Pinned DE General Discussion

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  • @Eol

    No you are not right regarding WDG playstyles: 2 playstyles at least are currently no more available.

    First one being as already mentioned avoidance/laser playstyle with 1-2 he'll cannons, tzeentch laser magic and counter charge elements like bloodbeast chariots and so on.

    This playstyle was heavily targeted at doing ranged damage mostly, while the combat troops were held back for counter charges and cleaning up rest of enemy troops.

    This playstyle is definitely history.

    Next playstyle gone is WDG flying circus monster mash. This playstyle was one of the most famous playstyle on tournaments, at least for a while in Germany.

    It included 1-2 flying prince's, flying lord and/or BSB and at least 1-2 big chimeras, one of them ancient chimera. (The big guys, with 4+regen,thunderstomp and 6A S6, not the current small version of chimera).

    This playstyle is also not playable with the LAB.

    Also several troop types like trolls, mentioned big chimera, deamon princes and he'll cannon, but also others, Mark depended units are either completely gone or changed drastically.

    So your claim is not really true, that playstyles were solely killed only in the DE
  • The change on the harpies is a huge nerf. Getting 5 wounds for the same price as 8 wounds is a super big nerf for this unit.

    In my opinion the harpies at this price tag make little sense to be used at all. Take the black cloaks, a gorgon or riders instead and get a lot better unit. It doesn´t help that they get an additional attack when charging.
  • I like the change made to the warlock outcast. But I have to rethink my current list. Apparently it is OP, containing 24 judicators with Scent of blood/swiftsride banner enchantment and a colossal kraken. I can understand the price raise of the kraken though. However, the judicators (and Obsidian Guard) getting more expensive is something I honestly do not get. Why increase the price of a unit that already has great difficulty getting across the board in one piece? And why discourage bigger units?
  • Here's the designer's notes. They will be probably posted in a separate thread or an announcement, but I think they'll add to the discussion if I post them directly here:


    DE LAB team wrote:

    Salutations, T9A community!

    After a long wait, we’re pleased to bring you the 4th version of the DE alpha book. What should you expect? What changed and why? Read ahead and find out!

    The data:

    Even if we’re in the middle of a pandemic, we’ve been lucky enough to have access to a couple of online gaming platforms that have been organizing tournaments and have allowed a good amount of players to stress-test the dread elf book. Thanks to the amazing work of the tournament support staff and our very own ACS, we’ve been keeping tabs on the choices most players make and the army’s results. Plus, we’ve been playing our own share of games, discussing with accomplished DE generals and scouring the forums for criticism and for ideas on what to change and why.

    While we know that the promised rate of updates was initially higher, we took the time between the previous update and today to allow the players some time to actually try it out. Unusual times call for unusual measures…

    The major changes in design:

    There are some issues in T9A that cannot be solved with simple point tweaks, no matter how hard you try. This is when we as designers go back to the drawing board and try to figure things out by altering the rules of an entry. While there are not a lot of major redesigns in this update, a few of them merit more discussion.

    The Hereditary spell

    This has been on our radar for some time now. While it has its uses, Curse of the Phantom Queen can be now classified as a “miss”. A good surrogate marker of the popularity of a Hereditary spell is the frequency of the Magical Heirloom in lists: you guessed it, the DE don’t buy this item and by interviewing DE generals we found out that they weren’t selecting the spell either, except against very specific opposition or with a very specific army composition.

    So we got to brainstorming, since we wanted to keep the “retribution” theme that we find very characterful of a belligerent people’s vengeful god. Enter the new version of the spell: now when cast it covers all of your units within 18” of the caster, but also gives the DE player the choice on when and whether to trigger its effect. The way to do it was to use Veil Tokens, which adds a further cost to the spell and hopefully balances out the versatility it will afford. A frequent criticism we had received for the previous iteration was that it always felt bad to have to lose a bunch of elves for the spell to have any effect: now all it takes is a single HP loss, which frankly happens all the time!

