As I realised in my last post, I completely forgot to post any pictures of my wildriders. These were actually finished over the xmas period and the only thing that have been changed since is i’ve added some woodland flowers to the bases. (At the time I hadn’t been able to find these as they had been put in ‘a safe place’ – or temporarily lost – during the house move).
The colours echo the rest of the army in order that it retained that coherent feel. The only thing different was the hair. I quite like the contrast it gives.
The stags were painted in the same way as the great stag previously painted, using red washes to give it a red deer tone (as they are local to where I grew up).
The eagle eyed amongst you will have noted that there is a variation in the colour of the leggings (or whatever the correct clothing term is) between some of them. I actually painted them in two batches and didn’t realise I’d gone with different colours. I’d say that i’ll go back and repaint them but with all the unpainted bits in boxes, it won’t be for some time.
As a unit in 8th edition, these guys are a brutal, glass hammer. The abilities are only amplified by their plethora of special rules.
They have a base move of 9 with the fast cavalry rule. So they are as fast as you can be in the game without being a flyer and can vanguard 12″ before the first turn to really threaten. They also get forest stalker, so ignore dangerous terrain checks when in woods and also gain the wood elf bonuses when fighting in woods: fight in extra ranks (meh for these guys, which i’ll cover later) and the ability to re-roll ‘to wound’ rolls of 1 (rider only). It is very easy to forget that these bonuses apply to them, as it’s rare that cav of any other army will go near woods (and you almost have it hard wired into you to avoid them!)
The rider has elite WS 5 and 1 strength 4, Initiative 5 attack. They also have frenzy which adds an extra attack and with the normal armour piercing wood elf spear and the devastating charge rule, they gain a further attack and +1 to their strength when charging (so 3 Str 5 attacks each with enemies taking a -3 to their save). Having the elven Always Strikes First (ASF) rule, means they are normally re-rolling any failed hits too.
They have a 5+ armour (that can be increased to 4+ if you buy shields) and have an inbuilt 6++ ward save. They also cause fear. It doesn’t normally do much in this edition but against a low leadership foe, if they do fail a fear check, they will be reduce to WS1 and likely won’t be hitting back easily, which is nice.
The stags are no slouches and aren’t just there to look pretty. They give an extra WS3 Str4 attack at initiative 4. It is generally accepted that the stags benefit from frenzy, so they also gain an extra attack, but it should be mentioned that some ‘rules lawyers’ argue that in the rule book, Frenzy applies to a model so it should be just one extra attack per model (that could come from either the elf or the mount) not from each of them.
The downsides of the unit are: because of frenzy, although they are immune to panic, fear and terror, they cannot flee if charged, they just have to sit there and take it when that happens. That’s normally a problem, like most cav, you really want these guys to be doing the charging to make the most of their increased strength and attacks.
It terms of using them, units of 6 or 7 in a single frontage makes the best use of them. I prefer this to a unit of 10 or so, as that way you make the most of their attacks as supporting ranks only allow the rider to make a single attack. Any additional attacks are wasted (including from the mount). That said, having a unit of 8-10 with an embedded character on a great stag, makes a superb centre piece unit and the additional bodies allows them to absorb fire and retain combat effectiveness.
I’ve used them both ways and i’m currently preferring to field a couple of units, as that way if one is shot to pieces, you still have one left to threaten with and they do act as great deterrents, you can place them to threaten areas of the board and then finish off any loiterers with missile fire.