Monday, May 6, 2013

High Elves - Evidence of Power Creep?

The new High Elf book came out on the weekend and I purchased the iBook version which duly downloaded Saturday morning.


Reading through the rules section I believe the book is a definite shift up in power from the previous edition and I believe that High Elves will dramatically change the meta - much like the advent of Monstrous Cavalry did.

I have a theory about High Elf players. I've always thought that they like to hide behind the power level of their book to explain their lack of success. They had an enormous scare in 7th when the last book came out and they got ASF. For a 3-4 month period they were top of the heap and suddenly they had no excuses. This worried them. Thankfully normal service was resumed when Vampires, Daemons and Dark Elves were released.

So what's this nonsense I'm talking about power creep?

When the new 8th Ed books were released, we saw the various races get 8-10 race-specific magic items. Of these 1-2 were actually useful with the rest being fluff choices, and sometimes enemy-dependent. The High Book has 13 magic items! And of these I think 8 will become staples in most lists - dependent on build. Certainly at least four - Crown, World Dragon, Ring, Book - will be in every list.

The effect of some of these items is great and I expect we'll get much whinging over the coming months as people start to experience their power.

Most of the howls to date have centred on the Banner of the World Dragon and while this is a definitely a changer of the meta, it can be controlled.

The real power item for me is the Book of Hoth. Combined with the new High Magic lore this item is a game-changer. A Level 4 using High Magic can be expected to get off 2-3 spells per turn. The lore is very strong too....destroying Magic Items, better MM and turning off hexes/augments. Backed up by the Loremaster of Hoth (230 points of win) High Elves will rightly challenge the Lizards for control of the magic crown.

I'm really looking forward to playing the new High Elves. Not so worried playing existing High Elf generals as  while they will initially like their new found power, they will hate that they have lost all their excuses for losing and will really dislike the hate that is coming their way. The bandwagoners will embrace their new power, dropping their WoC, Chaos Dwarfs and Ogres, and we should start to see High Elves occupy podiums.

The meta is dead, long live the meta!

58 comments:

  1. Completely agree, I know of several new HE generals rising like the (ICE) Phoneixes they're buying in their dozens. Most of them will tell you they are HE players for like 'ever' and had 12 spearmen and Silverhelm long before this book came out.

    I'd go so far as to put HE on the top of the pile, the sky isn't falling but there'll be a lot of head scratching going on.

    You'd have to comp about 10 things in that HE book to bring it to level, it might be easier to relax tournament comps on the remaining armies to account for them.

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    1. What, in your opinion needs comping?

      I find it difficult to think anything needs comping until a few games have actually been played

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    2. Not exactly 10 things, kinda referring to the strength of the synergies that come from multiple sources, and you can't comp that really. Bit like Ogres in a way. We'll see how they play out, but amazeballs magic, ranged, and defence combined with surgical offense is going to let you bathe in tears, not just drink them :D

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    3. I'm not sure relaxing comp on remaining armies is such a great idea. While it would bring HE in line (Lizards having access to all of their anti-magic for example) it would make life even harder for the armies that are already struggling to come away with anything.

      I do think this is the beginning of some serious power creep though. But it's ok, I know I'll get my 85 point special stega-cannons in september.

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  2. To be fair, Vampires and Daemons have access to more usable items when you consider gifts/Vampiric powers to also be items, as they are both essentially upgrades to the characters.
    Don't forget Vamps allowance for 200 points.

    I guess you can label me a bandwagoner Pete, even though I've had the snobby little pointy nosed fairies for years =)

    Mind you, have to feel sorry for all those Daemon players. They probably feel that they have been dumped on twice in a row with the nerfing of the 'triple letter hoard' and now the 'immunity to Daemons' banner. The tears are delicious though!

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    1. Crying right now, but I don't have breakfast cereal at the moment.

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  3. The Book basically provides the same exact effect that the Banner of Sorcery gave HE players in the last book (giving you a reliable effective magic phase), and while powerful it sure as hell didn't dominate the game...

