View Full Version : Looking for Dark elves 500/1000/1500 point army!

06-04-2015, 17:26
Hey everyone!

I'm very new to warhammer and interested in starting a dark elf army but I honestly hardly even know where to start!

I know I want my core units to primarily focus on witch elves but besides that I'm not sure about what's good with them. (I'm only just learning the rules to the game as well). I'm mostly interested so I can invest money in the units I want now and build up to a larger army asI go without spending money on troops that I won't play with.

It'd be great if anyone could help me set up armies for 500, 1000, and 1500 pts as that's probably what I'll start with as a new player.

Hopefully this is in the right spot as I know most people post their premade armies on here.

Thanks guys!

06-04-2015, 18:32
Welcome to the hobby.

I'll preface this by saying that I think you should wait a couple of months to purchase anything because Warhammer 9th edition will be dropping soon. The rumour is that it could be very different than the current incarnation of the game so I wouldn't want you to spend lots of money on an army only to have it rendered useless in a couple of months. I personally don't think that anything you buy will be unplayable but we are definitely entering a large transitionary period in the game right now, and rules do change how your army will operate.

Witch elves are a very good unit. Despite their low strength, they put out a huge number of attacks and have poisoned weapons which means any to-hit roll of 6 will automatically wound your opponent. This basically bypasses your weakness of having a low strength value. They also Always strike first which allows them to re-roll failed to-hit rolls against any opponent who are the same initiative as you and lower (which is basically everyone). On top of this, they also have murderous prowess which allows you to re-roll failed to-wound rolls of 1 which helps you wound your opponents more frequently and also mitigates their inherent low strength problem.

They do have a few weaknesses though. They have low toughness and wear no armour (or much of anything for that matter). This means that anything left standing after the witches have attacked will kill a lot of your witches in return. They are also highly vulnerable to enemy shooting and magic, and because they are so good at killing things in combat, the enemy will probably focus fire on your witch elves to reduce their number to a manageable size. They are also frenzied. The bonus of frenzy is that they get an additional attack and are immune to psychology like fear, terror and panic. The down side is that they need to make a leadership test every turn or be forced to charge an enemy within range and also have to run down a fleeing enemy if they win combat. This can be a serious problem because good opponents will take advantage of your frenzy and can put them in a very vulnerable position.

Witch elves epitomize the way of Dark Elf warfare. They are the ultimate glass cannon, they need to move quickly and kill quickly or they can get stuck into a protracted combat where the enemy can bring superior numbers and grind down your lightly armoured unit. Because of this there are basically 2 ways of running witches, either a smallish suicide squad or a large death star.

The suicide squad pretty much does what you think. Take a unit of 12 to 21 witches, either 6 or 7 wide. Don't give them any upgrades except maybe a musician or standard if you need them and run forward. Think of them like a missile, just point them in the direction of an enemy unit and kill it or be killed. The key is to keep them cheap and point them at something expensive and just keep running them at the opponent until everything is dead.

The Death Star involves putting around 35 witches in with a Cauldron of Blood. The cauldron gives them a 5+ ward save, impact hits, causes terror and gives them magical resistance. They also get to re-roll all failed to-wound rolls (not just 1's) and can get bonus frenzy attacks with the Cauldrons bound spell. Put the Razor Standard on the unit as well so that they can get armour piercing which helps them punch through armour. This unit is really hard to kill and very strong, although because of frenzy it can be re-directed away from your enemies line so that he can try to avoid it for most of the game. It is very important that this unit is put probably in the middle of the table and goes for the throat so that it can do maximum damage. There's not much that this unit won't take down, just be carful of 1+ armour saves. This unit can put out 50-60 attacks every turn!

It's really hard to make an army that revolves around witch elves at 500-1000 pts. When you get to the 1500 point mark, then you can start to make an effective witch elf themed list. At 500 to 1000 points, most of your army will be cavalry. Lots of Dark Riders, Cold One Knights and especially Warlocks will be a very powerful army. For hero's, you just really want to take Masters on Dark Pegasii.

Basically everything in the Dark Elf army is good (except for the Black Arc Fleetmaster and Spearmen). Know that the army excels in every aspect of warfare except for protracted combat. They are good at magic, shooting and killing in combat. Concentrate on 2 of these when deciding on an army and make everything in the army geared towards making that concept work. Keep everything fast and maneuverable, and use target saturation. Because everything in the army is low toughness and low armour, ram as many fast, high priority targets down his throat as you can. Keep him on his back foot and overwhelm him with your speed.

07-04-2015, 02:21
Wow thanks for the long reply! You've really helped me out.

I do know that things are changing soon but I'm honestly most excited about painting stuff and playing is more secondhand for me so my husband and I decided to buy stuff anyway. If it does change to where we can't use them, I guess we'll just have to paint more :P More fun for us, haha.

I did find a lot of lists where people were using dark riders and such with the lower point lists so I guess that's why since it's hard to use witch elves. I did already plan on getting some Dark Riders and Warlocks so that works well but I'll have to add on a master/dark pegasii on my list since I didn't plan on that one!

07-04-2015, 12:08
Echoing a lot of what KnifeParty has said--especially that word of caution w/r to 9th Edition.

There are important tools that you need to seriously consider when building death-star units like Witch Elves with a Cauldron of Blood. One of your principle concerns is "chaff", or garbage units that the enemy will throw in your way to misdirect and outflank/ignore your heavy hitters. KnifeParty touched on this when he discussed the Witch Elf death star. There are a number of ways to help win the chaff war.

First and most importantly, you will need a Battle Standard Bearer. It's something so critical that it usually goes without saying. Your frenzied Witch Elves will be much more reliable with a re-roll on their frenzy.

Second, you will need something to clear the chaff. Most likely that something will be Reaper Bolt Throwers. They have impressive range, are cheap, and can be taken in duplicate. Basically, you will zoom in on those garbage units and focus fire them into oblivion. The Reaper Bolt Throwers can also be used to shave off enemy ranks. Another option would be a reasonably large unit of Crossbowmen or Dark Riders (which can also redirect).

Third, you may want some unit to act as an "anvil" that will lock an enemy unit in place long enough for your Witch Elves to move into position and then smash a critical enemy block. Blackguard are well suited for this because they are Unbreakable. Blackguard can also be made into a formidable shock unit with the help of some magic (Wyssans Wild Form and Power of Darkness come to mind).

With respect to cracking armor, you will probably want either a unit of Temple Executioners or Cold One Knights. The Temple Executioners will eat heavy armor alive (STR 6, Killing Blow, AND Murderous Prowess). Cold One Knights are more of a utility choice because they're much faster and more heavily armored. Reaper Bolt Throwers are also good at picking apart heavy infantry and cavalry.

With respect to magic, you are wise to include Doomfire Warlocks--they're insanely good at what they do. Personally, I think they're kind of a tacky choice. You'll want a Level 4 Supreme Sorceress, ideally with a Dispel Scroll (one you hit 1500).Life is good. Personally, I like Dark Magic.