May 26, 2017, 06:01:24 PM

Author Topic: [AL]Wood Elves  (Read 1330 times)

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Offline Toothpick

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Re: [AL]Wood Elves
« Reply #45 on: April 13, 2017, 03:39:55 PM »
Hi,

Personally as a non WE player I am glad to see that the free woods are limited in size, shape and number. To me WMR is a game to be played on an epic scale, where the armies involved are massive, too big even to fight completely inside woods. They must come out eventually to fight those titanic battles that I certainly envisage we are playing.

As for the spells, again I agree that WE would want to move the trees around more. Maybe instead of the trees moving a random amount, they should move up to a fixed distance?
Or the player gets the option to move upto say 4cm, or roll 2D3 if they want to gamble on getting a 5 or 6cm move instead?
I would also like to see it considered that the Call of the Hunt spell is limited in the same way as all other movement spells are currently limited, "the spell only affects a single unit, never a brigade", and that supporting charges are also not allowed - i'm hoping this last bit will affect all movement spells.
« Last Edit: April 13, 2017, 04:29:59 PM by Toothpick »

Offline empireaddict

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Re: [AL]Wood Elves
« Reply #46 on: April 14, 2017, 09:52:55 AM »
I would echo Lex's sentiments to some extent.  First of all, it's only a game!  Second, there's nothing wrong with suggesting, amending, finessing, complaining, praising, and generally discussing lists and how they might be improved, balanced etc.  But blanket condemnation of whole chunks of army lists that people have invested time and effort on bringing to the community is pretty rude in my book.  Third, any unapproved list is, almost by definition, a work-in-progress.  Playtest it, suggest changes, playtest those changes, try them against different types of opponents; generally build up a solid evidential base.  And if there are lists that you think are not yet 'ready', don't play them with your friends or don't include them in the lists allowed for the tournaments you organise.  But suggesting that they are all arbitrarily killed off is an extreme solution that irritates other players and especially those that gave up their time to write them.

For the record, I have a Witch Hunter army.  It very rarely wins.  I also have Beastmen, Chaos Dwarves, and Cathay.  None of them perform very well either, but I try to play them as often as possible so as to build up playtest evidence.  I have regularly played against Nippon and played with it until I sold the minis recently; I think it's got some rough edges, but it certainly isn't 'broken'.  Albion is a regular feature at our tournaments and seems pretty middle-of-the-road.  I don't have Dwarf Engineering Guild, but my sense is that significant tweaks could make it playable.  And on my list of things-to-do is to proxy my Witch Hunters as Slayer Kings to see how that list plays.  My best guess is that it will be fun but won't win much.  Also, I really liked the Shangri-La list that Lex floated a while back.  Definite long-term potential for that one. http://www.forum.specialist-arms.com/index.php?topic=8174.msg71150#msg71150
Finally, I would also suggest that some of the weird and wonderful lists out there, some put together by Rick Priestley himself, can be developed in the long-run.  Why not have Fantasy Mongols or Indus? 

And, getting back on topic, I don't have especially strong opinions about WEs.
« Last Edit: April 14, 2017, 02:56:01 PM by empireaddict »
“I cannot believe you when you say [your friend] has identical plastic boxes for his armies, all color coded [...] Don’t you think that is being little obsessive?”
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Offline Rowlybot

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Re: [AL]Wood Elves
« Reply #47 on: April 18, 2017, 08:55:16 AM »
Do the 'free' woods have to be free?
If they cost points, it would limit the size of the elf army beyond arbitrary min/maxes that may or may not find the sweet spot.

Offline Lex

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Re: [AL]Wood Elves
« Reply #48 on: April 18, 2017, 11:24:16 AM »
Do the 'free' woods have to be free?
If they cost points, it would limit the size of the elf army beyond arbitrary min/maxes that may or may not find the sweet spot.

This was actually what in the first draft I ever made for WE.....  (and for the Araby Desert Nomads, only in that case it was obviously not Woods.....

Online Aldhick

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Re: [AL]Wood Elves
« Reply #49 on: April 18, 2017, 12:55:22 PM »
Any particular details?
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Offline empireaddict

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Re: [AL]Wood Elves
« Reply #50 on: April 22, 2017, 07:40:40 AM »
My price for the woods would be 150 points each.
“I cannot believe you when you say [your friend] has identical plastic boxes for his armies, all color coded [...] Don’t you think that is being little obsessive?”
“Yes, but not enough to scare us wargamers.”
© Larry Leadhead (2004)

