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I can't get rid of this question, it still bothering me.
Magic is so random and unpredictable, you can lose a game in 2 turns, 1 epic miscast on your side and 1 epic cast from your opponent. It feels like magic removes strategy from game, you can't do any plans because they will be ruined in few dice rolls, and instead of doing proper maneuvering and some tricky tactic moves you're building half of your strategy around wizards and magic.
And I hate it. Luckily my opponent is not a big fan of magic too, so we are playing without magic at all, just plain old tactics. It is still fantasy, not some Napoleonic wars, I still have my Lord on Juggernaut, he still has his warplightning cannons and stuff. But now we are playing tactics on tactics, army on army, not lucky roll on lucky roll.
What do you think about magic in WHFB and do you have some magic-related home rules in friendly games?
I hate magic when I'm up against Skaven and I refuse to play any rat bastard who uses a Power Scroll with Dreaded 13th.
Against almost any other race I'm perfectly fine with it,
I think irresistible force should be removed or at least dispelled by counter-irresistable force.
Sometimes magic works really well augmenting redundant models against certain armies [like casting D&D and firing a Hellcannon against a high Ld. unit].
“If you’re in the penalty area and don’t know what to do with the ball, put it in the net and we’ll discuss the options later.” – Bob Paisley
I like magic and the way it affects the game, but the random number of powerdice means that you can't rely on it, and also means that you can't 'scale up' your magic with the game size. In 7th it was more reliable and so in a way, more useful.
But no matter how many times it goes wrong, I love it when it goes right, like killing huge chunks of an army with purple sun, or getting a unit of strength 8 warriors with mindrazor (especially in a building where you get your full attacks). I just wish I could rely on it, in some ways it seems as though the main reason for a wizard can just be to help stop the enemies magic.
adamwelton "Bliss-giver is right as always."
"Opportunities multiply as they are seized."
I don't think fantasy can be fantasy without magic. But I agree with you it seems awfully random and detracts from the tactical experience. The problem seems to be - if it's reliable, everyone takes casters (they would be practically mandatory because of their benefits and the reliability of spells), which in turn would require the opposition to take casters as mandatory defense, which would then prompt offense to take MORE magic to get those spells through and before you know it you're look at 3000 points with 6 casters and 20 skeletons. I think the randomness is mandatory to prevent this one-upsmanship from escalating too far.
Personally I would like to see reliability restored at the expense of power. A lot of spells are just ridiculously OP in my opinion. I would like to see more spells that affect movement and positioning and provide +1 buffs to troops, etc. rather than spells that can decimate 1,000 points of core troops in a single swoop. More tactics and less pewpew imo.
I like magic, I also like how they leveled the playing field by making it random. No more bringing my. Night goblins against teclis' high elf horde of magic unbalancedness.
The thing is, Teclis is still a beater, and your Night Goblins are actually pretty good in the magic phase as well, thanks to having tons of cheap, expendable casters who can toss 6 dice at a spell and not care if they get blown away.
First, let me start off by saying that I do like magic in the games, and I think that it provides an added measure of tactical thought to the game. If I wanted to play games without magic or wacky randomness, I'd play the Napoleonics that you seem to hate so much (actually, I'd play Warhammer Ancient Battles: Divine Wind). Instead, I find that magic adds a level of finesse in writing your armylist, and as long as you take it into account in your games, provides tactical opportunities that weren't there before.
However, I don't like what they did with magic in 8th edition. As I said before 8th was released, the system that they were using in 7th was quite balanced (as was 90% of the whole rule set) but the individual armybooks were what caused the widespread griefing. In 8th edition, it seems that they took steps specifically to nerf particular playstyles (not armies, mind, although certain armies did rely on these styles - Bret all-cav lists for example). The result so far is that they drove a massive wedge between the 'good' and the 'bad' armybooks, while averaging out most of the lists within these two families.
Vampire Counts for example - in 7th edition they had some of the worst dice-abuse in the entire game, spamming upwards of 14 dice in a single 2500pt game, when most opponents could only muster 5-6 dice to stop them. However, the Vampires relied on these dice, because so much of their army was focused on raising fresh units and recovering wounds. The VC magic phase rarely dealt any real damage to the enemy army, but rather, kept their army in the fight - if you could shut off their magic, you could beat them. With the new magic rules, VC are no less deadly, but they are pigeon-holed into a particular style of list.
Looking at High Elves, we see another army who's magic was pretty decent. As opposed to VC however, the High Elves didn't need their magic to be effective, they just took it because their Combat Characters were unfeasible. In this edition however, you see High Elf armies running tons of magic and focusing heavily on Lore of Life spells.
GW forgot that they hadn't been writing quality armybooks for a long time. The armies who were balanced within their respective books were largely unaffected by the changes in 8th edition (our Warriors even got better, as did Empire and especially Lizardmen). The armies that were relying on a particular playstyle were nerfed across the board - Dwarfs took a hit, Wood Elves and Brets got slammed, and the 7th Ed Ogres and TK books fell apart entirely. That playstyle cut did hit the troublesome armies that it was aimed at - Daemons, Dark Elves, and Vampires - but once a book is overpowered, there's nothing you can do short of rewriting the book itself that will balance them out again.
