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Tutorial Army List Building around Magic

Discussion in 'Lizardmen & Saurian Ancients Tactics' started by Scalenex, Apr 16, 2014.

  1. Scalenex

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    All the lore of magic are good, but they all have limits. Whatever your lore is, you should make sure the rest of your army compensates for what your magic is missing. Also it should play to the lore’s strengths.

    Lore of Fire
    Compensate for Limits: The Lore of Fire lacks spells to take out high toughness units with strong armor saves. Make sure you have lots of heavy hitters like Kroxigor, Ancient Stegadons, Temple Guard, and Saurus characters.
    Play to Strengths: Fire benefits from having multiple arcane vassals since it has so many magic missiles and direct damage spells. Fire is good at clearing enemy chaff units, so make sure you take a fair number of Skirmishing units since they have relatively little to fear from enemy Skirmisher hunters such as Fast Cavalry (and Skink Skirmishers are good bunkers for Skink Priest targeting systems).
    Soul of Stone?: It’s not worthless but the only really high casting spell is an augmented Fireball. If you don’t have a Temple Guard bunker, Soul of Stone is probably overkill.

    Lore of Beasts
    Compensate for your Limits: There aren’t many spells to inflict serious hits on high toughness single unit models like monsters and there are not any good spells for inflicting large numbers of hits on large blocks of enemies. You will want lots of fighting characters tooled up for taking out enemy heavies and performing general crowd control duties. A few Salamanders would be not be amiss to make up for lack of unit nukes.
    Play to your Strengths: Arcane vassals are nice but not mandatory. If you want to do more than Cast Wyssan’s Wildform and The Curse of the Anraheir you will need well positioned fighting characters, not additional casters. The more characters you can pack in your list, the better. If you take a Beast Slann and a level two Beast Priest (or Tehenhaun) you can pretty much guarantee your Skink will get Transformation of Kadon if you fancy that spell (roll the Slann first and take the signature spell if you accidentally roll Transformation for the Slann). You can go a Beasts heavy list with Tehenhaun and no Slann but I wouldn’t go Lord-less. +2 to cast just isn’t enough for the casting levels of most Beast spells.
    Soul of Stone?: If you bunker your Slann you will definitely want it. Most Beast army builds will plan on using bubbled effects. If you are going the unorthodox route of a solo fighting Slann, you probably would be better off spending those points on magic items instead of Soul of Stone.

    Lore of Metal
    Compensate for your Weaknesses: Metal only has one defensive spell, Glittering Robe, which barely adds anything to Lizardmen armies. You need to make sure your units use the buddy system to avoid being flanked and locally outnumber the enemy whenever possible. Your main blocks should probably have a few more models to absorb casualties than you would ordinarily take.
    Play to your Strengths: You’ll want some arcane vassals for the three direct damage/magic missiles spells, especially if you roll Golden Hounds. Almost every army has SOMETHING that doesn’t like Metalshifting, so vassals will pretty much always be in fashion. With two potent hexes and a buff, you should probably take lots of block infantry to make use of this.
    Soul of Stone?: A solid choice. While none of the spells require six dice, the lore doesn’t have any cheap spells. It’s not in the least bit uncommon to want to cast the augmented version of the signature spell to really kill the enemy Mortis Engine, Steam Tank, etc.

    Lore of Light
    Compensate for your Weaknesses: Light does not have any spell for nuking large enemy units. I would recommend taking Salamanders in any army with a Light Slann to pick up the slack here. Solar Engine Bastiladons help too for extra cheap damaging magic
    Play to your Strengths: To benefit from the bubble effect spells, a small tightly deployed army is best so the Slann can reach most/all of your army with his spells. I would recommend a few large units over many small ones. Arcane Vassals are optional. The magic missiles are nice, but they aren’t really the backbone of this lore unless you are fighting something vulnerable to the lore attribute. Saurus are already strong and tough, so they truly have everything when they are buffed by Light. Make sure you have at least two big blocks of Saurus Warriors or Temple Guard.
    Soul of Stone?: A solid choice. The lore of Light spells are cheap in general but at some point you will want to cast bubbled effects, and this tempts miscasts in a major way.

