Friday, 6 April 2012

A Critical Evaluation of the Lore of Beasts

So, part two in the series of magic moments for beast players: The Lore of Beasts. Lets face it, this is Lore of the Wild on heat, it's such a stronger choice, taking the Wild just doesn't cut it when you can take this far, far superior lore.

Also, just need to let you guys know about this video:

She's Warhammer Joey, she's an English (surely with that accent) Wood Elf player (boo hiss!). She does sum up the Lore quite well, and her vids are worth a gander just for her quirky humour. However, I do disagree on some points, so read on younglings...

The Lore of Beasts

Lore Attribute: Wildheart

Straight off the bat I'm going to disagree with Joey, who doesn't think this is useful. It reduces the difficulty of casting any spell from this lore on a beastman, monster and steeds. This is brilliant for us beastmen mages. Quite often a magic phase dies when a caster loses concentration. This reduces the chances of failing to cast by one - the number of times I've failed a cast by one is ridiculous, so anything which helps keep your magic phase going is good. Sure, it will be an easy spell to dispel, but it's still making your opponent burn his dispel pool. Even Joey can appreciate that when she Wissan's her Treemen on a 9+. Excellent, 4/5.

Signature Spell: Wissan's Wildform 9+

I've included the "real" casting values for us beastie boys with the attribute. It's a brilliant spell, and you should never leave the house without it. Gors become strength 4 (5 with the beast banner) and T5 - I'm not going to lie, this spell has won me games. Expect nasty empire / daemon players to try and use items which both dispel and destroy this spell, because it's that damn good. 5/5

Flock of Doom 5+

Flock of seaguls as it also goes by. Bit rubbish, not great, 2D6 st 2 hits is not going to break ranks of infantry or kill off hellpit abominations. What it does do however is nobble ethereal units. You're looking at one or two wounds maximum from this spell, which can be enough to cause a panic check in those pesky hexwraiths or spirit hosts. I'd always drop this for wissan's unless I knew I'd be facing ethereal units. 2/5

Pann's Impenetrable Pelt 7/15+

Not bad, boost one or all of your characters within range to have +3 toughness. Pretty darn useful if you don't want them to die, in combat with a monster, or you're in a challenge with something who's got nasty stats. I'd probably choose it's sister spell beast of horros though just to make the character that wee bit more powerful, and Wyssan's will already give you a boost in Toughness that most rank and file will struggle to hurt you anyway. 3/5

Amber Spear 8+/14+

Monster killer right here. In an army which lacks ranged attacks of substance this can you put a huge hole on a bloodthirster's chest. Steamtanks (pre nerf), hellpits, treemen - all suffer from the upgraded st10 bolt (and the minus one to cast that being a monster gives you). Lone infantry characters would probably suffice from being shot with the st6 version, but how often do you see those? 4/5

Curse of Anraheir 9+ (10+ on pesky elven archers).

Another bloody good spell. There's a lot of controversy whether it affects units going over open ground (as it qualifies as a "Type of terrain" in the big rule book). This is a spell that's ideal for dealing with nasty cavalry who are going to charge you. They suffer damage on the way in (with no armour saves, take that mournfangs and chaos knights) then proceed to whiff their attacks as they are at -1 to hit. A real life saver spell. Also useful to chuck at an archer unit as it affects shooting as well. Proper joooob! You can choose to extend it's range but to 72"? Seriously? 36" is plenty enough range thank you!

Savage beast of Horros 9/19+

Friendly characters get +3 attacks and strength. Can be great. I successfully got my Great bray shamen 6 attacks and strength 8 with rerolls to hit. Now that is steadfast breaker. Beast characters are all rather tough but giving them this helps make them character killers - useful in Blood and Glory scenarios where killing the leader is extremely important. Useful against those pesky monsters like T8 Sphynxes - even wounding on 4s with a load of attacks you're likely to cause it some discomfort. 4/5

Transformation of Kadon 15+/19+

Must admit, I've not cast this particular spell yet - it's just finding a time to do so! Ideal if you get into combat and cast it at the end of your phase. The monster must be able to fit though, so its impossible to cast if someone's in the rear of your unit. The Storm of Magic monsters are ideal for representing this spell, and they come on a chariot base. This footprint means that according to larger character bases it effectively gives you an extra 7 men for ranks - meaning at least one full bonus for ranks at the end of combat. Nifty! True, it can be dispelled in your opponent's next phase, but that's at least 3 power dice your opponent's chucking at it that he's not chucking at pit of shades. I'm sure also that which ever monster you pick, it will tear a big gorey gash in whatever unit is in base to base. - 4/5

Useful ways to run Lore of Beasts

I usually run a lv1 beast mage with a level 4 shadow mage, leaving the level 1 to cast a cheeky Wissan's at either the start or end of my phase (depending how deep my opponent's dispel pool is).

A level 4 mage with beasts I invert and take a level 1 with shadow's signature Melkoth's Mystifying Miasma. Curse an anraheir and melkoths both allow me to pick one or two shooty units to debuff, and Wissan's on my own unit help make most incoming arrow or black powder fire nothing to worry about.

I try and save my big character buffs until the end of the game, when combat's become extremely important and the death of a character can mean the difference between victory or defeat.  

Overall, I give this Lore 4/5. Only one spell really boosts your units susurvivability, the rest help either make your characters wrecking machines or are middle range hexes. As good as Shadow? I don;t think so, but I REALLY want it to be.


  1. Ahhh now I see where you're coming from with the Wildheart attribute. I was looking at it purely offensively, casting hexs and damage, neglecting that if you're augmenting you own units (especially for that beastman mage!) it helps there too. Ok so its not *terrible* but its not in the same league as Death's generating more dice or Tomb King's unit regenerating Nehekara.

  2. Well the death attribute is terribly broken (that lore has caused me more pain recently than I ever thought possible!). When you have a purple sun chew through three of your units, causing them all to panic since your general has -3 leadership, then watch as your opponant scoops up 20+ dice and proceed to roll 10x 5+ - thats a real life doom and darkness right there.

    Nehekara's a rubbish lore anyway, when people are casting the march spell on units in combat just to get the attribute you know theres something wrong with the lore :p

    I think we can all agree its better than the wood elf lore attribute - for every successfully cast spell, the mage plants a new tree.


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