Hey there, I figured since I face HE enough, I can add some points.
Please keep in mind, I don't run HE, I don't own the book so I don't know the names to everything or the stats. This is what I've learned and would do as an educated opponent.
Speed of Asuryan:
This is one of the best attributes High Elves have. They have the ASF rule and high Initiative, they will be Re-rolling to hit pretty much in almost every match up.
This rule even outweighs the BRB GW rules; instead of ASF and ASL canceling out, they STILL have ASF w/ re-rolls to hit (if I is as high/er than opponent) . This allows Sword masters and White Lions to become elite killing machines.
A HE lord SHOULD use this to his advantage. All Great weapons can be used by your characters w/o fear or having to strike last...or even at I order. Your Weak and pathetic girly leaders can turn that S4 into S6 w/ pretty much minimal-zero loss to them.
(not sure if this is just spearmen or all units). Allowing extra ranks of attacks
Horde formations are the 'in thing' in this edition. Hordes allow an additional rank of attacks. Normal units means three
ranks, Spears get four
Martial prowess spearmen in horde gives you FIVE
ranks of attacks....all Re-rolled to hit. By sheer numbers, you're getting an incredible amount of hits against your enemy. Your tar-pit can turn into a killing machine.
Elves are not known for their toughness. Infact, they're known for their soft skin, girly arms, and tender flesh (which is a delicacy among the herds of the Chaos Wastes...
). You need to take steps to defend yourself from this.
Your characters have a wealth of options, it's not uncommon for there to be many 2+as/4+ wards in a HE list. You can make your magicians ethereal, protecting them from pretty much most units (and for cheaper than a ward)
Lore of life can boost your fragile and pathetic T3 troops to stalwart soldiers. Most armies don't leave home w/o it.
Lords/ heroes can be mounted on a great eagle for cheap, adding +1 wound/+1 as and the 'fly' rule. Not bad at all.
Your sword masters, while ruthless killers (*edited opinion on this unit....and much profanity*) have little protection from range. White lions, have protection from shooting (4+ i believe) know your foe and know what to bring for your army.
: you have a +1 to dispel for your mages, make them a lvl 4 and watch as your enemy struggles to even use 12 dice.
Some of my ratings as an opponent of HE units:
used in horde or deep steadfast ranks, this cheap unit can hold all but the most horrendous attacks.
a bit pricey, but good BS to shoot from afar. Weak in combat, but hopefully it's not your plan to put them there....
Lothern Sea guard:
A highly overrated unit with a steep price tag. They cost much more than spearmen, but can shoot bows...with a lesser BS than archers. Shooting from this unit rarely amounts to much as a horde or large unit is bearing down on you, those flimsy S3/4(?) bows don't do much. For the price, you can invest in a larger and more efficient spearmen block and some cheap archers to get off almost as many shots (and hit)
--from a beastmaen's perspective, I smile when I see lothern sea guard. They are far less numerous than their spear brethren. I can overwhelm them and worry about less units. I STRONGLY suggest against this unit as your MAIN line.
Rugged and hard hitting. These S5 elves get their ASF hits and have protection vs. shooting.
: 2 attacks, ASF, S5, re-roll to hit. What else do you need to convince you? for 15 (or 16?) points these guys are almost an auto include in every list. More often than not, they can kill their enemy before they get to hit back.
: the most durable infantry you have. 5+/4+ and S4 attacks. They are often the guard to your mages/ heavy hitters.
While calvary took a slight hit and most people haven't learned how to adjust their playstyles, Dragon Princes are still very durable. Their 2+ armor and 2+ ward vs fire is VERy handy in tournaments. There's a TON of 'regen' monsters out there, and every army takes a 'flaming banner' to counter it (ok, almost every). Find this unit, then charge them and watch as your Dragon Princes hold and break them. You can then maraude around the board unhindered.
Not everyone sings their praises, but they can do quite well.
: highly mobile fast cav that can take care of many annoyances.
Dragon Princes on a budget. No 2+ ward vs fire, but still effective
Repeater Bolt thrower:
This edition hurt RXBTs. They need their BS to hit. They cost a pretty penny. If you wiff a shot in the shooting phase, it can hurt bad. I'd invest these points in more core or more eagles
: highly mobile, stomping (odd, as they're airborne) and decent price. These can be used to harry the enemy lines, take out Warmachines (A HUGE THREAT TO HIGH ELVES!!) draw out fantatics. I wouldn't leave home w/o them.
Collecting HE has never been easier. Isle of Blood has filled the marketplaces to the brim with High Elves. New models are released pretty often for this army. They are a GORGEOUSLY scuplted army. With a few simple painting techniques, they can look outstanding. In a master's hand, they can win prizes with their bright colors and sharp look.
a good note:
Don't be a douche:
Taking Tecilis is frowned upon by many. If you DO take him, don't gloat as you stomp your enemy from afar with chain irresistible dwellers below. Not only is it unsportsmanlike, but it really doesn't involve much skill.
"yess!! take that [insert army name]!!! I just lol-rolled-your army to dust before you got to touch me! lololozolzolzolzolzol. I R teh gr34test!!"
....and not many people will want to play you. Hard to play this game w/o opponents. We've all seen 'that guy' end up friendless and opponent-less in the local game shop.
High Elves are a VERY forgiving army for the most part. Good for starters. With a sharp general at the helm, they can run rampant and cut down foes.
Good luck and May the light of the The Ever Queen shine on you
(you weak and feeble snotty island dwellers.)