Tuesday, 8 October 2013

Raiders of Naggaroth

I was going to write about the Lizardmen list I am taking to the upcoming Tribute tournament in Cardiff.. but endless Lizardmen lists get quite dull, and somewhat repetitive - hint, it has over 100 skinks, a Slann, four chaps on Cold Ones and a very old dinosaur...

So instead I thought about Dark Elves (this seems to be a common theme out there at the moment).  

My favourite thing about Dark Elves are not the naked bloodthirsty crazy women (both because I am now over 14 and because they remind me too much of some people I used to know), or the giant monsters (as cool as they are they just… lack something). My preference does not even lie towards the extremely good elite troops they bring to bear – and Executioners are *really* good. What I like is the idea of pure, unrelenting and devastating speed – the deadly elusive raiding force.

If I were to take Dark Elves (and am thinking of doing them as a painting project) I would like to think that I would try and recreate this notion of amorphous dread that is a byword for the sons of Nagarythe in literature (be it in the Sundering Series, the hunt for the Everqueen or even the Malus Darkblade novels (when he has the run ins with the Shades) or elsewhere).

Now, the traditional stars of such stories are the Assassins, but I think the table top does not marry well with this – they are, after all just infantry, moving about with about the same speed as everyone else and with a limited threat range.

No, what I want to recreate is a full on raiding party – something that descends upon an isolated garrison, butchers all before them, loads up on slaves, sets fire to the place, then gets out. As such I want no heavy combat troops, and nothing conventionally deployed with a movement potential of less 18. Importantly, I also want nothing without a complete freedom of movement – be it by being fast cavalry, skirmishers or fliers.

Now, the specific details of this raiding party is of course open to fine tuning, but for now we have:

As with any raiding force it could struggle against a fully castled up army, but that is to be expected, and is somewhat fitting. That being said, it does have the mobility to bring a significant amount of force to bear on a narrow frontage at a key time (some famous general or other pretty much said that was the key to victory, so this is probably a Good Thing).

In most games the general idea is to force the opponent to turn to try and deal with the multiple threats, breaking up their advance and enveloping their army. Other fast armies or their elements can be problematic (looking at you for a change Mr Daemon Prince) but between magic and the Dreadlord you can threaten them too.

The 1+ armour save fast cavalry Heroes have incredible potential, and a great flexibility, be it operating separately or within the relative safety of one of the cavalry units. Expect to see some of these on a table near you.

At the very least, it will be fun to use – though perhaps not to face!

As ever, let me know your thoughts.

If you want a more general in depth look at Dark Elves you should give KiwiHammer and The Dwellers Below a listen (you can find them over ---> somewhere).

Until next time



  1. dark elves are the new lizards mate the shooty avoidance army (albeit i reckon your one combat peg character short) will be just as antihammer as the lizards were and on current tournie lists still are being played. :( ie magic missile flee/get out of arc rinse and repeat and get some easy points with a couple of peg hereos i think its a solid solid book, reminds me of the old woodies very much!

  2. Looking at the list I wonder if you'll struggle vs armies who don't put their chaff out and have a line of blocks to push on you. I'm immediately thinking DoC here, the S3 shooting doesn't overly worry them and they can usually go wide enough to push on you whilst keeping their flanks safe with units of flies/screamers etc.

    If this style of DE list does become popular I think the DOC reaction is to add a couple of units of screamers which means they can keep you out of 20" because the threat of screamers over the unit and then cannon through the hero is an easy way to pick up some points cheaply.

    To counter that I'd look at dropping one of your masters and adding a lvl 1 on a horse with fire magic. 2d6 fireball at 36" will allow you to pick on any fliers/cav which are otherwise keeping you at a distance and prevent you from bringing the masters combat ability as a threat. The doombolt on warlocks obviously does this better but lacks the range so forces you to commit them forwards which may not be desirable in certain circumstances.

    I think the list lacks the ability to smash people hard consistently so don't think it will become a tourney standard but will be good in the right hands.

    1. I agree it is a hard one to get the bigger wins with, definitely.
      I think its not *too* bad against block DoC armies the stuff that is not nurgle dies relatively easily to shooting and the stuff that is doesnt like the likes of Purple Sun - though the likes of Beasts would of course cause it issues.

      I wouldn't expect this to be close to a tournament standard list - think that list will include RBTs and Executioners for a start. As far as this list goes, there is a strong argument to be made for dropping one of the Masters and adding kit to the others - perhaps putting one or more on a pegasus.

      There are units you will have to avoid - this list is not geared up to take on big White Lion blocks for instance - though perhaps the Dreadlord could hold them for a while. Against most other things (especially in the current meta) though if you keep enough of the characters alive to pull it off you should be able to isolate one unit and devastate it.

      Think it would be very hard to use as I intend it, and much easier to use as a pure denial army.

    2. As you've then gone on to point out in your next post, the denial hammer part of it is dull as sin. I looked at it first off and saw that, then as I pondered the list I saw the option to have multiple masters charging out of different units from all angles to multi charge an opponent and smash them. Basically it's using characters like chariots but with far greater movement and a few ablative wounds before you can target them. That's when the lists started to sound a bit more fun to me.

      Death is the obvious go to for the list, which is why I'd probably avoid running it, you might want to consider heavens for a bit more fun. The mobilty of the list fits well with the idea of dropping comets in the middle of anyone looking to box up against you to prevent you from sweeping behind and that also guarantees plenty of chain lightning bounce opportunities. Add in the iceshard or reroll 1's (Fluffed armour vs what should be easy kills)/6s (prevent them being KB'd) to ensure that the masters aren't taking too bad a beating in combat and it synergises nicely across multiple phases. Windblast continues to be an uninspiring spell on the whole but everything else will have it's use. But not the nice additions that death offers to take out the deathstar units you note will be more of a challenge to get points out of.

      Or maybe beasts for some silly savage beasts on a unit full of masters if you chose to throw them all in together (unlikely to happen often really)!

      Anyway I can see the fun in the list but suspect it could be made even more so by moving away from trying to be top end competitive with it and accepting you'll not win big without a couple of big monsters in there ;-)