Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Wood Elf Lords Conundrum

I was looking at my Wood Elves the other day and thought "You know it's a long time since I gave them a run on the tabletop....they are meant to be crap, let's see if they are?"

"Right Woody, let's f#@k this shit up"

Sat down in front of Army Builder last night and immediately ran into a problem.

Basically I want to run:

  • 40-50 archers
  • Dryads
  • 2+ Treemen
  • Lore of Life
The problem I encountered was when I went to build the list. If I want to run an Eagle, it means I have to run a Treeman Ancient. At 325 points this severely curtails my ability to build a meaningful Lord Level Spellweaver (read needs a scroll or the Wand).

So how do experienced Wood Elf players solve this conundrum - apart from playing at the ETC where they give you extra points?

It appears to me there are three routes:

  • Treeman Ancient + Eagles: This means sub-par Level 4
  • Level 3 - Sub-par Lore of Life choices possible
  • 2x Rare Teerman and good Level 4 - means no 50 point redirectors
What is the accumulated wisdom at 2400 points?


  1. Sorry Pete, do you want to run a level 4 and a level 3, plus a treeman?

    If so, it will take you way over the 600pt cap.

    What I always assumed is when people wanted to run double treeman, they would just go for a naked level 4 with scroll plus treeman in the lord choices, makes it 600pts on the nose.

  2. Playing with them a lot last year I dropped the treeman – fast... too many things that wreck them quick smart. Metal, pit, purple sun, fire, magic weapons, flaming magic weapons...cannons, warp lightning cannons I know the aussies love two/three treeman. I ran the L4 beasts but agree the life is probably better. 3x8 dryads, double treekin archers, min characters two eagles. Life you have the massive chance to roll 4 bad spells on life. All depends on build – if you want double treeman take the 8’s of dryads not as fast as an eagle but awesome redirectors that kick out damage. My two cents of WE wisdom.

  3. Woodies are a fustrating army to play. You can outplay your opponent and still lose. There is no answer to gutstars, black knight buses, or the new monsterous calv other than chaff 'em up and hope the arrows do something.

    Treemen give up points too easily, so taking more than 1 is a ballsy idea and very, very match up dependant. However, I do really like the idea of a double treeman charge into squishy infantry or a unit of knights.

    There is always the option of going for super avoidance and fustrate your opponent-however this will never give big wins.

    My latest "solution" is the list Cody took to NZTC. 50ish shots, bow of loren/bodkins highborn, wardancer bunker, Moonstoning beastweaver, HODA bsb, waywatchers to keep characters honest, treeman and chaff (dryads, eagles, wildriders). It could be tighter, but does alright in the hands of a Woodie general.

    There is alo the option of including a unit or 2 of warhawk riders to increase the chaffage - especially when combined with 2 eagles

    1. I don't get the Bow of Loren guy. It's only S3, so it's an awful lot of points for1-2 wounds a turn...

      As for the list overall, after borrowing Skiltos Woodies for a couple games, I'd say Lvl4, Ancient, tree man, Eagles. Didn't find the third Tree gave me much more than equal points of other stuff would have.

    2. I agree re Bow of Loren guy...very expensive tool for little return in my eyes.

      James - what was your fitout on the Lvl 4 and TA - there's not many points

    3. It's more the addition of ldship 10 and he has to do something useful!
      With lore of beasts he can become a 7 shot no armoursave machinegun and is one of the only reliable counters to heavy calv-especially with treemen becoming a bigger free points target with every new book release.

      To me he does just as much damage 1 inch away from his target as he does 30 inches from his target = perfect for sitting in the back line with moonstoning beastweaver in wardancer bunker. With skirmish movement he has an effective 40 inch range. Pinging 2-3 knights/turn (with savage beasts) means the limited can opening options avaliable have a better chance of coming out on top.

      Treeman ancient and lvl4 = either nettlings, cluster of radiants, or scroll.
      Treeman ancient and beasts lvl3 = nettlings and scroll. (would never take a lvl3 lifeweaver).

      However with a treeman ancient dont be surprised to find yourself 450Vpoints down turn 2 and minus a general.

      Joel v

    4. Joel, I just really don't like relying on spells to guarantee I'm gonna be able to do stuff. In a minimal Character list, I also don't think Beasts gives you much. Maybe if you were spamming Eagle Heroes, but not otherwise. Think Life gives you much more in a Wood Elf army, particularly as you can Regrow Treemen...

      Pete, Level 4 was naked (hide her in Wardancer bunker at the back and she had no issues), Ancient - Netlings.
      Then had Branchwraith with Radiants for magic defence. Shes also another cheap redirector at a pinch, and in a forest might last a turn or two in combat due to Stubborn.

    5. There's a guy I know who runs his Alter Highborn with the Bow/Bodkins combo. With Savage Beast, it's pretty nasty - 8 S3 shots hitting on twos on a dude with Mv9, who also packs a GW and a 3+ Ward. Very nice for putting down (only a little above average) a Mournfang/Demigryph/Skullcrusher every turn. Not too shabby really, in my view.

      Plus with Lore of Beasts you get some answers to units with good armor - Amber Spear, and being able to buff up the Treekin to S&T6 is pretty nasty.

    6. Lore of Beasts with woodies is not about the character buffs, it is about the other spells - especially since mainly trying to avoid combat where you can.
      Amber spear provides a way to kill big stuff from a distance. s10 d6 wounds = awesome.
      Curse controls movement giving the archers more turns to shoot.
      wildform gives a combat buff that helps kill stuff
      Transformation is a waste unless desperate
      +3 toughness is meh
      flock is useful for killing warmachines (everything wounds them on 6's anyway)
      Savage beasts buffs up the highborn.

      Life gives dwellers (yay!) and very much relies on a) getting into combat, and b) having a tree heavy list = setting yourself up for big point sinks (eg 390pts for 6 treekin) that have some horrible (and very common) hard counters. Treemen are a little hard to regrow when they are dead :P I only bring one these days for the odd game where they do get to do stuff and because I think they are really cool.

      I prefer the more avoidance, MSU way with the woodies. Pick the points where I can and avoid the scary stuff. Dryads, archers, beasts, machinegun, waywatchers, wildriders do this. I also dont own 6 treekin so cant really play a tree heavy list!

      Joel v

  4. Bit of shameless advertising, but I have JUST posted up a 2400pt Woodies vs VC battlereport from a game last night vs Ryan. Gives an idea of how my interpretation of 8th-a-fying woodies works...


  5. If you want to run that build unfortunately you have to give up the eagles. The great and frustrating thing about Wood Elves is that you can't have your cake and eat it too unlike most other armies which helps them become sub-optimal. On the positive side you see plenty of variety in list building. I played out a draw last tourney in a Wood Elf civil war and the two armies were completely different and equally (un)powerful. I agree with the comment "you can outplay your opponent and still lose" the fragility makes for exciting gameplay however as you are sweating on every dice roll (especially enemy magic phases).

    James C

  6. Beasts FTW - so good T5 S5 dryads are awesome don't underestimate curse and the -1 to hit in combat especially with treekin units spear is a great spell and I've lost count of the number of gutter runners, shades and warmachines flock has picked up. Only characters I ran were L4 beasts and BsB the rest was poured into units 3x8 dryads and two eagles can really delay people - dryads thin units and 50+ shots great. Issues come with Brets and now the more abundant monstrous cav S6 T6 treekin with -1 to hit still do ok though.