Escaping back to fantasy

Darkholds – Ancient Barrows – kickstarter

As many of you know I am a massive fan of Mierce Miniatures and so when I heard they were running a new kick starter but one that took a break from their normal fare, it pipped my curiosity. When I found out it was a dungeon crawler, I knew I was in trouble!

I’ve been a fan of the genre ever since I first  bought Steve Jackson and Ian Livingstones, Deathtrap Dungeon ‘choose your own adventure’ book. This paved the way for my interest and subsequent purchase of Heroquest and then my introduction to Games workshop and warhammer fantasy through Advanced Heroquest.


As such when Mierce announced a dungeon crawler, I had to step up and become a backer and actually support my first ever kickstarter.

It’s worth noting that unlike most of their miniatures, the models in this will cast in plastic.


WHFB – Beastmen vs Dark Elves

You join us once again to follow the amazing adventures of Captain Khazbar and the crew of the… wait no that’s a different genre.

After spending a week at the inlaws, we had a two day break before they then arrived at ours for a week, together with one of their (and my wife’s) Italian friends and her two children. Where am I going with this? Well my amazing wife realised I’d had a shit week at work and recognised that I’d had no space in the evenings to unwind, so told me to go to the club. So I managed to get an unexpected game in on Friday. Happy days!

As an extra bonus, I finally managed to get a game in vs Luke C and his dark elves. I’d seen Luke play a number of times but for some reason we’d never managed to get a game in.


Herd of Khazbar the Magnificent

Bashor the Bloody – Beastlord (General), ogre blade, armour of destiny, shield

Khazbar the Magnificent – Great Bray Shaman, level 4 – Lore of Beasts, Talisman of Protection, Brass Cleaver, jagged dagger

Zurrock the Mighty – Wargor (bsb), HA, shield, Beast Banner

Wazzock the Lame – Bray Shaman, level 1 – Lore of Shadow, dispel scroll

Cattleclysm – Doombull, Arabyan carpet, gold sigil sword, dragonbane gem, ramhorn helm, gnarled hide, HA, shield

48 Gor, FC, AHW

1 Tusgor chariot

1 Tusgor chariot

5 Ungor raiders

5 Ungor raiders

37 Bestigor, FC, Standard of Discipline

1 Razorgor


5 Harpies

Dark Elves

I didn’t get a copy of Luke’s list but it was something like:

General – Dreadlord, LIght Armour, Shield, scaly cloak, coldone, black dragon egg, ogre blade

Level 4 Sorceress – power scroll, dark steed, possibly other stuff – Lore of Life

Level 1 Sorceress – Dispel scroll, Lore of beasts.

Death Hag – bsb, cauldron of blood, obsidian blade, the +D3 attack upgrade

5 Dark riders – Standard, musician, xbows

5 Dark riders – standard, musician, xbows

5 Dark riders – Standard, musician, xbows

29 Witch Elves – FC

30 Executioners

5 Doomfire Warlocks

9 Coldone Knights



After a fair bit of testing at the club I had made some further amendments to the Wicked Woods scenario (scenario list here) and we played that to try the changes out. There were two big changes. The first was that units moving normally, did not take dangerous terrain checks. The second was that you gained 1 Scenario Victory point for each turn you held the woods from turn 2 (with a maximum of 10 points available).

Terrain and Pre-match rolls

We rolled map pack 4 which meant a river, 2 normal hills, 2 scree slopes and a forest.

After placing the terrain (including the additional wood from the scenario, it looked like this.

1. Terrain

It terms of spell selection:

Khazbar ended up with: Savage Beast, Curse, Wyssans and Amber Spear.

Wazzock took Miasma

The DE Supreme Sorceress got: Throne, Flesh, Earthblood and awakening.

The Beast Sorceress rolled Curse as well.


