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Ancre
02-05-2009, 20:00
Hello everyone ;

Coming back to warhammer and getting the dust off the minis I bought a few years ago, I discovered (much to my pleasure) that I had way more lizardmen than I thought.

I especially have something like 20 old v5 lizardmen saurus with hand weapons and shield (though I will have to cast some of them, that'll be a learning experience for me) along with a bunch of v6 with spears for the assembled ones.

I really like the minis so I don't care if they don't mix well, and the obvious formation for my v5 saurus are 2 units of 10, so I thought about trying to play with small units instead of the 15 or 18 (if I can grab more minis !) strong ones. But I wonder, have anyone tried to play MSU saurus ? How does it works ? I'm a bit at a loss at how to use them.

Also, on a non-related question, can someone gives me the text for the first spell of the Heavens lore ? Portent of Far, the one that helps you re-roll 1s, I'm not sure of the name anymore ; I don't know if it helps you re-roll either 1s to hit or 1s to wound, or if it re-rolls both,as the french rulebook I have tends to say either-or, but it seems english people plays it as both.

Thank you very much ! Ancre.

Von Wibble
03-05-2009, 17:35
Portent of far rerolls 1s to hit and wound. Its great for kroxigor and knights!

I'm no expert with lizardmen, but I would have thought 12 was a better unit size in 2 ranks of 6. It means you can lose a model and keep rank bonus, and everyone still gets to strike.

Onidan
03-05-2009, 19:41
Portent of far rerolls 1s to hit and wound. Its great for kroxigor and knights!

I'm no expert with lizardmen, but I would have thought 12 was a better unit size in 2 ranks of 6. It means you can lose a model and keep rank bonus, and everyone still gets to strike.

For Saurus MSU 12 in 2 x 6 is indeed best imo, but not for the reasons you said.

A unit only gets a rank bonus for every full rank, that means every rank that matches the width of the first rank. So if you lose one in 2 x 6 you still lose the rank bonus. 5 is the minimum number of models each rank has to have to get the bonus, not that every rank with at least 5 models counts for the bonus if the width is not them same as the first rank.

A frontage of 6 is good because thatīs the maximum number of models you can get in base to base contact with 20mm bases, and thatīs the most common infantry base size. Maximum number of models means maximum numbers of attacks.

I rarely go MSU, as Lizards have enough hammer/support units and I prefer to use Saurus as an anvil though.

Jetty Smurf
03-05-2009, 20:31
The rulebook reads "The (rank) bonus can be claimed for an incomplete last rear rank, so long as it contains at least 5 models." (Page 38, Extra Rank)

So for Saurus MSU having 6x2 and losing 1 will still give you the rank bonus.

sulla
03-05-2009, 22:02
It shouldn't work too badly. With cold blooded Ld, you should always rally. With t4 and decent armour, you are not all that vulnerable to the light shooting and magic missiles that decimate elven and ogre MSU. The only real problem is the mv4. Failed enemy charges may not be close enough to leave you with a countercharge with your other infantry.

The other thing that makes it 'sub-optimal' is that core skinks skirmishers make better bait units due to expoiting how skirmishers flee.

Gork or Possibly Mork
03-05-2009, 23:18
It shouldn't work too badly. With cold blooded Ld, you should always rally. With t4 and decent armour, you are not all that vulnerable to the light shooting and magic missiles that decimate elven and ogre MSU. The only real problem is the mv4. Failed enemy charges may not be close enough to leave you with a countercharge with your other infantry.

The other thing that makes it 'sub-optimal' is that core skinks skirmishers make better bait units due to expoiting how skirmishers flee.

Agree. Mobility is a big weakness so make sure you bring lots of skinks, skink skirmishers, and something hard or scary to protect your flanks. You really need to be charging with your MSU's and if you theaten his flank with the hard scary stuff and use skinks to screen, bait, shoot and redirect to setup multi charges you should be fine. I will also note that if you are flanked and it's fair to assume the flank will be overun don't keep your line straight so they can easily overun into other units. First uses skinks to redirect with the treat of your heavy support ( stegs, Krox, COR ) to counter charge. If this still fails. Move the saurus sort of in echelon to prevent him from rolling through your line.

I.e.