Offline Clawlessdragon

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Re: [AL]Wood Elves
« Reply #51 on: April 22, 2017, 11:35:46 AM »
I played with the new list on Thursday against Toothpick! It felt more balanced (without the 6 to kill, rules), the new point costs meant you had real choices to make building the army, before due the min, max and high points the list basically built itself with very little variation. I still find the spells very underwhelming or very situational, only good if the enemy is silly enough to go into or near woods.. which they won't.
The only thing I had trouble with is the waywatchers with their 2 attacks, you have them in the front of the unit to shoot, or stand and shoot. But if you charge into combat you don't want them to be first in as they have 2 attacks and the rest of the unit have 3. It just became awkward manovering stands when you wanted to charge the enemy (this is in column formation)... so this felt awkward but everything else felt good.
I know people still have issues with the "bring on woods, pillbox, fortress" rule, but limited to 2, and smaller size, meant I could not hide more than 2 units in each, due to placement of stands I would often have a stand poking out, which allowed cav to charge me a few times damaging them before they could retreat deeper.
In a couple of weeks Toothpick will play them against me, so I can see what it's like to play against them.

Online Aldhick

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Re: [AL]Wood Elves
« Reply #52 on: April 22, 2017, 10:24:16 PM »
Many thanx Clawlessdragon, much appreciated!
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Offline Dark Omen

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Re: [AL]Wood Elves More playtests with new list
« Reply #53 on: May 12, 2017, 08:36:34 PM »
I have played three more games at 2000 pts with the new Wood Elf list, taking a "bit of everything" to see how units work. My list is posted above but includes a General, Wizard, Treeman character, some archers, spearmen, Waywatchers, Wardancers, Tree spirits, Wild Riders, Glade Riders, Hawk Riders and a Treeman monster.

I have now played Wood Elves against Tomb Kings, Orcs and Goblins and Bretonnians.
Every game I won scouting and got my free wood.

Every game was a massacre against the Wood Elves.

I'm not sure if was terrible luck on the Wood Elf side each time, or bad unit selection, or bad decisions, but I found it very hard to make any headway at all against the enemy without losing a lot of units in return.

Example vs Tomb Kings.
Undead Artillery at range pounded the Elf Infantry in woods.
Chariots and Cavalry overwhelmed Elf Wild Riders.
Elf Infantry that tried to engage Undead Infantry was caught in the open by Chariots and destroyed.
Elven archery achieved nothing of note and was countered by Undead archery well.
Wood Elf magic achieved nothing.
Wood Elves Broken turn 5.

Example vs Bretonnians - we played on a very heavily wooded board.
Warhawks did well and took out enemy artillery and Flyers.
Bretonnian Knights destroyed Wild Riders and Glade Riders.
Wardancers were lured out of woods by auto charging and were massacred by Knights.
Bretonnians just kept out of bow range of archers.
Wood Elf magic achieved nothing.
Wood Elves Broken turn 5.

Example vs Orcs - we played across a river - very defensible for Elves!
Elf Archers actually got to kill some Infantry!
Wild Riders charged in, bounced off Orc cavalry and were killed.
Hawks bounced off goblins and were killed.
Treeman bounced off Orcs.
Wood Elf magic achieved nothing.
Dryads did OK and killed some Black orcs but too little, too late.
Glade Riders blunder charged into Orc lines and were killed.
Again Wardancers were lured out of cover by auto charging and were killed.
Wood Elves Broken turn 6.

Conclusions - I find Wood Elves very hard to play with and win. Their spells seem to achieve little. Their Wardancers and Wild Riders can be led around by the nose and overwhelmed, or else they must be baby sat to block their line of sight. Their characters are very expensive leaving less room for units.
For me, I haven't found a combination that feels right and enables me to compete on an even level against the established armies.
I will continue to playtest and hopefully come up with a winning combination.

Many thanks

Iain
« Last Edit: May 12, 2017, 08:38:46 PM by Dark Omen »

Online Aldhick

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Re: [AL]Wood Elves
« Reply #54 on: May 12, 2017, 10:46:14 PM »
Many thanx for sharing your experience with the list. It is very helpful as we are now getting close to the point where Wood elves along with Beastmen will be the last and most difficult armies to deal with.
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Offline Toothpick

