Total War Warhammer/Tactics/High Elves
"Galri Asur! Galri Asur!"
- – Game battle chant for High Elves
Why Play High Elves
- Because you want an excuse to act like a snobby prick.
- You like armies that don't really have a field where they are particularly weak in, and are just solid all around.
- Because you probably played them on the tabletop and this is the closest thing to 9th edition we will have til Warhammer: The Old World comes out.
- You have a high tolerance for silly headgear.
- MOTHER FUCKING DRAGONS!!!!!!
- Versatility: An all around very well balanced roster. If the Empire is a Jack of all Trades, you are a Queen of all Trades.
- Range: Their range units can dish out a hell lot of damage. Their cheapest archers can out range and kill a lot of elite skirmishers in a shootout. It also means that they can land the first blows of battles.
- Martial Prowess: Their passive ability, Martial Prowess, gives you 12 melee defense and 2 melee attack as long as you are above 50% HP. This make you by far the most durable of the Elven factions, unlike your edgy or hippy cousins, most of your units can actually take a hit or two. To some people, this ability was poorly adapted from the tabletop rule, for the tabletop stated the ability allow the HE to strike first no matter how injured they are, making it more of an offensive ability than a defensive one. Either way, this ability could use some rework.
- Magic: You currently have access to the most lores of magic in the game, having all the generic ones and a unique one for your own.
- Cavalry: Dragon Princes are some of the most cost effective heavy cav in the game. They won't beat Grail Knights, Blood Knights or Demigryphs, but damn they are sturdy (due to their physical resist and fire resist) and having high charge bonus. Even Silver Helms aren't bad for the price, and Ellyrian Reavers are some of the best light cav in the game.
- Fire: A hell of a lot of fire damage, from dragons, RORs, mages and mages who RIDE DRAGONS, you will laugh at anything weak to fire.
- Air Superiority: With Dragons, Phoenixes, and Eagles it is not hard to gain control of the skies if you decide you want to invest into it.
- Infantry Specialization: A lot of their units are specialized to go after certain targets, and some of them are the best at it. Rangers are great chaff cleaners, Swordmaster win against any non ROR infantry unit one on one and Phoenix Guard are expert monster killers.
- Cost: High Elf units are expensive. Their units cost more than just about any other unit in the game at their respective tiers. You will likely go in heavily outnumbered.
- Reliance on Healing: Due to how their passive works, a lot of their fighting ability relies on keeping Martial Prowess up. If it goes away, their units got from being very good for their price to being very NOT good for their price. For most factions healing is recommended, but for these guys it's almost required.
- Over Specialization: The downside to a lot of their specialization in the Infantry department is they get trounced by anything they aren't supposed to be fighting against. Sure, Swordmasters will cut through Bestigors but if Minotaurs get on them they are screwed. Phoenix Guard can kill the Minotaurs just fine, but Bestigors trade up against them. make sure your units are fighting the right targets.
- Lack of AP: You don't have that many armor piercing options, and the ones you do have tend to be on the expensive side. Because of this high armor might be a problem for you. Can be mitigated with a Lore of Metal mage with Plague of Rust.
- Low Health Pools. An issue with Elves in general. They are categorized with expensive costs, high stats, and low health. This doesn't really make you a glass cannon army because a lot of your units are pretty resilient, but you probably aren't going to out grind the likes of the Dwarfs, Warriors of Chaos or Lizardmen.
- DLC: Unfortunately, a lot of their best units are locked behind DLC. The Queen and the Crone are needed for Alarielle and Sisters of Averlorn and The Warden and The Paunch are needed for Silverin Guard, Rangers and War Lions. If you want to win consistently, you may have to spend extra dough.
- Martial Prowess: You're standard High Elf passive ability. When you are above 50% HP, you gain 12 melee defense and 2 melee attack, making you a lot tankier and able to hit just a bit more often. This means that High Elves can hold a line for a surprisingly long time, as even their offensive infantry can hold for a while. Sadly, this comes with a reliance on healing, as if a unit's HP gets too low, they get a sizable stat debuff. Make sure your high tier units have some form of sustain, either through magic or passive abilities.
- Just to expand, this trait is super good, it pumps High Elf Spearmen to Melee Defence 50 (38 base), which is incredibly good when we look at how melee combat works in the game:
Unit Chance to Hit = Base 40% + (Melee Attack as % + Charge Bonus as % - target's Melee Defence as %)
- An Orc Boyz unit costs 450, has MA 28, so they have a chance to hit of only 18% (40+28-50), they cost 50 gold less but the Spearmen have 37% (40+22-25) chance to hit back. A very strong unit like Saurus Warriors with shields have only a 19% (40+29-50) chance to hit and cost 800 gold to the Spearmen's 500 gold. If these units charge the spearmen they do better with their charge bonus applied, but otherwise they're tarpitted once that's gone. The requirement of being above 50% health might seem offputting, but on units like Spearmen the trait helps sustain itself.
- Martial Mastery: An upgraded version for elite units. Supplies 8 melee attack instead of 2, meaning they can pump out way more damage. Comes with the same weakness though, so make sure you are getting that healing as units with this trait are usually expensive.
- The Sword of Khaine: Less of a trait and morelike a campaign mechanic. The Sword of Khaine is a balls-out broken OP epic weapon for any Lord that is lucky enough to pick it up. In includes absurd bonusses to Melee Attack and Defense, Armour, HP, Regeneration and a unique Vortex spell that even surpasses Doomsday Rockets and Wind of Death in terms of Damage and grows in power as long as it is in your posession. However, it comes with some harsh downsides. First amongst all is that you need to actually draw it from the Shrine of Khaine in the North of Nagarythe, you can alternatively wrestle it from the cold, dead hands of any opponent whw happened to have it. Secondly, and much more important is that the sword eventually causes your faction to descend into something that is little better than a bunch of maniacal lunatics, reflected in-game with harsh penalties that get worse as time goes on. The corruption of the sword is however not permanent; your Lord can choose to return it to the Shrine of Khaine at each additional step of Corruption; if you choose to return it, the penalties vanish and the Sword respawns at the Shrine of Khaine, where it can be picked up again. Important to note is that, while only the elven factions can actually draw it, ANY faction can claim the Sword if they defeat its current wielder, which is a terrifying prospect should it fall into the hands of characters like Grom the Paunch, Ikit Claw or Settra, all factions that have much less trouble at keeping their public order up and/or field cheaper units than the Elves do.
