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Orion V. Durthu: Differences, difficulty and effectiveness in Campaign.

SkelemanSkeleman Registered Users Posts: 41
edited December 2016 in General Discussion
Going to be a long one sorry, standby for wall of text.
Wood elves are a tricky faction to manage for newbies like myself so I thought it would be useful to set up a thread where we can discuss the two wood elf factions on how they differ, and what we have found to be effective with regards to army composition, battlefield tactics and campaign strategy. Apologies if this has already been done.
So I decided to test out the wood elf factions in the mini campaign to get a feel for them & help me decide which one to play for grand campaign (might wait for February to do that).

Currently playing as Durthu on normal, really mucked up early on so I've not done very well but this is kind of a test run.
So as far as army composition goes. As of right now my main army consists of Durthu who I've focused on turning into a melee beast that is able to provide some minor buffs to nearby units. Usually kept in the center.
-A lore of life spellsinger for healing and buffing.
-2 Hawk Riders (not finding much use for them against the other wood elves I've mostly fought with) used to harass, and to bait enemies into attacking my line.
-5 or 6 standard glade guard. I put these in the center of my line.
-4 or 5 eternal guard with shields. I mostly use these chaps to defend the aforementioned glade guard. So they usually make up the center line as well.
-5 Treekin. Used to soak up and dish out damage. I usually put two on each flank, and keep one in reserve to help out where needed.
-1 Forest Dragon. Haven't actually used in combat yet.

As you can tell I'm not great with wood elves, but this composition has worked pretty well for me. (obviously minus the dragon) I've only fought against beastmen and other woodelves. The center is pretty weak but the glade guard can put a good chunk of damage to soften up most charges, and I usually keep Durthu in center to help out as well. The Spellsinger is mainly used to keep Durthu and the treekin alive. Treekin hold the flanks, and if possible attack the enemies' flanks. Hawk riders I'm not really a fan of. I originally meant to have glade riders but the settlement that was going to produce them was taken by enemy faction and then claimed by my ally shortly thereafter.

I didn't really have a cohesive campaign strategy because I wasn't sure what to expect, but keep an eye out for wood elf factions that aren't well liked by the rest of them. Declare war on them and it's a good way to get in the other factions good graces, and get some settlements. I was able to confederate with Orion recently due to that.

So post strategies, tips and army compositions below. If you've played as both please compare and contrast. Sorry for lack of pictures and campaign info. At work at the moment.
Also feel free to recommend a better name for this thread.

Post edited by Skeleman on


  • UppslitarenUppslitaren Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 582
    Normal glade guards. No starfire shaft ones? Those are the only ones I use :)
  • SkelemanSkeleman Registered Users Posts: 41
    edited December 2016

    Normal glade guards. No starfire shaft ones? Those are the only ones I use :)

    Yeah I'm shooting for those ones myself, didn't do a great job with planning my buildings out.
    Also I may have been too focused getting that forest dragon ;)
    Anyway it seems to be common consensus that starfire shaft glade guard are the best ones. Probably should have focused on improving those guys first as they are the main damage dealing component.
  • MerciiMercii Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 946
    edited December 2016
    I find Durthu's start feels easier/more secure, his province is less vulnerable to hostiles and it's fairly easy to expand north, any counterattacks are hindered by the mountains.

    Treeman Lords are tough and reliable, they make half an army by themselves and he can put them on his council. One or two Treeman Lords and a handful of hastily recruited Gladeguard make a pretty strong clutch defensive force.

    Orions council positions are better, especially the Wild Hunt and he has more of them ( although it's hard to find Glade Lords to fill them as Treemen Lords are so useful I tend to recruit a lot of them). Durthu has a position that gives you extra Branchwraiths, its handy early but not really needed.

    With Durthu I use basically no Amber troops (forgoing Wardancers) whereas playing as Orion I keep the Hawkriders and late game recruit more Amber troops, but this is manageable as its only a minority of your units. (Primarily Eternal Guard with Shields and Wardancers for defensive infantry), either way 40% of my army will be glade guard as my main damage dealers.

    I'm not sure which style is objectively 'better'.

    I guess I'd say the main practical decisions between the two are:

    Are your battle tactics going to rely heavily on treekin walls and lore of life (Durthu)?

    Whether you want to maximise your hordestyle razing for cash (Orion)?

    Do you want to start with a buddy or expand east or south with Belegar(Orion)?

    Do you love cavalry (Orion)?

