Announcement Previews of Saurian Ancients in 2.0

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  • Previews of Saurian Ancients in 2.0

    Mandatory PR disclaimer
    Display Spoiler
    All of these changes are still subject to change. Yes, the RT has approved it, but it still has multiple steps to pass through. First, it must go through playtesting, and if anything is flagged as broken, or overpowered, or underpowered, we will go back in and fix it. The end result should be a book that is playable, and expands the options currently available.
    Additionally! There are no points yet, points won't be truly final until after all the books have been tested and the balance team can assess the game as a whole. So everything we propose to you will be without points. We know that pricing makes and breaks units. We need to trust the BLT to do their job, they will have internal testing to help provide feedback, and then then 2.0 beta for you guys to provide feedback as well



    Welcome my coldblooded friends to the first of our preview series on the 2.0 changes to the SA book. Many changes have happened, some due to the suggestions and feed back of the community, some due to internal issues with the book, some inspired by (still) WIP background (though apparently the SA stuff is close to being done, hopefully we can share some snippets soon). Thankfully the book is seen as externally well balanced(despite the eternal cowboycomplaints) so we were not requested to make any drastic negative changes to the book at least from a rules perspective.


    How this will work
    • Each week starting Oct 15th, there will be a post containing a spoiler on a unit that the SA task team has changed.
      • Included will be reasoning for the change, options explored and why we think the change will work
    • Each post will also contain a poll of the remaining units which have not been showcased.
    • The winner of each weeks poll will be the [lexicon]unit[/lexicon] featured in the next update
    • There will be a delay of 1-2 days between picking a winner and posting the new update(Despite [lexicon]Cuatl[/lexicon] having [lexicon]Evocation[/lexicon] they still haven't figured out literal ghost writing so its down to me and @Just_Flo).
    • Hence each poll will run for 5 days from the time of the post so we can keep on track.
    What changed?
    I'm sure you are fed up with admin details by now so here is the list of the units changed by the SA task team.

    • Caiman Ancient
    • Thyroscutus
    • Temple Guard
    • Jungle Swarms
    • Salamanders
    • Saurus warriors
    • Stygiosaur
    • Skink Hunters/Chameleon skinks
    As for what actually changed on each of these units and why, I'm afraid you will have to wait until each is featured on the weekly reveal.(I know, I know, I'm a horrible tease). Each race has also been given a new racial trait spell which may be chosen by any caster from that race regardless of path. This will be next weeks reveal as one or two of the unit entries aren't quite finished yet and we don't want to disappoint you by either doing a rush job or not being able to deliver on what you vote for.


    What has not changed(at least by us) and why
    Obviously some people will be upset that their favourite unit was not changed but the team was only given 8 slots for changes and tweaks to our beloved book. The task team had several vigorous debates about which units to choose(based off what we perceive as in need of help) and in the end we voted for the units above as they were the most in need of actual rules changes rather than points fiddling(which is the province of the almighty and feared Balancing team).


    However we did get the option to make minor tweaks to units which were affected by changes in the main rule-book.


    Rhampodons were one of the biggest recipients of this as we managed to implement the long asked for change to how the unit ranks up. They also benefit from two more changes in the main rules that make them a rather fearsome option now(they do a little less damage versus unmarked units but will utterly blend marked ones).


    Raptor riders are another unit which is helped out by the main rules changes, their reliability is markedly increased, they make excellent use of one of our banner enchantments and the changes to weapons make their match ups more favourable.


    Pteradons were felt to be fine mechanically, so didn't need a change on that front. Rules wise they did the same thing they did in previous editions.


    Skink braves were considered but they will benefit from a new banner enchantment in CC. They also have a role as shooting support which they fill well so were left alone.


    Taurosaur, Spearbacks, Caiman, Skink-Caiman units all are about the right level, do their jobs well and have distinct roles in the army. Though the Taurosaur gained a bit of speed on the charge due to the unit type changes at small price (not in points, so you will still be able to run 3).


