Dark Elf Core Tactics
So, I've seen some other threads that people have developed for some other armies, and I figured I'd do my own. If this is a problem at all, feel free to PM me, also, I propose a sticky to link to threads such as this. All of these are in my opinion, and all of this is open for discussion.
Dark Elf Core:
As should be expected with most Core, it will form the basis of your army, and with Dark Elves it is no different, though we have better Core than some more unfortunates! The biggest factor when choosing your core is where you go from there. For most people, Core is usually one of the first or second parts of the army list to write, and much of the rest of your list will stem from the basis your core has decided. With that said, let's go into the choices.
The 'standard' choice, and the type most often seeing parallels in other lists. Cheap, expendable, and with a pretty good statline for their price, they are the best answer for Dark Elves to take advantage of Steadfast, and situation-dependent, the Horde rule. Coming in at 7 points per model with shields, it is fairly easy to get 25-40 of them in a single unit. With hatred, a good number of attacks due to spears, good weapon skill, and the ability to take a magic banner, they can actually be quite good in combat, especially with magical buffs, and are also quite good at getting there, as casualties can be absorbed pretty well, unlike other, more expensive, and just as fragile Dark Elf units.
For synergy with the rest of the army list, Warriors need some support. Slamming into the front of an enemy unit, they will hold for awhile, but even with buffs, their killing may be insufficient. Combining with tide-turning flankers, such as Cold One Chariots or Knights, and small elite units, is a deadly combination.
Our shooting standard. Repeater Crossbows rely on shots, and lots of them. Generally, there are two ways to run these: One or more small units, 5X2 with only perhaps a musician, or one large unit of 20-30, with full command and shields. Both styles can radically change their role.
First, in small units, RXBs can serve as cheap flankers in addition to light fire support. Setting up in short range of an enemy unit, you can do decent damage to the enemy, forcing them to either deal with you, withstanding a stand-and-shoot, and possibly being forced into a substandard position, or ignore you, going after another unit, and possibly exposing their flank, or vulnerable rear units to your shooting.
Secondly, in large units, you can take advantage of a couple of things. Firstly, the Guiding Eye. Perfect for a Sorceress who has some extra points left over for items and needs an escort, a common problem, it allows a one-time reroll to hit per shooting. In a large unit of crossbowmen, this can get quite obscene, especially if you get the chance to use it at short range without moving, resulting in a 75% chance to hit with 40-60 dice. Another good thing, is that with changes to reforming in combat, and swift reform, is that you can change your frontage to receive charges and maintain steadfast, either relying on stand-and-shoot then reforming after the first combat phase, or reforming beforehand. Regardless, these units are probably better in lists where you'll stay back, to get the max out of their shooting.
Black Ark Corsairs:
These cool models, while generally seen as a little less 'competitive' than the other two main choices, are still quite viable. There are three builds for them, the first two usually used. Small units of repeater handbows, large units of Frenzy/AHW Corsairs, and small units of AHW Corsairs.
Small flanking units of handbows are about the same as small units of repeater crossbowmen, though there are key differences. First, and probably most important, is their durability. Repeater Crossbowmen have merely a 6+, 5+ with shields save. Corsairs have a 4+, a resilience we don't see matched until our cavalry specials. This is especially key for such a small unit. An enemy must choose whether to fire at the cheap, annoying unit or not, and the choice becomes much harder with a 4+ save. A magic missile or two can practically wipe out a crossbowmen unit, while a Corsair unit, may require more commitment than the enemy is willing to give. Short range, is a problem however, but with a flanking unit, you'll usually be in position to shoot, soon, and with the special rules, you can get especially close and still be able to get a stand-and-shoot. Lack of armor piercing can also be an issue, but the lack of penalties with actions like moving and long range can help with this.
These guys, much like the next entry in Dark Elf Core, fulfill a very different role when compared to the above units. They are expensive, but they are the fastest shooting harassment unit we have, and second-fastest Warmachine hunters. Vanguard can get them close enough to be harassing or hunting turn 1. They, along with the other agile units in the army book, have taken a hit, but they still can harass and hunt warmachines, along with supporting charges if necessary. A small unit of these can be used to fill up the rest of Core allowance, while still filling a category that no other Core unit can, at least, ones that add to Core...which leads to...
Harpies are similar to Dark Riders in a way. They are cheaper, faster, skirmishing, and get more attacks in on warmachines. However, they have poor leadership, no ranged component, don't get the vanguard movement, and don't count towards Core requirement. These used to be a must-take in every list in 7th, but now they are more personal choice. They are very competent warmachine hunters, and, in addition, don't panic your ranks, and with their cheap-cost, it isn't hard to fit them in a list.