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