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  1. #1
    Favored of Tzeentch Viktor's Avatar
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    High Elf unit formations

    Ok, let's try to breathe some more life into this forum. I think what Allonairre said to me in the Army List forum about how most people have either decided on what is best/worst already, or else just given up on the high elves may be true but I want to think that there are things left to analyze. There are still different sides it seems, like the split opinion on Eagles and Lothern Sea Guard.

    What formations do you use for which units? I think this is a really interesting topic, since it is usually neglected in most descriptions of army lists. Basically, what it comes down to is of course that different unit formations will affect different units in different ways and most people would agree that some formations are inherently better for certain units/types of units. Of course they can always change formation by reforming, but this is still something you need to base on some reasoning.

    So, why not a list? Here are some of my picks.

    Spearmen: 5 wide, add models to the ranks until you reach about 30 models, then add a file and get to something like 50 until you add another file. You want to make sure you are steadfast, but after a while it becomes more effective to maximize your attacks. Never forget you can always try to reform in combat after your numbers have dwindled, in order to buff up the ranks again. In a ridiculously big unit, horde formation might be viable but it does not to much for them as you already strike in 4 ranks.

    Lothern Sea Guard: A formation I like for them is 7 wide. This way, you can get 14 arrows off even while moving. You can always for up to 5 wide later when combat is coming up.

    Swordmasters: These guys want to maximize frontage to ensure many of them get their 2 attacks off. I run these in a standard 7 wide formation.

    White Lions: Basically, add ranks and columns at regular intervals. If you have 10, go 5 wide. If you have 12, go 6 wide, if you have 14, go 7 wide. Then start adding ranks if the unit becomes unwieldly.

    Phoenix Guard: Not decided on these yet, could be run 5 wide for maximized rank bonus but they still have str 4 attacks and can cause some damage. I run them 7 wide, but might reconsider and make them 6 or 5 wide instead. I guess it depends on what you are up against. A neat trick if you are using them as a bunker is that if you run them very wide you can keep the mage away from enemies who could otherwise allocate their attacks against him/her, if you keep the mage out on the side (which you always should anyway IMO to protect against miscast blasts).

    Not sure if we need to talk about cavalry, since most people seem to use small cavalry units if at all. Dragon princes work a lot like Sword Masters in this respect though - maximize frontage if you run a large unit.

    How do you other people reason about these things?

    Warhammer Fantasy: Warriors of Chaos, High Elves
    Warhammer 40k: Eldar, Space Marines, Orks

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  3. #2
    Senior Member Castiell's Avatar
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    46 (x1)

    I'd agree for the most part, excluding the spearmen/LSG. I know I'm in the minority here, but imho, those guys should rarely be run outside horde-formation.

    Here's why - let's face it, the guys suck. ASF turns them into a legitimate threat to things half their point cost and less, but especially for the LSG that are in their cost closer to Chaos Warriors, then to things they can actually put a dent on, using them like an Empire player would use their 4pt (?) per model Spearmen, doesn't cut it. A group of fifty is the absolute max of attacks you can get out of these guys, without having any surplus models, and while keeping steadfast.
    20 S&S, followed by 50 Attacks is a number to work with - they still won't deal enough damage to fight off anything close their cost, but they'll deflect cheap core units without getting tangled up and taking to many casualties. Moreover, there's two points many people overlook - with all the talk about the overpowered, impenetrable spearhorde, there's a certain psychological factor in play - and the bigger the the unit that you field is, the more bodies benefit from spells like flesh to stone (that the elite units should no longer need once in close combat).
    The Silver Knights of Tor Adrac (He): 26/2/4
    The Spears of Slaanesh (Woc): 7/2/5
    Battlegroup Chalybso (GK): 7/3/3

  4. #3
    Rules Attorney BrockSamson's Avatar
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    I agree on the horde point. The other thing to consider is victory points... no more credit for half-dead units in 8th. When it comes to core, most army lists are not taking super-effective units... they are taking the best thing that can fill their core. IMHO, LSG horde is the best thing HEs have. They may not get 600 points back, and their shooting might suck, but they are somewhat frightening in combat (50 attacks! even at Str3... 50!), and most of all, they aren't going anywhere. If you can keep these guys behind the lines shooting most of the game, with your BSB and mages chilling out, that's over half your army points still on the board at the end... that goes a long way towards winning.

    Split units of core... some will die, and that's lost victory points. I am a big Skaven player, and one of the main gripes of my opponents is the points in my main bunker. I played a game against DE where I had a Grey Seer on a Bell, a BSB, and a Warlock Engineer in a horde of Stormvermin. He wiped the rest of my army off the board completely... but half my points were in that unit. I won.

