Discussion in 'Other Armies Discussion' started by NIGHTBRINGER, Dec 18, 2021.
Looking forward to getting into this! Best enjoyed a little later on with a nice cup of tea.
Excellent review @Lizards of Renown , taking for taking the time to create and share it!
A couple of very quick notes...
Iceshard Blizzard is cast on a 7+.
I believe that you only get to put down two markers initially (and a further two markers each time the comet fails to land) if you cast the boosted version of the spell on a whopping 24+ to cast. At the standard casting value of 12+, you only start with a single marker and place one additional marker each time the comet fails to arrive.
This is seems like the very best use for the spell. A dwarf or Chaos Dwarf player would hate having that spell cast above their gunline. With their slow rate of movement it would take them several turns to get safely away from it, and during each of those turns their war machines cannot fire. Just knowing that the opponent has the spell would force the gunline player to completely reconsider their entire deployment strategy. An absolute game changer in such a situation, even before a single spell has been cast.
Interesting that you rated this spell so highly. From a theoretical standpoint, this is probably my least favourite spell of the lore. However, I must admit that this is pure theory hammer on my part, as I don't believe I have ever fielded the lore of Heavens... so I have literally zero actual experience with it. Also, it's a pretty tough spell to theory hammer, as it isn't that straight forward as other spells that can be math-hammered.
I guess the part that bugs me about the spell is the variable and relatively short range of the push. 2-4" unboosted and 3-8" boosted. The boosted range has some potential, but is it worth 14+ to cast? That is an expensive casting cost just shy of heavy hitters like Purple Sun and Final Transmutation.
That said, if you have been able to get this spell to perform well, I'd love to hear any successful exploits you have pulled off with it! You've raised some interesting potential uses for it in your write-up. In your experience how often do these strategies pan out?
Reading your review, I get the impression that this lore might lend itself better to multiple lower level casters rather than a single level 4. Would you agree with my assessment?
Aside from Tetto'eko (who is a great value and doubly good for the reason you detailed) which army do you feel is best suited to the Lore of Heavens?
What are your opinions on Dark Elves fielding the Lore of Heavens? I don't believe you listed them in your write-up.
Thanks again for the great analysis!
I would have thought that Iceshard Blizzard would be better used by armies that don't have War Machines, as it can be used to neutralise enemy war machines where normally they wouldn't be able to, so for instance, Bretonnia and Lizardmen would get a lot more out of the spell than Empire, who have a lot more tools at their disposal already for taking out enemy war machines. Additionally faster armies like Bretonnia and Wood Elves can more easily take advantage of the movement shenanigans Wind Blast and Comet of Casandora can cause to set up a timely flank charge or concentrate fire on a displaced enemy.
Otherwise, a very detailed and thorough review, except a couple of things:
As well as Dark Elves, The Blue Scribes and Kairos in the Daemons of Chaos army list can choose to use Heavens, as can Ogre armies with more than one Butcher/Slaughtermaster, as per Lore of Beasts.
Given they're two of your favourite armies, I'm surprised you missed those out mate
Whoops. Yes, got a little enthusiastic. My reasoning still stands though.
Not any on Wind Blast, so definitely Theory Hammer. As I was doing the review more and more possibilities came to mind and I got an itch for a Lore of Heavens Skink Priest with Cloak of Feathers who could be REALLY annoying being able to fire Slann spells and wind blast enemies from the best angle.
Yes. It is Theory-Hammer right now, but I believe that if you had several Level 1 Wizards with Iceshard it would be pretty awesome, especially it they ganged up on a deathstar to neuter it.
Never tried it though...
Empire. They have the War Machines for the heavy punch to monsters and lords. The hex and augments will assist them a lot in combat and being able to dictate movements of the enemy will benefit their numbers best I believe.
glad you enjoyed it.
All fair points.
Whoops. I'll review them tonight.
I have hyperlink indexed both @Lord Agragax of Lunaxoatl and @Lizards of Renown 's Deep Dive lore entries in the first post of this thread to make it easier for people to find them and to ensure they don't get lost among all the replies. I'll be doing this for all the entries as they are submitted.
