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1. Characters1.1. Lords1.2. Heros 1.3. Kindreds2. Units1.3.1. Wardancer Kindred1.4. Special Characters
1.3.2. Eternal Kindred
1.3.3. Alter Kindred
1.3.4. Scout Kindred
1.3.5. Wild Rider Kindred
1.3.6. Waywatcher Kindred2.1. Core 2.2. Special 2.3. Rare3. Magic Items3.1. Common Magic Items4. Spites
3.2. Magic Weapons
3.3. Magic Armor
3.5. Enchanted Items
3.6. Arcane Items
3.7. Magical Standards
5. Wood Elf Magic6. Deployment 7. Use of Terrain8. The Opening Turns
9. The End Game
10. The Principles of Attack10.1. Specific Enemy Analyses
10.2. Effective Flanking11. The Principles of Defense
10.3. Fast Cavalry
10.4. Using Skirmishers
10.5. The Multi-Charge
10.6. Dealing with Warmachines
10.7. Using Psychology
Last edited by Sammy the Squib; April 27th, 2008 at 00:45. Reason: Updated Links
Branchwraith – Supporting Multitasker
- Causes Fear
- Forest Spirit Ward Save 5+
- Can join Dryads
Composition / Spite - Options & Uses
- Magic Items/Attacks - Negate forest spirit ward save
- 2 wounds
Let’s start off with summarizing the Spites and the roles they play when on a Branchwraith
- Annoyance Netlings - Hunt small characters such as supporting spellcasters and characters weak in h2h combat
- Murder Spites - More combat finesse
- Cluster Radiants - Bolster your Dispel Dice pool
- Befuddlement of Mischiefs - Use in selected games against low LD targets
- Lamentation Despairs – One use only, so only use it when your opponent is unlikely to dispel it.
So you can mix and match between combat and magic, or have a focus on one, remember BW can take up to 50 points of spites, and can take more than 1.
- Blight of Terrors – Turning the Branchwraith from a Fear-causing unit to a Terror-causing unit is not worth the points for this spite.
- Respendence Luminescents – Disregard. Branchwraiths and Dryads already have magical attacks.
- Muster Malevolents & Pageant of Shrikes – The Branchwraith and attached dryads will likely be looking for combat as quickly as possible, leaving them no opportunity to used ranged attacks.
Spellcaster Branchwraith - The ability to make it a lvl 1 wizard and take Cluster of Radiants (+1 dispel dice) is amazing when compared it to a Spellsinger. This is a really flexible way to get additional dispel dice while also having a combat character. Also being higher toughness, having a save, and prowess in combat makes the Branchwraith a much more versatile character than a Spellsinger.
Combat role - A dryad unit with a champion compliments the Branchwraith well. Using the Mage setup and using her as a combat character give some versatility, which giving her combat spites will add to the lethality of her dryad unit. The Branchwraith is excellent at taking on supporting characters in units by challenging with Annoyance of Netlings and also getting more attacks with Murder Spites.
The Branchwraith is very underrated by many players. The Branchwraith is fantastic when used correctly, though a little luck never goes amiss.
There are two areas with which you can use your Branchwraith depending on your setup – on the frontline as the aggressor, or in a support role. However you setup your Branchwraith, you should always try to get her into combat.
A champion (Branch Nymph) is essential in a Dryad unit joined by a Branchwraith; because of base sizes, you'll need every additional attack upon the enemy, and it will also give you the choice to accept challenges with the Branch Nymph, rather than sacrificing your Branchwraith. You can also join or leave a unit of dryads if needed.
Glade Riders - Basic Fast Cav
Glade Riders are simply your generic Fast Cavalry. They can't destroy an enemy in one charge like Brettonian Knights. They can't take any Magic Banners of doom, nor can they survive a volley from Dwarf Thunderers. However, they do have some uses, as I will explore here.
Decoy - The is a basic fast cavalry tactic, and one Glade excel at. They place themselves right in the way of the enemy (ie, very few inches in front, like 3 or something similar). The enemy unit must now charge, flip around, or stay still. If the unit is one of Dwarf Ironbreakers, there's really only one thing the CAN do, charge, and when they do: flee. This results in one of the enemy units pulled out of position for another turn (as they now can't march). This tactic works against basically all infantry, though be careful against Elves and Skaven who move quicker.
Against other Cavalry, deploy them opposite the enemy Cavalry, around 24" away from them. After a long march, you should then be 6" away from them. The non-marching Cavalry must now move around them, or charge. If they charge, flee, and have a combat unit ready to counter-charge. If the Glade Riders get caught, charge the offending unit with Wardancers, Dryads, or whatever.
What makes this tactic great is that the Glade Riders are almost guaranteed to rally next turn (barring some really bad rolls).
