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8th Ed. Deployment tactica

Discussion in 'Lizardmen & Saurian Ancients Tactics' started by The Hunted, Feb 13, 2014.

  1. The Hunted
    Carnasaur

    The Hunted Active Member

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    Deployment

    Welcome to the Lustria-Online deployment tactica! Here you will find helpful tips on how to deploy. Deployment is crucial for setting up a winning game. You don’t want your hammer units facing an empty board after all!

    We will be discussing:
    1. Pre-deployment
    2. Order of deployment
    3. The plan
    4. The aftermath


    1. Pre-Deployment

    Before you actually deploy, take a look at your opponents’ army list. If he is empire, does he have multiple cannons? Or is he going for an all-knight list. Just because you know the army you play against, doesn’t mean you know what type of army they bring. If you know your opponent does not have any cannons, that knowledge makes a world of difference when deploying your monsters. This also counts for any other army, cannons or no.
    Things to look out for: How many war machines, how many ‘chaff’ units, how many hammers, is there a deathstar, are there monsters, how good is their infantry, can he vanguard, does he have lots of high movement units…

    Now take a look at the battlefield. How many terrain pieces are there? Can I hide my Stegadon behind something? Is there a good lane of attack for my hammer unit? Ask yourself where you think your units would fit their role the best.
    Also think where your opponent would like his best units to perform. Are there any obvious places for a war machine to go, is that flank easily defended vs a cavalry unit?

    If your opponent has more chaff/support/deployment drops than you do, you will have to commit a hammer or, for instance, your Slann before your enemy has to deploy hís hammer. That’s naturally disadvantageous for you, so you might want to deploy a bit more conservative.

    There are lots of questions you can ask yourself. But if you at least think about the list you are facing and the list you are bringing, and project that onto the battlefield with the terrain installed. You have a much higher chance of having a successful deployment phase.

    2. Order of deployment

    Whatever tactic you may have, whatever army list you might play: the best thing to do is simple. Place your skinks first!
    Skink skirmishers are our support units, they are fast, mobile and have multiple roles during a battle. They can redirect, hunt monsters, assault war machines, hunt lone mages, charge fleeing units and probably more. Their placing decides what role they will take. I like placing my unit(s) of skirmishers off-centre. That way they can change roles during the first one or two turns of the game. If you need a redirector, you can rush them down the center. And if you need to take down a monster; you can move towards it easily too. Placing them off-centre also gives you enough space for Saurus blocks to take up the center. It gives you enough room to do whatever you want with your deployment.

    After you have placed a couple of units of skink skirmishers, you can deploy your skink cohort (if you have any). Cohorts require a bit more thought, as they aren’t as mobile as their skirmishing counterparts.

    Terradons and rippers can also be dropped early. They can vanguard and fly 20” to reposition if necessary. Rippers can be placed facing backwards, so they don’t go crazy on your first turn. The downside to placing rippers early is that your opponent can react better to them, so you might have to reposition them.

    I also like placing salamanders about now. Off-centre, so they can always reach the enemy infantry blocks with 1 or 2 marches. Later deployment gives you a better lane of attack towards the enemy blocks, but it also means you have to place your infantry blocks earlier.
    Likewise with the rippers: do what you prefer!

    After all the skink units have been placed, it is time for the big guys. Saurus infantry blocks should now be placed. They are likely to be placed centrally, so they don’t have to slug halfway across the battlefield before even seeing an enemy. M4 simply doesn’t give you that flexibility. Make sure you still have enough room to place your big blocks, other units should not be in the way right now. Bastiladon’s work very well with Saurus blocks and can guard a Slann well. By this time you should know where your Slann will go (TG, cohort bunker or solo), so you can base your Bastiladon’s deployment off of that.

    Next are your hammer units. Kroxigor, Stegadon, SCOR…whichever you happen to have. They should be placed only as last (or at least near the end of your deployment) so you know where your targets are placed and also know where the enemy counters to your hammer have been placed. Look out for war machines, enemy chaff (that your skinks cannot deal with), clear lanes of attack and tar-pit units (ethereals).