Bad

Saurus MSU1<--SaurusMSU2<--SaurusMSU3<----Enemy Heavy Flanker

Not bad

--------------------------<--SaurusMSU3<----Enemy Heavy Flanker

Saurus MSU1 SaurusMSU2

MarcoPollo
04-05-2009, 16:46
When playing MSU, you'll want to consider the usage of banners. 12 with no banner only gives 144 victory points away. Not to bad, but don't expect them to play the role of anvil.

Personally, the best and only the really serious way to use them is with spears at 3+ ranks and full command. This gets the best value out of them and they can go toe to toe with most similarly costed infantry at that point.

Desert Rain
04-05-2009, 16:57
I used a MSU lizardmen army in a 1500pts game against wood elves last week. I had never tried MSU before and I wasn't sure that it was my style. It turned out to be OK, 4 units of 10 saurus gave me a lot of mobility but the units lacked the staying power that I want. So overall I believe that MSU can be effective with the Lizardmen if it suits your playstyle. It worked fine for me. but I didn't like it so I won't be doing it again but it was worth a try.

MarcoPollo
04-05-2009, 19:51
One of the major benefits of an MSU is the ability to outperform your opponent in the deployment and movement phases. And as such it is important to have alot of cheap units (less than 50 pts). As such, 10 man units of saurus do not fit the bill. Instead there are some better options to fulfill these cheap throw away unit in the Lizzie army.

1) 10 man skink units (50 pts). These are great because you can angle them to deflect charges and keep your more expensive units from being engaged to combats that may not be worthwile.

2) swarms (40 pts). Although not as good as before, they still represent options on the field. You can shoot over them. You can mage hunt. You can skirmish. They fulfill a plethora of small roles. And there is no 0-1 restriction like before. So you can spam them as they are core. I take two separate swarm bases and use them in my 2K lizzie army.

3) Terradons. A unit of 3 cost under 100 pts and you can easily fly from one area of the field to another thus confusing opponents in their deployment phase.

4) slamanders/razordons. As singles they don't cost alot. And with sallies, they only need to do one wound to cause panic. Two small single sallie units easily afford you two cheap effective drops in the deployment phase.

Note -- MSU is not about using small units only. You need to have some meat somewhere too. Heavy hitters, and anvils are also necessary. And Lizards have some of the most effective anvils in the game.

bob_the_small
04-05-2009, 20:36
I think a MSU saurus army would look like this:

2000 Pts - Lizardmen

Kroq-Gar - 635 Pts

Saurus Scar-Veteran - 142 Pts
Halberd
Shield
Hide of the Cold Ones

Saurus Scar-Veteran (Battle Standard Bearer) - 150 Pts
Light Armour
Battle Standard Bearer
Sword of Might
Enchanted Shield

12 Saurus Warriors - 174 Pts
Full Command
Spears

12 Saurus Warriors - 174 Pts
Full Command
Spears

12 Saurus Warriors - 174 Pts
Full Command
Spears

15 Temple Guard - 315 Pts
Full Command
Sun Standard of Chotec

5 Cold One Cavalry @ 225 Pts
Musician
Banner

Total Cost: 1989

MarcoPollo
04-05-2009, 21:44
I think a MSU saurus army would look like this:

2000 Pts - Lizardmen

Kroq-Gar - 635 Pts

Saurus Scar-Veteran - 142 Pts
Halberd
Shield
Hide of the Cold Ones

Saurus Scar-Veteran (Battle Standard Bearer) - 150 Pts
Light Armour
Battle Standard Bearer
Sword of Might
Enchanted Shield

12 Saurus Warriors - 174 Pts
Full Command
Spears

12 Saurus Warriors - 174 Pts
Full Command
Spears

12 Saurus Warriors - 174 Pts
Full Command
Spears

15 Temple Guard - 315 Pts
Full Command
Sun Standard of Chotec

5 Cold One Cavalry @ 225 Pts
Musician
Banner

Total Cost: 1989
I would not consider this army to be an MSU style. Your characters are too big, and the unit chosen to be MSU are still expensive for doing very little. I understand that you want MSU saurus. Ok then, cut down on your characters and put those points into more units. Leave all the fancy trinkets at home. You should only have those that are vital.

MSU armies should have a minimum of 9 deployments without characters. An MSU army would look something like this. I don't have my book on me but I wrote one up recently so I am going to give this to you by memory.