Harass - This tactic is painfully basic. The concept idea is that Fast Cavalry can fire on the march, and GR's don't take any penalty for moving and shooting.
The plan is to get in behind (or beside) an enemy unit, and just do as your heart is content with doing. Fire arrows into the target unit, marchblock them, threaten a charge, and generally make a nuisance of themselves. If they get attacked by Skirmishers, just revert to Decoy, and don't let them charge you.
Destroying an enemy unit - Here, you start by placing them behind an enemy unit. The Riders M9 should help immensely here. Once you've done that, fire everything at that unit until they get panicked. If they fail, they flee into your Glade Riders, and get destroyed. Again, basic, but there is a reason it's under this section. Useful all the same.
Bait Fanatics out - Fanatics drive me crazy. If you charge straight at them, they spin out and destroy whatever came too close. So, if you Glade Riders are looking a little worse for the wear (eg, down to 2 models, or something), send them towards any unit that looks like it may have Fanatics. Angle them strategically, so the drugged-up Gobbos go away from your line, closer to theirs, into a forest, or whatever's convenient at the time. You'll thank me for this when your Wardancers or Wild Riders don't get knocked to kingdom come instead of chopping those pesky Gobbos. A little wasteful, but if you're unit is about to die, why not? It will be for a worthy cause (most of the time, at any rate).
Gaining easy VP's in Turn 6 - Again, basic, yet highly effective. In Turn 6, flip them around, and race full pelt into an unoccupied Table Quarter. You have just scored yourself 100 VP's. Of course, you can deny your opponent 100 points as well, if they're occupying an unchallenged quarter.
Another useful thing is being able to get to the center of a table to claim an objective in the last turn.
Shoot - Fast Cavalry can reform freely, even on the march, and fire on the march. Glade Riders can move through woods at full pelt, and suffer no penalty to move and shoot. Thus, they can get into a nigh-perfect position to shoot someone. Is there a unit of Bretonnian Yeomen looking ready to charge next turn? Great, get your Glade Riders there, and fire all hell on them. If they don't panic, at least they'll be reduced, making the prospect of a charge easier.
Forests - For a start, vision. If a unit is more than 2" inside a forest, they cannot be seen. So, if there is a unit of Thunderers looking ominous, hide, so you can see another unit, but not the Thunderers. Even if you can be seen, they'll suffer a -1 hit penalty for soft cover.
Going a bit more advanced, place your Riders in position to execute the Decoy tactic, but make sure there's a forest behind your Riders. Flee, as normal with charge reactions. The only difference is that the enemy will now be stuck in a forest, which should occupy them for at least 2 turns. You can do this with pretty much every tactic. For example, what if the Fanatics have to go through a forest to get at your GR's? You can also use them for a "cha-cha" tactic, or to lose an enemy unit, leaving them isolated. Speaking of which...
Vs isolated combat units - If there is a powerful combat-oriented combat unit (preferably infantry) looking lonely on the flanks (or else they're trying to sneak around), send in your Glade Riders, especially if there's no other job for them.
Place them directly in front of the unit. They can either charge, or flip around. If they charge, flee. If you can rally, repeat these antics until it looks like you will hit the board edge. Once that happens, leave the unit to turn around and join the action in Turn 6 (if they're lucky).
If their unit flips around, move your Riders to their new front, again, this will put them having to make the same decision as last turn. You have to love the maneuverability of Fast Cavalry.
Using in Synch with other units
Combat - On their own, Glade Riders aren't a bad prospect – they have 5 WS4 S4 attacks on the charge (pretty much always getting the charge). Against Skinks, Snotlings, weak Skirmishers, or a badly reduced unit, they can do significant damage. However, they are extremely vulnerable to return attacks. Thus, their greatest asset comes with a combined assault.
Imagine a unit of Dwarf Warriors stuck in combat with a unit of Dryads. They are fully ranked up, outnumber the Dryads (we'll say there are 20 warriors vs 12 Dryads), have a banner and a powerful Thane. Combat Resolution: Dwarves have Outnumber, 3 Ranks and a banner. The Dryads have to inflict 5 unsaved wounds just to tie the combat, even then, the Dwarves have a musician. However, help is at hand. A unit of 5 Glade Riders and an Alter Noble have seen their plight. The Glade Riders hit the flank, and the Alter hits the rear (having just finished off the warmachines).
The combat ensues as follows: The Thane challenges hoping for the Alter to accept. However, the Wood Elf player sees that he will lose a hero, so accepts with his Glade Rider champion.