    Lore of Life
    Compensate for your Weaknesses: Lore of Life doesn’t have spells that inflict high strength hits. You will want lots of heavy hitters like dinosaurs, Saurus characters, and Kroxigor.
    Play to your Strengths: The lore attribute is great for healing multi-wound models. The very same models you will need to compensate for your weaknesses of lacking high strength hits. Arcane Vassals are a good idea because the two direct damage spells are both fairly short range and one is quite potent indeed. I would be very reluctant to play this lore without a Temple Guard bunker since Earthblood and Shield of Thorns really need a unit to be useful.
    Soul of Stone?: You aren’t guaranteed to roll Throne of Vines, but you will USUALLY be able to get it. That takes a lot of the need for Soul of Stone away, but Soul of Stone is still good for the paranoid or unlucky.

    Lore of Heavens
    Compensate for your Weaknesses: Heavens does not have any spell for nuking large enemy units. I would recommend taking Salamanders in any army with a Heavens Slann (or Tet) to pick up the slack here. Solar Engine Bastiladons help too.
    Play to your Strengths: You don’t actually need a Slann to go Heavens. You can run Tettoeko or 2-3 L2 Skink Priests to save points. Heavens is a generalist lore and works well with most balanced armies. Arcane Vassals are largely optional since the two vassal eligible spells are long range and you may not even be using a Slann at all.
    Soul of Stone?: If you are using a Heavens Slann as opposed to Skinks, it’s not a bad idea. Heavens is not a cheap lore to cast and you will probably be using 5 or 6 dice on Comet or Chain Lightning.

    Lore of Shadow
    Compensate for your Weaknesses: I consider Pit of Shades more for killing monsters and war machines than for nuking large units. To inflict lots of hits on large units, you should probably take some Salamanders, especially if you can combo their shooting with the Withering. The casting difficulties are high here. All Slann like things that give them power dice and casting bonuses but its extra important here. Consider taking an Engine of the Gods for the -1 to casting.
    Play to your Strengths: Three potent hexes and one very potent buff. You’ll want Saurus based units to take maximum advantage of this. You don’t need an arcane vassal since this is a hex based lore, but a cheap Skink character is nice to have around to throw under the bus with Smoke and Mirrors if your Slann gets in over his head.
    Soul of Stone?: Definitely. Shadow has expensive spells, so you will be routinely rolling lots of dice.

    Lore of Death
    Compensate for your Weaknesses: Since Death spells tend to be short ranged, Arcane Vassals are a necessity. Death has no defensively oriented spells so you should probably take larger units than usual so you can absorb the casualties you can’t avert otherwise.
    Play to your Strengths: If you kill enemy leaders and cast Doom and Darkness your foe will be hurting on leadership tests. Panic them with Salamanders. Takes lots of Terror causing units too. A Standard of Discipline is useful for any Slann, but a Death Slann benefits from the leadership boost for Spirit Leech.
    Soul of Stone?: A solid choice. If you decide you want to cast Purple Sun, you will usually be six dicing it. If you REALLY want to kill an enemy character you will likely be using at least four dice per hero snipe spell which also tempts miscasts.

    Lore of High Magic
    Compensate for your Weaknesses: You can actually compensate for your weaknesses on the fly by swapping out spellls. Heavily armored foes? Metal. Building attacks? Fire. Just don’t let yourself become so enamored with switching spells that you find yourself prioritizing the weak spells you want to throw out over the awesome High Magic spells you want to keep using. That being said, taking a few high strength hitters is still a good idea since that's a hard niche to cover with a swap.
    Play to your Strengths: Arcane Vassals are a good idea to take. High Magic has a fair number of eligible spells for vassals and most signature spells you would swap for are magic missles. Make sure at you have at least two units in mind for Walk Between Worlds. Razordons and Stegadon howdah weapons really like Hand of Glory. Focus of Mystery is nice, but not required. I’d recommend NOT taking a Solar Engine Bastiladon if you take Focus of Mystery. With eight spells, you won’t have a lot of power dice to throw at the Engine. This goes double for the EOTG Ancient Stegadon since the -1 to casting only applies to BRB lores so you won’t get as much mileage out of said Engine then you would elsewhere.
    Soul of Stone?: A solid choice. The last three spells have high casting levels and Walk Between Worlds is often a spell you want to throw extra dice at.

