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What List & Tactics changes against new High Elves?

Joined
Oct 16, 2007
Messages
876
#1
There will be a brief period when we will be fielding 6th ed VC against 7th ed HE. It is true that the book is not out yet, but there are some very high quality rumours. The army is likely to be popular for newbies, old salts resurrecting 5th and 6th ed armies, and WAACers who believe that HE are now the 'best' army.

How will we handle the rumoured:

Always Strikes First?
Against our chargers?
Against our characters in front rank?
Against our warmachine/mage hunters?

Lion Chariot of Doom?
More/better S7?

Fast ASF Elite infantry?
A small unit can put out 6 x S5 ASF attacks against almost any character. How many will survive?

New Dragon Mage?
Nasty spells, nasty mount, nasty combat.
 
Joined
Oct 21, 2007
Messages
56
#2
Against elite High Elf infantry and even combat characters, a Lahmian Count/Lord with the Always Strikes First bloodline ability will still go first (I9/10 vs I8 at best). Give her a Sword Of Striking or Sword Of Battle to maximise kills (elite infantry will be dying on a 2+ if she hits) and you really ought to be avoiding too many blows being struck against your Vamp.

The Lion chariot really isn't THAT scary because it's still a chariot and only the S5 High Elves sat on it strike first. It's therefore pretty easy to deal with using the standard Wolf Form/Flayed Hauberk/great weapon combo, as the 2 attacks which do strike first are unlikely to kill the Thrall. A small added bonus of using this tactic is that the Thrall will make his points back by killing a single lion chariot (approx 130-140 points IIRC).

The obvious downside here is that both bloodlines cannot be used in the same army. Certainly think the Lahmian is the safer bet as I'm not sure how many High Elf generals will actually field lion chariots. Though not as expensive, they are becoming regarded as something of a HE Black Coach i.e. potentially deadly providing you can survive being insta-killed. Besides, S5 Thralls which Always Strike First are still gonna cause pain to most HE units - even that chariot.

As for the Dragon Mage; he is T3, cannot wear armour, takes up 2 hero slots and costs in excess of 300 points. This also makes him a pretty risky option for competitive HE players IMO. With only two attacks his combat prowess relies on him casting Flaming Sword on himself, so just do what you can to dispel it. The baby dragon he rides is basically a Manticore with scaly skin and a S2 breath weapon, so treat it no differently to te Dark Elf beasties which have been around for ages. Spirit Hosts probably aren't a bad idea (need unit strength 6 or better), providing you hold on to the dispel dice/scroll necessary to block that Flaming Sword.

Generally (because of their points cost), HE armies are either going to consist of lots of small units or a few large ones. Either way you are likely to outnumber them. Invest in ethereal stuff the basic infantry cannot hurt and large units of zombies which srike last anyway (so you lose nothing) and are better able to absorb the losses from negative combat res. A BSB will become a more attractive prospect if you repeatedly find yourselves losing out to the quick-strike.

Hope that helps. The new HE are certainly gonna be a scary prospect and I anticipate seeing a whole host of Swordmaster-based armies in the new year. Let's just pray the new VCs get an update of similar significance come Easter!
 

Lord Fear

Master Vampire
True Blood
Joined
Aug 15, 2007
Messages
4,834
#3
My opinions on the new High Elves' rules have changed a couple of
times as the rumours have become more clear; at first I thought it
could be nowhere near as bad as the biggest doomsayers were
predicting... but as more and more rumours came out, sadly it seemed
that they were correct. However I've since mellowed a little on the
rules, and I'll be happy to fight against them.

The main changes...

Core Infantry

Our core infantry has never existed to kill anything, and indeed
Zombies always struck last anyway. However, the key is to avoid
Swordmasters like the plague, and unless you have overriding magical
superiority, then don't even try and engage them to the front. 15
Swordmasters arranged 7-wide will wipe out a unit of 20 Zombies in one
turn, most the time. If you can raise a new unit and hit them in the
flank, but it's only worth doing if they have a single rank or perhaps
two- any more and your flanking unit will fall pathetically, unless
you've bumped it up to full ranks.

