MEK1724 wrote:Armour can stop arrows.
Not that much. Armor-piercing arrows are the number one reason French continued getting their ass kicked for so long during the Hundred Years' war.
(okay, they're not, but let's pretend they are for a moment)
For the main question, my answer would be : we don't have enough data to answer the main question.
Plus, this question should be split in two (or three) : what would the humans need to be realistically able to beat the drows, what they would need to be realistically sure to beat them, and what they would need narratively.
To the third question, the answer is simple : they need a Cesar, a Napoleon, a Hannibal, a George Washington (you tell me when you get it), a General Tarquin, an Admiral Thrawn, anyway, someone who's both charismatic and clever enough to become the antagonist of the story. Obviously, even then they're doomed to fail on the long term (because, you know, Drow
tales), but that's the best they could achieve on a narrative POV.
Now, if we have a realistic POV ? They could kick the elves' collective sorry asses with their current technology, but even with nukes and armor piercing bullets, the victory wouldn't be guaranteed.
If I were to imagine an "ideal" way for the Hermiones to beat the elves, I say they'd ally with the Halmes (so, no rebellion) against the evil drows, block the main corridors between the underworld and the surface (the ones large enough to let an army pass), post a big enough force a the top of the Nidavellir (the big cliff that surrounds the misty crater) : it would ensure them that no army could pass without fighting humans with both superior numbers and positions. Then they'd try to win by attrition : pay some Blacksuns or whoever to burn underground farms, then take out the raider's outposts and colonies one by one. Assuming they don't screw up big time and keep their positions, the drows start to starve until they're week enough for the Hermiones to launch a big expedition and purge what remains of them.
If I were to imagine an "ideal" way for the elves to beat the Hermiones, I would say that they win battle after battle thanks to superior firepower and tactics, and we're done here
My point is, there's a lot of way a human-elve war could go, and a lot of factors that might influence it. But in the end, I think the main factor is the leadership, and then the numbers. The quality of the soldiers doesn't really count, cf WW-II. For example, the French army during the Hundred Years' war was hardly superior in numbers to what we know of the Sarghress troops. Louis XIV's army ? They'd totally crush them. Unless one of the following factor comes into play : black plague, the Nidra'chaals, the faulty seeds, Jaladarya's bacteriological weapon, a deus ex machina, the drow Civil War becoming worse, the drow Cibil War stopping, the mutations that seem to affect the drows, Quain'tana being awesome, Ariel being awesome, Ariel's shapeshifter abilities, Syphile's ultimate form boss fight, Saxton Hale, and so on.