Andy had gone for a massive unit of Bestigor (55 I think) as the centrepiece to his army and had followed it up with a solid unit of Gor and a horde of Ungor. In support were 3 chariots, two small units of skirmishers and two units of Harpies. A lord, a BSB, a Level 4 and a Level 2 (both with Lore of Beasts) completed the list.
I put out what is beginning to become my standard build with the Woodies. Characters were: a Level 4 with Life magic, a BSB with the Hail of Doom Arrow, an Eagle riding Noble and (new for this game) a level 1 Branchwraith with Cluster of Radiants. 20 Glade Guard, 10 Glade Guard, two units of 8 Dryads, 3 Treekin, 2 Eagles, a Treeman, 7 Wardancers and 10 Wild Riders made up the list.
Andy deployed with his Bestigor in the centre, the other units on either side and the support units around the flanks. I endeavoured to refuse the left flank in an effort to avoid contact with the main body of his army - the aim being to knobble one of the big units and pick up points from the small stuff.
The first half of the game was characterised with the Beastmen advancing and me shooting and delaying. My Wardancer suicide squad failed to take down his general, but my Eagles did a bang up job of delaying and redirecting his Bestigor (although it did get them killed). My shooting and magic took down a unit of Harpies, half of the Gor unit and drove back one unit of skirmishers and a chariot (although to be fiar the chariot and my Wild Riders were trying to stare each other into making a mistake. Perhaps the best part of the first half was the Dryads I'd kept on the left, drawing the Ungor unit out wide and effectively out of the game.
The second half of the game was more bloody. Andy failed a couple of longish charges that could have really done for me, but this allowed me to redirect a little more and throw my Treeman into the Gors, although combat was a damp squib as I failed to wound the Bray Shaman. On the same turn, my Eagle rider hit a chariot, destroying it before it attacked back, and my shooting and magic crippled another chariot.
In Andy's turn my Treeman was appalled to find that the Bray Shaman had turned into a Chimera which proceeded to roast him (not really a surprise as he was still carrying wounds from being Amber Speared earlier in the game), although in the process the miscast cost him all but four of the Gors. In my turn, with the Transformation of Kadon dispelled, I countered with a combo charge from the Treekin and Wild Riders which clobbered the 300 point Shaman and 200 point unit and got me back in the game.
We were now in a game of cat and mouse. He Amber Nuked my Eagle Rider and the Bestigor finally got something to clobber in the form of my small unit of Glade Guard. I shot up the wounded chariot, chased off a unit of skirmishers and managed to cast Dwellers Below on the Bestigor (killing 21 of them!). However, my cavalry was unable to catch up with his other Shaman and the game ended in a draw.
A great game and for the first time with the Wood Elves in 8th I felt like I had a plan and the plan worked. The only real mistake I can think of was being too timid with the Wild Riders, however, it's arguable that they survived and retained their points because of this.
The Branchwraith is definitely staying as the extra dispel die was really useful, as was the ability to double cast Treesinging along with the Treeman. I'm going to find a way to get Glamourweave back on the Eagle Rider as it really is vulnerable to shooting. Finally, it's official, I'm sticking with the Lore of Life; it may be defensive, but that's how I use my wizard.