The 9th Age/Tactics/Saurian Ancients
- 1 Why play Saurian Ancients
- 2 Army Rules
- 3 Unit Analysis
- 4 Magic Items
- 5 Tactics
Why play Saurian Ancients
Cold Blooded Discipline tests by units with this rule are minimized. Your units have pretty standard discipline (except skinks) but that discipline 8 is going a long way with this rule. With a character babysitting you can expect your units to hold their own for a long time. That said, your skink units are only discipline 5 across the board, even with this rule they will bolt at a bad combat, keep a babysitter nearby.
Telepathic Link A frog can cast damage spells through models with Telepathic Link as long as the two models are within 24" of each other. Gives you a lot of flexibility in your spellcasting, allowing you to assblast your biggest spells while only risking minor characters or a tanky dinosaur.
Engine of the Ancients max 1 per army. The model part gains Telepathic Link and nearby units gain Aegis (5+ vs ranged). A great support upgrade, giving your frog a nexus to cast spells while actively supporting nearby units. Can trade the aegis save to boost a magic path for you or to bitch slap some enemies.
Born Predator reroll to-hit rolls of 1 in melee. All of your Saurians and Caimans have this rule and it makes them scary to fight.
Blowpipe 2 shots at weak strength and short-range but at least they're poisoned. Generally, a pass, to make the most out of it you will be shooting with penalties (-1 for moving, -1 to range usually) making your already meh skinks only hit on 6s anyways. It does have +1 to hit against giants, but you have better tools for killing monsters anyways.
Poisoned Javelin only 1 shot at short range, but at the user's STR and AP and has quick to fire. 1 fewer shot than the blowpipes, but you'll at least be hitting things more after running up and has the ability to be buffed by spells and other goodies.
Giant Blowpipes Read Blowpipes above but 8 shots, +1 str, and quick to fire, is only available on Taurosaurs. If you take it as a character mount it additionally has a better to hit. Its main issue is that it is only available on Taurosaurs. Taurosaurs are CC monsters and have a huge number of strong impact hits and stomps at great strength in addition to its large number of standard attacks and attacks from its skink crew, so if your target is within 12" and shootable, why haven't you charged it and done much more damage?
Great Bow Again only on the Taurosaur and you couldn't ask for a better bolt thrower chassis. Compared to other race's bolt throwers, it has a shorter range and less strength, but it will do the work and you can always just charge. If you need some mid range shooting support, this will do the job.
Spark of Creation only 1d6 hits, but with great strength and decent AP. Best used against elite infantry and can still do work even against the heaviest of armors.
Saurian Warlord/Veteran 260/170pts. Your beatstick options. A great number of attacks and high res will give them good grinding power and survivability. It only costs 20 points to give them a 2+ armor save. A veteran can be BSB.
Caiman Ancient 195pts. Your option to take a monster character. He can BSB and he is a tanky boy for it. Only bother with the great weapon if you really need it, Off5 Str 6 AP 3 is good enough for most situations and agility 3 isn't much but it will go before most things on the charge.
Cuatl Lord 445pts. Grandpappy frogger is here and he's mad. He is one of the best spellcasters in the game by far but pays for that by being a whopping amount of points. He is worth every point, but you'll be sinking a lot of points into him so invest in keeping him alive. He can be the BSB and General, and he has the magic item allowance to take the crazy standards, but you don't want him in combat to begin with. Comes with his own choices in Cuatl Lord Disciplines, listed below:
- Grasp of the Immortal 130pts. Gains +1 to channel and casting rolls. Again, it helps you blast in the magic phases by making your spells easier to cast.
- Master of Reality 130pts. You convert veil tokens into magic dice at a 2:1 ratio (instead of 3:1) but you discard all veil tokens after converting them into magic dice. Will help you throw more dice in your magic phases.
- Soulfire Weaver 120pts. Every time he successfully casts an evocation spell, instead of the attribute spell you can discard veil tokens to chunk more hits onto a unit. Will help your caster blow through large weak units.
- Ancient Knowledge 85pts. He knows all spells from Divination and may exchange one for the H spell. Unlike the normal Divination ability, he additionally gains range from being near models with a telepathic link. Divination is a great path and Mr. Frog can easily blast them all.
- Breaker of Spells 70pts. May reroll his first failed to dispell attempt in each enemy magic phase. It helps you control all magic phases in the game.
- Protean Potentate 70pts. Gains access to druidism and knows spell 1 of all available paths and the H spell. Makes a good toolbox caster even if you don't have access to the big blaster spells. A flexible choice and you'll have a spell for any situation.
