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Treadhead_1st
17-12-2010, 16:31
A few months ago I had been rambling about Classical-themed High Elves - well, I have finally found an exact theme after doing a lot of further research - Macedonian (under Alexander, specifically)!

I've been working on my High Elves for a little while - though I am still struggling with my army list. My aim is to get to 2000 points, and with Christmas coming up (thus University holidays) it would be nice to know what I need to get, build and paint.

Here's the list as it stands now:

Heroes

Noble: Great Weapon, Heavy Armour, Helm of fortune, Guardian Phoenix. Barded Steed.
163
Not hugely powerful, but I am thinking that I will try to keep the costs of Lords/Heroes down in order to take more units in the actual army - big, face-smashing characters can come if/when this force gets expanded. Though I guess I shouldn't be too hard on him - he's fairly respectable with a 2+ re-rollable Armour Save and a 5+ Ward Save on the defensive, then 3 Str6 attacks and 1 Str3 attack to take on the foe.

Mage: Level 2, Hand Weapon & Ring of Fury. Chariot.
260
Not the best use of a Mage, but has worked out well so far in small games - can survive against traditional mage-hunters (like Light Cavalry and Skirmishers - they hate impact hits!) and can unleash a fair amount of magic firepower, particularly if I take the Lore of Fire. I wanted to include a chariot for a conversion [which the Mage also fits into], despite the fact the Macedonian military did not use chariots - as a mount for a Mage (also not historically accurate :wink:) it thematically fits as it suits the "strange foreigner" look I'm going for with the character.

Core

25 Spearmen: Full Command.
250

25 Spearmen: Full Command.
250

Special

14 Silver Helms: Full Command.
334
The Noble leads this block, which will be deployed 5x3 so it can actually deny enemy ranks on a flank-charge even after taking casualties. No shields for thematic reasons. Taken over Dragon Princes to conserve points.

18 White Lions: Full Command.
300

1557 (443 remaining)

My deployment tends to look a little like this - it can be mirror-reversed if the enemy is weaker to cavalry on the opposite flank, the right-hand deployment is just for example purposes:

-------Chariot-Spearmen--Spearmen--White Lions---Silver Helms


Typically the Helms and Lions advance fastest, which creates a diagonal line of the army, making it quite hard to flank individual units without receiving a counter-flank attack in return.

This deployment has been working fairly well in small games, as all the units can support each other - the Lions give me a strong (and stubborn) unit to "anvil" units to be flanked by the cavalry, whilst supporting either the Helms or Spears should a large monster be involved in the fight; the Chariot-Mage helps out the other Spears by combo-charging, or buffing if I haven't opted for the Lore of Fire.

+

This army has quite a lot of infantry (and probably more by the time it's finished), some of which can actually dish out some high-strength pain, and a cavalry unit that should be an effective flank-hammer (traditional use was to break through the flank of the enemy army then attack the flanks/rear of formations - character and many ranks [5x3] helps).

However I feel that the list may struggle with:

1. Horde units (at least until the Spearmen close and can throw in a weight of attacks).

2. Monsters (the Lions and Cavalry might be able to deal, but again have to be close and in the right place) - friends of mine field Hydras, Giants and (when it's built) a Hell Pit Abomination.

3. War Machines (a friends twin-Trebuchet list, but any other stone throwers to be honest, give me nightmares just thinking about it, with lots of T3 blocks).

4. Having no ranged capability to "reach out and touch someone" also seems like a bad idea, as having some sort of unit to strip a rank here, finish off a fleeing unit there, take out enemy missile troops, perhaps take out war machine crew and so on.

Given what my army contains so far, and my style of deployment/fighting, what can you recommend to either: mitigate some of the weaknesses I think I have in my force and/or to bulk up the (in the image above) left-flank of my force to stop my army being "flank-rolled"?

++

Shooting is typically lambasted in High Elf armies, but after reading some excellent advice on this forum I have come around to the idea of including at least some sort of ranged capacity in this army - and absolutely all are justified (Torsion-catapults, similar to the ballista, were developed under Philip/Alexander; Archers were present as were skirmishers and mounted archers [the latter in the later part of his campaign East]) so I am fairly spoilt for choice - the only things that are out, are Seaguard.

I feel that any of these units would help my force out greatly - Repeater Bolt Throwers offer another unit to deal with large monsters and enemy cavalry, Archers should be able to deal with Hordes, Shadow Warriors can sneak around and cause havoc with enemy war machines.

So what do you think I should put into this army:

1) A unit of 15-20 Archers (with Light Armour) - static, but puts out a lot of firepower however they're deployed. Should be great for targeting "support" units and enemy missile fire, should help thin hordes out, and can even withstand anti-missile units thanks to a combination of Stand-And-Shoot, Supporting Attacks and Always Strike First.

2) 2x Bolt Throwers - I know they are not highly favoured at the moment, however I am worried about monsters which these should be able to deal with nicely; and the multi-shot might help to kill opposing war machines.

3) Any of the previous, but in smaller numbers, plus some Shadow Warriors - giving me long-range, massed-shots and war-machine-hunting abilities.

