Wood Elves: Warhammer 8th edition core units
Forest Stalker and Forest Spirit Rules
Forest Stalker Rule
This is a new special army wide rule for the Wood Elves that applies to all Elven units in the army. Firstly they all gain forest strider. In addition to this if at least half of the unit is in a forest they gain further buffs. They can both shoot and fight in melee with an additional rank, in melee they can also reroll all to wound rolls of 1.
Forest Spirit Rule
The forest spirit rule has undergone some changes it now grants a conventional 6+ ward save and immune to psychology (except for mounts). It also grants the forest strider rule and makes all the models attacks both shooting and melee magical.
Similar to what they were in 7th edition with the addition of the forest stalker and asf rules for the same cost. Gone however are Glade Guard Longbows replaced army wide with the asrai longbow. These lose the strength 4 at short range but pick up armour piercing all the time they also retain volley fire.
Of all the core Wood Elf units Glade guard probably got the biggest buff with the addition of enchanted arrows, these give you access to -3 armour save, poison, multiple shots, +1 to wounds forces of order/chaos with flaming and no modifiers to hit. All of these can be used to good effect. 30" range poison shots can quickly put paid to small unarmoured elite units and most monsters for example. These enchanted arrows all come at an additional cost per model.
Gone however is the scout upgrade (and conditions) these now being renamed Deepwood scouts and being moved in the special unit section.
Dryads took a knock in 8th edition with the lowering of the Forest Spirit Ward save from its conditional 5+ to a conventional 6+ ward save, they also lost a point of strength and skirmish. In return they did however gain hatred. The block on none Forest Spirit characters joining them has also gone though due to the base size difference they will end up on the edge of the unit. They also cannot have standards or musicians despite ranking up something to remember if you ever play the Blood and Glory (standards) scenario
The most likely use of Dryads is either if you intend to be continually aggressive/charging or in small 10 to 12 man blocks where the extra attack is likely to come into play or as a more resilient bunker for a wizard. In larger units the advantages of the now core Eternal Guard are likely to overshadow that of Dryads where asrai spears and forest stalker (allowing them to fight with another rank) will give them more attacks then the same size Dryad unit.
Glade riders also gained access to all of the same enchanted arrows as Glade Guard did (see above). They also became cheaper points wise (well at least until before you add on the cost for enchanted arrows) gained asf, forest stalker and ambushers. They also retained fast cavalry of course giving you excellent deployment options.
All in all an improvement here for Glade Riders don't forget as well asrai spears and longbows give every attack they make armour piercing.
Eternal guard are now a permanent core unit with no requirement to take a now defunct highborn (now Glade lord). They are weapon skill 5 with asf, have forest stalker and stubborn, yes that right Wood Elves now have a core stubborn unit. They are also equipped with asrai spears which functions as normal spears with the addition of armour piercing. They are also leadership 9 so will often be fighting to the last elf.
Asrai spears sees them fighting in 3 ranks when not charging, with Forest Stalker this pushes it to 4 and if in a horde potentially 5 ranks. With weapon skill 5 and asf potentially granting rerolls to hit they will become a force to be reckoned with particularly with the Wood Elves access to all lore's of magic.