WHFB – Lizardmen vs Greg’s Empire Jan 2020

Straight off I’m going to apologise for the mostly unpainted state of my army. Greg and I had decided to both field armies that we were potentially taking to this year’s Riotville event in March (though a bigger pointed version, as that event is capped at 1800). As such both armies are a work in progress (mine much more so than his).

With neither of us having used the armies before, we were new to their rules and so there were definitely mistakes made (at least by me – a case in point is when I created the army list in Battle Chronicler, to create the maps, I realised afterwards that I called the Ripperdactyls, Razordons – Doh!). We both very much considering this as a learning game and this write up has a very large amount of poetic licence, especially towards the latter turns when a lack of photos, memory and the time lapsed before writing it up, made these turns very hazy!

Lists

Empire – Greg

Grandmaster (General) – Shield, Runefang, Other Tricksters shard – 259pts

Battle Wizard (lvl 4 – death) – Dispel scroll, Talisman of Preservation – 270pts

Captain (BSB) – Full plate, enchanted shield, sword of might – 116pts

Master Engineer – 65pts

Warrior priest – HA, shield, Helm of the Skaven slayer, Biting blade, barded horse – 110pts

Warrior priest – HA, shield, dragonhelm, shrieking balde – 89pts

 

Halberdiers (44) – FC – with detachment of archers (10) – 364pts

Inner Circle Knights (9) – FC – Banner of Swiftness – 270pts

Demigryph knights (4) – Lances, musican – 242pts

Greatswords (25) – FC, banner of discipline – 320pts

Outriders (7) – 157pts

Great Cannon – 120pts

Hellblaster Volley gun – 120pts

Total – 2502pts

 

Lizardmen

Oldblood (General) – GW, Lt armour, Dragonhelm, Talisman of Preservation, Carnosaur with Loping stride and Bloodroar – 470pts

Scar-Vet (BSB) – GW, armour of Destiny, shield, Carnosaur with Loping stride and Bloodroar – 423pts

Tetto’eko – 185pts

Skink Priest (level 1 – Beasts) – Dispel Scroll – 90pts

 

Saurus Warriors (30) – FC – spears – 360pts

Skink Skirmishers (10) – javelin and shields – 70pts

Skink Skirmishers (10) – javelin and shields – 70pts

Skink Skirmishers (10) – javelin and shields – 70pts

Skink Skirmishers (10) – javelin and shields – 70pts

Bastiladon – Solar Engine – 150pts

Ripperdactyl (3) – 120pts

Ripperdactyl (3) – 120pts

Ancient Stegadon – Engine of the Gods, Sharpened Horns

Total – 2498pts

We’d been talking lists on the EEFL forum so had an idea of what each of us were bringing.

The thoughts on my list were to bring a monster mash, something I want to do at Riotville (if I indeed take Lizards). This will mean that for the second year on the trot, I’m probably bringing a less optimised list (anytime you exclude a Slann from a list you could say that!).

Scenario

To keep things simple, we played battleline.

 

Spells

Tetto (Loremaster of Heavens) – so everything in the deck!

Skink (Beasts) – Wyssans Wildform

Empire Level 4 (Death) – Purple Sun, Soulblight, Fate of Bjuna and possibly Spirit leech

 

Terrain

Because I knew I’d be running a bit late, Greg set up the table and went for a wooded table.

1.1 Terrain

 

Deployment and Opening moves

Managing to deploy first, the Empire general took full advantage of gaining the initiative and sent his Outriders forward to take up a strong flanking, firing position on the edge of a hill.

Responding to this move, the nearby unit of Ripperdactyls, moved up to block the fire lanes of the outriders, shielding the packed ranks of the lizardmen troops (or more specifically the General). The second unit moved up to try and block the cannons shot on the BSB. Tetto then gave 2 additional vanguards. The first went to the BSB, who followed his unit of flyers, the second to the General who redeployed towards the centre of the lines (not at all running away from the profusion of miniguns aimed his way)!

Note: I completely forgot to take any photos of the deployment. Those below are from after I vanguarded)

1.2 Deployment2. Lizard Deployment3. Lizard Vanguard4. Lizard deployment and Vanguard5. Lizard and Empire Vanguard

The Empire line moved up cautiously. The winds of magic blew strongly but the mounted warrior priest raising a shield of faith on the Knights, was the only spell cast. (edit: both of us failed to channel and this was a theme for the entire game).

The Outriders and the Hellblaster sighted the nearby Ripperdactyls and utterly obliterated them (edit: at the time I cocked up and mistakenly thought they had 3 wounds a piece, as per most monstrous cav, rather than their actual 2 and one was left still flying around. I realised the error at the point he charged the hellblaster and removed the model. It didn’t make a huge difference as Greg hadn’t targeted them after the initial turn).

