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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 3:16 pm 
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Vindicated Strategist
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Location: Oslo, Norway
Welcome to my Army Blog which aims at playing High Elves competitively ;)



.::. Table of Contents .::.

  • Important Topics and High Elf Army Book Analysis - click
  • Army Lists with Rationale and Development - click
  • Battle Reports - click
  • Army Pictures - click

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Follow me on Courage of Caspia, my blog.

Warhammer blogs from 2011-2015:

:: Path to Glory - High Elves Army Blog ::
:: Curu Olannon's Vindicators - 2500 points Army Blog (Old book, outdated) ::


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 3:17 pm 
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Location: Oslo, Norway
.::. Important Topics .::.

The following topics /posts are ones I consider important to understand High Elves in general, my playstyle in particular and the meta I play in. This list will have the most recent topics at the top.





.::. High Elf Army Book Analysis .::.

The High Elf Army Book is one of the best books written for 8th edition Warhammer in my opinion. Its internal balance is extremely good compared to just about any other book out there, with very few must-have choices. We have some tremendously strong options available, but also some glaring weaknesses.

To make a long story short, I believe High Elves, regardless of configuration, are about board control and force concentration. With our innate frailty, failing either of these during list development can easily cause you to lose games before they`ve even began. By board control I mean being able to decide when and where fights happen, from troop positioning to when a unit engages and who it engages, with possible counter-charges etc. By force concentration I mean being able to apply X points of your army list to Y points of your opponent`s army, with X being significantly bigger than Y. Successful High Elf lists inevitably achieve these in different ways: be it applying lots of magic and shooting to devastate a unit or combo-charge with multiple strong elements.

I have seen a lot of High Elf lists and army types in action both online and in real life. The ones that stand out are the ones with a clear focus, being one of the following:
- Star Dragon with cavsupport and RBTs
- Cavalry deathstar
- White Lion Coven of Light defensive configuration with lots of shooting
- Cavbus with fast elements or strong infantry support

I`m not saying these are the only possible successful configurations, but they`re the ones I`ve seen being able to compete with the best when top players face eachother with solid lists. There is still a lot of unexplored territory.

Designing a High Elf army then is all about evaluating your list relative to board control and force concentration while asking yourself how it plays vs other strong lists. As an example, taking multiple units of White Lions supported by combat characters might seem like a good idea, but in reality you`ll quickly find that their ability to concentrate force is rather terrible as M5 with a big footprint is downright clumsy to wield, and furthermore they are too slow to effectively push against a solid, defensive opponent. Note that while you need to evaluate matchups and avoid lists that have too many bad ones, every list in Warhammer has some hard counters, no exceptions. Being able to tell how many hard counters you`re likely to run into requires a good understanding of the current meta and unfortunately I can`t give you a good answer for this.

Instead of going through every option in the book, I`ll highlight some of my key experiences:
- Star Dragon is awesome. If your meta is not packed with war machines, at least give it a try. It can be played well with cavsupport, but unexplored territory includes heavy infantry support and msu infantry shooting.
- Loremaster is surprisingly versatile and a true beast at supporting combats by means of trickling.
- Archmage is solid. High, Death and Light are the best lores, I`ve found. Light coupled with a Loremaster makes for a terribly destructive magic phase, with only a Level 1 caddy being needed for S6 Banishment.
- Banner of the World Dragon is almost always a must. Not taking it increases your vulnerability to miscasts, death magic and dangerous spells such as Foot of Gork, Doombolt etc. Furthermore the near-immunity to magical attacks is insane.

- Silver Helms are good value in core. They are the one core unit we have that have some kind of durability and taken in larger numbers (12+) they provide good bunkers for mounted characters. They are the bread and butter of most mobile lists.
- Reavers are extremely good, no matter what you`re running. I don`t think I`ll ever play 2400 points without at least 2 units of these ever again. Their board control is very strong and vanguard allows them to be dropped ambiguously, letting them catch up before T1 starts.

- PG are very strong, but quickly take a lot of points as you`ll be looking to have a good size of them. 20 with full command and razor is the smallest I`d take, which clocks in at 375 points. With character and/or magic support they can grind almost anything that isn`t a deathstar and expect to win, a rare trait for High Elf units.
- White Lions can be good defensively, but they`re no-where near what they used to be. Remember that they are T3 5+ and that they take up points that aren`t going into mobility or board control.
- Swordmasters aren`t worth it. Don`t bother, offensively you`ll likely want PG instead whereas defensively Lions are simply better.
- Shadow Warriors have found a niche in the meta with their anti-enemy-vanguard nature and ability to harass flanks. This is heavily meta dependent though, if vanguarders aren`t popular and war machines are usually hard to get at, you`re likely better off spending your points elsewhere.

- Frostheart Phoenix is very strong, but don`t forget it`s weak to static combat resolution and can go down easily to multiple war machines and poisoned attacks. It truly shines when it can combo-charge, allowing your otherwise frail Elves to (likely) strike first and receive less punishment in return due to -1S.
- Flamespyre Phoenix is tremendously underwhelming. 3 S5 attacks are truly close to useless in the current meta. Some lists are experimenting with it as an Anointed mount and while I have yet to see results, I doubt its viability in a singles setting. I would never take one without a rider at least.
- RBTs and Eagles are your best friends. Unless you have a good reason not to, never leave home without!

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Follow me on Courage of Caspia, my blog.

Warhammer blogs from 2011-2015:

:: Path to Glory - High Elves Army Blog ::
:: Curu Olannon's Vindicators - 2500 points Army Blog (Old book, outdated) ::


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 3:18 pm 
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Location: Oslo, Norway
.::. Current List .::.

