Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Temple Guard, or Where the Hell is My Shield?

Fantasy is definitely my game. I started out 40K style, but the past is where its at. My most recent army has been the Lizardmen, which are almost done with my habit of building armies. The first box of models I got for them were the Temple Guard. I love these guys. They look great, have cool weapons, and can be taken to almost be impossible to get off the board. I even did custom bases for them (I hate basing, by the way).

The ideal way to run a block of these fancy lads is to stick a Slann in there. With the new changes on line of sight for magic missiles and direct damage, he should be able to float up and fire even if he's in combat. This also makes the unit Stubborn on a 9. Cold-blooded will keep most lizards in place but on a Ld of 9, they aren't going anywhere. 

There are two other ways of making this unit stick: make the Slann the BSB, or throw in Chakax. The Slann BSB just makes that Stubborn 9 extra safe. Chakax is a pricey hero at 335 points but he makes the unit Unbreakable. Plus he's a challenge machine. Even assassins have to reveal themselves early and would strike last against him. Anything High Elf related is going to get chewed up because he's WS 5 with 4 attacks. His great weapon makes him strike at STR 7 and gets to re-roll the first round if he misses you.

The great issue is that unit is a ton of points. It usually ends up in the neighborhood of 1200 points with all your Lord, half your Hero, and a good chunk of Special choices. The worst part is the shields on the TG's only apply outside of combat. I hate that. Weapons that require two-hands means he just drops the shield as soon as combat starts. Sure a 3+ against shooting is nice, but most times you need the better save in combat rather than the shooting phase. Shooting is usually -1 or -2 to armor, which on 4+ Saurus warrior could be trouble but its not terrible. With TG's, I'd rather have the 4+ against shooting and 3+ in combat, and here's why:

The typical Saurus Warrior is around 12 points (depending on whether spears are taken). They got a 4+ armor and the parry save (a 6+ ward) in close combat. Temple Guard are 16 points, but only get a 4+ in close combat with no parry save. Weapon skill a little higher, and the bonus from the halberd. Those extra points get sunk into the special passive abilities with the Slann. Both units are equally tough, strong, fast, and same number of attacks. The TG's upgrades are really expensive after you start adding in enough to make them work. Without support, a 4+ armor elite unit isn't going to decimate other elite units. They'll stick but with a lot of your points into that unit, it's hard to get those linebreakers in the list too. 

So a 20 block of Saurus with full command is at least 100 points cheaper than an effective TG block. That extra 100 points is a skink unit or a terradon squad waiting in the wings. 

With Lizardmen being hearty and elite, you gotta find ways to save points. I'm going to have a few test games with the solo Slann. Next up, I'm going to run through the new lores with the hypnotoad. 


  1. Post pic of your Lizzy army!

    (also, I've added your blog to my Lizardmen Blog-roll: http://sonofslann.blogspot.com/)

  2. gah ha! next post, my good sir!