Saturday, 17 July 2010

Dark Elves FAQ Query...

Browsing other blogs today I spotted a review of 8th edition, which mentioned that Ring of Hotek had been nerfed a little - it could still be used by getting close to enemy wizards though. Now this troubled me as Ring of Hotek has always been far better as an umbrella for my own units than for a dark pegasus hero to go chasing enemy wizards - heroes like that tend to get themselves shot full of nice conventional arrows and the wizard carries on the next turn. It also seemed strange to me to change the item so much in what it can do, but the AMENDMENTS part of the FAQ would seem to bear this out. It says

Page 102 - Ring of Hotek
Change to "Any wizard (friend or foe) attempting to cast a spell within 12" of the wearer must roll on the Miscast table on any roll of a double, but will only cast a spell with irresistible force on a roll of double 6."

This seems simple enough, it says any wizard attempting to cast a spell within 12" but makes no mention of targetting. However, in the FAQ part of it there is the following...

Q. Do area of effect spells miscast on a double if they affect any model within 12" of the ring of hotek? (P102)
A. Yes

But hold on, surely that can't be true if it only matters if the caster is in range as opposed to the target? This is why I think they've done it wrong. I think they made the amendment given the new rules on IF/Miscast. It used to be Miscast overruled IF. Now you get both... so it's possible people might think if IF = Miscast then Miscast must therefore equal IF - effectively making the ring of hotek a spell magnet! To avoid this, they've stipulated that the msicast roll is for any double, but IF only double 6. This of course means IF still get's through now, which is a slight nerf for the Ring, as opposed to transforming the ring into a useless trinket as otherwise seems to be the case. But as the part about the spell failing and miscasting instead has been removed, this suggests to me that the ring has been nerfed further by allowing spells that pass their base casting cost to go through... the wizard just gets a miscast too.

This reading of it would seriously tone down the ring of hotek without making it completely useless. I fear that making it into something that can only be used by someone following a wizard around... well hell, it'd be cheaper to just give your hero a couple of repeater handbows and finish the job quicker and easier, rather than messing around with a ring the wizard can probably march move out of range of anyway!

I'll be discussing this with my regular gaming group to see what people make of it, and see if we can establish a house rule, but as several of them read this I may get a good read of their opinions here and now! If anybody else wants to chip in their two cents as well, they're more than welcome, I'm interested in what other people have to say about this :o)


  1. I think they mean it works like this:

    You make 2 checks -

    Check #1 - Is the caster within 12"? IF Yes THEN Miscast on double. IF No THEN make check #2.

    Check #2 - Is the spell an area of effect spell which is affecting any model (friend or foe) within 12"? IF Yes THEN Miscast on double.

    Imagine the Ring working on the spell itself rather than the caster.

  2. Ok, for clarification, it always used to be that any spell cast within 12" or TARGETTED within 12" will be miscast on double. It was never clear on area of effect spells, hence why I think the question in the FAQ clears it up. However, I fear that the amendment required to sort out that IF is not given for every miscast may have fudged away the targetted within bit :o/

  3. In that case I think my explanation still stands. ANY spell Cast from within the protective radius of the Ring Miscats on a double. Outside of that radius the Ring has no effect with the EXCEPTION that if the spell has an area of effect and hits someone within 12" of the ring.

    It seems simple enough but I agree that someone difficult people may argue otherwise.

  4. But then if there's no protection from spells targetting the ring and it's bearer, and all it does is hurt any wizards close by, it kinda makes the thing useless :o/

  5. Having re-read it a few times I can see that it could be read your way Chris, but it does have a major problem. The ring was originally meant to protect the units from enemy spells - the affecting spells cast to stop people from hiding thier own wizards under the protective umbrella. However, if it only effects spell cast, then it is a major liability among your own lines, offering no protection whatsoever.

    However, given that area of effect spells targetted on the unit would be caught by the miscast rule, you do get protection from the enemy casting them at you... but not from direct attack. Does it not seem strange that the ring still offers protection against spells that "happen" to catch the unit, but offers no protection against spells that TARGET the unit?!? This is what clued me in that something may be wrong in the first place. If it is just casting within range, then why bother with where the spell ends up? This is why I disagree with your interpretation Chris... I think it's still supposed to be a protective device rather than a wizard harrasser, it's not as awesome a protective device as it used to be, but still protective nonetheless.

    As a protective device, it has lost some potency - the miscast doesn't automatically make the spell fail any more, so the enemy can still target you (albeit with severe consequences) with spells. Also now that you can add your wizard level to your dice roll people are liable to roll less dice, and therefore are less likely to get a double. So it still protects, though not as well as it did.

    As a wizard harrasser, it seems pointless. Most people will have their wizards either in units or behind them. Marching all the way across the field and getting the ring in range that way, well you'll be in combat then which cuts down a wizards casting options anyway. So you stick the ring on a hero on a dark pegasus then. You obviously don't want him to land in front of the enemy army and get seen off, so you spend a couple turns getting him round the back. Now you can land next to the wizard, 1" away. If he's on ANY sort of mount he'll move out of range and cast spells to his hearts content. Hell, some wizards will have enough movement rate to walk away from you. A High Elf Mage can march 10" - so you have to get within 2" to even hope to keep him in range of the ring. And then the enemy could just fire a bolt thrower at you! As far as wizard harrassing goes, forget the ring just take a couple of repeater handbows and pincushion the wizard from the back of your steed. Quicker, simpler, cheaper. As a wizard harrasser the ring of hotek is practically useless!

  6. Ah I see what you're getting at now! Yeah, tactically it is pretty useless, unless you're facing Warriors of Chaos - but no-one you know is collecting them sadly.

  7. Why warriors of chaos? They cast into combat a lot?

  8. Don't know much about warhammer, although I think Chris has hit the nail with his interpretation. Which does make the ring less powerful

  9. So, reading it as written, if someone targets me with a spell I get nothing... but if they targtet my neighbour with an area of effect spell that happens to be in range woe betide them? Meanwhile, my own wizards have to stand away from my army like lepers if they want to get any spells off, thanks to the "benefits" conferred by this magic item? That reading of it MAKES NO SENSE! It's supposed to be a DEFENCE against magic! That interpretation makes it worse than useless. My interpretation keeps some semblance of functionality to the thing... but it seems no one else can see it the same way :o/

  10. Well, never mind, it's settled. The FAQ has been updated, and the confusion has been resolved. They've removed the area of effect question. So now it is in fact completely useless. All taking the ring does is stop you from putting your wizards amongst your own troops (forcing you to isolate them on the flanks, which to me is a good way of losing wizards) and oh yes it also stops enemy wizards from approaching within 12" of your units... yeah, like wizards have a tendency to do that anyway!

    The Ring of Hotek being toned down I could accept, it was a bit nasty. Being made useless is bloody annoying but shit happens. But turning it into a frakking liability just seems senseless to me! It's like taking a banner that makes any model within 12" LD 1, including the unit it's in!

    What's really frustrating for me is that I used to always use the Ring instead of more sorceresses. The ring made a big patch of battlefield I couldn't deploy my wizards in, so I cut down the amount I took. Now with that gone, and the magical protection with it, I'm gonna need more sorceresses to try to offer some dispell ability (the ring being pretty much the ONLY decent anti magic thing in the DE army book. This will of course make my magic offence stronger, and no doubt open me up to accusations of beardiness. But with a fragile army like Elves, suddenly stripped of their magical protection, I need some way to stop them getting blasted off the battlefield!