Warhammer Fantasy 8th Edition - Common Magic Items review

 
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Warhammer Fantasy 8th Edition - Common Magic Items review

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  #1 Old 11-18-10, 03:55 PM Warhammer Fantasy 8th Edition - Common Magic Items review
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Default Warhammer Fantasy 8th Edition - Common Magic Items review

Having been out of the game for awhile during the shift from 7th to 8th, I was quite pleased to see the vast increase in common magic items now available. But considering the varying degrees of usefulness of the range of choices, I am a little surprised no-one has been through the list with a red marker pen.

So with a little experimenting and a dose of theorycrafting (not forgetting a pinch of 'bored with a little too much spare time on my hands'), I present the following for your reading and army building pleasure!

At first sight the myriad new common magic items in 8th can be a little bit confusing to choose from. Everyone has an idea what works well in their own armybook and it is tempting to stick to old favourites from 7th. It is also fair to say that in the past, common magic items have often been over-costed or simply not as good as their armybook counterparts. The good news is in 8th there are some good options hidden amongst the new common magic items.


So before we get started, here are a couple of important caveats to have in mind:
  • Always check your armybook to see if there is a cheaper/better version.
  • Anything very situational is probably not worth the points. For example items that only work against flying enemies.
  • Think about how an item works for your character or army. Immunity to flaming attacks is worth a lot more if the character has regeneration.
Rather than try to review all of the choices in depth, I will pick out a few good options from each section and highlight a few situational choices. I will also add a Basic Principle to each section to summarise the section at a glance.

Finally, a lot of the common magic items are what might be described as ‘fluffy’ (or garbage depending on your outlook). At least 50% of the options just aren’t worth taking due to the cost or the effect.


Magic Weapons

Basic Principle – If it costs a lot of points it is not worth taking.

Very Good Choices
  • Sword of Swift Slaying – This is a really good choice for most armies (obviously pointless for HE). On a good combat character with high I you have just earned re-rolls to hit against most opponents. Even on less able fighters getting your hits in first is a useful ability.
  • Sword of Striking – This is a really strong choice on characters with reasonable strength. Most combat characters will go from hitting on 3s to hitting on 2s making them much more powerful for the cost.
Good Choices
  • Sword of Might – Not bad for the points. In most cases this will make a character rather more powerful for limited investment.
  • Gold Sigil Sword – Again, getting your hits in first can make a big difference, particularly when combined with other items.
  • Biting Blade – Armour piercing for the points is not bad at all, basically a cheap and cheerful alternative to +1S.
Situational Choices (Honourable mentions; good for a particular task)
  • Relic Sword – A cheap way to double your chance of wounding against high T units like the STank. Not an all rounder, but very good at what it does.
  • Warrior Bane – A cheap way to stymie those combat monsters IF you have high I or ASF.
All the other choices from Magic Weapons just aren’t worth it due to the cost or the effect. You are better off taking one of the above or something from your armybook.


Magic Armour

Basic Principle – Generally pretty expensive for what they do.

Very Good Choices
  • Dragonhelm – If you have regeneration this is pretty much a must have. +1AS and a guaranteed 4+ save? Yes please! If you don’t have regen then keep looking.
Good Choices
  • Glittering Scales – Not a bad choice. This will mean most things go from hitting you on a 4+ to hitting you on a 5+. LA means it is accessible to most characters too.
  • Enchanted Shield – A cheap way to get a decent AS. Pretty much a Ronseal® item.
Situational Choices (Honourable mentions; good for a particular task)
  • Armour of Destiny/Armour of Silvered Steel/Armour of Fortune – Expensive and most armybooks will have a cheaper option. However, for some characters these are the only way to get wards or decent AS.
  • Charmed Shield – A cheap way to have a good chance of ignoring the first bit of artillery thrown at your character on a monstrous mount.
All the other choices from Magic Armour just aren’t worth it due to the cost or the effect. In general, you are better off looking for the same effect elsewhere or taking something from your armybook.


Talismans

Basic Principle – Generally cheaper than Magic Armour for the same effect, some good options for your squishy wizards.

Very Good Choices
  • Dragonbane Gem – If you have regeneration this is pretty much a must have and is even better than the Dragonhelm. This is the perfect combo with armour that gives regen or wizards that want to be fireproof; it’s super cheap to boot!
Good Choices
  • Talisman of Preservation – This is expensive, but it is the only way some armybooks can get a decent ward save for wizards. If it were cheaper it would be a very good choice, as it is for some armies this is almost a must have.
  • Talisman of Endurance – A basic ward save. A little over-costed against various items from armybooks but again, the only way some armies can get a basic ward save for wizards.
Situational Choices (Honourable mentions; good for a particular task)
  • Luckstone – Got the points left over and not sure what to do with them? Give this to your BSB or other key characters to keep them alive a little bit longer.
  • Obsidian items – If MR is going to be useful then these are not bad choices if very expensive, best used in combination with a good ward to make a unit nigh on magic proof.
All the other choices from Talismans just aren’t worth it due to the cost or the effect. You are better off looking for the same effect elsewhere or taking something from your armybook.


