Army Review: Elves

While I am a big fan of the traditional army review format, they usually only show the opinion of one person playing in one particular meta. In reality even within the same gaming group there is often a lot of disagreement over which units are top tier and which leave a lot to be desired. So I decided to format these army reviews in a way that captures that debate.  

A massive thank you to Adam, Keith, Mike and Tom for their help with this review.

The ‘Expert’ Panel

Adam Ballard
I am the US Masters chair for the Mountain region. I have been playing Kings since the mass exit from Warhammer Fantasy and will never go back! Most people know me as an elf player, more specifically my love of Goldbreeze (silverbreeze cav, but in my hands they are gold ;). I have played in all 4 years of the US masters and been best Elf general two of those years. I love elves and prefer to play an alpha strike build. In 3rd edition, Elves do alpha strike best!! No contest.

Keith Randall (aka Evil Keith)
I’m a Warhammer refugee who has played KoW since Second Edition dropped.  I’ve almost exclusively played Elves.  After Third dropped I paused playing Elves after (in)famously getting drunk and yelling about the changes on CounterCharge and played a KoM gunline and some LadyBros.  But, after Halpi’s, Elves are back on the menu! As for my “credentials”, I probably win more games than I lose with Elves – but that shouldn’t matters – my 100% scientific (bourbon-fuelled) analysis of units should stand on its own merits!  If you disagree with me, there is probably a world where you are right.

Mike Crossman
Hi guys, Mike here. I’m from Melbourne, Australia, and I’ve been playing Kings of War for just over 4 years now. I’ve been running regular KoW events here since picking up the game, and we now have a very active and fun scene. I had the privilege of being invited on to the Rules Committee last year, and am the first (but not the last!) Aussie to be on the committee.

I’ve played a lot of games of KoW over the years (my wife is very patient and understanding!) with a number of different armies, but Elves have always been one of my favourites. I have enjoyed a good success rate with them, including winning a local event with them during second edition, and enjoy trying out and running different builds. Overall I think they are a fun army with some good diversity. I hope you enjoy the review!

Tom Robinson
I began in Kings of War coming from Warhammer with my late in the game love for Wood Elves giving me a sizeable force of tree themed forces to bring straight across. I loved the versatile combined arms approach Elves had in second and played them as my competitive choice from the start of Second edition all the way to the penultimate CoK update where they finally managed to strip away all the interesting interplay that Elves had going for them, so I played Undead for the final 2nd ed Masters to demonstrate their folly (A recurring theme for me is that when one of my favourite factions gets nerfed I pivot to Undead to demonstrate how much more busted they still are/were . . . I’m not petty . . . or bitter).

I got a lot of reps in with the Elves and helped as much as I could in 3rd ed to bring back some of that but, unfortunately, I feel they lost much of what made them interesting in the transition. I myself played more Sylvan Kin than vanilla Elves due to this but still played against them quite often and as my first Kings of War love I keep a close eye on each CoK update. As a result much of my views are based on that move from 2nd edition to 3rd . While many factions are defined by their rivals, for me Elves are defined by what they used to be.

The Rating System

Each unit in the army is given a rating /10 using the scale below.

Note that the score given is how the unit compares to all other units in the game, not just compared to other units in the army. However, each unit should be considered in the context of this particular army e.g. a Phoenix in Salamanders may be rated differently to a Phoenix in the Forces of Basilea.


Kindred Tallspears

Photo credit: Jesse Bilbija

Adam – 8/10
Mainly taking them in the horde profile. Very solid, well balanced unit. Benefits very well from magic items due to high number of Elite attacks. Hammer of Measured Force, or Brew of Strength ideally. These will likely compete with Palace Guard hordes for a spot in the army and for me personally I am taking spears over Palace Guard mainly due to cav and fliers. Phalanx is clutch and this unit is one of the only “anvils” in the army.

Photo credit: Michael Johnson

Keith – 6/10
Tallspears are…fine.  Nice nerve block, lots of attacks, and Phalanx.  Give them Hammer of Measured Force and/or Brew of Strength and they can cause some real damage.  The problem they have in Elves (in contrast to Twilight Kin) is that they aren’t Palace Guard (or Shield Wall or Forest Guard, or Sea Guard).  Taking a Tallspears horde with Brew of Strength – you could also take Palace Guard with Staying Stone or Mace of Crushing.  Taking a regiment of Tallspears?  Find 10 points and take a Sea Guard regiment instead.  In summation – not bad, not great – probably going to take something else.

Recommended Items: Hammer of Measure Force; Brew of Strength

Photo credit: Gavin Miles

Mike – 8/10
A horde can form a nice, solid backbone to any Elf list. 30 Elite attacks can do some damage, especially paired with items such as Brew of Strength, Hammer of Measured Force or Chant of Hate. Phalanx and a nice chunk of nerve make it good defensively. Can also be useful in regiment form to keep enemy cavalry honest, although I prefer them as a horde.

Photo credit: Gavin Miles

Tom – 6/10
An absolutely middle of the road unit. It’s your bog standard line infantry with the added bonus/weakness of having the elite Elven bonuses. They’re expensive for your typical main stay unit but bringing 30 Elite attacks is putting 18 hits out average and augmented with Bane Chant and/or Brew of Strength they can compete with more elite combat units. The extra Speed and Nerve keeps them around a little longer while projecting threat and Phalanx keeps the fast alpha strike stuff honest. My issue is they’re sitting next to Palace Guard for competition. Regiments lose out to the cheaper Archers or more versatile Seaguard/Gladestalkers. So by no means a bad unit, just quite expensive and somewhat plain when racked up against the rest of the factions or against the Elven internal list roster.

Photo credit: Koal Powers

Shield Watch

Photo credit: Jason Birr

Adam – 4/10
Defence 5 infantry is great for elves, but there is no horde option. The main reason I rate this unit so low is because it contradicts the way the rest of the units in the army play. I am sure this unit is above a 5 in some builds, but for me it will never see the table.

Keith – 4/10
Shield Watch are a unit without a purpose in Elves (at least the way I put them on the table).  Their stats are fine – but they don’t shoot and they don’t move quickly – they are here to be a speed bump when other units (Shamblers) speed bump almost as well for cheaper.   Granted they do unlock, which pre-Halpi’s was an issue, but they are only going to help you survive 1 post-charge turn usually – and I don’t see the facility there.

Mike – 5/10
Not a unit I’ve used much, they seem to lack a defined role currently. Offensively they are outmatched by Palace Guard, their lower nerve means they can be prone to wavering, and me4 can be iffy even with Elite. Could do with a slight adjustment to see more play.

Tom – 4/10
I don’t care for these guys, I don’t really know why they exist. Elves never asked for more infantry unlocks, they needed more of everything else to unlock. They’re expensive, not as fighty as Palace Guard and mediocre in both defence and offence. So they’re Def 5 . . . and that’s about as much as you can say for them. I’d take Palace Guard for the combat ability and extra nerve over extra defence. They also lack a horde option which again loses out to Palace Guard. They feel symptomatic of the poor hand Elves were dealt in 3rd.


