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View Full Version : Magic: the Real Fix - An opinion.



limkopi
03-02-2010, 12:58
It's not the effectiveness of dispel scrolls. It's not that Power Dice generated is equal to the total level. It's not the Miscast table. It's not the difficulty of miscasting.

The core magic phase rules have already been toned down. In 6th, all dice are added into a common pool. All wizards can use the dice. Level 1 & 2 Wizards are just dice batteries to power up the Wizard with the bigger spell(s). In 7th, each Wizard has his own dice. Freedom of casting was less.

In 6th, many (rulebook) spells did not require line of sight. The Lores of Heavens and Life are excellent examples. In 7th, these lores were nerfed. Spells like Master of Wood, Master of Stone, Forked Lightning and Uranon's Thunderbolt now require line of sight.

In 6th, there were no hits for the miscast table 7-9. In 7th, there are. The Miscast Table was made worse.

We didn't need so many scrolls in 6th. 5DD + 2 scrolls were considered sufficient. Even with the Slann. So what changed?

It's the presence of wizards that are not restricted to the character allowance and the availability of additional power dice. Horrors, Power Vortex, Blue Scribes, MotBA, and Engines. These units and abilities forced a low magic army to at least consider taking extra magic defense (3-4 scrolls is now common. I didn't use 3-4 scrolls then, I do now). This increase in extra magic defense in turn overwhelmed the medium magic. Now medium magic is not considered useful at all.

The core magic rules are stable, it's just the individual armies. The fix is in the armies, not in the magic rules.

Ultimate Life Form
03-02-2010, 13:04
It's not the difficulty of miscasting.


What do you mean 'difficulty'? :confused: My Slann miscasts all of the time, and he's not even immune to the effects anymore.


It's [...] the availability of additional power dice. [...] Engines.

Oh my God! :eek:

ONE additional Power Dice for a mere 290 pts? Yes, I admit, it's pure madness.

limkopi
03-02-2010, 13:09
What do you mean 'difficulty'? :confused: My Slann miscasts all of the time, and he's not even immune to the effects anymore.



Oh my God! :eek:

ONE additional Power Dice for a mere 290 pts? Yes, I admit, it's pure madness.

Some people think miscasting is not difficult enough.

An engine gives you a lord level caster with only a hero slot. It's not even about the points of 1 dice. There's a steg, 3 unstoppable abilities and crew along with it.

limkopi
03-02-2010, 13:11
I should say that the problem is not about those things mentioned in the first line.

The Red Scourge
03-02-2010, 13:37
The problem does not lie with the 8 lores, but instead the army specific lores that generally have a lower casting number compared to effect, combined with some utterly destructive spells such as the VHD, Gateway - bladewind on warmachines etc.

Desert Rain
03-02-2010, 13:49
I agree with you that the main problem isn't in the core rules. Instead it is the army books, which add new lores that are better than the BrB ones, change basic magic rules (VC IoN spam) or just add the options of having an insane amount of power dice.

W0lf 1990
03-02-2010, 14:04
The biggest problem is actually the spell lores.

Who ever the hell wrote Van hels as a 7+ recastable is a dumbass.

Because frankly its the best spell going.

The SkaerKrow
03-02-2010, 14:31
If anything, I think that many of the BRB Army Book Lores are too situational to justify their use. While both the Army Book and BRB Lores could use some tweaks, I posit that the Army Book Lores are closer to "right" than most of those in the BRB.

The problem, in my mind, is with the ability for some armies to abuse the magic phase. Does Power of Darkness really need to cast on a 4+, as opposed to a 5 or 6+? Do Vampire Counts really need the ability to recast their spells, as well as having access to numerous powers that boost their casting results and Power Dice? Does the Engine of the Gods really need boost the caster level of the character riding it, as well as giving them three very potent spell-like effects? The answer to all of these is no, of course not. Instead of a blanket mechanic change that will hamper the already modest contributions of Empire Wizards, Bretonnian Damsels, Wood Elf Spellsingers and other "normal" casters, an effort should be made to curtail the over-proliferation and imbalance of army specific magic rules.

