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A debate between absolute newbies (Lizardmen vs Dark Elves) 
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Dark Rider
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Our 40K group had been waiting for eight edition to introduce Fantasy Battle to the games we play. Now that it is out, discussion and debate is strong. At the end of the day, however, none of us have played a game (some people are still picking an army, others are building and painting), so we keep just deferring to what others are saying. There is one debate I would like to hear a more experienced opinion about.

One of our players --- indisputably the best general in the group (he rarely loses a game) --- is starting a Lizardman army. In 40K, his lists tend to be strong. Not top-table-tournament-strong, but a lot stronger than anyone else here fields. For Fantasy Battle, he is looking to field a Slann (Lore of Fire), blocks of Saurus, some Skinks, Terradons or Chameleon Skinks and an Ancient Stegadon at 2000-ish points.

On the other hand, I chose Dark Elves. I am about average-competency as a general, for our group, and tend to base my lists slightly more on what I think is `cool' than what is effective. I do (usually) draw the line at units that outright gimp my army (one player cares so much about fluff he takes even those units!), so competitiveness is not completely out of my mind. I want to field a Sorceress (Lore of Dark Magic), a Master or two (a BSB if two), blocks of Corsairs, some Dark Riders, Witch Elves and Executioners, maybe Cold One Knights (if I have the points) --- all units MSU --- and Reaper Bolt Throwers. I recognise Crossbowmen, Hydras, etc are stronger units, but they do not appeal to me as much (models/fluff-wise).

The basic gist of the argument is that I believe he will defeat me nine times out of ten. He is a far better general (I have only beaten him once in 2.5 years of 40K), and I do not believe the units I like have much legs against his army. He thinks I am being too pessimistic about things. If you have a Lizardman army played by a novice and a Dark Elf army like this played by someone equally inexperienced at Fantasy Battle, do those Druchii units have some hidden legs that would equalise this match up?


Mon Jul 19, 2010 9:12 am
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Dark Illusionist
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There is nothing "hidden" as such about Dark Elves. They hit extremely hard, but can take barely any punishment in return (with a few notable exceptions). The Lizardmen army looks much like the armies fielded in 7th by competitive players. They are very hard to catch, shoot you to bits and on top of that there is usually a second generation slann, too. This combination made for some awfully powerful lists. With magic getting stronger, Slanns still ignoring miscasts (last time I checked - no idea what the FAQ says about them now), and fewer but larger units becoming prevalent, they will be as strong as ever, if played well. I think they might have some trouble against horde armies, and the fact that the slann, if he loses concentration, won't do much damage for a turn or two in the game means that magic is more than ever, very risky.

Against dark elves, very little will have changed. On average I presume his magic will now do more damage than before, but there are some counters to that, and skirmishers have been somewhat weakened ( it is more the fact that larger units are better than skirmishers being weakened, but either way - they are less useful than before). March blocking has become a bit of a non-issue for high-LD armies (at least march blocking in the conventional sense of preventing enemies from marching - now you have to physically get in the way to stop them getting where they want to get).

I'd say that if you can corner him with your fast units (problem is - his are just as fast or faster) so that there's nowhere to hide (that bit, at least, has been made a bit easier with the new terrain rules) and then charge in and smash everything in close combat, you may well be able to beat him, but that sort of army is still going to put up one hell of a fight.

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Mon Jul 19, 2010 9:50 am
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Corsair

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so long as you get pit of shades/purple sun on your level 4 sorceress and she lives you have a chance of taking out the slann with one spell (I test or die: slann dies 5/6 times)... so you'll always have a chance of winning (500+ points for the slann)... as for individual unit choices, its still early days in 8th, saurus will usually strike last against all dark elves except executioners and are probably too expensive to field in large numbers, going for kills with CoKs/witch elves corsairs is probably a good idea. Hydra banner BSB and banner of murder for AP rule would be good choices for your units going for kills on saurus.

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Mon Jul 19, 2010 9:55 am
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Dark Rider
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Trust me, it will be hard to win with MSU and without rxb's hydra's and a COB or two

I haven't played any game yet so i can't say for sure, but i think you should read a bit about all the 8th edition tactics popping up.

good luck,

Gramash

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Mon Jul 19, 2010 10:05 am
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Cold One Knight
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Lizardmen are just held up by two models.

