Escaping back to fantasy

Whfb Wood Elves vs High Elves – part 2 – battle rep

This will be less of a battle report than a recap of the game played on Friday vs Steve. This is for a number of reasons including: it was the first time I had played the wood elves in 20 odd years, so for once I wanted to concentrate on the game and also Steve only decided to play high elves after I bought my army along for him to have a look at so I didn’t have my normal battle rep templates prep’ed.

We had decided in advance to play the wicked woods scenario and two other Club members (Luke and Paul) were also trying it out on the night so we were able to get some good feedback on the scenario.

My list can be found here.

Steve’s High Elf List

His list was rather hurriedly put together as he had been planning on bringing his WoC and as such, he missed out a few crucial bits (armour on the bsb, upgrading the archmage to lvl 4…). It was something like:

Archmage – general – ToP – Lvl 3, I want to say book of hoeth (which I think he forgot to use all game).

BSB – with light armour…

Level 1 Mage – MR (1) item

16 Archers – music/standard

6 Silverhelms – standard, shields

6 Silverhelms – standard, shields

5 Silverhelms – standard, shields

15 Phoenix Guard – standard

15 Phoenix Guard – standard

15 White Lions – standard

7 Swordmasters – standard

7 Swordmasters – standard

Frost Phoenix

Bolt Thrower

Bolt Thrower

Great Eagle

I’ve obviously missed a few bits as this is around a hundred points short of 2500.

Prematch rolls

We rolled map pack 4, so that was 4 hills (2 were scree), a river and a wood (which turned out to be normal).

We were both trying High Magic. Steve took a Soul Quench on both the level 1 and level 3 and he also got Tempest and something else he never used.

I also took Soul Quench, Fiery Convocation, Apothesis and walk through worlds (no doubles).

After Terrain was laid it looked like this. The central wood is the ‘Wicked Wood’. The wood to the left is the one from the terrain chart and the one to the right was the wood elf ‘free’ wood (for which I chose the almost compulsory venom thicket). Due to being player ‘B’ on the terrain table I was lucky to be able to place the wood and with my wood form a forest barrier.

1 Terrain

Its worth noting that both armies were new for us. I last used WE in 4th edition and he has never played High elves. The unfamiliarity, together with breaks from the table (to drum up support for the competition) and just generally chatting, meant we really didn’t get too far with the game. A lot of rules were forgotten by both sides.

After deployment it looked like this. The sisters did vanguard forward slightly, as did the warhawks. The leftmost glade guard were those with the flaming banner and poison. The two glade guard with trueflight (no modifiers) were in the centre of my lines. The waywatchers also gained poison from being in the venom thicket (which of course I forgot).

2 Deployment


The archers in the army cover almost every iteration from 3rd edition to present


Steve won first turn (despite me having finished deploying first) and he immediately advanced as swiftly as possible (which wasn’t too fast as it a moment of genius he had placed the river in front of his lines). Having normally played WoC he was surprised that he actually had a shooting phase! The bolt throwers and archers opened up on the sisters and gladeguard respectively, with both units taking a few wounds. Magic was highly ineffective as with 3 dice each (thanks to my channel) I was able to block soul quench.

3 High Elves Turn 1


The wood elves responded by pushing up aggressively on the left with the warhawks blocking the silverhelms (this might have been a mistake, I probably should have charged them rather than using them as I would an eagle, in order that they take advantage of the killing blow and additional strength on the charge). The sisters decided to withdraw to save their points. The Spellweaver joined the scouts in the woods so she could get the casting bonus.

Remembering (for once) a tactica I read about removing the greatest threats first, Scarlock and his unit swiftly removed the bolt thrower opposite them but the scouts on the other flank failed to repeat the task and only wounded the other one. The waywatchers showed why they are so feared and wiped out one of the silverhelm units. The waystalker started his operation assassinate and picked on the enemy bsb wounding him. The 2 central glade guard units took down most of the right most swordmasters and a boosted soul quench removed a number of the archers (though I failed to show this in the below diagram!).

4 Wood Elves Turn 1


The high elves realising they were outclassed in the shooting war pushed forward. A number of charges were declared but only the frost Phoenix and nearby Silverhelms completing theirs. The wicked woods claimed its first four victims of the game. A double casting of Soul Quench against the spellweaver was shrugged off. The eagle moved to threaten the back of the elf lines and the remaining 2 Swordmasters on the right realising the folly of charging bow armed troops, decided that actually they would just march up to get in the way.

In combat, one warhawk was slain and the others beat a hasty retreat.

5 High Elves Turn 2

The Warhawks rallied and the nearby Dryads moved over to protect the archers by blocking charges. The remaining sisters moved over to prevent the eagle charging the flank of the glade guard. The Phoenix Guard took a further 4 casualties from the wicked woods.

The scouts again failed to remove the remaining bolt thrower. The waystalker not wanting to be shown up, also failed to wound (and thus kill) his target, in his case the opposing bsb. The remaining 2 swordmasters were killed and the other unit took a number of casualties. The high elf archers once again took a shoeing.

Not worrying about restraining themselves, the Wildriders charged the Silverhelms, who took one look at their crazed whooping loony cousins and legged it. Barely missing a step the frenzied riders careened into the frosty but with its ward strengthened by the strong winds, it shrugged off all damaged. They still won combat thanks to the musician, so retained frenzy but their position was now looking perilous.

Wood Elves Turn 2


We did faff around a bit with 3rd turns but not much happened bar some more failed charges and the Phoenix guard in the woods being further decimated by the dangerous terrain rolls.

After game thoughts

I’ll ignore the lack of turns played and just give some general thoughts on the army build and the scenario.


