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Playing the Druchii 
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Highborn
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Recently I've notcied numberous posts on people questioning on how to play with Dark Elves...Is it because they keep losing? or are playing them improperly? or are they army lists weak or at fault? whatever it is, it seems that our fellow Druchii players are having trouble.

I have notcied thing from restructuring the Black Gaurd to using Dark Riders as a CC unit. all of which usually flabergasts me :P.

So i open up a new discussion, on how to play the Dark Elves, with an aim to help our newer players, and to re-direct those already on the wrong path.

To start of, i shall start with army lists:

When building army lists i follow these basic guidelines:
40% core
10% magic items
25% special
at any points limit with at least a 2% give or take.

Now granted, its a little difficult to play somebody's else's army list, one must make a list with unit in mind that complements your style of gameplay. for example, if your playing magic heavy, its most adviseable to play delay tactcis. This way you can blast your opponent from afar and use your magic to its maximum advantage, in addition to this shooting should complement you magic as well. So in building a magic heavy army, imho, you should have some heavy shooting in it as well.
Also looking at the other end of the spectrum, if your playiing rather aggresively, it must be noted that hitting power and LD should be your main concerns. So an order of Druchii Highborn should be in mind as well as some hard hitting units, such as execs or CoK's.

DISCLAIMER: the only time I would advocate the min/maxing of an army list is when playing against a cheater.

The Druchii mindset:
In playing Dark elves for a while its been a general concensus that a Druchii army is not a the blunt cudgel like a chaos army, or does it have the swarm capability of a Skaven army. Because of this, druchii armies have to win by the math of the game, Combat Resolution. If you can build your army to win by CR, you would win at least 70%-90% of your games. In reality there arnt alot of armies/units out there that arnt affected by CR in some way. for example stubborn/unbreakable units, but seriously how many units in an army have these qualities? 1 maybe 2? unless of course someone is playing a slayer army, in which case, tactics must change. But in the totality of it, a Dark Elf army should be created with everything working together like a well oiled machine. For example, if you have a unit of 20 Warriors, charged by a chariot, statistically, there is no way that chariot is going to win combat...standing the DE unit has a CR of 5, meaning the chariot has to make 5 kills to tie, 6 to win. not happening. Or for example a unit of kroxies come in a-swinging, the likely hood of them making 6-7 kills, about average, remember they have to hit first. But there are return attacks and in reality one or two wounds should be scored. This should be enough to hold combat for a turn, long enough to hit them with a chariot or another unit in the flank, again winning by CR not by kills.
Also in focusing on your style of gameplay. If you have a particular affinity to Druchii magic, try experimenting with shadow/death magic as well, and not just Dark, and in that regard, realize that slowing down your opponents is an objective you must achieve, this way you get more chances to cast on targeted units, shades/harpies should come to mind. Also in addition you have to think a bout thinning your opponents numbers not with just magic, but with shooting as well. Note that Druchii shooting is some of the most fearsome out there. Its much akin to say Ork shooting in 40k, alot of shots, just most of the time your hitting on 5's (DR moving + double shoot = need's 5's to hit). This aspect of a druchii army should also go hand in hand with their CC capabilities.
Meaning that if your going to egange in CC, do it on your own terms. Meaning you have the enemy come to you, and thin their lines through magic and shooting. For example, i would never have my unit of 20 corsairs try to go toe to toe against a full unit of beastigors. not until they tried to reach my lines through hailfire and brimstone of my magic and shooting.

In essence you waiting for the right time to strike. Thinning your opponents numbers down, enough so that when you do engage, they dont have 3 ranks, or at least cant bring in enough numbers to take you down. But the magic/shooting combo is but one aspect of the Druchii way of war.
Remember that your playing on a 4D battlefield. Dont just plan to fight the battle in a linear perspective. Flying units or skirmisher units can pose a real threat to your opponents lone characters/warmachines, as such expect your opponent to try to take these out early on. But also in playing the linear game with your opponent, this is where Dark Riders find their greatest purpose in life, flanking and rear. If you look at the Dark Rider's Stats, they are in effect glorified crossbowmen on horses. Because of this, dont expect them to hold much in combat, but their greatest purpose is in supporting combats as well as harassing/march blocking. same goes for shades.
The best way i've found to play my Druchii army is to suck my opponents into a shooting/kill zone, using my DR. But at the same time my lists usually contain 3 units of DR (at 2250 of course) this way i have multiple options across the board, and all id have to do is pick and choose. But the focus of this post is not the usage/effectiveness of each unit in the Druchii list, that has been discussed in many posts prior to this one, its more to the point of how to play your Druchii army as a whole, for no Druchii army can be played with any sole unit being the Shaquille O'Neal or Kobe of the army. The army has to work together as a whole otherwise you are lost.

