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View Full Version : A first shot at wood elves. Critique welcome



Makarion
27-11-2007, 05:52
Hello folks,

Here's my first shot at wood elves. It's very likely I'll get the batallion box soon (plus assorted additions, of course), so I've started to fiddle with composition.

Here's some baseline ideas I want to work with:

1. I want to be light on forest spirits, compared to your average tournament list at least. Some cannot be avoided, I am sure. I'd love to avoid Treemen alltogether though, at least for now.

2. I love the Eternal Guard, and they are in, come what may.

3. For now, no dragon.

So, with that in mind, here's my first try. Note, that I have never played Wood Elves, although I've faced them a few times.

------------------
Characters:

Spellweaver (General). [368]
Level 4, Wand of Wych Elm, Dispel Scroll, Dragontooth Arrows. Lore of Life.
In unit of 11 Glade Guard.

Noble. [137]
Batrle Standard Bearer. Sword of Might, An Annoyance of Netlings.
In unit of Eternal Guard.

Noble. [143]
Elven Steed, The helm of the Hunt, Hail of Doom Arrow.
In unit of Wild Riders.

Branchwraith. [165]
Level 1 wizard. A Cluster of Radiants. A Murder of Spites.
In unit of Dryads.


Core:

Dryads (8). [96]
Dryads (8). [96]
Glade Guard (12). [144]
Glade Guard (11). [132]


Special:

Eternal Guard (20). [270]
Full Command. {Note: to be deployed 7*3}

Wild Riders of Kurnous (5). [130]
Musician

Tree Kin (3). [195]


Rare:

Waywatchers (5). [120]



Total: 1996
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My main questions:

1. Are the Treekin good enough? I don't want a Treeman... If I ditch them, are the EG a good enough anvil?

2. Should I ditch the Treekin, would an Eagle and some Glade Riders be a good replacement, or are Wardancers actually durable enough? Never having played with Wood Elves, and having shot them to pieces myself when facing them, they seem a bit of a fragile beauty.

3. What is the maximum useful unit size for Dryads? I'll have 12 from the batallion box, but that sounds a bit much for a single unit. I'd really prefer to stick to one unit of them, but the above list is a touch conservative, it being my first attempt, so I included redundancy.

4. Branchwraith or Spellsinger?


Thanks in advance!

Sunfang
27-11-2007, 18:19
No responses yet?

:cries:

I am new to Wood Elves as well and have alot of the same questions. Hopefully someone more versed in the Wood Elf ways will chime in here for both you and I.

RavenBloodwind
27-11-2007, 21:33
Wow, there's a lot to cover here but here goes:

"1. I want to be light on forest spirits, compared to your average tournament list at least. Some cannot be avoided, I am sure. I'd love to avoid Treemen alltogether though, at least for now."

Frankly, skip them completely if you like. I often play an all elf army with very good results (and I mean ALL elf, no wild riders or any other forest spirit).

That said, if you go with the batallion box you're sitting on plenty of dryads and they're fantastic troops. If they fit your flavor keep them, if not ditch them.

2. I love the Eternal Guard, and they are in, come what may.

Up to you. I can't see ranked up guys with spears fighting all that well in dense forest so I don't use them. That said they're great troops and if you like them they should serve you well.

3. For now, no dragon.

Good, huge points sink which remains rather vulnerable to many armies.

For your actual army:

------------------
Characters:

Spellweaver (General). [368]
Level 4, Wand of Wych Elm, Dispel Scroll, Dragontooth Arrows. Lore of Life.
Magical arrows are probably a waste here. With a single BS 4, S3 shot you'll be VERY lucky to get those points back. Better to take something else or use the points elsewhere. Wych elm is awesome, lore of life is an okay choice although beasts with Bears anger cast on a branchwraith is just wrong in an 'oh so right' kind of way.


Noble. [137]
Batrle Standard Bearer. Sword of Might, An Annoyance of Netlings.
In unit of Eternal Guard.
Generally fine, I'd ditch the magic weapon in exchange for some protection. Annoyance looks fine until you run into the fighty troops with no champion or you've killed the champion. I like either glamourweave or stone of crystal mere but that's just me.

