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View Full Version : What is the exact style of the Dark Elves?



Count William Grey
10-06-2006, 06:29
Im kinda of curious about playing them and i know they have speed, magic, and daring assassins, but i want to know what underlies their strategic thought?

Archaon
10-06-2006, 06:59
As you already said.. Speed.

Being the first to charge is vital since Dark Elves can't stand much punishment and they don't have really cheap troops to sacrifice. They have to rely on doing enough damage on the first strike or else they may run into problems.

They have their nice tricks too and some options for Monsters (Hydra, the various mounts for characters) but overall they are not that heavily armored and mostly strike only with Strength 3 which may be a big problem if facing heavily armored troops (heavy cavalry, Dwarves).

So use you speed and coordinate your attacks.. normally you don't win by doing wounds and overcoming the enemies CR but by flanking him and attacking him simultaneously.

Though this can also backfire if you roll dice like me and can't destroy a single 16 block of Skeletons including a minor Khemri hero with a charge of 16 spearmen, a chariot and a 5 strong unit of Dark Riders. :(

Then there is the whole MSU/MSE concept (multiple small units/elites) which came up with the Dark Elves. It is based on the principle that Dark Elves are too expensive to be fielded in standard blocks.. paying 40+ points for an additional +1 to CR is not worth it. The tactic is intended to field small units as wide as possible so you get as many attacks in the front as possible thus increasing the damage possibility. It is also vital to get another unit into the flank to increase chances of winning the combat and denying the opponent most of his CR bonuses.

I haven't tried it yet but someday i might test it out with a friend.

Mad Doc Grotsnik
11-06-2006, 19:24
I would like to add that the MSU tactic is utter, utter bobbins.

+1 Static Resolution is always worth it, especially for Dark Elves. If anything, you'll find you want LARGE units of Spearelves. At 8 points a pop, and with their stats, their are pretty much the equivalent of many races elite! WS4 and I5 is NOT to be sniffed at! Stick a Noble in amongst them with a pokey weapon and the enemy has a force to be reckoned with. 25+ is the absolute minimum I'd field in any given unit.

Dark Riders can be very very useful, but are horrifically fragile. They can be combined nicely with the cheap as chips Harpies as harrassment troops. Speed and grace come into their own with Dark Elves. The Harpies can screen the Dark Riders, and the Dark Riders offer the Harpies covering fire whilst they devour enemy Artillery crews.

Cold One Chariots are very nice. Unlike everything else in your force, they are not too fragile, and take a lot of putting down. But if your taking one, take two instead. They are fairly cheap for what they are, and really need a buddy to ensure success. Again, a Noble added to one of them greatly enhances their damage capacity!

The most important thing to do is to read the Army book from cover to cover a couple of times, and see what you make of it. They can play defensively and offensively, depending upon your selection.

Archaon
11-06-2006, 22:41
Are you serious? 25+ blocks of Spearelves?

You do realize that they are still fragile, struggling to wound T4 units with even medium armor?

You are looking at 225 points and an additional 100 or more points for a rather easily "killable" hero.. any good assault unit costing 2/3 the points (or even less) has good chances to take them out or even rout them.. there go your points.

Elves are definitley not a horde army and such big blocks have problems of their own. For horde armies where your troopers cost 4 or 5 points max this is a viable tactic.. not so much for Elves.

MSU is certainly a risky concept and i haven't seen it in action by an experienced player but the idea behind it has its logic. When it came up it won several tournaments but i don't know if it is played anymore and how successful it otherwise is.

I'm currently thinking about my GT list but i've got no experience with MSU so i'll rest the concept for now.

sigur
11-06-2006, 22:44
I think that it's a, as always, mix of both (blocks and MSU). As Dark Elves, we're able to get relatively cheap blocks of Warriors and a bit less cheap corsairs to keep the enemy unit busy while something else can crush into their flank and break them.

Archaon
11-06-2006, 22:52
That's the general idea and works quite well (when my opponent let's it work that is ;) ).

I usually have a core of at least 2-3 infantry blocks (mostly 16 strong, sometimes 20) and 2-3 hammer units (Highborn on Manticore, Cold One Riders, Chariots or Hydra) which do the damage.

Together with the "mass" of the infantry it should be enough to break the regiment (in theory).

Zilverug
12-06-2006, 06:32
Having a unit of Dark Riders at each table quarter at the end of the game seem to help Dark Elves quite a lot, I heard.

scavenseer
12-06-2006, 10:25
Take corsairs rather than spearelves, far more effective.