The Slann and the Engine of the Gods stegadon.

Both extremely hard to kill. The Engine is on a T6 5-wound super chariot with a 2+ save for the priest and skinks, plus a 5+ ward save. Hell, it's even a chariot that gets D6 extra stomp attacks.

The Slaan has a 4+ ward save, T4 5 wounds and is in the middle where no one can attack it at all. He usually gets 2-4 free power dice and can know all 7 spells.

A Lizardmen army with zero stegadons and no Slaan would be in competitive last place. Their only monster mount is the Trex which is even worse than a dragon. No flying, no breath weapon, and enemies being stubborn.

I don't know any 2 units which a DE army can't be competitive without. Hydras are easymode powerful, but they're not mandatory to win like a Slaan/Engine is.

Skinks are too short-ranged to be a gunline. LM has to go magic-heavy or super-steg-chariot heavy or they're no threat to anything.


Mon Jul 19, 2010 11:20 am
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Cold One Knight

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One relative difference that's of particular relevance to new players is that one faction is unforgiving of mistakes and one is not. Shouldn't be much of a surprise which is which.. imagine trying to win with 40K Dark Eldar without playing them 'properly'.

The Lizard 'anvil' units are tougher than elves, generrally have better saves, AND are cold blooded. This means their army can more-or-less survive being out-played at least for a while.. long enough for their versatile and ever more powerful (and generally unstoppable) magic to carry the day.

Dark Elves, on the other hand, are mediocre to above average in just about every way. One thing I don't like about WFB/40K is how big a role the armylist itself has in a game's outcome.. but it is what it is. With a favorable list relative to his, you'll be competitive (that is, you bring a rock for every one of his scissors). If you don't bring the 'right' list to deal with what he brings, I fear your chances willl be near zero.

However, once you guys get some experience this gulf will narrow. One of the nicest changes for Dark Elves in this new edition is that we don't have to win the game on utterly dominating the movement phase. Used to be we had to have flawless control of every unit on the board (yours AND his) and that left a of margin of error approaching nil. Now it's much more of a stand-n-fight approach, rather than a frustrating circledance.


Mon Jul 19, 2010 12:48 pm
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Cold One Knight
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i would suggest using the caster as shadow, as anchanrogar said, lizardmen have low initiative, so pit of shades (which you'd get 9/10 times with a level 4 wizard) can kill vast amounts of lizards, even the slaan with relative ease.

other benefits of shadow are to reduce the toughness of those pesky saurus, they are rather tough, and as such take little damage from anything thats not a cold one knight or executioner.

don't get me wrong, dark magic is a fantastic lore, but against lizards and similar armies you'll get a lot more out of shadow.

the models you expressed interest in are by no means sub-par, they are very good at what they do, (as are the other units) and while it will hurt your shooting it won't stop you from bringing an effective army (i would recommend making a master into a BSB (doesn't need to take a magical banner) even if you only take a single master, it's more than worth it)

take a look at both This thread and the main part of the D.R.A.I.C.H and you should find a good amount of material on the strengths and weaknessess of the Druchii, and good advice in general.



when i started a fantasy army back in 6th ed, the most striking difference between fantasy and 40k, was that i felt fantasy (and still do) made both players participate more in each part of the game, in that you can react more to what your opponent does in his phases.

for example, you can react to his charges, at least attempt to dispel his spells and return attacks to him in combat (units are larger, less likely to be instagibbed before you can attack, humans have a habit of dying to tyranids/marines before you can) and so on, this adds to the point that, even when being dominated by a more lucky or superior player, you can do more than roll armour saves and remove models.

in case i sounded otherwise, i still play and love 40k, my sister free witch hunters, led by the inquisitor lords (armed with massive chain-blades), shall carve a path through the heretics and traitors, absolution through death! 8)


Mon Jul 19, 2010 2:40 pm
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Malekith's Best Friend
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Interesting situation, interesting questions, fun match up.