The cannon took careful aim at the Stegadon and promptly misfired and wouldn’t be firing for another turn.

5.1 Empire T17. T1 Empire8. T1 Empire9. T1 Empire10. T1 Empire

The Skinks all moved up at speed, to block shooting and provide hard cover to anything of note. The remaining Ripperdactyls moved to attack the cannon next go and the Carnosaur mounted BSB moved to charge the knights (my placement was a bit rubbish but Greg was kind enough to let me reposition).

The Saurus took a wound from the blood forest that attacked them as they moved through it.

The winds of magic were average and Tetto’eko, sensing a weakness in the Empire lines, immediately called down a Comet. Throwing 6 dice on the first cast of the game, may have been a mistake, as the miscast wiped away all of Tetto’s magic levels, meaning he was then unable to cast anything else all game. Still at least the comet would now be coming down unimpeded…

The Skinks managed to kill 2 outriders with their poisoned javelins.

11. T1 Lizard
Greg needs to post a few more shots of his army as it looks really good. The base for his cannon is excellent.

12. T1 Lizard13. T1 Lizard14. T1 Lizard

15. T1 Lizard
The flyer that wasn’t actually there…

First strikes

The knights shuffled backwards and the halberdiers reformed to move away from the comet’s impact area. The Greatswords moved forward at the double for the same reason.

The Demi’s charged at the Steg, who fled and then redirected into the Saurus. The landlocked monsters tore into the Lizardmen, killing 7 of them for no loss, though steadfast and cold blooded ensured they held.

The dastardly empire wizard tried to cast a Purple Sun towards the lizard general but, proving that lowly humans shouldn’t meddle with forces outside of their knowledge, the spell misfired. The mage breathed a sigh of relief as it scattered away in the only direction that missed all the nearby troops. The warrior priest, in the greatswords, was less impressed, as he suffered a wound from the feedback. Whilst bandaging his wound, his troops heard distinct mutters about witch hunters.

The Wizard’s body guard managed to drop a nearby skink with a lucky shot.

The Outriders couldn’t resist shooting the skinks directly in front of them, shredding half the unit. The plucky skinks held though.

17.2 T2 Empire19. T2 Empire20. T2 Empire21. T2 Empire23. T2 Empire - miscast purple sun

Seeing the inability of the Saurus to crack the Empire armour, the Basilidon charged into the flank of the Demis to give support. The nearby Carnosaur mounted Oldblood also moved up ready to charge in next turn (as well as use the Empire monsters as cover against further Purple Suns!)

The Ripperdactyls charged the cannon and in no surprise to anyone, mauled the crew.

The Scarvet BSB charged the Knight bus. As soon as I did this, I realised it may have been a blunder, as with the Empire Grand Master getting hatred, automatically wounding, ignoring armour and forcing ward save re-rolls, there was an extremely good chance that he should have chopped the Scarvet down before he had a chance to strike back. Thankfully, Greg absolutely fluffed his rolls (whereas I didn’t) and managed to get just a single wound through. The Scarvet ignored the enemy general, leaving him to his mount and struck at the warrior priest, his strength 7 attacks making short work of the priest of Sigmar. The Carnosaur then ripped into the Grand Master and Greg’s elation that it only got through the armour once was short lived, as he was informed it was D3 wounds and a 3 was duly rolled, thus ending his general’s life. Seeing their general eaten and spiritual leader split in twain, was too much for the unit who fled but in their panic, horses fell and in the confusion, the chasing monster savaged the unit.

Tetto and the skink shaman tactically withdraw behind the saurus and the nearby Stegadon rallied.

The Demis continued to methodically kill the Saurus, slaying another 7 with no wounds in return but the cold blooded Lizards still refused to break.

Two units of the Skinks moved to threaten the Empire Wizard wanting to remove him as a threat. A shower of javelins hit his bunker removing 4 of the archers.

The other two units of skinks continued to target the outriders and 4 of the apprentice engineers were bought low. The last one stubbornly refused to flee, determined to avenge his comrades.

23.1 T2 Lizards25. T2 Lizards26. T2 Lizards27. T2 Lizards29. T2 Lizards30. T2 Lizards32. T2 Lizards33. T2 Lizards34. T2 Lizards35. T2 Lizards36. T2 Lizards37. T2 Lizards

The Halberdiers and Great swords continue to move away from comets impact site but they were only partially successful as with an earthshattering roar, the comet impacted! The Hellblaster, crew and Engineer were caught in the epicentre and vaporised instantly. 8 of the Greatswords were also killed, their heavy armour buckling in the shockwave. The horde of Halberdiers came out the least scathed, just 5 of them thrown to their death.

