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Iseult
22-10-2008, 11:57
Hi,

I realise I'm fairly new to the forums, indeed I am fairly newly returned to the hobby (I used to play alot at uni but after starting full time work and in particular professional exams in 2004 have been rather busy) - so please take my comments with a grain of salt. My ideas may sound whingey at times so please try to bear in mind I'm still a huge fan of the game - this is intended as a "what we have is good, how could it be better" post rather than a "zomg patch now!!111eleven".

My thoughts concern the magic system in WHFB. I believe that as it stands it lends itself too much to an "all or nothing" approach when choosing armies. Either you take magic selections which are mostly defensive (no level upgrades, defensive items) or you go with a magic heavy list. A moderate magic offense seems ill advised as more often than not it will be shut down by both the cheap defensive and pricey offensive lists, and will offer the same level of defense vs the heavy list.

I also feel that one area in which the WH world is unique in fantasy worlds is its concept of 'winds of magic' - i.e. that magic is a resource in the world which is variable from time to time, and which wizards draw on for their spells. This concept has not been reflected in the TT rules since 4th edition.

What I suggest, and welcome your views on is a system whereby the number of power dice available to players is variable, but fixed to an average determined by the points value of the game being played (eg D3+1 dice/ 1,000 points). This will serve several purposes:
- Discourage armies loaded up with caster characters since casting capacity is finite.
- Introduce an (extra) element of risk to the magic phase; how strong is the winds of magic and what possibilites does that present?
- Bring TT rules in line with the lore of the game.

I have played a few games among friends using such a system and it has been enjoyable (of course there have been hiccups 'cos it distorts all the points costs, use of bound items, relationship with DD and so on). We've also only used it with Empire, Orcs, HE, DE and (6th ed) Chaos Warriors (so not tried with either UD army or the Tzeentch Demons etc).

Anyway, what do you think:
- Is the system spot on as is or is it time for some innovation?
- What form should any innovation take?

neXus6
22-10-2008, 12:09
Hmm, it certainly is pretty interesting, I really enjoyed the whole "winds of magic" representation back when magic was done with the cards. (that's not to say I prefered the rather messy card system overall though)
:p

As you say making such changes are pretty difficult across the board as the army books are designed to work with the system that is in place, but I certainly think you should stick at it.

I'm one of those people who really dislikes dispel scrolls (they are just to easy), but realise that they are needed as very few armies can get a magical defence going without them, so in addition I'd want some change to them to make them a little more random...or indeed a change to how Dispel Dice are worked out to make Scrolls less necessary.

Ixquic
22-10-2008, 12:19
I agree that lately middle of the road (two level 2 wizards for example) lists are pretty weak for getting off magic. I think that the problem is that it's too easy for magic defense to get out of control leading to people either going crazy into it or just giving up and spending the points elsewhere. For instance if you load up on dispel scrolls and have a decent amount of dispel dice, your opponent isn't going to be casting for the first three turns at all and after that many units are in combat and can't be targeted. There have been games where magic did pretty much nothing at all since the pattern goes [wizard 1 casts spell successfully -> dispel scroll -> wizard two casts second spell successfully -> dispelled by using remaining five dispel dice] which is repeated until the wizards are eventually killed or their roles are no longer important and that's assuming that all spells actually got off.

I think dispel scrolls are just too good since they have the added effect of increasing the amount of dispel dice you can use for the rest of that phase making magic shutdowns very common. Where I play unless you bring a level 3-4 and two level 2s you can be pretty sure that you'll maybe actually cast three minor spells succesfully a game (that includes irresistables).

I don't agree that the phase should be more random since that hurts magic reliant armies in ways that ones that have lots of shooting or close combat don't have to worry about even now. I do think we need to get back to a point where it's not so easy to make magic impotent unless you go all out. However if they do that they need to make sure that the spells are less powerful (or harder to cast in the first place) since now if something like Spirit of the Forge is cast on a unit of heavy cav it's a game changing moment.


I'm one of those people who really dislikes dispel scrolls (they are just to easy), but realise that they are needed as very few armies can get a magical defence going without them, so in addition I'd want some change to them to make them a little more random...or indeed a change to how Dispel Dice are worked out to make Scrolls less necessary.

I think the original design was that since you get more power dice than dispel dice but dispel wins ties, the chances will work out that with evenly matched armies about one spell will end up being cast a turn. Of course with certain super spells you need a little added protection and a dispel scroll for when your Iron Breakers are staring down that Pit of Shades which went off on a 19. The problem is that players quickly figured out that a trump card like that for 25 points is a super value and you start seeing 4+ of them being used when the player knows he's up against a magic dependant army. Even in an all comers list that many isn't a terrible idea since it makes it even easier to totally stop all spells when the magic phase is more moderate. I think a potential solution is either a points ratio limit (for instance 1 per 1000 points) or making them "less common magic items" where there is no army wide limit but only one per wizard. Honestly I don't see why anyone "needs" more than two in a 2000 point game unless they are up against the 15+ power dice Tzeench or Vampire lists but those are a problem in themselves.

Avian
22-10-2008, 12:36
Heh, I actually a system working broadly on that principle back in 6th edition. You can find it here: The Winds of Magic (http://folk.ntnu.no/tarjeia/avian/rules/winds_of_magic.php)
(ignore comments on Marks of Khorne and Tzeentch generating magic dice, that has since been changed)

It almost worked then and it should possibly work better now.

Ixquic
22-10-2008, 13:06
Heh, I actually a system working broadly on that principle back in 6th edition. You can find it here: The Winds of Magic (http://folk.ntnu.no/tarjeia/avian/rules/winds_of_magic.php)
(ignore comments on Marks of Khorne and Tzeentch generating magic dice, that has since been changed)

It almost worked then and it should possibly work better now.

Seems like a cool idea and makes sense since the "winds of magic" are supposed to be something to be tapped and not generated by wizards although I think it might run into the same issues as the current one does with people overloading scrolls.

Avian
22-10-2008, 13:25
Well, people loading up on scrolls are (as I see it) mostly a consequence of the problems with the magic phase. Just last night I was discussing magic protection with a friend of mine. He was branching his TK army out into something that would also be useable as a VC army and with the extra DD a VC army generates he could get he reckoned that he could drop one of his two scrolls.

So, under the WoM rules, with armies often getting more DD on average, coupled with magic heavy armies often getting fewer PD, there would be less need for Scrolls and loading up on a bucketload of them would be less effective than spending the points and character slots on something else. As I see it, that would be a lot more effective than just limiting Scrolls on the basis that they are the problem in itself, rather than a consequence (after all, if people did not feel they needed them, they would bring fewer).

