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Chacim
16-05-2013, 18:16
Disclaimer
Don't kill me, I am posting this so I can save myself hours of texting on my phone as some of my friends are interested in playing High Elves and were asking my input so I wrote this up.

Of course in an effort to be more open minded to strategies I have not thought up (as I am not the ultimate GW game winner of all time) please if you think something I said in this is dead wrong. Just post up a reply saying why what I said is retarded and how it works in your list idea. (so that even I can bask in the magical glory of your ingenious mind)

How to build a High Elf army.

A guide to help plan/buy/play the New High Elves.

This is not a “This is the tournament list and how to” guide.

What you should get out of reading this is an idea as to how you want to play your High Elves and what models you need to help you accomplish this.

The absolute first thing you should do is buy the book.

How many points is the average game. It's very local player driven, in Ft Collins Colorado getting people to play past 2000 pts (or at least when I played there) was like pulling teeth where as in Winston Salem NC a lot of us play at 2500 pts. Why this is important, (if money is tight) collect to the list you want to run ultimately. This way you won't have a ton of excess models that you never play with and you won't be quite as broke.

Now we start at Core. Why Core? Core will help determine what specials to take and help with hero selection as well.

Spearmen
-Absolute worst option. Proxy as Lothern Sea Guard if you can't find the bows that go on the model.

Archers (take in groups of 10 to prevent excessive casualties, to be able to spread out shots if need be, can add banners to help with Blood and Glory scenario)
-The difference between a bow and a longbow is another round of shooting. Do not place these guys on your deployment line, place them 3-4 inches back away from it. Maximize their long range shooting. Archers can take out chaff and whittle down big blocks into a more manageable size for your special CC units.

Lothern Sea Guard (unit size 30-40 with banner and musician)
-These guys do go on your 12 inch line, horde formation and maximize shooting. In movement do a slow walk backwards to give you hopefully an extra round of shooting, then when his infantry is M+7 away (calculate distance before moving) go ahead and musician into 5 wide 6-8 deep (unless you have sea helm in unit). Also, I wouldn't bother with shields unless your local player pool features a lot of S3 attacks.

Silver Helms (Unit size 5-15)
-Very Fast and very hard hitting in first round of CC (remember they get ASF reroll with lances as well). The key to victory is remembering they average out successful charges 17 inches away, if you keep that in mind during deployment and movement phases you can deliver a very nasty surprise to your opponent.

Ellyrian Reavers (Unit size 5)
-Replace spears with bows and harass, harass, harass. Even experienced players can get off track with these guys constantly pestering them. With their M9 horses, they need only fear flyers, and even then not so much as they are only slightly slower! Many experienced players swear by them so having 5 or 10 lying around may not be such a bad idea?

SPECIAL

First topic under special is Chariots.

Lion chariots, Tiranoc chariots and skycutters.
What do chariots really bring to the table. Answer is Impact Hits! In that regard Tiranoc chariots have a significant advantage over lion chariots. Lion chariots cost almost double the cost of a Tiranoc chariot and in terms of impact hits delivers the same results! With Tiranoc chariots being able to come in units of 1-3 you can really custom tailor to fit your army easier. 3D6 str 5 impact hits can really swing the tide of battle into your favor!
Lothern Skycutters with an Eagle Eye bolt thrower is very versatile and if your core is mostly Silver Helms then they bring much needed shooting support, pretty good at clearing chaff (either with bolt thrower or impact hits). If your core has a lot of bows then Tiranoc Chariots are the preferred choice if you want to run chariots.

Dragon Princes (5 man)
Absolutely amazing if your opponent runs the banner of eternal flame and you know which unit has it. Otherwise they are expensive and slightly more killy then silver helms. In my opinion not a great choice.

Shadow Warriors (5 man)
If you run Alith Anar then run him with a sizable regiment of Shadow Warriors, otherwise just keep them on your extreme flanks and take pot shots with those 30 inch bows.

Finally, the Big Three.
Pick at least 1.
Swordmasters, White Lions, and Phoenix Guard.

You can't really go wrong with any of these 3.

