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8th Ed. Wood Elf Army Book Review and Tactica

Discussion in 'Other Armies Discussion' started by Knoffles, Oct 30, 2021.

  1. Knoffles
    Saurus

    Knoffles Member

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    This thread will be a compilation of several guides created by/from the below players/sources. Most views expressed are theirs and I have attempted to blend them into a coherent document, though I have rewritten most of the initial posts breaking down the army book choices. After the first post, I won't attribute sections to individual creators.

    The below list has links to the individual posts in the thread


    POST 1 – Introduction to Wood Elves and Army Special rules

    POST 2 – Equipping your army. WE Armory and magic items

    POST 3 – Magic

    POST 4 – Special Characters

    POST 5 – Lords and Heroes

    POST 6 – Mounts

    POST 7 – Core

    POST 8 – Special

    POST 9 – Rare

    POST 10 – Wood Elf Character Loadout Tactics - Rex Foote

    POST 11 – The Lord and the Weaver: Wood Elf Generals - Rex Foote

    POST 12 – Treemen Tactics by EdmondJ

    POST 13 – Dryad Tactics by EdmondJ

    POST 14 – Army Composition & Tactics

    POST 15 – Character Builds compiled by NonnoSte

    POST 16 – A Tactica All of its Own: The Hail of Doom Arrow - Rex Foote

    POST 17 – Wood Elf Tactics - Dice of Doom

    POST 18 - Sethayla Style Army by Unicorn

    POST 19 - Warhawk Riders by Akaba

    POST 20 - ETC 2014 Wood Elf Lists by Rafael

    POST 21 - Magic Arrows and Probabilities by Knoffles


    Contributors

    It’s worth noting that a number of the blogs have multiple articles on them (and often battle reports) and I haven’t linked every individual post below (not least because I didn’t use them all). I mention it, as you may want to visit them and have a search for additional thoughts and insights.

    Warhammer Truthiness - warhammertruthiness.blogspot.com/2014/05/wood-elf-army-book-review.html

    The Hoodling - hoodlinghole.blogspot.com/2014/05/warhammer-wood-elves-8th-edition-review.html

    Dice Odessey (Rex Foote) - thediceodyssey.blogspot.com/2014/05/pierce-armour-wood-elf-review-part-1.html + thediceodyssey.blogspot.com/2014/07/all-colours-of-magic-wood-elf-magic.html

    EdmondJ - asrai.druchii.net/viewtopic.php?f=43&t=28052 + asrai.druchii.net/viewtopic.php?f=43&t=28005

    NonnoSte - asrai.druchii.net/viewtopic.php?f=43&t=28492

    1d4chan - 1d4chan.org/wiki/Warhammer/Tactics/8th_Edition/Wood_Elves

    The Dice Abide - www.thediceabide.com/2014/05/wood-elf-tactics-magic-arrows-and-core/

    Dice of Doom - diceofdoom.com/blog/2010/09/warhammer-wood-elf-strategy-part-3-tactics/

    Unicorn - asrai.druchii.net/leaf/viewtopic.php?f=3&t=24&hilit=Sethalya&sid=a6054dcbe8315f820f5834ee2e3103a1

    Akaba - asrai.druchii.net/leaf/viewtopic.php?f=8&t=39&sid=5f5bf3320a4d5ccd18fc76457d4e1ddb

    Rafael - raffazza.blogspot.com/2014/07/micro-3-wood-elves-at-etc.html?m=1.

    Knoffles – that’s me!



    Why Play Wood Elves

    Wood Elves have been redone and almost completely rewritten since the last book. Everything has been turned on its head and old Wood Elf players have to adapt to the new changes. However they have recently not only reclaimed the title of being the fastest army but being arguably the best shooting army too. Wood Elves appear to be of equal parts of light and dark outlooks. They are the middle ground for elves. This is shown by them having magic arrows which are keyed to wounding forces of order and destruction respectively and with their best wizards having access to High and Dark magic (note they still count as a force of order, rather than neutral with ogres and tomb kings. I think this is a bit of an oversight - knoffles). Wood Elves still have access to their old free wood.

    Wood Elves are an army almost completely made up of trees, bowmen, or fast cavalry. They rely on speed, shooting and picking their fights. Wood elves still lack war machines but have in exchange a megaton of poisoned weaponry.

    The name of their game is speed and manoeuvrability. By the end of turn 2 you can be behind the enemy lines, ready to unleash deadly coordinated flank charges, and against slower armies you can quite simply run circles around your enemies. They have some of the best archers in the game however possibly greatest strength is not in their shooting, but in their prowess fighting in forests. They combine the best of both High Elves & Dark Elves when defending areas of wood. They are formidable in combat but lack staying power. You will need to use your maneuverability to ensure that you win the first combat resolution. If the elves get bogged down, they will quickly end up on the losing side.

    Lastly, they have the widest variety of spells to choose from amongst the three Elf factions.

    The Wood Elves require perhaps the most skill and nuance to play well, but this directly translates into them also being one of the most rewarding armies to play. Plus they're bad ass vengeful guardians of the forest, so that's pretty cool too.

    Be warned that they aren't a good starter army.

    In short, play Wood Elves if you want to play an army that requires a lot of skill, strategy and tactical thought to do well. You can't rely on Armor nor Warmachines or crazy shenanigans. Only a quick aim, a steady eye and a hungry forest will aid you in Athel Loren.



    Fluff changes

    It is worth mentioning that the wood elves have undergone a slight change in fluff in 8th. They have gone from being another ‘good’ race of elves to now falling in a grey area, half way between High and Dark elves. If you read the time of legends books, you find out they were originally make up of a combination of both High and Dark elves that remained behind in the old world after the war of the beard.

    Introducing the world roots as a way of the wood elves being more involved in the world (or a reason how they can be found everywhere) is interesting but the bit about how Ariel learnt Dark Magic from Morathi seems a bit of a stretch (even if it’s the basis of how they get dark magic as an option but I get a head of myself).



    Army Special Rules

    Wood Elves have four new army rules. They are the following:


    Blessings of The Ancients: Any model with this special rule (IE your wizards) gets a +1 to all casting attempts if they are inside a forest. ONLY when they're in a forest. (Note this is casting not dispelling).

    The full list of models that have this rule are: Spellweaver, Spellsinger, Shadowdancers, Branchwraiths, Treeman Ancients, Durthu, and Drycha


    Forest Spirit: Models with this rule has Forest Strider, Magical Attacks and Immune to Psychology special rule and a 6+ ward save. A weaker save, but no longer mundane like in the previous army book. Mounts do not get the ward save (unless the mount has the rule itself).

    The full list of models that have this rule are: Unicorns, Great Stags, Dryads, Branchwraiths, Tree Kin, Treemen, Treeman Ancients, Forest Dragons, Durthu, Hounds of Orion, Drycha and Ceithin-Har


    Forest Stalker: Models with this rule have the Forest Strider special rule. If at least half of a unit with this rule is inside a forest, it will be able to do the following:

    • They may fire with one more rank. For the purpose of Volley Fire, this means a full three ranks may shoot, before you have to round down the following ranks.

    • They may fight in close combat with one extra rank than normal, just like High Elves. This is cumulative with other similar effects.

    • They may reroll to wound any rolls of 1 in close combat, just like Dark Elves. Their mounts, however, may not.

    Basically, in terms of special rules, all your elves are worse than high elves and dark elves in the open, but equal to both of them combined while in forests. (In truth Eternal Guard are more effective than Spearelves/Dreadspears, Glade Guard beats HE Archers and Glade Riders are Ellyrian Reavers on steroids; but they all cost much more. Model for model - WE are better. Point for point - WE are worse.)

    The full list of models that have this rule are: Glade Lord, Glade Captain, Spellweaver, Spellsinger, Eternal Guard, Glade Guard, Deepwood Scouts, Glade Riders, Warhawk Riders, Wildwood Rangers, Wardancers, Shadowdancers, Sisters of the Thorn, Wild Riders, Waywatchers, Waystalker, Orion, Araloth and Naestra & Arahan


    Ambush of the Worldroots: You may place a single forest (of any type, you decide) anywhere on your half of the table. It must be placed before any units are deployed. It must be wholly within your half of the table. If it can't fit, move the other terrain pieces to make room. If it still can't fit, or you're in a scenario where you don't have a deployment zone, you don't get a forest.

    Note: the precise wording of the rule is "This forest is not mysterious terrain - declare its type when you place it"

    So you get to choose the type of this forest rather than rolling when a model enters it.

    • Pick a Venom Thicket since your entire army (except Eagles) ignores Forest DT tests, but do notice that a Venom Thicket won't grant Poisoned Attacks to your shooting attacks. The rulebook specifically states that Poisoned Attacks from Venom Thicket only applies to close combat attacks.

    • Abyssal Wood imposes no penalties and serves as a perfect place to station your Glade Guard, Eternal Guard or Wildwood Rangers. Fear will grant them an edge in melee (which all WE badly need), and luring an enemy far enough into the Abyssal Wood will give it Fear as well - directly empowering your Rangers when hacking them. An Abyssal Wood with a bunch of Rangers stationed in it (with just enough space to accommodate an enemy unit) can be quite effective in a choke-point.

    • The other woods should NEVER be considered for two reasons:

    1) Strider only stops Dangerous Terrain checks, so Abyssal Wood/Venom Thicket are the only forests you can survive in while still doing damage to your enemies.

    2) You don't really want to use your guaranteed forest just as a barrier. You want to stand in it and gain bonuses distilled from High Elf and Dark Elf tears.

    • The most obvious tactic for this is to chuck one in the middle of your Glade Guard. However, for an interesting option, to cater towards more close combat orientated armies, you can stick it between your big unit of Eternal Guard, etc and the most likely enemy deployment to mitigate a lot of return shots and hopefully force a fight in the woods. Or simply hamper the enemies movement towards you, forcing them to trudge through the forest or having to split around it.


    Extra Wood elf pointy bits: Ok as you may have guessed, this is not an official special rule but pretty much everything wood elf comes with Armour Piercing (AP) built in, whether the weapon is of the ranged or melee variety.
     
  2. Knoffles
    Saurus

    Knoffles Member

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    POST 2 - Equipping Your Army


    Wood Elf Army

    Asrai Bow: Just like an ordinary Longbow. 30" range, but now comes with AP. On its own, will allow archers to easily remove most chaff with ease.

    Asrai Spear: Follows the same rules as regular spears (on foot or mounted), except for having AP.

    Blackfriar Javelin: A javelin with 12” range, that gives AP and Poison.

    Basically, all Wood Elf weapons have AP. Because inch-thick armor is of little use when there's an arrow sticking out of your eye and a spear in your throat.

    Not only this, perhaps the coolest thing about this army (yes even above wood spirits) is the ability to arm half of them with enchanted arrows.


    Enchanted Arrows

    Note, all arrows retain a 30” range and volleyfire and have AP. All of these are available to Glade Guard, Scouts, Glade Riders, Glade Lords and Glade Captains. They replace the profile of regular bows wielded by models and count as magical attacks (great for removing ethereal models but horrible if someone is sporting the banner of the world dragon). The enchanted arrows are Enchanted Items which do not prevent you from holding a second enchanted item. As such they are NOT weapons, and do not prevent you from using the HODA.

    By strict interpretation of the rules, enchanted arrows are enchanted items so you therefore can’t take duplicates (arming a unit with them, counts as one choice before peeps make funny comments). That said, it is generally accepted that the multiples of the same arrows can be taken on units and characters. However, if you are gaming with someone you haven't played before, it is highly recommended to discuss this in advance with your opponent (or check with a Tournament Organiser in advance of attendance if you are still lucky enough to have competitions in your area) to see if they have any objections to duplicate arrows.




    Arcane Bodkins:
    5 pts per model, confers AP -3 instead of normal armour piercing. Expensive for what they do. These help with removing armour for heavy infantry and significantly reducing it for cavalry. All the same, if your plan is to screw over enemy armour, just use Waywatchers instead. For three more points, waywatchers can ignore that 1+ re-rollable armour save while the arcane bodkins have a 50/50 chance of being saved. Waywatchers also have the ability to multishot (so are also armed with swiftshiver equivalents). Point for point this makes them cheaper with a much greater utility. Of course they come out of rare rather than core (for glade guard) or special (for deepwood scouts).

    That said, I have seen several WE builds that did very well in some competitions that concentrated on all anti armour and so filled core with GG armed with this arrow. I still think it isn’t an optimal choice, if only down to cost but it can be effective.

    Counters: Small units of low toughness high armour save troops

    Recommended unit and size: Deep Wood Scouts, Glade Guard, 10

    I have no doubt that other Wood Elf players will disagree with my narrow view of what this unit works best against, but I see arcane bodkins as taking on units of 5 to 10 empire knights (or an equivalent unit), and slowly whittling them down. The small unit size reflects this. In terms of who carries the arrows its really comes down to your taste in archer unit. Scouts are more mobile and harder to kill but are less likely to be in range of helpful magic, and Glade Guard help fill in your core, can benefit from helpful magic but are vulnerable to shooting.



    Hagbane Tips:
    3 points per model, confers poison attacks. Amazing. This will probably be one of your two go-to magic arrows, since wood elves have troubles vs monsters and/or high toughness. It is nice to have Skink-like firepower on the move at 30" (With BS4+ throughout most of the shooting units, your problems will probably lie in wounding. Might as well turn those 6's to hit into wounds, and save yourself the possibility of connecting a hit that won't wound anything). Works well on a unit of Deepwood Scouts who are then tasked with warmachine hunting.

    Counters: High Toughness low armour save, War Machines

    Recommended unit and size: Deep Wood Scouts, Glade Guard, 10-20

    Poisoned is very useful and the Hagbane tips only cost a extra 3 points per model. There are 2 ways that I would recommend using these arrows. 1) On a unit of between 10 to 15 Deepwood scouts. Use the scout rule to get as close to the enemy war machines as possible and don’t stop firing until all the crew are dead. Don’t worry about clear line of sight or move and shoot penalties, all you need are those 6s. 2) On a unit of 20 Glade Guard deployed in 2 ranks of ten. Select a unit of high toughness low armour save troops and poison it to death. Ogres, Trolls, Giants, Minotaurs, Gorgons, Cygors and other such units will eventually be brought down by your firepower. Again you don’t need to be concerned by things like LOS or Move and Shot penalties, all you need are 6s to hit. Also the arrows are AP, so they can take care of light and heavy armour.



    Trueflight Arrows:
    3 points per model, confers no penalty to shooting whatever you do. This is probably going to be the other most used arrow. A great choice to take on a unit of glade guard (who are placed directly behind other units where they can get maximum protection from shooting but ignore penalties themselves). They also work well on ambushing Glade Riders. These are the arrow of choice for taking out enemy skirmishers. The bane of skink clouds and chameleon skinks!

    Counters: Skirmishers, War Machines

    Recommended unit and size: Deep Wood Scouts, Glade Guard, 10-20

    The ability to ignore all to hit penalties is great, it allows your glade guard to move and fire without care and this is only amplified by putting the arrows on scouts. If you like the idea of them on scouts put them on a unit of 10 to 15 and go war machine hunting, you always hit on 3s so that makes getting 6s to wound easier because more of your shots would have hit. If you like the idea of them on Glade Guard then a unit not 20 Glade Guard with these arrows are the pinnacle of skirmisher hunters, not only do they ignore the skirmishers main missile defense but you can walk them between worlds and still shot as walk between worlds only counts your unit as having moved not marched, so you can out manoeuvre the unit you are hunting.



    Moonfire Arrows:
    4 points, confers flaming and +1 to wound versus Forces of Order. If you want clarification, the Forces of Order refer to Empire, Lizardman, High Elves, Dwarfs, Bretonnia and Wood Elf armies.

    Great against warmachines, which almost all Forces of Order have. BUT against war machines, poison is still better (and cheaper) unless buffed by magic. They will also ensure you wound Stegadons, Frost Phoenixes and characters on Dragons etc. on a 5+. They are a solid choice but if you are facing one of the armies not listed above they are of limited use, which leads us nicely onto…


    Starfire Arrows:
    4 points per model confers flaming and +1 to wound versus Forces of Destruction. Just like its twin only this effects Dark Elf, Orc and Goblin, Chaos, Chaos Dwarf, Beastmen, Vampire Counts and Skaven (so Tomb Kings and Ogres manage to avoid the effects of starfire and moonfire arrows as they both count as Neutral alignment. Why Tomb Kings are neutral, I don’t know, they just are).

    Great against monsters and repeater bolt throwers. The better choice of the "...fire Arrows" duo as almost everything with Regen in the game is from a Forces of Destruction army. If you buy a unit of 10-12 this instead of the flaming banner you can make OK monster hunters out of them. If you have a spare 4 points, this is a great option to give to your Glade Captain or Lord as their naturally high BS will make the most of the single shot, whilst giving you a good chance to wound the target (and strip off any regen).



    Swiftshiver Shards:
    4 points per model confers multiple shot, making your Glade Guards into Dark Elf repeater crossbowmen. Interesting, but Waywatchers have this basic and do this better than any of the other unit. One recommendation is to fill your core with a big block of swiftshiver shard glade guard (fun to say) and then buff them with hand of glory from the high magic. Your swiftshiver shard glade guard should eviscerate anything.

    Counters: Hordes, Moderately Armoured units

    Recommended unit and size: Glade Guard, 20-30

    Out of all the arrows these are my favourite but they are also the arrow that requires the most set up to use, confused? Allow me to explain. While multiple shots 2 is great it does mean that at long range you will hit your target on a 5+, which is fairly bad even on (at minimum) 40 shots. So if you take Swiftshiver you need a level 4 high mage nearby and you need to either roll or choose Hand of Glory. Hand of Glory works well with swift shiver because its worst result (increasing the BS of a target unit by 1) means that you hit on 4s. Your final act of the magic phase (I say final because hopefully your opponent won’t be able to block the spell as he/she would have spent all their dispel dice on dispelling your other spells) should be to cast this spell. This arrow takes care of a unit that Wood Elves usually have a hard time dealing with; The Horde. The bigger the Glade Guard unit the more shots you can throw out and the more of the target horde you can deal with. Also it works very well against other Elite Elf Infantry units, so Swordmasters and Executioners, as they low armour save and toughness will simply be overwhelmed by the sheer number of shots you can throw out.




    Wood Elf Magic Items

    No more Spites, no more Kindreds. Unlike with the other Elves, there are no meta changing or seriously overpowered items. Instead you have a mixed bag of some useful and some interesting items.

    The Spirit Sword:
    85 points for ignoring armour saves (as if Wood Elves didn't have enough of this already), and if you cause an unsaved wound on a character/champion/monster, you and your foe both take a leadership test. For each point you beat your opponent by, it causes a wound. If you lose the test nothing happens.

    I want to like this sword but 85 points is extremely pricey and relies on you wounding your target with your base str 4. To be really effective against monsters, you would need to combo this with something that boosts str to help get that wound (unfortunately the potion of strength is out). Debuffing your targets leadership (perhaps with doom and darkness) would make this lethal against a lot of characters, especially with you ignoring armour. Paying that price and then having to rely on magic to make it more effective, whilst also meaning you can only take limited armour, makes this very situational. (If I had to take it, I’d likely put it on a lord on an eagle with the charmed shield, dragonbane gem and potion of foolhardiness and see if I couldn’t get lucky).

    Daith's Reaper:
    For 50pts you can reroll to hit and to wound and force your opponent to reroll successful armour saves. I’m torn on this weapon. This weapon would be amazing for almost any race but Wood Elves. Considering you can only take this on a character who is likely to get ‘to hit’ rerolls from ASF and that it doesn’t help you get through the armour in the first place (no AP on this weapon), it could be argued that taking a great weapon or sword of + str would be a far better/cheaper alternative. That said, if you were facing other ASF armies, this sword would give you an edge. At the cost, it would also allow you to take some defensive equipment on a lord. Overall I’m not sold but I wouldn’t look down on anyone who took it either.

    The Bow of Loren:
    For 20 points you get a bow that fires your character's attacks +1 shots (keeping the normal WE AP). You can use it on the Waystalker to get 2, armour ignoring, sniping shots or on the Glade Lord to fire 5 bs7 shots. Note that these are Multiple Shots (so -1 to hit and can't stack with Waystalker multiple shots). It’s not a bad item but arguably the high elf bow is better.

    Helm of the Hunt:
    For 20pts you get a dragon helm which instead of giving you a 2++ vs flaming attacks, gives you the devastating charge special rule and +1 ws on the charge (as well as +1 to your armour save).

    Basically, it allows you to make a Wild Rider Noble from older editions and would be very fluffy for a hero in that unit (especially with Wild Riders wearing noticeable horned helms now). WE characters aren’t blessed with armour options so any way to get an additional save is welcome and this gives the added benefit of making the character better on the charge.

    Acorns of Ages:
    This is the item that Wood Elves have been waiting for. For 100pts you get d3 forests in addition to the starting one, which all have to be the same type (which you choose) and can be placed anywhere on the table (not just your own side). The catch is they scatter 2D6” and can't land on other terrain. Lots of tactics are circulating around this item, especially for using Drycha for ambushing and Moonstone of Hidden Ways for teleporting units or almost deep striking treemen. As for the item - if nothing else, it's fluffy.

    The downside to this is that you could be paying 100pts for 1 additional wood that scatters to an irrelevant part of the table. In addition the lord level character that equips this (more than likely a Spellweaver), will be unable to take any other magical equipment.

    Moonstone of Hidden Ways:
    This item's potential power is immense, while its actual usefulness is varied. For 40pts you can teleport your unit at the end of a movement phase, from one forest to another. The only restriction on what can be teleported is whether it can fit wholly inside the forest. The "forest walking" unit can't be placed in another forest that is too small and counts as having marched. While interesting this item makes you a sitting duck for 1 turn and either relies on the luck of the terrain deployment table or the Acorns of Ages.

    Hail of the Doom Arrow:
    For 30pts, you get a 1 use str 4 armour piercing arrow that causes 3d6 hits. Some people swear by these things (I’m one of them and count it as almost a 1+ - knoffles), since they can instantly mince lightly armoured units though there are dissenting opinions. Still it is arguably the best (if not then definitely the most iconic) magic item Wood Elves have.

    See post 16 for a HODA tactica

    Calaingor's Stave:
    This is now the only way to get Tree singing from the now defunct lore of Athel Loren. For 20 points you get the privilege of swapping one of your spells to obtain it. Tree Singing is cast on a 8+ now and can move an empty forest d6+1 inches, which is not much more than the forest moves by being accidentally bumped. If the forest is partially occupied, then instead you can deal 2d6 str4 hits on an enemy unit that is at least partially within the forest. You can improve the spell so that, when cast on a 16+ it affects all forests within 12".

    If the spell could be cast more than once, was given as an additional spell (even bound), had a lore attribute and could be cast on all forests on the board instead of those within 12” to name a multitude of reasons, then it would be worth taking. Otherwise, it is of somewhat limited use, though it’s worth definitely increases if you have taken the Acorn of Ages and moonstone of hidden way's unit or even Drycha.

    The Banner of the Eternal Queen:
    For twice the cost of the Banner of the World Dragon, this banner provides Magic Resistance 3 and for 1 turn the ability to be unbreakable. No thanks. The traditional overpriced banner does not fail to disappoint, even if you don't compare it to the Banner of the World Dragon.

    The Banner of the Hunter King:
    This banner provides the unit vanguard and allows you to reroll the first failed charge of the game for 75pts. Again it is another banner that is massively overcosted and almost everything that can take this banner has Vanguard already. It would be probably be the most useless magic item in the book if it weren’t for the above banner.
     
  3. Knoffles
    Saurus

    Knoffles Member

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    POST 3 - Magic


    Wood elves have gone from being, magically, the least diverse race with the least choice of all when it came to spells, to the most. All Wood Elf wizards now have access to ALL the rulebook lores, which is amazing for them, and the Spell Weavers (lvl 3-4) also now have access to the Lore of High and Dark Magic. Yes both are directly stolen from the High and Dark elves (this is confirmed by the fluff) but have different lore attributes from the Dark/High elf and Slann varieties of the decks (this can be seen as good and bad). As such a Spellweaver can now choose 10 lores with a chance to pick 3 to 4 of 72 different spells.

    The following overviews are in a rough order of most useful, with the first 3 very interchangeable, depending on your list. However all lore choices have some utility and which is the most important is dependent on your list and situation.


    Lore of Life

    Life is good, in fact if it wasn't for another lore I would say that the Lore of Life is the best lore for Wood Elf armies. As it stands it’s probably the second best lore you could pick for you Wood Elves. The spells that make this lore as good as it is are as follows: Earth Blood, Flesh to Stone, Throne of Vines, Shield of Thorns, Regrowth and Dwellers Below. The Signature spell of Life gives a 5+ regeneration save (it’s increased to 4+ if Throne is on) and its cheap so you can give any unit you wish a fairly decent save. Flesh to Stone gives a unit +2 toughness (4+ if Throne is on) and it is a laugh to make your Wardancers toughness 5, or Treeman toughness 8.....Throne of vines is a spell that many players have no idea how to deal with, many are unsure if they should let it though or try and dispel it off the bat (dispelling off the bat is the best idea). It gives the mage it is cast on a 2+ save vs miscasts and buffs almost every other spell in the lore. Shield of Thorns is a great way to deal with flankers, it deals 2d6 strength 3 hits to any enemy unit in base to base contact (strength 4 if Throne is on) and it remains in play. Regrowth should be classed as necromancy as it raises d3+1 (d6+1 if Throne is on) worth of models back from the dead, i don't need to speak about the uses of this spell as they are fairly obvious and it has been FAQed that it can be cast on lone monsters (so Treeman) for even more fun. Dwellers is Dwellers, it is a good way to mow down hordes and make your opponents nervous while they take strength test for their characters.

    On top of all those spells the lore attribute restores 1 wound to a nearby model within 12 for every spell cast, which really helps to deal with miscasts and challenges. All this means the lore of life is still a great lore and is still a very good choice for all Wood Elf armies. If you are building a combat force then this lore should probably be the lore for you.


    Lore of Shadow

    The Lore of Shadow allows you to switch and save the most important characters while debuffing your foes. It helps your shooting by reducing your opponent's toughness and weakens them in combat by reducing their strength, weapon skill and intiative. Withering is the must-have spell for Wood Elves, as it solves their greatest weakness - Str 3 bows. By using Melkoth's Mysitifying Miasma you can slow down your foes, giving you more time to fire. It can make one your heroes fly but that isn't as useful as the others. It also comes with a semi-cannon ball and a blast initiative test spell which can destroy your enemy's tougher units. Finally it comes with a buff that allows you to shred through tougher units. It is useful since it works on any wizard of any level. The Lore attribute can be good but it is very situational.


    Lore of High Magic

    This Lore is really quite neat. It has a wide variety of cheap to cast spells which give you a better shorter ranged fireball as a signature spell, a buff the complete opposite of the MMM importantly buffing your BS, a spell which dispels all effects (very useful against any foe dependant on magic) as a signature spell, a small blast, the ability to redeploy one of your units 10", to dismantle magic items and to deal a str 4 hit to all your foes in one unit. It also has a unique lore attribute for the wood elves, which stacks well with its multiple low level spells. Every time you successfully cast a spell you gain a counter. If you suffer an unsaved wound, then the counter nullifies the wound. Great if you are hiding your General anywhere, but especially with the sisters of the Thorn. I feel it is very much like a proactive version of the lore of life, preventing damage rather than repairing it.

    Signature Spell: Soul Quench

    8+ to cast for 2d6 strength 4 shots at 18 inches. Not bad at all. It gives an army that needs strength 4 shooting 2d6 strength 4 shots. Boosted it gives 4D6. At that level it can be frightening and it’s a sig spell so you can always default to it.

    Signature Spell: Drain Magic

    7+ to cast and it removes all remains in play spells and ends all spell effects on the target unit. Only take against armies who have a lot of buff/debuff spells, otherwise pass. An interesting tactic is to take this spell, and cast it only for the protection counter. Your opponent probably won’t dispel it and you gain a protection counter.

    1: Apotheosis

    5+ to cast and a targeted friendly model within 18 regains a wound and causes fear until the start of your next magic phase. The boosted version is 10+ to cast and the target regains d3 wounds. This is a very useful spell considering the low toughness low armour save theme the Wood Elves have adopted. It can also come in handy if Durthu or a Treeman takes a few wounds and you want to keep them fighting fit.

    2: Hand of Glory

    Oh Hand of Glory how i admire you, for a mere 5+ you can increase either a target units WS, BS, I or M by d3, and for +10 to cast you can increase all by d3. So far the best use for this spell has been to cast it on a unit of 20+ Glade Guard with the Swiftshiver arrows (multiple shots 2) and watch them mince their targets as they hit on at least a 4+. There are probably some other units that would enjoy this spell just as much, so have fun finding out.

    3: Walk Between Worlds

    8+ to cast and i makes a target unengaged unit within 24” Ethereal for a turn and allows them to make a 10 inch move as if it were the remaining move phase. The boosted version is a 16+ cast and the unit makes a 20 inch move instead. Endless fun can be had with this spell. Is your unit of Waywatchers about to be charged by a unit of Monstrous Cav next turn? Make them Ethereal and have them walk out of there. Is a unit of redirectors trying to redirect your Treeman/Wildrider unit? Simply walk said unit away from the chaff.

    4: Tempest

    12+ to cast and you get to place the large round template anywhere within 30” of the caster. Any model under the template suffers a S3 hit (S4 for flyers) and if the unit/s suffer any unsaved wounds then they get a -1 on all to hit rolls (both CC and shooting) and any shooting attacks that doesn’t require a BS roll, only work on a 4+. Not bad but not great either. If you are facing an army whose average toughness is 3 or lower then keep it, if the other armies’ average toughness is higher than 3 then swap it out for either one of the sig spells.

