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STEAM Post subject: TACTICS! Posted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 8:57 pm

Dark Elf Spears Tactica

Let me start by saying why I want to write this article. I love infantry, in particular ranked
infantry. I think it looks great on the battlefield; I enjoy painting infantry and I think they are a
really strong tactical option which I have had a lot of success with. I see a lot of talk about the
decline in the use of rank infantry and it’s usefulness. I think this is unfortunate and will touch on
the issues faced and opportunities provided by the changed in the more recent books.

In this discussion I am going to focus on Dark Elf Warriors rather than any of the other units you
are likely to rank up mainly because they are much cheaper and have relatively low killing
Joined: Sun May 31, 2009
12:38 pm
power. Therefore you are likely to rank these units far more regularly than corsairs for example.
Posts: 2700 Also i’m going to spend a lot of attention on ideas that benefit from having multiple units rather
Reputation: 22
than a single unit although some of the tactics will be suitable for a single unit. In my time using
the Druchii I can’t think of a single game where I haven’t used at least one unit of 20 Dark Elf
Location: Estonia. Tallinn
Love: Wood Elves
Spears in a game of any size (500pts upwards) but I will be mainly considering things from a
Hate: Daemons of Chaos perspective of the usual tournament size games of 2000-2250 points.
Fear: Warriors of Chaos

Key points regarding our Spears Units

• They are cheap, very cheap, 6 points a model is an absolute steal for a movement 5 Ld 8 WS 4
model with a spear. Yes a strong breeze might blow them over but when you are paying so little
for a unit and they aren’t really any easier to take down than any of your more expensive units
who cares? With a cheap command group to boot a full unit of 20 with command comes to a
paltry 135pts (only 18 points more than the Dark Rider units that are very popular). I know that
people will be thinking what about the shields? I have no problem with shields but they are an
upgrade you don’t have to have them, they should be added when appropriate (models
permitting) depending on the role your spears are intended for.

• Cheap units can be throw away units. Not many people will expect a fully ranked unit to be
sacrificed but at 135pts it really isn’t much different from sacrificing a Dark Rider unit but you 27-03-2011
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have the added bonus of having a lot of static combat res that can cause problems if your
opponent tries to ignore the unit.

• Cheap units don’t have to carry the weight of responsibility that they used to. Ranked units
aren’t as good as they used to be but they are now cheaper to compensate. You used to be able
to get 2 units of 5 cheap heavy cav for the same cost as a ranked unit. So the ranked unit got
flanked. Now 5 cheap heavy cavalry are barely cheaper than a ranked unit so it is a one on one

• Spears are a decent weapon especially with hatred. Getting a couple of attacks back on a
character such as mages, Vampires, GW armed heroes a useful ability that shouldn’t be ignored.
Also with high initiative units like Ghouls and Daemons don’t like getting hit by 10 plus attacks
before they get to strike even if they are only S3.

• Hand Weapon Shield gives you a good chance to limit enemy’s damage if they have a lot of S3/4
attacks, this is better than the rest of our infantry in combat. In particular this is useful when
facing units with good armour saves where spears aren’t going to be useful (but see point above
for how useful they can be).

Versus each unit summary

Vs Other ranked units (i.e. 3 ranks, banner not 7x2 units)

Not an ideal match up but particularly with shields you should win most combats versus other
cheap ranked units spears will go through un-armoured troops easily but against better armoured
troops ideally you want to just stand off until another unit can support as the enemy isn’t likely
to engage. However, if the battle isn’t swinging your way you have a decent chance of breaking
another ranked unit if they are out of General/BSB range so it is worth the risk to free up some
troops. Where you have the advantage over your opponent through shooting and magic the ability
to force a stand off is helpful. If you need to push the game against Ranked units ideally you
would want to counter the opposition’s ranks with your own plus some killing power such as a
Chariot or a character. The weaknesses versus other ranked infantry are the flipside (where they
have support and you don’t), this means that they have been able to get more points into a point
of the battlefield than you have and you need to try and avoid this situation. Luckily you have a
10 inch charge range so you may be able to back up so that you can charge one unit and try and
break through rather than face both. Shields help with these combats but I wouldn’t recommend
adding Spear units into the list with the intention of taking on other ranked units.

Vs Elite Infantry
This is the match up which I think has made most people go off ranked units the quickest. Most
elite infantry these days will go through a fully ranked unit comfortably in a turn. This isn’t a one
on one match up you want to see. Luckily a 14 strong full command unit with magic banner costs
about the same as two units of spears without shields. The tactic here is to threaten the flank of
the elite unit with only 2 models able to fight the elite unit should be in trouble. This may
involve sacrificing a unit of spears but if you have a unit of spear left and take his unit and
banner you will be well ahead. If the elite unit doesn’t take the bait then they are stuck out off
the fight and unable to do more than hold off your units by turning to avoid one unit getting
round the flank in any event. This leaves them vulnerable to shooting and magic probably more
so than you as you have almost three times the models. This idea may seem a little difficult to
achieve in a flowing combat situation but the key points about bait and flanking remain. If the
elite unit is stubborn this tactic is less useful but in some situations it is worth it to hold a unit
up/prevent a BSB from moving elsewhere/making your opponent take the tests. The key is don’t
try and fight in the front (even if you are also in the flank) you are trying to minimise his attacks,
if you have a front and flank charge on only go in the flank.

Vs Fast Cavalry
This is not a match up that is really suitable for Spear units. The enemy will avoid you on the
whole and are quick enough to stay out of charge range. Shooting/magic/Dark Riders etc. are the 27-03-2011
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tools to deal with Fast Cavalry. Two key points are: don’t expose your flanks to these units and
blocking charges. Fast Cavalry excel at taking away rank bonus and you don’t have the hitting
power to be confident of seeing them off/they will hit with something else in the front. Using
them to block off charges on softer units (shooting units etc) they will try to get to (with a 10
inch move this should be do able a lot of the time) may give you that extra turn to shoot and
magic the unit.

Vs Small Regular Heavy Cavalry units

In this category I include units like Silver Helms, Empire Knights, Flesh Hounds, Fiends and Black
knights. These units are there to disrupt and overwhelm shooting units and outnumber more
expensive combat units due to being fairly cheap 5 models strong and lacking most command. A
couple of cheap unit of spears can be a great counter to these units by blocking their charge
options. None of these units are likely to win on the charge (even 5 flesh hounds lose on average)
and the second round of combat is usually heavily in the Spear unit’s favour. With a decent
charge range it can also be possible to take the fight to the enemy, often opponents
underestimate a how long a 10 inch charge is and can be caught out. The key with these units is
that you are cheap enough to compete 1 on 1 without disadvantaging the rest of the army. These
units can be quite a big pain to some of your other elements that you rely on to do more damage
Black Guard for example don’t want to face 1+ save empire knights which their S4 can’t hurt
easily. With so much effective shooting and magic in the Dark Elf army being able to hold off
these units can allow you to concentrate on more dangerous or vulnerable units rather than the
relatively hard to hurt but low value units.

As with fast cavalry avoiding exposing your flank is key against these units as they will roll you
over. Also if the enemy moves a character in then your spears are unlikely to be able to stand
without support. In particular at the better end of these units (Dragon Princes, Flesh Hounds
etc.) a little shooting or magic can swing combat quite quickly. Rather than having to wipe the
unit out killing one model can often give the Spear unit enough of an edge to feel confident in
holding without distracting much of your shooting resources.

Vs Elite Cavalry
Much like elite infantry the key is to threaten the flank and flank only. Alternatively with the
high movement of the cavalry units a low speed bait unit can be useful as it guarantees the elite
unit will be in a vulnerable position if it charges as it will move full speed. Also ranked units are
harder to shift with other combat units and shooting so it can be a way of holding up a much
more expensive unit with a relatively cheap unit.

Vs Chariots
Not really an ideal match up for either side, two chariots will be a big threat to the rank unit and
you want to avoid this where possible. One chariot vs a unit of spears is a very variable combat
either side could win comfortably. You could use a ranked unit to encourage a stand off as it
won’t be a fight the chariots wants to risk. However, where possible you would be better to line
up options where the chances are more in your favour.

Vs Characters
On their own most characters would not want to face a ranked unit whereas they might not mind
against cavalry or elite infantry. This opportunity may not come up very often but as elite
infantry becomes more frequently used the ‘torpedo’ style mounted heroes might become more
popular as a counter measure and having ranked units is a good counter to this.

Most of the time characters will be in units and this makes it likely they will go through spear
units relatively easily with the added kills. Therefore unless you have counter measures in place
spears should only look to engage units with characters in where the character will not be able to
fight (flank or rear). If you have your own character to counter the opposition’s character then
this may not be relevant.

Vs Monsters (flying and otherwise)

With Dragons etc. becoming more common in Warhammer ranked units can be a useful counter 27-03-2011
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measure. Most monsters rely on kills alone without access to static combat res most characters
will avoid ranked units as a slightly poor roll could leave them on very dicey leadership rolls
especially as they often fight away from their BSB re-roll range. This can help protect your bolt
throwers as parking a ranked unit in front of a bolt thrower allows the bolt thrower to shoot
whilst stopping the charge of the monster. Also ranked units can threaten with a counter charge
to reduce viable targets for enemy monsters. Two ways to really increase the threat of a ranked
unit to a flying monster is to either have a hard to kill character to challenge and reduce combat
res from kills or the 5+ ward from the cauldron.

Regular monsters such as vargulfs also tend to have to avoid ranked units unless they can go in
with other units so you can control quite a lot of area by having a ranked unit around these units.
Even Lizardmen players with stegadons don’t really fancy charging ranked units on the whole in
case they get stuck so careful use can limit the impact of other units. You might not want to take
a charge because they have gone wrong in the past but also your opponent may have bad
memories of charging ranked units a fluffing their rolls so be aware of that you can use ranked
units to deter opponents because it makes their moves more risky and players prefer ‘sure thing’
charges. Also be aware that when players are in need of points they are more likely to make
these charges so you may need to re-evaluate the risks of depending on your own position in the
game and your own risk appetite.

Vs Shooting
Spears are heavily spilt in their value against shooting. Being so cheap they are actually pretty
good defensively against shooting. However, offensively they struggle to put shooting under much
pressure. One reason I love to have at least one or two units of spears in my armies is that
against a heavy shooting army I can run a line of 20 in front of my lines taking all the heat from
shooting. Some people use 10 Corsairs for this role but they cost almost the same as 20 spears
and whilst corsairs get a better save it is much better to have twice as many models.

Offensively I often find spears really useful for holding Characters on Dark Steeds and then
unleashing these at shooting units as the Stand and Shoot hits the Spears rather than the
character and the Spears can happily move forwards 10 inches in the first turn to give charge for
the second turn and subsequently the spears will probably still be in a pretty good position to
fulfil some of the other roles above.

Whilst a lot of people won’t target spear units with much shooting it is worth being aware that
they are vulnerable from units trying to know off the odd rank to reduce effectiveness so it can
be worth adding a couple of extra models to a if you think your opponent might target them.
Against shooting I would say shields actually add very little value for Spear units as a large
amount of shooting these days has a -1 or -2 modifier which tends to leave you better spending
points on extra spears for the unit rather than shields.

Working with other units

As you have probably picked up by now Spears units aren’t exactly all-rounders able to fulfil any
role on the battlefield. In many respects they are closer to Dark Rider units or small units of Cold
One Knights in terms of you need to deploy them in specific ways to get the most of them.
However, they do cost about the same as these units so there is a good reason for their
limitations. As they aren’t all-rounders how you get synergy with other units in the army is
important so I going to discuss the combinations that really bring the benefit from Spear units.

Characters and ranked units are a classic combination the characters add kills and the unit adds
combat res. This still applies now although with the mounted character option it is now quite
possible to use spears as a launching pad for the characters to go after light targets as well. This
gives you the added tactical flexibility of having two three different types: Strong all round unit;
fast light unit hunter and cheap decent combat unit. Assassins also work really well at boosting
the combat abilities of the unit and can really scare off other enemy characters from charging
the unit. Throwing star assassins also go well with spear blocks as they are much harder to beat
than shades and can get closer than crossbow units usually want to get to the enemy. Sorceresses 27-03-2011
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kept safe in bunkers are also useful as the spears can get into range for spells more easily and if
targeted by fast units spears plus hatred will have good chance of getting at least half points off
the light unit before it flees and there is unlikely to be a second round of combat for the light
unit to have another attack at your wizard (disclaimer: avoid having your wizard charged if
possible). Also it is much harder to panic a unit of spears with shooting and magic than a unit of
crossbows. Adding a character with ranged attacks can be really helpful to the spears as well by
giving them options against more agile opponents who want to stand off.

The first point here is reducing the killing power of units. Kill a Flesh hound, couple of knights
etc and the spears become a much scarier prospect for your opponent. This is much more
efficient than trying to kill the whole unit if you can isolate the enemy unit from the rest of it’s
lines. Spears are also great when playing against a large targets as they can deter flying monsters
from charging your bolt throwers like no other cheap unit can without blocking line of sight as
they can stand right in front of it. Spears are also effective deployed on the flank of your
shooting units then used to threaten the flank of your enemies units so they have to slow their
advance towards your shooting allowing you to get more shots in if they chase after the ranked
unit or flank charge if not. Remember here that fleeing and being run down only gives away
135pts compared to 235pts if your unit is caught from combat.

Cavalry/Chariots etc.
Chariots and infantry hitting together are a well established fusion of killing and hitting power.
Also flank and front charges with cavalry is a classic manoeuvre. Chariots and infantry also work
really well at supporting each other. Units will not want to move into charge range of the
chariots in order to hit the spears and quicker units will not want to charge the spears so you can
use these to block charges. In addition spears can be used as bait against quick strong units that
you could like to charge with chariots or knights quite effectively.

In summary using spears opens up a range of options to the Druchii general and shouldn’t be
ignored. I will leave you with two lists which have both finished in the top 10 at the UK Grand
Tournaments (150 players, no comp restrictions/penalties at all) in the last two years used by
different generals and heavily feature spear units. Hopefully these will give you some context to
think about what has been written in this article. More details about both these armies cna be
found in the battle reports section.

Joe Sturge GT army 2008

Scions of Nagarythe : a 2000 point Dark Elf army

High Sorceress : Level 4, Sacrificial Dagger, Pearls of Infinite Bleakness, 2 Dispel Scrolls
Sorceress : Level 2, Tome of Furion, Lifetaker
Master : BSB, Sea Dragon Cloak, Heavy Armour, Shield, Crossbow Pistol, Soulrender, Pendant of

20 Spear Elves: Shields, Full Command

20 Spear Elves: Shields, Full Command
20 Spear Elves: Shields, Full Command
10 Crossbow Elves: Shields, Musician
5 Harpies

6 Cold One Knights: Standard, Musician, Banner of Cold Blood

Cold One Chariot
5 Shades: Great Weapons
5 Shades: Additional Hand Weapons

War Hydra

Paul Brown GT army 2009 27-03-2011
Warhammer Fantasy Battle Reporter Forum • View topic - TACTICS! Page 6 of 52

Supreme Sorceress: L4, Sacrificial Dagger, 2 Dispel Scrolls, Pearl of Infinite Darkness: 360pts
Master: BSB, Dark steed, Heavy Armour, Shield, SDC, Pendant of Khaleth, Sword of Might: 177pts
Assassin: Additional Hand Weapons, Rending Stars, Manbane: 151pts

21 Warriors: CSM, Shields, Banner of Murder: 187pts

21 Warriors: CSM, Shields, Banner of Cold Blood: 177pts
20 Warriors: CSM: 135pts
15 Warriors: C: 96pts
5 Dark Riders: M, RXB: 117pts
5 Harpies: 55pts

2 Cold One Chariots: 200pts

5 Cold One Knights: M : 143pts
2 Bolt Throwers: 200pts

Battle Standard Bearers

Horses for courses...
In the Dark Elf army book, there's a few different options that determine the role of a Battle
Standard Bearer (henceforth referred to as BSB) in your army. Firstly, there's the choice between
a Death Hag and a Master as BSB. Second, each of those has two different options. For the Death
Hag, the choice between having a Cauldron or not will determine if she can join units or not, and
can charge into combat on her own. If she is accompanied by a Cauldron, her role is totally
different than it would be when she was joining a unit. Concerning the Master, there's the choice
of equipping him with a magic banner or not. If yes, he cannot be equipped with other magic
items, and he has to rely on his mundane equipment to save the day. This is not applicable to
Death Hags, as they cannot take any magic items anyway, only Gifts of Khaine which can be
taken regardless of having a magic banner or not.

The Death Hag BSB

Let's start off with the Death Hags. They follow all the rules for witch elves (not surprisingly), so
they are frenzied and have poisoned attacks. Unlike masters, they can't have any armor or magic
items, so protective items are very limited. She is also Khainite, which means she can join units
of Witch Elves and Executioners, while masters can't. To that end, there are two dominating
Death Hag BSB builds:

The Cauldron BSB

The first is the one with Cauldron of Blood. She works best in a Khainite army, as Khainite units
within 12” of the caulron are stubborn. Providing them with a re-roll is very valuable and insures
your line will seldom get broken, so you can counter charge the attackers. Black Guard also work
in this tactic, as they are stubborn by themselves. The obvious downside to this is the entire
army has to operate inside the 12” radius of the Cauldron to be used with great effect. And since
the cauldron operates like a war machine, it cannot march and only move 5” per turn, assuming
all crew is still alive. Still, it's a great option if you can manage to reduce your opponents ranged
threats on the way in, and actually make it there in one piece. This tactic favors an infantry
army, as it's easier to keep in range of the Cauldron.

