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Dahag
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PostSubject: Balancing Lizardmen?   Tue 15 Mar 2011 - 3:03

A player in our gaming group might soon start playing lizardmen. So I had a first look at their rules as I must admit that those scaly creatures are completely new to me.

In this forum quite some people seem to think that lizardmen are rather top notch or tend to be overpowered. As we did not play any game with them yet, I can't speak of experience but I also got the impression that they might be in need of some toning down in certain aspects.

1)very good access to poison (cheap!), especially reptile venom which would grant the skink braves S4 shots for only 5gc. Especially if combined with the high number of skinks and rather good BS. Huge amount of poison in combination with good BS is a balancing matter with dark elves, I guess it's not much different here.

2) cold blood combined with high movement and high number of maximum warriors (20). Out of the blue this seems to me such a case where rules have been taken over from warhammer -where they may work well, can't judge that- and implanted into mordheim without adjusting them to the different ruleset. (as has been done with another lustria warband - dark elves).

So they seem to rarely rout and that they can rather easily replace their losses as they have a lot of cheap models (which is fair for T2, of course).

But anyway: I would like to hear what you think about the balance issue of this warband. And in case they need some toning down (or the opposite of course Smile ) what that would be...
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PostSubject: Re: Balancing Lizardmen?   Tue 15 Mar 2011 - 22:05

I just make it so the cold blooded does not affect rout tests. I seem to remember it was supposed to be for Psych only.
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folketsfiende
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PostSubject: Re: Balancing Lizardmen?   Wed 16 Mar 2011 - 1:47

Cold blooded is used for rout tests, but of course you can house rule it.

All in all I find Lizardmen balanced.

It' s true that jungle poison makes lizardmen ranged combat strong, but the range of their weapons is short. This means that when they're in range, you are either in range for a charge, or can move and hide for a later charge.

Skinks have T2, so they will be taken OOA en masse with ordinary bows. In close combat they stand almost no chance, AND have WS2 which makes them easy targets.

Also, you can't use Saurus warriors ld for rout tests, so concentrating on the skinks is the way to go.

So, they have strengths, but also obvious weaknesses.
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PostSubject: Re: Balancing Lizardmen?   Wed 16 Mar 2011 - 3:54

folketsfiende wrote:
Cold blooded is used for rout tests, but of course you can house rule it.

and would you suggest to introduce such a houserule or leave it be as it is?

btw. I just found a post in a warhammer forum, where a guy calculates the probabilities of cold blood Ld-Tests (throw 3 dice, ignore highest):

the link is the following in case someone is interested:

http://www.librarium-online.com/forums/lizardmen/66555-cold-blood-ld-probabilities.html

He calculates it for Ld5, but as Ld5 is not relevant in this case, I calculated the probabilities for Ld6, Ld7, and L8 as these are the Ld-values that actually appear in the lizardmen warband. I used his tables and I must say, I'm not exactly sure if I did it right. But here's what I calculated:

1) Cold Blood:

Ld8: 89.35%

Ld7: 80.55%

Ld6: 68.05%

2) "normal" Ld-tests:

Ld10: 91.66%

Ld9: 83.33%

Ld8: 72.22%

If one compares the results one can see that the cold blood rule roughly leads to an Ld-increase of +2.

So a lizardman with Ld6 has about the same probability to succeed in a Ld-test as a human, ork, whatever with Ld8. etc.

So a lizardmen warbands roughly routs on "normal" Ld9 or Ld10, if the skink priest gets the Leadership increase.

I wonder if taking rout-tests on Ld9 / Ld10 for a 20-models-warband is too strong or just right (considering T2 of the majority of models).
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PostSubject: Re: Balancing Lizardmen?   Wed 16 Mar 2011 - 4:19

I seen it playd in a group with only kids playing (age 10-15) at my old work - I dont think it was owerpowered, but this was not with powergamers.

I would say let the player use the rules and then, and if you (as a group) find them owerpowered then make some changes.

-Skavenslayer
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PostSubject: Re: Balancing Lizardmen?   Wed 16 Mar 2011 - 7:58

Will these lizardmen be playing in a Lustria setting vs the old Dark Elves and Amazons? If so, they should be perfectly fine. If you're ripping them out and transplanting them into another campaign setting though, some retooling might be in order.
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PostSubject: Re: Balancing Lizardmen?   Wed 16 Mar 2011 - 9:57

we're "ripping them out" of lustria into mordheim. but i'm mainly concerned about the rules in this case, not so much about the background.