The Demigryph knights upped their game, crushing 10 of the Saurus. With no steadfast, they Lizardmen finally broke and were run down. The Demi’s crashed into the waiting Oldblood but the Basildon got away.

The Archers continued to fire pot-shots at the skink skirmishers and two were bought low.

The remaining Outrider killed a single skink.

38.1 Empire T341. T3 Empire

The Stegadon lumbered into a run and crashed into the Demigryphs. Between its impact hits and the attacks of the Oldblood and the Carnosaur, they tore apart the monstrous cav, who quickly fled and were run down by the Lizard general.

The Skinks finished off the Outriders, the last brave man left ridden with poisoned spears.

The other skinks then doled out the same treatment to the remaining archers and the battle mage. There would be no more death magic thrown around.

The Basilidon then rallied (you have to love the cold blooded rule).

41.1 T3 Lizards43. T3 Lizards - Comet strikes44. T3 Liz45. T3 Liz46. T3. Liz

Determined to gain back the initiative, the Warrior Priest and Empire Captain chose to strike. The Greatswords charged at the Stegadon, who fled again rather than face the elite men. Showing their discipline, the unit swerved to redirect towards Tetto’eko. Recognising impending doom when he saw it, the skink seer also fled, though he legged it straight off the board.

The horde of Halberdiers charged into the skirmishers in front of them. The outcome was a foregone conclusion, with the skinks swiftly ground into the mud and the massed ranks of men then overran into the enemy general.

46.1 T4 Empire

With the humans in such a precarious position, the forces of the Lizards moved to capitalise on it. The Ripperdactyls and Scarvet BSB, charged the rear and flank of the halberdiers, respectively. Two Ripperdactyls were bought low and the general suffered a wound, but the halberdiers lost almost half of the remaining 40 men. The brave Captain challenged out the Scarvet but it was in vein as the Carnosaur ripped off his head.

The remaining Skinks started to converge on the greatswords, peppering them with fire and the cream of the Empire started to lose men to the attrition.

Following the trend of fleeing Lizards, the Stegadon rallied.

46.2 T4 Lizards48. T4 Liz49. T4 Liz50. T4 Liz51. T4 Liz

The Halberdiers finished off the final ripperdactyl, that had been savaging their rear ranks but in turn, with the help of the two Carnosaurs and Lizardmen leaders, the remaining men were all slain. The Greatswords reformed (to ostensibly get away from the two Carnosaurs that were now free to run rampage).

51.1 T5 Empire

Final Moves

Everything moved up towards the greatswords and the the Skinks again tried to whittle down the unit with poisoned shots.

52.1 T5 Lizards53. T5 Lizards

The Greatswords charged* the one unit of Skinks within range, who of course fled to safety.

*total speculation. This may or may not of happened at all…

53.1 T6 Empire54. T6 Empire

The Skinks again shot up the greatswords but failed to kill them all or cause a panic.

56.2 T6 Lizards

Thoughts

Although it appeared to be a resounding win to the Lizards, this game wasn’t about the result (and there’s a big caveat on this anyway that I’ll come too later) but us each trying out elements of the army as a practice for Riotville in March.

I’m going to try and look at what worked and what didn’t in the list, where I make big mistakes. This is mainly for my benefit.

Vanguarding a unit of Rippers to block the outrider’s fire was probably a mistake. They would have been better off staying put to charge the unit in their first turn. Yes they may still have been targeted and wiped out (whether from stand and shoot or normal shooting) but it would have given more options. The thought of 21 strength 4 AP shots aimed at my general was just a little too worrying. I was also really concerned about the Hellblaster and the Rippers were the obvious choice to get up there to take it out early.

I had grandiose visions in my head of the General and BSB, supported by the rippers, rolling each flank and then pincering in towards the centre. In reality I soon worried about elements on each flank (cannon and outriders), so I would be better off supporting the centre with at least one from the beginning.

I’d heard a lot of negative talk about Saurus warriors and I kind of see what people mean. Their WS3 really works against them and means they normally hit only 50% of the time and strength 4 is OK but you are normally ‘only’ wounding on 3’s or 4’s. This basically means you are losing on average, up to 50% of each of your rolls and that’s before armour saves are even made. It didn’t help that Greg got almost the perfect matchup into them as I couldn’t crack the 1+ armour of the Demigryphs (he was only failing armour on rolls of a 1). I’d still take them again as I’d want at least one block of troop in the army.

Likewise his Halberdiers were the perfect target for my monsters and they were completely unable to crack my general and BSBs 1+ armour (for the same reason the Saurus couldn’t harm the Demi’s) and with the monsters thunderstomps (D6 strength 7 auto hits for each of them), I scythed through that horde.

