I’d like to remind readers that I am not commenting on areas of the rules that underwent changes after my departure. For this reason, I’ve edited out questions on a few subjects, apologies to those that asked them but I’m not in a position to give a responsible or informed answer in these cases.


A more rules-related one here. The Druchii are emphasised as being a race of warriors, unlike their more rounded and softer High Elf ‘brethren’. Yet it is the High Elves that get rules such as Speed of Asuryan and Martial Prowess, which are rationalised as elite warrior skills despite many Asur soldiers being a half-trained (by Elven standards!) militia. Whilst Dark Elves are certainly more *ferocious* and slightly less disciplined with Hate, I only ever get the impression of an elite warrior people from the Black Guard. Even though all other Dark Elf warriors are more full-time and well-trained than all but a tiny minority (in background terms if not game ) of Asur, it is the Dark Elven soldiers that appear the inferior, part-time soldiers. Why is/was this step taken?

Hope to hear from you

The greater militarisation of the Dark Elves is reflected in the cost of the basic spear units, including their cheap command upgrades. Dark Elves don’t have the trust and cohesion, nor the discipline, that the High Elves have when fighting in formation. One a one-to-one confrontation the Dark Elves start with more warriors, and those that survive the High Elves’ attacks do more damage. I found that such fights were generally even and bloody (just how we like it!). On a larger scale the Hatred and numbers of the Dark Elves balance out against the benefits of their Ulthuan-based cousins.

In the real world, subtle but important changes to the Warhammer game system have undermined the elite nature of Elves in general and various developers have sought ways to address this. The decreased value of Initiative and Leadership with the changes from 3rd to 4th edition was one major factor, and the removal of movement restrictions for heavier armour, the increase in many armour saves (including the hand weapon and shield bonus), improved Strength and Toughness in other armies further exposed the downsides of the elven army dynamics.

Wary of reducing points cost to reflect these changes, because elven armies should be small and skilled, Tuomas Pirinen tried to address this in the 5th edition High Elves book by introducing many special rules for lots of troops types. When 6th edition rolled around it was our aim to cut back on the proliferation of special rules. The latest High Elves book took a middle ground. With the Dark Elves I viewed the army as a whole rather than any given troop type versus any other particular unit and decided that a points break was the best bet. Across an army, the Dark Elves are still few, fast, skilled and deadly compared to Orcs or humans, bolstered by the inclusion of things such as Assassins outside the Heroes choices and (relatively speaking) discounts to some of the specialist troop types. I think this is the most sustainable solution to the problem, rather than a special rules arms race that inevitably leads to more complication and potential imbalances.

Firstly thanks for the amazing job done with our book. It was a long wait but the result was certainly worth waiting for. Ninjas, Pirates and Dinosaurs. What more could I ask for? Anyway…

Black Guard. They are stubborn and are described as being especially disciplined due to rigorous training. They fear neither death nor pain and will carry out any order to the fullest. Yet because of Hatred they will abandon the line (and perhaps go against their orders) chasing after inferior broken units. Why was they designed this way? I’m not unhappy, it just strikes me as odd.

For Dark Elves the Black Guard are disciplined, but at heart they are also ruthless, bloodthirsty killers who are eager to prove themselves to their masters. The sort of reckless behaviour contained within the Hatred rules isn’t necessarily looked down on by Dark Elves!

Cauldron of Blood. What is the reason it was changed from its old 24″ aura to its current form? I’m one of the people who loved the old version and my favourite strategy revolved highly around it.

As a focal point of the army and a very characterful part of the Dark Elves’ forces, I wanted the Cauldron of Blood to have entertaining rules to match – much like Fanatics for Night Goblins. The new version, with the ability to enhance units in different ways, gives variety to Dark Elf tactics, adding to the layers of strategy available to the army.

Hi Gav, like most people gotta say great work on the new book, great fluff, great rules Thanks for making time for this questionnaire, greatly appreciated.

Was an assassin always meant as a chariot killing star throwing maniac… I mean Strength 7 on a throwing star, (with the stars and manbane) ain’t this a bit much?

