Hobby Update – The missing Wildriders

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.

IMG_0434IMG_0435

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.

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WHFB – Wood Elves vs Dark Elves – Rumble in the SELWG Jungle – Comp’ Game – 28/12/18

With the kids and ourselves on holiday, Greg and I arranged to meet up to kick off the whfb competition. Due to the club being shut over the break we decided to meet and play at Warboar, a Friendly Local Gaming store (FLGS) located in southeast London.

It was the first time I’d played there and they had a reasonable space upstairs with a multitude of mats and plenty of scenery on hand (though most was aimed at 40k). The staff were very friendly and there was also a café in the store that also had a bar, bonus! I’d definitely go back there again.

Although I’ve only played Greg a few times at Warhammer, he is one of my regular D&D group so we are well acquainted. We were both a bit rusty on the rules (I last played 3 months ago but Greg hadn’t played in almost a year!). As such we had decided to take a more relaxed approach to the game.

Any mistakes are purely down to memory.

Lists

We both had chosen to take magic heavy lists, so it would be interesting to see how that panned out.

Greg’s Dark Elves

 Supreme Sorceress (General) – Lvl 4 Dark Magic – Talisman of Preservation, Steed – 285pts

Supreme Sorceress – lvl 3 Dark Magic – Talisman of Endurance, Manticore – 385pts

Death Hag (BSB) – Cauldron of Blood – 300pts

5 Dark Riders – Standard, spears, repeater xbows, shields – 110pts

5 Dark Riders – Standard, spears, repeater xbows, shields – 110pts

34 Witch elves – FC, Banner of Swiftness – 419pts

5 Coldone Knights – FC – 180pts

Repeater Bolt Thrower – 70pts

Repeater Bolt Thrower – 70pts

5 Shades – 80pts

5 Shades – 80pts

War Hydra – 160pts

5 Doomfire Warlocks – 125pts

5 Doomfire Warlocks – 125pts

Total – 2499pts

  

My Wood Elves

Merilel of the Moon (General) – Lvl 4 Highweaver – Book of Ashur, Ironcurse Icon – 295pts

Sejal Dawntouch – lvl 4 Deathweaver, steed, powerscroll, talisman of preservation – 320pts

Haldrin Stormlight – Glade Captain, Charmed shield, Dragonbane gem, HODA, Great Eagle – 169pts

The Left Hand of Haldrin – Waystalker, Bow of Loren – 110pts

The Right Hand of Haldrin – Waystalker – 90pts

10 Glade Guard – Standard, Musician, Starfire Shafts – 180pts

25 Glade Guard – FC, Swiftshiver arrows, Standard of Discipline – 445pts

10 Deepwood Scouts – Standard, Hagbane tips – 170pts

5 Sisters of the Thorn – Standard, Lichborne Pennant – 155pts

6 Wildriders – Standard, shields – 178pts

6 Wildriders – Standard, shields, banner of eternal flame – 188pts

10 Waywatchers – 200pts

Total – 2500pts

IMG_0323
Shot taken a week or so ago. I managed to paint the wildriders in time for the game

Pre-game rolls

Scenarios

 A – Invade and Defend

Gain 500 victory points (VP) if your opponent doesn’t have a unit containing fortitude in your deployment zone

Gain 500 VP if you have a unit containing fortitude in your opponent’s deployment zone

Gain 400 VP if you kill more characters than your opponent.

Spells

 The Highweaver ended up with: Soul Quench, Hand of Glory, Arcane Unforging and Fiery Convocation.

The Darkweaver took: Spirit Leech, Soulblight, Doom and Darkness and Fate of Bunja

The Lvl 4 Sorceress had: Doombolt, Shroud of Darkness, Chillwind, Word of Pain

The lvl 3 Sorceress rolled: Doombilt, Black Horror and Power of Darkness

Strategy cards

I chose Card D – Operation Anaconda. You gain 500 VP if the enemy general is dead by the end of the game.

The card special rule, when played, gives the general +1 LD until the start of your next turn. This is capped at LD 10, so was of no use to me as my general had an LD of 10 due to the standard of discipline.

Greg rolled a D6 for his and ended up with Card A – take the field. You gain 500 VP for controlling more quarters than your opponent.

The special rule allows you to vanguard a core unit or character. (I may be wrong but I think Greg forgot to do this, as if he had, it is more than likely the Witches would have been in my face at a much earlier junction!)

Terrain

The comp pack specifies that each board should have: 2 buildings, 1 forest, 1 marsh, 2 hills and 3 walls and fences. Greg placed the first piece and then we alternated. I think we both had the same idea but for different reasons as we both placed almost all the scenery down the centre of the board. I think Greg was trying to block my line of sight for shooting, whereas I was trying to impede his witch elf horde.

1 Terrain

Deployment

 I won the roll for choosing sides and with the terrain so even, choose the side I had been sitting on.

Laying down my free forest on the right, kind of gave away where the big unit of glade guard was going, even with the dummy drops on the other side.

Even with me getting the bonus to the first turn roll, Greg won it and elected to go first.

