I’ve decided to run through the handbook and make some uneducated notes on what I think we’ll see in the competitive community.
Warning! This will Age badly!!
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One with the Land
Wizard Heroes with a wounds characteristic of 9 or less and are not unique gain the Andtorian Locus keyword.
At the start of the hero phase both players roll a dice. For each 4+, each player receives 1 Primal Magic Dice.
Note: This reads as 1 player rolls 4+, and then both they and their opponent receive the Primal Magic Dice. If they both roll 4+, they both receive 2 dice.
After a player attempts to cast or unbind a spell or endless spell they can roll 1 of their Primal Magic Dice. If they do so, add the result to their roll. The player can continue to roll Primal Magic Dice until they suffer a Primal Magic Miscast or have run out of Primal Magic Dice.
Note: The Primal Magic Dice can be used by any wizards and not just Andtorian Locus. One model I can see benefitting greatly from this is Gobsprakk in the Kruleboyz, who’ll be able to add another dice to his unbind and dispel attempts. This will give him a greater chance of causing mortal wounds against wizards. It will also mean that when using Mandrakk, he could use 4d6 on the dispel, almost guaranteeing the D6 mortals against the enemy caster. What does seem a little busted at this stage is whether Primal Magic Dice count towards the casting roll for ability effects, which cause mortal wounds.
Abilities that allow you to re-roll casting, unbinding, or dispelling rolls must be used before using any Primal Magic Dice. Any such re-rolls cannot be supplemented with the Primal Magic Dice, and any such Dice that remain at the end of the battle round are lost.
Rolls which have had Primal Magic Dice added to the result will have a chance of miscasting. This occurs when two or more of the dice are rolled as unmodified 1’s.
The spell is not cast and the caster suffers D3+3 mortal wounds as a result. Any units within 3″ of the caster also suffer D3 mortal wounds. In addition, the caster cannot cast any further spells that phase.
Likewise, if two or more of the dice on a roll which includes Primal Magic Dice are 6’s the spell cannot be unbound, however the caster cannot cast any further spells that phase and both players receive 1 additional Primal Magic Dice.
You can pick 1 spell from the Lore of Primal Frost for each Andtorian Locus in your army instead of picking 1 spell from another Lore they know.
Note: This spell could be particularly effective on screens or units that are already benefitting from buffs to their to hit or to wound rolls. Once again Kruleboyz and more specifically, Hobgrots could benefit from the increase in damage, kicking out 5-6 successes with 2-3 damage each. Or reinforced Giant Rats with 24 attacks at rend -5 anyone!? Zombies hitting on 2’s?!
Rupture is a spell that has a casting value of 10 and range of 18″. If successfully cast pick 1 predatory endless spell or Incarnate wholly within range and visible to the caster. The target immediately becomes wild and cannot be picked to be bonded or controlled for the rest of the battle.
Note: Not as effective as you’d first imagine, as pointed out by PlasticCraic, owners of Incarnates are usually very keen for their Krondspines to go wild as early as possible. However, IF an opponent as chosen Magic made Manifest as their grand strategy this would be a useful spell in your pocket.
Merciless Blizzard has a casting value of 12 and a range of 12″. If successfully cast pick 1 enemy unit within range and visible to the caster. That unit suffers 4D6 mortal wounds, but for each roll of 1 the caster suffers D3 mortal wounds that cannot be negated (No ward saves).
The following command traits can only be chosen for your General if they are an Andtorian Locus.
Shaman of the Chilled Lands
This General knows all the spells from the Lore of Primal Frost.
Eye of the Blizzard
At the start of your hero phase, if your general is on the battlefield roll a dice. On. A 5+ you gain 1 Primal Magic Dice.
Chilled to the Bone
Once per battle, if this general suffers a miscast or primal miscast roll 1 dice. On 3+, the general can ignore the effects of the miscast or primal miscast.
Eater of Magic
Each time this general successfully unbinds a spell roll a dice. On 5+, the caster no longer knows that spell and cannot cast it for the remainder of the battle.
Note: I can see this one being the most commonly taken of the Command Traits from the book. Though whether the benefits are enough for players to choose an Andtorian Locus as their general remains to be seen. The chance to remove spells permanently, such as Spellsinger (Sylvaneth).
Nullstone Adornments are unique enhancements that can only be included in armies that do not contain any wizards. One can be given to a hero in your army who does not have an Artefact of Power. If you have the ability to take two enhancements you can do so from the table below, but each enhancement can only be included once in your army, and no hero can possess more than one Nullstone Adornment or Artefact of Power.
Note: This is a great little addition for those armies without any wizards such as Blades of Khorne or Fyreslayers. Allowing them to get involved in magic without having to ally in wizards.
Hand-carved Nullstone Icon
The bearer can attempt to unbind one spell or attempt to dispel one endless spell in the enemy hero phase in the same manner as a wizard. Each time the bearer is successful using this ability, the bearer can attempt to dispel one additional spell that phase.
