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Tutorial Dealing with Dark Elves

Discussion in 'Lizardmen & Saurian Ancients Tactics' started by Asamu, Oct 8, 2013.

  1. Asamu
    Saurus

    Asamu Member

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    The Dark Elf Army:

    The new Dark elves are powerful in all phases of the game, with access to Soulblight without risk of losing the Wizard when boosting it on the Warlocks, fast moving Dark Riders, Repeater Crossbows and Bolt throwers for shooting, and deadly combat in the form of Witch elves, monsters, and Exectutioners.

    With the entire army now having ASF, Dark elves are much more similar to their High Elf brethren. However, rather than gaining an extra rank of attacks, every unit in the army except for Harpies, Hydra, and Kharibdyss is allowed to re-roll all rolls of 1 to wound.

    Units:
    Lords and Heroes:
    Dreadlords/Masters:
    With the Sea Dragon cloak giving a 5+ scaly skin rather than a +1/2vs shooting, Dark Elf characters now have the potential to get 2+ armor saves on foot, the same as our Scar veterans. That being said, they still lack the strength and toughness of ours, so our characters can handle them, assuming their characters are unable to kill ours before we strike.
    A Dreadlord with the Black amulet and Ots will be a tough nut to crack in a challenge, so if they are issuing, I would recommend declining, unless you are reasonably certain they don't have the hitting power to put wounds onto your characters.

    Likely Dark elf Players will have a Master on either a peg or a Dark steed sporting the cloak of Twilight, giving it both the Killing blow and D3 wounds special rules in the first round of combat, along with a 3+ ward save against all shooting and magic. Combined with re-rolls to hit and strength 6 from a lance, this will be dangerous for characters in combat with said master in the first round. Likely he will be going after the salamanders, so keeping them behind lines of skinks to prevent being charged will be a powerful tool (Salamanders can shoot over the skinks, due to the skink bases being less than an inch thick, giving them protection from charges.). This is more effective with 2 units, allowing you to prevent him from being able to pursue into the salamander should your skinks break.

    Sorceresses: Dark elves now have access to all of the lores of magic, so be sure to know what lore they are using and react accordingly.

    Dark Magic:
    If they are using the new lore of Dark magic, they get +1 to cast, the same as High Elves. be wary of the boosted word of pain(-d3 ws,bs, S, I)/Black Horror (Str Test or Die vortex, allows ward saves), and Shroud of Despair, which denies the General and BSB rules.
    The sac dagger remains, though a die is only generated on a 4+, and with warriors (dreadspears/Bleakswords) being so much more expensive, and witch elves now being the prime core choice, it is likely going to be less common.

    Lore Attribute: If doubles are rolled to cast on an enemy unit, causes 2d6 S1 AP hits; if triples, 3d6 S1 AP hits. Resolved after spell effect.
    Like the lore of High magic, Dark magic has 2 signature spells: Power of Darkness and Doombolt.
    Power of Darkness (sig): 8+ cast. +1 strength to the caster's unit and +d3 dice to the power pool. If 3 dice are generated, the caster suffers a wound with no armor save. Not a "must stop," but it can be a threatening spell if the caster's unit is in combat.
    Doombolt (sig): 12+/24+ cast 18" range magic missile, 2d6/4d6 S5 hits. Stop it if you can afford to, because it does have the potential to be dangerous to everything in our army.
    Chillwind (1): 5+ cast 24" range, Magic Missile, 2d6 s2 hits; if any unsaved wounds are caused, unit is at -1 to BS until the caster's next magic phase. This will likely be used on our skinks every turn if they have it, however, they will likely take other spells over this if able.
    Word of Pain (2): 9+/12+ cast, Hex, -d3 to WS and BS until the caster's next magic phase. Also -D3 to Strength and I if boosted. Roll once for all stats. Must stop if able/in combat.
    Bladewind (3): 9+ cast, 24" range, Direct Damage, All models in the unit take a WS test or suffer a S4 AP hit. This spell is very dangerous to large blocks of Saurus, and to even small units of skinks. I recommend stopping it if you can afford to.
    Shroud of Despair (4): 10+ cast, targets all enemies in 12" range, Hex, Until the caster's next magic phase, affected units cannot use the Hold Your Ground (BSB) or Inspiring Presence Rules; in addition, for every failed LD Test, all target units suffer a cumulative -1 penalty to LD until the caster's next magic phase. Must stop if leadership tests are likely to be taken.
    Soul Stealer (5): 11+/14+ cast, 18" range, Direct Damage, Small template, scatters d6" All models hit suffer a s2 hit with no armor save. For each wound caused, caster rolls a d6, and on a 4+ gains a wound, to a max of 10 wounds.
    Arnzipal's Black Horror (6): 15/25+ cast, Vortex, Art*caster lvl range, small/large template. Models touched by the template suffer a strength test or die, with no armor or regen allowed. A model may make single ward save against the spell to survive. Not as deadly as Purple sun for us Lizardfolk, but still deadly. Stop if possible. If Soulblight (warlocks know it automatically) or the boosted word of pain are in effect, this is a must stop. Combined with Soulblight and Word of pain being able to reduce strength by as much as 4, this spell can be deadly to every unit in the game.

