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Hi guys. I have played 40k for a little while now and wanted to get into Fantasy for a little change of pace and a totally different army look, and feel. After looking over all the armies I have definately settled on Dark Elves. Anyone have any suggestions on where to start with an army, or recommendations on any thing Fantasy? Thanks!
Decide what points level you are building towards, and your army theme. Do you want to be competitive? Or do you want a fun all comers list that your friends will still want to play against?
The battalion box isn't a bad start to buying the minis, but keep in mind that corsairs are pretty close to the worst thing in the book (some people still swear by them), and are probably the weakest core troop. Also not every list is going to want to make use of the cold one knights. It is still a great value starting out, and you will probably use the units often enough to justify it.
How I started my army was buying a battalion, and 2 boxes of warriors. This gives you enough warriors to make 2 units of 10 crossbows, and 2 units of 20 warriors with FC. It also gets you more than enough corsairs, if you run them go with 10-15 with just a banner (or no banner, they really don't need it if they charge with warriors), with extra hand weapons. The 5 knights at most need a banner. Its completely fine to run them with no command at all. If you go with 2 min units of corsairs, and use every model in the battalion and 2 warrior boxes, you should end up with between 800-900 points. A master (from a blister, either the cold one riding or the foot one will work) will get you to about 1k.
It won't have much killing power, but it gets you a large number of core and staple units you will get good use out of. Almost everything else you end up buying will be metal. Some units to look into as you expand are: dark riders, harpies, shades, black guard, hydras, and reaper bolt throwers. The other units are more appropriate for theme armies, or advanced or exotic strategies. Getting some mages as you get more comfortable with magic is suggested as well, but avoid sorceresses on cold ones. I bought a blister that had the wizard that was standing and mounted, and put mounted wizard on an elven steed that I had handy.
The best unit to add to have an immediate impact on the starter army I suggest is the hydra. For 175 points you have a unit that is all the hammer you need until you expend to the realm of 1500-2000.
Also be on the look out for conversion tips, it is possible to save quite a bit of money building this army if you convert some of the more expensive units from other army's plastic kits. Dark riders build from wood elves and chariots build from either TK or HE chariots come to mind.
Great thanks for the advice. Too bad about the Corsairs. Love the model and the offense but I can see where they fall a little short.
I will probably shoot for getting 1k-1500 painted then move on from there.
At lower point games I think you would have fun with dark magic as well. DE sorceresses can be absolutely devastating since they can generate lots of power dice and get high cast spells off reliably due to druchii sorcery. This makes it very hard for a lot of armies to defend well from the lack of dispel dice.
Magic is one thing that makes the game very different from 40k and I would highly recommend playing around with it.
A master and 2 sorceresses would be competitive and fun choices for your heroes