    How does the TT envision players using the spell? It could be any number of uses: try to thin down enemy ranged troops by slowly but surely inflicting casualties even at long range, or try to cause that last wound to the war machine that has been peppering your troops with rocks or bullets. In combat, the effect will be less spectacular in big scraps with multiple units, but getting a timely 2d3+2 S4 hits in a key fight is the equivalent of triggering a Breath Weapon - and we all know how good these can be in the right moment!

    As with any new design, this is subject to change depending on the feedback we get - the advantage of this spell is that with a variable number of hits/s/ap we can find the perfect balance and give the DE the hereditary spell they deserve.

    The Crucible of Slaughter

    This entry has puzzled us for a while - the -1Res effect of the crucible has been well received and provides a potent tool for the DE, turning even the lowly Legionary into a formidable foe. However, it came to our attention that while thematically this entry would fit most with the Temple Militants, this configuration was never used. On the contrary, units of Legionnaires were the perfect place to put the Altar, being able to benefit from a multitude of bonuses - Academy, Scent of Blood from Cadharen’s Pennon - while also getting the most out of the Blades of Darag thanks to the interaction with Assassins and Temple Legates. This all led to a deathstar playstyle, which we’ve been trying to avoid for the Dread Elves as per the guidelines.

    Number crunching and team-wide discussion led us to the conclusion that the Divine Altar’s effect and interaction with the Blades of Darag is acceptable when inside a Militant unit due to the strong thematic link but also the downsides of such a block (frenzy, no armour, no access to the academy rules). So we came up with a solution: have the Altar attendants be armed with whatever weapon the rank-and-file of the carrier unit uses. This adds a level of cohesion to the unit, but more importantly allows better balance.

    What this change does is practically compensate for the loss of the attacks of the models displaced by the Altar: where you’d have 6 obsidian guard fighting, now you get 6 halberd attacks with battle focus and roughly the same stats, and the same applies to Judicators, Legionaries or even the Auxiliaries.

    Further tweaks were made to bring the survivability of the model down to a manageable level - 6HP made it too reliable, so it went down to 5HP. Finally, as the intention is for the Altar to be best when inside militants, it made sense to grant it Frenzy; if inside temple militants that changes nothing, but when inside any other carrier it adds an extra element of unpredictability.

    The Warlock Outcast:

    A lot of players have pointed out that the character section seems limited and that the customizability of the magic phase is lacking. In this update we are testing the Warlock Outcast with an option for being a Wizard Adept; this will hopefully give players the ability to mix and match the paths as they see fit, and give birth to more and different character compositions. We chose to retain the Irresistible Will as a rule for the adept as well: without the +1 bonus to cast spells, he will likely have to make even riskier casting attempts - hopefully balancing out the very potent -2 to dispel attempts.

    As with any new design, this will be followed up closely and tweaked if any balance issues arise, but it is the intention of the task team to allow DE players to use Warlock adepts going forward. (And yes, Not a Leader is still there, as it should be!)

    The “minor” changes and changes in points:

    There are a number of these in the book, and covering all will make this into a bigger text than it already is!

    Some magical items were tweaked in points to open up more interesting builds for characters (looking at you, Mastery of Slaughter Legate!). Another notable change is the Assassin dropping his Blades of Darag for Paired weapons: reliably killing a dragon is not what this character should be able to do, but he still can threaten all kinds of characters with poison attacks, MW2 and Artistry of Death.

    In the mounts section, the most attentive readers among you will have already noticed a major change in the Manticore entry. It’s not a typo, the 50x50mm base manticore has gone down to Resilience 4. The reason for that is a game-wide attempt to tone down the “smaller” monstrous mounts, and similar actions will be likely taken for similar type mounts in other LABs going forward. What this accomplishes is to further differentiate the Extraordinary Specimen entry, which practically gives you a powerd-up version of the slim book Manticore, while also retaining the 50x50 option for all your basing/modelling needs. The smaller version still comes with the +6” command bubble, so there are still uses for the (now slightly cheaper) Res4 versions.

