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Discussion Starter #1
So I've been surveying people at my local game store while they play WFB. There are people who use spell casters religiously, but then there are those who hate it and go straight for the guns and swords.

What are your guy's thoughts on it? I love to use magic, but only against the right enemy.

Are there any types of armies you prefer using magic on than others?
 

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I think its all down to personal choice like you was saying but some armies need magic like vampires, also if you choose not to take magic its a very good idea to go heavily anti magic
which is easy for some armies not for all.

I personally love magic and it adds a really exciting part to wfb and can change the fortunes of an army with one good spell or stopping an enemy one when they really need it.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Well I know if you're playing Warriors of Chaos, you must take magic as you don't have any ranged.

As for an army like The Empire, it may not be as necessary as they are so well rounded. They have great anti magic, ranged and melee. So they may not need it as much.
 

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I tend to play magic heavy armies as I think it can be fun.

Spells can be game changing but likewise can be a waste of points. Magic is the random element of your army, and if you want to win at tournie level you need to do everything you can to minimise randomness. This tends to lead to min max approach to magic, ie go heavy or go for 1 lev 1 with a dispel scroll. Everyone needs some magic just to defend against magic

It does depend on your army though. VCs, Chaos and Elves definitely need heavy magic, O&Gs really benefit from it, as do TKs, Empire and skaven. LM slann are devastating if they are lucky. Beastmen, brets and OK are more meh as regards magic
 

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To me its just a question of whether I take a lv2 or a lv4. Lv2s are cheap and give you enough spells to use any and all power dice you may get, while lv4s cost a lot more but allow you much greater flexibility and to force through more of your spells. Not taking a caster at all just sacrifices your power dice and makes you much more vulnerable to enemy magic...

In small games I might question the value of a caster but in 2k or over not having one is just a waste: the difference between having no magic and a lv2 is a huge increase in power and having just a few spells chosen from the right lore to fit your army can give you some fantastic options. Even if you don't like magic its worthwhile adding in a cheap lv2 with a scroll: it gives you a half decent magical defence while not being ridiculous on offence.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
To me its just a question of whether I take a lv2 or a lv4. Lv2s are cheap and give you enough spells to use any and all power dice you may get, while lv4s cost a lot more but allow you much greater flexibility and to force through more of your spells. Not taking a caster at all just sacrifices your power dice and makes you much more vulnerable to enemy magic...

In small games I might question the value of a caster but in 2k or over not having one is just a waste: the difference between having no magic and a lv2 is a huge increase in power and having just a few spells chosen from the right lore to fit your army can give you some fantastic options. Even if you don't like magic its worthwhile adding in a cheap lv2 with a scroll: it gives you a half decent magical defence while not being ridiculous on offence.

Valid point, however I have seen matches go the way of the person without magic... Then again it does depend on the strategy just as much as the army. I have seen really ranged heavy armies go for the casters first, and cripple the enemy army in one mere turn. So I think it really depends on the strategy one employs against their opponents.
 

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Armies without mages can win... but they are at a disadvantage. It also depends on what army type you are playing: if you have a gunline then the main part of your army won't care much about magic but spenign ~100pts on a lv2 will mean you can make maximum use of the power dice you generate. SO the question then becomes: is a caster more beneficial then a cannon/small ranged unit.

For combat armies magic is more important since a quick aug/hex can radically change the balance of a combat. If you have strong combat units you might be able to get away without a mage if you are the one doing all the charging (you know there won't be aug/hexs when you charge) but if the enemy charges you then its time to worry... especially if they have something like Okkam's to cast.

Spending a huge portion of your army on magic can mean you have a hugely powerful magic phase, but when you can get most of that from just a cheap caster I don't really see many reasons why you wouldn't.
 

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Discussion Starter #8
I feel like I need it in my empire army, and especially in a WoC army. When they are two armies on the opposite end of the spectrum, magic can be helpful.

I initially posted this thread to see if I could find anyone not playing with magic. Unfortunately it's hard enough to find people who play WFB, especially those who don't use magic.

But that's okay. I'm a firm believer that it all depends on who you're using as well as who you're fighting.
 

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If your looking for a fantasy player that doesn't use magic you need to talk to a dwarf player.

Pretty much everyone else will take at least 1 wizard

Wizards are a double edge though, a miscast can blow a unit away and for their cost they are generally very squishy (with a couple of exceptions - Vampire lords and Chaos Sorcerer lords)
 

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Something like a WoC army is kinda weird when it comes to magic: against a poor opponent magic is wasted as you can just march up and smash them... but against a good opponent you'll need magic to force enemies into combat and stop them just running round you.
Its that sort of flexibility that having a nice selection of spells can give you.
 

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Vampire lords and Chaos Sorcerer lords)
Slaughtermasters being the toughest of all!

I think that magic's an undeniably powerful factor in games. You can play without it, but you'll do a lot better if you do use it. The best magic's not a game-winner in itself, but more like lubrication for your war machine - the best mages are force multipliers. Take a Slann - usually seen, at least in my experience, in a block of T8 Temple Guard on his Throne of Vines, not actually providing any offensive capacity but making the rest of the army that much better for his presence. I'd say Skrag the Slaughterer is a nice little microcosm (despite the fact he's actually pretty huge). While dealing a pretty nice amount of damage, his main uses are Trollgutting/Toothcracking/Bullgorging your Ogres and buffing up your Gorgers.

Incidentally this is how I rate all characters ever, but that's by the by.

Midnight
 

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Like most have said, magic isn't necessary but it can really help an army. With the advent of 8th and the "nuke spells", magic can be a real game changer as well. You'll see a lot of people 6-dicing (or more sometimes in the case of Dark Elves) that one big spell. Weather it be a game changing spell like Dreaded 13th or Beastmen Miasma-spam, magic is a great tool.

