View Full Version : Need advice. High Elf vs. Skaven

28-01-2009, 22:20
Hi guys. I'm going to play a game next week, and it'll be the first time I use High Elves. I'm probably going to play a Skaven Horde player.

He's given me a pretty good trouncing with good generalship, a solid list, and a really good sense of humor and friendliness.

However, I said I'd actually bring a semi-competitive list next week, and he's cool with that since he does the tournament circuit and likes a good match.

Anyway, how should I go with my high elves, without just completely tailoring a cheesy anti-skaven list?

His list looked like this before, and I imagine it'll be similar.

Warlord with a decent magic weapon
BSB that causes fear
25-30 unit clanrats

1-2 other units of clanrats
1-2 units of slave rats
2 units of gutter runners
2 3-man units of Rat ogres
2 units of giant rats
1 unit of 5 or 6 jezzails
1 warplightning cannon

Something along those lines, but well over 130-150 models

I was thinking of a list like...

Noble - Banner of Battle
2 units of 18-man spearmen -FC
14 Phoenix guard - FC, Banner of Sorc
3 7-man units of Sword Masters
5 Dragon Princes (joined by BSB noble)
Lion Chariot
2-3 bolt throwers

Anyway, how would you imagine this match up to go? I know he doesn't bring lots of magic defense, but I really don't know if this kind of list could stand up to all of the units coming down on me.

Any help would be appreciated. If HE are not gonna work, I can always bring out the Warriors of Chaos or Wood Elf boys...

29-01-2009, 00:28
Shoot him and shoot him bad. The best T in the Skaven army is 5 and that's on a character. not including WLC. Don't know much about high elves but try to flank him and set him up. Skaven lose their leadership bonus when flanked. Also jezzails are very nasty. Hope this helps...

29-01-2009, 01:30
Do not use heavy cav at any cost. You're already down like 4 in combat res. So stick to spearmen, swordmasters, bolt throwers, great eagles, and then stack it off with archers, and some more magic.

29-01-2009, 03:21
Well, since you said wood elves...
Against my friends Skryre skaven, I keep an expensive unit and a mage with the deep wood sphere in the trees, waiting for him. If he doesn't walk up to it, I will surf it to him. (I field 2 mages and a treeman normally.) His Jezails and Warplightning cannon can be easily killed of by eagles. For the rat ogres, shoot them down.
Ignore his slaves, and use your fast cav to dance around the clan rats and shoot them.
I field a mostly core unit list, only taking a tree man or eagle if I feel I'll need it. Maybe a unit of treekin if I know he'll field a giant block of Plague priests.

Really, just shoot him and use panic tests.

29-01-2009, 04:02
Burn and shoot his army. Force panic checks and make him walk thru hell to get to you. Kill stuff that matters 1st. like jezzels and WLC. If you use heavy cav. you will have to hide them until jezzels are gone. Also watch for traps. Do not charge slave units and be careful about overruns. If he is a halfway decent skaven general he will have several.

29-01-2009, 05:50
How about

3x18 Spearmen, FC
2x10 Archers
14 Pheonix G, FC
14 Swordmasters
7 Swordmasters

And about 143 left...maybe a BSB or a couple unit of scouts to march block?

29-01-2009, 15:12
I mostly liked your first list better

cepts i'd bulk up the pheonix guard to 20, and run the SM as 14 or 15. possibly even as white lions for stubborn flank support.

I'd get the Dp back in the list. the only thing that can effectivly hurt them are the jezzails, but with an elyrion banner and some good terrain they can also be the biggest threat against the jezzails. you shouldn't have to worry about CR with them they should b able to easily kill enough rats to beat any static CR. but they also should have the movement ot get you the flank charges you need. they'll also be useful for dealing with the rat ogres, LD9 by themselves gets em a good chance to charge and they should be able to rip pretty well into the ogres without suffering much in return.

You'll want some faster units in there. skaven will meet or beat your infantry movement you'll want to be able to get to their sides before they get to yours.

if he is not bringing magic your biggest threats in this list are the jezzails and the cannon, maybe some great eagles to take them out. the great eagles can make the cannon flee on turn 2. the jezzails might be harder. they aren't the best combat units but i don't know how they will stand up to the eagles. if you want an easy time with it bring a star dragon lord. he can probably panic those jezzails off on turn 1 if you go first.

aside from the high strength shooting, just watch the warlord the clan rats and giant rats are going to have a tough time getting through any of your units. you striking first will leave 2-3 hitting back with S3 vs your armor.

the gutter runners could be a big threat your RBTs it would probably be a good idea to leave something nearby to them for protection. small group of archers, or a small (5man) Swordmaster unit or something.

bah i wrote too much, i play skave nand have picked up some high elves lately so you caught my two armies in a grudge match :)

to sum it up
Warlord with a decent magic weapon - should be possible to get his unit to panic from shooting before he gets to you
BSB that causes fear - outnumber by fear causer is a big threat watch out for this guy
25-30 unit clanrats - won't hurt you, but only a threat combined with the fear banner

