Warhammer 40k Forum and Wargaming Forums banner

1 - 20 of 20 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,247 Posts
Discussion Starter #1
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
31 Posts
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?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,247 Posts
Discussion Starter #3
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%.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
885 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,247 Posts
Discussion Starter #5
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?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
324 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,247 Posts
Discussion Starter #7 (Edited)
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?
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
324 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
3,861 Posts
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.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,247 Posts
Discussion Starter #10
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.
 

·
WFB Moderator
Joined
·
8,248 Posts
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.
Would have thought the WE would pincushion it as soon as they saw it: with the lack of armour, T3 and relativly high points cost any mass S3-4 shooting should kill the dark riders with little effort.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,247 Posts
Discussion Starter #12
Would have thought the WE would pincushion it as soon as they saw it: with the lack of armour, T3 and relativly high points cost any mass S3-4 shooting should kill the dark riders with little effort.
Likewise with the Dark Elves, unless they weren't running Repeater Crossbows. A single magic missile would have killed them beyond effectiveness as well.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
885 Posts
One way to make DE core more effective is to equip a Sorc with Lore of Metal. The Lore has some effective buffs and spells against stuff DE armies are weak against. I've been experimenting with Lore of Metal on the Lvl 4 or a Lvl 2 with Tome of Furion. I always take Dark Magic for the other Sorc (all six spells are excellent in 8th edition and spells 3 to 6 are very effective against large core blocks). One Lore of Metal spell, Blades, gives +1 to hit, AP and magical attacks for both shooting and combat until your next magic phase, which can be huge for RHB corsairs if it goes off and still pretty good for a large RXB block. With corsairs, one can move into range and shoot (quick-to-strike), accept the charge and stand and shoot guaranteed (quick to shoot) and then fight combat. If the spell goes off, that is two sets of shooting attacks with +1 to hit and AP plus one round of combat (decent I and hatred and frenxy with SSS banner) with +1 to hit and AP attacks. You attempt the spell and they must dispell it or, if it goes off successfully, then exploit it. Combine that with two good anti-armour direct damage/sort of missile spells (that can deplete a steam tank or heavily armoured character or unit), a 5+ scaly skin AS buff (makes those DE much more resilient to combat and shooting), and one of the better anti-horde spells in Transformation and Lore of Metal is quite effective when mixed with PoD and interacting with a second sorc with Dark Magic. The ability of multiple sorcerors to cast a PoD (all DE sorcerors get that spell for free) with decent probability either early with two dice (force use of dispel dice when you ahve a larger winds of magic roll) or with single dice final rolls (when the winds of magic roll is not so good) for each sorc. for a surprise last spell is the key to the Lore of Metal/Dark Magic combo for DE core.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,247 Posts
Discussion Starter #15
what about the assassins are they realy wort the point cost ?
Not really. Their chief strengths were practically nuked in the new edition, and they're a huge investment for such a ridiculously fragile model. They can still have some use for the Manbane/Rending Star combo, but that's about it.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
18 Posts
Not really. Their chief strengths were practically nuked in the new edition, and they're a huge investment for such a ridiculously fragile model. They can still have some use for the Manbane/Rending Star combo, but that's about it.
what exactly were their chief strengths prior to 8 and what changed them to be so inneffective? besides the frailty i mean...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,247 Posts
Discussion Starter #17
what exactly were their chief strengths prior to 8 and what changed them to be so inneffective? besides the frailty i mean...
In 7th, Assassins could practically solo entire units by killing off the models in base-contact, and were good for character-killing to boot. Now, the enemy gets a hefty amount of victory points for allocating attacks against your T3 W2 model with only light armor (And a 5+ ward save if you pay for it, but hardly effective.) WS9 helps a little, but not enough that he won't die in the first couple rounds of combat.

In addition, character-killing is much less mandatory, since they can't take out models in base contact and contribute a huge amount of ACR to an elite unit to destroy a much larger unit. There still is a role here, as they provide support to large blocks with high leadership or battle-standards, but there's generally much better options. A Sorceress with Lore of Death is a little less reliable, but much more likely to survive, and much more versatile.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
227 Posts
Interesting what you say about Assassins.

I'm with you on the fragility of the unit. Where I think there may be a role still is buffing a warrior or RXB unit without burning up the Hero slot points limit.

At 2,500 points I'm looking at running 3 infantry combat blocks - typically 2 x 30 Spearmen + 20 Black Guard. My lord is a Sorceress and one of my heroes is a Lvl2 with a full set of magic items - say 185 points. I have the Cauldron of Blood as BSB - 225 points. That leaves me with only 215 points to buy Heroes/Masters to add an edge to the two Spearmen blocks. And that's not quite enough.

