The Lizardmen are a pack of beasts, and this is both metaphorically and literally true. You can basically divide your units into the swift, relatively cheep skinks, and the hard hitting sauruses and beast units. Your Sauri hold your lines, and deliver the hammer blows, while Skinks can be used to reinforce your flanks, redeploy quickly on the battlefield, and even execute hit and run tactics you might have seen in the let’s plays.
The important thing to remember about Lizardmen is that you WANT them to get stuck in. But importantly, you want to get them stuck in DEEP into enemy lines, and for Sauri, you want to be sure to do so against units that aren’t much faster than they are. Chances are, that even on your best days, your units are going to frenzy. This gives them mad buffs to damage and makes them unbreakable, but you lose control over them. They’ll focus on whatever foe is closest to them. That’s why you want to make sure your Sauri are stuck in deep, that way they’ll focus on the mobs near them rather than chasing lone units halfway across the map.
Your skinks will tend to run away from things, this is generally a good thing to allow to happen, let it happen, let them peel off enemy units from the main fight, let your Sauri do their job.
For your magic, throw it around, get good at figuring out when and where to use it, don’t be afraid to pause the game, scope out the map. If you have to toss down some blasts that hit your own dudes but will hit way more of their dudes? Do it. Always remember, your magic is hellishly long range, use it to snipe enemy artillery, because lord knows, the Lizardmen aren’t rocking the artillery department.
Campaign Map Basics
Lizardmen are reasonably fast for group, and importantly, they have a ton, and I mean this, a ton of structures that really boost their abilities on the campaign map. Use ambushes, get your guys up and running around the place, wage tons of battles. Don’t be afraid to break alliances when you have too, and get in good and tight with the foe.
Importantly, use the geomantic web map to chart out how you should expand. If you have to choose between a place that is part of the geomantic web, and one that isn’t, always go for the option that has the geomantic nexus on it. Don’t bother building geomantic improvements if you can’t capture the whole territory, but grab it anyway and get it improved as best you can, make it a tough nut to crack. The geomantic web is just USEFUL, and grows more useful the more of it you control. When you control a province entirely, always build the necessary upgrades for it, because they’ll really force multiply your edicts.
The Rite of Ferocity is your cheepest, and honestly best, Rite. Pop it any time you’re planning on really rapidly building armies and have the economy to sustain constant army growth for 5 turns in a row. Take your time, use the local province thing, not the global province queue, to save money, because what you lose in time you make up for in getting higher ranked, better units right out of the gate, and the experience gain is enormous. The post battle loot is really just a nice extra, because all the other benefits are in your recruiting.
Lord Mazdamundi starts in a fairly nice position, but you have skaven to your north, and norscans to your east. You want to start out aggressively, ignore the Empire colonies to your south, they’ll try to buddy up with you, and as this is part of the Old One’s plan obviously, you should do so, and take advantage of it.
The Lizardman Game is not quite as economically dependent as the dwarf game, but it’s very close. Where as dwarves depend on their structures and technologies to push their economy forward, for the Lizardmen it’s based around their geomantic web and to a lesser extent, their structures. Any province you intend to focus on economy should be filled to the brim with Stone Markers and Lodestones on their minor settlements. As always, build any resource structures that you should, and for these provinces, more than any other, make sure there’s room in your capital for the geomantic structures, because you REALLY want to boost the gemantic webstrength for any economic provinces.
One of the things that -really- helps alleviate the burden of recruitment is the ability to have blessed spawnings. Anytime you have a quest for those, make sure to take it, as having additional blessed spawnings is never a bad thing, allowing you to quickly replenish, reinforce, or recruit new armies entirely!
Lizardman Tech Tree
Lizardmen unlock rows based on structures. Honestly, you shouldn’t sweat the tech tree overly much with lizardmen, as the tech that opens up will, by and large, be the stuff related to what you are doing. Be flexible with what you research, don’t tunnel vision on one particular row just because you want to see it done (difference with the dwarves, who often benefited from toughing it out and going for deep techs early game while sacrificing early but quick and broad stuff). Jump around, do what feels best at the moment, and don’t sweat the small stuff. The only advice I’d really give is that you should buy the Scrying Pool, Shrine of the Old Ones, and Geomantic Pylon as soon as you can, just because that +1 Public Order tech is very very useful given the sheer number of corruptors you’ll be facing (Skaven, Chaos, Vampires) in short order and every little bit helps. It also opens up the research lines at the middle of the tree, meaning that if you fill out all of your research lines you’ll be stuck without those 3 structures and the technology they unlock finished.
Chief Priorites are to focus on the Skeggi to your west, and the Skaven to your north. Ignore the west and south for the time being. Your capital province will be in some serious need of reordering, and to fix that you should build the underground lagoon, followed by the monument to the old ones as soon as you can.
The Skeggi can be broken down very very quickly, and the moment you clear them out of the Monolith of Fallen Gods (something you should prioritize even over hunting down skeggi armies), you should buy a second lord, and have him start building up his forces. Get Mazdamundi’s growing army out in the front, and for the Old Ones’ sake, don’t use autobattle if you’ve got your starting silver ranked cavalry in the army, the AI seems to love throwing them into the meat grinder, so you’ll lose them and not be able to get them back until around turn 30ish, so just deal with it.
Once your second lord’s army is up to snuff (Call it turn 10-15ish), send him north, start conquering places. The Fallen Gates -matter- and you want to turn this place into a power house in terms of army defense. Grab the two minor settlements (the northern most one should be unoccupied by skaven, so search it first. Always search ruins first if they’re unoccupied), then start building them up, get them slotted with defensive enhancements, and camp an army there. Keep building them, and Mazdamundi’s forces.
By this point, you’ve probably begun starving out the Skeggi capital, if you didn’t just go and take it outright. Send Mazdamundi north, and grab the last settlement in your primary province, and then let it roll. You’ll want to build some defenses on this point eventually, cause it’s out in the middle of nowhere and a prime target for Dark Elves, but don’t get too fussed about it.
By around, call it turn 25ish, you should have, one way or another, (assuming you’ve been focusing on your quests) gotten enough tablets to begin your first ritual. Do so, it should require you to defend Choteck’s Causeway, the Ziguratte of Dawn, and Hexoatl. You should also get some wandering armies spawning in. Deal with them if they walk into your territory and raid you, otherwise ignore them, march Mazdamundi’s army north, and have his army run interference against the Chaos armies marching from the north while your other dude goes south and begins expanding into the west. Remember, always go for the geomantic cities -first-. Treasure Hunt, then occupy. Depending on your difficulty, you might have the Ziguratte of Dawn come under attack. If you think it’s likely, then move your second army over there, or buy a new lord.
If you’ve been doing well, and the Skaven to your north haven’t been wiped out already, towards the end of all of this you should move in to knock their teeth out, taking the northern province. This will be a fortress province, then you can focus on your western province and turn it into an economic engine.
You’ll notice that Lizardmen are expensive, they require a lot of upkeep, and so you should, throughout all of this, keep your eye on your income level, and invest in trade, in money boosting stuff, and economic buildings.