Monday, January 24, 2011

Fantasy Dark Elves: High Toughness list?

Hey, what's up folks!  How's it hangin?  lol... I've been painting a lot of Dark Elves lately for Genghis Con coming up on Feb. 17 or so.  For those who don't know, Genghis is going to have a 40k GT with 5 games this year (first time ever, instead of just 3) and then on Sunday there will be the Fantasy Tournament.  I don't play a lot of Fantasy (as in, 5 games total this entire edition) but I'm hoping to have a competitive list that can take care of my blunders.

First, I want to complain just a little bit.  Dark Elves troops are cool, but they're all very squishy.  They have no real resilient units out there, though they end up costing quite a few points.  I've had issues with this in the past, and figured maybe MSU was the way to do things, to minimize the times I lost things.

However, MSU doesn't really work as well with this army, since to be effective in combat, your blocks of infantry need to be able to slug it out for more than a single turn in order to finagle your way into a flank charge or whatever it takes to totally.  Killing most of a unit isn't worth anything in this edition, and feeding a deathstar your units piecemeal isn't fun at all.  So you've got to have some big units.  But then the issue comes in:  what do I do about stone throwers?  It's a tough thing to contemplate, honestly.

So, I've been just kinda working on hammering out my basic list, with a lot of random stuff- what I guess I'd consider a balanced list.  The only thing I really didn't like very much were the Dark Riders, which I have painted, but don't really add a whole lot to the list.  In fact, people just kill them for easy Victory Points.  They don't do much in combat, they take a lot of maneuvering to get into position to kill war machines.  They can't even kill small shooty units, because Stand and Shoot will kill them too easily.

Here's my new list (at 2250):

Supreme Sorceress w/ Lvl. 4, Pendant of Khaleth (reverse ward save), Sacrificial Dagger, Lifetaker (bow that always hits on a 2+, and shoots 3 shots), Ironcurse Icon (unit gets 6+ ward vs. warmachines)

Master w/ Armor of Eternal Servitude, BSB, Mundane Gear, Cold One Chariot

10x Repeater Crossbowmen w/ Musician/Standard, Shields
10x Repeater Crossbowmen w/ Musician/Standard, Shields
10x Repeater Crossbowmen w/ Musician/Standard, Shields
35x Dark Elf Warriors w/ Shields, Musician/Standard, Flaming Standard (Sorceress goes here)

20x Black Guard w/ Musician/Standard, Banner of Murder
Cold One Chariot
Cold One Chariot
Cold One Chariot

War Hydra
War Hydra

(with about 50 to spare)

First, I want to thank Nikephoros for the idea.  He didn't actually advise me to take Chariots per sey, but he has been making lists a lot lately involving the Chariots on his blog, and has influenced my thinking about them.

That being said, I'm not sure he'd really like this list.  But there are reasons this list could work well, I think, despite what looks like a random smattering of units.  I have some T5 guys, some blocks of infantry, a Sorceress, some shooting... etc.  Lots of things, without any real specific focus, which I think is what Nike would not like.

Here's the thing:  I think the Chariots are simply far superior to the Dark Riders.  They can actually survive if they charge an MSU shooting unit similar to my Crossbowmen.  On top of that, they can hurt just about anything in the game, and when two (or preferably three) of them charge a unit, that's what... 3d6 +3 S5 hits that occur before actual swings happen.  On average, that's going to be 13 S5 hits, before the 6 S5 WS5 reroll to hit swings, before the 6 S4 swings.  Against T3, that's generally going to kill like 15 dudes.  Against T4, it's still going to kill like 10 or so.  Enough to seriously ruin their ranks.  A block of 20 guys will break that turn, most times.  Bigger blocks of infantry will be susceptible to Hydra's flame templates, spells, and my own blocks of infantry.

There's also the potential of facing off against a deathstar unit, and tying them up with either my big spear block or Black Guard, while the chariots and hydras get the flank charges.  And if I need to warmachine hunt, a 14" march move on the first turn ensures that they'll be in range to charge warmachines consistently Turn 2, just like Dark Riders could.  Heck, Chariots can still even shoot.

The thing I like most though, is their T5 W4.  That's a lot of effort the enemy needs to put in to actually killing 100 points of model.  And whereas a single T5 W4 model isn't super crazy hard to deal with, I have 6 in this list.  With a couple solid blocks of infantry, and a good spell caster.

The chariots simply add something to the list that was not there before- speed I had, but speed that could actually deliver a strong punch I was lacking.  I needed to get the strong (resilient) combat presence from somewhere- and the Dark Riders really weren't adding much to the list as it was.  It's almost like a free 300 points, lol.

Also of note, is the lack of my Cauldron of Blood in the list.  Instead, my BSB that I'm spending 200+ points on is going to be actually actively doing something, and hopefully killing lots of face.  Here's a question:  if someone shoots the chariot, would I get the regen save that my magic armor conveys every time against it?  Can't find my rulebook, heh.

So, what do you think?  Fail?  Awesomesauce?

As a sidenote- anyone have any good ideas on how to get my hands on Cold One Chariots?  They aren't on the GW site, and ebay doesn't have much.  I'd be willing to use other faction's chariots, and just use my Cold One models from the Knight kits to supplement it, but what army's chariots would best fit Dark Elves?

Also, any ideas on how to spend my extra 50 points?  Extra crossbows make me sad to paint, but that's probably what will happen if I don't get any better ideas.


Nikephoros said...

Thanks for the shout out. Now I have some comments.

I still like Dark Riders, but that's simply a tactical trick I do with them. I put all my 'heavy' stuff on the left flank and the core in the center and dark riders on the right flank. My opponent will see a spread out battle line, and deploy spread out. I will vanguard move my Dark Riders 18" back to the center of my lines, so my right flank disappears and then they will march around and now be on the extreme left. This creates an overstrength flank and allows me to easily multi-charge with chariots and Hydra. Anything from his right flank that wants to cross the middle and save his left flank will get shot at by my core for a couple of turns before they get there.

So enough about tactics, and onto your list.

I like it. I squeeze one more chariot into my 2200 list, but you still hit hard with what you have.

The black guard are good at defending the weak flank, but I think that for the same points, 10 Cold One Knights might be better. CoK are more immune to small arms fire due to a 2+ save and more likely to get the charge off and punish someone who tries to cross the midfield.

The magic bunker could definitely work. It doesn't want to be in combat unless it can avoid it, so my advice is to use Lore of Shadow since most of the spells have pretty good range. Plus Lore of Shadow combos rather well with impact hits and breath weapons.

So yeah, the list is good but the black guard are the one thing out of place. I think after a few test games you'd find CoK to be superior at the same role as BG, but give it a shot.

Anonymous said...

While I am not sure if the change was made for 8th, chariots could not march in 7th.

Xaereth said...

anon: really? heh... that kind of makes me sad. I really need to find my rulebook.

Nike: Thanks for the feedback :) I thought vanguard movement was only 12" max? Again, I need to find the rulebook :-p

The CoK are alright, but I really dislike how their momentum just stops after the charge. Sure, they kill lots of shit on the charge, but at least with Black Guard, they're *always* getting 21 rerollable attacks, every turn, which are -2 to armor saves. There's just something amazing (to me) about consistency.

That being said, I will try it as you say, though I doubt it'll be anytime TOO soon, since I'm planning on using my current CoK with the Chariots I'm going to convert from High Elf ones. :-p

Nikephoros said...

Vanguard move is only 12", sorry about the confusion.

As far as the master's regen on chariot, for characters chariots count as ridden monsters. So you randomize hits between the rider and the chariot for magic and shooting. It makes characters on chariots with wards really hard to kill.