A guest piece by Minus67
With the arrival of the massive earthquake that is 8th edition many people have been wondering how to change their armies to be both legal under the new rules and effective under the new system. I have been playing with my lizards for awhile now and with around 30-40 games of 8th under my belt I feel I can accurately give some advice on what to you can do with the servants of the Old Ones these days.
Though 8th edition has sought to in some ways address the rise of “hero” or “smash” hammer that 7th edition had become towards the end, we must still begin in the heroes and lords section of the book when designing an army. You may be tempted to run a Oldblood, or even and Oldblood on a Carnausaur, saying to yourself, “ Its 8th edition! Magic isn’t as important, I can have more than one lord!” You would be dead wrong. Not much has changed in this section, and these days the Slann Mage Priest is still king. I don’t want to overstate how important he is but if your army list doesn’t start with a Slann Mage Priest, start over and try again - you're just wasting paper and ink. Here is how I have been running my Slaan and he has been fairly effective.
1 Slann Mage-Priest (Battle Standard Bearer, Life Magic)
1 Cupped Hands of the Old Ones (can ignore a miscast on 2+ pass it to another wizard)
1 Divine Plaque of Protection (2+ ward save vs. Ranged Attacks)
1 Standard of Discipline (+1 leadership)
1 Higher State of Consciousness (immune to non-magical attacks)
1 Focus of Mystery (he knows all of one lore)
1 The Becalming Cogitation (picks one enemy wizard in the magic phase, all rolls of 6 are discarded)
1 The Focused Rumination (gets a free power dice on each casting of a spell)
The Skink Priests and Chiefs of before usually were to be found on the backs of their trusty Stegadons but now thanks to the 25% restrictions on heroes you can only really afford to have one. When faced with the choice of either taking a Warspear Stegadon or an Engine of the Gods the choice is easy. You take the Engine every time as your army must have some form of protection from shooting, especially cannons which seems to have bred like two rabbits left in a dark room. Not to mention that heavens magic is not too bad these days and the extra caster is nice. Some people still seem to like taking a Scar Veteran, but with the change to how bound items work not having the Jaguar Charm takes all the fun out of these guys. The hero slot is also where you will take your one sad dispel scroll/ Cube of Darkness which will make you pucker every time someone throws 6 dice at Purple Sun and you have no scrolls left.
Core, core, core
We all have to have tons of it now and that is a good thing for Lizardmen players out there. In 7th edition core was a mandatory 210 points of Skink skirmishers who ran around trying to poison everything and running away if anything so much as glanced at them. I know I will draw some flak for this, but I’ll say it, Skinks suck. With the rise of large units of infantry, loss of 360 degree sight and march blocking these little pests should be resigned to the shelf for a bit. I find that shelling out for two 30 man blocks of Saurus Infantry with Hand/Weapon Shield and full command that not only fills the required points but are two seriously beefy units that are very rarely swept away or broken thanks to being Cold Blooded on Leadership 9 thanks to the big fat frog. Skink cohorts are another unit that has just never been good and continues to be sub-par especially now with more people effectively gaining the fight in two ranks ability that made these units special. Jungle Swarms are still just as terrible as before. If you find yourself short a few points on core take a unit of ranked up skinks but only in that case as they are pretty much incapable of doing any task that does not involve dying. Though they are the best cheap “redirector” unit the Lizardmen have.
The Lizardmen specials are just that, special and not in a good way either. With the rise of true line of sight, large units and the change to how you shoot at war machines I find terribledons to be true to their name. They are constantly shot to pieces or magic missiled out of the sky. Thanks to mysterious woods even their arboreal predator rule doesn’t help them. Templeguard are now forced to used their halberds all the time which makes them very expensive Saurus who pay 5 points a model for having the luxury of Weapon Skill 4. Stegadons while cool on the surface of much less exciting now due to the change in how templates and cannons work and both hit EVERYONE on board. Apparently cannons and pinball machines have much in common. This in combination with the introduction of steadfast means Stegadons will always need help breaking units. Saurus Cavalry are about as good as they were before but still suffer from being way too expensive due to paying a premium for causing fear which is essentially worthless now. This brings us to the two bright spots in the lizard specials the first being Kroxigors. Many people are still down on these handy-capable guys, but a unit of 6 can lay some seriously power down. Cold Blooded 7 means you can run them outside of the aura of the general without too much worry about panic and 4+ armor is just about the best you will get these days. They play very well into life magic with each spell healing wounds and regrowth bringing them back to life. This coupled with stomp and move of 6” pairs very well with Stegadons or Saurus Warriors. Chameleon Skinks were fairly worthless in 7th but now that poison works on war machine these little guys will solve all of your war machine woes and will cost you under 100 points to do it.
As for rare choices, there is pretty much only one, the lowly Salamander. Holy crap these guys are amazing now, no partial hits 6” move instant panic check? Sign me up. Razordons continue to disappoint and everything true for Stegadons is still true for Ancient Stegadons.
Here is the complete I have been taking:
Slaan Mage-Priest ( as mentioned above)
Skink Priest (Level 2 Upgrade)
Engine of the Gods
1 Cube of Darkness
(30) Saurus Warriors (full command, Hand Weapon Shield)
(30) Saurus Warriors (full command, Hand Weapon Shield)
(1) Ancient Stegadon
Comments and thoughts are welcome fellow denizens of Lustria. What have you been seeing on the tabletops?