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DE a Mid tier army with 8th ed? 
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Warrior

Joined: Tue Jan 31, 2012 5:04 pm
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After a small tournament at my local GW store, we discussed the 8th ed rules and came to the concencus that DE were no longet a 'top' tier army but were around mid-table...

Lords/Champions
Noting special apart from the use of pok (easily negated with non-strentgh atacks) and T3

Magic
Some great caster potential/special abilities and good choice of lores

Core
Nothing special about the core choices, Rxb and corsairs are decent in numbers but still nothing to write home about

Special
Witch eves - great with Cauldron but easily dealt with by archers/gunners etc..
Blackguard.. - look good on paper but still T3 making them far less usefull than chaos warriors and can oly take 20 in a unit
Cold one knights - .. Due to stupidity and lacking any real hard punch, not often used with 8th ed
Executioners - Always striking last means they will be hard pressed to last throughout the 1st round of combat
Shades - I really like these guys, great to pepper the enemy from the flanks or behind, but due to no/light armour, are easily removed by close combat or arrow fire
harpies - Ok for point cost but no hatred or armour ,makes them only usefull for war machine hunting

Rare
hydra - Still amazing but usually the 1st thing your opponents target
Bolt throwers - not worth the points

so, reviewing the list, i can see what others see when they call DE a mid tier army...

what do others think?


Fri Feb 17, 2012 8:59 am
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Noble

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The army is still very much top tier, but by this stage everyone knows how to deal with Dark Elves so they're less of a problem. Still very capable of doing well, any army with re-rolls and more than 6 dice going into Shadow magic is never going to be bad army.

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Fri Feb 17, 2012 9:56 am
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What makes Dark Elves a good army is not individual picks or items (apart from Pendant and, according to some, Hydra), but rather a vast selection of solid choices. I know no other army where almost all entries in the book can be represented in a good tournament army.


Fri Feb 17, 2012 10:23 am
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I disagree that Dark Elves are Mid Tier.

In the last ETC, Dark Elves placed on a solid second place with ETC restrictrictions that some thought were enough back then. Wood Elves got top because it was just one player who did awesome, and even though I don't know how, I reckon he got to pick his matches. I'd say the best army in ETC last year was Dark Elves.

Without the restrictions from different tournaments, the dark elves power through most other armies quite efficiently.


Lord&Heroes:
- We have the invincible lord build, able to take down generals or centerpieces of the opponent army and still hold against masses of units. Good choices of weapons and defences means that even though we only have T3, we easily manage to survive. Having the Dark Pegasus as well, means we get our masters/Lords where we want them.

- We have the sorceress with sacrifical dagger which gives us the ability to get through tons of spells. I think we actually is the only army who can field 2 lvl 4 sorcs and make it work. Try a mix of shadow and dark magic sorceresses with the sacrifical dagger on the latter, and you'll churn through magic defenses like a warm knife through butter. Also, shadow lore fits the dark elves so well that we could just as well make it our own lore.

- Cauldron gives even our trivial troops chances to deal high damage. A small corsair group can run into the BSB/General/Mage with a KB buff, and take out centerpieces. Witch elves can be boosted with attacks, making them kill more opponents than they take casualities in almost all the battles they engage in. And any key pieces to your army can be given ward saves... Put the BSB on this one, and you have everything you need as the backbone of your army.

Core:
- We have one of the best shooters out there: The crossbowmen. Have the flaming sword of rhuin on them or use withering on your enemies and these guys will destroy most things coming at them (or running away).

- Corsairs are a bit under par, but use them as small blockers and redirectors, and you suddenly have something that can do a bit of damage and still not be such a big loss... did I mention that a KB on them and lots of attacks on any characters is kinda neat? :p

- Spear Men: Being able to reroll to hit means that these guys are better than most of the same unit type (Big ranked units). And they cost so little that it's no problem loosing them. Great sacrifice unit in many ways and stand their ground well unless they meet things like... witch elves ;)

Special:
- Witch Elves: I've fielded 21 or 28 of these in the last 9 battles I've had. They've been the unit of the match for 8 of those battles, outperforming my opponent even in the matches I lost. Not everyone can shoot a whole unit of them before they are in close combat, especially if you use miasma, chill wind and/or word of pain on those pesky shooty units. I've lost just a couple of these against a HE player twice, even though he fielded 40 archers. Remember that fielding a Hydra means that these don't get as much attention.

- Blackguard: I don't use them much, because the witch elves have done so much more for me. However, they are still great. I think many a druchii player praise these as our top infantry unit, even though I choose my witches.

