View Full Version : 2500 HE vs DE

27-11-2011, 22:49
Full brep on ulthuan with integrated pictures etc: http://www.ulthuan.net/forum/viewtopic.php?f=67&t=35318&p=738518#p738518

My first game against Dark Elves in 8th edition! An experience which certainly taught me a lot, both with regards to Dark Elves and with regards to my own list. My opponent was a guy I've never played before. He was also relatively new to 8th edition, having been away from Warhammer for a long time. Anyway, he was a really nice guy and we had a blast.

:: Millennia of Hatred ::

My dragonlist:

Prince Saerith on Star Dragon - Vambraces of Defense, Great Weapon, Armour of Caledor, Talisman of Loec :: 622
Noble Naenor BSB on Great Eagle - Heavy Armour, Shield, Great Weapon, Helm of Fortune, The Other Trickster's Shard :: 214
High Mage Curu Olannon - Level 2, Annulian Crystal, Dragonbane Gem :: 180

Characters Total ::1017

32 Spears, Full Command and Flamebanner :: 323
31 Spears, Full Command :: 304

Core Total :: 627

30 White Lions, Full Command and Banner of Swiftness, Amulet of Light :: 510
5 Dragon Princes, Drakemaster with Skeinsliver :: 195

Special Total: 705

3 Great Eagles :: 150

Rare Total :: 150

Dark Elves (he was kind enough to provide me with his full list):

Supreme Sorceress (Shadow Magic) - lvl 4, 4+ ward, +1PD
Death Hag BSB, Cauldron of Blood
Sorceress (Dark Magic) - lvl 2, d.scroll
Master - Pegasus, Armour of Destiny, Sea Dragon Cloak, Crimson Death

27 Corsairs, Full Command, Sea Serpent Standard
16 RxB - Full Command, shields
16 RxB - Full Command, shields
6 Harpies
6 Harpies

7 Cold One Knights - Full Command, Potion of Foolhardiness
20 Black Guard - Full Command, Banner of Murder

1 War Hydra

:: Pre-battle thoughts & deployment::

Magic: I got Fury of Khaine and Vaul's Unmaking and swapped Fury for Shield of Saphery. His lvl 2 got Soul Stealer and Black Horror (ugh!) while his lvl 4 got Steed, Pit, Pendulum, Mindrazor (yay!). He swapped Steed for Miasma. I was at this point mostly afraid of his lvl 2.

Deployment etc: we decided to play standard Battleline. He had yet to play above 1500 points in 8th and I'm not really a big fan of the rulebook scenarios so this was fine for me, really. My goal was to overload a flank while I kept the center pinned down. To this end, I believe my deployment was fine. I got some pretty good matchups and a lot of flexbility.


I rolled a 1 for starting turn. He rolled a 3 and I won the re-roll! Thank you, Skeinsliver!

:: High Elves Turn 1 ::

Everything moved up, my flyers keeping in touch with the rest of my infantry. The idea was to give Naenor and Saerith a lot of possibilities depending on his moves while having cover against his RxBs.

Magic - 9v7. I start off with a 6D6 Vaul's which goes off with IF on his supreme sorceress. She reveals 4+ ward and +1PD. Fearing his magic way more than a defensive item, I remove his extra PD. The miscast result is a 4. Oh my, I know this one all too well. Somehow, I manage to roll that 4+ though and Olannon survives! Unfortunately, the S10 template kills 11 Spearelves and wounds a Great Eagle.

Shooting and combat is nonexistant. I'm happy with Turn 1 considering my miscast.


:: Dark Elves Turn 1 ::

His response is relatively unexpected: passive. Putting myself in his position I'm not sure what I would've done, but I was expecting some more aggression from him to pressure my centre as soon as possible. The only unit really advancing a lot was his flanking Knights. Between their long way around the house and my Eagles, I was confident this wasn't going to be a threat. One unit of Harpies moves up to block my Spears though.

