Discussion in 'Lizardmen & Saurian Ancients Tactics' started by rhysap, Jan 14, 2012.
skinks braves (blowpipe skinks)
revered guardian ??
In general, I haven't found it worth the points as a combat troop. I only use them as challenge 'redirectors', or occasionally use the magic item slot on the revered guardian.
They have a couple of uses. One is to accept challenges to protect one of your characters in the unit. The other is to issue challenges to very nasty characters to allow them to only kill one of your unit for the turn. The extra attack doesn't really make a big difference either way.
also they increase the damage per frontage of the unit, something that can come in quite handy, though mostly it is to abuse the challenge rules as stated above.
a good rule of thumb is that a champion is good for a unit that relies on active combat resolution, though it also comes down to the cost ofc.
saurus and TG should have a champion
skink cohorts could have one just to protect the unit from one round of a bloodthirster, but generally an extra skink attack is not worth anything
ranged units are most often best left without champons, since one extra BS is usually worse than one extra model.
Most champions are costed for 7th edition which didn't have the step forward rule and you needed the champion's attacks if the enemy had killed front rankers reducing the number of attacks you could make.
In 8th, rank and file step forward so a saurus champion is just one extra attack rather than the three he could have been in 7th.
In most circumstances the extra model you can normally afford is better value than a champion. However, this changes if you have a character in the unit as a champion's ability to protect characters from challenges makes them good value. They can be useful in a unit that doesn't also have a character if you are expecting a character on a monster as the champ can hold up the monster for a turn by making a challenge.
what about for chameleon skinks? worth it?
no, they fall under the "ranged unit" category, and it is much better to just buy an extra skink for those points.
I would only take a champion in a ranged unit if I had the exact amount of points left to upgrade one and no idea what to spend it on. I believe I have 1 list with a Chameleon upgraded because I didn't know where to put the points.
Champions aren't ever worth it really.
In scenario's where you have a combat character hit your unit, it's either the General (in which case you're probably dead anyway, as the General is usually rolling with the Deathstar/combat rock) or the BSB (probably up-armoured and/or packing a 4+ ward anyway, to defend against sniper spells). You delay their contribution to the combat for a round, but your champ still dies with no effect (all our Saurus champs have terrible Initiative, so they're unlikely to survive to attack back), and they get free combat res additions (as it's likely the General/BSB overkills hard, given they only have to inflict 1 wound).
In a scenario where there is an enemy unit champion giving you trouble, a Scar-Vet is a better investment. He can take magical gear (either great weapon+defensive or magic weapon+max out his mundane armour), his two wounds means he's more likely to get his hits in, and he's cheap enough to take multiples to attach to your blocks. The only other things in Heroes you're shelling out for are the EOTG and scroll caddy Priests, so its a very easy investment for most builds. Scar-Vets stack up well against most Hero characters, so unit champs shouldn't be a problem.
Standard Bearer and Musician are still very much worth it in 8th. But when people just mindlessly FC their units, you get all these hidden costs building up. Saurus champs are not cheap, Revered Guardians are just stupidly overpriced when stacked next to a Scar-Vet and his options.
Skinks never win combat with even wet paper bags (anything as bad as them in combat is way cheaper and will have horde formation), so Champs on them is pointless. Chiefs are also extremely cheap, so it could be amusing to roll one of them with a magic weapon in a Skrox horde (his I6 is handy).
Kroxigor are suicide flankers, ditto for Terradons, so Champs on them are equally meaningless.
In general I find the Saurus Champs are worth it and the Skink Champs are not.
I disagree with this. At best, the champ is just as easy to kill as normal models in the unit, they are occasionally a bit tougher. Any perceived massive overkill would have resulted in the same number of wounds had the character just hit your unit, and the exact same combat res from wounds. The only difference is with the champ, you have lost 1 model from your unit. Without, you have lost 3-4 or even more depending on how good the character is. This can get rid of a rank, make you lose steadfast, possibly even reduce your attacks if your unit is wide enough or has been hit hard enough. The difference is a fair bit. It gives you more time to bring support in to win the combat and send them fleeing rather than having your unit hacked apart in two turns by a character.
Having said that, if strapped for points, champions would be the first thing I'd remove, and I pretty much only take them when there is a character in the same unit to protect, or in some cases if the unit is a very powerful one and the extra attack would be worth it. Chaos Chosen, knights, and HE Dragon Princes come to mind.
I guess. They're still quite expensive for that benefit. And as I pointed out before, if you drop out Champs and combine the points, you can easily slot in a few Scar-Vets to buff the important blocks. I consider Saurus largely expendable, so I usually put mine in with the TG block(s). No reason to overspend in Core if you don't have to.
