Saturday, November 27, 2010

Balanced Dark Elf Listhammer

In the interest of doing something different before I start some sort of series of posts again, I figured I'd post my current Dark Elf army.  For those of you who saw the title of this post and thought it was something to do with Dark Eldar, I'm sorry- 40k has Eldar, Fantasy has Elves.  This is about the latter.

So... here's the list (at 2250):

Supreme Sorceress w/ Lvl. 4, Lifetaker, Pendant, Sacrificial Dagger, 6++ ward vs. Warmachines for unit

Death Hag w/ Cauldron of Blood, BSB

12x Repeater Crossbowmen w/ Banner, Musician
10x Repeater Crossbowmen w/ Banner, Musician
10x Repeater Crossbowmen w/ Banner, Musician

5x Dark Riders, Repeater Crossbows, Musician
5x Dark Riders, Repeater Crossbows, Musician
5x Dark Riders, Repeater Crossbows, Musician

35x Warriors w/ Shields, Banner, Musician, Banner of Eternal Flame

20 x Black Guard w/ Banner, Musician, Banner of Murder (gives them AP)

War Hydra
War Hydra

It's balanced because it can do well in all 3 'phases' of the turn (magic, shooting, and close combat).  Here's some things going for it:

  • Sorceress goes with Warriors, presumably to get 4 extra Power Dice every turn from killing them off.
  • It's fun to note however, that since she (the Sorceress) also has Lifetaker (a S4 bow that always hits on a 2+ and shoots 3 shots), I can usually negate Regen on monsters.  This helps, since my multitude of shots that can come afterward will do a pretty big number on whatever I'm shooting at, in theory :-p
  • Lore of Death is pretty good, especially when you have lots of power dice to throw at it like Dark Elves can.  Assassinating opponent's casters and characters is a huge thing, I've noticed.
  • Hydras + Black Guard are about my only 'good' close combat ability.  However, the Warriors do fine against normal rank and file guys, and really, Hydras win lots of matchups that they shouldn't.
  • Black Guard are a solid block of infantry, that while being quite expensive compared to my other units (except the Warriors), they can put out 28 S4 (always re-rollable) hits at WS5, I6, and give a -2 modifier to armor.  Against a standard T4 opponent, they'll end up causing like 12 wounds at -2 armor save.  Against T3, they'll do even more (like, 16 wounds).  Pretty sick, if you ask me.  This is all under the assumption they're 7 wide and the Cauldron is giving them +1A. 
  • The alternate version of this list includes 3x 5 units of Shades w/ extra Hand weapons in the place of two of the Dark Riders.  More shooting, and the ability to get close to warmachines before the game even starts.
I think that's about it.  Thoughts?  Concerns?  Questions? 

I plan on playing this army (if not also this list) in February at Genghis Con.  Last year (for 7th edition) I got 2nd overall at that one- hopefully I can do half as well as I did during that game.

As an aside, the pictures are all of my favorite Dark Elf- Drizzt from R.A. Salvatore's Dark Elf Saga.  Shallow entertainment fantasy fiction at its best.  Highly recommended for those of you who don't want an emotionally challenging, involved book (though the series is pretty long at this point).  The light reading is still somewhat addicting, however.


zac said...

Not much to say just giving props for the Drizzt pics, the original trilogy was deep but your right about the rest of the books.

Kris said...

Personally I think the Shades are slightly better than the Riders, as that Scout move definitely helps.

I do wonder why you take the Black Guard as one big unit, rather than two smaller 10 or 12 man units. I would think that the smaller units would be more flexible, hit just as hard, and be less of a warmachine target.

Xaereth said...

Heh, I like 20 of them better personally. I put them in a 7x3 setup to maximize frontage, then use the Cauldron to give them +1 attack, for 28 WS5 re-rollabe hits. Also, they have a banner that I don't want to have to buy twice (and the razor standard costs like 20 points more than the banner of murder)

Leaving them at 10 or 12 man also easily makes a unit useless if a couple of them die, whereas 20 of them can take a lot of casualties before you really notice it.

That's my reasoning, anyways :-p

Nikephoros said...

I like it. A couple of things...

The musicians on the Dark Riders seem unnecessary. They shouldnt ever be in combat with anything but warmachines, and since they are fast cavalry they get automatic reforms. The bonus would be help rallying, but is that worth the points?

I really like the Lifetaker with flaming banner. That's a strong combo, especially in the mirror match.

The hag BSB is expensive. It's like 225 points, right? I know the extra attack buff is good, but the BG will kill most things in CC anyway. I find that when I use a COB its almost always for the ward save. For that amount of points you could afford a master BSB with mundane kit and a master to hang with the BG with some CC equipment. I would test it both ways, but I think you might get more out of having two masters, give it a shot.

Xaereth said...

Nike: Thanks for the feedback. Glad you made to my humble abode :)

The musicians are indeed to help reform... I used to use them as my core choices in 7th, when I baited charges and march blocked a lot with them. I'm not sure how useful either of those things are nowadays (I'm guessing march blocking isn't even worth thinking about, lol). I just don't want to buy/paint new models for other guys, heh. Costing me points :P

As to the Cauldron, I do intend to give the two masters a whirl- they might really be worth it. My biggest thing, that I like in every game/list that I play, is versatility, and options. Cauldron gives me those options, such as giving a Hydra a 5++ ward if needed, or giving my spearmen killing blow. For 225 I like it, but I for sure at least want to try the masters as well. I'm open to new stuff, at this point, I have a painted cauldron, and no painted masters. /shrug

Nikephoros said...

March blocking is pretty negligible now, but baited charges are not. Especially since fast cavalry can reform its easy to get them in the diagonal position they need to be redirectors.

I see DR role now as harassing warmachines, or if that is out to sit on the side of some block out of charge arc and fire shots, or as very annoying redirectors.

Their drawback is the same as Shades. Namely, if your opponent has no shooting they are insanely good. If your opponent has lots of shooting, they die insanely fast having accomplished nothing. But I like DR better than Shades because they can redirect better, and they are faster and thus able to get in the right position to harass blocks with crossbows.