The Lizardmen can be overpowered when played right. This guide aims to guide you straight to the most overpowered approach so you can purge the world for the Great Plan with ease.
Guide to Lizardmen
Key things you need to know about Lizardmen is that their Lords, Heroes and units are ridiculously strong to the point of being overpowered, but are also crazy expensive in upkeep. Their recruitment cost can be high as well, but that is not what will get you, it is the upkeep. Even Skink Cohorts, which suck, are more expensive in upkeep than Empire Swordsmen. Also, I have not found a game-changing tip like High Elf “Entrepeneur” trait Mages or Skaven “Ravenous Expansion” Warlords to break the economy and give you essentially limitless funds. Basically, the Blue Skill Line skills Bonded Service, “Quartermaster” and “Renowned & Feared” are very important for the Lizardmen to reduce costs, as well as any unique traits their Legendary Lords get, and factoring in your gameplay approach to take advantage of those traits.
Minmax Easy Mode for Campaign
The main purpose of my guides is to help all of you reading them avoid the frustrations of wasting time due to ignorance of the ideal. For the Lizardmen, when you factor in siege battles, UPKEEP, Skaven ambushes, enemy doomstacks/range-heavy armies, building choices and province management, I believe my suggestions below provide the ideal baseline to give most players an easy, stress-free campaign:
To avoid spending forever on hero management, the only heroes you really want to recruit (if any at all) are Skink Priests with the Specialist, Wound and Steal Tech skills to boost your research rate; Skink Chiefs for their Replenish, Damage Walls, and Assasinate skills to clear enemy hero spam and help your armies win sieges; and Scar Veterans for their Wound, Assault Units and Assault Garrisons skills and for scouting the map.
Get a Saurus Oldblood with all Saurus Warriors with Shields and 1 siege beast (even a Feral Bastilodon will be fine) so that you do not have to build siege equipment when attacking settlement. If you can afford it, have a 2nd Oldbood with an army of Skink Cohorts (Javelins are better but more upkeep), maybe with another siege beast in this army as well in case you want the 2nd army to be the lead for a bit. Find a settlement or ideally an area with multiple settlements neary to each other, and start sacking it/them over and over, maybe waiting a turn or 2 for it to recover for more money and experience (this is why ideally you find an area with multiple settlements to sack close by). Level up your Olblood(s), starting with the Blue Skill Line. Route Marcher > max Bonded Service with 1 point in Fervent > Draftmaster > Lightning Strike > max Quartermaster > Renowned & Feared. Then proceed down the Yellow Skill Line until you can unlock Blessing of Itzl. Once done, replace this/these lords with fresh Oldbloods and repeat this process.
Build the Beast Lair > Corral-Arena (Stegadons) > Pyramid of Itzl (Ancient Stegadons). You could have 19 Stegadons in an army, or 6-8 Ancient Stegadons with 11-13 Stegadons. If you need more replenishment, you can put 1-2 Skink Chiefs on Stegadons/Ancient Stegadons (and remember you can swap mounts 1 per turn) with maxed Replenish skill in the army to boost replenishment.
You can also go Lord + 18 Ancient Stegadons or Carnosaurs and bring a Skink Chief un-mounted (for lower upkeep while in army) and the Specialist and Damage Walls skills, and have the Skink Chief take down the walls so our army can rush into the settlement and go straight for Victory Point and just kill everything once on the Victory Point.
And if you really feel like you need it, you can support your Dinosaur doomstacks with cheaper stacks of Skinks or Saurus.
Basically, the right Dinosaurs wreck everything and make the campaign a cakewalk as long as you can afford to field enough of those armies to accomplish your goals.
The idea is to only use heroes to Steal Tech, scout and clear enemy heroes, so you don’t need to build many Saurus or Skink buildings so they do not take up slots and you can focus your buildings on making as much money as possible to support your doomstacks. And if you do not want to bother getting Slann, you do not need to build Star Chambers except where they fit in to boost income, and you do not have to waste money on the Rite of Awakening either.
Stegadon vs Ancient Stegadon
Since the game does a terrible job of explaining the difference between these units and what they are for, here you go:
Feral Stegadon is for melee, Stegadons have Ballista mounted on their backs, and Ancient Stegadons have a sort-of arrow gatling gun on their backs and can Fire whilst Moving. All of them are “Siege” units that enable to attack a settlement without building siege equipment because they can all melee the gates open.
The Stegadon is an artillery unit that can also wreck face in melee, it can shoot & destroy towers and walls in sieges as well as hammer units from long range and take down flying monsters as well.