Swordmasters or White Lions
Not having the ASF reroll means you have to expect the occasional “Flub” (total flipping miss), White Lions also having stubborn helps you fight to the man instead of flubbing and then being caught and wiped out. White lions also have a 3+ armor save vs non magical shooting as opposed to swordmasters having a 6+ ward vs shooting. Just means White Lions are just a tad bit more long lasting then swordmasters.

Phoenix Guard
They get the ASF reroll at str 4 and they have a static 4+ ward that can be increased to 3+ if a mage is with them. Great defenses and decent offense makes Phoenix Guard a good choice and at higher point games a great 2nd choice.

RARE

Frostheart
Frosthearts are solid gold, -1 str and ASL on all models in enemy unit the Frostheart is in base to base contact with is awesome. Great stat line and a terror causing flyer just makes it an obvious rare choice.

Flamespyre
The Flamespyre has potential and is useful vs hordes of T3 models like goblins or skaven, which makes this choice dependent on what your locals play.

Great Eagles
Good at anti chaff and warmachine hunting. If you have spare points, they are ok.

Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower
Unless your local group has a lot of MC or knights I just wouldn't bother with these.

Sisters of Avelorn (10 man)
What makes Sisters of Avelorn useful is they have S4 bows with the flaming special rule. So great to start with at the beginning of your shooting phase to hopefully take away something's regeneration rule so the rest of your shooting can go through. Don't run them though if they are your only shooting. Take shadow warriors instead at that point.

LORDS

Tyrion
The problem with him is he is 410 pts. He should be 310. You can build a regular prince to be almost as effective as Tyrion but yet be under 300 pts.

Teclis
At least as good as Kairos Fate Weaver, he can be a 1 man army, yet 450 pts is a lot of points to sink into an elf.

Eltharion the Grim
On foot he's comparable to a Loremaster though the Loremaster is more versatile.
On Griffon it becomes a game of, “Should I just go for Prince on Dragon?” He's just ok with a high points cost. I can't fault the price tag but when I read him I just think, “I would rather have...”

Alith Anar
If you must have a bunch of Shadow Warriors then here is the guy to lead them for sure.

Alarielle the Radiant
Very versatile and brings a lot to the table for her very reasonable point cost of 350. (Compare her cost to a tooled out lvl 4 archmage she is just a little more and again, brings a lot to the table). I think she's the easiest to field d lord option available to High Elves.

Prince or Archmage
Simply put, Princes are for Dragon lovers and Archmages are for winners. A prince will add 2-3 wounds a CC and his mount will add wound(s) to CC. An Archmage can wipe out a whole unit single handedly or buff/debuff a unit till it's practically impossible to win CC (for them) anyway.

Prince is better then Annointed.

Loremaster is very versatile but vs an opponent who brings a lvl 4 wizard I think he'll struggle.

HEROES

Korhil
4 attacks at str 6 with killing blow with ASF reroll makes him as killy as a prince with a decent price tag.

Caradryan
He's a way to bring another Frostheart into your list.

Noble vs Lothern Sea Helm
You need 1 for BSB. It really comes down to how useful Naval Discipline is to you. You can use naval discipline to maximize shooting (horde formation) in the shooting phase and maximize CC (5 wide) for Lothern Sea Guard OR you can use it to save you from those pesky “opps” moments when your opponent flank charges your special CC unit. If you don't like Naval Discipline then it's an easy choice, Noble for the win.

Mage
Use it for dispel scroll caddy or back up caster. I find though that I rarely need a back up caster but a timely dispel scroll can always save your butt!

Dragon Mage
Wouldn't you rather have Caradryan on Ashtari instead?

Handmaiden
The more Sisters of Avelorn you field, the more you should think about fielding a handmaiden with them.

Now that you have an idea as to what kind of lists you want to run. Write up some lists, pull out some paper and draw blocks on it to represent units and do a mock battle. Just get used to the idea of your army, getting used to rolling dice and how the spells will effect what happens.

That won't be good for real experience but it will give you an idea as to how your army will play. Talk to local players and post lists on warseer till you have a solid list down and you at least have an idea as to how to play it. Then start buying models.

Good luck to you and may you have good fortune in battle!

