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View Full Version : High elves vs Dark elves tactics (8th ed)



EvanM
13-10-2014, 04:32
I couldnt find much online on what to use/do vs dark elves with high elves in 8th ed.

So heres the question, what can one do to ensure victory vs dark elves? What units work well? what dont?

from my game today I can say that what really struck me was how much damage he did to my units. Mind you he didnt have witch elves, it was just 20 corsairs, 2 units of 20 darkshards, 20 executioners, 2 bolt throwers, some fast cav units and a cold one unit with malus in it.

I have a pretty varied high elf force but its mostly MMU. I ended up with something like 10 units and 3 characters, mostly infantry. I ended up losing because I misplayed a few things.


So what works vs darkelves? An unkillable horde unit with allarielle? Do i really need to take some big unit with amazing ward saves to actually survive against dark elves?

I was very impressed with phoenix guard vs them, but white lions got wrecked by malus and his knights, and the swordmasters got wrecked too(by the corsairs), so did my spearmen (by the knights).

so if i had one big unit (maybe lothern sea guard horde) with BOTWD and some other spam ward saves thing, would that be ideal?

What units should i take?

Laniston
13-10-2014, 06:23
20 or more sisters of avelorn. Hitting well and wounding on 3 with -2 armour means most dark elves have no defense against them. Pair with the handmaiden for no movement penalty for shooting and always able to stand and shoot. Pair with an annointed using folding fortress. Any way that you can cause damage outside of close combat is good. Impact hits are also useful. Lion chariots, skycutters, tiranocs give good options. Possibly the skycutter can shine thanks to the mobility. High magic! Ward saves are handy, but you can boost BS on maidens, soul quench will hurt a lot, fiery convocation murders them, vauls to kill magic items. Heck even tempest is good against t3. Walk between worlds can save you and keep things unpredictable for the enemy.

Frosthearts are good but the flamespyre can be helpful too. phoenix guard are probably the best bet for close combat just because of the ward save and str 4 is just fine against elves. Swordmasters and white lions can work but they have to pick battles really carefully. Eagles are always good for redirectors. They make a good mount for a noble sporting a ring of fury to hunt chaff. Give him a 5 or 4 up ward save and the ring makes it one better if cast. A few ideas anyways.

N00B
13-10-2014, 12:05
General points about DE, not just your opponent:

For magic I would be tempted by lvl 4 book of Hoeth with heavens and Ring of Fury AND Ring of Fireballs.

Reasons for heavens (and you usually need a few!):

Iceshard blizzard - this is very nice vs darkshards using the multiple shot rules. If you cast it on them the turn before you charge you get the benefits for your stand and shoot reaction as well. The Ld effect is less useful as they will still pass most Ld tests and you dont want to be in close combat with them

Curse of the Midnight wind - this spell is what lets you use monsters if there are witch elves on the table (or warlocks). Re-rolling poison attacks saves a huge amount of damage. Stacks very nicely with Iceshard blizzard (not something to plan for but it does mean that your opponent must dispel one of them. More generally it may seem a little overpriced power-wise for what it does but it is a long way from useless. Try not to take great weapons as their re-rolls from ASF will not get to be re-rolled (and also going second is a BIG deal in this match up.

Harmonic convergence - you have access to things like S3 knights on the charge, chariot impact hits, nobles with magic weapons etc. which will usually only fail to wound on a 1. The low toughness of elves makes this a good spell. Silver helms/dragon princes with good armour get a lot out of this already.

Chain Lightning - normally this isnt a great spell as it just cant kill enough of most units to help you get points. Dark elves often run multiple small units where suddenly this spell becomes a lot stronger. In this case not only are your opponents units likely to be smaller but also you are probably running a lot more shooting to finish off the units whittled down. The high strength is also a big help vs cold ones.

Comet of cassandora - like chain lightning in terms of better vs more small units. Also - if the Dark Elves go for a shooty list this will be a big help to you. Dark shards moving hurts a lot as with multiple shots they hit on 5s or 6s at long range. It isnt maybe as good as it is against a dwarf castle but it can clear a space near boltthrowers for your eagles to land. If you do have big combat blocks, sat Phoenix guard or something with banner of the world dragon done be afraid to try and catch the units they are in combat with with a comet. If you roll high for the radius and catch your own unit you will still be doing a lot less damage than to what you are fighting.