I will say this much, though. I appreciate the advent of spells like Curse of the Horned Rat, Infernal Gateway and the new Beastman spell that summons a giant monster, as I believe these spells to add a fun, characterful X-factor to the game. That said, these spells cannot co-exist with the miscast result that allows your opponent to cast a free spell. It is my sincerest hope that, when 8th Edition is released, we see that miscast result removed or suitably altered so that miscasting Fiery Blast doesn't give your Beastman opponent a free Giant or the like.

Geep
03-02-2010, 14:33
Another vote that the issue is with the army book modified magic laws. Spells which can instantly remove entire units and attached characters with no further rolls (gateway...) are too OTT. People are pretty much forced into increasing magic attack/ defence just on the off chance one of these spells goes off.

Condottiere
03-02-2010, 14:41
I think it's time to make the winds of magic more capricious. Each turn the amount of total Power Die available should be randomly determined, modified by the number of spellcaster actually present.

This will make taking a large coven a more risky investment.

The Red Scourge
03-02-2010, 14:59
Or you could just dump the whole dispel die mechanic - no other phase has an equivalent to it.

Instead of random spell generation, spells could be bought specifically for points. A WoC lord with the Gateway has a lot more impact on the game than one without it.

Condottiere
03-02-2010, 15:05
You could, but I recall even D&D not automatically granting you the spells you ask for.

The SkaerKrow
03-02-2010, 15:22
Each turn the amount of total Power Die available should be randomly determined, modified by the number of spellcaster actually present.

This will make taking a large coven a more risky investment.Do you mean spellcasters on both sides? Otherwise, I'm not following how this increases the risk.

Condottiere
03-02-2010, 15:28
The amount of overall magic would have to be determined at the beginning of each turn, which would be equal to both sides. Too few spell casters, and Power Die could go to waste; too many, and you just lost on your investment for that turn.

zak
03-02-2010, 15:31
You guys need to read Avians fix for magic. It really does take away the issues that have been raised so far.

Skyros
03-02-2010, 15:39
I think the magic rules and lores in the book are well balanced. They are far from too powerful. If anything, with miscasts, magic is too unreliable for the points investment.

A level 2 wizard generates 2 power dice. That's one spell.
Three level 2 wizards can each cast one spell. Then with your 2 army dice you can cast one more. And it can't be on you already tried to cast.

Between failures to cast and miscasts, that's hardly overwhelming in the least. Almost any spell that really hurts in the normal 8 lores takes at least 2 dice to cast, and maybe 3. Some of the spells (those that are 10+ to cast) are very hard/impossible for an L2 to cast anyway because they can only roll 3 dice.

And of course, you choose your spells *randomly* so you have no gaurantee of even getting ones your wizard can cast. If anything, 'base' magic, as in the BRB, is too weak. There's almost no point to a normal army bringing a normal L2 mage (or even 2 of them!) They aren't going to do jack squat.

Some armies can really power up their magic. They can bring an uber lord level caster and 3 lower casters. This is the 'go big or go home' part of magic. Many armies have special rules that let them ignore most of the restrictions of magic - casting from out of LOS, generating way more power dice, using way more power dice, or have special lores that only need one die to cast or can be cast repeatedly, or they can cherry pick the spells they want or choose more spells, etc.

These armies are evil and need to be crushed. It is those armies that are making magic in WFB bad, not the magic itself. In fact, I'd say that to make 'base' magic useful, we need to remove the normal 2 dispell dice everyone gets and let people choose their magic.

grumbaki
03-02-2010, 15:44
I personally think that things should stay the way they are, except...

By the points of the game, there is a cap on how much PD and DD an army can generate, with bound spells counting as 1 PD and dispel scrolls counting as 1 DD.

