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Dark Elf Strategy


Summary

Dark Elves are the nearest thing you will find to a bashy elf team. However, they lack dedicated Catchers, and their Runners are quite fragile. Dark Elves are quick, but not too quick, and can either play for the two-turn TD, or run the ball in over three or more turns, using a very mobile and adaptable cage until making the break for the endzone, with runners waiting in scoring positions.

Strengths

No less than six players on the roster can achieve Block and Dodge on their first skill roll, a powerful combination, especially in a sub-TV2000 team. Having four Blitzers allows specialisation of different skill combinations, especially with double skill choices, and the Witch Elves can become fearsome ball-winners - they can be devastating players with a double skill roll, or better yet, a stat increase. All this makes the Dark Elves a strong defensive team.

Like all elves, the Dark Elves can spread the SPPs out over all their linemen, so most of them will have Block a lot earlier than, say, a Human team. The period of development around TV1500 is where Dark Elves can actually beat up some teams. Later on, the Dark Elves will probably not manage this unless they are very lucky with stat bonuses and double skill rolls, but their Av 8 on everyone except the Witch Elves and Runners will keep them going against all but the nastier teams.

Weaknesses

Dark Elves, especially the positional players, are rather expensive. This can make those first few games a rocky experience, especially if they suffer player losses early on.

They lack catchers, so their offensive game is not quite as strong as the other elven teams.

In-game Tactics

The Dark Elf playstyle is quite distinct from other Elven teams in both offense and defense. In offense, their lack of Catchers, or indeed any player of Ma 8 or more, means that the classic two-turn touchdown (TTTD), though still possible, is not quite as easy for them, making a longer drive more practical. They can employ two major ways of playing:

A thrower or other player hangs back with the ball while others push into the opposition half, and jostle for position until a gap opens up in the defense, at which point the ball holder rushes forward, either passes to the intended receiver, or passes/hands off to an intermediary player, who then advances and passes/hands off (whichever action is still available in the turn) to the receiver, who then runs it in. I sometimes find that if I use a Re-roll early in this sequence, I abort the rest of the play and protect the player with the ball, if possible placing other players in scoring positions to leave open a TD in the following turn. The ball is quickly picked up and carried, passed or handed off into a tight or loose cage, and the Dark Elves run the ball up the field, handing off if necessary to switch the play and stretch the defence. As with all teams who can pass, try to leave at least one player in a scoring position at the end of your turns. Defense is probably the stronger part of the Dark Elf game; with four Blitzers and the two Witch Elves available to an experienced team, they have a lot of surgical hitting power - they won't win a protracted fight against more armoured opponents, but it is hard to protect a player from a Dark Elf team's attention, if he is doing something so foolish as to carry the ball! Dark Elves don't have to back off like Wood Elves do - sometimes they can prevent cages from forming by man-marking opposition players one-to-one, meaning those players, if of low agility, can't get away easily and have to either stand there or risk a dodge or one-dice block (if they are Str 3). The following turn, the Dark Elves have little problem dodging away from those players and taking out the ball carrier, who is exposed by his out-of-position covering players. Witch Elves are particularly effective at this, with Frenzy giving them two opportunities to knock over (or push back if they have Strip Ball) the ball carrier. They can also reduce the number of opposition players on pitch by looking to push them out of bounds. Side Step is useful in preventing the other team from doing the same thing to them the next turn. Against passing teams, the Dark Elves can play a nasty bashing game, and their good choice of defensive skills can make life hard breaking through thier lines.

Last update: April 13, 2013