Dark Riders - Down but not out?
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Author:  Kadahn [ Tue Nov 30, 2010 1:44 am ]
Post subject:  Dark Riders - Down but not out?

Reading through the various posts and articles on here it seems pretty common opinion that Dark Riders have suffered heavily in the new edition and that many believe they are not worth their points now.

However, I know a few people do still run with them. Personally I have zero experience with them, being new to Fantasy with this edition. I love playing fluffy lists and so I want to make up a raiding force. This would be heavily based on Corsairs, Shades and Dark Riders, as all fit into a raiding force. No hydras are allowed, but Reaper bolt throwers are, as any captain worth his salt would have one or two on his ship.

There are plenty of disussions on the various merits and uses or corsairs and shades, but very little on how those still running Dark Riders are using them, and so I'd love to get your thoughts. If you're still using them then it must be because you have found a use for them. So what is it you have them doing? How are yu deploying them? How large are the units? What other friendly units are you pairing them with on the battlefield and what role do they play?

While many would say that it would be better to spend the points elsewhere I think of it as a tactical challenge, and it is one I would like your input on.

Author:  Firebuck [ Tue Nov 30, 2010 2:32 am ]
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I have been using 2 groups of 5 with a musician. They have been used mostly against skinks and those empire "detachments". The people I play with still tend to overestimate them so they are useful, for me, as distractions allowing my other troops to move more freely.

Author:  Rabidnid [ Tue Nov 30, 2010 3:33 am ]
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Your raiding list will have problems unless it is heavily supported by magic. As we have no way to deal with heavy armour apart from the cob, magic or exes. RBT simply don't do enough damage to stop a large unit with AS-2

My only problem with DR is they tend to flee of the table if you are not careful. They can be effective, but are quite expensive for what they do, and you need to consider their placement constantly to avoid their loss in impassable terrain or off the table.

Author:  Jbtheslipperking [ Tue Nov 30, 2010 8:21 am ]
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2 units of 5 DR with xb used to be a nobrainer in my lists in 7 ed. but not so annymore. There are 4 reasons for that :
1. Cannot brake ranks with side charge ( unless fielding 10 )
2. Stepping up rule and rolling for charge makes them less predictable against small/medium raf units.
3. Shooting is still good, but xb men is a cheaper way to atain that now with shooting in 2 ranks annyways.
4. Need the points in other units.

But Im wondering If I houldent try them on again. The vanguard can be a nice quailty I think, especially agains warhashines.

Author:  Malus99 [ Tue Nov 30, 2010 9:19 am ]
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You can either field DR as light cavalry or medium cavalry, and with xbows or without. I tend to leave the Xbows to our infantry RXBmen and shades because they cost a fortune on DR, so I either take a unit or two of five with a muso and send them hunting or take a group of 10 and use them as a flanking unit. A group of 10 will make 10 attacks at S4 on the charge, with 5 mount attacks at S3 which isn't bad, and they should face few attacks from the sides, and if you can get 10 into combat on that flank then that negates rank bonuses, though obviously DR are quite fragile, but they are often overlooked by opponents.

I like to take a unit of 10 occasionally and use them either as a heavy hunter unit or as a flanker, they do not feature regularly in my lists, but they can be useful, I haven't had a look at shields yet because for now I like the fast cav bonus, but if the DR are focusing on being medium cavalry getting into combat in a combo charge, the shield will give you a good AS bonus and the reduction in manoeuvrability shouldn't hamper you much.

In conclusion I think DR are still quite good, but not as efficient as other units and are fragile so will have to be played carefully, there is more emphasis on being medium cavalry than before, and their utility as light cav has been reduced. Have a look at the ogres antitactica for one very good use of DR

Author:  Meteor [ Tue Nov 30, 2010 11:57 am ]
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I'm running 3 groups of 5 w/ RxB and Muso in my new list lol. And actually dropped both units of 10 RxB for a second unit of 5 DR w/ RxB and Muso plus other stuff. My list's shooting was from my two units of DR and two units of Shades, all 5 models/unit. It was enough shooting for my list, and I was much happier with a second unit of DR rather than static RxBs.

So the point is, I don't believe they're useless, as I run multiple small units of them. Their greatest use for me now is due to their feign flight rule, allowing any that CHOSE to flee, to rally and move and shoot like normal immediately. They move damn fast and can reform, giving excellent flexibility to positioning and threat opportunities. March block is just a bonus now. Hardly anything can march block anymore. It's more about movement blocking by placing units right in their path now.

Author:  Darktan [ Tue Nov 30, 2010 4:13 pm ]
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Currently, i only have one unit of 5 RxB DR, but i plan to expand on these as my groups points limit extends,

To begin with, for the first 5-6 games, my DR sucked, games later, i realised they didn't suck, i sucked at using them. After this realisation, i've tried many different things for my DR to do and they've suceeded at all of them (taking many ideas from this illustrious forum)

Repeatedly, they've been used to accept charges from heavy hitting targets so that when they die/flee my knights/chariot/hydra/corsairs with KB/ect can charge the target that killed the DR.

