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I've been playing a few games with friends now, and they are all complaining that I put too many forest on the table. We play on a 4x4 and usually we have 2 forests and 2 hills on the table plus one more being a Wood Elf.
Now, they are even saying that we should be playing a game WITHOUT any forests on the table to begin with.. since they're losing quite badly against my Wood Elf. Have you guys played any games on a table without forest as a Wood Elf player? How did it go?
Happens all the time to me.
Its the reason I don't take things like the Moonstone of hidden ways or waywatchers in my army.
My army generally goes fairly well.
The lack of trees does affect the game in one aspect. Manouverability. Woodelves units cost more because of the special foresty abilities. By removing woods from the game you are hurting the balance for woodelves. Wood elf units move through woods with no penalty. This is one of the best abilities of the army but if you play on tables with no woods then it hurts the army as part of the points you pay for each model is because of those very abilities.
So yes, you can play on tables with no woods but it hurts your army because your special rules are terrain dependant.
1/3 of the spells from Lore of Athel Loren is also forest-dependent, not to mention almost 1/7 of our wargears which functions the same way. IMO removing the forest really tips the balance of the game. We Elves are already fragile enough that a flick of anything's finger except the Skaven and Goblins would shatter our flesh and soul. Especially when we are the Wood Elf that wears helm of the toilet-paper-hunt and oaken-tissue-paper armour to war. Forest is the only piece of terrain which really gives us an indirect armour save (soft cover) while suffers no penalty.
I find that forests or lack thereof has little effect on gameplay. There will almost always be at least one on the table, and you can plonk down your free one. Remember how much of a disadvantage other armies are at if the table is too crowded with terrain - it works both ways. Imagine you were a Dwarf player, with a gunline. How would you feel if your opponent insisted on having the table covered in forests? Terrain should be as balanced as possible, but it's often the case that it swings one way or the other. Wood Elves are fast enough to deal with it, most of the time.
Besides, playing a game at a slight disadvantage only makes winning it more rewarding. It's more of a challenge, which makes it more fun.
It has yet to be proven that intelligence has any survival value. - Arthur C. Clarke (1917 - 2008)
If you're playing a pitched battle, then your army book allows you one free piece of wooded terrain, and they really can't complain about that.
Otherwise, I think players should be willing to play on tables with different types of terrain. Sometimes you get woods, sometimes you don't.
I've had those games where I just skip the magic phase because treesinging has no way to work or the trees are in a place that really don't matter.
What's important is to use whatever terrain is there to our advantage so that our mobility can come into play.
Terrain should be fair, from now on I am going to insist on random generation of terrain as that will ensure variety but not favour any army in particular.