The 9th Age/Tactics/Paths Of Magic
Magic is not as nutty gamebreaking as it was in 8th ed. That said, Magic is still an incredibly powerful tool at your disposal and depending on your army is necessary.
- 1 Before You Start Your Magic Adventure...
- 2 The Magic Phase
- 3 Miscasts
- 4 The Paths of Magic
Before You Start Your Magic Adventure...
There are many differences from 8th ed. Some things to note before we begin.
Gone are the days of random spell selection and hoping you get the spell you want. Spell selection and how many spells each wizard knows is based on the level of the Wizard. Unless you have a special rule, each wizard can only select from one path.
Wizard Apprentice knows 1 spell and can select from spell 1 and the hereditary spell.
Wizard Adept knows 2 spells and can select from spells 1, 2, 3, 4, and the hereditary spell. Has Channel (1).
Wizard Master knows 4 spells and can select from spells 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and the hereditary spell. Has Channel (1) and a +1 modifier to its casting rolls.
Learned Spells Spells numbered 1-6 in each path. Determines which spells your Wizard is capable of knowing. Any spell can only be attempted once in a magic phase, even if multiple wizards know the spell (unless the spell is replicable, see below).
Don't be a chump and choose the highest numbered spell available to your wizard. The power of Wizard Masters and Adepts is wider variety. Spell 6 is not necessarily better than spell 1. Choose the spells based on your list and what will work best for your army.
The Hereditary Spell Your army's hereditary spell will be listed in your army book. They are usually pretty good, so you'll probably be taking it.
Attribute Spells Some paths have an associated Attribute Spell. This spell cannot be cast individually but is instead cast every time your wizard successfully casts a spell from that path (unless stated otherwise). Attribute spells cannot be dispelled.
Replicable Spells If a spell is replicable (labeled rep) you may attempt to cast it multiple times in a single magic phase, but each wizard that knows the replicable spell may only attempt to cast it once.
Bound Spells Some models and items have access to bound spells, they can be a copy of a spell from the Paths of Magic or a unique spell. Bound Spells are not cast like normal spells. Instead, you decide to use 2 or 3 dice from your magic pool and discard them, automatically casting the spell without rolling for it. Bound spells have a power level (usually 4/8), those numbers refer to the total roll needed to dispell the bound spell when it is cast with 2 or 3 dice. If the bound spell is a spell from one of the paths of magic, it casts the corresponding attribute spell as well, but bound spells cannot be boosted or augmented.
Specify valid targets for the spell.
Augment may only target friendly units.
Aura effects all valid targets within range.
Caster effects only the caster.
Caster's Unit effects the caster and all models in the same unit as the caster.
Damage may only target units/models not engaged in combat.
Direct may only target units/models in the caster's front arc.
Focused may only target single models (including a character in a unit). Only effects one model part of multi-part models (e.g. mounted characters).
Ground targets a point on the battlefield.
Hex may only target enemy units/models.
Missile target(s) must be in the caster's line of sight and cannot be engaged in combat.
Universal may target friendly and/or enemy models.
Instant the spell effects are applied and the spell is over.
Lasts One Turn the spell is in effect until the beginning of the caster's next magic phase.
Permanent the spell lasts until the end of the game or until a predetermined condition is met (specified in the spell description).
The Magic Phase
The biggest difference in the magic phase itself is the addition of flux cards. Instead of rolling dice to determine how many magic dice each player gets, they draw from a deck of 8 cards to see how many magic dice each player gets, how many flux tokens the active player gets, and any other effects if applicable. Both players get the magic dice listed, but the active player gets to turn their veil tokens into additional magic dice at a ration of 3 to 1 (max 4 additional magic dice). After turning veil tokens into magic dice, discard down to a maximum of 3 veil tokens. Some spells and effects add veil tokens to your pool later, the maximum veil tokens you can hold on to is 6.
