Why Play Lizardmen
Let's face it, because you like Dinosaurs and you like great looking models. Lizardmen core is extremely good, Saurus being tough and hard-hitting, Skinks filling many roles, acting as charge redirectors, harassing, shooting, scouting. Their elite infantry, Temple Guard, are complete murder in large packs and will roll over any infantry except the strongest units of chaos warriors. They have diverse and extremely powerful monsters, one of the best spellcaster in the entire game and Saurus characters are perfectly designed to destroy enemy lords and heroes in a quick, confusing and bloody fight, all the while riding a T-Rex or a raptor.
Lizardmen used to dominate by sheer magic power, as Slanns were incredibly overpowered, stealing the light from the mainstay of a good Lizardmen army: infantry that simply refuses to run away and deals terrible damage.
Most Lizardmen units benefit from one or more of the following awesome special rules:
- Cold-Blooded: All Lizardmen units can roll three dice and choose the two lowest for Leadership tests.
- Scaly Skin: This is an armour save of some description, which combines with other armour. Most models have the 5+ version, but a few have 4+. Skinks now do gain a 6+ Scaly Skin which is a nice buff considering they went down in leadership.
- Predatory Fighters: Most Saurus and Krox gain this new rule which allows them to gain more attacks by rolling 6's to hit. The downside is that they don't generate further attacks and must pursue unless there is a Skink Character within 6". Luckily they don't have to overrun so there are very few downsides to this special rule. Thanks based Vetock. Be warned that this affects Temple Guard, which might drag a Slann priest-mage with them into a trap!
- Aquatic: Skinks have Marsh and River Strider, gain the ability to become steadfast in that terrain, and gain a -1 to hit against shooting. A great way to use the terrain to your advantage for flanking and general disruption while not getting bogged down in terrain.
Last but not least, Lizardmen are one of the greatest sight in the game because they usually consist in very colourful units, the minis are great with almost no exception, and the mix of reptilian Aztecs with giant blood-hungry dinosaurs is the tightest shit ever.
Lords & Heroes
Note: Under the current edition, named characters tend to be overpriced; you can pretty easily emulate most named characters from scratch and save yourself some points. That said, a few named characters do have abilities and wargear or wargear combos unique to them, so if you absolutely need to have them, go ahead. Just make sure you're really getting your points worth.
- Lord Kroak: Story wise, he used to be the World's greatest magician, but then after a few thousand years or so he became a super-powerful corpse attached to a Magic Throne. He has a raft of special rules, including Unbreakable, Causes Fear, a 3+ ward save, -1 To Hit for any normal attacks directed at him, and the very powerful spell Deliverance of Itza. However, he's 400 points, only knows that one spell, and is Flammable. Although fluffy and occasionally fun, you're almost always better off with an ordinary Slann (although he can make an awesome Counts As Mage Priest). Incidentally with The End Times Kroak can now take the Lore of Undeath, since it says that ALL wizards can generate spells from it (and with him being dead himself you can certainly argue he's more in tune with death magic than most necromancers), so now he has a proper lore again! Though this is probably going to be FAQ'd out pretty soon.
- Lord Mazdamundi: Currently the most powerful Mage Priest, Mazdamundi rides a Stegadon. Like Lord Kroak, he has a massive raft of rules: four Slann disciplines, Stubborn, a 4+ ward save, Loremaster in any lore he wants, Always Strikes First with Strength 5 Poisoned attacks, destroys other magic items, owns a Battle Standard, and a mount that has a 2+ Scaly Skin save and grants Mazdamundi a 2+ armor save. If the Stegadon is killed, he can still use his Palanquin to move around. Yes, Mazdamundi sounds pretty awesome, but he costs a whopping 780 points, meaning he's impractical in all but the biggest battles. He also lost some of his godly 7th ed rules such an unlimited amount of dice when casting, a super-powerful spell, and the ability to re-roll miscasts, and his supposedly awesome weapon hits as WS2. To make matters worse, Zlaqq, his Stegadon, described as the biggest in Hexoatl (the most militarized City, with entire herds of them) has the profile of a normal Ancient Stegadon. It doesn't even get Sharpened Horns (Impact Hits causing D3 wounds) or Devastating Charge. Overall grossly overpriced for what he does, and this is sad since he is supposed to be one of, if not the, the strongest wizards alive.
- Kroq-Gar: The pinnacle of Saurus carnage, mounted on the pinnacle of giant predators, all this represented by a wonderful model. Fluff-wise, Kroq-Gar is the absolute perfection of the Saurus race, one of the greatest warriors currently alive and simply the one you can trust to protect Lustria against invaders. Among his accomplishments are: fighting an unending horde of Daemons for 1000 years, being 8000 years old and still one of the best warriors of his entire species, being the sole survivor of a destroyed city, being entrusted to lead the crusade against chaos by Lord Mazdamundi himself, and much more. He rides Grymloq, a massive Carnosaur, and together they pack a +5 ward save. If Kroq-Gar or his mount is killed, the surviving one gets Frenzy. His spear gives him S +1 on the charge and deals two wounds for the price of one (and he has 5 Attacks). For unknown reasons, despite millennia of fighting and winning against every kind of foe and being the strongest Saurus alive, he is still WS6. His Hand of the Gods, is a Bound Spell casting 'Light of Shem' from the Lore of Light. Grymloq is also the only named mount to retain an improved stat line over 'basic' mounts in the Lizardmen book. However, the same problem as Lord Mazdamundi apply: at 520 pts, he is restricted to large battles, and Grymloq cannot have any of the upgrades normal Carnosaurs have. He doesn't even have the Blood Frenzy rule (unending Frenzy after causing the loss of 1 hp) which is standard on the basic version.
- Chakax: Once upon a time, Chakax choked a Daemon Prince with his bare hands, fought hundreds of wild jungle creatures for 2 days straight, guarded his unconscious Priest-Mage for weeks in the middle of the jungle, etc. When both he and a Slann are in a unit of Temple Guards, the whole unit becomes Unbreakable (until one of the two is killed). At the beginning of the close combat phase, his mace forces the enemy to reveal all their magic items, and if he hits with it, he destroys a random one on a 5+ (only one roll per turn, alas). When fighting in a challenge his Key grants him a 5+ ward save and afflicts his opponent with the Always Strikes Last rule, but since he shares it too (is weapon being basically a magical Great Weapon) and is only I3 he is not very likely to hit first, while his Mask prevents enemy Scouts from being placed within 20" of Chakax, and forces the enemy to revealed all hidden units when they are within 20" of Chakax (Skaven assassins, Night Goblin fanatics, etc.). Best used for defense, but unfortunately not very useful otherwise; overall the worst named character in this book.
- Gor-Rok: Gor is his name, Gore is his game. If you're making a model of him and at least one half of him isn't drenched in blood, you are doing it wrong. He is Stubborn, rerolls failed To Hit rolls (generating Predatory Fighter attacks on a 5+) and can ignore Killing Blow, Heroic Killing Blow and Multiple Wounds on a 2+, losing only 1 hp if successful. Units charging him have to take Dangerous Terrain tests with a -1 modifier. At a new and improved cost of 185 points, he is interesting even in small games where he can hold your main line, while he can make a pack of Saurus really fearsome in larger battles. This is a character you want to put in a larger unit and wait for the enemy to charge. Very resistant, with T6 and an Armour Save of 2+, he is the perfect guy to take and hand out challenges. However, he only has 2 Wounds, making him too frail to fight strong characters by himself. A lesser Gor-Rok can be emulated by spending 40 points on Sacred Helm of Itza on a Scar-Vet or Oldblood.
