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Lordmonkey
29-04-2009, 13:23
T3, no save, very expensive. Every time i've used them they've lost combat (and therefore frenzy) because they are so easy to kill.

So what tactical role do they fulfill that other units cannot?

Whitehorn
29-04-2009, 13:26
Not all units are easy to kill. Witch Elves fulfil that role.

PeG
29-04-2009, 14:35
My rats dont like them. They are good at killing lots of low AS, low T enemies. Field them 7 wide for as many attacks as possible. They are the opposite to executioners that are mostly useful against high AS targets (these guys my rats likes to fight against since they usually lose badly to static CR).

bob_the_small
29-04-2009, 15:27
T3, no save, very expensive. Every time i've used them they've lost combat (and therefore frenzy) because they are so easy to kill.

So what tactical role do they fulfill that other units cannot?

how on earth are they expensive? they are 11 points, sure they have a specific role, like taking out low armour and toughness troops. They are good against horde armies like skaven, goblins

Witchblade
29-04-2009, 15:36
MSU detachments.

Jericho
29-04-2009, 16:50
I think that you have to take stuff like Cauldrons etc. if you really want to take big units of Witch Elves and have them central to your battle plans. Getting a Ward Save and/or KB is very handy against tougher opponents. The Armor-Piercing banner is nice for them too since almost everyone has some form of armor save or another. When you have that many attacks it helps to have something that boosts all of them, and reducing armor saves for cheap is a nice bonus.

sulla
29-04-2009, 21:00
5 witches is the cheapest way to get an extra assassin into your list.

5-7 witches are a (relatively) minimal investment to guard a flank but if ignored, can beat units by flanking them.

Personally, I would never go with more than 7 per unit since they lose combats so easily as the OP noted. They are vulnerable to magic missiles, but so are my harpies and heavy cav. I'd prefer the immune to psych unit was taking the hits, especially since almost every spell cast at me is a chance of a miscast thanks to the ring of hotek. I would never add a hag as a no armour unit champ on a unit that will probably get charged is not the best investment for your points. Adding temple stuff to her only compounds the risk. I would never buy them a std or musc either. I want them as a cheap threat but expendable. If neccessary, I will throw them forward to redirect an enemy charge.

Witches work ok with cauldron buffs except that they are usually better used on black guard or knights. And the stubborn is almost totally ineffectual these days. Is there anything that doesn't cause fear? And is there a player stupid enough not to bait the witches outside of their 12" range?

sroblin
29-04-2009, 22:18
Well, Sulla and I have butted heads on this issue.



Is there anything that doesn't cause fear these days?

Why, yes in fact.
The vast majority of Orcs and Goblins, Empire, Skaven, High Elf, Lizardmen, Brettonian, and Dwarf troops perhaps?
That statement might make more sense in a tournament environment, however, where people chose armies for power rather than affinity.

Witch Elves are only going to perform well with careful maneuvering, there's no getting around that, they are rarely going to win if charged. But they actually hit very hard and when equipped with the banner of murder can actually still hurt 2+ armor saves to some effect. And you can get quite decent units for between 70-140 points. But they have to be handled adroitly, while it easier to point-and-click with blackguard, who only have to worry about shooting.

LKHERO
29-04-2009, 22:47
Don't use Witch Elves :*(

They're so bad!

Grimgormx
30-04-2009, 00:25
it depends in your strategy and your enemy, you could put some witches behind your unit with repetition crossbows, shoot with them then flee as a reaction and receive the charge or counter charge with the witches, the blood cauldron can really help, and that standard that lets you attack first can help you win even if you receive a heavy cavalry charge.

El Haroldo
30-04-2009, 00:48
Don't use Witch Elves :*(

They're so bad!

They aren't, but they're a special choice in an army that already had some pretty damn good special choices.

Lordmonkey
30-04-2009, 09:38
Since I do the standard Black Guard build (Standard of Hag Graef + Crimson Death) i can't give them ASF, but the manner of murder looks tasty.

