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8th Ed. Wood Elf Army Book Review and Tactica

Discussion in 'Other Armies Discussion' started by Knoffles, Oct 30, 2021.

  1. Knoffles

    Knoffles Member

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    Post 21 - Magic Arrows and Probabilities by Knoffles

    The magic arrows and abilities were covered in POST 2 - Equipping your army.

    Here i'll write a quick recap and talk about which are statistically the best to use in any given situation. All examples are based around a unit of 10 archers shooting.

    I'll also give a link to a spreadsheet, in my drop box, that allows you to configure almost any variable, to work out the probability of a shot using the below arrows with a unit (it excludes characters armed with them).

    Arrow Recap

    If we are looking at all the potential 'arrows' you can take in the wood elf army, there are 8 varieties. This includes non magical ('normal') arrows, and waywatcher shots but excludes the HODA. As a recap:

    All arrows have a 30" range, Armour Piercing (AP) and volley fire, no matter if magical or not.

    Enchanted Arrows

    Hagbane - magical, poisoned shots
    Trueflight - magical shots that suffer no negative to hit modifiers
    Moonfire/Starfire - flaming, magical shots that give +1 to wound vs forces of order and destruction respectively
    Swiftshiver - magical, with the multiple shots (2) rule
    Arcane Bodkin - magical with -3 to armour saves (rather than the normal -1 from AP)

    Waywatcher Shots

    Aimed Shot - No armour save
    Fast shot - multiple shots (2)

    What arrow should I use?

    Armour Saves of 1+

    There is almost no variation on these. It doesn't matter on the hit modifier or the toughness, Arcane Bodkins are the best of the magic arrows but the Waystalker aimed shot is king.

    -2 Modifier to hit

    The first result is pretty obvious. For T2 & T3, Trueflight is the best of the magic arrows. When you hit T4 then Hagbane and Trueflight perform the same. T5 and over, then you want hagbane.

    For the Waywatchers, it is almost always the aimed shot for anything with a 4+ or better armour and then the multi shot for a 5+/6+ armour.

    -1 Modifier to hit

    The arcane bodkin actually performs the best on T2 & T3 up to anything with a 4+ or better armour. For the lower armour, it is fairly even across the arrows. For T4 and over, Hagbane again takes the edge (and at T5+ out performs the waywatchers)

    Waywatchers follow the same trend as the -2 modifier, though it doesn't matter which shot you use for opponents with a 4+ armour

    No Modifiers

    Arcane bodkin is again your go to arrow, for opponents up to and including a 3+ armour (at T2-T4). For weaker armour, swiftshiver gives the greatest output. For T5+, then it is hagbane again (seeing a trend here?)

    For Waywatchers use aimed shot for any foe that has a 3+ or better. Multishot for anything else.

    +1 modifier to hit

    For T2-T4 and an armour of 3+ or better, use arcane bodkins, else use swiftshiver for weaker armoured foes. At T5 then you could use hagbane or Moon/starfire. T6 is hagbane.

    For Waywatchers use aimed shot for any foe that has a 3+ or better. Either for a 4+ armour and Multishot for anything else.

    +2 Modifer to hit

    For T2-T4, swiftshiver is a head and shoulders above the others (tying with the waystalker multishot from anything with a 3+ armour of worse. At T5/T6, Hagbane and swiftshiver tie for damage.

    For Waywatchers use aimed shot for any foe that has a 3+ or better. Either shot for a 4+ armour and Multishot for anything else.

    General overview on results

    Magic Arrows

    Hagbane is probably your best overall arrow as it gives consistent damage output and is the joint cheapest at 3pts a pop. It excels against tougher targets, especially if shooting with negative modifiers.
    Trueflight excel against lower toughness foes, when you have negative to hit modifiers imposed on your shooting unit.
    Swiftshiver are surprisingly good up to toughness 4 targets and with no modifiers to hit and any bonus to hit just makes them better.
    Starfire/Moonshot are good for T4 & T5 opponents.
    Arcane bodkins are for opponents with armour 1+ & 2+. Outside of that they are very average and at 5pts per model, are the most expensive upgrade.
    Standard 'non-magical' arrows match the damage output of a number of the other specialist arrows against lower toughness foes. The advantage of them is (a) they are cheap in comparison to the above choices and (b) you can make them flaming with the addition of a 10pt banner.


    It doesn't really matter on the toughness of your target, the rule of thumb is, if they have a 3+ or better armour use aimed shot, else use multishot.

    Whereas the magic arrows seem to each have a 'best niche', the waywatcher shots consistently match or out perform in nearly every scenario (the exception being against the very high toughness targets). They are very much the all-round performers.

    Probabilities Spreadsheet

    This is a link to my drop box, to a spreadsheet that can be downloaded and which allows you to see probability variables in any given shooting situation including:

    · Number of shooters in the unit

    · Toughness of the target

    · Armour value of the target

    · Various shooting modifiers (positive or negative)

    · Ward save of the target

    DROPBOX LINK: Knoffles Wood Elf Arrow Chart.v4

    Feedback is very much appreciated, especially if you find any errors on the spreadsheet.

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