- Tehenhauin: The cheapest Lord the Lizardmen have (at 230pts), he is a Level 3 Wizard who uses the Lore of Beasts, is Immune to Poison, Unbreakable, has Poisoned Attacks, gains +1S on the turn he charges, has a 5+ ward save, and he makes all Skinks (and only skinks, not Mounts, Kroxigors in Skink units, etc.) hate Skavens. He rides a Tide of Serpents but can ride an Ancient Stegadon with an Engine of the Gods (for a bonus 280pts), like any normal Skink shaman. Though of little interest in most scenarios, he is a must-have in an all-Skink army or when fighting a Skaven army.
- Tetto'Eko: The only Skink priest to ride a Palanquin, he is a Level 2 Lore of Heavens Loremaster, can be accompanied by Skinks like Slanns with their Temple Guard and can predict the future. In short, a buffed-up Skink Priest but without the upgrades or mount. When he is present, he lets you roll a D6 at the start of your turn: on a roll of a one you have to reroll all your 6's when casting, 2+ lets you reroll all 1's when casting. Not only do your casters get to reroll their 1's, this also affect the magic machines carried by Stegadons and Bastiladns, which improves them ten-fold. After deployment but before determining who gets the first turn, you may vanguard D3 of your units because of his ability to predict the future, which may allow you to get your Stegadons and Carnosaurs into your opponent's face right off the bat, possibly avoiding a round of artillery fire. If Tetto'Eko successfully casts the spell Comet of Cassandora, you may re-roll the dice at the start of each player magic phase to see if the comet arrives. His Palanquin gives him a 5+ ward save. In short, he is the missing link between the Skink Shaman and the Slann; in larger battles, a Slann is more interesting, but because he is a Hero you could run both. His very reasonable point cost combined with always useful abilities make him (arguably) the best named character in the book.
- Tiktaq'To: A silly name, but a balanced character. Anyone shooting at him or his unit suffers an additional -1 To-hit, he has a 6+ ward save and Magic Resistance (1) as protection. His blade ignores armor saves and the unit he is with can perform a sort of Deep-Strike. He is as useful as a Skink special character can get. He can also upgrade a unit of Terradon Riders to have Ambush. However, thanks to the 8th Edition BRB, Flying Characters CANNOT join Flying Units. So he's fucked. In 7th, there was a special rule for Terradons allowing Characters to join Flying Units. It's no longer there. One can assume that it's changed in 9th (and thus written as such) or was assumed he could join but others could not. (his special rule says him AND his unit benefit from it. He can join units.
- Oxyotl: Fluff-wise, like Kroq-Gar, Oxyotl belongs in the incredibly tough 8000 years survivors category, as he spent millenias in the Chaos Realms assassinating Greater Daemons before finding his way back to the normal world. On the table however, he is nothing impressive, his only tricks being Sniper and a blowpipe that fires 3 times a turn instead of 2. He may be the cheapest Special Character the Lizardmen have at 160pts, but he is still only useful in small battles, where he is in fact devastating. In larger games, he does not perform anything a unit or normal Chameleons cannot do.
Alternative: No- what about VS VCs and TKs- then the sniper rule comes into play. Level 4 necromancer- stay still then, at 6" shoot 3 shots- these need 4s to hit and are poisoned on 5+. Watch him cry as this orange devil runs around sniping characters until they waste time in killing him- like normal skink but better.
Note: While named characters are judged against their generic counterparts, generic characters are examined based on their role in your army.
- Slann Mage-Priest: Big Pappa Toad, the core of most armies.
- The good: a Slann is a powerful Level 4 caster, with an in-built 4+ ward save, that can be both general and BSB at the same time, has the ability to ignore terrain and is never considered on foot while still being infantry, five wounds, the ability to swap spells with other Slann and to cast trough friendly Skink Priest models. He also has a lot of synergy Temple Guard: units joined by a Slann are Stubborn, Immune to Psychology, and allow him to auto-pass Look Out Sir!, and since he is fielded in the second rank rather than the first he is never going to be involved in actual combat and can cast spells even while his unit is busy fighting in melee. Also a choice of disciplines (see below) helps to make him one of the best generic wizards of the game.
- The bad: being the BSB means he drops dead if his unit flees from combat; thankfully in a TG block and with the banner of discipline this is highly unlikable to happen.
- The ugly: sporting a pricetag of 300 fucking point vanilla, he is expensive as all fucks and magic items and disciplines only worsen the situation. Mind you, however, he still does repay every single point you invest on him if you are careful not to make subpar poor decisions.
Another take: 300 is a lot of points but think about it, he has two of things as standard most characters don't have: 4+ ward built in (45 points from the rulebook) lv4 as standard (roughly a lv3 character is roughly the 185 mark so adding 35 points to them makes them with no gear 220 points)
See we are already at the 265 mark without accounting for his palanquin (Counting as on foot but not on foot for pit of shades, etc which is amazingly good) and his ability to cast spells out of skink priest models.
This plus his statline is why I think he is a relatively good purchase for 300 points.
- Reservoir of Eldritch Energy: Can carry over an extra dispel dice on the roll of a +2 to his magic phase. Nifty and cheap at 20 points; though not a first pick, it is a close second.
- Soul of Stone: Can add or subtract 1 to the miscast table results. Will save your life sometimes but not that awesome. Still, it is only 25 points.
- Becalming Cogitation: re-rolls its first failed dispel attempt in each Magic phase. Cheap at 25 points and good pick.
- Wandering Deliberations: Can learn signature spells from all 8 battle lores; can't use with the loremaster one. The eight signatures are nothing to sneeze at and each of them benefits from the lore attribute. It is kinda sad that we need to spend 30 points on this while a level 2 HE lord with combat lord stats has it by default, though. If playing The End Times just fucking take this, I repeat, TAKE THIS IN END TIMES because with the new rules it will allow your Slann to know every spell of the eight battle lore (confirmed for the Loremaster of Hoeth so no reason to doubt it will work for the Slann). Yes, you heard right, for 30 points you get 64 spells (7 from each lore + each of the end times spells for the BRB lores) and 4d6 dice from the powered-up Winds of Magic rolls. This is immense, just remember it works only if you have the The End Times book.
- Harmonic Convergence: rolls two additional dice whenever attempting to channel power or dispel dice. Nothing impressive until you notice the existence of Channeling Staff: suddenly you are channeling three times a turn on a 5+. 30 points (plus 15 for the staff) rarely tasted so good.
- The Harrowing Scrutiny: Can cause Terror. Meh, 30 points of overpriced garbage, take the Shrieking Blade for 5 points Fear instead.
- Alternative Opinion: This can be very good when facing low LD armies, as it means they might run away and not bog down your TG bunker - Still situational, mind you.
- Transcendent Healing: Can roll a d6 for each wound he has lost, on a 6 he regains it. Not bad, but not reliable enough to be good at 30 points.
- Unfathomable Presence: Can get Magic Resistance D3 each magic phase. Skip this one, if you are willing to spend 30 points on this you' d better pay the same 30 for MR2 with Obsidian Amulet and get the 2+ save against spells, unless you truly need that dragonbane gem on your Slann.
