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The Song of Spears
24-02-2009, 17:09
Ok, 2500 pts , it is well rounded, and at very least semi competitive?

Hero:
Malus Darkblade (he leads the cold ones knights)

Charcter:
Master on manticore w/whip of agony, cloak of hag grief, heavy armour, shield

Sorceress with level 2, ring of darkness, biting blade (she leads the black guard)

Death Hag with cauldron of blood

Core:
20 Spear Elves with shields, banner, music

20 Corsairs w/banner, music

5 dark riders w/ crossbows, shields

7 harpies

Special:
20 Black guard w/banner of hag grief, music

9 cold ones knights with banner of murder, dread knight with ring of hotek, music

Rare:
hydra

reaper bolt thrower

Spirit
24-02-2009, 23:31
Im no dark elf player, os i cant give you tips on the units, but i can say this,

3 dispell dice (unless you get some more form items) in 2500 points is NOWHERE NEAR ENOUGH.
If you play against vampires or lizards, or really anyone with any magic at all (skaven also come to mind) all of your best units are going to get blown off the table. I would say that a large strength of the new dark elves is their magic, especially once you learn to use power of darkness effectively. So capitalise on it!

I would lose mallus, take a lvl 4 mage, and get an assassin in there somewhere (not replacing the lvl 2 mage). Assassin always strike first + corsairs + corsair ensnare rule = death to a unit. And anyway, cold one knights don't need the support of a character, their movement allows you to charge only favourable combats, ones you know you will win.

It seems to me that between the manticore and the cauldron, you are spending an awful lot on heroes and not enough on units.

you probably don't need 9 cold one knights, units of knights usually only need 6 maximum and seeing as you get hatred and S6, the rest are a massive point sink.

Hope this helped :/ But again, my advice on the units themselves could be wrong. And once again, 3 dispell dice is not enough, at the very least give the mage 2x dispell scrolls so you can stop magic for one turn, giving you time to hunt some of their mages with the manticore.

The Song of Spears
25-02-2009, 15:41
Well i have the ring of Hotek on the cold one champ. Assuming he stays alive, that magic item makes any caster within 12" of him miscast on any doubles rolled. But you are right, not dispel scrolls is a bit scary...

Yeah, i think i am a bit low on troops. But I have been having such bad luck with my spear elves and my repeater crossbowmen, i just dont know what to do with them.

other than the reaper bolt thrower, what do i do against 1+ cavalry?

MalusCalibur
25-02-2009, 18:49
Hero:
Malus Darkblade (he leads the cold ones knights)

*Yawn*. Special character. Lose him now, please. It's far more rewarding to win battles without crutches. It is also very easy to construct a Dreadlord that is far better. Consider Crimson Death, Armour of Eternal Servitude, and Pendant of Khaeleth as potential item choices.

Charcter:
Master on manticore w/whip of agony, cloak of hag grief, heavy armour, shield

Interesting, but to be honest ultimately futile. The Cloak only applies to the character, not his mount, so the Manticore will be shot/magicked from under him. Then, he's useless and easily killed.
I think he would be far better on foot, in an infantry unit. Equip him with a simple Great Weapon and the Armour of Darkness for a very cheap and effective character.

Sorceress with level 2, ring of darkness, biting blade (she leads the black guard)

Ring of Darkness is a good deterrent for attacking her, but for 40pts it isn't worth it, especially since you are wasting half the Rings powers by having her in a unit. I would recommend some of the nice Arcane items DE have, such as the Focus Familiar or Darkstar Cloak-after all, ASF Black Guard is probably enough to stop anyone attacking her.
Since she is currently your only caster, a lvl1, 2x Dispel Scroll is the very dull but most sensible option.

Death Hag with cauldron of blood

I don't really know about the Cauldron. I'd drop her altogether for another Sorceress-preferably on a Dark Steed and with another Arcane item.

Core:
20 Spear Elves with shields, banner, music

Ok, good. However, I'd recommend deploying them in 3 ranks of 7 to make better use of the spears, and to give you some protection against losing ranks to ranged attacks. Put the Master in here to make up the missing 1.