1.1 Deployment1.2 deploy2 deploy3 deploy4 deploy5 deploy6 deploy7 deploy8 deploy9 deploy

Scout placement and vanguard moves

10 deploy scouts11 deploy scouts12 deploy scouts13 vanguard14 vanguard15 vanguard

DE Turn 1

Before the Dark elves were able to move, an Arrow of Kurnous sought out the enemy general, striking true and wounding the supreme sorceress. (I initially forgot to roll for this but Greg kindly and probably much to his regret, let me do it after the start of the game).

The two units of Warlocks and the supporting Darkriders (containing his general) continued their swift advance, moving to surround my Sisters bunker and Captain on eagle and putting extreme pressure on that quadrant.

With the limited forces on that side of the table distracted, the witches, Hydra and Sorceress on Manticore advanced up the centre, using the large central building to protect their flank from the bulk of the Wood elf ranged units.

The Knights and the final unit of Darkriders decided they didn’t like being exposed to so many enemy archers and decided to ‘strategically withdraw’ (run away) towards the bulk of their forces.

The winds of magic blew strongly with the DE mages maxing out at 12 power dice. Both units of Warlocks fired Doombolts at the Wood Elf Captain but Merilel was watching over her champion and dispelled both missiles. She was unable to prevent the final Doombolt from the sorceress targeting the ‘Left Hand of Haldrin’ and the Waystalker and his magic bow, were torn apart by the magic missile. The Magical feedback from the miscast killed off one of the Warlocks.

The two units of Shades and the Darkriders all targeted the closest of the Wildriders, slaying 5 of the 6 frenzied elves.

The two Repeater Bolt Throwers targeted the Scouts but were unable to replicate the damage caused on the other side of the battlefield, the multiple bolts only piercing 3 of them.

15.1 DE turn 116 DE turn 117 DE turn 118 DE turn 1

WE Turn 1

Wood elf movement was limited to redeployment, with Haldrin leapfrogging the warlocks, whilst keeping out of the Manticore’s charge arc. The Deathweaver and sisters failed their march roll so just moved round a little bit. The large unit of glade guard reformed to face the majority of the dark elf forces whilst the smaller unit of guard moved up in support. The remaining Wildrider and the second unit of wildriders retreated behind the archers (while I worked ot what I was going to do with them).

Magic was a write off, with the winds reversing to give a low roll. Fate of Bunja failed to cast (Doh!) and Hand of Glory was easily dispelled.

Haldrin shot the Hail of Doom arrow into the Darkriders but the winds had obviously effected it and the magical arrow had lost its potency, only downing a single rider. 50 shots from the Glade Guard swiftly followed, the weight of arrows wiping out the unit and leaving the Supreme Sorceress on a single wound and looking rather worried.

The Waywatchers found themselves just within range of the Coldone Knights and quickly took out two of them. The small unit of glade guard then tried some speculative shooting at the shades in the building and picked off one who had made the mistake of showing herself at the window.

In the final shooting of the turn, the Scouts took revenge for their earlier deaths and took out one of the bolt throwers.

19 WE turn 119.1 WE turn 120 WE turn 121 WE turn 1

DE Turn 2

The Witches continued their advance, wheeling round the building to bring them into view of the large unit of glade guard.

One unit of warlocks moved to the edge of the board, next to the Eagle rider. The Sorceress on Manticore moved up to threaten the same rider with a charge in the next turn.

The rest of the DE forces moved up in support of the witches, with the shades leaving the building. They also conveniently formed a living wall in front of the DE general, who had retreated behind the relative safety of the central building. The Doomfire Warlocks then charged into the Sisters unit directly in front of them.

Magic started with a Doombolt launching at Haldrin. Knowing that the sister’s combat could be key, the two wood elf spellweavers glanced at each other and let the spell through. To their regret, Haldrin and his mount were swiftly vaporised by the profusion of dark bolts. His sacrifice was not in vain as it allowed Merilel to prevent Soulblight weakening the sisters.

The DE shooting proved very ineffective with 20 shots from the shades failing to injury the remaining Waystalker and the RBT also failing to kill any of the Deepwood Scouts.

In the only combat of the round, the Sisters overcame the Warlocks, slaying two and sending the remainder running. They restrained from pursuing (though in hindsight that was a mistake as it was their turn next go).

22 DE turn 222.2 DE turn 223 DE turn 224 DE turn 225 DE turn 226 DE turn 2

WE Turn 2

 Again there was relatively little movement from the wood elves. The Deepwood scouts advanced so that all of them could fire on the bolt thrower. The single wildrider ran away behind the nearby building to conserve his points and the sisters moved up to get the Deathweaver in range of the enemy general and out of the charge arc of anything else (as the fleeing warlocks combined with the witches were blocking them).

The winds of magic picked up again giving the max number of 12 dice and the wood elves made good use of them. Sejal started by casting Fate of Bunja on the enemy general and in a fit of cunning, the sorceress on Manticore interfered with the winds, preventing the general from attempting a dispel, allowing the wood elves to kill the Supreme Sorceress and her rival for power. (This in turn achieved my strategy card bonus and gain the 500 bonus VPs). The Sorceress then let Hand of Glory go through (for a +2 BS on the large unit of glade guard) but successfully dispelled both the Soul quench and Curse of Anraheir aimed at the witch elves.