- Focus of Mystery: Can loremaster High Magic; can't use with the signature spell one. 35 points are worth it? High magic is a great lore that can do a bit of everything, has two signatures (you get both of them with this discipline, obviously) so you get a grand total of eight spells, great synergy with the Lizardmen army and don't forget his awesome lore attribute, Contemplation, that lets you forget an High magic spell after you cast it and roll for a new one on any other lore, which carries its lore attribute with it and can be swapped for the signature. You can swap your less useful spells and tailor your list to better suit the situation during the game, so yes, it is fucking worth it. Overall one of the best disciplines, even more so now that Slann can't loremaster any other lore.
- Higher State of Consciousness: Can be Ethereal and Unstable; but can't join units. Costs as much as two other disciplines, clocking in at 60 points, so take it only if you are absolutely positively sure about what the fuck you are doing. Used to be popular in 7th edition, but has not been seen around much lately.
- Saurus Oldblood: Killing machine. Can ride a Cold Blood or a Carnosaur, can be tooled up to either assassinate Lord characters and Daemons, or solo regiments of infantry. Given how expensive a Slann is, he shows up in smaller battles as a general, or in larger battles as a second lord choice. Old Bloods have a 4+ Scaly Skin by default and a lot of attacks before you buy any upgrades. However; these upgrades are expensive: the Carnosaur alone costs almost as much as a naked Slann., and the figurines themselves are not cheap either. The main downside is how hard it is to use both an Old Blood on Carnosaur and a Slann, because of their cost. One bad cannonball and you're down around 400 points. A very powerful build for the Old Blood is giving him the Armor of Destiny and the Fencer's Blades. This means he gets 6, S5 attacks at WS10. The build also gives him great survivability with a 2+ armor and 4+ ward. Guaranteed to make opponents rage, especially in smaller point games (such as 1000). The drawback to this build is that it cannot be a mounted Oldblood due to using two hand weapons so no extra armour from a cold one or carnosaur sadly.
- Saurus Scar Veteran: A lesser Old Blood at an affordable price. He can now also even ride a Carnosaur. It still pays out that Saurus melee butchery that makes people cry and it can ride a Cold One if you want him mounted but don't have enough points to take a Carnosaur. If you Slann is not your BSB, a Scar-Vet can and take a magical banner. In larger games, you can afford a few Scar Vets or a a couple of them and an Old Blood, equip them and use them like missiles: send a kitted-out Scar Vet after one thing and watch it get maimed. In smaller games they're more useful sitting in Saurus units to chew through into infantry. Solid choice as a General at low level games and good in larger battles for supplementary killing power. If you take a Slann and a Scar Vet, you can have a very nice combo: a Carnosaur and your magical toad!
- Skink Chief: Cheaper now and with more mounted options this guy is a little more viable. Only take this guy mounted as he's way too soft compared to the Saurus characters and Skinks in general suck as proper ranked units. Can take Stegadons, Ancient Stegadons and Terradons as mounts, which is what you should be doing. On a Terradon it can do some good character hunting and screw warmachine crews as well as provide a leadership buff to that Terradon unit, but it means your general should be someone else. Not a solid General choice but nice as a supporting character and getting another big dinosaur on the table. Like the Scar Vet, he can be the BSB. You could use him against an opponent for tying down a monster- 5 dead skinks a turn isn't much and tying down a 250pt model for 4 turns is surely worth 145 points (20 skinks+chief
- Skink Priest: Good low-level Wizard, can act as a range extended for Slann allowing them to send Magic Missiles or Direct Damage as if the Slann was where the Priest is standing. Can take the Engine of the Gods if mounted on a Stegadon, which makes a combination of a killing machine, maximum safety for the character and very powerful support to nearby units. They're limited to the Lores of the Heavens and Beasts but they have enough magic items to maximize their usage. They support the Slann or are used in large numbers to spam spells down the enemy's throat. Do not underestimate them as they have access to Comet Of Cassandora and Lizardmen are the only army that can reliably spam that spell. Wyssan's Wildform is a spell tailor-made for making Lizardmen rape machines.
- Skinks: Cheap and spammable light infantry. Kroxigors can be taken in the second rank of the unit and are allowed to normally attack over the front rank of Skinks. This gets some heavy hitters in there, but overall, Skink units are a good place to put these thugs, they have a higher Ld and pass on the effect of causing Fear to the unit. Despite weak (native) leadership and terrible toughness, they can be surprisingly effective against non-elite infantry and cavalry for one turn, with a relatively high initative, the stand and shoot and the new poison rule enabling their close combat attacks to auto wound. However, they can be upgraded to have Poison Melee attacks. Cohorts are not bad with this as Javelins can be shot before going into melee. The price you're paying is incredibly low for what they can do.
- Skink Skirmishers: Always take javelin and shield. Blowpipes are useless (as a small unit of artillery hunters these are brilliant-march for 2 turns then shoot at close range) on a mobile unit as you'll be needing 7's to hit after -1 long range, -1 moving, -1 multiple shots which means no poison!(although +1 armour isn't much, and blowpipes have 12" range, and since you can opt out of multiple shots, you can just use them as extra range javelins) Javelins and shields are quick to fire, so hit on 5's if you move with them and shoot from long range. Blowpipes are for the higher BS chameleon skinks. They keep their poison AND you gain a 5+ 6++ which makes them infinitely better against chaff. Skinks can be great for kiting enemy units and being an all-around thorn in their sides. Put simply, if the Skink Skirmishers manage to inflict wounds on any unit, your opponent will be compelled to either shoot at it, commit a unit to charge it, or try to ignore the damage they're doing. The first option is bad because damage spells and shooting units are overkill against units that size, making it a waste of resources when other, more dangerous units, are unharmed. The second option is bad because most close combat units are significantly more costly than Skinks and are much better suited to stopping/slowing your Saurus bricks from smashing through the battlefield. This gets even worse if the Skinks are able to shoot at the unit prior to the melee and inflict wounds. However, with cheap units like Skaven Clanrats, this is less of an issue, except that large Clanrat units shouldn't chase down half a dozen Skinks, and no one fields those kinds of units with an equivalent cost to your Skinks. With elite units, the problem is further exaggerated because any damage done to the Skinks is needless.
Most elite units cost close to 30 points a model,Derp, maybe really powerhouse heavy cavalry, but most Elite Infantry runs from 12-16 points, which means that more than 2 ranged casualties is a lose-lose tradeoff at best. Ignoring the Skinks, as some players do, is even more stupid because that leaves them free to pick off other skirmishers, violate war machine crews, and chip off wounds from other important units or characters. In summary, Skink Skirmishers are suicide units that force bad tradeoffs for the enemy; they'll die when they're attacked, but its a lose-lose situation, and in the wider context of the battle, leads the opponent to be inefficient with his units.
- Alternative Opinion: Actually, skink spamming is considered to be a particularly tasty form of cheese, since you can literally flood the battlefield in cheap, fast moving little units with an array of poisoned weapons redirecting, shooting, and irritating your opponent's units to a not-quite-metaphorical death. If you can get walk between worlds and hand of glory off on these, it's funny as you don't technically move them, but go 20" forward- then shoot at BS6 with blowpipes needing 3s to hit- on a unit of 20, 40 poisoned shots brings lulz
- Saurus Warriors: The backbone of any Lizardmen army, Saurus Warriors pack a 5+ Scaly Skin save, shields, spears/hand weapons, 2 base attacks, are Cold Blooded, and are WS3, S4, & T4, and now when rolling to hit have a chance of generating more hits, spears are free, and they must pursue unless near skinks. While the unit has some great stats for a hand-to-hand unit, their god-awful initiative of 1 ensures that they don't leave combat unscathed, and their cost per model, spears included, is higher than just about any other rank-and-file core choice. These two key issues are mostly irrelevant though, because Saurus Warriors are the best fucking brick infantry in the game. Chaos Warriors may be better per model, but they cost a good bit more. Besides, no other faction can field R&F infantry as effective as yours without crippling their army size. Units that engage Saurus Warriors that have the misfortune of getting flanked by another unit of them might as well have never been deployed. Saurus Warriors either smash straight through the enemy lines, or end up in a slow grinding combat that leaves either half a unit of Saurus or a few dazed and bloodstained enemies left, ready to be swept away by the rest of your army. They can realistically tarpit any infantry unit short of Dragon-Ogres and the like, and they still won't get through cleanly or untouched.
