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How to defeat our sworn enemies? 
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Warrior
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I haven't seen a tactics thread which gave answers to how to beat the High elves in this edition.

My regular opponent started playing High Elves in 7th edition, and since the Dark Elves were clearly the stronger book back then I never used our full potential against him. No dual hydra, no pendant, no ring, no ASF BG, etc. He however had to take out every trick his book had to offer in order to avoid massacre. This edition however the tables have been turned, but he doesn't seem to return the favor I gave him back then. Moreover, he still claims his troops are overpriced and moans endlessly when I do manage to kill one of his units, even when I have to throw everything at them.

Needless to say, it's starting to get annoying to keep losing to him while he makes me seem the WAAC player. I can't make him stop complaining, but I do want to give him something to complain about!


To the point:

We play 2500 to 3000 points battles.

I think it's the new ASF rules that are killing me. He has one or two large blocks of Swordmasters on the field, and they slaughter everything they come in contact with. I can hold them up for a turn or two with some harpies, but eventually they will reach my lines. Shooting helps, but most of the time he uses regrowth to get them back to full strength. And even when I manage to shoot off a rank, they still average enough wounds on my troops to deny steadfast.
He also uses a 10 model strong Dragon Princes unit to get more or less the same effect, only are those quite a bit harder to avoid.

Then he also has two blocks of Phoenix Guard (usually with some combat hero in them). These guys aren't unbeatable, but it does take me a long time to chew trough them. More often then not some form of support has arrived by then to flank my unit.

I think theres also a large psychological factor here. He has 5 blocks I don't want to be in combat with, while he only has the hydra to worry about. In 8th edition it seems a lot harder if not impossible to misdirect his units, so in a way, he controls the board and I often find myself cornered. Redirecting with harpies can be useful sometimes, but they seldom just delay the inevitable.

His magic isn't over the top (only one lv4, usually without the book), but he still gets the max powerdice with the banner of sorcery and the +1PD item. Most of the time he gets of at least 3 spells at respectable casting values, so there are always 2 spells that get through.


I'm thinking of buying a second hydra, but I don't really want to win by only having better units. Also I don't want to give him another reason to complain.


Thanks in advance,

Akyro


Fri Oct 08, 2010 10:34 pm
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Malekith's Personal Guard

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Use magic to full effect. I think these days having the magical advantage is very important and Dark elves can have a very lethal magic phase. If you have a sacrificial dagger lvl4 and perhaps a lvl2 with darkstar cloak you should be able to get off just as many spells as him due to power of darkness. Also Pendant of Khaeleth gives our lvl4s one of the best miscast defences. So what spells to use?

As you may have noticed lore of death is very good. The powered up soulblight is a thing of beauty. If your mage is in a central position you can nerf most of his army. Instead of wounding on 2+ his swordmasters will be wounding on 3+, his other units will only be wounding on 4+ or worse. At the same time your lads will be wounding on 3+ and 2+ for the s4 and above units. Since we also have re-rolls to hit and will in general have larger units due to being cheaper, having better wounding rolls tips the edge in our favour. At the same time a successful soulblight will make all your offensive magic and shooting cause more wounds.

If you wish to nerf his units even further having your other mage cast word of pain will mean one unit will be hitting on 5s as well. The cauldron of blood buffs will provide another force multiplier

Offensively you can use the other lore of death spells to snipe his characters. If you manage to cast fate of bhjuna or the mind war spell (if your sorcs unit has std of discipline) on his archmage you will have control of the magic phase.

If used in conjunction with shooting spells such as bladewind and black horror (imagine black horror on a unit with -1 strength from soulblight) can contribute to devastating his units from a distance.

Lore of shadows spells can also be used to nerf his units. And if you manage to cast Okkams mindrazor your spears and corsairs will munch up his dragon princes in no time.

I usually use a lvl4 with death and a lvl2 with dark magic and it has worked pretty well.

I will post more non-magical solutions later on

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Sat Oct 09, 2010 1:04 am
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Executioner
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With the way that high elves rules work for them now it behooves you to take up your lord choices with sorceresses. Not to mention the fact that they always strike first regardless of what weapon they are using means you'll likely want to stay out of close combat with most units without banner of hag graef.

