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Hello, brand new to HE and WFB. Haven't even picked up my first models yet but would like to put together something themed, coherent, and an alternative color scheme as I really don't like white as the crux color (or painting it for that matter).
I have a couple of uneducated and diluted theme ideas from my limited knowledge of fluff and game mechanics. Not looking to be a powergaming nerd, but would like to have exciting games and be proud of the army I display while remaining capable.
Here we go:
I really love the lions. Would love to do a lion based theme, not necessarily chariots and WL units all over the place, but maybe some conversion work to make the army coherent. As I gather, this would be a Chrace theme, no? Similarly, do each of the High Elf kingdoms have a heraldic color or scheme?
Another theme that really appealed to me (more of a gameplay theme rather than fluff) is one of small numbers but highly elite (as I understand the army is anyway). To me, fielding masses of infantry with the intent to use them as a buffer or fodder seems to really diverge from the High Elf persona. Is that to say in fluff that HE armies dont use large volumes of spearmen or archers? Nope, but as a "general" I don't feel that utilizing my "men" for the purpose of sacrificial "speedbumps" is a very HE thing to do as loss is greatly felt and avoided in their fluff.
As far as paint goes, I saw a "dark" high elf army somewhere around this forum (I could have sworn) that had a great color scheme. Anyone know a good link or resource for alt High Elf colors that I could weave into/out of my chosen theme?
Perhaps some list ideas for the Lion theme and the Elite theme would spark some more ideas for me.
If you have any other fluff-centric or awesome themes you have done or have seen, I would love to hear about it and flesh out my own niche!
Thanks in advance!
Kohril and spear elves with a lion's head painted on theior banner, even better, make this unit a horde to get the most out of their higher Initiative. then get WLC's with Archers and very few SG also use at least one squad of WL's. if possible, use helmets with knots on top to show the sense of movement
The "iconic" theme of each Kingdom differs somewhat from edition to edition, but generally, of those we know:
Lothern/Eataine = Infantry, lots of LSG, possibly PG due the prximity of the Shrine of Asuryan in teh Inner Sea, Sea and naval theme
Chrace = White Lions, Lion theme
Saphery = Magical power, SM, Magical theme and iconography
Caledor = Dragons, Draconic theme
Ellyrion = Reavers, Equine theme
Tirnanoc = Chariots, A slightly classical looking theme with Swooping Hawk motids and big crested helmets - depends on which chariots you look at (I love the 4th ed single charioteer chariot - lovely model!)
Cothique = LSG again, and lots of Sea motifs
Yvresse = This Kingdom I have little idea about TBH - short of having teh SHifting Isles and a Griffon ridin lord.
A Charcian army would be built around adventurers and warriors from around tehKingdom including Tor Achare with White Lions Elites at the core. Woods elves could be represented by Archers or Shadow warriors. A Chracian army would still have Silver Helms and could call upon units from the other kingdoms or elites as the Chracian passes are always in a state of constant warfare. Characterful mounts for Chracians could be Griffons (who often nest there), or maybe a "Royal Griffon" as a Sun Dragon proxy (which is what I will have for a Lord from Ellyrion - with horse motifs everwhere).
With regards High ELf core - they aren't speed bumps by any stretch - and High Elves HAVE to use them since the slumber of the Dragons, its in the fluff that Mentheus of Caledior instituted the citizen levies.
They aren't really speed bumps as they are more than capable of beating most non-elites in teh game - from Orcs to Lizardmen, Beastmen to Humans, all fall before teh forest of spears. The traditionally difficult targets such as heavy cavalry are still not too tough to take down with speards, as they can quitae happily bring to bear an insane number of attacks striking before the enemy can strike, and often rerolling hits.
As for colour scheme, go with something clean and simple, you can go dark (I've seen a White Lion painted with black armour highlighted red - very effective vs the cloak, but be elegant above all... Maybe a theme like British Army circa 1850 would be nice? Lots of White detail, use silver instead of white for helmets, dark gunmetal armour and red robes/tunics
One thing that people forget when trying to create a themed HighElf army, is that each region is known for it's elite contribution, and this is by no means the 'standard fare' among soldiers from that region. Chrace, for example, is famous for the White Lions. However, becoming a White Lion is incredibly dangerous and few warriors actually try, and fewer yet will actually succeed. They're an elite warrior society. The majority of Chracians will fight in the militia, carrying a spear, with the younger and newer recruits fighting with bows.
