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I was flipping through my army book today, looking to make a list, and thought I ought to give my orc shaman some sort of shiny. I then found the waaagh! paint and became very confused by its effects. It says that if the shaman is in close combat at the beginning of the turn, he gians the special ability.
I was under the impression that a wizard was unable to cast a spell while engaged in close combat. I even looked in the waaagh! magic section to see if there was some exception to that rule, and found nothing.
So if there's something I'm missing, or if the topic has already been discussed then could somebody please direct me to the answer?
Yes, you are missing something, and it's a wonderful something. A wizard can cast spells that are not magic missles, and do not say 'cannot be used in close combat' only problem is he will have severly reduced line of sight.
There is no such universal rule. Many regular wizards can't cast much while in combat anyway because the 'core' lores don't have much that doesn't require LOS and/or can be cast into combat. The Ork lores are designed to be much more combat friendly, spells either can be cast into combat or don't require LOS for the most part.