There are two schools of thoughts about giving her a magic banner. Some like the hag to have the
Banner Of Hag Graef, Rune Of Khaine and Manbane. This means that when attacked, the
attendants dish out massive damage to the attacker. It's a very expensive option though, and
since war machine crew cannot charge, your opponent decides whether or not you can use it
effectively. The other school of thought is to keep her bare bones, and use the surrounding units
to keep them safe from charges. If charged, all hags can challenge nasty characters, or flying
character monsters, and the attendants can rely on their 4+ ward save to try to keep safe until
reinforcements show up. Also note it's possible you can give the Cauldron blessing to its
attendants, but this effectively means you cannot bless anything else, and you are again giving
the initiative to your opponent, who might decide not to charge you, thus wasting the blessing. 27-03-2011
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Looking at the army lists forums, the bare bones option seems to be most prevalent these days,
while the first option was more popular just after the release of the army book. This means
opponents also know what the cauldron is capable of, and know what can deal with it and what
not. Moreover, giving the Banner Of Hag Graef to your cauldron, means another unit that is more
combat worthy cannot carry it. I find in my own games the Cauldron rarely gets charged.

A practical example of a possible use of the Cauldron BSB in this way is a deployment as follows
(try to deploy all units within 2” of the Cauldron):

-----------------Black Guard------------------
---Witch Elves --Cauldron---Executioners---

The infantry moves forward 10”. The Cauldron follows 5”, widening the gap to 7”. Next turn, if
the opponent also moved forward, you can charge 10”, and the Cauldron again moves 5”. They
are just inside the 12” range.
But you don't need a Khainite army for the Cauldron BSB to work, as the cauldron is also a force
multiplier, and actually makes a good choice in any army with some decent close combat units.
Making her the BSB is just a nice bonus then.

The Banner of Nagarythe

Our most expensive banner has two possible uses, and one of them includes giving it to a
Cauldron Of Blood BSB. It is then designed to make optimal use of the ‘friendly units within 12”
gain +1 to combat resolution’ rule. This works excellent with a MSU style Khainite army, to
maximize the combat resolution. It's very tricky to use though, and costs an arm and a leg. This
approach is even harder to combine with cavalry and flyers, as the range is very limited. The MSU
part is very important, as the more units are in combat, the higher your combat resolution will
be. See GeOrcs Temple Of Khaine for an army build around this strategy. It's well worth the read.

The Banner Of Hag Graef Death Hag BSB

The other dominant build is the Death Hag with Banner Of Hag Graef, Manbane and Rune Of
Khaine. This offensive combination is great, as the Death Hag can dish out between five and
seven attacks a turn that usually wound on a 3+ (re-rolling misses, of course). With the Banner of
Hag Graef, she is usually placed inside a unit of Executioners. They need the banner the most, as
their great weapons always make them strike last. They can be one of our deadliest units, as
Executioners are one of our most potent can-opener units. Giving them an extra attack from the
Cauldron (Executioners work best with a Cauldron) in combination with Always Strikes First makes
them deadly. They are still slow though, and vulnerable to psychology.

To beef up the Executioners and make them immune to fear causers, you can include Tullaris in
the army, if your gaming groups allows named characters. This will help with the psychology
part. Take note since the Death Hag is frenzied, it's possible she must charge out of the unit if
the Executioners haven't declared a charge. This means it's better to always charge, but the
Always Strikes First rule should protect your unit if you're lured into a trap this way.
The other unit she is usually joined with are Witch Elves. With lots of poisoned low strength
attacks, they are the opposite of Executioners. However, with the banner of murder on the unit
standard bearer and 3 attacks per model, they can really dish out some damage. They are
frenzied, so are immune to psychology until they lose combat (which shouldn't be likely). They
are a bit of a risk against heavily armored troops though.

The unkillable BSB and other master builds

Now that we've covered the hags, let's get to the masters. If you don't give a magic banner to the
master, you can equip him with magic items. One of those builds is called the unkillable BSB, due
to his ability to pin large monsters in place. He is clad in full mundane armor, rides a dark steed
usually (although a Cold One works too), and carries the Pendant Of Khaeleth and the Sword Of
Might. Because those creatures usually outnumber him, the extra point of combat resolution from
his banner should help him draw the combat, so he remains in place. 27-03-2011
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While the pendant is mandatory for this build, you could possible replace the Sword Of Might
- a null talisman instead of the magic sword. Usually not worth it, because he is protected
enough. More useful if you plan to stick in units, but this guy likes to charge out on his own when
it's advantageous to do so.
- Soulrender is also a good alternative for Sword Of Might. Because he's mounted, the strength
remains the same, but the armor piercing work wonders. Biggest drawback is not the striking
last, but the fact he needs two hands to wield it and can't use a shield then.
- Another option is the Enchanted Shield , for maximum survivability, in which case he is less
likely to cause a wound or two and slowly grind away the enemy.
- Lastly, there's the Sword of Battle. Four S4 attacks instead of three S5 attacks. Here are some
statistics, assuming the BSB strikes first:

Wraiths, round 1 | Wraiths, round 2 | Flamers, round 1 | Flamers, round 2
+1S +1A | +1S +1A | +1S +1A | +1S +1A
Lose 0.7% 1.0%| Lose 2.9% 3.1%| Lose 1.2% 2.0%| Lose 2.6% 3.5%
Draw 4.0% 4.9%| Draw 12.3% 12.4%| Draw 10.0% 15.8%| Draw 19.9% 25.8%
+1 16.2% 16.4%| +1 30.6% 28.2%| +1 29.5% 33.1%| +1 38.0% 37.9%
+2 38.4% 31.5%| +2 37.0% 32.9%| +2 36.8% 30.8%| +2 29.2% 23.9%
+3 40.6% 33.9%| +3 17.1% 19.5%| +3 19.5% 14.6%| +3 9.4% 7.7%
+4 0.0% 12.3%| +4 0.0% 3.9%| +4 2.9% 3.3%| +4 0.9% 1.1%
| | +5 0.0% 0.3%| +5 0.0% 0.1%


As can be seen, in all cases except in turn 1 against wraiths, the probability to inflict that extra
wound with the extra attack is rather small. Nevertheless, if you are thinking of facing only VC
and no daemons, this might be worth it, as the probability of loss is not increased too much.
Special credit goes to Lakissov for providing this info.

Other options for common BSB builds include:

- Armor of Darkness/Ring of Hotek : either a mobile caster disruptor or unit protector. Not
monster proof though. Frees up magic item slot on Black Guard and Cold One Knights champions
for something else.
- 3 Null talismans : useful in a unit that already has the Ring Of Hotek, providing near magic
immunity to the unit. Often used in Death Stars.
- Ring of Darkness : useful to protect your unit from shooting, and hit the enemy more often.
- Lifetaker(or Dragon Egg)/Enchanted Shield : useful for a hunter style BSB, Dragon Egg is
preferable over Lifetaker when on a manticore.

For best effect, the BSB can be mounted:

- The trusted dark steed is excellent for great mobility and extra protection.
- The Cold One provides even more protection and causes fear, but is less mobile then the dark
steed, especially with stupidity.
- Dark Pegasus provides the best mobility, but is less safe than a dark steed, since it cannot join
units. It's not a large target, so it can hide behind units, but that's also a bit of risk. The dark
steed is generally a safer choice, with only slightly less mobility, and cannot be killed from under
the rider.
- Manticore provides very good mobility and more survivability than the Pegasus, but is hard to
use. He makes an excellent US5 flanking unit though. Since the manticore can be killed, your BSB
is vulnerable to being dismounted though. He is sturdier than the Dark Pegasus though.
- Chariot is almost the same as a manticore, but is vulnerable strength 7 attacks. Also, the 27-03-2011
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chariot can be destroyed under him, as such he is also vulnerable to dismounting.

In short, for a mere dozen points the dark steeds provides the most flexible options, without any
drawbacks. That's why the unkillable BSB is mostly seen on a dark steed. A manticore or chariot is
better reserved for another build, which will be explained later.

The unkillable BSB should join a heavy combat unit (Black Guard and Cold One Knights come to
mind, but they work in any unit that is expected to see combat). When your enemy keeps some
troops just out of charge range of your unit, your BSB can charge out on his own with his massive
18" charge range, and butcher anything (or better: survive anything). Also, if your opponent is
setting up a cheap bait for your heavy cavalry, you might only charge out the master, who on his
own has a better chance of catching the enemy should he flee, is likely to survive alone on the
battlefield, and leaves your unit free to continue with the original plan.

Since the BSB only has 3 attacks at strength 5, he is expected to do few damage, but survive
forever. He can take on any unit that doesn't have static combat resolution, and his own banner
should usually compensate the enemy outnumbering bonus. He is therefore used to combat
monsters, which he can hold into a duel forever, hunt war machines, tie up skirmishers and
shooting units.

In the absence of such foes, he is best used inside his combat units, and can challenge enemy
characters, preventing the rank and file from being hit. While the nastiest enemy character is
locked into a duel, the rank and files ducks it out with the opposing unit. If he was accompanying
Black Guard or Knights, this usually spells trouble for the enemy.

Should the worst happen and you lose combat and your very expensive unit fails it's break test,
you can always count on his re-roll. This guy is very flexible and very cost-efficient.

Magic banners
Ah, here we are to the most important part. What banners do we have available? Two of our
magic banners jump out: the Banner Of Hag Graef and the Standard Of Slaughter. The Banner of
Hag Graef was already discussed, and is worth it on a Death Hag or in a unit of Black Guard or
Knights (or in a death star). But there's another build out there: what I like to call the Slaughterer

The Slaughterer BSB

On of our best banners is the Standard of Slaughter. While it can be taken on a unit of Cold One
Knights or Black Guard without the use of a BSB, giving it to a BSB can be very worthwhile. A unit
of Black Guard is not recommended for this banner, as the banner only works on the charge, and
cavalry has more of an edge to be certain to get that charge than Black Guard, who fulfill more
of tarpit role in most armies.

While I already mentioned Cold One Knights as heavy shock troops, who benefit hugely from the
banner, we have other shock cavalry available to us in the form of Shielded Dark Riders.
Admittedly, they aren't used much, but they have a huge charge range, and thus are almost
guaranteed to get the charge. Providing them with extra combat resolution is a necessity to keep
them moving, because when bogged down, all the shields in the world will not help our dark
riders. See this thread for more info on Shielded Dark Riders .

A solitary BSB can also make good use of this banner. To make this banner worthwhile, also on a
solo character, I already said getting the charge is very important. Another requirement is having
a Unit Strength of at least 5, so he can break ranks, and catch fleeing troops. With an escort of
Shielded Dark Riders or Cold One Knights, it's a simple matter of keeping enough of them alive.
But when operating solo, it means he has to take a mount that provides the necessary unit
strength to our master.

For this reason, Dark Steeds and Cold Ones need not apply. They only bring our master to US2. 27-03-2011
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The Dark Pegasus is also not sturdy enough for this purpose. This leaves us with two options: the
manticore and the chariot. Both are US 5, and both pack a decent punch to complement the
combat resolution of the banner. The chariot has impact hits, and the manticore has loads of
killing blow attacks.

The main drawback of both: they need to break whatever they charge, cause when bogged down,
their damage won't be high enough to win any fights, and they might break and be overrun in the
process. Both thus excel with flank charges as support for other units, both as a fail safe for when
they fail to break the enemy, and as a way to dramatically increase the chance of the other unit
winning. Also, beware of overrunning into an unfortunate position. A countercharge can ruin your
day. Because of this, tagging a unit of Harpies along to divert other units is mandatory.

The Slaughterer BSB thus works best as a tag team with another unit, or inside a fast unit.

Magic Banners
To conclude a short summary of all our banners, and some notes about including them (with or
without BSB) in your army:

* Hydra Banner : very expensive, only worth in a unit of Cold Ones, where it acts as a force
multiplier. For infantry the cauldron is better support, as it can give that additional attack when
and where you need it. The Hydra Banner BSB on a Cold One in a unit of Knights provides a
formidable hammer to our army, as both riders and mounts benefit from the extra attack. Also
nice in combination with the Banner Of Murder or the Banner Of Hag Graef.

* Banner of Murder : a very good banner. Has the most effect when boosting the most attacks, so
a unit of witches will benefit the most. Don’t use your BSB for this tough, as the banner costs a
mere 25 points, and can be taken by most units. Cold One Knights also benefit greatly from this
banner, as suddenly even the bite of the Cold Ones becomes dangerous, and the lances hit home
with a -4 armor modifier, making heavily armored knights suddenly less of worry.

* The Banner of Nagarythe : this banner has two main uses. The first is as described as a way to
generate huge amounts of combat resolution to MSU style armies, the second is to make the unit
it's in unbreakable. Can be really handy on the ultimate Death Star unit, though for this use
alone, some (including me) find it too costly.

* Dread Banner : A nice banner, but who to give it too? Cold One Knights already cause fear.
Black Guard are Immune to Psychology, and will seldom outnumber the enemy. So using your BSB
to give this to for example warriors (a really big block for outnumbering and auto-breaking your
enemy) or executioners (they can benefit from fear immunity) seems kind of a waste, especially
since executioners would benefit more from the Banner of Hag Graef, and warriors should never
be relied upon to hold. Also, as deathknight27 correctly notes, there are other ways for various
units to gain fear or immunity to psychology .

* Standard Of Slaughter : this is a very good banner, but requires getting the charge. Good on fast
units. See the Slaughterer BSB build above.

* Banner of Hag Graef : Excellent on infantry, or units that get charged (like stupid Cold Ones).
Black Guard, Executioners and Witch Elves all benefit from this banner. The latter two require a
BSB. If you don’t include any of those in your army, you might also consider it on Cold One
Knights. Executioners are probably best candidates for this banner, as their great weapons would
otherwise make them strike last. See the Banner Of Hag Graef Death Hag BSB build above.

* Banner of Cold Blood : the cheapest banner we have, sadly it’s one use only. Use on Cold Ones
to be certain to pass that stupidity test, on Executioners to be certain to get the charge against
that fear or terror causing creature, or on warriors to be certain to hold the line. No BSB

* Warbanner : helps in offense and defense. Good for all, not so good for a BSB because of the 27-03-2011
Warhammer Fantasy Battle Reporter Forum • View topic - TACTICS! Page 11 of 52

low points cost which means all units can take it.

Only two banners actually require a BSB, all others can be given to unit standard bearers.
Therefore, unless going with one of the specialized builds mentioned earlier, it’s probably best to
equip your master with magic equipment and just use a non-magical battle standard for the re-
roll and extra combat resolution.

There are only a few magic banners worthy of including on a BSB, and all with a specific build in

- Hydra Banner with a unit of hard hitting Cold Ones

- Banner Of Nagarythe on a Cauldron Of Blood BSB in a MSU Khainite army
- Banner Of Hag Graef on a big unit of Executioners or Witches
- Standard Of Slaughter on a manticore or chariot or inside a unit of shielded Dark Riders

Other banners can freely be taken by any unit, and are a bit of a waste of points on a BSB, that
might have included some other goodies instead. The Dread Banner is a banner that probably
isn’t worth it, unless you want to try something different. A BSB without magic banner is always a
useful addition to any army, and can be used in a variety of wise, of which the unkillable BSB
build is probably the most tried and tested. This guy is very reliable and flexible, and worthy of
including in almost any army.

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STEAM Post subject: Re: TACTICS! Posted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 9:16 pm

Druchii medium cavalry. The DR with shields.

1. Warning: think twice before using that unit .
If DR are hardly ever seen with a shield, it is for a good reason: most DE players consider that 27-03-2011
Warhammer Fantasy Battle Reporter Forum • View topic - TACTICS! Page 12 of 52

they are not worth the pts.

The reason is because S-DR (Shielded Dark Riders) loose the “fast cavalry” rule, which is probably
DR’s best asset.
In this thread, you'll find another reason: you need many shielded DR to hope to become
Joined: Sun May 31, 2009
12:38 pm
Posts: 2700 With this thread, I don’t try to advocate the use of shielded DR. I will not myself invest the
Reputation: 22 money and time required.
What I want to do is to examine honestly what are their qualities and how to make the best use
Location: Estonia. Tallinn of them, in order to help anyone who wishes to give a try.
Love: Wood Elves
Hate: Daemons of Chaos In order to write the thread, I summed up (and sometimes paraphrased) several older threads on
Fear: Warriors of Chaos the topic, in which many D.netters expressed their opinions, which were very often negative.
This said, I will now concentrate more on the positive aspects.

2. Characteristics, compared to DR.

A shield is bound to be useful 1 out of 6 armour rolls, preserving the life of a 17 pts model for a
mere additional 1 pt.
The cost is 1 pt, the benefit is 17/6= 2.8 pts. A bargain! All the more since DR are often shot at,
spelled at and seen in melee!
Beware: each wound taken still costs a lot, this unit is not to be used as a shield for other units!
This unit is worth screening and should rather flee than accept an uneven combat, in order to
fight another day.

With the shield, DR loose the rule “fast cavalry”, so they become tremendously different from
unshielded DR. And they should be played differently! DR vs S-DR should be considered as
different as spear warriors vs RXB warriors.

RXB are not interesting at all for S-DR: the unit cannot double-march and shoot, it does not shoot
at 360°, the unit is not nimble enough to get in position to shoot without risking to be charged or
shot, and the cost of each shot is prohibitive.
In the rest of the article, I will not consider anymore RXBs.

