Monday, November 21, 2011

Email In: High Elf List Help

Peter writes...

"Hi, I know this is a bit of a random request, considering you dont play HE, but I really like your mindset on WHFB so i was wondering if i could pick your brains! Ive not played fantasy since 6th ed, but now I've got the urge to adapt to 8th edition and start tournament play again, so though i have an army already im not afraid to go out and buy some extra stuff if its really necessary. So here goes:-

Teclis: 475pts

Mage: Level 2, Annulian Crystal, 175pts

Noble, Heavy Armour, Ogre Blade, Enchanted Shield, 139pts

Noble, Heavy Armour, White Sword, 129pts

Spearmen (19), Full command, Gleaming Pennant, 201pts

Spearmen (20): Full command, 205pts

Archers (10): 110pts

Archers (10): 110pts

Swordmasters(11): Full command, 195pts

Swordmasters(11): Full command, 195pts

Pheonix Guard(19): Full command, Banner of Sorcery, 365pts

Bolt Thrower: 100pts

Bolt Thrower: 100pts

The idea is that i totally deny the enemy magic support through the banner and crystal, dominate my own magic phase and then use my shooting and combat ability to finish them off. Im not sure about the 2 swordmaster units myself, the nobles used to join these and together they could easily wipe out an enemies front rank but now that they will have to weather return attacks. The spearmen arent ideal, but they are very useful as flank guards and can contribute to the fight as they are superior to most races basic troops. Teclis hides in the pheonix guard, the nobles join the 2 units of swordmasters, and the mage joins the spearmen unit with the banner to avoid them running turn

Thanks for taking the time to read this, and if you could spare 5 minutes thought to critique it that would be great! And saves me painting useless units. lol

He is a very bad man.

Hi Pete, thanks for writing.

Your general concept isn't bad at all.  A Phoenix Guard magic bunker is pretty darn nasty if your opponent doesn't have the tools to deal with it.  That said, you have a few minor things that can definitely be tweaked to make it a bit more efficient in my opinion.

First, you have full command on every squad.  The only unit that needs a unit champ are the Phoenix Guard, so the champ can eat a challenge and protect Teclis.  The other units don't need to pay a points premium for an extra close combat attack.

Second, since you're using Banner of Sorcery rather than World Dragon, I assume you're using Life Magic instead of Death or something else kooky.  Generally speaking, you're going to want to run fewer and bigger units to take advantage of unit-wide buffs.  For instance, it does no good to give one unit of Sword Masters regeneration if your opponent will just target the other one.  So consolidate those Swordmasters into a single unit.

Third, the Nobles don't need magic weapons.  A simple Great Sword is a fantastically cheap, amazingly powerful weapon for them.  Save some points there.  Also, one of them needs to be a BSB.  And both of them need to hang with the Phoenix Guard.  The idea is to push Teclis and the other magic to the second row (so they can't be CC''ed) but also to prevent people from rushing headlong into combat with them.  You opponent will not want to send his unit headlong into two Nobles with great weapons, not to mention the Phoenix Guard attacks.  Lastly, the unit will draw warmachine and shooting, and magic attacks.  The BSB will prevent something bad happening on the off chance you fail a leadership test.  Your magic bunker running off the table would be awful.

Fourth, your Spearmen need to be Seaguard.  This is a list that wants to sit back and force the enemy to come to you.  The best way to do that is shooting and magic.  You have the magic, but your shooting is only eh.  If those Spearmen became Seaguard, suddenly you have a lot more shots and crossing the battlefield to get to you becomes a scarier proposition.

Lastly, the bolt throwers.  These are hit or miss.  Against certain armies they are worth their weight in gold.  Others they are useless.  Same can be said for Eagles.  Nothing is better than wrecking a cannon with great eagles.  But nothing is worse than having great eagles in your list when you face Daemons.  So whether you go Eagles or Bolt Throwers is a local metagame call.  If you play opponents with lots of warmachines, consider bringing Eagles instead.  If you're playing on a big tournament level, I'm tempted to lean towards the Eagles actually.

Hope this advice is helpful.  Any commentators have more, or different, advice?


  1. Thats pretty good advise.

    I would give one of the nobles the banner of sorcery however, for magic domination. And eagles all the way, that high elf death star would really hate war machines, even with a 4++ save. If your playing daemons, just position them right in front of blood letter hordes. That should save your ______ for a turn

  2. Really liking this blog, you have any interested in writing something on Empire in 8th? I'm also a returning player, played Dark Elves back in 6th/7th.

    If you have any insight on the current state of Empire, especially in smaller army sizes, I would love it!