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 Buildings 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. Hills 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. Forests 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. Rivers 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! +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. Obstacles 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. Marshland 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.