View Full Version : High Elf Archery

06-04-2009, 20:45
Will a pure high elf archery list work, as I would like to take about 48 of them, then support it with dragon mage, sword masters, white lions, and repeating bolt throwers, I still would really like the archers to be my main core though, before deciding to buy anything else.

06-04-2009, 21:35
Alas they lack a little bite in today's missile weapon world. You really need curse of arrow attraction to make them work, as well.

06-04-2009, 23:16
They're horribly overpriced for what they can do unfortunately, so getting lots of them is risky. Against anyone with T4 or a decent armour save you'll struggle to inflict decent casualties.

06-04-2009, 23:40
An army of sword masters would be both funnier and scarier at the same time! I think that 2 units of archers and 2 units of bolt throwers combined with curse of arrow attraction is more than enough to do damage. But at the same time doesnt completely screw you once the enemy reaches you.

for example, what are you going to do against a lizard army with a 5+ ward save for every unit vs shooting, and 2 stegs with poisioned bolt throwers aiming at the dragon mage? Not enough i'd be willing to bet.

07-04-2009, 01:31
Will it work? Well, it can be done, but you're relying on what is essentially a weak unit as the core of your force. High Elf archery has good range, but suffers from shooting a low volume of weak shots- it really lacks the kind of advantages that other gunline lists bring. There are some targets which are susceptible to bowfire- fast cav, some kinds of skirmishers, low-toughness and armor elite infantry, other archers; so archers can be perform a useful role in tackling these targets. But archers alone are going to have a hard time hurting the large combat units (hard to kill enough for the panic test) and/or units with high toughness or armor saves- which tend to be most decisive in battle.

There is also a problem of frontage: it is hard to find enough space (or hills) for 4 12-wide units of archers to occupy with good lines of sight to enemy and room enough for your other unit. That's 32 inches, nearly 3 feet across of archers (probably less with a hill.) Now, it's good to have escort units to protect the archers, but how you will fit them in and move them in place to block enemy charges? The problem isn't insurmountable, but it has to be accounted and planned for.

Now there are other elements of the high elf list that can bring some deadlier ranged firepower to bear: repeater bolt-throwers, which can be very effective and also benefit from not taking up much frontage, and mages through their spells (who can also enhance the rest of the shooty units with curse as well.) The two magic bows are also very potent, although one of them requires a Lord to fire (taking away the option of an archmage). In general, magic-heavy is seen as synergizing with shooting-heavy, but having some defensive units and counter-chargers ready is essential IMO for ranged armies. I'm not sure that Dragon Mage is goes well with such a list, though, because you generally want to fly forward with a dragon to spread terror, breathe fire, and eat things, but the rest of the army wants to sit back and shoot, and that leaves you with one very exposed (and easily killed) dragon mage.

Finally, it must be noted that that Shadow Warriors, Ellyrian Reavers, Sea Guard, and chariots can all contribute to the shooting phase while performing other useful functions. You might consider converting (and perhaps slightly increasing in size) one of your archery units to Sea Guard, that way you can have a unit that fires like an archery unit, but can reform and fight like a medium-sized infantry block when needed.

07-04-2009, 03:24
Yeah if you want to win with shooting then you need the non-Archer units as well to do it. S3 BS4 just isn't good enough on its own. Even in large numbers.

07-04-2009, 03:27
The biggest issue with mass bowfire is LOS.

If you field 48 archers, i reckon you would be lucky to get LOS for half those guys before you run out of space. Hence why Repeater fire or skirmishing is twice as good since you get more shots per square inch.

07-04-2009, 03:30
I suppose I should've been a bit more specific, soots has good advice and I should say that stuff like Reavers, Eagles and Shadow Warriors do a great job disrupting enemy movement, giving you more time to shoot/magic them. It's tough to play an Elf shooting army, but if you're sneaky it can be done.

07-04-2009, 10:24
The thing I like about high elves is that the models are
great, and it all goes back to LOTR elves are great
shooters and nothing could top them.

07-04-2009, 13:06
Dark Elves and Wood Elves (the latter thematically closer) are the great shooty bowmen of the Warhammer universe, (now if they got back their fire in 2 ranks like they had in 5th edition, that would be closer to the movie). High Elves rather take after the High Elf spearmen in the Fellowship movie.

Chicago Slim
07-04-2009, 14:02
I've definitely fielded HE armies built around pure shooting, to mixed results (which means sometimes it obliterates the enemy, and sometimes I get rocked...)

RBTs are an incredibly valuable shooting asset for high elves-- consider their multi-fire mode this way: If I told you that you could have little units of 6 guys, with a 50 mm frontage and 360 LOS, with 48" range and S4 AP move-or-shoot for 16 points per model, you'd jump on it for your shooting army, right? So, yeah, max RBTs.

Consider leading your shooting army with a shooting character: Alith Anar or a Lord with the Seafarer's Bow, on a fast mount (preferably an eagle)-- either will get you a really high BS bolt-thrower than can drop bolts into the flanks of enemy cavalry, which will be crucial. The rest of your characters can all be mages (including a Dragon Mage, if that's your taste), but let the Lord be a shooter.