We really enjoyed the concept of the wicked woods (as did Luke and Paul) however there were a couple of things taken away (and this backed up feedback received from Dan and a different Luke in their game a few weeks before). Firstly, there is no incentive to enter the woods before the final turn. The potential damage from the dangerous terrain and the woods attacking, combined with the removal of any form of save, meant it was too risky to enter it. 15 Phoenix guard (even with a 3++ ward) were decimated in two turns and Paul had 17 of his 30 strong unit of Chaos Dwarves similarly ‘culled’. As it stands it is more likely that most players will hold off and rush it in the last go, or avoid the woods and treat the game as battleline, killing the other army before then moving into the woods in the last turn. In this respect it is similar to the KOW dominate scenario.

We all talked about it for a bit afterwards and whether the damage should be changed and a few of us will continue to discuss it further. However, to keep it as simple as possible, one option maybe to award 1 or 2 VP’s for each turn you hold it (uncontested) instead.

Wood Elves

Half a game isn’t enough to give any in depth analysis, however even in the few turns played I was able to make a few observations.

Waystalker, I love the idea of him but I think you realistically need 2 (one with the bow perhaps the second with the fireball ring), if only because the individuals you are targeting (BSB/support mages etc), you want to take out asap and this improves the alpha strike. The issue is that they still only shoot with S3 and I question if you would ever make back their points. A lvl 1 deathweaver could potentially do the same job for similar points (with a shorter range) and could add more utility with a dispel scroll and the chance to add more dice through both channels and the Lore attribute. Still I’ll persevere at least for another game or 2.

Lord on Stag. I love the leadership boost and the loadout but I worry that the extra point of toughness and other advantages of putting him on a monstrous mount are outweighed by the total lack of any lookout sir, meaning he is an easy 288pts for anyone sporting a cannon. I wonder if I wouldn’t be better off putting him on a normal steed, which would free up some points. Alternatively giving him the armour of destiny for the 4++ ward (which would in turn boost his armour save) should improve his survivability. I just struggle relying on a 50/50 chance of a save.

I have a similar dilemma with the bsb on eagle. He benefits more from the mount but has the same drawbacks. I should probably change his helm for the charmed shield. Yes he would lose a pip of armour but it would give him a measure of protection from warmachines. I was also too timid in his use, he should have supported the Wildriders attack on the frosty. It might have made the difference in routing it, if only for the flank charge.

Spellweaver on unicorn. Seemed ok (bit too early to tell). The MR(2) combined with her ward, completely stopped one round of magic missiles. Again I worry the mount might make her a target but the ward and Lore attribute should give her much more protection than the lord.

Lore of High Magic. I quite like the Lore as it is really versatile, however that is also where is falls over. It doesn’t specialise in any one thing. About the only thing either of us successfully cast all game was Soul Quench. The Lore attribute for wood elves is potentially good (not that I remembered it in our game). I am still thinking shadow maybe the way forward but probably only if I ran an eternal guard block as without them I would, in the main, just be wanting withering to help out the shooting.

The waywatchers were everything I had read they would be. I can see why a lot of players take two units.

The archers were all solid, both hagbane and the trueflight variants. 4 units (including scouts) seemed to be about right though I’d be tempted to just take two units of the scouts if running EG in core.

I used the sisters incorrectly to start with and need to make more of their spells. Curse is excellent and shield of thorns is a great way to replace any models lost.

Likewise I used the warhawks incorrectly and should have just charged them in. It might have failed but if not, they would have stood a chance of removing the silverhelms save. Apart from forgetting stand and shoot, I’m not sure holding was the best option.

I probably shouldn’t have charged the wildriders into the frosty but with the number of attacks they were pumping out, the odds were I should have gotten at least 1 or 2 wounds through. Losing 3 from it’s return attacks just goes to show how much of a glass hammer they are and you need to ensure you break their targets on the charge.

I did really enjoy using the wood elves. The style is completely different to what i’m used to. I will definitely use a very similar (if not the same list) next time to give them another go before chopping and changing, though i’d be tempted to drop the lord for a shadow or darkweaver (possibly the latter as i’ve never used the lore). I feel I also need an eagle in the list for chaff duty. It would make me feel more confident about using the wild riders.



Hobby Update – Cattleclysm and Shadestalker

Last year I ran a flying doombull in my Beastmen list but I just used a standard model that I was never very happy with (loved the model but not that the loadout wasn’t represented). Inspired by the numerous excellent conversions that IRO keeps churning out I thought I’d better take a crack at it. 

Loads of great ideas were toyed with (many from the guys on the eefl forum, some even my own). Going with light hearted humour and green stuffing a cape and ‘Robin’ mask, to mounting him on a flying carpet. My favourite was the idea of the doombull being held aloft by a gaggle (flock/murder?) of harpies, either as if he were holding a bunch of balloons (but made of the aforementioned harpies) or them pulling a chariot he was mounted on.

(I still like the balloon/harpy idea – think of a dark version of the animated film ‘Up’)

Replace balloons with harpies and house with doombull

In the end (mainly as I’d never used green stuff or attempted such a project), I chose the easy route and decided to add wings to the cheap doombull model I picked up off eBay. 

I envisioned the doombull ripping the wings off the twitching corpse of the wood elf eagle/warhawk he had just buried his axe into and then Khazbar, using his dark magic, to fuse the still living wings to the doombull’s back. 

The wing colours are quite bright but I wanted another element that contrasted with the large quantity of brown and grey in the army (and they matched the colouring used on the eagles/hawks of my wood elves. Well fancy that, what a coincidence 😉). The green stuff modelling wasn’t too bad (there is a slight quozimodo look to him) and you can see the difference between the left side (which I did first) and the right (which is much better in terms of sculpting). In hindsight I really should have practiced first…

So I present Cattleclysm, scourge of Athel Loren.

With my Beastmen distraction over, I also continued my drive to finish the models needed for my potential wood elf competition list.