    The combat characters have under gone only minor changes to ensure they are not left behind in the new magic item setup(certain community members can stop panicking now). The magic items changes and some persuasion ensured our cowboys weren't exiled to dusty shelves. In fact they survived relatively intact(BLT may jiggle the prices but nothing yet). The magic changes are wider than can be discussed here but rest assured your favourite frog is still the magical monstrosity you all know and love, able to pump out more spells, dice or bonuses than anybody else in the game. The skink priest has stayed much the same but is more capable of having a reliable solo phase due to the new method of spell selection. Path access has not changed though it was discussed(quite heatedly at some points). In the end the background team felt that the cuatl fit the 4 paths he had access to the best. Expect some background snippets to support this soon...

    That's enough for this week as we are approaching a thousand words already.


    May you find a warm rock to sleep
    @Ipower & @Just_Flo
  • Preview 1 for Saurian Ancients

    About which changed Unit do you want to know something next week? 95
    1.  
      Templeguard (49) 52%
    2.  
      Saurus Warriors (20) 21%
    3.  
      Caiman Ancient (8) 8%
    4.  
      Skink Hunters / Chameleon Skinks (6) 6%
    5.  
      Thyroscutus (4) 4%
    6.  
      Salamanders (3) 3%
    7.  
      Stygiosaur (3) 3%
    8.  
      Jungle Swarms (2) 2%
    Hello fellow Saurians,
    Our original intention was to share some glorious news about magic with you. Than something good and bad together happened. The topic (magic) we wanted to talk about with you has been picked for one of the next BTS Blog entries.

    That is good, as that Blog can and will give you much more insight into it than we would ever be able. That is bad, as what we wanted to pass on to you will be postponed until after the Blog.

    So no news this week? Well, not about magic. But we can tell you, that the RT Review of SA is almost over and we have been able to solve most changes requested by RT to their and our liking. At the moment only 2 topics where we have to find a compromise are remaining. So you can feel free to vote on which unit you are to be told something about next week.

    But now you will receive some more concrete information about the magical artefacts we will have access to:

    - Those of you who like to run opponents over on their feet or mount will be happy, that their favourite item in its core functionality will stay. Feels clunky, maybe reword

    - our most beloved way to protect Characters on Mounts will still protect them.

    - breathing fire may be a dragon thing, but with the right tools saurians will still be able to get egg-cited about that too.

    - our bound spell is still bound to us.

    - we will still be able to influence the opponents magic phase with some of our cubes items.

    - Those who loves to shoot at people with skinks will see their skink hero participating with a new toy.

    - who ever felt the need to bodyguard his Cuatl from ranged attacks will be able to fear them no more, but be aware don't get caught with him in close combat.

    - if you can't decide how to give your Skinks poison in cc, than forget the 2 old options and use a nice banner instead.


    8 Items you now have hints about, 7 more to give you hints about in the future.

    Greetings by @Just_Flo and @Ipower.
    Doesn't have: DE, WdG and ID

    SA ACS

    Coordinator Translation DE

    United Nations DE

    Playtester

    Check out Lustria Online! lustria-online.com/, tabletopwelt.de and warhammer-board.de
  • Which unit should be revealed next week? 112
    1.  
      Saurus warriors (47) 42%
    2.  
      Caiman ancient (21) 19%
    3.  
      Thyroscutus (14) 13%
    4.  
      Salamander (9) 8%
    5.  
      Stygiosaur (8) 7%
    6.  
      Skink hunters/chameleons (8) 7%
    7.  
      Jungle swarms (5) 4%
    Welcome skinks, saurus, gentle lizards(please don't eat me) to the first SA unit reveal for 2.0. The poll is closed, the votes are in, the winner by overwhelming acclaim with more than 50% of the vote (in an 8 raptor race) is Temple guard.

    Why we picked this unit
    Temple guard are one of the most iconic units of our army. A hefty block with a cuatl safe in its centre is both a visual and literal centerpiece for an SA army. They are the immovable anvil, they take the worst the world can dish out and they give the pain right back. Whether they face the swift fury of elves, the rage of demons or thunderous charge of human knights, temple guard have one cry "and still we stand!"