    Overall, this is a very aggressive lore, with many Hexes that make it easier for them to win combat, and to weaken units to manageable levels, with multiple anti-horde and chaff clearing spells. Of the available lores for dark elves, this is one that I would rather not face, simply due to the number of spells that are dangerous. It will be hard to stop enough of them, especially with their additional +1 to cast and ability to generate additional dice through the sac dagger and Power of Darkness.

    The Tome of Furion (Arcane item, 12.5ss) now allows a Sorceress with the lore of Dark Magic to choose one spell, rather than rolling for it. Remaining spells must be rolled for normally.


    Fleetmasters and High beastmasters are unlikely to see much play due to the lack of efficiency in comparison to the Dreadlord.
    The Fleetmaster is essentially a weaker dreadlord, with the bonus of giving his unit unbreakable for the round if he kills an enemy character. Not a huge benefit, as the character only has 3 attacks and is only allowed 50 points of magic items.
    The High beastmaster is allowed a manticore for "free" with a bonus d3 attacks. That being said, it is still a manticore. Just spam skink shooting at it and it will go down pretty quickly. Aside from that, he is just a weaker dreadlord. Less attacks, lower WS, lower I, and lower Ld.

    Of the special characters, Hellebron is the one that needs to be worried about. She may lack defense, but she makes up for it with 8-10 strength 10 ws7 I9 always strikes first attacks. I would avoid a challenge with her at any cost. Likely, she will be in a witch elf unit with the Cauldron, which grants her a 5+ ward save, but other than that she has nothing. The best bet would be to either sniper her with magic, if you have death spells, or just try to bait her unit with skinks, as they will be taking their frenzy checks at a -3.

    Death Hags and the Cauldron: Death Hags now only have 3 Gifts of Khaine available: Cry of War, which gives the Death hag fear, and forces all fear tests taken by units in base contact to be taken with a -3 penalty (This is likely to be quite popular), Rune of Khaine, which gives + d3 attacks (I don't foresee this one being taken all that often), and Witchbrew, which gives the unit containing the Death Hag Frenzy, or, if they already have it, Super Frenzy (+2 attacks instead of +1).
    The cauldron itself Provides the unit it is in a 6+ ward save, which is increased to 5+ for Witch Elves, Hags, and Death Hags (includes Hellebron). It allows all models within 6 inches to re-roll all failed rolls to wound, rather than just 1s. In addition, it now sports a bound spell, granting Frenzy/Super Frenzy to any single unit within 12" on a 3+. Thankfully, it does not stack with Witchbrew.
    Being a chariot that can join units, it can now march and provides strength 5 impact hits.

    Dark Elf Infantry:
    It's unlikely you will be seeing a whole lot of spearmen or swordsmen now that Witch Elves are core, but as they are all dealt with similarly.
    Black Guard are now 15 ppm, and did not gain any significant buffs other than ASF and Murderous prowess, which were not worth the points increase.
    Executioners however, became significantly better. With ASF and the ability to re-roll 1s to wound, they are now one of the deadliest units for us in close combat. They completely negate our armor saves and strike first; likely almost every dark elf army will be running a horde, which will easily have enough attacks to chop through our Saurus and Temple guard unless we can get the right spells from lore of Light/life.

    All of the Dark Elf Infantry are low toughness and have rather low saves, with the best save against shooting going to Corsairs, which sport a 4+ due to their sea Dragon cloaks and Light armor. Because of their low toughness and armor, remember: Salamanders are your friend; they will soften up those Executioners and Witch elves in no time, so protect them.

    If running Focus of Mystery, the number 6 spell in high magic will be deadly against the large block(s) they are likely to have, and Arcane unforging will be crippling against their important characters.

    Sisters of Slaughter: They have a 4+ ward save in combat and negate rank bonuses, but they have only a 6+ armor from their shield and are T3 against shooting, so they are vulnerable, and with their high points cost, they are unlikely to be in large numbers.


    Cavalry:
    Dark Riders: They are now cheaper and sport 4+ armor. That being said, they are still T3, and will die quickly to skink shooting and magic.

