[Archive] Spell selection

Gar Shadowfame:

I’ve encountered interesting issue, in theoretical situation when all 6 spells are selected RB says other wizzards lose their spells from the same lore, so can other mages with the “used up” lore substitute nonexisting spells for 0 (signature spell).


Not sure I follow… Hypothetically take two level 4 lords who both take death magic.  Together they will use up the entire lore.  A level 2 can therefore not take any of the the “normal” six spells in death.  Can that level 2 use the signature spell?

The answer to that is Yes.


I have to admit that’s one of the additions to the rules I don’t like. Why shouldn’t two wizards know the same spells?


I belie it is to stop spamming of particular spells.

Gar Shadowfame:

eldrogg, read the pragraph about spell selection carefuly

firstly select spells, then make sure no wizard knows same spells, if u have spell slots that are empty, they are wasted

then change any spell to signature

therefore if u dont have any spells to swap for 0 then u cant take it either, unless there is a faq that clarifies.

ofc its easy to avoid, just select spells with ur low lvl wizards and swap to 0 and then take spells with high level casters.


I belive it is to stop spamming of particular spells.

But you can't select spells therefore how can you spam them? On the contrary this system makes it easier to guarantee the right wizard gets the spell I want. If I have a level 4 and a level 2 for example, I can simply roll for my spells, and if I roll the one I want my level four to have, I simply swap it for the signature. My level four can then roll for his spells knowing that he is almost certain to get the one he wants.


Good point.
Now that I look at it I think it makes the selection of spells more balanced, previously say if I had three Heralds of Tzeentch if I got lucky I would be able to have three bolts of change or If was unlucky I would have three with boon of tzeentch. The new rules stop this and as AGPO said It’s easier to ensure which wizard get which spell.

Thommy H:

Spells are more dangerous than before, but easier to assign to specific wizards. However, magic as a whole is less reliable - the Winds of Magic may blow weakly, leaving you with no way to cast your killer spell, and the new rules for miscasts and broken concentration mean that you’re more likely than ever to be unable to even do anything in the magic phase. It’s a change of design philosophy just like with charging - charges are harder to get, but no longer virtually guarantee winning the combat. Different things are unreliable in this Edition of the game.


The nerfing of the charge (and having good initiative for that matter) really bugs me. I like the random charge distances - they remove some of the reliance on ‘set play’ manouvering - but once you’ve got the charge it should supply a definite advantage. The +1 to static really doesn’t cut it for me. Now getting the ASF rule for the first round, that would make charges worth having.

Gar Shadowfame:

game become less tournamental, or more precisely, winning a tournament will not require powergaming, since u can hardly predict what will happen

Thommy H:

The nerfing of the charge (and having good initiative for that matter) really bugs me. I like the random charge distances - they remove some of the reliance on 'set play' manouvering - but once you've got the charge it should supply a definite advantage. The +1 to static really doesn't cut it for me. Now getting the ASF rule for the first round, that would make charges worth having.

Well that was the point I was making: physically achieving the charge is now harder and, to balance that, being on the charging side is no longer such a huge advantage. I wonder which change came first, but there's no denying that they're complimentary.

Perhaps it's down to the same design philosophy that supports all the larger units. Supporting attacks, steadfast, horde, volley fire and percentage selection for armies are all designed to encourage much bigger units. Traditionally, the complaint about big units though was that they were unwieldy and easy to march block - with the alterations to charges, and the lesser requirement to get them along with being able to ignore march blocking with a Ld test means that there's really no disadvantage to fielding huge blocks of troops. A massive unit can take a charge and, with supporting attacks and removing casualties from the back (as well as maybe not even having to strike last) they can win a combat.


It’s getting off topic now but I’d say the bigest change in regard to large units is the change to the flanking rule. Most cavalry is expensive points wise. A flanking unit wants to be about 15 models minimum to have any real effect, as you need to be able to take some casualties. Points wise for cavalry you’re looking at between 210 to upwards of 400 points on a unit there. Cavalry have been ruined by the changes in the rules :frowning:

Thommy H:

No, you just need bigger units. Same as everything else. Those rubbish little five-model units of knights just don’t cut it any more - and that’s a good thing. “MSU” style armies always looked awful.


Cavalry have been ruined by the changes in the rules
Its harder to get them to do their job realistically in 2k or less, but I think thats ok - its realistic; cavalry was always rare compared to infantry, they were expensive and difficult to maintain. In a 3k game (the new standard size, supposedly) a big cavalry hammer should be easily viable I think.


No, you just need bigger units. Same as everything else. Those rubbish little five-model units of knights just don't cut it any more - and that's a good thing. "MSU" style armies always looked awful.

Thommy H
But the bigger units are just the problem - cavalry is usually around three times more expensive in terms of ppm than basic infantry. You need three ranks including the front rank to work as a flanking unit now. For Chaos Knights that's 400 points for five supporting attacks. Big cavalry units aren't viable. I may as well add a beefed up character to the front rank and leave them at that.

In contrast, I can bulk out my night goblin horde with spears and shields to say 60 for only 240pts. Add in the inevitable three fanatics for 75 points and you've got a REALLY nasty unit.

