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How do Dark Elves work? 
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Slave on the Altar
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Okay, so here I am sat at my computer desk browsing through my shiny new Dark Elf book with Oasis' "Supersonic" playing in the background, a glass of cold ale in my hand, and a thought pops in to my head: Dark Elves have the potential to dish out a lot of damage to whoever they're up against but they can't really take any punishment in return.

This followed by a second thought: how on earth do they work? Now, as a newcomer to the Dark Elves, I'm not really seeing many significant differences between the old book and the new one - the Eternal Hatred rule being most obvious, but also the subtle points changes and tweaks to various of the units are noticeable. I think this stems from not having any real idea of how Dark Elf armies play - sadly, I know of nobody in my area that uses them (yet!).

So, my reason for posting is this: I'm keen to get a grasp on general strategies and tactics that work for Dark Elves (disregarding the subtleties of character combos and similar for now). To make this clear, here are some examples of what I'm talking about: a general strategy that works well for Wood Elves is using many small skirmishing units in conjunction with one another to pick apart the foe piecemeal; a general strategy that works for Dwarfs is to have loads of cannons and to sit back and shoot like hell until the enemy runs away.

So, what works for the Dark Elves?

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Fri Jul 18, 2008 8:35 pm
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Corsair
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Hi mate!
We are many with the same questions.
Some of us start collecting answers.
You'll be welcome to participate.
D.R.A.I.C.H. - Table of Contents

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Last edited by Calisson on Fri Jul 25, 2008 7:41 pm, edited 2 times in total.



Fri Jul 18, 2008 9:41 pm
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Malekith's Personal Guard
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Well problem is that before this book we never really had anything that made us really crack open our opponents... But many people has had success with the MSU style of play and with even cheaper units now it'll be nice. Check out the Hall of Fame: Tactics in the Tactics forum for more info (http://www.druchii.net/viewtopic.php?t=45534).

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Fri Jul 18, 2008 10:38 pm
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Trainee Warrior

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the general strategy is to do everything to try to hit hard and deadly and avoid retaliation =o)

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Wed Jul 23, 2008 7:46 am
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Cold One Knight
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Quote:
the general strategy is to do everything to try to hit hard and deadly and avoid retaliation =o)


...thus said the tactical mastermind. lol. :D I have an even better strategy to propose, utilizing all the specific DE traits, limitations, possibilities and taking into account meta-gaming considerations and tournament-wise concepts: First - win, then - win again. Simple, aint it? Works like charm for me... because every single time I win a game, I actually win one! xDDD You can't possible lose a game if you win it, right? :idea:


disclaimer - Fea is actually right, or close enough to it and I'm just fooling around. The basic idea with DE is to utilize hard-hitting + mobility to pick up fights you can win and avoid other that you can't. One of the biggest problems with DE is that they don't have a crystallized tactic that works fantastically well. But that's one of the biggest advantages in the same time because you have many variants that have the possibility to work just well enough thus effectively provide a tactical challenge to you and your enemy. You can't probably surprise the enemy with a SAD army for instance, can you? A simple tip for you is to try to: 1) Win the charge 2) Kill the front rank so there won't be any retaliation 3) Win the subsequent round of combat, utilizing your naturally higher Initiative, striking before the enemy. And of course - use a lot of Dark Raiders to ring circles around your enemies, dictating their movement, decoy charges, march-block, shoot and stuff. Out-maneuver the enemy and allocate your hits in such manner that every attack inflicts EXACTLY that right amount of damage - no more, no less. Because if you over-do something you won't have enough fire-power for other. Combine your charges to crush tough opponents. And remember that you ain't expected to kill everything, just think wise and fulfill you objectives - claim VP whenever you can and stay away from power-houses that you could easily avoid engaging with your mobile army (packed up with good LD so you don't heavy to worry so much for rallying when you run).

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Wed Jul 23, 2008 9:35 am
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Moonblade wrote:
Quote:
the general strategy is to do everything to try to hit hard and deadly and avoid retaliation =o)


...thus said the tactical mastermind. lol. :D I have an even better strategy to propose, utilizing all the DE traits, weaknesses, advantages and taking into account meta-game considerations and tournament-wise concepts: First - win, then - win again. Simple, aint it? Works like charm for me... because very single time I win a game, I actually win one! xDDD You can't possible lose a game if you win it, right?
I could propose an addition to your concept, my druchii and slavic brother. ;)

First - win, then - win again, then - win again, then - draw, then - massacre him to the point of no return.

The fourth step of this carefull battle plan is supposed to lure your opponent into a certain level of joy and everestimation of his powers to make it eaier for you to bitterly crush him afterwards.

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Wed Jul 23, 2008 10:00 am
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Malekith's Best Friend
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Dark elves have two main strengths:

1) we are relatively mobile

2) we can do reasonably well at most things, e.g. shooting etc.

We do however not work very well if we only focus on one thing, e.g. a pure CC army will not work well, a pure shooty army won't work well either (same as for dwarves, a pure gun line will almost always be inferior to a gun line with a few blooks).

The important thing IMO, as with all armies, is to decide what you wish to focus on, i.e. you can't afford to get a shooty, CC and magic heavy army.

The second consideration is how many troops you want, e.g. it is possible to field good shooting (two reapers), good magic, (two levels two's) and dragon, but you will have very few wounds in your army. These kind of armies work well against some things, particularly CC armies, since we have a lot of choice of where to engage in CC (more on this later), but they do not fair so well against other armies, (mostly shooty, due to the lack of wounds).

