The importance of mages

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The importance of mages

Post by ParanoidEngineer » Mon Jun 23, 2014 1:18 pm

Mages are obviously extremely powerful characters to take in any Fantasy list (unless you're a Dwarf but y'know, Runesmiths), and taking at least one mage is considered the norm in all lists, competitive or otherwise, given the utility and power they bring to the field, and many armies bring even more if possible.

However, are mages critical to the point where they are mandatory in every standard sized list? If building a themed army, the most obvious that spring to mind being Khorne based Daemon/Warrior armies, Doombull-led Beastmen, 'Nuln Gunnery School' Empire gun-lines or a Crusade-style all-heavy cavalry Bretonnian army, among others, would it be impossible to win without the inclusion of at least one Dispel Scroll bearing mage?

Obviously the viability of such a themed list varies from army to army, but I'm curious if, in general, the lack of mages in an army will decrease the chances of victory by a huge percentage, or whether, whilst slightly more challenging, a mage-less army list will overcome its opponents without facing great difficulty.
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Re: The importance of mages

Post by MWG-Owen » Mon Jun 23, 2014 5:44 pm

Short answer, yes you CAN win without a mage. You will not very often.

Long Answer:

Your opponent brought one of the character power mages in the game. These tend to be less efficient in a competitive sense (except for HE of course) as you can make more powerful mages for cheaper without characters. This mage casts Dwellers or Final Transmutation or one of the other dozen super spells. You cant stop it with scroll, and hes at least +4 probably +5 or 6 as far as dice are concerned.

You lose a unit. Or at least, effectively lose a unit as this will batter it into the ground.

Now, you may say "well thats only if they bring giant mages and doom spells".

This is true, but lets change the situation again. Lets say your opponent only brings 1 or 2 level 1 or 2 mages. These little guys cast a number of buff/debuffs against you. Now he has arcane items to give him more power dice and has a +1 or +2 against you each time. Suddenly str 2 Bretts charging Str and T 4 elves seems a lot more suicidal.

Magic totally changes the power levels of units. Either obliterating them, buffing, or debuffing units. The only way I could see you doing this is if you agreed that neither of you would bring mages or got really lucky.


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Re: The importance of mages

Post by Arnathos » Tue Jun 24, 2014 7:55 am

If you don't take a Wizard I would suggest you go for a fast and killy close combat army, and try to kill or rout the enemy wizard before they can have a significant impact in the game.

Also don't forget Comet of Cassandora as a spell of mass destruction, its the most underrated spell in the entire game imho.

But it can be done, it will just always be an uphill battle. in 1000 points or less though, it is very doable, as few players will be packing a level 4 and if they do its a good 20-25% of their army in 1 model.
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Re: The importance of mages

Post by Todda » Fri Jun 27, 2014 2:29 pm

Yup... overwhelm them fast. I run a chariot on Warrior of Chaos Mark of Khorne any with no shooting and no magic at all... Not even protection from the magic. I take some damage the first few rounds, then beat the snot out of them and end up tabling them around turn 4.
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