Lordsaradain
22-10-2008, 13:31
Heh, I actually a system working broadly on that principle back in 6th edition. You can find it here: The Winds of Magic (http://folk.ntnu.no/tarjeia/avian/rules/winds_of_magic.php)
(ignore comments on Marks of Khorne and Tzeentch generating magic dice, that has since been changed)

It almost worked then and it should possibly work better now.

Cool idea. I could definetly try that out.

Storak
22-10-2008, 14:42
the system favors min-maxing. that is bad.

the most simple idea i had on the system, works like this:

at the end of the magic phase, a number of dice (determined by the size of the game, for example 1d6 per 1000 points, +- some bonus perhaps, depending on how much magic you want) is rolled. let s call it "winds of magic". the number is then compared to the number of power dice used by the active player (bound spells add power dice..).

if the number rolled is less or equal to the number of power dice used, something went wrong and two things happen:

1. one caster (opponents choice) must roll on the miscast table.
(punishment for bringing many dice)

2. the opponent may immediately cast a spell.
(gives some spell casting to the person with less dice)

the system might be modified, to work on the difference between power dice (and or dispell dice/scrolls) in both armies...

--------------------------

but i fear that the system needs some bigger changes, actually...

Avian
22-10-2008, 14:49
Eh? That doesn't sound very intuitive to me. Have you tested that idea?

Storak
22-10-2008, 16:00
nope. :)

but the idea is simple. it will punish high numbers of power dice.

the system might need some number modification, but it will work. plenty of games are fought with a hard cap on PD numbers, in my group and elsewhere.

the system is not very different, just a soft cap. you can bring/use more dice, but they come with a risk.

if you want to test, start with (very conservative) 2d6+4 in 2000 points (d6+2 per 1000). with 6 or 7 PD (+bound spells) or below, it shouldn t make a real difference. when you bring 11 or more, you will suffer 3 miscasts and your opponent will get 3 extra spells of.

--------------

ps: just to describe where i m coming from: we used to play without magic, because it was pretty out of control, even for the horrible balance in earlier editions.
then one of us started undead, and we were forced to use magic. and immediately people started to take a LOT of magic.
but often with little effect on the game, as both players canceled each others magic phase.

we found less troops on the table and spent time rolling dice (or cards) in a magic phase (that we didn t enjoy) without having lots of effect on the game. apart from some absurd random magic effects, ruining whole games (comet anyone?).

if i had a say, magic phases would be short in a tabletop game.(it doesn t actually involve models, most of the time. there are pretty good card games available..)
magic effects would be limited, never deciding games on a single roll and mostly influencing combat and movement. (the real action on the battlefield.)
it wouldn t be a min-max phase either.

but i fear, noone is going to ask me. and about terrain and movement neither...

theunwantedbeing
22-10-2008, 16:35
I think the "problem" is more to do with how people feel that magic is an all or nothing approach when infact that isnt the case.
However, when facing very magic heavy armies...it does become a game of all or nothing.
As you either take a lot of magic and nullify the other guys phase, or none and just sit there and take it.

As for some sort of winds of magic approach to the game....I dont think it should really be a cap on the amount of dice available to you.

More like a modifier to casting/dispel attempts.
So you roll on a table and then consult a chart and that gives you the appropriate result for the winds of magic in that particular phase ofm the game.

eg.
roll 2d6
2: the winds of magic do not blow, all casting attempts are halved and dispel attempts are doubles
3-5 : casting attempts suffer a -1 and dispel attempts a +1
6-7 : no effect
8-11: casting attempts are at +1, dispel are at -1
12: all casting attempts are doubled in score, all dispel attempts are halved

Something like that perhaps.
Not so much limiting to the number of mages you can bring to the table, but rather limiting towards the potential effectiveness of the mages.

Another idea would be to have a scatter dice decide which direction the winds of magic are blowing from, and so have mages "upstream" receive a bonus to cast, and those downstream receive a negative modifier to cast.
Or perhaps just have negative modifiers for those downstream...or have them lose dice on a set roll.

So lots of mages means some will be "downstream" and lose a bunch of dice...but few mages means those that are downstream will still have lots of dice to use.

Perhaps have the most upstream mage gain no benefit, then the mage next loses any of their generated dice on a 6+, next mage 5+, next mage 4+...etc etc
At 3k games taking 6 mages does mean that your looking at no point taking 6 mages though.
So the system doens upscale all that well. Perhaps cap it at 4+ to make it more scalable for larger games?

Certainly cripples the "loads of powerdice tzeentch daemon list".

Avian
22-10-2008, 17:41
if you want to test, start with (very conservative) 2d6+4 in 2000 points (d6+2 per 1000). with 6 or 7 PD (+bound spells) or below, it shouldn t make a real difference. when you bring 11 or more, you will suffer 3 miscasts and your opponent will get 3 extra spells of.
Provided you make an average roll, that is. Even with a medium of magic, you might easily get several extra miscasts per turn and if your opponent has some super-spells up his sleeve you could suddenly be really hurtin'.

And really, why does having little magic around make miscasts more likely, should it not be the other way around?


@ theunwantedbeing: My version of the random scenario generator has something like that. Apart from the 2 and 12 results I don't think that is unreasonable for a scenario special rule. :)

Storak
22-10-2008, 18:10
Provided you make an average roll, that is. Even with a medium of magic, you might easily get several extra miscasts per turn and if your opponent has some super-spells up his sleeve you could suddenly be really hurtin'.

you cant get several extra miscasts per turn, as there is only a single roll, at the end of the magic phase.


And really, why does having little magic around make miscasts more likely, should it not be the other way around?

i don t think that such fluff descriptions are important, but a low "winds of magic" roll during a turn with high PD use could be seen as stretching the powers of the caster beyond his limits...

with little magic (6 PD, that is one lvl4 or two lvl 2..) the chance for an extra miscast in the scenario i described above will be zero. with 7PD (or 6 and a bound spell) you should get 1 extra miscast every 6 games. (actually less, as you might not be able to use all "7" PD every turn of every game..)

--------------------------

i see several problems with magic in the game:

1. min-maxing: bringing a little "offensive" magic doesn t make sense, as most players will simply dispel all of it. when you already bring a lot of PD, it makes massive sense to bring even more (and those bound spells..).

2. balanced magic phases. many dice rolled, little to no effect. luck decides, who gets a (total power) spell off.

3. spells having a game deciding influence. the major reason for all those scrolls. you name the spell, i prepare the pen to erase a scroll. my feeling is that those spells are having a big come back recently...

4. point values. it is obviously pretty difficult to give a useful point value to casters and spells (daemons?), "even" for GW. most modifications to the system will cause trouble here.

the system proposed by the original poster addresses point 1, but might create an extra point 2 problem.

mine is similiar, but gives the underdog an extra chance to get spells of. and might harm the guy with the deadly spell.

Avian has created an elegant system to solve the first two problems.

i m pretty sure that thee are more problems and solutions out there...