    Do you love flyers, and/or mass dragons (Durthu)?
    Post edited by Mercii on
    MercytheMad on Youtube
  • FlyingWarPigWithPawsFlyingWarPigWithPaws Registered Users Posts: 871
    Treeman Lords are awesome however Glade Lords easily hold their own with their awesome mount choices and ranged attacks.

  • MerciiMercii Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 946
    Yeah, I like a Glade Lord on an Eagle with two hawkriders as a little flying contingent.

    I use Glade Lords in bigger armies, but I find half or quarter stacks with a partially levelled treelord seem to be a lot stronger than the same handful of units with a gladelord so I end up having a lot of tree lords recruited even if they arent all actively used a lot.
    MercytheMad on Youtube
  • GRAY_HATGRAY_HAT Senior Member UKRegistered Users Posts: 5,394
    So I'm part way through my "Durthu likes death" (kill all none VC factions no outposts and can only have trade with VC and WE).

    I have more money than god and very little amber, I still rely on only two armies even so and considering I got Orions region early on it's been a bit wack'a'mole with rebellions.

    Dryads make up the bulk of may main army and I've got ride of the last glade guard for deep wood scouts, too the second army, so I can start in the AIS face and wreck them in short order. I've even used this a couple of times when fighting 20v40 then legging it before the second army can engage.

    hawks have been useful to mess up enemy archers/artillery in melee and just get a nice few kills in to the slower armies.

    Treekin are OP the moment you look at their red branch and don't leave them all alone. have an archer unit set on their target and the leadership will vanish on anything not unbreakable (breakable ?). I've just gone up to 4 as 3 was doing so well.

    lore of life or branchwriath is key just remember to heal earlier than with VC as it doesn't res. Zombie vs Dryad with both side healing is a surprisingly long battle, until the archers/cav get involved. Treemen ancients also come with lore of life so a lore of beast spellsinger can be useful

    Team Wood Elves

    boyfights loves wood elves.

    "Heaven forbid that under the Vail of military training we should subject our young men to the lust of our general" - Hanno to the Carthaginian senate on the future of Hannibal.

    "Guard mode is back in Warhammer :)" - Darren_CA

    "It's amazing how many mistakes your enemy will make in haste after seeing that he's outgunned" -The Organ King
  • Rochaid29#5392Rochaid29#5392 Senior Member Austin, TXRegistered Users Posts: 1,444
    Are you guys running at a deficit with your army? I find it extremely difficult to field a 20 stack army in the first 20 turns or so, then once you stabilize the region you are still not making enough to support a "decent" secondary force.
  • endurstonehelm#6102endurstonehelm#6102 Registered Users Posts: 4,259
    The wood elf income doesn't really start rolling until you either unify Athel Loren or raze settlements.

    I agree that the wood elf units are expensive (comparable to dwarves if not even more expensive).

  • IglooHater#8161IglooHater#8161 Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 421
    Rochaid29 said:

    Are you guys running at a deficit with your army? I find it extremely difficult to field a 20 stack army in the first 20 turns or so, then once you stabilize the region you are still not making enough to support a "decent" secondary force.

    My experience with a WE campaign on hard is that if you are making money, you're doing it wrong. Run a deficit and if you can spare the extra turn (and the troops), raze/recolonize instead of reseeding. You can make enough razing a provincial capital to keep an extra army in the field for ~10 turns if not more, and I've razed faction capitals for 50k. Even the post-battle income is generous.

    So basically, the WE economy is only hard in the beginning when you're trying to get your local area under control, but the faction garrisons are so generous that you really shouldn't need a second army.
  • RowYerboat#9411RowYerboat#9411 Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 1,142
    HoneyBun said:

    With Orion i have huge amounts of fun doing things I never do in TW. Like deploying units on opposite sides of the map.

    Durthu plays a bit like everyone else.

    So I prefer Orion.

    (Mostly because I can slaughter stack after stack of stunties)

    How does Orion work better for deploying units across the map?
  • DavielebbDavielebb Registered Users Posts: 792
    orion can get some nice buffs, the map wide horn buff make a large cav charge insane its like 36% to speed and charge bonus or something, the wild riders with shields are a must.
    One thing i would mention though is that tree kin should pretty much replace your eternal guard, field more archers, and dont make all of them starfire, if you have starfire you will do huge friendly fire damage to your trees if your firing into the blob to support them, better off with a couple hagbanes for that.
    Hawk riders are ok but too expensive for what you get imo and they are useless vs other elfs,
    I always found fighting other elfs was way harder than other faction because two glass cannon armors hammering each other mean you will always lose a lot of troops,
    It becomes really hard to confed orion/durthu if you attack other elfs anyway i found it best to just conquer other land first and make treaties with elfs till you can confed them one by one.
    Thw dwarfs are a good target too as your melee cav or even skrimishers will wreck them just stay in the forests with your infantry to avoid arty.
  • MerciiMercii Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 946
    edited December 2016
    If you want to confed, Orion start is best.

