View Full Version : Please help a struggling high elf player

Smiling Banshee
27-05-2010, 13:04
Really struggling with High Elves, after about a year of gaming ive had only one win and that was very border line. WFB is a fairly new venture for me. Been playing 40k for well over a decade. My gaming group keeps telling me how ridiculously overpowered HE's are as an army but for whatever reason my experience with them isn't reflecting that fact.

Im obviously doing something wrong. Ive tried all sorts of different armies but the result is always the same, (I get my ass handed to me)

Ive been reading various tactics sections and advice forums but thought it would also be worth posting here for some advice.

Are there any units i should never leave home without. Have you got any generic tips for me which might come in handy.

27-05-2010, 13:36
Hey buddy! It seems that we've started WFB roughly at the same time and I agree, High Elves have a pretty steep learning curve! Despite what some people might say, HE are not an overpowered army by any means. It's comfortably middle-tier (top-teir being Deamons, Vamps, Dark Elves and probably Skaven).

Now, there is a very useful dedicated site for High Elves - http://www.ulthuan.net/home.html

It's pretty good for tactics specifically for us.

I think with 8th Ed so close, it's hard to talk tactics that'll only be useful for the next month or so but we can cover a few things. Who/where do you usually play? How many points? Do you have a theme to your army or are you just going for playability? High Elves don't really have any units you "should" always take as few of our units can work unsupported. You really have to build your army to work together and in synch. For this you need to have a battle plan.

So, what takes your fancy - combat elves, magic heavy, shooty heavy, or a mix of all?

27-05-2010, 13:38
Well, first off: High elves currently are about middle of the road in power. They'll bitchslap lower tier armies, like most of the 'new' ones, but come up short versus some others (notably daemons, DE and LM in particular. VC very much depends on what you have).

Seond, what's the power level in your gaming group? If you have a daemon player bringing a bloodthirster with a couple of heralds, some horrors, 12 flamers and some flesh hounds... that may be an indication of a hardcore level. Which is fine, but the advice very much depends on what level you're at. Playing with a maxed out HE army versus, say, fluffy night goblins is not fun for them.

HE have a few strengths:

> Elite infantry. Due to ASF, these guys can go through hell and come out smelling of roses. However, the harder they hit the more vulnerable they are to shooting. Be aware of that - gunlines will not look kindly upon swordmaster armies.

> Dragons. Specifically star dragons. They'e... effective, to say the least. Again, cannonballs are't fun however.

> Teclis. Stupid piece of [rants]. Sorry, i dislike Teclis, but he is amazingly good. Teclis + scroll caddy + banner of sorcery somewhere = i win the magic phase.

Their shooting is mediocre/good (archers are meh, but cheap core so you will have them. Bolt throwers are pretty good, but expensive). Their cavalry is fairly good (good synergy with dragon lord too), but nothing super amazing. Also, great eagles rock.

So basically, it depends on how you want to play it. I'd suggest there are 2 main builds for HE.
Star Dragon leading a cavalry heavy force to be very aggressive (scroll caddy somewhere, a BSB if you have the points).
Teclis (or tons of other magic, but teclis is more efficient) leading an elite infantry army. Probably has a scroll caddy and BSB too. More shooting.

The cavalry army uses its speed and hitting power to turn flanks and break stuff good. Bare minimum core (220pts) - focus everything on hitting stuff.

The infantry mostly camp. With Teclis' magic phase and a fair amount of shooting, you can usually afford to wait for the enemy to come to you.

All HE armies should be taking 2 great eagles wherever they go. 100pts which kill war machines or march block very happily.

27-05-2010, 13:50
Give us your army list and the models you have so we can build you a decent list.

Also what style are you playing wiht?

Smiling Banshee
27-05-2010, 16:41
Thanks for the replies so far. Usually we play 2000pt games. My gaming group tends to use fairly brutal list focussed more on power than fluff. Models wise this is what I have.