The large unit of Glade Guard then opened up on the witches and 16 of them were summarily cut down. The other unit of Guard and the sisters accounted for a further 3. The frothing unit of madwomen was definitely looking a bit more manageable now! (Note: we just started recording the number of witches left on the dice, rather than removing the models, hence the unit looked untouched in the photos).

The Scouts again targeted the bolt thrower but failed to do any damage but the waywatchers then stepped up to the plate and removed it in a single round of shooting.

26.1 WE turn 2

DE Turn 3

Out for blood and eager to get to grips with their arboreal kin, the witches surged forward but the hail of arrows that answered their charge, faltered their advance. On a plus point, they only lost 3 more of their number to the 50 shots.

The rest of the forces moved up, surrounding the sisters and the Deathweaver (and the warlocks successfully rallied).

Magic was a bust for the DEs with Black Horror failing to cast and Doombolt being dispelled.

Their shooting was somewhat more effective with the dark riders killing the final waystalker and the combined fire of the shades taking out 2 of the sisters of the thorn.

26.2 DE turn 327 DE turn 328 WE turn 3 

WE Turn 3

The Scouts continued their march into the DE half of the board, looking to get into the deployment zone and thus secure those scenario points. The Wildriders all moved up, ready to counter charge should the witches kill the large unit of Glade Guard. The sisters again failed their leadership roll to march but were still able to move to prevent anything charging them.

Fate of Bunja was fast proving to be the Deathweavers favourite spell and this time it was the Deathhag’s turn to feel its gaze. The Cauldrons inbuilt magical resistance came to her rescue and she only took a single wound. The Highweaver then failed to cast Fiery Convocation (damn!) and Spirit Leech (also aimed at the Deathhag) was dispelled.

The Woodelf archers all combined to target the witch elves and after the hail of arrows had finished, another 10 had been slain and the cauldron had also taken a wound and this left only two of the witches and the Deathhag standing.

27.1 WE Turn 3 

DE Turn 4

The remaining witches again tried to charge the Glade Guard and with another stand and shoot reaction in the making, Greg just removed the unit.

The cold ones chose this moment to fail their stupidity test and stumbled forward (it was possibly the second turn in a row).

With another huge magic phase, the wood elves were unable to stop volley after volley of doombolts targeting the sisters and their boosted ward was unable to save them. With the sisters all dead, the wounded Deathweaver ran towards the safety of her own lines. She was followed by a flurry of crossbow bolts and although she was further wounded, they failed to bring her down.

28.1 DE Turn 429 DE turn 431 DE turn 4

30 DE turn 4
Now you see sisters
32 DE turn 4
Now you don’t

WE Turn 4

The Scouts continued to move into the opposing deployment zone and the waywatchers moved out of the building, ensuring they kept the marsh between them and any of their dark kindred. The Deathweaver continued to flee after failing to overcome the fear of her own mortality.

The winds had blown themselves out but despite that, the highweaver still managed to attempt two spells. Hand of Glory was dispelled but Soul Quench obliterated the closest unit of Shades. The waywatchers then targeted the other unit, turning 3 into pin cushions and leaving just two remaining. The larger unit of glade guard turned their sights to the so far undamaged unit of warlocks and when they were finished, a single model was left alive. The final unit of Guard looked to utilise their arrows by firing at the Hydra and took off a single wound.

32.1 WE Turn 4

DE Turn 5

The remaining DE force moved up to form a cohesive battleline ready for a final turn charge.

In another astounding roll, Greg again pulled out a maximum 12 for the winds of magic. He then proceeded to again fire off 3 doombolts against the running Deathweaver. The first was dispelled, the seconded failed to cast but the third was cast by the sorceress with irresistible force and broke through the weavers defences, finally slaying the proverbial thorn in the DE foot. The calamitous detonation only wounded the Manticore thanks to the Sorceresses continuing ability to make her 5++ ward save.

The dark elf shooting again proved to be subpar, with the combined fire of the darkriders and remaining shades unable to kill any of the wildriders.

32.2 DE Turn 533 DE turn 534 DE turn 5

WE Turn 5

Still not knowing what to do with themselves and not liking the look of the hydra and manticore eyeing them up, the Wildriders, for the second time, decided that they needed to be somewhere else and backed off to threaten with a counter charge.

The winds of magic again dropped off for the wood elves but the Highweaver still managed to cast Hand of Glory on the glade guard to improve their BS. She then targeted the single warlock with a Soul Quench, casting it with irresistible force. The power of the spell not only destroyed the warlock but the dimensional cascade blew up 9 guard from the unit and sucked the Highweaver into the warp! To make matters worse, the unit then failed its panic test and ran. Disaster!

With things looking suddenly grim, the remaining wood elves held their nerve and concentrated on making the dark elves pay. The waywatchers shot at the darkriders, killing three and with casualties mounting and order breaking down on both sides, the remainder also decided to flee. The Scouts and smaller unit of guard both decided to even the playing field and concentrated on the remaining sorceress. She once again passed all her ward saves but her beast was not so fortunate and she was quickly left standing exposed on the corpse of her manticore.

