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Army Fluff Official Lizzies fluff 'n' stuff

Discussion in 'Fluff and Stories' started by Zen Shrugs, Jan 22, 2018.

  1. Zen Shrugs

    Zen Shrugs Member

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    G'day all,

    So, being new here, I thought I'd do the typical newbie thing and post a GIANT WALL OF POSSIBLY UNECESSARY TEXT like an overexcited Skink.

    It seems from poking around the forums that there's not really a list of official GW sources of Lizardmen fluff here. The Lustriapedia seems more focused on fan fluff, so I decided to make a separate thread. If I've missed the obvious, please feel free to steer me in the correct direction as dictated by the sacred plaque of Nubizazili.

    My own knowledge mostly covers earlier editions of Warhammer Fantasy Battle, up to the end of 6th edition, so if anyone wants to add to this list with later fluff, be my guest.

    Anyway, here's a start...

    Roll back the rock to the dawn o' time!

    1st edition

    Richard Halliwell creates Lustria. The first proper setting for Warhammer Fantasy. Yep, before the Old World. Don't believe me? Go here and edumacate yourself.

    Slann! Lizardmen! Amazons! Norse! Gonzo 80s science-fantasy weirdness! It's all here! Of course, the Slann and the Lizzies were a bit different in them thar days... skinny frog-men and a separate faction of lizard types.

    Unfortunately he never quite got around to making a full supplement. All we really had were the 'Legend of Kremlo the Slann' and 'The Shrine of Rigg' scenarios in the Citadel Compendiums.

    2nd edition

    I don't know much about this era, but I gather a bit more detail was added to Lustria. Native creatures like the Giant Toads and Culchans (flightless terror birds) popped up.

    3rd edition

    Popular with Oldhammer fans. I'm not sure what happened to Lustria in this period. I'm pretty sure that by this point the focus had firmly shifted across the World Pond to the Old World setting.

    4th edition

    Here I can speak with a bit more expertise. 4th edition WFB was the first 'big boxed starter set' version, with two armies in a box--High Elves versus Goblins (and Orcs?)--plus the rulebooks and templates.

    The Warhammer Fantasy background was codified and revamped into more or less the version we know today. A lot of early installment weirdness dropped out. It's one of the reasons there's a bit of a split between 3rd edition 'Oldhammer' players and 4th+ era people.

    This era also saw the release of the first army books. Each and every one is a classic of its kind. Packed with fluff. I highly recommend you track them down on eBay or wherever. Especially the High Elf book. Or the 5th ed revised one a few years later. That twelve-page history section... seriously, I only read it a couple of years ago and my jaw was on the floor.


    Not about Lustria. Find one of them anyway. Either will do. You'll thank me.

    However... not much was done with Lustria in 4th edition. In fact I don't think it got much of a mention at all. There was no Lizardman army book in this period. The best we got was a short description of Skaven Clan Pestilens' sojourn in Lustria (which makes it sound like they basically ran the place).

    5th edition

    Ladies and gennelmen, we've hit the jackpot.

    Now in rules terms, 5th was just a tidy-up of 4th. All the army books stayed current and fully usable, although the High Elf book was revised as shown above, and some new ones were released. The magic supplement was revised, but it was all pretty much the same game. Better people than I can tell you about alleged army creep, Herohammer, abuse of magic items and all the rest of it. I can't comment, as I wasn't playing back then.

    But the big news... the BIG news... was that the Lizzies received their first army book.


    Remember, this was pretty much the first time the Lizardmen in any form had shown up since way back in the 80s. They were effectively an entirely new race redone from the ground up. They even featured in the 5th ed starter set, opposing the Bretonnians. Which was a bit weird, but then again, they were the two new(ish) factions at the time.

    What's in Warhammer Armies: Lizardmen (5th edition) by Nigel Stillman, you ask? Quite a lot. Really quite a lot.
    • The continent of Lustria is reintroduced and the locations of major temple-cities like Itza and Tlaxtlan are revealed.
    • The Slann become the bloated, contemplative fellows we know and love today, while the 'old Slann' referred to in earlier editions become the much more mysterious Old Ones.
    • Saurus, Skinks, Stegadons, Terradons, Salamanders, Kroxigors, that one Chameleon Skink guy and... er... swarms of snakes all show up here.
    • Special characters include Mazdamundi (quite an easygoing fellow at this point), Lord Kroak, the aforementioned Chameleon Skink whose name escapes me, and a poolful of others such as the whimsically named Lotl Botl (translation: 'Very Hard') and Kroq.
    • The sacred gold plaques, the Skaven plagues and the rise of Sotek, the layout of temple-cities and all the other foundations of the modern Lizardmen are set down here. The coming of the Norse, the Vampire Coast and Zlatlan in the Southlands are also discussed. Oh, and the Amazons are retconned as exiled Norsewomen (grumble, mutter, grumble...)
    • Extensive fluff stories (some many pages long) cover the Arabian Ibn Jellaba's journeys in the Southlands, the Cathayan Yin Tuan's adventures with the Lizardmen, Marco Colombo's 'discovery' of Lustria, and the enigmatic Well of Time.
    • Two (two!) timelines of the Lizardmen are given--one in standard format, and the other framed as a translated scroll called the Chronicles of Itza, written in stilted Lizardman style.
    • The basics of Saurian and the Lizardman glyphs are covered.
    Basically, this book is Itza in print form. Get it if you can.

    Nigel Stillman also has a memorable writing style of his own--almost Discworldlian at times--that makes me adore this book, even though it has its share of inconsistencies and mistakes. He's the only GW writer that I feel really *gets* the Lizardman perspective and their quirky charm.

    The book doesn't contain my absolute #1 piece of Lizardman fluff, though. That comes later.

    A few things of note:
    • The Lizardmen are *not* described as able to teleport around the world via portals. Mazdamundi's sea-parting powers are as close as we get. In fact, despite the Herohammer era's reputation for being cartoony, everything here feels more lo-fi and realistic compared to later editions. This is actually true of other 4th/5th ed era fluff as well. The models and artwork are bold and brash and cartoony--but the fluff is quite grounded. But see below.
    • Lustria itself is described as passively dangerous. It's the heat, the humidity, the pestilence and the sheer unending monotony of endless jungle that eventually gets you. It's not yet the lethal 40K-style deathworld that it will become in later editions. I like this version better, but YMMV.
    • Spawning seems to happen spontaneously according to the Old Ones' plans, but there are a few odd references to 'breeding' (see the Chameleon guy's entry) that might be a holdover from an earlier idea that the Lizzies bred normally.
    • Puns. Puns everywhere. I love it.
    • 'X' is specifically described as being pronounced 'sh'. So Tlax is Tlash. This changed in later editions. Probably because nobody ever pronounced it that way.
    • Perry Lizardmen are the best Lizardmen. Especially the Saurus. You can keep your anorexic constipated turtlehead boys. :p

    Other 5th edition sources of Lizardman fluff

    You can find quite a few other bits and pieces about the Lizzies in 5th ed materials if you rummage in the bushes.

    A Dark Conspiracy

    Around the same time the 5th ed book came out, Games Workshop ran a worldwide campaign in White Dwarf called 'A Dark Conspiracy'. It was inspired by the Ichar IV campaign for 40K, and organised by the same guy (Jervis Johnson). Yes, the first WFB campaign starred the Lizzies!

    (Don't get this confused with 'Dark Shadows'. That was the Albion campaign for 6th.)

    The plot ran for four issues of White Dwarf (#205-208, UK versions). It involved Mazdamundi sending Lizzies all over the world to retrieve sacred artefacts looted from Huatl by the naughty Bretonnians. He was able to do this because the planets had aligned, sending a pulse of energy through the ancient ley line network (what later editions called the geomantic web).

    Yep, this was the first use of the magic teleport trick. The campaign fluff made it very clear that this was a once-off event that only became possible every ten thousand years or so. Needless to say, later editions conveniently forgot this detail.

    Mazdamundi also needed a very important item from the Crusader City of Antoch. So the Lizzies trashed it. An impressive Games Day display was made to showcase the siege.

    Amusingly, because the Lizzies were a new army and a lot of players didn't know they were basically trying to save the world, Jervis arranged the plotline so that all the 'evil' armies ended up working for the Lizzies to retrieve the artefacts while the 'good' guys opposed them. After all, they're scary savage reptile men! Clearly they're out to kill us all! (Skaven didn't help, though. They knew better.)

