View Full Version : 8th ed Magic user tactical discussion

13-07-2010, 10:49
With the changes in 8th I thought it might be worth looking at general tactics for spell-casters. I'm putting together an Empire army myself, meaning I get quite a lot of choice here, but a lot of things should apply to everyone. I'd be interested to know people's thoughts on:

- How many wizard levels you should take. As in, a total of 2, 4, 19 or whatever between all your wizards? There's obviously an issue with diminishing returns as you have more wizards with the same number of power dice.

- Should you go with one level 4 or multiple lesser guys? The level 4 guy uses power dice more efficiently (he needs less dice to cast spells) and dispels better into the bargain. Using fewer dice means fewer miscasts, though if your only wizard stops working for any reason you will have problems. More guys would mean access to more different lores of magic, and redundancy is always valuable.

- Where should your wizard be? Wizards are pretty vulnerable now that lots of rank and file models can attack them, but several of their spells improve the unit they are in. Would they be better off with something like a pegasus to ride around on, or would that make them too vulnerable to artillery?

- Which lores work best with different types of army? I quite like the look of the lore of life for my empire, because my weedy guys would be much improved by the assorted buffing spells. Light seems to offer a nice balance of direct damage and unit buffs. All the lores seem to have things to recommend them though.

- Whatever vitally important things I've forgotten.


13-07-2010, 11:42
Take as many lvl 4's as possible, as many items that give you extra power dice..Get to the magic phase and scream GUYVER!! while rolling the winds of magic.

Then look sad when you roll a 3.

But seriousl it depends on how important magic is to your list, if very important then a lvl 4 and a backup low level mage in case of loss of concentration would be in order..If not important its still worth taking a low level mage as 2D6 power dice will generated anyway.

There is the opinion that if magic level isn't important for PD and only slightly improves chances they are less cost effective than lower lvls, but you also get more spell options from the higher lvls.

13-07-2010, 11:56
I think a single lvl 4 is the way to go, sure the lvl 2's have a bit of redundancy, but it's fruitless to be redundant if you haven't got the muscle to get a spell through; moreover dependent on army the lvl 4 could end up being cheaper than multiple lesser wizards.

Though multiple lesser wizards DO have the advantage of more item space dedicated to arcane items and such.

13-07-2010, 13:29
If channelling was on a 5+, 2 lv 2s might be a decent alternative to a lv4. As it is, you will generally get more out of the lv4 simply due to the extra +2 to cast/dispel. This is doubly true for more powerful casters (i.e. anyone that can get loremaster).

Although as Urdokadin points out, there is an advantage for taking lv2s in that you could have a dispel scroll and one of the other nasty arcane items (feedback, for example, to start screwing with those lv1/2s who lob 6 dice at nuke spells).

13-07-2010, 22:30
I think things are probably different depending on the base cost of magic users. There are armies that can get level 1 casters for around 50 points, and there are lores with low casting numbers for the basic spells. A bunch of light wizards might be able to spam banishment around the place to good effect, for example.

Most of the time though, I think level 4s look best, and even better with items that can improve their casting values even more. You will cast more spells with less risk of a miscast, which has to be a good thing.

13-07-2010, 22:39
For me one lvl 4 is the way to go. But there are certainly several reasons for fielding a lvl 2 as well. First of all if both your casters chose the same lore you can insure that you get the spells you want. Also it allows you those extra items you cant have on your main caster due to limitations. Or the second caster can serve a purpose that your main caster dont, such as sniping characters.

14-07-2010, 00:43
Lv.4 main caster with a Lv.1/2 support will be strongest imo.

14-07-2010, 02:20
Disclaimer: I play Dark Elves, so I get Dark, Fire, Shadow, Metal, and Death. I also play Dwarves, so I can also use hmmm nothing.

I am thinking about a single level 4 or a level 4 with a level 2. I prefer the new Lore of Shadows myself, but I have a personal preference for illusion magic. I used to take dark a lot in 7th edition, but there are some quite powerful spells in the BRB, so the basic lores have become a lot more appealing.

I would like to try Fire magic to see how effective it is at magical artillery, but I really would love to pull off that Shadow Signature Spell of d3 to a stat of choice, choose Initiative, then drop a Pit of Shades on that unit.

Looking at the magic item selection, I see the following items as being good: Book of Ashur (so expensive though!), Tome of Furion(extra spell), Sac Dagger (kill a guy for an extra power dice per spell cast), Darkstar Cloak (+1 Power dice). I am no longer confident in the Blackstaff as you have to spend power dice for it. (Blackstaff allowed a free power of darkness spell which was an extra d3+1 power dice).

The big thing is I want the Pendant of Khaeleth to deal with the magical backlash, so I have about 55 points to spend, and I don't like the idea of a magical backlash going off when I have a mage bunkered in a unit of spearmen with the sac dagger.

So, like most people, I am not sure of the new optimal load out for Wizards until I play a few games, which I intend to this weekend. The one thing I do want is to continue with my magic heavy Dark Elf force, but I no longer will be taking 8 to 10 levels, and instead take 4 to 6.

Oh focus familiar can be good too, as you have 90 degree LoS now.

14-07-2010, 03:14
It depends on the army, and what you want to get out of it.

Some armies will do well with multiple small Wizards, others will benefit from a single big one, still others will do best with multiple level 4's.

Imagine a bunch of Level 1 Vampires with Master of the Black Arts.
Take 3 in 2000 points. That's +6 dice each magic phase. You'd be maxing out at 12 almost all the time.

Or Lizardmen with a fully loaded Slann with Lore of Shadow and Charm of the Jaguar Warrior along with a Skink Chieftan with Cloak of Feathers. Imagine the games you can play with moving them around and switching their positions.

A gaggle of Skryre Engineers is still a good bet for Skaven. But then so is a Grey Seer. So is 2 Grey Seers.

The only thing the new magic system really does is provide a slight penalty for taking too many Wizards. And even then, you can look at it as purchasing redundancy, so even that's not a total bum deal.

There are a lot of options for an effective magic phase now. From absolutely nothing, all the way to loading up. The nicest thing is that the player who takes absolutely nothing still has a decent chance against the player who loads up and vice versa.