Dark Elf Magic Tactica Volume One.
Power of Darkness.
All Dark Elf Mages get this spell. (I say mage instead of Sorceress as I use the old Metal heart staff Dark Elf figure as my Supreme Warlock, as I cannot stand the new lets do a spell effect with every caster routine). The spell is simple but deception plays the biggest role when looking at it as a tool in your arsenal. You get for all its worth extra power dice to fuel your continuing magic assualt on your enemy. However the spells greatest use is in how and when you cast it.
1). Don't lead with this spell. Why? Simply put if you cast it to begin with it will be likely targeted by a dispel. It gives you power dice, and thats something that even Jimmy the local HE teclis player will wish to stop. If you lead with another spell to begin with, your opening up two tactical doors. Does your opponent dispel the Purple Sun your casting now......... or does he wait and see when your going to power up for an IF with Power of Darkness? If he waits, your likely to get the original spell off. I tend to lead with Chill Wind or another Magic Missile attack as my first cast. I do this specifically at a unit that will need to be protected. The gut war gamer will usually dispel it. Using up valuable dice that he cannot usually replenish. This then allows me to cast the Power of Darkness as my second or third spell with little effort and replenish my pool of Power Dice.
2). When you cast the spell be careful you don't churn dice for no reason. A very common error. The spell is cast on a 4+ So even the lowly 2nd level back up Mage can get it off quickly with 1 dice. But remember if that die rolls a 1.... or a 2...... which is 33% chance. It will end badly. But your gaining only d3+1 dice. So if you cast with 2, their is a chance your going to get back what you threw out to get the spell off. The most simple way to fix this as a DE player is to work in synergy with your Magic Items, notably the Sacraficial Dagger. The item allows you to add an extra dice by slashing the throat of one of your own friends standing next to the caster. It works well.... but be wary. The level 2 casts the spell, and promptly rolls a 1. Damn... lets kills a spearmen... and roll another dice. Whew.... came up a 3. I cast and I get a minimum of 2 dice back for the 1 I threw. However I have killed a trooper.
DE players have a glass ceiling with troop blocks literally. Taking more than 30 spears or 20 corsairs is often seen as bad move jimmy boi. So I tend to use it when the large block of units is not important. Foes like HE and WOC are my favored time to employ this item and Power of Darkness in synergy. But I also consider if I start doing that after 5 turns, I am damn likely to have to make several leadership tests due to... hey bob, the ranks are getting a bit thin here and that bloody Teclis got off a Purple Sun, I say we go to the Coppa Cobana and I shave my legs start wearing a fruity hat. Lets run for it! Their are a few items that can remove this panic, they can be worth the investment.
3). Beware the early ejaculator. The Power of Darkness is a spell that has to be planned. Think what your going to use the power dice for. Don't cast it for fun, cast it when in need. I see a lot of DE players especially those new to the spell cast it, get 4 dice and then promptly say...Ummmmm yeah, I cast BLAH THEN! I always consider what I need the dice for, what its going up against and why. Don't cast and risk a miscast, don't cast and risk it being dispelled if you dont need it quite yet, don't cast and give your opponent the chance to unleash that Aldreds Casket.... until you have too.
4). Plan your casting routines. Always look at how things are playing... true, not always you will know who your up against and some casters are tricky buggers. HE amongst the worst or that Arch lector of doom list that wraps you up and says NO CASTING FOR YOU! (In that that Seinfeld Soup Nazi Voice). I will keep this point brief, but have a casting routine prepared. Break down your spell lists to the point you should almost be aware of the following;
A). What do I cast against a troop block?
B). What do I cast against a strong character?
C). What do I have that adds power to me or ability or stats? Or removes it from the enemy?
If you have ticked off, A, B, C, for each of your wizards or at least two of the three. Then your halfway there before you hit the table to being effective with magic especially Power of Darkness. It will make you think.... ok I need to remove some of those Knights.... awesome, I have a Lore of metal mage.... and I need to ensure I am casting against them. I will use my other Mages shadow spell and let him use up his dispel dice or bring something nasty out..... then I can use Power of Darkness as long as I keep 2 dice and get off a good killing spell at those Knights. Plus if I cast a spell already at them with my shadow mage... then I will find out if he has any nasty stuff in there.
Shadow Spell (whaever you wish)
Was it dispelled? Yes? Then you have helped accomplish removing dispel dice.
Does he have more dispel dice? Yes? Cast another Shadow Spell!
Shadow Spell (whatever you wish)
Was it dispelled? No? Great it hit the unit and reduced their I to 2! ha!
Does he have more dispel dice? Yes. Do you want to risk POD? Not yet... Cast Shadow spell with all remaining dice apart from 2.
Did he dispell it? Yes... but he is out of dispel dice.
Cast POD, with two dice, I got 3 back giving me enough to try a metal spell.
Did the spell cast? Yes! Awesome those I2 knights are now down 4 members! Lets see the COK hit them in combat now!
Thats really it at its most BASIC level. But it should let your mind start to think. My general advice for any spell caster is stop looking at spell combo's and start thinking about spell cast tactics. Think about this for example;
Dark Elf Mage, Level 4, Dark Elf Mage Level 2. (8 PD generated). I have 7 PD to get a spell off. I use all 7 for (insert spell).... it goes off with IF! The other mage casts POD now.... and gets more dice and he is out of dispel dice.... I cast.... etc.
Dont be scared to think it through a bit before you cast.