The Riders (and horses) inflict 2 wounds, one of which is saved. The Alter causes 3 S6 wounds (we'll assume he has a Great Weapon), none of which are saved. The Dryads strike, doing 2 wounds, one of which is saved. The Glade Rider champion strikes the Thane, doing no damage. The Thane strikes back, doing 2 unsaved wounds. The warriors on the flank strike the Glade Riders, doing nothing that isn't saved. The Warriors at the front do 1 wound on the Dryads, which isn't saved. Combat Resolution is as follows:
- Wood Elves have Outnumber, a Flank Charge, and 5 wounds.
- The Dwarves have 3 wounds, ad a banner. They have now lost by 3, and take a Break Test at Ld6.
Most combats should go something like that. Unit Champions are great for intercepting blows from powerful characters, since they're basically like normal warriors. Other than that, Glade Rider champions are pretty useless.
Refused Flank - Place your Glade Riders as the only unit on any given flank. Advance them up ahead. When an enemy unit charges at them, your Riders should be awkwardly positioned, so they can regroup afterwards (DON'T flee off the board), and so the enemy unit has to spin around, then move, putting them out of the game for at least 2 turns. If you can put one unit out this way, good. If you can put a 300+ point unit out in this way, then great, if you can put 3 units out this way, really great. If one of those 3 units has the General and/or a unit of doom, then you deserve a Nobel Prize, as they'll get in each other’s way as they reposition.
If your opponent sees this and moves his units inwards earlier, be careful. Get your Riders in behind them and prohibit marches. Also bear in mind that he won't be able to get into combat with all his units simultaneously.
Combined Shooting - On their own, Glade Riders are good at shooting. However, throw in a unit of Glade Guard AND Scouts shooting that unit, don't be surprised if they panic, or even destroy a small unit.
A great way to get lots of panic tests is to kill a small unit (say, Fast Cavalry), or to make them flee into other units, creating a nifty chain reaction.
Use with an Alter - Unless the hero in question has an Elven Steed or other mount, the Alter is the only hero in the Wood Elves army that can keep up with them without actually having to join them. You can use this to create shooting dilemma (the Alter or the Riders? This can actually be a tricky question). If you plan to use combat, the Alter's M9 is also useful, since he can always charge at the same time as the Riders.
Flee through ItP units - Same as Cyric's Cha-Cha tactic, but I'd like to emphasize the use of Glade Riders. If you are unsure of how it works, place them in front of an enemy unit, with an ItP unit behind them (Forest Spirits, Wardancers or a unit with a character wielding the otherwise useless Gwytherc’s Horn). When the enemy charges, flee. They will run through the ItP unit, but (being ItP), they will not panic. The best bit about this is that you can rally next turn, and do the same again next turn. Other units cannot do that.
The enemy unit must now also take on a big scary unit waiting to get into combat. Que manic laughter.
With a Spellweaver using the Lore of Beasts - The BRB has a few interesting surprises in the Lore of Beasts. Such as the spell The Oxen Stands (or something similar), that allows any cavalry unit to auto-rally. If you can never rally your troops (rolling four 12's in a row), this spell may be your solution. If that isn't your fancy, try The Wolf Hunts (again, or something similar), the one that lets a Cavalry unit move forwards. A cunning way to be an inch thief, of if you're set up a long way from the enemy.
General Rules of Thumb
AFG's First Law - Always take a unit of 5 or 6, unless you want to fill points, or you want a suicide unit to charge straight into the enemy's midst with no hope of survival (in which case, I must say shame on you for being a Wood Elf player, there are Dark Elves, you know)
AFG's Second Law - ALWAYS take a Musician. Without exception. You will be fleeing lots which means that you'll need to rally next turn. Even if you do want that suicide unit, you could get a tied combat.
AFG's Third Law - Don't bother with a standard bearer. If you voluntarily flee, you lose your standard, so don't waste points on this, and I think the enemy may get 100 VP's, but I could be wrong here.
AFG's Fourth Law - Stay away from Missile fire. Nothing's more annoying than losing a unit in a single turn that has a grand purpose
AFG's Fifth Law - Don't be afraid to flee. Be selective of when you do it. It's likely that your Riders won't be able to face off with a unit that has a unit strength of higher that 3, especially if they get charged. Just don't flee into an enemy unit, or off the board edge, and be careful of fleeing them into your own units. You never know how unlucky you may get with those confounded Panic Tests.
AFG's Sixth Law - Characters are good, but I wouldn't bother using them in a GR unit unless you want an improved Leadership. They make for a juicier target (more VP's on offer), and they don't gain any shooting benefits.
