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Forsworn
31-03-2013, 17:58
So my ideas for a high elf list:

- Minimum 25% core; All Spearmen in one big block. Give them a cheap magic banner (I am thinking either the Flame banner or the Magic Resistance one).
- Lords and heroes: Either lvl4 Wizard with standard BSB, OR: combat Prince, mounted BSB (to get 2+ armor save), and two lvl2 Wizards. The idea is that the lvl2 wizards can give me more variability and threat response. One of them has Shadow or Life, the other uses an offensive Lore or High Magic.
*** One wizard takes either the +1 spell item or the Seerstaff of Saphery, while the other takes the Starwood staff (effectively giving me a lvl 3 with High Magic).
- Split evenly between Phoenix Guard and Sword Masters. Save enough points for 2-4 Great Eagles (for tournaments), a unit of Dragon Princes (casual play or fighting someone who has no warmachines) or both. The Guard have the Banner of Sorcery, the SM have Banner of Swiftness.

So, does that seem like a good list? I think it's pretty much the most that can be gotten out of the book. Shadow Warriors and Ellyrian Reavers are both inferior to Eagles for WM hunting. Reavers and Silver Helms are worse than Dragon Princes. Phoenix Guard are our only true anvil in the book. Sword Masters are the better of our two offensive infantry choices (The extra attack is MUCH better than the White Lion's higher strength).

SO, do I have a proper assessment of my Army Book, or no?

PS. For the oddball leader combination, I was thinking:
BSB: Mounted w/ Barding, Dragon Armor, GW, Shield (this lets me pick between GW and Sword/Shield) with Luckstone, and Talisman of Preservation. This lets me pick between 3+/4++, S6 attacks, OR 2+/4++, with S4 attacks. The other possibility would be to use a halberd, which would make me 2+/4++, w/ S5 attacks standard or a Lance (S6 on the charge).

Wizard 1: High Magic (Drain Magic, Shield, and one more spell), Starwood Staff, Talisman of Preservation.

Wizard 2: Shadow (subtract Toughness/Strength spells OR Shadow Steed and Pendulum), Beasts (Wildform and Beast Within or Spear) or Life (Flesh to Stone, Earthblood), Seed of Rebirth, Seerstaff of Saphery, Gem of Courage

Prince: Armor of Caledor, Guardian Phoenix, Talisman of Loec, White Sword.

It seems like it would be a decent combination. My other thought is to make the prince the mounted one, give him the Starwood Lance w/ the Talisman of Loec, Talisman of Preservation and Charmed Shield (discount first hit one), then give the BSB the standard Caledor, Phoenix, GW build.

So what do you guys think?

Smithpod68
31-03-2013, 18:24
White Lions are very good. A friend of mine prefers them over Phoenix Guard. A nasty combo is a lvl 4 with the Lore of Death and silver wand (5 spells total) and the ABSB with the Banner of sorcery. You will dominate the magic phase.

Von Wibble
31-03-2013, 20:10
White lions are a lot better than swordmasters. Remember that whilst your offense output is slightly worse (and S6 is on all attacks whilst +1A only helps front rank), you have a good saving throw vs missiles and a stubborn unit to boot.

For core it depends on army size. Personally I prefer Seaguard as the bows allow me the choice of having a unit that can take a rank off enemies before combat if they are advancing at me, whilst maintaining combat power. At 2000 points you still get a decent sized block.

Flaming banner should not go on spearmen as they don't have the strength to really make it pay. I like to give it to dragon princes as they have the charge range to actually employ it against the right enemy.

I personally really like Armour of Stars on a BSB. It gives you a character virtually guaranteed to survive any challenge, giving you an option against dragon riders and the like. Best used with lore of life to repeatedly play the trick. Life btw is my preferred lore for high elves as the +T, regeneration, and reincarnation spells are really needed in such a small force. Beasts is very nice on a lower level mage, but then so is High magic. If you go for multiple (at least 3) mages Light on all of them can be very useful.

Forsworn
31-03-2013, 21:31
I don't play against anyone who uses Missile shots, though. The only person is a Dwarf player, and that extra point doesn't matter very much against Warmachines. I can see your point about the Flaming Banner. Not sure how to go about that, exactly. There's several useful banners for them, though.

