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New player, fluffy list-building... 
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Dark Rider
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Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 1:38 am
Posts: 131
Location: Australia
G'day,

I have been looking over a few possible armies to start Fantasy Battle with, the Dark Elves having been one of these. I had been waiting to see what the new Army Book was like, and the response seem to be what I had wanted. I love the new miniatures released for them too, which goes a long way. One of the things that appealed to me with the Dark Elves were the themes you could build your army around (eg Temple of Khaine). While I would love to eventually have a force big enough to pick between themes on my whims, I have decided to start with a Raider theme. Unfortunately, I only know the basics of the Dark Elf fluff.

My first question is in relation to using the different units in different themes. Which units make fluffy sense in different themes? For example, a Temple of Khaine army would have to include Witch Elves, but probably not Cold One Knights; a Raider theme needs Corsairs, but probably not Black Guard. I hope this is not too general a question.

Secondly, can anyone recommend any good resources for Dark Elf fluff (beyond the obvious Army Book)? I am a casual gamer and playing a very fluffy force is more important to me than having a highly competitive one. Making and playing a fluffy force is where my real enjoyment comes from.

My last question may possibly be a little premature, but I am hoping the experienced players may have a pretty fair idea. For a Raider theme, it seems natural to go heavy on Corsairs. Now that Corsairs can be tooled for shooting, how viable would it be to play with close-combat-oriented Corsairs supported by shooty ones? I figure they would be less effective than the proper Crossbow unit, but would it be viable enough for a theme? For this theme, would it be worth using Lokhir as the general at low-ish points (around 1000), or would I be better off with someone cheaper?


Fri Aug 01, 2008 3:31 am
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Noble

Joined: Fri Jun 27, 2008 10:40 pm
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I wouldn't get too carried away with planning your army around fluff, or you will be denying your lists the tactical flex that the DE offer. Having said that I do tend to agree that it's good to have an army that fits the fluff somewhat.

I too am doing a raider style army and the units I consider essential, are Corsairs, Dark Riders, and Shades, as they seem to fit the lightning fast raider army best tactically and fluff wise. I also have harpies, cold one knights and a hydra in my list, which some people may disagree with fluff wise. But after using harpies and a hydra, I can safely say I would be hard pressed to do with out.

I think you could come up with your own reasons why certain units would accompany a raiding party. Black guard for instance could be part of an elite raiding force tasked not with gathering slaves, but perhaps acquiring some sort of great magical artifact for the witch king. COK could be questing for greed, glory and to make a name for their house. Even khanite units could accompany a raiding party in order to gather sacrifices.


Fri Aug 01, 2008 4:45 am
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Shade
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Joined: Tue Nov 06, 2007 4:05 pm
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Good theme armies include:

Khanite armies - just focus on units with "khanite" in their entry
Beast armies - war hydras, dragons, manticores, harpies
raiding armies - Dark riders, CoK, CoC, harpies, shades, maybe a hydra for heavy support.
etc.

A good source for a solid raider theme is to look up the old "Watch Tower" List and adapt it to the new book http://uk.games-workshop.com/darkelves/lists/1/

I think adding Corsairs to this list would work well for the raiding theme. Don't forget you can use x-bows on dark riders for shooting support. Also, shades would be much better shooting support than corsairs with 12" range.

The Malus Darkblade book series, while focusing mainly on Malus, is a nice source to get a sense of Druchii culture.


While themed armies will typicaly be more one-dimensional than a tourney list, they can be a lot more fun to play against a friend or the right army list. Just don't take a terror causing beast army against the undead!


Fri Aug 01, 2008 11:33 am
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Assassin
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Joined: Mon Jul 23, 2007 3:34 am
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Location: Stranded on an iceflow in the Sea of Chill
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IMO any unit can fit into any theme. Just dont field 40 corsairs in a city guard army.
I myself play a ''Raiding'' themed army. I have every unit type in my model collection to a sufficient degree to put in whatever I want. For a raiding army the primarily fitting units are just Corsairs, DR's and RBT's. And every character capable of wearing it should have a Sea Dragon Cloak.

But I dont see why a unit not fitting with the raider theme cannot go with this list.
Some politician is in debt to me for having transported his belongings/army/whatever from one place to another. I ''borrowed'' his Knights and now we are even.
If you add in the political concept then any unit can fit into your army. Just remember to keep the theme ''alive'' most of your army should fit into the theme.

