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So I've been thinking a lot about my expansion to 2250 points lately, and one of the questions that occurs to me is where to put my repeater x-bows. I'm looking to have between 10 and 20 in my army, giving me a respectable 20-40 shots. Here's the options as I see them.
Pros: allow me to shoot what I want due to mobility, almost always hitting on 5's (moving and 2 shots), 5+ armor save, can flee and shoot in the same turn, almost always at short range, can march and shoot.
Cons: Fewer guys, die rather quickly, want to be in CC some of the time. Can't remove rank bonuses in CC.
Pros: get more shots and guys for the same price as 1 unit of dark riders, less likely to move, ability to flank and remove rank bonuses in CC, better armor in CC.
Cons: likely to be at long range most of the game, can't march and shoot.
Basically I can get the same shooting with 1 unit of warriors, or 2 units of dark riders. I'm gonna have the dark riders anyway, so I might as well give them all bows? But would it be worth having the warriors and dark riders all with x-bows, or just dark riders, or warriors and 1 unit of dark riders w/ x-bows and 1 without?
What do people think?
Fast cavalry still negate ranks, if US 5+, so you can cross that off your dark rider con-list. To me, being a VC player, they seem like great flankers, as light cavalry goes, so I would definately use them for that. I am starting up dark elves myself, and would go for the warriors and 2 dark rider units, 1 with rxb's, 1 without. That seems very flexible to me, but maybe some more experienced DE generals can enlighten us further?
I guess it depends on the style of army/tactics you want to use. Generally in more attacking lists I cant see a place for more than 1 unit of Crossbow warriros, and even they are only there as somewhere to put a magic-defense sorceress. They tend to get left behind & your friendly units either block line of sight or charge things so you cant shoot at them. I think dark riders are they way to go in this type of army.
In a more defensive & less mobile (stand & shoot) army, then taking 2 units of crossbow warriors is totally fine & probably a little more efficient than Dark riders, since you get the extra shots & numbers, when you dont need the mobility.
I dont see Crossbow warriros as a flanking option as you said they are.. And yes Dark riders can negate ranks if you dont lose more than 2 of them. (Remember they are unit strength 2 each).
In any case, dont neglect those lovely bolt throwers for either of these 2 units
Dark Elves - Game #28 vs High Elves: Draw
W L D
21 5 5
Well, I've used DE for a while (with mixed results!) and I usually take a couple
of units of 10 warriors with rxbs. They are very handy for hiding sorceresses in
but if you put them near each other (to maximise missile fire on 1 uit to get a morale check) you can end up with a large section of your line held by 2 weak units.
Dark Riders "can flee and shoot in the same turn"? Huh? Are you sure? They can move and shoot, but if they flee as a charge response, all they can do in the next turn is (probably) rally and then move. And my DRs aren't great at rallying, despite the musician I always give them!
I do like DRs though, I try to take 2 units of 5, depending on the size of the game. I always give them rxbs, 5 shots @s3 rarely gets a wound, but 10 seems to get 1 or 2 each time they fire, and this can add up over time. They are vulnerable to return fire though.
Hope this helps,
The feigned flight rule for fast cavalry (page 70 in the rulebook) allows them to move and even fire their crossbows in the turn they rallied. They do count as having moved in that turn, whether they did or not, but getting to shoot in the same turn is a bonus even with the extra penalty for moving.
There's a pretty key rules change to keep in mind that very much affects fast cav. If you charge into a combat with US5 or more, you break ranks for that turn even if your whole unit is killed. You won't gain the flank-charge bonus, but as long as you had US5 when you hit, their ranks are gone for the turn. They won't regain them until the next combat phase. So if you have 3 DRs left and are worried about using them as a flanker for fear of losing a model, take the charge anyway. That 1 casualty will not outweigh the -3 you put on his static CR.
I'm very fond of crossbows on warriors. They put out a ton of fire, and for their cost are surprisingly resilient. Give them shields and a musician, and plop them in 2 ranks on the crest of a hill. Any light enemies that usually harass missile troops will be hard pressed to beat them in combat. 20 stand/shoot hits, then a 4+ armor save in combat, a rank, possible outnumber, and high ground. Many light cav units that normally excel at taking out missile troops will struggle. Unless I know I'm facing an army consisting entirely of heavy armor, (brets for instance), I will take 10 or 20 crossbow warriors.
As far as dark riders go, I usually give about half of my DR squads crossbows. It's common that on turn 1 they'll run up within 12 inches of an enemy unit, pepper it, and then fall back from a charge turn 2. Nice and maneuverable, and not all too expensive.
My absolute favorite place to have crossbows though is on shades. If only these guys were a core choice!! I absolutely love shades. Set up a forest 6-8 inches outside the deployment lines. Plop units of shades in there. First turn you hop up and start blasting at light armored or missile troops. By turn 2 you don't have to move, and so can be peppering enemy units on 4's turn after turn. The cover/skirmisher penalties make it so that enemy missile troops have a very hard time fighting back.
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are you sure about the fast cav being able to fire on the turn they rally? It certainly wasn't the case in 6th edition (believe me, I've gone through those rules many, many times!) and I don't remember things changing much in 7th edition. I can't find aything allowing shooting on that page, only a line that allows them to move on the turn they rally. If I'm wrong I'll be very happy. I love fast cav!
Nah you're not crazy, yet. They can shoot when they rally.
Dark Elves - Game #28 vs High Elves: Draw
W L D
21 5 5
Honestly I would try to do both because now you have 2 blocks of 10 crossbowmen firing at units while dark riders pepper the units with crossbow fire. It can be devastating to low toughness or low armour save armies. A few weeks ago my dark riders with shooting ate like three units of dwarves with crossbow volleys. I rolled well and he didn't pass amour saves. Thats not to say it will always happen but the more hits you score the more wounds you make the more likely your opponent will fail an amour save.
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