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Mozzamanx
01-12-2013, 17:28
Hi all,

I've read some fairly unfavourable reviews regarding the balance between Elf species (Poor Woodies) and many people seem to hold the view of Dark Elves being an upgrade over their High cousins, with the balance swinging firmly in the favour of the Druchii. Common complaints relate the power of Crossbows against Longbows, the difference in Prowess and the sheer power of Witch Elves.
However for my part, I do not think the balance is anything remarkable and would say that the High Elves stand on a level playing field.


- Repeater Crossbows
This is a very common complaint, that a 12pt RCB is worth significantly more than a 10pt Archer. The reasoning should be obvious: double the shots and AP is really, really fantastic against a 6" range increase. However, I do not believe it is as simple as this comparison:
2 shots and shorter range work to produce a hefty loss of BS to the point where the double shots are needed as a corrective factor. Within the window of 24-30" the High Elves nearly match them since the Dark Elves must move and the HE come cheaper. Above 29", the Dark Elves have absolutely no response at all, meaning the High player can actually gain a full turn of firepower if deployed after the Crossbows. Similarly Skirmishers, buildings or the use of cover carry far more impact against the RXB than the Longbow.
While the Repeaters are obviously superior once it gets close, the High Elves range advantage allows you to cheerfully plink away while forcing your opponent to come to you, costing him turns of activity and BS penalties.
I would argue that this is a much harder advantage to claim on Shadow Warriors / Ellyrians however and accept that the DE have an advantage here.


- Martial Prowess vs Murderous Prowess
Again, people complain because the HE rule is apparently paid for on the characters with no advantage gained, while DE characters gain a very obvious improvement for the same cost. However I would argue that Martial is potentially far more powerful when it is applied and so while the characters are likely overcharged, HE Spears are better than DE Spears, Phoenix Guard are greater than Black Guard etc.
At it's peak, Martial can increase the output of a unit by 50% compared to 16% for Murderous.

- Sea Dragon Cloak vs Lion Pelt
Absolutely no comparison to be made here. A 5+ save against some ranged attacks, or a 5+ against everything. DE won this one absolutely.

- Core comparisons
As mentioned, I believe the HE to have better Spears. DE have better Fast Cavalry and Corsairs > Seaguard. I believe that Archers are comparable to RXB rather than being as one-sided as others believe. However, the sheer excellence of Silver Helms against the murderstab of Witch Elves is where the real distinction lies. Both of these units are absolutely definitive of the factions and provide opportunities that the other cannot match.


I believe the situation to be balanced, with High Elves providing better range and speed compared with the raw stat increases and damage output of Dark Elves.
What is the communities opinion regarding this legendary matchup?

Valour of Ages vs Eternal Hatred?
High Magic vs Dark Magic?
Phoenix vs Hydra/Kharibdyss?
Who is the king of elite infantry?
The Book of Hoeth and Banner of the World Dragon vs Sacrificial Dagger and Cloak of Twilight?

Kahadras
01-12-2013, 19:30
Things are pretty balance IMHO (this comming from a HE player). I think generaly the DE get a slightly better deal in general but they don't get core heavy cavalry, PG or Phoenix all of which are really good choices. Dark Magic has better synergy with the Dark Elves than High Magic does with High Elves. It really would come down to what type of list people bring and how canny they are at getting the correct match ups.

Scammel
01-12-2013, 20:04
DE probably have the edge when it comes to elements that the armies share, but once the books start to diverge in the Special and Rare choices I think the High Elves have the stuff that cause the most headaches for other armies. I'll confess to not having played against the new DE, but I'd much rather face down Witches, Executioners and Hydras than White Lions, Phoenix Guard and Phoenixes (largely because of the obnoxious staying power of those latter units).

SteveW
01-12-2013, 20:26
There's nothing that makes up for fiery convocation, phoenix', or Phoenix Guard in the DE book. They have advantages in other areas but they have no answer to those things.

Edit: Forgot all about the loremaster of hoeth. He might be the most versatile character in warhammer.