Shadow Warriors and Reavers are an excellent complement, as well-- you need to be march-blocking, in order to give your archers time to work, and you might as well let the march-blockers drop some arrows into the enemy, as well...

By this point, you'll notice that you don't have any points left for fighting infantry (at least, not if you bring the dragon). That's actually okay: your units of archers, your Lord and ESPECIALLY your Dragon (!) will just have to mop up the few models that make it through your great storm of arrows...


07-04-2009, 15:12
Have you thought about making the list a Wood Elf list instead?

I play both High and Wood Elves and the Wood Elves definately do this kind of list better. With there archers being 1 pt more. You get to move and shoot with no penalty, Str 4 at short range and you can move through woods with no penalty.

If your set on High Elves and you do have some of the models already. Then the list can work, but as stated above theres alot of troubles with it. The other thing you could consider is to make half of those archers Sea Guard, so when the enemy reaches your lines, at least you've got some spears to poke them with. Those archers aren't really going to stand to long in combat. But if you max out on Bolt Throwers(4) then you should be able to thin stuff down quite a bit before it gets to you. But you would also want some heavy magic for that as well.

If its just a shooty Elf force that your looking for (think mass amounts of Legolas in your army) then seriously think about going Wood Elves. The amount of fire power they can pump out is just ridiculous. Not too mention all the magic bows they have, and magic arrows. Plus if you wanted to pay the extra points, you could have some of your archer units skirmish.

Just a couple thoughts.

07-04-2009, 18:58
I agree that the woodies are the better choice for such an army (note, I play them - so I'm likely biased), but they lack some of the heavy duty magic options, and wild riders aren't in the same ballpark as dragon princes.

Why not try and use your high elf models as counts-as wood elves for a friendly game or two?

archers - glade guard
reavers - glade riders
silver helms - wild riders
sword masters - war dancers
shadow warriors - way watchers
eagle - eagle :)

You won't have RBTs, but you can choose warhawk riders instead. They take some getting used to, but they are quite good in a hit-and-run shooting army.

07-04-2009, 19:44
Ok the models for the wood elves are nice, i'll admit.
Now i'm wondering how do they play? Also I like the
treeman models, so would I be able to have 3 of them
in my army? (2 rares & lord)

07-04-2009, 20:05
A Lord-level treeman takes up a rare choice as well, so under 3k points, you cannot have 3. A drawback of this army style is the lack of eagles.

Now, having said that, you can have a quite viable army combining both elements you seem to like:

Treeman Ancient
Spellsinger (with for instance Deepwood Sphere and dispel scroll)
Noble, BSB or alter kindred.
Optionally a 4th character, for instance a branchwraith or another spellsinger

3 units of 12 glade guard
1 unit of 8 dryads
2 units of 5 glade riders
1 unit of 3 warhawk riders (to fill the role of normal eagles)
1 unit of 8 war dancers

08-04-2009, 18:15
I play both WE and HE and have done for far too long, to be honest, and rarely field huge numbers of archers in either armies. Mainly because they don't win battles, yes they will remove the odd rank, if you're lucky, but its the close combat stuff that does the business. See your archers in this roll, as support, and they will be useful, as game winners on their own they aint. For gun lines look to the Dwarfs and Empire, they have it taped.

08-04-2009, 21:05
I hate gun lines personally, I think I'm going to go with
Wood Elves just because I like the playing style a little

08-04-2009, 22:22
I play Wood Elves and used to collect High Elves, and agree with the assessment that Woodies shoot better. But the HEs make up for that because they have better close combat troops (they have rank n file troops with armor and banners!), everyone has ASF, they have war machines, great eagles, and the magic college selection is WAY better. If you want to blast things apart in the magic phase, then shoot them up in the shooting phase, then mop up with ASF in the CC phase, you will only do that with High Elves, not Woodies (or DEs with hatred instead of ASF). HEs are much easier to use than Woodies, too. Just a thought.

Chicago Slim
09-04-2009, 20:51
HEs make up for that because they have better close combat troops (they have rank n file troops with armor and banners!)

Hell, man, Wood Elves would be happy to have close combat troops with WEAPONS, let alone armor and banners! :)

09-04-2009, 23:44
Erm, Eternal Guard? Core if you take a Highborn, 12 points each, and they get really damn good (Stubborn) when a Noble or a BSB joins the unit. The crappy part is that you have to build an army list around them since they change your army's playstyle so much.

10-04-2009, 00:06
I've had ok results with EG, although I'll admit I haven't tried the Highborn version yet.
What I used was something along these lines:

Spell Weaver, level 4, Rhymer's Harp, Annoyance of Netlings. [Lore of Beasts, although I'd sswitch to Life against a gunline]
Spell Singer, level 2, Deepwood Sphere, Dispel Scroll
Noble BSB. Amber Pendant, Rageth's Wildfire Blades

10 Glade Guard
10 Glade Guard
5 Glade Riders, musician

28 Eternal Guard, full command, Faoghir.
[Joined by Spellweaver and BSB]
8 Wardancers
8 Wardancers
3 Warhawk Riders


I'm doing it from memory, so I may be off a little, but that should be about 2,250.
The true strength of the army, of course, is the center of 3 stubborn units - two treeman and the 5+/5+ Eternal Guard.