    In 1.3 Temple guard were exceptional at dying before they broke. Unfortunately they were far too good at the dying part. The unit was broken in ways that yet another price cut couldn't solve. They lacked in defence and were too slow for their offense to make an impact. I ran simulations for 30 temple guard against 15 elite units costing equal or less. The results were a slaughter (of temple guard). Did you know that executioners kill 22+ temple guard in a round? Or that SE rangers do about the same? Most fights were similar with the handful temple guard won being by the skin of their teeth.

    Ideas we considered
    Thankfully we didn't have to look hard for ideas, the skinks(yes, you lot, now stop looking so smug(can lizards look smug?)) had been chattering about how to stop our elite dying faster than we can spawn them (sacrificing the skinks running the spawning pools was considered but didn't work last time so...). We did some distilling and came up with the following 4 ideas
    • Weapon master
    • Obsidian club
    • Gain heavy armour and lose shields
    • Move to core
    The discussion
    Initially the task team was fairly united in picking weapon master, we would have gained parry and a pip of armour. However when presented for judgement before the Cuatl lords(Rules team) we got told to stop being boring and go away. So we tried once more with moving temple guard to core, this even had some balance team support. This was shot down by a rouge chameleon pointing out that it didn't actually solve the problems the unit had and could imbalance core.

    This was mid last week so we were scrambling, dropping shields was a big no from the task team even though the RT liked it as it would mess badly with people's models. We thought about the obsidian club. Going for the one handed halberd with parry seemed a little too much like having your ixti grubs and eating them, cough, ironfists. So do some thinking. What are clubs? What do they do? They hit people, hard. Not much use on the defense. Not renowned for cutting through armour. So we came up with the cobalt club

    Display Spoiler

    Cobalt club(name is WIP)
    User attacks with +2S


    This means we strike at a mighty s6 and gain that pip of armour we desperately needed. We do lose the pip of AP but the razor banner still exists for the nostalgic.

    Bonus reveal
    We still felt the temple guard to be too fragile and Totem of Mixotal was as useful in keeping them alive as a palm leaf if you're in front of an angry taurosaur. Reaching back through the mists of time the Cuatl summoned forth an ancient artifact, the Banner of the Sun(name is WIP). The sheer brilliance of this banner blinds those who would shoot at its bearers making them miss. Once per battle it's true power may be unleashed in a blast of blinding light dropping the offensive skill of any foe in contact (ever wanted a chaos character to hit temple guard on 4s?).

    That's all I have for this week, vote in the poll for next week's reveal(should be earlier).

    May your skinks never be caught
    @Ipower & @Just_Flo

    The post was edited 1 time, last by Ipower ().

  • What shall we preview next week? 99
    1.  
      Stygiosaurus (20) 20%
    2.  
      Thyroscutus (21) 21%
    3.  
      Skink Hunters / Chameleons (14) 14%
    4.  
      Salamanders (11) 11%
    5.  
      Caiman Ancient (29) 29%
    6.  
      Snake Swarm (4) 4%
    "WIP - not totally finalized"

    All of these changes are still subject to change. Yes, the RThas approved it, but it still has multiple steps to pass through. First, it must go through playtesting, and if anything is flagged as broken, or overpowered, or underpowered, we will go back in and fix it. The end result should be a book that is playable, and expands the options currently available.
    Additionally! There are no points yet, points won't be truly final until after all the books have been tested and the balance team can assess the game as a whole. So everything we propose to you will be without points. We know that pricing makes and breaks units. We need to trust the BLTto do their job, they will have internal testing to help provide feedback, and then then 2.0 beta for you guys to provide feedback as well.

