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requiem34
10-01-2008, 00:01
So I am thinking about the Dark Elves as a new army. I needed some general ideas on how to play them. I know they play real different and I have heard that they win by controlling the movement phase but I'm not sure how that really works. I have also heard that the firing line also works.

What draws me to the DE is the beasts...I like and want all of them (manticore, hydra, and dragon). I did not know if all of these in a list would work.

In short I have a second hand army I can get for cheap to start me off. It includes:

1 repeater crossbow (could play 2, I have a HE one as well)
1 dragon
1 cold one chariot
1 unit of 8 cold one riders
1 unit of DE warriors
1 unit of corsairs (give or take a full unit...maybe 10 actually)
10 witch elves
1 morathi
****

any help or ideas on what to buy or good tactics is greatly appreciated. I would like to have an idea on how they play before I spend a lot of money. Thanks!

El Haroldo
10-01-2008, 01:51
Have you played any elven army prior to this? I'll start from the beginning.

Elves: fast, high WS, BS, I and Ld. Low S, T and armour.
Dark Elves (prior to new high elf book) were the most 'offensive' of the 3 elf armies. When they hit (properly) they hit hard, when they get hit they tend to die in droves.

firstly, the firing line you speak of is a whole lot of Repeater Crossbow warriors, a number of bolt throwers, and sorceress' flinging magic missiles. Low effective range, poor strength. Can be effective by dedicated players, but I'll quickly give you an idea of some tactics with a balanced list, which you'll be able to adapt with the models you've got.

By, control the movement phase, it means using Shades, Harpies, and the excellant Dark Riders early in the game to march block, while your flying monsters rampage around behind the lines. Dark Riders are the key here. Core fast cav with an 18 inch march. Fairly cheap for what they can do. Give them a musician, and when they're charged, they'll flee 3d6, almost always rally next turn, and then off to bait another enemy unit. god bless them.

The key to winning combat with DE is not to fight unless you know you can win. Almost no DE unit can take a big charge and come out the other side. Combination charges are your friend. Causing terror/fear fests as much as you can is also great. Get very familiar with your unit strengths and weaknesses.

Team up your units into little groups designed to support one another. Cold one knights can stick with your warriors, chariot with the witch elves, for example. Lots of small units work better than big ranked up ones, because you'll try and get combined charges that will negate enemy rank bonuses anyway.

High point cost and low durability isn't a forgiving partnership, and they aren't an 'easy' race to play. In the beginning you will lose more than you win. Learn from this (you learn very quickly with a DE army) and before too long, you'll have an extremely rewarding army that you love playing and rarely get bored with.

That's been my experience anyway. Watch a few games or try and borrow a friend's army and play a game or two, and don't worry about the result. See if you enjoy the playing style, and make a decision from there.

requiem34
10-01-2008, 03:10
I have played wood elves but only very briefly. I took a hard hitting force that time, mostly dryads, treeman, dragon. It wasn't very troop oriented.
---
I am torn between DE and HE...just drawn to the beast and control orientation of DE. Thanks for the advice though, very helpful :)

El Haroldo
10-01-2008, 03:32
To be honest, HE are far more competitive atm. Their heavy cav, elite and even regular infantry is not only cheaper, but rocks harder. They are probably just as effective as DE with their fast cav, scouts and flyers when it comes to moving, and ASF takes a lot of the sting out of getting charged.

If newer rules and winning all the time aren't your main priorities, ask yourself what do you like most; gleaming, honourable 'good guys', or the cruel, malicious 'bad guys'.

sulla
10-01-2008, 08:31
1 repeater crossbow (could play 2, I have a HE one as well)
1 dragon
1 cold one chariot
1 unit of 8 cold one riders
1 unit of DE warriors
1 unit of corsairs (give or take a full unit...maybe 10 actually)
10 witch elves
1 morathi
****

any help or ideas on what to buy or good tactics is greatly appreciated. I would like to have an idea on how they play before I spend a lot of money. Thanks!