Avian
22-10-2008, 18:41
you cant get several extra miscasts per turn, as there is only a single roll, at the end of the magic phase.
Sorry, I meant battle.

Anyways, mine almost worked. Give yours a try and we'll compare notes. I agree with your analysis, but I don't really think there is any way around super-spells other than not putting them in the spell lists. :cries:

Von Wibble
22-10-2008, 19:10
Avian, I like your system. But think about how it works with dark elves.

Say a L1 with Tome of Furion is taken, plus a Ring of Hotek on a character. The game is 2500 pts. My opponent has a L4 and 2 L2s

Average power dice = 7 Average dispel dice = 3

With 7 dice I can throw a couple into POD and on average get an extra dice from it. I can the have 2 casting attempts on 3 dice (or a 3 and 4) and store a dice also. My opponent with his 3 dice is only going to stop 1 (at best) + scrolls. If he does this he stores nothing.

In his magic phase he then is casting with 7 dice against my 4 dispel dice. He can store up to 5 dice to stop my magic phase. But even if he stores 3 or more chances are he casts nothing. If he stores less than 3 dice he probably casts 1 spell, and over the course of the game might just get 1 more spell pulled off from an accumulation of dice.

So a (dark elf) L1 compared to a L4 and 2 L2s gets to cast 1 less spell over the course of the game, and loses some flexibility in what spell is cast. For the points difference this doesn't seem right. I appreciate things get even better for the dark elf player with more magic but it seems the 1 sorceress is adequate.

Any thoughts on what adaptation could be made to weaken the dark elf version of the system? I like the idea of casting with as many PD as they like so would want to keep that.

Iseult
22-10-2008, 22:50
Avian's system sounds good, pretty close to what I had in mind for an outcome. I'm sure there will be glitches since it's a bolt on addition rather than a core part of the game but in essence it seems sound.

I will try it out this weekend 2-3k empire vs orcs with a L4 and 1x L2 each and post comments.

theunwantedbeing
22-10-2008, 23:06
You really need to try it out at the extreme end, with 1 single level 1/2 and the maximum amount. (prefferably in a horror heavy daemon army)

ekalb
23-10-2008, 00:04
I have given a lot of thought into the magic workings of the game and have come to the conclusion that much of the min/maxing is caused by shifting the system from being mage vs mage to mage vs every enemy mage and his army. back in the old card system you compared your casting level to the enemeys level. the dice system they have given us now is like an incomplete idea. they got rid of power dice sharing, a move I love, but then gave the defencive player the ability to litterally throw all of his dice at any spell he wants.
I have toyed around with the idea of making dispel dice owner exclusive but have never tried it.

Condottiere
23-10-2008, 03:35
As I recall, in the old system, a unit only had a chance to dispel a magic spell cast on it if that unit had a mage in its midst (but then thre were no limits on the number of characters).

I think the problem with a massive magic onslaught only occcurs in small or medium sized games. In large ones, the chances for a miscast are greatly increased, so having more magic makes it a case of diminishing returns.

Famder
23-10-2008, 07:22
I like most of Avian's system, but it makes dice storing items less special and harder to utilize.

Perhaps they should bring it back to a mage vs mage system. Have each mage generate the same number of DD as PD, and only a single mage can commit their DD to any dispel attempts, but they have no cap to the number they can use. Don't particularly like the idea, but it would make dispel scrolls less necessary.

Avian
23-10-2008, 07:36
Avian, I like your system. But think about how it works with dark elves.

Say a L1 with Tome of Furion is taken, plus a Ring of Hotek on a character. The game is 2500 pts. My opponent has a L4 and 2 L2s

Average power dice = 7 Average dispel dice = 3
That's not actually right. Average number of DD is 4.5.



With 7 dice I can throw a couple into POD and on average get an extra dice from it. I can the have 2 casting attempts on 3 dice (or a 3 and 4) and store a dice also. My opponent with his 3 dice is only going to stop 1 (at best) + scrolls. If he does this he stores nothing.
He'd have more dice, as mentioned. Let's say he dispells one spell using, say, three dice and either scrolls the other, lets it go, or you either fail to get it off or it's not useable in that situation. Then he's saving one or two dice for the next turn.



In his magic phase he then is casting with 7 dice against my 4 dispel dice. He can store up to 5 dice to stop my magic phase. But even if he stores 3 or more chances are he casts nothing. If he stores less than 3 dice he probably casts 1 spell, and over the course of the game might just get 1 more spell pulled off from an accumulation of dice.
I'm not sure how you reckon that the Chaos player would cast fewer spells than you do. Especially I don't get what you mean by saying "even if he stores 3 or more chances are he casts nothing".



So a (dark elf) L1 compared to a L4 and 2 L2s gets to cast 1 less spell over the course of the game, and loses some flexibility in what spell is cast. For the points difference this doesn't seem right. I appreciate things get even better for the dark elf player with more magic but it seems the 1 sorceress is adequate.
I think you need to test things out in practice first. :) I think you are assuming too much when you think that one elf with two spells will be able to use both of them each turn. And that elf is going to be very much a target for mage hunting.



As I recall, in the old system, a unit only had a chance to dispel a magic spell cast on it if that unit had a mage in its midst (but then thre were no limits on the number of characters).
No, it has never been that way (thankfully, as it is a horrible idea).

blake
23-10-2008, 07:42
This is all well and good but it further complicates the current dice system.

After watching 3 games this weekend we had a big discussion on the issues of casting and where the game is going in terms of magic.

Friend has a Dark elf pure casting list he plays.
Other friend (owner of the shop) typically plays all heavy magic lists.
Another friend plays VC 11ish PD army
Another guy plays a 11PD wood elf army.

In the three games there was at least 13 miscasts, one game had at least 6.

Here is the biggest problem right now , and i think Games Workshop is aware of it. Is unless you play orcs or ogre's there is NOTHING scary about the miscast table. Your chance of dying is sooo incredably low. Odds are you might lose 1 wound, kill a couple models in the unit your in, or end the phase/allow you opponent to cast a spell which is promptly dispelled or scrolled.

My friend and roomie who plays the Dark elves doesnt even care about miscasts anymore, he just throws dice , if he miscasts....oh well worse thing is the magic phase is over, otherwise who cares.

This has gotta change, when you miscast you need to be sweating bullets about losing your big bad caster, otherwise...who cares what happens you might lose 1 wound OH NOES! Oh i killed a couple guys in my unit, OH NOES.

Sigh , oh well to me one of the simplist fixes is to make the miscast table much harsher, or allow it to happen more often, and i think i have seen rumors that Games Workshop is thinking the same thing.