The Ancient Stegadon cannot attack towers or walls, and its range is much shorter than the Stegadon. However, whatever you call its missile platform, it shreds enemy units, and it can shoot while moving. And it still wrecks face in melee.
In this section I might as well further go over why you want to go Stegadons and Ancient Stegadons vs Carnosaurs or Bastilodons. Carnosaurs are much better killers, but they are a bit squishier and are pure melee. Bastilodons have even more armor than Stegadons, but less melee attack, melee defense, and charge bonus, so while they are excellent tarpits, they do not kill much. Stegadons are the sweet middle ground in terms of melee, but with Stegadons and Ancient Stegadons over Feral, you have the addition of brutal ranged damage. Makes Stegadons a no brainer.
Stegadons cost 400 gold upkeep, Solar Engine Bastilodons cost 275 upkeep. Both fulfill the role of long range artillery. Stegadons are better all-around, but also more expensive. You must factor this into your strategy. You can test units out in custom battle to see how they perform.
Skink Chief Hero on Stegadon costs 683-919+ (affected by Supply Lines), Stegadon costs 400.
Hero on Ancient Stegadon costs 683-919 (varies per Supply Lines), Ancient Stegadon costs 487.
It does appear that Hero upkeep is reduced by Quartermaster and Renowned & Feared, I haven’t been able to test Blessing of Itzel yet. However, even if every upkeep reduction applies and let us say you reduce the upkeep by half, you are reducing 800+ upkeep heroes to 400 upkeep versus reducing 400 upkeep Stegadons to 200 upkeep. The difference in price over 19 units in a stack will add up staggeringly fast.
This is why taking advantage of Mazdamundi’s -50% upkeep for Temple Guards, Kroq-Gar’s -50% upkeep for Saurus, and Tik’taq’to’s -50% upkeep for flyers can be so important.
Lizardmen have some difficult choices to make regarding buildings. For maximum money, you want the +money building in every settlement, you want the stone tablet building in all the minor settlements (along with the Star Chamber if it does not have a Port or a Trade Resource building) and both the Geomantic Locus and Ziggurat of the Old Ones in your Major Settlements with the Alignmnet of Crafting Commandment active (and a Star Chamber here as well for that extra +5% to income). And of course any Gold or Diamond mines need to be built. Basically as many +money buildings and as many +% income buildings as possible.
However, there are other considerations. You want walls everywhere to defend your precious settlements, which removes a building slot option. You should be building Ziggurats of the Old Ones in all your Major Settlements so recruiting plenty of Skink Priests should not be an issue; however, if you are trying to maximize moeny then Saurus and Skink chain buildings should only be placed in Major Settlements when there are still slots left after all the money building have been built. But if you want lots of Skink Chiefs and Scar Veterans, then you need to have a Tier 4 Saurus building in every Major Settlement and a Tier 3 Skink building in your major and each minor settlement. And if you really want to recruit high level Slann, then you want Star Chambers everywhere until you have at least 10 of them.
Keep all this in mind when considering whether you want to play with Slann or Heroes.
Besides each Star Chamber giving +2 Hero Rank upon recruitment factionwide, you can also recruit Heroes and Lords with the HUMBLE trait, which gives +2 Hero Rank upon recruitment. So if you want to recruit your heroes at a high level, recruit a Humble Lord that you can re-recruit then disband whenever you are going to recruit heroes, and try to recruit heroes with the Humble trait, and build as many Star Chambers as possible, until you can recruit heroes that are instantly at Level 20+ where they can immediately get Immortal, etc. And if you only recruit Humble heroes and build enough Star Chambers, you can disband low level heroes and recruit new ones at higher levels as you advance.
Slann have some unique requirements and perks that need extra attention. 1) To obtain them you must first unlock the Rite of Awakening, and then use the rite (it costs 1400 gold and refreshes every 10 turns), and then you must select what Lore of Magic type you want your Slann Lord to have (Fire, High, Light, Life). I recommend always choosing Life for “Earth Blood” and “Regrowth” to heal your units, this will be ideal for if you run a full doomstack of Stegadons or Carnosaurs and want to keep them in top fighting shape. Once you win the battle you can group up all the damaged units and have your Slann heal them back to full health so you can fight another battle immediately. Once you choose the Lore of Magic type you want, the Slann lord will be added to your Lord Pool for recruitment.
