The noble High Elves, or Asur as they call themselves, are among the most ancient and powerful of all races. From their mist-shrouded home continent of Ulthuan, they defend the world from the encroaching evils that threaten it. The High Elves are an extremely defensive faction and Ulthuan’s lands are no exception; the inner kingdoms of Ulthuan are defended by Fortress Gate settlements: siege-weapons cannot be used to attack these bastions.
There are 2 routes to victory as a High Elf, your faction can either complete all the rituals in the Eye of the Vortex Campaign and win the final battle, or destroy the rival factions and maintain control of 50 provinces. Be careful if you decide to go for domination, some climates are uninhabitable to High Elves…
New to Total War: WARHAMMER 2 is the Vortex: High Elves can spend way-fragments to spend on rituals which are used to influence the Great Vortex. Any faction which completes its final ritual and defeats its rivals will gain control of the vortex and win the campaign, but you will have the option to intervene when an enemy faction attempts a ritual using an Intervention Army. These do not operate under your control, but instead cost money – the more money spent, the great the military power of the army that appears!
High Elves also have access to powerful rites, which grant strong bonuses and unique abilities such as providing more influence per turn in exchange for money. For example, if your faction is having problems with Chaos, Vampiric or Skaven corruption… you can pay to “make it go away”. Once used, rites are subject to a cooldown period before they can be used again.
The society of the High Elves is hierarchical in nature, which can be seen in Total War: WARHAMMER 2 in the form of “influence”, as seen at the top of the campaign screen. High Elf courtiers watch for any opportunity to gain in status at the expense of their peers; influence is extremely useful to any High Elf player. The influence of a High Elf faction grows as events fall in their favour and can be spent on recruiting lords and heroes; the higher a character’s influence cost, the better the trait that they will start with. However, some characters cost no influence but have detrimental traits.
High elves can also spend influence on Intrigues at the Court – whispered deals in the halls of power that pull strings to improve or worsen the diplomatic relations between factions. These are initiated on the Intrigue at the Court button on the campaign interface; factions to be target can be selected from the dropdown lists here. You can choose to either improve or decrease diplomatic relations between the selected factions, but remember that intrigues cost more to deploy if they are used repeatedly!
Trade agreements are used by the High Elves to spy on their trade partners. This grants them full visibility over the campaign map territory of any faction they have agreed trade with – trade agreements with other factions can be made via diplomacy. This can be used in conjunction with court intrigues to manipulate wars been other factions without ever having to lift a High Elf finger…
The key in battle to any High Elf army is its defence – High Elves are a very defensive race with “cheap”, low-tier spearmen and archer units which can be used to make a defensive line. Although, bear in mind when playing as High Elves that their units are some of the most expensive in the game, so best build up your treasury before kitting out a full army.
The best first step in recruiting a High Elf army is to make sure that you have built the Militia Camp in one of your controlled settlements, as it will unlock the recruitment of spearmen and archers, the cheapest and most basic units available in the High Elf army roster. This is only a level 1 building, so you should be able to build it in any settlement.
When you are ready for some more advanced units, try building the Archive to unlock the ability to recruit mages. These grant you the ability to use spells in battle, one of the best strengths of the High Elf race. You can use spells to buff your army, such as restore hit points, or to cause all sorts of damage and debuffs to the enemy.
The Grove building allows you to recruit Great Eagles, a monstrous beast that bears down upon its enemies in the battlefield with bestial fury and cruel determination.
Finally, possibly the coolest units you can unlock through these building trees are dragons, starting with the Moon and Sun dragons which unlock after the construction of a Dragon’s Lair. If you upgrade this building to a Dragon Keep, you can recruit a Star Dragon… The most expensive High Elf unit! This terrifying beast causes both fear and terror in the enemy and has the ability to destroy entire units with a molten blast of its white-hot breath.