Played against lots of HE armies but limited experience playing as them but my take is that without a Book of Hoeth or BotWD you are missing 2 of the 3 things that I have to really strategize for (the third being Phoenix Guard). IMO, your Archmage should be ToP and BoH. This allows you to pick between the dispel scroll or scroll of shielding (this can be used on irresistible force/miscast still right?) to have on your mage. Book of Hoeth is well worth the 55 points and stretches dispel dice soooo much further. For your prince, I don’t typically find the giant blade worth the points if you are mounted. What about taking the star lance to still get the +3 but also gain no armor saves on a charge? Dragon armor and dragon helm are a bit repetitive but pretty much necessary for the 1+ save since the enchanted shield is on the BSB. Again with the BSB I could consider dropping the ogre blade and sticking with a generic lance since mounted. You could then swap out for an obsidian loadstone if going against magic, or drop all magic items and get BotWD. Last thing is I would try and increase some numbers in your units to fully benefit from the martial prowess. 12 silver helms are good, but getting 3 full ranks on the charge with lances is devastating to withstand. But then again, I only look at the list from how I would attack it, not how I would play it so some difference there.
I was always a massive fan of his journey and have tried out several of his lists. His final list was actually the one below. His reasonings for choices and why no book of Hoeth are included on his final 8th post (at the top of page 57 of the forum blog).
I always liked the BSB set up and it’s worked really well for me when I’ve taken it.
[mention]knoffles [/mention] I know but as most people don’t seems to run end time heros and lords % I skipped it.
The BSB load out looks fine though 😄
I thought about cut n paste some of his thoughts too.
I have a link to this in the High elf tactics thread so I’ll go through and cut and paste and make it an actual post, a bit like I did for sword master’s MSU observations. There’s also a good star dragon thread there too.
Thank you for preserving the list! I didn't realise Ulthuan had suffered an outage until I went back there only a few weeks ago. There are rumors of a revived 8th Ed tournament scene here in England, and the impending Old World release called me back.
Them I realised I hadn't updated my Latest List, so the one you pasted ended up being out of date (that mounted level 2 mage and I never really got along). If you're interested, the actual Latest List was/is as follows:
2500 point High Elves
Prince - Dragon Armour, Shield, Barded Elven Steed, Giant Blade, Dragon Helm, Dawnstone - 285. Archmage - High magic, Level 4, Talisman of Preservation, Dispel Scroll, Ring of Khaine's Fury - 315.
Hi [mention]seredain [/mention]! Great to have you here and welcome. Love your threads at ulthuan.net. Warhammer fantasy seems to pull people back
Thx for giving us you latest list! I like it better but have too little experience yet with HE so for me it’s mostly theory hammering until COVID goes away and I can start playing again. My first painting in HE is prince and BSB on steed
Sounds promising with the english scene as it has the possibility to be a major contributor in popularity of the game. Let’s hope ToW will be a game in the Warhammer Fantasy rank and flank spirit.
Would love to have some of your comments on the list. Like Sword of Anti heroes performance.
Thank you, that's very kind. It's actually been a while since I started looking at my list so I hope you'll welcome a stream of consciousness by way of an answer!
It all starts with the prince. High Elves all pay for ASF and don't get access to many high strength attacks in their list. When they do, it's via monsters or great weapons, and neither of these get the benefit of ASF. The Giant Blade is our only route to Str 7 every round with re-rolled hits. (Okkam's Mindrazor is another option, but unreliable). This weapon setup threatens everything. The Star Lance is good, but plenty of enemy lords pack 4+ ward saves instead of armour saves and, if you fail to kill your opponent in one round, you're in trouble. Sometimes you won't get the charge at all, so all round I much prefer the sword. There are many powerful lords and steadfast units who will force you to grind round after round. Sometimes you'll just flub your charge.
Why mounted on a steed? Because it's the only way to get a 1+ armour save, and you can put your lord in a unit to protect him from cannons. I never played a dragonlord because there are so many cannons around and, if he dies, your game usually goes with him.
Other good lord choices include an Annointed on a Frostheart phoenix. Built-in ward saves allowing superb item fitout, insane defence against spells, super hard to kill. He's amazing. But he precludes taking an archmage and I want that archmage. +5 to cast means you can 1-dice most of the High magic spells. You could take a loremaster with Merwym shield, but he and the archmage tend to fight over power dice. A Giant Blade prince and a high archmage gives you the best of both worlds, in my opinion.
