Welcome to Librarium Online!
Myself and some other 3 other LO members are thinking of starting a 'Tale of Four Gamers' for the new Warzone Magazine and I have to choose a new WHFB army. The first army I thought of was the high elves primarily because of there awsome mini's (and my last game with my OK army was against HE's and I was cut to ribbons) but also because of the always strike first rule which I find really appealing.
Whatever army I do choose I will be using in the 2009 Tasmanian State Championships aswell so (although I have no intention of coming first) I want a fairly effective army on the table.
Anyways my question to all the HE veterens and noobs alike is are they easy to run on the table-top?, I am a hopeless gamer so I don't want I army which takes super awsome skill (like Dark Eldar) just to get a decent result out of them are they the right army for a idiot like me? And lastly how do you find them as a army generally (strengths and weaknesses etc.).
Your help is very much appreciated <-- spelt wrong.
p.s; Consider yourselfs bribed with rep.
CHK CHK BOOM!
High Elves have fantastic models, and can generally be relied on doing the job they are required to do. Archers are overrated against some armies, but underrated against others - those 30" ranges are ample against an EMpire army for example, where you get two good turns of shooting before the enemy can grapple with you.
Spears are excellent defensive troops, and can really mince up most enemy infantry, unless they have very good saves and/or a high toughness (Dwarves, Lizardmen). ASF in three ranks ins a boon. Just don't expect them to stand up to an Empire cavalry charge without support.
Sea Guard are a compromise unit. They might be useful in small units to deter skirmishers from taking apart your war machines, as they can shoot and fight.
The best bit about the High Elf armies is the elites. Phoenix Guard - 4+ ward save, heavy armour, halberds and Fear causing!
White Lions are one of the few S6 units in the army, and have a 4+ armour save vs missile fire, so are better against armies with lots of "small" shooting like Dark Elves, Bretonnians or Wood Elves.
Sword masters are gods in CC, 2 attacks, WS to better any other Rank and File units, and killing blow to boot. However they are not well protected - Shield of Saphery and sacred incense are a must for this unit.
Silver Helms are average heavy cavalry, and not particulalry good medium cavalry, but are still as good as Empire knights (only issue is that Empire Knights are Core).
Dragon Princes are loads better, as they are 2 attack monsters, and are also fireproof, so Balefire spikes and flaming swords of Rhuin won't do anything to them.
there are other support units - Eagles, Repeaters, Chariots, but the core of any army should be blocks of spears and some support from small elite units.
Characters are ok, they are somewhat overpriced for T3 models, and have an annoying tendency of dying as HE are not resilient at all. Magic weapons are sub-par in my opinion, but that's mainly because of ASF+GW negating the need to have a magical weapon (White Sword should be a lot cheaper!). What is good is the list of talismans and arcane items - Book of Hoeth and Amulet of Light come to mind. Therer are some great banners as well, that can swing a battle one way or the other.
Overall, yes HE are a fairly hard army to play. Not quite to the level of Dark Eldar/Elves, but pretty high up there.
Yes, we have always strike first. But that isn't as big of an advantage as it sounds, a full block of spearmen will still only kill 2-3 basic cheap core opponent troops with their 3 ranks attacking. It is a fair bit stronger for the elite troops, but they are approprietly priced pointswise and still very fragile.
Overall, we are a fragile army that is slightly overpriced in points with really cool models, you need to be very careful writing a list to get the most out of it and use the army as a team not individual units, but there are several successful play styles and in the right hands they are pretty good.
replying to kithre who said swordmasters have killing blow NO THEY DON'T I wish they did thought
They are Elves. They are fragile, but powerfull. The do require some more skill than the average army to play. But out of the elven armies, I belive that HE is the easiest one.
If it moves, shoot it! If it doesn't move, shoot it anyway ... It might move later!
Of course - my mind is slowly melting into a puddle. Swordmasters have never had killing blow - maybe I'm confusing wishes with reality :-p
~I find High Elves to some of the most fun little critters to play with. My friends and I have covered every army but ogre kingdoms in a the last year to I have played everyone with them, as i am the only one who never even considered changing armies. The only army i had troubles against was the skaven..dirty little rats... and that was all my fault. Jezzails are dumb... especially in hordes of 20+.
~Their main strengths are in their special choices, and they give us a surplus of slots to fill them with. The greatest thing that I find about them is that you can play however you want to play. If you're super aggressive and want to slaughter your opponent with more cuts than an emo kid then you can play with a bunch of swordmasters and dragon princes. If you like playing with magic, like i do, you can field phoenix guard to defend your troop of mages, because high elves are magic gods! And finally there are the ever loyal white lions, who rip the poo out of everything.
~To sum it all up, high elves can do just about everything you want them to, depending on how you field them. Well, everything but have toughness 4, but that's what eagles and the destructive star dragon are for.
~If white lions rip the poo out of things, then Star Dragons rip the poo out of things and all their relatives as well.
