Wood Elves vs. Tomb Kings   2 comments

Justin and I managed to get in our match, and while I can’t write a battle report(yet), I did want to say a few words about the game and both armies.

First thing is that there were a lot of quirky things that happened.  This means that there were quite a few laughs, always good when your goal is to enjoy yourself.  I made 3 channelling attempts in a row.  Justin rolled 4 sixes to hit but got no wounds.  He made two killing blows against a unit that is immune.  I forgot ALL my champions for the first few turns.  He forgot that each charioteer gets two attacks.  He then missed casting his spell that gave everyone in his army double-shot, twice. Both times just by one.  And more.  There were lots of silly mistakes, odd dice rolls, funny happenings.

Laughing is cathartic.

Tomb Kings

I can’t write at length about the Tomb Kings so I will do them first.  Justin brought a pretty interesting list to the table.  A level one and two priest buried in a horse archer unit, the casket of souls, two units of chariots, and a unit of three tomb swarm.  He designed his list to stall and take shots at me with magic and bows and it did a great job of putting the pressure on me to engage. The bulk of his spells were dispelled thanks to very lucky Wood Elf dispel dice and a few unfortunate rolls, as mentioned above.  Several times the casket managed its spell effect that causes the target to take a leadership test on three dice and take wounds equal to anything over their Ld stat.  This ability almost eliminated my unit of Treekin.  By the time they had crossed the board and engaged the Casket (killing the Horse Archers on the way) they had been reduced to one model with two wounds left.  All from the casket.  Targeting Forest Spirits with magic attacks is really good.  Other than the casket, Justin’s archers were the next most effective incentive for me to get into close combat as fast as possible.  In a surprise move he held back his chariots and used them to shoot arrows at me.  Wow, annoying. Probably this is the smart way to use them.  When I owned the army he is playing I always tried to advance them up into a charge opportunity but that would only work less than 50% of the time.  This way Justin effectively forced me to move my units into his charge range or be eliminated by ranged attacks.

Wood Elves

I have heard it mentioned that the Wood Elves are by far the weakest army in Warhammer Fantasy right now.  This thinking must be mostly held by the tournament community because on a first perusal of the army book and after my first battle I’m not sure I agree.  At least from the perspective of a very casual gamer.  I’m not sure what hardcore GW gamers use when they build a Wood Elf list but I am going to focus on Forest Spirits.  The Dryads are my favourite models in the army.

Branchwraith

First thing I’d like to mention about my Wood Elf list is what I would call my best purchase of the game, Pageant of Shrikes.  This is a single strength 4 ranged attack with a range of 18″ that is capable of picking out single models in units purchased for the Branchwraith that let my Dryads into battle.  I used this very effectively to eliminate Justin’s level 2 priest in the second turn of the game.  This one thing, I believe, cause me to win the game.  Because of this, and the Branchwraith also being fairly good in combat I would say that she was my MVP.

Dryads

As I mentioned above the Dryads are my favourite model in the Wood Elf army, they just look amazing.  It doesn’t hurt that they are a great close combat unit with some excellent abilities.  They have a natural armour save of 5+ and also a ward save of 5+.  Unfortunately this ward save is circumvented by magic attacks…odd…whatever, I can work around it.  An argument could be made that they are slightly over-costed  coming in at 1 point more than a Saurus Warrior.  The big differences being that the Dryads have a ward save and skirmish whereas the Saurus get all the benefits of being a core regiment (command, unlimited ranks, rank bonuses).  The final perk for them is that they can be joined by a Branchwraith.

Glade Guard

After my first play with them I felt very strongly that they were too expensive for what they could perform on the table but after “unit analysis” conversation with Justin I think that these guys are costed just right compared to most other ranged units.  The key deciding factor for me was that, due to the extra range from longbows, the Glade Guard can get short ranged attacks in outside of almost every close combat units average charge range.  In our game Justin won the first turn and dropped 25% of my Glade Guard with ranged attacks and, of course, they panicked.  Having a very high Ld they rallied but the whole mess took them out of position and caused them not to be able to fire.  One interesting side-effect was that they were in a perfect position to deal with the Tomb Swarm when they surfaced.  Thanks Justin.  Despite a lacklustre showing I will still field at least one group, and probably multiple groups of Glade Guard in the future.

Eternal Guard

These guys don’t really do it for me.  I think they are a capable close combat unit.  Their stats and their special abilities are pretty good.  My interest in them is pretty low.  I misread the note on the Eternal Guard and assumed that if I bought a Noble with the Eternal Kindred that they were core.  Oops!  Though I had enough core without them and enough (just!) room in special with them so I didn’t actually cheat so everything is good.  I didn’t really get to see them perform because of the type of list Justin brought.  He started reducing the Eternal Guard right away and I, in an act of desperation, advanced them quickly, and straight into a charge from some chariots.  They took very heavy casualties.  They still managed to defeat the chariots but that is ALL they did.  Rob has provided me with a full unit of 20 (with a Noble/Highborn added to them) and a nice movement tray to load them on so they will no doubt have a place in my army in that state for the foreseeable future.

As a whole I am pretty happy with the Wood Elves.  I am definitely happy I swapped the High Elves for them.  I was really dreading the thought of all that assembly.  I was pretty worried at the beginning of the game when I saw how Justin’s list was going to work.  Elves started dying all over the place, my archers were out for the first few turns, and I had a wall of chariots on the horizon looking pretty menacing.  In my typical fashion I started getting a little cranky about how the list was performing (sort of a “par for the course” reaction in my head).  Historically I am pretty slow at adopting new army tactics.  I am still trying to figure out the Lizardmen!  Things started turning around after a turn or two of marching to meet Justin’s line.  The charge turn was pretty demoralizing but once the casualties had been removed and everyone held I started feeling better.  Pageant of Shrikes took out a caster, the Dryads laid a smack-down on some chariots, the Eternal Guard held their own.  The tide seemed to be changing.   And, for a change, we played it out to the very end.  Probably because of how close it was.  Could have gone either way.  All this eventually translated into a win for the Elves (Yay!  Sorry Justin.)  Nice to have a brand new force work out, regardless of mistakes, and bring home a win.  All-in-all I felt Justin’s list was a good one, interesting to play against and, despite crumbling during close combat, was fairly strong. I’d like to replay the game to see how it would go with us both learning from our mistakes.

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2 responses to “Wood Elves vs. Tomb Kings

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  1. The most fun I had with the WE was with the casters. Life Magic is pretty good and allows the WE to regrow units that died. If you can somehow incorporate some casting in, i think you’ll enjoy the magic boost.
    The treeman is also a very fun and themey unit. Strangleroots are a good example of how theme and rules combine to make a fun ability.

  2. Despite the loss, I really enjoyed the game. I feel we haven’t played the game against each other in forever. It was also nice having both a painted force AND Wood Elves across the table from me.
    I was actually impressed with my Tomb Kings, for a change, despite the loss. If I hadn’t failed the Multiple Shot spell each time I casted it, my bows would have done a little more damage. Even without the boost, they didn’t do too poorly. The Chariots did their job, and I think I used them advantageously this time, moving them up to fire, then back to fire, then charging in when the range was right. They hit well and hard, and if I had not forgotten (or paid attention when I was checking their stats during the game) that each crewman has 2 attacks, I would likely have done a few more wounds, possibly changing the outcome. The Casket did its job well, taking out some Treekin. I can’t believe I forgot to ‘bounce’ it on the first turn, though. Yeesh.
    A great game. I do look forward to the rematch. Possibly at higher points.

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