View Full Version : Dark Elf Suggestions

Jetty Smurf
20-06-2009, 03:31
My girlfriend has recently shown interest in starting up a fantasy army of her own. Her interests tended more towards Dark Elves than any other army, so I bought her a Hydra for her birthday (along with other non-WH goodies :p).

This was only very recent, so we are yet to complete the hydra, but I was just wondering...

What is a good starting point for a Dark Elf army?

I know little about DE. Is the battalion box worth it? Would it be more preferable for her to just get a few different boxes of things and a character or 2?

Money isn't a big issue, but we don't want to go crazy just yet. I currently run Lizardmen, soon to be starting 2k+ games (once my order arrives) but I would more than happily run her through some 1k games first.

Any suggestions would be most appreciated, thank you :)

20-06-2009, 04:13
Tell her welcome to the druchii

Well I would recommend getting your basic warrior boxes for cores and for sure cold one knights and well proxy see what she likes to run whats fun for her to play as for heroes do the same proxy there is nothing wrong with it and it is awesome if money is tight i also recommend ebay you can sometimes get some stuff there for a really low price.

make sure there models you want to play with and will be used most often, until you get more money to expand your army and be able to use whatever whenever.

how i started was with

two boxes of warriors

cold one knights (heroes) dreadlord on cold one sorceress on foot



That's just what i started with awhile back, but that was four years ago so i don't know i guess its a preference thing.

Reaper Bolt Thrower

20-06-2009, 04:59
2box warriors
bolt thrower,
lord guy on foot or mounted.
id 2packs of shades 1 of CoK

looking at like 200$ can for a sizable 2k pts game. hydra is awesome too. (tho you'll learn to hate it)

The SkaerKrow
22-06-2009, 14:09
The Battalion Box isn't a bad starting point. You get some of the best looking models in the range, and a fair cross-section of units. I would suggest arming the Corsairs in the box with Repeater Handbows, as their Additional Hand Weapon configuration gives them too much unfavorable overlap with your Warriors (very nearly the same hitting power on a more expensive unit).

Otherwise, you can't go wrong by picking up a box of Dark Elf Warriors or two, and perhaps some Cold One Knights or Black Guard. Dark Riders are also an important part of many Dark Elf armies, but the models themselves are both rather dated and fairly expensive. Wood Elf Glade Riders (especially those converted with bits from the Dark Elf Warrior set) tend to make for more affordable and modern looking alternatives.

22-06-2009, 16:03
if you throw the hydra in at 1000 pts.. you wont need much else :)
i use to run a 1000 pt army with a single bolt thrower, some warriors, cold one knights, harpies... yada yada...
good starting units are:
sorceress on foot
lord on foot or mounted on cold one
1 or 2 units of 15 warriors with spears
a unit of crossbowmen
corsairs aren't absolutely terrible, but tough to use (but they come in the box)
harpies (cheap)
knights (in box)
black guard (a bit expensive, but worth it every penny)
hydra (which you own)
bolt throwers (the most you need for now is 1 or 2)

and of course after all that, i think you would have enough for about 1500 pts. +.. the battalion box is definitely worth the money and then a couple more boxes of warriors and you are there.. good luck with it! i got into dark elves because of my wife and now have painted almost 3500 pts worth

22-06-2009, 16:25
The battalion is a good starting point, but your going to need to purchase extra shields as the Crossbowmen don't come with them.

Gazak Blacktoof
22-06-2009, 16:33
If you have GW store near you though you can get some spare shields delivered there without paying postage.

22-06-2009, 17:12
2x battalions,

a cauldron of blood

a unit of blackguard

can't recommend executioners but I think witch elves are very fun. Hopefully your girlfriend doesn't mind figures of naked women :p

1-2 reaper bolt throwers

1-2 boxes of shades (I bought the mengils manhide manflayers from GW direct, since they cost the same but look way better IMO.)

Harpies are a must have for any list, but sadly your wallet won't like them. Ive seen some conversions using plastic daemonettes

5-10 Dark riders ( The best models for these are conversions. Purchase a box of wood elf glade riders and use the capes, horses and some of the spear arms from the kit. Use dark elf warrior torsos and corsair bits for the crossbows and other hand weapons.)

hope she enjoys the game and army

as for characters look around other mini sites to see if you can find better models. By crossing a cold one knight with a corsair cape you can make a perfect mounted lord. You'll want at least 2 mages as well

avatars of war has perfect dark elf models that can be used as characters.

Duke Georgal
23-06-2009, 01:23
If you already have the Hydra, you need black guard.

Then the battallion as mentioned before should do well for a start.

Yes, Black Guard are currently worth it.

23-06-2009, 08:17
Wow, if I was going to buy my opponent a unit the Hydra would be the LAST thing on my list...