Noble. [143]
Elven Steed, The helm of the Hunt, Hail of Doom Arrow.
In unit of Wild Riders.
You'll have to give him wildrider kindred to join the wild riders as they are forest spirits. Not sure if WR kindred keep their bows or not but without one the HoDA is hard to use.

Branchwraith. [165]
Level 1 wizard. A Cluster of Radiants. A Murder of Spites.
In unit of Dryads.
Lovely little beastie, especially if you get Bears anger on her. I'd think about ditching the Murder to save points but definitely keep cluster.

Core:
Dryads (8). [96]
Dryads (8). [96]
Glade Guard (12). [144]
Glade Guard (11). [132]
Generally fine here, only issue would be put champions in units that have characters joining them. The sacrificial challenge acceptor is worth the points.


Special:
Eternal Guard (20). [270]
Full Command. {Note: to be deployed 7*3}
As before, if you like em they're fine. Look into a warbanner.

Wild Riders of Kurnous (5). [130]
Musician
Fine if you keep forest spirits. Glade riders fulfill a different role but one I use more.

Tree Kin (3). [195]

Great troops, can take a beating and stay in the fight.

Rare:
Waywatchers (5). [120]
Great annoyance, don't expect them to do much other than scare your opponent (which is worth their cost).




My main questions:
1. Are the Treekin good enough? I don't want a Treeman... If I ditch them, are the EG a good enough anvil?
Treekin are fantastic, especially when supported with a dryad or wildrider unit bringing in flank support. Treemen are not mandatory to win, people just find it much easier so they take the easy way out. Don't be that guy. EG can be a good anvil, they're just not much of a hammer. EG + Treekin should work a trick though.

2. Should I ditch the Treekin, would an Eagle and some Glade Riders be a good replacement, or are Wardancers actually durable enough? Never having played with Wood Elves, and having shot them to pieces myself when facing them, they seem a bit of a fragile beauty.
Treekin are a tough line unit. Eagle and glade rider are good marchblocker and warmachine hunters. Totally different roles. Wardancers are vulnerable to massed shooting (yes -1 for skirmish helps but lots of shots is still dangerous) and magic (yes they're MR 1 but still if it gets through, ouch). That said, they're well worth taking and can break a ranked up core unit on their own like you wouldn't believe.

3. What is the maximum useful unit size for Dryads? I'll have 12 from the batallion box, but that sounds a bit much for a single unit. I'd really prefer to stick to one unit of them, but the above list is a touch conservative, it being my first attempt, so I included redundancy.
10 is plenty. Anyone not in the fighting rank is wasting time and you'll never have more than 7 fighting anyway. If you get the batallion box try ordering a sprue of dryads off the web so you'll have enough for 2 units of 8 (or 2 spare sprues for 2 units of 10).

4. Branchwraith or Spellsinger?
Beer or scotch? Seriously very different animals. Branchwraith is fighty with better T and can take the cluster (only forest spirits can) for the extra dispel die. Spellsinger at level 2 with calaingor's can wear your opponent out with treesinging, alternatively can load up with dispel scrolls for that obligatory caddy.

Makarion
28-11-2007, 00:50
Wow, there's a lot to cover here but here goes:

2. I love the Eternal Guard, and they are in, come what may.

Up to you. I can't see ranked up guys with spears fighting all that well in dense forest so I don't use them. That said they're great troops and if you like them they should serve you well.

Makes sense. I always imagined Athel Loren to have it's vales and dales as well, where a ranked formation can work well, especially to bottleneck a thoroughfare.


For your actual army:

------------------
Characters:

Spellweaver (General). [368]
Level 4, Wand of Wych Elm, Dispel Scroll, Dragontooth Arrows. Lore of Life.
Magical arrows are probably a waste here. With a single BS 4, S3 shot you'll be VERY lucky to get those points back. Better to take something else or use the points elsewhere. Wych elm is awesome, lore of life is an okay choice although beasts with Bears anger cast on a branchwraith is just wrong in an 'oh so right' kind of way.

I'll admit to being torn between all 3 lores. I love the "extra charge" spells spells from Beast and Athel Loren, and Beast has some very useful answers to big monsters and cavalry, but Howler Wind and Rain Lord are very good as well (to keep the more fragile non-forest spirits alive).

I'll just have to try them all out, since I find it likely I'll be using a Spellweaver most of the time. Until I plunge for Orion, that is, whom I think is very flavourfull, although probably not very effective for his points.