    5: Arcane Unforging

    13+ to cast which allows you to target a single enemy model within 24, that model suffers a wound on its armour save value (so a model with a 5+ armour save would suffer s wound on a 5+), in addition if the model is carrying a magic item then randomly choose one (if they have only one then that one is chosen) and on a 2+ it is destroyed. Hey is that the Banner of the World Dragon? Not anymore and the wording says a model, not a character, so you can target a unit standard if it is magical. This spell is defiantly useful in a Wood Elf army so keep it and watch as tooled up Demon Princes cower in fear of your magic phase.

    6: Fiery Convocation

    19+ to cast which targets a single enemy unit within 24. Every enemy model suffers a S4 flaming hit at the start of each magic phase, it is a remains in play spell. Very useful for removing large blocks of Chaff (skaven slaves) or other Wood Elf players Treekin or Dryads. However it is the hardest spell to cast in the lore so it’s up to you if you think you can use it. The high cast does mean that it is also a difficult one to dispel and if they fail to remove it in your turn, that is likely their next magic phase neutered.


    Lore of Metal


    Oh Metal where were you in the last book when we didn't have enough anti-armour gear. Now with Arcane Bodkins, Killing Blow, Treewhack and Waywatchers (and Armour Piercing on everything) you are kinda useless to us, well not entirely. There are still some good spells in Metal for Wood Elves, those being: Plague of Rust, Enchanted Blades and Glittering Robes. Plague of Rust is good for softening a target unit armour save wise before hitting it with your Armour piercing Glade Guard. Enchanted Blades is just a generally useful spell, who doesn't like a general +1 to hit although the Armour Piercing is redundant in a Wood Elf army and Glittering Robe is a useful spell for an army that lacks decent armour saves on most of your best units. Lore of Metal is best used as a buff lore in Wood Elf armies, yes Final Trans and the Golden Hounds are useful spells but Hounds is only good vs high armour save targets and Final Trans is an auto kill on a 5+, so it’s good but it is still a 5+.

    Now about searing doom, don’t use it is my advice. It’s a 10+ for d6 hits and a 24+ for 2d6 hits and it only works if you hit high Armour Save units and the Wood Elf army doesn’t exactly lack ways to deal with High AS models. It’s a spell that costs a lot for little results and there are other things in this army that can do what it does only better.

    The lore of metal isn't a bad lore for Wood Elves, and if you can find a way to make those buffs/debuffs work then you will find that the Lore of Metal can be a good lore. If you don't think the Lore of Metal will work with your army then don't try it, chances are you already have a lore that will suit your army already in mind and i advise you go for that one.


    Lore of Beasts

    The Lore of Beasts was one of the 3 lores that WE’s had on offer before. Now with 9 other Lores available, how does it stand up? Arguably, it has the best signature spell of the 8 base Lores. +1 Strength and Toughness make even glade guard dangerous in hand to hand. If applied to Treekin, they will each have Dragon-like stats, and go from being 'decent' to 'good' very fast. It really shines on wild riders and warhawks, though, since it takes them from squishy, to survivable, and from dangerous to just death. High initiative Strength 5 will scare anything. It will also give you the Amber Spear, which effectively makes Wood Elf Mages mobile Bolt Throwers, that don't need to roll to hit and is a perfect way to deal with the monstrous, gribbly beast of the moment. There are also a couple of character buffing spells which can help your shadow dancers. Curse of Anraheir is one of the best spells in the game. Making a third of an enemy unit targeted die if they move is pretty great and the negative hit modifier is just the icing on the cake. Is it worth taking though? It is probably worth taking on a support mage but I wouldn’t take it on a level 3-4 as there are just better lores (though it is a lore that fits in with the fluff). I would probably consider it more if it weren’t for the fact that you could guarantee to get Curse by taking a unit of Sisters of the Thorn, thus removing the need to cross your fingers when rolling for spells


    Lore of Death

    The Lore of Death is good for situations when the enemy has some tough (literally) Lord or Hero, who laughs off your S3 sniping shots and has a chance to wreck your game - like a T4 Grey Seer with the Dreaded 13th ratifying your MSUs. Doom and Darkness also has nice synergy with Fear from your Dryads and Wild Riders, while Soulblight does a fine job equalizing some S4 T4 brutes with your fragile elves (or makes your shooting more effective). Just a pity you can't cast Aspect of the Dreadnight on enemies (to exploit Wildwood Rangers' special rule).


    Lore of Heavens

    The Lore of Heavens is a mixed bag.You get 2 of the spells with the largest areas of affect and potentially the biggest damage output in the game, 1 high strength magic missile, 2 debuffs which synergise well, preventing your foe from ever getting poisoned or killling blow attacks or -1 to hit and a 50/50 chance to put warmachines out of commision for one turn, a buff which makes you reroll all ones (which Wood Elves do in woods anyway) and a very situational knock back spell. Also it's lore attribute turns all of its spells into lvl 1 fireballs when cast at something with wings. Not bad but it is often outshone. Still, can be used as a monster-hunter lore (since its damage spells inflict low number of very strong hits).


    Lore of Fire

    Just like it’s odd seeing Dark Elves use Light magic, it is similarly odd to see Wood Elves use Fire magic. Odd as it may be, the lore of Fire can be useful in a Wood Elf army and the spells that make this so are: The Flaming Sword of Rhuin, The Cloak of Cascading Fire, Fireball and The Burning Head. The benefits of the Flaming Sword are clear, +1 to wound is a very useful thing and at only 8+ to cast it’s a bargain, chuck this on a unit of Trueflight or Swiftshiver Glade Guard and watch the carnage. The Cloak is great for giving a WE combat unit an edge even before the first blows have fallen (2d6 S4 hits on any enemy unit in BTB contact will ruin someone’s day), Fireball provides a scary number of S4 hits that can seriously weaken or even destroy some units and the Burning head is great for causing low LD units to either flee off the board or get set back a few turns, and given that WE still have a hard time vs horde units, panicking one such unit is a great way to buy time for your line. The other spells have their uses but it’s those 4 spells are of the most use to a WE player. It’s not the best lore on offer but it’s not bad.


    Lore of Dark Magic

    Its lore attribute is best likened to that of the Lore of Fire. Everytime you cast it on an enemy unit, it creates a vengeance counter (on the unit) which activates when damage is next applied through a spell to that unit. It causes d3 extra hits when it does so, for each counter on the unit.

    Signature Spell: Doombolt

    12+ for 2d6 strength 5 shots with an 18 inch range, 4d6 for the boosted version at 24 to cast. If you like the HODA, then this is for you, and what self-respecting Wood Elf player doesn't like the HODA! This should probably be an auto default spell if you take this lore, then watch as just about every infantry unit in the opposing army gets bowled over.

    Signature Spell: Power of Darkness

    For a 8+ cast a target unit gets +1 strength and you gain d3 extra power dice (on a roll of 3 the caster suffers a wound). This spell is perhaps more useful for Wood Elf players than Doombolt as all our core infantry could really use S4, the power dice are nice but you are really casting this for the bonus strength. If you also pack a life mage, then this is an auto default spell, otherwise it can be risky (though it can be combined with Soul Steeler). It’s worth using when your caster is with Sisters of Thorn and watch those javelins get nasty.

    1: Chillwind

    5+ to cast for a 24 inch 2d6 strength 2 shooting attack, in addition if the target suffers any unsaved wounds then they suffer a -1 to their BS until the start of your next magic phase. Its of debateable

    2: Word of Pain


    9+ to cast, 24 inch hex spell that reduces a target units WS and BS by d3. The boosted version reduces the targets S and I instead and is a 12+ to cast. Not a bad spell to cast on a unit about to charge any of yours, I would advise using boosted over non-boosted just because S and I are more vital to a combat than WS, but it’s up to you.

    3: Bladewind

    9+ which targets a enemy unit within 24. Every model in that unit must pass a WS test of suffer a S4 Armour piercing wound. Great for dealing with things that we have had issues with in the past, like zombies and skaven slaves. It’s still a situational spell though so make sure you are confident of success before casting.

    4: Shroud of Despair

    10+ to cast. It targets an enemy unit within 12 and that unit cannot benefit from the generals LD or the BSB re-roll on LD tests. In addition if a unit fails a LD test then it gains -1 LD until the end of your next magic phase. Combine with the Treeman's Terror and you could have some fun. Skaven, Orcs and Goblins and frenzied units will fear this spell so go nuts and watch as their resolve crumbles.

    5: Soul Stealer

    11+ to cast gets you a 18 inch small blast template that scatters d6. Any unit underneath the template suffers a S2 hit with no saves allowed. In addition for each unsaved wound caused roll a d6, for each 4+ the caster gains a wound to a maximum of ten. You know how i said S2 wasn't great unless it had other special rules backing it up? Well Soul Stealer shows Chillwind how its done. Definitely a keeper if you roll it, and it provides a nice way of dealing with things like Dire Wolves without using a unit of Glade Guard to shoot them off.

    6: The Black Horror


    15+ to cast gives you a magical vortex that causes any model underneath it to either pass a strength test of die. Its range is the wizards level times the artillery dice result, and don't roll a misfire, ever. The only real advantage this spell as over Dwellers is its casting cost. If you didn't roll Dwellers on a life mage (or don't have a life mage) then keep this spell, otherwise trade it for one of the sigs.

    If it weren't for the Signature spells i would advise against taking Dark magic (except for in one off games versus Dark Elves, for ironic reasons), and i don't think 2 good sig spells can trump a whole lore of decent spells that you get from High magic. It’s not the worst lore but I think there are far better.


    Lore of Light

    It's quite good against Undead and Daemons and could still be considered against Elf armies. Against most other armies, it sadly won't be of much use, as many of the other lores give you better options. High strength flaming attacks, superb WS, excellent skirmisher trolling and M10 A4 Tree Kin is nice when playing the mirror match, but again, other lores give you a better selection of choices all-round.
     
  4. Knoffles
    Saurus

    Knoffles Member

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    POST 4 – Special Characters


    Lords

    Orion, The King of the Woods:
    Orion is what in general is referred to as a Glass Cannon, perhaps the glassiest of all cannons: Incredibly expensive (Orion costs 600 points) requiring a massive tax on your resources, can be incredibly powerful and yet is very fragile. His cost is Thorgrim Grudgebearer and Lord Mazdamundi territory. Unlike them, he is a damage orientated monster with WS8, Str 6 and 5 ASF attacks (boosted to 6 with Frenzy). He is also unbreakable. You can add to his offensive side by buying two warbeasts (for 20pts) that share his frenzy and unbreakable rule. He also gives devastating charge at the start of each turn, to his unit and any friendly units within 6”. It’s worth mentioning that he will also get a Str 6 thunderstomp on top of his (potential) 7 Initiative 9 ASF attacks! His initiative is one of the (if not the) highest of anyone in the game (who isn’t wielding the gold sigil sword) and almost guarantees he will be striking before anyone he faces.

    Unusually for such a combat beast, he also comes with a significant duel ranged threat which is not unlike the High Elf Repeater Bolt Thrower in effect. The first is in the form of a magic bow, The Hawk’s talon. This is a 30” range, multiple shot (6) strength 5 attack. The second is the Spear of Kurnous. It is an 18” range, Str 7 multiple wound (D3) attack that ignores armour saves.

    For defense, he has T5, with 5 wounds. His cloak gives a 5++ ward and MR(2) and at the start of your turns, if he has suffered a wound, roll a D6 and on a 6 he gains one wound back. This is not a dissimilar rule to the vampire ‘the hunger’ (and probably about as effective). You are better off using the lore of life attribute to heal any wounds he suffers. In case you didn’t clock on, he isn’t very defensible. You could equate him to a super wildrider unit in a single model. He will drop like a fly to high volume S4 and above attacks. and will likely have trouble winning combats against large units (he'll probably tie or grab a minor win on round 1 and then start losing from then on, not that it matters so much anymore).

    Although a monster, he isn’t a large target but does cause Terror.

    Charge him along with your Wild Riders or Warhawk Riders into something. Anything. Then watch the mother hurt of ALL the People's Elbow descend upon your foe. Nothing bar the Dice Gods will stop you. That, or Phoenix Guard. Giggle like an Elf if you get to fight in a forest.


    Araloth, Lord of Talsyn:
    This is Skaw the Falconer reborn. He costs 260pts and comes stock with glade lord stats, a 4++ ward, stubborn, unbreakable (on his own but don't let him go on his own EVER) and a 6+ armour (Seriously. He doesn't even have Light Armour, even though his model is wearing it. Wild Riders, meanwhile, go around bare chested and count as wearing them), armed with an amazing-looking spear that is...a regular Asrai Spear (so at least he gets AP) and who comes with a bird. The bird is a free S4 hit on one model within 18", and functions like a weird Killing Blow that causes blindness instead of death. So if you wound the target and that wound is unsaved, they suffer a -5 to WS and Initiative for the rest of the game. For some reason it only effects combat stats and not BS.If you price stubborn at 35pts (I’ve gone by the dwarf rune cost), then the bird (combined with the situational unbreakable rule) costs around 30pts.

    Araloth may be the cheapest of the lord characters but aside from a fluff battle, he is the one I would least expect to see on the field of battle. Perhaps if you wanted to give a horde of Glade Guard or Wildwood Rangers stubborn you might bring him but aside from that, I can’t think of why you would take him over the standard glade lord, if only because you can tailor the generic lord so much (and give them mounts etc.).


    Durthu:
    Once again a recycled character from the far distant past (in this case the 4th Ed. Book). He has boosted stats over the other Treemen; Ws 7, str 6, t6, w6, 6 attacks, frenzy, hatred but he only has the same 3+ armour with a 6++ ward save and is still flammable, so he retains the same weakness of being far more easily removed in a single shot by flaming bolt thrower or cannon shots.

    He has a bit of variety to other Treemen flavours by coming stock with level 1 Lore of Beasts but is unable to upgrade his wizard level further. Bizarrely, his sword conveys no effects at all, which seems completely pointless. They could have at least have written in that it is the reason for his boosted combat stats (whereas they are in reality likely down to him being slightly insane and one of the eldest of his race).

    He is the only treeman to retain any of the old sprites. In this case they allow a 12” range, multiple shot (2d6), str 2, killing blow attack (which is awesome since he has BS7). All of this is for 385 pts.

    It’s worth noting that he retains the normal Treeman rules of Stubborn, Terror and Treewhack. He has the Blessing of the ancients and forest spirit rules

    If you really want to play with him, get him into combat, any combat, as quickly as you can and either get The Savage Beast of Horrors to make him eat Greater Daemons/Monsters or go with the default Wyssan's Wildform to make him do 7 WS7 (rerollable to hit) S7 attacks. 666 is the name of the Beast, but 777 is carved on the Tree.


    Heroes

    Drycha:
    She may count as a Hero but she comes with lord level stats of WS7, Str 4, Initiative 7 and 4 attacks. She also retains Hatred, Fear and forest spirit rules. She gains a quirky rule called Fanatical Resolve that means for each wound she loses, she gains 2 attacks (so will have 6 attacks after losing 1 wound and 8 if she has lost 2).

    She also counts as a level 2 Shadow mage (rather than a lvl 1 life as per normal branchwraiths) and also gets the standard blessing of the ancients so a good way to get a bit of magical diversity.

    Her final rule is: Roused to Wrath. This allows you to choose D3 units composed of forest spirits and effectively put them into ambush. At the start of your remaining moves sub phase from turn 1 onwards, roll a D6 for each unit. On a 3+ the unit can be placed within any forest on the battlefield. If you cannot put them in a forest, they count as not having come on and you will need to re-roll for them the following turn. It’s a fluffy but fairly situational rule where you really need to bring the acorn to make the most of it (let alone some forest spirit units). It is a good way to bring on some treemen to avoid that first turn cannon shot and potentially have them behind enemy lines so there is some merit to it.

    She sometimes gets a bit of stick as she is only T4 with 3W and a 6++ ward and costs 255pts. There is no two ways about it, she is pricey and falls into a hybrid middle ground. She has the stats of a combat lord but with none of the access to magical equipment to boost offence or defence, crossed with magical ability of a level 2 mage (a very tough mage though). What I do like and something I like to see in all special characters, is she brings something different to the army. In this case the ambush for forest creatures. Is it (and she) worth the price tag? I don’t think so. Even taking into account her unique abilities, I’d rather take a standard Branchwraith for 75pts and a level 2 spellweaver for 80pts. Together they are still less than Drycha and give more options.


    Naestra and Arahan,
    The Sisters of Twilight: For 275 points you get the pair on the back of Gwindalor the Great Eagle and for 220pts more can have them ride the forest dragon Ceithin-Har.

    The eagle gives them more wounds (3 each) and t4 thanks to it being monstrous cavalry, while also allowing them to reroll failed to hit rolls when shooting. The increased wounds and toughness helps against small arms fire (don’t expect miracles though) but means they are more susceptible to cannons as being Monstrous Cavalry, they get a combined profile. Their dragon is the standard one from the Wood Elf book but he must charge if he is able to (unless he passes a LD test).

    They have the Always Strikes First, Forest Stalker, Conjoined Destiny, and Sisters of Twilight special rules. The Conjoined destiny rule means that they must always stay together if their mount dies and that if one of them dies then she is revived at the end of her phase with all of her wounds. The Sisters of Twilight rule makes Naestra gain a +1 to wound forces of destruction units in combat and Arahan gain a +1 to wound forces of order in combat (not that you ever really want them in combat).

    They also have 2 special bows. Naestra has a 30”, str 5, AP, flaming, multiple wound (D6) long bow, which in addition, gives her mount a wound back each turn, if she wounds with it. Arahan has a 30” bow which fires multiple shots (2D6), AP, str 1, poisoned shots. Remember that as a single unit, both sisters would also have to fire at the same target.

    Their worth is debatable. Yes you can get another Dragon outside of taking a Glade Lord but the sisters are festooned with special rules, a number of which are of little practical use. If taking the Great Eagle allowed them to still use the Conjoined Destiny rule, then they would be worth some consideration but as it is, I’d probably pass on them.
     
  5. Knoffles
    Saurus

    Knoffles Member

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    POST 5 – Lords and Heroes


    Lords


    Glade Lord:
    Generic combat lord, reasonably fighty but you'll pale in comparison to most other Lords. (Basically, he is identical to High Prince or Dark Dreadlord, but the army's style and racial items work against making him a similar meatgrinder) He can be kitted out in a variety of ways to be more fighty and can be given magic arrows which is a plus, he also dishes out a LD10 bubble. He also got an extra point of BS.

    He is one of two characters (the other being the Glade Captain) who gain a unique new rule: The Arrow of Kurnous. After deployment but before the first turn, if the enemy general is within 36” and line of sight of a character with this rule. If they are, they suffer an auto str 3 hit with no armour saves allowed. If your foe has a caster lord as his general then I guess it will force him to deploy further back so not bad. Should not be your first Lord choice, but is by far not the worst. He is also the only generic character that can take a dragon in the army, so if you want to run one, you will need to take him.One popular choice is to give him Daith's Reaper and the Armour of Destiny for a stabtastic warboss.


    • Spellweaver:
    This should normally be your first Lord choice. Level 4 at 220 points now, a variety of magic items to make her better, the only character who can take the Acorn of Eternity (technically, the Glade Lord can take it too, but naked combat lord suffers much more than naked wizard lord) and most importantly, access to all rulebook lores and Dark and High Magic. Plus she can buy an Asrai Longbow for 5pts (though not the enchanted arrows), which means that while she's hanging in the back with your Glade Guard, she can ping off the odd casualty herself, which is hilarious by the by. Placing her in a wood to get +5 to your casting is a great ability. If you want a Lord choice, this is the one you should go for in (almost) every situation.


    • Treeman Ancient:
    There are many pros and cons to the Ancient. They are expensive, coming in at 290 points base, start as a level 2 wizards (who can upgrade to level 4) but is limited to Life magic. Their combat stats are worse than a normal Treeman losing 2 WS and attacks.

    They aren’t all bad though. They have a 3+, 6++ save, gain an additional wound over the standard Treeman (6), can still Treewack and still have great S (5) and T (6). They also come with LD10 and stubborn. Against anything that hasn't got a particularly threatening shooting phase, the ancient will be basically immortal unless it gets killed in combat. 3+, 6 wounds, 6T and lore of life means that light shooting will be almost useless against it, and even bolt throwers will struggle to down him. It’s worth noting that even cannons will struggle to one shot him and if they fail, he has the ability to heal himself with the lore attribute. He will also very likely be your general and will provide an 18” LD10 bubble, which is nothing to be sniffed at.

    The strangleroot upgrade is a conundrum. Unlike the standard treeman, the ancient loses two points of BS and BS4 on the ancient means that after modifiers, you will likely only ever hit on a 5 or 6 (mulit-shot, long range and move & shoot). Being a caster, you are less likely to want this treeman in combat (unlike the standard one). Is it worthwhile? I don’t think so but it isn’t a terrible choice.

    See post 12 for a full breakdown of why they should be considered.


    Heroes

    • Glade Captain:
    This is the generic combat and battle standard bearer character for wood elves and actually comparing him to other non-elf race's characters he isn't too bad. He can't buy anything armour-wise better than a shield and light armour but then he is a wood elf and he does have some decent combat stats and a bow to make up for it. Also he shares the Arrow of Kurnous with your general so you are not punished for taking a caster lord. Overall, while not having as much access to armour as the Dark Elf Master, this hero is a decent battle standard bearer, especially if you spend a few points to make him tougher. Consider adding a dragon helm, helm of the hunt or any cheap magic armour to make him less squishy. Keep in mind, that most Wood Elf lists are quite mobile (if not outright full-cavalry) and have good Ld, so BSB might not be the best investment. Consider mounting him on a Great Stag if you want a combat character or a Great Eagle for a really mobile strike option. He will benefit from the increased T and W’s both mounts will provide. He is also the obvious choice to give the Hail of Doom arrow to. For a melee option you could give him the armour of silvered steel, a great weapon and then put him in a unit of Eternal Guard to give them some punch.



    • Shadow Dancer:
    Your Wardancer character. Worth consideration. For 100pts you get a ws8 s4 I8 a4 (two hand weapons) Always Strike Firsts combat character, with the amazing new wardancer dances. You have a 25 points magic weapon/item allowance and for 60pts become a lore of shadow wizard. Sadly she doesn't have a way of moving any more quickly, without switching her across the battlefield with lore of shadows lore attribute and also doesn't have a better save than a 6++, unless you use one of the dances to give you a 3++ for 1 turn. Hit hard, hit fast.

    Note: For those enterprising gentle...elves, a Shadow Dancer can be used as a pretty nifty rank breaker for a close combat army. Use the Dance of the Woven Mist to rob a horde of their rank bonus and watch them lose instantly.

    NEVER put her into Wardancer unit, their dances do not stack. Put her with Eternal Guard or, better, with Dryads - her attacks and dances will help them overcome their downsides. (She also works well as a bodyguard for your spellweaver).

    Good items to give her are Glittering Scales (most core will hit her on 6+, with most elites hitting on 5+) or Potion of Strength to give her a dose one time awesomeness.

    Arguably, making her a level 1 wizard is a pretty bad choice, as you can no longer take magical armor (though the potion of strength is still an option). This leaves you with 25 points to either make her your walking dispel scroll slot or give her the Bow of Loren. Also, as she is only a level 1, you get one spell, and there is no grantee you can actually get it off (On the other side, Mystifying Miasma is cheap enough to be effective on a level 1 and synergises well with a bow heavy army). Unless you are really in need of saving points, you are probably better off buying a Level 2 Spellsinger if you want the Lore of Shadow. Another downside to it, is it is a 60pt upgrade!


    • Waystalker:
    Is a hero version of the Waywatchers. Just think of this guy as the replacement for the waywatcher kindred hero. He has bs 7, a bow and a 25pts weapons allowance. Bow of Loren is an option that allows you to fire 2 ignores armour shots which can also be combined with the Savage Beast of Horos from the Beasts lore to grant 5 ignores armour sniper shots that do suffer from multiple shots penalty (though with BS7 will you care). An interesting combo if you're going to be running with the beasts lore. The guy is dirt cheap, only 115 points with the bow of loren, 90 without.

    I’ve yet to find that running one of this guy is worth his points as he still fires at Str 3. Consider running two in tandem, with the second one packing the Ruby Ring for some fireball goodness. Always target the support wizards or BSB’s over lord level characters initially, as removing a dispel scroll caddy or an armies LD re-rolls can really hinder them and the lower wound count and defensive options these characters generally pack, makes it much more likely you will succeed in removing them. Point for point, two are unlikely to get back their equivilent points but the threat they cause and taking out those support characters, more than makes up for it.


    • Spellsinger:
    Amazing, when compared to the old wizards. Five points cheaper than the high elf equivalent, +35 for a level 2, and 5 points for a bow. Now has access to all battle rule book lores but not to the Wood Elf specific lores (ie the opposite of its sixth edition form). Shame. Also gets the +1 to cast whilst in a wood. Use them as you would any other lower level mage. Predominantly as a scroll caddy. I like that they get the same Unicorn/Great eagle/Steed options as the Spellweaver. It really gives them flexibility.


    • Branchwraith:
    The Branchwraith has 2 advantages: (1), she's a fairly effective melee character (WS6, S4, T4, I7, A3, 6+ Ward). (2), she's cheap. She is 75pts and a level 1 Lore of Life wizard on top of that. She's a cheap way of beefing up a Treekin or Dryad unit. It is also of note that if you're taking the Lore of Beasts for your casters, and you're running a Branchwraith, you can use 2 of the spells to buff her up to insane levels. She is definitely worth considering in a combat army.

    Like the shadowweaver, she works best when she isn’t placed in the associated unit (in this case Dryads). Consider running her with a unit of Wardancers for something out of the ordinary.
     
  6. Knoffles
    Saurus

    Knoffles Member

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    POST 6 - Mounts



    Elven Steed:
    You know it, you love it. M9 Forest Strider, 20pts for lords, half that for heroes, and allows you to keep pace with all your cavalry. Take it for your mages to hide with your cavalry. Note: the latest errata confirmed that characters mounted on these have the fast cavalry rule.


    • Great Stag:
    Really, why aren't you taking it? Better stats than its closest cousin (i.e. the Eagle), you can still join units, you get a monstrous mount. One of the better mounts. [The reason not to take it, is that you don't get look-out-sir when joining units (because no units you can join are MC)]. For Captains, it will boost his wounds and toughness.


    • Great Eagle:
    Worth taking to make your models more mobile for 50 pts. I wouldn't take it on every hero but on a lvl 1 mage without the scroll or on a Glade Captain (BSB or not) it should be worth some consideration. Like the Stag, a Captain will benefit most due to the increase in wounds and toughness.


    • Unicorn:
    Unicorns are weird. They seem to be designed to deliver a Hero/Lord directly into combat, but it's only available to Casters and all it really does for them is make them a tiny bit more durable. A mage on a unicorn may be able to scare away some chaff. It gives you movement 10 and still can skewer some models but is outshone by the elven steed easily. Magic Resistance (2) may seem nice, but it is better to just put your mounted wizard with Sisters of the Thorn and give them Lichebone Pennant. The one time to consider taking it is when using High Magic. The tokens gained will boost her protection and makes running around solo reasonably viable.


    Forest Dragon:
    It's a Dragon, what do you want? Considering that this funky-looking dude with wings is a green, environmental-friendly lizard who smokes faeries, makes others stupefied and dumb when they inhale (presumably from forcing the enemy to second hand smoke whatever herbs the elves use to mellow out the dragon), and is a beast when he thinks you're going after his stash, he's actually just that little bit better than most Dragons. Also, there's only one poser who's cool enough to hang with him, and that's the Glade Lord (who, if you don't kit out for combat, really is a poser; the GL has same statline like Prince and Dreadlord, and his dragon is tiny bit stronger than Black/Moon Dragon for same points, so it's not a much worse investment than any other Elf Lord of Dragon. Plus, Helm of the Hunt). Still, if you are running MSU, a dragon equals a giant target with "SHOOT ME!" written all over it in dwarven runes.
     
  7. Knoffles
    Saurus

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    POST 7 - Core Units


    Dryads:
    The initial impression is that Dryads took a real hit in this edition, thanks to losing a point of strength and the skirmish rule but in reality Dryads are just trash if you try to use them in their old role. (People tend to judge them based on their old profile, understandably.) They can't take anything other than a champion and cost 330 for 30 of them. Dryads can still be good, and do have a place in combat armies (which are a thing these days and we now have 10 lores of magic to back them up. Seriously, you can make them tough or strong - they work well with either buff). Most armies would kill for toughness 4 core with a ward save and 2 attacks. For 11pts you get WS 4, S3, T4, A2, I5, Ld8, hatred, immune to psychology and a 6++ save. Though they have no armour save to mitigate the lower ward save (though they can now take it against magical attacks), and no more skirmisher, they are basically our assassins, crashing into enemy flank and tearing it shreds, while taking not so much damage in return. They are not so useful in a shooty or cavalry army, but if you are running a combat wood elf army, which can actually do well in this book, dryads and eternal guard are what you're going to take.

    It’s worth noting that for some bizarre reason, Dryads lose steadfast if standing in a forest. I know they are a ranked unit but it just doesn’t seem right.

    See Post 13 for thoughts on how to use Dryads.


    • Eternal Guard:
    11 points WS 5 armour piercing, ASF, stubborn, elven spearmen, who can fight better in forests. They can also buy shields too and have a 5+ armour save. Considering that the more protected units in the wood elf army get just a 4+ and 6++, these guys have a pretty good save. Don't get me wrong, their save will be laughed at by every army out there, (apart from beastmen) but for wood elves, it's respectable.

