Welcome to the campaign strategy section of my Lizardmen race guide. This part will focus on campaign gameplay and strategy for the Lizardmen including starting out, later expansion and the different sub-factions.
There are 4 choice of faction when playing as the Lizardmen and who you choose will make some serious differences in how they play in both campaign and battle and what you should be aiming to achieve.
For the purposes of this guide I played as Hexoatl as they’re the original Lizardmen added in Warhammer 2. They start in Hexoatl funnily enough and as starts go, it could be a lot worse.
The 1st thing I did was take out the nearby Skeggi army with auto-resolve as they didn’t pose much of a threat. Once they were contained to their settlement, I moved to take the Fallen Gates from some Skaven which required me to recruit units for a couple of turns to ensure my army was big enough to take the settlement. I had to manually fight the battle as it was fairly close but I got the settlement and stopped the production of Skaven corruption before it could get too much of a hold on the province. This meant I could take the rest of the settlements in relative leisure as my public order wasn’t declining too quickly. After this I colonised the ruins at the Ziggurat of Dawn and let my army replenish to take on the Skeggi settlement. Once they had, I quickly moved in and again manually fought a close battle and took the settlement with a handful of units to spare. This caused the nearby New World Colonies to declare war on me since the balance of power had shifted. Unfortunately for them I now had a full province worth of gold coming in to fund a bunch of new units. Within a few turns they were severely outnumbered and I took their 2 settlements within 5 turns of war being declared. The rest of the province they were living in was all ruins so I colonised 2 more settlements before turning my attention south to the Blue Vipers and the Drowned. This war lasted a little longer as the Blue Vipers just love to make full stacks of savage orc boys making their settlements very tough to take out. Around this time, I started building army number 2 and once they got down to support me, I quickly mopped up and had a 3rd region under my control.
At around this time I recruited a Skink Chief assassin and I used him as a scout to discover other Lizardmen nearby so that I could establish trade and alliances with them. Once he’d found everyone on my continent, I sent him across the sea to find Tlaqua and the Last Defenders in the south east of the map. Getting good relations this early means that later in the game it will be very easy to confederate your allies and expand your control even more. Confederation can’t be done as thoughtlessly as other factions though as the fragile early game economy makes it hard to maintain many armies. This means it worth checking what your allies have before you take it on to ensure you can support it.
After all my scouting and tea parties with other lizards, I started going after the various undead and Skaven factions that were attacking my allies and I took a few more settlements on the mainland. Once these enemies were gone I was left with the entire continent under my allies or my control and chaos wasn’t even getting down to me to make any effect. My economy was strong enough that I could build a bunch of end game stacks and clean up anything that remained with relative ease.
It’s worth noting that I had 2 attempts at this campaign because Vashnaar’s Conquest came and took 3 of my settlements which basically put me at a standstill as for some reason the second he takes a settlement; it gains a ridiculously strong garrison. Not to mention he himself has a stupidly strong army right out of the gate which will crush any early game units you throw at him. So that wasn’t fun but once I expanded faster, I didn’t run into him and he didn’t ruin my life.
For the most part the other factions play fairly similar from what I can tell. Hexoatl and the Last Defenders play basically the same aside from starting location. Tlaqua has access to a different rite, that I’ll come back to, and the Cult of Sotek has the option to make sacrifices that offer various effects both in battle and campaign. There’s quite a variety of effects to choose from so it would take too long to list them all but I’ll show them on screen to feel free to pause and take a look! it’s worth noting that to make sacrifices you need certain numbers of battle captives which works in a very similar way to the dark elves in that you have a post battle option that will get you lots of them.
All the factions have the Geomantic web which empowers your commandments based on what buildings you have in your provincial capitals within the pylon tree. I’ll show you just how it affects your commandments a little later but it’s definitely worth putting some money into. They also all get access to a unique movement stance “Astromancy”. It grants you increased vision the following turn at the cost of a reduced movement range. It also gives you a better chance of detecting ambushes and intercepting underway movements as well as granting some units vanguard deployment upon entering a battle. All Lizardmen factions also get given decisions every few turns that give you many different effects for campaign and battle. They’re often paired with good and bad effects so no matter what you choose there is a trade-off for whatever bonus you’re getting.
