The Bolt-fiends (Darkshards - Shields) is a Dark Elves missile infantry unit introduced in Total War: Warhammer II with The Queen and the Crone DLC. A bolt in the eye is a terrible way to die, and the calling card of the Bolt-fiends.
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 forwards 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 so less lethal, 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.
- ↑ Shieldbreaker: This unit’s shield-breaking attacks can significantly weaken the target’s chance of blocking missile attacks.
- ↑ Shielded: Shields have a chance of blocking arrows, bolts, rifle shots and similar small arms fire - but only in a forward facing arc.
This unit is ideal for dueling archer units. While their shields protect them from enemy missiles, their shots diminish enemy shields. This allows them to comfortably win most ranged battles. This also helps shred infantry or cavalry that may be relying on shields to block missile damage.