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What to do with my Riders?
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Author:  Voiddisciple [ Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:09 am ]
Post subject:  What to do with my Riders?

Howdy folks! Long time, no see.

I just got in my first couple of 8th ed. games with my Dwarf Army, and the WFB bug bit me mighty hard. I'm trying to get my Dark Elves back into fighting shape, but I'm distressed what to do with my 15 Dark Riders. Now that we have rank bonuses (yaay!) and we need them in order to get a flank attack in (boo!), I'm tempted to run them in one big unit, so that at least 10 survive to get into melee. Are 5 DR's enough to annoy the big mammoth units? Should I get the whole full command, or will my musicians be enough?

I've already went through Calisson et al.'s brilliant summaries, and wanted to hear some field experience on our fast cav.

Author:  Aveleys [ Tue Aug 09, 2011 1:26 am ]
Post subject: 

Well right now dark riders end up being a lot of points to do what other units do a lot better, since they don't deal a lot of damage and are really easy to kill. That being said they can still be used to redirect, charge units off the board that are fleeing and be used to charge into a unit that another of your units will overun into to get them to fight twice; not to mention that they can hunt war machines. The downside is that all these roles are way better done with shades or harpies respectively, so the dark riders are often overlooked now as a result.
Cheers,
-Ave

Author:  L1qw1d [ Tue Aug 09, 2011 2:25 am ]
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Use the Cauldron's KB ans then send them into a tied up flank :)

Author:  Dyvim tvar [ Tue Aug 09, 2011 4:00 am ]
Post subject: 

I disagree that Harpies and Shades are always better than Dark Riders. In fact, Dark Riders may be the best unit we have for controlling enemy movement.

The reason is because you can no longer reliably stop march moves simply by having a unit close to the enemy. Now, one of the best way to slow the advance of an enemy unit is to induce a failed charge. Sit your dark riders just over 1" from the enemy unit's base movement range, and flee when charged (try to make sure there are no juicy redirect targets). Since they are fast cavalry and can move normally after rallying, Dark Riders can rally and repeat turn after turn.

Another role Dark Riders can excell at is assassinating wizards in units (when backed by a cauldron). The +1 attack blessing can give 2 Dark Riders a pretty good shot at a low-level wizard. Better than Harpies at this due to Hatred and higher strength on the charge.

Author:  Vulcan [ Tue Aug 09, 2011 6:24 am ]
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Dark Riders excell at the maneuver battle. The problem is, they hit only slightly harder than a limp noodle unless you spend a LOT of points on the unit... points better spent on other units that hit MUCH harder.

Basically, if you are looking for a highly mobile flank charger, you'll get more milage out of 5 COK naked than 10 shielded Dark Riders. No, the COK won't bust ranks. What they will do is knock an extra rank off the other unit, increasing the chances they will loose steadfast. And once steadfast is gone, CR will do the rest.

So... what do you do with Dark Riders? Harass, what else? Take RXBs, Vanguard and move up into short range, fire a volley. Bait the charge and flee (as described above), reducing their movement to 6" or less. Put them in the flight path of units you expect to break this turn, to incur the Dangerous Terrain test for fleeing units. Best of all, use them to charge the fleeing units and either run them down or chase them clear off the board for the VP.

For all this, they are best deployed in units of 5 with musicians. Best 117 points I've spent thus far!

Author:  Voiddisciple [ Tue Aug 09, 2011 4:25 pm ]
Post subject: 

Well then, it sounds to me that a lot of folks still use the 5-wide units. Nice to know that some things haven't changed after all.

As to their actual combat effectiveness, it's nice to know that some things haven't changed after all :P

Author:  Ehakir [ Wed Aug 10, 2011 10:09 am ]
Post subject: 

It also heavily depends on the list I use. When I use a list which mostly consists of infantry and ranged attack units, the dark riders are used to slow down the enemy units and to guide them away from my fragile units. This can be done by the above tactic of just standing in the way.
When I use a highly mobile list, it is composed of 4-5 units of Dark Riders supported by some heavy hitting characters, hydra's and some chariots. Here they save me the time for the rest of the army to wrap around the enemy and charge them from all sides at the same time.
In conclusion: they are useful for directing the movement of enemy units (more than for the shooting they give: 10 shots which hit on 5's most of the time for 117 pts are not really better than 20 shots which hit on 5's most of the time for 110 pts.

