Wood Elf Treeman Overview:
With the option to take a Treeman on a Wood Elf team, they are the only one of the four Elven teams that can take a Big Guy. The most distinctive things about a Treeman is their high strength and low movement. They are the strongest players in the game but on the flip side they are also the slowest players in the game. Fortunately speed isn’t really something of a big problem for Wood Elves as they are the second fastest race in the game. Wood Elves are though the most expensive of the low armoured teams and a Treeman can be a great asset in helping against attrition. There is a lot of debate though as to if Wood Elves should have access to a Treeman as they are consistently one of the best performing teams and the Treeman has been removed and added from one edition of the rules to the next.
So the main benefit of having a Treeman is to soak up some of the damage that would otherwise be inflicted on one of your expensive and fragile Elves. Their high strength makes it hard to hit them and an inexperienced coach can often concentrate too many of their players to knock them over. This opens up more space for your Elves to run around in and dominate the game. Treemen also can’t be easily pushed around so you can use them to tie up players that aren’t going to be happy about having to try and dodge away. This can either take that opposing player out of the game, cause them to waste rerolls, create turnovers and sometimes even injure the opposing player if they fall over. Treemen also have high armour and are hard to knock out meaning that even if they do get taken down, they will likely remain on the pitch.
There are a couple of downsides to the Treeman like every other Big Guy player. The first is that they are slow, they can’t move around very far and could end up away from where you need him. Their slow speed also hampers them if they need to stand up should they fall over for any reason. It is not uncommon for a Treeman to remain on the floor for the remainder of a drive after they become prone. The other main drawback is that they can also Take Root and refuse to move at all until the next drive or the opposing team knock them over. For Wood Elves this isn’t really that great of a problem if he is occupying space that the opposing team will need to use, but if it happens when they aren’t then they are fairly useless until the next drive.
Take Root isn’t always bad though, if you have opposing players around him, then he will still force them to dodge. Also if he is in the middle of the pitch, whilst he can’t move, the opposing team aren’t likely to move next to him but he creates space which you can freely run around. You can also try and push opposing players next to the Treeman so he can hit them. With his role on the team pretty much always just down to soaking up hits and tying up opposing players they are fairly strait forward to develop.
Road Block Treeman:
- Normal: Grab, Guard, Break Tackle / Multiple Block
- Doubles: Block / Pro, Sure Feet, Diving Tackle
- Stat Increase: +MV +ST
The first skill you will want to give the Treeman is Grab so that he can keep as many opposing players in his tackle zone as possible. This is even more important when he can’t move (including following up on blocks) in order to prevent him becoming a useless immovable lump. After that Guard is helpful to have though his limited movement limits where it is going to come into effect. Break Tackle can be useful as well, especially should the opposing team make the mistake of getting a cage too close. Multiple Block can come in handy against average strength teams as he can hit two opposing players without any assistance. Beyond that there aren’t really any great normal skills to take, Piling On puts him prone which you want to avoid with the issues of standing up. Juggernaut is the last option but his low movement and agility means you aren’t likely to be blitzing with him.
There are a lot of doubles that are useful for a Treeman though, Block makes him more reliable and even less likely to get knocked down. Pro is a good alternative as well to help prevent taking root and aid standing up. It can also be used for go for its and to reroll blocks as well. After those two Sure Feet gives them a bit more reliable movement. I also like Diving Tackle as well, with Stand Firm and high strength he isn’t likely to get pushed away from anyone you tie up. You do have to bear in mind it is tricky to stand up again though if you elect to go prone yourself if someone tries to dodge away. It also has the benefit of keeping opposing players next to you in order to hit them, if you have Grab as well the opposing players aren’t going to like ending up next to the Treeman. For stat increases +MV is a god send as you can stand him up normally and get a bit more range out of him. +ST you may want to pass up for the double skill instead, though if you take it he gets three block dice against any sole ST3 player he blocks. Pass up on +AV and +AG, they are of little use compared to the alternatives.
Wood Elf Treeman Summary:
A Treeman is great at soaking up damage and occupying the opposing players. He can provide a great distraction to the other team if they go out of their way to knock him over. You don’t necessarily need to take one though as they can end up being useless and are very one dimensional in how they operate. You may think that his Team Value is better spent on another Elf and some skills. In a bash light league this is perhaps even more attractive, while in a Tackle and Mighty Blow heavy league, you may decide that he is an asset that you can’t pass up on.