View Full Version : BSBs and Dark Elves

12-07-2011, 13:45
Hey, i'm new to Fantasy and currently play Dark Elves. Now, my question is, is taking a BSB worth it? I playtested my army list yesterday, and aside from my chariot doing nothing all game (I'm a noobie, im still learning tactics) it went well against a 2000 pt WoC army (My Corsairs killed and routed an entire unit of Chaos Knights! Promotion to Blackguard inc! :P)

Now, i'm not a defensive player, and my BSB hero spent the game in the spearmen unit, holding up a Maruder unit for 3 rounds of combat until they chased and cut them down (The spearmen were defending my Bolt Thrower and Crossbowmen). But my question is, would a hero with magic weapons be a better choice in an offensive army to maximise kills and thus, effect combat res more then having a +1 battle standard? My spearmen are pretty sturdy even though their elves (unit size of 24, 6x4 formation and have Banner of Murder), their entire purpose is to hold the shooting line.

If I drop the banner, I could have a potent combat char with Hydra blade in the unit (Combined with the Banner of Murder, thats a good amount of AP attacks for me :D) or I could even give him Lifetaker and put him in my crossbowmen for more firepower across the field.

(I know this is tactics forum, but I wasn't sure if this is more a tactical issue or an army list issue. If the latter, i'm sorry for posting in the wrong place :S)


Jack of Blades
12-07-2011, 14:00
There's no reason why you wouldn't want a BSB, you don't need to give him a magic banner. Just take a fighty hero if you'd like to and make him a BSB ;)

12-07-2011, 14:10
Ok cool. Was just wondering if he can have a Hand weapon and shield, or even a 2H Weapon (How would he hold the standard! XD). I'm just trying to make my characters good unit killers (I ain't dueling with them, my poor fragile guys :( ).

So far, my 2 Masters (I won't take Lords in 2k points) are constructed for support to units that need it. I have my first guy in corsairs with Sea Serpent banner with Crimson Death and Blood armour, and my second guy i'm still toying with. BSB with combat capabilities in spearmen, or BSB with Lifetaker in crossbowmen? My spearmen are a defensive front only, and I like the ability of my RXB's are Reaper to thin ranks for my CoK's and Black Guard (<3 them so) with a Sorcress with focus familiar (casting out of combat sounds like win to me, good amount of flexibility shooting possible flankers?).

So yeah... can't quite decide :S I want a hard-hitting army that can break even Dwarfs while maintaining some flexibility on the fly (I don't take Dark Riders though, and im still unsure on a Chariot as I have a Hydra for support).

Jack of Blades
12-07-2011, 14:15
Just post your army list and we'll take a look at it.

12-07-2011, 14:22
The Cauldron of Blood makes for the best BSB in the DE book really, and I'd also consider it one of the best BSBs in the game.

12-07-2011, 14:25
Mmkai (I didn't want to initially because this is a tactics forum XD)


Master I:
Armour of Darkness
Sea Dragon Cloak
Blood Armour

Lv 2
Focus Familiar

Master II:
Sea Dragon Cloak
(This is where i'm toying with either a 2H weap, lifetaker or Hydra blade :s)

24 Spearmen:
Full Command
Banner of Murder

20 Corsairs:
Full Command
Sea Serpent Banner

2 x 10 Crossbowmen

20 Black Guard:
Full Command
(Thinking about taking Banner of Hag Graif for +35 pts)

7 Cold One Knights:
Full Command


Reaper Bolt Thrower

Total - 1888

My last list had a chariot thrown in there, but I don't know if its worth taking?

Thanks for the help btw ^_^ Tis appriciated.

12-07-2011, 14:36
Oh also, just quickly, do re-rolls for misses stack?
E.G. My Black Guard have Eternal Hatered, Warrior Elite, and if given the Hag Graif banner, they attack first, and if their I is higher, dont they also re-roll misses then?

So would that mean 3 re-rolls?