    Now here's the strange part. Jervis partly based his idea for this campaign on The X-Files. A secret Lizardman conspiracy, a twist ending (they're good guys!) and so on. And guess what happened? 'A Dark Conspiracy' has been all but forgotten. Even though Ichar IV, from the same period, had a huge impact on 40K fluff. I don't think any of the Conspiracy fluff made it into later editions, unless there's something about Antoch in the 6th ed Bret book. I just checked Wikipedia and the campaign's not even mentioned there.

    It's almost as if it's been hushed up. Where's Mulder and Scully when you need them?

    Now let's fast forward a few years...

    Warhammer Armies: Dogs of War


    Also for 5th edition. This army book covered mercenaries. It was written by, you guessed it, Nigel Stillman. (Plus Tuomas Pirinen, Rick Priestley and possibly others.)

    Now you may have heard about a Lizardman mercenary regiment called Tichi-Huichi's Raiders. Sadly, they're not in here. So why am I mentioning this book?

    Well, Dogs of War features a lot of background on the country of Tilea. And the Tileans are explorers. Marco Colombo came from there. In the back of the book there's a chunk of background on Tilean ships, the Lustrian Venture and other cool stuff. A bit of a tangent to Lustria itself, but worth a look.

    Also, one of the mercenary regiments is Pirazzo's Lost Legion. They get a two-page entry (mostly fluff) all about their adventures in Lustria.

    But finally, and most importantly as far as I'm concerned... Dogs of War features THE SINGLE BEST BIT OF LIZZIES FLUFF EVER WRITTEN.

    Cough. 'Scuse me while I hawk up this hyperbole hairball.

    But seriously folks. It's a flavour-text box about half a page in length on p72. Featuring one El Cadavo's attempt to rip off... er... I mean establish trade relations with the Lizardmen. The story was reprinted in White Dwarf during 6th edition--I think it was in the issue that had the preview army list for the Lizzies before they got their next army book.

    Anyway, what happens is that El Cadavo offers them a bunch of worthless beads.

    The Lizzies are unimpressed and turn down the offer.

    El Cadavo gets annoyed. He instructs the men to fire the ship's cannons to put the fear of guns, germs and steel into the barbaric primitives.

    The Lizzies continue to look unimpressed. A Skink interpreter informs El Cadavo that he has offended their gods and therefore Sotek shall eat the sun.

    All the Tileans burst out laughing at this ridiculous idea.

    Then the sun goes dark.

    Argh! Fear! Panic! End of the world! Back to the boats! Row, damn you, row!

    The final line of the story, and I quote:

    "On the shore the Skinks watched the eclipse complete its divine cycle, grinning as only Lizards can."

    And that right there is why I love Nigel's 5th edition Lizardmen so much.

    Tichi-Huichi's Raiders

    After the release of Dogs of War, extra Regiments of Renown were made and their rules were published in White Dwarf over several months. One of these was Tichi-Huichi's Raiders. They're Skinks on Cold Ones (the 5th ed kinda-sorta-velociraptor style, same as the old Dark Elves).

    For those of you who don't live in Austra-lustria (thanks for that Spawning of Bob), it's a bit tricky for me to pin down exactly which issue of White Dwarf they were featured in. By this point Australia had set up a local editing team producing its own content. Sometimes our articles ran an issue before or after the UK or US versions of the magazines. Anyway, in my Australian copy, Tichi-Huichi's Raiders appear in issue #232.

    Tichi-Huichi gets a solid two-page spread of fluff with a few rules at the end. Again, it's written by Nigel Stillman and is a cracking read. (Gawd, I'm such a fan.) Tichi-Huichi is from the Southlands, not Lustria, and goes on all sorts of adventures fighting alongside Dwarfs, Tomb Kings, Arabians... He can't speak a word of any other language, but his enemies always see the benefit of hiring him instead of killing him, and he takes payment in certain gold artefacts that conveniently turn up wherever he goes. Clearly the Old Ones have chosen him for a great videogame collect-a-thon. I mean destiny.

    ...Right, I think that's it for 5th edition. Isn't it?

    Hang on... there's an article about the Vampire Coast in White Dwarf somewhere. With a scenario vs High Elves. Around issue #213? Not sure. I'll have to go look it up. And there are some battle reports, e.g. issue #206 (Lizzies vs Clan Pestilens Skaven allied with Nurgle Chaos... eek).

    Anyway, that'll do for now. I'll try to get 6th edition covered in the next couple of days. Stay tuned...
  2. Zen Shrugs

    Zen Shrugs Member

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    OK, before I go on to 6th edition, I just want to make a few more choice remarks about 5th.

    Firstly, the 5th ed Lizardmen book is full of errors, typos and fluff inconsistencies. Even my 'reprinted with corrections' version.
    • Marco Colombo's story says he went to Tlax, but the timeline says it was Tlaxtlan (an error that's been copy-pasted into later edition army books).
    • Luther Harkon is defeated by Lord Xltloc, Xltoc (typo) or Xltep depending on which page you read. Or possibly all three. Who knows?
    • The diagram of the Pahuax pyramid shows a chamber of Sotek and a sacrificial snake-pit even though Pahuax is said elsewhere to have been destroyed before the collapse of the polar gate.

    And so on. There's more, believe me.

    And yet it doesn't matter a bit, because the languid Lustrian atmosphere conjured up by this book is second to none. I liken it to Mordheim--it just has a mood all of its own.

    (Oddly, I don't think Quetza is named as the Skaven-infested city either. But it's mentioned in the 5th edition Battle Book--one of the books in the starter set--so that's OK.)

    Secondly, I forgot to mention that White Dwarf #232 (Aussie edition) is a bit of a Lizzies special. As well as Tichi-Huichi's Raiders, there's a couple of terrain articles by Nick Davis, a beginner's guide to collecting an army, and a tactics article by Mike Walker.

    Now this isn't strictly fluff-related... but if you've never heard of Mike Walker, now is the time to fix that. He wrote a lot of articles for 5th and 6th edition WFB back in the day, and everyone read them. Everyone. Even if they had zero interest in playing or collecting Fantasy. Why? Because they were funny as hell.

    His Lizardmen article, 'Fighting with Cold Blood', is worth a read just for sheer entertainment value. Favourite line: "You can drop an office block on a Skink and he will still save on a six."

    Finally, I just want to mention one brief aside from White Dwarf #206, which accompanied the release of the 5th ed book: "Having a sacred plan to follow is rather comforting, and conveniently gives you carte blanche to slaughter anyone you can reach." Ouch. A bit more topical now than it was in the 90s, methinks.

    Right then. Onwards!

    6th edition


    The release of 6th ed WFB was a bit of a turning point. It wasn't quite the massive upheaval that took place between 2nd and 3rd ed 40K (which pretty much changed the rules system entirely), but it was still at least a 5.1 on the Sacred Continental Adjustment Scale of Riq-Ta.

    The need for the edition revamp seems to have been twofold.

    Firstly, up until now the magic system had been based on decks of cards. Lots and lots of cards. This was apparently causing Games Workshop a headache because of all the international translations and the manufacturing costs.

    Secondly, up until the end of 5th edition, Warhammer had relied on the players to be sensible and come to gentlemanly agreements about overpowered/broken stuff that they wouldn't use in order to have a fun game. This seems to be an attitude derived from historical wargaming. The approach was pretty much 'Here's a toolbox of cool stuff--throw out the bits you don't like'.

    However, the rise of tournaments, and the relentless attempts of players to exploit the army lists and magic item combos, led to a greater emphasis on balance and army restrictions. My understanding is that the game shifted to 'Here's the solid, balanced core--add to it if you want'.

    What all this meant was that the army books had to be completely redone. All the old 4th and 5th books were invalidated and a new series was released (slowly) over several years. Magic became a dice-based system and each faction's magic items were listed in their army book rather than on a common set of cards.

    Sadly, a lot of the classic fluff from the 4th and 5th ed books wasn't reprinted for the benefit of new players (although some of it turned up again in White Dwarf). Instead the books had new fluff, often by new writers, which riffed on and extended the older material. In some cases this was excellent (e.g. the Dark Elves got to tell their version of history for the first time), while in other cases it didn't live up to what had come before.

    6th edition is fondly remembered by many gamers. Many people especially liked the brief period at the start of the edition when all the armies, except Dogs of War, relied on a single army-list pamphlet called Ravening Hordes (which came with White Dwarf). This is widely regarded as the most balanced that Warhammer has ever been.


    However--controversy alert!--one of the troublesome points for me about 6th edition was the fluff (and art). It was given a grim-and-gritty overhaul. At first I thought this was cool and interesting and more grown-up. As time went on, however, it all started to get a bit dreary.