Every time i've used them they've been outmanouvered and shot up by skinks, which is a major put-off...

The bait and countercharge idea looks good, and keeps them screened nicely - crossbows arent so good for this though, since the enemy might be a gunline that I need to close the gap with. Perhaps harpies?

Lord Khabal
30-04-2009, 09:57
The problem with witch elves is that black guard is better.

But they work ok as a support unit

W0lf
30-04-2009, 10:20
They are pretty terrible. Probably should be about 8 pts per model but meh.

Witch elves niche is to fight low T low AS units, much like HE spearmen. Most people think HE spearmen are a good unit (not me but meh) and on the charge (atg M5) they function very similar for the same sort of pts.

Definatly put a cauldron with them however. I can see 18 with AP banner and a cauldron buff being ok.... if you ignore pts and black guard that is ^^

Chainaxe07
30-04-2009, 10:25
Well, i play WoC, and when i face dark elves i really enjoy witch elves!
They can hardly hurt anything in my most commonly fielded config, and all of the other special DE infantry are a much greater nuisance than them (not to mention cavalry).
I have, however, witnessed some games when they performed very well against unarmoured, cheap low t targets.
I distinctly remember clanrats units being reduced to much more manegeable proportions, and other average elven units (low t and low as),zombies and goblins can also have a bad time against them.
Problem is that their frenzy can easily used to lure them into suicidal charges.
So they can be useful against some very specific opponent, but you should screen them from shooting (even very light volleis from small skirmish units can wipe them out) and prevent them from charging chaos warriors.

W0lf
30-04-2009, 10:29
To be fair though most things should refrain from charging chaos warriors. Hell redirect/march block ftw.

Chainaxe07
30-04-2009, 10:46
Yup, yet halberd toting black guard and even the lowly executioners are a much harder proposition than frail, naked elven gals on drugs.
That's why, i believe, we see much more of them than witches.
I suppose plastic models would also make them more popular, of course.

Shimmergloom
30-04-2009, 11:41
lol.

Yeah plastic witch elves for $42 vs the metal ones for $44. People would start fielding them in droves for that $2 savings!

W0lf
30-04-2009, 11:49
Thats funny because in £'s the new greatswords are £1 more EXPENSIVE then the metal ones...

Whitehorn
30-04-2009, 11:54
Every time i've used them they've been outmanouvered and shot up by skinks, which is a major put-off...

I used to cry foul of skinks when I was Undead.

It's not a fair representation of 'Warhammer' having only played my Lizardmen and (one other?).

I'll dig out my Goblins if you want an easy kill :p

Lordmonkey
30-04-2009, 11:57
Seems to me that Corsairs with the frenzy banner and 2x Hw's are the same as Witch Elves, minus the poison but with an armour save of 5+ (4+ vs shooting!).

I'm really not sold on Witch elves when I can simply do the above.

bob_the_small
30-04-2009, 12:59
corsairs may be made the same as witch elves but then they cost more

Norngahl
30-04-2009, 14:00
Yeah bob, same pointcosts (just 25 points more for frenzy),characters can join them, option of taking Handxbows, slavery rule, core choice (!), 5+/4+ armor save..

I would say thats more than a great deal for a 25 point upgrade AND you save money.. And the models look better..

Well, witch elves are the worst unit of the dark evles. The only thing I like is that you can field 5 instead of 10 making them perfect for detachment strategy, but because they are elite you won“t have any space in your elite slots for them.

Lordmonkey
30-04-2009, 14:10
corsairs may be made the same as witch elves but then they cost more

Aren't corsairs cheaper by 1 pt/model? It roughly balances out with the frenzy banner anyway...