However, they will play against dark elves indeed. although not the original list but a toned down version. Further enemies are orcs/goblins, beastmen, protectorates of sigmar and two others which are not yet determined...
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PostSubject: Re: Balancing Lizardmen?   Wed 16 Mar 2011 - 10:03

it's been my impression that the lizardmen, amazons and (original) dark elves were balanced vs each other, but they're all horribly overpowered if pitted against the core warbands. I do admit I've never seen any of them in action though, so it's entirely possible I have no clue what I'm talking about Razz
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PostSubject: Re: Balancing Lizardmen?   Wed 16 Mar 2011 - 10:06

that's what exactly what I'm afraid of a bit. The original dark elves are way overpowered, for example and I'm afraid that the lizardmen might be too because of similar reasons. high movement, high ini, good BS, and A LOT of poison. I know that elves are a special case. I just mean that the two lists may suffer of a few similar problems...

what makes the situation potentially worse that they are facing mainly cc-warbands.
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PostSubject: Re: Balancing Lizardmen?   Wed 16 Mar 2011 - 10:57

get rid of the cold blood IMO - the rule does nothing anyway


if you allow them to have 20 models, they should have a max ld of 7. like skaven. numbers are insanely good in mordheim.
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PostSubject: Re: Balancing Lizardmen?   Wed 16 Mar 2011 - 11:46

I've only seen them played in a Lustria campaign.

I'd be more inclined to reduce their maximum warband size rather tinker with multiple other rules. Cold-blooded, high leadership and being tough to route are a signature of Lizardmen armies in WHFB and I'd hate to remove those very fluffy rules from the Mordheim warband.

I'd play them as is for a campaign though before jumping to any conclusions and adjusting them. Toughness 2 is brutal, and across the board WS is modest in this warband. Anything with decent T and S are paired with an Initiative of 1 (Saurus/Kroxigor). Also limited to Shortbows for "long range".
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PostSubject: Re: Balancing Lizardmen?   Thu 17 Mar 2011 - 2:25

I agree with stonetroll. There is no need to tinker with the coldblooded rule or the ld-value. Cold blooded is simply not that good!

The real benefit of the lizardmen warband is their numbers, especially if used in dense terrain that allows lots of hiding. If you rip them out of the jungle, then the jungle terrain rule is lost, and with it a lot of the benefits of the skinks. If used in another setting than Lustria I would actually advice against limiting their numbers. They're not comparable to Skaven, who are a lot tougher and martially skilled.
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PostSubject: Re: Balancing Lizardmen?   Thu 17 Mar 2011 - 4:01

I played numerous times against Lizardmen in the regular Mordheim-Setting. Can only recall him routing once - if he wanted to stay, he stayed. But that was not the main issue. It was the Skink-Priest with the frency-spell and the rule (birthmark?) to have one diceroll automatically succeed once per game. In combination with a single tank-saurus, this became really messy even early in the campaign. The priest could pretty much choose when to make the saurus frenzy, from a save distance. But then, my group decided (agains my vote) to keep frenzy as it is in the LRB. If you play it with +1 Attack only, it certainly is nothing to worry about too much.
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PostSubject: Re: Balancing Lizardmen?   Thu 17 Mar 2011 - 8:44

FKSN: "it's been my impression that the lizardmen, amazons and (original) dark elves were balanced vs each other, but they're all horribly overpowered if pitted against the core warbands. "

Yes - GW only playtested and attempted to balance warbands from each setting against each other, so the Lustria/Cities of Gold warbands were not particularly intended to be balanced against the Mordheim warbands, and they are a bit more powered (not, in my experience, hugely so). The Khemri warbands are much weaker than the Mordheim bands.

In my experience Lizardmen are a good competitive warband, but require some finesse to play. The Cold Blooded rule means you are not going to beat them by routing them (except on rare occasions), but they have a large number of T2 heroes who are easy to take out, and their shooting is long range. The skink priest has some great spells, but again, is a skink. The reason I think they require finesse is that they have a mix of weak skinks who don't even want to think about melee and powerful saurus warriors who are only good in melee. So, unlike some warbands, you can't just have everyone try to stay back and shoot or everyone wade in for the brawl.
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PostSubject: Re: Balancing Lizardmen?   Fri 18 Mar 2011 - 6:06

thanks a lot for your comments so far guys. I guess the low T of which a lot of models "suffer" and the low range of accessible ranged weapons is a severe drawback indeed. Tended to overlook that a bit so far.

So you don't see the vast amount of poisons to be a problem balance-wise? This grants henchmen S4 shooting for 5gc only, S5 throwing knives and S6 with shooter heroes with crossbows. Sounds rather scary on paper. I wonder how it takes effect in actual gaming (?).
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PostSubject: Re: Balancing Lizardmen?   Fri 18 Mar 2011 - 6:56

You have to remember that they are spending 5 gc per model per game. So it usually limits them to the heroes.

I remember that when we played my Skinks died like crazy also since I had 20 guys it took 5 guys to start making route checks, so you had more henchmen going OOA leading to more of them dieing.

Also since you have the cold blooded you passed your route checks more often. So I would sometimes have 7 or 8 henchmen going OOA during a game.

Now the Saurus were really good. When they got into Melee with a 2 handed Weapon they would take things out, backed-up by a couple of skinks you could swarm them.

