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Benevolent Dictator
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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
Hey guys, welcome to the Quick Start Guide for the High Elves. I started one of these up for the WoC, and considering the amount of traffic that's coming through this section, I thought that maybe we could use a similar thread here.

This thread isn't meant to serve as a catch-bin for all of your questions. If you're left with questions after reading this, you might want to pop over to the "Starting High Elves?" thread
>>>
Otherwise, what you're going to see below are the kinds of opinions that you'll get from veteran players if you ask about these units or choices in a thread.

The Golden Rule​
Let's start with the "Golden Rule," because it's the simplest part of this. Nothing that anyone says about High Elves is 'law'. This guide was edited to reflect the types of feedback that you would typically see in an army list thread, or the kinds of discussions that we've had in various "how to beat," and "what to take" threads. Furthermore, these are choices for competitive armies. If you're playing games against newer players, your kids, friends, or are just out for some lighthearted Warhammer, you can probably use anything in the book and still win games. These are the optimized choices, for lists that you might consider taking to a tournament.

Sections
Lords and Heroes
Core
Special
Rare
Magic and Magic Items

Color Coding:
For the first time in any of my Quickstart guides, I'm going to try and color code each choice. It looks nice, it's more professional, and it makes them stand out while making the information quicker to digest (you don't have to read Captain's essays anymore, just look at the colors!). Here's how the colors will work:

Gold - These are the "must haves" in our army. Things like a Battle Standard Bearer will be gold, because they are vital to the way our army plays. Units/Characters who are colored gold stand out head-and-shoulders above not only other choices within their section, but within the book as a whole.
Green - green is for 'Go'. These are the units that you will probably take most often, and will receive the least negative criticism for taking. Often, they're best option in their respective section or role.
Purple - Purple is for the more "middle of the road" choices. If you are a skilled player, these options might show up in your tournament lists with a very specific job to do, but they'll still raise eyebrows. Usually, there's either something better for the job, or the unit fills some kind of odd niche that isn't worth investing in.
Red - never. Not even once. These are the choices that will get you shouted at through the interwebs. Like gold, there will be very few Red units, because most of the High Elf book is pretty good. There are some choices out there, however, that are just so terrible that you are shooting yourself in the foot by taking them.

Sometimes a unit might have one color, but there will be a certain build for that unit which has a better color. The best example of this is Phoenix Guard compared to Phoenix Guard with the Razor Banner.

About This Edit
This thread was originally posted over a year ago, and shortly after the book was released. Now that we've had time to really fine-tune the army, as well as getting the chance to see more and more of the other armies updates and how they've affected the game, we can make better "calls" about the units.
But why the sudden changes in color?
Well, like I said - we have a better idea of what each unit and character is good for, and how they fit into the common playstyle of our armybook. What seemed good at first look, might be total garbage when it comes to sitting down and writing it into the army. Also, my initial write-up was very favorable, and gave 'Gold Ratings' to lots of stuff in the book. This time around, Gold is reserved for units who are present in almost every High Elf list that we've seen, and who do their job and fill their points better than anything else in the book - they're pretty rare. Green is the new standard for a "good unit", and I'm not afraid to bump more choices into the Purple and Red ranges.
 

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Benevolent Dictator
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Discussion Starter #2 (Edited)
Lords and Heroes

Intro to Lords and Heroes
First of all, it should be noted that no High Elf army thrives on it's Lords and Heroes. We are an elite army, and we don't have options for chaff. Furthermore, our characters are pretty fragile, and they'll always be that way - they're Elves for crying out loud. T3 though is just brutal, it means that most other characters will wound us on 2's. Anyone who's been playing this game long enough will tell you that even with a 1+ Rerollable Armor Save and a 2+ Wardsave, you will die if enough Wounds are inflicted. That's a big problem for us, especially if we're caught in a challenge or targeted while we're on our own.

Lords - You should really only ever strive to have 1 Lord in your army, for the usual 2500pt game. We don't want to bog down our sections with tons of Lords, but obviously, we don't want to skip a lord option altogether.

Prince - See the intro. These guys are the dedicated "fighter lord" in our book, and yet they'll never be able to go toe-to-toe with other fighters in the game. His opponents are either objectively better in combat, or else they cost much less than the Prince. For "backing up units", the Prince is also a poor choice - he doesn't do enough damage on his own to really swing a fight, when you consider that for his base cost alone, you could toss a Chariot or some Silver Helms into that same combat.

Mounts
Barded Elven Steed - this was a hard choice. What it comes down to is this: if you have combat infantry in your list, any at all, it's best to put the Prince there. Our cavalry are already hitting incredibly hard, but aren't exactly "Bus-able" when combined with our infantry, so they'll never be in a large enough unit to protect the Prince for the full game without over-investing, and they'll never be central enough to take advantage of his Ld10 (one of the best reasons to take him).
Elven Steed - you're never going to be Fast Cavalry, get the armor save.
Great Eagle - Princes gain very little by riding a Great Eagle. You can't join units, and your only advantage is getting +1Toughness and the mobility.
Tirranoc Chariot - one of the dumbest decisions in Warhammer was that characters on Chariots can't join regiments of Chariots, or this thing would probably be golden. Chariots have all of the disadvantages of being Ridden Monsters, but with no advantages at all.
Griffon - Griffons are the best mount available to anyone in our book. They're cheap, and with ASF they hit like a ton of bricks. If you take a Prince, he should be on one of these. Understand however that it's easy to have a Griffon killed out from beneath you, or vice-versa, as it's a Ridden Monster - be prepared to risk that.
Sun Dragon - All the disadvantages of a Griffon, and without ASF, hardly any of the advantages. Avoid Sun Dragons at all costs.
Moon Dragon - This is actually the generic Warhammer Dragon, and is therefore worth every one of it's rather hefty points. In the past, this was the only dragon to take, because it was often the only one which fit into your Lords allowance. With the new FAQ allowing 50% of your army to be taken in lords, if you're going to take a dragon, you might as well go for...
Star Dragon - Still a purple dragon. Why? Well, because there's still a T3 Elf on his back, and it's still a single ridden monster. Without the combined stats that the new "big stuff" is coming out with, there's a very real chance that the enemy is going to focus all of their effort onto killing whichever part of the model goes down the easiest. Big stuff will focus on hitting the Dragon, and characters who are skilled enough might even try for the Prince. If you're fielding Princes at all, it's probably to get a Dragon, but they're certainly better on a regular barded steed to support Knights with a Look Out Sir! roll, or just hanging out on foot and bodyguarding your Archmage.