Magic Standards

Basic Principle – Some really good options here that are pretty much essential choices. Avoid the 50+ points choices in particular.

Very Good Choices
  • Razor Standard – This is pretty much a must have. It makes your big combat units even more deadly and can turn lacklustre shooting in to something to be feared.
  • Banner of Swiftness – For the points this is a strong option. Getting across the board quicker is a plus, but having a better charge is really quite good.
  • Banner of Eternal Flame – This is cheap and very, very effective against flammable units and units with regen. Unless you know you wont need it, it is a good option to have up your sleeve and will make Hydras and Treemen quake before you.
Good Choices
  • War Banner – Not a must have, but a strong choice. Particularly if you can get it for the old cost with your armybook. This is a good option for ensuring your combat units have maxed out CR.
  • Standard of Discipline (Rulebook FAQ v1.2) – This item has gone from situational and good for some armies (particularly WoC), to good for any army with low leadership generals. The FAQ allows the general to gain the bonus too if in a unit with this banner; this means any unit within range of the general also gets the bonus. Pretty big upgrade I'd say.
Situational Choices (Honourable mentions; good for a particular task)
  • Gleaming Pennant – If you don’t have a BSB this handful of points might just save your day. Situational but very cheap.
All the other choices from Magic Standards just aren’t worth it due to the cost or the effect. You are better off looking for the same effect elsewhere or taking something from your armybook.


Arcane Items

Basic Principle – Not so good…

Very Good Choices
  • None. Seriously, this section is over-costed and not that effective.
Good Choices
  • Power Scroll – Basically enables you to suicide a big spell with one of your throwaway wizards. Want to throw a Purple Sun or Dwellers Below that will change the course of the game? Just remember to keep your hapless wizard away from your important stuff as he will go bang after he casts. This is powerful, but your opponent should see it coming really
  • Dispel Scroll – Not as important as they were in 7th but good for stopping that game changing spell dead. Save it for the big spell that may well turn the game if successful.
  • Staff of Sorcery (Rulebook FAQ v1.2) – If you need a little help dealing with your opponent's magic, this is a good option. Some armybooks have better choices and this will compete for a place in your list with other choices, but worth considering.
Situational Choices (Honourable mentions; good for a particular task)
  • Feedback Scroll – Too expensive really, but if you know your opponent is going to rely on magic you can throw a monkey wrench in his plans as long as they don’t cast irresistibly…
  • Scroll of Shielding – Useless against the big spells that ignore wards but could save a unit at an all important moment if you are on the ball. Not too costly either.
All the other choices from Arcane Items just aren’t worth it due to the cost or the effect. You are better off looking for the same effect elsewhere or taking something from your armybook. Some people will look aghast at this assessment I am sure, but for the cost and the effects you are better off in almost all cases spending your points elsewhere.


Enchanted Items

Basic Principle – Some good stuff here, but choose carefully.

Very Good Choices
  • Crown of Command – This is one of the strongest choices of all the common magic items. You can make any unit you choose in to a rock that is going to be very difficult to get rid off. Perfect for getting the most out of your powerful but small unit, with a BSB to make them even harder shift.
  • Ironcurse Icon – Ideal for protecting your large bunker unit from war machines. It only takes 1 or 2 saves for this item to have made its points back for you. Pretty much a must have unless you have a better option.
Good Choices
  • Fozzrik’s Folding Fortress – Can be very powerful in the right situation. All you non WE players that whinged about the free wood? Get your own back by dumping a building full of ranged units in your deployment zone. Situational for sure, but quite a powerful option if you use it well.
  • Ruby Ring of Ruin – Good for sniping at regenerators or soft, vulnerable targets when the occasion presents itself. Bit pricy though.
Situational Choices (Honourable mentions; good for a particular task)
  • Potion of Foolhardiness – A reasonable option if you have a suicide character, or want to beef up an important charge. This may make the difference or add some extra damage for very few points.
  • Potion of Speed – A reasonable option if you have a suicide character that is aimed at taking out wizards, etc, in tough bunkers. This may make the difference or add some extra damage for very few points.
All the other choices from Enchanted Items just aren’t worth it due to the cost or the effect. You are better off looking for the same effect elsewhere or taking something from your armybook.


Hopefully this rundown of the various common magic items will prove useful. If you really want to take an item not on this list then by all means do, but make sure you think about what you want to get from it. If you want it for fluff reasons you probably aren’t too fussed about this review. If you want it for a situational reason and can make it work then great. If not, you should really consider all the alternatives first.