Your Elf bois (and gals) who shall be leading your forces into battle. You have quite a few to pick from so let's get into it.
- Tyrion: Ulthuan's best military mind is exactly what you think he'd be, a fast duelist character who specializes in eliminating Lords, Heroes and other single entity targets. High armor, high speed and high armor piercing makes sure he can lay the whooping on whatever you need him to and stay out of harms way. Feint and Repose increases his already considerable dueling might and Sunfang allows him to almost insta-clear any chaff around to get to his desired targets. And if he does get low, don't worry! Heart of Averlorn has a chance to bring him form near dead to almost 3/4ths HP. His main drawback is the fact that he can only use a horse as a mount, meaning getting to the targets he wants can be hard. Still, a pretty decent, relatively cheap duelist lord.
- Teclis: The wimpy nerd who can destroy and entire city if he sneezes too hard. Your main magical lord, who can do a little bit of everything you want a mage to do. He's got damage, lock down, buffs, debuffs and is an all around great utility mage. His Potion of Charoi gives him 4 healing potions with damage resist so he's not completely screwed if he's caught out of position. Still a character that is squishy and shouldn't be in the melee fight. Or at least he was, until CA decided to give him an Arcane Phoenix for some reason. After being given a monstrous mount, his main weakness went away and he became one of if not THE best mage lord in the game, his only real weakness being his ungodly high price tag.
- Alarielle (DLC): Your other caster lord. Where as Teclis is a utility mage who can go a bit of everything, Alarielle focuses more on defensive buffs and healing. With an eagle mount she can stay out of harm's way and she give AOE immune to Psych and magic damage, making Vampire players cry. She also has a variety of defensive items that can really.... Oh, who are we kidding? If you're picking Alarielle as your lord you're picking her for The Star of Avelorn. Considering how important healing is for the High Elves, a magic item that can give OVER 2000 HP IN HEALING is invaluable for elite focused armies. "What's that Mr. Star Dragon? You're almost dead!? Well, here's a healing bomb, go beat up the bad people." This ability can turn a battle from a sure fire loss into a win if used at the right moment. She's been considered one of the Asur's best choices since she came out. And totally on her own merit and skill, not because she has one of the most broken magic items in the game.
- Alith Anar (FLC): Alith Anar checks in for Nagarythe. This man is a bolt thrower with legs, and can chunk down targets from a considerable distance. However, unlike a lot of archer lords and heroes, he lacks a form of net, which is part of the reason those lords are so viable. Turns out a lot of people are going to be running in Alith Anar's lobby. (He's voiced by Dylan Sprouse if you're wondering about the Zack and Cody jokes.) As such, you almost have to lock yourself into the Lore of Light for Net of Amyntok to get the most out of his. Also, his lack of mount options makes it hard for him to get away when he is eventually discovered. He works best in full on kite builds with shadow warriors and archers since he gives a lot of buffs to range, including missile resistances and reload skill, though overall is still considered a niche pick.
- Eltharion the Grim (DLC): On paper, Elf Batman has a lot going for him. As a Hybrid Lord with the Lore of High Magic, decent melee stats, and an automatic barrage of missiles every few second you'd think he'd be a good bunker buster. Hell the guy also has a sword that gives him 44% physical resistance and his helm can make units unbreakable and straight up stop them from dying. You'd think he'd be an amazing tanky lord with a lot of utility. Unfortunately, he has the exact same problem the had on the table top, that being his price tag. Even when you strip the less useful stuff down he can cost close to 3,000 points, which sadly doesn't justify many of his cool abilities. He DOES have a cool combo with Phoenixes, as due to his helm stopping units from dying he can guarantee a fiery rebirth, but that's about his only gimmick.
- Imrik (FLC): The Lord of Caledor is what you'd expect him to be; a pompous, punchable prick on a giant fuck off dragon. His Dragonhorn grants melee attack and speed map wide when used, meaning unlike other High Elf lords you want to play offense when you pick this lad. Lord of Dragons give a massive debuff to attack and defense and he can instill fire weakness on his lance. Generally Imrik is fairly straightforward, point him at something, drop his buffs and debufffs, and watch as he beats the shit out of it. Granted you are paying for his ungodly statline at over 3,000 points and he is surprising fragile with no self healing, meaning lore of life is pretty much a requirement if you want the most out of him.
- Prince: Your generic melee lord, coming with most of the what you'd expect out of a melee dedicated generic lord. Has some weapons and abilities that give him some good self buffs, and some abilities like Stand Your Ground that most generic lords have. His issue is the lack of any real buffing abilities to help his army, no magic no nothing, which makes it easy to overlook him. Granted, anything that has a Star Dragon for a mount will be useful in some way, though it asks why you aren't just getting a normal Star Dragon for cheaper. If you put him on the Star Dragon, give him his weapon buffs and treat him like budget Imrik he kinda works, but honestly you're better off with the Dragon Lord.
- Princess: Don't let those bitches at Disney taint your mind, this princess doesn't take shit from nobody. She sacrifices some melee prowess in exchange for a bow, which makes her way more useful than her Prince counterpart when on monstrous mounts as you get a Star Dragon that shoots arrows at people. She also has some really good buffing abilities, focusing on helping archers, which is good for 90% of High Elf builds. She also comes with an armour piercing magic missile ability for helping dish some damage at long range. Oh, did we mention she's cheaper than the Prince? She serves a similar role to Alith Anar only she actually gets mounts so she can stay out of harm's way when she needs to. The lack of magic holds her back from being top tier, but overall a very solid pick.
