Storm of Chaos: Laurelorn Elves

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Storm of Chaos: Laurelorn Elves

Postby TimmyMWD » 29 Jun 2013, 19:45

See the thread here for what the campaign is all about

We are using the campaign as an opportunity to give the Wood Elves some love, one of the sub campaigns is going to be the Laurelorn Elves attempting to hold off the Beastmen and stop them from attacking the rear of the Empire army. As such, it is a chance to produce a special wood elf variant list. Now it can't be a complete rewrite of the book since this is just supposed to be a special "take" on one aspect of the parent army, but we want to include something in our campaign to get the wood elf players excited.

Our vision with the Laurelorn Elves are the masters of ambush and hit and run tactics. We want the army list to play extremely non traditionally (especially in the age of horde infantry in 8th edition) and give the Laurelorn Elves a dynamic, unique approach to winning their games. As such, I have a first draft of the list. But we want to know how to tweak it and make it work before we send it out to our playtesting teams.

Here's what we have:

Parent Book: This is a special variant of the Wood Elves army list. Unless specified otherwise, all special rules, stats, and point costs will be used from the main army book.

Disallowed Kindreds: The following kindreds cannot be selected by Wood Elf characters, as these kindreds do not exist outside of the forest of Athel Loren

Wild Rider

Glamourweave


In addition, Wood Elf characters cannot choose any spites, as the power of the forest is far weaker in Laurelorn, and the elves there must rely on ambushing more than the fury and strength of the forest spirits.

Attacks Unseen: All infantry models and units with fewer than twenty models in the army have the ambush special rule. However, so coordinated is their ambush of the enemy that they may declare a charge on the turn they arrive (even though their arrival occurs in the remaining move sub phase, treat this as an out of sequence charge). They may not arrive from the opposing player’s board edge, however.

In addition, you can nominate up to half of the units in your army with the ambush special rule, or nominate a number of units equal to the number of forests on the board (whichever number is lower). These units may come on the board as ambushers in the first turn, but must be placed in one of the forests on the board. They may still charge on the turn they arrive as normal.

From the Shadows: If a skirmishing Laurelorn Elves unit is partially (or completely) in a forest at the start of the movement phase, and it charges an enemy, then it counts as being in a forest for the first round of combat. This means that unit will be stubborn. Note that the enemy does not count as being in a forest for the first turn, and therefore will be steadfast if they have more ranks than the Laurelorn Elf unit.

Fearsome Ambush:
For the first two turns of the game, all enemy models suffer a -1 leadership penalty as they attempt to gain their wits from the Wood Elf assault.

The following troops count as characters, core, special, or rare units in the Laurelorn Elves army list.

Lords: Wood Elf Highborn

Spellweaver

Heroes: Wood Elf Noble

Spellsinger

Spellsingers may choose from the Lore of Athel Loren, Beasts, or Life

Core: Glade Guard

Glade Riders

0-1 Dryads

Special: Wardancer Troupe (updated rules, see below)

Warhawk Riders

Shadow Stalkers (new unit)

Rare: Waywatchers

0-1 Treeman

Great Eagles

Note: NO special characters may be used from the parent Wood Elf book.



Wardancer Troupe
Same stat line, point cost down to 16 PPM
Unit size changed to 5 to 20
Command costs are +10 each

Equipment changed to 2x hand weapons

Special Rules:
Skirmish, Shadow Dances of Loec, Immune to Psychology, Talismanic Tattoos, Furious Charge

Shadow Stalkers - 16 PPM
Shadow Stalker 5-5-4-3-3-1-7-1-8
Huntmaster 5-5-4-3-3-1-7-2-8

Unit Size: 5-20
Equipment: Two Hand Weapons
Huntermaster +10 points

Special Rules:
Skirmish, Armor Piercing, From the Shadows

From the Shadows:
Shadow Stalkers always count as being in the flank when fighting in close combat, unless they are charged in the flank or rear while already engaged in the front. This means that they receive the +1 bonus to combat resolution, and it means that the enemy may not use supporting attacks against Shadow Stalkers.



Really rough draft. Hopefully you understand the purpose of the army wide special rules (charging on 1st turn might be just for those coming out of the forest, we'll see), and we wanted to give the Wood Elves a couple of combat units that can hit hard and/or have some rules that give them some staying power. Wardancers are a little cheaper, and their rules are cleaned up with the new 8th ed set, and can benefit from the forest assault making them stubborn. Shadow Stalkers stay alive by minimizing return attacks back, and can dish out quite a lot of attacks too.

Thoughts? Like I said, I wanted to construct a rough shell of the army and then turn it over to you for thoughts, feedback, and changes. Once you have run it through the ringer I will send it on to my design team for their thoughts, and then we'll send it out for playtesting.
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Re: Storm of Chaos: Laurelorn Elves

Postby Beithir Seun » 30 Jul 2013, 00:52

OK, bit late to this, but as no one else has responded yet I figured I'd post my thoughts up to hopefully get the ball rolling.

