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Tutorial Terrain Placement Tactica

Discussion in 'Lizardmen & Saurian Ancients Tactics' started by Scalenex, Oct 9, 2013.

  1. Scalenex
    Skink Priest

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    I’m going to analyze terrain types and how to use them best for Lizardmen (or how to avoid their perils best). I’m assuming when talking about placement that you DON’T know which side of the table you are getting.

    I am more than willing to amend this if people have differing opinions or uses in mind, especially Part Two, some of which is based more on theory than practice.

    Part One, Common Terrain Types


    Priority in Placement: Medium. Buildings in general can change the dynamics of a table top but there are usually multiple buildings to place, so no single building is a high priority.

    Buildings are the most common terrain piece in the BRB terrain generator when you factor in that Watch Towers automatically get a building, Settlements of Order and Encampments of Destruction automatically come with multiple buildings, and lots of Blessed Bulwarks, Sinister Structures, and Arcane Architecture are buildings in addition to whatever else they do.

    Watchtower Scenario

    If you are the defender for a Watchtower Scenario, you want to place a small unit of Skinks (or Saurus (if you have one with 20 members or fewer) to hold it initially then move a big block of Saurus or Temple Guard in as soon as possible to you have 20 or 21 PF attacks fending off all attackers. If you are the attacker, you want to attack the tower as quickly as possible with a big block of Saurus or Temple Guard, ideally with the Banner of Eternal Flame.

    Blood and Glory Scenario

    It's chessy, but in a game of 3000 points or fewer, a large block of Saurus or a Temple Guard block along with a Slann BSB can go into a building and wait things out. Any building really. At Stubborn re-rollable 9 or 10 and at least 20 Predatory Fighter attacks answering each building assault, you almost can’t lose a Blood and Glory Scenario (that doesn’t mean you’ll win, just that you can’t lose).

    Two points for the general, one point for the BSB, and one point for the Saurus block’s standard. Unless your enemy has the lore of Death or weighted dice, they pretty much can’t take your army to breaking point without killing your building garrison down to the last reptile.

    Other Games

    In a normal game, you generally don’t want your non-shooters to occupy a building. Sure 30 Saurus in a watch tower are hard to dislodge but your opponent can just ignore them and go for the rest of your army while your safely ensconced Sauri do absolutely nothing. Likewise you can safely ignore a building garrisoned with non-shooters.

    If you are defending a building outside a Watchtower Scenario, you want a Cohort, either with or without Kroxigor (Skroxigor are no longer classified as Unique so they can enter buildings). 360 degree visibility is great for throwing javelins and for Skink Priests vassals to cast magic missiles (or you can stick a Slann in the building too I suppose). Buildings provide Stubborn to all defenders so a Cohort in range of your BSB and General is not going anywhere. Skroxigor cost more and don’t aid your shooting, but the ability to sub a Kroxigor for three defending Skinks is a nice trick.

    Our Skirmishing units can occupy buildings too but it’s generally not worth it. They cost too many points per model to be a cost-effective stall against building attackers. Skirmishers also need their mobility to truly shine and a unit of Skirmishers in a building is grounded for the turn they are in the building and the next turn since it takes a full turn to exit.

    It’s a good idea to get a Slann or Skink Priest in a building garrison. Then your character benefits from the protective attributes of the building and gives them 360 degree visibility to cast spells with the ability to see over intervening units.

    If your enemies are in a building. Ask yourself, do I really need to kill this unit, or am I better off just leaving them here? If you decide a building is worth taking, Saurus or Temple Guard should be your go-to attackers. At least 20 attacks being answered in most situations by a mere ten attacks back. If you can finagle Flaming Attacks for them, even better.

    Deployment Suggestion

    Any buildings you get to place should be placed towards the middle of the gaming board. If your Cohorts get to a centrally located building to shoot from they are sitting pretty. If an enemy gets to a centrally located building, you can pretty much ignore them if they don’t have a Quick to Fire weapon like our own little reptiles have.

