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Hey guys ive just been having a good think about using silver helms in games, is there really a point to using them? I mean at the end of the day you can just as easily field a unit of DP instead of SH and they have a much better statline.
Ive been trying to think of situations where it would be worthwile to use SH but i cant come up with any. Even in a lower point game you can increase the points allowance to where you can add DP's instead (ive recently done this when going against my cousins VC we both agreed to increase the points allowance from 500 to 600 and this allows me to used DP). At the end of the day they both take up a special slot and for a few more points you get a lot in return.
So does anyone have any ideas about when SH should be used and why?
To be brutally honest, GW realistically could have just axed them completely, but that probably would have made a lot of veteran HE players really upset. Up until this edition, they've always been Core, or not had a limitation on how many units you could field. But with GW's crackdown on core heavy-cav (setting aside of course the Brets, who are more or less all cavalry, and they have a number of other issues that compensate for that advantage... only Empire, and to a very limited extent Tomb Kings, have them now, and a lot of people still b**** about Empire having 1+ save cavalry in Core, and IMO rightfully so), it was decided that HE could no longer have Silver Helms as Core choices when they redid the book.
However, GW really did not want to move Dragon Princes to the Rare slots, HE have enough problems as it is just trying to figure out how to fit in RBTs and Eagles. Keeping Dragon Princes 0-1 really wasn't an option either for fluff reasons, and in terms of game balance, the army would be hard pressed to be both competitive and allow for variation, if you left the 0-1 restriction in place, without making drastic changes to the rest of the list.
Now comes the issue of what to do with them if you are going to have both troop types occupying the Special slot. Game balance purposes suggest you can't really play with the point costs too much, unless you want to essentially force players to only run one or two units of Dragon Princes at maximum, by making them super-crazy and cost 50+ points a model. At that point you'd have enough differential in points that players would seriously consider using Silver Helms. You can't really point-shave on Silver Helms either... relative to the rest of the list and what other armies pay for 2+ save cavalry, Silver Helms are actually undercosted by 1.5 to 2 points, depending on who you ask. The problem is that with such a small differential in price for such a big stat increase, you'd have to be insane not to scrape the extra points together to take Dragon Princes in the current list if you would consider Silver Helms.
At this point, there really is no reason except for all those HE veterans who have 4 or 5 full 6-man units of Silver Helms with Full Command who never got any Dragon Princes in the first place. Let's be honest, I couldn't blame them if they stuck to all Silver Helms and didn't take their allowable 1 unit of Dragon Princes in 6th Edition... Dragon Princes in 6th were terrible for their points cost.
What GW should have done with Silver Helms for 7th Edition was instead of giving an optional upgrade for shield, make it mandatory, and give an optional upgrade for barding. Make the barding upgrade 4 points, starting from base cost 18 would give the option for either 22 point cav with a 2+ save and M8, or 18 point cav with a 3+ save and M9. The heavier cav would be slightly closer to playable than the current, and not too far out of line from what other armies would pay. The lighter cav would fill a role that HE are actually lacking in: quick shock troops, and allow you to finally take the Spear option away from Ellyrian Reavers, make Bows mandatory, and finally give them the point reduction they so desperately need. Reavers are slightly over-priced right now, but they have to be because of the versatility.
Would be happy to hear anyone else's thoughts on this... mind you, I realize this is not the only approach to solving this problem, I just haven't heard many suggestions that would actually be feasible and don't involve putting Silver Helms back in Core. As much as I loved playing an all-cavalry list in 6th Edition (mostly because it was the best competitive choice), that's not what 7th Edition HE are about anymore... if you want that, go play Brets.
As it stands Dragon Princes have effectively made Silver Helms obselete, because they are far superior in every way as heavy cavalry and most definitely worth the difference in points to get 2 attacks each, and they now take the same special slot. Special slots are highly contested now with the addition of PG and WL, and chariots no longer being 2 for 1, so if you want heavy cavalry you take Dragon Princes not Silver Helms.
@ ga1661, if you gave silver helms the option of being M9 (which would be great) I think it would do the same as I've described above except making reavers obselete. Yes, reavers get a free reform, but seriously is that worth a 3+ save and lances instead of spears? Hell no. The only way to balance it out (3 different cavalry options in special is crazy...) is to put the silver helms back in core and drop their points by a touch. If GW is so keen on getting rid of the all cav HE armies then make the number of silver helm units equal or less than the number of spear units in the army, so people still need spearmen to take helms. But I think all cav armies should be an option for HE, it adds depth to the list and a different way to play, with the elite infantry being better now I don't think we would see a flood of mounted HE armies anyway.
Yeah I don't understand the thinking in not wanting Core Cav for High Elves... aren't they supposed to be the quick, fast, hard hitting type?
You know what? Make Ellyrian Reavers core instead. Fluff-wise it'd make more sense to have those guys be much more common than young nobility. Then give them a small price reduction.
Now you then have the option for longer-charging shock troop vs heavy cavalry in your special slots.
Optional Barding but mandatory shields would rock. Then give their Champion the option to use Magical Items up to 25 points. They're not the kids of poor nobles after all.
Yes it would open up an all-cav list again for the High Elves, but as it stands right now we use token Archers or Spears in our cores. By having March Blocking, Spear thrusting, Bow shooting, fast moving units as our core troops would exemplify the High Elf way of combat.
In fact it would allow for much more heavily Elite Infantry-based Special choices by freeing up the Special slots for more SMs/WLs/PGs.
I wish they'd issue a Patch...
They can sometimes be useful for people who wish to field fluffy or themed armies as myself.
My army is based around Saphery and it would be quite strange if a unit of DP would accomany them.
5000p. High Elves
I have expiremented with SH in games with little success... I would say keep them on your shelf and let the DP's do the work ^^
-1st Army-High Elves 81/11/9
-Second Army-Lizardmen 6/0/0
I am seriously annoyed now, I boguth SH back before the update, and now they are made a special choice, I guess one could use them when they want something with a little more punch than reavers but dont have the points for DP
they still have a use, they 're just not as useful. My friend and I both play HE, we both had silver helms and spearmen in our armies before the new edition. I played swordmasters and dragon princes in the last edition and always had 2 units of 5 silver helms as charge baiters/flankers. They are still useful in that role. SH with a musician cost the same amount of points as 7 special infantry choices (SM, WL, PG) with champion and musician.
Silver Helms are for when you haven't bought your box of dragon princes yet, or if you don't have quite enough points or if you can't stand to buy the reavers (models stink) and need something to bait the enemy. They do have a decent save against the enemy and decent movement.
Yes dragon princes are better stat-wise for only a few points more. Yes, GW dropped the ball once again on the High Elf players by not thinking through anything and producing a poorly designed army list/book with lots of problems and not a lot of solutions. Basically GW found a way to sell their overstocked metal miniatures from 5th edition without having to do any work. I would have rather appreciated them taking some time to actually design or redesign the army book and release it a year or two later than they did. But that's not what happened. Silver helms will rarely, if ever be played, because GW was too lazy to actually figure out how to play their own game, or couldn't care less about the tripe they release at times.
Last edited by buckero0; April 18th, 2008 at 22:46.
I don't really see any reason to use Silver Helms as far as the rules go, as Dragon Princes are far more effective. I think you will still see them around every once and again though. Personally I will use a unit or two if and when I get a game in, because I have Silver Helm models but no Dragon prince models. I'm not totally against counts as, but since the models are Silver Helms, I'm going to use them as Silver Helms. Now, if I pick up some Dragon Princes at some point, then the Silver Helms will probably find themselves retired from active duty.
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