2017 8th ed. whfb army – list bashing – Wood Elves

So far, most of this year has involved playing Kings of War. Whilst i’m more than happy with that, as i’ve been thoroughly enjoying it, i’m also hankering for some games of 8th edition. Yes I know the balance sucks and the rules are massively over complicated in comparison but the list building is infinitely more satisfying as is the Magic and item choice.

I really enjoyed playing the Beastmen last year but fancy a bit of a change (not least as I’m using them as herd in KOW). Whilst not writing off playing either them or my dwarves (if I play Dan or Luke, i’m sure i’ll dig them out to at least try and be competitive), I don’t want to use them too much, so this year I am going to give my elves a bit of an outing. I’ve played the high elves a few times with mixed results so definitely need some more practice with them, however I am going to start out with what is possibly rated as one of the most difficult armies to use*, the Wood Elves. They have a play style i’ve never really got my head round and last time I fought with them was in 4th edition whfb so I think I am likely to get my butt kicked a fair few times. Still that is nothing new and as long as I learn from the losses i’m happy to take a beating or two 😉.

* no idea if that is true but seems to be the general consensus online.

As always i’ve knocked together a number of lists a couple of which i’ve put below and then given some thoughts and comments around them. Many of the combos are nothing new to players familiar with wood elves and some seem to have been universally agreed as not quite worth the points (e.g. The waystalker and bow of Loren) but I still want to try them out and to my knowledge we don’t have a dedicated wood elf player at the club (Greg did use them for one round of the 2016 whfb comp but his usual army is dark elves), so in general, peeps won’t be used to the tricks/play style.

Now one thing that I will need to do is glue together a load of the models and their bases to make things easier and that’s before I even look at what needs painting!


List 1

Spellweaver – Talisman of Preservation + Lore of Shadow – 265pts

Glade Captain – BSB – Great Eagle + Helm of the Hunt + Hail of Doom arrow + Starfire arrows + Asrai Bow + Asrai Spear – 208pts

Shadowdancer – AHW + Potion of Strength – 120pts

Waystalker – Bow of Loren + ahw – 110pts

Dryads (10) – 110pts

Eternal Guard (23) – Light Armour + Shields + Asrai Spear + FC + Banner of Discipline – 321pts

Glade Guard (12) – Asrai Bow + Trueflight arrows + Musician + Standard – 200pts

Treekin (6) – 270pts

Deepwood Scouts (10) – Asrai Bow + Hagbane arrows – 160pts

Wardancers (5) – ahw – 75pts

Warhawk Riders (3) – Asrai Bow + Asrai Spear – 135pts

Wild Riders (10) – Asrai Spear + light armour+ shields + FC + Banner of Swiftness – 325pts

Waywatchers (10) – Asrai Bow + ahw – 200pts

A combined arms list. The Eternal guard will go front and centre in a wood with both the spellweaver and shadowdancer embedded there. With the heroes it gives the unit 5 ranks, enough to take some casualties and still remain a threat. I’ve chosen the Lore of shadow, as it’s the Lore I’m most familiar with and I think complements the strengths and weaknesses of the army. The shadowdancer is to be used as a force multiplier/assassin/bodyguard.

They will be supported by the Glade guard who curtesy of their arrows will be firing with no modifiers.

The Dryads are there to be used as my chaff or to flank charge where possible.

The mounted hero is there as mobile support first and bsb second. He can strip regen and is ideal to remove Chaff either at range with the hoda or in combat with his 4 Str 5 AP attacks on the chg (+ the eagle). The eagle allows him to Keep up and support the wild riders with frenzy tests if nothing else.

The wild riders are the recognised hammer. The banner ensures that they will have the charge range on almost everything. 10 may seem overkill but allows some casualties and still maintain combat effectiveness.

The Treekin are my anvil. They are tough and should be able to hold up any unit I don’t want to engage with for a number of turns. They will be supported by the wardancers who will either help the combat by removing the rank bonus or can be used as a speed bump, particularly vs anything with impact hits.

The warhawk riders are my flexible arm. They can help remove chaff, hunt warmachines or assist in combats.

The Scouts are tasked with either removing War machines or high toughness low armour troops (such as trolls) from the get go.

The Waywatchers will be going for any high armour low toughness troops. Knights are a prime example. Monstrous cav are also an option but may require the assistance of the spellweaver.

The waystalker will either assist with the Waywatchers or will take on character assassination.

List 2

Glade Lord – Ogre Blade + Armour of Destiny + Potion of Foolhardiness + Steed + Shield + Asrai Bow + Starfire Shafts – 267pts

Glade Captain – BSB – Charmed Shield + light armour + Dragonbane gem + Hail of Doom + Great Eagle + Asrai Spear + Asrai Bow + Starfire Shafts – 196pts

Spellweaver – lvl 4 – + Dispell scroll + talisman of preservation – 290pts

Shadowdancer – AHW + potion of strength – 120pts

Dryads (10) – 110pts

Eternal Guard (23) – Light armour + shields + Asrai spear + FC + Standard of Discipline – 321pts

Glade Guard (12) – Asrai bow + standard + muscian + trueflight arrows

Deepwood scouts (10) – Asrai bow + hagbane tips – 160pts

Wildriders (9) – FC + light armour + shields + Asrai spears + banner of swiftness – 297pts

Warhawk Riders (3) – Asrai spears + Asrai bows – 135pts

Waywatchers (10) – AHW + Asrai bows – 200pts

Waywatchers (10) – AHW + Asrai bows – 200pts

Another combined arms list, which is similar to the first. The Eternal guard will again go front and centre in a wood with both the characters as above.

They will be supported by the Glade guard and Dryads.

The wild riders are the main hammer for all the reasons stated above.  They will be augmented by the Glade lord in the unit. He might be considered a controversial choice but I like having combat characters and his ld10 will help to control the riders frenzy and if the spellweaver sucks herself down a hole, I’ll still have a general! He can also help remove regen and gains an extra attack on the charge.

The mounted hero is again primed as both a mobile support and bsb. This build gives him a bit more survivability over combat oomph (especially vs cannons). The more I see the eagle bsb, the more I like the flexibility it offers.

The warhawk riders and scouts are included for the same reasons as above (and I love the models!).

Finally I’ve included 2 units of Waywatchers due to the flexibility they offer.

I am wondering if I need to fit in the waystalker somehow as bow of Loren or not, the ability to snipe characters/champions, on paper at least, seems too good to pass up.


There are a number of units not represented in the lists.

Wildwood rangers – quite deliberate as I don’t own any of the models!

Sisters of the thorn. My gut feel is that these are the ultimate avoidance unit and it seems like they are mainly used to bunker the lvl 4. Maybe I’ll try them further down the line but for the moment, they are consigned to the back burner.

I’d love to fit a treeman into the list but I play in a cannon heavy meta and experience has taught me that the big guys won’t last long enough to contribute. A better option would perhaps be the treeman ancient as with 6 wounds and Lore of life, the survive-ability increases and I can see me giving it a go but it is still a risky choice.

Glade Riders – Although I like the idea of them turning up and running around the back field causing havoc, the random ambush rule just puts me off, especially knowing what my single dice rolls are like.

The first list also feels like it’s lacking archers. I’m almost contemplating an all Glade archer core, 2 units of scouts and 2 of waywatchers. 100+ bows maybe overkill…

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