    Oddly enough, bar the Banner, you should see the pessimism on the Ulthuan forum. Apparently large chunks of the book are overpriced and useless... o_O

    For me, I think you definitely will see High Elves being able to podium, but dominate? I doubt it, still some very obvious frailties to be overcome, and O&Gs are even more of a horrible matchup for the supposedly powerful cavalry builds. Meta changing? Yes, if only because of the Banner, but leading the pack, no... I'd place it nicely alongside many other 8th ed books.


    Also anyone recall the complaints just 2 months ago about how broken Special choice Chimeras with 15pt Regen was? No? Anyone?

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    1. Most of the HE stuff got a points reduction, what are they complaing about?

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    2. Apparently not enough of one. Some guy was saying SMs should be 11 pts to be worthwhile :-P

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    3. Seriously? 1 point extra than core troop choice? My 14 pt Bloodletters would beg to differ.

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    4. I think I prefer "Re-roll one PD or one DD every attempt" over D3 extra PD

      Not even remotely the same impact.

      It won't be existing 8th Ed HE players on the podium James, it will be the new adopters. These guys will unlock the potential of this book - the existing HE players will just get the hate :-)

      Spot Quiz - how much as membership of HE forum gone up in past month?

      Daemonic Legions spiked on book but not getting many new adherents now. I guessing Ulthane will get ongoing signups until the new players realise there aint too much nous on the forum

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    5. High elves are much more popular than daemons. Just looking at all the forums and blogs I frequent, it seems like everyone and his aunt is secretly sporting lace elf underwear.

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    6. Good point Pete. I keep forgetting the dispel rerolls too. Yeah okay its pretty fucking good.

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    7. Also, i doubt it. All the noobs will come along, realise ASF doesnt counter no armour like they think and that they'll still require some skill and run back their Ogres. *looks at certain Aucklanders*

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    8. Realistically the only unit that is overpriced in High Elves are the Sea Guard. The rest of the book is fairly well balanced vs other options in the same book.

      Its only when you compare things like the WL chariots to WOC chariots that it stuff looks wrong. But you can't compare things book to book like that!

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    9. *Looks at Spearmen entry*

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  4. You already know what I think of it, Pete;-)

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  5. All I have to say is..More skirt wearing pansies to torture on the corsair ships back to Naggaroth!

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  6. "Elves will get off 2-3 spells a turn"?

    ...HA... HAHAHAHA!

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    1. With a Book of Hoeth, a level 4 and High Magic I'd expect the Elves to have broken through the Dwarven magic defence by T4 at the latest, especially as they destroy your scrolls and MRoBalance. I think they'll be able to cast most of their spells very easily and the unforging spell will get cast on your Runelord/smith every turn thus destroying or drawing scrolls easily. The only thing that's gonna challenge HE in the magic phase is an uncomped Lizard anti-magic setup.

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  7. Hamish G (Kapiti)May 6, 2013 at 12:45 PM

    I think the new book is much more balanced across the various slots (rare/special etc) than the previous book plus there are sooooo many options for lists now. Before it seemed like a stardragon + 2 White Lion hordes was your best beat.
    I agree with pete to a degree about the auto include items but I think the biggest change is the actual lose of re-rolls on specials units like White Lions and Swordmasters. Additionally the lose of the high elves cheap defensive magic items hurts (Guardian Phoenix, Braces, Armour of Caldor etc) and there combat characters now won't have re-rolls with GWs and will struggle to get better than 4+ AS without spending a ton points.
    unmounted BSB's will be especially hurt by these changes.

    BotWD - isnt the end of the world by any stretch of the imagination (no matter what you say Sam C), what ultimately will happen is the unit with the banner will simply be diverted out of the game or face multiple hits from warmachines and spells like Dwellers, Dreaded 13 and Death vortex. To a competent general they simply pick up points from your other units and do what they do to vampire buses and keep them out of the game.

    I think Armys like Dwarfs, chaos Dwarfs, Empire and OnG will be unphased by the changes overall.

    I suspect any list I make will start with

    Flamespyre Phoenix
    2-3 Bolt Throwers
    either 1 horde White lions (with Botwd) or couple smaller units of 15 (5x3)
    archers (15, 5x3) and silver helms (units of 5 with shields)
    and most likely a Lvl4 (book) and Loremaster

    or cav hvy list with dragon princes, Silver Helms, phoenix, nobles on eagles backed up by some magic ;)

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  8. Wait a minute.. the books been out a week and you are already claiming a power creep? The high elf book still has all the inherent weaknesses of being elves.
    When I actually looked at the final rumours to me the power level seems only slightly higher, but what it does do it provide more flexibility in builds.

