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Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Armies in 8th: Magic Part 2: Defense


So you’ve all had time to digest a bit about Magic and it’s incorporation into your armies so far. This will obviously go into more detail with each army entry but so far you should have the general overview. Let’s get down to stopping magic now. The key message you need to take from this article is: if you want to be competitive in 8th edition Fantasy, you need to have some decent anti-magic. Remember, you don’t need to wreck face in Magic as some armies simply cannot do that but you do need to be able to stop your opponent from wiping the floor with you during the Magic phase.

Obviously this means the higher your spell-caster level and the more dispel dice you have, the better. Some armies also gain inherent benefits to dispelling or have spells which are designed to make spell-casting more difficult. These spells and abilities should be highly considered when drafting your army list as they can make your life significantly easier against Magic-heavy armies. Items are also an important part of magical defense. Dispel scrolls are the obvious example here but any items which make your opponent’s spells unlikely to cast or damage their spell-casters are items to keep in mind. Particular items which increase chances of miscasts (I.e. Ring of Hotek) are very powerful as miscasts can be particularly damaging to your opponent’s army. Items which add dispel dice to the pool (or take power dice from your opponent’s pool) are also excellent items.

There is a final magical defense which is often overlooked by most players, especially on large horde units. Ward saves and magic resistance. There are a lot of (expensive) banners which can add to Ward saves and magic resistance which can make units very resistant to any sort of magical damage. If you have large units you want to keep safe or weaker overall magical defenses than normal, investment in these types of banners may be a wise idea. It’s a good idea to generally have at least one where your BSB/general sits as an anchor for your army.

So, just having your magical defenses set up though doesn’t mean you’re good to go. Like magical offense, a lot of factors contribute to what spells go first and what spells you should start attempting to stop. Minor spells are a lot easier to stop but can really make an opponent’s army a lot better (I.e. High Elf curse of arrow attraction + RBTs) but if you waste your dispel dice early, ‘ultimate’ spells are more likely to be cast and potentially do massive damage to your army. You obviously don’t want to save your dispel dice for the final spell (which may never come) and have all your opponent’s minor spells go off and be left with a bunch of dispel dice at the end of the Magic phase.

This means you need to decide early on what spells are going to be most damaging to you. Stopping minor buffing spells means you’re more likely to take major spells in the face but if you have the numbers or ward save/magical resistance to take those type of spells in the face, disrupting your opponent’s synergy is often more valuable. Using items like dispel scrolls though should be saved for scarier spells as it is often harder to stop these. If you want to stop a major spell at a specific time, these are what these items are often for. Ultimately, there is no secret formula for which spells to attempt to dispel. More often than not, you will not have the dispel dice to attempt to dispel every opposing cast so it’s generally an unwise idea to try. By recognising which spells are the most important to your opponent’s success (and which spells are the most detrimental to your success), you should be able to identify which spells you wish to invest in stopping.

Remember also, you can provide yourself with magical defenses during your offensive phase. Remains in play spells (especially vortexes), can be dispelled during an opponent’s offensive phase which uses some of their power dice. This reduces the amount of dice they can throw into their spells and important spells like Throne of Vines should be dispelled ASAP. By casting multiple Remains in Play spells, you can stunt your opponent’s Magic by limiting the number of power dice they ultimately have to use on spells or suffer the consequences of the spells continuing on. This is the case of a good offense is the best defense.

A nicely vague and iceberg like article yes? I’m so nice I know. Next articles will start looking at the Lores in the rulebook and army specific Lores. I’m open to requests for what gets done first (though I may not listen to them).

4 pinkments:

Chumbalaya said...

Well, I liked it.

Another lesser know method of anti-magic is shoving a sword down the caster's throat. Magic users are, by and large, squishy and with supporting attacks you are much more likely to kill them with even basic units. Faster stuff like flyers, cav and the like can also do it.

whencannonsfade.com said...

I'm looking forward to this series! Good job so far :)

PS. Tomb Swarms seems to be able to take down casters too. Nothing like a nasty attack of crabs...

King Koop(a) said...

A few things to remember as well:

Your opponent can not cast another spell after casting a remains in play spell.

You can dispel remains in play spells during your magic phase (*DWARFS* - you do get a magic phase, though you don't have spells use this to your advantage for dispelling RiP)

Other than that mage hunter units (great eagles) are phenomenal and often a great answer to casters.

Kirby said...

Page reference for being unable to cast after casting a RIP spell Koopa? Can't find it :(.

ANd yes killing spell-casters is a very easy way to stop maigc ^^.

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