Defenders of Athel Loren
A Preview of Hidden Kingdoms by Guest Writer Torsten Krämer
“In the defence of their woodland realm, the Wood Elves and their allies are deadly and unforgiving.” –Warhammer: Wood Elves
With the upcoming release of the Hidden Kingdoms expansion, four new playable races are coming to Warhammer: Invasion The Card Game: Wood Elves, Lizardmen, Skaven, and Undead. You can already find each of these races represented among the game’s neutral cards, but Hidden Kingdoms will allow you to play them on their own, freeing them from any obligation to other races. In Hidden Kingdoms, each of these races can focus on developing its own kingdom, battling for its own causes, and trying to gain dominion over the Old World by pursuing its own strategies.
Today, guest writer Torsten Krämer provides us with a glimpse at the first of these four new, neutral races – the Wood Elves.
Hidden in the Woods
Developments represent many things in Warhammer: Invasion, from the villages and towns of the Empire to the spreading influence of Chaos. When you command the Wood Elves, your developments can represent the sprawling, untamed wilds of their sylvan homeland, Athel Loren, which they relentlessly defend against intruders. The Asrai, as the Wood Elves call themselves, have long displayed a variety of card effects in Warhammer: Invasion that help you place developments faster than normal, and that yield greater benefits the more developments you possess.
In Hidden Kingdoms, these themes are expanded and strengthened. The Wood Elf capital allows you to begin the game with one development in every zone. Of course, this provides a head start on getting great use out of classic neutral cards like Innovation (Core Set, 119). More importantly, it lays the foundation for benefiting from other Wood Elf cards, including both established cards like Talismanic Tattoos (Shield of the Gods, 117) and new ones like the Highborn Champion (Hidden Kingdoms, 15), a unit with the potential to be a great asset to your economy, a vital part of your army, or both.
Launching Your Ambush
It’s natural that any player utilizing development-heavy strategy would want to make use of the Ambush mechanic, and the Wood Elves will, indeed, expand their arsenal of deadly ambushes. Under the guidance of their queen, Ariel, the Waywatchers and other powerful units can strike from the shadows. As effective as these strikes can be, ambushing your developments slows their accumulation and might weaken some of your other Wood Elf cards that want a high number of developments. Fortunately, Hidden Kingdoms also brings us The Oak of Ages (Hidden Kingdoms, 16), an ancient tree at the heart of Athel Loren where Ariel holds court. This venerable tree makes every Wood Elf unit count as a development. Now, when you lose a development because one of your Waywatchers had to reveal himself to take out an attacker, the unit instantly makes up for it, and every unit you put into play ensures the power of your Highborn Champions grows rapidly and to great heights.
Naturally, counting your units counting as developments allows you to make creative use of cards like Long Winter (The Fall of Karak Grimaz, 20) or Will of the Electors (Core Set, 44). But it also makes your units vulnerable to similar effects played by your opponents. And even without The Oak of Ages, the Asrai depend greatly upon being able to develop fast, in multiple zones, and to keep those developments in place. So how will the Wood Elves deal with Chaos or Orc armies loaded with the ability to destroy developments? How will they deal with the Empire's ability to move developments? One answer is the Eternal Guard (Hidden Kingdoms, 12), an inexpensive unit that, in turn, can make it very costly for your opponent to try to match his development destruction against your developing speed. Combined with The Oak of Ages, the Eternal Guard will also serve to protect your units, and there is, of course, the possibility of branching out to combine your Wood Elves with core faction cards like the Church of Sigmar (Core Set, 39) for an even higher degree of protection.
With powerful synergies and strong defenses, the Wood Elves of Hidden Kingdoms stand ready to prove that invading Athel Loren will be a most foolish undertaking.
The four new races of Hidden Kingdoms are quickly readying their forces for war, so head to your local retailer to pre-order your copy today!