    Hello Saurian Ancient Community...You all are true Saurians. The second vote reveals that for the second time the "Saurian" parts (TG and SW) win over the more Skinky parts of our army. So now I will tell you something about our Saurian brethren.
    In 1.3.4, our proud Saurian Warriors only went out into the Jungle in small patrols of 10 and in very few occasions in groups of 35. Seldom did these brave warriors follow the spirit (Totem) of one of our Entities. Also the power of these totems were vastly different for the same amount of points which didn't offer a good variety when list building. Therefore, we had quite a lot ideas of what should change.
    We can proudly announce that the latest strategic breeding programs have now led to units of at least 15 Saurians for our patrols.
    Of course our gods have stayed the same, but the power of their earthly totems got a bit truer to the self of the gods and what they represent.
    The deadly Pisces warriors of the Pirahna held the Totem that all opponents FEARED to face, (and we all FEARED to take,) got the potential to become the cheapest of all.
    Fast snake-like attacks for the followers bred under the Serpent not only grants these brave warriors the ability to attack from one more rank than the opponent expects, but also much faster than he will ever expect as well. However, the Serpent demands much of his followers, and it could become the one which asks the highest price from those who follow it, too.
    It seems the Totem most famous for his speed has walked so fast past us, that we only managed to adjust the advance rate and march rate of those attached to him. But those of the Jaguar are elusive and secluded, so its a wonder that we had a chance to corner them.
    Beware of the Crocodile, for it is really dangerous to walk near/drive into those big hunting animals both living in water and on land. That simple task becomes even more dangerous when those warriors are granted a harder Skin versus everything in combat, which is not a straight attack for the kill.
    So in short, yes, our starting warrior unit size has changed to 15, and it is possible that the Saurian Warriors will get a little, if not tiny, bit cheaper than before. Also some of the totems were changed, and in closing this out, they will cost different points.
    So those of the Saurian Community, be ready, be excited, and be resolute to defend the jungles and swamps of our ancestors! Also be very aware that the jungle life if fickle and the breeding process complex. Therefore, you may never truly know what is in store for the masses...in other words, things are subject to change prior to release for Public Playtesting. :judge: [/spoiler]

    @Just_Flo and @Ipower
    Doesn't have: DE, WdG and ID

    SA ACS

    Coordinator Translation DE

    United Nations DE

    Playtester

    Check out Lustria Online! lustria-online.com/, tabletopwelt.de and warhammer-board.de
  • Which unit should be unveiled next? 111
    1.  
      Thyroscutus (33) 30%
    2.  
      Styigosaur (27) 24%
    3.  
      Salamander (23) 21%
    4.  
      Skink hunters/Chameleon skinks (18) 16%
    5.  
      Jungle Swarms (10) 9%
    Mandatory PR disclaimer
    Display Spoiler
    All of these changes are still subject to change. Yes, the RT has approved it, but it still has multiple steps to pass through. First, it must go through playtesting, and if anything is flagged as broken, or overpowered, or underpowered, we will go back in and fix it. The end result should be a book that is playable, and expands the options currently available.
    Additionally! There are no points yet, points won't be truly final until after all the books have been tested and the balance team can assess the game as a whole. So everything we propose to you will be without points. We know that pricing makes and breaks units. We need to trust the BLT to do their job, they will have internal testing to help provide feedback, and then then 2.0 beta for you guys to provide feedback as well


    Greetings, cold blooded friends (and warm blooded future sacrifices), welcome to the newest version of the very old, the Caiman Ancient!

    Why we picked it for improvement
    Have you ever seen one on the table? I haven't. I haven't even heard of anyone who has actually played one let alone with any success. It was noted on the very rarely taken list of the internal data analysis report.

    Overall it didn't have a role, was anti synergistic within the army and was universally seen as an all around terrible choice(yes, yes I see the lone skink jumping up and down at the back in objection, key word being lone).

    What we considered
    The first idea was to boost the pack leader rule but that was frowned on as it would lead to him being solely used in deathstars and costed as such. So we tried the other direction, we dropped the pack leader rule and spent some time training the caiman ancient to hold a flag as had been requested by the community. That was a small boost but we still had the issue of enchantments. It was proposed that the caiman ancient get 5+ scaly and light armour but we felt that was unfluffy, this is the dinosaur army! So the Caiman ancient got light armour built in(turns out you can teach an old dinosaur new tricks) and kept his lovely scales for a base 3+ armour before items.

    Summary
    Gained, BSB option
    Gained, light armour built in

    Lost, pack leader rule

    Bonus spoiler
    I have managed to play a couple of games with the new book and have tried out the caiman ancient in combination with our new trinket, jaguar spirit.

