Warlord: Savage North Army Analysis - Darkreach
October-4-2010 - An in-depth review of the Dark Elves of the Darkreaches by Wedge Smith
This week we're going to take a closer look at the Darkreach army. Darkreach is a very tactical army featuring endless possibilities for advanced players to find high-powered combos!

Pros

Top-tier maneuverability, unique options for damage avoidance, diverse data cards allow many build options

Cons

Elf models sport relatively low DV, no long-ranged shooters

Overview

Severe dark elves and their subterranean minions fill the ranks of the Darkreach army. Here you will find a number of elf models sporting Blink and Stealth, which allows them to move about the board with great freedom. The Dark Reaches Faction Doctrine further enhances their maneuverability, preventing elf models from being the target of spells at any range outside 12". It also allows two models with Blink to switch places once per game turn, providing a wide variety of placement options. Darkreach also has exclusive access to a new special ability called “Displaced”, which gives them a chance to ignore damage from a single attack each activation.

With a healthy lineup of six mages, the Darkreach army has no shortage of spell-casting options, although you will find the greatest emphasis on the Ice, Incantation, and Enchant Tomes.

The unique equipment available to the Darkreach army is also worth mentioning. The Abyssal Weapon heals an ally when it destroys an enemy, and the Shadow Blade allows the bearer to attack enemies when disengaging from Base-to-Base Contact as a free action. Last, but not least, the Doomshade Boots allow the slippery elves to react to an opponent's charge by moving 2" away, which makes them very difficult to pin down.

Their two monsters are quite effective, from the fearsome shadow dragon that uses Reaper's new Spray template to deal AoE ranged damage, to the phase cat which darts across the board at high speed, disabling its prey. Thanks to the special ability Spiked, which grants one extra #MA during defensive combat, it is extremely deadly when cornered.

Suggested Army List

Darkreach - 999 points

Troop 1
Sinisthreax
Abyssal Weapon
Doomshade Boots
Zalash, Assassin
Liela Mordollwen, Sorceress
Shadowstep Warrior x 8
Shiver Spike x 4
Musician


Troop 2
Mornenion, Drake Captain
Darkrime Drake x 4


Troop 3
Phase Cat


Tactics



This army has the incredible ability to close distance across the table, thanks to using the Dark Reaches Faction Doctrine, which allows two models in with Blink to switch places. Combine that with the Teleport spell from Liela Mordollwen, and you can easily have one of your major damage dealers like – Sinisthreax or Zalash – cross the entire board on the first game turn and kill models in the enemy’ deployment zone.

To implement this strategy, start Liela at the front of your deployment zone, and have her move 7'' when she activates (thanks to Musician). Have her cast Teleport on one of the Shadowstep Warriors, moving it 18'' in front of Liela. The teleported Shadowstep Warrior will then do a double move with Blink to bypass any terrain or soldiers for a total of 14'' (thanks to Musician). Follow this with the Swap Faction Doctrine, and replace that Shadowstep Warrior with either Zalash or Sinisthreax, who can then move up to 7'' themselves and still attack. This gives us a total first-turn range of 46''. Clearly, no one is safe from the Darkreach assassins!

Aside from swapping, you would want to try and keep this army from going toe-to-toe with any very heavily-built melee army, such as the Necropolis or Korborlas. Instead, use your archers and freedom of movement to maximum advantage by weakening your enemy before their full force is able to engage you. Once the battle is joined, rush in the Drake troop, which can go toe-to-toe with most any cavalry in the game and has enough power to really take down large units. The Phase Cat is also a highly-survivable harassment piece that can absorb a lot of damage thanks to Displaced and Disable. It also bring the pain with three attacks, plus the possibility of four with Spiked.

This list is a lot of fun to play and is especially deadly in able hands.



Check out the previous strategy articles in this series:


Week 1 - Sisters of the Blade
Week 2 - Icingstead
Week 3 - Darkreach
Week 4 - Bloodstone Gnomes