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This is the start of a new series, that will hopefully bring new ideas and tactics to the forums. Each week, a new topic will be posted up about a different unit in the army book. This gives you your chance to discuss the unit to its fullest. So, please leave your comment!
This week's topic is Dark Elf Warriors.
Is the shield worth the point? What banner would you give them? Are they an effective cover for the assassin? Tactics?
if you can match them up against opponents favorable to you, sure they are a good buy. Granted, in most games you have better options (corsairs IMHO) but still they are worthy adversaries.
Spears, Shield (I like their shields :p) and Full Command (always do in all units that can have it)
I have two units of twenty Spearmen, two units of ten Crossbowmen. (Crossbowmen have EARNT their command :p they won combat because of their musician once! Don't ask how they got into combat o_o)
Now, as dumb as this sounds, I'm terrible at forgetting the Dark Elves greatest strength. I've not played many battles with them yet but in every. Single. One. I have forgotten hatred.
I have done brilliantly with my spearmen before now, they'll shiv up whatever I ask them to go for, from whatever angle, and won't whine about it! If the number of attacks isn't important as just getting some out, can put the spear down and get a pokey implement out for an extra armour bonus and still get a pretty good ride.
Imagine if I'd remembered I could reroll missed attacks!
My Generals' view is pretty much they are... inconsequential. She has her focus on much bigger things and simply utilises the warriors as a useful necessity - but not one that needs to survive. From that point of view they're marvelous
Fantasy: Wood Elves, Dark Elves, Beastmen and Tomb Kings.
LotR: Misty Mountains and Rohan
Now back to the main topic: Warriors fully ranked are a normal unit, so can't take out supirior units unless they have some sort of character in them. A master, assassin, or even dreadlord is enough to make them a supirior unit. Add the right item combo, and they can even become a great anvil unit: A master with the banner of Nagarythe in a unit of 20+ with warbanner and an assassin bodyguard will make an unbreakable unit that has 7-8 SCR and characters that are pretty sure to add kills to the resolution. A bit pricey for the charactesr, but having a second anvil to the black guard is worth paying for IMHO. Besides, who honestly expects elves to have a core unbreakable unit?
Another use of warriors is as a fodder unit. 60 point bait units are sometimes useful, or paying 60 points for 10 power dice for your dagger wizard is pretty economical.
The command in warriors is pretty cheap, so I always use full command unless I am trying to seriously shave points. If I give them a magic banner I give them the war banner, since SCR is what they win by, more is better.
I would never use Warriors without shields. The additional save far outweighs a few more attacks. Has anybody tried bringing a large Warrior block paired with a terror-causing Master? I want to try it myself but haven't got a game in lately.
"My tanks have names, my men have numbers." -Col. Edmund Grahvess, 23rd Kronecker Prison Guard
Skaven is one army that they are more useful against. Because skaven are low toughness bad armor guys, the volume of attacks corsairs put out is pretty worthwhile, while warriors get out SCRed by the skaven.
Corsairs aren't efficient. With their cost being 3 points higher per model than warriors, of course they are probably be better at killing. There is no problem with running them as 10-12 with Hbows or 2x HW, but when you get into the bigger units or ones with the banner of frenzy, they start to resemble bad and expensive versions of witches or warriors.
The warrior block is super effective at what it does. It is a big chunk of cheap combat resolution that creates an area denial effect against certain classes of enemy. They can also do a good job playing speed bump, dagger fodder, or even anvil or hammer if configured correctly.
I always include a unit of spearmen (always with shields) in my army lists. They are cheap and competent, and are especially good for protecting a sorceress with a sacrificial dagger. They are also very good for hiding an assassin in. I find that they can hold their own against most troops but they have to be taken in BIG blocks, at least 24, to ensure their effectiveness. They are great for holding the centre core of your army or as a shield for your war machines.
In short, a must-have for any DE army list. But they have to be in big blocks and ALWAYS with shields.
For me i tend to stick a unit of 15 out as a kind of filler between my better units, I'm a pretty MSU army so they are my biggest block. I iust kinda use them to help dictate field position since they are a unit that isn't that expensive but can't be ignored. Every now and then I'll throw in an assassin to add some bite to them. Usually just give them armor piercing banner to help score a few more kills but the warbanner isn't a bad idea to help with that CR, however I haven't really had a problem with these guys breaking on me so I'm pretty confident.
If i know i'm playing someone like orcs, then i'll take a 'speedbump' unit or two of 10 basic models to help the harpies draw out those fanatics at the best time for me.
I tend to foolishly just kinda see them as a throwaway but they have pulled through for me and definitely have a roll to play.