Sea-guard are a personal preference, I think. My problem with them is that High Elves, especially the list I describe, want to play in a very offensive fashion. Sea-guard are going to get, at most, two shots out of their Strength 3 bows. The amount of Spearmen that you could take if you skimped on the bows can give you several ranks worth of advantage. It is a personal thing, for me; I just dislike that I'm paying 4 points for a bow that is going to be useless after turn 2.

My BSB's have yet to meet a character that could actually match them, so I don't think the Armour of Stars is really necessary. Case in point, my BSB managed to take on a Slaaneshi Herald that had been buffed to T7 while being down to 1 wound (and he survived). Very few characters can take 3 or 4 S6 attacks re-rolling to hit. Even fewer can take that and dish out enough to get through a 2+ and either a 5++ or a 4++.

As for Lores, I agree that Life is one of our best choices. That would be the toss-up with Shadow if I took a level 4 wizard (since the -T, the -S, and Mindrazor make elves hit like trucks). I agree that on multiple level two's there are many ways to go about it. I personally like the High Magic + other combination (5+ ward spell).

I'm not sure on Lions vs Swordmasters. I think that it would be a bit of a toss-up, no? Average Math Hammer using ranks of 5
Against T3 w/ re-rolls:
SM: 10 hits initially, between 2 and 5 additional hits. So 12-15. Wounding on 2's, that is between 10 and 13 wounds on average.
Lions: 6 or 7 hits, 2-3 additional ones. So that is between 8 and 10 hits. Wounding on 2's, that is 7 to 9 wounds on average.

Against T4:
SM: Same number of hits. Wounding on 3's means that we would have between 8 and 10 wounds on average.
Lions: Same number of hits, Still wounding on 2's, so that is 7 to 9 wounds on average.

So with some (admittedly incredibly rough guestimate) math, we get Swordmasters outclassing White Lions against most opponents.

Moss
31-03-2013, 22:26
If you're not worried about shooting, then load up on SMs. Don't take large units; 14 seems to be a good number. Remember that models in the back ranks waste their extra attacks. Plus, if you put them all into one giant unit, they'll just get magicked to death or redirected away from the battle. You won't have archers to clear chaff, so you'll have to use your eagles. Eagles are good for protecting against redirectors, but you'd rather be using them to DO the redirecting instead.

Cable
02-04-2013, 12:25
White lions are a lot better than swordmasters. Remember that whilst your offense output is slightly worse (and S6 is on all attacks whilst +1A only helps front rank), you have a good saving throw vs missiles and a stubborn unit to boot.


They are certainly not much better, all 3 special infantry units are situational and have specific differences. If you want them to come in and hit hard then White Lions are much worse, 1 attack WS5 is much worse than 2 WS6. You need to find a way to bring SM to combat range though, without being picked. PG are also good, they have better initiative, so they reroll against ini 5, they have better leadership, ward save and fear. Again, it is all situational, depends on the opponent.

Morax
02-04-2013, 12:48
A low unit count has several advantages and disadvantages, if you've planned accordingly you can make it work with close to the list you've described.

Disadvantages: Easily redirected, lots of points in very few places, easily flanked, target priority is easy for your opponent, Warmachines do more damage to you, the "big 3" spells can stripe large amounts of models from your units.

Advantages: Easier to make use of buffs, harder for your opponent to claim victory points, less confusion on your side of the table.

As you can see, it looks like the disadvantages out weigh the advantages by a long shot, but those advantages are huge. High elves have access to the strongest magic phase in the game. Making proper use of that is key to using the high elves at their best. Teclis/The Book of Hoeth can be game winning in situations like this. If your gaming group has stricken these two things from the available options to you, which is sadly common, the Banner of Sorcery is still a very strong tool in having a solid magic phase. Either way, the magic phase is where you get your buffs and it is crucial to supplying you with the buffs you will need to survive. When you only have 3 units on the table, things like Flesh to Stone and Earth Blood get even better. Your opponent would be left with just one unbuffed target, which likely would have an innate 4+ ward save, not too shabby.

These buffs, on large units, make claiming victory points a nightmare for your opponent. Who would you go after, the toughness 7 Swordmasters, the 4+ regen Spearmen, or the 4++ Pheonix Guard? When you make all of your opponents choices bad ones, it can get quite messy. This style of play gives you the added benefit of not having to care about chaff. Either charge it and kill it or ignore it, either way it will be having very little impact on your list. "That can't work!!" you here people say, I assure you it can. Chaff only has an effect if you allow it to. You only need 100 victory points to win, if your opponent can't claim that 100 from you and you claim that 100 from his chaff, looks like a massacre to me. Making sure you don't give up those points is just as big a part of playing this style of warhammer as claiming those points is.

