Looking to see how new-and-improved Saurus hold up in the tome, I took a (mostly) pure Saurus list against a friend's Bonereapers. Both our lists were fairly casual, especially so for the Bonereapers. My list: Koatl's Claw Oldblood on Carnosaur (General) Command trait: Dominant Predator Artefact: Dimensional blade Scar-Vet on Carnosaur Artefact: Eviscerating blade Sunblood Starpriest 40 Warriors (spears) 20 Warriors (clubs) 20 Warriors (clubs) 5 Knights (spears) 5 Knights (clubs) 3 Salamanders Sunclaw Templehost His list: Ossiarch Bonereapers (no subfaction) Arkhan the Black Mortisan Boneshaper (General) Artefact: Granted extra RDP or something Command trait: Not sure Vokmortian 10 Mortek Guard (blades) 10 Mortek Guard (blades) 10 Mortek Guard (blades) 3 Necropolis Stalkers 2 Morghast Archai Gothizzar Harvester Mortek Crawler Mortek Shield-corps (?) __________ The gametype was Shifting Objectives Battle round 1: OBR: I deploy first, and let the Bonereapers take the first turn. The primary objective lands on the right hand side of the battlefield. Arkhan throws out a handful of mystic shields, Vokmortian generates some extra discipline points, and the Bonereapers advance with boosted movement onto all three objectives. The Crawler fires its standard shots into the ranks of my 40-strong Saurus unit - but the new 4+ save comes through and saves me from any damage. Out of range of a charge, the Reapers hold the line for my turn. Seraphon: The Skink casts a spell that prevents the largest unit of Seraphon from taking battleshock, and retreats into the Realmshaper Engine for cover. The rest of the Saurus move forward. On the right flank, near the primary objective, my three Salamanders spit at the unit of Mortek holding it. My bad rolls mean only four fall to the flames. The 20-strong block of Saurus beside them charge in to finish them off. On the opposite side of the battlefield, the Oldblood leads the other 20-strong block of Saurus into battle against a Gothizzar Harvester and 10 more Mortek. Buffed by the asterism I chose in my hero phase, the Oldblood buffs himself and the nearby Warriors, strikes first and completely demolishes the Harvester. In return, the Mortek next to it kill 6 Saurus and remove their extra attack. On the primary objective, the Mortek are reduced to a single man - he too would be dead, but I intentionally avoided piling in more Saurus so that the nearby Stalkers could not enter the fray. Back by the Oldblood, the 14 remaining Saurus strike, but without their extra club attack, their impact is blunted against the rerolling saves of the Mortek, and none are killed. Unable to charge, the 40-strong Saurus block hold the center flanked by the Scar-Vet and Knights, but not enough are in range to capture the objective. Score: 5-4 to OBR Battle round 2: Seraphon: The primary objective moves to the centre. Seraphon win the roll-off and take the double-turn. The Starpriest tries, and fails, to cast Starlight onto the Mortek battling the Saurus on the left side of the field. Instead, he kicks the Realmshaper into life and shoots it at a river in the Reaper backline, killing some Mortek and wounding Vokmortian and the enemy General. Again, the Salamanders spit, and kill one of the Stalkers. The 40-strong block of Saurus engages the Mortek guarding the central objective, pulling in a Morghast Archai. The other Archai is tagged by 5 of the Knights, forcing them to split their attacks. Again, the Oldblood strikes first, strengthened by the asterism, and decimates the left flank of the Bonereapers. The central Mortek strike back, and a handful of Saurus fall to their glowing swords. The charging Knights pile-in, ripping one of the Archai to pieces. On the right flank, the Saurus minimize their pile-in, still wary of dragging in the two remaining Stalkers, and fail to kill the single remaining Mortek as a consequence. Then the massive block of spear-wielding Saurus attack and do... Nothing. 