Tuesday, 23 September 2014

A Tactica All of its Own: The Hail of Doom Arrow Tactica

The Hail of Doom Arrow (or HODA for short) has been with the Wood Elf army for quite a while now. In the 3rd edition book it was a Scarloc only magic item, in the 6th ed book it was 30 point Enchanted Item that did 3d6 worth of strength 4 shots (it wasn't classified as a multiple shot item) and now its current version is a 30 point Enchanted Item that does 3d6 worth of strength 4 shots armour piercing shots (it is now a multiple shot item). It’s an time that many Wood Elf players take and its easy to see why. However there is one question all wood elf players who use the HODA must answer: When do I use it and who do I use it on? As I have been using the HODA pretty much as long as I have been playing Wood Elves allow me to give you my opinion on those two questions. 

While not actually a HODA we would all lime to think that they look like this


Looking at the HODA’s profile many Wood Elf players may be tempted to fire it at all sorts of things. Monsters, Big Unis, Small Units, War Machines, Heavily Armoured Troops, Lightly Armoured Troops, Chariots. All of these are tempting targets for the HODA however I advise a more narrow selection of potential targets, Chaff or Small to Medium units. As tempting as it may be to fire the HODA at a Warmachine / Monster and wish for the required number of sixes to kill it this would be a waste of the HODA. I recommend firing it unis along the lines of Chaff, Empire Knights/ Elf Calvary (of all Armour Saves) or blocks of toughness 3 to 4 about 15 to 20 in size. The mina reasons for this is the random amount of shots, you simply cannot rely on the HODA to kill a Monster or War Machine as you need a huge number of shots to hit in order to have a chance at getting the high number of sixes required to wound. Similarly you need an equally high number of hits to transfer over to wounds to put a dent even in a moderately sized Horde (30+ models).

In my view the HODA is a Chaff/Knight Dart weapon, used to remove a single annoying threat that your other archers were either unable to remove (due to having more important targets of just fluffing their shots) or cant remove (due to being out of range, or dead).


As with all one use items the question of when is a vital one. I know Wood Elf players who hold onto the HODA until the final turns of the game in order to remove that weakened unit and I know of Wood Elf players who fire it first thing to avoid its either avoid its bearer being killed (and thus rendered useless) or to try a either take out an annoying unit or weaken a dangerous one. To me both those use are valid and can work. I would advise that you use the HODA when “That Chaff Unit” looks most likely to redirect a charge, of when the enemies Knight Dart looks most likely to cause some havoc. 

At the end of the day the When question is a situational one, only the player will be able to choose when its best to use the HODA and all the advice in the world can count for nothing if that’s how the situation goes.

At the end of the day the HODA is a 30 point magic item that looks far better on paper than it preforms on the table. That’s not saying that is isn’t good (it is) and that you shouldn’t take it (you should) juts keep in mind that 3d6 can be either 3 shots or 188 and everything in between and that you won’t know how many shots you get until you fire it at a target that you had to pick before rolling the shots. This is why I advise firing it at small to medium sized units because you can’t really on it to always have a high amount of shots, that and if you fire a HODA at “That Chaff Unit” then that’s one unit of Glade Guard/ Scouts/ Waywatchers who didn’t have to fire at the unit and can fire at something more worthy of their time. Until next time.


  1. Ok granted HoDA's effect is amazing. However, the cost is not 30 points.

    The true cost of HoDA is 105 points. A glade captain + HoDA.

    There is no material reason to take a Glade captain (including BSB) other than to take HoDA. He's weak in CC, Arrow of Kurnous is a gimmick and a BSB is no help in any type of MSU army (which is the competitive only way to play WE).

    The only decent Lords / Hero choices are spell casters, and HoDA on a BS4 Multiple shot for 30 points is not nearly as effective.

    Now feel free to disagree, but think about your list for a second. What does that Glade Captain (or even worse: lord) really contribute? And would you be better off having taken 105 points worth of something else? Perhaps 5 more Waywatchers or 4 more Wild Riders.

    HoDA is amazing, but the army is stronger without the one carrying it.

    My 2 cents,


    1. I disagree when you say that the only decent Lords / Hero choices are spell casters. The Waystalker and Shadow dancer are both decent characters with the dancer being able to give a infantry unit a bit of extra punch. The Waystalker can be very effective at removing wizards, especially if the target is softened up with magic first. For Lords a Glade Lord isn't a bad choice, and at least (if he is a general) he cant suck himself down a hole while still being at full wounds and in no intimidate danger what so ever.

      Combo Araloth (and his sniper Fallon) with a Waystalker and fun will ensure. I haven't yet found a use for Treeman Ancients but i also have yet to try one out. Durthu isn't half bad and i still think there could be a cunning tactic involving Drycha and other Forest Spirits

  2. Waystalker is a gimmick that struggles with T4 and doesn't make back his points against many lists. Plus he can't carry HoDA

    shadow dancer is too fragile and can't carry HoDA.

    Glade lord is too fragile and a general that doesn't fall down a hole isn't necessary for a msu list. sure he can be equipped to pack a punch, but his cost worth of Wild Riders would pack more.

    No Forrest spirits are any good.

    Special characters are overpriced and can't carry HoDA.

    Therefore the only decent lord or hero choices are spell casters.

    Therefore HoDA is the best magic item WE can take (bar arcane items), but it still should be left at home.


    1. Treekin are still a decent choice, a T5 Monstrous Infantry in an army of average T3 is not to be under rated. I would still take a Treeman for Combat Wood Elf armies.

      Waystalkers work they just require you to figure out things to combo with them in order to shine. Shadowdancers are a great addition to any combat unit, S4, A4, WS8 and I8 isn't something that your opponents can ignore.

      The book has plenty of choices all of which can work in different instances, dismissing these options out of hand only hurts your list.