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Peachy
08-06-2006, 11:29
Just wondering what people's thoughts are on whether dark elf armies can only be successful using MSU tactics. I've recently started playing and have had reasonable success, but have been told that to be really competitive I should get rid of all my large infantry blocks and have a lot of 10-12 strong ones. I know if I asked this question on druchii.net I'd get a resounding yes, but what have other people found works?

Leonous2006
08-06-2006, 11:40
Dark Elves can be competitive, mainly in the MSU way but there are also some very decent lists that can be made by combining MSU and other tactics. Youll see what i mean if you look at the Druchii greatest lists link on Druchii.net there are definately some nasty lists there.
However the competitive edge also comes with experience and a little bit of luck.....

Commissar Vaughn
08-06-2006, 12:21
I uusually use 2 20man corsair units, and 20 witchelves, supported by 2rbts, 2 units of 10xbows, and some shades. add an assassin a commander and a pair of wizards to taste. comes to about 2000 i think. perhaps with darkriders added...

havnt used it for a while but i remember it shocked a lot of people with its highspeed, high impact infantry and its 4 characters and shades who would run rings round the enemy, pick off small units and shoot them to bits!

sigur
08-06-2006, 16:00
20 Witch elves?:eyebrows:

Me, I'm using some kind of mix of blocks and MSU. A unit of 20 spearelves is mandatory, I'm currently setting up another block of 20 for 2000+pts games. Then, there's a unit of 15-16 Corsairs a smaller (12 normally) unit of Executioners, 1-2 units of 5 CoK and maybe a chariot thrown in along with a unit of shades or harpies. Normally, my general rides a Black Pegasus.

scavenseer
09-06-2006, 08:10
Just wondering what people's thoughts are on whether dark elf armies can only be successful using MSU tactics. I've recently started playing and have had reasonable success, but have been told that to be really competitive I should get rid of all my large infantry blocks and have a lot of 10-12 strong ones. I know if I asked this question on druchii.net I'd get a resounding yes, but what have other people found works?

NO NO NO!!

large blocks are what makes DE's successfull!!! Take huge amounts of corsairs and executioners and you will sieze the day and destroy all opposition!!:eek:

2 x 30 corsairs
1 x 50 executioners

try and beat me now smelly chaos warriors!! (my bf's army!)

kyussinchains
09-06-2006, 09:46
NO NO NO!!

large blocks are what makes DE's successfull!!! Take huge amounts of corsairs and executioners and you will sieze the day and destroy all opposition!!:eek:

2 x 30 corsairs
1 x 50 executioners

try and beat me now smelly chaos warriors!! (my bf's army!)

while big units almost always get the magic +5 for ranks, standard and outnumbering, they're very vulnerable to being flank charged, being dark elves, they die horribly easily when hit in the flank, giving away more combat result. A unit of 12 chaos warriors charging 50 executioners in the flank will win the combat easily, probably breaking the unit in the process.

While dark elves excel at MSU, they work in blocks (typically no bigger than 20) too, 50 executioners is a waste of points, and a huge target. 2 units of 20 would work just as well, and you'd have points left over towards a big shiny unit of cold one knights.

The rules of the game limit the effectiveness of huge units, so basically avoid taking units of more than 25 (unless it's goblins, skeletons or skaven)

some advice given to me once was "dont build a bigger death star"

wise words indeed!

