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Core Performance (tactics of a core army) 
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Warrior
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Premise-So there have been mentions of how strong the new Dark Elf core choices have become and I don't think that players may be utilizing them to their fullest potential. So I (with the help of the d.net community) want to discuss building a small sized army (1500 pts) only using Heroes and Core choices (assassins included). Through this experiment I want to see how our core choices can perform in situations they wouldn't necessarily be put through.

I'd like to build an army list and the tactics to be applied to the play style of said list. After we have come up with some good suggestions of units to include and how to use them I will play test it against a willing friend and report back with my findings and hopefully you will participate in commenting on how well I grasped the tactical concepts and applied them.

The army I will play against will be Empire. The makeup of that army I don't know but he will NOT be limited to core choices!

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Thu Apr 02, 2009 3:20 pm
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Warrior
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Harpies- I think this is a no brainer! Playing against Empire means dealing with wizards and cannons Oh My! Harpies would be a wonderful addition to help mage/warmachine hunt AND help screen my units from handgunners and crossbow attacks. The harpies low points costs means that at 1500 points I can field them without makeing too much of a points impact on my list!

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Thu Apr 02, 2009 3:23 pm
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Malekith's Best Friend
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I feel a cauldron would be essential in a list based around core as it increases the effectiveness of the units and allows units to perform different roles.

I feel a unit of 20 Spearmen with the Warbanner and shields as they provide a good basis for the army. With the cauldron they can pin units and use static to grind, but with a blessing they can become Rank and file killers, +1 attack and Knight Killers Killing blow and a rock with a 5+ ward save.

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Thu Apr 02, 2009 4:47 pm
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Trainee Warrior
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I agree to the harpys.
I think I would use 2 units of 5 harpies
And 2 units of 5 DR.
At least 1 unit of 20 wariors however I prefer 2.
( maybe 2 assasins, dont make them too expensive)
A sorceress with tome furion and dark star cloak :P

My list would look like this I think.

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Thu Apr 02, 2009 5:50 pm
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Malekith's Best Friend
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Actually, I am planning to use an army based off exactly this concept - an army which has almost minimum character expenditure, and which is heavily biased towards core choices. I just think that there is a lot of synergy in dark elf core units, which can allow them to come out victorious. Let's see:

- warriors are cheap (so can provide SCR easily), have a good CC save, and have a good leadership; good unit to accept charges from something not too strong, and also good for combo-charging with something else, to bring SCR into the game
- rxb are excellent at removing enemy fast and light elements; additionally, they won't be destroyed by a charge of such elements; and to top that, they are good for flanking if needed (4+ save helps)
- dark riders are excellent for getting around the flanks/rear in order to remove enemy's static bonuses; they are also good for denying big areas of the table to light fast elements (and if you give the crossbows, can even try to weaken those elements)
- harpies are good for hunting warmachines and enemy shooters (which are dangerous for both dark riders and warriors). they are also good at screening your units from charges, hence ensuring that it is your units that get the charge, and that enemy doesn't have charge bonuses

Now, this means that an army having 2x20 warriors with FC, 2x10 crossbows with shields, 2x5 DR with musician and 2-4x5 harpies can form a very solid core for an army. Add to that a cheap general - Master on foot with GW, ring and 1+ AS item, and a scroll caddy, plus 2RBT (to eliminate enemy fast elements better), and the only thing you'll be missing is units that can deal damage. This can be mediated by the inclusion of a couple of chariots or assassins.

Of course, against cheesy powerhouses you will still struggle, but against most armies you will still have something that works well together - a solid SCR core supported by ACR-dealing units (chariots are especially good together with infantry, due to high damage density per unit of frontage), supported by a couple of units to remove enemy's SCR (DR), units that allow DR to get into positions by eliminating enemy fast troops (rxb, rbt), and units that screen your army from incoming charges (harpies), ensuring that it's you who charges (hence making it possible to combo-charge).

As a matter of fact, I'm going to have a battle agaisnt Asur this Sunday. The game is going to be 1999 points, and I'm taking the following list:
Master with ring, GW and 1+ AS (general)
L1 Caddy with two scrolls
Assassin with ahw, +d3A, KB and re-roll 1's to wound
Assassin with ahw, manbane and rending stars
2 x 20 warriors with whields and FC
2 x 10 crossbowmen with shields
2 x 5 harpies
13 corsairs with champion and Standard of Sea Serpent
7 shades with champion
2 RBT

And I know that the opponent is bringing a mage on sun dragon, another mage, 5 DP with warbanner, 9 DP with banner of sorcery, 3 lion chariots, 2 RBT and a unit of spearmen... I guess this is going to be a very interesting and challenging battle...


Thu Apr 02, 2009 6:47 pm
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Warrior
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Here are some of the potential challenges I may face in such an engagement.

