed by themselves nearly always take one of those upgrades meaning if you see a lone Slann, you are probably better off declaring your Witch Hunter’s quarry as a Skink priest.  For best results, if you are choosing to take a Witch Hunter, a small unit of archers is probably the best delivery system.

The odds aren’t in your favor of killing the Slann.  If you can kill a Slann with your Witch Hunter consider it a bonus but don’t COUNT on him doing so.  That’s about as likely to pay out as relying on Animosity to hit your Orc and Goblin opponent at the perfect time, it just won’t happen that much.

Empire Generals and Grand Masters:  I’d recommend considering giving them the runefang.  LM units are famed for their Armor saves and toughness scores but not their Weapon Skill. 

Empire Captains:  They won’t stand up to most Scar Veterans but they are cheap and can get low armor saves easily.  You’ll want your larger blocks to have Hold the Line! If your troops have to go without buffs temporarily.  It is a viable strategy (though not mandatory by any means) to take lots of captains to give your crucial blocks Hold the Line! So they don’t crumple and die immediately when their more variable buffs aren’t available.

Warrior Priests and Arch Lectors:  Hatred is nice.  Especially with your harder hitting units like Knights and Great Swords.  They will help make up for the gulf of abilities between Empire soldiery and Saurus units.  The prayers are even better.  When backed by battle prayers, your state troops will be able to present their girlfriends and wives with fancy Saurus skin handbags (they’ll be so pleased with them they will overlook their men’s frumpy outfits).  As an added bonus, battle prayers are so cheap they will wear through even a Slann’s ability to dispel everything if you mix prayers up with conventional spells from your Battle Wizards.

Battle Wizards and Battle Wizard Lords:  Most players have their favorite lores.  Whatever your favorite lore is, will probably work better for you against Lizardmen than whatever I suggest.  Let me paint the lores in broad strokes.

As a Lizardmen player, the lore I fear my opponents having most is Shadow.  The hexes to knock back Strength and Toughness are nasty against an army that depends on Strength and Toughness.  Okham’s Mind Razor indirectly makes our Toughness scores worth nothing and the two Initiative based attacks are nasty considering that Slann, Temple Guard, Saurs Cavalry, and Stegadons all have Initiative 2 and Saurus Warriors have Initiative 1.  The Skink ridden monsters now have combined profiles so they test on Initiative 4 though.  Also beware of Bastilodons boosting nearby unit's Initiative.  LM are less vulnerable here than they used to be.

I used to think the only Death spell I need to worry about as a LM player is Purple Sun and Soul Blight (see the Shadow entry on low initiative and hexes).  Then I saw that a persistent player CAN beat my Slann’s strategic dispels, 5 wounds and Ward Saves if they keep at it long enough with hero sniping spells.  Now I fear Death almost as much as Shadows.

Fire is pretty good against Lizardmen in my opinion.  I used it in a LM vs. LM fight once and enjoyed its power immensely.  If you really find enemy skirmishers annoying, Fire is the lore for you!  The magic missiles and Flame Cage will wreak havoc on pretty much any Skink unit.

Light can buff your troops to make them fight LM better.  I think you are mathematically better off using Shadow to hex the Lizardmen’s Strength and Toughness in most cases.  Light has twin advantages of possessing chaff destroying magic missiles and optional bubble effects though.

Even a level one Metal mage with the signature spell alone can butcher Stegadons and especially ancient Stegadons (cannons can do that too, but it’s nice to have options).  If you do not relish the thought of facing the new Bastilodons, Metal will make short work of them.  Having been on the receiving end of a Metal wielding Empire player in a LM versus Empire bout I believe Metal is more about buffing the Empire troops than hurting the Lizardmen troops.

Beasts has some potential as an anti-Lizardmen army because so many of our units are eligible targets for the Wildheart attribute (though Beasts is more about boosting the friendlies than hurting the enemies).

A little bit of Heavens will keep Terradons from ruining your day.  The Hexes and one buff are also nice.  I don’t see why Heavens would be stronger or weaker against Lizardmen than compared to any other army.

Likewise I don’t see why Life would be any stronger or weaker when compared to any other army except maybe that since so many Lizardmen players rely on Life (or at least rely on Life in their early gaming) that they will be prepared for whatever you have and have a solid sense of what the priorities to dispel are.

