Wood Elves army book 8th edition Warhammer review
The new Wood Elves army book follows the current army book layout of 96 pages bound into a hardback book and divided into 4 main sections. It is now full colour.
The Lords of Athel Loren
This section details the history of the wood elves, which do appear to have changed and diversified in this reimagining of the wood elves. Having been largely untouched since 6th edition this add substancial substance to the history of the wood elves as well as explaining some of the more drastic changes to the wood elf army.
The Deepwood Host
This contains the description and rules for the Wood Elf army starting with the army wide rules and Armoury of Torgovann. It then goes on to describe the various characters, units and monsters that make up the Wood Elf army. Also at the end are both the lore of high magic and the lore of dark magic, identical spell wise to other army books with access to these lores the Wood Elves do however have their own lore attribute.
The Glory of the Elves
Here the glory of the wood elves is displayed with 20 pages or so of excellent full colour photographs of the Wood Elf army. On display are a mixture of both new and old models beautifully painted and displayed. There is also details on how the Wood Elves of the different eternal realms appear giving a variety of colour schemes based loosely on the seasons.
Wood Elves army list
The most important part to budding generals of Wood Elf armies this details the points cost and options available to the Wood Elf army. This includes all the old favourites as well as new additions like the Waystalker and Sisters of the Thorn.
The first major quibble I have with the new Wood Elf army book is the caning Forest Spirits have undergone. They have dropped the conditional 5+ ward save for a standard 6+ ward save. Across the board all Forest spirit units (Dryads, Treekin and Treemen) have lost a point of strength. In return they have gained, well nothing. Although the limit of the number of Treekin has gone meaning you could now horde them if you wished too.
Sprites have more or less completely disappeared with only lamentation of Despairs making an appearance on the Treeman Ancient Durthu (who at least has made a comeback). There is no longer an option to select any for your character's of any kind. This leaves Treeman Ancients (who are now wizards) with few upgrades and Branchwraith's with none (though they are now wizards and cheap to boot).
Also gone are the kindred's whilst this is partially compensated for with the addition of the Shadowdancer and Waystalker heroes it is again something Wood Elves have lost for an inferior version.
Another major gripe is that for a highly expensive book you do not automatically gain access to a PDF or ibook version of the army book. You have to pay the same again to gain access to this. Considering the cost of the army book you would expect to gain access to this for free.
Pros and Cons
Like most Games Workshop products the Wood Elves army book is excellently done and presented. Photos are excellent as are the illustrations throughout (even if some of them are old). It also contains the new rules for models both old and new, what more could any Wood Elf general ask for (except of course for the Wood Elves book to grow on trees)?
Of course this is the only place to find the points cost and rules for the new 8th edition Wood Elves army, making it essential for any general of the Wood Elves. With the last army book being from so long ago it may also attract new Wood Elves army generals giving them a new lease of life.
The major flaw with all current Games Workshop products is of course the prohibitive cost. Whilst Games Workshop models are fairly unique so hard to cost compare, it is quite easy to see that the cost of what is effectively a 96 page hardback annual is prohibitively high for what it is.
With the Wood Elves not having had a new army book since 6th edition this is a welcome new addition for Wood Elves generals everywhere. However the Wood Elves have lost as much as they have gained except in their access to all the rulebook lore's of magic plus both High and Dark magic.
The major changes to Wood Elves are the access to all lore's of magic and the addition of enchanted arrows to Glade guard and Glade riders as well as characters. This offer some excellent bonuses such as poison. minus three armour save modifier, two multiple shots, plus to wound and flaming versus either forces of order models or forces of destruction and no shooting "to hit" modifiers.
In return Forest Spirits have taken a knock, magic items are fewer in number (though now all useable with a little thought) and sprites have disappeared. Forest spirits have been nerfed and the elven side of the army enhanced with the always strikes first and forest stalker special rules.
Overall a mixed bag for the army of the Wood Elves however the ability to take any magic lore they want will greatly enhance Wood Elf armies in general and make hero level wizards actually worth taking.
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© 2014 Gordon D Easingwood
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