34.1 WE Turn 535 WE turn 536 WE turn 537 WE turn 5

DE Turn 6 

In a last bid to get some points, the Hydra tried to charge the 10 glade guard but all it got for its trouble were two additional wounds and a failed charge.

The dark riders rallied and the remaining warlocks decided to retreat to conserve points. The shades moved into the building to gain hard cover and the Sorceress also moved behind the building to avoid being shot. In a typical underhanded Dark elf tactic (yes I was impressed) she then cast Black horror at the waywatchers with another irresistible force. One of the Shades in the building succumbed to the vortex, as did one of the Waywatchers. The miscast was another Calamitous Detonation (which she again saved with the ward) but that signalled the end of the magic phase.

The little shooting available, failed to do anything.

37.1 DE Turn 638 DE Turn 639 DE turn 640 DE turn 641 DE Turn 6 

WE Turn 6

In the final turn of the game, I tried to maximise what points I could. It started with the large glade guard regiment rallying, denying Greg any points for them.

The waywatchers did their best to eliminate the Coldone Knights but only managed to slay 2 of the 3 remaining knights.

The scouts and two units of glade guard all aimed at the Hydra but only managed two wound it twice, leaving it clinging to life with a single wound remaining.

41.1 WE Turn 6 

Results

In a brutal first game, the Wood elves not only pulled out a win but it was the first one I’d managed with them in 8th edition!

With regards to the scenario objectives, I had a unit with fortitude in Greg’s deployment and had prevented him getting any in my deployment zone, netting me 1000 VPs (500 VPs for each). Greg had killed more characters than I had, giving him the last objective and 400 VPs.

I also achieved my bonus objective in killing his general (for another 500 VPs). He didn’t achieve his objective of capturing more table quarters than I did.

The final breakdown of Victory points were:

Wood Elves                         Greg’s Dark Elves

Total from kills                  1840                                       1253

General slain                      100                                         100

Scenario                              1000                                       400

Strategy card                      500                                         0

Fully painted                     750                                         750

Total                                    4190                                       2503

In the 20-0 format, due to the variance in VPs of 1687, it worked out as 13-7 Tournament points in my favour.

42 - Remanents
The remaining Wood Elf forces
43 - DE Remanents
The remnants of the Dark Elves (picture curtesy of Greg)

 

Conclusion

 That was an extremely brutal but immensely fun game. It had lots of carnage, a number of points where the game swung and a great opponent. All the hallmarks of a fantastic game and a reminder of why I love this edition so much.

Both of us were a little rusty on some of the rules but there wasn’t too much looking in the BRB or army books. We both made a few errors on deployment and I’ve never played a game with so many scout drops and vanguards from both sides. It made the opening moves very interesting.

There were a number of large magic phases in the game with 4 of them netting the maximum 12 dice (after channels). Three of these were on Greg’s turn, well above the odds. That pretty much guaranteed 3 Doombolts were going to head my way. A frightening prospect of 6D6 Str 5 hits plus a multitude of additional S1 hits from the attribute. He did balance this out by rolling at least 3 miscasts but he again came out of these unscathed each time (in part down to the sorceress continually passing her 5++ ward – the dark gods were smiling on her!). It was definitely the first game that I’ve really enjoyed using magic (at least until the sucked into the warp incident) and I didn’t dither too much over what to use.

I did think that Greg spent too much time chasing around after the sisters. They almost acted as a distraction carnifex for him.

Unlike most of my games, I’m not going to pick apart what worked well or not for my list, mainly as I’m sure a number of my opponents will end up reading this and they can make their own deductions from the report rather than me spelling it out for them. Instead I’ll make notes, that I won’t include here and will then add them into my list analysis at a later date.

I’ll end this brief summary by saying that there are always a number of ‘what if’ situations in a game and one of those for me was ‘what if Greg (and I) had remembered that he gained an additional vanguard and it could have been used on his witches’. It would have meant they would have been an additional 12” across the board from the start. It may have made no difference as other things may have played differently but they may not have been shot to pieces before making it into combat (and the destruction of that unit by my archers, I’ll add, was probably the highlight of the game for me. Having been on the end of them so many times, it was just extremely satisfying so delete them with shooting).

Shout out

Greg also writes a blog and also wrote up a report from his view point (with more photos taken by him). It can be found here: https://gregwfb.wordpress.com/2018/12/28/2018-19-wfb-campaign-game-one/

Rumble in the SELWG Jungle – My Wood Elf List

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.

IMG_0322

IMG_0323

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

Core Choices

24 Glade Guard – Full Command, Standard of Discipline, Swiftshiver Arrows – 445pts

10 Glade Guard – Musician, Standard, Starfire Shafts – 180pts

IMG_0326

Glade Guard with Swiftshiver arrows and the Highweaver
IMG_0328
Glade Guard
Special Choices
10 Deepwood Scouts – Standard, Hagbane Tips – 170pts

5 Sisters of the Thorn – Standard, Licheborne Pennant – 155pts

6 Wildriders – Standard, shields, Banner of Eternal flame – 188pts

6 Wildriders – Standard, shields – 178pts

Deepwood Scouts
The hero is a unit filler, representing 2 Wildriders in this list.
Busy beavering away to finish these in time for the first game!