Forest Guard

Photo credit: Jason Birr

Adam – 5/10
Slightly better than Shield Watch. Again no horde option (damn you Sylvan Kin!!) Similar idea to Shield Watch as to why I rate these guys low. They have play and placement in some builds and Pathfinder is very useful, but they don’t fit into my list/playstyle (alpha strike).

Keith – 4/10
Forest Guard don’t really fit in for me either.  They are 5 points more expensive that Palace Guard at a regiment level – and add Pathfinder and replace CS 1 with Thunderous 1 which is…ok?  But I don’t see many uses for this unit that a Palace Guard regiment can’t do (CS is much better than Thunderous…and Pathfinder is very situational).  Forest Guard are a bit more about alpha strike, but only move 6 (which is a very elf thing to say…).  In a world with cheaper Sea Guard, unlocking Gladestalkers, and Palace Guard, Forest Guard don’t have a place (unless you can take them as a horde…but this is not the Sylvan Kin review). 

Photo credit: Gavin Miles

Mike – 6/10
Troops can be useful chaff that can move at the double through forests and also packs a punch. Ignore these in your flank at your peril! Regiments aren’t bad but I prefer the slightly cheaper Palace Guard for around the same points cost.

Tom – 5/10
Similar to the above Shield Watch. Another variant of infantry which changes one or two minor stats/rules from Palace Guard and adds little to nothing to the list. I like them slightly more and they’re fine as a unit because a Pathfinder infantry unit with speed 6 and TC1 has situational benefits that you have to buy items to get otherwise for other Elf infantry. That said I still wouldn’t bother as they’re not Palace Guard. Much like the above, symptomatic of the Elven 3rd ed curse, the Watch and both Guard units are technically 3 unlocking units; in reality it’s only one unlocking unit. These three are about as different as Kingdoms of Men Foot guard with the two handed weapon option and Indomitable Will building two different purpose units, as opposed to the Elves doing the same but technically they get 3 unlocks . . . I’m not bitter. 


Palace Guard

Photo credit: Jefferson Jay Thacker

Adam – 8/10
Mainly take in the horde profile. Great nerve and damage output. This is one of the best infantry hordes in the game when it comes to hammers. Benefits well from magic items and loves a Bane Chant backing it up. That being said, it is a glass hammer. This unit will take a lot of focus fire and double charges. If supported correctly, this unit is well worth it’s points and will likely see play for most every elf army out there.

Photo credit: Pawel Meiczowski

Keith – 7/10
Hordes 8/10; Regiments 6/10; Troops 4/10 (I’ve gone for 7/10 as the score for the averages, because who ever takes troops of anything? 😛 – Elliot)
Messing with Elliot’s averages just to be obstinate.  Palace Guard come as hordes the vast majority of the time.  Twenty-five attacks with CS 1 and Elite can grind with almost anything – even after taking a charge.  Add damage items (Strength, Vicious, Sharpness) and they will obliterate anything they touch, or add nerve items (Fury; Headstrong) and they will stick around and serve as a solid Ham-vil.  Having Bane Chant around is also highly recommended.

Hordes don’t quite get a 9 or 10 because at Def 4 they are still squishy, and without Monsters/Titans, Elves cannot benefit from the full unlocks of an infantry horde.

Recommended Items: Brew of Strength; Chant of Hate; Brew of Sharpness; Chalice of Wrath; Dwarven Ale; Staying Stone; Mace of Crushing (basically anything).

Photo credit: Gavin Miles

Mike – 9/10
In horde form, they can be an absolute monster. Popular items include Brew of Strength, Brew of Sharpness or Pathfinder to get them through terrain. 22/24 is an excellent nerve stat defensively too. Regiment and troop forms are solid too and aren’t bad additions to virtually any list.

Photo credit: Jesse Bilbija

Tom – 8.5/10
A big step up from their sister units the Palace Guard for me straddle 8-9 score. They’re cheap enough with great nerve at regiment and troop unit sizes, a steep cost for the horde option but Jesus 22-24 nerve as a horde is insane even with Def4. Likewise offensively 25 elite Me3 CS1 attacks base is terrifying, slap the Vicious or Sharpness items on them and they can mince anything in one round. They do slightly different jobs at all unit sizes and all can have their place in a balanced list. You don’t need them in your list but I think the novelty of an elite Elven infantry horde is a powerful draw and will likely also be your tankiest unit. An excellent core to your army.


Kindred Archers

Photo credit: Koal Powers

Adam – 8/10
I may be alone in this, but here is my very controversial opinion… Kindred Archers are still great! …(Allow a long pause for raging)… Everyone remembers how OP the archer horde with Piercing was backed up by Bane Chant. You could delete a whole unit in one turn of shooting with that unit alone. I took it and so did everyone else. This unit is obviously not the same, but if you can let go of what they use to be and see what they are now you too can see the greatness that Kindred Archers still are!

This unit should only be taken in regiments. (horde shooting is gone and if you want an MSU army full of troops have at it.) 120 points for their profile is well under costed. D4 (that’s higher than average) Me5 (that’s better than average) 14/16, Solid! Compared to other small arms fire regiments they are just better. And yes we pay the price when comparing to the other units, but did I forget to mention they unlock? Before the most recent CoK update they were one of the only small arms ranged units that did this. Also, they are THE CHEAPEST UNLOCKING UNIT IN THE ARMY!!! (now that Drakons unlock this is not such a big deal, but we will get to them later) I say every army should have 1-2 regiments easy.

Photo credit: Gavin Miles

Keith – 1/10
This unit may have directly led to my highly-public meltdown on CounterCharge.  Elven archers in the lore should not hit on 5s, full stop.  This unit makes no sense at any size.  Yes they are Defence 4 and have decent nerve – but…they…don’t…do…anything.  In an elite army, every unit has to be putting out damage or scaring your opponent into thinking they will put out damage.  Archers now do nothing except stand around waiting to die – and hoping the clock runs out.

Photo credit: Saul Ben Smith

Mike – 6/10
How the mighty have fallen! Ok chaff in troop form, and can be a decently priced unlock as regiments. Sadly I don’t think the horde is worth the points. Shooting not being able to be Bane Chanted, the piercing item and RA4 was a nerf too far for these guys unfortunately.

Photo credit: Michael Johnson

Tom – 6/10
Goblins in dresses. What can I say, they’re super cheap, their statline is pretty good on paper defensively and they shoot barely better than Goblin Spitters. They aren’t really a proper ranged unit anymore, they don’t feel like elves and I apologise for me and the other Elf players in 2nd edition making use of the hordes with items and Bane Chant etc which annoyed people enough that they got nerfed with both a RA drop, Bane Chant dropping from ranged attacks and ranged items removed completely. Those three nerfs essentially killed the spirit of the 2nd edition powerhouse archers, these are a pale imitation.

