There's been a lot of speculation about the new Wood Elf DLC and units it could add. The Wood Elves have just about everything in their most recent codex, save a couple character options, so we've been thinking back and stretching to include things like Zoats, Unicorns, animal herds, Incarnate Elementals, and even the old forest-chariot.
But I wanted to talk about Spites. These are the sort of faerie-spirits of Athel Loren, small and shifting magical creatures that frequently fight with the elves and the forest spirits.
Now, in their sixth edition book Wood Elves had an entire section on various Spites units and characters could take. They were treated as a unique sort of equipment field. They never had a dedicated model... but they did have loads
of models. Just about every single wood elf kit came with some extra bits for spites, so there are dozens of figures of these guys floating around.
I think Spites are the best angle for additional units. There are two good approaches; Spite variants of Forest Spirit units, and dedicated Spite Swarms. These are both good options, but here are the Spites and their effects listed in their last book:
- A Blight of Terrors: Cause Terror
- A Befuddlement of Mischiefs: A bound spell that caused Stupidity, effectively lowering movement speed
- A Murder of Spites: A swarm of nasty spirits that give their unit extra attacks with magical and poisonous qualities
- A Muster of Malevolents: A swarm of nasty spirits that give their unit extra short-ranged shooting attacks, with ranged magical and poisonous projectiles.
- An Annoyance of Netlings: Played with the character Dueling mechanic, and reduced the enemy champion's chance to hit (so... sort of a melee attack debuff on characters)
- A Resplendance of Luminescents: Made the character they joined attacks magical
- A Lamentation of Despairs: A bound spell that did damage to any targeted unit, but with only one use
- A Cluster of Radiants: Helped casters dispell enemy spells, not a mechanic in this game
- A Pageant of Shrikes: A swarm that gave the character they joined an extra, long-range sniping attack.
In the simplest form, there could be Forest Spirit unit variants with certain Spites, like Wood Elf arrows:
- Drayds (Lamentation of Despairs): Gives a dryad unit a limited-use long-ranged bound magic-missile spell.
- Dryads (Murder of Spites): A dryad unit with an extra magical effect that does passive poison damage to enemies they are in melee with.
- Treekin (Muster of Malevolents): Treekin with little forest spirits perched on their branches with additional short-ranged shooting attacks, like the zombie gunners on Vampire Coast monsters.
- Treekin (Annoyance of Netlings): Treekin with an extra limited-use ability that gives nearby enemies a melee attack debuff.
- Treeman (Pageant of Shrikes): Treeman with an extra long-range passive magical attack, like the gunners on Vampire Coast monsters, only with a longer effective range.
- Treeman (Murder of Spites): Treeman with a passive damage aura that does magical poison attacks to nearby enemies when in melee.
Alternatively, CA could try making Spites into a Swarm unit. They've avoided swarms in the past, but they may be willing to revisit them now, given how much the scope of the series has grown. I imagine Swarm units could be implemented as slow-moving, low entity monstrous units with high melee defense and physical protection, low melee attack and damage, and special abilities including a vulnerability to charge and fire attacks. Their primary value would be in stalling melee infantry and projecting magical effects.
- Murder of Spites: Melee oriented Spite Swarm with high melee defense that has a magical aura that causes damage to nearby enemies while in combat.
- Befuddlement of Mischiefs: A fast-moving support-oriented Spite Swarm that slows nearby enemies.
- Resplendance of Luminscents: A support-oriented Spite Swarm that empowers allies, giving them extra melee attack and defense, and maybe magical attacks.
- Lamentation of Despairs: An offensive-support Spite Swarm that debuffs nearby enemy units, with a limited use magic-missle bound spell.
- Blight of Terrors: An offensive support Spite Swarm with Stalk, the Terror special rule, and a limited-use ability that reduces enemy leadership.