The High Elves are an ancient, proud race who dwell on the island-continent of Ulthuan, once home to all Elves. The High Elf military consists of small numbers of highly-disciplined elite troops which march to war alongside powerful spellcasters, dragons, and phoenixes. High Elves are also masters of diplomacy and trade, able to manipulate other factions to suit themselves.
How they play
A summary of High Elves gameplay:
- Units: High Elves have a varied unit roster including spellcasters and dragons. High Elf armies tend to focus on quality over quantity.
- Martial Prowess: In battle, High Elf armies gain extra bonuses while they are at high strength.
- Intrigue and Influence: On the campaign map, High Elves can spend this resource to manipulate other factions or to recruit powerful characters.
- Espionage and Trade: When High Elves make a trade agreement, they gain vision of that faction's territory. They also benefit greatly from trade in general.
- Rites: High Elves access to various rites, which grant bonuses on the campaign map.
- Lileath's Blessing: An army stance which replaces channelling and has greater bonuses.
- Sword of Khaine: High Elf factions, as with other Elf factions, can draw the Sword of Khaine.
- Tutorial race: This race is rather straightforward, and so anyone new to the franchise should play as them as they are good at pretty much everything, and Eataine is very forgiving, with Avelorn also being quite easy.
|“||Though our fair homeland is beset on all sides, we shall resist, as our fathers did before us. In these dark times, as our tainted brethren ravage our shores, we stand defiant and shall emerge victorious. For we are the Asur, the true kin of Aenarion, and Ulthuan shall never fall.||„|
|~ Prince Tyrion|
The High Elves – or Asur, as they call themselves – are among the oldest civilisations in the world; possibly, only the jungle-dwelling Lizardmen can lay claim to a longer existence. Although mortal, Elves lead incredibly long lives; so long in fact that the spans allotted to humans seem to be as fleeting as those of mayflies. From the fortress-paradise of Ulthuan near the centre of the world, the High Elves – although aloof and arrogant – have generally walked the path of Order, using their longevity to become warriors without peer and mages without equal.
The ancient High Elves have long stood guard over the world, ensuring it remains in balance – daemonic efforts of hordes of Chaos and the foolish meddling of younger, ‘lesser’ races notwithstanding. The High Elves are both conceited and detached, no doubt due to their immense longevity and the comparative isolation of their island kingdom of Ulthuan, which encourages such a worldview to a great extent. Whereas in other races, such traits could prove fatal, they are assets in the Asur’s case, for the Elves have used them to attain knowledge, skills in magic, and war that far outstrip those of almost all their historical adversaries.
However, the Asur are also a race in decline. Though still a great power with a powerful navy and wide influence, their once global empire has been reduced to just Ulthuan and a few outposts. The Asur were never a numerous people, and bitter wars against the Dark Elves and Dwarfs have reduced them to a fraction of their former strength.
Though their numbers grow fewer with every passing year, the Asur will die before they let their island homeland fall.
In campaign, there are six playable High Elves factions, each with its own starting position, led by separate Legendary Lords, and having different climate preferences. See individual pages for faction-specific info:
- Eataine, led by Tyrion.
- Order of Loremasters, led by Teclis.
- Avelorn, led by Alarielle the Radiant.
- Nagarythe, led by Alith Anar.
- Yvresse, led by Eltharion.
- Knights of Caledor, led by Imrik.
- Loremaster Talarian: Provides quests for the High Elves
- Squire Galifreius: Provides quests related to the rituals for High Elves
Minor factions grouped under the High Elves race, using High Elves units. All the Total War: Warhammer II minor factions are found in the Eye of The Vortex campaign, but not all of them are present in the Mortal Empires one:
Total War: Warhammer II
Factions exclusive to The Eye of the Vortex campaign:
Factions from the Mortal Empires campaign:
- High Elves Rebels
- Tor Elithis Refugees - technically a rogue armies faction
The High Elves enjoy a balanced unit roster which isn't lacking in any particular area. They have infantry, cavalry, strong missile troops, artillery, flying units, versatile spellcasters, and powerful monsters. Most High Elf units have decent armour (though not particularly tough), good leadership, and fairly fast movement. High Elf troops tend to be expensive, as they rely on quality over quantity. Star Dragons are the most powerful variety of dragons in the game and arguably the strongest mounts.
High Elves have access to nine lores of magic:
- Lore of High Magic
- Lore of Shadows
- Lore of Heavens
- Lore of Light
- Lore of Life
- Lore of Beasts
- Lore of Fire
- Lore of Metal
- Lore of Death
Also, Mages can be recruited with character traits that give them access to Transmutation of Lead, Gehenna's Golden Hounds, Melkoth's Mystifying Miasma, The Enfeebling Foe, or Urannon's Thunderbolt in addition to their main lore.
High Elves excel as warriors, having trained in martial disciplines for the equivalent of many men's lifetimes
Martial Prowess is a mechanic that gives the High Elves extra stat bonuses in melee combat when they enter a battle at full health (+12 Melee Defence, +2 Melee Attack). Once the strength of a unit drops below 50%, the Martial Prowess bonuses are lost. Thus, High Elves tend to perform better in the first half of a battle – in campaign, it is important to quickly crush enemies to avoid taking too many losses. Martial Prowess is also important because High Elves units, while having good armour, tend to not be particularly tough – relying on ranged units to soften up the enemy. So, Martial Prowess helps the High Elves withstand the initial charges of the enemy. When facing High Elves, it's good to strip as many high value units of Martial Prowess or Martial Mastery before the melee begins. This means switching the focus of missile attacks to a new target once the current one drops below 50% HP.
In the Campaign
Influence and Intrigue at the Court
Influence is a unique resource/currency for the High Elves. It can be gained in various ways and spent to recruit powerful characters or to influence diplomacy via the Intrigue at the Court menu accessed on the campaign map. See the above-linked article for more information.
Espionage and Trade
Espionage gives the High Elves an infiltrator with every faction they have a trade agreement with. This is similar to a defensive alliance, except you won't get pulled into unwise wars with your trade partner as you would with an ally. Additionally, High Elves have extra bonuses allowing them to earn lots of money from trade. On the campaign map, this puts Eataine in a strong position as they start near many friendly factions who are willing to trade. Thus, trade is even more vital to the High Elves than it is for Dwarfs or Empire factions.
Fortress Gates are a special type of settlement. Though not specific to the High Elves, they are found mostly in Ulthuan. They have larger garrisons but no building slots. Siege engines cannot be built, which makes them significantly more difficult to attack.
High Elves can perform several rites to give them various powerful bonuses. The Rite of Vaul is particularly noteworthy as it causes an event to happen which gives the player a choice of several powerful items.
Alarielle, Eltharion, Alith Anar, and Imrik have variations of the standard rites or brand new ones.
High Elves have access to the following stances:
Nagarythe have access to two stances unique to their faction.
The post-battle options for High Elves are as follows:
- Ransom captives
- Execute captives
- Force Labour
See the article on commandments for a list of High Elves commandments.
High Elves climate preferences differ depending on which faction you play. See the climate article for more info.
High Elves names
How to win as High Elves
High Elf Campaign Strategy Guide
High Elf Multiplayer Strategy Guide