The stone glowed with an inner light, pulsing in calming tones of leaf green, autumnal red and summer yellow. Spellweaver Tavári felt the magical energies pulsing through her, emenating out into the forest and invigorating the trees in the cold spring air. Around the base of the staff at her feet, small plants sprung to life, pushing through the melting snow. Suddenly the tranquil ebb stopped, snapping Tavári’s eyes open. She focused her energy, following the source of the disturbance down the forest paths until her mind’s eye found the origin and the stone in her staff flared an angry sunrise red. Beastmen, defiling the forest and desecrating the trees. She felt the anger rise in her, matching the increasing pulse of the stone. Around her the trees slowly stirred in response, awoken from their winter slumber by the force of her power. Athel Loren would defend itself, as it had countless times before.
* * *
Way back when I first started Tactica Tuesday, I did say that I’d be discussing loadouts as well as units, and I don’t feel like I’ve really done much of that recently. So, this Tuesday I thought it’d be interesting to look at my usual magic item selection for my Wood Elf Spellweaver, and why I like these items in particular.
I never tend to take a magic weapon on my Spellweaver, and of course she can’t take magical armour – so I’ll move straight on to talismans. Despite the fact that I don’t expect her to end up in combat, I do like to have some measure of protection on my Spellweaver – not only is she a powerful wizard, but she’s also my general and so having her die can be a serious problem! My favoutie items are the Stone of Rebirth and the Stone of the Crystal Mere, both of which offer cheap protection. I personally prefer the Stone of Rebirth since a 2+ ward save is about as strong a protection as you can get, but you do have to lose your first two wounds before you can use it. Both items are pretty cheap and don’t eat into the points allowance too much, and while I don’t intend for my Spellweaver to take wounds, it’s the inevitable truth of a Warhammer game that she will at some point. In fact, the Stone of Rebirth has saved her on multiple occasions, and is all but ubiquitous in most lists I write.
Another interesting item that I sometimes like is the Moonstone of the Hidden Ways. Offering a one-use only ‘teleport’, the Moonstone can help the Spellweaver and her unit avoid an otherwise fatal charge, as well as helping them to reposition. This not only helps with short-range spells such as The Dwellers Below, but can be a great benefit to a Glade Guard unit – you can position them in short range of a unit, while outside of their charge arc. The main caveat is that the unit must start the ‘teleport’ wholly within a wood (not a big problem, I have very few Wood Elf units deployed outside of woods!) and must be placed / finish the ‘teleport’ wholly inside a wood. Generally this won’t be a problem as most of the games I play tend to have three or four woods on the board, but it can limit its effectiveness particularly on non-forest themed boards.
The Wand of Wych Elm is an absolute favourite of mine. Being allowed to re-roll any dispel attempt is an amazing ability, and while it is a pretty pricey item it’s certainly worth the cost. I tend to take this a good 70% of the time, as it can really help negate some of the devastating spells my opponents often throw around. I admit that it can be a bit of a gamble – if you don’t know what army you’ll be fighting, seeing a Dwarf gunline and realising you’ve wasted 65pts can be a bit galling – but on the whole I consider it to be one of the strongest Wood Elf magic items.
Finally, the Divination Orb is a nice (and cheaper) alternative to the Wand of Wych Elm. It’s not as reliable since your opponent can negate it by holding back their power dice, but I really like it – particularly in the current game, with the trend of high-casting-level devastating spells such as Purple Sun of Xeros and my favourite The Dwellers Below. Its lower price makes it a very tempting investment since free dispel dice are always nice, and you’re less likely to regret spending those points if your opponent doesn’t come with the entire Altdorf Colleges of Magic(!).
I think that covers it, for the most part – it’s been fun to touch upon my beloved Wood Elves again, so I’m sure you can expect a similar post focusing on Highborns and Nobles. Please feel free to jump in with a comment if you want to get a discussion going, I love to hear from you guys :)