    Cold One Knights: I don't see these as being popular, considering the strength of Executioners, but they are comparative to High Elf Cavalry, with 1 more strength and murderous Prowess.
    As with all cavalry, it is recommended that you fight them with Cowboys or Temple Guard with the armor piercing banner if you are able.

    Doomfire Warlocks: This unit is potentially one of the best in the game, sporting movement 9 with fast cav a 4+ ward save, strength 4, 2 attacks/model, and ASF. On top of all that, the unit is a lvl 2 wizard, functioning similar to Pink Horrors, though they automatically know the Doombolt (2d5/4d6 18" Strength 5 magic missile on a 12+/24+ cast), and Soulblight (-1 S/T to target/all units within 24 inches on a 10+/20+ cast). It's that second spell and the fact that they only take d3 automatic wounds (that allow ward saves), on miscasts that makes me think this unit will be so strong.
    With fast cav, they will be hard to pin down, so kill them off with shooting and magic as quickly as possible. Likely most Dark elf lists will have at least one unit, but many of them will have 2 of 5.

    Monsters:
    The Hydra: The Hydra no longer has Hatred, and the Handlers no longer actually exist, so it lost a lot of it's hitting power. That being said, it can still have a Breath weapon (now just strength 4), and it has a new form of regeneration. Instead of the 4+ save, it can now for each wound suffered earlier in the battle, recover said wound on a 4+ at the end of the DE player's turn. In addition, the Attacks of the Hydra are now based upon the number of remaining wounds, for a total of 4-8 (3+ remaining wounds).
    It is now significantly easier to wound with our skinks, and it is weaker in combat, so it will be much less difficult for us to deal with. That being said, if we are unable to kill it in one turn, it has the potential to be just as strong the next turn.

    Kharibdyss: With a stat line of 6 5 0 7 5 5 4 5 6, it is potent in combat for the relatively low price of 80 slaves. It also sports a few dangerous special rules. The first of which is Abyssal Howl, which forces any enemy unit in base contact to re-roll all leadership tests. The second is called Feast of Bones, which states that should it hit with all 5 of it's attacks, it does an additional d6 automatic hits. It also has Poison, though with strength 7 that isn't really a huge deal.
    With only a 4+ armor save, it is vulnerable to our Skinks poisoned shooting, and with just T5, it won't be lasting particularly long in combat. Just be sure to survive the rounds that it is alive.

    Bloodwrack Shrine/Medusa: The bloodwrack shrine works similarly to the Cauldron in that it can join units and march, despite being a Chariot.
    The shrine has a statline of 5 - - 5 6 5 - - -; the 2Shrinekeepers have stats of -4 4 3 - - 5 1 8; and the Medusa is the same statline as below, with no movement, wounds, leadership, or toughness values.
    The medusa has a statline of 7 5 5 4 4 3 5 3 2, and the frenzy, ASF, Murderous Prowess, Fear, Avert your Gaze, and Bloodwrack Stare special rules.
    The special rules it has are Aura of Agony, which provides +1 leadership to all dark elf models within 6 inches, and a -1 leadership penalty to all non-dark elf models within 6"inches.
    In combat, it has a rule called "Avert Your Gaze!," which states that before challenges are issued, enemy models in b2b contact must take an initiative test or suffer a strength 4 hit with KB and no armor save allowed. In short: Keep your Characters out of base contact with the Medusa, or risk them being killed outright.
    It also has a special 12" range strength 4 shooting attack called Bloodwrack Stare with multishot (4) and killing blow. It isn't a huge threat due to the low volume of fire, but it does roll to wound against initiative rather than toughness, and allows no armor saves, so it is dangerous to our cavalry and monsters.

    The Shrine only has a 6+ armor save, so it will die quickly to shooting, and the Medusa has no saves at all, and with only 3 wounds at T4, it will die easily to either combat or shooting.

    Skirmishers and Bolt Throwers
    Shades: They retain the same points cost, of 8ss+ upgrades, with additional hand weapons and Great weapons each being +1ss/model, and light armour being .5ss per model; however, they now have ASG instead of Hatred, and with WS and BS 5, they are likely to remain a popular choice in the DE army. As with all scouts, deploy to prevent them from getting into your back line. Due to their skirmisher special rule, I recommend using Javelin skinks and Salamanders to shoot them down on the first and second turns. They are expensive, and so provide quite a bit of victory points.

    Harpies: With the increase in points cost from 5.5ss to 7.5ss, and the fact that they have been moved to special and can now cause panic in other DE units, they are unlikely to be a popular choice. They will be easily taken down by skink fire at short range, or even long range if you are using Javelins, salamanders, or combat with just about anything in our army.