>1000pts
* 6 PD
* 4 DD

1000pts-1999pts
* 8 PD
* 5 DD

2000pts-2999pts
* 12 PD
* 8 DD

3000pts-3999pts
* 20 PD
* 12 DD

-------

This still allows us to go pretty magic heavy, but it stops us from going way, way overboard. We all know of the examples of facing a daemon or vampire army with 20+ power dice. With this, magic becomes forced back down to reasonable levels. Neither side can wipe the enemy out with magic alone, but as a flip side, neither side can just load up on scrolls and shut the entire thing down. It also means that if both sides load up completely then the caster will have an advantage, but then again they should if they load up that much.

Also, because casters make DD too, if they load up all of their heroes, it really limits their defense as well. So, for example...

2k point game.
* lvl 4 (4 PD, 2DD)
* 3x lvl 2's (6 PD, 3DD)
* Total of 12 PD (the max) and 7 DD (so they can only buy 1 dispel scroll)

What do you all think?

Baragash
03-02-2010, 15:47
You could, but I recall even D&D not automatically granting you the spells you ask for.

40k, Warmaster, Lord of the Rings and War of the Ring don't have randomised spells, and bound spells are effectively a way of buying a spell you want.

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

Consider also that things like the Warshrine, or other radius affect abilities also exist, and even things like War Machines, particularly the more exotic WM-esque stuff like Salamanders, aren't too dissimilar to some spell effects.

What am I getting at?

What makes Magic different from the things mentioned above is the inherent risk associated with the winds of magic, currently represented by the dice pool system. I personally believe that balancing the system would be easier if magical ability was more internal to individual casters. The key to keeping a feel consistent with WHF fluff is building an appropriate risk element into the system.

In short: I think it can be done differently, whether or not this is practical in terms of the effect on the army books is another matter.

Skyros
03-02-2010, 15:55
By the points of the game, there is a cap on how much PD and DD an army can generate, with bound spells counting as 1 PD and dispel scrolls counting as 1 DD.

>1000pts
* 6 PD
* 4 DD

1000pts-1999pts
* 8 PD
* 5 DD

2000pts-2999pts
* 12 PD
* 8 DD

3000pts-3999pts
* 20 PD
* 12 DD

-------

This still allows us to go pretty magic heavy, but it stops us from going way, way overboard. We all know of the examples of facing a daemon or vampire army with 20+ power dice.

I think these limits are a little low. Say at a 2000 or 25000 an army has an L4 (4 PD) and 3 L2s(6 PD) and his 2 PD base - that's 12 PD right there. Almost everyone has a bound spell or two they'd like to use. I think 14 PD would probably be a good limit for 2000.

But really, if the problem is facing demon and vampire armies with 20+ power dice (and you're right, it's largely just a couple armies that have devastating magic phases) then why not simply remove the options from those armies to get to such high levels?

Eric.Miller
03-02-2010, 16:08
I think it's time to make the winds of magic more capricious. Each turn the amount of total Power Die available should be randomly determined, modified by the number of spellcaster actually present.

This will make taking a large coven a more risky investment.

Ugh. No.

Make magic more reliable and then price it appropriately.

Making it more risky means there has to also be appropriately large potential rewards. This means that, depending on the dice, the effectiveness of magic will either be hugely inflated or grossly underpowered.

Make it stable, reliable and with appropriately priced benefits.

Pacorko
03-02-2010, 16:53
Make it stable, reliable and with appropriately priced benefits.

And thus kill the fluff behind Magic in the Old World while making the game blander still, right, Eric?

No. Just no.

I actually think that the Points-based table above does have a very nice something going for it, if read as the ABSOLUTE number of dice an army can get at each Point-limit. Thus, irrespective of the Wizards' levels you get a maxium of dice you can use. Of course each Wizard level adds a die towards this dice cap, not to it. Then, a wizard's level allows him to cast more powerful spells (as is only logical) for which he takes those required from the communal dice pool.