They’re a solid choice in your army however for that price, no denying it, I just think they’re boring . . . I’m bitter about this one.

Photo credit: Jefferson Jay Thacker

Kindred Gladestalkers

Photo credit: Michael Johnson

Adam – 5/10
This unit is a complete BAIT!! Do not fall for this trap!!

Now that they unlock they are not the worst unit in the list. If they were still irregular they would get a 1/10. These guys are just too expensive for what they do. They fill the same role as the Archers, but have better damage output for 55 more points… they are not worth 55 more points. On top of that, they are Defence 3 and have the same nerve as Archers. Anyone with Lightning Bolt will pick this unit off easy. I know they have some up sides and that is why I gave them a 5/10, but I will not be taking Gladestalkers over Archers ever.

Keith – 7/10
Now that they unlock, Gladestalkers can be a solid mainline unit.  Steady Aim, Pathfinder, Elite, 4+ Ra, and 24” shooting is an effective shooting source that, added to other shooting options, forces your opponent to respect your shooting.  With the proliferation of trash/MSU armies in third, efficient shooting can spread plinky damage and tear through light defense armies that are more common.  They will struggle with high defense targets, but with Scout, Steady Aim, and 24” range, you can get them into a position to shooting softer targets.  And, as an added bonus they are also ME 4+ and Elite, so your opponent can’t ignore them.

Recommended Items: Fire Oil

Mike – 6/10
Have some nice abilities, with Pathfinder, Steady Aim and Scout. However Steady Aim can be cost burden as generally you’ll want to Scout into a forest and stay there, meaning the unit is paying for an ability it will rarely use. Defence 3 also means they’ll die if anything looks too closely at them. Regiments can be worth considering, especially now they unlock, but it hurts when they die with their cost. Expensive and too easy to kill in troop form in my view.

Tom – 6/10
Thanks to the buff making them regular there’s now a reason to take the actual real Elven shooting unit. I mean they’re ok at shooting, ok in a fight and Scout with Steady Aim will keep them relevant. They got far cheaper in 3rd ed which was great but this unit still suffers from being quite expensive overall for a unit with Def3 and a preponderance to getting shot off the board themselves since they aren’t Stealthy and present a juicy target for Lightning Bolt and Breath Attacks. You certainly can use them, they help with the unlocking problem Elves have, I just think they may be too frail for their cost overall.


Therennian Sea Guard

Photo credit: Jesse Bilbija

Adam – 7/10
I have not played with them much, but since their points were decreased these guys should see more play. I think they are correctly costed for what you get now.

Keith – 6/10
With the points deduct, this unit has potential.  A Unit Strength 3 shooting regiment is unique – I have admittedly not tried this unit yet, but I can see a situation where I use the regiment as a cheapish unlock over Gladestalkers.

Mike – 5/10
It is always challenging to balance units that can fight in melee and shoot. Too cheap and they’ll be spammed, but too expensive and you’ll rarely see them. The points reduction from the last FAQ definitely helps, but Seaguard are unfortunately still lacking something for their points cost in my opinion. As it stands I’d rather pass on the rather lacklustre shooting and just take Tallspears that have the extra attacks and are cheaper. Something like straight up Elite would be a step in the right direction for this unit.

Tom – 4/10
I think I’m responsible for what happened here. Nobody used them in 2nd ed as a competitive choice but I got great mileage with the old Bane Chant (3), Elite and Nimble when it conferred Steady Aim to build up the support to make them worthwhile compared to a second Archer horde which was far cheaper and nearly as good anyway. Since then they may have got a price drop and become regular taking them from a score of 1-2 at the start of 3rd to a solid 4 but I still don’t think they’re worth your time. Not good enough in a fight compared to other options, not good enough at shooting for their cost, the support items and means to raise them up are completely gone so why bother? I like the style of unit they represent but can’t justify running these.


Hunters of the Wild

Adam – 5/10
Decent melee unit. Good number of attacks, Pathfinder, and Scouts. No Elite or Crushing however. I haven’t used them, but they seem to fill a very unique role in the army as more of a support/thicc chaff almost. Does not unlock, otherwise I would rate higher.

Photo credit: Gavin Miles

Keith – 3/10
Not elite.  Doesn’t unlock.  Doesn’t do any damage in combat.  I never take them.

Mike – 4/10
I want to like these guys.. but don’t. Scout and Pathfinder are nice but they’re slow (for Elves), lack any CS or TC, no Elite and slightly underpar nerve (again, for Elves) with no waver mitigation. A rule and/or stat increase short currently.

Tom – 5/10
I quite like these. They’re different enough from the Elf infantry bringing a number of different stats and rules. Compare them to Shield Watch and 15 Me3 is pretty similar to 12 Me4 Elite, defensively they’re the same however you’re getting Scout and Pathfinder for one less speed and larger base. All that said the minor utility benefits don’t add up to much on the tabletop a recurring theme with Elf infantry but a nice partner unit for Forest Shamblers or Tree Herders that other line infantry can’t match. 


Stormwind Cavalry

Photo credit: Gavin Miles

Adam – 8/10
Little known fact, Stormwind Cav are one of the best cav units in the game! The reason why is because they are Speed 9 and Elite. They don’t have Crushing, but Bane Chant can help with that. These are the perfect cav for Elves playing an alpha strike build. Why don’t we see these guys too often? Well, Drakons is why.. (keep reading…)

Keith – 6/10
Stormwind Cavalry are really good cavalry.  They are faster than most and they are Elite.  But, their nerve as a regiment (14/16) doesn’t grind or stand-up well to concentrated shooting, and there are few instances where I wouldn’t recommend finding 60 points to get Drakon Riders.  They do have that ability to get cheap versions of some of the better items…but again you are just getting closer to Drakon points costs by giving them items…

Photo credit: Gavin Miles

Mike – 7/10
Solid unit but probably slightly outshone by Drakons now that the latter unlock when taken in hordes, and can fly, hit harder and have better nerve. Still, a Stormwind regiment with Pathfinder can be a decent flanking threat that cant be ignored, although the 14/16 nerve can mean they waver fairly easily to any counterpunch so don’t expect them to stick around. Haven’t tried them in troop form and not sure I ever will…

Tom – 5/10
Fast heavy cav with Elite to aid rubber lance syndrome is lovely. However 14/16 with no Waiver or damage mitigation, little grind ability while being very expensive has always put me off. I have honestly never ran this unit, I think those drawbacks are too great personally but wholly accept that’s personal preference and that these guys really are a solid unit. Plus it’s an unlock that isn’t two variants of Elven melee or ranged infantry wearing different masks so woo!  I think internally Drakons regaining regular has hurt their position, dropping from a 6 to a 5.


Silverbreeze Cavalry

Photo credit: Pawel Meiczowski

Adam – 9/10
Ohhh boy! Where to start?

