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Warhammer Tactics on how to beat a Wood Elf Army with High Elves (part III): Counteracting Low toughness Weaknesses

The High Elf army has certainly been beefed up both in terms of hand to hand combat prowess and in their ability to control the winds of magic and the fortunes of all the magic users on the battlefield.

However, I need to be mindful of my High Elf's army weaknesses so I can try to either strengthen them or stop the enemy from being able to exploit them.

The first and foremost weakness of any elf army (including Wood Elves and Dark Elves) is their puny toughness of 3. In my case I will be fighting a Wood Elf army which will share the same toughness so it's less of an issue than it would be if, for example, I was fighting Dwarfs.

Ways to counteract low toughness:-

Make maximum use of magical items for characters

The high Elf army has several magic items which can help you fortify your characters ward and armour saves or counteract low toughness in other ways. Here are those I think are the best:-


  • Armour of protection is the best and should be given to high poits cost characters such as Lords. It cost 45pts (cheap for Lords, reasonable value for money for Heroes), acts as light armour and provides a 4+ ward save.
  • Golden Shield all successful attempts to hit in close combat must be re-rolled by enemy.
  • Armour of stars - teleport you 3D6 in a random direction if an unsaved wound is taken - this is very risky and only to be used if you are desperate to ensure the longevity of one of your heros for some reason (the best thing to do would be to keep them out of combat in the first place)
  • Armour of Caledor 2 + armour save, it also counts as Draong armour so will save you against breath/fire attacks.
  • Helm of fortune - re-roll failed armour saves (only worth it if your character has a high save in the first place, so best for mounted heros)

  • Vambraces of defence, nice annd cheap at 55pts - for re-rolling armour save and a 4+ ward save. Well worth the points if you give it to a mounted character. Can also combine with other magic armour item such as Armour of Caledor.
  • Golden Crown of Atrazar - discount 1st unsaved wound, even if a killing blow ! (excellent item for 40pts).

Well those are my personal favourites and give plenty of options for characters

Make maximum use of Ward Saves for units and your rank bonus.

If you didn't already know then I have some good news for you. Phoenix Guard have a ward save of 4+ This is a massive bonus for troops that cause fear (so are immune to it) and strike first with a strength 4 attack - all for only 15pts.

  • I will make maximum use of the Phoenix Guard and they will probably be my main strike unit in my army. I will deploy them with a powerful leader and possibly the battle banner (80pts, instead of the usual 100pts for other armies) to give them +D6 combat resolution. I expect to see lots of other enemy units routing in fear. The guard will need some missile fire protection ahead of them though because I suspect they will be the main enemy target.

A lot is spoken about swordmasters with their 2 always strike first str 5 attacks. They may be able to deliver a blow to good quality enemy units but it will be your Phoenix Guard who are the last ones standing in a battle. Bear that is mind and invest in your Phoenix Guard by including characters, mages and magic items to bolste their effectiveness.

  • Deploy you army with lots of ranks and only 5 in the file, this is to max out your rank bonus (which is another way of offsetting low toughness). You expect to take casualties to high strength attacks so make sure your rank bonus will offset this. I expect to be taking on some Dryads (maybe a lot of them) but it does not wory me too much because my rank bonus should always be sufficient to beat them in combat. Also, my Phoenix guard will not fear them if they get unlucky and do lose a combat.

Well, that's enough for now. I will return later with more updates on how I plan to vanquish the Wood Elves.

There will be more on special characters too and the new High Elf Lion Chariot - it is an awesome weapon !
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