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LaughinGremlin
04-07-2008, 02:53
When placing a level 4 mounted empire mage in a group of 5 knights, what would be the best lore to give the wizard? I'll start the investigation/debate as best as I can.

FIRE: Direct damage can soften the target to be charged. The 18" Burning Head could be delivered in a flank, the wall of fire can block a counter charger, and the flaming sword can be cast to aid the mage during combat, but if you don't roll for that spell, then you can't cast anything while in combat, and there are no spells to help the mage's unit in any way.

There are no wasted spells. Grade: A-

GOLD: Give mage a crystal ball so you know where to target the GOLD spell. Direct damage is not good against low armor save enemies, but great against heavy armor. Tie up a warmachine to help your horsemen survive its journey, and the LEAD spell helps your unit while in combat.

No wasted spells, unless the enemy has no war machines, and it's not as versatile against low armor saves. Grade B

SHADOW: Unseen Lurker can virtually turn your heavy cavalry into fast cavalry, but good luck rolling for it. Creeping Death might be able to knock some skinks out of the way. Crown of Taidron hurts your own unit, and the first spell, Steed of Shadows, won't likely be used if your intention is to get your unit into combat, because how many friendly units will be visible to your caster? He definitely can't cast it on himself.

Two wasted spells, and this lore seems like
it was made for a mage on foot. Grade C

BEASTS: Hunter's Spear may hit a flank, and Wolf Hunts helps your charge distance. The Bear's Anger won't be used for the same reason that Steed of Shadows won't be used.

One wasted spell, but good utility spells overall. Grade B

HEAVENS: The first two re-roll spells are good for combat. This lore seems built for a solo mage on foot who can hang out in his tower and hit enemies miles away. When your mage gets close to the foe, he prefers direct damage that causes 2D6 hits -- not just D6, and D6 is all you get because the higher casting rolls take into account the great range of the lightning spells and the comet. He has no need for a steed to get within his range. The Celestial Shield can't help your own unit, because the mage can't see it, and he won't likely see anyone but the enemy he's trying to charge.

One wasted spell, but re-rolls help your failed armor saves. Grade B-

LIGHT: Your mage can heal himself or another character in the unit, Spell #4, #5, and #6 are good utility spells that can help the mage's unit and be cast during combat. If Pha's Illumination could be cast on the mage himself, then this could have been the all-round best lore for this circumstance, but noooo... ...at least Pha's Illumination is a "unit strength one" spell that is #2 on the list and not #1 like in the Shadow and Beasts lists.

One wasted spell, but you'll always be able to
do something while engaged with the enemy. Grade A-

LIFE: As a side note, this guy is great for the second rank of a Bretonnian knight unit because he doesn't require line of sight, while a Heavens mage does, but I digress. If there is no terrain on the table, you must get him within range, so a mount could be good for this lore. This lore slows down opposing cavalry with the Marsh spell so you win the charge, and #4 and #5 prevent your unit from getting pelted. Master of Wood and Stone spells are fun because opponents almost always place artillery and other defensive units on hills or in a flanking forest's edge, and you can soften them during your approach to his line. Spells are cheap to cast!

Two spells are useless if the enemy has no shooting, and nothing can be cast in combat to aid the unit except for maybe the heal spell. Grade B

DEATH: Better than FIRE, because #4,#5, and #6 can be cast while the unit is in close combat. Opposing cavalry may not be able to charge your unit if you give it "fear." Drain Life isn't as good as LIFE's Cleansing Flare, but DEATH's entire list is ever useful for a mounted mage with five knights.

No wasted spells. Grade A
__________________________________________________ ____
Please correct me if I'm ignorant or have overlooked other talking points.
In the end, I'd potentially use FIRE, GOLD, LIGHT, and DEATH.
If you can give props for any particular spells that I overlooked, then let's hear it. I am not interested in having a debate about whether it is better to keep your mage on the ground or on the back of a stallion.

RavenBloodwind
04-07-2008, 03:02
Just a quick thought. First I think your assessment of the lores is pretty fair and accurate.

Putting a mage in a unit of knights seems odd to me though. They're VERY expensive babysitters and limit his vision to the front 90-degree arc. That and you'd rather have the knights in combat and you'd equally rather not have your mage in the neighborhood of any combats. Putting him with a fast cav unit (pistoliers seem more suited than outriders from a flavor standpoint but each would work well) allows him to have 360-degree LoS (well, other than seeing through his unit) and gives him MUCH better mobility.

kroq'gar
04-07-2008, 03:12
I did it once with the following build (although in a much larger regiment of inner circle).

