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Hello Dark Elf players!
After having perused the Dark Elf army book time and time again, I finally came to the conclusion that I am going to start a Dark Elf Army. I aesthetically love the models, and I also love the models from a gaming perspective. I have one last question regarding the Dark Elf Army before I go knee deep in buying awesome Dark Elf models. Now I know that any army can be tailored to be “cheesy”, and any army can have that certain “build”, or “builds” that can be considered to be way over-the-top and insanely powerful. On to my question, are the Dark Elves overpowered in 8th edition? To clarify, I want an army that is going to be tactically challenging to win with, as opposed to an army that is forgiving. “Overpowered” in this context, just means an army that is relatively easy to win with, or is considered by the majority of Fantasy players to be in the top tier power level. At the end of the battle I want to feel like I have earned my victory. Will the Dark Elf army past this final test for me of being a tactically challenging army to play with, or should I be looking at other armies for such endeavors? Thanks everyone that has responded to this post! I appreciate it on this side of the gaming table!
Dark Elves have a few items that can be considered to be "cheese": pendant of khaeleth, hydra's low point cost, manbane/rending star assassin. But a lot of armies have items or rules with the same complaints. It all depends on what you bring to the table. Nobody likes playing against a double or triple hydra list, just the same as no one enjoys playing against high elf dragon spam or a bunch of empire steam tanks.
In that regard though, dark elves have a lot of powerful, skilled units and are tactically enjoyable to use. Shade scouts and dark rider fast cav are awesome, basic crossbowmen shoot twice per turn which provides the ability for mass (and accurate) missile fire, and they have access to loads of destructive magic lores. Combined with a cauldron of blood (in my opinion one of the most enjoyable units to use in the book) to auto-buff units, they have access to a realm of tactical options.
Furthermore, the fragile nature of the elves (toughness 3 on everything), in addition to low armour saves (except knights and characters), ensures that a dark elf force cannot be used as a "point and click" type of army. Your units will not last in a protracted combat which causes you to pick and choose your battles, in addition to prioritizing targets to ensure your units will arrive in combat still in fighting shape.
To sum up, they're awesome. They look cool, fun to paint, and great to use on the tabletop.
Fear not! Druchii are capable but fragile; the current emphasis on attrition tactics means there is no auto-win for us.
"My tanks have names, my men have numbers." -Col. Edmund Grahvess, 23rd Kronecker Prison Guard
Yup, as Intrepid and bkde have clearly explained, elves (and I do mean ALL elves) are not known for their toughness. Believe me when I, a fairly dedicated WoC player, says that a rifle and cannon barrage army can turn just about any opposing force into soil and soot, but even these armies can be out-manuvered, which is the Dark Elf specialty! Even the army book tells you that your best bet is to keep enemy units locked in place so you can pull in devastating charges from Dark Riders or Cold One Knights. However, if locked in single battle with a unit of, say, Chaos Warriors, a unit of Elf Warriors or Corsairs probably won't be recognised after the slaughter.
Dark Elves are a tactical army, even by Warhammer standards. Make a wrong move and you could pay by seeing one of your units getting mowed down by enemy knights or monsters. Make the right move, however, not only do you literally pulverise whatever poor creature you have your gaze upon, but you also certainly feel that you earned that victory.
Hope I didn't appear to ramble on here, and I hope you do enjoy playing as Dark Elves
Overpowered? Only if you compare it to the previous Army Book, where they were considered underpowered. Even then that didn't stop me playing with them.
I've had people complain about my Executioners Axe Dreadlord with his retinue of Black Guard with the Standard of Hag Graef attached (I8 with that weapon) when it kills their game-winning monster or General on a monstrous mount. Fair enough, but theres a simple solution to avoid that....don't accept the challenge in the first place. It's their fault for underestimating a T3 Lord choice. So then out come the "power gamer" and "tournament player" accusations, so then I show up with my fun Cult of Khaine army (Executioners, Hellebron, Assassins, Shadowblade and a lot of Witch Elves) and just have fun.
Dark Elves are not in anyway overpowered. They have their strengths, but they also have their weakness, the most obvious being T3. There isn't an overpowered army in Warhammer, because they can all be beaten.