December 15, 2017, 02:09:29 PM

Author Topic: [AL]Wood Elves  (Read 3362 times)

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Offline Aldhick

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Re: [AL]Wood Elves
« Reply #15 on: March 20, 2017, 10:23:46 PM »
Many thanx for your input Dark Omen. I (and I belive that many others) agree with most of what you have written. But there's more imo. I did lot's of thinking about the WE list and some playtesting as well. As I see it, these special rules/stats issues are secondary problems. Primary problem is the overall conception. That means following:

- the guerilla style play is boring and frustrating for the opponent, often leading to stalled battles, where WE army after losing most of it's non-infantry units has no option but to hide inside woods and shoot... Battles should be fun, not dull hide and seek games.
- WE are elite army with expensive units and therefore few in numbers. The units are mostly very fragile. No long range weapons, no heavily armored units. Any losses suffered before they get to action hurt big time. This predicts the army to hide and seek tactics.
- numerous additional woods allow you to cover significant area of WE half of the table with woods making it unpenetrable fortress - half of the opponents units could not enter it, rest of the army would stand only poor chances in charging the elves in the woods head on - very funny game, indeed.

So the first take should imo be to try to solve the concept problem. It is necessary to decrease the determination to guerilla style tactics to keep games fun, yet it is necessary to abide the background where WE don't have massive epic field armies but are mostly defending their homeland. And all this should be ideally made with as few impact on the existing list as possible not to mess with people's collection too much.

So no guerilla fighting and no massive WE armies at the same time. How to solve this? To achive the first, it is necessary to start with decreasing the number of the extra woods. To achieve the latter, there is and idea mentioned somewhere by someone on this forum and I think it's the best direciton to follow - let the tree spirits fight for the elves.
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Offline Clawlessdragon

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Re: [AL]Wood Elves
« Reply #16 on: March 20, 2017, 10:33:43 PM »
You raised some really nice points there and I like the way you have offered up solutions... its a rather lengthy post so I'll try and keep my responses short :)
Ranged game powerful = yes, but I would argue High elves are even more so, with their bolt thrower
Treeman character = how about if he was a monster, like giant or bone giant? - but as he is a tree can move in woods (I know another unique special rule that you are cutting down on)

Issue #1 = agree
Issue #2 = agree
Issue #3 = agree, I thought of the same 2 options as you, cant decide which, perhaps the first option.
Issue #4 = I like you option (does that include 2 shots, for 3 stands, -1 armour)? However don't agree. Many of the artillery (which are a units afterall) ignore armour. I see waywatchers as the "artillery" for wood elves. In fact the only hope they have of punching through heavy cav. With only 2 stands, and maybe a roll of a 6, I think the odds are too low to unbalance the game (my maths is not good, so it might be -1 to armour is more devastating and reliable than the random 6 on a D6).
Issue #5 = agree
Issue #6 = agree
Issue #7 = interesting twist - I like it, rather than reduce the cmd to 9 for everything, and give more a reason for the Treeman (still prefer to see him as a monster, but like where you are going with this)

Spells are an issue (tree singing is pants) allow the woods to move further, 1D6 achieves nothing.
You did not give your thoughts on rule of up to 4 free woods.

Is it me, or does the Albion list feel more "wood elfy" with their ties with nature... wolfhounds, eagles, fenbeast...spells of mists, rain and hail.  I know we are trying to tweak the existing list (not mess up what people may have bought) but I think it would have been cool to have less elf troops and more woodland animals as part of the army.

Offline industrialtrousers

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Re: [AL]Wood Elves
« Reply #17 on: March 21, 2017, 06:55:55 AM »
Like Clawless Dragon I'm also part way into building a WE army. I'm invested.

I played WE in warhammer so a lot of this is familiar. As a WE player there needs to be an to get your troops up close. Magical arrows provided this.
Bring back arcane bodkins for GG at 15cm. That'll force them to get in close and provide a counter for heavy cav. Get it right you can take a stand off a unit, get it wrong and you're trampled.

I've no problem getting rid of the extra woods unless there's none on the field already- there should be enough terrain on the field anyway.

Core units need to be either -1 each or as stated for first 1000 points then -1 for second thousand points. Like GG must have 3 in 1000 point army, 5 in 2000 points.

