Monday, August 2, 2010

Magic in 8th

I think that GW have done a fantastic job with the new magic system. It was a masterstroke to represent tapping into the winds of magic as a 2D6 roll.

The most important thing is that magic has become truly fickle. The chances of having 7+ PD (before channeling)is 58% - and you'll likely need 7 dice to get more than one spell off. However just as important is the difference between the dice. Over half the time you will only have a 1-2 die advantage which means magic is uncertain at best.

To be honest defending against vanilla magic there are probably only 4 rolls that strike fear into you...5/5, 5/6, 6/5 and 6/6. The rest should be manageable with a Lvl 4 and a Dispel Scroll.

Where things can get interesting is when your opponent has some kind of force multiplier in their list. Examples of these are:

Book of Hoeth and/or Banner of Sorcery for High Elves
Focused Rumination for Lizards
Power of Darkness and Sacrificial Dagger for Dark Elves
Power Scroll for anyone

These change the odds significantly. However it is worth remembering two things. Firstly, the pool can never be over 12 PD at any particular point and secondly, the Book of Hoeth still requires the spell to reach its casting value on the casting roll - a double just means IF.

In these situations you have a limited number of choices - effectively stop the spells you have to and suffer the ones you choose to let through. This will change your gameplan for the battle but the investment in Magic will have left your opponent short in other areas and the key is spotting these "weaknesses".

One strategy I have taken to is to let the RIP spells through (particularly if augment/hexes) and then use my own Power Dice to dispel in my next phase. This has the added advantage of sometimes emboldening your opponent to hold against a charge rather than flee :-)

On the weekend I played High Elves with the Banner and the Book and also the Lizards with Rumination. I knew I was likely to suffer at some stage and this dictated my play style. In the end magic directly or indirectly cost me a unit in the game vs. High Elves but I weathered the storm vs. the Lizards.

I'd have to say that the Magic Phase is probably my favourite phase at the moment as it has become a game within a game and one where careful consideration can yield significant advantages.

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