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View Full Version : Extra Power Dice = #1 Strat?



metawarhammer
28-06-2012, 01:16
I have played Warhammer for 10 years, starting in 6th edition.

Even now in 8th edition, with a completely revamped magic system, it seems that one constant over the years is that any way of generating extra power dice is a primary concern in making a list.

Obviously some armies, like Dwarfs, need not be concerned with this.

But honestly, I can't think of an army for which taking a power dice generation items/units/methods, at any point in my 10 years, has not been one of the top 3 things to consider when making a list.

My problem with this, is that the while mass shooting lists, or really aggressive hitty lists, can be very competitive, its rare that ONE item or unit will give your what you need for your strat to work. You have to have many things working together. And if such things do exist, they are likely unique to a particular army, and come with a weakness of sorts.

I suppose you could make the argument that a good magic phase still has to work with the army as whole, and be executed in the right way with the right timing, but you can do it on top of having an army that's still mostly geared toward shooting or being hitty. So it almost transcends strategy as far as army make-up and maneuvering is concerned.

Didn't mean to get whiny by the end of this, but the more I think about it, the more certain I am that this is legitimate flaw in the game as a whole.

NitrosOkay
28-06-2012, 01:31
If Master of the Black Arts is any indication you're going to pay outrageously silly amounts of points for it and it might not even work in the future.

Malorian
28-06-2012, 01:36
Magic has always been a powerful part of the game. It's the easiest to pull off and requires nothing more than to roll dice. No complicated and careful movement of units, just pick a spell, point, and roll dice.

That's why I love how random 8th has made magic. With random powerdice and very few ways to get more it's very easy to have half your points (if you filled all your character allowance with mages) do nothing because you roll double 1s for winds fo magic.

With the Empire book redone, there now only stands dwarfs as truely anti-magic, and I think this is a mistake. Before you had them, emprie, and beastmen (mark of khorne gave an extra dispel dice) that were a true aspect of the meta you had to think about. Sure I had my vampire counts that could generate 14 power dice, but it didn't do much when my opponent had just as many dispel dice or more!

The shift however can easily be seen in the tournaments. In the past two editions there seemed to be an anti-magic scenario in every tournament, and yet in 8th edition I have yet to see a single one.

So to answer your question, yes it's powerful, but I wouldn't say it's #1. GW is doing a fairly good job to strike a good balance.

MyNameDidntFit
28-06-2012, 05:24
I'm not fussed by it. I take a Lvl2 as my highest level sorcerer if I take one at all and it's rarely been that fact that has lost me a game.

Lord Solar Plexus
28-06-2012, 05:36
Looking back, I tend to use PD and DD generators in equal amounts, depending on their availability of course, but I do see lots of Hurris and Warp Tokens, yes.



Magic has always been a powerful part of the game. It's the easiest to pull off and requires nothing more than to roll dice. No complicated and careful movement of units, just pick a spell, point, and roll dice.


You better get your wizard in range and LoS to you target, so it's as much or as little movement as for a shooty or combat unit, for which you do nothing but roll some dice. It's really not different at all.

laribold
28-06-2012, 08:13
I always find the magic phase to be a really interesting, fun and differently challenging phase to play in. It's much more immediately confrontational and it's more than just simply rolling dice. You have to marshall your dice and make decisions on what to cast/dispel and what to not bother with.

Having extra dice makes this an easier phase for you and these decisions less difficult.

MOMUS
28-06-2012, 09:17
Alot of tournaments in the UK put a cap on the amount of extra dice that can be generated or a cap on the amount of dice that can be used per phase.

theunwantedbeing
28-06-2012, 09:26
Sneaky Staff o'Stealin and it's various other names in other books.
That thing was/is more commonplace than the damned dispel scroll and I can't recall any games vs opponent who had the opportunity to take that item and didn't.....

I wouldn't say it was a #1 strategy, however it was/is rather like the old scroll caddy tactic where such things were deemed essential (by those who always took them, not those who never did).

I'de place throwing 6(+) dice at a single spell as the #1 strategy in 8th.

Bingo the Fun Monkey
28-06-2012, 09:36
I think 8th edition is where Warhammer needs to be. The game is fun and there is hardly anything I can think of that is broken. Sure I'd make some tweaks here and there, but the game and books are developing into what seems to be an internally well balanced game.