Furthermore, with the rise of how much core needs to be taken most players will take lothern sea guard over the other choices because they do the same things as both in one nice cheap package. So the high elf player I see a lot has been building mostly a ranged army with magic lords. Using all his rare choices with bolt throwers and his special choices being a block of 20 sword masters and 20 white lions. Seen it work to great effect honestly.

So the way I'd see fighting the high elves is by taking range yourself and magic as well and assuming they don't take the banner of the world eater snipe their characters with death spells. Then shoot shoot shoot. Also make use of the ring of darkness and the ring of hotek if you can work it in.

Kinda makes for a boring game though, honestly.

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Sat Oct 09, 2010 6:46 am
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Magic works sometimes, but it isn't exactly reliable. Being a High Elf, he gets +5 to his dispel attempts, and he had an item that steals one of my PD and adds it to his DD. Usually I have seven or so PD to his six DD, which means I can get one spell off. He sometimes brings a BSB with banner of the world dragon, but I haven't seen it lately. It might pop up if I start using magic more aggressively.

His spells are mostly augments, so he can keep his caster safely behind his lines, and his 2 nobles aren't that important (or expensive), so he can cope without them.
I did take death for a while, but found that there weren't any spells worth casting most of the time. Either there was no-one within range or the spell wouldn't be very effective. I used a level 4 on pegasus with focus familiar to get in range, but at most I could get two spells of before getting shot to death, even with ward saves.

Right now I use a level 4 with Shadow and a level 2 with Metal. The hexes have helped me somewhat, but even with his WS reduced, he still re-rolls all his hits. I've never successfully cast mindrazor yet. And to be honest, I don't think it will win me the combat. On average my spears will do 9,3 wounds on anything except phoenix guard, while his Dragon princes or Swordmasters will do more wounds than that without being buffed. Swordmasters will still have won the combat, and Dragon Princes would charge something else instead (and only if the spearmen unit was 25 models big to begin with, otherwise I wouldn't do as many wounds as first stated)

I've kind of stopped using the Dark Lore. On a level 2 chances are I get stuck with one or two useless spells.

We both don't use many RBT, since the units are rather big and 2 or 3 casualties mean nothing. Even my 40 crossbowmen don't kill much these days. With so many units on the field it's easy to clog up the fire lanes, and multishooting at long range while having moved and the opponent getting hard cover... 80 shots quickly get ineffective.


Sat Oct 09, 2010 8:58 am
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Noble
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Try this character setup:

Supreme Sorceress (Level 4: Shadow Magic, Black Dragon Egg, Talisman of Preservation, Sacrificial Dagger)
Master (BSB, Heavy armour, shield, sea dragon cloak, dark pegasus Soulrender, Pendant of Khaeleth)

The supreme sorceress can stay with a large unit of spearmen (preferbly with banner of dicipline). The black dragon egg can really turn the tides in an important battle. T6 + ward save is something to get past, and 2D6 S4 hits really hurt high elves. If you get the chance, you can also use it to march up and flame him. A S4 template can easily hurt his powerful regiments a great deal!

The BSB is unkillable for his puny elves. Let him tie up and chop the swordmasters to bits, or hunt any dragons and lothern seaguard alike. Try to use him to take out the mages! Just dont go in the front of regiments with three full ranks - that is too dicy! All in all, BSB peggy builds like this one are some of the most overpowered you can produce. Trust me on this: They will cause your opponent endless grief...


Apart from that, double war hydras is a VERY good deal - especially against high elves!

Shades are much more effective shooting than RxBs. I would go for 3 units of 5 shades (ahw). 30 shots per round hitting on 3s or 4s equals 5-8 dead high elves each round. And if he brings RBTs, they will be dead for sure.

Cold One knights with banner of hag graef strike before nearly all high elves. But you have to bring a cauldron to make it worthwhile.

Cold one Chariots could also be an idea!


Sat Oct 09, 2010 10:38 am
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I will try the Supreme Soreress setup, thanks :)
I don't understand why the spearmen need to have the standard of discipline though. Since they can't use the Sorceress' leadership (if I don't spend another 150 points on a master general), their Leadership would be equal to that of the sorceress anyway.

