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8th Ed. Maximizing the Value of Salamanders

Discussion in 'Lizardmen & Saurian Ancients Tactics' started by Scalenex, Mar 8, 2012.

  1. Scalenex
    Skink Priest

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    So most posts on Salamanders talk about how awesome they are in general or how much better they are than razordons. I'm going to try to answer these questions, the more people answer these questions the better. I fairly recently expanded my collection of circa 5th ed Salamanders from two to six (and expanded my Razordons from one to three). I am now considering going heavy on Salamanders for upcoming tournament, so I want to answer some questions on the uses of Salamanders.

    What factors do you weigh when deciding how many to take and how to group them?

    Depends how many points you can spare with your army. If likely opponents are deemed to be especially vulnerable or especially resistant to salamander fire I am likely to adjust the total up or down. I think Salamanders two single Salamanders beat one pair most of the time for their ability to come at different driections giving you adaptability to split or concentrate fire as needed.


    When do you take an extra handler?

    If I field Salamanders singly I want to take a spare handler for sure. The more Salamanders you have in one unit the less likely an extra snack is going to be because they share handlers so I wouldn't take a spare unless I had extra points lying around.

    What range do you want do you want to be at when shooting your flame for maximum average effectiveness?

    I don’t want to bog down the game measuring things. I lay the flame template out from the Sallies mouth and if it barely nicks the closer edge of the target, I deem that a good range for most block troops.

    these things make targets more attractive to burn
    -The target unit has low toughness
    -The target is made up of several models with small bases
    -The target has a relatively low chance of passing a panic test
    -The target has a high armor save
    -The target is poorly positioned to retaliate

    These things make targets less attractive to burn
    -The target has high toughness
    -The target is made up of a small number of models with very large bases.
    -The target has a relatively low chance of failing a panic test (or are immune to panic)
    -the target has a high ward save (or has fire resistance)
    -Shooting at the target unit will put your Sallies in direct harms way from the target’s unit or a unit friendly to the target.
    -The target unit's models are all multiple wounds so are unlikely to have models rmoved

    When is getting Sallies into close combat a good idea?
    1) When you are out of things to shoot at
    2) When there’s a close combat going on so vital, that your whole match is lost if you lose it. Ergo you need all the help you can get
    3) The salamander can charge a war machine
    4) Using it as a sacrificial unit to stall or redirect a nasty unit.
    5) When you have no choice
    6) Playing herd with a unit that's already fleeing

    What LM units work well with Sallies, which units don't?

    I don’t know what Lizardmen list can’t benefit from salamanders. I think Salamanders favor a lot of Saurus. If most of your army is M4 instead of M6 it means your main battle line won’t reach the enemy as fast so you’ll have more chances to burn things. Since Salamanders and Ancient Stegadons compete for the same Rare points, they obviously don’t work together that well. Apart from that I don’t see how an army with lots of Saurus Cavalry, Stegadons, Kroxigor and Skroxigor would not work with Salamanders per se. I just think a slower army would be slightly better. Razordons, Javelin Skirmishers, and Rippers can help keep enemy fast cavalry at bay.

    Part of me wants to try a heavy shooting army (backing up six Salamanders with some Razordons and skirmishers) but part of me thinks that would be redundant and thus ineffective.

    Where and when do you employ Sallies on your battle line.

    Where: On the flanks. You can get a better line up shooting at the flank of a unit than the front and be less likely to be charged. Usually whenI put a Salamander near my center I’ve regretted it. I haven’t been able to get good shot lined up and then get charged. It worked once in a team game when I was able to buff them with Life spells and stall a big block ogres allowing the rest of my team’s troops to take his army on piecemeal. I haven’t figured out a solution for when opponents who put their cavalry on the flanks though.

    When: As close to last as possible. You want to try to find a spot in the enemy battle line that your salamanders can safely slide into and get advantageous shots. If you put down your salamanders early they can make sure that the units closest to your Salamanders are both 1) not especially vulnerable to salamander fire and (2) capable of easily schooling the Salamander in close combat.

    How do use magic to get the most out of your Sallies?

    Fire: I don’t see any synergy between Lore of Fire and Salamanders because Kindleflame only applies to magical fire. A Fire Slann with lots of Salamanders, your strategy is probably to kill as much as possible before they get into close combat. Just the novelty of having a pyro strategy has some twisted appeal.
    Beasts: Salamanders technically benefit from Wildheart (since they are warbeasts), but Wyssan’s Wildform is the only augment that can target a Salamander team and that spell is probably more useful on infantry blocks.
    Metal: I don’t think the Lore of Metal has anything to offer Salamanders, they already give enemies -3 to Armor saves.
    Light: The two magic missles can be good for shooting at things the Salamanders can’t get to and Light of Battle might help a Sally in close combat purely to tie up another unit, but as awesome as Light is in general, I see it as being for the rest of the army.
    Life: If the Sallies are sallying forth ahead of your army and they get in close combat before you want them too, the buffs might buy them some time. Use the lore attribute to heal Sallies if needed, but I see Life as mainly for the non-Sallies in your army.
    Heavens: With the tendency of a Salamander to hit many models at once, Harmonic Convergence could potentially be quite useful for Salamanders. I don’t see much Heavens can do to help Sallies in particular.
    Shadows: Withering. Low toughness units are the preferred things for Sallies to shoot at and Withering accomplishes this. The rest of the lore is mostly for the non Sallies in the army.
    Death: Doom and Darkness makes enemies much more likely to panic due to Salamander inflicted casualties. Soulblight is almost as good as Withering. Purple Sun is slightly more likely to hit your Salamanders by mistake than the rest of your army because Salamanders tend to scurry ahead of the main force, but Purple Sun is risky however you slice it.