S-DR don’t have the exceptional mobility of DR. Instead of reforming at will, they have to wheel.
They are not able to squeeze between enemy’s units. They can flee if charged, sure, but they
cannot move after rallying.

The most interesting difference is probably that S-DR get rank bonuses. In order to get actual
rank bonuses, 10 of them are required, but loosing just 1 would suffice to loose the advantage, so
you should rather take at least 15 of them. A smaller unit would be better off with no shield but
with the fast cavalry agility.

What S-DR have in common with DR is the double-movement / charge at 18”.

The other common characteristic is two attacks per model, one being S4 on the charge. They will
actually kill some foes, however, often they will get a low or negative ACR (active Combat
Resolution), even if S-DR are slightly better protected than DR.

This is why the rank bonuses are important! While DR are limited to easy charges, S-DR can be set
up to charge frontally the largest units. Their exceptional speed allows them to be quite sure to
get the charge. Their ACR will not suffice usually, but they can get an effective SCR (Static
Combat Resolution) in order to win any combat on the charge.

Final thoughts:
S-DR are core, so they fill in a minimum core requirement.
S-DR are hardly ever seen (maybe for some good reason!); so an additional advantage is that the
opponent is not prepared to meet that unit. Surprise! 27-03-2011
Warhammer Fantasy Battle Reporter Forum • View topic - TACTICS! Page 13 of 52

3. Specialized use: fast SCR provider.

S-DR are the best assault core unit. They are not as cost-effective as infantry, but they are the
only core troops who can charge and expect to win against most opponents. However, they lack
of punch in combat and need SCR.

S-DR in a big block (4 ranks & full command) will win all their charges against any characterless
unit! Expect a margin of 1 or 2 CR, against either horde or elite units or monsters alike, not
taking into account numeric superiority, as long as there is no nasty character inside – which can
be compensated by adding our own nasty characters within or alongside the S-DR. With maxed
SCR, they should be able to charge even HE spears and ethereal units!

This unit is the fastest hitter we can have, save Manti & Dragon. S-DR are the only troops who can
provide a real threat at 18” distance, therefore providing an excellent likelihood of getting the
charge, contrary to COK who charge at 14”… when they are not stupid.

They can charge alone, or they can support a charge from another unit lacking SCR.

The risk is to remain in prolonged fights, because they would present a very large flank to the
enemy. In their use, they look like a “lite” Bret lance: almost guaranteed to get the charge, but
rather cumbersome to move, and presenting a large flank.

In case they were flank-charged by a dragon, they need all the SCR they can get, but could well
survive and win!

Our three cavalry are as follows:

DR are light cavalry, polyvalent, useful for side-charges only or charging light foes, besides other
S-DR are medium cavalry, specialized in charges, counting on SCR to win melees even in frontal
charge against any foe.
COK are heavy cavalry, specialized in melees, counting on ACR to win melees, even if they are
charged themselves.

4. Drawbacks.
S-DR are vulnerable to shooting and magic.
The 4+ armour save is quite good but still not much facing a gunline with S4AP shots, nor a
warmachine or magic missiles. Therefore, you need a large unit to be able to absorb a few shots
and remain effective; and you need harpies to screen that unit. Harpies will block LOS, so when
you place the harpies, you need to preserve some small free space for one DR to see the intended
target. Next turn, the surviving harpies will charge away a very distant foe while the S-DR will
get their coveted charge.
The harpies don’t block LOS from warmachines on hills. However, the said warmachines can be
charged by the said harpies.

S-DR are cumbersome.

We have seen that S-DR are specialized in charges, counting on SCR for that.
It means that they must be taken in large units, 15 at least. A 5x4 unit of cavalry is a huge block
that takes a lot of space, is hard to manoeuvre even with its M9, and is so large that it’s easily
flankable / outmanoeuvred. Realistically, you won’t ever get a flank charge, all you can do is
deploy the unit opposite to its target and charge straight away.

They are vulnerable to side charges.

Winning a single charge is easy, but the aftermath could be painful when playing against a subtle
tactician. The risk is to get glued in some tar pit such as unbreakable troops or rerollable
stubborn troops, and get flank-charged.

Final drawback:
15 or 20 models cost a lot of real world money. Sure, you can later on get the shields off and 27-03-2011
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make them regular DR but you may find yourself with too many DR…
For your first tries, I’d recommend the use of proxies until you’re more confident with this unit.
See also the Painting and Modelling > Dark Riders for cheper solutions.

5. Best setting.

a. How many models, command, width?

The full command is always mandatory: you want the best SCR. The champion’s role is to
challenge in order to spare the BSB.

The preferred width is 5: to put more models on the front rank will make the unit too
cumbersome to manoeuvre, is not likely to get more models in contact and even so they would
not get many more kills. On the other hand, the wider, the more expensive the extra rank.
Therefore, 5 models per rank is the only appropriate setting.

10 DR-shields + FC is just too small, unless you just want an escort for a Master (see chapter 7).
As soon as you loose one, you find out that you would be better off with no shields (the mobility
worth more than the protection). Having a BSB or the unit's standard does not change anything,
loosing 1 is still enough to loose all the benefits compared to unshielded DR. 10 is not enough.

The minimum stand-alone unit is 15 DR with shields and FC.

I see no reason to take more than 20 S-DR in a single unit. More DR would be much better in a
unit of 5 naked DR.

Another way to explore is to take several S-DR units. This will be dealt with in the paragraph
about army building.

b. Banner
The warbanner would require the BSB, so it’s better to leave it to someone else.

The BSB with Standard of Slaughter (SoS) is the best cost-effective enhancement, and allows the
war banner to be provided to another unit. As the charge is nearly guaranteed, the SoS seems to
be made on purpose for S-DR. With this banner, you get +1D3 SCR on the charge, not forgetting
that the BSB himself has some attacks and will help to get some ACR.

The Dread Banner BSB sitting in this unit is another great idea. The idea is that a unit of 15 S-DR
has 30 US, more than most infantry units, and the ACR+SCR should be sufficient to win the melee
and autobreak the unit which was charged.
One drawback of this banner is that it does not allow the BSB to jump away from one unit and
help another unit, contrary to the SoS.

The BSB has the additional advantage of raising the Ld, which is a good thing especially when
planning to charge fear-causing foes. However, it raises the cost and uses the single BSB slot.

c. Other characters
With an expensive unit vulnerable to shooting and magic, you would love to get the Ring of
Darkness, the Ring of Hotek and a pair of Null Shards. This requires other characters than the
In that case the unit gets closer to become... the DR "Death Star", which has its own specific
paragraph shortly below.

d. COB
Another good thing about their high movement is that they can receive a +1 attack from the
Cauldron (probably the best blessing for them) and still reach a unit on the other side of the
board. With a range of 42" (24" blessing range + 18" charging range), they are an efficient use of
the Cauldron, as it helps spread its love around.
The COB is quite effective with S-DR (especially when charging), it would routinely add 1 more
kill per 5 models of the considered unit. However, please note that the same +1CR result is 27-03-2011
Warhammer Fantasy Battle Reporter Forum • View topic - TACTICS! Page 15 of 52

gained with an additional rank – but for half the price. Not forgetting that more ranks means
more wounds that the unit can take, so the CoB is a help, not a strategy.

My recommendation is not to take the CoB if your main unit is made of S-DR.

e. Cost of the SCR.

Shielded DR can be considered as SCR providers, which they can do at 18”, alone or in
conjunction with another unit.

A unit of 10 shielded DR, muso, pennant , cost 201 pts and brings +2 SCR . Too small to stay
alone, it needs a Master.
A unit of 15 shielded DR, muso, pennant , costs 291 pts and brings +3 SCR , reasonable for SCR far
A unit of 20 shielded DR, muso, pennant , costs 381 pts and brings +4 SCR , outstanding.
A unit of 15 shielded DR, FC, SoS BSB costs 471 pts and BSB slot and brings +5 SCR , terrific
hammer unit.
A unit of 20 shielded DR, FC, SoS BSB costs 561 pts and BSB slot and brings +6 SCR , overkill?

All these units cost close to 95 pts for each SCR. All options seem valid; the most expensive being
the least likely to ever fail – but they still must all be tested on the battlefield!

If taking several S-DR units, my recommendation would be to have two or three units of 15, FC,
and the SoS BSB.
The unit with the BSB inside is the likely target of spells and shooting. However, in your next
turn, the BSB can charge out of the depleted unit and join his forces (and excellent SCR) to
another S-DR unit charging the same foe.

6. The S-DR über-unit.

You want to protect your expensive 561 pts unit from shooting and magic?
Add a master with RoH, another one with two null shards, a last one with the Ring of Darkness.
Too bad, you cannot take the PoK in addition, that’s another enchanted item…

An interesting side-effect is that with 4 characters and the champion in the front row, there will
be no rank & file in contact so only the characters & champion can be hit. The opponent’s ACR
should be reduced accordingly!

It will make a medium-cost über-unit, and it is core! With its exceptional speed, it will be able to
charge – and wipe away – any unit, contrary to all other über-units. You probably can count on
two effective charges in the course of a battle. In addition, all the characters can lone-charge if
required (warmachine in view).
It seems a realistic candidate for an über-unit although it has yet to be tried, to my best

This über-unit may have some merits, however there are also huge drawbacks:
- A problem is that after having pursued, the unit may find itself in the middle of nowhere, or
worse, in the middle of side-charging foes. It has a huge flank, so it must avoid to find itself
glued on a tar pit.
- The unit has not that many wounds, nor a terrific armour save – and each lost wound has a high
cost, but all über unit are like that - ; the unit fears all warmachines.
- The unit lacks a psychological boost that cannot come from cold ones.
- The unit cannot take assassins.
- With its speed, there hardly can be any supporting unit save harpies, which are a must-have but
don't provide much except a moving shield.

My recommendation: only once, for fun. Don’t forget to bring your camera and take a picture of
your opponent! 27-03-2011
Warhammer Fantasy Battle Reporter Forum • View topic - TACTICS! Page 16 of 52

7. Escort for a cheap Master.

A small unit of 8-11 S-DR, FC, can be taken as an escort for the cheap warmachine-hunter Master.

Babysitting the Master in front of shooters.

The warmachine hunter has a big problem, which is to reach the warmachines he is supposed to
But inside a unit of S-DR, he cannot be targeted nor sniped (unless failing the "lookout Sir").
If the unit is shot at, it can loose 2 of them and not test for panic.
If the unit looses 3, the test is made under the Master's command, and if failed, the muso &
Master's Ld will help rally.
The unit may advance until within 18" charging reach of warmachines.
Next turn, the Master will charge alone, leaving the unit in position to try to get a side charge to
someone else, and generally speaking to annoy the enemy.

In addition, the S-DR unit can also act as it is designed for, a fast SCR complement, in order to
help the Master's insufficient ACR.
You can select to leave the Master inside the unit, and charge with both:
- the Master provides ACR
- the unit provides SCR: +1 rank, +1 pennant, possibly +1 number, muso for ties. This is why you
take S-DR rather than DR: yo uwant to protect the pennant a little longer.
- if side-charging, the unit grants +1 and cancels +x rank bonus, that the Master alone would not.
- Here, the armour is useful, in order to deny too easy kills to the enemy. This is where S-DR are
better than DR.

Note that the Master does not even need to be inside the unit for both of them to charge the
same unit.
- it is highly adviseable to have the Master inside the S-DR unit against fear-causing foes, for wich
the Master would test on his Ld, the S-DR on their own and either one failed would be dramatic
for the one who did not fail,
- on the other hand, it could be better to separate them if your chances to win the charge are
good, because there would be two pursuits (each on 3 die) instead of a single one. However, the
pursuing lone Master would risk to find himself isolated in the midst of angry foes.
Overall the Master is better off inside his babysitting S-DR unit, until he has a very good reason to
jump out of it.

8. Comparing to COK.
CoK are different horses for different courses.
The crucial special slot weigh in ones mind, however the hero/BSB slot is taken by the S-DR.
SCR: The S-DR unit has a big advantage over a similar cost CoK unit in terms of static CR.
ACR: The CoK generate 6 S6 attacks from riders, while the DR have 5 S4 + 3 S6, so the net result
is not tremendously different.
Psychology: COK are fear-causing, unlike S-DR.
Armour: 2+ AS is much better than 4+.
Movement: 18" move vs 14" move, and no stupidity.

This last argument is the most important one. Many people can't stand Cold One Knights because
of their lack of reliability, both for stupidity and for not being able to get the charge on quicker
opponents. Do you really want to spend more than the minimum points on a heavy unit you may
not get full value from? This is why COK usually come in units of 5-7 while S-DR can afford to
come in units of 15-20.

9. Army building with a S-DR unit.

a. A single unit of 15, no BSB. 27-03-2011
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The only advantage that shielded DR have over just about anything else that we can field is that
they're dang fast CR providers. As a result of this, you might tailor your whole army to get a
second turn charge. Maybe take a lord on a dragon, master on peggy, 2-3 units of 15 DR, and just
pick a flank and mad charge. Have the dragon and peggy master kill things while the DR provide
SCR. Maybe take two hydras to play cleanup; that way if your initial charge loses momentum by
running into a brick wall it can sit tight and wait for the caval-, err, hydras to arrive.

b. BSB and many S-DR

Admitting you’re investing the pts (and $€££) in a large unit of 15-20 S-DR, plus the SoS BSB, plus
eventually another unit of S-DR. We’re talking about 600-1000 pts. Obviously your army will be
built around the S-DR.

Victory in turn 2 is the aim.

You can have 2 (or more) S-DR units, one with the BSB, the other one remaining nearby. The BSB
unit will become a nice target to be shot. Next turn, the intact unit charges, and the BSB charges
alone the same target, jumping out of his unit. The BSB’s SCR is provided even if he is alone.

Your unit having 6 SCR should be able to win all but the hardest targets. For these targets, you
need a complement: either a nasty Dragon or Manticore , or a side-charge with regular DR.

Remember, you need many harpies to shield your S-DR. At least one harpy unit for each S-DR
unit, the more harpy-heavy, the more likely your SCR survives intact until making contact.
Also, you need to fill up the other core slots. Either more S-DR or regular DR spring to mind.

Then, in case you’d hit a stubborn unit or a tar pit, you need something strong to get you out of
trouble. You must cover your flanks. The double- hydra seems a natural complement for that

Also, remember that all your special slots are available! This is when you get to recall that your
good old COC are dusting in a cupboard and here is your chance to field 4 of them!

Overall, this would make a very nice themed army: very fast and mobile monster army, headed
by a dragonlord and a manti, hydraes, only chariots as special units and many, many S-DR, DR and
harpies. Nobody on foot.

c. Small games < 1999 pts

The unit of 15 shielded DR, FC, SoS BSB for 471pts should do marvels by itself.
Add two units of DR and a general on Manticore and you’ll get a quick and hard hitting party. It
could even win you more games than friends.

10. Conclusion: test it at your own risk.

Beware that most DE players despise the S-DR, and hardly anyone has tried it – and reported.
More careful examination and thorough testing is definitively required.
For the moment, I would not expect this big unit to appear in a tournament, but it should be very
innovative in less competitive games.

Lamekh has tried the new shielded DR.

Heralds of Ghrond - Dark Rider List - 2k
11 Dark Riders - 233 + Shield; Standard; Musician; Herald
Dreadlord - 253 + Lance; SDC; Sh; DS + 3 x Null Talismans + AoES
Master - 146 + Lance; HA; SDC; Sh; DS + Ring of Darkness
Master -156 + Lance; HA; SDC; Sh; Dark Steed + Gem of Nightmares + Ring of Hotek
Master - 177 + HA; SDC; Sh; Battle Standard; DS + Pendant of Khaeleth
+ Soulrender

It was after a discussion we had about DR: Druchii Guerilla - Dark Rider Death Star - 2k 27-03-2011
Warhammer Fantasy Battle Reporter Forum • View topic - TACTICS! Page 18 of 52

16 Dark Riders - shields,xbows,FC - 403

Master - xbow,HA,Shield,lance,SDC,3xShard,Dark Steed - 161
Master - xbow,HA,shield,lance,SDC,Ring of Darkness,Dark Steed - 156
Master - xbow,HA,shield,lance,SDC,Gem, RoH,Dark Steed - 166
Master - xbow,HA,shield,lance,SDC,BSB,Standard of Slaughter,Dark Steed - 172

The author never posted any batrep about these lists, to my best knowledge, but I remember
seeing once a post with the mention that they were effective indeed.

11. Answers to this thread:

If you just want to say “IMO it sucks and I won’t even try”, then you’re not contributing to
anything, please don’t bother to reply. This negative contribution has been already covered in:
Dark Riders with Shields and DR with shields?

A much more useful contribution would be “ I tried and it ( sucks )/( rocks ), as shown in the
batrep (provide hyperlink).”
Thank you, for the sake of science (and victory, too).

_________________ chek it put! My youtube chanel be sure to visit it

lizardmen W-0 D-1 L-1
CSM W-1 D-2 L-3
space wolves W-2 D-0 L-1


STEAM Post subject: Re: TACTICS! Posted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 9:17 pm

Need a ride? The footed Master/Dreadlord

Prince Need a ride?
Note: When referring to characters in this article, I’m talking about masters and dreadlords.
Sorceresses and Death Hags do not have the same options, so they really require an article of
their own, though some of the general principles might be applicable to them.