Author:  Ger'urden [ Wed Aug 10, 2011 6:13 pm ]
Post subject: 

I have exactly 15 DR's as well what I have done always is split them into two categories point wise it's 131pts for 5 that are fast cal. RCB, musician and herald these I use to harass, hunt mages, shoot war machines etc. And just meat shields for my COK(lol I know immature) but they will have the vanguard move in the first round and if you do get the first turn you have tempt the opposition to charge these DR's * remember leave them in a way that if charged they can retreat and regroup, what fast cal. Are best at and leave the opponent exposed for well placed counter charge. As screens for COK's they are kinda steep but we'll get into the other group later. These DR's will die no doubt Just use them until you can unleash your heavier hitting knights.

The other DR's cost 125 for shield, musican,herald and banner. Of Course the lose fast cal. But these guys can assist COK's a whole lot better in C.C. And are better screens and cheaper too! You can decide if a banner is really worth it but For storm of chaos and battles these guys aren't too shabby to get shot as by arrows with a 4+ armour, -1 to hit mod for COK behind. These units are meant to die, most will be wiped in the first mid second but the charge for the heavier knights will be set up for you to knock it out of the ball park.

I vs wood elves, chaos mortals, beastmen, ogres and dwarves regularly and these tactics don't fail me. I don't really group Calvary In higher ranks I leave that for infantry. Having a horde of Spearmen with unbreakable banner and a slayer of a lord leading them into combat with assisting Mage with focus familiar in it (is an expensive unit indeed) but they dies to the last man and flank charges from 5 COK's or 5 DR's always is a much welcomed assistance;)

Anyways hope that could help. I use Calvary, monsters, mages to great effect. I would use harpies but buying 2 for $18 or so is well just down right expensive heh heh so I just worked with my options.

Author:  Vulcan [ Fri Aug 12, 2011 1:00 am ]
Post subject: 

I believe the cheapest harpies are made using Daemonette bodies and paper clips, masking tape, and green stuff for the wings. MUCH cheaper that way.

If sculpting is not your style, the Tyranind Gargoyle wings can be used, but they are at a bit of a preimium from the e-bay bitz dealers.

Author:  L1qw1d [ Sat Aug 13, 2011 3:49 am ]
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or the mini harpies from specialist if you can find a lot on ebay

Author:  Geist [ Tue Aug 16, 2011 5:44 pm ]
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I firmly believe that under the current rules dark riders are forced into either objective grab or harassment. Having said that I will not use my dark riders under 8th rules (hopefully the new dark elf book whenever that is) will fix them. Because lets be honest, harpies do everything a dark rider does for much much cheaper. In fact the ONLY thing the harpies don't do is shoot. The lack of adding your base move to a flee move took so much of the dark rider power out of them that well, using that way becomes a very costly.

Author:  Dyvim tvar [ Tue Aug 16, 2011 6:13 pm ]
Post subject: 

Geist wrote:
Because lets be honest, harpies do everything a dark rider does for much much cheaper. In fact the ONLY thing the harpies don't do is shoot.


Not true. Dark Riders have at least 2 more things they can do (besides shooting) that harpies cannot.

1) As I noted in a prior post in this thread, they can can rally after fleeing and move and shoot normally.