Pretty much the same workings of magic-casting, with the same risks involved but with the added benefit of putting an absolute cap to the number of dice an army can generate. Thus, the pricer the wizards are to an army, the less dice they'll have when you face on the battlefield, but the likely you are to see them casting with fewer problems.

So, VCs, WoC and DoC players will still have a reason to take powerful casters, but the will not overwhelm their opponents with magic alone, and Empire, OnGs and Bretonnian ones will have less reasons to whine about who they face.

We, the OKs players, will still have fun no matter what. :p

All in all, that table sounds like a fix that's both logical and balanced to me.

I might even house-rule it for the weekend and report back ith my findings.

Eric.Miller
03-02-2010, 16:59
And thus kill the fluff behind Magic in the Old World while making the game blander still, right, Eric?

Magic has never been totally reliable, but in my opinion its unreliability has reached a limit. Miscasting was only introduced last edition. Trying to cast spells was never potentially deadly dangerous for your own wizard.

The problem is that if you have a chance to have your wizard die every time you cast a spell, to balance that risk, and make it so that players ever bother to even show up with one, there has to be a proportionally higher level of gain. So you need to balance something that shows up 1/36 games with a higher than average level of return on the 35/36. This means that most of the time magic will be too powerful, and a tiny percentage of the time it's flushing points down the toilet.

That's no way to balance the game. And making it more dangerous and unreliable will have to be met with greater chances and more likely rewards for when it does work. That is, in my opinion, totally backwards. It's introducing "all or nothing" gambling mechanics into the game, and that's stupid.

In the suggested system, when you luck out and get a lot of dice, your magic will be overpowered for the points you spent. When your luck fails and you get few, your magic will be underpowered.

That's not balance. You can't price a pendulum based on how far it swings. It would ruin games.

Pacorko
03-02-2010, 19:31
You seem to miss the fact that Goblin Samans have had their heads 'sploding for the benefit of the game for ages--so why shouldn't anyone else be subject to the same, really?. Now, with the use of the hypothetical Dice table NO ONE lucks out, ever. It cap the amount of dice your army can use at each battle's power level. So, taking your words for a second here: someone might "luck out" the moment they choose their army.

Silly, isn't it?

Here's why: Some armies might get more dice, sure. But that doesn't mean others aren't able to counter it or will be crushed without a hope as all can bring their casters to the table, and still not be terribly hampered in comparison.

This suggested alternative just prevents stupid 20+ magic dice combos, plus it balances the getting less dice with providing less risk of miscast as people are likely to use their highest level wizard to go for the nasties (as always), and use the lower level wizards to screen/delay/counter or reinforce instead of just using them for the extra dice they bring to the table.

This to me is still a grosso modo way to look at the system. I might even go as far as houserule that yes, your army has 2 PD/DD to beging with (Dwarves have 3DD, only), everyone (except dwarves for obvious reasons) can miscast, and yes, your wizards add PD OR DD according to their level, EACH turn.

Thus, eliminating the player taking for granted his/her DD, and forcing him/her to think a lot more about playing an all out offensive magic phase for that turn, or reserve a few dice for dispelling purposes to counter the rival's.

As I've said, I'm going to be houseruling it this weekend (starting tomorrow, I luv being my onw boss:D) and taking notes. So far this reads pretty nice, but I won't be swearing by it until I've tried it with friends and family, first, and come out satisfied with the results.

N810
03-02-2010, 19:49
I had an idea...

if you use 1 dice you miscast on a roll of 1
if you use 2 dice you miscast on a roll of two 1s
if you use 3 dice you miscast on a roll of three 1s
(not sure ... but it should probaly stay at three 1s for 4+ dice)

Ultimate Life Form
03-02-2010, 19:52
I had an idea...

if you use 1 dice you miscast on a roll of 1
if you use 2 dice you miscast on a roll of two 1s
if you use 3 dice you miscast on a roll of three 1s
(not sure ... but it should probaly stay at three 1s for 4+ dice)

Well... But that would make the already useless L1 and L2 casters an even more endangered species while rewarding the Lord level casters... which is exactly the opposite of which is desired.