- Archmage (DLC): For you Saphery fans, Archmages fulfill all your magical needs in the Lord slot. These ladies come with the usual mage stuff, Arcane Conduit and one of the Lores of Magic, though she can pick between any of the generic ones and Lore of High Magic, giving her the highest variety of any generic mage lord in the game. Her mounts are also cool, choosing between a horse or chariot for ground support or an eagle or Moon Dragon for aerial dominance. Her magic items include an increase to power recharge rate and armor that when activated gives her stalk and unspottable. Yup, you can give a goddamn dragon stalk and unspottable, it's as hilarious as it sounds. Granted a Moon Dragon isn't as nice as a Star Dragon, but it's good none the less. All in all, she's about what you'd expect from a High Elf mage lord, and probably the best generic choice.
Sadly, no Legendary Heroes for the Asur, guess Korhil and Caradryan didn't get an invite. Still, they have pretty good options.
- Noble: The minor nobility of Ulthuan and your melee heroes. Halberd wielding Anti Large fighters who generally act as bodyguards when you bring a squishier lord like Teclis. When on a horse, 2 of them plus your lord can serve as a good goon squad to help take out specific targets. They also act as decent mage killers and are overall pretty cheap by hero standard. Chariots are also handy for Dwarfs. Overall, not a bad pick if you need something to protect your mage lord on a horse, though the lack of Guardian means they aren't the best heroes in the game at that job. Or don’t ever use them in campaign, Because you need them spamming gather influence every single turn. Use a handmaiden instead.
- Mage: I mean... it's what you think it is. She's your generic caster hero and is about what you would expect. She has every generic lore plus High Magic, Arcane Conduit, and will get her ass clapped in melee. The chariot mount option does come in handy if you're fighting Dwarfs or any faction that struggles with Chariots in general. If you aren't picking a magic lord, you pretty much have to grab one. Note to Dragon Mage fans that Fire Mages get access to a Sun Dragon mount, because CA figured making making a whole different mage hero just to give it a Dragon would be redundant. As useful as you'd expect a mage on a dragon and Fire is a great lore, though she becomes expensive and a massive bullseye for missiles. Campaign dominance usually wants you camping as many mages as possible with economy boosting traits in your most profitable province. So optimally use archmage lords and camp the rest.
- Loremaster: Sadly, these pointy eared Jedi got demoted from Lords to Heroes in the jump from Tabletop to Game, though they can whoop ass none the less. One of very few Hybrid Heroes, they have good casting along with good Melee stats. The variety of spells allow them to heal, do direct damage and buff troops, giving him some good variety. The combo of Spirit Leech plus Armor Piercing Anti Infantry damage can make them decent duelists when fighting foot lords. What screws them over is their lack of mounts and cost to recruit, so be wary of that when using them. Can be a good mage substitute if you use yours to boost your economy.
- Handmaiden (DLC): The bodyguards of Alarielle, and your sniping heroes. With flaming, magical armor piercing shots, they can lay a bit of damage on a target given they have the time to shoot. Of course, she's squishy and of the three melee heroes she is probably the worst fighting up close. She has anti large, thought a Noble can do that plus armor piercing. She also has some passive abilities and items that can buff archers, so in a fully dedicated range list she can do a bit of help. Overall though, you may as well go with a Noble, he'll do everything she does better. - the above is only true in multiplayer. in campaign where nobles are better used to gain influence you should probably only handmaidens as your primary combat hero. Especially since they boost archers and sisters of avelorn doom stacks are objectively the cheapest, strongest armies high elves can field. (Dragons stack may be stronger but cost 2-3 times as much, and come online much later and slower)
Lords and heroes are cool and all, but a faction can't win without their units. Let's see what the Pointy Ears got.
- Spearmen: Your standard, tier one Infantry, armed with spears and shields. They are what they say on the tin. High Melee Defense and low Attack means they are used more for holding the line rather than outright killing their opposition, unless they are fighting straight up chaff. At 500 points, they are hardly what one would consider "cheap" compared to what others can brings, so swarming isn't exactly the plan with these guys. Also with only 40 armour, they will be chewed up by any missiles not hitting the shield. As with most spear units, they have Charge Defense against large and Anti Large, so they are great light cav killers. A go to pick in a lot of match ups.
- Scions of Mathlann (RoR, DLC): Same as above, with slightly better stats and give an AOE 12% ward save. This can help keep your front line going just a little bit longer, though the short range and the fact that people enjoy distancing their units to avoid the risk of spells killing them is means their usefulness is a bit limited. Certainly one of those "better in campaign" units.
- Dryads (DLC, Avelorn Only): Only available if you are playing as the Avelorn subfaction, which locks you into Alarielle as your only Legendary Lord choice (Not that anyone would complain). One of the better tier one infantry, with good stats for the price, physical resistance and fear. Keep them the hell away from fire, for obvious reasons. Pretty good offensive choice, but honestly picking a subfaction and giving away part of your strategy may not be worth it, especially since their role can be fulfilled by...
- Rangers (DLC): ... These lovely boys from The Warden and The Paunch. Your cheap (by High Elf standards anyway) tier one offensive infantry. Dual swords gives them a nice bonus vs infantry, meaning they are great for clearing out enemy chaff such as Goblins and Skavenslaves. While you may look at their 30 armor and grow concerned, their loose formation and their 20% physical resistance means they can take more missile fire than you would expect an unshielded unit of that tier to take. They are also decently fast by infantry standards, so they won't be soaking up fire for too long anyway. Granted, they are going to get trounced by anything mid tier or higher or anything that has a decent armour value. You want to be bringing these guys against factions that throw in unarmored trashed to bog you down, like Skaven or Beastmen.
- White Lions of Chrace: I don't know if the King's Court faced some serious budget cuts or whatever, but man these guys have fallen on some hard times. These bodyguards of the Phoenix King are mid tier infantry that go down to mid to elite tier units form other factions. Jokes aside, these guys got a bad wrap but they aren't AS bad as people say, you just can't use them as a front line (Unless you're fighting Dwarfs). They have great AP values and good armor with missile resist, so they're hardly useless. Use them as support for your spears to cut through enemies and they can do some work. It's understandable CA didn't want to give the High Elve 2 elite great weapon units, but the fact the King's bodyguards got reduced to mid tier left a sour taste in the mouth of lots of High Elf fans.
