PDA

View Full Version : Vanilla elfs, are they ok



Leogun_91
07-10-2009, 20:31
I have been thinking of making a highelf army. An army without superskilled warriors, massive dragons and braided monsterlions. An army with ranks upon ranks with diciplined spearmen, puny archers and knight in silver helmets.
My question is, can a Highelf army be effective without all itīs special and rare units (except silverhelmets which are still plain enough for me)?

For characters Iīm thinking of buying the two plastic kits and be done with them.

Bingo the Fun Monkey
07-10-2009, 20:40
Well you have the maneuverability to win with static CR. With the right spells and characters? Yea, it's viable.

grumbaki
07-10-2009, 20:42
Do it. People will love you.

You should do decently enough. You'll be limited to lots of strength 3 hits, which might not rank up enough kills but you'll have more numbers. I kind of see it like playing as Dogs of War (with pike walls).

sulla
07-10-2009, 20:57
Your army is not very hard hitting, and mostly infantry? Your biggest difficulties will come in gaining the initiative in the battle. how do you force your opponent to do what you want him do with limited fast stuff and weak ranged stuff. Also, they are many units you cannot withstand a charge from. You will have to master the art of fleeing and exposing flanks etc. Reavers and/or eagles would come in handy in this force to slow down tough stuff and expose flanks of beatable stuff. At least a decent magic defense would be neccessary too I'd imagine. Even your cheap stuff is not cheap, so you don't want to give your opponents easy points in the magic phase.

A challenging army to play, but I imagine it would look gorgeous on the tabletop. You may have just inspired me to finish my second block of DE spears...

Desert Rain
07-10-2009, 21:17
That's the sort of armies that I love to see on the battlefield. You will, as mentioned before, lack some high strength attacks but with cleaver use of your units you will be able to minimize that disadvantage.
It is a viable army if you ask me, and I bet that it is great fun to use. You will struggle against cheesier lists, but who doesn't?

Condottiere
07-10-2009, 21:43
Goblins should be no problem, but once you start having to deal with other armies' heavy hitters that can survive ASF, the prospects look bleak.

w3rm
07-10-2009, 21:53
IDK... Not many units would willing face 21 str 3 ASF attacks from a 7x3 Spearmen unit. Take some eagles and BT and a LVL and they will have to come to you.

wilsongrahams
07-10-2009, 21:57
Yep very viable - remember your spearmen can fight in three ranks so they're not that weak either. The plastic characters leave plenty of options and a leader plus mage is enough to start with anyway. As well as archers and spearmen i would opt for a pair of bolt throwers though - also plastic and crewed by basic infantry so won't look out of place but will help you out against tough targets such as enemy monsters and such.

Witchblade
07-10-2009, 21:57
You'll have to use your character slots wisely.

Could you list exactly which units you would not like to use?

Emeraldw
07-10-2009, 22:03
Honestly? I am not sure that would work well. A 20 man unit of elves with full command is ~200 points. A unit of elites in a 7x2 formation with command is only about 30 more. I could see 2 blocks of spears and 2 archers with 2 Repeater bolt throwers doing something and that is sticking to your theme.

Silver helms have to have character assistance to do anything more than negate ranks. A BSB is also neccessary in such a list as your spear elves will win combat only against things with similar stats like them, but no gimmiks (DE Spearmen without an assassin, Empire Swordsmen without counter detachment).

I would encourage the use of mages for the 5+ ward save spell to give your elves a little more survivability and curse of arrow attraction to make what shooting you have more powerful.

I would also consider using Phoenix Guard, they don't strictly fit your theme but they aren't swordmasters that people seem to hate and you aren't using dragon princes or dragons.

Personally, if you wanted to do this type of army, look to dark elves. High elves really need their special units to get the job done effectively. Normal Spear elves are expensive compared to dark elf ones and normal archers are overcosted for just their shooting.

I can see how it might be done, but it would be a lot of work and could be better done using another army.

@W3rm:
you would be surprised. A normal chaos warrior block, a DE block with an assassin and a character, Sauraus warriors, dwarves, etc...

