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View Full Version : Been a while... Dark elf queries!



HRM
05-02-2011, 14:42
Hey all.

I've decided I might give Warhammer Fantasy a shot again. Now, I say again, because I HAVE played WFB back in the day, but it was, like, 11-12 years ago. I was a 5th Edition guy. And I gather... A lot has changed?

Back in my day (leans on cane) I used to run a pure Witch Elf army, barring the general; I can't remember exactly but I don't think I was able to run a Hag Queen as my general? Can't recall exactly, doesn't matter. In any case, I had lots of fun running around getting smacked - 100% Witch Elves wasn't very competitive, I either won huge or lost huge; but it was a BLAST.

Then 6th Edition rolled around. Lots of new models, I was pretty stoked... Only, it turned out, the Druchii weren't very good in 6th... Or as it turned out, not very fun mighta been a better way to put it. This sorta discouraged me, and I got away from the hobby for a bit. Real life happens - wife, daughter, my band made a decent run in the local scene before things fell off the rails. 7th Edition came and went, and I peeked into the GW stuff again - only this time, I was told, Dark Elves were TOO powerful, "point and click" was the term that was used. Well, shoot, I thought. That'd be no fun either. Better hold on to my pennies.

So! 12 years later, 8th Edition of Warhammer is here, and so am I. So how about Dark Elves? I really want to hear that they're right in the middle - and FUN again.

1) Are they still an army of fragile, lightly armored "special ops"? This was a major part of the appeal to me.

2) I can't really run an all-Witch Elf force anymore, can I? It's not legal, or something...?

3) I've heard rumblings of massive games and unit sizes now, like 35+ models in a unit. WTF, 35 Elves in one regiment? That's nuts.

4) How complete is the model range? Looks pretty thorough, from a quick perusal of GWs home page.

That's all right now, off that top of my head. Thanks in advance...

Ultimate Life Form
05-02-2011, 14:49
DE definitely are an army of fragile spec ops with armor save issues. The model range is fairly complete, save for the chariot that's missing for some reason. What you heard about 8th is true; big blocks are the way to go and if you have less ranks than your opponent you have a serious problem. I'm not sure about army composition, but some of the über-powerful items have been toned down by the 8th errata, so the power level is now a bit amended. The main problem is that some choices are horribly underpriced (hello Mr. Hydra), and Magic is insane, but if you avoid the main offenders the army is actually fairly enjoyable.

Edit: I just saw that when you use a Character called Crone Hellebron, apparently you can run an all-witch army.

HRM
05-02-2011, 14:54
Edit: I just saw that when you use a Character called Crone Hellebron, apparently you can run an all-witch army.

I remember her from my days - no model so I never used her. Plus, using special characters or allies would have got you blacklisted extremely fast.

Ultimate Life Form
05-02-2011, 14:58
Plus, using special characters or allies would have got you blacklisted extremely fast.

Apparently things have changed since then. When I browse WarSeer (where this kind of discussion comes up frequently), it appears that many people believe that Special Characters are a (or the) integral part of the game, should always completely screw army building options (like old Hellebron does) and that a High Elf army without Teclis just isn't complete. I don't see much of a problem here. Though personally I'm not a fan of SC, I'd allow it for building themed lists (as opposed to WAAC powergaming lists).

HRM
05-02-2011, 15:05
Apparently things have changed since then. When I browse WarSeer (where this kind of discussion comes up frequently), it appears that many people believe that Special Characters are a (or the) integral part of the game, should always completely screw army building options (like old Hellebron does) and that a High Elf army without Teclis just isn't complete. I don't see much of a problem here. Though personally I'm not a fan of SC, I'd allow it for building themed lists (as opposed to WAAC powergaming lists).

Aw man. That sucks. Does this mean that Egrimm Van Hortsmann and his two-headed pet are gonna show up every time there's a minor skirmish? Crap.

Ultimate Life Form
05-02-2011, 15:07
Those guys are currently not in the list, but you pretty much get the picture.

chivalrous
05-02-2011, 15:11
Hey all.

I've decided I might give Warhammer Fantasy a shot again. Now, I say again, because I HAVE played WFB back in the day, but it was, like, 11-12 years ago. I was a 5th Edition guy. And I gather... A lot has changed?

