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How does a competitive Dark Elf army look like? 
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Lets say you are a Dark Elf players and you wish to fight amongst the greatest of armies. But how do you do that? Do you go Heavy Magic? Monsters? or do you go MSU with the Cauldron?

The thing I really wish to know is how we can truly be Victorious with our Dark Elves.

greeting;
Kenny

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Wed Jul 30, 2008 1:52 pm
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That's a very difficult question to answer as every player has his own style.

I for example play a very aggressive semi-MSU list that plays in every phase of the game.

a little shooting (1-2RBT, dark riders, 10 crossbows, shades and the hydra breath)
a little magic (1-2 lvl 2's, one with sacrificial dagger)
a little SCR (2-3 groups of 20 spears, one group with 25 for the dagger)
a little psychology (Terror from hydra and panic from various spells and shooting)
a LOT of fast stuff (well most elf stuff is fast but DR, harpies, hydra, COKs do the job nicely)
a few hitty units (Witch elves, COK's, Executioners, Black guard)
I never play with lords as they're point sinks and don't really do anything that a hero couldn't do almost as well for less points.

I usually end up with a mix of everything, around 100-120 models and 12-18 groups to deploy. kinda funny saying that to someone not used to playing against me. "oh yeah, my ELF force numbers in the hundreds with an average of 15 deployment slots at 2250pts" :lol:

but then again I always build "all comers" lists.

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Wed Jul 30, 2008 2:04 pm
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I use monsters. Personally I like the look of it over an MSU army any day. I don't think MSU does too well against demons, but the monsters handle up nicly. I use a dragon, hydra, 5 units of DRs, 2-3 units of harpies, 1-2 units of CoKs, and 2-3 Chariots, with two scroll caddies (one with the ring of hotek). I've had a lot of playtest games with this build and the only army I haven't been able to handle is TKs with the congo line, but that's only a matter of time before I figure out how to beat it 8) .

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Wed Jul 30, 2008 4:24 pm
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For more Ideas you can check out the army list hall of fame. On the whole druchii are at their best when you take a little bit of everything (shooting, magic, cc..etc). 2 units of DR are pretty standard in a successful 2k list as wel as 1-2 units of harpies and maybe some shades. A block or 2 of big units for Static Combat resolution, usually Spears but in some cases black guard or corsairs. Some small hard hitting Elite units, Cold Ones, Witches, Exs..etc. A monster or 2 is usually a good idea. Balanced Magic, something like 2 lvl 2's and a decent shooting phase - 2 RBT and rxbs on the DRs, maybe a unit or 2 of rxb warriors (depending on your pt costs). Hope that helps.

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Wed Jul 30, 2008 4:39 pm
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Much shooting and even more magic. That's the way for an ultra competitive list (but probably not a fun one to use or face).

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Wed Jul 30, 2008 10:14 pm
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At first glance (book and recent threads) there seems to be many winning combination, none being obviously above.

All magic is likely to be the most powerful, but no magic seems viable with ll the anti-magic items we get.
Hydras seem more interesting than RBT.
Shades are supposed to be very good, other specials seem good as well, especially BG.
Base are not game winners, except DR like in 6th ed, and harpies.

Having noticed that, think about this kind of magic-agile army:

Characters = a magic tsunami (max sorceresses) made very mobile (dragon/peg)
Rare = as many hydras as possible
Specials = as many units of 5 shades with GW as possible
Core = only units of 5DR for required core (shields or RXB if you wish)
Extra points = groups of 5 harpies

Result = an army with incredible mobility and magic.
Little shooting. No stupidity. Very high number of units. Not very good HtH power but you can choose where you hit.

Alternatively, remove 1 shade and put in a BG über-unit with ASF and RoH. Still no shooting, slightly less mobile, more HtH power.

For the opponent, he will feel miserable during each magic phase, he will have too many units to shoot at, and he will find it very hard to charge you. Difficult to overcome.

But that was theoryhammering.

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Wed Jul 30, 2008 11:12 pm
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As some people have posted a balanced list will be the best bet. Nightblade183's and Soulreaper's comments are the way I would (and will) try. The other builds are a bit too much one-trick-poneys which will win great - but will fail with some of the more popular powerbuilds floating around these days. E.g. the magic tsunami I see failing against
HE (archers with ASF are only touchable with hydras, a sucidcharge or some RBT shooting will kill the HS),
daemons with the banner of thundering (here it does not matter whether it is Khorne with the assault, Slanesh with siren on the mages or Nurgle who just ignore the damage..)
VC (which unit can wipe out a undead unit in one turn ?)

