View Full Version : dark elves and high elves

26-04-2006, 11:26
Just a quick question that I haven't bothered looking for the answer to in other threads. Anyway here it goes; what are the strengths/weaknesses/strategies employed by the dark elves and high elves?

It has occured to me that I have no idea what the answer is as I've never played against either army.

26-04-2006, 14:21
High Elves

Pros - heavy cavalry, fast cavalry, eagles, bolt throwers, chariots and magic.
Cons - fragile, infantry is all overpriced, intrigue at court rule can ruin the game.

26-04-2006, 22:41
Dark Elves.

The dark elves are similar to the high elves, but thankfully do not suffer from the poor infantry. Since the points cost review the dark elf infantry has become a bargain at 9pts including shield/light armour and spear. They also have the corsairs who in my opinion are the best all round light infantry. 10 pts buys you 2 attacks, a 4+ save (5+ in combat), a wpn skill of 4 and leadership 9.
The armies of both High and Dark Elves will usually be smaller than there opponents and rely upon maneouverability to line up favourable charges as their toughness of three and high points cost will not allow a drawn out combat. They also both excel at shooting and both have use of the reaper bolt thrower, which is deadly if used properly. Darl Elves have access to the repeater x-bow, which is also handy as it can fire twice and move and shoot.
My usual tactic is to sit back and whittle the opposing army down, whilst maneouvering my troops to positions where they can out flank or counter charge enemy units (who are hopefully depleted due to magic and shooting).
Although the army van be used more attacking by including witch elves and a Hydra or two.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but I hope it helps you a little.

26-04-2006, 23:14
High Elves can really own a magic phase, even in <2000 point games, especially through combined kit.

A Level 2 mage with Annulian Crystal (steal one opponent's power die for the Elf dispel pool) and 'Channeller' (may use one more die than usual to cast a spell), combined with, say, a unit of Swordmasters with the Banner of Sorcery (+d3 Power dice) can do far more than other Level 2 Mages. He can throw down 4 dice to cast a spell, and can have access of up to 7 Power dice. Having 4 Dispel dice in his pool isn't too shabby either. Take a second level 2 mage (say with Jewel of the Dusk, Channeller and a Dispel Scroll) and you have a potent tag-team of mages for not a great amount of points. (IMO)

26-04-2006, 23:52
High Elves

Pros - heavy cavalry, fast cavalry, eagles, bolt throwers, chariots and magic.
Cons - fragile, infantry is all overpriced, intrigue at court rule can ruin the game.

Word. I think this is a solid summary of HE. But it drives me crazy when people use abstract terms like "fragile".

What does "fragile" mean, anyway? I mean, HE troops are t3, sure, but so are empire, skaven, TK, VC, etc. And a solid HE all cav army is anything but fragile, since you have 2+ armor saves across the board.

Are the characters fragile? A mage in combat is dead, t3 or t5, hardly matters. An HE Prince is t3, but with a guaranteed 2+ and a cheap ward save, he's more durable than my TK prince.

I guess I don't see much purpose in the old -straight-out-of-the-book fall back "fragile" when in an actual gaming context it's not true at all. The "average" HE list, in any event, is certainly not fragile.

27-04-2006, 00:14
the infantry is fragile as your average save for such expensive troops is 5+, the clavary is fine, but chaos, and empire get 1+ saves

The are both tactical, and have a lot of similarity, Dark elf shooting i better, High elf magic is better, Calvary is roughly equal, and infantry is equal as HE spearmen get 5 more attacks. The battle between the two are walays fun.

27-04-2006, 00:17
Let's see if I can put up a DE summary, speaking from my experience and what I heard on several boards:

.) Fast Cavalary (according to some people, the best in the game. I'm not too sure about this, but Dark Riders are definitly important and a good unit to choose)
.) Relatively cheap core infantry. (As mentioned above, DE spearelfs are pretty inexpensive and thanks to their above-average Ld, they can hold a charge. Warriors with Repeater Crossbows are more expensive, make a nice ranged unit but also aren't lost in close combat thanks to shield and hand weapon)
.) Monsters (just funny critters/big nasties)
.) Capable Elite Infantry (Executioners, Witch Elves, Black Guard, ... give you highly specialized, killy elite infantry units)

.) Everything fast, hitty is subject to stupidity (which is a factor that makes coordinated charges - which are crucial for druchii - with those units quite a gamble)
.) Short-ranged, expensive magic (I'm not saying that Dark Magic sucks but Sorceresses are very expensive and their magic works only in a range of 18"-24")

Compared to HE, druchii have less powerful magic, more expensive magic items, less heavy cavalary, more capable infantry, are a wee bit slower than HE, but also a bit tougher.