- Jungle Swarms: 35 points per base, minimum 2 per unit. Previously core units, they were rarely seen. They have now been moved to special and given a few bonus making them an interesting if specific choice. The great thing about these is that whenever some Jungle Swarms are in contact base-to-base with an enemy unit, all other Lizardmen units fighting this same unit get Poisoned Attacks! Suddenly your Saurus's 6's auto wound while still generating new attacks through Predatory Fighter. A Shadow Slann casting Okkam's Mindrazor on the Jungle Swarms, making their Strength the same number as their Ld value, makes them devastating as they have 10: this gives them 5 attack S10 per swarm base with Poison Attacks.
- Temple Guard: Improved Saurus. They get Light Armour and Halberds. When combined with a Slann (who is no longer forced to join them), they automatically pass Lookout Sir tests, become Immune to Psychology, tenacious and cause fear. These guys are easily a must-have if you have a Slann in your army, and are often worth taking even if you don't have a one. They cost a lot more than the Saurus warriors but hit much harder. Remember that due to the way Temple Guards and Slanns rank-up, they get relatively few attacks and most combats against rank-and-file will be a slow grind unless you can break the enemy's morale. Lizardmen list usually field at least a pack of 20 TG along with a block of Saurus, and these serve as the main hitting force or tarpits of the army. You can really cheese out your opponent here, because a BSB Slaan with banner of discipline and another magic banner is +3 combat res.- a horde of 30 is another +2, another +1 for charging and so on- hey 10X10 skavenslave unit, fancy a combat?
- Cold One Cavalry: Lizardmen cavalry mounted on buffed raptors. They currently get no love because of their high price, making them one of the less cost-effective cavalry option this edition. Cold One Cavalry is in a weird place even regarding its abilities: the rider has a Temple Guard profile with a better armour save, as he has no Light Armour but gets +2 armor points from being mounted on a Cold One. He has no halberd but his spear gives him a +1S on the turn he charges, after which he fights with a normal Saurus strenght but still with better armor than a TG. The Cold One itself has the same profile as a normal Saurus, which means a Cold One rider and his mount are basically a Saurus and a weird TG, cause fear and move at double speed while having a stupid mount (which is not too much of a problem thanks to Cold Blooded). Point-wise, they are 30 each without spears, at which point a single one costs more than 2 TG but gets an intermediary profile between 2 Saurus and 1 Saurus + 1 TG. This price factor overshadows anything they can bring to the table as you will generally want more TGs or more Saurus instead of them. They can be extremely useful, but will shine only in specific situation where their speed makes them the perfect hammer to a Saurus unit's anvil. Most people disregard COC entirely and will bring either more infantry or another monster, but these guys are not bad in themselves. A general who knows what he does might decide to field a few of them; however, this will be at the cost of the overall size of the army.
- Where COC excels is in serving as a delivery system for one or several Scar veterans or Old Bloods armed to the teeth with magic weapons. They are solid enough to hit hard, soak up damage, and mounted saurus characters are terrifying. They also provide a flanking unit that can withstand damage.
- Terradon Riders: Excellent for harassment tactics, hunting war machine crews, isolated models and skirmishers. Their ability to drop rocks is also handy for softening up something tough before the Saurus or TG can deal the real damage. The ability to drop rocks and the Bola upgrade are interesting and give some punch to a unit which is, otherwise quite weak.
- Ripperdactyl Riders: Competing with Terradon Riders for about the same role on the table, they are 40 pts each (5 more than Terradons) and more combat-oriented: they have Frenzy, but being flying cavalry means you get a free reform at the end of their movement to make sure they point in the direction of something you want to charge anyway. Armour piercing, 2 killing blow attacks, they are an interesting choice. The Lustrian Blot Toad allows you to select one enemy unit per Ripperdactyl unit in your army. Against the chosen enemy unit, any Ripperdactyl unit will get an additional D3 attack per model generated by Frenzy. Mind you, the Skink riders have WS2, which means they will hit nothing. This make the spear of Rippderdacyl riders a bit useless: the mounts will be dealing the damage.
- Bastiladons: First unit to receive a 2+ scaly skin armor save, Bastiladons only get T5 and will go down quite easily in combats against large infantry blocks. However, Bastiladons are exactly similar to tanks, in that you want to use it as support for blocks of infantry. Their true power is in trotting along a big block of warriors, protecting their flanks. The +1I bonus of the solar engine is nice but only brings normal Saurus to I2, which is not enough to be a game changer. The Chotek spell, however, can really bring some hurt and deals flaming damages, forcing the enemy to either waste dispel dice on it or endure potentially heavy damage. The second option, the Ark of Sotek, can shoot a weak projectile even when moving or marching, and can generate additional swarms in any Jungle swarm unit in a 6" radius, which can go beyond the starting number. This is a funny ability but not critical unless you have a good number of swarms.
- Kroxigors: Giant crocodile-men. They are strong, but not enough, and Saurus warriors are a better optionas they can absorb more wounds and deal more attacks. That said, they're not a dead unit, but will usually serve as support, not as the main hitting force. With a Scaly Skin 4+, they're basically in Heavy Armour + Shield, have S5 and Great Weapons, so that they hit at S7. They have 3 wounds each, 3 attacks each and cause Fear. Because they are Monstrous Infantry, they can use all 3 of their attacks from the second rank. They can be combined with a Skink cohort and occupy the second rank, dealing all their attacks. Unfortunately, they can also be attacked even if there is a first rank of Skinks, which means you cannot use the Skinks as shields for them.
- Chameleon Skinks: Your only scouts option and great warmachine hunters. Their higher ballistic skill allows them to still get poison on their blowpipe shots, unlike any unit of skinks which moves, as skirmishers require 7's to hit anything outside 6 inches if they move which means no poison. They have their place in any thematic or fine-tuned army, they unfortunately suffer from the competition of the other Specials which are almost invariably better.
- Stegadon: The main Lizardmen monster. Few lists do not include a Stegadon, or even several of them; Stegadons are crewed by 5 skinks who man the giant bow (a balista in all but name), even while moving. The monster causes Terror and benefits from a handful of nice rules plus all the things which come with being a monster.
- Ancient Stegadon: You thought the above was awesome, this guy is tougher, hits harder in combat and does 4d6 blowpipe shots. Again you will see infantry die with this angry old bastard. Then there is the special version mounted by Skink Priests...
- Engine of the Gods: In the previous book you were only able to take these as a mount for a skink priest, however they can now be taken in the rare section. It has 3 different effects: 1. it gives all your units within 6" a 6+ ward save. 2. it can cast a bound spell, that does D6 S4 flaming hits to units within 4D6. 3. each magic phase you can choose 1 lore from the main rulebook, and the casting values of all spells in that lore goes down by 1. The 6+ means you can go with spears on your saurus, and still have a 6+ ward. The bound spell is mostly for clearing chaff, and is just a nice thing to have in the back pocket although it's murder vs dryads. The -1 to casting values is nice in a beast lore skink priest spamm list, because it will allow you to have an easier time casting wysans on your saurus.
