Total War Warhammer/Tactics/Lizardmen
This is the tactics page for the Total War: Warhammer version of the Lizardmen.
- 1 Why play Lizardmen
- 2 Universal Traits
- 3 Lords
- 4 Heroes
- 5 Units
- 6 Tactics
Why play Lizardmen
- You love the parts of Jurassic Park where the dinosaurs eat everyone.
- They're aztec dinosaurs riding dinosaurs into battle. Some of those dinosaurs also have magical lasers strapped to them.
- You want to be a master of the arcane, but you don't want to wear foppish headgear or have a racial lifespan only in the double digits.
- You'll have a nearly fearless army that's more likely to fight to the death before they turn tail and run.
- Do you want to see what one of these does to your enemies?
- A Multitude of Monsters - The Lizardmen have the largest diversity of massive monsters in the game at their disposal. Between the various Bastilidons, Stegadons and Carnosaurs you can field, you won't be wanting for big beasties.
- Intimidating Presence - Unsurprisingly, the average man will struggle to keep calm and collected when facing down a stampede of hungry carnivorous dinosaurs many times his size. Virtually every monster and cavalry unit in this army inspires fear and terror in the mortal hearts of men; a few well timed Carnosaur charges can break and rout forces not outright immune to psychology. Conversely, this also renders your monsters immune to fear/terror effects as well.
- Resilient Frontline - Saurus Warriors, even unshielded, are among the most durable baseline infantry units in the game. Though their damage output is rather low, their good armor and leadership will ensure they'll hold the line. Most non-AP grindfests will tend to work out in your favor on virtue of that alone. Of course this isn't even mentioning how tanky higher tier units like the Temple Guard or Kroxigors are.
- Mastery of Magic - With the notable exception of High Elves, Lizardmen have reliable access to more schools of magic than any other race. Slann and the mighty Lord Kroak offer not only some of the most reliable casting in the game, but have consistent access to the otherwise elusive Greater Arcane Conduit skill. Your skink priests are no push overs in magical matters either and are very cost effective options for when slann just aren't your thing.
- Flexible Artillery - Where most other factions have to slowly wheel siege engines into place and are vulnerable to attacks in melee, Lizardmen give no fucks. Due to their solar engines and bastila being strapped on the backs of mighty Bastilidons/Stegadons, they can easily reposition themselves and hold their own in melee combat. Additionally, where the actual artillery models of other races can actually be destroyed, the Bastilas and Solar Engines will remain fully intact so long as the creature bearing it remains standing.
- Cavalcade of Cavalry - Cold Ones, Horned Ones, Terradons and Ripperdactyls, oh my! Though not as fast or as effective as some other faction's cavalry, you have a very diverse selection of fast-moving dinosaurs that can outflank enemies and flexibly adapt to the variety of terrain you may find yourself in. Just don't expect your cav to top any particular charts when compared against any faction that specializes in them.
- Predatory Senses - As your army consists heavily of predatory animals that excel at sniffing out prey, your enemies will be hard pressed to remain hidden from them. Enemies that rely on stealthy abilities like Stalk are revealed to you far more quickly than others, giving you far more time to react to (in battle) ambushes than other factions.
- Poison Aplenty - Many of the weapons wielded by your skinks are poisonous, inhibiting the mobility/combat performance of enemies afflicted by their noxious attacks. Despite poison no longer dealing constant damage like on the tabletop, their debuffs are still useful for weakening the enemy for your frontline troops. Thank to the recent update that removes any form of poison debuffs that can apply to the player units through friendly fire, skink's poison darts are even better.
- DLC Aplenty - You are tied with the Skaven for the honor of having the most DLC. You also have two FLC lords on top of all this, so between a grand total of 7 legendary lords and three DLC lord packs, you are the most supported main game faction in Total War: Warhammer II.
- Blessings of the Old Ones - Many of your units have "Blessed" variants available in casual multiplayer matches or the campaign. Blessed units are effectively pseudo-Regiments of Renown and every single one is given a buffed health pool and, where applicable, an increased model count per unit. Additionally, many of these blessed units receive additional passive abilities or upgraded stats to further their combat potential. What's better is, unlike Regiments of Renown, you can technically have as many blessed units as you want. The only downside (admittedly a big one) is that in order to acquire blessed units in the campaign, you must complete randomly generated quests that issue a set quantity of a random blessed unit upon completion. If you want an army of blessed carnosaurs, you're going to have to earn it. This is a complete non-issue in causal multiplayer matches, where blessed units are freely available for a very minor upcharge in cost compared to regular variants. Blessed units are unavailable in competitive games.
- Slow - A majority of the Lizardmen list, namely Saurus infantry, take their sweet time to cross the field. Though there are exceptions to this, such as the various cavalry and skink units available to you, this particular weakness is exacerbated by...
- Vulnerable to Range - ...their dearth of viable missile units. The only ranged infantry available to you are Skinks; particularly squishy infantry that, though nimble, have pitiful range and DPS against anything shielded and/or armored. Your more potent offensive options, namely Salamanders or Stegadons/Bastilodons, cannot fire while moving and are rather easy to tie down in melee. Defensively, though your Saurus are quite tanky and often come with shields, they are very vulnerable to being kited by ranged cavalry/infantry due to their rather slow movement speed. Additionally, all your units save for Gor-Rok are stuck with Bronze Shields (35% block chance), meaning that even when they're in a position to use them, you'll still be soaking a significant portion of the incoming shots all the same. The same can also be said about most of your monsters, with some minor exceptions.
- Sub-par Air-Force - Though you have flying cavalry, a luxury many other factions lack, they're among the weakest/slowest of them. Terradons and Ripperdactyls aren't bad, per say, but they will lose if faced with the flying cavalry/monsters from the likes of Bretonnia or High/Wood Elves.
- Expensive Roster - As you can imagine, breeding and training massive dinosaurs and mounting arcane instruments of war onto them isn't cheap. All of your high tier units can get crazy expensive both in initial cost and upkeep. Even the bog standard Saurus Warriors come at a premium compared to some other factions options, though this is only particularly notable in competitive multiplayer.
- Rampage - A majority of the Lizardmen list is prone to going berserk and rampaging towards their deaths if they take too much damage too quickly. Though the Lord/Hero Cold-Blooded ability can help keep this in check, it is in limited supply. That said, though rampaging units will end up dying more often than not, the silver lining is that these rampaging units can still tie up enemy units until the bitter end, which can buy the rest of your army some time.
- Bland Campaign - Aside Oxyotl and possibly Tehenhauin, the Lizardmen have the most boring campaign mechanics of any of the game II races (including some of the game I ones). Their unique mechanic, the Geomantic Web, is a very passive and basic provincial buff that takes a lot of resources and time to properly build up to a level you'll actually notice the effects of and offer no benefit to provinces you don't completely control. Yes, losing that one minor settlement causes the provincial capital to shut off its Geomantic Pylon until you reclaim it. Additionally, without mod support, Lizardmen are among the most stubborn and oppositional to confederation.
- DLC Locked Content - Though a con for virtually every other faction in the game, this is a particularly notable one for Lizardmen. Many, if not most of the Lizardmen's better units are locked behind DLC lord packs. You'll need the Prophet and the Warlock for all units marked with DLC 1, the Hunter and the Beast for everything marked with DLC 2 and the Silence and the Fury for everything marked DLC 3.
There are a couple of perks and abilities shared across a significant portion of the lizardmen unit roster, which will be mentioned here.
- Primal Instincts - A perk found on a majority of the lizardman roster (exempting lords/heroes and skinks), primal instincts will cause a unit with this ability to rampage out of control should their health drop too quickly or below a certain threshold. This can be a bit of a mixed blessing, as a rampaging unit will receive minor stat bonuses and continue to fight nearby opponents in situations that any other unit would turn tail and rout. The bad news is that your opponent has more control over the rampaging unit than you do; rampaging units will single-mindedly charge at the nearest enemy unit, which your opponent can take to his advantage by using faster infantry/cavalry to kite the rampaging unit while his ranged infantry/artillery finishes it off. Should the rampage end before the unit dies, they'll usually begin to rout from the field and will often be too far out of position for you to properly recover them.
- Cold Blooded - A targetable ability found on most lizardmen lords and heroes, Cold Blooded helps to counter the innate weakness in the lizardmen faction; their tendency to rampage. When used, Cold Blooded will snap a single unit out of a rampage (if they are currently doing so) and will temporarily buff their leadership. This ability can be used pre/post rampage as well, as the leadership buff can potentially prevent a rampage from occurring or can help prevent a tattered unit from routing once their rampage expires. As this ability has a somewhat lengthy cooldown an is only found on lords/heroes, care should be taken on when it is used and what it is used on.
- Predatory Senses - An ability found on anything in your list with sharp teeth, this allows your units to detect hidden or stealthed units far sooner and from farther away than other armies. With proper coverage, this can make ambushing or outflanking your forces extremely challenging to do discreetly.
- Aquatic - An ability found on all skink infantry as well as your two hunting packs, this allows them to ignore any of the normal penalties incurred from fighting in water-logged battlefields, like swamps or marshes. This is a very conditional attribute that's very difficult to properly take advantage of, but it gives your skinks a distinct edge over most similar units that can be further supplemented by their abundance of poisoned weaponry.
The scaly faces of the Lizardmen. Compared to a few of the other factions in game, Lizardmen generally have solid lord choices and their legendary lords aren't an exception. They do face very heavy in-house competition, however. It's very difficult to justify taking a saurus oldblood over any flavor of slann mage-priest due to the sheer versatility the latter bring to your army, especially since you are not hurting for giant, single entity beatsticks to ram into enemy formations.
- Mazdamundi - The last second generation Slann (lore-wise), Mazdamundi uses magic primarily from the Lore of Light to act as a hybrid support/offensive caster. The two main selling points of Mazdamundi over a generic Slann Mage-Priest are his stegadon mount Zlaaq and his signature spell Ruination of Cities. Zlaaq allows Mazdamundi to actually engage in melee, something no other Slann can safely do, and makes him substantially more durable against most forms of attack. Ruination of Cities, especially when combined with Banishment, makes Mazdamundi an excellent AoE caster capable of tearing infantry focused armies to shreds with ease without chewing through your Winds of Magic reserve. These spells are limited however, being bounded spells, so make sure you wait until the right moment to utilize them. Additionally, don't put too much faith in them; as their movement patterns are random, these spells (particularly Ruination of Cities) can just as easily do nothing or even devastate your own forces as they can your enemies if you aren't careful.
