High Elf Fleets Firefight Tactics

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High Elf Fleets
Setting: Grimdark Future
Games: Grimdark Future,
Grimdark Future: Firefight
Species: Elf
Version: v2.50

Why Play High Elf Fleets

The high elves are a very flighty and very elite force. All of your troops are quite specialized in their roles, meaning they can serve quite well in their intended role, but will suffer when pushed out of it.

Pros:

  • Almost your entire army is some shade of Fast
  • Plentiful Rending on the guns

Cons:

  • Your army is costly as hell
  • Troops are quite fragile
  • Your army is very specialized in what they do; attempting to do anything beyond that will only be met with mediocre results at best.

Army Special Rules

  • Drop Grenades: Whenever this model moves over enemy units, pick one of them and roll one die, on a 2+ it takes 1 hit.
  • Hit & Run: Friendly units within 12" may move by up to 3” after shooting.
  • Seer Council: Models with this rule count as having Psychic(1), however only one of them in the unit may cast or block spells each round. When casting or blocking spells, roll as many dice as models with this rule in the unit, and pick the highest result.
  • Teleport: Once per activation, before attacking, place this model anywhere within 6”. This will ignore terrain of any sort, which is excellent.
  • Very Fast: This model moves +4” when using Advance and +8” when using Rush/Charge.

Psychic Spells

  • Hide (4+): Two enemy units within 12" take -1 to hit with shooting. Again, this is critical for protecting your troops.
  • Soul Seeker (4+): Enemy model within 12" takes three AP(2) hit. Absolutely welcome to have such a cheap sniping spell.
  • Creator (5+): Two friendly unit within 12" gains +1 to defense when they next get hit. Absolutely worth comboing with Hide.
  • Destroyer (5+): Enemy unit within 12" takes seven hits. Not much, but it can handle mobs.
  • Blessing (6+): Friendly unit within 12" gains Impact(1) when it charges next. You're only going to use this for the dedicated melee units.
  • Curse (6+): Two enemy units within 6" take six AP(1) hits each. Evil.

Unit Analysis

Heroes

  • Elven Noble: Your elite hero is incredibly flexible with a very welcome array of options. With a 3+ quality and 4+ defense, they're pretty much embodying the glass cannon lifestyle of the elves, but their loadout makes them far more specialized in certain roles.
    • Melee: Their base CCW can be replaced with quite a few special weapons for the melee-minded noble, but they won't be strong enough to easily take down stronger heroes. The Dire Sword gives you the means to handle small crowds. The Energy Sword is better for fighting infantry with high defenses, but the Chain-Sword gives an extra swing without Rending. The Killing Swor provides the ultimate answer for heroes and monsters, leaving the Energy Spear to punch through high defense.
    • Shooting: Their stock Shard Pistol provides a single shot with Rending for potential high AP. The Shard Carbine gives better range as well as an extra shot. The Laser Blaster gives you better range but no Rending. The Web Spinner gives an extra shot to the pistol, but replaces Rending with a high AP(4). Shot Missiles give you incredible range, but you're only getting one AP(3) shot. The Fusion Rifle provides you the means to demolish tanks, while the Swarm Missiles give extreme-range AP(1) shots.
    • Mounts: While not all actual "mounts", they all take the same slot. The Banshee Howl is best for melee nobles by equipping Fear. The Scorpion Suit is a bit more covert, giving Scout and Stealth on top of Impact(1) so they can help with flanking Scorpions. Hawk Wings give you the flight power of jetpacks for other armies with Ambush and Flying, which the Spider Suit can substitute with Teleport.
    • Upgrades: Apart from the other upgrades is an Energy Shield, giving Regeneration if you're expecting plenty of targeted fire like a sniper. Aside from that is a choice between either High Seer for Psychic(1) or Ancient Commander for Hit & Run antics for annoying shooting.
  • Guardian Elite: A slightly more affordable Noble, but they're now on par with the Defenders and Storms with a 4+ quality and 5+ defense. They're otherwise able to equip the same weapons as the Noble, though the only mount they can get is the jetbike. If you're planning to hide this hero in the back with Psychic or Shield of Grace, then you'd be better served by saving the points for an Elite and the boosts.

