Starting Dark Elves, want to get into tournament scene need advice... - Warhammer 40K Fantasy

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  1. #1
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    May 2005
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    Starting Dark Elves, want to get into tournament scene need advice...

    Hi all, i'm getting ready to start a Dark Elf army and I want to plan out what I want to play/buy in increments; I figured I would start at 1000 and work my way up to 2000.

    Now I have to admit I played vampires and want to switch up things abit, and what I want in a dark elf army is a strong force that can really hammer my opponent. I say this not to be “That guy” and I don’t want anyone to think i'm a jerk or anything, but I have always made fun, and enjoyable lists to play and what I want to do is start getting into the frame of mind I need to be in for tournaments and being in the tournament scene so not only am I changing armies I will be changing my play style and way of thinking.

    So let me start by asking would it be best to start at 1000pt’s or just start at 1500pt?
    How do you guys feel Dark Elves fall when compare to other armies?
    What are Dark Elves strongest units?

    What I was thinking I would like to have in a list is:

    Lots of shades, they seem like a reliable unit and something that would give my opponents fits
    Definatly lots of magic
    I love the assassins so I would love to use some of them

    I don’t know much about the rest of the army but from what i've seen on table I think I would like to try these units:

    2x’s Crossbow men
    2x’s 5 Dark Riders
    A hydra or 2

    What do you guys think? I would really like some help and some imput, and once again I hope i'm not coming off looking like a jerk I just want a good STRONG army I can use, get to know and then enter tournaments and do well with.... so any advice especially from other tournament players and experienced DE players would be VERY VERY VERY welcome!!

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  3. #2
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    Mar 2008
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    Well here is a quick overview ignoring Special characters:


    Supreme sorceress: one of the most powerful wizards in the game, depending on how you build her she could end up rolling 11 dice just by herself.

    Dreadlord: several good configurations, most popular tourney seems to be an unkillable lord on dragon.



    Master: great all around character, can be built to suite any army. Best role is a general in a low points or Supreme sorceress list. Can also be a BSB, but usually not worth it unless you want to use a magic banner that can't normally go in a normal unit.

    Sorceress: powerful for a low level wizard, since they get PoD and can cast with any number of dice. The options for DE to give even low level wizards is pretty powerful as well.

    Deathhag: Only way to get a BSB in a khainite unit. Can get the amazing cauldron of blood.


    Warriors: cheap SCR. If you expect them do anything more prepare to be disappointed. That being said they are pretty effective for their points as long as they are supported. A good place to surprise someone with an assassin.

    RxB warriors: Cheapish shooting. High volume, but doesn't hit as often as other armies shooting. Armor piercing helps, but you really can't make a gun line around these. Use them to knock off ranks for combat units to clean up.

    Dark riders: Best run with RxB as fast cav. All around one of the best core units in the game with their high speed and long range. They can be run as medium cav, and sometimes that is the right thing to do, but usually the fast cav is better.

    Corsairs: One of those mediocre units. they cost too much to get SCR, and they don't really hit hard enough to use them just for kill generation. If you end up running them, they are best run as small units supporting another units charge.

    Harpies: your typical marchblocking or war machine hunting flying throw away bait unit. Pretty good choice, but since they don't count towards core, sometimes no room for them.


    Black guard: An anvil unit. One of the best rank and file units in the game, especially since they can take a banner that gives the ASF. 2 attacks at S4 can really carve up units, and since they are stubborn ItP, even if they lose they probably will stick around.

    Executioners: KB is nice until you realize you only get 1 attack with it, going last, at S6 (high strength doesn't need K You can get KB better with a cauldron giving a blessing on a higher volume unit. You can get S6 from cold ones charging. I would steer clear of these until you are very familiar with the list.

    Cold one knights: S4 mounts, S4 riders with lances (so S6 on the charge). Very powerful cheap flanking unit, but be careful with them. They are stupid, but with LD 9 they shouldn't fail too often. Because the possibility of failure IS there , don't spend to many points on upgrades.

    Cold one chariot: Pretty good price for a S5 T5 scythed chariot. Drawback is of course stupidity and the fact they can't ever take away ranks by flanking. I think they are really good, but you really need to take more than one to really make them dangerous.

    Witches: My personal pet unit. High volume of attacks, good chance of wounding, pairs wonderfully with cauldron of blood. Bad news is low Strength, no armor, and they can be baited because of the frenzy rule. I use them as a counter charge unit behind a unit that is meant to flee like corsairs with hand bows or RxB warriors.

    Shades: Great scouting unit. Primary used for their shooting potential, but they can get great weapons and do some damage in combat. Choosing your targets with a skirmish unit is key of course, they are pretty expensive per model, so they shouldn't be casually thrown away unless it serves a really good purpose.

    Hydra: One of the scariest monsters in the game. Powerful flame breath, high volume of powerful attacks, and it is pretty tough with its scaly skin and regen. At its points cost it is a real bargain

    RBT: ability to choose fire mode makes it a great war machine. the fact you get 2 per rare slot makes them an attractive choice. The downside is that a pair of them costs more than the hydra, and they compete for the same slot. Some lists need them, but the default remains the hydra

    there is too many build of assassin to really go into depth, but they are really good, better than most heroes, and they don't take up any roster slots. A bit pricey, sometimes they struggle to earn their keep in kills.

    I would say the best choices in each section are:

    Lords: Supreme sorceress with dagger or lord on dragon (list dependent)
    Hero: Death hag with cauldron. The cauldrons blessing are like magic that your opponent can't dispel
    Core: dark riders. Core fast cavalry? yes please
    Special: black guard. The closest thing to a point and click unit that DE have. They are costly, but very much worth their points.
    Rare: hydra, for its power level, its cost is a steal.

    As for what you should start out buying: A battalion box, 2 boxes of warriors, 3 boxes of black guard, 1 box of black guard command, 1 hydra, and characters as list required. It will be a mostly foot army, but this gives you the most bang for your dollars starting out. It will give you enough warriors to build 2 units of 10 crossbows, and 2 units of 20 warriors, 20 corsairs however you end up running them, a unit of cold ones, and all the black guard you probably will ever need. It comes out around 300 bucks. But that is before you get into the real expensive units. Dark riders are very expensive per model, and you will probably want at least 2 units of 5. Shades are great to add, but not before the dark riders. You probably want harpies, 2 units of 5 as well. You also probably want another hydra as well. A cauldron of blood is a great investment if you like the concept, and know how to use it. If you can figure out a conversion for harpies or dark riders, you can end up saving quite a bit of money.

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