Wednesday, 29 June 2011

Wood Elf Unit Tactics Part 7 - Eternal Guard

Hey guys, and welcome to my 7th part to the Wood Elf Unit Tactics series. Today we are looking at the Eternal Guard. Our second 100% melee will these guys hold up to the might of the Dryads?

Eternal Guard are odd...they have odd rules, odd weapons, odd points cost and odd Force Organisation Placement. Lets start from the top. They have a special fighting style that basically means they are using 2 weapons, a spear AND  a hand weapon and shield (minus the parry save) all at the same time. So you basically get to attack in 3-4 ranks, the front rank has 2 attacks each and everyone gets +1 to their armour save. Pretty strange if you ask me! They also benefit GREATLY from having a noble or highborn tagging along with them however they are REALLY expensive being the same cost as a dryad but statwise...and rule wise not as good. Strange indeed...

Strengths and Weaknesses
They are our first real anvil type unit (excluding the ancient) being able to take large numbers and have them in a rank and file formation. This is great since we lack anything that can do this effectively and when you are packing Ld9 and a 5+ armour save you are surprisingly good at holding units up on paper. Whats even better is if you have a noble or highborn as your entire unit becomes stubborn meaning they will be very hard to shift once they reach combat. Speaking of combat they do pretty well packing WS5 I5 and a standard unit of 30-40 will be getting 40-50 attacks in combat. And finally they are Core when a Highborn is your general (usually Special).

Unfortunately this all comes at a price. They can be taken in large numbers but cost to much to do so effectively. You get a lot of attacks but only have S3 meaning your not going to be doing a lot of damage. Your stubborn but it further increases their already heavy cost. Highborns are expensive, and in lower points games not as useful as a wizard meaning they are usually Special...and that puts them up against some really good units.

Well, as you have guessed they are best used as an Anvil unit. They get into combat and hold a unit so your more powerful units can come in with a flank or rear charge and finish the job. Getting stuck in a 1 on 1 combat is rarely a good idea since even the most basic troops will be a match for you. A unit of Skaven Slaves for example could overwhelm you with attacks and just rip you to pieces due to your low armour. There are ways around this however such as using your eternal guard as a Character Bunker. Placing several nobles or higborns kitted out for close combat and you can really add to the punch of the unit and cause some real damage as well as retaining that all important stubborn.

Always take a full command. You want the banner for the extra res and the 50 point banner (armour piercing is always a good choice), a champion for the character protection and a musician in case you do run and you want to get back into the fight! In terms of characters you have a few good options. A battle standard bearer is usually very safe in the ranks of the eternal guard and gives them a combat resolution boost as well as making your unit EVEN HARDER to break in combat. You can even kit him out for combat if you want or add a very expensive banner to increase effectiveness. To improve defense and mobility throw in a Lord with Rhymers Harp for the 5++ ward save for the unit or maybe a hero with Wraithstone to reduce the enemies leadership. Taking a character with Moonstone will also let you jump to a better vantage point if you need to. And the classic combat heroes are always welcome!

In order to survive you need some sort of magic. As with all our units Hidden Path from Athel Loren works wonders here, however beasts gives your unit some added toughness and strength and if you are character heavy a savage beast of horros can be a game changer. Life however takes the cake in this instance giving you insane toughness, regeneration, added damage and regrowth to keep your units fighting fit. The downside is you will need to focus A LOT of power into keeping your eternal guard standing.

They are OK. You need to invest heavily in terms of points to bring them effectively and then throw in expensive characters and then it just gets silly. When you consider many armies have access to horde destroying spells you have to be very careful as 1 spell could very easily wipe out your lightly armored tanks...and when you look at it for the same price you could get Glade Guard or Dryads who are both superior.

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