    I understand the drawbacks of massive units... char tests and big nasty spells can hurt them bad. But, here's the greatest part... you're a HE player! Take a level 2 with High Magic (yes, High, not shadow) and make sure to get Drain Magic off. That plus your +1 to dispel doesn't make you immune to magic, but it certainly puts a dent into your opponent's magic phases.

    EDIT: AND sigil of asuryan! man that thing is nasty
    Fear me, mortals, for I am The Anointed, The Favored Son of Chaos, The Scourge of the World. The armies of the Gods rally behind me, and it is by My Will and by My Sword that your weakling nations shall fall. - Archaon, The Everchosen, Lord of the End Times

  5. #4
    Senior Member Allonairre's Avatar
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    399 (x8)

    I can see the benefit of a horde but I don't actually think that its necessarily our best option for our core.

    First and foremost the cost of our core, for me Core are there to break steadfast not necessarily kill stuff so deeper is better than wider, assuming my opponents average units are looking to gain a full rank bonus so at least 4 ranks deep, so I need to be at least 5 ranks deep preferably 6 so I normally use 30 Seaguard or spears.

    Add to this that Spears unsupported tend to fail badly and its awkward getting around a horde unit to support the spears.

    Finally saying 50 attacks at S3 is not really correct unless you are fighting another horde, its 35 Attacks against most units and then I just don't think it stacks up.

    Having said that there is still a psychological effect with a unit of 50 Spears that is impossible to gauge, it looks scary and difficult to rationalise its threat level correctly. You can also talk it up or down as needed (50 attacks re-rolling to hit ++, S3 no armour penetration--).

    I think a big part of the difference between me and Castiell's view on hordes of spears is that I still find archers useful for dealing with bits and pieces around the table so don't mind picking up a unit or 2 to fill out the core. Basically it comes down to what you can use best with least impact on the rest of your army. I risk giving away small chunks of my VPs if I lose the archers or spears (Archers tend to survive because people ignore them) hordes are normally safe but an unlucky roll in combat could be devastating. I don't think there is a right answer as such, and I understand the reasons behind the hoard but I still quite like lots of smaller units.

    I do however think that our Special have heaps of choices for formation, any of the 3 units make effective hoard units. I still prefer depth to PG, max frontage to SM and think WL are our best hoard unit by far. These do make for an incredibly scary prospect even 30 SM are difficult to wipe out from shooting and magic and can do an amazing amount of damage.
    Cheers Allonairre

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  6. #5
    Senior Member Castiell's Avatar
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    Hey, whatever works for you

    I probably sound pretty harsh saying that, but things like units dedicated purely to flank charges/breaking steadfast, or even the tandem combos Captain Sarathai plays, those are all luxuries I don't see myself able to afford (Despite more often then not "wasting" 320 points on such novelties). Even then, I have a whopping 5 units on the board, at 2.5k - and that's a ratio so unhealthy, compared to what many armies can bring, that each and every unit has to be able to pull their own weight - being outnumbered as badly as we tend to be, every unit needs the freedom to go where it can deal the most damage, and multicombats / flankcharges simply cannot be guaranteed against an able opponent, and potentially do more harm then good.
    And smaller spearunits, that don't have guaranteed magical support, and a much smaller weight of attacks, simply cannot stand on their own - they need support in one way or another, and they need it with a reliability that can't really be provided.
    The Silver Knights of Tor Adrac (He): 26/2/4
    The Spears of Slaanesh (Woc): 7/2/5
    Battlegroup Chalybso (GK): 7/3/3

  7. #6
    Senior Member Allonairre's Avatar
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    399 (x8)

    You don't sound harsh at all, I think we just play a very different game, and I am going to be honest I don't know that my play style is as effective in the new edition as it used to be when I could control the flow of the game much more easily.

    I think that you can almost gaurantee a flank charge in alot of situations but it does mean abusing units like Eagles/ Reavers/ Silver Helms. I might just play worse opponents than you though so haven't had to adapt fully to the changed environment fully yet.
    Cheers Allonairre

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  8. #7
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    I must say im a fan of Horde LSG, with banner of flame. volley fire makes them 35 shots, making it considerable threat. But also forces most opponents to duo charge the unit for any hope of victory (creating an opportunity to excert some board control and reinforce the unit) I tend to couple the unit with 2 small units of SMs working similar fashion to Empires unit attachments, helping to prevent flanks or to support with flank charges.

    Turn the game into a SOM and wow now the unit really shines. This large unit allows me to create a bunker and use all my not so fond core points on a single unit. Flaming attacks gives u rerolls on fulcrums on wounding, and if combined with Lore of Fire makes str 3 bows real killers, with rr to wound and dbl wounds caused. (each turn = dead monster on table).

    However i would only use LSG in a 2500> or bigger game, below that 2 spearmen units trump it.


    Also my meta includes far too many hordes (which can be awkward for HE), this way i get to join in on the fad with my 50 lsg.

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