Mounting your character seems like a very good option for your fighting heroes. However, looking
at the available mounts, it’s easy to see some of them come with sometimes unacceptable
Joined: Sun May 31, 2009 - Cold Ones provide stupidity.
12:38 pm - Manticores, Dragons, Chariots and Pegasi prevent your character from joining a unit
Posts: 2700
Reputation: 22
Some reasons to mount your character
Location: Estonia. Tallinn That leaves the trusted Dark Steed. Mounting your character on a dark steed for a mere dozen
Love: Wood Elves points, provides following benefits:
Hate: Daemons of Chaos
Fear: Warriors of Chaos
- +1 armor save
- +1 attack (from the dark steed)
- Movement 9
- Fills two spaces instead of one when joining a unit

Can anyone see the benefit of not mounting your character? Here’s a couple of reasons your
character might find himself leading his troops on foot.

Why your character might be a footslogger 27-03-2011
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- A mere dozen points…

… could be enough to provide shields to your repeater crossbows, great weapons to your shade,
or include command models in regiments. With some other left over points, you can also take
some suitable magic items. And although the additional flexibility of a mount is nice, sometimes
you just know he’s going to park into the Black Guard the whole game…

- Where’s me manticore?
So you read my last article and decided to use the manticore, only to have your character
stranded after two rounds of (magic) missile barrage. Or maybe his chariot was shot out beneath
him. Maybe next to him lays a crippled dragon, still puffing after receiving a cannon ball in the

If this is the case, being prepared with the right equipment becomes important. You aren’t
dismounted by choice, but with the right options and items your character isn’t reduced to a
mere nuisance, but still a strong fighter!

- Look at my ace conversion!

You are a painter/converter, and made this nice master/dreadlord model only to find mounting
him is more effective? Read on, there are very viable options for a footed master.

- Asmodeus Bak’stah-Bah is allergic to horsehair

Some of us make some cool fluff for their armies. I agree, I quite like that bit myself too. If your
fluff supports a character on foot, go for it!

- You call that a knife? THIS is a knife!

Great weapons are a cheap way to boost your characters strength, leaving your magic item points
allowance for support items, something that is less important for mounted characters expected
to be in the thick of the fighting, away from the troops that lead it. Also, the +1 parry bonus
from hand weapon shield only applies to models on foot.

- I am legion…
A dreadlord or master can be a hard hitter, but all dark elf characters are particularly vulnerable
to static combat resolution. With the right magic items and some supporting troops behind him,
you character can take dragons, bloodthirsters and other nastiness head on, while his troops
stand in the back shouting and waving a banner. With the extra encouragement, he should be
able to win most of his battles.

Magic items
It always boils down to the magic items doesn’t it. Yes, because the magic items decide the role
of the character. Again, I’d like to point to Bounce’s article about magic items. It gives a more
complete picture of all options, while the summary here is more in relation to characters on foot.
So let’s get to it!

- Executioner’s Axe is only usable for models on foot, and if you ask me, that’s a good reason not
to take a mount. If you’re into oversized axes, this is your weapon of choice. Works best in a unit
with the Banner Of Hag Graef.
- Soulrender is another great weapon (pun fully intended). While a viable choice for a mounted
character with adequate protection, it really shines on footed characters. Armor piercing
strength 6 is nothing to sneeze at. And you save the precious Crimson Death for another

- Armor of Darkness. A +1 save that cannot be improved in any way, who needs a dark steed then?
This armor is well suited because of its point value (it combines nicely with other items), and the
only other contenders are characters mounted on monstrous mounts.
- Blood Armour. The only item to form a nice synergy with the Executioners Axe (inside the 27-03-2011
Warhammer Fantasy Battle Reporter Forum • View topic - TACTICS! Page 20 of 52

allowed points value anyway). Nice and cheap. The fact it only offers protection after kills is not
a big deal, as he usually has a trusted bodyguard to soak some hits, or is often found in a unit
with the Banner of Hag Graef. More on that later.
- Armor of Eternal Servitude. The un-killable Dreadlord build with Soulrender and Pendant of
Khaeleth performs very well as monster killer when backed up by some static combat resolution.
Breaking is, after all, the big weakness of most druchii builds.

Talismans & Enchanted items

Whether it’s the Seal Of Ghrond, the Ring Of Hotek, some Null Talismans, the Crystal of Midnight
or the Pearl of Infinite Bleakness, they all have some things in common: they are nice to have,
but when taking them, points for both a magic weapon and sufficient magic protection quickly
becomes scarce. With a footed character you can just take a great weapon or halberd, and forget
about magic weapons. Since he’s harder to single out from a distance, he is better protected,
and your cheap character usually enhances the unit he’s in. As a consequence, your opponent
usually has to spend more resources to take it out.

The Amulet of Darkness is also worth a mention, as you can combine it with a cheap weapon.

The cheapest combination possible is master with Soulrender and Armor of Darkness. He hits very
hard for a dark elf, is protected against all but the highest strength attacks and costs a mere 120
points! Making him the battle standard bearer provides a rock solid anchor in your battle line, for
a very decent price. If you only expect high strength attacks, Soulrender and Pendant Of
Khaeleth is another nice combination for a hard-to-get master…

Mobility, or the lack thereof, is the greatest drawback a character can suffer from not being
mounted. A dark steed provides the second best mobility available in the dark elf arsenal to a
master or dreadlord (first being a flying mount). While not always a necessity, the versatility of
having the option to move 18” provides a significant edge that might catch your opponents off

This problem can be partly mitigated by shadow magic. The shadow lore contains two movement
spells. The default spell, Steeds of Shadows, allows for a flying move to be made. With the
inclusion of two sorceresses and an assassin with the Cloak of Twilight, there is a good chance
you can propel your character to the other end of the battlefield, even into combat. If you’re
lucky enough to roll Unseen Lurker, you’re even better off. While you can only make a normal
move with it, you can take the whole unit with you. This means a canny opponent will know this
too, and do anything in his (or her) power to stop this spell from coming through on those pivotal

This build is very popular in combination with the Executioner’s Axe/Blood Armor equipped
Dreadlord, who benefits most from this, as on his own, he’s a real killer.

The bodyguard unit

The bodyguard serves two purposes:
- Provide additional combat resolution, be it static or active.
- Protect your character from being singled out.

The first option is also available to a mounted character, but as mounted units tend to be
expensive points wise, it’s often more beneficial to have a character that isn’t armored to the
teeth in an infantry unit. Because you need at least 5 rank or file models to protect your
character from shooting randomization and sniping, it can take a few turns before an infantry
unit is sufficiently depleted to put your character at risk. A cavalry unit on the other is usually
small by nature, and just a few kills can be enough.

Also nice to point out is that characters in a unit with US 5 are usually more effective at anything
they do than characters that aren’t. They can break ranks, destroy units who flee through them,
etc. The higher the unit strength, the more safe you are from psychology attacks, as the enemy 27-03-2011
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needs more kills to force a panic check, or be with greater numbers to outnumber you with fear
causers. Again, those numbers are a lot cheaper for infantry than for cavalry (although they
count double).
So let’s take a look at what kind of infantry a druchii general has available.

Since Masters and Dreadlords can only join non-khainite units, I’m going to ignore Witch Elves and
Executioners for a moment.

- Spearelves and Repeater Crossbowelves

These guys are worth taking in big blocks, and provide static combat resolution for the cheapest
price available (in the case of spearelves anyway). They will not kill much, but their numbers
should be enough to provide the edge, especially if given the warbanner. As a fail-safe, the
character can be upgraded to carry the Battle Standard.

A unit of 25 shielded spears with Warbanner and a Battle Standard Bearer with Armour of
Darkness and Soulrender costs a mere 335 points, and dishes out two ranks of attacks (unless you
use the hand weapon option), 3 S6 armour piercing attacks from the master, and has (usually) 7
extra static combat resolution. This should be able to hold versus all but the hardest of hammers.

If you take a block of crossbows, don’t forget to give your characters handbows if possible. Since
the handbows have a shorter range, and a stand and shoot happens when all models are in range,
it guarantees your crossbows fire at short range when performing a stand and shoot. Ranked
crossbows are most excellent against large targets, so are worthwile to take on dragons, greater
daemons and the like.

- Corsairs
With the addition of the Sea Serpent Standard, the corsairs can punch out a bucket load of
attacks, and become Immune To Psychology when closing in. But there’s more. The Sea Serpent
Standard makes the entire unit Frenzied, thus also the character that joins it. Masters and
Dreadlords that join this unit are thus not only in our most missile resistant infantry unit, they
also gain an additional attack and aren’t running anywhere except towards the enemy.

The characters can also be equipped with great weapons (or one of their magical equivalents) ,
complementing the low strength attacks of the corsairs with some high strength punch. Without
the Sea Serpent Standard, the same tactics remain, though the unit hits less hard. On the plus
side, it can’t be redirected or lured into a charge it can’t win.

- Shades
Shades can form a good bodyguard for any character. However, their role is more specialized, as
Shades do not provide static combat resolution. While it’s possible to enhance the offensive
capacities, I’d like to refer to Furgil’s excellent article about the Shade death star.

This is of course an extreme, and in lesser extent various combinations work fine. The Lifetaker is
something that immediately springs to my mind.

- Black Guard
Black Guards are elite bodyguards by nature. While restricted in size, they have the option of
taking the Banner Of Hag Graef, reducing the Strikes Last problems you might face with Great
Weapons. As such, they are better at providing active combat resolution than any other infantry
unit in our army. Their special rules also reflect this. Between a character, the unit champion
and a standard bearer there’s also plenty of options for magic item combinations. You can never
go wrong with Black Guard. After all, if they’re good enough for Malekith, they’re good enough
for me!

Warhammer isn’t just about RAW, it’s also about cool models. And while it might seem more
beneficial to mount all your characters on a dark steed, a footslogger is most certainly not 27-03-2011
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without its uses. Unless you min-max to the greatest extent, you can equip a master or dreadlord
to form a solid anchor in your battleline, and equip him with goodies that might lose out on a
mounted character because they need better protection or more hitting power.

_________________ chek it put! My youtube chanel be sure to visit it

lizardmen W-0 D-1 L-1
CSM W-1 D-2 L-3
space wolves W-2 D-0 L-1


STEAM Post subject: Re: TACTICS! Posted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 9:18 pm

The manticore
Why the manticore?
Because its big and powerful, and we druchii love power. No matter the risks or costs, for we are
above it all.

Joined: Sun May 31, 2009

12:38 pm A manticore fulfills the same niche as a dragon in most armies, and since the dragon is stronger,
Posts: 2700
Reputation: 22 more resilient, and has a breath attack on top of it, the dragon is clearly the superior choice in
many armies for just a few more points. So again, why the manticore?
Location: Estonia. Tallinn
Love: Wood Elves There are certain advantages a manticore has over the dragon. Of course that means there are
Hate: Daemons of Chaos
Fear: Warriors of Chaos also disadvantages. But do not despair, owners of the beautiful manticore model, for there are
valid reasons to take a manticore beyond fluff. Read on, and uncover the secrets of getting the
most out of your precious manticore. It is, after all, an aspect of Khaine, and Khaine loves
nothing more than letting the blood flow, not sitting on a shelf collecting dust!

Killing Blow
The main advantage (beyond cost) a manticore has over a dragon. A manticore’s attacks provide
Killing Blow. Equip the Master or Dreadlord on top of it with the Deathpiercer, a magical lance
forged in the depths of the dungeons of GW, and all attacks provide Killing Blow. With at least 8
attacks and hatred, it provides reliable Killing Blow, designed to get rid of either the big opposing
hero, or his escort of heavily armored troops.

Beware! Some armies have resistance to Killing Blow, usually in the form of magic items. Dwarves
have. Both Warriors of Chaos and Vampire Counts have access to magical armor, ignoring the
effect of Killing Blow. Finally, everything with a Unit Strength of 3 or greater is also immune to
KB. If all you care about is reliable Killing Blow, it’s also possible in other ways: an assassin with
Rune Of Khaine, Touch Of Death and Black Lotus, or as a blessing from the Cauldron of Blood.
What the manticore has going for it above assassins, is mobility and terror.

I am loath to say you can provide Killing Blow to any unit with the Cauldron. It’s true, but there
are too much variables involved: the Cauldron must still be alive, be included in the army, within
24”, and there are also other blessings and units to choose from, so it might not be the optimal
choice. That’s why I won’t compare the Killing Blow potential of a manticore with that of say a
frenzied unit of AHW corsairs: you might need a ward save on your Executioners, an extra attack
on your Black Guard or Knights, etc. In short, the manticore has Killing Blow which on its own is 27-03-2011
Warhammer Fantasy Battle Reporter Forum • View topic - TACTICS! Page 23 of 52

not that impressive, but adds to its hammer role and with the additional aspect of mobility and
terror, guarantees to have it available when and where you need it most, unlike the other
options we have.

Mobile terror
It’s a large flying beast. This means it can charge over anything it can see over. Meaning your
opponent has to worry about how he exposes his flanks when aligning for combat. This quality is
shared with the dragon, so both are equal in this case. The Pegasus is not a large target, and
therefore lacks this ability. It’s also far less deadly.

Another quality it shares with the dragon, is terror. Nowadays, there are lots of Immune To
Psychology armies out there, but do not underestimate a US5 terror causer. In the worst case, it
provides immunity to terror itself.

Vulnerability to ranged attacks and magic missiles

And here lays the problem: the manticore is extremely vulnerable to distant attacks. That’s why
many people prefer the dragon: it’s more resilient. You might be able to smash the Black Dragon
down in the middle of the table, and withstand the barrage of magic and shooting that follows.
Only war machines pose a real threat to a dragon, while manticores have to watch out for small
missile fire and those dreaded magic missiles.

This encourages a line of sight avoiding strategy. Wait till everybody is engaged, and commit
late. Seems hard to make up the points like that. Not many people like to play like that. There
are a few things you can do to protect your Master or Dreadlord from being stranded and having
to continue the fight on foot (the shame!):

- Use protective wargear:

The Ring Of Darkness protects both the character and the manticore against shooting. It does
unfortunately do nothing to protect against magic missiles. Null Talismans provide protection
against magic, but not against mundane shooting. The Ring Of Hotek protects against big spells
(gateway comes to mind), but is little defense against magic missiles, usually cast on two dice.
Compromises have to be made.

- Use a Hydra:
Also large, a hydra can be used to block line of sight to and from the manticore.

- Hunt:
You can’t be harmed by shooters or wizards if they’re already dead. This is unfortunately very
situational, and thus not easy (or wise) to rely on.

All this makes the manticore a lot harder to use than the dragon. Positioning becomes very
important. But we’re Druchii, used to fighting with the “toughest” army book of 6th edition. We
should not be bothered by that!

Frenzy can be both a blessing and a curse. It provides two additional attacks (one to the mount
and one to the rider), useful when in combat. But it means it has to charge, possibly exposing
your expensive character and mount to nasty countercharges, or drawing it in front of enemy
shooter/war machines. Screening won’t work, unless you’ve got a hydra for it.

This adds to the problem. While staying out of LOS helps, it’s no good when some fast cavalry can
just rush in to divert you. However, our heroes have good leadership, and you should be able to
use terrain and a hydra to your advantage until you are ready to commit. You can also adjust
your facing to help negate this problem, as monsters get to pivot on the spot for free during their

And lastly, the manticore must charge, but is still able to choose his target. And with a 20”
charge range, that’s a lot of movement control! How many resources is your opponent willing to 27-03-2011
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commit to destroying this manticore?

Army composition
The next point is, for me anyways, the deal breaker. A lord on dragon costs a lord and hero slot.
A manticore costs a lord slot OR two hero slots (depending on the rider). This makes the
manticore not only possible in games of less than 2k points, combined with the saved points
(120), it also allows for the inclusion of another character or unit. This also means the manticore
master can be given the Battle Standard Bearer option, providing some extra combat resolution.
Worth mentioning is the Standard Of Slaughter: 2-4 extra combat resolution on top of the active
combat resolution, equals a nice break test if you manage to take on the rear or flanks.

Of course, there doesn’t have to be a competition. For those that wish, there is the option of
taking both a dragon and a manticore. The infamous monster list (which works equally well with
two manticores) is not seen often, but has it’s uses. While on paper it looks tough and good, it’s
most certainly not without weaknesses. Magic , shooting and static combat resolution will take a
heavy toll.

Another advantage to the manticore is a social one. While dragon builds are often seen as
powerful and not very friendly, a manticore usually isn’t. If you have a sensitive gaming group
that doesn’t smell like cheddar, you might consider the manticore instead. You even might be
invited back. If people start complaining about the overpowered Dark Elves, you can silence all
resistance with : “I’m using a manticore build for crying out loud!”.

A word on wargear
Some argue that the best combination for wargear is magical armor, a magical weapon, and/or a
talisman. Mundane gear will do, but makes the prospect of missile fire even riskier. The general
consensus is to protect yourself against those pesky ranged attacks, and arm yourself for dishing
out some hurt. The usual combinations work out fine, however there are some comments in
regard to using them together with the manticore. Here are some items included in the favorite
builds of D.netters who contributed in previous discussions:

• Talismans:

- Ring of Darkness : as mentioned earlier, it halves BS and WS and works on both character and
mount. I’d only take this on a Dreadlord, as it’s high points cost prevents you from taking
anything else on a master.
- I however, prefer Null Talismans . Two (on a master) or three (on a dreadlord) will help your
defensive magic phase, as your opponent will be worried about the big flying monster sneaking
up his side. It’s also ideal for those pesky lonely well armoured chaos sorcerers on steeds and
discs. The downside is they only work when casted at.
- Ring of Hotek : allows for a combination with a decent magic armour or weapon. I don’t use
this, because I want the ring to form an umbrella over my own troops, not far away on a flying
monster. Useful when you have sorceresses on your own or want to disrupt some enemy casters.
- Pendant Of Khaeleth : while not necessary, it’s still one of the best protective items there is.
I’d rather see this item on a dark steed BSB, to maximize its advantages. But if there’s no one
else to carry it, it’s most certainly worth considering.

