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The evolution of the Dark Elves army 
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Slave (off the Altar)
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I just recently got into warhammer fantasy and I mostly picked to play DE because they looked the most awsome. But now I have come to understand that DE is actually one of the best armies you can play in the current 7th edition(others being VC and WoC?). But I have also seen some veiled talking here and there about DE being pretty crappy in the past. So this sparked my curiousity. When were the DE first introduced and how many revamps have they been getting? What are the major differences between the different editions?

In short, can someone fill me in on the DE army's evolution over the different editions? :D

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Sat Sep 12, 2009 7:12 pm
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Dragon Lord
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From what I know Dark Elves were there from the start. After all you can't have Asur without the Druchii and vice versa.

Although I only started in 5th edition so there's only two editions of difference I can say this:

6th edition was the downfall. both 5th and 7th edition Dark Elf armies held respectable power in their hands.

But remember. Druchii might be considered one of the top 3 armies, but in unskilled hands they are still a bunch of rather unarmoured T3 elves.

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Sat Sep 12, 2009 7:29 pm
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Cold One Knight
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I have asked this before with little luck, hopefully you'll get more responses. I even wanted a chronology of the different dates that each new version came out (ball park, of course).

I find it rather absurd that the Army Books of all the races don't have a huge 6th, or 7th mark on the front so you could know which version you are looking at :(.

Best regards,
Rafa.

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Sat Sep 12, 2009 7:37 pm
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Lord of Khorne
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RafaPolit wrote:
I have asked this before with little luck, hopefully you'll get more responses. I even wanted a chronology of the different dates that each new version came out (ball park, of course).


Well, my 4th/5th ed version is copyright 1996.
6th ed DE was...2001, I believe.

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I find it rather absurd that the Army Books of all the races don't have a huge 6th, or 7th mark on the front so you could know which version you are looking at :(.


Well, you don't really need it. As soon as the new comes along, that's it. The rest are history and old versions are irrelevant to new players (as far as playing the game goes).

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Sat Sep 12, 2009 8:11 pm
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Rork, I agree that you don't need the old ones, but how do you know which version you have in your hand? How do you know its the last one?

You go online and find nothing about versions nor ways to check if the book you are holding is the last version or not... that's my complaint :)

Rafa.

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Sat Sep 12, 2009 8:19 pm
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Lord of Khorne
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RafaPolit wrote:
You go online and find nothing about versions nor ways to check if the book you are holding is the last version or not... that's my complaint :)


Easily solved - go on the GW online store and go to the army book. That's the current one ;).

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Sat Sep 12, 2009 8:25 pm
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Slave (off the Altar)
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So, what units have come and gone with the different editions? I imagine cold ones are rather new and that say witchelfs have been with the army since day one? Special rules?

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Sat Sep 12, 2009 8:56 pm
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I can tell what I remember, here's the tale...

Back in times of 3rd edition DE were pretty much balanced army, although a bit underpowered. There were first time when Witch Elves (although armoured and even crossbow armoured) were introduced. 3rd ed WFB was nothing like we have now - fewer units, different rules - generally smaller scale. There were a lot of cool minis, although quite different from what we know now. There were repeating bolt throwers, rxbs, chariots. DE characters could ride different monsters (I even remember Citadel mini of DE character riding the Great Eagle), there were also hounds in army list, Scouts (now Shades).

4th Edition started wirh a bang for druchii. When Army Book was released it was one of the best armies those days. It was then when all modern druchii units as we know them now - Hydras (Dark Elf War Hydra), Dark Riders, Executioners, Black Guard, Corsairs, COB, special named characters...

