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8th Ed. BRB Lores of Magic - A Deep Dive

Discussion in 'Other Armies Discussion' started by NIGHTBRINGER, Dec 18, 2021.

  1. NIGHTBRINGER
    Slann

    NIGHTBRINGER Second Spawning

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    I think units/models are a bit different because there are many factors other than power level that may lead people to include them in their armies:
    • they love the model and spent a good deal of time painting it/them
    • thematic lists (Lizardmen monster mash, WoC mono god list... especially Slaanesh, a Dwarf Slayer list, an all-goblin O&G list, etc.)
    • campaign and/or lore reasons
    • because its the models that they actually own
    • comp scores
    • rule of cool
    All of those above are reasons why people might choose to include "weak" units in their lists, but other than comp score, they don't really apply to spell selection. Nobody is going to be clamoring "Ooooh I love Aspect of the Dreadknight, I absolutely must build a cool army around it", but they might say something like that in relation to a Chaos War Mammoth or a Siege Giant, etc.

    By Heroes Blade do you mean the Sword of Anti-Heroes? The Sword of Anti-Heroes is actually a fairly popular magic item (at least as far as magic weapons go). I think it is a pretty good value. Even if you only manage to get the wielder of the weapon into an opposing unit with a single character, you are getting +1S and +1A for 30 points. A good value. If the opposing unit has two characters, that same 30 points is netting you +2S & +2A... an absolute steal. At three characters or more it becomes absolutely obscene. It is of course balanced by the fact that it grants you no bonus (other than magical attacks) against units with no characters. As a result, it does require a bit of generalship to make use of, but if you set up the right matchups it is amazing. You're trading universality for excellence in a specific situation.


    On to your bigger point, I actually feel that magic items prove my point. Consider that for the most part, we typically (90%+) see the same magic items over and over and over...
    • Armour of Destiny
    • Dragonhelm
    • Enchanted Shield
    • Charmed Shield
    • Talisman of Preservation! (I seldom come across a list without this one)
    • Dawnstone
    • Dragonbane Gem
    • Razor Standard
    • Standard of Discipline
    • Banner of Eternal Flame
    • Gleaming Pennant
    • Earthing Rod
    • Dispel Scroll!
    • Crown of Command
    • The Other Trickster's Shard
    There are a few other items that I did not list that see some use, but there is an even bigger list of magic items that you virtually never see. To name just a few; I can't remember the last time I saw items like these fielded:
    • Tormentor Sword
    • Warrior Bane
    • Helm of Discord
    • Shield of Ptolos
    • Wailing Banner
    • Scarecrow Banner
    • Scroll of Leeching
    • Wand of Jet
    • Scroll of Shielding
    • Wizarding Hat (other than for LOLs)
    • Featherfore Torc
    • The Terrifying Mask of EEE!
    There are many others that are never played, but I just listed a few as an example. For some of these, I had to go back and read what they actually do as I'm so unfamiliar with them because no one plays them or talks about them. I'm not claiming that absolutely no one ever plays them (maybe they do for shits and giggles or because they don't know any better), but these cases are extremely limited to the point where they are statistically insignificant.

    There are 82 BRB magic items, of which it is rare to see items picked outside of the top 25-30 that we see repeatedly. And then you have the very best items that are essentially auto-includes that find their way into most lists.

    I think spells would break down the same way. There would be those that we would see over and over again, those that would see some situational use and those that we would never see again. Who is going to select Aspect of the Dreadknight over Soulblight, Shield of Thorns over Flesh to Stone, Hell Hammer over Ash Storm, Lash of Slaanesh over Acquiescence or Transmutation of Lead over Enchanted Blades of Aiban?
     
  2. Lizards of Renown
    Slann

    Lizards of Renown Herald of Creation

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    :D agreed and I had a chuckle to myself on imagining someone saying something about their favourite spell.

    I do indeed mean that item. Firstly, and I can only assume that this is a wrong cross-section, it has been very rare in games that I have played. I do see your point for value in the right match-ups. My rationale would be the potential wastage if my unit with this gets tied up with Trolls or goes up against a lone monster. In the end, your point is made that in the rights hands and used correctly it has a total value.

    One of the points I like about doing these discussions on LO is that it definitely broadens my viewpoint on potentials usages and tactics, so all good.