Dragonlord wrote:
Prince on Star Dragon: Dragonhelm, Star Lance, Crown of Atrazar, The Other Trickster`s Shard, Shield = 598
Noble BSB on Barded Steed, Banner of the World Dragon, Heavy armour, Shield, Lance = 172
Noble on Barded Steed, Enchanted Shield, Heavy Armour, Ogre Blade = 134
Mage L2 on Steed, Scroll = 155
Mage L2 on Steed, Ironcurse Icon = 135
Heroes = 596, Characters = 1194

16 Silver Helms, Full Command & Shields = 398
5 Ellyrian Reavers = 80
5 Ellyrian Reavers, Bows (swap) = 85
5 Ellyrian Reavers, Champion = 90
Core = 653

3x1 Repeater Bolt Thrower = 210
Frostheart Phoenix = 240
2x1 Great Eagle = 100
Rare = 550

Army total = 2397


.::. Rationale .::.

While magic received a huge boost in 8th edition, games are still largely won (or lost) in the movement phase. Being able to dominate the board and apply more pressure to a specific point on the battlefield than your opponent is crucial to victory. Playing High Elves allow us to do this very well, in a number of ways. Personally I`m a big fan of the biggest and baddest of them all when it comes to this: with a statline of 7 and flying, the Star Dragon is arguably the best board controller in the game. With the Star Lance on the Prince this unit alone delivers 10 S7 hits on the charge, 4 of which allow no armour save. While in our last book the Prince could be geared almost fully for a 2.5k game, the Star Dragon`s increased cost means the Prince will always have to settle for a compromise now. Effectively, I think he works best as a delivery system, i.e. here`s mainly around to bring the Dragon to the table. Don`t get me wrong, 18" LD10 Inspiring Presence is nice as well, but trying to tool the Prince to do anything but deliver the Dragon is a faulty approach, in my opinion. To this end, the Other Trickster`s Shard is mandatory as it is the single item that helps the Dragon out the most. To increase the odds of this item being around (= Prince alive) when you hit home, the Golden Crown and Charmed Shield are both excellent choices. The problem with the latter is that you really want the fireward: in a lot of matchups flaming ranged attacks can be what`s really threatening the Dragon (Dwarfs, Daemons and Tomb Kings to name the most common) and in this case, you want to give the Prince a decent chance at conserving the points, should the Dragon go down. It`s also very helpful against metal magic and High Elf Loremasters, both of which aren`t too uncommon these days. The compromise is thus Golden Crown + Dragonhelm, since Dragon Armour is simply too expensive. Lastly, to make the Prince actually matter when he charges, the Star Lance is an excellent choice. Given the meta where high-T 1+ save troops dominate, this build is in my opinion the best you can get at 2400 points.

I`ve tried a number of variations concerning hero support for the Star Dragon. To make a long story short (read the battle reports for more in-depth analysis), I believe it is necessary to include 2 level 2 mages to make the most of the available magic phase since you basically get the winds for free. It is also my experience that these two need to be protected by the Banner of the World Dragon, which is a mandatory item to provide the Dragon with Stubborn, because Elves really hate miscasts above and beyond everything else. Dark Elves get away by letting their Warlocks pull a lot of the magic phase, Wood Elves usually have a Sisters of the Thorn or Skirmisher bunker, neither of which are as vulnerable to miscasts as our elites or cavalry busses. I don`t believe neither White Lions nor Swordmasters can function well in an offensive list as they are just inferior to Phoenix Guard, and the latter really need the Razor Standard. The question then becomes whether to take a unit of Dragon Princes or to simply put the banner on the BSB. Since the mages have to go where the banner is, you`re looking to push them into the second rank, which means 2 Nobles are mandatory as well, or you could get away with just the BSB if you take the Crown of Command. This latter option allows a unit to operate with weird formations like 2-3-4 wide, but in this case a bus doesn`t provide static combat resolution. By taking a solid unit of Dragon Princes, you`re spending a lot of non-core points on something the Silver Helms can effectively do better: provide static combat resolution. No matter what, it all boils down to the fact that are our cavalry are useless in a grind as their S3 will never achieve anything of importance. The superior option then is to leave the Dragon Princes at home, which means the BSB has to carry the Banner. The last question is then whether to go with the Crown (allowing for one less Noble, potentially) or to take the 4th hero. In a setting where you need to run across the map and score big points (which is fairly typical for a Star Dragon list), you`re looking for the Silver Helms to provide static resolution. The more combat resolution you can generate, the better. For this, I think the Crown of Command is a flawed approach. It is a defensive item in an otherwise offensive list. True, it helps you get out of some iffy situations by simply placing a 25 wound 2+ save block with 2++ vs magical damage in the way of whatever it is you need to block, but it doesn`t help you achieve the objective of actually hurting stuff and generating combat resolution. For all its worth, the Crown of Command is useless on offense. Besides, I think a list like this can deal with iffy situations in other ways (more on this later). The conclusion then is that the natural 4th hero choice is indeed added, with fighty equipment. The lores on the mages is also debatable, I`ve found that none even come close to the flexibility of High Magic: being able to default to Drain Magic and Soul Quench alone is invaluable, whereas Apotheosis, Arcane Unforging and Walk Between Worlds are all killer spells. Having +1 to cast from this lore is the icing on the cake, allowing the Level 2s to put more pressure out in the magic phase.

With the characters set and knowing we need Silver Helms, what should the rest of the list look like? First of all, lacking the Crown of Command is a big issue. Bad situations will happen, so what then? The best thing to do is to dominate the board as much as you can. Reavers in core are excellent, as are Eagles in rare. Shadow Warriors can also help in this regard, but unfortunately the points simply aren`t there and for protecting a unit, their board control presence is inferior to Reavers/Eagles. The bus is sized to provide just enough ranks for maximised combat resolution, assuming noone dies. While this might sound stupid, it`s often the case that they make it into combat and have the full +3 rank bonus for the first round. The core points are then spent on as many Reavers as possible.

Looking at the rare section, our number one priority is of course the Frostheart Phoenix. In an offensive Star Dragon list, this is by far the most crucial unit to have. After this, we need board control. Maximising Eagles is mandatory, with the rest being spent on RBTs: while many High Elf players feel these are underwhelming, they provide tremendous board control value for their points. This leaves us with 50 points to spare (600 heroes, 600 lords, 600 min-core, 550 rare), which we throw into more Reavers, maximising our board control with an amazing 5 chaff units.

