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Saturday, October 29, 2011

Guest Article: Warhammer Fantasy Magical Item Review Part 2: Magic Armor

Common Magic Items Part 2: Magic Armour

Hey folks, Scuzgob here again with Part 2 of the Magic Items Review. Enjoy!

Armour of Destiny, Armour of Fortune, Gambler’s Armour

This trio of magic heavy armour grants the wearer a ward save, 4+, 5+ and 6+ respectively. Accordingly, they are 5 points more expensive than their Talisman counterparts, for two reasons. The first being the obvious one: they also give your character heavy armour, handy for the few characters that cannot take this option for whatever reason. The second, better reason is that taking one of these magic armours will leave your Talisman slot free, letting you take another helpful item like the Dawnstone or one of the Obsidian Trio.

The downside is the competition with other good magic armours, but these three are pretty nice. Armour of Destiny is maybe too expensive, but good protection for your non-Wizard General, Armour of Fortune strikes a good balance between cost and protection and the Gambler’s Armour is a cheap way to get a ward save if that character already has a Talisman.

If I have a Wizard that can take armour (yet again, Warriors of Chaos, Ogre Kingdoms) I usually grab one of these for him.

Trickster’s Helm

If you expect your character to be wading into hordes of troops, the Trickster’s Helm is a good, if expensive, choice for such a character. On a character with high Toughness, basic attacks will bounce off him, but it can save any character from a mobbing. Note that it applies to all wounds the character suffers, not just close combat ones, so it could be good for a character that is going it alone on some kind of flying mount.
Speaking of mounts, this item also boosts your armour save by one, a nice bonus for any mounted character. On the other hand, this item only affects the rider, not the mount (so no near-invincible Khemri Warsphinx ridden by a Tomb King with this helm, I’m afraid.)

All in all, it’s much less directly protective than the similarly priced Armour of Destiny, and it needs a specific character to get the most out of it, but this is a solid item.

Armour of Silvered Steel

45 points for a 2+ armour save you can’t improve is a bit too much to ask in my opinion, considering it’s easy to get a similar or better save with mundane armour, shields and barded mounts. Since the armour save can’t be improved you don’t need to take a shield, so you may as well make use of paired weapons or two handed weapons, the Fencer’s Blades being a good choice. But at this cost, I’d rather spend a little bit more and get the Armour of Destiny and make up the 2+ armour with mounts and the like.

Helm of Discord

Like the Trickster’s Helm, this helmet boosts your armour save by one. While the Trickster’s Helm affects every wound the character suffers, the Helm of Discord will only affect enemy characters. It’s good for a character that is focused on challenges, but the problem lies in the fact that the models this item effects usually have high Leadership. However, when it does work it will utterly cripple an enemy character and usually win the combat. If you’re going to take this item, to get the best out of it you need some Leadership debuffs, the Lore of Death being the best place to get one.

It’s important to note that the bearer of this item doesn’t need to be in base contact with the enemy character you want to affect; a character wearing this that refuses a challenge, for example, will still affect an enemy character with it.

Glittering Scales

The other half of the notorious Untouchable Ogre Tyrant kit, the Glittering Scales makes it harder for the enemy to hit you in close combat. This can sometimes be better than a big armour/ward save, stopping them at the first hurdle is preferable to taking saves after all. As we all know, the Glittering Scales goes best with the Fencer’s Blades, but if you don’t have the points for that combination, it’s still a good piece of magic armour

Shield of Ptolos

If you expect your character to take a lot of incoming fire, this is your first and best option for defending against that. It’s not a +1 bonus to your armour; it’s a maximum save of 1+ against shooting attacks, meaning your enemy needs at least Strength 5 on his shooting attacks before he can reduce this. Great for flanking characters who are for riding down shooting units, or loner characters who can be expected to take a few shots during a game. On other characters, not so great, it’s better to be in a big unit and use the “Look Out Sir!” save against shooting attacks.


Quite a handy item if you need some Magic Resistance and a shield on the same character. It’s a cheap and easy way of getting some MR to the unit that needs it, and unlike taking the cheaper Obsidian Trinket, lets you take a different Talisman on the same character. The Spellshield can be quite handy, but in large games MR1 won’t that big an effect.


The Dragonhelm is a cheap item for its two effects: boosting your armour save by one and granting a massive ward save against Flaming attacks. The ward save half is okay, you won’t face Flaming attacks much in most games, but it will help when they do show up. Unless you have a two handed weapon, don’t take this item for its armour boosting quality, as the Enchanted Shield does the same thing for cheaper. If you desperately need that 2+ ward save against Flaming Attacks, the Dragonbane Gem is a better choice.

Enchanted Shield

I remember when this thing was 15 points for most armies in 7th edition. Now at a measly five, the Enchanted Shield went from good to one of the best magic armours for its sheer efficiency. Combine this with a barded mount and heavy armour to get a 1+ armour save for pittance. If you’ve got a one-handed magic weapon, this item is often the best choice to get because it’s so cheap you can easily get a Talisman for a well protected character who can still throw out the pain.

Charmed Shield

It’s the same cost as the Enchanted Shield, but unfortunately not as good. It gives a large chance at ignoring the first hit your character takes but that’s it. It’s far better to get the Enchanted Shield and rely on Look Out Sir rolls to avoid those incoming hits as you get into combat, where you’re certainly going to take more than one hit. A canny opponent will also use the shield against your character, stripping away the one time effect with a weak attack before moving in with stronger ones. Take the Enchanted Shield over this.


Magic Armour is as important for combat characters as Magic Weapons are. The ability to take hits is needed as much as the ability to give them, and simple survivability goes a long way to helping you in combat. One of the main requirements for a character is finding a good balance between their weapons and armour, but fortunately there are a good handful of useful, cheap pieces of magic armour that allow you to give your character adequate protection for his job and also give him a useful magic weapon. With the few Wizards who can take magic armour, you can afford to give them the more expensive pieces, as their magical ability easily replaces a magic weapon, and they’ll always be a target for your opponents.

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