[Archive] The decline of high Elves


We are running a campaign at my gaming group and it has been running for 6 weeks (maybe 7) and it centers around the invasion of Ulthualn by Dark Elves - the armies involved are Chaos Warriors and Demons (notionally helping the Dark Elves) and Ogres and Grom (notionally aiding the High Elves or at least fighting the other armies).

Now despite lots of games being played by High Elf players (15+) only a single game has been won by them and that was against a Tzeentch Warrior of Chaos Army. Against the Dark Elves they have been routinely slaughtered (in my 3 games all High Elf models are off the table by the end of turn 5 for the loss of 750 points of Dark Elves). We are playing 2000 point games and the distribution of players on either side is equal in terms of ability and historic performance with a wide range of armies.

All of this had lead us to believe the following
1: DE eat HE for breakfast - the massive difference being hatred and even against Teclis builds they have the tools for the job at hand (ring of Hotek)

2: HE struggle badly against Warriors of Chaos - the don’t seem to be able to get past their armour with enough regularity to win protracted combats. (as a caveat WOC have a 50:50 win rate against all armies across our group).

Has anyone else noticed this with HE ?  - there was a lot of discussion about ASF breaking the game but the general consensus in our group is that now people have got over the fear of it and adjusted accordingly HE are actually a pretty weak army.

Would be interested to hear others experiences  on this




I cant belive that its been going for that long and the HE have only won one game, who is playing them at the club ? I think that this proves to every one that they should stop collecting elves and start a CD army :slight_smile:


I cant belive that its been going for that long and the HE have only won one game, who is playing them at the club ? I think that this proves to every one that they should stop collecting elves and start a CD army :)

Couldn't agree more - last night Andy's HE (a good player) got trounced by John's (nurse john) DE who isn't anywhere near as a good a player and Andy was using a Teclis list .....

Make them all use normal dwarfs - they are not yet worthy of using CD's :-)


My main local opponent primarily plays Tzeentch or Nurgle WoC (depending on mood) and will be making HE his 2nd army as he seems them two radically different armies… primarily because HE are not an aggressive flighty army that are hard to kill.

WoC can deal with more magic based armies both in terms of defense and in being able to go toe to toe with them for offense as well. Plus their sorcs are no joke in combat either.

Having played Dark Elves, I know how that hatred is just a solid bonus that rarely seems to backfire. More often then not Black Guard have the ASF banner… if not it is often the fear banner (which has its own bonuses). Plus both my other two main blocks have as assassin in them which will bypass the HE ASF due to higher initiative. Throw in repeater crossbows, and the brutal Cold One Knights (hard hitting knights with hatred are awesome!). If I wasn’t playing Chaos Dwarfs I would be playing Dark Elves, in all honesty.

More and more I’m thinking WoC and DE are both teir 1 armies. They may not be Demons or VC, but they’re very good however. High Elves are good, and I think they have a good chance of winning tournaments even… but I’d argue the HE general needs a bit more experience to run them well.

Plus High Elves should decline! They are Elves, plus they’re the evil elves who have forsaken the true Phoenix King Malekith! Those wretched pointy ears!



Well my Dark Elf list is far from friendly - but then I always play hard but fair. It Is


3 * 10 Repeater Crossbows - these are fantastic and have often recouped their points many times over in games 60 BS4 S3 Armour piercing shots a turn - yes please :hat off

2 * 5 Harpies - another fantastic unit used for all sorts of things - warmachine and lone wizard hunting, charge redirection and lots more (in fact a bit like flying hobgoblins)


4 * 5 Clod One Knights with Banner and Musician - now these are probably the best cavalry on the charge in the game WS5 with hatred S6 2+ AS Fear Causers


2 * Hydras - enough said


4 * Noble on Cold One with Heavy Armour, Shield, Lance and 2 * Null Talismans - 1 of these goes in each cold one unit.

This army is incredibly brutal but fragile and i thoroughly enjoy using it, so far (15 games) it has always destroyed the opponent (usually to a man /dwarf/ orc / lizard / elf) with the loss of no more than 1000 points.

The big difference is hatred - on the charge each cold one unit will usually do 7 s6 wounds and 3 s4 wounds combine that with the fact that I usually dual charge either 2 CoK’s or 1 CoK and a hydra and even ASF swordmasters get maimed.

However i still prefer using my CD’s but then thats because they are CD’s


Andys list is a hard one as well even more so when he is using Teclis well looks like Ulthualn will fall wiht out to much of a problem then, then we can started on the slave run :slight_smile: and yes they are not worthy of using CD’s so just normal ones for them me thinks :slight_smile:


Ubertechie: I love the signature btw.

Also I really like the mentality, mine it almost the same “Tough, but not being a jerk”. I have two big spear blocks usually (one with armor piercing banner), a black guard block with ASF banner, a couple repeater blocks, a big sorc, little sorc, bsb, a dark rider unit and usually as CoK unit. I might be forgetting something. Sometimes I have one repeater block and a bolt thrower. Plus two assassins.

At some point I will go two CoK units, as it really fits my theme.

