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greenskin
26-12-2006, 03:54
I'm looking to learn about playing magic in Warhammer. Specifically, I'd like to discuss theory on when to take Wizards, what upgrades to choose and how much magic is optimal. I'll throw out some ideas of my own for examination and I hope to hear your ideas as well.

I have never run a Wizard. I haven't even cast a bound spell. I've always thought if my opponent is spending points on scroll caddies and I don't play magic, then my opponent has spent wasted points. That gives me an advantage (especially against those pesky Dwarfs.) This strategy has worked fine for me so far but I figure I may as well try it out in case I'm missing something. If nothing else I will be more aware of what my opponents are doing and if I'm mistaken, I'd like to correct my erroneous ways.

Part I - When are Wizards useful?

The first thing I'd like to know is when to start taking Wizards. At what points level do they become more useful than their fighty counterparts. 1000 points seems a bit low to include Wizards as you probably want to prioritize having a fighty general for leadership as well as a BSB. Three characters at 1000 points seems like it would be stretching your remaining points for troops. Is this a fair assumption? I'm guessing Wizards start to become appealing at 2000 points when you have some extra character slots.

Part II - What upgrades should you choose?

What upgrades should you choose for you Wizards? There are two parts to this, level upgrades and arcane magic items.

Level Upgrades. When do you upgrade a level 1 Wizard to level 2? It seems that this upgrade is useful so that you don't waste power dice. A level 1 Wizard (run as your only Wizard) has access to three power dice but can only cast one spell per turn using only two power dice. But a level 2 Wizard (run as your only Wizard) has access to four power dice and can use them all efficiently as he can cast two spells per turn. The level 2 upgrade seems useful.

When do you upgrade a level 3 Wizard to level 4? For some reason, I rarely see anyone running a level 3 Wizard. Why is that? Perhaps level upgrades are simply always worth taking. Perhaps it has to do with maximizing your magic to get the most from it. I'll discuss that a bit later.

Magic Items. On to selecting arcane magic items. Dispel Scrolls are extremely popular. I certainly don't question their usefulness. The scroll caddy has seemingly become a mainstay for many players. However, I do wonder if their usefulness diminishes as an army becomes more magic heavy. If you only run one Wizard Hero, Dispel Scrolls are great. What if you also run Wizard Lord along with your Wizard Hero? Now you have five Dispel Dice to throw around so the Dispel Scroll is no longer crucial. At what point do you not want to spend points on Dispel Scrolls?

Next are Power Stones. I see far less of these being run that Dispel Scrolls. They seem great to me but, as I've said, I never played with magic before so it is hard for me to analyze them. When should Power Stones be selected over Dispel Scrolls or other arcane magic items?

Then there are miscellaneous arcane items. Do O&G have any extremely recommended arcane items that are a must to take? Lastly come bound items. Bound items obviously are only good if you are taking a heavy magic approach. If you are taking a heavy magic approach, should you always take all the bound items you can?

Part III - How much magic?

How much magic is optimal? From what many here have said, and I agree with the logic, is that you want to either go very light on magic or very heavy on magic. Magic light means spending minimal points on magic defense to give you the most efficient magic protection available. Magic heavy means spending as many points as you can on your magic to maximize its effect once you wear out your opponent's magic defense. The problem with going medium magic is that you spend enough points to surpass you opponent's magic defense but what magic does manage to get through is weak and largely inconsequential.

So, if you are going magic heavy, what is the proper amount of Wizards and upgrades. Let's start with 2000 points. Do you want all four characters to be Wizards? That would make sense with the theory on going heavy magic in the first place. The only problem I see is losing the leadership of having a fighty general and the benefits of a BSB. Some may be squeemish about losing characters to miscasts but I say if you're worried about that then don't take heavy magic at all.

If you don't take all four characters as Wizards you have two options left, either a single Lord Wizard or a single Lord wizard and one Hero Wizard. Which is better? I'm leaning toward both the Lord and Hero as Wizards. What levels should they be? Would a L4 and a L1 be optimal? A L3 and L1? A L4 and L2? A L3 and L2? This is where I just have no idea what to do.

Jhayden
26-12-2006, 05:46
It really all depends on your type of list.

Certain armies may not want to field any mages at all, while some will want to field as many as possible. Yes there is a middle ground, but that middle ground is mainly for support as opposed to destruction.

Want an army that can defensively hold off a massive army all while keeping his own magic phase at a halt? Take as many mages as possible. With this tactic, you can swarm your opponent with attacks that can take out whole blocks of troops in just a single turn! By the time your enemy reaches you, they're already so weak that your counter-charges will make them cry.

With this army your main enemy will be shooty defensive lists. They'll just rip you to shreds when you realise that your spells aren't going to matter when they start firing several dozen arrows or bullets at you each shooting phase.

