View Full Version : New to Warhammer, Building 2000 pt dark elf army any suggestions?

28-01-2014, 20:43
Hello everyone,

I am new to warhammer fantasy but think that the dark elves are extremely cool. I have started to buy some units but I'm not sure if I'm on the right track. Any chance y'all could help me with some suggestions on what to get to finish out a good 2000 point army? I want to beat my brothers (who play as lizardmen and skaven) but also would like to compete in tournaments eventually. Here is what I have so far:

20 spearmen (with banner and musician)
10 repeater crossbowmen (with banner and musician)
1 Kharibdyss
5 cold one knights
2 sorceresses

Help is much appreciated and I am willing to add or drop things I have currently.


28-01-2014, 21:35
Welcome to Warhammer,

Dark Elves are awesome, and the new book is very powerful and versatile. DE were my first army and I've been playing them for about 14 years now and I still love the way they play as they excel in every facet of the game so it never gets boring.

To start:

You will want a lvl 4 sorceress most likely. Dark Magic is very powerful and is game changing although there are other magic lore's that work very well with the army such as Death, Shadow, Beasts or Life. I'd say just give her a dispel scroll and a 4+ ward save. You'll have to decide which lore works best with your army after you've decided on which units to purchase. For example, if you find that you use a lot of units like Corsairs or Black Guard that have many attacks but aren't strong, you should consider lore of shadow to get the spell occams mind razor. Dark Magic however; is very versatile and you could use it until you find that you need something in your army that you could find in another magic lore.

Spearmen are probably the "worst" core choice in the army. Not that they are bad, but they don't have the survivability of Corsairs or Bleak Swords, nor the offensive punch of Corsairs or Witch Elves. Basically the two core infantry units that people choose are either Corsairs or Witch Elves. One is more survivable, the other is a close combat blender. Generally speaking you'll want to put a champion in large blocks of infantry.

Dark Shards are good, but I wouldn't expect miracles from them either. They are great at taking out light infantry units like other elves and fast cavalry.

Kharibdyss are cool. They pack a solid punch and are great at taking out other monsters and Heavy Cavalry. They are fairly easily killed however, so I would suggest taking 2 for target saturation, or you could take the monster mash list with 3 hydra's and 2 Kharibdyss. Their biggest benefit is that enemies have to re-roll fear checks when in base contact with them, then march them next to a horde of witch elves with a Death Hag in the unit. Give the Death Hag the Cry of War ability, that means they have to re-roll fear checks on -3 leadership. Then you combine that with the Shroud of Despair spell from the Dark Lore which prevents the enemy from using their general's leadership or the Battle Standard Bearer and gives all enemy units within 12" a -1 leadership rebuff that is cumulative with it's self every time they fail a leadership test. Dirty!

Cold One Knights are my all time favourite Dark Elf unit. They aren't as good as they were last edition, but I still love them. I always take 12 in a unit with full command, this edition I'm running them with Malus Darkblade and a Master Battle Standard Bearer. You should either run them as a giant Death Star unit or just keep them cheap and run 6 with a musician and maybe a standard for flanking manoeuvres and monster hunting. Maybe put the flaming banner in the unit.

Shadowblade is super cool, and super expensive. In general I'd advise against taking any assassins outside of friendly and fluffy games. They aren't very good and they are a lot of points for a very vulnerable character who will probably not have a very significant impact on the game.

My suggestion at 2000 pts is to take a level 4 sorceress and a Battle Standard bearer as your hero's, you don't really need anything more than that unless they have a specific purpose. Fill up your core with a large block of infantry (at least 30) and get at least 2 units of Dark Riders (seriously never leave home without 2 units of Dark Riders). Then select one unit from special and make that your main Hammer unit. This unit could be Cold One Knights, Executioners, or Black Guard. Just take that unit and have everything else in your army support it. You need to make that unit your linch pin in the army.

Another suggestion would be to take Bolt Throwers as they are very good support units now, take at least 3.

Cold One Chariots are very good.

Warlocks are also extremely good, many people take 2 units of 5. They are point for point one of the most effective units in the game never mind the army.

Here's an example of an army I just came up with just using some of the units that you have:

Dark Elves 2000pts:


Supreme Sorceress: 290 pts
(Goes in the Dreadspear unit)
Options: Level 4, General, Lore of Darkness
Magic Items: Dispel Scroll (could be swapped out for tomb of furion to pick the Shroud of Despair spell), Talisman of Preservation


Master: 177pts
(Goes in the Cold One Knight unit)
Options: Battle Standard Bearer, Shield, Lance, Sea Dragon Cloak
Mount: Cold One
Magic Items: Glittering Scales, Dawnstone


28 Dreadspears: 297 pts
Options: Full Command
Magic Standard: Standard of Discipline

5 Dark Riders: 110 pts
Options: Musician, Crossbows, Shields

5 Dark Riders: 110 pts
Options: Musician, Crossbows, Shields


11 Cold One Knights: 360 pts
Options: Full Command

Reaper Bolt Thrower: 70 pts

Reaper Bolt Thrower: 70 pts

Reaper Bolt Thrower: 70 pts


5 Doomfire Warlocks: 125 pts
Options: N/A

Kharibdyss: 160 pts

Kharibdyss: 160 pts

Total: 1999 pts

Also, Is your username from the Fresh Prince of Bel Air?

28-01-2014, 22:17
Thank you for your help. And yes my username is from the Fresh Prince.

I keep reading that harpies and cauldron of blood are important. Is there a reason why you left them off?

Would it be beneficial to drop the spearmen in favor of corsairs or witch elves? I don't want to be gimping myself if I can help it.

29-01-2014, 20:30
Harpies are ok, I've honestly never used them because I can take Dark Riders in my core that do everything Harpies do but better, the only thing harpies really do better is that they can fly.

The Cauldron of Blood. I love this model to death, I used to use one every game of the 7th edition book. I honestly don't know how to feel about it now, not that it's a bad choice. It can be very potent, but it's prohibitively expensive points wise. You are looking at 300+ points to take a buff shrine that marginally increases the power of units. Putting the cauldron in witch elves is cool, it's great to get a 5+ Ward save/uber frenzy/re-rolls to wound. It's super easy to kill though, I haven't used it yet in 8th so I'm really up in the air. I've seen someone else using one and it seems like it's working fairly well, but for those 300+ points you spend buying a Cauldron you can buy a 30 man unit of executioners (I'll let that sink in). I would use one in a friendly game environment, but you could try it out yourself and see how well it goes.

I would say dropping spearmen for Corsairs or Witch Elves is a good Idea. Which ever one you want to use is your own personal preference, at this point it's just a matter of taste or what you really need in your army.

29-01-2014, 23:47
Thanks, you have been fantastic with your thorough suggestions and explanations. I have quite a bit to work with, and save up for.

One more question. If I were to take is list up to 2500 points to try and compete, would it need a drastic overhaul? Or would the addition of some more units be able to fit reasonably well with this build?

30-01-2014, 00:48
Going into 2500 points is fairly easy, and definitely won't require an overhaul of the army list.

To start off, you need another 125 points of core. I would just throw in another unit of 5 Dark riders, but you could also add Darkshards or another rank of infantry in your main core block.

That leaves 375 points left, so pretty much just add another hammer unit to your army. 30 Executioners with full command is 390 so that is a good start, possibly a unit of black guard could work too.

That leaves a few extra points to fill out some missing parts in the army.

Hope that helps, good luck with Dark Elves.