Wild Riders - The Combat Mounted Warriors of Wood Elves
- Speed & Maneuverability
- Magical Attacks, including mounts
- Magic Resistance 1
- High Weapon Skill (5)
- High Strength (4 / 5 on charge w/spear)
- Cause Fear on Charge
- Multiple Saves (5+armour, 5+ Forest Spirit, 6+ Talismanic Tattoo)
- Additional +1 attack when they didn’t charge into combat, including mounts
Unit Options and Composition
- No bows
- Frail - Toughness 3
- Magic Items - Negate forest spirit ward save (but not Talismanic Tattoo's)
- Immune to Psychology - means they cannot flee from charges
Champion - Always take one because they lack attacks on the charge so additional attacks help
Musician - FREE
Banner - Take a unit with war banner so you get +2 to combat resolution (std+banner)
Characters - A character with dawn spear will really benefit this unit (-1 if the wielder causes an unsaved wounds) so if your attacks were really bad on your charge you can survive attacks back
The Great Stag option for a character is an interesting one in my opinion, advantages are that it has 2 strength 5 attacks with a base WS of 5, so it is basically a WR champion, disadvantages are points cost and the base size will mean you will lose attacks. Personally I go for the steed, this allows more people attacks with less unit frontage for maneuverability.
If you find your WR getting charged, you can take the Hail of Doom Arrow (Wild Rider Kindreds do not lose their bows), or alternatively, the Amber Pendant (enemy models in base contact always strike last). The Hail of Doom Arrow will give you some strength on a stand-and-shoot reaction, and the Amber Pedant will allow your character, champion and 1 normal Wild Rider to attack first..
Using mages with glamourweave in your unit is not recommended, since your mage can be assigned attacks in combat. Your mage will only contribute 1 attack dice, and if the unit dies you have lost a vital character.
Try to hunt high-toughness units with Wild Riders. They can also be used to get into the flank zones of enemy block units for multi-charges. Wild Riders can be used to march block whilst your other units are positioning themselves, and can be relied upon to destroy small units as well as lightly-armored targets.
Frontal Charge - As with all units in the wood elf army, you should try to support Wild Rider charges with other units - the same can be said if charging the front of a unit. Against a big block of troops, you will have trouble if you fail to do sufficient wounds contributing to combat resolution. Taking the war banner and standard for +2 combat resolution means you will have to at least kill 3 targets, without sustaining any casualties in return, in order for combat to result in a draw. However, do not dismiss charging the front as it is possible to break a unit with only Wild Riders. Wild Riders are very efficient at destroying small units or high-toughness targets due to their high strength, which is augmented on the charge by spears.
Flank/Rear Charge – Flank and Rear Charges are ideal for Wild Riders - they will not get attacked back by characters with magical weapons, will provide bonuses towards combat resolution, and will negate the rank bonus of the enemy they are fighting. Being immune to psychology (and therefore unable to flee from a charge), you must carefully consider the position of your unit after combat.
Sweeping – Wild Riders excel at skirting the enemy line and picking off units such as War Machines, units with ranged attacks, enemy wizards, of anything supporting the opposing army. This is when you get around someone’s lines and pick off units such as war machines, ranged units or anything that is supporting their army. Wild Riders can accomplish these tasks, and still rejoin the main battle.
Remaining in combat – Despite the loss of the strength bonus from the spears, Wild Riders gain an additional attack in rounds they did not charge. With their still-respectable Strength 4, Wild Riders become even more formidable! Just beware getting charged by other units.
Maneuvering – Wild Riders’ strength is on the charge. They should avoid getting shot and charged. With a march move of 18”, Wild Riders should have little difficulty fighting on their own terms.
I always place Wild Riders last because so I can see where the enemy has placed his units. This allows me to decide how best to use my Wild Riders throughout the game to achieve the best results for their potential.
Warhawk Riders – Death from Above
- Speed & Maneuverability
- High Strength (4 on charge w/spear)
- Hit and run ability
- Flying Cavalry
- Can fly 20” and still shoot
- Ability to charge 360 deg
Unit Options and Composition
- Frail - Toughness 3
- No armour save
- Can’t be joined by a character
- High point cost
Windrider – Never, ever take the upgrade. It is can be detrimental to one of the major roles of the Warhawk Riders.
Characters – Flying Cavalry cannot be joined by a character, even one on a Warhawk.
Unit Size – Due to the cost per model, it is highly recommended to not exceed 4 Warhawk riders per unit. The advantage of the Warhawk Riders is that each model is US 2. So even at their minimum size, 3 models, they have an impressive US6. This allows them to have all the special abilities attached to US5. The main reason to consider having 4 in the unit is so that a casualty can be taken without dropping below US5.
Marchblocking – Warhawk Riders, as flyers, are perfect for this role. Their base size allows them to make a fairly large footprint and affect the maximum number of enemy units, simply spread them out the maximum allowable. Things to consider are not putting them in charge range or direct line of fire of enemy units if at all possible as if they flee from a charge they will no longer be marchblocking anything.