It is not possible to get Strength 7 with Manbane. The throwing stars add +1 to the S of the model and then the Manbane is a bonus on top of this (just as ordinary poison would be) – it clearly states Strength is increased to a maximum of 6.

Ari Huotari

First of all, I would like to thank you very much for a very good 7th edition dark elf army book! There are some questions though to which I would like to get answers:

Why can’t Death Hags can’t ride a Dark Steed or Cold One?

Because Witch Elves traditionally fight on foot and I wanted there to be a advantages for players who field regular Dark Elf heroes.


Hey Gav, cheers for the new book and all the work put into the Dark Elves over the years.

Why has Malus Darkblade never had a sea dragon cloak included in his rules? He clearly wears one in the art and on the model…weird. Also, how did the development of the new Black Guard rules come about, and what paths were taken to make them what they are now? They have been seriously boosted, they must have been up there on the priority list.

Cheers and Good luck with all.

Malus’ lack of cloak was an oversight in the last book, compounded by me repeating the error this time around! Hopefully, the FAQ will give it to him at long last… On Black Guard, I wanted them to be scary for opponents, just as elven elite infantry should be. With all of the things I mentioned earlier about Elven infantry, it was important that I didn’t make them cheap or better protected, but rather that they could do some serious damage to the enemy. Yes they are badass, one of my favourite units in the new book J


I’m also curious about the design/revamping process. Our magic items section underwent serious overhaul, and while we have tons of great new useful items, some at amazing prices, some of the old favourites have been removed. Is the reduction of things like Crimson Death and the Hydra Blade based on bringing us in line with others, a sign of things to come, or related to the fact that some armies can use things more/less effective than others. I always felt, for instance, that Chaos and other high strength models should pay more for extra attacks than low strength races such as men and elves.

I ask because some changes have definitely made the Druchii a more viable army, yet some of the changes related to the above items are taking away some of the old options developed (or simply given) when the army was less forgiving. So the army is more reliable now, but in many ways through new means exclusively rather than adapted. Was this the intent or am I viewing things wrong?

Overall, with both the Dark Elves and Vampire Counts, I wanted there to be lots of tactical uses for the items and some great combinations, rather than a few expensive but all-powerful items. The fun of kitting out your characters and units, particularly with regard to the magic items allowance for some Champions in the Dark Elves list, meant that a wide range of low cost items was needed. Some items have been replaced by similar options in other places such as the Cloak of Twilight in the Temple of Khaine for Assassins. Older items addressed deficiencies of the army that no longer exist or filled in weaknesses that should not have been filled. I view the lack of genuine choices in the old magic item list as one of the biggest opportunities I missed in the last book, so I wasn’t going to hold myself accountable to any given item or ability this time around.

Points values should always be context-dependant, which is why Alessio removed the blanket cost for the Common Magic Items from the rulebook. One of the biggest problems when costing magic items is that they can be wielded by characters of different standard abilities – Lord and Hero-level characters. A magic sword could be too expensive to be worth giving it to a Hero, yet undercosted for the benefits it brings a lord. This is where the dark arts must be involved a little, judging the boundary at which an item’s usefulness is balanced by its cost and availability to certain character types.


Just wanted to ask why the cold ones are stupid, yet not cold-blooded the same way the lizardmen cold ones are?

I realize this is going waaay back, but I wanted to ask anyway.

Cheers Gav, and good luck being a freebooter!

Lizardmen riders are also cold-blooded, whereas Dark Elves are not. Remember that usually it’s the guy on top that’s in charge, and he’s the one that decides when to run away!


Hi Gav,

Just wanted to say thanks for a great job on the new DE book and that you will be missed in the design team. I fully expect now that Alessio is in charge the Skaven will overrun everything!

