What does a Tournament Dark Elves list look like?
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Author:  HERO [ Thu Sep 04, 2008 12:37 pm ]
Post subject:  What does a Tournament Dark Elves list look like?

I've seen several lists crawling around multiple boards and I wanted to get your guys' opinion:

What will be the most competitive Dark Elves list?

So far I've seen shooty heavy, magic heavy and monster heavy. Personally, I'm leaning towards the Monster-heavy lists, but I wanted to gather opinions from old school DE and tournament players on what they think will be top.

Author:  Mr. anderson [ Thu Sep 04, 2008 12:45 pm ]
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I always go for a balanced approach - a mix of small elite units and blocks of core infantry, supported by some cavalry. No big monsters like dragons or manticores for me, at least not in games with less than 2500 points, these things are just too expensive.
An army of mine would look a bit like that:


20 Warriors
10 Corsairs
5 Harpies
5 Dark Riders
5 Dark Riders

18 Black Guard
7 Shades
5 Cold one Knights


this is of course only a very rough draft, but I believe that with a balanced army it is not so much the choice of units that matters but the skill at handing those units (and your opponent's units obviously), and that is what I like most about a tactical game.


Author:  Lakissov [ Thu Sep 04, 2008 12:56 pm ]
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the most competitive one will most likely be the one combining rock-hard units and extremely fast units. I guess the core of the list could be:

dragonlord with pendant, 1+ armor and some magic weapon
hydra banner BSB in a unit of COK with warbanner and champ
2 hydras
12 - 15 BG with champion (with either ring of hotek or the armor piercing GW) and ASF banner
7 shades with GW and champion (for scouting)
9 shades with GW and champion (only scout when you're lucky)
at least 3 units of 5 harpies
at least 3 units of 5 DR with crossbows

and then you add or change something; the list is very fast and hard hitting, and I frankly think it's cheesy

Author:  Milney [ Thu Sep 04, 2008 1:06 pm ]
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It'll be the Monster-Mash list.

Dragonlord (Sporting Defenseive Gear)
Manticore Master (Sporting anti-magic)

2 Hydrae

15 Dark Riders

and then fill to flavour.

Personally I'd then chock it full of Harpies as in the ToS pack they are useful for all 3 scenarios, but it's really up to personal choice.

Author:  Corum jhaelen irsei [ Thu Sep 04, 2008 1:31 pm ]
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For me a good tournament list must be able to piss off your opponents a lot. A list with dragon, manticore, hydras, chariots, CoKs and dark riders accomplishes this well :D

Author:  Highborn on black dragon [ Thu Sep 04, 2008 8:44 pm ]
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For know I'm quite happy with this:

CoB General
Master BsB Lance HvA Enchanted Shield PoK
Caddy Sorceress

3x10 RxB
3x5 Dark riders with Mu
3x5 Harpies

7 Shades with GW
15 BG with BoM RoH
15 BG with SoHG and Soulrender on the Champion
6 CoK

2x RBT

Ethereals only problem so far.

Author:  HERO [ Thu Sep 04, 2008 10:33 pm ]
Post subject: 

Ace of Spades wrote:
For me a good tournament list must be able to piss off your opponents a lot. A list with dragon, manticore, hydras, chariots, CoKs and dark riders accomplishes this well :D

Yeah.. I've been leaning towards this kind of list:


Dreadlord (Black Dragon, Lance, Shield, Cloak, Blood Armour, PoK) = 525
Master (Manticore, BSB, Deathpiercer, Armour of Darkness) = 355

5x Dark Rider (RXB) = 110
5x Dark Rider (RXB) = 110
5x Dark Rider (RXB) = 110

10x Cold One Knights (FC, Ring of Hotek, Banner of Murder) = 360
6x Shades (GW) = 108
6x Shades (GW) = 108
6x Shades (GW) = 108


2x Hydra = 350

Not a lot of models but each preform with a bloodthirsty purpose :) It's quite painful to play against I'm sure.

Author:  Dyvim tvar [ Fri Sep 05, 2008 12:14 am ]
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I think that dragon-based lists will be the most competitive, but not necessarily the "monster mash" type of lists of the sort discussed above. Manticores and Hydras are nice, but there are other options for dishing out pain that can be a more effective use of points, especially when you already have a dragon in the list. Terror is nice, but enemy units only ever have to take one terror test per game.