- Kroq-Gar - Your dedicated duelist, Kroq-Gar is an offensive powerhouse that shines when seated atop Grimloq, his faithful Carnosaur mount. Though expensive, Kroq-Gar/Grimloq can engage virtually any enemy type in the game effectively and is able to duel against many enemy lords and come out on top. Though a monstrous force on his own merits, Kroq-Gar is something of a glass cannon however and as a larger target is prone to getting mobbed by multiple units or getting focused down by ranged infantry/artillery. Another notable shortcoming is that he provides limited support for the rest of your army (a bit of a problem for all Saurus Oldbloods), and as such is not recommended for dino-heavy army builds, his bonuses to armor and leadership being less important than the healing abilities of Life Slann.
- Tehenhauin (DLC 1) - Your only Skink-Priest lord choice, Tehenhauin is something of a niche pick. He can deal solid enough damage against footlords/cavalry lords in a fight (particularly if on a Ripperdactyl) and is also capable of dealing notable damage to swarms of infantry (with his Lore of Beasts and/or with his Engine of the Gods), but he's extremely frail for a Lizardmen lord when unmounted. Never get the Fanatic skill in his skill tree; it only benefits skink units and they are pretty trash after the mid-game.
- Tiktaq'to (FLC) - Another somewhat niche pick, Tiktaq'to is a dedicated flier who excels in lists built with Terradons, Ripperdactyls and Coatls as the focus. Though mounted on Zwuup, Tiktaq'to is your squishiest (legendary) lord and lacks the support/damage options available to the others, but he's inarguably the swiftest of the bunch (which doesn't mean much compared to other flying lords and heroes). Under no circumstances is he a direct combat lord; against any duelist or large/monstrous lord he will lose handily. The only targets he can safely engage are dedicated casters, artillery and dedicated ranged infantry. Because of this, playing him requires far more finesse than what is required for virtually every other lord; even against targets he can engage effectively, prolonged combat will invariably whittle him down and may the Old Ones help you if he's surrounded while grounded. Keep a squad or two of Ripperdactyls close by to make up the difference in combat ability and to take advantage of Tiktaq'to's buffs. Also, his unique Epic weapon doesn't work if he is attacking a ground target in melee because its attack bonuses are only in effect when flying, so he's weaker than a Skink Terradon Rider when attacking ground targets UNLESS you swap out his weapon. When used in campaign, much of his value comes from his rather insane and stackable upkeep discount for flier units. Even on higher difficulties, it is extraordinarily easy to stack enough upkeep cost reductions to have a full Coatl doomstack damn near for free (until the Supply Lines penalties become particularly swollen, at least). Additionally, his unique rite gives all of his armies the ability to easily chase down fleeing armies or attack multiple settlements a turn which can be devastating to an enemy faction if used at the right moment.
- Nakai (DLC 2) - The largest and oldest of the Kroxigor Ancients, Nakai is an infantry mulcher who (thanks to his enthusiastic animations) will literally sweep his way through the thickest blobs of infantry. Nakai possesses a few notable traits over his competitors; his ability to grant perfect vigour to nearby allies ensures they're in peak form throughout the entire battle while his Miasma of Dispair can cripple enemies within his presence; a potentially nasty combo that can ensure your forces slowly but steadily chew through enemy frontlines. Unfortunately, Nakai has a few major weaknesses: As a large entity, he's vulnerable to anti-large weaponry (which does abound among baseline infantry) and is an easy, defenseless target for ranged units to snipe. He also struggles to properly duel opposing heroes/lords due to his size and janky animations making him lunge about haphazardly while they continue to poke him to death. Because of this, he tends to work best as a force multiplier for infantry builds.
- Gor-Rok (FLC) - Where Kroq-Gar is the spear, Gor-Rok stands as the shield. Gor-Rok is a dedicated footlord, among the slowest of them, but makes up for it through sheer, unbreaking resilience. As the only unit in the entire Lizardmen roster with a silver shield (55% missile block chance), Gor-Rok is able to shoulder his way through the kind of firepower that would fell a lesser Old-Blood on the approach. Gor-Rok can also stand neck-deep among hordes of angry infantry and walk out seemingly unscathed. When equipped with the Mace of Ulumak, Gor-Rok can also prove a competent duelist in his own right, even if it's only in temporary bursts. Gor-Rok does falter against mounted/monstrous heroes/lords and is vulnerable to duelists with good AP values, though the Twisted and the Twilight patch has helped address the issue of him being staggered to hell and back. Never the less, Gor-Rok is a relatively cost effective legendary lord who can and will hold the line until the bitter end. His campaign starts with Lord Kroak fully unlocked and active, which makes his campaign among the easiest in the entire game, even on higher difficulties.
- Oxyotl (DLC 3) - The legendary daemon-slaying chameleon skink of Oyxl is the last legendary lord for the faction (at least for TWW2). As to be expected from any shape or form of a Chameleon Skink, Oxyotl is a rather cheap, stealthy character hunter who behaves somewhat like a Wood Elf Waystalker. Unlike Waystalkers, Oxyotl has a particularly nasty trick in the form of Master Predator; a toggle-able skill that reduces his movement speed in exchange for an increase in range, Snipe and the ability to remain undetectable unless the enemy gets extremely close to his position. Combined with his modestly powerful armor piercing missiles, this can quickly wear down most armored lords and heroes rather quickly if left to his own devices. Of course, as a reasonably cost effective LL, the drawbacks have to come in somewhere and for Oxyotl, that drawback is melee combat. While he has acceptable melee attack and defense, Oxyotl has no armor or damage mitigation tools at his disposal. Any combat lord or hero worth his or her salt can and will kill him in a hand-to-hand duel. Fortunately, he's fast enough that virtually no footlord can catch up to him unless you willfully allow it. He also struggles to deal with the rank and file and lacks any notable support abilities for his own forces, but that's fairly typical of the niche Oxyotl fills.
Your generic lords are no less able than their famed counterparts, and in competitive multiplayer, are often preferable. However, in the campaign, you'll generally never want to get non-slann lords after turn 20(ish) because lizardmen Star Chamber buildings give 3 bonus levels to your slann lords, meaning they quickly outpace any other lord available. Any need for a melee lord can be filled by one of the many lizardmen heroes, who can also be easily recruited at higher starting level than the melee lords. You may still find the need to recruit cheaper stand in lords in case of an emergency, as the Rite of Awakening's cooldown is a notable hitch in acquiring more slann.
- Slann Mage-Priest - Your almighty magic toads, slann are dedicated mages who don't participate in fights directly, but wreak havoc upon your enemies from afar with their magics or supplement your forces with defensive/healing energies. Slann are the only generic lords in the game who have access to the Greater Arcane Conduit ability which, when combined with their reliable casting, can allow savvy players to call upon vast reserves of the Winds of Magic long after lesser mages have tapped out of theirs. In addition to Greater Arcane Conduit, each slann has access to Banishment as a bound spell as well as the Shield of the Old Ones; a large AoE defensive buff that applies a 22% damage resistance modifier to all allied units within it's bubble. Understandably, for all their arcane might, slann are practically helpless if caught in a fight. They are the single slowest unit in your entire army and are quite chunky, making them easy targets up close or at range. To this end, you'll almost always want a screening unit of Temple Guard (or at least shielded saurus) to keep enemies from ganking them. Outside of that, there are four varieties of Slann Mage-Priests, each dedicated to a specific lore of magic:
- Fire Slann - When you want to burn the heretic in holy fire for the Old Ones. Combined with their bound Banishment, fire slann are capable of mulching clumps of infantry wholesale and can even churn out respectable single target damage with their Fireball and Piercing Bolts of Burning spells. Fire damage is particularly useful against the myriad of enemies with regeneration, though you're not exactly short on unit options capable of filling that niche.
- Life Slann - These guys are the MVP in any monster heavy list; though you have a few other options for healing (such as the Revivification Bastilidon, high slann and the newly added Skink Oracle), life slann are still the uncontested kings at it. If you want an army built on the back of beasts, a life slann is essential to keeping them in the fight. With a life slann, you can wipe away any damage your stack of monsters take during the routing phase of a battle, making them both tactically and strategically important. Pair one with a Revivification Bastilidon to very rapidly resurrect slain models in any infantry unit and bring back even the most tattered units to full fighting strength.
- Light Slann - Light slann are fantastic supports for an infantry-heavy army namely due to two spells: Net of Amyntok and Birona's Timewarp. Like every other army, Net of Amyntok is an excellent tool for pinning down faster cavalry from the likes of Bretonnia or the Dark Elves so that your much slower saurus can catch up and engage them in melee (or to keep them still while your Salamanders incinerate them wholesale). Birona's Timewarp can turn the tide in a key engagement when used properly. Offensively, being able to cast Banishment much more frequently can also deal devastating damage to enemy infantry. That said, even your Greater Arcane Conduit will struggle to keep you topped off; the Lore of Light can consume your Winds of Magic quite quickly.
- High Slann - Similarly to light slann, high slann are a hybrid offensive/support caster. Unlike the Lore of Light, you do have access to minor magical healing through Apotheosis and have access to an excellent anti-flier vortex spell in Tempest (Net of Amyntok is superior in most cases, however). High slann offensively specialize in single target damage and can deal devastating amounts of it between the Arcane Unforging and Soul Quench spells, giving them a solid niche against duelist lords/heroes and larger monsters.
- Saurus Old-Blood - Offensive duelists through and through, saurus old-bloods are flexible masters of combat who can lead on foot, on the back of a cold one, or atop a mighty carnosaur (you'll usually want one on a carnosaur). Compared to the kroxigor ancient, saurus old-bloods are less powerful in melee combat but can be much faster and have marginally better faction support skills. For the purposes of both Multiplayer and Campaign, you'll want to avoid taking Old-Bloods as your lord (unless you have no DLC content). Their role can easily be filled by Saurus Scar Veterans, who don't take up your only Lord slot for the army (and are, for all intents and purposes, identical sans Campaign skill trees). If you insist on taking an Old-Blood, take Kroq-Gar. Otherwise, a Slann or Kroxigor Ancient would be better suited for your needs.
