Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Big Magic

I think that the biggest talking point to come out of this weekend's Pilgrimage was in relation to the "Big Spells".

These are the potential game-changers that can turn a game around. The spells that fall into this category are Purple Sun, Dwellers Below, the Dreaded 13th Spell etc. It has quickly been recognised that there is very little you can do to stop these spells if an opponent is willing to throw up to six dice at them. They have a 26% chance of getting the spell off. The perception coming out of the weekend is that it takes very little tactical skill to do this.

From this the next major Australian tournament MOAB will be trialling on all spells that have a minimum casting value of 15 or higher.

I like to turn this around a bit.

I believe that there are way to insulate yourself against these spells being game-changing. If the spell is going off with IF then the mage is taking a miscast as well. Items such as the Infernal Puppet allow you to punish the magic user. Warriors were the most popular army at Pilgrimage and if you know big magic is on show then you should be investing the points. Similarly, Lizardmen have Becalming Cogitation which if used correctly means big magic should never be an issue. Again Lizards were one of the more popular armies at Pilgrimage.

For other races the answer is not as straight forward however (depending on the race of the spellcaster) I would be doing as much as possible to target the unit they are in either with magic or shooting. By concentrated firepower you can reduce numbers to such an extent that should a Panic test be failed it requires a double one to rally and re-enter the fray.

Finally the defensive player will have heard the truism "avoid putting all your eggs in one basket" well this is especially true at the moment. Insulate yourself so no single game-changing spell is so, aahhhh, game-changing by spreading characters across units. You know what spells the opposition has when you deploy so you are at least forewarned.

At the end of the day the effects of big magic will likely cost you a game from time to time. Like a miscast will.....or a failed Leadership check.....or when you fluff all your attacks.....or your warmachine misfires first turn etc. Unfortunately we have to live with that.

A knee-jerk reaction banning the spells that require 15+ to cast is really unjustified at this early stage of 8th Edition.

Disclaimer: I'm a Skaven player and this affects my Dreaded 13th Spell. In the six games over the weekend I certainly never tried to cast it. Why? Well the 26% chance I get a miscast, followed by the 17% chance I roll Dimensional Cascade, and then the 50% chance I die is all too much for this little Grey Seer (all 2.16% of it)

1 comment:

  1. banning spells is a major over reaction. Big magic has always been a major issue but the randomness of casting dice mean that getting that spell off isnt a done deal.