• Armor

- Armor of Darkness : Very good, basically renders your character immune to low strength
shooting, which is exactly what we want. Beware for armor save ignoring weapons and high
strength attacks. However, on a big flying beasts, you should be able to pick your battles.
- Blood Armor : Not so good, as the improved save kicks in after melee kills. Remember the idea
is to stay save from shooting.
- Enchanted Shield : also excellent choice for a moderate cost. Improves armour save to 2+ if you
include the full mundane kit. Leaves room for a more expensive weapon or other item on a
- Armor of Eternal Servitude : As one can see in Bounce's excellent summary of magic items 27-03-2011
Warhammer Fantasy Battle Reporter Forum • View topic - TACTICS! Page 25 of 52

article , the Armor of Eternal Servituted is not so great at protecting a character from S4
shooting as the Armor of Darkness. Since most shooting will be at strength 3 or 4, I feel Armor of
Darkness is better suited for a manticore rider.
- Cloak of Hag Graef : Would be excellent if it also protected the mount. As is now, I’d rather
take the Armor of Darkness. But that’s a personal preference, I have to admit I never used this

• Weapons

- Deathpiercer : many cannot resist the extra killing blow attacks. And who can blame them? Only
downside is you may need to pack a secondary mundane weapon for if (or when) your character
gets stranded without the mount (that is, if you don't want to rely on his basic hand weapon).
- Caledor’s Bane : Dragon, Treeman, chariot and Stegadon killer. Take it if you’re worried about
those, although I’d rather not see my manticore in combat with them unless they have only a few
wounds left.
- Crimson Death : solid all-rounder. We all know this one. However, the logic goes that your
manticore should pick it’s battles carefully, and break anything it charges. The big benefit is you
don’t need to rely on your basic hand weapon when your mount dies though.
- Hydra Blade : always a good one in combination with Potion of Strength. No killing blow though,
unless blessed by the cauldron. Bucket load of attacks when going into frenzy though.

• Enchanted items

- Black Dragon Egg : nice consumable item. Useful for “dragon light”, especially in smaller scale
- Hydra’s Teeth : it has its fans (and its uses), a nice to have on a very mobile hero. I just never
seem to find the points for this luxury.
- Potion of Strength : I consider this a dreadlord only item, and then in combination with the
Hydra Blade. Attack another character on a monstrous mount, let the manticore attack the rider
and hope for the killing blow, and direct the S7 attacks at the mount. Good combination.
Beware, for the fickle dice rolls might decide to leave both intact, so it’s usually better to focus
your attacks and strike out that which you’re certain to kill.

There are others, but these are the most commonly used. If I can’t find the points for a magic
weapon (or if I have a magic lance), I usually just take a halberd. All round S5, strikes in initiative
order, and leaves, even on a master, room for armor and a talisman. A lance is also good, until
you get dismounted.

About missile weapons: I prefer not to count on them. While it may be a nice addition when I
have some points to spare (can’t remember the last time that happened), it also “encourages”
getting in LOS and taking a few shots. Decide carefully if you can resist the temptation of making
unwise moves for a few crossbow shots.

The hydra-manticore terror bomb

Calisson came up with this tactic. It involves a list with two hydras and a manticore master/lord.
The hydras move forward forming a V shape, keeping the manticore out of sight. When close
enough to the enemy, the manticore flies over the hydras, landing behind the enemy units. This
will result in a terror test, and the enemy running away to a US 5 monster or flyer. If the enemy
doesn't run, it will also result in a rear charge and a double monster sandwich, no matter which
way he decides to face. Nasty! This might also work with a single hydra, though it’s a lot harder
to keep the hydra out of line of sight.

I myself believe that a single hydra and a manticore master make a perfect refused flank for an
army, for about a third of the points in a 1500 points army. They are fast enough to catch up, and
the enemy has some hard choices to make between your main army and two fast moving
monsters. 27-03-2011
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Know thy enemy: a word on tailoring

Against some enemies the manticore is more useful than against others. It seems Wood Elves can
punch out the amount of shots needed to take the beast down quickly, especially with the Hail Of
Doom Arrow. Lizardmen also have a huge benefit: their skins have poisonous blowpipes, capable
of bringing down the beast quickly. Both armies also have the mobility to use those shooters
where needed most. Skirmishers are also very annoying, because they have no facing and thus
can always stand and shoot.

Some other contenders are High Elves and Vampire Counts. Both armies have easy access to
Always Strikes First, something the fragile manticore doesn’t like. Though it might be worth it
versus certain other Vampire Counts builds, as they have no shooting. Beware of magical
movement though!

Against other armies, they can be most certainly worth it. Even against gunlines, because a
manticore can be fast enough to sneak up on the flank, and start hunting war machines better
and more reliable than any other unit in our army.

On the field of battle

I've had so far only two battles with my manticore, with mixed success I have to admit. Here are
a few things to consider which I've learnt the hard way :

- Sometimes the flanks are better than the rear

Specifically when it comes to charging heavy cavalry and elite regiments. The reason being you
want to minimize return attacks, and most elite regiments and cavalry units have only one or two
ranks. Should you fluff your rolls, you're better off when only a few models can strike back.

- I challenge thee to a duel!

Challenging can also reduce the number of attacks you take back, and with killing blow the
manticore is ideally suited to take out the opposing character or hero. Thanks to the overkill rule
you can still score some nice combat resolution. Do not forget to challenge when the situation
arises, it is often advantageous. That is, unless you're up against a Chaos lord, which will eat you
and your little pet for breakfast. Also beware static combat resolution (remember the rule of 5!).

- Combined charging
This is the mainstay of all druchii tactics, but it cannot be repeated enough. The manticore is far
more efficient as a force multiplier, adding terror, active combat resolution and rank breaking to
another unit within charge range. The main benefit of a big flying beast is also you can set it up
to threaten multiple units in the flank or rear, giving your opponent quite a headache!

- Keep your friends close, but your enemies even closer

The closer enemies are to you when charging, the better the chance you'll catch them when they
flee, instantly destroying them (beware kamikaze baits!). Charging a unit within 10" also prevents
a stand and shoot reaction from the enemy.

Putting theory into practice part I: the monster list

Right, enough rambling about theory. Let’s get dirty with some army lists. First of all, the
infamous monster list. Copyright goes to Count Zero, who originally posted the list :

Lord on Dragon, Armour of Eternal Servitude, Ring of Hotek, Deathpiercer, SDC, Shield.
Master on Manticore, BSB, Standard of Slaughter, HA,SDC, Shield, Lance.

5 Dark Riders, RxB’s
5 Dark Riders, RxB’s
5 Dark Riders, RxB’s
5 Harpies 27-03-2011
Warhammer Fantasy Battle Reporter Forum • View topic - TACTICS! Page 27 of 52

5 Harpies

5 Cold One Knights, Full Command, Null shard, Cold Blood Banner
1 Cold One Chariot

2 Hydras

It’s 2000 points. Pretty brutal if you ask me. I’d personally go for less upgraded but more knights
instead of the chariot, to keep the speed up. But of note here is the combination of the dragon
and the manticore. The dragon’s weakness is getting bogged down, and the manticore is there as
a failsafe. With the Standard of Slaughter, it already provides an extra static combat resolution,
but it might as well kill some other things too. You are also now charging with US 10 worth of
terror, and that might mean enemies vulnerable to psychology might be outnumbered after the
dragon, the manticore and their riders are done with them, meaning your opponent is very likely
to break automatically. And all this talk about the dragon being better than the manticore is
pretty futile if you can just take both.

This is not the only variant of this list, equipment changes can be made, and the chariot can be
replaced with knights, but the basic is form is the three tag teams: dragon and manticore, double
hydra, and knights/chariot or knights/knights. The dark riders and harpies are even a bonus to
control the enemy movement even more. Azimyth has another list, this one containing two
manticores, which nets him another hero slot.

Some prefer unupgraded knights, others prefer upgraded knights with full command, magic
banner and magic item on champion. If you go for dual manticores you might even include a
hydra banner BSB in the list with a retinue of knights for a third hammer powerhouse. But the
basic idea of the list is to be fast and hard hitting to compensate for the lack of ranged
protection and static combat resolution.

Putting theory into practice part II: the manticore mage

Ah, the manticore mage. If you’re up for a challenge, this is the way to go. What’s the problem
with the manticore mage? Number one, the manticore and the rider share the same weakness,
shooting. This means that using this combination, you might as well paint a bulls eye on them.
Problem number two: frenzy. One failed test, and your supreme sorceress flies into battle, not
quite the effect we were hoping for.

But Dark Alliance has faith in one of our arcane items that helps mitigate both problems: the
focus familiar. His list goes something like this:

Level 4 - Manticore, Focus Familiar, Dispel Scroll, Black Dragon Egg, Null Talisman
Level 2 - Dark Steed, Scroll, Darkstar Cloak
Master - BSB, Dark Steed, Heavy Armour, Sea Dragon Cloak, Shield, Pendant, Sword of Might

5 DRs - RxB’s
5 DRs – RxB’s
10 Warriors - RxB’s
5 Harpies
5 Harpies

5 Shades - Assassin - Cloak of Twilight, Manbane, Rending Stars
6 Cold One Knights - Standard, Champion, Banner of Hag Graef, Ring of Hotek

Rare: 27-03-2011
Warhammer Fantasy Battle Reporter Forum • View topic - TACTICS! Page 28 of 52

2 Repeater Bolt Throwers

War Hydra


The thing about this list is, while a Supreme Sorceress might look vulnerable in combat, the
combination of Steal Soul and Black Dragon Egg might make her a T6 monster with 6 wounds, who
can cast both into and out of combat! While not the unit to take on your opponents death star or
general unit, it can munch through smaller units, leaving the real work to your knights. With
flying assassin and unkillable BSB this list has very good mobility and some suppression in the
form of shooting and magic.

It’s a crazy idea, and requires an expert hand, but it just might work!

Putting theory into practice part III: the balanced list

I’m not a tournament player by any means, and I don’t know if the manticore can stand up in
that kind of environment (depends on the tournament for sure). All I know is I found this list from
benji, which seemed like a great army to play in a non hardcore environment. I’ll post his 2250
points army here, because it’s a more common army size then the original 2300 in his post. Here
we go:

Dreadlord – Manticore, SDC, Shield, Armor of Eternal Servitude, Ring of Hotek, Caledor's Bane
Master BSB – Dark Steed, Heavy Armor, SDC, Shield, Pendant of Khaeleth, Sword of Might
Master – Dark Steed, Lance, Heavy Armor, SDC, Lifetaker, Enchanted Shield
Sorceress, 2x Dispel Scroll

19 Dark Elf Warriors; Shield; Standard; Musician
5 Dark Riders; RxB’s
5 Harpies
5 Harpies
10 Warriors – RxB’s, Shields
10 Warriors – RxB’s, Shields

5 Shades – AHW
5 Shades – AHW
1 Cold One Chariot
1 Cold One Chariot

2 Reaper Bolt Thrower

The benefit of this army is it fully uses the potential of the extra hero slot afforded by the
manticore. Here we have three very mobile combat characters capable of performing on their
own, while the rest of the army provides support. I’d describe this list as an all comers list with
interesting play options.

The afterthought
When starting this quest, I was looking for ways to include a manticore in my army while still
being competitive in a friendly environment. As you can see, options are plenty, and some are
even very viable! Time to touch up my manticore model and get some games in with it.

If anyone with lots of experience with the manticore wants to chip in, feel free to do so, I will
edit this article when something insightful appears in this thread. Or just post some of your
manticore's battlefield exploits, and what configuration you used, to inspire others. Remember, 27-03-2011
Warhammer Fantasy Battle Reporter Forum • View topic - TACTICS! Page 29 of 52

Khaine needs you .

_________________ chek it put! My youtube chanel be sure to visit it

lizardmen W-0 D-1 L-1
CSM W-1 D-2 L-3
space wolves W-2 D-0 L-1


STEAM Post subject: Re: TACTICS! Posted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 9:33 pm

Cold One Knight Summary

Unit Command
For almost all situations a Champion is well worth it for a Cold One Knight unit. For just 18
points, considerably less than a whole Knight you get an extra S6 attack as well as the ability to
declare challenges and hold magic items, the champion also helps to concentrate your attacks
considering Cold One Knights large base width which is considerably better than having an extra
knight standing off to the side out of combat.
Joined: Sun May 31, 2009
12:38 pm In addition, taking a champion gives the unit a much better chance of holding up against
Posts: 2700
Reputation: 22 characters on large, terror-causing monsters. If charged by such an enemy, issue a challenge.
That way, only the champion can die and you will maintain your unit strength, making sure that
Location: Estonia. Tallinn the unit does not auto-break from Terror (at least in the first round). Holding the big monster for
Love: Wood Elves even just one round may be enough to make a difference.
Hate: Daemons of Chaos
Fear: Warriors of Chaos Finally, an important point to remember about champions is that wounds inflicted on a champion
in close combat do not carry over onto rank and file models. Putting your Dreadknight on the end
of a single line of knights can keep multiple knights from being killed in the event the unit is
flank charged.

Here, a choice must be made:

Either the champ is there to protect a character and he must remain as “cheap” as possible
(well, he ain’t any cheap), or he brings a benefit to the whole unit and must be protected from
In any case, the champ is a must-have.

On Magic Weapons, I will give a quick run down on Magic Weapons the Champ can take and which
ones are of any use.
Gem of Nightmares: Useless, COK’s already cause fear

The Guiding Eye: Useless they have no ranged weapons to shoot with

Crimson Death: Seems a bit of a waste as they already have a lance and it means his shield must
be dropped. Perhaps could complement with the ASF banner in a defensive manner

Deathpiercer: The chance of getting killing blow off with 2 attacks is low but still there, useful
when going toe to toe with the enemy general. Also of note this allows the Champ to attack
ethereal units as a bonus.

Whip of Agony: A real waste, you are already S4 with a Lance

Soulrender: Again a waste considering you are a mounted model this just takes you to S5, better 27-03-2011
Warhammer Fantasy Battle Reporter Forum • View topic - TACTICS! Page 30 of 52

than the whip though.

Cloak of Hag Graef: The chance of your champ getting directly hit by ranged attacks is fairly low,
I’d give this a miss,

Armour of Darkness: Pretty pointless as they have a 2+ save standard

Shield of Ghrond: Not really fantastic you really need to be generating more active combat
resolution not trying to defend yourself.

Blood Armour: Again Pointless, you already have a 2+ save

Pearl of Infinite Bleakness: Note this does NOT negate Stupidity. However it will stop you running
off from failing panic tests. Could give you some peace of mind if you are taking a larger unit.

Ring of Hotek: If for some reason no one else is holding it your Champ should take it.

Null Talisman: Not quite as good as the Ring as it only defends its own unit but still quite useful
in the right situation

To summarize this long winded list there are only 2 items I would consider giving my Champion,
the Ring of Hotek and a Null Talisman. Both of these grant a reasonable magic defence to help
keep your units alive long enough to get into combat. Most of the magic weapons and magic
armour are less favourable as your Champ already has good strength and armour as standard. On
the whole though there is nothing wrong with not giving your Champion any magic item, after all
he and the unit aren’t that tough so you don’t want to pour too many points into them.

It is also a very valid tactic to not take a Champion in a unit, in this case I would definitly
recommend no Stanard either. This gives you an even cheaper unit which is almost as strong and
presents the enemy with the dilemma of whether they should put in the effort to kill them or
leave them around to be generally annoying and destructive.


There are two clear and very different purposes to musicians and I will mention both briefly.

Some statistical analysis on attempting to rally COK

On average a unit of Cold One Knights on their own ld of 9 will fail 16.67% of the time or 1/6. If
they have a musician in the unit they will only fail 8.33% of the time or 1/12. Thus a musician will
save them 8% of the time or once in 12 tests.

Note: Having a Dreadlord nearby or in the unit will not help as you cant test on Ld 11.

Both of these numbers are very small results when you consider that often you will play games
where your Cold One Knights do not need to rally at any stage. So for this purpose I wouldn’t
bother with a musician.

Of course the musician’s other purpose is to win drawn combats, this is especially important for
fear causing units as it allows you to auto break your opponent and so for just 9 points is quite
warranted. However if you’re short of points you can consider leaving him out.

Standard Bearer
Should you take a banner in a unit of Knights?
This is often the most difficult question to consider when building up a unit and thus deserves a
bit of explaining upon various tactics and thoughts on the issue.

Firstly banners are cool, they greatly enhance the visual presentation of your army making your
units stand out. Often they are the most beautiful models in your army and for this reason alone I 27-03-2011
Warhammer Fantasy Battle Reporter Forum • View topic - TACTICS! Page 31 of 52

like to have a couple in my army and where better then in the elite Knights.

Secondly banners provide additional static combat resolution for a relatively cheap points cost. A
Standard Bearer is only 18 points compared to the Warbanner which for the same effect costs 25
points. It is incredibly vital that your Knights win combats by as much as possible because after
the first turn of combat they no longer benefit from hatred and also lose their strength bonus
meaning they greatly struggle in further rounds of combat. Thus it is vital to break your opponent
in one turn and the best way to do that is as much combat resolution as possible.