Is the master really that invincible?
He will receive 12 WS6 S5 attacks each turn. 9 hits, 7,5 wounds, 3,75 saves after armour and 0.625 wounds after the pendant. Then he will kill 2 Swordmasters in return. He wins by 1 (2 wounds, charging and BSB versus 2 ranks and banner). Swordmasters are steadfast and stay steadfast for the rest of the game.
Each turn the Swordmasters will put 0.625 wounds on the master and eventually he will die. Even if he doesn't take any wounds he will lose the combat by 1 each time. So he's still fighting an uphill battle.

But I will try it before I dismiss it completely.

I haven't even looked at shades before, but are they that effective in this edition? 15 shades still cost 250+ points and are easilly killed from a basic fireball spell or volley fire.

I'm not so keen on Hag Graef on my knights. Firstly I always, always, always fail all stupidity checks on turn 1 (judging from my last five games), so they have the gleaming pendant as a standard now. Also, this would be tailoring my list against his specifically, and I want to stick to a more or less "all comers list", even if he doesn't. I know I'm being stubborn here, but that's just me ;)
Besides, is it really that useful? ASF vs ASF strike simultaneously, so I would only be denying him the rerolls.

Cold One Chariots are already in my list, but I'm thinking of removing them. They also fail their stupidity check on turn one (although only in the last 3 games) and they are a bit random. Once they held off a block of 30 seaguard for three turns before running them down, but the next battle they only did 2 wounds against a similar block, took one in return and were run down themselves. It is they who are in danger of being replaced with an extra hydra ;)

Cauldrons I've only used a few times in 7th and I wasn't impressed. I don't use witches, but I really like the Executioner models, so I may try them out in this edition.


Sat Oct 09, 2010 12:00 pm
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Noble
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Quote:
I will try the Supreme Soreress setup, thanks Smile
I don't understand why the spearmen need to have the standard of discipline though. Since they can't use the Sorceress' leadership (if I don't spend another 150 points on a master general), their Leadership would be equal to that of the sorceress anyway.


Reread the Banner of Dicipline entry: The spearmen cannot use the generals inspiring presence. However they still use the sup. sorceress's leadership because she is leading the unit! And all other units in the army can use her banner-improved leadership 10. In reality: Your supreme sorceress just became leadership 10 for all purposes!!! (which is kinda great for 15 points)

Quote:
Is the master really that invincible?
He will receive 12 WS6 S5 attacks each turn. 9 hits, 7,5 wounds, 3,75 saves after armour and 0.625 wounds after the pendant. Then he will kill 2 Swordmasters in return. He wins by 1 (2 wounds, charging and BSB versus 2 ranks and banner). Swordmasters are steadfast and stay steadfast for the rest of the game.
Each turn the Swordmasters will put 0.625 wounds on the master and eventually he will die. Even if he doesn't take any wounds he will lose the combat by 1 each time. So he's still fighting an uphill battle.


Swordmasters do not have rerolls. 12 attacks - 6 hits - 5 wounds - 3,3 after saves = 0,55 wounds.

BSB: 3 attacks - 2,25 hits - 1, 78 wounds. Pegasus 2 attacks - 1 hit - 0,83 wounds. Stomp - 0,56 wounds. = 3,17 wounds

The swordmasters will suffer more than him even in a frontal onslaught, but really: You should try to catch their flank! Reduces attacks and makes them take break tests every round.

Against High elves I would equip him with the dragon helm and a normal great weapon instead of soulrender to further increase his armour save. Swordmasters can be done, but I would only generelly recommend going at ranked regiments in the flank. He is better at chopping up dragons and chariots, but if you really need the pin the swordmasters, it is an option!

Quote:
I haven't even looked at shades before, but are they that effective in this edition? 15 shades still cost 250+ points and are easilly killed from a basic fireball spell or volley fire.


I thought he used life magic? Shades have the most costeffective BS-based shooting in the dark elf army. Stay in terrain. If he vastes volleys on hitting you on 6s in the woods, it might aswell be fine! The shades are in units of 5 for a reason... he can only target so many! And the returnfire is going to hurt him more than you.

Quote:
I'm not so keen on Hag Graef on my knights. Firstly I always, always, always fail all stupidity checks on turn 1 (judging from my last five games), so they have the gleaming pendant as a standard now. Also, this would be tailoring my list against his specifically, and I want to stick to a more or less "all comers list", even if he doesn't. I know I'm being stubborn here, but that's just me Wink
Besides, is it really that useful? ASF vs ASF strike simultaneously, so I would only be denying him the rerolls.

