The Dark Tide

In the final post of this series, i’ll take a look at the final competitor in Group A, Luke C and his Dark Elves. Luke has been using Dark Elves for a number of years and I know often attends the Hockley tournament with Dan so will be a tough player to beat.

I actually played Luke for the first time recently with both of us using our respective competition lists (write up here), so we both have an idea already about the other one. His use of chaff was an eye opener and i’ll have to be careful not to make the same mistakes again.

The entry restrictions were changed between us playing and the final submission and so the below list, although similar, contains a few changes.

Characters

Dread Lord (General) – Lt armour, Shield, Sea Dragon Cloak, Ogre Blade, Talisman of Endurance, Cold One – 246pts

His general is well protected with a 1+, 5++ save. The Ogre blade boosts his Str to 6, covering the only shortfall in his stats. His attacks will be flaming if in the cold one Knights, so maybe I can use that against him.

Supreme Sorceress – Power Scroll, Talisman of Preservation, Dark Steed, Lore of Life – 320pts

Life is generally a defensive Lore and helps shore up the elves natural frailties. The exception is dwellers. That spell is based on a Str test so I have a better than average chance of resisting it, especially with the banner boosting the Str of my Gor. One thing I must do is dispel Throne of Vines when he casts it. That for me is a priority as it will reduce the effectiveness of everything else and mean he can suffer miscasts. Like Alistair, he has taken a power scroll which halves the cost of a spell cast when used. This could allow him to push through Dwellers when Im not expecting it!

She is also likely to be bunkered in one of the riders units which will mean that is unlikely to have chaff duty.

Death Hag – Rune of Khaine, Cauldron of Blood, Obsidian Blade – 390pts

The rune gives the hag +D3 attacks each turn. This is on top of her 3 standard (+1 for frenzy) ASF, armour ignoring (due to her weapon) attacks. The cauldron then gives her and the unit a 5++ save (or 4++ vs magic missiles). The cauldron bound spell gives the unit an additional attack, so the hag could have between 4-8 and the witch elves up to 4. Generally all kinds of filth.

Master – Lance, Heavy armour, Shield, Sea Dragon Cloak, Cloak of Twilight, Dark Pegasus – 188pts

Im going to call this his trouble shooter/assassin. With a 1+ save and boosted toughness (4) and wounds (3) due to the mount, he is quite defensive. The lance and cloak give him a good alpha strike at Str 6, ASF, killing blow and D3 wounds in the first round of combat. The mount adds to this, as also gets +1 Str on the charge. If I could get a charge off onto him with the Doombull it would help as he would only be Str 4 so I’d still get a 2+ save, killing blow wouldn’t work on the model and he wouldn’t get rerolls due to my i10. The D3 wounds are still a worry though, especially if he charges me as my save then becomes 4+.

Core

5 Dark Riders – Musician, Standard, Lt armour, shield, Spear, repeater xbow – 120pts

5 Dark Riders – Musician, Standard, Lt armour, shield, Spear, repeater xbow – 120pts

5 Dark Riders – Musician, Standard, Lt armour, shield, Spear, repeater xbow – 120pts

Luke has already shown me that he uses these guys to great effect and completely blocked me from moving/charging on my first turn. I’ll have to learn from that error. He is also partial to putting them in a conga line (as do many others). Something I refuse to do out of principle as I dislike doing things I feel are too ‘gamey’. It’s why you will never see slayer darts in my lists. If it could give me a bit of a handicap, so be it. This time the units are actually armed with crossbows.

27 Witch Elves – AHW, Full Command, Razor Standard – 372pts

With between 2-4 ASF poisoned, initiative 6 attacks, these ladies could mince through my units. The saving grace is their strength 3 requires a 5+ to wound, however poison, augmented with the rerolls to hit, could help bypass this entirely. On top of that they can reroll 1’s to wound. This is one of the reasons the unit combined with cauldron is so feared in combat.

They can be frenzy baited but with the bsb in the unit, it reduces the likelyhood.

The razor standard isn’t a biggie as almost nothing in my list has armour (which is why poison is such a pain as it negates my one defence – toughness).

At the other end of the scale, they are standard, T3 squishy elves and aren’t the only ones with rerolls to hit. The cauldron does give them a 5++ ward so they aren’t entirely defenceless but like my troops offence remains their best defence.

Special

Cold One Knights – Full Command, Lance, Heavy armour, Shield, Cold One, Banner of Eternal Flame – 310pts

These are some of my favourite GW sculpts. And bar a few early 90’s Marauder models are the only Dark elves I own. They suffer from all the flaws of elves and Cavalry in general, relying on the initial charge to damage and armour saves to survive the grind afterwards. The cold one mounts help with this but could also hinder due to stupidity (though with the general in the unit this is highly unlikely). My Doombull does rock a 2++ ward vs fire based attacks so could cause all sorts of issues for this unit. However, my Ungor Raiders held up the unit for almost 3 turns last game, so there are a number of options for dealing with them.

