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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2012 10:44 am 
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Something Cool

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This has been inspired by Curu Olannon's several tactical threads and will be referenced here. I have seen countless number of threads popping up with the same question: WHAT LORE DO I CHOOSE!? or the: WHICH UNIT IS BETTER!? or WHY THIS UNIT?!

Greetings and Welcome to this small corner of Ulthuan.net I'm sure you have many questions, are chomping at the bit to post, and have a plethora of questions to ask! But wait! Let me point you to a couple of threads to help inform you where to begin. Hopefully with reading these several threads we can answer some questions you haven't even thought of yet.

Where to begin:

So you've bought the army book or are just starting to drool over the plastic crack that is GW products and thought, "Hey i might like to give this army a try" and you typed into Google "Warhammer Fantasy High Elf Army Forum" and voila here you landed. You're clicking through threads and stumbling around way over stimulating your mind through your computer screen. "Whose this Seredain, should i really read 34pgs of that thread?!" you may ask yourself!

Thus i want you to start here: viewtopic.php?f=67&t=37805 This thread was started by Curu Olannon our local Army Building Guru as a basic outline of several types of High Elf armies that some of the frequent posters are playing.

Next head here: viewtopic.php?f=66&t=34761 This is a smaller thread that details the game as whole, where High Elves fit into that equation, and how we can smartly build our lists accordingly. I hope to build upon that thread here.


Ok I get it, so now what?


So you've read through those quick threads, clicked on an army blog or two and decided you still don't really like a particular army list, or their are some elements you think might be fun to change. So lets continue!


What makes a High Elf:


As High Elves our basic trooper Strength 3 and every single elf model is Toughness 3. All of our infantry have a 5+ armor save as well as our light cavalry. Some units have a little more protection, Phoenix Guard benefit from a 4+ ward, and our White Lions have a 3+ save against shooting. We don't lack for heavy cavalry in fact we get two units! We have a warmachines, and our toughest unit a toughness 4 in our eagles.

Where we really shine are our Special Units and our Characters. I won't spend a whole lot of time outlining all of the advantages and disadvantages of each individual unit, but i'll touch on these briefly.

Quick brush over Units:


As a High Elf player you now have vast amount of variety in which you can build your army. Do you want sweeping ranks of spears with the glittering lances of heavy cavalry? We can do that. What about a multiple small unit (MSU) approach of redirecting and trapping units. We can do that. Playing a pure bowline and keep away style army. We can do that! About the only thing we can't do: field massive amounts of cheap troops, but why wouldn't you just play skaven?!

Spears: Best considered your anvil/tarpit/steadfast breaker. Basically these lads are here to provide enough ranks to remove the steadfast rule from your opponent allowing your elites to win the combat for you. At 2500pts, most are run between 30-35 with Full Command.

Archers: Commonly used as chaff clearer, mage bunkers, and re-directors. Str 3 bows don't do a whole lot of damage but they can surprise you. Helps clear things like Light cavalry, Eagles etc that block your combat blocks from getting to where they're needed the most. Common size 10 -14 with musician.

Sea Guard: A combination of both! They lose 6" of range the archers have but still have spears with the option of taking shields. Some players keep them small (15) and others run hordes of them.

Phoenix Guard: Anvil. No question. What they lack in Strength they make up for with a 4+ ward. Usually run in blocks of 20 with a character wielding a great weapon to add some needed punch.

Swordmasters: Killy. 1 description. They pump out an impressive amount of attacks with a character level weapon skill and initiative. What they have in killing capabilities. They lack in defense. T3 5+ doesn't get very far. Most players run them 7 wide to maximize attacks with 1-3 ranks deep to allow for some shooting wounds to not effect the overall combat capability. Any deeper than 3 and you might as well be using a horde.

White Lions: In my opinion, the hybrid of the two. White Lions are durable with a 3+ armor against shooting but are still quite vulnerable to magic missiles. They do a fair amount of damage with Str 6 attacks! And are stubborn to boot! They're still easily killed in combat so watch out!