    At the first glance their cost - 270 points for 20 of them with shields and a full command squad and 390 for a horde - is a high one, but comparing them to other spear elves. For measly 3 extra points they gain Stubborn, Armor Piercing, +1WS and +1LD, making them an incredible anchor - almost unbreakable when within BSB range. Also, you don't have to take them in such big units - small units (10-15) can hold off pretty long even against elites. Many people don't like them, since these generally do not fit in with the traditional Wood Elves' Hit and Run or Shoot and Scoot style of play. Also, they are incredible in the now-viable melee Wood Elf lists and are one of the better places to hide your wizards.


    • Glade Guard:
    Glade Guard are of debatable worth. For 12 points you get a bs 4 model with no armour, an AP long bow, the option to take full command and a magic standard worth 25 points. In forests they get to reroll ones to wound in close combat and can fire and fight in 1 extra rank. They also can buy any of the magic arrows (discussed in magic arrows section). It is up to you whether you chose to deploy them in multiple small units or in one horde, though generally msu is better since they will have more time to fire. The reason they can be considered debatable, is because Deepwood Scouts do same job better for just 1 point more but gain, skirmish and scout (except of course, they won't fill up your mandatory 25% core). Saying that, I still love them and it is a rare list I field without at least 1-2 units of 10.

    It’s worth noting that just because you can take magic arrows, it doesn’t mean you have to. You always have the option of fielding cheaper glade guard units with standard AP shots, comparable to other armies chaff removing units. This will also allow you to give them the banner of eternal flame for those sometimes important flaming shots (something that won’t stack with the magic arrows. Yess you can arm them with Moonfire/Starfire shafts but that will cost considerably more than the banner's 10pts).

    Alternative view: Everyone is going to take at least 2 units of these now. Yes, they get expensive fast with the enchanted arrows, but man does it make them mean. If Wood Elves were more of a stand up and fight army like High Elves, then their best core would probably be Eternal Guard. Wood Elves, however, aren't best when standing up and fighting. They're best when they control the movement phase and the shooting phase. Archers have always been their thing, and this latest incarnation of Glade Guard are the best archers in the game. They pay a pretty penny for it, but it's definitely worthwhile.


    • Glade Riders:
    Out of all the core choices, this is perhaps the only unit which has been priced correctly. For 19pts you get m9 fast cavalry with an Asrai Bow and Asrai Spear (so Str4 AP on the charge), who have to ambush (Being forced to ambush can sometimes be an issue, keep this in mind when taking Riders), that can take the magic arrows. They can also take a magic banner worth up to 25pts which is neat (I would recommend Gleaming Pennant - cheap and nice for fast cavalry). Generally you will want to take these in multiple small units that can come up behind the opponents and cause havoc. In a pinch they also make good warmachine hunters. A downside of this unit is that you cannot depend on them to act early in the game, since they can only potentially move onto the board from turn 2 onwards. There is also always the chance they won't turn up...

    And no, they cannot choose Vanguard deployment over Ambush deployment, because you Vanguard-move after you have deployed - which you don't with Ambush. Feel free to Vanguard-move in the model case, waiting for your ambush roll.
     
  8. Knoffles
    Saurus

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    Post 8 - Special Units


    Deep Wood Scouts:
    Don't let their fancy new name fool you. These are the Glade Scouts of the past, simply moved and renamed. For 1 point more than a Glade Guard they gain scout and skirmish and still keep the option to buy magic arrows. They can also buy a full command interestingly and can be taken in units as small as 5. Pity that you can only have so many special unit duplicates. Whenever you feel the urge to buy glade guard that don't contribute to your core allowance, choose Deepwood scouts instead. If anything they are one less unit you have to deploy at the start of a game before the roll off thanks to scout. Give them poisoned arrows for warmachine hunting or even swiftshiver arrows for repeater xbow style shooting whilst minimising the modifiers.


    • Sisters of the Thorn:
    The Wood Elf alternative to Dark Elf Warlocks. While wildriders rock out with their cock out and kill and get killed in a blaze of gory glory, the sisters are more subtle and indirect with their attack. For 26 points they get a 4++, T3, BS5 and a poisoned javelin. They can buy full command and a 50pts banner. They also count as a lvl 2 wizard with the Shield of Thorns and Curse of Anraheir spells, with a +1 to cast equal to your rank bonus (maxing out at +3).

    You can pull some crazy stunts with these Druidic Elven Nuns, but they are pricy, have one good spell and one mediocre with great lore attribute, though both will be difficult to cast with less than 3 dice. One thing that is really good about them is that despite their massive cost, they are tough, they do look awesome and they are one of two cavalry units you can deploy your mounted characters in and unlike wildriders, they don't have frenzy.

    They are an awesome retinue for a mounted Spellweaver. Get them a Lichebone Pennant and you can laugh at enemy spells (but not miscasts as per the errata, MR doesn’t help with those). They also can help/substitute a Lifeweaver or a Branchwraith, providing healing with Shield of Thorns (with thorns themselves being just a little bonus). They aren’t a no-brainer, but can be very effective with proper application.

    Effectively Female Warlocks that cost a point more, are better at shooting, worse at combat, have their ward save vs all attacks, have a worse miscast result and have different spells. The spells they do have (Curse of Anraheir and Shield of Thorns) are good, especially Curse which can be used to great effect on high armour save low model count units (like Knights). Whilst it could be argued that they are not as good as Warlocks they are still pretty damn good.


    • Treekin:
    For 45 points you get S4, T5, 3 wounds, 3 attacks, Stomp, 4+ armor, 6++ Ward, and flammable. Having dropped a point of strength from the last book, they are often thought to not be the force they once were. However, they also had their unit size limit removed, so they can now be taken in hordes and with a 20 point reduction, they are considerably cheaper and won't eat up as much of your points.

    Compared to an O&G troll for the same price, treekin suffer from a distinct lack of S5 (that the troll has), but they also benefit from a distinct lack of stupidity (that the troll has). Overall treekin are evenly matched with river and stone trolls as they should be for the same point cost. They are arguably the best of the forest spirits the wood elves have to offer but are no longer a must-take. Beware they are vulnerable to Great Weapons, fire and high volumes of S4 attacks and have trouble overcoming large amounts of static combat res, so be careful to not send them into battles they can't win.

    Being hard to kill is a rare skill in the Wood Elf army when surrounded by toughness 3 armour-phobic elves. This makes the Treekin the ideal candidate for an anvil unit. If you see a unit that you don’t want to fight right now then simply move the Treekin (or walk them between worlds) in front of the unit and feel secure that the unit will be held up for at least 2 rounds of combat (depending on break tests and if the other unit is magically buffed). The Treekin’s worth isn’t measure by how many models it can kill but by how much time it can give you in holding back the enemy unit you don’t want to face. A unit of 6 is only 270pts so not an overly expensive investment.

    Additional Thoughst: Proper use of these guys is against large S3 units (Spearelves of all flavors, Clanrats, Empire Spearmen, Skeletons...the list goes on). Your archers won't be able to bring the unit down to size very effectively, and most of your CC units will just bounce off, but Treekin have enough attacks (2 ranks have 18 attacks) and high enough toughness to grind them into powder. It's a niche, but it's one not filled very effectively elsewhere in the army. Combine with a flank charge from your Wild Riders for great success or back them up with a small troupe of wardancers to remove the opponent’s ranks.


    • Wardancer Troupe:
    Wardancers are one of the Wood Elf iconic units and are still a reasonably good let down by a few flaws and a fairly high cost of entry. They are 15 points a pop and with T3 and a 6+ Ward, they're still about as hard as tissue paper, but that's par for the course with Wood Elves and Skirmishers in general (and as per all skirmishers missile troops targeting them get -1 to hit).

    Like previous iterations, they come with unique dances that are selected at the start of each combat phase and lasts until the end of that turn. These are:

    • Whirling Death: Gives you armor piercing and killing blow
    • Storm of Blades: Gives you +1 attack
    • The Shadows Coil: Gives you a 3++
    • Woven Mist: Enemy units in base contact lose any rank bonus.

    What lets these guys down is the fact they have to start in your deployment zone, and M5 does not let them cross the board very quickly, as well as being unable to repeat any of their dances the turn after it is used. To overcome this take a small unit of 5 and hang them back, then proceed to laugh as you charge them into an on-going combat and win it by a landslide due to the -3 combat res.

    Both War Dancers and Shadowdancer are very useful due to the rank stripping dance but keep in mind that if you place the Shadowdancer in the Wardancer unit, they have to use the same dances. You can’t choose to use a different dance with the Shadowdancer, though if you place her in a different unit, she can use different dances.

    Also don’t just get locked into a mindset of using the one dance, they all have their place i.e. the 3++ ward can ensure they absorb impact hits reasonably well and the killing blow dance can be used to try and assassinate characters.

    As a side note, any models in the squad (not the whole squad - you can choose) can replace two weapons with an Asrai Spear. As a normal rule I would avoid doing this. Losing an attack to gain AP, whilst paying for the privilege is just not worth it (especially considering one of your dances grants both AP AND killing blow).

    A unit of 5 also only costs 75pts so they are fully within the chaff cost area and can be used as such. They just lack the movement of most chaff.


    • Warhawk Riders:
    For 45 points per model, you are getting fast flying, monstrous cavalry with the Asrai Bows, W3, T4, and Asrai Spears. On the charge, each model deals out 1 str 4 AP with ASF as well as 2 str 4 AP killing blow hits and a stomp.

    They are great for getting behind enemy lines to attack warmachines, can take out most chaff and other smaller units with ease. Bows give them versatility to take off the odd wound from lightly armoured foes and they can also assist in larger combats. Having Skirmish helps out their survivability from missile fire. Don’t get me wrong, they are still only T4 with a 6+ save and 3W, so they aren’t very durable (just durable for wood elves). They are one also of the few monstrous cavalry units that don’t understand what the fuss is about with searing doom.

    They are often compared to the Great Eagle and held up to be much better at only 45pts per model. They have a different role to the eagle, who is a redirector through and through and although the warhawks are 5pts cheaper, you have to take a minimum of 3 which is 135pts base.
    Realistically, these are probably too expensive for what they bring to the table.

    • Wild Riders of Kurnous:
    While they may be quite fragile for cavalry, Wild Riders of Kurnous move like an arrow and hit like a ton of bricks (glass bricks). Similes aside, they are the only fast cavalry in the game with the potential to get a 4+ 6++ and they eat monsters (or damn near anything) for breakfast. For 26 points you get a WS5, S4, T3, model on stagback with light armour, which can buy a shield for 2 extra points (always do this), Full Command for 30, and a magic banner up to 50pts. In combat they dish out 3 str 5 AP, ASF and 2 str 4 attack on the charge, thanks to frenzy, which is generally accepted also applies to the mounts (though it must be noted that as per RAW it probably doesn’t). They cause fear and have immune to psychology (due to Frenzy). A distinctly double edge sword as this is one unit you really don’t want to be charged but cannot choose to run away with!

    A unit of 5 on the charge with a champion will cause an average of 12 wounds with -3 to armour and 4 Wounds. They also have a lot more attack power than most other cav, retaining 4 st4 attacks per model until you lose frenzy. That's better than having lances. Also, they keep their spears in following rounds, so their attacks still have AP. Bear in mind, they're reasonably reliant on a 4+ 6++ (one of the best saves the wood elves get is still not that good), so don't get them charged, or they will die in troves. Ironically enough, they are no longer Forest Spirits, but their new models actually look like forest spirits, unlike their older models of regular elves.

    If taking a magic standard, consider that they will be missile magnet number 1, so although you could take a 50pt standard, I would advocate cheaper standards. Consider the banner of swiftness to make them M10.


    • Wildwood Rangers:
    New to the Wood Elf Army Book, 11 points per model gets you light armor, Eternal Guard stats, immune to psychology, and a great weapon. They are slightly more resilient than Gnoblars but do carry a Great Weapon. What makes these guys special is that if they're in combat with a unit that causes fear or terror they get an extra attack (good against Chaos, Undead and Ogres). You can combine this unit effectively with the Acorn, Moonstone and by picking the forest type that causes fear. On the upside they are better than Great Swordsmen (In forests and against fear causers), but are worse than almost every other race's Great Weapon elites (however also cheaper per model). With the End Times bringing undead-summoning for everyone, these fellers become more useful, easily clearing freshly-summoned shamblers with their special rule. This is only one of two units in the army that I would consider using in horde formation (the other being Glade Guard), though they could work equally effectively in msu format.
     
  9. Knoffles
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    POST 9 - Rare Units


    Great Eagle:
    Some have argued that if you are taking Eagles for 50pts, you would be better off taking a warhawk for 45pts. This is the wrong way to look at them. You would want to take a great eagle instead of a warhawk if you had less than 135pts to spend on flying dudes. Warhawks need to be taken in units of at least 3, and have enough whoopass to draw more attention from the enemy than the eagle. A pair of eagles is great for topping off the last hundred points in your list and they remain possibly the best chaff in the game. Place one of these between your enemy death star and your death star so your death star can get the charge next turn. The eagle is one of the cheapest chaff units in the game. Skaven could probably field a unit of slaves for less than 50pts, but those slaves won't give you the same coverage as an eagle. The only thing worth questioning is why the Wood Elf eagles don’t get option to upgrade, unlike their High Elf cousins?


    • Treeman:
    Another iconic wood elf creature with a fantastic model. Like all forest creatures it took a bit of a hit from the previous edition and will become cannon bait as soon as you field it. However it is still quite tough with T6, W5 and a 3+ scaly skin and 6++ ward and stubborn thrown in for good measure. Offensively it has 5 attacks at WS6, S5 in combat with the option to swap them all for a tree whack which deals D6 armour ignoring wounds to a model if your enemy fails his initiative test (each wound must be saved separately in case of ward saves). It also gets thunderstomp for an additional D6 S5 auto hits. In addition it causes terror. Downsides include it’s a large target and flammable.

    It has the option to get a ranged attack for a 20pt upgrade which could be worthwhile on the standard treeman. It gives D6+1 S5 attacks. The main issue is that it only has a 12” range and if you are that close, you will likely be charging instead. The other issue is, although they have a BS 6, you will be unlikely to hit on anything better than a 3 or 4 after the modifiers for: multiple shots, long range and movement are taken into account.

    While the treeman is not amazing compared to some other monsters and is not necessary for most WE armies, it is perhaps, our best monster killer, the model looks amazing and it has a great presence on the battlefield. I like it a lot.


    • Waywatchers:
    This is potentially the best unit in the Army Book. For 20pts you get a BS5 skirmishing, scouting, archer who can chose whether to add the multiple fire 2 rule to his bow or to ignore armour saves with his shooting. They also come with 2 hand weapons for some mild protection against chaff units in combat but don't expect them to be able to take the enemy head on with T3 and no armour.

    Everything they do is very wood elfy. They shoot well, avoid the enemy well and die easily if the enemy puts any real firepower on them. Take a unit of 5 and annoy the living hell out of your opponents. For 100pts you can thin out the enemy if they ignore them, or distract whatever the enemy sends to stomp these guys down. It actually isn't a bad idea to fill your rare allocation up with these. Keep in mind, their bows are still S3 only, so pick your targets carefully and use Withering (lore of shadows) or Soulblight (lore of death) or you could be sorely disappointed.

    To look at them another way. They are basically Deepwood Scouts (13pts) armed with both a super arcane bodkin (+5pts), Swiftshiver arrows (+4pts), an additional hand weapon (+1pt). So that would be 23pts. They also have an additional point of BS (whatever that would equate to points wise). So, yes, waywatchers are expensive at 20 pts each but looking at what you get, they are a very good value for their cost and much more versatile than other archer options.
     
  10. Knoffles
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    Post 10 - Wood Elf Character Loadout Tactics


    Wood Elf players are blessed and cursed when it comes to magic item selection for their characters. On the positive side there aren't that many good magic items in the new book so in many ways what worked in the last book still works. On the negative side there isn't a Banner of the World Dragon eskque item in our armoury. We got the dregs of the magic item barrel in terms of the quality and usefulness of our racial magic items. There are a few standouts but they are outnumbered by average or just plain bad magic items. This post will be focusing on the core rule book items and how they can be used to benefit Wood Elf characters.

    When deciding what kit to give your heroes it is important to decide what role your hero will play first. Will he be a combat monster designed to slaughter your opponents troops, will she be a monster slayer with the goal of taking down the hardest of foes? This should be the first thing you do before you even select a character. Once you have done this then you should proceed to kitting him/her out.

    In this regard Wood Elves have some option that others do not. The Glade Captain and Lord both have access to all the enchanted arrows in addition to Asrai Spears as well as extra hand weapons, great weapons, shields and light armour. Before you even start dividing up the magic item allowance you should take a look at the arrows and mundane gear to see if there are any items there that can do what you want a magic item to do for less. For example if you are making a combat hero with the aim of killing enemy core troops it may not be a bad idea to give the character an extra hand weapon in place of the Sword of Battle, its 17 points cheaper whilst achieving the same effect. By the same token if you wanted one of your Wood Elf characters to have armour piercing it would be a far better idea to give them an Asrai Spear over the Biting Blade, there would be no upside to giving your character the blade over the spear.

    As I mentioned briefly above Wood Elf Characters can take The Enchanted Arrows.

    By strict interpretation of the rules, if you take one on a character, this will prevent a unit taking them as they are enchanted items so can’t be duplicated (hence why moonfire are so good for characters as you normally won’t take them on a unit) but as it is generally accepted that the arrows can be duplicated, this likely won’t prevent you from taking the arrows on other units. However, if you are gaming with someone you haven't played before, it is highly recommended to discuss this in advance with your opponent (or check with a Tournament Organiser in advance of attendance if you are still lucky enough to have competitions in your area) to see if they have any objections to duplicate arrows.

    At the end of the day what arrows you give your characters will come down to your personal choice, but here are a few of my ideas on how you could use the arrows on your characters.


    Moonfire/Starfire – Whilst putting these arrows on a whole unit probably isn’t a good idea (unless you are tailoring a list to face a certain opponent) it wouldn’t hurt to place one of these arrows on a character. For a start they are only 4 points and for those 4 points you get a chance to take a wound off a charging monster who may cause your character and his unit grief. On top of that you have 30 inches of range so you can harass the monster dui jour for a full 30 inches, which could help sway the combat in your favour when the monster charges. And considering that you get +1 to wound (meaning that you will wound on no worse than a 5+ against either forces of Order or Disorder) there is a fair chance you will slowly chip away at your opponent’s prized gribbley monster. My personal choice would be Starfire over Moonfire as Disorder tends to have the scarier monsters but it should really come down to your choice and what armies are most common in your area.


    Arcane Bodkins – 5 points a model on a 11 point Glade Guard (making even a ten Elf unit cost 180 before command options are added) is a bad deal. However 5 points on a single model is a much better offer. The rationale behind this choice is much the same for the Star/Moonfire arrows, -3 Armour Save (shooting attacks only) on a single model who has 3 inch range and BS 6 at the worst (Glade Captains) and 7 at the best (Glade Lords) will knock off the occasional heavily armoured cavalry model, and as unit size ten is popular amongst 1+ armour save cav (as its toughness 3 provided the cav aren’t monstrous) knocking off the occasional model will hurt the units combat ability. Arcane Bodkins are probably the best choice of arrow on characters.


    Hagbane – 3 points for poisoned shooting is so cheap that there is really no point not doing it (unless you have already picked one of the other arrows). It could knock a crewman off a war machine or a wound off a multiple wound model, and if it doesn’t it cost only 3 points so it’s no big loss.


    I wouldn’t advise taking Trueflight or Swiftshiver, those are arrows that are far better when put on unis of at least 10 in size. Hitting on 3+/2+ or shooting 2 AP S3 shots a turn isn’t great for lone characters and I would advise against using these on characters, unless you have a cunning plan…….

    Now let use get onto the meat of character kit, the magic items.



    Magic Weapons

    Firstly let’s look at what the army books offers here, the Spirit Sword, Dailths Reaper and the Bow of Loren. The Spirit Sword is nice but at 85 points doesn’t give you a lot to spend on defensive gear (which is absolutely priority one when kitting out Wood Elf characters, we don’t get decent non magic armour saves unless we are mounted and even then the best we can do is 4+ without magic items), only take it if you Are 100% certain that you have a way to buff your character up defensive wise (using Life magic would be one way). The Reaper is a good choice, allowing you to re-roll to hits, wounds and enemy successful armour saves. At 50 points you can still buy the Armour of Destiny (5+ AS and 4+ WS, it’s the best magic armour choice for Wood Elf characters) and it can help you kill common troops, characters and heavily armoured foes. Finally we have the Bow of Loren, an item best gifted to a Waystalker as it allows him to fire 2 armour ignoring sniper shots per turn and you can’t fire Enchanted arrows with it, oh and its 20 points so what’s not to like. If you do want to give it to a Glade Captain/Lord it’s not a bad choice, try to combo it with the Flaming Sword from the lore of fire to get the best use from it.

    In terms of the core rules magic items what you pick should reflect (as will a lot of your magic item selection) the role your character is trying to fill. There are some items that I recommend you avoid, the Sword of Battle (+1 attack, can easily be replaced by an extra had weapon), the Biting Blade (Armour Piercing, an Asrai Spear is a much better and cheaper choice), The Bezerker Sword (Frenzy, an extra hand weapon will give you +1 attack without Frenzy), Fencer’s Blades and Sword of Swift Slaying (Initiative 10 and Always Strike First, you don’t need initiative bonuses, you’re a Wood Elf player). Apart from the items listed above it’s really up to you how you kit your characters out with magic weapons so long as you keep in mind what you want him/her to do.


    Magic Armour

    The magic armour section should be your first stop for all characters who will even smell combat. We can’t get 1+ armour saves with mundane gear like the other elves so you should always be looking to augment your combat characters with items from this section. Remember that Ward Saves should always be put before Armour saves and that you should save the Talisman of Protection for your most important mage as they cant get any magic armour what so ever.

    In terms of what items you should pick first I recommend looking first at the Armour of Destiny and then the Armour of the Slivered Steed. The Armour of Destiny is great for Wood Elf Characters as it can, with a shield and a mount, be turned into a 3+ 4+ (the best combo of Ward and Armour save on offer to the Wood Elves and probably the best piece of defencive gear). The Armour of the Slivered Steed may seem to contradict my Ward over Armour save rule but hear me out. The reason why I recommend it over say the Armour of Fortune is because at some point a better armour save trumps a worse ward save. The way I work it out goes like this. If the Ward save is one point worse than the Armour Save after it has been modified then take the Ward save, if the Ward save is 2 points, or more, worse than the Armour Save after modifiers have been applied take the Armour save (the way you work out the modifier is by looking at the average strength value in your area). In this way the Armour of Destiny beats the Armour of the Slivered Steed but the Armour of Fortune doesn’t

    Keep in mind that Armour and Ward Saves aren’t the only form of protection, items like the Glittering Scales (Light Armour and -1 to hit in CC) and the Helm of Discord (Choose an enemy model in base contact and force him to take a LD test, if failed cant attack and is auto hit) are good and cheap ways to protect your characters from harm (so long as that harm is combat orientated)


    Talismans

    The one stop shop for all your mages protective gear. All the Talismans of X are good options for your characters with the Talisman of Preservation being the best (and your first option when trying to protect your lord level mage). Other items like the Opal Amulet and the Dragonbane Gem are worth a look and could come in handy.

    In terms of what to avoid the Dawn and Luckstone are numbers 1 and 2, Wood Elves will never have good enough non magic item augmented armour saves to benefit from these items and I would advise against giving your characters the Armour of the Slivered Steed and the Dawnstone, it’s a waste of points and a Lord Level hero considering he would only have 40 points left and no Ward Save.


    Enchanted Items

    The Enchanted items are where the best of the Wood Elf specific items live, mainly the Moonstone of the Hidden Ways and the HODA! (Hail of Doom Arrow! The exclamation mark is key). Oh and there is they Acorn of the Ages, a item that Wood Elf armies need but resent for its ability to generate more forest but at 100 points.

    The HODA should be your first pick when visiting the Enchanted Items section, a one use only 3d6 strength 4 multiple shot shooting attack with Armour Piercing (and at 30 points!!) shouldn't be skipped, although selecting a target for the HODA is the hardest part with choosing when to use it being the second hardest. The Healing Potion is great for fragile characters who don't have a Life Mage or Sisters of the Thorn nearby. The Crown of Command is a decent item but you should really spend the rest of your points on defensive gear to keep your character going. The Potion of Strength and Toughness are both quite handy for the Strength and Toughness deficient Wood Elves and the Other Trickster's Shard is great for a laugh, especially against other Wood Elves and Demons.


    So that's the Character kit tactica, keep in mind what i said at the beginning that you must determine the role of the character first and keep that role in mind when gearing up your character.
     
  11. Knoffles
    Saurus

    Knoffles Member

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    POST 11 - The Lord and the Weaver: Wood Elf Generals

    After the tournament Call To Arms 2014 i decided against having a Mage general, in both my first and last game my mage general decided to get sucked down a hole which meant that the first game was a bigger lose than it would have been and it meant the last game was a lose rather than a win. For my Skitterleap list i decided upon a mobile Machine Gun/Bow Glade Lord, my reasoning behind this was that he would both more useful (he can shot chaff, hunt chaff, hunt warmachines and seek flanks) and he would be easier to keep alive (his primary role didn't have a built in chance to get him killed without my opponent lifting a finger). However he has only seen a single game so far so i decided to do a tactics post looking at the Pros and Cons both both viable generic lord level Wood Elf generals in order to help any other fellow Wood Elf players who may be having similar issues, there will be a post in the future on Wood Elf special characters which will cover them and the reason why the Treeman Ancient isn't in this post is because i no longer consider him a viable general choice for reasons i will come to later.

    So let’s first look at the Glade Lord and his/her Pros and Cons:


    The Glade Lord

    Pros

    • Forest Dragon: The Glade Lord can ride a Forest Dragon where a Spellweaver cannot (he can also ride a Stag but the Weaver's access to a Unicorn makes that a moot point).

    • Greater Customization and Combat Roles: The Glade Lord can access a much wider armoury allowing him to fill many roles that a Spellweaver cannot.

    • Better Leadership: Glade Lords have Leadership 10, and this is a definite advantage over the Spellweaver when choosing a General.

    • Cheaper: A tooled up Glade Lord is cheaper than a tooled up Spellweaver.


    Cons

    • Very Limited Magic Access: With only access to the Wizarding Hat (which is 100 points) the Glade Lord doesn't have access to one of the more powerful parts of WHFB.

    • Frontline Commander. Most people will have their Glade Lord end up in combat sooner or later and thats bad news. Wood Elves as a whole don't believe in Armour Saves and this applies to Characters as well. The best set of saves a Wood Elf Character can get is a 3+ Armour and a 4+ Ward (true they can get a 2+ armour from the Armour of the Slivered Steed but i think thats worse than a 3+ 4++). This means that Glade Lords tend to die easily in combat, and you want them near combat for their Leadership to take full effect.



    The Spellweaver

    Pros

    • 10 Lores of Magic: With access to all 8 Rule Books lores, High and Dark magic the Spellweaver has a lot of choices when it comes to magical solutions to problems. Be it weakening or blowing up the enemies troops,buffing or resurrecting yours or just plain old turning into a Dragon and eating the enemy the Spellweaver can do it all.

    • Access to Arcane Items: Dispel Scrolls, Channeling Staffs, The Scroll of Shielding and more are all examples of Arcane items that can protect your troops from spells.


    Cons

    • Miscasts: While there are ways to mitigate the damage from Miscasts (have your mage ride around on a horse out of base contact/small template range of your troops) nothing can mitigate the damage of having your mage general get sucked down a hole on the final turn of a game that you were winning (or any turn of any game of that matter), or have himself/herself loose enough magic levels to effectively make him/her a walking waste of points, points that are easy to kill and give the enemy 100 extra points if they do kill them.

    • Easier to Kill: Less access to defensive gear, less wounds and less toughness all contribute to making the Spellweaver far easier to kill, and because you generally end up spending more on a Weaver than a Lord this is not a good thing

    • Worse Leadership. While LD 9 isn't bad on a general you probably want the highest possible, and the Spellweaver has the worse LD out of the two options being looked at.


    So there are the good and bad points about of both choices, but which one should you choose? At the end of the day it comes down to what you want in your army. You can take both a Glade Lord and Spellweaver in your army however this means you will have less points to spend elsewhere, alternately you could decide to take only one and have more points but lose the benefits of the choice you didn't take. Both options have things they can bring to your army so there really is no wrong choice here. I now have a Glade Lord as my army general mainly because he is the more versatile of the two and his versatility doesn't come with the risk of getting himself killed.

    I am going to briefly mention my objections to the Treeman Ancient. Once he was a viable choice with access to some pretty ok upgrades. Nowadays Treeman Ancients aren't as tough combat wise as they once where and try to pretend they can be level 4 wizards with access only to the lore of life (for quite a big fee) and no access to any useful upgrades. If you have any desire at all to win a game you will not take a Treeman Ancient, grossly expensive and very easy to kill (Monstrous Large Target with a 3+ armour save and a 6+ ward), taking a Treeman ancient as your general would be like playing Warhammer on Insane difficulty, not impossible but very, very hard). Until next time.

    Although the author does not recommend Treeman Ancient, the next post will offer a counter argument – Knoffles
     
  12. Knoffles
    Saurus

    Knoffles Member

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    POST 12 - Treemen Tactics


    Treemen

    So after last week's article, in which I discussed dryads and how to use them, today I'd like to focus a bit on treemen. I'm actually having fun writing these articles, particularly for some of the less obvious choices in our army book. One of the reasons why people consider a certain unit to be poor is because of trying to make it work in a role it doesn't excel in. Such, I feel, is definitely the case for treemen, as it was for dryads.

    Much like last week's article, let's start by taking a look at some of the roles that people have considered for our big boys.