Book was packed with cool rules - step ahead contraty to pretty much standard army list those days:
- Dark Riders weren't just light cavalry, they had Fire & Flee charge reaction (basically they shoot rxbs and rolled 2d6 instead of 3d6 for flle reaction), thay had free march move before the battle, didn't suffered modifiers for shooting during move.
-There were warriors with swords and shields in addition to spearmen and rxbmen - there was also City Guard - spearmen with first rank rxbmen.
-There were Scouts with BS 5 and rxbs.
-WE with frenzy doubled A, poisoned weapons giving them +1S, COB tripled frenzy (imagine WE hero then...) and 5+ Special Save.
-Corsairs had rxb option and SDC which gave then 5+ unmodified (by S of attacker) Special Save.
-Dark Magic was powerful.
-Executioners punched d3 wounds,
-Assasins made d3 wounds also.
-Cold Ones had 2 A each.
-there weren't chariots except Witch King one.

Remember that there wasn't army specific magic items (except few) and we had access to wide array of cool devices. 4th ed was general character heavy (50% of points allowance) and believe me - there were magic items! Also Charcters could ride any monster (even cockatrice or giant spider), it was also possible to field 'unridden' monsters on their own.

The problem was general lack of minis - many weren't at first released like Execs, Scouts, Dark Riders, COB, Dark Elf Hydra characters (except Morathi on dark pegasus, Rakarth on dragon). Converting wasn't as popular as nowadays, only plastics were sword armed warriors. Players mainly substitued with 3rd edition minis (Scouts, Hydra, characters) which were available on GW mailorder only. In times of 5th ed COB and Dark Riders (yeah, current ones) were released with Tears Of Isha campaign, but Scouts, Execs (exept limited GD release), Hydra were never released.

5th edition was pretty the same, some rules were changed a bit but Army Book stayed the same. It was still pretty powerful, although subsequent ABs (like HE) countered what was fresh and original in DE book. In the end of 5th ed with all new and shiny (and more powerful and unbalance) other race's ABs, DE were hard to play although still dangerous and victoripus in hands of skilled general. But players were drawned for easier, vanilla armies, especially with lack of importent units still unreleased.

6th edition (the begining, pre Petition) for me was downfall of DE, but it is story for another time.

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Last edited by Iyagd on Sat Sep 12, 2009 9:21 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Sat Sep 12, 2009 9:00 pm
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Slave (off the Altar)
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Interesting read. Thanks Iyagd! I also managed to find this, a picture guide to the old 4th edition models.

http://www.collecting-citadel-miniature ... tors_Guide

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Sat Sep 12, 2009 9:13 pm
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-Sharingan- wrote:
http://www.collecting-citadel-miniatures.com/wiki/index.php/Category:Collectors_Guide


Yeah that's the best source if You're looking for miniatures release history.

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Sat Sep 12, 2009 9:19 pm
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I remember times of "Herohammer" :D You can ride almost every monster, I can remmeber my friends make fun of me when I insisted to field my sorceress riding a giant scorpion! 8)

They stopped to laugh when they faced my Witch hero able to deal 12 attacks thanks to frenzy, cauldron and items..... !eek!

About miniatures: Dark Elf 6th edition range is IMO one of the best ever, 7th edition is good (Corsairs are aCE, along with the Hydra) but the best Pegasus ever made by GW is the 5th edition pegasus. I have it and it rocks.
http://www.collecting-citadel-miniature ... SoPe01.jpg
not the chick on top but the pegasus itself....

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Mon Sep 14, 2009 10:38 am
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I have a copy of the 3rd edition army book (which had all of the armies, rather than individual army books like now).

Suprisingly little has changed in terms of what units you can purchase for your army. Cold One Riders were there, as were witch elves, dark elf infantry and even an alter. Notable differences include no elite infantry options (no black guard, executioners, etc) and 4 cavalry options (of varying 'shock elite' status and steed type) (as was the case for most 3rd armies). The book had sections for both allies and mercenaries - portending Dogs of War.

Can't really comment on 3rd ed much beyond that though, as I didn't start playing properly until 4th.