Offline Aldhick

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Re: [AL]Wood Elves
« Reply #18 on: March 21, 2017, 07:46:23 AM »
I'm gonna put here one of the ideas being discussed and I'll be glad for any feedback:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/179cL5cBUp0XazKg1PWmonjORIpt_rEuimCn28GztkV0/edit#gid=0

The main concept is to limit the elves in number slightly and allowing to build "tree spirit" heavy army, while not messing with the existing list too much. The aim is also to drop too unconventional special rules and not making up new ones.
The list also tries to support combat tactics, not shooty and guerilla tactics. It's important to see, that Wardancers and Wildriders are the only hard hitting units. That's why Wardancers need to stay as a unit. For me it makes much more sense to make Waywathech skirmishers-like unit as they are supposed to be small abmush squads, but more importantly, having super effective expensive and fragile shooty unit is supporting guerilla warfare.

If we want to make dryad-heavy army, the 4 hits and cost over 100 pts is simply too much. In this concept they are equivalent of daemon horde.
Almost everybody want to see the the treeman as a monster. While monters always count as in the open rules-wise, I see no problem allowing him entering woods. Retaining Treeman character is to support the "tree spirit" option and gives you more variability.

The list allows still to build almost all-elf army, yet with limited options. And gives you an oportunity to go tree-spirit heavy and enjoy more combat style games.

The list was playtested to some extent, and it worked quite well. 2k games with 2 woods wholly on WE side seemed sufficient to me allowing WE to use them yet not to put all the possible units in it to hide and shoot.

What is not still clear:  Should be Wildriders and Wardancers forced to charge on initiative? These are expensive and fragile units limited in nubers, yet to pull them out by units of opponents choice is very easy way to get rid of them. But these units are essential part of WE attacking possibilities that must be used wisely to the good effect. So it shouldn't be too easy for the opponent to screw them.

Tree singing - the D6 move is too minor in effect and the possibility of bringing the WE units to combat too vague and problematic - can a unit be brought to combat via this spell backwards? It will be even more minor when the number of woods is decreased. How about 2D6 cm moving the wood alone - no troops with it?

All other spells seem fine to me.
« Last Edit: March 21, 2017, 07:56:33 AM by Aldhick »
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Offline Geep

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Re: [AL]Wood Elves
« Reply #19 on: March 21, 2017, 10:00:25 AM »
I agree with pretty much all of Dark Omen's points.

Wardancers as an Empire-like Skirmish unit was an idea I was considering suggesting, except that stealing that rule really takes away one of the few things unique to the Empire.

I think Waywatchers as a simple Glade Guard update is a little too bland. They need to be an aggressive scouting unit. A rule like that of Gutter Runners would suit them well, and two stands for a unit is great as a weakness. To further their requirement for aggressive use I'd consider limiting their shooting range to 15cm, but perhaps with no armour saves allowed. It's also not inappropriate to give them 4 attacks- They have always traditionally had high Weapon Skill and two hand weapons. With two stands and no armour they'll never be a frontline combat unit, but they can threaten the heck out of flanks- which is exactly their purpose.

The Dryads as they currently are are not Dryads- both from a fluff perspective and a rules perspective. I agree they either need new stats or a new name. The daemon horde equivalency later brought up is perfect- Dryads are tree daemons. They're not flammable- or even truly 'fleshy'.

I disagree with the idea of dropping the command value of the general, as in my experience this encourages more defensive armies, which is exactly what makes Wood Elves frustrating. They need encouragement to be more aggressive in movement, which I'll talk about more below.

As Industrialtrousers mentioned, Wood Elves would probably benefit from a look at their older Fantasy rules. Specifically, in 6th ed, to help prevent Wood Elves from being a boring gunline they gained the ability to move and fire freely, as well as a shooting benefit within close range. That really encouraged an aggressive but risky play style, and made the 6th ed book the best Wood Elves ever had IMO (the 'magic arrows' of 8th completely missed the point). Gaining Armour Piercing (-1 to saves) at 15cm would probably help achieve that, though may need to go with an increase in points (I'd test 80, though the current 75 may be fine). The point being that Wood Elves are few in number, and you need to squeeze all of the damage you can get out of them.

Guerilla Warfare is pretty much the defining feature of Wood Elves. I definitely get that they need conventional units too, but if you try and step too much on the guerrilla aspect of them then you're not making a Wood Elf list anymore.

Forcing Wild Riders to charge on initiative is fine, and sits with their aggressive nature, but it does not suit Wardancers. The hindrance to Wild Riders may have a benefit, in that it will encourage shielding units to be outside of a forest in order to stop the Wild Riders charging off.