    First up, can a treeman work as a hammer? With strength 5 and 5 attacks and thunderstomp, there's potential for a lot of damage. But a hammer is all about breaking the enemy in one round of combat and in that regard, we have wild riders as an alternative. So let's mathhammer the difference between these two.

    Our opponent of choice will be a medium unit (20 models) of black orcs. Note that this is a good matchup for the treeman, as thunderstomp is allowed on infantry. Moreover, with initiative 2, both units will be striking at the same time. Also note that the wild riders are fairly carefree about who they're fighting in this regard. Lucky, too, as with frenzy they may not always have a choice.

    Anyways, let's start with the treeman. As with the dryads, there's a psychology test to be made first but in this particular example, we don't have to make hypercomplex calculations because the black orcs are immune to this kind of nonsense! It's always good to choose the example simulation neat and simple.

    You now have 5 attacks on a 3+ to hit, resulting in 3.33 hits. Strength 5 is nice, but it's not nearly as nice as the 6 from the old book. You'd need a 3+ to wound. That means 2.22 kills, as the armour doesn't help. Now the orcs strike back. Against the treeman, they would probably choose for great weapons. Two attacks at 6+ will have a lower average damage output than 1 attack on 4+. Remember where in the dryad article I said that having 2 attacks was much more important than having strength 4? Well, we were discussing a difference of 1 point in strength there. Here, it's all about 2 points. Even then, the statistical difference is rather small and two attacks are still a good alternative, but the strength wins out slightly. Anyways, assuming your treeman is facing them with the 50mm side, this means you're getting 8 attacks back. With Weapon Skill 4, you're being hit on a 4+ so that makes for 4 hits. These hits will need a 4+ to wound, which makes for 2 wounds. The treeman gets a 6+ save and a 6+ ward, reducing the damage to 1.39 wounds in the end. That's pretty cool. Moreover, you now get 3.5 thunderstomp attacks on average. These hit automatically and require 3+ to wound. That's another 2.33 kills. In total, you killed 4.55 orcs and received only 1.39 wounds in return.

    At first glance, this sounds awesome. But remember that we're checking the use of a treeman as a hammer here. And while you have a +3 combat resolution, you're now facing static combat modifiers. There's +2 for rank and in all likelihood a banner and a musician. In this example you would win on the charge, but if you succeeded in doing even one wound less than you did or if there was anything else giving another point of combat resolution, you would have lost on the draw. You won't run in all probability, thanks to stubborn, but as a hammer, you failed in your objective. Worse though, you failed to remove the steadfast of the orcs, making them have a LD test of at worst 8 and quite possibly 9 or a reroll or both.

    Moreover, as a character, a treeman is prone to challenges. These may seriously wreck up your combat result as well, by denying you the possibility of taking out rank bonus (as an example).

    Now let's take a look at a unit of 7 wild riders. These come at 196 points (with shields), which is about 13% cheaper than the treeman. Your wild riders will strike first with 3 attacks each (one basic attack, one from devastating charge and one from frenzy). These will require 3+ to hit with rerolls. That's 18.67 hits out of 21 attacks. At strength 5, that's a 3+ to wound. That makes for 12.44 kills, as the strength and armour piercing of the attacks makes the armour useless. Wait, what?! 12+ kills???

    But wait, we're not done yet. Next up are the steeds. That's another 14 attacks, making for 7 hits at a 4+. And at strength 4, this comes down to another 2.92 kills on average with a reduced 6+ armour save.

    So the damage output of your wild riders is 15.36 kills on the charge. The orcs get to strike back with what can loosely be called "the leftovers". Basically, 4.64 orcs are now trying to mount a steep hill. Assuming they have great weapons again (the total amount of damage is around 0.1 wounds higher with these over the additional hand weapons) you're getting 2.32 hits. Wounding on a 2+, that gives 1.93 wounds and the ward save reduces that to 1.61 kills. It should come as no surprise that the wild riders will reliably win combat in this example. Every time.

    Of course, this is but a small example and it still does not take some things in consideration. For example, in the results of the preceding exercise, the orcs would actually still be hovering around the required models to be steadfast. If they got just a bit lucky in defense (the wild riders only reduced the last rank by 0.36 wounds so it's close) or even in offense (one more kill would have seen the riders lose their rank), the break test would still be doable. And in round two the damage output would be much closer than what we've seen so far. But not that much that it would change the outcome of the combat, the riders would still remove all leftover orcs before they get to strike back (I could calculate it if you want). In the worst case, you could add another wild rider to the unit and you're still cheaper off than with the treeman.

    The example is as always debatable. But that's not the point, really. The point was just to show that as a hammer, a treeman is risky, as the odds of winning combat are only slightly above average in many situations. The damage output is just not high enough (assuming 3+ to hit, you're looking at just under 7 strength 5 hits including thunderstomp) and as such, you risk getting stuck in prolonged melees. Wild riders on the other hand, do exactly what it says on the box. They hit like a freight train running late. WHAM. You still have to be careful with them (in the example above, for instance, it would have been very wise to reduce the enemy unit to around 15 models with a round of shooting first), but as a tactical role, they are excellent in what they do, which is smash into things and break them on the charge.

    While the treeman can do similar things, he can't do it reliably enough. And while he takes less damage in return, prolonged combat means that your objective, which you probably chose for a tactical reason, failed. Which in turn will probably have nefarious consequences for the rest of your army. Maybe you needed that unit out of the way so your other stuff could get to the warmachines; or maybe you were looking for an overrun? In situations like these, the treeman's damage output just isn't high enough.

    So, doubtlessly, a much better idea then is to have the treeman function as a main combat block. If we were to try out the same example above, but instead of 20, we would field 40 black orcs, then the wild riders are obviously going to lose pretty badly. The treeman on the other hand, is much better equipped to sustain combat for multiple turns. As mentioned before, you would get 4.55 kills on average and would suffer 1.39 per round yourself. At that rate, you would eventually succumb by round 4 on average. If you don't fail any of the leadership tests in the meantime (in this case, you're not taking out rank bonuses so you're facing even more static combat bonuses). Stubborn is nice, but on LD 9 you still have 16.67% of failing. Cumulatively, over three rounds you have a 42.13% chance of failing that at least once. But that aside, you treeman will still eventually be toast without even reducing the combat effectiveness of the opposing unit.

    Now, this may feel like an unfair comparison, as 40 black orcs are over 500 points with full command. In other words, that's over twice the value of the treeman. Of course he's going to lose eventually! But that's not the point, again. The point is that, being a monster, your treeman will always be a unit of one. So in a one on one charge, he always starts with a negative combat outcome. And his damage output in the new book is not typically enough to overcome this, which will mean he'll either run away and possibly be cut down or he'll eventually fall behind in the grinding contest. As a main combat unit, he needs babysitting, which doesn't fit well with the role.

    So the argument I'm trying to make here is that a treeman sucks at damage output. If he's fighting infantry (giving him thunderstomp), he'll be able to rack up some kills, but it still won't be near enough pure damage, either for a hammer or for a slower combat option. Basically, what I'm trying to say, is that if you're using your treeman with an objective of doing damage, you're using him wrong.

    You could use him as a combat support unit, but other units will provide similar damage output at far lower cost (see my dryad tactica, if you want).

    There is however, a slightly different tactical way to use a unit that doesn't rely on damage output per se. And that's the role of the anvil.

    And this is the first main conclusion of my analysis of treemen in our new book. Any damage they do is circumstantial. It's like when you're robbing a bank and you're making your getaway and then you pass an old lady on the street and you bump into her and somehow, her handbag got stuck on your coat and now you're running off with that as well; including the 20€ inside. What I'm trying to say is, any damage your treeman causes is certainly nice, but should be entirely irrelevant when compared to the tactical objective you designate him to. And that objective is and should be, anvil role.

    The treeman is the only unit together with the eternal guard, that has stubborn. Both on LD9 so that makes them easy to compare. Stubborn is what puts both these options miles ahead of anything else as a potential anvil. But at Toughness 6 and with a 3+ armour save and a 6+ ward, your treeman is much better equipped to deal with grinding. Your eternal guard will die in droves. For the price of a treeman, you can get about 15 eternal guard with full command. Both these units will be equally good in holding up a unit in the first round of combat. Which means that both of these units will work well when setting up countercharges. But 15 eternal guard won't last much more than that one round. This isn't a problem when your name is Swordmaster and your countercharge includes four to five units. But if you're only having one unit available (say, a herd of 6 wildriders), you're suddenly counting on them making their charge. If you end up coming short by 1" or such (who here hasn't had this happen yet!?), it's highly unlikely your eternal guard will survive a second round. Which means that your opponent could escape the trap.

    Let's mathhammer that as an example. Because math is fun when it's mathhammer! Anyways, so let's say you have 15 eternal guard and you're receiving a charge of 10 savage orc boar boyz big'unz (SOBBBU's as they're affectionately called). This is ok, because you have a unit of wild riders set up who are there to countercharge in your turn. Your 15 eternal guard will strike first and will have 15 attacks, with rerolls at 3+. That's 13.33 hits. Nice. Now, you're facing toughness 4 with puny elven muscles, meaning 5+ to wound. That's only 4.44 wounds. Assuming additional hand weapons, they will be saving on 6+, reducing the wounds to 3.7 and after the ward save, that comes to 3.09 real kills. The savage orcs will now strike back. Enter a world of pain, dearest elven punching bags. Anyways, with frenzy, the orcs will have 16.91 attacks, hitting on 4+. That's 8.46 hits, wounding on 2+ (with choppas), that comes to 7.05 kills, as even with the shield upgrade, you'd get no armour save. Next up there's the boars, with 5 attacks at 4+ to hit and 2+ to wound (impaler) and no armour save. That means another 2.09 kills, for a total of 9.13 elves gone.

    So far so good. Your elves obviously lost combat, but will probably hold, especially if there's a bsb around somewhere (rerollable 9+ gives you a 97% chance of holding. Without the bsb you're at 83%).

    Now it's your turn and you duly countercharge with your wild riders. But oops, your charge fell just 1" short. How often is it not that mankind has lamented these words: "Oh, if only I had one more inch!"

    Anyways, innuendo aside, what this means is that your 5.87 leftover eternal guard unit is still stuck in combat. And will now somehow have to survive two more rounds of fighting before you get another chance to countercharge. Ain't gonna happen. In the second round, your elves would still cause 1.21 kills. The leftover 5.71 orcs will kill, together with their boars, another 5.20 elves on average. This means that on average, you'd have 0.67 elves leftover after the second round. So basically, if you're lucky, you'll hold up the boarz one more turn, meaning they at least won't be free to charge your wild riders in their own turn. But with just a little bit of bad luck, your entire unit got wiped out. The boarz are now in a very very dangerous position. And your plans failed badly!

    So let's compare that with the treeman. Same situation, but now the treeman is holding.

    Again, assuming you're facing the 50mm side towards the enemy, you're only getting 4 models fighting with supporting attacks against you. Anyways, that means 16 attacks (frenzy and additional hand weapons). These will still hit at 4+ for 8 hits. However, these will only wound on 5+ (strength 5 versus toughness 6). You're looking at 2.67 wounds on average. With the reduced armour save and then the 6+ ward, this eventually gives the orcs 1.48 unsaved wounds. The boars on the other hand, will only hit on 5+. At strength 5, they're also wounding on 5+. That makes for another 0.56 wounds. Armour save and ward save will further reduce this to a paltry, measly 0.31 wounds. In short, you suffered less than 2 wounds in the one turn in which the orcs and the boars got strength bonuses. Not bad at all! Moreover, even if you don't get to thunderstomp, you're still looking at a possibility of winning combat, if the dice roll your way.

    But let's assume you lost combat, because as we pointed out before, the damage you cause is irrelevant to the tactical role your treeman has. Now it's your turn and your impotent wild riders fail their charge by 1".

    So you're forced a second round of combat. Well, no sweat. The orcs will now only cause another 0.63 wounds, including their boars. And assuming they didn't lose frenzy over losing the previous round. And assuming they still have enough models to pump out 16 attacks. Can we all take a moment here to snigger a bit at the inefficiency of greenskins as resident lumberjacks?

    The conclusion is simple, your treeman will hold up the orcs over multiple rounds of combat. In fact, in this particular example, you wouldn't even need your wild rider charge, as the treeman seems perfectly capable of handling things himself. Of course, this doesn't hold up for everything, but the point is that for an equal amount of points, the treeman is a much better anvil than the eternal guard are. This should be a surprise, because the EG are widely considered to be the number one anvil in our entire army book.

    To me, the way that the treeman misleads you by pretending to be good at combat is what made some people misjudge him. If he had only 1 attack, everyone would understand he's meant to be an anvil. Luckily, a lot of people seem to get this anyhow, but I still see a lot of young ones trying to make him work offensively, which is not what he's meant to do at all.

    Now there's a few other arguments here. Particularly, the EG are core, whereas the treeman is rare. Obviously, this makes a difference. And purely speaking as an anvil, a unit of 25+ eternal guard would have performed as well as the treeman in the example above. They'd be more expensive, but they're still a perfectly viable alternative. Especially considering that the treeman is vulnerable to cannons and such. If I had to choose, I'd probably take one of each, as they really both perform their anvil duties well and have different weaknesses.

    But let's mention it one more time. The first argument that I want to make in this entire article, is that treemen are excellent anvils. Not hammers, not even grinding combat units. Their damage output is low. But they soak it up like a sponge and keep asking for more. And with stubborn, they're likely to stick around.

    Anyways, while this may have been a pleasant read for some people (I do try to please), I imagine a lot of you guys have not been wildly shocked yet. Certainly, some people have been using treemen wrongly, but on the forum, I've noticed that at least half of the population has understood on at least an intuitive level, that this is the role your treeman should have.


    But now I'd like to open up the more controversial part of this post. Hehe.


    Treeman Ancient

    So, how would you feel if I told you that your treeman has an upgrade option that gives him +1 Leadership. If we all agree that he's used as an anvil and that his damage output is kinda low, wouldn't we all be very happy to take this? He's going to be in combat and he's going to lose combat. Every LD9 test has a 16% chance of failing. If you're taking 3 of those over the course of the game, you have a 42% cumulative chance of failing at least once. Of course, you're hoping for a reroll on a bsb, but bsb's in the wood elf army are frail. Which means they either have to be babysat, which risks having stuff outside his bubble, or they have to be vulnerable.

    At Ld10, your treeman would only have an 8% chance of failing every stubborn test. Cumulatively, three of those tests would still only be 23%. It makes a reliable anvil that much more reliable. I'm confident we'd all take this upgrade. Now how many points would we be willing to spend on it? 30? I don't know about you, but I'd take that without a second of hesitation.

    Now let's say there's an upgrade option for your treeman that gives him an extra wound. Who wouldn't want that? Again, it'd make a reliable anvil even more reliable. Moreover, it would double your likelihood of surviving a cannonball hit. I'd happily pay another 15 points for an extra wound.

    I imagine that by now most of you are able to guess what I'm getting at. Dear friends, I'd like to point out to you an alternative option that we have, called the treeman ancient. An option which a lot of you people have been blehing about. And the few who seem to be eager about him, tend to see him as a general and primary spellcaster first. But let's consider him as an anvil for a second.

    First up, let's confess that offensively, he's weaker than your regular treeman. But, not nearly as much as you'd think! As we saw in the black orc example, most of the damage output of the treeman came from thunderstomp. Well, the ancient has the exact same output there. Moreover, the lower Weapon skill in all reality often doesn't make as much of a difference as you'd expect, due to the slightly odd way in which the to hit chart is made. In all reality, you can expect the ancient's damage output to be around 1 kill per turn lower than the regular treeman. So 3.5 instead of 4.5 or something. The thing is, we agreed already that the damage output of the regular treeman is too low to make it a tactical consideration, to make him fit in an offensive combat role. So really, you're not actually losing anything.

    But defensively, you're getting a lot. The lower WS again, often doesn't change a lot. In fact, you're only seeing a difference (defensively) when fighting things with WS 3, 5 or 6. Don't ask me, it's how GW designed it. Even then, the difference is very small, as your asset is the toughness and armour. As long as your opponent doesn't have rerolls, the lower weapon skill makes little difference in the damage caused. But you're getting an extra wound and more importantly, you're getting LD 10. As an anvil and with stubborn to back it up, this is invaluable. Especially considering that LD 10 is otherwise almost impossible to get for the wood elves. The only other alternative is a combat lord, which not a lot of people are convinced is worth it, right now.

    If the treeman ancient only had a single attack, I'd still be taking him. The attacks are moot, it's the stuff that makes him fulfill his combat role that matters. And the LD10 really bakes the cake there. However, we're not nearly done yet.

    Your ancient, as you will know, is after all also a level 2 life wizard. At the lowest level of analysis, this gives you an extra channel dice per turn, which on average will give you one extra power dice and one extra dispel dice somewhere in the game. How many points is that worth? Considering the popularity of items that allow you a one off bonus on power dice or such, I'd say quite a bit.

    But of course, that's peanuts in compared to the actual casting itself. And this brings me to the lore of life. This lore is often considered to be the second worst lore available, only just beating fire. But to me, that goes forgetting something huge about the lore, which is the attribute. Take the Apotheosis spell from the lore of high magic. It's a spell most people consider to be good. It's cheap to cast and recovers a wound. Now let's say that the treeman ancient has this exact same spell, cast at 6+ instead of 5+. But the lore attribute of this spell, instead of giving a protective counter, actually lets you do D6 strength 4 hits on a target up to 18" away. Suddenly, this spell sounds quite nice! And did you see what I did here? I just let the ancient cast awakening of the wood (not a spell anyone really goes wild over), except I switched the spell effect and the lore attribute around. This is the beauty of life magic. People say you should only take life on a level 4, as some of the spells are unreliable and you want to make sure you get the good ones. I say the lore of life is actually the one lore that only has good spells and in which all spells are good in all situations, because of the lore attribute. Even if you cast a spell which does nothing at all, the lore attribute ss still quite nice as an effect.

    And in that regard, let's look back at that anvil role we're collocating to our treeman (ancient). This is awesome synergy, friends, because the lore attribute will put back lost wounds, which makes the ancient once again, much more reliable than his "just a few millennia younger" colleague.

    Now let's look at the signature spell (earthblood). In a way, the ancient is not the best target for it, as he has a ward save already. In reality, the effectiveness of the spell gets cut in half. Except that, once again, the lore attribute still matters! And then again, a 5+ regeneration compared to a 6+ ward save is still twice as good. And then there's the synergy as well. 5+ regeneration once more makes an amazing anvil even better at what it does. It doesn't help your offensive output, which you shouldn't care about, but it makes you even harder to take down.

    In fact, I would probably make sure that the signature spell is one of the ones I get anyways. It's relatively easy to cast (and as such, will recover you a wound regularly) and has great synergy with your tactical role. Flesh to stone is good, but less flexible (as a lot of things will wound on 6+ anyways). Awakening of the woods is awesome as the cheapest spell available and will cause a wound here and there. Plus it has the potential to triple its efficiency. Which brings us to throne of vines, which is always good even if it's only boosting a single spell. Shield of thorns is okay, it makes your anvil somewhat more offensive. I'd switch it out if I didn't get Any of the other defensive spells though. Regrowth is good and dwellers is awesome, but completely fails to give you any synergy with your ancient, so I'd probably switch it out.

    So, as an anvil, your ancient gets another wound (good), gets stubborn on LD10 instead of 9 (amazing) and has the ability to improve his ward save with a cheap spell and recover a wound at the same time, every turn (which is superlative. Not even the superlative of an adjective. Superlative in general!).

    He's a bit more expensive, but you're getting a lot for the extra cost. Channel dice, stubborn on LD10, twice the likelihood of surviving cannonballs, longer durability in grinding combats, the ability to recover wounds and to improve your ward save.

    And on top of all that, you're probably getting an LD10 general with a big bubble. This is slightly risky though, so it's possibly as much of a disadvantage as an advantage, but it still has several good sides to it.

    So here's the second conclusion of this analysis. If we agree that the treeman excels as an anvil (and completely isn't worth its cost in any other role), then let's also agree that the ancient blows the regular treeman out of the water in this specific role!

    The ancient comes out of your lord allocation, which will often be another advantage as it leaves your rare category open for waywatchers and eagles. And at 290 points, you still have 310 left in a standard 2400 list. That's still enough to include a fully equipped level 4 if really you want to.


    There's three more things I'd like to mention briefly.


    Magic level upgrades

    First, there's the magic level upgrades for the ancient. At 290, he's less than 30% more expensive than a regular treeman. That's reasonable, I feel. But at 360 for a lvl 4, he's 60% more expensive. Meaning you're well on your way to buying a second treeman for a single lvl4 ancient. Of course, the role of such an expensive model changes a bit. He now becomes a dual role, in that he is at the same time your best anvil (with lvl 4 he's going to recover a lot of wounds due to life magic. First, because of the casting bonus and second because he'll be your primary spellcaster and as such, you'll be using him for more spells) and possibly your entire magic phase. Still, that also means that he'll be drawing a lot more fire and if you lose him, you'll be struggling to make up for it. All in all, I think it's a feasible upgrade, but it sounds like too high a risk to really be worth it.

    On the other hand, let's take a look at earthblood again. It has an 8+ casting value, which means that as a level 2, you're looking at 6+ required on your roll. With two dice thrown, your chance of making the spell is 72.2%. That's ok, but not exactly super reliable. What this means is, if you're using your ancient as a level 2, you have two strategies. The first one is having another lvl4 weaver, who will be your primary caster (probably with +5 to casting). In this case, you're probably going to try and save 2 power dice until the end of the phase. Then use the ancient for an earthblood last spell. If it works, excellent, improved ward save and a wound back. If it fails, no real harm done. The second strategy is throwing three dice at it or going for another spell. Awakening of the wood has 91.67% chance of success on a lvl 2 with two dice. That's reliable enough.

    But this does bring the somewhat irregular option of going for a level 3 on the table. As a level 3, your chance of 2-dicing earthblood goes up to 83.33%. You'll still fail occasionally, but it does make it much more likely to happen.

    In the end, I think all 3 available magic levels are valid choices. The level 4 sounds the riskiest one to me, the level 2 is the most secure. But for 35 points extra, the level 3 makes a strong argument with the ability to two-dice earthblood somewhat regularly.


    Strangleroots

    The second thing to discuss is strangleroot. It's only a 20-point upgrade, so many people would initially think it quite worth it. Especially on a regular treeman, who sports BS6 in his statline.

    But let's think a bit about that for a second. You're getting 4.5 shots on average. The good news is that being a single model, you can fire on the march. But at 12" maximum range, you'll typically be firing over long range. At BS 6 and with -1 from moving and -1 from long range and -1 from multiple shots, you're hitting at 4+. This means you're typically going to have 2.25 hits for around two turns during the game. The first (and possibly second) turn you'll be out of range, the other turns you're probably in combat. As an anvil, you'll often put your treeman close to the unit you're wanting to hold up, which means that stand and shoot will rarely be allowed.

    So in an entire game, I imagine you would reliably get around 4.5 strength 5 hits in. Assuming an average toughness of 4, you're getting around 3 kills, probably slightly less than that if you imagine a ward save or such. But 3 kills will typically be worth between 30 and 45 points, so you could say that in that regard, you got your money's worth out of your strangleroot. On the other hand, it's an offensive upgrade on a unit we agreed to have a defensive combat role. Put it like this, your 225 points anvil is exactly as good as your 245 points anvil in the role it's meant to fulfill. Why would you choose for the upgrade then?

    In the end, I'd probably still take the upgrade on regular treemen if it doesn't interfere with my rare point allocation. And it'd be one of the first things to take out again if I really feel I'm needing those 20 points elsewhere. Putting banners in two units sounds like a better deal already, but if you don't really need something, then the extra flexibility is worth it. Point per point value, the 20 point upgrade will probably net you more points back.

    For the ancient though, the hits will typically require a 6 to land. This means that on average, you'll only score 1.5 hit per game. Which would give you only around 1 kill on a regular infantry model. In other words, don't take strangleroots on the ancient. You're already buying something expensive, there's no need to further up the cost.


    Durthu

    As a last point, I'd quickly like to mention Durthu. I won't go into details, as WoollyMammoth already made an excellent summary topic about him. I'll just quickly repeat some of the things said there. Specifically, that Durthu is quite different to the other two treemen types. With 7 attacks and rerolls due to hatred, you're typically getting 6.22 hits. Add 3.5 thunderstomps and your tally goes to 9.72 strength 6 hits per turn. The 6 here is a big deal as even against toughness 4 enemies, you're wounding on 2+. Without ward saves, that boils down to 8.10 kills per turn. Simply said, Durthu has a much higher damage output than the other two types, which makes him viable as an offensive combat choice.

    As an anvil, he's better than the regular treeman (higher WS, wounds, LD not to mention lvl 1 beast caster, which occasionally could see a wildform go off). But I think he's still worse than the ancient here, as the life lore and its ability to recover wounds is just that good. Moreover, he's quite a bit more expensive. I think he's good, but not really worth it for the points. Even if you can avoid him being cannonshot off the board, he tries to do too many different things (takes up too many different roles), which means you're always paying for something capable of doing two things, while using him for only one of those.

    On the other hand, he's darn flexible as he can indeed choose or alternate between various roles. But anyways, in the end, I'll mention once more that WoollyMammoth made a topic about him that analyses his profile quite well. So go there if you think he sounds fun.


    Conclusions

    To round it up, let me just repeat the conclusions one final time:

    Treemen are great anvils (better than EG for the points), but suck in offensive roles

    The Ancient is a much better anvil than the regular treeman, who already is nothing to laugh at. The extra cost for him is very likely worth it

    For the regular treemen, strangleroot is an ok upgrade, though not spectacular. The ancient should stay away from the possibility

    For the ancient, all levels of magic are valid. As a level 2 he's kind of cheap and will rely heavily on the lore attribute of the Life lore. The spells' effects are more of a side note. As a level 3, he can reliably two-dice the signature spell, which has excellent synergy with his combat role. As a level 4, he can be a very good primary caster, but he'll attract all hell and then some, to fire at him.

    Oh, and one more thing! Treewhack is situational, but whenever it's an option (against warmachines or low initiative monsters), it's awesome. It's also equally good on all types of treemen.

    That was all! Have a great day and see you around.
     
  13. Knoffles
    Saurus

    Knoffles Member

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    POST 13 - Dryad Tactics


    Ever since the new book came out, we've all been trying to work our heads around the new dryads. Since they were one of the few viable choices in the old book (not to mention one of the cheaper models to get a hold of), most of us have some units available, painted up and ready to be fielded.

    Alas, with the heaps of fun to be found in alternatives in the new book, our dryads have been mostly reduced to shelf decorating. At least, this seems to be the consensus.

    But in this article, I would like to discuss some ways in which I feel dryads can still be a solid choice.

    The trick to judging a unit's merits lies in understanding the role you wish to confer upon it. And this decision should be based on understanding the stats and special rules of the unit under consideration.

    Let's take treekin for a second, another unit that most people feel have taken a hit. If you look at the stats of treekin, you will realise that this is a correct assessment, because in their current profile, they fall in between two roles, not excelling at either (and being expensive because of this duality).

    On the one hand you would want them to be hammers. They have 3 attacks, with 3 attacks in the second rank as well. And they have stomp. However, they lost a point of strength and at strength 4, they fail to break through any armour or toughness. Moreover, their weapon skill is only average and they get no rerolls. As such, the only unit they will reliably cause wounds to is something with toughness 3 and something like light armour and shields (ironically, wood elves). However, these units will often have much higher rank bonuses and command options, so your treekin could still lose combat. So in short, as a hammer, not so good.

    But wait, treekin became a lot cheaper in the new book, and their defensive stats have stayed exactly the same, so maybe they should be used as an anvil then? With toughness 5 and a 4+ basic armour save (and 3 wounds apiece), this might actually work!? Except that, since their damage output is so low they will probably lose combat. This in itself isn't too bad, but a good anvil unit should be relied upon to not run away. Ideally, this means unbreakable or more realistically, stubborn. If not these, then at the least steadfast. Unfortunately, none of these are options for the treekin. With no access to magic banners or items and typically few ranks, you're left with their anvil-lacking leadership value of 8, possibly aided by a general and bsb. But as everyone has been finding out the hard way, this does not cut it.

    Moreover, even if treekin could perform either of these roles, then there is still the problem of competition. Eternal Guard make a much more reliable anvil. And as for hammers, we're absolutely spoiled for choice.

    Anyways, this article isn't about treekin, it's about dryads! So let's do a similar exercise and see how their stats and special rules help or hinder them in various roles.

    In the old role, they excelled as fighty redirectors. You could take them in units of 8 (keeping the cost of the unit under 100 points) and they skirmished, which gave them mobility. Both of these advantages have gone. The new dryads could still redirect, but much less effectively and at a higher cost. On top of that, we still have our eagles. And if you need more, you can get up to four units of five scouts, which come at 80 points with hagbane tips. And four more units of wardancers at 75 points. Either of those options make for better redirectors, cheaper and more mobile. If you still need more redirectors after that, you could use units of ten dryads for the role. They will be outperformed, but oh well. Also, send me your army list because who the hell needs more than ten redirecting units!!?

    So dryads are no longer a truly viable choice for redirecting. But hey, in the old days, we used to beg for the new book to allow them to rank up right? So now that we have that, what about the big blocks? Do dryads work well as a horde formation? Can they win combats with the support of static bonuses?

    The answer here, unfortunately, is no again. There's two main reasons for this. The lesser reason is their 25mm base size. This occasionally means less models attacking in combat, which is of course a pity. Mostly though, this makes already below average mobility poorer still. And finally, this makes it hard for elven characters to join the unit. This last problem leads to the second (and bigger) reason why dryads aren't a good big size combat unit. They can't create static combat resolution bonus other than their ranks. So if you put them against another big block of infantry, chances are you start the round of combat with something like -2.5 (banner, bsb, musician. Or banner, magic standard and musician or something like that) combat resolution already. This without even considering characters. Of course, the other unit will be more expensive (or have fewer models), but the point is, as a big block of infantry, dryads fail to find suitable targets for them. Too slow and too expensive to clear chaff, not enough static combat resolution to go against similar big infantry blocks.

