I went hunting for more ancient items today at my local carboot sale, which is probably a blessing since it’s really hard to find Warhammer army books and codex’s (maybe found now and again rarely anywhere else). Luckily, I found the guy who I got my Black Templars Codex and 4th ed Dark Elves book, he had a few books left but not many like last time.
I decided to get this army book to finish off my complete collection of Dark Elves army books.This edition was the Dark Elves second appearance in Warhammer fantasy battles, this time in 6th edition of the franchise.
This book would be the first of two editions written by Gav Thorpe, a man who knows more about the Elves/Aelves than most mortals of mankind. Also written alongside Space James McQuirk and Tuomas Pirinen, that’s more writers than its previous edition, which was written by Jervis Johnson.
The 4th edition of the Druchii was a starting point to set up the background of the faction, which Jervis Johnson crafted what would become one of Warhammer Fantasy’s most evil and soulless army in the world. However, by 6th edition, the four writers expanded the faction with new lore and extra bits from both a Druchii perspective and human/slave experience.
As well as new lore and rules, some parts were removed/ added from units, lore, characters and so on. Below is a few examples of the changes that happen in 6th edition.
- Monsters including Giant Scorpions, Gigantic Spiders, Griffon, Hippogriff, Wyvern, swarms we’re now not included in the option section for army lists.
- Malekith would have a new model which he rode on his fearsome black dragon, which meant he lost his chariot option in 6th edition.
- Morathi can now be mounted on her Dark Pegasus.
- Dark Elves City Guard we’re not an option anymore in 6th and following editions.
- Lore on characters were shorten, including The Beastlord Rakarth of Karond Kar, who had more information in 4th edition, as well as his dragons death in the battle of Finuval Plain.
- Crone Hellebron The Hag Queen would not be an option to play in 6th edition, although she does make a return in 7th edition.
- Mallus Darkblade would make his first appearance in an army book as a playable character taking both Lord and hero option slots (and a badass artwork showing him and his Cold one mount!)
Comparing 4th edition to 6th edition, the visual tone and content had shifted from the ‘evil fantasy elves’ from 4th ed, to become a far more darker tone. Even the front cover is stark contrast to its previous edition, depicting a cold harsh lands of Naggaroth with the immorally twisted Witch king front and centre.
But this transition wouldn’t be the last, as the Dark Elves have changed drastically for two more editions. 7th ed would carry on the darker tones with Gav Thorpe at the writing helm, with a more chronologically organised history of the Druchii. He would also introduce back Crone Hellebron the Hag Queen into the game as well as a new hero, Lokihir Fellheart, a Corsair captain of the Tower of the blessed Dread who sets sail with his Black Ark fleet to plunder for treasure.
7th edition would also delve into the political side of the Dark Elves, how they a new Dreadlord is voted (or backstabbed his master) into power, how the Helbane family had become a powerful dynasty thanks to Anethra Helbane and how Malekith’s court runs (a lot of foolish Elven lords die of course).
Then in its final edition for the old world, 8th edition would end with its established roots firmly in place. This time written by Matt Ward, unlike its previous editions, He went down the mythological route of fleshing our the Druchii gods. Whilst they were mentioned in previous editions, Matt would show who the pantheon gods were, and how vital they were in Druchii culture.
In fact, he would wove together his other two Elven books (High Elves and Wood Elves) into a connected source of all Elven factions. In my honest opinion, this was actually one of Matt Wards best works in terms of lore writing. He took what the established lore was in previous editions and created the final chapter that would be the end of Dark Elves as we know them.
With these four books in hand, I have found all that I needed to have a comprehensive guide to the Druchii (excluding rule books, supplements and extras from White Dwarf).
So why am I going on about the Dark Elves army book editions exactly? Like my previous post on 4th edition, I’m fascinated about the evolution of the Dark Elves lore and background. Whilst every army book is nearly the same with lore, there are however parts that don’t get carried forward. These books have their own story to tell, and the models that feature in each book.
To me it’s like gathering source material on history/literature , learning what there is to know from the story and what was added and taken away. They may not be worth anything like old comic books and memorabilia, but they do have value to me personally.
With that, I think that will be all for this post today. I’ve enjoyed writhing this post and what this edition was like, it’s worth reading if you ever find a copy on sale.
If I’ve missed anything or you have your own memories about Warhammer, share your thoughts below in the comment section!
Thank you for reading this post. If you have any questions, post a comment below and I’ll reply back as soon as I can. Thanks!