Monday, July 19, 2010

Fantasy and Dark Elves, revisited

Today I've decided not to talk about impending BoLSCON or Warriors of Chaos like I said I might talk about, and instead keep plugging away at my Dark Elf army, since Tacticon is in September, and I need to try to get it as 8th-ready as I can before I actually go.

I've been thinking a lot about Fantasy lately, and I've drawn a few conclusions.  The first is about magic.  Despite everyone *getting* dispell (sp? lol) dice, it's pretty different from them actually being useful.  If you're up against a level 4 wizard and all you have is your army's 'free' dispel dice, you're gonna maybe dispell one spell, and then they can have their way with you.  If you want to be effective at blocking magic, you need a level 4 mage (or at least a level 2).  The +4 bonus to every spell is huge (better on average than an extra dice per spell) and the +0 to help you dispell makes it pretty difficult to keep up, especially when you start with less dispell dice than casting dice to begin with anyways.

This brings me to my next point- it's somewhat inefficient not to bring a wizard, since you're getting power dice every turn, regardless of if you're using them or not.  Just a few cheap wargear items later, and you have a pretty effective (albiet expensive) caster, who can really dole out quite a bit of damage.  If you're playing against an army with little to no magic defense, you can win entire games with a strong magic phase.

Dark Elf magic in particular is going to be pretty good I think- with every wizard able to generate extra power dice at the start of the magic phase, and for one of them to get an extra dice per spell if she wants (in exchange for cheap spearmen lives).  Using the Dark Magic lore, you could really cast all 4 spells pretty easily with minimal power dice.  Using two mages with eachother is even better, since each mage can generate more dice every turn, regardless of lore.

Another thought I had was this- I'd been playing around with 3-4 bolt throwers in my army, when I discovered an annoying rule- if even one of my crewmen die from shooting (which is all too easy now) the bolt thrower is complete trash, since it is unable to fire without at least 2 crew.  Useless.  So, hydras it is.  No more debate, and far less money spent!

Corsairs have found their way out of my list despite me never playing a game because of one small thing- they don't have armor piercing!  Their shooting isn't nearly as good as I thought it was, and crossbowmen are going to be a better choice overall anyways, I think.  With armor piercing, the amount of good shooting attacks they'll get every turn is somewhat astounding.  Add in a character that'll let them re-roll shooting attacks for a turn, and a unit of 24 is going to be deadly, hopefully.  Line up in 12x2 formation to start, and when threatened, they can go into a 6x4 formation that won't be terrible in their first round of combat (especially after a good stand and shoot).

Cold One Knights also made it into my list in a big way, and I'm not sure how they'll pan out.  7-wide and buffed with the Cauldron of Blood + Flaming Attacks standard will give them 14 good S6 attacks, plus another 14 S4 attacks from the mounts.  They'll be great to use against stuff with regen, and hitting flanks hard.  Stupidity was always my bane in any tournament I used to bring these guys to, and it's far less potent- I can re-roll it with my Battle Standard nearby.  Nice :)

As to the elites in this army, I think I'm gonna have to just say no.  They cost too much to be worth it, since they die so easily to even S3, and against hordes their 5+ AS is going to be far too weak.  Against elite armies it'll be worse, and against shooting of any kind, they die in droves of hundreds... and thousands.

So, here's the new list, at 2250 (because that's how many points Tacticon is going to be):

Supreme Sorceress
-Level 4
-Black Dragon Egg (S4 Flamer Template)
-Sacrificial Dagger
-Pendant of Khaleth (reverse ward save)

Death Hag
-Cauldron of Blood

-Tome of Furion (gives you another spell)
-Guiding Eye (lets squad reroll shooting attacks for a turn)

7 Cold One Knights
-Musician/Standard Bearer
-Flaming Attacks Standard

7 Cold One Knights
-Musician/Standard Bearer

30 Spearmen
-30 Shields
-Banner of Murder (gives unit Armor Piercing)

War Hydra

War Hydra

24 Crossbowmen
-24 Shields

24 Crossbowmen
-24 Shields
-Standard Musician

The premise of the list is that the spears advance w/ the Sorceress, flanked by Hydras and Knights on either side.  The crossbowmen will move up slowly and chip away at their lines.  If someone charges my spear elves, the Lvl 4 has the Black Dragons egg to help win combat (S4 Breath weapon) and the unit has armor piercing (would the breath weapon in combat count as AP as well, since it's used in combat?) which goes a long ways toward making S3 actually do something.

Hopefully I can get a few flank charges, and I'm convinced the Hydras will still wreck face with thunderstomp and their template attack in combat.  Guess we'll see.

Overall, it seems like a pretty balanced list.  Reasonable of shooting to be had, as well as a decent magic phase, combined with solid combat power.  For 2500 I think I'll just add some Harpies, Dark Riders, or more crossbowmen.

What do you think?  Any thoughts?  Hopefully it's not too much of a fail- I already own most of these models.  It would cost less than $100 to make this army, not bad all things considered.


Chumbalaya said...

I'm still trying to figure out DE myself, but I think this works.

Though, I'd like a unit of Corsairs with handbows and the armor piercing DE banner. Very nasty piece of work.

Also, some Harpies/Dark Riders/Shades would help go after war machines or block enemy vanguard.

Zac Pauga said...

Looks like a good list, I still don't really know what to do with my Vampires but I have some Ideas mulling around.

If you wanna play some fantasy you should bring your dark elves on thrusday and you can beat the crap out of my undead.

Xaereth said...

@Chumbalaya: If you're thinking of using the AP when shooting for the Corsairs, it doesn't work- the rules specifically state that AP is only used in CC. So... their handbows would only work as normal S3. :(

@Zac: Man, I'd love to, but with impending BoLSCON coming up, I need to play a few more practice games for my Wolves. After BoLSCON I'll be happy to forget about 40k for a while and play as much Fantasy as I can. To be honest, I'm sadly more excited about Fantasy than 40k right now, despite the somewhat 'new' army I'm playing.

Xaereth said...

Oh yeah! As for Vamp Counts, I saw a pretty nasty list involving 40 Graveguard and 100 Ghouls, with a ton of Vamps. Here's a link to the battle report:

Seriously, I don't know if I could deal with that with my list. I might be able to but... it'd be a close-run thing. It would all depend on if my flaming attacks from my Cold Ones could kill enough on the first round of combat...