The Reaver / OTS Noble
The OTS is important for making sure that targets being duelled by your prince have to re-roll successful ward saves. Against str 7 ASF, that's scary. He also provides excellent utility for a standoff against other cavalry when deployed in the silver helm bus. If you charge, you have his lance. If they charge you, he stands-and-shoots with his bow. Otherwise he clears chaff for your unit. 1+ saves are much superior to 2+ saves, and losing aSF hurts, so I tend to avoid great weapons on my characters these days. This guy makes a good quarterback character as well, for hunting disc sorcerers and fast units which might want to ride in your backline eating bolt throwers.
Sword of Anti-Heroes BSB
The Sword of Anti-Heroes on the BSB is a tech-piece against deathstars. By my recollection, most characters who didn't have 1+ armour saves and/or decent ward saves on monstrous mounts / flying mounts could be found in one big deathstar unit. Ogre ironguts are horrible at this. Empire halberdier hordes with hatred and +1 from a hurricanum to hit are another tough nut. Empire IC knight buses carrying great weapons, a runefang, and life magic. Savage orc big'un hordes toting buffed ward saves. And of course any big High Elf unit with Banner of the World Dragon. My helm bus will run over most units, but true deathstars will overwhelm it unless you achieve an overwhelming combo-charge with other units - not always possible. This sword gives you 5 Str 6 attacks when your unit faces only two characters. 3 characters (which is when you really need it) gets you 6 attacks at str 7. Filthy.
This BSB is also good in the phoenix guard. The archmage sits in this unit so it almost always has a 3+ ward save. The best ways to kill it are to grind it down with volume of fire, or smash it with a more expensive deathstar. The shooting phase of this list (including high magic - see below) counters the former and the Sword of Anti-Heroes counters the latter (as above), only this time with armour piercing from the unit's Razor Standard. If you deploy him here then he's an excellent distraction carnifex for the prince's unit. With charmed shield and golden crown, he can bounce two cannon balls for free. (Yes I hate cannons).
Banner of the World Dragon
Why no BotWD?
If you put it on the BSB, then you're paying a lot of points for a fighting character who can't really fight (except against daemons). You have to put him in the second rank of his unit or he dies quite easily to non-magical attacks. I suppose you could put him on foot with a Book of Hoeth High Archmage and try to buff his normal ward save up, but for me that's a bit of an all-or nothing strategy which relies on you getting more than one spell off during a crucial turn. Dicey. In my time I killed a lot of foot BotWD BSBs with mundane attacks from troopers. 2 wounds at T3 is pretty easy to snipe.
How do you know there will be non-magical attacks? 1) Because most attacks are non-magical! Non-magical high strength attacks are all over the place on monsters and monstrous beasts/cavalry. Those characters who have good baseline stats (chaos, orgres, greenskins), or who can spend their magic item allowance to get a 1+ armour save and/or a good ward save (dark elves, chaos again), will also, in my experience, usually opt for great weapons. an ogre tyrant has loads of attacks and low initiative. A great weapon is his best choice. Same for a tanky chaos lord. This is partly because:
2) Every enemy army which expects to face High Elves will also except to face this banner. Your opponents need to build against it even if you don't actually take it (hehe). For those rogue runefangs, you have arcane unforging from High magic.
For me, the BotWD is either 1) an item you take for an all-or-nothing cavalry bus list (this isn't me because I like to have the option to move my characters solo or in other units where useful), or 2) a tech piece against daemons. In my list, the best place for it would be on the dragon princes. They and my mounted heroes are all already immune to metal magic (searing doom is flaming), so mostly that leaves daemons. I went for the flaming attacks, in the end, because the Banner of Eternal Flame is cheaper and because troll deathstars and chimeras were common and scary. I'm tempted to take another look but points are tight!
Book of Hoeth
Why no Book of Hoeth? It's amazing but in the end I always dropped it. My reasons were: 1) The Ring of Fury adds another spell slot (a 25% increase in my spell selection) and another magic missile, which I can 1-dice every turn. If when rolling for spells you take another Soul Quench, and Hand of Glory for the archer block, you will shred infantry, chaff and shooty armies. This will force your opponents forward into cavalry charge range. Also there are plenty of armies who will go full cloud (dark elves, skinks, wood elves, I've even seen it with shadow warriors), and never engage you unless your shooting can force them two. A 1-dice soul quench every turn is huge. I could deploy this ring on the Reaver noble but, since his first job is usually running with the Prince, he's often not in a position to contribute to the chaff war. A cavalry bus usually has better things to point at and will often be facing high armour enemies who will shrug off Soul Quench.
