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Are Wood Elves for new players?

921 Views 8 Replies 7 Participants Last post by  tanglethorn
I'm just getting into Warhammer Fantasy and trying to pick an army. I have it narrowed down to a few that I like the look of, and I want to see which suits me best. I enjoy the theme and look of the Wood Elf army very much, but many people tell me they are extremely challenging, unforgiving of mistakes, and not for a new player. No one near me actually plays them, though, so I'd like some experienced opinions.

I don't own any army books yet, but I've heard you can have armies entirely of elves or tree spirits. Would either of these armies be drastically harder to play than a normal mixed list?

I've also heard different seasons mentioned regarding army lists. Are there actual rules for an army for a chosen season or is this just a painting theme?
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As far as a 'starting army,' I'm currently of the opinion (from these forums and other sites) that they take more tactics than a 'standard' army to effectively use, due to high points costs and low survivability of most of their troops.

You can make entire-Asrai (elf) or Forest Spirit armies, but generally, it's lowering your effectiveness - the list was designed to use all of the units in conjunction with eachother, so you are hurting your effectiveness by not selecting, in effect, half of the units in the army book. However, by no means is there no effective all-Asrai/Forest Spirit armies.. they are just a little harder to use.

As for the season rules, the only ones I know of (I don't have the army book, though) are either a theme, where the player basically restricts his or herself.. and in one of the scenarios on the Games Workshop website, they gave rules for the seasons. :yes:

Hope this helps! I'm looking into starting WE myself.

I don't think WE are a good starting army. If you start with them you will lose a lot of battles in the beginning. However, once you master WE you will be able to move to other armies easier then it will be to move from other armies to WE.

I would like to say though that WE are a lot of fun. Also, remember to make a army you want to play. Even if you make an army that wins but isn't fun for you either becasue of fluff or what not it still isn't fun.
i am mainly a dwarf player but tried WE against a general i consider my equal and i massacred him. i think they are fairly easy to win with. but again i must say that this was only one battle. i used an all asrai army, i heavily march blocked him and shot him to pieces, he was using HoC undivided.
Wood Elves? I think they are really not suited to be your first army. Of course it's up to you, but if I had to suggest, go for:

- Empire. The Empire has a nice balance of units. Enough shooting power, mages and possible ranks of sollid infantry backed up by eventual Warmachines. These armies are evry steady, backed up by sufficient artillery if you want. An all-round army, you can go all kinds of ways in the army list. This is a nice army so start with.

- Orcs and Goblins. It's just crazy fun to have so many options. Their Heroes and Lords take up 5 pages, that's as long as the whole army list of the Vampire Counts. They are a nice bashing and predictable army... predictable as in being unpredictable (always). They either mock about or crush the enemy in a big Waagh (as they call it). It's more of a Close Combat army, having a bit of magic and shooting, but ranks of Orcs in Close Combat are really present. Trolls, Chariots, Giants are all nice hard-hitting units, next to the funny Squig Herders, Night Goblins, Big Uns, normal Orcs, Black Orcs, Fanatics, Goblins, and many more!

- Vampire Counts. They are a nice army. They have quite an assortiment of available converting material. You can practically convert and model anything you want to. The VC model range doesn't look very bright though. But they are soon to get a new model range. I suggest this army because they cause fear and will never break (except Ghouls). That's so reliable. Also, fear + outnumbering + a won Close Combat Phase means an auto-break for any opposing unit (except unbreakable ones). This army is mainly fixated on Vampires and there are 5 bloodlines. Having bloodline powers as well next to the Magic Items. VC armies focus on outnumbering their enemy and causing fear in their enemy's ranks. Fear is their strongest strength.

- Hordes of Chaos. Simply for them being so strong. Nice army to start, but also difficult with Chaos Warriors and you'll probably get outnumbered pretty fast (msot times on the beginning :p ). Nevertheless, it is nice to field a strong army, knowing no model will fail killing. Perhaps as a second army? The army also has reinforcements in powerful Daemons of the 4 Greater Daemon gods. You can even field one of the Greater Daemon incarnations!

- Skaven. Skaven easily outnumber enemies and can be very dangerous. A lot of people complain about them being easy to 'cheese' out, meaning to make it very, very strong. But for only 40 points (which is about nothing) you can get 20 models already! Although they aren't the best unit around, the Skaven focus on overwhelming their enemy and to exhaust their enemy units with cheap and big units (called Clanrat Slaves). The Skavens use magically enchanted Warpstone to mutate themselves and to wage war with them. You'll often see small skirmishing elite untis next to the main army, which are on most occasions more dangerous than the main blocks. Powerful warmachines aid the main Skaven force; Doomwheels, Screaming Bells, Warpfire Throwers, Ratling Guns, Jezzails and Warplighting Cannons.