20 Corsairs w/banner, music

I don't rate Corsairs as a 'block' infantry unit. A unit of 12 (2x6) might be better.


5 dark riders w/ crossbows, shields

Lose the shields. Either up them to 6, or put a mounted Sorceress here. Get at least one more unit of the same.

7 harpies

I'd use 8 personally, but up to you.

Special:
20 Black guard w/banner of hag grief, music

Fine. 18 of them (3 ranks of 6) might be a slightly better formation though.

9 cold ones knights with banner of murder, dread knight with ring of hotek, music

Ah, the classic trap. *Sigh*. Non-Bretonnian cavalry units of 10 or more never work. Never have. Take one casualty and bam, your back rank is useless, and you wasted 135pts on it.
Take 5 or 6, and consider putting a mounted Dreadlord here, to give them a little extra edge. I'd lose the banner, but the Ring is alright here-just avoid your own Sorceresses!

Rare:
hydra

Hydra is fine.

reaper bolt thrower

I'd lose it. One isn't going to achieve much.


Overall advice: More magic defence is absolutely critical, so at the very least give your lone Sorceress some Dispel Scrolls, or the Seal of Ghrond (in fact, I'd recommend taking the Seal somewhere anyway). I would strongly advise taking another one, and then either have two lvl2's, so you can have some magic offence, or leave them both at lvl1 for defence.
Don't rely on one, character-led 'Deathstar' unit, but rather allow your different units to work together: have the cavalry support the infantry with flank charges, destroying enemy support units, etc.
And never, ever, take special characters. They might be legal, but they are (almost across the board) overpowered, and not much fun to fight against-and most importantly, they're very very boring!


MalusCalibur

The Song of Spears
25-02-2009, 22:11
Well i think you have a valid point against the manticore and rider, and he is about 330 pts. Which would buy me a lot of support units, maybe even witch elves, what do you guys think of witch elves?

And instead of a master, what about assassins, are they good to use to surprise enemy's with? if equipped with dark venom can they win the challenges they make to get the bonus combat res?

Guy Fawkes
25-02-2009, 23:28
Comments in Red.


Ok, 2500 pts , it is well rounded, and at very least semi competitive?

Hero:
Malus Darkblade (he leads the cold ones knights)

He's a bit expensive for my taste, but at least he makes the Knights lose stupidity. In my opinion though, for how much he costs, another unit of Cold One Knights would be more effective. He won't spread his leadership if he runs forward, making a Battle Standard Bearer a bit more necessary, and 275 points is a huge amount to pay for a single hero who will at most kill a few models. Take a Dreadlord, who will give you much better leadership, and can be more powerful, and provide buffs. Besides, Dreadlords are much harder to kill.

Charcter:
Master on manticore w/whip of agony, cloak of hag grief, heavy armour, shield

Taking a Manticore with a Master eats up an additional hero choice, so your entire list is invalid as you have one too many heroes. The Manticore is an expensive, unreliable (hard-to-control and easy to shoot) option. I'd lose it and take the Master either on a chariot or with the intention of joining a unit and making it more powerful in close combat.

Sorceress with level 2, ring of darkness, biting blade (she leads the black guard)

A Biting Blade is pretty useless on a model with a single S3 attack. Honestly, if she is in combat, she's pretty screwed anyways. Why put her in unit where she will displace a good fighter anyways? At least put her in the Spearmen, which are a bit more resilient for their points cost (which makes them a better bunker) and then she will be about the same value in combat as any model she displaces. The Ring of Darkness is not very useful if you are in a unit anyways, and a Level 2 with no arcane items in 2.5K won't accomplish much. Get another Sorceress and give them both decent items, or reduce her to a scroll caddy.

Death Hag with cauldron of blood

Almost nothing in your army will benefit from this. Many of your units, like the Knights, Riders, and Harpies, will zoom ahead of your forces and spend minimal time under the influence of the Cauldron. You have no Khainite units, and nothing to hang back with the Cauldron and Repeater Bolt Thrower (like Repeater Crossbowmen) to guard them. Warmachines are very tempting to flyers and scouts, and these are abound at 2.5K.

