High Elves – Core

Now, it is time to look at some of the rank and file units that make up the High Elf unit. So, the big changes in the Core are that we now have some more variety with Silver Helms and Ellyrian Reavers joining the group. Also, the Martial Prowess rule has been extended to all of these units, and additionally allows the archers and sea guard to shoot in an additional rank. A smaller change is that the cost of the command group models has been changed to 10, across the board.

Spearmen

What Has Changed?

You pay more for a musician now, and they are the only Core unit that can carry a magical banner.

Thoughts

Well, I was really hoping that the spearmen would be a point cheaper, but they are still decent. They still represent the cheapest way for a High Elf player to put bodies on the table. They can still put out a large amount of attacks, attacking in 4 ranks, or 5 if in Horde formation. Unfortunately, the low Strength and low Armour Save mean that they can’t kill much and die easily if they are not boosted by magic. Put Wildform on Mindrazor on these guys, and they look much scarier.

Archers

What Has Changed?

They are now 1 point cheaper! They also lost the ability to carry a magic banner, so no more flaming arrows for these guys.

Thoughts

Archers have benefited more from changes than the spearmen have. Becoming a point cheaper and being able to fire (and fight) in 3 ranks is really nice. You could run a unit of 15 at 5×3 or a unit of 10 at 3×3. In all reality, they aren’t much worse than the spearmen in hand-to-hand. Sure, they don’t have an armour save, but most things negate the spearmen’s armour save anyway. At least with these guys, they can fire 30″ for a couple of turns before they get locked in to combat.

I don’t think that the loss of the ability to take magic banners is a huge deal, since the High Elves do have other ways to deal with Regeneration, but it was a nice option to have.

Lothern Sea Guard

What Has Changed?

The Sea Guard have also become a point cheaper.

Thoughts

I know that some people really like these guys, but they just don’t work for me. For one more point than an archer, you get a spear and light armour. For another point, you can add a shield. Sure, they also carry a bow, but the 24″ range on it seems (to me) to be a big drawback.

The armour doesn’t do much in combat, and now that the archers can fight in 3 ranks, they seem to be a better deal than a Sea Guard. If you are looking for bodies, then the Spearmen provide the same resilience (ha!) for fewer points.

Silver Helms

What Has Changed?

They have moved from Special to Core and the cost for the command has changed. Other than that, their Ithilmar Barding makes them Movement 9 now and the riders can fight in 3 ranks, due to Martial Prowess.

Thoughts

Well, it is kind of a big deal with them moving to Core. Before, there wasn’t much reason to take these guys, when you could just take Dragon Princes instead. Dragon Princes are still better value (I think), but these guys can fill up the required Core points.

Since they can fight in 3 ranks I could see these guys being run similar to the Bretonnian lance formations (3 wide). Sure, the horses don’t get to attack in the back ranks, but it decreases the frontage of the unit. Small units of 6 or large units of 9 could possibly be effective.

I’m not a massive fan of cavalry, since they tend to get stuck into combat for round 2. Still, they provide a decent armour save in an army that struggles to get better than 5+ on non-characters.

Ellyrian Reavers

What Has Changed?

Like the Silver Helms, they have moved from Special to Core and had the command group points cost adjusted. Also, they are 1 point cheaper and it is 1 point cheaper for them to carry bows.

Thoughts

The reavers moving to Core provides yet another way to fill up your Core points with a mounted unit. However, I don’t think that the reavers will be as effective in large blocks. Since the High Elves can only take 2 Eagles now, the reavers can help come in to run interference and get in the way of enemy units, and possibly being sacrificed for “the greater good”, so you will most likely want to keep them cheap.

Personally, I haven’t been able to get my fast cavalry to earn their points back (or using them to help keep other units alive), so I might try them out from time to time, but I usually end up opting for more infantry.

This concludes the look at the Core selections for the High Elf army. It is very refreshing to have some more choices in the Core. Having the option for cavalry is a really nice change.

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