@Lizards of Renown I also forgot that Vampire Counts can, for some strange reason, can give one Vampire the Lore of Heavens through the Forbidden Lore Vampiric Power, again as per Lore of Beasts. Another army for you to evaluate
Dark Elves I forgot, so no excuse there. I play Khorne/Nurgle Daemons (although I KNEW I missed something on character somewhere.
At least on Ogres, I remembered why I discounted any lore apart from Lore of the Great Maw. Because of the points, no sane OK general is going to invest in a pricey second wizard just to get another lore. The points are far better off spent on a Bruiser, other troops or kitting out your Slaughtermaster for combat.
Interesting that we find you so knowledgeable about the Vampire Counts... I guess it's know your enemy? Keep your friends close and your enemies closer?
Good point, I'll add that when I look over the other armies.
In short, (virtually) nobody is going to do it:
the Lore of Vampires is AWESOME!
you need to spend 25 points and eat up a portion of your Vampiric Powers allotment to access it
if the general is slain, only wizards with spells from the Lore of Vampires can take over to stop the crumbling
Maybe he is secretly a super fan and projects false hatred to hide it from the world. Of maybe he is a vampire and doesn't want anyone to catch on!
Lore of Vampires has one the best synergies with VCs in the entire 8th Edition.
I looked over Dark Elves and the Daemons of Chaos. Honestly, all the points I made about the lore being pretty good are all true, but I'd use Dark Magic / Lore of Nurgle from a synergy/better lore point of view.
So not much to add to my write-up at this point.
While it's unlikely anybody would see such a choice of tactics for either Vampires or Ogres, or perhaps even Dark Elves or Daemons, it's still worth analysing the effects the lore would have on these armies if someone did ever decide to bring a caster with that lore to the field, given that it's there and possible for the army to access, and using that to determine an opinion on it after everything has been considered. After all, I did so with Lore of Beasts, I don't see why any of you should be able to skive off putting that little bit of extra work into your write-ups
By and large yes, if you don't know thy enemy, how can you ever hope to crush them on the field of battle?
But also I wish to present an unbiased air when engaging in projects like this, as they're meant to be designed to get everyone together and are not places for divisive arguments about which factions are more or less interesting than others.
Well, in the interest of proving I do not suffer from the deadly sin of Sloth, I'll do those analyses.
[LoR whispers to Nightbringer]
"I knew it! He's a vampire! Don't let him get close"
@Lord Agragax of Lunaxoatl
Thy will be done, good sir, original post updated. No tardiness here.
@NIGHTBRINGER Also updated the points you made in the original post.
My analysis will still take some time. I put some more work into it last night, but plenty more to go. By deep dive, I hope to go "Challenger Deep" level deep. (that's a lot of occurrences of the word deep in a single sentence )
I'm looking forwards to reading your work.
Lore of Fire
Lore Attribute - Kindleflame
States that all spells in the lore have the Flaming Attacks special rule, and that Direct Damage and Magic missiles get +D3 to cast if cast on a unit that has previously been hit by one, in the same magic phase.
The Flaming attacks part can be a blessing or a curse, really depends what you are casting the spells on, though most of the time I don’t think it will matter much, unless you are playing in a specific meta. The +D3 to casting is nice and works for at most 4 (possibly 3 depending how Burning Head is counted); It does lend itself well to getting as many smaller spells of as possible, to make it that bit harder to dispel for the opponent, but to do that you’d need to either have a lucky roll for spell selection, to even get the right spells, or have Loremaster, seeing as you can only have all 4 if you bring a Lv 4 wizard; A nice addition, but nothing too noteworthy unless the stars align.
Signature - Fireball
A magic missile that only takes a 5+ to cast, with good range and a respectable D6 S4 hits. It even has two boosted version (possibly the only spell to have that, or at least one of the only ones) that extends the range by 12” each time, and adds another D6 hits, for another 5 and 13 more to cast.
The 5+ for D6 S4 hits is a bargain, even a Lv 1 wizard have 50% chance to get it off with just 1 die. You might then save a single die for it, or if you have a lv 1 wizard, might just throw it out before your other spells, to bait out dispel dice, as an opponent would either gamble with 1 dice, risking broken concentration, or use 2 dice to your 1.
