Wednesday, 28 March 2018

Warhammer: Dark Elves 9th Ed out now!

Well, this is the first time in quite a long while since I've finished a book earlier than planned! Coming in at 194 pages, Warhammer: Dark Elves is a bit shorter than the High Elf book, but makes up for it with lots of hatred (and those Witch Elves ain't too bad either...). This book contain pretty much every fluff piece on Warhammer Dark Elves ever written, with over a dozen short stories and extended background compared to the main army books. Enjoy!


  • New Special Character: Rakarth the Beastlord.
  • New Lord: Hag Queens.
  • New Core Unit: City Guard.
  • New Core Unit: Slaves.
  • New Special Unit: Melusai (from AoS).
  • New Special Unit: Khinerai (from AoS).
  • New magic item: Armour of Living Death. 
  • Gifts of Khaine section from 7th ed is back.
  • Removed Arachne from the list (as it was not a very popular choice for many of you). 
  • Removed Manticore as an option for Supreme Sorceress.
  • Hatred (High Elves) renamed into Eternal Hatred. 
  • Harpies moved to Core, do not count towards minimum number of core units.
  • Cauldron of Blood moved to Rare, can be taken without Death Hag.
  • Doom Bolt causes D6 Strength 5 hits as standard, 2D6 boosted.
  • Executioners can pick the Standard of Har Ganeth, making them cause Terror.
  • Cold One Knights can pick the Blood Banner, making them ignore Stupidity.
  • Dark Riders 16 pts.
  • Witch Elves 10 pts.
  • Executioners 14 pts.
  • Fleetmaster no longer has slaver and raiding party rule, instead have special rules that allow Corsairs to re-roll 1's to Hit and get double combat res from Wounds caused in challenges, 125 pts.
  • Malekith has the Hand of Khaine item, can take Black Guard as a special choice. 515 pts.
  • Morathi starts as Infantry, has Beloved of Khaine special rule, 375 pts.
  • Malus Darkblade starts as Infantry, 225 pts.
  • Crone Hellebron allows Witch Elves to be taken as Core, 300 pts.
  • Shadowblade 250 pts.
  • Lokhir Fellheart 200 pts.
  • Kouran Darkhand have WS8.
  • Tullaris Dreadbringer 120 pts, gains bonuses for killing enemies in challenges instead of Frenzy.
  • Kharibdyss 165 pts.

Retconned several retcons and otherwise poor 8th ed fluff additions:
  • Malekith no longer sends away half his army at Finuval Plain, like he knows beforehand he is going to lose for no apparent reason (which is plain dumb).
  • Morathi no longer acts like she has dementia and have the hots for Tyrion (instead of being the GoT Cersei of Warhammer doing anything for her son).
  • Morathi no longer just captures Tyrion and the Blighted isle out of nowhere (really, we don't even get a description of how he was captured, only "she used magic, durr").
  • The implied Oidipus relationship between Malekith and Morathi is back.
  • Removed background on the assassins "sewing up their mouths and nailing their jaws shut" (exactly how are they supposed to eat then?).

And since people have been asking for it: yes, next up will be the 8th ed Ravening Hordes updates for Empire and High Elves. Wood Elves will take a bit longer to finish due to having a lot of editing left to do, it will most likely be out late April or May.


  1. So, with the new announcement of the Sea Elves, are you thinking of incorporating them into an old Elves book or making a new one for the list? I don't know if the models released will be enough for a new codex to be honest but maybe they could fit with the high elves? Like, the idea of ghostly elves from the bottom of the sea could be a good edition to make Cothique stand out more.

    1. The Idoneth Deepkin, yes?

      From a fluff standpoint, it is easy enough to lay down the baseline. Just as the Melusai and Khinerai are souls (partially) saved by Morathi, and the Gods are capable of stealing souls from Slaanesh, so too are these souls claimed by Mathlann.

      Of course, anything further than that requires for them to actually be released, first. We can assume that the Deepkin are good, given that Mathlann is one of the Cadai, and thus is a 'good' god, and that they are on the side of Order in Age of Sigmar, but not much further.

    2. They could also be more flavourful additions to Cothique, which is one of the less fleshed out elven kingdoms in WHFB.

    3. I'm not sure yet, I think they look a bit too strange to really fit with High Elves, but I need better pictures to decide for sure. Some could possible be used for Cothique, yes.

  2. -Perhaps add a Black Ark Captain as well. They would be WS5, BS5, A2, Ld8. This gives a place of continuity between a Reaver and a Fleetmaster rather than the sudden jump.
    -The Slaves rule explanation has a contradiction. If the Slavemaster dies, it should be inevitable that the Slave unit revolts or flees rather than continue fighting so results of 3 or 4 should be re-rolled if the Slavemaster is dead while if a 1 or 2 is rolled when the Slavemaster is dead, it should say 'If the Slavemaster is already dead, the unit automatically joins the opponents side.
    -The Bloodwrack Shrine does not have an explanation for its 'Will of the Gods' rule.
    -Don't Hydras spit poison rather than fire?
    -The Hydras and Kharibydiss rules make it come across as if the Beastmaster Apprentices have Natural Armor and Regenerate/Poisoned Attacks.
    -Why not give Dark Pegasi the Charge Bonus (1) special rule rather than a whole new one?
    -The Noxious Breath of a Black Dragon should be Strength 3 since it has an additional effect compared to a regular Dragons Flaming Breath which has Flaming Attacks, a rule that is mostly situational and can even be detrimental.
    -The rules for Malekith's Destroyer says 'bound wells'.
    -Malus Darkblades profile in the Army List section should include the profile and special rules of Spite.
    -Why is it that Crone Helleborne can ride a Manticore but Hag Queens can't?
    -Consider making Witch Elves Weapon Skill 5 so that they don't suddenly jump from 4 to 6 when becoming a Death Hag.
    -Cold One Chariot riders should carry Lances instead of Spears and Repeater Crossbows to better differentiate them from the Scourgerunner Chariot. Cold One Chariots are for melee, Scourgerunners are for shooting.

