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I am a Dark Elf player and typically play a Fast all/mostly cavalry list... I have however always liked High Elves and like them even more in seventh edition than I did in sixth.
Anyway I have a friend who used to play Wood Elves but gave up after a long time struggling to win with them and I convinced him to give High Elves a go instead of quitting all together.
We had our first 1500pt game earlier today and he took a Dragonmage of Caledor and I have to say he is far better than he is made out to be by most High Elf players. He has the magic potential of two normal mages (granted you get less Dispel dice and Spells) with his extra power dice, and is far more mobile. Even when I finally took down the Mage with concentrated shooting I still had a dragon to deal with... who then continued to butcher units.
It seemed he was always where I least wanted him to be and his ability to fly made him very hard to deal with. He easily made back his points and the dragon still continued to kill and maim until the end of the game after the mage was gone. He killed a unit of dark riders with fireball and then later on the Sorceress that was with the unit with another fireball, killed a couple of Cold One Knights with Conflagration of Doom and a Chariot in combat (he had Silver Wand so still had Flaming Sword).
I won in the end (due almost entirly to Malus Darkblade and a unit of Cold one Knights with the Always Strikes First banner) but it was one hell of a fight with roughly a third of my army killed by the dragonmage, and all the remaining Cold One Knights killed by repeater bolt throwers/swordmasters (with the exception of Malus who survived unscathed)
So I was wondering if a large portion of the bad rep of the dragonmage was speculation or if people have actually tested them out before making up their minds. I mean sure the mage is a little vulnerable to shooting and whatnot but even if he dies you still have a dragon! Dragons are big and powerful, and can take on alot of units by themselves, and sure if you fail to cast flaming sword then the mage sucks in combat but I refer to my earlier point of DRAGON! (surely it can pick up the slack)...
What is your opinion on the Dragonmage? Have you ever taken one? and if not was it based on the opinions of others that you chose not to take one?
Last edited by Daemonslayer; December 3rd, 2009 at 10:14.
I've used one a few times. He is awesome. The main problem is there seems to be so many other options.
For the same points and hero slots you can get a mage on foot, a BSB with the battle banner, and although I don't have my book on me at the mo maybe even enough for a great eagle as well.
I found it a bit of an opportunistic unit that works really well if your careful with it.
yeah the unit works great.. as long as your opponent isn't heavy magic, and doesn't have cannons, and doesn't have a massive fireline, and doesn't have flying cavalry, and so on.
so yeah it's a lot of fun to play with the dragon mage, and against certain army's it will work really wel, but against others it would be a waste of points. So it really depends.
Last time i used it i was fighting brettonnia, i cremated all of his archers in the first turn, so i could let my dragon go havoc on his knights, and it really went wel. So i Do love the fella, but only on certain occasions
(ow and your friends will shout cheese if you bring it under 2000 points)
my experience with the DragonMage is entirely academic, based on the HE 7th Edition book.
If you bump him up to LV 2, you give him there are two magic items that give him an extra spell and an extra casting dice that essentially makes him a level 3 wizard. Give him the 25 point talisman that gives him a +5 Ward for his 'protection'.
After that, you have a pretty kick ass unit, yes. His flame spell sword thing (forget its name) is cast on a +5, if you have the upgrade kit I recommend above you are casting with 3 dice which almost certainly will work. You hit on a 2+, have 7 Str and 2 attacks plus the dragon.......
quite a bargain for just 400 points.
Except you can't give him two Arcane Items. Silver Wand is the most effecient though.
5000p. High Elves
I've always gone with SilverWand, and then the Ring of Fury. He has NO protection in this configuration, but throws out a ton of spells. Especially if you back him with Banner of Sorcery.
He works well, but when he's mounted on a large target and isn't well protected, and only has 2 wounds, he's going to find himself being taken down by mere archers before he's even in charge/casting range.
The other problem that I've witnessed with the Dragon Mage is that many players play him too conservatively. We're paying for that massive dragon that he's riding. If we want a Flying mage, we can mount a standard mage on an eagle. The dragon is a combat element, and our mage loses his automatic ranged Fireball to get a free Flaming Sword of Rhuin instead. You need to get him stuck in. His 'Dragon-Lite' can hit with the same impact as a chariot, so he should be used that way. If he's in combat, he can't be shot at. His magic is really only there to throw spells around on his way in.
Either way, you're wasting points on an expensive character. Either you're using his limited combat ability and not making full use of his role as a caster, or we're making use of casting and sacrificing the fighting ability of the dragon that he's riding. In either case we're purchasing a poorly protected, high-priority target, and losing an additional hero-slot.
The same role can be filled more effectively by 2 Lvl1 or Lvl2 mages, on eagles if you wish, and a Tirannoc chariot. The points costs are roughly the same (385 without upgrades), but you've also upped your target count, your total number of wounds, and your ability to deploy your power where you need it, and make use of it in every turn.
My final ruling on the dragon mage: he's a lot of fun, and in high point games, or low point games where I want to run a slightly more friendly list, I'll run a DMage. However, in tournament games, or all-rounder lists, I tend to leave him at home. I've found that he is the second biggest 'gimmick' unit in the book, with the White Lion Chariot being the first.
No, you cannot have two items from the same section at all, with the Dispel Scrolls and Power Stones being the exceptions.
5000p. High Elves
I know that is not accurate because I have seen lists with as many as three items from the magic armor (ie, a suit of armor, shield and helm for example that all provided armor saves).
but i dont think a dragon mage is just a points waste. but you have to play very carefully when moving it. Stay out of sight, get in front of a enemy's unit, when they com to get you, just fly to the back of the unit to cause a terror test and set the unit aflame.
When i use my dragon mage, i speccially try to leave him out of combat, except for lone wizards and war machines. make the enemy take a terror test, use the breath attack, 3 fire spells, and Ring of fury, and if there's still anyone left in that unit, it will be a very brave warrior.
yeah i think i'll use him next time again