Author Topic: 8th Edition Empire - Magic Lore Review  (Read 10483 times)

Offline Bigglesworth

  • Posts: 91
8th Edition Empire - Magic Lore Review
« on: May 01, 2012, 04:46:44 PM »
In preparation for an upcoming league I wanted to review the magic lores and see how they complimented the 8th Edition Empire book.  Naturally much has stayed the same but we often see questions posted regarding lore selection and wizard builds so I thought I’d write this up a little more formally.  Please feel free to provide feedback as the community will always be more knowledgeable than the individual.

Before I talk about the lores specifically I looked at how my lists have changed with the new book.  I think we are still highly competitive in Movement, Magic, Shooting, and Combat and my goal with list building is to walk a fine line between enjoying synergy and being combo-dependent.  I don’t want to introduce and real single-points of failure in my list as those will quickly be targeted and removed from the game. 
I’ve definitely started picking up more combat-focused units and lessened the amount of BS-based shooty and war machines I bring to the list.  I’ve also started taking detachments on my core units as well as my Greatswords to enjoy the special rules and prayers across those units.  This means I often have multiple units in combat at the same time or even in the same combat.  This is really where area of affect buffs/hexes really prove their merit.

Offline Bigglesworth

  • Posts: 91
Re: 8th Edition Empire - Magic Lore Review
« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2012, 04:47:57 PM »
The Lore of Fire

This lore has spells to remove lots of models per turn as well as address regeneration and ethereal units.  A wizard with this lore causes fear for cavalry, war beasts, and chariots.  Flaming attacks also allows you to reroll failed wounds when shooting at or fighting units in a building.
A Lord or multiple hero-level wizards can benefit from this lore with its scalable spells and reasonable casting costs as well as a strong signature spell.  It is a fair primary/secondary lore.

Kindleflame (Lore Attribute)

The ability to give a bonus to subsequent casts against the same unit, this lore is mildly useful and best enjoyed by taking multiple hero-level wizards.

Fireball (Signature Spell)

Variable casting levels, this is a useful to address to eliminate or cause panic tests in small units, preferably targeting units outside of the leadership bubble such as scouting or vanguard units.  Not a high strength spell, it still has the potential to wound monsters while bypassing regeneration saves.

Cascading Fire-Cloak

Base contact direct damage spell affecting the wizard and any unit they join.  Not recommended as seldom do you want your wizard or his unit in base contact with the enemy.  It is mainly useful in addressing small units of scouts/vanguard units that were able to get a charge off on your wizard and not kill him in the first turn of combat.

Flaming Sword of Rhuin

A beneficial wound modifier for melee and ranged attacks that also grants magical attacks.  While potentially causing more wounds it does not modify armor saves.  This spell can act as a significant deterrent  in that your opponent will typical avoid charging an augmented unit on his subsequent movement phase due to the spell remaining in effect until your next casting phase.  This is also a key spell for dealing with ethereal units.

The Burning Head

This spell mainly has value as forcing multiple panic tests on units.  Best used if you’ve eliminated an enemy general or caught multiple units outside of their leadership bubble.

Piercing Bolts of Burning

Good spell for reducing the unit size of units with deep ranks; will typically result in a panic test.

Fulminating Flame Cage

This is a fantastic spell for area denial and forcing leadership issues.  It is also one of the very few spells that you can cast on a unit in combat to directly cause wounds as it is a hex spell.

Flame Storm

A random mayhem spell that is mainly useful at the start of the game when the enemy is collected around their general.  One of the spells more commonly dropped for the signature spell.

The Lore of Beasts

This lore is good for combat-focused lists and keeping characters alive.
I prefer hero-level wizards for this lore, it is fair primary lore and a strong secondary lore. 
I’m largely indifferent on putting a Lord-level wizard on an Imperial Griffon.  It is viable with the right gear but situational.

Wildheart (Lore Attribute)

A reduction in the casting cost on units of war beasts, cavalry, monstrous beasts, monstrous cavalry, chariots, monsters, and swarms this is not hugely beneficial to the Empire compared to other lore attributes

Wyssan’s Wildform (Signature Spell)

This spell being the signature spell is what makes beasts lore so popular.  Augmenting strength and toughness it can significantly swing combat in your favor as well as make your more durable to shooting and characteristic tests from many spells.  Strength being arguably the most important characteristic in Warhammer Fantasy it improves your ability to wound and modifies enemy armor saves.  Combined with hatred from a priest, extra strength makes our ordinary extraordinary.