Losing all of Tetto’s magic levels in the first magic phase was a blow and I don’t think I managed to cast a single thing after that all game. Still it was worth it to cast my first ever Comet. That think is frightening!

On the plus side, it did give me a chance to try out the Bastilidon. It really is a bit Meh. Yes it’s quite tough but at only strength 4, it lacks offensive power and the bound spell relies on you managing to miscast it, as against any level 4, they should be able to dispel it with ease (as Greg’s level 4 was able to do). I’m seriously considering dropping it in favour of 5 Coldone riders, as their damage output should be greater. The issue is, that would add 5 more models into the paint queue…

From Greg’s side, I don’t think Death magic worked with his force. Yes it always presented a threat to my low initiative troops but it didn’t do much to support his forces and its short range also worked against him. I think he came to the same conclusion and will be trying something else out.

His rolling was also pretty terrible. No one likes to blame anything on dice but his rolls were awful. This was epitomised by his Runefang wielding Grandmaster, failing to kill my BSB. This was potentially the turning point of the battle and it shouldn’t have happened.

It was also only Greg being nice that allowed me to charge that unit. I’d placed the BSB meaning to put it outside of their charge arc but hadn’t bothered to check it. As it turned out he wasn’t quite outside and so Greg was fully in his rights to complete the charge. It was a friendly and he was being a gent, knowing the intention but looking back, he should have done it anyway. It should have been hard cheese to me for lazy placement!

Would that have changed the outcome of the battle? Possibly. Having a load of strength 6 hits coming in from the knights lances (rather than Str 4), would almost have certainly killed the BSB. The rippers would have then targeted the Knights after the cannon, causing some damage (especially as I’d marked that unit with a Toad so they would have gotten D3+1 killing blow hits per ripper). The Old Blood would have likely been diverted into them too which could have changed the outcome of the Demigryph fight (in Greg’s favour) and the Halberdiers would definitely have still been there for later turns

 

Rules blunders – There were definitely a few I cocked up. The first was incorrectly thinking the Rippers had 3 wounds rather than two. I don’t think this made a huge difference as I realised it before they did anything.

I also think I forgot to automatically over-run the rippers who attacked the cannon (as you have to do with a frenzied unit).

We also possibly forgot that the halberdiers would have lost steadfast when in the woods (though they may have rolled insane courage)

I definitely forgot the Carnosaurs Bloodroar against them.

 

Overall a fun match and shock of shocks, we finished 6 turns in the evening! After just one game and plenty of list building/theory-hammering, I can see the Lizardmen core choices really are pretty limited. You can see why skink skirmishers are so loved by lizardmen players. They really are probably the best choice, being highly annoying (to opponents) and so useful, whether it is as chaff, providing poison or even if just providing hard cover.

I definitely want to try out a unit of Krox at some point and a Slann and temple guard and as I mentioned before, I am seriously considering dropping the Bastildon and replacing them with Coldone Riders. The armour save is the same, they get a pip more of WS (4) vs normal Saurus and get far more attacks.

Choices, choices before Riotville. One being, do I even take Lizardmen!

10 thoughts on “WHFB – Lizardmen vs Greg’s Empire Jan 2020

      1. It’s the ‘swamp’ design F.A.T mat. It used to be available quite easily here from places such as Element Games but I know the company have or are in the process of shutting down their UK warehouse (that services the EU as well) for the time being, due to the uncertainty of Brexit. It’s probably for this reason that it’s showing as out of stock at a number of retailers.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. Quite the tour de force of a battle report, and it sound like good practice for your upcoming event. As for the painting, as John said it was good to get to test out your unpainted army, and the stuff that was painted did stand out as pretty and colorful, which is something I like a lot about lizardmen. The Empire forces looked good too.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Great battle report, nice to see 8th ed still being played. Is it just straight 8th ed rules or any difference for the competition?
    I think I agree with you on taking cold ones instead of the solar engine. Is your big block of warriors better with swords instead of spears?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. With regards to the warriors, the aim was to have the engine of the Gods on the stegadon providing a 6+ Ward so with spears they would have an extra rank of attacks and still get a Ward. As it happened the steg was hardly ever in range (due to running away) and I think I forgot they had spears anyway 🤦‍♂️.
      Riotville is straight 8th (with 25% lords/heroes) but it’s not really a competition. Just an excuse to get a load of players together to play some games.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Did not realize engine of Gods did that, well that makes sense but as you say when you can position it. Glad some 8th is still going, I mainly used to play Swedish comp so I was a little surprised by the lists. For your mate I’d strongly recommend lore of life for is level 4 rather than death should work well for his big blocks

        Liked by 1 person

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