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Tutorial Using Light Slann to their Maximum Potential

Discussion in 'Lizardmen & Saurian Ancients Tactics' started by Scalenex, May 16, 2012.

  1. Scalenex
    Skink Priest

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    So I’m going to start a lore Tactica on Light, my favorite lore. EDIT: In the new book it's my favorite BRB lore. I’d imagine many forumites here are no strangers to Light given that it’s probably our second most popular lore. Hopefully if we all pool our knowledge and experience, someone might learn something and improve our use of Light in the future.

    The Official Lore Attribute: Exorcism. This is probably the most straight forward lore attribute in the game. It’s great against Demons, Tomb Kings, and Vampire Counts. It has some use against Warriors of Chaos, Chaos Dwarfs, Beastmen and in some Storm of Magic scenarios.

    The Unofficial Lore Attribute: The unofficial lore attribute is that the casting values for Light spells are on the whole, the lowest of the eight lores. This is good now that extra power dice are harder to come by. The bonus power dice means you can cast a lot of spells only using one or two dice from your pool. It’s not unusual to cast four or more spells successfully round after round. With that many spells spamming them, your opponents will have to think hard about what to dispel and what not to. Light lacks the überspells like Dwellers, Final Transformation, Purple Sun, Okham’s Mindrazor and the like. This means is there aren’t a lot of spells where you need to flirt with getting a miscast to get them off. This means you are reasonably safe from miscasting relative to other Lores though Soul of Stone is still a good idea.


    Spell by Spell Assessment


    Shem’s Burning Gaze
    I’ve yet to decide it’s worthwhile to use the boosted version. I normally use this spell to take a shot at a unit (preferably a small one) with a mere two dice (counting the bonus die). Generally I cast this spell as an afterthought once I got all the buffs I need cast. I tried casting this early, but very few people will take the bait and try to dispel this. It’s also good the first turn when you might not need a whole lot of buff spells if you are facing a low shooting army.

    Pha’s Protection
    This is a great spell. If you have one unit whose survival critical you can get it off easily to protect that unit from both shooting and CC. The extended version is also fairly easy to cast. If you are facing a lot of artillery you can cast the extended version is a godsend, but your opponents know this and will probably prioritize their dispel dice and scrolls on this spell above all others. If you army is spread out across much of the table, your opponent may just shrug and direct their fire against whichever units are outside your protective bubble. If you are only facing one really nasty war machine as opposed to a whole gun line, it’s probably more efficient to have a skink priest nerf the gun with Iceshard Blizzard so you can protect your whole army with one basic spell. Pha’s Protection is not a one-trick pony, and can do more that protect via shooting. The bonus is nice in close combat too.

    Speed of Light
    I play against high WS armies a lot, so this spell is my favorite. Neither Saurus nor Skinks get to hit enemies on 3s and force enemies with WS 4 or less to roll 5s to hit very often. Thus the spell is both offensive and defensive because you both score more hits and receive fewer hits in return.

    Speaking of defense, Sometimes Initiative 10 can come in handy. In a recent game I managed to the area of effect version of this spell to protect my forces from a player who was very single-minded about casting Purple Sun over and over. The same Initiative boost will also defend your units against Pit of Shades and the shooting of Sepulcher Stalkers. When fighting High Elves or other foes with ASF, it’s nice to prevent them from getting rerolls on your units nearly halving the number of hits you receive from the Initiative bonus alone. At some point I plan to use Speed of Light to help me out if a sphinx is rolled on the terrain generator again.

    Light of Battle
    Another great defensive spell. I primary use this spell to mitigate my own mistakes while playing. If I have a unit that gets in over its head, I’ll use this spell to buy them some borrowed time (free snake eyes on the break test!). The expanded version is still fairly cheap to cast, but in my experience if I feel that if I need multiple units to automatically pass leadership tests, I’m probably going to use the battle regardless because multiple units are on the ropes. A better tactician than myself could probably use this spell proactively rather than reactively and plan certain units to stall enemies in close combat with recklessly courageous sacrificial units.

