Lizardfolk get a bad rap, often typecast as vagabonds and thieves because of their forked tongues and their misunderstood biological quirk of being ‘cold-blooded’. But Warhammer’s Lizardmen (the politically correct term is ‘Protectors of the World’, by the way) are a noble bunch, in their savage human-sacrifice sort of way. They’re the oldest of the world’s races, and have a ‘Children of the Earth’ philosophy, believing themselves destined to defend the world against all these upstart factions that popped up after them. With our Total War: Warhammer 2 Lizardmen guide, you’ll learn how to do just that.
- Prefer rats? Sneak-scheme your way to domination with our Total War: Warhammer 2 Skaven race guide.
- Hateful and bitter? Deliver Druchii vengeance with our Total War: Warhammer 2 Dark Elves guide.
- Superiority complex? Put the Asur back on top with our Total War: Warhammer 2 High Elves guide.
- You can read our full review of Total War: Warhammer 2 here.
After something specific? We’ve broken our Lizardmen guide down into the following sections to make it easier for you to find your way around:
- Lizardmen strategy guide
- Lizardmen Geomantic Web and tech tree
- Lizardmen Legendary Lords
- Lizardmen battle guide
Completing quests in the early game is advisable. Before you’re raking in the big dollars through trade, owning entire provinces, and the Geomantic Web (more on that later), much of your income will be through questing, which give decent financial boosts to bolster your cities and armies.
Another perk of completing quests is that you get Ancient Plaques, which are the Lizardmens’ currency for completing the five great Rituals that every faction is racing to carry out. These rituals channel energy from the Great Vortex swirling at the centre of the map to summon empire-wide boosts to their peoples. Given that the original purpose of the Vortex was to keep the forces of Chaos and evil away from the mortal realm, this inevitably leads to complications…
You see, when you commence a ritual, massive beams of energy will form between the Great Vortex and your three main cities. This weakens the Vortex during rituals, causing the forces of Chaos to crop up around the land, and attack the cities where rituals occur, so be prepared. Your ritual beams will also be visible to other factions, who will try to disrupt your ritual.
If you’re playing as Mazdamundi, a crucial early quest you should aim to complete is ‘Mirror, Mirror’, which tasks you with capturing the Mirror Pool of Tepok from the Dark Elves. This is a Ritual resource site, and building Troves there will generate plenty of Ancient Plaques per turn.
There’s a similar resource site, Tlaxtlan, far south of Isthmus, which is owned by a fellow Lizardman tribe. Being something of a Reptilian Ethnic Nationalist (no reflection on my real-world views, except maybe the Reptilian bit), I opted to build up good relations with my fellow reptiles to the exclusion of other races, which eventually allowed me to form a confederacy with the tribe, merging them into my empire. You can, of course, march an army down there and take it by force instead, but do consider the cost in resources and diplomatic relations.
Regional climates now affect where you can settle your people. The Lizardmen are best suited to jungles, savannas, and deserts. They suffer the heaviest penalties (to public order, growth, and income) for trying to settle wastelands, chaotic wastelands, or frozen regions. Everything in between is merely ‘Unpleasant’ for them, meaning lesser penalties. In short, think of climates where you would expect to find lizards in real life, and settle your Lizardmen there. Simple.
The standout campaign mechanic for the lizardfolk is the Geomantic Web, a kind of magical power grid that stretches between the capital cities of provinces throughout the world. The stronger your web, the more effective your commandments, which, as in other Total War games, offer provincial and sometimes empire-wide boosts to your people.
The Lizardmen get their own set of commandments, called Alignments, and not only can they be strengthened via the Geomantic Web, they’re generally much better than anyone else’s anyway. Depending on its tier, the Alignment of Crafting gives boosts to building income, growth, and public order; the Alignment of Order scuppers enemy hero actions, increases siege holdout time, and can purge corruption and plagues; Alignment of War gives bonus Winds of Magic power to all forces and boosts your research rate; and Alignment of War can boost local armies’ weapon strength and leadership, local army recruits’ starting XP and recruitment price; and even give extra global recruitment capacity faction-wide at the top tier. These alignments are all nice to have at the very least, but if you can get enough provinces running them at tier five, they’re nothing less than game-changing.
So, how can that be done? The strength of the Geomantic Web is affected by a few factors. First up, in order for a Web node in a city to operate at its highest possible Geomantic strength, it needs to be connected to cities of equal or higher Geomantic strength. To strengthen the Web, you need to build Geomantic Pylons – and later Geomantic Spires and Loci – in cities connected by the web. A nice bonus is that these structures also increase the amount of gold generated in your kingdom, bolstering the Lizardmens’ claims to being the best economic faction out there. If an adjacent settlement is held by another faction, the strength of its Geomantic Web link is determined by your relationship with them – the better your relations, the stronger the web node in a foreign city.
Settlements under your control that aren’t directly connected to the Web can benefit from those Geomantic vibes by building Geomantic Markers and Geomantic Lodestones. These can be constructed in level 2 and level 3 settlements respectively, and offer further boosts to a province’s gold income.
Every army on the campaign map can take up one of several stances, such as ‘March’, which gets them around quicker (but makes them more vulnerable), or ‘Ambush’, which gives them the jump on enemies who pass through their area. A unique stance to the Lizardmen however, is Astromancy, which is as close as you get to high-fantasy x-ray vision. It increases your chances of intercepting units moving around via the underway, decreases your own chance of being ambushed, and increases visibility. Oh, and with this stance certain units get Vanguard Deployment too, which means that at the start of battles you can deploy them anywhere you like (outside the enemy’s deployment zone).
