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View Full Version : Using DE Warriors with RXB's as Core-Ranked-Charge Holders?



Kargos Bloodspit
05-01-2006, 02:43
While I may never have actually played a WFB game yet (thanks to the munchkins in GW on wednesday, else i'd of asked for a game with one of the staff). Anyway, I've been looking at the rulebook and army books intently, i was just wondering if I could get some experienced player's thoughts on using as a Dark Elf (DE) Rank and File unit, a unit of 16 Dark Elf Warriors, armed with RXBs.

The idea being, I can bomb the enemy army with Shooting for a few turns at least, and then when in combat, due to the hand weapon and shield rule, I'll have a 4+ save to hold them in place, while I flank with elite units, such as fear causing cold one chariots or executioners.

Is it a viable tactic, or should I just go for 16 Spear Armed DE Warriors with units of RXB armed DE Warriors as support units on hills?

Atzcapotzalco
05-01-2006, 03:14
It could work, I've had a lot of success with dwarf missile units bolstered by ranks, command group and even on occasion a hero to fight in melee. As well as allowing them to support your melee troops, it takes away a soft target for enemy light cavalry/skirmishers/flyers to pick on. I do admit that dwarfs make for very tough missile troops and that for many more fragile races and archers a large unit is a bigger and still very easy target, but if you have hand weapon and shield then you aren't far behind them.

shadowprince
05-01-2006, 06:09
problem with that, is its putting a lot of points in a weak rank and file unit with low toughness and only a 5+ save against missle fire and 6+ vs most magic missels. It could work though, but you will need to support it. After all arent they about 14pts a model.

Banesword
05-01-2006, 15:17
Xbow elves are 12pts each (with shield). It is a viable tactic, but probably not something to use as your center block. Smaller units of 10-14 work wonders as flank guards. And as for DE you should practice using MSU(Multiple Small Units) tactics as much as possible.
This isn't to say you cant use 16-20 strong regiments, but most should be 10-12.

Makaber
05-01-2006, 15:44
A unit of 12 is decent because you can field them in 6x2, then reform into a 4x3 block if they're under threat, getting a neat rank bonus of 2. T10 fields dwarves in units of 12 with crossbows and full command, but of course dwarves are a great deal hardier than elves. Overall, I don't think its worth a large unit of them because you will be paying for more crossbows that will be very hard to use, due to the large size of the unit. Also, while they could possibly win against a lot of units, they will be hard pressed to hold their own against a dedicated force sendt to crush them (the large, weak, expensive unit that they are). Shields are definitely worth it, though, allowing you to pull a "turtleshell" maneuvre that can save the archers from some random ghouls or something.

Oh, and if the idea really appeals to you, check out the City Guard list, where you get spear warrior regiments with a first rank of crossbowmen, so you fight in two ranks while getting a 4+ save in front, and the ability to shoot some as well.

Xcercs
05-01-2006, 16:31
personally i dont like that idea of using ranks of shooters i like to maximise all my missile troops effectiveness and shoot every bow xbow sling peashooter i can ... if all goes well then the rank file system shouldnt be needed too much :D

sulla
08-01-2006, 21:53
Xbow elves are 12pts each (with shield). It is a viable tactic, but probably not something to use as your center block. Smaller units of 10-14 work wonders as flank guards. And as for DE you should practice using MSU(Multiple Small Units) tactics as much as possible.
This isn't to say you cant use 16-20 strong regiments, but most should be 10-12.

...unless you come up against a magic missile and archery heavy army which will own you...

Mad Makz
09-01-2006, 04:41
...unless you come up against a magic missile and archery heavy army which will own you...

Not necessarily. Dark Elves have high leadership, strong magic, and some of the best shooting in the game. Whose to say they won't own the magic/missile heavy army with their own magic/missile heavy army?

Especially considering the effects of chillwind, I find this to be a fairly short sighted statement.

Scythe
09-01-2006, 12:01
I've used units of up to 20 crossbowmen in the past, with reasonable amounts of succes. With such large units, it is trivial that you get a mountain tough. Deploy 2x10, shoot 40 bolts a turn, reform when the enemy gets close and gain a standard combat bonus of +5 (3 ranks, banner and high ground), plus a good chance of outnumbering, plus a decent 4+ save. They have been worth their investment in gold numberous times for me.

However, as a more standard, maybe more reliable unit, units of 10-12 crossbowmen are better. Don't spend points on command, protect flanks, and still fire a large number of shots. Do quite well in a dark elf MSU army.

Gorbad Ironclaw
09-01-2006, 12:30
Give them a banner(and maybe the rest too) and it's an excelent unit! They are quite good on close combat due to the 4+ save, and if you start by deploying them 8 wide, you will get at least 16 shots a turn, 32 if on a hill. Once it looks like they will be charged, you add 2 ranks(and can still shoot!), and suddenly you get full rank bonus too.