Iseult
23-10-2008, 09:00
Here is the biggest problem right now , and i think Games Workshop is aware of it. Is unless you play orcs or ogre's there is NOTHING scary about the miscast table. Your chance of dying is sooo incredably low. Odds are you might lose 1 wound, kill a couple models in the unit your in, or end the phase/allow you opponent to cast a spell which is promptly dispelled or scrolled.


I think it would be pretty scary to see your 10 levels of magic arrayed over the table with an arsenal of horrible spells, range and LOS all sorted out... only to snakeyes the power dice roll and see 800 points of your army sit idle.

I personally am not a huge fan of deadly miscast effects. I feel a connection with my characters and I don't like the idea of them nuking themselves into oblivion. I'd rather my opponent be forced to do that for himself... Sure, harsh miscasts can make magic risky but:
- being subject to penalties I have minimal control over irks me
- restricting power dice has equal effects in curtailing maxed out armies

As overdone as it is to say, I like to see "realistic" armies where possible and I don't feel all magic armies capture the feel of an epic contest as do more balanced forces (but that's purely aesthetic and I'm not trying to impose my views on the subject on anybody). Variable dice achieve this purpose for me as well as hopefully balancing out army selection a bit.

Embalmed
23-10-2008, 09:12
<What blake wrote>

Agreed. Making the miscast table nastier would make armies maxed out on magic somewhat less tempting.

IMO miscasting on a single die should be possible too, for instance if you roll a '1' then roll again, if this is also a '1' then you miscast.

Other than that I think the system is ok. After all it has to pay off to fork out a bunch of points for all those wizards if that is what you want to do and if someone is willing to spend a lot of points on magic protection then he should get something for it, it wouldn't be fair if player 1 pays 200 pts on magic protection and player 2 spends 175 pts on wizards and the result is that player 2 gets a spell through each round.

Embalmed
23-10-2008, 09:25
I think it would be pretty scary to see your 10 levels of magic arrayed over the table with an arsenal of horrible spells, range and LOS all sorted out... only to snakeyes the power dice roll and see 800 points of your army sit idle.

1.There are ways of minimizing this risk.
2.Having 800 pts do essentially nothing for one turn is not all that uncommon, besides you still get to use their DD in the opponents turn.
3.It doesn't stop people from spending those 800 pts on wizards anyway.



I personally am not a huge fan of deadly miscast effects. I feel a connection with my characters and I don't like the idea of them nuking themselves into oblivion.


I very much prefer to curtail maxed out magic by making it more risky than by making it more lame. To me that is much more fluffy.

kramplarv
23-10-2008, 09:41
if someone invest 800pts in magic I say let them cast magic.

there's no problem in the mechanics. the problem is that to many spells are high level to cast, and to game breaking.

if none but a few spells were 10+ and the destructive powers weren't so high people would not invest so much points in it. And with less wizards, less magic defense. But when stuff like 13+ spells, 15+, 12+ spells are floating around people want a high level mage to be able to cast them. And that has the side effect of a mage casting lots of other spells with many dice.

the evolution of magic and magic defense are very similar to how the armored forces of the world has evolved since ww2. And that is also a reason to why medium magic does not work...Modern armies don't bring medium forces to a battle. either they come with as much power as possible, or with small forces. They do not come "medium sized" because that way the would loose most men and material.

edit: Im also a fan of a harder, much harder miscast. Like, 7 = S6hit, no saves of any kind allowed. 1-4 Dead, 10-12 same as 12 today. 5-6 nothing happens, 8-9 same as today.

Condottiere
23-10-2008, 09:46
Off topic - medium-sized forces could be considered reconnaissance in force, for when you don't know what you are up against.

On-topic - rather like an all-comers list.

Iseult
23-10-2008, 11:57
the evolution of magic and magic defense are very similar to how the armored forces of the world has evolved since ww2. And that is also a reason to why medium magic does not work...Modern armies don't bring medium forces to a battle. either they come with as much power as possible, or with small forces. They do not come "medium sized" because that way the would loose most men and material.

Difference being that this is a game of fantasy battles. The models and background story are what drew me back into this game in the first place. When you open an army book you don't read about Gunther Scharpe, Wizard lord, his 3 apprentices, 2 steam tanks, 4 cannon and 60 handgunners facing off against the hordes of Warboss Basha Broketooth.

I'm still adamant that a stronger miscast table doesn't provide any incentive to a moderate magic phase. It's like fiddling the odds in the lottery - people will still do it cos its easy and can pay off bigtime. The fact that it's "risky" doesn't help the opponent against whom the risk paid off; he's been blown off the table left feeling that he never had a chance. In the event that the casters do splatter themselves and the hapless opponent wins with ease, it is somewhat hollow since he must thank the miscast as much as any actions undertaken by his own troops.

blake
23-10-2008, 12:31
Well lets look at these 500pt casting monsters.

My friend plays DE's and he always runs a High Sorc on a Peguses with toys. Dark Elves are the ultimate offensive + no save from miscast army. This is part of thier new fluff that GW has decided upon giving them. His first couple of games he was getting a little bit discouraged about how often he was miscasting with her in his first 3-4 games. Which is funny because we were like "Dude , she never dies from it, and she's still there casting the same **** in the next 2-3 turns". This past saturday he miscast first turn, things looked grim, then turn 3 all his magic goes off and the game turns into him wafflestomping a totally broken all slaneesh beastmen army. He's gotten to where if its something like Word of Pain or Blade Wind (whichever one hits a unit with melee attacks that lets him assign the attacks) he just throws 3-4 to even 5+ dice because most of the time unless your an army that is sitting on 8ish Dispel Dice your going to let him get off Power of Darkness.

You say you dont want to lose your 800pt casting monster, but how often does that really happen now??? What chance of that is there? Will some armies that have access to "immune to first miscast effect" items suddenly have a more difficult choice in thier arcane item selection, suddenly your faced with the choice of maybe tempering your offensive items to give yourself an escape?

I dunno maybe it doesn't need to just splat a char but right now the miscast table definatly doesn't work with how magic is becoming MIN/MAXXed. You either have the magic levels and casting dice to power yourself through a phase where you miscast, or your lack of magic means you didnt really care much about casting anyways. I think alot of the magic problems in the game are that spells themselves have gradually become more and more powerful, with casting value's to represent that, and in order to reliably cast spells 10+ you have to have those lvl 4's (flipside of this is VC who can wear you down by casting 6+ spells on one dice at a time)

All in all the most devestating rolls on the miscast table right now are the one's that end the magic phase.

StarFyre
23-10-2008, 12:37
See, i personally think, magic should be powerful. However, I found the best way to balance it, normally, the best, mos game changing spells appeared to be on special characters that were very expensive (kroak's ruination, Settra's special movement ability, and Zacharias enhanced summoning).

