Thursday, 25 February 2010

Risky Business

With the rumours of 8th edition coming out in the summer, the internet is rife with chatter as to what changes will be made.

The general feeling is that the magic phase is too strong - something I wholeheartedly agree with. It isn't that the mechanism is flawed, indeed the game design and rationale behind the magic phase is sound, it's just that it massively favours certain armies and certain spells - and in doing so unbalances the game.

My main problem with the magic phase is that it is too certain.

Personally I would like to have some sort of mechanism that makes the winds of magic, just that - like the wind. I'm not suggesting that it go so far as the charts and dials incumbent in naval wargaming, but I can't help feeling that making magic more chancey would not only improve the game but it would instantly balance the game more.

The simplest method would be in the magic phase each mage wishing to cast has to take leadership test to see if they have tapped into the magical winds. If they suceed then they proceed as usual. If they fail then they have to roll on a miscast table that ranges from on a 1 that side loses all magic for the game, 2 loses magic for that turn, 3 all casting values 3+, 4 3+ added to all dispel rolls, 5 mage loses one level of magic, 6 all spells cast that turn by the mage are irrestible on any double.

Added to this change all magical creatures - demons, vampires, forest spirits etc - require the winds of magic. Should an army lose the winds of magic then they would have to take crumble tests or an equivilent as the magic drains from them.

Also it might be applied to magical weapons. The first time they are used the wielder has to test, and if it is failed then it turns out they have been sold a pup and it is just a mundane weapon.

I feel that this would place magic in a proper context, without nerfing it, of support and place troops back at the centre of the game.