    Detailed step-by-step of how to confederate as fast as possible with Orion:

    Raid your own province first two turns and raise a second lord to recruit. Destroy your barracks after you have 3 or 6 eternal guard.

    NAP durthu first turn + join his war vs Karak Norn.

    Make both wood elfs factions join your war with one of the beastmen.

    Kill rebels 3rd turn, but keep raiding and use money to recruit more, kill rebels and recruit for 1-2 more turns.

    You should be able to get military access with durthu now.

    Raid and kill rebels till you have about 1 stack or a little over then declare war on one of the WElf factions (make sure you do NOT ask Belegar to join war) go into ambush stance between your territory and theirs with your half stack behind.

    You should be able to take.out the first welf faction by turn 5 to 7. Take out second welf faction same way a couple of turns later.

    Raze both Welf towns. Then resettle.

    Don't use any amber and disband the hawks. Leave all towns at level 1.

    Upgrade the tree once.

    Assuming Belegar hasnt got owned you should have enough amber to take tree to level 3 now.

    You should have both Welfs taken out by turn 10ish.

    With a bit of luck Durthu will lose a battle in the next few turns and will take Confederation by turn 15-20 and the AI wont have had enough time to screw up his skills yet.

    You CAN confed with Durthu start but I don't think you can do it as fast and If you take out the other Welfs fast enough Durthu doesnt have time to make friends with them.
    Post edited by Mercii on
    MercytheMad on Youtube
  • Vessinger#1693Vessinger#1693 Senior Member Registered Users Posts: 1,058
    Durthu and Orion lend themselves to polar opposite play styles. Durthu and the tree spirit side of things are going to tend to have slow, tanky units with good armor and melee. Orion and the Wood Elves are going to be stronger at a range and more mobile.

    Personally, I find Durthu is a stronger LL that requires less micromanaging. For a god, Orion is kinda flimsy, but being able to take both melee and ranged command branches certainly gives him an edge over the Glade Lords when it comes to leading an army.

    So when ranking up Durthu I focus on his personal combat skills, but when I rank up Orion, I focus on his 2 command branches. If you haven't guessed why, even with his base stats Durthu is a force to be reckoned with, and taking abilities that expound on that make him a one unit army.

    Orion, being the flimsy guy he is, needs his army to carry their own weight. I follow the same logic with the Glade Lords and Tree Men, though Glade Lords require you to pick between Range command focus or Melee. Usually I go range with them, and upgrade their mounts whenever possible.
  • MerciiMercii Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 946
    I'd agree Durthu is sturdy and requires less micromanagement, but I fnd Orion wrecks face pretty consistently too and prefer him as a melee monster.

    I guess Durthu is a bit tougher but he is also a massive arrow magnet, Orion is not as vulnerable to missile fire and is a lot more mobile plus his cooldown abilities cause a bit of carnage early on.

    I spec them both pretty much the same at first first 8 points into their global buff, then army buffs MA/MD and armour. Next points into their personal MA/MD and then for Orion, 3 pts into his personal Armor.

    Once Orions armour is up to 70+ and he has a backup healer/pot I find him to be pretty solid.
    MercytheMad on Youtube
  • SkelemanSkeleman Registered Users Posts: 41
    Thanks for the input all. Regardless of your LL choice seems like the WE require a bit of trial and error so hopefully this helps some people.
  • RowYerboat#9411RowYerboat#9411 Junior Member Registered Users Posts: 1,142
    HoneyBun said:

    HoneyBun said:

    With Orion i have huge amounts of fun doing things I never do in TW. Like deploying units on opposite sides of the map.

    Durthu plays a bit like everyone else.

    So I prefer Orion.

    (Mostly because I can slaughter stack after stack of stunties)

    How does Orion work better for deploying units across the map?
    It's amber.

    Because of amber I have very different army compositions for the two. With Orion's elf heavy approach I am just so much more mobile that I feel I have ever been before. In previous titles I would never deploy foot archers vanguard and isolated and think 'oh they'll be fine'. Now I do.

    My durthu armies are more woody
    Oh you mean the BATTLE map; I thought you meant the campaign map. Oops heheh. That makes a lot more sense.
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