Now that vampire magic has gotten better, lizardmen new lore or 2 are apparently very powerful, and the new chaos tzeentch lore has that crazy spell that can wipe out units.... overall I am happy with how magic is developing. I agree that maybe a better way to dispel or even more dispel dice for armies? not sure.

I Just think every option should be viable.
If a person really wants super magic, it should be possible to use that to win. Just like how khorne can win by mass charging and crashing into the enemy units and just ripping through them with bloodletters and thirsters, etc. or how wood elves that move intelligently can shoot you to death.

Oh a note, I am a fan of a harsh miscast table. the current one sucks.
I envision something more like a part of the wild magic table, the customized D&D wild mage we have in my 4E campaign is using. We got some harsh stuff on it, and I envision something even worse in warhammer (due to how magic system is based).

Ideally, I'd want something like:

2 - caster and all models within 2d6 inches are sucked into a vortex and sent to the realm of chaos.
3 - wizard loses 1 level of caster
4 - enemy chooses 1 model/unit, target of spell is changed to THAT model/unit, and spell goes off.
5-6 - enemy can cast any spell, etc as it is now.
7 - no effect
8-9 -all wizards on table take 1d6 str 6 hits
10 - caster dies (no saves allowed)
11 - a rift opens to the realm of chaos, enemy may choose any greater daemon from the table (table would be in book). this demon reaches out and tries to attack the caster. Opponent may roll it's attacks. After attacks are done, it is sucked back into the warp.
12 - spell goes off with irr. force and if it's a magic missile, does 2 str higher than normal, but the backlash causes d6 str 10 hits with no saves allowed on the caster and can't be used again that game.

Sanjay

blake
23-10-2008, 12:43
I'm still adamant that a stronger miscast table doesn't provide any incentive to a moderate magic phase. It's like fiddling the odds in the lottery - people will still do it cos its easy and can pay off bigtime. The fact that it's "risky" doesn't help the opponent against whom the risk paid off; he's been blown off the table left feeling that he never had a chance. In the event that the casters do splatter themselves and the hapless opponent wins with ease, it is somewhat hollow since he must thank the miscast as much as any actions undertaken by his own troops.

You do bring up a good counterpoint to the argument. My friend who owns the shop runs a 3 Butcher + Tyrant Ogre army, and thier miscast table is heinous. He counters this by the fact that he almost never rolls more than 2 dice to cast a spell.

But personally i think having a miscast table you have to worry about and keep in the back of your mind is that you wont see people throwing 4-5 dice around at spells so often. Which in turn means the defender won't have to worry so much about sitting on 6+ dispel dice, which means he won't bank on as many Dispel Scrolls. Sure you'll still have level 4's out there, and they're going to still cast 2-3 maybe 4 spells on 2 or 3 dice, but now you have to stop and really think about....how badly do you want to get that "crucial" spell off...is it worth the 4-5 dice you could potentially throw at it?

theunwantedbeing
23-10-2008, 13:04
The current miscats table is about right, anything harsher and most armies are getting an unfair penalty for a lot of magic, while armies like vampire counts who sit there on a huge mountain of dice the drip feed across the board couldn't care less if a miscast killed every mage on the board instantly and everyone within 12" of them....they simply are able to make themselves so unlikely for it to happen that it's not an issue.

That's where the probems come from...spamming of the same low power spell over and over on 1 or 2 dice and just not standing any noticable chance of getting a miscast.

People often dont want to use 4+ dice on a spell as it will just have a scroll thrown at it and that's 4 dice you just wasted, or rather risked getting a miscast with.

So that's 2 problems with the current magic phase.
Spamming of low level stuff (more army specific than a problem with the phase itself).
Scrolls being far too numerous to warrant throwing a lot of dice at a spell (not the problem of the phase, but the way scrolls are selected).

@Starfyre
You realise that with that miscast table the best option for magic would be to take a single hero level mage, give her a bunch of powerstone and throw as many dice as possible at a spell, hoping to get the one that will most likely kill off all mages (your lone mage and the enemies mages) and give you a huge payout and not care about what spells you get.
I'de also give her a steed and throw her as fast as possibly as near as possible at the enemy general/most expensive unit, incase she explodes and kills everyone nearby.

I do hope you see how utterly rediculous that would make the phase if that sort of thing was possible.

Scrolls and spell spamming are the main problems.
Neither of which are down to how the current magic phase works.

The Red Scourge
23-10-2008, 13:27
Yeah a harsher miscast a table.

And a Ld test each round for monster riders to control their mount or get eaten.

And up the chance of cannons misfiring to 1/3 instead of 1/6.

And make stupidity a rule for all units.

Seriously. Try and compare magic to shooting, and you'll see that it has just about the same effect, other than when you spend 150 points on a wizard you get 2 wounds and when you spend 150 points on handgunners you get 15, and they'll cause the same amount of casualties. Add to this that you pay with the risk of having a character blow up in your face.

A bad miscast and reliance on magic can easily cost you the game, and those mages are hardly known for their resilience. Also the miscast table is just as much there to just nullify the casting, making sure there is no certainty despite you throwing 5+ dice at a 4+ spell.

The trouble with magic is the same as with every other aspect of WFB, that if you focus very narrowly in one direction, you'll be hard to beat, unless your opponent meets you with an equally focussed list.

The answer is simply to restrict the options for focus. Like putting a max. cap on levels of magic, number of identical unit choices for core, special and rare.

StarFyre
23-10-2008, 13:41
i actually like chaos and the randomness since it fits with fluff.

in D&D, we made the wild mage tables VERY harsh, but we use a custom magic system for that since players no like the 4E system. In that system, wizards can power up spells or make them weaker. go ahead, be a low level and try and do a meteor swarm...you technically MAY be able to do it..but then the wild surge if you fail; higher chance, and it will be much worse.

Sanjay

Ixquic
23-10-2008, 13:50
See I have the opposite opinion that making magic less powerful will result in less scrolls. Even if magic is toned down so that people need less dispel dice and overall magic defenses, Dispel Scrolls are still a sure thing trump card cheap enough that a hero can have two. If you can currently shut down magic for most of the game when the army has only a moderate amount of magic, even if it's easier why would you want to take a chance with rolling dice to dispel when you still have cheap magic items with 100% efficiency?

The Red Scourge
23-10-2008, 14:16
...you still have cheap magic items with 100% efficiency?

A scroll caddie averages around 130 points and a hero choice, this puts the value of those scrolls at 65 pts a piece rather than 25 thats hardly what I'd call "cheap" :p

Kerill
23-10-2008, 16:19
Magic is simply not that powerful in warhammer and sucks up a lot of points. Apart from Tzeentch daemons, dark elves and vampire counts the rest of the system works ok. Dispel scrolls are a little too good at stopping magic (as is that ring the dark elves have) which means you have to go all or nothing. If I was to tweak anything I would set a rule that a mage can only carry as many arcane items as their level allowed. Then you wouldn't have the option of a simple scroll caddy every time but would actually have to either suck up the damage or invest a little more.