    A building in or near the Lizardmen’s deployment zone won’t help you much since our shooters only have short ranged weapons and the rest of our troops want to charge forward. A building in or near your opponents deployment zone becomes a potent weapon if your enemy decides to place a block of crossbowmen, hand gunners, archers or the like there. Unlike Lizardmen, most other armies DO have long range shooters that can cover most of the tabletop from their own deployment zone.

    Army Build Suggestions

    Almost every list I make has a unit of 20 Cohort Skinks with full command unless the game is less than 2000 points. They come in handy if I end up playing defender in a Watchtower scenario. 20 Cohort Skinks can be a huge annoyance to the enemy in a building outside the Watchtower scenario. 130 points is not a giant points sink if you don’t have a building to garrison. They can still provide flank protection against enemy chaff and/or provide a bunker to a Skink priest. They also give you one more Standard for Blood and Glory.

    I usually give my Temple Guard the Banner of Eternal Flame just in case they need to assault a building (or fight something Regenerating). If not you are only out ten points.


    Priority in Placement: Low in most situations. Medium if your opponent has a lot of shooters.

    Hills don’t really hurt Lizardmen armies much, but they can be a mild boon to our enemies by providing vantage points for long range shooters. Since our own shooting is generally capped at 12 inches, we can rarely use this trick. It’s not a huge deal because most long range shooters can set up with good vantage points even on a flat board.

    If you get to place a hill as a LM player, you don’t want them to be in either side’s deployment zone . Your opponent can probably use it if it’s on his side and you won’t be able to if the hill ends up on your side. You want the hills to be in the middle region of the board so enemy shooters with Move-Or-Fire can’t use them, but mobile shooters like Skinks just might benefit from them (unlikely but possible).

    If a hill is tall enough they can shield a big dinosaur from enemy line of sight shooting, that’s awesome. Unfortunately those kind of hills are pretty uncommon. If the hills are tall enough to block line of sight, you have an even greater incentive to put the hills in the middle region of the board.

    The bonus for charging downhill is nice, but it’s hard to set up, especially during the terrain placement phase. It most situations, a hill or lack of a hill is not among the factors you are considering when thinking “should I make this charge?” or when thinking “should I hold or flee?”

    Unique hills: Hills are not mysterious so they special hills shouldn’t surprise you.

    Anvil of Vaul The special rules won’t matter against us unless you are running an Ethereal Slann. If you are running such a Slann, this becomes a high priority terrain piece to place (off to the side to prevent it from being used against your Slann). It can aid in assaulting a building that it’s nearby with the Flaming Attacks rule which can be a boon or a bane to you depending on whether you are defending or attacking said building.

    Scree Slope: An enemy unit with a hill goes from a mild problem to a medium sized problem if they are on a scree slope. This means not only do your enemies have a good shooting vantage point, but they are harder for you to charge in melee. You want to put Scree Slopes off to the left or right side of the table towards the center of the table if your opponent has long range shooting.

    Temple of Skulls: The penalty of failing the test here seems a little too high given how low the reward for succeeding is. Every game I played that had these, neither player has had the guts to test the Temple of Skulls so it ended up just like any other hill.


    Priority for Placement: Low in most situations. Medium if you are facing (or using) a lot of cavalry since cavalry takes Dangerous Terrain tests in ALL forests.

    In most games I played or watched, forests were viewed as so unimportant tactically that after the two placing players cherry pick the important terrain features, they use forests to fill up the empty sections of the map. Forests are also pretty common (second most common after buildings), so it’s usually the case to have forests scattered about to fill up empty quarters of the table rather than tactically placed.

    Skirmishers Friend? We have a lot of things that Skirmish and Skirmishers benefit from being stubborn in forests. They also get soft cover from BS based shooting in the woods which stacks with their -1 to hit. These bonuses are nice, but Stubborn doesn’t mean much. In most cases if a Skirmisher is engaged in close combat, it will be wiped out anyway, so it doesn’t matter much if they are Stubborn or not. Relatively few BS based shooters bother shooting at Skinks making the usefulness of soft cover situational at best.