For those of you that don’t know, I made my name as an Elf player in 2nd edition playing 5+ troops of Silverbreeze Cav (before they were good). Back then a troop costed 145 points, now they are 130. They must have been nerfed right? Yeah, they use to be 24″ range, now they are 18″. They use to be flat Elite, now just Elite (Ranged). Those changes are unfortunate… BUT did you know these bad boys now come in a regiment!?!?! AND they are Me4 instead of Me5! (mitigates the loss of Elite (Melee)).

These guys are my favourite unit in the game and the reason why I play Elves. Mobility is key in this game and these guys are the best at it. Sit them on a hill to shoot and threaten a charge (gain the TC(1) coming off the hill). Run them down a flank threatening the potential charge (forcing your opponent to turn and respect them because 28 attacks in the flank will hurt). Do this and more all while shooting 14 Elite Ra4+ shots that will clear out chaff and on a Height 3 profile you can even threaten that squishy 10/12 standard bearer or wizard behind the infantry lines.

This unit is unique. It is not a hammer, anvil, or chaff. In the right hands this unit is a scalpel that allows you to slowly pick apart the opponents army. This allows for every other unit to do its job.

I currently take 1 troop and 2 regiments. Would recommend 🙂

Photo credit: Jesse Bilbija

Keith – 7/10
Silverbreeze are good, borderline really good – but they are far from broken because they are expensive.  You can go all in on them (see Ballard, Adam), or they can be a good support units, but if you spend too much on Silverbreeze you are vulnerable to high defence armies.  Used wisely they can be dominating, but much like many Elven units, even a slight misplay can lead to them disappearing. 

Notably, the shorter range shooting (18”) compared to Second Edition means they can get exposed to fast counters much easier.

Mike – 7/10
Seen as a potential standout unit at the start of third edition, Silverbreeze are a decent unit in either troop or regiment form. They are mobile, and provide accurate shooting with ra4 and Elite (ranged). They are also ok in melee with me4 (although no Elite). A defence of 4 is also good for a light cavalry unit, although a nerve of 11/13 on the troop and 14/16 on the regiment means they need to be handled carefully.

Tom – 6/10
Vastly improved from 2nd ed thanks to a points drop and the ability to take regiments along with Me4 offsetting losing the Elite to become Elite (ranged) only. These are chaff in a pinch, fast AF and surprisingly durable at 11/13 Def4. They can’t be ignored on a flank charge either so can do a good job of projecting some threat, support and match fliers for speed. Dropping to short bows hurts as it means they have to be in range of Speed 9 to shoot them so requires a bit more thought but still a nuisance at all stages of the game. My main issues is it’s another relatively expensive unit that doesn’t unlock as a regiment and they get outranged by 24” shooting. If I wanted to build these into a list I’d be looking at Sylvan Kin with the Deathroot arrow upgrade.

Photo credit: Koal Powers

Battlecats

Adam – 7/10
Fine chaff. They are no Needlefangs, Gargoyles, or Snow Foxes. But they will do.

Photo credit: Michael Johnson

Keith – 5/10
Battlecats are the cheapest US in the Elven army…and that’s about it.  Battlecats serve better as chaff for foot troops – the 7 inch move won’t keep up with normal or flying cavalry, but it is fast enough to stand behind a line of troops and rush out to interrupt charges.  I guess I understand why they aren’t faster – give Elves cheap fast (Speed 9/10) chaff and the army would be very hard to match.

Photo credit: Dan Zarembski

Mike – 5/10
Not a terrible unit by any means, I just find they don’t really have a place in lists that I put together. A defence of 2 means they evaporate if given any attention, and they also lack Pathfinder for moving quickly through terrain. I’d pass on these for other chaff options like Forest Shamblers, Archer troops or Forest guard troops.

Tom – 4/10
Half the time I forget these exist, the rest of the time I lament they’re not Sylvan Kin Gur Panthers. Not fast enough for your alpha strikers, a bit weak and redundant for your infantry. Elves have always for me been capable at the anti chaff game and Forest Shambler regiments do the thicc chaff role so don’t see this lots purpose. Maybe they’re fine if you have the left over points.


Forest Shamblers

Photo credit: Jefferson Jay Thacker

Adam – 7/10
Regiments are good thicc chaff. Hordes do not unlock, so not sure why you would take them. If large infantry regiments still unlocked like they did last edition these guys would be a 9+ easy.

Photo credit: Michael Johnson

Keith – 6/10
Forest Shamblers are a useful core unit to a battleline.  Regiments are cheap enough to throw away but can also serve as thicc chaff.  However, the fact that they are irregular in the Elven army, an army struggling for unlocks as it is, makes them an imperfect add.  In sum, they can be useful, but not an auto-include.

Photo credit: Dan Zarembski

Mike – 7/10
A useful unit in the elf list in regiment form, able to provide a thicc chaff role in an army not known for its toughness. Less useful in horde format.

Photo credit: Gavin Miles

Tom – 6/10
It’s an unlocking unit that isn’t infantry! (Sorry Tom, not in Elves it isn’t – Elliot) The regiments of these guys are great thicc chaff thanks to fearless Def 5 Pathfinder and Scout. Hordes are unreasonably expensive when compared to their compatriot elementals, Zombie Trolls or Butchers. They can’t really fight without expensive point investment, being technically worse in combat than Ogre Boomers, a shooting unit. They’re great to run alongside a Tree Herder though and you can technically Surge them with Scout mitigating the Shambling defect to a point. A 10 point increase from 2nd ed for a unit I already thought was 5-10 points overpriced as a horde hurts though . . . Maybe they should be a 5/10?


War Chariots

Photo credit: Paul Brown

Adam – 1/10
We all knew the chariot nerf was coming, they flew too close to the sun. And they sure as hell nerfed them good. All you have to do is compare the chariots to Stormwind and Silverbreeze and you will see point for point chariots are never worth it. The only thing they have going for them is their nerve, but a bad unit surviving longer does not make up for still being a bad unit.

Photo credit: Rafici Rafici

Keith – 3/10
Outside of pure combat chariots, I can’t think of one chariot unit that is compelling in Third.  These chariots are no exception.  Chariots thrived in Second because they were multi-purpose units that could perform both roles (combat and ranged) at 80% of the similarly pointed specialists (archers and Stormwind Cav); but in Third, they can’t match that utility.

Photo credit: Gavin Miles

Mike – 5/10
Not a unit I’ve used much in third edition, my comments regarding Seaguard also apply here i.e. you’re paying a lot for pretty ineffectual ranged attacks, and there are pure melee units that are better in the same role (Drakons, and even Stormwind).

Photo credit: Michael Johnson

Tom – 2/10
Terrible unit, giant base, poor shooting, meh combat, and very vulnerable to counter fire.  Victim of the item and Bane Chant nerf along with their tbh fair whack on their ranged attack stats. They’re in a horrid place though as a result of both hits.


