View Full Version : 3000pts. Ard Boyz Dark Elves 1st Attempt

14-02-2012, 12:55
Hello everyone. For a long time now I have been playing my beloved Wood Elves and have had an overall fun but frustrating experience with them. Fun because I love the models and how the army plays but frustrating because I have been forced to play with a book that badly needs to be updated. Last year at Ard Boyz I did surprisingly well going 2-1-0 (especially to my fellow gamers, got 4th and almost went to 2nd round with Wood Elves when there were 5 High Elf players at the store!) by running a forest spirit/elf combination list however recently especially with the new army book releases I have been getting creamed on a regular basis. Because of this I have decided to go a different route this Ard Boyz tournament and either use my Wood Elves as High Elves (easily can be done) or build on my brothers small Dark Elf army and run them for the tournament. This is the list I plan to build and run should I go the Dark Elf route. Now I am a huge fan of double dipping, meaning units that are versatile in all forms of combat which is what gave me this list idea. All comments, thoughts, ideas ect. are welcome and appreciated, thanks for reading guys!


*w/ Pendant of Khaeleth, Crown of Comand, Crimson Death, Heavy Armor, Charmed Shield, Seadragon Cloak, Dark Pegasus

-Supreme Sorcerer
*w/ Lore of Shadow, Talisman of Preservation, Tome of Furion, Lifetaker, Iron Curse Icon

*w/ Cauldron of Blood


CORE: 1050pts.

-x30 Repeating Crossbowmen
*w/ Full Command, Shields

-x30 Repeating Crossbowmen
*w/ Full Command, Shields

-x30 Repeating Crossbowmen
*w/ Full Command, Shields

-x10 Spearmen (*Sorcerer Goes Here*)
*w/ Musician

SPECIAL: 170pts.

-x6 Cold One Knights
*w/ Musician

RARE: 525pts.

-War Hydra

-War Hydra

-War Hydra


Tactics Behind List:

-The Dreadlord is the Feared unkillable dreadlord and he has one simple job to do; take out any artillery and/or charge into my opponents biggest, badest, meanest, toughest unit he has (preferably from the flank or rear) and sit there and eventually kill the unit. He is the hellraiser of this list and I hope my opponents will spend alot of time, resources and attention on this guy because they cant afford not to.

-The Sorcerers job is to cast spells from the relative safety of the spearmen bunker which will be moving around the lines with the sole job of moving and giving wounds to the Sorcerer. With the Lore of Shadows I plan to wither one of my opponents units down and then shoot it to pieces with my crossbow units which I should get with 5 spells and power of darkness. Lifetaker is there to shoot and give her something to do while waiting.

-Cauldron BSB is there to do its thing casting ward save, ect. on any of my units that may need it.

-Shadowblade is there to take care of Teclis first of all, second of all he is there to just be shinanigans in a bottle and appear and kill my opponents casters, warmachines, special characters and anyone that I feel deserves to die a horrible death. Probably a waste of points but if this guy could take out a Slann on turn two... :D

-The x90 Crossbowmen have one job to do; shoot the hell out of anything that is coming towards them and (hopefully) whittle them down and/or wipe them out. The cool things about these guys is when the enemy gets close I will reform them to form a 5x6 elf unit with handweapon and shield which should give them a good chance at surviving especially if buffed by the Cauldron and Sorcerer.

-The Cold One Knights job is to either defend or push a flank and keep my crossbowmen safe for at least another turn of shooting. Also good if my opponent is running an MSU style of army or they have fast cav, vanguard, ect.

-Hydras are self explanatory as well, they are there to kill stuff. Plan is to throw them all on one flank and then push forward and see if they can stop me! A swinging gate maneuver that will hopefully smash one flank of my opponents army as he tries to push forward to get into grips with my crossbowmen.

14-02-2012, 15:42
lol Shadowblade does sound like fun. You have a lot of shooting, but nothing that can actually fight. I would recomend a few things. Try if you can to get a unit of black guard in there, even if you need to drop a hydra. I would also break up one of those crossbow units into 3 tens. Youd already have 2 other big blocks. This way you can split your fire to take out fast cav, flyers, skirmishers etc. you can place them behind your other units and they can fire all game while the bigger blocks reform to fight.

14-02-2012, 17:25
The Dreadlord would I think be better off with Sword of Might and Dragonhelm. With the 1+ save and Pendant he doesn't really need the Charmed Shield, and he also can't use it in combat. Taking the Sword of Might over Crimson Death would give him one less pip of Strength but an extra pip of save. Given that his role is primarily to tie stuff up instead of killing stuff, in my opinion the extra save would be better. Taking the Dragonhelm also gives you a 2+ ward against flaming, so it'll stop him getting sniped by any supporting Metal mages who are likely to be fairly prevalent given the rise of Mournfangs.

The level 4 doesn't really need a ward save or the Ironcurse (unless you've got 5pts spare), and personally I'd go with the Dagger over the Tome every time, especially in completely uncomped Warhammer.