I dunno. All those units are combat rocks, so they're likely to contain the General and/or BSB anyway. Both of those tend to be powerful fighters in their own right. I guess you could make the argument that the unit champ can take the challenge and preserve the BSB or General.
How do your Revered Guardians and Saurus champs fare?
fun fact. a saurus champ costs 23 points. a scar vet costs 96 (light armour and great weapon)
if you calculate the damage output per point the saurus champion won in two of the three cases i looked at (yes, im sure you could find some case where the reverse is true, and it is possible that a magic weapon can tip the balance)
Against standard infantry (WS3-4, T3, 5+ save, 6+ parry)
Against tough infantry (WS3-4, T4, 5+ save, 6+ parry)
Against REALLY tough infantry (WS5, T4, 3+ save, 3+ ward)
i wouldnt popo the offensive capability of a champion just so fast. Naturally the scar vet is harder to kill and all that, but if you want a little extra bang for the buck it is probably worth those 12 points (not for skink ofc, but for combat units such as saurus and knights and such)
And yes, in every single of those cases, a normal saurus (11 points) will be better than either point for point. its just that you have to increase your frontage if you want an extra fighting model, and that costs points for the models behind it as well as it costs area in teh deployment zone (and mobility), and that is very hard to quantify.
If you are slotting in scar-vets, isn't that where you want the champs especially to be in case you come up against much more powerful characters? LM are tough, but therre are plenty of characters out there who will kill a BSB or scar vet easily enough, especially since most will be striking first.
I always like to have scar-vets in my saurus units as well as unit champs, and I don't see them as expendable. I see them as the main strength in my line. Hopefully against most opponents, they can either win the combat or at least survive long enough for support, especially with spells supporting them. I am finding (at least in my gaming group) that most decent sized units get a character in them, so you need to be able to match that or they swing the combat.
Specifically the Revered Guardian probably isn't all that useful, but he gets 3 s5 attacks so you pretty much have a cheap scar vet anyway.
Not a fair comparison really. Plus, not everyone is taking great weapon.
Damage output per point is a terrible way to judge solo characters vs unit upgrades. By that logic, we'd never take any Hero fighers in any army, which is absurd.
Offensive capability? He's functionally worse than another Saurus, which adds 2 attacks and doesn't get overkilled in challenges to worsen my combat score. And if something is killing Saurus harder than their unit champ in a challenge, I'm happy its slaughtering my expendable Saurus (they're only Core, and I don't lose my Slann if they die) and not my more important TG blocks (who, because I don't take Life, are more a hit to lose, and are babysitting my mage). Enemy unit champs aren't usually that strong, he's probably getting a Hero tarpitted in there if that kind of carnage is going on (ie more than say 3+ overkill that a Champ would cause).
Also, the argument for using a champ like that is futile, because its only going to work for one turn. In the next round of combat, you don't have anything to challenge with, so you've just delayed the inevitable.
Not really. If anything I'd take out a Saurus, thus saving an additional 11 points (on top of the 11-12 I saved not taking an additional Saurus or unit champ), which goes towards adding in a Scar-Vet. Still 5 frontage with 4 ranks (I run 20-strong blocks, seems a good midway between 18 and 24).
Nope. Whatever can kill a Scar-Vet will steamroller the unit champ just as easily. As I mentioned before, delaying the inevitable. Also, the kind of characters that can do that to a WS5 T5 Hero are almost always going to be heroes. Unit champs for Core and even some Specials usually max out at WS4, unless it's a combat rock in which case your Saurus are already dead (as is your Scar-Vet, challenged or not, as he's hitting on 4's and probably taking high Strength hits). Wasted points in either scenario really. 12 points is enough for shield+light armour or halberd+light armour for the Scar-Vet, or even Gold Sigil Sword.
Don't get me wrong, Saurus are excellent Core, and part of the reason I chose the army in the first place (that and dinosaurs). But if they start facing anything that is above chaff quality (WS4, S4+I3 or great weapons), they need Light magic buffs or they're going to lose. Parry saves are nice but for the price we pay attrition is painful. Heroes or unit champs might siphon off the enemy Hero/unit champ for a bit, but that won't overly change the metrics of 'he has more guys' and/or 'he hits harder each round than you'. Part of the reason why magic support from Slann and Salamanders are so necessary, we don't win fair fights haha.
How much Hero spam do you encounter in your local scene? Mine usually take a couple of Level 1's or Level 2's, usually no more than 2-3 combat characters plus General (who is usually combat, although a couple just squeeze in Level 4 instead). Depends on the army I guess, but the tradeoff is less magic support and non-combat magic items if he's taking that many combat Heroes.
