Advice for a new Battle Mage?

So my new character will be a battle mage with at least half their points :slight_smile:.

Does anyone have any advice on good tactics to use, useful equipment and anything else I should know?

I’m thinking of holding a point over and then picking up shield after E3. Alternatively is using a staff decent? I’m afraid I’m going to feel a bit naked without full plate :smiley:.

Swift Heal is a goddamn lifesaver, and makes you legendarily useful in popping heavies back up on their feet again.

Battlemage should be either rod and shield or staff user with a few exceptions for specific paired arcane weapons. I find a staff is really worthwhile.

If you want to be an absolute horror on the battlefield (up until an arrow hits you), take Weakness and get Coil of the Black Leech cast on you; the enchantment means you regain 3 hits every time you cast Weakness on an enemy.

Take some healing magic - offensive magic is very situational and can lead to you feeling like a waste of space or mana if the right situation doesn’t arise or the monster doesn’t take it. However, you WILL find someone who needs healing.

If you want to make friends, take Empower. I have fun wandering around until I find someone with a two-handed sword and ask them if they want to break stuff. This makes them very happy, sometimes more happy than saving their life.

looks at wiki entry for Coils of the Black Leech Ooooh nasty :slight_smile:

And I suspect I’m taking Repel as my spell, having seen it used to great effect in breaching a forts gates before. But handily there is a Rod that give you “cast Swift Heal as if you knew it” and others that let you cast it on two people in quick succession.

Also are there any decent methods for a battlemage to be able to turn crystal mana into personal mana? Or am I just looking at a few mage armours, shields and the like to get more personal mana without spending xp? Goes oooh shiney over Stormguard Bulwark

Arms of the Warwitch, basically gives you 2 more mana for 1 exp spend on hero points

Crystaltender’s Vestment, gain 3 mana for 1 crystal mana

I am a Battlemage using a staff and REPEL and have loads of fun with it. Things I would remind you:

[ul]]You only have 4 hits!/:m]
]You are not immune to arrows/:m]
]YOU ONLY HAVE 4 HITS/:m]
]Focusing on just one spell removes any possibility for decision paralysis/:m]
]Whenever I’ve had Heal (via enchantment) I have gotten through all my mana in the battle; whenever I’ve had offensive stuff (through an item) I’ve come home with some left over because there’s never seemed a good moment. This is similar to my experience of Hero calls though so it might just be me!/:m]
]YOU ONLY HAVE FOUR HITS/:m][/ul]

I can see Rod & (proper) Shield working well (and gives you a clue about which Order to join*!) but I like the distance a staff gives me because battlemages are pretty squishy!

*: Celestial Arch :wink:

It’s cheap to try out new Battlemage skills via Illuminate the Higher Mind, before you spend XP on them.
Happy to point you at someone who can do it IC.

Repel is one of the few offensive spells I have seen used really well, and feels more magey than shatter mage.

Firstly Mageblood is amazing (spell choice depending), it basically lets you cast spells at the efficiency that Physics do battlefield healing, and turning mana into mageblood should be doable easily enough.

If you are taking Swift heal, or the ability to cast swift heal, you may as well cast it with crystal mana, aside from the first one you can use through Crystal tenders vestment the two personal mana for one crystal mana isn’t a bad exchange. (Also having a small pouch of mana crystals for swift heal means you have the potential to pull of the awesome emergency saves when they are needed but it removes to temptation to be careful with your personal mana.)

Back when my coven actually had battlemages we had a look at many of the mage items and we decided that it was better to focus on keeping stocks of Crystal mana and mana potions around. Far to many of them give 1 mana spells for the same cost as a heroic call, and the difference between the + mana and + hero point items is smaller than any of the others.
There are some great apprentice items out there for mages but with mana potions many of the others are decidedly meh.

Roughly assuming that Neophytes aid is worth around 5 crystal mana, or 5 mageblood (Which is possibly still erring in it’s favour) It’s one extra personal mana per day, compared to effectively 10 personal mana on demand.
You need to be hitting roughly 6 skirmishes in a year to make them worth it, and those skirmishes need to not be on your battle day and also of a difficulty and length that you need the extra mana for them (which with the changes to the event schedule is less likely.) In comparison to having it in form where in that really tough battle you can burn through it.
Also it’s cheaper to search for a wand/rod of spell X and spend one exp on mana, than have the spell with exp and buy a single cast item or mana rod.

If I was planning to really get in a high combat player event or two in the winter then these items probably shift to actually worthwhile, but with the present format of events less so.

looks at magic page realises that he’d entirely missed you can cast spells with Crystal Mana Cheers :smiley: Also nomnomnom mageblood my new favourite potion :slight_smile:.

It’s looking very lightly that I’ll be getting a rod of swift heal the first chance I can get. Also I’m taking a look at the various rituals that let you get spells as they look kinda cool, will have to see what the score is inside HG.

Oh and RaggedHalo how many hits was that again? :wink:

Ask me that again and it’ll be three :wink:

So, a friend of mine played a series of Battle Mages… i.e. All of his battle mages died.

The best advice I can give is not to try and play a front lines battle mage. They die.

I think the key part is going to be figuring out your purpose and goal on the field then which spells support that. Guarding healers with repel/entangle? Stand behind the front line with Mend? Using your staff to repel/paralyse through the shield wall? Guarding ritualists? Aiding skirmish/scout teams?

I don’t think “General all purpose battle mage” will work. Support a specific team and goal and achieve great ambitious things.

[quote=“Kerrima”]The best advice I can give is not to try and play a front lines battle mage. They die.
[/quote]

So, two things:

  1. Playing characters who die can be loads of fun!
  2. I play a front-line battlemage. Most of my group died, but I didn’t…:wink:

Yeah, as another counterpoint, Corvus has been a front-line fighting mage (only actually a battlemage after E3 of the first year, iirc!) since Y1E1 and has stalwartly refused to die at all, much to many peoples’ disappointment :slight_smile:

The group I’m intending to join normally aren’t full on clank, sword and shield line fighters, they have a tendency to bomb around the battlefield troubleshooting and being the flying reserve column. Still get into plenty of trouble though :smiley:.

So I think my guy will have plenty to contribute to that, but once he picks up shield use I fully expect him to get there in the thick of it. As you know being in the Forlorn Hope gets you fortune and glory and all that :wink:.

Notable features:

Crystaltender’s vestment gets you three personal mana for one crystal mana, once per day.

One crystal mana casts any spell.