The Hooves of Ellryion
The "Hooves of Ellryion" encompass a variety of
traditional Ellryion mounted warfare tactics.
COMPOSITION: Ellryian war parties are usually entirely
mounted on splendid elven steeds. This allows for
lightning fast assaults and Hit and Run tactics to be
executed very effectively. Ellyrian forces are composed
of Reavers, Silver Helms and Chariots.
Reavers known elsewhere in Ulthuan as "Ellryian
Reavers" provide extreme speed and flexibility for
Ellryian forces. They range out ahead of the main assault
force striking deep into enemy terriotory, riding down
vulnerable targets, taking possession of key positions,
raining down accurate archery on the foe and hindering
the enemies plans in a reign of confusion. These expert
riders are masters of Hit and Run tactics, they avoid
dangerous opponents, whilst shooting at the enemy and can
loose of a volley before withdrawing, even in the face of
an enemy charge!
Silver Helm Knights are swift and deadly fighters, almost
unparalleled amongst even elves. They are armed with
white lances, which on the charge can help them smash
through almost any foes ranks. Using their speed they
take their enemy by surprise with quick flanking moves
and pursuits. Their thunderous charges have broken the
back of many an invading army.
Some noble Ellryians keep the age-old tradition of
chariot riding alive, even though their cousins in
Tironic are more renowned for it. Still Ellryion is a
land of vast grassy plains and of magnificent herds of
elven steeds whilst the land of Tironic has long lost its
days of glory. Chariots although slow on the march, but
can strike quickly and with little warning, leaving
opponents crushed in their wake.
Chariots are the support element of the Ellryian army.
They help the Silver Helms and reavers attack targets
that are too heavily armed and armoured for them on there
own and also help to reduce enemies in massed ranks.
ELLRYION BATTLE TACTICS
General Theory of the "Hooves of Ellryion"
Using an entirely mounted army means that you will be out
numbered at least 3 -1 against a "balanced"
force containing mainly infantry. More often then not it
could be 4 -1 or 5- 1. Ellryian cavalry also has average
toughness and mediocre armour saves. All this means that
an Ellryian force is very fragile indeed. This is usually
more then compensated with the extreme speed and
manoeuvrability of such a force.
Firstly and most importantly speed means that you can
pick your targets and avoid dangerous opponents. The
advantage of this cannot be overstated. Imagine the
frustration of a Khornite General and his Khornite chaos
knights, or a regiment of Rat Ogres, as our regiments
whiz behind or out of reach for a few turns or perhaps
the whole game! This also means denying these regiments
their march moves! Such a huge investment in points
wasted is already a sign that you are gaining the upper
hand (if not in the battle than psychologically).
Whilst our regiments are avoiding and or harassing
powerful enemy regiments, the rest of the force picks out
vulnerable targets and progresses to destroy them.
Missile regiments and opposing fast cavalry can be
threats to your force if not dealt with quickly, as can
war machines. Fortunately these threats can easily be
extinguished by a reaver charge early during the progress
of a battle.
This brings me to my second point, the concentration of
forces. Whilst the rest of the force (mainly reavers)
harasses their opponents and destroys their ability to
shoot, the rest of the force (mainly Silver Helms and
some chariots) engage enemy regiments in combat. Silver
Helm charges can be quite powerful but can easily be
absorbed by massed ranks. This is where the concentration
of forces comes into play. A second unit and possibly a
third unit either, other Silver Helm units or spare
Reaver units charge into the enemies flank and/or rear.
Not only have they lost their main advantage, they must
take a panic test and we receive +1 or +2 to our combat
This should result in the enemy becoming broken as a
Silver Helm charge can be quite potent when the enemies'
rank bonus is negated. This now means that the force can
continuously run along the enemy's line bringing in most
of the melee force to bare on one unit at a time. Even
though the force is badly out numbered, this is countered
by the fact that in each individual combat the numbers
are evened up, with the charge, rank and combat bonuses
on our side! Each unit is destroyed, one at a time,
whilst care is taken to avoid the most powerful elements
of the opposing force.
Once all the elements of the enemy's force are destroyed
besides the most powerful ones than things will get
desperate for the opposition. They will (probably) be way
behind in the victory point count and outraged (or
enraged!) by the fact that their all powerful (and all
expensive) characters and units have yielded them no or
little victory points. In a last ditch attempt to grab
victory or revenge they will move headlong towards the
bulk of your force. This would probably be their last
move as the main silver helm unit with a couple of
chariots will charge the front, whilst the rest of the
force charge the flanks and the rear. Such overwhelming
force would be enough to destroy all opponents including
my special list.
· Blood Crushers
· Dragon Ogres
· Rat Ogres (even with a Vermin Lord!)
· Chaos Knights (Yes, even with the Banner of Rage lead
by a Khornite General)
· Brettonian Grail Knights (with all sorts of characters
and virtues and magic items.)