    4th and 5th had variety. Grim scary stuff like the Undead, darkly humorous stuff like the Skaven and Orcs, and bright cheerful or hopeful spots like the Bretonnians and the Lizardmen. By contrast, 6th seemed intent on homogenising everything into the same shade of grimdark. As with all things, of course, YMMV.

    Which brings me to...

    Warhammer Armies: Lizardmen (6th edition)


    (From this point on, the army books tended to stick with a fairly consistent cover design. This can make it hard to tell which edition a book is for.)

    The 6th ed army book was written by Anthony Reynolds (another Austra-Lustrian) with 'additional material' by a few other people. Much of the fluff stayed more or less the same, but very little text was reprinted from the 5th ed book. It's the age-old update problem. We want more of the same! But new and different!

    Some highlights:
    • Lustria is deliberately recast as a very, very dangerous place to picnic in. A whole page is devoted to the various horrible ways you can die on holiday. Being Australian, I ought to approve, but I prefer the older, drowsy Lustria from 5th.
    • Lizardman cities now have portals to teleport around the world (to get around that pesky 'other continent' problem for why they'd be fighting everyone else).
    • In keeping with general fluff tweaks to 6th edition, there are now said to have been TWO polar warp gates--one at the north pole and one at the south. Also, when Chaos invaded, there were no Beastmen or Chaos Warriors--just daemons.
    • The daemonic incursion is described in much more detail. From this point on, 'trashed by daemons' becomes the common explanation for ruined temple-cities. (5th ed was more ambiguous about the causes.)
    • Slann are no longer simply protected by a 'shield of the old ones', but can teleport themselves away from harm. They also go into battle on hovering platforms rather than being carried by Temple Guard.
    • We get a map of the Isthmus as well as the main continent.
    • Carnosaurs make their first appearance.
    • New temple-cities such as drowned Chupayotl appear for the first time. Quite a lot of weird not-city locations also show up.
    • A big map of Tlaxtlan is provided, with notes in cryptic Lizardman-speak. This is one of my favourite bits of the 6th ed book.
    • The Southlands are included, but they've changed a fair bit:
      • Many new temple-cities have been added to the map (previously it was just Zlatlan).
      • Instead of being ruled by a Slann of the 2nd spawning, it's now claimed that only fourth- and fifth-spawned Slanns survive. This means the Lizzies are starting to regress into animal instincts.
      • The Dragon Isles are mentioned too. (These turned up in 5th in the Dogs of War book and elsewhere, but I don't think they were specifically described as inhabited by Lizardmen).
    • The Amazons get another brief mention and the Norsewomen retcon is itself partly retconned (or at least cast into doubt by competing theories).
    • Magic items are now listed in the book, rather than in a separate supplement, which is helpful for fluff readers.
    • Lizardman weapons are less realistic and more fantasy-esque. In 5th they were copper, obsidian, etc--like Mayan and Aztec weapons. Now they're a mysterious super-hard stone called obsinite, stronger than steel. Presumably changed to avoid the whole 'guns, germs and steel' technological imbalance between the Lizzies and the other races.
    • A vocabulary list is included in the language section, rather than just glyphs and phonetic stuff.
    • Lots of new timeline events are added. A few examples:
      • El Cadavo (remember him?) is now said to have set up a settlement, which got demolished by Mazdamundi.
      • There's a sly reference to Pygmies (for Chotek's sake, stop going there, GW!)
      • The Bretonnian expedition of 1847, which was briefly mentioned in the 5th ed army book and given a thorough White Dwarf description in the 'Dark Conspiracy' campaign, is retconned. The Brets have different names and there's no mention whatsoever of Antoch, the Staff of Jade or any of the events of the campaign. Hmm.
    • New characters appear: Nakai and Kroq-gar. Only Kroak and Kroq-gar get rules, though. This is in keeping with other 6th ed books, contrasting with the bucketloads of special characters in 4th and 5th. The Prophet of Sotek is also renamed Tenenhaunin, thus ruining a perfectly fine tasteless pun.
    • Mazdamundi is completely different in terms of attitude. He's now very proactive and energetic, and keeps obliterating settlements that annoy him.
    • On a nitpicky spelling level, Marco Colombo becomes Columbo, and Luther Harkon becomes Luthor Harkon. Shrug.
    Overall, some tweaks, some quibbles, some about-faces... but nothing too major. There's a detectable drift toward a more magical and less realistic tone--odd when you consider 6th is generally regarded as 'low fantasy'--but it's not too prominent yet.

    However, my big problem with this book is the loss of that Stillman charm. The writing is competent, but bland. There are no long fluff stories (except for a violent battle scene, of which 4th and 5th had few but 6th had a great many). Almost nothing is written from a Lizardman viewpoint, meaning we lose a lot of the whimsical humour of the 5th ed book. The exception is the notes section for the Tlaxtlan map, which is why I like it, but even this feels more po-faced and serious than before.

    Overall, the Lizardmen are presented in a quite humourless, solemn, stern manner. You may well prefer this. No worries if so. I can't imagine the 6th ed Lizzies grinning after they pull an astronomical prank on a bunch of explorers, though.

    The model range for 6th was given an extensive revamp. I don't think a single model from 5th edition survived. The new plastic, flat-headed, crescent-shielded Saurus Warriors (which I dislike) appeared at this point. Cold Ones changed model to match the 6th ed Dark Elf ones--the 'slowpoke', heavyset versions. Apart from Kroq-Gar on his Carnosaur, very few new troop types or monsters were introduced.

    In general I'm not a fan of the models from this period... except for one: the new-look Slann Mage-Priest, aka Jabba the Hutt, which has been with us ever since. I love the old froggy Slann as much as anyone, but the replacement is just a great sculpt.

    What else happened in 6th edition?

    Well, we had more worldwide campaigns. First there was 'Dark Shadows'. This took place before the release of the Lizzies army book and involved factions clashing over the mystical isle of Albion. As it turned out, the Lizardmen won and set up a colony there. Their victory was incorporated into the fluff for the 6th ed army book.

    Later came the massive 'Storm of Chaos' campaign.This was A Big Deal at the time. It was effectively the End Times v1.0. Archaon invades from the north to destroy the Empire city of Middenheim. (He had quite an interesting plan, actually, if you read the Storm of Chaos campaign book.) Unfortunately the campaign didn't go the way Games Workshop was hoping. It had a damp squib of an ending and was eventually retconned out of existence. Lizzies were a long way from the action, and in fluff terms were facing a fresh invasion of Dark Elves led by Morathi and the resurgent Cult of Slaanesh.

    Some time after that, miracle of miracles, Lustria got its own worldwide campaign!

    Conquest of the New World

    This wasn't a narrative campaign so much as a sandbox to play in. 'Conquest of the New World' was set after Marco Colombo got home to the Old World and told everyone about Lustria. Suddenly everyone and their pet squig was on their way to the New World of Gold, seeking shiny shiny treasure. And finding DEATH. Or sometimes treasure. Followed by DEATH.

    The writer's name who crops up a lot in this period is Andy Hoare, along with a few others such as Graham McNeill and Mat Ward.

    (One of my issues with this campaign is, again, that Lustria is now a deathworld continent. How anyone is expected to survive long enough to reach a temple-city, let alone loot it, is beyond me. It's mentally exhausting just thinking about it. But anyway.)

    The big release at this time was Warhammer: Lustria.


    (There was also a 'Conquest of the New World' campaign booklet, but I don't have one.)

    You would think a whole book devoted to Lustria would be chockers with cool fluff, right? Right?

    Meh. There's really not much in here fluffwise that we haven't seen before. Most of the book is devoted to:

    a) playing campaigns in forests

    b) refighting the great Skaven-Lizardman war (aka the Rise of Sotek)

    c) how to make jungle terrain (some good stuff here)

    d) scenarios (again, some good ones if you're into that sort of thing)

    e) two army lists (for the Red-Crested Skinks and Skaven Clan Pestilens).

    A large chunk of fluff is devoted to the Rise of Sotek, but it's just reprinted from the 5th ed book, with a few tweaks and embellishments.

    However, there are a few interesting boxout paragraphs littered around the undergrowth, which detail such things as the Piranha Swamps and the Culchan Plains.

    All in all, it's more of a gaming supplement than a fluff resource.

    Accompanying Warhammer: Lustria was a new wave of models for both Lizzies and squeakies, including plague monks and lots of Skinks. These are in general much better sculpts than the ones released for the 6th ed army book and I like them a lot. Unfortunately, this is also when the... er... 'derpy' Cold Ones make their appearance. You know, the ones that look like Big Bird.

