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I am having difficulty balancing the magic in my army. I'm relatively new to the game but every time I play my friends who play High Elves and Lizardmen I get school in the magic phase, even if I go really heavy magic. Some assistance?
some details? What lore(s) are you using? What characters? What magic items? What are your friends bringing? What size game are you talking?
IG since 1999 __ DA since 2002 __ Tau since 2005 __ SoB since 2007
Brets 1997-1999 __ TK since 2009 __ Empire since 2010
If you just want to stay safe for a few rounds before you get into combat go with 2 level 1 wizards with 2x dispel scrolls.
If you want a proactive approach try aldreds casket of sorcery/ seal of destruction / rod of power/ standard of arcane warding.
The rod is the best out of the 4, but if you can use all of them efficiently it will hurt their magic pretty badly.
I personally run with 3 wp and an AL stacked with bound spells. 7 dd + lots of lvl 3-4 bound spells + combat heroes = pretty balanced I think.
Mage hunting is always an option. I've found that it's not one of the Empire's strongest tactics. Best bet is to focus artillery fire of the wiz's position. This is especially true for the Lizzie bastards and their damn engine of the gods, just blast away the steg with some cannonballs. I've never done it and it probably doesn't work as well as it sounds, but you could also go wizard hunting with massed hochland rifles on outrider champs.
Or any mixture of the above advice...
I've never even considered fielding 3 wps and an AL, but I think that will help a ton. Do you think that fielding handgunner marksmen with longrifles is worth it?
Well you could have the potential with more shots by using handgunners because you will be able to field more of them, but you'll be hitting on 4-5. The only time the HLR really does its job for me is on an outrider champ, hitting on 3-4. When I say do its job, I mean reliably cause a wound.
If you go the mass HLR route, I would take both 2 outrider units (save the rest of the spots for artillery, but I guess you could go crazy with it and go with 4 outriders) and 3-4 units of handgunners. Line of site will be a huge issue, but you have the potential to take out a character every round.
The biggest problem with this strategy is the value of the HLR greatly decreases after the characters are dead or you don't have line of sight.
3-4 Hochland Longrifles could help a lot as well. Shoot up some skirmishing/flying skink priests and you really hamper his magic phase by screwing with the Slaan's line of sight [which he can trace through the skinks eyes] as well as elmininating power dice and dispel dice.
That, alongside 3 wizards and the War Altar and you have a pretty good chance. Don't forget to bring the Rod of Power.
Vs High elves, who are also toughness 3, I imagine you could do some damage with lucky HLR shots. At the very least, it will make both opponents think harder about being cock-sure with their wizards.
Remember only spells classified as magic missiles can can be channeled through a skink priest. Also the skink must be within 24 inches of the slann.
First off, don't feel bad about being the low man in the magic phase against those 2 armies, they just do magic really well. second think about what you are trying to accomplish in your magic phase. if your trying to do lots of damage to units then your doing it wrong (IMO), that's what our shooting is for. i find that our magic is best used to to do "other" things. i myself use 2 wizards, one with the lore of shadow and one with life, great combo that has worked great for me thus far. I use it to march block and slow any one unit down to the point where they almost don't move.
5000 Pts of Undeath descend upon you....
your right that it is only spells classified as magic missiles can be channeled by a slann thru a skink priest, but there is no range limit between the Slann and the Priest.
If the LM have gone magic-heavy vs a empire army then he is going to be light in other areas. While the EOTG is certainly a valid and needed target to be dropped, remember that Lore of Heavens (which the Skinks use) have spells that are protective in nature and give re-rolls. If he is using a Slann your not going to be able to go toe-to-toe with him but can overdo him in other areas.