Deployment is as per battleline so alternate. I won the roll and so Luke placed the first unit and finished first. Although Luke had a number of units of chaff, my list far outstripped his of throwaway units and so I was able to place my big units after he had laid the Witches, Executioners and Cold One Knights. This allowed me to put the Besitigor opposite the Cold Ones, a match up he would not like. The Gor Horde went front and centre to capture the woods and the Doombull and accompanying harpies were placed on the far side of the river to perform a flanking maneuver, as the river would not impact their movement as they could all fly.

Due the the chatting and laughs I was having with Luke, as he regaled me with comic tournament stories, I allowed myself to get distracted and I did make the one blunder that as a Beastmen player you should never do, that of not having most of the army deployed within the bsb and generals range. Thankfully I wasn’t punished for that!

With a blatant disregard for their lives, the witch elves started on top of a scree slope ensuring a dangerous terrain test as soon as they moved

After his 4 vanguards, it looked like this.

2. Deployment


Turn 1 – DE

Luke started off by giving me a punishing lesson in how to use Dark Riders. One unit advanced at the double and positioned themselves in front of the Bestigors but slightly set back in the flank of my Razorgor. This meant I couldn’t charge them and so effectively took them out of the game for my first turn.

The second unit also moved up to block the left unit Ungor Raiders. This in turn would limit the movement of the Gor horde in the following turn. Their cavalier attitude towards my units was helped by the boosted flesh to stone that was cast on them.

He then proceeded to show why the dark elves prefer combat by failing to kill a single thing with 30 repeater crossbow shots. This was backed up by both Curse and dwellers failing to cast.

The rest of his forces just generally advanced, with the warlocks and accompanying supreme Sorceress re-positioning from his left flank towards the right and the witches moving slightly into the wicked woods (where they promptly took 4 casualties).

3. DE turn 1


Turn 1 – Beastmen

Taking a leaf out or Luke’s book my right most raider unit moved up to block the Cold One Knights. The supporting chariot moved up to counter should the raiders be killed.

The central chariot and Razorgor also moved to allow counter charges should the Bestigor be blocked again.

The Ungor raiders charged the T7 Dark riders in front of them, were quickly bested and legged it to safety through the nearby horde. Edit: not quite sure what I was thinking. Either that they might pin the riders in place or that they would at least be out of the way.

Across the river the Doombull and Harpies advanced at speed to threaten the flank of the witches.

On my first cast of magic in the game, a 3 dice roll of curse on the witches, resulted in  a miscast at irresistible force, followed by a further 2 sixes (power drain), followed by a final six. Apart from a an improbable set of rolls, the net result meant my level 4 Shaman was now a level 1 with just Wyssans remaining! On the positive side, at least Luke had been unable to dispel it and so his witches were effectively pinned for the next turn.

4. Beast turn 1

Turn 2 – DE

Seeing the danger posed by the flying circus, the Dark riders withdrew in order to cover the flank of the witchesand were again buffed with flesh to stone to give them a fighting chance should the raging Minotaur decide to target them. (Edit – yes I did originally write ‘ lock horns’ but took a step back, slapped myself and changed it). The warlocks moved more to the centre to ensure they were also out of the charge arc.

Meanwhile the central unit of riders advanced to impede the movement of the Gor horde (that had been hexed with Soulbight) and the executioners followed to provide support. The final unit of riders, not liking the attention they were receiving, skipped through the Beastmen lines so they were now positioned behind the Gor unit.

The woods continued to feed on the Witches and they lost another couple of the unit to its feeding frenzy.

The riders shooting improved dramatically but was still rather pathetic with a single Gor and harpy dying to the bolts.

5. DE turn 2



Turn 2 – Beastmen

Seeing their opportunity to get rid of some of the pesky riders, the central chariot smashed into the unit in front of them. 3 of them were crushed beneath the Chariot and the others turned tail and fled with another losing his life in the wicked woods.

The doombull charged into the Dark riders and despite their boosted toughness promptly slaughtered one. Their faces took on a worried look as their attacks rebounded back onto them. The worry grew as the bull grew in stature, as it ripped their kinsman apart and fed on his blood.