Mage/ warmachine hunters

Dire Wolves and Fell Bats have taken a huge hit this time. They now
stand no chance against Archers (5 Dire Wolves, assuming they reach
combat intact, will face 8 attacks from a line of Archers, killing 3
on average and crumbling the rest), and even Bolt Thrower crews will
give us a hard time- Fell Bats should still win (and autobreak them if
they survive) but Dire Wolves may take a casualty before they can hit
back, giving them huge bounce-potential.

Ethereals and Rare choices

Obviously Banshees will be a very good idea against High Elves, as
will Spirit Hosts- but beware of a new magic item that makes a unit's
attacks magical; yes, the writer has thought of everything. The Black Coach
will probably see a lot more action as well, thanks to the impact hits going
before ASF. Plus terror, to make units run...

Elites

My main concern with ASF with regard to our troops was because our
elites have WS3, meaning that the lowliest High Elf will be hitting
them on 3+. However this is not such a big deal really, as Archers and
Spearmen will rarely penetrate the toughness and armour of our Wights,
whilst the elites would have been hitting on 3+ anyways even if they
had WS4. Grave Guard can expect to lose their entire front rank to
Swordmasters and Black Knights could lose half the unit.

Mitigating ASF

It's clear therefore, that head on combat with High Elves will be a
disaster. However, we still have the biggest mitigating factor in the
game: Fear. Lion Chariots, Dragons, Griffons and Phoenix Guard are
immune to fear, but if you can charge them, it's probably a good idea,
as they aren't strong enough to rip entire units to shreds most the
time anyway, and they can then be pinned down nicely.

The rest of the time, the enemy will be testing on high Leadership, so
won't fail much- but they will be really affected when it does happen.
However, this is exactly how it is in the currect edition, so nothing
changes here. Combined charges may work out in the end- a unit of
Swordmasters at Ld8 has a 30% chance of failing theie fear test and
running away from one unit of 20 Skellies- but throw in 20 Zombies at
the same time, and they now have to take 2 Fear tests, and two chances
to fail and run. And as more often we'll be facing a General on a
Dragon running all over the battlefield, this means that they won't
benefit from the General's leadership as often. Our real hopes lie
within slowing down the most powerful enemies (Raise units or send
bats/ wolves in to march-block) and focussing on the weaker elements
if possible. Items like the Cursed Book are a great help as ever,
reducing the killing power of the Elves.

Magic

It might even be a good idea to take Dark Magic more often now,
especially if you haven't rolled up Gaze of Nagash (Or Curse of Years
to a lesser extent). Hellish Vigour and the Staff of Damnation become
nigh-useless, only speeding up our Vampires, and can hel a slight
amount if you think you'll have front-rank survivors. Be careful on
the new High Elf Drain Magic, which adds 3 to casting values, but you
need to pump a lot of dice into the more powerful castings to get them
off anyway. At least it won't affect the Book of Arkhan. There's also
a new 75 point one-use item that ends the magic phase right away-
however don't worry about thsi too much (Unless you're a Zombie Horde
gimp, in which case I have no pity!) though, I've been on the
receiving end of the Lizardmen's Cube of Power a couple of times which
costs 40 points and wasn't the end of the world.

Characters

Unfortunately this is where we lose out a LOT. All of our Thralls will
be vulnerable to the initial strikes of the High Elves, even Archers
could wound a Thrall- Spearmen could kill a thrall and Swordmasters
will only fail if their owner doesn't allocate attacks (Of if you
delcare a challenge and face only 3 attacks, but still they might
die). The same applies to Wight Lords, and doubly so to Battle
Standards, unless you have the Flayed Hauberk on them. Lahmians will
continue rising in popularity, as their Initiative 8 Thralls (Usually
with ASF) will strike before the Elves, but one bad round of dice will
end the Thralls' existence. Even a Vampire Count (Non-Lahmian and
unarmoured) will have to worry about Swordmasters however, Rank and
File being able to kill a Count really exposes the flaws of the ASF's
design.

Anyway, that's a nice long rant for now...
 
Joined
Sep 26, 2007
Messages
574
#4
Thank you for the great advices, although it won't save a little inexperienced newbie like myself. It's so annoying, the new High Elves looks much like Wood Elves in the way anyone can win easily with them even against more experienced players. Luckily we only have one HE player at our club, so I'll just have to beg for mercy.