Spiney Norman
01-12-2013, 20:30
I think this thread will be far more interesting in 6 months time when we have a 3rd competitive elf army to throw into the mix.

I think overall there isn't much between DE & HE, but that overall DE have the better list. HE need their one-off gimmicks like the dragon banner and frosty, whereas the DE list is much more balanced and universally strong.

m1acca1551
02-12-2013, 00:58
I think the dark elves slightly edge out the high elves, and this is from a balance point of view, I find the DE internal balance to be better, I feel that I can really run any unit combination and not be too bad off. HE I really find that the balance is skewed to 1 build and we all know what one that is.

Maybe it's just my poor luck with HE but in my findings DE are far more balanced which makes them In my eyes better :)

Gustav Kohn
02-12-2013, 02:17
I voted Wood Elves because they are Asrai and I am loyal. I started playing them at the beginning of 8th ed. and still love em. If I were being honest I don't know which of the other two is better, but I didn't want to be honest.

Flash Felix
02-12-2013, 02:27
High Elves get a number of key advantages over Dark Elves; Phoenix, core Silver Helms, Book and Banner for starters.

But Murderous Prowess beats Martial Prowess hands down. Martial is useful until you lose that extra rank, then it's gone; and that's assuming you had the extra rank to start with. Murderous delivers all the time.

I just wish that Dark Elf spears weren't so massively superior to High Elf ones for the same cost. With the old books, High Elf spears were better on a model-for-model basis, but drucchi were cheaper to compensate, with Eternal Hatred. 300 points of each was an even match up, it came down to whoever charged. Now it's a win for the Dark Elves no matter what.

Dark Riders crap on Reavers, for only 1 point more. RXBs, hatred, 4+ armour and murderous prowess make me wonder if any Reaver Knights are left in Ulthuan. Let Dark Riders be better, but the points should reflect it, and they don't in this case, not by a long shot.

I know that the two books are balanced, but the fluff gamer in me, the one that wants to recreate 'historical' battles between High and Dark Elves, is disappointed. Taking optimised lists is fun to a point, but it would be nice to have Spear blocks and light cav that could match each other point for point.

mypantsarefree3
02-12-2013, 02:58
I agree that they're largely similar in power. A ying to a yang. HE have powerful defense in PG, that banner of the world drumstick, and high magic boosts to wards. DE have murderous prowess and dagger their own troops for only a potential to perhaps cast a spell.

OK, I'm being deliberately simplistic here but you get the point. I play DE and would absolutely love having a unit like the PG...and I'm certain a HE player would love some warlocks! Both sides are green here, people :)

But we can all agree that when woodies are redone they'll all be unfair, OP cheese. I vote to start the whining right here and now!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk (http://tapatalk.com/m?id=1)

Coldhatred
02-12-2013, 14:01
I've only had a few small games with my High Elves as of late due to there not being a huge amount of interest in Warhammer Fantasy at my usual store, but based on what I've seen I'd concur and say Dark Elves have a tiny edge due to internal balancing, but for all intents and purposes I'd say they are even.

Kain187
02-12-2013, 17:13
I feel both armies are solid. I personally think HE have better special, rare and magical items. PG > BG, lions > executioners, Frost Phoenix > DE monsters. The DE magical items are ok but the big problem with them is their cost. HE magical items are just incredibly good. I think DE shine with their core. Dark riders and witch elves are extremely powerful. Also the DE locks are pretty sick as well. Both armies are in solid spots and both have the tools to compete with any army out there.

Laniston
02-12-2013, 17:26
Don't forget Sisters of Avelorn. 20 sisters of avelorn with a handmaiden are no joke. Hand of Glory for an extra annoyed look on the dark elf player's face.

thesoundofmusica
02-12-2013, 17:33
I feel both armies are solid. I personally think HE have better special, rare and magical items. PG > BG, lions > executioners, Frost Phoenix > DE monsters. The DE magical items are ok but the big problem with them is their cost. HE magical items are just incredibly good.

I agree and as a whole I think HEs are slightly stronger. And with high magic lore attribute, ward save infantry, botwd and cavalry core they arent necessarily anywhere near as squishy as DEs.