Happy gaming!
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Last edited by squeek; 11-18-10 at 04:33 PM.
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  #2 Old 11-18-10, 04:01 PM Warhammer Fantasy 8th Edition - Common Magic Items review
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This is all very helpful i just got into warhammer fantasy so these tips and insights are great!
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  #3 Old 11-18-10, 04:04 PM Warhammer Fantasy 8th Edition - Common Magic Items review
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Nice one squeek.

Does the flaming banner also grant magical attacks? I'm sure I read that somewhere...
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  #4 Old 11-18-10, 04:19 PM Warhammer Fantasy 8th Edition - Common Magic Items review
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Nope it doesn't only Flaming attacks. Vampire Counts have a banner that gives them Magical Flaming attacks.

Also concerning Power Scroll and Dispell Scroll. Power Scroll makes someone Irresistible so doesn;t matter how many scrolls you have they won't do anything. Power Scroll is getting banned from many tournies for good reason. Doesn't matter if you can see Dwellers coming, it's still an unstoppable kick in the nuts.
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Last edited by Aramoro; 11-18-10 at 04:21 PM.
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  #5 Old 11-18-10, 04:38 PM Warhammer Fantasy 8th Edition - Common Magic Items review
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aramoro View Post
Also concerning Power Scroll and Dispell Scroll. Power Scroll makes someone Irresistible so doesn;t matter how many scrolls you have they won't do anything. Power Scroll is getting banned from many tournies for good reason. Doesn't matter if you can see Dwellers coming, it's still an unstoppable kick in the nuts.
You are of course correct, brainfart on my part. I've changed it to make it clear.

As for banning it, I can see the reasoning but I regard it is a bit of a gimmick really rather than out and out broken. People are focusing on the worst possible scenario (as normal) when in reality it doesn't always devestate half your army and kill most of your characters. It also costs a wizard and the cost of the scroll in the attempt and is predictable since they will normally run the wizard away from their own troops first. Added to this both armies can do it or something similar generally.

@bishop5: Unless a FAQ says that the banner gives magical attacks as well as flaming attacks I'd say no. Couple of reasons really; the points would be more if it gave magical attacks too (and of course it would be a no brainer), it would normally state it as per the flaming sword of rhuin and it doesn't really fit that it would since the banner is not a weapon so the flaming attacks are being made with normal weapons, therefore are not magical attacks.

Last edited by squeek; 11-18-10 at 04:51 PM.
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  #6 Old 11-18-10, 05:01 PM Warhammer Fantasy 8th Edition - Common Magic Items review
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Good post squeek, I know that a lot of folks have been overlooking the common magical items in favor of the ones from their army books, and there is really some good and useful stuff in the BRB. Great descriptions and good analysis. It was very helpful to me
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  #7 Old 11-18-10, 08:39 PM Warhammer Fantasy 8th Edition - Common Magic Items review
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yes well done the only thing l would change is Power Scroll to very good choice.

but besides that its a dam good list.
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  #8 Old 01-12-11, 11:53 PM Warhammer Fantasy 8th Edition - Common Magic Items review
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First of all, great post, I just had a couple of questions. Since Fozzrik’s Folding Fortress gives you a two level building, would it be worth the points to place a unit of ten warplock jezzails in one to give them 360 degree, elevated LoS with which to exercise their massive 36” range and give them hard cover against incoming missiles? The only problem I see is making sure your 200 pt bell doesn’t wreck your 300 pt firebase…

On another note, why isn’t dawnstone an option for well armored characters? The dawnstone means that a character with a 2+ AS has a chance of being wounded per wound of 1/36 while the same character with the talisman of preservation has a 3/36 chance of being wounded per wound. At AS 3+, his odds are 4/36 (dawnstone) vs. 6/36 (talisman) and at AS 4+ his odds are 9/36 (dawnstone) vs. 9/36 (talisman). He’ll definitely get beaten by high enough strength or other means of armor negation, but it can certainly prevent him being wounded by rank and file models and some combat heros and is cheaper than giving him a ward save. Make sure to put him in a unit so he gets his LoS rolls against those warmachines…
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  #9 Old 01-13-11, 01:09 AM Warhammer Fantasy 8th Edition - Common Magic Items review
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Strength modifiers, and having Look Out Sir from range means that a Ward Save is often far more useful (versus Cannonsnipe, Killing Blow/Ignores Armour, S8+).
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  #10 Old 01-13-11, 02:00 AM Warhammer Fantasy 8th Edition - Common Magic Items review
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However, it does not preclude it, if you have other ways to get a ward save. For example, Dark Elves can take Armor of Eternal Servitude for Regen with Armor, and get Dawn-Stone for Talismans.
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