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I've been thinking about starting fantasy for a long time and I've decided to go with high elves. I don't want to go to big as i hear that a new ruleset is coming out. I want the army more for painting and fluff reasons, but I want it to be able to win something. My main opponent will be Brittonia (and perhaps dwarfs).
I've had a look at a couple of lists, and it seems that core unts are minimised, rare units are maximised and special units fill up the rest of the points. When it comes to lords and heroes I'm not sure as mages, nobles, and named characters are being used.
Fluff wise, an Army of Shadow Warriors (well at least one squad) led by Alith Anar (in higher point games) appeals to me, but gamewise they don't look that strong.
In summary, the usual beginner questions: how should I start out, what units are essential and which of the billions of pieces of warear should I equip my guys? And also, is the aforementioned shadow warrior army feasible?
First of all welcome to LO, and the side of HE. Secondly, as a new player I would recomend using the search engine, there are lots of thread for new players. Furthermore, check out the HE tactica, there are alot of stuff on the questions you're asking. But, just because I like you, I'll try to answer your questions here :
First for your shadow warrior question, personally I love them, and I use a unit of five of them. Five at most, because thier incredibly expensive, 18 points a model is alot, even for our expensive army. 5 is also good because you can negate ranks on the flank, but I use mine to hunt war machines. Ussually you can kill a machine turn 3, which is fairly useful against, say your dwarf opponenet. Eagles can do the same job on turn 2, but shadow warriors are more fluffy, and eagles cant shoot Also, Alith Anar is alrigh, but if you want a cheap hero instead of an expensive lord level waste of points, check out the shadow armor. Can make the shadow warriors more fun, but buff them up to 10 shadow warriors if thats the case.
As for when or where to start, my suggestion is to wait, because I dont know how farmiliar you are with the 8th ed rumors, but it looks very likely that high elves will be in the big starter box, so you can get started there, it will probably be out late august of september, so lots of models for a very inexpensive price, plus you'll get a rulebook! I would say get a box of 5 shadow warriors, take your sweet time painting them to a great standard, and when the box come out, go buy that, plus, If you have a friend, make them play skaven and you can both buy a box and trade you skaven models for his/her HE models; I know, I'm a genius.
Anyway, hope this helps
I've had a look at the tacticas, one of them seems to be out-dated and the other doesn't help on the questions I want it to. I try to use the search here but it never works that well for me.
Thanks for the tips though.
I have some more questions for the people here though
1). What upgrades (such as musician) are preferred/needed?
2). Can all the stuff from Vaul's forge be given to anybody?
3). In fantasy what is the most important aspect (ie numbers of men, combat, shooting, movement, strenght/toughness or speed etc etc.) and how can/does the high elf army use this?
p.s. the codex I have here (borrowed it from a friend), says that shadow warriors are 16pts not 18.
Welcome to HE!
ok, i'm pretty inexperienced but I do know a little about ...a little.
as far as upgrades go, the general rules i use, and have seen most often are:
Archers - generally only a musician for rallying purposes
Spears - I go with the whole damn thing. I want as much power in my units as possible and having all three is great. Add in a BSB and rock on.
Phoenix Guard - Again all of them. The PG are generally a defensive unit and should be used with offensive tactics. They rock almost as hard as Dave Mustaine and that say A LOT. Plus they don't dole out the dmg like other units so numbers and CR win the day.
Swordmasters, and White Lions - Generally I don't take anything for them, and keep them small. However, taking a banner of Elleryon on the swords is pretty fun, and IF i take a large unit of either type I may think about some of the options offered.
Silver Helms - I like units of 8 - 10 and I take a full command
Dragon Princes - I don't have any right now because they cost so damn much. But if you take them, the general rule of thumb is 5 -6 with no upgrades, or again like the Swords, maybe a banner.
Reavers - I don't think I would take anything really... they do what they do pretty well on their own
Shadow Warriors - I don't think the Captain is worth it for them.
As far as the most important aspects in Fantasy go, they are different for each army.
From what I know of my HEs, and the armies that I build, manuvering is quite possibly the most important thing. Having a food number of models on the board is big too but as HEs can't really afford them you work with what you can while being reasonable. I try to focus on the good aspects while being aware of the negative, and how the negative can affect me in a game.
The previous posters have answered your first questions. As to what stat is the most valuable, in the current build of the game it is close but I think that it is Attacks (2 at least) combined with highish strength (4 or 5 minimum).
At the end of the day winning by kills is always more effictive than winning through strength of numbers. Swordmasters can with 7 guys be almost as effective as 15 White Lions or 20 Phoenix Gaurd, if they kill the front rank and they can't be killed back. Killing the front rank is not a tall order for Swordmasters at all. You can be deserted by the dice though and get mauled in one turn, this shouldn't happen to either of the other blocks.
Any unit that has 2 attacks is normally effective provided it's combined with one or 2 other things, they are better than S3, have good armour, high toughness, amazing WS. This pretty much covers Swordmasters, Dragon Princes, Chaos Warriors, Saurus Warriors (any) and Black Gaurd.
I think that the changes coming up will tip this on it's ear though.
These guys have all given very good advice based on the current edition. However, like you said- the next edition is just around the corner, so these suggestions are made, while also keeping that in mind:
SpearElves and PGs are two very good units to purchase early. The new rules are almost certainly going to focus on very large units being better than a handful of small ones (bad news for most veteran elf players, of any elven variety). However, our Spearelves are simply amazing, considering their points cost. Definitely get atleast one unit of 20-25. PGs are the only Elite-infantry regiment that Elves run in block format, so grabbing 20 of them will be good today, and probably be good tomorrow as well.
Now, I have no idea what is going to happen to Skirmishers, although rumors for cavalry are looking grim for the HE (no marching for SV 2+). We have one nice thing coming though if that's true: our Silver Helms can have a 3+ save if we don't give them shields. They hit with all the power of heavy cavalry, and they're right on the cusp of the rules. SilverHelms are good in the current system as well, if they are fielded in large numbers (10, with banner and musician).
If I wanted to play a Shadow-Warrior army in the current rules, I would be looking at Archers, RBTs, an Eagle-riding Noble, a Scouting Noble with a greatweapon, 2 regiments of Shadow Warriors, 2 large regiments of Ellyrion Reavers with a musician and bows (one regiment with Banner of Elyrion).
The idea would be to fight like WoodElves. You will want to go second, avoid the enemy as often as possible, hiding in trees and forcing him to move around you, then march-blocking as many regiments as you can while you shoot him some more, then gang-charging him on the last turn (so that he breaks and you score VPs when he can't rally).
When the new edition comes out, this army might still be valid, unless they place a percentage rule on Core choices (you are going with the bare minimum at the moment) or mess with the rules for skirmishing or fast cavalry.
Someone said before he would take 5 shadow warriors so they can cancel rank bonus, but he forgot that skirmishers can't cancel rank bonus. I would take at least 7 to maximize attackers. If you take an army of 2 units of archers, 6 units of shades and some repeaters and great eagles then you can make a nice skirmishing army. I never tried to skirmish with high elves, although I did skirmish a lot with my wood elves. I have a friend who don't want to play against my wood elves becouse he always loose to them and he is tired of all those skirmishers. If you want to skirmish you should place as many forests as you can in the terrain placing phase, I would also recomend on taking a magic list with the high lore (and maybe some lore of death) becouse most of the spellls in that lore don't require line of sight. One mage with the seer staff of saphery and a power stone to take comet of cassandora could also be helpfull.