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So im playing some dark elves on monday and im not really sure what to expect, ive looked at the codex but i dont have sense of what the normal DE army is composed of and what is uber deadly or tricky.
The guy im against i think has a pretty diverse army with the ability to field any of the units in the army book
generally i run a steam tank, 3 units of state troops, some flagellands, and then 2-3 war machines random detachments and some small units of pistoliers or knights
against DE, always expect to see at least two repeater bolt throwers across the table as well as at least one unit of ten repeater x-bows, on a hill if there is one. Remember that the DE x-bows only have range 24, so your empire x-bows can shoot with impunity.
beyond that, DE magic is more useful against rank and file than against multi-wound models, so bringing in a scroll caddy might not be a bad idea, or a couple of warrior priests.
There really is not much in the army that can hurt your steam tank apart from the bolt throwers and the odd monster he might bring, so full steam ahead.
I generally see executioners in the enemy army as S5 killing blow is really good. Expect a block of spearmen just to bolster numbers.
Beyond that its up to the player. Generally some shades might pop up, or saurus cav or chariots (deadly but stupid)
good things against them are mortars/hellstorm rockets (large templates+ low T and saves= good)maybe a cannon if you want to go BT hunting or monster hunting.
Hellblasters are always fun, as are big blocks of greatswords.
Hope it helps
Oi! Get off me beard!
DarkElves are similar to HighElves. They are S3 T3 Sv5 pretty much across the board. Shooting of any kind ravages them- infact, you can wound most of them with Longbows.
In CC though, they are monsters. Keep them at arm's length, or lose your fingers. This is hard because they are VERY fast.
Keep your detachments as handgunners, so you can stand/shoot them, and Free Co. can't go wrong against them (2 s3 atks isn't bad). For parents, leave the swords at home and go with pikes or spears. Spears will hurt them especially, and likely still get a save against them, plus maximize damaging attacks. When deploying, keep it tight, don't offer him many opportunities to flank you.
I would get a scroll caddy- their magic is stong and downright mean to troops like the empire's.
When deciding on what artillery you want, look for weapons that are good against their low toughness. Mortars, Hellstorms, and the Helblaster take Dark Elves apart. Cannons aren't as good, but this guy does have the option of fielding Wyverns, Hydras, and a Dragon. These are uncommon additions though, and enough rifle-fire can bring down the Hydra atleast.
You should do fine against this opponent, shooty-empire is something that the Dark Elves don't want to see.
two things, should i be expecting TONS of magic and maybe forgoe some better cc characters for priests and wizards for their dispelling or will one scroll caddy and maybe a warrior priest be enough?
How do you think a captain on a pegasus would fare? ive been itching to use one but haven't seen the chance, might help with the bolthrowers and crossbowmen, but id also be afraid that hed just be turned into a pincushion by the crossbowmen or fast calvary
Also what about pistoliers? normally they are a great help but against fast elves with multiple shots and thier own crossbows.... should i just save those points for a mortar or some more knights?
also how scary are cold one knights?
I've played about four games in the last month against Dark Elves, so here's what comes to my mind.
They have decent shooting, but it won't do much unless he focuses on it for unit selection. 10 crossbowmen is normal. A unit of dark riders is normal. And definitely 2+ rbt's is normal.
Magic just depends on the player. They can certainly whip up a nasty magic phase. That +1 to casting attempts is a nice rule, for them but not so much for us. I'd take decent magic defense, two magic users with a couple of scrolls.
But their highborns can be nasty, but for a lot of points. He could take the executioner's axe against your steam tank. It's a great weapon that modifies his strength to twice the target's toughness. That could cripple a steam tank quickly.
Low, low toughness. I play WEs and T3 is a big deal. Shooting will mow through them.
They're movement 5, 1 better than your foot sloggers. Cold Ones, I've never been bothered by them too much. T3 knights are easy enough to wound, especially with your artillery.
As you describe you're list, I think you're in good shape to deal with Dark Elves.
I agree with most of the comments. Any non-cannon artillery is good vs DE. Crossbows are also great, and oddly I have had success with Huntsmen. If you can position them so they march-block for a turn, you get an extra round of shooting, and you protect your units as the DE player has to deal with them to get them out of the way. This soaks up magic and shooting that would normally being hitting more important Empire units.