1.)Fire Power.The Empire have great artillery which can reach across the board especially when occupying a hill. The ability to either, A. take out said artillery, or B. distract it would be much helpful.
I can see Dark Riders and Harpies filling these roles

2.) Detachments! Detachments takes an ordinary unit and makes them extraordinary. My opponent uses detachments religiously to counter-charge, or support their charge. This becomes a pain because he will use them to flank my deep ranked units to deny them SCR, and get a first attack off. (counter-charging units strike before the charging unit).
Charging the attached unit is an option but really I need high ACR to over come this, some things come to mind, CoB, Assassin.

3.) Wizards. Empire can have some really good magic phases and nearly shut down my magic phase. So I will need to take a stance of all or nothing in this area.
I think it might be better to go with a little bit of magic defense just in case how I do that I don't know yet.

4.) Being outnumbered. Empire is fairly cheap per model so his army will most likely outnumber my total units I field. I will really need to deal with reducing his SCR if I'm going to win combats.
simultaneous flank charges using DR's might help here

Here are just four issues that I may need to prep the army to deal with. So what might you use and how would you use it?

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Thu Apr 02, 2009 6:59 pm
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@ Lakissov

I agree assassins can be a great way to add some ACR to a core based army. Corsairs w/ SSS are a great way to get some mediocre damaging unit to the battlefield as a core choice, coupled with a harpy screen to get them on target would work wonderful I can imagine. I think the biggest thing is lack of high strength attacks to take out some hard to crack nuts. One could use the law of numbers (shooting 80 x-bow bolts @ 1+ knights is bound to kill a few), or maybe as Marauder Mitch2 stated :
Quote:
cauldron would be essential in a list based around core as it increases the effectiveness of the units and allows units to perform different roles.

I can see this coupled with the SSS corsairs as a real threat to any unit!
Great stuff!

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Thu Apr 02, 2009 7:13 pm
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Cold One Knight
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When I first started with Dark Elves I was only using one Special (cold ones) and no rare. It was great fun based on the core I have now here is what I think I would take (and may well do if I can get some games in).

Sorceress: L4, 3 Power Stones, 1 Dispel Scroll: 345pts
Death Hag: Cauldren, BSB: 225pts

20 Corsairs: CSM: Standard of the Sea Serpent: 250pts
Assassin: Add Hand Weapon, Man Bane, Rune of Khaine: 151pts
20 Warriors: CSM, War Banner: 160pts
20 Warriors: CSM, Banner of Murder: 160pts
Assassin: Add Hand Weapon, Rune of Khaine, Touch of Death: 161pts

10 RXB: 100pts
10 RXB: 100pts
5 Dark Riders: Mus, RXB: 117pts
5 Dark Riders: Mus, RXB: 117pts
5 Harpies: 55pts
5 Harpies: 55pts

1996pts

I remember a battle report a few months where someone went to a tournament and did really well with an all core army.


Thu Apr 02, 2009 8:19 pm
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Slave (off the Altar)
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I am eagerly following the development of this thread! It seemed to me that you could easily make a pretty strong army simply by buying two army boxes and adding in a few characters and some rares. Gives you lots of spears, xbows, corsairs, and two units of knights, which as mentioned is pretty solid. Add assassins, harpies, hydra/rbt and a sorceress and master, and that's a pretty solid 2000-2250 list. Looking forward to see how your list fares, Jeebs, and what comes out of the thread.


Thu Apr 02, 2009 8:31 pm
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Up to 2k I use 1 core and 1 rare. My witches for their ItP and hydra for its move though woods and flame template.

The balance of my list is shielded RXB in unit's of 10 with minimal spear, harpy and DR support.

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Thu Apr 02, 2009 8:38 pm
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Thank you all for letting me telling more about corsairs!

Two main settings.

A big block of 20 AHW corsairs, FC, SSS.
They will survive severe shooting from bows and even crossbows.
Only if facing many fireweapons, then naked warriors would be better.
They are not sufficient to break knight's armour but will wipe away even elite Empire infantry.

A small unit of RHB corsairs, just muso.
If shot at, hey, this unit is only 105pts and will soak a lot before it is destroyed.
If ignored, it is great to take care of pistoliers.
As an escort unit, it can get in the way of detachments.

Definitevely a COB would be a great addition to warriors or, much better, SSS corsairs.

Beware for DR: they fear a lot the Empire shooting. Harpies are much better.

MSU can be played with many units of 10 AHW corsairs with muso.

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Thu Apr 02, 2009 9:33 pm
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Warrior
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I started this thread, one to strike up conversation about our great core, and two, because I own 40 corsairs, 60 warriors, and 15 DR's, and I constantly found myself building army lists that included 2 units of 5 DR's as my only core choices.... It made me sad.... :(
Special and Rare choices are so tempting that I often ate a fatty diet of Special and Prime Rare, without my Core vegetables. I want to have a balanced DE diet and I don't want others to fall for the junk food either!