Malagor
02-12-2013, 21:38
From my experience from facing them and watching others face them it seems Dark Elves are highly aggressive and very much rely on the opponent not being able to hit back.
They are the glass-cannon army.
High Elves however are better defensive based on the time playing my HE. In many times it seems better to get charged then to do the charging due to the high amount of spears that we can wield. And there are easy ways to get ward saves for even basic troops they are quite durable despite their T3s.
So different play-styles with differently designed books which works well for their play-styles so they are both good.

Kahadras
02-12-2013, 22:44
I agree and as a whole I think HEs are slightly stronger. And with high magic lore attribute, ward save infantry, botwd and cavalry core they arent necessarily anywhere near as squishy as DEs.

I don't think High Elves are so far ahead when it comes to squishyness. You can set the army up for the majority of it to get a ward save (Alarielle, Annointed, Archmage, Phoenix Guard, Phoenix) but it's expencive and limits numbers. Dark Elves aren't that far behind High Elves. They can't get core heavy cavalry but they can take Corsairs who get a decent save for infantry or get access to a parry save though the Bleakswords. They can also focus on Cold One Knights/Cold One Chariots/Hydra in special. Not to mention they can give a unit of Witch Elves a 5+ ward with a Cauldron of Blood.

While the High Elves get the PG, Frost Phoenix and magic items the Dark Elves do make things up in other areas. While the High Magic attribute is great the Dark Magic spells have great synergy with Dark Elf units and have some nasty combo's within the lore (Word of Pain followed by Blade Wind for example). Black Guard might seem worse than Phoenix Guard but they'll make mincemeat out of other infantry unit the High Elves have (two strength 4 attacks each with WS5 and hatred). I think the missile troops are a bit better in the Dark Elf book. The Darkshardes are more expencive than Archers but they can take a shield giving them a 5+ save and a parry in hth combat. They lose out on range to the Longbow but they've got two shots each with armour piercing.

The problem I have is that the power of each book entirely depends on what the opponant is taking. A High Elf army that focuses on shooting is going to gun down a Dark Elf army that's taking a lot of combat infantry (such as Witches, Black Guard and Sisters). Likewise a High Elf army set up for combat is going to struggle against the sheer amount of attacks that are going to be thrown at it by a combat Dark Elf army. If the Dark Elves take an army that focuses on survival (Sorceresses with Life Magic, Corsairs, Cold Ones, Cold One Chariots, Hydra, Kharibdyss) then a shooting High Elf army is going to have a much harder time stopping them. The Dark Elves could go shooting/magic heavy where upon a lightly armoured High Elf army will get shot to pieces but a mobile army (Silver Helms, Dragon Princes, Phoenix) could quickly close the range and outlast the Dark Elves in combat.

With a pair of balanced lists it would come down to the match ups. The Dark Elf player would want to chaff up the Phoenix Guard while sending his Black Guard off the take out the White Lions. The High Elf player would be looking to avoid the Black Guard by holding them up with is Eagles while aiming his White Lions at the Hydra etc etc.

Bugg13
03-12-2013, 07:33
If they're balanced/written well enough that each can viably field a variety of different styles of list, with the advantage coming down to build vs build rather than book vs book, then I'd say they're a success and are pretty much even. And if a pair of balanced lists would come down to match ups, then it shows that they are close enough that player skill is far more important than any imbalance in strength, which is how it should be and again points to them being well balanced power-wise.

For the record, I haven't played with or against either since their new books were released so this impression is running off what I've heard/seen rather than experience so I accept it may not be an entirely accurate review.

SteveW
03-12-2013, 12:11
I also wanted to point out how the armies match up with Chariots

White lion > Cold one: The white lion chariot has more offensive punch while the cold one chariot is tougher, slower, has stupidity, and costs more( I think)
Tirinoch > Cold One: The Tirinoch is faster and cheaper and can be taken in units to give it far more hitting power.
Skycutter > Scougerunner: while the runner has the stronger weapon, the skycutter is far more maneuverable.

