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Over the course of this (bank holiday, yay!) weekend, I played 12 games with my Lizardman army, in a few different configurations. It revolved around a few different permutations of:
General - Sword of Might, Enchanted Shield, Light Armour, Tepok
10 Skinks w/ Javelins
10 Skinks w/ Blowpipes, Scout
18 Saurus - Standard, Tepok
5 Saurus Cavalry - Standard
The Terradons and Cavalry went in and out for more Saurus (2x 15 blocks), a JSoD, a Skink Priest with Diadem (also dropping second Tepok), and the odd other slight change to make the numbers up (+1/2/3 skinks etc).
However, I was a bit disappointed for two main reasons. Firstly, that despite the fact I love them and they're the thing that attracted me to Lizardmen, Saurus just aren't that good. In every game, the general was a rock, the skinks were fabulous, and the Terradons/Salamanders were great too. In the games I lost, I couldn't help but feel that it was because I had the Saurus taking up 25-35% of my points and not pulling their weight.
Secondly, Saurus cavalry. They promise so much, they hit as hard as anything else, but they inevitably get killed by return fire because their armour save is so low. Also they *do* fail the odd stupidity test and it can be crucial. For 35 points, when compared to other 'elite cavalry', they're just too fragile.
To put this into an example, the last game I played was against a Tzeentch Chaos Army. He had a unit of 5 Knights w/ (ward save banner) + General with Mark of Tzeentch (Lore of Tzeentch), and a unit of 15 non-chosen Chaos Warriors with a Chaos Sorceror (Lore of Fire). My JSoD charged his Knights and managed to inflict no wounds but took none in return, tying his Knights up for one turn and allowing some skinks to get behind them and marchblock. Meanwhile, my Saurus and General charged his Warriors, with a Flank charge from the Salamanders and a unit of skinks to crossfire. They broke the Chaos Warriors, but the Saurus still took 2 casualties doing it. 2 turns later, I had the Knights with Saurus in their front, Salamanders in their side, and even Skinks in the back for more free combat res; I did 0 wounds to the Knights, and lost the combat by about 5. Over 750 points worth of my stuff against 550 worth of his. Now, Chaos Knights are tough, but that tough? I can't help but think that a unit of Kroxigor instead of Saurus, cost 3/5 of the points, would have meant that I'd won the combat.
In this situation and more, I've found Saurus extremely lacking. Sure, they fair great against troops of lower quality, but against troops of higher quality they're simply substandard. The issue for Saurus Warriors and Saurus Cavalry seems to stem from the same thing; lack of armour save. They can give it, but even with T4 they can't take it consistently enough. And for their points value, this seems crippling at 1000 points.
Would anyone care to guess what I'm doing wrong, what units I should be supporting with, or somesuch? Or am I just expecting too much from them even at 12 points per model? I realise a lot of people don't run Saurus at this points level, but what makes them worth running at higher points levels? Buying a unit to stick a Slann in is obvious, but further than that, it seems that Skinks are a much better core choice for cost vs effectiveness.
Saurus do use up a lot of points in lower games. I don't play 1k very often but when I do I'm usually very stuck for what to take.
They excel in higher points games though.
CoR aren't bad, just don't put them into a position where they can be shot ^_^
Maybe I'll just drop the Saurus for 1k then. Hmm.
I keep saying it, 'Elite Infantry'. Saurus are one of the main types of these. Best run in small units, use a unit of 12 (or 11 if you want your general in there) and possibly a champion and musician. They can take some kills, but throw out the best number of attacks for their points cost.
Lizardmen waste points when they try to get a good static Cres, they get most of theirs from pure kills. As you have no Kroxigor yet, Id say keep the saurus, for now atleast. Ive heard people complain about their statline. I1 may not be nice, but WS3 is decent, and with their S, T and A they are a great combat unit.
Clearly, it seems that 3x Kroxigor is superior to 12 Saurus + command for an identical amount of points. 9 strength 7 attacks rather than 13 strength 4, the same saving throw in combat, better vs shooting, higher movement, and more wounds to be taken before losing any attacks......maybe time to head to GW
Edit: Revised Kroxigor/Small saurus unit army list here
Last edited by Calmdown; August 28th, 2007 at 15:14.
Oh yea, Kroxigor are definitely better lol. Saurus' saves arent that bad though, 3 or 4+? i cant remember exactly, but its enough to keep them safe from most shooting. If you have multiple units of them too then the enemy has more units to spread his fire on. With cold blooded they wont panic easily from casualties, and the whole point of the second rank is that they are there for being killed, to get the front rank into CC unharmed where it can do damage.
I agree with your initial conclusions totally, so much so that I dont take CoR or Saurus at 1k and even at 2k I take them reluctantly as its either too expensive to field several big units and take the cool stuff or they just fail to do anything well.
CoR are amazing when they do get a charge off, eeven small numbers. I usually field them in 5-6 with huanchis. Give them a unit of 10 skinks as a screen for the first turn, 2nd turn roll up as close as possible to the unit you want to charge, especially if they can stand and shoot, then in the magic phase use Huanchi's Blessed Totem to get the charge and deny the return fire. Their 3+ armour save combined with stupidity does not make them worth their 35 points. Especially being I2 when most other special choices are I3 or I4 for most other armies.
My 1k lists are dominated by krox, skinks and sallies. They are just far more efficient and fun at that points level.
Saurus may be considered elite infantry in smaller games but when you get to the 2k level they become the mainstay infantry block of the army. At which point it's best to take them in units of 20ish. You'll find that, with the BSB nearby, even enemy cavalry can bounce off these guys.
My second point is that CoR are worth every single one of their points. Ok it is a lot but you do get a fear causing model which has 2 s5 attacks and 1 s4 attack on the charge. Not many other cavalry models can boast that kind of ferocity. People often complain that they get shot up because of their 3+ save. Well we are t4 and, again, not a lot of cavalry boasts that, so this helps. In addition we have plenty of ways of dealing with missile units. From skinks screens to terradons to the howler wind.
My CoR have come up trumps so many times I find it hard not to include them in all my lizardmen lists. Huncahai's blessed totem, as has already been mentioned, can provide a nasty surprise to your opponent.
CoR are actually quite amazing.
I try to keep them near my Kroxigor / Salamanders so that if those charge the Cav can charge the flank..12x S7 Attacks + 10x S5 Attacks + 5x S4 Attacks = Dead Unit!
And Saurus are amazing for the points per model. Why? I'll tell you why!
First they are upgradable with sacred spawnings.
Second they have T4 - this more than makes up for their average armor
Third they are tough as nails to break with their Ld + Cold Blooded
The only way I've ever been able to beat Chaos Knights is through static combat res. They are going to have an amazing armor save against anything but Kroxigor or a hero with GW.
Well that and Lore of Metal