Monday, October 1, 2012

Email In: Dark Elf 2k List Advice

Tom writes:

"Hey Nike, 

I've been reading your blog for a little while now ever since I got back into Warhammer, and I was wondering if you could give me some tips on my Dark Elves, and probably at a later time my Space Marines too haha. 

This is what my Army list looks like at the moment:


Supreme Sorceress 315pts
- Lvl 4
- Life Taker
- Sacrificial Dagger
- Shadow
- Power of Darkness


Sorceress 125pts
- Dispell Scroll 
- Fire
- Power of Darkness

Death Hag 250pts
- Cauldron of Blood 
- Rune of Khaine
- Manbane


20 Dark Elf Warriors 155pts
- Shields
- Full Command

20 Dark Elf Warriors 155pts
- Shields
- Full Command

20 Dark Elf Crossbowmen 205pts
- Musician 


10 Cold One Knights 335pts
- Full Command
- Banner of Murder

20 Black Guard 267pts
- Musician 


War Hydra 175pts

SO what's the go with what… 

One Sorceress goes with one of the blocks of Spearmen, the other Sorceress goes with the other block. 
Cauldron lingers behind moving up, so it can buff a unit. The Cold One Knights can get in close and personal, or provide a flank bonus, with the Black Guard being a main target too. 

The Blocks of Warriors can be really buffed up by shadow, or have their enemies buffed down, and I kept the musician's in with the Crossbowmen and the Black Guard just for leadership purposes, with the reasoning behind no standard bearer being that hopefully I won't need the extra point in combat res. 

I have 15pts left over to spend, so am thinking of adding a Standard of Discipline onto one of the Spearmen units, or adding in a Standard to the Black Guard. 

What do you think? I haven't played a game with this army and still need to purchase some of the models such as the Hydra etc., so any criticisms or suggestions for models to buy is all good, because I don't want to waste money on things I won't use. 



What?  No dragons?!"


So there are some issues, both major and minor, with this list that I want to address.  I’ll start with the minor ones, and then address the major ones.

Minor issues:

  • I don’t understand the Fire Sorceress.  Random Fire magic spells are pretty lame, I guess your plan is Fireball spam?  Seems weak to me.  Also, you need to look at the price of the magic bunker when taking into account her cost.  This is a fantastically expensive unit that is not at all scary at magic or combat.  I would make her Shadow Magic, and probably lose the bunker.
  • I don’t get the close combat upgrades on the Cauldron.  The Cauldron shouldn’t often be in close combat, and if it is in close combat things are going very wrong.  Also, it’s no slouch in CC.  Anything in close combat with it that actually threatens it isn’t going to be phased by those upgrades, so they seem a waste of points.
  • Full Command on your magic bunkers is bad.  You don’t need the Lordling.  He doesn’t add leadership, just one extra piddly attack.  Those points would be better spent on banners that assist with Leadership or giving the unit Flaming attacks.
  • Banner of Murder belongs on the Blackguard, since the armor piercing actually matters.  The COK need Haeg Graef for ASF.  Also, you want full command on the BG.  Not having a magic item on the officer is throwing away free value.
  • Break the Repeater Crossbowmen into MSU.  You want to be able to target multiple units per turn, and reduce your vulnerability to AOE magic and warmachines.

Major Issues:

  • You don’t have enough threats.  Before buying the COK or BG I would make sure you have a second Hydra.  You need to present your opponent with more threats than he has answers. 
  • The threats you do have are have all different speeds.  This is crucial.  Your opponent can focus fire on your units from fastest to slowest and destroy you bit by bit.  By making target priority so easy, you are essentially making your fewer threats significantly less scary.

  • Add the second Hydra. 
  • Break the RXB into two units of 10 with banner and musician. 
  • Lose the second magic bunker unit.  Make the first one 30 strong, add banner of Leadership.  Use the left over points to buy more units of RXB.  Do not exceed 500 points on Core.
  • Lose either the BG or the COK.  I recommend losing the COK.  Buy a second unit of BG.  Use the points savings to properly equip them with full command and offensive magic items.  Any extra points will go towards the Hydra.
  • Lose the offensive upgrades on the Hag.
  • Lose the L1 Sorceress.  Her contribution will be trivial, and her points will go a long way towards the second Hydra.

The results will be you now have 4 seriously scary units, your magic isn’t significantly worse, and you have significantly more and better scoring units.

Thoughts?  Comments?  Questions?


  1. I would actually disagree as to the fire sorceress, her function imho is pure utility. Shadow magic is awesome, but there's a notable lack of any magic missiles whatsoever, this is sometimes an issue. It means you have a hard time getting rid of ethereal chaff like Spirit Hosts that can ruin your Hydra's day and things like that. Fireball is a hell of a spell.
    FCGs on magic bunkers do have a purpose. If a hero on a pegasus or some other fast/flying whatever bastard reaches that bunker, you just challenge him and you bought yourself an extra turn of a living sorceress, maybe more.

    The biggest problem that I see, and have not seen adressed the hell are you NOT making your cauldron a BSB?

    1. Oh good call on that. I took it for granted that the Cauldron being a BSB, but I missed that one. Yes, you must make the cauldron a BSB.

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