Apologies for the rambling style of many broken responses to other people's comments :p

On another note:
What if Wood Elves could pay points for a section of forest? You can either have a 'regular' size army with no extra forest, or fully embrace the guerrilla warfare style but with a smaller army than your opponent (amount of forest available would be limited per 1000pts).

Offline Ole

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Re: [AL]Wood Elves
« Reply #20 on: March 21, 2017, 02:14:17 PM »
Ales that looks very promising. Thank you, so far.

I like the -1 Command on Treestuff. Have you thought about these ogre sized Treestuff?

On another note:
What if Wood Elves could pay points for a section of forest? You can either have a 'regular' size army with no extra forest, or fully embrace the guerrilla warfare style but with a smaller army than your opponent (amount of forest available would be limited per 1000pts).
That is exactly what I'm thinking having free fortification is just unbalanced in the first place.


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Offline Dark Omen

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Re: [AL]Wood Elves
« Reply #21 on: March 21, 2017, 04:01:33 PM »
I'm gonna put here one of the ideas being discussed and I'll be glad for any feedback:
https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/179cL5cBUp0XazKg1PWmonjORIpt_rEuimCn28GztkV0/edit#gid=0

The main concept is to limit the elves in number slightly and allowing to build "tree spirit" heavy army, while not messing with the existing list too much. The aim is also to drop too unconventional special rules and not making up new ones.
The list also tries to support combat tactics, not shooty and guerilla tactics. It's important to see, that Wardancers and Wildriders are the only hard hitting units. That's why Wardancers need to stay as a unit. For me it makes much more sense to make Waywathech skirmishers-like unit as they are supposed to be small abmush squads, but more importantly, having super effective expensive and fragile shooty unit is supporting guerilla warfare.

If we want to make dryad-heavy army, the 4 hits and cost over 100 pts is simply too much. In this concept they are equivalent of daemon horde.
Almost everybody want to see the the treeman as a monster. While monters always count as in the open rules-wise, I see no problem allowing him entering woods. Retaining Treeman character is to support the "tree spirit" option and gives you more variability.

The list allows still to build almost all-elf army, yet with limited options. And gives you an oportunity to go tree-spirit heavy and enjoy more combat style games.

The list was playtested to some extent, and it worked quite well. 2k games with 2 woods wholly on WE side seemed sufficient to me allowing WE to use them yet not to put all the possible units in it to hide and shoot.

What is not still clear:  Should be Wildriders and Wardancers forced to charge on initiative? These are expensive and fragile units limited in nubers, yet to pull them out by units of opponents choice is very easy way to get rid of them. But these units are essential part of WE attacking possibilities that must be used wisely to the good effect. So it shouldn't be too easy for the opponent to screw them.

Tree singing - the D6 move is too minor in effect and the possibility of bringing the WE units to combat too vague and problematic - can a unit be brought to combat via this spell backwards? It will be even more minor when the number of woods is decreased. How about 2D6 cm moving the wood alone - no troops with it?

All other spells seem fine to me.

Wow I really like the list you have published! I am reassured that there is a lot of thought going in to how Wood Elves can be made more user friendly.

-I assume that the Wood Elf mage character gets the same reroll to cast spells as the High Elf mage, as they cost the same?

-A Treeman monster that can go in woods? Well it makes sense but does break the game rules.  I can see the parallel with the Bone Giant.   A Bone Giant has the exact same profile for same points but cannot go in woods. May be increase the Treeman cost to reflect this?

Really good stuff.

Thank You.


Offline Clawlessdragon

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Re: [AL]Wood Elves
« Reply #22 on: March 22, 2017, 01:53:25 PM »
Thanks for sharing what's being considered. So far it is looking very good, what's happened to the forest dragon?

I like the idea of the tree spirits fighting for the elves, but what can we use to represent the dryads? I was going to avoid them as there is little choice, but they will have a bigger roll to play in the army now.

I know eureka have some nice stuff, but can become pricey, it looks like pendraken have some wood spirits but I'm not sold on them http://www.pendraken.co.uk/FAN-MON4-p7191/
Also magister militum have a nice treeman https://www.magistermilitum.com/scale/10mm/fog5-giant-wolves-13989.html
but I'm stuck for other sources, what are other people planning to use for Dryads?

Offline Aldhick

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Re: [AL]Wood Elves
« Reply #23 on: March 23, 2017, 08:05:52 AM »
Many thenx for your contribution guys. Much appreciated.

