Warhammer/Tactics/8th Edition/Wood Elves
- 1 Why Play Wood Elves
- 2 Army Rules
- 3 Unit Analysis
- 4 Building Your Army
- 5 Equiping Your Army
- 6 Magic
- 7 Army Composition & Tactics
- 8 Note
Why Play Wood Elves
Wood Elves have been redone and almost completely rewritten. 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. 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 maneuverability. By the end of turn 2 you can be behind the enemy lines, ready to unleash deadly co-ordinated flank charges, and against slower armies you can quite simply run circles around your enemies.
Though regarded as some of the best archers in the game, the wood elves' possible 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 chose 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.
(Matt Ward did have a hand in working on this book. However, GW decided to stop putting author's name in the book, most likely to preserve Watt Mard's tender feelings. What is known is that this was his last army book with GW and after having a hand in End Times:Nagash and End Times:Khaine he has now left).
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.
The full list of models that have this rule is: Spellweaver, Spellsinger, Shadowdancers, Branchwraiths, Treeman Ancients, Durthu, and Drycha
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.
See Army Composition & Tactics for ideas and recommendations on how to use this rule
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.
The full list of models that have this rule is: 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 is 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 is: 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
Lords & Heroes
Note: Under the current edition, named characters tend to be overpriced; you can pretty easily emulate most named characters from scratch and save yourself some points. That said, a few named characters do have abilities and wargear or wargear combos unique to them, so if you absolutely need to have them, go ahead. Just make sure you're really getting your points worth.
- Orion, The King of the Woods: Orion is what in general is refered to as a Glass Cannon: Incredibly expensive, requires a massive tax on your resources, can be incredibly powerful and yet is very fragile. Orion costs 600 points. He can also beat in almost anyone's face (9,8,8,6,5,5,9,5,10), comes with a Bolt Thrower and machine gun and is Unbreakable and Frenzy, regains a wound on a 6 at the start of each of your turns. Also comes with two War Beasts (for 20 pts) that share his Frenzy and Unbreakable rule. Here's the downside: He's only T5 with a 5+ Ward and MR 2, making him somewhat less durable than a Treeman, but more durable against spells. He's a Monster, so he has Thunderstomp too, however, he doesn't have the Large Target rule. He will drop like a fly to high volume S4 and above attacks. He also has Always Strikes First but will 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). Not great but has potential. He is basically a Greater Daemon with leafy clothing that gives units within 6" of him Devastating Charge (Everyone of your units gets DC. Including mount)) every turn. Charge him along with your Wild Riders into something. Anything. Then watch the mother hurt of ALL the People's Elbow decend 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.
- Drycha: Orion is fighty, the Twins are shooty, Drycha is weird. She's rather expensive for a Hero, at 255 points, but she doesn't come with nearly enough stuff to justify this. For starters, she's a Level 2 caster and only has access to Lore of Shadows. While she's reasonably fighty (she gets +2 attacks per lost wound, no life shenanigans), T4, 3 wounds and only a 6+ Ward means she's easy to drop. She needs units with the Forest Spirit rule to be effective, but while her kinda ganky Deep Strike ability seems fun, you're only guaranteed d3+1 Woods max (IE the one you brought, sitting in your half of the table, and the acorn of eternity if you buy it) it's probably easier to just have them join her from the front. Don't bother.
- Araloth, Lord of Talsyn: This is Skaw the Falconer reborn. Sadly, Matt Ward clearly hates him and has not only changed his name but made him the only Wood Elf whose sole purpose is to be repurposed for conversions. 260pts for an Asrai Spear, a 4+, stubborn, unbreakable on his own, Glade Lord with a 6+ with a bird. At least 60pts overpriced. This bird is a free S4 hit on one model within 18", and functions like a weird Killing Blow that causes blindness instead of death (somehow it makes the model worse in combat but not at shooting... go figure). This model's only use is to troll Tomb Kings, but with End Times taking away crumble he can't even do that anymore. Don't buy the model to play Wood Elves.