Being Str 3, t3, 5+ save and over 8 points a piece really doesn't make it easy to run horde.

enygma7
07-10-2009, 22:07
Viable certainly, but competetive? No. But if you're just playing friendly games and your opponents aren't going to powergame against you then go for it and have fun! You'll get some good games, just don't expect to win a GT. Personally I'd love to face an army like this. I usually hate facing high elves because I find the sight of their minimum core and multiple units of dragon princes offensive, so all credit to you.

I would advise you to invest in some high manoeuvrability units to neutralise enemy combat res and plenty of hitty characters to even the odds in combat.

gorenut
07-10-2009, 22:23
You should throw in some Tiranic Chariots as well. I think it'd be an awesome army.

Seabo
07-10-2009, 22:31
This is the type of army I envisioned :)
Blocks of Spears and Archers with Chariots and SilverHelms as specials with some RBTs...
All the special units are great and all but....yeah too cheesed :D

Flash Felix
07-10-2009, 22:43
It says something about the state of the game that an army list that actually emphasises Core units is immediately written off as weak and uncompetitive.

Which sadly it is, but it's worth doing anyway. You will just have to pick your opponent, so that they play 'real' armies as well. Personally, I'm sick of the super-elite, herohammer lists that seem to be the standard. Yes, you can come up with a fluff reason for any list, but it would be good to see army lists that didn't have to bend fluff out of shape (or ignore it completely) to justify their existence.

High Elves will be my next army, and when I do them, it'll be in the same way as the OP. 2-3 spear units, Silverhelms and archers. Because that's the way that the armies of Ulthuan are actually meant to roll.

Emeraldw
07-10-2009, 23:01
It says something about the state of the game that an army list that actually emphasises Core units is immediately written off as weak and uncompetitive.

Which sadly it is, but it's worth doing anyway. You will just have to pick your opponent, so that they play 'real' armies as well. Personally, I'm sick of the super-elite, herohammer lists that seem to be the standard. Yes, you can come up with a fluff reason for any list, but it would be good to see army lists that didn't have to bend fluff out of shape (or ignore it completely) to justify their existence.

High Elves will be my next army, and when I do them, it'll be in the same way as the OP. 2-3 spear units, Silverhelms and archers. Because that's the way that the armies of Ulthuan are actually meant to roll.

You do know we are talking about high elves right? That isn't how they fight. They bring elite units, that is how the army was designed, it is why they only need 2 core units.

Also, what army's are you thinking of when you generalize? Wood Elves use lots of core. Dark Elf core aren't terrible and can be spruced up to be quite effective with a little character/assassin help. Blocks of Saurus work out quite well.

In this particular case, high elves work best when supported by their Special units. Their core just aren't that tough, they, on average, need other things to make their army work.

warhawk95
07-10-2009, 23:03
@ Flash Felix

although it may some armys cant pull of an all core army and be somewhat competitive the HE are actually suppose to be an elite force, this is why they have to take less core than any other army. so i actually dont think they would roll with mainly core, they would do it with the elite troop from there reigon wheather that be SM, WL, PG, chariots, DP, ect.

but too the OP i think it can be done but i think you would be better suited with a different army if you wanted to do mainly core (WE come to mind, EG w/ HB and BSB dryads and GG as support) but i think it would be different to have a HE list w/ only spearmen and archers, not competitive, but different.

Tokamak
07-10-2009, 23:04
The spearmen are still very deadly, three ranks striking first. Ouch.

Alathir
08-10-2009, 03:24
I run a similiar sort of army, without the archers and Silver Helms (I just need to paint my archers before I use them though) it has a heavy infantry theme, my 18 elf spear blocks are often supported by Tiranoc Chariots and my anvil is a solid unit of Phoenix Guard. Its true that spearmen struggle against anyone with a high weapon skill or good armour save but if you throw in a noble, or better yet a Prince, to support them then they can work wonders. Working in tandem with the chariots is a very good way to play them.

So yes, I definitely think it can work, plus it looks freaking awesome on the field with the ranks of gleaming speartips. I have to say Leogun, you were one of the last people I expected to want to start a High Elf army...

WhiteKnight
08-10-2009, 03:56
Combat characters, mages, bolt throwers will be key to the list. Bolt throwers could pop chariots easily and weaken knights. Combat characters handle any nasty stuff, mages do the annoying poking at their units, archers pew pew against their units, and then spearmen do the clean up.

