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Musings on advanced Scroll Caddies 
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Noble
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Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2008 10:34 pm
Posts: 424
Overview

At this point, just about all of us have heard about the limitations placed on using the Ring of Hotek and casters. As such, most of the time you see a poor, shivering Sorceress holding rolls of paper in each hand and hoping that she gets a chance to cast without having her one spell turned into colored bubbles or exploding in front of her face.

Sadly, although this can be an economical use of points for magic defense, it does not satisfy the desire many of us would like to actually reach out and hit something with a spell on occasion. To this end the upgrade to the Caddy was developed, called the Golfer, as a level 2, thereby bringing a chance a getting a high leveled spell and pulling it off on four dice later in the game as the opposing scrolls burn out around turn 3 or 4. It gets even more advantageous once you add in the options we have for suicide charging mages, blowing them up through the Ring of Hotek, and chasing them down after breaking their escort unit in combat, and facing an opposing army’s scroll caddy.

Due to a reasonably random or facetious remark during one of the several DRAICH articles regarding the optimal scroll carrier, it was brought to my attention that we have also neglected to take into account a final alternative to the hero-level scroll carriers. That individual offered an inquiry as to what use a level 3 or 4 Supreme Sorceress built for defense would bring to the tabletop.

Eventually, I began to see the potential wisdom of this random query. Many have realized that a Master is an excellent form of combat potential, whilst our Cauldron bathing Death Hag covers unit support over a wide radius. However, a lone Sorceress puts very little pressure on an opponent with even an average magic defense. A lone level 4 Supreme Sorceress comes with enough dice to get off both Black Horror and another spell just by rolling 3-4 dice per spell without even triggering Power of Darkness. This doesn’t even begin to take into account the ability to toss say Chillwind and Doombolt with 3 dice each for a large amount of force behind them.

Although there are many builds available to a Supreme Sorceress, I’m only going to make the case for a few here. (I leave it up to my fellow Druchii to check, double check, and discover their own caster’s personality based upon intended options, cost, and available character choices.)

Varied Builds

THE LOREMASTER
Supreme Sorceress, lvl4 - Tome of Furion, Pendant of Khaeleth, Dispel Scroll, Dispel Scroll

This build works as a balancing act between offense, army defense, and personal defense. Using the Tome to obtain 5 spells gives the largest amount of flexibility in spell selections offered in our army. By having more options of what to cast, one can pick their targets carefully and be more likely to achieve the maximum strategic effect in each offensive phase of magic.

I’m going to consider the Pendant mostly self-evident. Opponents love to find ways to pick characters out of units by any means necessary. This gives a possibility of surprising your opponent by shrugging the blows directed by a unit of un-championed mage hunters. If it is a character doing the hunting, it is entertaining to challenge with the sorceress, ignore the inevitable high strength blows, and bounce the fool with SCR from your escort unit, even if it is only rank and outnumber from a unit of crossbowmen.

Although people can season to taste, using more than 2 scrolls in a standard list has a tendency to float towards overkill. Unless you are in a heavy magic environment with many low level spells being cast, 4 dispel dice, 2 scrolls, and the Ring of Hotek should keep you well protected.

Lastly, this build works well in a points denial list. Place your mage on a Black Dragon, and you have 680 points that can cast, fight, and is virtually un-killable if you roll and cast Soul Stealer.

THE DEFENDER
Supreme Sorceress, lvl4 - Staff of Sorcery, Null Talisman, Dispel Scroll, Dispel Scroll

This build is for when you know you are walking into an environment where you think you may need to cancel multiple castings. Taking the Staff gives you +1 to your dispel rolls, letting you get as close as you can to a toe to toe footing with Vampires, Tomb Kings, Skaven engineers, and Wood Elves. Even though you still have only 4 DD, those dice have had their potency enhanced.
In addition to being able to go die for die with several armies, your odds of stopping other high casting value spells go up. For example, casting on 3 dice grants an average of 10.5, meaning the average throw is either a 10 or 11. With the +1, the average dispel roll of 3 dice is 11.5, so your low average roll is the same as your opponent’s high average roll!