Cold One Chariots are already in my list, but I'm thinking of removing them. They also fail their stupidity check on turn one (although only in the last 3 games) and they are a bit random. Once they held off a block of 30 seaguard for three turns before running them down, but the next battle they only did 2 wounds against a similar block, took one in return and were run down themselves. It is they who are in danger of being replaced with an extra hydra Wink


That is why you need Banner of Dicipline with the supreme sorceress. Leadership 10 (possibly with rerolls) come in handy if you have stupid units. The other advantage of using a peggy master BSB is that he is also always in the middle of the fighting, providing leadership rerolls left and right.

Cauldrons work well together with cold one knights, but I would not neccesarily advice them against high elves. Pegasus masters are much more lethal.

In my last allied 3200p game, my pegasus BSB ran down 480 points of dryads and chopped over an engine of the gods. =880 victory points.


Sat Oct 09, 2010 1:25 pm
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Warrior
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Seems I've misread the banner of discipline rules. Thanks!

I totally forgot about the Pegasus. I will include him next time.
One block may be more manageable, providing he doesn't shoot or magic the BSB to death.

He sometimes uses a level 1/2 fire mage for fireball purposes, but the lore of life also has a D6 SX hits spell that does extra damage to units in a wood. I can't remember if Shades get by the dangerous effects most woods have in this edition.



I have another question: what should be the priorities for dispelling?
Most of the time all of his spells are dangerous, but I can only dispel 1 or 2.
Consider the following: he has rolled a 7 for winds of magic, gets +1 PD with an item and gets two more from the banner of sorcery. Neither one of us could channel an extra die. I only get 4 or 5 dispel dice against his nine.

Last battle he had Spells 2,3,4 and 5.

He could cast Flesh to stone, Throne of vines and Shield of thorns on 2 dice, and needs 3 for regrowth. So he can potentially cast all four spells.
Throne of Vines powers up all other spell effects, Flesh to stone means my hydra will lose combat this turn, shield of thorns removes close to a rank of models, and regrowth means that the models I shot down are brought back.
I haven't even faced a dwellers below yet.


Sat Oct 09, 2010 2:29 pm
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In my experience, ALWAYS try and stop Throne of Vines simply because it makes everything else worse. And if he gets it off, dispel it the following turn. If he's throwing three dice at it every turn, those are dice he's not throwing at the damaging spells. Of course if you can get a character or champion near him with the Ring of Hotek, so much the better.


Sat Oct 09, 2010 3:14 pm
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Noble
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I kinda like this list. Maybe you could build on it to get to 2500 points?

--

Supreme Sorceress (Level 4: Shadow Magic, Black Dragon Egg, Talisman of Preservation, Sacrificial Dagger)
Master (BSB, gw, ha, sdc, DP, Dragon Helmet, Pendant of Khaeleth)
29 Spearmen (sh, fc, Standard of Dicipline)
17 Corsairs (st, mus, Sea Serpent Standard)
10 RxBs (sh, st, mus)
5 Harpies
2 x Cold one Chariots
3 x 5 Shades (ahw)
2 x War Hydras

Total: 2000


Sat Oct 09, 2010 4:05 pm
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Executioner
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Try to max out your power dice as well.
Lore of Fire works really well against T3 (His troops are more expensive so You should have more bodies.)
24 Repeater crossbowmen + some Shades will do lots of dmg (are shooting is tronger)
Black Dragon Egg, Black Dragon's Breath Attack, Hydra's Breath Attack, These will do very good dmg against other T3 armies.
If he takes RBT's you have the advantage cause they are overpriced :)
Witch Elves are insane this edition.

You should be able to crush him (Try to get flank charges ofc)


Sat Oct 09, 2010 6:26 pm
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Persuader wrote:
Witch Elves are insane this edition.


They're also (imo) the best unit to match up with HE combatants. With I 6 they usually negate re rolls, all the while tearing through expensive elves like paper. Frenzairs do okay too as they have armour. They both use ITP to good effect against any shooting/magic.