Rogue
08-10-2009, 04:16
I would say that it is viable. I have a 1K army that I painted before the 7th edition HE came out where I used 40 spear elves, 1 bolt thrower, 10 archers, one chariot and 5 of silver helms. I changed characters and may have added a bolt thrower but I kept the basics there for the most part and they did rather well in the campaign that I was in.

I struggled in a tournament, but I was up against daemons in one game and the other army excapes me right now as to who I played. It was bad deployment and prep for that game in my opinion and not specifically list choice. That was the only time that I really had trouble with this army.

The only reason why I stopped playing them was because I want to get my Dwarves up to 3K, which is almost done. They are my next project and I will still be using the same format for them which is similar to what you are planning. I try to theme my armies somewhat so this army will have dragon princes eventually when I get them painted.

My advice is to have chariots and bolthrowers in this army for sure. The spearelf blocks should have combat tooled characters as well. Silver Helms as flankers are still useful and are still S5 attacks. You will struggle with armies that are resistant to breaking in combat, however who doesnt really have issues with armies like that. Two of the named big three are never going to break from combat. I struggle against them with my Dwarves!

Gorbad Ironclaw
08-10-2009, 07:08
You do know we are talking about high elves right? That isn't how they fight. They bring elite units, that is how the army was designed, it is why they only need 2 core units.


If I were cynical I'd say they only need to bring 2 core units because the designers know the core units are pretty poor compared to everything else in the army.

And honestly, very few armies fight with there core units. Most of the time they are there either because they have to be, to provide CR or because they fill some niche roll, like range support or light cavalry.

If you want to actually fight and kill your opponent you go to characters, monsters, elite units. That kind of thing. Them being High Elves doesn't change that. Even fighting in 3 ranks spearelves just isn't that scary. 15 WS 4 str 3 attacks? You will still have to be lucky to kill a single knight.

In Warhammer you need much better stats/equipment than the 'standard' stat line if you want to effectively fight. The elf elite units have that. The elf core units don't, so while you are still paying for an elf you might only get a clanrat in terms of utility.

Still, as long as everybody is building that kind of armies that's perfectly fine. But it's going to come undone if someone is building a harder army.

Condottiere
08-10-2009, 08:06
High Elves is a list that doesn't or can't match the fluff, which was one reason of the last overhaul placed the elite units in special, and rearranged the force structure.

Leogun_91
08-10-2009, 08:24
You'll have to use your character slots wisely.

Could you list exactly which units you would not like to use?
Absolutely not:
Swordsmasters
Phoenixguards
White Lions
Dragonprinces
Shadowwarriors
Lion chariots
Dragons

Probobly not:
Reavers
Boltthrowers
Tiranoc chariots
Lothern Seaguard
Characters on griffins or pegasuses (maximum of one)

No problem with:
Nobles/Princes
Mages/Archmages
Spearmen
Archers
Silverhelms
Eagles

I might have missed something


A BSB is also neccessary in such a list as your spear elves will win combat only against things with similar stats like them, but no gimmiks (DE Spearmen without an assassin, Empire Swordsmen without counter detachment).I will take a BSB, it is cool, usefull and fits the feel of the army.


but too the OP i think it can be done but i think you would be better suited with a different army if you wanted to do mainly core (WE come to mind, EG w/ HB and BSB dryads and GG as support) but i think it would be different to have a HE list w/ only spearmen and archers, not competitive, but different.It is not in order to do a non-cheesy list or beacouse I want a mainly core army I think about doing this, it is beacouse these (un-cheesy as they may be) aspects of the Highelfs are my favoriteparts and beacouse it would be cool to have an army that could represent the citizen levy of anywhere in Ulthuan.

Paraelix
08-10-2009, 08:38
If only Silver Helms/Dragon Princes were priced appropriately... 7 pts for +1 Ws, +1 I, +1 A, +1 Ld, Immunity to Fire, and the ability to take magic items/banners? Come on... Running units of 5, that's only 35pts. ;-;

Should we assume no Spec Characters either?

Paraelix
08-10-2009, 08:52
Prince

Noble
BSB

Mage
Lvl 2

Mage
Lvl 2

2x24 Spearmen with full command

2x 10 Archers with light armour

6 Silver helms w/ shields and muso

2x 5 Reavers with spear, bow, muso

2x Bolt thrower

This leaves about 180pts for magic items and equipment...

