I dont know if everyone agrees with me here, but quite frankly, in long drawn out combat, elves suck. It's true. They've either got high Strength all round and nasty attacks with no ability to take (like executioners and witch elves), got high strength iniatially, but low thereafter, but good at taking hits (like cold one knights and chariots) or all rounders (black guard). However, none really excell. With this in mind, younger gamers will charge their elves headlong into battle with no thoguht, to have them all wiped out.
Elven units work best together. Take a large unit of spearelves for example. Use them as a main block, charge takers. They entice your opponent into charging them. They take hits, dont do mcuh back, but their cheap and the focus is on them. You then charge via the flank the enemy unit with a unit such as executioners. Great support. Killing combo if I do say so myself.
Shock troops. Cold ones are fantastic at this. Get a fair sized unit, myself, I like 8-10. A lot of points, but worth it if used well. Charge an opponent - make sure you get the charge tho. You'll hopefully kill a few with some high Strengh attacks. When combat resolution then comes along, you'll hopefully win it (hopefully here, be carefull who you charge) and autobreak the enemy (unit strength 20 usually outnumbers). With M7 it should be easier to catch infantry units.
Aided by shooting. Wear your opponents forces down vefore they arrive at your front line. By this time, the unit sizes will have been greatly reduced, making them much easier to dispatch. This is because they cant attack you as well (less models), you can outright kill them (again, as theres less of them) and you'll find it easier to break them (agains all due to the fact that theres less of them!)
Magic. This helps considerably in some cases. The hydra banner of the dark elves for example. Arm this to an infantry unit like the black guard, and you've got 13 S4 attacks in one round, easily chopping an enemy to pieces (imagine that against spearelves). When the hydra banner is given to a cold one knight unit, you really see some havoc. With the mouunts each having two S4 attacks, the normal riders 2 S5 attacks (on charge) and the noble 4 S4 attacks, well, you get the idea. Spells can aid also, word of pain for example, lowers enemy WS to 1 for a turn, and castable into combat. It'd make the odds rise highly in your favour!
Hope this helps, if anyone disagrees or has anything to add, please post so..
First of all what does the hydra banner do?
You say that for a DE army to work well you need to have your units work together. However to this i would say that in my mind ALL armies have to use this tactic. I believe that an army using the ordinary charge and hope for the best tactic would loose 80% of the time (Yes i do know certain armies will work well this way because of their sheer numbers) to a player using tactics where he groups his units in two or threes.
An example could be a group of Chaos warriors grouped with a unit of Chaos knights. The Chaos warriors engage in combat - preferable via a charge (meaning they wherent charged themselves), and immediately thereafter the Chaos knights slam into the side (or back) of whatever the chaos warriors are fighting.
This tactic can be used with most units. Group them in two's and watch the magic :D
Also i would find that its a good idea to designate an assignment, or goal if you will, for each unit. So you have some units taking care of magic users, some units holding the main battle line (grouped units with flankers), and then stick to those assignments. When a unit assignment is completeded you could have second and tertiery (or however you spell it :P ) objectives for the units. Some might even just be put to use wherever they are needed....
For more on chaos tactics have a look at this site, it has some great tactics for mortal/beast armies - and probably most other armies as well:Chaos Tactics
The hydra banner grants all models (including mounts) in the front rank an additional attack. Yes, but however, chaos warriors could easily crush a unit of elves outright with absolutely no support from the fact that they pack a punch, and can take one. I myself meant tactics for combat, why dont you write an article on assigning units to the fullest capabilities rasmus?
Me?! Haha - i haven't even started playing probably yet. Just small skirmishes to test the rules with some friends. But i might write something eventually.
Please do, i'm the only one that is so far. Well, any alterations you think I should make to this article. this question is directed to everyone, any improvements?
I think with some kinds of Dark Elf army it would be possible to use your units on their own in actual combat, because of the wearing down by missile fire and you could use your Dark Riders to march block some of the enemy if they're a horde and you can use Warriors on one enemy unit at a time, killing them, as Warriors are good against basic humans or worse as they're hitting on a 3.