Infantry

  • Defender: Your basic troops with 4+ quality, making them a good bit more dangerous than something like the HDF troops. Each of them carries a Shardgun, which are Shard Pistols with another attack. Their guns pretty much are their life, as you've got no other guns to equip aside from buying a gun platform. If you're not patient with managing reapers, then you're well-served by this. Taking a gun platform gives you your one means of long-range firepower for the squad between the Shard Cannon and Scatter Laser.
  • Storm: Melee defenders given only a Shard Pistol and CCW, relying on Fast and Scout to get stuck in. You can buy one Energy Swords for some Rending and AP, while the gun can become either a Flamethrower or Fusion Rifle if you need some special weapons. If you're particularly worried about their safety, the Hologram Platform can give you a bit of extra defense at range by providing Stealth.
  • Avenger: By default, the avenger is a slightly better Defender, with slightly better range on their Shard Carbines and 4+ defense. Like the Defenders, you will need to learn to love these things if you want to get far, and you can buy two of them for fun. If you want something more suited to melee, you can instead swap the carbine for a Shard Pistol and either an Energy Sword or a Dire Sword if you need some melee prowess and 5 extra points.
  • Banshee: You'll be needing Strider because this unit's all about close combat. After all, they get Energy Swords as default weapons and for 20 points you can buy Fear. If you're planning on focusing more on shooting you can try a Tri-Sling to exchange melee power for shooting power while those more keen on melee by weight of die would look at the Dual Mirror Swords so you can go all-in on the melee train. Buy a Killing Sword if you plan on throwing the banshees at a hero or heavy unit, as it's the best use for Deadly.
  • Dragon: Comes stock with a Fusion Rifle, meaning you're presenting an existential threat to any tank-heavy armies. If you're more worried about mobs, then you can consider replacing it with a Heavy Flamethrower, though you do have other units to cover that issue.
  • Spider: Ambush and Teleport mean that they can pretty much be wherever they want, though they lack Fast. The Web Spinner is pretty much a Shardgun with an insane AP(4), making it one of your main tools against high-defense models. The Web Rifle is there if you need a but more range, but the Twin Web Spinner exists if you just want things gone faster. You can also give a model Dual Spider Blades with Posion, but don't delude yourself into thinking that this will make them any reliable in a fight.
  • Hawk: Your Laser Blaster has twice the range and more attacks, but it lacks the Shardgun's Rending. With Ambush and Flying, you'll have plenty of space to move around for the sake of getting all your shots, though buying Drop Grenades can let you also pop some enemies while not even engaging them. If you need more beyond your Laser Blasters, you can give either the surprising AP(2) Hawk Laser or the Sun Blaster if you really need rapid fire on top or Rending. You can also get an Energy Sword, but as with any other squad with fancy guns and CCWs, this won't make them good in combat that they should be thrown in the front lines.
  • Reaper: A heavy weapon squad with Relentless and Fast is a hard thing to find in this game. If the base Shot Missiles don't satisfy, you can give any of them Swarm Missiles for some rapid-fire fun. or a Shard Cannon for mass fire with Rending. Being the heavy weapons guy, you'll be needing that speed so you can keep away from any surprise attacks.
  • Scorpion: Another melee model, but you have Scout and Stealth to set you up in better positions and Chain-Swords for a sizeable amount of AP(1) swings on top of Impact(1). One model can replace their base pistol for a Scorpion Fist if you really need more pistol shots and another can replace their sword with a Biting Sword for Poison on their hits instead of AP(1). You could instead turn in their entire loadout for Dual Energy Swords, making for some incredible melee power.
  • Ranger: Sniper with Sniper Rifles, Scout, Stealth, and Strider so they can set up from anywhere at any time. Though the 4+ quality makes them far from defenseless in a fight, they're very much a lost cause if they aren't shooting.
  • Wraith Suit: Heavyweight tank with 3+ quality and defense and Tough(3) but they lack Fast. Their base Wraith Cannon provide you with high AP right out the box, but you could also give the squad a Distortion Gun for more of a crowd control focus while maintaining that incredible AP. If you're keen on making these tanky boys more melee-focused, you're stuck with replacing their guns with either Dual Energy Swords for a ton of attacks or Energy Sword and Shield for Regeneration.
  • Seer: A bit costlier than a Guardian Elite with High Seer, but if you're needing a dedicated caster there's no reason to pass one up. Their inventory is severely cut down, but each one comes stock with an Energy Sword to take down most things, while taking an Energy Spear is for any foes with high defense.
  • Jetbike: Jebikes are fun because they have Strider and Very Fast, meaning they can pretty much be anywhere you want, and come with Tough(3) so they won't go down quickly. Thankfully they're also quite flexible thanks to having both a Twin Shardgun as well as CCWs+Pistol in order to engage at ant range. The Shardgun can be swapped out for either a Shardcannon for rapid fire at a better range, while the Scatter Laser comes with a fixed AP(1).On top of that, you can also replace any bike's CCW+Pistol for a Sniper Rifle if you need the super-mobile sharpshooter and a Hologram Field helps protect them from potshots. However, you can also replace the melee weapons with either an Energy Spear for more Impact or Laser Spear to nail Tough things - which can then be replaced with either an Energy Sword for a more reliable infantry fighting choice or a Star Spear if you have high defenses to rip through.

List Building & Tactics

General Advice

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Tactics

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See Also

High Elf Fleets
Overview - Tactics - Firefight Tactics - Miniatures - Quickplay Armies - Firefight Quickplay Armies
Grimdark Future: Firefight tactics
Alien Hives - Battle Brothers - Blessed Sisters - Custodian Brothers - DAO Union - Dark Elf Raiders - Dwarf Guilds
Elven Jesters - Eternal Dynasty - Gangs of New Eden - Havoc Brothers - High Elf Fleets - Human Defense Force
Human Inquisition - Infected Colonies - Jackals - Machine Cult - Orc Marauders - Prime Brothers - Ratmen Clans
Rebel Guerrillas - Robot Legions - Saurian Starhost - Soul-Snatcher Cults - Wormhole Daemons