The Flock of Doom

A cheap and low strength direct damage spell it can still potentially run off those pesky war-machine hunters or put some wounds on ethereal units.  If you know you aren’t facing ethereal units I recommend dropping this spell for Wyssan’s Wildform.

Pann’s Impenetrable Pelt

This spells significantly improves the toughness of a character.  Empire players should consider this spell as it will increase the survivability of multiple cheap characters if you use the higher casting cost.  It will help to keep our characters alive in combat as they are the likely candidates of directed attacks and we use many of the special rules for combat effectiveness such as hatred from warrior priests and ‘hold the line’ from captains and generals, or keeping your wizard alive.

The Amber Spear

A bolt-thrower shot that doesn’t miss or a bolt-thrower with the power of a cannon…  The Empire has plenty of other ways to do this kind of damage but this does work well on ethereal units.  This is a nice way to get the Green Knight out of your war machines.

The Curse of Anraheir

A penalty to ‘To Hit’ rolls in both shooting and close combat.  It is an ideal spell in limiting your opponent’s options in the movement phase as they may be reluctant to move or charge with a unit that is likely to take dangerous terrain wounds.  Nice way to potentially win combat and then have the enemy take dangerous terrain tests when fleeing.

The Savage Beast of Horros

This turns your multiple cheap characters into combat savants.  This makes a witch hunter feared by all...  This spell is best used on characters with weapons that grant ASF or high initiative or a potion of speed to ensure you get to attack first as this doesn’t otherwise improve the survivability of those models which will now likely face directed attacks.  It also makes a Runefang or Ghal Maraz the talk of the table.

Transformation of Kadon

A spell better suited to a higher toughness wizard, this is a high risk/high reward spell.  You can significantly turn a combat or watch your wizard get slaughtered (probably both).  It turns a generally expensive caster into a generally expensive monster that can no longer cast spells or channel.  Considering you also have to buy the model to represent the monster you wish to become, this is typically and expensive way to keep a wizard that was charged alive.

The Lore of Metal

This lore is most effective against highly armored enemies but has the ability to provide significant augments and hexes which can be exploited in combat and shooting.  It also has a way to address large blocks of enemy units.
I strongly recommend a Level 4 Wizard Lore for this lore and it is a strong primary and reasonable secondary lore.

Metalshifting (Lore Attribute)

A lore attribute that’s usefulness is determined by the enemy’s armor save.

Searing Doom (Signature Spell)

One of the most feared spells by units of small elite cavalry.  This spell typically wounds them on a 2+ with no armor saves allowed.  This spell also works very well on ethereal units that have an armor save.  This spell is also the bane of our steam tanks!

Plague of Rust

Reducing an enemy’s armor save for the remainder of the game; this is a nice way to soften up enemy units throughout the game as this hex also stacks with itself.

Enchanted Blades of Aiban

A bonus on ‘To Hit’ rolls that adds the magical, flaming, and armor piercing rules to a unit in both close combat and shooting as well.  This makes a unit well suited to take on almost any adversary.

Glittering Robe

Throwing scaly skin on top of your existing armor save this grants Greatswords a 2+ armor save and gives your halberdiers a 4+ armor save.  A higher casting cost can affect all units within 12” making this buff ideally suited for Empire as we are now likely to be in multiple close combat situations using our detachments.

Gehenna’s Golden Hounds

A fairly limited direct damage spell, it is often dropped for the signature spell.  However this spell is fantastic for battling a Dark Elf Dreadlord with the Pendant of Khaeleth as it will generally wound him on 2+ and allow him no saves. 

Transmutation of Lead

A hex that gives a penalty to WS, BS, and AS.  It is a handy spell to swing combats in your favor and reduce wounds caused by shooting.  If you need Gehenna’s Golden Hounds this is a good candidate to sacrifice for the signature spell.

Final Transmutation

A very useful spell to remove 1/3 of a unit without regard to their characteristics or saves.  You then force a panic test as well as force stupidity tests to all units within 12” on the following turn.  This is a mean way to open up the game or catch stuff outside of a leadership bubble into wasting a turn.

Offline Bigglesworth

  • Posts: 91
Re: 8th Edition Empire - Magic Lore Review
« Reply #2 on: May 01, 2012, 04:48:53 PM »
 The Lore of Light

This lore is ideal when fighting Undead and Daemonic opponents as well as providing powerful bonuses in combat and protection from shooting phase attacks, many of which have the potential to influence most of your army at the same time.