All of the Lizardmen also have the same climate preferences of Savannah, Desert and Jungle being habitable, Temperate, Mountain, Magical Forest and Temperate Island being unpleasant, and Wasteland, Frozen, Ocean and Chaotic Wasteland being uninhabitable.
Something else they have in common is their excellent siege potential as they don’t need to bother making any battering rams once they have Kroxigors or anything bigger as they’ll tear those gates down before a ram can even get close. I’ll cover this more in the battle section but all of the monster can eat enemy gates like a light snack.
Speaking of battle, all the factions suffer from very long and expensive recruitment meaning you can be sat for several turns with nothing to do while you wait for you stack to complete. The cost for both recruiting and upkeep can also make it a delicate balancing act in the early game between having a strong army and not going bankrupt.
Another thing that all the factions have in common is the research tree. It’s one of the more difficult ones to navigate as no matter what you want to do, you need a building to research it and depending on what that building is you can be waiting quite a few turns to research anything at all. Once you get it working though it does offer some great effects to every aspect of your faction.
Obviously, each faction starts in a different location and where they start will affect their expansion options. Hexoatl start at Hexoatl and can only really expand south as almost all of the land in the north is uninhabitable mountains. Their starting province is also quite useful for a lot of strategic buildings at the fallen gates and the ziggurat of dawn. The Last Defenders start at the Temple of Skulls which is in a corner so they can really expand to the north west quite freely as long as they cover themselves from being backdoored. Tlaqua start at the Jaluk Oasis and have the nearby east coast to spread to which will improve their visibility and economy. After this they can go north or east to take the rest of the south east desert. Finally, we have the Cult of Sotek who start at Xlanhuapec. They really have a very vulnerable starting location but it does give them options for expansion as they can move in basically any direction and find habitable land wherever they go. A good 1st move might be to go towards the east coast to improve their visibility and economy right out the gate.
The Cult of Sotek and Hexoatl also start on one of the more resource rich areas of the map and can have quite a few different resources coming in without having to own a huge amount of the map.
The commandments are the same for every faction too and they all have some great effects that can get pretty strong at max strength. The alignment of crafting grants +1-5 public order, +10-50 growth and +2-10% income from all buildings in the province. The alignment of monuments grants +1-3 winds of magic reserve to all armies and +1-5% to the research rate. The alignment of order grants -10 -50% chance of plague spreading and plague duration in the local province, -5 – 25% to enemy hero success chance, +1-5 siege holdout time, +1-5 untainted and +1-5 uses of holy Stela. Finally, the alignment of war grants +2-10 leadership, +3-15% weapon strength, -10 – 30% recruitment cost and +1-2 recruit rank all within the local province. Levels 4 and 5 also grants +1 to the global recruitment capacity.
Finally, we come to the rites.
The rite of awakening makes a Slann Mage-Priest available for recruitment from any settlement. It costs nothing and has a 10-turn cooldown but you have to have built the star chamber.
The rite of primeval glory spawns an army of feral Carnosaurs, Stegadons and Bastiladons at your capital. It also grants the ability to summon feral cold ones to all armies. It costs 8400 gold, lasts 15 turns and has a 50-turn cooldown.
The rite of Sotek causes attrition to all enemy armies in your territory, grants +50% ambush chance to your armies, +15% weapon strength for Skink, Chameleon Skink and Red Crested Skink units, +10 melee attack for Skink and +20% missile damage for all Skink and Terradon units to all armies. It costs 4200 gold, lasts 15 turns and has a 25-turn cooldown.
The rite of ferocity gives 80 XP per turn to all units, +2 recruit rank for all units, +25% to post battle loot and +1 to local recruitment capacity faction wide. It costs 1400 gold, lasts 5 turns and has a 20-turn cooldown.
Finally, the rite of Tzunki which is exclusive to Tlaqua. It grants all armies and characters additional movement for 1 turn only. Any army that uses this extra movement will be locked in the marching stance for the turn. It costs 2500 gold, lasts 1 turn and has a 20-turn cooldown.