High Elf Army Book Review

The High Elf book has been out for a while now, and I have been able to make it through my book (cover-to-cover), so I thought that I should probably provide my thoughts on the book as a whole, even if they are pretty late.

As the astute reader will be able to determine, I am a huge High Elf fan, with it being my only Warhammer army. I don’t get a chance to play as much as I would like, so I am also quite a bit into the High Elves history (but far from a Loremaster of it).

Presentation

This is the first of the hard-backed books that I have owned. I have to admit that it is a beautiful book, but I guess that it probably should be for $50, right? Most of the artwork is new and there is lots of it. While it is not really my preferred style, it is nicely done. The book also seems to be free of all the spelling errors that the previous High Elf books have had. Overall, the book looks great. It is too bad that I couldn’t secure the limited edition version, but this one will suffice (and not be as big of a deal if something were to happen to it).

Background/Fluff

As I mentioned before, I am a bit of a fan of the High Elf background. For me, this book was a both good and bad. Overall, it was well presented, and contains enough information for a new High Elf general (if they even care about this part of the book).

First, the good parts:

  • An updated map, with more locations on it. Sure, none of them seem to have been referenced anywhere else, but it is nice to see some more stuff on the island of Ulthuan
  • Expanded background information for some of the regions; Cothique comes to mind
  • Expanded information about events during Finubar’s (the current Phoenix King) reign
  • They managed to add the Phoenixes into the background, albeit slightly

Now for the bad parts:

  • The older books had stories that told about battles. None of those are present, which really cheats Tyrion & Teclis of their significance. Maybe they are relying on the Black Library trilogy to carry their story
  • It seems that the unit entries are very abbreviated in this edition, some only containing a couple of paragraphs
  • I’m not a big fan of them making the Everqueen more martial than previously. Wars are supposed to be handled by the Phoenix King, and the Everqueen provides the spiritual ‘heart’ for the High Elves. Making her more warlike just doesn’t work for me.
  • I don’t recall seeing the Skycutters worked into the background anywhere. With the new background that they added, it seems like that would have been easy to throw a couple of references in.

Rules

Well, the rules are probably what most people are concerned with. From my very inexperienced perspective, I don’t think that anybody needs to fear the High Elves as being overpowered or broken with the release of this book. They seem pretty middle-of-the-road to me. We are still expensive, lightly-armoured, Toughness 3 (and mostly Strength 3) Elves.

While it is sad to see the White Lions and Sword Masters lose their re-rolls, I’m sure that non-High Elf players won’t be shedding any tears. Between the Martial Prowess extending to all High Elves and the loss of re-rolls, there will probably be far fewer Sword Masters on the table. Also, it seems that the High Elf magic phase has been severely weakened (Teclis & Book of Hoeth changes along with Banner of Sorcery, Seerstaff, and Silver Wand being removed).

Overall, I feel like there have haven’t really been major rule or point changes to the army, but lots and lots of slight tweaks, so it might take longer to see the overall effects of these changes. I am sad to see the change to the Special champions being able to carry only magic weapons now (instead of Magic Items). It was handy to be able to give them the Ironcurse icon or something else that was cheap. At least people should see more varied armies with an extended Core selection in this book. I am a bit disappointed that I bought 2 more Eagles before the book came out, since I can only run 2 ‘units’ of them now, and I don’t really see myself running more than a single eagle per unit.

It will be interesting to see how the minor changes affect the play. I have been writing some lists, but haven’t really settled on one. I will probably be putting one or two of the lists up soon.

More In Depth Review

I will be writing a more in depth review of the characters and units as I get time. Any of the reviews that have been completed can be found below:

Lords

Heroes

Core

Special

Rare

High Magic Impressions

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3 responses to “High Elf Army Book Review

  1. I have seen in battle reports a spell called “flames of the phoenix ” used for high elves. But after going through all the lores of magic in the 5th edition rule book and my High Elf army book I can find no mention of this rule.
    Can anybody offer any assistance?

    • Flames of the Phoenix was a spell from the previous High Elf book. It was a Remains in Play spell that hit every model in the unit at Strength 3 with flaming attacks. If the spell was not dispelled in the opponent’s magic phase, it would raise in Strength and hit every model again at the start of the High Elf player’s magic phases (e.g. Strength 4 the next turn, Strength 5 the following, and so on).

      I can’t remember if the spell existed in previous editions of the High Elf book, but I will check when I get a chance. I know that some of the old editions had Magic cards, which I don’t have copies of. I hope that this helps.

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