Sat Oct 09, 2010 8:05 pm
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And if he takes Teclis or Book of Hoeth then you're screwed. So I wouldn't rely on magic against HE. I made a DP Master build to counter HE magic that could also hunt sea guards and war machines. It's Cloak of Hag Graef and RoH with a lance, HA and Sh. 1+ against shooting, half missile strength, blow up Teclis. Oh except you'll be in trouble against single shot bolt throwers because it negates AS, I only just realised that flaw haha.

Take the ASF banner to negate his ASF and take a fair bit of shooting to kill him off at range where magic won't work. Killy characters will also help you immensely in combat when you get to it.

Oh, and stick lots of forests in his deployment zone so he doesn't get steadfast if he chooses to entrench himself in his own deployment zone. And hills on the middle of the board so you can get the extra +1 CR for charging down a hill :D

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Jacks -Shade
- WS 5 - - S 3 - - T 2 - - D 6 - - I 5 -

Equipment
Short Sword, MC Long Sword*, Dagger, RxB & RHB [20/10] MC Shade Cloak, 4 Throwing Daggers, 3x Healing Vials, 451C, [3]Dark Venom, [4]Unseen Chains, Food, Dark Steed- Spike

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Basic Stealth, Awareness, TWF, Suithenlu Khythan, Ride

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Eye of the Jabberwock

*Magical properties possibly imbued


Sun Oct 10, 2010 2:35 am
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Meteor wrote:
Oh, and stick lots of forests in his deployment zone so he doesn't get steadfast if he chooses to entrench himself in his own deployment zone.


If HEs are steadfast against you, then they are outnumbering you, in which case you've lost the combat anyway. The key to beating HEs is outnumbering them in combat so you can lose some models to his attacks, but you have to be able to deal more damage than them (big units of witches or corsairs are great for this). Remember they are more expensive than your models, so this makes it easier.

Use shooting, or magic if you can get it off, to deplete his units enough to minimize casualties.

Hydras work wonders against HEs, as long as he doesn't take fire mages.

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Sun Oct 10, 2010 7:12 am
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Well it certainly helps for when your unit(s) don't have more ranks than his but actually won the combat.

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Now that we understand each other, lets get down to business.

Jacks -Shade
- WS 5 - - S 3 - - T 2 - - D 6 - - I 5 -

Equipment
Short Sword, MC Long Sword*, Dagger, RxB & RHB [20/10] MC Shade Cloak, 4 Throwing Daggers, 3x Healing Vials, 451C, [3]Dark Venom, [4]Unseen Chains, Food, Dark Steed- Spike

Skills
Basic Stealth, Awareness, TWF, Suithenlu Khythan, Ride

Magic Item
Eye of the Jabberwock

*Magical properties possibly imbued


Sun Oct 10, 2010 9:34 am
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Malekith's Best Friend
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Yea, I know, but you should be outnumbering him already which is what I meant ;)

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Sun Oct 10, 2010 10:50 am
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Meteor wrote:
Oh except you'll be in trouble against single shot bolt throwers because it negates AS, I only just realised that flaw haha.


It's not so bad though, he now needs 4+ to wound and he still need to do 3 wounds...


Sun Oct 10, 2010 11:05 am
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Malekith's Personal Guard

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Akyro wrote:
Needless to say, it's starting to get annoying to keep losing to him while he makes me seem the WAAC player.


This is your real problem.

Your regular opponent is not just WAAC, he's whiny to boot. The solution is pretty obvious - don't play him, play someone else - but I don't know if it is particularly practical for you.


Sun Oct 10, 2010 11:16 pm
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Vulcan wrote:
Akyro wrote:
Needless to say, it's starting to get annoying to keep losing to him while he makes me seem the WAAC player.


This is your real problem.

Your regular opponent is not just WAAC, he's whiny to boot. The solution is pretty obvious - don't play him, play someone else - but I don't know if it is particularly practical for you.

This becomes even more true when you realize that he'll probably just whine *more* if you beat him. He'll talk about your new brand of 'cheese' as if it somehow breaks the entire game and makes it impossible for him to win. If not playing against him is not an option, then put your foot down. It's a game that's about fun, not objectively crushing your opponent beneath your heel.