Things to Watch
The biggest threats to you will soon become apparent.
Missile troops, opposing cavalry, flying creatures,
infiltrators, war machines, magic and unbreakable units
are enough to spoil the day of any Ellryian Lord. I will
now explain how to counter each of these threats.
Missile troops can cause crippling damage to Ellryian
units because they lack the armour and numbers of massed
infantry. Opposing missile troops can be a menace to an
Ellryian force and therefore are a threat that must be
As many players know, missile troops tend to be rather
poorly equipped. Many players neglect to give them a
champion, a standard or a musician yet alone an extra
rank! With the lack of armour, equipment and general lack
of hand to hand combat ability this compounds a missile
regiments problems even with a champion, standard and
musician. This being said, Reavers are the solution. If
the first turn is yours than charge them with the special
deployment and charge combo. If not then deploy in cover
and try to stay out of potential line of sight. Screen
valuable units with skirmishing Reavers. A Ruby Chalice
may also be in order. If all else fails give him tempting
targets like Chariots or fully armoured Dragon Princes.
Opposing cavalry can be a great pain that can lose you
the game (mind the rhyme). These guys can stop all
important march moves and charge your units instead of
the other way around! These are threats that must be
neutralised immediately. Heavy cavalry with a movement of
7 or more must be avoided for as long as possible!
Concentrate your attacks elsewhere (preferably very far
away!) and tie them up with Reavers stopping them from
march moving. When the rest of the enemy force is dealt
with than the heavy cavalry unit can be charged using
concentration of force as well as a couple of chariots!
If that plan seems to be a little bold or ineffective
than magic items and spells can provide a solution. The
Banner of Wrath, the Doomfire Ring and the Pipes of Doom
are my favourite items for dealing with heavy cavalry and
I preferably try to use all of them against Brettonians.
Allowing hits with no armour save possible is great as
well as no charge possible next turn. Spells such as
Destruction and Fiery Convocation (in its later stages)
together with the above items have spelt doom for many a
knight. Other useful spells include The Curse of Anthreir,
the Glamour of Teclis, Hold Fast and Net.
However I have found that when used effectively, enemy
light cavalry can cause even larger headaches to your
plans then heavy cavalry. These units stand just as good
a chance of charging and harassing you, as you could them.
If enemy light cavalry grab key positions and the flanks
before you then the game is almost over. An Ellryian
force should never be contained. Another thing that enemy
light cavalry can do is to restrict your charge arcs and
set up "protection" or "screening zones"
for areas the enemy wants you to keep out of. These
troops should be first on your hit list along with
infiltrators and deadly war machines.
Fortunately for any Lord of Ellryion, they have the best
light cavalry in the Warhammer World, Reaver's and Silver
Helms (arguably the best hand to hand combat Light
cavalry unit). This means that dealing with enemy light
cavalry should be relatively easy especially in combat.
Even Reavers with Spears and the charge can easily beat
non-Elven light cavalry. High Speed, Skill and Initiative
should win the day, and don't forget that Elven Steeds
have a useful and often overlooked I4.
However our elven cousins aren't so weak and also have
light cavalry as there main strengths. Dark Riders are
slightly more effective the Reaver's because they have
Repeating Crossbows and Hate High Elves. Glade Riders are
also very dangerous opponents because they have Wood elf
Longbows which have a much longer range than our bows (36"
as opposed to 24") and also inflicts a -1 save
modifier. They also have access to Lances and have I7,
which means that they are more effective fighters then
Reavers and are almost on par with Silver Helms. Very
critically both Dark and Wood Elves have Elven Steeds
which means that they can often charge you, this is a
disaster as light cavalry NEED the charge in every
situation or they are finished. Also our cousins have
roughly the same statistics so Initiative between them
and Ellryions and the Steeds! is down to a roll off which
can be disastrous if not your way in a melee.
The strategies for other elven light cavalry depend on
whether they are dark elves or wood elves. Reavers are
the main key against Dark Riders. If the first turn is
yours then move as close to them as possible with the
special deployment rule. This serves two purposes. First
they may not be able to "Stand and Shoot" or
"Fire and Flee" because the Reavers are within
half charge range. Secondly a pursuit so close to them
has a high chance of catching the Dark Riders. But beware!
For the enemy may plan this and lay traps for such
manoeuvres! But fortunately in a cavalry war High Elves
have something that Dark Elves do not, Chariots!! If Dark
Riders try the same moves as mentioned above they risk
running into Silver Helms and Chariot charge ranges!
Wood Elves are different. Glade Riders would tend to try
to interrupt your plans and shoot you to pieces from afar.
If they do this then you should close in with Reavers. If
they try to use them as a shock unit then punish the
Glade Riders with a Silver Helm charge with perhaps some
Reavers in support.
Goblins also deserve a note. Wolf Riders are of special
note. A fully or virtually fully equipped Goblin Wolf
Rider costs around 12 points as compared to anywhere
between 25-43 (Fully Armoured Silver Helm) for High Elves.