- Red-Crested Skink Chief (DLC 1) - Your discount Lord and the one you'll want to take if you want to reserve as much money for your big beasties as possible. Of course, you could splurge a little to put him atop an ancient stegadon to scorch swaths of infantry with the Engine of the Gods (though if you're going to do that, you may as well spring for Tehenhauin so that you at least have access to the Lore of Beasts as well). The RCSC is a competent combatant equipped with poisonous, armor-piercing attacks that can make him surprisingly dangerous in a fight, though like everything skinky, he's a particularly squishy lord when unmounted. The best use you can put him to is boosting your heroes in a 'Pompous' trait-stacking lizardman hero army, which makes an already broken strategy even stronger.
- Kroxigor Ancient (DLC 2) - Baby Nakais for those who don't quite feel up for splurging on the big boy himself. Kroxigor ancients are quite literally just watered down versions of Nakai; though they won't grant perfect vigour to all friendly forces near them, they will still wade through most infantry due to their size and mass and put out such raw damage that most non-elite infantry will falter swiftly against them. However, just like Nakai, they are completely helpless at range, are vulnerable to AP and anti-large weapons and are slow. In competitive multiplayer, though they are still a bit of a niche pick, they are much more attractive than Nakai due to their cheaper price and because they have access to the Amulet of Itzl, which grants the Kroxigor Ancient 66% damage resistance for a short time. This can give them enough of an edge to eek out against enemy duelists or to survive long enough for reinforcements to arrive.
Lizardmen have a surprisingly versatile selection of heroes, including one of the strongest Legendary Heroes in the game: Lord Kroak. These guys are capable of dealing immense damage to your enemies and all of them (except Kroak) can be mounted on one of your massive dinosaurs.
You've only got the one, but he's all you'll need. Lord Kroak is your expensive but powerful offensive caster and forms the center of many army formations.
- Lord Kroak (FLC) - The first of the Slann doesn't let something as trivial as death inconvenience him, or keep him from kicking warmblood ass to the Old World and back. Lord Kroak is one of a very select few heroes in the game with access to Greater Arcane Conduit (which can be paired with another Slann's Greater Arcane Conduit), making him a fantastic force multiplier in a caster-heavy list just from being present. For better or worse, Kroak doesn't have access to any lore of magic and only has two notable abilities. But damn can those abilities turn the tide of battle. His only bound ability (other than the universal Cold-Blooded) is the Supreme Shield of the Old Ones, an upgraded version of the regular Shield of the Old Ones that grants allies a 44% damage resistance while within it (and stacks with the regular version if you're really in a bind). The only spell(s) he has access to is his signature Deliverance of Itza (and its three varying strengths). Deliverance of Itza, the reason you're bringing him, can virtually delete entire units from existence with an efficiency only known to the Winds of Death spell, but it has a few major drawbacks. First, it is intensely mana hungry: you'll typically only get one or two DoI (III) casts per battle before you run dangerously low on magic. By relying on DoI I or II, you won't consume as much magic per cast, but the difference in damage dealt becomes very apparent. Secondly, there is a very lengthy and obvious tell for when the spell is cast; most competent opponents will be able to move their forces away from the blast before it goes off unless you manage to pin them down with supporting spells like the Net of Amyntok or simply bodyblocking them from all sides. Thirdly, this spell is virtually useless against single entities such as Lords/Heroes and giant monsters, meaning he'll do little towards more elite doomstack lists. Despite all these cons working against him, a well timed Deliverance of Itza can and will win you battles if you plan accordingly. The best part, it deals absolutely no friendly fire damage. You may fire when ready.
All Lizardmen heroes benefit from the 'Humble' trait, which appears on Lords and Heroes at random. This lets you recruit them at 2 additional ranks higher than their default rank, with unlimited stacking potential, making them stronger and more versatile earlier in the game than heroes of other factions. In the late-game, you can disband Humble heroes as you build more Slann Star-Chambers, however these are expensive buildings for non-Hexoatl factions; for the 6000 gold needed for 1 Star-Chamber, you can hire at least 4 Humble heroes for 8 bonus levels.
- Saurus Scar-Veteran - A step down from the Old-Blood, Scar-Veterans behave in much the same manner as your generic saurus lords. Vicious and powerful combatants, Scar-Veterans are built to brazenly charge into combat and deal bloody death to all who stand in their way. The real reason you'll want to take any Scar-Vets isn't for the saurus himself, however badass he may be, but for the carnosaur mount you can put him on. Though a more expensive version of the feral carnosaur, Scar-Vets are immune to rampaging (and can indeed stop others from rampaging thanks to their Cold Blooded ability) and have a slightly stronger statline, making them excellent all-round threats to whatever your opponent might be packing. These Scar-Vets are ideal choices for armies led by slann-mage priests; they won't be competing for Winds of Magic like the skink priests and will more than make up for the slann's melee deficiency. If you want to keep him cheaper, you can take one on foot to lead fellow saurus infantry into battle, or stick in on a Cold One to ride with the rest of your cavalry.
- Skink Priest - Skink priests are your humble, mortal casters. Cheap and nimble, these guys can easily outrun most footslogging infantry and are fantastically flexible mages that can fill any offensive or defensive holes your army might have. If mounted on a terradon, their speed will be unparalleled (for Lizardmen); they'll be able to rain magical death anywhere on the battlefield with ease and can quickly deliver support to your forces no matter how spread out they may be. Alternatively, you may mount them on stegadons or ancient stegadons to make them terrifying all-rounders, though their price tag will quickly reflect that.
- Skink Priest (Heavens) - The Heavens discipline is among the better offensive lores of magic in the game for the instant raw damage output it's capable of. Wind Blast and Chain Lightning will be your go-to offensive spells. Comet of Cassandora, though powerful, should generally be avoided due to how long its casting time is. Harmonic Convergence and Curse of the Midnight Wind are staples of support sets and can turn your saurus infantry into immovable walls of tooth and claw.
- Skink Priest (Beasts) - The lore of beasts, though filled with supporting spells and a few offensive powers, is arguably the least useful lore of magic at your disposal. The one major niche that beast skinks are taken at all for is the Transformation of Kadon, as feral manticores can easily be summoned in a position to flank exposed artillery, mages or ranged infantry without giving your opponent much time to respond to their approach. Though the supporting spells are still certainly useful, they pale compared to the raw damage output your other lores are capable of achieving.
- Skink Chief - Your skirmishing duelist, skink chiefs cripple enemy forces with their poisonous darts so that your army can face weaker resistance. Skink chiefs are a force to be feared when mounted on a stegadon, allowing them to easily face down many enemy heroes/lords in a one-on-one fight. In the campaign, the ability to build skink chief capacity-increasing buildings in minor settlements means you can spam them across the map or stack up to 19 of them into an army, which can be hilariously broken depending on the traits and items you equip them with.
- Skink Oracle (DLC 3) - Though tragically not a Lord, the Skink Oracle nonetheless serves as a hybrid spellcaster with access to a hand-picked mix of spells from almost all the schools of magic available to you. Earthblood, Harmonic Convergence and Wyssan's Wildform give the Oracle rather flexible support options while Fireball, Wind Blast and Flock of Doom give him a couple extra options for engaging a myriad of foes. The first major note about the Skink Oracle is that it provides the only source of non-Slann magical healing via Earthblood, opening up your lord slot for something more aggressive should you desire. Additionally, being mounted on a Troglodon give the Skink Oracle a rather frightening anti-large offensive presence that makes it shockingly effective at burning down mounted/monstrous lords in skirmishes. Note the "skirmish" part, because even without the risk of rampaging and slightly higher leadership, Troglodons aren't built with melee combat in mind. If you plan to use the Oracle offensively, you'll need to keep it a couple steps away from anything particularly fighty if you want to keep using said Oracle. At this thing's required price tag, that should be a given.
Many lizardmen units are available in standard and 'blessed' variants. Blessed units are only made available in the campaign by completing random timed missions, such as getting 1000 kills or winning 4 battles, but make up for their randomness and limited quantity by being free to recruit at any time in any army and by having at least one extra ability or superior stat over their contemporary counterparts. They aren't to be confused with Regiments of Renown, unique units recruited at max rank and limited to one instance per. In casual multiplayer matches with Unit Caps turned off, Blessed Units are recruitable for only a modest bump in price over their generic counterparts.
Infantry provide the foundation of every army in Total War: Warhammer, and the Lizardmen are no different. Indeed, even the humble skinks have their place.
- Skink Cohort - Skinks armed with little macuahuitls and shields, skink cohorts are cheap chaff units primarily used to fill out rosters or to support your more expensive infantry actually doing the killing. Despite being shielded, these guys will die by the score due to their pitiful defensive statline if they face any frontline infantry head on and are one of the few lizardmen units prone to routing from leadership issues. Having said that, skink cohorts are among the fastest cheap infantry units in the game and are still rather decent combatants when fighting similar unarmored units and tend to win such engagements (namely against chaff or low tier infantry like Bretonnian peasantry or Vampire Count zombies). Indeed, their speed is invaluable for flanking enemies tied up by your saurus warriors and chasing routing enemies off the map. When pinching pennies, you can't argue with that.
- Red-Crested Skinks (DLC 1) - Angry skinks wielding poisonous, armor piercing warhammers. Red-Crested Skinks provide an invaluable source of early game/cheap melee AP damage and poison, though they're less effective against unarmored targets as a whole compared to regular Skink Cohorts. They lack both shields and armor and as they are simply skinks, they will die in droves unless they're taking refuge among the far burlier saurus warriors. On that note, RC skinks synergize excellently with saurus warriors, as they can simultaneously chew through armored units the saurus tend to bounce off of and further cripple these enemies with poison, allowing your much slower saurus to both catch up to and butcher them with greater ease. Just like skink cohorts, these guys are at home in watery environments and are easily able to outflank many slower infantry units.
- Cohort of Sotek (RoR, DLC 1) - A slightly buffed up unit of RC Skinks, these guys have a unique ability, Refuse to Die. When active, no skink models can die (they can still take damage, however), which can maximize their damage output when taking sudden burst damage or ensure that they hold the enemy in place for a precious few more seconds. They're also one of the few Unbreakable units in your list, allowing them to fight to the very last skink.
- Saurus Warriors - Saurus warriors are probably the first thing that comes to mind when one mentions the lizardmen, and for good reason. Resilient, determined and natural fighters, saurus warriors are one of the most durable base line infantry units in the game due to their high HP and armor and can hold their own even against the more elite infantry options of other factions (Note: they can fight a unit of chaos warriors to stalemate). Should they find themselves in a losing matchup, their naturally high leadership will keep them standing firm against the enemy far longer than their equivalents in other factions would, even if they lose control and rampage towards their inevitable deaths. To compensate, saurus are slow and are prone to being kited, so skink skirmishers/cohorts should be utilized to help pin down the enemy line until the saurus make it into combat. Saurus warriors are available in both standard and shielded variants, but the only reason to not get the shielded version is if you need every last gold coin you can rub together for your bigger monsters on a tight, competitive budget.