Key Point – Slann Lords have a random trait upon being added to your Lord Pool; Second Generation, Third Generation, or Fourth Generation. You want a Second Generation Slann, because that trait gives -50% Miscast Chance, +50 Unit Exp per Turn, and +40 Winds of Magic Power Reserve!!! Third and Fourth Gen Slann have lower amounts of each of those things.
Key Point – Remember that you can save scum to get the Second Generation trait you want. Save before using the rite, use the Rite, see what you got, if not 2nd Gen, then reload save, do a diplomacy action like requesting a treaty or something that you know will fail, then try the Rite again.
Once the Slann is in your Lord Pool, you have not actually recruited them yet, which is a good thing, because here their level can be boosted by Star Chambers. Each Star Chamber gives +3 Lord Rank and +2 Hero Rank (both factionwide!). So with 10 Star Chambers you could recruit Level 31 Slann! This would allow you to immediately get all the right Blue Skill Line skills as well as all their most important spells so that they are actually useful lords immediately. I recommend being able to recruit them at least at Level 23.
A Life Slann with all the right skills maxed can lead a doomstack of dinosaurs for cheapish (not as good as an Itzel Olblood but oh well) while also healing those dinosaurs with Earth Blood and Regrowth.
Oldbloods are all-around the best regular Lizardmen Lords because of their Blessing of Quetzl and Blessing of Itzl skills. The challenge is choosing between them. Blessing of Quetzl gives -20% Saurus & Temple Guard upkeep; Blessing of Itzel gives -20% upkeep to beasts – from Terradons and Cold-Ones up to Carnosaurs and Stegadons. Oldbloods also get the Honored Elder skill which gives -5% upkeep to Saurus. So with Quartermaster (-15% upkeep) and Renowned & Feared (-8% upkeep) skills from the Blue Skill Line, an Oldblood could give -48% upkeep to Saurus or -43% upkeep to Beasts.
If going Saurus: Blessing of Quetzl and Honored Elder, and max Proud Warrior skill in the Red Line. Get all the right skills in the Blue Line, then max your Oldblood’s combat line and get him on a Carnosaur.
If going Beasts: Almost the same but choose Blessing of Itzl, and then you have another choice. Are you doing a full stack of Carnosaurs or of Stegadons? If Carnosaurs then max Hunt Leader skill in Red Line; if Stegadons then max Beast Driver. Although honestly Lizardmen Beasts are so ridiculously strong the red skills for them are just overkill.
My Thoughts?: If you watch carefully for opportunities to confederate, you could end up with both Kroq-Gar and Gor-Rok, and I would have them be your Saurus-focused lords, and have any Oldbloods that you are able to level up be preserved to go Itzl to eventually go cheap(er) Stegadon doomstacks.
Kroq-Gar and Gor-Rok
Both these Legendary Lords are considered Saurus, and they get the Blessing and Honored Elder skills as well. Kroq-Gar has -50% upkeep trait for Saurus, which combined with Quetzl and Blue Line and Honored Elder would equal -98% upkeep, and with -10% upkeep tech they are free. I confirmed in my campaign that with only Kroq-Gar’s army on the map they are indeed free; however, despite having -100% reduction to upkeep as the Supply Lines increases, they do increase in upkeep cost, to the point that with 5 armies on the map Kroq-Gar’s “free” Saurus cost 134 upkeep each. But still hugely less expensive than they would be without his reductions. If you do decide to have Kroq-Gar go Saurus, definitely get Proud Warrior from the Red Skill Line.
Gor-Rok has Unique skills that make Saurus even more disgustingly strong, and which combines perfectly with the Proud Warrior skill in the Red Line.
Honestly it makes the most sense for Kroq-Gar and Gor-Rok to build their skills for Saurus, but because just like Saurus Oldbloods they have the ability to choose Blessing of Itzl, you could decide to choose Itzl to go late game Stegadon doomstacks.
Flyboi has the Blessing skills like the Olbloods, and he makes the choice of which Blessing skill to choose easy. Blessing of Itzl for the reduced costs to his Terradon riders but also to Stegadons and Carnosaurs, etc. With his -50% upkeep trait for Terradons and Ripperdactyls plus -20% upkeep from Blessing of Itzl plus -23% upkeep from Renowned & Feard and maxed Quartermaster, Terradons/Ripperdactyls will be almost free at -93% upkeep. And if the “Prize Hunter” Follower give -10% upkeep to Terradon Riders, you could actually make them free. Which makes him perfect as a reinforcing lord to follow a Saurus or Monster lead army and then fly in to overwhelm the enemy while on the campaign map barely costing anything so you can have another Stegadon/Carnosaur stack somewhere. At the same time, if it becomes time to make a doomstack of Stegadons or Carnosaurs, he is perfectly positioned with the -43% upkeep for monsters from Blessing of Itzl and the Blue Line (-53% upkeep with Prize Hunter follower) to make that doomstack much less expensive just like a “Blessing of Itzl” Saurus Oldblood Lord.
