Now that I am considerably behind the rest of the world on putting out my thoughts on the new High Elves, I thought that I should really get on it. I decided to share my thoughts on the changes to the High Elves, broken up by where they fit in the army book. I also included some sample builds for each character, but I will admit that some of these aren’t very points effective. I am sure that the forums and tournaments will sort out the ‘super builds’.
What Has Changed?
Slightly cheaper than before. Otherwise, the only changes are the Magic Items available and the points costs for the mundane equipment (Dragon Armour went up considerably). I guess that another thing to consider is that he no longer receives re-rolls with a Great Weapon. He can also take a Lion Cloak, but that only helps if he is on his own and can’t be combined with Dragon Armour, so I don’t really see it being much use.
The Prince is still the only way to get Leadership 10 in the army. Unfortunately, he’s not really better than before. He can be fielded in various ways due to being a combat hero, but I don’t really think that he’s going to be better for you than an Archmage. You could load up on mounted Princes and Nobles to make an all cavalry army, but Elves really seem to suffer during subsequent rounds of combat, being only Strength 3.
Shield of the Merwyrm, Golden Crown of Atrazar, Dragon Armour – Only a 4+ Armour Save, but a 4+ Parry Save, and a 2+ Ward vs. the first wound. It’s nothing special, but he is a cheap General, around 185 points. You could throw a magic weapon on him to boost his Strength if you desire.
Barded Elven Steed, Star Lance, Dawnstone, Potion of Strength, Dragon Armour, Great Weapon – For the mounted army, this guy fits right in to a cavalry bus. Strength 7 on the charge, re-rollable 3+ Armour Save. He also carries a Great Weapon and the Potion of Strength for when the unit gets stuck fighting a 2nd round of combat. He’s kind of expensive, around 260 points, though.
Moon Dragon, Star Lance, Charmed Shield, Golden Crown of Atrazar, Potion of Strength, Halberd, Dragon Armour – With the Star Dragon going up in cost, you can’t fit much on a Prince if you are going for a 2400 point list, so I opted for the Moon Dragon. He has the Shield and Crown to survive on the way in. Unfortunately, he only has a 4+ Armour Save and a 6+ Ward Save from the Dragon Armour. The Star Lance gives him nice impact on the charge, and the halberd with the Potion of Strength helps in subsequent rounds.
What Has Changed?
The Archmage is cheaper than he was in the previous edition. He loses his +1 to dispel and gains +1 to cast High Magic. Many of the old ‘regulars’ for Arcane Items have been lost, and the Book of Hoeth has been significantly changed. He can now ride a Star Dragon… It seems unlikely that we will see that very often…
The Archmage is still a solid choice and I think that he will probably show up in most lists due to his casting/dispel power. The Lore of magic that you choose still has a massive effect on how your army is played.
Originally, I had thought to give him the 4+ Ward, but after thinking about it a little bit, I might move away from this. Here is my reasoning: You don’t generally want an Archmage in combat. So, where will most of his wounds come from? It will most likely be a miscast or hostile magic. For 5 more points than the 4+ Ward, you can buy the Banner of the World Dragon, which will protect him (and his unit) from both much better, with the 2+ Ward vs magic. He does have to hang out in your block of elite troops for this to work, but that might actually be the safest place for him. Also, if you take High Magic on him, casting spells can increase his Ward save, and the 4+ Ward doesn’t give it much chance of improving (maxing out at 3+).
Book of Hoeth, Golden Crown of Atrazar – Although changed, the Book of Hoeth is still really good. Re-rolling a single die for a casting or dispel attempt can make a big difference. This combination only takes 65 points, leaving an extra 35 for other options, which can buy you an Enchanted Item, like Khaine’s Ring of Fury or the Ruby Ring.
Book of Hoeth, Talisman of Preservation – 4+ Ward with the casting power of the book. This build might still have some mileage on it.
