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"Pink isn't a color. It's a lifestyle." - Chumbalaya
"...generalship should be informing list building." - Sir Biscuit
"I buy models with my excess money" - Valkyrie whilst a waitress leans over him

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Re-visiting my High Elves...again?

Archnomad got my Fantasy bug tickled again. Now I know 8th has it's issues (magic?, terrain and mission rules...) but I think it's a lot better than the days of "my hero trumps your army." That being said I certainly agree with certain circumstances like what Nomad expands upon here... Anyway, he's tickled the bug again and those Island of Blood minis are crying out to be used. So first off, peer pressure Archnomad into posting some Fantasy stuff :). He's not fond of 8th currently but he certainly knows his stuff.

So. My previous High Elf list was this; very MSU based and all about getting into combat and putting Chariots into the corners or squads held in place by cavalry (seem familiar?). Problem here is lots of money needed to buy stuff and I think there are some issues with the list. Certainly fixable but since I want Fantasy to be more 'laid-back', I don't want to drop tons of cash into it. Anyway, with Archnomad's help another list was developed. This list looks to take advantage of HE magic (Hi Teclis) whilst using their very strong special units to maximise survivability against magic and shooting. Using decent shooting and effective magic, the High Elf units are able to move across the table and poke stuff in combat. Well that's the plan... Let's see how we go. I was aiming to do this list at 2000 but moved it up to 2250...hope tournaments work at that level around here!

So we're starting with Teclics. There's a bit of contention here in how his Lore works. Is he allowed to choose before every game or is he set? If he is allowed to choose, well awesome. If not, well that's annoying :P. There are two main choices here remembering we are going to get lots of irresistible force and can throw a lot of power dice at our spells (so our augmented spells can be used). Life obviously really ups your toughness and gives you a significant ultimate spell in dwellers. Metal helps out against tough armies and final transmutation is also a powerful spell but whilst Life ups the defenses of the army Metal really helps increase the survivability of the army against shooting (hi augmented glittering robe). One of these two will generally be used (Life against minimal shooty armies, Metal against shooty armies) though as Archnomad points out, Light is an excellent Lore against artillery based armies (50% = not firing).

Since Teclics will often leave the opponent with dispel dice wanting (lots of IF), support casters aren't really a good idea. A string of IFs from Teclics could leave the opponent with their whole dispel pool to throw at them so instead we'll grab a Noble to be our BSB. This makes our army more reliable (which is good) and gives us access to the Banner of the World Dragon. This makes a great unit to hold the lines by simply being immune to magic though you have to be careful with Teclic's spells not working on the unit either. This has sucked up about 600 of our points already so let's move to core. We need at least 562 points in our core and I really want to use the guys I've already got available so we're going to use the Lothern Sea Guard from Island of Blood. Whilst LSG are expensive they do give the advantage of being both solid in combat and providing some ranged support. We'll give them shields and look at running two blocks of two with full command. Each of these costs 285 so two of these takes us to 570 (just over our minimum so perfect). It's important to use swift reform on these guys so you can advance and use your bows to full effectiveness whilst also not providing huge blocks for your opponent to shoot. They are then capable of reforming into effective combat blocks with smaller frontages whilst still being able to use as many of your spears as possible.

We've used nearly half our points now and our shooting is pretty blah. 40 bows is nice but, well it's 40 bows. Teclics can back this up with some of his magic but the more important spells here are defensive in nature so the army can actually cross the board. The obvious unit here is Bolt Throwers and whilst not super fantastic, they give ranged punch and some more shooting ability. With the new FAQ changing High Elves we can't take as many as we used to (six :P) so we'll start with four and see how our list does. All together we've used 1615 points leaving 635 for specials. Elves have a lot of choice in specials but we'll steer clear of the cavalry units for the moment. This allows us to advance the army up as a whole and gain the most from Teclic's augmented spells. This leaves us with Shadow Warriors, White Lions, Swordmasters and Phoenix Guard. Shadow Warriors are great for early redirects and protecting the force early but our LSG are leading so they aren't highly necessary. If we have any leftovers however...

This leaves the other three. Swordmasters are what comes with Island of Blood and they explode whatever they touch pretty well but are otherwise fragile. Teclics can obviously improve this with both Life or Metal but both Lions and Phoenix Guard are much more survivable on the way in. With this in mind we'll use these units (I can try and convert the Swordmasters into Phoenix Guard or White Lions...). We want about three+ units overall from these guys and aim for the Phoenix Guard to hold Teclics and the BSB due to their ward save and Banner of the World Dragon. 20 of these guys with Full Command costs an impressive 330 points but gives an excellent pivot point for the army. A banner of Sorcery helps Teclics with more power dice and makes him less reliant on Winds. This leaves under 300 points for the White Lions which isn't going to be enough for two squads. Let's see how much over we go with two units of White Lions to support the Phoenix Guard. We'll look at unit sizes of around 15 with full commands which cost 255 each. Two of these takes us to 2455 points (so we're set for a 2500 list if we up the core costs!) so if we drop two Bolter Throwers, we're near where we need to be (2255). We'll drop a single Phoenix Guard then (2240) and we've got 10 points spare so we'll but the Banner of Eternal Flame on one of the White Lion squads. This makes them a very effective monster hunter (hi Hydras! bye Hydras!). This leaves us with the following:

Teclics w/Metal (or if pickable, Life or Light)
Noble BSB w/Banner of the World Dragon
2x20x LSG w/FC
19x Phoenix Guard w/FC, Banner of Sorcery
2x15x White Lions w/FC, 1 Banner of Eternal Flame
2x RBT

Totals: 2250 points
2 warmachines
91 infantry

Not many units which is what you get with larger blocks of infantry and Elven armies but with swift reform + magic, defenses against artillery are pretty good and with magic there should be good defenses against all types of armies as well. An easy upgrade to 2500 as well is two RBTs and dumping 55 more points into core. I have to buy either White Lions or Phoenix Guard + the RBTs but otherwise the army is set which is a bonus. With my limited knowledge of Fantasy I think it's solid and certainly a lot different from my original list (MSU fun!) and a big thanks goes out to Archnomad for the assistance he gave me in working this list :).

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