    Meanwhile in White Dwarf...

    The really interesting fluff stuff that turned up during 'Conquest of the New World' didn't appear in the Lustria book itself. Instead it was featured in White Dwarf. The Australian issue numbers are #305-308, but be wary if you're an international reader, as the exact content of each issue varied by region.

    In this run of issues we had:
    • Zombie Pirates of the Vampire Coast (yarrr!) Luther/Luthor Harkon gets a piratical makeover. He's now described as a completely insane Vampire with multiple personalities leading an army of Pirates of the Carribean extras. Very silly, but a lot of fun.
    • Skeggi is described in more detail ('wretched hive of scum and villainy' just about covers it).
    • Some of the 5th ed background is reprinted, including the Tale of Marco Colombo and the Chronicles of Itza.
    • We take a closer look at Lord Tepec-Inzi and his quest to retrieve the Star Stela of Quetli.
    • The Amazons show up! With new models! Of mediocre quality, but still. There's a Dogs of War regiment (Anakonda's Amazons) and a character (the Serpent Priestess). Andy Hoare delves into their background and brings back a lot of crazy stuff from waaaay back in 1st edition, including the goddess Rigg, the fabled city of Genaina, and ray guns. Most of it is written from the point of view of Old Worlders puzzling over the contradictory stories, so we don't really find out a great deal, but it's still nice to see the Halliwell fluff surface again.
    • Speaking of Amazons, the crown jewel (at least in the Australian edition of White Dwarf) is the fully modelled and converted army by Matt Weaver. It's based on the 6th ed Dogs of War list to allow for the ray guns (count as Pistoliers) and High Age laser platform (an Eldar D-cannon that he counts as a regular cannon). Glorious. It's in issue #308 (Aussie edition) if you're interested.
    • We also get a highly amusing battle report featuring the obnoxious Bretonnian Prince Rodrik, the fellow now said to be involved with the 1847 Huatl looting. (It's a cover-up, I tell you! Watch the skies!) One of the scenarios in the Lustria supplement is all about his hapless exploits. Basically, he and a handful of men are the only survivors of a raid on a temple-city and are fleeing an entire Lizardman army. The battle report in White Dwarf plays out the scenario. As it turns out, most of the Brets get eaten by the jungle rather than offed by the Lizzies. Good fun. Though it also slips in *another* reference to Pygmies, this time calling them 'Wiaimen'. Keep digging that hole for yourself, GW.

    Phew. That's about the limit of my 6th ed Lizzies knowledge. There's probably more, though.

    General verdict: If you want 6th ed fluff, go for the army book and the White Dwarf issues I mentioned. The Lustria book is great for playing games, and a lot of it can be applied to any edition, but it's not so good for fluff.
  3. Aginor

    Aginor Fifth Spawning

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    Welcome, and I must say I love this thread!
    As someone who joined the hobby only recently I know nothing about the old editions so I love to read how it all developed.
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  4. Zen Shrugs

    Zen Shrugs Member

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    Thanks mate. :) Glad to hear this historical stuff is of interest.

    One thing I forgot to mention about the 6th edition Warhammer: Lustria supplement--the Engine of the Gods made its appearance there for the first time. It had no official model, but players were encouraged to come up with a crazy kitbashed creature to represent it. (Back then, GW was still willing to publish rules for models it didn't sell.) This particular version was a pretty impressive gadget that could call down comets/meteorites on the enemy...!

    Oh, and the Coatl got a mention. Actually it got a mention as far back as 2nd edition. I really need to go back and edit some of these posts.

    ...OK, now I'm going to attempt to say something sensible about 7th edition. This is where it gets tricky for me. I'm sort of mentally stuck in earlier editions, so my knowledge of Warhammer Fantasy fades into the mists of future-time around about here. Hopefully someone will be able to pick up the baton and run with it when I run out of things to say.

    What you will most definitely get are OPINIONS. Hoo boy, do I have opinions.

    7th edition


    OK... hmm... *scratches head*... this is going to be mostly third-hand stuff I heard from people in a hypothetical pub. Please jump in and correct me if you know better.

    I believe Alessio Cavatore was the main writer for the 7th edition rules. He was known as a tournament-oriented guy good at balancing rules. One of the other big projects he worked on was the Lord of the Rings Strategy Battle Game, although the rules system itself was written by Rick Priestley.*

    *If you don't know who Rick Priestley is, well... bow before your lord and master! He's one of the Old Ones of Warhammer Fantasy and Warhammer 40,000. In fact both games were largely, if not wholly, his creations (along with Richard Halliwell and friends). I've been horribly unjust to him in this thread by not mentioning him until now. Other Old Ones, or at least Slann of the first spawning, include Bryan Ansell, Jervis Johnson, Graeme Davis (on the roleplaying side), William/Bill King, Andy Chambers, and Jes Goodwin. I'm probably forgetting someone. Or several someones. Regardless, their names are engraved on the sacred glyphs for all time. Or at least they should be. I think only Jervis and Jes are still at GW these days.)

    (While I'm at it, Tuomas Pirinen did the rules revamp for 6th edition, along with writing a lot for 5th... and creating Mordheim, his crowning moment of glory. I really, really need to go back and edit these posts.)

    Basically, 7th edition tidied up 6th in the same way that 5th tidied up 4th. All the army books stayed current and usable, to the best of my knowledge.

    What the game was like in terms of balance, I'm not sure. However, I'm told that as the 7th edition progressed, the power creep of the army books rose steeply. One book in particular was allegedly notorious for breaking the entire game with its overpoweredness--Chaos Daemons.

    In terms of fluff writing, by this point many of the 'old guard' from back in 1st to 5th had moved on to other things. GW had a stable of mostly new writers with a few stalwarts. It was a gradual and natural process of attrition over many years. What it meant was that the further WFB went along, the more it was being written by people imitating what had gone before, rather than by the original creators. This is one reason I get a bit narky with later fluff. To me it feels increasingly like fanfiction.

    (I realise as I type this that I'm posting on a forum full of dedicated fanfic writers. Ahem. :oops: And of course, you may well feel the opposite--that the latest fluff is the most up-to-date and correct. It's certainly getting crowded with names and places by now...)

    In any case, there were a couple of writers around this time who became... controversial. Naming no names. They had written for 6th in one capacity or another, but came increasingly to the fore in 7th (and during 5th edition 40K around the same time).

    However, for our highly scientific purposes, we're concerned mostly with this baby (tadpole?):

    Warhammer Armies: Lizardmen (7th edition)


    My copy looks like it got caught in a Lustrian cloudburst. But it was cheap, so never mind.

    The first thing I notice about this book is that the text is smaller than in the older books. It's not hard to read by any means, but for some reason it makes me less interested in reading it. Don't know why. But it means that I haven't gone through this book as closely as I should have.

    Anyway, the 7th ed Lizzies book is written by Andy Hoare. Yep, the same guy who did the Lustria supplement in 6th and a lot of the 'Conquest of the New World' material for White Dwarf. As such, you can trace a direct line from several ideas about Lustria in that era right through to this book. It's a strikingly different take on Lustria to the original Stillman version in 5th. How much of it is down to Andy's personal vision and how much is due to overarching thematic guidance for this edition, I'm not sure.

    (And no, he's not one of the controversial people I alluded to above.)

    Now I've heard people claim that a lot of fluff text in this book is just reprinted from older books. That doesn't actually seem to be the case. The odd embedded paragraph or sentence does jump out at me, but most of it seems to have been rewritten. It still covers a lot of the same ground, but in different words.

