Continuing with the more in-depth review of the High Elf book, now I have moved on to Heroes. Similar to the Lords section, there are two new Hero characters.
What Has Changed?
The Noble is cheaper now, and most of his mundane equipment (not the Dragon Armour) has become cheaper also. The other change is that they can now ride Griffons, if you so desire…
My guess is that you will most commonly see Nobles fulfilling one role, the BSB. Otherwise, they might show up filling out a cavalry focused list. Unfortunately, due to the changes to the Magic Items in this version of the book, the BSB has become more vulnerable than before.
I have traditionally equipped my BSB for survivability giving him a 2+ Armour Save and 5+ Ward for the foot version of the model or a 1+ re-rollable Armour Save and 5+ Ward for the mounted version. That will have to change now.
BSB, Sword of Might, Shield of the Merwyrm, Sword of Might, Dragon Armour – So, the first configuration for the BSB has a 4+ Armour Save and a 4+ Parry Save. It’s nothing fantastic, but this allows an extra 15 points of other magic items to be added, like the Ironcurse Icon.
BSB, Armour of Caledor, Great Weapon – This gives him a 2+ Armour Save and a 6+ Ward. I am a little leery of relying solely on an Armour Save, since high Strength quickly negates it. Unfortunately, the Armour of Caledor eats up the entire magical allowance, so that is all that he gets. It’s unfortunate that with the Great Weapon, he won’t get his re-rolls To Hit, but he should still do alright at WS 6.
BSB, Barded Elven Steed, Sword of Might, Enchanted Shield, Dawnstone, Dragon Armour – A 1+ re-rollable Armour Save and a 6+ Ward provides him some of the best protection. He’s mounted, so he can fit into a unit of Silver Helms or Dragon Princes, and would fit nicely in a cavalry heavy list.
What Has Changed?
Well, they are 15 points cheaper than before and now get a +1 to cast High Magic spells (instead of the +1 to Dispel).
Well, the points cost reduction is really nice, but I think that the Mage suffers more from the loss of the Arcane Items than the Archmage does. The Book of Hoeth is too expensive for him, so you only have access to the ‘generic’ ones in the Warhammer rulebook. If you see one of these guys, he will most likely be holding a Dispel Scroll.
The +1 to cast High Magic makes it nice, since you are effectively casting as a Level 3. This helps to make High Magic a nice fit on this support caster, especially since a Level 2 can always default to the two High Magic signature spells, which are solid spells.
Unfortunately, if he is sharing the Power dice with a Level 4, there might not be enough dice to go around, even if the Level 4 is toting the Book of Hoeth, unless you are doing lots of 1 or 2 dice casting, which the Book does help with.
Level 2, Dispel Scroll – The Magic Items will probably be fairly light on these guys. Maybe he might pick up the Ring of Khaine’s Fury or Ruby Ring to supplement his magic also.
Dragon Mage of Caledor
What Has Changed?
Unlike many of the other models, I think that the Dragon Mage has receive quite a few changes. So, the Sun Dragon has been improved, which I talked about in my post about the Lords. Along with that, the Dragon Mage can now take Dragon Armour. His Special Rules have changed, so he no longer gets a free dice when casting, but now adds +2 to casting attempts (still only on Lore of Fire). He also has to take Flaming Sword as his first spell. And the final change is that he no longer receives any bonus to dispel.
Well, it’s nice that the confusion around the Dragon Mage being able to take the Fireball spell has been cleared up. Now, you cannot have it as a Level 1, and can swap to it if you are a Level 2.
So, there are some nice things now about the Dragon Mage. The Sun Dragon is more survivable now. The Dragon Mage can wear Dragon Armour, which now allows him to wear Magical Armour. That can help to increase his survivability. Also, he now casts as a Level 3 or 4 with the 1 or 2 spells that he has.
However, gaining a +2 to cast is not nearly as nice as the old free power dice. Also, even with the improved survivability, the Dragon Mage rarely threatens units. He is only Strength 3 with 2 Attacks. If he’s not in combat, he can launch Fireballs at people, but can’t an 85 point mage accomplish the same?