Characters:
1)Scar-vet on cold one, light armor shield, +2 attacks sword.
2)EotG level 2 with some scrolls etc.

Units:
16 saurus with spears full command
2 krox/22 skinks with full command
1 krox/11 skinks with full command (used to house the EotG on occaison)
2 sets of 10 skinks no command
2 swarms
2 sets of terradons
1 set of cold one riders
2 sets of one salamander
1 set of chameleon skinks

This is thirteen drops and I bet you still got some points left over for another character or two.

The idea is to have alot of cheap things. If anything is over 300 pts, I think long and hard about it. The only thing over 300 pts here is the EotG and that is because of the way optimal set up is for it.

No one thing is the "winner" piece here. Every thing is worth more than its amount when combined properly. And every unit is expendable. Thus giving your opponent no real target.

Rodman49
05-05-2009, 08:06
I used a MSU lizardmen army in a 1500pts game against wood elves last week.

Ouch trying to play Lizard MSU against WE at 1.5k? Punching myself in the balls repeatedly sounds like a better way to spend my time.

Ancre
05-05-2009, 10:33
MarcoPollo, how do you deploy the 16 saurus units ? In term of ranks et all. I can't figure it out.

MarcoPollo
05-05-2009, 15:16
MarcoPollo, how do you deploy the 16 saurus units ? In term of ranks et all. I can't figure it out.

Well it's not 16 "saurus" units. It is 16 units total. Some of them are small bases. Two teams of salamanders with swarms (shoot over them) and a small skink unit work together. Terradons can go wherever you can put them because they can fly anywhere later.

When these are deployed there should still be alot of room left to place your 3 big (units). You should be able to see where your opponent sets up his main unit by now. Then match up the spears with you opponents center. Match up your skrox with you opponents cav/monsters. And put the Eotg with or close to the small skrox unit to create a hammer or anvil when needed.

Use the chameleon skinks to slow down your opponents unit by march blocking what you need and pepper the unarmored units and sneak in behind for crossfire.

Fast stuff and skirmishers can be placed less precisely because it is easier to move them around later.

Onidan
05-05-2009, 15:30
The rulebook reads "The (rank) bonus can be claimed for an incomplete last rear rank, so long as it contains at least 5 models." (Page 38, Extra Rank)

So for Saurus MSU having 6x2 and losing 1 will still give you the rank bonus.

Hm, indeed.

My bad, I seem to have skipped that particular sentence everytime I red that part. My apologies.

Amnar
05-05-2009, 15:34
Hey Marco, I see that you're in Vancouver, where do you play?

Desert Rain
05-05-2009, 16:20
Ouch trying to play Lizard MSU against WE at 1.5k? Punching myself in the balls repeatedly sounds like a better way to spend my time.
Don't worry I won the game :)

It seemed like a good idea as I knew that he had a more manouverable amy than I had so I tried to counter it by using small units so that I couldn't be as easily outmanouvered as if I had had a few large ones. Blasting ~12 dryads with a single Burning Alignment helped a lot though...

MarcoPollo
05-05-2009, 16:35
Hey Marco, I see that you're in Vancouver, where do you play?

I play out of Park Royal in North Van. PM me if you think we can get a game in. I'm on the north shore. I also have a few friends that I get games in with too.

Ancre
05-05-2009, 21:57
MarcoPollo, so the list is at least 2.000 points right ? Don't the absence of a lord cripple too much the army ? (Or is it just me who doesn't see how to deal against an uber monster without a uber monster on your side ? )

MarcoPollo
06-05-2009, 17:35
MarcoPollo, so the list is at least 2.000 points right ? Don't the absence of a lord cripple too much the army ? (Or is it just me who doesn't see how to deal against an uber monster without a uber monster on your side ? )

The presence of a lord (especially expensive ones) can be a liability. For example. A chaos lord cost 210 pts without any upgrades. This gives you 100 pts of magic allowance, 3 wounds, 5 attacks and the ability to upgrade the mount to really heavy stuff.

Two exalted heros costs 220 pts without any upgrades. You still get 100 pts of magic allowance (must be split) but you get 4 wounds and 8 attacks. You get no major mount upgrades either. So for roughly 5% more you get 60% more attacks and 33% more wounds.