When reading the your tactics, I came up with the thought that a game against HE can't really be fun at all.. Which is always the backlash of playing a fragile army like VC, but it's still very bizarre that we have to use every single peice of superiority we have to at least have a chance to win.

I think I'll encourage the guy to paint his Empire instead. :'(
 

Arion

Vampire Lord
True Blood
Joined
Sep 17, 2007
Messages
3,414
#5
Angelica Von Carstein said:
the new High Elves looks much like Wood Elves in the way anyone can win easily with them even against more experienced players.
I don't think that is true,woodelves are very fragile and the odds of a newbie to them beating an experienced player is very low.(i think)
 
Joined
Aug 15, 2007
Messages
770
#6
Arion said:
Angelica Von Carstein said:
the new High Elves looks much like Wood Elves in the way anyone can win easily with them even against more experienced players.
I don't think that is true,woodelves are very fragile and the odds of a newbie to them beating an experienced player is very low.(i think)

I agree, WE are up there with TK as the hardest armies to play, when played well they are awesome, when played badly they fall apart the easiest.

As for HE v VC.............Not looking forward to it, bring on VC 7th Ed asap I say! :rolleyes:
 

Danceman

The Devil in Pale Moonlight
True Blood
Joined
Aug 19, 2007
Messages
3,461
#7
FatOlaf said:
Arion said:
Angelica Von Carstein said:
the new High Elves looks much like Wood Elves in the way anyone can win easily with them even against more experienced players.
I don't think that is true,woodelves are very fragile and the odds of a newbie to them beating an experienced player is very low.(i think)

I agree, WE are up there with TK as the hardest armies to play, when played well they are awesome, when played badly they fall apart the easiest.
Maybe for a newbie... but that´s true for every army out there. Once(and it shouldnt take long) a WE player learns to master the incredible mobility it´s all up hill from there.
WE are not even on the same level as DE and TK are.

As for the new HE threat, let´s just say I will be using the Death Lord list alot more often... (thats right I am back again... TK simply were to damn boring to build and paint... bones, bones, bones, bones).

Cheers
 
Joined
Sep 26, 2007
Messages
574
#8
I guess it's about experiences. From my experience anyone can win easily with WE, and the armies hard to play would be DE or VC. Apparently that's misguided :). Probably I'm just jealous because the other races can play around with magic items and still perform good, I have to pick the same ones all the time.
 
Joined
Oct 16, 2007
Messages
876
#11
One swallow, does not a summer make.

I'm hoping for some analysis of what worked and what didn't and what things we might need to change or watch out for.
 
Joined
Aug 16, 2007
Messages
156
#12
i played THE BIG BATTLE yesterday and it is just where you bring all of youre modles and game and i got to verse the high elves (yay)

the bad

they have 3 types of dragon each getting stronger and with more WS BUT they have less ld (i think the star dragon (the best one) has LD 2

they can fight spears in 3 ranks and shoot in two (3 if on a hill)

lion chariots hurt (+2 attaaks and more strength)

well in the battle they had 21 lion chariots (the lists only limitations are that you have to comply with in the BB is one lord 3 heros and 1 special charecters)

the good

chariots hate ratling guns and warplightning guns (with four wounds thats about all they hate)

infact every thing in his army hated all of my shooting (jezzails PWG aswell)
although this isnt good news for VC

they are still all T3 (chariots are T4)

the chariots are deadly in combat (impact hits then the lions then the elves)
but only on the first turn (after impact hits they die down a little)

i hope this helps (i have only played them as skaven and it was a draw after 5 hrs
 
Joined
Aug 16, 2007
Messages
156
#14
it ruled over us but they had a lvl4 for a special charecter a lvl3 lvl2 and lvl2 and we were only allowed to have 2 wizards they get d3 extra power dice and a magic weapon means that all cast spell (by the wizard who has it) ar irisitable force and if you get a double (evan double 1) it is irristable force though this magic weapon is 100 points. so i dont know how reasonable the magic in a fair game is but when its all out its good
 

Lord Fear

Master Vampire
True Blood
Joined
Aug 15, 2007
Messages
4,834
#15
You were playing aganst people who can't read. The Book of Hoeth (And Teclis' Book) still fails on a double 1, and Archers cannot normally shoot in two ranks. Still pretty hard though.
 