Rare Choices

10 Waywatchers – 200pts

Total – 2500pts

Waywatchers and stalkers with the sisters and Deathweaver in the background

List Thoughts

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?

Archers

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.

Scouts

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…).

Glade Guard

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).

Waywatchers

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.

Waystalkers

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 🙄)

Glade Captain

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).

Magic

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.

Highweaver

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!

Deathweaver

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.

Sisters

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.

Combat

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…

Conclusion

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.

Hobby update – Wood Elves (and a bit of blood bowl)

It’s come to that time of the year when the competitions I’m most interested in, at the club, have kicked off.

Namely the Warhammer fantasy 8th (which I’m running) and the second Blood Bowl season.

As there are bonus points on offer for fully painted armies, my wood elf painting continues and I managed to finish off my Glade Captain on Great Eagle.

I feel like I’m slacking a bit recently as I’ve completely failed to create any fluff as yet for him. He doesn’t even have a name! (A sure sign that he is destined to become cannon fodder!!!)

The model itself is finecast and I am slowly coming to understand why so many people really dislike the stuff. I now own a number of models in it and by and large the moulds are ok. Even with my limited range of them there are a number that are slightly warped or have casting, let’s call them, inconsistencies. My main issue with them however is I don’t particularly like to paint them. The surface feels different to metal, plastic and other resin (yes that is listed in my order of preference).

Anyway, enough of my ramblings. The model itself was painted in the same scheme as the rest of the army. Yep green and fuchsia. To distinguish the great eagle from its smaller Warhawk brethren, it received a double black banding on its wings. I also tried to paint the leaves on it to resemble ivy and I’m quite happy with the effect.

Blood Bowl Kick off

The second season of Blood Bowl has now started and due to the delay of a Kickstarter (I’m not impressed with Willy miniatures at present. A delay I expect but it’s the poor comms that is inexcusable), combined with moving house, meant that I was totally unprepared and so ended up entering my Norse team again.

The commissioners had decided that last years teams wouldn’t carry over from the previous season, so it was the same faces but no skills in attendance. I once again decided to go against the grain and forgo rerolls in favour of big guys! I also took a thrower, something that most Norse teams don’t (at least in the starting lineup). I also favoured a healer over a 12th player. The team chosen was:

Gronn Fjord Raiders (GFR)

Uday Ragekill (Yhetee) – 140k

Erik Longhorn (Berserker) – 90k

Flokki the Swift (Runner) – 90k

Bjorn Grimurson (Thrower) – 70k

Beorg Two Skins (Ulfwerner) – 110k

Cadoc the Bear (Ulfwerner) – 110k

5 linemen – 250k

Apothecary – 50k

Fan Factor 1 – 10k

1 Reroll – 60k

Total – 980k

First Game – GFR vs The Stirling Strikers

Having failed to play all my league games last season and recognising that my club time is limited, I decided to try something different this year. I’m going to leave off playing any friendlies until after I’ve played my club games! I may be shooting myself in the foot but in this vein I lined up my first game vs Si and his Humans.

I won’t profess to being a top player but I’m far from being a newbie. Si was quite new to the game so I made sure to point out any really bad decisions and let him backtrack on a few occasions.

I won’t go into too much detail of the game but it ended up a 3-0 victory to me.

A couple of highlights (or lowlights perhaps) included:

My team were on the end of a complete ‘shoeing’. Seriously, I’m used to beating 10 shades of shit out of other teams and having 6 of my team in the injuries box (only badly hurt thankfully) was a complete turn around.

Si completely surprised me by laying in the boot a fair bit, even when he was seriously down on players (although the sending off curbed his enthusiasm to do it 😂). Such blatant disregard for the rules and underhanded tactics are to be applauded and were the source of much amusement and consternation. With only armour 7 it was a great tactic to use against my team!

At the start of his second half kickoff, I did my usual heavy flank tactic, looking to steamroller down one side. He then rolled a perfect defence and moved all his players to the other side, out of the ‘danger zone’ and looked to turn the tables as he swept up the field to crush my ball carrier. This turn around quickly reversed again as he proceeded to kick the ball out of touch (even with the kick skill), allowing one of my Ulfwerner to run in a quick two turn touchdown. It just shows how things can change in a game and is one of the reasons I enjoy B.B. so much!

Hobby update – Wood elves and Bretonnians

With my move (hopefully) happening soon, I’ve been trying to clear my painting board beforehand. The last two pieces on it? I’m pleased to say I’ve finished (more or less).

The first is my wood elf bsb. I attempted some thing new for him, a bit of freehand on the banner. It was meant to be a tree but frankly the trunk ended up a bit botched. Still it’s a first for me and I’m going to try and replicate it (and improve it) on the back of the banner.

The second item was something that has sat unfinished for a good number of months. Mainly as I wasn’t sure how to do the detail I wanted. In the end I bought a black fine line pen to mark out the pattern and once that was done I filled it in with paint, though after reorganising my paints I initially did it in Caliban green and had to go over it in black. The bad thing was I didn’t even realise I was painting green not black at the time!