Occur when you roll a three-of-a-kind during a spell casting attempt. Effects range from the spell failing regardless of the casting total, to removing your caster from the table.
With these in mind, let's start our magic party!
The Paths of Magic
Summary: a mix of armor, anti-armor, and some fire.
- A: Alchemical FireTarget is flammable vs. melee attacks for a turn. While this might be easier to describe as something other than flammable, it still allows your melee men with their Flaming swords to re-roll their wounds after you soften them up. need to be at least an adept or list build around to make use of this.
- Quicksilver Lash: Inflicts d3+1 hits with armor penetration 10 and wounds based on how much armor your target has.
- Word of Iron: +1 armor (+2 boosted).
- Glory of Gold: target gains +1 armor penetration, flaming attacks, magic attacks. Wombo combo with your A spell.
- Molten Copper: inflicts d3+3 hits with armor penetration 4, strength equal to your targets armor bonus.
- Corruption of Tin: A permanent -1 to the target's armor. While this won't make for a heavy unit crumble instantly, persistent casts will make them wither away against plain foot soldiers.
- Silver Spike: Your caster pretends they're a bolt thrower. It works pretty well.
Summary: a has spells with dual forms mostly buffs and debuffs with a casting bonus if you alternate. A Very adaptable Path for any list.
- Duality: Rather than an attribute, all Cosmo spells have 2 versions, a Cosmos and Chaos aspect (one usually buffs, the other debuffs). When your caster successfully casts a Cosmology spell, the next spell they cast has its casting value reduced by 1 if the next spell is of the opposing aspect.
- Altered Sight: +1 to offensive skill, defensive skill, and weapon aim. -1 with the other version.
- Truth of Time: Charge, Flee, Pursuit, and Overrun, distance is Maximized or Minimized, depending on the version.
- Ice and Fire 2d6 Str4 AP0 hits, one version re-rolls successful special saves, the other version re-rolls successful armor saves.
- Perception of Strength +1 to str and AP, -1 to str and AP with the other version.
- Unity in Divergence Friendly models gain a 5+ aegis save or enemy unit suffers a str 3 AP0 hit per model.
- Touch the Heart The target either recovers 1 hp or takes 1 hit that automatically wounds with AP 10.
Summery: a buffing path, controlling if your unit bracks, giving divine attacks, and other good fighting spells.
- The Conclave: Divination spells gain +3" range (max 9") for each friendly wizard within 12" of the caster. Fortunately, these other wizards don't need to be Divination either.
- A: Guiding Light: Discipline tests take a minimized roll. Cannot affect the same unit more than once per magic phase.
- Know thy Enemy: +2 Offensive Skill, Defensive Skill, and Agility.
- Fate's Judgment: Target suffers d3 (d6 boosted) hits that auto wound, no special saves allowed (though armor saves are allowed).
- Scrying: Target gains distracting and hard target (1). If you boost this spell, your caster gives this as an aura to models within 6" for a wall of hard-to-hit.
- The Stars Align: the target gains Divine Attacks and must re-roll failed to hit rolls. For some reason, ranged attacks only benefit from this when the spell is not boosted, meaning that boosting's only advisable if the caster intends to join the melee.
- Unerring Strike: Target suffers 2d6 (maximized roll when boosted) hits that wound on 4+, 1 AP, divine attacks, and magic attacks.
- Portent of Doom: The enemy unit permanently suffers a penalty to its combat score equal to the number of characters in the unit. Characters leaving the unit are no longer affected unless they are the sole target.
Summary: the Healing lore. All spell needs The Oaken Throne to be cast in order to be amplified, and most spells can be cast from a specific terrain feature instead of the caster.
- 0: The Oaken Throne: A caster that knows any spell from Druidism also knows The Oaken Throne as a bonus spell. This won't trigger the Attribute spell, but it does amplify every spell as opposed to the optional boosting of other paths of magic. It can be dispelled if your opponent discards a magic die at the end of step 3 of any magic phase.