A number are currently on the table but the  half painted Stag Lord is quite a detailed model, so I put him to one side and went for a smaller model I had been wanting to paint for a while, the Waystalker. I love the fluff of the ultimate lone stalker. The hunt being everything in his eyes. 

I kept the paint scheme very simple, various greens, browns and the normal addition of fuscia to add the common army element. Washes were then applied and in a rarity for me, I pushed the boat out and even added some highlighting and other touches of detail (I have to point out the toadstools, yes it isn’t groundbreaking stuff but for me it’s pretty much Rembrandt levels of effort 😀). This model did, once again, reinforce that I much prefer painting metal (over plastic) with white base coats. The colours just seem so much brighter.

So I present Shadestalker, hunter of the Tal Shavoc.

Hobby Update – A Fey Enchantress

And so it continues. I present Merilel of the Moon, Highweaver of Tal Shavoc.

By all means not perfect but not my worst effort either. As always I kept things simple with bases colours, washes and drybrushes. The nature of the model actually meant I had to apply several layers especially on the unicorn when touching up after the wash and drybrush of the mane. The blue mane was very much for my wife who has been threatening to paint it with nail varnish for a while, as “who can defeat the power of blue sparkles”… I image quite a few people. I was pleased with how it turned out, though I think I need to further highlight it with temple guard blue as I like the drybrish but want it to be stronger effect.

The fuscia and green colour on most of the model is to tie it back in with the rest of the army colour scheme.


Whfb – Wood elves vs ?? – Part 1 – my list.

This is probably my 6th post this weekend. They seem to be like buses, none come along for ages and then suddenly a whole bunch arrive at once.

My next battle is lined up for the 28th against last year’s TO Steve. We have agreed to try out one of the new scenarios, Wicked Woods.

What he hasn’t decided yet is what to bring on the above date (or even to enter into the competition). He is considering several options, one being High Elves and in the spirit of club comradeship (and because I know where he lives), I’ve offered him the use of my HE army if he wants.

That aside, I have decided that I am going to breakout the Wood elves for a game in the first time in 20 odd years. As such you may see a number of posts in the next few months actually involving painting (shocking behaviour i know!). The Dryad post, a few ago, is the first of the new burst of enthusiasm for some of my oldest models.


Every time I read about wood elf tactics I seem to hear about shoot and scoot. The stereo type image of the elves appearing from the trees, a rain of arrows decimating the enemy before they fade away into the shadows. Sounds promising, so with a couple of thoughts in my head I sketched out a list.

So what have I decided to take and why?

Well I’d previously done some WE list bashing here but I ended up going a slightly different route if only because I decided I wanted to take a lot more archers in my list, after all it’s what wood elves are best known for! As normal it’s a 2500pt list

The Host of Tal Shavoc


Haldrin Stormlight (Glade Lord) – General – Ogre Blade, Glittering Scales, Dragonbane Gem, Potion of Foolhardiness, Great Stag, Shield, Bow – 288pts

(Glade Captain) – BSB – The Helm of the Hunt, Hail of Doom Arrow, Great Eagle, Starfire Shafts, Spear, Bow, Light Armour, Shield – 208pts

Merilel of the Moon (Spellweaver) – Level 4 Lore of High Magic, Dispel scroll, Talisman of Endurance, Unicorn, Bow – 340pts

(Waystalker) – Bow of Loren – 110pts



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 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.

Glade Guard (10) – Musician, Standard, Banner of Eternal Flame, Hagbane Tips – 180pts

Glade Guard (10) – Musician, Standard, Trueflight arrows – 170pts

Glade Guard (10) – Musician, Standard, Trueflight arrows – 170pts

Dryads (10) – 110pts



Deepwood Scouts (10) – Musican, Standard, Hagbane Tips – 180pts

Wildriders (8) – Full Command, Banner of Swiftness, Shield – 269pts

Warhawk Riders (3) – 135pts

Sisters of the Thorn (5) – Musician – 140pts


Waywatchers (10) – 200pts


Well first off the list has 62 ranged attacks. This seems suitably wood ‘elfy’ to me.

I envision the list working in almost 2 distinct wings that are both separate but can also work in harmony.

Attack wing

This is made up of:

The Glade Lord on Great Stag, likely within the unit of Wildriders. He will greatly increase their combat potential and more importantly his LD 10 should help keep the frenzy under control. Joining will also allow him to benefit from the banner of swiftness. The unit size should allow for some casualties to be sustained without it losing combat effectiveness. Combat lords are generally not taken, not because they are not effective but because its around 300 odd points that can be spent on another unit and a lot of players just use their level 4 as the general. However I like taking them, especially if it means your mage isn’t the general as I’ve seen them sucked down a hole once too often. I also like having combat characters. It’s probably a throwback to my herohammer days. This lord will consistently reroll his attacks against most foes and strike at strength 6. On the charge he gains an extra attack and this, coupled with the mounts attacks and impact hits, will increase the alpha strike. His defence isn’t great with just a 4+ AS and mainly relies on his high WS combined with the -1 to hit to mitigate damage. The 2++ Ward against fire based attacks will help against a number of cannons and the Toughness 4 conferred by the mount will help a little too.

The lord and wildriders will be supported by the Warhawk riders who can either act as a screen or strike out for warmachines/lone wizards or bunkers. I suspect the warhawks killing blow skill on the charge is more gimmick than actually effective but we shall see.

The BSB will be a roaming threat. He can join the attack wing to add combat res, also take on assassination tasks or go where his re-roll might be needed. He is somewhat vulnerable with only a 3+ AS so i’ll need to be careful with his deployment and although the eagle makes him a reasonably easy target, the additional wound and point of toughness from the mount should help offset this. On the charge he will be outputting 4 Str 5, WS7 AP ASF attacks (+ his mount) and this combined with his ranged threat (the HODA and starfire shafts) should make him a force multiplier in any given situation.

ebay purchase
Support Wing

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 3 units of glade guard are the first elements of this wing. They are supported by the deepwood scouts, waywatchers, Waystalker and dryads.

