October 19, 2017, 12:03:59 PM

Author Topic: [AL]Wood Elves  (Read 2669 times)

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Offline Aldhick

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[AL]Wood Elves
« on: March 06, 2017, 10:50:25 PM »
Looking for any experience with Wood Elf list from Trial armies compendium focused on rules issues as this list seems to have bunch of them.
 Any contribution appreciated.
  Cheers
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Offline Clawlessdragon

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Re: [AL]Wood Elves
« Reply #1 on: March 07, 2017, 08:50:46 AM »
Interested in this thread as I am building this army. However I have limited experience and my views would be biased, as I like the cool, unique flavour of the army. But I do recognise it needs fixing.
The min/max needs looking at, as the army list builds itself after the min is taken. No real room for variety.

Offline honestmistake

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Re: [AL]Wood Elves
« Reply #2 on: March 07, 2017, 01:38:30 PM »
To be perfectly frank I feel that the whole list harks back to the early 90's Elf Fetish that made Squeakies uber powerful in every GW game and should be removed entirely... Most players consider the Vanilla High Elf army to be playing on easy mode and this list is so lacking in balance that it makes high elves look weak! I just don't think it has any redeeming features beyond flavour and aesthetics... neither of those require a bucket full of special rules.

(how on earth did anyone decide that a 2 shot, +1 to hit with possible armour piercing arrows Unit should only cost 60 points?)




Offline Geep

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Re: [AL]Wood Elves
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2017, 10:14:35 AM »
After listening to the Warmaster podcast on this topic, I'm kind of concerned on the army direction.

There are a few good points made- such as Dryads being underpriced (100pts for 4/4/5+), and Glade Riders not needing 3+ to hit (the list should look at Tournament High Elves as a base), but:
Eternal Guard should definitely remain with a 5+ save (as with other elite elven spearmen, and eternal guard tend to break the wood-elf mould regarding armour and skirmishing)
and Treemen should be in the list- they are an iconic Wood Elf unit!

Personally, I'd look at ideas from M.B.Hildreth's list (I think published in Warmaster magazine). It has Dryads as 4/3/6+, which is much more appropriate for the Warhammer:Warmaster stats conversion, and Waywatchers are only a single stand (very useful, but not game breaking). Other improvements include Call of the Hunt being on a 6+, but gaining in situational usefulness.
The Forest Spirit Army and Alternative Skirmish Rules should probably be dropped- although I like them, that's a big pile of special rules.

Simply taking a knife to the as-is list will probably kill the flavour, and see everyone running them as 'counts as' High Elves.

Offline Rowlybot

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Re: [AL]Wood Elves
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2017, 12:21:14 PM »
The 5+ armour save surprises me I'll be honest. Orcs with heavy armour, shields and a higher toughness get a lower armour save. Prancing about helps I guess?

Offline Aldhick

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Re: [AL]Wood Elves
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2017, 01:21:41 PM »
The 5+ armour save surprises me I'll be honest. Orcs with heavy armour, shields and a higher toughness get a lower armour save. Prancing about helps I guess?
The armor in WM doesn't represent just how heavy armored the unit is, but also some combat skills as this cannot be reflected in "to hit" rolls. Halberdier units should not be the same as HE spermen stat-wise, should they.
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Offline Aldhick

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Re: [AL]Wood Elves
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2017, 01:56:29 PM »
After few testing games I see the main WE problem in the extra woods system. Thanx to lack of armored units, the best way for WE is to put his units into the forrest and stay there and shoot, eventually use the situation to some carefully planed charges. However this is extremely difficult against heavy armored units - such as heavy cavalry. If this so criticised rule of "no armor on 6" is to be dropped, the WE have practically nothing to oppose such units. In fact the best the WE can do against heavy cavalry is to hide in the wood and don't let it charge. But this leads to very boring play for both players and frustrating for the opponent. The problem is especially visible when the enemy succedes in defeating the WE cavalry after which the rest of the WE army can only hide in the woods, where they easily beat the enemy infantry and any other units can't reach them. In such moment the game turns into two armies looking at each other trying to do the best with their shooting and the game stalls. WE units are not only lightly armored, but quite expensive and therefore few in numbers. So protecting your units is something you really want to do.

Therefore I think the first step should be to focus on the extra wood rules. They need to be decreased. However being ripped of their main defensive tool the WE cannot be ripped of their armor at the same time, leaving them completely unprotected against hard hitting enemy units.

BTW I see absolutely no problem in the Call of the Hunt spell (compare it to what tournament Bretonnia can do). In fact I think they need it. WE have absolutely no protection against long range artillery - especially against cannons that treat defended targets as in open. Taking into account that you have an elite army few in numbers, you really fear any losses that happen before your units have chance to do something. The situation presented in the Podcast is super extreme. Wise and experienced player would not allow this happen as it is quite easy to position your artillery so that it cannot be the closest target to any enemy unit. Positioning the whole unprotected artillery brigade so it can be freely charged by using this spell is the worst thing you can ever do with your artillery. You cannot judge whether the spell is strong or not based on such situation.
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Offline Rowlybot

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Re: [AL]Wood Elves
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2017, 03:23:53 PM »
The armor in WM doesn't represent just how heavy armored the unit is, but also some combat skills as this cannot be reflected in "to hit" rolls. Halberdier units should not be the same as HE spermen stat-wise, should they.
Well if you look at the 28mm counterparts that would likely have been the original inspiration -

Empire halberdier, average combat skill (WS3), carries no shield (could carry a shield but it only applied to Shooting attacks and not Melee) and possibly wore a steel breastplate but most wore a padded jack. Light armour on the average in Warhammer - 6+ save.
High Elf spearmen, above average combat skill (WS4) wore steel scale armour and carried a shield. The scale armour, oddly, was counted at Light in the rules, and the shield boosted it to 5+ save.