I think a fast, mobile army with a dragon & probably a pagasus-rider with a mix of shooting and combat elements is the strongest way to go.

Author:  Vorchild [ Fri Sep 05, 2008 2:07 am ]
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I still think balance is the way to go. At least around here, anyways, there's no need to go way over the top. Tends to really hurt you in the end anyways as most cunning opponents can keep big nasty stuff busy long enough to at least eek out a draw. I won a 1500 pt tournament with this list about a month ago:

Master on steed
L2 Sorc on steed
L2 sorc

5xDR, mus, RXB
5xDR, mus, RXB
10 RXBmen, std, sh
10 RXBmen, sh
6 harpies

5 shades
2 chariots

2 RBTs

Forget the specific magic items, mind you, but the pendant was in there as was the cloak. Gives me 7 dice plus extras from casting, a good deal of shooting and lots of mobility and a fair bit of hitting power.

I've always been a big fan of mobile missile armies though, so who knows. I played the dragon style lists under the old rules and they worked well then - they'd work even better now for the most part. Still don't think its the way to go though since it tends to kill your soft scores something fierce to the point where you have no real hope of claiming best overall.

Author:  Duffman327 [ Fri Sep 05, 2008 2:57 am ]
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my old6th ed tourney army which was 1500 pts had a master on chariot.
2x 5 dark riders
2x bolt throwers
unit of 19 executioners.
6 shades
sorceress in exes
sorcerss on foot.

it was a good list

one game in particular against Chaos dwarves. dark rider unit hit the flank of big blunderbuss unit. they lost by 1 but stuck around for 2 turns. more than enought time to charge my exes in the front. absolutely smashed through them. then decided to clean up the rest of the battle ground with them. imagine that now with Str4 and hatred, WOW!

Author:  - human [ Fri Sep 05, 2008 3:20 am ]
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I think list builds will vary, and this is a great thing - our list has a lot of equally viable options, and we're very lucky to have that!

Common choices for tournaments, however, will definitely be dragons, hydras, and dark riders & harpies. Not necessarily together, but most competitive lists will probably include 3/4 of these units.

Author:  Lac.desariel [ Fri Sep 05, 2008 7:56 am ]
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When ever I aproch a torney, I have if you like a check list of things I need to achive in my army and play of that army,

1. utilise the strenghts of my chosen army. For druchii its combat with hatred, magic with PoD our shooting to me is ok 4 reapers are good but out xbows are stg 3 and it never cuts it vs high armour how ever our sheer weight of shots is to be comended.

2 we play with 5 phases... Psycology, Movement and charges, Magic, Shooting and combat

Dominate 3 phases and you win more than likely win.
break down of the phases are as so

Psycology, if you put down morathi and 3 lvl 2 sorc's your opponent might well be thinking, oh dear ive hope. or if you place down troops that cause fear and terror you have that covered and your oppo will be taking tests unless they cause fear but then when the VC player likes to break units through fear youve nulled that phase.

Movement, this is one phase we can dominate with easy, If im not mistaken we have the fastest army in the fantasy world. thats not to say the dwarf cant dominate by only opening movement channels he wants open and control movement with his cannons.

Magic two ways to dominate with high magic casting or shut down the phase, again Dwarfs and Khorne will shut it down but I think now we are at the top for opening it up

Shooting Im yet to explore true druchi shooting but but good movement you can shut down a shooting phase, give them your unkillable dragon lord to shoot, mine took 30 reapter crossbow shots and wounded the dragon once.

Combat hit em and hit em hard and roll over then or have a statice combat res of 6 and high armour / toughness, with druchi I would go for the first.

so whats all this mean?

my qualifying heats for a torney im in at the min, I took morathi and 3 lvl 2's I was pushing some 13 power dice a phase (old rules) and was casting black horror any where between 1 and 3 times a turn combat alowing. I didnt need a combat phase to win as so by not being in a combat phase I nulled out the phase, I dominated the magic and shut theres down,

Im planing on going beast for the finals.

