Dinosaurs. Whats not to love. And how do you make that imagery in your head better? Well why not have mini dinosaurs riding bigger dinosaurs.
This army is most certainly not a pick up and play army, but can most definitely, if built right, hold its own with some of the top armies out there. The satisfaction winning with this army is massive. You have to play well with it, have random dice rolls to contend with, get to roll a load of dice…..and have a bunch of fun!
The armies strength is its movement capabilities(teleport or regular movement), the ability to put chaff in places your opponent does not want, some very effective short range shooting and the ability to have a high wound output(all be it at a small rend)
The thing the army lacks is access to hugh rend multi damage. There is no acess to rend 3, only the dread has access to rend 2, and the carnosaur is disappointingly only rend 1.
I built this army to cover as many bases as possible. Multi model units of razordons to provide decent short range shooting (6d6 and 4 d6 shots which can be teleported around and still in range), mortal wound output (engine potentially has 2d6 mortals), movement shenanigans, spell casters and reliable summoning of unts. The idea is to flood the board with skinks and rippers for board control whilst teleporting around where needed. The rippers in the sky force some janky deployment from the opponent because they can drop 3 away. The second unit of rippers are on the board so buffs can be placed upon them where needed. Slann can reliably flood the board and the Balewind gives him an extra spell to either cast or summon.
High armour saves is its big weakness, so target priority is massive.
Masters of Order:
This is two part. The first part is massive. The ability for slann wizards to dispel ANYWHERE on the board. With so much magic going on, at last having a shot to stop something could provide a pivotal moment in a game. And with the increase in dispel range, this list has 1 dispel at 30 inch, and 3 board wide.
The second part is often overlooked and can be massive. On a 10+ casting roll, you can extend the range by 6. As you dont have to select the target of a spell till after cast, you can often change your mind and cast on someone further back.
Lords of Space and Time:
The ability to teleport a unit anywhere on the board outside of 9 inches. Roll a dice. On a 1-2 doesnt move(can still shoot and fight though), 3-4 teleport happens 9 away and the golden 5-6 the unit teleports and gets to move again as well. The change in dice roll is massive in its unpredictability(used to fail on a 1 only and extra move on a 6)
Artefacts, Command Traits & Abilities
The list has 2 fortunately and mainly defensive in nature as the heros are not huge damage output machines.
Incandescent Retrices: Keeping the Slann alive is massive in the list So the ability to potentially bring him back to life on a 3+ with D6 wounds is huge and can buy you time to get out of dodge.
Gryph Feather charm: An in built minus 1 to hit. On hero missions, an engine with -1 to hit(potentially -2 because of the starpriest spell) and 10 wounds could help win a game with not too many survival heros.
Great Rememberer: The ability to use the teleport option twice. It gives you options or even a back up if the first goes wrong(or more disappointment if both go wrong!!) Vast intellect(and the ability to use Curse of fates is always a consideration and may help get you a vital teleport with the plus 1 to a dice roll, but the 2nd teleport just gives too many options. Go big or go home right!
Just the Slanns Gift from the Heavens but can be sneaky with reroll saves against shooting, and making units within 10 fly(flying engines and skinks!). Otherise CPs are used for running 6 and rerolling charges where needed.
Slann- The lynchpin in the list. A multi spell caster and dispeller(in the realms can be useful) and the workhorse of the summoning pool. With balewind going off(lower casting spell than cogs and cheaper points) he is generating 13 points a turn by not casting. Thats 20 skinks or 3 ripper a turn in my list, or even a second turn engine to give you 3. It synergises with the Engines allowing you to manipulate the result to get the ability you require on the cosmic engine. Celestial Configuration can provide a lot of army wide benefits in the right situation
Engine of the Gods– These guys can win you games on their own. The cosmic engine ability is HUGE and being near the Slann allows you to manipulate that roll to achieve the 2 results that you desire, a free summon or D6 mortal wounds to something with 25(long range and no need for line of sight). Has the potential to be killy in combat as well where needed. The second provides some redundancy or options.
