[WFB] Dark Elves: … or Part Of The Solution

Well!  NOVA’s been and gone, everyone seems to have had a whizzy jolly time barring a couple of miserygutses who weren’t even there (am I right about that part?), nobody’s dead, the Orks didn’t win, and, since everyone’s back at their desks, I once more have a readership it takes both hands to count.

While some of you were gallivanting off with your much-vaunted comp-free competitive events (I’m just jealous), I was wallowing in the influx of ready cash from flogging off my Mercenaries and making a few new purchases (and forgetting to make a few more; I should carve ‘Dark Rider musician’ into the meat of my hand, just to be sure…) and moving my little lead-free men around, playing with formations and unit sizes for the next iteration of the Dark Elf list.

Here’s what I’ve come up with.


I have that many Khainite units that going down a different pathway would necessitate replacing much of the army, which I’m frankly too poor to do, so instead I’m looking at how to make the best of what I’ve got.  Topping the Executioners up with another five models is, I reckon, a decent start; it gives them one rank of sacrificial bodies to absorb the inevitable casualties.

Special: 21 Executioners: 282
– standard bearer, musician, Draich-master

Executioners really need an additional attack to do the business in combat, so that means taking a Cauldron, which will also make them Stubborn. If they’re going to be tethered to the Cauldron, I might as well make it the Battle Standard Bearer too; at least that way I’m getting as much out of staying within 12″ of the brute as I can. While that does make the Cauldron into a linchpin unit (otherwise known as an easy way to make your army crumple if the opponent can take it out), I’ve only ever lost the Cauldron once and think I can get away with it. Plus it means I don’t have to take a second Hero to carry the Battle Standard, which is going to be important later.

Hero: Death Hag: 225
– Cauldron of Blood
– Army Standard

That’s a lot of points to be spending on making Executioners good. What else does the Cauldron benefit most? Witch Elves. Now, historically I’ve taken a big unit of Witch Elves, but I want to try something a bit different this time – a GW staff monkey hinted at it and, while I pooh-poohed it at the time, I’ve been losing games and playing badly recently and might need to change intellectual gears and take advice for a change.

Special: 7 Witch Elves: 70

Special: 7 Witch Elves: 70

Special: 7 Witch Elves: 70

The plan for these girls is to use them as cockblockers and non-skirmishing skirmish screens, if you take my meaning. They’re pretty fast, they chuck out a decent number of attacks, they have Frenzy so they won’t Panic and run through my army and cause further Panic checks, and since they have Stubborn, they shouldn’t run from any combats that they manage to survive (which probably won’t be many).

It’s at this stage that I start thinking about how I’m going to deploy and move the army, so that I don’t start adding counter-productive pieces that will be blocked out of usefulness by what I already have. Time to start messing about in Battle Chronicler, deploying and moving these units. Cauldron needs to be front and centre – for its buffs to work it has to be within 12″ of my Witches and Executioners when those units hit combat, and it’s too slow to manage that if it’s anywhere but as far forward as it can be. Witches need to be up front and rushing forward, becoming primary targets for missile fire and, ideally, screening fire/charge lanes to the Cauldron and Executioners. The Executioners need to be as near the front as possible (one inch behind their screen) – every turn that they’re walking is a turn that they’re not killing, and a turn in which they’re vulnerable to spells.

I did some messing about with BATTLE CHRONICLER in order to check the movement distances and effective ranges of various pieces, assuming a fairly open centre to the table.

Turns one and two go pretty well, with the Executioners only losing an inch of movement per turn from having to remain an inch away from their Witchy screen. But when we hit turn three and start charging, things become slightly more problematic! What we see here is an average Elf charge distance of 12″ leaving the Executioners on the very outermost dubious edge of Battle Standard/Stubborn buffing range, and the Witch Elves miles out (if any of them are still alive).

The Cauldron can get 15″ upfield at most in three turns, and radiates a 12″ bubble o’ buff. My Khainite units need to be occupying that bubble when battle is joined in earnest. The rest of the list, therefore, needs to force the enemy into that bubble… but I’ll do that next time, since I can see the teal deer massing at the side of the road, and (to be honest) I’m running out of steam too. Nailing down the process by which one develops one’s lists and describing it, in detail, with pictures, actually assessing it for faulty thinking and schoolboy errors, is harder going than I’d appreciated.

2 thoughts on “[WFB] Dark Elves: … or Part Of The Solution

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  1. >Missed you Von. Come out to Nova next year <3What is this battle chronicler? Like Fantasy Vassal? Sounds win.I'm still on the fence between HE and DE, but if I go for the latter I'd like to use a Cauldron myself. I was considering Crone and going for a pure Khainite army, but it just seems so limited =/

  2. >This year, I had the free time but no money. If I get a teaching job, I'll probably have the money, but no free time. A chap can't win.In the event that a chap does win, Nova and Templecon are on my list of things to do in the States when I get out there. Shame they're at opposite ends of the year…Battle Chronicler is a device for making maps to go with battle reports. I'm quite fond of it, although it's a bit sensitive and quite unforgiving (no conventional Undo function).Pure Khainite wouldn't work: nothing but T3 melee infantry and fragile melee characters, one of whom is on a Manticore, does not a functional army make. Mine drags its pet noble house along for a reason.

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