So lets look at the other disadvantages; lots of points in very few places, easily flanked, target priority is easy for your opponent, Warmachines do more damage to you, the "big 3" spells can stripe large amounts of models from your units. Concentration of points has turned into an advantage, so we can knock that one out. Being easily flanked isn't so bad if you still wind up winning, which you can if you have the right buffs out so that one's gone too. Warmachines and the "big 3", well yes these are a concern. Warmachines, if only you had something fast, that could avoid enemy units, hit hard enough to take on warmachine crews, and cheap enough to not hurt you to take.... Like I dunno, eagles? Problem solved. The "Big 3" I refer to would be Dwellers Below, Purple Sun, and Final Transmutation. These are the most commonly seen spells that can wreck whole units at a time. Well Purple Sun can largely be ignored as all of your elves are initiative 5 or higher. Metal is a sub par lore against high elves as your armor saves are generally low, makes saving your dispel dice easy. That leaves just dwellers. Yes it's a concern and it rightfully should be. Best advice would be a level 2 with the seerstaff and lore of death. This pairs insanely well with a level 4 with lore of life and the silver wand. Soulblight leading into a Dwellers can delete up to two thirds of a unit in a single go. More importantly, Spirit Leach is a great tool for deleting the enemy caster with Dwellers. Failing that, you are a high elf with a level 4, you have a +5 to dispel, a +6 with a staff of sorcery. That should be enough magical protection.

Von Wibble
02-04-2013, 19:03
I don't play against anyone who uses Missile shots, though.

I do. Stone throwers are quite popular for example (even in dwarfs) and that extra +2 to armour (not +1 as you stated) is huge.

Sea-guard are a personal preference, I think. My problem with them is that High Elves, especially the list I describe, want to play in a very offensive fashion. Sea-guard are going to get, at most, two shots out of their Strength 3 bows. The amount of Spearmen that you could take if you skimped on the bows can give you several ranks worth of advantage. It is a personal thing, for me; I just dislike that I'm paying 4 points for a bow that is going to be useless after turn 2.

Definitely a personal preference. I like to have a stand and shoot reaction when I get charged, and I like having a missile unit that won't die if charged by a chaff killer

My BSB's have yet to meet a character that could actually match them, so I don't think the Armour of Stars is really necessary. Case in point, my BSB managed to take on a Slaaneshi Herald that had been buffed to T7 while being down to 1 wound (and he survived). Very few characters can take 3 or 4 S6 attacks re-rolling to hit. Even fewer can take that and dish out enough to get through a 2+ and either a 5++ or a 4++.

It only takes one unlucky set of rolls to totally fluff your attacks, or have the enemy pass a ward save or 2. Additionally I imagine you'd avoid combat with things that can kill you in 1 blow and survive your attacks atm, such as Daemon Princes and Dragon riders. My build can survive such things and is strong favourite to beat them.

As for Lores, I agree that Life is one of our best choices. That would be the toss-up with Shadow if I took a level 4 wizard (since the -T, the -S, and Mindrazor make elves hit like trucks). I agree that on multiple level two's there are many ways to go about it. I personally like the High Magic + other combination (5+ ward spell).

I'm not sure on Lions vs Swordmasters. I think that it would be a bit of a toss-up, no? Average Math Hammer using ranks of 5
Against T3 w/ re-rolls:
SM: 10 hits initially, between 2 and 5 additional hits. So 12-15. Wounding on 2's, that is between 10 and 13 wounds on average.
Lions: 6 or 7 hits, 2-3 additional ones. So that is between 8 and 10 hits. Wounding on 2's, that is 7 to 9 wounds on average.

Against T4:
SM: Same number of hits. Wounding on 3's means that we would have between 8 and 10 wounds on average.
Lions: Same number of hits, Still wounding on 2's, so that is 7 to 9 wounds on average.

So with some (admittedly incredibly rough guestimate) math, we get Swordmasters outclassing White Lions against most opponents.

I wouldn't say 1 extra wound (I'd expect my enemies to have either T4 or a better armour save) is really outclassing them though. Especially given the protection vs shooting and stubborn mentioned.

Drashe
03-04-2013, 12:09
Forsworn,

Your assesment is spot on. And yes sm are better.

