Commander Elrahir’s Warhost
By Alex West
I’m not sure what attracts me to High Elves. I am sure that its not just 1 thing about them that grabs me, in fact I think it may be everything. They have superb background with their arrogance and fight against their extinction and they have that aloof feel that separates them from the other Warhammer races. The models themselves are superb with even the older models being at least as good as some of the current range of models for other races. They are filled with detail and make for a very good looking force on the table top. Tactically they are very hard to use. Even the much feared all cavalry force takes time and practice to get right. Unlike some armies the High Elves are not an army you can just throw together and start to churn out results with. They take many months of play testing and general tweaking to fashion into an effective force. When you put infantry into the force you’ve just doubled your workload! With T3 and generally a 5+ armour save Elf infantry just cant stand up to the sustained combat other armies can. That kinda makes things interesting, as if you muck up the co-ordination of your attacks or even deploy wrong you can effectively be beaten before the game has really got going.
When I was putting together Elrahir’s warhost I wanted to include infantry. As I said before, this made it much harder to get the army right but for me a ‘fluffy’ High Elf army has to include infantry and I was determined to find the balance between infantry and cavalry because of the amount of people, myself included, who said it couldn’t be done.
From the start it was obvious that I wouldn’t be able to afford to have any of the fancy infantry in the army and retain the right mix. Many people say it’s easy to win with infantry in the army when in actual fact they play essentially and all cavalry list with an elite unit of infantry, Swordmasters being the most popular, thrown in to the mixer. Not for me these false proclamations of victory with elf infantry in my army. I was having spearelves and archers or bust. As such the core infantry consists of 2 units of 16 spears and 2 units of 10 archers. With this decided upon it was time to look at supporting this infantry core and putting some punch in the army.
A bolt thrower was the obvious choice to back up the archers and help to pick on enemy cavalry and heavy infantry as they advance or to soften them up before the cavalry went in. I would have liked 2 but not at 100pts each!. The other rare choice was taken up by 2 eagles. With a myriad of uses you wont see a High Elf army without these fabulous, yet expendable, beasts.
To add punch, and because the army was based around Caledor, and the fact the models are superb, a unit of dragon princes was in next. As I envisaged these acting as a bodyguard for Elrahir I could imagine them charging many nasty things and so remembering that I’m notorious for failing leadership tests they gained the lion standard rendering them immune to fear and terror. Bargain. 2 units of 5 silver helms, 1 with full command and warbanner and 1 with just a banner were in next. They would go round picking on units, combining charges in the flank and front to hit units I didn’t want to reach my lines. Finally, unit wise, I included 2 chariots. These could either help support the cavalry charge or both hit a unit causing 2D6 S5 hits plus crew attacks. A nasty combination and one not much could stand up to assuming I rolled averagely.
With the bulk of the army done it was time to spend what points remained on characters. In the end I settled for 1 commander and 2 level 2 mages. The commander had the reaver bow and enchanted shield to run around shooting units to help cause panic checks or pick on chariots or units like kroxigor and trolls. With his enchanted shield he could soak up and return fire if I was careless enough to let him get shot and a great weapon for when he went in with the dragon princes. The mages were kept fairly modest. 1 was given the seer ability to choose curse of arrow attraction and fury of khaine and the other would roll on whatever lore best suited my opponent or cunning plan. A scroll and the jewel of the dusk, to allow me to throw 2D6 at the curse, 3D6 at the fury of khaine and then have 2D6 to throw at the other mages spells completed the army.
The army was painted in a very short space of time because I decided to go to a tournament, the Pompey Pillage, and so needed to paint it up. A simple colour scheme meant I was able to achieve this while still keeping a decent looking force on the tabletop. The army did well overall and it certainly sprung a few surprises on my fellow club members during its play testing losing only 1 game in the run up to the tournament. Hopefully success will continue to come and I already have a couple of minor tweaks I thought about during its first tournament. Nothing drastic but a change or 2 to make it a little more effective. I also have a dragon waiting to be painted up but that’s for a different time….
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