    Another flying unit saw some changes: the Harpies are now down to 5-12 models by popular demand. This is a quality-of-life update for all the players who want to port their pre-LAB armies into the new era, and according to feedback received by the community the smaller footprint will be a welcome change. As is the case with all flying “redirectors”, their price is not dependent on the model count, but rather on the capacity to alter the flow of the game: the 170 point price tag is not an error, it’s what the smaller footprint flying redirector is worth in the Task Team’s opinion. To help out in the chaff-clearing and warmachine-killing role, the harpies now have an extra attack on the charge, surely enough to make all the warmachine crew cower in fear.

    Smaller changes and some point increases are also present: The Repeater Handbow’s wording and effect was streamlined with its bigger cousin, and the Hunting Chariot got a more powerful version of the Dragonsbane Harpoon. As the unit use and in-game effectiveness of some entries was deemed to be too high for the price tag, steps were taken to achieve better internal balance.

    So there you have it: a new version of the book, with new options available and hopefully better external and internal balance. As always, we’re looking forward to your feedback, and will be happy to answer any questions that our faithful ACS forward to us!

    For the glory of Dathen!

    The Dread Elf task team
    @DarkSky
  • Minidudul wrote:

    setrius wrote:

    I suppose the Warlock Adept 70 points in magic items its a typo mistake
    It's just the most elegant* way to say "the book of arcane mastery will never drop in points".*For non-DE player.
    I really dont get it, its really ugly, like i cant look at it. Why not like, for example in case of treefather ancient, "cannot take Book of Arcane mastery" note and thats it?
  • Klaudel wrote:

    Res4 Manticore? Am I reading it correctly?
    correct it is an experiment of sorts however it will very likely be reverted to Res5, -Towering Presence, Can NOT join units.

    New ruling from RT to make all model with TP be on at least 50x100 sized bases.
    “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” - Henry Ford

    The post was edited 1 time, last by msu117 ().

  • Well that was underwhelming.

    I'm not really sure it's addressed any of the concerns raised in this forum.

    Nothing to address the Judicators vs Obsidian Guard debate (both units extra models cost went up).

    Normal manticores loosing a resilience out of nowhere? Can someone explain that to me?

    BSB Temple Legate still has no synergy with the Temple militants?

    Legion Legate complaints still not addressed.

    Chariot mounts lose the crew attacks? Again I'd love the rational?

    Dragonsbane Harpoon is a weird change, but not bad (price rise of Hunting Chariot seems harsh)

    Other small points rises here and there I can see some rationale in.

    Handbow change and 0-3 going to 0-2 on shades seems a little harsh.

    Overall it just seems disappointing, not really addressing any of the concerns highlighted (at least here).

    However I'd happily read the rationale for these changes with an open mind if someone is willing to post it?

    Edit: Ok I've read it and it answers some of the above (manticore for example)

    The post was edited 1 time, last by AlWeeks ().

  • I do hope that the manticore either goes back to Res 5, or at the very least loses towering prescence whilst Res 4

    I am not a fan of the hand xbow nerf, as it makes corsairs weaker, and they were not overly strong to begin with

    The changes to the harpoon I don't think are great, it removed an interesting rule to allow the chariot to gain more targets, whilst still keeping its short range
    I think it would have been more interesting to make the harpoon deal no damage, but debuff monsters instead

    The Kraken nerfs are understandable
    The obsidian ring is still worthless
    Blade capping at +2 is resonable

    Not sold on the harpy change
    The increase in Judicator and Obsidian guard prices hurt larger units

    Shame that stuff like the Pegasus wasn't looked at, as that still seems like a sub par choice for all characters that can take it
  • Haradrada wrote:


    Shame that stuff like the Pegasus wasn't looked at, as that still seems like a sub par choice for all characters that can take it
    It was looked at, except at the time of print deadline approval with stakeholders was not reached. Our hope is to see some small peg changes next update.
    “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.” - Henry Ford
  • AlWeeks wrote:

    Well that was underwhelming.

