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.