Uranon's thunderbolt isnt something you would pick the lore for but for a modest price spell it adds a lot of versatility in a list with a lot of spells that your opponent will want to counter. An extra couple of wounds on a cold one unit isnt to be sniffed at nor is a dead chariot. Any character on a pegasus should also be considered fair game for this spell especially as the lore attribute will potentially add to the pain.

Heavens spells also tend to be long range so you can keep your mage a little safer than with other lores.

EvanM
15-10-2014, 23:46
What other lores should I be using? I've always liked heavens magic. I think it works perfectly with high elves in many ways.

WhispersofBlood
17-10-2014, 23:17
General points about DE, not just your opponent:

For magic I would be tempted by lvl 4 book of Hoeth with heavens and Ring of Fury AND Ring of Fireballs.

Reasons for heavens (and you usually need a few!):

Iceshard blizzard - this is very nice vs darkshards using the multiple shot rules. If you cast it on them the turn before you charge you get the benefits for your stand and shoot reaction as well. The Ld effect is less useful as they will still pass most Ld tests and you dont want to be in close combat with them

Curse of the Midnight wind - this spell is what lets you use monsters if there are witch elves on the table (or warlocks). Re-rolling poison attacks saves a huge amount of damage. Stacks very nicely with Iceshard blizzard (not something to plan for but it does mean that your opponent must dispel one of them. More generally it may seem a little overpriced power-wise for what it does but it is a long way from useless. Try not to take great weapons as their re-rolls from ASF will not get to be re-rolled (and also going second is a BIG deal in this match up.

Harmonic convergence - you have access to things like S3 knights on the charge, chariot impact hits, nobles with magic weapons etc. which will usually only fail to wound on a 1. The low toughness of elves makes this a good spell. Silver helms/dragon princes with good armour get a lot out of this already.

Chain Lightning - normally this isnt a great spell as it just cant kill enough of most units to help you get points. Dark elves often run multiple small units where suddenly this spell becomes a lot stronger. In this case not only are your opponents units likely to be smaller but also you are probably running a lot more shooting to finish off the units whittled down. The high strength is also a big help vs cold ones.

Comet of cassandora - like chain lightning in terms of better vs more small units. Also - if the Dark Elves go for a shooty list this will be a big help to you. Dark shards moving hurts a lot as with multiple shots they hit on 5s or 6s at long range. It isnt maybe as good as it is against a dwarf castle but it can clear a space near boltthrowers for your eagles to land. If you do have big combat blocks, sat Phoenix guard or something with banner of the world dragon done be afraid to try and catch the units they are in combat with with a comet. If you roll high for the radius and catch your own unit you will still be doing a lot less damage than to what you are fighting.

Uranon's thunderbolt isnt something you would pick the lore for but for a modest price spell it adds a lot of versatility in a list with a lot of spells that your opponent will want to counter. An extra couple of wounds on a cold one unit isnt to be sniffed at nor is a dead chariot. Any character on a pegasus should also be considered fair game for this spell especially as the lore attribute will potentially add to the pain.

Heavens spells also tend to be long range so you can keep your mage a little safer than with other lores.

Not only is that combination 105 points, but it includes 2 enchanted items.

Next High magic is actually better against DE than heavens. Being able to strip the key magic items from DE characters (Giant Blade, Cloak of Twilight, Ring of Hotek/MR items), but soul quench is good enough, and Hand of Glory to strike before Exec and hit DE's on 3's is huge. Arcane unforging works extemely well on DE characters because they can gain mundane 2+ armour, giving you a solid change to snipe heroes or make their lords vulnerable to rank and file attacks, by destroying wards or plinking off some wounds.

copesh
17-10-2014, 23:37
The dark elves have the same weakness that the High elves have - low toughness and generally low armour.

So they die to the same thing we do - volume of fire.

