Welcome to Librarium Online!
The one trend in magic that I keep seeing over and over again is that its very hard to stop magic from going off. For us warriors and for a lot of other races, its easy to get nasty ward saves though to magic through magic resistance. So far in my experience, I've had hard times stopping people from magicking my knights, but easy time actually negating what they're throwing at me.
Then steps in the Lore of Shadows. The Grey Order some might call it. This lore, with the exception of 1 spell, completely takes magic resistance out of the game and helps us do what we do best and that is stay alive and murder things. Unfortunately, our lv2s don't have access to this lore, but the Book of Secrets does allow access.
Going to give a brief overview of the Lord, I'd love for people to reply with ways they've been using it.
Reducing someone's movement probably won't help us all that much (but can be huge at certain points), but any of the other stats is huge. Lower WS let's us hit more and be hit less, BS let's us not be shot as much and In let's us attack first. Int probably only helps really against elves, but that is a huge boost, could be the difference between them rerolling their hits or not. I can't see why you wouldn't always trade in 1 spell for this, specially when you can affect all 4 stats for such a low casting value. I can't think of an army this spell ISN'T good against.
Can't charge with this spell now, makes it a lot less useful. It is your basic utility spell, but as of right now I can't think of this spell as anything but the worst in the lore.
RiPs are nice as you can still cast with them. This one doesn't help us kill, unless you consider we'll be alive longer to do the killing. Our units have a good basic defense against low strength attacks, so it might be wasted on things like empire troopers. However, it could be life or death against monstrous infantry, or GW toating infantry. A spell that helps us stay alive longer is always a good thing.
Anyone can see how this spell is great. Again, its wasted on T3 guys if we're using halberd warriors or chaos knights, but against anything that is scary enough to kill our units, this could give us a good chance to kill them first. Specially with all the Lore of Life armies that are raising everyone's toughness.
Our damage spell. This is great against a lot of monsters that our str5 attacks can't hurt regularily. Things like steam tanks and stegadons don't like this spell at all. Then you can use it to destroy undead/dwarves/orcs in droves.
It scatters and its still based off of an In check. I'd like to have more diversity in my damaging spells. This one is more designed to gut 1 unit. Its basically like 7th edition, so its nothing new here.
Come on, seriously? This spell is wrong. Even marauders having str 7 is sickening. Most our units can reliable get str8 from this. We go from killy to walking gods, specially if we have lowered some of their stats in the process. This is a no brainer, cast in on a unit that's in combat that just has to brutually murder its opponent. If you're negative armor and wounding on 2s already, then its not worth the risk to cast this. If you can get by with reducing their toughness and getting the same result, do that, but when you just need to pummel something as hard as possible, then please, hulk smash them.
I've heard people talking about using combat characters and the book of secrets to give them the free debuff spell and the ability to swap that combat character with a mage to save the other character, or just as a nasty surprise to your opponent.
Sad you can't make your DP better with equipment? Ws8, Str8, A5, I7. Yeah I'll take that.
The greatest part of this lore is if you're getting 3-5 spells from it, you will ALWAYS get 2-3 spells, if not all the spells, to be useful to you. No dummy spells you can't use. It has everything you need to make our army that much better. Helps us survive shooting, makes us harder to hit and wound and makes it easier for us to hit and wound. The armies that use Int for combat get hurt by half the spells (elfs with crappier strength, lower int, lower WS all of a sudden become mincemeat, sword masters hitting at strength 3, or not rerolling their hits just don't scare me) then you have armies that don't rely on Int for combat and you have the other half of the spells hurt them. #4 and #5 will rip big holes in their units, and you can reduce their toughness to make them easier to kill. I'm thinking orcs and dwarfs with T2 again, being no problem to deal with. Not to mention hitting several monstrous infantry all at once with a str10 D3 wound spell.
Sometimes it only takes 1 combat to swing our way to have the game swing our way. And this lore gives us several spells to do that. With being able to cast 2 spells to change the game in 1 phase, your opponents will have problems stopping them both.
Blood Curdling Roar + -toughness is a great combo. Elf Cavalry on a bad D3 roll will still be killed on a 5+ and you should be wounding them on 4+s. Averaging 3.5 wounds against elite cav will piss your opponent off greatly. Heck works good with the Hell Cannon vs. Monstrous Infantry and -toughness is great. Wound on 2s, D6 wounds. I'll take that. You also give Roar a good chance of just outright killing one with 1 roar.
How have you guys been using Shadow Magic. Is it as good as it appears?
Just noticed that #1 let's you move any character now. That has huge ramifications when you can give your disc exalted another fly move, or heck your DP another fly move. Yeah you can't charge, but the tactical diversity this gives us with all the flying characters we have is tremendous.