But all that is beside the point. Warhammer Fantasy Battles is the game of fantasy warfare. It's not historical warfare--the major difference being the existence of magic (and monsters). Magic can be subtle, a strange natural phenomenon or, in the case of Warhammer Fantasy Battles, completely over the top and everywhere destroying, changing and warping vast swaths of the tortured mass of Planet Warhammer. It creeps into the landscape, gathers where such intangible things as ideas coalesce and can be wielded by those who are attuned to it into crazy Hollywood summer flick Michael Bay M Night Shamalamanam Lovecraftian Moorecock Biblical Doomsday **** with abyssal and horrific consequences for lapses in focus and precision. If there was ever a civilization that did not weaponize magic in one form or another in the Warhammer World, they were obviously unfit to exist on that world and are therefore not present.

It seems that at some point GW made the decision to make Warhammer Fantasy as Fantasy as possible. 6th edition, being an "infantry" or rather cavalry edition, would allow a player to play largely historical looking forces of the Empire, Bretonnia or Dogs of War armies and enjoy that aspect of the so-called "Citadel Hobby". This cannot be realistically achieved were one to start playing Warhammer today in 8th edition. Magic and Monsters and Magicky Monsters and Monstrous Magicks (or is that Monstrous Arcana?) are here to stay.

I feel that WFB's competition, such as the Iron Kingdoms and Western Immoren in the Warmahordes world, or Malifaux's miniature line and aesthetic, have really upped the ante within the industry and Games Workshop adapted with all the strength and resources of a PLC with sizable commercial awareness and venerable (or at least encyclopedic) IP to bring us the 8th edition of Warhammer Fantasy Battles.

Doommasters
28-06-2012, 11:10
Magic is one tactical option you have to consider when you build your army and every army has very degrees of magical potency. Is magic and dominating the magic phase through extra PD the number one strat......maybe mabye not given how much flexibility a level 4 casters offers in terms of offence and defense you can't deny they are value for points. In saying that in only a few cases will magic actually win you the game on its own, most of the time you need to balance out your list to be efficient and effective. If you invest a huge amount of resources and the winds of magic role is poor well your in trouble, the dominating tactic for me is not to generate as many power dice as possible but rather ensure you can do what you want and not more. The fact a lvl4 gives you +4 to dispell and cast is why they are so highly sort, because either of those two factors can make or break the magic phase.

Overall if you can reliably dominate the magic phase it will make a big difference, just like if you can reliably win the combat phase.

theunwantedbeing
28-06-2012, 11:16
Didn't mean to get whiny by the end of this, but the more I think about it, the more certain I am that this is legitimate flaw in the game as a whole.

I'm inclined to agree with you and GW seems to as well given that they are slowly phasing such things out of the game.

Orcs&goblins lost their mandatory Sneak Staff o'Stealin
Vamps lost their +2 powerdice power
Empire priests now don't auto-generate a dispel dice(or 2...)

Provided this trend continues I can see this flaw being removed :)

metawarhammer
28-06-2012, 20:53
I'm inclined to agree with you and GW seems to as well given that they are slowly phasing such things out of the game....
Provided this trend continues I can see this flaw being removed :)

Good point, they do seem to be trying to remove the more blatantly optimal items that give Power Dice. That will be a welcome change, but I persist in worrying that because extra Power Dice is so helpful, the few armies that have SOME way of getting them will end up having an unfair advantage, assuming they can play in the other phases to any extent.

Take Vampire Counts for example. They lost old Master of Black Arts, an army staple, and got an expensive, very powerful ability to bolster their magic phase. Yes, its expensive enough that the lord with can't do much else besides lead the army from a safe position and cast spells...but it seems much more worth it to me than other options. That's just my opinion, I'm sure people have found success with alternate methods. However, my friend and long time Vampire Count player, said the first decision he made about the new book was that the new Master of Black Arts was still essential, despite being more limiting.

I have been playing Orcs and Goblins (face palm), and I have found that my preferred list includes an Orc Great Shaman AND a level 2 Night Goblin Shaman. I don't depend on the night goblin shaman for much. I literally have him there to try and give some kind of dice generation. How? He adds an extra channel, and his mushrooms allow him to cast a spell for near free and potentially draw out enemy dice or even steal one. This has worked surprisingly well. After he does his thing, I hope to have enough dice left over to cast Hand of Gork with the Orc Great Shaman. If the winds of magic are against me, I have a power stone set aside. (I talk a little more about why I like this combo on my blog linked below for interested Orcs).

I didn't mean to write all that about my Orcs. I guess it kind of reveals one of my reasons for bringing this up: I'm annoyed by how little success I've had with Orcs without empowering my magic phase, and I worry the same is for the game in general.

