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"nothing original" army, aka "vanilla" 
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Corsair
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Hi, mates.

The goal of this thread.
I was wondering, what units are so routine, obvious, classic that they could not possibly be used to characterise a list except "just as usual"?
The next question is to make a full 2,250pts list with them, in order to get the army list with the least possible originality, so that the characteristic of having nothing remarkable at all would be, indeed, the only remarkable point of that list?

Those who come to know me a little bit guess at this point that I have something in the back of my mind.
True.
When this thread will be complete, the result will be a list which has as little as possible of originality. Right?
The following step, which will be the topic of another thread, will be to find "only original" lists which are playable and, if possible, even powerful, but with the least common points with the "nothing original" list designed here.

Disclaimer.
I do not imply that "nothing original" units or even the whole list are "bad" in any way.
If there are beaten tracks, its usually because of sound reasons and I respect anyone who either follows proven routes or find by himself the most interesting combinations.
Common sense is that a huge line in front of a shop indicates that there are nice goods in there.
Same goes for army lists.




Introduction to the "nothing original" army.

I'm looking for the idealistic DE army.
It is not necessarily the most powerful. It is not necessarily a beginner's list.
No. The idealistic state is what anyone would visualise if given no other details.

For example, think about a chair. Nothing special, just a regular chair.
Now, in your mind, what you have is not the most conformable chair, but the most basic. It has four legs, not five. It has no arms. It has a back that you probably visualise squared. Probably you visualise it made of wood and painted plain white. That is the idealistic chair.
This is the spirit of this army list.
There is no limitation other than the rules about what to include, but I just want only the most consensual units which would be expected in a normal DE army list.


First attempt at the "nothing original" army.

Characters.

280 pts Dreadlord. Full armour kit. Cold One. Deathpiercer, Armour of Eternal Servitude, Pendant of Khaeleth.
The un-killable general, inside the COK unit.

144 pts. BSB. Master. Full armour kit. Great Weapon. Banner of Murder.
Goes inside the ASF BG unit.

150 pts. Scroll caddy.

Core.
215 pts. 25 Warriors. Shields. Full command. Warbanner.
105 pts. 10 RXBmen. Musician.
105 pts. 10 RXBmen. Musician.
117 pts. 5 DR. RXB. Musician.
55 pts. 5 Harpies.
55 pts. 5 Harpies.

Special.
290 pts. 15 Black Guards. Full command. Ring of Hotek, Standard of Hag Graef.
267 pts. 6 COK. Full command. Null Shard. Standard of Slaughter.
90 pts. 5 Shades. Great Weapons.

Rare.
175 pts. Hydra.
100 pts. RBT.
100 pts. RBT.

Total: 2248 pts.
PoK, RoH, BoHG.


Explanations.

I did not take any named character, obviously.
Magic-heavy is a characteristic that I did not want in my army, so a scroll caddy is enough.
A COB, let alone a DH, provides too much visibility.
I could have used a single assassin, but did not have the pts. Or should I drop a unit of MXB and a unit of harpies for an assassin?

I hesitated between all the cores. Only corsairs are much less commonly found since the coming of the present edition. Was I right to take the warriors?
Of course, the DR have no shield, but I’m wondering about the warriors and the MXBmen: should they get shields or not?
No Khainites, of course. No named champion either.
No chariot, as it is not anymore 2 for a single special slot (yes, I know I have one slot left).
The usual rare combo.


So, what do you think? :D
How would you characterise this list? :?
Is it playable? How well would it behave?
What should I change to make it more idealistic?

Thanks for your comments.

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Last edited by Calisson on Thu Dec 17, 2009 10:20 pm, edited 3 times in total.



Tue Dec 15, 2009 9:34 pm
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Warrior
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Hello Calisson,

A quick question. Are you looking for a typical no nonsense Dark Elf army based on tactics? Or one based on Fluff. Since you are the D.R.A.I.C.H. guy I will hazard a guess at tactics, however would like a confirmation just to be sure before I post a long winded answer on the ideal "typical" fluff army.