    Reaper Bolt Throwers: They are now a special choice, rather than rare, but retain the maximum 4 allotment. Like the HE repeater bolt throwers, their points cost was reduced to 35ss, from 50ss. Try to take them out with chameleon skinks as quickly as possible to prevent them from killing off salamanders or monsters, or whittling down our combat units too quickly.

    I will continue to update this over time, so feedback is wanted.
     
    Scalenex likes this.
  2. Scalenex
    Skink Priest

    Scalenex Keeper of the Indexes Staff Member

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    Excellent Overview, I would recommend putting spaces between the stat numbers on the Kharlibdyss so it doesn't look like a phone numbers.

    I'd also appreciate a spell by spell breakdown of the new Dark Magic.

    You should probably also touch on Shades, Harpies, and the Bolt Throwers just for completeness. If the Reaper Bolt Thrower and Shades got the same makeover that Eagle Claw Bolt Throwers and Shadow Warriors got, we are likely to see a lot of these units in the future.
     
  3. Dyvim Tvar
    Razordon

    Dyvim Tvar New Member

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    Page 34 of the Dark Elf book disagrees with you.
     
  4. Lizardmatt
    Troglodon

    Lizardmatt New Member

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    Dark Elf Infantry: T3, with 5+ save, and expensive.
    Skink shooting will thin them down. Razordons would help, Salamanders will tear them apart.
    Worried about witches? Que Bastiladon. T5 2+ armor is the perfect answer for S3 and poison. The S4 thunder stomp even gets some kills against the T3 naked girls, and if you go snakes; the 2D6 S2 hits is even useful.

    Fast Cav? If you can catch them in combat, anything we have should be able to take them. Skirmishers to run and shoot is most likely the best solution. March and shoot gives us a 24" range, so they cannot park out of range and plink away.

    Dark Elf Monsters: Cowboys with ward saves, or a charging steggadon with sharp horns should do the trick. Since the hydras attacks are determined at init 2; any wounds you do before that are going to really take it down.

    Dark Elf CoK: Meh. Not many attacks, still squishy T3 2+ elf. Unless used as a bus, I doubt they'll do much.

    Dark Elf Special shooting medusas: Bad news. S4 rolling to wound against our initiative with no armor save. Keep cowboys, bastiladons and CoK away from them.


    My recommendations:
    Slaan, bonus to channel and re-roll dispels is a good idea. I'd consider lore of death to snipe his wizards.
    Scar Vet Cowboy(s), monster and character hunt, can take on large witch blocks. Scar vets on foot with 2+ armor isn't a bad idea either. S5 is enough to wound on 2+, so no need for weapon upgrades.
    Spotter: Level 1 skink (scroll) to spot for slaan.
    Core: Good number of skinks; maybe one block of saurus as well to hold the center and give your opponent a direction.
    Specials: Bastiladons. Laser or snake, they're all good against DE. Small units of chameleons to take good scouting spots away from shades. Temple guard, to keep the slaan safe. Terradons might be worthwhile as well, the rock drop will hurt the DE support, and you can try warmachine hunting with them.
    Rares: Salamanders, Razordons, and Steggadon Ancients. The burning alignment would be good, as would the impact hits.

    What to avoid:
    Putting our fighting units into a full strength fighting unit of theirs (that's saurus, temple guard, knights and krox). Any of their fighting units at strength can cause a ton of damage with the high initiative and ASF.
     
  5. Asamu
    Saurus

    Asamu Member

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    So it does, though the entries for the Cavalry units do not state that the model's mounts do not themselves have the special rule, and it implies otherwise due to the fact that it does specify such for every other rule. Likely this will be FAQed in the future.

    Will do.
    Agreed on Salamanders/shooting in general against all DE infantry.

    As for Bastiladons vs Witches, With re-rolls to wound, poison, and the Razor standard, the Bastiladon won't last long.
    Vs a horde of Witches with a Cauldron (21+ witches is enough for full horde attacks against the 50mm base of the bastiladon), but not Witches Brew (+1 attack to models in the unit), and the Razor standard, a Bastiladon will only last 2 rounds of combat. If it is in base contact with the Cauldron, it will die in a single round. Your best bet for tying it up would really be a cowboy oldblood with Armor of Destiny and Dawnstone, as they will be getting almost no wounds through, so you have a reasonable chance at winning the combat and causing them to lose frenzy, as they will only cause .231 wounds per round of combat (I Loled when I did the math...).

