Monday, December 20, 2010

Today in Awful Warseer Tactics Part 12: Power Scroll Edition

It had to happen.  We have danced around the subject of how uber leet A+ #1 Awesome the Power Scroll is in 8th Edition for some time now.  I've said what I have to say on the subject many times, but now it's time for the real experts to chime in.  And by that completely non-sarcastic comment, I am of-course talking about the Warseer drones. 

Let me preface this abortion of a thread by stating my opinion of Power Scroll.  It's good.  It's a gimmick.  It is a really hard to stop gimmick.  It isn't something you should break out in fun pick up games because it has the potential of pushing the game in one player's direction very early in the game.  But that said, there is nothing wrong with it for tournaments.  Most tournaments are open list and you can see prior to the game if your opponent has it, and on who.  You can adjust your deployment to avoid getting raped by it turn one.  It shouldn't take you by surprise in a tournament game. 

Secondly, I want to make mention that the Power Scroll is only scary because of what it can do Turn One before you've even had the chance to move a single model.  If you get hit with a Purple Sun or Dweller's Below or Final Transmutation or Pit of Shades on turn 2 or 3 that shouldn't be a big deal, because those spells are a part of the game and you have to expect that you're going to get smashed by one bad spell at least once per game.  So basically, on the first turn if you get smashed by a Purple Sun cast by a level 1 with Scroll I feel for you, that's tough.  If you get hit with it on the third turn, it isn't so unbalanced, is it?

Third, the Power Scroll is nothing compared to Teclis or the Book of Hoeth.  They get the irresistible on any roll of a double, except not just a one time use.  And Teclis ignores his first miscast per turn so he doesn't give a crap about the consequences.  If people are this cunty about Power Scroll they must go apoplectic when they play against High Elves.

So that's what I think.  This Warseer thread is a typical simpleton asking who uses it and why.  I think you'll agree with me that the most fun from this thread is not the people complaining about how over powered it is, it's the people who clearly don't have a clue how to use it.  As I will point out in orange, some people simply do not understand how this item is best used.

Malorian: o, the power scroll, one time use makes any double on a spell be irresistable force and miscast. Who uses it?  And when I say 'use it' I mean it's in more than half the lists you play with.

This thread has nothing to do with the question of it being overpowered or not, and is not meant to point fingers at anyone, I just want to know how popular it is.  Personally I have never used the power scroll. The idea of forcing a miscast and possible killing the wizard and the unit he's in vastly out weighs the damage the spell might do.  This has nothing to do with tactics but rather to the fact that I don't like killing my own guys, especially my characters.

Remember what I said about people not getting it?  When you put a Power Scroll on a level 1 or level 2, you aren't putting them with a unit.  They usually deploy out of LOS far away from anyone who could be hurt by their miscast.  And your math is off.  Potentially killing a Level 1 mage is definitely worth casting a Dweller's Below on your opponents 600pt unit containing their Level 4 mage.  Or casting a Purple Sun and wiping out 1/3 of their army first turn.  These would be good trades.

SSSK: I don't use it, but I think this is something to do with my policy on one use items. I just don't buy them, because I'd rather have something I can use repeatedly.  The only exception to this rule is the hail of doom arrow, which I used to use every game. However once I noticed that I was getting an average of about 5 shots with it (after a good 20 or 30 games), I gave up on the idea.  Also I don't buy suicide wizards.As they say, "a shaman is for life, not just for christmas", so making him do one big bang and then either be dead or have his wizard level reduced to nothing seems a waste to me.  

Most one use items are crap.  This one isn't.  A winning lottery ticket is a one use item, but most people would agree it has some good value.  As far as suicide wizards go, they are as good as their tactical options, as I described above.

Coleshaw: I don't use it because:

1) I don't depend on magic to any great degree;
2) I don't want to blow up my own wizard/unit (yes, I do use Goblins, but that's not the same thing! );
3) There's so much hate that blows around this item, I think it could make for unpleasant gaming experiences, regardless of its actual effect on the game. Therefore, if I used it and it didn't work well, I'd have wasted it, while if I used it and it worked great, my opponent would get mad about it. Lose-lose. 

You're dumb because:

1)  You can't depend on magic (unless you're using Teclis or a Slann) but it has to be at least 1/3rd of your game plan, even if that game plan is shutting down magic.
2)  Oh you use Goblins.  That explains it.  Since you can't cast a Purple Sun or any of the other uber spells the item is a waste for you anyway.
3) This is true to an extent, like I said don't use it in friendly games.  Goblin armies aren't going to get much mileage out of the Scroll, so I wouldn't complain at all if you used one.

Psygon: I do not use it as I am still scared of miscasts, despite a (seemingly) less brutal miscast table. I look at people who throw six dice at a spell like this >< more often than not because, well, I guess I am a conservative. Blowing up 300 odd points of wizard isn't my idea of a good time (unless, of course, it is my opponent's wizard), much less 300 points of knights. 

