AoS Order Collegiate Arcane Battlemage Tactics

Age of Sigmar Order Collegiate Arcane Battlemage Wizard Hero

Lord Barrek was in serious trouble. The Orruk Warlord in front of him was just too big and tough. He could feel the cracked bones burn as he desperately fought for his life. All of a sudden Barrek felt a surge of energy flood through his veins. A quick glance behind revealed Calif finishing one of his incantations. At the same time Barrek could feel bones in his body bind back together and flesh in the being made whole again. The Orruk Warlord was enraged with the trickery before him, his prey was becoming whole again. In a fit of anger the Warlord raised his mighty blade to smash the remaining life from Barrek. In doing so left the Warlord open for a second and Barrek took the opportunity, and his new found strength to peirce the Warlord where Barrek hoped his hart was and then twisted the blade for good measure. The Warlord let out a blood curdling cry to Gorkk. The closest Orruks turned to see their champion mortally impailed. They too echo the Warlord. Other Orruks turned to look and like a wave of sound the ripples of lamentation spread over the battlefield. As the howling became a eerie silence the Orruk turned and started to leave the battlefield. As if by a miracle the Warg was finished. The Orruks headed back to their homeland plains, and the free peoples would see another spring.

The Collegiate Arcane is the college of magic that the Free Peoples of Sigma go to if they need a Battlemage. These Battlemages protect the army from enemy wizards and to cause magic mayhem of their own!

Battlemages are not designed for close-quarter fighting. With a 6+ save most opposition will slice through their 5 wounds with ease. If it does come to the crunch you may get a lucky hit in as the Mages have a single attack with the usual 33.33% chance of hitting but comes with a -1 rend and D3 wounds! My advice though would be to keep your magic user behind a wall of warriors.

He’s My Hero!

One often overlooked feature of the Battlemage is that he is a Hero. This does not improve is usefulness directly, but some units have special bonuses if they are near a Hero, Human Hero, or Order Hero.

Look for the units with special rules that activate if you are near a hero and think about how you can use the unit and the Battlemage as a mini formation.

Battlemage Magic

With Mages, Wizards, and other magic users, the main source of usefulness comes from the spells and magic that they can wield. This is the case with the Battlemage too.

All Battlemages come with 3 spells they can cast. The first two are the standard Arcane Shield and Mystic Bolt. The Third spell comes from a list of 8 on the Battlemage warscroll and needs to be selected as you set up the model. Note that if for some reason you do not need to set up the Battlemage until partway through the game, you can see how the game is playing out before you choose your 3rd spell!

If you are playing using the rules from the Generals Handbook then you will probably be using the ‘rule of one’. This rule says that no spell can be used twice it one round, so you can not have two wizards casting Arcane Bolt in the same turn. If you have several wizards this can get limiting, Two reduce the limitation, I recommend that you give each Battlemage a different third spell.

Chain Lightning

Lightning Flash Chain Lighting is a direct damage spell that is very useful against massed units. If you can force your enemy in to a confined space then this may be the spell for you! It casts on a 6+, which is over half the time, but only just! However it will cause D3 mortal wounds to the target unit, and then there is a 1in6 chance for each other unit within 6″ of the first to cause D3 mortal wounds on them too!

So what is the best way to use this spell? First, as I mentioned, you need to herd the enemy in to a large group. You may find this spell works better if there is a lot of scenery on the table or if  you can flank the enemy so that they become concentrated  in one spot. The next step is to place your battlemage where you can cast a spell on one of the central units, preferably when your battlemage is near an Arcane scenery piece to get the +1 on your spell casting. Also having a bodyguard of warriors between the battlemage and the enemy will reduce the chance of having a counter attack on the mage! Now I know that it will be very rare that you can get all these elements in place, but the closer you get to the perfect situation the better!


Fireball Fireball does not need and introduction, it does what you expect, blasts a ball of fire at your opponent! It is also similar to Arcane Bolt when it comes to range and casting value. What is different is that Fireball is more random when it comes to damage. If you successfully cast Fireball you roll a D6 ( D3 really), on 1 or 2 the target suffers 1 mortal wound, on a roll of 3 or 4, you get to cause D3 wounds, and on a 5 or 6 to get to cause D6 wounds!

So how do you use this spell? The main tactical point is to target units that have 6 wounds or more. Smaller, weaker units may run out of wounds if you roll a 6, and that seems a wast of mortal wounds. The next point to consider is that this spell is very random. You need to roll to cast, then hope that it will not be dispelled, then roll for spell strength, and last of all roll for number of mortal wounds. This means that this spell could be very effective, or not work at all! With this in mind, try to have a backup plan. One where if the spell works really well you can take advantage of it, and on where if it goes horribly wrong you can get out of there!

