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Magic in the End Times: foreign strategy 
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PhD in Dark Magic
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I know we've been focused on breaking this for ourselves, but... considering that every single wizard knows every spell from every lore of magic they can use, we are most certainly not the only ones who can abuse the new magic rules.

For example, Heralds of Slaanesh just became hideously good. In combination with Horrors/Heralds of Tzeentch, they will shred Cauldron of Blood deathstars. By themselves, they are still utterly brutal.

Herald of Slaanesh - Acquiescence spam. Enjoy having ASL and Random Movement (D6) on all your important units until they fail to cast (it's a 5+ spell). Given how important movement is in Warhammer, this alone would make Slaanesh magic worth taking.

Combined play - Treason of Tzeentch against the Cauldron's unit until it works or fails to cast (if successful, the unit now has a null value for Ld), followed by Slicing Shards of Slaanesh until it works or fails to cast (if successful, remove the unit from play, since you can't pass a Ld test against a null value).

-----

Vilitch the Curseling becomes disgustingly good under the End Times magic rules. He's stuck with Lore of Tzeentch, but he gets the new version of Loremaster for it. He also has his Vessel of Chaos magic item - if an opponent's wizard fails to meet the casting value for a spell, or fails to dispel one of his spells, Vilitch gets to add the number of dice used in the failed casting/dispel attempt to his dispel or power pool, depending on whose turn it is.

It's a lock that Vilitch will summon a fulcrum as soon as he can, since he has basic Chaos Sorceror stats and no ward save other than the Mark of Tzeentch. After this, he can start spamming boosted Blue Fire of Tzeentch, Bolt of Tzeentch and Glean Magic (all of which only require a 4+ for him to cast) to slaughter chaff and large infantry units, kill large/heavily armoured targets and strip spells and magic levels from enemy wizards, respectively. If you fail to dispel one of his casts, he gets extra power dice. If he stops any of yours, he gets extra dispel dice. If he rolls any 6s when he's casting, he gets an extra power dice for each one (and he can reroll his casting attempt if he miscasts).

He can also tag-team with a Slaanesh caster, as outlined above. Treason of Tzeentch casts on a rerollable 3+ for Vilitch.

-----

Also, is anyone else quietly terrified about how ludicrously powerful Nagash is going to become with these rules?

He knows every spell from the Lores of Light, Death, Nehekhara, Vampires and Undeath, plus Fulcrum.

He has a staff that allows him to circumvent the power/dispel dice limit and store up to 4 dice for precisely that purpose in every magic phase. Also, the Lore of Death will likely allow him to generate extra power dice reasonably easily.

On a fulcrum, which he can cast on 7+ on the dice and can (with some planning) manage to do even with a one-dice maximum for casting, he has a 3+ ward and is immune to Multiple Wounds. Between that and the Lore of the Vampires lore attribute, good luck killing him without blowing up his fulcrum with Oblivion.

He can spam Ryze (for which he only needs 4+ on his dice) to summon 150 points of undead infantry anywhere within 36 inches.

He can spam Spirit Leech to generate extra power dice.

He can spam Invocation of Nehek, Vanhel's Danse Macabre and Hellish Vigour to get wounds back, bolster the Undead ranks, and make his minions half-decent fighters (especially with a nearby Corpse Cart). He can also spam Pha's Protection (5+ to cast) and Speed of Light (8+ to cast) to make his units very hard to fight against.

He can spam-summon Banshees using Harbinger, for which he only needs a casting roll of 5+.

He can spam Banishment (casting roll of 5+ required) to slaughter Warlocks.

Thank Khaine/Asuryan (as appropriate) for access to Oblivion!

Mod's edit:
Such an interesting topic deserved a thread of its own, which I made.
Calisson.

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Last edited by Haagrum on Mon Dec 08, 2014 9:01 am, edited 1 time in total.



Sun Dec 07, 2014 11:03 pm
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Great analysis, Haagrum.
Thanks.
Luckily, I never faced Chaos, but it would be a nice thing to keep not doing.

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Mon Dec 08, 2014 6:36 am
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Death magic will become a must. Spam Spirit Leeches until enemy wizards are dead.
Dark magic will remain a must. Word of Pain to neuter enemy combat units (2 casts should put nearly any unit down to WS0) and Oblivion for somene feeling like stepping on a Fulcrum.

