In any tournament without composition rules or penalties there will be a list also know as the Lizard Castle. This list focuses around a Slann, a big unit of temple guard to protect the slann and a unit (or 2) of saurus (30+). The rest is filled up with smaller units such as chameleon skinks, salamanders, terradon riders and sometimes a stegadon. The slann will have the lore of life and the disciple that gives him the Loremaster rule. This is a very hard list to beat, at least the concept of it. The main problem is that the main points are in the saurus, temple guard and slann, but since the lore of life will buff them and keep raising them back there is a huge point denial there. But that can be used to you advantage.
In any scenario fighting for victory points you can win from this list if you make the right decisions. Since the bulk of his points will be in the 2 or 3 units you need to keep them at bay. This can be done very easily by baiting them with a cheap unit, that can sustain some damage for at least 2 turns (a cheap unit with a lot of ranks for steadfast). Just deny him any big points with his units. This will mean that the bulk of his points will be rendered almost ineffective, while your larger units take on his softer and smaller units, such as the salamanders and terradons.
But combat is not the only measure you have to take, since he will be dominating the magic phase. The lore of life knows 2 damage spells, and the rest are buffs and restoring spells. In order to defeat this list you need to know very well when to do what. If your opponent attempts to cast throne of vines, let him, just let it go off. Dispel spells such as Dwellers Below that can do you damage. In your magic phase your priorities will lie on dispelling his Throne of Vines, since it is remain in play. And if you’re left with any dice try to get some direct damage spell through at his smaller units.
The basis of this strategy is denying your opponent points, while you scoop them up where you can. And since you only need 100 victory points more to win, of to have double the amount to massacre this can be done very fast. This tactic does not only work against the Lizard Castle list, but any hard list with lots of points in hard units that appear to be unbeatable. And it is best suited for armies that are “jacks of all trades”. General armies such as Empire, Orcs and Goblins, Dwarfs, High Elves, Dark Elves etc. This tactic works because to win a tournament, you don’t need to win the game, if you’re already on the top tables a draw or a minor win will suit you enough to keep you there, if you lose however you will drop in the rankings. (For generalship, painting and sportsmanship not accounted)
When you play this type of army (the castle build) always consider where your opponents points lie. Don’t go after his ‘baits’ to deny you points but aim for the general and the bigger blocks with your bunker units. The smaller units such as salamanders can round up the bait units.
As a final note I’d like to point out that although these type of build are nice to get you to the top tables of a tournament they are no fun to play or play against, and will certainly not give you any sportsmanship credits. And that’s what this hobby is all about, making friends, having a fun time and meanwhile playing the game. Winning a tournament is nice, but not winning but everyone remembering you for the great guy you were is nicer.
BTP Correspondent from the Netherlands