2) The Dispel Scroll will stop an important spell without needing to roll. The Book gives you the most value, in your magic phase, when you cast lots of low-level spells (more spells = more re-rolls). However there will be many occasions when you want to 5 or 6-dice Fiery Convocation or Arcane Unforging (and fewer casts means fewer re-rolls). Rolling a 6 is also very likely when you throw this many dice. On these occasions I usually wouldn't want to risk rolling another 6 and blowing up my archmage, who is my only caster. 3) My phoenix guard only need one spell to successfully go off to get their 3+ ward save. Spamming spells is not super important for this list. 4) You will probably use your dispel scroll on a very important spell cast using a lot of dice. On any such magic phase, where you spend no dice to counter a lot of his, you usually end up killing that magic phase. On that crucial turn, the scroll gives you more bang for fewer bucks.
*In the old mage-bus build (top of thread), this could also be said of the scroll of shielding. In that list I had to run all my characters in the bus to push the mage to the second rank, so overcast searing dooms needed to be stopped. He also needed those defensive items to stay alive and so couldn't afford a dispel scroll at 25 points.
Worth an edit?
I would take the Book of Hoeth in a heartbeat if I could afford a second caster to safely act as scroll and ring carrier. I may look further into this... A metal mage riding with a unit of Banner of the World Dragon Princes, would be a great way of helping this list out against heavy armour and daemons. The DP unit usually gets to pick its charges and doesn't face opposition as stiff as the prince's unit, except from a flank. Also if it's stood off against a unit of demigryphs, this spell could tip the balance. I'd probably have to lose a noble but this is worth thinking about. The Dragon Princes are this list's weak link when fancy heavy armour spam, and this setup would give them a role to play.
List building never stops, does it. Worth a try, you think..?
[mention]seredain [/mention] thx for your comments and it makes a lot of sense. Point limits is always a pain but also what makes list building fun.
Indeed list is never finished, as soon as you think its perfect the meta change and you need to rebuild again.
Also some choices will always be their own biased opinion from games played or preferred style. Everyone agrees 1+ is better then 2+ AS but how many points is it worth? Very hard to say and comes down to preferences and local meta I guess.
So how is the deployment? What do you look for? What goes where?
I am really looking forward to try your list soon!
I would say that a 1+ armour save is far superior to 2+, particularly on your expensive characters. The hardest enemy lords and monsters hit at Str7. 1+ armour gives you a modified save of 5+. You have double the odds of rolling a 5 or 6 than just a 6, doubled again from the re-roll. Against Str 6, a 4+ re-roll is odds-on a successful save. Against str 5 attacks, your 3+rr is very safe. Ultimately we're looking at a 290 point character and your general, who only has three wounds and low toughness. In my opinion he needs the armour and Dragonhelm is only 10 points. There are other routes you could take - ward saves buffed by high magic. But if your magic fails you're left with a 4+ only. In any case, if you want the Giant Blade (which I do), then you need the armour.
If you wanted to try a version of this list with the Book of Hoeth and the Banner of the World Dragon, you might try something like:
Prince - Dragon Armour, Shield, Barded Elven Steed, Giant Blade, Dragon Helm, Dawnstone, Ironcurse Icon - 290 (in Silver Helms). Archmage - Level 4, High Magic, Book of Hoeth, Talisman of Preservation - 320. (in Phoenix Guard)
Noble BSB - Dragon Armour, Barded Elven Steed, Sword of Anti-Heroes, Enchanted Shield, Other Trickster's Shard - 170 (in Silver Helms). Mage - Metal Magic, Elven Steed, Dispel Scroll, Ring of Khaine's Fury - 145. (in Dragon Princes)
11 Silver Helms - High Helm, Musician, Standard Bearer, Shields - 283. 24 Archers - Hawkeye, Musician, Standard Bearer - 270. 5 Reavers - 80.
20 Phoenix Guard - Keeper, Musician, Standard Bearer, Razor Standard - 375. 6 Dragon Princes - Standard Bearer, Banner of the World Dragon - 234.
I wrote quite a lengthy piece on deployment in my old thread (linked below). Unfortunately, high elves are not as strong in this area as we were in our 7th army book. This is because the new book encourages us to deploy fewer, stronger units. There were some great proponents of MSU army designs, chiefly Swordmaster of Hoeth, but generally 8th Ed high elf armies featured one big infantry block with World Dragon and then a load of monsters / support units. Speaking very generally, main reasons are: 1) Great weapons lost ASF and now strike in initiative order only, making smaller elite units much less dangerous and necessitating larger blocks for more reliable damage output, because 2) High Elves' martial prowess (fight in three ranks) rule only benefits larger units. 3) as a result, there are fewer units in which to deploy your mages, increasing the chance that they will enter combat which engenders the need for their protection. A common way to do this is to deploy all your characters in one unit to push the mage to the second rank. 4) Banner of the World dragon further encourages this type of play. It is particularly useful if your mages are casting expensive spells which might cause a miscast in your big unit.