Special Characters:  As mentioned before Wulfhart will likely have plenty of dinosaurs to shoot at.  I think any character with a runefang (or Ghal Maraz) will do well.  Balthasar Gelt should also do fine.  A normal wizard on a pegasus is vulnerable but Gelt has built in protections against both Skink shooting and magic spells.
« Last Edit: May 16, 2014, 08:57:49 PM by Scalenex »
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Offline Hieronymus

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Re: Empire Versus Lizardmen Tactica
« Reply #3 on: December 29, 2012, 12:57:07 PM »
This is really comprehensive, thanks a lot for putting it all together! I've heard Lizardmen are one of the hardest armies, if you take the real filth, and it's pretty interesting to read about it.

Great job!
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Offline Johann Q Peasant

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Re: Empire Versus Lizardmen Tactica
« Reply #4 on: December 29, 2012, 03:15:22 PM »
Excellent! I play a LM player regularly, but he does not change his list much. I did not know about quite a few of these units!
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Offline codger69

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Re: Empire Versus Lizardmen Tactica
« Reply #5 on: January 05, 2013, 08:44:19 PM »
Great info and well done for acting as a double agent!


Offline Thirsty Beaver

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Re: Empire Versus Lizardmen Tactica
« Reply #6 on: January 06, 2013, 06:58:46 PM »

Great overview though. Don't think I have anything to add.

Highlights in the Empire army would have to be passive bonuses (so the Slann can't dispel them), obviously the Stank, and cannon balls.

Playing against Empire (as lizzies), I would always take: Chameleons, as many Salamanders as possible, Skrox, and Saurus.
them are some stupid and ugly ass pieces. Griffons without wings? Sure as hell ain't touching my army.

Offline Lanceocletian

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Re: Empire Versus Lizardmen Tactica
« Reply #7 on: April 09, 2013, 10:56:01 PM »
Good overview Scalenex

Some questions at Scalenex since he wrote this-

1) How aggressive should an Empire player about going after the Slann?  Do you consider it a 'must kill' priority, or is it typically more viable to get points from other priorities?

2) What is your your hierarchy of priorities for cannon fire against a typical tournament lizard list? 

Offline Scalenex

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Re: Empire Versus Lizardmen Tactica
« Reply #8 on: April 20, 2013, 11:03:06 PM »
Quote from: Lanceocletian link=topica44751.msg807019#msg807019 date=1365548161
Good overview Scalenex

Some questions at Scalenex since he wrote this-

1) How aggressive should an Empire player about going after the Slann?  Do you consider it a 'must kill' priority, or is it typically more viable to get points from other priorities?

I've lost with the Slann still alive more than once.  I've won with the Slann dead before (though that's hard to do). 

2) What is your your hierarchy of priorities for cannon fire against a typical tournament lizard list?

I don't know what a "typical" tournament list is.  I'd recommend this order if tactical concerns aren't immediately obvious:

Engine of the Gods Ancient Stegadons > Carnosaurs > Stegadons with Skinks Chiefs > Ancient Stegadons > Stegadons.  It becomes less clear cut when you run out of big dinosaurs (I don't take them on my tournament lists myself).  It becomes a close race between Temple Guards and Salamanders.  Scar Veterans on Cold Ones in infantry blocks are pretty vulnerable to cannons.  If your opponent accidentally gives you a sideways view of a line of Cold One Riders or Terradons, that should be something you want to shoot at.
« Last Edit: January 29, 2015, 09:21:31 PM by Scalenex »
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Offline Scalenex

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Re: Empire Versus Lizardmen Tactica
« Reply #9 on: August 10, 2013, 09:43:07 PM »
I edited my earlier posts to bring them inline with the new book, I will continue to add little things here as I get more familiar with it.
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Offline Holy Hand Grenade

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Re: Empire Versus Lizardmen Tactica
« Reply #10 on: August 19, 2013, 03:32:42 AM »
Tactica seems to be your bread and butter Scalenex-  I was visiting the Lustria website for tips after buying the new Lizardmen book and saw all your Tactica there.

Thanks for creating this thread here!

I noticed one thing you need to update the thread with for the new book:  Sallies and Razors can move and shoot, they just can't March and shoot any longer.

It will definitely make it harder for the LM player to get them at a decent range before they get targeted/charged....

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Offline Scalenex

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Re: Empire Versus Lizardmen Tactica
« Reply #11 on: May 16, 2014, 08:59:04 PM »
I added descriptions of the Lizardmen special characters and magical items.  I fixed some typos and I added a few tidbits based on things I've learned by playing with LM more with the new book (and that I gleaned from Lustria-Online).
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