Saurus Warriors are one of my favorite units in the entire game. They not only look cool, but they play very differently from most of the 'line infantry' used in other factions. If you command them shrewdly, they will bury your opponents in dice. However, Saurus Warriors will struggle if their general does not understand their strengths and shortcomings. I love rolling dice, so let me show you how to get the most out of this excellent unit. Saurus Warrior Profile Breakdown Please review the Saurus Warrior Warscroll if you are not familiar with it. Saurus Warriors are Order Battleline, and cost 100 points for each 10 models you field, or 360 points for a 40-model unit (a 10% discount). Saurus Warriors resemble the Line Infantry fielded by other factions, having 5" Movement, 1 Wound per model, a 5+ Save, a Shield Ability (usually reroll 1's to Save) and a 2" 1/4+/4+/-/1 weapon. Classic examples of Line Infantry include Freeguild Guard, Highborn Spearmen, and Eternal Guard. Saurus Warriors, like most Line Infantry, receive bonuses when fielded in high model-count units. However, Saurus Warriors are not as good at the traditional role of Line Infantry, compared to other examples: holding ground and protecting other units. Their defense and cost combined make them less durable for their points than other Line Infantry. Defense Saurus Warriors cost 6.67 points for each of their effective wounds (Wounds Attribute / Probability of Failing Save), whereas most Line Infantry pay 5 points or less per effective wound. An Example Unit costing 80 points for 10 models with a 5+ Save with rerollable 1's costs 6.44 points per effective wound against Rend -1, which is still better than Saurus Warriors (which, again, cost 6.67 ppEw against both Rend '-' and Rend -1). Even with Mystic Shield, the Example Unit exceeds the Saurus Warriors' durability when Rend -1 is applied (4.89 ppEw vs. 5 ppEw), though only slightly. Spoiler: Skinks vs. Saurus Skinks and Saurus are actually quite interesting to compare. Unbuffed, both cost 6.67 points per effect wound. The Saurus Warriors benefit more from Mystic Shield than Skinks, bringing them to 5 ppEw vs. the Skinks' 5.33 ppEw. However, the Skinks have the edge when run in a 40-model unit, because of their incredible 16.67% discount. (6 points per model => 5 points per model). Skinks are used in a traditional Line Infantry role because they have an easy time reaching the ground they need to hold, and their Wary Fighters ability allows them to avoid all counter-attacks completely (a feat Saurus Warriors only achieve by decimating all engaged units before they can strike back, if possible). Offense While Saurus Warriors are not ideal for defense, they excel on offense. Without external or internal buffs, a 10-model Saurus Warriors unit deals 33% more damage with spears than standard Line Infantry (1/4+/4+/-/1), while costing only 25% more points (80 pts * 1.25 = 100 pts), because in addition to their spears, they have Fearsome Jaws and Stardrake Shields. However, if you equip the Warriors with Celestite Clubs (1/4+/3+/-/1), they don't deal 33% more damage: they deal 66% more damage than standard Line Infantry (including the Fearsome Jaws and Stardrake Shield attack, as before). When we combine points and damage into a single term, Points per Wound Dealt, the units look like this: 100 point budget and partial unit/models allowed, ignoring additional attacks for unit leader, attacked unit has null '-' Save... Freeguild Guard with Halberds, Spears, or Swords: 32 points per wound dealt, or 3.13 wounds dealt Highborn Spearmen with Spears, rerolling 1's to Hit (Spear Phalanx): 27.4 points per wound dealt, or 3.65 wounds dealt Saurus Warriors with Celestite Spears: 24 points per wound dealt, or 4.17 wounds dealt Saurus Warriors with Celestite Clubs: 20 points per wound dealt, or 5.00 wounds dealt Spoiler: The Mathematics Behind the Calculations The mathematical models allow for partial units and partial models within a unit. The math models just ignore the max size on the unit and apply the Horde discount (which is usually 1 point-per-model discount). The wound output (after saves, if the target model has one) is calculated for a single model with the model-count bonuses (if applicable), then the points-per-model are divided by the wounds-dealt-per-model to yield points-per-wound-dealt, and then the point budget is divided by points-per-wound-dealt to yield the total number of wounds dealt with the budget. Saurus Warriors deserve a solid B for their offense grade at 100 points. They're not amazing by any means, but they get even better when you maximize their model count. Here's what those numbers look like with a 400 point budget including Horde discount, model-count bonuses applied, and otherwise the same conditions... Freeguild Guard with Halberds, Spears, or Swords: 16.8 