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I've been reading through the Lizardmen book, considering starting them. Obviously, one of the things that jumped out at me is the Slann. They're very impressive, to say the least, and even in the fluff, seem to be just one of those things that immediately springs to mind when one thinks of Lizardmen.
And therein lies my problem/query/curiousity. I was trying to make some lists for Lizards, it's something I always do when considering an army, to see whether I can make one that I think would be both competitive and enjoyable to play. (My friends and I don't generally play bigger games, we stick to 1500 for 40k and intend to stick to 2k for Fantasy, maybe 2250) (Yes, we're new to WF.
Whenever I include a Slann, it feels like I'm using so many points that could be used on other things. Whenever I don't include a Slann, it feels like there's something missing.
Do other people experience anything like this? It's kind of turning me away from Lizards, because every list I build feels either top-heavy with the Slann, or like it's got a hole in it.
On another similar note, I see heaps of 2nd gen Slann in lists, but little of any other generations. Is it really the only generation worth using?
any other Gen. is quickly nullified by opposing wizards and will make the slann look like a big, fat hunk of points sitting uselessly in the centre of your battleline!
Points wise a 2nd slann may take up a quarter of your army but let's look at what you get for that.
A general with ld 9. Remember that this is clod blooded and so statistically better than ld 10.
The BSB. No need to use another character slot for this valuable piece of equipment, just whack it on the Slann for a mere 25 pts.
Finally you get the best caster in the game bar none. A free power dice for every spell means that even taking one dice from the pool casts on 2d6+1! He knows five spells which you can increase to six. He won't die a horrible death on the miscast table. Oh, did I mention that he's almost impossible to kill?
In short, I think the Slann is well worth it ;Y
If your worried about points then a 4th gen. wouldn't be a bad choice. Although I haven't fielded one since 6th ed. I imagine 4th gens would suffer under the new "haha, you only got 6 dice to use" rules (although diadem could stem this partially).
I sometimes run an old blood list at 2k and it can be very satisfactory and works very well against other combat orientated armies such as dwarfs and with some nasty combos like mark of the old ones and cube of darkness it can ruin the day of magic heavy armies too. However as you mentioned, the list just feels like it lacks something and the Slann is far more fun to use and has greater potential for devastation. As has already been pointed out, 2nd gen is pretty much the only way to field him.
Slaan are overrated. Their magic is so fickle (not dependable enough), and any decent army will just march up (remember you're outnumbered now because you spent so much on a fat frog) that you will be surrounded and your slaan guard will go down. All the opponent needs is a couple of wounds, a flank, and maybe a warbanner and your fat frog will go running and be caught. Goodbye 600pts and any chance of victory. Let's face it, magic by itself will not win a game against a competant opponent. I know a guy (kind of new) who runs a Slaan army and gets beat just about everytime he plays. I know another guy, who runs a conservative, balanced army and wins about every game. Both come out of the lizardmen book, but the winning army doesn't have a slaan. Now some of that is experience, but if you're that new, you ought to play a balanced list with as many models as you can get, so you can make a mistake or two without costing yourself the game.
Lizardmen have tons of really good options and none of them imho, are a slaan. Skinks with poison darts are great (fast and cheap and can kill a giant) Salamanders are awesome. Kroxigors are the cheapest, strongest unit in the game (str7 anyone with armor!)
That's just to name a few.
Ok, a Slaan is a number of things besides a Wizard. It's a high leadership character which your lower leadership units (namely Skinks, Sali's and Steggies) can use. He's a BSB (I give him the sun standard for a bit of shooty protection) so high Ld with re-role breaktests, and his temple guard are also one of the best combat units available to the Lizardmen army.
I run a 4th Gen Slaan, for the same reason people have listed before. He's cheaper than a 2nd Gen, he doesn't take up the hero slot or extra rare slot, and yet he still knows 4 spells (5 with the plaque of tepok), can't miscast, gets +1 to cast and dispell.
Now the reason I prefer a 4th over a 2nd Gen is that taking a 4th Gen gives your whole army more flexibility. He's still a potent magic user, so if you come against a non-magic heavy army you'll dominate the magic phase, and if you come up against an army that has invested really highly into magic, you still have enough anti-magic to nullify out their magic, with points left over for more heavy hitting units. So, for example, I run a Scar Vet with Charm of the Jaguar Warrior. Slap Bears Anger on him, and you've got a model with 7 (if he has spawning of sotek), strength 7 attacks with a massive charge range. It's things like these surprise units that win games.
Lizardmen armies at GT's (and i'm using these as an example as I've been doing quite a lot of research in preparation for the GT this year) with 4th Gen Slaans, consistantly do better than armies with 2nd Gen Slaans because they are more flexible.
I always had trouble using the bear's anger with the JSoD. He must declare a charge and move before the magic phase so then he's out of range. However if you keep him there and cast it but charge next turn the combat phase is after the next magic phase. As it's a remains in play spell it will be dispelled as soon as the Slann attempts another spell.
I think a 2nd Gen Slann is much better than a 4th Gen one
Charge of 18". The Slaan moves 8". So he's only 10" away. Bears Anger is then in range. Just leave the spell till the end of the magic phase . . . simple
Heh, well I guess if it works for you. It just never seems to be that simple for me