Drakon Riders

Photo credit: Pawel Meiczowski

Adam – 10/10
This is why you play Elves! Drakons are THE BEST hammer in the game, no question.

While every other flying hammer got nerfed hard going into 3rd, Drakons remained on top with the CS(1) TC(1) and Fly speed 10. Imo, they were always top of the flying hammer food chain because of their consistency with having Elite. Drakons have always been a solid 9/10, until the CoK update to make them unlock again! Elves struggled sooooo much with unlocks before this. With this change 10/10 easy!

Any competitive list will have 2 hordes and I suggest taking Pathfinder and Strider for magic items.

Photo credit: Gavin Miles

Keith – 8/10
Drakons are the premier alpha strike unit in Third.  The only flying combat unit left with both CS(1) and TC (1) (suck it Elohi), Drakons are expensive but pack a huge punch.  With the right artefacts, Drakons put out unmatched damage.  A trailing Bane Chant can also ensure huge damage even to high defence enemies.  Also, don’t underestimate having Unit Strength 3 on a speed 10 flying platform.  A late charge or strategic movement can win many scenarios with that kind of US.

BUT – Drakons have the same weaknesses they have always had – they simply cannot grind.  Even as a horde, the 15/17 nerve can get wavered super easily.  Once a Drakon Horde gets bogged down in combat or gets 4-5 wounds from shooting they become very fragile.

Recommended Artefacts: Brew of Sharpness (enjoy 1 shotting 21/23 def 4 hordes); Brew of Strength; J-Boots, Pathfinder; Mace of Crushing; Blade of Slashing

Photo credit: Jason Birr

Mike – 9/10
Elite, Fly, speed 10, CS1, TC1, me3. Lots to like about this unit, and even more so now that they are regular! They aren’t cheap, and losing Nimble did hurt their manoeuvrability, but they are still a gold standard unit. Hordes are the go to option, although I think they have some game in regiment form too (just have to watch the 13/15 nerve on a 170 point unit).

Tom – 8/10
This is why you play Elves. I love these guys, a bit vulnerable but they are the poster boy for the Elven alpha strike archetype. 18 Me3 Elite with CS1 TC1 hits hard, I loved these in 2nd ed, in 3rd losing nimble sucks but they were a 9/10 or 10/10 in 2nd ed so this is fair. A good player will mitigate the nerf well enough and maximise it’s improved defence and grinding capacity over Stormwind. Now they unlock again (woo!) they’ve slid in above Stormwind doing their job a little better in every way. With the rise of Phalanx and pikemen they need to be a bit more careful overall but the ability to project threat across the battlefield, over hills and far away is invaluable in an otherwise infantry sodden roster.

Photo credit: Paul Brown

Bolt Thrower

Photo credit: Jesse Bilbija

Adam – 6/10
Not much to say here. I don’t like stationary warmachines that do not ignore cover. Hitting on 4’s with Elite is nice, but in the long run a non scoring unit that does not pose a threat for large burst (like some other warmachines) is not worth it. There are better options in the list.

Keith – 4/10
Like other bolt throwers, it just isn’t good enough for the points.  Kind of shame since it means that Elves don’t have meaningful warmachine unlocks.

Photo credit: Gavin Miles

Mike – 7/10
Nothing flashy about this war machine, it puts out fairly reliable damage with ra4 and Elite with Piercing 2. Don’t expect it to obliterate units like a Balefire or Angkor Heavy Mortar, but one or two can pair up nicely with something like a mage with Lightning Bolt and Boomstick for some good ranged damage.

Photo credit: Dan Zarembski

Tom – 4/10
Not enough damage, fairly expensive, can’t exploit indirect fire so deployment is harder and takes up an unlock in a list starved for them if you’re running regiments. Get yourself a lightning wizard instead, far better.


Dragon Breath

Photo credit: Koal Powers

Adam – 8/10
Love these guys! Lots of shots with Elite and an 18″ threat (6″ move 12″ shoot) is great. In my list they double as chaff to prevent double charges on my infantry horde. They work great as they usually go down in a blaze of glory. This unit really shines in a stand off against slower units (speed 5 or less). You get multiple volleys off before they get into you and if they are still alive, the melee unit backing it up has easy clean up duty.

Keith – 5/10
Others like this unit better than I do – it can serve as chaff and a mobile weapon platform that you have to respect.  But – it’s not super useful against high defence, and it’s expensive.  I typically prefer spending points on Unit Strength (or heroes).

Photo credit: Gavin Miles

Mike – 6/10
Can struggle to keep up with the lines given it can’t move at the double, and going from 15 to 12 shots at the start of the edition also hurt. Can put out decent damage if given the chance, especially against defence 3 or 4 units, and also not a bad chaff piece late game as enemy units can’t overrun through them.

Tom – 3/10
Another victim of 3rd ed. The breath attack nerf means this guy can’t scare Stealthy, Individual stuff. It also lost 3 shots for an already vulnerable war engine that doesn’t get individual like some of its competitors. I can’t justify it anymore and I used to have one as an auto include in 2nd ed as support to the core twin hordes of Seaguard and Archers able to chaff for them and throw out a scary amount of shots, especially back when Elf Mages nearby had 10 fireball and the Dragon with Boots of Levitation had 15 more Elite breath on tap. A pity but save your points and get a mage same as above.

Photo credit: Koal Powers

Tree Herder

Adam – 8/10
Tree Herders are a great addition to most armies. With Defence 6 and built in healing with Radiance of Life this unit makes a perfect anvil for the centre of your lines. I don’t see him played much in Elves outside of infantry spam builds. There are not many units in the army that compliment his play style of long, drawn out, grindy combats. Elves are very much a glass cannon army. I still give this guy an 8/10 because he can do so much by himself. You will always get value out of Def 6 tank.

Keith – 7/10
Herders are great – they are small anvil with a serious punch in a 50 mm base.  They work best in infantry lists where they can provide inspiring and healing from the midst of the fighting.

But – the Radiance of Life is less useful in an army full of Def 4 and the synergy of the Herder isn’t as useful for Elves as it is for Nature with tons of Def 5 and 6.

Mike – 10/10
Defence 6, Inspiring source, Radiance of Life, Crushing Strength 3, -18 nerve, Scout, Pathfinder, Strider. So much to like about this unit makes it one of the standout choices in the game. It provides a great focal point for the other units to work around with its great defensive stats, while also providing some much needed punch in combat. All while healing itself and other units with Radiance of Life! Popular items include Aegis of the Elohi for Iron Resolve or Hann’s Sanguinary Scripture for Lifeleech (1), both of which stack nicely with Radiance of Life and make him even harder to shift.