Want a mainly offensive army with the ability to sling a few random spells to help annhiliate your enemy? Take just a single level 2 mage. He'll be able to dispel well enough to keep a single destructive spell out of the way, while being able to throw a few of his own into the mix.

With this army your main enemy will be heavily magic oriented lists, which will find your 3 dispel dice completely negligable, and will easily toss your 1-2 spells per turn aside like they were nothing.

As for equipping your mages...

Well, it varies army to army. Some standard equip ideas however tend to be the following:

-Magic Power House
level 4 mage
as much +power dice items as possible

-Scroll Caddy
level 1 mage
2 dispel scrolls

-Heavy Scroll Caddy (for fighting those armies which are mainly magic oriented)
level 3 mage
4 dispel scrolls

-Standard Jack-of-all-Trades
Level 2 Mage
1 dispel scroll
+power dice items

Now like I said this varies from army to army. For instance I know High Elves and Dark Elves have many more magic empowering items than say Empire or Orcs, so you will really need to play to your strengths depending on your army if you really want to stick it to your enemy.

kyussinchains
26-12-2006, 11:50
I usually dont bother with magic too much, I usually take a level 1 scroll caddy, as well as items which give me extra dispel dice or magic resistance.

I dont like placing too much stock in an inherently variable thing as magic, you have a random element in rolling the casting value (and risking miscasts) then the next random element is in your opponent dispelling your spells, then finally you get to the spell effects, which if they're offensive, normally cause a random number of hits.

I prefer to not place too much hope in something which can (and often does) go wrong.

I think the reason so many people dont bother with level 3 wizards is that for an extra 35-45 points, you get an extra spell (usually around a 20-25 point magic item to get an additional spell) as well as the ability to use an extra dice when casting (again around a 20-25 point magic item) so you've improved the wizard in 2 areas without resorting to taking up his magic item allowance.

Steel_Legion
26-12-2006, 12:41
my 3000 bretonnian army runs 3 wizards, all level 2s, one with a staff of dispell or something, the other with a few bretonnian magic items (silver mirror, pition chalice) and one has 2 dispel scrolls, very anti-magic as bretonnians have 2 lores avaliable to aren't that good on offensive magic, if i were empire i would have alot more bound items etc and less dispell stuff, orcs would be all highly distructive stuff, cause its fun!

Negativemoney
26-12-2006, 14:43
I'll do my best to address the points you have made.



Part I - When are Wizards useful?

... At what points level do they become more useful than their fighty counterparts... I'm guessing Wizards start to become appealing at 2000 points when you have some extra character slots.


This is the way I always look at it; at the 1000 point level wizards tend to come into thier own. a single lvl 2 wizard with a scroll and some other funky magic item will not over power your force but it will balance it out. for starters a lvl2 wizard will be somewhere around 160 points with the upgrade and 50 points of magic items (Empire being 140, chaos being between 150 and 220, depending on mark and selection type). But in all cases 1 wizard should be good. In 1000 points you tend to also need a hero for leadership purposes. Since wizards tend to have slightly lower leadership values you will want to consider one of the other hero choices to lead your army.

When you get to the the 2000 point range Lords start to come into play. Now 9 times out of 10 if you are playing against a wizard lord he will be a lvl 4. to back up that level 4 that player will have either 1 or 2 lvl2 wizards with support items that will aid in getting those powerful spells off. if you are not to concerned about going magic heavy take 2 lvl 1 wizards with 3 scrolls total. There are spell destroyers that I would suggest taking but I will get to that later on.

In all reality it comes down to these three questions:
What army you are taking?
Is it an offensive or defensive army?
What lores are available?

Here is an example. My 2250 slaanesh mortals
Army -> Slaanesh Mortals
O or D -> Offensive
Lores -> Slaanesh

Given that criteria I have made the following conclusion. I am going to take a Lord on a horse with some tools, 2 lvl2 sorcerers w/ 3 scrolls total and a power stone, 1 hero on a chariot w/ more tools. Since Slaaneshi magic is a good lore to support an offensive army I have decided to back it up with some magic but not too much that I loose out on the other hard hitting characters. Also since Chaos only has LD8 across the board (non-marauders) the Lord is a nessesity when it comes to possible break tests in combat, not to mention he is a powerhouse.



Part II - What upgrades should you choose?
Level Upgrades. When do you upgrade a level 1 Wizard to level 2? ...
When do you upgrade a level 3 Wizard to level 4? ...

First when to go from 1 to 2. Well this is dependant on the role of the wizard. If he is purely defensive then you should keep him to lvl1 with 2 scrolls. If you intend for him to either support or be a main spell caster then he needs the level 2 upgrade as without it the third dice as you have mentioned is waisted.

For the level 3 I would almost always upgrade to a level 4. He is a lord and in 90% of the tournament games you will play will be between 2000 and 2500 points. Not giving your lord the best upgrades possible is a waist of that lord spot that can easily be given to a fighty lord with high leadership. There are some occasions where you will have a lvl 3 lord such as an upgraded vampire lord (non-Necharch). But if you take a wizard lord make him a lvl 4 its worth the points.



