End Times Magic: The Basics According to Rules As Written, End Times magic cannot be required unless one side is playing an army or unit from Khaine: Book Two or if both players okay it. Assuming you are playing this, here are the basics. Then again, my local gaming store has decided to use every ET optional rule EXCEPT for End Times Magic in tournament play, so it might not catch on. I like theoryhammer, so I’m going to summarize the basic rules and what this means for list building and game play. Feel free to correct me if I come up with a conclusion that doesn’t stand to real-world testing. All Wizards of level 3 or higher have a bonus End Times spell for his lore(s) and Summon Arcane Fulcrum. End Times spells are difficult to cast, but cannot be dispelled Implications: This raises the value of Slann and Tehenhauin versus our level one and two casters. I’ll cover the individual spells later. If a wizard knows one spell of any lore normally, he knows ALL the spells now. If a wizard would have loremaster normally, then you can to re-roll failed castings of that lore on non-End Times spells that are below 15+ to cast. Implications: Even a lowly Skink gets all seven spells, you probably don’t ever want to bother shelling out the points to make a Skink level two. Tet gets to re-roll his failed castings which redeems him for not being level three. He still has a low points cost for everything he brings to the table. This means a WD Slann gets 56 spells to choose from Turn One. This also means that a Focus of Mystery Slann can swap out spells and then immediately get their lost High Magic spell back, gain seven spells from another lore and retain the ability to re-roll failed casting of most High Magic spells. I don’t know which one is better: Wandering Deliberations or Focus of Mystery. Much like Archie with the age old Betty versus Veronica question, there is no wrong answer. Even a vanilla lore Slann isn’t bad. You can get lore mastery on your favorite BRB lore (or Undeath if you’re weird like Scalenex) and not have to spend a single point on disciplines. Here’s another fun fact many people haven’t considered. If you have two Slann you can use Telepathic Confabulation to swap spells. Just like with Focus of Mystery Slann, neither Slann will actually lose a spell and they will gain an entire lore with each swap. Not sure if this optimal though. When one Slann can get so many spells, we have relatively little incentive to shell out the points for a dual Slann army. We are aren’t the only army to benefit from End Times magic, but our toads are certainly floating high with THREE unique ways to pick up gobs of extra spells for our wizard lords. Rolling a natural 1 or 2 on the dice will still cause a spell to auto-fail, but a wizard never suffers from broken concentration. Implications: This will create a small bias for all armies to favor casting several weak spells as opposed to a few nuke spells. Without the possibility of breaking concentration, this also means a level four wizard does not risk as much if they try dispel any enemy spell with relatively few dice. If your level four Slann fails to dispel the first enemy spell, you don’t have to switch to using your level one Skink to try to dispel stuff. Players roll 4d6 to generate power dice, there is now a 24 dice cap on total power and dispel dice. The defending player gets the highest two dice for dispel dice. Implications: Statistically, the defending player will have more proportionately more dispel dice than they did under the regular BRB system. This means on average fewer spells will be successfully cast. Weird huh? A Wizard can cast a spell twice in one magic phase if the spell is not an End Times spell, requires less than 15+ to cast, and the caster did not already fail casting that spell this phase. Implications: This will create a moderate bias for Wizards to spamming a few cheap spells rather than focusing on nuke spells. Obviously if a wizard fails to meet the required casting value, they fail, but this opens up enthusiastic rules debates (not on this thread please) about whether or not a spell is successfully cast if it is dispelled by the defending player. To avoid hassles midgame, work this out with the other player ahead of time. Whichever way it goes, it will be fair because both sides are constrained/assisted the same way. The loophole for boosted spells was closed for this rule. If you cast an augmented spell that required a 15+ or higher, you cannot cast the cheaper version later in the same phase. With an Engine of the Gods Arcane Configuration to the right lore, you can lower a 15+ spell to 14+ and potentially cast it multiple times. Candidates include augmented Amber Spear, Augmented Regrowth, Final Transformation, Chain Lightning, Purple Sun...Purple Sun!!!!! Power and dispel dice choices are somewhat random. After selecting a spell to cast, you roll a d6. The number rolled is the maximum number of power dice you can use. The defending player also rolls a d6, this is the maximum number of dispel dice he can use. Once committing to casting a spell, you are required to throwing one die at this. Implications: This creates an extreme bias towards casting a large number of cheap spells as opposed to a few