- A: Fountain of Youth: The target or unit recovers (raises amplified) 1 hp. No single model can recover (or raise) more than 1 hp per phase from this spell.
- Healing Waters: Target gains fortitude 5+ (4+ amplified). can be cast from Water Terrain.
- Master of Earth: Target suffers d6 hits with str 4 and AP 1 (str5 AP2 amplified). can be cast from Impassable Terrain.
- Entwining Roots: Target suffers -1 (-2 amplified) to offensive skill, defensive skill, and to-hit with shooting. can be cast from forest Terrain.
- Summer Growth: The target raises hp based on its type. Standard infantry raises 4 (6 amplified), Towering presence raises 1, anything else raises 2 (3 augmented).
- Stone Skin: +2 (+3 amplified) resilience. can be cast from Hill Terrain.
- Spirits of the Wood: The targeted unit is treated as if it was in a forest for free cover. Amplifying also gives your unit forest strider.
Summary: A Veil Tokens Generator. A mix of melee support and character sniping spells.
- A: Evocation of Souls: If you have less than 3 veil tokens after triggering this spell, add 1. This can be done no more than once each phase, which can give you the means to prolong your casting phase.
- Spectral Blades: reroll failed to wound rolls with melee attacks (boosted adds lethal strike).
- Whispers of the Veil: -2 offensive and defensive skill, -1 to discipline.
- Hasten the Hour: 1 (boosted, up to 3) target(s) suffer 1 hit that automatically wounds with AP 10.
- Ancestral Aid: reroll failed to hit rolls in melee (boosted, and shooting).
- Touch of the Reaper: target suffers d3 hits with str 10 and AP 10. use the target's discipline instead of resilience.
- Danse Macabre: target performs a magical move with ghost step.
Summary: a damage path with some self-supporting. all gain additional benefits when you sacrifice your own models.
- The Sacrifice: If you deal HP damage to the caster's unit or to an unengaged friendly unit within 24", your spell is immediately amplified. This is done after casting, but before dispelling, so you're relatively sure the spell will go off if you're killing your own dudes. The number of models is determined by the majority unmodified discipline score of the unit being sacrificed.
- Pentagram of Pain: Deal d6 str 4 AP 1 hits to the target. Boosted is an aura that ignores the caster's unit so you can spread the pain. Amplified heals the caster by 1 hp if any wounds are dealt.
- Hand of Glory: The target (the caster, though if boosted, this can target other characters, champions, and solo models. Amplified includes all models in the unit with the target) gain Aegis 6+ and Aegis +1 (max 3+). gives units with no aegis a 5++, pretty nice.
- The Rot Within: Target suffers -1 offensive and defensive skill (amplified lets the caster gain +1 offensive and defensive skill). This is permanent, though it probably won't change a fight against monsters.
- Breath of Corruption: The target (the caster, though boosted lets you select other characters, champions, and solo models) gains a breath attack with toxic attacks. Amplified increases the range to 18" and lets it be used as a shooting attack.
- Marked for Doom: Target takes 1 hit with str 10 AP 10 and multiple wounds d3. If amplified, you can pick out a character within 12" to take the brunt of this attack rather than a unit.
- The Grave Calls: The target suffers 2d6 str 5 AP 2 hits (amplified makes it str 6 and AP3).
Summary: A straight DPS path, has one good unit buff, the rest hit people with fire. Flaming Attacks: All spells from Pyromancy deal flaming attacks and magic attacks. This isn't a special property, just a common theme.
- A: Blaze: The target suffers d3 str 4 hits. We heard you liked fire so we added fire to your fire so you can burn while you burn.
- Fireball: A target within 36" suffers d6 str 4 hits. Dirt cheap to cast and excellent range, though basic damage.
- Cascading Fire: Target suffers d6 str 4 hits. Boosting halves the range from 24" to 12", but it doubles the number of hits.
- Flaming Swords: Target's melee and shooting attacks gain +1 to wound modifier, flaming attacks, and magical attacks. Boosting turns this into a 6" aura around the caster.