- Symbiosis 50pts. The cuatl can cast any spell through telepathic link (instead of just damage spells). It gives you flexibility in your range as well as your spell selection.
- Trained From Birth 50pts. He knows spell 1 from the chosen path in addition to his other spells. More spells are never not good.
Skink Captain 75pts. Your cheapest character and it shows. You'll want one for each important skink unit you have to babysit them with their slightly better discipline.
Skink Priest 115pts. One of the cheapest casters in the game. You can upgrade him to an adept if you want, but Druidism and Shamanism are great paths with just spell 1. Take one or two to force your opponent to blow dispell dice on him, especially if you have a frog to assblast through them as well.
Raptor Gives your Saurian +2 more speed and 2 more attacks, don't expect them to go first, but they can slam.
Carnosaur Two raptors slammed together into one high res model. Be careful of frenzy drawing into fights you don't want, but whenever a carnosaur gets involved things die.
Alpha Carnosaur Take the above and make it bigger and scarier. It has multiple wounds (d3) against everything, so you can slam anything. Be careful as it is still slow.
Skink Palanquin Available to the priest only, gives them more spells and makes it so they rank up behind other models in a unit. If you're running with skinks, get the plaque so you can mulch in melee.
Alpha Pteradon and Alpha Ramphodon The main reason to take either of these mounts is to have a skink babysitter with the corresponding units. It will make your skink very fast, so a wizard hunter is a good choice.
Taurosaur A big scary monster that can carry your "war machines" or the engine of the gods. If you're running a captain on it, go with engine of the gods to support your nearby units and get some magic support into melee through your cuatl. If you put a priest on it, any choice will do work.
Saurian Warriors 255pts for 15 + 19ppm. The only better core brick in the game is WDG, and you don't have to cripple your R&F numbers to field them. Res 4 4+ save infantry with options for upgrades. If you need them to tank leave them vanilla so they can parry, otherwise take spears to plow through enemy infantry. They have options for Totem animals which will make them scarier, but if you shell out for it all saurian warrior units need to be upgraded with it as well. The totems are listed below:
- Piranha The cheapest animal, the unit gains fear. Not the biggest boost, but will help you dump on some armies.
- Jaguar Simple and effective, +1 advance and +2 march. Saurian Warriors are a scary unit to be stuck in combat with, and this upgrade makes them harder to avoid.
- Serpent +1 agility and fight in extra rank. Tell your opponent to lube up because you aren't, this upgrade will make your warriors with spears even scarier to fight, as 4 ranks of attacks to the front with str 4 AP 2 is scary in any situation.
- Crocodile +1 armor in melee. Will make your brick that much harder to crack. If you have the units to flank, this is the best option, otherwise, your opponent is in for a slow grind.
Skink Braves 135pts for 15 + 7ppm. Essentially goblins. It only costs 310 points for a max sized unit. But the best thing about them is the options for them. You can give them good ranged options with poison javelins or bows, or give them some Caimans (1 per 10 skinks) to really stomp in melee. The skinks will take some hits for the caimans making this a flexible and strong choice.
Temple Guard 350pts for 15 + 32ppm. Stronger Saurian Warriors with 2 Str 6 attacks, but their main role is protecting a Cuatl Lord. Have one unit to take hits for your frog, besides that, don't bother.
Raptor Riders 260pts for 5 + 42ppm. The stats of a Temple Guard riding a faster Temple Guard. Has all the grinding power of normal Saurians but with the bonus power of a lance on the charge. 4 attacks per base is nuts, but watch out for agility 2.
Caimans 205pts for 3 + 75ppm. Cheaper than running them with skinks and the benefits of a smaller unit footprint. Go for great weapons, agility 2 might as well be agility 0 and with res 4 and a 4+ save they'll survive to hit back.
Snake Swarms 125pts for 2 + 35ppm. 5 poisoned attacks per base but with pitiful strength and no AP. Their main strength is that when a unit charges them they take dangerous terrain tests. At 125 points per minimum sized unit, they make very effective roadblocks, especially against cavalry, chariots, or ogres.
Skink Hunters 110pts for 5 + 12ppm. Keep the javelin and always give them vanguard. They have a good enough to-hit that they can actually do some damage and are quick and survivable enough to avoid damage.
Chameleons 135pts for 5 + 18ppm. Would make decent units if they had any other ranged weapon. They have hard target (2) and some decent armor, but to be effective with blowpipes they need to be within 12" of an enemy. So good luck killing anything before they just get counter charged.
Pteradon Sentries 180pts for 3 + 25ppm. Flying Missle avoidance cavalry with multiple wounds per base. They will crumble if anything looks at them funny, but they can take the random shots that flank annoyance cavalry usually take. Use them carefully, but they will be the most annoying thing for your opponent.