Anyway, I know it’s late for the Q&A (I just found it), but I did have a couple questions. First, one of the major themes of the Druchii have been their ability to tame all kinds of vicious monsters, yet even in the current book they are reduced to effectively three: the dragon, the hydra and the manticore (I don’t really count the Dark Pegasus as a monster). To be honest I was kind of hoping for another large monster of sorts for the Dark Elves to give an alternative to the hydra. IMO something like the basilisk that you reference manticores fighting or a large, druichii-esque carnosaur of sorts would have been a wonderful addition. I guess my question boils down to, was there ever a time when additional creatures such as the above were considered and if so, what was their reason for being dropped? If they were not considered, was it because there was no space in the range, no space in the book, or was it just not feasible to do? As I said, I like the monsters and was hoping the Druchii would get at least one new unit like their Asur cousins got the lion chariot. Besides which, with the Warhammer Legendary Battles rules, the more monsters the better!

While there are all sorts of cool additions that could have been made to the army, there simply wasn’t the resource available to add in extra monsters and the like. Unfortunately, there was quite a hangover from the last time around in terms of gaps in the miniatures range (and in particular a woeful lack of plastics and characters) so our efforts were concentrated on making sure we got right what was already there rather than adding in anything at this juncture.

Second, just something I’ve always wondered about the Army book artwork. Basically, is it intentional that a large portion, usually contiguous, where all the artwork is in black and white, while the colour sections are reserved for the cover, the hobby section, and the section for displaying all the miniatures? I’m going to take a guess and say it’s probably cheaper to do it in B&W, but I’ve always just been curious about it.

It’s a matter of style and time rather than cost of printing – we try out extra colour now and then, for instance the opening ‘legendary history’ section of Bretonnia and the colour bestiary of Ogre Kingdoms. However, art resource is limited and colour takes a lot longer to paint than black and white – both of the aforementioned sections are not illustrated int hew traditional manner. I’d rather have a decent amount of black and white art than a scarce amount of colour artwork. This may well change in future books and it’s never been a golden rule – the new 40K rulebook is full colour, for instance.

Third question, about the new “free” spells that have been appearing since about the 6th edition Wood Elves book. There seems to be a trend that a lot of books nowadays, particularly the non-human ones, come with a bonus spell that is integral to the army and helps define the “style” of magic the army uses. Has this been a conscious decision over the past few years as new books were released and though you are no longer involved, would you expect a similar treatment for custom spell lists in future books? Or were these simply for the Elves and no one else to help define their magical nature?

The magic of an army is very important in Warhammer and it is from their spells that a lot of a dynamic can be derived. The Lores in the rulebook are your basic building blocks of magic, at a level attainable by humans. ‘Above’ this is a level of sorcery and spells that other races or dark wizards can access (often at great peril). The default spells such as Invocation of Nehek and Power of Darkness really define the magic of the race, beyond any other spell. At its heart, Dark Magic is a lore that can do lots of damage in interesting ways, but really isn’t too different in that regard to Metal or Fire. The Power of Darkness spell and Sorcewry special rule are what really define Dark Elf wizards as different from other spellcasters. Power of Darkness could have manifested as a special rule (an extension to Sorcery in some fashion perhaps) but putting these abilities into the standard magic rules is a neat and simple way of adding in extra coolness whilst avoiding potential complications. Added to that is the range of Arcane Items available to the wizards of a particular army. I would expect there to be plenty of army-specific lores in future books, though whether they would have default bonus spells as well, I don’t know.

Lastly, I’m sad to see you go before you got back around to the Dwarfs again! I’ll be honest and say I was hoping you would be the one to rewrite the Dwarf book now with the army books being much larger and all. On that note, is there any chance that you might be contracted to write background material for any future army books by GW (now that you are a “proppa” writer and all ;-))?

Cheers, Gary

I don’t think I’ll be doing much work, if any, for the Design Studio, as all work is done In-House. I might squeeze in the odd WD article if they ask. To be fair, there’s so much involved in the planning and presentation of a background section that actually sitting down and writing it is one of the most enjoyable and least tricky tasks a Games Developer can face. I can’t imagine the guys doing all the planning work and then letting someone else have the fun!


Hey there! Nice initiative from your part man!

My first expectation about the new rules was, as I saw in the High Elves armybook, that Dark Elves also would have three different dragon types. This I would benefit from since I love everything about dragons, and to have more than one option, points and statistics wise would make me able to field a dragon in more types of armies.