- The Puremane Company (RoR, DLC): More or less the same as above, only with better stats and new abilities. These guys have -30 armour sundering, which only further helps them as a support option for a cheaper frontline without AP. They also get the guardian trait to protect Lords and Heroes from harm, so they at least now actually act like bodyguards. Great against heavy armour like Dwarfs and Warriors of Chaos, they will not only do lots of damage, but support others in doing damage as well.
- Silverin Guard (DLC): Now THIS is a staunch line of spears. These guys are to normal Spearmen what Longbeards are to Dwarf Warriors. Just a better, sturdier and more expensive alternative. Great defensive stats and magic resistance means that cutting through these guys is not going to be easy to anyone but dedicated armour piercing and/or strong anti infantry units. Their main use is to give a massive middle finger to any rush faction, and watch as they try to slam their heads against this wall to no avail. Of course, they are a much more expensive frontline than normal spears, so you will have less resources in other parts of the battlefield. Despite that, they are still a fantastic choice and can hold forever against the right opponents.
- Swordmasters of Hoeth: Now we're getting into the big guns. These guys but White Lions to shame, and stat wise can take on any other non RoR infantry 1 one 1 and win. Combine fantastic stats with an armour piercing anti infantry bonus and they will lawn mower their way through any infantry they come across. Plus, they even have a missile block chance, which allows them to mitigate missiles, which is usually the best way to fight great weapons. However, they are expensive, and most competent enemies know how scary they are. Because of this, a lot of people bring monstrous infantry to deal with these guys, which is not something they enjoy fighting. They can earn you a lot of profit against infantry, but if your enemy burns them down before they fight anything, that's 1250 points you aren't getting back.
- Phoenix Guard: The Anti Large alternative to Swordmasters. With a large 30% physical resistance, fear and charge defense against large, they are tanks through and through. They can hold the line and carve apart monsters with fairly little issue. Their lack of shields does leave them vulnerable to AP missiles, however, so watch out for that.
- The Keepers of The Flame (RoR, DLC):Even better Phoenix Guard with magical attacks and The Mark of Asuryan. What that does is when a model dies, it explodes, and deals damage to enemies around them. This makes them much better infantry killers than normal Phoenix Guard, as an explosion will probably drag a model or two with them.
- Archers: It's all in the name. Fellows with bows that have a whooping 180 range. Only Waywatchers out range you, meaning you can get some easy free fire on most enemy units before you come under pressure. Lack of AP aside, a great unit. Of course, you need to protect these little bastards as they are crap in melee. They also come in a "Light Armour" varient that give cost 50 more cold for 30 more armour. Given the fact that the DPS is the same and they'll die is light cav sneezes on them anyway, most people just go with the standard version.
- Talons of Tor Caleda (RoR, DLC): Fun unit if you love playing with fire. Not only do they do Fire damage, but they also imbue a fire weakness. Team these guys up with some Sisters of Avelorn and watch whatever they're shooting get blown to smithereens!
- Lothern Sea Guard: Another non AP archer unit, but one who trades a bit of range for a spear. While they don't have the sheer oppressive firing range of normal archers, it means you don't have to babysit them nearly as much. If a light cav shoots them they will laugh as they turn in the horse pelts for new boots. Granted, you'd rather they not be fighting light cav because you want them shooting, but hey. They can even serve as a front line, especially if you pay extra for the shielded variant. A great hybrid unit that can fulfill all kinds of roles and are useful even with no ammo. Upkeep is about the same as sisters of avelorn, ask yourself are they ever really better than just more sisters? Generally the answer is no. Kinda a trap option because the fight slight worse than basic spearman and shoot slightly worse than basic archers. Not bad just overshadowed.
- The Storm Riders (RoR, DLC): These guys really wanted to become Shadow Warriors but unfortunately grew up in the pleasant city of Lothern and not the shithole that is Nagarythe. One day they said, "fuck it, we can do skirmishing better than them!" They can't. Vanguard and fire while moving is nice but you want these guys stationary to help with your lines, so it seems pointless. They do have that fear though, which can come in handy.
- Shadow Warriors (DLC): They have the same range and damage output as normal archers. You're paying extra for vanguard, stalk, fire while moving and better melee stats (not like you want them throwing hands with anything stronger than Clanrats.) They are if you are really into the kite game, and want to use mobile skirmishing to blast the enemy to pieces. Granted with only 22 Melee Defense they aren't that good in melee, and honestly in most match up archers will do the same job for cheaper. They have a nice niche, particularly against factions with shit infantry, but aren't a staple by any means.
- The Grey (RoR, DLC): No point in taking these guys over normal Shadow Warriors. All they get is snipe and a banner that makes them unspottable. Save your cash.
- Shadow-Walkers (FLC, Nagarythe Only): Not much to say about these guys, they're just better Shadow Warriors. The poison they have is cool. Rarely seen as the subfaction don't have a lackluster selection of Legendary lords of one guy. Locking into a subfaction is not so bad if you don't use Legendary lords in MP.
- Sisters of Avelorn (DLC): Feast your eyes and despair, for your gaze upon one of the best archer units in the game. With 180 range, massive armour piercing, magical and fire damage and the ability to fight in melee makes them one of the best overall units the High Elves have. Anything they shoot turns to dust, and they can create a firing line that can make gunpowder factions jealous. Also, they are pretty damn good in melee, able to hold off cav charge until reinforcements come and can tear apart chaff that is thrown their way. Their big failing is their high price, meaning you will have one or two on the field at a time if you want to invest in anything else. Used wisely, and these lovely ladies can win games all by themselves. - I think the above only was thinking of multiplayer, because in campaign they’re upkeep is extremely affordable about the same as lothern sea guard. Objectively the most op and cost effective unit on the high elf roster.
- Everqueen's Court Guard (RoR, DLC): These even better ladies come with encourage and The Banner of Avelorn for more magic recharge. Want your troops to hold out longer? Want more magic in your pool? These ladies got you covered.
- Ellyrian Reavers: Light cav that can put on pressure like very little light cav can. With vanguard and great speed they can run rampant across the battlefield, preying on skirmishers and artillery alike. Granted, they are about as durable as tissue paper, so don't expect them to last if they come across actual resistance. Still, as far as light cav goes, this is one of the best options currently in the game.