    On top of that, their strength 3 means that they do little damage. So chances are that even in a favourable matchup (medium size mediocre combat unit with nothing except regular full command … but really, who would take that?), the dryads will struggle. They may win combat, but it'll take them a long time to grind through the unit, if the break tests don’t help.

    Let's mathhammer this to illustrate. Let's put 20 dryads in four ranks of five (220 pts) against a unit of 15 eternal guard with shields, full command and a gleaming pennant (215 pts). The dryads get the charge.

    The eternal guard, without counting on a bsb or a general, have 83.3% chance of making their fear test. With the gleaming pennant this becomes 97.2%.

    The EG will strike first and will reroll their to hit rolls. This is actually one of the uncommon situations in which the one point drop in initiative hurts the dryads. Usually, dryads will still have higher initiative so that doesn't make that much of a difference. Anyways, the EG hit on 3+ and will fight in three ranks, so fifteen attacks plus one extra for the champion. This amounts to 14.22 hits. Actually, if you really want to nitpick, 14.06 hits if you consider 2.8% of the attacks were made with fear.

    The hits will wound on 5+. That's 4.69 wounds. And the dryads' ward save of 6+ brings this down to 3.91 kills.

    Now the 16.09 dryads will strike back. The first rank has 2 attacks, the second rank only 1. That amounts to 15 attacks as well. They will hit at 4+ but get rerolls in the first round because of hatred. This will score 11.25 hits. These will wound on 4+ which makes for 5.625 wounds. The 5+ armour save of the EG will reduce this to 3.75 kills.

    In short, the amount of firepower between the two units is fairly similar (the EG do slightly more damage). The EG get the banner but have one less rank than the dryads and so the dryads win this round of combat on the charge.

    In consequent turns, if the dryads and the EG stick around, the dryads will have it harder to hit because of hatred no longer helping. They will also lose the charge bonus. On the other hand, their front rank having 2 attacks per model will increase the amount of attacks in their favour when compared to their adversaries. In a second round, the EG will kill 2.84 dryads and the leftover dryads will cause 2.5 casualties. Notice that the loss of hatred is far less important than the amount of attacks. This will come back later! In any case, the firepower still stays fairly similar, but now the dryads will have lost the charge bonus as well and chances are actually that the result is a draw, which would mean a win for the EG due to musician.

    If the dryads are still around, then chances are actually improving for them with every round. The EG loses attacks faster and so their damage output goes down. The dryads on the other hand, keep on dealing similar amount of damage.

    To conclude, in a good matchup for the dryads (medium average fighting infantry unit with no big extras), combat is a very close thing for two turns, then starts going more and more in their favour with every subsequent turn. So yes, they could take out units like this (that nobody takes), if they're a little lucky with the initial close results and if you don't mind waiting for three turns for them to do so.

    Can we all agree that this is not the stuff of inspiration yet? Would you like me to make a simulation in which thirty dryads take on thirty EG (in this case, the EG won't lose rank bonuses and attacks that fast, the dryads will flee pretty much every time)

    So dryads, as it seems, really aren't very efficient in taking on big blocks of infantry. A unit of 30 dryads is an overpriced, slow, inefficient hazard that unless if it stays away from anything remotely its own size and value, will be running more towards your own table edge than anywhere else.

    So if not as a hammer, then how about an anvil?

    This has been suggested here and there and the answer is quite short. With Leadership 8 and the lack of characters and command (and magic banners and such), they are far too prone to breaking. In this way, dryads are very much like treekin. They have the combat stats for being an anvil, but not the morale.

    Nope; unfortunately and alas, none of these roles fit the dryads.

    However, before we bury them forever, let's take another look at those stats and special rules. Let's see if there's something there to redeem them after all.

    Movement 5, Weapon skill 4, Strength 3, Initiative 5 and Leadership 8 are all around average. However, toughness 4 bears some thinking about. Especially with a 6+ ward save. This makes dryads better than most (and much better than the rest of our non-monstrous troops barring sisters) at resisting fire. Bows will struggle to do a lot of damage to them and even crossbows will have it a lot harder than against regular elves. More importantly though, dryads are immune to psychology. This is a big deal. In an army that will take heavy casualties from concentrated shooting, you really want your opponent to focus on dryads.

    A lot of people here have said that they don't like dryads in small units, as they draw fire from your opponent and as such provide easy points. This is, in my opinion, a complete mistake. You want your opponents to shoot at the dryads! That way they're doing less damage, and there's no risk of panic reactions. In this way, units of ten dryads can prove quite valuable to your army by attracting some gunfire. Even if your opponent scores the points (which again, he'll only get from annihilating the unit, as it won't panic), it's only 110 and more importantly, it means your other units survived. It's very unlikely for a game of warhammer to walk away without giving any points to your opponent and if ten dryads are easy to dispose of, then well, they are also disposable.

    You could even use the dryads as a screen for a bigger, more important unit to walk behind (say, rangers). The dryads will provide cover and will take much more of a ballistic beating than the rangers could, thus ensuring the latter could actually make it to the front lines.

    Interestingly enough, the immune to psychology rule actually favours small units. A unit of 30 strong would need to suffer 8 casualties in one shooting phase in order to take a panic check. Immune to psychology doesn't mean that much for such a big unit. But a unit of 10 would otherwise be a serious risk. Dryads however, just don't care and will happily soak up the pain for you.

    So one use for dryads, in small units, is to attract shooting. Either by presenting points to grab or by working as a first line screen. In either case, a small unit is better.

    However, this is still not the most important stat of the dryad. To me, what really defines them is the 2 attacks.

    This is again, something that favours small units. Only the front rank will ever provide the 2 attacks of the profile, so the larger the unit, the less you make use of it. Think of it in this way, the 11 points cost of the dryad includes 2 attacks. If they only had 1 attack, they'd probably be worth only 8 points. So if you're taking a unit of 20 in ranks of five, you're basically buying 15 dryads at 11 points where they're only providing you 8 points of value (assuming of course, that the 11 points is a fair amount to start with).

    The mathhammer example above made this clear. Despite losing hatred after the first combat round, the dryads will actually start performing better in consequent rounds against a similar size opponent in which the damage output is equal. This is because while you eventually start losing support attacks, as long as you keep the frontline intact, you keep on having double attacks for those, which means that your attack ratio starts going up compared to your opponent. This does not mean that dryads prefer longer combats! Quite the contrary (because they lose hatred after the first round). It means that dryads work better 10 vs 10 than 20 vs 20 or, even worse, 30 vs 30.

    If you ever want to make dryads work for you, you need to make use of their asset, which is two attacks per model in the front. In other words, the smaller the unit, the more you're working with the strength of the unit, rather than the weakness (such as lack of mobility). To me, dryads are a lot like witch elves in that regard. Cheap, but with a lot of attacks. Their strength is low, but in small units their attack output is relatively high, which compensates. After all, 15 dryad attacks, assuming 11.25 hits with hatred will statistically speaking inflict 1.875 wounds even when requiring 6+.

    Speaking of hatred, this too is a rule that favours small units. It's only for one round of combat, so big units (who tend to hang out in longer combats) see a diminishing return of investment. As an example, imagine two units of 10 dryads. They will each get 15 attacks in their respective first rounds of combat, meaning 30 attacks on hatred. Compare this to a single unit of 20. This unit will still only get 15 attacks on hatred, thus being less efficient at it.

    Since we're discussing the special rules of dryads, let's take a look at another one. Dryads cause fear. This isn't as good as it once was, but it still can influence the game quite a bit. Funny thing is, fear is unit based. If a single model in a unit touches a fear causing enemy, then the entire unit has to take a fear test and suffer from the results if it fails. You may have guessed, but this means that fear is yet another rule that favours small units. Dryads can be used to project fear into combat. Whether there's ten or twenty or two hundred of them makes no difference in this regard.

    These two special rules, together with the two attacks make dryad excellent support combat units. In fact, a good way to think of them is by drawing a comparison to the Empire's detachment system. Attach a unit of ten dryads to a bigger, stronger combat unit. Then use the dryads to provide a heap of extra hatred attacks and to cause fear. Even if the dryads don't make much of a difference, chances are they won't take too much damage themselves. And the fear might make the difference for the other unit. Your opponent needs to fail the test only once for combat to have a big shift.

    Take this example. You have 20 eternal guard and they receive a frontal charge of a unit of 10 knights. At strength 6 and with the horses attacking as well, the knights will likely take out about 5 of your EG. Thankfully, the EG are stubborn, because they're probably only getting one kill in at most through the heavy armour. However, in your next turn, you can flank charge with the dryads and bring fear into play. If it (the fear) works, awesome. The knights are now cake. If it doesn't work, still great, 15 extra hatred attacks will likely cause another wound. Add another one from the EG and the knights are suddenly in big trouble (considering they're now only at strength 4).

    Take another example. Reverse the roles, say your wild riders are smashing into a bunch of elven spearmen. Hopefully, they'll break them on the charge. But if they don't, you're suddenly in trouble. But ten fear causing hateful dryads in a follow up charge will ensure your victory.

    Or let's assume a treeman in combat with a large unit of orks. The treeman's strength 5 will mean he's not going to be wounding as happily as he would like, at only 3+. This means that the damage he causes might be a bit too low. At best, this could prolong the combat beyond your desire. At worst, your treeman might be grinded down himself. But again, adding some dryads can make the difference here. Again, fear (especially considering fear has to be checked every round again). But if not, then still the sheer amount of attacks that the dryads add, with hatred to ensure a lot of hits in the first round.

    To resume this tactical article: here's some roles in which dryads do not perform well

    Redirecting (too expensive, too immobile)

    Large Anvil Unit (hold up enemies for allowing the hammers to get in place, too much risk of breaking)

    Tarpit/speedbump (hold up units. Too likely to flee for tarpit, too expensive and slow for speedbumps)

    Hammer unit (not enough damage output, no command and characters)

    Big combat block (not enough static combat resolution, no command and characters)

    And luckily, here are some roles in which small units of dryads can perform well:

    Support combat (Basically, join a combat between other units. The dryads will bring a ton of extra hits and some extra static combat resolution. Just be careful not to go into units that will cause more damage than the extra combat bonus will provide)

    Fear projection

    Fire Magnet (screen for your important units)

    Free Roaming hunters (chaff, warmachines, previously decimated units)

    As such, I would typically take two or three units of 10 dryads even in the new army book. One unit that functions as a detachment to the forest-sitting eternal guard with characters. Another one as a screen and later support unit for rangers or wild riders. And possibly one more to move around a bit more in a free role.

    I appreciate that this may only be one point of view. I encourage everyone to share their opinion and to give arguments in favour of another use (or no use at all). Or arguments against what I propose. This is just my point of view. This is how I see dryads working, but it doesn't mean it's the only way to do so (nor even a correct way to do so).
     
  14. Knoffles
    Saurus

    Knoffles Member

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    POST 14 - Army Composition & Tactics


    Build your tactics around your army. Basically Wood Elves need to ambush, pick their fights carefully, and throw multiple units into every combat they fight if they want to win. One unit on its own is not going anywhere unless it's Wild Riders vs a monster or if the unit is charging the enemies flanks or rear.

    Currently, there are four main methods of building your army:

    A) Shooty army.

    Don't get charged and keep on shooting. Circle around your foes, slow them down, and don't be afraid to sacrifice a unit if it saves your army.

    B) Fast combat army.

    You could take an entire horse army. Very hard to use but pays great dividends. This army should always get to choose when and how it fights. Abuse the Wood Elves' superior movement to ridiculous levels.

    C) Infantry army.

    Units of 5 or 6 Treekin have high Strength and Toughness, multiple wounds, good weapons skill and nearly 20 attacks per turn. Spearelf units are expensive but good for holding characters and is now stubborn even without a glade captain or lord. The enemy will need to kill everyone, so they are not going anywhere for some turns. However this army will die to anything stronger than a stiff breeze.

    D) Hybrid army.

    A mix of any of the above.


    Tips

    Many of these tips might seem redundant, but one extra reminder is better than forgetting a small detail that might help you later

    • With the introduction of Enchanted Arrows and generally improved shooting units, Wood Elves favour a mix between Shooting and Fast Combat armies. As a general rule, avoid putting any more points into core than necessary, always take a Level 4 wizard, 2 Great Eagles, some Waywatchers, and try to avoid any foot based combat unit. This is not to say that you should never take footsloggers, but most of your units will have neither the toughness nor the saves to match other armies.

    • Most, if not all of your army has M5 or more. Use this maneuverability to it's utmost to ensure that you stay alive and pick your fights with care.

    • Remember that units fighting in forests lose their steadfast rule (this goes for your units as well). This could make a difference when fighting big blocks of Skavenslaves or other similar units that relies on keeping your units tied up until help arrives. Eternal Guards (Stubborn LD9) can shine here, even in relative few numbers.

    • Beware of Monsters or units with high toughness! Unless you have units with Poisoned Attacks, Wild Riders (S5 on the charge) or Wildwood Rangers, it's going to be difficult to wound most of the time when you're in combat. Almost every other Army has access to Warmachines to pick off your Treemen/Treeman Ancients, but you won't have the same luxury.

    • DISTRACTION FAERIE: You need at least one of these. Either a Treeman, a Forest Dragon or some Waywatcher. Why? Because you need something that is going to rob your enemy of his reason and make all his Empire/Skaven/Bolt Throwers/Leadbelchers warmachines go "Huuuurr... Dat's a purdy unit yoo's got there mate... Be a real shame if sumfink hap'n to it, roight?, so that the rest of your army survives and gets into position.

    Bear in mind that against Dwarfs this will be less of a distraction and more 220 points of free victory points for their Flaming Cannon.

    • What's that? Having trouble with High Elves and their Banner of The World Dragon on a beefy cav unit you say? What you're actually saying is that you don't have enough Waywatchers in your army, am I right?

    • Seriously consider the Recipe for Success

    You will need the following:

    § 1) 5 Wild Riders

    § 2) 1 Forest

    § 3) Flank Charge on the Enemy

    Mix it all together, add command, a War Banner if you like it thick and put it in the oven for about 1 Magic and 1 Shooting Phase at 200 and voilà: 16 Fear-causing ASF S5 AP attacks (reroll 1s to wound) + 10 S4 attacks with no enemy parry saves, supporting attacks or steadfast. The cost? 160-195 points. (Add more Wild Riders to really hurt those 40+ man units).
     
  15. Knoffles
    Saurus

    Knoffles Member

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    POST 15 - Character Builds


    I know that since the new book came out, a lot of small threads about this or that character have already come out. What I’d like to achieve here is to gather in a single place as many builds as possible, so it will be easy for everyone to find or share some new interesting ideas and, most important, to have them ready and available quickly.



    Therefore, anyone who will like to contribute can post here his personal builds and I’ll update the relative post with any incoming suggestion.

    Mind that I’m only going to talk about customizable characters, which substantially means Elven generic characters.

    For now, I’m starting to collect the characters I actually use and the most popular and effective builds I’ve seen around on the forum. Since I’m going to describe and analyse their roles too, it’s possible I’ll fail to see some particular use or specific combos. Please, let me know if it happens and I’ll see to update them.



    Just a final request to anyone interested in this: please submit only tested and effective characters, providing descriptions of their equipment, stats improvements and their roles in specific armies. Let’s try to avoid theoretical builds to fit strange and unusual items just for the sake of doing it.

    It will help new and older players to find out which are the characters that actually work in their role, rather then a collection of fluffy builds that are not going to achieve much, if anything at all.

    Glade Lords


    Tanky Glade Lord


    Great weapon, Armor of Silvered Steel, Dawnstone.

    30 pts free for a Magic Weapon (I wouldn’t bother, since Str6 is usually better than anything that can be given him) or an Enchanted Item (Potion of Strength or The Other Trickster’s Shard seem to be the best tools. I wouldn’t give him the HoDA, since he will be marching with his unit to get where needed, but it could still be an unexpected stand and shoot surprise)

    This is one of the best Lords to lead a fighty block (namely, Eternal Guards or Wildwood Rangers) against other infantry units. The rerolalble 2+ ensures he’s well protected against anything up to Str 5 (on average 12 wounds are needed to kill him through his save, which usually mean at least 28 Str5 attacks) and his Str 6 attracks at good initiative are a great support for an infantry with low Str as Eternal Guards are.

    Anyway, infantry blocks are less and less appealing and not much seen in general, because the new character allowance brought an increase on the number of monsters running around the battlefields (quite a big issue for infantries).


    Shooty Glade Lord

    Armor of Destiny, Bow of Loren, Hail of Doom Arrow, great weapon

    He has a mediocre protection with 5+/4++ and the great weapon grants him 4 Str6 attacks without rerolls, but this model alone pumps out 5 BS6 (-1 for multi-shot) shots per turn with AP, plus the well known HoDA at +1 to hit respect of your cheaper Captain, reliably hitting on 3+ even in sub-optimal situations. He effectively works like half a unit of Glade Guards, other than being an Ld 10 general and a 3W character protected by a 4++ with Str6 attacks.

    His best use is to babysit your caster/BSB in the backfield when they're on foot (Moonstone on BSB is not a bad idea here). To be run possibly in a skirmishers unit, he can pick and delete last survivors from depleted units (when you don't want to waste 10 TFA or a unit of Waywatchers) or present a nasty Stand and Shoot Surprise to units charging the characters bunker.


    Killy Glade Lord

    Shield, Armor of Destiny, Sword of Antiheroes, The Other Trickster Shard.

    Although mounting him will provide the mobility needed to bring him to the selected target, he fares well enough even on foot.

    He has 4+/4++ and if he goes up against a character he will pack 5 ASF Str 5 attacks, which force rerolls on ward saves and if he happens to face a deathstar, things can get interesting quickly.

    I think he’s a nice addition in a mid-sized unit of Wardancers, since the Skirmish rule allows him to move faster and can bring him easier to his targets.


    Mounted Lords

    Shield, Asrai spear, Dragon Helm, Talisman of Preservation (Armor of Destiny and Dragonbane Gem do the same thing for the same point cost), Potion of Strength.

    Or

    Shield, Ogre Blade, Armor of Destiny, Dragonbane Gem, Potion of Foolhardiness.

    (thanks to Phil Rossiter for this build)

    3+/4++ and a 2++ vs fire make them as survivable as a Wood Elf Lord can hope.

    Their first role is to provide a mobile Ld 10 Inspiring Presence bubble anywhere you need on the battlefield, so they have to stay alive. Anyway, both options are good at killing stuff.

    The first one packs 4 Str5 attacks with ASF and AP on the charge and 4 Str4, ASF, AP attacks in the subsequent turns, with the possibility to boost his Str with the potion for Str 8 and AP on the charge or Str 7 and AP in another turn. He is more flashy and can put a dent in extremely tough opponents (T6 or more) and well armoured ones (with the potion on the charge he negates armour) or he can still provide high strength attacks for two consecutive turns for grinds.

    The second one dishes 4 Str 6 attacks permanently. For this reason, he’s more effective against infantries and at grinding down medium-heavy cavalries.

    2++ vs fire makes them decent at tarpitting units with flaming attacks and it gives them some protection against Metal spells or flaming cannons when running alone.


    The mounts available are:

    Elven Steed: It gives the lord the Fast Cavalry special rule, allowing him to deploy with Wild Riders or Sisters of the Thorn without giving up the Vanguard move or the free reforms during the game. It also makes possible the Look out Sir! roll against template weapons (cannons, stone throwers, breath weapons and magical templates/vortexes) when sitting in a unit of 5+ models of cavalry.

    Great Eagle: The added value from the Flying movement here, makes up for the loss of LoS! and the flexibility in deployment to some extent. They can seek shelter and cover easily, while being very effective in reaching enemy’s backlines fast. Furthermore they also gain T4, as well as 2 attacks and a stomp at Str4 from the Eagle.

    It’s still possible to join units of infantry or cavalry to protect them from BS shooting although they will have to “hop” from unit to unit or else the whole regiment will be at M2. (note that you cannot join units of Warhawk Riders because of the flying units rules).

    Great Stag: The same arguments of the Eagle are still true, but they can sit inside units without crippling their movement (they still won’t have LoS! rolls and the light cavalries will lose the Fast Cavalry special rule, regardless).

    The Stag also adds a pretty punch to the mix, with D3 impact hits and 2 attacks plus a stomp at Str5.

    The model will also be Str5 for test purposes (Amyntok’s Net, Dwellers, Black Horror...).

    I’d suggest to run them alongside if not even inside a Wild Riders unit to have a Wrecking ball running on the table.


    Forest Dragon: Well, it’s a Dragon. What else do you need to know?

    It will be an infantry smasher and it can easilly crush some armoured cavalries too.

    Your General will also have an IP of 18” and an enormous bullseye on the forehead.

    Beware of Metal mages, since they’ll wound the beast on 3+ and it won’t have wards of sort against them. The bright side is that if both the Dragon and the Rider are not dead your anemy won’t gain any VP at all, so the 2++ ward vs fire is quite mandatory.

    Dragons are powerfull but need an army designed around them to work properly.

    The possibility to run multiple of them is quite strong too and probably it makes for the most powerful combat Wood Elves army possible.



    Dragon Lords:

    Since recently a lot of Dragon builds are popping around, I thought I could update this thread, with a specific section for Dragon Lords.

    With Dragons, The Other Trickster’s Shard is a sensible addition to make all those Str6 attacks count when needed (ie when trying to stomp 3++ Phoenix Guards or incredibly lucky Plaguebearers). However, differently from other elves, we don’t have very survivable characters to take the item, so I believe a wise opponent will be able to kill the Glade Lord carrying the item before the Dragon even strikes any blow.

    Another sensible addition is the Charmed Shield. Charmed Shield and Talisman of Preservation instead of Armour of Destiny and Dragonbane Gem lower his saves to 4+/4++ and take away the 2++ vs fire, but he can now dodge the first hit on a 2+ (it’s like a one use only Look out Sir!).

    I honestly don’t think it’s worth the loss of a point of armour and the save vs fire, but if you play against a lot of non-flaming cannons it could come to hand.

    The two options for the mounted Glade Lord are still viable, but here are some of the alternative Dragon builds I’ve seen around:



    Obsidian Dragon Lord:

    Obsidian Blade, Armor of Destiny, shield

    (thanks to Phazael for this)

    The Obsidian Blade, even if costly, is a decent mean to get through 1+ saves, especially if re-rollable like those from Bretonnian characters or Giant Blade wielding Elven ones.

    The Str6 of the Dragon lowers them “just” to a 4+, which could still be too much to take the character out after rerolls. Obsidian Blade ensures that some attacks will pass through regardless of their armour.

    With just 50 pts free for defensive gears, the most sensible solution is Armor of Destiny for a 3+/4++ (Or the equivalent in Talisman of Preservation + Enchanted/Charmed Shield).



    Ironcurse Dragon Lord:

    Ogre Blade, Armor of Destiny, Dragonbane Gem, Ironcurse Icon, shield.

    (thanks to Phil Rossiter for this)

    As far as we can go with cannon protection for the Dragon.

    The Icon takes the place of the Potion of Foolhardiness, trading the extra attack on charge once per game with a 6++ save against warmachines. That 1 time on 6 in which the Icon saves the Dragon from a cannon ball, it will be more than worth its cost.



    Killer Dragon Lord:

    Sword of Antiheroes, Charmed Shield, Talisman of Preservation, The Other Trickster’s Shard

    (thanks to Mollesvinet for this)

    This build combines the power of a Dragon with the killiness of the Sword of Antiheroes + The Other Trickster’s Shard.

    Here the Shard has the double value of benefitting both the Str6 from the Dragon and the attacks from the Lord boosted by the sword. This Lord will be the most dangerous combination for enemy characters in challenges and probably he’s able to take on Deathstars all on his own.

    EDIT: on second thoughts, as Mollesvinet found out, the relatively small base size of the Dragon can hardly keep many enemy characters in contact and since the Sword requires to have actual characters in base contact, it's not very functional (It's still dangerous for characters relying just on ward saves tough).

    If you want to combine OTS and the Dragon killiness, te best build remains:



    Other Trickster's Dragon

    Ogre Blade, Talisman of Preservation, Other Trickster Shard, shield

    (I think this was suggested by Phil again)

    This Lord loses on protection with just a 4+/4++ but in total he packs 9 Str6 attacks (4 of which with re-rolls from the lord) and forces rerolls on wardsaves.

    With a kit like this you can munch and stomp Plaguebearers, Phoenix Guards and Tzeentch Warriors like they were skinks. Beware of cannons which can kill both Lord and Dragon in a single shot and don't put him against characters he can't defeat, since the whole model is "just" Str6, so not the best to cut through 1+.



    Spellweavers



    Generic Spellweaver


    Talisman of Preservation, Dispel Scroll/Earthing Rod/Power Stone/Power Scroll.

    Although very simple this is the most effective of the setups and packs the only real important things you need on a caster: the scroll and a ward save.

    If she is your general it could be worth considering the Earthing Rod instead of the scroll, especially if you have a scroll caddy. Or else you can give her the Power Stone or the Power Scroll if you’re running more aggressive lores (ie Death, Shadow, Dark) and you can manage to be left with 2-3 spare power dice at the end of a magic phase.

    Another viable option is to switch Talisman of Preservation for Obsidian Lodestone for a nice 4++ against spell on the whole unit. It works particularly well inside units with a built in save (Dryads or Wardancers).



    Moonstoning Spellweaver

    Dispel Scroll, Opal Amulet, Moonstone of the Hidden Ways

    (Thanks to Phil Rossiter again for this one)

    The Amulet protects her from lucky cannon shots and the Moonstone makes the Weaver able to teleport her bunker around forests.

    It works good only with Acorn of the Age or if you know you’re going to play on tables with at least another forest, otherwise it obviously has chances to be useless.

    Very good units to teleport around are Scouts and Waywatchers because Moonstoning a unit counts as having marched and only skirmishers can shoot after marching (Note that Weavers can’t be deployed in such units but they’ll have to join them during the first turn) or also combat blocks like Eternal Guards and Wildwood Rangers.

    Another option is to mount her on a steed and teleport around a Sister bunker (they can shoot too, being fast cavalry). I’d advice against using her in a Wild Riders unit, since a Frenzied bunker could be really troublesome for a caster and, what’s more, they should go against stuff a Weaver doesn’t like anyway.

    I think the most reccomended lores are short ranged ones or those which require a bit of postioning. The best ones could be Death for snipe spells and good placed Purple Suns, Dark for Doombolts, Ld bombs or again nice vortexes or even Beast and Life if you use a fighty bunker and you try to place occasional Amber Spears or flashy Dwellers.



    Book Weaver

    Book of Ashur, Obsidian Amulet, elven steed

    A fairly standard build since the new book came out, although lately I’m seeing it less and less.

    The +1 to cast of the Book sums up nicely with our unique feature to obtain a +1 when inside a forest on ANY lore we choose. This item grants us a sheer offensive predominance in the magic phase with the possible +6 total to cast whichever spell we’re going to attempt.

    The downside is the cost of the Book, which leaves little to no room for defensive gears on the Spellweaver. Thus the logical setup seems to be mounting her inside a Sister bunker with MR(2) to have a 2++ against spells cast on the unit.

    Since the Books helps casting attempts from any lore, there’s no real advantage in taking one over the others, although aggressive ones works best if cast with more ease.

    Then again, Death, Shadow and Dark seems to get the most from it. Life can have some mileage too, since most of the spells are now cast with ease on one or two dice, boosted Dwellers needs “just” a 15+ on the dice (quite likely on 5 dice and not impossible on 4) and, most important, the Lore Attribute con help in keeping her alive. High Magic can be seen in a similar way too, but it uses counters to keep the Weaver in the battle instead of Lifeblossom.

    I’d also consider this as a possible setup for the L4 in a Light council and it must be noticed that if running a cavalry heavy army, the potential bonus to cast Beast buffs goes up to an outrageous +7.



    Combat Darkweaver


    Fencer’s Blade, Talisman of Preservation, Power Stone.

    A kind of a standard build for a Darkweaver.

    This Weaver has 2 WS 10 attacks with ASF, as well as a 4++ save and this is possibly the only viable fighty Weaver we can afford.

    She can actually see combat since WS 10 means no one hits her with anything better than a 4+ and most regular troops hit her on 5+. Multiple Soul Stealer early game help in keeping her alive (if you hit combat with her on 6/7 wounds and the 4++, she’s very unlikely to get killed at all).

    She’s great leading a unit of Eternal Guards, where the +1 Str from Power of Darkness and the flexibility of Word of Pain help them to kill things, before they die to the last elf. Shroud of Despair also benefits from being cast in the thick of the battle, where you would usually want your fighty block.



    Highweaver on Unicorn

    There are several viable builds taking advantage from the protection given by the Unicorn combined with High Magic counters and all of them start from the same base:

    Unicorn, Talisman of Preservation.

    The Unicorn gives the Spellweaver T4 and MR(2), which means that a 4++ ward save becomes an astounding 2++ against spells. High Magic counters ensure that those few wounds that sneak through the save are generally soaked up and with a couple of counters she’s also virtually immune to war machines, being able then to run alone around the battlefield.

    People will tend to stop trying to kill her once she collected some counters, simply because the efforts to take them down won’t pay back most of the times and can be nullified by a good magic phase, so she’s effectively safe in most situations, even in combat.

    (Note that very high volumes of attacks/shooting can still score enough wounds to burn out all the counters and eventually kill her)

    Lastly, in combat the Unicorn adds 2 attacks and a stomp at Str 4. On the charge its attacks are also resolved at +2 Str, so it even stands some chance to wound tougher stuff.