Back in my day (leans on cane) I used to run a pure Witch Elf army, barring the general; I can't remember exactly but I don't think I was able to run a Hag Queen as my general? Can't recall exactly, doesn't matter. In any case, I had lots of fun running around getting smacked - 100% Witch Elves wasn't very competitive, I either won huge or lost huge; but it was a BLAST.

Then 6th Edition rolled around. Lots of new models, I was pretty stoked... Only, it turned out, the Druchii weren't very good in 6th... Or as it turned out, not very fun mighta been a better way to put it. This sorta discouraged me, and I got away from the hobby for a bit. Real life happens - wife, daughter, my band made a decent run in the local scene before things fell off the rails. 7th Edition came and went, and I peeked into the GW stuff again - only this time, I was told, Dark Elves were TOO powerful, "point and click" was the term that was used. Well, shoot, I thought. That'd be no fun either. Better hold on to my pennies.

So! 12 years later, 8th Edition of Warhammer is here, and so am I. So how about Dark Elves? I really want to hear that they're right in the middle - and FUN again.

1) Are they still an army of fragile, lightly armored "special ops"? This was a major part of the appeal to me.

2) I can't really run an all-Witch Elf force anymore, can I? It's not legal, or something...?

3) I've heard rumblings of massive games and unit sizes now, like 35+ models in a unit. WTF, 35 Elves in one regiment? That's nuts.

4) How complete is the model range? Looks pretty thorough, from a quick perusal of GWs home page.

That's all right now, off that top of my head. Thanks in advance...

You can manage a 'mostly' Witch Elf army by only fielding Death Hags and Witch Elf units (although you are still limited to a maximum of 3 units of Witch Elves due to the army selection rules.) It's up to you what you spend your 25% minimum core choice allocation on but I tend to run Dark riders.
In an ideal world, I'd take Harpies (to tie in with the belief that they are the reincarnated souls of dead witch Elves) but they don't count towards the minimum 25%.

The alternative, as already mentioned, is taking Hellebron but be aware that she has no armour to speak of and only T3, so against anything with Always Strikes First or against blocks of troops, she will die very very quickly as the rule the step-up rule now means that even if you kill every model in base contact, the next row will just step forward and attack back.

HRM
05-02-2011, 15:35
As an aside, it looks like the Dark Rider models are STILL the same ones from 12 years ago. GAWD those horses look awful. I might use LOTR horses.

tmarichards
05-02-2011, 16:07
With regards to special characters, most of them are just crutches. ANYONE can win with Teclis, but when you beat him it's hilarious to remind them exactly how badly they have just played. And, they deserve it.

Dark Elves still work best as an elite force, the biggest units I run are units of 20 Black Guard. Witch Elves are very good, but they will die very very quickly so you'll need to either invest in them (and take maybe 30-40 in a unit) or take a handful of small units that don't really matter if they get wiped out.

hashrat
05-02-2011, 17:15
So! 12 years later, 8th Edition of Warhammer is here, and so am I. So how about Dark Elves? I really want to hear that they're right in the middle - and FUN again.

1) Are they still an army of fragile, lightly armored "special ops"? This was a major part of the appeal to me.

2) I can't really run an all-Witch Elf force anymore, can I? It's not legal, or something...?

3) I've heard rumblings of massive games and unit sizes now, like 35+ models in a unit. WTF, 35 Elves in one regiment? That's nuts.

4) How complete is the model range? Looks pretty thorough, from a quick perusal of GWs home page.

That's all right now, off that top of my head. Thanks in advance...
1) Still fragile and elite, Initiative is a great thing in 8th and DE have it in droves.
2) Take Crone Hellebron (sp?) and WE become core. (Hard to strike back at her weak armour after a WE Horde is done with you, but then you don't expect WE,Death Hags etc to live in the first place.)
3) MSU works fine, you don't have to have 35+ strong units.
4) Some conversions are required, none hard to get and none cheap to make sadly.

Lord of Divine Slaughter
05-02-2011, 17:38
Aw man. That sucks. Does this mean that Egrimm Van Hortsmann and his two-headed pet are gonna show up every time there's a minor skirmish? Crap.

