Thursday, August 26, 2010

By Demons be Driven

This Wednesday I had a game against my buddy Larry and his Daemons of Chaos.  The previous week I had asked him to bring his Bloodthirster list so that I could test out my Wood Elves.  Going into the battle I had no illusions of victory, I wanted to play a good game and really see how well my "balanced" list could do and also get some pretty critical experience against this army.
My only experience with Daemons of Chaos before had been in Warhammer 40k where DoC are not that strong.  Sure, you can build a crazy list in 40k with DoC but against my Eldar they aren't that formidable.
Larry's list was built to really just beat ass, I'll list what I can remember from his Army Builder print out below so you can get an idea as to what I faced.
Bloodthirster w/ Flaming Sword (+1 str), Obsidian Armor, Spellbreaker (Dispel scroll)
Herald of Khrone on Juggernaut with Armor of Khorne
Herald of Khorne, BSB, Flaming Sword
Herald of Tzeentch - dont remember what else
19 Bloodletters w/ full command
20 Bloodletters w/ full command
20 Pink Horrors w/ full command and Changeling (f this guy!)
6 Flamers of Tzeentch
3 Bloodcrushers
6 Fleshhounds of Khorne

Here are some of the issues I had to contend with being Wood Elves (You can reference my list in a previous post for 2500 points)
1. The entire army has a Ward Save so there is no autoremoval of models (i.e. Waywatchers Lethal Shot, Barrage of Str 4 arrows, my General's Bow of Athel Loren/Arcane Bodkins combo)
2. The entire army is Tough 4-5 and immune to psychology
3. The entire army gets magical attacks so I don't get my 5+ ward saves against them
4. Bloodthirsters are pretty god damn mean, especially with their stat line.
5. No warmachines and their entire army is just brutal
6. Changeling in close combat can pretty much ruin your day

Based on Larry's previous lists for Warriors of Chaos and his love of Nurgle, I had been expected to play against a Khorne/Nurgle hybrid daemon list.  Seeing Tzeentch completely threw me off.

Going into the battle I had had some pre-game strategies and goals to pull off:
1. Turn 1 - Unload as much magic as I could into the Bloodthirster to hurt him. i.e. Amber Spear
2. Turn 1 - Shoot Bloodthirster as much as I could with my archers to remove him from the table then maneuver onto his RnF units flanks.
3. Focus fire onto 1 unit and annihilate it then charge another unit with multiple units next turn.

Needless to say, not much of that happened this game.  =)  The two pictures I took of the game (because I got really wrapped up in it and forgot to take battle rep photos) didn't actually turn out very well i.e. blurry =( so I shall narrate what happened from memory.

Game Type - Battle Mission 1 Pitched Battle
Larry won the roll to go first.
Daemons Turn 1 - His entire army moves forward and kills 3 waywatchers via Flamers of Tzeentch.  I manage to dispel all his magic.
Wood Elves Turn 1 - I declare a charge against his Flesh Hounds of Khorne with Wild Riders, roll double 1's during my first spell in the magic phase therefore ending what could have been an awesome Amber Spear =(. Shooting was also rather abyssmal in that the DoC took a grand total of 7 wounds from almost 50 shots.
Close combat - Wild Riders kill 1 Flesh Hound and stay dug into combat

Daemons Turn 2 - Larry charges with his Bloodthrister into the Wild Riders, Charges his Bloodcrushers w/ Herald into my Glade Guard w/ Spellweaver, Charges his Bloodletters w/ Herald into my Treekin and then charges my Dryads with his other unit of Bloodletters.  I shut down all his spells but 1 which gives his Bloodletters w/ Herald +2 toughness.  Shooting, Flamers of Tzeentch kill all the waywatchers leaving the general hanging out saying "sup?"
Close Combat - Wild Riders declare a challenge against Bloodthirster and combat against hounds results in Wild Riders losing by 2 and they stay in combat.  Glade Guard lose combat to Bloodcrushers and roll double 1's to stay in it!  Treekin get rolled by the flaming attacks by the Herald and lose combat and flee.  Dryads hit a shit ton and do 3 wounds which 1 didn't save and lose combat  but stay put.
Wood Elves turn 2 - Both Eagles charge the Flamers, one dies to stand and shoot. I whittle down the victorious bloodletters down to 2 + Herald via shooting with Glade Guard.  Spellweaver turns into a Great Fire Dragon via Transformation of Kadon
Close Combat - Wild Riders finally fold against the combined might of 1 Flesh Hound and the Bloodthirster.  Glade Guard unit is wiped out but Spellweaver now Dragon kills all the Bloodcrushers.  Dryads are beaten in close combat because they can't seem to wound at all even though they score almost all hits which result in the Bloodletters (now depleted) overruning into the Warhawk Riders. Eagle slays the Flamers and turns around.

