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Army Building – What Options do We Have With the New 7th Edition Book?


Among the extremely polarized views and opinions about the new book, I decided to analyze the army building options that a HE player has.

I have defined 4 major categories, that the army lists fall in. Each of these main categories may have sub-categories.

Before I get started, I am talking about 2250 points list – this seems the level that most tournaments are played.

Type I. – The Citizen levy list

I believe that this is one of the more competitive army builds available to us. The concept here is that spears serve as MBUs and the special choices are for support.

There are many good examples of such lists, PapaElf and Giladis have posted some very good ones.

Such a list would typically have:
2 Characters seem the optimum here – an Archmage with 3 scrolls and a silver and a BSB. The BSB can either be given the radiant gem to boost the magic phase ( and provide the shield of saphery to his unit) or be kitted as a fighty character with the armour of caledor and the guardian phoenix ( if the points permit)

The list would boost 2 units of 20-24 spears with banner and musician that will be he centre of the battle line.

2 units of 10 archers archers and 1-2 RBTs would provide anti missile fire and missile support

2 Eagles and 1-2 units of ER will provide march blocking, war machine/mage hunting

1-2 units of DP, 1 unit of SH and a chariot would provide the shock support/combined arms

Finally, depending on taste, one may fit a decent 15-18 elf strong eltite infantry to boost his already formidable battle line.

Another option is to field 2×12 man strong elite infantry units of support. However, I feel that this option is not that good, as the infantry is too slow to provide decent threat range, and to insure to get in time in combat when it is needed.

An example of a Type I list:
* Archmage, Lvl 4, 2x dispel scroll, silver wand – high magic – 310
* Noble, BSB, Radiant Gem of Hoeth, dragon armour, great weapon – 169

* 20 Spears, sb, mus – 200
* 20 Spears, sb, mus – 200
* 10 Archers – 110
* 10 Archers – 110

* 5 DPs, sb, Banner of Ellyrion – 185
* 5 DPs, sb, – 170
* 5 ER, spears, bows, mus – 112
* 5 ER, spears, mus – 92
* 14 WL/PG/SM, FC, Banner of Sorcery – 290 (bodyguard for the archmage)

* 2x RBTs – 200
* 2x Great Eagles – 100

Total: 2248
Models: 100
Wounds: 109
PD: 8-10
DD: 5+2 scrolls

This is an example of a very balanced list. It has something for each phase, and has some answer for each type of threat.

Of course, it may struggle vs a flying circus or a similar list, but we are talking of balanced, ‘take-all-comers’ list here, and the cheese fest armies are by definition not a measure of the list’s effectiveness.

Type II – the elite list.

This type of list is centred around the new combat prowess of the HE, and the specific army structure. Such a list would try to maximise the huge CC potential of the HE elite infantry, while minimizing its vulnerability from shooting and magic.

The most efficient leaders of such an army are a lvl 4 and a lvl 2 – to provide good antimagic defence and formidable magic offence. The archmage should have the seer staff, so that he can choose the best match up lore vs a specific opponent, the second mage would take High magic for magic defence and the nice utility spells that it provides, and may be equiped with the jewel of dusk for extra power dice or any other combo the player deems fit.

It would have 2 units of 10 archers and 2 RBTs to provide missile support.

2 Eagles for the large variety of functions that they serve.

Then typically 3 units of elite infantry, supported by 2 units of DPs and 1 unit of Ellyrian reavers/SH/ Chariot.

Variations of course will exist – one can add a unit of Spears instead of the 3rd elite infantry and add in another unit of reavers/shadow warriors or a chariot.

An example of such a list would look like:

* Lvl 4, seer staff, ring of fury, dispel scroll – 350
* lvl 2, jewel of dusk, dispel scroll – 170

* 10 Archers – 110
* 10 Archers – 110

* 14 SM, FC, Banner of sorcery, – 290
* 14 SM, FC, – 240
* 15 WL, FC – 255
* 5 DPs, sb, banner of Ellyrion – 185
* 5 DPs, – 150
* Tyranoc Chariot – 85

* 2xRBT – 200
* 2xGreat Eagle – 100

Total: 2245
PD: 10-12 + bound
DD: 5 + 2 scrolls
Models: 80
Wounds: 92

I believe that such a list is very competitive, and also would provide a options in each phase of the game. It even has a more powerful magic phase than the previous one, and the infantry may take care of itself for a round until help arrives.

Again, one may go for a BSB instead of the lvl 2, to make the battle line even more reliable.

Type III – The fast attack

This list is the heir of the old cavalry builds. While we cannot have a 100% pure cavalry list, we still can make a very fast army if we want to.

There is an enormous variety of options here. First and foremost is – do you bring a dragon/gryphon or not.

III.1 – without a dragon/griffon

The list would have a prince, 1-2 commanders and 1-2 mages. One may or may not mount one of the commanders on a great eagle, and IMHO, one should mount either a commander or a mage in a chariot, so that he can take advantage of the free charior slot in this case.