- Durthu: Once again a recycled character from the far distant past which is bad. At first his stats don't look bad; Ws 7, str 6, t6, w6, 6 attacks, frenzy, hatred. But he only has a 3+ armour with a 6++ ward save and is flammable. The greatest of the Treemen can die from a single flamming bolt thrower if it gets lucky, let alone a flaming cannonball. To add salt into the wound he is only a level 1 Lore of Beasts wizard, has a pretty hand weapon of no significance save fluff, and a 2d6 str 2 killing blow ranged attack (which is awesome since he has BS7). All of this is for 385 pts. If you have already ordered the Treemen kit make a basic Treeman instead and convert a Wraithknight/Wraithlord. 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.
- Naestra and Arahan, The Sisters of Twilight: Anyone who makes a 'Twins are hot' joke gets kicked out of Athel Loren. As for the girls, they can be hilarious. You don't only take them to win, you take them to troll. For 275 points you get the pair on the back of Gwindalor the Great Eagle and for a few 220 more can have them ride the forest dragon Ceithin-Har. Why you ever would take them on a dragon is a mystery since the eagle gives them more wounds and t4 thanks to it being monstrous cavalry, while also allowing them to reroll failed to hits. Their Dragon is 80pts cheaper than the glade lord's since gwindalor is clearly 80pts. 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, while the Sisters of Twilight 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. They also have 2 special bows. Naestra has a str 5 d6 wound long bow which gives her mount a wound back if she wounds with it and Arahan has a bow which fires 2d6 str 1 poisoned shots. Between them have good shooting and survival thanks to their previous rules and weapons and stats: M5, WS 6, BS 6, str 4, t 3, w2, 3 attacks, i7 and Ld9. These compete badly with the waystalker, lvl 1 spellsinger and BSB in the Heroes section so chose wisely. Pitty you can't take these guys on foot though...
- Alright, someone explain this to me. Since N&A are now MC on Big G, isn't the Conjoined Destiny rule quite worthless if you get shot? Since the three birds are counted as one model, have practically no saves AND you have to use the profile with the most wounds (which is 3 for Big G), how does this work? Are they able to survive a cannon ball to the face, or does the entire model die after 3 wounds?
- To counter that which is below, if you stick near 5 Warhawk riders you can get a 4+ look out sir, you can seriously boost your survivability. So long as one twin survives then your foes cannon ball was for naught.
- A single cannonball won't kill them - and certainly it won't kill Gwindalor, since, according to MC rules, it can't be targeted (yes, this means that the rule that lets the mount regain wounds is useless for G). When N&A are hit, you have to randomize, according to their rules. Then you wound, then the sister that was hit probably dies; then she pops back to full life if the other hasn't been killed by the end of the shooting phase. In melee, you have to allocate attacks, as you would do with two normal characters. N&A can indeed take risks that would be suicidal for other wood elven characters. Quite worthy of the points you pay to field them.
- Alright, someone explain this to me. Since N&A are now MC on Big G, isn't the Conjoined Destiny rule quite worthless if you get shot? Since the three birds are counted as one model, have practically no saves AND you have to use the profile with the most wounds (which is 3 for Big G), how does this work? Are they able to survive a cannon ball to the face, or does the entire model die after 3 wounds?
Note: While named characters are judged against their generic counterparts, generic characters are examined based on their role in your army.
- 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, probably to compensate for the loss of free moving and shooting. One new rule, The Arrow of Kurnous, lets him deal a auto str 3 hit on your opponent's general if they are within 36" of a character with the rule and in line of sight. 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. One popular choice is to give him Daith's Reaper and the Armour of Destiny for a stabtastic warboss.
- Spellweaver: This should 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, 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. If you want a Lord choice, this is the one you should go for in (almost) every situation.
- Treeman Ancient: While Treemen are alright, Treemen Ancients fail for many reasons. First off, they're 290 points, don't get spites any more, are lvl 2 life wizards only (who can upgrade to level 4) have a 3+ 6++, can buy magic levels, can tree whack and have the kind of melee stats that make cherubs cry. Ws4, Str5, A3, I2. I guess old age shows? Also, being an old coot, he gets the 75mm long side of his pointed forwards for some insane reason. The best thing that can be said about them is probably that they are large targets with Ld 10.