- Ellyrian Reaver Archers: Skirmisher cav that can still whack people in melee. Their bows can give out a good stream of damage over time and give enemies an aneurysm. Plus, despite their primary role being ranged warfare, they are honestly pretty good in melee, they'll actually beat Dark Riders with shields in a head up engagement. Not that you need to, because with 360 fire and fire while moving, they can punish anything that tries to chase them down.
- Heralds of The Wind (RoR, DLC): Not much to say about these guys. They're the same as above but with way better melee stats. This means they can serve both purposes as skirmisher hunter and ranged damage. Solid RoR all around.
- Silver Helms: If you want something that punches more punch that Reavers but don't want to invest all that money in Dragon Princes, this is a solid pick. Very sold mid tier cav option meant to ride around and slam into the backs of enemies. They will lose to pretty much all elite cav head on, so watch out for that. They come with a shielded version as well, which you should honestly grab whenever you can.
- Dragon Princes: of course, why settle for 2nd best when you can have the best. These boys do Caledor proud, being just as fast as Silver Helms and having better stats in virtually every department. They also have physical and fire resistance, meaning as long as they aren't fighting anything with magic damage they can be one of the more resilient cav units in the game. Granted, their lack of anti large and armor piercing makes them not the best against other heavy cav. Instead, these guys focus more on charging into the rears and flanks of enemy infantry and taking them down. Keep them healed up, and they can put armies on their back.
- The Fireborn (RoR, DLC): Well, now they have fire damage and anti large, so sorry Skaven players, if you thought throwing a Hell Pit Abominations would kill them you were mistaken. Now they're cavalry killers, and wreck lightly armoured monsters or one weak to fire.
- Tiranoc Chariot: The first of three chariots, and one focused on skirmishing. The magical arrows are cool and can help against physical resistance, but it's not like the High Elves are missing in that department. The bonus versus large also helps versus lightly armoured troops, though they won't do much against heavy armour. They have a niche, but really this is a unit that you can certainly skip in your army if you want to.
- Ilthimar Chariot: Same issue here to be honest. People grab chariots for hard hitting armour piercing infantry blending. A chariot this expensive without armour piercing is never going to be useful. There's honestly nothing they can do that a unit of Ellyrion Reavers or Silver Helms can't do better, at least the Tiranoc version can shoot magical arrows. Widely considered one of the worst units on the roster, and one you can easily skip.
- White Lion Chariot (DLC): Now THIS is a chariot unit! These cat lovers have that AP that the other chariots are sorely missing. While they do give up some armour in exchange, the ability to mulch Dwarfs and Chaos Warriors into paste is more than worth the trade off. Plus, they don't care about losing armour that much because they gained missile resistance, so shooting them won't get rid of the quickly. Finally, they cause fear because, you know, it's a chariot pulled by fucking lions. Has the same flaws most chariots do, being a lack of ability to fight in sustain melee, but easily the best option of the chariots here.
- Eagle Claw Bolt Thrower: The only artillery piece these elves have, and not one that will be winning any "Best Artillery" awards soon. Not to say they're bad, the ability to cycle through anti large single shot and anti infantry multi shot makes them a bit more versatile than most artillery units. Plus, they can be good for sniping out other large artillery units, like War Lightning Cannon or Queen Bess. Of course, they won't win any shootout with Dwarfs but for the price it will probably get the job done so long as it's protected. If given the choice between targeting monsters or elite infantry it's better to pick the latter.
- Great Eagle: This giant bird is a relatively cheap flying unit that can provide some decent mage hunting and is a fairly accessible source of fear. The best thing it offers is its speed, and can be used to get from different points of the battle when needed. Granted, these guys are squishy, and will lose to most monster units. Honestly work best as mounts for mages you want to keep out of the fight, though they can find some uses on their own.
- War Lions of Chrace (DLC): War hounds on steroids, these thing can provide a lot of killing power. They are fast, have decent stats and have armour piercing anti infantry damage. This equates to a lot of dead skirmishers, but also dead mid tier infantry if they are able to support infantry. A missile resistance will protect them on the way in form archers, and they have strider to help them ignore penalties from trees. Plus, fear is never a bad thing. Pretty solid choice all around, and serve as great flankers and artillery hunters.
- Rahagra's Pride (RoR, DLC): These mighty kitties come with a Mighty Roar ability, lowering leadership and speed. If they attack from the flank, they can pop this to potentially cause a mass route and make sure ideal targets don't escape. Great for low leadership armies like Skaven or Beastmen.
- Tree Kin (DLC, Avelorn Only): Continuing Alarielle's tree fetish, these guys serve a tanky defensive role. They can help spears hold the line longer and instill fear to make them run off faster. Immune to Psych and high physical resistance means these trees aren't going anywhere. Granted, fire will put them down fast, so keep that in mind if your enemy has lore of fire. They also won't do much damage to their enemies, so don't expect them to buzzsaw through any form of enemy.
- Treeman (DLC, Avelorn Only): The ents are marching, but they're much less impressive in this setting. The tanky stats, good armour piercing and magic damage are nice, but they are way too slow to be of much use. Any skirmishing force can burn these guys down, especially if they have fire. Not really a worthwile pick, and we already discussed the downsides of sub factions.
- Flamespyre Phoenix: The first of three magic birds. This fire one has fear and terror, good stats all around, and is mainly focused on chaff clearing. All Phoenixes ahve an ability where they get a ward save when the magic pool is above 50% It has ten uses of a bombing type attack where it drops down fire bombs on the enemy to blow them to pieces. Not great against armour, but can deal with blobs pretty well. The other is Fiery Rebirth. If it gets too low, it has a chance to either die outright, or too go through an animation where it comes back to life with significantly more HP, which in the right scenario can turn a fight. You don't want to rely on this to win though, as it may not happen. Still a decent monster.
- Frostheart Phoenix: The icey bird. Trades the fire bombs and rebirth ability from the previous phoenix in exchange for better overall stats and a good debuff ability. Blizzard Aura generates around it and causes a decrease to overall weapon damage and melee attack. Elven spearlines will appreciate this, as it will allow them to hold out for even longer. Granted, losing the chance to rebirth sucks, but still considered an overall better pick than the fire bird.