- Salamander Hunting Packs: This unit can do some serious damage, and it's good for stopping Regenerating faggots, The salamanders got changed quite heavily with the new book. First of all they can no longer march and shoot, meaning you probably wont be shooting first turn anymore. Second they no longer give -3 to armour saves with their shooting attack, but it instead got strength 4. These guys are absolutely amazing they can halve a units size with a single shot, these things work miracles.
- Razordon Hunting Packs: each of these are able to make an artillery dice amount of shots with a range of 18 each turn. They can move and shoot but they can no longer march and shoot. They are pretty terribad at hitting, so unless you have a slaan able to buff them with hand of glory you wont be hitting with many of the shots, but since they put out such a large amount of shots, at least some of them will hit. now that there is no limit to the amount you can pack into a single unit, you could take a unit of 8 and just stick them into your enemies face and just dare them charge these guys, and if he does he will surely come to regret it.
- Keep in mind that for both hunting pack units, the skink handlers cannot be targeted by attacks but can dish out a couple of weak attacks back, which has a couple of situational anti-character uses.
- Troglodon: What a piece of shit this thing is. 200 points for a good looking model that can't do anything well. Its designed to be useful in any phase but M7 isn't anything too fancy to write home about, its Magic support is an upgrade you have to pay for that lets the skink rider channel and it has the same rule that Skink Priests have, Arcane Vassal (Slann can cast through them.) The shooting attack is the lamest attempt to make its point cost, 1 S5 poisoned shot with D3 wounds, with a short range and BS3 you might hit once or twice a game if lucky. In combat it will wilt faster than an errection after seeing goatse, 3 attacks from the beast and 1 from the Skink, the monster is only S/T 5 with a 4 up Scaly skin so any S4 infantry can kill it before the T-stomp comes. Its Primeval Roar is the only possibly useful thing this unit brings (but you aren't bringing it are you) Once per game the Troglodon roars and boost all Predatory Fighters within 12" to get extra attacks on a 5+ instead of 6+. Best fielded 4' off the ground in a display case</s>
- Alternative opinion: What I believe this guy MEANT to say was: TROGLODONS ARE AWESOME! M7? Awesome, I'm in your face turn one with Arcane Vassal spells. (btw take this, take the Discipline that grants you all the signature spells on your Slann and laugh as you snipe your opponents general with Lore of Death turn one.) Its shooting is craptacular yes, but why are you shooting with it? Charge flanks with it and when crunch time comes, drop the roar and watch your Sauras RIP AND TEAR the opponents a new pie hole. This, if enough punch is delivered, will knock seven shades of crap out of most armies, even giving Warriors of Chaos a run for their money. All this pain train for 200 points, oh and its Aquatic for extra lulz. (ONLY TIME IT'S SEMI SCARY is when it runs up on a suicide charge into the most populated spot and Lord Kroak channels through it. otherwise it sucks, go with the original opinion)
- Original Opinion: I am pretty sure the "Alternative Opinion" was posted by Vetock himself. The troglodon is terrible, absolute fail in every phase. He seems to think the arcane vassal is good when infact most spells dont even need it. As for his genius tactics of charging flanks with it, well i have been playing warhammer for years and i can tell you now that it will never survive long enough to hit a flank in combat. As for the 5+ roar thing. Again, your opponent wont really care. Its just 200 points of pure fail. Take an ancient steg instead
Building Your Army
Buying Your Army
As always, the Battalion box is a good start; it comes with 10 Temple Guard, 20 Saurus Warriors, 8 Cold One Cavalry, and 12 Skinks.
After that you will need to buy probably 2 more Saurus warrior Boxes unless you're going light on saurus due to crippling fear of victory. Also the skinks you get aren't really enough to run more than a single unit of skirmishers, so buy box of skinks. The TG are also undersized so again might another box to get them up to strength. This gives you a total of 20 Temple Guard, 52 Saurus Warriors, 8 Cold One Cavalry, and 32 Skinks. Mainly this gives you a smattering of units for a lower cost than buying the boxes and the amount you get in the boxsets will be slightly less than what you need so there is no overflow... or by the sounds of it might just be easier to buy a second battalion.
- 2 battalion: 20 Temple Guard, 40 Saurus Warriors, 16 Cold One Cavalry, and 24 Skinks. 132£
- The other option: 20 Temple Guard, 52 Saurus Warriors, 8 Cold One Cavalry, and 32 Skinks. 152£
Aside: it's a very minor thing, but the cold one cavalry sprue has decorative bits that can be used as jungle swarms (2 per 8 CoC, if you can rustle up some bases). So if you want jungle swarms the 2nd battalion may be better. Also,the excess Cold One cavalry can be modified into a pair of scar vets on cold ones can give you some cheap hitting power and a way to hit a points limit in your initial games, until you figure out what you want to buy to flesh out the army.
Getting a Slann is mandatory, no you can't just say screw it, even if you never play with it, not having a Slann will get you laughed at by every neckbeard who hears of your foolishness.
If you want to start an army cheap and build up slowly, buy 1 box of sarus and convert the 16th one to be something else (eg scar vet). this is a small army of about 250 points. After that, buy another box of sarus unless you want to go all skink.
Some people (you know who you are) think Lizardmen (and specifically Sauras), are a defensive army. This however, is not true. Take 2 blocks of 30, with spears if your a taker (or have Gor-Rok to lead them). These are your main hitting force. Next, take 2+ units of Skinks. Blowpipes used to be better, but now take Lustrian Javelins. Next, your block of Temple Guard. 20 MINIMUM, no cheaping out here this bad boys are gonna keep your Slann safe, so may as well go all out. Buy a magic standard, Flaming is always handy in a pinch. Then you need to get some support...here is where your aquatic friends come in handy. No Flounder or Sebastion up in this shit, hell no we got lizards who breathe FIRE (despite being water dwelling reptiles..?) and ones that carry a shotgun of spikes to down insects (bring bug spry to Lustria) two units, of any mix however the Razordons are 65 points to the Salamanders 80 points, but now they are S4 so slightly better. Use this to hit the enemy, take ranks and war machines out, do all you can to make that hammer blow fall hard and fast. They can also flank charge in a pinch (use them to chase down)
That's your base, now your Slann. Ok here is what you want:Becalming Cogitation, Wandering Deliberations, Reservoir of Eldritch Energy and any other one of your choosing. Make the guy a BSB (hey, if he's so expensive as is, may as well make him worth it) Banner of Discipline ftw! After that its entirely up to you what to take. Terradons are good answers to warmachines yet not as good as Ripperdactyls. Bastilodons in both forms are only worth their points if you have a specific plan for them, its not a unit you can plop down and expect it to work wonders (i.e. you must acutally think harder about your battle plan when using these, ditto for ripperdactyls) (GW again trying to push the newest box by making its model the cheapest. Bloodcrushers anyone?)
