Part 1 dealt with the common weapons, so today we'll be talking about the common magic armors. A couple of things to note. First, wizards cannot wear magic armor with a few exceptions, so these items only apply to fighty heroes and lords, and a few unit champs that can take magic items. I'll talk about each item, give a few of its basic uses, strengths, and drawbacks. Then I'll assign is a score on a 5 point scale with 5 points being the best and one point being terribad. And we're off...
|This is not magic armor.|
Armor of Destiny: 50 points, Heavy Armor, 4+ Ward. Expensive, but powerful. Not every army book has access to a straight up simple +4 ward save with no drawbacks. Some books, though, have better/cheaper ward saves available. The strength of this item has a lot to do with the available options in your army book. Even in a book with weak options, this one is still expensive. Rating: **
Trickster's Helm: 50 points. +1 to your armor save. Any successful wounding rolls against the wearer must be re-rolled. This is another powerful, but expensive item. This item is best on high toughness characters where str 3 weapons need 6+ to wound. If this item were 25 points it would be a no brainer, but as of now it is simply too expensive to be of great use. Rating: **
Armor of Silver Steel: 45 points. 2+ armor save that cannot be improved further. The strength of this item depends on the other armors available in your army book. The Dark Elves have a 1+ save for 35 points, making this trash for them. The Wood Elves have nothing like this. This armor excels when characters have Great Weapons or Halberds and cannot use a shield. Expensive but can be invaluable if you want a 2 handed weapon and do not want to sacrifice armor save to get it. Rating: **
Armor of Fortune: 35 points, Heavy Armor, 5+ ward save. This is a good all around piece of equipment. Good but not great. It's pretty expensive for a 5+ ward. But again, not every book can get a simple 5+ ward at any price. Rating it objectively though, it's still overpriced. Rating: **
Helm of Discord: 30 points, +1 to your armor save. Anyone in base to base must pass a leadership test or cannot attack and is hit automatically. Frankly, this is garbage. In 8th Edition people don't fail leadership tests. Anything that is good when your opponent fails leadership tests is by definition not good. Rating: *
Glittering Scales: 25 points. Light Armor. Enemies are at -1 to hit the wearer. Nifty piece of armor. Almost game breakingly good. Usually people hit on 4+. Turning it into 5+ is good. Problem is that most things you're scared of hitting you aren't worried about it. But still not bad. If it was heavy armor it would be a no-brainer. Rating: ***
Shield of Ptolos: 25 points. Shield. Grants a 1+ save versus shooting attacks. This is simply not good. The shooting a lone character is most worried about are warmachines, and those will usually negate your armor anyway. If your character is in a unit, he gets a look out sir save and this isn't needed. Rating: *
Spellshield: 20 points. Shield. Magic resistance 1. Garbage. 6+ ward vs. magic only for 20 points. Pass. Immediately. Rating: *
Gambler's Armor: 20 points. Heavy armor, 6+ ward. Better in every imaginable way than the spell shield. But still nothing to write home about. Rating: *
Dragonhelm: 10 points. 2+ ward save against flaming attacks, +1 to your armor save. This is awesome. There are so many ways to get regeneration saves and this combos amazingly with all of them. If your character has 4+ regeneration this completely covers his bases, and gives him +1 to his armor save to boot. Rating: ****
Enchanted Shield: 5 points, adds +2 your armor save. Holy points reduction from 7th edition. Since you can't go below 1+ armor save anymore this is much less useful. Allowing people to get -1 armor saves in 7th edition made it brrrroken. Now its just 'OK.' If you need a cheap way to get 1+ armor saves without overload on magic items, this is it. Compare it to armor of Silver Steel. It's 40 points cheaper and the only restriction is you can't use a 2 handed weapon. Other than that, virtually identical. Rating: ***
Charmed Shield: 5 points. Shield. Ignore the first hit the bearer has on a 2+. This sounds pretty bad at first. But it does grant the ability to ignore a cannonball or a bolt on a 2+. This item is actually a good deal for a character mounted on a monster, since monsters will attract bolt throwers and cannons. It can be the difference between getting into combat on your dragon without having taken a wound, or being killed outright. I'm not saying its a no brainer for a monster rider, but it is something to consider. Rating: **
In summary, you'll notice there are no 5 star magic armors. Almost all of them are overpriced for what they do. The only time they are a value are when they provide a must needed service that your army book can't provide. Otherwise the points are generally better spent elsewhere.