Winds of Magic: Lore of Beasts

The second of the eight basic lores is the Lore of Beasts.  This is a fantastic lore full of utility and buffs, that can be used to unleash the full potential of your units.

Lore Attribute

Lore of Beasts has a predictable affinity towards monsters and other beasts.  Because of this, spells you cast that are targeting units of War Beasts, Cavalry, Monstrous Beasts, Monstrous Cavalry, Chariots, Monsters, Swarms or any unit from the Beastman book are all slightly easier to cast.  This isn't a huge benefit most of the time, but can occasionally help, but don't let this mediocre lore attribute discourage you.

Signature Spell: Wyssan's Wildform

As far as Signature Spells go, this one has a pretty high casting cost, but it does grant a friendly unit +1S/T.  This can turn your mediocre unit of spearmen into S4/T4 fighting machines, or alternatively, if you play Beastmen, this can boost you to S4 T5, meaning you'll be wounded on 6's by many attacks.  Being a Signature Spell, you can even take a couple level 1 or 2 wizards just to spam this ability.  Compared to other Signature Spells, this one is pretty great.

1. The Flock of Doom

Initially I thought this spell was pretty weak, but when you analyze it, you have a very low casting value spell with potentially a 48" range that will wound many things on 5's.  If you really want, you could cast this on enemy warmachines, where you'd be wounding on 6's even with a Fireball.  Overall, it's not super impressive, but for how cheap it is to cast, it's not terrible either.

2. Pann's Impenetrable Pelt

This is clearly the stinker of the group, having a mid to high casting value and only increasing the Toughness of characters.  If you are planning on running a lot of characters who are all in challenges, it could be alright, but ultimately it's not that spectacular, sorry Pann!

3. The Amber Spear

Pretty straight forward, the Amber Spear is a bolt thrower that's going to automatically hit and if you want, you can buff it up to S10 causing D6 wounds.  This is another spell which I always welcome with my Beastmen, since they lack any traditional artillery, the opportunity to pop a scary target before it hits my lines is always welcome, or even skewering a few knights or other tough models that I normally have a hard time getting through.  In an army that has plenty of artillery to choose from, just think of this as another piece in the arsenal, though it automatically hits and gives you the opportunity to kill something before your shooting phase, freeing up more targets for your big guns.

4. The Curse of Anraheir

Now we're to my favorite spell in the lore, as well as the spell with the most uses.  The curse has a very long range and targets a single unit, that unit will have a penalty to hit for shooting and melee, treat all terrain (except impassible) as dangerous and fail dangerous terrain tests on a 1 or 2.  Now lets think about that, "all terrain" includes Open Ground as it is listed as a terrain type in the book, and even to back that up, the cavalry rules say that they take dangerous terrain tests for any terrain that isn't open ground or hills.

If your enemy thinks that he's about to get a devastating charge onto a unit of yours, a simple application of this spell could be all you need to divert the attack.  People don't like losing 1/3 of their unit before swords are even swung, and additionally they don't like having penalties to hit, especially if they're already hitting on 5's.  If that unit has to charge through some terrain as well (say an obstacle), then they're losing 1/3 of their unit, then 1/3 again as they hit the obstacle, then 1/3 again as they hit the open ground on the other side of the obstacle, that adds up to 19:27 of their models dead, or about 70%.  That's just ugly.

5. Savage Beast of Horros

This is a spell which often can get overlooked, but I think is a great one to have in the pocket.  +3 S/A to a character can turn even a lowly mage into a viscous fighting machine and if you're already a nasty combat character, it will turn you into a crazy killing machine.  Often times you'll have more than one character in combat, like the wizard, the hero/general in the same unit, or a BSB.  Suddenly casting the AOE version is giving you 9 more attacks at a high strength.

6. Transformation of Kadon

Last but not least, we have Transformation.  Like other spells, this gets a bad rap, but mostly from people who I believe don't know how to use it properly.  If you cast this and you're not currently engaged in combat, you're probably going to die, that's all there is to it.  Since it is a Remains in Play spell, your opponent can dispel it during their turn and leave you out in the open, and suddenly every gun and bow the enemy has is pointed as your wizard. When cast while in combat, turning into a Mountain Chimera suddenly gives you a Fear causing unit in the fight, which can be nice, but more importantly 4D6 WS7 S7 poisoned attacks, plus a breath weapon for 2D6 S4 more auto-hits, followed by D6 S7 stomps... That's a pretty solid way to obliterate an enemy unit in combat.  If your mage on foot would normally be out of LoS of the enemy, after you wreck the enemy unit and they're presumably dead, run down or worse, you can always revert back to your normal size, get your look-out-sir from being near the unit it was in originally and walk back to safety.

Lore of Beasts is a great generalist lore and depending on your army can definitely either enhance your units fighting abilities or at least boost your units to be respectable.  Additionally, it has a decent ranged attack and an amazing hex, offering quite a diverse set of spells to your toolbox.

Lore of Beasts is accessible to: Beastmen, Bretonnia, Daemons of Chaos, High Elves, Lizardmen, Ogre Kingdoms, Empire, Vampire Counts and Wood Elves.