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View Full Version : High Elves, Are they good? Can you play diferent types of lists?



Merellin
06-04-2014, 15:48
So, I'm getting back into Fantasy (Yay!) as is a few of my friends, But I dont have any actual playable army yet (Sold off my Skaven, And my Wood Elves are a very small not very good force..) And I have this thought, I want to have a force of all three elf armies! (I mean, Not one of all three, But one for each of the three) and my friend is planning to sell his High Elves, So I'm gonna buy them off him for a good price. (I dont remember exactly what he has but i'm gonna pay just slightly more then a Island of Blood box for the High Elf content from Island of Blood, Plus a whole bunch of other stuff. Everyone in the group agrees that it is a good price. And it will give me a good sized army to start playing with right away.)

Anyways! I'm wondering if High Elves are any good and if you can build a variation of diferent lists that all work well? Or is there one primary list that every sticks to because everything else is just very sub par?

Oh yeah! I was going to ask if they are good against the armies my group have aswell! XD The armies played in my group are Dwarves, Vampire Counts, Warriors of Chaos, Wood Elves, Ogre Kingdoms, Bretonnia, Lizardmen and Skaven.

Malagor
06-04-2014, 16:35
HE are a excellent army IMO.
The book is well-written and overall balanced book ignoring a certain item.
And yes you can play different types should you so wish it.

NemoSD
06-04-2014, 17:11
So, I'm getting back into Fantasy (Yay!) as is a few of my friends, But I dont have any actual playable army yet (Sold off my Skaven, And my Wood Elves are a very small not very good force..) And I have this thought, I want to have a force of all three elf armies! (I mean, Not one of all three, But one for each of the three) and my friend is planning to sell his High Elves, So I'm gonna buy them off him for a good price. (I dont remember exactly what he has but i'm gonna pay just slightly more then a Island of Blood box for the High Elf content from Island of Blood, Plus a whole bunch of other stuff. Everyone in the group agrees that it is a good price. And it will give me a good sized army to start playing with right away.)

Anyways! I'm wondering if High Elves are any good and if you can build a variation of diferent lists that all work well? Or is there one primary list that every sticks to because everything else is just very sub par?

Oh yeah! I was going to ask if they are good against the armies my group have aswell! XD The armies played in my group are Dwarves, Vampire Counts, Warriors of Chaos, Wood Elves, Ogre Kingdoms, Bretonnia, Lizardmen and Skaven.

HE are a very flexible list, almost has may options in regards to type of list as Empire. That being said, it can be tough getting a HE army to work. Their infantry needs ranks to work, and elves are expensive, but the cavalry is generally good and can work MSU pretty well.

HE Short fallings are: We lack a lot of 'strong' options. This is the main reason Swordmasters and or White Lions show up in almost every list. Some of our strength issues can be covered with magic of course. The hardest part about a HE list is that it is hard to quantify some of the benefits it gets, which is why internet min-maxers often despise the list, because when you use a net list, it comes down to Banner of the World Dragon in a giant block of White Lions and a bunch of a chaff, with a frost bird or two flying around. It is not fun to play against, and the amount of fun varies based on the army faced. However, options like the sea helm get ignored, who is wonderful in a Sea Guard formation, as it allows you to 'ignore' the charge threat, and get a extra round of arrow plinking done. We have some pretty good shooting options, although in the exception of the bolt throwers and sisters, nothing over strength 3, which means armor is going to be your bane. But armor is always a High Elves bane, as our sea guard, spearmen, and silver helms, not on a charge, are all strength 3 as well.

Elves fight through sheer number of attacks before the other guy gets to swing back. Hence the dependance on ranks.

Dwarves will be tough because they can sabotage your magic phase, and have decent armor, but all in all, they are a good match up.

Vampire Counts I've never played yet, in theory there should be a good match, but I wonder if High Elves might get overwhelmed by numbers, and I am afraid of ever actually facing a blender lord.

Warriors of Chaos are easy or tough as diamond encrusted nails depending on how min maxed the list is. It is possible, if I remember correctly, to face Toughness 5, Armor 3, hordes as core troops, and it just gets more painful from there. It is really hard to kill those guys.

Wood Elves, no idea, although just on the surface the two fit like a puzzle, so that could be a very interesting fight.

Ogres you're going to have a bad day with. You're going to have trouble giving enough woulds to reduce the absurd number of attacks they can drop on a charge. Your best bet is to get a charge off, buff the unit, or debuff the ogres, as best you can. Dispel the Lore of Maw bubbles, you want none of them going off. They are very beatable, just they are a tough army. One of the more balanced top tiers though.