Archmage - probably the best choice for any player's army. You need the +4 to Dispel, and +4 to cast has obvious benefits (the extra +2 over a L2 Wizard is worth approximately 1 extra D6 for every casting attempt). I'll go more in depth into magic in a later post, but for right now, understand that since High Elf characters don't really do combat, it's better to throw points into support, and nothing provides better support than a L4 Wizard.
Mounts
Barded Steed - Mages need protection even more than our Princes, and Cavalry are meant to get into the thick of it. You probably don't want your Wizard there, unless you're running a full-mounted army. It is, however, the only way to give your Mage an armor save.
Elven Steed - you're never going to be Fast Cavalry, get the armor save.
Great Eagle - there are certain lores which favor the ability to get around the table, and with 100pts worth of item allowance and few actually expensive items to blow that on, you'll have points to spare for a reasonable defense.
Dragons - you don't put Mages on Dragons. No. You're mixing a big scary monster who wants to be in combat, with a very squishy wizard that everyone else wants to get into combat with. Just stay off the Dragons. Even if we had Griffons for our Wizards I'd be saying this.

Anointed of Asuryan - Initially, we balked at the high price of this model, but it became apparent that he is better than a Prince by far. He comes equipped with a 4+ Wardsave and Magic Resistance, and although he has slightly lower stats than the Prince, it's much easier to throw that whole 100pt item allowance into correcting that. Magic Swords, armor, and on and on. Furthermore, this guy supports the units that he joins, by giving them a 6+ Wardsave. If you tag in some extra items here and there, he can really be a boon to any regiment that needs the help.
One common "trick" is to use this guy for an extra 4+ Ward after you've used the Armor of Destiny, Shield of the Merwyrm, and Talisman of Preservation. If you fill out your front rank with characters and commands, any additional characters get pushed to the back - this is perfect for bunkering your Archmage or Allarielle and the Avelorn BSB, and the item allowance means that we can still afford to kit this guy out for dealing some damage.
Mounts
Phoenix - Mounts in general for this guy are poor choices, because he loses his greatest benefit - the ability to join a unit and share your 6+ Wardsave. Basically, you can get both of these "mounts" as unridden Rare Choices, free up points in your Lords and Heroes, and avoid Monster Reaction Checks.

Loremaster of Hoeth - Remember how I said that the best Support is Magic? This guy has that in spades. The downside is that he's only a L2 Wizard, so he's going to have a hard time casting. There are a handful of items out there though which let him gain extra dice through channeling, and the Book of Hoeth will give him the opportunity to turn any less-than-awesome die into a better one. The strength of this guy is that he can throw a LOT of magic in a single phase, and with the Signature and Attribute of each Lore available, he's not only a fantastic utility, but also a great way to keep your opponent guessing. Still, he's not a L4, so he's not providing quite the same defense, and he'll never have the best spell of each lore, so a L4 is still the best option for magic.

Heroes - most of my armies only really have 1 Hero, the BSB. It's not that our Heroes are bad, in fact, most of them are like mini-versions of our Lords. And that includes having all of the same problems as our lords, and being in an army that will never focus on Heroes.

Noble Battle Standard Bearer - I mention this first, because it should be a mandatory choice in every army that isn't Undead/Daemon. Seriously, you need to take one of these. Do not give him a magic banner however. You need to protect this character. Usually he's the prime candidate for one of two items - either the Armor of Destiny (if you don't have a Prince) or the Shield of the Merwyrm if he's on foot.

Noble - the sudden drop is simple. There's really no need to field a non-General or non-BSB Noble. You already have a general from your Lords section, so the only reason to take a Noble is to bolster combat. Which we've pointed out, isn't something that High Elf characters really do all that well.
Mounts
Same as Prince for all applicable options except:
Great Eagle - a Noble on a Great Eagle might be one of the few options that makes this guy worth taking. Yes, he's going to be picked out for being alone, but he gains +1T and +1W. Although normal Eagles can cover your Hunting and Redirecting needs, this guy quickly becomes a fantastic way to hunt Wizards and enemy warmachines, since he delivers quite a bit more killing power. With a 4+ Wardsave item (mandatory) he's basically serving as a 70pt Wardsave to a regiment of 2 Eagles, and combining it all into a single base.

Mage - it's always good to have a Wizard somewhere in the list, and some people like to have a back-up or a "scroll caddy" to carry the Dispel Scroll as well. I can explain this more in the Magic portion of this guide, but generally speaking, as long as you don't overload the magic phase, it's not necessarily a poor choice to take a second wizard.
Mounts
Same as Archmage for all applicable options.