Noble. [137]
Batrle Standard Bearer. Sword of Might, An Annoyance of Netlings.
In unit of Eternal Guard.
Generally fine, I'd ditch the magic weapon in exchange for some protection. Annoyance looks fine until you run into the fighty troops with no champion or you've killed the champion. I like either glamourweave or stone of crystal mere but that's just me.

Is Crystal Mere really good enough, being almost a one use item? Also, is the regeneration spell from Lore of Athel Loren adequate? It looks very nice :).


Noble. [143]
Elven Steed, The helm of the Hunt, Hail of Doom Arrow.
In unit of Wild Riders.
You'll have to give him wildrider kindred to join the wild riders as they are forest spirits. Not sure if WR kindred keep their bows or not but without one the HoDA is hard to use.

See, I had totally overlooked the kindred restriction. Guess I'll do without the ubiquitous HoDA.
How good is the Amber Pendant for such a character, by the way?

Branchwraith. [165]
Level 1 wizard. A Cluster of Radiants. A Murder of Spites.
In unit of Dryads.
Lovely little beastie, especially if you get Bears anger on her. I'd think about ditching the Murder to save points but definitely keep cluster.

Yup, I like her already. Once my army approaches summer, I might make a list with Orion and 2 Branchwraiths, that should be good fun :). Of course, tha better be at least 2,500 points.

Core:
Dryads (8). [96]
Dryads (8). [96]
Glade Guard (12). [144]
Glade Guard (11). [132]
Generally fine here, only issue would be put champions in units that have characters joining them. The sacrificial challenge acceptor is worth the points.

I tend to agree with you, but I was planning on lots of flee reactions. Perhaps musicians, I guess.

Special:
Eternal Guard (20). [270]
Full Command. {Note: to be deployed 7*3}
As before, if you like em they're fine. Look into a warbanner.

I will, soon as I find the points :).

Wild Riders of Kurnous (5). [130]
Musician
Fine if you keep forest spirits. Glade riders fulfill a different role but one I use more.

Wild Riders are very much quintessential to what I imagine wood elves to be about, even if I probably prefer to be forest spirit-lite. Then again, Glade Riders (or an Eagle, for that matter) might be a better choice. I'll find out in time, I am sure.

Tree Kin (3). [195]

Great troops, can take a beating and stay in the fight.

Yup, I like their balance between some extra toughness, number of wounds, and cost. It's a nice bonus they likely will do some wounds, too (as an Empire player, I am very much used to combined charges, since I know a single unit generally cannot do the job in a timely fashion).

Rare:
Waywatchers (5). [120]
Great annoyance, don't expect them to do much other than scare your opponent (which is worth their cost).

That was the idea. And they probably survive a lot better than Warhawks or an Eagle.


My main questions:
1. Are the Treekin good enough? I don't want a Treeman... If I ditch them, are the EG a good enough anvil?
Treekin are fantastic, especially when supported with a dryad or wildrider unit bringing in flank support. Treemen are not mandatory to win, people just find it much easier so they take the easy way out. Don't be that guy. EG can be a good anvil, they're just not much of a hammer. EG + Treekin should work a trick though.

2. Should I ditch the Treekin, would an Eagle and some Glade Riders be a good replacement, or are Wardancers actually durable enough? Never having played with Wood Elves, and having shot them to pieces myself when facing them, they seem a bit of a fragile beauty.
Treekin are a tough line unit. Eagle and glade rider are good marchblocker and warmachine hunters. Totally different roles. Wardancers are vulnerable to massed shooting (yes -1 for skirmish helps but lots of shots is still dangerous) and magic (yes they're MR 1 but still if it gets through, ouch). That said, they're well worth taking and can break a ranked up core unit on their own like you wouldn't believe.

I'll have to try them at some point, then. Given that the most dangerous skirmishers (not counting fast cavalry) I have so far played with are ghouls, they are bound to be a revelation.

3. What is the maximum useful unit size for Dryads? I'll have 12 from the batallion box, but that sounds a bit much for a single unit. I'd really prefer to stick to one unit of them, but the above list is a touch conservative, it being my first attempt, so I included redundancy.
10 is plenty. Anyone not in the fighting rank is wasting time and you'll never have more than 7 fighting anyway. If you get the batallion box try ordering a sprue of dryads off the web so you'll have enough for 2 units of 8 (or 2 spare sprues for 2 units of 10).

