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A pretty basic question, really. I am torn between these two armies. I have extremely limited wargaming experience. I played a very few games of Warhammer FB back in 5th edition. I like the looks of both army's models. They both seem strong in the magic phase with Dark Elves edging the Lizards out in movement with better Leadership and Initiative. I like the sound of re-rolling misses.
Lizards look nice because of their durability, but they seem to have fewer choices in what they can put on the table and the initiative, leadership and slow movement worry me. Even with cold-blooded, I am a rather unlucky dice roller and fear I'd be seeing units flee. Also, the lack of a fast cav bothers me, though I suppose terradons can be used this way.
Lastly, only one other person at my LGS plays Dark Elves and he doesn't lay often or very well, from what I have heard. Two people play Lizardmen: the owner and his son. This leads to me thinking I would never have as nice an army as them because frankly, money matters in my case as a married father of two.
So, thanks for any input and advice!
The only difference between a madman and myself is that I am not mad.
Well one consideration you must think of before you decide is the cost of collecting DE vs lizards. Most of the good units in lizards are available in plastic. Saurus, temple guard, skinks, stegadons, and Cold Ones are all plastic kits. You can build most of a solid lizard army with just a few metals here and there.
Most of the good units in DE are metal. Dark riders: half metal, black guard: metal, hydra: metal, Cold one chariot: metal and out of print, shades, metal. In fact the only units that are plastic are warriors: whom are useful but not the strength of the list, Cold one Knights: while cheap and good, not needed in large numbers, and corsairs: whom should only be run in very small numbers or not at all. DE are NOT a cheap army to build up to 2K+.
That being said, the DE are a MUCH more flexible list, with cheap core you can focus on their superb specials and heroes. They can dominate movement, shooting, magic, and combat. A really well rounded list that doesn't have to make many sacrifices to be strong in any area. Their downside is they are a glass cannon, if they get hit hard, or bog down, they are really easy to kill.
Lizards are a much tougher enemy. They are hard to kill and hard to break. Good magic and some nasty specials and rares makes for a rock hard army. Their basic warrior is among the strongest fighting core units in the game. (better than some armies specials) Their downside is expensive block units that are relatively slow, often you don't have as many points for the specials as you would like. Skinks are cheap min core, but you really can't expect them to do much other than keep you legal. Sking priests don't have any choice in lores, so if you want powerful magic, you MUST take a slaan, meaning that the list isn't as flexible as DE.
Both armies are a IMHO top armies, so you really can't go wrong with either army.
Thanks for that input, notabot! It really sounds like Lizardmen may be my best choice. A rock solid core may be more forgiving than the Dark Elves. As a newb, that might be my best bet.
The only difference between a madman and myself is that I am not mad.
My friend recently started playing with the Lizardmen, and as I am a Dark Elf (DE) player myself, I hope I can help.
To start, the lizardmen have a great close combat army with, like Notabot said, maybe the second best core fighting unit in the game, ranked in my opinion only behind the Warriors of Chaos. They have amazing heroes in close combat, and their magic is very sound.
The only things that they lack are shooting and initiative. Their initiative sucks, and with a locked close combat, they will always get hit first, against DE with only a strength of 3 that is fine, but a higher strength army, like Warriors of Chaos, they will be blown away. Keep in mind once again, that very few armies have great strength, so you may be ok in this area, but it is a major weakness.
The other area is shooting. As you said their are no fast cavalry, but Terradons make up for this. They can fly, drop rocks, and throw javelins in the same turn. (this is almost as good as Dark Riders more. (Dark Riders are the Dark Elf fast cavalry). The main shooting unit for lizardmen, is the skinks, which only have a 12 inch range...and only hit, normally on a 6...which will be a poisoned attack. Their is the option of taking a repeater bolt thrower, in a sense, on the back of a stagadon, which would be a devastating unit to have, but you then lose the stegadon being a close combat or magic stud. (It would be your call where to focus)
In the end, the Dark Elves are more well rounded, but lack the toughness, and the armour saves in close combat that Lizardmen have in abundance...Dark Elves are faster, and Have better shooting as well. In magic they are both extremely powerful, and I would consider that a wash. (As Notabot said, the cost of building an army should also be brought into play). Lastly, most of the Lizardmens' heroes, or lords are for close combat, and not as diverse as the Dark Elf players. (I also had a tough time deciding who to pick, but in the end, I loved the well rounded, Dark Elves, who although lack in some areas of close combat, make up for it in moving, shooting, magic, and overall options with a tactical army.
I had both armies for a while (the new lizardmen book disappointed me). They both have good anti-magic. They both have lots of units with answers to fear (fear/terror-causers, Immune to Psychology, or cold-blooded). I'd suggest asking people if you can borrow their armies and palytest some things.
DE can build any kind of list and be effective. Good cav, scouts, blocks, decent magic, and monsters. It's this versatility in list building that keeps bringing me back to my DEs. After I built my initial army list, I kept branching out with a few purchases here and there. Now I can build just about any of the possible lists.
Lizardmen rely on their excellent, but slow moving infantry blocks. They do have fast units like terradons and skinks, but the saurus are where it's at now. Also, to get lots of mileage from said terradons, you need a LOT of them (expensive). Personally, I found the new book to be static and boring since a skink heavy list is much weaker now and kroxigors got nerfed a little.
*While dark rider models are metal, using warrior bits and glade riders, you can make really good looking conversions.
*Lizardmen leadership looks low, but they use 3d6 drop the lowest instead of only two dice.
I faced this dilemma myself. The best I can put it is that Dark Elves are a toolbox, Lizardmen are a brick. A Dark Elf list has everything you need to win but it'll take some good generalship from you to bring it about. Lizardmen have such high-quality stat lines that you can simply fling them at the enemy and do a lot of damage. You can be more strategic than that, of course, but ultimately you'll be trusting in that stat line. With Dark Elves, you'll be trusting in your units' skills.
A Dark Elf army is actually pretty cheap to set up. Two of the starter boxes, a couple characters and two blisters of Shades is a 2K army right there. Dark riders are pricey but there are ways around it--I use High Elf Silver Helms as counts-as, for example.
I chose Dark Elves over Lizardmen and I'm happy with my choice. You mileage may vary.
"My tanks have names, my men have numbers." -Col. Edmund Grahvess, 23rd Kronecker Prison Guard