Lance Tankmen
28-06-2012, 21:35
i dont use a level 4 so i often dread the magic phase. but its a fun kind of i weathered the storm thing...

yabbadabba
28-06-2012, 23:31
I am quite tempted to design an Empire army with no Magic and a deliberate strategy of targetting and eliminating Magic Users. I am just wondering if I can catch people out who are over focussing on the whole magic balance debate.

Scythe
29-06-2012, 14:31
Take Vampire Counts for example. They lost old Master of Black Arts, an army staple, and got an expensive, very powerful ability to bolster their magic phase. Yes, its expensive enough that the lord with can't do much else besides lead the army from a safe position and cast spells...but it seems much more worth it to me than other options. That's just my opinion, I'm sure people have found success with alternate methods. However, my friend and long time Vampire Count player, said the first decision he made about the new book was that the new Master of Black Arts was still essential, despite being more limiting.


Honestly? As a VC player, I don't consider the new MoBA to be really worth the points. A red fury / quickblood combination adds a lot more to the army imho. A supportive vampire caster is not really worth all those points you have to sink in it I think. If you want such character, the master necromancer is a way cheaper option of achieving such thing. If you take the vampire, you might as well go all the way and make an effort to make it a beast in combat.

Overall, the new books and handling the bonus power and dispel dice well in my opinion. Options of increasing your pool are both rather expensive and limited in scope in the new books, which is as it should be. Once mayor offending books like Dwarves, High Elves and Dark Elves get an update as well, the magic system is quite robust through the line.

Malorian
29-06-2012, 14:44
I am quite tempted to design an Empire army with no Magic and a deliberate strategy of targetting and eliminating Magic Users. I am just wondering if I can catch people out who are over focussing on the whole magic balance debate.

This was something I did very well with in 7th, but so far in 8th it hasn't worked the same.

The reason for this are three fold:

1. You are wasting more dice. Before it was only 2 dice you were wasting and now you are wasting on average 7 power dice if you have no caster.

2. You are lacking defence. Not only will you not have a scroll to save you from super spells, but now that your level is added to your casting and dispelling attemp not having a caster means your opponent has on average 1 more free dice per casting for you to deal with.

3. Magic can control combat. Before you could rush into combat and just kill the wizard fearing nothing more than fire balls, but now you have to deal with it's unit having +4 toughness and regen.


So although I stand by that combat ability plays the biggest roll in winning a game of 8th, you simply can't ignore magic and take no caster at all without REALLY feeling it in the game.

yabbadabba
29-06-2012, 17:03
1. You are wasting more dice. Before it was only 2 dice you were wasting and now you are wasting on average 7 power dice if you have no caster. I don't see it as wasting if you never intended to use it anyway. Besides, this is part of the catching out. Your opponent will have invested in magic defense (including the caster) which is essentially a waste of points.

2. You are lacking defence. Not only will you not have a scroll to save you from super spells, but now that your level is added to your casting and dispelling attemp not having a caster means your opponent has on average 1 more free dice per casting for you to deal with. This is the bit that needs careful managing I agree but that's where Empire get a small bonus. Withc Hunters, cannons, Hochlands - these can all make a mage's life a nightmare. Add in strategies for targetting that wizard/wizards and its something your opponent will expect less of becuase their plan was based around expecting a Lvl 4 to turn up.

3. Magic can control combat. Before you could rush into combat and just kill the wizard fearing nothing more than fire balls, but now you have to deal with it's unit having +4 toughness and regen. Personally I see this as less of an issue. The key is the magic phase you get into combat, manage that well and those bonuses are less of an issue.

So although I stand by that combat ability plays the biggest roll in winning a game of 8th, you simply can't ignore magic and take no caster at all without REALLY feeling it in the game. ITs a one trick pony approach (there again so is the 6-dice-an-uber-spell approach)but it could be fun to have a go at.

Urgat
30-06-2012, 16:47
Rarely. First of all, I'm cursed with bad luck when it comes to magic, so I rarely ever cast. I should probably change my mindset now that we've switched editions, but I'm too used to horrid magic phases now. Secondly, I prefer to take two lvl2, for dispelling, two of them for redundancy in case one dies. Might change though, after all, a lvl 4 shaman isn't that expensive, I do have saved an enormous amount of points with my trolls, and there's a limit to how many goblins I want to paint to fill these free points :p

Soundwave
30-06-2012, 17:01
Rarely. First of all, I'm cursed with bad luck when it comes to magic, so I rarely ever cast. I should probably change my mindset now that we've switched editions, but I'm too used to horrid magic phases now. Secondly, I prefer to take two lvl2, for dispelling, two of them for redundancy in case one dies. Might change though, after all, a lvl 4 shaman isn't that expensive, I do have saved an enormous amount of points with my trolls, and there's a limit to how many goblins I want to paint to fill these free points :p

I feel your pain,my magic sucks also! I play V.C and even with master of the black arts i re-roll my one,or the one i re-roll is a six for my opponents dispel pool as the other is a one also!Rarely break the eight for my pool.The only magic i do well with is with the dark elves and the dodgy dagger and this ends up a 100pnt item by game end.

