Lore of beasts in 8th edition warhammer
Wildheart is the name of the lore attribute for the lore of beasts (also known as amber magic) this reduces the casting difficulty of lore of beasts spells on certain units by one. Basically this makes it easy to cast them on every type of beast, cavalry, chariot and monster as well as any model from the warhammer armies: beastmen.
This makes the lore of beasts more appealing to certain armies and army compositions then others, there are also 2 spells that affect friendly characters and one that can only be cast by a wizard on foot. Out of all the lore's of magic it makes beasts the one you have to think about most when choosing your army, especially if you are investing a lot of points in wizards with the lore of the beasts.
The signature spell of the lore of beasts so any wizard with the lore may choose this spell. It has a high casting value for a signature spell (only matched by searing doom from the lore of metal) meaning a low level wizard will have to use a few power dice to be able to cast this. It is also short ranged though this can be increased for a higher casting value.
Wyssan's wildform gives the target unit +1 strength and toughness making them much more effective in combat or just generally hard to kill, this can make a mediocre unit good and a good unit even better. Toughness and strength 4 (or higher) troops gain a particular advantage from this after all toughness 5 means strength 3 troops need 6's to wound them.
The flock of doom
The flock of doom is a magic missile spell, the range can also be extended for a higher casting value (though both are lower then Wyssan's wildform). It inflicts 2d6 strength 2 hits, this makes it most effective against high toughness units such as monsters and war machines with little or no armour save as rolls of 6's always wound. A useful spell to have to cast before you make use of the augment spells in the lore of beasts.
Pann's impenetrable pelt
Short ranged pann's impenetrable pelt grants one character +3 toughness for a higher casting value you can make the spell affect all friendly characters in a small area. Considering combing it with the savge beast of horros spell it can make even a lowly character a force to be reckoned with.
Most beneficial for lone characters as if a character is in a unit your opponent is likely to avoid attacking them and go for easier targets. It is also a good buff to use on a character who intends to issue a challenge. It can be particularly useful if said character is unbreakable, stubborn or this will mostly likely make them win the combat allowing you to use them to delay units.
It can also be used to protect the wizard (or indeed another wizard) or vulnerable characters such as empire warrior priests and battle standard bearers who grants the unit they accompany a buff that is lost if they die. Also consider it for lone characters who end up out of position and exposed to either missile fire or magic missiles +3 toughness can ensure that they survive.
Another possible use is in the blood and glory scenario where keeping your general and battle standard alive can prove invaluable.
The amber spear
The amber spear is basically a short range magical version of a bolt thrower with one major advantage once cast it always hits it target. It also has a higher casting value that increases it from strength 6 to 10 and increases the multiple wounds caused from d3 to d6. Amber spear is effective against lone characters and monsters and can also be deadly to cavalry especially if you can get a flank shot or if they have several ranks from the front. Like the flock of doom the amber spear is a good spell to use until your army closes with the enemy.
The curse of anraheir
The curse is a hex spell with a long range, it curses the target unit to be -1 to hit with in both combat and with shooting. It also causes them to treat all terrain as dangerous and the target unit will fail difficult terrain tests on the roll of 1 or 2. This gives the spell two mains ways to be used, directly against a unit that is engaged against one of yours in combat or as a deterrent to charging or marching a unit through previously safe terrain. Even better if the enemy unit is in a good position to charge but must do so through terrain, the combination of dangerous terrain tests and negative to hit modifier will deter many a general.
Another use of the negative to hit modifier is against troops with ranged poisoned attack as it can either lower the number of shots they can take or make it impossible to poison with them.
The savage beast of horros
The savage beasts of horros is one of the best spells of the lore of beasts, it grants one character within a short range +3 strength and attacks. It also has a higher casting version that effects every character within a small area. This can make an poor character deadly or a more dangerous one an absolute monster. It even transforms wizards into a force to be reckoned with.
The higher casting version of the spell can be excellent for armies such as the empire who are likely to have numerous characters such as warrior priests and witch hunters spread amongst their units. It can also be focus on to powerful characters such as ogre tyrants and makes them more then an equal for most foes. This is particularly true if combined with pann's impenetrable pelt. The savage beast of horros is a potentially gaming winning spell is cast at the right time.
Transformation of kadon
Transformation of kadon can only be cast on the wizard themselves and only if on foot so the decision to considering taking this spell is often done when choosing your army. the transformation of kadon transform the wizard either into a feral manticore, black hydra or horned dragon. There is a higher casting value of the spell that transform the wizard into either a mountain chimera or a great fire dragon. It is a remains in play spell so can be dispelled in later turns (and the see the wizard in a lot of trouble), it also prevents the wizard using magic items and using magic.
Using transformation can be tricky as you must charge the wizard in and hope to get the spell through, if you do though the wizards attacks likely combined with a breath weapon will be deadly. Casting it before you are in combat can force your opponent to considering dispelling it in his magic phase or face the wrath of the beast you have transformed into. On occasion it can be worth transforming just to use the monsters breath weapon in the shooting phase.
From the lower casting value the feral manticore seems to be the worse choice it has similar stats to the black hydra and horned dragon and lacks a save of any kind or a breath weapon, the only slight advantage it may give you is that it has killing blow. The black hydra is the most dangerous if you are already in combat with the most attacks, highest strength breathe weapon (strength 4) a scaly skin save and regeneration. The horned dragon has a scaly skin save a strength 2 breath weapon it can of course though fly whereas the black hydra cannot.
Both of the higher casting value monsters are deadly the great fire dragons has a toughness and wounds value of 8 and a 2+ save combined with 9 strength 8 attacks and a strength 5 flaming breath weapon makes it a deadly opponent. The mountain chimera is even more lethal in combat with 4d6 random attacks poison and frenzy and a strength 4 breath weapon it has a lower toughness of 7 and no saves though however. Both can be more effective depending on the foe you are facing. The mountain chimera (and feral manticore) can be slightly uncontrollable with a low leadership and frenzy though so be aware of this remember as well that frenzy forces you to overrun.
This spell is a definite game winner as both the mountain chimera and great fire dragon can slaughter almost anything before them and even the black hydra, horned dragon and feral manticore can tip an even match in your favour.
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When investing points in beasts wizards there are two ways to consider doing it, one is to take the signature spell wyssan's wildform and use it to buff up your units this could even be from multiple wizards so boosting your strength and toughness higher and higher. The other way is to invest substantial points in both wizards with the lore of beasts and characters to make the most use of pann's impenetrable pelt and savage beast of horros particularly the area effect versions.
Out of all of the lores of magic the lore of beasts is one where you must choose part (or all) of your army around it to make it most effective, that said when used correctly the lore of beasts can be extremely powerful either several characters under the effects of savage beast of horros or a wizard under the effects of the transformation of kadon can be a game winning move.
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