    Finally, the characters. Put your Slann somewhere safe, but still remember his awesome Leadership bubble! Bunker him in some TG, or even a unit of cohorts. You need your slann somewhere in the center, so his sterning gaze covers more units. Make sure you don’t put multiple low Ld units close together and out of the leadership bubble! A flank consisting of skirmishers, salamander and a bastiladon is prone to being panicked of the board. Make sure you put enough space between them, or keep them closer to your slann wherever possible.
    Skink priests can take residence among skirmisher units, or on their own. Scar-veteran cowboys can be attached to saurus blocks, SCOR-delivery systems or solo.

    One exception to deploying all your support units first is: the hinge. Place a saurus block very early, so you can ‘hinge’ the rest of your deployment off of that unit. It gives you a visual marker, so nothing else will get in the way of the infantry blocks. It also means you can still bluff an entire flank, for a denied flank deployment. After you place 1 block, continue with your skink units. You now know where you will deploy, but your opponent is none the wiser. Your second infantry block can still go centrally, or be put more on the flank for said denied flank. The biggest upside to using the ‘hinge’ is simple: it becomes easier for you to see where other units can go. Helpful if you are having trouble deploying.


    Great job! You have just finished deploying! What now?

    3. The Plan

    In general, you need a plan before you start deploying. But the order of deployment doesn’t change much whichever tactic you choose to employ.
    Planning is critical for every game. You have looked at the army list you are facing, the terrain on the battlefield and you know your own army list and the things you want to do with that list.
    So plan ahead. Use your skinks to lure out the targets you want to hit with your hammers, make sure you know where the enemy infantry will be heading so you can shoot ASAP with your salamander and try and point out targets for your Slann.
    When you deploy, make sure you have enough space to fit everything. Measure it out! But don’t make this too obvious, so your opponent can basically see your deployment when you start measuring everything…There is nothing more annoying than having everything fall apart because your hammer unit was a turn too late, because they were held up by another friendly unit.
    Speaking of holding up units. When deploying, also make sure your units can move freely. This accounts for both terrain and friendly units. Saurus blocks cannot afford to be stuck in terrain for a turn, or simply jog behind another Saurus block. At the moment you deploy them, angle them a bit so they can move 8” straight ahead (if that is your plan).
    Skinks are usually on the frontline, deployed closer to the enemy than the Saurus. This is to give both units their maximum movement potential. You do not want your skinks slugging behind the Saurus blocks! The interplay between solely skirmishers and saurus blocks is pretty clear. But if you add in Salamanders and their shooting angles, Bastiladons and their field of view, Slanns and their line of sight and hammer units charging in…things can get complicated quickly. So, you should be already thinking about your first 1-2 movement phases when deploying.

    In turns 3 and 4, the big battle will commence most likely. Make sure your saurus blocks (good anvils) get some help versus stronger opponents, your stegadon should be charging in to help them out! Don’t isolate your saurus by deploying them on their own. Saurus need help to really perform, while skinks are fast enough to still be usefull when deployed on their own. Think about the cohesion of your army: keep the leadership near the anvil units, use the skinks to redirect the enemies and poison them, use your hammer to come and close the deal. Perfect!

    Planning ahead will greatly help your overall strategy. Whether that is a denied flank, or a balanced setup.

    Finally, some lizardmen units are naturally good versus certain enemy units. Skirmishers with blowpipes love facing high T low AS monsters. SCOR love facing WS3, S3 infantry, while Kroxigor love facing enemy cavalry. So, if and when your opponent places one of these clear-cut matchups: react. Deploy your counter directly across from them, making sure your skirmishers can have at least 2 turns of shooting on that monster…or whatever the case may be. If you have a unit of blowpipe skirmishers and a unit of Jav/shield skirmishers, deploy the blowpipes last for this reason: enemy monsters.
    Reacting to your opponent can be done with every single drop, but then the cohesion that makes lizardmen such a strong army can be lost. Make sure you have a basic plan to which you can fall back on. If both players react to eachother, you often get a bit of a messy deployment and thus, battle.
    You can start thinking about these matchups when you compare both army lists. So, before actually deploying: think about certain matchups, your gameplan, freedom of movement and making sure the matchups turn in your favor (for instance: use skinks to make sure you kroxigor do not get charged by enemy cavalry, but can make a charge themselves).