High elves are a specialist army, their units are made especially for one purpose. For a HE army to win, (after luck) all the units must be working together like a finely oiled machine. Each unit has a role in a high elf army. HE is one of those armies where if you make a mistake no matter how small you will be paying for it later. It might be good to focus on the High elves strengths and try to go with a pretty heavy magic army.
On the surface, yes, High Elves are an easy army to use. They can be very straightforward, usually- Run/gallop towards the enemy, find the weak-point in his line, exploit it, exploit the hell out of it, hope he breaks away and leaves his army open to more attacks. High Elves are VERY fragile and unlike O&G, Chaos, and VC, they cannot take on every unit that the enemy throws at you.
There are a great many units that the High Elves can field, and many many playstyles. When building a list, you have several factors to look at- and that's what makes this army difficult beneath the surface...
The Elves are very similar across the board- they all have T3, most of them have S3, and LD8. All of our elite infantry wear Heavy Armor at the exclusion of all else, giving everything on foot a 5+ save (except archers who have a 6+ or none at all). All of our Elite Infantry cost the same amount, which is 1.6 times what our Core Infantry cost. What varies are the weapons in our units, and some of their equipment.
If you do choose to use the High Elves, you need to make a pair of decisions.
1) will I be offence or defense?: High Elves are typically an Offensive army on the whole. Our archers still cost almost twice what they're worth, and we lack any type of effective warmachine save the RBT (which is about as effective as a unit of 10 Empire Handgunners).
If you do decide to play defensively, you will need to take mages in order to "pull" the enemy to you. Then you will want to take large units of Spears and possibly a BSB on foot and max your specials out with our Elite Infantry. Against horde armies, that will be Swordmasters, against tough or armored foes, that will be White Lions. For everything else, there's the Phoenix Gaurd, who are just damn good.
To play an offense based army, you can take more eagles, and/or go with alot of Cavalry. People undervalue the Silver Helms because they are not much cheaper than the ridiculously powerful Dragon Princes (almost as good as Chosen Chaos Knights), but a unit of 10 Silver Helms can do amazing things against medium-toughness foes, by having more CR. However, the Dragon Princes are often the best bet, and armies comprised of them are becoming common. Typically, Archers are chosen for Core, and very few rare slots are filled.
2) will i be magic heavy, or combat heavy?: High Elves are one of the most magically gifted races out there. While the newer armies are eclipsing this, High Elf mages are still nothing to be sniffed at. Their specialty lays in defense, we get +1 to all dispells, but we can also pack a massive punch on the offensive end, if we put our minds to it.
To play magically defensive you can't go wrong with 2 level2 mages and some nice choices in the equipment sections. Dispell Scrolls are still beautiful things like they are in any army. Magic defense is quite straightforward, run them like you would any other army.
Magicaly Offensive is a different ballgame though. To take assault-oriented magic, you should try for a Dragon Mage. It will run you 435pts with full equipment, but he's worth it. There are many different play styles for the Dragon Mage, but long story short, he generates a power dice every time he casts a spell. One of the best items he can have is the Silver Wand, which lets him know an extra spell- that means a L2 can cast 3 spells, and generate 3 dice. Beyond that, some peope give him a ward save, others give him magic weapons, and others give him the Ring of Fury, containing a lethal bound spell for even more DD depletion. Another great items that we can take are the Book of Hoeth, which is only available to a Mage Lord, but makes all of his spells Irresistable on ANY roll of doubles. Finally the Banner of Sorcery should be taken on one of your elite units to give you an extra D3 Power Dice each phase. If you don't mind being a cheesehead, you can take Teclis and dominate the magic phase.
To play with a non-magical list, there are two character builds to keep in mind:
BSB w/ Armor of Caledor, Great Weapon: 2+ Save on foot, S5 ASF
Prince w/ Eagle, Bow of the Seafarer: flying bolt thrower
honestly though, our combat abilities are lessened by the fact that every one of our heroes is only T3, and therfore can be killed quite easily. They make better support pieces for our Elites than anything else.
There are of course other important decisions to be made, but that is a basic primer in the use of High Elves on the battlefield. For more reading, there are currently two tacticas out- the most 'official' tactica, by Gingerninja can be found HERE
An older tactica, by Lord Anathir and covering several tactical uses for some of the units can be found (Tactica Asuryan - A few tactics for newbies and experienced)HERE (please note that this tactica is from the LAST army book, and has not been updated for the current, however, many of the strategies and unit descriptions still hold true)
Finally, should you chose to play a cavalry oriented army, or want more detailed information about the mounted facet of our army, a tactica which I have written can be found HERE (Another Tactica DRAFT. Cavalry oriented lists)
I hope that all of this helps you on your decision or journey towards a new WHFB army!
Massive thanks to all of you for your help, comment and imput. I will be going with high elves now, offensive with magic so I can take take a dragon mage.
Just one quick question; is Tecilis worth it?? I meen for his points and how will he fare in the tournement scene?
Again your help would be appreciatted.
CHK CHK BOOM!