    The sky hasn't fallen yet on any army (except maybe demons). With regarding the World Dragon banner... guess I am the only one who actually thinks its not that good. I'll probably just leave it at home.
    High Elves could do similar to what it does now in the old book.

    Book of Hoeth equivalent to +1 dispel and the Banner of sorc. I agree with James on this one

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    1. I told you why I think there is a power creep.

      And nowhere did I saw the sky was falling or that we needed comp. All I said is that High Elf players no longer have any excuses.

      And seriously if you think "only slightly higher" I have a bridge you can buy. There is a reason why the internet is aflutter with the musings of bandwagoners....and it's not cos they like the fluff.

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    2. I didn't necessarily mean you were saying such things Pete.
      Where can I buy this bridge???
      High Elves got better due to amount of stuff you can do in the list and a point decrease across the board.
      So yes... Slightly better :)

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  9. It’s the same with any new book; some people will jump on it and then move on when the next “power creep” or perceived top book comes out. It will be interesting to see what happens with Lizards as their current book was certainly a notch above the 7th ed. HE book. I’m looking forward to playing them as it will be my 5th HE book (I think you can gauge the popularity of the army as they’ve had a new book pretty much each addition.) Probably not going to be for a while though as my painting speed hasn’t picked up and as I stripped all my old 4th Ed. models I want to do them justice.

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  10. Actually all we need to do is see if Pete takes them to an event. If he does they are the new filth. If not them just middle of the pack :)

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    1. Refer readers to the following post:

      http://9inchcharge.blogspot.co.nz/2013/03/warhammer-experiment-x-my-equinox-list.html

      A bit like Socialism, a failed experiment

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    2. Ha ha I wasn't having a go at you don't be so precious! However, I thoroughly recommend playing practise games with an army you've never played before....helps...a lot....

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    3. Whatever you say, Michael Foot

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    4. Well since you raised the point of socialism being a failed experiment I have to point out that deregulated countries such as NZ are experiencing increasing inequality (one of the fastest growing - as measured by the GINI index),127% debt to GDP, increased ill health and failed finance companies....whereas Scandinavian countries (largely regarded and run on a socialist model) seem to be doing quite well.
      RIP Michael Foot

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    5. Lol only if you believe the socialist drivel that is fed to you by the tabloids... err I mean news media

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    6. I'm sorry Tim it's not news media that I've been reading mate - it's actually studies! I'm sorry but I've spent too long at university looking at population health and statistics to be told otherwise. You need to get out of Invergiggle a little more for a reality check.

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    7. Says the Jaffa. Mean while in the real world... =)

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    8. You're a civil engineer aye? Well the next time I take advice from you regarding population health, will be the time I tell you how to build a bridge.

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    9. To be perfectly honest Tim, Auckland is as close to the 'real world' as we'll get in New Zealand, what with the economic and population rising in the city where as places like Wellington and Christchurch are losing major companies to Auckland especially corporate head offices and other major business.

      But whats happening in Invercargill again? I heard the worlds fastest Indian is there!

      Wait, this is a wargaming forum! lol

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    10. Not Forum I meant blog, oops.

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    11. Ha ha blog/forum meh? Don't worry Simon we're just keeping it real...don't forget it also has oysters and Tim Shadbolt!

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  11. I wonder how much talk, discussion and build up there will be when the new Dwarf book comes 'oot'?

    Because if its anything like the past 25 comments. I'll have a lot of fun! :D

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    1. Simon I really hope the Dwarf book is good and I'll be happy for dwarf players - I expect rage quitters though when they introduce units that can move and dwarfs actually have to leave their deployment zone.. might make current dwarf players uncomfortable that they have to learn one of the most important phases in the game.

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    2. And organ guns that roll to hit

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    3. Yeah it's easy to beat up on the Dwarves but when you only have movement 3 it doesn't particularly predispose sweeping charges and outflanking maneuvers!

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    4. Don't forget the loss of multiple dispel runes

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    5. No Peter, no!