Each faction has a unique tech tree, with their own prerequisites for unlocking their disparate technologies. The Lizardmen have eight tech chains, each of which gets unlocked by constructing certain buildings. But they also have two special tech chains – one halfway through the tech tree and one at the end – that you unlock by building certain mid-level buildings. Unlocking these special chains not only gives you access to fancy new techs, but also grants permanent public order bonuses across your empire, which is always handy given that the regular folk of the Warhammer world are never too content living on the brink of war (though you’d think they’d be used to it by now).
There is no ‘perfect’ way of progressing through the tech tree – it really depends on where your priorities lie at a given time. Do you want to beef up your measly Skinks? Go down the Tablet of the Skinks chain. Want to focus on Growth and Industry? Then the Tablet of Monuments chain is the way to go. Pushing to be an economic powerhouse? Tablet of Crafts. Personally, I put a lot of research into my Saurus troops early on, as they were at the heart of my military campaigns.
Your choices of campaign leaders are the ancient Slann Mage-Priest/giant obese toad Lord Mazdamundi, or the great Saurus Oldblood general, Kroq-Gar. While Mazdamundi’s responsibilities lie in defending Lizardfolks’ rainforest territories of Lustria and seeking out Ancient Plaques there, Kroq-Gar gets sent off to the far-flung Skaven-infested lands of Araby. If you’re looking for a campaign where you get your hands dirty, try Kroq-Gar, who has a whole bunch of battle-related bonuses. If you want an easier time and fancy experimenting with some spectacular magical spells in battle, go Big Maz.
In battle, Mazdamundi is a long-range caster, and is best surrounded by one or two strong melee units to protect him. Looking at his Skills tree, you’ll be spoiled by the amount of hocus-pocus at his disposal. It ranges from buffing and healing spells like Harmonic Convergence and Apotheosis, to Ruination of Cities, which is capable of knocking whole units off their feet, to summoning a Stegadon if you fancy going all ‘Battletoad’ and charging Maz into battle. Net of Amyntok to hold enemies still for a perfectly-placed Comet of Casandora is a favourite combination, and it’s not achievable for any ordinary mage as each spell comes from a different lore.
Kroq-Gar, meanwhile, is more of a ‘Leading the Line’ kind of reptile. While he doesn’t have spells to tinker around with like Maz, his skills include all kinds of passive stat boosts for his army, combat bonuses against enemy factions, and powerful mounts and weapons, such as Grymloq the Carnosaur, who he can ride into battle, and the Spear of Tlanxla, which empowers him against Large units. His one actual magic spell, Hand of Gods, ain’t half bad either, sending a focused ray of death at a single target – great for taking town heroes and large units.
Both leaders have access to the four unique Lizardman Rites, which you unlock as you reach certain milestones in the campaign (such as winning your first ambush battle, building a Star Chamber, and so on). Defensive-minded players may appreciate the Rite of Sotek, which sets the forces of the jungles against intruding forces, causing attrition, while you can’t go far wrong with the Rite of Primeval Glory, a pricey boost that spawns a few Monster units in your capital, and allows you to summon Cold One Cavalry into any battle for 15 turns.
Considering their unconventional nature, the Lizardmen are surprisingly balanced and traditional militarily (certainly more so than those strange ratmen we wrote about recently). On the whole, Lizardmen are steadfast in battle, and it’ll take a lot of effort to make them flee the field – this obviously has its perks, but the downside is that you may need to remind them when to withdraw from a losing battle, lest they get carried away, die, and waste all that experience they’d built up.
The trade-off for the Lizardmens’ mental fortitude is that they’re prone to giving into their primal instincts and ‘Losing Control’, whereby they go into fighting frenzies if battles get a bit feisty, and try to do silly things like running down horse archers. The equivalent for bigger monster units like the Stegadon and Carnosaur is going into a Rampage, at which point they start stomping friends and foes alike as if an elephant at a drum & bass night.
Lizardmen Saurus Warriors are some of the best mid-tier infantry in the game, having huge health pools and great weapon damage. Armour and melee attack and defence are mediocre, and they don’t have armour piercing. Tech up to them quickly for an easy time until your rivals start fielding armoured elites with high melee defence. They should eat Skaven alive, in particular.
Lizardmen artillery is also unique, in that their missile-firing dinos – the Stegadon and Bastiladon – can hold their own in combat too. Indeed, little else in the game disrupts formations like an Ancient Stegadon on the charge. Lizardmen are lacking a little in mid-range, with the firepower of early Skink javelins quickly outpaced. However, Skinks come into their own when you upgrade your Spawning Pools to the third tier, whereupon you get Chameleon Skinks. These guerrilla units can scurry around the battlefield unseen, and also have the perk of Vanguard Deployment that we talked about earlier – excellent for hit-and-run harrying and generally being a nuisance.
Completing certain missions later in the game will reward the Lizardmen with ‘Blessed Spawnings’, which are more powerful versions of existing units (complete with snazzy new colour schemes). The Blessed Saurus Warriors are particularly vicious, bolstered by endless vigour which means they can romp around the battlefield without tiring out.
That’s it for our Total War: Warhammer II Lizardmen guide, if you’ve got any tips to share with us, drop them in the comments below.