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First read the Deployment Special Rules on page 79 of the Rulebook. Units that can use these are incredibly powerful tools in affecting the dynamic of a game. Now read the rules for Skirmishers on page 77. It might also be a good idea to touch up on the Charging rules, particularly pages 16-19.
We have the best scouts in the game. Chameleon Skinks. A minimum sized unit is an excellent tool. They can scout to within 24” of a target, march and lay down 10 poisoned shots. With the death of effective magic missiles and the fact that fast high armour save troops (knights) are uncommon now, the board is ripe for the picking. 12” from the line and with -2 to hit with range the skinks are a pain in the arse to get rid of (particularly when you just shot poisoned half a warhound/fast cav unit and will poison the other half in a Stand and Shoot reaction). Remember that if you pass a LD6 test (68.5% with cold blooded, 99.7% if in range of the Slann BS you can march 12” and you always have free reforms and can always shoot (except when rallying). If there is a hole in the opponents line or a flank with nothing protecting it skitter the skinks right in there and just generally be impossible to catch.
Arguably Shades with hand weapons are better. They are a bit dearer at ~142% of the cost with BS5, a repeater crossbow and 2 hand weapons. They can wreck up anything fast enough to get to them with their 10 I5 WS5 attacks with hatred 2 shots, 6+ while moving at 24”, S3, Armour Piercing) [2 WS5 I5 attacks each]. However they don’t get poison so can’t take out a warmachine or a monster like Chameleons can.
Another unit in competition is Gutter Runners. With poison and slings they have the same firepower, only at 18” range. However they would be 150% more expensive. Amusingly, Gutter Runners also get poison with their 2 I5 close combat attacks (cheesy…).
Now lets look at Vanguard. We get the best Vanguards in the game. Terradons. With handy premeasuring you can ensure you will be able to go 20” over a target unit and drop rocks if you get first turn. There is no comparison to this unit in any other army. Dark Riders/Pistoliers/Marauder Horseman can’t fly and don’t get auto hits. Night Runners aren’t skirmishers so can’t march and shoot. Harpies (of the Beastman persuasion) can’t shoot (damn fine redirectors though).
If you take 3 units of 5 Chameleon skinks and 3 units of 3 Terradons you have spent 450 points. They are incredibly slippery and most of the things that can/want to kill them are vulnerable to blow pipes.
If you are against an opponent who is going to hang back and shoot/magic you deploy them in Alpha Strike mode ready to take out some warmachines/drop rocks on a shooting unit. If the enemy the enemy charges out at you to remove your annoying skirmishers you have made your opponent changes his plan (of holding back). If you played it correctly an enemy unit is now at least 12” out of the line. Run your remaining skirmishers into the holes in the line and make him fold in on himself. If the enemy DIDN’T charge out then your skirmishers are probably still around and you can shoot again and again and again etc. Note that in case you don’t get first turn it is prudent to land your Terradons in forests or behind the Chameleon skinks for cover.
In the other case against an opponent who is going to rush at you more thought is required. Do you deploy your scouts/vanguard in the opponents path or do or to the flanks to harass? Either way it is necessary to place your dudes out of charge range/arc (remember you have 24” range with the skinks and 20” with the Terradons). If you deploy at the front you need to move in, shoot once, then die in an advantageous way. Up to your analysis of the situation whether you should angle yourself and stand and shoot (great against frenzy and hatred troops) or flee (great for Terradons and when there is not opportunity for the opponent to redirect the charge). Sometimes you will want to move in REALLY close so the enemy must charge or barely move at all. This is best done to that Deathstar/beasty that you really want to slow down. By forcing it to charge you and affecting its angle of pursuit you can stop it being where it wants to be: in combat. As a rule of thumb, you want the chargee to be 12” (to maximize the chance of a failed charge) or 1” (to force the charge) from the charger.
If you instead choose to deploy on a flank decisions become simple again. Shoot I swear too much and stay alive. If an enemy unit on the flank has hatred or frenzy you could have some fun forcing them to pursue away from their line of advance (alternatively you can do this to units with very very low leadership for example undead. VC players forget that a unit of ghouls within 6” of a hero Vampire may be allowed to march, but they have LD5…).
With the Special Deployment Rules and with such efficient skirmishers (I haven’t even touched on Core Skink Skirmishers!) Lizardmen players should aim to control the early game and the movement phase. Its like a game of chess, except we are always white and get to start our knights and bishops on B4, C5, E4 and F4…