Crube
09-06-2006, 09:48
scavenseer - I'd certainly like a pop at that with my Wood Elves.... Cuold be fun :D

scavenseer
09-06-2006, 10:53
scavenseer - I'd certainly like a pop at that with my Wood Elves.... Cuold be fun :D

Bring it, Glade boY;)

Being DE, its very rare that i dont get to charge first, and with the tactic decribed in a previous post, the back ranks can often move round to the sides of my opponent leaving him in a U shaped wedge of executioners, all with killing blow, just waiting to chop some head!

kyussinchains
09-06-2006, 10:59
Bring it, Glade boY;)

Being DE, its very rare that i dont get to charge first, and with the tactic decribed in a previous post, the back ranks can often move round to the sides of my opponent leaving him in a U shaped wedge of executioners, all with killing blow, just waiting to chop some head!

what happens if you break him without needing to lap around?

also, what happens when you charge with your executioners and he flees, leaving the executioners out in no man's land, waiting for his wild riders to slam into the flank?

remember you can only lap 4 models round at a time, and first you must expand frontage (which is a permanent reform) so it takes a long while to surround him

scavenseer
09-06-2006, 11:04
My executioners start of 10 wide and 5 deep so i have los of wrap around! his wild riders would be too bust pulling the rpeater bolts that my dark riders shot into them.:(

Commissar Vaughn
09-06-2006, 15:18
20 Witch elves?:eyebrows:


i know, i know, not the best choice, but not as bad as many people think, though i dont remember them surviving many battles... i deploy them in the centre of the board and throw them forward as fast as possible. they suually disrupt the enemies battle line and distract a couple of regiments from the main threats of the corsairs, and as they come with no upgrades the enemy dont get many VP's for their efforts, and are tied up while my corsairs sort out the rest of his army. they do have an unfortunate tendancy to get chewed up by goblins and skaven slaves.....

i only have them at all becouse at the end of 5th ed GW mailorder were selling of bags of 30 random models for about a tenner! I got lots of corairs and witchelves!

kyussinchains
09-06-2006, 20:49
My executioners start of 10 wide and 5 deep so i have los of wrap around! his wild riders would be too bust pulling the rpeater bolts that my dark riders shot into them.:(

10 wide??

I guess it's up to you on this, but a 10 model unit gets outmaneuvered pretty easily, not to mention outflanked!

repeater crossbows will do very little against wild riders, they have armour and ward saves, to take down enough to count you're gonna need to kill 7 or so (assuming he has a couple of smallish units), using the tried and tested guessing method of "half the shots will hit, half will wound, and half will be saved" you're looking at in the region of 50+ shots!

You need to play the dark elves to their strengths, relying on missile fire to shoot up the threats can work to a degree, but it's not and end in and of itself. Shooting up heavy cavalry is a waste of crossbow bolts, it takes so much to accomplish.

with a frontage of 10 executioners, you have 40 executioners doing nothing, that's 440 points wasted!

To get the most milage from any army, big units of elites dont work well. If you want the rank bonus, chuck in a block of spearmen, they cost less and give you all the benefits those wasted executioners give you. The rules are weighted to the army as a unit, not a bunch of single units, if you hit the front with 20 spearmen and the flank with 12-15 executioners, you're going to do every bit as much damage, and you're also going to negate his ranks.

The rules reward armies with synergy like that, and that synergy is the lifeblood of the dark elves. Check out druchii.net for loads of advice and tactics, I reckon most of those guys would choke on their cornflakes at the thought of 50 executioners!

dead flesh penalty
10-06-2006, 09:29
I guess 50 exes could do something. Problem is that unless you score a killing blow on Archaon, you will not get those points back.
Good thing is, that they're cheap and they don't need to get those points back. 50 exes can do huge damage to enemys plan. He can't advance to give them the charge, but he actually can't outmanouvre them too easily (only an idiot would leave the flanks unprotected with that block.). DEs are quite probably also more shooty/full of fireballs. Besides the SC-resokillers, magic and other wimpy tricks are the only alternative I see to breaking that swordwall.
These wimpy stuff include Grimgor with unseer lurker and waaagh-moves :skull:

kyussinchains
10-06-2006, 10:43
I guess 50 exes could do something. Problem is that unless you score a killing blow on Archaon, you will not get those points back.
Good thing is, that they're cheap and they don't need to get those points back. 50 exes can do huge damage to enemys plan. He can't advance to give them the charge, but he actually can't outmanouvre them too easily (only an idiot would leave the flanks unprotected with that block.). DEs are quite probably also more shooty/full of fireballs. Besides the SC-resokillers, magic and other wimpy tricks are the only alternative I see to breaking that swordwall.
These wimpy stuff include Grimgor with unseer lurker and waaagh-moves :skull:

a couple of chariots with a character or two would probably kill enough executioners so as to make their attacks back pretty ineffective.