nuke spells. Not everyone is good at doing math in their heads, but if you take the casting level of a spell, subtract the wizard level and then divide by the number of dice you are using, that is the average die roll you need. If the average die roll is over 3.5 that means you have less than a 50% chance of succeeding (barring double 6s). Lots of spells require 4 to 6 dice to have a reasonable chance of success. Does that mean you should never try to cast them? No. That just means you should try them with greater discretion. If you try a big money spell and get a poor d6 roll, just throw one die at the spell. With no broken concentration you aren’t out much if you do this. Besides, there is a silver lining. If you roll high enough to cast a 4+ dice spell, odds are at least 50% that your opponent will not be allowed to use enough dispel dice to stop you. You are increasing your risk of failure but lowering your risk of being blocked. End Times spells can't be dispelled at all. Half of the time, you will be the magic defender. Since you aren’t guaranteed to be able to use as many dispel dice as you’d prefer, items like Dispel Scrolls, the Scroll of Shieling, and Cube of Darkness will be even more valuable than in normal games. Magical Lodestones: all Mystical Monuments and Arcane Architecture add +2 to all channeling attempts for wizards within 6 inches Implications: This stacks with Harmonic Convergence. If you are playing the terrain placement system where players alternate placing pieces of terrain and you have a Slann with Harmonic Convergence, then you want to call dibs on placing any Magical Lodestone pieces. Place them where your Slann is likely to end up. If your Slann has Temple Guard, you probably want to place the Lodestone piece in the dead center of the table. If your Slann is solo, this is less important because of the spell Conjure Arcane Fulcrum. Every wizard of level three or higher gets Conjure Arcane Fulcrum, even Lord Kroak (not that he’d want to leave his Unbreakable Temple Guard to enter a fulcrum). It summons an arcane fulcrum within 6 inches of the caster and puts the caster on it even if they have a monstrous mount or otherwise have a large base but they cannot be joined by a unit. Arcane fulcrums act as buildings, providing Stubborn and Hard cover to the solo wizard occupant. It also bestows Immune to Psychology, immunity to multiple wounds, immunity to Stomps and Thunderstomps, and a 3+ Ward Save (not that it matters a lot for Slann) and acts a magical lodestone for the wizard in the building (but apparently not for other wizards near it). Assaults work like building assaults, but only one enemy model at a time can assault a wizard in an arcane fulcrum. With a Slann’s high number of wounds and myriad options for healing, a Slann is probably not going to be threatened by most attackers other than the 500-1000 point End Times character riding a monster and using a shared profile. If you can’t magic the crap out of said enemies, plop a big deep ranked unit of Steadfastness between your Arcane Fulcrum and any End Times mega-characters. In my opinion, as useful as arcane fulcrums are, I would not normally want a Slann to ditch his Temple Guard to occupy one, unless there were no mega-characters or monsters capable of threatening my Slann. It does provide a major option for solo Slann. It’s also the only ET spell with a fairly low casting difficulty, 12+, so it’s not just for Slann. If a garden variety enemy wizard is on an Arcane Fulcrum, you want to throw a Stegadon or Carnosaur at it. If the enemy wizard in question is a mega-character from the End Times, don’t bother assaulting it at all. Until we get our own monstrous combined profile End Times characters, we don’t have any single model that can threaten such a wizard. Also, if Malekith, Nagash, or whoever else is sitting on an Arcane Fulcrum, they are substantially less dangerous to you casting spells with +2 to channeling attempts than they would be if they were casting spells while smiting your troops with their overpowered magic weapons. Our End Times Spells Assuming a level 4 caster, if you are aiming for over a 50% success rate (barring IF) a 15+ needs 4 dice, 20+ needs 5 dice and 25 needs 6. If you like to play the long odds, you can make a go for the spells with 3, 4, or 5 dice respectively, but going below that, your odds of success are so low as to be laughable. Since you only have a 50% chance to be able to use 4 or more dice, that means you only have about a 25% chance to cast even the lightest ET spells. 