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Darkshards vs Glade Guard 
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Dark Rider
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Okay so I know that in most scenarios, glade guard trump darkshards, no questions asked. However, last night a thought occurred to me. Darkshards come in at 12 points with multiple shots, whereas GG cost (15?) with multiple shots. Now while I wouldn't ever take multiple shots on GG, I would take poison, it got me thinking. Given that darkshards come with multiple shots for 12 points, is there still a place for them in eternity king lists?

In the same way that black guard are particularly scary when buffed with power of darkness due to their multiple attacks, do darkshards not benefit in similar amounts from buffs such as flaming sword of rhuin and enchanted blades of aiban? If you're taking a loremaster of hoeth, then I can see these guys being quite useful in some army lists, as the ability to buff them into a scarily efficient unit provides some nice tactical options and it's certain that a great deal of enemies won't expect darkshards to suddenly start mowing down their tougher units.

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Mon Jan 05, 2015 12:57 pm
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Malekith's Best Friend
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Hm........ I don't know the Wood Elves well enough to make comparisons. Whoops. But, if I had the profiles, I could probably make a small tool to compare the two units with several buffs.

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Mon Jan 05, 2015 2:08 pm
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I've put together an elf legions list, used my warlock bus but switched for sisters and swapped RxB for GG. I think the Guard are better, fewer shots but I put on trueflight arrows and with the extended range, they become brilliant at clearing away chaff, which is what I tried to use the RxB for


Mon Jan 05, 2015 3:11 pm
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GG

5|4|4|3|3|1|5|1|8 11ppm

+3ppm HB Poison
+3 TF No to hit modifiers
+4 MF Flaming, +1wound Order
+4 SF Flaming, +1wound Destruction
+4 SS MS(2)
+5 Ar -3 AS

************

I like Glade Guard for their range and reliability, which is what you want in a backfield unit.

Our Rxb are more durable, slightly better in combat, and get MS(2) for cheaper (albeit at a lesser range) ...so there is an argument for both, or taking Rxb over GG when points are tight.

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Mon Jan 05, 2015 4:02 pm
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I'd say for guarding bolthrowers and body guarding Magic users, I'd go for darkshards.
But for tackling monsters, chaff sweeping and general avoidance glade guard.


Mon Jan 05, 2015 5:12 pm
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The problem is their range. When they advance their effectiveness is equal to that of a goblin, and once their in range, most things are in combat, or the are shot to bits.

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Tue Jan 13, 2015 9:25 am
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Killerk wrote:
The problem is their range. When they advance their effectiveness is equal to that of a goblin, and once their in range, most things are in combat, or the are shot to bits.


This. So much this. I convince myself, after I field every last dark rider model I have, to fill that last bit of core with darkshards. Every time. And they are a huge letdown. Every time. There are cases where I take a block of 20, and because I have to move them about to get in range of stuff, I frequently see them unleash a volley on a unit of 5 fast cav flak threatening my bolt throwers - and they cant even manage to flatten them, and I lose the bolt thrower as a result. I generally avoid darkshards now, simply because of this. Dark riders with crossbows, shades, and RBTs are my only sources of shooting nowadays.

Given the option to form an EK list, and the models required to do so, I'd take poisoned glade guards all the time. Their range allows them to deploy, not move, and still threaten most of the field. Their poison allows them to move, shoot and autowound on the 6's and not really care. They are the best war machine huntsmen there is, period, given that they come out of core and can circumvent that nasty T7. Finally, due to armor piercing, I'd say they pretty much rivals darkshards in efficiency simply due to the greater range and poison shots.

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Tue Jan 13, 2015 11:12 am
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@ KillerK, Thraundil

Don't get me wrong, I'd choose GG over DS as well, for the reasons you have mentioned.

(Though my DS do perform slightly better than goblins :P )

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Tue Jan 13, 2015 12:11 pm
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RxBs are good for holding the weak side of a refused flank strategy. A unit of 10-14 or so, with musician, can mow down enemy fast troops and win out in melee over any stragglers that make their way through. They can slowly retreat and keep firing (thanks to musicians, who provide a lot more flexibility here). And when they finally do get pinned down by heavier cavalry or infantry, they didn't cost a lot of points to start with. Good deal.

I can't really compare them to glade guard, as my knowledge of them is limited, but I suspect that glade guard are better at shooting but worse at melee and cost more. That makes them better overall, but I think for the refused flank strategy the melee potential and lower cost of the RxBs may make them the better choice. Maybe.

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Tue Jan 13, 2015 5:07 pm
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the problem is that shades warlocks and DR are much better at holding a refused flank. If my enemy had some RXBs on a flank I would not send my light cav after then, just a mm or two or a flying monster. their limited range and lack of speed in a game that missile range and movement distances is so messed up, make them suboptimal. Yes you can finde a use fir then, but usually a better effect can be obtained through other means.