Dragon Princes: Think of the as Sword masters with 1 less Weapon Skill and a 2+ armor save. Essentially shock cavalry but beware of rubber lance syndrome! Commonly run as unit of 5, but some turn them into bigger units to make a truly devastating charge.

Silver Helms: The red headed step children of the Heavy Cavalry. They're not much cheaper than dragon princes, but you lose a LOT from those points. Half the attacks, a point of weapon skill, no option to take a magic banner, and dragon armor! Most people choose to run these as delivery units to get their combat characters into combat, in this role they are superior to dragon princes.

Ellyrion Reavers: Quite a versatile unit. Keep em small. They have a vanguard move of 12, plus an 18" march and can still fire. Watch them spring across the board and present some early threats to war machines. They have more wounds than an eagle to boot! Also consider that if your opponent is drawing fire towards your 85pt reavers, they're not shooting things like your sword masters ;)

Shadow Warriors: A unit that really took a hit with the 8th edition rules. Skirmishers overall were weakened not just ours. But ours are quite expensive for what they do. ASF rerolls replaced their flavorful hatred rule, and without additional equipment choices they're pretty bland. However, Lords of Nagarythe do not fear! Headshot as well as others have been using them with some success!

Tiranoc Chariot: Faster than its cousin the Lion Chariot and also a cheaper points cost makes it an attractive model in lower point games. Best used in conjuction with your weaker core units to provide some extra punch to a spear unit in combat.

Lion Chariots: Big chariot pulled by War Lions with 2 White Lions inside! Great potential charging out put in damage. A little fragile for the cost in points! Really Cool model though!

Bolt Throwers: Always an interesting choice. There was a time when it was easy to spend maximum rare allowance purely in bolt throwers. However with the changes to randomizing hits on war machines, and the larger number of models within a unit has pushed our beautiful Eagle Claws to the rear in most armies. Lots of players still take one or two of them though. Great for clearing chaff, and softening up targets. Also it is worth noting that they can provide 6 STR 4 armor piercing shots at an impressive range of 48".

Eagles: I will not touch too much on these here as there is a great sticky on these bad boys here: viewtopic.php?f=66&t=33028

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Last edited by Malossar on Sun May 20, 2012 6:33 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2012 10:47 am 
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Ok great! You might understand a little more about High Elf units and their intended roll they want to fill within the confines of your army but now what?

Characters:

Our characters provide the easiest way to add a bit of flavor and fluff directly into your lists. Do you want to dominate your opponents with devastating battery of spells? Perhaps a dragon or eagle mounted by a prince suits your tastes? I will be ignoring special characters for the time being.


Prince: Ah the Prince. Probably the most versatile of all the choices due to the sheer amount of variety in magic equipment he can take. He can be kitted out to be extremely killy, he can ride a plethora of different mounts, and can even be a back up caster with the intention of using his humble great weapon to provide needed punch to our lower strength units (remember the phoenix guard?!)

Several Builds: (2500pts Level)

Seredain's build is perhaps the most seen. He uses the Giant Blade to amp his Prince's strength to dizzying heights to deal with big scary monsters/tough as nail units.

Prince - 281pts.
-Barded Steed, Dragon Armour, Shield,
-Giant Blade, Helm of Fortune, Talisman of Loec

Curu Olannon's Dragon Rider:


Do you want the biggest, baddest, scariest mount on the block? Look no further than the Star Dargon. Curu's army blog is by far the most extensive and is worth every second it takes to read. He goes in much further detail about his build there.

Prince Saerith - 622pts.
Great Weapon, Armour of Caledor, Star Dragon
Vambraces of Defense, Talisman of Loec

ThelordCal's and Jwg20's Eagle Prince:

Not into the dragon because you still hope to take an Archmage but still hoping for a lone wolf and fast flying lord? The Eagle Prince is probably right for you! Jwg20 was the first to document the Eagle Prince, i followed and he quickly changed his lord's build to match mine.

Prince - 307pts.
-Eagle, Great Weapon, Armor of Caledor
-Vambrances of Defense, The Other Tricksters Shard

The Mage Knight:

There is a whole thread dedicated to mage knight build here: viewtopic.php?f=2&t=32214

But I will post Tehtlis' and Ptolemy's Build here as well. Their Princes baby sits their Phoenix Guard adding some much needed punch.

