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Dwarf Spellbreaker Guide - Lore Of Shadow

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#1 David L

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Posted 03 July 2008 - 03:19 AM

Dwarf Spellbreaker Guide - Lore of Shadows
Thought I'd take my own shot at this ... 5 beers means big big trouble, use your spellbreakers here!

Before I joined the proper ranks of the good Dwarfs, I played High Elves. I repeatedly destroyed Dwarf armies behind the power of the Lore of Shadow. This is a lore with 2 game breaking spells and those 2 spells alone are enough. A High Elf Archmage with Seer should be using this lore against Dwarfs. A Lizardmen Slann should be rolling at least one Shadow spell, more if he rolls 5 or 6. Others with access to the Lore (Demons, Hordes of Chaos, Dark Elves, Empire) can seriously consider it, although normal rolling for spells makes Lore of Shadows a lot chancier.

Steed of Shadows - 2 beers beer1.gif
Oddly, the value of this spell is less changed by the tactical situation than by the army list your opponent brings. If they have a character they are willing to fling around all alone, this is a good spell. If they don't, its largely worthless. For example, Lizardmen inevitably have a Saurus character to fly at you, but Empire usually doesn't want to fling a hero around (and most of them are mounted anyway, and thus not usable).

The main threat of this spell is early turn charges into our war machines. It still matters in later turns, but usually only in support of something else. Also notice the range of the spell - 12 inches from caster to target.
To protect a war machine on one of the first couple of turns, this is definitely worth using dispel dice against. It is probably not worth a scroll, but that depends upon the enemy's other spells. Also note that most heroes have only 3 or 4 attacks and our war machines often have 4 crew. A hero is not likely to wipe out a war machine crew in one round, giving us the opportunity to stubbornly hold, charge him with an infantry block, and destroy him. Trading a war machine for an enemy hero is sometimes a good trade.

Its other significant use (late game) is to pull a wizard out of close combat. Most wizards are quite squishy in close combat so killing the wizard (and gaining the combat resolution for doing so) is probably more important than stopping whatever else the enemy might cast. In that situation, it is absolutely worth using dice to stop. If you still have a spellbreaker that late in the game, it is probably worth using as having kept it that long indicates there isn't much need for the spellbreaker otherwise.

Creeping Death - 1 beer prankster2.gif
A decent spell against heavy cavalry, especially Empire knights. But we are Dwarfs. This spell needs to roll above average to kill even 2 Dwarfs. Ignore it.

Crown of Taidron - 0 beers ph34r.gif
The only spell in the 8 main lores I give a 0. I have never cast it, seen it cast, nor met anyone in person that has used it effectively. Especially with our Toughness 4, this is likely to do as much damage to the caster's side as to ours. Even in an ideal situation where it will hit only one unit from the caster's side, d6 hits won't hurt us much.

Shades of Death - 1 beer or 4 guinesssmilie.gif
With Dwarf leadership, making an enemy unit cause fear or terror is not that serious. Or at least is less threatening that other spells. However, once combat starts, this spell creates the potential to bypass our resistance to breaking by causing a fear autobreak. If an enemy wizard knows this spell, you must pay attention to any combats that happen near the wizard. If you are outnumbered and might lose, you need to stop this spell.

Unseen Lurker - 4 beers dwarf.gif
Magical movement is a potential game winner. Lurker's big limitation is 12 inch range from caster to target, so arranging flank charges with Unseen Lurker is not so easy. Of course, if they can arrange a flank charge with it, we are really in trouble. Except for the casting range, this is the best magical movement spell, since it lets the target make a FULL MOVE. That means 20 inch fly charges or heavy cavalry going an extra 14-16. This produces easy turn 1 charges into our shooting units or war machines, potentially meaning they never take a shot before being killed. Another late game tactical use is taking a unit we broke the previous turn, but has just rallied, and Lurkering it back into us immediately. Extremely effective when used on heavy cavalry, chariots and other things that really like to charge.
Unseen Lurker is a spell to save spellbreakers for, unless you've had to use them on ...