    What we learn:
    • First and foremost, everything is much more overtly fantastical. Glowing energy spheres, cities of ghosts (or more accurately visions of past and future), unnatural ageing, the works. A few samples:
    • Chaqua is basically made of gold.
    • Spawning pools are now described as full of glowing, magical, primordial soup.
    • Tlaxtlan has lobotomised human slaves. (I believe this is actually a callback to much, much older fluff.)
    • There's a lake that you can't get out of after diving into it, because you can't break through the surface.
    • There are Sentinels of Xeti (basically rows of 2001 monoliths listening for the Old Ones).
    • And on it goes...
    • We get individual run-downs on many temple-cities. Some are in the main temple-city section, but others are in boxouts scattered throughout the text. This kind of disorganised... er... organisation is a frustrating thing about the book in general. It's quite hard to find fluff info when you need it.
    • In any case, the temple-cities have developed a severe case of portentous subtitles, such as 'City of the Moon'. As you might expect given the general tone, most of them have some over-the-top fantastical element to them. For instance, Xlanhuapec is permanently wreathed in magical mist. Tlaxtlan's inhabitants are constantly trying to push away or otherwise dispose of Morrslieb (that's the second, eeeevil moon of the Warhammer World, in case you didn't know). That sort of thing.
    • History bits:
      • The first meeting of the Slann with exploring High Elves is retconned as... unpleasant. Generally the Slann seem a lot tetchier in this version.
    • Lord Zhul makes a reappearance. He was a daemon-bothered Slann first mentioned in a fluff story back in the 5th edition book. Nice to see old Mr Ghostbusters Reference again.
    • The timeline has moved on a bit. 5th edition fluff generally stopped around the year 2515, with a vaguely defined 'present day' after that. 6th edition pushed ahead to 2520 (the Albion campaign year) and beyond. 7th has moved further still. This means that we get a big fat chunk of completely new fluff. At least I think it's new. It might have been published in White Dwarf or somewhere before this.
    • Anyway... I'm pretty sure that the new background--which involves Vashtaar the Tormentor and a worldwide assault on the anti-Chaos devices of the Old Ones--is meant to tie in with the 'Storm of Chaos' campaign from 6th ed. At this point it hadn't yet been retconned, so everyone was living in a post-averted-apocalypse world. It's quite a big section, too. Four pages.
    • More fearsome Lustrian creatures appear, like thunder lizards. The Coatl puts in another enigmatic appearance. The jungle itself continues to be hyper-dangerous to anyone who isn't scaly.
    • Slann do all kinds of wacky astral-plane, soul-flight stuff.
    • For what I think is the first time, we get a decent rundown of a lot of the gods. Previous books mainly stuck to Sotek and Chotek. In fact the 5th ed book is guilty of name-dropping a whole list of them with barely a word of explanation. This time, though, we not only get a two-page spread on gods and sacrifices, but also boxouts throughout the book on various Old Ones. Even Rigg (the Amazon goddess with the incredibly subtle 80s name) gets a mention. Unfortunately a lot of them are scattered throughout the book like unto the leaves of the trees, so tracking down all the info is a bit of a headache. I'm not even sure there ARE that many of them. I seem to discover new ones all the time and yet can't find ones I was sure were in here. Look, just forget I said anything. There's a non-zero quantity of gods. That'll do.
    • A new map of Lustria appears... and hey, I can see Ganaina, the Temple of Kara and the Floating Pyramid! These are all shout-outs to the really old Halliwell fluff, with the spelling slightly tweaked. Genaina, you may recall, was the city of the Amazons. The Temple of Karra was in Genaina (so what's it doing on the other side of the mountains?). And the Floating Pyramid of Bhab-Elon (sp?) was the setting for an infamous 80s role-playing special event... featuring Pygmies. WHEN WILL THEY LEARN.
    • Speaking of Amazons, this time they're said to bathe in green glowy ponds to renew their immortal lives. The Slann do it too, which is presumably how they live so long. They also guard the Temple of Kara (that name again), which is full of superscience devices. But so are all the Lizzie temple-cities, so no need to feel envious.
    • The map of Tlaxtlan from the 6th ed book gets another outing. This time, though, the annotations have been rewritten as rather boring descriptive passages rather than the in-character, cryptic statements of 6th. So if you want to know what the notes in the 6th ed book mean, just do a bit of cross-checking with this version.
    • The Southlands seem to have vanished entirely from consideration. Oh well. GW never did much with the place anyway.
    • The famous line 'Pass me another Ixti grub' appears here for what I think is the first time. (Ixti grubs themselves first showed up as a special item carried by Mazdamundi in 5th.)
    • Harking back to 5th, we get a poolful of special characters again--nine of 'em. Usual suspects like Lord Kroak, Mazdamundi and Tenenhauin rub slimy shoulders with Chakax and Gor-Rok (Sauruses), Tiktaq'to (finally a new pun) and other newcomers. Many of the older characters get heavily revised backstories. Chameleon Skink Guy has an especially strange one.
    • Mazdamundi himself continues to get ever more aggro, proactive, impatient and inclined to set off earthquakes at the slightest provocation. In fact, he's now decided all the uninvited guests should go home to their appointed countries right now for some time out while they think about their naughty behaviour... while everyone wasn't mentioned in the Old Ones' plans should be wiped off the face of the Warhammer World. (He learns this from plaques he finds after the Storm of Chaos-related new fluff.) He even created the Grey Guardians mountain range to the north just to keep the bad guys out! It's fascinating to see how his personality has completely changed over the years. I suppose his original conception as a laid-back, chill sorta toad wasn't really conducive to a game involving lots and lots of endless war.
    • The Lizardmen overall feel quite alien now, and not at all friendly.
    Verdict: It's bonkers. Everything's been turned up to eleven. We've left 'low fantasy land' well behind now, folks. To me, accustomed as I am to the low-key 5th ed fluff, it all feels a bit videogamey. Ooh, look at all those flashy particle effects!

    But... but... once you readjust your brain to the shift in tone, there are tons and tons of crazy, wild ideas in this book to enjoy. I really have no idea why everyone says it's just regurgitated stuff from older books. This thing is weird, man.

    It's also a bit wearying in that everything is COOL and EPIC and HARDCORE. Not much in the way of history-degree fluff writing, as in 'Hey, here are some interesting facts about how Lizardmen make their paper scrolls'. No time for that! Gotta appeal to REAL BOYS... err... MEN who like HAMMER WAR! But that's a general issue with Warhammer from 6th ed onward, in my view. Not really fair to fault this book for it.

    Finally, even more so than last time, the Lizardmen are presented as humourless, serious and prone to sudden violence. They're getting quite scary, in fact. These guys wouldn't have smirked at El Cadavo on the beach. They would have had him for lunch before he even reached the shore.

    ...You know what? This does feel like fanfiction. Good, solid, inventive fanfiction by someone with a ton of ideas. It feels like the work of someone creative who has a definite idea in his head of what 'his' Lustria is like. It's not *my* Lustria, but it certainly doesn't read like it was written by committee. Makes sense, too. Andy Hoare had pretty much been in charge of the place from mid-6th edition on.

    That said... *clears throat, shuffles notes* I'd also like to take a moment to talk about the writing style. Gonna get a bit critical here, I'm afraid.

    Caution: Nitpicking ahead
    and those Lustrian nits sure got a bite on 'em

    I remarked in my last post that I found the 6th ed book's writing a bit bland. Sadly, the same is true of the 7th ed book. This isn't a problem limited to this book. It's something I've noticed across most of GW's publications starting somewhere around mid-6th edition. Fantasy, 40K, Lord of the Rings... somewhere along the line a rather tepid house style developed. It used to be possible to tell who had written a book just by their writing style. People like Nigel Stillman, Andy Chambers and Rick Priestley had distinctive voices. But not anymore.

    It took me a while to work out what was really bothering me about it. And it was this: Pretty much every sentence in the 7th ed book--and in the 6th ed book--is a long, run-on set of clauses divided by commas.

    One useful rule of thumb in writing is to vary the length of your sentences. Throw in a couple of short ones. Like this. Then you might go for a nice long one, with a couple of pauses, just to mix it up a bit. Followed by a short one. And then maybe a long one that goes on for a while but has no comma so it reads fast. And so on. It's a subtle way of keeping the reader awake, for lack of a better term.

    But most GW writing output in this period just... runs on and on and on until it puts me to sleep. For comparison, go back and read some stuff from 4th and 5th edition if you can. It's often poorly proofread, but it crackles with energy and pace.

    Sigh. But apart from that little rant... what else can I say about 7th?

    Tiny dinos, take 7

    In terms of the model range, we get another round of revamps. Several models improve, such as the Kroxigors. Most models from 6th remain current, though.

    By this time GW had garnered a fair bit of expertise in producing large plastic kits. The pioneering release in this regard was the Mumak (war elephant) for Lord of the Rings a few years before. By an amazing and totally innocent coincidence, a lot of armies started to receive new troop types that had never been mentioned before. It's as if World War II modelmakers suddenly started producing kits for walking spider-tanks and insisting that all the Germans had them. (Same thing started happening in 40K, too. Oh, this space helicopter we've never heard of? Had it for ten thousand years. Yep. Honest.) New critters for the Lizzies were a bit thin on the ground at this point, though. Just included Razordons, plus some new Terradons and Stegadons that look quite... er... plastic to me.