    From here on, you can build the Weaver as you like, according to the role you want her to perform.

    Here some examples:


    Unicorn, Talisman of Preservation, Earthing Rod/Dispel Scroll/Power stone

    The easiest one just adds an Arcane Item to the kit.

    The Rod grants ultimate protection for your general who shouldn’t even risk to cascade herself now. The Scroll, on the other hand, helps greatly your army if you don’t already have a scroll caddy.

    The Stone, lastly, is great to pull off that big spell when it’s most needed (Fiery Convocation or Arcane Unforging usually).



    Unicorn, Talisman of Preservation, Dispell Scroll, Sword of Antiheroes.

    (thanks to Phazael for this)

    The Sword of Antiheroes is not meant to have an enormous impact, but the Weaver can now charge some characrters once she collected some counters and even inflict some wounds.

    She will have a good psychological impact, tough. No one will be happy to commit an important character in a fight from which he can’t possibly get out, risking occasional wounds in the meanwhile and this could influence the game greatly.



    Unicorn, Talisman of Preservation, Dispel Scroll, The Other Trickster’s Shard.

    (thanks to FriedTaterExplosion for this)

    She covers a more supportive role, helping other characters/units to kill warded models.

    The Unicorn helps her to keep up with Wild Riders or Warhawk Riders, as well as Eagle riding characters and the OTS helps wounds caused by them to pass through ward saves.

    You can also add a cheap magic weapon, so that she can go hunting ethereal chaffs on her own. I tried the Relic Sword to have her wounding always at least on 5+, but it never really came into play anyway.



    Unicorn, Talisman of Preservation, Power Stone, Crown of Command

    (thanks again to Phil Rossiter for this)

    She is the best tarpit we can hope for (probably even better than a Treeman Ancient).

    With some counters racked up, she can tie a unit forever thanks to Stubborn and the negligible amount of wounds she’ll be suffering.

    Drain Magic ensures she won’t be hexed, Apotheosis heals the casual wounds which pass through the counters and Hand of Glory can help keeping her alive, raising her WS up to 7.

    The Power Stone enhances a magic phase when a resolutive spell like Arcane Unforging or Fiery Convocation is absolutely needed, but it can also be used to cast one of the forementioned spells with a single dice left at the end of the magic phase.

    Including her in ranked unit of Dryads could be the only way make such a block to work properly.

    Being on a 50x50 base, she will replace exactly 4 Dryads and it can be used to have ranks in a survivable unit (something WE gnerally lack) or to make way if it’s needed to intercept a powerful character. Stubborn, along the decent statlines of Dryads ensures they won’t be going away easily and MR(2) sums up nicely with the built in 6+.

    The Unicorn Weaver is viable with other lores too, although most of the build rely on counters to bring her in combat safely and, without them, she is suddenly at risk of being cannoned out of the table too.

    I would be worried to run a Weaver that exposed, since she’s usually 350+ pts easily given to your opponents shooting.

    The only alternative to protect her from war machines is to run a small unit of Warhawks as a screen from cannons or a bigger one (at least 5+) 3” nearby to provide a 4+ Look Out Sir! roll.

    Recommended alternative lores are always the ones who benefit from the great mobility provided by the Unicorn (Death, Dark, Life, Beast).




    Rod Highweaver

    Talisman of Preservation, Forbidden Rod

    (thanks to Slobber for this)

    She is the easiest and safest solution to tip in your favour feeble Winds of Magic:

    Slobber wrote:For high magic I like the forbidden rod as an arcane item, with a 4+ ward and tokens it's pretty safe to use. I like to save it for a low magic phase like 2/3 or 3/5 where the ~3.5 dice can make a big difference.

    She can always be mounted on a Unicorn or a Steed and run solo or in a unit of Sisters to gat the most from High Counters, but she works well on foot too. The only issue is the general short range of High Magic.

    The points left for a Magic Weapon or an Enchanted Item are reduced, but the addition of the Other Trickster's Shard, for instance, could make the Unicorn an interesting solution to contribute greatly to the battle, even after the Rod is used.



    Highweaver on Steed

    Elven Steed, Asrai Longbow, Talisman of Preservation, Dispel Scroll/Earthing Rod/Power Stone, HoDA.

    (thanks to Mollesvinet for this)

    Thanks to the Elven Steed and the gained fast cavalry special rule, she can sit in a unit of Sisters of the Thorn or Wild Riders and even join a unit of Glade Riders later in the game, without giving up vanguard or the free reforms of these units.

    In the same fashion of the Unicorn Highweaver, she will provide protection counters for any unit she’ll be joining, thus making it extremely hard to kill and good in apporting CR to a stalled combat.

    The fast cav also means that she can shoot the HoDA after marching and High Magic provides Hand of Glory to buff the BS of the unit she is in.

    I’ve seen Mollesvinet running her in a unit of 9 Swiftshiver Shards Glade Riders, as soon as they show up, for an effective mobile fire platform (the HoDA plus 18 multishot at BS 6/7, hitting on 2+/3+ even after moving are very effective).



    Glade Captains

    Let me start with saying that I don’t rate Glade Captains very much if not as BSB.

    However it’s to be noticed that at lower points levels (less than 1000 pts) it could be worth using a Glade Captain as a General, just to carry the HoDA, which at this point level can really swing a game entirely.

    There are also a couple of possible builds where they need NOT to be the BSB to work, like when they’re working as expensive “suicide” single units.

    Here are some options:



    Chaff Captain

    Elven Steed, Shield, Asrai Spear.

    It’s the cheapest option to have an expendable fast cav chaff unit, which can work as diverter, chaff clearer and warmachine hunter for less than 90 pts.

    He will still die to a sneeze since he has just 2W at T3, protected by a 4+, but he can get the job done, having a relatively easy day with most of other chaffs and war machines crew (I discourage to charge shooty chaffs like Skinks or Deepwood Scouts, tough).

    He can be given the Dragonbane Gem to become a tarpit against flaming units or a cheap magic weapon to clear ethereal chaffs.

    O&G players often use Goblin Big Bosses on Wolves for the same purpose. They’re undoubtely more effective, being cheaper and with T4, but an elven character has some advantages thanks to ASF, higher WS and a nice Ld9.

    (Note that unlike Goblin Big Bosses, our Captains don’t bring anything to Wild Riders units, since they’re already at Ld9 and a single Wildrider packs more attack than a Captain for 60 pts less. So, if the purpose was to enhance the punch of Wild Riders, the points are better spent on more models)



    Stag Rider Captain


    (thanks to Extol for these, since he run the two of them with good results for some times)

    Great Stag, Shield, Asrai Spear, Armor of Destiny

    Or

    Great Stag, Asrai Spear, Talisman of Preservation, Charmed Shield

    The Stag gives him T4 and 3W, as well as 2 attacks, Impact Hits (D3) and a Stomp at Str5 for relatively few points (we are under 200 pts).

    The Captains are protected by a 3+/4++ or a 4+/4++ ignoring the first hit on a 2+.

    The Spear gives them Str5 on the charge and AP. It’s possible to run them with Great Weapons for Str6 attacks without re-rolls and AP, but their real damage is on the charge anyway. One of them charging can dish out up to 9 Str 5 hits.

    The issue here is the absence of Look Out Sir! rolls (for this reason I don’t suggest to use them as BSB, but if you really have to the one with Charmed Shield is a bit safer from cannons) and the loss of the fast cav rule in units of Wild Riders or Sisters of the Thorn if he joins them.

    They work very well alone, acting like faster chariots or in a unit made by two of them to split the hits they receive from light fire.

    Joining a Unicorn Highweaver is also a good idea to keep them safe from cannons and you can run them as a Character unit, with all the benefits recently exploited by Millingskink with his simulated Monstrous Fast Cav unit.

    It’s possible to run them on Eagles too, to have a greater mobility, but losing the damage provided by the Stag and the possibility to run in units.

    I don’t think they’re really worth the points and, if you ask me, it’s a real shame, because I think that a lot of older players will have at least a couple of Eagle Riders models hanging around.


    Alternative View

    I often run a non BSB Glade Captain and really like them, using them as disposable chaff/hunters or boosts to combat blocks. It is often worth considering placing a Glade Captain onto an Eagle or Great Stag as this character will benefit from both the additional wound and toughness provided by the mount. - knoffles


    Eagle Rider


    Eagle, Charmed shield, Dragonbane Gem, HODA, Asrai Spear, Starfire Shafts

    OR

    Eagle, Dragonhelm, HODA, Relic Sword, shield, starfire shafts

    HODA is a 1+ for most of my lists but does mean you limit the options for this character. That said you can still get good utility with him/her. The first of these uilds is aimed at providing reasonable survivability vs cannons, whilst giving good ranged support and a bit of combat punch. An all rounder. The second build is similar with an additional pip of armour and a cheap magic sword that allows him to remove ethereal in combat and also helps if you use him for warmachine hunting.

    A much more useful way to run a Glade Captain, anyway, is to upgrade him to BSB.

    Here are the most common builds I’ve seen.



    Foot BSB

    Great Weapon, Armor of Silvered Steel, Luckstone.

    Or

    Great Weapon, Shield, Armor of Destiny.

    Both of them can sit in a decent unit of Eternal Guards, Wildwood Rangers or Wardancer, leading them in combat. They are quite survivble with a 2+ with a re-roll or a 4+/4++, while the Great Weapon ensures they’re dishing out 3 Str6 attacks per round, which can help their unit to kill tougher things.

    Similarly to the foot Glade Lord, the tendency to run less and less fighty infantry blocks means these builds are not seen that often, since a foot BSB is better suited to sit in Glade Guard unit in the backfield, carrying just the HoDA or the Moonstone.



    Foot HoDA BSB

    Hail of Doom Arrow, Charmed Shield, Opal Amulet, great weapon.

    (thanks to godswearhat and Baardah for this)

    godswearhats wrote:The two magic items give her a lot of survivability in the one round of combat she is ever likely to see. The GW gives S6 attacks at I7, which is enough to deal with most fast Cav units that try to threaten your back field.

    He (or she, if you prefer) is protected just by a 5+ armor save, but ignores the first hit on a 2+ and the first wound on a 4++.

    If you want him to protect your backfield from fast cavs, you can also give him Star/Moonfire shaft, since he will then cause fear in cavalry and warbeasts (at least, in my area they're ruled as regular flaming attacks).



    Mounted HoDA BSB

    Elven Steed, Asrai Spear, Enchanted/Charmed Shield, Dragonbane Gem, HoDA.

    Since it’s common agreement that a BSB is mostly useful in any kind of army, he might as well carry some useful item around.

    Mounting a BSB is the best protection we can give him: he gains the fast cavalry special rule and he can then join units of Sisters or Wild Riders to run around the battlefield almost unharmed if well played.

    With this setup he’s got also a 3+ and a 2++ against flaming attacks (good for Skillcannons, Breath Weapons, etc...). It’s always worth considering the Charmed Shield instead of the Enchanted one if facing lots of cannons (downgrading the armor save to a 4+, but ignoring the first hit).

    The HoDA is well suited for a BSB with the good BS6 and being fast cav, he can still shoot after marching.

    Note that being an Enchanted Item and not a Magic Weapon, if the BSB is in a unit with the Banner of Eternal Flame, the HoDA will be flaming.



    Mounted Moonstone BSB

    Elven Steed, Asrai Spear, Enchanted Shield, Dragonbane Gem, Moonstone of the Hidden Ways.

    Almost identical to the previous one, the Moonstone instead of the HoDA makes him better fitting into a Sisters bus with other characters, because of the escape route this item provides.

    (Note that being fast cavalry, Sisters can still throw their javelines after moonstoning, since they’re not prevented to shoot after marching).



    MR BSB

    Elven Steed, Asrai Spear, Charmed Shield, Obsidian Lodenstone.

    He is protected just by a 4+, but he provides MR(3) to his unit.

    He’s meant to hide in a Sister Bunker (possibly in the second rank, to avoid combat) alongside some killy characters and an Highweaver. His role is just to provide Magic Resistance to the first row characters (ie the Giant Blade Lord) and to the whole unit, protecting them from Death snipes and saving High counters from magic missiles.

    The Charmed Shield is there just to save him from the casual Look Out Sir! roll failed.



    Shadowdancers


    Thanks to their dances, Shadowdancers are good at tanking enemy characters for a turn or trying the lucky KB on them, otherwise their no rank dance can help winning a combat big, essentially granting up to a +3 CR for free.

    Lastly the +1 attack dance gives her 5 attacks which can be useful to clear some chaffs.

    They're usually better inside ranked units (namely Eternal Guards or Wildwood Rangers) to negate ranks of opposing units and add some other little bonuses. (Note that, against Skaven, to negate ranks means also taking away their Strength in Numbers special rule)

    Unfortunately their magic items allowance is reduced to 25 pts and it means there’s no much room to tool them up in so many ways.

    Note: if you upgrade her to be a lvl1 mage, she can't take magic armour.


    Scroll Caddy


    Lvl 1 Shadow, Dispel Scroll

    Not much to be said.

    She’s quite expensive as far as scroll caddies go, but being a fighty shadow mage can enable some interesting tricks with other characters thank to Smoke and Mirrors (ie taking place of a Spellweaver who’s going to end in combat or else switching with a kitted out Glade Lord).



    Forestdancer

    Lvl1, Calaingor Staff

    Not very effective actually, but in lower points games she can lead an Eternal Guards block, moving the free Venom Thicket exactly where it’s needed to fight with your unit inside.

    Better if you have a unit of Sisters too, to provide “real” magic support.



    Infantry Disrupter

    Glittering Scales

    She’s the best character to send against rank and file regular infantry.

    Her WS of 7 means that she’s hit on 6+ with the Glittering Scales by most non-elite infantries and her no-rank dance can help a unit of Eternal Guard to win combats against other ranked units. (Note that Steadfast will still be there, so the opposing unit is better if it’s of a size similar to or even smaller than your own, otherwise winning combat big or for a single point won’t matter at all)



    The Challenger

    Potion of Strength, Charmed Shield

    The Potion of Strength gives her a turn of Str 7 attacks, which combined with the +1A dance (for 5 ASF attacks) can even harm an enemy Lord level character.

    The Charmed Shield can help her staying alive a turn more, soaking up one successful attack from the opposing character, but those 5 pts are really up to taste. A viable option could be the Dragonbane Gem, which combined with the no-rank dance can tarpit a flaming unit, especially if she’s stubborn in a wood.

    The shield is of debatable worth as it means you lose one of her attacks and you want this to make the most of the PoS



    Ld bomb enabler

    Terrifying Mask of EEE!

    When she runs inside a unit of Eternal Guards with a Darkweaver, she enables a lot of nice synergies.

    Power of Darkness gives her a much needed +1 Str, Word of Pain helps to increase her survivability and the Terror provided by the Mask can enable an Ld bomb through Shroud of Despair, which can very likely turn a match.



    Waystalkers

    Waystalkers are considered almost a gimmick, but with the advent of End of Times and the rise in popularity of the various Elven armies (including the Eternity King one), they can turn out being more useful than suspected.

    I think one of their main strength, often overlooked, is to carry some magic items close to enemy lines and I’m a bit surprised no one has yet proposed to use them this way.

    Sure the reduced point allowance of magic items (as for the Shadowdancer) doesn’t leave much room to experiment, but a couple of things can still be achieved.



    Lorenstalker

    Bow of Loren, Charmed Shield

    Each turn he can fire two sniper shots which ignore armour saves, chosing the aimed-shot. (Note that the Bow of Loren CAN’T be combined with the fast-shot ability to increase the amount of shots the Stalker will fire over 2)

    When the new book came out, it looked like the ultimate solution for sniping characters.

    It’s been tested and reconsidered since then (you start with -2 to hit for Multishot and Sniper, then add moving and long range and you’re hitting on 4+ without factoring in possible covers, then you have to wound with Str3 and the target will still be allowed to take ward saves). Players realized he’s not likely to kill many powerful or protected characters, but he can still be very useful, especially if run alongside other Waystalkers.

    He can still kill an unprotected hero level mage in two turns of shooting (great to force early scrolls or to kill the caddy outright) or chip away wounds at already wounded chracters.

    That being said, his most useful application is, probably, alongside Dragon Lords.

    He will reliably snipe champions from units (it can be done, since champions are the only command model that can be singled out from the unit) before the Dragon charges them, so the Lord can avoid a challenge which will lock down the entire model for a turn.



    Firestalker


    Ruby Ring of Ruin

    I think this is the best use out of this character. He will provide a Fireball anywhere on the battelfield, deployed after all the enemy’s drops.

    If running in a unit of Waywatchers or TFA Scouts, this Stalker can take out a small unit per turn with the Fireball followed by his unit’s shooting. Him plus 9 Waywatchers can reliably kill a unit of 10 archers in a single turn or at least force two panic tests.




    Creepy Stalker

    Terrifying Mask of EEE!

    Useful just against less disciplined armies or combined with Ld reduction spells (Doom and Darkness, Iceshard Blizzard, Shroud of Despair).

    In some occasions he could make units flee from the table just by declaring long charges. Being deployed as Scout allows him to stay out of harm while still being able to charge the target unit from interesting angles.
     
  16. Knoffles
    Saurus

    Knoffles Member

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    POST 16 - A Tactica All of its Own: The Hail of Doom Arrow


    The Hail of Doom Arrow (or HODA for short) has been with the Wood Elf army for quite a while now. In the 3rd edition book it was a Scarloc only magic item, in the 6th ed book it was 30 point Enchanted Item that did 3d6 worth of strength 4 shots (it wasn't classified as a multiple shot item) and now its current version is a 30 point Enchanted Item that does 3d6 worth of strength 4 shots armour piercing shots (it is now a multiple shot item). It’s an time that many Wood Elf players take and its easy to see why. However there is one question all wood elf players who use the HODA must answer: When do I use it and who do I use it on? As I have been using the HODA pretty much as long as I have been playing Wood Elves allow me to give you my opinion on those two questions.


    Who?

    Looking at the HODA’s profile many Wood Elf players may be tempted to fire it at all sorts of things. Monsters, Big Unis, Small Units, War Machines, Heavily Armoured Troops, Lightly Armoured Troops, Chariots. All of these are tempting targets for the HODA however I advise a more narrow selection of potential targets, Chaff or Small to Medium units. As tempting as it may be to fire the HODA at a Warmachine / Monster and wish for the required number of sixes to kill it this would be a waste of the HODA. I recommend firing it at units along the lines of Chaff, Empire Knights/ Elf Calvary (of all Armour Saves) or blocks of toughness 3 to 4 about 15 to 20 in size. The main reasons for this is the random amount of shots, you simply cannot rely on the HODA to kill a Monster or War Machine as you need a huge number of shots to hit in order to have a chance at getting the high number of sixes required to wound. Similarly you need an equally high number of hits to transfer over to wounds to put a dent even in a moderately sized Horde (30+ models).

    In my view the HODA is a Chaff/Knight Dart weapon, used to remove a single annoying threat that your other archers were either unable to remove (due to having more important targets of just fluffing their shots) or cant remove (due to being out of range, or dead).


    When?

    As with all one use items the question of when is a vital one. I know Wood Elf players who hold onto the HODA until the final turns of the game in order to remove that weakened unit and I know of Wood Elf players who fire it first thing to avoid its either avoid its bearer being killed (and thus rendered useless) or to try a either take out an annoying unit or weaken a dangerous one. To me both those use are valid and can work. I would advise that you use the HODA when “That Chaff Unit” looks most likely to redirect a charge, of when the enemies Knight Dart looks most likely to cause some havoc.

    At the end of the day the When question is a situational one, only the player will be able to choose when its best to use the HODA and all the advice in the world can count for nothing if that’s how the situation goes.

    At the end of the day the HODA is a 30 point magic item that looks far better on paper than it preforms on the table. That’s not saying that is isn’t good (it is) and that you shouldn’t take it (you should) just keep in mind that 3d6 can be either 3 shots or 18 and everything in between and that you won’t know how many shots you get until you fire it at a target that you had to pick before rolling the shots. This is why I advise firing it at small to medium sized units because you can’t really on it to always have a high amount of shots, that and if you fire a HODA at “That Chaff Unit” then that’s one unit of Glade Guard/ Scouts/ Waywatchers who didn’t have to fire at the unit and can fire at something more worthy of their time. Until next time.
     
  17. Knoffles
    Saurus

    Knoffles Member

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    POST 17 - Wood Elf Tactics


    It’s worth noting before you read this that it was written before the 8th edition Wood Elf book was released. As such it will mention things that are slightly outdated (such as the Lore of Athel Loren) but the general tactics cover are still very relevant. - Knoffles


    General Concepts

    Don’t Play Fair

    This is the most important rule.

    Wood Elves cannot win a fair fight. They simple can’t. Don’t try.

    They have the best manoeuvrability in the game, and lots of special rules to exploit. They have the ability to choose their fights: do not get into a combat where you do not have the advantage. Catching Wood Elves should be like catching the breeze.

    Your aim is not to run forwards and have your biggest unit clash with their biggest unit, with various characters doing dramatic deeds. Your aim is to wipe the enemy out at all costs, using any methods available to you


    Terrain

    Wood Elves are very dependent on terrain. They need it for cover, and Forests are the focus of several items and spells. If you have any control over the terrain deployment, you should try to maximize the amount of terrain, and place it in useful locations. If you are using the Moonstone of the Hidden Ways, you really want a Forest in the enemy deployment zone. Other than that, you need to try to position terrain in places that your Scouts and Waywatchers can deploy, and to provide cover for soft units like Wardancers and Wild Riders as the move up the board.

    Hills are less useful in 8th Edition, so if we get a Hill it’ll be pretty useless, and if the enemy gets one the biggest effect is we’ll be able to predict their deployment more easily. Buildings are surprisingly handy for us because they can give Glade Guard and similar units considerable more staying power.


    Know your Obscure Rules

    There are lots of little rules that Wood Elves can and should use to their advantage. Particular examples include:

    § Technicalities of charging, fleeing from a charge, redirecting a charge, and how chargers must line up with their target

    § Champions can refuse challenges

    § Skirmishers in a Forest are Stubborn, and other units are never Steadfast in a Forest

    § Skirmisher and Fast Cavalry rules in general

    § Always round up

    § Units can move backwards and sideways at half their Movement. Because you always round up, your 5” Movement units can move sideways and backwards 3”.

    § Supporting attacks and Spears can only be used when fighting to the front, so on the Flank and Rear, only one rank fights


    Multiple Small Units (MSU)

    Wood Elves will often have lots of small units rather than big ones. Whilst some people like fielding big blocks of Glade Guard and Eternal Guard, most units, like Dryads, Glade Riders, and Wardancers, perform best when they are in relatively small units.

    Since Skirmishers don’t ever get any sort of rank bonus, there isn’t much reason to make the units too big, and you hurt your manoeuvrability and are more likely to draw attention to yourself and get shot. Also, many Wood Elf units are still very effective in small numbers: a unit of just 5 Wardancers can cause massive casualties, and once you hit about 7 you start to run out of space for the front rank, and the other ranks don’t get their full attacks. Small units also mean you can sacrifice them without worrying about the points too much. Finally, having multiple small units is rather annoying for your enemy, because there aren’t obvious targets to go for.

    Using Multiple Small Units is harder than in previous editions due to larger blocks of enemy troops and changed Victory Points rules. Units need to work together to be effective, performing joint charges and focusing shooting.


    Movement and Charging

    Careful Planning

    In 8th Edition, you can pre-measure as much as we like, so do so. Work out where you want your unit to be, what you want them to charge, and how far the enemy can move. Think of how likely the enemy is to be able to charge you, and check the ranges of their shooting units and some War Machines (especially Hellblaster Volley Guns and Organ Guns).

    You want to try and get your shooters into positions where they can fire, preferably unobstructed, and you want to get vulnerable units either out of sight of enemy shooting or at least behind cover. Treemen should try to hide from cannons until you can take them out.


    Running Circles Around People

    If an enemy approaches your Wardancers or another Skirmishing unit, then Skirmishers are so manoeuvrable that you can simply run around the side of the unit and out of their charge arc. You set them up for a Flank or Rear charge, and then enemy must either accept that or turn to face. If they turn to face, you can simply run around the side again, charge, or go elsewhere, but the fact remains is they have wasted a turn, and you’ve probably annoyed your opponent a lot, which is great. It may seem silly, but it works really well.

    Here’s an illustration of how this works:

    [​IMG]

    Hit the Flanks and Rear

    Apart from the nice Combat Resolution bonus it gives, hitting the Flank and Rear means you don’t have to face Supporting Attacks or Champions. Since Wood Elves have the manoeuvrability to do so, try to charge the Flank and the Rear if possible.


    Multiple Charges

    This is related to the “Don’t Play Fair” thing. In order to take out more powerful enemy units, you need to charge with multiple units and wipe them out as fast as possible. Overkill is a good idea. A unit of Wardancers or Wild Riders that do not wipe out or break their enemy in the first round of combat is in trouble.

    [​IMG]


    Shooting

    Wood Elves are NOT a shooty army

    Get this out of your head straight away. The Glade Guard are good, yes, and Waywatchers can hurt, but they lack War Machines, Crossbows, Handguns, and offensive magic. A High Elf army will out-shoot you because they have armour, Bolt Throwers, and superior Magic (the big advantage they have over High Elves is our Forest Spirits).


    Focus Fire

    Just because they aren’t a shooty army doesn’t mean Glade Guard aren’t useful. The trick is to focus your shooting on key targets. Heavy Cavalry, Chariots, and other high Toughness / good Save units are generally a waste of time to shoot: they just act as a magnet for your arrows and thus protect other, more vulnerable units. Waywatchers obviously can shoot Heavy Cavalry due to Lethal Shot.

    Prime targets for Glade Guard are those units which are dangerous in close combat, but weak enough defensively to take serious casualties from shooting. A perfect example is High Elf Swordmasters: they will cleave through almost any of Wood Elf units in Close Combat, but only have T3 and a 5+ Save. They should be wiped out by shooting before they get a chance to engage.

    Some targets are an all or nothing deal, such as War Machines. Either you wipe them out, or your entire shooting is useless. You should only shoot at these targets if you have no other way of dealing with them, because otherwise they are just soaking your shooting up and protecting other units.


    Surround a Losing Combat

    A lot of times when you are losing a combat, there won’t be much left afterwards. Your troops tend to be pretty good at dealing a lot of damage. Perhaps there’s just a pesky Chaos Lord or Dark Elf Assassin who, despite having his whole unit wiped out, decided to single-handedly kill half a dozen Wardancers. Well, there is a solution: most Lone Characters can’t take a face full of S4 arrows.


    Just be a bit careful with the positioning of your Glade Guard. You don’t want the enemy to either pursue into them, or be able to reform after combat and charge. Try to stay just at the edge of short range, or slightly further away and move closer when you shoot.

    [​IMG]


    Magic

    Manipulation of Opponent’s Dispel Dice

    This is just a general comment on magic use, but basically you want to make your opponent waste Dispel Dice on spells which seem important but are actually not critical, and then you hit them with something big. Direct Damage spells are often great for this because they feel very dangerous, but are often less important than Augmentation spells.

    There’s also the flip side: if you really want to cast Tree Singing (from either a Spellsinger or a Treeman) to move a Forest, then you should do it first. People tend to think moving Forests is pretty useless, and will save their Dispel Dice for later, but if you cast Tree Singing last then they may have a couple of Dice left over, and will gladly throw them at the spell. The same applies for other seemingly innocent spells.


    If using the Lore of Life, exploit Throne of Vines

    The Throne of Vines gives Life casters the amazing ability to resist Miscasts on a 2+, as well as other bonuses. This means you can pretty safely throw 6 Power Dice at a big spell like Regrowth or The Dwellers Below, and if you get an Irresistible/Miscast then that’s actually good: they can’t Dispel, and you’ll probably be fine. Note that the save can and will fail: as I mentioned in a previous post, the first time I used Throne of Vines, I cast The Dwellers Below, got Irresistible/Miscast, and the resulting sequence of bad rolls sucked my Spellweaver into the Realm of Chaos. On the bright side, the target Silver Helms were basically all wiped out.


    Cover your Weaknesses

    One of the main uses of Magic for Wood Elves is to accomplish what we can’t with our units. For example, the Beast spell The Amber Spear is extremely effective against Heavy Cavalry and can be effective against a Steam Tank, whilst the Life spell The Dwellers Below can seriously hurt Hordes and also cause serious problems for many other units.


    Give Unfair Advantages

    The other main use is to make your foes cry, “Cheese!” by enhancing your units to ridiculous levels. The Lore of Beasts has some amazing spells for buffing characters, and the Life spell Flesh to Stone is great: T8 Dryads can take on just about anything. Casting Regrowth on Treekin extremely effective and has the potential to reduce your opponent to tears. The Lore of Athel Loren is a bit less useful, but The Call of the Hunt is still very good.



    Psychology

    Of the Opponent, not In-Game

    The Wood Elf game is one of deception, distraction, and annoyance. You want to trick your opponent into making mistakes. You also want to draw their attention away from your more important units, and get them to focus on less valuable ones.

    A classic example is using Scouts. You want to deploy them in a location that is annoying. You want to force Leadership tests for Marching. You always want to shoot, because despite them doing little it almost always annoys people. You want to get behind their units, and generally follow them around and avoid being charged.

    Any time shots are fired at Scouts, Waywatchers, or Dryads, you win, because they’re hard to kill (Scouts/Waywatchers are hard to hit, and Dryads have T4 and a 5+ Ward as well). Every shot fired at them is one less at more important units like Glade Guard, Wild Riders, Eternal Guard, Waywatchers, Warhawks, Eagles, or Characters.

    Any time an enemy unit turns to face a unit annoying it: you win. As mentioned in the Movement section above, Skirmishers can easily dance around enemy units, annoy them, and attract lots of attention: often far more than they deserve.