40 of Koatl's finest have their charge broken against the shield-wall of the Mortek. Their failure is punished by the sweeping glaive of the lone Archai, which kills a handful more of them. I am disheartened by my Saurus' efforts, but I now control all 3 objectives. OBR: Arkhan claps back. Raising his staff aloft, some of the Saurus spears before him wither and die to the Curse of Years. At the same time, the Mortek fighting them are given enhanced Nadirite weapons by their leader's magic. Arkhan and the Boneshaper do what they do best - heal the wounded heroes, and return t Mortek to the battle. The Crawler fires again, this time seeking to cripple the Oldblood rampaging on the left flank, but the rain of arcane skulls rattle harmless off his scaly hide. The Stalkers charge in to assist the newly revived Mortek, and Arkham himself joins the fray against the Saurus spear regiment. Striking first, the Stalkers kill a mere 5 Warriors. The spear regiment fights next, once again failing to kill a single Mortek, and dealing minor injury to Arkhan - who then fights back and crushes several Saurus with his abyssal mount. The Saurus on the right finally manage to kill the last of the Mortek, but now have to find a way to deal with the four-armed constructs picking them apart. Without the momentum of a charge, the Knights only manage a couple of wounds on the Archai. Enhanced Nadirite weapons then strike and kills swathes of the now reeling spear regiment. Those who remain flee in the face of the unyielding undead. The primary objective stays in Bonereaper control. Score: 9-8 to Seraphon Battle round 3: Seraphon: The objective remains in the center. Fortunately, I again manage to win the roll off. The Starpriest once more attempts to summon Starlight, but is thwarted by the superior magical ability of Arkhan. Frustrated, he shoots the Realmshaper again, and kills a few more Mortek guard. The Saurus contingent on the left moves over the bones of their slain foes to attempt to succeed where the Saurus spears failed. The Oldblood, frenzied after chewing through a Harvester and 10 Mortek is able to run and charge - straight into Arkhan's flank. The Scar-Vet moves in to assist with the center objective, while the two remaining Stalkers fall to a hail of Salamander acid. Assisted once more by the asterism, his own command ability, and the command ability of the Sunblood lurking in the Saurus backline, the Oldblood spurs into action. Before the Carnosaur even gets to attack, the Oldblood's relic spear explodes into three extra attacks. Due to wounding on twos, all of them hit their mark, and Arkhan is destroyed - unable to manage a save even if he tried against the unstoppable rend of the Dimensional blade. The Mortek kill a number of Saurus warriors, but the Scar-Vet beside them kills several with the Eviscerating blade's mortal wounds, and finishes the rest with a final crushing bite. The Bonereaper forces are shattered, and they concede. Seraphon victory __________ First impressions: Being able to play a (viable) saurus-based army with no slann support was something I've been wanting to do for a long time. The warriors are starting to feel like the vicious killing machines the lore paints them as, but I'm still not entirely convinced by them. It might be because I was fighting against arguably the best defensive army in the game (Mortek guard with rerolled saves genuinely keep me awake at night), but these weren't even Petrifex Elites and the warriors struggled to chew through them effectively despite outnumbering them vastly. Because of that, I don't see them being represented very often in competitive play. I didn't get to use my knights much, but it looks like they might actually be capable of some pretty serious damage on the charge (7 attacks each in Koatl's Claw). I will definitely be experimenting with them more. The Oldblood was really the true hero of this game. For years, this guy has let me down in combat time and time again. This time, he truly played like the force of nature his model evokes. I discussed the wording of the Sunclaw Starhost with my friend before the game, and asked whether he would let me field a mounted Oldblood as part of the batallion. As written, this is a hazy area - but I will fight tooth and nail for rightful -2 rend on the Carno's Jaws. He agreed, but as it turns out, this was inconsequential as the Dimensional blade killed virtually everything it touched before the Carnosaur got its turn: -3 rend on up to 4 exploding attacks with 3 damage can be really nasty. There are obviously better strategic options in terms of artifacts, but for now, this one has helped satisfy my Oldblood power-fantasy. Overall, I'm reasonably happy with where saurus have been left. In the future I'll put together some more well-optimized saurus lists for Koatl's Claw and maybe Starborne, and pitch them against something a bit more competitive. But, for now, I definitely agree with the consensus that skinks are going to run the Seraphon meta - I will have t play with them to know for sure.