    1. - Not sure about that's really necessary, there's no Loremaster hero for High Elves for instance.
      - True, but I think it would just be easier to make them counts as "Run For It". The Slave Master cannot be targeted in most situations anyway.
      - Fixed.
      - Not in Warhammer, apparently.
      - This was clarified in the latest BRB update: "Any other special rules that the unit might have only apply to the monster and not its handlers, unless specified."
      - Charge Bonus was removed, it's now just Strength Bonus, with "on the charge" being added when necessary.
      - That's fair, fixed.
      - Fixed.
      - Fixed, at least his unqiue rule in included now. There's lack of space to include all thje special rules for all mounts.
      - The original Hellebron model was mounted on a Manticore, otherwise it's not really a Witch Elf mount.
      - That's the same gap as all standard warriors do from soldier to captain for instance.
      - Lances are held in one hand, and would push you off the chariot on the impact. All the chariot models have spears too.

    2. -Even though the gap is two between WS of a Master and typical Dark Elven soldier, there are Executioners, Cold One Knights and Black Guard to fill that gap. Witch Elves don't have such intermediate units to fill the gap.

  3. The Black Ark Fleetmaster still feels just as underpowered as it did in 8th Edition, imo. The Dreadlord can get an additional Hand Weapon and Sea Dragon Cloak for only 6 more points than a base Fleetmaster while having Medium Armor as a default instead of light with the option to upgrade to heavy, while also having a statline that's just outright better than the Fleemaster's. At Them You Curs! and Show to Weakness are certainly nice, but I really don't think they justify fielding one when you're stuck in light armor and have inferior WS, BS, I and A. Much like 8th Edition they just feel like a Hero that got one additional Wound and Leadership point and then called it a day and said they were a lord. Heck, the fact Lokhir Fellheart, who's pretty much just a cool, slightly buffed Fleetmaster is a hero choice illustrates that pretty readily.

    1. I do get where you are coming from, but I'm not sure a Fleetmaster would be great as a Hero (that rank I would imagine as being held by a Captain). Perhaps a price drop would make them a bit more of an enticing, if not great, choice.

  4. I've done my first read through (except non-beastiary fluff).

    Overall, I think you've done many fine changes to the list Mathias and I think it's a good template for the final tweaks to be made :-)

    Here are my initial thoughts as well as proofreading results, divided into chapters:

    Army Special Rules:

    -Nice touch renaming their hate for High Elves to Eternal Hatred. I kind of wish it had a little something extra to separate it from the Hatred (High Elves) special rule though, which is technically is...

    Magic: Power of Darkness should be 6+ to cast spell since you no longer add your wizard lvl. Spending 2-3 dice to get 1D3 new ones is pretty pointless (especially as you can get wounded too), and the +1 Strength to the unit is not that great either as you have to get your unit with your Wizard into hth for it to have any use begin with...

    -If the Doombolt Signature Spell can be re-cast, your change was a good one, allowing it to be used by lower lvl wizards. A nice touch.

    Magic Items:

    Here I have some issues, but they in no way reflect on your work, but GW's original work.

    -Nice change on the Uneccessarily complicated and tedious Hydra Blade.

    -Has anyone ever found a good use for the Chillblade? To justify the 50 pts I mean... You ignore Toughness when it comes to wounding, which can have an ok use against high Toughness targets, but then the target gets a Toughness test to resist the special effect... Kinda bets the point of the weapon in a way, which I think makes it redicilous at 50 pts... I've never, ever seen it in any list and I suspect not many have, for good reason. Sems it needs a change or to be changed out entirely, or at the very least a significant cost reduction... Would anyone ever take this instead of an Ogre Blade at 40 pts?

    -Ring of Hotek has Magic Resistance (3). I believe you wanted it to say 4+ instead in your new BRB. This goes for many things all through the list still though. If you do follow my suggestion of nerfing Miscasts, this item needs a cost reduction.

    -Gem of Spite seems a bit costly for what it does IMO and it also only works if you have already Miscast, the enemy have Wizards and they are within 12" etc.. Even then he can just spend some dice to ignore the effect...

    Overall it's a decent list of items though, but It would be nice to see a bound item like The black Staff make a comeback. I think Dropping the Gem of Spite in favour of it could be a good idea.

    -I liked your armour inclusion though, just keep in mind you can't re-roll LD tests due to banner any more, so Stupidity is a bigger drawback than it used to be, which admittedly wouldn't be much of a factor at all on a LD 10 Lord with re-roll...

    1. - I know what you mean, but I'd rather not overdo it.
      - You do get a more dice on channelling in 9th than 8th ed, so I don't think the casting value really needs to be lowered here (other than to 7+ with the current magic rules). So you will on average use maybe 2-3 dice, get +1 Strength, and then get back 2 dice on average. Not too shabby.
      - I can drop the Chillblade to 35 pts. Auto-wound is pretty good, but the lack of armour penetration is an issue.

    2. Will also drop the Gem of Spite to 25 pts.

    3. Well, personally I really hope you go for another fix to the magic rules than lowering all casting values by 1 nd ruining all the magic cards that people seem to like and have spendt money on. I don't doubt you can design some good cards mathias, but for most people it will in practical terms men printing them out on standard A4 paper, which is not exactly the same.

      You seem to think that the Strenght Bonus is the main feature of the Power of Darkness spell and the possibility of regaining your dice (and hopefully not get wounded/killed) as a side bonus. Can it be handy with a Strength Bonus? Sure. But You are likely sacrificing your flimsy T3 Wizard in hth to cast it, which makes it more of an act of desperation spell rather than something more usefull and defining of the lore, which I think is half the purpose of the Signature spells to begin with. I think people will basically never use it any more at such a high casting value tbh. When you can choose spells, why would you select something so sub-par and conditional when you have far better, easy to use spells?

      -I think the CHillblade at 35 pts sounds more reasonable. Maybe someone will give it a go then. It's generally not so fun when an army's own unique magic items are not comparable to the Common ones. I think GW has messed that up too many times tbh.

