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The High Elf Lord on a dragon model is boss. It demands to atleast be used once or twice by any high elf player. The question we have to ask is which one do we use?
Do we go on the cheap and ride the baby dragon, blow all our lord points on the star dragon, or go for the inbetween dragon?
I like the star dragon soley for the absurd w/s. Avg skill troops hit it on 5s, but its point cost is prohibitive. At 2400, my LGS standard, a Prince only has 80 points left for gear. Is it better to take it easy on the dragon and take a smaller one?
80pts is more than enough for gear - all you need is a decent wardsave, reasonable armor (Dragon Armor or DAoC for the 2+) and the Amulet of Light, and a greatweapon. You can skimp a bit on the Wardsave.
There's no point beating around the bush if you're going to take a dragon. Unless you can find some way to fit a L4 in the list as well, which you can't until you get to atleast 3k, you don't have anything else to spend the points on and may as well invest the extra in surviving the game while straddling that big scaly hate-magnet.
Most people don't like the Dragon because at the end of the day, you're only a T3 rider. People can randomize enough longbow hits to strip you right off the back of the big scary beast, and then you'll probably be unlucky enough that the mount will just sit there and cries for the rest of the game. Why would anyone pass up a L4 Mage to add in a dragon? And no, adding a L4 on the back of a Dragon is not viable, for the exact same reason, minus and armor save.
Some people have gotten dragons to work, but they're usually forcing it, and it's still nowhere near as solid a list as one with a L4 in the ranks. It's unfortunate because like you said - the model looks pretty damn good. I unfortunately broke the wing off mine, so I'm working on pinning back into a glued join (broke the peg off that sticks into the body), but I've used him in friendly games before. Nothing I'd ever take to a tournament, or even rely on winning with.
Once the points get up there, a lvl 4, with the "i am ethereal and you dont get magic attacks" on a star dragon may be funny. You just chill up there, and only worry about magic missiles and magical shooting.
Foliariths Robes are model on foot only, otherwise it would be awesome.
That will do it. Gw decided to balance something.
I go Prince on Star Dragon, Armor of Caledor, Vambraces of Defence, and a Great Weapon. 2+2+4+ is very hard to hurt, and high toughness of the dragon makes him very hard to wound. Last time I used him, he flat out rampaged, killed more then 1000 points of the army before I got him tarpitted in a unit that had killing blow and took my rider down. If I'm feeling froggy I'll give the prince a potion of str to make sure that if he runs into a big nasty, he can put some hurt on it.
Nights Justice Space Marines
Eldar Eth Kariel Craftworld
Spear of Kurnous - High Elf Expeditionary Army
always go star dragon. max out the ward save with something like talisman of defence, armour of caledor and sheild. dont bother spending points on weapons just give him a great weapon and he will have +2 str and re-rolls most of the time, not to mention always strike first!
at the end of the day tho its the dragon that does the most killing. stars are better than the rest cos of its str, makin its thunderstomps more effective