So instead I take one Master for one block (typically Ogre Blade (+2 Str) or Sword of Might (+1 Str) plus Pearl of Infinite Bleakness (Immune to Psychology) - so say 126 points) plus an Assassin with Manbane to lead the other. I'd agree that he's not as good, but I think he is viable.

I'll be interested to hear what you have to say about the Black Guard. I've taken to always giving the Tower Master the Crimson Death, but I'm really struggling with the fact that the unit has a maxiumum size of 20 models. I'm rthinking that Executioners may usurp their role, especially as the Cauldron can make them Stubborn.

Regards
TT
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,247 Posts
Discussion Starter #19
At 2500 points I think that sort of list would be way too reliant on characters. You need some to serve as a counter to units that would be potentially unkillable by rank and file, but as many as you're using would just allow a more balanced army to run you over. Frankly, one Dreadlord, properly kitted out in any of the blocks would be more reasonable. You could use the extra points to bulk out the spearmen, or even add another block.

As for the Black-Guard, they're still quite excellent. Their small max-size is a bit of an issue, but being as stubborn and killy as they are, it's only really an issue against shooting, and there's plenty of solutions for that (Aforementioned Dreadlord could have the Ring of Darkness for example.) As they are, Black-Guard are reliable, and good against a large variety of targets. Their decent strength makes them good against harder targets, especially if they have the Banner of Murder, and because of having a lot of attacks at good weapon-skill with rerolls, they're good against hordes as well, so long as you maximize your frontage so that you get enough attacks.

In comparison, other special choices tend to be more specialized. Executioners are generally the ones to lose out here, as they're best against high toughness high armor save units, which tend to rip them to shreds in return. Don't underestimate the value of a high-stength Elf though. In general, Hydras, Black-Guard themselves, or Cold One Knights tend to be better ways of dealing with elite infantry or monsters.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
885 Posts
I'm finding that a max BSB with say Armor of Darkness and a re-rollable armour save is a necessity for such a list (to re-roll break tests and panic tests which will occur and greater mobility to selective buff units at the same time) and a stubborn (crown of command) dreadlord to lead a unit that is max protected and able to kill (whip of agony for +1 attack, S5 unmodified and AP is a best buy) with pendant or 4+ ward save talisman is essential to survive. If no Master BSB, then the Cauldron Death hag should be the BSB and the cauldron should be protected well from charges until late in the battle.

The Black Guard do not need to be beyond 20 models (too expensive and not enough benefits anyway) but need to be protected (should have the Cauldron ward save until in combat) and should have a magic banner, as should one of the spearman units (use standard of discipline, banner of murder for AP, and flaming attacks depending on what you'll likely see). The black guard would benefit from MR and protection from shooting if possible (difficult to afford with the character mix). The lvl 4 would be best with the sac dagger and a ward save (whichever one the dreadlord does not have) and be able to flee between the spearmen units to avoid being charged or attacked. I personnally prefer RXB units with musicians and to spearman unit due to their ability to hit at range and still fight, so I only typically have one spearman unit for the sac dagger for the lvl 4.

Execs would be very good if they did not have great weapons and, therefore, strike last. Some people run a Death Hag BSB with the ASF banner but that just offsets the strikes last problem and allows the execs to hit in initiative order. Further, the Death hag BSB in the unit has minimal protection (exp compared with the 4+ ward save when with the cauldron) and will often be killed quickly by the end of the first round of battle by a good opponent.

Optimal lore combos for a lvl 2 and lvl 4 are shadow and dark magic (lower T or S before hitting with soul stealer or black horrer; nerf M, WS and/or I; hit with two initiative based direct damage spells) or metal (buff AS by +2 w scaly skin; buff +1 to hit and AP; great anti-horde spell; two very good anti-armour spells) and dark magic (all spells are always useful in a combat-heavy army and soul stealer boosts ). I often given the lvl 2 the tome to add one more spell. I use the power of darkness spell with each caster each turn to either force the opponent to burn dispel dice or increase the power dice to cast (use PoD dice earned immediately). I cast PoD early with the lvl 4 with one dice and then use the sac dagger if I don't roll high enough for a second casting dice to ensure success 97% of the time with the lvl4 and cast PoD with one or two dice late of the lvl 2 for a last spell surprise. Between the Power of darkness and sac dagger, you should be able to get off good magic spells (except maybe against a very strong anti-magic dwarf army) but risk miscasts (which can kill significant models and trigger panic checks or wound or kill the casters).

The biggest weakness of the proposed army is the lack of faster threats to go after war machines and counter monsters and stuff. I alway have at least one unit of 6 dark riders with RXBs and at least one hydra (prefer two) at 2500 points level. DE core are not great (T3, S3) and relatively expensive, so I typically run the minimum core models needed to get to 25% core points total.

Unfortunately, the best lore for dark elves would be life due to increase T buff, the great anti-horde spell, and anti-miscast RIP spell.
 
1 - 20 of 20 Posts
Top