So, this last Sunday I played a few 1500 point games with my Wood Elves. Two of the armies I engaged were Empire and Ogre Kingdoms. The Wood Elf army has had to seriously change the entire method in which it is used for this edition. The previous edition you could field a lot of MSU (Multiple Small Units) and pretty much clean up after your archers had softened up a smaller units. Wood elves had speed, range, mobility and the ability to alter the layout of the battlefield. In seventh edition this was great since you could hide anywhere and everyone used smaller units in order to field more specialist units. In eighth edition everything has changed. True Line of Sight, fighting in two ranks, initiative based combat, changes to Magic, and the most important change - larger units with percentage based slots in the army.
Wood elves have an expensive army. The cheapest thing in our book is 12 points and that is our Core selections. Shooting has improved in 8th edition but all that really changed was that everyone else got a lot better at shooting and the Wood elves gained a 2nd rank for longbow fire. In order to field a worthwhile unit of Rank and File Core models you need to first purchase a Noble or Highborn (75 base or 145 base) and at least 19 Eternal Guard (12x19 + 30 for command) making a single core selection of S3, T3 5+ armor save almost 450 points. Beastman can field the same number of models with spears but no armor save for 140 points plus whatever they want for a character for about 120. Pretty huge difference there for the same results in battle.
The list I brought for the 1500 point game was rather basic and straight forward. I wanted to see how certain units would perform with the new rules and where I would need to make changes.
Level 4 Spellweaver with Wand of Wych Elm and Lore of Life
18 Glade Guard with Standard Bearer and Musician
18 Glade Guard with Standard Bearer and Musician
10 Wild Riders with Full Command
1 Great Eagle
The list had a lot of shooting, lot of mobility and with Lore of Life the opportunity to gain some serious toughness.
Now in both games I made some rather gross mistakes. Mistakes that I should have known better than to make but being slightly hung over didn't help my thought process.
Against Ogre Kingdoms:
1. Did not move my Glade Guard at all, I kept them in the backfield instead of moving them up to get their short range bonus. 18 Glade Guard (14 able to move and shoot) at short range yield 50% more wounds than at long range.
2. Kept my Spellweaver in the backfield. If I had been able to augment my Wild Riders to T7 they would have done so much better against the monstrous close combat attacks of the Ogres.
3. Moved my other units too far out of position and within charge range of other units.
1. Again I did not move my Glade Guard to get into short range. This is something I will seriously need to do in the future. I'm literally wasting points by keeping them in the backfield. What good is having 18 shots when you score ONE wound at long range.
2. Again I moved my other units too close to the enemy. Waywatchers were charnged and wiped out after 2 rounds. I moved my Wild Riders directly in front of Neil's line hoping to prevent a multi-charge but it happened anyway.
3. I did move my Spellweaver this turn but I did not augment the correct units.
4. I went after the Cannon thinking it was a Stone Thrower. I wasted 2 very, very important unit's shooting to get rid of it when I should have been concentrating on his mainstay units.
I also had absolutely abysmal dice rolls but hey that's part of the game.
1. Wild Riders need character support. If I am going to use these models, I need to ensure they do enough damage to kill a unit when they charge. I feel using a character such as a Wild Rider Noble on a Stag with the helm of command (stubborn) and giving the Wild Riders the +1 leadership banner would be great. Expensive but worthwhile.
2. Lore of Beasts vs. Lore of Life - Lore of Life adds serious staying power to the army. Lore of Beasts adds a serious level of ferocity and a quasi-warmachine aspect to the army. I will continue to playtest both to see which one better fits my playstyle.
3. I am fast, I was in my opponents deployment zone turn 1 and around most of their units. I need to fully utilize this in the future to my advantage. Having Wild Riders, 2 Great Eagles, 10 Waywatchers and 3 Warhawk Riders moving as one big assault wing will really help in the future.
4. Short Range is the key. Wood elves are still a skirmisher army. The change however is that they need to be moving the entire game. Sitting back in my deployment zone shooting is more beneficial to my opponent than to me.
There were a few other notations I made but time is short so. We'll see how the next few games go. Who knows I may start being successful.