The third thing to consider with banners is that they give up 100 Victory Points to the enemy if
captured. A standard unit of 5 Knights costs about 175 points so this is a pretty significant amount
and should never be overlooked. There are a few ways this can be avoided though, if you get
stuck in a combat you clearly wont win but you think you can hold for a turn get rid of the
Standard first before other command models, as you can only capture banners on the turn the
enemy is defeated.

Magic Banners
I will give a brief summary on each magical banner that’s available to your cold one knights,
either as a normal standard or as a BSB.

The Banner of Nagarythe

For such fantastic fluff this banner is rarely used and rightfully so, its effects are just not
justified. Even if you do want to go to the difficulties of using it Cold One Knights are perhaps not
a great way to go. The reason is simply that if you are losing the combat things are unlikely to
get better and its probably better if your knights run off and regroup anyway. Also being such a
large unit it is unlikely that any other unit would be able to benefit from the added combat
resolution. Simply put you are much better off taking the warbanner

Hydra Banner
The Hydra Banner must be given to a BSB. It is great if expensive in a unit of Cold one Knights.
Realistically this is the only unit in the army that should ever be given this banner. Simply put
this banner will double your amount of kills meaning you should easily win most combats,
however it turns your unit into a very prominent target from enemy magic and shooting and this
is less than optimal.

A couple of quick stats, a unit of 5 CoK’s with BSB carrying the Hydra Banner (for this example no
other weapons) will get on the charge 11 S6 attacks and 16 S4 attacks. Against most opponents
this will translate to 9.8 S6 hits and 12.56 S4 hits giving 8.37 wounds at -3 saves and 8.17 wounds
at -1 saves. Nasty. To even further this you can always bless them with +1 attack from the
cauldron as well.

Standard of Slaughter
With COK , the proper use of the Standard of Slaughter is more likely: they can charge at 14”.
They are still likely to be charged by heavy cavalry, and they may become stupid instead of
Supposing that they did charge, then the SoS will grant them in average +2 SCR for just 35 pts. It
is very cost-effective!
Compared to the BSB with the Hydra banner, the cost-effectiveness is a little bit better for the
SoS, and the SoS doesn't need the BSB, however the SoS is negated if the unit is charged.
The choice between SoS and HB depends heavily on the availability of the BSB: if you need the
BSB somewhere else, take the SoS. If you don't use the BSB anywhere else, take it here with the
hydra banner.

I think Standard of Slaughter is best for cold one knights. On the charge they'll destroy most
things, so ASF shouldn't come into play. +1-3 CR is always useful, and will help guarantee the win.
Think "War Banner Plus". If you can overrun consistently, you'll gain the benefits of this 4-5 times 27-03-2011
Warhammer Fantasy Battle Reporter Forum • View topic - TACTICS! Page 32 of 52

a game.

Banner of Murder
The problem with the Banner of Murder is that many troops don’t take armour saves against Cold
One Knights anyway, however if you are playing Brettonians or Chaos then this would be quite
handy on your Knights otherwise it will have little effect. Note that statistically it is much more
effective dropping a 2+ save to 3+ than dropping a 5+ save to a 6+.

Dread banner
The Dread Banner causes fear, as cold ones already cause fear this would be completely useless.

Cold Blooded Banner

The Cold Blooded banner is specifically designed for COK to cease failing their stupidity test
when it is necessary. If a dreadlord is nearby they are almost guaranteed to pass, however this is
only for one turn but then that’s all you should need for a game.

The Hag Graef “ASF” banner

The use of this banner has been heavily debated among members. The initial idea of giving CoK’s
ASF seems a bit odd. As they have Lances they benefit the most from the charge, if you charge
you don’t need ASF hence why bother?

There is one case where the ASF banner is great and that’s against ASF enemies such as High
Elves as this means that when charging you will actually go first and easily decimate their weak
units. However remember that many troops with ASF also have very high initiatives and will strike
before you regardless.

Normally though the ASF banner can simply give you a bit of peace of mind as you can make
mistakes with your measurements and still get to attack first with 11 S4 attacks which is a
considerable amount.

It has also been mentioned that this can be insurance against stupidity so if you blunder forward
its not as much of a problem.

Another point to mention is that if you are going to use your CoK’s defensively then giving your
Champion the Crimson Death is a good way to regain that higher Strength when not charging.

Unit Size
As a general summary of the vast number of posts on this topic almost everyone agrees that 5 or
6 is the best. Larger units are usually just overkill and are a lot of points if something bad
happens such as a failed stupidity test or getting hit by a cannon or a spell like Soul Stealer. One
point to make is the fact that if you take a unit of 5 then shots will be randomized onto any
characters so some people believe 6 is a better option if you wish to keep your champ safe from
ranged attacks.

Also remember that Champions dont count as rank and file models so if you have a unit of 5 with
Champ he wont get a look out sir roll and can be sniped out if you're not careful.

However if you do feel like going over the top then 10 Knights with BSB w/Hydra Banner and
DreadLord can wipe out most units on the charge completely with an impressive 16 S6, 18 S4
attacks. Against most things hitting on 3’s, wounding on 2’s no saves.

Overall Common Setups

So what does all this mean. I will generally collate the above information and show you a few
typical setups of Cold One Knights
1. The Average unit
5 Cold One Knights- Champion, Musician, Standard Bearer- 175 points

2. Slightly Beefed Up 27-03-2011
Warhammer Fantasy Battle Reporter Forum • View topic - TACTICS! Page 33 of 52

5 Cold One Knights- Champion, Ring of Hotek, Musician, Standard Bearer, Standard of Slaughter-
235 points

3. Naked and Expendable

5 Cold One Knights- 135 points

4. Defensive
5 Cold One Knights- Champion, Crimson Death, Musician, Standard Bearer, Banner of Hag Graef-
235 points

5. Uber Killy Unit

5 Cold One Knights- Champion, Null Talisman, Musician, Standard Bearer, Standard of Slaughter
Master BSB, Heavy Armour, Shield, Cold One, Hydra Banner
436 points

6. Cold One Death Star

10 Cold One Knights- Full Command, Ring of Hotek,
Master BSB, Heavy Armour, Shield, Cold One, Hydra Banner
Lord, Cold One, Heavy Armour, Lance, Sea Dragon Cloak, Shield
577+ depending on Magic Weapons

Cold One Knight Tactics

So now on how to actually use these units. Now to avoid taking up too much time with over
repetition I am mainly going to focus on the Unit of 5 Cold One Knights with Full Command as this
is the standard set up and the most used. Other set ups will generally work in a similar fashion

Deployment is essential to any unit and Cold One Knights are no exception. First you need to look
at the board you are playing on.
Is there any terrain? How could your Knights use that terrain to their advantage?

Large expansive hills can be very useful as they block line of sight but do not impede movement.
If your opponent has lots of archers it can be a good idea to deploy behind a hill and then when
the moment is right just charge straight up and over.

Forests are generally unhelpful to cavalry as they must slow down substantially to move through
them. Unless you absolutely have to do not move your Cavalry into forests. There are several
banners that allow free movement through forests but sadly we don’t have any of them. On the
plus side forests are good for protecting your flanks and blocking line of sight so deployment next
to a forest can be a good idea.

Knights cant move into buildings so there’s no real point to moving near them other than getting

Around here Rivers are rarely used and usually just as impassable terrain. Whatever your own
rules may be about them generally stay away from rivers as most likely they will slow you down.

The next thing you need to do after looking at terrain is consider the rest of your own army and
what role your Knights will be playing in the upcoming battle. i.e Do you have enough support
units to take care of enemy Fast Cavalry and War Machines or do you need them for charging
large blocks of Infantry? Are there any specific scenario conditions which your Knights can
achieve? Does your opponent have large amounts of shooting that you need to cover your units 27-03-2011
Warhammer Fantasy Battle Reporter Forum • View topic - TACTICS! Page 34 of 52


Also consider your progression across the board, try to avoid opening your flanks to war machines
or other fast units in furture turns.

A lot of this I will cover in the enemy specific section later on. For now I will just say that your
deployment depends on a lot of different factors and you should never lock yourself into one set

What can Cold One Knights Achieve in battle?

One of the most difficult problems facing a new general is what are your units actually capable
of? We all like to think our units are invincible but we will quickly learn this is not the case. In
this section I will put up a couple of specific situations with some of my common opponents to
give an idea of what Cold One Knights can achieve and hopefully this will aid in choosing how to
deploy your units.

1. Basic Infantry- Empire Warriors, Goblins, Skaven Clanrats, Zombies etc.

With a front charge you will get 5.33 hits, 4.44 wounds from the Knights and 2.5 wounds of
which .5 will be saved on a 6+ from the Cold Ones a total of about 6.5 wounds which with a
banner gives you a Combat Resolution of 7.5!
Your opponent has 3 ranks, Standard, War Banner, Outnumber giving them 6. Meaning they have
a reasonable chance of holding if the General or BSB is near. In the next round of combat you
lose Hatred and the S6 meaning you will probably lose the combat
If you can manage a flank or rear charge you are almost certain to break them.

Unless you have a flank charge or assisted support charging fully ranked units of infantry is a bad

2. Giants and Associated Monsters

All monsters have different stats and different rules which makes this a bit complex. From
personal experience I have found Knights are quite good at killing monsters due to their High
Strength also they don’t have to worry about fear.
Again you get 5.33 hits from the Knights and 3.75 hits from the Cold Ones.
Against T6 the Knights get 2.65 wounds and the Cold Ones get .625 for a total of 3.29. Not a great
deal but most monsters have a maximum of 5-6 wounds so this at least will severely debilitate
them and you should win combat resolution.

However some opponents are too strong, Star Dragons for instance will still get an armour save
and in return eat half your Knights, thus you have to take each monster uniquely.

If anyone wanted to supply more monsters that could or could not be defeated by Knights it
would be greatly helpful as I don’t have any other army books.

3. Archers
Firstly should your hugely expensive Knights take on such an easy foe? A unit of archers is usually
about 100 points which is significantly cheaper however if your Knights can quickly dispatch a
unit and then get onto killing more stuff it can be worth it.
Secondly can your Knights actually defeat archers or will they get shot down?
Lets take a unit of 10 Dark Elf RXB
Say they start first but you don’t fail stupidity. They will get 2 turns of shooting at long range and
1 stand and shoot (but at Short Range) granting they pass their fear test.
That’s 60 shots hitting on 5’s, giving 20 hits, 10 wounds and 3.33 Knights will drop Not really
worth the time, it would be much more worth it to send over a large flock of Harpies or blast
them with stacks of magic

However in a different situation 10 High Elf Archers

That’s 30 shots hitting on 4’s, giving 15 hits, 7.5 wounds and just 1.25 Knights will die. A worthy
sacrifice for wiping them out and then perhaps allowing you to turn and charge other units in the 27-03-2011
Warhammer Fantasy Battle Reporter Forum • View topic - TACTICS! Page 35 of 52


For further examples look at the Boot Camp threads on units Killing powers.

These are just a few quick calculations and overall they seem a bit pessimistic, Knights have
difficulty in defeating large blocks of infantry, cant actually kill a lot of monsters and will lose
several of their number to high powered shooting. What this is all ignoring is the Dark Elf
Generals greatest strength, the concept of synergy. On their own they cant be expected to do
anything spectacular but when combined with other units they become much more powerful
providing good active combat resolution while another unit provides static combat resolution.

General Tactics There isn’t really a lot that’s been said on this site on actual tactics with COK
probably for two reasons.
1. As elite Heavy Cavalry they usually just need to charge straight into the enemy and start killing
stuff without anything fancy.
2. Tactics for your Knights will vary wildly based on both the army your playing and your
opponents army.

Overall though CoK’s are great for flanking against slow moving armies, wiping out support units
or smaller monsters, or even just charging straight into the enemy if backed up by another unit or
facing an already weakened unit.
To master the use of a unit you must know both its strengths and its weaknesses. I will list the
main points of both

Cold One knight Weaknesses

One reason why many people do not take Knights is due to the unpredictable effects of stupidity,
does this make our beautiful Knights completely redundant? No, but it does make them more
difficult and risky to use.
On Ld 9 they have a 16.67% chance or 1/6 chance of failing stupidity meaning you are likely to
fail a test every game.
On Ld 10 they have 8.33% chance or 1/12 chance of failing stupidity which drops it to once in 2
Note: In reality this isnt even once a game, as Calisson pointed out Knights do not have to test
when in combat, when off the board or when dead, this can include most of the turns of the

On the plus side though failing stupidity isn’t the end of the game. Optimally your unit of Knights
should cost between 135-235 points a mere 5-10% of your army thus if stupidity loses you the unit
it doesn’t mean you lose the game.
Usually though you wont even lose the unit and in some rare cases it can even be fortunate as
being stupidity makes you immune to psychology you can’t fail fear tests when stumbling into an

On the whole simply remember when forming a battle plan that your Knights may go stupid and
be prepared to deal with this when it happens.

Once your Knights are in combat they no longer have to test for stupidity so it can be
advantageous to get them in combat as quickly as possible, this will also reduce their chances of
getting shot or zapped.

Another way to mitigate Stupidity is to take Malus Darkblade, however as Special Characters are
often not allowed in tournmanets this isnt always a viable option.

In summary there are a few ways to mitigate stupidity

1) Take Malus Darkblade-no more stupidity
2) Have a Dreadlord nearby- on Ld 10 they will rarely fail
3) The Cold Blooded Banner- almost assures them of passing for one turn 27-03-2011
Warhammer Fantasy Battle Reporter Forum • View topic - TACTICS! Page 36 of 52

4) Get them in combat ASAP then they dont need to test

5) Redundancy- taking multiple units means if one goes stupid the other should be fine. However
it does mean you can have both units going stupid sometimes.

As far as Cavalry go Cold Ones are among the slowest with a movement of just 7. Coupled with a
large base size they can be unwieldy to execute tactical movements. Hence some people have
suggested not using them as flankers as they aren’t very good at getting around the flanks and
instead using them in straight charges usually in combination with a large block of Warriors or
Corsairs. Either tactic can work in the right situation as long as you don’t consider them to be

Unit Size
Due to their cost and size Knights are usually taken in very small units and this makes them very
vulnerable to panic tests from 25% casualties. Losing even 1 or 2 Knights will significantly reduce
the effectiveness of the unit so it is imperative to try to protect them. This can be done quite
easily by using Harpies as screeners or by making use of terrain to hide from enemies but beware
of enemy magic which doesn’t need line of sight as well as things that don’t class as magic and
hence cant be dispelled like the Dwarven Anvil of Doom of the Lizardmen Engine of the Gods.

Cold One Knight Strengths

Killing Power
Knights are one of our best units at killing stuff with WS 5 and S6 in a straight combat they can
beat most opponents.

Never forget that they cause Fear this can help prevent them from being charged or when
charging make you opponent only hit on 6’s or even just flee the field without a fight! It’s also
useful in that they don’t have to test when charging things like Zombies.

Knights have the best armour by far for any Dark Elf unit and hence can stand a bit of punishment
from low strength attacks without problem, however beware of spells and Killing Blow which
ignore armour.

Unit Comparison
Some people feel that Cold One Knights are inferior compared to other army Heavy Cavalry, yes
they only have one attack however they are also cheaper than a lot of the other Elite Heavy
Here’s a quick breakdown
Knights of the Blood Keep (Vampire Counts, Rare, 55pts / model) -
WS5, 3 S7, 2S4 attacks, Fear.

Chosen Knights of Khorne (Warriors of Chaos, ~45+ pts / model) -

WS5, 3 S5, 1s4 attack.

Lizardmen Saurus Cav. (Lizardmen, Special, ~30 pts / model) -

WS3, 2S5 attacks, 1 S4 attack. Fear.

Dragon Princes. (High Elves, Special, 30 pts / model.)

WS 5, 2 S5 attacks, 1 S3 attack.

Cold One Knights. (Dark Elves, Special, 27 pts / model)

WS5, 1 S6 attack, 1 S4 attack, all which gets reroll to hit.
Fear, 27-03-2011
Warhammer Fantasy Battle Reporter Forum • View topic - TACTICS! Page 37 of 52

Grail Knights. (Brettonians, Rare, ?)

WS 5, 2 S6 attack, 1 S3 attack

Empire Knights (Empire, Core, 21 pts / model)

WS 4, 1 S5 attack, 1 S3 attack

Boar Boyz (Orcs and Gobbos, Special, 22 pts / model)

WS 3, 1 S5 attack, 1 S3 attack

_________________ chek it put! My youtube chanel be sure to visit it

lizardmen W-0 D-1 L-1
CSM W-1 D-2 L-3
space wolves W-2 D-0 L-1


STEAM Post subject: Re: TACTICS! Posted: Fri Nov 27, 2009 9:35 pm

The Handbow Corsair tactica.

Table of content

Part 1 - Description
Introduction: an ill-understood unit.
What RHB corsairs are NOT.
RHB corsairs characteristics.
Unit’s size & setting.
Joined: Sun May 31, 2009
12:38 pm Part 2 - Using the expandable RHB corsairs
Posts: 2700
Reputation: 22 Screen for a special infantry unit.
Screen for a frenzied unit.
Location: Estonia. Tallinn Comparing screening units.
Love: Wood Elves Stand-alone harassing unit.
Hate: Daemons of Chaos
Fear: Warriors of Chaos Babysitter for sorceress.
Babysitter for assassin.
The AP variant.

Part 3 - Choosing RHB corsairs or other units?

