The Wood Elves Book is out (it took long enough), and some players are already throwing down the conventional wisdom on WFB’s newest arrival:
The ArmyBook as a Whole
Overall, I’d give Wood Elves a solid B. They have some obvious bonuses and they have a decent spread of unit types and advantages. They also have some big drawbacks though. They are weak and squishy (S3 across most units, T3 with little to no armor). Internal balance is mostly there. They have some pretty awesome units that people would be crazy to go without (Wild Riders, Glade Riders, and the Sisters). While other units are “okay” but obviously weaker choices (sadly, Warhawk Riders fall into this category… again).
Magic-wise, they prove very versatile. They aren’t quite as versatile as Slann but they have more options available to them than even High Elves and I like that this represents the dual-sided nature of the wild. Of the two lore attributes I’d give the edge to the High Magic side of things as those protection ward tokens are pretty awesome. General die to a lucky cannonball? Well that won’t happen if he or his unit had one of these protection counters.
The addition of the Wildwood rangers gives the army some much needed offense in the form of block infantry. I’d rate them higher than Eternal Guard who are still a decent choice (and EG are Core as opposed to Special). The way they treat the magic arrows is fantastic although expensive. This also makes WE the hard counter to the VC spirit armies that frequent tournaments and singlehandedly shuts down the Ethereal frogs as WE would quickly leave the Lizardmen without a general.
Overall I really like the book. They play like a slightly more balanced version of Dark Elves but still retain much of the feel that they had previously (while still working in the game). They somehow managed to lose a little of what little defense they had, but they gained a great deal of punch. I do feel they lack the ability to deal with higher toughness armies (not individual models like monsters) but that’s still up for debate. I’m hoping to test that out shortly when I play against my buddy’s WE with my Skaven… and if more time allows… my Warriors of Chaos.
Seriously… the ground cavalry in this book is stupid good. Ambushing Fast Cavalry that can take poison arrows? Yes please. Fast Cavalry that are ASF with 3 WS5 S5 attacks with armor piercing (and a WS3 S4 mount attack) on the Charge? Yes Please. Another Fast Cavalry that can cast Shield of Thorns or Curse of Anraheir to support other and also have 4+ Wards and Poison attacks (both melee and ranged)? Heck, yeah! Keeping Fast Cavalry on these units means that the WE player shouldn’t feel like they have to take larger units and thus adds to the feelings of roving bands of ambushers.
Wood Elves Winners and Losers
Glade Riders – Ambush + Magic Arrows makes for some of the best warmachine hunters (Come in from back table edge and shoot poison arrows)
Warhawk Riders – They better than their previous incarnations but they are still pretty lackluster.
Your thoughts on the denizens of Athel Loren my friends?