Also other important aspects of the game include terrain setup and deployment. These two aspects of the fight are a couple of the MOST important parts of the game, you may have the best list, or a list built specifically to beat one type of army, but if you cant deploy or cant place terrain to maximize your efficiency, theres no way your going to win. Suggestions on placement, place your Fast Cav units first, always, this way you can go through seeing what your opponent places in response,, then next i would go ahead and place the bolt throwers, because almost always bolt thrower placement is painfully obvious. Now when you come to placement of Block units...note that almost always, once your opponent places a block unit and you place one against it in trutn, the fight ends up where these two units meet., be it whether they come to you or you go to them. I would surmise that deployment is 45% of your overall success.


In total, you must come to the table with a rough outline of how your going to set up and play, no matter who the opponent is. If your unsure on how to play against a certain opponent, dont be discouraged, the only way you learn how to beat them is to fight them as often as you can. Overall i belive in balances lists, finding the need to control if not contest as many of the phases as i can. Multiple cav units for the movement phase, potent magic (at 2250 at least 7 PD), a decent shooting phase, at least 60+ shots, and effective CR in CC. Note, im not trying to have eveyone follow or copymy nor am i trying to tell players "you must play like this, or build an army list like this..." far from it, but what i am trying to instill especially amongst newer players is at least a foundation to work from and an understanding of the Druchii. I myself only fully understood how to play my army really well at smaller points games, where i learned of the true merits of how DR worked, as well as when they worked in conjunctio with warriors, and/or the warriors/chariot combo.

The way I've looked at many of the posts, IE fighting dwarves or fighting WE/HE and most of the time its come across how can i build a list to beat them...its one thing to help with a list, but if that list doesnt work with how you play, its a moot point. Thats why I suggest at least the next topic of the month for Druchii discussion not be how do we beat (insert race here) but how do we play our army better.

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Last edited by Drizz't on Tue Feb 21, 2006 7:11 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Tue Feb 21, 2006 6:58 pm
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Cold One Knight
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Right on brother. Good post.
One question: You mention that a CC army should think about hitting power and Ld. You also say your army should be competent in every phase. Do you recommend moderate/heavy shooting an an aggressive, CC army?


Tue Feb 21, 2006 7:06 pm
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M-A-D
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First Up, Drizz't, this is a really good post and a very good idea. So good one you for doing it. I don't entirely agree with some bits but I believe your principle is fairly accurate. However this should really be intactics, and looking at how things are going I think this might need to go in to the halol of fame, especially if people contribute some more lengthy posts giving advise on how the Druchii play. An excellent opening post, an excellent article and could definitely be a great thread. :D

First up I would like to say that one shouldn't really build a list to percentages. Let them guide but never let them control. Most lists, especially the more succesful lists will have more like 25% core, and often a great balance between the different areas (25% for each or there abouts). Basically don't let this really guide you.

The other thig for new players to bear in mind IMHO is that you must understand that there are 5 phases to the game, those being:

1) Movement
2) Shooting
3) Magic
4) Combat
5) Psychology

By out classing your enemy in a given area you take better control of the game, but by being active in as many areas as you can you can afford to be slightly less effective in specific areas, but more importantly by playing all 5, or more likely 4 you are better able to deal with any enemy, and achieve the most throug flexibility.

For me the Dark Elves are the Jack of all Trades army. We can play any phase of the game, but we aren't exceptional at any one phase (particulalrly stong at movement, but not exceptional). So from my point of view in order to succeed with the Druchii you must play the five phases of the game. This doesn't mean you have to play a borring or overtly balanced list, but by having something going on in every phase you are at an advanatage. This is the principle around which my Orange Legion is based, and a theory you can see vinidcated in most of the succesful Dark Elf lists about. Heck blade is technically a very balanced list because it is a listb that is very strong in each of those phases. Some races, which lack control of certain phases make up for this in the other phases (Dwarves make up for no magic and fairly cack movement by being hard in CC, fairly immune to Psyc and having shabba shooting).

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Tue Feb 21, 2006 7:20 pm
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I usually try to post when I have something important to say but I feel that I must break the rule.

Excellent posts..

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Tue Feb 21, 2006 7:53 pm
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Highborn
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RasputinII wrote:
First Up, Drizz't, this is a really good post and a very good idea. So good one you for doing it. I don't entirely agree with some bits but I believe your principle is fairly accurate. However this should really be intactics, and looking at how things are going I think this might need to go in to the halol of fame, especially if people contribute some more lengthy posts giving advise on how the Druchii play. An excellent opening post, an excellent article and could definitely be a great thread. :D



Thank you Ras

RasputinII wrote:
First up I would like to say that one shouldn't really build a list to percentages. Let them guide but never let them control. Most lists, especially the more succesful lists will have more like 25% core, and often a great balance between the different areas (25% for each or there abouts). Basically don't let this really guide you.