Daemons Turn 3 - Bloodthirster moves into position, Horrors declare charge against the back of the remaining Glade Guard unit. Dragon form is dispelled and Spellweaver returns to her normal form.
Close Combat - Changeling swaps stats with my BSB and the Glade Guard suffer a lot of casualties but stick with it.  Warhawk Riders are wiped out by the bloodletters.
Wood Elves Turn 3 - Spellweaver moves out of charge arc, and attempts to cast Amber Spear. She does with irresistible force and doesnt die to miscast.  I roll a 1 to wound on the bloodthirster....sigh .
Close Combat - Glade Guard get wiped out because they can't seem to actually wound a Tough 3 unit...

Daemons Turn 4 - Bloodthirster charges and kills my general taking a wound from stand and shoot.
I shut down his magic once again
Wood elves turn 4 - Great Eagle charges bloodletters w/ BSB and dies... Spellweaver looks around and says "wtf?" since now she can't evade being charged by the Bloodthirster or the BSB unit.

Daemons Turn 5 - Spellweaver charged, I pick her up =)

Daemons of Chaos at end of the game had these models remaining on table:
1 Bloodthirster w/ 4 wounds left
2 Bloodletters and Herald BSB of Khorne
7 Bloodletters w/ full command
1 Fleshhound of Khorne
14 Pink Horrors and Changeling

Overall, I have to say I was pleased with how my Wood Elves did.  I lost and badly but the amount of carnage I inflicted (even with some seriously SHITTY dice rolls) made me feel pretty confident in my list.  I asked Larry what he thought about the list and how it was played and he remarked "Very Solid list, very tough and well played".  That pleases me greatly.  This is the list I will be playing in 8th edition at 2500 points. I have no desire or plans to change it and I feel with more games under my belt I'll begin to master the Wood Elves like I have my Eldar.

Things I could have done differently:
1. Positioned Waywatchers better, losing my favorite unit so quickly was bad.
2. Deployed archers further back and moved them into one corner allowing me to focus fire a single unit and gain an additional turn of shooting due to charge distances.
3. Kept my Wild Riders back to counter-charge a unit on my Glade Guard
4. Not rolled so terribly, I blame dice karma.  You can't expect to roll awesomely all the time.
5. Killed off the entire unit of Horrors first instead of the BSB unit.  That would have split his army and allowed me to maneuver to the right essentially running from his Bloodthirster.

Doing all of this probably wouldn't have changed the final outcome but I think it would have made it a lot closer in the end.  Needless to say, I had an utter blast.  You know you've had a great game when you are laughing and smiling at the end of a 2 hour game and you are excited to play another soon.
Next week I go up against Larry's Nurgle Warriors of Chaos.  There shall be blood! (and pictures I promise)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

There is unrest in the forest, there is trouble with the Trees...

I have now finally completed the conversion work I had planned for my Wood Elf army.  In the beginning I had wanted to have the following:
1. 10 Converted Wild Riders using Privateer Press Raptor Mounts - complete
2. 3 Warhawk Riders from Gamezone w/ GW Tree bases - complete
3. 2 Great Eagles from Gamezone w/ GW Tree bases - complete
4. 2 units of Glade Guard customized and converted with both dynamic poses and multi-basing - complete!

Now that I have finished doing my silly conversion work, I thought I would go ahead and show off what I have done!  I have a game with my new/updated 2500 point list Wednesday against my buddy Larry and his Bloodthirster led Daemons of Chaos.  Everyone asks me why I want to play against such ass-beater armies and the answer is simple.  The harder the list I play against and the better player I play against, the better I become. I do not want to compete in a tournament where I have a team depending on my score if I have not put in the effort to learn how to play against all armies.  Plus, I enjoy a tough game.  I don't have any illusions about being able to beat really hard lists, especially since my list isn't built to be really competitive but fun.
Anyway - here are some images of the 2 Glade Guard units I will be bringing with me.