I did play Warhammer Fantasy Regiments quite a bit pre-4th edition though (it was one of the table top games at my local - sadly now disbanded - GW store). That was a mini game of a 'good' army of 10 wood elf archers and 10 dwarves vs an 'evil' army of 10 dark elf crossbowmen, 10 orcs, 10 goblins and 10 skaven. The game was almost always lopsided towards evil - the wood elf archers could try to go toe-to-toe with the druchii missile troops, but would struggle to get the upper hand (I think, but aren't 100% sure, that DE crossbows were single shot and S4 back in those days?). The skaven, orcs and goblins would all run away as soon as they were targetted by the WEs, but that allowed the DEs to get several free shots at the WEs, leaving the good player with 2 or 3 wood elves and 10 dwarves vs 10 DE crossbowmen. The dwarves could never get across the table in time - the remaining DEs would shoot down the few remaining WEs and kill enough of the dwarves that by the time combat finally happened, it would be 8 or 9 dark elves vs 3 or 4 dwarves. Game over, evil wins.

Ironically, I used to play in 4th edition, had a break from Warhammer for about 13 years and now have started playing DE in 7th edition. When I started playing again, I found I had a huge swathe of 3rd and 4th edition dark elf miniatures (lots of my elder brother's friends used to play, and I guess at least one of them had a reasonably sized DE army) - including original cold ones, warhammer fantasy regiments crossbowmen, old skool warriors, 3rd edition witch elves and 2 really ancient and small manticores (which I have now converted to have riders etc as they used to come in blisters by themselves). I've purchased some new troops as well (executioners, black guard, corsairs etc), so my army is quite a mishmash of new and old!

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Corsairs are aCE
Probably not the right forum for me to comment much on this, as I'm sure its been discussed before - but the new corsair models are indeed excellent...except for when you try to rack them up!


Mon Sep 14, 2009 11:12 am
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Dark Elves are one of the armies with the fewest major changes. THrough the history of the DE very few new units have been made and few cut out (no more Beastmaster, City Guard). And in general the units perform largely the same, although new rules have made them more or less effective. The Special Charcters are the same too.

Compared to Chaos or Undead (at one time there was only one Undead book and armies could be lead by Necromancer Lords with Mummies and Vampires all in the same force) Dark Elves are almost identical to what would have been fielded ten years ago.


Tue Sep 15, 2009 1:05 am
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Quote:
The problem was general lack of minis - many weren't at first released like Execs, Scouts, Dark Riders, COB, Dark Elf Hydra characters (except Morathi on dark pegasus, Rakarth on dragon).


At this stage there was still some discrepancy between the model side of GW and the army book side. The singular drive of all models available being covered in the books and all units in the books being available as models took place slowly, and only really after 4th edition launched. Modern Games Workshop stores are much more focused - whether this is a good or bad thing, I don't know.

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I can remmeber my friends make fun of me when I insisted to field my sorceress riding a giant scorpion!


:) In 3rd edition you could take a jabberwocky with you in your army XD. Nuff said really...

Quote:
4 cavalry options (of varying 'shock elite' status and steed type)


Just got my 3rd ed book out off the shelf *blows away dust*. Cold One Riders came in two forms:
- Helldrakes (WS5, BS4, S4, T3, I7, A1 and Ld 8). They cost 39 points each and could be equipped with lances AND crossbows :/
- Doomdrakes (WS5, BS4, S3, T3, I6, A1 and Ld8). Interestingly, their cold one mounts had 2 attacks each at WS3 and S4.

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Tue Sep 15, 2009 2:04 am
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deathknight27 wrote:
Just got my 3rd ed book out off the shelf *blows away dust*. Cold One Riders came in two forms:
- Helldrakes (WS5, BS4, S4, T3, I7, A1 and Ld 8). They cost 39 points each and could be equipped with lances AND crossbows :/
- Doomdrakes (WS5, BS4, S3, T3, I6, A1 and Ld8). Interestingly, their cold one mounts had 2 attacks each at WS3 and S4.