- Arcane Phoenix (DLC): The last bird, and the best of them all. Comes with even better stats, regains the rebirth, and gains Emberstorm. This allows it to face plant into the ground and create a stationary vortex that burns anything around it. Great for clearing our low armour, it can demolish blobs of infantry. It's an expensive little chicken (Seriously, it costs more than a Moon Dragon) but one that certainly wins fights in the right scenarios.
- Omen of Asuryan (DLC, RoR): This birb does everything listed above and also gives Immune to Psych in an AOE. Not the best thing for a race that doesn't really suffer from leadership problems, but still nice to have.
- Dragons: With 3 goddam choice, i figured we'd make a general listing then split them off. Dragons have crazy ass stats but aren't something you should just throw around willy nilly. They can be fragile and will often lose to elite anti large units and monsters. It's the breath attacks that make these guys scary. and each dragon's breath serves a different purpose. A well placed breath can win you the game, and a bad one can blow it away. BRING HEALING TO KEEP THEM IN THE FIGHT!!!!!
- Sun Dragon: The weakest and cheapest of the dragons. Their breathe is spread out more and will destroy infantry blobs.
- Moon Dragon: The inbetween of the two stats wise, and can deal damage with its breath to both monsters and units.
- Star Dragon: The strongest dragon, and widely considered the best unit on the roster. If played well can absolutely demolish units. their breath will destroy other monsters.
If you're playing High Elves, you already think you're better than everyone else, and you want to prove it! Fortunately for you, you have a very well rounded roster that can be used in a myriad of ways to take out a variety of opponents. You have the obvious strengths in your ranged, but you are also strong in terms of cavalry, monsters, and healing. However, the high cost of your army means that you will be outnumbered in many of your match ups, and AP is something you need to pay a premium for. And while you're the tankiest of the Elven factions, that really isn't saying much. That said if used well you can cause havoc. Here is how you can assure domination against the inferior races! Keep in mind this is assuming you bought both High Elf DLCs because if you haven't you may struggle a bit. Yeah, multiplayer can be pay to win, sorry.
- Beastmen: You got enough range to poke down their lack of armor, the question is can you protect it all against their flanking and vanguard shenanigans? Kite builds tend to work best here. Get a relatively cheap frontline (trust me, with Minotaurs and Chaos Spawn you do not want to lean on infantry to win) to hold them in place so your Reaver Archers can begin their poke. Make sure to get some cheaper melee cav to screen for the horse archers, preferable Silver Helms. Tyrion is a surprising solid pick, as Sunfang can melt any Beastmen infantry but Bestigors and they mutants have such a hard time catching and killing him.
- Bretonnia: This has historically always been one of your hardest match ups. Don't even think of relying on cavalry, Grail Knights will fuck up Dragon Princes and run amok. Silverin Guard act as a good deterrent against heavy cav and can beast most Bret infantry aside from Foot Squires, and Lothern Sea Guard can at least do something against knights if they are charged. Teclis with nets and enfeebling foe will also play big for you to stop and debuff heavy cav. Use bolt throwers to take out cav models and finally, the Star Dragon can carry if well supported, as Bretonnia tends to struggle with big armoured monsters.
- Warriors of Chaos: This is a tough one for you. Shaggoths beat Dragons one on one and are cheaper, making it a bit unfair for you. You still want to bring a star dragon to burn shaggoths down with breath attacks, and a couple swordmasters can help burn through that heavily armoured infantry. You can use Teclis on the pidgeon to help the dragon in melee or Alarielle to help keep it alive. Aside from that, grab basic spears and archers and just try to take down those damn shaggoths.
- Dark Elves: Scourgerunners are the bane of your existence, as they can kill anything you bring to the table. Bolt throwers are the best way to deal with them, and if you can do that Dragon Princes are free to run rampage across the Druchii. You have the advantage in Heavy Cav, range and magic variety, make sure you use it! Also, a Star Dragon is always good to help deal with any big beasties that might get thrown your way. Bring a couple basic archers to shoot down their skirmish cav and short range before they get a chance to rip you apart.
- Dwarfs: Is Chrace your favorite kingdom on Ulthuan? Well, this match up is a perfect chance to rep the Lion Boys! White Lions are amazing here, with AP and missile resistance at a decently affordable price. Bring a few archers or eagles to deal with Gyrocopters and reavers or war lions to deal with artillery and you can score a decent amount of value. And of course, no build against the Dwarfs is complete without AP Chariots, and White Lion Chariots can destroy Dwarfs. Any Dwarf player who picks the stunties against you either think they are way better than you or are new and don't understand match ups yet. (Seriously, this is so one sided it makes you wonder how the High Elves lost the War of the Beard)
- Empire: The big question in this match up is going to be "how the fuck do you deal with knights?" Demigryphs will eat Dragon Princes 1 on 1 so similar to Bretonnia, don't rely too much on your heavy cav. One tactic that has become popular is to bring a single Lore of Metal caster with Teclis, net them, cast plague of rust and shoot them down with your archers. Phoenix Guard can also be useful here since they can tear up state troops and knights with fairly little problem, but they have to worry about guns. In that case, archers can be used to shoot their guns down or Reavers can be used to run them over. The infantry fight shouldn't be an issue unless they brings Greatswords (which are rare) it's the mobile aspects and gunpowder that will end up giving you headaches.