Oh the Horror, Lords miscasting on three 1's, miscasting is already FAR too difficult as is... :rolleyes:
Bah, tell that my Slann... :eyebrows:

N810
03-02-2010, 19:55
Ahhh.... Maybe let L1's have access to more power dice?
I was trying to figure out how to get rid the 1 die spell spamfest.
while rewarding players who throw more dice at a lower level spell.

Ultimate Life Form
03-02-2010, 20:07
Alright, I think there is a concept that some people don't seem to get. It's called 'superiority'. And it happens in every phase.

If the enemy takes lots of fast troops, prepare to be outflanked. If the enemy takes lots of shooting, expect to be shot down. If the enemy takes troops that hit hard, expect to lose combat. It's really simple, and an army CAN'T excel in every discipline.

If your enemy takes lots of magic, expect to be blasted into ovblivion. EXCEPT this is the only case where you actually can do something against it. Bring Mages of your own. Bring Scrolls, and suddelny the enemy magic isn't so intimidating anymore, especially after his L4 caster Lord blew himself up.

Magic is by far the most unreliable, self-endangering and expensive strategy to invest in, but surprisingly also the only one I hear constant complaining about. WHAT'S YOUR PROBLEM?

Yeah, sure, take magic away from VC and you end up with a slow army without shooting and troops that are just as mediocre as they are overpriced. Way to go.

If you hate Magic that much, then why do you play Fantasy? No one forces you to play Warhammer, by the way. If you don't like it, leave, it'll be good for your wallet. Oh, and one last piece of advice: If you're so concerned about Magic, go play against Dwarves... but heaven help you if I hear even a single complaint about gunlines!

Pacorko
03-02-2010, 20:33
That was untimatley uncalled for, wouldn't you say? I will paraphrase you and say: WHAT'S YOURS?

I like magic as it is, but I can go beyond the stupid rules book and army books to make it a far more interesting game for me and my mates. Can't you? Well, a matter of tastes, nothing more.

Limiting PD/DD is not hating warhammer or magic, it's just not going for the rather idiotic WAAC attitude GW designers seem to be promoting with their Magic-heavy bias on a few of the books.

So do not assume ideas equal hating and try to deride other's views based on that rather poor and short-sighted impression, as this discussion is both civil and interesting.

The Red Scourge
03-02-2010, 20:41
You could, but I recall even D&D not automatically granting you the spells you ask for.

D&D has never been a good game system either ;)

Kilor the Slayer
03-02-2010, 20:44
I think the main problem that everyone is trying to fix isn't that magic needs to be neutered, it's that with the current system you have to go all or nothing with it. I have no problem if someone wants to take a full out magic attack, (although I have yet to see a shooting weapon in warhammer that will wipe a unit out completely like some spells can, and I'm sure the big bad cannon has a better chance of misfiring than a chaos wizard has of miscasting gateway.)

My problem is that I can't take a couple low-level casters and get off a few spells here and there because everyone has to gear up against high levels of magic.

The system is broken when i have to take 2 character slots to protect against a phase of the game. I have no problem using a scroll caddy, but when I have to use 2, just to keep from being blown away on the first turn it seems rather problematic.

N810
03-02-2010, 20:51
Or you could make the miscast penalites vary depending on how many dice you used to cast that spell... kinda like the new Skaven bell..?

Condottiere
03-02-2010, 21:00
There just has to be a way to scale potential magic use with the points in play, allowing a medium magic list to be still effective against a heavy one.

grumbaki
03-02-2010, 21:15
Here is the thing about my idea on the cap for PD and DD.