Pit of Shades - 5 beers pirates.gif
The ultimate spell for directly removing Dwarfs from the table. Cast on a normal Dwarf block of 20-25, it likely kills 2/3 of the unit in one cast. Or it instantly destroys a war machine because initiative 0 means auto-fail. This is where your spellbreakers get used.

Edited by Lord Firmshaft, 04 August 2008 - 10:50 AM.

#2 Kazadvorn


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Posted 03 July 2008 - 02:27 PM

At your feet I place a full tray...

One FULL LITER of Diet Coke....
THREE pieces of Pizza... (two plain, one pepperoni)...


A Cannoli...

Another fine article.

#3 Bodacious


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Posted 03 July 2008 - 10:24 PM

Looks good. I play the lore of shadows a lot with my empire as well (I play a wizard lord) and you're totally right about most of the spells.

Creeping Death is only good against heavy cav (so not against dwarfs)
Pit of Shades is awesome against anything with low initiative (including dwarfs)
Unseen Lurker is a game-winning spell
AND I've never been able to use crown of taidron or walking death even once against dwarfs.
Steed of shadows is just a little spell I throw out there to suck out dispel dice and because I can (sometimes to get my wizard in range for the unseen lurker as well).

This guide works against that approach well. Good job!

#4 LF - Kevin B

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Posted 04 July 2008 - 08:39 AM

Thanks for that. Yes this is a nasty lore for us if we arent careful. Added to the School of Battle

Keep them coming... drinks.gif

#5 Dargon


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Posted 05 July 2008 - 02:44 AM

QUOTE (Bodacious @ Jul 3 2008, 11:24 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
AND I've never been able to use crown of taidron or walking death even once against dwarfs.

I've likewise used the Lore of Shadows with my Elves (they generally swap between using High or Dark rules).

Shades of Death (not Walking Death wink.gif )I have found very useful, but I've never faced Dwarfs with it and can't imagine it doing much. The best use of this spell is usually on a unit that already causes Fear - turning it into Terror. Timed right, this can catch multiple units with a surprise Terror Test, and even Dwarfs don't want to be taking too many leadership tests if they can avoid it.

I have likewise never used Crown of Taidron - it's just too much effort and too much risk. The ideal application of this spell is to first Steed of Shadows your wizard into the midst of the enemy before unleashing this spell (so as to hit as many enemy and as few friendly units as possible). Hovever, this kind of manoeuvre is hard enough to achieve with a Gyrocopter, without componding it with the issues of how to get both spells through. You can usually mount your wizard to solve the issue of Steed of Shadows failing and thus only needing to successfully cast Crown of Taidron - but then you've likely just made the most accessable spell (Steed of Shadows) redundant. It's usually better to just swap this spell out whenever possible.

Aside from Shades of Death being named wrong, good job David L drinks.gif .

Just a thought...

#6 Mongoose


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Posted 05 August 2008 - 11:33 AM


I played a game against DE this weekend. 1000pts. Opponent rolled irresistable force four times in the game. Needless to say in a 1000pt game I lost most of my longbeards and warriors. This is THE worst spell for dwarves! The 5th edition rules at least let you roll to see if they crawled out of the hole.

Edited by Mongoose, 05 August 2008 - 11:34 AM.

#7 Ravenmane


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Posted 06 August 2008 - 03:00 AM

I would like to add that Steed of Shadows has another very powerful use - to capture a fleeing unit! When playing my Dark Elves, I've frequently cast Steed on my lone characters - wizards that have used up their dispel scrolls, for example - to charge after a fleeing unit so as to force it off the board or capture it myself. It's a great spell for the late game when there are fewer missile troops on the board and you cannot afford a unit to rally on the bottom of the 6th turn.
The new Dark elf codex has a bound item that allows Hag Queens and Assassins to cast Steed of Shadows once a turn. Now that Assassins have become remarkably cheaper, it would not be a stretch to send a 90 pt. + gear model to charge at a fleeing block of rank infantry, especially if there's an important character in there!

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