Selection of wizards both mounted and foot
Selection of Heroes/Lords both mounted and on Foot
Alith Anar
Lord on a dragon. (Magnetised Weapons so I can pick and choose)
Mage on a droagon (again magnetised options)
1 Lion Chariot
10 Dragon Princes w/ command
8 Silver Helms w/command
2 x 16 Lothern Sea Guard w/command (i sometimes use thes as spearmen)
16 Archers w/ comman
4 Eagles
4 Bolt Throwers

I plan to get some units of White Lions, Sword Masters or Phoenix Guard soon, but Im keen to wait and see what models are confirmed for the new WFB box set before spending any more (Ive heard so many rumours as to what will and wont be included its making me dizzy). In the meantime my gaming group are more than happy to allow me to proxy.

Ive always favoured combat orientated armies. Although i did do a little better using a shooty army with lots of sea guard, bolt throwers and alith anar last night against Ogres (Still same end result tho, I got massacred). Magic is not my thing really even though I know its one of my armies strong points. Will have to post a couple of lists when i get home this evening and I have them to hand.

27-05-2010, 16:54
For HE, you have to remember that the majority of your troops are glass hammers. That said, there are a few "traditional" builds that work well.

As stated, the "Dragon Lord" list is usually:

Dragon Lord on Star Dragon geared to taste. Typically, I run mine with Vambraces of Defence, Armor of Caledor, Gem of Courage, and a Great Weapon, that or Shield/Dragon Armor with Helm of Fortune, Star Lance, Talisman of Saphery. (Though 10 S7 hits tends to be overkill)

He's backed up by a BSB with Battle Banner, and a scroll caddy. Can switch the Battle Banner with the Banner of the World Dragon if you need the extra magic defense.

Sadly, our cores kinda suck, so typically min them. I run 10x Archers and 14x Spears to hide the caddy in. Their main job is to guard my Bolt Throwers.

14x Swordmasters with the Standard of Balance along with a group of Dragon Princes with the Warbanner compliment the offensive punch, while Shadow Warriors wander around to gank lone mages and warmachines, and generally eat arrows and bullets for the rest of the army.

Fluff? Call it a Caledor list I guess, though it's quite clearly a "power build" that can hold its own against quite a few lists.

The main strength is in the dragon, as it is fast and very powerful. Typically, I deploy it on the side, and fly it up a flank as fast as possible, unless facing a ton of warmachines. The thing is 650+ points, and it needs to disrupt the enemy as fast as possible. If the opponent ignores it, take them in the flank or rear, as it's US8, and can remove ranks, if they turn to face, hopefully the Swords or DPs are in range to hit them in the flanks/rear then. The dragon is very powerful, but don't have it fight solo unless it's eating a small squishy unit.

Since you don't have SMs, you could replace them with the chariot or some helms, though I don't really like either personally.

27-05-2010, 17:15

Sorry to hear you've not been having the best of times with the High Elves :(. As people say though, they are pretty middle tier when compared to other armies, so it should be at least possible to start chalking up some wins.

Looking at what models you have, I am pretty confident that I know where the problem lies, and that is with your army list. Overall, you have a good `core' of models for your army, but you have a glaring hole: elite infantry. The only armies I see which don't use elite infantry go stupidly heavy on dragon princes or chariots, which you can't really do with what you have (and, for what it's worth, I wouldn't advise going down this route anyway, as elite infantry are more fun to play with in my view).

So, I would strongly recommend expanding your elite infantry in the special choice selection bracket. I don't want to clog up the thread with endless army list variants, but infantry-wise I usually find the following to be great bases for an army:

25 Spearmen, Prince, Warbanner
Some archers, or 15 seaguard


14 White Lions + BSB
+ small units of Swordmasters


18 Phoenix Guard
+ unit of White Lions

Then I fill out the rest of my special choices with Dragon Princes or Silverhelms to go for flanks or take out my enemy's flanking units.

There is, however, a BIG PROVISO :). With the switch to 8th edition, elite infantry are probably going to experience a change in gameplay. Phoenix Guard are probably going to come out on top, and Swordmasters on the bottom, and in all cases units of 7-10 elves will probably go the way of the dinosaur. Even so, I expect elite infantry to remain the backbone of the army.