I'd start by buying another 2 dark riders so you can field 2 units of 5. Possibly another pair of Cold one knights to do the same with them too but that is completely optional (I have had a bit of success with large units of CoK vs HE in the past).

Next, you have a bit of a decision; Do you want to play (2000pts) with a high sorceress on pegasus or highborn on dragon? Since you can't field both in the same 2K battle. Once you have decided that, let us know and we can help a bit more with army comp, although to tell the truth, there are no really outstanding options in the list so you can indulge yourself with a few things that you like and build a list to support them. Having said that, i probably wouldn't take both a beastmaster on manticore and a hydra in the same list since neither is great value for points.

Safe buys (in terms of on field reliability); Fighter characters on flying beasts (although you will have to convert most of these), dark riders, CoChariots, sorceress' on foot or dark steed, harpies, shades.

Dodgy buys (unreliable, so you may have to build your army specifically to support them; beastmasters, assassins, hydra, executioners, black guard.

The rest of the army is pretty neutral and can fit into any list. I would urge caution in buying any of the 'dodgy' stuff. Proxy it first for 5-10 games before spending a single cent on it. Much of it is completely wotrthless vs many armies. you don't want to buy something that doesn't work vs your regular opponents.

DeathlessDraich
10-01-2008, 10:34
Don't buy these units
1) Corsairs
2) Manticore
3) Black Guard
4) Assassin
5) Cauldron of Blood

I've seen (2), (3) and (4) used effectively but only by very experienced DE players

Do buy these:
1) Xbowmen or spearelves
2) Dark riders
3) Chariot
4) Reaper Bolt thrower
5) Sorcerers at least 2
6) Black Dragon and lord
7) Harpies

These are worth considering after your first few games:
1) Cold one Knights
2) Shades
3) Witch elves
4) Executioners
5) War Hydra

As a former WE player you will find the fragility of a DE army quite alarming at first but keep persisting and you will find that DE are tactically very rewarding.

TheDarkDaff
11-01-2008, 07:53
Good luck with the Druchii. First off your idea does work quite well but you need to build the entire army to focus on it. That means you can have your Lord on Black Dragon and Manticore riding Beastmaster along with a Hydra (i also recommend having a look at a DoW Giant as they are hands down better than a Hydra) but you need the rest of the army to support your heavy hitters. This literally means get as many Dark Riders as you can get your hands on. Shades are nice if you can scout them. Coldone Knights are ok, but are a little on the slow side (and mine fail on average 3 stupidity tests in a 6 turns game). Most Infantry should stay at home.

Chariots are a more picky issue. They hit hard and are fairly resilient (for Druchii at least) but in a mobile list they are too slow with a M7. They are great in an Infantry list however and if you want foot troops i would buy another Chariot straight up

One-S
12-01-2008, 08:56
Don't buy these units
1) Corsairs
2) Manticore
3) Black Guard
4) Assassin
5) Cauldron of Blood

Do buy these:
1) Xbowmen or spearelves
2) Dark riders
3) Chariot
4) Reaper Bolt thrower
5) Sorcerers at least 2
6) Black Dragon and lord
7) Harpies

These are worth considering after your first few games:
1) Cold one Knights
2) Shades
3) Witch elves
4) Executioners
5) War Hydra


I agree with most of it.
The "Do buy these" are more or less what I'd recomment, except for the xbowmen or spearelves, darkriders are core, take as many as you can, forget about the rest.
I also agree with the "don't buys", except for the manticore. In a game of 1000 or 1500 points you'll find it verry usefull to take along a terror causing flyer (a kitty is your friend here).
As for "the worth considering", I'd put the knights with the "Do buy"s, I agree with the rest.
Interested in dark elf tactics, follow the link below.
I've found those artikels to be verry usefull.
http://www.druchii.net/viewtopic.php?t=45534
Cheers