Warmachine Hunting – Their long charge range and strength 4 on the charge with 2 attacks each make them the bane of any warmachine crew. Also they are armed bows so can shoot them on the way in. The skirmishing formation of the Warhawk Riders makes them very poor targets for warmachines as a general rule although Repeater Bolt Throwers, Organ Guns and Hellblasters will make very short work of them. Try to make sure that when the Warhawk riders are attacking these units that they have another unit supporting them. This will force your opponent to choose which one to attack.
Support – As a very fast and maneuverable unit Warhawk Riders are able to lend support where most needed. Because of their US they can provide valuable bonuses via flank and rear charges, just remember that they do NOT negate rank bonus but will provide the +1 or +2 bonus for a flank or rear charge. This should never be attempted with the Warhawk Riders unsupported and should only be attempted against low toughness low armour troops. Doing this against elite troops like Chaos Warriors will actually allow more of them to attack and undo any good your flank or rear charge has given you. Soft targets like archer units can be attacked fairly confidently though.
In addition to support in close combat they can also support units of glade guard and other shooty units with their bow attacks. Three or four attacks with bows may not seem like much but it may kill that one model that forces 25% casualty panic check or wipe out the last model of a unit. Concentrate on targets that were at least US5 at the beginning of the turn as this may force multiple panic checks.
Character Killing – Almost exclusively used against mages and the reason not to take a Windrider a cagey player will simply challenge the Windrider and reduce the amount of attacks faced. With their hit and run ability the Warhawk Riders can attack a unit containing a mage and you should always get at least 2 of your Warhawk Riders in contact with the character. This yields and impressive 4 attacks which may be allocated against the character, most times need 3+ to hit and 3+ to wound, as mages generally have no save this is enough to kill them. Irrespective of the result the Warhawk Riders can disengage without the enemy unit being able to pursue. This is a good way of reducing the effectiveness of the enemy magic phase. You can do it to kill unit champions and “weaker” characters but the rewards are greatest when killing mages.
Enemy in the way – This can be done if the Warhawk Rider unit is US5 or greater. When you have selected a target to shoot and to try and force a panic check, fly your Warhawk Riders behind the unit in question. Then focus enough firepower to force a panic check. If this check is failed and you have positioned your Warhawk Riders such that they enemy unit is forced to flee through them then the enemy unit is destroyed. With this tactic you could wipe out a large ranked unit after only inflicting 25% casualties.
Multitasking – There is no reason that any of the above cannot be combined. You can marchblock a unit and at the same time acting as “enemy in the way” whilst shooting at a warmachine crew, in preparation for a charge on an enemy mage.
Due to the ability of this unit to rapidly redeploy it can be placed at any stage as whatever your opponent does they will be able to reach a target very quickly. Always deploy out of line of sight behind some cover, you don’t want to loose them before you use them.
Enemy shooting units can quickly render this unit ineffective. Know the ranges of enemy weapons and stay out of range or line of sight. Magic, as a small unit they are very vulnerable to offensive magic, so try and keep them back until you can strike or if your threatening a mage, make sure you dispel any spells cast against the Warhawk Riders as a priority. This units effectiveness depends on that US5, once it is gone then their abilities are severely reduced.
Treekin - The Middle Children of the Trees
- Cause Fear
- Good Statline
- Scaly Skin
- Forest Spirit
- Can negate ranks
Unit Options and Composition
- Very Expensive
Elder – The points paid for the extra attack are probably not worth it.
Characters – Forest spirit characters can join this unit. These include Wildrider characters and Glamourweave Spellsingers/weavers. The ability to do this can provide a leadership boost to the Treekin and, in the case of a Wildrider character, can increase the combat effectiveness significantly.
Unit Size – Due to the cost per model, it is highly recommended to not exceed 4 Treekin per unit. Higher model count also makes the unit harder to manouvere.
Combat Support – Although Treekin are a tough unit they cannot win combat unsupported unless it is against a small ranked unit or a skirmishing unit. Treekin excel at supporting other units in a combat. Their high number of attacks and resiliency means they are great contributors to winning a combat. Couple this with a flank or rear charge and they are devastating. Treekin are one of the few units able to deny rank bonus in the Wood Elf army. Due to the low model count the fear causing aspect of this unit won’t come into play that often but when combined with dryads it can come into play.
Character Killing – Similar to Warhawk Riders, Treekin have the ability, with their large number of high strength attacks, to kill enemy characters. Unlike Warhawk Riders they can also take on tougher characters, not only mages. Their forest spirit rule means that not even Ethereal characters are safe.
