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What are peoples opinions about fielding High Elf archers?
How many models should ideally be in the front rank?
How many ranks should the unit have?
Should the unit have a full command group?
How many 'blocks' of archers should a shooty High Elf list have?
I am basing my army initially on 1500 points, and am new to High Elves and WFB.
Okay welcome to WH and HE.
About archers, yes there is always discussion about them.
in order of you're Q:
-try to deploy in a single line or on a hill with two lines. so that's for example either 10 or 5*2
-Only use mus. if you have the points. The rest i would not suggest though with ASf and banner they might make good CC reserve.
-I would suggest using a single regiment.
For a shooting list maybe 2 when you hit the 2k fronteir.
I personally will use a single regiment of 10 plus mus. in my new list. They will take out fast cav and harres warmachines while they give one of my mages a good place to hide.
Hope it helps
"Ask not the Eldar a question, for they will give you three answers; all of which are true and terrifying to know"
A High Elf army with lots of archers is quite rare simply because they are overpriced (even with their points drop in the new army book) and strength 3 shooting won't really hurt that much. Most armies will still include a small unit or two however.
Units of archers should be small (I would normally go for 10) because only the front rank can fire so for their most "efficient" use you should deploy them in one rank. If they get into combat (even with Always Strike First) they will be crushed horribly so getting more ranks for combat is expensive and fairly pointless. If you want troops that can shoot and fight in combat then consider Lothern Sea Guard.
As for command, the Hawkeye (champion) is an expensive upgrade for just a small increase in BS, so most players don't bother taking him. The Standard bearer only helps in combat resolution which the archers WILL lose, and he gives away victory points if the enemy capture the standard so taking him is a bad idea. he musician is more useful since he's cheaper and helps the unit rally if/when they run away. So I would recommend a musician but not the champ or standard.
If you want your army to be shooting heavy (remember though that High Elf shooting isn't THAT effective and is expensive) then perhaps you should get a couple of units of 10 archers with musician and two or three bolt throwers (which are quite good, if a little expensive in points) Also consider Shadow Warriors because they have bows, adding toyour shooting and they can be quite effective at march blocking to slow the enemy down from getting to your lines. It would be a good idea to get a fairly strong magic phase, take the item that lets you choose your spells and take "Curse of Arrow Attraction" to make your shoting more accurate. Finally add some powerful counter charging units (chariots/heavy cavalry/white lions/swordmasters etc.) to surge forward and smash your enemy when they do reach you.
Welcome to Ulthuan
yeah, you would be better off fielding 3 RBTs. But 1 unit of 10 archers isn't a bad choice in a 2000+game. It slims points down for more specials and you can just place them opposite of warmachine crews and shoot at them or flyers (most of which are T3)
Not to be disagreeable, but in the right hands, and with a large enough unit, that flag can be very valuable. It makes the unit slightly more expensive, but after you've played with them for a while, you'll become skilled enough to flee with your banner away from any combat that you might lose. I like units of 13 or 14 w/ flag and mus. This unit with the addition of a mounted character (at 13) or a single model on foot (at 14) can actually rank up for spot flanking duty in turns 5-6 if needed and are remarkably effective charging into the flanks of chariots, Hvy Cav (as long as it's not deeply ranked). If you're fortunate enough to get a hill in your DZ (which is a very high probability in 7th ed), you can rank 'em up from the get go and have a rather fierce fire base unit. Of course, for 25-30 more points you can have LSG, but the points are often not available and the extra 6" range can make a difference when lobby counter battery fire at the enemy.
Still, 10 with a mus is pretty standard and will work fine. I just wanted to point out that there are other ways of using them.
Re shooty armies:
As Ancalagon suggested: Maybe 3 RBTs, a couple of Archer units, Shadow Warriors, and one or two characters with magical bows as your fire base. Bring enough of a magic phase to worry the typical Lv 2 X 2 defense and you'll be able to add to the pain in that phase. Toss in a few maneuver units and you should be set. Just to keep opponents from complaining too much (uber shooting makes for a pretty boring game in WHF, it wouldn't be a bad idea to have a few ranked units. Fielding the bog standard Hero on Eagle w/ Reaver Bow plus an additional Eagle, both used to interdict marches will win you all sorts of friends.
all the best,
Don't forget the Reavers, I know they take the precious special slot, but as fast cav they can early get close to the enemy, shoot down single characters, machines etc. After the cc started they can still be used for flanking.
If you want to do shooting but you don't want to loose your fighting edge, iwould suggest going for Lothern Sea Guard for just one point more then archers the also have the equipment of spearmen minus the shields. Yet you will have to take your range down to 24" because Lothern Sea Guard only come with regular bows.
My Woodelves have racked up a lot of kills with their strength 3 bows.
A friend of mine use 20 archers with musician and standard in two ranks on a hill. It's quite nasty as it has a static combat resolution of +4, so your opponent needs 5 kills to win the fight. This is a tall order for most things sent against archers, ASF helps as well.
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The "A Smart Player Will..." theory is a complete paradox. If we make an assumption that everything we do is outsmarted, then theoretically we can never win.
I just think that archers with a banner are asking for a cheap cavalry unit to run them down. All of a sudden their points are doubled as far giving points away. and even with ASF, they'll still get run down. You are going to have to teach me how to kill stuff with str3 shooting though Skars - - I can never roll the 5-6 to wound. Either that, I need to teach my opponents how to roll 1's for their armor saves.
... maybe I've been watching too much Sharpe.
Anyway, I never said that S3 shooting can't work, it's just that there are a lot more cost effective ways of killing things than High Elf Archers. They're very handy for harassing light units and knocking off rank bonus, but they won't kill that much over the course of a battle.
I'm not an anti archer person like some are. I'll always include one unit even if I already have enough core units. It would just seem a bit wrong not to have any archers.