    Net of Amyntok
    This spell is also offensive and defensive. It can stall an enemies advance and damage them. The damage isn’t really that important (unless the target is vulnerable to Exorcism). The real joy is stalling a large unit’s advance and forcing the rest of the army to either move without the major unit or watch the whole army halt to wait for the netted unit to catch up. The substantial downside of this spell is that whatever you really want to stall probably has a high Strength. The Strength test is passed by the target more than half the time, so this spell is unreliable when compared to the rest of the Lore. For that very reason, I tend to cast this spell as an afterthought when I have dice left over. When the spell does go off you’ll be quite happy though. It’s also a good spell to cast on turn one when stalling an enemy unit is more important and none of your units are in close combat (so buffs are less important).

    War machines auto-fail strength tests so this can also be used to nerf war machines and prevent them from firing at all.

    Banishment
    This is a relatively low priority spell for me, and I use it similarly to Shem’s burning gaze. If I have dice left over or if it’s the first turn, I’ll throw 2d6 hits at something. Unless there is a small unit of something nasty, then this becomes a higher priority spell. It’s great for blasting demons since it inflicts 3d6 hits and forces rerolls of their normally potent Ward saves.

    Birona’s Timewarp
    This spell is awesome. The movement rate bonus hasn’t helped me much though. It’s situational when I want the movement boost, but when those situations arise the boost is VERY useful. In every one of those situations it got dispelled. You also need to plan ahead because the magic phase is after the movement phase so you have to be thinking a round ahead.

    The extra attacks and Always Strike First are great in any situation though. Speed of Light and Birona’s Timewarp together are great. You get to hit on 3s and reroll misses against almost all opponents. If you have to have Speed of Light OR Birona’s Timewarp, I prefer Speed of Light. In my opinion, The extra attack doesn’t make as big of a splash on combat resolution as the higher WS since Speed of Light boosts the supporting ranks, and Timewarp just effects the front rank. Saurus already get three attacks per base of frontage, a fourth is almost diminishing returns. Skink extra attacks are still WS2 without further buffs so the extra attacks aren’t super sexy. The real power of a Skink unit is the Kroxigors and neither the extra attack nor the ASF generally helps them a tiny iota.


    Storm of Magic


    I haven’t used Light in Storm of Magic game yet. I really like Light in the regular games, but the Light Cataclysm spells don’t excite me the way the Death and Metal ones do. For starters all Light Cataclysm spells take 20+ or better to cast. A reversal from their regular spells, Light is suddenly expensive. I plan to try Light in SOM someday but until then, the following summaries are based on theoryhammer.

    Quite a few Scroll of Binding Monsters are linked directly with Chaos and thus subject to the Exorcism lore attribute. If your opponent takes a pact, you will certainly have a plethora of targets to exorcise. Also every wizard gets Seven Sigils as a Cataclysm spell and troops summoned by this spell are especially vulnerable to Light spells. You are not guaranteed to have any of the above enemy targets be especially vulnerable to Light in a Storm of Magic game but you will have wizards on Arcane Fulcrum. Wizards on Arcane fulcrums enjoy big fat Ward Saves and Banishment can mitigate these Ward saves, at least for that one particular magic missile.

    Enlightenment
    This is situational. Most spells specify “friendly” and “enemy” effects. This spell helps out Forces of Order units and harms Forces of Destruction units indiscriminately. That means if you are fighting another Force of Order unit or fighting with a Force of Destruction ally, the spell will likely have spillover effects you won’t like.

    Time Amok
    This gives you an extra CC phase or an extra shooting phase. Lizardmen have a lot of shooters true, but I don’t think many Storm of Magic strategies revolve around shooting as a major pillar of their strategy. Unless you are planning to spam an enemy wizard or a nasty monster with poison shooting you probably want to use the CC version instead of the shooting version. Be careful with this one because the extra CC phase gives your enemies an extra round of CC too. Only use this if you are pretty sure you are winning most of your active close combats. Cast this spell on turns that you get several buffs off at once. Fortunately the regular spells in Light are well suited to spamming your units with buffs.

    Assault of Stone
    This spell is not tempting to me. It’s a high value to cast and requires Dominance to attempt casting at all. Times when you’d want a hill are very situational. In my experience situational spells are hard to cast when you need them most as your foe will direct their dispel dice that way. That being said it will wreak havoc on low Initiative enemies.