To break up the yellow, I then attempted my seconded bit of freehand in as many models and did the stripping round the lance. Not perfect in any sense but still I’m not disappointed in it.

I just need to remember where I’ve put the shields.

WHFB – Beastmen vs Wood Elves – Inaugural EEFL Ashes game

On the last Wednesday in September, I had the pleasure of meeting up with GrandMasterWang from the Eighth Edition For Life forum for the inaugural EEFL Ashes game. That makes it sound very grandiose. The reality was, he and his wife were over from Australia for a trip around parts of Europe and we managed to arrange to meet up to roll some dice when he was in London.

The venue chosen was the Darksphere store near Waterloo (mainly for convenience) and having discussed army selection and knocked together some lists in advance, I carted up two armies for us to use. We were later joined by one of GMW’s mate: J ‘every dice I roll is a 5 or 6’ D, who is just getting into the noble game of Warhammer Fantasy Battles.

Bashor looked around, glaring at the outcasts surrounding him. After the debacle and rout caused by that underhanded, backstabbing, so called Voice of the Gods, Khazbar, he sometimes felt lucky he had salvaged as much of the herd as he had. He had lost all his elite bodyguard in that ill-omened venture to the south but he had found and subdued a particularly large and aggressive Razorgor that would make a suitable mount for a Lord of his stature. He had also had gathered a sizeable number of Gor who were happy to fall under his benevolent leadership. The swift bloody examples made of those who thought otherwise, had quickly bought the rest into line.

Making the decision to head back to their ancestral home had bought him into contact with a tribe of Minotaurs and their giant brethren. Some quick thinking and a depletion of most the remaining halfhorns, as they were offered up as food, secured an uneasy alliance with the frenzied monstrosities and with his forces bolstered they continued their journey north. Despite the brutal editions to his herd, he was slightly worried. The path he had taken, may have been quicker than the one when he came south but it bought him in close proximity to the wood elf lands and their enmity to his kind was sure to cause him trouble.

Lists

Beastmen

Bashor the Bloody (General) – Beastlord – Razorgor Chariot, Armour of Destiny, Dragonbane Gem, Gouge-tusks, Shield – 393pts

Doombull – Sword of Swift Slaying, Ramhorn Helm, Dawnstone, Gnarled Hide, Uncanny Senses, HA, Sh – 343pts

Wargor (BSB) – Beast Banner, HA, Sh – 191pts

29 Gor – FC, AHW – 257pts

20 Gor – FC, AHW – 185pts

Tuskgor Chariot – 80pts

Tuskgor Chariot – 80pts

5 Ungor Raiders – 30pts

Razorgor – 55pts

5 Minotaurs – AHW, Bloodkine, Blackened Plate – 335pts

Ghorgon – 275pts

Ghorgon – 275pts

 

Wood Elves

Spellweaver (General) – Earthing Rod, Talisman of Preservation, Steed, Lore of Shadow – 310pts

Glade Captain – Great Stag, Helm of the Hunt, HODA, Starfire Shafts, Spear, Sh – 198pts

25 Eternal Guard – FC, Banner of Eternal Flame – 340pts

10 Dryads – Branch Nymph – 120pts

10 Glade Guard – Musician, Standard, Trueflight – 170pts

5 Sisters of the Thorn – Standard, Standard of Discipline – 155pts

6 Treekin – 270pts

10 Deepwood Scouts – Hagbane – 160pts

5 Wardancers – 75pts

3 Warhawk Riders – 135pts

5 Wildriders – 140pts

10 Waywatchers – 200pts

1 Treeman – 225pts

29. - Bonus out of game shot

Scenario and pre-match rolls

The Terrain was already placed by the store manager when we arrived and consisted of 4 bits of impassable terrain and 2 woods. The final wood was placed as the WE free wood (which was, of course, a Venom Thicket).

1. Terrain

To keep things simple we decided to just play battleline.

The Spellweaver ended up with the following spells from the Lore of Shadow:

Okkums, Miasma, Withering and Enfeeble

 

Deployment

We started off alternating but then both laid down all our units in one go to save time. After deployment it looked like this:

1.1 Deployment2. Deployment3. Deployment4. Deployment5. Deployment6. Deployment

Turn 1 – Beasts

With no magic or ranged attacks (of any note), the Beastman first turn was exceptionally fast with all the units thundering across the table at top speed, eager to get to grips with the enemy.

6.1 Turn 1 - Beasts7. Turn 1 - Beasts8. Turn 1 - Beasts9. Turn 1 - Beasts

Turn 1 – WE

The elves started with the normal cagey movement you would expect from their kind. A bit wishy-washy and scared to get up close to the strong, noble Beasts and the true heirs of the forest.

The sisters started by casting shield of thorns and unnerved by the disappointed stares of the Gor unit looking at them, failing to cast it. They then moved up to block the smaller Gor unit, which the L4 cast Withering on in support of the sisters. Trying to cover up their momentary lapse in magic, the Sisters javelins bought down one of the unit but the warhawk riders who also fired off some pot shots, weren’t able to do the same.

