FA weakness SNA question

Hi all,

In a FA game, does the “Can learn weakness” SNA not apply to the other spells in that grouping?
I tried to learn Sickness (with an M who had weakness) and got a “it’s a lost list” error.



Hi Ian,

nope, there is no way to learn sickness or curses via that SNA. It functions exactly as the name would suggest, else it should be named “Can learn spirit mastery”. Be informed that there are also no artefacts that allow learning of spirit mastery. The only way you can have access to sickness is to name a mage and be lucky he gets it as a lost list spell.


1 Like

Thank you!

Yeah. This is very confusing for first time FA players. It’s a huge change to the game, but not explicitly called out in the rules to my knowledge (could be wrong here though).

Tactically speaking, I’ve seen a lot of players try weakness squads, but they usually fall short vs a strong agent game after just one or two kills. In one game I even saw an entire weakness squad nuked in a single turn by assassins. Ouch!!!

Gunboat games might give better chances of success with weakness in FA.

Weakness in FA does take a lot of resources. I once used it effectively as the North Kingdom. It helped that the North Kingdom starts with more characters so I could get my weakness squad into action quickly.

I could see a South Kingdom and North Kingdom combo kill off a nation early on with weakness. Definitely more powerful in GB when knowledge is important and these mages can also scry etc. I have a feeling it was explicitly stated when 4th age started although not mentioned in the rules.

I’d rather not recommend setting up a weakness nation in a GB game, because in a 1 vs 1 situation against a strong military or agent nation, it will be at a disadvantage. Even in a non-grudge game when the nation doesn’t get the full support of its allies, it could face problems.

But in a grudge team IMO a weakness nation makes perfect sense. There are some tasks that only SM can manage, like clearing out the army on a pop centre on the same turn the emmy squad hits it. Or take out the top enemy targets in an agent shootout. It is absolutely viable to run two weakness squads in the late game, plus that nation will provide lore spells and research and locate artefacts. Since weakness doesn’t have the adjacent-hex-advantage of the curse spell, losing a mage is always possible and should be anticipated, that means there should always be at least one replacement available. The SM nation needs a safe position, because beyond the mages it can name only the minimum of characters for other tasks, like some emmies for a stable economy.

How do you figure this? Weakness being weak, you need to 710 as much as possible, that combined with casting the weakness itself doesn’t really give room for casting anything else. You definitely want the weakness spell to cast at close to 100% certainty, otherwise it becomes even bigger waste of resources. I would not suggest it to anyone in any circumstance. Not even enemies, it’s a waste like stealth.

I disagree. You only need 5 mages at 60 which is not a huge outlay in FA. As travelling around they can easily cast second spells that can all sorts of lore of even conjuring ways if need be.

Well placed weaknesses can completely stop armies moving and cause all sorts of havoc.

My experience has shown that it is better to calculate with 6 mages per squad, they need an average mage skill of 51 to generate a kill. Plus that rank usually gives you a pretty reliable cast rank for weakness, which is an easy spell. I have hardly, if ever, seen a mage failing to cast. With naming mages at 40, they need four turns of prenticing before learning weakness. In that time they can learn 412, 415 and 418. The best mages, probably including the champion chars, can learn 428, 430 and later, provided they have picked up some artefacts, 434.

If a 4th age game ever appears to join I will be taking weakness (and a bunch of other mage skills)

As a player in a Grudge game we tried it, it was somewhat effective. You can name Mages that get lost list spells, Sickness I’ve seen I don’t know about Curses.

Part of the fun of FAS is that you get to try things…