Example: A VC army. They *need* magic to work well. Now, in the current game, if everyone loads up on magic defense because they are afraid about facing a super-magic-heavy army of death, then what is the VC player to do? Well, go magic heavy himself.

But what happens if the VC player in a 2k game has a limit of 12PD and the foe 8DD (remember, a scroll counts as a DD).

The VC player now has room to do something besides just take lots of magic and he will still have a good magic phase. So a lvl 4 caster lord with +2 power dice, a lvl 2 vampire caster and a necromancer. That is 11 PD. He now can take himself a fighty vampire, a bound spell item, or even a wight king, and he knows that he can't go any more magic heavy.

Balancing it out is his foe. Knowing he is facing VC, he goes for as much magic defense as possible (of course). As an Empire player, he takes an arch lector on a waralter (5PD and 4DD so far), a lvl 2 wizard with 2 dispel scrolls (7PD and 7DD), a lvl 2 wizard with a bound spell (9PD and 8DD) and he then has one choice left. He has maxed out on DD, so the VC player doesn't have to worry about him going for even more magic defense. So he takes a captain.

In both cases the game has got more interesting. Both players tried to go magic heavy and defense heavy, but the restrictions stopped them from going overboard. As a result the magic phase will not dominate the game, but neither will it be shut down. It also encourages both players to use their remaining hero choice to do something close combat oriented, in this case a captain and a wight king.

All of the options are still there, this just means that we cannot take all of them in the same list. It is the same thing as what we have on troop choices. In a 2000 point game you can only get 2 rare choices. Why is that? Balance. I see magic as being no different, and because of the restrictions we can get a more fun game.

slayerofmen
04-02-2010, 02:15
i play VC and I don't take a list designed to spam IoN, or go magic heavy if i can avoid it. the issue i feel with doing the whole limiting PD and DD is that some armies generate them by default, ala VC every vamp generates at least 1 PD and DD base regardless of setup, so going down that road would they not have to re-release the VC army book and not have the lvl 1 wizard on every vampire. i mean id be okay with it but then people would complain that VC got a nerf

Souppilgrim
04-02-2010, 06:03
I think the magic system is the hardest thing to fix in warhammer right now. The best idea i've heard was a scaling miscast system. 1-2 spells go off without any miscast chance, a very low chance on the 3rd spell, and then it spikes after that.

Really though. Look at empire, WE, OK, OG, magic. Not exactly overpowered. No one complains about the magic from these armies. It's just the army books that cause problems. DE, DoC, VC, some other builds...are what really break magic in 7th.

ChaosVC
04-02-2010, 06:22
Magic core rules is not broken, like the OP said, since 6th ed, it has already been tone down.

Magic from newer books is broken, items that allow more powerdice is the one thats tiping the balance. But alot of people are too blind to notice this.

Put it this way, I can have 10 power dice alone with WOC just with a lvl 4 and a lvl 2(books of secret and powerfamiliar) and thats not counting blood of tzeentch and conjourned.

DE you have dark star cloak and Gav thorpe dagger of "Slit throat! Yeh! Dice!".

DOC...Greater daemons, heralds and horrors...whoopi Doo...

VC....may not have much but one dice invo spam and bloodline 3+ raise...

See what I mean? I don't think so, I can see you pushing your eye socket in when you come to this post.....*sigh*

sulla
04-02-2010, 16:58
I think it's time to make the winds of magic more capricious. Each turn the amount of total Power Die available should be randomly determined, modified by the number of spellcaster actually present.

This will make taking a large coven a more risky investment.I think a better goal is to make magic more of a diminishing return for your investment. The easiest way to do this is to remove the link between power/dispel dice generation and number of magic users. That way even armies that have no magic users can stop some magic and armies don't benefit from bringing too many casters.The set number (probably slightly randomised each turn) would govern the number of casters players would bring, or at least cap the effect they could have on the game.

Pacorko
04-02-2010, 17:06
Here is the thing about my idea on the cap for PD and DD.

