800pt Lothlorien and Mirkwood - Returning Player!

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800pt Lothlorien and Mirkwood - Returning Player!

Sun Sep 20, 2015 11:40 am

Hey all!!!

I'm new here, but love to talk so this is going to be a LOONG one! :D

During a period of time suffering from glandular fever I have managed to reinvigorate my love for LOTR: SBG (or... Hobbit: SBG :roll: hehe)

I used to play High Elves and Isengard until about '09 and considered myself pretty alright at the game (despite being 14 years old at the time) but high school and university have since taken-over and I left the game about 5-6 years back. However, being sick for a week led me to checking out the GW website to see what had changed - QUITE A LOT! So I got curious and started looking around... After hours of scouring the internet and watching many videos from GBHL Podcast on YouTube (shoutout to those guy - YOUR CONTENT ROCKS!), I managed to piece together the changes in the game since I've left and their implications. Sadly, I think both Isengard and High Elves are left wanting a little in this new Warbands format so I decided to try Wood Elves (a force I loved, but never really managed to figure out before I left).

So without further ado, here is my first go at a list for Lothlorien and Mirkwood. The theme here (for those that care as I do) is that the two Households have come together to defeat a common foe attempting to drive them out of their forested lands.

---- Warband 1 12/12
Rúmil
12 Guard of the Galadhrim Court

---- Warband 2 12/12
Legolas with Armour; Elven cloak;
12 Wood Elf Warrior with Elf bow; Wood Elf spear;

---- Warband 3 12/12
Thranduil, King of Mirkwood with Armour;
12 Wood Elf Warrior with Wood Elf spear;

---- Warband 4 12/12
Haldir with Armour; Elf bow;
8 Wood Elf Warrior with Wood Elf spear;
4 Wood Elf Warrior with Elf bow;
----

Might: 12
Bows: 16 + (3+2) = 21
Units: 52
Points: 800


So, there you have it. The idea was to create as large a horde as possible. The Warbands are really simple in composition, but I like them that way and there is method in my madness (see below). I dislike the fact that it has very limited access to magic but this is counter-balanced by other benefits (particularly sheer numbers as Gladriel/Gandalf would have cost too much to 'afford the horde' so to speak). Four full warbands of Elves is nothing to sniff at and the army has several key tactics at it's disposal...

Key Tactics
These are the main strengths of my particular army...

Wood Elf Spears: I personally believe shielding is one if the strongest tactics available to armies in the game (especially for Elves) and the good news is that (almost) every model in mine can do so. The tactic becomes powerful when a weaker/outnumbered part of the battleline needs to buy time for the strongest part to carve through the enemy. Even monsters and heroes can be held up for a turn or two by a single shielding elf. It's a seriously underrated tactic imo.

Bows: Elves are of course best known for their shooting and with this force I can't imagine any (besides Harad, and perhaps Rohan) being able to outshoot this army. CBL from Galadriel or Gandalf would have been stellar, but as I said earlier they weren't really an option in a horde army). Legolas will do what he does best and Haldir leads enough archers to create a small threat too if necessary. The reason for not spreading my archers evenly amongst warbands is simply because I prefer it from a tactical and thematic sense. I feel as if a full warband lead by Legolas is a huge threat that will likely require action/attention from my opponent - this increases the chance of them making mistakes and thus, me winning. >:D But please, if you believe I should spread them out (so they don't have the chance of getting gimped during deployment for example) then I'd love to hear your thoughts.

GoGC: I love these guys. They are expensive. And they aren't D6 (probably more me being stuck in the '09 mindset where everything was S3 haha). But elves with pikes is straight unfair. Match that with F6+C6 and you have a truly elite unit that is able to match trolls and fell beasts. The versatility if these warriors is where their real strength lies in my opinion however, as they should match up with Thranduil's warband (for example) and create a pike-armed backline that can move to three-deep should the need arise for extra fighting power. The size of the army also means these elves are less likely to get swamped/trapped meaning they are more effective for longer. Finally, in a blue vs blue battle with elves, the F6 will go a long way to tipping fights in my favour. LOVE LOVE LOVE!

Elves: Elves really are probably the best standard infantry in the game (Uruk-Hai would come a close second for me). F5 is amazing and means even most Evil heroes will be hard pressed to win fights. However, I believe the C5 of elves is likely the strongest characteristic in their profile. Courage is highly underrated in LOTR but it's absolutely crucial in many stages of the game. Terrifying enemies are deceptively hard to pin down normally but almost all elves should complete charges against even a Ringwraith. The more obviously advantage is when the army breaks, high courage means that even if nearby heroes are charged, the majority of the force will stand and fight rather than flee the field of battle. A large model count makes breaking even harder too, so this is a force that can comfortably win wars of attrition (unlike forces of high elves which eventually become too small to operate effectively).

Heroes:
Whilst relatively cheap, I feel the selection of heroes offers me plenty of tactical advantages...

