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Is it a good idea? It seems that a mounted wizard would gain the protection of the unit while maintaining a very high degree of mobility. It allows a wizard into the player's backfield in order to get off shorter-range spells without sitting in the enemy's charge zone. Opinions?
Pistoliers have no reliable armor save. How would you protect them from Burning Alignment or Steal Soul or any other type of spell? Pistoliers are fast cav, so they bait and flee, if you don't rally (not guaranteed on an then your wizard is out for that turn and the enemies magic phase.
I can't think of a short distance spell that my wizards need to cast or that I would randomly roll for anyway that I could even stand to use. Can you?
As for the short range, the one that specifically came up was Pit of Shades as one of the only ways to take down a Slaan (assuming that you could get it off). But it's 24" and Slaan are not known from coming down to the fight. I figuerd that this would be a way to get close enough without looking down the throat of a hoard of Saurus.
---------- Post added at 10:36 ---------- Previous post was at 10:35 ----------
Oops, forgot to mention that your comment about the wizard effectively being useless during the probably-common flee-and-(hopefully) rally is a good one.
Exact, a character with MR shares it with the unit he has joined.
Yes the problem is that if you have a sorcerer into your unit of pistolier, you can no longer bait and flee (ok, you can, but it is a bad idea ^^). But you still can go out of line of sight and harass the ennemy from the back.
The problem is that pistoliers die easily. I don't know how good are the lizardmen and orcs shooting forces, but in a lot of situations, our fast cavalry can die very fast. Remember also that if your unit is constitued of less than 5 models, your ennemy can choose to shoot at your sorcerer, even if he is in the unit.
Try and tell us how it works !
I'll let you know how it works out!
A wizard in a unit of pistoliers is something I used to do quite often. The obvious advantage is the mobility whilst still protected. However I found it requires you to stay very alert at what the enemy might throw at the unit. As mentioned the pistoliers are easily killed. So recently I have switched to placing the wizard in a small unit of knights. Yes, this lowers manouverability and LoS, but really help survivability. Making it a little less mistake sensitive material.
Why would you need to protect light cav? They are like, 100 points? Your wizard is going to be worth more than that. And if this is to protect your wizard, put him in a swordsmen unit. It's going to be cheaper, bigger and have a better save. And these other guys are right about the bait and flee, you are taking a big risk, especially if there is a possibility of getting run down. If you want to keep him mounted or take maximum advantage on Armor of Tarnus, put him with knights. Not all that much more and alot more survivalable. Ok, still not convinced? How about this for a final nail in the coffin: YOU LOSE YOUR FAST CAV RULE. Wizard doesn't have it so the unit loses all abilities associated with it. It is now garbage. Don't do it.
JakeHunter, while I agree with you on your points (I found them out myself during battle), there are a number of things to consider.
First of all, fast cavalry does not lose it fast cav special rule if a character joins them. See page 70 of the rulebook. It says that character joining (if mounted) may benefit from the special movement rules, but not from the special rules regarding shooting.
So there is some reason to put your wizard in pistoliers. As it gives him some degree of protection (ie not being alone) and great mobility (better than knights). Yes it does mean you cannot use them as bait anymore, but that is a choice. There are a lot of other things fast cav can do without being bait.
But as I said wizard in your pistoliers forces you to keep on your toes about what you do with them.
It's a nice bodyguard for the type of mage hunters in prevalence these days. Pistoliers or outriders can churn out a LOT of stand and shoot hits with a decent enough strength. Good enough to form the body guard for a hefty mage-lord. However, whilst it would deter many opponents, some like the Varghulf will chew this unit up in no time.
Better idea might be a fast unit of 9 pistoliers (still really cheap, so the mage can go in teh back rank if required to avoid combat...
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