23-06-2009, 08:24
Definetly BG - one of the best units atm
Get units of 10RXb with shields
Use the spares + another box for spear elves for bunker for sorceress

Jetty Smurf
01-07-2009, 07:47
Thanks for all the input everyone :)

It looks like we will probably end up with something like this:

Battalion box
5x Dark Riders
1x Warriors box
1x Sorceress on foot
1x Dreadlord on Cold One (to be used as Master, mounted or otherwise till 2k+)
1x Assassin
1x Black Guard box
1x Shades box

Hoping that this (plus the hydra) will be a good place to expand from :) The harpies seem like an invaluable addition to the army, but they aren't very cheap, unfortunately, especially since you need 3 blisters in order to reach the minimum for 1 unit. Same can be said for the Dark Riders, so we will see if we end up getting those right off the bat or waiting a bit before purchasing them.

The Red Scourge
01-07-2009, 08:17
Fast cavalry is a must-have - especially for elven armies :)

01-07-2009, 08:23
yeah, definitely get some dark riders - those guys are amazing and are always a thorn in the side of my high elf and Bretonnian armies.

Go and pick up some shades... and some corsairs! Mainly because the models are freaking great.

Jetty Smurf
01-07-2009, 08:24
That settles it then, we will get the Dark Riders in the first order :)

I don't want her to be at a disadvantage from the get go, not with the rest of us (including her there are 6 of us who game together) already having 90-95% of the models we want for almost any list we desire.

Yeah we will have some shades (included in the list is 1 box) and some corsairs from the battalion box.

The models for the corsairs do look awesome, but we are a little concerned with how they will perform. From the majority of posts on warseer they seem to be a difficult unit to use effectively. However, be that as it may, we will still gladly assemble and paint them and even if they don't get used, they will indeed look awesome :)

01-07-2009, 08:33
IIRC Dark Riders are Core, so using them doesn't handicap your choice of Specials.

Jetty Smurf
01-07-2009, 08:46
They are indeed core. They are just not a cheap (in terms of dollars per model) core. But there is still discussion between her and I on the order itself, so by the time it comes to actually make the order, we will have received another pay cheque each, and the extra cost really shouldn't matter :p

01-07-2009, 09:08
i suggest for the dark riders you buy a box of glade riders, and dark elf warriors.

this way you get 8 riders, and 8 warriors.

( just use all the wood elf bits but dark elf torso, head, and arms) and bam awesome looking plastic dark riders :)

01-07-2009, 09:40
I am waiting for the glade riders and dark warriors packs to arrive to give this conversion a go.

01-07-2009, 10:08
I'd go for:

2 boxes of glade riders
3 boxes of warriors

should make you:
15 Dark riders
20 Warriors
12 RxBs
1 spare horse + warrior sprue to try and make a cool hero (sorc or master)

That's nearly 800 points there.

Buy the Batallion and you'll have the 2nd unit of warriors and another unit of RxBs with the CoKs as well.

Last buy would be a unit of shades and some Black Guard.

01-07-2009, 13:26
The Dark Elf Battalion box is one of the best out of the box armies I've seen of late. With the exception of characters it has pretty much everything. Here is how I use my Battalion box (once i get it complete):
2 x 10 RxBs
1 x 12 Warriors (jump up to 20 asap)
2 x 10 Corsairs (with full cmd, for the frenzy banner)
1 x 5 Knights (your hammer unit)

Either way, that's a great army to build up from. As everyone is saying, Dark Riders are indeed a must, as they're worth their weight in gold. Blackguard, also, are a must. As they fill two roles, hammer and anvil.
From here find out if she likes all the female warrior options (Witch elves, Sorceress' etc.) She may want to go with a Witch elf cult if that's what drew her to the army. Myself, I love the Sorceress' cabal, so I tended to go with less Khanite troops.

Oh yeah, to confirm the recipe for Dark riders, Glade guard and Warriors boxes. Here is a link to mine (feel free to browse the rest for ideas.)

02-07-2009, 01:01
Heh, I'm the girlfriend... *waves* - I like the look of all the Dark Elf army, tho it was probably the creatures (awesome dragon, hydra, cold ones, manticore, dark pegasus, etc..) that really got me. I'm still trying to think up a good colour scheme for the hydra, but the army itself will probably follow the black, purple and silver route... With a bit of bloody red spattered here and there...

As to making the Dark Riders out of the glade riders & warriors... hmm.. I don't think the wood elf horses look mean enough. You've done a great job with yours, Copella (I just played a game of spot the difference between yours and the dark elf versions and didn't find much!) but I do like the feet of the dark elf horse... Plus the plaits in the tails of the wood elf horses are just a bit girly.... :P

I guess I'll just have to fork out the extra money... ><

Thanks for the advice everyone on what to put in the army. I'm glad to hear that the battalion box is worthwhile - it seems that it isn't for anyone else (bar Smurf's Lizardmen, but that's just 'cos he has an army of skinks...)

@Copella - no one has really mentioned to me the strength of the Witch elves and Sorceress' cabal. I'm not too fussed about using female warriors to fight with, I'd prefer to use what's most effective. How do you use your Sorceress' cabal to get the most out of it?