    It’s an often forgotten rule that flyers must take Dangerous Terrain tests when they begin or end a movement phase in a forest even if they don’t charge or flee. Terradons have Forest Strider so they ignore this but Rippers still have to worry about arboreal mishaps.

    Mysterious Forests: In general I don’t let the word “mysterious” scare me, but forests are often more severe than other special terrain features so I’m beginning to reconsider this philosophy since the bad Mysterious options tend to hit Skinks extra hard.

    Abyssal Woods: Gaining Fear causing matters little since so many of our troops cause Fear already and our Coldblooded troops rarely fail Fear tests. It’s unlikely to matter since forests are usually a temporary hiding spot for chaff units and not an area of the board contested in close combat. If an Abyssal Woods is contested in close combat there is a good chance both units will be in the woods and thus making Fear cancel each other out. Anyway our chaff units tend to have low WS so failing the test isn't a big deal.

    Blood Forest: I am always unhappy when a Skink unit wanders into one of these. This means I will have to be extra careful with my dispel dice because an attack spell will already devastate a Skink unit. Add on d6 additional hits and it gets worse. Also, this has prevented me from casting Wyssans on a unit more than once. If it’s a Saurus unit in the Blood Forest, I am less likely to be concerned though since the Blood Forest doesn’t hit very hard. Is an enemy unit in the forest? Flip it around. A low toughness enemy is a great target to cast a spell on, but the extra hits won’t matter much against a hardier target though (unless you would normally cast the same spell anyway in which case just think of it as a freebie).

    Fungus Forest: Cold Ones rarely fail their Stupidity tests. When they do it’s irritating but not game crippling. That carries over to Skink units in Fungus Forests. Skinks are more likely than Cold One Riders to fail their Stupidity test, but it’s not a huge setback if a unit of Skirmishers lose a turn. I don’t like it, but I don't dwell on it, so I’m not exactly cussing up a storm about a mysterious forest turning fungal.

    Venom Thicket: A unit in here can gained Poisoned Attacks! Think about how awesome it would be to get Poisoned Shooting from the woods…oh right we have Poisoned Shooting from ANY forest. Thus a Venom Thicket won’t help us much, but it can potentially help our enemies. Whenever I play Wood Elves they always seem to get an archer unit in a Venom Thicket which I don’t like, but it’s hardly a crippling problem. Remember that any movement through this type of forest counts as a Dangerous Terrain test, so once identified, your Skinks should generally go AROUND this particular forest rather than through it like usual with forests.

    Wildwood: The damage here is pretty inconsequential to an infantry block but moderately harmful to a Skirmisher unit if you roll badly. This is probably the worst forest of all for our Skinks.


    Priority for Placement: Rivers are unique among terrain features in that they by design go from table edge to table edge making them a High priority placement from their size alone. Getting to place the river is even more important if you are facing a gunline or if your army is either mostly Aquatic or has little or no Aquatic troops.

    Aquatic is nice and all, but a river will still slow down your Saurus Warriors, Temple Guard, Cold One Cavarly, and larger dinosaurs. I’m going to assume that the bulk of your army’s fighting power is units that are non-Aquatic and non-flying and that you have a modest but not overwhelming amount of Aquatic/flying mainly being used as support units.

    If the bulk of your army is Aquatic these rules go out the window and you want rivers over everyone and everything (such as splitting the table in half diagonally. If you have little or no Aquatic units or flyers, rivers became a pain in the tail regardless of how they are placed.

    Option One: River is short going from corner to corner in someone’s deployment zone. This will do very little to either side. If it’s in the LM deployment zone you can either not put troops in that corner or put Aquatic units/flyers there. If it’s in the enemy deployment zone, a canny opponent can hide a block of archers or artillery piece behind the river, but the jokes on them. The units we would send after their shooters all either fly or have Aquatic.

