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I've taken some time to study the Empires book and decided I want an army based around warrior priests and the lore of light to counter VC & Daemon armies. I think I'll aim for around 1000-1500 points and would like to maximize my hero choices.
For my general I am very tempted to try:
Battle Wizard - Level 2, Barded Warhorse, Van Horstmann's Speculum and Crimson Amulet (for ward save and to be able to get into combat reliably). I would then take either the lore of fire or light and hopefully roll to get the Flaming Sword of Rhuin or Pha's Illumination which is why I chose the Level 2 ability, to get 1/3 chance to get either one.
The idea would be to switch stats with a vampire hero (more likely than a lord at this low of points). The vampire hero would then not be able to kill the wizard in 1 turn since he is now reduced to 1 attack. Adding the flaming sword, I would strike back at str 8 with 5 attacks, or str 5 with 7 attacks with Pha's. There are two issues I am unsure of though:
1. Would the Flaming Sword or Pha's be added on after I've used Van Horstmann's or would that ability be given to the vampire instead since the magic phase comes first? The item says they swap stats for the duration of the challenge, but does not mention buffs, magic or items carried. Would the magic weapon abilities be transferred to the vampire and end up getting my wizard killed instead?
2. Would fire or light be a better selection? Flaming sword, if it is at str 8 would deny armor and regeneration saves, while Pha's would produce a higher number of attacks and allow my wizard to stay alive better by denying the vampire's magic weapon (if gear taken does not swap). Light could potentially heal the wizard back to do more damage on other vampires, and the other spells would be more beneficial than fire if the magic weapons were not rolled.
Now to the warrior priests. I really want to take the two for the hero slots left available because of their fun abilites, but I don't have any experience using or combatting them. Are they better off geared for combat or casting?
At first, the idea was to give the wizard a ward save, heal if a wound or help kill the enemy heroes with rerolls, but they could also do a lot for the rest of the army by making large blocks unbreakable or do massive damage to special or rare units. What use and gear would maximize their potential?
Just give the warrrior priest a great weapon, additional hand weapon and some magical equipment like Armor of Meteoric Iron etc
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