I find that dark elves rely on the fact that they have very good special troops i never leave the house without my executioners and black guard.

sigur
12-06-2006, 11:00
Take corsairs rather than spearelves, far more effective.
...

This really depends. While Corsairs cost 2 pts more than a warrior with shield and have a 4+ save against shooting, warriors can use hand weapon and shield for a 4+ save in close combat or shed out as many attacks as corsairs (due to spears, as long as they don't charge) can.

Corsairs are just a bit more agressive while Spear Elves have quite good chances to hold a charge and let flankers do their work.

Many people also see Corsairs are a pure flanking unit. I don't think so, they also make okay rank-and-file troops but are a bit on the costy side (pts- as well as €-wise.)

scavenseer
12-06-2006, 11:07
This really depends. While Corsairs cost 2 pts more than a warrior with shield and have a 4+ save against shooting, warriors can use hand weapon and shield for a 4+ save in close combat or shed out as many attacks as corsairs (due to spears, as long as they don't charge) can.

Corsairs are just a bit more agressive while Spear Elves have quite good chances to hold a charge and let flankers do their work.

Many people also see Corsairs are a pure flanking unit. I don't think so, they also make okay rank-and-file troops but are a bit on the costy side (pts- as well as -wise.)

Good points sigur,but you forgot that corsairs also look better!:)

It all depends on what else you take, i use lots of executioners and black guard and the corsairs seem to complement them quite a bit.

Bubble Ghost
12-06-2006, 11:13
Take corsairs rather than spearelves, far more effective.

I find that dark elves rely on the fact that they have very good special troops i never leave the house without my executioners and black guard.

The great thing about Dark Elves is that everything in the list is useful in its way. You can find a Dark Elf players whose pet units cover almost the entire army - mine are Dark Riders, the Cauldron of Blood and spearmen, none of which I will ever field an army without (except occasionally the cauldron, for very specific reasons). I almost never take Executioners or Black Guard (I love both, but once I've taken the essentials for my playing style I usually don't have the points left over). I don't even take bolt throwers, which in my hands are proof that there is actually a skill to rolling dice and I don't have it.

Incidentally, have you noticed how Dark Elves have reaper bolt throwers while High Elves have repeater bolt throwers? That's why Dark Elves are so pale, they don't eat as much!

sigur
12-06-2006, 11:16
...
Incidentally, have you noticed how Dark Elves have reaper bolt throwers while High Elves have repeater bolt throwers? That's why Dark Elves are so pale, they don't eat as much!

High-class pun:D Quoted for punnity.:p

edit: Anyway....to add something more or less useful, I have to say that I also haven't encountered any obviously less valuable unit in the DE list. Even Black Guard, being very expensive and fragile and all, have some appeal, if not only because of the nifty miniatures. I wouldn't use them in games of less than 2000pts though and RBT just seem to have a nicer damage output.

@Bubble Ghost: Do you think that a cauldron is also justified if an army doesn't contain Witch Elves at all?

Bubble Ghost
12-06-2006, 11:56
Witch Elves are my other pet unit that I always take.:D If I'm not taking Witch Elves for whatever reason, that is a factor in whether or not I take the cauldron, usually the thing that tips the balance in the rare cases that I don't take it. But the would re-roll alone makes it worthwhile, given the Bush-like "shock and awe" tactics of my army in general, especially re. Dark Riders and their mounted noble. People don't tend to see the Dark Rider/Cauldron combo coming, and it really is lethal.

zak
14-06-2006, 23:39
The main thing to learn early on with any Elvish army is that you will be out numbered in units and size of units. The Dark Elf army has to be used with finesse as if you just charge in you will get mushed most of the time.

The best tactic I have found is to use the refused flank formation. This cuts down the outnumbering problem and allows my elite fast moving units to take the opposing army apart in chunks.

Many people seriously underestimate the average spearelf. Mostly to their peril. They are able to stand up to most units and with a character can dish out a lot of attacks. I don't think I've ever fielded a unit of 25 as I think this is far too large. I usually stick to 20.

My plan for any game is to whittle the enemy with Reaper fire and spells. Hit him with your blocks of infantry (spearelf/corsairs) and flank with harpies/dark riders or even chariots. With leadership 8/9 they can lose a combat by 1-2 and still be expected to stick around. The one thing you do not want to face is a prolonged fight (even with coldone riders 2+ armour save, as they only have s3 after the initial charge) and face enemies that have multiple high strength/save modifier weapons as elves go down like a footballer with a degree in diving! My pet hate is the rattling gun. Multiple hits, s4 and no save for most of your troops.

The only way to learn is by playing and testing. Good luck.