Core:
20 Spear Elves with shields, banner, music

1 casualty and they lose their rank bonus. Without a Warbanner, the are also a bit on the weak side, and will get smacked around by most average core units at this points level. Buff them up and maybe take a second unit instead of the Corsairs.

20 Corsairs w/banner, music

Why take these at all, let alone a unit so large? Spearelves will get the same number of attacks when charged (or in the second round of combat), and infantry almost never get the charge anyways. This unit is very large - paying 100 points extra for ablative wounds and possibly a single extra rank bonus (you want Corsairs at least 6-wide, possibly 7-wide) is not a very compelling reason to take extra models.

5 dark riders w/ crossbows, shields

Shields make them lose their Fast Cavalry status, so why give them shields? They have terrible armor and toughness anyways, and will get shot if you don't use their fast movement to keep them out of line-of-sight. I'd dump the crossbows too, since I normally use mine for redirecting, and march-blocking is hard with only a single unit at such a high points value (the enemy will have plenty of ways to shoot or scare away these guys). Instead, get Crossbowmen if you want to take of ranks, or Shades if you want to march-block and shoot.

7 harpies

These guys are so good.

Special:
20 Black guard w/banner of hag grief, music

20 is a bit much in my mind. You will be deploying 7-wide anyways, so the 6 guys in the back won't add anything after just two of them die. Much more efficient to get a Champion, who will provide extra attacks (and possibly sport a nice magic weapon, like the Crimson Death), and be able to challenge enemies on behalf of any characters that join this unit (or just to take out BSB's, etc...). Trust me - ASF and 2 S4 attacks each is enough to dissuade enemies from taking them on, and Stubborn and ItP will protect them more than a rank bonus will.

9 cold ones knights with banner of murder, dread knight with ring of hotek, music

Waaaay too many. Is paying 108 points worth a single point of rank bonus? Honestly, just get two units of 5 or 6, and this allows you to charge twice as many units, or double-charge to get a lot of kills (assuming you can flank or something, the models will actually get to fight, rather than meander around the back). The extra unit is especially important, since Cold One Knights are stupid, so being redundant with the choice is important. Honestly though, I would seriously consider a Cold One Chariot for the 100 point. They make great joint-charges.

Rare:
hydra

Good.

reaper bolt thrower

Why only take this and no other shooting (save for the Hydra and Dark Riders)? What is it supposed to accomplish? Can 10 Repeater Crossbowmen serve you better?

The Song of Spears
26-02-2009, 15:38
Ok, so lots of comments here. As i am new to this, bear with me :P

Malus: I got one stating he is too powerful as a character and another stating a Dreadlord would be more powerful. Both might be true, but i did get to use malus twice so far, and while i got royaly smashed each time, the one unit who never let me down was malus, so for better or worse, he stays for now...maybe at a later point when i get better at the game i can look into swapping him out.

next big odd area in the reaper bolt thrower: well i know its a little fickle and not so hard hitting. But why take it over 10 crossbownmen? becasue 20 crossbowmen could not even drop a single heavy cavalry unit that was outflanking me, this on the other hand reduced their ranks in a single shot. So i think i will keep it for now, and 100 points does not seem to be a game breaker.

the manticore: why do i have a manticore in my list? for the same reason i have 20 corsairs -> i have the models :P in fact due to buying the GW spearhead and battleforce, i have over 30 corsairs i have no idea what to do with. I dont like the unit performance but i have 30 really awesome looking models... so... i would get rid of them but i would have for so many awesome models to collect dust.

Anyone know of a great way of using corsairs?

Big unit of Cold one knights: rank bonus - this is a new concept to me and hard to get into my head. New to fantasy, i keep thinking that i can win combat by killing more enemies, but that may not be the case, and in fact almost never is. But making the unit smaller just gets it shot to death faster, so i am hesitant to lower their number. If i stubbornly insist on using Malus, then what is the best number of CoK in his unit?

i didnt know shields on the cavalry mad them loost "fast" consider the shields removed :P

spear elves + warbanner? what is a warbanner? You mean a magical standard? i dont see it in the dark elves book...

cauldron of blood. ok so maybe no unit gets the stubborn rule, but everyone else can benefit from the blessings of khaine, you dont have to be a khainite to get those...