    (I don't envy the guy that has to go up against three characters though, even if I'm targetting the other rank-and-file)

    I agree in principle, but in reality that are (for the most part) 7 spells per Lore compared to 82 magic items from the BRB. So this is something quite different. With the spells I'd rather the person get a choice than be hampered by rolling a shit spell that they won't be able to use. At least with the items if you bought it you pay the price (pardon the pun).

    I'm obviously doing devils advocate as, for all the points I'd like to change, I'm still sticking with the 8th over other gaming systems. I do enjoy that buzz when you're going to roll for the spells and the inevitable praying that goes along with it! :D
     
  3. NIGHTBRINGER
    Slann

    NIGHTBRINGER Second Spawning

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    The downside is definitely as you describe it, it doesn't give you a universal bonus like most magic weapons do. The general rule of thumb is that if you can get it into a unit with at least one enemy character, it is worth the points cost. Fortunately, most armies contain multiple characters.

    True, but I was just continuing from the example you had provided earlier. With spells I think you'll usually see the same 4-5 spells per lore on a level 4. There will always be 1, 2 or even 3 outcasts depending on the lore in question.

    On a level 1 or 2 it will likely be more pronounced as you can simply use them to poach the very best spells.


    So which spell lores do you think might gain popularity under this system, and which ones might you see lose popularity?
     
  4. NIGHTBRINGER
    Slann

    NIGHTBRINGER Second Spawning

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  5. Scalenex
    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    Okay my first thought it, this is a deep dive, intended for veteran players. Your post is too meandering and complex for a new player. But I guess since 8th edition is out of print, there aren't a lot of new players.

    Your thoughts are pretty spot on, but I think you are being too harsh on Transmutation of Lead. It's not my favorite spell by any means but it roughly as situationally useful as Searing Doom in my opinions.

    There are some armies/units it is great at, and some it is not. If you are fighting an army that is more skilled (by which I mean Weapon Skill) than you, it will do next to nothing, but if you fight an army on par or below with you, it makes a big deal.

    Hypothetically if your WS 3 Saurus are fighting W3 Orcs, suddenly the Saurus are going to be thrilled if the orcs become WS 2. But if the Saurus are fighting WS 5 Chaos Warriors, it won't matter.

    Also, by the writing of Transmutation of Lead, this is one of the few hex spells in 8th edition that can take a trait to zero. This means a WS 1 target can be docked to WS 0. This mostly means zombies, but anytime a target has WS 0 are hit automatically.

    With Lizardmen, because I always have a mobile Skink priest, the short range of Gehenna's Golden Hounds never bothered me.

    Probably ought to mention the flaming attacks. Somethings are vulnerable to fire. Somethings are fire resistant like Chaos Dwarves and any one with a Firebane gem (very popular for many fighting characters). I've never seen a Strigoi without one.

    I played every lore once or twice to test it. I'm not a big fan of Metal Slann. In the old days, when 8th edition was new, the consensus was Life was the best lore for Slann, For my playstyle, I think Light is the best all comer's list. I like Saurus Warriors and my regular opponents favor high WS armies.

    I will some times take High Magic in lieu of Light (but most of my swapped spells will be for Light).

    I used to mostly use the lores that are not High Magic, Light, or Life in casual games. Either against newbie players or against experienced players with Orcs and Goblins (cause I think playing O&G is a handicap :( which is sad because the army is versatile and fun).

    Now if I play a casual game, I'm all about the Lore of Undeath. I want my tiny vampire counts army to shine and admittedly taking the Lore of Undeath makes games take longer and most formal settings like tournaments have strict time limits. I rarely get full six turn games done in tournies.
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2022
  6. Killer Angel
    Slann

    Killer Angel Prophet of the Stars Staff Member

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  7. NIGHTBRINGER
    Slann

    NIGHTBRINGER Second Spawning

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    I look forward to it! :)
     
  8. Lizards of Renown
    Slann

    Lizards of Renown Herald of Creation

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    Agreed. The option of the "Suicide Bomber Level 1" makes for a new game tangent. Rather than the Level 1 being a caddy or only a vague possibility of being a threat, suddenly it could make or break the game.