    Okay, also In-Game

    Getting the enemy to fail Psychology tests is extremely unreliable, especially in these days of Battle Standard Bearers working on Panic tests, and a few armies are simply immune to Psychology across the board. Even Wood Elves are pretty resistant, since all our Forest Spirits plus Wardancers are Immune to Psychology.

    Generally, Panic tests are a bit of a side note. Your aim is to wipe things out, and the Panic tests are an added bonus. You giggle if they fail, but really, do not rely on them.

    An interesting aside is that a Panic test from massive casualties (such as from shooting or Magic) makes the unit flee directly away from the source, but if you wipe out a unit or a fleeing unit passes through a unit, and a Panic test is failed, then the unit flees from the nearest enemy. If you have an Eagle in strange places, you can manipulate the direction of fleeing units. Note also that fleeing units must always flee a charge, so you can use this too to manipulate the movement of fleeing units.



    Specific Tactics

    Hammer and Anvil

    A standard popular tactic both for Wood Elves and in Warhammer as a whole, the Hammer and Anvil involves taking a charge with a tough unit (the Anvil), and then counter-charging with other units (the Hammers). The Hammer and Anvil is an easy way for us to set up multiple charges, and generally cause problems for hard-hitting enemy units.

    The Anvils must be tough enough to survive the charge. The standard Anvils are Treemen, Treekin, and Eternal Guard, although Dryads can do in a pinch. Treemen and Eternal Guard are Stubborn, which helps, and Eternal Guard also have the bonus of possibly cancelling the enemy’s Steadfast. A Battle Standard Bearer should be used to make sure the Anvil doesn’t break.

    The Hammers must deal lots of damage. Wardancers, Dryads, and Wild Riders are the main ones, although other units and Characters (a Dragon!) can work too.

    Here is an illustration of the Hammer and Anvil tactic:

    [​IMG]



    Pincer

    The Pincer is similar, in some ways, to the Hammer and Anvil, but without an Anvil. The basic idea is to draw the enemy towards you and then hit them in the flanks. Some sort of bait is handy for this: Glade Guard are perfect because many opponents often think they are more dangerous than they are, plus they can shoot stuff that’s approaching to reinforce this.

    A Pincer movement is extremely effective and is an excellent use of our manoeuvrability. Our Skirmishers and cavalry can easily get into flanking positions, and our Flyers can easily charge the rear. A Pincer looks basically like this:

    [​IMG]


    Feigned Flight

    The idea of Feigned Flight is you purposely stick a unit where it can be charged, and then flee from the charge. The idea is this will put the charging unit in an inconvenient location or facing in a poor direction. Since a failed charge doesn’t move very far, it can also be used to slow down fast troops. If an enemy unit is Frenzied, it’s even easier to bait them into charging you, because if you’re within their maximum charge range (M+12”), then they have to charge unless they pass a Leadership test.

    A Feigned Flight is performed most easily with Fast Cavalry, so, Glade Riders. Fast Cavalry are also allowed to Move and Shoot after reforming from a Feigned Flight, but unlike previous editions they no longer automatically Rally, so bring a Musician. Scouts can also work (mainly because if they don’t escape, they’re pretty expendable). Note that Forest Spirits and Wardancers, being Immune to Psychology, cannot declare Flee! as their Charge Reaction.

    Under previous rules, the best use of a Feigned Flight was to get an enemy unit trapped in a Forest, because it was really hard to get out. Whilst terrain no longer slows units, it can still be useful to do this, either because you can then cast Tree Singing and similar spells to hurt the unit, and Cavalry and Chariots will have to take Dangerous Terrain Tests.

    You’ll also find that due to the new rules for redirecting chargers, it’s harder to draw enemy units away from stuff they really want to charge. Basically, you’ll need to do it far enough away from their desired charge target that they are not within maximum charge range (which is very long, M+12), and can’t redirect towards them.

    [​IMG]



    Refused Flank

    Used as a deployment strategy, the Refused Flank is where you basically ignore half of the board and thus concentrate your units in one area. You want to deploy something manoeuvrable to that flank to give the appearance that you are deploying evenly. A Refused Flank will basically look something like something like this:

    [​IMG]



    The Glade Riders and Eagle on the right would be deployed early, thus drawing the opponent to place units on the right-hand side. They are both very fast, and in the first turn of the game they can move up to behind the building in the centre. Thus, the four enemy units on the right hand side have nothing to attack, and need to move a long way to be able to do anything.


    Other Known Military Tactics

    The previous four tactics have been used by real-world forces for thousands of years. Naturally, there are other tactics as well, but some don’t translate quite so well into Warhammer, in part due to the turn-based nature of it. For example, forming a flying wedge to break a battle-line does kind of work, but while you destroy one unit the others have a whole turn to reform, counter-charge, and generally cause problems. There are also other strategies, particularly defensive ones that are simply not very useful for Wood Elves, although other armies (particularly Dwarves) can use them very well.

    An example of the perfect manoeuvre we want to pull off is seen in the Battle of Cannae, a battle between Hannibal and the Romans in 216 BC. Basically, the Carthaginians had the centre of their line fall back, pulling the Romans into a position where they were flanked on both sides, and then they were charged in the rear by Carthaginian cavalry. The Roman army was completely surrounded and pretty much wiped out. We actually have a greater ability to perform this kind of manoeuvre than any other Warhammer army due to our manoeuvrability.


    Sethayla

    I’ve mentioned this a few times previously, and I’m not going to go into too much detail because it’s a very specific tactic. A Sethayla army is one that focuses on massively manuoverable units like Glade Riders, Warhawk Riders, and Waywatchers, and generally fills people with arrows which avoiding all but the most essential combats. Playing Sethayla defines your entire army.


    Final Comments

    No amount of tactical knowledge can replace experience and the ability to think and re-plan on the fly. No plan survives contact with the enemy, so you must be able to adapt. Wood Elves are a difficult army to play, and it is expected that you will lose battles
     
  18. Knoffles
    Saurus

    Knoffles Member

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    POST 18 - Sethayla Style Army by Unicorn

    Note: This article was written initially for 6/7th ed. As such a number of the magic items are not available in 8th and the effectiveness of the lists could be called into question, especially with the larger unit sizes and the step up rule. However the concepts remain valid. I'll give a shout out to Heiner Mayer for flagging the post to me. I’ve added in a further section about how I would adapt this style, for use in 8th, to help against the larger unit sizes and how I’d see it working and anything written in italics in the post are my additions - Knoffles.


    A Sethayla Style army is a force based on the Sethalya Kindred fluff described in the 6th ed. armybook. It is an army that focuses on speed, mobility and shooting to an extent that no other army can equal. This is not because other armies cannot build an army that consists of units just as fast, but because no other race can build such a fast force with such a large amount of accurate shooting which cannot be tied up in close combat.



    1. What does a Sethayla Style army look like?

    The Sethayla Kindred features Special slots filled with Warhawk Rider units, 4 or even 5 models strong. Rare slots are filled with large units of Waywatchers, up to 10 models per unit, or Great Eagles.

    Character choices feature Alters or Eagle-riders, with equipment based around shooting (heroes wielding the usual Hail of Doom Arrow/Helm of the Hunt combo, Lords, perhaps Alter, with Arcane Bodkins/Bow of Loren, and perhaps scouting heroes with Shrikes (no longer available in 8th - knoffles) and magic bow or arrows. There are usually 0 - 1 mages ).

    Finally, you will fill your core troops with 5-men strong Glade Rider units with a musician. Somewhat less fluffy, but very useful is swap one or two of them (depending on how many Glade Rider units you have points for), for Glade Guard to increase your firepower.

    Sethayla Style lives up to the stereotype of Wood Elves as viewed by many opponents: an extremely fast shooting army but, to the surprise of many opponents, a Sethayla list has very solid Close Combat capabilities. With superior movement you are able to choose when, where, and even if you wish to fight, and then you can hit-and-run with your Warhawks causing decent Close Combat causalities to your opponent, but without losing your speed and without worrying about ending up stuck in combat or failing any Break Tests.

    On the other hand, you will have serious problems with certain models and/or armies. You have nearly nothing to use against monsters like dragons, hydras or Steam Tanks. You also have almost no magic defense, so you depend a lot on Warhawk Riders and Waywatchers to kill enemy mages. This is an extremely dice-dependent strategy, and it is almost impossible to kill monstrous or very hard casters like vampires or daemons. Your Waywatchers can help you here with their Lethal Shot and accurate shooting, but this may not be enough against many rosters.

    Sethayla also changes a lot about Wood Elf strategy. You have incredible speed, so if your opponent deploys in a large line, you can easily exert pressure against his right wing in the first turn, then continue with extreme pressure against his left wing in the second turn – and that's all with the same units!

    On other hand, Waywatchers are very expensive, but you will use them in such lists not only as great source of firepower, but also as great anti-magic and anti-shooting source. Your opponents will soon learn to fear them and will do nearly anything to stop them, and so will concentrate most, if not all, of both his auto-hitting shooting and magic against them.



    2. Basic Sethayla army unit choices


    2.1 Characters

    Eagle Noble

    This character is the same as what you can build in 8th (the helm and HODA didn't really change in either points or effect. In 8th the helm gives devastating charge rather than a straight +1 A and the HODA gained AP). He is actually 2pts cheaper in 8th ed. as he comes with light armour already equipped (i’ve adjusted the below points already). I would recommend also giving him Starfireshafts for an additional 4pts to give flaming, AP shots with +1 to wound vs forces of destruction to help remove regen). - Knoffles.

    This is a Noble sitting on Great Eagle. That means he is equipped with a spear, light armor and shield, and has the Helm of Hunt and Hail of Doom Arrow combo, very similar to the Standard Alter Noble.

    For his 179pts, you get a very useful character who is basically made to be a Sethayla general and is the most used character in Sethayla armies (in other words, you will field him in every roster). You can fire your Hail of Doom Arrow whenever you need and then simply hide this character to prevent him from being hurt. With his speed, eagle "ward“ (he gains +1 toughness and wounds from the mount) and 4+ armor save, he is very likely to survive the battle. He also can fly around, providing his Leadership 9 to any fleeing units to ensure they will rally.

    But also, if necessary, he features very solid close combat potential. On the charge, he have 4 attacks with Strength 5 and Weapon Skill 7, plus 2 attacks with Strength 4 and Weapon Skill 5 provided by eagle. With this, he is able to kill many mages or help you to create some combat resolution if necessary.


    Machine-Gun Alter Highborn

    Note: There is not a direct correlation in 8th edition. About the closest you can do is a Lord with bow of Loren (for 5 shooting attacks), Talisman of Protection (4++ Ward), Asrai spear (or great weapon), mounted on an Elven Steed or Eagle, and then either with a shield and dragonhelm, enchanted shield or charmed shield. This comes in at 273pts for the dragonhelm/Eagle option, so a bit cheaper than the original, below, version. - Knoffles

    This is another basic character choice, but this time for 2000+ pts games only. He features good shooting potential, great movement abilities, great close combat capabilities if necessary, and is very resilient at the same time.

    This character is a 289 pts Lord choice with Alter kindred (a 6th ed, now redundant ability, granting M and I of 9 and +1 A in combat for 35pts), who carries the Bow of Loren, standard Light armor, Shield and great weapon. The basic all-round build then features Arcane Bodkins arrows (which can be swapped for Starfire Arrows (these gave -1 to LD in 6th/7th) if you know you will face some low-Leadership opponents like Empire or Skaven). The rest of the magic items selection is your choice, but from my experience, the best build features Glamourweave (an item that gave a 4++ ward vs shooting and magic missiles and anyone attacking him in combat takes an LD test and if failed, required 6's to hit) and Enchanted Shield.

    Some players argue that for his points, you can have 2x 12 Glade Guard, who statistically provide significantly better shooting. That is true, but they lack many things this character has. They lack his movement abilities, and they need a lot of space to be fielded effectively. They lack his great close combat abilities as well. They also lack his magical shooting attacks (unless you give them magic arrows in 8th but at that point they become considerably more expensive), which can prove to be useful against ethereal creatures. The final decision is only up to you, but personally, I will never run "big“ Sethayla without him.


    Sniper Noble

    Note: Again in 8th, due to the removal of the magic item and shrike mentioned, this character cannot be replicated, however you instead have the option of taking the Waystalker, who fills a comparable role. From experience i’d run two of them, one kitted with the bow of Loren. That will give you 3 sniping shots per turn, giving you a good chance of removing BSBs, scroll caddies and other supporting characters. - knoffles

    Less common then the previous two, but also a good choice. He is usually an eagle-mounted (do not forget he does not have fast cavalry rule, so on horseback, he can not shoot his bow after marching!) noble with spear, light armor and shield, wielding Hunters Talon and Pageant of Shrikes (neither of which are options in 8th).

    The usefulness of this character is open to debate. On one hand, he is good at sniping warmachine crews and wizards, preferably unarmoured. On the other hand, statistically he needs 2.5 turns to kill one 2-wound, unarmored mage. I tested this choice several times, and for me, he is too dice-dependent. I remember the game where he took down all 4 enemy mages alone, but I can also recall several games where he failed to do anything. But if you run "big“ Sethayla and have some excess points, he is your best bet; and if you like him, just field him anyway!



    2.2 Rare choices

    Waywatchers

    In a Sethalya-style list, this will be your exclusive rare choice. Most often, they are fielded in 10-men strong units (and without Sentinel, of course), but if you need to save points to be spent elsewhere, you can slightly decrease their numbers. The use of these units seems to be pretty clear, but it is not. In fact, there are two ways to run Waywatchers in Sethayla army. The first one is obvious. You will use their special deployment ability and will slow down your enemy line, while you will use their ignore armour shooting to take down some heavily-armored targets or characters, or to finish off some units weakened by other shooting. On other hand, this will also expose them in a position where they can be outmaneuvered, or killed by shooting and/or magic. That means, if you field them like this, you must be ready to sacrifice this 200pt unit, as they will most probably die in the first turn or two. On other hand, if played properly (and with luck), they are able to make really significant damage to the enemy army before that.

    The second way to play them is more defensively. You will field them in cover on your half of the table (or even inside of your deployment area). Their role here will be to control the space around them, which not many opponents will be willing to enter. In this case, they will not be able to mess with your opponent as much, but they will have an easier time while surviving the battle. And, if properly used and played, they can still make a really great impact on the battle result.

    Where they excel, is in garrisoning a building. Not only do they gain stubborn but with the rules limiting the number of models that can assault a building, 10 of them will be getting 20 ASF attacks. This should be enough to shred most attackers - Knoffles


    Great Eagles

    In large armies, your Rare slots are filled by Waywatchers, but at 1000 points a Great Eagle may be a better choice. You need plenty of "Multiple Small Unit" (MSU) units, plenty of shooting, and plenty of Active Magic Defense (AMD, Kill the Mage!) in a Sethayla army, but one full unit of Waywatchers can use 20% of your points. A 50 point Great Eagle becomes a disposable warmachine/mage hunter, march blocker, that also helps with target saturation. You can even park it in fron of a warmachine. If they shoot the Eagle, another unit charges over the corpse and slaughters the crew. If they do not, the Eagle attacks the crew. In any case, a more valuable and important unit did not get shot.



    2.3 Special choices

    Warhawk Riders

    Note: As it has been pointed out, a large part of the tactics for the warhawks here, is based around their previous (and now redundant) hit and run special rule. To avoid confusion, I've now removed the paragraphs referring to this in the below section. Post 19 in this wood elf tactica covers warhawk uses in more depth

    These ones will be your exclusive special choice. The only question is how many of them? After several tests, I have come to this conclusion:

    3-model wide units: Small, cheap. Can do a good job while hunting warmachines and works well against unarmoured mages. They can destroy fleeing units, as well as gaining bonuses from attacking flanks/rears. They will be unable to disrupt a unit to remove steadfast though - Knoffles

    4-model wide units: The best size in my experience. With four they have pretty good close combat results and they can take more causalities before being weakened too much (or killed). Four models is also the number you will usually get into combat against most units. I field them in such units most the times.

    5 or more model wide units: For increasing price, you will usually not get anything besides durability.

    As for the Wind Rider upgrade, you can take him if you wish. He works well against warmachines where the extra attack helps, but he can decrease your chance of killing enemy characters because of challenges (They will challenge the champion, so only they can fight) . For 10 pts I do not field him, but this choice is very style-dependant and you may find useful to have him in one of your units.

    With Warhawk Riders, be very careful how you use them! Many players tend to use them in Sethayla rosters as fast shooting units, but this means they are not used to their best potential. When shooting, Warhawk Riders produce one Strength 3 attack hitting on 3+ per model, but when charge into close combat, they produce three Strength 4 attacks (with the rider getting ASF and the warhawk getting killing blow), usually hitting on 3+ per model. That means about 300 % more effectiveness!


    It is worth noting, that it is usually a good exchange if you lose a complete unit of four Warhawk Riders and kill a magic user or a warmachine (you should never lose a unit of 4 against a warmachine unless the dice gods have betrayed you!). You get the points for killing the enemy unit and you save your own troops from the enemy attacks in future turns.

    Argueably, due to changes with the 8th book, there are other unit options to consider fielding instead off or in addition to the warhawks but I’ll cover that later - Knoffles



    2.4 Core choices

    Glade Guard

    They are not as fluffy as other units in a Sethayla army, but they make your army much more competitive and much harder to defeat! Unless your personal fluff prevents you, never field Sethayla army without two Glade Guard units. On the other hand, think a lot before fielding more than two Glade Guard units because, depending on terrain, you can have a hard time deploying them properly and using them to their maximum effectiveness.

    Why should you include them? They are not fast moving, but they are your cheapest units (for only 120 pts) and your most numerous. They will provide you with a lot of AP shooting. They will be your best chance to kill such units as Hydras or Varghulfs and can destroy many light supporting units. Beside that, they provide you with great tactical potential. You can manoeuvre your units in such a manner that they will never block the Glade Guard's line of sight to any potential targets while you will be able to easily delay anything heading towards them. They will be able to withstand a lot of causalities (in comparison to your other units) without risking too many points. And with their slow movement, they will provide a very obvious target for your opponent to attack (especially as they will be the only standard 'battleline' unit on your side of the table). This can be a big mistake for them.


    Glade Riders

    Fluffy and very useful core choice. Field them at minimum size of 5 models, only with a musician. With that they are cheap while fast, and with their Fast Cavalry rule, they can stop your enemy from charging your Glade Guard or Waywatchers. They will be also your only chance to negate your opponents’ ranks in case you need to enter close combat and they can also successfully hunt enemy warmachines. Beside that, entering close combat with Glade Riders (beside in situations where you can be sure to break or overrun; or where you have no other choice) is not a good idea. Three or four units of Glade Riders is the best number to field. Two can be too few to do their job sometimes, while five or more can get into each other's way easily.



    3. Less common Sethayla army unit choices


    3.1 Anti-magic Branchwraith or Scroll Caddy

    Basic Level 1 Branchwraith with Cluster of Radians, to increase your number of dispel dice to 4 (no longer an option in 8th and due to the way dice generation works you shouldn't field the branchwraith in this style list - Knoffles). That is not a bad thing, but on other hand you will either have a lone, unprotected and single-purpose 140pt character hiding somewhere behind your lines or you will be forced to deploy a unit of dryads to protect her, and so this changes the whole roster and how it works, or you will have even more redundant units and points.

    You can hide a 110pt single-purpose lvl1 mage Scroll Caddy with a Dispel Scroll inside your Glade Guard units but still, beside their dispelling, they will provide only one Strength 3 shot per turn and are unlikely to cast any spells. Provided that you have the terrain available, the best protection is probably an Elven Steed and hiding. The purpose of the scroll caddy is to protect your army from a magic assault in the first enemy game turn, which may occur before you get a chance to do any mage killing.


    3.2 Dual Treemen

    An army containing dual treemen cannot really be described as Sethayla, but a Sethayla army supporting two treemen can be very effective. In exchange for the Waywatchers, and for about the same cost, you get two Terror-causing, Stranglerooting, Treesinging monsters. Normally, warmachines are a bane to Treemen, but the Sethalya support is the best choice to destroy those dangerous warmachines. You may even be able to afford a Battle Standard Bearer to let those Stubborn Treemen hand around longer. When combined with dual Treeman and sniper Battle Standard Bearer, such semi-Sethayla army can be really nasty against many opponents, as it combines good combat capabilities, still above-average speed and manoeuvrability and a strong shooting phase. Such a roster will have a chance to work in high point battles, where the usual Sethayla rosters will have problems with too many weak units running around the table.


    3.3 Dragon rider

    At first look, a dragon-mounted lord with Bow of Loren seems to be a really great Sethayla choice but in fact he is not. Saying that, he is not that bad either, so if you wish you can try him with all his pros and cons. He usually features light armor, shield and spear, and wields Bow of Loren, Arcane Bodkins or Starfire Arrows (you can't use magic arrows with the bow in 8th) and any protective items of your choice.

    His main plus is great close combat potential, good survivability and Terror. His cons are his price (320+ pts over normal Lord), providing an obvious shooting target. Sethayla armies are small and expensive in points. The cost of the dragon reduces their size to dangerous levels.




    4. How to deploy a Sethayla army



    4.1 Deployment Strategy

    Usually it is a good idea to deploy all your units out of enemy Line of Sight behind interposing terrain, or with their front up to 2“ from the back of the board. Why? Remember that your units have effective shooting range of 35“ (Glade Guard and Waywatchers), 39” (alter) 48“ (Glade Riders) or 50“ (Warhawk Riders and eagle hero).

    On the other hand, the standard range of magic missiles is from 18“ to 24“ and the standard movement value of unmounted (so most) mages is from 8“ to 10“ when marching. That means that their usual effective range is 34“ or less so at least 1“ less that the range of a Glade Guard unit! At the same time, most of our enemies do not have Rank-and-File units with effective shooting range of 35“+. That is because only a few have even the weapons with range of 30“, and even then, many of such weapons are move-or-fire.

    That all together means that if you deploy like this, and if you win the roll for first turn and let your opponent start the battle, you have a good chance to effectively cancel his first magic phase and from his shooting phase, only some warmachines and Fast Cavalry units will be able to shoot. On other hand, if you will start the battle for any reason, all your units will be able to get into range and cause some causalities. If he does advance to shoot with Fast Cavalry, they will not kill much and are unlikely to survive to fire a second time. This increased distance may provoke your opponent to advance with his fast units and in your next turn, you will kill most of them.



    4.2 Deployment of the units

    This is highly terrain-dependent and personal style matters quite a bit too, but I will still try to share some basic strategies I consider useful.

    From my personal experience, the basic strategy of how to place units is simple: Glade Guards should be placed against the largest open space available. Glade Riders are best deployed in the centre of the table edge (again changes to 8th means that Glade riders will always start off the table in ambush and can only enter the field of battle from turn 2 onwards on a roll of a 3+) , and Warhawk Riders on the wings. Heroes should be deployed always in cover to be protected against anything unexpected.

    With such deployment, you will be able to use your first turn movement to move against one enemy flank so that you may be at long range, but certainly out of reach of his opposite flank shooting and/or magic. Then you can concentrate all your strength to destroy or weaken all his troublesome units on this flank, while effectively avoiding all (or most) opposite wing threats. Then in the second turn, you can repeat this strategy against his other flank, this time easily at close range (with Glade Guard excepted). With such manoeuvring, you will be able to destroy or severely weaken most of your opponents dangerous fast units in the first two turns while avoiding at least some of his remaining dangers and, at the same time, set up Hit-and-Run charges for the third turn.

    There is another reason for the deployment of the Glade Riders in the center. Some opponents will try to defeat your Sethayla by outmanoeuvring you (yeah, it is possible) They will try to trap part (Glade Guards, Glade Riders and alters – so, non-flyers) of your units against one table edge with a solid battle line, which will not allow you to ride through or around it; while ignoring all your other units completely. Empire armies, Vampires, Skaven, Tomb Kings and Orcs (and some Dark Elves rosters) are really capable of doing this very effectively. You will be able to make them suffer some casualties with shooting, but with your relatively small combat potential, you will not be able to break through their line without some luck. It is a good idea to be aware of such strategy and placing your Glade Riders (one of the most vulnerable units in your army when facing this strategy) in the middle of the line will make their escape easier. If you place, say, all of them on one wing and Glade Guard next to them, your opponent will be able to trap you very easily and effectively.


    Adapting Sethayla to 8th edition - Knoffles

    The concept itself can be transferred to 8th and it is likely that you have faced or used elements of it already, as a wood elf list by its very nature, tends to be quite shooty and pretty squishy. This idea just takes it to the extreme and capitalises on your strengths whilst trying to avoid your weaknesses.

    So what changes could be recommended to adapt this to 8th?

    Wildriders. In any 8th list, you have to consider using these in addition/instead of warhawks. Their damage output for the points, far exceeds the warhawks and they are almost as manoeuvrable and fast. The drawback is their squishyness.

    Deepwood Scouts. With the ability to add enchanted arrows, not taking at least one unit of these with hagbane (for poisoned shots), I think would be a mistake. Apart from the threat to warmachines that they pose, another scouting unit that is deployed after your opponent has put down his units and that could in turn throw off his game before it even starts, isn’t to be underestimated. It also could take some of the pressure off your waywatchers.

    Waystalkers - a pair of these running around, gunning for support characters has a real psychological impact on an opponent. I have found that they rarely make back their points but being able to remove a BSB by turn 2 can be game changing.

    Magic
    - with the frequency of large hordes being fielded, magic is one of the most efficient ways of countering it. Not taking a mage is severely handicapping you in this edition.

    Glade Riders - with them now having to start in ambush, I can see an argument against taking them. However with their speed and the ability to provide a later game threat (as well as inkeeping to the spirit of the original idea), I’d still include them. The ability to give them Trueflight Arrows also allows them to take full advantage of their movement, without suffering shooting penalties. Lastly, don’t be afraid to charge them in to help finish off opponents. 5 S4 ASF attack’s on the charge could really help swing a vital combat and should be enough to eradicate most warmachine crews.

    It's worth noting that both Glade Riders and Warhawks both get the forest strider rule like most of the army.


    5.1 Deployment

    With so many scouting, ambushing and vanguarding units in the list, it will be really difficult for an opponent to pin down your units. You will almost guarantee that your units will be deployed well before you opponent, giving you +1 to go first. you can then use scouts to block his vanguarding moves and use your vanguard to redeploy all bar your gladeguard.


    5.2 Sample Lists.

    Well I’ve started by making three sample lists that could be considered 8th versions.

    WE Sethalya Classic Take
    Wood Elves

    Glade Captain: Asrai spear; shield; Great Eagle; The Helm of the Hunt; Hail of Doom Arrow 179

    Waystalker: The Bow of Loren 110

    Waystalker: Ruby Ring of Ruin 115

    10 Glade Guard: musician; standard bearer; trueflight arrows 170

    10 Glade Guard: musician; standard bearer; trueflight arrows 170

    5 Glade Riders: musician; trueflight arrows 120

    5 Glade Riders: musician; trueflight arrows 120

    5 Glade Riders: musician; trueflight arrows 120

    3 Warhawk Riders135

    6 Wild Riders: standard bearer (Banner of Swiftness); shields 193

    6 Wild Riders: standard bearer (Banner of Eternal Flame); shields 188

    10 Deepwood Scouts: hagbane tips 160

    3 Warhawk Riders135

    3 Warhawk Riders135

    10 Waywatchers200

    10 Waywatchers200

    Great Eagle50

    2,500 points

    This lists keeps fairly true to the original idea, just adapting it to take advantage of the new enchanted arrows and taking advantage of the strengths of some different units.

    Any ranged shooting or magic is to be considered the primary threat vs this list.


    WE Sethalya L4 Death
    Wood Elves

    Spellweaver: Level 4 Wizard; Lore of Death; Asrai longbow; Elven Steed; Talisman of Preservation; Dispel Scroll 315

    Glade Captain: Battle Standard; Asrai spear; shield; starfire shafts; Great Eagle; The Helm of the Hunt; Hail of Doom Arrow 208

    Waystalker: The Bow of Loren 110

    Waystalker90

    5 Glade Riders: musician; trueflight arrows 120

    5 Glade Riders: musician; trueflight arrows 120

    5 Glade Riders: musician; trueflight arrows 120

    10 Glade Guard: musician; standard bearer; trueflight arrows 170

    10 Glade Guard: musician; standard bearer; trueflight arrows 170

    5 Sisters of the Thorn: musician; standard bearer (Lichebone Pennant) 165

    3 Warhawk Riders135

    10 Deepwood Scouts: musician; hagbane tips 170

    6 Wild Riders: standard bearer; shields 178

    6 Wild Riders: standard bearer; shields 178

    10 Waywatchers200

    Great Eagle50

    2,499 points


    This is a similar list but drops a unit of waywatchers and warhawks in order to fit in a Deathweaver and unit of sisters. I feel the lore of death fits in well with the list. The death sniping, together with waystalkers should allow you to delete enemy characters. You also have one of the dreaded unit killers and the ability to reduce a units strength and toughness which will help both shooting and combat. The sisters come with curse of anraheir, possibly one of the best spells in the game. That will mess with unit movement allowing you to further pick off units you want to. It might be worth considering placing the Deathweaver on an Eagle to really maximise his movement and ability to drop a purple sun down a battleline. You could also consider giving one of the waystalkers the terrifying mask of Eee. Charge him in at a low leadership unit (or something suffering from doom and darkness) for a mini leadership bomb. It’s a bit conditional but gives them more versatility and adds another tool to your arsenal.