Dragon Mage - See also: Dragon Mounts for Archmages. Even though this guy has armor, the best save he'll get a 2+ or else a 5+4++. It's just not enough, and he still doesn't want to be in combat. You can field so many other things with the points that you'll drop on this guy.
Dragon Mage in a Caledor Themed Army - because having 2 dragons in a game smaller than 4k is just awesome. And I can't stay that enough.

Lothern Sea Helm - This guy has the attacks and profile of a Champion. His ability can be useful however, if you are fielding an army which has very little chaff and is focused around getting a big and scary "deathstar" right into the guts of the enemy army. Combined with White Lions, for example, it can make for a unit that is almost impossible to bring down in combat. Remember that this reform occurs before you Stand and Shoot, otherwise maybe he would have made him worth it in certain units.
Mounts
Lothern Sky Cutter - He displaces one of the crew, and makes it impossible for the Cutter to take a Bolt Thrower. Also, his only useful ability (the free reform) is worthless as he's out of a unit. The 4+ Wardsave against shooting almost makes it a worthwhile Machine Hunter, but Eagles are cheaper, and a Noble on an Eagle has the same effect (and is still cheaper - funnily enough).

Handmaiden of the Everqueen, with the Reaver Bow - I had to include "with the Reaver Bow" to keep her out of the red. She's the best candidate for the weapon, being our most accurate character, and having S4 to give the bow itself S5 shots. Taking the Reaver Bow and Potion of Strength is also a good option for hunting down Monsters that you don't want to risk getting into direct combat with.
--With Sisters of Avelorn - if you're fielding Sisters of Avelorn, you're probably fielding a shooting army. If you're fielding enough of them, the ability to stay mobile and fire with high effect is great.
 

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Benevolent Dictator
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Discussion Starter #3 (Edited)
Core

Intro to Core
Core is the same in almost every army - it's mandatory filler before you can get to the good stuff, or it's chaff. Usually, there's something elsewhere in the list that does the same job, but does it better. This is especially true of High Elves. However, it's worth pointing out that you must spend points on Core, so if you decide to fill a role with something from Special or Rare, you're still left paying for a Core unit somewhere. This is why, in the edit, several of these units shifted their color to be a lot better than they were initially rated.
Most High Elf armies are going to field their bare minimum Core. The only exception is a "Cavalry List", which will spend almost all of it's points on Core, for reasons which we will get to later.

Spear Elves - As long as we have the ranks to support it, our 5-wide Elves can put out a higher attack profile than anything other Core in the game, including frenzied Chaos Warriors with 2HWs. The downside of course is that these attacks are only S3, so we do have an uphill battle on our hands.
Because we are relying on having ranks to support our special ability (fight in 4 ranks) we already know that we need ranks. At least 20 models, 5x4, will get you your attacks, but once Elves start losing attacks, they start losing combat. Ideally, 30+ is a good rule of thumb. You should not go Horde-wide with Spear Elves. Firstly, we're too expensive to be potentially wasting attacks against non-horde enemies (minimum 450pts just to get full attacks), but secondly, because we can put out so much damage per rank, and are already focusing on ranks, we should use any additional bodies to fill out our ranks and break steadfast. Even against an enemy Horde of 20mm bases, their 7 models in contact will still be putting out fewer attacks than our Spears will (counting the 1.5x for ASF). Spear Elves should never go wider than 6 models
The big reason that these guys are just green, is that we have excellent "anvils" in Special, but few solid "hammers". Spear Elves will need support against anything with an equal points value - it's much easier to just field a single "brick" in your army, like White Lions or Phoenix Guard, and focus on helping them instead.

Archers - Elves as an army, don't have solid shooting profiles - nothing high strength with lots of cheap shots to force the enemy to move to us, and with T3 and nothing better than 5+ armor save, we give up too many points to enemy ranged armies. Our profiles are expensive because of army-wide ASF. In close combat, we get to reroll our hits most of the time. In shooting, with the same basic S3, we don't. Because of this, our Archers cost nearly twice as much as comparable regiments from other armies. We'll never outshoot the opponent. If we need to clear enemy chaff (Hounds, redirectors etc) we can use Magic or our own "chaff" style units. However, building an entire Core out of Ellyrian Reavers doesn't make much sense, so when you've got those last couple of points to spend, Archers are the way to go.

Lothern Seaguard - All the good stuff about Spear Elves, but with 3pt Bows tacked on. It sounds great on paper, but once you get to the table you learn why these guys are red. We need to be marching straight towards the enemy. That means that we're not allowed to shoot our bows. For all the more damage that you'll do with your Short Bows, and the fact that you're really only going to be targeting chaff units - it's better to just grab 10-12 Archers for roughly the same price, and cleanly split your objectives.

Silver Helms - we've gotten these into Core again, hallelujah! These guys are awesome, usually on par with most people's Special heavy cavalry. Shields are a must. These are the premier "hammer" choice in our book.
Moreover, they are not only excellent Core, but also the best Cavalry choice in our book. They do better in Ranks than Dragon Princes, and they fulfill Core requirements. Another important advantage to having Silver Helms in Core, is the increased "average" armor save in your list. This is something which sets High Elves apart from Dark Elves - the ease with which we can access a 2+ Save regiment.
Commonly, you only see a single large regiment of Silver Helms in a list. Typically, people take them in two full ranks, and usually 6-wide. That means a minimum of 12 models, although 15-18 is also valuable for maximizing your attacks. Simply bringing in 10 models is pointless, as you lose your Rank bonus and ability to Disrupt after just one casualty. Small units, for example of 6 or 9 and deployed 3-wide, are good for getting a reasonable amount of damage onto a small footprint, and can be used in Cavalry armies to bunker characters by pushing them to the second rank.