but it is 200 points, i dunno...

lvl 2 sorceress with ring of darkness: She has done ok, people can dispel her few spells and every once in a while she gets one off. But if last game was any indication of how much of a benefit she provides then i am happy to keep her. With the ring of darkness, and the black guard with ASF and a cauldron to add extra attacks, this unit has withstood hits from big nasty units just fine. and the ring keeps her alive, and the unit safe. it seems to work ok...

now i have contemplated moving her a unit of shades and having the shades screen the black guard and just stand and shoot and be super hard to hit thanks to her ring.... that puts a warrior back in the front rank of black guard and adds some crossbows to the list... ( i would drop the manticore rider to do this)

looks like i need some more practice. thanks for the help guys, you have listed some great ideas! i will try them out next game

Mooglemen
26-02-2009, 15:46
Warbanner is a common magic item. They are right there at the top of the magic item list in every army.

The Song of Spears
26-02-2009, 16:17
ah +1 combat res... hmm, seems of i guess. i take it the standard bearer is the guy who holds this or does it have to be a hero?

The Song of Spears
27-02-2009, 15:17
Does the combat res of the BSB stack with the banner of naggaroth? Sounds like they do...

MalusCalibur
27-02-2009, 17:47
Malus: I got one stating he is too powerful as a character and another stating a Dreadlord would be more powerful. Both might be true, but i did get to use malus twice so far, and while i got royaly smashed each time, the one unit who never let me down was malus, so for better or worse, he stays for now...maybe at a later point when i get better at the game i can look into swapping him out.

The main point I was making against using Darkblade is that he is BORING. Special characters generally are, almost across the board. You can do so much more with a regular Dreadlord, both in terms of in-game performance and background/modelling.


next big odd area in the reaper bolt thrower: well i know its a little fickle and not so hard hitting. But why take it over 10 crossbownmen? becasue 20 crossbowmen could not even drop a single heavy cavalry unit that was outflanking me, this on the other hand reduced their ranks in a single shot. So i think i will keep it for now, and 100 points does not seem to be a game breaker.

It isn't, but at the same time those 100pts are very easily lost, since there is nothing really guarding them, and it will never be able to shoot down a substantial unit of flyers before they kill the crew: and often earning back more than their own value in the process.
10 RxB's, on the other hand, can throw out far more shots (abeit lower strength) which will be much better at dealing with the appropriate targets (fast cavalry, lightly armoured skirmishers, etc). In addition, if you give them shields, they will be able to withstand most any charge from dedicated 'anti-missile' troops (4+ save in combat).


the manticore: why do i have a manticore in my list? for the same reason i have 20 corsairs -> i have the models :P in fact due to buying the GW spearhead and battleforce, i have over 30 corsairs i have no idea what to do with. I dont like the unit performance but i have 30 really awesome looking models... so... i would get rid of them but i would have for so many awesome models to collect dust.
Anyone know of a great way of using corsairs?

I told you one way, already. A unit of 12, in two ranks of 6, is a great flanking unit: protecting yours and threatening your enemy's. Since you have 30 Corsairs, you could easily make two units of the same.


Big unit of Cold one knights: rank bonus - this is a new concept to me and hard to get into my head. New to fantasy, i keep thinking that i can win combat by killing more enemies, but that may not be the case, and in fact almost never is. But making the unit smaller just gets it shot to death faster, so i am hesitant to lower their number. If i stubbornly insist on using Malus, then what is the best number of CoK in his unit?

Making the unit smaller makes it less magnetic to missile fire, as well. Opponents might think it a better choice to shoot your Black Guard, since the ASF banner makes them hard to engage in close combat.
The CoK's are not MEANT to win combats alone, unless fighting a support unit like fast cavalry (that hasn't fled), or missile troops. Use the CoK's to support your Black Guard and Spearelves, not charging headlong into enemy units.


spear elves + warbanner? what is a warbanner? You mean a magical standard? i dont see it in the dark elves book...

As stated, the War Banner is a common magic item, and costs 25pts. The Warrior unit standard bearer can take it: a BSB is not required. It is a recommended choice: if you have the on foot Master in here as well, the unit will become quite formidable.


cauldron of blood. ok so maybe no unit gets the stubborn rule, but everyone else can benefit from the blessings of khaine, you dont have to be a khainite to get those...

but it is 200 points, i dunno...

