The High Elves are one of the oldest races and are the forbearers of all elves in the Warhammer World. Once the mightiest of all the races, they are now removed from the Old World and focus their efforts on the Winds of Magic from within their own borders.
The High Elven continent of Ulthuan exists in its lonesome, far removed from the rest of the warring world. Here, the High Elves are able to practice their expertise in manipulating the winds of magic. Though a race in their twilight, they are masters at arms and present a formidable obstacle to any who seek to invade the shores of Ulthuan. Constantly being harassed by the nefarious Dark Elves to their North, as well as Orc and Goblin or Norse raids, the High Elves are not as isolated as they would hope.
It is the High Elves that allow all other races to thrive without an incessant incursion of Chaos. Through great sacrifice, they have secured the winds of magic, keeping the forces of Chaos under some level of control. The first great war against Chaos was undertaken by the High Elves, and Aenarion, their first great Phoenix King. Through his tragic sacrifice, he helped the High Elves repel a massive Chaos horde intent on destroying any and all civilization in the Warhammer World while a group of the greatest mages to have set foot in Ulthuan sacrificed themselves for the good of all.
Since the sundering of the High Elves, their numbers have been far fewer than in centuries past. Despite their lessened population, they constantly strive for perfection of arms, magic, and culture. The High Elves are marvelous craftsmen, musicians, artisans, and so forth. Each elf dedicates his life to the mastery of his profession, and each elf is also part of the Citizen Levy where it is their duty to aid in the defence of Ulthuan should the need arise.
Ulthuan is comprised of a number of different regions within the Isle of Ulthuan. From the heavily wooded lands of Chrace, the great forests of Avelorn, to the Channel at Lothern, these regions each possess their own High Elven culture, though all will rise to the call of battle in defence of their homeland.
The High Elf army is composed of expert fighters, each with the duty to protect Ulthuan at home or abroad. Each unit has a purpose within the grand scheme of the High Elf’s Levy, and when working together they make a nigh impenetrable force.
The look of the High Elves is quite definitive. They emphasize clean-cut uniforms, polished metal armour, and delicate finery for their forces. They are called “pointy hats” for a reason: they typically go to war with beautifully crafted high-crowned helmets. The High Elves present a very clean and pure looking army, with a select number of bright colours for their finery.
High Elven infantry look fantastic on the battlefield. If given a common paint scheme, they create a very uniform, clean and pure force. Conversely, if each unit is under a different scheme, they can reflect their differing status amongst the High Elf army or their differing heraldry from the various provinces of Ulthuan.
Because of a focus on simplicity and cleanliness and its models are fairly simple, painting a High Elf army can be a simple affair. All it takes is a few colours to colour an army: a flesh colour, a couple metals, a primary colour, a secondary colour, and a detail colour can form the minimum to paint an army. This will create a great look and feel for your army and won’t take too long. Of course, you can always go above and beyond…
All High Elf core units are sold in plastic, and are cheap and easy to assemble. Even the Elven dragon is plastic and is simple to assemble. However, the bulk of the army lies in its Special Units, which tend to be metal and more expensive. Most of the Characters are metals, as well. These models are often easy to assemble and, in most cases, won’t require pinning joints in place.
The High Elves are an elite force, and this is reflected throughout their army. The first major difference between the High Elves and the other races is that the High Elves are granted an army-wide rule granting Always Strikes First. This means that the High Elven spear elves may strike before a unit of charging knights’ lances strike home!
Though always striking first would seem broken, do remember that this rule significantly increases the individual model costs, meaning the High Elves will likely be outnumbered in battle. As such, the High Elves must rely upon their greater skill to lead them to victory.
The High Elven core units are strong, but the true strength of the High Elves comes from their elite units. To this end they can field more Special Units than just about any other army in Warhammer Fantasy. The Special Units of the High Elves are quite diverse and each can be used to respond to certain situations that may arise on the field of battle.
-Does the enemy have a monster that is causing problems? Send some White Lions in to stop it!
-Is that horde of Goblins wreaking havoc on your boarders? Let them feel the might of the Swordmasters of Hoeth.
-Gunlines proving a problem? Let some Ellyrian Reavers tie them up in combat.
-Undead heavy units throwing your units around? Let the Phoenix Guard’s grim fortitude end their spree.
The High Elves can also host a variety of different armies. These can be themed around one of the provinces of Ulthuan, or can focus on cavalry, for instance. Because of each unit’s great skills and prowess, they can often triumph in overwhelming odds.
Here is a list of the available units within the High Elf army. Each unit has a short description included.
Tyrion is a fighter with few of comparable skill and a general without peer. He can take the most horrendous of blows and still find victory, and can shatter lines in his own right.
