Well, considering how well received my Slann Lore of Magic Tactica was, I thought Iíd write up another for the Lizardmen. In the aforementioned tactica, I alluded to the two biggest arguments that occur between Lizardmen players- the first being which lore of magic to give your Slann, and the second being which of the two hunting packs to take- Salamanders vs Razordons.
Now, if you spend much time on the internet, youíll find that the majority of Lizardmen players vastly prefer the Salamander to the Razordon- claiming that they are much better. Now, there is some truth to this, however, itís a sort of twisted, illogical truth that I tend to disagree with. Salamanders are no better point for point than Razordons. They are simply two different tools for two different roles.
People seem to think that Razordons are inferior to Salamanders because they attempt to use Razordons for the same role as Salamanders- which the Razordons will inevitably fail at. Ultimately, Salamanders shouldnít be an auto-pick, but rather when choosing their list the player should really consider what role they need their pack to fulfil. Weíll start with Salamanders.
Salamanders are the more aggressive of the two hunting pack monsters. They are not terribly subtle- they run up and kill shit with fire. They make excellent horde killers, due to their flame templates, as well as being able to completely wreck heavy cavalry due to their insane armour modifier. Their ridiculous speed combined with their ability to march and shoot in 8th edition makes them potent flankers, as well as making them easy to position midfield in amongst your saurus to maximise you damage potential early on. This incredible movement also allows them to fight a very effective retreat, running up, shooting fire and then moving backwards whilst shooting as the enemy advances. People will point out that they can have a better range than Razordons, but in reality they donít- to make the best use of their abilities they should be closer than 12Ē to the enemy. I have a few simple rules for using Salamanders; follow these and you should be burning your enemies all game.
- Avoid combat at all costs. As previously mentioned, these guys are terrible in combat. Never charge, even if a flank or rear charge presents itself. Shoot it instead. Always flee. Some will point out that there are times when this will be suicide, as the enemy will catch you. This brings me to my next point. If you get them into combat, youíre minimising you damage potential and are quite probably handing you opponent Victory Points.
- Your optimum killing range is about 5-8Ē. If in the enemyís front arc, never get closer than 8Ē- the length of the flame template. You risk being caught when fleeing. When attacking the flank or rear, 5Ē is about right, and you can decrease this to 4Ē when attacking a unit in horde formation in the flank. Any closer and thereís a good chance youíll overshoot, or at least do a negligible number of hits as the fat end of the template overshoots.
- If attacking the midfield, these guys should be advancing with saurus, so they can hide behind them as the saurus receive charges for them. The same really applies when hunting heavy cavalry. This essentially stems from rule one.
- Remember, the attack is only S3. Donít bother attacking T5+.
- Donít use these guys against High Elf Dragon Princes. I forgot about Dragon armour and learned that the hard way...
Now, on to Razordons. Iím going to do this part in bold, underlined and italics, and caps lock, just to make sure you get it. DO NOT USE THESE AGGRESSIVELLY. THESE GUYS ARE DEFENSIVE, IF YOU WANT AN AGGRESSIVE PACK, USE SALAMANDERS
. The reason people think these are worse than Salamanders is because they keep comparing them to Salamanders. They do different things. The main draws of Razordons over Salamanders can be summarised as three things-
- Superior Range. Theyíve got 12Ē range, use it.
- S4. Whilst they donít have the lovely save modifier of Salamanders, they will wound higher toughness models.
- Super awesome sexy Stand and Shoot power. This is the main reason for their existence in your list.
Under the current ruleset, these guys will not get as many hits on units as Salamanders, and they will not cause as many wounds on higher AS troops. This essentially means that they are most effective at attacking smaller units, or lightly armoured medium toughness units- Fast Cavalry, ogre/troll equivalents, even other skirmishers, and elves. However, their main strength is as a deterrent. Very few enemy units are going to want to charge three or even two Razordons, each getting six and four artillery dice as their Stand and Shoot reaction respectively. To this end, itís clear that these guys arenít suited to the balls out aggression that Salamanders are capable of- they are best placed on flanks as guards against flanking cavalry, turning anything that dares attempt to negate your precious rank bonuses into a pincushion, or alternatively guarding anything else that you deem needing protection- in fact, these would synergise quite well with Salamanders- Salamanders shooting at large units whilst Razordons guard against the inevitable charges that will be thrown at the Salamanders. A few rules for Razordons-
- Make the most of your range- There are no to hit modifiers for long range or moving, so once they have guided your Saurus into combat, and have negated any threats to their flank, move back and maintain distance. If the enemy close enough to negate their Stand and Shoot reaction, then the poor Razordons are dead.
- Use them defensively- covered above.
- Remember that they are there to protect your other units from nasty charges and to soften enemies up- donít worry about them dying, the charge reaction is more important. Not to mention they will devastate anything that charges them with shooting
- Like Salamanders, never charge. Shooting is more potent, and they will contribute little to a combat. One should also note that they really shouldnít flee ever, as if they would be allowed to flee (meaning that their Stand and Shoot reaction is negated) they will likely be caught. If this is the case, then obviously itís better to fight a combat that might result I killing a few models than to have them destroyed outright.
So I hope that helps people see that Razordons are still a good choice for Lizardmen, and that it's not really fair to judge them along the same lines that you would Salamanders- they're not designed for the same roles.