Since i can't afford to bump my Dark Elf army to 1500 for a few months, and with a big tournament coming up in March, the following two months will be very intensive in fantasy. This week, while i'm painting my Cold One and wondering how i'll manage to paint everything in time, I'll talk to you about my Dark Elf list, which i think is about as strong as its possible to make.
Note that this is not a friendly list, you'd probably wouldn't make too many friends with that list, but compared to some other race's abuse, it's not all that bad.
For my lord choice, there's no doubt ; an unkillable General and a mage lvl4 is required. Even when i play my Ogre Kingdoms army, i build my list that way too.
Supreme Sorceress lvl4 with Sacrificial Dagger, Talisman of Preservation and Ironcurse Icon. She also knows Lore of Shadow
I think Shadow is about the best lore to work with Dark Elf. Sure, when you do not get Mindrazor or Pit of Shades, you do not get that many offensive spell, but even the signature is great. With Sacrificial Dagger, i never cast with more than 3 dice, using the rules that on average, you roll 3.5 per dice.
For example ; Enfeebling Foe (13+ with extended range).
13 - 4 (your mage lvl) = 9.
9 requires 3 dice to be sure to cast it.
Once casted, if the requirement is met and no 6 are rolled, i murder one of my kin to add a dice.
that way, i pretty much always get 2-3 spells off per round, and i miscast very rarely.
Dreadlord on Cold One with Whip of Agony, Pendant of Khaeleth, Crown of Command, Heavy Armor and Shield.
Solid defense, and always hits with S5, which really helps when you get into round 2 of combat, and the rest of the unit is down to S4. Sure i lose a strenght on the charge compared to a lance, but i rarely win combat in one round.
Some could argue that Crown of Command is overkill, but when you consider he'll be sitting in a 302 pts units, you want to be able to keep them on the table, no matter how sucky you rolled on the charge or if you got charged.
I am never 100% sure about my Heroes combo. It works, but never really feels like it does the best it can in a game.
Sorceress lvl2 with Tome of Furion and Lifetaker. She knows Lore of Death.
I used lore of Dark for 5-6 games, but never really managed to do much. Problem with Death, is that many spells are imho useless ;
Spirit Leech : its too much of a gamble, but since its so hard to manage to do a wound with it, most people let that spells go through.
Aspect of the DreadKnight : Fear? Terror? With so many unit immune to those, and with the new strenght of BSB, causing fear or terror is pretty much useless nowadays.
And some other have such short range, you cannot count on them unless you got a very mobile caster.
Death Hag with Cauldron of Blood and Standard Bearer.
With the rule of charging a warmachine, and the 4+ wardsaves it gets, killing it is a challenge, but still just an initiative test from dissapearing.
A mixt of shooting and mobility. I do not consider my core the best thing in my list ; can't kill, and easily killed.
20 Crossbowmen with Shields, Musician and Standard Bearer.
My Sorceress lvl2 bunker. Shield are not really required, but i like having the option to throw them into close combat and hope for a chance to survive an extra round or two.
32 Warrior with Musician, Standard Bearer and Lordling.
My Power Dice bunker. They pretty much never see combat, but are always down to 10-15 by turn 6. The fact that i kill at least 2-3 of them a turn force me to keep them cheap, and numerous.
2x5 Dark Riders with Musician.
Most people do not field them anymore, or use them with Crossbow. I personally think they are more of a distraction than anything. They pretty much never kill their pts, but they will always force my opponent to modify his strategy to face their possible combined charge.
Another unit that never kill its points, but when played correctly, can screw up just about any plan. Master for redirecting big mean units that i couldnt kill otherwise, they are another unit playing mindgame with my opponents.
One of the only place i'm not 100% sold on yet is my special choice. Cold One Knights is a no brainer, but i'm thinking more and more about dropping the unit of Witch Elfs for something else, maybe some Shades.
14 Witch Elves with Musician, Standard Bearer and Banner of Murder.
28 poisoned attack with rerolls on first round is devastating, especially with the Banner of Murder. They can make short work of just about any monster, but they die in drove. Unless they combo charge something, they will rarely survive 2 rounds of combat.
8 Cold One Knights with Musician, Standard Bearer and Standard of Hag Graef.
You immediately see the sinergy with my unkillable Dreadlord. The banner is not to get ASF (even if its a nice bonus), but its also to get rerolls on following rounds of combat, which is usually required when you go down to S4.
Is there really any other choice? Some people said my list would be friendlier if i had just 1 hydra. If i did that, i'd have 2 unit of Cold One Knights, not sure its such a nice tradeoff. Lucky for them, i only own 10 CoK, so i cannot commit to such a change.
When you consider my list, those two and my Cold One Knights are really the only units i have that are both anvil and hammer. The rest is usually just a weak anvil (warrior and crossbowman), or a glass hammer (Witch Elves).
So here is my list. So far I am 8W-0D-0L with it (well, ok, some change were made, but most stayed the same).