Bretonnians are going to bring the same list every time because they really only have one list. There are some variants of course, but more or less the same. Deny them the charge, and you are on your way to victory. They do have a lot of high armor units which can drag out fights into long fights of attrition.

Lizardmen I do not know enough about to even guess. I do know they have magic that rivals the High Elves, and some decent core troop choices, but I do not know how those troops lean.

Skaven are a top teir army that just has a ton of crap in its list, and none of it is healthy for you. They're always going to have steadfast, they are going to deny you rerolls at times, but they are still going to die in droves. The trick is to kill them faster then they kill you. High Elf vs Skaven is a very fun match up that slightly favors the Skaven.

Knifeparty
06-04-2014, 18:14
The High Elf book is very good and every option is workable and useful.

"THE" list that you will probably hear is the most competitive is:

Archmage Level 4 with Talisman of Preservation and Book of Hoeth

or

Alarielle the Everqueen.

A battle Standard Bearer Nobel on a Horse with Star lance, enchanted shield and other tricksters shard.

Core consists of only Silver helms and Elyrion Reavers (sometimes theres archers if you need to fill up the 25%)

Special is a giant block of White lions with the Banner of the World Dragon (2+ ward save vs. Magical Attacks) and put either the Archmage or Alarielle in with this unit. Alarielle gives the unit a 5+ ward save against mundane attacks which stacks with high magic to give a +1 ward save every time you successfully cast a high magic spell. This means that if you get 2 spells off in one turn the White Lions have a 3+ ward save against normal attacks and 2+ ward save vs. magical attacks. Along with being stubborn and striking at I5 with Strength 6. Dirty business.

Throw in a unit of Phoenix Guard (sometimes with a level 1 high magic mage to buff their 4+ ward save to 3+).

For rare you just add 2 Frost Phoenix's and you're set.

Just put some bolt throwers or shadow warriors or anything else you want basically to fill up the rest of the points.

That being said my buddy runs a list that has none of these things in the army. He uses sword masters, bolt throwers and a lore master and he got in 1st place at a 2 day tournament in New York last month. He is a good player but all of the other armies were geared up to face scary stuff. They don't know what to do when all of your units are toughness 3 with 5+ armour. I also run a similar list to my friend but I don't attend tournaments that frequently.

This is basically proof that you can pretty much run anything with HE and you'll be ok.

CountUlrich
06-04-2014, 19:27
And that BotWD is broken as ****.

Sent from my SGH-M919 using Tapatalk

NemoSD
06-04-2014, 20:02
And that BotWD is broken as ****.

Sent from my SGH-M919 using Tapatalk

^If you are playing High Elves, you are going to hear this a lot. It is broken in one situation really. Powerful yes. Even if you don't use this banner though, the myth that it is so good as that if you use it you will always win, you will be subjected to these comments.

Merellin
06-04-2014, 21:22
Thanks alot for all the awesome and helpful replies! ^_^ One more question, Do High Elves have any units that are best avoided?

Malagor
06-04-2014, 22:01
Not really.
I find that they are all good in their own way. One might argue that spearmen are best avoided in favor of seaguards(I too enjoy the versatility of the seaguards) but going for a more cheaper core spearmen does the job.

NemoSD
06-04-2014, 22:55
Not really.
I find that they are all good in their own way. One might argue that spearmen are best avoided in favor of seaguards(I too enjoy the versatility of the seaguards) but going for a more cheaper core spearmen does the job.

Depends how you use them. For example, if I want to dump to large blocks of infantry, I will do two 40 man Spear hordes. One large block, or several medium, I go Seaguard for the versatility.

boli
06-04-2014, 23:03
Spearmen in a horde of 50 has with full command 51 rerollable attacks. Add some shadow magic and you have some very scary damage potential for a pretty low cost which can deny steadfast.

The only unit which I'll say is "in competative is the skycutter,

Malagor
06-04-2014, 23:24
Depends how you use them. For example, if I want to dump to large blocks of infantry, I will do two 40 man Spear hordes. One large block, or several medium, I go Seaguard for the versatility.
Exactly, all their units are all useful one way or another depending on how you use them and theme of the army.
Of course, for me personally there is 1 unit that I can never see myself to bring and that's Dragon Mages.

Turgol
07-04-2014, 00:10
Spearmen in a horde of 50 has with full command 51 rerollable attacks. Add some shadow magic and you have some very scary damage potential for a pretty low cost which can deny steadfast.