RHB corsairs or AHW corsairs?
RHB corsairs or harpies?
RHB corsairs or DR?
RHB corsairs or RXBmen?
Taking RHB corsairs in a competitive environment.

Part 4 - RHB corsairs in a large unit

The fatty babysitter.
The Tchoot Tchoot weird killing machine.
The Wild West Gunmen.
Give it a chance?

Part 5 - Conclusion 27-03-2011
Warhammer Fantasy Battle Reporter Forum • View topic - TACTICS! Page 38 of 52

Part 1 - Description

Introduction: an ill-understood unit.

When the new army book was released in August 08, one of the novelties was the corsair’s
repeater handbow.
Sadly, it was found that the RHB is less efficient than the improved Repeater Crossbow, and when
taking the RXB, corsairs loose one attack, at a time when even corsairs with two handweapons
struggle to compete favourably against mere DE warriors.
As a result, a majority of DE generals discard this option as a GW weirdness with no use.

Actually, Corsairs with RHB are very different from corsairs with AHW, nearly to the point that it's
like saying that warriors with spears are very different from warriors with crossbows.

In this article, I will try to explain that no matter if, indeed, this unit does not compete against
other units in their own traditional roles, it has however its own niche of usefulness for which it
will reward the general innovative enough to use it.


What RHB corsairs are NOT.

Regular corsairs are made for melee. Crossbows are made for shooting.
What about corsairs with crossbows?
Well, they are worse than other choices both in melee and for shooting.
Corsairs with crossbows are neither melee corsairs nor crossbowmen. Don't use them as such,
they would suck.

RHB corsairs are pityful in melee.

At the same cost, regular corsairs have twice as many attacks.
For much cheaper, warriors with shields can select either to be better protected in melee, or to
have twice as many attacks and the same protection.
Even crossbowmen with shields, barely more expensive, are better protected in melee.

RHB corsairs are bad shooters.

They have a very limited shooting range, 8", and they cannot double-march and shoot so the
effective threatening range is 13", not much. Worse, their crossbow is not even Armour Piercing.

Not brilliant in melee nor in shooting, they won't shine either in the movement phase, and they
don't have any asset in the psychology phase.
This is why many generals don't even give a try, unable to see any use for this new unit.


RHB corsairs characteristics.

Let’s review the characteristics of the RHB corsairs.

Unexpensive core, that may be sacrificed.

You don't use any special/rare slot, you even tick one mandatory core slot.
At 10pts each model, you may sacrifice them, so to be charged is not much big a deal.
This unit is in the same club than warriors, RXBmen, AHW corsairs and harpies. DR are much more
expensive and other infantry units are special. 27-03-2011
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Sea dragon cloak.

This is the main interest of corsairs: they are very resistant to distant attacks, both shooting and
magic, with their 4+ armour save. Only warriors can soak more distance attacks per pts spent,
i.e. taking into account the cost of the unit, and if warriors are more cost-effective than corsairs,
it's only by a small margin. Harpies, protected only by their skirmisher rule, are slightly less cost-
effective than corsairs. DR are too expensive to be considered as a shield.

Repeater handbow.
This weapon ought to be considered as a very nice hurled weapon rather than a lame range
Compared to hurled weapons of similar range, it shoots twice.
Once you've realized that, you start to understand some unique uses for "hurled weapons" RHB
they can be an irritating harassing unit, in complement to their main role as a shielding unit.
In a small unit, they have too little a pts value to be worth fighting but, thanks to this RHB, they
cannot be ignored even if they shoot only twice in a game. Difficult to get rid of at distance, the
stand & shoot ability requires the use of heavy troops to take care of this expandable unit,
wasting those heavy troops' time.
With this weapon, they can effectively get rid of light march-blockers more easily than by
charging them.

Sure, this unit is not designed for melee. But they may charge in complement to a more killing
unit. Only 1 corsair needs to be in contact for the slaver's rule to be in effect! Between the 3d6"
pursuit of Dark Riders/COC/COK and the Slaver rule, you should be able to catch anything that

Ability to use a banner.

As a matter of fact, they don't benefit much from any banner, except possibly the "AP" banner of
murder (which works both for melee and missile) or when they are taken in large units. AP RHB
corsairs and large units of RHB corsairs will be covered in specific chapters or paragraphs.

The drawbacks are:

- infantry, slow moving, needing to wheel,
- minimum size of 10,
- shooting threatening only for light troops,
- unit not threatening at all in melee.

Overall, the three most useful characteristics of this unit are its low cost , its resistance to
distance damage (shooting and magic missiles) and its ability to shoot at anything light in vicinity.

Secundary advantages are to fill up a core slot, the slavery rule and, in certain settings, the
ability to take a banner.

Any efficient use of this unit will make good use of the unit's qualities: expandable, resistant to
shooting, threatening in close vicinity.

With these qualities, RHB corsairs are your best escorts!


Unit’s size & setting.

RHB corsairs are usually seen in one of the three following settings:

Expandable RHB corsairs. 27-03-2011
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10 + musician = 105 pts.

This is a cheap unit. You don't worry too much about loosing it, but as the opponent doesn't worry
too much about destroying it (it's not worth the effort), it is likely to remain US>5 till the end of
the battle.
No champ, no banner, in order to remain as expandable as possible.

AP RHB corsairs.
Dark Alliance signalled to use 10 Corsairs with RHB and the Banner of Murder. "I march them
across the board in front of my Black Guard unit, straight at the target. Sometimes I will fight any
opponent that charges them, rather than fleeing through the immune to psych BG. The armour
piercing nature of the BoM helps their combat prowess against certain enemy units, but other
times I will flee and draw the opponent into the asf BG. It's a blunt, unsubtle tactic but it works
either way. I like it when the enemy is presented with a no win choice situation such as this."
It is roughly the same as the naked unit, but more expensive, more offensive and overall more
specialized and even better as an escort.
The full command should be taken.

Large unit of RHB corsairs.

Here, the spirit is very different. The idea is that in most melees, core infantry of any kind won't
do much damage and count on their Static Combat Resolution. Having said that, it becomes
irrelevant to have AHW corsairs, warriors, RXBmen or RHB corsairs. If your main opponent always
brings a large monster, then the whole unit of RHB corsairs has a chance to shoot just before
receiving the charge, and 50 shots are freightening to anyone.
FC must be taken, along with the AP banner. You beef up the unit with a character or an
assassin, possibly a high sorceress with PoK.
This very specialized large unit will be discussed in a specific chapter.

The next chapter deals with the light setting of 10 RHB corsairs, and most of what is said applies
to the AP variant.

Part 2 - Using the expandable RHB corsairs


Screen for a special infantry unit.

RHB corsairs have one very specific use, for which they are really handy:
they make an excellent escort for all special infantries.

. Screening against magic/shooting.

They make a great moving shield against magic & shooting, with an impressive 4+ save. That's
easy to understand: it takes much more effort to shoot/cast away 100 pts of corsairs than 100 pts
of any elite troop. If the enemy spends a lot of energy killing the corsairs, they are progressively
reduced to a small unit but who cares? They did their job taking hits instead of the most
expensive unit behind. What they soak in did not hurt your Execs nor BG behind them.

. Getting rid of march-blockers.

Did the opposing light cavalry get in position on the side of your troops, out of charge LOS? If the
corsairs and their escorted unit are march-blocked, it means that the foe is within RHB shooting
range. The corsairs turn towards the march-blocker and shoot it. And this can be done in pretty
much any direction, as they can turn 90° or 180° and shoot (and THIS is better than charging, for
which you would need a LOS before moving - for this reason, they are superior to AHW corsairs in
this role). Usually, the march-blocker is a light unit which cannot withstand 20 bolts.
Harpies could do the same job by charging, however their charge is lame, and furthermore it
forces them to leave their assigned position.

. Deterring light troops's charges. 27-03-2011
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Light cavalry, harpies and the like never hesitate to charge a small screen: getting the charge,
they will kill a few, meaning less retaliation and a likely win.
However, when charging RHB corsairs, you get the retaliation before hitting, and that's 20 shots.
Chances are that the charging unit looses half of its strength and what remains won't hurt much,
or they may flee alltogether before even reaching the corsairs. The RHB is a nice deterrent for
light charges. No matter where the fast cavalry comes from, they can interpose, shoot and stand
& shoot if charged. Light cavalry hates that.
No more light charges, which could have forced a hate-pursuit by your special units!

. Charge redirectors or softener for heavy charges.

They are an obstacle also for incoming heavy troops, who would rather directly take care of your
more expensive units. In case something nasty threatens to charge the corsairs, this is when your
own nasty unit gets ready for a juicy fight!

a) Flee and countercharge.

If the attacker is heavily armoured and coming from far, they sometimes better flee and surprise
the enemy who will move only half-charging movement. Even if they are cought, who cares for
such a small unit, as long as the foe is now presenting his flank or lost his charge bonus? However,
finding the appropriate distance between corsairs and escorted unit is rather difficult and
depends on the enemy you're facing. Easy against dwarfs, impossible against flyers.

b) Redirect the enemy.

RHB corsairs placed angled make for charge redirectors with firepower (stand and shoot) for
relatively few points and the exes/BG behind them will be happy at the flank newly presented.
Sure, such positioning isn't any easy. Or you can select to flee and determine exactly where the
charging unit will end up.

c) Flee and receive the charge.

You can allow them to flee through the ITP ASF BG and have the BG receive the charge
Hey, remember, you wanted to protect your ASF BG from shooting, not from charges? Job done!

d) Soften the charge and be sacrificed.

RHB corsairs provide you with the unique option to Stand & Shoot, likely killing at least one foe
with 20 bolts, hence reducing the opponent's rank bonus. After that, of course you loose combat,
flee and have the foe meet (with one less rank bonus) your ASF BG.
By the way, only RHB corsairs allow you to select this option. Oh, and it's soooo nice against HE!

. Complementary charge.
When the escorted unit has finally reached he enemy's line (or the enemy has reached your
lines), then the corsairs are not anymor useful for screening. Worse, they are now an obstacle for
your own elite troops.
Don't worry, they may well charge themselves, either at a distinct foe or simultaneously with the
special infantry they were escorting, in both cases providing the latter with a clear path. Both
charging, you have to maximize the models in contact, and you must try to get an even number
from both units (BRB p.23). The elite's job is to kill, the corsair's job is to catch the fleeing
opponent with the slavery rule if you win. Our special infantry should be able to win the combat
alone, and having some corsairs in the fight not only provides numeric superiority and a muso
(which BG often lack) but also, in case the opponent flees, the slavers rule.
Here, the drawback of having the screen in the way (happening whatever the escort) is mitigated
by the advantage of the slaver's rule (exclusive to corsairs).

. Leaving the escorted unit.

We've seen that if the enemy destroys the corsairs by shooting/casting spells/charging, then
they've done their job and the escorted unit is free to run and charge.
However, if the elusive enemy let them live and tries to avoid both units, ultimately, when you're
close enough, they have to leave a clear path for your special forces.
You'll wheel the corsairs away towards one direction, hopefully facing the most threatening 27-03-2011
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shooters, while the elite, behind, wheels the other diretion towards the most interesting target.
It leaves one round of reaction to the enemy, which is much better than having to cross the
whole battlefield with no cover at all.
One good way to make room for the unit behind is as follows:
wheel 2.5" away from the desired direction, then reduce the front line by 5 from 10x1 to 2x5,
removing the 5 in excess exclusively from the side in front of the screened elite unit (yes it's
legal, you don't have to reduce from both sides). After that process, you should be able to move
forwards your elite unit with a double-march around the former screen. Problem solved.

. Fleeing corsairs.
If a sucessful shot/spell or charge forces the corsair unit to flee and if they are still at US5, they
may trigger panic to the escorted unit behind. For that reason, it is better to let them escort ITP
troops (BG, WE, SSS corsairs) rather than Execs. Afterwards, the corsairs will likely pass their Ld
test and rally (but if they fail, who cares?) and still be able to contest a 1/4 table. At least, they
have done their escort job and they are no more in the way.


Screen for a frenzied unit.

The annoyance for frenzied troops is that they are likely to be baited away and find themselves
flank-charged or dragged out of your lines.
This is why you need an escort in order to canalize them.

Everything in the previous chapter remains valid, except two very minor points if the escorted
unit is SSS corsairs, because all corsairs cost the same per model (hence AHW corsairs don't need
a screen) and have the slavey rule.

Corsairs with RHB are great babysitters for frenzied units:

- they are very resistant
- when a small unit of fliers or fast cav comes within range, they get mowed down in a hail of
small arms fire that will decimate the usual 5 man march blockers willing to pull away frenzied

If no such frenzy-trigger/march-blocker gets close, then everyone just double-marches.

If ever RHB corsairs panic or have to flee, the frenzied unit behind does not care.


Comparing screening units.

RHB corsairs compete in the escort role with other core troops.

- DR are too expensive for that job, let alone DR with RXB. Don't screen with DR, it is not cost-
efficient at all, they are just a treat for the opponent's shooting.

- Spear warriors are less expensive than corsairs but survive less to shooting & magic and achieve
nothing else by themselves.

- AHW corsairs have the same price, same survivability, but they threaten only a 10" charge zone
in their LOS rather than a 13" shooting zone regardless of the LOS.

- RXBmen are less effective as a screen, because they can soak less shots. However, they can
more efficiently shoot when they don't double-march, and they can more efficiently provide a
supporting flank charge - better save, same attack but forfeit the slavers rule. They threaten
light troops at much longer distance, however suffer -1 to hit if moving at all. 27-03-2011
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In real-world psychology, during a game, it is always so tempting to shoot with them that they
will be reluctant to double-march instead, while corsairs won't ever complain about that, but you
know how not to listen to your troops, don't you?

- Hapies are the real other good choice for an escort.

Harpies are the easiest to use in that role, but they are more fragile, they don't have the slaver's
rule and they don't threaten as much light harassers.
They can move 20" & charge at 360°, and 5 harpies cost half the price of 10 corsairs, and
furthermore they won't panic anyone by being destroyed or fleeing. However, they will shield the
escorted unit only until the first shot, to which they will loose enough models to let the next shot
have a direct LOS to the escorted unit (and probably they will panic: they are prone to flee if 2 of
them are killed, which corsairs are not).

Therefore, you have really to compare 1 unit of corsairs to 2 units of 5 harpies or 1 unit of 10, for
a similar pts cost. In that way, the enemy has to shoot/cast twice at harpies before he can have a
LOS to the escorted unit; by comparison, shooting twice at corsairs will destroy less models. After
that shooting, either harpies or corsairs may panic but corsair's Ld is higher; however, 4 fleeing
harpies won't panic anyone, while 5-7 fleeing corsairs may panic Execs (but not BG nor frenzied
Later, the harpies may charge/march block easily with their exceptional speed; on the other
hand, corsairs are more likely to remain US5 and constest a 1/4 table, or help capture an
opponent, so each has its role, easier to fulfill for harpies.
I'd rather suggest to use many harpies for screening the units when having the general near in a
troop behind them.

Another factor to take into account is that, if you have a special-heavy army, you may be happy
to fill up a core slot with 105pts corsairs. If this is the case, they might compete with RXBmen
rather than harpies.

Overall, the real choice for an escort is between 10 RHB corsairs, 10 shielded RXBmen or 2 x 5
Each has advantages and drawbacks.
- 10 shielded RXBmen screen least and can be charged by light troops, but they can shoot and
fight better.
- 2x5 Harpies screen well and can move & charge very far, but are not resistant.
- 10 RHB corsairs screen best and resist light charges, and they can shoot light march-blockers
That is why I always take one of each!


Stand-alone harassing unit.

Sometimes, you have this unit available but don't need to screen anyone. Several reasons:
The opponent has brought little shooting and his magic requires no LOS.
There are two hills and three buildings in the opponent's deployment zone, hence the screening is
A clever shot in turn 1 destroyed your elite unit.
Or the screening is done as in the previous chapter, and your unit is now available for other

Are these 105 pts you've spent wasted? Of course not, there are still many uses for that unit.
It's a tiny unit, so if the enemy takes care of it, it allows something more expensive to survive
and fight, and if the enemy ignores it, they can easily become a pain for him. 27-03-2011
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. Flanker.
Enemies have often some sort of light cavalry or scouts. Having some small units of these
shooting corsairs means that he can't play with our flanks easily, and has to consider charging
them instead of just avoiding them. Think about your own fast cav and whether you would get in
range of that unit with them. You wouldn't b/c you would get killed.
This allows our main efforts to ignore enemy fast cav/skirmishers and concentrate on getting into
position for that critical flank charge turn 3, our scouts can go after enemy artillery and our
harpies can do the redirect march block thing.
RXBmen would perform better in that job, and I would recommend them for this specific task;
but when available, RHB corsairs are as painful, as they are more difficult to get rid of.

. A trick for flankers: move them in 5x2 formation.

A 5x2 unit can move and wheel more easily than a 10x1.
In your turn, if the enemy gets close enough, even out of your LOS, you will add/reduce a rank
with 5 corsairs, at a cost of 1/4 of your movement. First you rotate 1/4 or 1/2 turn if necessary,
then move/wheel a little bit, finally you augment the first rank to 10*1 and shoot 20 bolts with
no penalty (except -1 for multiple shots)!

. Taunting unit.
The unit can get close to the enemy and taunt him by firing bolts at whoever it can reach.
If ignored, it will be a pain.
If shot at, it is quite resilient.
If spelled at, then it prevented a more expansive unit to be spelled at.
If charged, it stands & shoots, kills a few, normally looses combat, so what? It was positioned in
order that the pursuing unit finds itself in trouble or at least away from the heat.
In any case, it is fun to play.
Less efficient than DR, but cheaper also and more resistant with more wounds. Excellent against

. 1/4 table contester.

