The Dark Elf Strategies
by Poisonheart Darkhout

Starting A Dark Elf Team

No matter how many starting funds you have at your disposal, just keep the following in mind :

1) ALWAYS start with a team apothecary : these 50,000 goldpieces will certainly save you a lot of extra costs (replacing dead elves costs small fortunes)!
2 )Start out with a minimum fan factor of 6. You'll need lots of cash and it gives you an edge on the kick-off table : cheering fans, get the ref, throw a rock and PITCH INVASION (a well-timed invasion can cripple your opponent).
3) Don't waste your money on a thrower when you start, he's too expensive and a lineman will do just fine.
4) If your local rules allow you to buy the Dark Elf star player Tuern Redvenom (7/4/4/8) block, dodge, pro, dirty player/175,000) buy him!! With his dirty player/pro combo he can do a lot of damage and he draws away the attention from your witch elves.If you're not allowed to buy Tuern don't waste your money on the other star players: they suck ! You're better off training your own star players.
5) Try to start with at least 2 re-rolls, with Dark Elves you'll definitely need them (trust me).
6) Never start with an elf team in a league full of strenght-based teams.

The Dark Elf Players

Witch Elves: These annoying witches are the most hated Dark Elves on the pitch: so they're marked with a big cross on their foreheads. Their biggest weakness is their AV of 7 : so give them block A.S.A.P.
First skill: BLOCK !
Second skill: dauntless, leap
Third skill: pro, strip ball
Doubles : mighty blow, stand firm (if you fail your dodge you won't suffer a turnover) Use the Witch Elves to sneak past you opponents defenses (dodge, leap) and go after the guy (throwers, Dwarf runners,.. ) holding the ball, knocking him over or stripping him from the ball while hopefully injuring him in the proces. You also have to use them to get rid of your opponent's scorers (catchers, gutter runners,...)

Blitzers:Since they are your quickest players try to shape them into catchers so you can save your Witch Elves to trash up the opponent (women are better at this anyway).
First skill: dodge
Second skill: sure feet, leap
Third skill: sprint, side step
Doubles : stand firm
Since AG 4 is rather high you won't need the catch skill (hopefully).Leap just crushes about any defence and has a reasonable chance of success, sprint and sure feet give you that speed edge you need. And the block-dodge combo makes it very hard for your opponent to knock down your (catcher).

Throwers: These players are rather expensive so don't purchase them untill you have at least 14 players. Because you can buy two of them it's advisable to develop both an offensive and a defensive thrower. Always start with an offensive thrower.
First skill: sure feet
Second skill: dump-off, accurate
Third skill: safe throw
Doubles : your pick
The offensive thrower must receive the ball and pass it to your blitzers, altough he usually doesn't get involved in fights, the dump-off is particulary usefull against other elf teams who'll use their fastest players to trash the guy holding the ball. Because there won't be many tackle zones around the ball when you receive it you won't need sure hands.

First skill: accurate
Second skill: dodge, sure hands
Third skill: nerves of steel, (leap)
Doubles : your pick
This guy's job is to throw the ball forward, usually over big distances, after you've recaptured the ball when your opponent received it. Because the ball will probably be around a lot of tackle zones skills like dodge, sure hands and nerves of steel will come in handy.

Lineman: The backbone of your team should be trained so they can handle any situation. With an AG 4 they are also very usefull all-rounders. Because of their high AG and reasonable AV they're not just the guys you only put on the field because you need eleven players (like hobgoblins). I advise you to train 3 kinds of linemen.
Big Guy Food
First skill: dodge
Second skill: block
Third skill: side step, jump up
Doubles : guard
These elves are the few lucky ones that will see BIG star players like Morg'n'Torgh from very close by. They are used to fill that 3-men frontline and probably get beaten to Goblin-food. You'll need at least 3 of them but I recommend a few spare ones because for some crazy reason they seem to be injured a lot.