They each have a slightly different role.

The guard unit with banner of eternal flame and hagbane tips are to be primarily used against regenerating monsters.

The Deepwood scouts are tasked with warmachine hunting and supporting the monster hunters

The Waywatchers are for taking out high armour, low toughness troops (such as cavalry).

The 2 guard units with trueflight are for removing chaff and skirmishers and generally supporting the other elements.

The Dryads will either protect these units as a screen (as their arrows will then ensure there is no modifier to hit) or they will be a road block/redirector or will act as chaff deterrents. At only 110pts it is my one real throw away unit.

The Waystalker will definitely be tasked with character assassination. Primarily scroll caddies and BSBs.

The last two elements of the army are the Sisters of the Thorn and the Spellweaver on Unicorn. I’ve included them under the support wing but there is no reason why they can’t run with the attack wing. Likewise the weaver can run solo, with the sisters or even with the Wildriders to lend defensive tokens, though this last option makes the unit a mini deathstar and it will be an even greater priority for foes to target. I actually like the idea of her running solo. That way she won’t impede the fast cav status of the sisters and the protective tokens from the magic should help protect her from harm.

On paper and with my chosen builds, most of the army is a total glass hammer that should hit very hard but will tear like wet tissue paper if struck back. It means I’ll have to be very careful with targets.


A note on magic lore choice. I almost went with Shadow. I still really think the lore compliments wood elves, especially if you are taking forest spirits and eternal guard. However it is my ‘comfort lore’. I find it a very straight forward and easy to use lore and inevitably always take it with my Beastmen. As such, i’ve rarely taken any of the other 7 basic lores. So for a change I thought i’d try something different and decided on High Magic.

The wood elf lore attribute is, every time you cast a spell successfully (and it is not dispelled), you gain a protection counter that is removed instead of a wound. With the low cast level of a lot of the spells, you could be building these up really quickly!

High magic itself is really versatile. It is one of only two lores that has two signature spells. The first is a magic missile (Soul Quench) with a fairly short 18″ range that causes 2d6 str 4 hits. Where it shines is the ability to boost it to 4d6 hits. That could be truly frightening. Historically, I would have taken this one at the drop of a hat. However the other spell (Drain Magic) has the ability to remove any spell impacting a unit, whether friend or foe and it applies to any spell including Hex’s and augments. Recently I have really struggled against these kinds of spells and the ability to remove them is staggeringly powerful. If I was running a more combat orientated army, this would be the auto include of the two.

The other spells in the lore are in the main equally as good.

Apotheosis allows you to heal a model of a wound on a cast of 5+ and they also gain fear. You can boost it for D3 wounds. It’s like having the lore of life ability. As most of my army has one wound this may not be the most useful spell but it depends on the foe (having fear negates the enemies fear ability if they have it). And regaining wounds is never a bad thing!

Hand of Glory allows you to boost the M, I, WS or BS of a target by D3 or a boosted version to increase all 4. A very handy little spell for archers. It is almost the opposite of the miasma spell from lore of shadows. Where it shines is it is another 5+ cast for the basic spell.

Walk between Worlds is an 8+ cast and allows you to move an unengaged unit within 24″ up to 10″ (and they gain the ethereal rule for the movement).. A boosted version allows the move to be 20″. In a game that is all about movement, this is a phenomenal spell. It can easily allow you to get a powerful unit behind enemy lines.

Tempest is the weakest spell in the deck. You place a large blast anywhere and scatter it. Everything underneath suffers a S3 hit (S4 for flyers). If it suffers a wound it gets -1 to hit in both shooting and combat. Things that don’t use BS can only fire on a 4+. This spell seems confused, You really want to use it on warmachines but that relies on you rolling a 6 to wound to gain a 50/50 chance of it not firing. The -1 to hit is fine but at a casting value of 12+ there are just better spells to take.

Arcane Unforging is a great spell. It works like a lore of metal spell. You target anyone with a magic item within 24″. If you roll equal or above the armour value, they suffer a wound but even if they don’t, they must reveal the magic items that person has and randomly select one and it is destroyed on a 2+.

The final spell of the deck, Fiery Convocation, is the High Magic answer to the other nuke spells. It is a remains in play, direct damage spell, cast on a 19+ (so 14+ if your spell weaver is in a wood). It causes a S4 wound on every model in the target unit (with the flaming effect). If they don’t dispel it, it then does the same again at the end of every subsequent magic phase. With a 19+ cast value, if they didn’t dispel it to start with, they are very likely going to have to waste their magic phase (or a good chunk of it) removing the spell. Especially if it was cast on a horde. I love this spell (or at least the threat of it) as it should allow you to get through a number of the smaller spells and each time you do that, you are gaining protection tokens for your mage. The odds favour that you only need 5 dice to get it off (vs 6 on other spells). 5 dice gives around 85% chance (4 dice would only give around 56%).


Organising the SELWG wfb Competition – Part 5 – Terrain

In the final post of this series (thank god I hear you say, I can’t deal with any more of these wordy posts, where the hell are all the pictures!) I’ll look at the terrain table.

I will hold up my hand and say right now that i’m not a fan of the terrain table in whfb 8th edition. I know it can be argued that it was designed to work in conjunction with the rest of the rule set but it bugs me that almost everything has to have some special ability. Why can’t a river just be a river. Isn’t it enough that it has impact on movement or removes steadfast etc. Why on top of that must it give you the ability to cast spells etc. Having something that also gives you loremaster of Death seems massively overpowered. I’ve also found that when playing games, most of the time people forget about the terrain abilities too.