Dictating Deployment – The sight of a unit of Treekin deploying in a certain spot can make your opponent react by placing tougher or key units away from the Treekin. This gives you the opportunity to place the Treekin early and dictate where your opponent will place units like cavalry or high armour units.
This unit is quite unwieldy and poor deployment can render them ineffective. Deploying them behind a forest will protect them from shooting and magic without hindering their maneuverability. Even three models make quite a footprint in your deployment zone so plan where you put them wisely.
Due to their high toughness and multiple saves, most shooting is fairly ineffective against Treekin. That being said, large amounts of firepower will hurt them. Main things to watch out for are high strength shooting attacks from things like bolt throwers and other warmachines. At no stage should a flank be presented to these units as they can potentially wipe out the unit. Of particular note is the dwarven bolt thrower with the rune of burning.
Waywatchers – Über-Scouts of Death
Contributors: Cyric the Mad
- Can deploy with no minimum distance from enemy units if hidden, or in plain sight and more than 12” away.
- Enemies suffer -2 base to shoot at Waywatchers (-1 for skirmishers, -1 for Forest Stalkers)
- Killing Blow on arrows fired at short range
- 2 Hand weapons included in standard equipment
- No armor or ward save
Unit Options and Composition
The Shadow Sentinel upgrade for a Waywatcher unit is almost never worth the points cost. The champion upgrade provides the mode with better BS than a normal Waywatcher. The majority of the time Waywatchers will hit their targets on 2+. On the occasions that this gets modified to 3+, having one shot be more likely to hit is not worth the points.
Being scouts, Waywatchers are normally best fielded in small units of 5 or 6. Larger units can make the Waywatchers difficult to deploy as scouts and will make them more of a target to your enemies. While it can be tempting to take Waywatchers en masse in the hopes of capitalizing on Killing Blow, one must remember that such a benefit will only work occasionally and is not often enough to compensate for the elevated cost of the unit.
Waywatchers are best used in a harassment role – they will be most effective at march-blocking, warmachine hunting, and lone-character assassinations. They can also be effective in hand-to-hand combat against small, lightly-armored units.
When hunting warmachines, the Waywatchers should, without hesitation, charge most warmachine crews as soon as possible. With the exception of some Dwarven crews, Waywatchers are typically more than a match for warmachine crews in combat, whereas they are only somewhat likely to hit a crew member with shooting.
Against enemy wizards and lone characters, the Lethal Shot special rule can shine – if your opponent has lone characters who are either unarmored or lightly-armored, Waywatchers can dispatch these targets quickly.
It is important to note, however that the Killing Blow property of Wawyatchers at short range is almost never significant enough to make or break a game. Taking Waywatchers for this purpose alone is a sure path to disappointment. Do not neglect how useful this unit can be for march-blocking. With two hand weapons, they are also respectable against enemy skirmishers, lightly-armored targets and (as mentioned) warmachine crews.
The Forest Stalker special rule can make Waywatchers tricky to deploy. Wooded terrain in or near your opponent’s deployment zone is a perfect spot for Waywatchers, especially if it begins the game with them in march-blocking position.
Alternatively, placing them on the edge of any legal wood and using them as snipers can be effective, though this effectiveness is largely contingent upon the opponent the Wood Elves are facing. In this case, they are unlikely to suffer greatly from return fire, imposing a -3 modifier against incoming fire as they do when in soft cover.
It is worth noting here that Waywatchers are capable of provoking Night Goblin units into releasing any hidden fanatics before the game has begun. Since Fanatics release as soon as there is an enemy within 8” and Waywatchers have the potential to deploy within 8” of a unit, the Fanatics are released immediately. This use of Waywatchers is rare, but beyond cool when executed.
Retreating Fire Line (The Wood Elf Cha Cha)
Contributors: Cyric the Mad
The concept of the retreating fire line is either to have a line of glade guard which flees from combat when charged, or to have a line of glade guard advance until it is within short range, and then begin to move away from the enemy in order to gain a round or two of shooting before charged.
Strategies involving a retreating fire line can help you win a lot of games, but be warned, it will not make you many friends. Not everyone loves to cha cha like wood eves do.
This tactic relies upon 1 or more units of glade guard advancing in front of a block of combat troops – forest spirits are ideal for this purpose, as are Wardancers. The glade guard should line up in a single rank with the combat units slightly behind them, resulting in a deployment looking like this:
This grouping will move forward 5” every turn until the enemy declares a charge against the Glade Guard, at which point the glade guard will flee through the Dryads (remember that Dryads are Immune to Psychology and will not panic as a result of this move). The enemy will either fail the charge, leaving them in position to be counter-charged by the dryads, or they will reach the Dryads, and combat will ensue.