02-07-2009, 03:49
At 1k, 2 Lvl2's are absurdly good. But at a higher point level, if you want a good magic phase you need to sprinkle in powerstones and bound spells. Just something to think about for the future. An Assassin with Cloak of Twilight can really boost your magic phase by giving your enemy something very real to worry about.

The Black staff on a Lvl4 can be good as well. PoD gets dispelled every time by my opponents so having a free one makes it more likely that one will get off.

At this point, why don't you post your rough draft list in the army list forum. We can do a much better job of helping you along from there.

02-07-2009, 06:00

I've been using a Supreme Sorceress (4th lvl) and Sorceress (2nd lvl) combination.

I give the level 4 the Sacrificial Dagger and 3 Power Stones and Null Talisman. I put her in a unit of spearmen with no upgrades of any kind. Their sole purpose is to die at her hand for extra power dice. As I run the Ring of Hotek I find it easier to put the level 2 in this unit as well to lower the chances of mistakingly casting within range of the ring. Because of this I give this caster the Pearl of Infinite Bleakness to protect the unit from panic caused by all the sacrificing, and usually the Tomb of Furion for an extra spell.

I like to start my phase with the level 4, by casting Power of Darkness with one die, then stab a spearman and roll an extra die (unless the 1st has rolled a 1). This will almost certainly result in a cast spell. Gives your opponent an immediate problem, does he attempt to dispell or not? Given he will probably have 4 or 5 dispell dice is it worth using 2 of them to try to stop this spell?

I always like the reaction when my opponent has deceided to let it go and I then roll a 3 and generate 4 extra power dice! In some ways its better for me if he rolls the dispell dice, even if they succeed, as he now only has 2 or 3 dice left. My 4th level still has 3 of her own dice left, plus two from a power stone (I use one a turn). So thats good for another 2 or 3 spells all backed up with an extra die from the Sacrificial Dagger. Of course if I do generate dice from the Power of Darkness I use these dice first. He will quickly run out of both dispell dice and scrolls.

My 2nd level sorceress has her two power dice plus the two dice from the army pool. By this stage the opponents dispell dice are gone, and from turn two probably all his scrolls as well. I will usually roll 1 die for a 50/50 shot at Power of Darkness. If it fails I still have 3 dice for a good chance on 1 remaining spell.

My lore of choice is Metal as I often play against heavily armoured opponents (Dwarfs and WoC). I had a game against Vampires where I had predetermined that I was going to use Metal. His Vampire Lord and Army Std Bearer were with the Blood Knights and all had been melted in two turns. Was very impressed. Of course it wasn't so successful against High Elves, where Dark Magic would have been heaps better.

Good Luck

02-07-2009, 19:13
As to making the Dark Riders out of the glade riders & warriors... hmm.. I don't think the wood elf horses look mean enough. You've done a great job with yours, Copella (I just played a game of spot the difference between yours and the dark elf versions and didn't find much!) but I do like the feet of the dark elf horse... Plus the plaits in the tails of the wood elf horses are just a bit girly.... :P

lol, indeed. I actually have 3 of the normal dark rider models. Funny enough, I have been calling them the male horses, where as the WE ones are the mares. I'll have my second Musician done soon as well. She arrived in the mail today.

@Copella - no one has really mentioned to me the strength of the Witch elves and Sorceress' cabal. I'm not too fussed about using female warriors to fight with, I'd prefer to use what's most effective. How do you use your Sorceress' cabal to get the most out of it?

In 2k games I run 1 lvl 4, and 1 lvl 2 Sorceress. One is mainly for defense and the other offense. As my list gets bigger in points, say 3k, I'll have 3 Sorceress'. 1 lvl 4, and 2 lvl 2s, again defense and offense. Strong magic, good shooting, and lots of speed is how I plan to run the list. Always with a good anvil unit or two. Tho DEs don't have a lot of Anvil choices.

02-07-2009, 22:03
I wouldn't recommend the battalion box for a couple of reasons, unless you are certain your girlfriend will want the corsairs, and even then, I'm not sure it is worth it. She will want to look closely at the following units as I feel they overlap to some degree: warriors, corsairs, and witch elves. I use a unit of spears and a smaller unit of corsairs in my list with the frenzy banner. I currently don't use witch elves, but if I did, the corsairs would be the ones to go I think.

Unless she likes the look of the hand bows on the corsiars, if she goes with them, use two hand weapons as the handbows are one of the few things in a dark elf army that aren't worth using.

A cauldron is a stylistic choice, imo. I wouldn't put one in the army unless there are other khanite units or or as a later purchase as the army grows.

From a pure starting point, I would pick up two units of dark riders to start as core. I used wood elf horses (which can be bitz ordered last time I checked -- one of the few things that can) and the actual dark rider models. The dark rider horses have a ridiculous grin and if you paint the WE horses black, they look plenty mean. Between those two units and a hydra, along with a caster and a master, you're looking at 500-600 points, which is a solid start and leaves plenty of other options even as you look to 1k.