Tom – 8/10
I love this guy! Isn’t it just the coolest not a dragon monster? Give him haste for a first turn charge potential of 28” Def6 Fearless with Radiance of Life, absolute unit. One of the biggest winners in 3rd ed Elves, Pathfinder and Strider means he’s always bringing 9 Me3 CS3  attacks to bear and on a 50mm base he’ll be an absolute bastard for your opponent to nail down and kill. Pairs up well with the support from your regular Scouting unlockers (again, not in Elves, sorry Tom – Elliot) making up for their somewhat poor performance individually and fits into an alpha list as a capable anvil and Scout letting you push up the board quickly; not invulnerable but pretty damn close. Only thing letting him down is he is very chaffable without nimble and unlike the dragons that his offensive stat line mirrors, he won’t be as capable at getting flanks and projecting threat is harder with the lowered manoeuvrability. 


Elven King

Photo credit: Jesse Bilbija

Adam – 6/10
The King is just too many points for what he does. 100 points base, but most the time you want a mount, so tack on another 35. And he doesn’t come with Duelist, you have to pay another 10. Then the coolest thing about this guy is you can upgrade him with the Shardblade [1] to hit on 2+ Melee (with Elite)!!! That is awesome!

Sadly, by the time you have built a true Elven King he costs as much as a vampire with less attacks(sure hitting on 2+ with Elite makes up for that), less Nerve, and no Life Leech. Elves have better character options to spend their points on.

Keith – 6/10
I’m sure others will talk up the King, but he is crazy expensive.  135 points mounted (and why take him on foot) is pricey in an army of pricey toys.  And what role does he play?  Flyer defense?  Why not just take better flyers than your opponent? Inspiring – sure – but there are cheaper more efficient options.  Extra punch?  Maybe find 35 points and bring a Drakon Lord – then at least you have US?  I’m sure others play this unit well, but I prefer to spend my points elsewhere.

The Shardblade is cool – but then he is 150 points…and again why? I guess he can hunt characters, but so can Lightning Bolts…

Photo credit: Gavin Miles

Mike – 7/10
Can get expensive if you give him all the toys (mount, hunting cat, the Shard Blade and a magic item). Still a useful hero that can semi reliably land a flyer or disorder an enemy cavalry unit with 5 x Elite, me2 and CS1 attacks.

Tom – 6/10
His upgrades are cool, Duelist and Me2+ item but I find unlocks are an issue and he’s not potent enough, becoming very expensive once tooled up fully. A good piece overall but not very exciting personally.


Lord on Drakon

Photo credit: Paul Brown

Adam – 7/10
A decent substitute for a dragon if you need to spare some points. Nothing too flashy here. Typically ran with Drakons for Inspiring + a little extra punch.

Keith – 6/10
I have shit on the Lord on Drakon regularly…but I do think he has a purpose – flying Unit Strength for winning scenarios.  However, he is pricey.  Compare him at 170 points against the flying Beast of Nature with 7 attacks at 205.  The Beast has significantly better nerve, and Pathfinder makes it much more useful.

I’m not saying don’t take Drakon Lords, but when you can ally in cheaper flying US – maybe do that? Would love to see Drakon Lords getting an aura, or some other reason to take them.

Photo credit: Gavin Miles

Mike – 7/10
13/15 nerve is a little shaky on something that can carry a fairly large bullseye, and can feel overpriced when he wagers or dies. Still, can be a nice flanking threat if played carefully.

Tom – 5/10
The baby dragon has similar problems as the King, not potent enough for his pretty high cost and almost always ends up with you asking if you want to use up the unlocks rather than finding points for the Drakon horde, Dragon, Tree Herder etc. Just not quite good enough or resilient enough at anything to entice me I’m afraid, never has been.

Photo credit: Pawel Meiczowski

Elven Prince

Photo credit: Paul Brown

Adam – 6/10
This character’s job would be to ground fliers. If your elf army struggles with flies, mount one of these guys and you won’t have that problem any more. Other than that don’t take him.

Keith – 5/10
Sigh – poor Princes.  I used to love princes as chaff, but there’s not really a place for them anymore, mostly due to unlock issues.  Also, without being mighty, their utility as chaff is lessened. 

Also – this might be a good time to talk about duelling cats – how dumb is that for an army-wide add-on?  Duellist is an intriguing rule – but you might take it on a King – but nothing else.  Give me back my throwing cats!

Mike – 5/10
Pretty decent stats on paper for the price (80 points as you’re always mounting him!), only problem is fitting him in to a rare spare hero slot once you’ve filled it with a Dragon, Tree Herder, Mages, Kings etc. Can be an ok Swiss Army knife if given Inspiring item and Hunting Cat for helping Inspire your units, reliably disorder enemy casters in melee and unreliably land flyers.

Tom – 6/10
While slightly more expensive than the exceptional Kingdoms of Men version and without the invaluable Indomitable Will (valued at the low low price of 5pts) this lad with a mount for just 80 points is a Def 5 11/13 Speed 9 chaff piece and he’s really good at it. Elite helps with the low economy of attacks with him not being Mighty and the slightly higher speed helps to keep the fliers at bay. Honestly he’s solid and much maligned. I compare him to the KoM hero as for the same price with Indomitable Will the KoM version gets to Inspire himself and become Fearless when he needs it, which is a leap in versatility and reliability even with one less nerve. The other issue as mentioned many a time is unlocks. I often when mucking about with elf lists couldn’t justify him and the low amount of attacks is still a scare if you’re relying on him to disorder a flier since 3 attacks is very fluffable. If Elves didn’t have the unlock problem I’d rate him 1-2 points higher as 2 of these whizzing about would be a right nuisance and he’s good value!


Army Standard Bearer

Photo credit: Jesse Bilbija

Adam – 8/10
Like any other ASB a cheap source of inspiring. Although our ASB is about 10 points more than the average because he has Elite for his 1 attack… I mean, why?? It doesn’t even work on magic items anymore. None the less, take one with the Lute and cheap inspiring with BC(2).

Keith – 4/10
They are ok…but…I usually take only 2 sources of inspiring, and even with the Lute or Boomstick, probably more efficient to take the inspiring talisman on an Archmage.

Photo credit: Gavin Miles

Mike – 6/10
Inspires and carries the Lute of Insatiable Darkness as well as any other standard bearer. Note that his Elite is now melee only, so no Elite casting of Bane Chant!

Tom – 6/10
It’s a standard bearer, give it the Lute and carry on. Bit more expensive than other faction’s equivalents as you’re paying the Elf tax for Speed 6, nerve and Elite which it doesn’t need especially since it can’t use it on the Lute anymore. It amounts to a necessity in some lists but marginally cost ineffective and again, eats an unlock.


Elven Archmage

Photo credit: Jesse Bilbija

Adam – 9/10
Great addition to any elf army! I love that you can customize this mage however you like and that you are not paying for a base spell. Fairly priced, and giving the Elf mage Elite for her spells really sets her apart from other wizards in the game. This makes Elf magic feel like it should have all along. The Rules Committee really nailed this character. (until we realize spellcaster levels do matter at some point in the future and then they really fucked up for not making ELF MAGES spellcaster level3!!) But until then, great job!! 🙂

I run one mage mounted with Lighting Bolt and the Boomstick!!