Soul Steal

Soul Steal SpellThe Souls Steal spell creates a battle of bravery. Once cast both players roll a D6 and add this to their bravery scores. If the battlemage gets a higher final score then the target unit suffers a number of mortal wounds equal to the difference between the two scores. So if you win by 3 then the target unit receives 3 mortal wounds!

Don’t worry if you loose the roll off. This spell does not backfire!

So how do you use this spell? Well the first point to note is that he battlemages bravery is 6. This is not high by any measure, so if you can increase the mage’s bravery somehow this will help. Inspiring scenery will help, as will some command abilities, and maybe spells cast by other friendly nearby mages. In the same way look for targets with lower bravery scores. Night Golblins and Trolls make good targets. In addition, friendly units near sinister scenery can reduce the bravery of enemy units around then, as can some spells too.

In summary this spell may need you to have several elements in place for it to work well. But then the organising of units for the best results is what tactics is all about!

Light Of Battle

Many time a wizard can do more to win a battle by aiding friendly units than he can by causing direct damage. This is one of those spells.

Light of Battle works in a similar way to the Inspiring Presence command ability but with a batch of bonuses. First off it has an 18″ range (over the 12″ of the Inspiring Presence ability), and the second advantage is that it gives all the other friendly units within 6″ of the target unit in the battle shock phase get +1 bravery.

Final Transmutation

This is another direct damage spell a Battlemage can cast, and it is designed for those who like to kick the opponent while they are down!

How it works is you pick a unit in 18″, roll to see if the spell works, and then pick a model in that unit as the target. Now some units are single models like heroes or monsters. However in multi-model units you can pick out the one you want to target. This may be the unit leader or banner carrier, or a multi-wound model that has already taken some wounds. Note that the mage does not need to be able to see the target model, just any model from the unit.

Once you have picked your target and made sure the spell goes off, then you roll a D6. If you roll greater that the remaining number of wounds for that model then it changes in to a golden statue & is out of the game! Note that the target does not suffer mortal wounds, so it does not get a chance save against wounds or mortal wounds!

So how do you use Final Transmutation spell? Well as I said at the top, look for wounded characters or monsters with a couple of wounds left and finish them off! Otherwise look for units that have one or two wounds per model and snipe a model out of the unit. Remember that units get +1 bravery for every 10 models, so smaller units make better targes. My favorite targets are Chaos Warriors that have 5+ saves against mortal wounds. With this spell you can pick off the units leader or banner carrier with ease!

Mystifying Miasma

Mystifying Miasma a spell that does not damage your opponent directly, but causes them to be weaker than usual. In this case if the spell is successfully cast then the target unit becomes a bit befuddled and has 1 subtracted from their to hit rolls.

So how do you use this spell? With this spell you want to target units that will be shooting or in combat this turn. The more attacks you think they will make, the better target they become. Another way to look at it is to protect a key friendly unit by reducing the incoming hits. A cannon may only have one shot, But if you can stop it from firing at your general then it may be worth trying to block the shot!


Beast man eye. This is another of those spells that helps your friends rather than kills the enemy directly. With this spell you choose a friendly unit within 18″ of the wizard and roll 6+ on 2D6 plus any bonuses. If the spell activates then the target unit gets +1 to wound in thier combat phase or phases untill your next command phase. So if your enemy gets double turn you get your combat phase and their combat phases.

So how do you use this spell? The key issue with the Wildfire spell is that it only works on friendly units in close combat, or just about to enter close combat. This may include the Battlemage himself. However as the Battlemage is not great in close combat you will want to have him protected by warriors anyway!

So have your Battlemage near the front line, but protected by warriors. Have the warriors engage in close combat, and have the Battlemage use this spell on them to give them an extra boost!


The last spell it the Battlemage spell book is Lifesurge. This spell can heal wounds of nearby units and give them a 1 in 6 chance of shrugging off wounds until your next hero phase.

This spell does not raise the dead back to life! The target model needs to be on the table when the spell is cast. As the dead are immediately removed, they will not be there to heal. In a similar way you can not heal models in reserve either!

So how do you use this spell? Well you need to have your Battlemage near a unit of multi-wound models. Heroes and monsters are usually single model multi-wound units, so they will do nicely! Also if you pick a unit that you expect will need to make several saves in the next round, all the better! Remember that the Battlemage himself is a multi-wound character and you can cast spells on yourself!