Most of the time, this small unit earns back its price, if only by claiming a 1/4 table after being
ignored for the duration of the game.
If it gets inside a building, then it is extremely difficult to dislodge: impressive missile protection,
stand & shoot guaranteed... only template weapons and magic have a chance. If ever an infantry
wants to get them out, they get 10-bolted when they charge (only 5 can shoot from a 1-storey
building), and, if they don't succeed, they are pushed back 1" away, where they got 10-bolted
again (with no more penalty for charging troops) and they get once more 10-bolted if they can
charge again. Ouch.


Babysitter for sorceress.

. Usual babysitters.
Often, sorceresses are babysitted by warriors or by shielded RXBmen.
- Shielded RXBmen are lesser missile absorbers, but their shooting at 24" takes care of most
shooters and light chargers, and in any case their shooting complements well the long distance
- Warriors, in a passive role, have a greater capability to absorb shots & spells, and, if charged,
provide a good SCR. You would take them over RXBmen only if you were mostly worried about the
sorceress' safety, or if you knew you would face a very shooty opponent.

. RHB corsairs offer the best protection against attack from a distance.
Have you ever considered RHB corsairs instead of warriors, for an improved protection?
100 pts of corsairs absorb pretty much the same as 100 pts of warriors, so they provide the same
protection at distance.
However, warriors are helpless to prevent "suicide snipe-charges", i.e. a unit of light cavalry (or 27-03-2011
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harpies) which charges the unit, three of them hit the sorceress and they don't care if they loose
the fight, the damage is done.
This is where the Stand & Shoot capability of RHB corsairs comes handy: they are indeed the best
passive escort you could dream of, because they protect against shooting, magic AND snipe-
If your intention is to babysit a sorceress, then a champion is mandatory, with a pair of RHB.

If you can manage to put them all inside a building, with far reaching magic such as Metal or Fire,
then the enemy's only hope is to cast them out, to reduce slowly the number of building
occupants with template weapons, or to move far away and ignore that unit.

A sorceress with short range magic (shadow, death), possibly mounted, can benefit as well from
their protection. They rush towards the enemy, the corsairs providing an excellent protection
(only COK can offer a better protection). You double-march at 10", the enemy is at 14" and you're
still protected (and more so than with MXB or DR).

. Two slim babysitters.

Overall, I feel that generally RXBmen are more useful with their ability to shoot while the
sorceress casts.
But I appreciate to have both options available (i.e. 1 MXB unit and 1 RHB corsair unit) and select
the babysitter in accordance with the foe I face. I like even more to be able to move my sorc
back & forth between the two units if one gets depleted too much or better positioned.

For example, deploy both units 10 wide, one behind the other, slightly off on one side.
As you deploy the characters last, you'll put your sorc either on the front or on the rear unit
depending on the opponent's deployment.



In this example, the sorc in the rear unit has a LOS on the target you wish, but the enemy has a
reduced LOS on the rear unit. The sorc benefits from "Look out, Ma'am" and won't be hurt, while
less enemy models can shoot at your babysitting unit.


Babysitter for assassin.

Assassins may be used in your main lines, defending a character or boosting a melee unit.
Or assassins can be used as warmachine / character hunters, especially if they use the cloak.
In this latter use, the problem is to get safely the assassin within range of the target, allowing
him to survive even if ever the cloak is dispelled.

The most popular unit for sheltering & delivering such an assassin is probably shades, if they
manage to get inside a convenient wood.
However, the convenient wood does not always exist.
Also, the trick is very obvious and the experienced opponent will be weary of shades.
Finally, when you reveal the assassin, move the shades in LOS of the targeted warmachine/magic
user, cast the cloak and see it dispelled/scrolled, now you have your assassin inside a unit of 5
pricey shades with no armour and only the skirmisher rule to protect them from the retaliation of
the former intended target.

Now, consider a unit of RHB corsairs with the same assassin hidden inside.
Your opponent may start the first round. Who in the world would spend any shooting or magic
against this strudy, non-threatening unit?
When it's your turn to play, you reveal your 'sass, double-march at 10", and, in the magic phase, 27-03-2011
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you trigger the cloak at 20". Or, if you're too far from any interesting target, don't reveal it yet,
just move forwards and remain innocuous for one more turn.
If/when the 'sass finally manages to fly and charge his target, then you can use your RHB corsairs
as a stand-alone harassing unit, as mentioned above, while the 'sass butchers the warmachines.
If the cloak fails, then the 'sass is safe in a unit very resilient to shooting & magic missiles, that
no one will charge in fear of the RHB and the ASF 'sass. Much better than shades!

Shades or RHB corsairs?

Actually, I'm happy to have both available.
Shades are likely to shelter the 'sass, but, as my usual opponent get used to the trick, he always
sets the terrain in an unfavourable position. This is when I find corsairs handy. Or sometimes I put
the 'sass in the corsairs for no reason other than for a change.


The AP variant.

The RHB corsair unit can be made more threatening with the AP "BoM" banner, which works with
range weapons as well as with melee weapons.
In this setting, you emphasize the shooting performance over the expandability.
Hence, the champion becomes interesting, but the unit soars from 105 pts to 153 pts.

DA's combo is to put this unit just in front of the ASF BG, and to move all of them forwards
towards the enemy.
Usually, the prudent opponent avoids the BG (because he assumes they have the ASF) and tries to
shoot them instead.
With a screen, it's more difficult. The corsair's job is to screen against magic/shooting, as usual.
In addition, the two units combined rush towards the enemy and the corsairs pin them with bolts
at up to 13" distance, when BG alone would only be able to charge at 10".
If charged, they have the option to:
- S&S, the 22 AP shots are sure to deal some damage before the corsairs loose combat and run
across the ITP BG, who receive gladly the reduced charge and recover the captured banner.
- fleeing across the ITP BG remains an surprise option.

The idea here is that BG benefit as usual from the screen, but here, in addition, the screen
benefits so much from the company of the BG that you can afford to beef it up and make it more
effective and less sacrificeable.

In that setting, RHB corsairs screen better than RXBmen, and they are superior to any other
screen because they can shoot efficiently.

Part 3 - Choosing RHB corsairs or other units?


RHB corsairs or AHW corsairs?

As explained already, as a small escort, RHB corsairs are more useful than RHB corsairs because
they can get rid of march-blockers more easily.

In large units, cumbersome to wheel, made for combat, I would rather take AHW corsairs,
especially if they have the SSS and a CoB is in vicinity. There are however some fancy RHB
settings presented in the following chapter, but they could be considered in addition to AHW
corsairs inside a corsair-themed army, so that there is no competition between the two kind of
units, but a complementary use for more variety. 27-03-2011
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RHB corsairs or harpies?

I will always take two units of 5 harpies. Now, assuming there is a unit to escort, is it better to
take two more units of harpies or one single unit of RHB corsairs?
If you know you'll face only light shooting, then probably more harpies would be better, or you
could well do with not that many screens.
If you fear you would face heavy shooting, then it's wiser to get 10 RHB corsairs alongside your
harpies, they are more resistant and take better care of light march-blockers.
If in addition you need babysitters for your sorc/sass, then no hesitation, because they can't join


RHB corsairs or DR?

For about the same points cost, you can get either a unit of 10 corsairs or a unit of 5 Dark Riders
with RxBs.

DR are arguably the best fast cavalry in WHFB.

The only negative factor is that DR cost quite a lot for a model with a single wound and little
For this reason, I believe it's an heresy to use them as meatshield.

If you want to harass the enemy, nothing beats DR with crossbows except possibly shades.
RHB corsairs come far behind because of their shorter range (albeit deadlier), however they are
much, much more resistant for much cheaper. If you want to harass a shooty enemy - and
survive, then RHB corsairs are worth considereing.

The Dark Riders have the maneuverability advantage and the advantage in overall range of their
shooting. But the Corsairs are harder to get rid of with missiles or magic, because of the Sea
Dragon cloaks and because they can soak up twice as many wounds.

Dark Riders are more useful overall and should be taken first, but Corsairs with handbows can be
valuable additionally as escorts in an infantry-based list.


RHB corsairs or RXBmen?

This comparison triggered the hottest discussions, most likely because people failed to
understand that corsairs, even with handbows, are NOT to be considered for a mostly shooting
If you want mostly to shoot, of course take RXBmen.

10 RXBmen with Shields = 115pts, shoot 24" S3 AP, 5+ save against missiles, 4+ save in melee.
10 Corsairs with Handbows = 105pts, shoot 8" S3, 4+ save against shooting, 5+ save in melee.

Shooting : Shielded Crossbowmen > RHB Corsairs

Fighting : Shielded Crossbowmen > RHB Corsairs
Maneuver : they are =, but corsairs don't loose much by double-marching.
Receiving fire : RHB Corsairs > Shielded Crossbowmen

RHB corsairs are superior only for moving and receiving fire, i.e. as an escort for an elite
infantry, a sorceress or an assassin. 27-03-2011
Warhammer Fantasy Battle Reporter Forum • View topic - TACTICS! Page 48 of 52

WHEN they fire, they are more accurate, but that is only IF they can fire (not very often).
RHB corsairs can be used more agressively because of their resistance and their short missile
range. They can move agressively to act as bait, combat support, and charge-redirectors. Regular
crossbowmen lose much of their effectiveness when used in this kind of role. Corsairs are made
for it.

RXBmen can be used equally agressively as the RHB corsairs, but will die faster because they
have a -1AS compared to them. Furthermore, if you use crossbowmen in the same way, you lose
your shooting advantage. On the other hand, they can be used defensively due to their long
range, and even though they will not hit as often due to shooting penalties, it is still better to
shoot with a penalty than it is to not shoot at all! They do however cost 10 points more for a unit
of 10.

If you want a shooting or general-use troop, take Shielded Crossbowmen.

Also, RXBmen are probably easier and more intuitive to use.

In short, they fill entirely different roles.


Taking RHB corsairs in a competitive environment.

I don't play in a very competitive environment, but I always play with RHB corsairs, shades,
RXBmen, DR and harpies so I can compare them.
Also, I play with a unit of BG to escort, a unit of frenzied corsairs to canalize, and two
sorceresses and one or two assassins to babysit, so I do have many reasons to use RHB corsairs.

I am convinced that the single good reason to take them competitively is because you have an
infantry unit to escort, especially the ASF BG or frenzied/armourless WE . In addition, if there is
a second unit to escort or if you have a sorceress or an assassin in your army list, then don't

Execs or frenzied corsairs would benefit a lot from this unit, however more harpies are probably
a better option because they would not panic Execs, and because corsairs need no other corsairs
to cover them, but just to get rid of frenzy-baiters (so harpies may just do that by staying in
ambush or positioning carefully).

There may be a combination of reasons to take them:

if you play magic-heavy with a cloaked assassin, RHB corsairs will provide you with interesting
opportunities which will justify their cost. All the more if you have some SSS corsairs or Execs, or
if you have difficulties to beat HE. All of this, combined together, makes a sufficient reason to
take a small unit of RHB corsairs.

Finally, when you have already some RXBmen, DR, harpies and shades, instead of duplicating one
auxiliary unit by taking one more of these, you could well consider a unit of RHB corsairs, which
beats them all in shielding and threatening march-blockers, and can do a bit of aggressive
maneuvres in addition, and which will surprise your opponent who quite possibly has never faced
that unit.

Part 4 - RHB corsairs in a large unit


RHB corsairs have been investigated as a large unit. That's a very unusual mass unit, which won't
fail to surprise your opponent. 27-03-2011
Warhammer Fantasy Battle Reporter Forum • View topic - TACTICS! Page 49 of 52

The reasoning is that infantry cannot be guaranteed to get the charge, so let them consider that
they are charged instead. Actually, RHB corsairs are the ideal infantry you want to be charged!
These guys can put out more shots than xbowmen as you are shooting on both players' turns.

If the enemy is soft, the stand & shoot will kill many (especially if you set them 7 or even 10 per
If the enemy is hard, then the AHW would be no more effective than the RHB, in that case only
SCR matters (set them 5 per rank).
Against opponents with “large target” rule, keep them 5 wide, all of them can shoot!

SCR would be up to 6 with 3 ranks, banner, possibly the warbanner, and likely outnumbering
(since S&S has probably reduced the number of charging opponents if they were a horde).
The AP banner is useful for such unit against medium armour opponents, but prevents the use of
the war banner, which is the best banner for the SCR. Both options make sense.

The problem with such unit is that it is completely helpless in case of flank charges, against
which corsairs cannot shoot and their SCR is low.

A number of 20 seems adequate, in order not to increase the price too much.


The fatty babysitter.

That large unit would shelter one or two characters, for example a high sorceress and an
assassin. The PoK sorceress would answer challenges and protect the unit from excessive ACR
loss, or the assassin can do the same.

A large unit of 20 RHB corsairs with magic banner & FC would cost 275pts.
The cheaper version costs 205pts with only a muso, nothing else, but is more likely to be
defeated on the charge.

Here's a batrep using that large RHB unit.

SUAT vs. Orcs


The Tchoot Tchoot weird killing machine.

"Tchoot Tchoot" is short for "Shtand and Tshoot", and that's how it works.

Master BSB - Standard of Hag Graef, GW, HA, SDC, rhbx2

20 Corsairs - FC Banner of Murder and rhb's

For 421 pts (quite a big amount), you get to shoot once 18 shots (S3, AP) (at -1 against charging
and then strike first with 8 corsair hits (S3, AP) and the 3 master's (S6, AP).
You get CR = 5 + your kills - his kills - his CR.

- Either the enemy charges with mundane troops and he looses many to the shootings (and looses
some SCR) and to ASF hits (he looses many strike back attempts), kills back few corsairs and
looses combat,
- the enemy charges with elite, armoured troops, looses few to shooting, a couple to ASF hits
(especially the Master's), kills back a big number of corsairs but, because he has no SCR, he looses
anyway - a danger in this case is that his elite troops would remain in combat and eat
progressively your SCR while not loosing anymore on shooting and loosing little in HtH.
or 27-03-2011
Warhammer Fantasy Battle Reporter Forum • View topic - TACTICS! Page 50 of 52

- the enemy charges with a big monster /mounted Lord, the animal faces a lot of needles while
charging since back ranks can shoot at a big target, possibly killing it; in melee, the Master has
little chances of killing the beast (a monster does not take challenges from the champ) but SCR
makes the difference and corsairs will reroll the highest fleeing dice of the monster.

An analysis showed that this unit compares well to units of regular corsairs or warriors of similar

But would you really dare to take one unit of 421 pts with all the risks it brings (think about if
you're playing against VC... he'll throw against you the first unit of ghouls available pumping it
over and over, so your unit will be wasted, let alone the risk for panic/fear/terror checks that
even at Ld 9 can be missed)?
Or would you rather take 3 units of RXbows with shields that cost less and shoot at 24"? Less fun
but more reasonable.
Also, if the enemy refuses the charge, the 421 pts über unit will not earn its cost... just like any
über, non shooting unit unable to find an opponent waiting for it.


The Wild West Gunmen

A still relatively expensive option, being fifteen corsairs, full command, handbows, banner of
murder and an assassin with manbane, RoK and a handbow.
While this unit is pushing 350 pts, it really is capable of fulfilling multiple roles. I will start in 3*5
formation, march them up and expand to full frontage - this way it can usually get ~30 shots,
hitting on fours, plus the assassins high BS attacks with manbane. Then they get a stand and
shoot, and the assassin going silly in close combat - sweet. Plus, the banner of murder has the
synergy of making handbows equivalent to RXB's and buffing the assassin significantly, i.e., giving
him strength five handbows with -3 to saves against toughness four infantry!

All this being said, you have to pick your targets, and while the unit actually operates pretty well
on its own, it is better used on the side of a unit of black guard, so as to force a hard choice on
which unit to attack. Don't be afraid to flee, to give other units flanks, it has worked quite well.
Surprisingly enough, the unit works very well against smaller, elite units - so far they've handled
such units as chosen quite nicely. In these cases, the impact of the shooting is enough to diminish
the combat effectiveness, and to get back points in larger chunks, while the assassin doesn't care
how good a fighter you are, he's still going to town.
Bring your harmonica!

Idea provided in How to use RHB's effectivly? by woodenanteater.


Give it a chance?

Few people have tried the large RHB corsair unit. Hot debates have investigated how effective it
could be.
The least to say is that it did not fully convinced everyone.

Overall I would not personally recommend any of these strange units except for a change once in
a while in a non-competitive game.
Beating your opponent after he charged you is better than beating him after you charged him...

Part 5 - Conclusion
========================== 27-03-2011
Warhammer Fantasy Battle Reporter Forum • View topic - TACTICS! Page 51 of 52

If you like the beautiful models of corsairs, or if you field a fluffy raiding party, I hope that this
article provided you with some new ways to use efficiently that unit.

If you were previously convinced that the new corsairs are just good for converting the WE glade
rides into better-looking and cheaper DR (which they can do indeed), I hope that in the future
you will consider that a unit of RHB corsairs has its own, specialized use.

As a corsair myself, I never fail to use one small unit of 10 RHB corsairs.
They never disappointed me, and they proved more than often to be fun to use!

_________________ chek it put! My youtube chanel be sure to visit it

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STEAM Post subject: Re: TACTICS! Posted: Sat Nov 28, 2009 3:52 pm

all other info you can find here


_________________ chek it put! My youtube chanel be sure to visit it

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