- Blessed Saurus Warriors - Shielded saurus warriors with an even higher base health and perfect vigour. These guys make fantastically cost efficient walls that will never tire no matter how hard they're pushed. In the campaign, they are one of the better frontline choices you can give your non-doomstack armies that can find a place even into the late game, so long as they manage to survive and rank up. Gor-Rok, if chosen as your initial legendary lord, can use his rite to grant further defensive bonuses and unbreakable to them; they will never yield.
- Saurus Spears - Warriors equipped with anti-large spears for engaging cavalry and monsters. They're nearly identical to regular saurus warriors in every other way, though they do slightly less damage against regular infantry in exchange for their anti-large speciality. Like the warriors, they come in unshielded or, for a slight premium, shielded variants.
- Blessed Saurus Spears - Buffed up saurus spears with shields, the blessed variant of these saurus are dramatically inferior to their standard cousins since they lack perfect vigour. Instead, the bonus ability granted to them is Forest Strider, a perk that grants additional melee attack and defense buffs to them while fighting in forests. If you can lure cavalry and large monsters into forests, where they'll suffer additional penalties simply due to how forests interact with them, you can deal impressive sustained damage to them in short order. Unfortunately, this ability does nothing for them outside of forests and many battlefields will have a dearth of forest patches that you can fight in. Additionally, uncooperative opponents will generally avoid trying to engage your forces inside forests and trying to convince them otherwise may prove too time consuming for what it's worth. Regardless, they still have more health than the regular saurus spears. That's always a plus.
- Legion of Chaqua (RoR, DLC 1) - The Legion of Chaqua, thanks to their special ability, are able to provide themselves and all nearby allied units a surprising 44% missile resistance for a limited time upon activation. This is an invaluable skill to have on the approach, as many of your unshielded infantry and larger monsters are vulnerable to being focused down by the much superior ranged infantry found in other armies and can be further supplemented by a Slann's Shield of the Old Ones if necessary. Otherwise, these guys simply behave exactly as Saurus Spears are expected to.
- Temple Guards - The fearsome Temple Guards, renowned for their devotion to their Slann masters, stand ready to slaughter all who'd bring harm to their otherwise vulnerable charges. Temple Guard are the only "elite" infantry within the lizardmen roster, which is more a testament to how strong regular saurus are compared to the melee infantry of other armies. Speaking of how strong regular saurus are, Temple Guard fall short of them against unarmored infantry on the whole. This isn't to say Temple Guard aren't impressive; their heightened statline makes them less likely to budge than regular saurus are while their charge defense and bonus damage against large foes and predominantly armor-piercing weaponry lets them effectively face down a majority of late-game/elite cavalry, monsters and even armored infantry much more effectively than regular saurus. Unfortunately, this general prowess reflects heavily in their price tag and you'll struggle to field multiple units of these without heavily cutting into your other options.
- Blessed Temple Guards - Recolored Temple Guards, these guys are a slightly more offensive version of their default variants thanks to an increased charge bonus. This makes them significantly more well rounded and will allow you to more flexibly choose how you engage your enemies; do you brace and negate an incoming charge, or is the foe squishy enough where a counter charge would be more punishing? All in all a nice upgrade if only for the usual buff to their health blessed units receive.
- Star-Chamber Guardians (RoR, DLC 1) - Take Temple Guard and make their weapons also deal magical damage: you now have the most elite infantry unit available to the Lizardmen. Having magical attacks allows the SCG to engage many undead forces that utilize the Ethereal ability and cut them down with ease, as well as neutering anything without good magic resistance or anything that has physical resists. SCG also serve as excellent bodyguards for lords (particularly Slann) due to their Guardian ability and when properly supported with healing magic, these guys will never die. Their only major weakness of note is prolonged anti-armor ranged firepower and artillery, but as they are armored and shielded and have a frankly gargantuan health pool, it will take a long time to fully whittle them down.
- Skink Cohort with Javelins - Skinks armed with little macuahuitls, shields and three javelins each. For pennies over a regular skink cohort, you can give them limited ranged support with poisonous javelins; a fantastic way to soften up an enemy unit for your front line infantry on the charge. With their speed, they can also easily circle about and pepper an opposing unit's backsides before charging in to cut off their escape while your saurus chew through them. Once they throw all their javelins, they're identical to the default skink cohort in virtually every way. Generally, if you're planning on taking skink cohorts at all, you should almost always pick these guys up over the standard versions (unless you really need every gold coin you can possibly scrape together for a specific competitive multiplayer build).
- Skink Skirmishers - Skinks equipped with little blowpipes and poisonous darts, and your first dedicated ranged infantry. Skink skirmishers lack the sheer range available to most other factions and struggle to do damage against armored opponents. Instead, they should be used exclusively as harassers; their speed, ability to fire while moving and vanguard deployment options allow them to easily get into flanking positions and kite enemy infantry while inflicting poison onto them for when the rest of your army catches up. These guys will melt quickly if caught in the crosshairs of opposing archers/gunners and are pitiful in a fistfight, so you should only get one or two of these units at most, and only if you absolutely cannot afford taking chameleon skinks instead.
- Blessed Skink Skirmishers - Skink skirmishers with more health and an innate magic spell resistance. This extra durability is nice, but the spell resistance in particular isn't going to see much use due to these guys rather high mobility and any targetable spell an opponent could cast on them would be served much better against... literally anything else in your army. There's no cause to bring these guys in multiplayer matches and the only reason you'll want to recruit them in any of your Campaigns would be if you're in desperate need of reinforcements for a beat-up army you simply cannot afford to lose and you just happen to have some Blessed Skink Skirmishers to burn. The moment you are in a position where you can recruit/replace other units, these guys should be the first to go.
- Chameleon Skinks - Ninja skinks equipped with little blowpipes and poisonous darts. Though fewer in number than basic skink skirmishers, chameleon skinks are considerably more durable thanks to their flat 40% missile resistance and have a much easier time sneaking around enemies thanks to their Chameleon ability. This, along with their loose formation, can make them surprisingly effective at countering enemy archers. They otherwise fulfill the exact same harassment role your regular skink skirmishers do and deal a disappointingly low amount of damage against armored targets. Also, like skink skirmishers, they are unable to curve their shots well meaning they're less effective in siege battles than the archers of other races.
- Blessed Chameleon Skinks - Slightly swole Chameleon Skinks with twice the charge bonus (which is barely anything, especially combined with their rather tragic melee statline) and a few extra darts per skink. More ammunition is always welcome in a firefight, but it's hardly a game changer. Regardless, better stats do open up options and if you have a choice between these and regular Chameleon Skinks, may as well pick these guys.
- Chameleon Stalkers (DLC 3) - Angry ninja skinks with little blowpipes and explosive darts. Chameleon Stalkers fill the rather niche role of shock infantry for the Lizardmen. Each skink is equipped with two Precursor blowpipe shots that deal rather impressive burst damage against unarmored targets either on the charge or when falling back from a melee engagement. As they possess the same Chameleon ability their standard Chameleon Skink kin have, they do have a lot of wiggle room to get into an optimal charging position and can quickly fade away from the fray when things go south. Speaking of things going south, though Stalkers are reasonably decent at combat due to their poisoned attacks and mediocre stats, they still tend to lose against medium tier and above infantry or anything with armor. That said, even against armored infantry, much of the Stalker's value comes from the heavy formation disruption their Precursor Rounds cause, slowing down their targets and interrupting their charge so that you can take the initiative in the ensuing engagement. They can also deal decent burst damage against single entity units in a pinch, but this is generally an inefficient use of them.
- Kroxigors - Kroxigors, as to be expected from 9-foot tall crocodile men, are beastly armor-piercing anti-infantry blenders who can carve through lower tier units like butter and are sturdy enough to hold back more elite units for your more capable specialists. Though quite tanky and reasonably quick (compared to your saurus), they are still large (with the weaknesses all that entails) and very vulnerable to getting shot to hell and back or getting slammed by larger cavalry/monsters. While Kroxigors do hit damn hard, their total damage is divided between three subcatagories: Base, Anti-Infantry and Armor-Piercing. As such, they only really get the most bang for their buck when thrown against armored infantry. While they are able to tie up units that fall outside of those categories, they become dramatically less effective and will lose the grindfest if they aren't supported. Just like in the tabletop, they pair fantastically with supporting skinks to flank and tie up enemy forces or debuff them with poison to make them even more vulnerable to the kroxigors.
- Blessed Kroxigors - If you thought regular kroxigors were thick, you haven't seen these thunder-thighs strut their stuff. Though the standard health increase is all well and good, blessed kroxigors received a substantial buff to their charge bonus. This can make them surprisingly deadly cycle-chargers which, combined with their anti-infantry/armor niche, will let them crack massive holes in front lines.
- Sacred Kroxigors (DLC 2) - Kroxigors with power fists. These magical boxing gloves turn your kroxigors into all-purpose ass pounders who punch holes in armored foes effortlessly and tear through things with low magic resistance like so much wet paper. Much like regular kroxigors, sacred kroxigors get the most bang for their buck when supported by skinks (ideal) or saurus (when you don't want to move from that spot). Unlike standard Kroxigors, Sacred Kroxigors are much more well rounded offensively and will perform much more efficiently against opponents regular Kroxigors tend to struggle or stalemate against. Additionally, as the only non-RoR/Lord unit in your roster with Magical Attacks, these guys are your go-to melee force to deal with Ethereal units, Treemen and other high-physical resistance targets. Additionally, as Magic Resist is slated to change to only affect damage caused by Spells, Sacred Kroxigors will be very well suited to deal with the forces of the Dwarfs and Khorne going forward.
- Cohort of Huatl (RoR, DLC 2) - Sacred kroxigors with much higher physical resistance and straight up sunder enemy armor, allowing units like your saurus warriors to deal more damage to them.
Lizardmen cavalry are slow, for cavalry. They will never catch horse-mounted cavalry of other races, and it is risky to use them as a distraction if your enemy is using anything more than basic cavalry archers. Expect lizardmen cavalry to take heavy losses in prolonged combat, and learn to cycle-charge with them.