The other thig for new players to bear in mind IMHO is that you must understand that there are 5 phases to the game, those being:

1) Movement
2) Shooting
3) Magic
4) Combat
5) Psychology

By out classing your enemy in a given area you take better control of the game, but by being active in as many areas as you can you can afford to be slightly less effective in specific areas, but more importantly by playing all 5, or more likely 4 you are better able to deal with any enemy, and achieve the most throug flexibility.

For me the Dark Elves are the Jack of all Trades army. We can play any phase of the game, but we aren't exceptional at any one phase (particulalrly stong at movement, but not exceptional). So from my point of view in order to succeed with the Druchii you must play the five phases of the game. This doesn't mean you have to play a borring or overtly balanced list, but by having something going on in every phase you are at an advanatage. This is the principle around which my Orange Legion is based, and a theory you can see vinidcated in most of the succesful Dark Elf lists about. Heck blade is technically a very balanced list because it is a listb that is very strong in each of those phases. Some races, which lack control of certain phases make up for this in the other phases (Dwarves make up for no magic and fairly cack movement by being hard in CC, fairly immune to Psyc and having shabba shooting).


With my statement of placing a percentage on core, the reason being that (not sure about international) but here in the US, the norm for most RTT's are those requirements for comp. Here's my reasoning as well why i agree with that. If you play heavy with specials or rare, I feel that you dont really learn much about the druchii by using the more elite choices. I belive that in essence to get the best uses out of the elite units you have to work your way up to it. Remember it is an honor to be a member of the Black Gaurd or the Executioners. As such imho one must play with heavy core choices, this way you get a great feel on how to use corsairs/warriors/xbows/DR. I mean especially DR's. I met a player once, who never used xbos, but loved his execs, problem is, everyone killed his execs or his execs faced units too hard/numerous for them to kill IE Ogres, clanrat slaves. Because of this i advised him to start taking xbows, drop his execs entirely and run with corsairs and spearmen, now hes a shoorty god and forgotten all about his execs, but one day i reminded him about them, now he plays with a small unit, but heavy core that sets his execs up for flank charges.

Because of this my experience has been to work from the ground up, learn to use your most basic troops first. Experience the fact that because of T3 you cannot afford to stay in combat for very long. meaning you have to win tactically and not with any one kill unit, and now since that foundation for a fighting tactician is built, then move on to using CoK's, execs, etc... With min/maxing i feel that one doesnt get the full scope of their army. Its like someone playing Eldar in 40k. Lots of specialists, but you need to set your sitations up so that your specialists work out....much harder in fantasy.

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Tue Feb 21, 2006 9:15 pm
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M-A-D
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Not a problem mate. I just tell it as I see it.

Yeah in the UK, and much of Eurpoe there aren't any Comp Scores, so such %s have no real place. My Orange Legion, my balanced 2k runs at about 600pts Core, 500pts Chars, 400pts Rare and just under 500pts Special. For me its about a balanced list that gels and works together, and for me these requirments are independant of the percentage thing. Its a balance of effectiveness between the 5 phases and of ability to handle things. However it is also important to recognise that Core light lists, often Dragon Dominated are highly succesful.

But it is all about how you want to play, and as you say the best way to get better with the game and with elves in general is to play with infantry, warriors and core troops. All I'm saying is that it isn't mandatory, especially outside the states.

Ras

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Tue Feb 21, 2006 9:28 pm
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as a noob to both the Druchii and WHF in general...kudos and thanks for helping out the little guy

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Fri Mar 10, 2006 1:43 am
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Quote:
The other thig for new players to bear in mind IMHO is that you must understand that there are 5 phases to the game, those being:

1) Movement
2) Shooting
3) Magic
4) Combat
5) Psychology

By out classing your enemy in a given area you take better control of the game, but by being active in as many areas as you can you can afford to be slightly less effective in specific areas, but more importantly by playing all 5, or more likely 4 you are better able to deal with any enemy, and achieve the most throug flexibility.


In addition to what Ras said about the 5 phases, being a Jack of all Trades army seems to be our key to winning. What I mean is, now that all the army lists are out, we can see that we are no longer the "fastest" army... We have trouble dominating any phase. But a balanced Druchii army is often slightly more powerful than others in the Psychology (cold ones, terror causers), shooting (lots of rxbs and reapers), movement (DRs, harpies, M5), and occasionally Magic. By using these advantages, we can give ourselves that edge in combat that we need. We have good dedicated combat troops, but like most dark elf generals know, pretty much everything in our army needs support.

@ Drizzt: Good follow up points about learning how to use core. Learning how to use Dark elf basics are indeed very important - Dark RIders and warriors, and corsairs to a lesser extent. Then throw in a sprinkle of special and rare, and in a short time you'll have a good feel for the army. I think a thing that hinders progress for a lot of newbs who start off with an assassin, and every single type of elite infantry we have all in one.

