This is the 10th in a series of Posts I plan on doing on a complete visual guide to factions and their missing units.
Links to the rest of this series
This post is going to be a little different from the others in the series. In every other entry I've tried to stick to 100% official sources, even if said sources do get a bit obscure, but considering the Wood Elves have their whole 8th edition Army Book already in, CA may decide to add some new units here and there, so while all the characters and generic lords/heroes will be legit, there will be a new section of units titled "CA original units" which are unloreful suggestions pulled from folklore and other games for how CA could tastefully expand on the Wood Elf roster.
there will also be some new unit variants based on unit Champions and such, coming from Loremaster of Sotek and community suggestions.
Also, some of the legit entries were difficult to explain or showcase in my traditional format, so I've put them in their own little spoiler section with the Images and descriptions contained within.Please Read
: This post will bleed into the first few comments below the OP. Information on the Characters and Generic Lords and Heroes displayed, among other things, will be in the first few comments below the OP.
Missing Legendary CharactersPlease Read
: The Info on these characters were so big they had to be moved to the first two comments directly below the OP. If you'd like to know more, you'll find them there
Missing Lords, Heroes and MountsPlease Read
: This post is so big that the info on these Lords and Heroes had to be moved to the first two comments directly below the OP. If you'd like to know more, you'll find them there
(you'd be surprised how many people miss these wee announcements)
Info on these Units and how they could work in WH2
Bladesingers were the unit champions in Tabletop and the name of the Wardancer Lords in White Dwarf before Shadow Dancers came along. In the context of Total War, Bladesingers could be a Wardancer Armour Piercing variant with another of their Dance abilities from tabletop. Instead of the Shadows Coil, which allows the basic Wardancers to swap their attack and defence, the Bladesingers could have the Dance "Whirling Death" which could give their melee attacks splash damage as they glide across the battlefield in a tempest of steel (this would make them the only infantry unit with splash damage in the game next to the Krimson Killerz).
Every role in Wood Elf society is gender neutral, all lords, heroes and warriors are equally male and female but CA don't typically make gender mixed units, whether for technical or artistic reasons, so hopefully the Bladesingers can be male Wardancers in the classic 4th/6th edition style, with the glam rock hair and Celtic tattoo's.
Shapeshifting into the Birch aspect leaves them with a silvery-white complexion that is contrasted by stripes of ashy black, just as with the trees themselves. Birch Dryads are glass cannon damage dealers, ideal for flanking or fighting alongside allied units who can tank incoming damage while they dish it out.
Dryads of the Oak Aspect are the middling point between the Dryads and the Treekin, being the bulkiest of the Dryad bunch. When they take upon this Aspect, their limbs harden, their skin assumes a green and brown pallet (they also become covered in moss and Ivy) while their hair thickens into a mass of oak leaves and sprouts acorn seeds.
The Willow is by far the most sinister Aspect a Dryad can assume and perhaps the only one that displays their capricious and at times very cruel nature towards unsuspecting mortals. The Dryads of this aspect would have Stalk and be at least partially ethereal, with an innate physical resist.
These are one of a fair few unit variants on this list. Eternal Wardens are the elite of the Eternal Guard, they'd have treebark armour and could have their twinblade spear from Tabletop, with either a character killing or character protecting niche. Either gaining huge buffs when fighting enemy characters (like a recent Nanmann unit) or having the guardian ability when near allied characters, offering buffs and protection that way.
Glade Riders w/ Asrai Spears
Glade Rider variant with Asrai Spears to give the Wood Elves a low/mid tier Anti-Large cavalry option.
Great Stag Knights
This is the first unit courtesy of Loremaster of Sotek, coming from the Storm of Magic compendium. In the book (page 98), you can run a herd of feral Great Stags and in a lore blurb they describe a mythical group of Wood Elf nobles who ride around as a unit of Monstrous Cavalry and terrorise the denizens of Bretonnia. This could be expanded into an RoR or an elite unit of Monstrous Cavalry in the same vein as Demigryphs or Kislev Bear Cavalry, which would be a massive step up from the Wild Riders who are currently middle of the road and unable to compete with the best.