(Just remember if you are only taking units of 30 Saurus in a hoarde with spears you won't get any real benefit to the fourth rank, so consider taking them 6 across for the added lulz)
Lets start with the Slann. Becalming Cogitation and Reservoir of Eldritch Energy are fine. It seems, however, that our friend who wrote the above (and messy) composition forget about High Magic's Lore Attribute, which allows you to forget a spell of High Magic and replace it with one from any of the Eight Battle Magic Lores. These spells will automatically use their associated Lore Attribute and can always be the Signiture spell as per usual spell generation rules. That means, if you're in a bit of trouble, you can cast a High Magic lore spell, switch to Lore of Life, generate one from there, depending on what it is either keep it or swap it for 5+ Regeneration Signature Spell and then cast that. That not only gives a unit a nice Regeneration save (which I believe counts as a 'Ward Save') but it also gives the Wizard a Wound back, or any other character in range. You can do this for any Lore. Wandering Deliberations is also good, as mentioned.
Next, as I am sure the above person knows, your General is automatically the character with the highest Leadership. Since Slann have Ld9, that means they are automatically the Army General unless you have more than one Slann or somehow have another Lord with Ld9 or above. Oldbloods have Ld8. This isn't a problem until you give the Slann the Banner of Discipline, which not only turns it into the BSB but gives it Ld+1, that means the Slann will have Ld10, amazing for casting the Death Lore Signature spell.
However, the Banner of Discipline also states that the Banner wielder cannot be used for Inspiring Presence. Meaning you have lost the ability to use the Slann to rally. This is a important seeing as many of the Lizardmen units are Ld5-6. Coldblooded is useful in helping, but not fully. As per the BRB FAQ, a general in a unit with the Standard of Discipline may use his Inspiring Presence with the +1 bonus. This gives any Lizardmen under the eyes of a Slann a 99.8% chance of success for all leadership tests. This is so stupidly good for the price that only an idiot would not take it.
Next, mixing Razordons and Salamanders is a fun idea, however they are both different firing types. Firstly, the Salamanders are Slow to Fire and fire as a Flame Cannon, while the Razordon are Quick to Fire and fire as Grapeshot Cannons. It would therefore be better to keep them separate. Yes, there is the bonus that the Razordons will be able to protect the Salamanders, but it's still a mess. Furthermore, the Salamanders fire an acid which ignites when it comes into contact with air. It wouldn't do that underwater, plus being in the water when they fire means they are kept cool.
Bastildons are worth their price. If you take Jungle Swarms, the Ark of Sotek is useful for a chance of a free base every turn, but the key worth is in the Solar Engine. The gem not only gives every Cold Blooded creature within range +1I (which is stupidly useful for I1 Saurus and protecting against Pit of Shades) which also stacks with Hand of Glory (for a potential +4I), it's the Gem's power which is the real useful part of it. The spell is Power Level 3, meaning you need only a 3 to cast it. You've got a 66% chance of doing it with one dice. Throw two and you're going to be unlucky to not cast it. The spell itself not only causes 1D3-2D6 S3-6 Flaming Hits, but also a 1/6 chance to reduce WS and BS skill by 1 for a turn, but it's the fact you're going to be forcing your opponent to either accept the chance of the spell being powerful and causing damage (The spell itself is more powerful than some higher cast value Battle Lores) OR using a couple of dice or more to dispel it. If they do dispel it, you then simply laugh and use your remaining dice to cast some High Magic or Battle Lore spells which your opponent will struggle to dispel. It is also the proud owner of the only 2+ Scaly Skin Special Rule, meaning you're going to be resisting plenty of attacks. Yes, it's Toughness is terrible (and a surprising number, it should be errated IMO) but imagine casting Wildform from a Lore of Beast Skink Priest onto it, giving it +1S and +1T, or even +2/4T from Lore of Life. Making it the true tank it should be
Yes the Lizardmen have some of the best okay gear available, unfortunately you will pay heavily for that advantage.
- Magic Weapons
The Blade of Realities A new version of this and still pricey as hell but now ignoring ward- and armor saves. The only downside is that it now takes up all of a Lord's points for magic items and thus forces you to not be able to take any ward saves of your own. Thus it should probably be left at home for friendly games. However, since it means that opponents Lords/Heroes will have to rely on Toughness and Weapon Skill to avoid dying, it means you can use it on an Oldblood to go and destroy a specific target. If you put the Oldblood on a Cold One or Fuck-You-A-Saur, you can get a 1+ Armour Save (4+ Scaly Skin + Shield = 3+ add the Cold Ones +2 or Carnosaurs and you're up to 1+, Light Armour can be added if your mount dies so you stay at 2+). You then head straight for that Lord/Hero and unleash hell. Lore of Lifes +2/+4 Toughness will make you even more resilient. Lore of Lights +Weapon Skill/Initiative means you're going to hit more often. Lore of High Magic Movement/Initiative/Weapon Skill at +D3 is useful, but when you can make it so you improve all three, it means your Oldblood and his Mount are going to get there quicker and when they do, they're going to be more likely to hit. +3 Movement will mean 9-10 Movement for the Mounts, +3 Initiative will mean your Oldblood is at Initiative 6 (and 7 if near Solar Gem) and +3 Weapon Skill means hitting at Weapon Skill 9. So, while Elves, Vampire Lords and Chaos Lords will out Initiative you (and Elves most likely will get re-rolls too) everything else will be going after you or at the same time. With WS9, you're likely to hit (bar specific specific built Vampire Lords, named Elves and certain built Elves and Chaos Lords, who will also be around WS9... Also any unit with Fencing Blades) and S5 means you're not too bad when it comes to wounding and since you're packing 5 Attacks, you're very much capable of killing any Lord/Hero in one go (though the likes of Tyrion, it'll be difficult). That's ignoring your Mount and the buff it got from the spells. A T9 Fuck-You-A-Saur is pretty fun. So is one with WS6, especially since it has 5 attacks and each one is D3 Wounds. Being able to smile when you tell your opponent that his Lord/Hero or Special Character can't make any saves would be glorious. The best bit, though, would be against the likes of Malekith, who has a 2+ Armour Save (when on mount) and 2+ Ward Save (against non-magical attacks) or against 1+ Armour Save and 3+ Ward Save Chaos Lords. All those points, wasted as you cleave through them. However, many people won't take named characters or spend so many points on a Lord, so the Blade of Realities has very limited uses in competitive play, however, against WAAC's in friendly games, it's delicious.
Try this with a slaan just for the lulz (only once though). Laugh as you chew through tanks and still have a ward save!
The Piranha Blade: Still a little bit expensive but getting now the bonus of reducing enemy armor. Against monster and heroes probably a good idea but a hefty price to pay. Although as the Armour Piercing stacks on impact hits this item should be used on an Oldblood with the Stegadon Helm on a Carnosaur with Swiftstride. This combo is fucking hilarious, and leaves some points for other magic items.
Another use is to give it to a scar vet on foot and challenge as it allows you to rack up the combat bonus with overkills. With only 4 attacks you have the potential to get one wound to kill the champ and the +5overkill bonus for a total of +6 to combat res. Pretty good for only 4 attacks. On average you'll get around +4ish which is still like hitting and wounding AND having your opponent fail all saves.
- Magic Armour
Sacred Stegadon Helm of Itza The only magic armour the Lizardmen get but what an armour. For its bonus to toughness and impact hits its fricking cheap and your Saurus can also play Mini-Minotaur, on a Carnosaur for the lulz. For those who don't know, it gives +1 to armour save < +1 Toughness AND +D3 Impact Hits. Impact hits dont benefit from your weapon, your weapons stats only affect you when striking with it.