So my question is: how come High Elves have all the three dragons; Sun, Moon and Star when Dark Elves only have one, the Black Dragon? Isn’t that somewhat to discriminate the Dark Elves?

Dragons are an integral feature of the High Elf image – in particular the links to Caledor. The Dark Elves have a more diverse image concerning their monsters, incorporating Hydras and Manticores and other creatures. Just as it would undermine the Dark Elves if High Elves were allowed to take Manticore and Cold Ones, so the High Elves are allowed a special boon with their access to different types of Dragons. Some horrible marketing person would call it a USP (unique selling point) 😉


How come the Ring of Hotek only costs 25 points and the Book of Hoeth (the High Elves – item) costs 100 points?

In my opinion they are, on a general basis, equally good.

The book gives one archmage the potential of getting Irresistible Force, however you must spend many power dice on few spells (you’ll probably have to go for two spells maximum) in order to have a good chance of accomplishing this. This item also spends the archmage’s entire points allowance.

The Ring, on the other hand, can be taken by a mere unit champion (Cold One Knight Champion or Black Guard Champion) since it is an Enchanted Item and only costs 25 points. Most likely it protects your whole central battleline. Of course this limits your own spellcasting, but then you can go for a purely magic defensive army, while with the Book you must go for a magic offensive army.

As these items have the opposite effects of each other, I rate them at least equally good (especially since the miscast table has become worse in 7th Edition).

This was just my reasoning, I just wonder what argument you used to justify the cost, that (in my opinion) is low?

Please excuse any bad language, English is not my native language, you see.

There are two major differences between the Book of Hoeth and the Ring of Hotek. Firstly, the Book of Hoeth doesn’t mechanically change the way your army works. You may decide on a magic-heavy strategy because of its presence, but that’s a tactical choice. The Ring of Hotek affects your own casters and so has a major impact on the strategies available to your army. To be used at its best you can have no magic users of your own and your army must remain compact around the wearer of the ring – it offers no protection to flanking forces, for example, or other units split from the main group. Add to this is the fact that the Dark Elves are an offensive army and their Dark Magic can be one of the major contributing factors. To throw out a whole phase in order to negate enemy magic is to leave out one of the greatest weapons in the Dark Elves arsenal. Your logic is inverted when you say that you have to go magic-heavy with the book and can go magic-light with the ring.

Secondly, the Ring of Hotek is a defensive item. Yes, it can be very effective at negating an investment made by your opponent, but it doesn’t directly contribute to the destruction of the enemy – and it can be avoided. The Book of Hoeth boosts the abilities of your own army, and greatly increases the potential damage that can be inflicted by the user. Yes, if you have the ring it can seriously annoy a High Elves player who has invested in the Book of Hoeth, but on the other hand against Dwarfs or an army without a lot of points spent on magic, its usefulness diminishes. Therefore its potency is not related to the decisions that you make, but is affected by the choices made by your opponent – choices that are out of your control.

Jacob Collins
A few questions:

What power level did you envisage the new army book having? Was it designed to rival the ‘top tier’ armies? Will it?

I don’t think of armies and army design in that fashion. The Dark Elves are designed to be entertaining for both players, characterful of the Dark Elf background, and have enough options that players looking for ‘power builds’ should find something to their liking.

Did you consider put the Sacrificial Dagger magic item in as a magic weapon instead of as an enchanted item? If so, what led to the final decision?

No, Magic Weapons are items that hurt the enemy. Although technically a weapon, the dagger’s use is only for wizards and so it’s an Arcane Item all the way.

How much, if at all, do you look at ideas posted by players on forums (like Druchii.net) when you come to revise an army book? I know it helped push along the Dark Elf revision that was published a while back.

One looks at issues rather than solutions. If there is a widespread, persistent problem then one looks to address this in a characterful way. On the other hand, the revision of the army at this time was about imbuing the force with character rather than simply fixing perceived problems here and there, so I started from the ground and worked up as much as was possible. That said, the Focus Familiar was one of the magic items that was discussed during the revision all of those years ago, and I liked it so much at the time I put it to one side for future inclusion!