I'm sure all the "magic is crap, everything should be decided in movement and combat phases" group will disagree but then I've never understood why they don't simply play a historical wargame instead or just remove the magic phase completely from WFB in their gaming group.

Von Wibble
23-10-2008, 17:53
Avian I take your point and will try the system. To claify, when I said about "even if he stores 3 or more dice he casts nothing" I referred to the fact that he would only have 4 dice left to cast spells with (since the rest are being used next MP to stop the dark elf), and 4 dice vs as many dispel dice and ring of hotek are not going to achieve much.

Kerill - a nice idea since this actually differentiates a L3 from a L4 a bit more also.

On miscasts, why not make a miscast happen on a (unmodified) 1 if only 1 dice was rolled? Moderate magic user armies tend to throw 2-3 dice at spell attempts so no problem for them. If VC started invocation spam with 2 dice per attempt they will get half the number. If they stick to 1 dice then after 4 attempts P(miscast) > 0.5. Butchers get something making them an exception to the rule (with no L4 at less than 3000 OK magic isn't really overpowered)

As far as caddies go , for just 200 more than a caddy you can get a decent amount of magic yourself. Oddly enough my high and dark elves both tend to go for moderate magic (2 x L2 + L1 high elves, with banner of sorcery for good power dice, 2 x L2 for dark elves) Heavy magic has never paid off for me yet with me usually miscasting when I try it.

FigureFour
23-10-2008, 19:40
Yeah a harsher miscast a table.

And a Ld test each round for monster riders to control their mount or get eaten.

And up the chance of cannons misfiring to 1/3 instead of 1/6.

And make stupidity a rule for all units.

Seriously. Try and compare magic to shooting, and you'll see that it has just about the same effect, other than when you spend 150 points on a wizard you get 2 wounds and when you spend 150 points on handgunners you get 15, and they'll cause the same amount of casualties. Add to this that you pay with the risk of having a character blow up in your face.

A bad miscast and reliance on magic can easily cost you the game, and those mages are hardly known for their resilience. Also the miscast table is just as much there to just nullify the casting, making sure there is no certainty despite you throwing 5+ dice at a 4+ spell.

The trouble with magic is the same as with every other aspect of WFB, that if you focus very narrowly in one direction, you'll be hard to beat, unless your opponent meets you with an equally focussed list.

The answer is simply to restrict the options for focus. Like putting a max. cap on levels of magic, number of identical unit choices for core, special and rare.

Well, at least ONE post in this thread was sane.

Seriously, everyone here seems to be in favour of nerfing the magic phase because they don't like it without understanding what the real problem is.

I think the primary reason magic is heavily invested in is because some people LIKE using magic and it's the only way to make sure it's effective. Magic is the LEAST reliable strategy in Warhammer. Hell, every army comes with some magic defence built in, thanks to the free 2 dispel dice. The problem is that it's too easy to stop ALL of someone's spells and therefore negate all the points they invested in a unit they enjoy.

Instead magic defence should be about stoping the few spells that you absolutely can't allow to go off, not completely shutting down the magic phase.

I think you could do a lot to balance the magic phase (depending on your local metagame) by making using a dispel scroll cost dispel dice to use. Make it a 1 use item that causes all dice rolled for a dispel attempt to count as 6s (Maybe make them cost 20 points too.). Suddenly, most armies don't have to take 15 power dice to have a chance at getting a spell off, but you still can make sure that the few CRITICAL spells that you NEED gone don't wipe you out.

Or you could eliminate dispel dice entirely (or reduce their number if you're a wimp) and keep scrolls the same then impliment one of your heavy magic nerfing suggestions. Then you just have to balance the point costs of mages and people who want to use magic in their army can take the ammount they want to use and feel confident that their army will actually get to DO something, without overwhealming the game with magic.

However, really the problem is with your local metagame. Personally, the most magic I've ever taken is 2 L2 mages and a Treeman and I've found it very effective. I'm the only player who likes a heavy magic army, so no one else takes more then a L1 wizard with maybe a scroll or two. 6 power dice can pretty easily run him out of scrolls first turn and then actually DO something. If they DON'T take 2 scrolls (or don't take a mage at all) I've found even just 1 hero level caster to make a difference.

Now when you're playing in a tournament or against people who tailor lists to your playing style, you KNOW there's going to be heavy magic defence so if you enjoy playing with a mage, you're FORCED to go all in to get any use out of them at all.

Finally, I've even seen a couple sugestions here that are aimed at specificly nerfing Vampire Counts magic, which I think is totally uncool.

I've played a bit of Vampire Counts, and I think there's a reason they can take such a large number of power dice and one die cast spells. Vampire Counts NEED Invocation of Nehek. It's a critical part of why the army WORKS.

The problem is, the way magic defence works, Vampires need to be able to overwhelmingly cast IoN in order to insure that they can keep their army running and their magic was designed with the idea that a lot of that is going to get stopped. Now, it sucks if you're forced to take a lot of magic defence because your opponent is a powergaming jerk, but then the problem is with your opponent.

Like most problems in Warhammer, I think the best solution to this magic system "problem" is to play with your friends (who hopefully are cool and relaxed people) and talk with them about how to make your games fun. Also, don't play with jerks. Ever.

Malorian
23-10-2008, 19:51
The Malorian Solution!

Every mage produces 'magic dice' equal to their level plus one (so a lvl 2 would generate 3 magic dice) each of the six game turns.

There are NO pool dice.

Over the course of the turn those dice can be used either to cast spells or to dispel them but not both (although you could mix them up and use some of the dice to cast and some to dispel in any ratio you wish).

Mages casting spells can only use the dice they generate.


What this system does is:
-Allows mages to concentrate on dispelling rather than just be scroll caddies.
-Gives to a purpose to a lvl 2 defensive mage.
-Gives you the option of really putting a lot of punch into one magic phase at the cost of having no defense against your opponent's.
-Balances out the advantage of the first turn for shooting armies but making it better to go second with magic.
-Makes more logical sense overall.

Thoughts?

FigureFour
23-10-2008, 20:37
What this system does is:
-Allows mages to concentrate on dispelling rather than just be scroll caddies.
And gives our scroll caddy an extra dispel die, making them more powerful . . .


-Gives to a purpose to a lvl 2 defensive mage.
Cool and good! It also potentially gives a purpose to a L1 OFFENSIVE mage, since he can now be an effective caster if your opponent takes less then 2 magic levels.


-Gives you the option of really putting a lot of punch into one magic phase at the cost of having no defense against your opponent's.
This doesn't fix the problem. Imbalanced situations remain imbalanced. If all you have is a scroll caddy, the all out magic player is going to go all out magic and you still won't cast anything with your practicly useless mage because you'll need those dice for dispeling.

