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I've always liked the idea of fielding a unit of Bretonnian knights in a wood elf army, painted in a nice green scheme with roots and vines and such to represent a unit of knights who for whatever reason pledged to fight for Athel Loren and have slowly become part of the forest.
I got to thinking about how to field this legally in a Wood Elf force, and found Dogs of War heavy knights or Voland's Venators being the only real options. For the latter, one could even convert up the beautiful Green Knight model as the hero!
Of course, that in turn got me thinking about how effective such a unit would be in game terms.
In order to field a unit of Voland's Venators, you need a rare slot. 195 points gets you Voland and 4 knights, including command. This unit is pretty solid in close combat, featuring 7 S6 attacks on the charge and a sturdy 2+ save (6 wounds total). The most obvious comparison is to the treeman. I think it's pretty clear that a unit of Venators has a bit more offensive power but less defensive power, plus the disadvantage of not being stubborn, not having the bound treesing, and not having the strangle root attack. That said, the Venators are faster and while they can't keep up with Glade/Wild Riders, they can do so better than a treeman can. And, of course, the unit is 90 points cheaper, which is enough for 3/4 of a glade guard unit or nearly a whole dryad squad.
The way I see the Venators being useful is as a unit that can actually assault the front of a hard target while you go in the flank with your wild riders. Wild Riders themselves don't do particularly well going in the front of an enemy unit -- they are fragile and are a little lacking offensively, meaning that there is a real possibility of giving back combat res to the enemy. The Venators don't have this problem as much, hitting harder and being able to stand up to the return attacks better. Similarly, the Venator's can give you some extra combat res to support a flanking alter noble.
Do any of you have any experience using this unit? How has it gone for you? Any thoughts?
I have used them a few times now, and I must say they make up their point values!
Its great to have something hard hitting that can keep up with the GR, WR and alter noble. The army I fielded was build to be flexible and fast. I cant remember the thing precisely but it was something like this:
Spellsinger lvl2 deepwood sphere
5xGR w/ musician
8xDryads w/ nymph
6x WR FC
It was build for a 1000pts pitched battle.
Ow about the armour save, 2+ is pretty though but if you are going against dwarfs or the like that means nothing as they have shots that have S5 and an AM -3, so that would make that armour save count as 5+.
In terms of lore, has Athel Loren allowed any new tenants since the elves of way back when? It seems that anyone who enters , friend or foe, gets mutilated / lost / arrowed!!! / or worse!
I could maybe see them as being dragon princes from the original high elves that came to inhabit the forest and somehow they became spirits of Athel Loren. But who knows, fluf is fun so whatever works for you is fine by me!
In terms of game play, I personally have never been a fan of using DoW. Armies have their weaknesses and one of ours is we have no armor (not that we need it =p). Plus, moving around sluggish knights without the fast calv rule just doesn't seem like it would fit the wood elf play style.
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Very true, I was just thinking about how that timing of my suggestion wouldn't work =).Its possible, though the Dragon Princes of oft-times rode dragons - it is only recently that they resort to riding steeds...
Presumably in this case the forest spirits possessed the knights, or perhaps the forest keeps them on the outskirts.
Obviously, this wouldn't work for the most conservative interpretations of the fluff -- but I'm not really working from that perspective anyway.
They are brettonian knights right?
Maybe they were helping the WE near the Wild Wood slaying some of the remains of a huge beast army. While they pursued the last beast, they got lost in the complete wilderness of the wildwood. Not long ago there where strange sightings of green knights slaying foes who opposed athel loren.
Now that would work as Fluff right