Do you occasional purposefully under- or over-cost certain units? Naming no names, but some things seem too cheap in the new book. Did many units change points cost much from the first draft of the book?

Under- or over-costed implies that the points are wrong. Nobody ever gives a unit or item a deliberately ‘wrong’ cost. On the other hand, in Warhammer some things have to be measured en masse. So, for instance, the cheap command of the warriors. One of the issues with high-price troops is that their command is also increased in cost as a force multiplier. I wanted to keep the overall cost of the basic warriors to a minimum, hence the discounted command options. With magic items, combinations and availability are an issue – items over 50pts can only be taken by Lords, for example, while a 35pt Arcane item can’t be combined with a Dispel Scroll on a Hero-level wizard. These considerations might mean there’s a flex of a few points up or down, though over the ‘expense’ of a whole army such savings or additional costs are going to amount to only one or two per cent really. To fully maximise the advantages of these discounts, players have to build their army with that in mind – in the case of the Dark Elves it’s no bad thing if the player wants multiple units of Spearmen, that’s in keeping with the character of the army.

Pierce Hodges

Hi Gav!

I really like the work you and the team did with the new Druchii, It is an excellent book by all means. I have a couple of questions to ask.

In regards to mengil’s manflayers can they still be used in the druchii army as a DOW special choice or are they no longer permitted for I just love using them in my games.

The Dogs of War rules are self-inclusive – that means that all of the rules for using Mengil Manhide and his pals are in the Dogs of War and Regiment of Renown rules. References to Dogs of War are being removed from the army books as a matter of course but if you are using Dogs of War, the rules haven’t changed.

Regarding the Magic item Pendant of Khaleath was there a reason why it was priced at 35pts for it seems to almost everyone that it’s basically a 4 to 3+ Ward save, which is much cheaper when compared to what other armies pay for just a 4+ ward.

It is cheap when compared on those direct terms, yes. On the other hand, it is costed bearing in mind two things – the Toughness 3 of the character wearing it, and the fact that it does not protect against all types of damage. The correlation between the ward save and the strength makes the Toughness of the character a pertinent value – he or she is more vulnerable to lower Strength attacks than most other characters, and the Pendant gives less protection against those sorts of hits. It is better to attack the character with multiple low-to-medium Strength attacks than a few high-Strength attacks. On the second part, some spells, items and other effects have no Strength value and will circumnavigate the wards save altogether. Together these mean that there are tactics that an opponent can use to attack the character and militate against the Pendant, something that is simply not possible against other types of ward save.

Published on August 25, 2008 at 4:26 pm  Comments (25)  

25 CommentsLeave a comment

  1. […] The third part of the Dark Elves Questions and Answers are now available here. Published […]


  2. Thank you for posting all three of these articles about the design process and choices in writing the Army Book.
    It is very interesting to hear from the inside what goes on behind the scenes. I’m actually glad you kept away from discussing the rules queries and are leaving that to the FAQ when it comes.

    My only query is that you did discuss MorningStars and Manbane which seemed like a rule query to me.
    I have heard numerous people saying that MorningStars and Manebane combine to give str7 against T5+, and on reading the rules myself have to admit I thought they were reading it correctly.
    Without prejudicing the FAQ, I’ll say this came up in playtesting (against a War Altar of all things!) and I thought the revised wording was clear. Perhaps not 😦 It wasn’t my intent that throwing stars, no matter how well poisoned, can blow up chariots!
    P.S. Executioners did for the War Altar later in the battle…


  3. Hi Gav

    Nice work with the new dark elf book. The rules are well written and the army is fun to play. I have a couple of questions you might be able to help me with.

    How many attacks does a hydra beastmaster have when he uses the beastmaster’s scourge? It says, it is a hand weapon, so can it be used together with his normal hand weapon, give them 3 attacks each? If it can, are all the attacks then armour piercing?