Perhaps a Khainite build will work also quite well.
No Magic at all with maxed magic defense. Some hunter units to solve the problem of gunlines (hunter noble, DR, 3 units of harpies - perhaps Shadowblade). The rest HtH troops like Corsairs, Warriors, Witches, BG, Execs and a hydra to get fire for the regeneration units...


Thu Jul 31, 2008 8:29 am
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Soulreaper that really sounds like one badass list! I'd definetly wanna try it, too bad I don't have the models.

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Thu Jul 31, 2008 10:20 am
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Our magic is incredibly weak I highly suggest avoiding it.
As you become more experienced with the game, I believe you will come to realize that magic is the least price efficient phase in the game (with a few exceptions for certain armies, like the undead ones). Not to mention it is also the least reliable.

The close combat phase is by far the more effective way to win the game. No other phase is anywhere close to as destructive. Focusing your points on this phase and the phase that supports or possibly makes the CC phase (movement) is not only the most effective way for most armies in the game to win, it also happens to be the two phases in which DE excel.

Effective and powerful Druchii armies or going to stick mostly to those two phases of the game, and keep their unit count high.

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Thu Jul 31, 2008 10:53 am
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We also excel in magic thanks to PoD.

In what ways are our magic weak? We can choose the same lore's as any other army. Why would they be weaker then?
We have less PD? Certainly not.
We have less DD? What does that matter when we're destructive?

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Thu Jul 31, 2008 1:28 pm
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Perhaps what he means is that magic isn't the most efficient way to win in warhammer... By breaking a unit in cc you can kill the entire unit in one turn, killing 5-6 models with spells each turn is going to take much longer.

Not to mention the fact that you can break units in the opponents turn using cc...

I still think our magic is very useful in a supportive role, chillwind is one of the best spells to keep fastcav from getting shot to bits, bladewind can kill off small redirecting units, warmachines and mages trying to fry your fragile elves.

Just don't expect a pile of powerdice to win you the game. ;)


Thu Jul 31, 2008 3:18 pm
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Dark Riders and Harpies, by the barrel-full.

Then sprinkle on either heavy Magic (suitably mobile of course) or some heavy hitters riding gribblies with appropriate magic defense (I'm looking at you RoH!)

Seems to be the base list that most of the GT crowd are playing around this year. Not that it's the only way to play of course - it just seems to have become popular with many 3x DR and 3xHarpy lists popping up.

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Thu Jul 31, 2008 3:51 pm
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A competitive army usually includes a general with a good knowledge of the rules, both of Warhammer in general, and his army. Comfort and experience with a particular build go a long way. The best armies I have seen, Dark Elf or not, start with these things.

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Thu Jul 31, 2008 5:06 pm
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druchii77 wrote:
A competitive army usually includes a general with a good knowledge of the rules, both of Warhammer in general, and his army. Comfort and experience with a particular build go a long way. The best armies I have seen, Dark Elf or not, start with these things.


Thank you Cpt. Obvious... I think he was looking for something a little less abstract :roll:

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Thu Jul 31, 2008 5:16 pm
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Has anyone tried out the multiple monster list with Dragon, manticore and Hyrdras ? Would be interesting to see how it faired. It would deffo be small but throw in some dark riders and you could have an incredibly fast and hitty army.


Thu Jul 31, 2008 6:59 pm
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I'm currently 4-0 with my Dragon, 2 hydra, 2 harpies, 2 sorcs, dark riders list. Works extremely well as Hydras are just to tough to handle. A Thorek gunline couldn't kill both of them.

With the book so new, proxy a few games, find a list you like and begin building. This game isn't purely about WAAC.

-Rex

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Thu Jul 31, 2008 7:05 pm
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izirath wrote:
In what ways are our magic weak? We can choose the same lore's as any other army. Why would they be weaker then?
Because we pay significantly more for the same lore's.
Empire mages are something like 40 points cheaper, yet dish out pretty much the same level of hurt, with significantly better arcane options and magic support from the arch lector and war alter.

Not to mention we will always have a more efficient place to be spending points while empire might not.

A lvl 2 mages with any gear costs ~the same price as a hydra.
If you take a hydra and just use its breath weapon your likely to cause the same amount of hurt on your opponent as that lvl 2 mage. Then you consider the CC potential of the thing and how it is significantly harder to kill...
Quote:
We have less PD? Certainly not.
Power dice has never mattered, number of successful spells and reliability is what matters. PoD is significantly less reliable and won't add to the number of other spells being cast normally, just make them harder to dispel or allow us to attempt a higher casting value spell. Not to mention our arcane selection is kind of pathetic (mostly as anything useful to our mages is all arcane, if our mages were allowed 2 arcane or some of our arcane were enchanted it would of improved our magic quite a bit), and our bound is the worst one in 7th edition.

zavratatar did a good job of stating my thoughts on magic in general, but our magic phase is particularly weak.