VampireOrcElf
16-05-2013, 18:59
I dont agree with spearselves being the worst option in the slightest, you can horde them to 60 alot cheaper and you are paying 2 more points on seaguard to get a bow which imo wont do anywhere near as much damage as what having more spears will do. And in tournaments phoenix guard should be taken as a must, they are a true deathstar unit when used correctly. Also great eagles are our only decent means of chaff ourselves unless you want to spend core points on reavers but generally i dont have any spare points and eagles can fly. Just my view on some of the options.

Von Wibble
16-05-2013, 21:21
The majority of this is sensible enough to me. I think there is room for larger units of archers myself - the advantages are 1) Buffs/debuffs from magic have a greater effect, 2) Scarier stand and shoot - relevant if an enemy unit like Dark Riders charges in (such a unit has a chance vs 10 archers but will struggle against more). For just 10 pts per unit I prefer Ellyrians to have spear and bow - with spears and the reroll to hit they can provide a support charge into the flanks of enemy units - and as long as its not chaos warriors or the like they will achieve something with this!

I definitely think Phoenix Guard and White Lions both outclass swordmasters, and I'd say PG just about edge white lions, though its very close. The reroll to hit compared to S bonus is pretty close now in damage output. Disclaimer - if you don't have white lions you need some elements of your army to be able to deliver at least S5 if not S6 attacks consistently.

Mullitron
16-05-2013, 21:23
I dont agree with spearselves being the worst option in the slightest, you can horde them to 60 alot cheaper and you are paying 2 more points on seaguard to get a bow which imo wont do anywhere near as much damage as what having more spears will do. And in tournaments phoenix guard should be taken as a must, they are a true deathstar unit when used correctly. Also great eagles are our only decent means of chaff ourselves unless you want to spend core points on reavers but generally i dont have any spare points and eagles can fly. Just my view on some of the options.

Out of curiosity what would you consider as using phoenix guard correctly? Its just that I'am brain storming a High elf list at the moment with the intention on taking a unit so any advice would be appreciated. Any info including unit size along with characters joining/banners etc would be appreciated thank you.

In reply to the original post, thank you for making the thread. The high elf tactica is very useful but does at the moment lack a break down of the units and summery of popular tactics. I don't agree 100% with everything you said but again it helped. :)

boli
16-05-2013, 21:26
I'm a big fan of spear-elves as well; especially with mindrazer. The cheap price tag with ASF and re-roll is a real bargin.

As for mages you don't *need* a level 4. I've actually has a lot of success with multiple level 2 images the flexibility running 3 lores (shadow/high/life).

Von Wibble
16-05-2013, 21:43
I know you didn't ask me specifically, but I'd say PG can work in a few ways.

A 5 x 5 unit is not going anywhere fast, has decent rank bonus, decent damage output, and still a good footprint for manoeuvring. Quite pricy, but at 2000 points and above I think its perfectly feasible.

On a budget or in a smaller game I'd go for a 7 x 3 unit, with all able to strike even vs a 5 wide enemy you will put more hurt on him.

I'd seriously consider a High mage in the front rank - if not as your main wizard (eg you prefer a different lore, or have a Loremaster/Archmage), then as a level 2 with 2 cheap spells - ot just throw 1-2 dice in and get the 3+ ward.

Other characters? Generally I see high elf characters as being all about support, so I wouldn't go for a basic foot noble or prince. Annointed doesn't give a ward save to them, which kind of dents the point in using him there. BSB could go there, but I personally prefer him to not be in the thick of the fighting and supporting so have mine with either LSG or silver helms. If I had the wide unit a Seahelm could come in very handy to protect against flank charges. Loremaster I wouldn't advise because his buffs don't synergise quite as well if he is in a PG unit, the key one being the 5+ regeneration.

For banners, given that PG are about holding enemies in place rather than dealing huge damage, banner of discipline or gleaming pennant have to be good first choices. Banner of Swiftness is always a decent option for high elves as well - for such an expensive unit being in the right place is important. I wouldn't recommend banner of eternal flame, as I think that should go on troops with high S attacks, who can inflict enough damage to things like Hellpit to make the loss of regeneration matter. Banner of the World Dragon is only if you don't want any Daemon player friends - is it really necessary given you can often have a 3+ ward?