Prince - 257pts. High Magic.
-Great Weapon, Armor of Caledor,
-Guardian Phoenix, Radiant Gem of Hoeth

As I said these are just a few. Some even prefer taking the Reaver Bow or Bow of the Seafarer to add some higher strength out put in the shooting phase. Really the sky is the limit for your prince!


Nobles:

The noble's main function in your army is going to be as your Battle Standard Bearer. For 25pts. all units within 12" of your BSB reroll ALL failed psychology tests, which is invaluable. I will focus on the BSB builds in this section.

Standard build for infantry:

Noble BSB - 168pts.
-Armor of Caledor, Dawn Stone, Great Weapon

*** If armor of caledor was taken by your lord, add the Armor of Silvered Steel and the Luck Stone
****Worried about killing blow? Add the Guardian Phoenix instead of the Dawn Stone.

Standard Mounted Build:

Noble BSB:
-B. Steed, Dragon Armor, Great Weapon
-Helm of Fortune, Guardian Phoenix

*** Still provides you with the 2+ rerollable armor save and doesn't subtract any damage output by taking the great weapon.



Mages/Archmages:


I will combine these two into one category for this guide as most of the princples ring true for both. Basically, our Archmages are built to be the workhorse in the magic phase while our mages are back up/ support casters, or as i like to call them: extra arcane item holders.

Your archmage should almost always be upgraded to a level 4. Don't worry too much about Lore selection at this point in time as we'll be covering that in the next section. There are several ways to approach your Archmage Setup:

Survivable:

ArchMage Lvl 4
-Forlaith's Robes, Talisman of Saphery

Makes your Archmage ethereal and renders all magic weapons mundane meaning they can't harm your archmage. Quite useful if you're hanging with combat blocks. But beware of inherent magical attacks such as Daemons, Forest Spirits, and Ethereals.

Offensive:

Two ways to broach this the first:

Archmage
-Lvl 4, Book of Hoeth

Boom! You just created a miniature version of Teclis! You now Irresistible Force on the roll of any double! And only if its a 6 do you suffer a miscast as well. Best used in competitive play. I'm not one to gripe about power content, but some players feel this item is a little over the top. Find out what the general consensus is before showing up to a friendly game and blasting your opponent off the table.

Second:

Archmage
-Lvl 4, Silver Wand

Here you have quite a few points to play with as well. You can add quite a bit of survivability by giving your Archmage the Talisman of Preservation for a 4+ ward, or also slapping on the super Defensive build. Basically the silver wand is a steal for the points. The probabilty of getting the spells you want every game is ~90%


Defensive Items:

This rings true for wizards of every level. My personal favorite is the Annulian Crystal. Over half of the possible outcomes when rolling Winds of Magic grants you either an even magic phase or a phase where you come out with more dispel dice than your opponent. Some prefer the dispel scroll to guarentee stop that one potentially game breaking spell. Remember that high elves inherently are champs in the magic phase with an extra +1 to dispel.

Other items of note:

Seerstaff: Best used on a back up caster where you know exactly what two spells you need. This was also FAQ'd so that if you're taking another caster in the same lore, he can also roll the spells you have selected effectively giving you 2 of some really awesome spells

Jewel of Dusk: 15pt Power Dice. Usually taken in a Coven style list (don't stress we'll be covering that) where you have a plethora of extra arcane item holders.

Vortex Shard - only really useful in large games, but its a sweet item just to shut don an entite phase.

Banner Of Sorcery: Ok this isn't an arcane item, but its probably one of the best items in the entire game of warhammer, the potential to add D3 power dice to every one of your magic phases is incredible. I can't think of an army that wouldn't want to take this unless its a low point game with a level 1 wizard using a dispel scroll. But even in armies that feature only lvl 2s this pumps a lot of potential in an otherwise potentially staggering phase.