Funny how there's a direct correlation there but if in Warmaster the fighting ability rather than the equipment worn is what matters then that's a whole other kettle of fish true enough.

Offline Aldhick

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Re: [AL]Wood Elves
« Reply #8 on: March 15, 2017, 06:40:32 PM »
Seen from this perspective, the Ethernal Guard has 5+ save as well in 6th ed armybook. So no problem there.
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Offline Rowlybot

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Re: [AL]Wood Elves
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2017, 06:42:29 AM »
Seen from this perspective, the Ethernal Guard has 5+ save as well in 6th ed armybook. So no problem there.

Agreed. But this just shows me that I cannot fathom how the armour save of a unit is arrived at in Warmaster. *shrugs*

Offline mlkr

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[AL]Wood Elves
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2017, 07:53:06 AM »
Chiming in :)
BTW I see absolutely no problem in the Call of the Hunt spell (compare it to what tournament Bretonnia can do).

Agree - Both Bret and VC have something similar spellwise. I'd say Call of the Hunt is a bit more situational even. Bret/VC gets to move where they want to. WE need to move into combat with the closest visible enemy unit. I'd say Bre/VC's got the better deal on that. Less fiddling with positioning to get to where you want to go.

(And considering how CoeH is worded atm I would also rule that if the affected unit cant reach combat they dont get to move at all? Might need a look at?)

The "Enemy may not shoot at chargers"-part is good but also situational. Not all enemy units have shooting. The opponent should easily be able to keep their more squishy artillery and such out of the spells threatrange (closest visible). At least during early/midgame.

Maybe, if needed, CoeH should work just like Bret/VC's similar spells? That would make it more usefull I think..


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« Last Edit: March 16, 2017, 10:54:28 AM by mlkr »
//Swedish BB & WM-player.

Offline Geep

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Re: [AL]Wood Elves
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2017, 01:35:08 PM »
I agree it's odd, but I think the main units for most Warmaster armies have a pretty simple way of determining their stats, based on what is considered a 'standard' Warhammer configuration.
For example, Halberdiers are your generic unit- one attack per model, light armour becomes 3 attacks for a stand, 6+ save. High Elf spearmen have one attack per model, light armour and a shield- which becomes 3 attacks per stand and a 5+ save. Orcs have two hand weapons (2 attacks per model) and light armour, which becomes 4 attacks per stand and a 6+ save.
I've found that this view works for most units. It's only when a unit's natural abilities seriously break the mould that things get shaken up- such as how Chaos Warriors have hand weapons, heavy armour and shields- but they naturally have 2 attacks per model, so the stand still has 4 attacks. It's really only 'when does a unit gain an extra hit?' that throws me.

Part of the reason I liked M. B. Hildreth's original Call of the Hunt was that it added an extra use for the spell- it could be cast onto an engaged unit, giving +1A (per stand, I think). Since it can only be cast in the Wood Elf turn, that helps epitomise to me the Wood Elf motto: Hit first and hit hard.

I agree with Aldhick's opinion on the extra forest. The same issue used to be true in Warhammer- without the forest, Wood Elves were excessively squishy and could not stand up to anything heavy. With too much forest, the Wood Elves were untouchable, and games would often become very dull/frustrating for the opponent. As much as I like the idea of the rule, I think it needs to be toned down or dropped.
As something of a replacement, I think Treesinging could do with a boost- perhaps moving a forest 2D6cm? As it is, I would only ever bother to cast this spell if I had no other possible spell to cast. Elves can't afford to be too mage-heavy, so having a 50/50 chance per mage to give forests a slight wiggle every turn is very rarely worth it.

Offline Rowlybot

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Re: [AL]Wood Elves
« Reply #12 on: March 17, 2017, 11:53:19 AM »
I agree it's odd, but I think the main units for most Warmaster armies have a pretty simple way of determining their stats, based on what is considered a 'standard' Warhammer configuration.
For example, Halberdiers are your generic unit- one attack per model, light armour becomes 3 attacks for a stand, 6+ save. High Elf spearmen have one attack per model, light armour and a shield- which becomes 3 attacks per stand and a 5+ save. Orcs have two hand weapons (2 attacks per model) and light armour, which becomes 4 attacks per stand and a 6+ save.
I've found that this view works for most units. It's only when a unit's natural abilities seriously break the mould that things get shaken up- such as how Chaos Warriors have hand weapons, heavy armour and shields- but they naturally have 2 attacks per model, so the stand still has 4 attacks. It's really only 'when does a unit gain an extra hit?' that throws me.