So, archers, BTs and Sisters in massed volleys will melt them away. The volley shot of the BT is made to kill DEs in droves.

Dark Elf
17-10-2014, 23:53
I'm a DE player and I've always wondered why don't HE take out phoenix guard against us. Give them a wizard and every time that wizard casts a spell you get +1 to your ward save, ie you'll almost always have 3++ with pg which is very hard to kill no matter what. Longbows too, those extra 6" count. Also you have heavy cav as your core. Use it well. I think I spoke enough.

copesh
18-10-2014, 00:18
PG are pretty good

but very expensive

I much prefer a horde of archers with an Annointed and a lvl 2 of High with the Ring of Fury - the unit can shoot, always has a 6++ and can get to 3++ if all the spells go off.

Dark Elf
18-10-2014, 09:42
Indeed they are, but they'll bring in more than you paid for them. Trust me, I saw them in action against dwarves, ogres and finnaly myself. They did wonders and make ogre lead belcher list cry.

N00B
18-10-2014, 15:47
The trouble is DE get hatred HE which means that tactics that avoid close combat are to be preferred. I would go silverhelms as core quite happily but would, in this match up prefer dragon princes. The low strength in bogged down combat isn't such a problem vs T3 and low armour infantry. This is especially true if you are packing enough shooting to thin out the executioners.

jorgepo
20-10-2014, 21:45
You need to deal with the DE bolt throwers. They can take 4 and they will shred Sisters or Silver Helms.

And as was said above, DE have the edge in CC due to Hatred and Murderous Prowess on pretty much every unit.

N00B
21-10-2014, 00:11
True. But make them bunker up to protect them then drop comet of cassandora on them.

WhispersofBlood
21-10-2014, 01:03
True. But make them bunker up to protect them then drop comet of cassandora on them.

HE's pretty much have to castle in the HEvsDE match. They either have superior shooting, or a fast cav combat block, and good shooting. Whom ever wins the battle of bolt throwers puts themselves into a good position to win.

copesh
21-10-2014, 18:18
HE shooting has the advantage. Longer range and the extra rank of shooting means 30 archers can delete a BT or mulch the xbows and keep stepping back to make sure you stay out of range of the xbows.
Plus the volley fire from the BTs is made to murder T3 light armour troops which is what the DE have.
And you can use the single shot on those pesky but stylish Cold One Knights - man, I wish Dragon Princes were half as cool.

Imperator64
21-10-2014, 18:41
I've played against de a few times and I did much better witj my shooty army than with my cc army. Witch elves die in droves to shooting and warlocks arent that tough either just like tge rest of the army. We takw a significant debuff against them by losing our rerolls but they still get theirs bevause of hatred so anything to fight at a distance is golden. Also magic resistance or the botwd is very valuable. You can loose almost all of a unit of wl or sm against one casting of doombolt. High magi c is great as is any otherlore that has magic missiles; I won even with my cc army by placing my archmage with my sm and enjoying the boost to their bs ward.

N00B
21-10-2014, 23:45
I think that SM or WL are very bad vs DE. Striking at initiative vs ASF when you have so little defence and they have such good attack seems really tough.

copesh
21-10-2014, 23:57
I think that SM or WL are very bad vs DE. Striking at initiative vs ASF when you have so little defence and they have such good attack seems really tough.


Yes. HE can't stand toe to toe with DE. Those vicious jerks just tear us apart. So we need to take the more noble road and shoot them down before they get to us ;)

EvanM
22-10-2014, 00:40
I find that the matchup kind of sucks for us. They out combat us because of their hatred which basically gives them rerolls and we get none. In shooting they have their darkshards that REALLY DESTROY STUFF OMG. Seriously, compared to our archers I am just scared for my life! I think magic sees a tie , and we win movement. But shooting and combat are really important superiorities that they have.

N00B
22-10-2014, 16:18
I wouldn't say HE win movement. Dark Riders and Warlocks are so good that most DE armies will take them in significant quantities. DE can mount characters on pegasus as easily as HE on eagles... In addition shades are better than shadow warriors so they are more likely to see play to shut down your own vanguard moves etc..