Wed Dec 16, 2009 12:00 am
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Corsair
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A typical no nonsense Dark Elf army based on tactics, indeed.
The list is not necessarily optimized, although it could, as long as it becomes even more "neutral" in the process.
I even did not take a dragon, which is probably more common than a CO as a dreadlord mount, because it characterizes too much the list, while the CO mounted lord is more innocuous.

The goal is to get a list for which there is no other way to characterize it than " a normal 2,250 pts list with nothing original in it".
Of course, I took 2,250 pts because it is the most usual size!

That list could be used, later on, as sort of an "anti-model": when someone provides an advice for improving a D.netter's list, if ever that advice bends it towards the list above, that would probably mean that the advice removes some of the originality of that list under criticism.

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Wed Dec 16, 2009 7:12 am
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Cold One Knight
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I think the word you are looking for is 'vanilla'?

Everybody likes vanilla. Its not the most exciting flavour, its not the most unusual flavour and its probably not even the most common flavour. Its a middle of the road, standard, default, one size fits all flavour...

That being said, I would drop 1 unit of xbow men and 1 RBT and upgrade the caddy to take 2 level 2 soceresses. Then you have medium shooting and medium magic. The other thing that is missing is an assassin. I would always associate Dark Elves and Assassins...

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Wed Dec 16, 2009 10:22 am
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Leave 1 RxB 1 Cok and the standart of slaughter for the typical AHW, RoK and manebane meel assain. otherwise prtty normal as far as I can judge. Like schokla flavour.
Just a note: there will be at least 2 differnt standart armies (shoklat and vanilla) eg. shooting and meel.

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Wed Dec 16, 2009 11:14 am
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A great Start to figure out the Typical Dark Elf list would be to go to the source. Games workshop for instance. Here is a link on the Games workshop site explaining a typical Games Workshop Dark Elf list. This list is 2000 points and not 2250, thus allowing it to be adapted and changed slightly to bring it up to 2250.

If you expand from this list or just take some ideas from it I believe a typical list could be built.

My changes to the linked list would be.

- 2 more spearmen to make two blocks of 7 x 3 and add shields to all
= 64 points more

- 5 more harpies
= 55 more points

- add musician to crossbowmen
= 5 points

- remove standard and champion from Dark Riders
= -28 points

- add ring of hotek to CoK Champion
= 25 points

- add assassin w/ extra hand weapon, manbane and (rune of kaine or rending stars)
= 146 points

- add 3 Black Guard for a 7 x 2 once BSB is added
= 39 points

- Add cloak to master and make him BSB
= 29 points


To summarize this would create an army consisting of:

Core

21 x Spearmen w/ shields full command = 162 points
21 x Spearmen w/ shields full command = 162 points

5 x Harpies = 55 Points
5 x Harpies = 55 Points

10 Repeater Bowmen w/ musician = 105 points

5 x Dark Riders w/ Repeaters and musician = 117 points

1 x assassin w/ manbane and (rune of kaine or rending stars) = 146 points

Special


5 Cok w/ command = 175 points
Ring of Hotek = 25 points

13 black guard w/ full command = 217 points
Null talisman = 15 points

Cold One Chariot = 100 points

Rare

1 x Hydra = 175 points
1 x Reaper Bolt thrower = 100 points

Lord

Lvl 4 Sorceress = 260 points
Black Staff = 55 points

Master

lvl 2 Sorceress = 135 points
Darkstar and Scroll = 50 points

Master w heavy armor and cloak = 88 points
Shield of Ghrond = 15 points
Sword of Might = 15 points
Battle Standard Bearer = 25 points

Total of 2239 points

What do you think? Master should probably retooled.
That is all I have for now.

I just think a good place to start would be to start from what Games Workshop thinks is a typical Dark Elf Army, since they are the ones that created Dark Elves. Other then that, their army is a good one to start with. Hope these ideas help.


Last edited by Morderith on Thu Dec 17, 2009 11:10 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Wed Dec 16, 2009 10:52 pm
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Now on to your list.