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Fri Mar 10, 2006 5:06 pm
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- Human wrote:
@ Drizzt: Good follow up points about learning how to use core. Learning how to use Dark elf basics are indeed very important - Dark RIders and warriors, and corsairs to a lesser extent. Then throw in a sprinkle of special and rare, and in a short time you'll have a good feel for the army. I think a thing that hinders progress for a lot of newbs who start off with an assassin, and every single type of elite infantry we have all in one.


Indeed i agree with you that most newer players fall under the trap of, "omg these units are kool!" or "this character is awesome!!"
These are usualy pitfalls that must be avoided, again as i stated before, try something standard when first starting out. Go with what the norm is, heavy core, warriors, Dark Riders, corsairs, learn how to use your core more effectively. For example i played a game where a fellow druchii player charged my unit of spearmen with his execs, now your immediately thinking that [i]oh your spearmen are toast, but we found out that his execs were an inch short of the charge, so next turn i charged his execs with my spearmen, i wiped out the front rank and he lost combat, ran and got ran over by my warrior unit... this isnt an extreme examply, its just a well known fact that execs cannot handle being charged at all.


- Keilah wrote:
Right on brother. Good post.
One question: You mention that a CC army should think about hitting power and Ld. You also say your army should be competent in every phase. Do you recommend moderate/heavy shooting an an aggressive, CC army?



I belive in an aggressive army you should have potent combat, but also potent psychology, meaning fear/terror/panic. Causing as much havoc in psychology though their ranks as you can should effectively decrease your opponents effectiveness during the game. So using chariots,CoK's, hydras, and enough shooting to cause panic tests as well, so yes i do recomment moderat/heavy shooting in an aggressive army.

The reason i state for Ld in an aggressive army is because remember CC is a two-edged sword, you can charge an opponent but if your fighting HE, they usually have enough to strike back and cause wounds to you as well, so you want that LD 10 around incase you loose combat.

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Fri Mar 10, 2006 6:12 pm
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Yeah, as a general rule, our armies should be somewhat aggressive. At least, don't go with a stand-and-shoot army. It's obviously boring, and there's lots of armies that can do it better than we can.

The highborn is a great addition to any army with Cold Ones. Increases reliability, and your units break less - I'd say he's definitely worth it.

Another tip for newer players is that always have a minimum Ld9 general, especially if you have chariots in your army. They'll perform much better for you.

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Fri Mar 10, 2006 7:45 pm
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Great job man.

Reagarding the shooting bit I don't agree completley,yes druchii shooting can be fearsome especially against certain armies (empire,wood elves,high elves,skaven,night gobbos),but look at opponents like chaos and dwarfs,repeater crossbow bolts just bounce off them,I might be mistaken or maybe I have just used my artillary badly but I still don't rely on my shooting to work as effectivley as maybe it should.

The most I deploy are two units of dark riders and one of shades and usually they target just the weaker elements of my opponents army (it was a great day when my dark riders and shades shot from the sky a carrion unit).Do you suggest anything because recentley warriors with repeater crossbows havent really found a place in my army list (I use a pretty fast and hard hitting army with only two medium sized infantry units).

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Fri Mar 10, 2006 7:51 pm
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Vradek (ex Pandemonio) wrote:
Great job man.

Reagarding the shooting bit I don't agree completley,yes druchii shooting can be fearsome especially against certain armies (empire,wood elves,high elves,skaven,night gobbos),but look at opponents like chaos and dwarfs,repeater crossbow bolts just bounce off them,I might be mistaken or maybe I have just used my artillary badly but I still don't rely on my shooting to work as effectivley as maybe it should.

The most I deploy are two units of dark riders and one of shades and usually they target just the weaker elements of my opponents army (it was a great day when my dark riders and shades shot from the sky a carrion unit).Do you suggest anything because recentley warriors with repeater crossbows havent really found a place in my army list (I use a pretty fast and hard hitting army with only two medium sized infantry units).



Yes it i hard to wound or kill more heavily armored units like chaos warriors or dwarves, but seriously thats why chaos warriors cost so much, dont be downhearted because against armies like these, your shooting isnt really supposed to be relied on to make units run away, its more to thin down numbers. Realize that if a unit of 10 bowmen kill 1 or 2 warriors out of a 16 man unit of chaos warriors, then youve negated a rank, so when you charge them or they charge you, they will be down a rank in combat res. Remember even tho chaos warriors hit hard in combat, if you can win combat due to combat res, then that means THEY have to test, not you, and they can fail, and you can chase.