Ellyrian Reavers - these guys are overtaken Great Eagles in the role of Redirection and Hunting. Firstly, this is because Reavers are a Core choice, without the "opportunity cost" of a rare Eagle. Additionally, Reavers can take Musicians to rally more easily, Banners for Fortitude, and are more likely to survive a Flee reaction when serving as redirections or screens. They can also use their Vanguard move to deny the opponent suitable placement for their own Vanguard cavalry, and on the whole, Reavers make excellent "dummy drops" to force your opponent to place their more valuable units ahead of your own. This is important with High Elves, who tend to have fewer units on average, and need all the help they can get in the deployment phase of the game.
Reavers should not take bows, for the same reason that you should not take Archers or Lothern Seaguard. Don't bother fielding Reavers in ranks, or worry about giving them any additional command beyond maybe a Musician. The reasoning behind this is that Reavers are meant to be cheap enough to throw away while redirecting and harassing your enemy. Typically, players will field a single large unit of either Spears or Silver Helms, and then fill out the rest of their Core with small regiments of Reavers.
 

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Benevolent Dictator
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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Special Units

Intro to Special​
With 2 Gold options and lots more Green, it should be more than obvious that Special is what makes the High Elves tick. As I pointed out in the Core section - most of what you take here will be determined by what you've taken in Core. Special should account for the highest percentage of points spent in your army, without a doubt. It will usually form the hard center of your force, and define your playstyle.

Lion Chariot of Chrace - nothing like starting off your Specials with a red unit. The "Kitty Kart" has finally been rendered well and truly obsolete this edition. At 20pts less than a pair of Tirranoc Chariots, and 25pts more than a Lothern Sky Cutter, there's just no room for a slow chariot like this in an army as fast as ours. The addition of Stubborn is welcomed, but it only means that this chariot will fight to the last rather than being run down after it's first bad round. Could be useful to hold people up, but White Lions do the same job and can roll out a lot more punishment while they're at it.

White Lions of Chrace - absolutely a brutal regiment, in stark contrast to the poorness of the Lion Chariot. Stubborn, S6 and a decent save against shooting makes this unit a phenomenal choice for our army. You can count on White Lions to bounce nearly any regiment of their same size when fighting to the front, and with Stubborn, they can be counted on to fight through any losses incurred. Units of roughly 30 models are extremely popular, and usually you will see two such units in the list. The effectiveness of White Lions cannot be overstated - they are one of the very few units in the game who are capable of bouncing Chaos Warriors in combat, and that makes an army based around blocks of White Lions, a very scary army indeed. Combined with the Banner of the World Dragon, White Lions can suddenly become a powerhouse "Deathstar" regiment on the board.

Sword Masters - In terms of kills, Swordmasters are only a fraction of a kill behind White Lions in most situations. This has a lot to do with the fact that the Swordmasters sacrifice 1S for +1A, which is wasted in every rank behind the first. Now that we fight in 3 ranks, the S6 White Lions will almost always do more damage, except against opponents who are wounded on 2's with no armor saves, or are only wounded on 6's with no armor saves. The 6+ Wardsave that the Swordmasters gain against shooting doesn't work against templates, and is inferior to the +1Sv from the Lion Cloaks up until S7 (which ignores the 4+ Save) and is usually a template anyways. Altogether, they're the same price, and a fraction less efficient that White Lions - a good unit if you have the models already, but it's better to field WLs.

Shadow Warriors - the unit that just doesn't fit in our book. Again, we're not a shooting army. If we want to slow the opponent down, we have Eagles or Reavers for that, both of whom do the job better just by virtue of their mobility. These guys really want to be good, but they lack the options (great weapons or additional handweapons could have saved them).

Phoenix Guard with the Razor Banner - Phoenix Guard are definitely a "points denial" or bunker choice. While PGs are an anvil, they are only S4, and they have far fewer attacks than the Spear Elves. Spears will usually kill more of the opponent, and the fact that they're cheaper means that they're going to have more ranks for being/breaking Steadfast. These guys need support in order to push through a combat, and by fielding Phoenix Guard, we are basically forcing ourselves to rely on Silver Helms or a similar hard-hitting regiment to bail them out and do the "legwork" for our army.
I have seen lists which use a single block of Lions and a single block of Phoenix Guard, and that can certainly work. They tactic tends to be putting the Banner of the World Dragon on the Lions, and then giving the Phoenix Guard an item for Magic Resistance, in a sort of hammer-and-anvil method. Likewise, I have seen "Deathstars" made from Banner of the World Dragon equipped Phoenix Guard, who have invested in multiple characters to fill the front rank, and which bunker Wizards and Banners in the second. With proper support, this Deathstar is even harder to kill off than the White Lions, and with characters in the army to do the heavy lifting, it can also manage to win combats and shift the table.
Unless you are willing to invest heavily in a "Deathstar" style Phoenix Guard regiment however, it's usually better to just stick to White Lions.