    I'm not really sure it's addressed any of the concerns raised in this forum
    Just to be clear, the sources of "concerns" are not limited to THIS forum. Other faction subforums are also being read, and tournament results as well as leading expert opinions were sought. The DE book is intended for the community as a whole, and not just for the 30-odd people that are vocal here. This is not meant as a dismissal of the concerns, but as a way to show that things are a bit more complex and there are other ways to see this from a different prism.

    I hope that the designer notes I posted will clarify some issues. Here are some more answers for you:


    AlWeeks wrote:

    Nothing to address the Judicators vs Obsidian Guard debate (both units extra models cost went up)
    It will end up being addressed, if needed. Personal opinion: all of the elite infantry in the book are relatively undercosted. This might remain like that given the DE focus on fighting infantry, but it might very well evolve in a way that would mirror similar units in other books. I understand the argument of internal balance between the two units, but I am not so certain that it is as evident as that: OG can reach Judicator levels of performance against armoured foes, but doing so precludes them from using other very good banners. The strength of Judicators is that they do not need any kind of help to beat any foe on the first round of combat.


    AlWeeks wrote:



    BSB Temple Legate still has no synergy with the Temple militants

    Having Blades of Darag can be considered to be a common denominator and a potential synergy: if you boost one, you also boost the other at the same time. More importantly, not everything needs to have a synergy with everything else. Non- BSB Exarchs have excellent synergies with the militants, it so happens that getting a BSB who's also a caster and who comes with a built in 4++ and can fight doesn't also get you a cool synergy on top. :)


    AlWeeks wrote:

    Legion Legate complaints still not addressed
    See above. If you want a mounted BSB, you get a Silexian Officer; he also happens to come with built in Discipline 10, which you can choose to see as a waste of potential, or as a very reliable discipline for the model allowing it to function independently . if you want a single model general/bsb/cowboy that also triggers Academy training for units within 12", you get a Silexian Officer.
    This update lowered the Mastery of Slaughter item further; I know I'll be trying out Mastery + Ring + 1+ save for my BSB on foot.


    AlWeeks wrote:

    Chariot mounts lose the crew attacks? Again I'd love the rational?
    Game-wide guidelines and general direction.


    AlWeeks wrote:

    Handbow change and 0-3 going to 0-2 on shades seems a little harsh.
    Black Cloaks were flagged as too good initially. The problem with such models is that they might end up suffering from the Pathfinder syndrome - too expensive for their own good, and only functional in the hands of very experienced generals with very specialized lists.
    Lowering the impact of the Handbow brings it in line with the Repeater Crossbow, but also keeps the "up close and personal" theme of the DE shooting. And it helps keep the Black Cloaks away from the 400-point mark.
  • What is the intention of the harpies change?

    Some whiners that mocked about footprint of a flying redirector? 34 points per wound for a R3, no protection harpy seems super useless to purchase, when riders, black cloaks and gorgons are in the same price area and bring way more benefit to the table then the harpies that still can only charge some chaff or warmachines and hope to win. Making the harpeis unit bigger, even for only 12 points a model doesn´t help. Initial price is way to high for 5 unprotected wounds.


    The change on the manticore seems VERY strange. What is the pegasus for then? (not that it has any role currently). One of the two flyer chassis will be useless, when both have the same R and protection (riders).


    In my opinion the book of arcane power should be deletet from the items at all. Nearly an autoinclude item on adept mages in all magic heavy invested armies.
    In general I think the -2 to dispell ability is too strong, should be -1 as it was in the old DE book. And no additional disadvantage on the casting value. Perhaps with minor price adjustment.
  • Have just flipped through the changes quickly now, and nothing has flipped me off so far (hueh heh heh).