1-2 other units of clanrats - won't hurt your guys ASF shouldn't leave enough to fight back, and your armor should protect you from their attacks
1-2 units of slave rats - even easier they'll bounce off you
2 units of gutter runners - could be a threat thte 2 man crews leave some other ptoection with them
2 3-man units of Rat ogres - meh, their biggest threat is they cause fear, DP/SM/WL should be able ot handle them easily
2 units of giant rats - speed is their threat, but they'll drop easier then clanrats. watch for them on a flank
1 unit of 5 or 6 jezzails - some of the only stuff that can hurt your armor, easy to panic
1 warplightning cannon - 1 great eagle can get this guy off the table, WLC have to flee as a charge reaction fly in and charge and it should be cannon bubye.

the biggest threat is outnumber from fear. if you can take care of that banner the rest of the army will practically just bounce off of you. either tarpit the unit with the pheonix guard or kill the banner bearer somehow.

29-01-2009, 20:29
Thanks for the advice stripsteak.

So should I just go heavy on infantry, and try to beat them in combat?

My general sketch of a plan would be to put pressure on them to come at me in CC by burning/shooting things with Teclis and Bolt Throwers. Align the terrain and blocks of infantry in such a way that he'd have to charge the front of my spearmen, and shoot down any skirmishers or rats going for my flanks.

I'm pretty confident about holding my own if they charge my face, but it's the flanking and multiple charges I'm worried about.

I was thinking maybe...

Three units of spearmen facing forward, a unit of phoenix guard in center w/ Teclis, and swordmasters covering the flanks. I'll try to position at least one terrain piece to guard a flank, and place the sword masters on the other flank. Bolt Throwers go on a hill if possible, and I'm gonna try to phoenix flame the central fear-causing BSB warlord unit along with Vaul's unmaking and curse of attraction. Hopefully a few irresistable would help.

I'm unsure right now whether I should add in a couple chariots and units of DPs, or whether I should really apply the shooting pressure and hope for the best in CC.


I also have a dragon ready to go if needed.

29-01-2009, 21:23
As have been pointed out above his list is not really optimal for fighting HE and you shouldnt really have a big problem with them. However if he switches the banner for storm banner, adds a grey seer and maybe an engineer, brings a rattling gun for protecting the WLC and his backfield from flyers it will be more interesting....

Unfortunately I find it difficult for skaven to compete with the new armies without bringing more shooting and magic to the table. Importantly that doesnt mean you need to go completely crazy unless of course you are up against Daemons.

29-01-2009, 23:49
Well, I don't like bringing Teclis to a match usually... yeah he's a T2 HE Mage, but he's a freakishly powerful T2 HE Mage. If you do take him, make sure you take High Magic with him. Between Fury of Khaine, Vaul's Unmaking and (most importantly!) Flames of the Phoenix, you should have a solid magical offense. (Just to avoid complaints, you might want to consider switching Teclis to a Level 4 Archmage) Other than that, just don't let them shoot your expensive, fragile troops to bits, and you should shatter him in CC.

30-01-2009, 20:25
Hm, ok. I'll consider taking a lvl 4 mage...maybe with book of Hoeth?

It's hard to beat Teclis for the points, but it is a huge chunk of the army.

Is it feasible to beat a skaven horde with a star dragon and infantry/cav?

30-01-2009, 20:27
Well, I don't like the BoH, since it's a TON of points, but a Dragon/Cav should shatter Skaven, as long as you don't get shot to pieces. (Those Jezzails HURT.)

For my Archmage, I usually take the Seerstaff and a Scroll or two.

30-01-2009, 20:35
How bout...

Star Drag Prince
Vambrace, caledor armor, talisman Loec

BSB mounted w/ Battle Banner (in DP unit)

2 units x18 spearmen FC
x14 Pheo G - Standard, Muso
x21 SwordMaster, lion standard, FC
x5 DP

x2 RBT

Try to deploy a forest or house or something on one side, hide dragon behind it for first turn. Use swordmasters on other side to guard flank. Keep the DP out of 36" range of jezzails and use RBTs to shoot down fast problems.

Use the Star drag to try and flank them and take out their shooting, then start flaming/charging behind their lines.

Edit: I think I actually have some points to play around with...

Maybe drop swordmasters down to 14 and add another unit of dragon princes, or a couple tiranoc chariots?

30-01-2009, 20:37
I don't think you can avoid the Jezz, since 36" is a lot of table to cover. I'd actually surge them and the dragon up, giving a choice to blast one or the other, but not both. (And a couple mages would be nice for scrolls and dispel dice) Once your swords make it into combat, they should shred anything Skaven have.