Not too long ago, i gained a couple of victories from both a HE army and a TK army with my Druchiiby sitting back and drawing them in.
Against the TK army, my shooting was being majorly affective, by whittling down his skeleton unit, he was forced to throw dice at summoning more and not able to save enough dice or throw enough dice at his better spells. Also my shooting was helping eliminate ranks from his skeleton units, and everytime i won combat, he kept loosing more and more.
Against my HE opponent, i used the same tactic, i suckered him into my center, where all my shooting was, while my faster elements took out his flanks and his rear, i combo'd a unit of shades and a unit of DR to kill one giant eagle, while it took the first 2 turns to shoot his other eagle out of the sky with but one DR unit. Then i held my line back as i constantly shot and magicked him, making him loose elves as he marched towards my lines, while my DR units swamped his rear and took out his archers and bolt throwers. A lil sacrifice play that saved my bolt throwers was when i charged my 5 shades into the flank of 6 silver helms, i didnt manage to kill the one silver helm, but lost combat and broke, but he ended up onthe far end of the board, waaay off from where the main fight was happening, that unit of silver helms never saw the fight till the 6th turn.
Now what i was trying to get at is even tho druchii shooting vs HE wont cause any panic at all (yes that little rule is highly annoying) never the less, 12 - 24 crossbow shots vs a unit of very expensive swordmasters is devastating to that unit, because when the time for it to get to fight comes around, that unit will find itself severly depleted of men.
In all the reliance of your shooting should change depending what army your facing. If your facing high toughness heavy armored opponents, your shooting should be there to harass, and bleed your enemy a little.
Against lower toughness low armor units, your looking to break them, to cause panic checks.
As always, target priority for your shooting is a must, thats why having multiple units that can shoot gives you better options to play with.

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Fri Mar 10, 2006 9:20 pm
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A note on our shooting:

Vradek is right in that there are certain enemies that rxb's are nearly useless against; most of them being dedicated combat units like warriors and knights. But what they excel at is taking out support units.

For instance, if you're up against chaos, don't shoot the knights - shoot the horsemen and the hounds! If you have no other targets then you might get lucky and drop a knight, but otherwise you should leave that to the Reapers. By eliminating support units, it allows OUR support units to do their roles without being hindered... Basically, your dark riders get "free run" of the board so to speak.

In each army, there's always a few units worth shooting at - make your choices count, don't waste shots on something they won't affect.

In the event that you take lots of rxbs and there's only a couple of enemy units that they can touch, then you might as well focus on them and wipe them off the board.

Still, dedicated shooting armies don't seem to work for dark elves.

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Sat Mar 11, 2006 12:11 am
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- Human wrote:
A note on our shooting:

Vradek is right in that there are certain enemies that rxb's are nearly useless against; most of them being dedicated combat units like warriors and knights. But what they excel at is taking out support units.

For instance, if you're up against chaos, don't shoot the knights - shoot the horsemen and the hounds! If you have no other targets then you might get lucky and drop a knight, but otherwise you should leave that to the Reapers. By eliminating support units, it allows OUR support units to do their roles without being hindered... Basically, your dark riders get "free run" of the board so to speak.

In each army, there's always a few units worth shooting at - make your choices count, don't waste shots on something they won't affect.

In the event that you take lots of rxbs and there's only a couple of enemy units that they can touch, then you might as well focus on them and wipe them off the board.

Still, dedicated shooting armies don't seem to work for dark elves.



Right on the money Human, that is totally correct. In effect again the roles and targets of bowmen changes depending what army your facing or given what targets present are available to them, in choosing whether i would want to shoot between Tomb Gaurd or Skeleton warriors, in my mind the tomb gaurd may be the better option BUT, it would also depend on, whose closer? if the skeleton warriors are close enough that they may be in combat with another unit of mine next turn, then obviously you would want to shoot at them and thin their numbers down. Basic target priority is what you need to look at and compare it to the chances of actually scoring kills.
Human was right in saying that bowmen are kind of best used to take out support units, IE horsemen/pistoliers, this way our own fast cav get free range of the board. But one must also realize that bowmen are ineed a support unit, therefore they must support one of your own units, and it cannot be expected of them to actually destroy a unit. If anything, probably the only unit they would even have a chance of destroying are either skaven slaves/goblins/red crested skinks.
Either way, Druchii shooting is only effective if you make it effective, no matter the dice rolls.

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Sat Mar 11, 2006 9:13 pm
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Just trying to bring this topic back to life a little. I feel that its still a great resource to our newer players.

Since Druchii shooting has been covered, I would like to now look into the magic aspect of the druchii army.

Lets start off here with equipping mages.

Usually, standard equiptment for mages inho should be the Darkstar Cloak and a scroll for a lvl 2 mage. This way you get the +1 PD and the aspects of a scroll as well.

When I play with 2 lvl 2 mages, I usually try to equip the second mage with either the SoG if i cant place the SoG with a noble and another scroll. If i can put the SoG on another model that isnt a mage, i would give this one the Black Staff. For the sole fact, that now this mage has a quality of a lvl 3 or 4.

Does anyone out there have anything to add?

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Sun Apr 02, 2006 7:07 am
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Cold One Knight
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there are few things I have in EVERY list... Seal of ghrond being one of them... wich I usually like to put on non-mage character

I usually have either one scroll caddy or three mages and no other characters. I feel that having 2 second level mages is never worth it... either go magic heavy, or no magic at all...

let's not forget the wand of khaidron. Exelent choice in magic heavy armies, just remember to use it last, when your opponent has allready used all his DD's.
I usually equip my High sorceress on dark pegasos with this item...