- Feral Cold Ones - A pack of clever girls, with no saurus riders. Feral cold ones are extremely speedy units (by lizardmen standards) that effectively function as light cavalry built for chasing down skirmishers, ranged back lines and artillery pieces. Their ability to cause fear also comes in handy for landing rear charges against a foe tied up in combat with your frontline infantry, as well as ensuring routed enemies leave the battlefield permanently. Unfortunately, their raw damage output is rather low and they themselves are particularly frail and prone to rampaging, which means a bad engagement will result in a swift end for them. They're cheap as chips though, so you can't complain too much over losing 'em.
- Cold One Riders - Standard cold one riders are your first full-blooded cavalry option. Though significantly swifter than your infantry, cold one riders lag behind their competition in other factions and are particularly vulnerable to anti-large cavalry units because of this. In an ideal setting, cold one riders will serve as the hammer to the anvil that is your saurus frontline; decisive charges into the rear of enemy formations can deal heavy damage and can completely lock down ranged infantry or artillery. Being both armored and shielded gives them respectable staying power as well and allows them to remain in extended combat should the need arise. That said, like most cavalry, they truly shine when they're able to freely cycle charge to maximize their damage output and heavily abuse enemy morale.
- Cold One Spear-Riders - The name says it all; these are cold one riders with spears. This turns them into a dedicated anti-large cavalry unit that can deal not inconsequential damage to opposing cavalry, artillery and monsters. Unfortunately, in cav v. cav engagements, cold one spear riders will often fall short due to their below average speed letting many opposing options run circles around them. As such, they tend to work best when used defensively. When opposing cavalry buckles down to charge into your flanks, counter charge them with your spear-riders to either intercept or divert them from your more vulnerable elements. They do deal decent armor-piercing damage on their own right, but they'll often lose against more elite cavalry options and their strength quickly diminishes in prolonged engagements.
- Blessed Cold One Spear-Riders - Blessed cold one spears are extremely similar to the Pok-Hopak Cohort in the sense that they both don't run the risk of rampaging. This is a very valuable perk on a unit that will often find itself separated from your main army, especially when combined with their heightened durability. If you have a need for cold one spears and have access to these, there's literally no reason not to take them.
- Pok-Hopak Cohort (RoR, DLC 1) - Fearless and focused spear-riders, these guys are both immune to psychology and lack primal instincts, meaning you'll never need to worry about them rampaging or fleeing from enemy monsters. Additionally, the Pok-Hopak cohort is able to utilize vanguard deployment, giving them a tactical edge over their generic counterparts that cannot be underestimated. If you're thinking about taking a unit of spear-riders, there's literally no reason to not just take these guys instead.
- Horned Ones - Your only elite cavalry, horned ones are simply buffed up cold one riders, plain and simple. They are significantly faster than all of your cold one riders and as such are on par with the cavalry options found in many other factions. They pack a meaty punch with a rather chunky charge bonus to boot, letting them simply smash through frontline infantry as both hammer and anvil. You'll be paying for that swollen statline though, as they are one of your most expensive non-monster units out of your entire roster (they're even more expensive than some of your monsters).
- Blessed Horned Ones - Just like the blessed cold one spears, blessed horned ones won't rampage when caught unawares. Considering these are your elite cav units, you will always want to make sure they can get out of a bad engagement whenever you need them to.
- Terradon Riders - Javelin skinks riding Terradons and carrying stone bombs. While relatively fast for the lizardmen, terradon riders are among the slowest flying cavalry in the game, and are a fairly niche choice in battle. They are best used harassing enemy infantry or charging into enemy artillery and wizards, something they can easily achieve thanks to their vanguard deployment options, though they'll lose straight-up melee fights with almost anything due to their small unit size and low defensive stats. Their attacks apply Poison, which makes them a little more useful than their raw stats make them seem, but in general you're going to want to use fireleech bolas riders.
- Pahuax Sentinels (RoR, DLC 1) - These special edition terradon riders are particularly nimble and have an innate resistance to melee and missile attacks that gives them far more staying power than any of your other flying cavalry. If only to serve as a distraction, these guys can be used in lieu of skink priests/chiefs in an attempt to waste your opponent's missile infantry/artillery ammo. Otherwise, use them to harass enemy units with poisoned missiles and to escort routing foes off the battlefield.
- Fireleech Bolas Terradon Riders - These are far better Terradon Riders than the base variant. While they no longer inflict Poison on enemy units, their fireleech bolas deal explosive fire damage, inflicting greater damage overall against infantry formations and fire-weak entities while dealing higher leadership penalties in the process. They still carry stone bombs, which can be devastatingly effective when used in concert with a line of saurus warriors pinning enemy melee units or shutting down artillery.
- Blessed Terradon Riders - Blessed Terradon Riders, aside the traditional increase in health, only received one minor adjustment over their basic counterparts; speed. At a speed stat of 110 as opposed to the standard 90, Blessed Terradon Riders can manuever across the battlefield notably more quickly than any other unit in your entire army. Nice, for a unit designed to harass and waste/dodge enemy missile fire, but ultimately a rather minor selling point on an admittedly mediocre and situational unit.
- Ripperdactyl Riders (DLC 1) - The obsidian knife of lizardmen flyers. Ripperdactyls are your flying can-openers with a minor bonus against infantry and a massive AP bonus. Combined with their solid melee attack stat and Frenzy bonus, these guys utterly shred armored foot soldiers. Unfortunately, their non-existent armor, low melee defense, low model count and large size makes these guys terribly susceptible to counterattack. If they get boxed in, much less by anything with an anti-large bonus, you will be impressed by how quickly they die. Because of this, and the fact much of their damage is dedicated against armored targets, Ripperdactyls tend to be a bit of a niche choice in army lists not built around Tiktaq'to. None-the-less, they are much more effective than Terradon Riders at shutting down missile infantry formations and artillery platforms. Just make sure you are constantly aware of the tactical situation and only call them down when you can support them or escape before enemy reinforcements manage to pin them down.
- Colossadon Hunters (RoR, DLC 1) - Bigger, hungrier ripperdactyls with a penchant for bigger prey; an additional anti-large bonus can turn them into cavalry buzzsaws and can let them deal sickening damage to mounted enemy lords or cavalry and are the best/only option for fighting flying enemy lords/heroes on semi-even ground. Suffice to say, they're still very weak to anti-large weaponry themselves and will seldom win against combat dedicated lords/heroes in a "1"v1 fight. As such, they'll need support through terradon riders (for the poison) as well as additional ripperdactyls to stand an honest shot against such a foe, though they're still not guaranteed a victory. Should they lose, they'll still leave a hell of a mark on whatever cavalry/monster they were fighting and such scars could prove pivotal to bringing them down with the rest of your army.
- Salamander Hunting Pack (DLC 1) - A much needed addition to the Lizardmen's borderline vacant missile unit roster, Salamander Hunting Packs are a fantastic general use ranged unit and are among the better missile cavalry options in the game. Though they can't fire while moving like other missile cavalry options, they deal a rather frightening amount of flaming explosive damage per volley with not inconsequential AP and rather notable anti-large bonuses to top it off. Much like your other non-single entity heavy hitters, Salamanders can do some damage in melee, but they really should avoid it unless absolutely necessary. Terrible defensive values will make Salamander Hunting Packs feel every blow that hits their unarmored hides. If you want to keep them in the fight, make sure you have a few Saurus Spears or Spear Cold One Riders to counter enemy cavalry.
- The Umbral Tide (RoR, DLC 1) - Sneaky salamander hunting packs with perfect vigour and stalk, the Umbral Tide is able to covertly cross a majority of the battlefields you may find yourself on and can easily set up an ambush against unsuspecting opponents. Even after running from one end of the battle to the other and loosing every last fireball from their collective gullets, the Umbral Tide will still have a spring to their step should they join the melee fray. If you can only afford a single Salamander Pack, try to budget for these guys.
- Razordon Hunting Pack (DLC 2) - Razordons are your anti-armor missile cavalry. Unlike the Salamanders, who burp up one flaming projectile apiece, Razordons lob three spikes at a time when they attack. Though the damage per individual projectile is... well, pitiful, combined they can deal a rather staggering amount of AP damage that can either be divided among dense clusters of armored infantry formations or a single armored target. Additionally, Razordons are much more adept at lobbing their shots, giving them a bit of an edge over Salamanders in uneven terrain. Unfortunately, that's about where the good news ends. With a shorter firing range than Salamanders and utterly abysmal base damage on their projectiles (Chameleon Skinks have stronger missiles against unarmored foes than these guys) and no additional bonuses to speak of (fire damage, explosive damage, anti-large/infantry, nothing), there's generally no reason to take Razordons over Salamanders in general lists. Against the heavily armored forces of the Warriors of Chaos, Dwarfs or even other Lizardmen, Razordons might find a more valuable niche.
- Amaxon Barbs (RoR, DLC 2) - Razordons with poisonous spikes and a flat 15% missile resistance, these guys aren't much to write home about. Yes, poison is nice, but you don't exactly need to dig very deep for alternative ways to access it. The missile resistance is a nice, if moderately more situational perk, but it's not a particularly notable resistance and it does nothing for potential melee engagements. In the event you need a razordon hunting pack for anti-armor firepower, you may as well pick these guys up, but only if you have the extra gold once you've established your core army roster.
The big beasts and the creatures most opponents expect to face when fighting the lizardmen. Potent and powerful monsters, you have a dinosaur for every occasion; you'll simply need to choose the right ones. Beware of enemy tarpits if you don't have a high-level mage in your army; dinosaurs will take additional damage from their flanks and rear if they are surrounded and that can quickly wear them down.
- Feral Stegadon - A wild stegadon, pure and simple. A living battering ram, stegadons are fantastic line breakers and are well rounded enough to survive the ensuing melee while dealing respectable damage in turn. Like all feral dinosaur variants, its only major weakness is a vulnerability to rampaging courtesy of its lower leadership. This is a forgivable flaw, considering how cheap they are and the fact that you can simply use Cold Blooded to snap them out of it definitely lessens the severity of an occasional rampage.