+++

I have left Reavers off that list because I know that I want to field a unit of them anyway - either to bulk-up my left flank and prevent my force being "rolled", or to work with the Silver Helms for some classic (literally) cavalry-smash operations. The size is very debatable - 10 offer a unit that can (initially) deny enemy ranks, and can survive long enough to reach back-field war machines; however with Bows they are very expensive (and I cannot remember if models in the 2nd row get to shoot if they're mounted) and lightly armoured.

++++

Sorry for the rambling post, what do you reckon I should add to the army as it stands now? How can I cover the weaknesses of an infantry-heavy Elf force?

thesheriff
17-12-2010, 19:57
Ranged capability? Sea guard instead of Spearmen. Would probably suffice :p

I would also suggest dropping the WL in favour of more cavalry and chariots. In the points level, you probably wont have points for enough fast combat, enough foot combat and enough shooting.

to that end, I would drop them for dragon princes. Your Mage could become an arch mage with silver wand, talisman of saphery, forlaiths robes (which will make him very durable). Perhaps some normal and lion chariots, korhil on a chariot, and some reavers. These will keep your army fast, hard hitting, with a good solid back line of shooting to fall back on.

All this might be quite confusing, so i organised it into a list;

*Lv.4 Archmage, w. Talisman of saphery, Silver wand, Forlaiths robes, Chariot = 450
*Noble, Talisman of Preservation, Shield, Dragon armour, Great weapon, Barded steed = 148
*2 x 20 Seaguard w. Shields, Command = 570
*7 Dragon princes w. Command, Banner of Sorcery = 290
*3 Tiranoc Chariots = 255
*2 Lion chariots = 280

hope this helps

thesheriff

Treadhead_1st
23-12-2010, 22:59
Those are some good ideas, but the only problem is that the Madedonians didn't use Chariots! It's one real bugbear I have, and one I may "sneak" through when I expand the army as I love the models.

Right now I decided I would try to flesh-out the list and see how it looked...and I'm still struggling. It's the look of the force that I want, however it still needs work to be decently effective.

I still haven't got Eagles or a BSB - and my shooting is fairly limited. These are things I would definitely add in larger games, however at the moment I worry that they are limiting my main force too much (to include the BSB I would have to bump one of the Hero-level characters to a Lord-level character, which adds massive cost).

Heroes (21.15%)

Noble: Great Weapon, Heavy Armour, Helm of Fortune, Guardian Phoenix, Barded Elven Steed.
163
This is my Army General - the cheap representation of Alexander.

Mage: Level 2, Hand Weapon & Ring of Fury. Chariot. Magic Lore: ?
260
An offensive Mage, but should still provide sufficient defence thanks to being a Lvl 2 with the +1 for being High Elf. Very expensive, so I am having doubts, but I so want to use the model. I am thinking the Lore of Fire to help give me a bit of "oomph" against Hydras, Hellpits and so on, whilst still having the ability to unleash fury on large units.

Core (36.15%)

24 Spearmen: Full Command.
241
Part of my Phalanx, which will deploy in 6x4 formation. Many units allows for weight of attacks and mutual support, whilst retaining more mobility than a Horde unit.

24 Spearmen: Full Command.
241
Can't really call it a phalanx with one mere unit now, can we?

24 Spearmen: Full Command.
241
Did I mention that I like the idea of a lot of Spearmen?

Special (42.65%)

14 Silver Helms: Musician.
302
These are my "Companion Cavalry", which my Noble will join. Deployed 5x3 they should have good hitting power, particularly if operating down the flank of my army.

15 White Lions: Full Command.
255
These are my "Royal Shield Bearers", which will initially be deployed in 5x3 formation but can swing out to 7x2 against large targets. They act as a "link" between the Cavalry and Phalanx, providing a unit that can relieve either from a combat that is getting bogged-down.

5 Ellyrian Reavers: Musician.
92
I just couldn't affored to add Bows to these guys. As such, they'll be used with to range ahead of Silver Helms and take out distraction-units, war machines and those threatening the Helms' flanks; or be deployed on my own left flank to help bolster an prevent my line being out-flanked. Positioning highly dependant on foe.

5 Ellyrian Reavers: Musician.
92
See above.

7 Shadow Warriors.
112
These guys really will get the worst of it in the force. They'll either be paired with my chariot-mage to guard my left-flank if I need to use the Reavers with the Helms; or alternatively they'll be scouting ahead into the enemy army to take out those pesky war machines and generally make a nuisance of themselves.

1999 points total.

I really would have liked to have taken a BSB and to have included some regular Archers into the force, as well as perhaps some Swordmasters or similar to support the Spearmen and act as a flank-guard unit on that annoying left. The only way I could do that would be to decrease the size of the Spearmen (risky, leaves them vulnerable) and to not include a Mage at all (not a good situation for High Elves, and even worse if I decrease the Spearman blocks - not only because I'd lack magic defence, but also the magic power to take on Monsters and other nasties).

Although I really like having the 3x 6x4 units, I could perhaps shave points by taking 2x 8x4 units as a pair of "mini-hordes". This would save me some 97 points, but would extremely reduce the flexibility/mobility of the army.

Argh, I don't know. What do you guys think? This army (mostly...magic is the only "strange" element) fits my Macedonian theme but I'm struggling to include all the elements to create a rounded and comprehensive force. Some feedback and ideas would be really, really appreciated!