Well because it was my comp pack, I decided to follow Steve’s lead from last year and get rid of most of that crap (If you don’t like the decision, you can step up and run it next year and include all of it 😀).

If you read the blog, you will know that i’ve been playing Kings of War this year and in that rule set, the norm is to use Map Packs (one of the best known in the community is a random map generator from Like everyone his site is struggling a bit from the recent photo bucket change of terms but the random terrain generator still works fine). Although it is a fantastic tool, I don’t actually like the presentation (see below example) so instead thought about producing my own in battle chronicler (again example below). The issue with this was the amount of effort it would take to produce on top of everything else.

Epic Dwarf map example
Epic Dwarf map example
1. Terrain
Battle Chronicler example map

Neil (who is running our KOW comp) decided to go down a different route and put together his own terrain chart. In this he created 6 separate maps with fixed terrain but the placement could be variable and was down to the players (within certain limits). I think everyone in the competition really liked using this table and a number of the additional comments on the survey asked to use something similar. So with Neil’s permission I adapted it for use in the whfb competition.

You will note that, despite my personal dislike for the magical element of all terrain in 8th ed. I didn’t completely get rid of all the random terrain ‘abilities’. I appreciated that some players actually like this randomness, so I kept the rules for woods and marshes and also included the odd other item in some of the maps (all items I deemed to be not game changing)

So below is the current version of the terrain setup document (edit: updated with v2)

WHFB 2017 Competition Terrain setup v2

In most wargames getting the terrain setup acceptable, without too many rules & taking a fair amount of time can be a challenge. So here is a process that hopefully will not be too challenging & avoids the dreaded barren table with a few sparse pieces stuck in the corners. Players will still have some input into the final position of certain items. (This was adapted from Neil’s KOW pack).

After deciding scenario/mission, roll on the table below (D6).

Collect terrain listed, & determine player A & B with a roll off (player highest roll). Then follow the deployment instructions.

Some general points:

If placing terrain using the exact measurements proves difficult, use the distances stated as a guideline

Buildings: All have three levels (including Fozziks folding fortress) and can be no more than 6” across. A maximum of 20 wounds worth of models may garrison a building. (e.g. 17 HE Archers & an Archmage) Count the number of starting wounds (e.g. Archmage always counts as 3).

Woods: Can be no more than 12” across – roll a D6 when entering to decide the type. In addition: Dangerous Terrain if Ca/MC/Ch march, charge, flee/pursue, overrun or if Flyer entering/leaving; No Steadfast (unless Stubborn); Lone infantry characters and Skirmishers characters count as Steadfast.

  • 1-3= Normal Forest,
  • 4= Venom Thicket [Unit has Poisonous Attacks; counts as Dangerous Terrain],
  • 5= Abyssal wood [Unit causes fear]
  • 6= Fungus Forest [Stupidity]

Rivers: – all normal.

Marshes: Can be no wider than 9” – roll a D3 when entering to find the type. In addition Dangerous Terrain except Skirmishers; Ca MC and Ch fail test on a 1 or 2.

  • 1= Earthblood Mere [any unit in the marsh has Regen (6+)]
  • 2= Khemrian Quicksand [Mo/MI//MC removed on Dangerous Terrain failure]
  • 3= Mist wreathed swamp [Hard Cover; In test or D6 models are removed]

Walls/hedges/fences (WHF): all normal and all give hard cover. 1 WHF length = 12”, so 3*WHF= 36”

Hills: Can be no wider than 12” – all normal unless stated.

Unless otherwise stated all terrain should be 3” apart (exception WHF, which touch/link buildings).

 DZ = Deployment zone


Terrain table (D6 roll).

Map 1) 2*Buildings, 1* hill, 2* woods, 1*WHF, 1*Elven Waystone* [Impassable; Channelling at +1 w/in 6”]

Map 2) 1*River 1*building, 3*hills (2*normal, 1*Anvil of Vaul [Unit within 6” has Flaming and Magical Attacks]), 1* woods, 1*WHF.

Map 3) 2*Marsh, 2*woods, 2*hills.

Map 4) 1*River, 4*hills (2*normal, 2*Scree slope [Dangerous Terrain]), 1*woods.

Map 5) 4*buildings, 1*woods, 2*WHF, 1 hill (Scree slope [Dangerous Terrain])

Map 6) 2*woods, 2 hills, 2*marsh.


Terrain deployment instructions Map 1.

  1. Player A places the 2*buildings, anywhere on the table except in any DZ and at least 6” from any table edges. Also each building must be between 6”-9” of each other.
  2. Player B places the hill in any DZ, at least 9” from any table edge.
  3. Player A places 1*tree base anywhere on the table, at least 6” from any table edge.
  4. Player B places 1*tree base anywhere on the table, at least 6” from any table edge.
  5. Player A places 1* WHF in any deployment zone, at least 6” from any table edge in any configuration, but all pieces must be touching each other.
  6. Player B places 1* Elven Waystone anywhere on the table except in any DZ and at least 12” from any table edge.

Terrain deployment instructions Map 2.

  1. Player A places river 2ft from any short table edge running from long edge to long edge (4ft length).
  2. Player B places 3*hills (2*normal, 1*Anvil of Vaul [Unit within 6” has Flaming and Magical Attacks]) anywhere on the table except in DZ’s, and no more than 6” from any table edges.
  3. Player A places 1* tree base in any DZ no more than 9” from any table edge.
  4. Player B places 1 building with WHF touching in the opposite DZ that the trees are in, no more than 6” from any table edge.

Terrain deployment instructions Map 3.

  1. Player A places 2*trees, anywhere on the table except in DZ’s and at least 6” from any table edge.
  2. Player B places 1* hill in each DZ at least 6” from any table edge.
  3. Player A places 1* marsh anywhere on the table at least 9” from any table edge.
  4. Player B places 1* marsh anywhere on the table at least 9” from any table edge.