Example:---snip, snip---

In both cases the game has got more interesting. Both players tried to go magic heavy and defense heavy, but the restrictions stopped them from going overboard. As a result the magic phase will not dominate the game, but neither will it be shut down. It also encourages both players to use their remaining hero choice to do something close combat oriented, in this case a captain and a wight king.

All of the options are still there, this just means that we cannot take all of them in the same list. It is the same thing as what we have on troop choices. In a 2000 point game you can only get 2 rare choices. Why is that? Balance. I see magic as being no different, and because of the restrictions we can get a more fun game.

And with that, my fellow Warseers I rest my case.

This is exactly what I theorized the moment I read the idea about Dice Pool caps, and immediately saw it gave people far more tactical options rather than just spam magic one way and the other.

Let's see if the firts three games we wil have using my houseruling, will go along these lines today.

But frankly, I can see it it will stick and stay with my group of gamers. The Tourney crowd will no doubt hate it, but hey! It's the tourney crowd the one that whines the most about the rules whenever they can abuse them, and frankly we just don't like to have min/maxers and ruleslawyers in our games, so... No big loss for us and a plausible and probably better system for Magic in our games.

Two wins even before we actually try it. Not bad. ;)

Eric.Miller
04-02-2010, 17:07
I think a better goal is to make magic more of a diminishing return for your investment.

Why can't it just be a reliable, flat return on investment like every other aspect of the game? If I take more cavalry I don't get diminishing returns on their effectiveness. If I take more handguns, I am allowed to shoot with all of them.

To make magic balanced, it has to fit the rest of the game and it has to accurately reflect the amount of points spent on it without widely ranging possible outcomes.

There should be a direct correlation between the points spent on magic and its effectiveness. There should be another direct correlation between the points spent on magic defence and its effectiveness. Then there should be as close to a 1:1 ratio between those two correlations so that neither points spent on magic or points spent on defence represent a better deal.

willowdark
04-02-2010, 17:18
Spell casters cannot be the army general. Each army should be required to bring at least one dedicated fighter to lead the battle. This would prevent players from bringing max 4 spell casters to the battle and encourage fighter lords.

The Slann should be an exception to this. The fluff supports this - he even has higher leadership than an old blood. And, I hate to say it but, Vampires should be too. But even a Lord of Change should be expected to utilize a fighter to lead the troops and to plan the strategy.

Condottiere
04-02-2010, 17:31
I'm in two minds regarding the prevention of spellcasters being the army general, since I happen use one regularly for my troops. Also, for below 2K, that may cause some difficulties, especially if you want a BSB as well.

ewar
04-02-2010, 17:41
I personally think that things should stay the way they are, except...

By the points of the game, there is a cap on how much PD and DD an army can generate, with bound spells counting as 1 PD and dispel scrolls counting as 1 DD.

>1000pts
* 6 PD
* 4 DD

1000pts-1999pts
* 8 PD
* 5 DD

2000pts-2999pts
* 12 PD
* 8 DD

3000pts-3999pts
* 20 PD
* 12 DD



I think this is one of the best answers I've hear for a while - it won't involve revision of any army books (we know GW are pathologically agains this), but will still allow a decent mechanic.

I'm sure I'm like many others, I enjoy the to and fro of the magic phase. 12PD is enough to be magic heavy i.e. get a reliable number of spells off, without wiping your opponents army (and fun) off the board.

I worry that all the bleating caused by the truly excessive lists will cause some sort of knee jerk reaction to totally change the system - I really don't want it to go the way of the psychic phase in 40k!

Some small tweaks such as this will make a big difference. I would add that I think scrolls should be made up to 30pts and moved to enchanted items.

Also, a level 0 spell for each BRB lore should be brought in to balance it with the AB lores.

Skyros
04-02-2010, 19:22
There just has to be a way to scale potential magic use with the points in play, allowing a medium magic list to be still effective against a heavy one.

