Monday, December 19, 2011

Warhammer: Building a Dark Elf Army pt. 1

December is such a slow month in many ways. And yet, you suddenly realize how quickly time has passed, and already we're approaching that very special night. Personally, I've always asked myself what I actually did during those long nights and short days. So it's time to have another look back and update the current Warhammer situation.

As my last update stated I've begun collecting my fourth army; Dark Elves. I hit some trouble initially, since I've developed a healthy hesitation towards models I will likely never need. I still have some Warplock Jezzails standing around as a solemn testimony to past failure.

Luckily, the Dark Elf army has some quite obvious choices that seem to form a common consensus among several players. A lot of people have pointed out the importance in hydras (sort of like Aboms, I assume) and the Black Guards have very positive reviews as well. Besides that I've invested in some crossbowmen. The there are the mandatory models such as sorcerors and a dreadlord on a cold one. That sort of thing.
This is where things get speculative, though. Even though I could just fill up the entire thing with crossbows, hydras and whatever Black Guards I could spare, it doesn't seem exactly viable. So far I've been pondering:

People seem to have very mixed feelings about these. I'll admit; I bought five of them just because they look so insanely awesome. From what I've been able to judge, they are pretty much all or nothing; you either bring a horde or you bring none. Mostly because fielding them in small groups makes them unable to suffer much payback. Alternatively, a horde of these will tear through just about anything, which only calls for much wiser deployment. Plus, I can't help feeling this borders deathstar'ism. And I really hate that.
Some people prefer to add the ASF-banner to them, effectively making them hit first against most opponents with an impressive strength and killing blow. It's an expensive solution, though, as most opponents will likely tear the banner bearer a new one as soon as they can.

Think I'll gradually build up these as I go along. Likely proxy them out in a few casual games and see. They're some expensive guys, as well in points as cold hard cash.

Black Guards of Naggarond
A lot of people say these are no-brainers for a DE-army. I can see why, they really can dish out pain. On the other hand, I'm bothered by the limited unit size. 20 really isn't a lot. Still, that's what I've gone with so far and the models look so very nice.

 Witch Elves
I considered these as I liked them a lot back in earlier editions. But they don't seem that popular and deal somehow with the same issues as the executioners. Dying too easily. Also, I really don't like their miniatures. They're still a bit crude to me.

Cauldron of Blood
Some people have praised this a lot, so I'm currently considering it. Then again, others never use it. Seems a bit like rat ogres to me, without comparing respective strengths. Only differentiated opinions. There are some really nice bonuses to get from this, so I suppose I might try it out one day.

Cold One Knights
I used to love these back in the day. A lot of people, however, seem to agree that they just aren't worth it anymore in 8th edition. Shame, since their models are awesome.

Really on the fence here. Not sure, but will wait a bit before trying it out.

They seem kind of mandatory, so I'll likely get some.
They seem to suffer somewhat the same issues as the Skaven-versions. They can do some potential smackdown but lost some utility from 7th edition. I prefer not to rely on them and spend my points elsewhere.
Not hearing much good about them. I can see why they also lost some utility from 7th, but I still imagine taking them for some fights could be good. The not counting towards core-selection is kind of hurtful, though.

Bolt Throwers
Seem to be somehow like executioners in that you have to bring a few to make it worthwhile. Again, I'm on the fence here. It's an expensive model that I'd like to be sure I'll use.

I really want to play a magic heavy DE-army. Whereas Dwarves are my army when I cba about it, I've had loads of fun with Skaven magic. Plus, magic tends to piss off several of my friends whenever we play, so hey; bi-winning.

There are the hydras, of course. Not sure whether I'll bring more creatures. I'd really like to have one of those big bad evil creatures along, but in the modern days of cannons and statistic tests it just seems way too dangerous. Yet, I am curious about some of the Flying Circus strategies I've heard about.

I usually see people field a good handful of these. For now I've bought around 20, but I imagine I'll need about 20 more or so. They seem like a really solid option to take down those T3 regiments.

The TLDR-version:
Aka. What I want from Santa this Christmas.

10 black guards (so I have 20)
20 crossbowmen (so I have around 40ish)
2 hydras
1 dreadlord on cold one
1 supreme sorceress
1 sorceress
15 warriors

and the rest I will somehow have to fill in along the way.

I must admit, I find Dark Elves more challenging to build than my remaining armies (WoC, Skavens and Dwarves). There seem to be very varying opinions, but I frankly just want an army that will kick major ass.

I will get back to you with my experiences and results later on.

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