Har Ganeth Executioners – Full Command, Great Weapon, Heavy Armour – 306pts

With T3 and a 5+ save, they will fall over to a stiff breeze. However as with most dark elves, they are all about the offence, as shown in my last report. The great weapons will prevent their rerolls, but S6 will ensure they wound on a 2+ in most cases and high initiative will see them striking first. The killing blow skill will make almost no difference to me as I have very few multi-wound non monstrous models and no armour.

IMG_3440

Evaluation

Not much has changed since we last fought. The big changes are the Doomfire Warlocks are gone, due to the wizard level restrictions. In their place comes the Master on Dark Peg’. Smart deployment to prevent his previous game dark rider shenanigans will be key, together with knowing what I need to do to win the scenarios.

Scenarios

1. Eliminate

His bounty tokens will be placed on: Witch Elves, Executioners and the Cold One Knights. My will be on my Gor, Bestigor and a Chariot.

So if I were Luke, what would I do? As normal, the chariot is my weak link.  The Dark Peg could easily take it down but then a unit or 2 of harassing Dark riders also stand a high chance of doing so through massed shooting and there isn’t a huge amount I can do about that. Perhaps place the chariot in the opposite corner to my troops with the flank guarded by screening Ungor (the other flank by a table edge). Make it so shooting is through hard cover or else they risk a chariot charge. Again vs the Peg, the Ungor would form a screen and at least the peg would be out of the way for a turn. I could also start my doombull there if necessary but he could have better uses (it would depend on other deployment). I could also use the chariot as bait…

His witches will be gunning for any of my units in the knowledge that they should beat them in a straight fight. I’ll just have to use chaff to block them so if they charge they will overrun to an unfavourable location (trying to get a flank of course).

His Knights will be wanting to avoid the Bestigors at all costs as their numbers and weapons will give them the edge.

His executioners would take a heavy toll on either of my units but my numbers should see me through in a ‘fair’ fight.

From my side I want the Bestigor in his Knights and Gor into the executioners whilst holding up the witches.

This game will ultimately come down to chaff. Who can use it the most effectively.

It is also a game where I will want the Bestigors in bus not horde formation (though perhaps 6-7 wide).

2. Dawn Attack

The table is divided into quarters. 1pt given for each of yours, 2pts each for your opponents side. You need to have the most fortitude in a quadrant to capture it.

This is an issue for me as he has a shed load more fortitude. He has 6 separate units with fortitude and can add the bsb and general to increase the units fortitude (to a max of 9).

His General will likely be in the Knights (for a fort’ of 3, but he could move to a under strength rider unit to boost it). The BSB will go in the witches to give that a fort’ of 2.

3 of the units with standards are Dark riders, making it essential that I kill at least 1 model off them as it will drop them under scoring strength (and hope there is no regrowth). This is essential as their mobility will allow them to steal quadrants. If I can target the one that perhaps bunkers his Mage it would be an added bonus.

The most I can manage is one block with fort’ of 2 and one with a fort’ of 3. So this will be an uphill struggle.

3. Invade

This is played lengthways and you need to get more fort’ into your opponents half. This will likely end up as a battleline fight. Although taking my units in horde would effective block a chunk of the table, due to his sheer damage output and higher initiative, bus formation will likely be better for me (at least with the Bestigor – though it will be 6-7 wide).

The Doombull may have to play backfield to catch any darkriders that slip through.

4. Secure

You get one point per piece of terrain you hold (it’s double if in the opponents side). Again I’m at a disadvantage as unless I move my General or BSB into each Ungor Raiders unit (highly unlikely but you never know as it could turn a defeat into a victory or at least a draw), the most I can capture is two bits of terrain vs his 6 and so will definitely need to advance to capture terrain on his half whilst destroying any  fortitude units I encounter on route (are you noticing a trend here?). I’ll have to almost treat this as a battleline game but make sure I’m in scenery at the end. Thinking about it, the general in Ungor is looking more attractive, despite the drawbacks.

5. Loot

3 tokens placed, one in the middle and the other 2 on the central line, at least 12″ apart. The player who holds the most wins. In this case, I am considering grouping them on one side of the table rather than have them spread out as this might actually favour me, especially with his fast moving units. The question is, will he charge forward with the fast cav to capture them and then retreat trying to slip them through the gaps of the blocks moving up behind them.

This is a tricky one as I do want his blocks to have the tokens to reduce their mobility rather than the riders. The good news is they only need to lose 1 model to lose fortitude and thus the token.

6. Wicked woods

Holding the woods is key and moving into it early is essential. You have to hold it for at least 7 player turns (of 12) to ensure a win. The key will be to move as much chaff forward as possible to obstruct his blocks at every turn to maximise the turns a unit is in it. Everything not in the woods becomes sacrificial, whether chaff, doombull or Bestigor.

Last time we played he got the jump on me, so if we play this again, I need to ensure that I get the upper hand, maybe by placing the harpies centrally so their 20″ march can block any unit he wants to move into the woods.

 

My First game of the competition will be against Luke next Friday (29th)

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