      -Gem of spite nerf seems fine, but I hope you give some thought to replacing it with the Black Staff from back in the day. One of the fun aspect of a new army book has always been a bit of re-shuffling of magic items as well and I think it would give the list a bit more diversity. :-)

  5. Core Units:

    -The City Guard, while a nice inclusion, they need a special rule that limits them to two or possibly three ranks and it needs to be explained how this works with the mixed weapons, casualty removal etc. The way they are now, all with Spears, Repeater Crossbow and the Shield option, they are essentially on Sea-Guard level, which becomes a bit ironic as one would imagine the City-Guard being the Warriors of Druchii society that sees least combat and should sort of be not their professional soldiers, but more of a last resort if you will. The way they are now, they are very flexible, allround good and far preferable to Dreadspears and Darkshards, which I find unreasonable and dislike. They should be a support unit to the normal army in times of crisis and not the best unit in the core section...

    -Dreadspears. I'd like to see them become more of a tempting unit to build your force around and able to match their HE counterparts. As it stands, the HE Spearmen are significantly better at the same cost, with Martial Prowess being objectivly better than Murderous Prowess (on average twice as many dice get to be re-rolled) and on top of that they have the Fight in Extra Ranks special rule and have the option of a 25 pts banner... Yes, the Dreadspears have Hatred (High Elves), but that is an extremely situational rule, only applicable against 1/15 o the current armies, much like the HE Valour of ages rule... It's not really possible to justify them costing the same, unless one has a bias for High Elves.
    That said, I have suggested fix to even things out. Let the Dreadspears be able to use the Parry special rule to reflect their seasoned veteran status and to make them a more tempting unit to build your army around. A Banner option like their HE counerparts would be enice too. You can't really justify the HE Spearmen being better for the same cost now that they are no longer a Spear only core type army either.

    -Bleakswords: They are decent enough but with ASF gone and no changes has been made to Hand Weapons and Shields, their cost is perhaps a bit high... I did suggest a small change as to how Hand Weapons and Shields could work on foot in the last rulebook update that I think would make all such units have their own tactical use to a higher degree. Another idea could be some Impeteous kind of rule that gave them some slight bonus to charge distance for example.

    -Corsairs. I like your changes. I think 10 point cost can be justified with the scout option and Two hand Weapons now granting Parry, even though ASF is gone.

    -Dark Riders seem fine. They've lost ASF, gained a Impact hit from the charging steed, lost the being mounted 6+ armour but gained the option to buy barding. Seems fine to me.

    -Slaves. They seem fine as far as stats go oveall, but perhaps M should be 4? I assume most slaves are human after all and in a weakened condition it is hard to justify 5. It would be hard regardless...
    My main thing with the slaves though is perhaps with the Expendable special rule in the rulebook. It would be nice to use them as a meat shield that you were not afraid to fire into if needed.

    -Harpies seem fine in the Core Section and I like their champion option.

    1. Correction (Corsairs): I meant Skirmish offcourse.. :-) It was a bit late last night.

    2. - That's probably true, otherwise they will get get more shots if they reform and can still fire in two ranks. I will make them 9 pts basic, and give the frotn rank a mandatory option to buy crossbows.
      - I will increase the cost of the High Elf spearmen one point, right now they get the Fight in extra rank for free.
      - I think buffing the shield parry will cause issues with bucklers. Bleakswords are slightly cheaper than Dreadspears and more tanky against high strength opponents.
      - Will drop Dark Riders to 15 pts basic, that was a bug on my part.
      - M should be 4, yes. You can still fire into combat if you are close enough though.

    3. City-Guard: It's a bit of a hassle to uy different gear for different ranks.. If you allow them to be fielded in two ranks only (they would be trained to defend city walls mosly after all), you can just give them an average cost from Crossbows/Spears, then nerf the cost somewhat as they can't fully benefit from Speas (3 ranks fighting) and are also limited to two ranks and a +1 rank bonus. Then they would be sort of a trined town watchmen type unit, which the city guard really should be. I think 9 pts could be justified then.

      -Not sure I'd increase the HE spearman cost. hey are core and have lost ASF after all. Also, you don't want everyone to always pick Seaguard instead...
      Please consider another buff for the DE Spearmen Mathias.

      -Yes you can fire into combat from the side etc when Slaves are fighting, but the idea of the 4" rule is that you want to be close enough so that you don't risk hitting your friendly troops in the first place. That shouldn't really be a concern with any troops deemed expendable by the rest of the army...

    4. - Not more than it is for Pirazzo's Lost legion really. If they are limited to two ranks only their spears are prett ineffective.

      - In 8th ed, all Elves got ASF for free, so that's not a great comparison. Sea Guard are still more situational. Dreadspears are really not more of a veteran unit than Bleakswords, I'd rather not start throwing in more special rules on their most basic troops. Alternatively, I'd be willing to remove fight in extra ranks for the Spearmen, but then the Sea Guard would be better in every way of course.

      - True, but they have a lot of special rules already. You are more likely to want to fire into combat at the slaves than other units as is. Also there' still the Slave Master controlling them, don't think he'd be too keen to get fired upon regularly...

    5. -You still have the new Spear Bonuses though, but you could offcourse make them 3 ranks, first repeater crossbows and the next two with spears. That way you don't have a Spearmen unit better than a 4 rank Dreadspear unit and you don't have a missile unit better than a 2 rank darkshards unit. Limiting them this way justifes a significant cost reduction at least but doesn't make the unit overpowered so that it replaces the regular army troops.

      -I know they got ASF for free in 8th, but for lightly armoured T3 troops, they were rather expensive before that. Not really the best bang for your bucks, which is partially why people basically never spendt more than 25% on core. I think we are of a similar mind that the Core options need to have cost-effective, tactical value Mathias. Better Spears and +1AS, while loosing ASF is a fair trade-off from a point's perspective I think.
      Dreadspears are described as more the seasonal veterans that an army can rely on to hold their gound etc, while the Bleakswords are more young, reckleess duellists types.
      I don't mind the HE having the Fight in Extra Ranks and I think that removing it at this stage will only make spears less of a feature in a High Elf Army. I think there will be a lot of grumbling from HE players if you do that tbh.
      I understand not wanting to many special rules for Core Troops in general, but the HE Spearmen has always had it, the Wood Elf Gladeguard has it (special weapons) etc. It has always annoyed me tha the most war-like of the elves ws always the weakest in that sense. The argument that the Dreadspears are throw-away troops and hence never gain combat experience is not valid either, cause the elvs don't have a birthrate to sustain that kind of skaven thinking and this isn't 40k where they clone their troops to make up for their losses. They are the agressors amongst elves and that they never gain from this (compared to the HE's peacefull, excellent but temporary training regime) is bordering on absurd.
      Like you, I would also like to encourage the use of more spear infantry in the game, but that can only be acheived by making them enticing to incude in the army when all is said and done...