This type of thinking is the one of the major roots behind MSU tactics. Now if you go one further. A chaos lord costs 210 pts without upgrades. A unit of Dragon ogres is 231 pts. For roughly 10% extra you get 4X the wounds, and almost double the attacks.

The thinking shouldn't be, how can I deal with a big nasty monster. It should be, how can he deal with all the stuff that I can throw at him.

The second thing is that those big monsters, although their attacks are very nasty, can easily miss. Since each attack is so expensive, when it misses you really loose out on points. And the chances of missing most of them is much higher than if you distribute the points over several other attacks. Your rolling of the dice becomes less crucial as you compensate for this through the "law of averages".

Thirdly, if you have some fast stuff you can avoid the big monster with clever deployment and cheap sacrificial units. This becomes important as it can buy you time to get the "right" units into position to take it out. For instance, a cheap banshee unit can take out a stegadon quite easily. Due to its low leadership the banshee can wail at it and kill it off. But a banshee won't work against everything. So having a banshee deal with this guy is important. The more units you have the easier it is to deploy the banshee in a position that it can get the steggadon. While you are hurting a 200 + pt unit with a cheap banshee, the rest of you army can get stuck into hurting the rest of his. And since you allocate less points to dealing with alot of his points, then you will have an easier time killing of the rest of his army.

MarcoPollo
06-05-2009, 17:45
This does type of thinking does not always work. But, it can get you along way in saving points for the types of things that are really good. Sometimes it is fun to play with an expensive lord. But you should realize what you give up when you take one.

When you are just starting out, it is easy to fall into the "arms race" where you feel you have to counter your opponents moves. Although this is true, it leaves you neglecting your own plan. Your game becomes a series of contingent planning.

Instead, once you've collected a few models and adopted a style that is favorable, try using MSU tactics. You'll win alot more.

Ancre
07-05-2009, 19:47
Thank you very much for your explanations !

I am new to the game and I probably can't go higher than 1.500 points with my lizardmen right now. My big concern is flying terror-causer like dragons and big demons and things like that. The oldblood with Blade of Realities on carnosaur can kill them or more realistically create a "don't go near me" area, allowing me to protect the stuff that needs protection. But I have yet to find a way not to have the dragon charge the skink priest on steg and eat the poor skink.

Well, that probably just show how much a beginner I am :D

MarcoPollo
08-05-2009, 22:29
Not really, I still have that problem myself too. And I've been playing for 10 years.

What your doing is probably the best that can be done given you only have 1500 pts...

... but wait ... at 1500 pts, you shouldn't have to face a big nasty dragon. They only come out at 2000 pts or more.

It also depends on how many other people you play. If you play different people, then you need to have an army that can do many different things. For every list that has a big dragon in it, there are lists full of cannons and guns that can take it out.

In my opinion, alot of skinks with poisoned blowpipes could create the "don't go near me area" for your dragon friend. 25 skinks shooting at a large target would mean 50 shots, surely enough to take out that big dragon. For lizards, skinks can accomodate this quite well. But you gotta make sure that he doesn't charge them either. So split them into smaller units too.

Ancre
09-05-2009, 17:19
Well, yeah, but today I'm twenty so I should be able to go to 2000 points considering how costly lizardmen lords can be :D But I wouldn't be able to field a msu lizardmen army though, so big flying monsters do not scare me as much.

The skinks are an excellent answer though. A few units could very well hold the dragon away, and I don't care if he tries to eat them (he'll then be busy eating 1/5 of his points units).

MarcoPollo
10-05-2009, 18:40
Well, yeah, but today I'm twenty so I should be able to go to 2000 points considering how costly lizardmen lords can be :D But I wouldn't be able to field a msu lizardmen army though, so big flying monsters do not scare me as much.

The skinks are an excellent answer though. A few units could very well hold the dragon away, and I don't care if he tries to eat them (he'll then be busy eating 1/5 of his points units).


Well happy birthday!

And this is exactly the idea behind MSU. In an MSU army there is nothing there to get excited about when you loose small units. A small units that can do one thing well and can combine with other small units in unique ways to take out even the toughest of things creates a very satisfying experience. The fun comes in trying to figure out what will "do the trick" and then pulling it off.

There are few things better than creating a unique plan, catching you opponent off guard, and seeing it through to completion. And MSU usually creates that opportunity. Not that other methods don't, but MSU is excellent at it.