- Greenskins: Ok after The Warden and The Paunch this became a hard one for two reasons. One, Stone Trolls give a a massive middle finger to everything you love to do with their magic and missile resistance. Two, now that WAAAGH! is an army ability and not a lord ability, Arcane Unforging can't put it on cooldown anymore. If you want to rep the Asur against da boyz, Silverin Guard will be your friends. They can hold against anything but Black Orcs or Arachnaroks, and the best way to deal with them are with either Swordmasters or Plague of Rust and missile fire. In terms of missiles I recommend Lothern Sea Guard because then you don't have to worry about the abundance of flanking the greenskins love to bring against you. Also, Dragon Princes will run over any cav that the Greenskins bring so one or two of them can help worth wonders (The Fireborn especially, since it can help with them pesky Stone Trolls)
- High Elves: Honestly, this match up boils down to "Who can micro their Dragon Princes better." Since it's a mirror match up it is 100% even, assuming both sides bought the DLCs. Don't bother with Dragons, you'll be fighting a ton of missiles and Dragon Princes have a crap ton of fire resistance anyway. Some AP in the front line can help so White Lions could be used to break through the front line and help your mounted lads get some easy hammer and anvils. Also, as usual heals are paramount, so bring Alarielle or some form of healing in order to keep your army on top. If your enemy's Martial Prowess runs out before yours does, you are going to be in a VERY good position to dominate the map.
- Lizardmen: Anti-Large and AP will be your bread and butter against the children of the Old Ones. The first major weakness of the Lizardmen is their speed. Skinks aside, their foot soldiers will advance at a rather trudging pace. This, coupled with the relative lack of ranged options in the Lizardmen roster, will give your many ranged units plenty of time to rain hell upon them with impunity. Sisters of Averlorn in particular will decimate Saurus lines (even with shields) due to their solid AP damage while Eagle Claw Bolt Throwers can put some severe hurt on the bigger beasties they'll be bringing. Keep an eye out for Chameleon Skinks; though they're little more than an annoyance to your armored units, they can pop into your back lines unannounced, deal not insignificant damage to your unarmored infantry and will absorb missile-fire from dusk 'till dawn. For all flavors of Skinks, use Rangers to skin them with laughable ease. Spearmen and Lothern Sea Guard are ideal for tying up Lizardmen cavalry and monsters, though you should spring for Sylverin Guard if you have the coin to spare. Lastly, if there is a Slann Mage-Priest leading them, try to focus them down. Slann (especially Life Slann) are often the single source of support magic in the entire army and taking them out of the fight early can devastate the Lizardmen in the long run. No half measures though; Slann are surprisingly tanky and can often endure combat long enough for reinforcements to rescue them while they heal off the damage you dealt. If you aren't able to burn them down quickly and efficiently, then you shouldn't commit to hunting them down. If you neglect to pay attention to the rest of the Lizardmen army while you obsess over the fat frog, you will pay dearly.
- Norsca: Good news, you have plenty of ranged assets to take out the lightly armoured troops of the north men! Bad news, they have a shit ton of flanking and skirmisher killers, along with strong line abilities that will make your neatly organized frontline cry. It's fairly similar to what you bring against Greenskins to be honest, Silverin Guard to stop the rush and Lothern Sea Guard to protect yourself incase they get into your backline. There are two main differences. One, lighter cav tends to be better to keep up with the more mobile army of Norsca and to catch out skirmish cav and their anti large range. The other is a Star Dragon should be brought to help burn down Mammoths, though be sure to keep that damn thing save from any Anti Large that comes your way. As usually, bring heals.
- Skaven: The rats are one of very few factions that can out range you due to their weapon teams and artillery, and if you're outranged, you're a sad pointy ear. Bolt Throwers will help a ton, because not only can they use multishot to help clear away chaff, but more importantly they actually win in shootouts against Skaven artillery. Because of the massive models Skaven artillery have, bolt throwers have an easy time shooting them and getting them destroyed, making the unit useless and forcing the rats to come to you. Rangers will tear through pretty much any infantry that aren't Stormvermin, so that should be your frontline. As far as mobile aspect, due to the sheer number of ranged units coming your way, quantity beats quality. Go for Reavers and Silver Helms over Dragon Princes since they can cover the map more and the loss of one unit won't hurt that much. Side note, this is pretty much the only match up Alith Anar is useful in, since he can easily snipe artillery and large characters without much fear of counterattack.
- Tomb Kings: BOLT. THROWERS. ARE. YOUR. FRIENDS!!!!! They help deal with a ton of things that the Tomb Kings love to give your trouble for, like Ushabti Great Bows, big constructs or a Casket of Souls. If you can effectively defend your artillery and take out the dangerous ranged tools the skellies love to bring, you have two options on how to completely wipe them. One is combining bird Teclis with a Flamespyre Phoenix, using flight to pick your targets and engage on your terms, as well as taking advantage of the fire weakness. The second is Phoenix Guard, which can mulch anything the Tomb Kings throw at them if they don't have to worry about the AP range. Since Phoenix Guard tend to be risky if you don't deal with the ranged, Rangers are also good since they can trade up against most Tomb King Infantry. Scorpions tend to be common since they can easily dodge missiles and their animations make them hard to catch. In that case, high mass cav can pin them in place and you can shoot them down.
- Vampire Coast: Rangers beat every infantry but Depth Guard, and honestly you probably won't see much Depth Guard anyway. There are two ways Pirates like to play this match up. A gun build with lots of flanking dogs, bats and mortars to deal with archer spam, and crab rushes. In the case of the former, Keeping Spears in the back to help secure the backline from dogs and bats while your cav (Preferably reavers) hunt down the artillery can help your archers rip them apart. As for the latter, bring a metal mage with plague of rust and shoot them down. Your really want to invest in range against these guys as they tend to struggle against a ton of shooting, so protecting them and finding ways to deal with their armored stuff is how you play this. Don't bring too much big stuff like Dragons, they will probably get shot out of the sky.
- Vampire Counts: They're a rush faction, so they can be handled in a similar way to Greenskins and Norsca. Get some Silverin Guard to hold against their infantry and cav and some Sea Guard to get a hard to crack shooting line, and be ready to bunker down. You have an obvious ranged advantage, so they will have to come to you. A Star Dragon and Alarielle can be devastating if handled well, since Star Dragons eat terrorghiests and Alarielle brings so much to this match up from Immune to Psych and magic damage to deal with ghosts and other physical resistance. Be sure to bring Tempest, as Vampires love to bring scary fliers to the battlefield and if you can lock it down you can shoot them or get some easy engagements with your Dragon and Flying lord. As long as you have good ground support, they shouldn't be able to harm your fliers too bad.