So right now we have a level 4 dark and level 1 Death. Or level 4 Dark and Warlocks.

Deadlock is pretty awesome as well to preemptively stop enemy ET spells. High magic is great regardless.

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Mon Dec 08, 2014 2:53 pm
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To add to the initial post, here's a few more thoughts on enemy strategies using the Magic of the End Times.

Lizardmen

The obvious Discipline to take will be Wandering Deliberations. A Slann with Wandering Deliberations will effectively be a super-powered Loremaster of Hoeth, with access to all of the End Times spells for the 8 main lores. The Loremasters have received enough attention since ET:K came out that the value of this should be immediately obvious.

As powerful as the Wandering Deliberations build becomes, a Slann with Focus of Mystery is almost as terrifying. Yes, it sacrifices flexibility and spell choice, but High Magic has access to extremely useful spells for Lizardmen, and it gives them the new version of the Loremaster ability. Using their lore attribute, the Slann can toss out sub-par spells like Tempest and gain access to new spells during the game, while retaining the ability to re-roll failed High Magic casts.

Irrespective of the build, the Slann will be able to cast some of their spells through Skink Priests. This is more of a side benefit than a game-changer in and of itself, but it's worth noting given that Skink Priests are much more expendable than a Slann, and you can spam Spirit Leech/Soul Quench through a Skink Priest. Skink Priests will themselves become more useful, as access to all of the spells in the Lore of Beasts or Lore of Heavens makes for a much more flexible caster. Tetto'eko in particular becomes nasty, since he retains Loremaster for the Lore of Heavens.

Bound Spells

The new Magic of the End Times rules say that a spell can be cast multiple times per turn. It does not say anywhere that these cannot be bound spells. Although the rules generally refer to wizards casting spells, they do not draw any distinction between wizard-cast spells and bound spells.

If this is correct, then the Anvil of Doom just got a whole lot better, particularly for a gunline Dwarf army. The one saving grace is that bound spells do not add anything to their casting total (making them easier to dispel), and Broken Concentration no longer applies.

The Rune of Oath and Steel casts on 4+ and gives a Dwarf unit anywhere on the battlefield +1 to their armour save. Now, imagine trekking through the field to get to grips with the guards of the artillery, and having to go through a unit of Longbeards, Hammerers, Ironbreakers (dear God!) or even Slayers with a 1+ armour save.

The Rune of Wrath and Ruin casts on 5+ and has 24" range, doing 2d6 S4 hits. That will clear out most chaff units and war machine hunters pretty quickly. Since it's a direct damage spell, not a magic missile, line of sight isn't 100% necessary.

Also, the Empire got a bit more brutal as well. The War Altar's Banishment can be spammed. Karl Franz Ascendant can use his Lord of Lightning ability repeatedly. The Luminark and Hurricanum can be used repeatedly. I haven't got the book and can't comment on Warrior Priests, but they could keep using their bound spells as well.

----

EDIT: GW is going to have to errata these rules to stop abuse of bound spells.

Off the top of my head, here are some other bound spells to watch for:

Warriors of Chaos/Legions of Chaos - Warshrines (free rolls on the EOTG table for nearby characters), Mutalith Vortex Beasts (spamming mitigates the randomness of the effects).

Tomb Kings/Undead Legion/anyone using the Lore of Undeath - Casket of Souls... dear God, this could wreck entire armies - especially since it also gives a passive boost to PD generation. However, everyone can get in on this bit of brokenness, as the Casket of Souls can be summoned by anyone using the Lore of Undeath (with a healthy dose of luck, of course).

Vampire Counts (possibly Undead Legion) - Rod of Flaming Death (basically Flame Cage from the Lore of Fire, on 3+), Book of Arkhan (Vanhel's spam - however, this may be less viable as the VC player won't want to lock the spell out with a failed cast).

Orcs & Goblins - I don't know what bound spells they have, other than Skarsnik's Prodder, but mushroom-abusing Night Goblin shamen are going to be flooding onto battlefields.