Though, counting on it could be a bad idea as well if you roll poorly for dice. Relying on that one spell to go off and then it doesn't. Rolling poorly for the winds of magic. Getting irresistible force on a spell you meant to suck out dispel dice and then killing your troops/caster.

A lot of it will depend on your meta as well. I play against a wide range of players. From a VC player who likes to use a lvl 4 & lvl 2 necromancer in games under 2k to a dwarf player who commonly runs a runelord and runesmith to myself who will usually run a single caster whose level will depend on the size of the game. Generally, competitive players will use magic just because of the chance to get that game changing spell to go off. I've seen a lot of lists since 8th has come out and most seem to run a lvl 4 if just for the bonus +4 to the dispel attempts.
 

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Magic. Be all and end all. It is a required, either to be countered or used.

Dwarves counter it well, despite their lack of ability at magic. Every other army requires the ability to counter it (through killing enemy magic users or more conventional dispels) or lose.

It isn't like the lack of shooting or defence versus shooting, cc ability or lack of, or movement or lack thereof can win or lose a game like ignoring magic can.

It is literally, go magic, or go home.



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From the viewpoint of Ogres, I've begun to shy away from magic heavy lists and tend to fair better without those huge, unreliable point-sinks. I've had magic be quite helpful, but more often than not I've had lackluster results. With miscasts and dispelling possible every time you roll the dice, magic is more of a random factor than shifting those points to strengthen the rest of the army. I still take at least one caster for flavor but I don't depend on them for much.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
From the viewpoint of Ogres, I've begun to shy away from magic heavy lists and tend to fair better without those huge, unreliable point-sinks. I've had magic be quite helpful, but more often than not I've had lackluster results. With miscasts and dispelling possible every time you roll the dice, magic is more of a random factor than shifting those points to strengthen the rest of the army. I still take at least one caster for flavor but I don't depend on them for much.
That's what I was waiting to hear.

That makes a ton of sense and actually was what I was thinking of. That seems to be the most :suicide: thing I've seen in fantasy.

I would much rather bring guys that can kill an army over spending big points on guys who may or may not help.
 

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So what, besides weak opponents, would justify not bringing magic along?
I think the only army that could get away with zero magic (not even a lv1 scroll caddy) would be a gunline purely dedicated to shooting (so not really even having a 'blocking' core of combat) then a mage might not be as helpful as adding in an extra artillery piece or ranged unit... but for everyone else having at least a scroll caddy well worth it.

A scroll caddy can dispel 1 spell that could utterly decimate one of your units (such as dwellers) or to stop a spell utterly changing the balance of a game-changing combat. An example would be a hoard of HE spearmen with BSB and general against a block of WoC chosen. As it stands the spearmen are dead along with those characters, but if the HE player manages to cast Okkams then its totally reversed and the WoC haven't a hope. Now if the WoC player has a scroll then instead of losing their ~400pt unit they'll kill the HE's ~600pt unit. That's a 1000pt swing based on whether you can dispel 1 spell...
For me if you are taking a lv1 you might as well upgrade to have 2 spells so even if you do get 12 power dice you can potentially use them all.
 

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Is it just me, or are we all missing one important factor when determining if magic is a "must have"?

Balance - primarily points balance. A 2k game is still a 2k game even if there isn't a single mage on the table. One might as well ask if shooting is a must have, or combat, because its there if you want to use it, but if you dont, there is almost certainly other options available with which to balance out the armies.

Admittedly, thats an extremely abstracted view - we are all aware, I think, that combat will happen at some point, and, army dependant, so will shooting. Without magic though, you will almost certainly have a little more of either combat or shooting in your army. I dont understand why the overall impression is that this is a handicap.

Even without mages, dispell dice are available for countering magic, as are magic items, and in some cases, resistant units. And although most of your power dice will go to waste, those pesky remains in play spells should be far more short-lived as there will be no dilema over whether to dispell the damage, or cast a new spell.

Dwarfs are one of my favourite armies, and I dont always take runesmiths - thanes being that little bit better in combat. I wont bore anyone with trumped up claims of invincibility, as I've been beaten soundly on many occasions - but rarely will it be because I've been magiced off the table.

I do feel I have to add though, that my primary army is, and always shall be Vamps. My second army, is Dark Elves, so I'm no stranger to magic, and enjoy it thoroughly. I do believe that it has its advantages and its uses, and I'll make good use of it where I can, but - and here's the main thrust of my point - its most certainly not the "must have" tool in your toolbox.

Its just one of many.
 

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I play Vampire Counts, we Die easily.
Without magic we stay dead. We take magic ,lots of magic
It's a no brainer for me.
 

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Balance - primarily points balance. A 2k game is still a 2k game even if there isn't a single mage on the table. One might as well ask if shooting is a must have, or combat, because its there if you want to use it, but if you dont, there is almost certainly other options available with which to balance out the armies.
Balance is fine, but magic isn't really comparable to combat or shooting: its not that it is more important, its that its much easier and cheaper to get a lv2 mage and have a 'decent' offence and defence. You don't need to go all out and spend massive numbers of points.


Dwarves are an interesting race because they basically come with a lv2 naturally: their defence is already half decent without spending anything on it... but they do have something similar in cost and power: the cannon. In my view not taking a mage in most armies is like not taking a cannon in a dwarf army. Sure you can play a game without them but even if you take a combat army the chances are high that there'll be something you'll want one for and would look back at the army and think that it was worth finding the ~100pts to include one.
 
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