    Here is said math:
    Witches vs the Bastiladon (no Cauldron):
    ((5*4)*2/3*7/36+20/6)*1/3 = 1.975308642

    Witches + the Cauldron vs a Bastiladon not in b2b with the Cauldron:
    ((5*4)*2/3*11/36+20/6)*1/3 = 2.4691358025

    Witches+ the Cauldron vs a Bastiladon:
    ((5*3+6)*2/3*11/36+21/6)*1/3+5*2/3*5/9*1/2+5/6*1/2 = 3.935185185

    Witches+ the Cauldron vs an Old Blood:
    ((5*2+6)*2/3*11/36+16/6)*1/72+5*2/3*5/9*1/18+5/6*1/18= .23148148

    With the Old Blood taking ~6% of the wounds that the Bastiladon takes, and the fact that it deals significantly more, it is definitely the better option.
    Personally, I wouldn't play against a Dark Elf player without an Old blood, but I tend to run with a lightly equipped Slann so I can do so. If you prefer running scar vets, throwing 2 cowboys into that Witch elf unit might be a good idea to get rid of the frenzy before you throw in support.

    If they are running Hellebron, just try to bait it away, because you aren't going to get a good fight out of it.
     
  6. Lizardmatt
    Troglodon

    Lizardmatt New Member

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    Hag + cauldron + witch brew + razor banner + horde of witch elves = about 700 points.

    That's no longer your typical core choice. Against that, I'd bait it with skinks and force the Ld-3 test and try and get the flank. Or, combo charge it with 3 bastiladons (which are 250 points less than what you're suggesting).
    They'll do 6D6 S2 hits in the shooting phase, and get 12 S3 attacks, 6 S4 attacks, 3 S10 attacks, and 3D6 S4 stomps. They're dishing out ~16-18 wounds, and enough of those in combat to strip frenzy and win combat.


    -Matt
     
  7. Asamu
    Saurus

    Asamu Member

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    I don't expect large numbers of witch elves to be taken unless they are also taking a Cauldron, if for no other reason than the provided ward save.

    I don't know. I don't think I would want to sink so many points into bastiladons. Running a decent sized TG block, saurus, skinks, chameleons, characters, and Salamanders will be filling out most of your points. Assuming you are using TG that is; if you are opting not to run them, then yeah run monsters, but I would go with ancient stegs over Bastiladons. They cost a lot more points, but they have much stronger shooting (4d6 S3 shots with an 18 inch range will do a number on most DE units), have more wounds, and will do more damage in combat.

    The issue with running monsters in general is the bolt throwers. If they do 2 wounds to a Bastiladon with shooting/magic, it loses combat effectiveness. Sure, they can run in and take the Witches for 2 turns if they aren't wounded and assuming they don't break, but they aren't going to kill the unit or soften it up effectively. They also have minimal use against the rest of the army. Executioners are just going to kill them with strength 6, shooting units can sit on the back board edge and delay long enough that the Bastiladons can't get to combat alive, and their monsters will just win any combat outright. Don't get me wrong Bastiladons are good, but I don't think you want more than one or two in any list. You are better off putting those points into more salamanders, infantry, and skinks.

    Each bastiladon with an Ark of Sotek will do:
    1.555 wounds per turn with shooting
    0.722 wounds from regular attacks in combat
    1.555 wounds from thunder stomp in combat

    That's a total of 11.5 wounds from all 3 bastiladons, and since they only get to fight in combat for 1 round (they die before striking in the next one), they will at best only do about 16, which is the equivalent of 176 points in witch elves. If they are running a full sized horde, which is likely, then they are still going to murder the Saurus follow up in combat unless we can get significant buffs off, and it gave up 450 VPs. a single salamander could do just as much with 2 rounds of shooting; maybe 1 round with the right shot.

    They aren't going to be winning a combat when the combat wounds are even and Witch Elves have ranks and a banner.

    You could just run 1 old blood at 250 points and get more lasting effect out of it than those 3 bastiladons combined.

    The shooting attack from the ark and the bound spell from the solar engine will likely be the primary uses for the bastiladon, because they won't be doing a whole lot in combat other than denying flanks on Saurus and Temple Guard.
     
  8. Lizardmatt
    Troglodon

    Lizardmatt New Member

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    7 S2 hits, wound on 5+, save on 6+ = 1.94 each
    4 S3 skink attacks, hit/wound on 4+, save on 6+ = .83 each
    2 S4 bast attacks, hit 4+, wound 3+, save on 6+ = .55 each
    1 S10 bast attack, hit 4+, wound 2+, save on 6+ = .35 each
    Thunder Stomp, D6 hits, 3+ wound, 6+ save = 1.94 wounds each
    3.67 wounds per Bastiladon, with 3, it's 11 wounds in combat.

