Warhammer review: Heirlooms of Athel Loren
The Spirit Sword
This powerful heirloom has a cool name and if you manage to cause a wound (with no armour save allowed) it can do a lot of damage to character, champions and monsters. The downsides to the spirit sword are firstly its cost, taking up most of a lords allowance leaves you little left over to buy defensive items and given Wood Elves aren't heavy on the armour anyway it leaves you vulnerable to counter attacks or indeed attacks from a large blocks, shooting, magic etc.. Secondly it's a 2D6 plus leadership roll off, with a Glade Lord being leadership 10 this does generally put you at an advantage however given the whims of the dice god it can see the enemy escape untouched.
On the plus side if you win this roll of by a lot nearly any opponent is going down. Also the Savage Beast of Horros spell from the Beast Lore will have good synergy with this item with 7 asf attacks at s7 and no armour save you are going to cause wounds, but then of course you would anyway.
Can see this item be worth it for both shock and amusement value once in a while but I do feel most monsters can be better dealt with via shooting. With Glade Lords being only strength 4 causing the wound will be tough against high toughness opponents and if you don't wound you have a good chance of dying in return.
Daith's reaper gives rerolls to hit, wound and forces the enemy to reroll successful armour saves. Considering you now have rerolls most of the time due to asf this aspect of daith's reaper is of limited effectiveness (expect perhaps against other elven armies). It is the elves low strength and therefore low initial armour save modifier (-1) that make this weapon in my eyes less then optimal. For the cost most of the time an ogre blade or asrai spear and potion of strength will be as effective.
The Bow of Loren
The Bow of Loren gives a character multiple shots based on their attack stat, however it cannot be used in conjunction with enchanted arrows so limiting its effectiveness. It is however cheap so will likely make an appearance in more than a few wood elf armies.
You can give a Waystalker two shots with this allowing them to take two S3 sniper shots with no armour save a turn. It may also be worth it to give a battle standard or lord taken mostly for leadership/stand your ground who is intending to hang back a few extra shots.
The Helm of the Hunt
Grants the bearer an extra pip of armour save, devastating charge and +1 weapon skill on the charge. Its cheap and will be effective on mounted Glade Lords and Glade Captains on elven mounts, eagle, stag or even the mighty forest dragon who are likely to be charging. Plus an extra pip of armour save never hurt anyone (unless you get hit by searing doom from the lore of metal).
Acorn of the Ages
The Acorn of Ages allows you to place an additional D3 forests anywhere on the board, these then scatter slightly. This should allow you to place them roughly where they can be of most use to you, you can also choose the type of forest.
In conjunction with the Moonstone of the hidden Ways (see below) and the Forest Stalker special rule you should be able to use these woods greatly to your advantage. Remember as well that the Sisters of the Thorn come with the Curse of Anraheir spell from the Lore of Beasts which could be used in conjunction with these woods.
The major downside of this potent enchanted item is its high cost restricting it to Glade lords and Spellweaver's only.
Moonstone of the Hidden Ways
The Moonstone of the Hiddenways allows you to basically teleport from one forest to another in the remaining moves phase. This does make you count as marching. With the new "ambush from the worldroots" giving you an additional forest it makes this item just about usably. If used in conjunction with the Acorn of the Ages (see above) it will give you plenty of forests to bounce around in.
I see three major uses of this item firstly to get a bunker type unit with your high level wizard or similar in "out of dodge" and out of trouble. Secondly to bounce around a unit of Deepwood scouts or Waywatchers around the board giving them additional targets and keeping them safe. Thirdly to bounce a hard hitting unit such as Wild Riders behind the enemy lines.
The downside of this is cost its risky taking the Moonstone of the Hidden Ways without the Acorn of Ages chances are you will get another forest but it may not be where you want it. Taking the Acorn of Ages as well means a big investment in points.
I think when employed together this will be a major headache for your opponent, however I would certainly mix it up once in a while to keep your opponent on their toes. If used repeatedly they are likely to come up with effective counter tactics.
Hail of Doom Arrow
The return of an old favourite the Hail of Doom arrow is welcome and the effects stay largely the same with the addition though of the shots being armour piercing. 3D6 strength 4 armour piercing shots at ballistic skill 6 or 7 can cause a great deal of damage to the right opponent at the right time. I expect this to appear somewhere in most Wood Elf armies.
The Banner of the Eternal Queen
The Banner of the Eternal Queen grants magic resistance 3 and allows the bearer and his unit to become unbreakable for a turn (or until the bearer is slain). Whilst magic resistance 3 is good it is available elsewhere for cheaper.
The cost of this banner also means it is battle standard only, this also makes the other ability somewhat questionable as having used all your magic item allowance on the banner your toughness 3 and 2 wounds elf is likely to have little defence. Mounting the battle standard on an eagle or stag may improve his survivability slightly at the cost of making him a target.
Sadly I do not see this banner getting much use as once you declare you are using the unbreakable rule your opponent is likely to throw everything they have at your battle standard bearer.
Now the only way to get the "Tree singing" spell which has otherwise been removed.
Again this item is more effective when more forests are on the board meaning it is likely to be more effective with the Acorn of Ages in play. However gone is the ability to move friendly units fully within the forest. This leaves you with the option of moving a forest a small distance or dealing 2D6 strength 4 hits to an enemy unit it also has an area of effect though at a higher casting value.
I expect to see this when the Acorn of Ages is in play less so other times, To me the ability to move unoccupied forest is ok but situational and given Wood Elves now have access to the Lore of Fire and therefore fireball makes the damage dealing aspect negligible.
The Banner of the Hunter King
The Banner of the Hunter King is again high cost making it battle standard only. It grants the unit the vanguard special rule and allows you to reroll the first failed charge of the game. This would allow you to get a combat unit closer to the enemy and potentially reroll a critical charge.
How useful this banner is would depend on your army composition and tactics you intend to use so you would need to tailor your army around this.
In your opinion which is the best Heirloom?
© 2014 Gordon D Easingwood