StormCrow
08-10-2009, 09:19
Having played against Alathir's (mostly) vanilla elves i can say from experience that it is quite an effective army in a friendly game. I do have to say though that i think you're shooting yourself in the foot not having at least one unit of white lions or phoenix guard to anchor your army around. I think Paraelix's list is quite good though provided you added in a couple of eagles

enyoss
08-10-2009, 09:54
I don't think it would be a complete disaster as long as you picked tough characters. I would be more concerned about it being a bit bland to play with, but maybe that's just me?

Anyway, I would think that Lothern Seaguard fit in quite well with this theme, as do the tiranoc chariots and bolt throwers, so you might want to think seriously about getting those in there. With regards to the seaguard, I spent years laughing them off as a joke, but am now a convert and use at least one unit every game as they're actually quite useful (I usually use two core: 25 spearmen and 15 seaguard).

AndrewGPaul
08-10-2009, 09:59
I'm very not impresswed with High Elf Spearmen. Granted, most of my opponents are Warriors of Chaos, Dwarves or Lizardmen. Last game I played, the spearmen lost combat repeatedly, because they simply couldn't do any wounds - 11 or 16 attacks is worthless if you inflict 1 casualty every 2 rounds. In return, the dwarves could kill Elves much quicker. After a round, I had a lower "static CR" because I no longer had a 4th rank giving me a bonus. Frankly, when I build an army, it's all about the number of GHreat Weapons I can get in . Core Troops are 2 units of 10 Archers, then fill up on White Lions and Sword Masters. That, and Level 1 Mages to cast Shield of Saphery to keep them alive.

warhawk95
08-10-2009, 11:24
well with the list of units said you had no problem using i think it could work but i would still consider addint RBT's (its not like they are from a specific region which it seems you are trying to avoid) and possibly the chariots too because it will really help the SH break oppenents on the charge, but if not maybe use one six strong w/ a warbanner. Then the other with the prince. place the BSB with the spearelves to hold the line. archers and RBT to kill enemy troops, some magic and the eagle for its always useful purposes. feels like id be making a list for 6th edition elves where the elite infantry sucked.

Lowmans
08-10-2009, 11:44
Hi,

I'm starting a very similar army....

I've just joined TOFP with High Elves and will be collecting an army with no SwordMasters, White Lions, Phoenix Guard or Dragon Princes.

I will be having bolt throwers though and Tiranoc chariots as for me these still fit the citizen army theme - which I think is well supported by the background - Mentheus etc.

I am tempted, though, to paint a Dragon Mage as my last unit as it would be a great centrepiece!!

I think the army will work reasonably well but is never going to sweep all before it and certain match ups will be tough. I definitely think it will be fun - and that's the important thing!

Very best of luck to you. I think it's a great army and you can do a lot with the models too - for me some of the Special metal models are too ugly!

L

Leogun_91
08-10-2009, 11:58
Should we assume no Spec Characters either?I will probobly skip these although Eltharion would be cool as I have Grom leading my goblins.

It seems I must get a few boltthrowers for them *Sigh* but thatīs not a big sacrifice to make in order to make the army better, Iīll probobly still skip the Tiranoc chariots, they are still from Tiranoc.

In addition Iīm still deciding whenever I want an Archmage or a Prince, which would be best in this kind of list?

warhawk95
08-10-2009, 12:44
I think the prince would be best suited because you are going to need a strong hammer unit to break people on the charge, and SH on there own cant do that IMO against some of the stronger units out there. Since you are going to skip out on the chariot place the prince in a unit of SH and they will be a much more effective hammer unit to help compliment your spearelves which I would presume would be lead by a BSB.

enyoss
08-10-2009, 13:14
I'll second that: take a Prince.

Together with the BSB you should then be able to put up a bit of a fight in your units. I would give them both great weapons and place them in blocks of Spearmen.

I wouldn't put your fighting characters in units of silverhelms. Rubber lance bonus will more often than not leave your Prince running for the hills if you attempt any kind of head on action. I think your best bet is to anchor enemy units with the spearmen and characters, and then try to get silverhelm units into the flanks.