    Edit: My bad; I missed that witch elves in the unit get a 5+ ward. Adjusted for the 5+ ward, Bastiladons are looking at ~9 wounds.

    Ok, so scratch the bastiladon going up against the one unit with the razor banner.
    OR, just have the slaan destroy said razor banner. Without the banner, the witches do flail on the bastiladons. A full horde unit is doing ~4 wounds against 3 bastiladons.

    I'd still take Salamanders, but I'm counting on my dark elf opponents knowing that the Salamander is the biggest threat.
     
  9. Lizardmatt
    Troglodon

    Lizardmatt New Member

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    Just another shout out for high magic.
    Fiery Convocation murders those pesky executioner hordes.
    Dropping 55% of the unit on the initial casting is awesome (wound on 3+, 6+ armor).

    Oh, last point...
    Ancient blowguns: -1 for multiple shots, -1 for movement, -1 for range (9" to 18").
    At best, you're hitting on 5's. Usually it's 6's (multi-shot and range). 14 shots, hitting on 6's is the exact same as 2D6 S2 hits.

    -Matt
     
  10. walach
    Razordon

    walach New Member

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    Re: the cauldron/shrine - is the cauldron/shrine targetable separately from the rider? Is the cauldron in any way dependent on the rider for any of it's special rules? Thinking like with the war alter for empire, killing the lector is often an easier way to neuter it.


    While undeniably firey convocation is good at clearing large numbers of a horde, I still worry we'd struggle against even a single rank of some of these infantry....


    In the case of witch elves, surely just flank (well I say just, probably easier said than done!) with a steg/ancient steg - they will put maybe a couple of wounds on, then ranks and standard so combat res of ~6. We will have charge and flank for 2, so we only need to kill ~5 elves - which should be doable? Though ultimately removing frenzy doesn't do loads....
     
  11. Lizardmatt
    Troglodon

    Lizardmatt New Member

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    If the witch elves have super frenzy, we've got a problem. I hit a block in the flank with 24 saurus; and the witch elves scored 12 wounding hits, killing 8. Saurus block killed 5. That left me with an 9 (flank, charge, rank, 5 kills) against his (10, 8 + standard and BSB). I held, he reformed, and I broke on his turn.
    I thought he rolled really well, until I ran the numbers and saw he was middle of the road average.
    A lone cowboy doesn't have much of a shot at breaking frenzy on the flank either. Doing 4 wounds on a unit with a 5+ ward is tough with a single model. A pair of cowboys might do it, but that's a pretty risky investment.
    If you think of a witch + cauldron star as a Gutstar, you won't be far off. Just because you have a flank charge lined up doesn't mean you want to take it.

    I'm going to back peddle and say you don't want to engage it at all, until it's seriously crippled.
    Burning Convocation kills 1/3rd of the remaining unit every time you cast it. (3+ to wound, 4+ ward/MR).
    Given that it's a remains in play, you might even get a bit of a reprieve in the DE magic phase as he has to spend quite a few dice to dispel it (~5 to 6 dice, with his level 4).

    Given that magic and shooting is the best option, I would expect DE plays to camp the Ring of Hotek in/near the witch star.
     
  12. Asamu
    Saurus

    Asamu Member

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    The Hag is able to be targeted separately from the mount in combat, but with shooting, assuming it is part of a unit, you target the entire unit, not just the shrine, as it does not have the rule of the Bell/furnace that allows it to be targeted separately.
    The Special rules are not dependent on the rider being alive.

    a single rank will do significant damage to us, but it won't be efficient on their part, and it is easy to clear 10 models with poisoned shooting.

    This would be a good way to remove frenzy, but it won't solve the issue of the unit itself.
    Before, you could minimize the width of the unit facing them in the first round, to reduce the additional damage from hatred, then, in subsequent rounds, our infantry won out due to durability and strength. Now that they have ASF, that doesn't work.
    I think you slightly underestimate frenzy. With frenzy and witches brew, a 10 wide+ cauldron horde averages 36 wounds (off of 68 attacks) before saves, against T4 units that it hits on 4s, not including the deathhag on the cauldron or the extra attack from a unit champion. Without Frenzy, that number drops by ~33.333%, to ~24. A difference of twelve wounds before saves.
    With regular Frenzy, the difference is less, being ~30 wounds, down to ~24 without frenzy, but it is still a ~20% drop in wounds caused.
    The reason for the ~ is that there aren't models behind the cauldron attacking, so the total attack difference is slightly less.
    Even with that, our units will get slaughtered, but it does even the odds, so if we get some buffs up, and thin out the witch numbers, we can turn the fight more in our favor.
     