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Thu Jul 31, 2008 7:07 pm
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Druchii77 Is correct, I would generally add to that a sound knowledge of you opponents army as well.

With said knowledge you can build armies to suit certain foes. I generally try to let my foe win where he wants. If he is a chaos player and builds his army to win in hand to hand combat, I will not try to compete in that area. I would try to win in the magic and movement phase, Or maybe bring tons of shooty stuff. Never once have I tried to build a list to defeat LM in the magic phase. With me it is about letting your Foe pile points into a certain phase: magic, movement, shooting, CC, and then avoiding it. In esscence their great "skill" becomes a point sink.

Without said knowledge I would generally just build a balanced list as most people are posting.

cheers

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Thu Jul 31, 2008 8:19 pm
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Zeth,

I'll agree with you... about 6th edition. Magic is back for the Druchii, especially with focus familliars extended ranges and lowered costs. Our spells are better, the selection is better (metal is awesome and underrated).

Now it is too inflexible to try to win on that alone. Leave that to LM and VC. We can go strong with it and more than make the points by using the single biggest advantage at the Druchii General's disposal: Dirty, Underhanded Tricks.

Otherwise known as proper movement, apropriate magic phase management (check the last Herald), and choosing the HtH you want. Tactics, in short, allow us to more than compensate for the fact that we aren't sinking everything into the Magic phase.

Of course we have perfectly valid non-magical lists for once. Heck, my proposed Khainite list forgoes it (ring of Hotek and null shards!)

BTW, does anyone else know for sure if we can still use Wand of the Khairidon, Gauntlet of Power and Soul Shadows standard?

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Fri Aug 01, 2008 3:46 am
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Invader_Ian wrote:
Zeth,

I'll agree with you... about 6th edition. Magic is back for the Druchii, especially with focus familliars extended ranges and lowered costs. Our spells are better, the selection is better (metal is awesome and underrated)

The dark lore is worse, we lost dominion the best spell in the list.
Metal is a nice addition.
Quote:
Of course we have perfectly valid non-magical lists for once. Heck, my proposed Khainite list forgoes it (ring of Hotek and null shards!)

Had one for a long while, I just ran a SoG in my 6th edition list, and did exceptionally well with it.
Quote:
BTW, does anyone else know for sure if we can still use Wand of the Khairidon, Gauntlet of Power and Soul Shadows standard?
Can't use any of them.

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Fri Aug 01, 2008 9:45 am
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Quote:
The dark lore is worse, we lost dominion the best spell in the list.


Actually, dark magic is far from being worse than in the 6th edition. Dominion was nice, admittedly and I miss it, but blade wind is a rather nice thing to have, as is an easier to cast black horror and the improved chillwind.
Magic can be a rather effective phase if it goes well and I think that you are seeing things a bit one-sided, Zeth. We do pay more for our magic but at the same time we have significantly better mages as well (I can't remember how many times PoD has been a rather nasty surprise and allowed me to get a major spell of in a crucial moment). It's just that magic is a bit more of a gamble - you are just as likely to get nothing out of the magic phase as you are to cause absolute havoc, but I think disregarding magic completely is a mistake.
Non-magical list will have the same win/loss rate, just with less extremes (with magic you might get a massacre and suffer a major defeat and with a combat oriented army you might get a major victory and a minor defeat etc.)

Quote:
Do you go Heavy Magic?


As I pointed out before - magic can be a great thing to make the game more interesting, but it is much more risky as well. It takes experience and luck to be good with your magic phase. If you make proper use of your magic by not just blindly slamming your magic into the enemy, and you have a bit of luck, this may well make up for a weaker combat phase. However, relying solely on magic is not the best idea because it is such a gamble. I would choose at least one other phase in which you are strong; preferably the movement phase because you need your magicians to get into a good position, and because investing in movement is cheaper than combat or shooting so you have more points to spend on magic. Having a strong movement phase allows you to avoid combats (you cannot get into combat because it is too expensive to focus on combat and magic at the same time, especially since dark elves need a strong movement phase even when they invest heavily into combat).

Quote:
Monsters?


Monsters can be lots of fun to play with and certainly allow you to build a competitive army - the flying circus build has proven to be considerably successful, but an all-monsters army is low in numbers and hence cannot take heavy punishment and especially against gun lines it is tough to win, but this kind of army is very intimidating due to its sheer power.

