Friday, 24 June 2011

Wood Elf Unit Tactics Part 3 - The Treeman Ancient

Hey guys and welcome to Part 3 of my Wood Elf Unit Tactics series, today we are looking at the Treeman Ancient.

How do you describe the Treeman Ancient in 1 word? Anvil. When it comes to survivability this guy everything we have access to and most other anvils in the game. As you might expect being a Treeman he is not only tough but very strong and when he comes in with 5 +D6 attacks he can take the pain and dish it in equal measure.

There are 2 things that seperate the Treeman Ancient from the regular Treeman:

  1. Leadership
  2. Spites
Spites are pretty average across the board (represented by the low points cost) however 2 spites really stand out and are almost must haves when taking your Ancient.

Cluster of Radiant's 
A cheap item that literally gives you +1 Dispel dice per magic phase. This is the ONLY spite that Elves cannot take so when you have the opportunity to grab it you might as well! The added magic defense is a blessing especially for the cost.

Annoyance of Netlings
Often considered the most annoying item in Fantasy is the AoN. In a challenge your foe has a 1 in 6 chance of hitting you...this + high toughness means you are not going to be killed easily in a challenge and since you hit so hard in combat most things will then die seconds later. Whats more is, people will very often accept a challenge from an Ancient simply because they dont want their unit losing 6-11 models a turn in combat, and if they decline the challenge well their character simply wont be able to harm you that  phase...its literally a win win situation. 
*Tip: Never forget your overkill bonus! Just because a champion only has 1 wound, you can get up to +6 combat res for killing him! This can win you some combats!

Anvil Tactics
I have mentioned a few times that the Ancient is a great anvil, and as you might of guessed with AoN he becomes almost unstoppable. What makes him much better than many anvils is the fact he is Ld9 with Stubborn and immune to psychology. This means your Ancient will rarely, if ever, run from a combat, he is completely immune to fear and terror and he is Toughness 6 with 6 wounds. 

Magic can help your ancient in many ways. Lore of Life for example has an attribute that heals 1 wound for ever life spell cast. Having your weaver near your ancient means without even focusing any attention on the ancient he can heal him back to full strength. Lore of Life also has a toughness increasing spell making him toughness 8-10 finally the lore of life has a dedicated healing spell that can heal your treeman from near death to unharmed in an instant. 

The Lore of Beasts has a spell that increases Toughness up to 9 and another spell that boosts his Attacks to 8 + D6 and his Strength to 9 giving him loads of stopping power and a huge bonus to his offensive capabilities. 

Even the Lore of Athel Loren can lend a hand when it comes to the Ancient. The Hidden Path in particular will make him immune to mundane shooting the majority of ranged weaponry will simply be unable to harm him making him even hard to take down. 

Hammer/Unit Support
The Ancient is a fantastic anvil but can also be used as an effective hammer unit since he gets a lot of high strength attacks (more with magic) and he causes terror which are all good things for a hammer. His unit support of course comes from not only his attacks but from his leadership. If he is your general he comes in with an 18" radius of Ld9 which is fantastic as you might imagine. And just to top it all off he has access to 2 Treesinging spells a turn and a powerful ranged attack which is not needed but an added extra.

So far there have been none. But everything has them hidden somewhere and the Ancient is not exception. He is very costly coming in at 350-375 points depending on Spites. Because magic is so dominant in 8th edition he will very likely be taking a seat until larger games of 2000 points and above. And being a Forest Spirit he is susceptible to flaming attack so be warned!

What a way to end the Lords and Heroes section of my tactics, the Ancient is by far my favorite Lord choice for wood elves simply because he such a unique character on the battlefield and can very easily become your enemies worst nightmare!

Look out for Part 4 where we will be looking at the Core units of our book. Until next time!

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