Kahadras
03-12-2013, 22:44
I also wanted to point out how the armies match up with Chariots

White lion > Cold one: The white lion chariot has more offensive punch while the cold one chariot is tougher, slower, has stupidity, and costs more( I think)
Tirinoch > Cold One: The Tirinoch is faster and cheaper and can be taken in units to give it far more hitting power.

The Cold One Chariot is about inbetween the Lion and Tiranoc Chariot.

It's slightly cheaper than the Lion Chariot, has a better armour save , a better toughness, better leadership (plus ITP) and comes equipt with scythes as standard. It's slower than both Elf Chariots but the crew come pretty well equipt with spears and repeater crossbows. I'd say the White Lion Chariot is a bit better at causing damage in combat as it can put out more strength 5/6 hits on the charge. The Tiranoc chariot is faster and cheaper. The Cold One Chariot is harder to hurt, does more damage than the Tiranoc Chariot in combat and puts out more shots than it at range.

The major problem with the Cold One Chariot is stupidity and it's probably the reason why we won't see many around in 'standard' Dark Elf lists.

boli
04-12-2013, 00:51
Both armies have great synergy especially when using their own spell lore.

HEs tend to be more defensive, DEs offensive. Yes, each unit compared like for like HEs may edge it out slightly, but a DE list has a big advantage over HEs; rerolls to hit first turn of combat (which let's face it with T3 elves is the only round that matters) it turns 50% hit rate to 75% hit rate.

A Lion Chariot may be better than a cold one and Silver Helms in core, blackguard vs Phoenix Guard whatever; you can run the numbers all day but a well played DE list actively exploits the HE weaknesses. So whilst HEs may have marginally the better book they have to remember when they face their cousins it is they who have a slight advantage.

Baluc
04-12-2013, 00:59
Both armies have great synergy especially when using their own spell lore.

HEs tend to be more defensive, DEs offensive. Yes, each unit compared like for like HEs may edge it out slightly, but a DE list has a big advantage over HEs; rerolls to hit first turn of combat (which let's face it with T3 elves is the only round that matters) it turns 50% hit rate to 75% hit rate.

A Lion Chariot may be better than a cold one and Silver Helms in core, blackguard vs Phoenix Guard whatever; you can run the numbers all day but a well played DE list actively exploits the HE weaknesses. So whilst HEs may have marginally the better book they have to remember when they face their cousins it is they who have a slight advantage.

This is pretty huge actually. HE's have to build their list in such a way to fight DE's, or they lose basically all the in game match ups.

beerbeard
04-12-2013, 01:52
You can make a complete HE army that either flies, drives, or rides. The DE have no answer for it.

naloth
04-12-2013, 03:10
You can make a complete HE army that either flies, drives, or rides. The DE have no answer for it.

Eh? The DE have an answer for just about anything... perhaps being a bit light on penetrating 1+ saves, but otherwise extremely killy. HE may have core Cav, but not necessarily better Cav. They certainly don't put out more damage, though they can somewhat out range DE in the short term with shooting. Lots of the perks DE got (4+ sv infantry, 4+ sv fast cavalry with excellent shooting, rare Wizard unit with a 4++ and good spells, RBT are special rather than core) are a direct improvement over HE. Perhaps monsters is the only area that (surprisingly) HE fare better.

DeathlessDraich
04-12-2013, 11:52
Hi all,

- Martial Prowess vs Murderous Prowess
Again, people complain because the HE rule is apparently paid for on the characters with no advantage gained, while DE characters gain a very obvious improvement for the same cost. However I would argue that Martial is potentially far more powerful when it is applied and so while the characters are likely overcharged, HE Spears are better than DE Spears, Phoenix Guard are greater than Black Guard etc.
At it's peak, Martial can increase the output of a unit by 50% compared to 16% for Murderous.



Yes! I'm glad to see someone on this thread understands the game (Your %s are accurate :) but limited and should be calculated in other ways too).

It is HE Martial Prowess that has pushed them into one of the most competitive armies.

DE however do have the very points-effective Witch Elves and another trick or 2.