  13. n810
    Slann

    n810 First Spawning

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    I think multiple units of Salamanders might be called for, :meh: + :meh: + :meh:
    well either that or a big unit of salamanders, ( :meh: :meh: :meh: )
    and of course skinks. :smug: :smug: :smug: :smug: :smug:


    basicly anything but close combat. :rage:
     
  14. Asamu
    Saurus

    Asamu Member

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    I wouldn't say combat is all bad. With Miasma+Iceshard+Hand of Glory+Wyssan's+Earth Blood in our spell pool, we have a lot going for us, assuming we can burn there scroll before combat hits, which is likely. Just use unforging on their scroll caddy, and they are forced to use the scroll to stop it. It may not be the best use of the spell most of the time, but if you have the dice, and there is a spell that you really need to get off, I would do it.

    The issue with combat is that unbuffed our units will struggle against theirs. Assuming we can get spells off though, it won't be too bad.
    going from 4T to 5 is huge against witches, and against Executioners, any hit modifiers will be significant.
    Cast Iceshard+ Miasma on the Execs, and they will only cause 10 wounds, which is a lot, but considering they would be doing 20 otherwise, it's a pretty significant difference, and if we can manage to get hand of glory off with that, we might be able to reduce that further, or strike first.

    A full strength Temple guard horde will cause 20 wounds against the Executioners, so if any spells go off, that number can be improved, and the executioner kill count will drop.

    Spells will have less effect on the Witches, with the exceptions of Wyssan's, which cuts their non-poison wounds almost in half (from a to wound chance of 5/9 to 11/36), and Earth Blood, which is a 1/3 reduction to wounds taken vs anything without fire.

    I wouldn't be surprised if the Skavenpelt banner/Razor standard temple guard did well against dark elves, assuming some magic goes off.


    As for multiple salamanders. I think at least 2 should be taken in every list anyway... Units of 2 would be preferable against dark elves, for the additional wounds against shooting as much as the volume of fire.
     
  15. Lizardmatt
    Troglodon

    Lizardmatt New Member

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    Looking at just chance to wound skews the logic, since the hit role causes auto wounds (poison). For each attack made against WS4, witch elves score 56.48% wounds on T4.
    T5 isn't a huge difference, thanks to poison, 42.59%

    In order for temple guard to do ~20 wounds to an executioner horde, they are first going to have to take the S6 hits from them, and lose ~20+ in the process (2/3rds hit, 35/36 wound with no save).
    As for betting on magic support, that's not the best of ideas. Dark Elves are looking like they are going to have a stronger offensive magic phase then we are.

    Our infantry simply can't go head to head with their elite infantry (witches with cauldron, black guard or executioners). Considering that we could face 2 or 3 blocks from the above list, going into melee in a fair fight isn't a good idea.

    Want to know why witches are deadly?
    Take the WS4 witches against WS6 (hand of glory) temple guard, with an ice shards on the witches.
    Witches hit on 5+ (with re-roll and poison) and wound on 5+ with a re-roll.
    Each attack:
    16%) 6 is poison
    (16%) 5 is hit, with 5/9th wounding (5+ with re-roll)
    (66%) 1-4 re-roll to hit.
    Then you re-roll the to hits that missed, with poison on a 6, and a normal hit on a 5 (with 5/9ths wounding).
    The net effect is that the Boosted temple guard with the hexed score 47.8% wounds per attack.
    With super frenzy, a 7 wide horde is still putting out 16-17 wounding hits (most likely with AP), killing ~11 temple guard. Add in another 3-4 kills from the Death Hag and cauldron crew.
    Temple guard swing back, hitting on 3's (+ predatory), wounding on 2+, and witches saving on 5+ ward.
    A unit of 30 swings back with 16 and do 10 wounds.
    So with a buff and a hex, the temple guard in horde formation lose combat by 4 or 5.

    If you want to beat the unit, think that every witch you touch is going to kill 1.5 models. You won't be far off. If you can't take those losses at ASF and still bring enough pain to win, don't engage.

    Each rank of witches kills more then any equal width of lizardmen. So, go as narrow as possible (5 wide).
    Put a character in the corner with good armor, and maybe the ASF sword (to take their re-rolls away).
    Possibly use multiple hard to kill characters (a glittering cowboy is great). Basically, force as many witches are possible to swing on our cheap characters. With a champ and 2 characters, we have a shot.
    2 files can only swing on 1 character. Another file doesn't get to swing at all when the other corner character challenges and fights the cauldron. Another file can only swing on the unit champ. That leaves only a single file of witches hitting rank and file. A file of lizardmen are only touching the cauldron and do nothing as they watch the challenge.
    With so much of the witch fighting power lost, I believe this is the way forward against the witch star.
    Basically, 5 wide, full command, 2 character beat sticks.
    If you feel bad about running lots of beat stick heroes; keep in mind that the witch unit that we are struggling against is packing ~300 points of heroes.

