Darkshards (Shields) is a Dark Elves missile infantry unit in Total War: Warhammer II. True to their name, they wither their enemies with volleys of black-tipped arrows.
Dark Elf armies are formed around a core of utterly merciless soldiers, schooled in slaughter by a lifetime of survival amidst the twisted streets of Naggaroth's cities. Most such warriors are conscripted into service, but a few muster willingly, having identified some manner in which the battle will play to their personal advantage. Many Dark Elves forsake melee weapons in favour of delivering death from afar. Armed with repeater crossbows - magazine-fed weapons capable of unleashing blistering hails of bolts - these Darkshards can take positions at the rear of the battlefield firing storms of iron-tipped bolts against approaching foes, or move forward to weaken the enemy line with a withering volley before the Dark Elf attack charges home. Though often scorned by other warriors for their distaste of close quarters battle, the Darkshards are unflinchingly proud of their marksmanship and are certainly no less cruel than their fellows. It is not uncommon for a Darkshard to forgo a killing strike to eye or heart in favour of a gut shot or other debilitating blow which, while ultimately no less fatal, guarantees that the enemy's last moments will be spent in mewling agony.
- ↑ Armour-Piercing Missiles: The damage of armour-piercing weapons mostly ignores the armour of the target, making them the ideal choice against heavily-armoured enemies. They are often heavier and attack at a slower rate though, making them less efficient against poorly-armoured targets.
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Almost every problem in the early Dark Elf campaign game can be solved by shooting it with Darkshards. Concentrating the fire from several of these units on a single enemy unit will melt it astonishingly fast. Darkshards are one of very few early game units to have high armor piercing values and can effectively decimate anything, except maybe for Lords on foot which provide a very small target. They pay for this deadly firepower with a reduced range compared to other missile units, thus it is vitally important to use their shielded variant to make sure they are not crippled by their enemies outranging them.