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Dark Riders as only core? 
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Slave (off the Altar)
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Since playing a couple 500 pt. warband games with three units of dark riders and one unit of Cold One Knights and completely devouring everybody each time, I've been intrigued with the idea of considering building a 2000+pt. army (mostly for fun) using only Dark Riders to fill minimum core. Maybe even all cavalry or just super speedy force.

Has anybody tried this and had any success?

What are ways around the obvious and not so obvious obstacles for such an army composition? High toughness, shooting, magic, other fast cavalries, etc?


Fri Jan 15, 2010 12:48 am
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Lord of the Dragon Caves
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Once you get to 2000 points, I would add some harpies to the mix, but you can certainly build an effective army with Dark Riders filling your mandatory core requirements. Special, Rare and Characters can take care of tough enemy units. Although spears and crossbows can be helpful at times, I would much rather do without them than do without Dark Riders.

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Fri Jan 15, 2010 2:21 am
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The biggest risk with dark riders (as with shades and harpies) is that they can very quickly and easily get shot to pieces (just T3 and AS of 5+) and, as they typically cost 22 points per model, that's a lot of points lost quickly if they start to die.

Another weakness is their (relative) weakness in h2h. Yes, against other fast cavalry they tend to do well, but with just 1 attack each at WS4 and S4 on the charge (plus the horses), no SCR (unless you take 10, which is a waste imo) and usually no standard, they can really struggle if you charge against a hard or big unit. Yes, your US5 negates their rank bonus, but unless you get sufficient kills (which is hard to do) you can still lose the combat.

A final weakness is that they are just ld8, which means if you lose two of them to a bout of missile fire, face a terror causing enemy or lose a combat by 1 or 2 then they are quite likely to run away.


Their great strengths are their speed, manoeuvrability and their ability to use crossbows effectively from a distance, even while being fast cavalry. If played right, they can really make a difference to a combat (getting a solid flank or rear charge while your other unit is in the front) or doing clever baiting and fleeing.

I guess what I'm saying is that they are very good and when used correctly can really hurt your opponent, but they need to be used with precision and intelligence, otherwise they will be shot to ribbons and then mauled in combat.


Fri Jan 15, 2010 11:32 am
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Slave (off the Altar)

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I have been using a fast list that has DR as the only Core (apart from harpies). i use a dragon. Like they said it's a fast list that picks fights, the weaknesses are shooting army's and heavy magic (dependig on your character choices). But it's fun to play since you can have most of your army from one table half to the other in 1 or 2 turns.


Fri Jan 15, 2010 5:01 pm
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I run a list that has a dragon, 3 units of DR, 2 units of harpies, 2 hydras, 2 chariots and a unit of cold ones. It's super fast and picks fights. I use the heavy hitters to assault the fronts and DR to support the flanks and harass/hunt. Harpies are good for wamachine/mage hunting. Works well for me.

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Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:21 pm
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Quote:
I run a list that has a dragon, 3 units of DR, 2 units of harpies, 2 hydras, 2 chariots and a unit of cold ones. It's super fast and picks fights. I use the heavy hitters to assault the fronts and DR to support the flanks and harass/hunt. Harpies are good for wamachine/mage hunting. Works well for me.


I'm guessing its not a desperately well liked list to play against though? Twin hydras, dragon and nothing but cavalry or flyers is quite cheesy imo...

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Fri Jan 15, 2010 7:25 pm
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Maybe I play in a friendly environment where Demon players have been shamed into not bringing their armies but I wouldn't play you twice with that list. I see no fun in that list at all!


Sat Jan 16, 2010 12:13 am
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Dragon Lord
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And I see plenty of fun, it's a challenging list... that will die to a proper gunline stupidly fast.

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Sat Jan 16, 2010 1:20 am
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Quote:
that will die to a proper gunline stupidly fast.


No it won't, it has too many warmachine hunters and units that are resistant to enemy missile-fire

- the harpies and dragon can both quickly rush the enemy's warmachines and missile units

- the dark riders can cover the distance in just two turns (meaning if he gets the first turn then his opponent gets just one turn of shooting before being charged)

- the two hydras are very resistant to missile fire (T5, 4+ scaly skin save, 4+ regen save and 5 wounds), can hide in the woods and have a march or charge of 12", with the ability to march and flame.

- the cold one knights and chariots will probably take the bulk of any enemy fire because of their capacity to do uber amounts of damage. If they don't, then they will just do lots of damage.

Nope, from my perspective it's a cheesy list, best opposed by an equally cheesy one.


Sat Jan 16, 2010 1:27 pm
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Slave (off the Altar)

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The list is not that cheesy. Ok i admit it has some Cheddar :) but also has lots of weaknesses It has problems with shooty armies as well as magic heavy armies. Try to face army's line empire with Steam tanks and Altar or other DE or Deamons and magic heavy VC and you'll see it's not an easy list to play with since you have lots of light troops also, like DR and harpies.

it's a list that requires some finesse to use.


Sat Jan 16, 2010 2:20 pm
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That list has a dragon in it. Not a lot of finesse is required.