Cheers for that, other than the edge case of the additional hit as you say, that's makes a lot of sense.

So ignore my earlier about the 5+ on the Eternal Guard (also it appears I'd got my head in a fuddle thinking they were just Glade Guard with spears rather than elite double-spear-ninja bodyguard types that they are).

Offline Geep

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Re: [AL]Wood Elves
« Reply #13 on: March 17, 2017, 12:30:39 PM »
Glade Guard/ Eternal Guard have been on a bit of a rules and name ride.
When named Glade Guard, they were basic Elven Spearmen- a 'core' unit identical to their High Elf counterparts. When they became Eternal Guard (6th ed I think) they became an elite unit, with a lot of odd special rules. They had high WS, extra attacks (on top of supporting spear attacks) and gained an equivalent to heavy armour. If that were translated directly into Warmaster they'd probably be 4/3/5+, though I don't think that should be the case (not when other Elven armies don't even have their elite foot troops). In 8th ed, they basically became regular spearmen again, with light armour and shields. They kept WS5 and a few other boosted stats, but nothing too significant.

I think 3/3/5+ is perfect for them, and the ability to take a regular combat unit that doesn't need to rely on dirty tricks is great as it gives the opponent something they 'know' how to tackle, helping to remove some of the frustration that comes from facing a guerrilla warfare style force.

Offline Dark Omen

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Re: [AL]Wood Elves
« Reply #14 on: March 20, 2017, 03:18:09 PM »
I have played a couple of games using mocked up Wood Elves and their ranged game is very powerful, but the biggest issue for me is the number of additional special rules you have to remember and the strange points costs of units when compared to identical units in other armies.

Things I like are;

Eternal Guard. Profile is spot on.
Wild Riders. Excellent representation in the rules and follow the standard fanatic rule as well.
Warhawk Riders. Well represented.
Treeman character - because if he was a Monster choice he could not enter woods!

Things I feel may need a few small tweaks to bring the list in line with the more traditional armies are;

Issue #1. The minimum troop choices are 5 units coming to 345 pts out of every 1000 pts. This is far higher than any other army.

Solution; Glade Guard (archers) should be 2/- choice, and Eternal Guard (Spearmen) should be 1/- choice, per 1000. This is in line with the High Elf list but reflects the Wood Elves preference for archers. 


Issue #2. Glade Guard seem expensive at 75 pts. They cost the same as High Elf archers, and get the +1 to hit bonus, but have no armour save. So they are not as good as High Elf archers for the same cost!

Solution: A price drop of 5 or 10 points. Even with their ignore forests for command rule, I think this is justified. 70 pts per unit is still pricey but fairer.


Issue # 3. Wardancers have a rule that breaks the game system. No unit in Warmaster affects armour saves in close combat. Wardancers should not do this. Also they are very expensive for three hit infantry.

Solution: Two options here I think. Either run Wardancers the same as every other Fanatic unit; 5/3/- profile, must charge and pursue, cannot evade, ignore terror and drive backs for 70 pts.
Or turn Wardancers into single stands of Skirmishers like the Empire list. They are bought as a single additional stand to Glade Guard or Eternal Guard units, have the same armour as the parent unit to represent them intermingling, can be positioned in any formation without penalty, and can be removed instead of a parent stand. 4/3/* for 25 pts.


Issue # 4. Waywatchers also have a rule that breaks the game system. No other unit ignores armour on a 6 when shooting.

Solution: Waywatchers are not a separate unit. They are instead an upgrade for Glade Guard. One unit of Glade Guard per 1000 pts can be upgraded to Waywatchers for +10 pts. They gain the same rule as Handgunners, -1 armour save when shooting, to represent lethal shots.


Issue# 5. Dryads are very cheap at 100 pts. Their negative flammable rule is extremely situational. They also get to ignore the -1 command for forests rule which more than makes up for the flammable rule. Also Dryads should really now be called Tree Kin as this is the appropriate unit type in line with the profile of 4/4/5+.

Solution: Rename Dryads to Tree Kin or "Forest Spirits", and price them at 110 pts in line with their profile counterparts (Black Orcs).


Issue # 6. Glade Riders should not get +1 to hit. This rule was removed from the High Elf list in regards to Reavers as is was felt too powerful when combined with Command 10 characters.

Solution: Remove the +1 to hit for shooting rule and reduce cost to 90 pts.


Issue # 7. Command 10 General. Very few armies have this and Command value should not be confused with Ld value from Warhammer. I personally see Wood Elves as a bit feral and less disciplined than High Elves or Dark Elves.

Solution: Impose a -1 command penalty if an Elf character orders a non Elf unit (Dryads / Treekin or Wild Riders).  This provides a counterbalance to Command 10 General and greater incentive to bring a Treeman to command your forest spirits!


I won't comment on the spells as they were not cast in the games I played.

Please feel free to critique my suggestions, I am no army building expert but would like to generate some discussion about how the Wood Elf list can be revised for Warmaster Revolution.

Many Thanks
« Last Edit: March 21, 2017, 03:45:41 PM by Dark Omen »