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I am planning a really larger Empire army, lots of knights and lots of state troops with lots of ranged troops and artillery.
However in games of 3000 and upwards i believe i will struggle greatly against most other armies as i cant rack up enough magic power and dispel dice to go on the offensive or even defend myself against enemy magic.
Please can people explain how i can better my magic potential.
In a 2K game, I have managed to wrack an O&G army with a few wizards. The Rod of Power and the Grey Wand (assuming you're taking at least two wizards) allow for extra Power dice (more spells!), and increased dice efficiency (casting becomes easier, dispelling becomes harder). We have some very nice Arcane items that can make the magic phase into something.
The greatest advantage we have is the versatility of our wizards. Never underestimate the ability to pick from all eight Lores in the BRB. As you play more, you'll come to learn what lores better suit your playstyle, and do better against your opponents.
And another thing I enjoy using are the large number of Bound Spells we get access to. There are loads of items out there that have bound spells of various natures, and we get WPs whose prayers can actually bring a lot of attention from the enemy.
My point is that i fear i will be trounced in the magic phase by anyone as i intend to use 2 warrior priests, a wizard lord and a battle wizard.
This leaves me with 7 dispel dice, not much to hold off the likes of high elves for example.
I am looking for advice on how best to use my wizards, in a defensive way, as i cannot contend with other armies
Defensively, again, the Rod of Power is nice. In addition to that, we have a lot of Magic Resistance items. Give a character the Shroud of Magnus, and the MR2 will make several opponents think twice about casting magic on the unit he/she joins.
If you can plan your magic defence well enough, seven dice, plus a bit of magic resistance and maybe a few scrolls should actually be pretty solid. It's more dice than I tend to get. You should only really be worried about the Slann armies that get to churn out mass dice, or the Tzeentch DoC armies which can get about 30 power dice, in which case, you're screwed anyway.
Planning your defence isn't too difficult. Identify the spells you have to really worry about, and dispel them. If he casts Fireball on your 30-strong swordsmen, I'd let it go myself. But Wall of Fire, or Flames of the Phoenix on said unit...
I agree a lot w/ AFG, you really should play the MR bit (which is better in some cases than dispel dices since they are unlimited), consider the rod of power a must (to make use of the smaller number of dice you do have) and just play your spells right. I have noticed that the most deadly magic armies are the onces that do a lot of small spells. Then the magic phase can be counted on, even if you dispel some of them, and make the army oh so much more deadly. Also don't discount the effectiveness of proper tactics, for example against VC where a significant amount of casting is on their own units (so no MR for you) and is easy to go off. You can't do much in the magic phase to stop this but what you can do is make sure that they can't manuver and can't charge so they waste all those points they put in magic and then press your own advantages, like if you have a powerful magic phase of your own and use that to kill of your opponents wizards (easy way to tip the magic scale). Lastly, some armies don't use magic at all. And I am not just talking about dwarfs, there are a significant amount of players that don't use magic at all and press their advantages in other fields (but this is becoming more a rarity with the strength of VC and DoC).
But to answer your question more directly, you can take Shroud of Magnus for your Wizard Lord, give Sigil of Sigmar on one of your other heros and and then Banner of Arcane Warding on one of your knight units and that will give you MR for a signifcant part of your army. Then, taking the Rod of Power on your other wizard can boost your Dispel Dice, take 2, maybe 3 dispel scrolls depending on how ansy you are and you should be good. Save your dice and scrolls for stuff that affects your artillery crew since they are effectively out in the open and hope numbers, armour and MR will keep your troops and knights alive. Other than that....*shrug*