Magic Items. On to selecting arcane magic items. Dispel Scrolls are extremely popular. ... However, I do wonder if their usefulness diminishes as an army becomes more magic heavy. ... Dispel Scroll is no longer crucial. At what point do you not want to spend points on Dispel Scrolls?


You have asked some great questions here. First Dispell scrolls never become useless, they always will have some value. When taking a lord its best to trick him out with the best arcane and enchanted items out there for boosting magic potential while leaving the lvl 2 to have 2 scroll for important situations.

For example: You are a Lizardman player you have a Slan and a skink priest. your opponent, an empire player, has a lvl 4 wizard and a lvl 2 wizard both with the lore of shadows. the lvl 4 wizards fist cast is pit of shades on your Slan on a 20 (he rolled 4 dice and got 5555). Now do you realy want to run the chance of failing that dispell when it means certain death for your 500+ point general? No you want those scrolls for situations that are just to crutial to leave to chance.

in 2000 point games I would only go with 2 scrolls unless you are going with a heavy magic defence then I would stop at 3. for 1000 point games I would go with one, two if you think you will realy need it though I don't think it will be that usefull and might not even be used in every game that you play.

The trick with Dispell Scrolls is that you need to get the best feel on when to use them or when to use dice to dispell your enemies effects.



Next are Power Stones... When should Power Stones be selected over Dispel Scrolls or other arcane magic items?


The problem with Power Stones is that while they give you a nice boost they can also cause a mistcast at the wrong time. For many players they feel that risk out weighs the benifit with Power Stones and sometime that slot is better filled with a dispel scroll or a bound itme that is more reliable than the outcome of the stone.



Then there are miscellaneous arcane items. ... Lastly come bound items. Bound items obviously are only good if you are taking a heavy magic approach. If you are taking a heavy magic approach, should you always take all the bound items you can?


O&G have some nice items that are worth taking, though most of them ar for goblins. I can't think of thier names off hand.

The thing about bound spells is that they are great when used in conjunction with a strong magic phase. Basicly you want to have your opponent either burn his dice on your bound items so you have a better chance of getting your spells off or the other way around. It realy is up to you on how you want to construct your magic phase. Though the one thing I would not advise is to take bound spells when you don't have the magic to help those bound spells go off. Basily if you have a scroll caddy taking bound spells would not be a good idea.



Part III - How much magic?

How much magic is optimal? ...

I covered this earlier, just remember to tailor you magic to your army.




So, if you are going magic heavy, what is the proper amount of Wizards and upgrades... The only problem I see is losing the leadership of having a fighty general and the benefits of a BSB...

It all depends on your amy. Armies like Lizardmen, High Elves, and Tzeentch Mortals can all benifit from heavy magic lists. They have more than enough support and protection for thier wizards and because of that the high magic lists tend to be competitive. Other armies like Ogres, Bretoninans, and Wood Elves, do not need that much magic at all to be successful. Then there are armies such as Vamp Counts and Tomb Kings that rely on magic and a wizard must be the army general in the case of VC, and if thier main magic user is killed the army will fall apart.

Once again it comes down to the three questions that you should ask yourself before you start writing your army list.



If you don't take all four characters as Wizards you have two options left, either a single Lord Wizard or a single Lord wizard and one Hero Wizard. Which is better? I'm leaning toward both the Lord and Hero as Wizards. What levels should they be? Would a L4 and a L1 be optimal? A L3 and L1? A L4 and L2? A L3 and L2? This is where I just have no idea what to do.

If i were to take a lvl 4 wizard I would almost always take a lvl to to back him up. He is perfect for putting scrolls on, or other magic boosters. With a lvl4 I would never take a lvl 1 for the simple fact that I will need to use pool dice to cast the spell that the lvl 1 has, where as with the lvl 2 I can use his dice for one of his spells and save the pool for anything else that needs to be cast.

If you have any more questions please feel free to ask.

IvorTangrean
03-01-2007, 06:25
Then there are miscellaneous arcane items. Do O&G have any extremely recommended arcane items that are a must to take?

I can't speak for O&G but Lizardmen have a very powerful arcane item, The Diadem of Power. At the very least you should look out for it, I run it on a lvl 2 skink priest. Having a lvl 2 mage generate 4 dispell dice (5 with a Spawning of Tepok) in the early game and then 6 power dice once you have killed the enemy mages all for 135 pts is something to look out for.:evilgrin:

Arhalien
03-01-2007, 10:55
For high Elves I find quite a useful build is a lvl4 archmage with silver wand and 4 dispel scrolls. THis helps remove the random aspect of the magic, as 5 spells should mean you are almost certain to get some good ones, his a fair number of power dice with banner of sorcry in the army, and is a very good defensive mage.
Not sure about other races, as I don;t play as them