    Now, the big problem is, the melee solution to the witches gets butchered by the executioners :(


    So, how does that 8th edition skink cloud work?

    -Matt
     
  16. Natural 20
    Saurus

    Natural 20 Member

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    Let me open by saying excited I am for this new book because my friend plays DEs and always brings competitive lists to our fun games because he's a douche..........



    That being said I'm trying to think of a conceivable way to deal with this witch star? What if you charged a Carnosaur into the center of the unit so you hit the cauldron what's the chances of us sniping it out of the unit with it by directing the Carnisaurs attacks at the cauldron only? Or what about charging a Bastiladon into the center once again to only be B2B with the cauldron an just slamming it with his str 10 attack? Being as how both the Basti and Carni are on chariot bases like the cauldron wouldn't that keep the other witches out of the fight and allow us to slam in the cauldron only? I'd suspect the Carni's D3 mutliwounds could really put the hurt on that thing barring of course we get throuhh the ward save
     
  17. Carthuun
    Jungle Swarm

    Carthuun New Member

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    Nuke it from orbit, it's the only way to be safe.

    First thing that comes to mind for this deathstar is Dwellers. No saves for them!
     
  18. Asamu
    Saurus

    Asamu Member

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    I would't rely on dwellers. Salamanders, skinks, and magic will do plenty of damage to it. I wouldn't worry too much about the witch Horde in all honesty.
    If you run a cowboy oldblood, it will be relatively easy to deal with. If not, then you can just shoot it to death with skinks.

    In general, I think shooting should be prioritized on Witches, and magic on Executioners once we kill off some chaff and other high priority targets, such as Warlocks.

    If you can destroy the Razor standard, the Witches lose a significant amount of killing power, so I would definitely recommend running Focus of Mystery. Not taking high magic seems a bit wasteful against dark elves IMO.

    That being said, they still have a lot of shooting themselves, and will probably be clearing out the skinks in short order.

    I actually don't think Witch elves need to be the primary focus anyway. More likely, Dark Elf players will be filling their core with Dark Riders and Repeater Crossbows, then take a Death Hag with Witchbrew in an Executioner horde, which they would screen with dark riders and warlocks.

    The standard for a 2500 pt list in a no or low comp environment is probably going to look something like this:

    Lords:
    Dreadlord Armor of Destiny, Ogre Blade, Sea Dragon Cloak, Shield
    High Sorceress lvl 4, Dispel Scroll/Sac Dagger/Tome of Furion, Obsidian lodestone/Talisman of Preservation
    Life or Dark Magic

    Heroes
    Master BSB, Dragonhelm, Heavy armor, Shield, Sea Dragon Cloak, Dawnstone
    Death Hag, Witchbrew
    Master, Dark Peg, Cloak of Twilight, Lance, Shield, Sea Dragon Cloak, Heavy Armor

    Core:
    5 Dark Riders Shields, Rxbows Mus
    5 Dark Riders Shields, Rxbows Mus
    10 Darkshards Mus, Std, Flaming Banner
    10 Darkshards mus
    10 Darkshards mua

    Special:
    38 Executioners Full cmd
    Repeater Bolt Thrower
    Repeater Bolt Thrower
    Repeater Bolt Thrower
    Repeater Bolt Thrower

    Rare
    5 Warlocks

    Comes out to 2497pts
    Edit: Put flaming banner at 12.5ss instead of 5ss originally. Added mus to the 2 additional Darkshard unis and removed Ironcurse icon.
     
  19. Man0waR
    Kroxigor

    Man0waR Member

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    my thoughts on how to deal a frenzy horde.

    Charge with chaff
    Curse of aranheir.

    Once they are pursuing they have to roll dangerous terrain on 1,2. Charriots can take d6 wounds, so cauldron has chances to get seriously damaged.

    In their turn the spell still active and maybe they are out of position, too risky to perform a march and they can even being forced to charge again, another dangerous terrain check.

    Executioners horde can be feed with 50 points cohorts. while you take out the rest of the army.
     
  20. Lizardmatt
    Troglodon

    Lizardmatt New Member

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    Curse is nice, but 1-2 fails difficult, and 5+ pass ward (4+ for the cauldron).
    It would be nice if we had a solution that didn't involve magic, but it doesn't look like that is the case. Redirect with skinks, stand and fire, then force over-run.

    As for the typical build, I do think we'll be see witch stars. Because, 1) the cauldron is really pretty, and 2) they aren't selling executioners right now.

    -Matt
     

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