2) They can receive Cauldron blessings, which (combined with hatred and strength 4 on the charge) can make them hit MUCH harder than harpies

Author:  Tethlis [ Tue Aug 16, 2011 7:45 pm ]
Post subject: 

As with virtually everything in our book, Dark Riders aren't a bad choice. It's just that most players have found other units that perhaps do their job slightly better. I think Dark Riders are much more versatile and flexible than either Harpies or Shades, and it's terrific that they actually can help fill up our Core requirement, but I don't use them myself. For specialist mobile shooters, I take Shades, and for cheap redirectors, I go take Harpies. That being said, Dark Riders are good for boosting missile volume and are better at going after enemy warmachines than Shades or Harpies are since Movement 9 Fast Cavalry with high Leadership, Hatred and Strength 4 are going to be faster, more stable, and more decisive at beating a crew than Harpies or Shades are on their own.

Author:  Lord tsunami [ Wed Aug 17, 2011 8:32 am ]
Post subject: 

The good thing here is that harpies, shades AND dark riders are all fine choices, and i see no reasons not to include at least one of each choice.

harpies are cheaper
shades shoot better
dark riders can actually rally after fleeing (damn harpies...)

all of the above traits can be used to great effect in all battles.

Author:  Victor simic [ Wed Aug 17, 2011 2:23 pm ]
Post subject: 

Quote:
Dark Riders may be the best unit we have for controlling enemy movement.
Tend to agree. They excel in the traditional light cavalry role which related to WFB includes march blocking (if their lucky), missile support/harassment, fire and flee, and war machine/lone character hunting. Kitted out in ranked units with a banner, they become effective Medium cavalry best suited to flank busting. If fully boosted with maximum ranks and banner, they can be able line breakers if you take in to account their re-rolls for Hatred at S4 (don`t forget the Horses are Hateful too!).

I have taken 1-3 units of five DR`s for ever in most army builds, and whilst they can die quickly under some circumstances, with a bit of thought (and a bit of luck) they should get their points back. Additionally, their long reach and previously mentioned Rally/Move ability allows them to immediatly get the attention of targeted enemy units from turn one. Used wisely (and again, with a bit of luck...) DR`s can set up a win for you.

By simply forcing enemy units to react to your DR units from turn one, you gain the initiative. Up the Flanks is my prefered route (just beware of angling the unit in danger of fleeing off the side of the table), and despite their rather flimsy defensive capabilities, 5 DR`s can close with the enemy, potentially forcing a loss of March Move; pour 10 Rxb shots per turn into an advancing enemy unit (light weight but with AP can be dangerously annoying); Flee a Charge; Rally; Move forward or back as required; Shoot again; Flee if Charged again, and so on. Very few enemy units or battleline`s will tolerate these shenanigans for long, and your opponent will move to deal with your pesky DR`s. IMO, this forced reaction can potentially wrongfoot your opponent, and in a subtle way shift the initiative in your favour.

Of course no plan survives contact with the enemy, so your DR`s will be wiped out for no gain at times. I don`t bother taking them against Missile heavy enemy armies, `cos they melt away too quickly. One of my regular opponents takes WoC and he HATES my DR`s. He has altered his army list to deal with them on occasion, and finds them and endless source of annoyance and sometimes peril, to his hordes. This distraction value alone makes their inclusion worthwhile IMO.

In saying all this, Harpies are incredibly effective if used well, but by no means subvert or replace DR`s. They have related but distinct roles within a Druchii army, but I find DR`s the more versatile and flexible (according to unit size, build, and kit). DR`s have more varied applications depending on the role at hand than the other Druchii `light` units (Shades and Harpies) I reckon.

Harpies - Great Movement range, two S3 Attacks, cheap, Beasts rule means Fleeing won`t affect friendlies, no missile capability, no ranks, no boost options, low Ld, fragile.

Shades - Low Movement by comparison to Harpies and DR`s, one S3 Attack, good boost option in GW`s/Assassins/Characters/CoB, missile capability, prime infiltrators with Scout rule, good Ld, Hatred, expensive, no ranks, fragile.

Dark Riders - Great Movement range, two S3 Attacks ( one S4 Attack and one S3 on Charge), good boost options with Command Groups/Rxb`s/CoB, missile capability, Fast Cavalry, good Ld, Hatred, ranks, expensive (but good value IMHO), fragile (like most druchii units), Light or Medium Cavalry option.