    4. The aftermath


    During the battle, you will reap the benefits of your solid deployment. Or will face the consequences of a bad one. Though it might not be as clear cut as described here, you will know where (part of) your deployment could be better. Your movement might be a bit jammed, or the line of sight might be off. Make note of this and make sure you learn from these mistakes. This is probably the most important step! Learn from your mistakes, moves and errors. Maybe make a battle report out of it? Or at least make sure you remember what you could do better!

    Thanks for reading!

    The Hunted
     
    Scalenex likes this.
  2. Eladimir
    Salamander

    Eladimir New Member

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    Nicely put.
     
  3. Ninjagosplat
    Skink

    Ninjagosplat New Member

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    Very informative and very helpful, great read too :) thanks for that post.
     
  4. dragodog
    Skink

    dragodog New Member

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    I think this is the best deployment overview I have ever read. Thanks for this!!!
     
  5. Crillaz
    Cold One

    Crillaz Member

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    very good write-up! Thanks.

    I often have a problem with my deployment so this will help! :)

    /Crillaz
     
  6. Scalenex
    Skink Priest

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    Atypical Situations

    The above assumes that you are taking a Slann as general as BSB and that you have Temple Guard. The majority of Lizardmen lists tend to run with a Slann/Temple Guard bunkers, but that’s not the alpha and omega of our army builds.

    Solo Slann: A solo Slann is hanging back out of harm’s way while casting spells from a distance. In this case, you generally do not want your Slann to be your BSB because the Slann can’t stay in a safe area and a centralized area for maximum BSB coverage at the same time. Even worse, even an ethereal Slann BSB can be killed in close combat pretty easily if Static CR breaks him since breaking auto-kills a BSB.

    In this case you will want to use a Saurus (or rarely Skink) BSB. The BSB should be right in the center of your army or at least the center of where the fighting will be the fiercest. Your Slann is still the general. If you can float your Slann to where you need leadership the most (where Saurus are potentially taking break tests or Skinks need to rally) without exposing yourself to an enemy charge, that’s great. Just keep in mind that your first priority for a solo Slann is keeping your toad alive. Your secondary priority is making sure you are in range of the critical spells you need to cast. Leadership is a tertiary priority since most of your critical units will be testing on 8 even without a general boosting them.

    Saurus Army Leaders, sans Carnosaur: Most lists with Saurus generals have Saurus BSBs. The BSB should be near your army center since that’s where you will want your rerolls the most. Your BSB equipment options and magical item choices should be geared around defensive builds rather than offense. Your BSB’s job is to stay alive. You have many options for defensive builds for Scar Veterans. choose your favorite defensive combo).

    Leadership rerolls are critical for a Lizardmen army, but a Leadership 8 Inspiring Presence is not critical. Your Saurus general should be geared for offense. You should deploy him where he can do the most damage and not worry overmuch about keeping him alive. If you lose your Saurus general, your opponent gets 100 bonus victory points, but your battle line is hardly going to be crippled. Providing inspiring presence should be your last concern when placing a fighting general in most cases. Don't let the fact that he's your general stop you from rushing your Saurus cowboy ahead your infantry blocks.

    Carnosaur Army Leaders: All the stuff I wrote in the last paragraph about offense being your top priority is even more valid when a Carnosaur rider is your general since you want to get your Carnosaur into combat with something delicious (preferably not a tar pit or great weapon packing infantry). You may want to invest more in defensive items for a Saurus general on a Carnosaur then one on a Cold One or on foot since the Carnosaur provides so much offense, it’s less important that your Saurus is personally packing heat.

    A BSB Scarnosaur is a bit trickier. With all those points in a Carnosaur you are largely obligated to get your BSB into combat so you chew on the enemy, but you STILL want to be somewhat close to your center because the rest of your army will still want some leadership re-rolls. With an 18 inch Stand Your Ground Range you have some flexibility where you go, but the left or right table edges should probably be avoided.

    You can also take a Skink Chief on a Steggy or Ancient Steggy as a budget Monstrous BSB. They aren't as offensively oriented but since Stegadon impact hits help out our infantry blocks and BSBs are usually near our infantry blocks, this provides some nice synergy.

    One nice side benefit from Carnosaur generals and BSBs is that your Saurus leaders can help your Skirmishers a bit more than they could otherwise. In a traditional army, your skirmishers are usually on the periphery of things and taking leadership 5 tests all on their lonesome. With eighteen inch command range and the fact that your Carnosaurs are usually running full forward, the "periphery" is smaller than usual, so it takes less effort to rally the wayward children of your battle line. It’s worth keeping in mind, but don’t dwell too long on it. Don’t place your Carnosaurs to help your Skinks. Place your Skinks where they can benefit from Carnosaurs.