The null talisman is completely optional; however its use can be quite important. When your opponent realizes that you have both scrolls and the Ring of Hotek in the same army, they will quite likely switch to their lower level magic missiles in an attempt to weaken, if not kill, your escort unit and 360 point sorceress so that they can finish you off in the shooting phase. Therefore, that die of magic resistance will help keep your unit, and thereby yourself, alive through the magic phase.

THE MAGE-SHIELD
Supreme Sorceress, lvl4- Null Talisman, Null Talisman, Null Talisman, Dispel Scroll, Dispel Scroll

This build is distinctly defensive both in nature and in usage. To be honest, this build is also probably more effective as lvl3 as well as it will be difficult to maintain a safe distance from the Ring of Hotek. This build is intended to park in a high-importance, high cost unit and keep it from all harm from magical means. The MR3 and two scrolls should keep any spells from touching the unit aside from Irresistible Force castings. If you are cagey enough, you can set up the Ring of Hotek within 12” of the unit and more than 12” away from the mage so casting is not restricted, thereby nullifying the rare occurrences of Irresistible Force as well.

THE OVERSEER
Supreme Sorceress, lvl4- Dispel Scroll, Dispel Scroll, Dispel Scroll, Dispel Scroll

As stated previously, I consider this mage build as a severe case of overkill under virtually all circumstances. When you look at it, even without the Ring of Hotek this mage bring a tremendous amount of magic defense. The one time I would consider this as a proper, synergistic build is for an army of fast, heavy hitters. An army of Cold Ones, Dark Riders, and Assassin-Shades works very well. The first 2 turns you can dispel everything that comes your way, and by turn 3 everything you own should be engaged in combat. Keep the mage hidden in the middle of a wood in your deployment zone, and at this point you can begin dropping Word of Pain and Soul Stealer on any target you can get at.

Builds By Other Posters

Please note that I am copy and pasting the creator's direct idea and comments/explanation. As such, any references to "I","me", and "my" are referring to the poster given credit in cyan.

Created and Offered by Calisson
THE UBIQUITOUS AND FAR REACHING.
Supreme Sorceress, Level 4, Focus Familiar, Lifetaker, a single scroll.

The Familiar allows not only to cast at 6" farther, but also to cast from safety inside a wood or from behind a corner... or from out of the RoH radius.
With one scroll and the lifetaker, the range is consistant with the extended range brought with the FF.
Four spell's choice in the Dark Lore guarantees at least one highly usesul spell, which may vary during the battle.
This useful spell is cast with 4 PD, and the remaining 2 are used to cast PoD (expected to be dispelled - if not, then cast one more spell).

Build Created by Jankiel
Blood-Shield Mage
Sacrifical dagger+3 scrolls.

author's note: This build seems is particularly well applauded by many. In a very short time, several responses were made stating their approval of this build. It was clarified by Ant that this build offers as many dice as a Lvl 4 and 2 lvl 2s, and contains a larger defense than most armies bring to the table as well.

Summary

In the end, this is my attempt to help our community to grow in the usage of our army. As more books get released and as new rules and interpretations get released, we cannot afford to get stuck using the same things time after time. It is my intention for us to experiment now so we can learn how far we can stretch our armies, before it becomes necessary for us to adapt to something completely new. I hope that this has given a few ideas to you, as I have only trimmed the surface of the options available to build into even this one model.

_________________
"Do Not Meddle In The Affairs Of Dragons, For You Are Crunchy And Taste Good With Ketchup"

My motto: Whether I win, lose, or draw the game; I win as long as my opponent has pulled their hair out by the end of the game. :twisted:

Honoring Khaine since March 2003.


Last edited by Ebonyphoenix on Fri Mar 19, 2010 5:54 pm, edited 5 times in total.



Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:19 pm
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Noble
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Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2008 10:34 pm
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in case of expansion

_________________
"Do Not Meddle In The Affairs Of Dragons, For You Are Crunchy And Taste Good With Ketchup"

My motto: Whether I win, lose, or draw the game; I win as long as my opponent has pulled their hair out by the end of the game. :twisted:

Honoring Khaine since March 2003.


Mon Mar 15, 2010 3:22 pm
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Beastmaster
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Joined: Mon Sep 11, 2006 1:51 am
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Location: Minnesota
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Interesting summary. Food for thought, as it goes. I'm not sure I want such a fire power magnet to increase its magnet-ability, though.

Opponent: Hmmm, kill the sorceress and I get points, no enemy magic, AND kill enemy magic defense? Sounds good to me!

Still, that is part of the game's balance: you only get so many character slots.

Thanks for writing this.
~B~


Mon Mar 15, 2010 5:20 pm
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Corsair
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Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2008 10:00 pm
Posts: 8722
Location: Hag Graef
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Thank you for investigating new ways for us, in a true D.R.A.I.C.H. spirit ("I" stands for Innovative). :)

Many players will object that investing the sole Lord choice and many, many pts for a vulnerable magic defence is not wise.

However, the rationale here is the same as for the "golfer":
instead of spending 150pts just for 2 meagre scrolls, why not invest a little bit more and get a tremendous advantage elswhere (in casting spells, obviously; but also possibly on more magic defence, as you show).


I happen to play usually a single Level 4.
I don't like Lords and I don't play the dragon (I feel it too cheesy), so it doesn't bother me to use the lone Lord slot for her.

THE UBIQUITOUS AND FAR REACHING.
Supreme Sorceress, Level 4, Focus Familiar, Lifetaker, a single scroll.

For my lone sorceress, I love to take the Familiar:
it allows not only to cast at 6" farther, but also to cast from safety inside a wood or from behind a corner... or from out of the RoH radius.
I provide her with one scroll and the lifetaker, which range is consistant with the extended range brought with the FF.
Four spell's choice in the Dark Lore guarantees at least one highly usesul spell, which may vary during the battle.
I cast this useful spell with 4 PD, and the remaining 2 are used to cast PoD (expected to be dispelled - if not, then cast one more spell).




THE CHEAP LUXURY
Same built as Defender, Mage-shield or Overseer but only level 3.

Your thoughts provide the only reason why anyone wound ever take a Level 3: same scroll allotment than a Level 4, you can securely cast one spell on 5 dice each turn (little hope for the opponent to dispell that! and 3 wounds allow some miscast). Or alternatively, if the opponent has not much magic defense, it allows to cast PoD on 2PD (expect to be dispelled) and one spell on 3PD (no more DD to dispell it).

_________________
Winds never stop blowing, Oceans are borderless. Get a ship and a crew, so the World will be ours! Today the World, tomorrow Nagg! {--|oBrotherhood of the Coast!o|--}


Last edited by Calisson on Thu Mar 18, 2010 7:42 pm, edited 3 times in total.



Mon Mar 15, 2010 9:02 pm
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Corsair

Joined: Tue Sep 17, 2002 11:12 am
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Location: Katowice, Polska
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Sacrifical dagger+3 scrolls.
A lot of power dices (usually 10+PoD) which gives 3-4 spells and solid magical defence


Thu Mar 18, 2010 3:28 pm
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Noble
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Joined: Tue Oct 21, 2008 10:34 pm
Posts: 424
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Jankiel wrote:
Sacrifical dagger+3 scrolls.


Interesting balance of offense and defense. If you have no complaints I'll add this to the list along with Calisson's, maybe under the title of Blood Shield or BloodMage unless you have a title in mind.

_________________
"Do Not Meddle In The Affairs Of Dragons, For You Are Crunchy And Taste Good With Ketchup"

My motto: Whether I win, lose, or draw the game; I win as long as my opponent has pulled their hair out by the end of the game. :twisted:

Honoring Khaine since March 2003.


