The 15 Minutes Dark Elves Review
This is the first edition in a new feature of army reviews. I had an idea of doing a 10 minute review but as you will see, that has been extended to 15. I start with the Dark Elves as i know them best. I will also cover the episode in these show notes for those that may not be interested in listening to a podcast.
I’ll start with the supreme sorceress, she is best loaded out with the sacraficial dagger and throwing around shadow magic. Shadow works so well with Dark Elves due to the high amount of attacks that they can deliver from some very cheap units.
The Dredlords are a solid choice in and list and have a wide variety of kit they can bring to play. The most common build is on a Dark Steed or Pegasus with the Pendant of Khaleth and the Crown of Command. Add a few items to flavour and he is an awesome addition. Use him to block a combat unit while the rest of your army takes on the rest before coming in to help him out. Double up the dreadlords and stick them in a Coldone unit to bring a fearsome deathstar
Master, similar to the Dreadlord is a common place to put the pendant. A BSB on a pegasus with pendant is a terror to most armies. Other good options are the guy that is almost invunerable to shooting with the Cloak of Hag Grief and the Dawnstone. The Soulrender and Whip of Agony magic items are both solid choices on the Masters.
The Cauldron of Blood is almost the only reason you see a Death Hag. I almost always use the ward save but the option of a cheeky killing blow or extra attacks is nice to have. She can the Battle Standard and with the Always Strike First banner is a good option for an executioner unit.
The Sorceress is in almost every Dark Elf list. When I run fire magic I will always use a lv2 to tip the average when rolling 3 dice a little more in my favour. Other than that I will use metal on a Lv1 and throw all my dice at searing doom.
Assassins are fun but not always the most powerful units, one great trick is to reveal them into a non-fighting position while within 12″ of a Cauldren of Blood. This gives his unit stubborn and can really catch people out.
Harpies are almost always useful. Take at least 1 unit, 2 is better the 3rd can be tricky to justify getting in the list.
Spearmen are the staple of most Druchii lists, I often ran them in units of 25 but more recently have bumped them up to 35. This is a good comprimise between cost and combat power the extra bodies can help them stick around for a few rounds against the most fearsome foe.
Repeater crosbowmen are an odd choice, in that they are very good but can easily be pushed out of the list for combat units. they are great in almost all sizes but the one that stands out for me is 20 with full command and shields for 240 points.
Corsairs are one of my favourite units in the army. I play them in a unit of 30 with extra hand weapons and the Sea Serpent Standard (frenzy) the sheer volume of attacks can be devastating especially when combined with the Cauldron or Shadow magic. One thing that I didn’t mention in the episode was the fact that Pegasus Characters can go in this unit and benefit from the frenzy (rider and mount). If you are really cheeck you can fill up the whole front rank with 1+ armour save frenzied pegasus heroes. Yikes!
Dark Riders and a unit that is good in some list and not so much in others. They are always nice as a ridirector but the harpies do the same job for chearper. not a bad unit, but lose out to other options.
Witch Elves are on paper a powerful unit, they dish out a ton of attacks but I find that they are pushed out by the Corsairs or Black Guard. They can be fun in small units thrown away to just cause as much damage as possible before dying. A good unit site is 14 and they give a huge return in attacks vs points.
Executioners are another choice that when you run down their stats and rules seem like an amazing unit but on the table they are found to be lacking. Using a great weapon cancels out the ability that is considered an inbuilt advantage of the elves, high initiative. I’m running them in my army at the moment and in a big enough uni they can be useful, but you do have to build a list around them.
Black Guard are the ‘Ironmen’ of the Dark elf army. All singing, all dancing, genius, billionaire, playboy, philanthropists….. They really are the starts of the army. Their biggest downside is a maximum unitsize of 20 models. I like to keep my units cheap and run 20 with a muscian for 267 points a fully tooled up unit can run at over 350 points. Quite a saving! Another nice trick with Black Guard is to run small units 2 wide that a pegasus heros can join. 1+ armour and a Pendant at the front with the black guard giving stubborn is a nasty trick. You can run 4 or 6 wide depending on how many Pegasus you like to use.
Cold One Knights while being unreliable due to stupidity still have aplace in most lists. Their high strength is sometimes whats needed and they are fairly cheap. The unit I like to see (if not going for a deathstar) is 9 or 10 with the Banner of murder. Again this is a balance between price and power.
Cold One Chariots are one of those units that would be an auto inclusion in some army books, but in the Dark Elf list there is a lot of competition for the points that are left after your core and characters have been selected. They are a unit that needs the army to be designed with them in mind.
Bolt Throwers have fallen out of fashion in recent times but the current metagame has seen a resurgence in them. Played with Chariots and a defensive battle line to back up a mobile counter attacking force of a Dragon and a pair of Pegasus riders and a hydra they can cause problems all game while staying safe.
The War Hydra was once the Chuck Norris of the Dark Elf army. He kicked seven bells out of everything but in recent times every army is kitted out to deal with a hydra. Its still a powerful choice and at 175 points can be used as a distraction piece very well. Doubling them up can cause double the pain, but be aware that sometimes is can be 2 lots of easy points.
So I failed at the 10 minute Dark Elves review but managed to stay under 15. I hope you enjoyed the review, if you have a preferance for future reviews leave a comment below, as I said at the top of the article, I started with Dark Elves because I know them best but will work my way down all the races.
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