    WE Sethalya L4 Highweaver
    Wood Elves

    Spellweaver: Level 4 Wizard; Lore of High Magic; Elven Steed; Acorns of the Ages 340

    Glade Captain: Asrai spear; shield; moonfire shot; Great Eagle; The Helm of the Hunt; Hail of Doom Arrow 183

    Glade Captain: Moonstone of the Hidden Ways; Enchanted Shield; Ironcurse Icon 125

    10 Glade Guard: musician; standard bearer; trueflight arrows 170

    5 Glade Riders: musician; trueflight arrows 120

    5 Glade Riders: musician; trueflight arrows 120

    5 Glade Riders: musician; trueflight arrows 120

    10 Glade Guard: musician; standard bearer; trueflight arrows 170

    3 Warhawk Riders135

    5 Sisters of the Thorn: musician; standard bearer (Lichebone Pennant) 165

    39 Wildwood Rangers: musician; standard bearer 449

    10 Waywatchers200

    10 Waywatchers200

    2,497 points

    The final list has many of the same elements but sacrifices several units of mobile hard hitters for a horde of wildwood rangers. It utilises the acorn and moonstone combo to allow the rangers to move around the board and the Highweaver also has the possibility of walk between worlds to further aid their mobility. It could be argued that it isn’t a true Sethayla list but the mobility conferred by the moonstone and spells allows it to work in a similar way.





    6. Conclusion

    The Sethayla-style rosters can be a lot of fun to play with and extremely annoying to play against, if you choose so. Your opponent may not have much fun at all. Outside of tournaments and competitive matches, try to avoid the pure dodge-dodge run-run Sethayla style, as it will not bring you many friends. Even then, most probably, there will be many players who will consider your roster cheesy because they cannot come to proper grips with it while you systematically shoot their army down.

    The truth is that Sethayla have many great weaknesses, so as long as your tournaments did not have any composition rating system, you may not do as well as you might expect. Not only magic and shooting heavy armies can hurt you – even many basic all-round armies based on large numbers of cheap models can outmanoeuvre you to death and armies can play points denial against you, not giving you enough targets to get the massacres you need.

    On the other hand, Sethayla is not a weak army. Even in a really competitive environment without any restrictions and against the nastiest opponents, you will usually be able to outmanoeuvre them to a draw if you play the army properly in the best Wood Elf traditions.
     
  19. Knoffles
    Saurus

    Knoffles Member

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    Post 19 - Warhawk Riders by Akaba

    As ever i've slightly updated this to bring it in line with 8th - knoffles


    The idea behind this is to cover the uses of warhawk riders (WHR) and how they can be used. I know that in general there is a lot of hate behind this unit (that I personally love). The aim is to hopefully convert some haters to lovers and to provide insight on how these units can perform. It would be appreciated if comments could be kept to covering these units, and not why unit XXX is a better choice. Through either forgetfullness, tactica writing noobness, or even lack of knowledge ! I may have missed some things that can / should be in here. Feel free to constructively critique and comment!

    While most of these tricks seem small, the true advantage is that it is definitely possible to set up for more than one trick in any one time. By combining several of these tricks together, and with tricks of other units, the WHR are not a unit to be sneezed at!


    Useful things to remember

    Being Monstrous Cavalry you are able to stomp (in this case at S4).
    As flying cavalry you are skirmished, so its -1 to hit you at range
    Combined movement and shooting gives you an effective 50" range
    As monstrous cav, you used the combined profile for defence, so you have a T4 and W3 model (though only a 6+ save). This is good for wood elves but they will still die pretty easily.


    Fast Cavalry

    Firstly it should be noted that the WHR are fast cavalry, without rules that detract from what fast cavalry can normally achieve. All other rules that the WHR have augment the fast cavalry abilities rather than detract from it (for example wild riders are fast cav but also ItP so they cannot bait/redirect etc). The link (Fast Cavalry) does an excellent job of explaining everything about fast cavalry, so I will omit a detailed description of this. Some ideas are however repeated as I find them of particular use or worthy of highlighting.


    Deployment

    Because WHR are both flying and vanguard, they are a good unit to place early in the deployment phase in an attempt to reveal your opponent's play before you have to reveal yours. The idea here is that you place the WHR in generic mid left and/or mid right sides so that you are not giving information away while forcing deployments of the opponent. Because of vanguard and flying, it is easy to get these units where you want them when you want them.

    This trick works particularly well when you combine it with eagles. A slight caution though; make sure that you leave enough empty area to keep your opponent guessing where stuff will go. As an (extreme) example, if you have a horde of treekin, but only one place to put them then the opponent will start to figure your plan out. It is ok to place eagles and WHR 1" apart, maximising the empty space for the rest of the army.


    War Machine Hunting

    Pretty straight forward. This unit is super mobile, allowing it to run down warmachines early in the game typically turn 2 or 3.


    Mage Hunting

    The idea with this trick is to kill mages while they feel safe in their bunker. If you have 4 WHR in a 2x2 formation and charge the bunker unit, you are able to dish out 8 strength 4 attacks (4 with ASF and 4 with killing blow) onto the mage. This is a good trick to use for weaker mages obviously (compared to others like Warriors of Chaos). Once the attacks are complete then the WHR can flee if they survive to work on something else in the next turn. It is important to consider the unit that the mage is bunkering in as you are running the risk of trading the unit for weakening the enemies magic.

    This is really only a good trick when the mage is in the middle of the front row, because you want to get as many hits as possible onto that character. Wiley generals tend to place casters on corners to mitigate this effect though it can still be possible, just not as efficient.


    Generating Combat Resolution

    Combo charges with other units, or charge into ongoing combat. What you are looking to do is hit the flank or rear of the enemy unit, adding static combat res and hopefully some wounds to your Combat res score to help you win. Once the combat is over, look for the next target and rinse and repeat. It is important here that you consider what you are going to be in combat with and how many wounds you are likely to take. You generally don't want to sacrifice the unit this way and there is a LOT in warhammer that can take the WHR out. But for chaff, its useful.


    Lookout Sir!

    A popular hero/lord choice is a guy mounted on an eagle. Its worth noting that this converts the eagle from being a monstrous beast into monstrous cavalry. This means that if a unit of 5+ WHR are near the eagle character, then you are eligible for the look out sir! rule. A further advantage of having 5 WHR in a unit is that when a model is lost, you are not automatically taking a panic test.


    Double Charge Fleeing Units

    Because of their mobility, WHR can be in the back lines of the enemy quite easily. This trick is a little more situational as it requires particular enemy reactions. By having a 'scary' unit charge the enemy, whether that be Treemen, Treekin, Wildriders etc, you may force or decide to have the enemy flee. The same principle also works if you beat an enemy unit in combat. You can then place them in two ways:

    1) Perpendicular to the enemy unit, in order to maximise the distance the enemy unit flees when they bounce through the warhawks. This works best if it means they automatically run off the table or just moves the unit so far out of position that they are effectively out of the game.

    Wood Elf Unit --> NME Unit -->WHR
    xxxxx xxxxx
    xxxxx xxxxx
    xxxxx xxxxx X X X
    xxxxx xxxxx
    xxxxx xxxxx

    2) Have the warhawks with their back to the enemy unit, so when the enemy flee, they bounce through the warhawks unit (taking maximum dangerous terrain rolls) and the warhawks are then in a position to charge them to (hopefully) cause them to flee again and automatically run them down.

    Wood Elf Unit --> NME Unit -->WHR

    xxxxx xxxxx
    xxxxx xxxxx X
    xxxxx xxxxx X
    xxxxx xxxxx X
    xxxxx xxxxx


    Magic

    All lore that a wood elf general can take are beneficial to WHR in different circumstances.

    Typically Life will improve the survivability of the WHR through increasing their survivability or by returning fallen models. The different spell here is shield of thorns. By casting it on the WHR and charging them into everything and then buffing them up so that they are harder to kill, you can do damage to the enemy in ways they were perhaps not expecting.

    The only spell in Beasts that works with this unit is the signature spell. +1S +1T to the unit can also help to hit just that little harder for when you need to force the battle a particular way. Potentially surprising, as most people expect big things to get bigger, rather than having smaller pesky units buffed. This spell is also easier to cast on WHR because they are monstrous cavalry.


    Units with random movement

    By sitting 1" away from each flank of a random movement unit, the enemy unit cannot pivot as it would move too close to you. Consequently, you have limited the movement of the unit to be linear, potentially forcing the unit out of position.
     
  20. Knoffles
    Saurus

    Knoffles Member

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    Post 20 – Wood Elves at ETC 2014


    This post is a bit different as the introduction I’ve written (Knoffles) but the section about the lists was lifted from the following blog, written (before the event occurred) by a chap called Rafael, a UK tournament player during 8th Ed.


    http://raffazza.blogspot.com/2014/07/micro-3-wood-elves-at-etc.html?m=1.


    So why am I putting up a post covering the wood elf lists at ETC 2014?


    For the very simple reason that the WE army book was released in May 2014 and End Times (including the release of Khaine and the combined Elf army lists) came out towards the end of the year.


    This meant that the 2014 ETC was one of the few ‘elite’ events, with (some might arguably say) the best of the best tournament players from around the world in attendance, where pure wood elf lists were first fielded from the new book and before End Times lists kicked in (ETC 2015 allowed end times). So not only would this give you a good flavour of the Meta thinking at that time but also an insight into the tournament lists.




    Before looking at the actual lists, it’s important to also look at the comp in effect, as that will always influence list building.


    General comp


    • Up to 2 Characters per unit can get "look out sir" against the following spells: Dwellers Below, Final

    Transmutation and Dreaded 13th. Normal requirements for Look Out, Sir! apply.

    • BSBs can take all the equipment their unit type has access to as if they weren't BSBs.

    • An army may use up to maximum 12 power dice during each magic phase

    • A player can never use more than 5 power dice to cast a spell, no matter the source. For the Lore of Death and the Okkam's Mindrazor spell, this is lowered to 4 power dice.

    • Apart from Winds of Magic, an army may only generate up to 2 additional Power or Dispel Dice per magic phase (including channelling). Any extra dice above this is discarded and lost.

    • The army lists allowed are those from any of the currently published GW Army Books, and The Legion of Azgorh from Tamurkhan. No other unit or army list may be used on the event.

    • Special or Named Characters are not allowed

    • Fozzrik’s Folding Fortress may not be taken.

    • Units cannot be more than 60 models nor 450 points. This does not apply to characters.

    • All army sizes are 2400 pts, except when specifically stated in brackets (Beastmen and TK were 2700).


    Wood elf specific comp


    • Maximum of 90: Non character models armed with Asrai bows.

    • Maximum of 60: Hagbane/Trueflight/Waywatchers (who count as 2 each)/Waystalkers (who count as 5 each).

    • Maximum of 1: 8 or more Sisters of the Thorn in the same unit/Spellweaver on an Elven Steed with Death or Dark Magic.


    So not the most restrictive comp ever seen but already the organisers recognised that the hagbane/trueflight arrows would be the most effective in the book and waywatchers were equally strong.


    And if you want to know which list did the best? Bogden scored the most points of all the wood elf lists.


    And so now over to Rafael.




    So… How did the Wood Elves end up looking like?



    Having played a lot with the new Wood Elf book myself, there were some things I was expecting from the off:


    Death/Shadow Magic

    BSB to rock the Hail of Fail arrow

    Core to be predominantly filled with True Flight-totting Glade Guard

    At least 2 units of Wild Riders

    Two units of Way Watchers

    Two Eagles


    Now, the one thing that has stood out above all else using the Wood Elf book is just how expensive everything is, so if armies took the above there would be a limited amount they could bring to make the lists ‘different’ from each other.

    So let’s hope I was wrong.


    I shall also assign them utterly arbitrary scores on power and originality. Based on absolutely nothing much, and for no other reason than I am human, and humans have this thing about wanting to rank things in some sort of order. Maybe it is a quest to make sense out of chaos that is life and the universe. Maybe it is because we get bored easily.



    In team-alphabetical order, the representatives of the in-no-way-cuddly-tree-loving-elves are:



    Nick "Father of Lies" Hoen, Wood Elves

    Spellweaver on Elven Steed: General, Lvl 4, Death, Obsidian Lodestone, Dispel Scroll, 310

    Glade Captain on Elven Steed: BSB, Asrai Spear, Starfire Shafts, Hail of Doom Arrow, Enchanted Shield, Dragonbane Gem, 156

    3x 10 Glade Guard: Musician, Trueflight Arrows, 3x 160

    5 Glade Riders: Starfire Shafts, Musician, 125

    8 Wild Riders: Shields, 224

    7 Wild Riders: Shields, 196

    6 Wild Riders: 156

    7 Sisters of the Thorn: Standard of Discipline, Standard Bearer, 207

    3 Warhawk Riders: Windrider, 145

    8 Waywatchers: 160

    7 Waywatchers: 140

    2x 1 Great Eagle: 2x 50

    Total: 2399


    Nick, fresh from entertaining us all on one of the very best podcasts out there, has turned up to the party (much like the rest of his Australian team mates), with an eminently sensible list. It ticks all the boxes I thought we would see – though he has gone for the Sister bunker, a very powerful choice in the right matchups. Manoeuvrable Death magic is always brilliant. My only concern, having tried this list out a couple of times, if that there are too many Wild Riders (yes, I think you can have too much of a good thing), at the cost of more shots in the list – personally would have been tempted by 3x5 and then move some points around for another Glade Guard unit, but can see why he didn’t – the larger units keeps them combat effective for longer. Good list.

    Power: 8/10 Originality: 5/10



    Patrick Ebner, Wood Elves

    Spellweaver on Elven Steed: General, Lvl 4, Shadow, Obsidian Lodestone, Power Scroll, 320

    Spellweaver on Elven Steed: Lvl 4, Death, Dragonbane Gem, Dispel Scroll, 270

    Glade Captain on Elven Steed: BSB, Asrai Spear, Starfire Shafts, Charmed Shield, 121

    14 Glade Guard: Champion, Musician, Trueflight Arrows, 230

    2x 11 Glade Guard: Champion, Musician, Trueflight Arrows, 185

    13 Wild Riders: Standard Bearer, Standard of Discipline, Shields, 389

    7 Wild Riders: Standard Bearer, Banner of Eternal Flame, Shields, 216

    5 Wild Riders: Shields, 140

    2x 6 Waywatchers: 120

    2x Great Eagle: 50

    Total: 2396


    Patrick, I thought upon reading the magic lores, has been drinking from the same coolaid as me. But no. This man has big balls (to put it delicately). Shadow and Death are in many ways the “obvious” lores for this army. Bunkering them in Wild Riders is just, quite simply, hard-core. It’s not just that they are a lightly armoured combat unit, or that the wizards themselves have no ward saves, it is also the simple fact that they can’t flee. That being said, if not facing cannons/stone throwers there is no reason the mages can’t hand out with the archers or something. Despite the, well, weirdness of that, it is in all other respects a normalish list.

    Power: 8/10 Originality: 6/10



    Vincent van Es, Wood Elves

    Spellweaver on Elvensteed: magic level 4, lore of High Magic, Obsidian Lodestone, Dispell Scroll, 310

    Spellweaver on Elvensteed: magic level 4, lore of Death Magic, Dragonbane Gem, Power Scroll, 280, General

    Glade Captain on Elven Steed: BSB, Bow of Loren, Hail of DOOM Arrow, Asrai Spear, Shield, 164

    2x 12 Glade Guard: Musican, True Flight Arrows, 2x 190

    14 Glade Guard: Musican, Starfire Arrows, 234

    6 Wild Riders: Standard Bearer, Shields, Banner of eternal flame, 198

    8 Wild Riders: Shields, 224

    7 Sisters of the Thorn: FCG, Standard of Discipline, 227

    8 Way Watchers: 160

    6 Way Watchers: 120

    2x 1 Great Eagle: 2x 50

    Total: 2397


    Another list featuring all the expected components. The interesting thing here is the High magic, which is great for the list in a few ways, including increasing shooting effectiveness, enhanced mobility and making the bunker that much harder to kill. Other than being yet another rocking the mounted wizard bunker (which has proved to be more popular than expected), everything else is, quite simply, as expected.

    Power: 6/10 Originality: 5/10





    Anastasia Deliyska, Wood Elves

    Spellweaver on Unicorn: General, Level 4 High, Talisman of Preservation, Dispell Scroll, 350

    Glade Captain on Great Eagle: Spear, Shield, Helm of the Hunt, Hail of Doom, 179

    2x 10 Glade Guard: Musician, Hagbane, 2x 160

    13 Glade Guard: Musician, Standard, Banner of Eternal Flame, 186

    2x 5 Glade Riders, 2x 95

    2x 5 Sisters of Thorn: 2x 130

    2x 5 Wild Riders: Shields, 2x 140

    3 Warhawk Riders: 135

    2x 10 Waywatchers: 2x 200

    2x Great Eagle: 2x 50

    Total: 2400


    I love Bulgaria. I mean, I have never been there, but if I did go I am sure I would love them. They have brought something a bit different to the ETC party, and this Wood Elf list is by no means an exception! Yes, that’s right, the general is a lvl4 on a UNICORN (insert joke about girls loving unicorns if you must, I am far too high brow to do so myself). Interestingly enough of course, that wizard is actually an utter pain to kill. Given wards and High Magic protection, it could be a frankly annoying pain in the posterior. Another touch of brilliance (I assume that’s what it is, because I don’t get it), Anastasia has decided that Battle Standard Bearers are for chumps. What you really want is a Helm of the Hunt instead. Yup. So there. Oh, and Trueflight is passé. Other than that there is a sh*t storm of chaff – would hate to be the person tasked with getting 15+ points off this list!

    Power: 6/10 (factoring in nuisance value) Originality: 8/10



    Olli Mikkanen, Wood Elves

    Spellweaver on elven steed: general, lvl 4 death, dispel scroll, talisman of endurance, 295

    Glade captain on elven steed: BSB, starfire shaft, obsidian lodestone, 159

    10 Glade riders: hagbane tips, standard, gleaming pennant, 235

    10 Glade riders: hagbane tips, 220

    7 Glade riders: starfire shafts, 161

    7 Sisters of the thorn: standard, standard of discipline, 207

    7 Wild riders: shields, 196

    8 Wild riders: shield, standard, banner of eternal flame, 244

    3 Warhawk riders: 135

    8 Deepwood scouts: trueflight arrows, 128

    2x 8 Waywatchers: 2x 160

    2x 1 Great eagle: 2x 50

    Total 2400


    There is a widely held belief that the days of infantry are behind us. Olli clearly agrees, and who am I to disagree? Another thing that is clearly old fashioned is the concept of deploying somewhere. Of the 13 hypothetical deployments in this list, 6 do not deploy (3 scouts, 3 ambushers) and 5 of the remainder get to vanguard before the game starts. Only the ‘Great’ Eagles let the side down. If Olli’s captain is able to draw this list against a combat army, this list could be one hell of a spoiler.

    Power: 5/10 (8/10 as spoiler), Originality: 8/10



    Thomas Huglo, Wood Elves

    Spellweaver on elven steed: general, Lvl 4, Heaven, Asrai longbow, Obsidian amulet, dispel scroll, moonstone of the hidden ways, 340

    Glade captain on elven steed: BSB, light armor, Asrai longbow, Asrai spear, Starfire shafts, Hail of doom arrow, talisman of protection, charmed shield, 166

    5 Glade riders: Starfire shafts 115

    5x 5 Glade riders : Hagbane Tips 5x 110

    9 Sisters of the thorn : standard, musician, standard of discipline 269

    3x 5 Wild riders : Shield 3x 140

    3x 5 Deepwood Scouts : Hagbane Tips 3x 80

    2x 5 Waywatcher: 2x 100

    2x 1 Eagle 2x 50

    Total: 2400


    If you have ever played Poker, I you know that sinking feeling when you’re supposedly winning hand is causally blown out of the park by the player across from you. Olli knows this feeling, with Thomas, quite simply, raining all over his parade. 18 deployments, of which only two (those ‘Great’ Eagles again) behave as they should in the deployment phase. Six ambushing units, Five scouting units, Four vanguarding units (and yes, quite possibly a partridge in the pear tree). I really like the Lore of Heavens in this list too – comet, thunderbolt, chain lightning and iceshard are all great spells to hurt and annoy your opponent, and comet is peerless for affecting your opponent’s magic phase. Of course, in the wrong matchup the list is largely useless, and will then rely on its speed to simply hide if at all possible.

    Power: 8/10 Originality: 8/10



    Dimitrios “Jimbouz” Bouzoukis, WOOD ELVES

    Spellweaver L4 on elven steed, General, Lore of Heaven, Asrai Longbow, Obsidian Lodestone, Dispel Scroll, 315

    Spellsinger L2 on elven steed, Lore of Fire, Asrai Longbow, Scroll of Shielding, 145

    Glade Captain on elven steed, Asrai Longbow, Light Armour, BSB, Starfire Shafts, Hail of Doom Arrow, Charmed Shield, 149

    8 Glade Riders, Hagbane Tips, 176

    4x5 Glade Riders, Hagbane Tips, 4x110

    2x5 Wild Riders, shields , 2x140

    2x3 Warhawk Riders, 2x135

    10 Sisters of the Thorn, Standard, Standard of Discipline, Shield of Thorns, Curse of Anraheir 285

    2x8 Waywatchers, Sentinel, 2x170

    Total: 2400


    The Greeks were clearly pioneers in deciding that ‘Great’ Eagles really hampered the coolness of silly deployment lists and have led the way (as with so much else over the years) in quite simply getting rid of them (feel free to insert a socio-economic joke about selling the eagles, but that’s tasteless, and makes you a bad person for even thinking it). Rocking a big sisters is a bit ‘meh’ in my eyes, but I like the addition of Fire Magic in the list.

    Power: 8/10 Originality: 8/10



    Alan "Woody" Woods-Conway - Woody's Woodies

    Spellweaver General, Obsidian Lodestone, Elven Steed, High Magic, Level 4 @285

    Spellweaver Moonstone of the Hidden Ways, Dispel Scroll, Level 4 ,Lore of Shadow @285

    Glade Captain, BSB, Hail of Doom Arrow, Asrai Longbow, Hand Weapon, Light Armor, Starfire Shafts @134

    10 x Glade Guard @120

    2x 10 x Glade Guard, Trueflight Arrows, @2x 150

    15 x Glade Guard, Musician, @190

    7 x Sisters of the Thorn, Musician @192

    8 x Wild Riders, Musician, @218

    6 x Wild Riders, Standard, Banner of Eternal Flame @176

    2x Great Eagle @2x 50

    2x 10 x Waywatchers @2x 200

    Total 2400


    This list ‘feels right’. Not only because I would not want to upset Woody by saying anything else. Nope. That’s not close to a factor. The opportunity cost of double lvl4 is clear here, with the large Glade Guard unit forgetting the arrows that set the internet a-buzzing at home, relying instead on High and Shadow magic to do its thing. Not the worse idea in the world.

    Power: 6/10 Originality 6/10



    Tomasz "Tutajec" Tutaj, Wood Elves

    Spellweaver: General, Lvl 4, High Magic, Moonstone of Hidden Ways, Power Scroll, 295

    Spellweaver: Lvl 4, Shadow, Dispel Scroll, Ironcurse Icon, Obsidian Lodestone, 295

    Glade Captain: BSB, Asrai Longbow, Light Armour, 2nd weapon, Hail of Doom Arrow, 132

    Waystalker: 2nd weapon, Asrai Longbow, 90

    Waystalker: 2nd weapon, Asrai Longbow, 90

    15 Glade Guards: Musician, Swiftshiver Shards, 250

    21 Glafe Guards: Musician, Standard, Banner of Swiftness, Trueflight Arrows, 350

    7 Sisters of Thorn: Standard, Banner of Eternal flame, 202

    6 Wild Riders: Shield, 168

    6 Wild Riders: Shield, 168

    13 Waywatchers: 260

    2x Great Eagle: 2x 50

    Total: 2400


    I like this list. Firstly, there are Waystalkers, which are great for screwing with your opponent’s head, even if they rarely do all that much – though when they do, they DO. Then you have larger units of both Glade Guard and Waywatchers, ideal for making the most of magical buffs. Does make it a very small list of course, and can’t help thinking the points on the sisters could be spent on something else (given the apparent lack of steeds for the characters), but still. I like it. A lot – this is one of the lists that feels like it could actually pump out firepower worthy of the name.

    Power: 8/10 Originality 7/10



    Bogdan Obradović, Wood Elves

    Spellweaver: General, Lvl 4, Light, Elven Steed, Moonstone of the Hidden Ways,Talisman of Presevation, Scroll of Shielding, 340

    Glade Captain: BSB, Elven Steed, Asrai Longbow, Light Armor, Great Weapon, Hail of Doom Arrow, Charmed Shield, 149

    Spellsinger: Lvl 1, Light, Elven Steed, Obsidian Amulet, 120

    Spellsinger: Lvl 1, Light, Elven Steed, Dispel Scroll, 115

    Spellsinger: Lvl 1, Light, Elven Steed, 90

    12 Glade Riders: Trueflight Arrows, Standard, Gleaming Pendant, 279

    3x 5 Glade Riders: Trueflight Arrows, 3x 110

    9 Sisters of the Thorn: Musician, Standard, Standard of Discipline, 269

    7 Wild Riders: Shields, Standard, Banner of Eternal Flame, 216

    2x 7 Wild Riders: Shields, 2x 196

    2x Great Eagle, 2x 50

    Total: 2400


    There had to be one. Allow an army to take Light Magic and someone will rock out a banishment list. It’s a mathematical certainty. Nothing wrong with that of course, S7 banishment is equivalent of a lot of skill after all! What is unusual if that this is an uber avoidance Light Council list, which is incredibly rare (not actually sure if I have ever seen it before). That makes it pretty cool really, so kudos to Bogdan!

    Power 8/10 Originality 8/10





    Siniša Stojadinović, Wood Elves

    Spellweaver on Elf Steed: general, lvl4, Shadow, Moonstone of the hidden ways, Obsidian Amulet, Dispell Scroll, 335

    Glade captain on Elf Steed: BSB, shield, Light armour, Asrai Longbow, Hail of doom arrows, 142

    Spellsinger on Elf Steed: lvl2, Death, Power stone , 145

    10 Glade guard: Musician, Hagbane Tips, 160

    10 Glade guard: Musician, Hagbane Tips, 160

    10 Glade guard: Musician, Starfire Shafts, 170

    5 Glade riders: Hagbane Tips, 110

    8 Sisters of the Thorn: Standard, Stadard of Discipline, 233

    6 Wild riders: Standard, Shields, Banner of Eternal Flame, 188

    6 Wild riders: Shields, 168

    6 Wild riders: Shields, 168

    1 Great eagle, 50

    1 Great eagle, 50

    8 Waywatchers, 160

    8 Waywatchers, 160

    Total: 2399


    Sinisa (am afraid I have no idea how to make the little symbol over the s) has gone for a basic, middle of the road list. That sounds like a negative, but it isn’t. Three Wild Rider units, good. Sister bunker, good. Double Waywatcher, good. Shadow magic, good. Death magic, good. So, in short, it’s pretty good.

    Power: 7/10 Originality 8/10



    Antonio "Abirras" Lopez - Wood Elves

    Spellweaver on Elven Steed: General, Lv4, High, Obsidian Amulet, Shielding Scroll, 285

    Spellweaver on Elven Steed: Lv4, Death, Dispel Scroll, 265

    Glade Captain on Elven Steed: BSB, SwiftShiver Shards, Charmed Shield, Hail of Doom Arrow, 149

    2x 10 Glade Riders: Trueflight Arrows, 220

    7 Glade Riders: Starfire Arrows, 161

    7 Sisters of the Thorn: Banner, Standard of Discipline, 207

    3 Warhawk Riders: 135

    6 Wild Riders: Shield, 168

    5 Wild Riders: Shield, 140

    2x 10 Waywatchers: 200

    Great Eagle: 50

    2400


    It is unfortunate for Antonio (though I am sure he will get over it) that I have read the other lists ahead of this. That changes things from “cool, a fast cav list” to “yawn, another fast cav list”. Swiftshiver on the BSB is a bit weird, but ok, may as well make use of high BS. It’s a good list. Nothing really stands out as awesome, but nicely solid.

    Power: 6/10 Originality 7/10



    Dennis Palmkvist, Wood elves

    Spellweaver on Elven steed: General, level 4, lore of high magic, Obsidian loadstone, Dispel scroll, 310

    Glade captain on elven steed: battle standard bearer, Asrai long bow, light armour, hail of doom arrow, dragonbane gem, starfire shafts, 149

    4x Waystalker: 2nd hand weapon, asrai longbow, 4x 90

    13 Gladeguard: musicant, starfire shafts, 218

    13 gladeguard: musicant, standard, starfire shafts, gleaming pendant, 233

    13 Gladeguard: musicant, 166

    11 Wildriders: Standard, standard of disiplin, 333

    2x 5 Deepwood scouts: 2x 65

    2x 10 Waywatchers: 2x 200

    2x 1 Great eagle: 2x 50

    Total: 2399


    Now we are talking! FOUR waystalkers + High magic to make them more accurate. Be interesting to see what impact this has had on matchup scores vs it. Of course, my experience is that there is every chance they do nothing. But it makes you think doesn’t it? To top it off these assassins are backed up by a nicely solid gunline, more static than a lot of the other lists, but concentrating on that Wood Elves are meant to do, namely shoot things. Not sure I am a massive fan of the lvl4 in the Wild Rider unit, but it can get pretty handy once the High Magic attribute tokens start adding up. All in all, a list to fear (well, depending on what your list fears, anyway).

    Power: 8/10 Originality: 8/10



    So, there we have it. My favourite list? It may well be the Greeks – I really like the idea of Heavens magic Wood Elves, but on the other hand Bulgaria have a unicorn, and Dennis is rocking four Waystalkers, so how on earth can you expect anyone to choose between them?



    One thing of note though…. Not a single Treeman, Branchwraith, Treekin or Dryad to be seen anywhere.
     

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