Dragon Princes - Dragon Princes are by no means a poor unit. However, the fact that they aren't Core like the Siler Helms is enough to offset any advantage of their Wardsave and extra attacks. In ranks, Silver Helms are cheaper and just as effective, with the added benefit that you can afford to have more of them in the army. Dragon Princes excel in small regiments of 6-12, when you can't afford to take a large regiment of Silver Helms. The problem here? Silver Helms are Core, so unless you are spending your entire Core minimum on Spear Elves, there's no reason why you wouldn't already have a large block of Silvers.
8th edition not kind to Cavalry or to small regiments. Dragon Princes are good heavy cavalry, dare I say, even great heavy cavalry, and would be green or even gold in any other armybook. However, Core Silver Helms have pushed them to the curb once more. Until they give Dragon Princes truly horrific special rules and move them to a Rare unit, I doubt that we'll see many of them on the table outside of themed armies.

Lothern Skycutter It costs about as much as 2 Great Eagles. It's M10 because it can't march even though it Flies. It does provide a pretty solid bit of damage though when it does make contact, and can be used for hunting down enemy warmachines and clearing chaff, which is also a job that can be accomplished by a regiment of 2 Eagles. The problem is that's all that it's good for. Most units will destroy it as easily as they kill an Eagle, or route it even if it does survive, so it makes a poor choice for a sacrificial redirection unit (although it's more survivable than Reavers, so better than them if you somehow don't have Eagles). The option to take a bow is also a poor choice - you don't want to be shooting, and you'd be better off just taking standard RBTs for fewer points.

Tirranoc Chariots - We can finally take these in regiments! That's a pretty big deal, as being able to put 3 or even 4 of these into one combat means that we have an opportunity to clear entire regiments off the table in one devastating round of impact hits... ooor we could flub every one of those 4D6 and hand over quite a few victory points to our opponents. Ultimately they're less surivable and less reliable than our Silver Helms or Dragon Princes, and fill much the same role, while also not providing ranks. However, we mentioned in the Dragon Princes section that if you can't take a big unit of Silver Helms, you could take a smaller unit of Dragon Princes? You can also take a single Tirranoc Chariot - in fact, you can often take two of them. This has the advantage of giving us more of those "dummy drops" in deployment, and we can still get a quick boost in drawn close combats. In a pinch, our TCs are also cheap enough to be used as a throwaway unit, and being one of the few units in our book where that can be said, is important in it's own right.
 

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Discussion Starter #5 (Edited)
Rare Units

Intro to Rare​
The Rare section is one of the most lackluster portions of our book. The options contained here more or less sort themselves, as it's nigh impossible to max out your Rare allowance with meaningful regiments, unless you're taking Phoenixes.

Repeater Bolt Thrower
- This thing has finally gotten a bit cheaper, but there's something that has to be said when we're limited to 24 RBT shots per turn, per army. That's a bit of a problem, because they only really compare to Handgunners, and while yes, they're more accurate per shot, only slightly more expensive per shot, and all around better per shot, the most we're ever going to get to spend on them is still less than 1/3 of what the Empire player across the way is looking to spend on Handgunners. Not good odds huh? This is why High Elves aren't a shooting army. These are, however, not a bad way to shoot chaff. As you're about to see, all of our good shooting options are in Rare, and that means that we're unable to have open access to them. In a vicious cycle, this means that it's not worth taking most of our shooting options (Rare or otherwise) in any situation.

Great Eagles - the Swiss-army-utility-bird of the High Elves. The only reason these guys aren't Gold is because we have Ellyrian Reavers who are. Even giving them ASF is a worthwhile investment, allowing you to either get all of your attacks in before you get turned into a bloody smear while redirecting a regiment, or making sure that you kill every. stinking. one of those Dwarf organ-gunners. Eagles have small enough bases that you can get away with just fielding 2 of them, and not putting them into a regiment. Together, (or even alone, especially with ASF rerolls) they can clear chaff, hunt wizards, and I've even seen a pair of them take down Chaos Chariots. They are dirty, dirty birds. Respect that.

Flamespyre Phoenix - I almost made this guy green. The reason he didn't make the cut is because the Firebomb ability is nice, but we can use magic and our innate ability to just kill stuff to thin out enemy ranks. Most of the stuff that is going to give you a really juicy target are the kinds of low point, low toughness stuff that our Spear Elves rip to pieces anyways. The fact that this guy can come back to life when he's killed (or nuke a huge chunk of table) is a bonus, but again, you're planning on dying and might take a few of your buddies with you in the blast (or spend all game taking a dirt nap, waiting to come back).
This guy does get a little bit of a boost in themed armies which are low on ranks or will have trouble with cheap, horde-y enemy regiments (cavalry). However, for a normal High Elf army, it's better to take these points and spend them on more ranks of your own, or on a small unit somewhere to pack a punch and thin the enemy out early on (or Reavers, and just avoid that enemy altogether).

Frost Heart Phoenix - Another decent Rare choice, and a huge help for High Elf armies. Being able to knock down the opponent's Strength is great, and giving them ASL makes sure that our Lions and Swordmasters still get to strike ahead of the foe. While it doesn't come back after it dies, it does die less, having better defense than the Flamespyre. Still though, it's very much an "eggs in one basket" choice, and we can get the same effect by using magic - and we're practically guaranteed to have magic (our archmage is gold, after all).

Sisters of Avelorn - the only shooting regiment that I'm willing to make green. These girls can lay down quite a bit of hurt. The problem is that when they aren't shooting at their preferred "evil" targets, they're not much better than archers. Sure, they're more accurate, but they're still low strength and single-shot. That's a problem. They can tear up baddies with regen though, if need be, to be followed up by a Handmaiden with the Reaver Bow and Potion of Strength if need be. Firing in three ranks helps as well, although it's not necessarily a reason to take more Sisters just to get that third rank.
 