You should even have enough points left over for a couple of level 2 Mages. I find a good combo is Silver Wand + Dispel Scroll + Power Stone on one with whatever lore you like, Ring of Fury and High Magic on the other for the easy to cast Shield of Saphery. If the High Magic guy uses their two dice on Shield of Saphery you can then use all remaining dice on the other Mage.

dlantoub
08-10-2009, 13:20
Stylistically the Bolt Thrower fits. I can't remember an Elven watchtower or seagoing craft not have at least one Bolt Thrower.

I wish you good luck with this.

enyoss
08-10-2009, 13:43
I'll second that: take a Prince.

Together with the BSB you should then be able to put up a bit of a fight in your units. I would give them both great weapons and place them in blocks of Spearmen.

I wouldn't put your fighting characters in units of silverhelms. Rubber lance bonus will more often than not leave your Prince running for the hills if you attempt any kind of head on action. I think your best bet is to anchor enemy units with the spearmen and characters, and then try to get silverhelm units into the flanks.

You should even have enough points left over for a couple of level 2 Mages. I find a good combo is Silver Wand + Dispel Scroll + Power Stone on one with whatever lore you like, Ring of Fury and High Magic on the other for the easy to cast Shield of Saphery. If the High Magic guy uses their two dice on Shield of Saphery you can then use all remaining dice on the other Mage.

brendel
08-10-2009, 13:50
I have always had lots of fun using a list like this, my spearelves always get underestermated but I would take at least two bolt thowers and a bit of magic to support the rest of your army.

Leogun_91
08-10-2009, 15:54
I find a good combo is Silver Wand + Dispel Scroll + Power Stone on one with whatever lore you like, Ring of Fury and High Magic on the other for the easy to cast Shield of Saphery. If the High Magic guy uses their two dice on Shield of Saphery you can then use all remaining dice on the other Mage.Wait.....what does the silverwand cost, can I really have the wand, a scroll AND a powerstone, that would place the wand at 5pts which is ridicoulous.

warhawk95
08-10-2009, 15:59
IIRC the HE get discount to not only there items but also common magic items aswell so it would be less for the scrolls and powerstones than a normal army has to pay not sure on the discount though.

as for placing the prince, i suppoe you could put him in the spearelves but i dont know if your SH are going to break on the charge, but give it a shot both ways and see what works best.

mattschuur
08-10-2009, 16:18
I have a similar army and it has been very effective for me. Of course against the power builds it is a bit difficult, but that's what makes it fun.

I have:
2 Noble/princes (1 a BSB)
2 mages
2 X 24 spearelves
2 X 10 archers
3 X 6 Silver helms
2 X Bolt thrower
2 X Tiranoc Chariot

The trick to a core (or vanilla) heavy army is setting up flank attacks. The big elf blocks with the BSB are the anvil while the chariots and silver helms are the hammers. I run my spears 6 X 4 to keep the 3 ranks and still have 19 attacks. Against warriors of chaos and other heavily armored opponents is to do your best to weaken them with bolt throwers and suicidal chariots before they hit your lines. It'll give your spears a better chance at winning or at worst surviving a combat.

matt schuur

jimbobodoll
08-10-2009, 16:32
High Elves is a list that doesn't or can't match the fluff, which was one reason of the last overhaul placed the elite units in special, and rearranged the force structure.
I can't believe it. Someone has finally said what I've been thinking for years! Thank you Condottiere, I fully agree with you. Not just their weak fluff (they need a rework like Brets. and Woodies IMHO), but the models don't match the artwork. Any of them. Not that this is GW's fault. The only elf models I've seen match the source material are the LoTR ones and Tom Meir's (against 'classical' elf archtype).

Desert Rain
08-10-2009, 16:46
The fluff piece in page 43 in the High Elves book mentions spears, archers, sea guard (and bolt throwers), silver helms, chariots and reavers as being the most common parts of elven armies. Maybe you can base your army on those units?

enyoss
08-10-2009, 17:10
Wait.....what does the silverwand cost, can I really have the wand, a scroll AND a powerstone, that would place the wand at 5pts which is ridicoulous.

It all comes in at exactly 50pts so it's fine, although I don't want to post specific points values for obvious reasons :).

Desert Rain
08-10-2009, 17:56
The problem is that you can't have a scroll, stone and the silver wand at the same time.

warhawk95
08-10-2009, 18:01
I dont understand why he cant have all three of those items at the same time desert rain

Condottiere
08-10-2009, 18:07
It's scroll(s)/stone(s) plus one arcane item.

warhawk95
08-10-2009, 18:15
im 99% positive that because it is only common items he can combine it with ones from the list which in this case is the silver wand.

