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

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

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

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

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

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


List 1

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

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

Shadowdancer – AHW + Potion of Strength – 120pts

Waystalker – Bow of Loren + ahw – 110pts

Dryads (10) – 110pts

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

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

Treekin (6) – 270pts

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

Wardancers (5) – ahw – 75pts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

List 2

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

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

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

Shadowdancer – AHW + potion of strength – 120pts

Dryads (10) – 110pts

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

They will be supported by the Glade guard and Dryads.

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

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

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

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

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

Wood Elves – State of Play

In a previous post I looked at my Dwarf army and where I was at in terms of painting and models owned. In this post I will do the same with my wood elves. It will be done with a Warhammer 8th ed. hat on, so i’ll group them my Core/Special/Rare/Characters, listing out what can be fielded. I’m doing this mainly for myself, so I have a record of where I am at and what I need to do.

It is worth noting that some of the models (tbh the better painted ones) were purchased off ebay, taking advantage of the exodus many players undertook when the warhammer world was canned. I will of course give full disclosure on these. Most of the figures I painted were done in my early teens and suffer from my inability to finish them fully and my early years lack of understanding the need to undercoat!

Including characters and using 8th edition rules, I can legally field around 6500 points (though it is very character heavy). Under KOW it is around 3000pts.


30 Eternal Guard

64 Glade Guard

10 Dryads

5 Glade Riders (original 4th edition with lances) – No photos as they are still at my folks


Hidden at the back are 3 very old high elf models used to flesh out numbers
Purchased around the same time as the 8th Wood elf army book to bump up the Eternal guard numbers, when I came back from my tabletop hiatus.
Original lead Scarlocks archers. My very first warhammer purchase and still one of my favourites
One of the ebay purchases, I believe the menhir is from the Ghorgon kit and can also double up as a herdstone from my Beastmen or KOW Herd army.
The back row are some of the very first plastic wood elves and even by my painting standards look shite.
‘White metal’ Dryads


20 Deepwood Scouts

6 Treekin

16 Wardancers

3 Warhawk riders

10 Wildriders

5 Sisters of the Thorn

ebay from the same seller as the glade guard purchase
as above
as above
New(ish) Hunters of Kurnous GW models. I really love these and they are ideal as treekin
Original treemen models (incl Durtha) being used as treekin.
The newer wardancer models (black bases) are from ebay.


The warhawks tie back into the army theme with the ‘warlock purple’ colour (now called screamer pink I think)
Detail shot
Paint scheme to be decided!


Another ebay purchase
as above
as above



7 Waywatchers

2 Great eagles (no photos, as they are in my high elf box) but they match the colour scheme of the warhawks.

Ebay purchase
Mix of old and new


2 Spellsingers and Glade Captain

Spellweaver on Unicorn



Glade Captain BSB


Spellsinger on Giant Eagle

Shadow Dancer (no photo at present as the model was upstairs when I took the photos and I missed it – will update this with the photo when I get round to it)

Glade Captain on Giant Eagle (the newer GW model – no photo as it isn’t built yet!)

Glade Lord on Dragon (no photo as it is at my folks – Dragon is painted but not the rider)

Orion (original 4/5th ed version). Again no photo as it’s at my folks. He’s at least mostly painted.

Ariel (4/5th ed model)


The model on the right is from ebay, other 2 are mine.


Branchwraith, Drycha, BSB and Waystalker
ebay purchase

So basically a lot to do. A bucketload of painting, basing of everything and touching up/finishing off of the older models. With no dedicated painting area and my little one now walking, an innate curiosity and a growing reach, I’m finding it harder to get in any painting time as she needs constant supervision. Hopefully with the weather warming i can set something up in the utility room and start cracking on with this and other projects!



Wood Elf Compendium 

The 8th edition wood elf book was the last to be released, but even so there is a wealth of great articles available with opinions and tactics on the book options.

In this post I’m going to link some of my favourite articles (mainly so I have them all in one place for my own reference).

Enchanted arrows

It is generally accepted that multiple units can take the same enchanted arrows. The following blog posts by Rex Foote, looks at each type and when best to use them. I’ve included the hail of doom arrow (Hoda) in this section. The Asrai forum post is by Brechttomme.

The Dice Odyssey – Enchanted arrow tactica

The Dice Odyssey Blog – Hail of Doom tactica

Asrai forum – Enchanted arrow review and mathhammer


Character Loadouts

NonnoSte on the asrai forum has tried to group together as many viable character loadouts as possible into one place. This includes: Lords, Spellweavers, Glade Captains, Shadowdancers and Waystalkers.

Asrai forum – Character loadouts


Forest Spirit units

The changes to the forest spirit units in the 8th ed. book, in particular the drop in strength across the board and the loss of skirmish on the dryads meant that many players no longer took them. In this series of articles by EdmondJ on the asrai boards, he  first argues the case for continuing to use dryads and then writes a good article on treemen and their uses

Asrai forum – Dryad tactics

Asrai forum – Treemen tactics


Wood elf army book reviews

Just some general 8th ed. book reviews

WarhammerTruthiness – WE book review

Hoodlinghole – WE book review

Hobby update – Woodies

It’s been a little while since the last post as I’ve been laid up with some form of virus and a stoopid irritating cough, so not managed to do much (bar get some time on warhammer: total war).

I have however final managed to get my wood elf Warhawks to a stage where I can say I’m more or less finished with them. These have been on and off of the painting table for months and keep getting pushed to one side in favour of other tasks so I finally knuckled down and blitzed the last bits on them (OK the elves need a wash still but frankly that prob won’t happen) and I need to ensure they are properly protected to prevent the paint chipping again.

The warhawk colour scheme follows that used on my eagles and fuchsia and green matches the rest of the army.

After posting the pics I can see bits I need to go back and touch up. These models make me feel like Sisyphus. Every time I think the task is finished I have to go back and do it again!