    Display Spoiler
    Caiman ancient, jaguar spirit (+4 advance move,+4 march rate, swiftstride), basalt plates(dragonhelm), steel charm(lucky charm), great weapon


    Wow, did he impress. He was easily the MVP, with an average 19" charge he was threatening the opponent's wizard bunker from turn 2. The scalps claimed include a catapult (turn 2), 16 man archer unit(said wizard bunker, wizards were running around solo)(turn 4), ark of ages(turn 5), 4/5w on a bsb with regen (turn 6). He was incredibly impressive adding speed and power in addition to dictating the movement of my opponent.

    Extra Bonus Spoiler
    With magic unrevealed expect some extra spoilers focused on magic over the next few weeks in addition to your regular weekly unit reveal.

    May your scales grow ever thicker.
    @Ipower & @Just_Flo
  • Mandatory PR disclaimer
    Display Spoiler
    All of these changes are still subject to change. Yes, the RT has approved it, but it still has multiple steps to pass through. First, it must go through playtesting, and if anything is flagged as broken, or overpowered, or underpowered, we will go back in and fix it. The end result should be a book that is playable, and expands the options currently available.
    Additionally! There are no points yet, points won't be truly final until after all the books have been tested and the balance team can assess the game as a whole. So everything we propose to you will be without points. We know that pricing makes and breaks units. We need to trust the BLT to do their job, they will have internal testing to help provide feedback, and then then 2.0 beta for you guys to provide feedback as well


    Hereditary Spell Reveal
    Welcome most ancient and revered scholars to the first of this reveal on the nature of magic as determined by our glorious Cuatl lords. With the dawn of 2.0 each race was given the chance to create a unique spell which will be available to all the casters of that race. Any caster may swap any single spell they know at the beginning of the battle for the racial trait. You may have multiple casters switch to the racial trait but only one may attempt it each turn.

    SA Concept work
    Our initial thoughts centred around a buff spell, unfortunately the first submission to the rules team of 3 reroll tokens(may reroll a single d6 to hit, to wound or armour save) which last one turn was deemed as far too powerful and catering too much to cowboys and the alpha carnosaur. It was firmly rejected by the RT.We decided that any other spell we chose would have to be useful no matter what army build was being run whether it was a lone priest supporting blocks, cheap cuatl in a cloud or party cutal with monsters. We then started to brain storm other ideas such as
    • Tooth and nail, no weapons but +1S+1AP+1 attack aura
      • Rejected as only good in mono saurus and very hard to balance(its either brilliant with 60 saurus or terrible with a cloud)
    • Evolve, +D3 to Movement,WS, Aim score and Agility
      • Again too hard to balance and possibly too strong, doesnt support monsters
    • Harden Scales, increase scaly skin by 1
      • Very boring and already in alchemy, doesnt help skinks
    Winner
    After struggling to find a buff spell that would be useful in all builds we decided to change direction. The cuatl is the master of the elements but this represented by pyromancy. Its a solid lore but lacks the shock and awe factor from a truly god like mage. When looking for damage spells(we were considering the likes of deliverance of itza or the ruination of cities but both would be far too strong, see the rage about scorching salvo if you doubt me), one of the team suggested we were looking in the wrong place. Instead of looking back at the mighty mages of yesteryear we should look at the humble skink priest. Saurian ancients have long had an association with the astromancy and the magic of the skies.

    Display Spoiler
    Spark of life, X+/Y+ 36"/18"
    That which can create life can also take it
    Hex, missile, damage
    The target unit suffers D6 s5/s6 ap2/3 hits


    For those who havent played previous editions of ninth age this might be a thunderbolt from the blue but for those who have it is the welcome return of an old friend. Druidism skink lacking ranged damage? Not any more. Pyromancer struggling with armour? Problem solved. Alchemy mage getting caught by fireborn? Lightning to the rescue. Evocation cuatl facing evading skirmishers? Blow them away.

    It is a simple and easy to use spell(point, roll, boom) that is useful in almost every conceivable build and almost every conceivable match up. I was told to remove the casting costs at the last minute but they are both currently in single digits and I dont expect them to change much. Wish I could give you more info but orders from on high and all that.

