Where to put the sorceress

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Bobba Looba
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Where to put the sorceress

Post by Bobba Looba »

I have been playing a couple of games now and am getting to know the ways the Dark Elves play.
However, one thing I can't really get my grip on, is where to put the sorceress. When reading the forum, the general consensus is to put her in a bunker of infantry or with Dark Riders. I have tried those, but found that each of those come with disadvantages and I am wondering how others deal with those to keep her save.

When in a bunker of dreadspears, the sorceress is vulnerable, as the unit will probably see some battle. Otherwise it's all points wasted for a unit that doesn't.

When in a bunker of darkshards she's vulnerable because those units generally aren't too big and stay behind. It then becomes an attractive target for magic and missiles (and resulting panic from +25% losses) or for (lone) characters who'll then issue a challenge. When the sorceress refuses the challenge, she cannot cast spells. A champion might delay this for a turn, but they'll get there eventually. I can have a supporting unit, but then I'll have spent my points on two units just to protect the sorceress.

When in a unit of Dark Riders, she's vulnerable too, as the unit will attract a lot of fire and since it is small, there is a big chance it will suffer heavy losses. Also, Dark Riders are useful as troops who'll flee from a charge to redirect enemy units. However, when the sorceress flees with the unit, she can't cast spells.

I'll assume that there is no full proof answer to the question, but I was wondering how others deal with this. Are there specific builds to give her some safety? Do you field two sorceresses? Do you use an assassin? What is your preference/ tactic?

Thanks in advance
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Red...
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Re: Where to put the sorceress

Post by Red... »

I usually ran one level 4 in a bunker of warriors (spears or swords) with an offensive magic item of some kind. Then I had a level 1 with a dispel scroll in with my RxBs. That way, the level 4 had the bulk of the warriors to keep her safe, but was also able to get into a part of the battlefield where she could cast offensively and make an impact. If she got killed, then I had the level 1 with scroll as a backup so that my magic defense was not completely eliminated.

To some extent, wherever you place the level 4, she is going to be at risk. But if you put her in with the RxBs, then she is going to either struggle to be relevant (being so far back as to be meaningless) or be at significant risk (RxBs caught in battle or even missile fire to not last long). The warriors are the best choice because their large size does keep her relatively safe from missile fire and combat attrition damage. It's important to note that the warriors should be used in this case in an anvil role rather than a hammer one.

Some folks put her on a dark Pegasus with magic items that help to boost her survivability. That's a fair choice too as it lets her fly around the board to keep out of danger and gives her the ability to set herself up to cast offensively, although I tend to prefer the warrior block (my master goes on the Pegasus).
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Red...
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Re: Where to put the sorceress

Post by Red... »

One other option, while I think of it, is to put your level 4 in a unit of warriors that already has five characters: e.g. a unit with a full command, a battle-standard bearer or general, and a level 1 sorceress with a scroll. That bumps the level 4 back into the second row (assuming you run the unit 5 wide), keeping her safe from sniping and combat allocated attacks, while still enabling her to have line of sight to her targets. It does make the unit a bit of a points-sync though.
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Bobba Looba
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Re: Where to put the sorceress

Post by Bobba Looba »

Thanks a lot. I see how a unit of dreadspears could be the better option, but that puts her at the front of the battle. Anvils usually get quite some beating, as it is used to face some of the opponent's meaner hammer units. Usually your own hammer will strike the turn after, but that means the sorceress is vulnerable that turn, as she is normally in the front row and the opponent will strike as many hits at her as possible to try and take her down. So the follow up question would be, do you give her a defensive magic item? If so, which one?

Another question regarding sorceresses is which level(s) to take. I usually play smaller battles (1000-2000) points and usually hesitate between a level 2 or 3, depending on the points I spend on a BSB and/ or a pegasus master. At how many points would you take a level 3 or 4?
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Re: Where to put the sorceress

Post by Red... »

The various talismans are possibilities, but they also put the price up, so you protect her better but the risk you run on her becomes higher. If pressed, I would take the Talisman of Endurance (5+ ward save for 30 points), but mostly I just ran her naked if she is in a horde anvil unit and make sure to accept any challenges with your unit champion. If she really is getting regularly chewed up in combat, then try the dark pegasus rig and see how it works for you.

In honesty, the best answer to what level is that it depends on your meta. If you are running up against opponents regularly with level 4 mages, then you need a level 4 magic user to match. If you are running up against level 1 or 2s, then you can get by with taking the same.

That said, a very general rule of thumb is 1 level per 500 points, so at 1000 points you would want a level 2, at 2000 points you would want a level 4 or two level 2s, and at 3000 points you would want a level 4 and a level 2. You can sometimes scrimp higher or lower by a level or so (e.g. taking a level 4 and a level 1 at 3000 points).
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