Urgat
30-06-2012, 17:12
I feel your pain,my magic sucks also! I play V.C and even with master of the black arts i re-roll my one,or the one i re-roll is a six for my opponents dispel pool as the other is a one also!Rarely break the eight for my pool.The only magic i do well with is with the dark elves and the dodgy dagger and this ends up a 100pnt item by game end.

Ah, VC. Tried them once during 7th ed (I have an army of them for some reason). Thought it'd be terrible because they rely so much on magic. Well for some reason, I kept rolling IF and stuff. Covered the table with zombies, crushed my opponent (Empire), lost pretty much nothing. I kinda felt like I had finally gathered some luck for magic, and those darn undead, they sucked out all my magic luck in that one game, and it now has to build up again. I know it's silly, but I'm plagued with bad luck whenever if concerns magic, but that one game, I was absolutely unstoppable. Oh, and I'd built a combat lord, no magic-boosting items or bloodlines. My vampire didn't even get to see combat. It was that overwhelming.
Didn't play my VC again after that.

shelfunit.
30-06-2012, 18:42
1. You are wasting more dice. Before it was only 2 dice you were wasting and now you are wasting on average 7 power dice if you have no caster.

Can you not still use power dice in your own magic phase to dispell RIP spells? It's not a spectacular thing I know, but with the random roll you should, on average, get a far greater chance of getting rid of the RIP spells if so.

yabbadabba
30-06-2012, 18:47
Can you not still use power dice in your own magic phase to dispell RIP spells? Yup, and this is kind of what I am challenging. I think there is a small crack for catching people off guard with an army designed to prosecute an anti-magic strategy. Its not going to work every time, but it could be fun as a challenge and is bound to have someone blaming Empire as being too cheesy.

shelfunit.
30-06-2012, 18:49
I suppose it could work well in a horde army like O&G and skaven where the 200ish points saved in magic could buy you 2-3, 25-30 odd strong units to bolster your lines, but for more expensive armies it "might" be too risky. Worth a try or two to see how it goes mind.

yabbadabba
30-06-2012, 19:01
That's why I am only looking at Empire. Cannons, Hochlands, Witch Hunters with delaying units like Flagellants, Reiksguard and GSs.

The reason it came into mind was not because my own meta, where magic is as reliable as train travel in the UK, but because of the dominance of it in the discussions on th'internet.

shelfunit.
30-06-2012, 19:07
Sounds like it has interesting possibilities, good luck!

Jezbot
02-07-2012, 04:36
I am quite tempted to design an Empire army with no Magic and a deliberate strategy of targetting and eliminating Magic Users. I am just wondering if I can catch people out who are over focussing on the whole magic balance debate.

I've played around with this myself, and found it much more effective when I have a mage of my own. For starters, it makes it more likely that he'll throw lots of dice at a spell, which makes it more likely he'll suffer wounds from miscasts. My own mage can take a feedback scroll into the game, and that's a pretty solid way of putting some wounds on his caster.

The other big reason is that there are two massive benefits to killing the enemy wizard - removal of his casting phase, and the ability to cast more spells in your own magic phase. If you didn't invest in your own magic phase you miss out on that whole second benefit.


But I definitely agree that for the Empire, a feedback scroll plus 2, 3 or 4 hochland long rifles is a fun, and effective enough strategy. Has plenty of problems though, particularly with armies with multiple casters.

Lance Tankmen
02-07-2012, 09:08
honestly i hate magic, when i first started i used no magic at 1000-1500, then again only fought a level 2. now i use two level 2's because my lord needs a hippogryph. Then i decided after some mishaps with a purple sun, id never worry about magic again and am building a dwarf army(for my friend to use so it doesnt count as my second army). im thinking 4-5 bonus dispel dice one of them being the enemies power dice will make for fun games vs VC whom i notice were a popular army at the last tournament i went too.

GrandmasterWang
05-07-2012, 07:38
Well, extra dispell dice for dwarfs is a popular strat. I have recently for 2500pts gone the cheap anti magic route with my strollaz army. Runesmith with balance, stone and scroll. Only 175 pts means I have extra numbers to compete with oppoment losing 1 dice and me gaining 2 + a scroll so heavy magic resist dwarfs(runelord) isnt always the way.