[Archive] Chaos Dwarfs vs Dark Elves

The Flying Beaver:

Post your tips for fighting Dark Elf armies here.

Blunderbusses probably aren’t a good choice against a list with little-to-no infantry. Fewer potential hits.

Against an army with lots of Fast Cavalry, I would load up on Earthshakers and Magic, and use Bolthrowers to counter the Dragon.

A Taurus Lord could also help against the Cavalry, or against Chariots if he has the Gauntlets and a Greatweapon, but make sure the Dark Elf guy isn’t taking too many Reaper Bolt Throwers, or he’ll be beef-kebab in no time.

If the guy is taking Reapers, bring along a unit or two of Wolf Riders, to take them down asap.

If Chariots are in the list, use either the Lord setup above, or a Hobgoblin Hero with the Gauntlets, a Greatweapon and a Wolf.



against we daruchi (yerp, i’m a dark elf player before CD’s), and slighlty contradictory to revlid, a full unit of blunderbusses will wipe out about half of any dark elf unit, though probably putting the big hats in charge range.

earthshakers are effective, eliminating the main advantage of elves. speed. thngs such as bull centaurs and hobbo wolf riders can do this too, slowing down a vunerable army that needs it’s speed.

lot of grenskins can also nerf the dark elf plans, who will probably tailor there army to take out elite tin cans with beards, then see a mass of greenskins, which is realy annoying and will probably be totaly unprepered

the usual bolt throwers loose some effectivenes against dark elves, as theres not often than may ranks to pierce. but at 30 points a pop, there not a big loss if they die or miss every turn. a gaurd will almost always need to be asainged to war machines, as the speed of dark riders and harpies (and the scout ability of shades) meens that unpotected war machines may as well paint kill me on them selves

Uzkul Werit:

Earthshakers are a mounted armies worst nightmare. For example, in a game against such a list my unit of 40 Warriors were staring down five Knights and three Chariots. They never moved and inch due to shaking. By the time I managed to charge them, they actually ran off!

Top tip: be careful of those Dark Riders. The best solution to these would be either a few Hobgoblin Bowmen or a cheap Blunderbuss unit. Both can move and shoot and you don’t need many wounds to greatly effect their effectiveness.


I don’t really rate DE. They can be good if magic heavy however, also their option to take a flying terror causing monster as a hero slot makes them dangerous against low Ld armies.

I would rely on earthshakers and wolfriders to slow them down, but don’t count on those tricksie elves to panic as their Ld is quite high.

A good magic defense is important and you’ll need to protect your warmachines somehow (some arrer boyz or nekkid hobgoblins).

A Taurus lord is risky, it could be very effective or simply become a pin cushion for repeater bolt throwers (I’ve never seen a Druchii army without at least 2 of 'em).


hobbo archers rock against dark riders, cheap, BS3 and bows against low T units. Two shots - 24" range means they aren’t charging from out of your range, so you get at least one round plus S&S - and at 50pts if their wiped out it don’t matter


Dark Elves should be one of the easier opponents for CD.

They rely heavily on manoeuvrability, so don’t ba afraid to take piles of Hobgoblins and use numbers to negate this advantage.

Don’t be afraid to take Hobgob bowmen and shoot his fast cav.

Don’t be afraid to take a magic denying army with lots of dispel scrolls, as he will probably be relying on magic fairly heavily.

Shoot his Chariots and Knights with bolt throwers. Use the Earthshakers to negate the speed of his cold one knights, particularly if they are large enough to autobreak your units with their fear (this is a common tactic for Dark Elves).

Use your Lord on Taurus and wolf riders to kill his bolt throwers. If he has enough of them they can really hurt your CD warriors.

Bull Centaurs on the flank, along with any spare wolf riders you have.

Consider tooling up a lord to Strength 7 to autokill his chariots.


wait… wouldnt an earth shaker be good against an all shooty army?

Ancient History:

Distilled into [[Chaos Dwarfs vs Dark Elves]].


Melic, I don’t see how we are an “all shooty army” (I play Dark Elves)

After reading the new book, I can say that our weaknesses are easy to identify.

Dark Elves do rely on maneuverability, and some of our best units show that, so bring an earthshaker.

Just to clarify, I don’t take much cavalry, but I can see why they are a potential threat. My response? hobbo archers.

Another key point, Dark elves can hit stuff good, but they aren’t known to take hits too well. A unit of blunderbussers wouldn’t hurt.

If he takes Repeater Bolt Throwers, bring a Death Rocket/Hobbo Bolt throwers to shoot back at his machines.


Chaos Dwarves are lucky in that on paper they seem to have all the tools to shut down Dark Elves. Of course, a savvy opponent will make this more difficult for you but we certainly have no shortage of ways to deal with their nastiest toys and combos.