    And that, I'm afraid, is where my map peters out into blank white space and 'Here be Dragon Isles' doodles. Anyone feel like helping out with 8th? And the End Times and Age of Sigmar?
  5. Zen Shrugs

    Zen Shrugs Member

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    Hmm, I'm having trouble editing my earlier posts. It keeps saying my edits are 'spam-like' and can't be submitted. I'm just trying to fix the headings and bullets to make them a bit more readable. And add a few more pictures. Can anyone help?
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  6. Zen Shrugs

    Zen Shrugs Member

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    Well, I can't even seem to edit my little placeholder post above. So I'll leave it there for now until I figure out what the problem is.

    Anyway, it occurred to me that I forgot to mention something...

    Skaven fluff! Or fur, or whatever.

    The squeakies are a big part of Lustria's backstory. It seems only fair to look a bit more closely at the Rise of Sotek and how the story has changed over the years.

    I'm not going to spend much time on the full story of the Skaven (mainly because I don't have most of their books). Instead I'll just concentrate on the rumble in the jungle.

    Let's rewind to 4th edition. *wibbly special effect*

    OK, here we are in the early 90s. Warhammer recently had its first 'big starter box' release. The fluff has been tidied up and codified into more or less the standard Warhammer World that would last until, oh, 2014 or thereabouts when it suddenly blew up because reasons. But never mind that.

    At this time the emphasis was firmly on the Old World, corresponding roughly to Europe: the Empire, the Orcs and Goblins, Chaos and so on. Across the sea we had the High Elves and Dark Elves. (The formerly scummy and degenerate land of Bretonnia had temporarily faded from view, but would return in 5th as a green and pleasant land full of gallant knights in shining cliches... and would then darken again in 6th along with everybody else.)

    For the moment Lustria was a distant, mysterious land of vague weirdness. An exotic magical item might come from there, for example.

    However, it did get a few paragraphs in one particular 4th ed army book.

    What was that book, you ask?

    Warhammer Armies: Skaven (4th edition)


    Like most 4th and 5th ed books,* this is a stone-cold classic in fluff terms.

    *You can probably skip the 5th ed Vampire Counts book, as it's a bit anaemic in terms of fluff. Har har... anaemic... see what I did there? I'll get my coat.

    The Skaven book was written by Andy Chambers. Andy is one of the great GW Slann of the second spawning. He became something of a superstar thanks to his presence in White Dwarf magazine, where his long-running series of battle reports against Jervis Johnson were a regular feature. Among other things, he was later responsible for overseeing 3rd edition 40K. His finest hour, in my opinion, was the spaceship combat game Battlefleet Gothic. (Although he cheated a bit by nicking the rules system from Jervis.)

    Andy C has a distinct writing style. His prose tends to be hard-edged and spiky, with a taste for good old ultraviolence (something Nigel Stillman is at pains to avoid) and a dark sense of humour. Where Stillman sometimes comes across as a history lecturer, Andy C is all about evoking a mood. He also pays close attention to the little details and stays 'in character' as much as possible. Stillman has Marco Colombo yell taunts at dying Witch Elves that break the fourth wall a little--I don't think the Tileans knew much about the evil elves' bathing habits at that point in their history. Andy C would be careful not to write something like that.

    I get the feeling that a lot of later GW writers tried to mimic Andy Chambers' writing style rather than that of Priestley, Stillman et al. They couldn't out-Chambers the Horned Rat himself, though.

    Yes-yes, you squeak, but what did the glorious Skaven get up to in Lustria?

    According to this book, they basically ran the place.

    To summarise: Clan Pestilens was the long-lost Skaven clan. Unbeknownst to the other Skaven in the Old World, it hadn't disappeared, but had gone into exile across the sea. In Lustria they died of disease but soon became inured to it and generally approved of the pestilential air. They took over a 'prehuman temple' and stole the secrets of the 'degenerate inhabitants'.

    Note the careful lack of specific names. At this point the old Halliwell-era Slann / Amazon / Lizardmen material was in a kind of limbo, waiting for someone (i.e. Nigel Stillman) to get around to revamping it.

    Anyway, the Skaven sacrificed thousands of 'weird tribal inhabitants' and thrived. They learned a lot of nasty bubonic stuff. Eventually their leaders decided it was time to go home. They went down to the beach and built barges, then crossed the sea to the Southlands, where they quickly got themselves embroiled in a civil war with other Skaven in time-honoured rat fashion.

    The book makes it quite clear that the Skaven weren't bothered by anything on their way out the door. Not Lizzies, not swarms of snakes, nothing. They were the dominant power. Favoured of the Horned Rat. Nobody was stupid enough to mess with them.

    Sounds like squeakie propaganda to me. In a few years' time, the Lizardmen would tell a different story...

    Skaven in Lustria - 5th edition

    The 5th ed Lizzies book gives us the Rise of Sotek story for the first time. We have the plagues, the prediction of strife known only from one plaque in Chaqua, the destruction of that city due to disease, the appearance of the fork-tongued comet (the same one that heralded the arrival of Sigmar in the Empire) and the migration of the red-crested Skinks.

    Finally, the Skinks offer enough rat-sacrifices to Sotek that he awakens as a fully-fledged god and goes full Slytherin on the Skaven. Their tunnels are infested with snakes and they flee to the coast. Supposedly Sotek himself pursues them in the form of a giant serpent all the way to the Southlands.

    Two things are worth noting about this story. Firstly, it's quite vague in terms of timelines and places. Quetza isn't even named. The events really don't sound like they take much more than a couple of centuries at most. But if you check the timeline elsewhere in the book, the Skaven and the plagues arrive 1400 years before the comet (and 1500 before they're driven out).

    Secondly, hardly any battles are mentioned. The Skinks capture lots and lots of ratmen for sacrifice in skirmishes and raids, but there are no big set-piece clashes. This is another kind of warfare--a mystical one involving gods and worship. The Prophet of Sotek is all about exhorting the other Skinks to start worshipping the snake god, not rousing them up into a great big war frenzy.

    Regardless, the Rise of Sotek claims that the Skaven are pretty much gone from Lustria. However, a story in the back of the book (about a lone Skaven agent trying to sneak in and poison a spawning pool) indicates that it's not quite true.

    Skaven in Lustria - 6th edition

    OK, here's where it gets complicated.

    The Skaven get their own replacement army book in this edition. Unfortunately I don't have it, so I'm not sure what it says about their escapades in Lustria.

    In the 6th ed Lizzies army book, we get a condensed (very condensed) summary of the Rise of Sotek. Most of it is pretty much the same as 5th, swarms of snakes and all. The only real change is Tenehuini's name, which becomes Tenenhauin. Sigh. Takes all the fun out of life.

    The Warhammer: Lustria supplement for 'Conquest of the New World' is another story. This is all about the Skaven-Lizardman war. At least in theory. In practice, the book is so crammed with other gaming material (terrain, scenarios, ideas for running campaigns in Lustria and other forests) that the Rise of Sotek doesn't get as much attention as you'd expect.

    Most of the fluff from the 5th ed Sotek story is reprinted verbatim. However, scattered through the story are new sentences and paragraphs that change things a fair bit.

    In particular, the Prophet now gathers a great army of Skinks and goes to war with Clan Pestilens. They fight a battle at the Gwakamol Crater (one of the very few mentions of it outside the maps) and later besiege Quetza. In this version it's the combination of snakes below and Skinks above that drives the Skaven out. The Lizardmen then pursue and attack the fleeing rat-things relentlessly all the way to the coast.

    The timeline here is quite puzzling. The comet seems to show up many centuries earlier than it's meant to, and the war drags on for hundreds of years. When I got hold of this book I was expecting to find a detailed timeline/history of the war describing when each battle took place, but it's not presented like that at all.

    I suspect the canonical gap between the -1399 arrival of the Skaven and the Year 0 appearance of the comet caused a lot of head-scratching among the writers of this book. I guess they eventually decided to fudge it.

    One other thing I should mention: The Skaven poison spawning pools and cause corrupted, mutated Lizardmen to emerge. There were even modelling guides in White Dwarf showing how to make these.

    Skaven in Lustria - 7th edition

    Again, all I have to go on here is the Lizardmen army book. This time we get a two-page spread on 'The Rat and the Serpent' that seems to have been completely rewritten.

    As this book is by Andy Hoare, who worked on the Lustria supplement in 6th, it naturally builds on the work done there. And like a lot of other stuff in this book, the decibel level of the war gets turned up to 'eardrum-bursting'. Rivers of blood, Engines of the Gods blasting thousands to ash, cats and dogs living together... we're a long way from "Hey guys, pray to the snake god a bit more, OK?" I bet they use nukes in 8th.