Skaven - mostly the special characters, with Storm-Daemon (Ikit Claw's weapon, fires an artillery dice worth of lightning bolts) and the Liber Bubonicus (Lord Skrolk's book, can cause S1/S2 hits on every model in a unit with no armour saves).

High Elves (possibly also Aestyrion/Phoenix King/Eternity King) - Khaine's Ring of Fury (2d6 S4 hits on 3+ is bad, but made even worse by the Shield of Saphery lore attribute boosting ward saves for the caster's unit).

Lizardmen - Bastiladons with Solar Engines will threaten to cause a lot of damage.

Dark Elves - Cauldron of Blood Frenzy-spamming (useful for avoiding Psychology tests as well, although query whether this spell will stack with itself to give +2 Attacks per model with no additional downsides to Frenzy).

I have no knowledge of bound spells for Bretonnians, Beastmen, Ogres or Chaos Dwarfs - any additions to this list of potential threats would be welcome.

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Last edited by Haagrum on Sat Dec 20, 2014 12:52 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Dec 20, 2014 9:59 am
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Empire's spam possibility.
Besides much cheaper wizards (65/100/165/200 pts) having access to all 9 basic lores (including undead), Empire can field:

War priests:
- Sigmar's hammer, own unit rerolls to wound (no use to spam - on the other hand, failing to cast prevents ALL war priests to cast in another unit)
- Shield of faith, own unit gets 5++ in cc (same comment)
- Soul fire, own unit get flaming (same comment) and additionally, war priest makes S4 hit to all foes in base contact (this one is nice to spam).
Note that Archipopes on a War Altar have same prayers, affecting all units within 6" (same comment).

War altars have one spell: Light's banishment, good to spam especially with light council.
Light chariot has one spell: 36" magic missile, S8 flaming, D3 wounds, no save, penetrates ranks as BT. Good to spam!
Heavens chariot has one spell: 24" direct damage in small template deviated D6, the more it deviates, the stronger the random effect. No interest under WH8 rules because too random; spamming makes it more interesting under ET:K rules, because the randomness is leveled.

Ring of Volans = one random spell from one chosen 8 Lore, for 30pts.

And, as said, Karl Franz Ascendant can use his Lord of Lightning ability.


Conclusions: Empire's chariots are good for spamming spells. War priests, not so much.

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Sat Dec 20, 2014 11:22 am
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And again, this brings out the increased importance to bring out Death magic and its sniping abilities.

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Sat Dec 20, 2014 6:08 pm
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The new rules have made loremasters of hoeth a terrifying prospect too. Trading 2 wizard levels for access to 8 signature spells was a decision I always struggled with, but trading 2 wizard levels for 65 spells? Dat tactical freedom.

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Fri Jan 02, 2015 8:27 pm
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Wrathbaby wrote:
The new rules have made loremasters of hoeth a terrifying prospect too. Trading 2 wizard levels for access to 8 signature spells was a decision I always struggled with, but trading 2 wizard levels for 65 spells? Dat tactical freedom.


Well, they don't get the End Times spells... but still, access to 56 spells and re-rolling one casting dice per attempt for a mere 285 points (at least in a High Elf army) is a little bit nuts.

Bring on the Hex Scrolls!

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Fri Jan 02, 2015 9:01 pm
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Calisson wrote:
Great analysis, Haagrum.
Thanks.
Luckily, I never faced Chaos, but it would be a nice thing to keep not doing.


OMG! Calisson, do you play games with more than two people? How the heck do you avoid playing Warriors of Chaos?

@Haagrum: Sir...your examples are pure evil :twisted: Another endorsement for why no 'sane' individual should even attempt to play with Khaine magic. :burns:

Also, I think Wizarding Hat for things like Chaos Lords and DE Dreadlords is not a bad buy now. Full mundane can easily get to 1+ armor and even though lore is random you know all the spells. Not bad at all. Probably best for Lords on foot or mounted in decent size units.


Fri Jan 02, 2015 9:19 pm
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Gidean wrote:
@Haagrum: Sir...your examples are pure evil :twisted: Another endorsement for why no 'sane' individual should even attempt to play with Khaine magic. :burns:


You're too kind, Gidean. :) ET:K magic rules are ridiculous as they stand, although it's worse for some armies than others.