Terrain deployment instructions Map 4.

  1. Player A places river 18” from any long table edge running from short edge to short edge (6ft length).
  2. Player B places 1*tree base anywhere on the table, except in a DZ.
  3. Player A places 2* hills (1*normal, 1* Scree slope [Dangerous Terrain]), one in any DZ no nearer than 6” from any table edge, & the second hill anywhere on the table other than in a DZ.
  4. Player B places 2* hills (1*normal, 1* Scree slope [Dangerous Terrain]), one in any DZ no nearer than 6” from any table edge, & the other hill anywhere on the table other than in a DZ. (it is allowed that 2 hills end up in the same DZ)

Terrain deployment instructions Map 5.

  1. Player A places 2*buildings & 1*WHF anywhere on the table, but not In any DZ, at least 6” from any table edge, The buildings being 6” apart with WHF linking both buildings in any configuration.
  2. Player B places 2*buildings & 1*WHF anywhere, but In any DZ at least 6” from any table edge The buildings being 6” apart with WHF linking both buildings in any configuration. Also must be at least 12” away from nearest building in A above.
  3. Player A places 1*trees anywhere on the table at least 9” from any table edge.
  4. Player B places 1*hill (Scree slope [Dangerous Terrain]) anywhere on the table at least 9” from any table edge.

Terrain deployment instructions Map 6.

  1. Player A places 2*trees, anywhere on the table except in DZ’s and no nearer than 6” from any table edge & at least 6” apart.
  2. Player B places 2*marsh in any DZ at least 9” from any table edge. Both can be in the same DZ.
  3. Player A places 1 hill anywhere on the table 9” from any table edge.
  4. Player B places 1 hill anywhere on the table 9” from any table edge.


Organising the SELWG wfb Competition – Part 4 – Army and List Restrictions

Out of all the parts of the competition pack, this section was going to be the one that would make or break it and would be the deciding factor on who would want to enter.

Last year’s pack contained quite a few hard restrictions, blocking you from taking certain choices. I kept this for some of the items (e.g. no end times/special characters/allies etc. – see first set of bullet points below). However I wanted to change the slant of the list building making it more open but penalising entrants for taking certain combinations. As with life, you are self determining but your actions can have consequences! This is where the difficulty lay, what would make up these restrictions and how would I make these decisions (whilst not favouring any army I may choose to take).

Having a multitude of previous GT and other tournament packs available to look at really helped and gave me a good understanding of what combos most tournament organisers thought to be overpowered. Most of them seemed to be similar no matter what part of the world the pack originated. Different tournaments did however choose to implement restrictions in different ways, normally via a scoring system, if you take xx unit you add so many points to your ‘score’, whilst others reduce points. This ‘score’ is then added/deducted from your total tournament score.

With our format this approach wouldn’t quite work so instead I opted for two distinct restriction sections. The first was a general section, which incorporated many of the previous tournaments restrictions but instead of the outright ban, it penalised a player if they took 3 or more choices from the section. The second section was army specific and again penalised a player if they took certain choices from their army book.

For each of the sections, if they breached the restrictions, they would be deducted 20 points (and it was cumulative so it could be 40pts in total, 20 per section and could mean you started with a negative score). Each points ‘fine’ was roughly the equivalent of winning a game so entrants could choose to ignore the restrictions but would have to be confident of their ability to get results to offset this.

Empire vs Chaos
Random stock photo added to break up the wall of text

I do wonder if this makes it overly complicated but it was one of the few ways I could think of to incorporate many of the restrictions fed back without banning everything.

The army building section of the comp pack, in its current iteration (v1.4 at present) is below.

Having gone through this process I have a lot of respect for individuals who do this every year for tournaments. It takes a lot of effort and is easy to make mistakes (I made a number that club members were kind enough to point out – hence I am up to v1.4 at present – though the latest version only contains rules clarifications and as such i’ve not released it yet).

Army Lists

  • Each Army must be no more than 2500 points. These lists will be checked and cleared by an adjudicator and will be open to all once cleared.
  • No End Times Rules or Armies.
  • No Allies may be taken.
  • Wizards must use the same magic lore that they started the competition with throughout the competition. However, wizards that are allowed to generate spells from multiple magic lore’s are allowed to do so. For example, Skaven wizards that are allowed to generate spells from either Plague & Ruin before each game will be allowed to.
  • No Special characters are allowed.
  • No Forge World rules/stat lines apart from Chaos Dwarfs.

Army lists will be as follows:

Standard army                        2500 points

The following composition restrictions apply:

Army section Percentage Restrictions
Lords and Heroes Up to 50% No Triples and a maximum total Wizard level of 5 in an army (e.g. one level 4 lord and one level 1 wizard or one level 3 and one level 2. This level cap includes items that specify they have magic levels (such as the wizarding hat) or that increase a user’s magic level but excludes items with bound spells such as the fireball ring. Note: this cap includes units with magic levels, such as Warlocks).

No flying Wizards (unless the wizard/unit has an innate fly ability. If you have to buy the fly upgrade, whether it be wings or a mount etc., then it may not be taken).

Core At least 25%
Special Up to 50% No Triples
Rare Up to 25% No Doubles*

2016 Semi-finalists and finalists only:

Lords                                       Up to 25%               No doubles

Heroes                                    Up to 25%               No doubles

The above restrictions are fixed. The next 2 sections list a number of optional restrictions. You can choose to go over them but if you do Victory Points will be deducted. This could result in starting the competition with a negative score. 

General Restrictions:

Armies meeting 3 or more of the following general restrictions will be deducted 20 VP’s from the Group stage.

