Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Interesting BoLS WHFB Article

I already did my review of the common magic items here, here, here, here, and here.  I'm sure most of my readers who care about Fantasy have checked that out already.  

Today Big Red over at BoLS posted his review of the top 10 items and there were some interesting statements.  I agree with his review on a lot of them, and its nice to see that they agree with my conclusions from a few months ago.  Looks like I may know a thing or two about this game.  Either that, or we're both total scrubs.

So I'm going to go through his review and post my comments in orange.

10 – Sword of Swift Slaying.  Heroes often have higher strength and initiative than those they fight.  This sword gives them Always Strikes First, which both keeps pesky Elves from getting rerolls and grants rerolls against many enemies.  And winning challenges before the enemy can strike works out pretty well in most circumstances.

I agree whole-heartedly.  In my review I mentioned how this was the best magic weapon in the book.  The only thing keeping it from being better is that many armies have heroes under 5 strength which limits it's ability to wound.

9 – Fozzrik’s Folding Fortress.  This item would rank higher if it wasn’t all a Lord choice could carry and did not dictate the plan for your army.  Making an army around the Folding Fortress is great if all you plan to do is cast spells and/or shoot. High Elves with a giant unit of Archers (and mages) in one of these are extremely annoying.

A cute gimmick and a list built around it can be scary but I've never seen anyone actually take it and crush people.  If people are building their tournament lists with Watchtower in mind, this won't be as scary as it could be if they weren't.

8 – Feedback Scroll.  Yes, it actually rarely kills anyone.  But the CHANCE that you will roll 4-5 5+s and drop an enemy Mage dead can put the enemy off his magical game from the get-go.

Disagree.  This isn't scary at all.  It never kills anyone, and most people wouldn't change their spell casting plan even if they know you have this.  Not a powerful item.

7 – Earthing Rod. Like a Get Out of Jail Free Card, this lets you reroll that high or low Miscast once per game, keeping your Mage Lord in play instead of destroyed of taken down d3 Levels.  This is almost a required item for any Lord-level caster who isn’t a Slaan (and thus has Cupped Hands of Evil).
Another waste of points.  Miscasts are bad, but they aren't so bad that you can't just power through them most of the time.  Do people actually take this item on every Lord level caster?  I don't buy that.
6 – Razor Standard. The Razor Standard makes those Greatswords or Hammerers more deadly, and turns Chaos Warriors of Khorne with Great Weapons into a “must avoid” unit for anything expecting to make armor saves.  Swordmasters with this Banner are simply unfair.
Agreed but for different reasons.  He is suggesting turning already scary units into more scary units.  But that's not what it's for.  It's for turning non-scary units into scary ones.  Remember kids, deathstars are not the answer, a plurality of scary threats are.
5 – Talisman of Preservation.  Who doesn’t love a 4+ Ward Save?  Your Archmage approves.
Expensive but good.  Like I said in my review, how good it is depends on the quality of ward saves available in your army book.  Dark Elves laugh at it.  Warriors of Chaos love it.
4 - Armour of Destiny. Especially one that comes on Heavy Armor?  This item makes fighting Lords much more survivable or the massive number of armies that do not have 4+ Ward Saves in their own books, and helps those that had 4+ Ward Saves, too.
I'd switch the order.  Since wizards can't wear armor this one is more powerful but less useful.
3 – Dragon Helm. Adding one to the armor save and providing a 2+ Ward Save against flaming attacks, the Dragon Helm finds its way into almost every army.  And it is cheap.
Agreed, except the one wizards can wear is better despite the armor save buff.  When combined with an item that grants regeneration, this is indeed a power item.
2 – Crown of Command.  The Crown of Command is one of the few items that benefits cavalry more than infantry.  The number of Dreadlords with this and the Pendent of Khaeleth on a Dark Pegasus that have magically appeared around here is astounding.
This should have been #1.  This is by far the most powerful item in the book.  Making a character, and by extension a unit, stubborn is insanely strong.  I disagree that a 300 point Dreadlord whose only job is to tarpit enemy blocks is the best use for it, but the item is so powerful that it should be somewhere in most lists.
1 – Charmed Shield. For almost no points, this shield gets you out of that first Cannonball to the face most of the time.  This is especially true for Warriors of Chaos – a Chaos Lord pays less for this shield than for a normal one.
It could ignore that first cannon ball.  Or much more likely it could ignore that first Str 3 arrow.  In some armies it is cheaper than a mundane shield, but it's true cost is not it's points, its the fact that it prohibits you from taking other magic armors.  Magic armors are usually the items that make your fighty characters truly tough.  This one is wildly overrated.
Not Included: Power Scroll.  I did not include the Power Scroll as we believe this item was a mistake and should be removed in the next Errata.  If you insist in taking this item, here's a great idea for a physical prop to represent it - your IRS Auditor employee badge.  No other single item so easily takes the fun out of the game.
 Sounds like someone got butt hurt by a Power Scroll.  Man, if you think Power Scroll is tough, wait until you play against this dude Teclis.  I know High Elves are sooooo rare you might never see him, but wait until you do.  "We believe this item was a mistake and should be removed in the next Errata."  Don't hold your breath.  If it was so powerful you'd see it in every army, but in fact you only see it used in certain armies that can take advantage of an alpha strike.  Those that play defensively don't take this item usually.  It is nice, and I will be taking it in my 'Ard Boyz list, but it isn't OMG ERRATA IT OUT OF EXISTENCE LIKE MARTY MCFLY AWESOME.


  1. You know there's a penalty for not agreeing, right =p

    Seriously good criticisms here...

  2. I really wish someone would write an article for BOLS or any other blog entitled "How I learned to stop worrying and love the Power Scroll".

  3. Heh, he says all this somewhat good stuff, and then takes away all his credibility with his last statement. Ah well, I don't really read BoLS for their tactics anyways. /shrug