Magic items for champion - I wouldn't bother myself. Reaver bow only hits at S4, so has better places to go. All other choices replace a halberd - would I really pay points to make attacks magical and lose S?

Finally, if the list is built around PG I'd make sure I have options to hit at high strength somewhere else in the list, as PG don't do so well against hard hitting 1+ save troops.

Von Wibble
16-05-2013, 21:44
I'm a big fan of spear-elves as well; especially with mindrazer. The cheap price tag with ASF and re-roll is a real bargin.

As for mages you don't *need* a level 4. I've actually has a lot of success with multiple level 2 images the flexibility running 3 lores (shadow/high/life).


Agreed. Book of Hoeth on a loremaster is as good as a level 4 for casting and dispelling in general anyway.

I think there aren't any core units I'd never consider taking - they are imo very well balanced.

Kayosiv
16-05-2013, 22:29
It is incorrect to call dragon princes expensive.

If you have 5 dragon princes and 10 silver helms, they get an identical number of attacks, but the dragon princes are slightly harder to kill, have better weaponskill, and have better initiative for less points.

If you have 10 dragon princes and 15 silver helms,they get an identical number of attacks, but the silver helms are slightly harder to kill, have better weaponskill, and have better initiative for still less points.

Dragon princes' also can afford any magical banner in the game. They might not be as good at breaking steadfast in large numbers as silver helms, and they certainly don't fill your core requirement, but for points invested, they are better at dealing damage in every way. They are not quite as survivable on a per-wound basis, but the 6+ ward and higher weaponskill can help them survive on an individual basis, which is better when considering combat resolution.

Kahadras
16-05-2013, 22:46
What do chariots really bring to the table. Answer is Impact Hits! In that regard Tiranoc chariots have a significant advantage over lion chariots. Lion chariots cost almost double the cost of a Tiranoc chariot and in terms of impact hits delivers the same results!

Well what the Lion chariot has in it's favor is that fact that after the impact hits it gets two strength 6 and four strength 5 attacks versus the four strength 4 attacks and four strength 3 attacks that the Tiranoc chariots offer. I was a big fan of the Lion Chariot with the last edition of the book and they haven't changed at all in the new one. While they lose out on speed and can't run as units of 1-3; they are tougher, cause fear and can maintain damage output after the first turn of combat or in the event they are charged. I've always found they are best used as a pair that support each other. 2D6 impact hits followed by another dozen high strength attacks can make a real mess, especialy in support of a High Elf combat block.

Kahadras

boli
16-05-2013, 22:53
Dragon princes and a high mage make a frighteningly good combo. 2 spells a turn and you have heavy cavalry with a 4++ and 2+ AS

SteveW
16-05-2013, 23:55
Agreed. Book of Hoeth on a loremaster is as good as a level 4 for casting and dispelling in general anyway.

I think there aren't any core units I'd never consider taking - they are imo very well balanced.

Book of hoeth and armour of silvered steel is a usefull loadout for the loremaster.

SteveW
16-05-2013, 23:56
Dragon princes and a high mage make a frighteningly good combo. 2 spells a turn and you have heavy cavalry with a 4++ and 2+ AS

done this in a few batreps, it works wonders.

Chacim
17-05-2013, 01:11
Disclaimer
This is friendly discussion! Don't flame me!

My 2 cents on Spearmen
I believe a horde of Spearmen in horde formation is to many points for a low toughness, low armour save, and low strength unit. At 5 wide, a unit of archers will dish out 5 less attacks but otherwise be identical. I don't think spearmen are bad per se, I just believe that the other options are more viable and provide better synergy.

My 2 cent on Archers
If I went MSU (Multiple Small Unit) and brought 4-7 10 man teams, I feel like turn 1 would see most enemy fast cav shoot to death or at least in turn 2. Unless he hid them for a late game surprise, in which case I got to focus on big scary stuff and let my special CC unit go in for the kill. If you do lose a unit, it's only 100 points and hopefully you can use remaining archers to shoot/kill remaining chaff.

