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After a major gaming weekend with friends recently, I worked out (as a Vet High Elf player of 13 years) that under the current Army Book High Elves, despite the appearance of being rather good with bows and hand weapons, are actually quite poor at doing anything but either shooting or charging (which I'm about to show isn't that good either). They fail consistently to stand up to a hard charge, they fail repeatedly to survive into a second round of combat as a result and although their BS is above average and their magic quite tasty, they also fail to remove significant numbers of the enemy with missile weapons as well. And to cap it all they're bloody expensive. If you go for a tasty unit of Swordmasters for example, with all the fruit to help them survive, you end up with a large block of fodder for about 400 points that wouldn't survive a charge by Chosen Chaos Knights half their size and value.
Try this for size:
2xHE Archer@12 points=24 points
3xEmpire Crossbows@8 points=24 points.
They both have range 30", and although the HE have BS4, at long range this means statistically only one will hit on a 4+, whilst the Crossbows will get at least one hit on a 5+. The Crossbow at S4 wounds on a 3+ against HE T3. The HE Longbow wounds a T3 human on a 4+ however. This means that in a long range firefight involving more models, the Crossbows will cause more casualties faster than the HE will, and cause break tests faster, even though the HE have Ld8.
Not looking promising is it? The same applies to a unit of Silver Helms against a similar enemy such as Empire Knights. Give the Knights the S4 Inner Circle upgrade to make up the points and they get a better save as well as a better chance of wounding than a unit of Silver Helms of the same points, and both units have Ld8.
So what are your chances? I find that taking a couple of basic core units for the embuggerance factor (as opposed to relying on them) is offset by the huge number of spec units you take to do all the work. HE armies appear most definitely NOT to be about missile/magic/cavalry. I believe if you take the best troops and make them do something completely different instead of "oh look, 40 Archers and 20 Silver Helms with a few Phoenix Guard, easy street ahead" then you'll earn yourself a few wins but believe me the learning curve is VERY steep indeed...
Your thoughts and comments welcome.
Last edited by adamwelton; July 31st, 2005 at 21:56.
Yes, archers suck for their points.. As do seaguard.
Silver helms are good though, when you factor in barding aren't they faster than empire horses? 8" compared to 7.
Dang, I was thinking of starting High Elves, mainly for the magic, but the Archery was a factor too. This thread has made me reconsider. :hmm:
I'm not writing them off, not when I own 200 of them! You just need to look at the better choices instead of the traditional "lots of Archers and Silverhelms with a slack handful of spec/rare troops in support". There seems to be a lot of confusion in new players as to what's hot and what's not, and what to do with it. The point I was making was to steer away from conveniotnal HE tactics and surprise your opponent with Heroes on Eagles and other "specialist" (not special) troops to confuse and amaze.
Try Shadow warriors instead of Archers for example. Not much more but they do so much more. And Elven Steeds are M9. That's 18" on the charge. Sweet.
The magic aspect is good but not cheap. I'm in the process of sacking all my special characters and replacing them with a few cheap one-shot magic users with lots of items and dispel abilities. You can give a perfectly good Commander a level 1 wizard ability as well as armour and still arm him to the teeth. You can turn a level 2 Mage Hero into a level 3 with lots of magic kit, and have him sit in a unit of Swordmasters with a power dice banner waiting patiently to be rushed. However these guys are expensive once tooled up so you need to be careful where you put them. That's my current conundrum.
These guys can do the job. A friend of mine lost a dozen games in a row as a new player then promptly changed his plans and never lost again. His personal nemesis Undead were repeatedly mown down by dispels and concentrated attacks on the Lord choice.
Be bold and fear not. Good luck and good hunting.
Last edited by adamwelton; August 1st, 2005 at 10:09.
You can get effective shooting another way... Bolt throwers! They are fantastic, and one thrower will kill far more in the average game than the equal points of archers would.
Magic is still good, HE get cheaper magic items and can be equipped extremely well. Generally they are better defensively than offensively though. Of course, use the lore of life and you're all set on the offence if there is terrain around.
Stewarts right Bolt throwers are amazing and high elf have a great selection of magic items at cheap points and High Magic is decent. But archers suck...
Funny how GW seem to be playing on everyone's trad ideas about High Elves and similar cultures being ace bowmen with thousands of highly trained lads being able to hit a bird's eye in the dark from a mile away with one hand behind their back, etc and in game terms they're actually wank.
Now Wood Elves are definitely that way inclined, but are (regardless of how you look at them) principally a hit-and-run army, even though GW has seen fit to make the new WE a hard-hitting melee army.
In contrast, the HE are pretty poor all-round and need to close with an enemy as fast as possible and first if necessary, but appear to be a very missile-oriented lot.
What do you suppose is going on there then?
I disagree with whats being said about archers. For the points, yes we are being ripped off just look at other elven armies.. DE get two shots and a 5+ save for same pts, and wood elves can move and shoot without penelty. However mass archer fire is pretty effective, especially when you lay down a CoAA. Also sometimes against big units bolt throwers arn't enough to cause a panic check so its great to have the extra shots. Also while they tend to not hurt minor stuff that much I've had a unit of 16 kill a goblin chariot in one round of shooting.
As for infantry.. I think they suck myself. Luckily for me im attracted to a cav army so I don't have any infantry blocks. Also I don't think I would want to give my banner of sorcery to a swordsmen unit as they tend to crumble pretty fast.
High Elves (BloodBowl)
Warseer Blood Bowl League
Nice point Th0r. HE seem to do well with mixed cav, but I've never done any real damage with massed archers (I have 30 Archers in three blocks of 10, five Reavers with bows and two units of 10 Shadow Warriors). The range is nice but the BS falls off if you get charged by heavy knights, and you're dead if you stand or run away in my experience (they're doomed against Brets). However, the Goblin chariot but sounded like a winner. I suppose concentrated fire works against certain targets anyway.
Now, about those Swordmasters. With WS6, what do you reckon? I'm not trying to start an argument, I'm still toying with list options. The idea of a Mage in a unit of SM with all the fruit appeals to tactics and fluff, so what would you do with them, if you would use them at all? And if not, why not?
Swordmasters are good, in fact they are very good... They strike hard and fast, I use them in units of 15 or so to possibly flank and work with other units. Their only problem is they are so lightly armoured, they die really easily.. Thats another reason to use smaller units, opponents don't see them as a huge threat if there are less of them so will focus on other things.