Magic - after Annulian it's 7v6. Two casts of Power of Darkness later though and it's 10v6. Soul Stealer is out of range and my only real threat is Black Horror. He casts Pendulum on Naenor but I pass my I test. He probably should've miasma'd the Spearelves and then tried to Pit them. Black Horror is then cast but I dispel it, leaving him with 2D6 which he uses to miasma my Dragon Princes -2M. What's all this Dark Elf magic people are so afraid of ;)

Shooting sees him kill 2 Spearelves from the big unit while the other RxB's kill my wounded Eagle.


:: High Elves Turn 2 ::

Realizing his Harpies in front of the RxBs lack a model or two to properly cover his edge, I charge his supreme sorceress' unit with Naenor, needing 7 or 8+ on Swiftstride. His Stand and Shoot does nothing as I'm in cover from most of the unit and I make my roll. Saerith charges the screening Harpies, allowing him to fight twice!

White Lions advances a tiny bit and my Eagle blocks his Black Guard from flanking Saerith. The big Spears charge screening harpies. The other Spears shuffle 3" sideways, Olannon leaving them to go in cover behind the rock. Dragon Princes move up just a bit behind the Lions, not caring too much about their -2M.

Magic - 9v6. I start off with a 5D6 Vaul's on his Black Guard and I get IF again! He reveals banner of armour piercing and I destroy it. Fearing for my magic defense, I roll the miscast result... Getting a 7!! Amazing - I even moved him out of the unit so no Elves die. The magic phase ends here.

Combat: I resolve Saerith first, kill all harpies, and overrun. He challenges with his champion, Naenor accepting and properly stomping him. This challenge did ensure he had 5 models left, thus making him Steadfast (yes, those 2 characters really can bring the hurt!). Imagine this: had I not had 2 characters, he would've challenged Saerith out and Mindrazored himself next turn. Not good! With 5 models left, Mindrazor's hardly an issue.


:: Dark Elves Turn 2 ::

His Corsairs and Master charge my big Spears (apologies for not moving his Master in the diagram T1 - he was next to the corsairs). Cold One Knights fail their stupidity test and stumble into the house (he was just outside of Cauldron range - a lesson surely learned!). The crossbows free reform to better face the center.

Magic is 6v6. I figure he's gonna cast 4D6 at 2x Power of Darkness. Again, I'm not really afraid of his level 4. I know my Spears are lost, mindrazor or no. What I'm afraid of is, again, Soul Stealer and Black Horror. He casts Power with his level 4 and I let it go. Then he casts Power with his level 2 and I dispel it with 3D6 - leaving only 2D6 for his level 2. The result was that he got Mindrazor through on his Corsairs.

Shooting: Hydra lets loose and kills 8 Lions. Panic is passed. Combat: Black Guard murders the Eagle and overrun 10" - ending up just in front of the White Lions (I had purposefully left them 10.5" away). Saerith and Naenor kill the Supreme Sorceress and remaining 4 crossbows, not having to overrun. This suited me perfectly as I reformed them both to face the Black Guard. My Spears on the other hand is another story: they kill a couple of Corsairs first and are reduced to but a handful in return. The remaining flee and aren't caught by either the Master nor the Corsairs (the latter only get to run a couple of inches before they stop in the building).


:: High Elves Turn 3 ::

The Black Guard receive no less than 4 charges - Saerith and Naenor in their flank and White Lions + Dragon Princes in front. Spears fail to reform (below 25%). The other Spears (something like 17 remaining) march up into the center, mostly to get out of Corsairs' Line of Sight.

Magic: again it's 9v6. I start off with Vaul's on 4D6, which I promptly fail. I really needed Shield here, too, to protect my Lions who I intended to overrun. I probably should've spent 5D6 on Vaul's and then 4D6 on Shield, I intended 4D6, 3D6 and then 2D6 for Drain. A little too much.