- Pyroclastic Flow: The target suffers 2d6 (boosted 3d6) str 4 hits. Otherwise identical to Spell 2.
- Scorching Salvo Targets in a 24" aura suffer d3+1 str 4 hits, which will hurt a lot of folks.
- Enveloping Embers Every model in a targeted unit suffers 1 str 3 hit.
Summary: Mix of melee buffs, Enemy control, and the ability to summon a monster.
- A: Scarification: Melee attacks against the caster can never wound on better than 5+. Since this path tends to be the most melee-oriented, you'll be happy with good protection.
- Awaken the Beast: target gains +1 str and AP (boosted, +1 resilience instead).
- Swarm of Insects: target suffers 5d6 str 1 hits, if any wounds are dealt the unit suffers -1 to-hit shooting attacks until it moves.
- Savage Fury: target gains frenzy and battle focus.
- Chilling Howl: all units within 6" (boosted 12") of the targeted unit (including the targeted unit) suffer a -1 modifier to shooting (boosted, all ranged attacks including spells) attacks.
- Totemic Summon: summon a totemic beast. It is placed within 1" (boosted 10") from the board edge. Is a slightly stronger Chaos Spa--, Meat Pile.
- Break the Spirit: the target suffers a -1 to-hit modifier and treats all terrain (including open terrain) as dangerous terrain 2.
- Judgement on High: When casting Thaumaturgy spells, all casting dice that roll a 1 must be rerolled, though dice that cause a miscast cannot be rerolled. Any miscasts from this path suffer a +1 modifier.
- Hand of Heaven: target suffers d6 (boosted d6+1) hits with str d6 (boosted d6+1) with AP 2 (boosted 3).
- Smite the Unbeliever: The target suffers either -1 resilience or -1 to str and AP. While you normally determine this randomly, if boosted you can choose which effect you want.
- Speaking in Tongues: Targets cannot benefit from commanding presence or rally around the flag depending on whether or not you boosted the spell.
- Cleansing Fire: The target (the caster, or any character, champion, or solo unit if boosted) gains a breath attack str d3+2 AP 1.
- Wrath of God: Basically Cassandora's Comet. Place a counter on the targeted point. At the end of each subsequent magic phase roll a d6, 1-3 add a counter, 4-6 the comet comes. each unit within 2d6+counters inches suffers 2d6 str 5 AP 2 hits. It'll give those lazy dwarfs motivation to move off that objective...eventually. Maybe.
- Trial of Faith: The caster rolls d3+1 and the target rolls d3. if the caster's roll is higher the target, then the target takes automatic wounds equal to the difference.
- A: Evil Eye: if the target is friendly, +1 advance +2 march, if an enemy -1 advance -2 march (minimum 3 and 6). A unit cannot be affected by this spell more than twice per magic phase.
- Raven's Wing: the target may perform an 8" (boosted 12") magical move with fly, they gain sweeping attacks during this move.
- Deceptive Glamour: target suffers -1 (boosted -2) offensive skill, defensive skill, and agility.
- Twisted Effigy: Target cannot use shooting attacks. If boosted, it also suffers -2 to casting rolls. Useful for shutting down Cannons, or making wizard more likely to fail their rolls
- The Wheel Turns close combat attacks made by (boosted and allocated against) the target are set to-hit and to wound on 4+. Great to put this on a unit with week offense and strength stats or your chaff faces of thing with too much defense. Overcasting this can allow a mob of goblins to trade with Griffons.
- Will-o'-the-Wisp target gains random movement 2d6 (boosted 3d6). Oh, is this the mother of all crapshoots. You could bone over a very fast unit. You could unintentionally give your enemy a very mobile unit. Not much you can do here aside from measuring your choices for targets and making sure that you know when to not boost this spell.
- Bewitching Glare Melee attacks (boosted includes shooting as well) against the target gain battle focus.