Friday, 24 June 2011

Wood Elf Unit Tactics Part 2 - Spellweavers and Spellsingers

Not my model, image from:
Hey guys and welcome to my second entry to the Wood Elf Unit Tactics. This time we are looking at the Spellweaver and the Spellsinger.

As their name implies these are our high and low level wizards and specialize in casting magic and are not really suited to front line combat like some of our other characters. Due to the lores of magic we have available they are mainly used as unit support rather than magic damage dealers, but lets take a deeper look shall we?
*Please note that i have done 2 magic tactics in regards to our lores, please read them for a more in depth look*

Spellsinger's are our low level wizards coming in at level 1 with the option to upgrade to level 2 in addition they can only take 50 points of magic items and/or spites and can only use spells from the Lore of Athel Loren. This limits their usefulness in battle as they dont have the magical prowess to tackle most armies alone, nor do they have the defensive measures to protect you from enemy wizards. This makes them poor primary wizards but makes them great for a secondary wizard to support your higher tier wizards.

Lore of Athel Loren
This lore is often considered the biggest downfall of the Spellsinger and when compared to the other lores of magic our stronger wizards can take, its hard not to disagree. However there are a few spells that deserve special mention that are great to have in just about any army. Spellsinging is our signature spell and gives you D3+1" movement of forests and causes damage to any unit that is within a forest. A nice spell and certainly worth taking (check out my forest tactics). The Hidden Path grants immunity to mundane shooting attacks which is very effective when you want a fragile unit and/or an expensive unit to get to the enemy without being shot to pieces. Ariels Blessing grants regeneration similar to the Lore of Lifes only better as it can be cast on any unit as opposed to just the unit your caster is in. And call of hunt which increases mobility and attack potential. If you take a level 2 wizard you will nearly always want treesinging (if you plan to use forest tactics) and 1 of the mentioned spells above. This gives you some good strong magic that you can cast in conjunction with your level 4.

Items of worth
There are not many items worth taking for a Spellsinger as you dont want them to become to expensive however 1 or 2 items are certainly viable:

  1. Wraitstone: An expensive item, but useful none the less. This reduces all enemy units within 6" leadership by 1. This is great for getting that extra edge in combat and making your enemy pass those break, terror, fear and panic checks.
  2. Moonstone of Hidden Ways: Teleport between 2 forests once per game...great item letting you set up ambushes or escape a dire situation unharmed. 
  3. Calingor's Stave: Lets you move forests further per cast which is certainly a good thing. This is one of those items that you would never put on a spellweaver but has a nice home on a low level singer.
  4. The Deepwood Sphere: A nasty piece of equipment that lets you reroll the distance forests move, the damage caused by treesinging and to add insult to injury every enemy model in the same forest as the bearer suffers a S5 hit...this is just a nasty item that can really damage an unsuspecting enemy. This is my No.1 items for Spellsinger's.
  5. A Lamentation of Despairs: A cheap one use only bound spell that can instantly kill an unsuspecting general, wizard etc. It isn't very reliable but cheap enough to combo with other items.
These are our powerhouse casters, and whilst not as potent as other races they do add some much needed magic to your army keeping your army fighting fit throughout the battle. Weavers come in at Level 3 and have the option to upgrade to level 4, have 100 points to spend on additional equipment and/or spites and have access to the lores of Athel Loren, Life and Beasts. In most games you should be bringing a level 4 wizard just for the anti magic defense they provide as our army is especially weak to offensive magic (magic missiles are a common bane).

Lore of Athel Loren
Perfect for a Singer...its not so good for your Weavers. The spells may be good but they don't really match up with the power of the other lores so not really suited for your already disadvantaged wizard. If you bring 2 Weavers then this lore is certainly viable but certainly not if this is your only level 4 wizard.

Lore of Life
The most common lore taken by wood elf players simply because of its awesome unit buffing properties. It lets you regenerate, increase toughness and raise the dead as well as containing one of the most feared spells in the game Dwellers...This lore is simply perfect for wood elves and is esspecially effective when used on Forest Spirits (toughness 6-8 Dryads? YES PLEASE).

Lore of Beasts
Another heavy buff lore this one is nearly all about increasing the damage potential. Whilst it contains some damage based spells its real power comes in the form of Wyssans Wildform, Pann's Impenetrable Pelt and Savage Beast of Horros. Wyssans is my favorite Signature spell in the game as it boost strength and toughness of a unit and can be stacked and spammed allowing you to make some truly devastating units in combat. Pann's is great for buffing your weak characters (aka all our characters) by making them Toughness 6. It just adds that extra bit of survivability and when added to a Treeman Ancient you have an unstoppable anvil. However Savage Beast takes the cake, +3 attacks +3 Strength and can be cast on evey character within 12". Remember those Highborns i talked about last time? This spell makes them EVEN more powerful. Some examples being the Ranged character with bow of lore + arcane bodkins. He now gets 8 shots that ignores armour, Ragfire Blades + Potion of foolhardiness would be hitting with 10 S7 attacks...heck even Treeman Ancients benefit greatly coming in with 8 S9 attacks and D6 thunderstomp attacks. Those 3 spells make this lore worth considering and depending on your army and play style this could be more beneficial than Life.

Items of Worth
A small list of worthwhile items not yet mentioned:
  1. The Rhymers Harp: Grants ward saves and allows the unit to move through difficult terrain unhindered...expensive but very useful
  2. Wand of the Wych Elm: Allows you to reroll all dispel attempts...anyone can see the benefits of this item
  3. Talisman of Preservation: Gives the bearer a 4++ ward save making you harder to kill when those assassins come after you!
  4. Divination Orb: Extra dispel dice when the enemy uses a certain number of power dice to cast a and effective.
  5. Book of Ashur: +1 to casting and dispel attempts...its worth considering. It is rather expensive however.
Hope this helps you when you come to deciding your wizards...just remember that even though Singers are inferior to Weavers they still have a place in armies and should not be overlooked!

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