    Another effort has been made to make sense of the timeline. Now the Skaven are said to have dwelled beneath Quetza 'for an age' in relative secrecy before they finally attract the notice of the Lizardmen. They sacrificed lots of Lizzies (harking back to the 4th ed Skaven book) and were only noticed when the spawning pools around Quetza started spitting out horrible creatures from the black lagoon. The big war doesn't really start until the time of the comet.

    Unfortunately the description of the comet confuses matters. It doesn't just show up one year--it grows slowly in the sky over a century, until Sotek manifests when the comet is brightest. Which means it doesn't reach its maximum awesomeness factor until the year 100. That's a hundred years later than the birth of Sigmar. Erm.

    On the other hand, it's quite possible that the 7th edition fluff was tweaked a bit so that the comet hung around for a century. I don't have the rulebook or Empire book to check. Anyone know?

    Finally, we learn that Quetza is still filthy with disease and quite a few Skaven are hanging around Lustria to this day.

    That's all I got for the squeakies. I can picture them now complaining about all the fluff changes over the years. "Hate-hate filthy revisionist newt-things! Lies and slander! We were in charge!"

    Personally (OPINION WARNING) I find the whole Skaven-Lizardman war a bit dull. Lizards kill rats. Rats kill lizards. Rinse and repeat. The obvious trouble GW writers have had pinning down specific events in the timeline doesn't help. It mostly boils down to handwaving. "There was a big war! A really big war! It was THIS big! What? Details? Uh... look, shiny new models!"
  7. Warden
    Skink Priest

    Warden Well-Known Member

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    Sir Zen you have created a fantastic reference work here! So much material to read though.

    I read most of your work earlier and will probably go through it again, but thank you for this link! I have seen only pieces of the original works before, this is a treasure trove!
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  8. Zen Shrugs

    Zen Shrugs Member

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    I'd call it a disorganised, hastily written and highly opinionated reference work... but thank you :p

    The Awesome Lies site is an amazing resource. It's worth checking out the other articles on that site too. A lot of Warhammer Fantasy Roleplay stuff is covered. I don't know much about that side of things, but it was influential in the early days--and one of the reasons classic Warhammer fluff has such detail and depth. I hold out hope that Cubicle 7's upcoming Age of Sigmar RPG will have the same impact on the new setting.

    Speaking of disorganised, I just remembered another topic I forgot to cover...

    Creepy Sorcerer: He who wishes to cross the Bridge of DEATH must answer me these questions three!

    Bretonnian Knight: Ask me your questions, bridgekeeper! I am not afraid!

    Sorcerer: What is your name?

    Knight: Prince Rodrik the Obnoxious!

    Sorcerer: What is your quest?

    Knight: Redistribution of wealth!

    Sorcerer: What colour are Lizardmen?

    Knight: Blue! Wait, no, in earlier editions they could be--


    *Knight goes flying off the bridge into the ravine* Aieeeee!

    I got the Old One blues, baby

    Yes, everybody knows that Lizardmen are blue. Or are they?

    Back to 5th edition we go... *wibble wibble timey wimey*


    Like most army books, the 5th edition Lizardmen book includes a colour section showcasing nicely painted models. However, unlike the colour sections of later army books, this one actually contains a great deal of fluff information. We learn about spawning, Lizardman weapons, the colours that indicate marks of the gods, and all sorts of other things. It's quite an effective use of page count.

    What's interesting about this colour section in light of later developments is the variety of colour schemes on show. The very first colour page (p. 33) shows Skinks and Sauruses painted blue, green, orange and black, purple... all sorts of colour schemes. The next few pages mostly showcase the GW Studio's army, which is painted in blues, greens and aquamarines... but there is absolutely no suggestion that Lizardmen are always this colour.

    It's not even a question of 'alternative paint schemes'. Colour variation is actually built into the 5th edition fluff.

    Page 34 explains that the Lizzies who recently spawned at Pahuax were mostly blue, but the previous spawning there was red. Both generations fought alongside each other in battle. Meanwhile, Oxyl produced greenish Lizardmen at around the same time. The Mage-Priests have no idea what colour the Lizardmen of the next spawning will be, but consider it to be a message or omen from the Old Ones of some kind.

    In general, the player is encouraged to paint each regiment in roughly the same colour, but to vary the colours between regiments. So one block of Saurus troops might be green and another block might be orange. This is similar to regiments from different regions of the Empire all gathering in the one army. Of course, you can also paint the whole army the same colour if you prefer. Champions can be given special colours to mark them out as favoured by the gods.

    We also get a very detailed page of artwork from John Blanche himself, packed with painting and conversion ideas for Lizardmen.

    But... fast forward to 6th edition and what do we find?


    Well gosh, the official Studio army (mostly new models) are all light blue. Skinks and Saurus alike.

    Not only that, but the painting guide in the colour section (p. 44) says it right there in bold font under the title: "Lizardmen are predominantly blue..."

    What variation we do get involves different ways to paint blue. We also get a bit of 'sacred spawning' info on a later page for the champions, with alternative schemes. To be fair, the various monstrous beasts and the Slann themselves are painted in all kinds of other hues.

    Ever since then, as far as I'm aware, Lizardmen have stayed officially blue. Just as Orcs and Goblins are green.

    Why the sudden shift from 5th to 6th? This is another man-in-a-pub factoid, but I believe it's because blue was a colour unused by any other Warhammer race at the time. I can't confirm that, though. Why it had to be made official in the fluff, instead of just presented as the 'Studio paintjob', is beyond me, but there you go.

    Naturally none of this prevents anyone from painting their Lizzies fluorescent pink if they like. Although Mike Walker did caution people against that.

    While I'm here, one cool thing the 6th edition colour section does include is a page of impressive paint jobs, conversions and dioramas. Sadly it doesn't include Mike McVey's amazing diorama from 5th edition--but that used the old model range, so it's understandable.

    Jumping ahead to 7th edition once more...


    ...yep, they're blue. What a surprise.

    There's not really much to say about the 7th edition book's colour section. 5th had both fluff and painting advice. 6th at least had painting advice and a little bit of fluff. But in 7th there's a total lack of hobby and painting information. Just photos of official GW models painted by the 'Eavy Metal team. No advice on colour schemes or even assembly tips are included. Not even a diorama or a winning entry in Golden Demon.

    Why is this?


    By the time the 7th edition Lizzies book was published (2008), Games Workshop was well on its way into its very own Age of Strife. I consider the slide to have begun around 2006 or even a bit earlier. Symptoms included:

    a) a sudden crackdown on fansites and distribution of out-of-print material that GW had quietly tolerated for many years (if you browse Boardgamegeek threads from around that time you'll see a lot of anger at the sudden purge)

    b) a dearth of creativity--hardly any new games were released outside of the 'big three' of WFB, 40K and LotR, and no expansion of the fluff or continuation of storylines within the games (the exception to this being the proliferation of large, impressive and expensive centrepiece models for armies)

    c) a growing lack of enthusiasm for showcasing conversions (chopping and changing models) or otherwise 'unofficial' variants--which we see in the 7th ed Lizzies book--presumably because mucking around with Officially Approved Product was getting on the marketing team's nerves

    d) the raising of the drawbridge at GW HQ and a decline in public contact between the design studio and the fans (previously White Dwarf magazine had made many of them feel like your friend--a marketing ploy in itself, but an effective one)

    e) price rises that, while hardly a new phenomenon, coincided with...

    f) increasing hostility to independent retailers (especially an embargo on trading internationally to markets like Australia, forcing us to pay GW's 'Australia tax'), and...

    g) the phasing out of metal models in favour of resin, or Finecast, for cost reasons... which might have been better received if GW hadn't accompanied it with a price rise and called it a huge breakthrough comparable to the moon landing. Many early Finecast releases suffered from poor quality control. The dissonance between GW's triumphant marketing and the actual product upset a great many people.

    None of this happened overnight and by 2007 a lot of it was still in the future, but the trend was already apparent. You could see the change in White Dwarf magazine month by month. Hobby articles evaporated. Battle reports became condensed, summarised affairs. Hardly any fluff was published (it was left to the Black Library to deal with that). The tone shifted more and more to 'buy models, buy models, buy models' aside from the odd painting guide. One issue featuring the then-new plastic Giant kit became infamous--it marked the moment when a lot of people woke up to what was happening. In retrospect the 'buy the Giant!' issue contains much more hobby content than the magazines of later years...