    The other thing I realized is that if you can choose the spells, it would raise the question about whether or not you keep in the point about telling your opponent about the spells. With magic items, those you have chosen and paid for remain confidential and one of the few points of real surprise in the 8th after deployment is finished (I think the entirety would be Ambushers/EBTS, Magic Items for Heroes/Lords and for some armies specialist hidden characters/troops like Assassins, Night Goblin Fanatics, etc.)

    If spells remained hidden then you'd have the ability to bluff and double-bluff your opponent about that lone Level 1 sneaking around the side of the army. It would be fun I think.

    A lot of actual tactics are about bluffing, misdirection and misinformation along with out-maneuvering your opponent. At least Warhammer 8th does have the maneuvering one to a degree.

    Interesting:

    I think that Lore of Beasts would get a lot more use. If you can guarantee Amber Spear then for armies like Lizardmen and Beastmen you'd get a lot more usage. Plus you would be able to guarantee the Suicide bomber Transformation of Kadon Level 1 and probably actually get the spell off!

    I think Life would get more usage as well (it already does but I think there would be more). If you could choose spells then you could get Dwellers as an attack spell and then combo Throne of Vines with Awakening of the Wood which suddenly becomes S6 and gives it a lot more bite.

    I think that's the changes. I'm not as familiar with the individual army lores, so take this with a pinch of salt:

    Beastmen: Not sure, but their Lore doesn't seem worth investing in. Not having played with it makes a difference I know, but from my Theoryhammer workouts I wouldn't choose this.
    Chaos Lores (Slaneesh, Tzeentch and Nurgle): They will still be used as much as they were I think, they have a well rounded spell output, it will just make them more effective (those who know how to use them will still use them and Nurgle will still take top choice award).
    Dark Elves, High Elves and Wood Elves: I would still use their Lores, but be more effective at it.
    Lizardmen: This is an interesting one, as the Focus of Mystery and Wandering Deliberations become less effective. Still good as you still get 8 spells rather than 4, but less because (for me) the highlight of both of these and any Loremaster is that you KNOW what you are getting as so you can already synergize with your army list.
    Ogre Kingdoms: They have to take theirs (unless you take a Firebelly or a second caster which is not worth the points) and it's a good choice, being able to choose your spells makes it a great choice in my opinion as you can choose the great ones (Stubborn spell, Regeneration Spell, etc.).
    Orcs & Goblins: They have to use their own, but you'd see a lot more Hand and Foot spells being used (!!!!)
    Skaven: Have to use their own and it makes them even better as a whole. Makes me want to rethink this choosing spells business.
    Tomb Kings: This would help them a lot. If they can choose from Nehekhara then you can do more synergizing and it will improve the list. If you choose from Light or Death it again helps on synergizing.
    Vampire Counts: They will stick with their Lore and be more deadly.

    That's what I think. Makes most of the armies better, but I don't think it would change how much it gets used. Either they're stuck with it, or they'll still be using the Lore that synergizes most with the army.
     
    NIGHTBRINGER and Bowser like this.
  9. NIGHTBRINGER
    Slann

    NIGHTBRINGER Second Spawning

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    That's a fair point. I usually aim for a more experienced crowd. There is a lot of introductory analysis available out there, and that sort of stuff doesn't particularly interest me. I originally went in with the intention to push and further develop my understanding of the lore and in the process, hopefully bring others along for the ride.

    I can't deny your point though... it would indeed be a useless mess of a read in the eyes of a new player.

    Some of my hatred against it comes from my experience with the 7th edition Mark of Nurgle which penalized enemies targeting the unit with -1 to hit for shooting attacks and -1 WS in close combat. The WS hex was extremely situational, and the MoN wasn't that popular. Along comes 8th edition and now the MoN confers -1 to hit on enemy units targeting the unit in CC. All of a sudden, the MoN became the most popular mark of the four.

    I actually agree with you that there are situations where the -1 WS will be just as good as -1 to hit, but that lack of versatility really hurts the spell. This is doubly apparent when we compare it to the Enchanted Blades of Aiban.

    That's pretty cool. To be honest, I hadn't even thought of that. When that situation comes up, I would agree with you that the spell would definitely be worth it to cast! All of a sudden, the hexed unit is not only hit automatically, but can't attack back; thus granting you an easy close combat victory.