On the other side of the map the stalemate continued with the Razorgor joining the chariot read to counter charge the Cold Ones. The Bestigor moved up ready to support the centre should it be required.

Magic involved miasma cast on the riders behind the Beastmen lines, reducing their movement by 3.

6. Beast turn 2

17 - Beast turn 218 - Beast turn 219 - Beast turn 2

Turn 3 – DE

With a shout to Khaine the executioners charged the closest chariot, three of their number including the champion falling to the dangerous terrain. They quickly demolished the chariot and then piled into the side of the Gor horde.

The remaining dark rider rallied and moved to block the Gor unit.

With the expiration of their toughness buff, the doombull/riders combat was only going to go one way as in a frenzy of blows, his opponents exploded leaving a mist of blood and pile of gore.

Magic continued the way of the previous turns with doombolt failing to wound the Razorgor and Dwellers failing to cast.

The witches, finally free of the curse, moved into the woods and promptly lost another two of their number.

7. DE turn 3

20 - DE turn 321 - DE turn 3

22 - DE turn 3
Now you see them
23 - DE turn 3
Now you don’t
24 - DE turn 3

Turn 3 – Beastmen

The Bestigors charged into the rear of the executioners only losing 5 or so of their number to the dangerous terrain. Another 4 were cut down by the druchii as were 13 of the Gor before they struck back killing 15 of the unit. The executioners broke and were run down by the Bestigor.

The Doombull turned ready to charge the rear of the Witches.

In a spectacular display of one up man ship, the ungor raiders showed the dark riders how it was done and shot down one of the cold one knights and in that one move made back their points.

8. Beast turn 3

25 - Beast turn 3

Turn 4 – DE

With a 2 point lead at this point, Luke proved his pointy eared pedigree and in an underhanded tactic, moved all his remaining Dark riders and his Warlocks into conga formation to surround the witches and prevent any units making it into combat with them.

With the evening drawing to a close, I called the game at that point.

9. DE turn 4

26 - DE turn 427 - DE turn 4


After turn 3 it was 2-0 to Luke but if we had completed turn 4 it would have likely been 4-0.


I really enjoyed the game with Luke and was glad to finally play him. He had me in stitches many times, didn’t take anything too seriously and was just generally good fun to play against. All qualities I like in an opponent.

The updated scenario worked really well and that is definitely the rule set we’ll take forward into the competition.

Luke’s use of fast cav was very good and just damn right frustrating and bloody annoying. It was definitely a learning experience (one i’ll not necessarily rush to repeat) and opened my eyes to their use.

I did make a number of errors in the game and there are a number of things to learn from it. My deployment was again somewhat lacking. I blocked a number of my own units and allowed his riders to prevent my units moving in the first turn.

In match ups with fast cav, I need to ensure that some of my chaff hangs back to allow me to charge them if they block my frontline units. Possibly this could be done by the Doombull as not only would he mince them thus gaining extra attacks but with the lack of shooting in my list he is one of the few reliable counters to them.

I should have placed the razorgor in the woods to bait the witch elves, knowing a charge would have caused dangerous terrain checks.

Honestly, Khazbar should be ashamed at the amount of miscasts he throws out. Admittedly at least this time he spiced it up and didn’t take out half his unit. I should have expected that though as he was placed in that unit and the size bumped up just to cover that eventuality!

It’s funny but I always thought that players starting with chariots sideways to get the extra inch or so of movement was a bit gamey but after this battle I realised that if I had done it, it would have served a duel purpose and allowed me to actually discourage the blocking of the Bestigor. Something for me to think about if I’m screening the big blocks with raiders.

I also need to brush up on rules as the single dark rider should only have been able to rally on snake eyes as the unit was under 25% and may not have been there full stop as the standard should have been removed when they initially fled combat.

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.

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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.


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