- Stegadon - A stegadon with a long-range ballista and skink handlers mounted upon its back. Stegadons serve as the first of your two artillery options and are arguably the best at dealing raw damage: the ballista is unerringly accurate and can easily snipe opposing artillery pieces, usually destroying the cannon/catapult models in question before they can get much usage. What's more is that, as it's connected to a single entity monster itself, the ballista is not vulnerable to these same tactics, but it can take more punishment just like cygors, steam tanks and other large entities with ranged attacks. The stegadon's ranged attack generally struggles to deal significant damage to infantry formations due to the narrow projectiles and low splash damage (despite the bonus anti-infantry damage). Regardless, the shot still deals incredible damage to heavily armored, single entity monsters (particularly a majority of mounted lords/heroes) due to their immense bonus AP damage. Even should you run out of ammunition or should your opponent try to tie it down in melee... it's still a stegadon. With skinks firing poisoned darts at everything surrounding its legs, it will put up just as much of a fight as its feral counterpart and then some. The only downside to the ballista is that firing it will drain the stegadon's vigour (even if it's standing perfectly still), meaning it'll likely perform less efficiently in any ensuing melee if it doesn't get a break between firing and fighting.
- Blessed Stegadon - Hoh boy, now we're talking. A massive buff to the stegadon's health will allow him to take significantly more punishment over the rest of his variants, but that's not really the main selling point here. The blessed stegadon is also gifted with perfect vigour; a massive boon to the offensive prowess of this beast. Being able to act as full blown artillery then rush into glorious melee combat to tear enemies a new asshole at peak performance is something no other faction can achieve remotely as effectively as these guys can. If a quest pops up in the campaign with these as a reward, you should do your damndest to accomplish it. They're well worth it.
- Ancient Stegadon - Where the stegadon does its best work from afar, the ancient stegadon needs to get up close and personal to do business. The howdah, though packed with significantly more ammo, is much shorter ranged and is primarily meant to soften up nearby targets for a follow up charge into melee. Ancient stegadons are somewhat tankier than other stegadon variants, though their limited range debatably renders them less effective offensively. In general, you should either spring for the Engine of the Gods or stick with a regular stegadon..
- The Thunderous One (RoR, DLC 1) - A beefed up ancient stegadon that randomly calls down bolts of lighting, the Thunderous One was made to wade into the enemy's front line and deal indiscriminate damage. Unfortunately, these bolts of lightning can and will deal friendly fire to your units. This can make it somewhat challenging to support its charge with infantry or cavalry, though allied single entity monsters typically won't mind the stray blast.
- Engine of the Gods Ancient Stegadon (DLC 1) - Is all the gold armor embedded into your ancient stegadon not quite flashy enough for you? Just give it the ability to call down an orbital bombardment to glass swarms of warmbloods in the name of the Great Plan. The Stegadon itself is, functionally, an Ancient Stegadon. It behaves identically like one and has the exact same statline, but once you get to its abilities, things start to get interesting. It has two supporting abilities, Arcane Configuration (Winds of Magic Power Recharge rate boost) and the Portent of Warding (a 5% Ward Save for all allied units within 40m). These effects make EotG Stegadons fantastic supporting units simply from their presence alone. And yes, this applies to EotG Stegadon Mounts, so your (Red-Crested) Skink Chiefs can support Skink Priest casters or front line infantry if he's on one of these. The third, and debatably the main reason you're considering this ornate beast, is the Burning Alignment active ability. Though limited to only two uses, the Engine of the Gods can deal devastating damage to infantry focused lists if the Burning Alignment is used at just the right moment. It's particularly effective when fired into choke points or along your enemy's frontline ranks when they're tied up with your forces. Thankfully, the Burning Alignment ability is extremely accurate for (what is functionally) a wind spell; so long as you aim carefully and don't wander your lizardmen into it's path, you can drop it right in front of your forces with little fear.
- Feral Bastilidon - Your cheapest single entity dinosaur as well as your sturdiest. Feral bastilidons are effectively just a DISTRACTION CARNIFEX that you throw into enemy frontlines to stir up some chaos, cause some fear and just generally soak damage while the rest of your army dismantles the enemy. These guys can still earn you some crazy value against armies that field a lot of chaff infantry, like Skaven, Beastmen or Bretonnia.
- Solar Engine Bastilidon - Your second, cheaper artillery option. Solar Engines fire off a single missile that simultaneously blinds and burns enemy units, reducing their combat effectiveness and dealing bonus damage against anything that regenerates health naturally. These laser bolts are relatively slow moving, however, and are much easier to dodge than the smaller, faster, harder to see bolts fired by the stegadon, but they have slightly higher damage per shot and a larger splash radius when targeting groups of infantry. In another contrast to the stegadon, the beams fired by the solar engine deal flat magical damage, meaning enemies with high magical resistance will largely shrug off the damage dealt by the solar engine itself. The only major drawback of the solar engine is that the Beam of Chotek, though an armor-piercing missile (its unit toolbar does not show the armor-piercing icon), deals relatively low bonus damage against armored units and as such will become less efficient compared to the stegadon when targeting heavily armored monsters over formations of armored infantry. At the end of the day, when all else fails, there's still a fully grown bastilidon underneath that laser crystal. Keep in mind, like every range units, their range shots depletes a unit's vigour and should be taken into account if you're planning on sending it in.
- Blessed Solar Engine Bastilidon - Everything said about the blessed stegadon applies here, only to a slightly lesser extent. Perfect vigour's value cannot be overstated on a melee capable monster that would otherwise tire itself out just from holding a laser cannon in place. The greater defensive value of the bastilidon compliments the increased health quite nicely and will allow the blessed variant to stay in the thick of it considerably longer than others of its kind (bar perhaps a Revivification bastilidon healing itself, though it could just simply support the blessed bastilidon instead).
- Revivification Crystal Bastilidon - Your only non-magical source of healing, revivification crystals are one of the few healing options in the game that not only restores a unit's health but also actually revives dead models; a perk that's particularly valuable on your elite units like kroxigors or temple guard. A revivification crystal pairs excellently with a Life Slann in infantry heavy lists as you can very rapidly bring a unit back from the brink to near pristine (or whatever their healing cap is, depending on how used and abused they are), or for ensuring crucial monsters (like carnosaurs and dread saurians) become virtually unkillable. They are of limited use in a dinosaur army if your lord isn't a Life Slann, as their minor healing ability is short-ranged and can only target a single unit with a relatively lengthy cooldown between uses. Additionally, and this is notable hitch, models don't start coming back to life until all the still living models have been healed up. This, consequently, makes it difficult to rebuild your forces if they're in active combat or taking damage from other sources. Having said that, they're still the only source of healing non-slann lords have access to and the only healing option that doesn't impose on your Winds of Magic reserve (which is still a plus, as other armies don't have such a luxury). As a bastilidon variant, it can also throw itself into combat with little fear. Pro tip: Don't click that "end battle" button; instead, use it to revive what you can and win the fight with fewer casualties.
- Ark of Sotek Bastilodon (DLC 1) - Functionally just a regular bastilidon, but with the ability to unleash an AoE burst of poison on all enemies surrounding it. As it's only a minor increase in cost over the feral version, the Ark of Sotek may be worth getting for the very minor amount of damage and extra poison it can apply to the invariable mosh pits bastilidons often find themselves in. Alternatively, you can get much more utility from the other two non-feral variants, and rely on your skinks to supply poison or your mages to deal burst damage to tarpits of infantry.
- Ancient Salamander (DLC 1) - A single giant salamander, tempered with age, experience and able to melt opponents with literal hellfire. Ancient salamanders are more durable than their lesser hunting pack kin and are more reliably able to survive the occasional melee scuffle, though it generally shouldn't participate in it. Instead, the ancient salamander truly shines when paired with fire slann, salamander hunting packs, fireleech bolas terradons, or solar engine bastilidons thanks to its ability to render enemy units flammable with its own fireballs. This flammable effect greatly improves the damage dealt by flaming attacks and when executed properly and will burn through most infantry-focused armies with terrifying efficiency.
- Feral Carnosaur - An offensive machine, the apex predator of Lustria (you know, conventionally) and a signature monster of the lizardmen, the carnosaur is a ferocious beast that specializes in hunting other monsters, skaven weapon teams, and artillery due to their innate anti-large bonuses and armor-piercing capabilities. They're considerably frailer than stegadons and bastilidons defensively, though they are much swifter and tear through most enemies far more quickly due to their much higher attack. When funds are too tight to take a Saurus Scar-Vet or Old Blood on a carnosaur, a feral version with proper support won't steer you wrong. Just make sure you keep a leader or hero with Cold-Blooded on standby in case they get a little carried away.
- Blessed Feral Carnosaur - The blessed carnosaur. Formerly the pinnacle of lizardmen might (the dread saurian says hi), blessed carnosaurs have all the anti-large, armor-piercing wrath of the regular carnosaur supplemented by a much more rounded defensive statline. Additional health and magic resistance makes the blessed carnosaur surprisingly survivable against a myriad of generic threats and allows it to commit to fights that regular carnosaurs would hesitate towards. They are still just as vulnerable as any other carnosaur to getting mobbed or picked apart from regular armor-piercing weapons and absolutely will rampage in a bind, so don't get reckless with your charges.
- Geltblöm’s Terror (RoR, DLC 3) - A Feral Carnosaur that never rampages and is blessed with both Vanguard deployment and the Strider ability, enabling it to keep up to speed in any terrain. Vanguard deployment and rampage immunity is a fantastic combination for a Lizardmen monster designed to fight other monsters, but don't get reckless.
- Feral Troglodon (DLC 3) - A Troglodon without a Skink Oracle to keep it in check. Troglodons are in essence a hybrid between an Ancient Salamander and Carnosaur in that they're able to burp up potent poisonous spit that's extremely effective against large targets. Troglodons are quite possibly the first real "skirmisher" single entity monster introduced: though they're quick for ground-bound dinosaurs, they should generally only engage in melee as a last resort or with heavy support because they are not designed to put up much of a fight. In a direct melee engagement against most other combat monsters, Troglodons tend to lose pretty handily. Their low leadership also tends to cause them to rampage quickly when caught up in a brawl. However, if they focus on kiting and sniping their targets rather than charging them, they can do frankly sickening amounts of damage.
- The Pale Death (RoR, DLC 3) - A Feral Troglodon that can buff itself and nearby allies in melee whenever it uses it's Primeval Roar, giving them a rather substantial Melee Attack bonus for a short while.