    If your goal is to make rivers a nonfactor, put the river in the corner.

    Option Two: The River is deployed roughly parallel to the long table edge and bisects the middle of the board. This will slow down the speed at which the two armies engage each other. Someone will probably want to march over it and won’t be able to at some point. Also, both players will do everything they can to try to make sure the other side is in the river losing their rank bonuses and steadfast while trying to preserve those traits on their own units.

    The general slowdown works in your favor if the enemy has relatively little long ranged shooting. Your Aquatic shooters can still cross the river easily and shoot the enemy while your Slann sits back and lobs spells across the river. If the enemy does have good long shooting, the slowdown at the river will sting as your enemy gets more chances to shoot your non-Aquatic units.

    If your goal is to delay close combat with the enemy, put the river across the middle.

    Option Three: The River is deployed roughly parallel to the long table edge and bisects someone’s half of the table. This setup will slow things down but it will disproportionately slow down one side more than the other because whichever side doesn’t have a river in their face is going to have free movement over two thirds to three quarters of the table.

    This setup will rarely work in a LM player’s favor. If the river is near your deployment zone you are going to have a slow launch in your early turns. If the river is in your opponent’s deployment zone, it might help them if they have lots of long range shooting.

    Only place rivers in this fashion if you are very confident you have ranged superiority against your opponent or that you’ll be able to pick the table side.

    Option Four: The river is going from table end to table end roughly parallel to the short table side. This will tend to compartmentalize your battle. Most units will be forced to make due with the support of their allies on their own side because it will be hard for reinforcements to cross the river and aid them. That means both sides need to be careful with unit placement so they can prevent and/or assure one-sided matchups on different sections of the table.

    This setup is favorable to a LM player in most circumstances. The bulk of your troops will be split on both sides of the river, but your Aquatic support units can cross back and forth without much problem giving you more flexibility in setting up your battles since your opponent can not likely traverse the river as easily. Also your Aquatic units can enjoy some soft cover by hugging the river.

    If you don’t have a specific plan in mind with rivers, you should probably put a river across the short length of the table fairly straight. You will rarely regret it.

    River Crossings: Obviously if there is a strategically placed river crossing, the river will do little to slow down anyone. In my local meta, we rarely use river crossing though. The bridge terrain pieces are not designed for Warhammer. Five 20 mm models requires a pretty wide bridge or ford. Five Saurus bases or a horde of 20 mm models requires such a large ford the river stops looking like a river. If there are fords that are not wide enough to accommodate your 25 mm, you want to place them in the least useful place you can.

    Mysterious Rivers: I have yet to let a mysterious river scare me from testing unknown waters. Most rivers are dangerous terrain, so keep it in mind when you are charging across them. Fortunately our most frequent fleeing units have River Strider.

    Boiling Flood: Not as bad as it sounds. It only affects a unit if they end the movement phase in the river and our Aquatic units are nimble enough to get in and out of said river pretty easily (though keep in mind that even an Aquatic unit gets no protection if they DO end their movement phase in it).

    The Boiling Flood doesn’t hit hard enough to seriously threaten our monsters and or Sauri if they have to wade through, chances are the enemy does too. Since Saurus have higher Toughness and better armor saves than most opponents it’s a net gain for us most of the time. Here’s the funny part: it’s not even dangerous terrain so everyone can charge across it freely!

    Necrotic Ooze: This river type is not very good for us. It won’t harm our Aquatic units, but it won’t really help them either. They probably already have Poisoned Attacks in shooting. With some careful positioning we can give our units Poisoned close combat attacks, but on the whole, this will help our opponents more than it will help us.

    Raging Torrent: This river type is neither good nor bad for us. A Skink rarely needs +3 Initiative. A Saurus unit really likes +3 Initiative but most of the time a Saurus unit is fighting in a Raging Torrent, the other side has +3 Initiative as well canceling the effect making it….a wash. Get it? Wash, in a river! :D +3 Initiative is nice, but is it worth giving up your ranks? Maybe, maybe not, hence the wash.