On the other flank, Vega Stormlight took out one Minotaur and wounded another with the HODA. The Gladeguard followed his lead hurting it further. The Waywatchers then double tapped, finishing off the wounded beast and slaying another outright.

The flanking Ghorgon, which had moved in support of them, also received some attention from the Deepwood Scouts. Their poisoned arrows bypassing its natural toughness and causing a couple of wounds.

9.1 Turn 1 - WE10. Turn 1 - WE11. Turn 1 - WE12. Turn 1 - WE13. Turn 1 - WE

Turn 2 – Beasts

Bashor, determined to show the newly formed herd how it was done, charged into the giant treeman (affectionally named Groot), in front of him. Between him and his mount, the treeman was left reeling, sap running freely from the numerous wounds inflicted.

The nearby Gor unit was however left unable to engage the Eternal Guard as Bashor’s charge prevented them getting in.

The other Gor unit charged the sisters in front of them and although it lost 5 wounds from them, proceeded to wipe them out and overran into the Dryads that had been exposed as the elves fell. Unfortunately in the process, they lost a further 5 of their number to dangerous terrain, failed their panic test, ran away and to add insult to injury, lost a further member of the unit on the way out.

13.1 Turn 2 - Beasts14. Turn 2 - Beasts15. Turn 2 - Beasts16. Turn 2 - Beasts16.2. Turn 2 - Beasts17. Turn 2 - Beasts18. Turn 2 - Beasts18.1 - Turn 2 Beasts18.2. Turn 2 - Beasts19. Turn 2 - Beasts

Turn 2 – WE

The Dryads charged the Gor, who continued to flee, this time losing 2 more of their unit, as the warhawks they fled through caused some opportune casualties (yep more dangerous terrain). The Dryads then redirected into the rear of the nearby Razorgor, making short work of it and over running in order to get closer to the fleeing Gor unit.

The Wildriders loitering nearby, charged into the Ghorgon that was threatening that flank. Their frenzied charge was boosted by Okkum’s Mindrazor and combined with their natural ASF and re-rolls, they completely minced the giant monster and overran off the board.

The other Ghorgon also found its life cut short as the Deepwood Scouts finished what they started the previous turn.

The Bashor/Groot combat continued with the Beastlord failing to wound the Treeman and then failing his initiative test, allowing the treeman to ‘wack’ the chariot causing a couple of wounds.

Vega Stormlight, seeing the Minotaurs had been sufficiently weakened by his shooting, crashed into them, his Great Stag causing carnage and taking out all the rank and file bullocks. The supporting wardancers failed to do anything bar some modern interpretive dance moves but this was enough to thoroughly confuse the doombull, who failed to do anything bar leg it to safety, having had enough of the leotards, 80’s leg warmers and their rendition of Fame.

The Treekin steered clear of the Minotaurs and crashed into a chariot, making swift work of it. They then overran into the second chariot. The Beast’s right flank had well and truly crumbled!

In the centre of the field, the Warhawk riders charged the Ungor Raiders that were protecting the flank of the larger Gor Unit. They decided they didn’t like their odds and ran at first sight of the fearsome birds and in a completely unsurprising turn of events, lost a couple of their number to dangerous terrain tests. The Warhawks then successfully redirected into the flank of the larger Gor unit killing 4 of them for the loss of a single wound. The combat was helped by the lvl4 interfering again, this time casting a miasma on the Gor, reducing their WS by 3. The Eternal Guard decided not to charge in and help out their kindred. The Gor unit, being steadfast and within both the General and BSB’s bubble, didn’t run and reformed to face the Warhawks. This was the only minor victory on a turn of pain for the Beastmen!

19.1 Turn 2 - WE20. Turn 2 - WE21. Turn 2 - WE22. Turn 2 - WE23. Turn 2 - WE24. Turn 2 - WE25. Turn 2 - WE26. Turn 2 - WE

Turn 3 – Beasts

Even with Miasma impeding them, they tore up two of the warhawks for the loss of a couple of their number and the remaining hawk fled sharpish. They then reformed to face the Eternal Guard.

Groot was final bought low by Bashor but not before he killed the giant Razorgor Bashor was riding (yet again failing a 5+ Initiative test).

We didn’t even bother rolling for the second chariot and just removed it, assuming that the 18 treekin attacks would demolish it.

In a surprising turn of events both the decimated unit of Gor and the Doombull rallied and turned, ready to go down fighting.

26.1 Turn 3 - Beasts

Turn 3 – Wood Elves

The remaining Warhawk annoyingly rallied and the Wildriders appeared back on the board.

The Dryads continued their romp on that flank and crashed into the freshly rallied Gor, killing them to a beast.

And then the main event occurred.

Feeling cocky due to his earlier success (and a minor enfeeble that had been cast on his foe), Vega shouted to his comrades, holding them back as he charged in, to go one on one with the Doombull. Between him and his mount, the only wounds caused were absorbed by the Bulls armour and added to its considerable number of attacks. Vega’s arrogance came back to bite him and even with only one arm (ok that was due to a transport accident), the Doombull swiftly ripped him apart.

