Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: Worcestershire, UK
Well the BSB gives you rerolls on all Ld tests within 12"... fear, terror, panic, break and random magic (eg take a Ld, and take a wound for every point you fail by; you still get the BSB reroll). Now with fear tests being taken every turn they're much more important then they used to be, and since a random failed panic test can cost you the game having a reroll on it is great.
SM might have an extra attack and an extra point of WS, but they dont tend to be that helpful. If you use your units 5 wide then SM get 16 attacks (with champ), while WL get 11... so its not double the number of attacks like it used to be and its rare that you need the WS6 of teh SM: most common enemies have WS3-4.
Meanwhile the extra strength is nice, especially for the armour mod which you just dont tend to have with HE. So the WL are a good counter for the things that your archers/LSG struggle to beat: they fill the role you need them to fill better then the SM. Then they are woodsmen, so they can wander through forests and not worry about them being venom thickets... but you are right, their biggest advantage is their cloaks. A 3+ save vs shooting means they'll take very few casualties, while anyone with a lot of shooting will just pincushion a unit of SM without thinking: if you switch SM to WL most people will just shoot your LSG- so either you can live with that and use the LSG to draw fire as you move in with the expensive combat units or you could just put a BSB/mage in there that you dont really want in combat and give them some sacred incense. That'll mean that all your units except the archers are bad targets for shooting (which in my view is probably more useful then having the MR2-3 everywhere)... although if you protect yourself from shooting and direct damage magic then most armies will have to try to deal with you in combat, which is exactly what you want with a list like this one (just try to have the BSB/mage/archmage bail ut of the unit before combat is made).