Dragon Mages:

Ok i'll touch on this briefly because the question gets asked a lot: "Are the worth it?" In competitive play: No. Too expenisve. With the rule of step up the mage wants to be as far away from combat as possible, while the dragon only wants to be in it. Plus with the changes to flaming sword of rhuin its really not worth it. but in friendly/fluff play he/she can be a lot of fun. I'm still not convinced there is a solid build out there for them however. Try and use your imagination!

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Last edited by Malossar on Sun May 20, 2012 11:33 am, edited 1 time in total.

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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2012 10:47 am 
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Well congratulations if you've stayed with me this far! We're on to the Lore Choices for our Archmages and Mages. And here's where we'll be getting pretty nitty gritty.

As a High Elf player you have access to all of the 8 Lores of Magic plus our additional Lore of High Magic. Each Lore has a myriad of advantages and disadvantages which I cannot go into vivid detail as this is to be a down and dirty guide. However i hope to high light some key spells and synergies present in every lore.

To begin:

Build your army first. This is vital. In my opinion the Lores are best chosen last. This one aspect will complete the symmetry between units and create the overall synergies you need in order to crush all of your opponents.

Lore of Light:


In my opinion, this is probably the second most underrated Lore by High Elf Generals. It compensates for our lack of protection from shooting by BS and Templates through Pha's Protection. It also provides an effecitve way to damage regenerating units and monsters. Coupled with the crippling powers of Banishment and this Lore can be truly terrifying. Time warp is highly useful fo some added speed and upgrading your White Lions to Swordmasters.

---The Coven of Light is a very magic agressive build centered around the Lore of Light. For every caster within 12" that knows a spell from the lore, the strength of the banishment spell is increased by 1. See the Army Blog guide to find Brewmaster D's coven of light thread.

---Best used with: MSU High Elves, Hordes of White Lions (Time warp!) Bowline style.

---Best wielded by: Because there is honestly not a bad spell lodged within the Lore, any caster can take it and suceed.


Lore of Beasts:

This is probably the second most versatile lore of the ones found in the rulebook. It has one of the best signature spells in Wyssan's Wild form, some incredible character buff spells with Savage Beast of Horros, a nice hex with Curse and a cannon ball styled Magic Missile that hits at STR 10 and Deals D6 multiple wounds. Not to mention the crazy spell that is Transformation for some added shenigans.

--Crazy Build: The Character Death Star in a Horde of Phoenix Guard. Focuses on maximizing the effects of a bubbled Savage Beasts and Pann's Impentrable Pelt.

---Best used with: Core depenant builds, Phoenix Guard, Character Heavy

---Best wielded by: Typically you'll see this run a solitary level 4, but additional wyssans are great for lvl 1 mages just wanting to use their scroll.


Lore of Life:


A very popular lore. It has the easiest way to avoid having your wizard's head explode by miscast with Throne of Vines which also makes all of you spells better! Soemthing truly terrifying - a horde of Swordmasters with Toughness 7 and a 4+ Regeneration save! You also have access to the scariest Direct Damage spell, by forcing strength tests on every model in the unit including characters -- if failed - instant death!

--Avoid the trap of throwing 6 dice at Throne and 6 dice at dwellers every turn.

---Best Used With: Swordmasters! This lore was designed to keep these bad boys alive! Also highly effective in almost every build.

---Best wielded by:Level 4. The amount of spells one needs coupled with wanting throne of vines cast before additional augments almost pidgeon holes the lore exclusively to the Lvl 4. However i have seen in Dragon builds or Griffon Prince build the lore being used on back up casters that concentrates on spamming spells for Lifebloom to keep the mounts healed.


Lore of Death:

This lore puts our high leadership models to work. With the signature spell having the potential to snipe characters and big scaries, not to mention warmachines, with a low leadership this lore can throw a wrench in your opponents plans before he even gets a chance to move his own units. Purple Sun is also the scariest spell to armies with Low Initiatives. Also some great debuffs are present in the lore.

--Terrifying Casting Combo -- Death Snipe your opponents BSB. Then Cast Doom and Darkness on one of his more scary blocks. If you can cast soulblight the unit or a unit of chaff within 6" In your shooting phase, either unload to cause a panic test on the Doom and Darknessed unit or the unit of chaff to force a panic check at -3 LD!