Yeah, I remember that Helldrakes were mounted on horse, even barded as miniatures suggest.

More interesting is that Cold Ones in 4th/5th ed had two attacks either and Knight had option for RXB, cool eh?

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Tue Sep 15, 2009 9:11 am
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Iyagd wrote:

More interesting is that Cold Ones in 4th/5th ed had two attacks either and Knight had option for RXB, cool eh?


That was so cool! I remember my all RXB army! My bretonnian friend hated my Dark riders continuously to shoot and flee and my cold ones shooting at him. :D
When I managed to get the charge with cold ones they were killers!

Of course I remember my friend's Bretonnian lord chargin'a tower (a tower!) and bringing it down with inside a Chaos Sorcerer in a single combat thanks to auto hit-auto wound zillion attacks combo!

:roll:

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Tue Sep 15, 2009 4:59 pm
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I've remember SevadgeOrc Warboss with Crown of Atzar 3+, Black Amulet 4+ rebound, re rolls on -1 amour, and 5+ warpaint save. Or the Blood Thirster with 78A! Or Crone Helebron with A12 S10 :D Or Tullaris with 5+ KB on anything:D Or Nagash:D Oh it was funny. My Corsairs holded that SO Warbos for 4 rounds with their 5+ unmodifiable save:D

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Fri Sep 18, 2009 11:05 pm
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I am pretty sure there were witch elves in 2nd ed. There was a supplement called ravening hordes in 2nd ed that had lists for all armies. Sadly i dont own a copy.

I do have a complete set of 2nd ed rules and the DE are there with cold ones & crossbowmen.

So I suppose you could say that DE were there from the start of Warhammer as a true battle game.


Sun Oct 04, 2009 9:14 pm
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For what it's IIRC worth the Dark Elves started out as chaos elves who were then killed out/retconned/turned into what we know today- The Druchii

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Sun Oct 04, 2009 9:26 pm
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I think they were night elves in ist ed.

They were never chaos elves unless you count the DE units in the Slannesh List in the 3rd ed Realms of Chaos book.

The DE always worshipped 'dark gods' but these were not specifically named as the chaos gods themselves. DE were named as Khaine worshippers very early on certainly as early as 3rd ed.


Sun Oct 04, 2009 9:46 pm
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Oh, okay then.

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Sun Oct 04, 2009 10:01 pm
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Yeah I've got the 3rd Edition "Armies" supplement and the 3rd Edition Rulebook.

I wasn't even born when it came out... I basically found it at a former friends garage and then, in proper Druchii fashion, nicked it! ^_^


Ohh looking at the Dark Elf Ally Contingent haha

Alignment: Evil or Chaotic ^_^

CoKs were called"Doomdrakes" and cost 35 a pop. They could be armed with repeater crossbows. Doesnt say anything about stupidity
DRs were called "Doomsteeds" and cost 33 a pop. Came with Lance, shield and armour. LOL option to get barding.
Witch Elves had 1 WS4 str 3 attack. For 50 pts you could get a champ haha. and could be armed with xbows. Poison was an upgrade.

omg this is hilarious!

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Sun Oct 04, 2009 10:50 pm
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IIRC frenzy doubled a models attacks so it was really 2.

If you want a real laugh check out the pathetic stats of the repeater bolt thrower. Probably the least effective war machine ever devised.


Sun Oct 04, 2009 10:59 pm
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about chaos elves, there are some marks of khorne on early models and arts....

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Mon Oct 05, 2009 4:37 pm
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One thing that I'm a little bit sad about is that there are no more Dark Elf obedience tests when we play against HE. It was such a cool rule and really added another dimension to playing a DE vs HE battle.

However, it was less than ideal when you had a unit of RXB that had to charge a HE lord on Emporer dragon all because I rolled a 1.

Like I said.

Less than ideal.......

Cheers!
H :twisted:

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Fri Oct 16, 2009 9:48 pm
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