- 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.
- 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.
- Good items to give her are Glittering Scales (most core will hit her on 6+, with most elites hitting on 5+), Bow of Loren (making her pretty shooty) or Helm of the Hunt (making her RAPE things on the charge).
- Waystalker: Is a hero version of the Waywatchers. Just think of this guy as the replacement for the waywatcher kindred hero (sadly there is no replacement for the alter kindred). 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.
- Spellsinger: One word. 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. Take a dispel scroll and the lore of shadow or fire on this hero since their spells are the most effective at level 1/2.
- Branchwraith: The Branchwraith has 2 advantages: 1, she's fairly effective (WS6, S4, T4, I7, A3, 6+ Ward). 2, she's cheap. She is 75pts and a level 1 Lore of Life wizard. 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.
- 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.
- Great Stag: Really, why aren't you taking it? Better stats than it's closest cousin (IE 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)]
- 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 the bsb it should be worth some consideration.
- 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.
- 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 equal a giant target with "SHOOT ME!" written all over it in dwarven runes.
Currently, all Wood Elf Core units are kind of sub-optimal and are no no-brainers. But on the other hand, none of them are precisely duds either, and most can find uses (and you might as well, since you HAVE to take them). Tailor your tactics and choose wisely. Ironically, our Core units now feel more like Specials, role-wise.
- Dryads: Why Matt Ward! Dryads went from being overpowered to good to one of the weaker units in the game is the initial impression, 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 - then again, they cost as much as Witch Elves and cheaper than Plague Monks, while fulfilling the same role. The 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 gonna take.
- 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 well 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, 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 spearelves, for measly 3 points they gain Stubborn, Armor Piercing, +1WS and +1LD, making them an incredible anchor - almost unbreakable when within BSB range. Also, you don't 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 Run and Shoot 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 armour piercing 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. All in all, Deepwood Scouts do same job better for just 1 point more (except of course, they won't fill up your manditory 25% core).
- 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 a Asrai Bow and Asrai Spear, 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 move onto the board from turn 2 onward. If you have a treeman that you don't want to get hit by artillery that could kill him in one phase, you may not want to use these guys as warmachine hunters. However, it can be incredibly fun in friendly games and is inevitable in full cavalry lists.
- 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.
- 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. As a side note; 12 of these armed with poisoned arrows will kill a warmachine each turn, on average, without a modifier.
- 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 with 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 that they don't have frenzy when compared to the Wild Riders. They are an awesome retinue for a mounted Spellweaver. Get them a Lichebone Pennant and you can laugh at both enemy spells and any miscasts. 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 ain't a no-brainer, but can be very effective with proper application.
- Doomfire Warlocks: These guys are often bench-marked a against SotT. For just one point less you get a Dark Elf version of the sisters in the rare units (or more correctly, the sisters are a Wood Elf version of the warlocks since the DE book came out first). These guys don't throw poisoned javelins and they don't get the lore of life attribute on one of their spells. If you find yourself in a friendly game where you two decide to do unbound lists (somehow), the sisters are probably worth considering over warlocks.
- Treekin: Treekin are the younger brother of Treemen and not the force they once were. With the unit size limit removed, treekin can now be taken in hordes and with a 20 point reduction, they 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 the best of the forest spirits the wood elves have to offer but still are no longer a must-take. For 45 points you get S4, T5, 3 wounds, 3 attacks, Stomp, 4+ armor, 6++ Ward, and flammable. 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.
- Additional Thought: 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.
- Wardancer Troupe: Wardancers are still a reasonably good unit let down by a few flaws and a fairly high cost of entry. They cost 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. They no longer gain +1 S on the charge and have 3 new dances. The first gives you armor piercing and killing blow, second one gives you +1 attack, another gives you a 3++ and the final dance strips your foe of their rank bonuses. What lets these guys down is the fact that because they're not Scouts, 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. If the dice gods are high that day and the combat goes on for another turn, your shadow dancer can do a different dance if it is not in the wardancer unit (which it should never be).