Another common use, is flank/rear charging a unit that is also in combat with corsairs, a swiftstride persuit combined with the slavers special rule has been particularly useful.

And of course, running down fleeing units or simply sniping off one/two models so that when the CoB supported reasonably tooled-up knights arrive, they should (assuming an averageish combat result) remove steadfast from the opposing unit and keep on rolling up the opponents flank.

As meteor suggests, using them to flee can be most helpful, particularly when against high AS units, to give my lvl4 Metal wizard another attempt at searing doom.

Particularly, much of the accepting charges/fleeing from charges has been done on the first turn via vanguard moves, somthing i could not have done with harpies (unless i went first of course) and unlike harpies (who can do much of the above, cheaper) do count towards minimum core.

Author:  Malus99 [ Tue Nov 30, 2010 4:56 pm ]
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Dark riders also hit alot harder than harpies and are mildly tougher with an AS

Author:  Stormxiii [ Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:19 pm ]
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this unit is really the one which makes my brain having a trip right now !
I've used it with and without xbows by 5/6 and was not able to take anything out of them -

I'm planning to use them on a 10 riders unit (as a side note, I've got lightly converted rohan riders to simulate them - small but my antic DE warriors models are also :) )

(This is theory : ) take them as a mounted equivalent on Xbowmen, they cost twice the price of a classic unit for beeing on horse, for what advantages :

- let say they'll have a free move before turn 1 - they take an advantageous position on the bttle field and, given you begin (best case), can make a cool short range volley with no move penalty
- later the game ending, you'll have the opportunity to easily make a 16" charge on the board (instead of seeing your FootXbowmen receiving it choicelessly - (duh, does this word exist ?)

Ok, it may not be the best choice for 220-250 points but I'll give it a try - as I encourage others players to try it as well

Go for the Fun, Go for the Win

@malus : on a side note, equipping 10 DR with Xbows enventually represents the cost of enlisting 5 Xbowmen :D

Author:  Aeth [ Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:50 pm ]
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As I only own 5 of the models I tend just to use them for warmachine hunting and making a nausance of themesleves. I also find them handy for declaring charges againts units that are already fleeing and shepherdingh them off the board.

Author:  Tethlis [ Tue Nov 30, 2010 5:57 pm ]
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It's not that Dark Riders are necessarily bad, in my opinion, but rather that they're not good enough to justify taking over other choices. They have plenty of appeal in this edition, with their vanguard move and the ability to hinder movement or hunt warmachine crews, but harpies tend to be more flexible and far more disposable at both of these roles. Having fast units that hit with high Initiative and Hatred are always going to find a use in a list, but I have a hard time justifying them since they're not really exceptional at anything compared to other choices in our army.

Author:  Malus99 [ Tue Nov 30, 2010 7:08 pm ]
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tethlis hit the nail on the head, its not that they're worse, just that in most cases we can get better.

Author:  Lord_skrolk [ Wed Dec 01, 2010 8:50 am ]
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I like the dark riders. i use them to charge small units or warmaschines. with they coverage of 9" plus 2W6 they realy fast. also in charge they have s4 and hates everything. sometimes my riders are used to charge fleeing units and if is so then they die for the victory of Naggarond. i give them a position the enemy unit can move over without charging then i hope they run enough to charge they flank.

i play them without anything just the 85 points the 5 models costs.

Author:  L1qw1d [ Fri Dec 03, 2010 4:33 am ]
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i only use them for 3 things now:
warmachine hunting or flier bait
clean up flanking around my corsairs & cok-swiftstride + slavers is fun!
"look out sir!" if i can't afford a dark pegasus (because I'll do a dark steed for 1/3 the points easily)

Author:  Deathpepper [ Fri Dec 03, 2010 4:08 pm ]
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stormXIII wrote:
- let say they'll have a free move before turn 1 - they take an advantageous position on the bttle field and, given you begin (best case), can make a cool short range volley with no move penalty

Doesn't work. Vanguard moves can't be used to get within 12" of enemies.

Author:  Nellamik [ Fri Dec 03, 2010 11:42 pm ]
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I have a list that I want to try using 9 of them with Rxbows Full Command along with a Dreadlord on Dark steed, with the ring of darkness, Rxbow, Crimson death, a shield, sea dragon cloak and armour of Eternal servatude.

They should stay pretty safe with the ring and be able to shoot in two ranks while trying to set up a flank charge on something big coordinated with a frontal charge with say a black guard unit or such. Between the two units they should stand up to and break a horde unit.

Author:  Meteor [ Sat Dec 04, 2010 1:39 am ]
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Deathpepper wrote:
stormXIII wrote:
- let say they'll have a free move before turn 1 - they take an advantageous position on the bttle field and, given you begin (best case), can make a cool short range volley with no move penalty

Doesn't work. Vanguard moves can't be used to get within 12" of enemies.

Within, so you can stand AT 12" and shoot without movement penalties, though you rarely get that chance I think. Plus one would rather move to the side and harass without risking a charge

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