    The only issue is that so few units have the WS of 1 that is need to pull the trick off. Even Skaven Slaves boast a mighty WS2. How many other units, besides zombies, strike at WS1? I think Kroak has WS1. There must be a few more floating around, but I'd imagine it to be exceedingly rare.

    That said, it does boost the prospects of Transmutation of Lead when facing VC, which is something definitely worth noting.



    So I guess we disagree a bit on the value of the Transmutation of Lead's debuffs, but what about the other two points I made (over-costed and its debuffs are not synergistic)?

    The fact that Transmutation of Lead is cast on 12+ really hurts it. For comparison, here are a bunch of other spells that are also 12+ to cast:
    • Birona's Timewarp (lore of light)
    • Regrowth (lore of life)
    • Comet of Casandora (lore of heavens)
    • Ash Storm (lore of Hashut)
    • Cacophonic Choir (lore of Slaanesh)
    • Curse of Years (lore of the vampires)

    Let alone cheaper to cast hexes that are more effective like: Soulblight, Enfeebling Foe, Usekhp's Incantation of Desiccation, Acquiescence, Curse of the Leper and the previously mentioned Melkoth's Mystifying Miasma

    If I could loremaster life on a Slann (besides the underperforming Mazdamundi) that's the route I would take. As it stands, I can't pass up Focus of Mystery High Magic.

    Light is a great lore too. Works well with Lizardmen.
     
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2022
  10. Scalenex
    Slann

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    A failed fear test lowers WS to 1. We have a lot of Fear and Terror causing units in the Lizardmen army.

    And of course if you have more than one lore of magic, you can use another spell to debuff a unit to WS 1 then use Transmutation Lead but yeah, the situations you can use this are rare, but when they come up they are a no-brainer.
     
  11. ASSASSIN_NR_1
    Carnasaur

    ASSASSIN_NR_1 Well-Known Member

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    Hold on, it only works in CC, though still very good, not quite that good. (Kroak's special rule still has MoN beat there, at least in power not in price)
     
  12. NIGHTBRINGER
    Slann

    NIGHTBRINGER Second Spawning

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    Yes, you're absolutely right. I was thinking of too many things at once... brain fart!
     
  13. NIGHTBRINGER
    Slann

    NIGHTBRINGER Second Spawning

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    I agree with you. For the magic phase to remain tactical, each player needs to know the spells of their opposition. The entire mini-game that is the magic phase is built around knowing which spells to cast/dispel, which ones to ignore and how many dice to allocate. As such, if picking spells were allowed, I think it should have to be announced to all parties involved at the time of selection.

    Being able to select Amber spear would be a huge benefit for a fair few number of armies. Not a fan of Kadon though, if you want a suicide bomber, I think there are better options.

    I feel that level 1-2 wizards would really benefit. Being able to pick up Acquiescence and Cacophonic Choir from Slaanesh or Treason of Tzeentch and Glean Magic from Tzeench or Curse of the Leper from Nurgle would be potent.

    I've never fielded the lore of Tzeentch, but if I could simply choose those two spells, I would. As for Slaanesh, I would never field an army without Acquiescence and Cacophonic Choir in hand.

    I might be tempted to veer away from Focus of Mystery if I could choose my four spells from the Lore of Life.



    I really feel that under this system, we might see the emergence of many more level 1 and 2 wizards of the field. Many spell lores have that 1 (or sometimes 2) spell(s) that you really really want.
     
  14. Lizards of Renown
    Slann

    Lizards of Renown Herald of Creation

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    This would be an absolute factor. It would be well worth investing, for instance, in a Tomb Kings or Ogre Kingdoms army in that extra Level 1 or 2 wizard so that you can get that specific spell, definitely for Lizardmen for Amber Spear, etc.
     
  15. NIGHTBRINGER
    Slann

    NIGHTBRINGER Second Spawning

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    Could it possibly cause a partial (meaning sometimes, and not necessarily all the time) shift away from level 4's, instead opting for multiple level 1's and 2's with the best spells across multiple lores or is the 4+ to cast and dispel too essential to pass up?
     
  16. Lizards of Renown
    Slann

    Lizards of Renown Herald of Creation

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    Oooooooooh.....

    I think you'd see Level 4's by themselves still (as you're still going to be dispelling at your wizard level and if the other guy has a Level 4 then you are significantly hampered on casting yours and dispelling his).