Pouch of Nulldust
Once per battle, at the start of the hero phase, you can say that the bearer will use their pouch of Nulldust. If you do so, until the end of that phase unmodified casting rolls of double 1’s, 2’s or 3’s are treated as miscast, or if a Primal Magic Dice was used as part of the cast, a Primal Miscast. In addition, roll a dice for each endless spell on the battlefield. On a 5+, that endless spell is dispelled.
Note: Once per game, but timed right, it could put a serious dent into your opponent’s spellcasting. However, I suspect that the Hand-carved Nullstone Icon will likely be the go-to adornment for non-wizard armies.
Polished Nullstone Pebble
When this unit is picked as the target of a spell or the abilities of an endless spell, you can roll a dice. On a 4+, the caster must pick another unit within 3″ of this unit and within range of the spell or the Endless Spells abilities to be the target. If there are no other units within 3″, ignore the spell or endless spell effects instead.
Must include at least two Andtorian Locus units and can include up to three Andtorian Locus units.
At the start of the battle, if there are two or more Andtorian Locus units in this battalion roll a dice. On 3+ you gain 1 Primal Magic Dice.
Wizard Finders of Andtor
Must include 1 hero that is not a wizard with 10 wounds or less, as well as 1 infantry unit with a wounds characteristic of 4 or less and is not Leader, Artillery or Behemoth and does not have mounts. It can include an additional infantry unit as described above, as well as a Behemoth unit that is not a leader.
Each time a unit from this battalion is chosen to fight, it may go on a wizard hunt. If it does so, add 1 attack to one of its melee profiles until the end of that phase. But all the attacks of that hit in that phase must target a wizard.
Control the Nexus
At the end of the battle, this is achieved if 2 or more friendly wizard units are within 6″ of the centre of the battlefield.
When the battle ends, if you have chosen an Andtorian Locus as your general, you score this Grand Strategy if your general is still alive.
Slaughter of Sorcery
You complete this Grand Strategy if there are no wizard units on the battlefield at the end of the game.
At the end of the battle, if all enemy units with Artefacts of Power and no enemy units are within 6″ of the centre of the board, you complete this Grand strategy.
This grand strategy of completed if, at the end of the battle, all enemy battleline units are destroyed, and you have at least one battleline unit remaining.
Magic made Manifest
Gained at the end of the battle if two or more endless spells/incarnates remain on the battlefield bonded to friendly units.
Intimidate the Invaders
Achieved at the end of the turn if their are more friendly units outside of your territory that there are inside it.
You complete this tactic if an enemy unit that destroyed a friendly general earlier in the Battle is destroyed this turn.
You score this tactic if an enemy bonded endless spell or Incarnate is either bonded to one of your own units, are wild, or the controlling enemy unit has been destroyed.
You score this tactic if a friendly wizard was able to cast at least one spell and none of your spells were dispelled or unbound.
Note: This may be easier to score as the game progresses and enemy wizards are destroyed. Or if your enemy chooses an army without any wizards in its list and does not include the Hand-carved Nullstone Icon. It could be a good one to keep for the late game.
Pick 1 enemy unit on the battlefield. You score this tactic, of that unit is destroyed by a spell or endless spell.
Note: One of the few battle tactics that armies without spell casters cannot achieve. Armies such as Fyreslayers or Blades of Khorne will struggle here without an allied wizard.
Bait and Trap
You complete this tactic if two or more friendly units retreated this turn, and two or more friendly units charged this turn.
Led into the Maelstrom
You complete this tactic if 1 or more friendly heroes and 1 or more friendly battleline units made a charge move this turn, and at least one of those units is within 3″ of an enemy unit.
Surround and Destroy
Pick three different friendly units, you complete this tactic at the end of your turn if each unit is within 6″ of different battlefield edges and two or more are outside of your territory.
In general, the battleplans seem to be a lot more fun this season, aside from one or two, which have negative effects on one or two factions, as mentioned below. The battle tactics seem easier thus time around and should mean those without newer tomes published in the last year can still compete.
With the battleplan Power Flux which awards VPs for slaying wizards, I can see the Lumineth being left on the shelf by top-tier players in favour of other armies.
Nighthaunt likewise may not see much play with Every Step is Forward meaning they can’t retreat and contest objectives, and Frigid Zephyr battleplan turning off their ability to fly.
Ossiarch Bonereapers command trait teachings of the tithe-reapers (first spell successfully cast by the general cannot be unbound) just became even better!
Units which could be seeing a lot more play over the next year, may be;
- Gobsprakk (Kruleboyz)
- Warsong (Sylvaneth)
- Gaunt Summoners (Tzeentch)
- Slaughterpriest (Khorne)
- Cheapo Screens (all factions)