Lord Solar Plexus
04-04-2013, 10:11
Well, the analysis seems decent enough but it might be obsolete in a couple of weeks.


PG are also good, they have better initiative, so they reroll against ini 5

So do SM and WL.

Asuryan's Spear
04-04-2013, 12:56
To be honest that I6 only comes in handy when fighting other elves with ASF as it means they strike first. i may be wrong but the only infantry with that high Initiative are elves so thats where the offensive potential of pheonix guard come in. They're big trade off is in protection... that 4+ ward makes them very sturdy unlike the WL and SM which tend to die in droves if they don't wipe an opponent out.

Here's my take on the three specials:

Pheonix Guard- they fight the hordes of cheaper points...they can wade through multiple rounds of combat and come out relatively unscathed. their str 4 is usually enough and they focus more on points denial than earning their points back. a death wizard with doom and darkness+PG's fear= very few casualties. use these boys to grind through the true horde units and deny victory points

White Lions-These boys are your anti-monsters/tanks. their high str6 makes them ideal for the flaming banner. a horde of 30 will wreck any unit. these are your wrecking ball. high armour/tougness and these are your fellas.

SM- these are your elite killers. they are 1 ws higher and so have that edge on most elite units. the extra attack and str5 makes them ideal for dealing with infantry as even the best will be wounded on 3s and have a 5+ save... add to that rerolls and they will butcher any infantry unit but they will take casualties so they are better suited to taking out elites

The last two are some what glass cannon... they don't survive protracted combats...they are expensive and only T3 AS 5+. even against regular troopers they will be worn down quickly. these should only be in combat 2 rounds at most if your hoping for a return on their investment. they can go through multiple units but if they get a mismatch... it can end well but not consistently

Lord Solar Plexus
04-04-2013, 14:28
That's all true to some extent and yet it sounds all so vague and interchangeable. A mismatch can end well or not...oh come on, next you claim it could be cold or warm outside! ;)

SM can chop of monster heads and WL can and will scythe through every horde bar Slaves and Gobbos. They are only in any danger to be tarpitted in a protracted combat if the opposition is in bus - in a huge one -, in which case the term glass cannon is simply misleading. I mean we're talking 10 low-quality attacks coming back each round. That's not dangerous. That's not going to "wear them down quickly".

Asuryan's Spear
04-04-2013, 15:23
That's all true to some extent and yet it sounds all so vague and interchangeable. A mismatch can end well or not...oh come on, next you claim it could be cold or warm outside! ;)

SM can chop of monster heads and WL can and will scythe through every horde bar Slaves and Gobbos. They are only in any danger to be tarpitted in a protracted combat if the opposition is in bus - in a huge one -, in which case the term glass cannon is simply misleading. I mean we're talking 10 low-quality attacks coming back each round. That's not dangerous. That's not going to "wear them down quickly".

by the mismatch i meant that it can wreck a unit even if they don't lose overall. SM aren't as well suited to monster bashing as WL which was my point. and no the danger is a tarpit unit may be worth a third of the points and actually do some damage to the unit. when models are t3 AS 5+ and cost 15 pts losing 10 (not an unimaginable consequence over 3 or so combats) models can be unnecessary damage which may cost them the next match up.

you claim i was vague and interchangeable, my point was what they did BEST. that does not mean each can't do other jobs it was just my take on what each of the units did best..of course they can do other jobs but not as well as an other choice...

aurynn
08-04-2013, 05:59
The problem with SM to WL comparison is that in my experience SMs die in droves to enemy shooting. They have usually higher damage output than WL, but usually significantly less of them reach combat compared to WL. That is why they are usually used as small units of 7 models in one row without command. Cheap, narrow profile for effective warmachine or template spell hit and low points to give and still a big threat.

Seaguard are a no-no to me. Almost 50% more expensive than Spears, mediocre range and first shot is usually on the move and long range, second shot is on the move. This means that you will usually have limited target selection and a penalty to hit. Unit of 25 SG means 100pts for bows and I have rarely seen that being paid off by SG shooting. They have their use in defensive shooty lists, but I do not think that HE are made to be defensive.