Level 4 Wizard who selects Death Magic (“excluding know all signatures” abilities and rules such as Wandering Deliberations),

Level 4 Wizard who can selects Life Magic (“excluding know all signatures” abilities and rules such as Wandering Deliberations),

Crown of Command,

Banner of Discipline,

Folding Fortress.

Light Council (at least 3 wizards in the army with lore of light),

3+ units and/or characters classified as Monster

3+ units and/or Characters with 1+ armour save.

3+ units and/or characters with the Flyer special rule

Characters over 425pts in cost (after any upgrades/items)

Any Unit exceeding 450pts (after any upgrades/items)

5 Warmachines* Includes, Steam tank, chariots and models with war machine weapons such as Ironblasters, Gyrocopters, Hellcannons. (Engineers count as 1 warmachine choice. Each Dwarf Rune counts as ½ a warmachine, so 2 Runes count as 1 warmachine choice, even if the runes are split between machines).

* Certain army books allow you to take double the normal amount of warmachines in your list than is normally allowed (e.g. Elf bolt throwers, Dwarf Gyrocoptors, Goblin Spearchuckers, Pump Wagons etc). In the above restrictions, taking 2 of these count as 1 selection (so you could take 2 Elf Bolt throwers from the rare section and they would also only count as a single warmachine out of your 5 warmachine limit).

Army Specific Restrictions.

Armies meeting the following restrictions will be deducted 20 VP’s from the Group stage (this is cumulative with the above deduction so the maximum deduction could be 40pts)

Beastmen: 2 choices from; Herdstone with 3 wizards, Doombull.

Bretonnian: None

Chaos Dwarves: 4 or more choices from; K’daii Destroyer, Lvl 4 with Hasut, Magma Cannon, Iron Daemon, Death Shreiker, Hell Cannon.
Daemons of Chaos:
3 or more choices from; skullcannon, Great Unclean One, 3 or more Beasts, taking units aligned to a chaos god who hate another unit aligned to a different chaos god in the army. E.g. Tzeentch hate Nurgle. (Note, no matter how many opposing aligned units you take, it only counts as one ‘choice’. E.g. you could take 2 units of pink horrors and 2 units of bloodletters and this is only 1 of the 3 restrictions, not 2 of them).
Dark Elves: 3 or more choices from; 2 Bolt Throwers; 1 unit of Warlocks, more than 2 units of Dark Riders, 2 or more characters mounted on Dark Pegasus’, Cloak of Twilight.

Dwarves: 2 or more choices from; 20+ Irondrakes, 2 or more Gyrocoptors, Having 3+ runes of spellbreaking in any combination.

High Elves: 3 or more choices from; BOTWD, Book of Hoeth, 2 Bolt Throwers, Unmounted Frost Heart Phoenix, more than 2 units of Ellyrian Reavers.

Empire: 3 choices from; Two Great Cannons, Steam Tank, 5 or more Demi-Gryph knights.

Lizardmen: 2 or more choices from; 2 or more Scar vets or old ones on Cold ones, 3 Skink skirmishers, Slann Priest with channelling staff and Harmonic Convergence.

Ogre Kingdoms: 3 or more choices from; Iron Blasters, Hellheart, Mournfang, 2 individual sabretusks.

Orc & Goblin: 4 choices from; Mangler squig, doom diver, rock lobba, 25+ Savage Orcs big Un’s.

Skaven:  3 or more choices from; Hellpit Abomination, storm banner, 50+ Skaven slaves, Warp Lightning Cannon

Tomb Kings: None

Vampire Counts: 2 or more choices from; Terrorgheist, Red Fury on Vampire Lord, 2+ Vampire lords

Warriors of Chaos: 4 or more choices from; Daemon Prince, Hero on Disc, Hellcannon, Skullcrushers, 2+ Chimeras, Character with 3++ ward.

Wood elves: 4 or more choices from; Waywatchers, Acorn of Ages, Moonstone of Hidden ways, Each unit with Trueflight after the 2nd, Each unit with Hagbane after the 2nd, Each unit of Wildriders/SotT (combined) after the 2nd, 70+ models with 30” range shooting.

Organising the SELWG wfb Competition – Part 3 – Scenarios

Probably one of the most enjoyable parts of putting the pack together was coming up with the new scenarios.

I’ll admit to not being at all original with these. There was some blatant unashamed plagiarism involved with a number of them.

In each case, the scenarios start with: ‘played as per the xxx scenario in the rule book’. This is, in the majority of cases, just to follow the deployment rules (saves having to write them out again or making up my own!)

The second and third scenarios (Dawn attack + Invade) were created by Steve for last year’s comp and they worked very well so I kept both of these (though I changed the name from take and hold to invade).

Having played a number of Kings of War games this year I  had found that I’d really liked the number and style of scenarios available (they were up to 12, with the Clash of Kings release). Scenarios 1 + 4 + 5 were lifted straight from the books (and I thought they offered something different from the standard whfb ones and were some of those I had enjoyed the most). They weren’t quite fit for purpose as they were, so I had to adapt them slightly.

The final scenario was based on one put together by the Adepticon GT organisers, then further adapted by Kevin C on the Eighth Edition for Life forum (EEFL Forums) and then further adapted by myself.

So below are the final 6 scenarios.

Edit – the Scenarios have been updated after some play testing.

1 = Eliminate

Played as per the Dawn Attack rulebook scenario, except:

  • Before deployment, each player has 3 bounty tokens they must place on their 3 most expensive units*. If there are multiple potential units with the same cost, the opposing player decides which of those units they are placed on.
  • Additionally, place an objective marker in the exact centre of the board.
  • Victory points are awarded at the end of the game as follows:
    • 1 victory point for holding the central objective marker **.
    • 1 victory point for each of your units that carry a bounty that have not been destroyed and are not fleeing.
    • 2 victory points for each bounty you have completed (e.g. each enemy unit with a bounty you have destroyed or who are fleeing at the end of the game).