This is a strong primary/secondary lore and you can equally benefit from a Lord or multiple hero-level wizards.  Wizards of Light also improve the power of a War Altar’s bound spell.

I do not recommend putting your Wizard Lord on a Luminark of Hysh.

Exorcism (Lore Attribute)

Added punch against daemons and undead

Shem’s Burning Gaze (Signature Spell)

Flaming direct damage spell with a long range good for hitting vanguard/scouts as well as ethereal units.

Pha’s Protection

A spell that has the potential to protect a unit or most of your army by providing penalties to close combat and shooting as well as reducing the effectiveness of shooting attacks that do not use ballistic skill.

The Speed of Light

A significant improvement to weapon skill and initiative allowing you to strike first/simultaneously against everyone but enemies with the ‘Always Strike First’ special rule.  However you will likely remove the ability of ASF enemies to reroll their misses!  Considering the upgraded casting cost can affect most of your army, this is a very powerful spell.

Light of Battle

This spell grants the ability to pass leadership tests, limited usefulness and a good candidate to sacrifice for the signature spell.

Net of Amyntok

A spell that forces strength tests to perform actions it is primarily beneficial at targeting low strength units, it can hold up armies and ethereal units.


A strong direct damage spell that forces ward saves to be rerolled and becomes more powerful as you add multiple wizards with the Lore of Light

Birona’s Timewarp

A spell that doubles movement, increases attacks, and grants ASF.  It is a very solid combat augment when the higher level version can augment all units within 12”

The Lore of Life

This lore adds to the survivability of your army as well as allows you to recover the fallen and get them into battle.  It is a lore ideally suited to support steam tanks.

Lore of Life also has spells that can remove enemy characters and address large blocks of troops.

I strongly recommend a Level 4 Wizard Lore for this lore.  It is a strong primary lore and fair-to-weak secondary lore.

Lifebloom (Lore Attribute)

A means to heal your characters and your steam tank with every successful cast of a Lore of Life spell this is a very powerful lore attribute.

Earth Blood (Signature Spell)

A 5+ Regen save to a unit for a decent casting cost to mitigate wounds regardless of strength provided they are not flaming attacks.

Awakening of the Wood

A cheap direct damage spell that is best sacrificed for the signature spell if you aren’t forced to deal with ethereal units.

Flesh to Stone

A significant toughness augment that makes any unit extremely durable.

Throne of Vines

A spell that lets you avoid the fairly reliably avoid the effects of miscasting a spell and augmenting other spells from the Lore of Life.  As this is a remains in play it is also a way to eat up some power dice on your opponent’s turn if they want to get rid of it.

Shield of Thorns

A way to cause wounds to units locked in combat and another remains in play spell to eat up enemy power dice


This is a means to bring back your losses of rank-and-file.  This is ideal for bringing back expensive cavalry or Greatswords

The Dweller’s Below

A strength-based characteristic assault that can also target characters and allows no saves of any kind.  This is a way for a Lore of Life wizard to potentially kill enemy characters and reduce the combat effectiveness of nearly any enemy unit.

The Lore of Heavens

This lore has high strength direct damage spells and augments/hex that can swing combat favorably and protect you from shooting.  It also has the ability to physically move units on the table.

I do not recommend putting a Wizard Lord on the Celestial Hurricanum. 

This is a fair primary and secondary lore and can be enjoyed by both Lord and Hero-level wizards.

Roiling Skies (Lore Attribute)

Additional damage to flying units

Iceshard Blizzard (Signature Spell)

A hex that negatively affects ‘To Hit’ rolls in shooting and close combat as well as affecting non-ballistic skill shooting.
Harmonic Convergence

An augment that enables a unit to reroll all ‘1s’ of ‘To Hit’, ‘To Wound’, and Armor Saves.  This is an ideal augment for your expensive cavalry and your steam tank.

Wind Blast

A means to knock back enemy units which could put them out of charge range, into dangerous terrain, or smash them against impassible terrain or another unit.

Curse of the Midnight Wind

A hex that forces a reroll of a ‘6’ on all ‘To Hit’, ‘To Wound’ and Armor Saves.  This can swing combat effectively and mitigate wounds.

Urannon’s Thunderbolt

A high strength direct damage spell with a good range.

Comet of Casandora

A mean spell bringing devastation from the Heavens.   This spell is fantastic for area denial, hitting war machine bunkers, and wrecking small units.