A giant would hold em up for a turn or two, he might even make them run away, either in terror, or if he yelled and bawled

bait units who force a charge from the executioners then run away are good at drawing charges out. It's also not a good idea to rely on the banner of murder for that extra charge distance (it's almost inevitable that when you're trying to charge 12" you'll roll a 1)

I'm pretty sure a unit 10 models wide is pretty easy to out maneuvre (bearing in mind all you need to do is splat the flank protectors first, then get stuck into the flanks)

I'm sure it can work, and if it gets the charge, all those killing blow attacks could be really horrible, but I think against an experienced general with a good army and good plan, it would be taken apart!

A neutral shade of black.
10-06-2006, 11:25
From conclusions drawn by the tournament people of d.net, the answer is that it depends on your environment. It's pretty clear that non-MSU dark elves don't work very well at all in the no limit environment of UK tournaments, but work decently well in the comp environment of US tournaments.

That said, it still boils down to personal preference - you're going to get mauled by Bretonnians, Skaven and practically every other army out there, since all their lists are inherently stronger than ours. This means that in all honesty, unless you like the idea of MSU or you're planning to go to the FB UK GT any time soon, you can keep playing elves as regular infantry - it's not that they don't work, it's that they don't work as well because of the cost.

kyussinchains
11-06-2006, 10:48
From conclusions drawn by the tournament people of d.net, the answer is that it depends on your environment. It's pretty clear that non-MSU dark elves don't work very well at all in the no limit environment of UK tournaments, but work decently well in the comp environment of US tournaments.

That said, it still boils down to personal preference - you're going to get mauled by Bretonnians, Skaven and practically every other army out there, since all their lists are inherently stronger than ours. This means that in all honesty, unless you like the idea of MSU or you're planning to go to the FB UK GT any time soon, you can keep playing elves as regular infantry - it's not that they don't work, it's that they don't work as well because of the cost.

I agree, I think an army should play to its strengths, chaos will never out-shoot the empire, dwarfs will never out magic the lizardmen and so on. Elves in general dont work too well as infantry horde armies, but then, skaven and goblin armies dont work well as MSU types.

You can play a lot of styles with elves and have good levels of success, but some are tougher to pull off than others.

I usually view armies with huge units as grinding type armies, the type of army that can simply outlast the other side, elves in general are too fragile for this, with none of their infantry having a better save than 5+ against shooting, and with T3 for everything, you're not suited to absorbing punishment. Couple that with the high cost of the troops, and you're really throwing a spanner in the works!

sigur
12-06-2006, 00:07
Well, for one, Corsairs have a 4+ save vs.shooting and DE warriors can have a 4+ save in close combat and I think that blocks (around 20) can hold a charge and keep the opponent's unit busy till the flankers arrive.

Apart from that, bigger infantry formations (even if they're "just "8pts a miniature) seem to magically draw fire which normally would hit smaller but more precious units.

Also, I'm not a very experienced general (DE being my first army and I've won one game so far. In 7 months.) so infantry blocks give you some kind of anchor units you can rely on. Apart from that, I just love the sight of properly ranked-up warriors, preferrably with halbeards or spears.;)

Lobotomizer
12-06-2006, 16:58
I'm not sure if I can give you any "great" advice as a newcomer to the forum, but I used to play DE and have done extensive playtesting with them. The things I've learned are pretty standard(I guess:));

- Blocks of Coarsair are GREAT. after abit of playtesting 20 seemed to be the magic number with a frontage of 5. Considering what you get for their measly pointscost, I used 2-3 blocks of 20 in each game, but I DO believe that these could work in a more MSU-style since they got great save vs shooting and very nice punch to boot.

