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Optimal Size for witch elves?? 
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Black Guard
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I have been thinking of switching to my witch elves as I find my BGs as great as they are become too expensive to maintain on the battlefield. So I want to know what sizing are good for fielding witch elves? Ill be running one cauldron as it will not only support the witches but also the rest of my army. Also what banners are good for them?

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Sat Mar 28, 2009 5:57 am
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Malekith's Best Friend
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Well, in my 1000 to 1500 point armies, mine are 14 with a hag and standard, and maby a banner if I have points. They do play very differently to BG though. You need to screen or block them in with your own units so they don't charge something they are not ment too. Supported by magic and the cauldron they are as powerful as the BG, as they get as many KB attempts as BG to their higher number of attacks, have the flexibilty of MB on the hag and can ignore a lot of the gadgets that effect magic items. Sure they have no save, but they are a lot cheaper than BG so you can afford to run larger units.

At 2k I will expand to include a small 5-7 strong unit with a hag just for the high stength attacks from MB.

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Sat Mar 28, 2009 6:49 am
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What about tourney play? Are they an optimal choice to take over the BGs. Also 5-7 size? I really dont like to field such small units. I understand thier frailty but I was thinking of 12-14. I mean the cost of 2 units of 12 with hag and standard is still alot less than a single unit of 14-18+ BG with the works. And thats with giving the hag gifts of khaine. Has anyone ever tried such a small size witch unit and met with sucess?

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Sat Mar 28, 2009 7:15 am
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I'm working on a Hellebron list to let me include them as core. I find that they are a bit of a glass cannon, that if they don't kill enough (or get shot too much) they end up dying. The main thing with witch elves is that they get their combat res from kills, so to save a few points, I make mine 3 ranks of 6, for 18 witches (including CMD) And I have 3 units of them. That saves me a few points for other options in my army.
My list is still in "testing" phase though.

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Sat Mar 28, 2009 7:19 am
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I use the 5-7 in addition to the 14 strong unit :)

The small unit is good as a counter attacker behind a line of crossbows. If you have a unit that is threatened by a charging unit, let them flee though the witches, who don't care as they are ItP, so they can counter charge the enemy unit next turn.

Its also a cheap unit to throw at bloodthirsters and dragons to hold them up for a turn and maybe inflict a few wounds.

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Sat Mar 28, 2009 7:33 am
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There are two main way I have run my Witch Elves:

Option 1
14: FC, Banner of Murder (really worth while), Manbane (also really worth while): 215pts

This gives a reasonbably priced unit that packs massive killing power it works really well against things like Daemons and Undead or anything with low defence. Even against higher defence units like dwarfs it does really well but preferably could do with some assistance such as an assassin or shoting getting rid of a rank and making it likely that you will outnumber after the first round of combat.

Option 2
Same as above but with:
Death Hag BSB: Banner of Hag Graef, Manbane, Rune of Khaine: 200pts

This turns the witch elves in to an uber killing unit that can park infront of most things and do them over I have wiped out full units of charging cavalry easily with this unit. However, it is obviously very expensive but you do get amazing killing power in return.

I have never liked the idea of the little units of 7's for elite troops so 14 is about the minimum I would look to take for a unit like witch elves but it is also probably the maximum as I see little benefit in going beyond 1 spare rank.


Sat Mar 28, 2009 8:29 am
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Trainee Warrior

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I take fourteen with no command. My opponents love to fire several turns worth of arrows at them. The three or four that make it to combat do more than enough damage for the cost of the unit.


Sat Mar 28, 2009 10:27 am
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Svengaard wrote:
I take fourteen with no command. My opponents love to fire several turns worth of arrows at them. The three or four that make it to combat do more than enough damage for the cost of the unit.


That seems wasteful, mine have never been shot at in about 10 games, because I block line of sight to them until just before they charge. Small units work well for the same reason, though they only have kills to generate combat resolution, so they need support from flank or rear chargers.