Rhamphodon Riders 255pts for 3 + 60ppm. Pteradon Sentries but on a Frenzied mount that does most of the killing. For each unit of these at the beginning of the game, pick two enemy units, your Rhamphodons (not the riders) gain +1d3 attacks and reroll hits against that target. These are your missiles, point them at the unit you want dead and let them go. They can destroy elite infantry with their Battle Focus and Lethal Strike, but don't expect them to do much afterward if they survive.
Weapon Beasts 145pts for 1 + 115ppm. It comes in pointy or hot flavors. Like all SA Warmachine expys, they have decent strength, short-range, but quick and maneuverable.
- Spearback 2d6 shots at str 4 ap 2, only 4+ to hit but with that many shots and quick to fire you have an 18" threat range and is scary to have one of these looking at you. They must declare stand and shoot charge reactions when possible but don't suffer the -1 to hit. That is usually what you want anyway, but be careful that what is looking at them won't destroy them.
- Salamander +25ppm. Lil' flamethrower lizard. Not as powerful as other flamethrowers in the game, but you can move and mow down units. Use it like you would use any flamethrower but feel free to move it around.
Stygiosaur 300pts. Not as tanky as the Thyroscutus, but comes with poisoned attacks and a toxic breath attack. It can be upgraded to a Wizard Adept that has telepathic link and some good spells.
Thyroscutus 275pts. Your monster-hunting monster, crush attack is scary to face and he has the tools to get up in an enemy's face. Take the altar of the snake god if you want him to slam in melee, it'll give him 2d6 more attacks each combat to force saves. Take the Sun Engine if you don't plan on your Thyroscutus getting bogged down or if you have a lot of spellcasters.
Taurosaur 455pts. This is where you want to take it. Always get the Engine of the Ancients or Great Bow, if you're ever in a situation where you can fire Giant Blowpipes (and not replaced it with a free Great Bow), just charge, it's better.
Glory of the Dawn Age 90pts. Take a spear, make it scary. +1 str and multiple wounds (2). It's very consistent and even ogre khans will be afraid of getting into melee with your saurian boss.
Wildfire Burst 70pts. A bow enchantment that gives it 4 shots and good strength. The benefit of this though is that enemies hit by it reduce their cover by one step. If you have a lot of shooting, you need this.
Taurosaur's Vigor 60pts. I can go all night baby. +1 armor and +1 HP. Your Saurian warlord will be practically unkillable.
Serrate Scales 60pts. A shield enchantment that gives your model grind attacks. It will help you grind through elite infantry or slam in a duel.
Totem of Mixoatl 70pts. Hard target 1 and can be activated once in melee for -3 offensive skill to the enemy for a round. A great defensive standard and will insure your deathstar makes it to melee.
Tree Frog Banner 35pts. Melee attacks by skinks are now poisoned. If you got some monster skink blocks this makes them scary to fight.
Raptor Spirit 80pts. On foot only, +4 to advance and march and gains swiftstride. Makes your little character hunters hard to avoid.
Ancient Plaque 75pts. Once per magic phase the bearer may reroll one casting die provided the spell wasn't miscast. It makes your magic phases much more consistent and is worth the price.
Sphere of Shielding 75pts. Cuatl or skink on palanquin only. They get an Aegis 2+ vs ranged attacks but auto fails all saves in melee. Works well, your caster shouldn't plan on being in melee anyways. Will make dwarves cry, but your caster will drop quickly if anything makes it into melee with them.
Spirit of the Stampede 70pts. the bearer's mount gains impact hits (d6) or +1d6 if it already had impact hits. It helps you win combats before the enemy can hit your low agility dinosaurs.
Jade Staff 60pts. can cast healing waters as a bound spell. Fortitude is great and being able to spam it is wonderful.
Starfall Shard 60pts. the model gains Aegis 2+ vs flaming and hard target 1. Hard pass. You can get the aegis 2+ vs flaming for 20 points from the core rulebook and hard target 1 isn't worth 60 points, and it denies fortitude on your model, which is the easiest special save for you to get.
Egg of Quetzal 45pts. gains a breath attack. Breath attacks are a great tool to have in your pocket.
Sun Tablet 40pts. The wizard can choose any spell in its chosen path, not just the ones limited to its wizard level. Your Cuatl doesn't need it, but now your skink priest can get the big spells in druidism or shamanism.
Obsidian Tesseract 25pts. activate once during your opponent's magic phase. Remove one magic die from their casting pool. It is a great magic control item, and is a steal for only 25 points.
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