I kaelis ra
30-04-2009, 14:55
Witch elves used to be one of my favorite units the first few years of the previous armybook there were a very nice unit then immo and very rich qua armytheme .I really had high hopes fr them in the new list (especially after playing the slaanesh cultists in the storm of chaos) .But ... it seems GW dropped the ball on them in the new book ,they are now the weakest unit in the list and imm shelving them for now witch is 2 bad really since i really love their background.the current rules don't really represent what they are supposed to be fragile but crazed furies whit unparrallelled fighting skills and speed intent on nothing more then shedding blood for the joy of it and to praise their lord.They should off givven them first strike as standard and a otion to buff the unit whit a decent ward save vs shooting and magic (after all Khaine loves his ho's ).But hey this here is in my oppinion the only real bad point in an overall amazing armylist.I'vv been waiting for the new DE armylist for years and was really filled whit joy reading the new rules the witches just had a bad break and i can live whit that for now.Still it would be an easy fix really.

sulla
30-04-2009, 19:01
Well, Sulla and I have butted heads on this issue.
:DAnd long may it continue...:p



That statement might make more sense in a tournament environment, however, where people chose armies for power rather than affinity.

Witch Elves are only going to perform well with careful maneuvering, there's no getting around that, they are rarely going to win if charged. But they actually hit very hard and when equipped with the banner of murder can actually still hurt 2+ armor saves to some effect. And you can get quite decent units for between 70-140 points. But they have to be handled adroitly, while it easier to point-and-click with blackguard, who only have to worry about shooting.

The main problem to me is that the power level of the game's infantry has changed since 6th ed when they were good. Now, witches can't beat hardly any core infantry in the game from the front, and barely from the flank if at all. Even core fast cav is more powerful than them on the charge now so their reason for existing has greatly diminished. chaos warriors with shields, saurus with spears, ghouls if they get ASF up, HE ASF, even black orcs with shields or night goblins with nets are more powerful than them and to even get a charge, you have to negate the redirecters and raised units. I just don't think it's worth taking ranked units of WE anymore. I still don't mind smaler units, but the big ones are just too risky for me these days.



I'll dig out my Goblins if you want an easy kill :pNot if they're night goblins with nets. Might even win the fight...


corsairs may be made the same as witch elves but then they cost more They do, and unless you were using frenzy to maximise cauldron killing blows, they miss out on a lot of hitting power because s3 just doesn't cut it.

But they do have the ability to be joined by masters and dreadlords as well as hags and assassins and there are plenty of things those guys can do that the khainite characters can't.

sroblin
30-04-2009, 23:44
:DAnd long may it continue...:p

Ha ha, as long we have an illuminating debate I'm all for it!




Now, witches can't beat hardly any core infantry in the game from the front, and barely from the flank if at all.

Marauders, Swordsmen/Halberdiers/Spearmen, Orcs, Goblins, Skeletons, Zombies, Ghouls, Skaven of any stripe? How can you say this, they wail on core infantry! Against WS3, T3, 5+ infantry the kill something like 8 on average on the charge. Against Empire/Marauder Swordsmen they inflict 5 wounds on average, even when not using the armor piercing banner. Not everybody is Chaos Warriors or Sauruses, and with the armor piercing banner Witch Elves can do respectably versus them (3 and 6 wounds on average respectively). In fact, they could even spread their fromation wider because of the wide bases on sauruses and chaos warriors to get additional attacks and kills. Against many of the weaker core infantry, they can probably still win when charged, but the more elite stuff will definitely cream them if they get charged. High Elves in general are a special case, and witch elves are not very good against them at all, agreed.



Even core fast cav is more powerful than them on the charge now so their
reason for existing has greatly diminished.