This deployment places your main combat units in the center of your archer line. Your combat units and archers advance together, with Glade Guard providing covering fire. Once close combat ensues, your Glade Guard can begin falling back, and potentially wheeling to face the center of the board, providing the opportunity to shoot at enemy units that make it through your combat line.
If circumstances are correct, this deployment will also allow your glade guard to flank charge enemies engaged by your combat troops. Only do this if your victory is reasonably certain, since a savvy opponent will direct as many attacks as possible toward your weaker Glade Guard.
This deployment is ideal for giving your opponent a solid center on which to focus his attack. While this deployment can make it appear that you have placed all of your eggs in one basket, the secret of the success of this strategy is actually on the flanks of the battle – if either side can secure the flanks before combat is joined in the center of the field, victory is almost assured.
Wardancers - Death by Interpretive Dance
To use Wardancers properly, you need an MP3 player of some sort or another, and you need speakers to attach to whatever music device you choose. Next, you need to select four pieces of music, one for each dance. I use the following:
Once done, you have ensured that your Wardancers will never lose a combat, as long as you remember to play a clip of the song as your means of announcing what dance you are taking.
- Metallica’s “Ride the Lightning” for Storm of Blades
- MC Hammer’s “Can’t Touch This” for Shadows Coil
- Jimi Hendrix's "Purple Haze" for Woven Mist
- Queen’s “Another One Bites the Dust” for Whirling Death
Few units in the world of Warhammer can muster as many attacks as can Wardancers. Consider the minimum unit of 5. Add a champion and a noble, and then bang your head to “Ride the Lightning.” That’s 21 attacks from 6 models, all of which are likely in base to base contact. Assuming you charged and are therefore receiving their strength bonus, even knights with a 1+ save are going to go down. Opponents with moderate to light armor will die in even greater numbers.
To me, Wardancers are like a unit of demi-heroes. Their Weapon Skill matches that of a noble, and their Initiative almost matches a noble. A Bladesinger has as many attacks as a basic Wood Elves noble, and they are far cheaper.
In my opinion, you just can’t go wrong with these Masters of the Dance.
- Hitting Power
- Magic Resistance
- Ward Save
- Sheer number of attacks
- Strength bonus on the charge
- Cool models
Unit Options and Composition
- No bows
- Inability to flee charges
- Poor Ward Save
Champion - Players debate the value of a champion. I prefer to take one for the extra attack. With Storm of Blades, you’re pumping out four attacks, and on the rare instance that you charge the front of a ranked unit, you have a good chance of acquiring Overkill with a challenge. Other players feel that Wardancers generate enough attacks without the assistance of a unit champion.
Musician - I’m a firm believer in the value of musicians. As deadly as Wardancers are, they will still lose combats and flee. In such cases, you need this unit to rally. They represent too many points and too much killing power to allow to run willy nilly for the table edge.
Standard Bearer - Not an option, but wouldn’t it be great? Here’s one gimmick you can do, though. Attach a Battle Standard Bearer to the unit. For good measure, give him the War Banner. Suddenly, your Wardancers have a +2 to combat resolution. Pretty nice, eh?
Unit Size - Not too big and not too small. Too small, and they can be eliminated by missile or magic fire before they do anything. Too big and you’ve got a lot of eggs in one basket. Plus, you will have guys just hanging around and not getting into combat. If you hit the side of a typical ranked unit that has four complete ranks, then you’re only going to get six Wardancers into contact. So maybe seven to nine to ensure that you can make that six.
Characters - Wardancers characters are lethal. Here are some possible builds.
1. Murder of Spites, Blades of Loec, Moonstone of Hidden Ways
2. Annoyance of Netlings, Stone of Crystal Mere, Blades of Loec
3. Resplendence of Luminescents (magical attacks are great against Daemons and the like), Blades of Loec, Moonstone of Hidden Ways
1. Blades of Loec
2. Moonstone of Hidden Ways
You see the recurrent theme of the Blades of Loec. With the charge bonus to Strength, you can reroll wounds at Strength 5. You don’t get many chances like that when playing Wood Elves--almost too good to pass up. Also, the Moonstone is a really nice item, but there’s an obvious downside: a lack of trees on some playing tables. Still, teleporting a unit of these baddies across the table can seriously foul your opponent’s plans.
Most characters can join a Wardancer unit. I've used them to bodyguard magic users and to host a noble with the Hail of Doom arrow just for a nasty surprise should the Wardancers be charged. Be creative and consider what other characters can join a Wardancer unit to maximize their deadliness or just plain confuse your opponent.
Wardancers suffer from an inverse relationship when it comes to charging and being charged. They are the classic iron fist / glass jaw unit. If you have to accept a charge with them, you just might be in deep trouble. It’s much better to hit a unit first, and that means in the flank or rear if you can at all help it.