Looking through your list It seems to be very shooting heavy. With 30 shooters capable of 60 shots as well as 2 reapers for another 2-12 shots. Thus a total of 62-72 shots a turn. That is a lot of shooting. Perhaps taking away one of the repeater crossbowmen units and a reaper bolt thrower would accomplish lowering the massive shooting count (as darkdoom and warchief have already said).

I also believe adding a assassin is important to Dark Elves, as it is almost a given that we will have one sitting around in our units (much like fanatics for Orcs and Goblins).

I also do not understand your reasoning for not taking a chariot. A nasty chariot that only costs 100 pts to bring to the table, and not bring it, would seem a waste.

As to the ASF Black Guard. This is the normal way to deck out a Black Guard unit, yet why 15 models? When you will only be going 7 x 2 for maximum frontage.

Magic is another problem. Dark elf Magic is an important part of our army. The ability to create more power dice as well as the ability to use as many as we want to cast any spell would be something foolish to pass up. Unless you were building an army that was purely anti-magic. Which is not what you are trying to do. You are trying to build a typical Dark Elf army. That army should consist of a reasonable magic phase. Two casters is all that is needed for this.

Finally I would classify the army you created. It is a very static, shooty, anti-magic army. Weak in magic and even melee. As you only have 3 units that will go seeking combat, Hydra + Black Guard + CoK. Lets face it who is going to want to attack 25 ranked spearmen?

How I would play this army. I would move up only slightly so that I could engage the enemy with all of my shots. Wait for him to come to me, slowing him down with DR's and Harpies. Have the Black Guard and Spearmen accompany the Archers untill the enemy is close enough to engage. Basically trying to stay out of combat till the last second while his army is reduced to nothing from the 62-72 shots a turn, not to mention the Hydra's breath.

Your army seems very playable, and would work well. Yet not a standard army. Seeing as you are highly focused on Shooting and no interest in magic.

Ways to fix it: Take out a unit of Repeaters and/or Reaper Bolt thrower. Add an assassin in as well as another sorceress to get some magic going.


Wed Dec 16, 2009 11:36 pm
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That list reminds me of my own. I would recommend a Chariot to support your warrior block. A 25-30 warrior block with a chariot can beak most non stubborn/unbreakable units. I use to field there with devastating effect; people at the gaming group keep saying that warriors are under-priced.

Also I don't see the point in the un-killable dreadlord but that's just me, if you downgrade him to a normal master with PoK and lance you can free 100pts for a chariot. Also it is not worth to attack your general since then the unit you charge won't be able to gain any kills and your can more easily break the unit.


Thu Dec 17, 2009 12:21 pm
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Corsair
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Thanks guys.
Nice to see that the thread inspired some comments. :D
Let's try and take all I can from your advice.

Second attempt at the "vanilla" army.
red = withdrawn - blue = added.

Characters.

280 pts Dreadlord. Full armour kit. Cold One. Deathpiercer, Armour of Eternal Servitude, Pendant of Khaeleth.
The un-killable general, inside the COK unit.
149 pts. Master with lance on CO. PoK.

144 pts. BSB. Master. Full armour kit. Great Weapon. Banner of Murder.
Goes inside the ASF BG unit.

150 pts. Scroll caddy.
135 pts. Level 2
135 pts. Level 2

146 pts. Assassin. AHW, RoK and manbane

Core.
215 pts. 25 Warriors. Shields. Full command. Warbanner.
105 pts. 10 RXBmen. Musician.
105 pts. 10 RXBmen. Musician.
117 pts. 5 DR. RXB. Musician.
55 pts. 5 Harpies.
55 pts. 5 Harpies.

Special.
290 pts. 15 Black Guards. Full command. Ring of Hotek, Standard of Hag Graef.
264 pts. 13 Black Guards. Full command. Ring of Hotek, Standard of Hag Graef. 7x2 with BSB.
267 pts. 6 COK. Full command. Null Shard. Standard of Slaughter.
205 pts. 5 COK. Full command. Null Shard.
90 pts. 5 Shades. Great Weapons.
100 pts. Chariot.