Combat: The Black Guard are murdered to a man, killing 4 Lions and 1 Dragon Prince in return. I reform all units to face center, apart from the Lions who overrun into the Hydra.


:: Dark Elves Turn 3 ::

He reforms a lot to face my centre. The Master figures the Spears probably won't stop anytime soon so flies to threaten Olannon and the Dragon Princes. Magic is 7v6. He ends up killing a few Spearelves, with his shooting, too, they're down to only 6 remaining. Panic's passed.

Combat! What's this Hydra being underpriced everyone's talking about? Time to find out: I start off hitting it 7 times, managing a breathtakingly 0 wounds after only 2(!!!) wound and he regenerates them both. In return, he kills a lot of Lions, leaving only 9 remaining. I reform them to 4 wide, maximizing attacks.


:: High Elves Turn 4 ::

Naenor + Saerith charge his Corsairs (it was about 18" - shorter than the diagram might imply) and both make it. The Dragon Princes make a long wheel to flank his Hydra. Olannon moves out of his Master's arc. My remaining Eagle blocks his Cold One Knights who could charge Saerith and help out the Corsairs.

Magic sees me Vaul's his Corsairs' banner (he figured he should've scrolled it but tried to dispel instead). Olannon's movement saw him outside of Shield range on the Lions, unfortunately.

Combat sees me murder his Corsairs pretty bad, leaving only 6 remaining (that Star Dragon is a beast!). My White Lions managed to put 2 wounds on the Hydra this time but 7 were butchered in return, leaving only 2 alive.


:: Dark Elves Turn 4 ::

Not much movement going on any longer, apart from the obvious. His Master flies to threaten my DP's rear. The Cold One Knights charge the Eagle. Crossbows reform to face the remaining handful of Spearelves.

Between magic and shooting 1 guy is left alive!

Combat - I can't wound the Hydra due to regeneration and his Cold One Knights beat my Eagle (but it does survive and runs away!). His remaining Corsairs die. I reform to face his Knights with Saerith and his Master with Naenor.


:: High Elves Turn 5 ::

The Dragon Princes deside that with 3 wounds left, the Hydra's probably too much. They move away, out of charge arc. Saerith charges the Knights and Naenor the Master.

Magic - I get drain through (was 5v3).

Saerith easily beat the Knights but the remaining 3 flee away from him. Naenor fails to kill the Master (he had 1W left) and is wounded twice in return. However, due to charge + BSB + rear, the Master fails his test and is caught.


:: Dark Elves Turn 5 ::

Hydra charges Naenor, who flees and barely makes it! Magic and shooting kills the last Spearelf, netting him roughly 300 victory points. His Crossbows fire upon Naenor but fail to penetrate his armour!


:: High Elves Turn 6 ::

Saerith charges the Knights again, Naenor reforms. I don't dare to cast any spells, fearing I'll lose 180 victory points. He can't really hurt me with magic in his last turn so it doesn't matter either.

The Knights all die to Saerith.


:: Dark Elves Turn 6 ::

He charges Naenor with crossbows and the Hydra, giving the Elves killing blow from his Cauldron.

Magic does nothing and it's on to combat. Unsurprisingly, Naenor falls and the game's over!


:: Victory Points ::

Counting up points, it's really close. Double-checking bonus points etc from the rulebook, we find that I'm 171 points ahead! By our standards, a victory to the High Elves!

:: Evaluation ::

Dark Elves most certainly are a hard opponent to meet. His list was rather soft compared to the worst they can bring but between his Corsairs' attacks, the Black Guard's potential and his Hydra murdering my Lions, I definitely see why they're a few notches above us.

What did I learn about Dark Elves? Their magic holds a lot of potential but their selection isn't perfect. Their infantry backed up by the Cauldron outclasses ours and their magic items are really powerful and cheap (that corsair standard for 25 points?). Also, I made a huge mistake by underestimating the Hydra. I should've sent Saerith to help the Lions, delaying the middle assault.