Sorry for noob questions :(

12-07-2011, 15:41
You may never re-roll a re-rolled die. Example:

Hatred lets you re-roll missed attacks. Having First Strike and a Higher Initiative allows you to also re-roll missed attacks. You roll 12 attacks and 7 or them miss. You re-roll those 7 dice and that roll stands for them, you can't then re-rolls the ones that missed from that batch.

If someone has something that forces you to re-roll successful hits and you have something to re-roll missed hits then you roll the dice, pick them all up and roll again since both the hits and misses need to be re-rolled and you can't roll them again after that happens.

12-07-2011, 15:49
You may never re-roll a re-rolled die.

There are a few instances where this is not true, but they do not apply to this situation.

Personally I have been running my BSB with a cauldron. I don't give the BSB any gear as the cauldron takes care of most of that for me. I keep trying out other BSB builds for themed lists but they never do as well as the cauldron does. Having the buffs for other units far outweighs anything a single hero combat model can do for the army, unless you were running the ring of hotek on him or something, but even then I'd still go for the cauldron in almost all cases.

Von Wibble
12-07-2011, 16:41
I have had some success with ASF banner in a unit of executioners. Dance of death provides a 5+ ward, and then the hag challenges to minimise the hurt on her in a lot of situations, though in combats where this is not possible/ viable, she won't last long of course. Having executioners strike first can be very effective against some units that would normally be powerful against them (eg 40m monster units).

Alternatively, the cauldron BSB is hard to go wrong with. I certainly would not give her a magic banner, but could consider Dance of Death or Rune of Khaine to help against opportunistic fast cav or weaker monster riders (eg pegasus, eagle).

12-07-2011, 16:53
The Cauldron doesn't need anything, the 4+ ward, high initiative, million attacks and poison means it will deal with all the usual war machine hunters, as well as lots of units if you can force them to charge it.

12-07-2011, 17:59
Well, I don't know about a million. It's not bad, but the cauldron 'only' gets 10 poisoned, hatred attacks (two from each hag attendant, three from the death hag, plus three for frenzy) when by all rights it should get 13 (the same, plus thee for additional hand weapons, nevermind giving the death hag gifts) :D

I took that from the errata. If I'm playing it wrong, please tell me.

12-07-2011, 19:18
The errata only covers the bestiary entry, which doesn't make any mention of their additional hand weapons, which are only mentioned in the army list entry. I make it 4 attacks per attendant, then 5 from the champ.

12-07-2011, 22:24
I've personally found, after many years with the dark elves. That my BSB has only been effective in one way, and that is on top of a Cold one with the Hydra banner.

One of THE most devastating charges I've seen is the combo I use, taking 6 Cold one Knights, putting a BSB hero in the unit with the Hydra Banner and using a Cauldron of Blood to give the unit +1 attack. This charge for me at least has walked over anything. IT has killed 27 Ork Big un's in the first charge combat, it's completely destroyed a unit of 15 Khorne Warriors of Chaos. Each knight in the unit has 3 attacks, re-rolling misses with WS 5 that means that the majority of your attacks are likely to hit, coupled with the fact that on the charge you are strength 6! your wounding on 2's and with -3 armour save. Give the unit an Armour piercing banner and you could charge chaos knights and take them down to a measly 5+ save, or giving them the banner that add's D3 Combat resolution to be certain they will always have to roll snake eyes. The best part is that the Cold ones (Bless their hearts) get three attacks each as well!! And with hatred it's like you have a Dark elf Knight riding a chaos warrior. It is truly devastating. That charge alone has won me battles. Aiming it at the enemies most powerful unit and destroying it.

12-07-2011, 23:17
Mounts don't benefit from the Cauldron unfortunately.