As Wardancers don’t negate ranks, you’re relying on combat resolution from their weight of attacks and flank or rear bonuses. There is no standard and no rank bonus, so don’t get carried away and don’t charge the front of a ranked unit unless you’ve got a good chance of winning. Calculate the likely combat resolution before you make such a charge.
The conventional wisdom is this: When charging most units, take the Storm of Blades. Metallica will lead you to victory. If accepting a charge, take Shadows Coil, and MC Hammer just might keep you alive. Charging a heavily armored unit might call for Queen and Whirling Death, as might tackling an enemy character--don’t overlook Wardancers as character assassins. The least used dance is almost certainly Woven Mist, but it’s worth considering if you’ve been charged by a light unit, like Witch Elves which are easy to kill and have no armor. This just might save you being mutilated. Plus, you can take this dance if you know the cause is lost and you want to, say, take out a mage before you go down in a blaze of Wardancer glory.
Still, the most common pattern is this: You charge, take the extra attacks, and then if still in combat, take the ward save, and repeat. If charged, take the ward save, then the extra attack, and repeat. As already suggested though, don't get locked into this pattern. Always consider your options.
As with just about any Wood Elves unit, make every attempt to charge in tandem with another unit. Don’t rush things. Be patient and let your plan come together.
Protect these guys and gals from enemy missile and magic fire. You can shield them with Dryads or even Glade Guard. Just let the Glade Guard flee through the Wardancers: See the Wood Elves Cha Cha; since the Wardancers are ItP, they won’t need a panic check from the fleeing unit, but this can mean delaying their entry into the battle.
Eternal Guard - The Elite "Block" Troops of the Forest
- Combat resolution (Only Wood Elf troop for viable rank bonus)
- Second rank gets to attack (First rank gets two attacks)
- High Weapons Skill
- 5+ Armor Save (High armor for an Elf)
- Gain “Stubborn” when joined by a Noble or Highborn
Unit Options and Composition
- One of the least maneuverable troops in the Wood Elf arsenal
- Low Toughness
- Low Strength
- No Bows
- Can be flanked and rear charged to lose rank bonus
- A juicy target for artillery
Full Command – This is one unit that you want to always take a full command with, including a banner for additional CR. In addition, you won’t need to worry about losing these VP too easily. This unit will be way to costly to lose a combat due to a tie, so take a musician.
Size – Most find that EG should run between 20 and 40 strong. (Some find huge units of 70 very powerful, while others like to run them in small 10-15 man units.) The former presents the problem of reduced mobility and an easy target for artillery (Rhymer’s Harp helps out here). The latter takes away one of the key advantages here: rank bonus. With one or two extra ranks, the unit will see combat with either no bonus or only one extra point. If you go with this tactic, it is not feasible to place a character in the unit.
Characters – This unit goes great with characters, but you need them suited for the job. A Noble or Highborn makes the unit “Stubborn”. Battle Standard bearers are very common as they let EG have two chances at rolling a 9 on a 2D6 to not break from combat. Another common occurrence is tooling up a combat Noble/Highborn. Items such as Great Weapons, Rhymer’s Harp (Gives unit 5+ ward save and allows them to move though difficult terrain without penalty), Annoyance of Netlings (Enemy needs 6’s to hit in a challenge), and Oaken Armor (Light Armor, Regeneration) prove great for this.
A Strong Center – Eternal Guard provide a solid center for Wood Elves. They perform well in this role, taking and charging the front. Unlike most Wood Elf troops, Eternal Guard can charge/be charged head on fairly well. They offer up a load of attacks (Most of the time you will need only 3’s to hit) and with the aid of a Noble/Highborn, they don’t need to win. They can often hold unit said enemy unit for the round or two that it takes to deliver a flank charge from a harder hitting unit. High initiative means you will be attacking first most of the time and can significantly reduce the number of attacks coming back at you, unless, of course, you are fighting a high toughness scary unit/Monster. (Here is where your Noble/Highborn’s Great Weapon and the “Stubborn” ability come in handy! Also, Amber's Pendant is great if you think you will be charged, it lets you attack first even if you are charged.)
Guard your flanks – They weakest part of an Eternal Guard unit is the ability to get flanked and lose it’s very much wanted rank bonus. Prevent this by protecting your flank with a unit of Dryads or Wardancers or whatever suits your army. (Or a cliff!)
I normally place my Eternal Guard around the middle of my line, going with the “Strong Center” idea. This doesn’t mean the middle of the board however. Mainly this means that I cover my flanks with other units, setting up not only the ability to have multiple charges but also guarding my flanks.