So there you have it.  I have had a lot of fun putting this army together and hopefully I can start painting it soon.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

2500 point Wood Elf Army List for 8th edition v.1.1

After many games I have slightly revised my list for 8th edition for my Wood Elves.  I think this streamlines the army a bit more and allows me to count on the law of averages a bit better.  I've not lost any units only really consolidated the 3 Glade Guard units into 2 and added some protection to my Spellweaver.  We'll see how this one works out!  Should I need to expand the list to 3000 points I will more than likely add 7 Glade Guard Scouts (102 points putting me at 750 core) and 6 more Treekin which will put the list at 2992 or a Treeman and maybe a Wild Rider Noble.  Options are definitely available at higher point levels.

The Great Hunt, War Host of Athel Loren
2500 Wood Elf Army List for Warhammer Fantasy

The Forest Stalkers of Athel Loren
Waywatcher Lord Sylvos Greystorm the Huntsman, Ranger -General of Athel Loren
-Highborn 145, Scout Kindred 25, Bow of Athel Loren 35, Arcane Bodkins 25, Extra-hand weapon 6, Light Armor 3: 239
The Stalkers of the Silent Path
10 Waywatchers - 240

The Sylvan Knights of Coeth-Mara
Lady Nepenthia Dreamsinger
-Noble 75, Battle Standard Bearer 15, Light Armor 2, Asyendi’s Bane 10, Hail of Doom Arrow 30: 132
The Farstriders of Lady Dreamsinger
-19 Glade Guard 228, Standard Bearer 12, Musician 6: 246
Druidess Nysa Greystorm, Priestess of the Kel-Isha
-Spellweaver 215 (Lore of Beasts), Level 4 Wizard 35, Wand of the Wych Elm 55, Talisman of Endurance 30 : 335
The Storm Warders of Athel Loren, Guardians of the Grove
-19 Glade Guard 228, Standard Bearer 12, Musician 6: 246

The Wild Hunt
The Handmaidens of Durthu
-12 Dryads 144, Branch Nymph 12: 156
The Riders of Twilight - Outriders of Huntmaster Lloric Tanelsan, the Lord of the Hunt
-10 Wild Riders 260, Musican -free, Standard Bearer 18, Wild Hunter 18: 296
The Thorn Knights of Dornatha, the Verdant Rage
-6 Treekin: 390

The Dawn-Riders of Athel Loren
The Sethayla, Talons of the Hawk Lord
-3 Warhawk Riders: 120
Scrya - Talon of Dawn
-Great Eagle: 50
Borcha the Silent Wind
-Great Eagle: 50

Total: 2500
Lords: 574
Heroes: 132
Core: 648
Special: 806
Rare: 340

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Wood elves definitely don't suck in 8th part 2

I posted this entire block of text on a message board dedicated to Wood elves and I liked it so much I decided to make it a blog post.

The comment was that Wood Elves were hit by the nerfbat really hard in 8th and why I felt Wild Riders were the best fast cavalry.

- The Post-

The nerfbat wasn't that hard on us really (well at least to my playstyle).  Yes, MSU is dead for wood elves but look at what we gained.
1.  Skirmishers able to march and shoot.  The Lethal Shot and Machine Gun Arcane Bodkins Highborn unit now has a 25" range. (march 10 + 15" for killing bow and not to mention the scout placement).
2.  Treekin became literally one of the best if not the best heavy infantry in the game.  They are initiative 3 which means that against most armies they go simultaneously or before other heavy infantry (ogres, etc..).  Not to mention the stomp attacks are amazing.
3.  Having the game shift to initiative based close combat means that most of our units are striking first against most of the armies (sans High Elves and against Dark elves we go simultaneously for the most part oh and chaos...but grr whatever).
4.  Having a good movement and a nice amount of flying units (Eagles, Warhawk Riders, characters on eagles) and fast cavalry (glade riders, wild riders, characters on elven steeds) with vanguard has given the wood elves a really nice mobility.  You had this mobility in 7th but you can really capitalize on it in 8th.  i.e. Warmachine hunting, spellcaster hunting, flank attacks, rear attacks, etc...
5.  As much as I hate to admit it, Eternal Guard got better - especially with I5, WS5 and fighting in 3 ranks (4 if horde) is a nice anvil unit.
6.  Lore of Beasts and Life are fantastic for Wood Elves - granted they are awesome for everyone but I really like how they work for my army.
7.  Shooting in 2 ranks allows for more maneuverable units of Glade Guard
And these are just some of the huge boosts we got from just core rule book changes in the new edition.
Granted there are some downsides =
Skirmishers lost some power in close combat
Lots of armies now have flaming attacks that count as magical.
Bigger units of cheaper models have the option of overrunning smaller, more expensive units of wood elves (i.e. pick your battles!)
But these are issues that a lot of armies will now face and wood elves are not unique in these problems.