Of the boosted versions, only the 10+ with 2D6 S4 hits seems reasonable, 18+ for 3D6 is too steep, unless you really have nothing else to cast, or really need to remove that regen for a phase.
The best part of this spell is that it’s the signature spell, meaning you can always get it, and it is good enough that you might want to take multiples of it, if you have multiple wizards with the Lore of Fire.
1. Cascading Fire-Cloak
For 5+ you get a Remains in play Augment, that gives the Wizard’s unit, the ability to damage enemy units in base contact at the end of each magic phase, so at least once if you get it off. It deals 2D6 S4 hits.
For the casting value, it deals a nice amount of damage, the same as a boosted fireball for half the cost, that might very well be able to hit multiple units as well. Tricky part is, to actually get into a situation where you can deal the damage.
On paper it seems nice, but you need to consider that your wizard needs to be in combat for the spell to do any damage, and don’t be fooled by being able to hit multiple units, as most units do not want to fight multiple other units at once; Maybe it can give you the edge, but don’t count on it, just know it’s there.
Another use is as a detergent, cast it on your wizard bunker, and any light cavalry or other might be hesitant to charge, as they might very well die on impact.
The deal with this approach, is that you can never count on it working, seeing as the opponent will always have a magic phase to dispel it, and with a casting value of 5, they will always have a good shot at it, even if they do not have a wizard.
All in all a very situational spell, one that can do a nice amount of damage against the right targets, though nothing to count on - still not a bad spell, considering how easy it is to cast, just not a first pick for the Lore.
2. Flaming Sword of Rhuin
An 8+ augment spell, with good range at 24”, granting +1 to wound to both shooting and close combat, while also granting Flaming and Magical attacks, until the start of the caster’s next magic phase. The caster can boost it to get double range for 3 more to cast.
A very good augment, rarely do you see a spell granting +1 to wound. A unit of good archers might be able to do a good amount of damage with this spell, seeing as it helps with the big problem of wounding with only S3.
Combat units will also love it, and especially if they have to fight regen units - Think of it as a boosted Flaming Banner, that need to be activated.
3. The Burning Head
Cast on a 10+, The Burning Head is a direct damage spell, and is one of those weird ones where you extend a line, in this case 18” straight out, somewhere in the caster’s LoS. Each model it passes over then takes a S4 hit, as if it were a Cannonball (which makes me think that it might actually stop dead if it hits monstrous infantry or bigger and does not kill it).
If a unit takes any casualties, it must take a panic test. This one can also be boosted, to double the line’s length, for only 3 more to cast.
In terms of value, the Boosted version is the way to go, but I think the 18” of the regular version might be enough most of the time.
This spell does not seem very good at actually killing stuff, S4 is not enough when you only hit models on the line, unless you can position it over a large unit - You’d need to average 7 models hit, to get the same average value as a boosted fireball, so keep that in mind. Where it could be better than a regular fireball, is if you can hit multiple units, or one that is likely to take a wound, and break due to the panic test - but to be honest, I don’t see many of those units running around - Might have some success on the flanks, but you have to position well to take advantage of that.
One thing it might be able to do well, depending on how you interpret it, is trigger the Lore attribute on multiple targets, the issue here is: Do you have enough dice to take advantage of that? Most of the time, the answer is ‘Probably not’.
The spell is overall decent against the right armies, but might need a mobile caster to get the most out of it - making me lean towards a regular Fireball as a more safe choice.
4. Piercing Bolts of Burning
Another spell with 10+ to cast, this time another magic missile with a 24” range. It deals D3 S4 hits, for each rank of 5+ models in the target unit. Once again it can be boosted to get double range for 3 more to cast - I’m seeing a pattern here.
Potentially more damaging, to larger units, than a fireball, and much cheaper. Where a regular fireball will do the 7 S4 hits on average for the same casting cost, this will do 8 hits to a 20 man unit, so not bad. The issue one might run into, is dealing with lone models, or monstrous units, such as trolls, where the regular Fireball is much more reliable.