I have mentioned a couple of times that I consider dark elves to do well in the movement phase, this is not only due to our innate high movement.

It is because we are so 'balanced', e.g. reapers can barely move at all, but they have a huge impact on the movement phase, since they are excellent at taking out fast cavalry, so that you can march block more then you are being blocked.

Both dark riders and harpies (the harpies seem wonderful nowadays) are excellent at controlling the movement phase, with march blocking, etc, see this article about how to properly use baiting:

http://www.druchii.net/viewtopic.php?t=43703

We also have the best access to flying monsters in the game, since we can get them even for heroes. These beasts are not only formidable in CC, but their incredible movement makes them excellent for herding the enemy, e.g. most enemy units will die if they get side charged by a dragon, or a noble on a manticore for the matter, they will thus either try to get out of your charge arc, or they will position other units so that they can flee and countercharge you, either way, you are dictating your opponents movement.

On the whole, as others have said, the important thing (it's the same for all teams really) is that you have to choose what to focus on in the list (but consider all the phases ! ), and what to focus on at the battlefield, you can in theory not win all battles over the battle field, so when deploying and when moving consider where you want to win your battles, and where you want to lose (or which areas you simply want to ignore, e.g. you never ever need to battle a unit of chosen khorne warriors unless you really want to ;) )

For further information have a look in the hall of fame:

http://www.druchii.net/viewtopic.php?t=45534

All of the topics are old by now, but they mostly deal with general gaming and tactics, and the army in itself has not changed that much.

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Wed Jul 23, 2008 10:31 am
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Cold One Knight
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Quote:
First - win, then - win again, then - win again, then - draw, then - massacre him to the point of no return.

The fourth step of this carefull battle plan is supposed to lure your opponent into a certain level of joy and everestimation of his powers to make it eaier for you to bitterly crush him afterwards.
- Evil..

I really like it how the only thing you "spare" for the enemy is a poor draw match, no minor victory or something. So in fact, the only good, we, druchii could possibly do for lower races is... to ignore them (temporally). So we don't have to actually "lose" a combat to make the enemy happy - a draw works just fine, since the enemy is overjoyed with the fact they aren't massacred, yet. Yet.

pozdravi, Fea :)

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Wed Jul 23, 2008 12:38 pm
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with respect to your disclaimer - yeah. That's roughly what I said ^^

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Wed Jul 23, 2008 12:47 pm
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I would say that playing DE's is to some extend like playing chess to a higher extent than other armies.
You use your own units to dictate how your opponent moves. You read ahead and plan for the next round before you move to ensure that you have and keep the strategic advantage of mobility. You stay clear of dangerous areas and pick exactly the fights you want and avoid the rest. Let your enemy chase you around until he falls over.
DE's when played perfectly is frustrating to fight against. We function best if we completely deny our opponent to think for himself... So... basically its a complicated game of chess :P

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Wed Jul 23, 2008 6:24 pm
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I have only on strategy when playing DEs: Punch through their lines... If there's one thing DEs can do against anyone, even dwarves, it's their ability to focus all their strength into a single point in the opponents battle line. 5 CoK with a BSB (Hydra banner) and a Hydra will punch through anything, and once you break a hole in his line you're free to kill as many wizards, war machines, and archers as you want, as well as surround his force. DEs win by attacking one unit with multiple units, so you must learn how to make your opponent line up for a straight up infantry-grinder and then turn the tables with your speed and gouge a hole in his line...


Wed Jul 23, 2008 6:38 pm
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KrystalIce2020 wrote:
I have only on strategy when playing DEs: Punch through their lines... If there's one thing DEs can do against anyone, even dwarves, it's their ability to focus all their strength into a single point in the opponents battle line. 5 CoK with a BSB (Hydra banner) and a Hydra will punch through anything, and once you break a hole in his line you're free to kill as many wizards, war machines, and archers as you want, as well as surround his force. DEs win by attacking one unit with multiple units, so you must learn how to make your opponent line up for a straight up infantry-grinder and then turn the tables with your speed and gouge a hole in his line...
Sounds nice...but what if your enemies are wood elves with lots of dryads? There is no line to punch through and it's pretty hard to outmaneuvre someone who doesn't care for civilized concepts like front, flank or rear...


Fri Jul 25, 2008 9:59 am
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"I would say that playing DE's is to some extend like playing chess to a higher extent than other armies.
You use your own units to dictate how your opponent moves. You read ahead and plan for the next round before you move to ensure that you have and keep the strategic advantage of mobility. You stay clear of dangerous areas and pick exactly the fights you want and avoid the rest. Let your enemy chase you around until he falls over.
DE's when played perfectly is frustrating to fight against. We function best if we completely deny our opponent to think for himself... So... basically its a complicated game of chess."

-This is exactly how I see Druchii. You have to surgically tear your opponent apart before going in for the kill. Knowing when to strike and when not to comes with a little bit of practice. Also, multiple charges play a huge roll in taking out your opponent while keeping you units alive. Sure my 20 Corsairs can probaly last a turn against my opponents 15 Chaos warriors while my 10 Witches can do the same against his other unit of 10 Chaos warriors, but if I charge both at the unit of 15 I have a good chance of beating them and breaking them. These are the sorts of things you'll learn over time when playing Dark Elves.

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Fri Jul 25, 2008 3:04 pm
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