My old method of deployment was to confuse the opponent by deploying a large number of small units in such a manner that they did not know where my main attack was going. The silver helms would deploy last after all my many other units, meaning I could aim it at a weak point. This is often no longer possible. For that reason I had to take much more shooting in my 8th Ed list, in essence to create weak points with ranged attacks which could be exploited by knights. Deploy your silver helms last to keep them guessing, but even so it is likely that your opponent will guess correctly where you are going and deploy something strong opposite your silver helms. The helms are not a true deathstar unit, so you will need to concentrate your resources. Shoot the enemy death star and then charge it with as many of your units as possible. If you can use Walk Between Worlds to move a unit around a flank, or you use the reavers / eagles to block enemy units to allow this movement, then do it.
An alternative strategy is to hold back, focus on winning the shooting war and force your opponent forward into charge range of your units and the closer range of your magic missiles. In this model, your knights are effectively another long-range attack protecting your base.
The two deployments might look like this.
My typical advice would be to deploy the dragon princes and silver helms together on one flank. Vanguard the reavers infront of them to block chargers and allow you to approach within a good charge distance of the enemy on turn 2. Deploy the phoenix guard inside them to join whatever major combat they hit and protect their flank. The phoenix guard are a very dangerous unit and your opponent should fear them. They can force timid defensive play. Hang the archers back, inside the phoenix guard, to shoot whatever you need to shoot and cover the flank of the guard. 24 is a solid block and won't shift easily. Use the eagle to delay counter attacks. If the opponent has good shooting then keep it in cover until it is needed. This is essentially a classic "refused flank" deployment. Overwhelm one side of the board with all of your army's elites, and delay the engagement on the other flank. Roughly this deployment is (from left to right) archers (rear-left), phoenix guard (middle), knights (front-right). Deploy the bolt throwers wherever they can see things.
Against shooty armies, your archers are your secret weapon. No-one fears them until Hand of Glory is cast on them, making them hit on 2s or 3s at long range. Their 30" range is excellent with this spell. Deploy them centrally out of range of the enemy missile units. Your enemy should be forced to move if he wants to shoot you. However, be close enough that you can move into range when it's your turn. Deploy the silver helms quite centrally, so that the general and BSB remain close to the infantry for panic tests. Always choose Soul Quench on the archmage (that's two with Ring of Khaine's Fury). You want your mages to be relatively close together, so they can concentrate their magic missiles. Deploy the phoenix guard next to the archers and the dragon princes protecting the flank of the phoenix guard. Here, the knights are on opposite sides of an infantry core, projecting exclusions zones to stop scouts / light cavalry / flying units from crowding around you.
Your archers and bolt throwers are essential for forcing your opponents into range. They will give you the advantage if you use their long range to concentrate their fire better than your opponent can manage. Wood elves and dark elves hate this list for this reason. Use the soul quenches to punish those 24" range units who will have to come close to shoot your archers to compete. If the enemy gets even closer or starts to buckle then threaten with cavalry charges. Your knights are just another ranged weapon. Generally speaking I like to deploy the silver helm bus on the outside flank so I can get aggressive, where optimal, without being surrounded by the enemy army. However, remember that, if your opponent doesn't have cannons, you can deploy your cavalry characters with the infantry and so can be more liberal with your knights.
This, generally, is how you deal with skirmish-heavy armies and flying circuses. If you have to advance your infantry to get within Soul quench range and threaten charges of your own, then try and keep everything together so your leadership reaches most of your army. This is a "creeping barrage". Generally, deploy the whole army to one side or the other if it will reduce the amount of shooting you're exposed to, but if facing war machines then deploy your archers opposite them so you can hit as many as possible. It's all about judging the ranged advantage before you deploy and ensuring that more of your shots can engage against fewer of theirs from Turn 1.
If up against a far superior shooting list, like a high elf archer horde with Teclis, all the toys, and 4 bolt throwers, then you should shoot only at the archers (the'll have BotwD, commit with everything and charge without hesitation! Remember: Walk Between Worlds is your friend. You can move your archers a long way and still shoot. They're also combat units with ASF.