As far as Wild Riders being the best fast cavalry - people fear my Wild Riders (ha no pun intended).  The fact that in the first turn I can be behind their line due to Vanguard move and marching 18" makes anyone sweat.  Added to the fact that if you put a Wild Rider character with a Hail of Doom Arrow with that unit on an elven steed.  You have an alpha strike on any unit at close range hitting on 2's with str4 arrows.  You can remove an important unit or warmachine immediately.  They also have decent fast cav. saves - 5+ armor and 5+/6+ ward.  Str 5, WS5, I5 on a charge is also pretty awesome.  You can also do the alpha strike with Waywatchers as well.  I've removed most of a unit of Chaos Warriors using the scout 12" deployment + 10" march + 15" short range lethal shot in the first turn.  I've found Wild Riders also are no slouches in close combat.  They need to have 2 ranks at minimum, I daresay 2.5 or 3 ranks for extra wounds with a character (highborn with crown of command preferably) makes one heck of a flanking unit or rear assault unit.  Combine using Wild Riders + Waywatchers + Warhawk Riders + 2 Great Eagles all being in your opponents deployment zone or flanks on turn 1 along with 40ish Glade Guard shooting at a single unit will disrupt any army.

In 8th edition I've found that most armies (at least I should qualify this statement with the add-on "at my local gaming store") are using larger units and having less #'s of units overall.  Coupled with some of the different types of deployment available in the missions in 8th edition, you really have the ability to alter the entire battlefield to YOUR specifications.  Suddenly what was a line em up and knock em down fight now became a True Skirmishing and Ambushing Army by literally flanking and flying over the entire opponents army and forcing them to prioritize what to attack.  While your opponent is now being forced to shift focus to multiple threats now in both short range for bows and within charge distance on their flank or rear, you have the luxury of casting offensive magic spells (read: Amber Spear, Magic Missile Spells, Dwellers Below) and augmenting and marching your anvil units like Treekin and Eternal Guard with Spells like +4 Toughness or Wyssan's Wildform and shooting the crap out of them with arrows.

There are not a lot of armies that can function in this capacity.  Where they have warmachines and crossbows, we have flying units and elite archers.  Treekin and Treemen with Dryads flanking are devastating against EVERYTHING.  Augmented with spells they are insane.  Dryads becoming S5/T5 or Treekin S6/T6 or even your Wild riders now being S6 (on a charge) T4 is awesome.  So when I say we have become very competitive in 8th edition, I am speaking from personal experience and I will stand by that statement (at least until I get waffle-stomped in 'Ard Boyz at the end of the month =D ).

I am not saying that there are not some definite weaknesses with the Wood Elves but I feel that by looking at your playstyle and adapting to what's available in the new rules will really change your perspective on them.  I will admit at first I was all "[i]aw hell my Wood elves suck now. Friggin GW didn't alter their ward save in the FAQ.  omg our skirmishers suck now. etc...[/i]."   I sat down and played half a dozen games with my new list and suddenly my perspective changed.  Now that I've had a LOT of 8th edition games under my belt and I've adapted my playstyle, I'm having a blast with the wood elves.

Now that I've gone on this long explanation of the fruits and wonderfulness of the Wood Elves in 8th edition, I fully expect to get waffle-stomped for the next 3 months due to gamer karma. =)