- Keep in mind, both War Dancers and Shadowdancer are very useful due to disruption dance and are located in very contested sections. Choose well, whom will you use (unless you use both).
- As a side note, any models in the squad (not the whole squad - you can choose) can replace two weapons with an Asrai Spear. Which is kinda useless, since if you are taking more than 5 Wardancers in a single squad, you are doing it wrong.
- It is also highly disappointing that taking a musician does not do more to help the unit of dancers. How did Matt Ward not see the connection between music and dancing?
- He must like dubstep. It would explain a lot of things.
- Keep in mind, both War Dancers and Shadowdancer are very useful due to disruption dance and are located in very contested sections. Choose well, whom will you use (unless you use both).
- Warhawk Riders: You think your Glade Riders are fast? Think again. These guys are one of the best units in the Army Book, acting troubleshooters, since they can bring down War Machines like they're not there, punch out shooting units, ping wounds off lightly armored units and even help out in large combats (this is only for emergencies though). For 45 points you are getting fast flying monstrous cavalry with the Asrai Bows, W3, T4, Asrai Spears, and killing blow on the charge. They deal out 1 str 4 AP with ASF as well as 2 str 4 AP killing blow hits and a stomp. Possibly, the best flying unit in the game with the exception of the frost phoenix and pegasus knights. Take as many units of 3 as you can. Also they make Great Eagles look very sad and useless.
- 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, 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 also applies to the mounts) asrai spears for +1 strength on the charge and devastating charge for an extra attack on the charge. Conveniently they also have fear,
which is always nice when facing something else with terrorYou do know that Frenzy makes you Immune to Psychology, right? A unit of 5 on the charge with a champion will cause an average of 12 wounds with -3 to armour and 4 Wounds with -1 to anything at T3 with less than WS5 - that unit is looking a lot less threatening with 15 less guys now isn't it. Also have a lot more staying 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 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. (Don't let them get charged, they suddenly hurt a lot less. 2 S4 armor piercing attacks per is just "ok")
- 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). 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.
- Great Eagle: They would be reliable, cheap and versatile for 50pts. However, Warhawk costs 5pts less, has KB and a rider (who can shoot), and only loses 1WS. Take Eagles only if you are full on Warhawks, otherwise Hawks will give you much more for less points. Also they can't be upgraded like High Elf eagles. Don't bother. If you insist on using your Great Eagle models, stick a Glade Rider or Glade Guard with spear on it back and have yourself a Warhawk.
- Counterpoint: 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. 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.
- Treeman: The best that can be said about this unit is that it is priced correctly, but it is nowhere near the monster it was in the past. It is still quite tough with T6, W5 and a 3+ scaly skin and 6++ ward. It also 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 seperately in case of ward saves). Also, Thunderstomp. It also appears that the strangle roots have become a better ranged attack. Str 5 d6+1 attacks may not seem like much but every little counts I guess. While the treeman is not amazing and necessary for most armies, sadly it is the best value monster we have and, perhaps, our best monster killer.
- Side note: The current Treeman model is mounted on a 50X100 mm chariot base. The 50mm short side goes at the front/rear based on the way you are supposed to assemble the model. This can be seen in GW images in their online store.
- Waywatchers: This is potentially the best unit in the Army Book, so place your bets now on how 9th ed will nerf these guys. 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 what ever 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 you're going to be sorely disappointed. Calculation of disappointment can be seen on the talk page.
Building Your Army
Buying Your Army
The battalion set was good value. You could get a fairly decent army out of it. It is still mighty cool if you manage to find it at some backwater hobby shop (I even managed to get one with discount "'cos no one wanted it for long time" from, apparently, completely ignorant shop assistant). The battalion shared models with regular kits, so following old guidelines still apply.
From the Glade Guard sprues, you can build Waywatchers. If you have some spare High Elf or Dark Elf spearmen/warriors, giving them a Glade Guard head can turn them into Eternal Guard. You get a ton of heads with the Glade Guard, so you're spoilt! Especially now, when they look like High Elves.
The Glade Riders you can build as Wild Riders with the spears. Or even Sisters of the Thorn.