---Best Used With: In my opinion, Bow Lines, Soulblight is a phenomenal spell being able to effect all units within 24" And hopefully causing panic checks on your Doom and Darkness Targets.

---Best wielded by: Any casters. A back up caster with the Seerstaff with Doom and Darkness and Caress can accomplish a ton!

Lore of Fire:

Not nearly as strong as the previously mentioned Lores. But is quite good on a back up caster. Flaming Sword turns your archers into a force to be reckoned with. It also makes your White Lions Auto Wound anything toughenss 4 or less... Flame cage is a great controlling spell. Keeps hordes and tarpits in place to avoid taking some massive damage. Even spells like Cascading Fire Cloak are nice to protect you wizard from light character hunters like eagles and fast cavalry.

--- Crazy Combination: If also using lore of heavens, Flame Cage a target and then Wind Blast!

----Best Used With: Smaller point armies. Fire can do some decent ranged damage to help overcome our innate weakness at low point games.

---Best wielded by: Back up casters. Fire really lacks potential to be wasted on your level 4, on its own that is. WHen Fire is taken by a back up caster, its strengths become more apparant.


Lore of Metal:

This Lore is super fun. It helps handle armies that we struggle against with high armor saves. Final Transmutation can also kill characters and can delay your enemies battle line as all units within 12" are subject to stupidity. You can also peel armor saves off units permanently, and increase your own armor save to 3+ on your elites. You can get shooting protection through Transmutation of Lead. Its quite a versatile lore really.

--Sweet Combo: Enchanted Blades on Swordmasters is pretty fun. Hitting on 2s with Armor Piercing and Magical Attacks.

---Best Used With: Against Armies with High Armor Saves, or in combination with Sword Masters and Bowlines.

---Best wielded by:Either the Level 1 caddy for Searing Doom or by the level 4. Not much in between. 2 spells doesn't achieve a lot from this lore but 4-5 spells makes it much more terrifying.


Lore of Heavens:


Heavens provides something that no other lore does. Multiple ways to completely batter your opponent through spells. With Thunder bolt, Chain Lightening, and comet, you can do some serious damage at range. Harmonic Convergence is a fantastic spell best used on dragon princes in my opinion. Iceshards provides a single target Pha's Protection. Wind Blast is super fun. This is the most underrated Lore by High Elf Generals in my opinion.

--Crazy sweet battery: Target flyers! Cut down you opponents chaff and bombard with Comet. Wind blast particularly susceptible targets back towards your comet location.

---Best Used with: Bowlines. Just to add to the overall fire power. Also effective in Cavalry builds providing cover and easy chaff clearance to allow your knights to hit home

---Best wielded by: All Levels. With the amount of crazy spells Heavens has access to, coupled with lower than average casting cost makes it attractive to the lower levels.



Lore of High Magic:


A highly effective Lore with stupid low casting costs. Flames of the Phoenix is an incredible spell that can clear tarpits with impunity. Fury pf Khaine is your chaff killer. While the humble Shield of Saphery turns your White Lions into a pretty survivable unit! Vaul's unmaking is one of the more powerful spells in the game due to it breaking some of the crazy combos still floating around out there. Curse of arrow attraction can force some serious damage potential onto any given target. Every High Elf wizard using his Lore also inherently knows the spell Drain Magic. Great end of the phase user to increase your defense.

---Fun trick: Cast Drain First. With your low casting costs it won't effect your ability too much. It will also throw your opponent completely off, which can lead to him dispelling too early and freeing up the magic phase.

--- Best Used with: In my opinion this is probably one of the most versatile Lores and can be used with almost an list imaginable. However it really shines with non phoenix guard elites and mass archers/bolt throwers.

---Best wielded by: Levels 1 - 4. The extremely low casting costs, coupled with an additional spell really makes this Lore shine for the lower level casters. A lvl 2 with the Silver wand can have a full magic phase on their own when using this Lore. In my view its best with support casters but also extremely attractive for the Lord levels as well.