Some might question the amount of drops, aren`t offensive lists supposed to have few drops to get the initiative? Well first of all, having the initiative is no doubt nice. However with 5 chaff drops your opponent almost always has to commit to a part of the table before you deploy your heavy hitters. This can be crucial, as playing against a well-deployed refused flank can be disastrous. Besides, you still get first turn once in a while: indeed many lists have more drops than this so you still get +1 for first turn.

.::. Other Lists .::.


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Follow me on Courage of Caspia, my blog.

Warhammer blogs from 2011-2015:

:: Path to Glory - High Elves Army Blog ::
:: Curu Olannon's Vindicators - 2500 points Army Blog (Old book, outdated) ::


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 3:19 pm 
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Posts: 4929
Location: Oslo, Norway
ETC 2015 - Team Norway
#124 - ETC 2015 #6 vs Poland Tomb Kings - click
#123 - ETC 2015 #5 vs Australia Tomb Kings - click
#122 - ETC 2015 #4 vs Russia Wood Elves - click
#121 - ETC 2015 #3 vs Austria Dwarfs - click
#120 - ETC 2015 #2 vs Singapore High Elves - click
#119 - ETC 2015 #1 vs Northern Ireland Daemons of Chaos - click

Games below were run as part of ETC 2015 preparations

#118 - Crusade 2015 #5 vs Warriors of Chaos - click
#117 - Crusade 2015 #4 vs Daemons of Chaos - click
#116 - Crusade 2015 #3 vs Empire - click
#115 - Crusade 2015 #2 vs Skaven - click

#114 - Crusade 2015 #1 vs Daemons of Chaos - click
#113 - vs High Elves - click
#112 - vs Daemons of Chaos - click
#111 - vs Wood Elves - click
#110 - vs Orcs and Goblins - click

Games below were run with "elven air force" lists
2d6 Conquest 2015
#109 - Conquest15 #5 vs Daemons of Chaos - click
#108 - Conquest15 #4 vs Ogre Kingdoms - click
#107 - Conquest15 #3 vs Wood Elves - click
#106 - Conquest15 #2 vs Dwarfs - click
#105 - Conquest15 #1 vs Tomb Kings - click

Games below were run with a Host of The Eternity King list
Sheffield Slaughter 2015
Sheffield Slaughter Post-Tournament Analysis - click
#104 - SS15 #6 - 2200 vs Legions of Chaos - click
#103 - SS15 #5 - 2200 vs Host of the Eternity King - click
#102 - SS15 #4 - 2200 vs Orcs & Goblins - click
#101 - SS15 #3 - 2200 vs Host of the Eternity King - click
#100 - SS15 #2 - 2200 vs Undead Legions - click
#99 - SS15 #1 - 2200 vs Host of the Eternity King - click

#96 & #97 - 2200 vs Undead Legion (Sheffield) - click

Games below were run with an Anointed on a Flamespyre Phoenix
2d6 Challenge 2014
Challenge Post-Tournament Analysis - click
#95 - Challenge #5 - 2400 vs Dark Elves (GF) - click
#94 - Challenge #4 - 2400 vs Wood Elves (GF) - click
#93 - Challenge #3 - 2400 vs Empire (GF) - click
#92 - Challenge #2 - 2400 vs Warriors of Chaos (GF) - click
#91 - Challenge #1 - 2400 vs Dark Elves (GF) - click

Games below were run with Teclis
Norwegian Master's (NM) 2014
NM Post-Tournament Analysis - click
#80 - NM #5 - 2000 vs Dark Elves (uncomped) - click
#79 - NM #4 - 2000 vs Daemons of Chaos (uncomped) - click
#78 - NM #3 - 2000 vs Dark Elves (uncomped) - click
#77 - NM #2 - 2000 vs Empire (uncomped) - click
#76 - NM #1 - 2000 vs Empire (uncomped) - click

#75 - 2000 vs Dark Elves (uncomped) - click
#74 - 2000 vs Tomb Kings (uncomped) - click
#73 - 2000 vs High Elves (uncomped) - click
#72 - 2000 vs High Elves (uncomped) - click

Games below were run with an elite block + cavbus
#89 - 2400 vs Warriors of Chaos (GF) - click

Indian Summer (IS) 2014
IS Post-Tournament Analysis - click
#52 - IS #5 - 2400 vs Daemons of Chaos (ETC) - click
#51 - IS #4 - 2400 vs Dark Elves (ETC) - click
#50 - IS #3 - 2400 vs Dwarfs (ETC) - click
#49 - IS #2 - 2400 vs Orcs and Goblins (ETC) - click
#48 - IS #1 - 2400 vs Vampire Counts (ETC) - click

Games below were run with a cavstar

#98 - 2400 vs Beastmen (ETC Draft 1) - click

#47 - 2400 vs Tomb Kings (ETC) - click
#46 - 2400 vs High Elves (ETC) - click
#45 - 2400 vs Dwarfs (ETC) - click
#44 - 2400 vs Daemons of Chaos (ETC) - click
#43 - 2400 vs Daemons of Chaos (ETC) - click
#42 - 2400 vs Skaven (ETC) - click
#40 - 2400 vs Skaven (ETC) - click
#38 - 2400 vs Bretonnia (ETC) - click
#37 - 2400 vs Tomb Kings (ETC) - click
#34 - 2400 vs Wood Elves (ETC) - click
#32 - 2400 vs Wood Elves (ETC) - click

Games below were run with a cavprince/SH bus and 2 infantry blocks
Swedish Championship (SM) 2014
SM Post-Tournament Analysis - click
#31 - SM #5 - 2400 vs Dark Elves (ETC) - click
#30 - SM #4 - 2400 vs Empire (ETC) - click
#29 - SM #3 - 2400 vs Skaven (ETC) - click
#28 - SM #2 - 2400 vs Daemons of Chaos (ETC) - click
#27 - SM #1 - 2400 vs Vampire Counts (ETC) - click