I think the warband is good, but I think they are not as overpowered as High Elves, or some of the Amazon Weapons.
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PostSubject: Re: Balancing Lizardmen?   Fri 18 Mar 2011 - 8:47

I have no experience with amazons, but in our campaigns the lizardmen did, as Rudeboy said, seem less overpowered than shadow elves. We still allow the lizzaards, but only use a heavily modified (nerfed) shadow elf warband (starts with only four heroes, and you have to make rare-item search rolls to add warriors to the band, so they grow more slowly).

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PostSubject: Re: Balancing Lizardmen?   Sun 20 Mar 2011 - 8:10

I played the Lizards in our last Lustrian campaign as my main warband and I've played them as my secondary warband in Lustria for years. I take a dim view of playing some warbands like Lizardmen in a Mordneim setting or BTB, but whatever, its what's fun for your group.

I would recommend PLAYING before tweaking rules as others have above. My experience with all warbands is that the skill and drive of the player counts more than the power of the warband. In one of our recent campaigns the Undead dominated the campaign for the entire time. (Much bitching about over powered!) In the next campaign the Undead were a non-factor because someone else played them. (Much bitching about underpowered!) Last year a beginner played the Lizards. He was the whipping boy of the campaign. This year I played and it took awhile for the other warbands to catch up once I got 4 saurus warriors. (The Amazons became killers once they got enough skills.)

THE POISON PROBLEM--what is the specific problem? Access is sited but what access? What did I miss?
Braves (only) have access to +1 strength reptile venom, but they have to pay for it each game. Given the possible number of braves that is expensive and they are only BS 4 max so they are not that dangerous with their short bows and javelins. A BS 4 warband with access to bows or slings will kill them before they can close, Facing X-bows is murder.

Fight 2 undead warbands (mostly immune to poison). Poison not so good.

As far as I know the Lizards have to pay for their poisons and with large numbers $ gets tight. Skinks die like flies if someone targets them. If you lose a saurus, its expensive to replace.

SPECIAL RULES--By taking the Lizards to Mordheim you are already negating their aquatic and jungle born (or whatever its called) rules. (Unless you play in an flooded and overgrown Mordheim, in which case no wonder the Lizards showed up.)
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PostSubject: Re: Balancing Lizardmen?   Sun 20 Mar 2011 - 13:49

thanks for your further comments. You are right. Much depends on the player's style of playing. how hard he tries to push the rules to his favour or just simply how well he succeeds or how well his advances develop etc...

I guess we'll let the lizards be for the time being and see how it all works out for us

btw. one question came up in our last gaming session:

Can a model be equipped with 2 bolas? (or any two identical ranged weapons, in fact).

I think I saw a rule somewhere that a model may only carry two ranged weapons. but not so sure if they have to be different (exception: pistols as they are a brace and thus count as only one ranged weapon...)
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PostSubject: Re: Balancing Lizardmen?   Sun 20 Mar 2011 - 21:20

That is another whole kettle of fish Dahag. Officially I believe it is necessary to have two different missile weapons (e.g. a warrior cannot have two blunderbusses). Some people think that this is ludicrous though since a warrior can have two swords so why are missile weapons treated differently. Laughing
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PostSubject: Re: Balancing Lizardmen?   Mon 21 Mar 2011 - 2:12

RationalLemming wrote:
That is another whole kettle of fish Dahag.

yes, sorry, I realised later that I should have asked this in another post. But at least it is also a balancing question. If a warrior wears two bolas he can be even more annoying than with one. Imagine a Possessed or a Vampire being trapped for 4 turns on a open square if you have unlucky 4+ rolls... On the other hand two bolas are mitigated by the fact that this model cannot wield conventional ranged weapons (due to the limit of 2). So rather an impediment of a skink who would not really want to go into cc instead (e.g. once he shot his two bolas and becomes useless in ranged combat after that...)

anyway, I remember having read that one cannot wield two identical ranged weapons, but I can't find it in the rules / FAQ. Does this actually stand somewhere? (where? Smile )

do you guys limit the number of bolas that you can have in a warband? I have never seen them in (successful) action yet as we only played 2 games so far, but at least on paper they seem to be quite game-influencing. Imagining having 15 or more of them shot at you...
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PostSubject: Re: Balancing Lizardmen?   Mon 21 Mar 2011 - 3:44

It comes from the wording in the rulebook. The "Weapons and Armour" section on the section page of the "Starting a Warband" chapter.

Quote :
Each warrior you recruit can be armed with up to two close combat weapons (in addition to his free dagger), up to two different missile weapons and any armour chosen from the appropriate list.

The underlining was added by me. This says that a warrior can be armed with up to two close combat weapons and up to two different missile weapons.
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PostSubject: Re: Balancing Lizardmen?   Mon 21 Mar 2011 - 4:41

oh great, that's exactly what I had in mind, but I could not find. thanks!
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PostSubject: Re: Balancing Lizardmen?   Mon 21 Mar 2011 - 5:19

I had not noticed the difference in wording before, so thanks, RationalLemming. I think I have only ever had one model with two (non-pistol) of the same weapons - an ogre pirate with two blunderbusses. I will switch one out with a handgun when I run them again.
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