Dark Elves can be BRUTAL. With M5 they have a good chance of getting the charge, and they have a decent iniative and leadership for sticking around and being first in sustained combats. They’re very fighty… they’re good at killing, if not the best at soaking up damage. However their base warriors are rather cheap, so they can afford that with sheer numbers and soft res. Plus some of their elites are a bargain in points.


Well i play high elf to all the tournaments where i cant take my CD’s and i must say they clearly have problems against the broken DE list. But so do all others eccpt the also broken Deamon list. Some of the items and units are just stupid (pendant, ring, black guards, shades bs5, xbows armour -1 ) and hatret to ensure they never “fluf” attacks.

A Star dragon list is the best posibillity for HE against DE the normal defencive magic and shooty list i play have little/no chance. DE shoot to much and there magic are to good.


hehehe my first favorite HE vs DE moment is when I kept casting Word of Paint on a dragon… the guy never brought into combat… mwehehe

That and assassin + manbane = dead monster.

The DE shooting and magic is phenomenal even taken in moderation. :o Maybe we need the surgeon general to make a statement about DE!


I don’t use any magic for my DE :slight_smile:

Whilst it can be very good I think free hatred is worth so much more especially on Strength 6 cavalry its almost guaranteed wounds which almost no other army has access to - and against HE we get it every round which equals a lot of dead HE very quickly.

I wouldn’t say DE are broken - the hydra is undoubtedly a bit cheap, but apart from that they can be beaten by a well constructed list from any army


I don’t think the hydra is the worst - it’s to cheap e.g compaired to a giant but still the hydra is fair, it’s pendant, ring, black guards, shades bs5 + xbows armour -1 thats the problem. Around here most DE play with full magic + a hero with a 1+armour save and pendant ( that is imposible to kill) , x bowmen, harpyes, big units shades sometimes with assassins in, black guard swith ASF banner and bolts + hydra. But to the tournaments DE useally get beaten by deamons and VC.

I just don’t see why DE should have so many no brain items and units. Compaired with the new warrior and lizard list.

Hrothgar Goldgreed:

Not the HE need attention (as in, a new edition or at least an update for the rules)

The Dwarfs and Tomb Kings need them, I think. Actually, make that all armies except for Chaos ones, Lizardmen, VC and Dark Elves.

Kera foehunter:

i would like to see the he and the de go head to head

but i have not played any elf team but the woodies with the up dated 7 rules


I would hate to see everyone collect CD’s and completely drop their other armies… Talk about a boring challenge…

I rather like that people have different tastes…


Has anyone else noticed this with HE ?  - there was a lot of discussion about ASF breaking the game but the general consensus in our group is that now people have got over the fear of it and adjusted accordingly HE are actually a pretty weak army.

Not exactly news, I've beat the snot out of a HE army with Beasts of Chaos :hat off that's a feat even if I say so myself.

DE are the perfect counter to HE unfortunately. They were it previously and they've taken it to the extreme now.

Basically, if you take DE infantry vs HE infantry you could loose. Throw in Assassins and the ASF BG and you are on the winning side. Also you got shooting and magic which are the natural counters expensive fragile models die in droves.

Since HE elite infantry come in small units you can jump 'em with elite cavalry, people refuse to believe it but the 1/2+ AS can keep them relatively safe and with DE any attacks you have after causalities will most likely hit and wound.


I just think DE and HE lend themselves to different play styles. High Elves can’t just do the “Roar! Let’s go get them!” with infantry. They have to use a number of supporting elements to really pay off. When done right, they can then pop the DE like pimples.

Kera foehunter:

well that the key !! but with every army if played well and support you should be able to kill the other guy !! then the dice come in to play!! a well made army still loses when your dice fail


1: DE eat HE for breakfast - the massive difference being hatred and even against Teclis builds they have the tools for the job at hand (ring of Hotek)
Yeah DEs are very nasty now, more than a match for HEs.
More and more I'm thinking WoC and DE are both teir 1 armies.
WoC are ok, but I definitely wouldn't say they are tier 1.
Their Ld is actually pretty dodgy, if you beat them in combat they tend to run easily, unlike VCs and DoCs. Plus they have some very uncompetitive choices in their list (Forsaken, Chaos Warriors, overcosted Shaggoth and Chaos Lord etc). They have the same problems as last edition, half the list sucks and the other half is awesome, (and its the same halves as last edition).

I think HEs are a well balanced book, good items and units, nothing that is obsolete.
DEs admittedly can come across as EasyMode, due to the fact they never fluff attacks and have absolutely nothing in their list that isn't competitive. They also have some outrageously cheap units. For example my Chaos Giant or Shaggoth are no match for the much cheaper Hydra, not to mention the 'invincible' handlers (why don't my Hellcannon crew get those rules!?).
The hatred can be used against them though, which many players fail to do (although the DEs' excellent mobility makes it hard).


I’ve played HE as my “main” army for about the last 10 years. I’ve found them to be competative but brittle - as they should be. protracted combats are never a good idea for t3 lightly armoured elves. Its all about picking your fights.

ASF helps a lot, as does the min/max rules on force organisation. I usually find some nice swordmasters from the front and a dragon from the rear will flatten most units, rinse, repeat.

I think they are fine as they are.


I’m the same as Starscream. I will say they only became brittle with 6th edition rules. In their 5th edition incarnation they were nasty to trey and combat as they has so many things that made them tough.