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CardShark Content - Andrew Kocsis (1/2/2002)

Hi there! I am back from getting bent over by my finals and want to give a big shout out to all you crazy fans that write in. I love getting your fan mail. Keep it coming! Anyway, onto the column. This time I though I would honor my favorite unique model. He is the single most versatile model EVER. This badass homeboy throws down with the games biggest selection of special abilities, 11 different special abilities! By now the non-retarded among you will have guessed that this time I have singled out the Chaos Mage for the underdogs special make over. Why would I chose what is considered one of the most useless figures to date as an underdog? Well first is because that is what this article is for you idiot! Second is because I managed to pull three copies of this bad boy from five boosters and I am trying to make myself feel better about not getting Storm Golems.

Start by looking at the Chaos Mages starting stats. For 45 points you get a model that does 4 clicks of damage at an attack value of ten from 12 inches away. His sixteen defense should keep him safe from light units that can catch up with his 8-inch move. However, the way the Chaos Mage is played should depend entirely on what click of health he is on. I will say this again but it is worth repeating: Do not let your opponent take control of the Chaos Mages health. This is sound advice for any figure, but none more so then the Chaos Mage. He does everything well, but if he gets caught with the wrong abilities at the wrong time, he will drop to his knees faster then Bush on an oil company.

Keep some blocking terrain between you and the enemy and magic blast until someone tries to bum rush you. Then do your 4 clicks of damage normal attack to remove the threat. This is the fun click, the time when you can play cat and mouse with your opponent. Just keep ducking behind terrain and taking pot shots until your main force can close with the enemy. If it looks like someone might get a hit on you, go ahead and push to deal with them. It is vitally important not to miss the second click on health, so do not let him get hit!

This click of health is the hiding click. At this point the two forces have probably engaged to some degree and actions are starting to get tight. This is when the slot of command the chaos mage brings is really welcome. His slot of flight will allow him to bounce around blocking terrain and stay out of harms way. His stats are still high enough to be a nuisance to the enemy, although since he is only doing two clicks of damage, if possible let him snipe some support units like Mending Priestesses, Demi-Maguses, or Elite Surok Apprentices. Again you should try to hold onto this click as long as possible since the slot of command is almost always helpful. Don't forget to get the Chaos Mage and demoralized figures in base to base for some free healing.

His next two slots are really nothing to write home about. Although the first has a 10 attack and four damage, the defense is only 10 and the move is six. This means that he will get off maybe a single shot off before a goblin volunteer smacks him up. His slow speed means he will not even be able to get away from anything. On the plus side his battle fury means the goblin volunteer will not be able to capture the Chaos Mage. The next click brings up shockwave; unfortunately the attack value at this point has dropped down to a measly six, which means you will be struggling to hit anything with a defense more then 12 or 13.

Luckily your next slot is a real keeper. The slot of necromancy will be useful at this point in the game since your army has most likely taken at least a loss or two. If needed the necromancy can bring back a friendly figure. This is especially useful if one of you heavy hitters was taken out, they can often take the necromancy damage and still be useful. Light fighters often only have a slot or two that you really want so unless healing is available, it is often best to let them go. The magic levitation can also be helpful by allowing the figure you necromancy a super turn of movement to get them back in the thick of the battle. This works perfectly since you can hold the Chaos Mage far back and then throw your guys into the fire.

If you get hit and go to the magic immunity slot, push him as soon as possible. The goal here is to get to the final slot before your opponent gets the kill. If you can get to the last slot you will have a 5-damage attack that has a 12-inch range. Use it to kill any lightly armored forces still on the field to get those precious victory points. Don't waste it on heavily armored foes as your attack of 7 in too low to truly threaten those heavy hitters. Only if they are wounded should you risk a shot.

It is not easy to use the Chaos Mage, but give him a shot. For 45 points you can get a figure that can do a little of everything. With the Chaos Mage you'll never be caught with your pants down.

- Andrew Kocsis

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