- Wood Elves: One of the few other factions whose missile infantry can rival yours. Wood Elves are a very skittish faction that will endeavor to avoid engaging in prolonged fights in no small part due to how fragile they are. Wood Elves have virtually no armor and only their Eternal Guard has access to shields, so ranged attacks are (ironically) quite effective against their missile infantry. For their infantry in general, Rangers will make quick work of them in a fight, but you'll want to beware of Wardancers. Spearmen and Lothern Sea Guard are crucial for intercepting Wild Rider charges; get a mage with Net of Amyntok to shut them down and allow your spearmen to box them in for the kill. Wood Elves also find themselves rather lacking in the artillery department (as in, they have none), so a few Eagle Claw Bolt Throwers can go a long way during the opening stages of the battle. Now, as far as the angry trees go, bring a matchbox. Fire damage and anti-large will quite literally burn through them, so a Fire Mage and/or Sisters of Averlorn will do you wonders. Lastly, you'll want to secure your back lines. A significant portion of the Wood Elf roster is capable of Vanguard Deployment and you do not want Dryads, Wild Riders or Waywatchers getting into your squishy infantry early into the fight.
High Elves have an image of being one of the easiest races to play in campaign. While yes, Due to their powerful lords and strong economies they tend to lean a bit more on the easy side, that doesn't mean you will never come across any difficulty while playing them in Vortex or Mortal Empires. In this section we will go over the general tips about how to handle a High Elf campaign, followed in more depth by the specific subfactions themselves and how they differ from each other. Let's go over the generic traits all High Elves have first:
Probably the most important mechanic the High Elves have, and the one that connects back to all of their other ones, is Influence. The Elves are political animals and as such need some kind of leverage or favors in order to make headway in anything they want to do. Influence is a special currency you get for completing missions, building certain buildings, doing hero actions and through random events on the campaign map. This offers you two major ways to spend it, one being stronger lords and the other being Intrigue at the Court. The first way revolves on how you recruit lords and heroes, as each one has a certain amount of influence you have to spend in order to recruit them. Lords and Heroes that cost 0 influence have shitty traits that hurt your campaign, ones that cost a relatively low amount have more standard traits, while the most expensive have straight up OP ones. For instance, there's a 60 influence trait for Archmages called Incendiary, which gives a +100% weapon strength, +100 charge bonus and flaming attacks. This may sounds pointless on a mage character you want to keep out of melee until you realize she can ride a fucking dragon at some point. This can get you some ungoldy powerful lords if you build up influence.
The other thing you use Influence for is Intrigue at Court, which further reflects the politcalness of Elves. With this, you can improve or destroy relations between any two factions on the campaign map that you know. It's similar to what the Empire has, only while they can only do it between two Imperial factions, you can do it between anyone. This means you can puppeteer the map in anyway you like. Want to declare war on a faction but they are allies with someone you have a Non Aggression Pact with? Pump some influence and now they hate eachother. Want to confederate that one stubborn faction on Ulthuan? Keep spending Influence and you'll win them over eventually. You can manipulate diplomacy to start wars and alliances between however you want.
Since Influence is so important, here's an easy tip to get a ton of it:
- Recruit a Noble. Don't worry if he has a bad trait, he'll never be used in combat.
- Send him to a city that's owned by a faction you won't be friendly with anyway, like Dark Elves or Norsca
- Keep spamming the Secure Influence option, it will give you 1 influence every turn for 5 turns.
- Level up Secure Influence every chance you get, you get an extra point for every level up, and rinse and repeat.
If you keep doing this you will be drowning in influence.
Also, their research is kind of stupid. The research is locked by different stages and you need to construct different buildings in order to get access to all of them. This means building things you'd rather not in order to finish the research tree. You even need to get all tradeable resources in order to completely finish the tree. Just complete what you need to complete and you'll get through it fine.
Here's some buildings you'll want in every major city:
- Ampitheater: Your public order building, just make it to make sure rebels don't spring up anywhere.
- Tower of Mages: Gets you more Mages and Loremasters, along with more research rate and access to more stages of research.
- Handmaiden's Gallery: Gets you more Handmaidens and Sisters of Avelorn. A fun agent and one of your best units.
- Dragon Keep: The Dragons are nice, but you really want this for the +1 Lord Recruit rank. Being able to get lv20 lords from the start instead of leveling them up there is so nice.
- Elven Court: More Nobles, which means more Influence. What more do you want.
The best time to ask for a Confederation is after your target has suffered a military defeat. If you see them lose two armies in the same battle, they are more likely to agree to Confederate.
In this section we'll go over the DLCs for the High Elves and determine whether or not they're worth buying.
- The Queen and the Crone: Because of course you're going to have a Lord Pack against your main rivals. Alarielle and the Sisters of Avelorn are the highlights of the DLC, both being core units in campaign and multiplayer. It also comes with the Handmaiden, a decent hero in campaign with nice buffs and Shadow Warriors, your mobile kiting archer unit. The biggest problem with this DLC is the lack of content compared to Lord Packs that show up later, as you only get two units and a hero option. Compare that to what other factions get later on and it does feel bare bones. Alarielle's campaign itself isn't bad but the mechanics are a little bland compared to other DLC factions and it does lean on the easy side once you kick the non Asur off Ulthuan. All in all a decent pick if you love the High Elves and are only interested in campaign but if you're tight on money you can hold off on it. If you play multiplayer though it's a must buy as Alarielle is arguably your best lord and it gives you a ton of good options.
- The Warden and The Paunch: In many ways the opposite to the above in which it adds a ton of content and gives you great campaign options. The big Lord here is Eltharion, who has a fun campaign where you get to roleplay Batman and throw thousands of Greenskins into your own Arkham Asylum for cool buffs and bonuses. Other units include the Archmage, giving you a lord level mage and a collection of units to fill the holes in your army. Rangers offer good early game offense and Silverin Guard finally give you a mid tier defensive infantry option. War Lions and Lion Chariots offer good mobile AP and Arcane Phoenixes are great lord/hero duelists and blob killers. Honestly this is one of the better Lord Packs in game 2, giving you a ton of good content (especially if you also like Greenskins) and a pretty good campaign. Easy recommend.
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