      -I know they have a lot of spcial rules, but I'm not really argun for more, just a change to the Expendable rule in the rulebook.
      I was imagining he Slave Master knowing full-well why he was ordered to sacrifice te slaves, and immediately running away when the slaves engaged in hth combat. He's not there to lead by example after all...

    6. High Elves Spearmen had got Fight in Extra Ranks since 4th edition. It would be a very important nerf.

  6. Correction (Dark Riders)

    I just noticed that the HE's Reaver Knights are 14 pts and only pay +1 pts to upgrade to Spears, while Dark Riders have spears and start at 16 pts. Hard to justify, since everything else is the same, apart from theHE's having slightly better special rules.

    1. - Will drop Dark Riders to 15 pts basic, that was a bug on my part.

  7. Special Units:

    -Executioners. Seems fine at first glance. Were they supposed to have the Terror Banner option though?

    -Sisters of Slaughter. I have no real experience with this unit, but it seems like a good idea to move it to Special from what I can see.

    -Cold One Knights seem fine, but I don't see the point cost for including their new special banner.

    -Cold One Chariot. Seems perfect from what I can see. Seems correctly valued.

    -Scourgerunner Chariot. Badly needed a point cost reduction. the S7 crossbow didn't make much sense either. The special rule for the weapon is rather dumb and useless though. I'd much raher like to see the effect change into somethinguseful. Maybe a Monster hit can't March/Fly next round as it has to tear itself loose etc...

    -Shades. Seems fine, but personally I think an option for Poisoned Attacks could be appropriate and rather cool.

    -Repeater Bolt Thrower. Perhaps a +5 point cost due to the increased long-range effectiveness with the updated rules. Same goes for HE Eage Claw Bolt Thrower.

    -Witch Elves. I think they fit better in the Special Section overall, but with the meta change regarding missile accuraccy/increased fire rate of bows, I think there is a good argument to be made for an overall buff to the unit as it was already a very risky unit to bring along (especially without the Cauldron). Some suggestions would be A) Made then unable to loose Frenzy (it is drug induced after all), WS 5, 6+ Ward Save against Missile Attacks nd spells (Blessings of Khaine). 12 pts per model? The loss of ASF hit this unit particularly hard after all. Madness of Khaine gone on purpose? If not, it needs to be updated to reflect the new characters that could potentially join the unit now...

    -Melusai. An overall nice inclusion. Hard to judge them yet, but I assume they are on 40mm bases?

    -Khinerai. Interesting new option, tactically. Givs the cult aspect of the army a litle more flexibility...

    -Bloodwarck Medusa: Much needed cost reduction, especialy now tht it is Monstrous Beast unable to benefit from the BSB and is likely to fail it's Frenzy tests at some point etc. You increased the gaze's power, which I think was needed, but Im not so sure about the massive range increase. 48" for a Gaze Attack? 18" would be more appropriate IMO. Two Bow shot ranges gaze attack is just a bit odd...

    1. Witch Elves: They could potentially just have a 6+ Dodge Ward Save to reflect their Acrobatic skills. This would make them a little more tempting to take without a Couldron (which sadly is a must as it stands right now).

    2. - The banner has a fluff piece in 5th ed, that's why I decided to include it, though I would like it to stand out from the normal Terror banner in the BRB though.
      - It's right next to the name of the Blood Banner ;)
      - Why? You can cause additional wounds by dragging it, that's not bad at all.
      - The Manflayers have poisoned attacks, but I don't remeber the Shades ever using it.
      - Not sure about that, I have not increased the price for any other missile weapons due to this. With a range of 48" it would usually fire at short range most of the time anyway.
      - They are pretty cheap at 10 pts though. Buffing them would make them more expensive, and Witch Elves are not elites like Executioners. With Corsairs beign skirmishers and harpies being core you can easily use these to screen them against missiles (or just buy them a magic banner that gives them a ward save).
      - 40 or 25mm bases, depending on your pick. same as Brutes and Blightkings really. I've seen the Melusai on 40mm bases which looks a bit big to be honest, I will probably put mine on 25mm bases.
      - Yeah, that seems to be a copy paste bug, it was only 12" in the 8th ed book. I will make it so you can use it in close combat as well.

    3. -The armylist entries missed the Banner option for Executioners and Cold Ones. I only saw them in the Beastiary Section Mathias. I only saw Magic Banner (50 pts) option in the army list.

      -It's not so much the increased damage, but the dragging the model part of the rule. But if you buy this for shooting, you are far better off just buying Bolt Throwers instead. It a weak chariot, a weak missile unit and unless it can bring something of tactical value to the table, it's not likely going to see much play.

      -Yes, the Manflaeyers had it, which kind of demonstrates that Shades (being the evil rangers that they are) could potentially use basic poisons etc. It would kinda be in their nature and within their potential skill set. The nice thing about the Poisoned Attack rule is that having a Good WS/BS doesn't make it any better either... Just a thought for a cool upgrade option Mathias.

      -Unlikne most BS-based missile troops, which tended not to be good value for the money, I think the Bolt Throwers were a bit of an exception. Just a suggestion though. :-)

      -I don't think Withc Elves will see much play then tbh and certainly never against any armies with bows etc. They were already quite the gamble before BS-based missile fire was substatially improved. Remember that they 've also had their Charge range reduced, easily meaning one more round of potential close range fire before they see hth... It's a balance thing really. I just think it will be sad if they are never used again as they are too expensive to be throw-away troops (being elves and all).