Treadhead_1st
08-12-2013, 11:09
I would argue that in a 1-v-1 game, the Dark Elves have the edge over High Elves - a lot of the units seem to work so much better than their High cousins and the choices available, particularly in a balanced list, just seem to one-up the High Elves. However, against the other armies available in Warhammer it is a much more evenly-balanced affair, with perhaps the High Elves having the edge - the Phoenix, core Fast/Heavy Cavalry, Phoenix Guard and Lions/Banner/Alarielle are more annoying for most opponents to face than Witch Elf hordes, Executioners and Warlocks.

So it is a bit of an odd answer really - the armies are very well balanced within the game as a whole, but slightly (yet not insurmountably) imbalanced against each other. So it depends on your viewpoint (and which army you collect) as to whether you think one is over/underpowered.

maze ironheart
08-12-2013, 11:51
Thats what happens when they let Matt Ward write a book can't bloody wait too see how he dose wood elve's :rolleyes:.I just hope 9th edition removes the re-roll to hit with Always strike first like what was they thinking giving all elves always strike first.All elves have high Initiative the only thing that counters that is other Elve's or Chaos warrior's.

gogs78
08-12-2013, 12:08
Play all the elf armies and high and dark elves are pretty evenly matched. In my experience woodies tend to do pretty well against them both with the right list......

I think its pretty hard to argue against delfs edging it though.

Methios
08-12-2013, 13:58
Thats what happens when they let Matt Ward write a book can't bloody wait too see how he dose wood elve's :rolleyes:.I just hope 9th edition removes the re-roll to hit with Always strike first like what was they thinking giving all elves always strike first.All elves have high Initiative the only thing that counters that is other Elve's or Chaos warrior's.

Lol...They elf books are pretty amazing. And the re-rolls are there to compensate for the way they changed step-up.

Fighting Newfoundlander
08-12-2013, 19:45
Lol...They elf books are pretty amazing. And the re-rolls are there to compensate for the way they changed step-up.

Yes - and to make elves actually fight half decently. I've always been a little embarrassed for the elves, watching orcs, let alone big unz, grind through them like paper. Given that they shouldn't be horde armies compared to rats, gobos, orcs, or the like, they need to be a little expensive and thus elite too. A high initiative and WS only go so far. I think that was a great change. Can't speak to the balance as I don't fight HE, but I think they'd do better against the armies I play (Orcs, Dwarves, and Warriors) than Dark Elves.

Imperator64
08-12-2013, 22:39
I won't comment on their abilities against other armies but only against each other. Against dark elves high elves lose their rerolls almost entirely but dark elves lose their rerolls from one source and (only with high elves) gain them from another. Put simply, helves get a nerf against delves and delves get a buff against helves.
I know that this in itself doesn't mean that delves are necessarily stronger and is only a very small part of the debate but its something a helf player notices very quickly when playing the druchii and leaves you feeling that things arent quite right.

InstantKarma
09-12-2013, 14:47
Wood Elves because when their new book comes out they will go from being sub-par to 'OMG SO OP!' within a few seconds of their book becoming available ;)


In all seriousness, I think the Wood Elves style of play is to radically different to other armies that while right now their book isn't great, when they get 'Warded up', they will be easily on par with their cousins.

mostlyharmless
09-12-2013, 20:45
Ugh, don't you realize we have 19 pages of gripe and whatnot about High Elves and Dark Elves already? See here: http://www.warseer.com/forums/showthread.php?382287-Dark-elves-vs-High-elves/page19

Determinator
10-02-2015, 19:56
Yeah but think about it.
What unit would drastically improve the dark elf army....phoenix guard
What unit would drastically improve the high elf army.............................................. ............................meh, maybe witch elves but never to the same extent as to phoenix guard

Vipoid
10-02-2015, 19:59
Yes!

Soon we shall unleash our army of resurrected threads upon this pitiful world! :evilgrin:

Knifeparty
10-02-2015, 21:21
I sort of see the elves as a rock/paper/scissor scenario.

HE beat WE and WE beat DE and DE beat HE.

They all have the tools to beat each other and a competent general can come out on top, however I feel I have to give the edge to DE over HE because of Hatred, Witch Elves and Warlocks.