Skaramak von Carstein

Vampire Count
True Blood
Joined
Aug 13, 2007
Messages
1,636
#16
EvC

Thanks for a very nice summary/breakdown of the changes.

Something that has been tined down is the Banner of Arcane Protection, which no longer does the damage against undead/daemons.
 

Lord Fear

Master Vampire
True Blood
Joined
Aug 15, 2007
Messages
4,834
#18
Yes, I do appreciate that change. Also, there's a mostly unkillable combo for Archmages: a cloak that makes them ethereal and another item that makes magical weapons mundane against the character. However, it specifically states that standard magic attacks will hurt the character, including those from Daemons and Ethereal models. Not that ethereals have magic attacks in the first place, but it's good enough. Suicide Spirit Host charge!
 

N.I.B

Master Necromancer
True Blood
Joined
Sep 26, 2007
Messages
2,370
#19
It wont save them from Wight Blades though, as they are mundane weapons that count as magical in their hands. But I can see this causing endless discussions. Cry havoc and let slip the rules discussions of war!
 
Joined
Aug 18, 2007
Messages
16
#20
Have I missed something entirely - wight blades grant the killing blow ability but that does not make them magical in my view
 
Joined
Aug 16, 2007
Messages
156
#21
vampire counts rule book said:
"wights are armed with evilly enchanted weapons. any normal weapon carried by a wight counts as a magic weapon (but all the normal rules for that weapon still apply) The weapon also has the killing blow special rule (see page 112 of the warhammer rule book) note that this rule does not apply to any magic weapon that a wight lord buys from the magic item list"
its on page 27 of the rule book
 
Joined
Aug 15, 2007
Messages
770
#22
ArchMagosAlchemys said:
Do we have any actual experience against the new High Elves and their ASF and magic yet??

Faced them in a 1500 K battle and I was impressed, the dragon (model) is amazing, the downside (not to us) is he can only take fire magic but does get an extra PD per spell.

Some bad movement gave me the game and my BK took out his general and others. But the warning signs were there, my rank and file does not stand a chance without help/

Tomorrow I face them again (EvC) in a 4K battle, my VC and Logan Chaos v EvC HE and Veldemere's Empire...should be a hoot.
I'll let you know the outcome...


And we smashed them!
But they should have done alot better, even beaten us...
They went magic and shooting heavy, taking a Fire mage on dragon, a lvl 4 HE mage, arch lector on (hilarious) blue peter war altar, light mage and priest and more bound items than you can shake a stick at.
On top of that they had cannon, mortar and rocket launcher plus guns galore.
What did they kill? Apart from the last round where their magic decimated some chaos warriots units, virtually nothing, all their rolling was awful. Where as my rolling in the magic phase was great and my banshee took out the dragon and fire mage virtually all by her self, along with some empire knights and some sword masters for fun. Our two gianst Brois and Henry spent the whole game falling over on the far flank, but they seemed to enjoy themselves and it's good for them to get some air once in a while...

Still after the slaughter had finished, what had I learnt about VC vs New HE.
Well for starters, remember they strike FIRST! I kept forgetting this, wolves, ghouls and bats are in for a hard hard time now, dont leave them at home but think of different uses for them...
As for them taking a dragon under 2K, well let them, the dragon is awful and the mage is only a fire mage, so no nasty HE magic. Take a banshee to face it, job done!
The archers are still as bad as ever, such a shame they did not get an extra rank for shooting, really missing somehting there...
And last a tip for HE players, if you are going to team up with Empire, dont leave your Bolt throwers at home like EvC did, human technology is awful, they never hit a thing, especially with that mad rocket launcher...

Photo's and small BR coming soon in the BR section...
 

Lord Fear

Master Vampire
True Blood
Joined
Aug 15, 2007
Messages
4,834
#23
Yep, and I'll be happy to add what I remember to flesh it out as need be :D

Bolt Throwers would've been grand, I thought my team mate might be the kind to go gun-heavy (Remembering what your past opponents are like), so I didn't want to add much... plus, another key point is that the High Elves are very expensive! I just couldn't find a spare 100 points... unless I'd taken minimal core units, of course.
 
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