Friday, September 24, 2010

WHFB Primer to 8th Edition Common Magic Items Part 3

Let's keep the ball rolling.  This one will cover Talismans and Magical Standards.  Moving right along...


Talisman of Preservation:  45 points.  4+ Ward.  Why is this better than the armor that does the same thing?  Wizards can wear it.  That alone makes it worthwhile.  Yes it is expensive.  Yes it only stops 1/2 of the wounds for a ton of points.  But certain army books have no access to simple 4+ ward saves for their wizards at any price.  Sorcerer Lord (or regular Lord) of Tzeentch on disk with Enchanted Shield gets a 1+ armor save and 3+ ward.  That is pretty damn beefy.  Is this a no brainer pick for every army?  No, it is too expensive for that.  But it is something that in the right list can be amazing.  Rating: ****
Obsidian Lodestone: 45 points.  Magic resistance 3.  Very expensive, but combos we'll with units that already have a ward save.  If you're unit has a 5+ ward already, it becomes 2+.  I'm not saying this is worth the points at all, I'm just saying that there are all kinds of dirty tricks you can do with it.  Drop a Comet right in front of your magic bunker unit that now has a 2+ ward save against magic and see if anyone tries to charge them.  It's too situational and too expensive to be great, but it can be good with very specific lists.  Rating: **

Talisman of Endurance: 30 points.  5+ ward save.  A 5+ ward save is the benchmark for wards.  Anything better probably costs significantly more points or has some drawback.  Anything worse probably isn't useful.  This is slightly on the expensive side, but is still not terrible.  Rating: ***

Obsidian Amulet: 30 points.  Magic Resistance 2.  This item is simply 'OK' but there are certain times when it is more than OK.  A unit with a 4+ ward save already can turn into a 2+ ward save verse magic.  Put this on a character in a unit of Phoenix Guard and all the tricks you can pull with the Lodestone you can do with this, but for 15 points less.  Still, paying for magic resistance when so much of the dangerous magic avoids ward saves makes it somewhat difficult to pay for.  Rating: **

Dawnstone: 25 points.  Re-roll unsuccessful armor saves.  Pure garbage.  A character that has a good armor save already is almost always better off with a ward save than this.  Against lots of weak attacks you have to hope your armor and ward are good enough, and if you get hit with a high strength attack this isn't going to save you.  Rating: *

Opal Amulet: 15 points.  4+ ward save that is used once per game against the first wound you suffer.  Horrible waste of points.  Rating: *

Obsidian Trinket: 15 points.  Magic resistance 1.  I'm not sure sure I can think of a time when paying extra points for magic resistance 1 would be worthwhile.  Rating: *

Talisman of Protection: 15 points.  6+ ward save.  6+ isn't going to save your character.  On normal characters Rating: *.  On a Chaos Warriors Tzeentch Sorcerer Rating: ***

Seed of Rebirth: 10 points.  6+ regeneration.  The poor man's Talisman of Protection.  I just don't think you should ever take this item under any circumstances.  Rating: *

Dragonbane Gem: 5 points.  2+ ward save versus flaming attacks.  Here we go.  This is like the awesome helm of the same power except it doesn't add to your armor, wizards can wear it, and its 5 points less.  A lot of the ways people get regeneration in their army books is magic armor, so you need this as you can't wear two magic armors.  Very excellent item for the points.  Rating: *****

Pigeon Plucker Pendant: 5 points.  5+ ward save in close combat against models who fly.  Are you kidding me?  Rating: *

Luckstone: 5 points.  One use only, re-roll a failed armor save.  This item isn't great by any means.  But if you have 5 points left over on a list and literally have no other use for the 5 points, give it to your battle standard bearer.  Rating: **

Summary: Talismans are usually a better deal than the magic armors in the book and usually cheaper to get the same effect.  Plus you can give them to wizards which is a huge plus.
Magical Standards

I'm told these are magic banners.
Rampager's Standard: 55 points.  Unit can re-roll it's charge distance.  It is a lot over priced, especially compared to the +1 movement banner which is essentially just as useful.  Would it be nice to have?  Yeah, for 25 points that is.  Rating: *

Wailing Banner: 50 points.  Unit causes terror.  Units don't fail leadership often enough to make spending 50 points worth it.  Maybe if it forced them to make the test at -2 or something it would be worth the points but as of now it doesn't compare to army book banners of the same points cost.  Rating: *

Ranger's Standard: 50 points.  Units have strider special rule.  You have to be kidding me.  Maybe for 10 points.  Rating: *

Razor Standard: 45 points.  Unit gains armor piercing.  Holy cow this one is awesome.  It turns OK shooting units into excellent ones.  It turns good close combat units into deadly ones.  This should be taken in almost every army.  Rating: *****

Warbanner: 35 points.  +1 Combat resolution.  Since the CR bonus for additional ranks is capped at +3 in 8th edition this extra point of resolution is important.  To compensate for the increased power, they increased the price by 10 points from 7th edition.  This banner won't have a place in every army, but there are some where it will be golden, especially if you can get it at the 7th edition price in your army book.  Rating: ***

Banner of Swiftness: 15 points.  +1 movement.  Wow this is strong.  An extra inch of movement is absolutely killer in 8th edition as charge distance is random.  An extra non-random inch of charging is fantastic.  And the banner is a measly 15 points.  Rating: ****
Lichbone Pennant: 15 points.  Magic Resistance 1.  Compare this to the obsidian trinket.  They are essentially the same.  I have a hard time thinking of too many times I'd take this over Banner of Swiftness for the same point cost.  Rating: *

Standard of Discipline: 15 points.  +1 Leadership but cannot use the general's leadership.  This depends on the army.  Certain forces greatly benefit from this one, others don't.  Warriors of Chaos usually had LD8, and they usually don't have generals with something higher, so this can be very useful for them.  Armies with good leadership like Elves won't see much benefit.  The banner of Swiftness still owns it at the 15 point level.  Rating: **

Banner of Eternal Flame: 10 points.  Unit causes flaming attacks.  The best banner of the common banners.  Don't leave home without it.  It's cheap so if it isn't useful you won't feel bad, but when you do need it (Hydras, Treemen, Tomb Kings, Hellpit Abominations, Life Magic) you will wish you had it.  Seriously, always find room for it on one unit in your army.  Rating: *****

Gleaming Pendant: 5 points.  Re-roll your first failed leadership test per game.  A throw away 5 points that can save your ass.  Obviously, you only take this if you don't have a Battle Standard Bearer.  Some armies don't take a BSB because it's not in the gameplan, and that's where this can fill in if you have 5 throw-away points.  Rating: ***

Scarecrow Banner: 5 points.  Unit causes fear in units with flying.  I think this whole theme of shitty items that affect flyers is some kind of inside joke at GW.  I normally enjoy dry, British humor but this is too much.  Rating: *

In summary, some really good banners.  A couple must takes in there, in my opinion and a few that are just OK when speaking in generalities, but become rock stars for specific armies.  Are there any that I rated crappy that really stand out in particular army books?


  1. The place the Standard of Discipline really stands out is in your general's unit. The unit may still use his leadership then, at +1, and he also gains +1 for his Inspiring Presence. Ridiculously good for the price, there.

  2. The Rangers standard counts for all DT, so no tests at all for Knights charging through a forest, over rocky outcroppings and through rivers.