Sun Apr 02, 2006 2:08 pm
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Shade
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thanx a lot :D this has really been a great help for me. I realy was somebody who had only 3 core units because I had to... but I think you really helped me out here, because I see some of the strenght of the core choises now.


Sun Apr 02, 2006 4:16 pm
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Highborn
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commander qupie wrote:
thanx a lot :D this has really been a great help for me. I realy was somebody who had only 3 core units because I had to... but I think you really helped me out here, because I see some of the strenght of the core choises now.


hey no problem, we aim to help all our fellow druchii players.

Moving on back to the original topic. Druchii Magic.

Ravenous_ wrote:
I usually have either one scroll caddy or three mages and no other characters. I feel that having 2 second level mages is never worth it... either go magic heavy, or no magic at all...


That is entirely not a bad point, again I dont whole heartedly agree with you, but then I cant say that i totally disagree either.

I have found that 2 Lvl 2 mages for me works pretty well. Of course i do tool them out differently than what most ppl tend to go for.

My first example of a lvl 2 in my 2250 list is a normal everyday every army example:

Lvl 2
DSC (Dark Star Cloak)
Dispel Scroll

But my next lvl 2 has been of muych debate:

Lvl 2
Black Staff
Dispel Scroll

Most people equip the SoG on the second Mage, I have it on my BSB.

The Black Staff is a most underrated item. Essentially it gives the lvl 2 the ability to cast like a lvl 4. In 2250 pts this makes her a force to be reckoned with, because now, should you get Black Horror for her, she becaomes mroe useful than your average mage.

So I still maintain 7 PD 5 DD 2 scrolls, but now one of my mages can cast with up to as much PD as I would care to have her cast with.

One thing that must be noted is that Magic is a double edged sword. You can miscast, but you can also irresistable. The Black Staff isnt so bad when you think about it, and makes your lvl 2 more economical than the lvl 3 or 4.

Imho, Druchii magic is there to supplement the army. Magic heavy armies are out there to dominate the magic phase but still do it in accordance of helping out the other units. You can just help your units out a little better, but at the risk of miscasting at a greater percentage.

What we want to try to get discussed right now, is how to properly equip these mages to greatest effect. imho i believe that the way i have found to equip my mages works best for me. But the way I equip them may not always work for you. The trick is to find out what works for you and your army. If your comfy with a scroll caddy then so be it.

Now if your into magic heavy armies, a lvl 4 mage is always the way to go. Giving her protection like the HSoD or Crown, is always a plus, for she needs as much protection as you can give her. She's pricey so you would want to save your investment. Now not only will you want to keep her safe, but you will also add in special things to make your opponents eyes blow up.

Bound items are always a great thing to have. After exhausting your opponents DD, bound items kick in the clutch. Giving you a little extra edge to cast without risking miscasting. Also after your opponent is aware of them, they then force your opponent to save his DD, meaning possibly less DD thrown at your more major spells.

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Wed Apr 05, 2006 11:38 pm
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Beastmaster

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It was a very good read. One thing caught my eye.

Quote:
Overall i belive in balances lists, finding the need to control if not contest as many of the phases as i can. Multiple cav units for the movement phase, potent magic (at 2250 at least 7 PD), a decent shooting phase, at least 60+ shots, and effective CR in CC.


As mentioned in another topic about Druchii armies always performing poorly in tournaments, the biggest problem seems to be Druchii players being the few who seem to keep taking "balanced" jack of all trades lists. Instead of choosing a phase to dominate with like other army players. How easy is it to keep 7 power dice at bay? A scroll caddy and you lose a phase for a few turns, get engaged by a combat heavy army that has good shooting support and suddenly your balanced list minus a magic phase is in a whole word of hurt.

Personaly I don't think balanced lists work, one needs to commit to a phase, Shooting, Magic or Close Combat that they want to dominate and then decide which other phase will best support that. The third phase should be an after thought in terms of attack. Sure you will always need CC troops, but if you picked a Magic heavy army backed up by shooting, CC troops should be the last things picked.


Thu Apr 06, 2006 5:11 am
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Malekith's Best Friend
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Kiwi wrote:
It was a very good read. One thing caught my eye.

Quote:
Overall i belive in balances lists, finding the need to control if not contest as many of the phases as i can. Multiple cav units for the movement phase, potent magic (at 2250 at least 7 PD), a decent shooting phase, at least 60+ shots, and effective CR in CC.


As mentioned in another topic about Druchii armies always performing poorly in tournaments, the biggest problem seems to be Druchii players being the few who seem to keep taking "balanced" jack of all trades lists. Instead of choosing a phase to dominate with like other army players. How easy is it to keep 7 power dice at bay? A scroll caddy and you lose a phase for a few turns, get engaged by a combat heavy army that has good shooting support and suddenly your balanced list minus a magic phase is in a whole word of hurt.

