View Full Version : HE Tactics (help)

23-02-2008, 01:23
Hey guys, first time posting, but I've been perusing for ages.

Anyways with all the new info and battle reports up about the VC the "new army smell" of the HEs seems to have passed. As such it seems that people have come to the realization that the High Elves are not just beatable, but even uncompetitive.

So here I am, looking for some help. How can I make a reasonably effective HE army? Everything is just so expensive, and the Star Dragon, although apparently unstoppable, is also costly. Any advice, no matter how generic, is happily accepted :)

23-02-2008, 02:48
......High Elves are not just beatable, but even uncompetitive....

Something that most HE players spotted as soon as they got the new army book in their hands..... (or after 2-10 min depending on how fast you got to the actual army list)

7th edition is a horrible nerf to the HE.

You can make a reasonable list if you just take random units (any units really) then you can go out and defeat bad generals who will charge headless into your first striking troops.

but you can never make a truly competitive list.

But if you want something that comes close to good:



20 archers

And as many Dp's you can cram in.

(+ some eagles)

And the other option is to play the army like woodelves with dragons instead of trees.... But then you might as well play woodelves...

23-02-2008, 03:09
WinkyPinky...I disagree with you wholeheartedly. I have had great success with my HE army so far, and I can only see it getting better as I accumulate more points.

riven5... I would seriously sit down and contemplate the use of magic for your HE army. Figure out what type of army that most agrees with your play style (i.e. shooty, close combat, fast attack, etc.) and then tool out your characters accordingly, but a mage should be be at the forefront of your character listing. The High Elves are the undisputed masters of magic and can bolster a great number of various different army types. Also consider equipping your mage with the Seerstaff of Saphery. The ability to not only choose which lore of magic to use but also which spells from those lores is downright effective (especially if you know who your opponent is beforehand!) Also, remember that you are able to take one less core choice than other armies which allows you to field even more of the fantastic Special choices. Consider looking at some of the named Heroes as well. Caradryan can make an already tough Phoenix Guard one unit that your opponent will do anything to avoid!
My best advise to you is, while yes the dragons are expensive, you should focus on your magic using characters 1st then add dragons and what-not after.

Good luck and may Isha smile upon your game table! :D

23-02-2008, 03:20
Seriously, let's be honest here.

1) Star Dragon w/ Prince. Everyone knows about it because its the winner of the UK GTs, but in America, that kinda list will not fly. Here's why: As soon as a large, flying, terror-causing unit is seen on the field, it will get shot by every type of artillery, magic and semi-magical missile thingy on the battle field. Great Cannons, D6 wounds, Thorek Gunlines with Cannons and Master Engineers.. or even multiple RBTs or Bolt Throwers with RoPenetration. Simply put: It's not that good because of two reasons: 1) Huge point sink in 1 unit 2) Easily shot at. How it did so well is beyond me, considering how it'll never fly competitively in the states. Then again, the UK GTs are much more lax, friendly and generally more balanced than us Yanks.

2) Secondly, High Elves time has not yet passed. Why? Because our latest edition is still relatively new compared to all the other codexes out there. Just look at Dark Elves for example.. granted they're not all that super competitive, but they can still be played to reasonable high levels. I guess what I'm trying to say here is that every army can be played competitively. How it fares is strictly dependent on your area's metagame and player skill.

3) To play competitive with High Elves you must realize that taking 4+ core and balanced armies isn't the smart choice to go. Let's face it: Balanced armies are for fun. To win tournies, you need bigger and badder stuff. That's why you have lists built around Teclis (to fight Thorek, RAF..etc) and 4 Specials min. To play competitive is to play to win.. and the only way to do that is by taking the best your army has to offer. I can play around with Spears and Archers all day, but if I needed to win a game in a competitive enviroment, I'd look into some more exotic choices.

Dragon Prince of Caledor
23-02-2008, 03:23
First of all why not forget the competitive edge and use the models you like. They are more fun to paint and playing with them is more epic. It has worked for me... I love playing with my he's. Although i very seldomly lose... Good luck:)
P.S. I wouldnt recommend swordmasters for small games pg and wl are far more versatile.

23-02-2008, 03:32
First of all why not forget the competitive edge and use the models you like. They are more fun to paint and playing with them is more epic. It has worked for me... I love playing with my he's. Although i very seldomly lose... Good luck:)
P.S. I wouldnt recommend swordmasters for small games pg and wl are far more versatile.

Sword Masters function as the following:

MSU, 6-7 man strong, flanking special units that are capable of splitting fire. Preferred support Magic = High Magic as it allows them the Shield of Saphery every game. If I was to play with them, I'd take them in 2 6x1 blocks. Bare minimum, keep them tight in your lines and ready to counter-charge anything coming your way.

Dragon Princes should be in groups of 5-6 and at least one unit should have Banner of Ellyrion. Who cares about Fluff; charging 16" through woods as long as you draw Line of Sight is the best thing anyone ever asked for.

In my opinion, if the unit is assault/charge based, you always need 2 units of them to be effective. These are as following: Dragon Princes, MSU Sword Masters, Silverhelms or Lion Chariots. Take 2 or go home. One is not enough unless you dont have the points to afford 2, then you have to take 1. But if it was me and I had ~150 points to take any of those units, I would take 5x DP over Lion Chariots. More wounds, better armored, BoEllyrion and no ******** of S7 oh noes I lose.

Phoenix Guard and White Lions are Anvils. The forementioned are the hammers. PGs and WL are meant to hold onto a banner for the entire game; whether its a BSB or Banner of Sorcery, they're meant to hold it and house your most precious Archmage/Mage. Don't go overboard with them; I suggest blocks of 15 with WL/PG because taking too much + Magic banner is too much of an investment.