Shadows is pretty cool. I'm still not really hooked on anything (man, lore of Life would rock), but Shadows seems alright if you go without a mark. I haven't used it yet, as my models are all marked up with Tzeentch. Here's my main thing though:
It's good, for sure. Knocking down their stats by a D3 in combat, on a 10+ is going to really irritate people. We have better WS than most, so it only helps out warriors by making the foe hit on 5s, and the lower Initiative only really helps against ASF (we're already I5 with warriors). Taking down BS is cool though, and I can see that helping a lot.
actually, the versatility of this spell, I feel, makes Pendulum the worst spell in the lore. More on that later.
As you pointed out, S3 or less isn't going to phase our guys (unless they're marauders). We're going to be hitting enemy greatweapons and Monsters with this one. And that actually makes me happy- it means that we can use Warriors to stand up and fight like Can-openers.
Ditto the Toughness drop, it's just like the 2nd spell. Honestly, I'd probably be using this more commonly than the 2nd spell. This spell really shines when combined with our Nurgle magic. Hit somebody with this, knock them down to T1, and then blast them with Curse of the Leper and watch the entire regiment crumble to dust. Also, all of those items we have which force Toughness tests.
It makes me wonder though- what kicks off first? The spell effect (lasts until start of next magic phase) or the item effect (at the start of next magic phase). At the moment, I believe it's probably the spell effect.
You'll only hit 1 model per rank with this spell. Cool, but I'd rather use the 5th spell to drop almost everything. Monsters don't usually have great Initiative anyways, so the Template might drag down several of them at a time. The pendulum is really just our cannon now. Aim it at big nasties like the Stegadon or enemy Dragons.... or right through a character in a regiment...
I like this one. Always have, but in prior editions, Lore of Shadow was a bit weak.
This is a horribly potent spell, as it pretty much negates armor saves. At S8, we don't need to reduce any of their stats for this to be devastating.
The whole lore is rather iffy for me, although it does seem like an amazing utility lore for a caster to look into. I watched a High Elf player with this lore do something pretty funny. He had an Archmage with the Book of Hoeth, and another mage had the Staff, and picked the 5th spell.
Archmage starts, casting the 1st spell at full power on 4 dice for an IF result, and swaps him out for the second LoD mage. This one throws - you guessed it- Pit of Shades and OBLITERATES everything under the template. This mage then swaps himself out of the SwordMaster regiment, and puts a combat character in instead, giving him all that he needs to finish the job.
I'm wondering what would happen if I was close enough to swap with Wulfrik when his regiment comes in from reserves. If I can cast a second spell, I could put something a lot bigger and nastier than Wulfrik into that regiment, and possibly send that character off to hunt warmachines separately from the Marauders. Of course, when you're 18in from the board edge, warmachines probably won't matter much anymore.
I've been using this Lore alot recently. Infact, I'm sticking with it for 8th Edition.
I've been taking a Level 4 with the Puppet and Roar. Cheap and cheerful. I've also toyed with the idea of my Chosen champion with the book. Just to get another Miasma in there.
It isn't a killy Lore, not by any means. If you want a killy Lore go with Fire. Shadow on the other hand is all about buffs and Hexes. It makes our warriors kill more and makes our opponents kill less. In an army as small and as elite as some of our armies. This is a very handy Lore to have kicking around.
Miasma: I love this spell and it will be a bizarre day that I don't swap one of my spells for this one. Making opponents loose D3 WS is huge when you're WS4 or 5. Most units will be hitting you on 5's on an average roll. Even elite units of WS5 will be hitting your warriors on 5's on a good roll. Being able to reduce BS is handy if you're up against a Shotty army, Movement really screws some people up, and Initiative is seriously handy if you're fighting someone who is as fast as your warriors. Elves and the like.
The -D3 Initiative is also handy for Pit of Shades and Pendulum.
Steed of Shadows: Not really usefull on a first glace but can be a good back up to get your wizard out of trouble. There are better spells in this Lore.
Enfeeble: What's not useful about making your opponent minus D3 strength? Making Ogre units str3 on a bad roll still makes those Ogres wound your Marauders on 4's. A Good roll and most, if not all infantry, will be wounding your warriors on 6's. Maybe even your Marauders on 6's too!! Very useful against nasty things like Minotaurs, trolls and units with great weapons/lances that would worry our expensive units.
Withering: Not as useful as Enfeeble in my eyes but still a Horendous spell. Making units Toughess 1 or 2 means we'll be killing so much more and thus breaking our opponents faster. I cast this on a unit of goblins and made the whole 50 strong unit Toughness 1. My Khorne Warriors with 2 weapons just laughed.
