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Here's the problem, I 've been playing WE for a couple of months now and prefer them over beastmen. I used to play HE (haven't tried my hand at the new book yet) and have dabbled in Empire, Dwarves, Chaos Dwarves, and DoW. I've played several types of lists and am still working on a combination that I like.
I play aggressively. I don't mind a couple of shooting/supporting units that hang back, but usually even my glade guard move the first couple of turns to get into str4 range and then back pedal. I am looking for suggestions as to how to make the army better or more effective, but before you start posting - let me lay down a few ground rules. I will not use Warhawk riders. I will not use Eternal Guard. I'm not opposed to Wardancers, but you've got to give me a way to keep them alive or make them better than how I've run them in my last 7-8 games. In those last games my wardancers have performed dismally. They lose nearly every combat (except I beat a dwarf cannon crew by 2 once) I usually run them 7-8 large with musician, sometimes a champion. The last 4 games I've had a Wardancer noble with Moonstone of Hidden Ways. They've all performed horribly in combat. I'll hit with with about 1/3-1/2 my attacks and maybe get 1-2 kills out of a frontage of 7 no matter which dance I use. Then they may hold a turn or so and then get run over when they become outnumbered/die/etc.
Here's the list I'm probably going to try this week
alter lord, lt armor, shld, grt wpn, Helm of the Hunt, HoDA, Stone of Crystal Mere
spellsinger lvl2 scroll, either another scroll or powerstone
spellsinger lvl2 scroll, befuddlement of mischiefs
Branchwraith lvl1, cluster of radiants, annoyance of netlings
Glade Guard x10 Musician
Glade Guard x10 Musician
Glade Riders x5 Musician
Wild Riders x6 Musician Warbanner
This list has 4 shooting units, 3 casters(7PD and 2bound), decent magic defense (6DD and 2scrolls), and some heavy hitters. You may wonder why I take the treekin so large. They seem to be the one unit that always performs average for me. I can count on them not to turn tail and run after 1 turn of combat, even if they whiff on rolling. I've thought about running 2 units of them, because they are so good and at least somewhat dependable.
Last week I played dwarves and won. I lost a spellweaver, spellsinger and wardancer noble and wardancers by turn 2. Then i got into range and destroyed every warmachine crew and finally pushed his Warrior and Longbeard units off the table. Then I just moved back out of range of his Hammerers and Lord and peppered them with str4 bowfire til below 1/2 strength. I play pretty well. I can't roll to save my life, but still win half my games, but something doesn't feel right about the previous lists. So I'm still searching.
You seem to be rather unlucky with the wardancers but there is a problem with your list (for me anyways).
Too many points spent on characters.
Unless your married to those characters I would consider a cull.
Downgrading the Lord to a hero and getting rid of at least one of the spellcasters will give you more points to play with.
Also, if you want to be agressive I would drop the waywatchers and include more Wildriders, Wardancers/Dryads and an Eagle.
The power of the Wood Elves is not in the characters. For this list I would recomend.
Spelsinger Level 1 with 2 dispel
Branchwraith with the trimmings
Should save you a couple of hundred point.
Hope that helps.
Mirage Arcana Podcast
The "A Smart Player Will..." theory is a complete paradox. If we make an assumption that everything we do is outsmarted, then theoretically we can never win.
Well, I agree that the characters are expensive, but I would like to keep them just for a game or so, to see if they can be effective. To be honest (and I should have mentioned this) there are 3-4 magic heavy armies that I seem to consistently play against (HE, Empire, Beastmen, TK, Ogres) and 5 dispel dice and 2 scrolls doesn't cut it. The problem I've had with the Wardancers is that without the moonstone of hiddenways, they get bogged down trying to get across the board to the enemy and end up getting into combats I don't want them in due to their movement being slower than heavy cav, or a giant or what have you. At least with this set up, I have a bit of a magic phase (not much, but a bit) and better defense. I'll admit, that the alter noble is probably overcosted for what I want to do with him ~ I may change him out for the noble equivalent. The waywatchers might get dropped as well for more wild riders/treekin if I can squeeze them in.
Man, I wish someone else would respond.
I played a nasty Dark Elf list last night - - - and won!
His list was this
3x Dark Pegasus Nobles with 1-2+save and nasty weapons
1 scroll caddy
4x Dark Riders w/ xbows
6x cold ones with banner of auto rally
15x Mengil's Manflayers (these guys are ridiculous, which is why I normally don't play this guy)
My list looked like this
Alter Lord Helm ot Hunt, lt armor, shld, grt wpn, HoDA, Stone of Crystal Mere
Spellsinger lvl1 2x scrolls
Branchwraith lvl 1 Cluster of Radiants and annoyance of Netlings
5 GRiders x2 musician
8 Dryads x2
3 Treekin x2
6 Wriders musician Warbanner
He got the first turn and killed both units of Glade Guard (only 3 left and panicked) immediately. Then he surrounded my waywatchers who hadn't revealed themselves yet.