  8. Rare Section:

    -Black Guard seems fine. I like them as a Rare option. If anything, then maybe some unique banner option since they are now Rare? Just nitpicking really...

    -Doomfire Warlocks. They seem fine to me.

    -Couldron of Blood. Perhaps a slight point cost nerf as 4 Attacks loose ASF and it is now more likely to recklesly charge due to how Frenzy/BSB works. Army list says Magic Resistance (1) and "Strength of Khaine Terror".

    -Bloodwrack Shrine. I liked the point cost reduction. Otherwise, see Bloodwrack Medusa under special.

    -I like your War Hydra Changes and I approve of having it as a Rare choice. My only issue is perhaps with the Monster and Handler special rule in the rulebook as just about anyone has the handlers glued on to the same long monster base as the Hydra stands on. This is more of a general issue as I imagine this can also be found in other lists.

    -Kharbidyss. Here I think you missed an opportunity somewhat. I'm fine with -1 Strength, +1 Toughness from when compared with 8th ed. The -1 Attack and keeping the shitty Feast of Bones rule however, not so much. Even with reduced attacks, the Feast of Bones would only apply 6.5% of the time and even then it's rather random (d6 hits). Not really impressive and it's really hard to justify not taking the Warhydra which is overall Tougher (even with a point less Toughness), Faster (not Sea Creature), has Breath Weapon option, Twice as many Attacks, etc etc... I'd suggest making it A5 again and change the Feast of Bones to something like "any To Wound roll from its regular attacks that roll a '6', grants that attack the Multiple Wounds (D3) special rule.
    It would at least make it a bit more tempting to bring it along to deal with Monsters, characters etc and not make the Hydra such a default choice for any competitive army.

    -Avatar of Khaine. I gotta admit that you solved the issue regarding how powerful such a creature would be with giving it good reasons for not having a significant impact on the DE fluff. Rules seem fine. I'd perhaps clarfy in the fluff that it takes the souls of dozens, hundreds or perhaps even thousands of murderers to activate one though.

    1. - This should not be much of an issue as the handlers are ignored for the most part. If the handlers are glued on the base, using a marked to show that they have suffered wounds should be easy enough.
      - I agree, Feast of Bones really sucks. I like you suggestion to replace the current rule with, I will implement that to make them more effective against monsters.
      - The idea about the fluff right now though is that murder, being illegal, in Har Ganeth, is punished this way there only. In other cities, murder is legal, so the amount of suitable murderers that can be used for the Avatars is relatively low as is.

    2. -I was thinking if the model is charged from the side and that kind of a thing. Not a big del when playing with friends for sure, but for more competitive setting it could be an issue.
      -An Alternative could also be to have the Kharybdiss have 4 regular S6 Attacks (the 4 small heads) and one S8, Mulitple Wounds (D3) attack (the big, really nasty looking head).

      -I get your point and know the lore. I just don't think Khaine would be that concerned about legal technicalities. :-)

  9. Characters:

    Generally speaking, I do miss that you didn't do something with the "Names of Power" for Dark Elves as it is so ingrained in their society etc. 4-6 kinds of names of power would be cool, offcourse taken from the Magic Item allowance pot.

    -Dreadlord. Cold Ones can now have Barding & 1+ Armour Save? Seems wrong...Otherwise he seems fine.

    -Supreme Sorceress. Elven Steed instead of Dark Steed?
    Cold One with barding again. It seems to miss a few Lore option in the Army List section. I liked that you did not include Light and Jade magic.

    -Hag Queen. Perhaps a bit coslty, being such an extreme glass-cannon. 6 Strength 4 Poisoned Attacks is ok, but if you take a Magic Weapon, which you almost have to, then you loose the two hand weapons -1A). The unit is cool, but even if you go for the Couldron, T3, 3 Wounds, 5+ Ward save is very risky. The increased missile power issue combined with a shorter charge distance is not exactly working in the favour of this character and Witch Elves in general either. See Witch Elves above.

    -Black Ark Fleetmaster. It's better than it used to be. I think his stats are ok, but I'm not exactly stoked about the Show no Weakness special rule (it says Show to Weakness in the army list btw).
    I like the At'em you Curs! rule.
    At 125 pts (same as a Dreadlord with Far better stats and options) though, I don't see why you'd ever take him, wich I think is a shame. The show no Weakness rule is the main issue I think. It's not very good when you look at him overall. Being a relatively weak melee lord you are not really likely to win any Challenges to begin with, especially now that killing champions in challenges is no longer a thing. If you go for a magic weapon to increase your chances, you loose your additional hand weapon as well, so it's rather expensive to go that way. He is also lightly armoured and an elf to boot, so if someone strikes before hm, he is likely to die very easily. Not really qualities you would like to have in a character that is supposed to be good in duels. To justify his points, I think he neds a rule change that actually makes him better in challenges (maybe half his attacks, rounding down, after modifiers, being killing blow attacks). Then people would be encouraged to keep his additional hand weapon and he could also potentially be a threat to any character. His point cost would be justified for a lesser Lord option then I think.

    -Master. Same as Dreadlord basically, including Cold-One Barding.

    -Sorceress. Same as High Sorceress.

    -Beastmaster. I love that you've made him a hero insetad of a lord. Sea Dragon Cloak option instead of some Armour? Seems a bit odd IMO.

    -Death Hag. See Hag Queen.

    -Disciple of Khaine. I love this option. Maybe the option for an Medium or Heavy armour Upgrade (to fit better with Executoners and more common troops)?

    -Assassin. LD 10 and the Killer, not Leader rule gone? No Poisoned Attacks by default? Guessing those are oversights.
    Magic Weapon options removed? With ASF removed too, this becomes rahter harsh... Maybe the Hidden special rule needs to include some To Hit and maybe Armour Piercing (2-3) bonuses in the first round of combat to compensate (representing the Assassin patiently waiting for the ideal moment before revealing himself).

    1. - Names of Power could be interesting, but do they already have the Gifts of Khaine to stand out. Maybe for a future update.

      - The 7th ed Dreadlord and Sorceress on Cold One have barding though, which is why I included it for characters.

      - Will fix the lores.

