No posts are forthcoming for ages and then suddenly you get 3 in quick succession. Lucky you!
So this year I decided to take my Wood elves for a spin in the competition. I don’t have high hopes for my placement but it will give me a solid run of games with them, which is the whole point of using them.
I’ll start with a couple of group shots of the army and then intersperse the list with some unit shots so at least you can look at some pictures if list bashing is of little interest.
Note: The Sisters and Deepwood Scouts are not my painting. Although I prefer to paint my own models, I’m not adverse to picking up the odd pre-painted eBay bargin.
So the first thing that jumps out looking at these shots is the distinct lack of bodies. Even my dwarves normally field more bodies! Ok so I’m not going to overwhelm the foe by weight of numbers, so what did I take and why?
The Warhost of Tal Shavoc
Lords & Heroes
Merilel of the Moon – General – level 4 (highweaver), Book of Ashur, Ironcurse Icon – 295pts
Sejal Dawntouch – level 4 (Deathweaver), Power scroll, Talisman of Protection, Elven Steed – 320pts
Haldrin Stormlight – Glade Captain, Hail of Doom Arrow, Charmed Shield, Dragonbane Gem, Great Weapon, Great Eagle – 169pts
The Left Hand of Haldrin – Waystalker – Bow of Loren – 110pts
The Right Hand of Haldrin – Waystalker – 90pts
24 Glade Guard – Full Command, Standard of Discipline, Swiftshiver Arrows – 445pts
10 Glade Guard – Musician, Standard, Starfire Shafts – 180pts
5 Sisters of the Thorn – Standard, Licheborne Pennant – 155pts
6 Wildriders – Standard, shields, Banner of Eternal flame – 188pts
6 Wildriders – Standard, shields – 178pts
10 Waywatchers – 200pts
Total – 2500pts
As per usual I list bashed an obscene number in preparation. All theory hammer of course as why bother practicing when you can spend hours poring over a laptop instead… They did however follow a similar theme though and revolved around lists I’d previously run.
I then threw them all out the window and thought to myself what do you want to take?
A wood elf list wouldn’t be complete without a load of archers and I wanted to fully embrace this. I also wanted to maintain my preferred all comer style and so to make it versatile I took 4 main different types of arrows/archers.
The Scouts took hagbane to provide poison shots. Their main use will be war machine hunting followed by big gribblies. Poison will effectively bypass the high toughness they rely on for defence (with good rolling on my part…).
The small glade guard unit will gain +1 to wound against any of the bad guys as well as getting flaming AP attacks. Again my thought was most Regen monsters fall in the category so flaming would negate this and the to wound bonus would mean they’d always do so on a 5+.
With the large unit of archers, I nearly went with trueflight (no ‘to hit’ modifier) arrows but decide to avoid them in order to both take me out of my comfort zone and because I worried that with my reliance on bow shots, I didn’t have enough, so I opted for Swiftshiver, so they doubled their output. With correct placement (in a wood, in 3 ranks), they’d put out 48 AP shots. The downside is, at long range, they would be hitting on a 5+. This meant I had no real choice but to include a level 4 Mage wielding High Magic to try and get ‘hand of glory’ in order to boost Ballistic skill (BS).
The waywatchers are just all kinds of good, able to ignore armour entirely or double their output by firing two shots, adding to the sheer volume of fire the list could put out.
Two waystalkers would add an additional ranged threat in their ability to snipe out characters. They would be aiming to remove any support heroes or wizards, namely BSBs and scroll caddies. Other mounted heroes would also be fair game. At a pinch they could also be used as redirectors. I previously haven’t found a single waystalker to be that useful, so I was hoping two might make the difference (or it could just be a waste of points 🙄)
The final shooting element comes from the Captain. This is mainly in the form of the one shot Hail of Doom arrow. 3D6 S4 AP shots is nothing to be sniffed at and can work wonders or fail miserably. It is best used to remove a unit of chaff and normally does so fairly comfortably. He is also fairly versatile being able to take out chaff in combat and tie up warmachines (and perhaps kill them due to his S6).
I’ve never had a great success with magic in 8th. I’ve always found it too fickle and random. Yes there have been instances where it has helped but more often than not miscasts or low winds of magic rolls have made it meh. This time I decided to go big and give myself options.
The first mage selection was chosen as High, mainly to try and get the one spell mentioned above. I do like the lore as it’s a good allrounder with spells impacting movement, one that heals and had the benefit of having a number of quite cheap spells. It also has the added advantage of giving protection counters as the lore attribute too. I do normally prefer shadow for wood elves but again I was trying to break the habit and try something different.
This mage would likely (at least start) in the large unit of archers and inside the ‘free’ woods. This would ensure a +1 to all casting. I then took the Book of Ashur and whilst very pricey, would provide an additional +1 to casts. Effectively this makes the mage a level 6, so would maximise her effectiveness. The issue was the book meant she would have no save so I was hoping the lookout sir rule and the protection counters would offset this weakness… The final item was also defensive in nature to give the unit a 6++ Ward vs war machines. As the only unit of any size, it is a prime candidate for them so everything helps!
I had decided early on that I wanted to take a lore I’d not previously used and had chopped and changed a number of times. In the end I decided to go with Death as I’d been on the receiving end of it a number of times and generally wasn’t a fan. It also has a toughness debuff spell which I think is quite important when you go with mass shooting. The number of sniping spells would also tie in nicely with the waywatchers.
The lore attribute also helps to regain power dice. Important when you are stacking up on mages! The only issue is the generally short range of the spells and so she would need to be mobile to close the range. This meant either flying solo on an Eagle (can you say cannon bait) or mounted and ideally placed in a unit. I decided to go with the latter and put her on a steed.
For items, I gave her the compulsory 4++ Ward and then a power scroll to halve the cost of a spell once in the game. Hopefully this would be a nasty surprise for an opponent.
The final magic choice was a unit of sisters of the thorn. Again it is a unit I’ve struggled to use effectively. They have one great spell that impedes movement and one that is meh but does heal wounds as a side effect. They were however perfect as a delivery and protection system for the Deathweaver and giving the unit the pennant also boosted their Ward save vs direct damage spells.
And because I couldn’t totally rely on shooting, I added in two units of Wildriders to add some combat threat. I fully expect one unit to be decimated early on, so am hoping two might mean one survives long enough to cause some damage…
So there you have it. A big pile of unknown. What I have done in this list is invest heavily in just two phases, magic and shooting. It’s not something I’d normally do, I prefer a more rounded list and like big combats but it will push me to try something new and again is almost the polar opposite of my Beastmen list.
The main sacrifice I’ve had to make is to exclude any real combat blocks, not something wood elves are really renowned for but it does feel odd not having trees of any variety in the list. The one regret I have is not being able to squeeze in my warhawks.
I do have a feeling I’m going to get minced, if only due to the learning curve and my own ineptitude with the list. Still, as long as I have fun (and with the opponents in the comp that’s almost guaranteed), that’s the main thing.