Guerilla Warfare is pretty much the defining feature of Wood Elves. I definitely get that they need conventional units too, but if you try and step too much on the guerrilla aspect of them then you're not making a Wood Elf list anymore.

Right. But the problem is WM is not designed for such style of play. That's also why WE never got an official army list. I don't see a point in designing armylist for games that only one side will enjoy.

what's happened to the forest dragon?
Isn't an option to take two +A3 terror causing mounts/characters too much?


-I assume that the Wood Elf mage character gets the same reroll to cast spells as the High Elf mage, as they cost the same?

-A Treeman monster that can go in woods? Well it makes sense but does break the game rules.  I can see the parallel with the Bone Giant.   A Bone Giant has the exact same profile for same points but cannot go in woods. May be increase the Treeman cost to reflect this?


Good points - the WE mage should be 80 - same as DE sorceress.
The bone giant was the main pattern for the treeman. Minor point cost amendment might be at hand.


Unlike the other lists, which mostly need only small amount of amendments, the WE list needs much more work.  That's why we would appreciate your help with playtesting and feedback - wheter the original experimental list or the one suggested here, or any other ideas. It will be most helpful when the imput is based on actual experience rather than gut-feeling shouts. First in line should go the concept and closely related extra woods problem. The units/stats/special rules are secondary issue and should be related to the outcome of the first one. Many thanx.
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Offline Clawlessdragon

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Re: [AL]Wood Elves
« Reply #24 on: March 23, 2017, 01:58:11 PM »
Isn't an option to take two +A3 terror causing mounts/characters too much?

Good point. Didn't think of that. Although he is not a mount, so maybe the issue is the +3 as no other hero has that. I would be inclined to reduce to +2 attacks, and bring back the option of the dragon.  If you think undead have sphinx, bone giant, dragon.. all do 3 or more attacks, chaos, lizardmen, have monsters and monstrous mount all giving 3+ attacks, so plenty of armies have multiple high attack, fear causing troops.
Although Perhaps this could be one of the unique features of the WE army, were the hero has more attacks than the general

Offline Geep

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Re: [AL]Wood Elves
« Reply #25 on: March 24, 2017, 01:35:36 AM »
Quote
Right. But the problem is WM is not designed for such style of play. That's also why WE never got an official army list. I don't see a point in designing armylist for games that only one side will enjoy.
You're right that WM is not designed for a guerrilla warfare play style, but I don't think there's honestly too much risk of that happening here (assuming the free woods rule receives a much-needed change). What I'd aim to do instead is try to capture the essence of that fighting style- encourage mobility, concentration of fire and similar aspects.

Although I think the GoogleDocs list is generally an improvement, I think it encourages large amounts of the force to be relatively static. Most shooting units, for example, are best off finding a forest edge to dwell in and remaining there for most of the game. Forcing Wardancers and Wild Riders to charge at the nearest enemy means they will be spending a large amount of the game in-hiding, so as not to be drawn out too early. Even giving Warhawk Riders a 15cm all-around shooting attack, while common to such units, has a drawback by reducing the importance of their facing (so exact placement becomes less critical).
I'd like to see an incentive to close the gap, rather than sitting back and being defensive- something similar to how Dark Elves are aggressive as they are much more fearsome at close range (though not stealing their rules).

Offline Aldhick

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Re: [AL]Wood Elves
« Reply #26 on: March 24, 2017, 12:39:53 PM »
Good point. Didn't think of that. Although he is not a mount, so maybe the issue is the +3 as no other hero has that. I would be inclined to reduce to +2 attacks, and bring back the option of the dragon.  If you think undead have sphinx, bone giant, dragon.. all do 3 or more attacks, chaos, lizardmen, have monsters and monstrous mount all giving 3+ attacks, so plenty of armies have multiple high attack, fear causing troops.
Although Perhaps this could be one of the unique features of the WE army, were the hero has more attacks than the general

Thanx for an idea to concider


Although I think the GoogleDocs list is generally an improvement, I think it encourages large amounts of the force to be relatively static. Most shooting units, for example, are best off finding a forest edge to dwell in and remaining there for most of the game. Forcing Wardancers and Wild Riders to charge at the nearest enemy means they will be spending a large amount of the game in-hiding, so as not to be drawn out too early. Even giving Warhawk Riders a 15cm all-around shooting attack, while common to such units, has a drawback by reducing the importance of their facing (so exact placement becomes less critical).
I'd like to see an incentive to close the gap, rather than sitting back and being defensive- something similar to how Dark Elves are aggressive as they are much more fearsome at close range (though not stealing their rules).