25+ is almost impossible to cast. For better or worse, LM do not have access to any 25+ spells. If you can get over the difficult hurdle of casting an ET spell, it cannot be dispelled. High Magic: Deadlock 20+ to cast Hex with unlimited range. A single enemy wizard cannot channel, cast, or dispel until the start of the Deadlock caster’s next turn. Very nasty but your odds of getting enough dice to cast this are pretty low. Though with High Magic and the ability to reroll failure, you can probably get this off with 4 dice, it’s still risky both for whiffing your d6 power dice roll and for rolling IF. I wouldn’t try this unless you were fighting an extra potent wizard. Naturally this is a bad spell for us to be on the receiving end for given how mighty our spellcasters are. Fire: Withering Heat: 20+ for a potent Hex. It bestows flammable on the entire enemy army and lets flaming attacks re-roll to wound against the enemy army. All enemy charges, fleeing, and pursuit rolls and extra die and discards the highest. Not a bad spell, but I don’t think this is a particularly useful spell for LM players compared to the other 20+ spells. It works better if you can field a lot of L1 Fireball tossers which we can’t do, but I can see this synergizing with LM unless you are packing lots of Salamanders. Light: Enlightenment: 20+ hexes Forces of Destruction and augments Forces of Order. All Order units within 12 inches of the caster are Unbreakable. All Destruction units within 12 inches take a leadership test with 4d6 and suffers wounds equal to what they lose the test by. 4d6 is hard to pass, so this can take a toll on high Ld targets. Only good against Destruction though. That and the enemy has to be right within spitting distance of the Slann, so don’t count on this spell as your Plan A to defend your Slann bunker since your odds of being able to cast this are less than 50%. Beasts: A Murder of Crows: When I was reading the End Times books, I thought, “I sure hope we can be able to use the worst SOM Cataclysm spell in ET games!” My wish came true. 15+ to summon a large template that inflicts Strength 3 hits on models it passes over. Yay! Strength 3 hits! Sarcasm aside, this can hurt Elves…well, some Elves anyway. You can also safely cast this spell into your own melees since our front line fighters all have T4 or better. Metal: Meteoric Ironclad: This is one of the best SOM Cataclysm spells. A mere 15+ to augment a unit to have a 2+ Ward save. That’s nearly invincible Temple Guard. We don’t like to be fighting an enemy with this spell though. If you know your opponent is fond of Metal, consider the Blade of Realities, or just pray to the Old Ones they don't cast this successfully. Life: Storm of Renewal: Another SOM carryover. It’s 15+ to cast a beneficial vortex. It heals 2d6+1 wounds on any non-character unit it touches following the same guidelines for Regrowth. Note it’s hard to cast this spell into a melee without healing your enemy. This is useful to you if your unit’s models cost more per model than the enemy, otherwise it’s almost a liability. Good for Temple Guard almost regardless of who you are fighting because this lengthens Stubborn staying power. Not a huge threat when the enemies cast this because it is likely to help you too though you should try to remove this if the Vortex is going to an elite enemy fighting your cheap Core. Note that End Times has a lot of über characters and this spell specifically doesn’t affect characters so it’s a spell to cast into melee if you are tarpitting Nagash or someone similar. Heavens: Let the Four Winds Blow: Another SOM carryover, a 15+ unorthodox magic missile. It pushes up to four enemy units and/or magical vortexes 2d6 inches directly away from the caster and inflicts 2d6 Strength 3 hits if the target hits impassable terrain or bashes into another unit. If it hits another unit, both units take the hit. Unless the target is Skinks or something similar, the hits don’t really matter. What really matters is the ability to move the enemy (or nasty vortices) away from you. Given that we have lots of squishy Skinks and may or may not have a taste for vortices, this is a dangerous spell for our enemies to have. Shadow: Bridge of Shadows: Probably the best End Times spell. 15+ Augment that works like Walk Between Worlds only it lets unit potentially exit combat and there is no limit to how far the unit can be moved. Very useful for both positioning offensives and pulling doomed units out of the fire at the last minute. Death: Ashes and Dust: 15+ Magical Vortex with large template that is potentially devastating to low Ld units away from the BSB. Units passed over take a leadership test with a -3 penalty and suffer wounds equal to what they lost the check by. The situationally dangerous to both us and our foes. Even with their low leadership score, a block of 50 Skaven won’t give a rat pellet about this vortex, but it can wreak havoc on MSU armies. Undeath: Malediction of Nagash: Even if you don’t have any undead models to summon, it might be worth a High Magic Slann swapping in the Lore of Undeath for this spell alone. 20+ to cast so it will usually fail but this is a very nasty hex. ALL enemy units half their Strength (round up) till the start of the caster’s next magic phase. Whichever side of this spell you are on, this can turn the tide of a battle easily, since it can turn your Saurus units into mighty demigods or weakling kittens. Other Armies' End Times Spells Dark Magic: Oblivion: This is a very situational spell that is very hard to cast at 25+. Targets an Arcane Fulcrum and inflicts a Strength 10 hit on every model within six inches of said Fulcrum. On a 4+ it destroys the Arcane Fulcrum and auto-kills the wizard. With it’s high casting cost, you can take the calculated risk that the enemy elves will not be able to cast this. If you are paranoid, just don’t raise Arcane Fulcrums when facing an enemy wizard with Dark