Photo credit: Michael Johnson

Keith – 8/10
So before we get to my discussion of the benefits of this unit, let’s talk a minute about Spellcaster Level.  Elven Archmages have a special rule call “Master of Magic”.  As I’m sure you know, this makes Elven Archmages Elite for their standard spells – which is an awesome rule.

BUT – at the same time, they are only Spellcaster Level 2 which is inexplicably not the highest Spellcaster Level?  So…instead of masters of magic, they are kind of generally good at magic? The special rule should be call Yeomen of Magic, or Mediocres of Magic

Anyway, now that Drakons and Gladestalkers unlock, the Archmage battery is a Thing.  The DuracelfTM (3 mages with 18 LB (including Boomstick) and the Conjurer’s Staff) is a super-efficient, and super survivable battery that can take out chaff and mainline units.  With the Duracelf, and unlocking efficient shooting, Elves can once again compete for best shooting army, and the proliferation of MSU armies will have to adapt.

Oh, and you can probably also develop an army based upon 15 heal, but that seems less fun to me.  And don’t forget to throw a Bane Chant on your mage with the Conjurer’s Staff.  Archmages comes without spells standard, so you don’t have to pay for anything you don’t want – which is a rarity in this elite army.

Recommended Artefacts: Boomstick; Conjurer’s Staff

Recommended Spells: Lightning Bolt (obviously); Heal; Hex

Horse optional.

Mike – 8/10
Comes without spells, which is good as it means you can build them however you like without paying for spells you don’t want or won’t use. An Archmage with Lightning Bolt and Boomstick (taking them to a juicy Lightning Bolt (8) with Elite) is one of the most cost effective choice in the Elf list. Being able to take Heal 7 (with heal upgrade and Shroud of the Saint) can also be useful in a list that is usually elite and lower in numbers than its opponents, and having Elite on your bane chant is nice for when you really need it.

Photo credit: Michael Johnson

Tom – 8/10
A quality tool box wizard. Now again you pay 60pts over the 50 that other factions do like Kingdoms of Men or Undead who both get Lighting Bolt (3) and Surge (6) respectively at that price point which does raise questions as to why the Elf one is 10 points more? BUT Master of Magic means you get Elite on your spells, which was often lorded as the best faction ability back in 2nd ed. The spells they do get as well may be more expensive but you get some quality and quantity for the cost. Lightning 5 is 35pts running a base wizard to 95 but at that cost he’s more effective than a Bolt Thrower or a Dragon Breath so throw those two out. With the Boomstick he’s scary at LB8 Elite, meaning compared to KoM you’d need 3 wizards to match that lightning output (2 with a boomstick lets be fair) and that’s more expensive and eats more unlocks overall. A second only adds to this so I’ve seen many high level Elf lists invest in 2-3 mages for some tremendous firepower from 18 Elite lightning at the top end.

Conversely, you can pull the same with heal and the Shroud, racking up some serious damage mitigation in a list with so little. My main issue is that the cost can quickly spiral out of control. You may build him to do everything but you will pay for it so typically keeping it simple, Heal/Lightning and Bane Chant is solid but all the Mage’s spells can be worked into a list in some format or another. That high initial buy in (clearly discrimination against elves) is the very thing stopping these guys hitting the 9s and 10s.

Photo credit: Koal Powers

Dragon Kindred Lord

Photo credit: Gavin Miles

Adam – 9/10
The CoK update was just what Elves needed to get back on top. Before the update, our Dragon Lord was a sad 2nd place dragon to the stupid Basilian Dragon.. Fearless dragon, Really…? But now that Fearless dragons(wyrms) are only a thing for the Undead factions, Elves are back on top! How? you might ask? It is simple, Elite. I hope everyone is seeing a pattern here with all of the 9+ units Elves have. They are all good units with above average stat lines, but then you give them Elite and they become Elf tier! The more consistent these units can be the better they fill their roles. And as I said before, Elves are on top for Alpha strike. The combination of speed and power with finesse and shooting makes this dragon lord the perfect addition to every Elf army.

I advise only taking 1. If you want to take 2 just take more Drakon hordes 🙂

Keith – 8/10
I love Dragons.  Are they the killing machines they were in Second?  No.  But the psychological factor of a flying beat stick is unparalleled.  You can win a game without charging with a Dragon Kindred Lord.  Send them in with a horde of Drakons, and not much in the game can survive that combo charge. 

Mike – 8/10
Still one of the better big flyers in the game, with Elite, a decent breath attack and solid nerve. The main challenge is fitting both a dragon and a Tree Herder in the one list and not leaving yourself too short on drops!

Tom – 7/10
Half the reason we play Elves. Again somewhat fairly hit in 3rd ed with it losing 3 breath and downgrading to the new breath attack, compared to old version which was essentially fireball. It also lost Elite on the breath attack which sucks along with the soft nerfs to heavy fliers that have piled up over the years. I would like to add they deserved it, they ruled the roost for years, the super heavy fliers now feel much fairer. He’s only a 7 because 315 is damned expensive and that matters in the expensive Elf roster. He also does stack up well alongside equivalents in other factions; the Abyssal Dwarf version gets regeneration, the Basilian gets waiver mitigation Iron Resolve and a 5 pointt must take item, Void Lurkers are cheap as hell, Vampires get to be Undead and also Lifeleech (2). There’s many little reasons why the other dragon variants have crept up and surpassed the elf one in some form or another but these are minor overall for what still is a scary powerhouse unit which will force opponents to adapt to this model alone.

Little bit bitter about the nerf to his shooting, the ability in 2nd to take Boots of Levitation, fly 20” turn one and breath 15 Elite fire ignoring individual etc was scary.


Noble War Chariot

Photo credit: Paul Brown

Adam – 1/10
No. For the points take Silverbreeze. It’s just bad.

Keith – 6/10
Decent chaff.  Kind of squishy. 

Mike – 5/10
Ah the poor chariot hero. Like other elf units, its shooting got hit very hard. And only 3 melee attacks means even in the flank it will struggle to do much damage. Still, it’s pretty cheap and has a unit strength so that’s something.

Tom – 3/10
Oh another victim of 3rd ed. I loved this guy in 2nd but since then he’s got more expensive, slower, less attacks and shorter bow range. This took a fun utility piece, an active unit on the board in any stage of the game and made him worse at all those things and then priced him out of my list. It’s not like he was setting the world on fire before and he’s a damp towel at this point. Shame as I had a really cool Wood Elf Lord on Giant Stag model which was epic as a stand in.


Madriga the Elf

Adam – 8/10
Very fun and interesting character. Has some good utility too. I would say she is competing for a spot in the army similar to a Lightning Bolt Mage (same range and about the same damage output). I would love to have seen her have Duelist, but she is reasonable points wise for what she does.

