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Monday, September 20, 2010

Armies in 8th: Magic Part 6: Lore of Light


This is the 'anti-undead/daemon' Lore. For any themed lists against Daemons or Undead, this is the Lore for the stories! Let's check out if it's actually of use in game however. The Lore attribute inflicts and extra D6 hits on Undead and Daemon targets if it normally inflicts damage but otherwise gains no benefit against 'normal units.' The spells are generally easy to cast however and focuses primarily on buffing units with some minor damage aspects involved.

Signature Spell - Shem's Burning Gaze: At level one this spell is pretty much the exact same as Fireball but doesn't have the casting bonus of Fire Magic or the appropriate level 2 and 3 castings. Shem's level ups the strength to an impressive 6 and doubles the casting range but triples the casting cost which is very prohibitive. For a basic magic missile though it works pretty well. With the Lore attribute, this spell is very damaging en masse against Undead and Daemon armies but it's not as effective against other armies unless you have a ton of Magic Dice to throw away on level 1 spell-casters.

1 - Pha's Protection: A protective spell which makes weapons and close combat attacks less likely to hit. This is particularly effective on large units which are targets for warmachines which don't roll to hit but need to pass a 4+ to shoot (which can make them very inaccurate). Otherwise the spell is easy to cast and has a decent range but importantly can effect all units within 12" with a moderate casting cost of 12. This can make an army of warmachines very ineffective and greatly improve an army's surivability in combat and against shooting.

2 - Speed of Light: Still a pretty low casting cost, this is another augment spell which grants a unit WS and initiative 10, very good for landing your hits and landing them early. Again, this spell can affect everyone within 12" by doubling the casting cost. Whilst the csating cost is getting pretty steep having quite a few units in combat getting WS/I10 is pretty good but the problem is this happens after charges are declared so it's pretty easy for your opponent to grasp whether or not they need to dispel this and if you've charged assuming this will be cast...some of your units might get their butts kicked.

3 - Light of Battle: Another decently cheap spell which can be very useful for low Ld armies or auto-rallying important units (cough BSB cough) which cannot rally or might not rally. Can be problematic with a short-range though (minimal applicability) and although it has a bubble cast as well, it's not as useful unless half your army is fleeing (one imagines your opponent will also try very hard to dispel this). A good utility spell but nothing to write home about.

4 - Net of Amyntok: Very effective against low strength units (especially hordes) and a great disruptive spell for a unit which wishes to move and you can likely make flee (potentially trigginer net multiple times). 24" range is problematic at times but can be cast at 48" for only a minimal increase in casting cost. Is going to be particularly effective against Daemon and Undead units where the hits are doubled but should be taken primarily for it's disruptive purposes. When Net stops a deadly charge, you're a happy spell-caster indeed.

5 - Banishment: The main damage spell of Light. Decent casting cost and moderate range but a strength based off number of spell-casters who use Lore of Life within 12" of the caster. Whilst batteries of Light spell-casters might be great against Daemons and Undead, in a balanced army this is unlikely to be of any use and it is therefore unlikely there are to be many more than 2 Light spell-casters in any given army. S5 is nice but nothing fantastic. Banishment has the added bonus of forcing successful ward saves to be re-rolled but isn't a top notch damaging spell.

6 - Birona's Timewarp: Again a pretty decent casting cost for a 'high level' spell but a short range and you will often not gain all of the bonuses. Birona's timewarp doubles the movement characteristic of the targeted unit and provides +1A and ASF (always strikes first). Pretty good but you have to use this a turn ahead of when you want to gain the full benefits in the movement phase and then re-cast to still gain the benefits in combat. Otherwise, the combat benefits are gained by units in the combat phase but the movement bonus is likely discarded. Whilst the combat bonuses also work if you get charged and can therefore be a great deterent to charging units, this spell can take a bit of skill to apply correctly. Furthermore, this spell can also be cast in a 12" bubble at the very high cost of 24 but can effectively make an army very fast or very potent in combat.

Once again, Light primarily focuses on buffing units and although it can do this en masse through bubble spells, these are more draining on your power dice pool but conversely are a bigger threat for your opponent. However, the spells don't overcome army weaknesses. If your army is bad in combat Timewarp + Protection aren't going to make you better in combat. Light is rather about enhancing potential (i.e. a good combat army which has low I) or shoring up weaknesses (i.e. low Ld). Light does NOT change how an army plays and you shouldn't attempt to play it like it does. Unfortunately, Light doesn't have much damage potential and has a pretty much useless Lore attribute.

Verdict: okay. It's not fantastic but it's not terrible either. If your opponent is unable or stupid enough to let Timewarp, Protection and Light en masse, you can greatly increase your combat potential and defenses whilst under normal circumstances, Light is able make your army that bit more reliable. The signature spell however goes against this completely and whilst great against Undead and Daemon armies, doesn't really help much against most armies. If you feel like your army could use some assistance in the combat phase of Warhammer when it is already good at the combat phase (remember, Light does not make weaknesses strengths), Light could be of some benefit.

7 pinkments:

Lyracian said...

The funny thing is that while Lights special is anti-undead it is one of the best lists for Vampire Counts.

Vampires lack shooting so Net and Protection are both good spells for stopping ranged units; while Speed & Timewarp buff your weak troops.

lehcyfer said...

Birona's Timewarp and Speed of Light combined seem very potent... If you were able to dispose early of the enemy wizards this could be really nasty :)

Chumbalaya said...

Lots of cool combo potential, but it's too easy to disrupt it all with one scroll.

I'm meh on this lore.

Jason said...

Birona's timewarp can be used pretty well defensively - if your opponent is going to charge you and you cast it on a number of units (12 inch bubble), you get the benefits for their combat - but then you other units get double movement in your following charge phase, after your opponent has already charged you. This has suprised a lot of people so far (your knights can charge how far? Sure.. Yeah, I won't run).

Also regarding banishment, a typo - It is every lore of light wizard within 12, not lore of life.

Banishment in particular is great when using a war alter - as I understand you can take a war alter along side a level 4 lore of light, and double up on spells. But when the war alter casts banishment, the other wizard is in range thus giving you str 5 without needing to buy the other wizard..

Jason said...

Also, Flagellants with Birona's timewarp = just plain awesome.

Jason said...

Hmm, not meaning to spam comments lol, but the Net spell is really great if your opponent has wizards in combat or shooting units. Picture an Empire wizard (str3) trying to get any spells off, or the danger a level 4 sorceress on pegasus with reversable wardsave is in (can't move, run away or cast spells reliably, and might just kill her!)

If your opponent has say a level 4 sorceress in a unit of dark elf repeater cross bows with life taker... you get the idea :)

Kirby said...

Woops will change that typo.

Light really is a good combo Lore but when the combos get broken or you don't get the bubble casts off,not as great.

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