When you'd rather face chaos knights than night goblins, that seems broken to me


All this time of people not fearing hordes of goblins felt wrong to me.

Big infantry is what the game (and the wars that it is based on in general) should be about. These tiny units being able to break much larger units was always a bit odd. There was skill involved in pulling it off, but it didn’t feel natural.


I don’t feel that your small elites should always trump infantry, but cavalry that gets the jump on (eg flanking) infantry should roll them up, no matter numbers. Cavalry that caught infantry out of formation always slaughtered them historically. Historically there was a balance between infantry, cavalry and artillery that’s not present in the new game. Also, don’t forget WFB is a fantasy game. The characters and elites are superhuman warriors.

The balance needed shifting to re-empower infantry but its gone too far the other way. I’m willing to put a large sum of money on GW trying to redress the balance by heaping elite cavalry with bucketloads of special rules in future army books. Personally, I think they should have stuckto the old US rule and said that it takes US10 to cancel out rank bonus/qualify for flanking bonuses.

Thommy H:

Cavalry that caught infantry out of formation always slaughtered them historically.
Not always - not if they didn't have sufficient numbers. In the Dark Ages, the shieldwall was king, and horses wouldn't charge a well made shieldwall. Anglo-Saxons and Vikings still used cavalry, but they couldn't ever muster the numbers (and didn't have the horsemanship) to break the ranks of the infantry formations of the day. The Normans used horses much more extensively, and this led directly to the rise of heavy cavalry (i.e. knights), but even they only held sway for a few hundred years, until pikes came in en masse. By the time of Agincourt, most men-at-arms (i.e. professional soldiers who could afford horses and plate armour - be they landed gentry or not) actually fought on foot instead. There was probably only one attempt at a cavalry charge at Agincourt, actually, and the French horse couldn't get past the stakes: they got slaughtered by the archers when they got bogged down in the mud.

So, historically, a massive block of infantry could almost always hold its own against an equal number of cavalry. That's only a disciplined block, of course - Roman heavy cavalry and Persian cataphracts made short work of their barbarian enemies who were usually on foot - but the concept of the "knightly charge" as a battle winner belongs in the world of fantasy. It's probably appropriate, therefore, that only Bretonnians (the classic "fantasy knights") can do it with any degree of reliability thanks to their lance formation.

There's no way that five horses, charging from any direction, could break hundreds of men. If you want to break infantry with a cavalry charge, you need numbers.

Some more info. from Wikipedia.


Thommy, the key to my post was ‘out of formation.’ No cavalry is ever going to beat a disciplined, fully formed block of infantry. However, cavalry that outmanouvers infantry and catches it in a vulnerable position - say an unprotected flank maybe - will almost always roll up their opponent unless vastly outnumbered. It’s like fish in a barrell. The point I was driving at was that historically an army needed balance, whereas now there is virtually no role for heavy cavalry in the game.

Besides which, we’re not talking five against hundreds. Warhammer is scaled down in terms of battlefield numbers. However, I’m sure we’d agree that a fully armoured chaos Knight should be more than a match for say, six goblins. After all, we’re talking about the chosen warriors of all-powerful gods, wielding magical weapons with blades larger than a man’s torso, wearing all encasing magical armour and riding mutant horses made massively strong through the power of magic. That, or a half dozen creatures the size of a young child wielding a crude pointed stick and with a crude round shield and a dressing gown as their only protection. Yet thirty nighjt goblins plus full command and wielding spears will set you back 140pts. A unit of five chaos knights with full command sets you back double that. Who’s your money on under the current rules? At least oe of those units is mispriced under the current rules.

Thommy H:

Actually, by my calculations, the Chaos Knights would win that combat pretty handily - the only difference is that the Goblins would remain steadfast and therefore test on their unmodified Ld. In the previous Edition, only a double-1 would have saved them from being routed in the first round of combat. Even so, the Gobbos are probably running, and if they do manage to hold it together, they’ll almost certainly be gone in the following turn (when they lose their extra rank). So all that’s changed is that small units of heavy cavalry no longer automatically trump infantry, even in the flank. “Shock cavalry” is gone, except when it’s used correctly. Bretonnians can still pull it off for example, because they get so many extra attacks thanks to the lance formation.  

The real problem is that the usefulness of heavy cavalry has been exagerrated in the popular imagination �?" and Warhammer has conformed to this in the past. I mean, look at a movie like Braveheart: that too parrots the contemporary wisdom that “infantry can’t beat heavy cavalary” when, historically, that’s exactly what infantry was for!

Now, you might say that this is immaterial, because the units are still balanced with their old effectiveness in mind, but look at it this way: a character might cost hundreds of points, but he won’t stand against a fully ranked infantry unit on his own either. What about a war machine? Tough at range; not much good if fifty Goblins jump up and down on it. The points values of troops are based around using them correctly �?" you just have to know how to use heavy cavalry in the current rules. Try adding another rank to that Chaos Knight unit and they’ll wipe out the Gobbos in one turn for no additional casualties, and then go on to kill a few more big Gobbo units too. Better yet, engage large infantry with a block of your own and then smash the cavalry into the flank.