    River of Blood: Half our army causes Fear anyway. Our own cold-blooded troops usually pass Fear tests. Color me bloody unimpressed.

    River of Light: Of the six spells that can hit you here, four of them are beneficial, two are harmful. In general you shouldn’t let a River of Light stop you from entering or crossing a river but the harmful spells generally would hurt our Skinks more than they’d hurt our Sauri and the beneficial spells would help our Sauri more than our Skinks, so Skinks shouldn't dawdle around these rivers.

    EDIT: Note if you are one of the few players who occasionally heeds the blurb in the corner of page 120 of the BRB, treat a lake with river rules pretty much the same way as you would a marsh deployment wise.


    Priority of Placements: High Priority terrain placement if you are facing cannons since they can stop bouncing cannon balls (once). Low priority placement if there are not.

    Cannons?: A barricade in your deployment zone is nice to hide your most cannon vulnerable troops behind if you don’t get the first turn but you will be forced to abandon your barricade in turn one so you probably want them scattered about the middle of the board roughly parallel to the long table edge. As you cross the table, leap frog from barrier to barrier as best as you can.

    No Cannons?: It’s nice to defend an obstacle, but LM armies usually are offensively oriented so they will want to advance. Since we don’t have much long range shooting camping behind barriers won’t help us much. It might help an enemy archer unit though. Thus barriers in either table side’s deployment zone is a bad idea side since we don't know which side our opponent will get.

    Just like cannon fighting, having barriers spread about the middle of the table can help us. This time instead of helping your cannonball magnets it will help your mobile Skinks. They benefit a lot from a barrier and can hold their own against tougher units than usual when they have a barricade in front of them.

    If you are facing a cavalry heavy army, a few spread out barriers an also serve as an additional source of dangerous terrain tests to them.

    If you army is very Saurus-heavy it might be worth making the barriers parallel to the short table side and shunting them off to the side to keep your opponents from using them.

    Special Barricades: Fences, Blessed Bulwarks, Ghost Fences, and Walls pretty much follow the same general guidelines above. The only special obstacle you should put additional thought into is the Blazing Barricade. The flaming hit is nasty to attackers, especially when you consider that it stacks with the normal Obstacle bonuses. It’s hard to place a Blazing Barricade in a place where you know it will be useful but if you have the chance to pick a table side with a Blazing Barricade closer to you than the enemy, you should probably take that table side unless the other side has something with far greater appeal.


    Priority of Placements: Medium, strategically placed swamps are useful for us, but the beneficial effect is pretty light. It’s hard to place swamps in a place that hinders us.

    Basic Placement: We can’t use them for much in our own deployment zone and they will not hinder most opponents if it’s in their deployment zone. Therefore, tt serves our best interest to put swamps in the center region of the table towards the left or right. An Aquatic unit with a swamp between them and the enemy have a great deal more freedom of movement than their opponents. In fact it’s not uncommon for our Aquatic units to be trying to sneak up the left or right of the table.

    Unlike a river, swamps only take up small patches of the table. That’s good for a mixed Lizardmen army. You can deploy your Aquatic units with paths before them including swamps and generally have enough space to keep your non-Aquatic units out of harm’s way.

    If you are facing cavalry or chariot heavy armies you probably want to be bolder with your placements placing them in the dead center of the table. Even if the Swamps inconvenience your Saurus units and dinosaurs, the swamps will hurt the enemy much more.

    Special Swamps: The fancy Marshlands options are not mysterious and they do not change the fundamentals of Swamp placement much.

    An Earthblood Mere is a great place for a Skirmishing unit to hide out in. Even if it gives both sides the Regeneration Save, we still have the advantage by not taking as many Dangerous Terrain tests (which don't get to benefit from the save).

    Khemrian Quicksand just makes the dangerous Terrain tests even more severe for certain units. A net gain for Team Lizardmen as long as you keep your Stegadons and other heavies out of the swamps.