200pts is a lot to pay for something when your army will not even gain all the benefits (the Stubborn buff for Khainite units). Yes, you can still use the blessings, but one of those a turn (so 6 overall, assuming that the Cauldron crew arn't killed-which they almost certainly will be) is not worth 200pts.


lvl 2 sorceress with ring of darkness: She has done ok, people can dispel her few spells and every once in a while she gets one off. But if last game was any indication of how much of a benefit she provides then i am happy to keep her. With the ring of darkness, and the black guard with ASF and a cauldron to add extra attacks, this unit has withstood hits from big nasty units just fine. and the ring keeps her alive, and the unit safe. it seems to work ok...

Given that the Ring of Darkness protects the entire unit from shooting (I had not realised that last time), it might be worth hanging on to. However, it won't protect her very well if there is a character in the enemy unit, so be aware of engaging character-led units with the Black Guard.


now i have contemplated moving her a unit of shades and having the shades screen the black guard and just stand and shoot and be super hard to hit thanks to her ring.... that puts a warrior back in the front rank of black guard and adds some crossbows to the list... ( i would drop the manticore rider to do this)

While that plan is sound in theory, putting her in a unit of Shades is one of the most dangerous places to put her. Shades are easily shot (although the RoD does mitigate that) or magicked (but not that) into either oblivion, or fleeing from the table, and they'll take the Sorceress with them. Not to mention that if something charges them, they WILL get beaten by all but the weakest units, and then you will likely lose the Sorceress in the pursuit, if not in the combat itself.

Overall you seem reluctant to suggestions, which begs the question why you asked for them in the first place. Nevertheless, I hope these help.


MalusCalibur

The Song of Spears
27-02-2009, 19:37
I am not so much reluctant to take on suggestions, i am simply new. And and asking for a variety of clarifications to the suggestions. Plus i am trying to add in as much variety to my DE list selections as i can and still keep it competitive.

But all the suggestions are appreciated and i will use them in any number of my games each friday night.

Sorry about missing the corsairs mention, i will certainly try flanking units of 6x2.

Here is what i am toying with trying tonight...

Hero:
Malus Darkblade (he leads the cold ones knights) 275 (general)

Sorceress with level 2, ring of darkness, biting blade (she leads the black guard) 180 (goes in either shades unit or black guard depending on enemy list)

Sorceress with level 2, dispel scroll, sacrifice dagger 185 (goes in spears unit)

Master w/banner of naggaroth, bastmaster scgh, heavy arm, sea cloak, BSB 244 (goes in spears unit)

Core:
30 Spear Elves with shields, magic banner(warbanner), music 244

5 dark riders w/ crossbows 110 x2

7 harpies 77

Special:
20 Black guard w/banner of hag grief, music 250

9 cold ones knights with banner of murder, music 292

15 shades 255 (here to screen front line)

Rare:
hydra 175

reaper bolt thrower 100
____________
2497

the main part i am thinking of changing is where the sorceress with the ring of darkness goes. since people will be hesitant to charge the blackguard, she is usually safe in there, and i forgot that the ring has little to no effect on magic :( but i did add in a second sorceress to add dispel dice and a scroll.

Little better or am i still crazy?

The Song of Spears
27-02-2009, 19:40
assassins? any comments? are they worth it at all? Assassin + dark venom + extra hand weapon = great at winning a combat that you might have otherwise lost (but was close)?

Hvabeha
27-02-2009, 20:48
Your new list is illegal, you only got 2 core units since the harpies dosn't count towards the minimum core units.

The Song of Spears
27-02-2009, 21:01
No its not. one unit of spear elves and two units of dark riders = 3 core.

MalusCalibur
27-02-2009, 22:07
Hero:
Malus Darkblade (he leads the cold ones knights) 275 (general)

Same opinion as the last two times. You need to 'ween' yourself off of special characters, eventually.