#26 - 2400 vs Dark Elves (ETC) -click
#25 - 2400 vs Skaven (ETC) - click
#24 - 2400 vs Dwarfs (ETC) - click
#23 - 2400 vs Beastmen (ETC) - click
#22 - 2400 vs Empire (ETC) - click
#21 - 2400 vs High Elves (ETC) - click
#20 - 2400 vs High Elves (ETC) - click
#19 - 2400 vs Vampire Counts (ETC) - click
#18 - 2400 vs Ogre Kingdoms (ETC) - click
#17 - 2400 vs Dwarfs (ETC) - click
#16 - 2400 vs Chaos Dwarfs (ETC) - click
#15 - 2400 vs Empire (ETC) - click
#14 - 2400 vs Lizardmen (ETC) - click

Games below were run with a shooting-heavy approach
#90 - 2400 vs Daemons of Chaos (GF) - click
#13 - 2400 vs Empire (ETC) - click
#12 - 2400 vs new Dwarfs (ETC) - click

Games below were run with a Dragonlord
Borås Spelkonvent (BSK) 2014
BSK Post-Tournament Analysis - clicky
#88 - BSK #5 - 2400 vs Wood Elves (ETC) - clicky
#87 - BSK #4 - 2400 vs High Elves (ETC) - clicky
#86 - BSK #3 - 2400 vs High Elves (ETC) - clicky
#85 - BSK #2 - 2400 vs Bretonnia (ETC) - clicky
#84 - BSK #1 - 2400 vs High Elves (ETC) - clicky

#83 - 2500 vs Wood Elves (uncomped) - clicky
#82 - 2400 vs Dark Elves (ETC) - clicky
#81 - 2400 vs Empire (ETC) - clicky
#71 - 2400 vs Dark Elves (ETC) - clicky

Invasion 2014
Invasion Post-Tournament Analysis - clicky
#70 - Invasion #5 vs High Elves (uncomped) - clicky
#69 - Invasion #4 vs Empire (uncomped) - clicky
#68 - Invasion #3 vs Skaven (uncomped) - clicky
#67 - Invasion #2 vs Skaven (uncomped) - clicky
#66 - Invasion #1 vs Bretonnia (uncomped) - clicky

#65 - 2400 vs Dark Elves (ETC) - clicky
#64 - 2400 vs Empire (ETC) - clicky
#63 - 2400 vs Orcs and Goblins (ETC) - clicky
#62 - 2400 vs Daemons of Chaos (ETC) - clicky
#61 - 2400 vs Dark Elves (ETC) - clicky
#60 - 2400 vs Tomb Kings (ETC) - clicky
#59 - 2400 vs Daemons of Chaos (NW) - clicky
#58 - 2400 vs Empire (ETC) - clicky
#57 - 2400 vs Tomb Kings (NW) - clicky
#56 - 2400 vs Ogre Kingdoms (ETC) - clicky
#55 - 2400 vs Tomb Kings (ETC) - clicky
#54 - 2400 vs Dwarfs (ETC) - clicky
#53 - 2400 vs Empire (ETC) - clicky
#41 - 2400 vs Lizardmen (ETC) - clicky
#39 - 2400 vs Ogre Kingdoms (ETC) - clicky
#36 - 2400 vs Tomb Kings (ETC) - clicky
#35 - 2400 vs Dark Elves (ETC) - clicky
#33 - 2400 vs Ogre Kingdoms (ETC) - clicky
#11 - 2400 vs Dwarfs (ETC) - click
#10 - 2400 vs Lizardmen (ETC) - click

Games below were run with a cavalry prince + level 4 Archmage
#9 - 2400 vs Ogre Kingdoms (SCGT) - click
#8 - 2400 vs Dwarfs (no comp) - click
#7 - 2400 vs Wood Elves (ETC comp) - click
#6 - 2400 vs Daemons of Chaos (low comp - no SCs, no double rares worth 170+ points) - click
#5 - 2400 vs Tomb Kings (low comp - no SCs, no double rares worth 170+ points) - click
#4 - 2400 vs Skaven (ETC comp) - click
#3 - 2400 vs Tomb Kings (low comp - no SCs, no double rares worth 170+ points) - click
#2 - 2400 vs Warriors of Chaos (ETC comp) - click
#1 - 2400 vs Tomb Kings (low comp - no SCs, no double rares worth 170+ points) - click

The following are miscellaneous reports, featuring unconventional play (e.g. doubles, campaigns, add-ons etc):
Beerhammer, 800 points doubles tournament with random partners - click

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Retired from Warhammer. Playing Warmachine & Hordes (Cygnar).

Follow me on Courage of Caspia, my blog.

Warhammer blogs from 2011-2015:

:: Path to Glory - High Elves Army Blog ::
:: Curu Olannon's Vindicators - 2500 points Army Blog (Old book, outdated) ::


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 3:20 pm 
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Location: Oslo, Norway
Army Shots

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Loremaster of Hoeth

For this conversion, I used a phoenix guard body and placed an empty helmet from the rbt sprue (I think this is where it comes from) on top to produce an eerie feeling as befits a High Elf Warrior Mage. The Sword and Book of Hoeth are both from the Dragon kit and fit nicely with a bit of greenstuff :)

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Cavalry Prince

An extensive conversion based on a Reaver Champion. It took me quite some time to remove bits and pieces as well as adding stuff, but I`m really happy with the result.

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Star Dragon Lord

Based on a Carmine Dragon. The rider is a mix from the High Elf Dragon set, the Mounted Prince/BSB set, Phoenix Guard sprue and White Lion sprue. It`s not completely painted, I just never get around to doing the last 20%...

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Mage

Kit-bash from Archer/spears. Simple yet effective.

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Ellyrian Reavers:

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Phoenix Guard

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Cavalry

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White Lions

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Follow me on Courage of Caspia, my blog.

Warhammer blogs from 2011-2015:

:: Path to Glory - High Elves Army Blog ::
:: Curu Olannon's Vindicators - 2500 points Army Blog (Old book, outdated) ::


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 3:30 pm 
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Well played Sir
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I like that there is an Army Pictures section ^_^

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 3:37 pm 
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It looks like the new HE army book will suit your preferred play-style even better than the old book. I know I'll be following this army blog with great interest because I'm planning on adopting your kind of aggressive style favoring high mobility with the 8th ed. High Elves! Good luck and have fun! :D


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PostPosted: Sat Apr 27, 2013 4:35 pm 
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I think with the new book our power level has gone up (remains to be seen) but I'm fairly confident that we will not get our extra 100 points to play around with for the ETC therefore we may possible be building our armies in the 2400 point range. In which case it'll change the composition of the depending on the point value of characters / mounts / units / etc...

