Final Thoughts on the Army Book
High Elves are warriors of unparalleled skill, with even their most basic warriors being as capable as the elites of many other armies. They possess speed and experience beyond any other combatant, with the entire army having both the Always Strikes First and Martial Prowess special rules; these serve to justify the elite, fragile nature of the army by emphasising their damage potential. Typically, an army consisting mostly of low Toughness, low armour units would fall flat on its face very quickly given the high costs present here; however, between high stat-lines, re-rolls to hit and striking before others, as well as fighting and firing in an extra rank, High Elves embody the image of a dying and proud race in an organic and well designed manner. They are a very flexible army with a wide range of units tailored to deal with specific enemies; Phoenix Guard provide an anvil without equal, whereas White Lions can tear through even monstrous cavalry with impunity. The reintroduction of cavalry into the Core section allows for a greater variety of army lists that can deal with multiple threats, with Reavers providing effective chaff-clearance where Silver Helms are a strong heavy cavalry unit that makes for a perfect shield for your characters. The new units fill some interesting and sometimes necessary roles, with the Frostheart Phoenix acting as a mobile defence for your other Elves, while the Sisters of Averlorn provide incredibly damaging ranged attacks at the cost of durability. Alarielle proves to be a fantastic counter-point to Teclis, while Korhil and the rest of the characters are very much the same as before. With all of the competitive options available to a player, the High Elf army book rewards smart and experimental list-building while retaining their elite and tactically challenging theme; an army that is, in short, as rewarding as any that can be found.
Lords - An impressive array of both unique and generic characters provides the player with some tough choices; Alarielle has an incredible array of special rules and a high magic level that make her a competitor for the now vacant throne left by Teclis, who is still a useful character in his own right. The two are magic users without equal, or so it would seem, as an Archmage or Loremaster with the Book of Hoeth has proved to be a favourite of competitive players everywhere owing to their cost and reliability. Tyrion and Eltharion are as strong as ever, though their cost compared to their nameless counterparts is a detriment; Princes provide combat monsters at a cost, while the Anointed of Asuryan is an effective supporting character. Ranged firepower has never been stronger for High Elves, and Alith Anar certainly benefits greatly from this; in an edition dominated by monstrous units, his Moonbow should prove to be invaluable.
Heroes - The new additions here provide some interesting supporting abilities, particularly for specific units, though the old cast still appears to provide the more useful selection; Handmaidens are tailor-made to work with the Sisters of Averlorn, while a Lothern Sea Helm provides an important flank denial ability to any ground-based combat unit. Nobles and Mages provide your army with appropriately priced supporting combat characters and casters, with the former a particularly valuable addition as the most flexible battle standard bearer; their array of mount options endear them more to mixed armies. Caradryan is still a nasty monster-hunter that few characters would ever wish to face, and Korhil provides offensive capabilities that would put even a Prince to shame.
|The Glittering Host Marches On.....|
Special - When a general reviews their forces and finds them lacking the tools to deal with a specific threat, the Special section is definitely the place to go. White Lions are monster and elite infantry hunters unparalleled, with their natural high Strength allowing them to deal with higher Toughness or well armoured enemies far better than any other elven unit. The blenders of lightly armoured units are doubtless the Sword Masters of Hoeth, with their legendary skill and speed making them a priority target for most opponents. Elves suffer greatly when their enemy can strike them from afar, and no unit is better equipped to survive this than the Phoenix Guard; their innate ward save providing them an unnatural defence against cannons, magic spells and mundane attacks alike. Shadow Warriors fulfill the role of skirmishers effectively, while the mighty Dragon Princes crash into enemy lines with vigour and recklessness. The three chariot options available provide some very difficult decisions to make, as it is hotly debated as to the comparative effectiveness of each.
Rare - With a total of three new units attempting to barge their way into your armies, it is useful indeed that Great Eagles and Eagle Claw Bolt Throwers are even more appealing choices than before; the former has a range of upgrades suited to hunting war machines, whilst the latter has received a much needed price drop. The Sisters of Averlorn specialise in dealing with well armoured foes, particularly those hailing from the Forces of Destruction - as befits their standing as guardians of purity. The twin Phoenixes are supporting monsters that cannot be expected to provide much damage; instead, their array of special rules prove incredibly synergistic with the rest of the force. The Flamespyre specialises in dealing with massed ranks of infantry while being a nuisance in general, whereas the Frostheart provides an additional - and incredible - defence in melee for any friendly High Elf unit that it works alongside.
High Elves are a well designed army book that is defined by its elite nature; no better is this represented than in their Martial Prowess and Always Strikes First, displaying their ageless skill and dedication to the arts of war. Though a typically fragile force that strikes hard at a high cost may not be favourable, their staggering array of options and potential for synergy depicts a force that fights best as a cohesive whole, not based on their individual merits. That they service their background so well is a true testament to the strength of the army book writing here, and the sheer number of potential competitive army lists serves to highlight what defines a rewarding army; flexibility and variety of choice.
|The Glory of Ages Past shall be Reborn.|