Lore of Fire, Sun Dragon, Golden Crown of Atrazar, Gem of Sunfire, Book of Hoeth- OK. So, this isn’t very realistic, but maybe I might give it a run sometime just for fun. This is the best way that I could think of to get the Gem of Sunfire on a character. For one round, he has the potential to be very devastating with is Fire magic. Throw in the Sun Dragon’s Strength 4 breath, and it might be interesting for a round.
If a Phoenix is a magical being, and archmages are so good at magic, wouldn’t it only make sense that an Archmage could ride a Phoenix? It would help to make the Dragon Mage a little more special if the other Mages couldn’t ride dragons.
Anointed of Asuryan
What Has Changed?
Him! The first new offering to the Lords section of the book.
So, what does he bring? He has 1 BS (irrelevant), Attack, and Leadership less than a Prince. However, he has a built in 4+ Ward, Fear, Magic Resistance (2) and he grants a 6+ Ward and Immune to Psychology to the unit that he is in. Obviously, all of that has to come at a price, so he is 70 points more than the Prince.
I kind of like this guy. Sure, he is only Leadership 9, but I tend to run an Archmage as my general anyway. Also, I generally like to protect my characters (especially the general), so I will usually be paying for a 4+ Ward on them anyway. The 6+ Ward conferred to his unit, combined with the MR(2) means that he gives his unit a 4+ Ward save against Magic Missiles, which can be handy for Elves, since Magic Missiles rip us up. It would seem that an Anointed of Asuryan would hang out with Phoenix Guard, but if you put him in there, you waste the 6+ Ward that he grants to the unit, so maybe a big block of Spearmen or White Lions?
Oh yeah, he can ride a Phoenix, too. He gives the Flamespyre a better chance of returning to life, but if you put this guy on the back of a Pheoenix, it will probably be the Frostheart, since it is more likely to be in combat. I think that with his rules, he is probably better placed in a block, though.
The Immune to Psychology could be good or bad, but I really envision this guy being in a unit that wants to be stuck into combat, and not fleeing from it, so I don’t see it as big of a problem as it could be.
Armour of Silvered Steel, Dawnstone - For ultimate survivability, he has a 2+ re-rollable armour save to go with is 4+ Ward. He only puts out 3 Strength 5 Attacks, but will be fairly hard to bring down.
Sword of Strife, Armour of Silvered Steel – Gives him 5 Strength 4 Attacks and a 2+ Armour Save (along with his 4+ Ward) and still gives you 15 points to play with. It might be more helpful for him to have high Strength (since the elves struggle with that), but could be helpful if he is in a group of Mindrazored Spearmen.
Frostheart Phoenix, Armour of Silvered Steel, Golden Crown of Atrazar, Crown of Command – 2+ Armour Save, 4+ Ward and Stubborn. He has his 3 Strength 5 Attacks combined with the Phoenix’s 4 Strength 6 Attacks, and lowers the opponent’s Strength by 1. Obviously, he can’t take on just anything, but he should hold his own fairly well, until his Phoenix dies… Maybe he’s a bit expensive for what he does, coming in at almost 550 points.
So, this guy can be your general, but he can’t speak (due to the fluff about Phoenix Guards). I guess no rousing speeches before the big battle, eh? Lead by example…
Loremaster of Hoeth
What Has Changed?
New kid in class #2.
Well, this guy has received a lot of hype since he was first revealed. So, what is the big deal? He’s a hybrid fighter-mage. A level 2 Wizard that knows all 8 Signature Spells, and 3 Attacks to go along with it. Oh yeah, he also gets a 6+ Ward against non-magical, non-template missiles. Don’t forget that
The signature spells are pretty decent, giving him amazing versatility, and he should always have a spell that applies to the situation. Probably the biggest trick with this guy is what to give him for magic items. You can’t really afford to give him a good weapon, protection, and magical support. I will probably opt for keeping him safer, since his basic weapon gives him decent Strength, even though he doesn’t get re-rolls.
Sword of Might, Shield of the Merwyrm, Golden Crown of Atrazar, Book of Hoeth – This has a mix of everything. 4+ Armour Save, 4+ Parry in close combat, with the Book thrown in to boost the magic phase. I think that the book is exceptionally good for the Loremaster since you will probably want to only throw 2 dice at a spell. Re-rolling 1 out of 2 dice can be a big difference.