Leogun_91
08-10-2009, 18:30
It all comes in at exactly 50pts so it's fine, although I don't want to post specific points values for obvious reasons :).
In that case itīs quite awesome but Iīd probobly give him two pstones and give the other mage the scroll, then I know I can get the spells I want to be succesfully cast.


The fluff piece in page 43 in the High Elves book mentions spears, archers, sea guard (and bolt throwers), silver helms, chariots and reavers as being the most common parts of elven armies. Maybe you can base your army on those units?Hmm....that sounds good, if all of that is common I donīt mind getting a unit or two of reavers and maybe even some seaguard.

Flash Felix
08-10-2009, 21:47
You do know we are talking about high elves right? That isn't how they fight. They bring elite units, that is how the army was designed, it is why they only need 2 core units.

SNIP

In this particular case, high elves work best when supported by their Special units. Their core just aren't that tough, they, on average, need other things to make their army work.


@ Flash Felix

although it may some armys cant pull of an all core army and be somewhat competitive the HE are actually suppose to be an elite force, this is why they have to take less core than any other army. so i actually dont think they would roll with mainly core, they would do it with the elite troop from there reigon wheather that be SM, WL, PG, chariots, DP, ect.


Sorry for the delay in answering, we had a bit of a tsunami warning yesterday here in the South Pacific.

My problem with the High Elf list is it's failure to match the fluff. Looking at army lists, it's plain that this talk of "Citizen Levy" armies defending the shores of Ulthuan is complete ********. It turns out that a few thousand Dragon Princes, Swordmasters, White Lions and Phoenix Guard do all the fighting, while millions of Asur sit around sipping wine and composing poetry.

I hate that the High Elves are an army composed almost exclusively of special and rare choices. This is meant to make them an 'elite army', but this shows a profound misunderstanding of what this phrase means. The Wehrmacht of 1940 was an elite army. So were the Roman Legions under Caesar and Scipio. They were elite because their "Core Troops" were awesome, not because they had a small bunch of super-elites. If GW want High Elves to be an 'elite army' they need to make their Core Troops into elites.

Either that, or change the fluff. Make Swordmastery into something every Asur does in their spare time. Give Silver Helms the Dragon Prince profile, and make Dragon Princes into Chaos Knights with gleaming teeth and flowing tresses. Price them accordingly, and then you'll have an 'elite army'.

Condottiere
08-10-2009, 21:55
Neither the Roman Legions nor the German Wehrmacht were actually elite armies, just well-led, well-trained, well-organized, combat-proven professional ones.

The High Elves probably would follow the German model.

Flash Felix
08-10-2009, 22:00
Neither the Roman Legions nor the German Wehrmacht were actually elite armies, just well-led, well-trained, well-organized, combat-proven professional ones.

The High Elves probably would follow the German model.

Elite is always a relative term. Certainly elite in comparison to their opponents. The reasons for this may vary, but I'd argue that compared to their enemies of the time, the Wehrmacht and the Legions were elites. It's about spreading excellence across the entire force, or at least a majority of it. To my mind, elites aren't just SAS, Delta Force and Waffen SS Panzergrenadiers. They're also normal soldiers with excellent doctrine, training, commanders and weapons, well supported by equally excellent support arms.

Tarian
08-10-2009, 22:04
I play a Caledor list (So... Dragon Princes and Dragon :P) I like the idea of a citizen levy army, but you'd be heavily lacking in armor penetration. Chaos/Brettonian knights would give you fits, and so would large creatures (Stegs/'Thirsters/etc.) However, it seems like a great idea for fun. That being said, I would take some sort of heavy hitter just to fill that little niche.

I'd take a Prince, Noble and 2 mages (level 2) personally. Prince gets the full "You can't kill me" allotment on foot with a G.Weapon. I'd give the Noble the BSB and either 1) Hide him in Cav with an (in all likelyhood) overpowered Battle Banner to win combats (mounted, obviously), or 2) Gear him to live and keep the regular BSB on foot.

Spears have never done much for me, they do tend to die heroically though. (To be fair, I throw them under the bus a lot...)