Friday, 16 May 2014

The Solution to Every Problem: Wood Elf Enchanted Arrow Tactics

The Wood Elf enchanted arrows are a big part of the new book; effectively they are a reason to take glade guard because without the strength 4 longbow glade guard just don’t have the punch to do what you need them to do, unless you take the arrows. So I present to you now my guide on how to get the best out of your arrows. Now this is all theory but I am fairly certain that I am right about this, I have spent untold hours hashing this out in my mind and I will revisit this tactica in a few months after I have had a few more games. That being said this is just my opinion on how to use these arrows, its not the absolute how to guide but it is how i plan to use them going forward.

Glade Lords/Captains and Waystalkers.

Before I start I wanted to talk about the Arrow of Kunros ability on the Glade Lord and Captain. This is a good ability, why you say? Because its free, you are going to take a Glade Captain anyway to Carry the HODA, Battle Standard or both, and it’s a S3 (meh) auto hit (nice) no armour save shot (very good). It removes things like charmed shields and opal amulets. It’s a nice little ability but if you plan to capitalize on this ability take a Waystalker so he can seal the deal with either a sniper shot the ignores armour, or two sniper shots that are AP. A Glade Lord/Captain and a Waystalker should make your opponent nervous and if you are lucky and get the right spells you can make short work of the enemy general. The Lore of Metal (Enchanted blades which give both combat and shooting attacks +1 to hit), the Lore of Shadow (the withering is the one to aim for) and Death (Soulblight is what you need) all combo well with the Waystalker and the Arrow of Kurnos.

Hagbane Tips

Counters: High Toughness low armour save, War Machines
Recommended unit and size: Deep Wood Scouts, Glade Guard, 10-20

Poisoned is very useful and the Hagbane tips only cost a extra 3 points per model. There are 2 ways that I would recommend using these arrows. 1) On a unit of between 10 to 15 Deepwood scouts. Use the scout rule to get as close to the enemy war machines as possible and don’t stop firing until all the crew are dead. Don’t worry about clear line of sight or move and shoot penalties, all you need are those 6s. 2) On a unit of 20 Glade Guard deployed in 10 ranks of ten. Select a unit of high toughness low armour save troops and poison it to death. Ogres, Trolls, Giants, Minotaurs, Gorgons, Cygors and other such units will eventually be brought down by your firepower. Again you don’t need to be concerned by things like LOS or Move and Shot penalties, all you need are 6s to hit. Also the arrows are AP, so they can take care of light and heavy armour.

Trueflight Arrows

Counters: Skirmishers, War Machines
Recommended unit and size: Deep Wood Scouts, Glade Guard, 10-20
The ability to ignore all to hit penalties is great, it allows your glade guard to move and fire without care and this is only amplified by putting the arrows on scouts. If you like the idea of them on scouts put them on a unit of 10 to 15 and go war machine hunting, you always hit on 3s so that makes getting 6s to wound easier because more of your shots would have hit. If you like the idea of them on Glade Guard then a unit not 20 Glade Guard with these arrows are the pinnacle of skirmisher hunters, not only do they ignore the skirmishers main missile defense but you can walk them between worlds and still shot as walk between worlds only counts your unit as having moved not marched, so you can out manoeuvre the unit your are hunting.

Swiftshiver Shafts

Counters: Hordes, Moderately Armoured units
Recommended unit and size: Glade Guard, 20-30
Out of all the arrows these are my favorite but they are also the arrow that requires the most set up to use, confused? Allow me to explain. While multiple shots 2 is great it does mean that at long range you will hit your target on a 5+, which is fairly bad even on (at minimum) 40 shots. So if you take Swiftshiver you need a level 4 high mage nearby and you need to either roll or choose Hand of Glory. Hand of Glory works well with swift shiver because its worst result (increasing the BS of a target unit by 1) means that you hit on 4s. Your final act of the magic phase (I say final because hopefully your opponent won’t be able to block the spell as he/she would have spent all their dispel dice on dispelling your other spells) should be to cast this spell. This arrow takes care of a unit that Wood Elves usually have a hard time dealing with; The Horde. The bigger the Glade Guard unit the more shots you can throw out and the more of the target horde you can deal with. Also it works very well against other Elite Elf Infantry units, so Swordmasters and Executioners, as they low armour save and toughness will simply be overwhelmed by the sheer number of shots you can throw out.

Arcane Bodkins
Counters: Small units of low toughness high armour save troops
Recommended unit and size: Deep Wood Scouts, Glade Guard, 10
I have no doubt that other Wood Elf players will disagree with my narrow view of what this unit works best against, but I see arcane bodkins as taking on units of 5 to 10 empire knights (or an equivalent unit), and slowly whittling them down. The small unit size reflects this. In terms of who carries the arrows its really comes down to your taste in archer unit. Scouts are more mobile and harder to kill but are less likely to be in range of helpful magic, and Glade Guard help fill in your core, can benefit from helpful magic but are vulnerable to shooting.


Counters: Hordes, High Armour Save Troops, Monstrous Cav
Recommended size: 10 or two units of 5
This is why I limited who I believe arcane bodkins should counter. Waywacthers are about the only auto include in the Wood Elf army, and although not actually an arrow they are fill the roles of both the swiftshiver and arcane bodkins. The reason why I recommend using the watchers to take on Monstrous Cav, instead of using arcane bodkins is because the watchers can completely ignore a targets armour save, and while a -3 does reduce a 1+ armour save to 4+ you can get 2 wounds on a unit of Monstrous Cav and not reduce the combat efficiency of a unit, whereas 2 wounds on a knight dart is a big deal. A unit of 10 Waywacthers at long range can kill one Demigryph a turn, which is a big deal.

The way to get the most out of your arrows is to select the right target for each arrow. Firing Hagbane tips at goblins is pointless, just like firing swiftshiver shafts at Demigryphs is equally pointless. It all boils down to selecting the correct target for the arrow, and that is my intent in writing this post, to share with you my fellow Wood Elf players my ideas on how to use these new tools to their full potential. I will revisit this post in a few months and update it with what I have learned. Until then good luck.

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