- Dark Riders are a MUST blocking marchmoves (giving you the oppourtunity to utilize your 1" higher move, and destroying warmachines and hunting wizards. If you're going MSU, I'd reccomend 2 units of 5. I used these without any upgrades, keeping them cheap to afford more units.

- Shades. Also a must have if you're going msu. fairly expensive but good overall.

- RBT's Good to whittle down units and singling out pesky targets, 1 or 2 mostly depends on your own taste and playstyle.

- Magic DE has a great and very destructive lore, I personally don't like spending tons of money on wizards, but If you like an elusive army, zapping across the field on your pegasus and killing, You should try them out:)



Well that's my 2 cents:)

A neutral shade of black.
12-06-2006, 18:33
- Blocks of Coarsair are GREAT. after abit of playtesting 20 seemed to be the magic number with a frontage of 5. Considering what you get for their measly pointscost, I used 2-3 blocks of 20 in each game, but I DO believe that these could work in a more MSU-style since they got great save vs shooting and very nice punch to boot.

Blocks of elven infantry are never great, especially if you want them to do damage instead of just keeping the enemy busy for a turn. That said, corsairs are pretty decent.

As far as traditional MSU is concerned, however, warriors are much better - because they're cheaper. You don't really care about combat prowess or your save against shooting; you want the cheapest possible bait unit. MSU corsairs are a slightly weirder style of MSU - one where they take on the role of both bait and flanker. It's dangerous, but interesting - the advantage and drawbacks of polyvalence.

kyussinchains
12-06-2006, 18:51
Well, for one, Corsairs have a 4+ save vs.shooting and DE warriors can have a 4+ save in close combat

true, I dont normally use corsairs myself, I have 20 of the old style ones (hideous models!) and I didnt buy any more because of the cost.

I think the idea behind MSU works for most armies, the reason we have our 'core' troops is because they are generally cheap and numerous, they provide the bulk of the army (literally) the special units are more costly, so bigger units of them are less cost-effective, ie. you pay more points per rank

I tend to combine blocks of spearmen (20+) with smaller hard hitting units like executioners and witch elves, it's got the idea behind MSU, but the army isnt exclusively made up of tiny units.

I do the same with my chaos too, I use big blocks of marauders with smaller units of knights and warriors.

sigur
15-06-2006, 10:06
Well, the miniatures are definitly worth getting; they're pretty cool. I think that the whole Corsairs vs.Spearelfs discussion is a bit strange and unnecessary because those units have quite different battlefield roles in my opinion. Basically, Corsairs are for attacking and warriors for defnding. Corsairs are made for dealing damage while Warriors are used to stop big nasties and make flank charges possible.

Corsairs also get used as flanking units of 10-12 sometimes. It doesn't always have to be Executioners.;)

Have you ever tried setting up units of 20 spearelfs with a frontage of 4 rather than 5? In some cases, it's quite an advantage.

A neutral shade of black.
16-06-2006, 16:30
I tend to combine blocks of spearmen (20+) with smaller hard hitting units like executioners and witch elves, it's got the idea behind MSU, but the army isnt exclusively made up of tiny units.

It's called MSE, and the idea was developped roughly a month after the start of the MSU fad. Just FYI. ;)

kyussinchains
17-06-2006, 15:20
It's called MSE, and the idea was developped roughly a month after the start of the MSU fad. Just FYI. ;)

thing is, the most successful armies usually incorporate elements of MSE, I mean maneuvre and flank charging is the game winner, smaller units of more expensive troops follows logic and fluff in my mind. I've been playing that way for years and years, I dont think the tactic was 'developed' so much as given a name.

A neutral shade of black.
17-06-2006, 15:50
I dont think the tactic was 'developed' so much as given a name.

Aye, same as MSU.