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Hello there. I'm a newish player to Warhammer and just started Dark Elves. It looks like some of my likely opponents in the not-so-distant-future will be using what I call "rock Hard" armies such as Orgres, Chaos, and Dwarves. I noticed with Chaos in particular that their basic warrior has a better WS than me and hard-to-crack T4. Add to that decent armor saves all around and I'm beginning to see that those units won't likely break in the first round of combat (which, if my impressions are correct, is what DE must generally do to win). How does one deal with such armies (Chaos in particular)?
Executioners, CoKs, bolt throwers, magic... etc
Tossing your own elites against armies with a high proportion of "dead 'ard" core, is a recipe for disaster. This means that you're leaving your squishiest units to fight their absolute toughest units... not good.
Your best bet is to make a run for Static Combat Resolution. Take banners, the war banner, BSBs, musicians, ranks, etc. to make sure that you aren't relying on kills alone.
Then, add to your bonus. Use flank charges to negate their ranks, and use shooting and magic to whittle them down on the way in. If you have good CC characters, put them in units and challenge out unit champions. This can easily break the back of most units if you take out a champion with a lord or hero (overkill points). Grabbing onto every little advantage that you can will be a big thing.
Remember, the new DE are one of the most powerful and well-rounded armies out there at the moment. Most "hard" armies focus on one or two aspects and disregard the third. Know your enemy, and break his back by loading up in that third weak phase.
In general, as well, those 'rock hard' armies are usually low in number and much slower than you are.
Fewer blocks means it's easier to hit flanks, faster means it's easier to back-charge.
WHFB: Dwarfs || WH40k: Imperial Fists, Necrons || WM/H: Trollbloods || BFG: Necrons
dwarves are not worth putting in that list imo. They are about the easiest army to beat besides maybe beasts of chaos.
The new chaos (nov or dec?) will be tough, no doubt, and that will take superior movement and generalmanship which requires practice and patience.
Orges are fast, but that's about it. We have the best fast cav in the game, good cav to be faster and great units. We also have superior magic and shooting, so in theory, we should be able to jumble them up, shoot them and then if we're smart minimize their damage and beat them with our ranks and numbers.
I'm not taking exception to that just because I play Dwarfs. However easy to beat they may be, due in large part to their movement rating, they are certainly 'rock hard' by anyone's standard.
However, I'm interested in knowing how you beat Dwarfs so easily. My most frequent opponent plays Dark Elves and our games are usually quite close.
WHFB: Dwarfs || WH40k: Imperial Fists, Necrons || WM/H: Trollbloods || BFG: Necrons
Our elites will not stand up to Dwarfs, Ogres, and Chaos Warriors, so don't try. A DE army has to use its speed to pick its fights and engage the enemy on our terms. Static combat res from spear elves backed by flanking Execs, COK, a chariot, or even Dark Riders will tip the balance in your favor.
Last game against Dwarfs, I just ran ==My== units around, picking off a few with crossbows and the Reaper, stretching their line and breaking it one by one. His big nasty unit of Longbeards led by a Thane got charged by Execs to the front and Riders from the back. Normally suicide, so I cast Word of Pain on the unit and proceeded to slaughter them (KB on the Thane) and run them down.
Use your speed, your range, your magic, and all your nasty tricks to pick apart his army and smash it.
Check out ==My== blog: www.bnhblog.blogspot.com
I have had great success with dwarves. My secret: Don't fight them. Use dark riders to abuse the move-or-shoot rule many of their units have. Use terrain to minimize war machine casualties. Spend a lot of time in forests moving 2.5" Have a bolt thrower shooting contest. Try to win the game 1900 to 1800 instead of the usual Dark Elf 100 to 0. Use executioners against miners or great weapon scouts. (They strike first!) Take a Manticore. The Manticore will be useless if your opponent creates a flawless gunline... but if there is even one gap you will do serious damage. Just be sure it has a safe place to hide. A hydra using it's breath weapon on the flank of a gun line can be devastating. Black Guard MAY be an option since they don't take tests for shooting. I think that's about it.
Hmm, looks like Executioners aren't worthless after all...
I might take a unit of them at 2k pts (not enough room at 1500 I think...).
One thing I don't really grasp is the whole "flanking" thing. Yes, I know all about flank bonuses and such, but getting a charge off at an enemy's flank isn't exactly easy, especially when they are trying to do the same to you (or have units stacked next to each other across the board [Skaven]). Preparing for a flank has, in my limited expiriance, been difficult considering if you position your units to charge, and don't, they charge you next turn and more or less ruin your plan. Still, that's wandering a bit off-topic...
It surprises me that dwarves would be an easy opponent (I haven't played them, but from the games I've seen they are very effective when they just sit on a hill and shoot you to bits). More importantly, Chaos scares me. The new book coming out doesn't encourage me in the least - I fear a cheesed out army that makes Dark Elves an outclassed opponent once more. Wounding on 5s against T4 isn't fun at all, not to mention the hefty armor save.
Anyways, magic was also mentioned as a way to deal with these guys. I can undersand that pretty well, but what if magic isn't an option? I play a lot of smaller 1500 or 1k pt games and opt not to have a sorceress. At 2k pts, I plan to have one soceress probably just as a scroll caddy. Is this a big no-no, or a small sacrafice?
Thanks in advance.
An army is only as good as its general (the player, in this case). Saying "dwarfs are easy to beat" is foolish. You may have a regular opponent who plays dwarfs who you beat regularly, but that doesn't mean the race as a whole is easy to beat, that guy just is! ^_^You actually raise an excellent point. A lot of the advice on this board comes in the form of "flank this, flank that", but it's an unfortunate truth that your opponent is going to try to counter your flanking attempts. I suppose it would be the equivalent of asking for some advice on how to beat a particular chess player and someone saying "it's easy, just checkmate his king!" whilst this will work, it's not particularly helpful, since it's something your opponent isn't generally just going to let you do. In fact he's probably trying to do the same thingOne thing I don't really grasp is the whole "flanking" thing. Yes, I know all about flank bonuses and such, but getting a charge off at an enemy's flank isn't exactly easy, especially when they are trying to do the same to you (or have units stacked next to each other across the board [Skaven]). Preparing for a flank has, in my limited expiriance, been difficult considering if you position your units to charge, and don't, they charge you next turn and more or less ruin your plan. Still, that's wandering a bit off-topic...
Just remember that chaos can be beaten like everyone else. Sure his unit of chosen khornate warriors with additional hand weapons will mince any unit unfortunate enough to get in it's way. But it's a lot of points right there, and the frenzy offers some consolation in that he doesn't have full control over where it goes. To counter this? I would suggest harpies, you can take a unit of 5 for 55 pts and fly them right in front of his unit, remember he has to charge the nearest flyer as they're skirmishers, so take advantage of that rule. Add to this the fact he doesn't have any shooting and you won't have to worry about them being taken out too soon. He could magic them I guess but if he's casting magic on your harpies he's not casing magic on your better stuff! Besides they're core and cheap, so it's certainly a feasible idea to take more than one unit.
That's just one example, there are many. Don't be worried, you have more than enough tools to do the job! Good luck!