Level 2, Armour of Caledor – Using his new-found ability to wear armour, the Dragon Mage now packs a 2+ Armour Save and a 6+ Ward. This also fits nicely with the Dragon Mage/Caledor theme.
Level 2, Charmed Shield, Golden Crown, Ruby Ring, Dragon Armour – This build provides more protection from cannon fire, with the double 2+ saves. He ends up with a 3+ Armour Save and a 4+ Ward. The Ruby Ring gives him another Magic Missile and aids his Fireball with the Lore Attribute. I guess that you could swap that out for the Ring of Khaine’s Fury for the 2D6 hit after he breaks regen with his Fireball, and to increase his ward save. Hmm, that might be better…
Despite it not being an optimal build, I can really see myself running a double dragon list. Prince on Dragon with a Dragon Mage. Maybe throw in a couple of Phoenixes to round out the monster-heavy list…
Lothern Sea Helm
What Has Changed?
He’s fresh off the boat.
So, the Sea Helm has almost the exactly same stat line as a Noble, with the only exception being that he only has 2 Attacks. He also costs 30 points more. So, what does he bring that is worth 30 points? Apparently his Spear, Shield and Special Rules.
The Naval Discipline allows the unit that he is in to do a combat reform after charges have been completed (but only if the unit Holds). I am not sure what real advantage this is supposed to provide. The logical (and thematic) thought (to me) would be that you could Stand and Shoot and then reform, but that is not how it is written. Maybe if you plan on getting flank or rear charged, it could be useful?
His other Special Rule, Windrider, only applies when he is in a Skycutter Chariot. It grants the chariot and him a 4+ Ward and the ability to re-roll Dangerous Terrain tests. I’ve never really used chariots, but the 4+ Ward seems nice. I think that this is the way to go, if you want one in your army. I am guessing that this guy will only show up in lists that are Sea Guard themed, or highly mobile armies.
Oh yeah, he can be your BSB, but I think that would probably fit better on the cheaper Noble.
Lothern Skycutter, The Reaver Bow, Charmed Shield, Golden Crown, Potion of Foolhardiness – This guy comes in right around 250 points. With his reduced amount of attacks, I opted for him to fly around shooting people with the Reaver Bow, and giving him the Potion for when he is needing to charge. The Shield and Crown might be better fitted on other characters, but they tend to be my staple for characters that are likely to be shot by war machines.
The Reaver Bow, Shield of the Merwyrm – 100 points less than the version above in the Skycutter. This would be more of a themed setup, with him sitting in a unit of Sea Guard. He is very easy to kill with only a 5+ Armour Save and a 4+ Parry Save, though.
Handmaiden of the Everqueen
What Has Changed?
She’s the new girl in town.
In this edition, the Everqueen and her court have decided to join the war. The Handmaidens represent the best of the best of the best (with honors) of the ladies of Avelorn. Their stats are fairly similar to a Noble’s, with a slightly better BS and 1 less Attack. Like the Sea Helm, they are also more expensive than the Noble.
She is packing the new Bow of Avelorn (24″, Strength 4, Magical, Flaming shots), which is impressive, but I can see her often being equipped with the Reaver Bow to take advantage of her high BS. Her other benefit is that she grants a unit of Sisters of Avelorn the Quick to Fire Special Rule. So, if you are buying her, you will most likely be buying a unit of sisters to go with her.
The Reaver Bow, Potion of Strength – The Reaver Bow gives her 3 Strength 5 shots per round, and extends her range to 30″. When she drinks the Potion of Strength, she can hit at Strength 8 for a round, which could really punch through some armour. If she doesn’t have the Reaver Bow, I could see her being taken without any Magic Items at all.
According to the background information, there are always 100 Handmaidens and it makes mention that if they are all present, then you can expect that dire times at hand. Just for the curious people out there, to recreate this on the tabletop, you would need to be playing a 38,000+ point game to fit them into the Hero allowance…
This concludes my look at the Heroes of the High Elves. For obvious reasons, the BSB will probably be the most frequently used Hero followed by the Mage. I think that thee Handmaiden will show up less frequently followed by the Sea Helm. I still see the Dragon Mage being a rare sight on the battlefield. In many cases, the High Elves get more use out of buying our rank-and-file than by filling out with characters.