30-01-2009, 20:43

Star Drag, vambrace, caledor, loec
Mounted BSB of Battle
WIzard lvl 2 w/ 2 dispel + gem of courage

2x18 spears
14 PG, Muso
14 SM, Muso
5 DP

That's starting to feel really small though...hm, how should I trim this down? Just ditch the star drag, load up on infantry?

30-01-2009, 20:50
With a Dragon Lord, you're going to have a small army. :)

If you want to go infantry heavy, HE is probably one of the strongest infantry armies in Warhammer.

I actually think your Dragon List looks pretty good.

30-01-2009, 20:53
ok, looks like I'll probably go for the drag list above. Thanks for advice Tarian!

30-01-2009, 20:56
You're welcome, just crush those little rat things.

(Remember that a Star Dragon negates ranks on the Side/Rear, and that Skaven lose their leadership bonus when they lose their ranks. Oh, and a Dragon can charge *over* a unit since it's a Large Target.)

30-01-2009, 20:58
Yah, I been toying around with a dragon in my wood elf and chaos list, and sometimes I feel it's kind of overkill. But I think it's fair against this player, as he's pretty solid. Plus, he plays high elves himself, and I saw him toting around a dragon model...soo...

30-01-2009, 21:00
Your lists look good on paper and I've used almost identical ones against my friend that uses Skaven.

Here's the truth of it though.

He's going to bring numbers. Ranks of Skaven will kill you in CR no matter how good you think you'll do in melee.

Your Dragon will be a target for his Jezzalls and Warp cannon. Round one = one dead dragon.

You need numbers on your side as well. Which isn't going to be easy considering the higher cost in troops. So you want to have archers and such too.

In all honesty I think my Sea Guard stood up the best to a Skaven charge. And you WANT him to charge your spearmen. You'll get your three rank of attacks first. Sea Guard are nice because you might get a "Stand and Shoot" first then your three ranks of spear attacks. And any wounds you cause with the shooting will count at the end for CR.

Archers, Sea Guard, Shadow Warriors, Bolt Throwers, mages, and GE are your core selections.

OR you can get a good sized unit of PG for the stuborn rule. Support them with SM's on each flank than then hit the rats. The PG will most likely pass and CR while the SM ramove the ranks and the outnumber bonus will most likely not come into effect against you.

30-01-2009, 21:03
The problem with Sea Guard is that they are *very* expensive. Honestly, the Dragon should be able to weather a round of shooting unless the shooter gets very lucky.

It's White Lions who are stubborn. :p

Also, with the MASSIVE outnumbering, it's not easy to flank Skaven. They can line up one regiment for every one of yours and STILL have more regiments available.

30-01-2009, 21:13
THe guy doesn't run a SAD army though. I think 5 or 6 jezzails, a a WLC is about all there was. I think he ran one magic user as well. I figure my RBTs can put wounds onto jezzails at 48" fairly reliably. After that, he'll have to come to me.

31-01-2009, 03:04
If you go for a magic offence, you should easily break his numbers. HE have access to a very deadly spell against the Skaven Hoards. Comet of Casandora. I know other armies can take the lore of heavens, but with a lot of casters able to make easy irrisitsable force rolls, it would be difficult for the Skaven player to stop it with only 2 DD for magic defence.

With the shear numbers of squads that he has, it will cause a lot of damage if you manage to get it on your wizard. Taking the Seerstaff of Saphry makes this a sure thing.

Or you could go with Telcis and get doubles for IF and the comet. Mind you, he is a big point sink, only T2 and will give a lot of points up if he gets killed, as he would be the army general at under 3000pts.

The ASF really hurt the Rat Orges, so they aren't as much of a worry as they are with other armies. They aren't really that much of a worry anyway, but less so for HE. Try to avoid fielding characters out of squads, cause the WLC can shoot through anything. A very nice surprise for the opponent that doesn't know this.

Overall, however, you should do well against them. Good luck!

10-02-2009, 05:53
Thought I'd update what happened.

I didn't take Teclis or dragon, and decided to take a somewhat toned down list.

Instead, I added a unit of archers, another unit of dragon princes, tiranoc chariot, and BSB with battle banner. I also took Korhil on lion chariot.

Long story short, the game came down to an unlucky roll and a few bad decisions. I should have shot down his gutter runners, as they kept harassing my dragon princes and Korhil.

Late in the game, his main unit with BSB of fear and general charged my pheonix guard. He managed to do 1 wound out of the whole unit, and I did 4 back. I lost by 1, and whipped out the gem of courage on my mage. I rolled 5, 5, and 6! I broke and ran, and that basically crumpled the center of my army as they overran into bolt-throwers and archers.

On the upside, the battle banner bearer managed to beat units even after being outmaneuvered.

Unfortunately, the guy is going to shelve his army after tomorrow, and I won't get any rematches on him. His other armies are HE and I think he may start a close combat oriented army like WoC. Ah well.