When battle comes to Ulthuan, the region where the enemy lands is usually going to be represented more highly (Outer Kingdoms usually, like Tirranoc, Eataine), but they will request aid from all the corners of Ulthuan. If I recall, Chrace is an Inner Kingdom and would therefore have more time to call in allies like this.
But enough about theme. You also asked about paint.
High Elves look best in a unified color, and people stick to brighter colors to make them look "good" (Dark Elves are called Dark for a reason). However, there is nothing saying that all Elf regiments are given the same uniform. I've always considered repainting my army to have different trim or color-schemes throughout the army, reflecting the different provinces that sent each regiment. If you wanted, you could go forward with your Chrace theme, and then add another region of Ulthuan later.
My own army uses an offwhite color, and also uses aqua instead of blue. It gives the army a much older appearance I think, which fits with their ancient place in the world.
Chrace is strange - it lies between the realms of COthique, Nagarythe and the mountains, which lead to Avelorn.
As for coherency - above any other army I think teh High Elves would look uniform - as all their arms and armour is made to a similar level of mastery, and in a very similar method, unlike teh hotch-poth of full plate, chainmail and leather jerkins found in human armies as an example.
Uniform for even the elite warriors? For example do you feel the spearmen/archers would bear the same colors and theme as say a unit of Dragon Princes or Phoenix Guard?
I understand what Sarathai is saying in that each realm has their own elites. When a big battle needs to be fought, each realm would lend their own specialty to the battle, which would by default mean that the particular warriors would show up and fight in their heraldic/regional colors (DPs in blue/white).
Would it even be plausible for an army of, say, Phoenix Guard, Reavers, Dragon Princes, White Lions, and LSG to all exhibit uniformity? Or would that be an "unfluffy" gesture?
There would be common themese certainly, and unifying colours to tie them all together. Teh Blue/Silver colour scheme of Dragon Princes is an artefact of 6th edition - they have been dark green and red, which looks exceptional when put against a silver High Elf army, but still with details to tie them in with the rest of the force..
It would not be "unfluffy" to paint them in a single uniform. It's what the vast majority of all the players do. However, if you were to paint them in differing colors, you could still keep a great deal of uniformity.
My Spear-elves for example, are painted with lacquered helmets that match their shields and the trim around their maile. instead of the typical silver ones (reserved for 'Silver Helms' in my army). If I wanted, I could paint Caledorian spearmen with blue helms and trim, my Chracians with green or white helmets and trim, and then just keep going with whatever color seemed to fit the realm (Avelorn would probably be green actually). The Elite regiments might have their colors reversed, for example, lacquered scalemaile or colored tunics and then unifying or neutral trim. That would make it much easier to say "Oh look- those White Lions are wearing green, so those green spearmen must be from Chrace too".
Going above and beyond on your basing also makes the army look unified. My Warriors of Chaos have differing shades in their paint, but they are all on snowy bases, which lets you know that yes, I did collect this army as a single force and it's not just a hodge-podge of eBay bids.
Making the realm apparent by way of the shields and banners is also an option of course. Spearmen from Chrace might have a white Lion's Head painted on each of their shields, or on their banner.
As for Elven militia being in a uniform color- no. You might be lucky if they even came out wearing the same color tunics. It is up to each individual elf to arm himself for war, and keep his own equipment. Some elves might be wealthy enough to buy embroidered cloth, while others might choose to carry a different pattern of armor. It never states that the elves are forced to maintain a strict dress-code when arming themselves.
Also- there is one other thing to remember if you are painting your army with mixed color. Regardless of where they hail from, all Lothern Seaguard regiments will wear the same uniform. They are the only professional soldiers in all of Ulthuan. Even if you were to paint each warrior's tunic a different color, the LSG would always look the same, and the RBT crewmen will always match them. This is because the LSG are full-time soldiers who guard the port cities and serve in the elven navy, and they are the only ones who maintain Bolt Throwers.
My army doesn't use a single uniform. The end result is to have no more then 2 or 3 units look alike. Since my force is an "Expeditionary" force, it has units drawn together from all across Ulthuan. Differant kingdoms, households, etc.
As for the Bolt Throwers, I'm not so sure about that. I don't have my HE book with me, so I can't check it's specific section. But I doubt they have LSG manning the gates to the Inner Kingdoms, and they have RBT's on those things. Towns probably use them for defences as well (drawing this from the MMO). They'd most likely be manned by the citizen soldiers that all elves are.
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