    Wandering Deliberations
    Compensate for your Weaknesses: Apart from Spirit Leech, there aren’t a lot of spells for taking out high toughness targets. You will want lots of heavy hitters like dinosaurs, Saurus characters, and Kroxigor. You don’t have any nuke spells either. You could hit a single unit with three or four magic missiles to simulate a nuke spell, but Salamanders would be less trouble.
    Play to your Strengths: With so many magic missiles, Arcane Vassals are an obvious asset. You will own enemy chaff with all your magic shooting so take lots of Skinks to maximize your advantage on this front. The Book of Ashur can really help you cast a lot of spells with relatively few power dice. A Solar Engine Bastiladon or EOTG Ancient Steggadon is very redundant and thus your points should be spent elswhere.
    Soul of Stone?: You can probably get by without it. I personally seem to miscast more with fewer dice than more dice, but for people who aren’t statistical outliers, you should be pretty safe from miscasts without Soul of Stone.

    Low Magic (ie No Slann)
    Compensate for your Weaknesses: You’ll want scroll or cube caddies. Taking Ancient Stegadon or Bastiladon engines will give you some decent spells that are easy to cast. Without magic to do your killing, you will want lots of shooting (especially Salamanders) for general crowd control and high strength hitters (especially Saurus characters) to take out the heavier stuff.
    Play to your Strengths: You free up a lot of points normally spent on a Slann. Now is your chance to take all the units you wish you could afford in your Slann lists but couldn't. The most common route here is Carnosaurs.

    Lore of Undeath
    Compensate for your Weaknesses: You are lacking ranged attack spells. I would advise a Solardon or two. Salamanders wouldn’t be a bad idea. You don’t have defensive spells, so your Slann bunker (and with a 12 inch summoning range you want a bunker) should be a bit bigger than you normally would use.
    Play to your Strengths: You can summon expendable units almost at will, therefore you can go light on LM chaff since you have undead lackeys to serve as chaff. Only one of out seven spells can use an arcane vassal, but a Skink Priest isn’t a terrible idea to give you Wyssans or more likely Iceshard since it affects Ld tests and is cheaper to cast.
    Soul of Stone?: Yes, you need a strong soul to dabble in necromancy. If you are giving Lore of Undeath to your Slann, that you probably have a going to attempt to summon some potent units, that takes a lot of dice and can easily provoke miscasts.
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2018
  2. n810

    n810 First Spawning

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    I just read through it all, Great addition to the tacticia.
    ... Hmmm you might mention that Saurus units work best with the lore of light. ;)
  3. Dog On Todd

    Dog On Todd Member

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    This is so helpful!

    Thank you as always Scales
  4. Mr Phat
    Skink Chief

    Mr Phat 9th Age Army Support

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    Very nice Nex!

    I would like to add some thoughts on light though, as I feel it works so well with Predatory fighter that it should be highLIGHTED (oh oh oooh)

    Scar vets, saurus and templeguards can potentially benefit so much more from light than any other unit in the game

    I tried it out with my Templeguard + Krox + Skavenpelt list and in a round I got both Speed of light and Bironas off..this is what happens

    Templeguards (in horde since my slann was with them for stubborn) lash out 6 attacks per MIBC (model in basecontact):

    4 (2 normally + 1 from frenzy+ 1 from Bironas)
    2 from supporting (1 normally + 1 from horde)

    these 6 attacks per MIBC benefit from ASF, WS10
    meaning they will hit almost anything on 3's and do so first
    because of I10 they also get to re-roll , meaning extra chance to get extra 6'es for PF attacks, which ALSO gets to be re-rolled.

    So not only do you get extra chances for extra attacks, you also improve the odds that those attacks will actually do anything.

    While Kroxes dont benefit from Re-rolls due to ASL its still worthwhile to drop both spells on them too.
    That guillotine just cuts harder when 3's also hit, and besides that Kroxes love to hit first for a change
    (unless its elves...dont use krox' on elves)

    Heavens also have a nice spell for PF: Harmonic Convergence re-rolls ones to hit and wound, which also optimizes the PF rule a whole lot!

    It is fairly obvious that I look forward to PF gets FAQ'd / errata'd so supporters also benefit.
    (don't start that discussion here guys)
    Lizards of Renown likes this.
  5. Prof

    Prof Member

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    so useful! thanks for pulling it all together!
  6. Astral Crusader

    Astral Crusader Member

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    I like the article. Especially since it shows how to makes up for weaknesses. The lore of death for my Slann and army choice.
  7. Lizards of Renown

    Lizards of Renown Herald of Creation

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  8. airjamy

    airjamy Well-Known Member

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    Nice write-up as always Scaly, this maybe gets people or of their comfort zone when choosing lores, as they now see the advantages of other lores.

    Personally, I always use High magic, because I love swapping out spells so much. I don't get to play many games these days, so any opportunity I have to swap out some spells, I take.

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