      - Do you think the Fleetmaster should be cheaper in order to be costeffective? I'd like to avoid bumping him to be character killer per say, that's the Assassin's job.

      - Several Beastmaster models wear Sea Dragon Cloaks, none of them wear armour.

      - Sure, I'll add a medium armour option for the Disciple.

      - Killer, not Leader is already part of the Hidden rule in the BRB.

      - Will fix the assassin's army list entry.

      - The assassin can now buy a lot of Gifts of Khaine instead, so this evens that out.

    2. -Looking foreward to seeing what you come up with regarding Names of Power one day. Let me know if you want some help spitballing ideas etc. :-)

      -If some of he models have it then I understand why you included it. Been a while since I studied the range of models so I didn't know that.

      -I'd rather see a Fleetmaster that was better, more of a real alternative to always fielding a Dreadlord, than one cheaper yet cost-effective tbh... I might be in the minority here, but I don't know tbh. People seem to overall always have found him far less preferable than a Dreadlord and he also has many buit in weaknesses (lower stats, low armour etc)... Personally I like the idea that Dark Elf players embrace the raider type army a bit more and I'm a fan of overall well-themed armies so I'm a fan of making the Fleetmaster enticing to use first and foremost. I don't think he'd be a comparable character killer to a Magic Weapon equipped Dreadlord if he had 2 attacks with Killing Blow and two raher weak attacks for a characer on to of that, but it would be enough that you'd at least think twice of charging in to execute him. It also it fits the experienced, dirty tricks kind of a fighter that he would have to be to reach his position in the first place. This is my take on it though, but I understand if you don't see it the same way. Is the Fleetmaster in the AoS rules btw? Same old useless character there?

      -Ok. Point taken. :-)


      Ahh. It's been included in the hidden rule. Been a while since I read the rulebook now. Things are starting to fade a bit.

      -While I do like the idea that assasins don't have access to magic weapons, I'm not sure it really evens out, but I'm certainly willing to give it a try. Could it be an idea of having some bonuses for the first round of combat for when Hidden characters are revealed? It would make them a bit more of a threat initially, without being forced to buy so many gifts of kahine asto possibly make them too expensive to be a valid choice. Assassins are the type of character that there has always been difficult to find points for in an army, due to the BSB and Wizards being more important hero options and cost-effective in the sense of how they benefit the army.

  10. Special Characters:

    -Malekith. I liked that you brought back his claw and did it in a balanced way. Seraphon nerfed to regulr Black Dragon is perhaps a good thing since how characters on ridden Monsters work. Excellent That Armour of Midnight is now a proper Full-Plate (if you don't mount him on Serpahon).

    Belowed of Khaine does not specify Hag Queens, Death Hags, Disciples of Khaine and Executioners being included.
    She has T4 in the beastiary and T 3 in the army list. I imagine this has to do with Sulephet now being a Warbeast only and thus not granting a Toughness bonus any longer. Sulephet has the same cost as a Dark PEgasus Upgrade for a High Sorceress and they are both a 50 point upgrade. Just pointing this out. I don't know what your intention was her so.
    Morathi was 375 points in 8th ed ON Sulephet. Now she is the same on foot. OVersight? Cosidering High level Wizards are less powerfull now, and she might have dropped one point of Toughess efectivly as well, this seems a bit hard to justify.
    I assume you have seen the new models for her and I think the winged one on foot could have some potential. The serpent one I'd save as an option for the Cult of Slaanesh army list. :-)
    Maybe give her access to Lore of Slaanesh magic? or that could be saved for the Cult of Slaanesh as well...

    -Malus Darkblade.
    Seems ok. I see Spite has no Barding though, which I assume is the way it's supposed to be.

    -Crone Hellebron.
    Lised as Crone HellebroE in the army list. Otherwise same as Withc Elves etc in general. She does have the advantage that she is likley to kill most enemies before they strike back, so she isn't such a glass cannon due to that fact, so her point cost is likely good though.
    I liked that she has the old Manticore option and the Unique option to have Witch Elves as Core.

    Maybe his unique ability should let him grant "Hold your Ground" to Monsters, Monstrous Beasts etc instead? The bonus to Monster Reaction is a bit meh...

    LD 9 (See Assassin above). Killer not a leader ability gone as well... Otherwise he seems fine.

    See Black Ark Fleetmaster above.

    -Kouran Darkkhand.
    Since 8th ed, he has lost ASF and one point of WS, yet he is still 180 pts. Seems odd. Stubborn missing in the army list entry.

    Wasn't the real reason people picked him that he granted Frenzy to the unit he was with? His new ability is a bit Meh in comparison. If you keep it though, I suggest increasig his WS to 7 (or even 8 potentially). Losing Frenzy is going to make him far less likely to win that challenge in the first place so the bonus might not often really apply. Similar issues to the Fleetmaster in many regards (not to the same degree though), but unit losing frenzy offcourse makes a bigger impact overall. Point cost reduction justified, but I think overall people will likely not take him now that the option to Freny a unit is gone.

  11. Monsters and Mounts:

    Any particular reason for removing the former options?
    A slight LD increase seems fine.

    Dark Pegasi.
    -No longer a Monstrous Beast has Toughness/Wound implications that are not reflected in point cost.

  12. I think that was it. I've tried to shy away from most things having to do with magic though, but that's because I think the rules for magic really needs to be balanced and locked down before spending to much time on that aspect of the book. It seems fine for the most part though. :-)

    I liked that you scrapped the Arachne, how you handled the Avatar issue (which I grudgingly have to admit came out far better than expected), added slaves, the new units seems an ok inclusion and how you have taken care to fix the lore etc. :-)

    As always, keep up the good work Mathias!

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  14. Dark Elves had got Heavy cavalry in 3rd Edition. It will be cool if they have it similar to Silver Helms.