This is extremely cheap!!!
What's more is that they move a full 9 and if they get
the charge with spears even elf light cavalry will break.
For such a low points cost a Wolf Rider has just as good
a chance of surviving a hit as an elf (although an elf is
harder to hit then a goblin and usually strikes first in
combat). But most importantly are the numbers that can be
mustered. Goblin Wolf Rider units can prance around with
sizes akin to most races rank and file infantry !!!
Fortunately Goblins fear Elves which can hamper smaller
or significantly reduced units of Wolf Riders
effectiveness. Basically goblins will be reluctant to
charge elves or stand to an elven charge even when lead
by a goblin character, but I must warn you, don't count
So the strategy is simple. Have fewer and larger units,
as Goblins don't have massed firepower either in archery
(range 16") or much in artillery. Remember to spread
fast cavalry and skirmishing cavalry thin to avoid large
casualties from template weapons, cannon balls and bolt
throwers. Also get the charge in before they charge you!
Flying Creatures are a large threat, which cannot be
countered easily at all. Flying creatures tend to fly
high at the first opportunity so it is very hard to stop
them from frustrating your plans. This is especially true
if you have to start with the second turn. This means
that they will choose where and when to strike and that
they are faster then your troops. Fortunately Reavers can
Fire and Flee from the threat, though this means that
they will need to rally and that you lose precious time
and positioning. Silver Helms should be able to handle
harpies and the like in hand to hand combat especially if
lead by a capable character. However the major target in
the Ellryian force will be its chariots which are far
less effective when charged. If faced with armies or
opponents likely to field many fliers' then two items may
help. The Orb of Thunder can stop them from flying high
so that the fliers are vulnerable to missile fire. A
large monster or flying character might feel threatened
by the Sky Arrow of Nalor. If the First turn is yours
then Reavers can quickly charge into fliers' before they
even lift their feet of the ground!
Infiltrators are pests to everyone. They stop march moves,
they pepper your forces with missile fire and they grab
areas of the field that you want! Fortunately for an
Ellryian force Reavers are the solution. Their special
deployment rule means that they can turn to face the
threat and even charge them in the first turn of the game!
The Infiltrators may not even stand and shoot because the
reavers may have marched into their faces before the
charge! If the Infiltrators Flee as a charge reaction the
stand a good chance of being run down by the swift
reavers or being run of the board. If they stand firm
then they are likely to take a whopping from the reaver
charge because of the steeds attacks and the nice little
strength bonus of the spears. However the real danger in
Infiltrators is to distract you from your battle plan and
delaying your moves. There are only so many Reavers to
deal with the many threats so use carefully!
War Machines incite fear into all gamers. Nobody likes
facing Helblasters, Great Cannon, Organ Guns or Repeater
Bolt Throwers, not to mention Earth Shakers! For an
Ellryian force war machines can be very devastating if
not dealt with. To minimise casualties, your units can be
spread into thinner lines and can be spread apart more no
real problem for Ellryian units especially because most
of them should be Fast Cavalry or Skirmishing. Again
Reavers can quickly deal with them and soon your
opponents will start to leave his War Machines at home
when playing you.
Magic is a threat to all armies, but more so to the much
more vulnerable Ellryian forces. Being very small
Ellryian forces cannot afford to take many casualties.
Spells such as Destruction are very bad for Cavalry
health as are spells such as Net and Hold Fast. These
spells may cause doom for an Ellryian force because they
NEED their Movement if this is denied than all is lost.
Fortunately Ellryian High Mages tend to travel with
Ellryian forces (they like to be wild and free rather
then being holed up in the White Tower). This is great
news as High Mages seem to find it easy to dispel (and
others find it hard to dispel them). To increase those
chances and also to find out what nasty items to avoid an
Ellryian Mage should carry with them their own personal
Skull Staff, and a Dispel Scroll for those really nasty
Unbreakable Units are a real pain in the arse. As an
Ellryian force wants to quickly destroy units so that
they can move along and so that they can avoid a
protracted fight (always bad) then Unbreakable Units are
bad news. The unbreakable units most players are familiar
with are Dwarf Slayers, Flagellants, and units with the
Crown of Command (almost Unbreakable) especially
Lizardman units! Units that Hate yours are almost
unbreakable, (we are thinking Dark elves here)
Fortunately in the case of Slayers and Flagellants these
are relatively easy to kill due to their lack of armour.
However Dwarven Elite's with the Rune of Courage or
Lizardmen are a different story. These are very good
fighters and can beat of even Silver Helm Charges. So
there are two basic options. The first is to ram as many
chariots as possible into them in an effort to wipe them
out as well as your general and most of your spells. The
second option is to use Deadlock or the Ring of Corin to
nullify those nasty Runes of Courage and Crown of
Commands out there (and there are a lot out there believe
me!). Afterwards you can try to break them the
By Michael Brebrich