Keep in mind that we are an army with multiple hammers and we need anvils. We win games through movement and tactics, through favourable matchups and overwhelming CRs. Thus we can't much sit back before we are shot to shreds. We need to get into combat. Spears are a horde anvil - lots ASF attacks with rerolls to hit take away enemy ranks quite fast. PG are an elite anvil - unit of 10 can withstand a charge by a cavalry or chaos warriors and with Razor Standard even WIN the combat. WL are monster hammers. SM are infantry hammers. DP work wonders for me if I take a 5-man unit with only a SB with Banner of Ellyrion. Silverhelms are superb meatshields to deliver your superheavy combat prince where he needs to be. Archers? Do not use them just for shooting. Bring them down from the hill and use them as an anvil too. They have ASF as well! Unit of 10 archers does not have to care about that T4 2W chaff so they are very good in warmachine guarding - just make sure you position them so no unit can land betwenn the archers and their warmachine. They are the best mage bunker we have IMHO.

As for magic - we need either protection or things that build up on our strengths - something that limits maneuverability of the enemy, reduces his LD, ranks or Toughness so even our S3 spears wound easily. I would not bother with spells of mass destruction when we can erase whole units in one round of combat. Although sometimes it is worth to suffer one more round of combat to keep the unit locked in CC and keep them safe from shooting or damage magic.

What we are afraid of - units of 80 Skavenslaves. S4+ Gunlines. Big guns like Bloodthirster. And Ogre Kingdoms. BUT we DO have a solution for every one of these. High elves are darn difficult to play, but they can be played with great success, but we absolutely need a good strategy and tactic.

I suggest visiting www.ulhuan.net forum. You will find great advice there.

cheers
Aurynn

Kahadras
15-04-2013, 09:49
I personaly think that the local meta has a large impact on how High Elf armies are constructed. On top of this people find what works for them and run with it. I never leave home without my unit of 20 Seaguard with FC, shields and Banner of Eternal Flame who are then joined by my BSB. I prefer Swordmasters over White Lions and Phoenix Guard because I like to run an Archmage with Lore of Beasts and they are a great target for Wildform. Although I'm currently concidering a new direction for my High Elves my current army build runs along the lines of...

Archmage (Beasts)

Mage (High)
BSB

Seaguard (FC, Shields and Banner of Eternal Flame)
Archers
Archers

Swordmasters (Banner of Sorcery)
Lion Chariot
Lion Chariot

Eagle
Eagle
Eagle
Eagle

I'll usualy take the Seerstaff on my Archmage in order to gain access to the spells that I want to from the Lore. I always take Wildform as it makes my Swordmasters tougher and hit harder. Amber Spear is great as it grants the ability to deal with big monsters. Curse is good if you want to slow down an enemy unit. Savage Beast is another spell I like as it can turn an Elf Hero into a killing machine (6 strength 7 attacks) the only drawback being its poor range. The Mage takes Shield of Saphery which gets cast on whichever unit I feel is in danger of being shot that turn. The BSB is there for the leadership reroll and usualy is equipt with a great weapon and Armour of Caledor.

The Archers provide bunkers and missile support while the Seaguard act in a supporting role to the Swordmasters who are the main combat element in the army. The Lion Chariots usualy run together and look to dual charge an enemy unit. Finaly the Eagles are there to go and play with anything I don't want to deal with.

I've only really gone up against one army that I felt I never really had a chance against and that was a gunline Dark Elf force. The army was basicaly magic users, a tarpit hero, Crossbowmen, Dark Riders, Shades and Bolt Throwers. He got first turn and the game was over by his turn three. Over 140 crossbow shots + 24 bolt thrower bolts + Dark magic pretty much tabled me and there wasn't much I could do about it.

Kahadras

aurynn
15-04-2013, 12:00
DE gunlines are ugly business. However there are ways to deal with them. The problem is finding the list that can deal with them AND armies like Throggstars or OK. :-) Magic is your friend. High magic can pretty get off quite a number of spells per turn with minimal risk of miscasts. If you get off with Flames or two or Flames and Drain, you can be quite sure that you are safe in his magic phase even without a scroll as he will get over himself dispelling your RIPs. The same effect goes with Heavens - get off two comets (or just one on the bolt throwers) and watch your enemy scatter instead of firing. Death magic and Doom and Darkness is nice too. It is RIP, affects whole units (including characters). It is fun reducing unit's leadership to say 5 and force them into panic check (cca 72% chance to break)... :-) Do not forget to snipe out his General and/or BSB with caress or leech (better after the Doom) first to get some PDs from the Lore attribute. ;-) There are many strategies to High Elves, just find the one you are most comfortable with.