Barded steed
Warrior armour
crystal ball
van hosts spectrum
powerstone

i think i thre biting blade in there for magical attacks as well.

Chose law of fire.

4+ armour, 5+ ward. Can swap his terrible stats with anything (eg a unit champ) and come out on top. With flaming sword (and a powerstone to aid it) he can take R&F. With crystal ball on such a mobile character you maximise its effects. Only downside was LoS, which i didnt really find that much of an issue. That and LD was dodgey (better off with a captain being general).

That, and he fitted so well with the 'warrior wizard' mold.

Condottiere
04-07-2008, 03:43
I think sticking a mage on a horse is only practical if you expect to come under fire and that armour save suddenly looks very attractive, or there might be some H-K teams looking for him, and a speedy redeployment might be advisable.

semersonp
04-07-2008, 03:50
you are empire...

your wizards... well, they ain't the most shiny...

arch lec/war altar, warrior priest in unit of ick w/ ring...

then take 1 wiz with lore of beasts + staff and a dispel scroll and call it a day imo... :)

kroq'gar
04-07-2008, 03:54
Oh but they are. You see- the enemy never EVER know whats going to set up opposite with empire- and they rarely expect a wizard lord.

LaughinGremlin
04-07-2008, 03:57
I'm appreciative of the recommendation to put a mage with fast cavalry, and I can't argue against it, which is why I'd rather not engage in that argument, as noted at the end of my original post. I agree that this tactic is easier to execute and maximises the potency of a mage.

I'm trying something unusual for the sake of being unusual. I never see a mage with knights who takes the lore of Light in a game of Warhammer for instance. I see it as a challenge to make it work. Blinding Light being cast before a charge would be similar to Gandalf of Middle Earth. You just don't see this in the Warhammer World with Empire armies. I have seen a mounted mage with the lore of fire, but not with a unit, and that's it. Yes, I understand why it's rare, but it seems like a fun challenge.

I am considering the armor and other trinkets mentioned by kroq'gar.

Any thoughts on the best lore in the proposed situation?

semersonp
04-07-2008, 04:04
thought? aside from 'rock it out'... nope...

i suppose its my grim sensibility of empire generalship... every ounce of resource being so monumentally important to the war effort, to survival...

steel shot aside - magical flesh is worth its weight in gold, if not more...

placing an inner circle wizard in a unit of exposed troops... let alone having him be the one to lead your force while concentrating on the winds of magic... just doesn't sit well with me in terms of the empires ethos...

but hey, its a big empire and i suppose theres room out there for a few wizard lords who ran mad and have managed to convince a handful of soldiers they're acting 'under orders'... :)

Marwynn
04-07-2008, 04:46
May I ask why a group of 5 Vanilla Knights?

This is your Lord character we're talking about, pimp him out with 10 IC Knights and throw a Warrior Priest in there. He can cast Hammer of Sigmar on the Wizard Lord, helping him out in his to-wounds. I'd love to see Cleansing Flare cast in that manner.

I say IC Knights but that's not really necessary. But you would want a larger unit of Knights to absorb wounds as they will get shot at.

A Light Wizard would probably work best. Dazzling Brightness, Guardian Light, and Cleansing Flare would be awesome spells to have.

Cragspyder
04-07-2008, 05:02
If you do choose to put him with Fast Cav, please remember he does not get to take advantage of any of the special shooting rules for Fast Cavalry, the rules specifically exclude characters from this. Especially since even the Fast Cav themselves only get it during the Shooting phase, not the Magic Phase!

I apologize, I thought we were talking about a level 2 Wizard with some knights, which I suppose could work... but a Wizard Lord? I would really advise against it.

They may have 5 Knights with 1+ saves but they only need to lose 1 Knight and then suddenly missile fire has a chance of hitting your Wizard.

I figure you don't take a horse for the AS (5+ modifiable might as well be nothing nowadays), you take it for the mobility.

If you are dead set on making this work, make it a level 2, give him Lore of Fire and hope he gets Flaming Sword and either Fireball or Burning Head. Combat Mage is a neat idea and I think it could work alright, especially if you spring for a Ward Save.