Rumil: Anti-Monster+Hero. Simply put Rumil is one of the best duelest in the game in my opinion. Plenty of might, fight, Swift Parry and support from GoGC mean that he shouldn't often lose a fight and thus he should be targeting enemy heavy-hitters in combat.

Legolas: Anti-EVERYTHING!!! Does Legolas need explaining? Banners, Nazgul and Monsters alike need to be very careful with this guy on the board. A wonderfully flexible hero, Legolas is able to adapt to the roles that I require him in and his Elven Cloak keeps him safe for the most part from Nazgul, Archery and other threats. Worth his weight in gold!

Thranduil: Probably the best value-for-point hero for the forces of good (besides perhaps Saruman the White). Thranduil combines a little bit of everything to help give my elves the fighting edge and protect them from a bit of pain. I truly see Natures Wrath as being potentially game changing and his Aura of Dismay is a powerful defensive tool. Anti-Cavalry+Infantry Formations

Haldir: A solid all-round pick. Haldir is a jack-of-all trades and is able to expand his warband's firepower to the point of being potentially threatening. The extra might comes in handy for important Heroic Moves and I really can't see a better choice here. I'm also pretty sure that the standard Haldir is better than his Defender of Helm's Deep version (or so the general consensus would seem). If you think differently be sure to comment below! :)

Weaknesses:
Every general must understand fully, their army's weak points...

Defense: D3 is terrible. The goal therefore is to not get hit. ;) "You can't get hurt if you don't lose the fight." A totally true statement, and while you will lose fights (and thus elves) maximising chances of winning fights will certainly help give my army some sort of defence. Spears, Pikes, Shielding, Rumil, F5 and Natures Wrath all go a long way towards tipping the balance in the elves' favour. It doesn't work always, but it does work.

Magic: So four combat-ready (Legolas is still robust in combat) heroes means that most enemy armies aren't likely to be able to subdue all of them each turn, but that likely won't be necessary. Even stopping Thranduil from casting Nature's Wrath at a key moment, or Transfixing Rumil after he as charged a troll could be game-changing and with only 1/2 Will per hero and no real magic presence my army is susceptible to Nazgul and Wizards. The one benefit of this list however, is that it doesn't necessarily require it's heroes to be effective. With such a large number of basic, high quality infantry, the actual strength comes from the warriors - and numbers of warriors - themselves. The better they are, the less pressure is placed on my heroes to perform absolutely perfectly. In this way, my heroes are supporting and supplementing my warriors, not necessarily the other way around. It's a nice system. Think about it- two elves in combat together is as good (if not better) than most cheap heroes in LOTR and so with 48 of them running around it's hard to counter, and as such magic has a lesser effect. Still, it is an area of concern...

Monsters: Okay, so I'm going to be honest... Monsters are broken at the moment imo. They needed a bit of a boost but their special strikes (particularly Hurl) are absolutely ridiculous. *HUHUHU troll beats one elf in combat. troll sorcerous blasts elf down entire elven battle line. half the elves die. the other half are subsequently charged and thus, die. FUUUUUUUUUU* I'm joking (a bit) of course, but they really are a threat to any organised battleline I create. In this sense, monsters will likely be the focus of the majority of bow-fire. Also, Rumil will attempt to heroic strike them with some support and try to slay the beast. Its not that simple with deployment and objectives in mind but at least the option is there. Also, any enemy army fielding a monster will likely struggle to heavy outnumber (or even match) my army and so with any luck, my elves should still out-perform the remainder of said enemy.
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So there we have it. The 'standard battle plan' (which of course never happens haha) would be to whittle down my opponent with bowfire aiming at (primarily) monsters/D5 backlines/heroes (shooting 'in-the-ways' as necessary) before engaging and using natures wrath to carry the momentum forward. Legolas would attempt to continue picking off key models/supports while Rumil and Haldir get to work with chopping through enemies and holding up those darned monsters. Shielding would be performed where necessary to strengthen parts of the battleline, and my goal would be to break the enemy first and use Aura of Dismay to slow the enemy's counter-charging (inevitably causing more courage tests he next turn). This force is all about moving the enemy closer and closer towards breaking point while reducing their offensive impact.

Please, please, please lets have a big-ol' discussion about this guys. I'd love to see some participation and comments being thrown around. I look forward to your feedback.

tl;dr
Elves are strong. Hordes are strong. Elven hordes are STRONG. I hate Monsters.

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Joined: Thu Sep 17, 2015 10:14 pm

Re: 800pt Lothlorien and Mirkwood - Returning Player!

Thu Sep 24, 2015 8:28 am

Nothing? :( Does nobody have an opinion?

Squire
 
Posts: 414
Joined: Sun Sep 20, 2009 11:39 pm

Re: 800pt Lothlorien and Mirkwood - Returning Player!

Thu Sep 24, 2015 2:53 pm

Not really much to say. It is a solid elf list, good at shooting and close combat as long as you do not lose the fight. D3 elves melt like ice cream on a hot day if they lose the fight roll. You could try a banner to help with this. The F6 GoTGC are D5 but are better at supporting regular elves vs other f5 heroes or elves.
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