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post #1 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-01-12, 01:26 AM Thread Starter
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Icon Just started Dark Elves, help

So I decided to play as Dark Elves and I have a question what units should I get and what would be a nice rookie way to use them
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post #2 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-01-12, 02:43 PM
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Well ... what kind of play style are you looking to do? Shooty? Lots of close combat?


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post #3 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-01-12, 03:03 PM
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Hydras are extremely common, they are awesome. crossbowmen are great too. i like shades and spearmen as well. you'll want a sorceress to lead the army and a model to convert to a BSB.
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post #4 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-01-12, 05:13 PM
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Get yourself a couple of Battalion boxes:

This can easily give you a solid core of Crossbowmen around which to anchor a battle-line. Alternatively, you can get yourself a rather hefty block of spears with a few small supporting crossbow units.

Corsairs with the Sea Serpent Standard are pretty awesome - they combine high numbers of attacks with relatively good survivability and are probably your best target for Mindrazor.

Cold One Knights are just pretty good all around. The models are excellent and they form a very nice centrepiece to your army. On the table, many argue that heavy cavalry are outdated. Personally, as a Dark Elf player, I'd say otherwise. In a unit of 10 with the Standard of Hag Graef they are literally killing machines. Against any unit with S4 or less, they're a solid bet to grind your opponent down with large numbers of S4 attacks that can re-roll to hit in ongoing combats.

Of course, you're going to need to add some other units. Sorceresses are key, Cauldrons of Blood are a very nice additional buff. I've gone down the route of avoiding Hydras (they're annoying to transport and people bitch and whine about how OP they are whenever you play with them). Instead I've loaded up on a solid unit of 15 Black Guard, a few small units of shades and some small units of Witch Elves. This "MSU" tactic gives plenty of versatility and manoeuvrability. However, with a book as strong as DE you can pretty much pick whatever you like and it'll be competitive.

Things to avoid though:

Small units of Executioners, Masters kitted for combat, large units of Witch Elves, Repeater Bolt Throwers.

All of those choices are simply, in my opinion, not cost efficient.
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post #5 of 5 (permalink) Old 05-01-12, 06:39 PM
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The focus of core should be built around spearmen and crossbowmen. Corsairs are interesting to play but less reliable and less effective for the cost.

For a 2500 target army, start with the following:
min 25 and Up to 40 spearmen (I usually run one unit of 22 to 27 with standard of discipline and music but no champ with a lvl 4 sorceress with sac dagger and lore of shadow)
min 20 and Up to 40 repeater crossbowmen (equip with shields) (I usually run two units of 12 to 14 models each in two ranks with a musician for swift reform to allow them to turn and shoot).
min 5 and up to 12 Dark Riders (no more than 6 are needed, can use five) (I almost always run one unit due to the ability to threaten skirmishers, war machines and to bait and flee and free reforms and shoot ability of fast cav. This unit is vastly under-rated because people don't learn to bait and flee in 8th edition like they did in 7th edition. Sometimes this unit can get around and behind and shoot up something exposed or finish off something already wounded by the crossbowmen. The ability to flee, reform, and then march and shoot as fast cav is a huge ability advantage.)
min 6 and up to 12 Harpies (two units of 6 or 12 is most you'll need; low leadership but lfying skirmishers with two attacks each will kill most war machines; work really well with dreadlord general on a peg or mount to screen him and use his leadership to avoid failing most panic tests)

Special
-20 Black guard with full command (max you can run in a unit right now; easily killed by shooting and magic but great if they get in combat and have a 5+ ward save)
-up to 10 cold one knights with full command (the champ can take a magic item that enhances the unit and the unit can take the banner of hag grief for ASF fgor the unit wihich benefits a mater or dreadlord in the unit)
-zero to 12 shades (shades are excellent for their ability to march and shoot with crossbows and attack war machines with two hand weapons but scouts are hard to deploy if opponent has a lot of deployments and covers his deployment zone and you lose the ability to get +1 to roll to go first; thus, I often only run only one or two units of shades and one to two units of harpies)

Rare
Two hydras (probably best monsters for the points in the game)
Optional: 2 repeater bolt throwers (really nerfed in 8th edition with only two wounds)

Characters:
1 Supreme Sorceress on foot (equip with sac dagger and put in unit of spearmen)
1 lvl 1 or 2 sorceress (for scroll, for second magic lore)
1 Master on foot
1 master mounted (make so can be put on dark steed, codl on knight, or peg)
1 to 2 pegs
1 dreadlord on foot
1 dreadlord mounted version (make so can be put on dark steed, codl on knight, or peg)
1 cauldron of blood with death hag)

Dark Elves have some of the best core in repeater crossbowmen because of their ability to move and shoot. Dark Elves also have some of the best characters and are one of the armies that can run a greater character component. At 2400 to 2500, you can run a lvl 4 sorceress with sac dagger and dreadlord with pendant of khaleth and high armour save. I like the cauldron as BSB if mostly on foot (black guard special unit) but will sometimes go with a cauldron and a separate master BSB. A master on peg with cloak of hag grief and either ring of hotek or dawnstone is a very effective character for hunting characters and war machines and light units (skirmishers and fast cav).

There are strategies of running a witch elf horde or a with elf diversion unit with a cauldron and banner of murder (they get a ward save from the cauldron or some other augments and are stubborn within range of black guard) but they are more expensive and take time to paint. Also, some dark elf armies run a large block of executioners instead of black guard (execs are also stubborn within range of the cauldron).
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