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post #1 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-27-10, 03:53 AM Thread Starter
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Default 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.

Warriors:
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.

Repeater Crossbowmen:
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.

Dark Riders:

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:
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.

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post #2 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-29-10, 11:25 PM
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i have a question, when the army book says that "harpies do not count towards the minimum number of core units you must include in your army" does that mean that they do now not count towards the minimum points of core to make up the 25% that is needed now?
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post #3 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-30-10, 12:34 AM Thread Starter
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i have a question, when the army book says that "harpies do not count towards the minimum number of core units you must include in your army" does that mean that they do now not count towards the minimum points of core to make up the 25% that is needed now?
It has been stated in the rulebook that such units do not count towards the minimum 25%.

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post #4 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-30-10, 03:22 PM
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Good review. I only use one unit of corsairs as a flanking and sacrifice unit. I've been mixing the SSS banner with a medium-sized unit of corsairs with RHBs to take on horde armies. They don't panic when getting shot up due to the banner, get off two sets of shots (first by moving into range and then with the quick-to-strike stand and shoot). With a supporting unit or as a flanking unit, they can be effective at times but I've frankly had mixed success with them. A dreadlord with very strong protective (high AS plus high ward save) and crown of command can make this unit a tar pirt unit that allows a hydra or a second unit to get into the flank and kill the enemy.

RXB are a lot better with shields due to the parry save and extra AS. They need a musician for the reforms and to rally. Against medium to light units, an RXB unit is the best core unit for the points cost because of the number of kills they will get prior to combat and ability to survive combat and ability to protect RBTs.
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post #5 of 20 (permalink) Old 08-30-10, 04:36 PM Thread Starter
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There is one small downside to SSS/RHB corsairs, in that they have to take a leadership test to not charge the enemy, but with Elven leadership, and a possible Battle-Standard nearby, that shouldn't be much of an issue. One thing you can add to a larger unit of these is the old Rending Star/Manbane combo. Similar to how it works with Shades, the RHB's can help deal with normal troops, while the Stars can take out 2-3 wounds on something nasty, like, say, Knights, or monsters. Also handy to take a challenge and save some of the Corsairs from biting it, perhaps even surviving!

The Dreadlord with Stubborn is a somewhat good idea, but it is a good amount of points. Exactly how much is this item?

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post #6 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-08-10, 02:47 AM
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I've been experimenting with a variation on the dark riders that has proven quite effective. It's a unit of 15 with full command and shields. They lose the vanguard rule and have no shooting, but with their 9" move they can threaten flanks quickly. Combined wit COKs from the front, this can be devastating.

Forgot to add: unit costs 305 points.

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post #7 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-08-10, 03:23 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Durzod View Post
I've been experimenting with a variation on the dark riders that has proven quite effective. It's a unit of 15 with full command and shields. They lose the vanguard rule and have no shooting, but with their 9" move they can threaten flanks quickly. Combined wit COKs from the front, this can be devastating.

Forgot to add: unit costs 305 points.
My problem with that unit is their fragility, and lack of real offense for a unit that size. I'd really prefer to fill my core up with crossbowmen or warriors, then take a Cold One Knights unit with the Banner of Hag Graef. Still, I haven't actually ran such a unit. Who did you send it up against?

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So far it's only gone against Wood Elves and another Dark elf. It was truly devastating all by itself against the woodies, and acquitted itself well against the Dark Elves.

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post #9 of 20 (permalink) Old 09-08-10, 04:24 PM
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Corsair's do gain a large benefit from having the Armour piercing banner. I forget it's name.

Against things like empire state troops, other elves and whatnot, they become really dangerous.
Against heavy infantry, it gives them that little extra, so going toe to toe with the likes of Chaos Warriors becomes that little more realistic.
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Originally Posted by Orochi View Post
Corsair's do gain a large benefit from having the Armour piercing banner. I forget it's name.

Against things like empire state troops, other elves and whatnot, they become really dangerous.
Against heavy infantry, it gives them that little extra, so going toe to toe with the likes of Chaos Warriors becomes that little more realistic.
Unfortunately, Repeater Handbows don't gain the benefit of the Banner of Murder, but it's a reasonable alternative to Sea Serpent Standard Corsairs if you don't have anywhere else to put the Banner of Murder.

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