13-07-2011, 06:49
Thanks for all the input ^_^. I playtested this army list vs 2000 points of Dwarfs (Made up of 2 Organ Gun, Grudge Thrower, 2 units of Thunderers, 1 Hammerers, 1 Warriors, 1 Ironbreakers and 1 Longbeards). Bar my Warriors and Hydra and Corsairs getting shot to pieces, I managed to get my CoK and Black Guard into combat on their left flank, where they swept through Ironbreakers (with a Thane), thunderers and ended in Longbeards (My Sorceress cast Bladewind with Irresistable Force, rolled a 4 on the miscast table and blew up over half my Black Guard). Safe to say, I lost, but I think I had a valiant effort against a player whos an 11 year vet and im a noobie XD

A few things I noticed with the army is:
A) Against shooting, they get mowed down quick
B) I made a HUGE mistake with my miscast template (I always teleport 6" out of combat, which I did, and didnt put the template where I had teleported to, which would have saved my entire unit ><)
C) CoK and Black Guard attacking together is almost unstoppable in the 1st round of combat

And I included 2 Reapers, which aside from my shoddy rolling, did well (As my mates like to describe my rolling in Warhammer and Risk, "Rubber Swords" XD)

I think this turned out to be a solid army with emphasis on combat, and I think I did well vs a Vet Dwarf player (I want that rematch, hes never lost Vs an elf player, I wanna change that XD). So against shooty armys, what would you guys recomend as the best tactic with this army list? After I have made my full army (still buying all the models XD) I'll be playing down my local Gaming club and GW, and I imagine i'll be inevitably playing Dwarf and Empire players, so any suggested tactics to help me win would be awesome. ^_^


Don Zeko
13-07-2011, 16:17
There are basically two ways to be more resilient against shooty armies like dwarves. The first is to take more troops that can bring down their war machines early, meaning shades and dark riders. The second is just to take more troops so that you don't mind getting pounded by their artillery as much. I'd recommend you take out your bolt throwers and replace them with either war machine hunters or more assault troops. Same goes for your masters; fighting characters are rarely worth their points with dark elves. Beyond that, try to be careful with your magic dice to avoid unnecessary miscast risks.

13-07-2011, 16:52
I've also found that there are 2 good ways to mitigate shooting casualties.

The first is very simple- deploy in lines. That minimises the amount of models cannons and stone throwers etc can hit.

The second come in army selection- Don has already mentioned taking dedicated war machines hunters which is a very good idea, but you can also go one of 2 routes in my opinon. You can either take bigger units, so that the casualties you take don't matter so much, or you can take several smaller units so that if one does get nuked, you still have other stuff in your army and haven't given away too many points.

This last bit is a big part of my army list selection- I get very nervous about taking anything that can give away more than 300VPs in my army at any one time. The only times I break this rule are when choices are good enough to be worht the risk- in my current list, that's the Stubborn unkillable flying dreadlord and the Cauldron.

13-07-2011, 17:25
in my current list, that's the Stubborn unkillable flying dreadlord

Ohohoh, tell me how you got that plox? :D:D:D:D

And I know about the warmachine destroyers, but I didn't want to do an anti-shooting army because I wanted to see how my usual list fared. I like shades, but im not a big fan of harpies.

I may look into both replacing a reaper with a shade unit, and not taking a combat Master, because as you said, their not particularly strong (T3 makes me sad on a hero :( ). Taking shades would give me a fair amount of flexibility in tactics to :D Whats the optimal effective unit size for them?

13-07-2011, 17:45
Dreadlord on a Dark Peg with heavy armour, shield, SDC, Sword of Might, Dragonhelm, Crown of Command and Pendant of Khaeleth.

So flying movement 10, with a 1+ save in combat and the Pendant to block anything that goes through that. He's also Stubborn Ld10. My team-mates all call him Chuck Norris, because he is that tough. I've used him extensively in some recent games, check out my Youtube battle reports in the signature if you want to see how I use him and how he gets on.

13-07-2011, 18:18
That sounds awesome. I want him. Whats the points cost of that? (Cba finding my army book to calculate it).

I'll check out the vids too ^_^

13-07-2011, 19:02
300pts on the nose. So in 2400 you can fit him in with a Level 4 with Stabby Dagger, which is my Lord set-up