Tuesday, 21 June 2011

Lore of Athel Loren and its uses

Hey guys, Azeebo here

Well, everyone and their granny knows that the Lore of Athel Loren is a pretty...meh lore. It doesn't really compare to the Generic Lore's in the 8th Edition Rule Book especially when it is up against the much loved Lore of Life...however i am to change that common view and convince you that Athel Loren is a lore worth exploring in 8th.

How 8th Changed the Battlefield
8th edition brought in a HUGE emphasis on terrain and random battlefield scenarios. This benefits everyone as it lets each game be unique from the last even with  small amount of terrain but more importantly it gives us Wood Elf players a large advantage. A common terrain piece on any fantasy board is the Forest. Forests are very attractive pieces of terrain in 8th because it does not affect infantry movement but it also comes with the Mysterious Terrain rules which dynamically change your perception of the battlefield. These simple changes make 2-3+ forests per table a common place. And lets not forget as wood elves we get a free wood anyway!

Athel Loren
Our most basic spell (Casting Value 4+) is Tree Singing. This spell is extremely easy to cast and has many benefits. The most obvious benefit is of course you can move forest terrain D3+1" in any direction and you can do this as much as you like so long as you have the power dice to do it. Forests harm cavalry so you have a mobile anti cavalry shield following you in the most basic of terms...but that's not why we love this spell! That is just a coincidental benefit! The other use is the D6 S5 hits it does on units that are even partially touching a forest...and did i mention it has infinite range? So anytime, anywhere, anyone enters a forest you can hit them with a cheap D6 S5 hits repeatedly. Nasty stuff indeed. Oh did i forget to mention Tree men get this spell as an innate bound spell? and ancients get to use it twice a turn?

But that's not all! Athel Loren comes with Fury of the Forest, a spell that deals D6 S5 hits if an enemy is within 6" of a forest...powerful stuff. And just to add to the mix Tree men get Strangle Root, another Artillery Dice worth of S5 hits if enemies are within 6" of a forest. You can start to see a pattern forming here.

Making it come together
Now it may seem difficult to get this to work in tandem with other units in your army but in all honesty, it is a lot easier than you think. Lets say you had a unit of 10 Dryads in a forest. You are now stubborn and a unit of...well anything charges you. They are now inside the forest, within 6" of the forest and are about to be beat upon by dryads...never a good thing. Suddenly you 10 stubborn dryads get some magical aid and the S5 hits start to wrack up dealing insane damage to the enemy very quickly. Of course the enemy could try and dispel you but naturally you will have a Life wizard somewhere so stopping a Tree Singing spell doesn't seem so important when you could be casting something like Dwellers if they 'waste' dispel dice.

Example 2 would be moving your forest as if it were a vortex. A citadel wood is 12" by 8", that's a large area. We have 2-3 of these on a board...a very large area...our spells are more potent when within 8" of a wood so now the threat zone is 18" by 14" x 3 = 54" by 42"...that is a MASSIVE threat zone. To add to this you can move the threat zone at will with Tree Singing. Your opponent will learn not to step in or near a forest because if he does he will take damage...this is where the REAL damage happens however...

Using this 'fear' you can predict where your opponent will move his forces to avoid the forests. You can then position yourself to counter the predicted movement path...you are essentially MOVING your opponents army for him. Whats even better is, you don't even have to cast a spell for that to happen. The threat and fear of you casting those spells is enough to keep him out of the forest and away from its boundaries giving you a huge amount of leverage in such battles.

This is just one way of using 2 simple spells from Athel Loren to your advantage.

I hope this brief explanation makes sense,

Look out for more!

- Azeebo

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