    Adept warlock... Feeeeels goooodd maaan! For me personally it gives a good amount of breathing room for the character section, and makes the (i think intended) hard choices on setups palatable. I appreciate this change a lot, thanks team!
    "You need to believe in things that aren't true. How else can they become?" -Death
    Phae's Pointy-Ear Blog: Elves in a Corner
  • SmithF wrote:

    AlWeeks wrote:

    Well that was underwhelming.

    I'm not really sure it's addressed any of the concerns raised in this forum
    Just to be clear, the sources of "concerns" are not limited to THIS forum. Other faction subforums are also being read, and tournament results as well as leading expert opinions were sought. The DE book is intended for the community as a whole, and not just for the 30-odd people that are vocal here. This is not meant as a dismissal of the concerns, but as a way to show that things are a bit more complex and there are other ways to see this from a different prism.
    I hope that the designer notes I posted will clarify some issues. Here are some more answers for you:


    AlWeeks wrote:

    Nothing to address the Judicators vs Obsidian Guard debate (both units extra models cost went up)
    It will end up being addressed, if needed. Personal opinion: all of the elite infantry in the book are relatively undercosted. This might remain like that given the DE focus on fighting infantry, but it might very well evolve in a way that would mirror similar units in other books. I understand the argument of internal balance between the two units, but I am not so certain that it is as evident as that: OG can reach Judicator levels of performance against armoured foes, but doing so precludes them from using other very good banners. The strength of Judicators is that they do not need any kind of help to beat any foe on the first round of combat.

    AlWeeks wrote:

    BSB Temple Legate still has no synergy with the Temple militants
    Having Blades of Darag can be considered to be a common denominator and a potential synergy: if you boost one, you also boost the other at the same time. More importantly, not everything needs to have a synergy with everything else. Non- BSB Exarchs have excellent synergies with the militants, it so happens that getting a BSB who's also a caster and who comes with a built in 4++ and can fight doesn't also get you a cool synergy on top. :)


    AlWeeks wrote:

    Legion Legate complaints still not addressed
    See above. If you want a mounted BSB, you get a Silexian Officer; he also happens to come with built in Discipline 10, which you can choose to see as a waste of potential, or as a very reliable discipline for the model allowing it to function independently . if you want a single model general/bsb/cowboy that also triggers Academy training for units within 12", you get a Silexian Officer.This update lowered the Mastery of Slaughter item further; I know I'll be trying out Mastery + Ring + 1+ save for my BSB on foot.


    AlWeeks wrote:

    Chariot mounts lose the crew attacks? Again I'd love the rational?
    Game-wide guidelines and general direction.

    AlWeeks wrote:

    Handbow change and 0-3 going to 0-2 on shades seems a little harsh.
    Black Cloaks were flagged as too good initially. The problem with such models is that they might end up suffering from the Pathfinder syndrome - too expensive for their own good, and only functional in the hands of very experienced generals with very specialized lists.Lowering the impact of the Handbow brings it in line with the Repeater Crossbow, but also keeps the "up close and personal" theme of the DE shooting. And it helps keep the Black Cloaks away from the 400-point mark.
    Thanks for taking the time to post that. I am fully aware that this forum isn't the sole source of debate on DE, hence why I was specific that it was some of the concerns of this forum that haven't been addressed. I was attempting to be accurate, not provocative.

    Things that you've highlighted as game wise guidance and 'general direction' do take the sting out of one or two of the changes.

    I should have highlighter that the cap on blades of dareg is a good change.

    I still think there is an internal balance issue between Judicators and Obsidian guard, but each to their own opinion.

    I don't mind the handbow changes per say. I think the 0-3 to 0-2 is the harsher change. Again that's my opinion.

    I guess I'll look at the list I was previously running and see if the changes impact it in any meaningful way. But honestly I really was hoping for something 'extra' for judicators to help them be a more appealing choice then Obsidian Guard.

    Maybe I'll bite the bullet and try an obsidian guard unit in their place and see if they a really perform better and mesh with the army more as expected on paper.