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Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:06 am
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I feel your pain - high elves in 8th ed are very nasty indeed :/. Check out these threads, on a similar theme: the D.Net community had some really excellent ideas (which, I realise in retrospect I - embarrassingly - never said a formal thank you for (thanks all!)) which might help a bit?

http://www.druchii.net/viewtopic.php?p= ... ht=#803905

http://www.druchii.net/viewtopic.php?p= ... ht=#806796

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Mon Oct 11, 2010 9:47 am
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Masked Jackal wrote:
Vulcan wrote:

This is your real problem.

Your regular opponent is not just WAAC, he's whiny to boot. The solution is pretty obvious - don't play him, play someone else - but I don't know if it is particularly practical for you.

This becomes even more true when you realize that he'll probably just whine *more* if you beat him. He'll talk about your new brand of 'cheese' as if it somehow breaks the entire game and makes it impossible for him to win. If not playing against him is not an option, then put your foot down. It's a game that's about fun, not objectively crushing your opponent beneath your heel.


I have no easy access to a gaming club or anything. I mostly play at a friends house.
Perhaps I was a bit too harsh. He isn't horrible to play with, he just has a "skewed" view on what balance is.


Thank you all for your help. I'll post results when I've played him again.


Mon Oct 11, 2010 6:31 pm
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Slave on the Altar

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A nice Black Guard unit with ASF banner can wreak havoc against them, if their shooting is targeted towards other threats (hydra etc)

They negate their re-rolls, but we keep ours due to "warrior elite" rule*. A 17-strong unit accompanied by a BSB with whip of agony tore through 20 seaguards, 15 white lions and.. 10 dragon princes with enemy lord and bsb at the flank, all charging at once. They held in the 1st round, decimated them in the 2nd round and ran down the infantry units. (The DP unit met my Hydra.. chomp and stomp!! )

* even standard of balance can't cut their re-rolls, as they are not based on hatred.


Mon Oct 11, 2010 8:16 pm
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I agree that using numbers is one of the fundamental components for success against High Elves. You need to reconcile yourself with the fact that you'll take casualties, and take steps accordingly.

Similarly, anything you can do to deny his strengths is obvious. This may seem obvious, but there are a few simple strategies you can emphasize to help produce better results. For one, the default Shadows spell is an easy way of robbing High Elves of their ASF re-rolls, or their shooting from particularly large units. Also, the common Life build really doesn't provide them with an effective countermeasure for monsters, and they still don't like impact hits either, so don't underestimate the usefulness of Hydras and chariots for helping your infantry gain an advantage.

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Mon Oct 11, 2010 11:32 pm
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Lance-a-lot, my regular HE opponent is very wise to ASF Black Guard, as I sure most are and simply refuses to engage them in close combat.

Most recent fight last week, I was holding my own with magic and shooting (RXB's cut down units of Spears, Swordsmasters and Seaguard) but come turn 5 he had so far avoided my 16 strong Black Guard unit with tooled up DL General and Master BSB and then got off Dwellers Below against them. Lost 50% to the spell, including BSB, failed the panic test, turned and fled......victory High Elves!


Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:47 pm
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Quote:
Lance-a-lot, my regular HE opponent is very wise to ASF Black Guard, as I sure most are and simply refuses to engage them in close combat.


Yes, that's been my experience too.

I'd recommend more along the lines of using missile fire and magic evasion tactics versus high elves now, and avoid trying to fight him toe-to-toe.

Whereas we still can field powerful elite infantry against them technically, its far too small a proportion of our allowance for it to make an impact. Any astute Asur general can target with missiles and magic and/or avoid the parts of our army that could hurt him/her in close combat (hydras, ASF black guard and cold one knights), while safely ignoring our other fighting troops (warriors, corsairs, executioners, etc). With a mix of volley fire, fire magic, the banner of flaming and other gems up his sleeve, he can easily dispatch of most fighting threats quickly, before they can make an impact.

From his list, it sounds like he has a very heavy fighting theme to his troops. You can exploit that: every turn that he's not in combat with you, you can do him more damage with mobile shooters such as dark riders, shades, and strategically positioned crossbowmen with musicians, supported by characters on pegasuses and dark steeds.

So my suggestion, in a nut shell, would be to take more mobile shooting units and less fighting units.

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Wed Oct 13, 2010 12:54 pm
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