Armour of Caledor, Dawnstone, Dispel Scroll – Purely defensive focused. 2+ re-rollable armour save, 6+ Ward, and a dispel scroll to help in the magic phase. He still has his 3 Strength 6 Attacks, but doesn’t get his re-rolls To Hit.
How is it that in the entire Tower of Hoeth, one of the greatest magical centers in the world, that there is only one artifact worthy of taking to battle? Does Teclis keep all of the cool stuff for himself?
I thought that I might include a short little note about some of the character mounts, since there have been some changes there.
What Has Changed?
I think that the biggest change is that all of the dragons now have a 3+ Armour Save and a Strength 4 Breath Weapon. I think that this might lead to the ‘lesser’ dragons being taken over the Star Dragon. Before, the lower Strength breath weapons were pretty useless.
Well, the Star Dragon is the big loser from the changes. His cost went up and the other dragons were improved. He still is the only one that is assured of surviving one cannonball, and has a point higher stats than the Moon Dragon, but I don’t think that he will be the favorite anymore.
The Moon Dragon seems to be a solid choice and has a statline of mostly 6s. I can see him being used, since he is tougher than the Sun Dragon. Is the extra 65 points worth it?
The Sun Dragon is the big winner, gaining the most from the changes, and actually becoming cheaper. Sure, his statline is mostly 5s, but he is Initiative 4, which will put him attacking fairly early and his new Strength 4 Breath Weapon can actually do something now.
Now that all of the dragons share special rules (Breath Weapon Strength and Armour Save), do you think that you will see more of the ‘lesser’ dragons than before? The Star Dragon still is the only one guaranteed to survive 1 cannonball, but is the points spend really worth it?
What Has Changed?
Griffons are now 50 points cheaper. They also include the option of a couple of upgrades (Armour Piercing and +1 Attack and Strength when charging).
The statline of the Griffon is very close to the statline of the Sun Dragon. My biggest problems with the Griffons are that they don’t have Armour or Ward Saves. It kind of makes it difficult for me to include them in a list if I think that they will easily be shot down (not that dragons can’t be shot down). Maybe you just need to build a list with lots of flying creatures so that there are too many targets?
The upgrades are interesting, but pretty expensive, especially for one of them only being on the round that you charged.
I found it kind of funny how the Swooping Strike upgrade was written. It grants +1 Strength and Devastating Charge when charging. Wouldn’t it just have been easier to say +1 Strength and +1 Attack when charging? Maybe it was written that way so that they could update it with a main rules update?
What Has Changed?
The only thing that has really changed with the Eagles is that they can now pick up some upgrades.
The benefits that I see of the Eagle over the Griffon are that it is much cheaper, and since it is a Monstrous Cavalry model, you don’t have to worry about the mount being shot out from under you. The character could have a decent Armour Save and be a great war machine or chaff hunter.
Also, with the Eagle, you can buy the Armour Piercing and/or Always Strikes First upgrades for it. I think that the Armour Piercing one would be good, but the ASF seems a bit pricey for the eagle only having 2 Attacks.
If you put a guy on an Eagle, you might want to give him the Reaver Bow since he won’t be a combat powerhouse, and 3 Strength 5 shots could do some damage. He could still help with the occasional flank charge, but can’t really hold up anything significant on his own.
It really is too bad that you can’t have a character mounted on an Eagle join a unit of Eagles. It would be a ‘just for fun’ choice probably, but could help protect your character.
Well, that’s all that I have for now. Thanks for making it through my massive ramblings. I am sure that there are more varied, and efficient builds out there, but these are what I came up with. I think that I see myself mostly using the Archmage (since I like magic) and/or the Anointed. The Loremaster seems like a fun idea, but I am anticipating his dual role causing him to be not as effective as the dedicated models are at either task. Of course, there are options with multiple Lords and such, but that would be a lot to get into. Add your comments!