    Broad Generalizations about Light for Lizardmen

    Everybody likes a buff spell, but Light buffs tend to favor our basic infantry over our larger models. It means more models to receive each bonus. Light is good for both Saurus and Skinks, but Light helps them in different ways. Skinks tend to lose close combat and break, so Light of Battle is especially good for them allowing them to hold their position. Saurus hit hard but have low WS and Initiative, so Timewarp and Speed of Light are especially good for them. Hand weapons and shields are never a bad choice but spears give you more attacks to show off your buff spells with.

    There are four spells that can target all friendly units within 12 inches. If you are building an army around Light. A small number of units packed tightly is probably better than a wide amount of units taking up most of the table edge. This will let you take best advantage of the area of effect buffs. Note you have a clustered army enjoying lots of buff spells, whatever is outside your Slann’s radius is going to be especially vulnerable and likely draw a lot of enemy fire. If you are good at using sacrificial units strategically this is a good thing. If you are like me and wince whenever you lose anything this is a bad thing.

    I’m not big into two Slann armies, but I think Light is a good pairing with almost anything since the spells are general utilitarian and are a relatively low burden on power dice. Light and Shadow means you can hit more often and wound more often with Mindrazor and/or Withering. Metal and Light is good for Southlands type armies giving complimentary buffs to skinks. Death is always good as a secondary lore for the extra power dice plus cheap casting of Light allowing you to cast even more spells. Soulblight is probably the MVP for a Death/Light combo because it lets you really dominate a close combats by hexing the enemies and buffing your units at the same time.

    Light is a good lore for your Slann whether you are running with a bunker or flying solo.

    Bunkered Slann is your best bet if you want to use a lot of area of effect augments. Temple Guard make a solid center to your army. The center is a good place for the Slann to be if you want to cast area of effect buffs to effect as many of your units as possible. Temple Guard benefit more from Timewarp than most units.

    Light is especially good for solo Slann if you aren’t very concerned with getting area of effect spells off. The long ranges of the regular casting versions of Light spells mean your Slann can effect lots of targets both friend and foe while staying well out of harms way. Because a solo Slann is likely to not be in the center of everything, it’s harder to get the most use out of the area of effects buffs though.


    WD Slann and High Magic Slann


    A WD Slann will be able to use Shem's Burning Gaze against a lot of things, but it's pretty indistinguishable from the other magic missiles if you aren't facing undead or demons.

    If you don't mind another magic missile, you can dabble in Light with a High magic Slann, but the real prizes aren't the signature spell. Speed of Light, Timewarp, and Pha's Protection are the crown jewels you should hope you roll. Net of Amyntok is worth keeping if you roll it early and you have artillery insulated away from your war machine hunters.
     
    Last edited: Mar 28, 2015
  2. The Hunted
    Carnasaur

    The Hunted Active Member

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    Solid review of also my favorite lore. Together with lore of Life, these are the most popular and, IMO, the most effective.

    Burning gaze is also effective in protecting your skinks from enemy supporting troops. Kill them off and let your skinks reign freely over the battlegrounds.

    Light of battle can be usefull for offensive skink-sui charges, and if used in this way; is fun as hell! :smug:

    The Hunted
     
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  3. Vallek
    Saurus

    Vallek New Member

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    I've always felt that Birona's timewarp has the best return when your TG are locked into CC. Since the Slann usually takes up most of the second rank it greatly reduces the melee effectiveness of TG. However, giving that front rank an extra attack means throwing out five extra S5 attacks with ASF. Against 80% of units thats S5 will completely nullify their armor saves and most monsters are T5-6 so you can legitimately threaten some heavy hitters if they come charging in.

    About the only thing that still threatens that unit are Chaos Warriors of Tzeentch.. but then those guys are assholes anyway.
     
  4. Eladimir
    Salamander

    Eladimir New Member

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    The costs of the spells are quite low but some of the best uses of them are the larger bubble version which are costly enough you can only cast 1-2 a round with a significant chance of miscasts.

    How risky do you find it to run a light slann in a unit of Temple Guard protected only by the cupped hands?
    A risk small enough that if ran in a 5 game tourney likely wouldn't cost you a game?
     