A support mage would be great for this list, a lot of the time Shadow magic is very flat, you won't really get that much out of it especially in the early stages of the game, and you'll also struggle to draw out an opponent's Dispel Scroll just with Shadow magic. You can cast RiP spells to try and take power dice out of your opponent's phase, but in practice this just really isn't worthwhile. It also means that you're running the risk of blowing up the mage that is crucial to you in the mid to late game using 4-5 dice to cast powered up spells that will not have any real impact on the game. A Fire level 2 gives you the option of dealing some damage in the magic phase at range, and can also give you a great option for drawing out a scroll. It also gives you a much better coverage against any regen gribblies you may come across, and the second spell gives you a decent shot at getting either Flaming Sword or Flame Cage, both of which are beautiful spells. A Metal mage gives you less all-round coverage, so I wouldn't advise the second level as you only really want the signature to deal with a much more specific pool of threats. The second level does give you a shot at Final Transmutation which is a very good spell, but I don't think you'll get as much use out of the second level on a Metal mage as you would on a Fire mage.

I think Shadowblade will let you down every single time. The reason for this comes in the challenging mechanic and positioning of characters within units- even if you don't reveal that you have Shadowblade in your list (when tbh you really should), your opponent will see that you have a flying character and so will put his champion and Teclis far enough apart that they cannot both be contacted by a model on a 40mm base, let alone a 20mm base (which he can do even if his unit is only 5 wide). So, when Shadowblade reveals himself in base to base with the mage, you get stuck in a nasty lose-lose situation. If you don't issue a challenge, his champion will, and as per the rules for accepting challenges the model that accepts has to move into base to base with the challenger- this will drag you out of base to base with the mage, and you will be unable to combat reform back into base contact with the mage because that would leave whatever other models that were in base to base with Shadowblade unengaged, which breaks the rules for combat reforming. So, if you don't challenge, he challenges, you kill his champion and then Shadowblade gets ground out by whatever rank and file are in the unit.

If you do issue a challenge, then there are 2 options- the first is that the champion accepts, and in moving into base to base he has the option to simply displace Teclis to another part of the front rank, out of base to base with Shadowblade. I'll accept that this is a rules point that could be queried, but even if it was ruled to not be legal it's not an issue. After you issue your challenge, Teclis can decline. Champions can never be sent back as a result of refusing a challenge (pg102 under Refusing a Challenge), so the only eligible character to be sent back is Teclis (unless there is another character in the unit, a BSB perhaps), in which case Shadowblade loses his target and gets mobbed by the rank and file.

If there are multiple characters in the unit then you do get to decide, but if that's the case then your opponent will likely accept with either the BSB or champion (whichever is in base to base) so you'll demolish them, but in your opponent's turn he has the priority on issuing challenges and so will issue a challenge from the other side of the unit to Teclis, Shadowblade will be dragged across to kill the champion, next round your challenge will be declined and Shadowblade will get killed by rank and file infantry.

Unfortunately, Shadowblade just will not work as he is supposed to, he's very much a waste of 300pts. Of course, if your opponent doesn't know the rules or is just bad then you'll be able to catch them out, but taking a 300pt model just to try and prey on bad players who turn up with a very specific build is not a very optimal gameplan in my opinion. Instead of him, you could get a full unit of Black Guard with a musician and almost be able to get the second level for a support mage.

If you want to run a shooting heavy army, shades will do it much much better than core xbows- 60 shades, for example. Core xbows are very underwhelming unless you take huge numbers of them, and if you have to take a lot of something just for it to be good then you're going about it the wrong way. Shades are much better, because of their advanced deployment and added mobility- a lot of the time, xbows will have to move forwards just to get into long range where they can hit on 6s, but will then be 24" directly in front of the enemy. Shades, on the other hand, can deploy out on the flanks where your opponent has to turn their army almost 90 degrees to get to them, and more often than not they can march into short range- that's a contrast of core xbows hitting on 6s and then being directly in front of whatever your opponent wants to retaliate with, and shades being out of harms way and hitting on 4s. There's really no comparison, if you want a shooting heavy list then shades just do it so much better.

As it stands, you also have no combat core whatsoever. You could really do with a bunker of warriors for the mage (20 with full command works well), and 30 Corsairs with extra hand weapons and the frenzy banner will give you a solid punch in combat, especially when paired with a unit of 20 Black Guard.

I've tried small units of knights, and they're just too vulnerable I found. Too many armies can deal with them far too easily, and a lot more armies will be ready to deal with knights now that Mournfangs are so prevalent. If you really want to run knights then you I would suggest going up to 10 with full command, maybe the Ring of Hotek on the champion, and the ASF banner to give them some staying power in combat. However, overall I think you can just spend the points far better elsewhere.

I've not tried them at 3K, but at 2.K hydras simply are not worth taking. Every player you come across will be prepared to face multiple hydras or abombs, and they don't even have to go that far out of their way to deal with them- just about every army in the game has access to flaming S4 combat or shooting attacks at a higher initiative, Death magic, Shadow magic, Metal magic, Fire magic, Light magic or war machines (flaming or otherwise). There are a couple of races that do struggle to deal with hydras (namely Warriors and O&G if the war machines don't go according to plan) but just about every competent general or list builder will have some way to deal with them. Taking 3 is a huge investment that will be playing into your opponent's plans, and if they have the ability to do so which most should then 3 hydras are 525 free points. I really do think you could spend the points far better elsewhere, but if you do want to go down the hydra route then you have to give them the best possible chance of getting in. I'd advise either going for the full 4, or not going with any.

Hope I've given you some food for thought, and best of luck regardless :)

14-02-2012, 18:34
Agree completely with pretty much every word that tmarichards said, the list is very flawed and does not excel at anything. Follow his advice and you will have a better list, plus give the second mage he suggested the tome instead of giving it to the 4, and bunker your mages in 2 small units of RxB not in warriors imo.