I think it must be an occupational side-effect - when I'm drafting agreements, I'm always looking for how something can go terribly, spectacularly badly or be exploited to the worst degree. Clearly, GW needs an actual lawyer as part of its rules development group.

Conveniently, I will be unemployed from July this year. Just saying...

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Fri Jan 02, 2015 9:26 pm
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Wrathbaby wrote:
The new rules have made loremasters of hoeth a terrifying prospect too. Trading 2 wizard levels for access to 8 signature spells was a decision I always struggled with, but trading 2 wizard levels for 65 spells? Dat tactical freedom.
Wrathbaby, you were right, that's 56, not 65 as I told you.
Gidean wrote:
OMG! Calisson, do you play games with more than two people? How the heck do you avoid playing Warriors of Chaos?
I only played with my two sons indeed. Unfortunately, they are gone now and I play no more.

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Fri Jan 02, 2015 11:10 pm
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For Ogre Kingdoms:

Watch out for the Lore attribute of the Great Maw. Every successful spell cast heals a wound to the caster. So, you will see fighty tooled-up lv 4 slaughtermasters. They have 5 wounds and can access things like glittering scales and fencers blades to hold out against even the nastiest of lords and heal up in their magic phase. Also, characters with the gut sickle will get +2 on their casting roles for each spell. So, a level 4 of heavens can easily get off multi iceshard blizards that can affect shooting, combat and ld attributes. Commet of Casandora with +6 to cast is tough, even harmonic conversion will be reliable when needed.

A gunline army of leadbelchers and maneaters can be vicious if he can reliably get off harmonic convergence at +6. Never mind the ferocity of an ironblaster.,

Predicatably, you will see the hellheart more frequently wiht ET:K magic. Popping it off and miscasting two wizards is the standard idea and not too hard if the opponent is running a bunker for multiple mages. Miscasts reducing you wizard level is almost as bad as getting sucked into the warp.

The BSB may carry a 60pt banner called the Rune Maw, which forces spells on a unit to be re-directed on a 2+. The gutstar would surely have one of these too.


Thu Jan 08, 2015 9:32 pm
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Another bound spell to be chained: Ruby Ring of Ruin.

And in a similar vein to the post about Ogres above, the Wood Elf high magic lore attribute can stack up to silly proportions with chain casts (and with Apotheosis you can heal nearby multi-wound models a lot along the way also).

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Sat Jan 10, 2015 8:23 am
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In the wake of End Times: Thanquol, it's worth mentioning the awfulness that is the Verminlord Warpseer in a game using End Times magic rules.

It automatically gets Warp Lightning as a spell. This is a decent enough magic missile which casts reasonably cheaply - I think it's a 3+ or a 4+ on the dice to cast for a level 4 caster, making it spammable under End Times magic rules. The Warpseer may re-roll any casting attempts for this spell. It also automatically counts as having rolled 6 for the number of S5 hits caused by this spell.

Considering all of the above, it seems that it will not be unusual for a Verminlord Warpseer to destroy entire units in a single magic phase.

Magic Resistance items and assassination strategies will become increasingly valuable in games using these rules.

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Sun Jan 18, 2015 11:55 am
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These rules are just *ass* :badh:


Sun Jan 18, 2015 11:46 pm
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Gidean wrote:
These rules are just *ass* :badh:


The larger the scale of the battle, the less terrible these rules become, if only because there is a finite amount of magic dice and you can't swing every combat on the table.

However, I wouldn't want to play with End Times magic rules as written in battles of less than 4000 points.

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Mon Jan 19, 2015 11:08 am
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Haagrum wrote:
Gidean wrote:
These rules are just *ass* :badh:


The larger the scale of the battle, the less terrible these rules become, if only because there is a finite amount of magic dice and you can't swing every combat on the table.

However, I wouldn't want to play with End Times magic rules as written in battles of less than 4000 points.



We (my group) are all employed men with careers and all of us have families (wife and kids). We eke out a few hours on the occasional weekend and then the occasional tournament. We really don't have time to play 4000 point games. That would eat a whole day. To each their own...


Mon Jan 19, 2015 7:19 pm
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