 Thanx for the comments. WE are desighend as few in numbers, fragile but deadly when charging properly. So this predicts them to be held in defense and attack only in the right situation as they cannot afford any unemployed losses. You can hardly change that unless you make the elves more armored - but that wouldn't be WE anymore. That's the reason why the dryad/treeman-heavy army is supported in the suggested list. These units based on daemon/bone giant stats put into brigades are capable of doing the "proper battle" job. When supported by elvisch cavalry, they are able to stand even against heavy cav brigades.
   The point is not to strip WE of their hiding in the wood completely - we all know it is their tactic fluff-wise afterall. But it should be reduced to such extent it is acceptable for the opponet too. That's why the extra woods are still in the suggested list and why it restricts the elvish part and supports the tree spirit part.

On the Wardancers and Wildrider - that's why I wrote previously that I'm not sure about them being forced to charge on initiative for exactly the same reason you say.

What is your idea of making WE more aggresive while not messing with the existing list too much and without inventing too many new special rules?
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Offline Geep

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Re: [AL]Wood Elves
« Reply #27 on: March 24, 2017, 04:08:28 PM »
Quote
What is your idea of making WE more aggresive while not messing with the existing list too much and without inventing too many new special rules?
I can see where you're going with the forest spirits, and I agree that's great for making a more traditional army that will fight like any other army- which is why that holds no appeal for me. I can certainly understand why that would appeal to people who play other regular armies, and who have no real attachment to Wood Elves as concept (as quick background on myself, I've collected Wood Elves for nearly 20 years now and absolutely loved the design behind the 6th ed book over all others).
I do have some concern that, by aiming to be forest spirit heavy, the elves will become a chore to take and that an Elven army won't be able to stand up by itself.

My preference would be to see Ld remain high, to encourage movement- maybe even adding a movement spell that allows relatively free movement too (more free than The Call of the Hunt) and/or a boost to treesinging. People may hate the potential hit-and-run, but it's always a big gamble for the Elves to pull it off. Added to that would be encouragement to close the range- armour piercing shooting (-1 save) at half range appeals to me. It doesn't need to be drastic.
The shooting units are likely to take damage in return- the trick will be in doing the necessary damage in time, then getting the remainder of those units into safety.
Control of movement should both be important and certain- so ideally no units automatically charging off by themselves (though it can be justified for Wild Riders by fluff), and positioning should be vital for concentrating fire as needed.

As I'm sure most people know, shooting alone rarely kills things in Warmaster, so it's in the second stage when Dryads and Eternal Guard come into their own- hopefully cleaning up units of 1 or 2 stands which have been stripped of support.

The weakness of the list is counterfire- which it must use terrain to try and minimise, and it's also a bit more vulnerable to poor luck than many forces. If the Glade Guard expose themselves for a shot and the dice roll dismally, that's no small thing- but must be an accepted risk. If the shooting doesn't weaken the enemy enough, the Dryads and Eternal Guard would be unlikely to hold.

If I could really stir things up I'd add Great Eagles as well as the Warhawk Riders. Wood Elves were once the main 'air force' army, and I liked fielding both of these units in Fantasy- even if they were often terrible. I don't think that's a necessary change, just some fun.

Offline honestmistake

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Re: [AL]Wood Elves
« Reply #28 on: April 06, 2017, 03:08:48 PM »
Even the newly suggested list looks broken to me.

* Why are the standard elven Archers ported over with the same stats and no woodland penalty then given a a 10 point saving per unit?
* Why limit the normal Infantry to 3 per thousand and then throw in Unlimited Uber Spearmen... er "tree-Spirit/Dryads" for 75 points with immunity to terror, no command penalty in woods and a +1 attack! OK they do have a -1 command penalty from most heroes but it's a 10 command General so it's hardly an issue?
* Waywatchers are based on Empire Skirmishers... Good plan but why they seem cheap for the power of the shooting attack? Also, should the save not be 0/5+ to match their parent units?
* Wardancers... Glad to see their 'tank' killer ability gone but I'm still not keen on armoured flagellants in an Elven Army.
* An Unlimited number Hero mounts seems a little unnecessary.
*

Offline Aldhick

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Re: [AL]Wood Elves
« Reply #29 on: April 07, 2017, 02:19:48 PM »
Interesting. Wood Elf players say it's too weak and others it's overpowered. How come :-)
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