    Did I leave anything important out or make an erroneous statement?
     
  2. Arli
    Skink Priest

    Arli Moderator Staff Member

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    Very nice write up. Very concise and complete. I can attest to the light of battle allowing a sally unit (or razordon unit in my case) to auto pass leadership tests and actually win a combat. After that, the same razordon unit ran down a Brettonian knight unit with a Brett general in it.

    Anyway, great work.
     
  3. strewart
    OldBlood

    strewart New Member

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    There is only one thing I would add, that is to the less attractive target list. Multi-wound units since you actually need to cause a casualty not just a wound to make the unit panic. This applies most to Ogres, and of course you don't have many choices besides multi-wound models, but also any army with monstrous infantry.

    Overall, very nice writeup for the salamanders! I like to deploy one on each of my flanks, but between the main line and the actual flanking units (skrox, steg) rather than far out. They then get support from my flankers and if they do well, can get one on either side of your opponents battle line and flame into the line from both directions. Once you set this up, keep your line back and away from combat as long as possible so you can torch away!

    I guess another potential use of slamanders once the battlelines are hitting each other is to charge a unit that you have just broken with your troops to make them keep fleeing and hopefully go off the board rather than rallying.
     
  4. Lord Tsunami
    Salamander

    Lord Tsunami Member

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    very nicely done id say. sallies are incredibly overpowered because of the rules glitch with how templates work. we'd better use them while we can ;)
     
  5. totzro
    Kroxigor

    totzro New Member

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    rule glitch?

    oh and nice write up!
     
  6. Lord Tsunami
    Salamander

    Lord Tsunami Member

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    the "rules glitch" i am talking about is that when the developers sat down and decided how much a salamander would cost, they were assuming the old rules about who is hit by a template (that every one FULLY covered was hit, and every one partially covered was hit on a roll of 4+). hence it is priced accordingly. with the new rules for who is hit, you can expect twice as many models being hit, and sometimes more, when you shoot with a salamander. with that logic it should cost closer to 150 points rather than 75 (or perhaps it should have S2 instead?)

    So just as the trebuchet, the salamander is way WAY cheaper than it should be, because it was balanced for another set of rules.
     
  7. totzro
    Kroxigor

    totzro New Member

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    Okay, I see. Yes the new rules for templates are quite overpowered, also they are a lot simpler.

    But doesn't this count for all pre 8ed template weapons? Such as empire canons, skaven warpfire, orc doomdivers etc.?
     
  8. Anton_S
    Temple Guard

    Anton_S Member

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    Some, not all. Doomdivers cause D6 hits so it doesn't really affect them. Cannons are unchanged but they were always crazy powerful. Mortars are affected but still have a rather low S and not much AS modifier. Warpfire Throwers can't move and shoot and are pretty fragile so it's much harder to maximise their hits like you can with MARCH and fire Salamanders.

    Normal Stone Throwers were changed in the rulebook to lower the S, remove 'no save' and remove multiple wounds to compensate for getting more hits, so they aren't really better than they used to be. It's the ones that retain higher S (Trebuchet) or can boost S (Grudgethrower, but at least it pays a bit more for it) that are the worst offenders since they can hit a ton of models and wound on 2+ or 3+ with little or no save possible for most troops.
     
  9. Caprasauridae
    Stegadon

    Caprasauridae Well-Known Member

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    Thanks for the write-up, it's really helpful!
     
  10. Maazie
    Cold One

    Maazie Member

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    Awesome List. Salamanders are one of our most feared units... I just got my 2nd Salamander in the Mail today.

    Gonna prime and paint him later then figure out a nickname for him... my current is named "Salamandor" (He Digivoled after panicking a horde of Marauders off the board HAHAHA)
     
  11. Maazie
    Cold One

    Maazie Member

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    Also REALLY Important questions:

    Do you take Salamander Leadership Tests on his Leadership of 4 or the Handler's Leadership of 6?

    I thought I read something that says you can't use the Handler's Stats for Characteristic Tests? I think it was the Warhammer Rulebook FAQ. Is that true?


    Second Question:

    Salamander is a Skirmisher who can Move and Shoot. Skirmishers can March and Shoot. Anton_S Just posted it and brought it to my attention. I just want a SOLID Confirmation.

    Can a Salamander use Sprout Flames after Marching?

    Thanks.
     
  12. Lord Tsunami
    Salamander

    Lord Tsunami Member

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    highest Ld in the unit is always used (read the rules about Ld tests)

    yes they can march and shoot. razordon cant because he has a rule that specificly says he cant (another rule glitch from last edition)
     
  13. Arli
    Skink Priest

    Arli Moderator Staff Member

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    The BRB classifies the sally as a warbeast and our rulebook classifies it as a skirmisher. That gives it 3d6 on the charge and flee as well as the march and shoot.
     
  14. SouthlandLizardman
    Saurus

    SouthlandLizardman New Member

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    If you put two (or even 3? )Salamanders in each unit, would that solve the problem of multi-wound enemies?
     
  15. Scalenex
    Skink Priest

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    Even with one Salamander wounds on multiwound models result in whole models being removed. The issue with multiwound models is most are on 40 mm bases. That means you get four times as many hits against most other units for the same number of Salamanders. If you have nothing else to shoot at but ogres, you might as well use the Salamanders to burn them. They just are less useful, it's not a problem per se.
     

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