Also by eleminating the base 2 dice, now people HAVE to take a scroll caddy if they want any protection at all from magic. Since scroll caddys just got better, the players who like magic are going to take MORE magic to overwhelm them. Or get shafted and play crap armies.

If anything, your solution will encourage people to take two scroll caddies. Especially if they have cheep mage options.


-Balances out the advantage of the first turn for shooting armies but making it better to go second with magic.
No it doesn't. It only balances it when the both armies take some magic, but the army going second takes a little more than the shooting army (or the shooting army rolls poorly).


Thoughts?
Game wise, I think it's a poor solution.

However, it would make for a more dynamic environment when you and your opponent are taking similar levels of magic. I think it could make an excillent house rule if your local gamers like it.

It also sort of nerfs lord level casters, as it will probably be more effective to take multiple hero level casters. 2 level 2 casters have more dice then 1 level 4. I think it's cooler to take one GOOD mage then to have three low level mages running around.

However, the more I think about it, the more I think it COULD be pretty good with a little work.

Malorian
23-10-2008, 20:54
Doesn't it make sense that if you want magic defense that you actually should take magic? And not just have mysterious pool dice coming to save you?

And doesn't it also make sense that a lvl1 mage would easily be able to get spells off if you opponent has no mages to stop him?

Avian
23-10-2008, 20:57
My initial reaction is that if I read you right you are creating a very strange dynamic with magic in that player 1 and player 2s magic phases will work very differently from each other. Player 1 would have to worry about saving dice in his own magic phase, while player 2 would not.
That is if I understand you correctly and you have magic dice being generated at the start of player 1s magic phase each game turn and then unspent ones being kept over to player 2s turn, after which any unspent ones would presumably be discarded.

Am I reading you right?

FigureFour
23-10-2008, 20:59
Doesn't it make sense that if you want magic defense that you actually should take magic? And not just have mysterious pool dice coming to save you?
Yes.

And doesn't it also make sense that a lvl1 mage would easily be able to get spells off if you opponent has no mages to stop him?
And yes.

I did say your solution does good things, and these are some of them. However, I don't think it fixes the problem with the metagame that was being discussed.

If anything it encourages the "arms race" mentality while making the magic phase a little more interesting.

Honestly, I'd happly playtest such a system as is and probably enjoy the game.

Malorian
23-10-2008, 21:07
Avian, the idea would be that the player that goes first would actually be at a bit of a disadvantage as he really has to watch his opponents dice. His opponent will get to dispell what he wants and then save the rest of his dice to cast magic in his turn leaving the first player to wonder how far he should go as he has no idea what spells his opponent will get off while he is left with only the remainder of his dice.

I just like the idea of mages being able to concentrate all their power on stopping spells rather then it almost being an innate ability

SolarHammer
23-10-2008, 21:49
Pool the Power Dice again.

Let all Wizards attempt to cast 1 spell per turn (MAYBE Level 3 and 4 Wizards can attempt 2 spells). --> something would need to be done about Vampires (allow Necromancy spells to be cast as many times as the Wizards level?) and Ogres (let them keep trying until they run out of dice or get a new armybook - they need all the help they can get...).

Opponents can use dispel dice to gain a chance to dispel a spell on a 5+ (no more rolling to beat the spells casting). --> one dice = 1 attempt to dispel any spell no matter how high the casting roll was.

If a higher level Wizard (or a Dwarf Runelord) attempts to dispel the spell of a lower level Wizard, add +1 (so it would be dispelled on a 4+).

The best chance to dispel is a 3+ (so stacking Skull Staff and Staff of Sorcery with a Level 4 against a Level 1 would only be a 3+).

Bound spells are always dispelled on a 4+ regardless of any modifiers.

Make Magic Resistance provide +1 on dispel attempts against spells affecting the unit, to the above maximum of 3+ (must spend a dispel dice to make the roll).

So none of the items/abilities would have to be redone and all the current things in the game keep going.

Iseult
23-10-2008, 21:56
Avian, the idea would be that the player that goes first would actually be at a bit of a disadvantage as he really has to watch his opponents dice. His opponent will get to dispell what he wants and then save the rest of his dice to cast magic in his turn leaving the first player to wonder how far he should go as he has no idea what spells his opponent will get off while he is left with only the remainder of his dice.

I just like the idea of mages being able to concentrate all their power on stopping spells rather then it almost being an innate ability

It does that, in certain situations where magic is fairly balanced. It does little to help out against 10+ dice armies if you are magic light - instead the power dice arms race is extended to dispelling leading to even more disincentive to take combat characters and that's not a good thing for the game IMO.

In response to the request for a hard cap on the number of magic levels allowable... I wonder did you read the link in Avian's post on page one? A variable number of power dice with a heavily weighted average of around 7 dice @ 2K will achieve similar results as capping players to 4-6 levels of magic, in terms of raw casting ability.

It also (theoretically since i haven't tested it yet...) fixes a bunch of issues to do with imbalance of the current system in extreme situations, fits the lore and further distinguishes magic from shooting - at a cost of restricting player choice.

That's the objective part over; the subjective part is the assessment of whether it is worth sacrificing that choice or not in the interests of what some (myself included) consider to be more balanced lists.

Famder
23-10-2008, 22:19
Dispel scrolls could also become the equivalent of power stones for dispel attempts. Rather than automatically dispelling a spell they add +2DD to the dispel attempt.

FigureFour
24-10-2008, 02:31
Avian, the idea would be that the player that goes first would actually be at a bit of a disadvantage as he really has to watch his opponents dice. His opponent will get to dispell what he wants and then save the rest of his dice to cast magic in his turn leaving the first player to wonder how far he should go as he has no idea what spells his opponent will get off while he is left with only the remainder of his dice.

Have you considered when the dice pools would refresh. It would have to be at the beginning of every game turn since otherwise the person going second would have very few dice left by their opponent's second turn.

It it happened at the beginning of every player turn, the player who goes first would have a heavily weakened first magic phase.

Neither of these seems like very good options.

Avian
24-10-2008, 08:23
In response to the request for a hard cap on the number of magic levels allowable... I wonder did you read the link in Avian's post on page one? A variable number of power dice with a heavily weighted average of around 7 dice @ 2K will achieve similar results as capping players to 4-6 levels of magic, in terms of raw casting ability.

It also (theoretically since i haven't tested it yet...) fixes a bunch of issues to do with imbalance of the current system in extreme situations, fits the lore and further distinguishes magic from shooting - at a cost of restricting player choice.
In this context I think it is worth remembering that my WoM system is essentially the same as the 4th and 5th edition one, updated to work with the current rules. Back in the days you only had a limited number of power cards (as opposed to power dice) to work with per turn, regardless of how many wizards you had per side. And yet you still had magic-heavy armies being very nasty.

theunwantedbeing
24-10-2008, 13:52
Mainly because the magic heavy side could simply store all the useful cards in their mages and deny the other side any of the dispel or total power cards.