    I think you'd just see more Level 1 and 2 action. Which, to be honest, is pretty rare to have more than your obligatory Level 4 for both potential casting and protection.

    If you ONLY took Level 1 or 2's then you're asking for trouble statistically, so no, you'd just see more additional Wizards at Level 1 or 2, waiting for that moment when you've managed to draw out the dispel dice and/or dispel scrolls during the magic phase and you've got that 2 or 3 dice left for the spell you want to cast with your littler wizard.

    Would definitely make the magic phase more interesting! As well as more nerve-wracking for what you spend your dispel dice and scrolls on!
     
  17. Lord Agragax of Lunaxoatl
    Slann

    Lord Agragax of Lunaxoatl Eleventh Spawning

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    @NIGHTBRINGER

    [​IMG]

    Your Lore of Metal Analysis is astounding, the work you put into it was definitely worth it! It's taking a while to read it all, but if I have any questions or comments I'll post them later on in this thread.

    @Lizards of Renown

    Being able to choose spells from the Lore of the Wild would actually result in it seeing a good deal more play in Beastman armies, because we would be able to consistently choose Bray-Scream to use against armoured armies, Devolve to use against armies with poor Leadership,Traitor-kin to troll armies with Cavalry, Monstrous Cavalry and Monsters aplenty in it and Savage Dominion is the original and better version of Transformation of Kadon which can be fun to play against armies without Cannons, while avoiding the others which admittedly are pretty duff.

    Otherwise I agree with your assessment, choosing spells would turn up the heat in competitive play no end. I would think though, thematically it would make more sense, as Wizards would spend time learning the spells they think would be most useful, they don't just randomly generate spells in their head as soon as the battle arrives.
     
  18. The Great White Lizard
    Chameleon Skink

    The Great White Lizard Well-Known Member

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    I always thought that it made sense from a lore perspective that you didn't get to pick what spells a wizard knows, as wizards are pretty rare and it's going to be an extremely wealthy or privileged general who can choose from multiple different wizards of the same lore who know different spells. I enjoy rolling for spells as I think it lets spells that would otherwise be never taken be played, as pointed out. That said, it does suck to roll useless spells, but I think it's counterbalanced greatly by signature spells and the doubles rule. However, it would certainly be interesting to see how being able to choose spells would impact the game.
     
  19. Lizards of Renown
    Slann

    Lizards of Renown Herald of Creation

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    Right. So if you were able to choose spells, as an experienced Beastmen player, would you choose their Lore more often?
     
  20. Lord Agragax of Lunaxoatl
    Slann

    Lord Agragax of Lunaxoatl Eleventh Spawning

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    Yes I would. I wouldn't give a Greater Bray-Shaman Lore of the Wild (unless perhaps I was going up against an army without Cannons so that Savage Dominion will be at its most useful), that honour would go to Lore of Beasts 100%, but I would definitely give it to a Level 2 Lesser Bray-Shaman and choose the two that would be best to use against the opponent in question.

    Indeed choosing spells would allow me to be able to use all my favourite spells in my favourite Lores in my planned Wizard loadout:
    Level 4 Greater Bray-Shaman with Beasts - Wyssan's, Curse of Anraheir, Amber Spear, Savage Beast of Horros
    Level 2 Lesser Bray-Shaman with Wild - As in my previous post, I would choose the particular spells most fitting for the opposing army in question.
    Level 2 Lesser Bray-Shaman with Shadow - Okkam's and The Enfeebling Foe (The Withering is good as well, but if you've already upped your Strength with Okkam's there's no need to reduce your enemy's Toughness further!)

    As it is, the Beasts and Shadow Bray-Shamen will be auto-takes in my army, while the other I'm fluctuating between Wild and Death. Death is obviously the more powerful choice, but not particularly exciting or thematic to use, while Wild is more thematic and fun, and can produce a few LOLs when a spell from it works against just the right opponent (Bray-Scream on a unit of Chaos Warriors or Dwarfs, Traitor-Kin on a Bretonnian army, Devolve on Greenskins and Undead), but having to roll for spells means I could easily end up with one of the spells that is generally poor (Viletide or Mantle of Ghorok) or one that can be good against particular opponents but not against the one I'm facing (Traitor-Kin or Devolve against Dwarfs for example, or Savage Dominion against any army with Cannons).
     

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