Dwarf Spellbreaker Guide - Tzeentch Daemons
If Daemons bring magic, they will almost always have some Tzeentch magic, even if just from min-core Horrors. Tzeentch big casters are also the most common source of magic heavy Daemons. And Daemons do magic heavy nastier than anyone, as they are capable of producing a gross number of base power dice (easily 20+ at 2k).
First, the basic briefing on Horrors. They count as a wizard and their magic level and spell selection go up with their size, at every x6. So 6, 16, 26, 36. Shooting them a bit to knock off a few models and thus a magic level can be very worthwhile; when your shooting isn't desperately trying to knock down something else. Typically Horrors will only cast Flickering Fire, but a size 26+ unit gets access to Bolt of Change and if they go super size they know Firestorm. For full details see the Daemon army book.
Beyond Horrors, almost the only user of the lore of Tzeentch will be the Greater Daemon - the Lord of Change. Effectively always level 4 and equiped with either +2 to cast or one re-roll per player turn, he is pretty damn nasty. Plus he flies and knows the entire lore. (The special character Kairos is so gross you probably shouldn't be playing Dwarfs against it). He is also capable in close combat, although that reduces his casting to one useful spell. You rarely see a lower level Tzeentch caster, other than Horrors, because the heroes inevitably take a gift that lets them know all spells in one of the basic 8 lores, but prohibits them from the Lore of Tzeentch (see GW FAQ).
That means Tzeentch Daemons typically have the most complete and reliable spell selection in Warhammer, and they can make very good use of ALL their power dice. You don't get to let the weak spells go and stop the big ones, you have to let the medium spells go to stop the big ones.
Flickering Fire - 2 beers
With both the strength and number of hits random, this spell often inflicts little impact. But its upper ends are quite powerful (potentiall 7 S7 hits) and overall it is a useful default spell. Not as good against Dwarfs as against some targets, such as fast cavalry, it can still plink away at ranks and threaten war machines. It's main limitation is being an 18" range magic missile. So it cannot be used when the caster is in combat, and deploying back 2" means it cannot be used by Horrors on the first Daemon turn. You may see this from the Greater Daemon with a single die, but most likely you see this just from Horrors.
While this spell is worth stopping with dice, generally there are much bigger threats and you need to let it go. Make sure you think it is in range before dispelling. More important to stop when targetted at an injured war machine (either down crew, or down wounds on the machine itself).
Boon of Tzeentch - 1-3 beers
Gives the caster more power dice. Effectively only useful by the Lord of Change, this can let him cast two of his big damage spells in the same phase, which he lacks the dice to reliably achieve without getting this spell off. It is typically easier to stop the Boon than to stop the second big spell, but all you accomplish is replacing a Tzeentch's Firestorm you likely cannot stop with a Gift of Chaos you definitely cannot stop. Certainly don't spellbreaker this. Spending dice against it is worthwhile when you can reliably stop it with 2 dice, such as when the casting roll is 6 or lower. Also worthwhile rolling here when the only enemy spells left are the big 2 and you don't have enough dice left to stand a legit a chance of stopping either one.
Glean Magic - 0 beers
Literally useless against Dwarfs. It casts a spell known by another wizard and since we have no wizards, it does nothing.
Gift of Chaos - 3 beers
12" AoE spell, but with highly random damage. Even weaker than flickering fire, but in a Dwarf army his will usually hit a lot of targets so is more dangerous. You'll typically only see this cast when the caster is in close combat, but a Lord of Change that lands behind your army may cast it too. When it will hit a significant number of units, this is definitely worth using dice against. Worth saving dice to use them here even. However, I would rarely use a spellbreaker against this one because those should be saved for the next two spells...
Bolt of Change - 5 beers
This is why Tzeentch Daemon magic is so feared. 2d6 hits at Strength D6+4. So the min strength is 5, and usually it is higher than that. It has a reasonable chance of killing a war machine or shooting unit outright, or will reliably blow a rank (or two!) off a combat block.
It is a magic missile (so Lord of Change in combat cannot use it), it only has an 18" range, and it casts on a 12+ (so 4 dice), but it is still extremely good.
You need to stop this spell, and you will want to use your spellbreakers against it.
Tzeentch's Firestorm - 5 beers
A wimpy version of Bolt of Change, it gains a 24" range and will create a small unit or Horrors. It cannot add to an existing Horror unit, nor create enough Horrors to be a real threat (max 4, likely only 2), but they can get in the way or tie up a shooting unit the following Daemon turn. Mainly it inflicts damage, and 2d6 S5 hits is plenty to take off a rank or beat up a war machine.
This is well worth attempting to stop with dice, but it will take 4 or 5, and thus might not work. I would advise using a spellbreaker, except I suggest saving those for Bolt of Change. So if you haven't used the spellbreakers there in the first couple of turns, start using them up against this spell on turn 2 or 3.
Edited by David L, 22 January 2010 - 02:14 PM.