As for RBT, you need 2 min. Never 1, always take 2. Archers are great for 1 reason only: To fill up your Core choices and waste opponent's ammo while you max out on RBT. Sad to say that our Elven Archers pale in effectiveness compared to our Repeaters. In other words, Archers are just as annoying to you as they are to the opponent for a measly 110 points. Spearmen, take 20 and only in groups of 20. Else, they'll lose ranks too fast and you lose the full bonus of Martial Prowness. And don't forget about the 'First among Equals' rule, where you get an awesome Lion Standard (Immune to Fear and Terror) for 25 points.

Great Eagles, great unit, 50 points. I think we're done here.

BSB should always be on foot, with a Great Weapon, Armor of Caledor and a smile on his face. When fighting anything with a lot of Ward Saves, take a Amulet of Light and laugh at the enemy coming to you. Else, you could take the SURPRISE token and fit him with Heavy Armor, White Sword and Talisman of Lorec (normally without BSB). Enemy general charges your Archmage for a quick 1,2, you step up and boom headshot him striking first. Oh look, I killed your 300+ point Lord with a ~140 point Hero. I can't wait to see VC player's faces when they lose turn 1 to Teclis dropping IF on Steed of Shadows and flying my Killing Blow Noble into his 400 point hero and watching his entire army crumble. VC, I laugh at you.

Bottom line though: You play the army you want to play. That's the best part about this game. YOU are its designer, general and artist. You dished out the cash, do whatever you want with it.

23-02-2008, 04:13
The High Elves are the undisputed masters of magic

Ehmmmm.... Since when ?

What makes HE better at magic than VC, Skaven, TK, Lizardmen and Chaos (I would actually dare say that O&G is better than HE)?
I really dont see it.

Sure there is a thing called double drain.... But that is just a little... and then? like. It dosnt make you master of magic. It just makes you able to (sometimes) shutdown opposing magic, like dispel scrolls.

23-02-2008, 04:22
Skaven magic kicks the living crap outta our Magic :(

23-02-2008, 06:43
Yeah if there is one thing I can safely say about HE, despite being a newcomer to them, it's that HE magic is not the undisputed best. As mentioned, Lizardmen, VC, TK, Tzeentch and even Skaven can give HE a run for their money. However, Drain Magic can be awful effective against such foes, so don't think I'm discounting the HE magic phase entirely.

I'm trying to put together an army that can actually do something during each phase of the game. HE are already effective in the movement and close combat phases, but shooting is lax outside of required archers and a few RBTs. HE can easily be effective in magic, but I think that their power comes not necessarily from sheer numbers of power dice (as they can't compete with the likes of the VC or Tzeentch), but from the variety of lores they have access too. I understand the VC have access to all eight of the Rulebook lores too, but I still think it's worth mentioning.

Not sure where I was going with this post, but I appreciate the replies I've gotten. It's not necessarily a huge struggle as to what methods I should take, it's a concern of points. Lion Chariots are badass but expensive. Swordmasters rock worlds, but are expensive. Phoenix Guard are a kickass anvil, but are...you guessed it, expensive.

Has anyone had any experience with using Spearmen as an anvil? Though ranked up they'd be way more expensive than archers, I still think that with a Noble BSB (Battle Banner anyone?) they'd be a great anvil, and would take care of your core choices. They lack the beautiful 4+ ward save of the Phoenix Guard, but might free up some points and a special choice, which are in high demand in HE armies.

23-02-2008, 13:04
I actually had a lot of fun a few times with an infantry horde of spearmen. It was not really that good but took my opponents completely by surprise. (since I normally play rather small armies)

But it was something like:

Mage: lvl 2 scrolls
BSB: lvl 1 mage

5*21 spearmen (deployed 5*4 mostly but it is nice to have the option to field them in 3 ranks and get the max of 22 attacks)
4*10 archers
2*5 shadow warriors
3 RBT's
1 Eagle

It is quite funny to see your opponents face when you deploy 163 elves in a 2.25k battle :D

I think that if you go the spearmen route you should go all the way and field a lot of them before they become truly effective. (and 105 of them is a lot in my book)

23-02-2008, 20:01
Posted an army list. Check it out, give some advice/comments/concerns.


That Guy
24-02-2008, 01:24
winkypinky: The high elves have definitely not been nerfed. Aside from the now famous Star Dragon GT winner, there were two other HE players in the top ten. Dark Elves? There were none. Skaven? Orcs? Nope. That being said, they're not point and click (unless your opponent hilariously charges straight into your ASF troops. har har har)

LKHERO, I agree with you for the most part. Except that I think Swordmasters should be in units of 12 to absorb shooting casualties. Also, don't be so quick to dismiss the Star Dragon, even here in the states. I don't take dragons usually (not my style), but when I do, you get ONE turn to shoot it down, and then it's combats and overruns for the rest of the game (yes, canny opponents can redirect me with sacrificial units...but I use my 20" move to avoid that). Of course, this is why I don't like Dragons. There's that one turn of old-west showdown: Are you going to get lucky enough with your cannon/bolt thrower shots to take down my Dragon? Usually not.

24-02-2008, 01:26
White lions own. Take small units of 10 8 wide to kill cavalry.

Spear blocks are the best core infantry in the game. Units of 20 work well, at only a bit over 200 points.

The D6 combat res banner also owns.

Now u have 2 awsom tipes of infantry blocks. Id say take 2 spear units and 2 lion ones.

Then u need 1 of either shooting, magic, or fast troops. All you have to know about thease is that Repeater bolters are easily your best form of shooting.

Lord Brrrp
25-02-2008, 02:39
Look back a bit for a Tactica called Lord Brrrrp on High Elves. There is a lot of info there so I won't repeat it.

HE's are extremely competitive.