For your Lords/Heroes choices, you can build them out of the sprues provided. You can make a mounted Glade Lord or Captain (even a BSB), as well as a Waystalker and, with a bit of imagination, a Spellweaver.
Otherwise, for the Spellweaver, the Dark Elves' plastic Sorceress is a good alternative if you don't want old/metal models.
You could make a Treeman with the LotR Ent as it's cheaper, but the two have different dimentions, so be warned. It is taller, but can fit on a 50x50mm base that you can buy seperatly.(and still be cheaper than a treeman.) Especially now, when Treemen are taller, slimmer and look more like -Men, than Tree-.
Dryad bits are awesome in making Wild Riders, Sisters of the Thorn and characters. Their back-branches make pretty cool saplings to add foresty clutter on elf bases. You can also glue the extra dryad arms together to make treekin looking things. It will take some patience but you can build three or four sleek looking treekin from a box of a dozen dryads. The ghetto treekin don't look as tough or macho as the GW treekin, so it is easier to picture them as just strength 4 instead of the strength 5 they used to have.
If you want Dryads and Treemen (though they've been nerf-sawed) - you should hurry to grab the Guardians of the Deepwood box, which contains three Treemen and 36 Dryads - and is actually cheaper than cost of those models combined. Either GW are trying to be kinder, or their head manager made a typo. Most likely the latter. Hurry, it is limited edition and stuff.
If you are OK with using mediocre models made from shitty resin, D&D Treant and Roc miniatures make pretty good Treeman or Great Eagle/Warhawk. Be advised, D&D resin is crappy and bendy, but they come pre-painted. The Guardians of the Galaxy Heroclix version of Groot could fill the roll of your treeman easily.
Equiping Your Army
Asrai Bow: Just like an ordinary Longbow. 30" range, but now comes with AP.
Asrai Spear: Follows the same rules as regular spears, except for having AP.
Basicly, all Wood Elf spears and bows 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.
No more Spites, no more Kindreds. Matt Ward, after having given High Elves a meta changing item and Dark elves at least some decent ones, he decided to balance out his previous mistakes by not giving Wood Elves any good items. He even made sure to prevent broken combos this time. It's especially surprising as Wood Elves are reputed to be Matt Ward's favourite elf faction.
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(Though it can hurt the wielder if you want to use the more amusing 6th ed rules for the sword). I guess it is neat and will kill monsters like hell, but this weapon is overpriced and relies on you hitting/wounding your target. Rely on the rulebook's magic items instead.
Daith's Reaper: This weapon would be amazing for almost any race but Wood Elves. For 50pts you can reroll to hit and to wound and force your opponent to reroll successful armour saves. Considering you can only take this on a hero who is likely to get to hit rerolls from ASF and that 8th favours ward saves rather than armour saves, this weapon is only slightly better than useless. Buying great weapon or sword of +1 str wound be a far better/cheaper alternative.
The Bow of Loren: For 20 points you get a bow that fires your character's attacks +1 shots. 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 and don't get any bonus from extra hand weapon). The best that can be said about this bow is that it is properly priced. All other races ranged magic items aren't though...
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. Cute I guess for Wood Elves but is it really worth it? Basically, it allows you to make a Wild Rider Noble from older editions (especially with Wild Riders wearing noticeable horned helms now)
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 and are deployed like drop pods, since they scatter but can't land on other terrain. Lots of tactics are circulating around this item, Drycha/Moonstone of Hidden Ways for teleporting units or almost deep striking treemen. See Talk page for tactics and stuff. As for the item - if nothing else, it's fluffy.
Moonstone of Hidden Ways: This item's potential power is immense, while it's 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. Buy another gimmick.
Hail of the Doom Arrow: If only this item was 5 points cheaper so Waystalkers could take it (This does prevent the abuse from being able to hail of the doom arrow snipe combo -
almost guaranteed dead wizard. Seems like it could have been fixed better with a 'cannot be used in conjunction with the sniper special rule' as opposed to just making it too expensive to take). For 30pts, you get a 1 use str 4 armour piercing arrow that causes 3d6 hits. Some people swear by these things since they can instantly mince lightly armoured units though there are dissenting opinions. Still it is the best magic item Wood Elves have. Sadly, Asyndi's Bane was removed as a magic item, so you can no longer use the HoDA to take out an enemy unit and the guy who fired the arrow in the same turn.