First up, I agree with the removal of Wild Rider and Glamourweave kindreds. Definitely not suited to the Laurelorn (although I don't think the army really loses anything for losing those two Kindreds anyway!)

Attacks Unseen - To be honest, given that the only non-Infantry units in the army list are Glade Riders, Warhawks, Eagles and Treemen, I don't see why the Ambush rule shouldn't/wouldn't apply to those units as well (although excluding the Treeman would make the most sense). As a compromise for giving the Ambush rule to all units, a stipulation could be added that a certain number of units in the army must be deployed on the table as normal at the start of the game (if that is the intention; it would still be easily possible for a player to have an all-ambushing army by taking all infantry, and not deploy a thing at the start of the game).

From the Shadows - Nice addition, not too powerful but a good balance against the WE's lack of static Combat Resolution. Likewise for Fearsome Ambush



All the unit choices make sense, and the limiting of the Forest Spirits is definitely better than no Forest Spirits at all (which would be a possibility, fluffwise). Regarding the Wardancers and Shadow Stalkers though:

Wardancers - The points drop is good, although I'm not sure about a couple of other things. Firstly, changing their equipment to 2 x Hand Weapons rather than Wardancer Weapons means they're S3 at all times (without magic buffs anyway). I assume by Furious Charge you mean Devastating Charge instead (because there is no rule called "Furious Charge")? Assuming that's correct, I'm not sure the extra attack really compensates for the loss of the S4 on the charge. I haven't worked out all the probabilities, but at first glance fewer S4 attacks would seem to be preferable to more S3 attacks (given that Wardancers can gain access to extra attacks with the Whirling Death dance).

Further to the above comments on Wardancers, I'm not sure what the Shadow Stalkers unit really adds to the list that Wardancers wouldn't already provide. They're limited to two S3 attacks each and Armour Piercing doesn't make as much difference as the extra attack and/or extra Strength that Wardancers would get (i.e. potentially either three S4 attacks or four S3 attacks, on the charge with Whirling Death) because they'll still struggle to wound tougher opponents. Granted, the "From the Shadows" rule (which you need to change the name of, by the way, so that it's not the same as the army-wide rule called "From the Shadows") means they won't suffer as many casualties, but you could just as easily add this rule to Wardancers and cut the need for a new unit type all together. I think if Wardancers received the rule instead, you could easily leave their cost as it is now (i.e. 18pts) and scrap the Shadow Stalkers.

~ ~ ~

Anyway, that's my thoughts for now. Hopefully others will chime in to share their own ideas and comments :)
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Re: Storm of Chaos: Laurelorn Elves

Postby Beragon » 30 Jul 2013, 05:59

I'll chime in! I think you should simplify/adjust some of the rules a bit.

For example the Attacks unseen... I'd rather see it function more like how Ambushers normally works. Example:
Once table sides have been determined but before deployment, up to half of the units in a Laurelorn Elves army may be given the Ambushers rule. However, only units with 20 or less models in total may be so nominated. The Waywatchers of Laurelorn are so proficient with Ambushing, if they are nominated, they may try to arrive from Turn 1 onwards and do so on a 2+.

Tying the number of Ambushers allowed to the number of forests or half the units in the army gets weird thematically, as you can actually have more Ambushers if there are NO forests on the board. What about tying it to points, such as one Ambushing unit for every 1,000 pts, rounded up?

From the Shadows, it seems strange that a unit would be Stubborn if it charged out of a forest... perhaps something more offensive and/or disorienting in nature, such as gaining Always Strikes First and/or enemies getting -1 to hit on the turn a Laurelorn Unit suddenly launches an attack from a forest.

For hard hitters, I'd like to see Great Stags and Unicorns be options for normal non-kindred specific characters. Since Laurelorn forest doesn't have the Aura Athel Loren does, it could be reasonably assumed that the Stags and Unicorns that live in that forest have not acquired the affects of that aura... namely, such creatures in Laurelorn don't have the Forest Spirit special rules (and so may be ridden by normal characters). Perhaps the Great Stag is 10 pts cheaper to compensate, and the Unicorn grants MR (2) instead of the normal Forest Spirit rules.

Also, in an army that specializes in 'hit-and-run' tactics, there perhaps should be a liberal dose of the Warhawk Riders 'Hit-and-Run' ability throughout the army! Perhaps they wouldn't need any extra rules for staying power if they're easy to kill, but hard to actually break and run down in close combat.

I also agree with Beithir Seun that the Wardancers and Shadow Stalkers are too close in their intended purpose and abilities.

Some really nice ideas, but need tweaking.
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Re: Storm of Chaos: Laurelorn Elves

Postby godswearhats » 27 Dec 2013, 20:10

Did anything happen with this campaign? Anyone know?
The top Wood Elf tactica and painting/modelling guides are on The LEAF.
Read this guide if you'd like to contribute.

Dimensional Cascade: Warhammer Fantasy Podcast
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