My 2 cent on dragon princes
This edition has me very off-cav. Last edition was very cav based and going from last to this and seeing the effects and the changes... I'm bias against heavy cav. I will admit it, I find using cav to great effect to be challenging. Several of you have argued that dragon princes are viable so I am willing to surrender on that point. I just feel that WL or PG is a better place to put those points.

My 2 cents on Magic
Up until this book I have been strictly lore of life for High Elves. With winds of magic and loss of D3 powerdice banner, I really feel like taking multiple casters is very redundant. I rarely have had need for a second caster (Never a 3rd caster) cause usually I expend my power dice quickly. Average wind of magic roll being 7 power dice, opponent having 4 dispel dice. It just seems like a lot to over come so better to rock a lvl 4, give yourself the best advantage possible.

The discussion is great though guys.

Chacim
17-05-2013, 01:15
Opps, sorry for double post,

I want to recognize the power of having the ability to cast spells from multiple lores (I do see the smarts in your idea, sir.)

thrawn
17-05-2013, 02:23
a lot of it makes sense but I must disagree with some.

the biggest error I see is how easily you dismissed the RBT. I think it's now an amazing buy; but don't take my word for it, Ben Curry rated it the best buy shooting unit choice in the HE book for under 140 points (you can now take 2 for that limit).

thrawn
17-05-2013, 02:26
oh ya, definitely agree with your conclusion regarding taking a second, or 3rd caster. not necessary. as you said, you're only getting (on average) 7 power dice, how many spells are you planning to cast? yes the more spell options you have the better, but is it worth the points? if you want the options take teclis or a lore master.

Chacim
17-05-2013, 05:24
The problem with the RBT (old name for Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower) is that it now competes with not just eagles but with Frosthearts as well. In terms of shooting, sure I can agree it's good. I certainly didn't mean to make it sound like it's garbage, I just think that Frosthearts are the clear rare choice option with a couple of eagles for warmachine hunting (and your rare points are spent). If you squeeze one in kudos, it's not like your list is doomed to fail. I ran 2 before book so I'm not hating just think it's overshadowed by better options.

Asuryan's Spear
17-05-2013, 10:14
Dragon princes and a high mage make a frighteningly good combo. 2 spells a turn and you have heavy cavalry with a 4++ and 2+ AS

I posted this on the tactics thread. It really does work wonders for me if the archmage has the book of hoeth as you can one dice enough spells to give you princes a 4++ which means thy become hard as nails and there will always be that one turn you get 3 off and get a 3++ then thing go from good to better. Plus I quite like a star lance on the champ...on the charge 3 ASF Str 6 IAS attacks can do for a hero level character as very few characters can kill him before he hits them on the charge

cptcosmic
17-05-2013, 10:27
It is incorrect to call dragon princes expensive.

If you have 5 dragon princes and 10 silver helms, they get an identical number of attacks, but the dragon princes are slightly harder to kill, have better weaponskill, and have better initiative for less points.

If you have 10 dragon princes and 15 silver helms,they get an identical number of attacks, but the silver helms are slightly harder to kill, have better weaponskill, and have better initiative for still less points.

the silver helm bring more wounds. 10 silverhelms losing 6 models do 4 attacks. 5 dragon princes losing the same mount (6 losses, 1/6 ward => 5 losses) do 0 attacks :)

Francis
17-05-2013, 10:43
While most of what you say is sensible, there are some things I disagree with.

First the prince is not only for dragons, give him Giant Blade, put him on a horse with the bsb in a big Silver helm or dragon prince unit and watch him wreck serious face. Ppl who are interested in this approach should check out Seredain's blog over at Ulthuan (as well as the blogs of some other notable players there).

Second the Bolt thrower at 35 skaven slaves in a meta dominated by AS 2+ and 1+ is absolute ace. I use 3 and I want to buy a fourth, however you should always take at least 2 of these if you want them to be effective.