LaughinGremlin
04-07-2008, 05:24
Now THAT's what I'm talking about!
The extra rank to absorb missiles makes sense, and I never thought about a priest enhancing the mage like that.

A level 4 IS over-the-top (insane), I admit. The Empire book has an item with a 4+ ward save, coupled with the armor that gives 5+ AS (3+ with the barded mount), means I can have two chances to save each wound. There is also the item that allows me to ignore the first wound received, but I'd rather have the ward save. I'm more interested in preserving the life of the mage in the (insane) combat than seeing him dish out wounds with the speculum and the sword of justice. That combo is best for my level 1 grey mage on foot.
So, noone votes GOLD or DEATH, eh?

Condottiere
04-07-2008, 05:45
Now THAT's what I'm talking about!
The extra rank to absorb missiles makes sense, and I never thought about a priest enhancing the mage like that.

A level 4 IS over-the-top (insane), I admit. The Empire book has an item with a 4+ ward save, coupled with the armor that gives 5+ AS (3+ with the barded mount), means I can have two chances to save each wound. There is also the item that allows me to ignore the first wound received, but I'd rather have the ward save. I'm more interested in preserving the life of the mage in the (insane) combat than seeing him dish out wounds with the speculum and the sword of justice.The irony being, of course, that he miscasts and gets sucked into the Chaos plane.:D

LaughinGremlin
04-07-2008, 05:57
LOL!
Sincerely, I'm now considering taking the 40 point item that allows me to ignore the first wound instead of the 45 point 4+ ward save, so that I can afford to take the 25 point Luckstone so I can reroll that miscast when it surely happens! (The third item is still the 35 point 5+ armor.)

kroq'gar
05-07-2008, 01:00
LOL!
Sincerely, I'm now considering taking the 40 point item that allows me to ignore the first wound instead of the 45 point 4+ ward save, so that I can afford to take the 25 point Luckstone so I can reroll that miscast when it surely happens! (The third item is still the 35 point 5+ armor.)

Van hosts, armour, luckstone, throw in a magic blade if you can rummage the points.

Just wait for the moment when you swap stats with their lord (remember to always issue a challenge, if he refuses move character to the back and DIRECT ATTACKS onto the unit champion)

semersonp
05-07-2008, 03:39
wizard lord...

warrior priest...

10 inner circle knights...

all... 'pimped out'...

this unit would be worth just over 800 points all by itself...

in a 2250 game this seems like a seriously ill advised move... akin to putting all your eggs, butter, fine china, tiny babies, travelers checks, matches, oily rags and faberge sculpts in one basket...

not only are you giving bolt throwers a 2nd knight to kill you're... you're... you're making my head hurt : )

does this sort of thing work for you? lemee know

Condottiere
05-07-2008, 03:59
Lots of luck, though my gut feeling says that after two rounds of intensive artillery fire, ranged weapons and magical attention, the unit will get hit by anything your opponent can muster.

Vandur Last
05-07-2008, 07:49
Wait, why are you saying those spells cant be cast on the Mage himself?

Pha's Illumination specifically says he can cast it on himself.

As for Celestial Shield, surely he can cast this on himself. He just requires line of sight to do so, im certain he can see his own hands in front of his face.

Irisado
05-07-2008, 13:04
I always field my Wizards on horseback, and often field a Wizard Lord with my unit of Inner Circle Knights (Knights of the Blazing Sun these days).

I personally favour either a Light Wizard Lord or a Bright Wizard Lord, depending on the army I'm fighting against. I've found the Light Wizard Lord to be particularly effective against Undead. His presence makes my Knights much more threatening.

I like the idea of an Amethyst Wizard Lord though. I haven't fielded mine for ages, but having read your post I'm tempted. The only problem is that I tend to play against Vampire Counts a lot, so he's not usually of much use. If I get the chance to play against a mortal force, however, he may well get an outing.

DarthBinky
05-07-2008, 14:38
Pha's Illumination specifically says he can cast it on himself.

Keep reading. Bear in mind that this wizard is riding a horse...

scarletsquig
05-07-2008, 15:11
Mounted level 2 fire wizard with doomfire ring and wizards staff in a unit of pistoliers works very well, in my experience.

As for a wizard lord in a unit of knights, I'd probably go for the blitz strategy of "4 power stones, all used in a single turn".