Undying Dinasties 1.2 Preview
We have a new release coming soon, and I was given the chance to look at it early and comment how it affects our glorious Dynasties. There are a lot of changes in this new version, seeking to stop skewed list and make the background of the game more relevant., so lets start with some of the changes in the general rules.
General rules:There have been some general changes to the game that will affect us directly, so I want to swiftly comment on them first.
The first one is the Miscastrule. As you may have seen in other previews, miscast punish far more hardly the use of 4-5 dice than before and no longer rob you of PD. With this in mind, the game supports more and more the use of 2-3 dice when casting spells, something we already did a lot.
Another change was to the general magic items. The most relevant to us are IMO the removal of the Book of arcane knowledge and that the discipline banner is now an expensive enchanted item that a character has to wear. Combined with a general leadership reduction for support characters, this may lead to lower leadership across the board. While our wizards/Royal characters did suffer this, the bright side is that swift reform is automatic if you have a musician.
Another general change is how Warmachines work. They have only T4, but their wounds increase to 5 (5W). The catapult now affects a YxY number of models and use BS to hit, with the chance to roll a second chance in case of a miss for reduced area damage. Their direct damage is reduced against single models. All this means catapults are now focused on dealing with big infantry blocks instead of single targets.
Another interesting change is that units that can score on scenario (scoring units) are predefinedand no longer ranked units with standards. For our army, these units are Skeletons, skeleton archers, Skeleton Cavalry, Necropolis Guard, Shabties and Cataphracts. Combined with standards adding CR based on the number of standards involved and standards no longer granting an extra 50VP, small/medium units of standard bearing unit seem like a more interesting choice now.
Paths of Magic:As the preview showed, we have access to 3 lores (Cosmology, Divination and Evocation) and each one has a pretty different focus.
CosmologyThis path focuses mostly on small augments/hex and low STR damage that ignore armor or special saves. Most spells have a low CV once you apply the Cosmos/Chaos effect, in fact five of the seven spells en up with CV7 or less, which can be easily 2 diced.There are some strong synergies with most of our units in this Path.
The signature helps all our ranged units significantly, increasing ranged damage by a 50%, which includes catapults now. The -1 to WS hex can work well in conjunction with our royal-lead units and high WS units (constructs mostly).
Healing 1 wound on a CV5 spell for monsters is pretty decent, basically the only reason I used desert wind before and the +1 leadership is mostly wasted in our army now, but the -1 ld hex now seems better than any other time. Truth of time is more list dependent, but the augment is a solid spell for combat oriented lists and the hex for shooty lists. Still, it’s probably a once per game hex with the cast distance.
(A song of) Ice and fire is one of our best answers against armored characters and both versions can be used to deal with chaff units. Perception of strengths is the only way we now have to increase chariots STR, which makes it really appealing.
Finally, the last spell is something we have never had before, a unit killing spell. While its only STR3 and allows all saves, it can be used to decimate tarpits. The ward is a useful last resort spell, but most of our combat units can have a 5+ regen, so this version of the spell is less interesting for us.
This is a lore I would use with a +3 to cast and two dicing most spells, on a list with chariots, monsters and shooting. The Cosmos/Chaos counters will require some forethought on the order spells are cast.
DivinationThis lore comes with some of the best anti-monster/deathstars spell in all our paths and with strong (aura) augments. The range in most spells is rather short, so you can either play a close formation or have multiple Divination wizards to increase the range.
The attribute of this spell is something that will have little use in our army, especially now that swift reforms are automatic, but the signature (hard target/distracting) works great with our high WS units or shield infantry. From experience, hitting an units that can resurrect on 5s is a pain in the a$$.
Fate Judgment and Look to the west are both strong spells against monsters, bypassing high toughness and special saves. With some of the changes dealing with monsters may be harder now for us, so both spells in the same lore will cover one of our biggest weaknesses.
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