Sat Jan 16, 2010 4:26 pm
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phierlihy wrote:
That list has a dragon in it. Not a lot of finesse is required.


Disagreed. Any decent player will have something in his list to deal with dragon riders, some of which are incredibly effective.

On the topic of Core Dark Riders, I think you'd be hard-pressed to find any Dark Elf list that doesn't have Dark Riders and Harpies in it somewhere. Both are so monstrously effective for their point cost, and are undoubtedly some of the best Core choices in Warhammer Fantasy.

The worth of Dark Riders isn't in their combat potential necessarily, but instead in their ability to dictate the pace of the game. Their ability to control troops with Frenzy and Hatred is easily game-winning, as well as the usual marchblocking.

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Sat Jan 16, 2010 10:01 pm
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I said proper gunline.

I'm yet to see a properly played gunline outside of Poland.

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Sat Jan 16, 2010 11:19 pm
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I have a bad experience with DR's as only core. They are extremely vulnerable to the shooting and magic missiles. More: they are not cheap and lack the SCR. Raiders are good in flank charges, but they need somebody, who don't afraid to charge enemy in front. Combine...

Maybe I just played with wrong armies? Daemons and dwarfs are not afraid our DR's.

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Sun Jan 17, 2010 10:33 am
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Daemons and Dwarfs are definitely two armies that don't worry much about Dark Riders. Really though, Dark Riders don't make great combat troops unless you're fighting something that's really quite bad (shooting regiments in the flank, warmachines, other fast cavalry.) We have Hydras, Cold One Knights and flying characters to help us do our flanking, and enough killing power that often we don't need to flank enemy regiments at all or can deplete their ranks with shooting.

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Sun Jan 17, 2010 6:17 pm
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Slave (off the Altar)

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deathknight27 wrote:
Quote:
that will die to a proper gunline stupidly fast.


No it won't, it has too many warmachine hunters and units that are resistant to enemy missile-fire

- the harpies and dragon can both quickly rush the enemy's warmachines and missile units

- the dark riders can cover the distance in just two turns (meaning if he gets the first turn then his opponent gets just one turn of shooting before being charged)

- the two hydras are very resistant to missile fire (T5, 4+ scaly skin save, 4+ regen save and 5 wounds), can hide in the woods and have a march or charge of 12", with the ability to march and flame.

- the cold one knights and chariots will probably take the bulk of any enemy fire because of their capacity to do uber amounts of damage. If they don't, then they will just do lots of damage.

Nope, from my perspective it's a cheesy list, best opposed by an equally cheesy one.


Not true at all. Someone facing this list with a gunline could easily deploy at their table edge making them 30-32 inches away.

Even if u fly up with dragon and dark riders you still be within stand and shoot range when you charge on the next turn. But this would fail horribly. Any high strength shots you have go against the dragon, low strength shots go against the DR. Both will be weakened and can probably be shot down next turn by regular shooting or by stand and shoot depending on who had first turn.

Charging blindly ahead with DR = dead DR


Last edited by Deadlydragoon on Sun Jan 17, 2010 9:48 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sun Jan 17, 2010 6:26 pm
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Quote:
Charging blindly ahead with DR = dead DR


Hmmm.... at no point was I suggesting you do a suicide run down the centre of the table with the dark riders and dragon - in fact that would be a very stupid strategy.

Perhaps I should rephrase: it would be a cheesy army if it was fielded by any one with any shred of strategic sense. Even the cheesiest army can lose if the player using it doesn't play it right. But I'd like to think people on Druchii are generally clever :)

Dalamar, I'm interested by what comprises a proper gunline? One of my alternate armies is a dwarf one, so I'm always interested in learning new ways to improve them :)


Sun Jan 17, 2010 9:32 pm
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deathknight27 wrote:
Dalamar, I'm interested by what comprises a proper gunline? One of my alternate armies is a dwarf one, so I'm always interested in learning new ways to improve them :)
So do I, but from an Empire's perspective. :P
Possibly on a new thread, in order not to highjack this one too much?


OK, back on topic (i.e. not about deathknight27's list),

Edrick's question was about having only DR as core troops, leaving lots of choice as special, rare & characters.

Sure it is feasible.
Guerilla list, all cavalry list, monster mash, shade death star, magic/evasive list (full of peggy sorceresses), there are plenty of possibilities.


And, by the way, welcome deadlydragoon among posters in D.net, after a long time of just reading us.