- Cold one Knights: Stupidity, yes... but field them close to BSB or have a BSB with them and you're going to be really unlucky if the stupidity kicks in enough to cause a problem. Banner of Discipline and BSB close if it really is such a problem. Strength 4 as base is good enough to deal with several troops, and we can't really complain about the armor for that cost either. Might be improved slightly in the next army book, but still good enough to field, especially with a master in.

- Shades: They die easily in close combat, so why move them into one. The opponent has to use good and important units to kill them, or spells, because any small fast units will most likely end up dead because of their shooting or the shades hitting first in close combat. If your opponent uses heavy cavalry or big flying monsters, he might take care of the shades easily enough, but is suddenly out of position for the real battle. I've never had more fun than running around a swordsman unit with the shades, plucking them down without him having any chance to catch them.

- Executioners: I don't like them. Needs to be fielded so many that they get to strike back, and/or with Hag BSB with ASF banner. Other on this forum love them though.

- Harpies: Machine hunting, light fast unit hunter, blocking redirectors. It's one of the better choices of our armies imo.

Rare:
Hydra - It can die quickly, or kill others quickly. Costing so little and being so destructive, it's a very good choice... also, that this one gets focused down, means that you more voulnerable expensive units gets away with it. It's a reason this one gets comped down in tournaments. I expect to see it without hatred for about 200 pts in the next edition.

Bolt Throwers: Agree... costs too much. Maybe at 75 pts, I'd like them.


The reasons the Dark Elf army is so good are several:

- We have striking capability unlike others... Hatred means that our low cost units, who usually strike first, get to deal ALOT of damage. While the High Elves are better than us with the rerolls because of high initiative and ASF, their units costs alot more, and can't withstand hordes as well as we do.

- We have strong magic casters, able to buff and debuff, and lash out lots of damage. Much more than our enemies can.

- We have high leadership, have immunity to psychology on important striking units and generally is just superbly badass!


My two cents is that the Dark Elves will get weaker in the next army book. Still more solid choices, but less extreme items and abilities. We'll still keep our offense, but also our voulnerability.... just as I like it :D

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Fri Feb 17, 2012 11:31 am
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Anyone who thinks Dark Elves aren't top tier should go try playing Beastmen. Nuff said...

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Fri Feb 17, 2012 2:47 pm
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Back in late 7th edition, a majority of gamers would agree that DoC, Vampire and DE were generally more powerful than the other armies.
These were known as top tier or "The Big Three".
I remember that discussions on this topic were often quite heated and could easily lead to trolling.


The present 8th edition shuffled cards, with the age of megasized infantry units and warmachines.
As far as I know, there is no longer any army which is rated as much above most others as the top tier used to be previously.
Therefore you're right saying that DE is no longer "top tier".


Still, DE remains an army with lots of powerful potential, especially with some specifics mentioned above.

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Fri Feb 17, 2012 8:45 pm
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phierlihy wrote:
Anyone who thinks Dark Elves aren't top tier should go try playing Beastmen. Nuff said...


I will second Phierlihy's point here...when I play my Beastmen friend I give him an extra 200 points and I don't use the cheesier combos our list can offer (no pendant on a melee char, no shadow lore, no dagger, etc) and I still stomp him without exception.

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Fri Feb 17, 2012 9:47 pm
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Quote:
DE a Mid tier army with 8th ed?

sorry for the non-constructive response, but lol?

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Fri Feb 17, 2012 11:38 pm
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Well, it's good to discuss some things like this. It can be hard to see what armies is stronger than others, and with new army books, it's good to get a reality check now and then.

Every dark elf list can be taken down by something else out there, but most lists struggles against a good DE list played well.

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Sat Feb 18, 2012 10:12 pm
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non-comped at ardboyz this year I believe only one de army finished in the top 3 in any of the three finals with deamons winning two for sure and possibly the third with skaven making a very strong showing

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Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:36 am
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dark elves are, and as any other t3 high cost army, a army which does wel if led well. Dark elves cannot rely on "super"lists, like some skaven or deamon list. Your units and characters rely on a good general and good synergy. That being said, if those conditions are met, and a bit of luck of course, you have a amazingly good army, which can pull of some amazing stunts. Its a army of reliability. you know you can get that okkam off if you just throw 9 dice at it, and you know your going to do damage thanks to hatred. you just need the target, you know that hydra is going to wreck infantry, and you know not to pit it against anything with st6, or knights, or obvious flame banners.