    Not complicated enough? Try this. Carnosaur riding army leaders need to balance their leadership duties with their killing duties, but you have a third thing to worry about deployment-wise. Avoiding cannons and to a lesser extant rock lobbers and certain spells. That means studying up on this Tactica.

    Lord Kroak: Lord Kroak is essentially a Slann general. So most of the basic principles in the OP apply: you want him in your center. Not only is this good for leadership, but this will put you in a good position to Kroak Bomb people from the center. Slann don’t require Temple Guard, but taking Kroak without Temple Guard is not a good idea because you are cheating yourself out of Kroak’s big fat bonuses. An Unbreakable center that is extra hard to hit is a fine army anchor even without leadership factored in.

    Since Kroak is not a BSB, so you have to take a Scar Veteran BSB (or MAYBE a Skink Chief BSB). Since Kroak makes a Temple Guard unit unbreakable, the Temple Guard don’t need a BSB but you may want to put your BSB in there anyway because it’s likely to be your army center. If you are anchoring your battle strategy around your Kroak bunker, putting your BSB in there is a good idea. It may be putting all your eggs in one basket but Kroak bunkers make very secure baskets. Note characters cannot normally join unbreakable units and Kroak makes everyone in a Temple Guard unit Unbreakable. That means you have to put any Saurus character(s) into the Kroak bunker before you put Kroak there. Once Kroak joins the unit, you cannot have new characters enter it but there is no rule forcing you to kick out characters already in said unit.

    Lord Mazdamundi: As far as I’m concerned, everything the Hunted wrote applies here. Yes, you in theory have more flexibility for general/BSB placement given that you have an 18 inch command range, but you really don’t in practice. Since Mazdamundi is a grand army only option and grand armies tend to have wider deployments, you still want a centralized position for maximum benefit.

    Skink Generals and BSBs: I’m assuming you are either playing a themed list or a small points’ game.

    If your Skink general is a Skink priest or Skink Chief on foot (or Oxyotl) your top priority deployment-wise is neither offensive power nor leadership. Your top priority is keeping your general alive. That’s 100 easy points to your enemy if your Skink general dies. In a small point’s game, that’s big. Certainly don’t be afraid to provide leadership or offense. Skinks pass rolls on leadership 6 a lot more than leadership 5 and a Skink should never pass up the opportunity to take cheap shots with shooting or magic, just never lose sight of your top priority.

    Saurus and Kroxigor don’t benefit from a Skink’s leadership much but you may need to restrain your Predatory Fighters in specific situations so that’s worth being mindful of though there is no reason the Skink character restraining them has to be the general or BSB.

    Don’t ever put your general or BSB on a Terradon or Ripper unless you are running 3+ flyer units in a Tik’taq’to themed list (in which case you better be playing “Flight of the Valkyries” at some point in the game). You don’t get any expanded leadership bubbles from riding a flyer and your leaders are very vulnerable to dying. Even if you somehow keep your flying leaders alive, your leaders will quickly outpace the rest of your army and no one will get their leadership boosts.

    Tehenhauin actually has decent leadership and can handle a fight pretty well (by Skink standards at least). If he’s your general and you have lots of Skinks, keep him towards your army center to provide his leadership to as many Skinks as possible. If your army center is made up of sterner units than Skinks, don’t worry overmuch about General Tehenhauin’s leadership and place him wherever he can make the best use out of the three spells you rolled.

    Is Tetto’eko your general? You probably already know that his leadership is nothing to write home about, but that his spells are awesome and generally able to be cast at long range. Don’t worry about his leadership at all. Put him somewhere safe and drop comets and lightning on things. Use your Vanguard ability to seize the initiative early and force your opponent to respond to you all game. The previous sentence applies whenever you take Tet even if he’s not the general.

    A Skink Chief (or Skink Priest!) general on a Stegadon or Ancient Stegadon should be used simply as a poor man's Carnosaur general. Both Carnosaurs and Steggy Chiefs pack a lot of punch, but a Carnosaur general likes having a combined charge with infantry and A Steggy Skink requires having a combined charge with infantry or they will be in huge trouble after the Impact Hits round.