On my turn, I rallied the 3 GG, moved everything forward, and into trees as much as I could. The waywatchers popped out the back of their forest and killed a unit of darkriders down to 1. I killed 4 mengils with HoDA.
Second turn he destroyed all of my Wild Riders except 1 and put a wound or 2 on the treekin heading for Mengil's skirmishers. Pegasus riders went back into hiding. I saved 2 bolts at my treeman.
On my turn I moved the remaining wild rider and alter lord up out of mengils charge range and into position to charge the nest of bolt throwers on the hill. Everything got closer to the enemy, I killed the remaining dark rider and my waywatchers killed 1 darkrider.
Turn 3 he charged the flank of my other treekin and was out of range by 1/4 inch. He charged the waywatchers int he trees and I fled. He also charged his fast cav into my remaining wild rider which overran into my alter lord. This is where I began to win. Next turn I charged front/back of mengils, his cold ones with my treeman and his darkriders with my fast cav. Cold ones fled off the board, my fast cav caught his, setting up a charge on the hill of boltthrowers next turn. Mengil killed 1 treekin on stand and shoot and another in combat, but the rear charge of the other treekin and a couple of wounds sent him packing due to outnumber and fear. His pegaus nobles were in position to charge my treekin's rear, but I shot the pegasus out from under 1 of them with the remaining 3 GG. My alter lord was making short work of his fast cav in the trees and eveyone else moved closer to the bolt thrower hill.
His turn 4 he knocked my treeman down to half wounds and killed my lone treekin. I finished up his fastcav and he called the game because on my turn, I would have charged his bolt throwers which were all clumped up and then my alter lord and remaining treekin had a bead on his pegasus nobles which were under the bolt thrower hill. Fun game, he made some mistakes but rolled really well, I rolled average instead of horrible and played like a king.
I'm not sure, but aren't Reapeater Bolt Throwers rare for Dark Elves? If they are, I think his list is illegal, because I'm pretty sure RBTs are a two for one Rare choice, and the Manflayers would also be a Rare choice. If he's got three RBTs, that makes one rare too many for a 2K pts game.
Ok I will respond to the list. First off, it looks fine but I would make a couple of suggestions.
1. I prefer treekin units to be 4 wide. Makes them a little more unwieldy, but that will max out attacks vs 5 wide ranked units. The 3 extra attacks can make all the difference for combat res.
2. WW I like at minimum of 5 as it appears you are using them as I do for march blocking early. I never really count on them for doing much damage against most armies.
3. I don't think the alter needs to be a highborn, a noble would probably do just as well. I know alot of people like the stone of the crystal mere, but I just can't bring myself to take an item that odds say will be worthless 1 out of every three games. If you want to keep him alive, as a highborn, I would give him oaken armour.
Those are my comments.
@Mobius - Mengils counts as Special in any Dark Elf army. They are, in my opinion, a little too good. Everyone has good stats, shoots twice, has heavy armor and great weapons. They get a free hero, everyone they break or destroy in combat gives them 100pts. Even if it's something stupid like a great eagle. They are nigh impossible to hit with ranged weapons and scout. Just one of those silly units GW came up with years ago.
@ sirkently - thanks for posting
1. I agree with you on the 4 wide is better on the treekin, but they get expensive 4 wide and to compensate, I run 6 of them, just in 2 units and use 1 to flank while the other takes the front, or I use them to hit the front, and then have my fast cav hit the flanks.
2. I'm still not used to these guys, Either they run around and tie up a unit the whole game, by scouting close, marchblocking early and peppering them with meaningless str 3 bowfire, or like last night, the opponent thinks that somehow they are going to slaughter their expensive knights so they devote much more attention to them than needed. I'd like to think that they might be able to take out a warmachine, but I think that's wishful thinking.
3. You're probably right. With the Highborn, I have a chance of surviving better I think. You see, I have this problem, that if I charge in my Alter Highborn, I will miss with 4/6 hits and roll at least a 1 to wound, so I'll really only have done 1 wound, 2 if I'm lucky. With leadership 10, I've got a chance to at least hold up and try again next turn. I wanted the HoDA since I was going with only 3 characters instead of 4 and buying the Highborn is a little bit cheaper than getting 2 nobles. I was going to get the Oaken armor, but it's 20 pts more and I couldn't take the Helm of the Hunt with it. If I can squeeze a few more points out, what I might do, is just run 2 Alter nobles. 1 with Briarsheath and HoDA, the other with stone of crystal mere and helm of the hunt or something.