* A unit can be any troop type apart from Characters and their mounts (mounts include unique mounts such as screaming bells/Cauldrons of blood or anything else that comes from the Lord/Hero points allowance).

** The Central objective can only be captured by a fortitude bearing*** unit.

2 = Dawn Attack

 Played as per the Dawn Attack rulebook scenario, except:

  • Victory goes to the general that can claim the most points for quadrants**:

Own deployment quadrant = 1

Enemy deployment quadrant = 2

** A quadrant is claimed by the general with the highest number of non-fleeing units Fortitude*** bearing units, wholly in that quadrant.

3 = Invade

 Played as per the Battle for the Pass rulebook scenario, except:

  • Victory goes to the general with the most non-fleeing Unit Fortitude*** in his opponent’s half at the end of the battle.

4 = Secure

Played as per the Battleline rulebook scenario, except:

  • 1 Victory point is awarded for each piece of terrain you control at the end of the game. Control can only be claimed by moving a fortitude bearing unit*** into the terrain and if no enemy fortitude bearing unit*** is within 3” of the terrain piece (If the terrain feature is a building, then the victory point is awarded to the player garrisoning it – ignore the 3” rule). Note: WHF do not count as capturable terrain
  • Any pieces of terrain that are entirely on your opponent’s half of the board are worth double their normal victory points.
  • At the end of the battle, if you have more victory points than your opponent, then you win, otherwise it is a draw.

Note: Scouts and Vanguarding units can capture terrain during deployment and open moves.

5 = Loot

Played as per the Blood and Glory rulebook scenario, except:

  • After terrain has been set up but before deployment, place 3 loot counters on the battlefield. The first is placed in the dead centre of the board. The players then take turns to place one other counter on the centre line but at least 12” away from the other counters.
  • During the game, when one of your fortitude bearing units*** ends its move on the counter, it can pick it up. (Note: A unit can carry more than one counter).
  • Non fortitude bearing units cannot pick up loot but may ‘sit’ on top of tokens to block other units from picking them up.
  • Scouting or vanguarding units with fortitude, cannot deploy on or use their vanguard move to capture counters but can move to capture or block them on their first turn. Which one depends on if they meet the fortitude restrictions.
  • Whilst carrying a counter a unit’s move is halved.
  • A unit can choose to drop a counter at the start of its move and then move off normally. (A unit cannot pick up and drop a counter in the same turn but another unit can pick up the dropped counter).
  • If a unit flees for any reason (e.g. due to failed psychology tests or as a charge reaction) it drops any counters it holds.
  • If a unit fails its break test, it immediately drops any counters it holds. If the unit that beat them in combat is a fortitude bearing unit***, then it immediately picks up the token, but only if it restrains. Note: No LD test need be taken to restrain in this situation (Frenzy units may not restrain, as per page 70 of the BRB, and therefore not pick up the loot in this situation, as they are too busy trying to kill the opposition).
  • If a fortitude bearing unit*** holding a counter falls beneath 5 (or 3 Monstrous) models, it still retains hold of the loot counter (unless it flees).
  • At the end of the battle, you score one point for each counter held. If you have more than your opponent, then you win, otherwise it is a draw.

6 = The Wicked Woods

Played as per the Battleline rulebook scenario, except:

  • Before deploying terrain, place a Citadel Wood terrain piece (or equivalent) in the centre of the table. This should be no smaller than 10” across. This forest counts as the Wicked Woods (see scenario special rules for details on the Wicked Woods). After setting of the Wicked Woods, deploy terrain as normal.
  • The wood acts in the same way as a normal forest except: All models that march, charge, flee, overrun or pursues through, into or out of the Wicked Woods most take a Dangerous Terrain test, the test fails on the result of a 1 or 2 with no saves of any kind allowed (including ward saves and Regeneration). Models with the Strider special rule do not ignore Dangerous Terrain tests from the Wicked Woods. Any Wounds caused by the Wicked Woods Dangerous Terrain test count as magical. NOTE: You do not take the test for normal movement
  • In addition, at the end of each and every Movement phase, any unit with at least one model touching or inside of the Wicked Woods suffers an automatic D3+1 Wounds with no saves of any kind allowed (including ward saves and Regeneration). These wounds are distributed as shooting attacks and count as being magical.
  • If a unit inside/touching the Wicked Woods contains more than 30 models, it will suffer D6+1 Wounds with no saves of any kind allowed at the end of each Movement phase, instead of D3+1.
  • To control the Wicked Woods a player must have more Fortitude-bearing*** units wholly within the Wicked Woods than your opponent. Fleeing models are completely ignored for purposes of these victory conditions.
  • From Turn 2, if you control the wicked woods, you gain 1 scenario points per turn, awarded at the end of each players turn. (This means a player could get a maximum of 10 points in a game, 5 points for controlling it at the end of each of your turns (from turn 2-6) and 5 points for controlling it at the end of each of your opponents turns). The player that has the most scenario points at the end of the game wins. In the event of a tie, the player with the most victory points as per the BRB wins.

*** Unit Fortitude is defined as a non-fleeing unit with a Standard Bearer which comprises not less than 5 models (3 for Monstrous units).

A General adds 2 point to Unit Fortitude and the BSB adds 1 point to Unit Fortitude.

Note: If a general or BSB is of the same type as the unit they join and that unit does not have a standard (but meets the minimum model count), then that unit WILL count as having Unit Fortitude. For example. An Elven General on steed joins a unit of 4 Ellyrian Reavers that only has a musician. The unit now counts as having a Unit Fortitude of 2, as the general brings the unit count to 5, they are all cavalry and the general gives 2 unit fortitude.

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