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Fri Aug 01, 2008 2:10 pm
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Corsair
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Joined: Fri Mar 14, 2008 10:00 pm
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Fluff-wise, for a raiding army far away from homeland, I would expect:

Corsairs as main core, of course. Mostly with 2 hand weapons, but one unit with rhb is going to be fun.
You need Corsairs'pets (harpies) and some dark riders as scouts.
One unit of spears and one or two units of RXB as a complement does not hurt fluff and adds variety. RXB are very useful in naval warfare.

For specials, shades are a must as scouts; preferably 2 units with different weaponry. One or two other specials in small amounts (5 minis per unit) ocould represent their faction's contribution to the raid, BG if Malekith has some stakes, WE and Execs if Hellebron is interested in the result. Nothing wrong fluff-wise to take one of them. COK would be a Dreadlord's participation along with spears. COC seems quite cumbersome in a Black Arch, but could represent some haughty family cadet learning about combat. CO, however, are probably a pain to maintain during long boring sea transits and should stay low in numbers.

Rare should be RBT considering 6th edition fluff, and also taking into account that hydras are not that easy to transport away from cold Naggaroth. Now, one Arch could take a well deserved pride as being the one who manages to keep a hydra ready for battle. Or did your beasmasters tamed a swinning hydra?

Characters: Lokhir is my favorite because he is the fluffy leader of a raiding army. For mundane characters, I would expect regular warrior characters to be prevalent over sorceresses or death hags, but one sorc could be explained: how do you think Black Arch are kept afloat if not by magic?. Footed or on Dark steed seems better tuned for a raiding army, because of the difficulty to maitain quiet the bigger mounts for long periods at sea. Assassins are said to train corsairs in Black Arch, you must have one.

Overall, a fluffy army should be constitued mainly of units related to the fluff, but not necessarily restricting to these units only. A minority of other units should be easy to explain and would become the opportunity for more fluff tuned to this precise army, and also would bring some variety that will make the army more enjoyable to play.

Hey, I realized, I just described my own army!
Have fun!

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Fri Aug 01, 2008 3:03 pm
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Dark Rider
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Joined: Tue Mar 04, 2008 3:22 pm
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Quote:
Or did your beasmasters tamed a swinning hydra?

You could convert an enslaved Merwrym...

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Fri Aug 01, 2008 5:24 pm
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Assassin
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Location: Charlotte, NC (USA)
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I'm building a new Raider themed army myself...

Core
5 Dark Riders
10 Crossbowmen - Will be converted up using corsair and warrior bitz
18 Corsairs

Special
18 Black Guard - My Commander's personal bodyguard
5 CoKs - also converted up using CoK and corsair bitz. These represent the grizzled veterns who have been awarded Cold One mounts by the commander of the Black Arc.
7 Shades

Rare
2 Bolt Throwers - Converted up using truss bits from DoW Galloper Guns and some Elven Steeds, so that they appear to be towed into battle

Hydra - I've used greenstuff to add webbing between his many spines to give him more of a sea monsterish look.

-------------------

With Dark Elves, the sky is the limit. Since Black Arcs are floating fortresses, there's almost no reason you couldn't build an army of your choosing and violating the raiding theme, really. But some kind of a mix of Corsairs, DRs, and Shades would be ideal.

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Fri Aug 01, 2008 6:09 pm
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Dark Rider
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Joined: Fri Aug 01, 2008 1:38 am
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Location: Australia
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That is some really good advice and gives me a better appreciation of the Druchii style. There are some really good ideas here that I will definitely have to consider. In fact, I am even more excited about the Dark Elves now. Ideas such as petty nobles seeking glory in a raid and the likes of Malekith putting a stake on it really do give the force a lot more character than I had originally considered! I have also now grabbed those lists off the Games Workshop page and shall take a look over them. I was heading into my local store today anyway, so I shall have to check if they have the Malus Darkblade series in stock.

Thanks for the advice, as it has really helped me to gain a better appreciation of the Druchii.


Fri Aug 01, 2008 10:53 pm
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Malekith's Best Friend
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Also, although the fluff changes from issue to issue, it's probably worth seeing if you can pick up old Army Books on ebay. Each edition generally has different stories in it from the last and it's often these that contain the best, long-running, idea of what units fit best with what theme. that said, as stated, almost anything can fit with a bit of a background or a modified model.

Personally I think Calisson's list is a good example of the sort of army make-up that would obviously be a raiding party when glanced at. Although, as stated, there is no wrong answer here.

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Fri Aug 01, 2008 11:08 pm
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