Magic. Vampires: The Army of Doom Keep: 25+ to summon a Wight King and unit of Grave Guard with a combined points value up to 300 points. Unlike most characters summoned, the Wight King gets to (has to) join the unit. Probably the least threatening 25+ End Times spell actually. Note, because this is from the Lore of Vampires and not the Lore of Undeath, Arkhan and Nagash do not get to summon 600 and 900 points units with this spell. They cast the vanilla version like everyone else. Nehekhara: Return of the Golden Age: This 20+ augment is a watered down version of the Lore of Nehekhara's SOM spell. All friendly undead models get +1 to their WS, Strength, and Initiative skills to the start of the caster’s next magic phase. In a pure TK army, this is pretty weak since it doesn't have the extra buffs to elite TK units the SOM spell had, but this synergizes well with elite Vampire Counts models in an Undead Legions army. Wild: Ruiner of the Wrought: 25+ spell that is devastating to many armies, but is almost meaningless against Lizardmen. All war machines in the enemy army take d3 Strength 10 hits and all buildings are destroyed on a 4+ inflicting 4d6 Strength hits on units in those buildings. Since I only put Skink Cohorts in buildings, that’s not that scary. A spell that probably will fail with at best a 50% chance of killing some of my expendable chaff. Help! Help! The Great Maw: The Great Maw Awakens: 20+ for what is essentially a large template Purple Sun by a different name, only you know, cheaper to cast because augmented Purple Suns were clearly not powerful enough before... Big Waaagh!: Raise Great Idol: 15+ to create an Idol of Gork within 18 inches of the caster. In addition to the normal effect (all units within 6 inches reroll failed charge distances) it allows greenskin units to re-roll failed to hit rolls and acts as a Magical Lodestone. Nasty to us if we can’t bring a buff or hex of our own to counteract their re-rolls. Little Waaagh!: Nikkit! Nikkit!: 15+ casting 24 inch direct damage snipes a character and inflicts d6 minus their own Toughness wounds with no armor save. The wounds aren’t scary but this spell destroys a random magic item carried. Actually worse than destroys. If they have an open slot in that magic item category, they get to steal it. Stealing magical items is not as bad as it sounds. Most Goblin wizards of level 3 or higher will be carrying an Arcane item, so they can’t really rob our Slann. They are too pansy to make much use of a magic weapon and can’t wear magic armor. So basically think of the item as destroyed. Even a Goblin Shaman with the Blade of Realities is pretty wimpy. Skaven Plague: The Great Red Pox: Spell is 25+ to cast so it will probably fail, but if it succeeds, you will feel it. It’s almost as nasty to the Skaven as to us, so it’s not likely to single handedly swing a game, at least compared to other 25+ spells. Units within 24 inches of the caster both friend and foe are affected on a 4+ (or a 5+ if they are Pestilens). If the unit is affected, each model in it has to pass a Toughness test or become a casualty with no armor save allowed. Bad, but not too scary since our most important units tend to have high Toughness scores. EDIT: You can prevent your opponent from setting up an ideal position for this by diligently preventing a rat from Skitterleaping into the middle of your army. Skaven Ruin: Pit of the Underworld: 20+ for this Comet of Cassandora like spell. Spell places a marker on the board. Every subsequent magic phase, roll to see if it triggers on a 5+. The spell triggers a large template pit which requires units to pass an Initiative test or die. It also destroys buildings and units within them with no I test. Given that you should have at least one round’s warning for this spell, it’s fairly avoidable (especially if your unit is in a building they can just exit). The spell becomes dangerous only when you have an expensive Saurus or Temple Guard unit stuck in place by a deep unit of Skaven Slaves. Tzeentch: Daemonfire Vortex: The only Tzeentch attack spell that doesn’t use Warpflame! 25+ to summon a large template which kills all models it passes over on a 4+ with no armor save. Firmly in the middle of the pack for 25+ spells. Nurgle: Grandfather Nurgle’s Circle of Life: Probably the nastiest 25+ ET spell. Direct damage inflicts 5d6 hits on a target unit within 36 inches that wound on a 4+ with no armor saves. If the spell inflicts 10 unsaved wounds (this should happen about half the time) the Nurgle player gets a free naked Great Unclean One if the caster is a Daemon or a free Daemon Prince with the Mark of Nurgle with a value up to 375 points. Obliterating an enemy unit and then getting a free unkillable character! Pray that the caster does not roll a “6” for his d6 roll. Slaanesh: Song of Seduction: One of the nastier 20+ spells in my opinion. Hexed unit within 24 inches of the caster loses 2 from the Leadership trait then switches sides, potentially exiting combat by an inch. The unit can rejoin it’s original side testing it’s (modified) Ld at the end of every subsequent magic phase, but don’t want for your unit to pass their test, it’s a RIP spell, so you can shut down with Drain Magic or the Cube of Darkness.