Lore of Shadow:

Ah the best for last. Well maybe. Shadow is truly the strongest lore for high elves. It has a wide variety of hexes, one knarly direct damage spell, and one terrifying augment. The hexes are simple, Miasma can offer shooting protection, protection in close combat and also delay hordes/death stars for several turns. Withering turns your elven archers into mass killers. Enfeebling offers the close combat protection your elites need to survive. Coupled with Mindrazor and ever your spears become meat grinders. Finally, Pit of Shades is a fantastic spell to remove low initiative death stars and war machines. The Attribute is also handy keeping your archmage alive. If engaged simply cast and swap places with your prince or your bsb!

--- Widely considered the tournament Lore.

--Best Used With - Low strength combat units (spears and Phoenix Guard) Bow Lines and High Strength Elites, A really awesome lore.

---Best wielded by: Level 4. With high casting costs, not to mention the array of spells really scream lvl 4. However, i've seen Lvl 2s do terrfying things with access to the Lore. Try and avoid getting star struck by mindrazor, Enfeebling and Withering are quieter spells that, in my opinion are the greatest tools this lore has access to.




Some final notes:



I hope this was helpful. If there's anything anyone would like added please feel free to shoot me a PM. We can also have a nice discussion here in this thread.


Its also worth mentioning Hero's Guide to High Elf Glory. He plays in a super competitive non comped envrionment and his guide does a much better job outlining optimum builds there, Link: viewtopic.php?f=66&t=37969

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Last edited by Malossar on Sun May 20, 2012 6:45 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2012 11:06 am 
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Love the guide descriptions on the units. RBTs are always in my list due to the -2 to Armour save for S4 hits and the 48" range.

I personally think those 2 points should be included in the RBT description.

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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2012 12:13 pm 
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Great work so far TLC!

'Plastic Crack'

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PostPosted: Sun May 20, 2012 3:44 pm 
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I'll keep this short as most new players will probably only read your posts at the beginning. Or they should, since that was probably the point. You say that Sword Masters should be deployed X deep. Did you mean to replace this with a number? Personally I run 2 deep, and I think that's pretty standard. Also, it might help to say which lores work well with hero and lord mages. Life pretty much requiring a level 4, for example.

All in all, I wish this existed back when I got started.


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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 7:50 am 
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I've updated the Guide with all the requested suggestions. Is there anything else people feel is prevalent and needs to be included?

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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 7:59 am 
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I've stickied the thread since it should be very helpfull to new players.

We'll see if it helps new players answer some of the common questions.

I was also wondering: You don't seem to make any mention of ASF / speed of assurian. It plays a big role in the army, perhaps it deserves a mention somewhere.

Rod

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PostPosted: Mon May 21, 2012 10:14 pm 
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Needs an more elaborate section on Sword Masters vs. White Lions vs. Phoenix Guard. Since you know, that question comes up every week.

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PostPosted: Tue May 22, 2012 9:10 pm 
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Great work Cal! Wish I'd had this to read when I first started out with high elves =D>

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PostPosted: Thu May 24, 2012 10:40 am 
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Awesome stuff! Thanks very much cal. This, coupled with HERO's thread has helped me no end.


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PostPosted: Fri May 25, 2012 6:06 am 
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Thank you for posting this.
As a new general to the High Elves this will help me immensely!


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PostPosted: Thu May 16, 2013 9:47 am 
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Also it would be valuable to add in the new defensive bonuses

Swordmasters 6+ Ward Save vs. shooting
Dragon Princes 6+ Ward Save vs. everything

Lore of Heavens synergies
viewtopic.php?f=66&t=45860

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PostPosted: Sun May 19, 2013 8:52 am 
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This guide is totally irrelevant now. It should either be updated or taken off as it would only mislead new players. The character builds are using wrong items, just to start.


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PostPosted: Sun Sep 08, 2013 8:14 am 
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This post is great, THANKS!

However it is a shame that the section on characters and mages set up has become obsolete because the book has changed!


Would you, by any chance, consider updating it considering the magical objects in the new book?

Thanks,
M


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