Razordon Tactica Part One: Razordons versus Salamanders Razordons and Salamanders look similar and cost the same. They even have the same basic stat line, but Salamanders are unquestionably superior. Why? -Salamanders can march and shoot, so they can usually get their first shot off a round earlier than a Razordon -Salamanders automatically cause Panic tests when they remove a model, Razordons need to inflict 25% -On average Salamanders inflict far more wounds than Razordons. There are only a few situations I could think of where Razordons will outperform Salamanders, and they are all pretty rare. Ogre Armies Fielded without Gnoblars: The large bases of ogres mean you don’t hit many with the flame template, the high toughness means you don’t wound many, the fact that ogres have three wounds apiece means you will hardly ever remove a model and cause a Panic test. The low armor saves of most Ogre units means S4 shots from Razordons will do okay (not great, okay). Gnoblars are a great unit to shoot at with Salamanders though. Chaos Dwarf Armies fielded without Hobgoblins: Most items on the Dwarf list either has a larger base meaning fewer hits, or a special Ward save versus fire meaning fewer wounds. The overall high toughness scores also mean Salamanders are harder to wound. The high Leadership means even if you do get a wound they probably won’t panic. Hobgoblins are the exception, they are squishy, tightly packed, and panic relatively easily (but a lot of Chaos Dwarf lists don’t take them). High Elf lists with LOTS of Dragon Knights: Dragon Knights are all but fire proof, and they are mobile enough to interject themselves between Salamanders and the rest of the army. Note an army with lots of Dragon Knights isn’t particularly good for Razordons either. You are Fighting versus a Monster list: If you aren’t a very big fan of Forgeworld’s Monstrous Arcanum, you will probably never see a list that is 50% or 100% made up of Scrolls of Binding monsters. In the unlikely scenario you find yourself fighting an enemy that is mostly if not entirely monsters then your Salamanders will probably lack for massed troops to shoot at. Razordons could score some decent wounds on <T5 monsters where a Salamander would do neglible damage. In my humble opinion, if a LM player plays such a scenario we probably ought to be playing the Monstrous side rather than the Monster fighting side since there is a good chance that we have lots of dinosaurs sitting on our shelves just waiting for their moment in the sun. Pity you can’t take Salamanders or Razordons as Scrolls of Binding. Part Two: Razordons versus Skink Skirmishers* A Razordon with an extra handler costs the same as 10 Skink Skirmishers with Javelins. I did some Mathhammer and they have very similar damage output with basic shooting. Javelins have a slight edge in regular shooting, Razordons have a slight edge in stand and shoot (I factored in misfires as negative damage). They both skirmish and use BS based shooting. In most cases both types of units will split off from the main forces of your army. I believe they share far more in common than Salamanders and Razordons. Skink Skirmisher Advantages -They count as Core: Important if you tend to hover around the 25% for Core choices, irrelevant if you tend to go heavy on Core. Also if you like Ancient Stegadons AND Salamanders, that pretty much precludes Razordons as a viable choice. -They have more Wounds: Especially important when facing very strong attacks where toughness and saves matter little. -They can march and Shoot: More flexibility, generally this allows more shooting volleys per game -They have no minimum distance for Stand and Shoot: Allowing them to run annoying interference better -They never Misfire -Their Shots are Poisonous: The higher the toughness of the opponent, the more useful this becomes. Razordon Advantages -They have better Strength, Weapon Skill, and cause Fear: This means on the whole that Razordons will outperform Skink Skirmishers in close combat. Against a block of infantry this difference will probably not matter. Against “light” enemy troops like skirmishers or vanguard units, this can mean the difference between life and death for the unit. -They have Swift Stride: Not only are Razordons more likely to win combats, they are also more likely to catch any enemies that break. -They never suffer penalties for shooting at Long Range -Their Stand and Shoot is more powerful: This indirectly adds to their existing CC advantage. -Their shots hit at S4: Meaning their ability to hurt armored opponents is better. -Many opponents will be unfamiliar with Razordons: If they don’t know what to expect, the fear of the unknown will probably make them overreact to the weird spikey dinosaurs. -(Against shooting and magic the Armor Save 5+ is better than a 6+ Armor Save. In close combat the shields are parry save is generally better, I’m calling that one a wash.) Summarizing both, Javelin Skirmishers are probably better for shooting on the whole, and Razordons are clearly better in close combat, particularly since Stand and Shoots are tied in with Close Combat. *Please forgive me for not including blowpipes, I do not use them very often and I did not want to needlessly complicate things with a three-way comparison Part Three: Drawing a Conclusion My conclusion is that the best way to use Razordons is as defensive units. Use the Salamanders to burn things. Keep the Razordons close by to defend the Salamanders. Make sure any chariot, fast cavalry, flyer, dire wolf, or skirmisher that wants to go after your Salamander has to take on the Razordon first. Anything approaching the Salamander will be hit with flying spikes during your shooting phase. Interpose the Razordon between the enemy and the Salamander. That way anyone who wants to charge the Salamander has to endure the Razordon’s Stand and Shoot. The Razordon should be able to kill or at least tie up most of the faster light units that a player familiar with Salamanders is likely to send after them. The same principles above can be used to help protect a lone Slann. It can also be used to protect Skink Skirmishers (where their CC prowess would become extra important). Using a Razordons to protect Skink Skirmishers is a little wasteful unless the Skirmishers in question have one or more characters in the unit. A few general Suggestions: -Since Razordons roll the artillery dice more often than Salamanders you should pretty much always take the extra handler option regardless of what size of unit you are fielding. -Don’t forget that Razordons are no slouches in close combat. Relatively few opponents expect a shooting unit to do much in close combat. If your Razordons are shooting their spikes at people and they happen to walk near the flank or rear of something one of your other units is fighting, you should probably stop shooting long enough to make a supporting charge. -If you are fighting an enemy that has lot of skirmishers (ie you are fighting another LM player), I believe Razordons become more useful. In my opinion they are the best anti-Skirmisher Skirmisher we have save perhaps Terradons (but they should probably be doing other things.). They have the best armor save versus shooting and they have the strongest stats for close combat. Are Razordons going to be the MVP of your army list? Probably not, but they might be able to save the life of your MVP unit. Hopefully I have elevated them up from the status of “Worst Unit in Book” to “worth considering.” (sorry Skink Chiefs, I did my best with you).