you know those witches won't be a match for those knights unless you boost them, but thats okay you have something else for them. you know those mortars will bring hell, but thats why you lined up a second turn charge with your harpy's.

same goes for high elves, we have all the weapons we need at our disposal, and if used right, they can be devestating. of course there are some things that are unavoidable, and some bad luck or some muddling around, or a bad scenario can muck things up, and if the plan fails, dark elves have a tendancy to fail. they can die, fast. and losing combo's means losing punch.

all in all with new released lores, and magic being incredibly powerfull, i'd have to agree there arn't any top tier armys anymore, some do better then others for sure, but there are more good army's around now, to much to speak of any tiers.

then again, if you believe dark elves to be mid tier, who would you place them with, and who would you place top tier?


Fri Feb 24, 2012 3:15 pm
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flash29 wrote:
then again, if you believe dark elves to be mid tier, who would you place them with, and who would you place top tier?

I suppose it comes down to how "tiers" would be defined in Warhammer. There obviously is no exact formula (like say Super Smash Bros) where each army plays against the other 14 X amount of times and then their win % bracket determines their tier.

So I suppose, in this case, the tiers are simply:
- top-tier - beats most armies usually
- mid-tier - well...the middle! - can beat AND lose to top-tier and low-tier armies, I suppose for consistent descriptions. However, even this can be broke to upper-mid and lower-mid
- low-tier - gets beaten by most armies usually


Now, I've only been playing Fantasy for a little over half a year, only have a couple dozen games in my pocket, and I haven't played vs. every army. In fact, I've only played against 7 of the armies. But based on my own experiences, results I see from local and rankingshq (my local/semi-local meta has 4 of the top 50 players in the US in 2011. However, I'm well aware that an army's strength and its tournament results are only a correlation, not necessarily a causation), and of course what I read on the internet/word of mouth!

Obviously, there has to be some sort of limitations on the tiers. I've heard arguments for about 6 armies being "top-tier", but is it possible for 2/5 of the armies to be top tier? wouldn't that diminish the meaning of "top tier"? So to answer your question, here are how I'd break the tiers down, again based on my experiences, tourney results (again, I know correlation =/= causation, but still taking in to account), and internet "knowledge"/word of mouth:

top-tier - DoC, Skaven, Lizardmen, WoC
mid-tier (upper) - DE, HE, VC
mid-tier (lower) - Dwarfs, O&G, Empire, Ogres
low-tier - Bretonnia, WE, TK, Beastmen

That is how I see it. I do know that in Fantasy, any army can beat any army (well, except maybe DoC...i should've put them in their own "god-tier"). So even a good TK army can still beat Lizardmen. Whether or not it can beat a Lizardmen army 7 times out of 10 is another thing... I'd say 9 or 10 of the armies can be moved to a higher or lower tier and it'd still be pretty accurate, going to show the parity that Fantasy has (which I love, being a convert from 40k). DE being one of those, I think capable of being considered top-tier.

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Fri Feb 24, 2012 11:37 pm
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Without meaning to sound rude - you're wrong. Here's a commentary on your breakdown:

Lords/Champions
Noting special apart from the use of pok (easily negated with non-strentgh atacks) and T3

Wrong. Our characters are incredible. High leadership is massively important - ld10 on a lord, 9 on a hero. This helps things not run away and pass fear tests, and makes stubborn a reliable tool. High initiative means we usually strike first - very handy for challenges. We have a good selection of steeds to ride on: a cold one gives +2 to AS and confers ITP. A pegasus allows for flying and an extra wound on heroes. High weapon skill and hatred makes most of our attacks hit. Cheap good quality magic items help to boost things further.

Magic
Some great caster potential/special abilities and good choice of lores.

Yes. Sacrificial dagger and power of darkness. 'Nuff said really. Throw lore of shadow and metal into the mix and, well, yeah. We're kickass.

Core
Nothing special about the core choices, Rxb and corsairs are decent in numbers but still nothing to write home about.

Wrong. I don't like them, but RxBs are regularly heralded by experienced players on here as incredible. Our warriors are so incredibly cheap and good value that they are definitely very good value vis-a-vis other army books. And so on.

Special
Witch eves - great with Cauldron but easily dealt with by archers/gunners etc..

Yes, missiles are an issue, but lots of units have weaknesses and this one does too. Their strengths (Frenzy which gives +1 attack and ITP, poison and additional hand weapons) often outweigh their disadvantages.

