Nope, it was oriented around massed ranks of Saurus in Fantasy, certainly lorewise, and it's definitely possible to build a viable Saurus army in Fantasy to replicate that lore, even if some people think Skink Skirmishers are better (and it's easy to counter Skink Skirmishers in Fantasy anyway, either use armoured, non-Frenzied units - just move toward them, wait for them to run out of the way to avoid getting caught in melee and attack everything that isn't Skink skirmishers - Magic Missiles or skilled missile troops who can still shoot Skirmishers even with the -1 to hit penalty). Saurus were a solid Core unit, definitely in the top 5 alongside Chaos Warriors, Ironguts, Ogre Bulls and perhaps Bretonnian Knights. Aggressive with Strength 4 and 2 attacks, tough with Toughness 4 and a 4+ armour save and not willing to run away thanks to Leadership 8 and Cold-Blooded. What's not to like? This cannot be said for their AoS counterparts, and the rules are clearly wrong when Saurus can't even beat Dwarf, Elven and Orc Core troops in combat when they were able to do so in Fantasy quite often. I wouldn't be surprised if the fluff for AoS is wrong as well, given how obsessed GW are with marketing Skinks. Also Lizardmen definitely aren't meant to be a shooting army (at least not non-magical shooting) - Dwarfs, Empire and Skaven held that crown in Fantasy, and other armies do in AoS - blowpipes and Lustrian javelins are both short-ranged weapons that rely chiefly upon Poison to any damage, and even then it's negligible on armoured units. Hell all of our books have had Saurus on the cover, Saurus are meant to be front and centre. It's Saurus who guard the Slann, ride the most dangerous creatures, kick arse and conquer the legions of Chaos, Skinks only appear on the battlefield as militia, beast tamers and vassal wizards. Most of the battle art features Saurus leading the charge, with the Skinks hiding at the flanks or behind the main battleline. Lizardmen as an army is meant to be Saurus-focused, end of story, and if the AoS rules team can't capture that, then their ineptitude is clear (not that it wasn't clear already given how badly they've handled some other factions). And is currently expanding significantly quicker than some of the other similarly-derived factions and playing more of a part in the lore. Smells like bias to me. I do recall from reading a digital copy of the Beastman Battletome that Morghur allegedly still exists and the Gavespawn worship him, but he's no longer playable, and all of the other special characters have disappeared from the army list for definite, which is definitely a downside in a game where special characters are some of the most powerful things around. Probably thanks to that White Dwarf that empowered the Herdstone to become a pretty strong scenery piece. It was good to see such an unexpected buff when most Tome Celestials have been next to useless, but will it last into their 3rd Battletome? I don't want to see everything top tier personally - indeed I personally would like there not to be a top tier and for all the factions to be mid-tier, with a focus on tactics rather than army building, with some armies being particularly good at countering others due to key tactics they use (and not just ALPHA STRIKE INNIT BRUV GAME OVER), others being generalist forces that can take anybody on well with decent tactics. Certainly they haven't done nearly such a good job with Beastmen, Ogres or Skaven compared to a lot of their newer factions in the lore department, and while I wouldn't see this as a valid excuse to write weaker rules, perhaps some of the rules team who care about them less do. Oh absolutely, I agree that building a fun, thematic list that evokes how the faction would fight in lore is way better. If the rules team started advocating this approach, with customisable subfactions like in 9th 40K that allow players who want to build their lists around their own background and what looks most thematic to the army, without having to subscribe to GW-subfaction-devised tactics, perhaps people would put more focus on just having a fun game and not trying to win all the time like gawky powergamers.