Chain Lightning

A direct damage spell with high strength and the ability to jump between enemy units for more damage.  Another spell which is ideal in putting the hurt on multiple units.

The Lore of Shadow

This lore lacks meaningful direct damage spells but instead provides some of the most powerful augments/hexes in the game.  It also has the means to force initiative-based tests to surivive.

I strongly recommend a Lord-level wizard, perhaps two level three wizards.

Smoke and Mirrors (Lore Attribute)

This is a nice way to get a wizard out of trouble or a combat orientated character into the fight.  I think this has a lot of opportunities to see the potential of our Witch Hunters.

Melkoth’s Mystifying Miasma

An immensely powerful hex that can allow you to win combat against even the most elite enemy units as well as improving the effectiveness of Pit of Shades.

Steed of Shadows

A spell that allows a character to move as though they had the fly ability it has some usefulness but generally sacrificed for the signature spell.

The Enfeebling Foe

A powerful hex that reduces strength and can heavily limit the damage potential of an enemy unit as it reduces their probability to wound as well as reduces how much their attacks modify your armor save.

The Withering

A hex that significantly reduces toughness which allows us to wreck our enemies in close combat and shooting.  This is a great spell to use in conjunction with your war machines if you focus fire on a unit that needs to be destroyed or diminished.

The Penumbral Pendulum

An initiative based cannonball shot, another good candidate for sacrificing for the signature spell.

Pit of Shades

An initiative test based spell that scatters but removes models with no saves of any kind allowed.  This destroys Lizardman, Undead, Dwarves, and removes big threats such as those introduced by Tomb Kings (Necrospinx, Necrolith, etc) as well as war machines.

Okkam’s Mindrazor

An augment that allows your unit to fight as a strength based on their leadership value.  Combined with our easy access to hatred we can dish out a lot of high strength wounds.  This makes our Spearmen and Free Company devastating.

The Lore of Death

This lore has multiple spells to remove characters from units based on different characteristics and can provide wide-spread hexes across the battlefield.  It also provides one of the most feared remains-in-play spells in the game.

I strongly recommend a Level 4 wizard and this is a strong primary lore and a fair-to-weak secondary lore.

Life Leeching (Lore Attribute)

The ability to recover power dice to extend your magic phase; this is one of the most powerful lore attributes in the game.

Spirit Leech (Signature Spell)

A Leadership-based attack to kill characters in a unit or any individual model, best utilized by a Lord level caster due to their higher leadership value.

Aspect of the Dreadknight

Allowing a unit to cause Fear or Terror is nice, but this is a spell that is generally dropped for the signature spell.  It is important to remember you can use this spell to counter the effects of fear as well.

The Caress of Laniph

A direct damage spell exploiting the lack of physical strength of an enemy model which can include characters in a unit.


A hex that reduces the strength and toughness of your enemy.  This spell can also be cast at a higher cost to affect all units within 24”.  This makes our shooting and our combat devastating and has the ability to affect multiple phases and multiple combats nearly army-wide.  This compliments our army amazingly well.

Doom and Darkness

A significant penalty to leadership.  This spell is ideal for forcing the enemy to fail fear/terror checks, panic from our shooting/magic, and flee combats.  As this can affect multiple units (if you target the general) it can make for a quick and sweeping victory for the Empire.

The Fate of Bjuna

A direct damage spell exploiting the toughness of the enemy and can target enemy characters in units.

The Purple Sun of Xereus

A dangerous and volatile template-based spell that remains in play.  This could potentially kill your own wizard but is one of the most feared spells by many armies in the game.  A common tactic is to take a flying wizard and send this across the flank of your enemy’s army early in the game or to charge into combat and launch it point-blank into the enemy’s face.  Armies with low initiative and war machine crew tremble at the thought of what this spell can do.  It works well as a threat of force as well as often times your opponent will hold their dispel dice in anticipation of this spell; allowing other spells to get through.

Offline Countwarlord

  • Posts: 310
Re: 8th Edition Empire - Magic Lore Review
« Reply #3 on: May 01, 2012, 05:08:06 PM »
Very Nice  :::cheers::: I enjoyed  the read. and if you want any info on our units you can look at the tactica articles I posted.  :::cheers::: Very helpful read.



"Yeah I'm human so your probably stronger than me, tougher than me, faster than me, more skilled then me, and you probably know more about warfare than I could hope to learn in a dozen lifetimes.....but then again I'm the only one who brought a gun."