Thu Mar 18, 2010 5:06 pm
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Trainee Warrior

Joined: Mon Oct 27, 2008 11:21 pm
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Does nobody ever use the Seal of Ghrond? It would probably be better priced at 25 pts, but I often find a spot for it.


Thu Mar 18, 2010 8:03 pm
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Warrior
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Location: Tenneessee, USA
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Seal is great in that a non-magic user can take it. I do think the 35pts is kind of a bummer or I would totally give it to a knight or BG champion.


Thu Mar 18, 2010 10:12 pm
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Trainee Warrior
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Location: fighting on the field of glory
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I played once a scrollcaddy SS for a Khain Army (2250 Points).

SS, Level 3, DS, RoH, 3 scrolls

The rest of the Army is not able to hold the Ring or a Scroll

DH, CoB
DH, BSB, ASF
Assasasin, S7-Shots
2x 10 RxB with shilds
2x 5 DR wir RxB,
2x Harpies
14 Wiches FC
14 Exes FC
COC
6 Shades
Hydra


Fri Mar 19, 2010 8:36 am
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Lord of the Venom Sword
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Quote:
Sacrifical dagger+3 scrolls.


I second this. Combined with Power of Darkness you get as much offence as most normal armies with a Lv4 and 2 Lv2s, and more than enough defense. 6 dice to start but will easily go up to 10 or even 11 - more if PoD isn't dispelled. And it only costs about 300pts. Bargain

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Ash010110 wrote:
I completely agree with Ant (Reynolds, I presume?).

(Please note, I am NOT Anthony Reynolds)


Fri Mar 19, 2010 12:56 pm
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Malekith's Best Friend
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I believe the rules say you may have *a* dispel scroll plus an additional Arcane Magic Item (or to put it another way - 2 scrolls) per character. A third scroll would be illegal.


Fri Mar 19, 2010 1:12 pm
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Noble
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Joined: Wed Nov 26, 2008 12:05 pm
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Another vote for the dagger + 3 scrolls.

Furthermore, a Supreme with familiar and 3 scrolls mounted on a dark pegasus is also handy to have, for those who like to play evasive.

Lastly, I present: the no-scroll defender. Having no scrolls hurts, so maybe it's better used with support of another scroll caddy But a supreme sorc with Crystal of Midnight, Seal of Ghrond and Staff of Sorcery would bring a tremendous 5 dispel die to the table, allow you to get +1 to rolls and try to steal one spell from the opponent, which has a good chance of working. Replace crystal with scroll if you feel uncomfortable with it.


Fri Mar 19, 2010 1:22 pm
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Arnold Layne
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phierlihy wrote:
I believe the rules say you may have *a* dispel scroll plus an additional Arcane Magic Item (or to put it another way - 2 scrolls) per character. A third scroll would be illegal.


And you'd be totally, spectacularly, incorrect. p121 - Arcane Items - Scrolls ; there is no limit to the number of scrolls you can take, except for points. You can have any arcane item and - this is specifically mentioned - several scrolls. So you may have been doing yourself an injustice every time you took a Supreme Sorceress with an arcane item and just one scroll.

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Layne
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Caveat Numptor.


Karonath - WS6 / S4 / T4 / D5 / I3
Equipment: Bloodfeather, heavy armour, helm, Sea Dragon Cloak, rope x 2, month rations x 2
Inventory: longspear, 2 short swords, glaive, winter gear, shade cloak,
Mount: Dark Steed (Shiny), talisman of kurnous
Gold: 2294
Skills: Ambidexterity, Controlled Frenzy, Basic Ride, Drukh Kaganth
Class: Khainite


Sat Mar 20, 2010 1:00 am
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Malekith's Best Friend
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Cool! I've been schooled by Layne!! 8)


Sat Mar 20, 2010 2:58 am
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