This moral victory wasn’t enough to help the overall picture, which looked exceedingly bleak for the beasts and with the store closing time fast approaching, we decided to call this the last turn action of the game.

26.2 - Turn 3 - WE27. Turn 3 - WE27.1. Turn 3 - WE28. Turn 3 - WE

Result

A Romping for the wood elves!

 

Conclusion

An absolute joy of a game. It was great to meet one of the forum users at last and despite my wife worrying that I was off to meet some random stranger and his wife that I met on a forum on the internet with 2 easily ‘robbable’ armies, he turned out not to be (a) a psychopath or (b) a mugger (ha take that doubting wife) and I had a great evening of very chilled out dice rolling in a very uncompetitive game.

GMW teaming up with JD made a formidable combination, if only because GMW was guaranteed to always roll pitifully low with his dice and JD always rolled abnormally high. As they split all the dice rolling between them, each roll was almost dead average. It was truly something to see.

In terms of the lists, the Wood elf list seemed very well balanced and worked well together, although it is often difficult to criticise a list when it trounces the opponent. I’m hoping GMW will give some thoughts on it.

On the beast’s side, much of the list was put together to use bits I hadn’t in a while so there were definitely holes in it.

I really liked the Razorgor chariot mount for the general. Primal fury on the razorgor made it much more of a threat and I will definitely take them under special choices going forward if not as a character mount again. Giving the Beastlord the brass cleaver would have been good if he had gotten into combat with troops but the army was already packed with components who could do that as well, so he would have been better off with something to boost strength.

The minotaurs were enough of a threat that they were picked on early. With only toughness 4 and no save to speak of, you just can’t take them in small units. They are definitely a unit that you have to go big or go home.

Giving the Ghorgans a 6+ regen save didn’t really change too much but it does give them a slim hope of saving and it did help a few times in the game. Against another foe they may have done better but poison robbed one of its only defence and not much stands too much of a chance against a charge of wildriders, especially boosted to str 8 with Okkum’s!

My final brief thought is, not taking a bray shaman was a gamble and definitely not one I will do going forward. GMW getting a +4 or +5 advantage when casting meant that I don’t think I successfully dispelled anything all game. Not getting any dispel modifier just felt too much of a disadvantage.

 

GMW Thoughts

After posting this on the forum, GMW kindly added some of his thoughts.

I will write more in detail later but just to say that in the main event between Vega and the Doombull, it was not exactly a fair fight, despite the end result.

After the Wood Elf mage priestess cast Occam’s Mindrazor to help the Wild Riders make shish kebab out of the Ghorgon (i hate that spell, but had to use it in this instance) I refused to use it again (or was it just the Unicorn riding priestess mage refusing to buff the arrogant and narcissistic Vega?)

However while the priestess was unwilling to enhance the already cocky Vega Stormlight she did put her personal feelings aside and attempt to save his life by ‘enfeebling’ the mighty Minotaur. The Doombull’s unmatched constitution enabled him to shrug off the worst of the effects of the spell but he still found his strength diminished as the cocky Elven wood prince charged into him atop his fearsome great stag.

It was not enough however and the minotaur of minotaurs avenged his slain kin and rightfully bashed the elf (and unfortunately his heroic and hoofed steed) into the forest floor.

Doombull’s/gorebulls aside I think that elves of all races are a terrible matchup for minotaurs. As mentioned minotaurs are very susceptible to shooting and really need to ‘fatty up’ to prove their worth. With elves striking first (usually with rerolls) they can often take out the slower, low armor minotaurs before they can unleash their devastating attacks. I think minotaurs match up well with tomb kings, dwarfs, orcs, ogres and the like where they can often win some combats to ‘fatty up’ and be a real threat.

On a side note, Vega Stormlight was great fun to use and I’m really glad he got to show his worth. At 200 points (roughly 4 minotaurs) he did a great job with his hail of doom arrow and noble steed’s impact hits and additional durability really helping him do a number on the much slower minotaurs.

When I charged Vega Stormlight solo into the Doombull I think we both knew the result but it just had to happen

Vega was worthy of the Street Fighter name we gave him … Mini boss indeed.

 

 

 

Hobby Update – Wood Elves

I’m starting to get the hang of Azael’s challenges now. Randomly half paint a bucket load of things, wait for the next challenge and then finish them off in the first few days of the month!

Ok that’s not quite what happened here but happily enough I finished off a squad of models tonight, that I’d been working on, in preparation for our next competition.

The Kurnoth Hunters are by far my favourite model to have been released since AOS came out. I heard a story that the design had actually be done towards the end of 8th edition/during end of times but the decision had been made or to release it at that point. I’m not sure of the truth of that but either way they are sweet models and I am more than happy to field them as Treekin. They will be joining my two old Marauder treemen and original Durthu model to form a 6 strong unit.

I will have to credit Turkaldactyle for the blossom colour inspiration and he has done a far better paint job than me but I’m still pleased with how they turned out, especially the swords (though as ever as soon as I took pictures, I couldn’t but help note bits I want to go back and do, such as the fungus on the champions body etc.).