Sorceress with level 2, ring of darkness, biting blade (she leads the black guard) 180 (goes in either shades unit or black guard depending on enemy list)

The Biting Blade is useless, so lose that. If she's keeping the ring, put her in the Black Guard, and be careful of characters. Putting her in the Shades is tantamount to suicide.


Sorceress with level 2, dispel scroll, sacrifice dagger 185 (goes in spears unit)

Having two characters in the Spear unit is dangerous, as then the unit starts to become a very rich source of Victory Points for your enemy. Having said that, her setup is good, and if she goes in a unit at all, it should be the Spears. In which case, perhaps rethink the Master's role. Alternatively, swap the Sacrifical Dagger for the Focus Familiar or Darkstar Cloak, mount her on a Dark Steed, and put her in a unit of Dark Riders.


Master w/banner of naggaroth, bastmaster scgh, heavy arm, sea cloak, BSB 244 (goes in spears unit)

OK, this is better than the Manticore choice, but still quite suspect. He is extremely easy to kill, without any form of protection beyond his paltry 4+ save. Any enemies charging the unit will easily cut him down, and then you not only lose the benefit of the banner immediately, but you are down 344 Victory Points (killing the BSB counts as capturing his banner). If you want a BSB, you MUST protect him-the Pendant of Khaeleth and the Armour of Darkness are both excellent choices here. With Dark Elves, though, I feel that if you are needing the bonus provided by a BSB (and the BoN), then something is going wrong: Dark Elves were never made for the battles of attrition that a BSB is usually a positive factor in. In which case, I would refer you back to my original suggestion: simply arm him with a Great Weapon and the Armour of Darkness. This will cost a mere 109pts, and be more effective than either of the combinations thus far.


Core:
30 Spear Elves with shields, magic banner(warbanner), music 244

30 is far too many. The unit is worth a huge 350pts Victory Points, not counting the two characters that are in it. You must refrain from making a huge 'deathstar' unit packed with characters in this way. Either place the Sorceress, or the revised Master, in here, and take 17, arranged 6x3. This way the proposed unit (including characters) is worth only 359 VP's, and only then if completely wiped out, and has its banner captured. The unit you proposed is worth a staggering 879 VP's, which are not very hard to obtain! (easily killed heroes, T3 5+ save troops).


5 dark riders w/ crossbowsx2 110

I prefer units of six, but thats preference. Give them a musician, as it is cheap, and really helps them rally, which is part of their usage. Make it clearer that there are two units present, as well.


7 harpies 77

Again, I prefer eight, but the unit is fine in principle.


Special:
20 Black guard w/banner of hag grief, music 250

I would still cut these to 17/18 (depending on whether you put the Sorceress here or not) and arrange them 6x3: you get a better combat frontage, and have more resilience to rank bonus loss (in a unit of 20, one casualty is all it takes to lose your back rank's bonus-meaning the points spent on it are wasted.


9 cold ones knights with banner of murder, music 292

Special character or not, this unit will not work until you remove the wasted back rank. One casualty (very easy to inflict), and the entire back rank is wasted, providing nothing but ablative Wounds, and CoK's are too expensive for that. Cut them down to five (six with character), and lose the BoM.


15 Shades 255 (here to screen front line)

Fifteen Shades is nothing short of madness. Screening the front line is all well and good (and a unit of 15 would do that very well, yes-unless your opponent has hills in his deployment zone), but it also means that they WILL be charged, and anything worth it's salt in combat will utterly destroy the Shades (earning a nice 255 VP's for not much effort-more if you put the Sorceress here as well!), and then are free to overrun/pursue into the units beyond. If you want to take Shades, take a unit of about 6-8, and use them as the Scouts that they are.


Rare:
hydra 175

Still fine.


reaper bolt thrower 100

It still won't be a worthwhile investment. Setting up a battery of them is the best use: and this needs to be a minimum of two to really be effective. For a mere 10 more points, you can get a unit of 10 RxB's with shields, who will be far more flexible and resilient than the RBT.
____________
2497


the main part i am thinking of changing is where the sorceress with the ring of darkness goes. since people will be hesitant to charge the blackguard, she is usually safe in there, and i forgot that the ring has little to no effect on magic :( but i did add in a second sorceress to add dispel dice and a scroll.

Little better or am i still crazy?