      @Gas Monkey - If they do introduce movement (maybe with Bear cav but w/e ;D) there won't be rage quitting on my end, but a lot of pissing and moaning for the realization that I might actually have to learn something tactical instead of pew pewing my way to victory, a sad day that will be.

      @Rory - It can happen Rory, I must say I've don't it a few times me self, but if it fails we end up getting bent over and taken in the rear for our bold/tactical decision.

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    6. Done*, whatever*

      My spelling is on to it today, jesus.

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    7. Give up on the Bear cavalry Simon its not going to happen and if it does Ill never use them... and Pete Organ Guns rolling to hit thats blasphemy

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    8. I will never give up John, well, until the book comes out then I guess I have to :P. lol

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  12. Holy hell, 40 comments already?

    Pete must be an excellent fisherman because he has the baiting down perfectly, people just can't help biting ;)

    For my $0.02 worth I have bought the new book and had a good look at it. I really like the army and I think it will be solid.

    The biggest problems caused by World Dragon banner will be when it gets used on a unit like the Dragon Princes which have a 1+ armour and some army's will really struggle to kill that unit as anything that gets past the armour will hit a 2+ ward save. Dwarf rune marked warmachines will hate it, Daemons will not be happy and Skaven will suddenly find that it's immune to all of thier toys (and you can't even 6 dice 13th! to get rid of it!). That said Skaven will still probably be the happiest as they can just bury the unit in slaves.

    I am looking for a 2nd army at the minute so I can have some variation from just playing Skaven and I was tempted by HE but I am going with something else.

    Dave A

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    1. There still only 2+ save T3 knights which hit at St3 after the first round. Its not that hard to deal with.

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    2. Must...downplay...must..mitigate..advantage... I'm sure you're struggle through Tim, they'll hardly ever not charge, have ASF and fight in 3 ranks with super sweet elf-stats! :)

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    3. Jossy has pointed out the one thing everyone seems to keep forgetting. No matter how tricked out HE are they are still only T3 so you hit them they die. They are also only S3 (White Lions & SM aside). So the Dragon Prince bus that ppl are fretting about is great on the turn it charges but after that all you have are a bunch of T3 S3 Elves doing no damage/no wounds and getting whacked by everything else.

      Havent got my copy of the new book yet *sigh* but from what I've read online it looks good. Probably wont change my list much expect it gives me a good reason to bring the Dragon Mage out and the new Loremaster looks good - pity its a Lord choice.

      The Flamespyre is cool but at 225pts thats 125 more than I would normally put into Rare with 2 Eagles and those points have to come from somewhere.

      S/Helms are also fine - when they charge - but they are still T3 S3, have a lower WS than Dragon Princes, dont get Dragon Armour, cant take a magical banner and the champion cant take a magic item - so as with 7th they're basically rubbish (IMO).

      The one rule I definately like is Marital Prowess - giving me an extra rank of attacks and the parry save vs. shooting for SM. But I dont think losing my re-rolls to hit was worth that - as you relied upon those to kill a crap load of enemy models in the first round of combat before they chewed through your 5+AS at T3.

      But we'll see - personally I will still be going infantry heavy as I like the models and hate painting horses.

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    4. Apparently Skaven missed the day when passes for T3 were being given out.

      Bloodletters also had a cold that day

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    5. You mean 2 point T3 skaven, as opposed to 9 point T3 elves?
      People use bloodletters now? I thought everyone played Nurgle Daemons =P

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    6. Yep the 8pt Stormvermin....

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    7. Oh so your talking skaven elites eh. Just as cheap as the cheapest elf still?

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    8. Yeah yeah T3 Skaven vs. T3 High Elves - but then you dont see 2400pt High Elf lists with 4 blocks of 40-50 Spears alah Skaven list and their blocks of slaves/clan rats AND all of the extra bells and whistles that go with it.

      Dont get me wrong the new rules seem great and HE remain a strong army. But they are still brittle - now when they give my GW weilding T4 Dwarfs ASF or a Martial Prowess equivalent that will be just beautiful.

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    9. 7pt Storm vermin. As if you would ever give them a shield. To be honest Storm vermin are actually really good !!! the rest of army book is just hell of alot better...

      Yup High Elves will still suffer from lack of bodies, But that's how it should be

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