Calaingor's Stave: Such a depressing item. For 20 points you get the privilege of swapping a spell for Tree Singing. 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, had a lore attribute, could be cast on all forests on the board instead of those within 12", cast on a 4+, to name a multitude of reasons, then it would be worth taking. Otherwise, unless you wish to move the destination forest of the moonstone of hidden way's unit or Drycha's helpers, it is the worst magic item in the game.
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 me even if you don't compare it to the Banner of the World Dragon.
The Banner of the Hunter King: Another banner which gives to it's unit vanguard and, that allows you to reroll the first failed charge of the game for 75pts. Dwarfs get these rules for 35pts and 15pts respectively. Also almost everything that can take this banner has Vanguard already. Competes with Calaingor's Staff for being the worst magic item ever.
(Note, all arrows have AP and volleyfire, 30 inch range). All of these are available to Glade Guard, Scouts, Glade Riders, Glade Lords and Glade Captains. They replace regular bows wielded by models and count as magical attacks. Note, that until we get a FAQ, they are not Asrai Longbows and prevent using Hail of Doom Arrows!
Arcane Bodkins: 5 pts per model, confers ap -3 instead of normal armour piercing. Expensive for what they do. I prefer to do more wounds than reduce armour saves but these arrows kill cavalry like nobody's business. All the same, if your plan is to screw over enemy armour, just use Waywatchers instead. For three more points waywatchers can spite that guy with a 1+ re-rollable armour save while the arcane bodkins have a 50/50 chance of beeing saved.
Hagbane Tips: 3 points per model, confers poison attacks. Amazing. This will probably be your go-to magic arrow, since wood elves have troubles vs monsters. 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)
Trueflight Arrows: 3 points per model, confers no penalty to shooting whatever you do. This is probably going to be the second most used arrow. Best taken on your Glade Guard as they will suffer the most penalties. These should be your first choice against Skaven and their shenanigans.
- As of now there are many opinions about the merits of these arrows which should be shared on the talk page.
Moonfire Arrows: 4 points, confers flaming and +1 to wound versus Forces of Order. Great against warmachines, which almost all Forces of Order have. BUT against war machines, poison is still better (and cheaper) unless buffed by magic.
Starfire Arrows: 4 points per model confers flaming and +1 to wound versus Forces of Destruction. 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 in stead of the flaming banner you can make OK monster hunters out of them.
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 that is not protected by the high elf banner of game breaking.
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 rulebook lores, which is amazing for them, and the Spell Weavers are the only models who now have access to the new Wood Elf specific lores, 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 (this can be seen as good and bad). As such a Spellweaver can now choose 10 lores with a chance to pick 3/4 of 72 different spells.
The following overviews are in my eyes, in the order of importance. However that is up to debate and which most important is dependant on your list and situation.
Lore of Life
This Lore is really good for Wood Elves as you can restore wounds on your best units (ie:Warhawks and arguably Treekin). It provides you with a way to give your Glade Guard saves, revive your most expensive units, kill your foes with a characteristic test, and has a safety net for you, if you miscast. It is best taken on a lvl 3/4, so you can get throne of vines up and not have to worry about any more miscasts.
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. Some calculations can be seen in the Talk page.
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. Matt Ward has also given a good lore attribute which stacks well with it's 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.
Lore of Metal
The Lore of Metal is mostly aimed at helping armies like the wood elves deal with heavily armoured foes. It can debuff your foe's armour, pick off standards, has a 5+ pit of shades which causes stupidity and can give your troops a 5+ scaly skin save and +1 to hit (almost everything has armour piercing already). It isn't bad but the other lores often help more.
Lore of Beasts
The Lore of Beasts lets you run train on things that you normally would not be able to run train on. 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. They are still rubbish, but they may hurt someone. If applied to Treekin, they will each have Dragon-like stats, and go from being 'decent' to 'good' super 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 helps you deal with monsters and a couple of character buffing spells which can help your shadow dancers. Curse of Anraheir has great synergy with all the forests you might bring along (Acorn of Ages). Making a third of an enemy unit that follows you into a forest die is pretty great.