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 12:57 am 
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@Elessehta of Yvresse - Of course! Nothing is complete without the hobby aspect. Although I enjoy the tactical aspects of this game the most, I do spend considerable time building my armies as well.

@Lecai - I hope you`re right! Specific points cost and overall power level will play a big factor here :)

@pk-ng - Good point, I`ve already thought about it. Remains to be seen I suppose!

I`ve updated the initial posts, complete with an army draft and a brief discussion on the identified list styles.

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Warhammer blogs from 2011-2015:

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 3:36 am 
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small notes on the list.

makes sure to put champions on reaver ( combined charge with dragon etc etc )

since you are doing an aggressive appoarch why not spears, SH for core instead of archers?


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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 9:53 am 
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I don`t see much point in having champions on the Reavers for combo-charging. If I need it, the BSB can help. As I`ve played a lot with a Dragon + flying BSB list, I know very well the importance of having this opportunity. However, there are less units with champions now as people tend to skip them on units that are very tough or durable. Besides, the Reavers are already easy points to grab, I wouldn`t want to give up even more points when they die. Thus, I don`t really see what units I need to combo-charge where a Reaver Champ would help me more than a BSB.

When I first started playing Star Dragon lists I used a lot of Spears. I found out relatively early on that Archers give superior tactical flexibility though. They provide a ranged presence which is superior to the static combat resolution of the Spears. I think this list is no exception, with the inclusion of a Dragonmage, Reaver Bow + 3 bolt throwers the ranged presence of this list is really significant, to the point where I can quickly outshoot Ogres, Dark Elves and some variants of Empire even. Against Ogres in particular, whom I still view as a major problem for most High Elf lists, having volume of fire is very effective. 30 Archers = 15 hits = 5 wounds = 3 unsaved = 1 dead Irongut per turn at long range. The Silver Helm core option is interesting, but I don`t believe that the unit itself is inherently strong enough to compete with Archers. However, I think a unit of 15 can work very well with a Star Lance BSB, which suddenly turns the unit into a very powerful hammer. A BSB with Star Lance and Potion of Foolhardiness effectively attacks with the power of a Prince when he charges and still has points left over for a 4+ parry save, for example. I will definitely keep this in mind, but I am more intrigued with a Skycutter BSB at the moment, which leaves Archers as the likely better choice.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 10:49 am 
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I am so excited for this blog. I am mostly a lurker here but you were one of the people that motivated me to collect high elves in the first place after I maniacally read your whole Vindicators blog a year ago. I'm looking at running a monster list as well, depending on whether the star dragon will fit at 2400, so I will be following this avidly Curu.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 11:57 am 
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Hey THRILLHELM, glad to hear it :) Expect this blog to eventually surpass my old one in terms of collected High Elf games. With help from this community, its content could also reach new heights! I`m very much looking forward to actually getting the new book in my hands and start fine-tuning calculations and lists. Again I must stress that I can`t promise a Dragonbuild or even an all-out monsters list at all, as its viability hinges on so many things which can very easily be just a little bit off.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 12:05 pm 
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I couldn't agree more. My plans (and frustrating efforts at wing magnetisation) will probably fall to pieces if there's simply no room for a star dragon.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 4:14 pm 
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I'd love to hear your thoughts on the frost vs. fire phoenix and why you opted for one of each rather than one over the other one.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 5:42 pm 
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@THRILLHELM - one more week of nail-biting! Let`s pray a full or at least decent loadout comes below 600 points!

Malossar Dragonborne wrote:
I'd love to hear your thoughts on the frost vs. fire phoenix and why you opted for one of each rather than one over the other one.


Well to be honest the only issue I see is not being able to field dual frost birds. I just know that this will always be comped in my environment. They are terribly strong, we`re basically getting a dragon with bonuses in our rare slot for less points than it should`ve been! Furthermore it adds a lot of value to other monsters, whose low I won`t matter when they are fighting ASL enemies. With 4 thunderstompers I don`t see infantry as a threat whatsoever, add to that a couple of breath weapons and a serious ranged presence and I believe we`re left with a problem with regards to heavy, durable stuff. Also, other units that are currently strong and frequently fielded include Plaguebearers, Ironguts, Chaos Warriors and Inner Circle Knights, as well as any flavour of MC you want. The Frost Phoenix is just amazing here, boosting the survivability of our characters (who no longer sport re-rolls across the board) directly through -1S and indirectly through ASL, meaning our big hitters get to strike before strike backs, not the other way around.

It was recently pointed out to me that a Prince can take a 4+ ward coupled with Golden Crown and Charmed Shield. I have to re-think my setup ;)

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 5:44 pm 
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Paint is out, dragon is base coated, how sick will I be if star dragons can't comp at 2400pts??

Dragons were the reason I became an HE player so I will definitely be running a dragon army of some regard this book- I loved your blog in the dragon set up and followed it with great interest but would you consider just running the dragon Mage in any variant this time instead of lord and dragon is points cost was a real issue.

I really do think it seems that, just as in 40k universe, flyers are the thing. Time to preorder a Phoenix or two....

Also if we loose asf on great weapons might our phoenix guard once and for all become the only viable elite choice we have (much I adore my lions and sword masters)

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 6:08 pm 
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I think it`s going to be very close. I can see the Star Dragon clocking in at 330-350. If the Prince isn`t above 150 (which he truly shouldn`t be) we`ll likely be fine. I`m guessing Prince 135 and Star Dragon 350, which leaves 115 to play around with. This should suffice for Dragon Armour + whatever magic items you feel like.