Dirty Players
First skill: dirty player (duh !)
Second skill: pro
Third skill: dodge
Doubles : guard
You'll want to have at least one of these players on the field : dirty player is the most effective skill to inflict nasty injuries. A dirty lineman is very easy to create because he'll inflict more casualties then an Enlish soccer fan once he has gained dirty player. Furthermore dirty play is a must when you play Dark Elves (because of their evil character) so try to create two of them.

First skill: block
Second skill: diving tackle
Third skill: dauntless
Doubles : mighty blow, guard
These guys are made to f**k up every attempt of your opponent to break, dodge or leap through your defense and even better yet, drive your opponent nuts.

Basic Team strategies..

Offensive: When you receive the ball, concentrate your players on one flank (choose the weakest). Make a blitz (don't forget to foul !) there so you can get as many players as possible (3-4) behind the enemy lines. Like this you should be able to create a safe zone where your blitzer is safe from opposing blitzes (stay close to the sideline . On the other flank you'll want to try to get your other blitzer behind his ranks, this one should run a little more to the center of his half : this forces your opponent to mark your men on two different places : you probably won't be surrounded on his next turn if you do this well. Meanwhile your thrower should pick up the ball and take place on a safe central spot on the pitch, and have about two linemen guarding him. If you have done this well you should have 2 blitzers and a couple of other players in about 7-8 squares from the end zone. On your second turn choose the flank which is the weakest defended pass the ball there, once again blitz a hole in his defence (if necesary) and run towards a second-turn touchdown.
Some things should be noted :
1.) Especially against hard-hitting teams try to delay scoring as long as possible : if you score on turn two they're going to take the rest of the half to beat you to pulp and score in the last turn.
2.) If you don't have a trower give the ball on turn 1 to your protected blitzer : on turn two you can still run and pass to the other flank if necesary.
3.) Remember : anyone on your team is agile and fast enough to score, it doesn't have to be a blitzer to score a TD

Defensive: Put no more than 3 players on the first row, they'll get wasted anyway. Put on both flanks 1 blitzer and 1 witch elf 1-2 squares away from the scrimmage and not too close to the sideline. Try to get the witch elves and blitzers behind the opposing lines and sack the ball carrier. At the end of your turn dodge your players away from opposing players : this way he'll only be able to get to one of your players. If your opponent gets the ball perfectly protected (da cage, da bag or as we Belgians call it : da tank) try the following things :
1.) Get your blitzers and witch elves back in defence : you'll need some elf power between the ball and the end zone.
2.)Place the least usefull lineman about 6-7 squares from the end zone : he'll take care of the counter-attack, if you recapture the ball just throw it as far as possible to the opposing end zone.
3.)Every turn blitz on a weak corner of his defence and foul him to hell.
4.)Don't be tempted to get involved in an all-out brawl.
5.)Remember : elf tactics is all about holding and recapturing the ball.
However if you play against teams with similar offensive tactics as you, keep the witch elves and some linemen in deep defence to frenzy those annoying war dancers, catchers and gutter runners of the pitch.

General: Don't waste your time on trying kill the biggest and meanest thing on the pitch: you're better of trying to injure your opponent's scorers : these players are a lot easier to injure and without them your opponent will be in trouble.
If the ball is in a lot of opposing TZs enter the square but don't pick it up : with some luck it will bounce to a better square to pick it up (you won't suffer a turnover).
This one isn't so important but it's a code of honour all Dark Elf coaches should uphold : play mean, dirty and ruthless. Foul every turn if possible, don't be mister nice guy : go ahead and play that peaked card on his Ogre rookie (unless he decides to give his winnings to you of course) ! If you lose a match kill one of your assistent coaches : it was his fault we lost and Khaine demands some sacrifices ! ! Finally a list of how you should organize your turn (be flexible with this), in order of importance :
1.) Set up a good combo that will most likely allow you to score on your next turn.
2.) FOUL
3.) Knock down the opposing ball carrier
4.) Score
5.) Dodge away from your opponents
6.) Those who couldn't get away throw if possible one-on-one blocks.
If you have no dirty player or no re-rolls the foul comes a bit later on the list.

Special thanks to Gert Corthout for allowing me to print the strategies.