I personally over load on 1 aspect and play to the armys strengths, but thats not to say balanced lists dont work its harder to dominate phases with a balanced list that an overloaded list. saying that tho one good quote my GW manager once said 'You can write a 40k list to win games but with fantasy you need to be able to play the game as well'

Author:  Waerik [ Fri Sep 05, 2008 8:23 am ]
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Common choices for tournaments, however, will definitely be dragons, hydras, and dark riders & harpies. Not necessarily together, but most competitive lists will probably include 3/4 of these units.

Now that's a bit of an understatment, I have never seen a list that would not have been better by squesing in at least one unit of riders and one unit of harpies (now that they are core). ;)

The monster mash army is powerfull, but is very weak vs certain things, Tzench demons in particular.

People seem to overestimate the protection offerd by the ring of hotek a bit, it only gives protection against high cast spells really, i.e. a spell cast on two dice, goes up from a 1/36 to a 1/6 miscast chance, the chance however is still neglectible, and the best anti monster spell, 'the beast cowers', is cast on 7+, hence on two dice ;)

This is normaly not a huge problem, since we have the best tools for mage hunting in the game, the Tzench mages however, are very hard to catch, and quite resiliant to shooting with the 4+ ward.

Other demon armies, such as a nurgle/khorn list would also be very hard, e.g. two units of plaugeberers with chars, a thirster, would be very hard for a monstermash army to handle.

I think list builds will vary, and this is a great thing - our list has a lot of equally viable options, and we're very lucky to have that!

Agreed, we have one of the few books, where all units are viable (even executioners IMO, in the right circumstances).

Author:  Frosty [ Fri Sep 05, 2008 9:26 am ]
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Magic, magic, shoot & magic apparently!

See this thread on TWF
http://warhammer.org.uk/PhP/viewtopic.p ... sc&start=0

Some bloke called Rasmus won a filthy no holds barred tournement with the following list

Level 4 - Lifetaker, wardsave, dagger
Level 2 - Dispel, ItP
Level 2 - Dispel, Familiar
Level 2 - Dispel, Dispel

3x10 Crossbowmen
5 Riders
3x5 Hapies
2x5 Shades
1x8 Shades
10 Blackguard
2 Bolt Throwers
1 Hydra

Yuck! Boring I say... but I guess it was effective!

I agree although the monster mash is strong it will fall down vs certain other power builds...

For fun my advice for a touney is build somthing completley wacky & one trick pony-ish... at a touney you will only play a couple of games & as list cannot be ammended no-one will be able to re-act and adapt to your list in time!
I would also be quite fun I guess.... (win big or get massacred)

Or you could take the other more cautious/calculating approach and find out what other armies are attending the touney then plan to counter thier top touney builds...
Lots of Empire; plan to take down Steam Tanks, avoid big monsters as they will probably die to Cannon fire
Lots of VC; stock up on fear protection + take hydras for flaming re-gen bunkers
Lots of HE; take shooting & charriots

Author:  Dyvim tvar [ Fri Sep 05, 2008 1:59 pm ]
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Sounds like he got lucky in the magic phase, too. I once took a heavy-magic army to a tournament, and in my first game, I had 3 of my 6 magic phases end immediately due to miscast on my first casting attempt. And all of the miscasts were natural snake-eyes on two dice. A bit extreme, but it demonstrates the risk of a heavy-magic build. On a run of luck, you can dominate, but it's not a reliable way to go.

Author:  Heffo [ Fri Sep 05, 2008 7:39 pm ]
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I think if you look on TWF theres a tournament report where A monster Dark Elf army does well. The thread is actually about a filthy demon list, i think the titles author is Gazzor. In it he meets a very tough Dark Elf list and one or two softer ones.
The army in question belongs to Benji (hope I got the spelling right). Interesting to see a Dark Elf opponents take on the army and how to deal with it.


Nice read and well written to. As he fought several different Dark Elf builds it shows how different builds deal with a High end Demon tournament army.
The army was the following:

Lord on Dragon with Captain Scarlet amulet and S6 magic weapon.
BSB on Manticore with miscast amulet.
5 Dark Riders
5 Dark Riders
5 Dark Riders
5 Harpies
5 Harpies
5 Harpies
5 Shades
5 Shades

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