One way which doesnt seem to have been adressed to make the magic phase a little more interesting would be to re-introduce the power level system.
So you have level 1,2 and 3 spells (perhaps go upto 4) as well as the casting values of the spell involved.

(This is an idea thats's just this very minute popped into my head, so will probably require additional though)

So each spell is allocated a power level, be it 1, 2 or 3(keeping with 5th edition cards) and intead of requiring X amount of power cards to cast that spell, you need X amount of power dice to cast the spell with.

So you have a power level 2 spell, and you throw 1 dice at it and hit the casting value, the spell is not cast as it requires 2 dice to be thrown at it.
So you have a second variable in which you need to cast the spell with, you have the casting value of the spell and the power level of the spell.

The useful bit amount this in limiting magic phases is that you can then make certain low level spells a power level 2 spell, thus stopping single dice castings of various spells.
Power level 3 spells would then be impossible to cast with level 1 mages though, which seems to be a failing of the system...although with power stones they could then hit the casting value if they need to.

This then offers up a whole load of options for items and dispel ability that are based around requiring the enemy to use certain numbers of dice to cast, or having items that reduce the power level of a spell and so forth.

The most obvious helpful solution this will provide is that you can make spells like "raise dead" a power level 2 spell.
Despite being a 4+ to cast, making it a power level 2 spell forces the other player to use more dice to cast a spell with so gives them far less castings of that particular spell.

You could make scrolls up the required power level of spells.
So your opponent throws 2 dice at a power level 2 spell, you then scroll it which increases the power level to a 3, which means the spell fails as only 2 dice were used on it.
You can then have abilities and items which work after scrolls have been thrown at the enemy allowing you to perhaps mitigate the effects of the scroll if you have a specific item or ability that lets you throw additional dice (sacrificial dagger perhaps).
But then this has it's own risk of it you've rolled a 1 previously then there's a chance of getting a second 1 and getting a miscast.

This would reduce the effectiveness of scrolls considerably, especially as power level 3 spells (assuming they are the maximum level spell) would then be unscrollable if cast.
Or perhaps the scroll merely absorbs an amount of power off the enemy spell, ie. 1 of the dice (which would be randomly determined) so could perhaps mitigate total power?

Cleary needs a lot more thought into how it would work, but adding the extra variable of required dice levels per spell would certainly make the magic phase a lot more interesting.

Von Wibble
24-10-2008, 19:45
I have been thinking for a while about how to make armies characters more interesting. A lot of wizards are identikit atm so I have been expanding on larger arcane item lists and equipment for wizards (fighters get weapons without magic item allowance after all), but with many items toned down or restricted to wizard types. Works nicely for empire with the 8 colleges as in my versoin you have to choose (for example) a bright wizard and don't get to customise your lore to the opponent. But you get lots more viable wizard options to make up for it with each college having a distinct battlefield role.

Getting to the point...

On dispel scrolls, I have been working on ideas for a version of the scroll for each army in the game (makes it more applicable to them!). Haven't entirely worked out names for all of them yet. All would be use once. Points costs would vary. Most of them would not be automatic.

High Elves get dispel scroll as is. They are supposed to be defensive in their approach to magic so it seems fair.

Empire get dispel stone - add 2 dice to dispel attempt, double 1 won't fail.

Orc and Goblin get Glyph of Gork (or is it Mork?), which adds 4 dice to a dispel attempt. Seems better than empire one and certainly is against more extreme magic, but against a bound spell or the like there is the greater risk of auto fail. Good against spells cast with 4 dice. Bad against invocation.

Lizardmen get soem kind of Plaque.... After rolling an attempt to cast or dispel, may roll an additional dice and add to the score.

Skaven get something warpstone. It allows you to change the target of an enemy spell to a different firiendly unit within 6". I like the thought of curse of years yet again hitting that unit of slaves nearby. Doesn't protect against raise dead type spells though...

Dark Elves - something that causes a S6 hit for every 6 rolled to cast the spell (choose to use after oppt has declared how many dice he is using but before he rolls them), and the dice is discarded. Has to be high S and low probability because low S won't scare lords of change, and high S high probability will wipe out any army likely to take magic!

Bret's - Use on enemy wizard, they must roll a 4+ to be allowed to cast any spell. If they fail they lose no dice but may cast another spell instead. Since this does nothing against repeat castings needs thought.

Tomb Kings - Scroll of Unbinding. Dispels a spell on 4+ once it is cast, even if with irresistable force. May be used after you have failed your dispel attempt. If you have 2 or more you may use a second one if first one failed. A kind of mirror to their own magic phase - relentless. But if you take this approach expensive (I imagine 15 pts each).

Chaos - Mirror of Tzeentch - When a spell is cast you get to cast it also. Problems with vanhels and the like but otherwise an interesting effect. Bit more expensive, and does nothing to defend you.

Wood Elves - ward of protection. Place at start of enemy magic phase. If any spell affects any model or position on the tabletop within 12" of wizard then the wood elf player may use an extra dispel dice against it for free. lasts 1 magic phase. Alternatively all units in range MR +1 (same effect ans simpler but no effect vs buffs and raise spells)

No ideas for other chaos (would want something for other gods. Maybe for khorne something letting a unit hit by a spell roll on eye of the gods?), daemons, dwarfs (though spellbreaker rune seems fair enough), beasts, vampires as yet. I am also doing similar for power stones and staff of sorcery. Hopefully when finished it will make wizards a far more interesting component of the game.

Out of interest, do any of the suggested alternatives look good instead of dispel scroll as a general all purpose house rule?

theunwantedbeing
24-10-2008, 22:07
Scrolls taking away a couple of dice would be interesting.
So you roll 3 dice to cast a spell, the scroll removes 2 of them(say..the highest and lowest).

Makes it likely to simply stop a spell in it's tracks almost all the time, unless you throw a lot of dice at the spell.
Obviously wont work vs irresistable force as you dont get a dispel attempt at that.

So you roll 4 dice at a spell.
Dont get irresistable force...5,5,5,6 at best.
So the scroll removes the 6 and a 5.
So you are left with 10.
Unless the spell required a 10 or less to cast, it fails.
On 3 dice the spell would need to be a 5 or less to not fail (with 1 less 5 rolled as 1 less dice is rolled).

Gives mages a reason to throw a lot of dice at a spell as a scroll may not stop it.
n the above example rolling 1,5,5,6 still nets the same 10 after a scroll, so 4 dice per spell is worth it on things like that.