Most armies don't have hatred on their fast cav or Seekers of Slaanesh. Most charging fast cav will inflict about 3 wounds (5 S3, 5xS4 attacks, half hitting, slightly more than half wounding), then take say 12 re-rolling misses attacks in return (versus WS4 that will kill 4 fast cavalry, ), versus WS3 they kill 5 on average, wiping them out). So usually, fast cav don't want to charge Witch Elves to the front.



chaos warriors with shields, saurus with spears, black orcs with shields or night goblins with nets are more powerful than them.
Reference the above on how Witch Elves do against sauruses and Chaos Warriors, against which they have a better charge range. The rear-rankers in saurus spears do murder the witch elves in return, but they Witch Elves still come out on top in terms of CR if they use the AP banner.
Against night goblins with nets the poisoned attacks alone kill 3 on average, not counting all those strength 2 attacks, versus maximum of 5 static res and no return attacks for that wiped out front rank. The goblins would probably still lose if they charged too.



They do, and unless you were using frenzy to maximise cauldron killing blows, they miss out on a lot of hitting power because s3 just doesn't cut it.

It's not great, but the banner for 1-1&1/3 points per model in a unit of 12-18 gives them the capability of killing 3-4 2+ save models a turn. So they're not actually that bad when upgraded, if still not ideal.



But they do have the ability to be joined by masters and dreadlords as well as hags and assassins and there are plenty of things those guys can do that the khainite characters can't.

Well I do have to agree 100% with this assertion. The khainite rule is one of the worst decisions in a generally excellent book IMO.



Witch elves used to be one of my favorite units the first few years of the previous armybook there were a very nice unit then immo and very rich qua armytheme .I really had high hopes fr them in the new list (especially after playing the slaanesh cultists in the storm of chaos) .But ... it seems GW dropped the ball on them in the new book ,they are now the weakest unit in the list

Well, I too was pretty disappointed that they weren't buffed, and the downgrade back to WS4 does make them feel less elite. But it doesn't make sense to say they were better in 6th edition, because they are almost universally better in 7th. Hatred re-rolls makes them more accurate than WS5 by far, and they're 3 points cheaper! The only downside is they are a bit easier to hit with WS2 and WS5 models, but weighed against 3 points cheaper and hatred especially they are much better. The problem is black guard have been made ridiculously good. It's too bad they weren't given any cool new abilities to match the black guard, but that doesn't change the fact that they have been significantly improved.

Jericho
01-05-2009, 00:20
They suffer from the same problems that many other units face. On their own they would look good, but every book seems to have no-brainer units that are so good you're essentially handicapping yourself by not taking them. And the 0-1 restrictions are all going away so you can take multiples of these godly units, which on top of it all are usually special choices!

So yeah, Witch Elves aren't really that bad for the points if you ask me. Tons of attacks with hatred and poison, and with Death Hags and Cauldrons etc. they can be vicious. But when you do the math they end up being more expensive because of the support they need.

It kinda sucks, but if I ever get around to doing my "counts as" Cult of Slaanesh army I'll be using plenty of Witch Elves as Core choices (with Crone Hellebron leading my army of course!) I'll probably be able to buy more Witch Elves for cheap from people. I'm okay with that, I already have like 30+ put away and I hardly paid for any of them.

Chainaxe07
01-05-2009, 09:00
Marauders, Swordsmen/Halberdiers/Spearmen, Orcs, Goblins, Skeletons, Zombies, Ghouls, Skaven of any stripe? How can you say this, they wail on core infantry! Against WS3, T3, 5+ infantry the kill something like 8 on average on the charge. Against Empire/Marauder Swordsmen they inflict 5 wounds on average, even when not using the armor piercing banner. Not everybody is Chaos Warriors or Sauruses, and with the armor piercing banner Witch Elves can do respectably versus them (3 and 6 wounds on average respectively).