Personaly I don't think balanced lists work, one needs to commit to a phase, Shooting, Magic or Close Combat that they want to dominate and then decide which other phase will best support that. The third phase should be an after thought in terms of attack. Sure you will always need CC troops, but if you picked a Magic heavy army backed up by shooting, CC troops should be the last things picked.
Is movement not a phase to you?

I agree with Drizz't on this one, balanced is the way to go. My army beats most at the movement phase, as that and combat I have chosen to specialize in a bit more than shooting and magic. Normally, I can run rings around people and pick my fights. What happens when I come up against an army that can beat me there? I have my other phases. If I come up against Asrai or Slaaneshi deamons, they've me beat in movement, and, in the case of the demons, combat. But, I have my shooting and magic there to give me an edge. The great thing about druchii is they're so adaptable.

IMHO, you need to have something going in at least 4 of the 5 phases.

Great article BTW, Drizz't. Don't agree with everything, but each to his own.

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Thu Apr 06, 2006 8:02 pm
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Dark Rider
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I'd say right quickly that unless you have a terror causing steed plus a good number of CoK, you haven't got much in psychology. Psychology is also weakest against things that are immune (completely useless!) and draw the most points from other possible areas. Personally I'd focus on being at least as good in combat, at least as good at shooting, and very good at moving and magic (the two easiest DE things, because they are practically automatic.)

I haven't got a good amount of DE playing in (I just started two months ago, after a good amount of time spent in 40K on Chaos Space Marines, which I immediately recognized as broken) but I have a few sample lists - and an earlier post stating newbs to DE will always pull out the elites should reword to say newbs to the game entirely and to combat in general, because I know my first thoughts were "Wow, RxB warriors with shields perform rather well in movement, shooting and combat, I better grab some of those!" Whether or not they are actually any good, I see nothing wrong with a unit of 16 or so that can shoot better than most units in the game and outfight any other ranged unit, hold a charge from almost anything that doesn't simply out-point them by hundreds (move to four ranks of four, that takes a nudge off of CR by kills) and still costs about as much as the pathetic HE equivalent.

That's also a not on phase control, BTW - DE RxBmen are very good at moving and shooting and above the average in combat (outright beat Swordsmen, for example, especially on a nice Stand and Shoot or shooting phase beforehand).

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Thu Apr 06, 2006 8:36 pm
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Mædhros wrote:
Is movement not a phase to you?

I agree with Drizz't on this one, balanced is the way to go. My army beats most at the movement phase, as that and combat I have chosen to specialize in a bit more than shooting and magic. Normally, I can run rings around people and pick my fights. What happens when I come up against an army that can beat me there? I have my other phases. If I come up against Asrai or Slaaneshi deamons, they've me beat in movement, and, in the case of the demons, combat. But, I have my shooting and magic there to give me an edge. The great thing about druchii is they're so adaptable.

IMHO, you need to have something going in at least 4 of the 5 phases.

Great article BTW, Drizz't. Don't agree with everything, but each to his own.


Of course movement is a phase, but almost everything moves, some things faster than others, and while movement is important, you still need to decide which of the other three phases to focus on IMO.

And if we are so "adaptable" and a balanced list is the best way to go, why do Druchii generals continue to perform poorly in GT's?? It's safe to say Druchii net represents a vast number of areas in terms of members, and the clear opinion on here seems to be balanced, but it's the other armies that don't take balanced lists that are leaving us for dead.

Being able to move faster than an enemy is great, but it's the first thing I look at when making a list.

Personally I pick a phase ( usually CC or Magic ), work out what is going to be best suited to that phase depending on my oponent, the best back up phase and take it from there. When looking at the movement phase I tend not to focus on it to the point where I have to be faster than my oponent or as fast as I can be. I usually have a battle plan, and how fast I make my army depends solely on that plan. Speed is not everything, otherwise armies like Undead and Dwarves wouldn't stand a chance.


Fri Apr 07, 2006 5:58 am
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Highborn
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Kiwi, I understand where your coming from, as far as regarding dominating a certain phase, but what must be understood is the extent at which you can dominate that phase and how effective you will be in that phase.

Sure you can attempt to dominate the magic phase, but against certain opponents, this will really have little effect on their army. IE TK, or how about the magic phase controlling army like HE.

With combat, imho Druchii armies dont fare as much as we would like to in combat, by this I mean we are S 3. Chances to cause wounds, are generally not in our favor. Because of this man player supplement our kill ratios with characters and/or elite units, but as we all know, this costs points. So are you willin to spend the points? and if you are are you willing to sacrifice a phase in order to do this.

