Monday, August 2, 2010

Elfs, Part 2: Deforestation Kelly

Despite my proclivity to start articles series that I never finish and even despite blogger eating the first draft, tonight brings us to part two of my totally awesome Elf series.   Same caveats as before - it's gonna be a while before I start up some fantasy, so I'm just spinning my wheels for fun. 

I'd also like to state that if any of my handpicked, elite cadre of readers wants to shout out some Elfy advice to feel free and do so.  8th edition has shaken most of the low hanging fruit of the ol' list building tree and there are many of us that have no idea of even how the rules shake out let alone what to spend 2250 points on.  So while I'm clearly fishing for some knowledge I can put in the bank, this could helpful for a lot of other people too.

Oh, also, as an elite cadre, feel free to conduct ninja training or super secret raids on my behalf. 

Wood Elves.

Since these guys are my favorite but seem to have a few crucial flaws, lets get them out of the way so I can begin the healing process.  My past experiences with Warriors of Chaos , Dark Angles and recent hobby experiments have made me a bit gun shy when it comes to to army selection.  Unfortunately, I've kind of fallen in love (or is it lust) with the Wood Elves. 

By a wide margin the wood elves have the best models of our three flavors of pointy eared douches.  Which is made doubly amazing by the fact that it's been roughly 5 years since we've seen any new ones.  There isn't a single model I wouldn't include in my army based on appearances (OK, the eagle riders are borderline).    I just like the whole 'forest raiders' and how the sculptors managed to make all the forest imagery tough and scary rather than fruity and flowery.  Even all the bare chested, hairless man-elves aren't all that homoerotic.  Impressive.

I make no Bones about how awesome the Wood Elf range is.
But there's a key piece of info up there - the bit about the book being 5 years old.  That's a red flag.  Its been 2 editions of Warhammer since the last update and, as we all know, army books/codices from anything past the last 1-2 years tend to hold up about as well as used toilet paper.  Meaning its very easy to poke a hole in it.  By all intelligent accounts, the Wood Elves are pretty... well, let's keep the theme going... crappy.

Just glancing through the book with my, admittedly,  limited knowledge, there are a few things that jump out - slightly over costed units (or SUPER over costed if you're a waywatcher), strange unit inclusion rules, a tendency toward useless champion upgrades and a bunch of rules that probably seemed like good ideas at the time to the authors.  Plus, I'm led to believe that the new line of sight, forest and skirmisher rules tend to hose a few of the things the Wood Elves did have going for them.

Wood Elves:  The real McCoy or in need of serious doctoring?
 Comparing to the other elf books, there's nothing that comes anywhere near being as good as army wide hatred or always trikes first.  Comparing further - you notice that there are no basic spearmen.  What the hell?!  But most of the other units are pretty comparable.  Eternal guard are almost blackguard.  Almost.  Plus, the tree people seem cool.  There's also a free forest to be had.  So it can't be that bad, can it?

So, I put it to those of you with 8th edition experience - are the wood elves shitty or merely mediocre?  Would every game be hide and seek or would it be more like cat and also cat (only slightly smaller)?  You see, the blogoshpere has yet to turn out a good answer for me that goes deeper than "they suck".  I mean yeah the Wood Elves don't seem all that choppy or tough, but the Dark Elves seem to suffer from some of the same flaws.  Even if there was only one solid build, it'd still almost be worth looking into the Wood Elves.   its a conundrum.

I guess you could say that I can't see Deforest for the trees.



  1. Your wordplay amuses me, well played good sir.

    As for WE, your guess is as good as mine. I haven't played them ever. I can flip through the book and see what I can kneejerk, but I doubt that'll do much more than give me an excuse to make poop jokes and curse a lot.


  2. The 'classic' Wood Elf army of tiny archer units, skimishing Dryads and a Treeman Ancient isn't what it used to be, apparently, but I think an army based around Eternal Guard (with a Highborn General, these lads become Core choices, so you get a core unit with additional hand weapons AND spears) and Tree-Kin (monstrous infantry with access to Regenerate go stomp) with the archery relegated to a support role might be worth a go. The Woodies get some excellent defensive magic, and the new Common Magic Items paper over some of the glaring omissions from the army book...

  3. Dammit Jim, I'm a Doctor not a Tree Surgeon!

    As I understand it., WE are waaayyy behind the curve of WarMachineHammer, and just need freshened up. Shrug.

    People round here still thought they were pretty good just before 8e came out, so i's not like I have much to playtest with when my DE get done...