Hi, well i agree about foot marauders (but does anyone really use them?), goblins, skeletons, skaven and zombies.
Not sure about empire spearmen, but we could probably pull it out.
I doubt they could do much against orcs, especially it they get charged.
But even if they did remember orcs cost half the points!
All my infantry is chaos warriors, and i can assure you even if my units get charged by WE alone,no matter if with a respectable combat res,ap banner and all, the ladies are goners.
I would expect the same with sauruses, really.
But then again, lizardmen are imho the most powerful army of all, well ahead of demons.
Anyway the greatest problem with we is that it takes just an averagely
skilled opponent to force charges out of them, due to their frenzy handicap.
I suppose they should probably rethink the rules for compulsive charges.

sroblin
01-05-2009, 20:55
Hey Chainaxe, fortunately a lot of this stuff can be proven empirically by calculating the average results. I understand why you assume Witch Elves will lose under many of the circumstances you describe, but many of those assumptions are statistically innacurate. Let us assume a unit 7 wide of Witch Elves- thats 21 poisoned WS4 attacks with hatre-rerolls, no champion.



Not sure about empire spearmen, but we could probably pull it out.

Witch Elves charge
21 poisoned attacks, 3.5 poisoned, 10.5 regular hits; reroll 7 dice, 1.16 poisoned, 3.5 regular hits for a total of 4.66 poisoned and 14 regular hits.
Out of 14 normal hits, 7 wound, add to that the 4.66 poisoned for 11.66 wounds. 2/3 of those penetrate = 7.7 wounds.
Lets say 3 spearmen in the rear rank hit back.
1/2 hit, 1/2 wound, for a grand total of .75 wounds.
Score: Witch Elves 7.7 Spearmen: .75
It's not even close. The spearmen are actually better of charging and using hand weapons and shields, but not that much better.



I doubt they could do much against orcs, especially it they get charged.
But even if they did remember orcs cost half the points!

Charged by Orcs with shields:
5 WS3 S4 attacks hit 1/2 of the time, wound 2/3 of the time: 1.65 wounds
Surviving Witch Elves: 5.35 witch elves generate let say 16 attacks on average. That averages 2.66 poisoned and 8 hits, then re-rolls produce an additional .85 poisoned and 2.66 hits, for a total of 3.5 poisoned and 10.66 hits, producing a cumulative total of 7 wounds, 3.5 of which get past the armor save.
Score: Witch Elves: 3.5 Orcs with Shields: 1.65
If they have the AP banner, the Witch Elves win by a wider margin of course.
If the Witch Elves charged, the Orcs are much worse off by far.

Orc Warriors with 2 hand weapons will probably win on average if they get charge, though they are much worse off if they are the ones that get charged.



All my infantry is chaos warriors, and i can assure you even if my units get charged by WE alone,no matter if with a respectable combat res,ap banner and all, the ladies are goners.

This is what happens when 6 Chaos Warriors with shields are charged by these 'goners' with the AP banner on average:
21 attacks, 3.5 poisoned and 7 hit. On the reroll an additional 1.75 poisoned and 3.5 hit for a TOTAL of 5.25 poisoned and 10.5 hit. Of those 10.5 regular hits, 3.5 wound, for a total of 8.75 wounds including the poisoned attacks. With the AP banner, only 1/3 penetrate their armor, causing 2.91 wounds (3 on average.)
The remaining 3 Chaos Warriors have 6 WS5 S4 attacks, 2/3 hits and 2/3 wounds for 2.61 wounds on average.
Score: Witch Elves: 2.91 Chaos Warriors: 2.61
Add in static CR if you will, but the Witch Elves are the cheaper ones here.
If the Chaos Warriors use halberds or great weapons, they are much worse off.



I would expect the same with sauruses, really.

I already ran the stats on this one in my above post for Witch Elves versus Saurses with Spears. The multiple attack spears are murderously effective against Witch Elves, but if they get the charge and are equipped with the AP banner they will kill 6 sauruses on average. Assuming a 6 wide saurus unit, the 6 sauruses in the rear ranks then strike with 12 attacks, averaging 6 hits, and 4 wounds.
Score: Witch Elves 6 Sauruses 4
They are comparable in price; Witch Elves are faster.

I'm not denying that there are major disadvantages to Witch Elves or that they are in deep trouble if charged by a nasty unit, but people are not assessing their combat power accurately. They WILL usually win if charged by most cheap 1 attack units (they'll lose 1-2 models, and then still strike back with 16 poisoned attacks) and the AP banner does allow them to hold their own against higher armor save units.