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 it's 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 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 of your Dryads and Wild Riders, while Soulblight does a fine job equalizing some S4 T4 brutes with your fragile elves. Just a pity you can't cast Aspect of the Dreadnight on enemies (to exploit Wildwood Rangers' special rule).
Lore of Fire
The Lore of Fire is best for level 1s since it comes with the best guaranteed magic missile in the game. If you lose your lvl 4 then go and pump all your dice into a super fireball. Beyond that the only spell of great use for wood elves is the Flaming Sword of Rhuin, which you sadly can't guarantee.
Lore of Dark Magic
Pity you can't take it on a level 1. On a level 4 it isn't bad but is beaten by almost all the other lores.
- Power of Darkness:
- Augment. While it does give your unit a much needed strength bonus and extra power dice it will eventually wear you down ( you take a wound with no armor saves if you roll a 3 for power dice) unless you protect yourself with a decent ward save. Often, you'd be best served not getting bogged down in combat. For a stupid elf trick, use when your caster is with Sisters of Thorn and watch those javelins get nasty.
- Magic Missile. Always take it. It gives you a much needed high strength shooting attack.
- Magic Missile. Is an easy spell to cast, is good against low toughness units and will help you against other shooting armies.
- Word of Pain:
- Hex. Good against shooting/high WS armies that seek to match you prowess. The boosted version will save a lot of your elves in combat, especially since you don't have much, if any, armor.
- Direct Damage. Is a good choice for big blocks of infantry, like the always pleasant Slavebus or Zombietrain or even some tougher units.
- Shroud of Despair:
- Hex. Simply fantastic when you get into combat. No Inspiring Presence and no Hold Your Ground! for you enemies. This will make breaking enemies easier, which is good, because you don't wanna hang around for Round 2.
- Soul Stealer:
- Direct Damage. Once again, great against big horde units/busses/trains. If you get this off, place the 3" template anywhere of the wizard within 18". You can go nuts with Power of Darkness and never worry about it, if it lands right.
- Arnzipal's Black Horror:
- Magical Vortex. Oh baby. This thing is crazy. Like warpstone-laced cocaine. No wonder Ariel got hooked on this Dark Magic stuff... Anyway, should you get this off, pop it down and sing "Snitches's gonna die/This bitch is gonna fly/My wizard's rollin' high/Or she's gonna fry". It will then travel anywhere between 6"-40" in the form of a 3" template in a straight line (of your choice) depending on your wizards magic lvl and how much you roll on the arty dice. Everything hit must pass a strength check or die (ward save allowed). As with arty rolls, should you misfire, place it on top of your wizard and scatter it D6. It Remains in Play. Every turn, it jollies around randomly, spreading more laughter and happy thoughts with another arty roll. Misfire and it will stop working. Boost it and you get to use the large 5 incher, then pray to Isha that you don't screw up. Not as powerful as the Lore of Death version, but still good fun.
It's lore attribute is best likend 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. If you can take 2 lv 3/4 mages then this is a good secondary lore but beyond the Storm of Magic I doubt it will see much use. Try it out and see how useful it is to you.
Lore of Light
Against other WE players or, indeed, other Elf armies (and Undead/Daemons), this lore should be considered. Against most other armies, it sadly won't be of much use, as many of the other lores gives you better options. High strength flaming attacks, superb WS, exellent 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.
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.
Ambush of the Worldroots
To once again clarify, for future reference, the precise wording of the rule is "This forest is not mysterious terrain - declare it's type when you place it"
With "Mysterious" being a fancy word for "Random type", no?
- 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
- 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 as barrier. You want to stand in it and gain bonuses distilled from HElf and DElf tears.
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 gonna 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 gonna 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
- You will need the following:
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)
This page is still under maintenance with the new wood elf release. It is incomplete. While the public can feel free to update this article, it should be noted that any and all ideas will be considered and debated on their merits, and nothing will be deleted out of hand.