Sorta tossing up on this myself. On the one hand, my Light Slann isn't always that aggressive, so I sorta waste the combat potential on the awesome but 100pt+ Scar-Vet bodyguarding him with the TG. Might give the Revered Guardian a go. I'll have to lose the Dragonhelm, but I can still take Burning Blade (pity Piranha Blade is out of his price range but oh well). That lets me squeeze in another Skink Priest and shift magic items like Blood Stauette or scroll onto him. Plus greater chance to roll 'Chain Lightning'.
On the other, that Revered Guardian is still only 3 attacks, and I2 should my Light buffs get scrolled/dispelled. WS4 is also a problem, as my opponents usually send combat rocks to kill the TG (and they usually have re-rolls to hit or WS5, or at least the expectation of doing so from spells etc).
as i said, my calculations were more of a fun fact than a real tactical analysis. however, a scar veteran increases a units damage output and its damage per frontage. it is also harder to kill than the average saurus. A unit champion does the same thing, except he is not nearly as good at it. (he is "harder to kill" in the sense that you need to put a number of attacks on him, and if you cause 2 wounds, you just "wasted" a wound that could have been put on the unit), but he is also not nearly as expensive. it is much like comparing an oldblood with a scar vet. the scar vet isnt as scary (especially if you too up the oldblood) but he is also much cheaper. just because the scar veteran isnt the best choice in an absolute sense he may be a good choice anyway because he is so much cheaper.
I personally use champions for all my fighting (real fighting) units, regardless of army, because of their ability to lock down a hugely scary combat lord for a round. If the scary bloodthirster spends one turn jumping up and down on the corpse of a unit champion, that means that the unit will remain more or less unscratched for one more round. maybe help will arrive. Also, i use it for that little extra damage output per frontage. if you are fighting a unit that is narrower than yours (not too uncommon) it wont matter if you have 15 guys or 100 guys in the unit, the damage output will be the same. a unit champion (and/or a character) can increase that. I currently prefer to bring champions that i can throw away without losing any VPs rather than risking heroes that will cost VPs the moment they die. ofc i dont expect every one to agree on that tactical choice, but thats the thing with tactics. you cant prove anything. mathematicians are the only people in the world with a license to prove anything
That one extra round you hold them up for could be the difference in saving your unit with support and/or magic and losing the unit. Or it could stop the unit from having enough time to come and attack more of your army before turn 6 ends. You can't really compare it to adding another saurus either, because unless you increase the width of your unit (which requires more than 1 extra if you still want the same number of ranks) you don't get the extra attack from the extra saurus. You do get an extra wound though.
And as I mentioned before, overkill = number of saurus that would be dead IF the champ was not there. Exactly the same combat res, more saurus still alive.
However, it does look like your playstyle is different to mine, so it could well work out that champs aren't worth it for you but are for me. You say TG units in plural, you take several? Or was that a typo?
I often face 3-4 combat characters, so not really a lot more. However, the core line of my army is 2 saurus units and a TG unit. If any of my units don't have a combat character (and unit champ not only to protect him, but sometimes to stop opponent unit champs from blocking my scar-vets from attacking if it is a soft unit) they will quickly find themselves at a disadvantage. I find this to be the case regardless of which army I take (HE, LM, VC).
In most of the games I play, it's rare for someone to bother targeting a unit champion. Thus every round of combat you gets that one extra attack. If I expect the unit to survive most/all the battle (especially Temple Guard), the cost per the extra Saurus attack is justified in my opinion.
I like my champion paint jobs so I tend to take unit champions even when not practical.
I almost always take saurus champions for this reason, although you get the same combat res against you due to overkill,, the actual saurus models are still alive leading to ranks bonus e.t.c
Another thing that I come across (although maybe more due to my local scene) are solo lord/heroes mounted on dragons or pegs who then are used in dual charges against my saurus blocks, so if a DE hero on a dragon and a block of spearman hit my line. Challenge with the champ, the hero kills him but then the lower initiative mount can't hit anyone nor can they stomp/thunderstomp anyone. You use the saurus to fight the rank n file troops and regain some combat res and might even win the combat. But this is situational and if you don't see solo mounted characters then not as useful
I must rise to the defence of the much maligned skink brave as a champion. I invariably field them in my skrox units and occasionally in my scout units. While this is primarily based upon having done up the skrox with full command, every once in a blue moon the brave actually does something to earn his points. Once, in 7th edition, the brave even dropped a blood thirster in a challenge. The fact the BT was down to 1 wound, had been charged and then the dice gods looked favourably upon the skink's attacks and cursed the BT might have contributed somewhat but that is just nit-picking