Highborn - Lord of the Forest
- High Leadership
- High WS and BS
- Impressive Initiative
- Good choice of mounts (Notably the Forest Dragon)
- An array of tactical uses based on equipment/kindreds
- Frees Eternal Guard from Special choices if the General
- Low Toughness
- Generally Low Armor Save
- Extra VPs if the general: He'll be a target
- Average combat ability compared to other armies' Lords
Item/Spite/Kindred combinations and Uses: This area mainly deals with tactics for a Highborn, for more information on Items, Spites and Kindreds, refer to their entries in this tactica.
Armor-Eater: Bow of Loren, Arcane Bodkins. This is highly recommended to be used by a Highborn of the Alter Kindred. Race around the field, staying out of danger, while peppering your enemy with shots that ignore armor saves. When needed, this guy can charge into combat to support other units. Other good choices include the Glamourweave, Annoyance of Nettlings or the Briarsheath, just remember the latter wont save you from most war machines, and he should never go into combat alone unless its a small, weak target.
Commander: This one makes use of the Highborn's excellent Leadership. Kit him out depending on what secondary role you would like him to play; The Rhymer's Harp if he is joining Eternal Guard for a ward save that won't fall to magic (and of course to make them stubborn), The Bow of Loren and Arcane Bodkins are good if you put him on a flying mount, which gives you 20" movement to both line up those shots and get that Leadership to where its needed most. Depending on whatever you'd like to give him, just keep him close to other units so that they gain a Ld boost that will make your guys stick around. This use of a Highborn also requires your care as he will be your army general, and those extra victory points will tempt your opponent.
Asrai Warmaster: Who said Wood Elves don't like combat? Put this guy in a unit to even the fight! Depending on preference, you could give him tricksy items such as the Moonstone of the Hidden Ways to jump a Wardancer unit to where your enemy least expects it, have him bear the Dawnspear to minimise return casualties (a real treat for a mounted Highborn), or anything in between! You'll find the Annoyance of Nettlings is once again an optimal choice, so that your confidant opponent will regret that challenge. The Fimbulwinter Shard will make you all that harder to hit (just avoid your forest spirit friends), the Helm of the Hunt adds more punch to your Warmaster on the charge, or forego that for the Oaken Armor to have an Undying Lord. Kindreds of choice are Wardancer and Wild Rider, but remember both of these kindreds restrict your item choices, so you may want to just leave him undivided (in a non-Chaos way, honest!)
Silent Hunter: While less used than the previous setups, a Highborn is just as capable of skulking around in the trees as he is to gloriously lead your assault. Why not make him a Waywatcher or Scout kindred and use stealth as your weapon? The Highborn could even just use his prescence to make your opponent think twice about coming for that unit of Scouts, although he may just make your enemy want them more! The Bow of Loren can be used again here, with Arcane Bodkins or try the Starfire Arrows to sow disruption in the enemy ranks. Another, more unique choice could be the Blight of Terrors for a shock trooper against low - Leadership armies, Remember both Kindreds require you to be on foot, deny you a Great Weapon, and the Waywatcher ability Lethal Shot cannot be used with a magic bow or arrows, though you may shoot with your normal longbow on any turn to regain this ability if nescessary.
Mount Tactics & Principles
Elven Steed: Usually chosen out of necessity (Wild Rider Kindred), Elven Steeds aren't the great choice they used to be, with the recent FAQ released by Games Workshop stating that these are no longer make your Highborn Fast Cavalry. But if you need a cheap, effective mount, this is the one for you. Remember that this mount can't catch a bullet for its rider and the entire model is removed if struck with a Killing Blow.
Great Stag: With high strength and its own wounds to bring to the yard, the Great Stag is the business for a Wild Rider Highborn. As a forest spirit, its attacks are magical and it has its own ward save. Remember it has a larger base size though, and will take up more of a unit's frontage.
Great Eagle: While offering next to no protection to its rider, the Great Eagle is good to get your Highborn to the part of the battle you need him most, allowing a 20" move that ignores terrain and still allows shooting. If you want to make this pairing survive longer, try the Stone of the Crystal Mere or just keep them out of sight.
Forest Dragon: The big daddy of mounts, this guy takes everything you know about Wood Elves and cans it. With a very healthy stat line, plus Terror and flight to boot, you wish he was cheaper so you could field him all the time. Taking a Hero slot and a considerable chunk of your points, you'll find he is a better choice at games of 3,000 or more points. While you may take him at 2,000pts, misuse of mount and rider at this point level will be fatal.
While care must always be taken with Wood Elves, especially generals, there aren't that many was to misplay a Highborn. Stick to the principles of Wood Elf combat, and if he's alive at the end, you've done fine.