I apologize in advance for another Wood Elf thread- however, I think this one will foster some good discussion.
Whenever new Wood Elf units are brought up, we tend to see a few names thrown around more often than others. Meadow Chariots, Zoats, Great Stag and Unicorn herds, lots of variants of existing units and occasionally stuff pulled from very old editions. These are definitely valid suggestions, but I feel that there's a source of original, unique Wood Elf units from a recent source that's being overlooked, and those are the Kindreds.
Kindreds are tightly-knit communities of Wood Elves that group together to form a key function. Most of these Kindreds are represented in-game already, units like the Eternal Guard and Glade Riders come from their own unique Kindreds. But there were several other Kindreds mentioned in the Wood Elf army books that never received models or statlines, and represent some serious missed opportunities on the part of Games Workshop.
- Alter -- Laith-Kourn; Known often as Alters, Shifters or Wild-kin, these Elves can adopt aspects of the creatures who dwell with Athel Loren. They are much more isolationist than any other of the Kindreds, and though they see themselves as a Kindred, they live alone and generally do not mix any more with their own than any other Kindreds. The name Laith-Kourn has evolved from a combination of the Eltharin root word Lathain, meaning storm, wrath, and gently falling rain that brings eternal sleep, and the name of the Elven god Kurnous.
- Glamourweave -- Yenayla; A Kindred smaller than the Spellsinger Kindreds that is dedicated to maintaining the correct balance within Athel Loren. Glamourweaves, sometimes known as Shapers, Tree-Singers, Skein-weavers, Shadow-Walkers, Changelings, Wood-seers, Grove-kin and Wood-shapers, are very closely linked to Athel Loren, and often act as emissaries and ambassadors between the Wood Elves and the older spirits of Athel Loren itself. The name Yenayla evolved from the root-word Yenlui, meaning balance, harmony and chaos.
- Vengeance -- Talu; A very small kindred devoted to revenge for acts of particular harm (either to Athel Loren or personally). This is an unusual kindred in that those who join it only do so for the fulfillment of a particular vendetta, and they then return to their former Kindred. To stay too long within the kindred of Talu is particularly dangerous (one cannot leave the kindred without fulfilling the reason he or she entered it), and Elves will only become one of this kindred very rarely. Those belonging to this kin are known by names such as Riftblades and Mournsingers. The name Talu evolved from the root-word Thalui, meaning hatred or vengeance.
- Younger -- Haroith; a kindred that tends to attract young Elves. This kindred is typified as being impatient and impulsive. Many Elves leave this kindred when they are older, though other wilder Elves will stay within the kindred. A mistrusted kindred by other Wood Elves, most regard them as not understanding balance, and they are therefore dangerous. Often the first to react violently. The name Haroith evolved from the root-word Harathoi, meaning youth, boundless energy, and jealousy.
(A list of all the Kindreds can be found here: https://warhammerfantasy.fandom.com/wiki/Kindred
While I'm not usually one to suggest extrapolating units from descriptions without rules to back it up, these four Kindreds come from very recent lore from the Army Books themselves, and seem ready to be translated into actual units with statlines much like their already-implemented counterparts. The High Elves and Dark Elves have bigger rosters than their fellow Wood Elves, both in the tabletop and in Total War, and I think the Wood Elves have plenty of material right here to expand their roster in a unique and interesting way.
are probably the most interesting of the bunch, and certainly the one discussed most often. I personally think they might have the most potential for being a unique unit, and they seem to be a more modern take on the Shapechanger unit from Oldhammer. The ideal way to add these guys, in my book, is to give them a transformation mechanic- CA has avoided this sort of thing in the past with Transformation of Kadon just being a summon instead of transforming the caster into a monster, but the Shadow and the Blade
has tread this territory with the Malus to T'zarkan shift, though admittedly that's just a texture change. If CA was able to step-up to full model changes, then I could see the Alter asa unit of slightly bestial, wild-looking Wood Elves armed with anti-large weapons, able to briefly transform into infantry-mulching monstrous infantry through a unique ability. If such a thing were not feasible, then I'd say they should just come on the field in their beast-form, providing a more offensive alternative to the defensive and tanky Tree-kin.
are also in a unique position, and may not be suited for a combat role. However, they do have the unique potential to be both a Tree Spirit unit and an Elven unit. As ambassadors between Elf and Treespirit, I could see them acting as a small unit of mid-range combat infantry, with their special ability being buffs and heals to nearby Tree Spirit units like Necrotects do for constructs. However, I'm at a loss for ideas with these ones.
Kindred is surprising in that they seem like exactly the sort of elite, deadly, badass unit that Games Workshop would want to sell. I could see the Riftblades mentioned under this banner being the representative of this Kindred, black-clad Elves of the night armed with both armor-piercing handweapons and skirmishing bows, essentially a more elite, glassy Wood Elf variant of the High Elf Shadow Warriors. They'd have to be few in number and expensive to recruit, though, as there are few members and those that join don't tend to stay for very long.Haroith
, or Younger
, are described as impulsive and fast-moving. I always felt that the Wood Elves could do with a bit more cavalry considering they're fast-moving a hit-and-run faction, so I'd implement the Younger as Glade Knights, Elves mounted on armored horses (not Elks, they haven't earned that yet) armed with sword and shield to give them a mid-range non-shock cavalry unit.
However, I'm curious to hear your thoughts on the Wood Elf Kindreds, and what kind of variety they could to add to the Wood Elf roster.