Аn example of such a list:

* Prince, dragon armour, shield, lance, vambraces of defence, amulet of light, barded elven steed – 262
* Commander, dragon armour, enchanted shield, star lance, great eagle – 191
* Commander, dragon armour, shield, lance, reaver bow, chariot – 222
* Mage, lvl 1, 2x dispel scrolls – 140 points

* 10 Archers – 110
* 10 Archers – 110

* 6 DPs, sb, Banner of Ellyrion – 215
* 5 DPs, sb, champion, skeinsliver, warbanner – 235
* 5 DPs. sb – 170
* 5 ER, spears, bows, mus – 112
* 5 ER, spears, mus – 92
* Lion Chariot- 140

* 3x Great Eagles – 150
* 1 RBT – 100

Total: 2249
Models: 55
Wounds: 74

There are many variations of such a list. It is strong, yet it has the typical weakness of the old style old cavalry lists, that it somewhat one dimensional. Still, if used correctly, it will be deadly.

III.2 With a Dragon/griffon

The difference here is the monster.. But it is a Huge difference. Once the big bad monster is added, it becomes the centrepiece of one’s army and battle plan, whereas in the previous version, most of the units have a relative low points concentrated in them.

I think that both the dragon and the griffon have their merits, it is a matter of taste and purpose of the army. The dragon limits ones choices to 3 characters, but provides its awesome combat potential.

An example of such a list:

* Prince, armour of caledor, shield, lance, vambraces of defence, griffon – 439
* Commander, dragon armour, shield, talisman of loec, star lance, great eagle – 193
* Commander, dragon armour, enchanted shield, lance, reaver bow, great eagle – 195
* Mage, lvl 1, 2x dispel scrolls – 140 points

* 10 Archers – 110
* 10 Archers – 110

* 5 DPs, sb, champ, amulet of light, Banner of Ellyrion – 220
* 5 DPs, sb, champ, skeinsliver – 215
* 5 DPs, -150
* 5 ER, spears, mus – 92
* 5 ER, spears, mus – 92
* Tyranoc Chariot – 85

* 2x Great Eagles – 100
* 1 RBT – 100

Total: 2241
Models: 53
Wounds: 74

It is even more deadly than the first sub type. Still it also suffers from the ‘single dimension’ syndrome.

IV. Monster(s)

With the new book, and the access to 2 dragons a new and interesting option arises for us.

There are 4 subcategories here:

IV.1 – Single Dragon/griffon
The difference from subtype III.2 is that now we are talking at more balanced troop choices. Also ususally one takes 2 mages and the banner of sorcery to support such a list. I.e – one mage with seer and dispel scroll choosing light for the healing spell, and the other with the silver wand and 2 scrolls, choosing high magic.

There is some shooting, some march blocking/machine hunting and 2-3 hard hitting units, though if of smaller size.

One of my favourite builds in the 6th edition was of this type, and I have had a great time with it. Now with the star dragon available, it becomes even stronger.

One should not forget that he can take a Lvl 4 on a moon dragon, which combined with the 2 lvl 2s will give an awesome magic phase, and a terror causer with a panic causing breath to boot. Of course, a 4+ ward on the said archmage is a must.

IV.2 Dual Dragon List

Well, it is pretty obvious here – 2 dragons. However, it may be a prince and a dragon mage, or a armchage and a dragon mage.

TBH, I have not tried either, and I am itching to do so. My new dragon model is in the painting house, and once it is ready I will surely try it.

IV.3 Griffon/Dragon mage and another character

This is an option that I feel will not be used so much, however it is here.

Funnily, my favourite 7th edition list falls into this category. Well, sort of, because it features eltharion on a griffon, and I know many people loathe special characters.

Just to illustrate it as an example of a powerful dual monster list:
Eltharion on Stormwing – 490
* Dragon Mage of Caledor, lvl 2, silver wand, Golden crown of Altazar – 435
* Mage, lvl 2, seer, dispel scroll (light or life – for the healing spell) – 185

* 10 archers, mus
* 10 archers, mus

* 5 ER, spears, bows, musician – 112
* 5 ER, spears, musician – 92
* 5 DPs, SB, Banner of Ellyrion
* 5 Dragon Princes, SB, Banner of Sorcery – 220

* Great Eagle
* Great Eagle

Total: 2244
PD: 9-11 + 3 for the fire mage
DD: 5 + scroll
Models: 47
Wounds: 67
Shots: 25 S3 and 12 S4( or 2 S6)


I think that based on this initial analysis, it is fair to say that the new book provides quite a lot of option to us, to create diverse and competitive lists.

Of course, it is not possible to create an army book that would please all players of that army, but I am a little bit surprised by the negativism displayed by many HE players towards the brand new army book…



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