    People got cranky. A lot. It wasn't just about high prices, vague rules or a regular turnover of books and editions invalidating old troop types. People have been complaining about those things for decades. This was something new. A serious shift in GW's culture and attitude to its customers.

    If there's one defining feature of the Age of Strife, it's the positioning of GW models as a premium, luxury item. GW's miniatures were no longer a mass-market item that every boy ought to own. They were expensive, precious treasures that only the wealthy could afford. A sign of status, you might say. This too is a well-known marketing ploy, but it was a serious change of direction from the 90s and early 2000s.

    Hmm. Well. I guess I had a lot to say about 7th ed's colour section after all. Who knew? :eek:
    Warden, Paul1748, Seraphandy and 3 others like this.
  9. Zen Shrugs

    Zen Shrugs Member

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    Oh, and anyone interested in checking out Mike McVey's classic diorama from 5th edition can take a look here.

    Note the classic Perry Lizzies and froggy Slann. :cool:
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  10. Scalenex

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    Amazing first post! Welcome to the forums Zen Shrugs!

    Yes, for a brief period, new members have to have every posting approved by a moderator before it is publicly visible. This is a tool Red Devil put in to prevent spam bots from spamming us with their spam. I used to zap about 1.5 spam bots per day on average. Since @Crowsfoot joined our moderator team, I have to delete a lot less spam.

    The downside is a new member's won't be posted until a moderator approves but we have pretty active moderators spanning many distant time zones, so this delay is usually short. During the vetting period, a user's ability to edit things is limited. You are past the vetting period, so you can edit your old posts now.

    I can write about 8th edition, but I cannot do it soon. The 13th seasonal short story contest will be upon us soon and I have my own piece to work on. I must admit I have the full set of End Time books a few feet away from me on my shelf of gaming books, but I haven't finished Thanqol and Archaon is still in it's original plastic wrap. I really like the Lore of Undeath and use it nearly every 8th edition game I play these days, but after Nagash, I don't think the End Times books enhanced game play much.

    I also have a growing number of WIP unfinished fluff projects to along with my WIP unfinished model projects, so if someone wants to take on analyzing 8th edition that's great. Much like my End Times books, my Seraphon army book remains underutilized. I don't feel I could write an analysis of Seraphon in Age of Sigmar half as good as Zen Shrug's analysis so far. After reading Oruks, Ogors, Gargants and Grotts I am thrilled we got an awesome name: Seraphon. I can only assume it was a coin flip between "Seraphon" and "Lizrads"
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  11. Crowsfoot

    Crowsfoot Guardian of Paints Staff Member

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    I've seen the actual model at Warhammer World, pictures do not do it justice it is a fantastic piece.
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  12. Crowsfoot

    Crowsfoot Guardian of Paints Staff Member

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    Maybe @n810 or @NIGHTBRINGER
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  13. Aginor

    Aginor Fifth Spawning

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    Fun fact: I instantly liked Seraphon when I first read it, and I was shocked to see how many people seem to hate the name. I understand that people who have been playing Lizardmen for decades hate it, OK that's just nostalgia. But Seraphon has a nice ring to it and it reflects the Celestial Demon thing well.

    According to Jewish and Christian tradition "Seraphim" (so only two letters difference) are, and I write in caps to represent shouting zealously:


    ...which sounds pretty Warhammer-ish to me! :D
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  14. Crowsfoot

    Crowsfoot Guardian of Paints Staff Member

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    Sounds more SCE to me :D:D
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  15. Aginor

    Aginor Fifth Spawning

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    Warhammer = Space Marines = SCE isn't it? :D

    But... Well....yes. SCE and Seraphon fill a bit of the same role concerning that, which is one of my bigger gripes actually.
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  16. Zen Shrugs

    Zen Shrugs Member

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    I quite like 'Seraphon' as a name by itself... but (as you say) it sounds more like it has to do with angels, rather than dino-men. That's my main beef with it. I keep thinking it's some kind of Sisters of Battle troop type. Odd choice, GW.

    Lizrads would have been fun though. They could have worn sunglasses and surfed on marvellous silver boards from the dawn of time.

    I don't think it's just nostalgia that makes people prefer the name 'Lizardmen'. One of the strengths of the classic Warhammer World was that most things were generic enough for anyone to recognise. Elves, Dwarfs, Undead... even your grandmum on a mission to buy you a birthday present would know that a book called 'Lizardmen' was probably about lizards who walked like men.

    The same things that made Warhammer unoriginal and derivative also made it instantly accessible for new players. The suspiciously familiar world map helped too. "Gosh, a big island out in the not-Atlantic... I bet it's home to an ancient advanced civilisation that got drowned thanks to its own hubris and foll--CALLED IT." :D

    There's always been a bit of a struggle between 'let's stick to the archetype and make it recognisable' and 'let's do something uniquely Warhammerish'. Undead are an example of the former. Fimir were an early, failed attempt at the latter. Ogre Kingdoms in 6th edition were an interesting case of taking something formerly generic (your basic European Ogre as featured until mid-6th) and trying to give it a unique spin (Mongolian-influenced, I think). Orcs and Goblins are probably the most successful combination of both approaches. What could be more derivative than an Orc? And yet Warhammer Orcs are instantly memorable and distinctive. Get 'em ladz!

    Of course, in the end, the 'It's gotta be uniquely Warhammer!' end of the seesaw won out, flipped the table and destroyed the world. Paranoia about trademarks and copyright helped. :rolleyes: Whenever I visit the GW online store these days, I have a hard time actually finding anything. All those weird names...

    BTW, if anyone has questions or wants to correct me on any points, please go ahead.
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  17. Aginor

    Aginor Fifth Spawning

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    Oh man you are SO right there about the names.

    Walking into a GW store these days without Warhammer experience (like me in 2016 so I remember it well) you have NO clue at all what the F*** is going on.
    There are some armies that look like they make sense (all that have Battletomes basically), and then there are some that... just don't. You don't see the structure (Dark Elves and Elves being the worst ones with half a dozen factions each, none of them a complete army), and since their names are so weird you don't even get how they fit togeth without looking through ALL of them AND buying a 40€ book telling you who can ally with whom.
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  18. n810

    n810 First Spawning

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    "g) the phasing out of metal models in favor of resin, or Finecast"
    - IRC this actually started with 8th edition.

    There was quite a bit about painting and assembling Lizardmen in 7th,
    But they put in the White Dwarf issues instead of the army book.

    also they Built the Jaw Dropping city of Hexoatil board back then.
    and again the put the pics in white dwarf since it was after the army books publication.
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  19. Zen Shrugs

    Zen Shrugs Member

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    Thanks. :)

    Although in that 'Age of Strife' section, I wasn't really talking about 7th in particular, but about general trends that happened over the next few years (into 8th and beyond). And being very vague about it because I couldn't remember. :confused:

    Yes, I'm afraid my knowledge of Lizzies coverage in 7th outside the army book itself is nonexistent. I have barely any White Dwarfs from that period (I stopped collecting them around the 310s).

    Thanks for reminding me about Hexacoatl! That was for 6th, actually, during the 'Conquest of the New World' campaign. White Dwarf (Aussie edition) ran pictures of the finished display. Skaven mole machine! :eek:

    I've never seen that making-of article on the other thread before, though. Great stuff.
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  20. Zen Shrugs

    Zen Shrugs Member

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    Egads and gadzooks! Just noticed today that Sotek's comet arrives 30 years later than it should. Assuming it's meant to be the same one that heralded the birth of Sigmar.

    I see this is already fixed in Warden's timeline thread, and is mentioned on Lexicanum and Warhammer Wiki and so on. So I'm not exactly making cutting-edge discoveries here. I just feel stupid for never noticing it before.

    I suspect that when writing the 5th ed Lizzies army book, Nigel Stillman got the birth of Sigmar mixed up with the year he was crowned as Emperor (the actual Year 1 of the Empire calendar). It's hardly the only fluff stuff-up in that book.

    Fortunately this doesn't throw off the rest of the timeline, as we have corroborating evidence from other books that the Skaven left Lustria in the year 100. Unfortunately it doesn't make the Skaven-Lizardman game of DotA any clearer...

    Then again, there might have been two comets 30 years apart. But that feels... untidy.

    Surprisingly, there's no mention of Sigmar's comet in the 4th ed Empire book that I can find, although it's mentioned in a 5th ed White Dwarf article from issue #206 and also in the Mordheim rulebook. (It's always bothered me that the 4th ed Empire book is so slim on fluff given how important and detailed the place is.)

    Was this fixed in the 8th edition Lizzies book by any chance?
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