Skink Starpriest– Even though he is a tax in the battalion, an extra spellcaster and dispel is massive, especially with his -1 to hit spell and other realm spells. And for only 80 points and the ability to hide very easily.
Skinks-The heros of the list. Chaff in the current meta and these do the job better than ANY. Movement puts them in places that is annoying. High leadership means battleshock is tougher than most. Wary fighter which allows retreat can provide some fun shenanigans(Slanns command ability to fly. Move. Charge. Activate first and retreat. With fly you can jump a unit. Thanks Jack Armstrong for that gem!) Boltspitters tend to work best with the potential to chip a few wounds here and there.
Razordons– The best unit point for point in the list 40 points. Decent armour save with 3 wounds. 2d6 shots per model can provide a huge amount of shots if you roll well(6d6 for the unit of 3). Teleporting takes them in range so you can use them to whittle down units and chip wounds off heros( or pump a load of shots into Nagash!!) Get that 5-6 on the teleport gives them access to the -1 rend, which makes them even more dangerous. The best thing about them is the hitting on 3s as you would think a unit like that would hit on 4s. Dangerous unit.
Rippers- The ‘obvious’ choice as the big hitter but NOT for the reasons that you would think. Talking up the threat of them before you even start is where it relly begins. Remind people how many wounds they are capable of(near the BLOT they do roughly 50 wounds….ALL HAIL). That puts an element of fear into people. Which means people have to take them in consideration. The unit in the sky gives you the ability to drop 3 away which can affect deployment, which already gives you an advantage. The second unit on the table is a candidate for teleport or buffs, or with the new forward placement of some battleplans means you can get to people turn 1 with 14 inch deployment. And 15 wounds is nothing to be sniffed at. They have to be taken into consideration. The wound output can be massive with reroll hits and wounds in your turn BUT target selection is the name of the game. You need to be able to kill the unit you go into otherwise you risk losing the unit straight back. Be mindful, never charge 2 units at the same time as its a waste.
Shadowstrike- Two big reasons for taking this battalion. The obvious reason is the rippers ability to drop from the sky. Dropping 3 away breaks the rules of the game, which is always a big consideration. However potentially more important is the pre game skink move of 2d6. Its massive to push threats away, put chaff in peoples face. It can help limit deepstriking alpha units because of this move pushing people back, or just forcing them to charge a unit of 10 skinks.
No warm bloods in this list!
Magic, Endless & Realm Spells
alewind- As noted earlier the cheaper alternative to Cogs. Provides an extra spell, adds +1 to armour for cover and with the slanns Command Ability gives a 3+ on the Slann with reroll armour against shooting(basically cogs for 20 points less. If you are doing it right they shouldnt get in combat with the slann anyway!)
Realm Spells-Any that provide -1 to hit debuffs are big for the list. But Realm of Fire and Infernal Blades on the rippers for 2 damage is MASSIVE.
It is a tough list to play, but has huge rewards if done right. Deployment is around protecting the slann and engines behind walls of skinks. The pre game move helps a lot with 2 units, pushing threats back further away to allow the slann to then summon more into its space, or create more threats depending on opponent. The damage output comes from the engines mortal wound ability first, then trickles down to the razordons and rppers.Prime teleport candidates are razors and rippers initially for threat. In the objective game, the potential teleport means they cannot tag and go to leave an objective for fear of you jumping on it. A sneaky win is teleporting a unit of skink, making a charge on a unit on an objective and the retreating outside 3 to claim an objective. Summoning is a huge part of how the list works with potentially 13 points a turn with can be used to absolutely flood the board and claim the gold. The name of the game is to play the objectives. The speed and teleporting means taht is its strength. You may lose the KP battle, but just win on points
Lets start with tough battleplans. All of the hero ones have the potential to provide terrible matchups. Your heros are not very survivable so being smart around when you claim is the key. Relocation Orb can provide some tricky matchups, but does for most people anyway.
Its strengths in the battleplans are when the opposition have to spread out as your units can work well independently from each other. Any plan with a lot of movement needed also plays very well into our strengths