- Feral Dread Saurian (DLC 2) - The single largest monster in the game, dread saurians are nigh uncontested in raw damage output and are more than capable of killing every other unit in the game in a straight fight. Unfortunately for you, your opponent will be able to field far more units than your dread saurian will be able to deal with at once and most of said units will likely be picking it off at range. As a massive, lumbering behemoth, dodging even slow moving projectiles is well and truly beyond the dread saurian and it will take tremendous damage on the approach. Even once it arrives in melee, the sheer volume of bodies capable of surrounding it and poking it with anti-armor/anti-large sticks will wear it down quite quickly. Their size also provides another source of jank whenever they get bogged down by hordes; they'll struggle to properly path their way through the crowds (it doesn't help that the Dread Saurian also has relatively low mass considering it's literal size) and their attacks, while lethally brutal, also tend to miss depending on the terrain it's fighting on. They are also prohibitively expensive and will eat up a significant portion of your funds, meaning the rest of your army will be extremely limited in number. Ensure you have a proper supporting mage (a life slann is essential) if you're bringing one.
- Dread Saurian (DLC 2) - The single largest monster in the game, now wearing a howdah filled to the brim with skinks. A modest price bump from the already exorbitant feral variant will grant the regular dread saurian a higher leadership, ranged attacks and poison. Frankly, there's little reason not to go ahead and splurge for these upgrades.
- Shredder of Lustria (RoR, DLC 2) - The single most expensive beast you could ever field, and boy does he do work. In addition to all that a dread saurian can bring to bear, the Shredder of Lustria is stacked with the full complement of veterinary stat buffs and a leadership debuff for all enemies surrounding it, a perk that, when combined with the innate fear and terror dread saurians cause, will make most enemy infantry run the fuck away very fast. If that weren't enough, the Shredder of Lustria also encourages all nearby allied troops, buffing their leadership. After all, who wouldn't be inspired by seeing the apex of lizardmen might devouring any and all who oppose the Great Plan? Speaking of the Great Plan, you're going to need one: considering how much money you're sinking into this puppy, you're going to need to really budget the rest of your army carefully.
- Coatl (DLC 3) - Previously a relic of a long lost bit of Lizardmen lore, the Coatl makes a rather striking return as the premier Lizardmen flying monster. The Coatl, though packing two casts of Urannon's Thunderbolt and one cast of Lesser Chain Lighting as bound spells, is designed more as a source of support for ground-bound allies. Infact, the main draw to the Coatl isn't its combat capabilities (which are mediocre at best), but for the fact that it grants all allied units under its wings Stalk. Yes, everything from that unit of Red-Crested Skinks to that Dread Saurian doomstack becomes invisible and untargetable until they're either far too close to do anything about or the Coatl "lands" or dies. As a faction desperately starved of long range missile units, this is a massive boon for protecting your high-value targets on the approach. Once the Coatl has safely delivered it's charges into battle, it still can serve as an excellent disruptor of backline units, Snipe artillery or single entity monsters with thunderbolt or punish a large blob with lesser chain lighting. Just be careful: even your Terradons move faster than this thing and its size does it no favors when trying to dodge missile fire.
- Spirit of Tepok (RoR, DLC 3) - A Coatl that has Banishment and Shield of Thorns as bound spells instead. The option to lean more heavily into a support role does suit the Coatl quite well, though this largely depends on what lord choice and focus your army has. If you brought a life slann or a skink priest, a regular Coatl might get you more mileage.
Lizardmen are a very versatile faction when viewed over the entire campaign, however there will be times when your army composition and thus tactics are limited depending on the progress you've made in developing your empire. Your greatest limiting factor will be money; be it in single-player or multiplayer, many mid-high tier units will cost a fortune and you will invariably have a lower unit count compared to other armies. You will need to carefully consider the faction you're currently facing when forming your armies.
A list of all the other factions in the game, along side their various strengths, weaknesses and best strategies you have to combat them.
- Empire - Karl Franz brings a relatively balanced roster to the table, with plenty of long ranged anti-armor firepower and cavalry that'll run circles around yours. With the sheer volume of AP gunpowder units and artillery, this is a faction you'll generally want to leave the Saurus at home for. Skink Cohorts with shields are for once a rather reliable pick for your frontline, with Red-Crested Skinks and/or Kroxigors diving in once you've tied down the missile units that otherwise threaten them. Additionally, your Terradon Riders can actually be quite effective in this matchup, particularly in shutting down Grenade Launcher Outriders. A Skink Priest of Heavens with Urannon's Thunderbolt and/or Comet of Cassandora is a rather cost-efficient answer to units such as the Steam Tank and Artillery Platforms, though regular Stegadons can punch holes through them if you can keep them safe. A Slann Priest with Light Magic and the Net of Amyntok coupled with a squad or two of Salamander Hunting Packs makes for an excellent cavalry deleting squad, but you'll absolutely need to shield them with your own cavalry or at the very least some shielded Saurus Spears.
- Dwarfs - Dwarfs tend to form nigh impenetrable walls of armorclad infantry and are one of the few factions capable of holding the line better than you. AP weaponry is a must, so mixing Red-Crested Skinks among your Saurus can help chew through thicker formations. Kroxigors, particularly Sacred Kroxigors, will be your best infantry can openers in this fight. Despite their innate spell resistance, your offensive magics can still work wonders against most dwarfen infantry, so a heavens skink priest or fire slann wouldn't be amiss in your army here. Beware of their Giant Slayers; though fragile, they will deal terrible damage to any armored cavalry or monsters they can get their grubby dawi mitts on. Skink skirmishers/chameleon skinks can easily outpace slayer units and whittle them down with their poisoned missiles, though they'll do absolutely nothing against any of the armored infantry. Terradon riders are virtually untouchable to their ground bound forces with a special shout-out for the Fireleech Bolas variant, but you'll absolutely need to take down any Gyrocopters contesting the skies if you want to get your money's worth. Lastly, you'll want to destroy any artillery they bring before turning your attention to the rest of their forces; Ripperdactyls can easily flank and shred such devices, though you'll need to draw away any screening units if you want them to survive the aftermath. Lastly, this is one of the few matchups where Razordons are a more attractive mid-ranged option than your Salamanders.
- Greenskins - Hordes of expendable Goblins and Ork Boyz make up the rank and file of the Greenskins. Despite having a particular focus towards mobbing you in melee combat, the Greenskins have a fairly diverse roster capable of performing decently well at ranged combat or skirmishing with their relatively diverse cavalry options. As the coup-de-grace, Greenskins also have access to several monstrous units between their selection of (river) trolls and Arachnarok Spiders that can mulch their weight in infantry. However, there are two major weaknesses to the Greenskin roster: they typically have terrible leadership (especially their expendable Goblin and Troll units) and a majority of their roster is unarmored. Saurus units will typically stand firm on the front lines while your Skink skirmishers will actually do some solid work while easily outpacing the sluggish Ork Boyz, but you will need to watch out for their Cavalry. Fireleech Bolas Terradons and Salamanders will have a field day against their infantry as well, especially against the fire-weak troll units who will crumble rapidly in the face of their flammability and terrible leadership. On the note of leadership; your pantheon of Jurassic beasties will have the time of their lives against the Greenskins. Their relative lack of armor and (perhaps ironic) cowardice means that a Carnosaur or two will bowl through their ranks largely uncontested. However, keep an eye out for Black Orcs; they're one of the few armored infantry units in the Ork roster, are armor piercing and are immune to Fear/Terror. Red-Crested Skinks are a decent budget option to deal with them, though you may prefer to kite them with Razordon Hunting Packs instead.
- Vampire Counts - If there's any faction in the game more stunted in the range-game, it's the Vampire Counts. Hordes upon hordes of meat-shields often form the rank and file of many undead lists while the lords and heroes do all the heavy lifting. You'll want to avoid clumping your units up or getting bogged down by the fodder, as a single Winds of Death can delete your entire frontline if you allow it. Kroxigors will make short work of any infantry the Vampire Counts send your way and Sacred Kroxigors in particular are extremely valuable against the ethereal units that might otherwise threaten your physical forces. Additionally, Skink Skirmishers will prove a frustrating thorn in your opponents side as they kite any non-cav across the field and back. Typically you'll want to focus on bringing down any characters the Vampire Counts field, as they quite literally hold the army together. Without their leadership and magic support, many of the undead will quickly crumble against the might of your superior soldiers. Fire damage is particularly useful in this regard, so Salamander Hunting Packs, Ancient Salamanders, Solar Engines and Fire Slann can quickly incinerate many of these lords and heroes (in the case of the Slann, they are also fantastic at dealing with ethereal heroes).
- Bretonnia - The end-all, be-all cavalry faction, Brettonia has access to some of the strongest mounted soldiers in the game. Their peasantry, though feeble, isn't to be underestimated in sufficient numbers and can still do notable damage through their archers and pikemen. That said, your Skink Cohorts can easily best any peasants they (effortlessly) pin down and a unit or two of kroxigors will evicerate any foot soldier unfortunate enough to meet them in combat. Bretonnians will also struggle to hold their lines together from the sheer amount of fear/terror your monsters can cause. However, their cavalry (particularly Grail Knights) won't falter from fear alone and are renowned for their devastating charges. Brace units of temple guard (or saurus spears, if you're cheap) to mitigate their damage and box them in before they have a chance to pull back. A light slann with the Net of Amyntok can shut down Brettonian cavalry hard and should heavily be considered as your lord for this matchup.
- Beastmen - Highly mobile and capable of dishing out impressive damage, the Beastmen are debatably the fastest overall army in the game (only rivaled by the Wood Elves, perhaps). This can be difficult to deal with, as the only infantry you possess that can potentially keep up with them are your Skinks. Skinks...generally aren't a great pick against Beastmen. They're slower still than a significant portion of the Beastmen roster and will die quite quickly due to their lack of armor and defensive stats. Skink Skirmishers are a minor exception, as between their poisonous missiles and the Beastmen's lack of armor, they'll actually deal respectable damage to them. Otherwise, the stalwart Saurus (Spears) will be your best frontline unit; solid charge defenses, shields and anti-large bonuses will stop any rush in its tracks and the Beastmen's complete lack of armor means that they'll take the full brunt of their attacks. The units that'll get you the most mileage however, are going to be your monsters. The fear and terror your massive beasties toss about will destroy attempts to form a cohesive front line and their utter lack of armor means that even your Bastilodons will deal rather substantial damage to them. Have a Carnosaur or two hunt down any Cygors or non-Great Axe Minotaurs they might have on hand.
