Monday, July 19, 2010

Dark Elves in 8th, part 2: Heroes

Continuing with my Dark Elf thoughts, let's look at the Heroes available to a Dark Elf army, and see if they are going to be useful in 8th. Although we have 625 points to work with, we don't want to spend all our hero points, since we'll need to stock up on rank and file.

Malus Darkblade, Scion of Hag Graef: 275 points for a 3 attack close combat model isn't going to cut it. You'll need attacks to break through the extra infantry you're likely to see, and he really can't do it, even with his special rules. Really has no place in 8th.

Shadowblade, Master of Assassins: Well, a special character that might have a role. With the changes to guess weaponry (i.e. getting rid of it) having an easy way to drop war machines will be handy. Shadowblade can do it, for half your hero points. I'm not sure whether he'll be worth it, since he's only killing one per turn, but if your opponent happens to line them up, he'll wipe them out. Shades + Rending Star assassins probably do the role better, however. They are also cheaper, and more versatile. That means he's not making the cut.

Lokhir Fellheart, Captain of the Tower of Blessed Dread: Not terrible, but for 100+ points more than a regular master for the same stats and only a few special rules to offset the difference, I'm not terribly sure he's worth it. The Merciless Slaver rule really could cause him to make up the difference in points VERY quickly, and Daring Leap can help extend Lokhir's survivability (since he only has a 4+ save and regen) - send him to a corner of the unit to help reduce the number of attacks coming his way. The big key will be his ability to kill things. Extra attacks per opponent's ranks will be a help with a more infantry-centric game, but if it's just 2-3 extra attacks I'm not sure it'll make up the cost difference between him and another master. I'm going to try running him in a list from time to time to see how I like him before putting the final judgment on him. For now, I'm guessing he's out.

Sorceress: A Hero-level wizard may come in handy for support, since I think going fairly magic-strong is going to be the Dark Elf's key to success. 185 pts for a level 2 w/ a few magic items isn't too pricey, but before buying one, we really need to examine their role.

If you're going 'magic heavy', you're probably running two level 4s (even just one would give you enough offensive ability, however). They are likely to be casting the majority of your spells, as well as using up most of your Power Die. That means the regular Sorceress would really only be helpful for casting a supporting spell of some sort, since she'll have to do it with few dice (although with Power of Darkness, she may get some extra to cast some higher spells). Lore of Fire would be a good choice here, since the signature spell is able to be cast at three different levels to suit the amount of dice you have available. Lore of Death isn't a bad choice either. I don't know that I'd bother running her with any equipment in this case. Maybe a Dispel Scroll or the Seal of Ghrond.

If I wasn't going magic heavy (or if I didn't take a Lord level wizard), I could see running a pair of Sorceresses effectively. One with Sacrificial Dagger and the Pearl of Infinite Bleakness would get a moderate amount of magic off, and one with a Dispel Scroll and the Seal of Ghrond would provide defense. Without a level 4 you're really hoping to remove enemy casters early for either of these to be effective.

I think the best and most balanced bet (as in last edition) will be to run a level 4 and a level 2. I'd give the level 2 the Seal of Ghrond almost always (the extra dispel die is going to be vital), but I'm not sure what else. I will have to look at the magic items fully (in a later post).

Master: There are tons of options here, and you're going to likely be taking at least one. The Master's role is entirely item-dependent, so I'm going to wait until I get to items to cover him more completely (mainly because I need to think more about it). You will probably want a BSB, given its current rules; of course the setup (and whether he takes a magic banner) will take some thinking.

Death Hag: More specifically, the Cauldron of Blood. I don't see why you wouldn't take this thing. With all the infantry you will probably be fielding given the new rules, this can act as a huge enhancement. Killing Blow, +1 Attack, or a 5+ Ward Save are all useful abilities, and having some flexibility to switch between them, as well as combining them with various augments or hexes mean that Dark Elves can have fairly potent infantry. I wouldn't bother putting Gifts on the Death Hag, since I really only view her as being useful in the Cauldron. Putting her with a unit seems to be too risky since she doesn't have a save without spending 30 points, and she's far safer and more useful with the Cauldron. I'll be keeping the CoB in mind when I start examining the infantry units we can take as well.

Again, not much useful information here I'm sure (since so much of heroes is dependent on their equipment), but I promise we'll come back and look at ways to kit these guys out usefully.

Next will actually be Core choices. Spells and Equipment are only really handy once we know what the rest of our army will be (and knowing what it can't handle). Will have it posted as soon as I can.

No comments:

Post a Comment