Age of Sigmar Spotlight – Sylvaneth: Part 4
As part of our “Road to AdeptiCon” coverage, we’ve caught up with Tyler, from the Scruby & Wells podcast, and he’s giving us an in-depth series on the sylvaneth. Whether you already have a force of sylvaneth, fight against them regularly, or are thinking of getting started with an army of Alarielle’s children, this series is for you.
At AdeptiCon, Tyler and company are looking to join in and cover the Warhammer Age of Sigmar Warhost Tournament on Thursday, Warhammer Age of Sigmar Doubles Tournament on Friday, and the Warhammer Age of Sigmar Championship on Saturday and Sunday. The forces they are taking will be showcased in upcoming articles in this series.
The Warhammer Community team will also be out in force at AdeptiCon, bringing you live coverage from the event (and a painting seminar with Warhammer TV’s Duncan). We will be joined by members of the Design Studio – Pete, Ben, Jes and Rob – who will be participating in the Warhammer 40,000 Team Tournament and presenting a few seminars of their own. There is a huge list of great events to attend this year, so have a look, and join us – on the Road to AdeptiCon!
Awakening Life’s Fury
One of the defining features of playing with armies of forest spirits is the Sylvaneth Wyldwoods. They’re essential to experiencing the faction’s full potential.
Each Sylvaneth Wyldwood is a terrain feature consisting of up to three Citadel Woods, placed within 1″ of each other. Here’s a handy graphic:
In addition to providing select bonuses to Sylvaneth units, Wyldwoods have two key rules (…and you won’t roll on the Scenery Table for them):
- Wyldwood: Roll a dice for each model that makes a run or charge move across, or finishing on, a Sylvaneth Wyldwood. On a roll of 1, the model is slain. Do not roll for models that have the Sylvaneth, Monster, or Hero keyword.
- Roused by Magic: Roll a dice whenever a spell is successfully cast within 6″ of a Sylvaneth Wyldwood (even if it is unbound). On a roll of 5 or more, all non-Sylvaneth units within 1″ of the Sylvaneth Wyldwood suffer D3 mortal wounds.
Wyldwoods cost 0 points in an army that has the Sylvaneth allegiance in matched play.
Travelling the Spirit Paths
One of the main uses of Wyldwoods is “teleporting” sylvaneth around the table. The faction has multiple ways of doing this, including its battle traits Forest Spirits and Navigate Realmroots. One thing to keep in mind, though, is you can’t “teleport” between Citadel Woods within the same Wyldwood – it must be another Wyldwood, like the lush one on the right:
Sylvaneth allegiance armies also receive the Wyldwood Groves battle trait, enabling them to set up one Wyldwood after the other scenery has been placed but before choosing territory or deploying any units.
One popular choice is to place this Wyldwood in the middle of the table as a forward position to fight from. If you know you can take the first turn, you could set up a few units off the table through the Forest Spirits battle trait, and then bring them onto the table within the middle-of-the-board Wyldwood during your first movement phase.
You may only want to do this if you can go first, since Sylvaneth using Forest Spirits must be set up within 3″ of a Wyldwood and 9″ from enemy units. So if your opponent goes first, they could mess up your plans; but it could be an intentional bait-and-switch, if you have a way of generating a second Wyldwood (e.g., the artefact Acorn of the Ages or spell Verdant Blessing), and placing it away from the enemy to bring your units on.
Another option is to place the initial Wyldwood in one of the deployment zones (e.g., onto an objective). In that regard, you’ll either end up with a Wyldwood in your territory for cover (and holding an objective), or in your opponent’s. The latter puts you in a nice spot to set up a Wyldwood in your territory and arrive in your opponent’s backfield, like so:
Getting back to the scenery rules:
One solid tactic with the Wyldwood rule is to place, say, 10 Dryads within a Citadel Wood base, so that if your opponent wishes to charge you, any of their models finishing their charge move on that Citadel Wood must first roll to avoid being slain outright (minus the keyword exceptions above). Even better, you could put Kurnoth Hunters with scythes behind the Dryads, allowing them to swing “over the top” with their 2″ reach.
Next, Roused by Magic is deceptively strong. Sylvaneth are capable of casting 5-9 spells in each of your turns, so you could be rolling frequently to try to cause D3 mortal wounds on enemy units within 1″ of any Wyldwood.
This aspect of using Wyldwoods reflects the slow-burn nature of playing sylvaneth: chipping away at your opponent with magic, Wyldwoods, and shooting, and then applying overwhelming force with your combat units, especially Spirits of Durthu and Kurnoth Hunters with scythes or swords.
Another excellent use of Wyldwoods is area denial. Let’s say you’re facing a Beastclaw Raiders force with a Frostlord on Stonehorn and a couple Huskards on Thundertusks. They come on a 120x92mm oval base, which is too large to fit between the tree trunks in a Citadel Wood (and just as you wouldn’t disregard the area occupied by a building, it seems odd to disregard the area occupied by the tree trunks!). Wyldwoods give you a way to slow them down and “funnel” them in more favorable directions.
Also, as a sylvaneth player, you’ll often want to go first in the first battle round, in order to better ensure placing Wyldwoods in ideal spots before the enemy has an opportunity to affect their placement. With the Treelord Ancient’s Silent Communion, the artefact Acorn of the Ages, and the Deepwood Lore spell Verdant Blessing, you could generate two or three new Wyldwoods before your opponent has even had a chance to move.
These are just a few of the basics as a starting point. In summary: Learn the ways of the woods. Explore and experiment with different positions. Their effective use enables a whole new level of depth and enjoyment with the sylvaneth.
Assembling & Painting
What about assembling and painting Wyldwoods? We’ll be putting together an in-depth guide as part of this series, in collaboration with Benjamin G. of Homebrewed Worlds. Look for it in March.
Battalions will be the focus of part 5. In particular, we’ll look to unearth the Gnarlroot Wargrove and Winterleaf Wargrove, two of the most popular battalions at the moment, each signifying a distinct style of play.