points per wound dealt, or 23.81 wounds dealt Highborn Spearmen with Spears, rerolling 1's to Hit (Spear Phalanx): 13.7 points per wound dealt, or 29.17 wounds dealt Saurus Warriors with Celestite Spears: 9.8 points per wound dealt, or 40.75 wounds dealt Saurus Warriors with Celestite Clubs: 7.9 points per wound dealt, or 50.62 wounds dealt A Saurus Warrior Horde is really flippin' good. That B+ just became an A+, and Celestite Clubs have a 25% damage increase over Celestite Spears (40 wounds dealt * 1.25 =50 wounds dealt). For comparison, here are some other units who have higher efficiency under the same conditions as before: Plague Monk Horde with Foetid Blades, Contagion Banner, and Frenzied Assault: 5.1 points per wound dealt, or 79.1 wounds dealt. Giant Rats Horde: 6 points per wound dealt, or 66.67 wounds dealt. Tzaangors with Paired Savage Blades, Greatblades, and Mutants: 7.9 points per wound dealt, or 50.37 wounds dealt (with Horde discount and the attack they gain for having at least 27 models, they pay 6.4 points per wound dealt) Spoiler: Saurus Warrior Battalions In brief, don't run Saurus Warriors in Battalions unless you have a reason to run two, but preferably three, Saurus Warrior Hordes. A single Saurus Warrior Horde out-damages a minimum-size Sunclaw Starhost, and costs almost half as many points. However, if you maximize what's in a Sunclaw Starhost, you're looking at 5.58 points-per-wound-dealt on average. It will also cost you 1330 points, and many logistical headaches, which I'll talk about shortly. I'm not going to analyze the Bloodclaw Starhost right now, but maybe in the future. These numbers are for Saurus Warriors with Celestite Clubs. Other Warscroll Details Saurus Warriors have a couple other considerations that are much quicker to explain: With Bravery 10, Saurus Warriors are quite courageous. 5 is the minimum number of models that can die to force a Battleshock roll. If you are running a Saurus Warrior Horde, the pay attention if your first loss for the unit is 9 models. Rolling a 6+ on the Subsequent Battleshock test will drop the unit to 29 models, and lose the Ordered Cohort bonus attack. Similarly, losing 10 models in the first loss means you risk losing the Ordered Cohort attack on a 5+ Battleshock. The loss of the Ordered Cohort attack increases the Points per Wound Dealt from 7.9 to 13.0 in a Saurus Warrior Horde. Against Rend -1 or less, it takes 1.5 wounds on average (before saves) to cause a single Saurus Warrior to die. You can use this to quickly calculate which units are the most hazardous to your Saurus Warriors. Wardummers are the Seraphon musician, and their special rule is fantastic. It makes Saurus Warriors surprisingly quick and reliable on the Run compared to other units, but it also does nothing to improve their charge rolls. Don't rely on running, though: running means not charging. Saurus Warrior Tactics Saurus Warriors' greatest asset is their firepower, but it comes with a few drawbacks: Saurus Warriors require high-model count units to reach their potential. Saurus Warriors have no inherent bonuses to charge rolls. Saurus Warriors need to be within 1" of their enemy in order to use their Fearsome Jaws and Stardrake Shield attacks. The sorts of formations required to maximize the number of attacking Saurus (within 1" of an enemy model) are also vulnerable to charges by small, elite units: such units have no problem getting all their members into melee range, and can minimize the number of Saurus Warriors in position to make return attacks. Despite their logistical challenges, Saurus Warriors are completely self-sufficient once they get stuck in, and the Seraphon an excellent trick for getting them there: Lords of Time and Space The best way to move around Saurus Warriors is the Lords of Time and Space Allegiance Ability. The only things you have to measure are unit coherency and 9" from the bad guys. Sometimes you roll a 1, but hopefully your Saurus Warriors are somewhere safe. When you are ready to strike (dice abiding), line the Saurus Warriors up along the 9" perimeter from the unit(s) you want to destroy. Unfortunately, a 9" charge has a 27% chance of success. If you're lucky, the Temporal Displacement result will turn the 9" charge into a 4" charge, which has a 91% chance of success. Otherwise, I think you have two options that will shape how you build your list. Tactic A: Close the Gap with abilities that allow additional movement from the Warriors or increase the result of the charge roll. Here are the options available to you: A Saurus Oldblood (sans Carnosaur) as your General will give you up to 3" of movement on nearly the entire unit, provided at least one model is within the 10" range of its Paragon of Order command ability. A 6" charge has a 72% chance of success. If it was possible to choose the Reckless command trait