    Unlike Irtehdar, I didn’t care much for the old cauldron of blood rules, and think it has got a lot better and much more useful now. Before it was immobile, which the current model also symbolises, but I take it can be moved like a normal war machine? Also it is correct that it can’t charge, as it is a war machine?

    The spell Black Horror says all models touched by the template must test. So is there no 4+ roll for models not fully covered my the template?

    While I like the new corsair models, I also think the old ones where quite nice. So I really didn’t see the need for new models there, same with assassins. But I really think that dark riders need new models, so thought it a little odd they didn’t get any. Also any plans on making plastic harpies, as they are rather expensive to get a lot of at the movement?

    Hi El Rey! Good to see you around the place. 🙂 I’m leaving all rules questions to the official FAQ, but suffice to say all of the above rules work as they are written 😉 On the question of future models, Dark Riders seem like an obvious choice for plastification. I’m not so convinced about Harpies being high on the list – they are very useful and I know some folks want to field quite a lot of them now, but big, ranked blocks of troops usually have more priority than skirmishing units within the overall plastics plan. However, that’s just my opinion, the future may prove me wrong.


  4. Hi there,

    I read the previous Q&A’s where you were avoiding rules questions and they answered a few questions I had. Thanks for that and the fun new army book 🙂

    However, I still do have one rules question that has came up quite frequently. Were Null Talismans intended to be taken with other talismans in the same way that Dispel Scrolls can be taken with other arcane items?

    Thanks 🙂

    Gav – It was my intent that the Null Talismans work like scrolls, excpt that they are of course Enchanted Items not Arcane Items. Hopefully an errata/ FAQ will make this clearer.


  5. Hello Gav!

    I have read intensively about how you told about the development of the Druchiis. I am glad my asrais does not have to fight them, since it would mean I most likely would have to fight VERY cowardly… 😛

    Anyway, I would be pleased if you could do the same for Vampire counts, would that be possible. My best mates play them and regulary slaughters my asrais, so it would be nice to hear something about how you tought when you made them, their fluff, why you did not continue the Blood line idea etc… And what is meant to be their weaknesses against different armies.

    Anyway, onward to a druchii question. The Pendant oc Kaleth has stirred up some debate, since it seems downright impenetrable for many armies. Some magic spell might do it, but killing the wearer will take presistent luck etc…
    And many if not all of those items are generally considered as too narrow to be worth to be taken in the army.

    However, the biggest problem is that you can combine the item with such good armour, and that makes for example the Wood elf spites that gives 2str attacks useless. It does not matter he is only T3 when you cannot get through with the attacks!
    Many argues that the only way is to avoid, avoid, avoid etc… And there is also a debate about wether ANY magic weapon really can hurt him, since the weapon is wielded by a character with a base strength of 4 and to land that Hammer of Judgement toughness test means you must after all first bash the dude with str4, giving him 3+ save. Or does it?

    Many players will naturally make the utmost to denounce anything but autowound, non-strength spells, and since he can have a good armour, it cause some confussion and also recentment.
    It turns into a lot of Rock-paper-sissor and lots of tailoring if you want to find ways of killing that general.

    Someone said the item was really there to be used for mages, who would not have armour. Was it belived that people would not combine the Pendant with Armour regulary as is done.


    • Gotta agree with Matti about the reverse-ward pendant. T3 doesn’t mean anything when the wearer has a -1 armor save for a cold-one, sea-dragon cloak, heavy armor, and shield. Most armies just can’t do anything to that.


  6. Hi Gav!! Love the new book but I gotta say I was really hoping for a return of city guard…what caused them to drop out of the game? To close to sea guard?

    Gav – The emphasis for the army is on an aggressive, attacking force, and as such I was briefed to leave out City Guard as it was felt they were too defensive in background and role.


  7. Hi again Gav… I was also wondering if you do this for vampire counts or not because a friend of mine plays vampire counts most of the time and I showed him this and he thought it was really cool

    Gav – I don’t really have the time at the moment for a general Q+A on Vampires, but if there are any specific questions you’d like to ask, please feel free and I’ll see if I can answer them.