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Thu Apr 02, 2009 9:45 pm
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I usually play at 2250, and every list I have has 2 units of 5 DR and 10 crossbowmen. Now that I have them I add between 10 to 20 harpies to the mix.
My playing style uses my core choices as my range support and my maneuvering harrassment. I have the crossbowmen in the center causing panic checks, the DR's threatening flanks and dropping ranks from missle fire, and the harpies to kill the machines, march block, and suicide-run enemy mages.

However, for a army made out of core choices I would take:

Sorceress: Tome, Scroll, DS - 187
Sorceress: DC, Scroll, DS - 192
Death Hag: CoB - 200
Assassin: AHW, Rune, Manbane - 146

20 Corsairs: FC, BoM - 250
20 Warriors: FC, Warbanner - 180
10 Crossbowmen: shields, music - 115
10 Crossbowmen: shields, music - 115
5 Harpies - 55
5 Harpies - 55

This gives you a nice magic phase, a close combat block, an anvil, missle support, a combat model with high strength for monsters, and harpies for marchblock/mage hunt/warmachine killers.

I would run them somewhat like:

Harpies --- Corsairs --- Warriors --- Harpies
------Crossbows --- CoB --- Crossbows------

At which point, my Harpies will control movement, the crossbows with their sorceresses will rain death and destruction, the corsairs and warriors will go for the kill (or hang back to let the crossbows do the work), and the assassin will lie in wait to pick off anything that makes it across due to high toughness.

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Fri Apr 03, 2009 1:51 am
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Cold One Knight
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Ok I had a game with the list I posted above. I played a lizardmen army with a Slann with temple guard, 2 units of 12 Saurus with spears, 2 units of skinks with blow pipes, 3 salamanders spread across two units a saurus scar vet, L2 skink priest 7 chamelion skinks and a unit of terradons.

I managed to make him concede in 3 turns as I had wiped most of his army out other than his Temple Guard and I had them lined up for a flank charge.

I was slightly fortunitous that his salamanders didn't do as much damage as they could of done but my army performed really well. The unit with the assassins did most of the work and with the cauldren boosting them they were a serious threat. I like the amount of models on the table and the cauldren really makes you feel like you still have a special unit on the table.

This was my first game with a cauldren and I was really impressed the 5+ ward and the other options make it really worth while.

Great fun as an army to use (and brilliant for gloating after the game!).


Sun Apr 05, 2009 8:04 pm
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Sorry I haven't been keeping up with this thread as of late, I'm finishing my final project before graduation.

Glad to hear Skilgannon that it worked out well for you. I like your use of the Corsairs with assassin and CoB backup. I think that makes for a really great unit, comparable to some of the best out there.

I ask a question, if you had to drop either the DR or harpies, which did you find least useful in that game, and why?

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Mon Apr 20, 2009 2:22 am
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Cold One Knight
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In that particular game it would be the Dark Riders as they didn't do as much damage as the harpies mainly due to their being plent of skink units to hunt. However, generally I would say that Dark Riders are better if you only have one as they add a stronger combat threat (particuarly with the cauldren) which is important as you don't have your quick combat units like Cold one knights or Hydras. Also the mobile fire power helps make up for the loss of the Bolt Throwers range.

I would strongly question not taking both however, some enemy units you will really need to disrupt to have a good chance against with core units so I would take advantage of all the strengths in the core section. What is you reason for asking?


Mon Apr 20, 2009 4:44 pm
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The Corsair, Assassin and CoB combo is vital in my mainly core list aswell.

I used to use mainly corsairs but have switched some out in favour of the Spearmen backed up by one unit of corsairs. The Spearmen just provide a nice cheap SCR, and with the CoB it's nice to just scare your opponent sometimes.

Skilgannon how did the level 4 work out, I would tend to take 2 level 2s as they are roughly the same price but allow for abit more versatility on the battlefield.

On the note of Harpies vs DRs I still love my fast cav but I'm seeing that they aren't as necessary as they used to be. The effectiveness of Harpies is just to good to pass up. Still like to take both if I can.

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Tue Apr 21, 2009 2:36 am
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Quote:
On the note of Harpies vs DRs I still love my fast cav but I'm seeing that they aren't as necessary as they used to be. The effectiveness of Harpies is just to good to pass up. Still like to take both if I can.


I am also finding dark riders aren't necessarily required as well as harpies, In an all core army, however, they are the only thing with strength 4. I could see the shielded Dark Riders being used in an all core army quite effectively. I think dark riders fulfil slightly different roles in an all core army. Both would definitely be best though.

Quote:
Skilgannon how did the level 4 work out, I would tend to take 2 level 2s as they are roughly the same price but allow for abit more versatility on the battlefield.


Generally I would prefer two level 2's as well. However, in this army I would lose leadership 9 as there is no one else to be the general in my force. The other advantage of a L4 is more spells in one place gives you more chance of rolling the spells you want. Overall I would prefer two level 2's if I had an alternative general.


Tue Apr 21, 2009 8:23 pm
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