    Regarding Dreadspears they always have been inferior to High Elves spearmen in rules and in lore. Sorry The Rune :P

    1. Yes they have, but it could at least be justified previously from a point cost basis that the HE opponentKNEW with certainty that he would be facing a Speear-armed Core. Ther was some predictability justification for it. That is now gone.
      That said, I still don't see how training can match combat experience. "Lore" shouldn't really be able to override common sense in my opinion. There is such a thing as unrealistic lore after all.
      That said, I don't mind HE's having good spearmen, but 2-3 Significant advantages when compared to the DE's is simply too much to be reasonable, especially at the same cost...
      The Sons of Nagarythe (the primary warlike society of ancient Ulthuan) seems to have taken up gardening for some reason...

    2. In addition to this, some editions back, I believe Dark Elf Spearmen were comparably much cheaper too, 6 pts/model or thereabouts. Yes, they didn't have ASF, but they no longer have that now either. When De and HE Spearmen both had ASL, their HE's Martial Prowqess ability had less of an impact comparably speaking, making DE Spearmen not equalt perhaps, but closer to equal as they had the Murderous Prowess while the HE retained the Fight in Extra Rank special rule that still made them better.
      Now, every advantage goes to the HE, at the same cost. When 20 HE Spearmen facing 20 DE spearmen will win 9 out of 10 times for the same cost, being something is objectivly wrong. You can't really argue that it's not, unles your argument is that you have a HE fetish of some kind.

      I'm NOt ARguing for nerfing the HE Spearmen, nor making the DE identical. I'm trying to make the case that the Dreadspears are seasoned professional of a standing army, with long traditions from the most warlike realm since the age of Aenarion and they deserve to be raised up as equals (but different).

      The City Guard, whom I struggle mightily with being describes as an ELITE force (in their tens of thousands) that protect the DE cities, should really be the nerfed spearmen/crossbowmen of the DE core, not a juiced of Seaguard type unit. It juist can't be justified that these units are Elites, while the real army (Dreadspears and Darkshards) are the lesser troops, not unless you it is right in your mind that those that sees the least combat somehow are the best, which goes againt everything history has shown us being the case... The city guard should essentially be the "town watch", able to defend the walls and support the army in an emergency, as well as serve as a recruitment pool for the real armies of the Druchii.

    3. -As we discussed in the Asur post and you can check in every book Druchii live shorter because any Dreadlord will use as cannon fodder to get a victory. That's one of the many(and logical) reasons why Asur Spearmen are better.
      Asrai actual spearmen(I hope we get back the old glade guard spearmen too) are better too in a different way, WS 5, and there is no drama.

      -In older books the Druchi took Orcs to Naggaroth to use them as Slaves as Chaos Dwarves did. Could be possible to have them too?

    4. Thats only Logical if you assume that for some odd reason the Dark Elves are the only race that tend to die rather than learn... Doesn't sound very Elvish to me... Dark Elves are not Skaven. They know the Value of good Troops. They are not careless and stupid in that regard...

      Even IF you somehow think that is a good explanation, ythere is no valud argument for them costing the same as their HE counterparts...

    5. I aslo suggest you read the fluff on Darkspears in 8the ed. Nothing there signifies that they are throw-away troops that are carelessly sacrificed by their overlords.. Not more so than any other DE troops at least...

  15. It might be worth changing the references to Morathi in the Melusai section to someone who would want to actively work against Slaanesh, such as Hellebron. The Melusai are supposed to be "the ideal Khainites" anyway.

    1. Yeah, that might make more sense actually. I'll change it so they serve Hellebron now, but Morathi is still their true Mistress, having created them to begin with.

  16. Think the darkshards are a point over costed, comparing them to asur archers, the archers get 6” more range and can volley fire if they wish, archers at 13 with medium with darkshards at 13 with medium seems some what out

    1. You are right, they should be 12 pts. Their armour is cheaper due to not having as much use for it (being missile troops whose role is to stay out of combat for the most part).

  17. Ravening hordes 8th ed!!! Please :))

    1. It is coming, just need to sort out the kinks with the 9th ed list first :)

  18. Why doesn't malekith has the curse of aenarion rule? He's his son though.

    1. Well, he already has a 2+ Ward save from his armour, so the Curse of Aenarion would not amount to that much. There's an inherit lack of space for that as well.

    2. Not to mention it would make him insanely more powerful...Especially on Serpahon.. :-)

    3. As long as he doesn’t get hit by a character with a magical weapon, always wondered why he had no real save for this if it ignored armour etc

    4. Due o how mounts now work, he does count as T6, 6 wounds now though, with a 2+ armour save, with multile wounds/killing blows not working on him, so he can still take a beating :-)

  19. Impressive Work! Good adaptation with new miniatures of AOS. Could you introduce some kind of serp-monster using the model of Morathi?

    I have realised about several mirror bugs about Magic Resistance () with numbers and no valors 6+, 4+, etc.

    Other thing, The "Repeater Crossbow" of Dark Elves has different rules of the "Repeater Crossbow" in the Rulebook: maybe the Dark Elve Repeater Crossbow name should be change with other similar or streaming the rules of them.

    1. Maybe for a Cult of Slaanesh list.

      Will fix those bugs, and remove repeater crossbows from the main book, it's really only DE who use it anyway.

    2. Cathay use repeater crossbows too

    3. Don't they use the Cho-ko-nu?

    4. I don't think they'd be called Zhuge Nu (诸葛弩) in Warhammer, as that name comes from the real historical figure Zhuge Liang. Commonly in most real world sources they're referred to as Lian Nu (连弩) (succeeding/repeating crossbow).
      The entry in the Cathayan book refers to them as "Cathayan Repeating Crossbows", which seems the most sensible name for them in game. They have a shorter range and no armour piercing rule. As the rules are different and included in each book it seems a bit silly to have it in the rulebook as well.

    5. If that is the case, I stand corrected regarding the name. :-)
      I saw a video of a guy making one of those based off old scematics and it was indeed very rapid firing, but not often really deadly without the use of some sort of poisin, as it had little power and range. Still a cool weapon though. :-)

    6. Indeed. The value of repeating crossbows lies in their rate of fire and ease of use when issued to poorly trained peasant militia. Historically speaking power was far less important for Chinese armies, as few of their enemies fielded anything like as heavily armoured troops as appeared in Europe, especially after around 1000AD when both Korea and Tibet stopped using cataphract cavalry.

