Playing an Experienced Wood Elf Team


By the time your Wood Elf Team has played several games, it will have elements of strategy that were unavailable before due to lack of skills, specialization, and position players. Playing a team of Wood Elves with a full roster, including a full compliment of skilled Catchers and Wardancers, is significantly different than playing a team of little more than a bunch of line elves. This page will attempt to address those differences.

Again, though, many elements of this page will differ based on the type of rules your league uses. Most of the stuff listed will work for most Wood Elf teams, just keep in mind what doesn't and adjust accordingly.


Kick-off/Receive

This is an often overlooked aspect of strategy that deserves at least a mention here. With a experienced Wood Elf team, I tend to kick off first against most opponents if given the choice. The theory is that your team SHOULD be able to score on offense even if it's down a few elves, whereas it is pretty important to have your best players on the field to play your best defense (notes on how to do that effectively below). But again, this depends on your opponent, your play style, and so on.

Offense/Ball Control

  • At the start of an offensive drive, set most of your players up on one side of the field, with a few on the other side (off the line) as damage control, in case of a blitz. Here's a sample offensive setup for an experienced Wood Elf team.
  • After the kick is received, take any two die blocks you have first (or 3 die blocks if you have them, usually with your Treeman!). You should have set up so as to allow a few of these if at all possible.
  • Attack the opponent's flank with a blitz. Set up a line elf near the end player in the wide zone, preferrably one with Guard if you have 2 or more, and didn't have to use them for hits on the line. Then blitz the player with your best Wardancer. Be sure to hit him at an angle, so as to cause a sufficient space to run through with your catcher, even if you don't knock the other guy down. Obviously, if your opponent has Side Step, this is a moot point. After your WD hits, then he should hopefully be able continue downfield using the remainder of his movement.
  • Move as many elves as possible through the hole your WD created, and try to position the Diving Tacklers in the group to maximize their protective capability for a pre-chosen spot in that area that the catcher (or other player you want to score) can reach.
  • Send your thrower to get the ball, and pass it to the nearest catcher. If necessary, move that catcher to the one whom you want to have the ball, and hand off to her. She then takes off down the field until she is in your pre-chosen, well defended "spot" for her.
  • After all of this has been completed, dodge any remaining line elves away from opposing tacklers. In some cases, a 1die block may be more appropriate.
  • If you want, leap a Wardancer, or anyone else with Leap, over your opponent's line on the other side, so that he can tie up the most likely blitzer the other team was going to use.
  • After the maximum number of people have been hit, pick the opponent's most dangerous player down (usually his Dirty Player if you were lucky enough to get a shot at him), and consider booting him with your "armor specialist", plus any of his friends you can spare for help. Pick and choose your timing with these, though, as you don't want to start a fouling war with players as frail and expensive as yours!
  • If you're using a one-turn scorer, quit reading this, it's so simple you should be ashamed! Make a gap and RUN!!

    Damage Control

  • Try not to leave any of your players next to standing opponents at the end of your turn. If you must, try to make sure they have Block, Dodge, and/or Side Step (preferrably all 3) to minimize damages.
  • Don't try to hold the ball to stall to the end of the half very often, especially against violent teams. Your team is not meant to withstand those kinds of pressures, just score and play good defense!
  • Put your Treeman on the line.
  • The elves you must put on the line can follow one of two philosophies, depending on your team. The first approach is to put good line elves up there, with Block, Dodge, and Side Step, trying to keep them alive. The second approach is to drop "sacrificial lambs" up there. This is a perfect approach when you have injured/aged players with downgrades that limit their usefulness, but at the same time you can't afford to fire them due to having an already thin roster. This is not overly uncommon with a Wood Elf team. Have a ST2 Line elf, but only 12 players on the team? Put the ST2 elf on the line! If he dies, no big deal, you were going to fire him soon anyway!