Quote:
or do you go MSU with the Cauldron?


My preferred style by far - a khainite army with the cauldron. The challenge with this kind of army is that you have to use the army as a whole - set up traps and make proper use of baiting (which is why plenty of small sacrificial units of skirmishers are essential) in order to create devastating charges. The only way to victory for this army is together - individual units most often do not posses the power to take care of any single enemy unit by themselves, and you do not have any hammer units to reliably take out an enemy unit without needing support.
I like a mix of playstyles, focused on MSU. I take 4 levels of magic which is reasonably cheap, two hero-level characters (one for mage hunting and one to support a unit) and one ranked unit - the rest of my army are small units to support each other. This style is not a fool-proof way to win (there is no such thing ;)... but I'm sure you know that) but it fun, full of challenges and incorporates many aspects of our army instead of making full use of only one or two.

HUZZAH!

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Fri Aug 01, 2008 10:19 am
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My experience with the new DE has led me to agree with Zeth about Dark Lore and magic in general. Where I play, everyone likes maximum magic defense and so investing 1/3 to 1/2 my army into the magic phase and pulling off 1 or 2 meaningful spells is not efficient. Our shooting I find also to be rather lame, much like in 6th edition, as our to hit penalties add up fast when manouvering in any way, then the weak str3 has a 50/50 chance at best to wound, then saves. . .

Movement, psychology, and combat are where we certainly excel and if your not playing point denial, then this is where your maximum investment will yield maximum results.

In all of my games so far against dwarfs, empire, wood elves, our close-combat is the only thing that consistently resulted a net gain, whereas shooting or magic not once did against these opponents. Granted, I never maxed out my own magic (to be fair and friendly) but unless doing so I would say that magic isn't worth it. Shooting is the same: against dwarfs it still does next to nothing, the most notable example was last night when 700pts of shooting returned 24pts the first turn preceeded by 1000pts of magic which humorously did squat. The second and third turn of shooting managed to accumulate another 140pts by finally killing a gyrocopter and wounding another. His 10DD and 3 spellbreakers negated my magic (again I only took 2 lv4's with both bound items to be nice) while his shooting panicked 6 units before I ever saw combat and destroy all 4 harpy units, a DR unit, a hydra, shades w/ assassin,and crossbowmen. HOWEVER, when I did get into combat with my Dragon, Shades, 2 CoK, and DR, I annihilated those stunty saddlebags and pulled off a minor victor in 1 turn of fighting.

Dark Elf close-combat is brutal and in my mind the game winner for our army.

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Fri Aug 01, 2008 3:11 pm
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It's interesting to see different comments about the same book
and many of them even conflict with each others!
so , pick a type you like and practice it...I believe we got veteran lists ,which means all is possible and competitive.

I have to say something about our new Magic : it is risky and very powerful , 3 spell without LoS , the best damaging spell in warhammer ,
POD increase the spell amount your opponent needs to dispell : it's not so weak as someone suggest .Risky , unstable but powerful as it should be..


Fri Aug 01, 2008 5:24 pm
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UndeadcatD wrote:
It's interesting to see different comments about the same book
and many of them even conflict with each others!


And darn right it is! The whole of the last edition, the main list only had 3-4 competitive lists (and that's being generous). Now we have what we've been denied since the death of Herohammer: versitillity in crafting lists.

UndeadcatD wrote:
so , pick a type you like and practice it...I believe we got veteran lists ,which means all is possible and competitive.


We certainly should. Let's figure out the best combo's and tricks there are and pound some ***** High elves... er, have fun competative games with our friends.

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Fri Aug 01, 2008 11:01 pm
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[quote="UndeadcatD"]It's interesting to see different comments about the same book and many of them even conflict with each others!
so , pick a type you like and practice it...I believe we got veteran lists ,which means all is possible and competitive.[quote]
Agree. The more I read in Druchii.net and the more I study the army book, the better I get convinced that we have several good winning options.

Magic is probably going to be rated by our jealous opponents as one of the most dangerous in Warhammer.
No-magic seems also to be a viable option, especially with the ring of Hotek that is already viewed as a no-brainer.

Our monsters are available in large quantities (for mere hero or rare choices), an option few armies have.

We've got mighty special characters, who seem comparable to other armies counterparts.

Or core include the best light cavalery and the amazing harpies.
Magic standards are widely available for infantry, as well as Assassins.

Our specials have what some consider the best skirmisher of the game.

Overall, a lot of distinct features that are said to make our opponents jealous. Not game-winners alone, but allowing probably many more viable options than the previous army book.

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Sun Aug 03, 2008 3:16 pm
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