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Sat Mar 28, 2009 11:29 am
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If you're using the cauldron I recommend at least 13 witches (7 and 6 formation) with a champion with the rhune on the flank. Don't be afraid if they're not attacking first etc. Only be sure to have something to redirect charges and some other fast units (hydra and coks) or many infantries, so that your opponent has to choose only 1 target to shoot at, and the witches are bettter than what many thinks in getting the fire if backed with the ward save, primarly because they do not panic, so they are able to go where you want anytime. If you don't want to spend many points (13 with champ+rhune are 165 pts) you could drop the rhune. I still recommend the champion to protect the troops from nasty character or to get some extra resolution in a challenge vs a light armoured foe. A nice add would be the musician (I already hear Calisson's bell), so avoiding to loose frenzy only because the enemy has one.

Getting a banner is a waste in my opionion: for the ladies the risk of being countercharged by a skilled opponent is high, so the chance of loosing the banner. Though a good choice is the warbanner as always, or the murder banner (but here I'd suggest not to taking it, focusing on the chance of kb granted by the cauldron). The murder banner could be useful when you do not want to waste the cauldron's bless and/or if you've an assassin in the unit (obviously with manbane and rhune) so that he would benefit at maximum from the banner (in the worst hypothesis he would drop the as by 2).

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Sat Mar 28, 2009 1:54 pm
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I always run 18 of them. 6 wide 3 ranks, full command. The cauldron is almost just there to protect that unit.
During the game I give my opponent plenty of other things to worry about besides that unit which hasn't hit combat yet.
More than once allowing me to steamroll an entire flank.


Sat Mar 28, 2009 6:03 pm
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1) 5's as the cheapest way to get assassins into your list, or 2) 6's in a hellebron list for cheap core, or
3) sacrificial 6's in a standard list.

(Can you tell I play against a heap of fear causers, strikes first or high armour saves? ;) ).

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Sat Mar 28, 2009 9:37 pm
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7-6 unit size? I like the idea of the hag with the rune of khaine especially when she has been blessed with killing blow but I feel its too small. Now another question "how close would you field the witches to the cauldron? "

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Sun Mar 29, 2009 3:22 am
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Melikai The Wicked wrote:
7-6 unit size? I like the idea of the hag with the rune of khaine especially when she has been blessed with killing blow but I feel its too small. Now another question "how close would you field the witches to the cauldron? "


They are stubborn within 12' but that means they have lost frenzy anyway. Within 24" is all that matters. The hags already get 4 attacks so MB is a better choice most times.

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Sun Mar 29, 2009 4:20 am
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I deploy mine 7 by 2, full command, BOM, Man Bane and sometimes an Assassin.

Keep them within 12" of the Cauldron if possible. My unit (this time without an Assassin) combo charged an Alter of the Gods to the flank with a Hydra at the front, killed it with ease, but overan too far and got rear charged by Saurus. They then held 5 combat phases because of the Stubborn, taking many of the unit with them.

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Sun Mar 29, 2009 5:06 am
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Demetrius the Betrayer wrote:
I deploy mine 7 by 2, full command, BOM, Man Bane and sometimes an Assassin.

Keep them within 12" of the Cauldron if possible. My unit (this time without an Assassin) combo charged an Alter of the Gods to the flank with a Hydra at the front, killed it with ease, but overan too far and got rear charged by Saurus. They then held 5 combat phases because of the Stubborn, taking many of the unit with them.


12 inch CoB bonnus seems very short range but it seems very helpfull in your battle.


Sun Mar 29, 2009 9:25 am
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Rabidnid wrote:
That seems wasteful, mine have never been shot at in about 10 games, because I block line of sight to them until just before they charge. Small units work well for the same reason, though they only have kills to generate combat resolution, so they need support from flank or rear chargers.

Aye, it is, but I make sure their sacrifices are well spent.
Seriously though, my usual opponents are terrified of 16-23+ poisoned attacks from a single rank, so keeping them cheap and expecting them to die in droves keeps the rest of my army alive.

Hey, they're cheaper body bags than Cold Ones;)


Sun Mar 29, 2009 2:43 pm
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