- Beastmen. (also known as Beasts of Chaos) They are the arch enemies of the Wood Elves. They spawn forth, said to be created by Chaos as a mix between Daemon and animal, and vie to destroy anything good. Their armies consist of big beasties able to crush anyone. Dragon Ogres, Minotaurs, Dragon Ogre Shaggoths are all examples of the big ones. Next to that, they have probably one of the best ranked units in the game who function as Skirmishers; Beast Herds. Those Herds also have a special rule detailed as being able to flank the enemy army later in the game (so not beign placed on the board on the beginning). The Beastmen army aims to destroy their enemy slowly, having good Toughness and Strengths to sustain mere mortal wounds.

These are practically nice starting armies in my opinion. You'll see most armies are able to be horde armies, meaning they often outnumber their enemy 3 to 1 or even more. This means this can cost you a fortune on money (except if you can get them cheaply, say, on Ebay).

In the end, it's up to you. This is jsut my suggestion, and I think some people will agree with the stated armies (except Hordes of Chaos perhaps).

I hope your choice will do you good and that you will not hesitate too much.

It depends on what you like; do you like playing games in general? Do you like painting, modelling and converting? Do you like writing stories about your army and then game with it? Do you like to paint armies and then sell them?

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I think lizardmen would make a good starting army as well. They are a fairly all-round army with no real weaknesses (no weaknesses in the army book, but the lists tend to be either magic orientated or combat orientated. There aren't really that many hybrids). They have one of the best Rank and File troops in the game (in my opinion at least) in the form of Saurus. One of the best spell-casters (the Slaan) and some of the best (and most annoying) skirmishers (the Skinks!).
I would however, just go with the army you like the best, that way you will want to paint and make the models (and play with them). If you choose a difficult army (say Wood Elves for example) you may have trouble winning at the start, but you will get used to them eventually. The only possible problem is that you may get sick of losing your games and not want to play with that army anymore (or Warhammer at all! :O ) but that is a worst case scenario. But yeah, just go with the army you like best (just don't go with one you like fluff-wise but you know you will hate to play in game terms. Try to find a balance. If you can :shifty: ).
Yes...good luck with you decision!

(Mission Accomplished. Return to Base.)
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I appreciate the advice, everyone. I think I'll hold off on Wood Elves and try an easier army to begin with. Someone also told me the lack of ranked troops and almost total lack of armor saves really makes the army tricky for a first time player, so I'll go with something a bit more forgiving to cut my teeth with.
SkyTyrant said:
I appreciate the advice, everyone. I think I'll hold off on Wood Elves and try an easier army to begin with. Someone also told me the lack of ranked troops and almost total lack of armor saves really makes the army tricky for a first time player, so I'll go with something a bit more forgiving to cut my teeth with.
Your friend is right. The weaknesses of all Elves is their low Strenghts and Tougnesses on their stats profile for about every Elven unit. The Wood Elves have in addition nearly no ranked troops + low armor saves. The only ranked foot troops are Glade Guard, who are in fact archers, and Eternal Guard, who are Special.

Though in addition, the Wood Elves have extra tough troops in form of the Forest Spirits. although Dryads have been seriously toned down since last edition, they still form cheap and strong packs. The Treeman is still dangerous enough, but he costs loads and stays Rare, as well as being able to be a Lord; the Treeman Ancient. Resilient, tough and terror-causing, you don't want to see this beastie running around.

Next to the Dryads and Treemen, who were in the WE army in the 5th edition (previous edition), the WE army also consists of Treekin and Wild Riders, who are totally new this edition and Forest Spirits as well. They are both a Special slot too. (Actually, Wild Riders look much more like Elves themselves)

But please, let me know what army you will choose. Then I can explain a little; if needed. I can keep writing about WE for an endless time, as I have collected them (actually stopped when the new ones were out)

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I believe that WE's are not as hard as most people think.

1) For someone just starting WHFB WE's might not be that bad of a choice because you have freedom of movement and you don't have to worry about wheeling, reforming and ranks.

2) You can move and shoot effectively

3) Troops are a little on the high points side so you do not have to paint as many models. Keep in mind the figures are highly detailed though

4) Skirmishers and Fast Cavalry mean that you can out run just about anything and stay safely away from a lot of ranged fire.

There are some units that are difficult to use like the Warhawk riders and Waywatchers.

I currently use Wood Elves and I am a new player. To give you an idea we started a Warbands league at 250 points. This gave me about 10 Glade Guard and 9 Dryads to start with.

So far I have only lost 2 games out of 6 and I'm new to all of this. Bow fire can really do a good job of softening up a unit that is trying to come towards you. The first 2 turns mean that the opponent is a pin cushion. The closer they get the stronger the bows get.

I wouldn't totally rule them out.
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