Von Wibble
02-05-2009, 12:44
Comparing corsairs with witch elves, you missed out a lot of points in witch elves favour

1) Witch elves get temple of khaine on their champ. Manbane gives a pretty punchy 3 S5 attacks if your foes have T4 (vs T3 witch elves are looking god anyway).

2) Corsairs with frenzy banner can't have another banner. Witch elves get banner of murder

3) Witch elves have I6 :p

4) Witch elf frenzy can't be destroyed by law of gold or ring of corin

5) Poison.

6) Stubborn in range of cauldron. Baiting is all well and good, but the cauldron can move in its movement phase to increase the radius.

7) You can have 2 units of them. There is only 1 frenzy banner.

Corsairs meanwhile get

1) Characters can join them.

2) Better save vs shooting. Like the enemy won't just shoot the black guard instead....

sroblin is completely right - witch elves are not a bad choice and slaughter most armies core troops - in fact most infantry (only vs T4 with 3+ save do they struggle). But black guard do this job even better for the same choice type.

Chainaxe07
02-05-2009, 17:14
Then i will simply assume my spiky boys have always been lucky so far, over and over again :)
Anyway i would never take we for the simple reason i like to be able to decide who and when to charge, rather than let the enemy goad me like cattle to be slaugthered.
I would only take compulsive chargers if they were hard enough to get over almost anything on their own, maybe frenzied chaos knights.
But then again not even them, really.
They look hard on paper, but the handicap of having to charge anything in range is really too much for my tastes.
I like to decide whose heads will roll, and when.

Cousteau
02-05-2009, 20:50
Then i will simply assume my spiky boys have always been lucky so far, over and over again :)
Anyway i would never take we for the simple reason i like to be able to decide who and when to charge, rather than let the enemy goad me like cattle to be slaugthered.
I would only take compulsive chargers if they were hard enough to get over almost anything on their own, maybe frenzied chaos knights.
But then again not even them, really.
They look hard on paper, but the handicap of having to charge anything in range is really too much for my tastes.
I like to decide whose heads will roll, and when.

In reality I think I'm going to want my witch elves charging into combat most of the time, and don't forget that Frenzy helps them overcome fear.

Entreri Bloodletter
03-05-2009, 15:28
One of the best parts of using witch elves for me is taking advantage of their stubborn rule from the cauldron. While not every army has easy T3 core troops to kill, almost every army has stuff worth tarpitting for a while.

Now obviously using the stubborn won't work against lots of fear causing troops but it will work against that unit of knights or stuff like that.

A couple times I've even reduced my frontage to 3 models and just taking a charge in order to minimize my casualties and then countercharging once my witch elves held the line. Of course I don't always use them like this and I will take advantage of their offensive capabilities but they have the option to be used defensively as well.

And I find that a small unit of 10-12 works best with no command, possibly a musician if you have the points. I've tried the unit of 18 with FC and AP banner but it didn't offer enough for what I was paying.

Von Wibble
03-05-2009, 17:23
Then i will simply assume my spiky boys have always been lucky so far, over and over again :)
.



sroblin is completely right - witch elves are not a bad choice and slaughter most armies core troops - in fact most infantry (only vs T4 with 3+ save do they struggle). But black guard do this job even better for the same choice type.

I think you have missed the entire point.

Try taking on witch elves with marauders instead and see how long it takes them to tear them up.

sulla
03-05-2009, 19:47
One of the best parts of using witch elves for me is taking advantage of their stubborn rule from the cauldron. While not every army has easy T3 core troops to kill, almost every army has stuff worth tarpitting for a while.


Why not just use 5 harpies and flee (or dark riders)? You can pull them away from your lines and expose their flank without risking a failed Ld test, using a special slot and a bunch of points, and without risk of your unit being forced to charge outside the cauldron's stubborn range?