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Sun Jan 17, 2010 11:20 pm
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deathknight27 wrote:
Quote:
Charging blindly ahead with DR = dead DR

Dalamar, I'm interested by what comprises a proper gunline? One of my alternate armies is a dwarf one, so I'm always interested in learning new ways to improve them :)


Well, I used to play a super fast list akin to the one that edrick suggests in 6th ed, and my dwarven opponent didn't have much of an issue dealing with them. Generally the dragon would make it to the enemy, and tear a lot of things apart, but he would deploy in such a way that the dragon, couldn't just jump from combat to combat, so basically dragon terrain hops to the enemy, and then charges, and tears something apart, and then overruns and gets shot up; rinse and repeat. Same type of thing goes for DR. I think with the arrival of 7th ed, throwing dual hydras into the mix makes the list a lot more effective, but my dwarf friend deals with this by spamming the 10 pt rune of flaming. Don't misunderstand me, I'm not saying that this will be a walk in the park for the dwarves, but I think that it will come down to who is more clever and IMO an exercise in cleverness does not make for cheesy list composition. Of course, I am probably saying this cause I am a druchii. :twisted:


Mon Jan 18, 2010 5:38 pm
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Gunlines definitely cause my list trouble:

Dragon
2X Hydra
3 X DR
2 X harpies
1 X shade unit (5 models)
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Black guard

One good strategy is going for a refused flank and rushing one side. Use harpies to screen if you can. Terrain hop where possible.

Unfortunately, my gaming group goes by the book on terrain so true LOS. So that cannon on the hill can see everything on the board and my dragon can hide nowhere since he towers over all terrain features (A few buildings available at the store are exceptions.) This leaves me with a rush towards his weak side strategy and hope something survives. And during tournaments with game tables set up by the 40K playing store manager...let's just say that the table is pretty bare usually with little to nothing outside of the deployment zones.

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Tue Jan 19, 2010 1:05 pm
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Viper, drop the cauldron and 1 unit of dark riders for shadowblade and you're all set, cannon problem solved :)

It's quite possible he won't make his points back after destroying it, but the fire your opponent wastes on killing that very scary uber assassin in his rear will give you the time you need to rush up the hydra, dark riders and dragon. Or if he ignores him, shadowblade can just keep dancing down the lines, sowing mayhem in his wake :)

Quote:
will come down to who is more clever and IMO an exercise in cleverness does not make for cheesy list composition.


The thing about cheese and power lists is that it gets to be something of an arms race. Every time you add cheese to your list, your opponent will go away and do something similar, until you end up with lists where EVERYONE has a dragon/greater daemon/etc and the maximum amount of cheesy units/combinations they can find. That actually ends up closing the game down, because you can't take anything else other than cheesy units if you want to win. Anyway, that's a digression :)


Tue Jan 19, 2010 1:47 pm
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Quote:

The thing about cheese and power lists is that it gets to be something of an arms race. Every time you add cheese to your list, your opponent will go away and do something similar, until you end up with lists where EVERYONE has a dragon/greater daemon/etc and the maximum amount of cheesy units/combinations they can find. That actually ends up closing the game down, because you can't take anything else other than cheesy units if you want to win. Anyway, that's a digression :)


I've run into this problem recently with my gaming group since the new skaven book came out, and the dumbwheel just ran everything oer at 1500pts. Now that we understand the rules etc, we have basically reverted back to taking more friendly lists so that we can use units we want to use and not just take something because we need it to kill unit X.


Wed Jan 20, 2010 4:02 pm
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I find dealing that my list can deal with gunlines pretty well actually, there's just so many fast threats that they get 1, maybe two turns of shooting before my army is in CC, usuallymops them up no problem. And yes it's a highly cheesy list, but a fun one to take out now and again in comps or against opponents hat like a challenge.

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Thu Jan 21, 2010 12:38 am
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Arnold Layne
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I would also be keen to hear how the Poles play their gunlines; but we'll discuss that elsewhere I hope. One question that was not answered was, how do Dark Riders fare against other Fast Cavalry? Well they pretty much nut them all with ease. In your gaming group you'll be up against Ellyrian Reavers and Marauders - give your Riders RXB and their opposites will die quick. Like DR, they are both T3/5+ save, but you get more shots. Against Dwarfs your Riders will die quick, but neither they nor their RXB were much chance of hurting anyone ; don't sweat it. If he shot your Riders he didn't shoot your Cold Ones, or Execs, or at least, he didn't shoot them as much.

If he doesn't shoot them, then I would suggest you get them in the way so he has to shoot them, or charge his shooties and die, so that for at least that turn they don't shoot. They can sometimes knock over a warmachine crew, and that's worth trying even if you fail, if you have a Dragon. Dragons dislike warmachines.

And it's funny you should say that about the Doomwheel, nick18... our local Doomwheel has yet to destroy anything except it's makers. I would say don't get upset about it, don't skew your lists to deal with it, it is too random to account for. Skew your list and whatever else he brought will become your nightmare. If anything, skew your list the other way and go for the rest of his army.

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Thu Jan 21, 2010 4:01 am
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I tried it after reading the DRAICH article on Shielded Dark Riders. You can create a DarkRiderStar with multiple characters in to protect from shooting, magic and ItP and because you can get massive SCR (ranks, Standard, BSB, SoS and usually outnumber) decent ACR thanks to characters combined with the speed of the unit it will take on most things. Big downside is the armour save in combat, but you have to aim to break your opponent in the turn you charge. It also needs support from Monsters (Dragon, Hydra Manticore), Harpies, traditional Dark Riders, COK, and COC.

However it ends up the same as most "deathstar" themed armies, it will work against some and fail against others.

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