- Warriors of Chaos - Another faction almost devoid of ranged options, the Warriors of Chaos is almost dedicated to advancing a wall of steel and meat from one end of the map to the other. Many of their units are armored and/or shielded and as such, armor-piercing units will be your friend against them. Take a few units of Saurus (Spears) to hold their units in place while you have some Red-Crested Skinks chip away at them. Spears are strongly suggested due to the relative abundance of large/monstrous units within their roster; they might not win against them, but your spears will go down fighting much harder than your regular warriors would. Take a unit or two of Ripperdactyls to shut down any Hellcannons they might've brought to the table. Take no half-measures with them either; they're unbreakable so you will need to completely wipe them out if you don't want to be bombarded the entire match. Otherwise, some (Sacred) Kroxigors, Razordons and Stegadons are fantastic damage dealers and a Skink Priest of Heavens or a Fire Slann can delete large chunks of their infantry at a time with proper placement and timing.
- Norsca - These guys are pretty much Warriors of Chaos with a little bit of wolf thrown in. Like the Warriors of Chaos, they have a relative lack of missile units but unlike the Warriors of Chaos, are considerably less armored as a whole. Saurus Warriors as such are substantially better at holding off the bulk of their front lines while Temple Guard are a fantastic answer to their Skin Wolves and Trolls. Skink Skirmishers are also fantastic for dealing chip damage and applying poison while staying well out of arm's reach for a majority of their forces. (Ancient) Salamanders are also a superb choice, as are Fireleech Bolas Terradons as general damage dealers. Stegadons and Carnosaurs will likely be your go-to monsters, as a pair of Carnosaurs can typically take down a War Mammoth, at least in theory. Caution should be exercised against War Mammoths in particular, as they are one of the best monster units in the game. Considering the fact that half your list is made of monsters, that's saying something. No Norscan worth his salt will allow you to freely target down the crown jewel of his army, so make sure you commit well and truly to the fight.
- Wood Elves - Wood elves are a flighty foe and one of the hardest for your army to actually pin down. Their relatively cheap access to long-ranged anti-armor missile infantry will pose a massive pain in the ass and their basic frontline infantry, the Eternal Guard, can hold their own surprisingly well against your monsters courtesy of their spears. In a rare twist, a front line of skink cohorts will prove more effective than your saurus against wood elves; they're quicker still than many elven infantry options and can further hinder their combat effectiveness thanks to their poison. Chameleon skinks will prove invaluable at harassing enemy archers and can kite a majority of their infantry with relative ease. Now when it comes to dealing with their tree units, I have one word for you. Fire. (Ancient) Salamanders can deal with dryads, tree kin and treemen with laughable ease and will prove just as effective at dealing with the rest of the wood elf roster, though you'll absolutely want a contingent or two of saurus spears to screen against Wild Riders. Wood Elves are also a rare instance of being a faction with less artillery than you (hint, they have none). Solar Engine bastilidons can heavily discourage their archers from setting up and will do bonus damage to any tree units they shoot. Lastly, many Wood Elf units are capable of vanguard deployment; keep an eye on your surroundings once the battle starts to ensure you aren't caught unawares.
- High Elves - Lizardmen will have some trouble countering High Elf flying monsters, particularly phoenixes. Your ranged units aren't going to get the chance to take them down in the air, so you have to rely on catching them when they drop down to attack and that can be tricky if you're running an all-dino army. At the same time, if you're using saurus then you will take some heavy losses from archers and cavalry if you commit them all to tarpitting the phoenix. Chameleon Skinks are an excellent pick against archer heavy builds; their lose formation coupled with their innate missile resistance will make them extremely hard to take down at range while their chameleon skin will let them dip in and out of combat with relative ease. Sisters of Averlorn are a priority target if present on the field; a Skink Priest of Beasts may be considered if only to summon manticores to tie them down. Additionally, the Legion of Chaqua should strongly be considered as a core part of your frontline; the ability to grant multiple units around it a 44% missile resistance is too valuable to ignore.
- Dark Elves - The general battle plan here can best be summarized with "Grab a bunch of ranged and 2 Solar Engines and defend them at all costs because otherwise you have no way to deal with Dark Rider Crossbow and Scourgerunner spam." Seriously, those damn Anti Large missile chariots were pretty much designed to fight you. A pure melee monster rush isn't going to work otherwise you will just get kited into oblivion. Have the solar engines shoot them from afar and see if you can get you Chameleon skins to slow them down so your Cold One riders can catch up to them. Your dino cav is better than their dino cav, take advantage of that. Mazdamundi is also great for nets to lock down cavalry and get them ready for a pounding. If you can get rid of all that mobile ranged, the infantry fight should fall in your favor in no time.
- Lizardmen - This...should be a no brainer in concept, though countering opposing lizardmen can be somewhat difficult to execute. Anti-large units in some shape or form are an inarguable must; cold one spear-riders accompanied by saurus spears can surround and pin down enemy monsters in a relatively cost-effective manner. Red-crested skinks are an ideal infantry choice due to their poison and armor piercing bonus coming into play against a majority of the lizardman roster. Salamander hunting packs and ancient salamanders are fantastic all-rounders that can deal terrifying damage across the entire board. Your main objective should be to focus down any slann mage-priest or skink priests present on the field, followed by any other lord/hero keeping potential rampages in check. If there is an opposing slann, avoid clumping up your infantry to reduce the threat of a banishment and/or any other vortex spell devastating your frontlines. Regular stegadons are fantastic monster snipers who should focus fire on major threats like carnosaurs or dread saurians before anything else.
- Skaven - An iconic matchup, the skaven are everything the lizardmen aren't. Massive hordes of cheap, cowardly cannon fodder will fill the ranks of many skaven lists purely to get in the way of your Jurassic might and their rickety engines of war. Aside delaying the inevitable through piles of bodies, the ratmen have precious little in the way of durable front line units and will typically fall apart when thrown in the grinder. Rather, Skaven will rely on their wide array of artillery and arcane firearms to rain warpfire upon the hapless masses (friend and foe alike). Ratling Gunners are notorious for their ability to rapidly shred infantry, cavalry and monsters alike while their jezzails excel at picking apart single entity monsters, lords and heroes from halfway across the battlefield. Any frontline infantry you have you'll want shielded. In general, skaven are modestly quick on their feet, so you'll want a selection of cavalry or skinks to catch up to and tie down their missile infantry. Chameleon Skinks are generally a strong pick against skaven due to their missile resistance and for once can do respectable damage due to the relative lack of armor in the skaven roster. Skink Cohorts will typically win in a straight fight against Skaven Slaves or Clanrats, though against anything more elite you'll want saurus or kroxigors to deal with them. Your monsters will also have virtually free reign should they manage to make it into melee, though you'll want to ensure any artillery or missile infantry are well and truly tied down before you let them loose.
- Tomb Kings - There's not a lot a basic skeleton army can do to lizardmen. Unit for unit, saurus are just better and skinks will be more maneuverable. An all-dino army can destroy ushabti and higher-tier units with ease, provided you've picked the right dinos (stegadons). However, this is not a reason to be complacent - the Tomb Kings roster has some very deadly Anti-Large AP units on their roster that will make very short work of your dinos. Of particular note are the Ushabti Greatbows and Necrosphinx; the former are dedicated monster snipers and the latter is absolute murder against other single-entity monsters. Try to mob these units with your infantry or try to make them irrelevant with magic, because the high innate armor and mass these units naturally have will mean they can and will be able to move around the battlefield with impunity.
- Vampire Coast - In terms of punching through these undeads' lines they're even easier than their Vampire Counts brothers with very little in the way of durable infantry to hold back your Saurus killing machines. Where you will have to watch out is their ranged units - they have one of the cheapest gunlines in the game and it's even harder to break open their protectors because they're all undead and can't run. Their monsters will tarpit your dinos but rarely kill them, but without proper maneuvering you will be munching on polearm zombies all day while their undead musketeers and cannons fuck you up. Abuse magic hard and don't let them bog down your dinos, keep them constantly rolling through the zombies until you can trample over their gunners. Be very wary about Necrofex Colossi, not only can they kite your dinos but they can also put substantial hurt on them if not checked quickly.
In the campaign, be it the Vortex or Mortal Empires, the biggest concern lizardmen have is obtaining a consistent source of income; skinks will only carry you so far in the early game and sacking settlements will only provide a quick short-term boost to your treasury. Your economy generally lacks bonuses, especially compared to other Warhammer 2 factions, though you won't be as constrained as, say, Wood Elves or Beastmen, and expanding the Geomantic Web and getting upkeep reduction skills will go a long, long way. As such, if you aren't playing as Hexoatl it is imperative to get the city as soon as possible for its landmark, which reduces upkeep on the lizardmen's most powerful units. Most other landmark buildings add some bonus to several unit chains, such as additional damage for skinks or more defense for saurus warriors.
Lizardmen research is locked behind building completion; many important technologies cannot be accessed until a specific, often mediocre in mid-early game, building is built in one of your settlements. Generally speaking, it is better to unlock research to start improving your weaker units rather than focus on your economy in the early- to mid-game. You simply won't be generating much revenue from economy buildings until the Geomantic Web is expanded and upkeep is reduced. However, that also means you need to be smart about what buildings to construct in your limited settlements; depending on how much money you have coming in through battles and sacking, it may be worth it to construct something just to unlock research and then destroy it to make room for something you genuinely need.
Despite skinks being largely cannon fodder after turn 75, the skink Spawning Pool building should be built in every minor settlement so that you can hire as many Skink Chief heroes as possible. Not only are they the faction assassins, which help lizardmen remove otherwise troublesome heroes that would be difficult to snipe on the battlefield, they can all get stegadon or ancient stegadon mounts. These are functionally equivalent to the generic version but come with extended range and bonuses to damage. It is possible to have two full armies of just Skink Chiefs by the Chaos invasion, if you so wish, and it is even more OP than the standard dinostack. Skink Priests also have access to these mounts, but increasing their recruiting slots is much more difficult.
Once you start becoming established and have a few provinces under your belt, it is imperative to begin constructing Star Chambers in every province you can afford to do so. Each Star Chamber boosts the starting rank of all newly recruited Slann Mage-Priests by 3 levels and all new heroes by 2. Yes, this stacks all the way up so that you can recruit max level Slann every 10 turns. Each Star Chamber also offers a small but lucrative bonus to all income for the whole Province, which helps to address your stone-age economy and extends enemy sieges by an extra 3 turns, potentially granting you just enough time to save the city should it fall under attack.
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