As for a Dragon Mage without a Star Dragon - I`ve actually considered it. With decent protection he can play a rather passive role alongside a High Magic Archmage for example in a combined-arms list. The way I see it, single monsters are hardly ever worth fielding as it gives you such a bad start vs cannon-toting armies. However, our phoenixes are too good to pass up, so target saturation will always be around. In the end though, I think there are likely better options than the Dragon Mage since he`s so expensive. With that being said, there`s nothing wrong with using a Dragon model as a Phoenix :)

As far as elite infantry are concerned, I believe our monster lists simply play better without. Skycutters synergize greatly with our other monsters and provide flexibility which our infantry cannot hope to match.

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PostPosted: Sun Apr 28, 2013 11:56 pm 
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I think that in smaller lists(i.e. 2-2.25k) a dragon mage can take the place of a star dragon. I'll be interested to see the effectiveness of the sky cutters. My biggest concern is survivability, my meta has a lot of skinks, archers, leadbelchers and magic missiles generally. I could see 3 sky cutters getting wiped out in a single round of shooting against many of my opponents. I am looking forward to the target saturation that comes from this list, 2 phoenicii/2 dragons, should give my double iron blaster opponent some tough choices.
I am definitely proxying dragons for those hideous phoenix models, long live Caledor!


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 7:54 am 
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Curu Olannon wrote:
However, I think a unit of 15 can work very well with a Star Lance BSB, which suddenly turns the unit into a very powerful hammer. A BSB with Star Lance and Potion of Foolhardiness effectively attacks with the power of a Prince when he charges and still has points left over for a 4+ parry save, for example. I will definitely keep this in mind, but I am more intrigued with a Skycutter BSB at the moment, which leaves Archers as the likely better choice.


Just pointing out that your first BSB build is mounted on a horse and can't get the parry save. Some page in the BRB states that mounted models don't get parry save. Then we can discuss if a character mounted on a chariot is defined rules-wise as a mounteed model.

Overall i look forward to this thread, as i realy hope to bring my dragon mage to battle, after colecting dust for about 4 years. Played two battles with him, and since then he just stands around to look good.


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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 1:43 pm 
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@vespacian1 - The problem with the Dragon mage is that he needs target saturation to work well. If he is the only target worth shooting at he'll be a waste of points. I don`t think smallarms fire is a big problem as he can get a 2+ fairly easily and his Dragon is way better armoured now. In a typical list where he'll feature there will be so many mobile targets that BS-shooters are more of a disadvantage for your opponent than anything.

@siovim - you`re likely right but I believe there`ll be a FAQ here quickly and I hope it`ll say it works when mounted.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:36 pm 
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Heya Curu, I'm a long time Dragon player myself, and I have some thoughts for you. I've had a lot of success running a decent block of Sea Guard as a mobile fire base, and able to swing some late game fights with ranks. I'm planning on running a similar unit under the new rules, but with the addition of a Sea Helm sporting the Ambusher item. I'm aware that would make for a very squishy BSB, but I also think for shock value purposes, it has some merit, and I'm curious what your take on it would be.

Also, as far as your load out on your lord, how do you feel about swapping out a halberd instead of the great weapon? You lose a pip of strength, but get your re-rolls back from ASF. I had a lot of success in the past with that an our now departing Amulet of Light or theSword of Might, and was quite satisfied with the results.

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 2:43 pm 
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Hey Curu. Been doing the dragon thing for a while as well and when the new book comes out I may actually jump on the annoited frost phoenix wagon. I wanna see how it compares to the prince+Dragon combo

I'm thinking along the lines of

Annoited on Frost Phoenix
Seahelm BSB on Skycutter
1-2 Mages
2x Ellyrian Reavers
Archers
1-2 Great Eagle
1 Frost Phoenix
2 RBT

Still pondering about specials...

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PostPosted: Mon Apr 29, 2013 6:44 pm 
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@Koradrel of Chrace - The way I see it, one of the strengths of the current build is that there is nothing solid for an enemy to go after. At best they can try and chase the Archers down, but each unit is fairly mobile and doesn`t yield a lot of points. A block of Archers / Sea Guard on the other hand plays very differently. I think this synergizes better with RBTs as they provide a static element anyways, might as well set up a firebase. One thing a block has going for it though is the increased utility of the Flaming Sword which is of course way more effective on a big unit. As for the ambushing Sea Helm, I don't think he'll work in this context, at the very least not as a BSB. I can see him being effective with an offensive cavalry unit as the added static resolution is very good, but the army list I'm moving towards here is as much about avoidance as it is about hitting hard. With its significant ranged presence I can often wait opponents out. Dumping points into an ambushing core unit completely changes this aspect of the game. As for the Halberd, I don't think it's better than the GW simply because S6 and S5 are two different worlds. The key is having hitting power after the first round / if you get charged and with his high I you're likely to strike first regardless.

@pk-ng - The anointed frost phoenix is a very interesting alternative lord build. However I think the entire approach has to be re-considered with this loadout as you lack a lot of things the Dragon provides but gain in other areas. One good thing is that it's almost guaranteed to fit into 2400-2500 point games. I think that with a flying lord, you basically have 3 choices: go shooting heavy, in which the flyers act as counter-attack, go avoidance-heavy in which case msu core and flying chariots are good, or go with a shock assault with heavy cavalry support. Sure, there are other builds such as more infantry etc but I believe these 3 will be the main approaches for both SD Prince and Phoenix Anointed.

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:27 pm 
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Ok given that the we know just about everything we need to know now, it`s time to up the speculation a notch and consider our possibilities.

First of all the Star Dragon is out. A barebones Prince on it cannot even take full magic items. As such, I don`t think it's possible to play him. The best I can come up with is Armour of Destiny, Star Lance, Crown of Atrazar, Shield. This leaves him with a 3+/4++, ignoring the first wound on a 2+ and having a powerful charge. This is no-where near where he used to be and I don`t consider the Star Lance to be worth this. He isn`t even immune to firestuff. Of course you can skip the Lance but your protection won`t improve significantly. With an Ice Phoenix around the 3+/4++ is as good as 2+/4++ but I mostly found that 2+/2+/4++ was barely enough, seeing all the hatred coming his way. Furthermore the Dragon`s been implicitly nerfed by losing the Dragon Armour protection. For all this, I think its T7 counts for next to nothing since this was never my problem in the first place: it either died to a lot of S3-4 hits or were taken down by cannonballs, stone throwers, no-as spells etc. Very rarely would the difference between T6 and T7 have made a difference. I might change my mind later on seeing as the dynamics of our list has changed completely: perhaps this loadout will suffice. I was hoping to be able to include it at 2400 as well though, seeing as I don`t see any reason why we`d see the ETC buff is with 100 points now, furthermore there are tournaments coming up around here with 2400 as the limit.