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Discussion Starter #6 (Edited)
Unit Recap, Vaul's Forge, and Armylists

Unit Recap
As I said in the beginning of this thread/edit, I've set up this guide to present the most commonly fielded unit choices for a competitive list from our armybook. Those who have read the guide before will notice that there are a lot more purple units, and far fewer gold ones. This was intentional, as the remaining units marked out as "good" are the building blocks of the the 'bog standard' High Elf army list. To recap those unit choices for a quick read-through of what to take and not to, here they are by section, and by ranking:

Lords
Archmage
Annointed of Asuryan
Loremaster of Hoeth

Prince

Heroes
Battle Standard Bearer
Mage
Noble
Lothern Sea Helm
Handmaiden of the Everqueen

Dragon Mage


Core
Ellyrian Reavers
Spear Elves
Silver Helms

Archers
Lothern Seaguard

Special
White Lions of Chrace
Phoenix Guard
Swordmasters of Hoeth
Dragon Princes of Caledor
Lothern Sky Cutter
Tirranoc Chariot

White Lion Chariot
Shadow Warriors


Rare
Repeater Bolt Thrower
Great Eagle
Sisters of Avelorn

Flamespyre Phoenix
Frostheart Phoenix


Vaul's Forge
[The Blade of Leaping Gold - +3A and 6's are basically Killing Blow without the actually "killing" part of the rule. The downside? Well, for 10pts less, you can run with the Sword of Bloodshed. For 2 rounds of combat you are throwing out 7S7A with rerolls... nasty. You can do the same with the Blade of Leaping Gold, which would give the same purple results, but it costs a little more, and at S7, you're not really worried about having to roll to wound.

The Star Lance - +3S, and no armor saves ever, makes this a better weapon than the Blade of Leaping Gold. Except, it only works on the charge. The problem here is that our characters aren't really kitted for combat, remember? Our biggest concern is getting them a save so that they survive a few extra rounds. So while yes, this will fit with your Talisman of Preservation or Armor of Destiny on the back of that Horse/Griffon/Dragon, it's probably not worth grabbing as a 'first choice' bit of gear. I'd reserve this for a Noble who feels confident enough on the back of his Griffon to ride head-first into whatever character you really want dead. Or some Chaos Knights, etc.

The Reaver Bow - finally a green weapon! This is really only useful on Handmaidens, to be honest. Although it's priced for champions, the only champion you want it on is a Sister, and for the +1S it's cheaper to just get 2 more Sisters rather than the price of the Bow. The Handmaiden however, makes this bow a S5 weapon. Adding the Potion of Strength to this bow makes it a whopping S8, but only for 1 volley of 3 shots...

Armor of Caledor - really, a 2+ Save isn't all that great. This item was gold when it cost half as much, but at this point, you're paying for something that you could get from a Horse. Want a Wardsave? Wear a talisman or Armor of Destiny. Want Fireborn? Wear Dragon Armor or the Dragon Helm. Want a 2+ Armor save? Why? Anything that targets you directly is going to drop that to at least a 4+, so you're better staying with a solid Wardsave instead.

Shadow Armor - two rules that, unfortunately, don't carry over to your unit. Granted, this allows you to join up with some Shadow Warriors upon deployment, but why would you? The only decent use for this might be to put it on a Handmaiden with the Reaver Bow and use her as a delivery system, and a way to squeeze a bit more performance from your Shadow Warriors - but that's just spending too much on far too little.

Shield of the Merwyrm - this is a 4+ Wardsave, for less than 20pts. That's all it is. And that's amazing. "But Captain, it's a Parry, not a Ward" - there are few situations in which you can be targeted directly that are not going to grant you your Parry. Being Stomped/Impacted is one of them, but those attacks cannot normally pick you out of a unit. Likewise, shooting attacks cannot pick you out. Your biggest threats become Magic and your own wizard exploding nearby. It's worth noting however, that you're not allowed to Parry if you're mounted, so this is an "on foot only" item.

The Golden Crown of Atrazar - a Talisman-baby of the Charmed Shield and Opal Amulet, with a price to match. It's not a bad item - better than the Opal Amulet, but you're probably not going to use it. If you have Wizards, you're better off with a solid Wardsave all the time, just to be safe. Remember - we go light on characters, which means that we should have plenty of items to go around, no reason to settle for anything but the best item for each role.

Moranion's Wayshard - Initially, I was rating this Green, but the fact that it counts as your full item allowance on a Hero (and you won't give it to anything but a Hero) does a bit of damage to it's reputation. Additionally, it has the same effect as Wulfik from the WoC book - it's main use is to make up for our lack of shooting and possibly even ranged, offensive magic, and help to shift or at least threaten armies who know that they can sit against the back of their DZ and wait for us to come to them. The downside is that this guy might not even show up until we've already slogged it across the field. The final kicker is that they can still panic you right back off - you can't charge on the turn you arrive. If you're dealing with Artillery, which is what this seems best for, remember that you've likely already got your share of Eagles or Phoenixes, and they'll take artillery apart just as well.

Khaine's Ring of Fury - the most popular use for this item is to boost a wardsave without having to stick a pincushion of a wizard into the regiment. It's a useful trick, but it eats up power dice and is easy to dispel. It's never really a first-pick item for me, but if I have points to spare it might find it's way into a list. Hence the green.

Gem of Sunfire - fanservice for Dragon Mages, really. This is meant to be paired with Flaming Sword, obviously, for a total of +2 to Wound, which admittedly, can be deadly. The problem is that usually (unless you have a Fire Wizard ready to cast Flaming Sword onto another character just for this purpose) your beneficiary is going to be a Dragon Mage, and he's not so hot in combat to start with. Really, this is a decent option, but it's the reliance on Fire Magic, and the fact that you're usually using it with a Dragon Mage, that makes it a bit lackluster.