Look at it this way. A 10-13 PD army puts most of its points in its mages and its ability to cast. of course at that point only enough points are left ot get probably 1 elite unit, artillery and the rest go to your core choices. But in reality the amount of actual effective casting turns you will have are probably 1-2. As far as magic goes, games are not determined in 1-2 turns of magic. You need 3 or more turns of effective magic to turn the table. Once the enemy has come into b2b contact, your magic effectivess has run out, because now were limited to a few spells that can affect combat.

My argument is that, a well balanced list will have enough elements in it to disrupt you opponents phases long enough for you to pick your fights and set up your traps.

To me, having an effective magic phase is getting 1-2 spells off, the rest are meant to soak up my opponents DD util i get to cast what i actually want. You ask how easy it is to keep 7 PD at bay? well obviously the openeing turns (1-2 ) are meant to burn your opponents Scrolls, effectively this means that you want to cast some serious spells but know that they arnt really going to go off because theyre bound to be scrolled, but at least you accomplish burning a scroll. Also 7 PD are more effective in the way they are cast. IF you throw in sets of 3-2-2, you're really probably only going to get one spell off.

I usually go 4-3 with 2 lvl 2 mages. I am able to do this because of how my mages are equipped. Meaning that on the spell that i throw 4 dice with, the chances of it going off are high, so high in fact that my opponent will have no choice but to throw a good portion of his DD or be forced to burn a scroll.

Essentially I would presume that my opponent would have about 2-3 scrolls. If I can burn both of those in turns 1-2, by turn 3, 7 PD are looking up.

Again really its upto the way your army is based. These are but the sum of my experiences with my army where I play everything in my army as a threat to my opponent. There isnt really a unit that I leave for my opponent to single out that he can "afford" to leave alone for the time being.

But this part of the discussion again is focused on how mages are equipped.

So tell me then Kiwi, how do you prefer your mages to be equipped?

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Fri Apr 07, 2006 2:20 pm
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Kiwi wrote:

Of course movement is a phase, but almost everything moves, some things faster than others, and while movement is important, you still need to decide which of the other three phases to focus on IMO.

A unit's manueverablity dictates how it works in the other phases, though. If a unit can't get into LoS for shooting or magic, it'll accomplish nothing in those phases. If a unit can't charge anything, it won't get into combat. It goes the other way too; if you can stay out of LoS/charge arcs, you won't be hit.

I played a 2 on 2 with 1500 for each player recently, and the high elf player I was against thought it was a good idea to take 20(give or take a few) pheonix guard, and put his 3 characters in it and give the unit the banner of sorcery. I whittled the unit down a bit, then beat it with a hydra and 12 spearmen. I failed to catch him, but took his banner. He rallied next turn, and my spearmen moved to the side of his huge unit. There was nothing it could do, about to be charged by DR and a chariot, as it couldn't manuever well enough.


And if we are so "adaptable" and a balanced list is the best way to go, why do Druchii generals continue to perform poorly in GT's?? It's safe to say Druchii net represents a vast number of areas in terms of members, and the clear opinion on here seems to be balanced, but it's the other armies that don't take balanced lists that are leaving us for dead.

There are way less druchii players than those of the more easy to unbalance? Are unbalanced druchii armies doing better in GTs?

Being able to move faster than an enemy is great, but it's the first thing I look at when making a list.

Personally I pick a phase ( usually CC or Magic ), work out what is going to be best suited to that phase depending on my oponent, the best back up phase and take it from there. When looking at the movement phase I tend not to focus on it to the point where I have to be faster than my oponent or as fast as I can be. I usually have a battle plan, and how fast I make my army depends solely on that plan. Speed is not everything, otherwise armies like Undead and Dwarves wouldn't stand a chance.

Manueverablity isn't everything, but it does dictate the other phases to an extent. My list stays almost exactly the same, since it's balanced, I don't have to tailor it to the enemy. For every phase, there is an army that is better at it than us. We need to be able to beat them in the rest.

In 2k I usually run 2 level 2s, with the darkstar cloak, a scroll, the seal if it isn't already somewhere, and sometimes lifetaker. I'm not big on going heavy defense; there are too many games when I find it being used half-heartedly when I've already dealt with magic. It is useful though, especially against certain armies.

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Fri Apr 07, 2006 7:30 pm
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Cold One Knight
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I believe that the key to winning comes partly from army composition, partly from deployment, and partly from your plan. i don't usually create a battle plan before the game. The army usually consists of units that i believe will be useful agaisnt my opponent. For ex: if i know i will be playing against HE, i will take some magical defense, some shooting, and lots of Fear/Terror causing units. The rest of the battle plan comes as soon as the game starts. In other words, i make up my plan as i see fit, based on my opponents deployment. This allows me to counter any specific threats that my opponent deploys. IE: if he sets up knights, i set up bT's to counter, or something like that. i find this to be the best strategy possible and has brought me many victories.

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Sat Apr 22, 2006 8:10 pm
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