Thus the question becomes: do I try and run a monster mash list regardless? The way I see it, there are 5 armies that are hard for us to deal with at the moment, when running such a list:
- Ogres
- Empire
- Daemons
- Dwarfs
- Warriors of Chaos

Ogres are mostly hard because they can pack an amazingly strong gutstar along with their skillblaster(s), which isn't really monsterfriendly. However a frost Phoenix works very well here, two (supposing their auras stack) are just amazing. I can live with this setup as Ogres are a pain regardless of what you're running.

Empire typically sport 3-4 shots that are perfectly capable of tearing our poor monsters apart with ease. This matchup isn`t remotely as hard without monsters, as Ice Phoenix don`t provide significant buffs here, unlike vs Ogres. Their skillgryphs are tough but I don`t see neither an advantage nor disadvantage facing this with the monster mash kind of list or another. They sport a lot of 1+, which even S6 finds hard to make an impact against.

Daemons will always bring as many skillcannons as the comp permits. Furthermore they have tanky shit all over the place. Fire Phoenix + Ice Phoenix is a terrific combo here, supposing they can survive for long enough. I believe this matchup will be hard regardless: the nurgle stuff is just so hard to deal with and they can typically field enough of it to force you to face it at some point. As such, the weakness of the flyers against skillcannons is, in my opinion, outweighed by the advantages gained by mobility.

Dwarfs are probably the worst army to face. Loading up on their skillmachines all you can do is roll dice and pray. They are far easier with just about any other HE army.

Warriors are fast, but this list is even faster. Skillcrushers and Hellcannons are usually an issue. The latter will also be so for this list, but the former I think is fairly trivial to handle with flyers, especially with -1S aura. Combined arms however is also quite strong against Warriors, especially with High Magic being super-powerful against them.

Against the rest of the armies in the game I believe a monster mash list, in my hands at least, is far superior to a combined arms force (well arguably not Skillven but they`re broken anyway and I don`t see any HE list performing consistently well against them). The question is thus how much WoC, Dwarfs and Empire you'll see. The latter two seem to be less popular to me, with the newer books dominating.

The only other real alternative I`m considering at the moment is a combined arms force. I think it gained a ton of potential with the new book. Below is my take on one:

Prince on Barded Steed, Giant Blade, Dawnstone, Dragon Armour, Enchanted Shield, Potion of Speed (poor man's Talisman of Loec against the worst of the worst) = 265
High Archmage lvl 4, Book of Hoeth, Talisman of Preservation = 320

Lords = 585

Noble BSB on Barded Steed, Star Lance, Dragon Armour, Shield, Golden Crown of Atrazar, Potion of Foolhardiness, Charmed Shield = 180

Heroes = 180

10 Silver Helms, full command, shields = 260
15 Archers, musician = 160
10 Archers, musician = 110
5 Reavers, musician = 95

Core = 625

9 White Lions, Musician = 127
9 White Lions, Musician = 127
19 Phoenix Guard, Full Command and Razor Standard = 360

Special = 614

4 Repeater Bolt Throwers = 280
10 Sisters of Averlorn, Musician = 150
1 Great Eagle = 50

Rare = 480

Army Total = 2484

Strong presence in all phases of the game, no inherent weaknesses against anything (maybe apart from Lizardmen MSU/Skink spam) that I can see at the moment. Hits hard, is relatively durable (for an Elf force), packs a lot of shooting, has redirection and a capable magic phase. Considering whether PG is the best choice over Lions, but the point remains the same in that this unit is what I intend to be the Archmage's bunker. With PG they`ll pretty much always have a 3++ which means they will be very, very hard to shift away. With Razor Standard and ASF they`re also quite hard to get at, as dedicated assault units such as Skillcrushers should never get this far unpunished.

To recap, the monster mash:

Anointed on Frost Phoenix with Charmed Shield, Dawnstone, Star Lance, The Other Trickster's Shard = 545
BSB Sea Helm, Ring of Fury, Reaver Bow, Armour, Weapon = 170+x (x = weapon + armour, whatever mundane options he has)
Dragon Mage, Enchanted Shield, Dispel Scroll, Gem of Sunfire, Dragon Armour = 405

Characters = 1130 (x = 10)

15 Archers, musician = 160
15 Archers, musician = 160
10 Archers, musician = 110
5 Reavers, bows, musician = 95
5 Reavers, bows, musician = 95

Core = 620

Skycutter with BT = 120
Skycutter with BT = 120

Special = 240

Fire Phoenix = 225
Frost Phoenix = 240

Rare = 465

Army total = 2455

Which do you prefer and why? I`m also open for more infantry/magic oriented lists, so please post your suggestions if you have any. Again, all these lists are based on speculation so don`t take anything for granted :)

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PostPosted: Tue Apr 30, 2013 11:48 pm 
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Just a thought I had: An Archmage BoH Shadow with backup Highmage scroll with lots of shooting, PG and WL would be interesting :) Will draft up an example list tomorrow, even with the ETC 4D6 cap this is a very decent setup.

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PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2013 12:34 am 
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Your combined arms list looks similar to mine:

Core Units
9 Silver helms w/FC and shields
2x5 Reavers
2x10 Archers w/musician

Special Units
21 Phoenix guards w/FC, AP banner, ring of fury
21 White lions w/FC

Rare Units
2x10 Sisters w/musician
2 RBTs
2x1 Eagles

Characters
Prince w/barded steed, stubborn crown, 4++ parry shield (if I can get a parry save while mounted), sword of might, dawnstone
Loremaster w/book of hoeth, 4++
BSB w/reaver bow, potion of strength

I have some points left, but I haven`t decided what to spend them on yet. I`m considering a unit of dragon princes with the ogre blade. I`d also like to include a phoenix, but I `m not sure what to drop. What would you add?