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Re: [AL]Wood Elves
« Reply #55 on: May 15, 2017, 07:26:53 PM »
I finally got to use WE in a 2000pts game using version 0.1.2.
My opponents O&Gs went first, the majority of them moving up slowly at half pace due to some unlucky command rolls.  The "four amigos" did their usual thing and formed up on the centre line and tried to push my stuff off the board with "Gerroffs!". Thankfully no real damage was done this time.
My first turn didn't go any better, I got a unit of Glade Guard in a wood. Another went in my "free" wood with a unit of War Dancers. Nothing was in range for shooting, and the Spellsinger only moved a wood 1".
Orc turn 2 saw the rock lobbers get on top of a hill with their goblin wolf rider minders. The orc brigades made slightly better progress up the table this time. The "4 amigos" tried to push some of the wood elves off the table again, breaking up two brigades of glade guard and war dancers. The rock lobbers inflicted 2 wounds on a stand of waywatchers hiding in a wood with some glade guard, and drove them back 2cm.
In the wood elves turn there wasn't much movement as the Tree giant hero fluffed an order to a brigade of dryads and the general also failed to do anything useful. Shooting saw a lone unit of glade riders drive back a unit of boar boys out of command range of a goblin shaman.
Orc turn 3 saw some better command rolls which put a brigade of orcs and black orcs in the middle of a large wood, and a second brigade of orcs got to charge a lone unit of glade guard. The shamans got their acts together and pulled off 2 Gerroffs and bugger up my 2 brigades of dryads confusing a unit in one, and got a Whaagh! cast on the orcs in combat. Shooting from the rock lobbers drove back and confused the another unit of dryads. Comabat saw the glade guard in combat with the orcs evaporate, but not before the destroyed 2 stands out of 3 from the front unit. The orcs then feeling brave with a Whaag! on, advanced into a unit of war dancers who promptly gave them a good kicking winning the combat, for the loss of 1 stand. The orcs that remained retreated a short distance, and the wardancers waited for their turn. In the wood elves turn, the wardancers charged into the orcs on initiative along with another unit of wardancers who were just hanging out in the area. lone unit of wild riders charged into one of the minder units of wolf riders, which were in column formation, so the wild riders only suffered one would from shooting as they charged. The hawk riders who had been languishing at the back also got to charge a brigade of orcs. The tree singer failed a command on a unit of glade guard, but it was enough to move them half pace behind the orcs in combat with the wardancers.
The wild riders won the initial combat round and forced the remaining stand of wolf riders back 3cm. The wild riders pursued bringing the two rock lobbers into the combat. Luckily the wild riders won the second round of combat destroying the unit of wolfriders, combat res also destroyed the rock lobbers. The remaining two stands of wild riders then advanced into the flank of the other unit of wolfriders, and promptly destroyed them too for the loss of 1 stand. The remaining stand then withdrew to a safe distance. The wardancers destroyed the orcs easily, and so did the hawk riders the remainder of whom then advanced into the flank of a unit of goblins and destroyed them too.
At this point we called it a day as we ran out of time.

Thoughts on Wood Elves.
Overall they work really well as they are. They were surpringlu forgiving considering I had never used them before.  The wild riders hit as hard as chariots on the charge. We weren't sure if the "wild rider" bonus was applicable when they advance into another unit. Glade guard and waywatchers are fine. Hawkriders are good too, a unit for picking off stray or damaged enemy units (?).
The treesinging spell could possibly be increased in range to 50cm without making it overpowering if its effect stays the same (1d6).
On the thorny subject of the free woods, all I can suggest is that if there are any woods already on the table, then the WE don't get any more. If there are none then they get 2 free woods the shape and size of say a DVD disk.
Last thought. Warmaster is a game where the battles are supposed to be on an epic scale, on open fields for the most part, and under open blue skies. Not in woods with large brigades of men crashing around whilst the cavalry hangs around out side. The fluff may say there aren't many WE, but then has anyone done a head count?
Rant over.

Shane

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Re: [AL]Wood Elves
« Reply #56 on: May 16, 2017, 06:53:26 AM »
Many thanx Shane for detailed battlereport and your conclusion!
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Offline empireaddict

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Re: [AL]Wood Elves
« Reply #57 on: May 19, 2017, 12:19:03 PM »
Playtested Wood Elves last night with Janners.  I had Beastmen with a fairly standard build.  Didn't use WE free woods but put two big woods fairly centrally in order to force us to play in and around them.  Wanted to prevent an "avoidance of the WE pillboxes strategy" because that's the logical thing to do and it would make for a boring game.  Tournament data shows that Janners is a better player than me, but neither of us did anything especially inspiring in terms of game strategy.  Dice spiked both ways for both of us, so that also wasn't really a factor. 

Overall, things only really went my way once: Managed to get the chariots in on his Wild Riders and took most of them down in two rounds.  But then got slaughtered by War Dancers which pretty much tipped the game.  Also got a good ambush in position behind two melees but then failed the second order to bring them in.  Eventually my break of 11 was whittled away and Janners was only about half way to his of 9.  My general sense across the whole game was that I had to go defensive from the start and I was bouncing off WE enhancements (plural) in every turn.  If I played him again at a tournament, the only logical thing to do would be a castle-up around a hill or village.  It got to the stage where it sort of became funny.  Whenever something happened like "oh, Fury of the Forest on a 5 up because I'm going use one of my two unicorns", I would say "yes, because Wood Elves need a bit of help!"  Repeat with Waywatchers' shooting, Monster mount that can run around in forests, Wild Riders unaffected by terror, and amazing Command 10 orders unaffected by trees.  I suppose I can console myself with the fact that at least their flyers can't yet go in the forests.  Not sure I should have mentioned that; someone might suggest that as an amendment!? Anyway, I'm sure we'll repeat the playtesting with different opposing armies, but I can't say I'm looking forward to the games.

