Meditations on High Elf army lists

M1310492a_Art_of_Warhammer_High_Elves_P1Mb4XLThere is nothing wrong with buying, assembling, and painting models all willy-nilly but having a long term plan in mind is never a bad idea. Lately, I found myself playing somewhat larger games, around 1500 points, and it always amazed me how I never quite had the models I wanted to make an army list work. The aim of this post is to write down a rough list of models that can form the basis of various 2400 point High Elf army lists, each different enough to give  a different play experience but similar enough to start from the same model collection.

 

The backbone consists of

Archmage
Noble with BSB
30 Spearmen with Full Command
10 Archers
10 Archers
10 Archers
5 Dragon Princes
20 Phoenix Guard with Full Command
20 White Lions
Eagle
Eagle

This comes in at a bit more than 2000 points and leaves us with a bit less than 400 points to play with. On a practical level, this is the stuff that I should get assembled and painted first. Next we’ll use the backbone to construct a number of different army lists. Here’s four options that look similar but whose focus is markedly different. Things might obviously change if we do get a new army book soonish, but as things stand now this will do quite nicely.

List A : Elite infantry focussed (2395)
Archmage : Lvl 4, Folariath’s Robe, Loremaster’s Cloak
Noble : GW, BSB, Armour of Caledor, Guardian Phoenix
28 Spearmen : Full Command
3 x 10 Archers
Lion Chariot
5 Dragon Princes
21 Phoenix Guard : Full Command with Razor Standard
30 White Lions : Full Command with Amulet of Light
2 x Eagles

This list might be the more conservative of the options, featuring the (almost) unkillable Archmage that can be sent in the thick of the fighting magically assisting the combat units, probably using Shadow. The heavy lifting is done by the White Lion horde and the Phoenix Guard, with the rest of the army mainly supporting those two units. The BSB goes with the PG to add some more killing power, while the WL’s can do that all by themselves. Perhaps somewhat boring but undoubtedly effective.

List B : Mobility focussed (2395)
Archmage : Lvl 4, Book of Ashur
28 Spearmen : Full Command
3 x 10 Archers
2 x Lion Chariot
2 x 5 Dragon Princes with Champion
20 Phoenix Guard : Full Command
14 White Lions : Full Command
2 x Eagles

This is probably the most unconventional list of the lineup. An extra Lion Chariot and a second unit of Dragon Princes keep the army mobile and relatively hard hitting, while scarifying staying power. This type of list can work but is somewhat matchup dependent (fast moving, hard hitting units will tear it apart), and is very fragile even for an elf list. I like the concept but it will probably need some more thought.

List C : Magic focussed (2395)
Archmage : Lvl 4, Book of Ashur
Mage : Lvl 2, Annulian Crystal
Noble : GW, BSB, Armour of Caledor, Guardian Phoenix
28 Spearmen : Full Command
3 x 10 Archers
Lion Chariot
5 Dragon Princes
20 Phoenix Guard : Full Command with Banner of Sorcery
21 White Lions : Full Command
2 x Eagles

Getting 2-4 extra power dice per turn and plenty of stuff to throw them at. The main flexibility left here would be in the choosing of the magic lores. The Archmage will probably take Shadow or Metal (Life would be another option, but I’m not enamoured with it), while the Mage might be put on High or Fire. Keeping the characters together in the PG bunker will form the juicy centre of the army while the rest of the units do whatever they need to do to make the big boys work their magic.

List D : All comers (2395)
Archmage : Lvl 4, Book of Ashur
Noble : GW, BSB, Armour of Caledor, Guardian Phoenix
28 Spearmen : Full Command with Standard of Discipline
3 x 10 Archers
Lion Chariot
6 Dragon Princes : Amulet of Light, Banner of Eternal Flame
24 Phoenix Guard : Full Command
24 White Lions : Full Command
2 x Eagle

I think this is my favourite so far. The Mage will probably take Metal, although Shadow is an option. The Noble and the Phoenix Guard can either tank some threat that I need to hold up or deliver some punch themselves. The Dragon Princes are a specialist monster/ethereal hunter unit. The Eagles are redirecters and the Archers deal with chaff, while the Spearmen provide bodies. The Lion Chariot can go chaff hunting or can be held in reserve to support a crucial combat, or eat a spell or cannon ball in the worst case.

(Note to self, find a constructive use for those last 5 points you always seem to have over…)

One thought on “Meditations on High Elf army lists

  1. They all look like fun, solid, conventional lists. You seem to enjoy a few good backbone units, like myself. Not too much powerplay, no filth. I would quite enjoy fighting either list, I think.

    Against my latest playstyle, I would expect list B or C to give me the toughest challenge. B could play an extremely aggressive style and leave with a lack of time to whittle it down to manageable sizes. C may force me to a more offensive style, but it may be closer to the latest “stand-off before we engage” situation we had last time.

    As for 5 points… There’s always the Dragon Bane Gem or luck stone 🙂

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