  5. Pyre
    Saurus

    Pyre Member

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    Well the two most useful bubbles, at least in my opinion, are Pha's and Speed which are 12+ and 16+. That's a 3 die and a 4 die casting, on average, neither of which is all that risky. Sure you're GOING to miscast at some point, but when only throwing about 4 dice at most and only 2 a lot of the time the odds of you miscasting more than once in a game are pretty low.

    I've used Light lore almost exclusively with my Lizards... which admittedly is only 5 games... and I used it for years (literally) with my Vampires in the old book; the utility of the lore is amazing.

    There are two uses for Net that weren't mentioned: hit mage bunkers since they tend to be cheap, low strength troops and casting spells requires a Strength test as well; cast it on warmachines since they automatically fail the Strength test (p. 108) and can't fire. Neither is going to kill much, since one damages the unit and warmachines are Toughness 10, but it can shut down a vital part of the enemy plan while not casting much to cast.


    Pyre
     
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  6. Lord Tsunami
    Salamander

    Lord Tsunami Member

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    very nice review. i am a life fan myself, but i do see the appeal of light. many new or semi-experienced players will want to read this on thoroughly. :)
     
  7. Taipan
    Temple Guard

    Taipan Member

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    A very good review of the Lore of Light. I usually completely ignore Light of Battle (Cold-Blood and a BSB General bubble make it rather irrelevant), but the idea of stalling enemy units with near-Unbreakable Skink annoyance is hilarious.

    I would caution people though, Light isn't what I consider a 'primary' Lore. In a double Slann list, I'd run it on my second Slann (being also the BSB/General, given his more defensive role). But if you only have one Slann, taking Light is a real gamble. Its Lore attribute is very situational (although awesome), and it lacks the death-dealing mayhem of other lores. Shadow is what I consider to be our primary 'toolkit' lore, and running both is pretty amazing (they syngerise extremely well).

    A couple of minor points;
    - 'Enfeeble Foe' from Shadow makes 'Net' much more reliable, if you're trying to pin down say Chosen
    - Iceshard can stack with 'Pha', so if you really want to annoy people, have them roll two 4's to fire
    - Storm of Magic breaks magic even harder than the normal rules (Metal has a Golden Sun that makes Purple Sun look weak as water), and as you point out Light has pretty pathetic Cataclysm spells on offer. You won't often see people fielding undead/daemons as allies, Vamps still haven't been figured out, Tomb Kings aren't worth the hassle, and Daemons break the game. In the context of SoM, I'd throw caution to the wind and take Shadow+Metal Slann tag team. SoM is all about being more killy with your spells than your opponent, its just raw random carnage everywhere (Cupped Hands is insane when you stack Cataclysm miscast table on top of regular miscast).
     
  8. troubled_joe
    Saurus

    troubled_joe Member

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    Used light for the first time the other day and it's by far my favourite lore.

    1) Birona's Timewarp plus the banner which lets you charge an extra D6 inches... incredible. Had my Temple Guard charge 23" and crash through the enemy lines!

    2) All of the casting costs are low low low, it synergised perfectly with my +1 PD Loremaster Slann!

    3) No RiP spells, which for me is great, since it means I can buff my troops in combat and be guaranteed that they'll still be buffed-up in the opponent's turn, whereas with life etc the enemy often weathers my troops for a turn, then dispels all the RiP and lays down the pain with their own superior troops.

    4) Multiple AoE spells mean you can realistically buff large portions of your battleline. Alternatively, if you need to just focus on one or two units, you can use the focussed spells for their incredibly low casting cost.

    5) Light of battle is great for keeping a key unit in place for a turn where is would otherwise be sure to break.

    5) Not as boring or predictable as Life. The aforementioned 23" charge is a prime example. In fact I think Temple Guard with the +d6 charge range banner will become a staple for me. Might even stick the 'reroll failed charges' banner on the Slann as well. Time to go bowling with dinosaurs!