- Enchanted Items
The Cloak of Feathers Yes, the same old thing that was in the Codex for like 10 editions. Still make a flying Skink and now with a little bonus. As it's cheap, you can use it to get the Priest in nice positions for the Arcane Vassal rule to help get in range for the shorter ranged spells a Slann may have. And the extra Magic Resistance is a nice touch too.
The Horn of Kygor A musical instrument carved from a long time dead dinosaur. When your hero blows it, all monsters and beasts in your army within range, will gain the Frenzy rule for one turn. As it will not affect the riders and is extremely expensive for a one use only item that does fairly little, it's best to leave this at home.
The Egg of Quango Again a little dinosaur souvenir, but this has still life in it. You can summon the ancient dinosaur from its egg and with a little luck he will clobber your enemies (on a 4+). As a one use only and requiring quite a bit of luck this should probably be left at home, but when you like dinosaurs (and that's why you'r playing Lizardmen) then it's not bad. (Although if it doesn't get so lucky, the poor bird inside dies). :,(. While it's 'fun' it's also rather silly. The whole point of the Quango was that it was some rare, mystical creature which could change the outcome of the War against Chaos, with Mazamundi deciding when it should be opened... He's decided it now and it doesn't do anything to help the War in terms of fluff. But it is an amusing item.
- Arcane Items
Cube of Darkness Basically a 5 point more expensive Dispel Scroll that works on a 2+. In addition, you roll a dice for each remains in play spell on the board (including your own) and on a 2+ it ends. After taking a dispel scroll this is a near "must take" (if you can).
Plaque of Dominion A bound spell that makes enemy mages stupid. If your opponent has his mage parked within range of a general/bsb leave this at home. If not... probably still leave it at home. Dipel scroll first, cube second.
- Magic Standards
Skavenpelt Banner This banner grants the Frenzy and Hatred (Skaven) rules, and all other Skaven gain Hatred when attacking the bearer.
As it is more than 50 points this banner can only be used on the BSB, and taking a magic banner on a BSB is a shitty idea as he can't take any other magic items for protection. Except the Slann, who can take much better banners at a cheaper price (e.g. Banner of Discipline) and still take magic items. Skip this item as a smart general will have you're unit chasing chaff as they are frenzied.
ignore the special person who wrote above this, put it on your slann and watch 3 attack temple guard madness roll across the field. you don't need to worry about hoarding with this shizzle as it is the cheeese. and i don't see you ever failing a leadership test with cold blooded and bsb and stubborn with reroll so you will never chase units across the field. Alternate Opinion: The Skavenpelt Banner will let you have a stupid ammount of fun with your Temple Gaurd with a Slaan BSB. However, the mandatory Overrun will screw over your Temple Gaurd if your Opponent has any sort of chaff, or even a unit they dont mind feeding to the blender. Also, if you Lose combat, while you wont run, your BSB is now holding 65 Points of Hatred (Skaven). Fun, but certainly not worth it.
The Jaguar Standard Just enough to be used by a unit of Temple Guard, the Jaguar Standard gives the unit Swiftstride. It's an OK choice for a Banner but there are others that could probably work better. It would be good though to make sure that if the Temple Guard run off after a unit due to PF, they catch and kill what ever fled.
Summary The ones to seriously consider are Cube of Darkness, Piranha Blade, Stegadon Helm, and perhaps the Cloak of Feathers. For any serious lists, don't bother with the rest though they have their uses.
Remember the BRB also has some nice items. Let us say you have a Slann, what should you buy it? Well, Banner of Discipline is one option, but that still means 100 magic points left! So, what to get? Well, seeing as Vetock nerfed the Discipline that gave Magic Resistance (3) to Magic Resistance (D3) each turn, it would seem as if there was little in the way of magical protection for your Slann.... Except there is! For 40(Or 45, I forget) points, you can buy an Obsidian Lodestone, this gives you Magic Resistance (3), guaranteed! This means not only do you not need to spend points on the Discipline (although it's cheaper) which is vastly inferior, but it means you've always got Magic Resistance (3) and therefore your unit of Temple Guard have it too! (A slaan already has a 4+ ward save, so on a 3+ you get a 2+ ward against spells. Take channeling staff and harmonic convergance for power dice spam, and have the obsidian lodestone somewhere else.) What else, you ask? Well, it seems as writers have been slowly changing the way Fear and Terror works, it seems as you cannot have just one model with the ability and everybody else has it (although the BRB says this isn't the case, but newer rulebooks are mentioning it) in the case of Lizardmen, it mentions that models in base contact with the Slann gain Terror or Fear, so basically the unit does. So, what does that mean? It means you buy a Shrieking Blade! For a mere 10 points, your Slann now has Fear, therefore your Temple Guard unit now has Fear! You could buy the Terror Discipline, but it's way more expensive. This is around 55 points (or 50, as I said, I forgot) spend the rest of your points on Cube of Darkness and Dispel Scroll. This means you have a Slann with 3+ Ward Save against Magical Attacks/Spells, which also affects your Temple Guard, but also the Slann has Fear, making it possible for any unit charging your Temple Guard to be reduced to WS1, allowing your Temple Guard to have even higher chance of survivability! The Cube of Darkness and Dispel Scroll are there for the usual reasons!
Now after the new book, the Lizardmen have got High Magic (the High >Elf magic) for their Slann. Well not bad at all but the real thing is in the Lore Attribute: Contemplation. It allows you to forget a spell you successfully casted and generate a new one out of High Magic or any normal Lore. This means you can drop Spells you don't need and get new ones. Playing against Demons? Light magic is there. Fighting against Chaos Knights? There you go Searing Doom.
With magic, one of the biggest choices is which Lore for the Slann. Generally Life is regarded as the best for Slann, as it can prevent miscasts from nuking your Mega-Toad. Plus, who doesn't like Toughness 6 Saurus? Aside from your opponent, I mean. Generally its best to take a lore based on your opponent's army. Metal and Shadow are pretty good choices. Heavens is a big No as you already have Skink Priests to cast that one for you.
- Typically, people opt for either Life or Light, with Life being more popular of a choice.
Lore of Life (Recommended) : With the Loremaster discipline on a Slann, and thus allowing you to get every spell from the lore, this is probably the best choice as Earth Blood, Flesh to Stone, and Regrowth keep your Warriors in the battle and help mitigate their relatively small numbers. Throne of Vines helps make your Slann from killing himself and lets Flesh to Stone buff your Saurus to Toughness 8 (As well as buffing the effectiveness of the other spells)! Finally, Dwellers is possibly one of the most ridiculous spells in the game and can nuke out entire units with no looking back. Generally this is probably the best of the lores to use for a balanced or defensive list. Remember that any good opponent will packing at least 1 scroll, never depend on your first dwellers working, in fact depend on it not working.
Lore of Light (Recommended): Although Life is probably better in a large tournament game Light can be devastating in Saurus-heavy armies with a Slann in the center. Birona's Timewarp and The Speed of Light are probably the best spells as they make up for the Saurus's low Initiative and mediocre Weapon Skill. The Timewarp will also give you an extra attack and double the movement turning the Saurus into something more akin to Ogres than Saurus. (That's 3 attacks and 8 movement by the way) . And best of all is that both of them and their little cousin Pha's Protection (an augment that will help against shooting and getting hit in combat at a -1 to hit) all can be cast as 12" bubble buffs that can effect all units allowing an army with a Slann in the center to be twice as effective. On another note the lore has some pretty good utility spells that can clear chaff (and also get a bonus versus the foul undead and Dæmons), and helps stop you're opponents from getting dangerous flank charges (The Net of Amyntok). All in all probably the second best lore for Lizards. One other thing to note is if you get some lucky rolling you can cast bubble speed of light and phas protection, the astute among you will notice that means most core (ws4 and lower) will be hitting your mighty saurus on 6's. this is obviously huge and the fact that more people don't do this makes me sad.