I wouldn't say that Lizardmen are entirely propped up by just the Slann and the Engine of the Gods; they're going to love 8th edition, because Saurus are durable/hard-hitting enough to benefit from the new rules, Salamanders are among the most powerful single choices available to any army, and the army has all the right tools to counter the new powered up skirmishers and ranked-up regiments with ease.

That being said, Dark Elves do have the potential to end the entire game with a single strong cast of Pit of Shades or Purple Sun, simply because Lizardmen are so vulnerable to failing Initiative tests.

That being said, I would consider Lizardmen to have a strong advantage unless you take some fairly specific unit configurations. Hydra, crossbowmen and Cauldron of Blood are all invaluable choices against Lizardmen, and I also like Shades/Rending Star Assassin to help shred Stegadons in the shooting phase.

Of course, that's based on the assumption that the Lizardmen player will effectively bunker up with Saurus/Temple Guard regiments, and focus on annihilating you with magic, shooting and Salamnder breath while redirecting a miscast to your Level 4 with cupped hands of the old ones, and shutting down your ability to get Irresistible Force with the Slann's Becalming Cogitation ability. If those factors aren't in place, Dark Elves can certainly handle Lizardmen on a more fair plane.

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Mon Jul 19, 2010 7:27 pm
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As Tethlis just said, I think the specific matchup between DE's and Lizards (with Slann) will be decided in the magic phase. The Slann have the potential to heal his big mosters (and himself) while transferring any miscasts to your sorceresses instead, or using "Throne of Vines" to ignore miscasts on 2+. He can also heal up to 7 Temple Guard back in a single magic phase.

The counter to this is somewhat specific. We cannot rely on scrolls to wound the Slann or turn him into a frog, as he is much to resilient against that. We cannot target him with shooting and hope to prevail either.

What we can do is either spend 550+ points on a Dragonlord and / or 350 on a pair of hydras and send it straight at the Slann's unit. Not very subtle, but the Slann temple guard unit is actually only 16 wounds T4 (3+? save 4+?) to chew through, which can be done over a few turns with the aid of Thunderstomp / breath weapons. Be aware of the Champion though!

The other option is (as others have pointed out), to bring the ultimate Lizzie killer spells and hope for a quick and happy ending. I'd say that a Supreme Sorc on Dark Pegasus, Lore of Death, Power Scroll and Pendant of Caleth (supported by a lvl 2 Death sorc) is your absolute best bet. Pick spells first with the Lvl 2, and opt out of Purple Sun if you get it. Then pick spells with the Lvl 4 and you have something like a 99% chance of getting Purple Sun. Fly the DP straight at the Slann and unleash the Power Scroll, and cast the Sun with all dice in your pool. Something like a 70% chance to kill the Slann first turn and end the game.


Tue Jul 20, 2010 7:15 am
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Cold One Knight
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I agree with most of what has been said, and can't add too much more as my expereince against Lizzards is poor. Rending Star assassin and bolt throwers can deal with most high toughness targets, even though they both aren't as effective in 8th as in the previous edition. They will soften up the stegs and make them easier to beat in combat.

However, on a more general note, if you know he is taking fire magic (or metal for that matter) there are a few common magic items that will give 2+ wards vs fire based attacks that will help keep your characters alive a little longer.

Also, character wise, in my opinion, a Cauldron and a BSB are invaluable. The decision is whether you make them one and the same....

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Tue Jul 20, 2010 9:33 am
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Corsair
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6 posts from the discussion in 8th edition - did DE get stronger or weaker?deal with Skavens. Click in hyperlink and read the 6 posts there and below.

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Mon Aug 02, 2010 6:57 pm
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Trademaster
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Lizardmen are more forgiving than Dark Elves are. A well played DE army will massacre the LZ though. Their biggest threats can be nullified by RBT, and Assassins w/Manbane. ;)

They do own in the magic phase though. :(

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Mon Aug 02, 2010 8:45 pm
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Fr0 wrote:
Their biggest threats can be nullified by RBT, and Assassins w/Manbane. ;)


A kitted-out Slann in Temple Guard and big packs of Salamanders? I feel that might be a bit optimistic.

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Mon Aug 02, 2010 10:53 pm
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