Unfortunately, the current setup for Magic is that it was meant to be random and reward players less for spamming wizards, freeing up points for them to take combat characters and especially infantry. However, to make up for this random nature, GW decided to make the magic spells themselves extremely potent. Enter the problem we have in 8th edition. Whereas 7th edition magic was reliable and modest, though devastating with a coven of wizards on your side, 8th edition magic can wreak havoc with just a single caster. This has led to more people running Lv4 casters with a chosen lore, and then a L1-2 to back them up. Even if you don't want to, you end up running a caster to stop the enemy phase. GW was aiming to mitigate the presence of "super casters" in the game, but what they did instead was set up a nuclear cold-war between the casters in each army, and if you can't compete in that arena, you may as well not compete at all.
Yes and No for me and here's why.
Friendly magic Yes:
Yeah it's great to watch your opponents units fall to pieces with some of our more powerful spells and yeah it's nice to snipe that nasty character out of the unit with spells from Lore of Death.
Friendly magic No:
Like you said at the start, an epic miscast can ruin your game in a hurry. The only remedy I have found to this is to run my sorc (which is generally a lord) with Talisman of Preservation (or similar item) and away from my main fighting units so if he goes boom, he lives and causes minimum friendly casualties.
Enemy magic Yes:
It's cool to see some unfriendly models change the dynamics of the game with irritating spells. If all armies jsut let us march across the field taking a few casualties from the Shooting phase only, the game would be no fun after a while. Goblin shamans making your unit of halberd warriors move only 1" for an entire game from Hexing them non stop is irritating, but kinda funny to watch at the same time. And who can't laugh when the enemy wizard nestled safely in a unit goes boom?
Enemy magic No:
I really hate it when I bring in a new unit that I rarely use and the Magic phase kills em off before I actually get to see em used. Lore of Metal vs Chaos Knights? I shoulda just kept the 230 pts and added another horde of marauders if I would have known it was gonna be a Magic fight.
I think magic has the high potential to kill the joy (no pun intended) of bringing in new models and characters on both sides of the table and see how they actually perform in different scenarios. We all know the general gets picked on first if possible by those pesky Death lore casters. But at the same time I think it's needed to make the playing field a little more "even" for those armies with a not-so-good CC phase (wood elves are a great example).
Warriors of Chaos > 3,000
Life - TBA
I'll counter that by saying that I've tried to test a unit in a game and my friend just sent a block of chaff at it and I didn't get to see what happened. But then I realized that that's part of the test. My group assumes that every game should be played like a tournament game. We're still friendly about it - we let you go back and correct moves, look up rules if needed, everything you get in a friendly environment - we just don't give each other any slack when it comes to playing.
If someone is running Lore of Metal against you, I'd argue that they're probably tailoring their list, since Lore of Metal is one of the weaker lores unless you know you're up against Warriors or Brets. To combat this, we write our lists "blind" and pick our lores during writing rather than at the table. My friend knows that I almost always play Warriors, but he doesn't take Metal because he wouldn't take it in a tournament setting - likewise, I don't take Death just so I can smack his Lizards with Purple Sun. I have taken Death, but I ok'd it with him ahead of time.
"But what if I'm just playing some random kid I've never met, I can't force rules on him"
No, but you also don't have to tell him what army or type of list that you're playing. I've intentionally mislead people before, because I knew they'd tailor a list. "Oh, you're going to step out and write a list before I play you, after you just saw my Full-Plate army? I guess I'll change it up and use my Marauders next game, or even play with my High Elves." When they come back with their awesome Anti-horde character or Anti-teclis magic defense and see that I'm using the same list, I get to laugh at them for tailoring an army to beat someone. List tailoring is a cardinal sin, I'd rather see you "forget" your rules, rather than tailor a list against me.
Magic is something for each player to work out on their own. One of my worst games was a tournament, where my Helcannon misfired on turn 1, and every one of my Sorcerers rolled the first result on the miscast table, no kidding. I had Festus and a BookBSB in my Chosen block, and they evaporated, my General died and took half of his unit with him. It was a tough break, but I knew I ran that risk when I
1. Put the Hellcannon in the list
2. Deployed my Sorcerers in their units
3. Fired the d*** cannon
Similarly, I've had a Daemon Prince with Lore of Death catch a Dwarf gunline in the flank with the Purple Sun and leave him with less than 20 models on the field. But most of the time, I'm somewhere in the middle with an average win/loss in the magic department. If you don't like magic, don't run it - take a low level caster for some magic defense, or bulk up your units to weather the storm. Warriors don't have it nearly as bad as some armies (with the exception of Lore of Metal, which you should rarely see in a fair game) because our stats are all above average. Dwellers doesn't hurt us nearly as badly as it hurts Elves or Skaven, Lore of Death can actually bounce off of us if we're Frenzied, and we've got decent LD stats across the board. Tons of the minor Magic Missiles are ignorable for our guys because we're tough and armored enough to take them just like a shooting phase.
Sometimes I feel like people complain about aspects of the game being unfair or unbalanced because they haven't figured out how to deal with it. I'm not accusing anyone here of doing that, the simple fact that we're all swapping opinions and sharing information is enough to validate that people are at least willing to work around it. But at the end of the day, magic is just like anything else - you flub your dice rolls, you lose the game. I played a game where turn 1 my Marauders were hit with a Mortar shot dead-center, panicked and fled through my General's unit, who then panicked and fled off the table. No magic involved.