Von Wibble
17-05-2013, 19:27
The problem with the RBT (old name for Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower) is that it now competes with not just eagles but with Frosthearts as well. In terms of shooting, sure I can agree it's good. I certainly didn't mean to make it sound like it's garbage, I just think that Frosthearts are the clear rare choice option with a couple of eagles for warmachine hunting (and your rare points are spent). If you squeeze one in kudos, it's not like your list is doomed to fail. I ran 2 before book so I'm not hating just think it's overshadowed by better options.

Personally I agree with you on this as I also really like the Frostheart and Eagles, but I think this one is a matter of opinion and preferred play style. An army containing 4 RBTs is doable even at 1500 points, and doesn't have to be a gunline in the truest sense of the word. Given the increased popularity of high saves the RBT gives high elves a lot of otherwise unavailable options.

The only time I'd go for 3 or more casters is the Coven of Light style army, with multiple light wizards (potentially including a loremaster now) ensuring a very high powered Banishment and a lot of great toolbox spells. Not sure if this is still necessarily a thing with the new book since High Magic can also provide toolbox effects with cheaper spells themselves, and have a lot less arcane items to take advantage of multiple mages. Personally I am happy enough with just a loremaster at 1500 points, though I would have another caster at 2500.

VampireOrcElf
18-05-2013, 02:13
i would take them in as big a unit as possible (40-50 is my choice in horde, because you can attack in 4 ranks, the extra rank is nice for casualties, how ever due to there 4 up soon to be a 3 up ward it may not be necessary to take the extra rank and spend those extra points elsewhere), a mage is now required to make this unit scary, if you add a high mage just by casting one spell this whole unit now has a 3++ ward save which is crazy good, on the other hand you could add in a normal beast mage and take wild form which will make them awesome not only in defense but in combat as well. You can add in any banner you would like, if you are playing competitively i would consider the new high elf banner giving this unit a 2++ ward against all magic, magic attacks and weapons. Try out all kinds of crazy combos with these guys and it will work almost everytime :)

Runt Nosher
19-05-2013, 02:37
I play in an environment where Temple Guard + Saurus horde w/ 50~ skinks of different types (chameleon, terradons, skirmishers) Plaguebearer Horde + GUO + 6-8 Beasts, Nurgle DP + 2 Chimarae + 2x18 character buses, and Irongut Horde + Ironblaster + Mournfang/Maneaters are currently ruling the day. Against these armies I'm finding max RBTs to be necessary for halving the worst they have to offer before I get stuck in with my PG/SM and Spears/Helms. None of my units can do actual damage without resorting to Shadow magic but I'm finding the survivability and utility offered by Shield of Saphery, Hand of Glory, and Walk Between Worlds to be hard to pass up, almost intrinsic to the style of warhammer I want to play.

That being said I've used the flame Phoenix agains these armies and it dies too easily in combat but doesn't do enough outside of it. I'm looking very seriously at sisters now just because of the ease with which all of these armies can spam off regeneration. Life Slann, stupid beasts w/ regen (3+) and trollgut bubbles seems to get 6 diced 2-3 times per game. Drain Magic has actually worked wonders but I can't afford to dispel their buffs without any of my own up.

I'm starting to lean towards Cav-hammer elves again but really like the image my army presents, it's a balanced force with speed and numbers. I can easy fit 120 elves @ 2.5k now Im just having the same problem as everybody else seems to be having, I can keep my stuff alive I just can't pour out more than 20 S5 hits in a combat and have it all stick and turn the tide for me. I'm going to try an Annointed in some Smasters next, nothing is clicking though.

Asuryan's Spear
19-05-2013, 02:48
For these i'd try a frost heart. -1str really makes a huge difference when those iron guts wound on 5s and the maneaters on 6s or saurus woundng your spears on 4s. also i would definitely give the sisters a look if nurgle deamons are on the prowl....that and the banner of the world dragon... yes i know its broken but if your struggling and want a sure fire solution then its an option.... maybe try going with MSU (yes i have read the thread on whether it works or not) your looking at alot of big unweildy hordes there ad it might be fun to lead them around the board while shooting the bejeezes out of them... keep a book lvl 4 to stop magic shenanigans and its happy days! my favourite is haing a noble on an eagle fly around the backfield to just get in my opponents head...