The only unit which I'll say is "in competative is the skycutter,

Skycutter has been very useful in my experience. Cheap unir to pass over enemy lines and then give those needed S5 rear impact hits.

Generally speaking problems with HE can be summarized in the following way: 8 th edition is a brutal world, with lots of S5+ and/or 3+ infantry save and an insane number of monstruos infantry and cavalry. In such an insane world two kinds of armies tend to thrive: those armies with such brutality (WoC, OK, maybe dwarven defense) and those armies with huge numbers of crap units to sacrifice (Skaven, some OandG). HE have none of those. So you have to put your elite units to overcome the odds. This is very feasible. Or you can use a broken tool: the Moon of Endor Death Star. Throng of White Lions with Banner and wall between the world.

boli
07-04-2014, 00:13
Skycutter is limited by only 10" move and -1 to hit if you move. In general terms you'd be better served with a Repeating Bolt thrower and an Eagle (for the same price)

Turgol
07-04-2014, 00:33
Well, the eagle eye volt thrower is indeed underwhelming. I tend to use it without.

Wesser
07-04-2014, 08:50
High Elves are one of the most forgiving armies out there. They aren't too reliant on synergy, characters or specific formations and even the most basic unit is in with a fighting chance against most Things.

While the army does lack tarpits it has access to pretty much everything else you could wish for, and arguably it is pretty difficult to actually make a bad High Elf army.


Of course the army have something it just can't deal with. Storming a Castled Dwarf Gunline is always problematic and a Nightshrouded Blender Lord on a Zombie Dragon will likely always end in elven tears, but you'll likely never have one of those "Oh ****" moments when you you've got an almost unwinnable setup. (Like turning up with a magic light Wood Elf armies and finding out you face Tomb Kings...gulp)

Colonel Mayhem
07-04-2014, 10:22
The fact we got acces to both heavy cavalry, cheapish infantry and ranged units as well as excellent expandable chaff in our core department means we don't have to be locked into one specific type. From there it is just a matter of adding what you like. This is one of the main reasons I don't play any other army. Wanna play an all cavalry force? we can do that. Wanna go heavy on infantry? we can do that. Wanna build a shoting army? we can do that. The only armies I have yet to imitate playstyle of is large horde armies(goblins/skaven).

Hoshiyami
07-04-2014, 11:01
IMO they're ok, but not too good. They lack the numbers, the killing power or the survivability of their characters outside a one-item-trick. They have some good - very good units (frozen phoenix, white lions, phoenix guard), some poor units (white lions charriot, skycutter, sea helm, dragon mage), it's hard to play combat characters on foot (poor T & AS) and need to work hard to kill the tough things (not having cannons or stone throwers, shoots of S6/1d3 wounds don't to the trick most of the time).

Overall, you have a capable army, but not a top one. Decent elite infantry, a monster that is maybe too good and cheap eagle chaff. Ah, and a banner hated by every demon in the neighbourhood.

And yes, you can play different types of lists.


Spearmen in a horde of 50 has with full command 51 rerollable attacks. Add some shadow magic and you have some very scary damage potential for a pretty low cost which can deny steadfast.

This way you're going in the ~500 points range for 51 rerollable S3 attacks (without magic help). And 50 T3, 5+AS wounds, with 5 rows. Most armies can do something scarier with that points.

boli
07-04-2014, 11:17
Most armies can; but spear-hordes/bus offers something High Elves lack; the ability to beat steadfast in a single round. Add magic and this steadfast negator can change from "cheap" infantry to a deadly blender.

Yowzo
07-04-2014, 13:19
Skycutter is limited by only 10" move and -1 to hit if you move. In general terms you'd be better served with a Repeating Bolt thrower and an Eagle (for the same price)

Or if you want the whole flying bolt thrower of doom thing, noble on eagle with reaver bow + potion of strength or reaver bow + ring of fury. More expensive but at BS6 and able to march-fly you can actually hit stuff.

Kahadras
07-04-2014, 13:34
^If you are playing High Elves, you are going to hear this a lot. It is broken in one situation really. Powerful yes. Even if you don't use this banner though, the myth that it is so good as that if you use it you will always win, you will be subjected to these comments.

Agreed. I've kept my eye on the tournament scene since the High Elf book came out and they don't appear to be anywhere near as powerful as some people were predicting when their new book arrived.

Merellin
07-04-2014, 17:31
Thanks for all the replies! It has been very helpful ^_^