Wait, so you put a Power Scroll on a Level 4 Wizard who rides with a unit of knights?  Are you out of your mind?  Do you have any idea what the Power Scroll is for?

Djekar: By the definition given in this thread - no, I don't use it. Not because I'm scared of miscasts or opponent retaliation but just because many times it doesn't seem worth the investment.

Granted about 3/4 of the time I'm playing with Orcs and so I don't have the "Hey, I PScrolled Dwellers, make that death check for your level 4" or "Cool, I PScrolled empowered Soulblight when everything and the kitchen sink is in combat" moments. 

What is it with Orc and Goblins players?  If you can't use the book lores there is no need to use the Power Scroll, unless your army specific lores (Skaven) are as scary as book lores.
rodfarrugia: got a friend who uses it every game against my ogres on a flying wizard with lord of death on it. the thing that should change is the whole being able to march and cast offensive spells . power scroll is fine if you are not getting dumped on first day. 

Some friend.  You guys play friendly games and not only does he use the Scroll, he also tailors his list to beat your... Ogre list?  Ouch.
Leth Shyish'Phak: I've never used it myself and neither has anyone else that goes to my GW, not for quite a while I think, anyway. I prefer to have something that I can use more than once, my Exalted Sorcerers usually have the third eye, conjoined homonculus and the blood of tzeentch, while my Empire Wizard Lord runs around with the rod of power.

More of this "I want something I can use more than one" argument.  I don't get that.  Just because something is a one use item it's not good?  How many times per game does the average character use its magic sword?  Twice?  Some big difference there.

Russelmoo: I don't use it because if I want a spell to go off I throw six dice at it- I guess the powerscroll then makes it nearly impossible not to get a spell off, but it's also then going to nearly guarantee a miscast as well- I'd rather throw six dice in the chance that I will get off the powerful spell and also not miscast- 

Ah Russelmoo, a cretin who shows up in nearly every installment of this series.  And as usual, he doesn't get the use of it.  Let me spell it out for you: a Level 1 mage with Power Scroll costs around 100 points depending on the army.  If you can kill 100 points of stuff with a single spell (not hard) you're usually far ahead.

Sulla: Played it with a lvl2 DE sorceress with purple sun vs VC. Worked exactly as I expected for the win. Gentleman's agreement after that not to use it again. Too easy.  

Congrats on reaching a gentleman's agreement.  Who knew your friends could be friendly.

Surgency: I don't use it, for a few reasons:

I don't rely on magic to win my games.
I prefer lots of smaller, useful spells to 1 really big one 

No one besides Lizards or HE should rely on magic to win the game, but if it can help you win the game, why not?  Why is a smaller spell more useful?  The most useful is the spell that helps  me win the game, whether its a small spell or a big one.

Gork or Possibly Mork: I've never used it and have no intention of doing so. Not so much because it's does what it advertizes but because I don't like the idea of blowing up my wizard and half a unit along with him. 


And that's it for my sanity, and this thread.



    nuff said.


  2. I think putting power scroll on a level one or two is a waste as it will generally not get a spell that is worth scrolling.

    It is very good on many level 4s in the game though.

  3. Oh no, you're one of them!

    Here is how you do it.

    1. Roll the level 4's spells first. If the level 4 rolls the uber spell, you swap it for the signature spell.

    2. Level 2 rolls his two spells. One of them will likely be #6 or one the level 4 wrote. Somewhere in the realm of 90%+ chance. If it's a double you get to pick. Which one will you pick? The uber spell.

    And that's how you do it kids.

  4. I guess I would hate to put it on a level 1 or 2 that will only get the spell off once, when the level 4 is likely to get it off multiple times. Granted it isn't great for every army, but lore of life slann with dwellers or a WoC Sorcerer on disc with Gateway can put out a lot of punishment.

  5. Thanks again Mr. Νικηφόρος, I just realise how to use the power scroll properly. I could use this trick with a Lv4 NGoblin shaman and a Lv2 NgGoblin shaman and try to set off a Curse of Da Bad Moon on the first turn. Or is it too unethical?

    The only way you could get screwd over is if the Lv4 rolls the sixth spell twice or more? Or is there a way round that too?

  6. Yes. If the L4 rolls the 6th spell, since they are doubles you turn one of them into any spell of your choice. You then trade the remaining #6 in for the signature spell.

    It's an OK trick, assuming the 6th spell is that good. I think it actually works for Goblins since you don't care if the L2 dies, and the L4 is mostly there for magic defense and the occasional offensive spell.

    Its not something to break out at a friendly game, but I'd try it at a tournament for sure.

  7. Hey, cheers man. I had the whole process of choosing spells totally wrong in my head. For some reason I thought you had to roll everyone together and then substitute double spells and then substitute for signature spells. Thanks for clearing that up for me. I now realise having 3 Lv2 shamans is not the wisest choice.

    I am going to try that in my next few games and see how it goes. It's not like people can hate me even more or something so I'll be ok :P