My prince is more defense oriented. He makes the silver helms stubborn so that I can use the unit as bait, and it works as an insurance in case the enemy gets lucky with their charge rolls.

I also have a loremaster instead of the archmage since he has a lot of usefull spells, and is easier to plan with. He also provides with some extra attacks for the elite units.

Do you think 10 sisters are enough?

Aren`t the silver helms a little vulnerable without stubborn? Or do you count on the prince`s attacks to win the combat?


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PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2013 9:01 am 
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Yeah they are quite similar ;)

To your list I think a Phoenix would round out nicely.

The next tournament I'm participating in is very likely 2400 very low comp. I`m currently considering three approaches:
- monster mash
- combined arms
- PG Deathstar with Shadow AM

Of the three, I think the Monster Mash has the most variance, PG the easiest to play and Combined Arms the most potential. Sample lists, which are getting more and more accurate:

Monster Mash

Anointed on Frost Phoenix with Charmed Shield, Dawnstone, Blade of Leaping Gold = 550
BSB Noble on Griffon with ASF, Dev. charge, Star Lance, Dragon Armour, Enchanted Shield, Potion of Foolhardiness, Golden Crown of Atrazar = 290
Lvl 2 High Mage with Dispel Scroll, Ring of Fury = 170
Characters = 1010

15 Archers, Musician = 160
14 Archers, Musician = 150
10 Archers, Musician = 110
5 Reavers, Bows, Musician = 95
5 Reavers, Bows, Musician = 95
Core = 600

Skycutter with BT = 120
Skycutter with BT = 120
Special = 240

Flame Phoenix = 225
Frost Phoenix = 240
RBT = 70
Rare = 535

Army Total = 2385


Phoenix Guard Deathstar

Shadow Archmage lvl 4 Book of Hoeth, Talisman of Preservation = 320
Sea Helm BSB Armour of Silvered Steel, Luckstone = 175
High Mage lvl 2 Dispel Scroll = 145
Characters = 640

15 Archers, musician = 160
15 Archers, musician = 160
18 Archers, musician = 190
5 Reavers, bows = 95
Core = 605

40 Phoenix Guards Full Command Banner of the World Dragon = 680
Special = 680

4 Repeater Bolt Throwers = 280
6 Sisters of Avelorn = 84
6 Sisters of Avelorn = 84
Rare = 448

Army Total = 2373


Combined Arms

Prince on Barded Steed with Giant Blade, Dawnstone, Enchanted Shield, Dragon Armour, Golden Crown of Atrazar = 287
High Archmage lvl 4, Book of Hoeth, Talisman of Endurance, Ironcurse Icon = 310
BSB Noble on Barded Steed with Star Lance, Dragonhelm, Heavy Armour, Shield, Potion of Foolhardiness, Great Weapon, Luckstone = 170
Characters = 767

8 Silver Helms, Full Command, Shields = 214
5 Reavers, Bows = 95
5 Reavers, Bows = 95
10 Archers, musician = 110
10 Archers, musician = 110
Core = 624

20 White Lions/Swordmasters, Full Command and Banner of the World Dragon (AM unit) = 240
9 White Lions, musician = 127
Special = 367

4 Repeater Bolt Throwers = 280
9 Sisters of Avelorn = 126
1 Frostheart Phoenix = 240
Rare = 646

Army Total = 2404

I need your help here, so if you`re reading this please take the time to answer these questions (preferably with reasoning as well but I appreciate plain answers as well):
- Which list do you consider to be the strongest?
- Which list do you think I'm best with?
- Which list would you rather not play against?

Comp is pretty much SLOS (hills + buildings = blocking) and no double rares 170 or over (so no double skillblasters but still double skillcannons, dwarfs can take 8 machines, empire can take 5 cannons...).

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PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2013 10:42 am 
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3 great lists all viable potential to be honest. As a long time lurker here I have always liked your set up and followed your blog with interest as well as hero and sword masters.
To my mind Nd to answer some of the questions you have asked I personally feel you would play best with list 1 , but wondering why the inclusion of the Griffon character, what does it bring to your army list, or is it simply using the . Monster mash theme and a use of the IOB mini?
List 2 I like but with losing 're rolls on our elites can a large block of guard actually survive long enough as an elves death star? I'm not so sure that tactic is as viable anymore if we take as red what people have posted here regarding the loss of banners and magical items to increase survivability.
Which brings me to list 3. Now this has uber potential and I'm going to suggest that you play this list first. The versatility of that army is truly amazing and as you have shown many times you are the Dragon master but I also know you to be a very accomplished player with varied styles. Most winning generals maximise their chances of success by utilising the army book to maximum advantage, and this list with the items and general troops choices is (before we all get the book in our grubby paws) looking like one that not only does that but I for one would be terrified of playing once I found out the stacking and banner benefits. Very very interesting.

Now a question for you...as the star Dragon appears as you say to be out can you see the return of mounted archmage with the return of cavalry units to core. Depending on lore choice and therefore range of spells for casting, and in addition the key to our army now seemingly being mobility, has a horse AM become a very good investment again and what is your take on this idea as my back up draft list now contains one such character and a Dragon mage.

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PostPosted: Wed May 01, 2013 10:52 am 
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First in your monster list your BSB is under costed by about 60 points :( not sure if you didn't factor in the griffon upgrades or what. Unless I'm wrong (which I hope because i'm running the same, just without BSB).

1) In a cannon laden meta, I feel the PG deathstar would be a strong list. You force them to come to you with that kind of firepower and the PG won't be easy to deal with.

2) I have to say monster mash. In my mind it fits you like a glove and I really want to read batreps of this list.

3) Honestly they all look pretty rough to me, maybe because I'm still getting used to this points level but if I had to pick I'd say the monsters because even with my dwarf army I don't know if I could cope with all that.

I have to be honest, selfish me just wants you to run monster mash because I think it would be awesome. I'm going to attempt it too and I'd love to learn from your batreps.

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