Red Crested Skink Chief (RCSC)
These guys will be more important in Tehenhauin’s campaign, but if playing another other faction, Oldbloods are better in almost every way, except, the RCSC Lord has “Spawn-Brothers” skills which gives Heroes embedded with this Lord +10 Melee Attack and +10 Melee Defense. Elsewhere in my guide I will go into whether you should run a Hero Doomstack because of the high upkeep cost of it, but if you really want to run a 19 Scar Veteran on Carnosaur Doomstack, an RCSC Lord with this skill could make that doomstack even more LOL. Otherwise, I do not see much reason to recruit this lord, especially given the time needed to level him up. He has some unique skills that could be beneficial on the campaign map if you could instant-recruit him at the level needed to get the skill, but otherwise, nah. The RCSC Lord does not even have the Blessing skills like Tik’taq’to does, making them not even good for running Stegadon doomstacks later.
Generic Nakai. No Mount, No Blessing skills, has higher lord upkeep than other lords, and only buffs Kroxigors (and has to choose between giving them +Melee Attack or +Physical Resistance). May be a beast in combat, I don’t know, I haven’t used these guys yet, and I do not see a reason to at this time.
Has no Blessing skills, so any units or heroes you put in his army will be their most expensive, except Skinks which do not benefit from any Blessings. Nakai is a good lord to put Heroes in (unless Blessing of Itzl affects their upkeep then Oldblood would be ideal) or give him a stack of Skinks and have him be the reinforcing lord to another better stack.
Maz gets -50% Upkeep for Temple Guards, so I recommend giving him Temple Guards. He also goes well with Lord Kroak and 5-6 Skink Priests on Stegadons to boost Winds of Magic for him and Lord Kroak. Or just have him go all Skink Priest on Stegadons, or if you don’t want to bother building a Weapon-crafters’ Commune somewhere, give him Skinks and have him reinforce another lord.
I don’t know anything about Deus Vult boi here yet, he was killed in my Mazdamundi campaign before I could get to him.
Reducing Recruitment Cost
If you can get a Recruitment Province to Tier 5 with the Tier 5 Geomantic Web building, and have another province connected to it with the same Tier 5 Geomantic Web building, your commandments should be boosted to their most effective. This means that the Alignment of War Commandment reduces recruitment costs by -30%. Combined with the “Bonded Service” blue line lord skill, recruitment costs would be -45%. Then you have techs, traits, followers or events to reduce the cost even further.
Without the geomantic web building, the Alignments Commandments are not nearly as effective. See for yourself.
You must build certain buildings to unlock a technology line to research tech in the line. For example you need the Scrying Pool to unlock “Tablet of Order” and “Interpreting the Old One’s Meaning”. Once you have unlocked that tech, you could then demolish the Scrying Pool and continue research along that tech line, but you must keep a structure built until the specific tech that requires it is completed. “Determining the Great Plan” requires a Star Chamber and Weapon-Crafters’ Commune. You can see what the others require for yourself. You want to get a building that unlocks tech built ASAP to start research something even if it is not your first choice, such as building the Skink Foraging Camp in 1 turn which allows you to research “Tablet of Spawning” even though that is not a priority tech.
- Tablet of Crafts = Your money line, most importantly “Sequence of Geologic Prospecting” at the end. That final skill will boost your Mines and Quarries’ income by +200%.
- Tablet of Monumnets = Primarily for the two +Growth techs, you want to get these early on for the +25 growth.
- Tablet of War = Primarily for “Sequence of Marching” for the +10% campaign movement bonus.
- Tablet of Order = Techs that reduce Hero Actions costs, very important to get early if you plan to use hero actions a lot.
- Tablet of the Saurus = Boosts Saurus combat abilities and -10% upkeep tech in the middle of the tech line.
- Tablet of Beasts = Mostly sucks except for the last 2 tech, the boost to your monster combat and the -10% upkeep
- Tablet of Spawning = Give +Rank to units, the final tech gives +2 Lord Rank upon recruitment.
- Tablet of Skinks = Last on my list to complete unless you love Skinks/Kroxigors and plan to use them and Kroxigors heavily.