Naiads are very similar to Dryads: Spirits of nature who are adept shapeshifters, can assume a vicious war form and they've an affinity with the Wood Elves, mainly with the Elves of Argwylon, where the Waterfall Palace of the Naiad court can be found.
What sets them apart from Dryads is their mostly aquatic nature, living in the many rivers and lakes of the Old World, particularly around Athel Loren. They typically take the form of a beautiful drenched Elven maiden, with white or blue hair and eyes and a blue tinge to their skin (as if they've drowned). They are known to be inscrutable creatures with deep passions that are quick to flare and will defend their territory with mighty ferocity.
They are water spirits, literally made of water and able to shift back and forth from their aquatic and corporeal form. To translate their rules to Warhammer 2, they'd be aquatic and gain a great speed or evasion boost while they're in the water. They'd work similar to an ethereal unit but they aren't ghosts and should not be treated as such. They had different forms they could assume in the RPG which could translate to active abilities (similar to the Wardancers).
They'd be a unique Forest Spirit addition that adds something non-tree related and could greatly support the Wood Elves when fighting in water, being exempt from the typical infantry debuffs the water applies. Creating a water based unit could also help them down the line if they decide to Implement the Sons of Britonnia with their water spirit horses.
Wildwood Wardens are the Elite of the Rangers who guard the shadowy prison of the Wildwood, with Dual Axes, Treebark armour and Armour Piercing, they'd be faster than the basic rangers with higher attack. (also while we're on the topic: can we please have unique animations for the Wildwood Rangers? Glaves aren't Greatswords, they're held and used in a very different way)
Unicorn Herd / Cavalry
Unicorns are hyper-intelligent noble creatures of the forest and the Mortal enemies to their dark cousins the Centigors. Ghorros Warhoof famously killed Arsil the Prince of all unicorns some centuries ago and to this day Ghorros still wears Arsil's scalp and horn upon his head.
Unicorns are magical creatures and its said they're drawn to female sorcerers like moths to the flame, becoming friend and steed to many a Spellsinger and Grail Damsel. Unicorns appeared as a unit and mount for WE Spellcasters in their 4th edition army book, where they had magic attacks that were particularly effective against Daemonic creatures, their horn attack (which could translate to a great charge bonus) and an aura of magical protection that nullifies enemy magic attacks in an AoE around them, giving them a very interesting hit and run support niche.
Missing Units (Continued)Guardian Trees
In folklore and other fantasy universes, 'Treants' are living aspects of the forest itself. In some stories they're trees given life, or creatures created by the forests energy to guard it from intruders, in others they're a conjured amalgamation of the Forests trees, roots, vines, branches and spirit. In Warhammer, These creatures are known as "Guardian Trees". All forests in the Warhammer world used to be all connected and alive like Athel Loren, now most lay dormant (despite the Wood Elves and Forest Spirits best efforts to awaken them) waiting for a crazed mystic to come along and tap into their sentience one again.
Guardian Trees come in multiple variants depending on what kind of forest they're roused from and they also have a missile attack similar to Razordons, where they shoot out a 'Branch Barrage' in an area around them or cone in front of them. On Tabletop they had to anchor themselves to the ground before they could act, this could potentially translate to a support role, like an artillery unit that has to unpack before attacking: you position them and plant them in an area and scare the enemy off from that area, creating choke points, protecting flanks, etc.
Their variant abilities could also potentially be given to allies around them as a passive buff (Fungal forest gives passive regen to allies, Bloody forest gives frenzy to allies, etc).
Shapeshifters are said to be the favourites of the animal spirits of Athel Loren. These Elves have a spirit animal who combines with their own and allows them to transform into a hybrid (most commonly a Boar, Wolf or Bear) on Tabletop Shapechangers would be hidden amongst normal units of wood elves before transforming to surprise the enemy.