4. Branchwraith or Spellsinger?
Beer or scotch? Seriously very different animals. Branchwraith is fighty with better T and can take the cluster (only forest spirits can) for the extra dispel die. Spellsinger at level 2 with calaingor's can wear your opponent out with treesinging, alternatively can load up with dispel scrolls for that obligatory caddy.

Ok, branchwraith it is, I'm already sick of the all-singing, all-dancing wood elf lists from having faced them. I'm a wargamer, I move my tin soldiers, not the battlefield!


Thank you for the many pieces of advice. I'll probably have to stew them over for a bit before I try a new list.

Preacher
29-11-2007, 13:00
I'll give my input on a couple of points. I mostly agree with Raven.
Spellsinger:
In almost all of my wood elf list if i take a spellsinger, i always take 2 lvl 2's. almost all wood elf magic is desgined to be a subtle offence and strong defence and is short ranged. Because of this i take 2 and deploy them on opposite flanks. So they can help out all the army. I dont like keeping them dead center of the army. They become easy targets too fast. just dont leave them on their own on the flanks.

Eternal:
I love taking a big block of them in the center. They make a surprinsingly good anvil(i agree with Raven, not the best hammer). Use them with the treekin, tie up the unit and flank them with the trees. Get the warbanner with them.

Noble:
If your gonna use him with wildriders, then equip him to do so. Give him something to add some combat punch. The dawnspear works nice. You charge, wound and now all models are - 1 to hit you back. this is nice because the riders are a little fragile. Spear of twilight is also a nice one. Who does'nt like Killing blow.

If its hail of doom you want, then lose the horse and make him altred kindred, hail of doom, helm of the hunt and a great weapon. He is great for warmachines and flank charges in combo with other units like the wild riders and treekin.

Wardancers:
They guys and girls are a must. I used to think they were too fragile, but when they take down a unit of knights on there own...i changed my mind. just dont leave them out in the open. keep them behind some dryads till they are in position to charge. you can have 21 attacks at ws6 or 15 killing blow attacks. If you use them right, they are a combat monster.

Thats all I got time for, but Raven has given some great advice.
Good luck.

Makarion
29-11-2007, 17:47
Thank you for the critique so far. I've posted a new thread in the background section, now I have started to buy models and am considering theme and the composition restrictions thereof.

As an aside, I had a treeman among the models I bought. Wish I could trade it for some treekin!

Makarion
29-11-2007, 17:49
The sole reason to bring a Spellweaver over twin Spellsingers is the Wand of Wych Elm, which is 55 points and cannot thus be carried by anyone else.


I'll give my input on a couple of points. I mostly agree with Raven.
Spellsinger:
In almost all of my wood elf list if i take a spellsinger, i always take 2 lvl 2's. almost all wood elf magic is desgined to be a subtle offence and strong defence and is short ranged. Because of this i take 2 and deploy them on opposite flanks. So they can help out all the army. I dont like keeping them dead center of the army. They become easy targets too fast. just dont leave them on their own on the flanks.

Eternal:
I love taking a big block of them in the center. They make a surprinsingly good anvil(i agree with Raven, not the best hammer). Use them with the treekin, tie up the unit and flank them with the trees. Get the warbanner with them.

Noble:
If your gonna use him with wildriders, then equip him to do so. Give him something to add some combat punch. The dawnspear works nice. You charge, wound and now all models are - 1 to hit you back. this is nice because the riders are a little fragile. Spear of twilight is also a nice one. Who does'nt like Killing blow.

If its hail of doom you want, then lose the horse and make him altred kindred, hail of doom, helm of the hunt and a great weapon. He is great for warmachines and flank charges in combo with other units like the wild riders and treekin.

Wardancers:
They guys and girls are a must. I used to think they were too fragile, but when they take down a unit of knights on there own...i changed my mind. just dont leave them out in the open. keep them behind some dryads till they are in position to charge. you can have 21 attacks at ws6 or 15 killing blow attacks. If you use them right, they are a combat monster.

Thats all I got time for, but Raven has given some great advice.
Good luck.