    Follow up
    Expect at least two more bonus spoilers, one on the humble skink priest and one on the almighty master of magic that is the cuatl lord. Though you may get three if the Cuatl lords ego gets too big to fit in just one spoiler.

    Burn them all to ash!
    @Ipower & @Just_Flo
  • Which unit should be revealed next? 104

    The result is only visible to the participants.

    Display Spoiler
    All of these changes are still subject to change. Yes, the RT has approved it, but it still has multiple steps to pass through. First, it must go through playtesting, and if anything is flagged as broken, or overpowered, or underpowered, we will go back in and fix it. The end result should be a book that is playable, and expands the options currently available.
    Additionally! There are no points yet, points won't be truly final until after all the books have been tested and the balance team can assess the game as a whole. So everything we propose to you will be without points. We know that pricing makes and breaks units. We need to trust the BLT to do their job, they will have internal testing to help provide feedback, and then then 2.0 beta for you guys to provide feedback as well


    Bumm, Bumm, Bumm. Earthshaking news.

    The Saurian Ancients Dinos are on the march again. The Alpha Carnosaurus charges ahead. He seems to be unchanged. At a speed faster than before the Taurosaurus begins to advance towards the waiting crowd but falls behind the Alpha Carnosaurus much more than it used to be. Than the Thyroscutus follwos with a much quicker start than before but stays behind at it usuall speed. The last in the line is a single Skink holding up a shield. On the shield there is the following written: "The Stygiosaurus ran of for a different preview."

    Display Spoiler
    No conceptual changes on the Alpha Carnosaurus. The Taurosaurus gains swiftstride, his advance rate stays the same, but his march range decreases to 10. The Thyroscutus is now cavalry. The Stygiosaurus will be the topic of a different spoiler.


    Bumm, Bumm, Bumm. Get ready for impact of incoming dinos.
    The Alpha Carnosaurus does what he does best and slays what it touches. It looks like that the Taurosaurus strikes a tiny little bit more in the moment of the impact. After a round of mishits it seemed to struggle more than before. The Thyroscutus behaves highly unusually. It waits untill the opponent charges it and than both stand still as unmovable forces.

    Display Spoiler
    Still no changes for Alpha Carnosaurus. The Taurosaurus gets another attack in the round it charges but looses stubborn. The Thyroscutus looses all old special rules and buffs it granted. It gets an ability to hold combats. It still has 2 options it has to choose from. One grants some poison attacks, the other one grants a part of a power dice.


    So why did we do all that? We wanted to differentiate the monsters. The Alpha Carnosaurus shall stay combat monsters which do basically the same output wether they charge or not. The Taurosaurus and Stgiosaurus were kind of swiff army knifes and needed a clearer role, which they now have. The Taurosaurus is a lot more charge dependend monster and with swiftstride should get the charges more easily.

    Display Spoiler

    • Lost stubborn
    • Gained Swifstride
    • Gained Thunderous charge(+1 att)
    • Gained +1 Di



    What the Stygiosaurus now is there will be a different Preview for.

    The Thyroscutus was bloated with rules. The different buffs did only work on some units/ parts of it. Some buffs also didn't stack well with other old buffs. As in our opinion broad buff units have other problems, too we decided to find and design a role of its own for the Thyroscutus. We made it into the one and only roadblock. As Armour is one of our strengths and we liked the armour bonus on the Templeguard, we decided to share such a boni to the Thyroscutus, too.

    Display Spoiler

    - Loses old Altar of the snake God and Sun engine
    - Gains some poison attacks or 1 / 3 of a power dice
    - gets unbreakable
    - +1 Armour save
    - changes Modeltype to cavalry


    Yours Just_Flo and @Ipower
    Doesn't have: DE, WdG and ID

    SA ACS

    Coordinator Translation DE

    United Nations DE

    Playtester

    Check out Lustria Online! lustria-online.com/, tabletopwelt.de and warhammer-board.de

    The post was edited 1 time, last by Ipower ().