  20. I think both of those new Morathi Models could be cool options for the Slaanesh cut army list tbh Mathias. :-)

  21. In Lore Section in pg 112. The destruction of ArnHeim was an addition of Saint Matt Ward preparing the End of Times. I think if you re-write the Morathi/Tyrion's affair(who wouldn't have one...) it should be deleted too.
    The text regarding the blinding of Eltharion has no place too before a Storm of Chaos campaign.

    1. True, I will remove the Arnheim addition. I'll see about the short story as well, though the High Elves book has one that includes the death of Kouran (from 4th ed I think...?).

    2. The Kouran death is from 6th edition in the Blintharion campaign.

  22. Other two improvements:
    -Unbreakable rule is not neceessary with unstable rule (Avatar ir khaine hace two)
    -I still see at the summary "Unique troop type" written instead of "Shrine" in the troop type key (un DE book and previously books)

  23. Forgive me if you already do this but have you considered using the AoS warscrolls for inspiration regarding special rules for pre-existing figures? E.g. Both the beastmasters for the Hydra & Kharibdyss have a 'Quick With The Lash' rule that allow 3 dice to be rolled on the charge with the lowest discarded. However, if a triple is rolled, the charge fails and the monster suffers a wound as it rebels. Also, the Kharibdyss' Abyssal Howl could be used as a shooting attack with a range of 10", forcing a Ld with -1 modifier (except if immune to psych). This would more sense than just b2b I think. The Feast of Bones rule heals a wound should a 6 be rolled to wound in h2h. This seems to be the direction GW would have taken them. Just a thought...

    1. I have, yes. That's where the new Fleetmaster rule comes from for instance. I don't remember reading anything in the fluff about Kharibyss healing themselves though, and a scream should effect anyone near, not just one unit.

    2. Thought you probably had. Agree about the scream, although that should also be the case for terrorgheists too, no?

    3. True, though that's more of a magical attack. Good point though, I'll look into it.

    4. Not sure I agree about hte Abyssal Howl being made into a shooting attack... Sems to me the rule is ther to represent the unnerving sounds the monster makes, more than a foused sort of scream... Also, a 10" panic test attacks is not really something I see being really useful on the beast, as it is so damned slow that if you actually aere within 10" of an enemy, this is the time you're definately going to want to actually commit the beast to melee fighting... I can't picture anyone bothering using a 10" missile attack type scream...

  24. Hey mate. Came by to tell you that your work is A-M-A-Z-I-N-G. I have made a few mods for Total War: Warhammer called Expanded Rosters and I used info from your army books to fill in the blanks of the official lore. Thank you for your hard work and dedication. Cheers, John.

    1. Glad you enjoy it! I've had fun facing some of those units in TW:W myself :)

  25. Was looking at the melusai, there classed as infantry but judging by there size they are probably to big, I checked what there sold as and it’s on 40mm bases, I think they are probably going to need to be classed as monsterous beasts.

    1. The models are much smaller than the Medusa though, about the same as Witch Elves. you have models like Blightkings and Brutes which are also on 40mm bases, but who are still infantry. I will bump the Melusai to W2 though.


    You might be interested in this thread; there are some good ideas to integrate AoS models into WHFB, including the supposedly incompatible ones like Magmadroths and Kharadron.

  27. So what is the Gnoblar Horde?

    1. It's an old White Dwarf list that only contained Gnoblars in various forms. It's one of the more popular alternative lists GW has published.

  28. Always liked the 2+ ward Malekith to represent his armour, I always thought he should have some kind of ward against magical attacks always seemed quite vulnerable against characters and demons

    1. He is not so vulnerable any longer, especially not while mounted on his dragon, as he has T6, 6 Wounds, 2+ Armour save, sp he can take a hit without any Ward Save needed :-)

    2. Still think of quite a few characters with a magical weapon or just a magical dwarf cannon, wouldn’t put him on a dragon and never have for that reason

    3. He does have the spellshield against spells, and his Destroyer can destroy enemy magic weapons, so he does have a lot of things to keep him alive against magical attacks as well.

    4. Well, you do kind of know if you are playing dwars with the potential for magical cannons or not so...

    5. True the spell shield offers defence against spells but destroyer is a random item from models in base contact on a 4+.

      Still even with those things don’t believe he is worth the point risk on a dragon remains far to vulnerable for what I would imagine would be your general.

      I don’t believe in tailoring lists for playing other books and I don’t believe balanced games should require it.

    6. Balance and special characters are a bit of a tricky thing for several reasons thoug:

      *If they are balanced enough to take on any and all equally effectivly, they would almot always replace regular lord oprions, due to the fact that more often than not they are given a point cost discount due to the fact that your opponent knows with certainty your magic items and so on. If the special character is to be useful (and the model sold), then he would still have to come out on top in comparison to a regular Lord option, or he would simply not be used.

      *Every army can make their own "take on all commers" type lords, and if special characters just followed that mould, they would lose some of their purpose. My personal opinion is that the best special characters are characters that allow you to play your army somewhat differently and that often requires some pros and cons that come with it...

      Regarding Malkith in particular, I can see him as massivly powerful against some armies, while less som against some, that is true. But would I really want him equally good against all enemies and also always worth his points? Simple answer. No. I wouldn't want to see Malkith featured in every DE army with enough points to take him, cause that would tell me he was too good for his points and it would make the game more predictable and boring...

  29. I think its more than rare to see malekith on seraphon, except you re playing very large games. I think its common to play 1500-3000 point games. So it doesnt make sense to wield him on his dragon for 800 pts. Even thoug there are so plenty of possibillities to hit him hard. I would recommend to give him a 5+ ws against magic and a 2+ against mundane. I mean he is touched by asuryan and khaine and has no rules for it. As for tyrion and teclis 2+ ws against last wound is quite fair. If tyrion is revived only has his 4+ ws.

  30. When do you expect to be finished withe the 3 missing ravening hordes?

    1. Probably later this week. I need to get some quick updates out for 9th Ed first so the Ravening Hordes updates will follow suit.

  31. May have already been asked, but why do Harpies have a champion here, but not in the Beastmen book?

    1. The beastmen will also get a champion option in the future :)