Teclis is the greatest living mage in the entire world. He casts IF on doubles, negates one miscast per turn… he’s just phenomenal in the magic phase. In CC
, however, he is dead meat.
Eltharion the Grim
An interesting combination of Warrior and Mage, Eltharion gives the best of both phases and even has a bow for the shooting phase. He’s best at plowing through weak units, and is decent in a challenge.
Named “The Shadow King” for a reason, he is a scout of great skill. His bow acts like a Bolt Thrower, and is difficult to defeat in combat.
High Elf Prince
Born leaders and exemplars of the High Elven arrogance, they are powerful in combat. Let them lead your elite units to battle for their added fighting prowess and leadership.
High Elf Archmage
Powerful mages who can be given a plethora of gear to make them nigh unstoppable in the Magic Phase. Try the Book of Hoeth for amazing effect!
Caradryn, Captain of the Phoenix Guard
Though he can be used as a “Suicide Bomber” since he can go up against the greatest of Lords and take them down no matter what, he is even more effective leading a unit of White Lions or Swordmasters. Who’d have thought it?
Korhil can hack the biggest, scariest monsters the enemy can muster. He strangled a Chaos-infused White Lion with his bare hands… He is capable of leading any unit to victory. KB
is an added bonus.
High Elf Noble
Potent in combat and capable of carrying the Army Battle Standard, they are an indispensable model for any army.
High Elf Mage
Basic mage. All HE
mages confer a +1 to dispel attempts just for being on the battlefield.
Dragon Mage of Caledor
Because of these guys, you can now field two dragons in a 2000pt game. Yeah, you heard right. And the mage himself is something to be respected… he generates a bonus die for every cast.
These guys can put some armies’ Special units to shame. The cheapest units the HE
have, they are not to be taken lightly.
WS4 core archers that can rain down the hurt on the enemy from a good distance.
Lothern Sea Guard
They combine the best traits of the Spear Elves with the Archers in one unit: the have both bows and spears. A very versatile, but expensive, unit.
Swordmasters of Hoeth
There is a distinct reason these High Elves are feared by many armies: they can do massive damage to any unit in all of Warhammer. They are incredibly weak to missile fire, however.
Incredibly tough to take down, even by the nastiest unit any army can muster (and they may never die to boot). They rarely manage to run from combat and work wonders against fear-causing enemies since they cause fear themselves.
White Lions of Chrace
Extreme attack power and superior holding ability from being Stubborn. If monsters cause you problems, let the White Lions end it.
Fast cavalry that can be armed with both bows and spears. They are versatile and capable of weakening your foes before they even make it to your main force.
Cheap Heavy Cavalry that can do some decent damage on a charge.
Significantly better than the Silver Helms, but more expensive. They can make your opponents shake in their boots.
Cheap but effective High Elf chariot from Tiranoc. They have bows and spears, so are effective on a charge and before one, too.
White Lion Chariot
Fear causing, White Lion powered chariot. The fluff may not support its existence, but it’s Awesome Incarnate. The flanks of your opponent will need to be heavy to shed away this chariot’s ferocious charge.
The scouts of the High Elves. Decent in combat and in the Shooting Phase. They make excellent March Blockers and disrupting units.
Repeater Bolt Thrower
A War Machine that will never misfire and has excellent chances of hitting its mark, this thing is a threat to all comers. It is typically recommended to take at least a pair of these.
Perhaps the best March Blocking, War Machine and Mage hunting models around, they can even be used to protect your flanks. Don’t expect them to be monsters in combat, but let them guarantee a headache for your opponent.
The best way to save money in Games Workshop is to shop online. eBay is often considered a prime place to visit for the thrifty gamers. However, it is a noble deed to go out and support your local hobby store. Often times, they will have all the right gear at a reasonable price.
One thing to consider is that, since the High Elves’ models cost a fair bit of points a piece; your army will have considerably fewer models in it than other armies may. This means that your army will have fewer models to buy, assemble and paint than other armies. Hence, you’ll spend less time and money preparing an army than you might otherwise have to.
The High Elves are a host to the Warhammer World’s most elite forces and are rightfully the guardians of all that is good. Through their sacrifice, the forces of Chaos are held at bay, if only for the moment. But with their skill, they keep back the tides of evil from their shores. It is only a short time before they regain their foothold in the world and begin to relinquish their Kingdom from generations past.
The High Elves have been said to be a decent starting army for a variety of reasons. They Always Strike First, they have a variety of units and builds, and they aren’t too expensive to start. They are fairly simple to paint and convert, unless you have loftier goals than just a simple dry brushing and inking.
For more help and advice specifically related to the High Elves, you can visit www.ulthuan.net