They work pretty well as a main line unit too actually. You don't have to do that MSU nonsens, DE can work just fine without. I got an army planned(well several) that involves at least 2 of such units, maybe 3 to form the centre block, supported by some elite infantry.

Scythe
09-01-2006, 15:51
Hmm, the problem of multiple of such units is to find the space or hills to get the maximal shooting potential out of them....

Gorbad Ironclaw
09-01-2006, 16:11
True, you won't get the maximum shooting potential out of every unit. You don't need to though, and 2 of such units are really very nice, and can add quite a lot of firepower(should be noted that I generally don't bother with RBTs, so won't be competing for those over space and hills).

Scythe
09-01-2006, 19:39
I guess that helps a bit... I never leave home without 2 bolt throwers myself... altough they are usually not deployed on a hill. The advantage crossbowmen get from it is greater as bolt throwers in my opinion.

Mad Doc Grotsnik
09-01-2006, 21:06
I have considered this myself, but you will need to back it up with something suitable.

Might I suggest Dark Riders and Chariots?

Keep everything thats not on a Dark Steed near your deployment zone. Shoot the enemy up as they close, then, at the last minute, reform into a 4 rank block. Bingo, he *should* get bogged down. Then flank him with either Dark Riders (who should be waiting on the flanks, and could even be used for a rear charge, ideally supplying additional harrassment on his way across the board) or, in the case of heavy hitters, a Chariot. Or even both.

Won't be terribly easy to carry off though!

sulla
09-01-2006, 22:10
Not necessarily. Dark Elves have high leadership, strong magic, and some of the best shooting in the game. Whose to say they won't own the magic/missile heavy army with their own magic/missile heavy army?

Especially considering the effects of chillwind, I find this to be a fairly short sighted statement.

No, merely one made from experience. Dark magic, while very powerful does not play well against magic missile heavy lists because DM is very short ranged... so the sorceress must be mobile to get close to the enemy. Unless you want to stick her in a COK unit (:eek: ) then she will be in a fragile dark rider unit or on a dp (if she is high enough level) or alone on horseback... either way, she is very vulnerable. one magic missile from the high or life magic list is often enough to wipe out her and her bodyguard...

Scythe
10-01-2006, 11:53
You don't have to use Dark Magic all the time. Death magic contains some nice longer ranged magic missles, and the shadow magic movement spells are quite nice as well. A sorceress on foot isn't limited to Dark magic, which I agree with you, is better on more mobile mages.

Mad Makz
10-01-2006, 22:53
No, merely one made from experience. Dark magic, while very powerful does not play well against magic missile heavy lists because DM is very short ranged... so the sorceress must be mobile to get close to the enemy. Unless you want to stick her in a COK unit (:eek: ) then she will be in a fragile dark rider unit or on a dp (if she is high enough level) or alone on horseback... either way, she is very vulnerable. one magic missile from the high or life magic list is often enough to wipe out her and her bodyguard...

That's why your sorcerers have dispel scrolls, and Dark Rider Units aren't that fragile (Any fast cavalry unit that is used well should be able to get out of line of sight of the worst of the enemies shooting if well used and there is sufficient terrain on the table).

She also doesn't have to be IN Dark Riders, just not the closest unit within 4" of a unit of Dark Riders of 5 or more.

Of course, I am thinking in the context of an army which is likely to have something else to destract or hold up the enemies shooting (at the least Shades to distract, or the best thing for distracting and destroying enemy shooting a lord on Dragon... But you'll find this can be not a very nice army for your opponent to play against (Dark Riders, Shades, Boltthrower, 2x lvl2 Mages, Dragon. That's it. Highly Manouverable, very shooty, good magic, plus Dragon. Not much fun though for the opponent who has to chase your tail). And of course, that somewhat removes the point of the thread (the ranked crossbowmen discussion) but the concept can walk (although less effectively) on a smaller scale.

So back to the point:

You have Bolt Throwers, which are very good in the shooting stakes to operate as long range shooting, So with the I think you should at least be able to level yourself in the shooting stakes against high magic high shooting armies. And if you advance your units of xbowmen (4 turns x 5" movement = 20") as you shoot them then you may find an opportunity to win combat in the final turns versus the enemies shooting units (if they haven't panicked, which they are more likely to than you) as you will have a standard, and much better combat ability. This tactic is risky, but I think it could be fun to try out (and possibly the best tactic versus a numerically advantage shooting army such as empire, ASSUMING you have taken a ranked Crossbowman unit style army.)

But, you are right, you do have to get your wizards close to be very effective with dark magic, and that can be a risky practice, but as long as you have sufficient dispell scrolls (i.e at least 3, probably 4, which frankly are vital for high point cost, low toughness, low armour save armies) then you can get the army working. It does involve risk though.

Also, as has been pointed out, you can use the lore of death, although that really doesn't have the same potential as Dark magic, it can help you with the added range.