Dave's thoughts on the new lizards

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Latedave
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Dave's thoughts on the new lizards

Post by Latedave » Wed Sep 04, 2013 11:25 am

After a really fun game last night (and incredibly unlucky dice rolls for my skaven opponent) I thought I'd give my feedback on the new lizards and see what others thought, it's not comprehensive, just what stood out for me out of the book and new units.

Special rules:

Predatory Fighter - It's a little meh to be honest, I forgot about it quite a bit and it's one of those GW mechanics where you seem to constantly be rolling dice. I think it equates to an extra Saurus in standard 20 lizard unit combat so not that bad but hardly game changing. If there was a frenzy banner (that wasn't overpriced and only worked on skaven) it would start to be pretty good. My guess is they chucked it in to compensate for the reduced buffs the Slann can hand out now he's not a power dice generating machine.

Lords:

Oldblood: I think he got worse, the drop to I3 really hurts him and means you need to get hand of glory off to boost it or even elite troops will be punching him first let alone characters. Since the Scar Vet dropped in points the only reason I can think you'd take him now is for the 100 pt magic allowance and do some nasty combos.

Slann: Needed the drop in power but the disciplines are definitely pretty unexciting. Lore Master is nice (although for high magic only) and the ability to roll first failed dispel but the rest are fairly situational. Soul of Stone is pretty good if you're planning on rolling lots of dice for irresistable force as it might let you avoid dimensional cascade. He's still going to be the go to Lord but definitely a bit worse than before. On the plus side his Temple Guard got a lot, lot better and thanks to auto passing look out sir he's pretty survivable. Probably the nicest thing now is he can leave the unit so irresistable force isn't quite such a worry!

Heroes:

Scar Vet: Definitely my go to choice going forward, got cheaper and can pick up a mount easily (not sure I'd ever take a carnie!). I can see me with him running around on a cold one, either as BSB to compensate for leadership drops elsewhere or as a warmachine/ small unit hunter.

Skink Priest: Arcane vessel means the Slann can cast direct damage through him and I think he's a pretty solid choice. Lore of Beasts is great also as it really helps boost the things lizards care about, strength and toughness although casting it on skinks is pretty amusing.

Skink chief: Probably fun to have flying around on a ripperdactal but given the priest is pretty much a necessity now with arcane vessel I can't see him getting a lot of use.

Core:

Saurus: I suppose they improved with predatory fighter and free spears are nice but they also can't rely on being buffed by life in combat like they used to.

Skinks: These guys got a lot better!!! 5+ armour save now and the ability for them to take poison on their hand weapons is fantastic. I took a forty man unit last night and although they still die to a stiff breeze they're pretty useful against chaff. Plus high magic allows some shennigans to move them forward for some javelin fun. That said the drop to LD5 is pretty brutal and they'll be running a lot more.

Krox: Yeah S7 is nice but they're still not resiliant enough, T4 just means they take too many wounds and Ogres and their equivalents mince them. Useful against heavy cav I suppose but not sold (and then they can't stomp). The main use I see would be to give the skinks fear so they wouldn't have to take terror tests for being charged.

Special:

Temple Guard: Points drop but otherwise unchanged but that's all they needed really. S5 with the halberds is still very useful and I really like that they make the Slann auto-pass look out sir now.

Cav: Still very pricey even with the 2 attacks now for cold ones and other armies do it better, still can't see me taking them, particularly with the below...

Ripperdactals: Love the look of this unit, annoyingly forgot them last night but killing blow and frenzy means you can throw out lots of attacks and also play a few mind games where you can put their toad blot which grants them hatred against the target.

Bastildon: The interweb seems very excited but I can't get that enthused about this, the solar engine is quite cool but it's a very expensive short ranged buff which only puts your I up by 1 so you still need hand of glory to go off to get the extra I. I just think Steggies are still better speaking of which...

Rare:

Ancient Steggie: Yeah so he got a lot lot better and there's not a lot that competes in the rare slot for me. Sharpened horns for d3 impact hit wounds are brutal! Really that and being a bit cheaper means I can't really see a reason to take a regular steg any more, the giant bows are less efficient than the blow pipes unless the monsters armoured and the aren't many of those. Engine of the Gods no longer requires a priest but it does seem a little less powerful than before and without it, two steggies with sharpened horns are possible in a 2000 pt game.

Magic Items:

This was my biggest disappointment in the book really. Cupped hands clearly needed to go but the replacements are pretty rubbish. Steggie helm is quite nice for extra toughness and D3 impact hits as is the piranha blade for D3 wounds and AP. Both the banners are well overpriced and the magic items are underwhelming although cube of darkness could be very nice at lulling a life player into massively buffing a unit and then getting rid of it all. The egg would be quite fun for comedy value but then you need another 40 pt character to get it into combat for you.

Magic:

High magic has a few nice augments, walk through worlds and apothesis being particularly good but there's too much direct damage stuff really for my liking. Given the Slann and his temple guard will end up in combat pretty early on it means the skink priest is compulsory and any smart player is going to splatter him if he leaves a skink unit to get some angles for magic. Still the mega spell is pretty evil and remaining in play should be entertaining.

Overall I think the book became more balanced. The army as a whole has become less reliant on the Slann who has dropped in power but certainly doesn't seem to be as nerfed (to me anyway) as the internet is screaming. Saurus and Temple Guard will function better in combat thanks to predatory fighter but I think the core winner was the skinks, poison attacks will make a big difference. That said I really don't see why GW dropped their LD to 5, even with cold blooded that's pretty unreliable and now means a BSB caddy is a serious consideration as an extra tax (although again I suppose less focus on the Slann). I can't see me buying any of the new stuff though at the moment, nice though some of the models are I just can't see what they offer that's significantly better than what was already available. I do like the ripperdactals though but I'll probably use counts as terradons!

Psiclops
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Re: Dave's thoughts on the new lizards

Post by Psiclops » Thu Sep 05, 2013 2:37 pm

Agree with you on pretty much everything there.
Magic Items:

This was my biggest disappointment in the book really.
I'm not sure anyone has been pleased with any of the 8th books on this score - part of the merging of MI's into the main rulebook.

Only thing I think you've missed the point on is the High Magic - I would point out that Direct Damage spells can't be cast INTO combat, but CAN be cast OUT OF combat. It's Magic Missiles that can't be cast out of combat.

Thus there is only 1 that can't be used in CC - and in any case with the Contemplations Lore, he can use that base Magic Missile in the early turns, and swap it out for situational requirements ! I don't think this is a big issue.

Latedave
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Re: Dave's thoughts on the new lizards

Post by Latedave » Fri Sep 06, 2013 9:53 am

Ahh didn't realise you could cast out of combat with direct magic which does make a big difference. I'm also increasingly liking Hand of Glory as well for the all over stat boost.

Yeah the magic items aren't awful (with a couple of exceptions) but they are very pricey, blade of realities is tempting for instance but the points cost is so high that it's a lot of risk to put on a character who'll be striking second.

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