from Allegiance: Order and still use Lords of Time and Space, it would be my #1 option. A Skink Starseer can cast Curse of Fates, which will guarantee your Saurus Warriors move with Lords of Time and Space, and you can fish for rerolls with Cosmic Herald. You can also use Curse of Fates to get a +1" on the Charge roll. A Slann Starmaster can fish for The Hunter's Steed constellation to grant +1 to run and charge rolls. If the Starmaster is your General, it can also cast Curse of Fates with the Vast Intellect command trait. You may find it useful to have your Saurus fly using its command trait. A Skink Priest's Celestial Rites grants rerolls to run, charge, and hit for the unit targeted. You can get a second use of Celestial Rites if the Skink Priest is your general. A Saurus Scar-Veteran on Cold One as your General allows you to reroll 1's to charge and hit. Let me know if I missed something that improves the odds. The hero with the best likelihood of delivering the Saurus Warriors by itself is the Saurus Oldblood General, but I am being completely honest when I say the odds are not good. The likelihood that you get succeed on the charge, between Lords of Time and Space (with a chance for additional movement on a 6+), and then charging from 6" is 59%. One in three games those Saurus are going to sit around and pick their noses, or get slaughtered. Or both. But, at least you have points leftover to do something interesting with your army. The next cheapest option (with an increase in success chance) is at 200 points: a Saurus Oldblood as your General, accompanied by a Skink Priest. With their powers combined, you have an 82.25% chance of getting those Saurus Warriors where you want them. These odds are certainly more comfortable, and you have the option to teleport something else if your Celestial Rites roll fails, like a Bastiladon. Roll for Rites before attempting the Lords of Time and Space roll. If you feel particularly exciting, you can use a Saurus Oldblood as your General, supported by a Skink Starseer. If we use the Cosmic Herald ability randomly, and consider having the rerolls stolen a failure, and account for the benefits of Curse of Fate, we wind up with about a 90% chance of success. Spoiler Why 90%? There's a 5 in 6 chance that our rerolls are stolen (if the likelihood of a match is random), which caps both how effective rerolls are for us and our opponent. If we get the rerolls, our likelihood of succeeding is very good. Let's estimate it at 100%, though I've calculated a few components of it and found that overall the odds are high. If our opponent gets the rerolls, the best place to bork things up is the charge roll, which has a 52% chance of failing in the presence of a malicious reroll. But, the reality is that even if our rerolls are stolen, we still have a chance of successfully charging. It may be desirable to do so just to burn those rerolls. Also, this is an estimate. I don't want to burn braincells trying to figure this out. Of these three, I think I prefer the Oldblood + Priest combo for value. If Celestial Rites succeeds, I have a nearly 95% chance of getting the Warriors in, and it leaves enough points to squeeze in a Shadowstrike Starhost, which provides skinks to screen the Warriors and the additional threat of Ripperdactyls, or possibly Terradons with the Blot Toad nerf. In all, there is a 71% chance that the Saurus Warriors successfully charge into melee, or an 85% chance assuming the Lords of Time and Space roll is successful. Tactic B: Screen for positioning. This is much more open, but you can use Chameleon Skinks or Ripperdactyl/Terradon Riders (with Shadowstrike Starhost) to act as a defensive screen in the event you're not comfortable with any result less than Temporal Displacement on the Lords of Time and Space roll. Doing this does mean your Saurus Warriors are much more likely to be in range of shooting, counter-charges, and magic, though, so I think it will come down to your opponent's list. Based on some of the battle reports here, I think that you will not have time (or durability) to think your Saurus Warriors can sit pretty for a turn without a reroll handy to secure a Double Turn. Screening for a better position will, at the end of the day, work much better if you have the second turn. If your opponent gets a double-turn, your Warriors now need to survive two rounds of shooting, magic, and whatever else he comes up with while his melee units maneuver into position. You also don't want Camo Skinks or Dactyldons exposed to melee combat for too long, or they may catch a base case of dead. I plan on writing a bit more, but time is fleeting. Let me know what you think about what I've written so far, and if you have any better ideas for getting Saurus Warriors stuck in. Furthermore, if it is tactically advantageous to footslog your Warriors, do so.