This really depends on your gaming environment, my group regards them as a beginners crutch - some are powerful, but they can be dealt with with a little tactics, so people generally prefer something less generic (also we tend to ridicule anyone using one :p).

I can really recommend getting back into the game and using your darkies - they're quite fun :) I'd recommend getting a little more variety than pure Witches - but who am I to advice someone not to spend all their money on half-naked elves :)

sorberec
05-02-2011, 21:30
1) Are they still an army of fragile, lightly armored "special ops"? This was a major part of the appeal to me.

They're still that, although the Hydra can't exactly be called fragile unless facing something with flaming attaks.


2) I can't really run an all-Witch Elf force anymore, can I? It's not legal, or something...?

No, it wouldn't be legal. As someone else mentioned, 3 of the same type of Special unit is all you can have.


3) I've heard rumblings of massive games and unit sizes now, like 35+ models in a unit. WTF, 35 Elves in one regiment? That's nuts.

A lot of people seem to have decided to up their game sizes to 2400 - 2500 so they can still fit in all the toys in their army that the used to be able to have in 2000 points in 7th edition but I'm sure you should be able to find opponents playing at lower points levels.

You don't have to go for bigger unit sizes but with some of the changes in the new edition they do make the units a bit more survivable. The flip side of that is they become bigger points sinks and you potentially lose some of the flexibility you have with more, smaller units

BigbyWolf
05-02-2011, 22:07
The special characters issue is well debated in many threads. Needless to say there is a lot of over-reaction from both sides with regards to this. I wouldn't worry about seeing them too often- they only crop up rarely where I play (and probably half the time it's me that using the SC in one of my themed lists...).

Which Elf armies can be very effective-whilst some say that you don't have to have large units of them, I say why not? It benefits you to get the most attacks out of them and a large frontage (figuratively speaking- their 20mm base size means that you can get a good amount of them in BTB against larger models) of frenzied poisonous attacks (IIRC 3 per model for the front rank?) backed up by the second rank (or third as well, if horde) of single attacks can really hurt people with lower initiative, and being as you are Dark Elves, that means most races.

If you want to keep with a fluff theme, remember that there are other Khainite units available to round out your army- Executioners provide higher strength attacks, the Cauldron buffs are really useful, and assassins can take down dangerous characters threatening your fragile units.

I'm sure most opponents wouldn't mind you fielding Helleberon(?) to enable you to go all out Khainite. She, like most of the others units are the ultimate in "glass-hammers". Just don't mount her on a manticore...she really, REALLY needs the cover a unit can provide.

Heck, your opponents will probably thank you for not fielding a hydra or two when they see your army. :p

I've faced an army like the above previously, and although my list wasn't all out WAAC, it was still tough...and got shredded.

Thats not to say a Khainite army is the bees knees- you will probably find matches against high-armour troops to be an up-hill battle (if you excuse the pun...).

Korraz
05-02-2011, 22:12
Since you haven't played for some time, it should be mentioned that you do not need your opponents consent to use special characters any more.

BigbyWolf
05-02-2011, 22:17
Since you haven't played for some time, it should be mentioned that you do not need your opponents consent to use special characters any more.

If memory serves, you didn't need permission in 5th edition either...which is the last edition the OP played. ;)

tmarichards
05-02-2011, 22:35
Fact remains, none of the DE special characters are worth taking beyond for a theme. And, nobodies gonna complain if you turn up with a WE themed army. Not that it'd be rubbish, but it certainly wouldn't be tops.

HRM
05-02-2011, 23:59
Fact remains, none of the DE special characters are worth taking beyond for a theme. And, nobodies gonna complain if you turn up with a WE themed army. Not that it'd be rubbish, but it certainly wouldn't be tops.

Excellent. This is exactly what I'm looking for.

lachlanwizard
06-02-2011, 02:02
You absolutely don't have to worry about showing up overpowered, keep in mind that witch elves are still some of the most fragile units in the game and expensive at 10 points. They are effective at what they do but they benefit in more mixed lists as hydras and cheaper and more durable core take the hits instead.

Crone hellebron is pretty potent as I think she is supposed to be combined with a cauldron for the ward save. Additionally, you get 6 WS7 S10 attacks all with hatred. Combined with her initiative 9 and L10 she makes a pretty robust choice. I'm only realizing now that she is probably the strongest fighting character I know about.