Cloak of Beards - versus Dwarfs. Enough said.

Book of Hoeth - first, this terrifies people. Secondly, this item is actually worth quite a bit, as it's the equivalent of having +1D6 to your Dispel/Casting attempts, and it doesn't wear out. Once per phase, unfortunately, but still useful. A touch pricey, but the fact that you can still squeeze a Talisman of Preservation onto the character means that the cost is still bearable.
Banner of the World Dragon - okay guys, let's be honest for a second: how many magical attacks do you normally face? If you are always on the receiving end of Chaos Knights or Blood Knights, or Wights, or Daemons, then yes - this is a good item. If that's the case though, isn't that person probably your regular opponent? A friend maybe? And you're rendering a large chunk of their army and hard-earned cash, useless. That's no fun. If you're in a tournament, it's mostly up to your meta and the players around you, but Magical Attacks go way down. Now, in terms of the 2+ vs spells - a lot of spells that ignore Magic Resistance, ignore this. Purple Sun walks right through, so does Dwellers. Generally, the most common use of the BotWD is to run a 'Deathstar' combining it with either the 4++ of Phoenix Guard while a BSB totes the Razor Banner, or more often, on White Lions escorting The Everqueen (for the 5++ vs. Mundane), a BSB with the Banner of Avelorn so that you get a +8 to your High Magic, and then use HM to get the Wardsave up to a quick and deadly 3++. And really, that Deathstar is what keeps this banner out of the Purple.
 

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looks good, but Handmaiden only gives Quick to Fire to sisters, right? Not LSG...
For Core, I'd put archers at Purple if you are guarding a mage or trying a MSU shooting army (admittedly, not the best) They are good for clearing out chaff, and are decent at taking at artillery in large enough numbers (say, two blocks of 15). They can almost take down one artillery every turn.
Again for Reavers, I'd cut them a little slack. They are the best unit at dealing with SkullCrushers outside of general's leadership bubble (or any frenzied unit for that matter.) Since they can force them to test, flee, rally, and do it again. And being in core is great since 2 phoenixes can take almost the entire Rare in a smaller game (leaving no room for eagles)
For Special, I'd at least mention that the kitty kart is now stubborn. This means it could hold a unit up for a turn or two.
Also, Sword Masters are normally ahead of White Lions, no? Certainly against anything T3, and their WS6 helps against Warriors I'm pretty sure... Also, I believe that White Lion cloaks give +2 to ranged armor save, though that may be the old book.
I think your Caledor bias has the Dragon Princes up slightly too high. I'd have them a green- the lack of a 1+ really hurts them since S4 is so common.
In Rare, we can get 24 RBT shots in an army.
I'd point out that Firenixes can play mindgames with the opponent- they think they've killed that monster, then it kills a bunch of their guys, and then it's back. Rather disheartening, wouldn't you say?
For the Icenix, opponent having ASL doesn't help get us rerolls
For items, Blade of Leaping Gold is +3Atk, not +3S. Combining it with the Potion of Strength should be purple- a guy on an ithilmar horse with those items, enchanted shield, and GCofA can help DP's or SH's in the 2nd or later rounds of combat.
For Armor of Caledor, I'd at least give it a purple- it's only 5 more points than the Armor of Silver Steel and better
GCofA is a great way to help protect your BSB- I'd have it as a gold, so at least make it a green.... please? :)
The problem with this is that it takes a hero's whole magical item selection... too expensive PURPLE
Gem of Sunfire can also combine with Annointed on Firenix for a superbomb. Probably better on him than on a dragon prince
I don't believe that Book of Hoeth is once per phase...
BoWD is a green- it can also protect you from miscasts (saving 4 white lions from a LM miscast makes its points back) and You could give your LM BoH and AofSS so he has a 2+ armor, not many people are >S6 without magic.

Just my thoughts. Sorry if I seem a little to nitpicky with the details, that's just kinda me :p
 

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looks good, but Handmaiden only gives Quick to Fire to sisters, right? Not LSG...
Good catch, I'll delete that section of the entry.

For Core, I'd put archers at Purple if you are guarding a mage or trying a MSU shooting army (admittedly, not the best) They are good for clearing out chaff, and are decent at taking at artillery in large enough numbers (say, two blocks of 15). They can almost take down one artillery every turn.
I think I'll keep them at Red. Our army doesn't really need to clear chaff. Yes, it's helpful, but it's not like we're the Frenzied Warriors. For the points, I just can't ever advise taking them - that's a lot to pay for antichaff, and Eagles or Reavers do the same job, and do it better.

Again for Reavers, I'd cut them a little slack. They are the best unit at dealing with SkullCrushers outside of general's leadership bubble (or any frenzied unit for that matter.) Since they can force them to test, flee, rally, and do it again. And being in core is great since 2 phoenixes can take almost the entire Rare in a smaller game (leaving no room for eagles)
I did make the point that the only reason they're Purple is that Eagles (Gold) do the same job and do it better. Also, it's worth noting that if you flee, they get to attempt to redirect, so the Reavers can't really set up redirections for another regiment because the Crushers are just as likely to redirect onto them.

For Special, I'd at least mention that the kitty kart is now stubborn. This means it could hold a unit up for a turn or two.
Huh, didn't even catch that. Makes it a little better, but not enough so to make anyone want to take it. I'll add the mention though.