Keith – 6/10
Madriga is interesting.  Piercing 2, Trick Shot (blast D6 – one time shot), Scout, Stealthy, Ra 3+.  Seems a compelling profile…but just take an Archmage with Lighting Bolt (8) and you do more damage over 6 turns.

Mike – 6/10
Not a bad hero by any means, but again can be hard to find a hero spot for her. Her Trick Shot can be decent if you get lucky and lacklustre if you are unlucky. Only Inspiring herself does limit her value somewhat, although Scout and speed 7 is quite a nice combo for getting her into careless enemy shooting hordes or war machines.

Tom – 4/10
Wanna shoot? Get a Lightning wizard instead. He can’t fight all that good and his special ability is cool but losing Vicious on the bow stings, I used him in 2nd as he was a good annoyance unit but think his time is currently over. Maybe with general inspiring I could make an exception but if you like the idea of him go look at Sylvan Kin instead.


Tydarion Dragonlord

Photo credit: Gavin Miles

Adam – 9/10
Copy and paste everything under the Dragon Lord above. If you were taking a Dragon lord and have 30 points to spare Tydarion is well worth upgrading to. For those 30 points you get +1 Nerve, Brutal, +1 CS, Elite (shooting), Very Inspiring, and +2 shots for breath attack. That is one hell of a value! I wish there was a 30 point item in the game that gave you all these upgrades… Every army would have it!

I am a big fan! I am currently running him in my army.

Keith – 8/10
Tydarion is the big daddy of Dragon Lords.  For an extra 30 points you get an extra nerve, very inspiring, brutal, an extra crushing strength – which is a steal.  But – you don’t often have that 30 points, so if you can afford him, great, if you can’t, take a Dragon Kindred Lord and enjoy.

Mike – 8/10
For 30 points more than a Dragon Kindred Lord you get an extra nerve, Brutal, CS4 instead of CS3 and Very Inspiring. Generally worth it if you have the points (and you really don’t like fighting Defence 6 units!).

Tom – 6/10
On paper, a buffer dragon with extra nerve, Brutal, CS4, Very Inspiring and general Elite for 30 points seems like a bargain. In reality you want those points for Boomsticks, Bane Chants, Brew of Strengths, better units etc. You lose the utility of being able to choose an upgrade on a base dragon too and often CS4 and Very Inspiring are wasted as his place isn’t on the main line of battle where your normal Inspiring is going to be anyway. Buy a normal Dragon, Mace of Crushing/ Staying Stone and you’re about as effective anyway, hell you could buy Sharpness for an equivalent cost but I feel making your Dragon even more expensive is a bit of a trap especially as they’re already going to get a lot of attention. At 2000 points Tydarion would be nearly 15% of your army and that becomes hard to justify and even more dangerous if he dies early on as Dragons attract that sort of attention. Likewise if Dragons can often be nullified until late game by cut price alternatives such as fast individuals, compounding on that cost. He is at least the buffest dragon you can buy which is something the superior Elven race appreciates (apart from Apaphys who is better because Undead are actually the best, unfortunately.)


Argus Rodinar

Photo credit: Michael Johnson

Adam – 1/10
I truly believe this guy is the worst character in the whole game. All he does is inspire. For a few more points you could have an ASB that inspires and has BC(2). Argus is a Hero(Monster) THAT DOES NOT HAVE ANY UNIT STRENGTH!!! WTF!?!?!?! He is the only “monster” in the game without US!!… okay, that is a lie.. Dwarves have battle drillers, BUT AT LEAST THEY DO SOMETHING!!!

Sorry, I get frustrated when I even hear his name. Moving on!

Keith – 3/10
Really cool special rule – but…meh?

Mike – 4/10
Some people seem to like Argus but I’m not one of them. I prefer to take a couple of units that Inspire and keep my units in their bubbles than spend 70 points on a unit that does does nothing else. If it had a unit strength I’d definitely think differently!

Tom – 5/10
Again I quite like him, Elves can struggle with Inspiring sources and this lad is two for the price of nearly one. His ability lets you throw Inspiring on a unit which means on a long Elven battle line with your Dragon sweeping down one flank he can pick an infantry horde across the board and Inspire everything in 6” of that horde. That’s big, it lets you send Drakon hordes off alone because you’re safe knowing they’ll always be Inspired, you can amass Mages and not have to bother with the Inspiring Talisman because Argus can Inspire anything wherever you need it and now that he has a speed value in 3rd ed he can do the Standard Bearer job, and Individual, Def5 -/13 is pretty hard to shift. Issues are you’re buying him instead of another character so often taking the minor hit and giving that spare Mage the Talisman is more cost effective or a Standard Bearer can take the Lute for a little extra cost and is more relevant to the game overall. All that said, if you’re hard up on unlocks with units that range off on their own then bear him in mind, he’s a massive step up from 2nd


Nimue Waydancer

Adam – 7/10
Similar to Madriga, this is a very cool and unique special character. With the only source of Cloak of Death for elves (outside of allying in big papi Wiltfather – I got you covered Mr. Tom Anis 😉 Nimue can fill a role no one else could before in the elf army. I don’t have much practice with her to know how effective she is, but on paper I believe she is a solid option.

Keith – 5/10
Clock of Death is a super useful rule, and the ability to jump behind the enemy by moving 20” on one turn is intriguing – but unless you are designing a list around her, she is not an optimal choice.

Mike – 7/10
Quite a nice new addition to the Elf list with some decent tricks. Her Wanderer of the Ways ability can be handy for getting into the backfield where she can cause problems with her Fireball and Cloak of Death. Inspiring (Verdant only) isn’t overly useful, although given she is usually on solo missions it’s not the end of the world.

Tom – 3/10
A fairly pointless edition to elves as this one’s a Sylvan Kin character, just kind of tossed into their roster. Their ability to march and shoot with fly once a game is great and pairs up well with Cloak of Death BUT take a Mage with Boomstick instead, far more cost effective and often spells like Surge, Wind Blast and Fireball aren’t relevant while you pay possibly half price on them it’s still not a patch on Lightning Bolt, which is almost always relevant. That said Nimue will often have something to do, just likely not justifying the 150pt price tag which is why they fit in Sylvan Kin better along with Inspiring Verdant only making them a little redundant for Elves.


Summary

Overall average ratings /10: 6.0/10

Most agreed upon unit(s): Shield Watch, Forest Shamblers, Elven King, Archmage (1 point of difference between highest and lowest scores)

Least agreed upon unit(s): Kindred Archers (7 points of difference between highest and lowest scores)


beer

Elliot’s Beer Fund

If you’ve enjoyed the blog and you’re feeling generous, you can buy me a pint. Please dont feel any obligation to do so, I’ve started this blog because it’s fun, not to make any money. Any money received will go towards hosting costs. Or my beer fund… ok mainly my beer fund.

£3.00

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