Blackguard.. - look good on paper but still T3 making them far less usefull than chaos warriors and can oly take 20 in a unit.

Silly comparisson. Blackguard have lots of useful attributes that Chaos Warriors don't, including stubborn, immune to psych, +1 leadership, +1" move, +1 initiative, and warrior elite. The champ can also take a magic item. They also cost several points less per model.

Cold one knights - .. Due to stupidity and lacking any real hard punch, not often used with 8th ed

Completely wrong. CoKs are used more frequently in 8th ed because stupidity is now much more manageable (BSB, general's inspiring leadership bubble, more leadership boosting banners, etc). They are also now ITP, which is incredible, and can deliver a much large number of attacks now due to supporting attacks. They are also I6, which again means they usually strike first, whatever the circumstances.

Executioners - Always striking last means they will be hard pressed to last throughout the 1st round of combat

Wrong. You can deploy them in a horde to ensure max number of attacks back. You can also make them strike in initiative order by giving them a death hag BSB with standard of hag graef. You can also boost their survivability by blessing them with the cauldron and casting glittering scales onto them.

Shades - I really like these guys, great to pepper the enemy from the flanks or behind, but due to no/light armour, are easily removed by close combat or arrow fire

Silly really. Shades are possibly the best skirmishers in the game. BS5, with repeater crossbows and the chance to take additonal handweapons makes them super awesome.

harpies - Ok for point cost but no hatred or armour ,makes them only usefull for war machine hunting

Or march blocking against low leadership units, diverting frenzied enemy units, mage hunting, acting as a shield against enemy missiles (conferring a -2 BS modifier if your opponent wants to shoot through them) and many other roles.

Rare
hydra - Still amazing but usually the 1st thing your opponents target

True, but at 175 points only does that really matter? If he's attacking that, he's ignoring the rest of your army...

Bolt throwers - not worth the points

True.

So in conclusion, you're basically wrong, except for the bolt thrower front.

Dark Elves continue to possess incredible magical abilities, devastatingly powerful heroes, cheap and very strong infantry, very hard hitting cavalry and impressive monsters and chariots. They remain unquestionably a top tier army list.

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Sat Feb 25, 2012 12:21 am
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Red... wrote:
Dark Elves continue to possess incredible magical abilities, devastatingly powerful heroes, cheap and very strong infantry, very hard hitting cavalry and impressive monsters and chariots. They remain unquestionably a top tier army list.


Yep, they are extraordinary. Hatred plus going first most times due to the change to initiative in 8th, makes an already good army better. Add to that the CoB and you have an army that is top tier in the right hands. It is not an idiot proof army that depends on dice to fail (like skaven), but it can out-shoot, out-fight and out-manoeuvre any other army with the right planning.

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Sat Feb 25, 2012 6:37 am
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i would say middle of the pack. you can only build competitive one or two ways. several armies are better whit 8th than we are. too predictable next book should put us op in the top3 again i feel like. our magic items have always been good so with 6 or 10 we should luck out


Thu Mar 01, 2012 3:32 pm
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Blondshade wrote:
you can only build competitive one or two ways.


I think you mean 8+ ways:

- Magic heavy
- Missile line with tons of RxBs (and Reapers if you feel like it)
- Melee heavy with elite infantry
- Melee heavy with mass infantry
- Melee heavy with chariots and heavy cavalry
- Monster heavy with hydras and dragons (even a manticore if you feel like it)
- Evasive with fast cavalry, skirmishers and harpies
- Various mixtures of the above

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Thu Mar 01, 2012 4:03 pm
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I'm not really going to join this conversation (any guesses as to why?) apart from to say my opinions echo that of Calisson and Red's most directly, though I concur with the sentiments of many others.

Tiering is a very strange and subjective term which differs mostly on player ability to squeeze out of an army and take tactical advantage over his opponents. Trying to create some form of scientific, unbiased objective system to compare 2 armies just isn't possible. Saying that, there is a tendency to see certain armies being preferred in very high class tournaments such as the one I played last weekend that was a preliminary test round for the ETC team tournament: almost all of the UK's most renowned and reputed players were there, however not even this competition is a fair test due to ETC competition restrictions.

Dagnabbit I've got sucked into replying properly haven't I... Ok, all I'm going to say is that DEs are one of the MOST highly competitive army lists out there - mostly due to versatility of almost every single unit (and thus varied too - corsairs + mindrazor is NOT the only competitive trick in the box for us) and with the speed to choose and determine how games are played out. To do this, DEs do still require a very high level of skill - how often people manage to fulfill this potential and realise the lethality of DEs against even other 'top tier' armies is quite another matter.