Ultimate Life Form
06-02-2011, 02:07
Since you haven't played for some time, it should be mentioned that you do not need your opponents consent to use special characters any more.

Well, no, you don't. In the same sense as you're not allowed to download copyrighted material from the internet. ;)

Beware the GW SWAT team storming your house, tying you tou your chair and forcing you to play with Moulder Shock Prods. :o

Lord Dan
06-02-2011, 02:20
Aw man. That sucks. Does this mean that Egrimm Van Hortsmann and his two-headed pet are gonna show up every time there's a minor skirmish? Crap.

You'll find that even the most under-funded Empire scouting detail has at least one of the 13 steam tanks.

tmarichards
06-02-2011, 02:31
You'll also find out that they're very easy to plan for with Dark Elves, as Shadow is one of the best lores for most dark elf builds.

sorberec
06-02-2011, 10:04
Since you haven't played for some time, it should be mentioned that you do not need your opponents consent to use special characters any more.

Just don't count on them playing against you again if you do...

hashrat
06-02-2011, 12:27
Just don't count on them playing against you again if you do...

Why? Can't people handle a T3 W3 character with no armour or a 920 point elf on a Dragon that disappears to 1 spell?
Never fails to amaze me that people turn up with cheesy characters in death star units and claim special characters break the game.
Most are overpriced and many are worthless beyond a theme, but lets all jump on the 'internet told me so' bandwagon.

Ultimate Life Form
06-02-2011, 12:36
There are many more possible reasons to loathe Special Characters besides balance and power level quesitons, and I did so loooooong before I even knew WarSeer existed. :rolleyes:

Tae
06-02-2011, 13:23
Just don't count on them playing against you again if you do...

And if they play their games with that attitude, not playing them again would be a bonus.

HRM
06-02-2011, 13:24
Something else "the internet told me"... I've heard that "cavalry is now junk". I'm gonna assume it ain't quite THAT bad, but since some folks seem to think so, would this mean that showing up with 10-12 Cold One Knights wouldn't set folks off too much?

Lord of Divine Slaughter
06-02-2011, 14:01
The internet says a lot of things, most of it is just plain rubbish. Cavalry doesn't rule like it used to, but that doesn't mean that its outright useless - and CoKs have great models.


And if they play their games with that attitude, not playing them again would be a bonus.

Yeah, you'll always need your opponents consent to play, regardless of special characters :)

HRM
06-02-2011, 15:08
OK... Thanks for the replies, all! I think I'm gonna forgoe the Khanite stuff this go-around, at least initially - I have an image in my head of rank upon rank of spears, banners and cavalry. I even have a color scheme in mind - none of the ugly purple/black/navy blue BS for THESE Elves, no sir.

I guess I'm off to buy the rulebook and army book! Thanks all...

sulla
06-02-2011, 18:05
The internet says a lot of things, most of it is just plain rubbish. Cavalry doesn't rule like it used to, but that doesn't mean that its outright useless - and CoKs have great models.



Big units of CoK are still good, especially buffed by a cauldron. To make them great, add a dreadlord with the pendant of khaleth and stubborn crown.

BTW, head over to Druchii.net to find some other DE players. :)

Korraz
06-02-2011, 20:09
If memory serves, you didn't need permission in 5th edition either...which is the last edition the OP played. ;)

I didn't play 5th, and a lot of problems seem to come from that little clause in 6th, so I thought that it has always been like that.


Well, no, you don't. In the same sense as you're not allowed to download copyrighted material from the internet. ;)

Beware the GW SWAT team storming your house, tying you tou your chair and forcing you to play with Moulder Shock Prods. :o
For a lot of people little things like that matter a LOT. Don't underestimate that. I played against a guy once where I thought "At some point this guy will start shouting about him the only one caring about the rules, while pulling a gun out. And then I'll run very fast very far."


Just don't count on them playing against you again if you do...
People do all kinds if ridiculous stuff. Once, some random pickup opponent refused to play my buddy because he used a Demonslayer. Yup, just that, a single Slayer, nothing special.

This whole game is based on mutual consent, after all, and this consent is called "rules."