What did I learn about my own list? When I play this kind of strategy - where the role for my flyers is to overwhelm a flank rather than help my infantry - I need to delay the central fights. As such, even advancing my infantry at all was a big mistake. Especially when he screened me off with his Harpies I should've simply backed off. I also learned how vulnerable our Spearelves really are. I'm so used to sending them in backed up by Life magic. Without, they simply die fairly easily, the frailty of T3 5+ save becoming painfully clear.

So, 3 major things: To beat Dark Elves, make sure you can properly concentrate your force. When using Flyers to dominate a flank, keep the infantry slow. When something targets my Spearelves, they will die rather easily.

Oh and never underestimate a War Hydra! 7 hatred attacks and thunderstomp is just brutal, not to mention its regeneration!

I asked my opponent to bring a harder list next time. In hindsight, I'm glad my first encounter was against a relatively mediocre list as I did a few mistakes and learned a lot. Next time however I want to see how I perform against a properly competitive force.

As always, C&C very welcome :)

27-11-2011, 23:50
lol, it just seems like your opponent wasn't that good of a DE player...He mis-used most of his spells, rolled pretty crappy ones (I'm not a fan of Pit or Pendulum), and he probally should've switched Soul Stealer OR Black Horror (altough I'm a fan of the horror) for Doombolt, so he could magic-snipe down your eagles...

I'm not really a fan of having 3-4 Big-casting spells, because you'll need alot of dice for one, and when miscasting, you might end up without PD (or even without Wizard).
Rather have a few handy small ones (doombolt, miasma, power of Darkness, ...) to lure out power dice, or have them come trough and then throw everything for the big spell (Horror or Mindrazor).

28-11-2011, 00:34
I said, and I quote:
He was also relatively new to 8th edition, having been away from Warhammer for a long time.

It's funny how you then degrade him as a player and the only useful feedback he's getting is his spell selection and magic priority which, by most standards, wasn't too shabby. As far as misuse goes, I believe only the Pendulum was rather bad. Apart from that, it was hard for me to prioritize against him, which means his magic strategy was at least good, if not perfect.

Still though, I'd prefer that when you take the time to mention how bad someone is, be it me or my opponent, you also provide what actual advice you have for improving the game. I truly do not believe a different approach to magic would've helped him much here, there are certainly more vital points in his play which you could've addressed.

Dark Reaper
28-11-2011, 10:41
I just love it when people complain about how others are bad players when they themselves suggest things such as swapping out a spell for Doombolt which isn't the signature spell of Dark Magic.

Nice battle report as usual. I am looking forward to trying and play against your list with my own Dark Elf army in the future.

29-11-2011, 08:35
I agree with dark reaper he cat be that much of a bad player at least he probably knows what the sig spell of dark magic is. Personally it sounded like a very good game in which the dark elf player got unlucky.

29-11-2011, 13:41
Didn't even realize Doombolt isn't the one you can choose to get. The actual default spell stands a small chance of killing an Eagle (let's face it: 1W is often plenty enough for it to do its job) outright.

Dreadlordpaul - there weren't any particular moments of luck - either way - in this game. I'm not sure where you feel either of us got lucky/unlucky nor why. Could you elaborate on this?


29-11-2011, 13:50
Didn't even realize Doombolt isn't the one you can choose to get. The actual default spell stands a small chance of killing an Eagle (let's face it: 1W is often plenty enough for it to do its job) outright.

Dreadlordpaul - there weren't any particular moments of luck - either way - in this game. I'm not sure where you feel either of us got lucky/unlucky nor why. Could you elaborate on this?


Like he got unlucky when his knights couldnt kill your eagle

29-11-2011, 17:39
I can't believe I didn't consider the importance of that particular event: had he killed the Eagle (or caught it) the game would've been a draw! Regardless, I had the game by Turn 2 but made some big mistakes which gave him another shot at it. As you concluded, the result was that he was unlucky not to get a draw ;)