Lore of Shadow: The Lore Attribute is probably the most important part to the use of this Lore for lone Slanns. Allowing the Slann to switch with any other character within 24" after a successful cast is a great way of getting him out of combats and switching an expendable Skink or a fighty Saurus Character
(assuming you are not in a Temple Guard block where you can't leave the unit) 8th Ed book no longer states he must remain or even join TG. On the casting side of things Shadow is the most expensive lore to cast in the game which shouldn't be a problem for a Slann with the Discipline of Ruination for the extra casting die each spell. Otherwise most of the spells are hexes that lower your opponents units capability. The rest are either direct damage and 2 augments. Now a rundown of Each Spell:
- (Signature) Melkoth's Mystifying Miasma: Lowering your opponent's WS, BS, LD, or I is great with Saurus as they have poor Initiative and a poor WS for elite troops n this spell allows you to level the playing field and hopefully start hitting on 3's. This debuff can also be used for hilarious effect with Purple Sun in the Lore of Death.
- (1) Steed of Shadows: I guess its cheap to cast but I've never seen a use for it as a Saurus leader is useless with out his unit and Skink Priests and Chiefs have other ways to get flying. It could be lolzy for a flying Carnosaur or switching around with a Death Slann in the hilarious dual Shadow/Death Slann list but otherwise seems to lack any use other than switching for the Sig if you don't have Loremaster (which you should).
- (2) The Enfeebling Foe: Minus d3 strength is okay for your Saurus but they are probably tough enough already that they don't really need it. Could be okay versus monsters and keeping you're high armor saves.
- (3) The Withering: The true winner of this lore in my opinion, lowering you're opponents toughness is one of the best debuffs in this game...
Lore of High Magic: The signature Lizardmen lore, shared with high elves(the slann did teach them how to magic after all). It is a pretty well balanced Lore for Lizardmen and much better suited for them than High Elves. Hand of Glory gives +D3 Initiative/Movement/Weapon Skill, with it's High Casting option giving +D3 to all of the stats, not just one. This counters Lizardmens average Weapon Skill (Saurus, war machines created to fight have WS3, unless you're on a Cold One or a Temple Guard, then you have WS4, Skinks have WS2) and Initiative, the Movement buff is just gravy. This is much better for Lizardmen than High Elves, since High Elves are rocking WS4 on their basic troops, and WS5/WS6 on their Rare/Specials. Walk Between Worlds is also useful for Lizardmen, especially for units such as Fuck-You-A-Saurs, Kroxigors, Cold One Cavalry and, most importantly, Salamanders. This allows you to move into perfect flanking positions, allowing your units to dish out some hurt while the opponent is tar-pitted against Saurus. The Salamanders are perfect for this spell as you can have as many as you want, a unit of 5 Salamanders shooting five S4 Flame Cannon Template shots over a horde of something or a tough unit to weaken them for your Saurus, is golden. Vaul's Deforging(?) is useful for removing powerful magical items from Lords/Heroes, especially named/special ones. I'm looking at you Tyrion (+3S sword, 1+/4++ Magic Armour, Gem) or Grimgor Ironhide (+2S ASF Axe) and so on. The final High Magic Spell, Fiery Convocation, is useful as it will constantly cause hits on the unit, regardless of how big it is. That 40 block horde? They all take a hit. It can whittle them down for your units to finish them off.
There are other viable Lores, such as Fire, you can't get Loremaster any more, making it a bit of a problem. With Lore of Life, you're still only getting 4 spells out of 6. Heads up people! With the new End times Khaine book, Slann are stupidly strong. If they know one spell from a lore then they know the entire Lore now! Meaning the signature spell discipline they can take? Yeah can know all spells from all the basic lores now... And if they are Loremasters of a lore then they get to reroll casting attempts of that lore! So you can Stick to high Lore and have a higher chance of casting all the spells you need! And ONE MOOOOORE THING!(Shush Uncle!) When the Slann use the High Magic Lore attribute then the moment they get a spell from a Lore they learn the Entire Lore.
There's a school of thought that stipulates that in order to win in WFB you need to be control 2 out of the 4 phases in a turn. Lizardmen have magic and combat handed to them, so choosing to not take a Slann is really only useful if you're sure that its power as a magic user is unnecessary in the battle to be played. Lizardmen don't have the mobility to control the movement phase and we really don't have any truly dedicated ranged units like Elves or Empire.
Because of the lack of mobility on Lizardmen units and lack of long-ranged firepower, one should not play defensively, say imagine if dwarves lacked their warmachines and ranged units? No one would play them because you could shoot the crap out of them for 3-4 turns and then run around behind them and flank the survivors. Lizardmen can't just stand there and shoot, the whole army needs to grind forward. Grind is really the best word here, if you're doing it right you should be making steady progress forward and crushing anything that tries to stall you.
While some units can really move around compared to your Saurus, they're all skinks, which means they're dead if you opponent looks at them with raised eyebrow. The exception is Cold One Cavalry who are pretty pricey and therefore will never be fielded in the numbers necessary to play them in super-effective numbers. An alternative view; Cold on cav cost 35 points each whereas saurus cost 11, Saurus get 2 attacks whereas Cold ones get 3, 2 of which are at strength 5 on the charge, they also have M7 and an unmodified 2+ armour save and 1 extra WS which helps a surprising amount. The big thing is that with 1" bases you reach critical mass very easily, basically with 210 points you'll get 12 hits from COC against WS3 at str4-5 on the charge, 210 points of Saurus gives you 9 hits or 12 with spears if you run them 6 wide which you should at that point cost, and COC won't die. Basically COC are situationally more point cost effective than saurus, generally against WS3, Str3-4 units. Either way in a standard list run 5 COC to flank charge an existing combat.
Against mobile armies like Bretonnia, Wood Elves or people who still think cavalry is good, don't wait for the knights or warriors to charge your flanks, get a skink skirmisher unit to stand in the way or charge them. Mobile armies will be a pain in the butt, especially if they have ranged cavalry as you will never catch them without carefully noting terrain placement etc.
Tarpits are something to avoid, even though your Saurus units will probably wipe the offending unit (unless it's a half decent one like a hammer dart with a Dwarf Lord running a 1+ rerollable and a 4++ in front), it wastes time and options. That said if you do get tarpitted, don't worry 90% of tarpits won't do much to your Saurus and very few have a real chance of beating 40+ Saurus warriors (you did take a Horde right?). Try to avoid tarpits getting to your Temple Guard as you want them to be free to deal with issues not bogged down playing whack-a-mole.
Warmachines are the most annoying things for Lizardmen player, hence you must have 2 options to deal with them quickly. Players who rely on warmachines to win are pussy bitches, or Dwarves, and should be mocked as such. Stone Throwers are absolute cunts when they hit and several bolt throwers will chew through a unit quickly. Against Dwarves this is doubly so, in fact during a Dwarf player's deployment phase while they look to place their lame ass contraptions play this clip from Community where Senor Chang perfectly describes warmachine heavy armies: 
EDIT# If your opponent can take lore of death be very aware of Purple Sun as it can end your army, so if you know the have it save some power dice or a scroll to dispel it.