If you do face a lot of larger units (not hordes, necessarily seeing as it gets hits per rank), this might be devastating. Say a you get it off on a unit of 50 Skaven slaves, deployed 5 wide - you’d then get 20 hits on average, probably killing 13 of them; granted you won’t get much value by killing slaves, which is where the spell might falter, seeing as most units it is good against, probably won’t be too expensive; even so you will probably need to deal with them anyway, just don’t expect your wizard to be the one paying for itself in raw numbers.
5. Fulminating Flame Cage
A spell that is not 10+ to cast! This one is 11+ instead, but it still has a 24” range (thank goodness, for a moment I thought I looked at the wrong Lore ). It is a hex, and the target unit taes D4 S4 hits, and if they move, EACH model in the unit takes a S4 hits and the spell ends. The range can be extended to have double range, and it once again costs 3 more to cast - phew.
Mostly a tactical spell, unless you can find some reason to make the unit it was cast on move; in which case it can do some serious damage to lightly armored troops. For 11+ it does not deal enough damage on its own, so the tactical part needs to be considered. Since it is mostly good against high model count units, it really is only viable against infantry.
Where it could shine is in a gunline, where you can effectively stop a unit coming at you, to place them in a dilemma - do they move anyway, and take a bunch of damage and possibly fail their charge, or do they just stand there and take another round of shooting.
A possible synergy, though I’ll admit it is kind of a ‘stars aligned’ situation, is if you cast this on a unit, and then cast Wind Blast from the Lore of Heavens, on the unit, you can guarantee the damage.
If for some reason a big unit is fleeing and you can make them flee again or suspect that they will continue to flee, cast this spell on it, and they will be very unhappy next time they do.
6. Flame Storm
The one and only template spell in the lore. CIt is a direct damage spell, that is cast on a 13+, and uses the small round template, unless boosted in which case it is a 16+ to cast, uses the large round template, but whereas the regular scatters 1D6, the boosted scatters 2D6. All models hit, take a S4 hit.
Not the big killer spell so many lores have a their 6 spot, it really isn’t that great, though not terrible. I’d stick with the regular version over the boosted almost always, unless my opponent has a lot of units bunched together, ensuring that I’ll likely hit something even with the extra scatter, and then the extra 3 to cast isn’t too bad - you’d probably want to cast it with a lv 4 wizard though, but don’t use 6 dice, unless you are desperate, it is not killy enough that warrant going for an Irresistible Force/miscast.
The theme of the lore is dealing damage, and dealing it all through S4, and mostly at range. This makes it best in armies that either need to take out smaller units on the flanks, where they maybe cannot contest with their own units, or as a defensive army that can stand back, shoot and cast magic missiles and direct damage.
The augments are okay, but not what you take the lore for, same thing for the hex - they should be taken more as a potential bonus or tactical option, rather than the reason to take Lore of Fire.
The main weakness of the Lore is the S4, which is not enough to do well against armor, and a lot of elite units have T4 or greater, making the damaging spells ineffective. The only reason you’d generally target tougher units, is if you can remove their regen and follow up with other sources of damage, or if you have nothing else to target.
It is a very straightforward lore overall, most spells is more or less ‘point and shoot’, and it is good at clearing chaff or damaging large units if lower quality units or at least units with low armor and toughness.
Some matchups and metas might change the ranking slightly, but generally I’d rank the spells as follows.
Flaming Sword of Rhuin
Fulminating Flame Cage
Piercing Bolts of Burning
The Burning Head
With 3, 4 and 5 being very close.
Armies that can use it
In general, any army that can field multiple lv 1 wizards with access to Lore of Fire, can use it well by just spamming Fireball, the most versatile spell that you can be guaranteed to have. also the army should probably be defensive, to get the most amount of time to toss their Fireballs, so might as well invest in shooting as well.
The Empire has access to the lore on both Hero and Lord level wizards. Empire might be one of the only armies where going for Lore of Fire on a lv 4 wizard is worthwhile, as you have a higher chance to case a couple spells, due to the overall low casting values, and they have access to some great sources of high strength attacks, so might not need the extra help from magic in that area, freeing them up to use The Lore of Fire.
Just as with the Empire, the High Elves can use the Lore effectively, although they are more in need of tools to deal with armor, than the Empire. Still they have better targets for the Flaming Sword of Rhuin in their Core choices - A big unit of Lothern Sea Guard seems tasty.