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Thu Jan 15, 2015 8:35 am
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To be frank, tying such a mobile unit down to a fixed location on a refused flank is a huge waste of their capability. Better to use them to SCREEN the refused flank than to hold it. Which still leaves the question of what to put to HOLD the refused flank... and a block of 20 RXBs with shields and full command do the job quite nicely.


Fri Jan 16, 2015 4:36 am
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In an Elven Host, Darkshards have a great equaliser - Hand of Glory. Trueshot and Hagbane Glade Guard don't really benefit much from this spell (Trueshot is a guaranteed 3+ to hit, Hagbane is still effective even if it's only hitting on 6s), but Swiftshiver Glade Guard are in much the same position as Darkshards (albeit 3 points more expensive per model for 6" greater range).

Hand of Glory casts on 5+, and it buffs BS by 1-3 points, making it semi-reliable even on a 1d6 casting even for a level 2 wizard. High Magic is worth taking anyway for its lore attribute, regardless of the user. If you have End Times magic rules in play, you're guaranteed access to this spell and can spam it on the Darkshards relatively easily. If you're house-ruling magic with this list, there are far more threatening spells to bring to bear which should suck out the dispel dice, although you'll need more than just a level 2 caster.

With one cast, the Darkshards or Swiftshiver Glade Guard can be at BS 7. BS 7 will hit on 3+ even if shooting at long range after moving and firing multiple shots, or firing multiple shots at long range against a charging enemy.

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Fri Jan 16, 2015 6:48 am
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Red... wrote:
RxBs are good for holding the weak side of a refused flank strategy.


I have had some success with them in this way as well. I also like them on a flank, where a single march move brings them in position to be a threat for 2 turns. Then they usually have to move again.
The move and shoot rarely offers enough movement for the shooting to do wonders, but they are still a thorn in the side of a fair few armies... and to chase after them is handing over a lot of control on the board.

But I only play at a very casual level :P

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Fri Jan 16, 2015 8:28 am
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Well a small unit hit by a MM will render it ineffective, while a large unit drains a lot of points, making it counter productive.
A unit of shades and DR are just more effective, as the units are mcuh more flexible, and can quickly be repositioned, or evade danger.

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Mon Jan 19, 2015 6:44 am
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That's the fun thing about Dark Elves, Killerk. Units you have problems using become someone else's bread-and-butter unit. Different units reward different playstyles, that's all.

We've been blessed with TWO uncommonly well-balanced (internally, anyway) books in a row. The units are all useful in their given roles. If you have trouble working with a given role, no doubt you'll struggle with units that work in that role. And that's perfectly fine.

MM render most small units ineffective. That's just as true of shades and dark riders as it is of darkshards. In fact, it could be worse for shades and dark riders, because they're more expensive models and tend to be seen in significantly smaller units than darkshards. That doesn't mean that for their role - darkshards do static fire support and backup melee block; shades do scouting, flanking, warmachine hunting, and maneuver shenanigans; dark riders do light cavalry screen, shooting, and even more maneuver shennaigans - they do not do their job.

Asking darkshards to act as scouts or light cavalry, yes, they're going to fail. That's not what they do. They deliver more shots per point than either of your other options, though, and can pull out the sword-&-board to go toe-to-toe with most other race's core troops and WIN.


Wed Jan 21, 2015 12:54 am
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Vulcan its not a matter of using a unit, I have played games with 80 rxbs, just because I could. But there are more effective ways to spend points. We talk about a refused flank, and in my opinion rxb's are not the best choice. the lack of speed and limited range compared to high point cost make the unit sub-optimal. And with the changes to the current meta, make the unit useless a lot of the time, as they lack the ability to deal with current threats.

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Wed Jan 21, 2015 7:16 am
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Ah... am I misunderstanding your version of refused flank?

As I understand it, 'refused flank' is when you ignore one side of the board, put a solid block to hold in the center, and faster moving units on the other side to pivot around them, wipe the enemy's flank guard, and hit his main blocks in the flank.

For that battle, a solid block of RXBs ability to reach out and touch someone makes up for their smaller unit size. And as a pivot, they don't NEED to be fast...


Wed Jan 28, 2015 12:05 am
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A cheap flame banner unit is another good pro for Dark Shards.

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Wed Jan 28, 2015 1:47 pm
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@Vulcan and KillerK

I think either dark riders or RxBs can be used for a refused flank, and indeed I have used both before. Dark Riders do it by moving forward, then slowly backwards, thus kind of getting in the way while never getting caught. RxBs do it by standing on the flank, sending out volley after volley of crossbow bolts, before allowing the depleted enemy to hit them in melee and get bogged down (hopefully). The major disadvantage, for me, with dark riders is that they can be quickly destroyed as a relevant force by a stray magic missile or regular missile attack. RxBs have more bodies and typically are based further away when doing a refused flank, so have less risk of getting hurt that way. In recent years, both gained in this regard: dark riders can now have 4+ saves, which increases their durability hugely, while RxBs have a lot more flexibility when it comes to dealing with pesky enemy fast cavalry by reform and shoot with a musician (assuming they past their leadership test).

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Wed Jan 28, 2015 5:34 pm
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