  8. Hi Gav,

    Just wanted to say congrats on the book – very nicely done.

    I’m a big fan of Malekith’s new rules. Before, he just didn’t seem to live up to his image or background; but now he oozes power. Especially the idea of punishing enemy spellcasters for attempting to hurt him… a beautifully fitting idea.


  9. hey..well just wanted to know how the point costs were distributed im not complaining just seems strange..for instance a corsair is 10pts. has ws4 2 att.sea cloak eternal hatred…for three measly more points a model i can get a model that is immune to psch. stubborn. warrior elite, eternal hatred ws5 2 att. i mean why bother with spears or corsairs when i can easily afford 2 of those units…which now a days with everyone using those deamons which are pretty unstoppable i kinda need to use them…just a thought though love the new book

    Gav – while the offensive capabilities of the Black Guard are certainly superior, at the end of the day they are just Toughness 3 with heavy armour and die to shooting and spells more easily than corsairs… All those things you mention are worthless if they don’t reach combat, and they would certainly be a target of choice for most opponents!


  10. Hi Gav…asking for my friend about vampires because he doesn’t have computer access at the moment, but he was wondering what ever happened to Walach…sorry if I misspelled it…i’ve never read the name only heard him pronounce it so I was guessing


  11. […] they don’t give you S7 according to Gav Thorpe: DARK ELVES Q&A: ON THE RULES Mechanical Hamster […]


  12. Have the stats for Mengil Manhide and Manflayers changed since a few have in the new Codex and the new rules have come out.

    Gav – The rules of Mengil and friends are not in the Dark Elf army book and so haven’t changed.

    Do they still take up one Special slot rather than Rare when used in a DE Army?

    Gav – Not changed.

    Do you kow where i can get any DE transfers for my banners?

    That’s a tricky one. GW stopped doing transfers for most races many years ago, so ebay or similar is your best bet. To be honest, the old transfer abd banner designs (around the release of the 4th edition book ) were rubbish anyway. The iconography was all over the place back then and doesn’t really fit the Dark Elves at all.

    Thanks for all the hlp.



  13. Hey Gav! Great job on the book!

    Can you tell me if the Banner of Nagarythe is meant to give +1 CR to each friendly unit within 12” of the banner or to each combat at 12” no matter how many units are in it?

    I love this banner’s aura and the concept itself, but I’m afraid of the answer to the rules Q because I often use it as giving +1CR to each friendly unit…

    Thanks and nice job!One of the best AB of this edition!

    Gav – As with the Dwarf Master Runeof Stromni Redbeard, the banner adds +1 to the Dark Elves’ combat resolution, not +1 per unit involved in the combat. Glad you like the book!


  14. Dear Gav,
    I have been playing Dark Elves since Jervis Johnshon’s 1996 Army Book, and I just wanted to let you know I think you did an amazing job on their new Army Book. I didn’t think I would be so happy with a different revision, but I am ecstatic. Thank you for all your hard work. Also, thank you for replying to so many questions here, you seem really great! 😉
    -Ken ^^


  15. […] strength 7 has been discussed and denied (Ari Huston made the army book). You can see the post at: DARK ELVES Q&A: ON THE RULES Mechanical Hamster ———- Hi Gav, like most people gotta say great work on the new book, great fluff, great […]


  16. Dear Gav,
    I have been playing Dark Elves since the 1996 Army Book as well, and I am amazed at the AWESOME changes that were made, So thank you very much! ANd thank you for taking the time and effort for answering all our questions. =)

    I do however have a few questions of my own after reading through the above assortment.

    Eternal Hatred: All models with this rule Hate all
    opposing models, does this apply to Witch Elves, Black Guard and those who take the Sea Serpent Standard (Corsairs) which are Frenzy and/or are Immune to Psychology.?

    Also, Can the Cauldron of Blood Move?

    Thank you for all your time,


  17. Hey Gav,

    While I think there are some balance issues with both the dark elves and vampire counts, as the tournament scene will often prove, I applaud your willingness to discuss the books. Personally, I think your work is good, especially your 6th edition work, where you had more control over all aspects of the game. The issue is, the army books are written by different folks. I think the dark elf book is perfectly balanced for Vampire Counts, as you have written them both, but books by the other authors don’t seem as compatible. Anyway, I wanted to let you know that I admire you work.

