Welcome to Librarium Online!
So the new book has been out nearly 2 weeks and I have played plenty of games with it. Overall I don't think the lizardman army book is as good as it could have been, perhaps a bit too bland and lacking. However I want to make the changes to the Slann the topic of this thread.
At first the changes appalled me but with reflection the 2nd generation of 6th edition did need toning down, at times I had 9 power dice plus an additonal dice to cast with on 5 spells and drain magic, total magic dominance! The new Slann is a different beast, having to select an entire lore has made me re-evaluate what to use, and I do take that power because there is nothing worse than not rolling up the one spell you absolutely need.
Before I would always roll for the best spell against my opponent, typically pit of shades or spirit of the forge, then roll for magic missiles but now I find myself thinking more tactically and recently I have been using different lores to what I would normally consider.
I have found myself using lore of life and lore of death against foes such as dark elves and lore of light against daemons. I had never realised what little gems these lores have! The rain lord and howler wind are fantastic against repeater crossbows because they are armour piercing and strength 3. Gift of life keeps your engine running soundly and mistress of the marsh can give you the upper hand with charges by slowing your opponent and making him unable to charge.
In lore of light, dazzling brightness on the unit your spear saurus are engaged with combined with portent of far makes a bloody mess, Pha's illumination has saved my skink priest atop an engine and cleansing flare is great for negating the MR3 on flesh hounds of khorne!
So the magic phase has become new and interesting to me again because of the increase in variety of the types of spells I can cast. The Slann can still cast with consistancy but nowhere near his over the top unstoppable previous incantation.
Other positive changes include the new drain magic, becalming cogitation might have an awkward name to pronounce but its fantastic against high level casters! Being unstoppable, its already causing my regular game group grief and consternation.
However I lament the loss of the old diadem of power and the flexibility it afforded. I am also annoyed by the removal of the +1 to cast and dispel, this should have been a power perhaps but it would have been a no brainer like the extra power dice.
Misscasting is another woe, there is nothing worse than removing your Slann whilst dealing strength 10 hits to the 12 temple guard in base contact. I can understand why the change was made and I think it was perhaps necessary, before the Slann had free reign using magic with no consequence, I think some sort of risk vs reward was required and if in exchange the Slann becomes US3 and is no longer a large target, well misscasting is a price I am willing to pay.
Just a few thoughts I have had on the Slann and my use of the wonderful caster.
I don't mind the new slann. Like has been said by others, he is the best caster for his points in the game, in the opinion of many. Personally, I would have been willing to pay a few more points to have the best caster in the game, but so be it.
As for lores, I like the lore of life also, as it is great against any shooting army. Lore of shadow, with the pit and 2 movement spells can really help your strategy. Light is of course great against deamons and undead. I also like metal, death, and beasts on occasion.
We still have the plaque that gave us +1 PD and DD. It has just been renamed to engine of the gods. And it costs a little bit more. I miss the old diadem also, but at least now you can pair it with a scroll or some other item that you may want.
Overall, the slann with his disciplines, the fact he can still be a BSB, and the ability to hide in a unit and get the look out sir roll, is still a force to be reckoned with.
I am right 94% of the time, why worry about the other 3%.
I love the engine of the gods, ensures we for most intents and purposes have a Skink rpeist that can be a level 3 mage for PD and DD purposes.
If a Million Guardsmen die, that's a statistic. If one marine dies, that's a tragedy.
I've been using the new Slann for a while, and with the way I run him, he doesn't need Temple Guard to protect him. My army tends to be fast moving, Stegadons, Skinks and Cold One Riders, no room for sloggers. I've been throwing the Slann into a few lores, Shadow being my favorite thus far. A solo Slann may sound bad to some, but it gives him the maneuverability a Slann in a TG unit can't take advantage of. So far, Shadow has caused a first turn charge, the demolition of a steam tank and destruction of a knight unit. All in one game. Next game, I'm thinking about exercising the use of the Lore of Life
A way to minimise the risk of miscasting is cupped hands of the old ones and soul of stone
Daemonic cheese-how? Well, you would need to start with daemonic milk, i guess...