Monday, 18 July 2011

Storm of Magic Review

This isnt really a battle report about a game of Storm of Magic, but more of a review of the expansion (lets call it that way).

First, the context. My friend and I decided to test a game of Storm of Magic, based sorely on the model we own (so no big mammoth, no imperial dragon, etc). 4000 pts was the size decided, after considering how much we'd need to spend on Lord and Heroes for mages (how wrong were we...). I was playing Warrior of Chaos (for the first time ever), and my friend was playing Skaven.

My list was as follow ;
lvl4 Mage of Tzeentch + Book of Ashur (the book is a must, even in SoM's game)
lvl3 Mage of Fire (naked)
lvl4 Mage of Heavens, with Fencer blade, armour of destiny and Arabyan Puzzlebox (which i forgot to use the whole game)
BSB of Tzeentch with favour of the god
Exalted Heroes on Horse with the Dawn Star Sword, and 1+ Armor (4+ Wardsave)
lvl1 Mage of Death with Dispel Scroll
lvl1 Mage of Nurgle with puppet

27 Warrior of Tzeentch with Shield and Blasted Stardard
28 Warrior of Khorne with Halbard
2x5 Warhounds
7 Ogre of nurgle with Great weapon and chaos armor
2x Warshrine
3x Hell Cannon

from the SoM, i took ;
2 hydra with Spit Venom
DawnStar Sword and Arabyan Puzzlebox

I brought with me about 2000 pts worth of Dark Elf in case i was able to summon some help...

Things i've learned ;
First thing first, don't think of SoM as just another game of warhammer, there's many things that will alter the game in so many different way. Luck is very present (maybe even more than ever), and you can be even more surprised by what your ennemy may bring to the table with the monster available, and the crazy "game changer" items.

Second thing you must consider in SoM ; Mage are required (obviously), but you'll lose some, for many different reason, so its a good idea to bring many, and to stick the "most expendable" on Fulcrum. They'll be shot at, they'll be casted at, they'll get charged. In the end, a 3+ wardsave is good, but against 10-20 wounds, i might not always work.

Third, with all the big spell, we weren't really sure that it would be a real battle, and more of a case of who-cast-the-most-biggest-spell-win. We were wrong. Spell are hard to cast (Except when you make a lucky roll on the wheel), and miscast are even more scarier than ever (on fulcrum, that is). In the whole game, i think we managed to cast maybe 5-6 cataclysm spell total. Nobody managed to get a summoning spell off (damnit).

Fourth, 4d6 might seems alot, but its really just an average of 14 Power Dice, and opponent WILL get quite alot of dispel dice (we had many phase with 14 PD, and 10 DD). So getting many mage has its downside... you'll never manage to cast with every one of them.

Fifth, a Mage killer (like my Exalted Heroes on horse) is a must. With the Dawnstar Sword, he killed by himself 3 or 4 mages, and with careful placing, he's not an easy pray (remember that 8 autohit (and sometime autowound) really help turn a combat around.

Sixth, there's some imbalance (obviously). Tzeentch mark lowering the wardsave to 2+ on fulcrum is just mean, and some Cataclysm spell are much more interesting than others (c'mon, 6D6 S4 fire hit?)

Overall, it was ton of fun, and the game was pretty long (largely due to magic phase, and, well, 4000 pts on the table). After all is said and done, the game took 7 hours to complete, from unpacking, to storing the table. Will we play another game? definitely. Will we buy those very expensive model that are SoM only? Not likely. I don't think anyone is ready yet for the apocalypse type of purchase for fantasy yet. If games workshop has plans similar to Apocalypse for SoM, it's all good, because I'm sure once people start playing those game more regularly, interest will grow, so will purchase/profit/etc...

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