We have both fire and metal magic at our disposal, which are great for dealing with what is arguably their best unit - the Hydra. A Sorceror Lord is a great choice, just make sure you know where the Ring of Hotek is. Most of the time it will be on a Black Guard champ so keep that in mind. The Ring is one of those no-brainer choices that will almost always show up in the army somewhere if your opponent is not a dodo.

The Earthshaker is absolute gold against Elves of all kinds, make sure you protect it through any means necessary. There will almost always be multiple units of harpies or dark riders ready to jump on it the first chance they get so keep it protected with Hobgoblin Archer fire and terrain if possible. Both these units are also very soft and vulnerable to magic missiles so this is another good reason to take fire magic, or even death magic.

Wolf Riders are always a strong choice against any army, but against Dark Elves they really get to shine. If you can keep his RBTs and shooting locked down with the Earthshaker, there’s no end to the chaos these guys can inflict. Hatred forces him to pursue you whether he wants to or not, so use this to your advantage by setting him up for flank charges. They’re also great for getting rid of RBT’s (just make sure he has to roll that 4+ to shoot you with them first by covering them with Earthshaker fire).

One unit that is extremely dangerous to just about anyone is the ASF Black Guard (usually also includes the ring of hotek and a character or two). There will almost always be a unit of these. Don’t even try to fight them in combat, we simply don’t have anything of that caliber. Instead, focus fire on them with Blunderbusses, Death Rockets, and Bolt Throwers. Slowing them down and pounding at them with Earthshakers doesn’t hurt either. If you absolutely must engage them, throw them a 20 point Hobgoblin fodder unit and draw them out of position for a turn or two on the pursuit.

In summary, don’t draw yourself out of position by feeling like you should approach him. While DE’s are a pretty good shooty army, Chaos Dwarves in general are better thanks to Earthshakers. Use them to hamper his approach and keep his shooting from decimating your fast units while they take care of the DE support elements.

Da Crusha:


dark elves must pursue and overrun because of their hatred. well, if DE are good at winning combat we can send small units of hobbgobbos at them with the intent of losing the combat.

we can use hobgobbos to engage the DE in the front, then when the hg lose combat they will get the DE to pursue out of position and possibly expose a flank

if a DE block is coming at us from the front to face our own infantry block we can position a hgwolf rider unit to hit a flank before our main block gets into combat. the dark elves will win the combat and be forced to turn and pursue the hobgobbos because of hatred, we can then hit our main block into there exposed flank.


Hi all,

I am having trouble with a dark elf army (lost 5 games 19/1 or 18/2) and wanted to ask you for suggestions or tips about what I am doing wrong.

He takes:

Lord on Black Dragon, reverse ward save + regen

2 level 2 wizards, one generates an extra power dice and the other knows an extra spell

2 Hydras

black guard with ASF

dark elf warriors with assassin

7 shades

2 units of repeater crossbows

with the lord+taurus, I manage to take care of either the Black Guard or the Warriors but not both. With 6 bolt throwers & 1 earthhaker, I manage to knock off some wounds from the hydras & the dragon, but can never manage to kill them off outright, since he manages to use terrain to his advantage.

I am thinking of going all out on bolt throwers & earthshakers, big units of blunderbuss and lord on taurus, and 3 wizard (level 2 if I can afford it)

Any tips from you veterans?



Well, six bolt throwers would be more than enough to force the dragon or the hydra behind a nice hill. If both pop out I’d concentrate fire against one of them, maybe the dragon.


Wht about deployment? Should I go for castling on a hill or spread out across left, centre & right so as to force him to force his forces.

I also use 4 hobgoblin ‘naked’ units of about 13 each, to contest & capture quarters.


All Bolt Throwers should be trained on the Dragon, CD warriors can grind down the Hydras (with a War Banner/BSB you should be ok).

As mentioned above, little units of Hobgoblins to make him pursue in silly directions.

Fire Magic for the Hydras.

Does he have the Ring of Hotek on the BG champion? I’m guessing he does :slight_smile:

Spread the Bolt Throwers out, the expensive stuff needs to be deployed together for mutual support (if the dragon spends all game going after 30pt BTs then thats cool).

Black Gem of Gnar can do annoying things to Dragon Riders :cheers Just make sure you have enough static combat resolution to make him run.


No dark riders at all? No harpies?

He field nasty things but forgot the importance of support troops.

We are plenty of combat resolution and cheap baiting troops. So let’s force his dragon to take cover with bolt throwers, bait and slow down nasty hydras and try to kill the rest.

I always like to place a nice (sometimes even two) units of blunderbusses next to the forest were scouts could be hidden and have fun when they pop out. Shades do not like template weapons.

Use hobgoblin archers to kill black guard or reduce their numbers, with ASF banner they are killing machines in C&C.