Reflecting and discussing at the end, I reached the conclusion that its like playing High Elves but even harder.  Yes, the HEs have heavy cavalry and artillery, but their infantry options are limited.  WEs have the same infantry plus two additional choices of punchy varieties.  Plus the free pillboxes which any sane opponent will avoid like the plague.  Which will then make for dull games.

On the question of the free woods.  Can I suggest people take a step back and think about this comparatively.  Two statements; do you agree with them?

1) Because the fluff says they fight at home and live in a particular type of terrain, Albion armies must deploy [insert number] of free marshes at the beginning of the game.

2) Because the fluff says they fight at home and live in a particular type of terrain, Tomb King armies must deploy [insert number] of free areas of soft sand at the beginning of the game.

If you follow this on logically, should Empire armies deploy a couple of villages or one small town because they usually fight in defence of their settlements?  Or should Dwarves get free hills?  I won't labour the point any further, but if this is such a good thing for the Warmaster system why not apply it to all other armies?

So, if we accept that HEs are the uber army in Warmaster, and people can sort of live with that because there needs to be forgiving core army for beginners, then my current opinion is that WEs are uber+.  Something big needs to change.  I know that people don't like the idea of reducing their armour so I can't see that going anywhere.  So my first suggestion would be no free woods.  And, although it will I'm sure irritate people, I'm also going to strongly recommend that their general goes to Command 9.  Janners and I talked through the game afterwards and that was probably the biggest contextual factor and reducing it would have a universal and balancing effect.  For example, the aforementioned War Dancers came from waaay back on his start line with a 9-9-7.  If it had been Command 9, it would have been 8-8-6 which, if he'd pulled it off then "well done, good luck to you mate".  Command 9 plus all their enhancements would give the opponent a fair chance and, as suggested by Dark Omen a while back, could be justified in the fluff as WEs = bit more feral than HEs? In summary, at the moment Command 10 plus pillboxes and all their other enhancements is just a bit depressing to play against.  Venting ends.
« Last Edit: May 19, 2017, 12:22:59 PM by empireaddict »
“I cannot believe you when you say [your friend] has identical plastic boxes for his armies, all color coded [...] Don’t you think that is being little obsessive?”
“Yes, but not enough to scare us wargamers.”
© Larry Leadhead (2004)

Offline Clawlessdragon

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Re: [AL]Wood Elves
« Reply #58 on: May 19, 2017, 01:57:09 PM »
Thanks for the feedback I saw the pictures, it looked great, it's always interesting to see other people's perception after playing with or against the wood elves. I can't understand the beef with the with the command 10 and the wardancers moving so far, as the same would hold true for dwarves and high elves. Ok yes, if they are charging through woods, they have the advantage. I would be inclined to keep the command 10, but suffer -1 in woods, I know this goes against the core of wood elves, but it would make them no better than dwarves or high elves, and if they brought on xx free woods, they would be less inclined to use them.
I am also open to dropping the free woods (again its loosing that wood elf flavour), but if we do, then the spell list would need looking at, as half of the spells would become (possibly) obsolete as they rely on woods.
There is no easy solution, but it is good more people are playing with them and coming up with possible fixes.

Offline Toothpick

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Re: [AL]Wood Elves
« Reply #59 on: May 19, 2017, 02:28:39 PM »
My 2p's worth...
Terrain should not be a factor in any army composition, nor should terrain be an item that an army takes with it.
I would prefer it if they got no free woods as well, however, 2 of their spells require a wood to work.
Therefore if no woods are on the table, I have suggested they get up to 1 or 2 free woods.
Another option is the 2 spells in question are replaced.

Fury of the Forest, this could be reduced to only stands in the wood are attacked, and stands/units get their armour save as normal.
 
Are they uber+, possibly, I found them a very forgiving army to play with – maybe too forgiving of the mistakes I was making.
The General at Ld 9. Yes, I would go with that. High Elves and Dark Elves have Ld 10 because they are far more regimented in their approach to warfare, whereas WE are not, I don't think it would be to the detriment of the army as a whole either.
DE also have the whole “you blunder you die” thing, which neither HE or WE have for their Ld 10.
Lastly...
What makes Wood Elves unique from other Elves? I would say it's the no command penalty in woods not the woods themselves.