Well, in some ways the list still needs work, but it is improving. If you are concerned about magic defence, then the Ring of Hotek is probably the answer to your prayers: for the cost it really is remarkably effective. For a slightly less 'will get complained about' option, the Seal of Ghrond adds an extra Dispel Dice for 30pts, which isn't bad value.

I would put the RoD Sorceress (assuming you keep her as she is) in the Black Guard, since the 13 ASF S6 Attacks that the front rank could throw out is probably plenty to keep her safe-though as I said, be wary of characters who can weather that, because the Ring will likely not be enough to stop them from killing her.


MalusCalibur

Hvabeha
28-02-2009, 08:37
No its not. one unit of spear elves and two units of dark riders = 3 core.

My mistake, i missed the "x2" on dark riders

Von Wibble
28-02-2009, 13:23
Tbh if you want a good anchor for the army, instead of having the master BSB with warriors take a barebones hag with cauldron. Slightly cheaper, and the cauldron is amazingly good at what it does.

I disagree with maluscalibur about the warrior unit size. If you only take 17 then the sacrificial dagger can't be used as often in the magic phase each turn and you lose your supremacy there. Not to mention the fact that with just 5-6 shooting casualties the unit is fair game for some enemy hunter units! I tend to have 24 plus character, in a 5x5 formation, and give them the war banner.

15 shades is too much as stated. 6 shades and another unit of harpies is better (and with some change!). I prefer 6 in my harpy units - surely if you have 8 then you might as well have 9 in order to need 1 more casualty for panic check?

Reaper - is absolutely NOT a counter for 1+ save knights. On average you kill 1 per turn and get all of 2 shots in. But then, I am known for my dislike of elven bolt throwers at any rate (at 60pts I might change my mind).

Black guard - 20 is a lot. I take mine in a unit of 14 in 2 ranks of 7. That way they are much cheaper. With ASF and Crimson death on champ, and COB to boost they still work wonders - just watch out for shooting.

You have another special slot, and lots of spare points from cutting things out. Enough points for a unit of witch elves, executioners (stubborn from cauldron with 2 S6 attacks - there is your knight killer) or cold one knights.

Final point - agreeing with maluscalibur here - lose Malus. Dreadlord, cold one, armour of eternal servitude, crimson death. 230 points with more attacks, strength, wounds, ld than malus and no risk to your own men. Stupidit on ld 10 is a slight risk but worth taking. I don't object to special characters but do think they should be used in 1 game in 4-5 or reserved for large games. Apart from Thorek, who should just be banned ;)

The Song of Spears
28-02-2009, 17:29
Ok, so many comments! I dont have time to get to them all right now, but i just wanted to make a report of my battle last night. The club was so packed that i only got one game in before midnight hit. So i didnt get a chance to try out many of your ideas, but i will next time!

here is the basic result.

the 15 shades wiped out a 20 man elven archer unit in three rounds of shooting, they were amazing. With the ring of darkness they were nearly impervious to all shooting attacks.

I pressed the hydra forward and made it a bigger target for magic, plus the other guy had only 4 casting dice on one mage, s0 my 4 dispel dice plus one scroll was enough to shut down his casting all game.

malus and the cold ones rolled his whole army by themselves. they withstood a hit from a high elf chariot, then charged a second chariot, and after smashing that, they hit a unit of 20+ silver helms and rolled them loosing only two cold ones. Malus in one round of combat killed 6 silver helms by himself.

the reaper did mostly nothing, but it did put wounds on various units and distract his flankers, which my 6x2 corsairs dealt with handily.

next week i will be trying out the dread lord you all mentions and some dark riders i think, should i be able to get the models in time. the shades were fun and over the top, i dunno if they will always be so effective, so i will try them one more time to see if they are as good as they were last time all the time.

i will drop the banner of naggaroth, its 125 points and didnt get used at all. after dropping malus and the BSB of naggaroth I might take another sorceress i dunno...

the think i will give the cauldron one shot to see how it fairs. at 200 points it s bit much, so i dunno.

Would a cold one chariot with a dreadlord on it be good anti heavy cav??

gah so much to try! i will trying your suggestions as i play, thanks again guys!