Sadly one previous determining factor in this debate: GW's 'Grand Tournament' no longer ranks people based on VP totals but instead by comparing a players win/loss/draw record against others of their race: who ever scores best with this ratio wins the tournament overall. However if VP totals were to be calculated (and I shall try and request a copy of this if I can at the next throne of skulls I'm attending in a few weeks time) then I would place money on Dark Elves appearing in the top 3 for the past 5 years.

I'm going to be quiet now... ;)

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Fri Mar 02, 2012 1:22 am
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Dangerous Beans wrote:
corsairs + mindrazor is NOT the only competitive trick in the box for us


Yes, it seems that people get so focused on this one spell that they forget the other awesome spells out there. In the 1800 tournament I was in, I used the mindrazor ONCE to take out a big unit of dragonprinces, however the other battles gave me victories mainly because of miasma, enfeeblement and withering... as well as a good pit of shades on that big arachna for the O&G... and this was only with shadow lore. A shooty list with death, fire and/or metal would all be competitive and good. Dark Magic is still awesome because of how easy it is to get through.

I also agree with Red that we have ALOT of tactics going for us, that actually works quite well... Unlike the old dark elf book, we still have several good options for us, even though some units should be improved, and some tournaments restricts us even further.

I feel that 8th edition brings more into the players than the armies themselves. In our local club, a wood elf player wins alot, and no one would place WE as top tier today for sure. However, to decide whether an army is top tier or not, I think we have to look for actual tournament results, where the players are some of the best... and as I mentioned, Dark Elves did extremely well in the last years ETC, even with more restrictions than the other races (only daemons of chaos had more I think).

That's proof enough for me that DE is still a top tier army.

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Fri Mar 02, 2012 10:01 am
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Red... wrote:
Blondshade wrote:
you can only build competitive one or two ways.


I think you mean 8+ ways:

- Magic heavy
- Missile line with tons of RxBs (and Reapers if you feel like it)
- Melee heavy with elite infantry
- Melee heavy with mass infantry
- Melee heavy with chariots and heavy cavalry
- Monster heavy with hydras and dragons (even a manticore if you feel like it)
- Evasive with fast cavalry, skirmishers and harpies
- Various mixtures of the above


I see 2 or 3 top tier lists. i dont know how you think you can be top teir with some of those. maybe we are reading different books or something. ive played many a game with my dark elfs and know what works over the years. are you a newer player possibly? or are you thinking about some lists here vs weak people?


Sat Mar 03, 2012 10:15 pm
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Quote:
are you a newer player possibly?


LOL. I'm a veteran ;)

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Sat Mar 03, 2012 11:16 pm
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Red... wrote:
Quote:
are you a newer player possibly?


LOL. I'm a veteran ;)


ok well i dont know if you know this but i was regarded as one of the top tacticians on this site before my hiatus. i helped many of our brethern to numerous countless victories. i didnt know you were a vet but so am i :)


Sun Mar 04, 2012 2:21 pm
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Blondshade wrote:
ok well i dont know if you know this but i was regarded as one of the top tacticians on this site before my hiatus. i helped many of our brethern to numerous countless victories. i didnt know you were a vet but so am i :)


The phrase "legend in your own mind" seems to be drifting through my thoughts...

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Sun Mar 04, 2012 2:47 pm
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Blondshade wrote:
ok well i dont know if you know this but i was regarded as one of the top tacticians on this site before my hiatus. i helped many of our brethern to numerous countless victories. i didnt know you were a vet but so am i :)
Good for you. Let's get back to the OP.

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Sun Mar 04, 2012 4:48 pm
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I would probably say that DE still is the strongest book in the game, with a good number of strong builds, plenty of tricks and no real weakness.

Many of the builds Red... posted have been seen winning big tournaments


Sun Mar 04, 2012 6:20 pm
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Lord Kalhadron wrote:
I would probably say that DE still is the strongest book in the game, with a good number of strong builds, plenty of tricks and no real weakness.


I agree.

Also, the new Ogre book seems to be quite solid and they are looking more and more as a top tier army to me, however I'd still say that we have the strongest book and choices, with many viable ways to run competetive lists.

_________________
Personal quote: "It's better to do little damage and lose nothing than to do lots of damage and lose everything."
Final tournament score for 7th DE book in 8th edition - W/D/L: 25/5/10


Mon Mar 05, 2012 8:38 am
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