In WH2 this unit could work just like Beorg Bearstruck and his Bearmen of Urslo (Norscan Dog of War unit) and would be a good excuse to get the animations and transformations ready for them. These could be a normal contingent of Wood Elves who, after gaining enough kills or after waiting for an ability cooldown that charges while they're in combat, you can transform them into were-creatures, making them far more deadly (The trick being to keep them alive and healthy beforehand so you get the most out of them).
I'd like for the Wood Elf ones to be were-Boars or some other creature since Wolves are so common and Bears would just be a 1 to 1 copy of Norsca.
Everyone seems to love Spites but never acknowledge the fact that they're size is akin to that of Fireflies. On Tabletop, Spites were magic items or swarms units (which CA always prefer to turn into an ability rather than a unit).
To me, there's only one way the Spites could come as a unit/ability on the battlefield, this idea and the images were pointed out to me by another user Draculasaurus, so all credit to them for that, thank you:
In Irish folklore the Sluagh is an intangible host of fairies and/or souls of the dead who move through the sky like a great wind, carrying up hapless travellers and smashing down houses. Oddly enough, the "Ethereal Host" consisting of the shades of dead Wood Elves was already a thing in 3rd Edition:
This could be a spell, similar to the Sotek Summon, or it could be a unit of moving Spites like a swarm of locust.
These creatures can be most commonly found within the Jungles of Lustria, but They've also been known to stalk the dense forests Athel Loren (perhaps more proof the Old Ones may have meddled here). Sabre-tooth's are one of the strongest big cats in the Warhammer World < White Lions of Chrace and they're large enough to ride, however, in recent centuries they've become an increasingly rare sight, Gruarth's companions "fang" and "Claw" were the last two Sabre Tooth's to be well known among the Wood Elves.
(Bears, Boars, Wolves, Cats)White Harts
Infrequently encountered as Great Stags are, to see the White Hart of Athel Loren, a mighty stag of unsurpassed nobility and grace, is rarer still. Only one of these noble animals is ever sighted at a time and its a common belief amongst the Wood Elves that there has only ever been one - that it is an immortal facet of the forest that never grows old, nor dies.
White Harts are creatures in Celtic and later English Folklore (And in the Arturian Legend) based around albino Elks who were seen as a bad omen or a call to action, depending on the culture. Since in Warhammer they're stated to be a variant/relative of Great Stags, they wouldn't simply be an albino Elk, but rather an Albino Megaloceros or "Irish Elk" which is the long extinct megafauna the Great Stag is based off of.
Many people, including myself, want a feral Great Stag or a Giant version and this seems like a loreful way to give us both potentially, a single entity Great Stag that could have unique mechanics around the acquisition of it. Perhaps it comes and goes with the seasons, maybe requiring a ritual be performed or a technology unlocked, or perhaps it only arrives when you're on a winning streak.
Wind Riders would be Hawk Rider variants with Asrai Spears and Shields, forsaking their ranged attack entirely in favour of becoming a pure melee unit with actual sustainability. If the basic Hawk Riders are Shock Cavalry, these would be the Melee cav variant (potentially with Anti-Large). This would help bolster their Airforce a little more.
Zoats relation to the wood Elves comes from them being included in the 'allied races' section of the 3rd edition army book, meaning they were usable in the rules of TT 3rd edition with a Wood Elf army. I'd argue their alliance isn't substantiated in the lore itself and there's a whole debate surrounding their legitimacy, but regardless, they're one of the few things related to the Wood Elves left that had official models and rules at some point. Thus they seem like an easy inclusion for CA.