    Mist-Wreathed Swamps are a nice place for our Skink Skirmishers to hide out. Hard Cover is better than soft cover. The chance to lose d6 models is not fun, but our Skinks have Initiative 4 and d6 Skinks don’t cost too much, so this risk isn’t a big deal. Like the Khemrian Quicksand, keep your big dinosaurs and this swamp will hinder the enemy more than us.
    Last edited: Aug 29, 2015
  2. Scalenex
    Skink Priest

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    Part Two, Uncommon Terrain Types

    Altar of Khaine: The Altar of Khaine is a low priority terrain placement, medium priority if you are using a lot of Skinks (Frenzied Skinks can’t choose to flee). It’s hard to predict a place before army deployment stage where this will benefit you and not your enemies since most fights around an Altar will have BOTH sides within six inches of the feature.

    If your troops are generally more elite than your enemies, put the Altar in the dead center so the extra attacks will be a net gain in your favor relative to the enemies’ extra attacks. Conversely, if the enemy troops generally outclass you, put the Altar in the corner so it’s out of the way.

    If you are planning on using lots of redirectors put this in or near the center of the table so you can force the enemy into unwanted Frenzy charges. This requires VERY careful positioning because if your troops are within Frenzy-bestowing range, they can’t choose flee as a charge reaction.

    If you are running with the Skavenpelt Banner you gain no benefit from this feature but your opponent does, so you want to put feature off in a corner. Conversely, if your opponent is relying on Frenzied troops for their main fighting unit(s), a centralized Altar will aid you and do nothing for your enemy.

    Arcane Ruins: Arcane Ruins are a low priority terrain placement unless they are also a garrison-able building in which case it’s a medium priority (treat it like a regular building that is extra good for wizards).

    If you have no Slann or a Slann without Harmonic Convergence, the Ruins will not help you much so you want to move it off to the left or right side so your opponents can’t benefit from it. If your Slann does have Harmonic Convergence, your Slann will probably get more mileage out of this then your enemy, so place it near the table center.

    Slann are finicky about this buff, Skink Priests are not. A Skink Priest with a Skirmisher bunker can easily reach an Arcane Ruins and camp out there almost anywhere on the board other than your opponent’s deployment zone or the dead center of the table (though if you are playing a charge in the face army, your Priest can probably swing around the baddies and then camp out in your opponent's now empty deployment zone). With a Skink Priest, the more out of the way from the action the Arcane Ruins are the better.

    Bane Stone: The Bane Stone is probably a low priority placement. It keeps showing up in my games with my best friend over and over again, but I still don’t know what to do with this. It seems to helps both sides equally regardless of what the matchup looks like. It’s a matter of personal prefence whether you want in in the center of the table to make lots of fights bloodier or towards the side edge to make few if any fights bloodier.

    Charnel Pit: High priority placement versus undead. Low priority otherwise. By sheer random chance, I always seem to roll these when playing newbie undead opponents but not skilled undead opponents.

    Whether you are playing undead or not, you probably want to hide the Charnel Pit in a table corner. A central location will give undead opponents a free bonus save (that rarely matters). The main effect of the Charnel Pit is the Leadership penalty it bestows on nearby units. Our units are Cold Blooded but our base leadership scores are not that great so the -1 Leadership will hurt us slightly more than our opponents (Skinks need all the Ld they can get), especially if our opponents are undead and thus causing Fear and Terror Checks.

    Elven Waystone: High Priority Placement if you have Harmonic Convergence, Low priority if you don’t.

    +1 to Channeling Attempts stacks very nicely with characters with extra channeling attempts. In most cases, the center of the table is where your Slann will end up so that’s where you probably want to put an Elven Waystone.

    Idol of Gork or Possibly Mork: The Idol is probably a low priority placement. Much like the Banestone, it seems to help both sides equally rather than favoring one group over the other. Therefore it’s placement will probably be a wash.

