Thursday, October 27, 2011

Warhammer Fantasy on the Cheap: Dark Elves


I figured I should start this new series with Dark Elves, since it’s the Fantasy army I know best.  The goal here is NOT to build the cheapest army.  It is NOT to build the most competitive army.  The goal is to build an army that is both cheap and competitive so that a fence sitter might get that final push to pick up the game.



So for the first thousand points I’d like to establish a nice base of Core units and a Hero choice to lead them. 

Let’s start with the Hero…


Dark Elf Sorceress.  This a $13.25 model and for the purposes of a 1k list, she is about 185 points as a Level 2 caster with equipment.  The best part about this model is that it can also represent a 400 point Sorceress Lord when we expand the list to 2k.  Nice, now that is value!

Moving onto our Core units…




Let’s grab two boxes of Dark Elf Warriors.  That gives us 32 baddies.  We’ll use 30 of them to make 3 units of 10 Repeater Crossbowmen.  Each with a standard bearer and musician comes in at 348 points.  And leaves us 2 models to spare…


What the?!  Let’s buy another box of warriors and make them, and the two spare from the first batch into spearmen… but wait.  Paint them differently (black and gold) and you have Blackguard, since the DE spears look like halberds.  This is a neato trick and by far the cheapest way to get your Blackguard.  This gives us 18 Blackguard.  With full command, and the champion carrying the Crimson Death, and standard of Murder, this clocks in at 316 points of very killy death




And to finish the list, we have a Hydra!  I know $66 isn’t a cheap model at all, but we do need this list to be competitive.  175 points for a War Hydra brings us to a total of 1,024 points.  Let’s see how we did…

$184.25
-20% internet discount
$147.40 out the door.

Not bad at all, and a very, very tough 1k list.

Let’s expand it to 2k.



We already own a Sorceress model, but this time she will be a 435 point Sorceress Lord.  Nice!  Next!


We’re gonna need two more boxes of Warriors.  One of them becomes more Blackguard.  One of them becomes more RXB. 

So we now have four units of 10 RXB.  Each with a standard and musician and shields.  This gives us a Core unit fill of 504 points

We also have enough Blackguard to make two units of 20 strong.  One gets Sword of Might, one gets Crimson Death.  One gets banner of Murder and one gets Razor Standard.  Total Specials: 663 points.

Let’s finish up with…


A final Hydra.  At 2k, two War Hydra are nutty good.

Total cost for the 2k expansion…

$136
-20% net discount
$108.80 out the door.

So the final 2k List…

Sorceress Lord
Level 4
Misc Equipment
=435

10x Repeater Crossbowmen
-Shields
-Musician
-Standard
=126

10x Repeater Crossbowmen
-Shields
-Musician
-Standard
=126

10x Repeater Crossbowmen
-Shields
-Musician
-Standard
=126

10x Repeater Crossbowmen
-Shields
-Musician
-Standard
=126

20x Blackguard
-Full Command
-Crimson Death
-Banner of Murder
=335

20x Blackguard
-Full Command
-Sword of Might
-Razor Standard
=345

Warhydra
=175

Warhydra
=175

Total: 1,969
Total Cost: $256.20
So for around $250.00 we have a very competitive 2k DE list.  The only thing I would do differently to make it more competitive would be to drop equipment off the Sorceress and lose the champ in the BG and their equipment to buy a Master BSB which would cost you an additional $15 or so, and I highly recommend that.  The only reason I didn’t make it part of the list is the two BG units are Stubborn and ITP which means the list as a whole is pretty good about leadership tests.

What do you think?

7 comments:

  1. Excellent idea man, look forward to more of these.

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  2. Very cool, I like the idea of using the warriors as black guard. Only thing I don't get is how you get 3 x std + music from 2 boxes of warriors?

    Also feel something small should be done to the spears to really show they are blackguard - but I bet that could be done with bits of sprue or some other equally cheap method.

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  3. Cool series my friend, I'll be happy to keep watching. It would be nice to get another fantasy army on the cheap :-p

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  4. @Tristan - the Warrior sprue includes command parts, so you actually get four command groups' worth of bits in the box.


    @Nikephoros - Foreseeing the endless objections to Spearmen without shields counting as Black Guard, might I suggest working some Corsairs into the buy? About half and half.

    The idea is that you kitbash the Corsair heads and torsos onto Spearman legs and arms to make your Black Guard (armoured, cloaked, big helmeted) and the spare legs, torsos and Crossbow arms go together to make your Crossbowmen core (armoured breastplate, pointy boots on the legs, shields over the shoulder, less extravagant helmets). The units look different and thus whining is abated.

    Plus you've kitbashed more or less every model in your army, and the leftover Corsair weapons could go rather nicely on Wood Elf bodies to make Shades and Dark Riders.

    The buy I'd go for would be... let's see... four Corsair kits and three Warrior kits. That's £120 at Workshop prices, $193 in your money, $154 after discount. Total for the list comes out at $270 if I've done my sums right, so for $14 extra you abate nerd drama, get a cooler looking army, and lay in a stock of parts for two other good unit types if you want to expand down the line.

    I may have spent quite a while thinking about this back when I played Dark Elves...

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  5. Good advice, Von. It depends on the gamers/nerds in your area. Personally, if they were painted in a very different, appropriately blackguard, scheme from the RXB I wouldn't have a problem with it. But if your group are a bunch of cocks, your method would probably look a lot cooler.

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  6. @Von Thanks for the info. I think that's a brilliant idea - it would also serve to make your army very unique!

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  7. I prefer to think of it as looking cooler first and cock-foiling second. :p

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