No one unit is vastly superior to the other. I just prefer DR`s versatility. Accordingly, I see a role for Harpies AND Shades in most of my armies. Points allowing, I like to take all three.



"A curse upon your houses !, A curse upon your souls !, An end to your feeble usurper ! And know this one and all ! Our vengeance is eternal !, Our spite it knows no bounds !, I rob you of your victory! And remain...Naggarothii unto death !!!"

Attributed to Sulenar of Seth; Assassin adept of the Cult of Khaine following the thirteenth failed attempt on Phoenix King Caledor the First`s life during Ulthuan`s Civil War and evental Sundering. After being unmasked within striking distance of Caledor, Sulenar slew four elite White Lions before being overwhelmed by the remaining bodyguards. When threatened with torture, Sulenar took his own life by biting down on a poisoned false tooth and uttering these ledgendary final words. A fellow Assassin, Varneth Morvael remained at large following the failed attempt on the Phoenix Kings life. It was he who carried word of Sulenar`s dying curse to Morathi. Rather than slay Varneth for his failure, Morathii was impressed by Sulenars devotion to Nargarythe`s cause, not to mention his loyalty. Varneth was sent on another unfortunately unsuccessful quest to take Caledors life as a reward for bearing such inspirational utterances to his mistress. Sulenars words are inscribed on a Khainite relic in the form of a drinking skull fashioned from the cranium of an original White Lion bodyguard of Caledors. The drinking skull has pride of place among the many blood relics, heirloom weaponry, and other antiquities brought out of lost Nargarythe by the Cult of Khaine`s adherants. It rests within the inner sanctum of none other than Crone Hellebron...favoured of Khaine and Witch Queen of Har Ganeth.

Author:  Dyvim tvar [ Wed Aug 17, 2011 5:13 pm ]
Post subject: 

One more important point about Dark Riders is that they can be used to help meet you 25% core requirement -- harpies and shades can't.

Author:  Sulla [ Thu Aug 18, 2011 7:40 pm ]
Post subject: 

Dyvim Tvar wrote:
Another role Dark Riders can excell at is assassinating wizards in units (when backed by a cauldron). The +1 attack blessing can give 2 Dark Riders a pretty good shot at a low-level wizard. Better than Harpies at this due to Hatred and higher strength on the charge.
A big plus in DRs favour is their Ld too. A lot of times I have lost harpies has been because of a failed panic or fear test. I have DR in most of my lists because the ld gives reliabilty when operating outside the range of the Ld/BSB bubble.

Author:  Noble korhedron [ Thu Aug 18, 2011 8:24 pm ]
Post subject:  !

VoidDisciple wrote:
Howdy folks! Long time, no see.

I just got in my first couple of 8th ed. games with my Dwarf Army, and the WFB bug bit me mighty hard. I'm trying to get my Dark Elves back into fighting shape, but I'm distressed what to do with my 15 Dark Riders. Now that we have rank bonuses (yaay!) and we need them in order to get a flank attack in (boo!), I'm tempted to run them in one big unit, so that at least 10 survive to get into melee. Are 5 DR's enough to annoy the big mammoth units? Should I get the whole full command, or will my musicians be enough?

I've already went through Calisson et al.'s brilliant summaries, and wanted to hear some field experience on our fast cav.
Wait, fast cavalry get rank bonus now?! Or is it just that they can now disrupt ranked units?

Author:  Sulla [ Sun Aug 21, 2011 12:40 am ]
Post subject: 

You can only disrupt if you have a rank bonus...

Author:  Noble korhedron [ Sun Aug 21, 2011 12:34 pm ]
Post subject: 

sulla wrote:
You can only disrupt if you have a rank bonus...
Ah, O.K. Sorry - I'm still a bit confused over what can and can't disrupt ranked units in this Ed. I know for sure that skirmishers can't, but that's about all.....

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