    Magic Circle: Magic Circle is a medium priority placement. I can theoretically help either player but we are a magical race so a MR bestowing item is a net loss for our team unless your magic allotment is unusually low on damaging spells. The center of the table is dangerous because that’s where most of the fighting will be. The deployment zones are not good either because a canny opponent can stick their stationary shooters near the Magic Circle for a small but tangible bonus.

    To get this out of the use of your enemy, you probably want it near the left or right side table edge outside of both deployment zones. In the unlikely event that your enemy has MORE magical damaging spells than you, reverse everything I said.

    Sinister Statue: The Sinister Statue is a low priority placement. In most cases the Statue will hurt both players roughly the same amount. If your opponent is playing a very stationary army you may want to put this in the middle of a deployment zone. If you get that table side, you can just leave since LM rarely dig their heels in their starting deployment zone but a gun line army will be severely inconvenienced if they get stuck with this side.

    Sorcerous Portal: The chance for a positive versus negative spell is 50/50, so it’s very hard to figure out where would be a good or bad place to put this. This is a low priority placement unless you really hate random things.

    If you have to deal with a Sorcerous Portal in your neighborhood, I’d suggest making a Saurus unit of some kind the target. They can benefit a lot from the various buff spells. While no unit we have likes the hexes, a Saurus block can shrug off Fireballs without much damage done whereas one of our chaff units could be panicked by this.

    Wyrding Well: Like the Sorcerous Portal, this is so random it’s hard to figure out where a good or bad place to put this is. Thus it’s a Low Priority placement and it’s placement a wash.

    Acropolis of Heroes: This is a High Priority Placement. All the benefits of garrisoning a building plus and additional +1 for the defenders. You want it towards the middle so your Skinks can occupy it and support your main battle line. If an opponent gets the building first and they don't have missile weapons, no harm done, just ignore the unit!

    The fact that units near the building receive Stubborn won’t matter if someone is garrisoning the building since building attackers never take break tests. If units are fighting NEAR the acropolis, the Acropolis effect will only benefit the side without Steadfast so compare the average unit size of your army versus that of your opponents when figuring out if you want to put this in a very centralized location or off to the side somewhere.

    Dwarven Brewhouse: To be honest, I never rolled this one which may be fortunate because I play Dwarfs a lot. I’m guessing it’s a Medium priority placement. Since the main ability of the Brewhouse is the ability to bestow Stubborn on nearby units, the same guidelines to the Acropolis of Heroes apply.

    Copy and Paste powers: activate. The fact that units near the building receive Stubborn won’t matter if someone is garrisoning the building since building attackers never take break tests. If units are fighting NEAR the Brewhouse, the Brewhouse effect will only benefit the side without Steadfast so compare the average unit size of your army versus that of your opponents when figuring out if you want to put this in a very centralized location or off to the side somewhere.

    I wouldn’t be too worried about Dwarfs getting a Brewhouse. Most close combats with them turn into battles of attrition so the addition of Unbreakable won’t benefit much and you might actually benefit from the Dwarfs reluctance to leave the vicinity of a Brewhouse.

    Grail Chapel: If you are fighting an army that is not a Force of Order, this is a High Priority placement, otherwise you might as well treat it like any other building because the effects will benefit both sides equally.

    All the benefits of a building plus extra benefits to you? Central location all the way since a good place to garrison some Skinks to cause mischief and a good place for your combat blocks to fight around. If you are fighting Brettonians, you probably want to shunt this off to the side out of the way. The last thing you want your non-Steadfast knightly opponents to gain is Stubborn.

    Haunted Mansion: This is a High Priority placement, if it’s a building, a Medium one if it’s a just a small feature.

    The Haunted Mansion’s hits are mostly inconsequential to larger blocks but are a moderate annoyance to Skink Skirmishers which can actually be harmed by Strength 1 hits. To get a Haunted Mansion out of the Way you either want in the dead center (where Chaff units rarely desire to travel) or in someone’s deployment zone. If it turns out you get the deployment zone with the Mansion, no big deal because you were just leaving, right? If the enemy gets in their deployment zone, they have a minor but tangible thing inconveniencing them if they try to set up a castle or gun line.