    BSBs are very critical for Lizardmen and Skink Chiefs are brittle. Even if you are running with a Skink general, I’d advise taking a Scar Veteran BSB if that’s possible. It’s very hard to balance the twin imperatives of keeping a Skink Chief BSB on foot out of harm’s way and in a centralized position at the same time.

    A Skink Chief on a Stegadon is a bit unorthodox, but you can make it work. The eighteen inch command range will help out a fair bit. Throw your Chiefadon between your main two infantry blocks and he will be able to provide Impact Hits, Thunderstomps and re-rolls to your main infantry. In return, the infantry will take the pressure off your BSB and give them reasonable (though not flawless) protection from most non-cannon enemies. In case it needs to be said, put Skink BSBadons in your center if at all possible.

    Two Slann: You are in grand army territory now with the recent increases in Slann cost. While there is some worry about putting all your eggs in one basket, I would recommend doing so. It’s probably not in your best interest to split up your generalship and BSB duties between two Slann since there is general only room for one Slann will be in the army center. I am assuming you have at least one unit of Temple Guard so should use Telepathic Confabulation (TC) to transfer all your defensive spells to your general/BSB. In a game of this points size, your central bunker is sure to be facing lots of nasty things.

    That means your second Slann is going to be on the edge of your army and probably bunker-less. Use TC to transfer all your long range spells to this one. Also use TC to transfer your secondary Slann your nuke spells. Now you can six dice nuke spells to your heart’s content now since a bad miscast won’t cost you the game since you won’t be risking your army’s critical leadership or large amounts of Temple Guard (though if you have Throne of Vines you can just use TC to make sure either Slann can 6-dice things with relative safety). Also be mindful of opportunities to use Smoke and Mirrors since odds are at least one of your toads will have access to the Lore of Shadow somehow.

    If both of your Slann are unbunkered, then the deployment guidelines for a single bunker-less Slann should be followed.
     
    Last edited: Mar 29, 2015
  7. GCPD
    Bastiladon

    GCPD Active Member

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    Whilst this is a good tactica on the philosophy behind deployment, it doesn't really seem to address the main issue ie when its best to go refused flank or spade out deployment, etc.

    For instance, I have found that against WoC and Elves that a refused flank is ideal - especially if there is a building in the corner to anchor around. This allows you to push up around the building to box the opponent in whilst deploying Skink chaff on the other side of it to tie up the centre of their line, or fight them on a narrow frontage with your flanks secured and where their multitude of threats are channeled into one location.

    Against some other armies, though, I've found that this doesn't work. For instance, Daemons and Vampires - these armies tend to have really wide frontages (ie Plague Drones/Beasts, horde units) that it is impossible to avoid and can lead to 'gridlock' if you haven't positioned your units correctly. They also tend to have a few key threats rather than the numerous ones seen with the opponents above. In these instances, a spread out deployment is probably best. For instance, if you are facing a Terrogheist and castle up in a corner, it only has to fly in one direction to start screaming stuff off. Split your units across the board and it then has to go after one at a time (this is also a really useful way to counter ET characters).

    Finally, went to screen and when not to screen. Screening is when you have Skinks deployed in front of your main combat units. This works great if you are facing a gunline or have set up multiple double flees - it doesn't work so well if you are planning to push aggressively or counter an aggressive push with early charges, as your own charge lanes will be blocked. Sometimes it is worth deploying on the 12" line with Skinks to the side, and running these into position in front of your units when needed. Given the number of units that Lizardmen armies typically bring, this can add an extra consideration in the deployment phase to leave enough gaps on the 12" line for everything to go down.

    Is it worth considering the types of typical armies and the recommended deployments to use against them?
     
  8. Gringold
    Skink

    Gringold Member

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    This has already been covered in some other threads, but this small section could use an edit.

    Large Target rule on p.72 states "However, if your General or Battle Standard Bearer is a Large Target (or is mounted on one), then the range of your respective Inspiring Presence or Hold Your Ground! abilities is increased from 12" to 18" to represent the ease with which your troops can see them."
     
  9. Scalenex
    Skink Priest

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    Oops, this was pointed out to me long ago and I went through all my old Tacticas and corrected this. I thought i did, I guess I missed one. good catch.
     

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