    6) As someone else menitoned, Pha's protection stacks with Icehard Blizzard - awesome! Really really great protection in shooting and combat (except against cannons and their accursed ilk)/
     
  9. Espace
    Skink

    Espace New Member

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    Great review Scalenex, I would also chime in that light of battle is amazing for getting guaranteed re-directors. If you get it off with pha's protection and speed of light the re-director might even win a round of combat! Its also good for rallying units reduced below 25% and so re grouping on double 1s.

    Im gonna write up something similar on my blog soon (bit of delay between the first 4), been crazy busy at work and at home so had very little free time! I've still to do light, shadow, death and metal. Ive got 2 games at the weekend and will take light in one and death in the other so will hopefully glean some more insights prior to the blog update!
     
  10. Espace
    Skink

    Espace New Member

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  11. ChandlerGriz
    Chameleon Skink

    ChandlerGriz Member

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    Since in the spell description the word Movement is capitalized it refers to the units Movement Allowance value... not its total move. Timewarp would make the unit M8 instead of M4 so the charge with the one time use Huachi's Blessed Totem would be:

    8 + 3d6 (MAX distance 26 in.)

    NOT

    2*(4 + 3d6)

    So to get to the 23" charge you would have had an amazing roll!!
     
  12. Smexygor
    Chameleon Skink

    Smexygor New Member

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    Isn't 23 a prime number? Must have doubled movement and got a lucky roll. Good on you! :D
     
  13. Nocturne
    Jungle Swarm

    Nocturne New Member

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    Hi everyone! This is my first post so here we go..

    I really enjoy using lore of light. It is always fun to have an opponent reconsider what they need to roll when their opponents are suddenly WS10! I am part of a blood in the badlands campaign and will be having a few battles where i will have two Slann - one light, one life... I am rather looking forward to it.

    I still struggle against high elves though. And dark elves...
     
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  14. Phenatix
    Skink

    Phenatix New Member

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    I'm thinking Light is probably your best bet against the HE menace. Turning their 3+ and a reroll to hit into 4+ without rerolls will be pretty brutal for them as their damage drops. If you ever get off SoL and Time Warp then you'll be the one enjoying the 3+ to hit and rerolls, with 2 attacks base and S4, HE units will go down like flies. Except those pesky Phoenix Guard, perhaps throwing some fighty characters at them with The Other Trickster's Shard could help.
     
  15. Eladimir
    Salamander

    Eladimir New Member

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    I love Lore of Light, but the only downside is it doesn't come with a big anti horde spell. Infact I think the timewarp is pretty subpar overall.

    The extra attack isn't nearly as good for us since our saurus already get two attacks and the front rank of Skrox units not all that helpful either.

    Movement and ASF are good though but....
     
  16. Pinktaco
    Skar-Veteran

    Pinktaco Vessel of the Old Ones Staff Member

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    Random thought - skavenpelt banner + timewarp on templeguards = 4 S5 attacks/model. In a 6 wide frontrank with champion that'll be 25 attacks + PF + an additional 6 attacks from second row.

    Well obviously this either needs a scar vet BSB to be in the unit (and thus more attacks) or the slann to be there (less attacks from second row).

    Not the most reliant way to get a good amount of attacks off, but could be funny. :)
     
  17. Zee Deveel
    Skink

    Zee Deveel New Member

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    Light seems to be pretty poor against Elves, so I'm thinking it might be a bad choice for tournaments.
     
  18. Scalenex
    Skink Priest

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    Speed of Light, Pha's Protection, and Bironia's Timewarp seem to counter the various elves advantages over us pretty nicely. What is missing?
     
  19. PlasmaDavid
    Temple Guard

    PlasmaDavid Member

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    I used LoLight against HElves today. Didn't help much :( Their natural speed/ASF tends to neutralise stuff... Or maybe I just had the worst possible unit matchups on the units I cast onto.
     
  20. Mr Phat
    Skink Chief

    Mr Phat 9th Age Army Support

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    You need to see it the other way around: Lore of Light nulls THEIR advantage.

    You take away their Re-rolls by having higher initiative, and the WS10 makes them hit on 4's or 5s'
    Combine this with Pha's and they will hit worse than you ever have.

    If you get Bironas of and strike first they also lose their re-rolls, and the +1 attack combined with predatory fighter units should mutilate even their elites.
     

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