Offline Folken

  • Posts: 2737
Re: 8th Edition Empire - Magic Lore Review
« Reply #4 on: May 01, 2012, 05:42:43 PM »
My view is what each lore can do for you in combat, out of combat, and if it requires a lord as this will help determine what lists it fits best in.   Keep in mind, if you are going to bring warrior priests, their spells excel once you are in close combat so they would complement an out of combat lore nicely.

Out of combat: Limited  It can help you weather enemy fire and has one spell  can do some real damage to a large unit but overall not much to see here.
In combat: Superior Toughness buff and regeneration saves plus being able to bring units back gives life one of the greatest force multipliers in the game for close combat.
Suggested: Lord  You have to spend at least one spell spot on the throne of vines so its only viable with a Lord.

Out of combat: Limited  Some spells can wreak havoc on big, slow things like war machines and monsters as well as slower infantry blocks but not the workhorse of this lore.  Its hexes are remains in play so they can be set up turns in advance to undermine the opposing magic phase.
In combat: Superior Occam's mindrazor is one of the most effective melee buffs and the whole lore is full of hexes to undermine your opponent's troops.
Suggested: Lord preferred but not required  You could get by with just the signature spell but the strength of this lore is in how many spell threats it can present.

Out of combat: Excellent  No other lore will be able to deal out the raw damage outside of combat that fire can.  Assuming you have a shooting phase, all its spells are useful outside of combat.
In combat: Limited There are only a couple spells that are even legal once the target is in combat so your army better be ready to deal with what is left on its own.
Suggested: Any  This lore has no must have spells and a solid signature that can be boosted twice so you can go from level 1-4 with it.

Out of combat: Limited The magic missiles are not the most exciting spells though the cannonball one can do some damage on the right target.  Their hex can hold an enemy in one place or would a third of the unit but that isn't overly impressive.
In combat: Good The signature is a solid buff and there is a -1 to hit hex.  The character buffs can also be fun but lack the effect other lore's would have in combat unless you are in a situation where there would be minimal wounds.
Suggested: Hero  I think the best spell in this lore is the signature so I'd just take a hero mage.

Out of combat: Good  This lore can do a solid amount of damage and permanent hexing before combat is joined as well as making your BS shooting more effective.  It even can boost your armour to survive the walk to the enemy.
In combat: Good A mix of combat buffs and debuffs which can give your troops an edge over your enemy.
Suggested: Lord  You really want the full array of spells so you can cast one and if it doesn't get off you throw another

Out of combat: Good  This lore can do some real damage especially versus undead or daemons outside of combat and even completely prevent a unit from acting in phases of its turn.  Additionally, it can afford units protection against template weapon attacks.  It also can double the movement of a unit to help them close into combat quickly
In combat: Excellent A -1 to hit protection plus a WS 10 I 10 buff can give a solid swing to your troops in addition to giving +1 A and ASF which will be huge if your unit is either >S4 or has the reroll to wound prayer.
Suggested: Lord  The signature spell for this lore is not very exciting so I'd want to make sure I get a mix.

Out of combat: Very Good  This lore can damage multiple units and slow the enemies down as well as make them more prone to panicking or shut down a war machine.
In combat: Good Rerolls are always handy assuming you aren't getting them from another source and it will stack nicely with their signature -1 penalty or their chariot's +1 bonus.
Suggested: Lord recommended  The signature spell for this lore is excellent but you can get a lot out of multiple threats.

Out of combat: Very good  This lore is designed for taking out individual models and you can reduce the toughness of the enemy to open them up for shoting.
In combat: Okay It has an excellent debuff that can hit multiple units and in theory you can throw a purple sun into a unit in combat with you but that is the extent of what it can do once combat its joined.  Its spells are not magic missiles so the mage being in combat will not undermine it.
Suggested: Lord  The signature is leadership dependent and the range limits of it restrict what spells are viable at a given time.

Offline Folken

  • Posts: 2737
Re: 8th Edition Empire - Magic Lore Review
« Reply #5 on: May 01, 2012, 05:54:02 PM »
In summary:
Out of combat lores:


Combat Lores:

Offline Calisson

  • Bar Brawlers
  • Posts: 739
  • From Druchii.net
Re: 8th Edition Empire - Magic Lore Review
« Reply #6 on: May 01, 2012, 09:41:21 PM »
Thanks Folken for the outstanding work! Very instructive.
Apreciate also Bigglesworth's work, together it makes a solid tactica.