    Nehekaran Sphinx: I consider this a High Priority Placement for LM players. You want it in a central location to make challenging the Sphinx easy. Unless you are playing without a Slann, in which case you want this out of the way in the corner somewhere.

    The Slann should challenge the Sphinx over and over again until they get the big prize. If the Slann gets Lore Master of Death from challenging the Sphinx, the Slann gains a lot of power. Two lores are better than one and it’s a LOT of fun to have that many options. “There’s only a one in nine chance of getting that” you might say. I say “bah!” With a five wound profile, lots of options for healing, and a 4+ Ward save, the penalty for failing is pretty low. If you can cast Hand of Glory or Speed of LIght first, even better.

    If challenging the Sphinx with a Slann is not practical, a Skink Chief should challenge the Sphinx if able. Devastating Charge and Heroic Killing Blow are nice bonuses and the odds of such a character failing the test are pretty light. A Skink Priest can usually afford to try the challenge too. A Skink Priest down a wound isn’t that much more vulnerable than a fully healthy Priest and they would benefit a lot from Lore Mastery of Death.

    Saurus characters should not challenge the Sphinx unless they have an Initiative boosting spell like Speed of Light or Hand of Glory cast on them or if they packing 4+ Ward Save, in which case go for it if the trip to the sphinx isn’t too far out of your way.

    Non-Slann should never challenge a Sphinx a second time if they took a wound from the first test.

    Most characters apart from Lizardmen will not find it worth their while to challenge the Sphinx unless they are Elves or some kind of Chaos troops. Even then, a Slann has more to gain and less to lose than almost any other character.

    Sigmarite Shrine: If you are fighting a Force of Destruction army that has Ward Saves this is a High Priority placement. If not, this is basically just another building.

    If your enemies have Ward Saves you want to circumvent a centralized location is probably best. That’s usually where LM want buildings anyway so placing this Shrine isn’t rocket science. If a Daemon player gets the first terrain placement, they will probably stick this in the corner somewhere if they know what's good for them.

    Tower of Blood: A High Priority placement if you are fighting a Force of Destruction army, treat it as a regular building if you are not.

    Like many special terrain features, if the Hatred benefits both sides, the net effect is a wash. If you are fighting Dark Elves or some other opponent who hates you, you should definitely consider putting the tower in a centralized location since the Tower will give you Hatred and bestow nothing on the enemy. Okay most Hate-filled units are Force of Destruction units so they gain Frenzy. Unless you are very good at playing the redirecting game, you want to put a terrain piece that can give your enemies Frenzy somewhere off to the side where it can’t do much damage to you.

    Wizard Tower: The Wizard Tower is almost always the Highest Priority placement for us.

    I mentioned a building garrison is a great place to put a wizard right? If your Slann is busy fighting something alongside your Temple Guard, toss a Skink Priest here to enjoy a widened array of Heavens or Beasts spells. If your BRB Slann is pining for the days when he had Lore Mastery in the last book, send him to the tower and relive the glory days. A non-BRB Slann will have an even better time…

    The wording on page 131 specifically says “he is treated as knowing all spells from his chosen lore(s) of magic for that phase.” That means a WD Slann gets Lore Master of the whole BRB and a High Magic Slann can eventually get total lore mastery of all the BRB lores and still retain access to all eight High Magic spells as long as he remains within three inches of the tower.

    You do NOT want a Wizard Tower in anyone’s deployment zone. Most non-LM wizards are built for staying put in a small bunker. If it turns out you don’t get the side with the wizard’s tower your enemy has a fortified position to defend their Lore Mastery. A centralized location is best because usually Skinks can beat the enemy to the center if they put their minds to it. If you fail to get to a centralized Wizard Tower first, your Saurus should have relatively little trouble assaulting a typical wizard’s bunker as long as they don’t have to cross the entire table to do it (undead not withstanding).
    Last edited: Mar 14, 2016

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