Just don't let the opponent roll more dispell dice against a spell than was used to cast it.

I don't really have a problem with the spell caster being the armies general. For many armies it just makes sense.

There are only a few problems with the *core* magic rules. Various army books abuse magic shamelessly and should be addressed individually.

Core Problem #1
Limited magical investment provides no returns on your points as you are easily nullified by the enemies free 2 dispell dice. One L2 will do nothing.

Solution #1?
Remove the free 2 dispell dice. You have to pay points for magical offense, you have to pay points for magical defense. Instead, make each character who currently generates a dispell die generate one more than he currently does. Now a single wizard can actually do something.

Core Problem #2
With dispell scrolls and a scroll caddy, even medium magic is stymied for most of the game by a trivial investment in points. Two L2's aren't going to do anything against a single L1 scroll caddy. Even an L4 wizard lord would face serious opposition.

Solution #2?
Make dispell scrolls work like power stones: +2 dice to dispell. Note that solution #1 would also reduce the power of a scroll caddy. Instead of 3 base DD you'd have 2 base.

Core Problem #3
Choosing spells randomly is annoying and detrimental. A fire wizard with fireball and sword of rhuin is nothing compared to one with conflagration of doom and burning head yet they cost the same amount of points! Sometimes an L2 will roll a 5 and 6 for a lore with a not so great L1 and then he can't really do much during the game.

Solution #3?
Let an L4 choose any 4 spells he wants from the lore.
Let an L3 choose any 3 of the first 5 spells.
An L2 can choose any 2 of the first 4.
An L1 can shoose any 1 of the first 3.

It seems silly that you can wind up with an L1 wizard who knows the ultimate amazing spell in the lore while the wizard lord doesn't.

Core Problem #4

If your opponent has more magic offense than you do, he almost certainly has more magic defense, and thus your magic offense is nullified. This isn't true of shooting and leads to an arms race mentality for magic.

Solution #4
Only let a dispell attempt be made with the same # of dice as were used to cast the spell. Bound spells count as a single die. You may only be generating six PD to your opponents 10 dispell dice, but you should still have the chance of getting off some spells now.

Skyros
04-02-2010, 19:34
You will note that the above fixes tend to increase the power of low level magic and weaken magic defense. I feel low investments in magic don't provide a good return on their points while a high investment in magic for the uber armies provide too good an investment on their points.

The first issue is a core issue, while the latter issue is one of specific army books. I think skaven and empire magic phases, while respectable at high points levels, are reasonable. You just don't really see 20 PD magic phases for empire - and any empire army that takes a wizard lord as the leader is resigning themselves to L7.

sulla
05-02-2010, 00:44
Why can't it just be a reliable, flat return on investment like every other aspect of the game? If I take more cavalry I don't get diminishing returns on their effectiveness. If I take more handguns, I am allowed to shoot with all of them.

l.You certainly do get diminishing returns with guns. They come in the form of LoS and frontage required to form up all those shooters.

Sure, cav don't have diminishing returns at present, but that's more a fault of the current game mechanics rewarding units killing other units as the primary form of VP harvesting. Knights get to pick their targets because of their speed, and usually run their target down due to their high pursuit. Basically two wrongs don't make a right.

Condottiere
05-02-2010, 00:59
Missile units could be isolated and overrun, creating a breach that can be exploited and the flanks could then be rolled up, as no dedicated combat troops are deployed to deal with this situation.

So, yes, fielding exclusively missile troops does lead to diminishing returns.

The_Bureaucrat
05-02-2010, 01:10
Why not make Mages generate power dice or dispell dice? If you go magic heavy against a team with light magic you either have tone down your magic or be prepared for a possibility that they might get some spells off too.
Fluff would support it as a wizard casting all these powerful spells hardly has time to dispell.
Maybe give certain base dice that have to be used for offense or defense but the general idea would be to tone down the need to go magic heavy or none at all.