There is also the case of the Dragon Mage which has to take the Lore, and always has the Flaming Sword of Rhuin. He might also be one of the better options for the Cascading Fire-Cloak, even if he still is very squishy.
Not the best choice for the Dark Elves. In comparison to their own Lore of Dark Magic, the Lore of Fire is unimpressive, but if chaff clearing is what is needed it is more suited to the task.
Same story as the Dark elves, there are better options.
Only the Slann is able to use the Lore, and really I’d say don’t bother. The best spell is Fireball, and you can get that through wandering deliberations or by using High magic.
Lizardmen also have a lot of S4 attacks anyway, such as Salamanders and chaff clearing is something Lizardmen are good at anyway.
If you do go with it, then at least you will probably not need as many Skink Priest to cast through, as most spells have good range, meaning that you’d only really want them to get certain angles or be able to cast Magic missiles while the Slann is in combat.
A Temple Guard unit with a Slann might be the best use of the Cascading Fore-Cloak out of any other unit in the game.
The Lore is not useless though, it just does not fill a need that the Lizardmen cannot fill on their own.
Warriors of Chaos
Can take the Lore on heroes, lords and Archaon. The Warriors of Chaos is partly in the same boat at Lizardmen, in that they have plenty access to S4 troops; Where they differ is that the Warriors are not as good at dealing with chaff, if for no other reason that their very elite nature, meaning they won’t have as many resources to deal with them. In that sense, the Lore of Fire might be okay, still though I would not rate it too highly, unless the meta is highly dependent on clearing the chaff.
Daemons of Chaos
Kairos Fateweaver is able to use it, but he’ll only choose one spell from the Lore, so there’s not much else to say than that he’ll probably go with Fireball.
Through the Forbidden Lore Vampiric Power, the Vampire Counts can take the Lore of Fire. Simply put, the probably don’t need it, they can flood the board with cheap bodies, and so is unlikely to need to spend much energy in clearing the enemy’s own chaff units - as such there are better lores that also has magic missiles that can lend to the chaff clearing if need be.
Get the Lore through their Firebelly heroes, who have to take it. Seeing as Ogres are a very offensive faction, it suits them well, but like with the Lizardmen, they do not lack S4 attacks, but might use the chaff clearing aspect of the lore well, but take that with a grain of salt, seeing as I do not know the army well.
Who will use it best?
I believe The Empire has the best odds of using the lore effectively with their gun-line builds. They want to stay back and shoot anyway, might be lucky and get the Flaming Sword of Rhuin to buff one of their units, and otherwise toss out cheap magic missiles in Fireball.
Humans and Elves and anything else with Toughness 3 or less, and at times higher toughness units with low armor saves.
In general it is a good chaff clearer and can do a lot of damage to weaker high model count units. So if you feel you need a lot of options to deal with enemy chaff, the Lore of Fire seems a decent choice.
A straightforward lore, which sometimes is all you need. It is by no means the most powerful lore, but it’s ease of use could mean that it will sometimes make a bigger impact than the more tactical ones. I suspect newer players will like the lore the most, and gradually move away to other lores that are more specific to their game plans and better cover their army’s shortcomings.
Excellent review all round, and unlike Heavens I agree with you that the Empire makes best use of all those Strength 4 attacks. Just one thing:
I thought The Flaming Sword of Rhuin affected characters, not units - I could be wrong, perhaps I'm mixing it up with its 7th Ed incarnation.
Yup you are mixing it up
It was quite different in 7th, and as you say it only affected characters, the caster to be specific: In effect it creates a magic weapon that gives the caster +1 Attack, always hit on 2+ and +3 Strength, but oddly enough dos not grant Flaming attacks .
Great write-up @ASSASSIN_NR_1 !
I agree with your general assessment of the lore. It's the best for chaff clearing but has difficulty with heavily armoured or high toughness armies. The top 3 spells, as you detailed, are quite good, but that is out of seven spells. Having the Fireball spells as the signature really makes this shine on a level 1.
Your final verdict is spot on in my opinion.
Any closer to finishing your Metal write-up, @NIGHTBRINGER buddy?
Bit by bit it is progressing, although my work on my Hobgoblins has definitely slowed the process. I'll keep plugging away at it!