High Elf Army
The basic premise of the army was to build it around core units and add other units as needed. The core units of my army are the pike, longbows, and Cav with lance. I also wanted to do a variation on the typical High Elf theme. That is why you see the Reptiles. I was going to go with a whole serpent elf(but good) sort of theme, but it turned out that the serpents have really just become auxiliary units. That’s OK though, because they are still unique and add a nice element to the army. Along with the giant snakes, my reptiles include a couple of dragons and a war iguana with howdah.
The army as it stands right now is of the following strength:
28 Cavalry with Lance
14 Cavlary with Sword
12 Horse Archers
24 Noble Cavlary
1 War Iguana
That yields a little under 16000 points in core troops, not including characters or monsters.
A very important part of my army. Why, because High Elves are expensive and these guys are the cheapest units available.
Pikemen/Halberds: I always field Pike, their long weapons often prove invaluable, and with shields they can withstand some missile fire until they reach the enemy. I will normally field them in units of 21 plus hero or 24 plus hero. I have only used halberds once. Their lower armor makes them vulnerable, especially to missile fire, but if your enemy has a tough non magical armor creature(AKA an 18 headed hydra) they can really do some damage with a Str 2 attack.
Longswordsmen: And rounding out the regular infantry is the Longswordmen. These are the cheapest elven unit and they get a skill 3 attack with strength and they have 3 armor with a shield. These are great as fodder to shield your more valuable units from attack. These also get fielded normally in units of 21+ hero or 24+ hero. Although larger, say 30+, blocks of swordsmen might also be an economical way of forcing morale tests on the enemy.
Sunblade: The elite infantry unit of the elves is the Sunblade. For almost the same amount of points as a pikeman you can get a skill 4 str 2 magical attack. What you lose is the second rank of attacks and the first strike from the long weapons. Sunblades tend to really scare your opponent and they will take the brunt of missile fire if left in the open, so use terrain or other units to shield their approach. This is also one of the units that often benefits from skirmishing to attack. Although you lose the morale bonus, you gain a lot of skill 4 attacks. It really is a good idea to skirmish around a big monster with fixed armor.
This is definitely one of the advantages of the High Elves. They have great missile troops. A note of advice: make sure you put some skirmished troops in front of these guys(longswords are perfect for this, and treemen with their missile immunity work well also). There’s nothing worse than losing 1200 points of elven archers to the enemies missile fire. And that leads to the downside. These guys are expensive. REALLY expensive. However, concentrated missile fire will make most units route for at least a turn. Now on to the specific unit types.
Both longbowmen and Acolytes cost the same per troop, so I normally pick which one I want based on my opponent. If they have weak magic and tough armor, take acolytes. If they have weak armor, take longbows. Lately I have been taking some smaller units of missile troops(about 15-16 troops per unit). I don’t take leaders with my missile troops(because they only see melee at the end of the battle). However, I will often put a wizard in with the missile troops. The longbow’s great range make it a winner over the acolytes if you really can’t choose between them.
I have tended to take these guys more often of late. Mostly because I have been facing players that like to use big baddies with fixed armor. Acolytes have a slightly shorter range than the longbows, but they have several other factors that make them really nice. First, both their ranged and melee attacks are eldritch, which means they are still effective against things like the undead. They also have a fixed armor. Even small units(like 10) can be effective, but I tend to group them into the same amounts as my bows(15-16). Just make sure you don’t let them get into a position to get overrun.
I have 6 of these bad boys but have only used them in a game twice. Because they only fire every other turn, I get sort of turned off by them. However, if they do hit something, they can really do some damage, especially to a big high-wound monster type. I don’t know if my ballista tactics are just poor or if I have just taken them against the wrong enemies, but I have had very limited success with them.
The elves have 3 types of cav: with sword, with lance, and Noble Cav. I tend to predominantly use the cav with lance and noble cav. I have yet to see a good use for the cav with sword(because with a lance you get another rank of attacks and the long weapon first strike), but I’m sure it’s out there. I think my cavalry tactics are suspect but I am learning more by watching other players. I can’t seem to quite get it right on when to have the cav charge, and when I should outrun the supporting infantry. I tend to take units of about 12-16 cav+ hero. As with most of my heros, I more often than not use champions versus lords. Lately, I have been adding a wizard to at least one cav unit. The noble cav is a real head turner for your opponent. They are very hard to kill and they can do serious damage with their high skill attack.
I based several chariots so that I could add separate creaturews pulling them, and swap easily between games(see last pic. These are all elf chariots from Alternative Armies.
The models are from Demonworld, BRF, and Alternative Armies.
The model is from RAFM, IIRC. I got it from www.discounthobby.com.
Some Complimenting Monsters: Here are some typical monsters that get fielded as High Elf Allies.
Dragons of all shapes and sizes
General Tactics: You have great missile units, build a strategy around them. The missile units are best used like any other missile unit. Put them on a hill or in the front of forest and deal pain to the best target. Don’t get them shot up. Use a screen of cheap troops or missile immune monsters skirmished in front. Because elves are expensive, you will almost always have less units than your opponent. This also means you rarely have enough units to make a “battleline”. As always, use terrain to screen infantry movement. Use your cav to scare the bejesus out of your opponent. With their 18” move, they can threaten the flanks or threaten to make a mad dash across the board into soft enemy targets in the middle. The elves have great variety in unit types which will help you as you try to get the best melee matchups during the game. What I mean by this is things like putting your pikemen on the opponents swordsmen(taking advantage of first strike), putting your sunblades on those pesky trolls(cut right through the fixed armor), throwing some chariots at the RnF roman legionaires. Elves are expensive but they have great skill attacks and the variety of unit types to tackle almost any situation if you use a balanced force.