Without reapers your Taurus is able to fly, try to be in range of one repeater crossbow unit per time, not two, they sting.

Hydras are nasty. If you can kill them with fire magic as Baggronor said is fine, if not, let’s deroute and slow them down with hobbos… if they are not here to die why do they exist? :wink:

Black Orcs and Orcs are funny against elves, I’d go with the double choppas. Use them as flankers.

My two cents.


A few blocks of cheap hobgoblin cannon fodder to slow down nastier elite units, at least a unit of hobgoblin cavalry to block march movememnts for the bigger elements of the army and shoot the hell out of the dragon wiht a few bolt throwers and you should be their in theory,


Shame Black Hammer of Hashut doesn’t actually count as a flaming attack otherwise I could give the hydra a run for his money. Unlike my Skaven Chaos Dwarf War Machine Crew actually have a chance against harpies.
If they’re as very shooty army it would be great to land your earth shaker on their hill (if they have one) with all their RBT and X-bowmen. Bolt Throwers are good if they have 2 hydras, dragon and/or manticore.

Blunderbass Are Fun :)!


So I followed suggestions posted here & I ended up losing by 500 points (I was overzealous on the 6th turn and charged in with the general, when I could have stayed back and not risk it. He had the reverse ward talisman, which I can’t find a way to counter).

So considering all previous games were wipeouts, this is a great result. It also helped that I am getting closer with my guess range weapons as it negated some of the shooting & moving.

Thanks a lot for all your help.

PS I found out in the DE FAQ that the reverse ward save pendant does not work against wounds without a Strength value. Hmmmm


Against Dark Elves, don’t be afraid to field some Hobgoblin archers. They have range, are cheap, and get hurt the T3 elves reasonably well. Also, except for knights, Dark Elves tend to have weak armor. Even the Corsairs, while decent against shooting, are no better than most heavy troops in the game.

Blunderbuss will tear them to shreads and can menace shades that are prancing about as we don’t care about their skirmishing.

Hobgoblins with light armor and shields make decent flank units, just angle them to refuse the flank. If the Dark Riders come around you can respond with a fairly cheap unit, in addition if they surge forward via animosity than you might get an actual charge on them.

Death Rockets easily outdo bolt throwers here. The T3 will be wounded very easily, even by hits not under the hole. Plus, their deadliest units tend to be Black Guard, Corsairs, or Witch Elves. These are ranked up units, and a rocket tends to do far better against them than even a couple bolt throwers. I have also seen 10 strong knight units many times, so the death rocket can easily ruin such a knight unit even with a small drift. Let alone if you fire both the shaker and rocket on them!

Bull Centaurs are best equiped with the extra hand wepon, following the rules logic they use weapons like infantry. The quantity of attacks at a strength higher than toughness will drop them quickly, especially since you’ll be punching through their armor. Yes, you will have to worry about assassins. Take a champion, and challenge away letting the rest of your unit beat up on elves.

Black Guard might have the ASF banner, though I prefer the Armor Piercing banner myself (less cheesey, and it makes them much deadlier).

I’d consider decent magic defense. You might not be able to stop all their magic, but you can at least reduce it and possibly pick the spells you really want to shut down.

Depending on how many casters they have, it is worth considering shutting down their power of darkness. It is more worth stopping a level 4, than it is a level 2. I’d take 2 lvl 2’s with 2 scrolls and a staff of sorcery. If they roll a 4-5 on the PoD I’d throw once dice at itas even if they roll a 5, with your dispell bonus you will have a 50% chance to stop.

Hw/Sh warriors, as almost always is, are for more worth while. While they might have the iniative… most units don’t have the strength needed to really kill our guys in droves. Black Guard with armor piercing banner, knights on charge, and the hydra are the biggest threats. Our T4 and good armor will be a big benefit for us. Rely on supporting units of characters to do the killing.

If you can, blunderbuss the hydra as you can kill the handlers that way. This will hurt the hydra, though there is a small chance it might make it frenzied with hatred.

Black Orcs are a decent choice. I’d give them shields, for better protection against shooting from those crossbows! I’d use 2 choppas in combat as they will slice through Delves easily, especially if they get the charge off! Many units in the DE list will not have a save in combat vs a Black Orc with choppas in the first round of combat. In fact only the knights, some characters, Dark Elf warriors using hw/sh, and perhaps something with a ward (via the cauldron), dragon, and hydra will get a save.

What is useful for bolt throwers is large target monsters. If a dragon or manticore is likely, this is what the bolt throwers do well against. Single model beasties. A couple throwers can really put some pain into these guys. Even if they simple pulverise the rider, but two bolts should have a decent shot of either killing or seriously hurting the monster. If earthshakered, they’re slowed enough for another salvo of bolts.

I would save the Blunderbuss for last, as if you dismount the guy by killing the mount… you can still hit him just as well and wound him decently too.