    PS: I would think that the Pendant of Khaleath is effectively a 4+ or 3+ ward save, as most armies do not have access to any strength lower than 3. More often that not, alternatives to this save will not be available. But it is not game breaking.


    • Thanks for the kind comments. There are a few things in hindsight I would tweak – a couple of them errors on my part like the Pendant – and a couple of things that got tweaked during the last stage of editing, which seem to have caused a few problems that didn’t exist in the version I left behind.

      On the whole, it is a bit of an issue having different developers writing the various books, but they are not done in total isolation and the games dev team should be capable of frank discussion and arguments with each other, with the final say coming down to the guy whose name goes on the front. The dept I joined many years ago was a hive of creative conflict, which created a kind of survival of the fittest, or trial by peers environment. Whether that is still true, I wouldn’t know. Overall I think it is about a developer with a strong vision for an army and a book, backed up by a strong vision and strategy for the game system as a whole. That used to be provided in the early days by the creator of the game, so Rick Priestley was the force behind Warhammer, Jervis was the man who directed things for Blood Bowl, Andy Chambers was the lead on Battlefleet Gothic and so on. This meant that whoever wrote a supplement or article, there was someone with the overview to ensure the games system was moving in a consistent direction. A little later this was done by me, Andy C and Alessio when the dept was broken down into 40K, Warhammer and LOTR teams, but that got changed and I don’t know if it’s any person’s particular responsibility these days.


  18. First and foremost, thank you for your work with the dark elves- it’s a really great book and you did a great job with the new army list etc. I especially like the new rules for soul stealer (i’ve destroyed many a unit of inner circle knights with that spell).

    A few things that i was curious about though when i first read the new rules; why do witch elves now have a lower WS of 4? Why does Hellebron have no ward save (except for the 4+ save with a Cauldron of Blood)? Finally, the new spell Bladewind uses close combat attacks, does this mean that you can re- roll failed rolls to hit because of hatred?

    Once again thanks for the book, and i really look forwards to the next in ‘The Sundering’ series, both previous books were brilliant!


    • Hello,

      Glad you like the new book. To answer your points –

      When comparing the two Khainite troops – Witch Elves and Executioners – I wanted each to characterise their different fighting styles. So, Witch Elves have regular WS but two weapons, poisoned attacks and frenzy to represent their battle-mania, while the Executioners are more focussed and skilled, with a higher WS and Killing Blow. The same carries over to Hellebron – she’s a character designed for attack not defence, who relies on slaying her opponents first rather than weathering attacks with armour or a ward save. Unless an official FAQ says otherwise, I think that Bladewind does not benefit fro Hatred, hence the wording ‘The spell inflicts 3D6 WS4…” rather than something like “The caster makes 3D6 WS4…”.

      As well as the third Sundering book, Caledor, there is also the forthcoming Aenarion audiobook, as well as a yet-to-be-accounced further Sundering-related release (which I think you’ll find particularly cool if you like Witch Elves!).


  19. Hiya Gav,
    Since the 2010 rule book has come out,I have noticed the Lores of Magic have changed, will there be an updated rules for Dark Magic or will the Dark Magic spells be changing?
    Also, In your opinion, what is the best item / unit / magic etc to kill a Lord on a griffin?



    • Hi there,

      As I no longer work in the GW studio I have no idea what their plans are for the future development of the Dark Elves. Sorry about that. I’m also not really that up to speed on how the rules have changed recently, so for tactical advice I would suggest you head over to http://www.druchii.net/ and ask the players there!



  20. sorry to bother you again, but i’ve had a few discussions with my opponents concerning the Dagger of Hotek. It says in the rules that it’s an additional hand weapon, so despite the fact that its a magic weapon, does it still grant you +1 attack for being an extra hand weapon?


    • I don’t normally do rules questions, but this one is a simple ‘yes’.


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