It is a tough matchup as DE are basically designed as a direct counter to HE: Specific armywide rule that targets this one army by itself + a plethora of units that excel at killing T3 lightly armoured infantry. Take darkshards for example - they could have made them S4 and cost a few more points but S3 is enough for elves and the armour piercing makes them as good vs silverhelms. They keep the design most efficient for killing other elves.

Murderous prowess is also at its best against low T armies. Against an Orc, Dwarf, Ogre, WoC etc. at T4 a re-rolled one on an S3 attack gets you an extra 0.33 of a wound. VS anything elfy it gets you 0.5 of an extra wound.

I usually feel bad about taking strong lists but against DE there is no depths of cheese to which I would not stoop. Moreover it is needed to do this to have an approximately even chance. I dont blame DE players for this - pretty much any list that would be soft vs any other army is still pretty damn hard vs HE.

I wonder if a full on avoidance list could work - reavers for core then flamespyre phoenix, eagle nobles, and a unit for dragon princes (a mediocre choice but not bad vs DE - S3 standard isn't terrible vs T3 and two attacks S5 on the charge will cut through most things. Of course cold ones are still better - but thats just how the match up goes (seeing a trend?). With this list you would aim to use eagle nobles to clear chaff/take down bolt-throwers/flank charge ranged units (lion cloak will be an important part of the kit here). Reavers would pick off a few model here and there but generally try and restrict movement (to keep your charge lanes free for things that can fight their fast cav). Finally the phoenixes are another tough pseudo ranged unit that can see combat (and gets to pick its combats). Wizard might take beasts - a lot of -1 to spell costs and a lot of usefull buffs for this army (by picking when and where combats are you should be able to get a winning buff of in the magic phase). Wyssans will turn around combats (5 reavers flank charging a unit of 20 darkshards (2x10) has a not insignificant chance of breaking them and good chance of preventing a reform). Savage beast turns an eagle lord into a bit of a blender and amber spear can keep some tough stuff in cover (if your wizard is eagle mounted it is not impossible to get a flank shot with a pseudo-cannon ball down the length of a unit of cold one knights on T1 (ideally remaining in cover still!). Even the usually rubbish flock of doom picks up some utility when the T3 targets are all so many points per model and have low armour (not to mention 1 diceing is less of an issue with book of Hoeth).

EvanM
22-10-2014, 16:38
Yeah how I feel is that dark elves are really fricken good at beating high elves. I'm thinking a unit of lothern sea guard, 50 strong with archmage (high) and annointed, and a bsb with BOTWD would work as its a lot of bodies for them to chew through that have a good ward save all day long and can shoot their infantry to death and everything else has t3 light armor so the s3 attacks are enough to kill them in droves.

The rest of the army needs to go after their wizards and monsters.

Lord Dan
22-10-2014, 16:50
Dark Elves win.

With that sorted out, I'm going to go get a drink.

daftpunkevo
22-10-2014, 17:12
To OP :
I play dark elves and mostly against High elves/Empire/VC/WoC (because warhammer fantasy is only composed of 6 army where I play...)

The first priority is to kill the 30 to 60 shades Xbow+GW. They are design to decimate everything you can ever have in HE while being absolutely cheap.

If he goes avoidance list, go MSU, you CAN'T win vs avoidance with big block.
if he doesn't play avoidance (first of all you are lucky), its 50/50 and the game is just about making good charges.
As someone says, heavens is a freaking good lore vs DE, but fire is also good.

So basicaly MSU + phoenix guard + heavens.
And also don't charge your frost phoenix into anything with GW (like shade) since they already have ASL and you can't multiply the rules it's a very effective way to deal with your phoenix for him.

N00B
22-10-2014, 17:32
Shades are not a bad target for a frost phoenix charge - they can be stomped, they break due to lack of steadfast and they still only wound on a six. With a 5+ wardsave and a 6+ armoursave you have a decent chance of surviving. Bonus marks if you have curse of the midnight wind to either make it practically immune to the shades or to draw dispel dice to let you cast another spell.