    Defense

  • Set up your Treeman in the center of the line.
  • I run the 3-6-2 with my improved Wood Elf team. The three compulsory line occupants, then 6 players 2 rows back (4 in wide zones, 2 in middle area). If you have a defensive thrower, he's one of the middle guys, if not, pick a catcher with Leap (and Block if possible). The other is your line elf with Kick. Finally the 2 Wardancers go 2 rows further back, and act as safety valves. They're also still close enough to blitz most of the other team's half of the field if you need to do that, too. Here's a sample defensive setup for an experienced Wood Elf team, and here's another showing some variations.
  • There is a strong debate about whether you should use skilled line elves or sacrificial line elves on the line. Obviously, with a young team, this isn't much of an issue because most of your line elves are unskilled anyway. However, as you get more and more skilled elves, the question becomes very valid.

    The tradeoff is simple: unskilled line elves are more likely to get knocked down, and therefore injured, but to a degree that's OK because they are a bit more expendable than your skilled elves. The skilled elves don't go down as much, but when they do, you have to be worried about losing valuable players every time.

    The answer to this question depends on the makeup of your team, and who you're playing against. Obviously, in a perfect world, you'd have a skilled Treeman with Block and Guard on the line, surrounded by 2 line elves with Block, Dodge, Guard, and Side Step. Then you'd guarantee that your 2 line elves would only be subjected to one block each (unless your opponent uses his blitz on one) and would be unlikely to be knocked down and potentially injured.

    However, if your opponent is Chaos, and you know he has a particularly nasty Chaos Warrior with Tackle, Claw, Razor Sharp Claws, and Frenzy, do you really want to subject your best line elves to that? Probably not. In other words, there's no simple answer to this debate, and both sides are "right" in certain circumstances. You have to decide for yourself how much is an appropriate amount of risk. Have you used your apothecary yet? Does your opponent foul regularly? These are all questions which will affect how you approach this situation.

  • Put Diving Tacklers and/or Side Steppers in the wide zones (outside) and Guard Elves next to them (inside) if you have them.
  • The Kick skill is very important here. You can use it to kick to a corner, forcing your opponent to use most/all of his movement just to get to the ball. Additionally, if he fails to pick up the ball, he will have very little help when he is suddenly surrounded by elves. Wood elves are extremely good at using their speed and agility to make an opponent pay dearly for any mistakes they make in handling the ball.
  • After the other teams drive has started, you want to maintain a "containment perimeter". Try to hold your wide zones (Blocking, Dodging Sidesteppers are very useful here), and keep your opponent from getting past you. Then surround the ballcarrier's entourage, especially with any Guard elves available, and then blitz with your WD, leaping (if necessary) into an empty space next to the ball carrier, and smack him. Don't be afraid to hit him with one die, that usually works, too, especially if you have Strip Ball! In fact, in times of desperation, you can sometimes even be successful with a 2db against, but obviously try to avoid that one if possible. Then use your Catcher or Thrower, whichever you have, to try to get the ball out of the mess and as far away from the opposition as possible, using hand-offs, passes, and leaps as needed.
  • If, for whatever reason, a blitz with the Wardancer is not possible, play a stalling defense. Try to make a line of elves, and consistently dodge them away one square backwards turn after turn. This will slow the opponent's drive considerably, and will also make it very hard for your opponent to hurt many elves, as he will theoretically/optimally be able to hit one elf a turn (your opponent's blitz). Keep stalling, being ever prepared for the opponent to make some sort of mistake. Often, the opponent will become frustrated by this defense, and that is when the mistake will occur. That's when you get aggressive and take chances. Also, if your defense is successful in only allowing a square or two of advancement a turn, the opponent won't have enough time in the half to score. :)
  • Always be ready to take care of turnovers by the opposition. Wood Elves are one of the best teams there is (MAYBE second to Skaven) at scooping up the other guys flubs and turning them into quick TD's. Make sure you know how to take advantage! Specifics will of course depend on the situation.

    Last Modified: 4/14/06


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