Well, that's the viewpoint of a newbie (just had about 4-5 games yet, got stomped most of the time). One thing is for sure; DE require thought to work properly; it's not an army that just walks over another army (like Brets, Lizardmen, certain Chaos armies, ....). You have a bit of everything in your list and those bits have to work together. You need a plan, you need timing, but most of all, you need to be favored by Khaine.

@Shadowprince: How come you think that DE shooting is better? Because of the higher volume of fire?

27-04-2006, 03:36
Volume of fire... AND...
They cost less one for one w/ armour saves included.
In order for a HE archer to get a save he has to get even more expensive.

?Question? Why are Elves considered so weak?
I read this a lot.
Whether it's High, Dark or Wood, I haven't had the problem of watching a unit get totally destroyed in a combat. Of course I flee if the combat is tilted also...

27-04-2006, 06:55
?Question? Why are Elves considered so weak?
I read this a lot.
Whether it's High, Dark or Wood, I haven't had the problem of watching a unit get totally destroyed in a combat. Of course I flee if the combat is tilted also...

...You probably flee quite a lot (I know I do)...

I don't class Elves as weak. Their cavalry, magic and monsters are generally top-notch...

I do consider elven infantry weak. It generally has poor armour and sub-optimal weapon fits (i.e. non hw&shield). The same applies to fighter-characters on foot (although there are a few good combos for each army).

Mad Makz
27-04-2006, 07:44
My definition of Fragile - Not able to take significant damage without shattering.

Losing a single elf has a bigger impact than losing a single man or skaven because of their point costs even though their saves may be similiar. So simply put they can't afford to take as many wounds as the equivalent races

This is either because the unit will be under half strength compared to a cheaper unit that wouldn't, and thus give away victory pointers where the other wouldn't, or simply not have enough ranks/durability to survive any sort of prolonged combat.

It's not about individual toughness/saves etc. It's about overall durability across multiple turns. If you throw the same damage at skaven and high elves, then the High Elves are going to have the worse of it unless the skaven fail their panic test. High Elves are going to be stuffed if they have to continually take damage whether they panic of or not, while Skaven have the numbers due to their cheaper cost to shrug it off.

As such, High Elves have to rely on hitting fast and hard and not getting bogged down, because variance of the dice is much worse for them than it is to their opponent.

27-04-2006, 08:44
Well, as mentioned above, they are not the kind of army one would call a "steamroller". Thanks to T3 and S3, there are just few Elven units one could call "breaker" unit; a unit that could break enemy units on the initial charge. Additionally, "elves never should fight battles of attrition", so they have to break enemy units on the charge.

The conclusion of the mentioned facts is that they need to charge with several units at once to make an attack work really well. A unit of Saurus Warriors, Heavy Cav, Chaos Warriors, ... can just charge a target and be pretty sure not to run away the next turn.

Of course, one could just use a big unit of Dragon Princes or Cold One Knights, but those models are so expensive that every model that just exists for rank bonus or to make the unit more survivable is inefficient in my opinion.

Another thing is that single fighty elven characters don't work that well I think, compared to...let's say lone Lizardmen heros (yes, I'm talking about the one with the speed slippers and a truckload of S5-7 attacks who just chews through units of core troops) which seems to be a quite simple and easy tactic for beginners. Elven heros are not able to do that; they can just use their options of very fast mounts (elven steeds, eagles, Pegasi) to go warmachine/mage hunting.

Well, this were just a few musings on elven armies as I see them. I did not consider any forest spirits/Dryads and stuff because I'm not familiar with wood elves at all.

27-04-2006, 17:58
The reason Elves, and particularl High Elf infantry, are considered fragile isn't so much the T3 but the fact that, though no better armoured, you lose 11, 12, 13, 15 pts per casualty in combat, instead of Skaven, Empire, Chaos Marauders, Tomb Kings, Vampire Counts, etc, who lose 5, 6, 7 or 8 pts per casualty.

A significant difference I think you will agree.

Elven Heroes also generally can't compare to other races. Getting a decent armour save isn't always easy - it takes effort with HE and is impossible for WE, after all, and whilst having T5 will always protect you except against Cannonballs, armour degrades at the same time as the Wound rolls getting easier and can be ignored by a fair few things.