The Lore of Light in Warhammer Fantasy Battles is a fairly defensive lore that focuses on Augments, with a couple of Magic Missiles and one Hex. Its focus on Augments makes it a Lore very focused on your troops, both in enhancing them and protecting them. The Lore of Light works best in conjunction with a solid understanding of tactical movement in Warhammer.
Lore Attribute: Exorcism
The Lore Attribute for Light is pretty lame: extra hits against Daemons and Undead. That’s, what, 3-4 armies in the whole game? And most Undead don’t care if you happen to kill a few more skeletons. A Lore Attribute that only works against certain opponents? Meh. If you happen to be facing said opponents, then a minor offensive spell boost in a fairly defensive Lore is NOT going to win you the game. A pretty lousy Lore Attribute.
Signature Spell: Shem’s Burning Gaze
It sounds like a Fire spell, and sure enough, it causes Flaming attacks. In some ways this spell is similar to Fireball, as a fairly simple Magic Missile, but when you boost it you get a higher Strength instead of extra hits. You shouldn’t try to use this like Fireball: its high Strength makes it best at killing things like Heavy Cavalry and Monsters, not Hordes. A solid spell, but it does depend on what you’re facing: if you’re staring across the board at hundreds of Night Goblins with no Monster support, this isn’t going to do much.
1: Pha’s Protection
A target unit (or all nearby if boosted) is harder to hit. This works in both close combat and shooting, but the best bit is it works against War Machines (and very well, in fact). If you’re facing a Gunline, this is possibly one of the best spells in the game, because you can probably halve the damage you take. It’s not quite so useful against close combat armies, but a few missed attacks might help sway close fights.
The area boosted version is considerably better than the target one, unless you have a Death Star unit that you’re throwing all your Augments at (which would actually work with Light). You should try to position your Wizard such that as many important units are covered as possible. Remember that you can measure whatever you want, whenever you want!
2: The Speed of Light
About 3×108 m/s. (Sorry)
Jokes aside, the spell boosts a unit’s WS and I to 10, or all nearby units if boosted. How good this is depends on how good your troops are to begin with. If you’re casting this on Swordmasters, you’re wasting your time. If you’re casting it on Halberdiers, though… that could cause some serious hurt. WS10 will usually mean you’re hitting on 3s, and non-elite troops will need 5s to hit you, and I10 will mean you almost always go first, unless fighting foes with Always Strike First.
Because it’s very much a close combat spell, most of the time it will not be useful to use the area boosted version, simply because it would mean your Wizard is too close to danger.
Nevertheless… you can pull some interesting tricks with this. Is a Purple Sun of Xereus about to pass over your Spearmen? Is an enemy Wizard chucking around Pits of Shades like there’s no tomorrow? Well, these spells force Initiative checks… boosting your Initiative outside combat suddenly got useful.
3: Light of Battle
Auto-rally, or basically become Unbreakable for a turn. Like all the Light Augments, has an area boost option. This… is unlikely to be very useful.
The chances are is if your troops are fleeing then they aren’t going to do much more in the game. And if your troops desperately need to be Unbreakable, you probably did something wrong. There is a very good reason why Unbreakable troops are out of favour in 8th Edition: Steadfast Infantry with BSB support are almost Unbreakable anyway and are far easier to come by.
For the final nail in the coffin, the effectiveness of Light of Battle during a game is very random. If none of your troops ever break from Panic and you win every combat, the spell is useless. I don’t like spells that have a chance of being completely useless.
4: Net of Amyntok
The single Hex in the Lore of Light, the Net of Amyntok is a control spell. The target must take a Strength test to do… well, anything. They suffer a bit of damage if they fail, but more importantly, the action is prevented. Moving? Shooting? Magic? Potential to shut it all down with one spell.
Now, naturally, the Strength check makes the spell much more effective against certain armies, but it has fantastic potential. Consider casting it at a big unit of Bretonnian Knights with a Damsel hiding inside. If you’re lucky, the Knights will halt, and the Damsel will not only find it hard to cast but might get killed in the process! A fantastic defensive spell. Any spell that forces your opponent to change the way they are playing is excellent in my books.
Whoever wrote this spell apparently didn’t get the memo about the 8th Edition metagame. It’s a Magic Missile that gets better with more Light Wizards around the caster. Ummm…
Because of the way Magic works in 8th Edition most people field only 1-2 Wizards, and rarely multiple Wizards with the same Lore (unless it’s some army-specific thing). The chance of fielding multiple Light Wizards? Ha!
The only saving grace of this spell is it’s actually a fairly good Magic Missile anyway, and forces rerolls of successful Ward Saves. Like many other aspects of the Lore of Light, this is good against some armies, and useless against others. Your mileage may vary.
6: Birona’s Timewarp
Instead of a nuke, Light gets another Augment as its last spell. Like all the other Light Augments, it can be boosted for an area version. This spell does three things: boosts movement, boosts attacks, and grants Always Strikes First.
Well, apart from the interesting utility of granting Always Strikes First to something (combine with The Speed of Light for countering High Elves or combining with Great Weapons), the good bit about this spell is it can be used to help two different Phases: Movement and Close Combat.
For the attack and Always Strikes First, you use this like any other close combat Augment. Charge, move your Wizard in range, and then cast. No brainer.
The tricky bit about this spell is the movement boost. The problem is it doesn’t move troops, it just boosts their movement… so it isn’t actually useful until the next turn. So, no Turn 1 Silverhelm charges. You have to plan ahead a lot, which is tricky when the opponent knows that you’ve cast Birona’s Timewarp.
This means that the spell is most useful when all you need is to desperately get lots of troops across the board as soon as possible… like against a Gunline. Alternatively, if you’re playing a more defensive game, you can use it to help guarantee your countercharges: buff your flanking troops the turn before the enemy reaches you. If you do this right, said buff will also make the flanking troops a direct threat, thus forcing the enemy to charge. And manipulating your foe is always good.
The Lore of Light is… alright. It’s very strong against certain armies: Daemons, obviously, and also I believe it would be the strongest Lore against a Gunline, with Pha’s Protection and Birona’s Timewarp. Against other foes it feels a bit lacklustre, and I think there’s a reason it’s not a particularly popular Lore for tournaments and the like.
The Lore of Light does scale nicely, because you can happily buff a single Death Star unit, or use the area boosted versions of the Augments to cover multiple units. Thus, it potentially has a use in almost any army.
The Lore of Light relies heavily on solid tactical movements, and thus is probably not a great choice for a beginner. Experienced gamers who have a strong understanding of manoeuvre warfare in Warhammer will find the Lore of Light more powerful.
Hits: Pha’s Protection, Net of Amyntok
Misses: Light of Battle, Banishment