Note: Enfeeble and/or Withering in conjunction with Curse of the Lepper is a nasty nasty combo if you can pull it off.
Pendulum: Not a great spell in my eyes. Most rank and file have a high initiative or, if they're monsters you ideally want pit of shades to cause more casualties. Having said that with the help of Miasma you can lower units initiative to get more hits. It's an 'ok' spell but i'd rather have miasma, withering or Enfeeble.
Pit of Shades: Great spell against lizardmen, Dwarves and Monsters. Pretty useless against Elves, unless you cast Miasma on them first to lower their darn initiative.
Mind Zaror: This is just insane. I mean really insane. Making Warriors Str8 or 9 is just wrong. Especially ones with 2 hand weapons and frenzy. Even Marauders with this spell can be horrendous. WS4, str7 and Init4 is not something to sniff at. As, most likely they'll be packing a 5+ Ward as well.
Smoke and Mirrors. This seems quite cool. A little gimicky and not overly useful but nether the less, quite cool and maybe even sometimes useful. Like swapping your Wizard with an Exalted hero if he gets himself into a fight.
Currently I'm taking a level 4 sorcerer lord with Shadows and a level 2 Sorcerer of Nurgle with the 3rd eye. As previously mentioned, the Withering can be a great combo with Curse of the Leper, I destroyed a 40 strong unit of Greatswords with it last week.
+++XENOS SPOTTED+++ thrilling battles within the Vitorina subsector: http://xenosspotted.blogspot.com/
After playing 2 games yesterday for the first time with a level 4, good GOD, is this lore perfect for us.
I went up against a horde of blood letters, yeah I was pretty scared. The turn my 6 knights and exalted charged them (and chariot), I was able to reduce their WS and Int by 1 and their str by 3. I out right slaughtered the unit in 2 rounds of combat. He didn't pop any guys, I just hacked and slashed through them in 2 rounds of fighting. His herald going down 1 ws/int meant my BS not only struck first, but hit on 3s. Same with the letters, WS4 blood letters and ridiculously easy to kill.
At the same time I had 5 knights and a BSB plow into 40 empire swordmen and won combat by 25. 2nd round of combat, there wasn't any left.
Granted both these combats I had +1 attack from my warshrine, got to love my BSB with the favor of the gods.
So we're clearly seeing that shadow magic is epically good for us.
Now on the flip side, what other armies are going to use it? Does the fact that the #0 spell reduces our WS, make the mark of nurgle that much better?
I could see Helfs running a lv2 shadow guy. It helps them out a lot actually.
I can see Empire using it alot. I would anyway. Reducing our combat efficiancy is a big thing for them. Making our Warriors Ws3 or 4 means they're Swordsmen and Greatswords will have that much of easier time in combat with us. Woe the day we are on the recieving end of Withering or Enfeeble. We rely on kills and anything that makes us less killy, well, you can say good bye to your warrior units.
When I do Empire I'm going Shadow Magic galore!
Can you Imagine High Elf Spearmen with Mind Razor? ASF, re-rolls to hit and str8? Bye Bye enemy unit.
I had a big unit of 10 knights in which I had my general and BSB. My high elf opponent cast the spell to get -d3 inititative (rolled 3) and then the big version of the shadow pit. IT was big enough to hit every model in the unit who now had an initiative of only 2!!!! Luckily it scattered off the unit into a hell cannon, but I was seriously sweating on that one. Of course he ran Teclis, so I had no chance to counter either spell as they were all irresistable forces.....
My Hell cannon rolled a one and we survived unscathed, but that combo had me more afraid than the nurgle spell combo with the lessened toughness.... it is not what happened, but could have happened that had me worried. And all from one level 4 caster. OF course he has enough items to add 2-6 extra power dice every phase which gives them plenty of power dice to pull of combos against us....
I did not fair well against the strenght 9 unit from the other spell that made the warriors of chaos look useless, I am begining to think that Armour does not matter much any more. Between the great weapons always striking first that reroll all misses, to that spell that boosts their strength to their initiative, the armor does not seem too effective anymore.
Can i just get confirmation on a thought I had that I dont think works...
With the 'smoke and mirrors' lore attribute, I can't swap a tzeentch sorceror on a disc for an exalted on foot can i? I wanted to fly 20 inches in turn one, then steed of shadows to set up a rear charge for turn 2 - then swap the sorceror for an exalted or a lord so he could do some damage. If I can't swap a disc rider for a foot character, can I swap one disc rider for another?? Or can the disc change owners?
'War does not determine who is right, only who is left'
I am President of the Brunel University wargames society - PM me if interested.