CA Original UnitsTree Spirits w/ Great Bows
Tree Spirits w/ Weapons
Similar to the ones in AoS, but reworked for WHFB a little, the Tree Spirit side of the Wood Elf roster is incredibly lacking and Dryad variants aren't going to cut it. Giving them some more creative units would do wonders to flesh them out enough such that a fully Tree Spirit army might be viable. These Bow units could distinguish themselves from the Elven archers by being similar to Ushapti with Great Bows; monstrous archer units which fire artillery-like Bolts at the enemy and are also somewhat competent (tanky in this case) in melee.
I believe traditional artillery is antithetical to the Wood Elves as a faction, which is why I'm against implementing their Bolt Throwers from White Dwarf, I think these and Treemen or Wyrd Golems who throw rocks could be the unique exception to this rule.
I'm a little less fond of these AoS units but I could see them as potentially being high-tier units of lesser Treemen with Weapons forged by the Elves like Durthu's sword (because they cant make weapons on their own).
This could potentially offer an interesting reward for bringing the Wood Elves and Forest Spirits together. The Amber mechanic and some of their Legendary Characters have made us think of the Tree Spirits and Wood Elves as separate or even opposed to one another. Since these units couldn't exist without both parties working in harmony, it could be an unlock for successfully uniting the two sides of the roster.
Leshens / Husk of Kurnous
Yet another unit to bolster the Treemen side, Spriggans could be forest spirits that are more magical than Dryads, commanding the elements, Swarms of Bees or something like that. They'd open up a new niche between Treekin and Dryads, being ranged hybrid magic infantry with short range, making them something of a flanking unit.
Some people don't like this unit because it looks like the Avatar of Kurnous (The one on the right) and because Orion is technically the Avatar now, but I've a way they could be included. The Avatar of Kurnous doesn't have a deer skull, its entirely alive, while Leshens are dead. So what if, Leshens are the empty husks left behind when Orion dies every season, or a shadowy aspect that is created in the forest when this happens. Orion loses his power in winter and turns to ash, his ashes must be returned to the Oak of Ages every year and a ritual must be performed to return him next spring. What if Leshens are the physical aspect he leaves behind, the hollow shadow of Kurnous that haunt the Forest of Athel Loren and retain a fragment of his power within them, working on base instincts, it knows to protect the forest, but kills indiscriminately any and all who would trespass upon its Glades (similar to how Madusae don't really care about friendly fire in the lore).
These could be monstrous single entities, slightly smaller than Treemen, with a protective flock of bees/storm of leaves and debris that can be activated around it and used to attack. It also fights with its claws and vines that shoot from the ground similar to Treemen. It could be the single entity upgraded version of Spriggans were CA to add them.
Treeman Boulder Thrower
Similar to Treants or 'Guardian Trees' as they're known in Warhammer, but this time taking on a more bestial aspect, functionally similar to a giant wolf made of elements of the forest (or a Burrowing Behemoth like the one Clan Moulder may get if they're the antagonists). Contrary to the Guardian Trees, which are slow lumbering powerhouses, Fiends would be a large, fast, agile, but vulnerable creature, weak to missile fire and other Anti-Large creatures. It could also be tied to the Winds of Magic like the Black Coach for the Vampire Counts or the High Elf Phoenix, where the more magic their is, the faster and stronger it is.
A common request from the community as of late. A Wood Elf mirror to the Cygor which would be interesting and the only real artillery piece that I think the Wood Elves should get, since artillery is typically antithetical to their themes and playstyle.
Created by the Divination mages like Naieth the Prophetess (who built and maintain Waystones and manipulate the Winds of Magic), These Golems could be made of the same kind of materials, animated along the borders of Athel Loren to protect key Waystones and points of interest. They lie dormant like a pile of rubble until disturbed by intruders.
Not entirely tree spirits but like the Dwarf Golems in Dragon Age and the Treekin in Warhammer, they could contain the soul(s) of Dead Wood Elves. It was also suggested to me that these Golems could fill the role a Treeman Boulder thrower might, negating the need for the Treemen Artillery.
Like Treant Fiends, this could also be tied to the Winds of Magic, requiring magic reserves be kept plentiful so this unit can stay healthy and strong.