Rare.
175 pts. Hydra.
100 pts. RBT.
100 pts. RBT.

Total: 2248 pts.
PoK, RoH, BoHG.

Changes.
The Warchief: freed 105 + 100 + 150 pts, spent 2 * 135 pts = 87 pts remaining
darkdoom: 1XB done; freed 62 pts, spent 146pts, now 3pts remaining.
Morderith: bought 100 pts, freed 26 pts. Other advice done already. Need 71 pts to free up.
PhilipBright: chariot done. Freed 280 pts. Bought 149 pts. Now got 60 extra pts to spend.


@Morderith, nice approach to go with the GW example.
That makes a magic & infantry list, with 3 blocks & 3 flankers & 3 agile units.
Quite characterful already, let alone it has the GW flavour! :lol:


So, how is it evolving? More vanilla? :P
What should I do with the remaining 60 pts (possibly recount my total)?
Where should the assassin start?

_________________
Winds never stop blowing, Oceans are borderless. Get a ship and a crew, so the World will be ours! Today the World, tomorrow Nagg! {--|oBrotherhood of the Coast!o|--}


Thu Dec 17, 2009 10:17 pm
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Now I like this vanilla list. That is if I read it correctly. Perhaps you could post the list as is without everything else. Throw a fresh list up perhaps. As for the 60 points perhaps throw some magic items on the sorceresses.

The assassin however I cannot figure out, as putting it in the Spearmen will help them out, but when is someone going to attack a 25 block of spearmen.

I think the list is tasting a lot like vanilla right now. Now I kinda want ice cream.


Thu Dec 17, 2009 10:51 pm
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Corsair
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Second attempt at the "vanilla" army.

Characters.

The un-killable general, inside the COK unit.
149 pts. Master with lance on CO. PoK.

144 pts. BSB. Master. Full armour kit. Great Weapon. Banner of Murder.
Goes inside the ASF BG unit.

150 pts. Level 2, Darkstar Cloak
150 pts. Level 2, Seal of Ghrond

146 pts. Assassin. AHW, RoK and manbane
He can start in the spearmen, shades or BG

Core.
215 pts. 25 Warriors. Shields. Full command. Warbanner.
115 pts. 10 RXBmen. Musician. Shields.
117 pts. 5 DR. RXB. Musician.
55 pts. 5 Harpies.
55 pts. 5 Harpies.

Special.
264 pts. 13 Black Guards. Full command. Ring of Hotek, Standard of Hag Graef. 7x2 with BSB.
205 pts. 5 COK. Full command. Null Shard.
90 pts. 5 Shades. Great Weapons.
100 pts. Chariot.

Rare.
175 pts. Hydra.
100 pts. RBT.

Total: 2250 pts (unless mistaken).
PoK, RoH, BoHG.



So, how is it evolving? More vanilla? :P
Where should the assassin start?

The Warchief's & Thanatoz' advice taken into account. Thanks.

_________________
Winds never stop blowing, Oceans are borderless. Get a ship and a crew, so the World will be ours! Today the World, tomorrow Nagg! {--|oBrotherhood of the Coast!o|--}


Last edited by Calisson on Mon Dec 21, 2009 9:38 pm, edited 5 times in total.



Thu Dec 17, 2009 10:55 pm
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Cold One Knight
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Quote:
but when is someone going to attack a 25 block of spearmen

Surely if you are waiting for someone to attack you, you're doing something wrong? With 10" movement I find it easy to get the charge where and when I want, well, most of the time.... If you want to stand still and get charged, get a Dwarf army?

Quote:
Where should the assassin start?

The assassin doesn't have to start in the same place every time. It will depend on who you are facing and what his role is. He can start in the spearmen, shades or BG and have different roles....

Quote:
What should I do with the remaining 60 pts

Magic Items for the sorceresses. Darkstar Cloak and Seal of Ghrond are fairly vanilla items...

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Fri Dec 18, 2009 11:01 am
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10 points remaining, and no shields on the crossbows? That shouldn't even be a question then:P.


Mon Dec 21, 2009 3:41 pm
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