Also, Sword Masters are normally ahead of White Lions, no? Certainly against anything T3, and their WS6 helps against Warriors I'm pretty sure... Also, I believe that White Lion cloaks give +2 to ranged armor save, though that may be the old book.
SMs aren't ahead of the Lions by much, even then. The fact that the Lions get their full attacks in 3 ranks, while SMs are only getting +1A for the front rank means that the gap is a LOT closer than it used to be. So against stuff with T3, or stuff with T8, the SMs are doing a few tenths of a wound better. The gap between the Lions and SMs when the Lions do work, which is against anything T4-7 or anything with more than a 4+ save, the gap is wider. Plus, our Spears deal just fine with T3 opponents, and face it - that's usually just enemy Core, and things that our Spears should be looking to pick fights with anyways, if you're going with an infantry list.

I think your Caledor bias has the Dragon Princes up slightly too high. I'd have them a green- the lack of a 1+ really hurts them since S4 is so common.
The 6+ Ward very nearly balances that out. Math later. Anyways, it's definitely worth noting that having the ASF and 2A at S5 means that these guys hit like old Swordmasters, and that's really saying something. Truly, point-for-point, the only thing that can keep up with them in terms of damage in our book are the Chariots, and that's assuming you get a decent roll on your Impact Hits. For a straight-forward Hammer, you can't beat these guys. The White Lions are Gold because they combine hitting power with a lot of "sticking around" power, the Swordmasters are Green because they're only a hammer, and aren't even that great of a hammer compared to the Lions; the DPs are gold because they are THE hammer in our book.

In Rare, we can get 24 RBT shots in an army.
True, forgot we get 3RBTs, I'll change the number, but it's still not much compared to what you'd get with Handgunners in Empire Core.

I'd point out that Firenixes can play mindgames with the opponent- they think they've killed that monster, then it kills a bunch of their guys, and then it's back. Rather disheartening, wouldn't you say?
Not really. The Flamespyre can easily spend a LOT of the game on the ground, and that's disheartening for the player who takes one. Which would you prefer - a model which can be counted on to do it's job, or a weaker model that has a secondary role when it dies?

For the Icenix, opponent having ASL doesn't help get us rerolls
Right. It took me a while before I realized that Rerolls are always Ini-dependent (a dumb rule) and that ASL doesn't confer any negative initiative.

For items, Blade of Leaping Gold is +3Atk, not +3S. Combining it with the Potion of Strength should be purple- a guy on an ithilmar horse with those items, enchanted shield, and GCofA can help DP's or SH's in the 2nd or later rounds of combat.
Good point. I'll fix that up.

For Armor of Caledor, I'd at least give it a purple- it's only 5 more points than the Armor of Silver Steel and better
But is Armor of Silver Steel worth taking? Just because it's better than a bad option, doesn't make it a good option. Just the lesser of two evils.

GCofA is a great way to help protect your BSB- I'd have it as a gold, so at least make it a green.... please? :)
The problem with this is that it takes a hero's whole magical item selection... too expensive PURPLE
So leave it Purple - heard.

Gem of Sunfire can also combine with Annointed on Firenix for a superbomb. Probably better on him than on a dragon prince
So, a Purple Character, on a Red Mount... that's not really a superbomb. Yeah it gives you the +1 to Wound, but you could just hit harder if you wanted. I don't see much benefit to that - the Annointed is meant to provide a boost to the models around him, putting him on a mount will never make sense. Now, if he had this ability rolled in with his other stuff, and it was only active when he was mounted, then I would consider it as being okay - but the fact that you pay for the Ward ability, discard it and pay for the Gem? Not worth it.

I don't believe that Book of Hoeth is once per phase...
Misread - a Single Dice from each. Big difference, good catch and I'll be sure to fix that.

BoWD is a green- it can also protect you from miscasts (saving 4 white lions from a LM miscast makes its points back) and You could give your LM BoH and AofSS so he has a 2+ armor, not many people are >S6 without magic.
True. That, and the "deathstar" build for that item is worth at least a green as well. Fixed.
Fixing the thread.
 

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sorry, when I said "The problem with this is that it takes a hero's whole magical item selection... too expensive PURPLE" I was referring to the Wayshard, not the GCofA. My bad for not making it clear.
 

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I initially had it in green because the fact that it's your entire allowance actually doesn't bother me - the guy's a delivery system, I don't really want my BSB being the one who's Ambushing, or any important character, so if the guy brings on 30 Spears or something, and then drops dead shortly thereafter, he's done his job.

But then I think about it. I want to keep him cheap, and this item isn't. I want to keep him cheap, because he might not show up, and the fact that he and half of my Core might not show up... makes it all a bit situational. I guess I'll change the entry on that. It could almost be red, actually, considering that for anti-gunline (really the only thing you'd need it for) you're going to be running Eagles/Phoenixes and they mulch artillery just as well if not better.
 

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I still think that the golden crown should be at least a green- it's so cheap that you can take it, a cheap piece of armor (say, charmed shield for lolz or enchanted shield or merwyrm shield) and another magical item, such as the sword of might all on your BSB. It also is another 2+ against a cannon for any griffon rider.
 

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Being on the "business end", of RBT skycutters, I disagree with your guide.

With the right combination of list, lore, and ground-RBTs, they're quite devastating.

I've seen them take out knights, MI, MC, and a few monsters -- with RBT shots to the flank!

I've seen them break units, with a perfectly timed flank charge.

As bad as they are on paper, in the right player's hands, they're a scalpel.

:beer:
 
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