Well, good luck… I suppose… However, I have to tell you that plenty of druchii.net members were completely disgusted @ the new High Elf armybook… Particularly as not all of them play Druchii and you gave the Asur the ASF rule?! Why was this anyway?!
Hi. In all honesty, I didn’t work on the High Elves book, so I won’t comment. This Q+A is about the Dark Elves book.
Hey Gav, outstanding work on the new army book, it would prove a nightmare making it any better!!
Just one question, why are the cold ones described as being green scaled in the Bestiary?
Was this to add more depth to the history of cold ones to go with the new models, as it kinda narrows our colour scheme choices for them… a lot.
Do you think we can still paint them unique with reasonable explanations ?
Anyway once again fantastic job, and good luck in the future whatever it holds!
It was part of the brief to nail down the colour of the Cold Ones, just like Lizardmen are blue and Warhammer Orcs are green. As with all aspects of painting, the ultimate decision is up to the hobbyist, who should feel free to paint his models whatever colour he likes. I’ve seen some pretty exotic lizard colour schemes that look great, so if it works for your army, go for it! If some pedant wants to know why, just tell them they’re an offshoot from an isolated cave system, or have been bred by a particular beastmaster as a sort of trademark!
Dear Mr. Gavin,
Is it true Dark Elves are deaf?
Hmmmmm, good job with the book, I just have one thing thats been bothering me since I started Dark Elves…..How DO you pronounce Druchii? Or did it vary in the studio as well as out here?
To get it ‘right’, you need to roll the ‘r’ a little, the ‘ch’ is a hard sound as in loch or German, and the double ‘i’ is pronounced ‘ee-aye’. Something like ‘drru-key-aye’. However, ‘dru-key’ is the easier, anglicised version for everyday conversation.
Firstly I want to wish you the best of luck as a freelancer! I know that many people really enjoy reading your books!
To my question What is your favorite unit from the Dark Elf book? (And I don’t mean which do you think is the most effective, but which one you enjoy playing with the most.)
Black Guard are great, just because they are awesome and should be. I also really like Assassins, coming up with neat little combos and roles for them is fun. For sheer Dark Elf entertainment, though, you can’t beat a Sorceress with the Sacrificial Dagger!
First off, love the new book! It’s such a huge improvement over its predecessor, yet still feels like the army I’ve known and loved since 4th edition. I especially like how you expanded on Druchii religion in the fluff, touching on the other gods they revere beyond just Khaine. I’d love to hear your thoughts on that.
Another question I have: What are some of your favorite things that *didn’t* make it into the list, either because they were ultimately unbalancing, were edged out by other things, or just weren’t practical?
Anyway, take care, and thanks for all the fish!
As I’ve mentioned before, the goal of this project was to really work with what was extant and imbue it with flavour and character. If the project had been broader in scope, I had ideas about some variations on the Hydra but for practicality’s sake they would have to wait until it was possible to make a plastic Hydra kit. Many of the ideas we had were more to do with the visuals of the army than what was in it, which can only be acted on if the relevant miniatures are being re-done. It was clear early on what the focus would be, so I didn’t expend too much energy coming up with other stuff that I knew wouldn’t go further at this stage.
Sorry to hear you’ve left GW. You were a great service to them. But good luck as a freelancer! Anyway, my question is about how you and the rest of the design teams decide what to change from the last version of an army book. From rules to background, every book has some aspects that stay the same and some that change drastically. I am really more concerned with background stuff though. Since there isn’t any definitive Warhammer history book, how do you guys keep everything cohesive from one edition to the next, while at the same time making the new book feel completely different than the last? Also, how do you decide the powers and point cost for special characters? That’s always something I’ve wanted to know.
For the contemporary Warhammer background, the main sources of information are the original army books released in 4th edition. Some of this was lost with the format change of the 6th edition books and as with the recent 40K codexes, one of the aims going forward is to ensure that the new crop of books contain all of the information the players need. This includes the history, the current state of the nation or race, relevant colour schemes and iconography and also a comprehensive bestiary that talks about every troop type and creature in the army. Oh, and an army list, of course! These are the basic building blocks of any army book or codex and the format has settled down again. These then become definitive again, as they were ten years ago
The object is to Evoke, Inspire and Inform. The book should evoke the nature of the race and army, inspire the reader to collect that army and play their battles, and inform the hobbyist of what the army is about, what the troop types do and what they look like.
As for what information is included and the character to bring across, these are discussed between the developer and senior figures such as Alan Merrett and Rick Priestley as part of the proposal and briefing process at the start of every project. For instance, with the Dark Elves it was important to emphasise the raiding nature of their culture, not just for slaves but general piracy. This was also when the issue with the Slaanesh worship was raised and we agreed how to address the matter with a deeper look at Dark Elf religion. I then looked at the existing material and decided which bits could be re-presented with a bit of expansion and editing and which needed writing from scratch.
After that it becomes a matter of planning and page count. How much of this could we fit in to a book of reasonable length? Around the broad outline, there’s then scope for the writer to fill in nifty bits of detail or illustrate a particular aspect of the race with colour text and other box outs. So, to return to Dark Elves, I created the Helbane dynasty as a portrayal of the way the power struggles between the great families can work. This was to offset the necessarily Malekith-heavy history. A lot of the background is driven by Malekith and Morathi, but there’s all sorts of other powerful influences in Dark Elf society.
Special Characters are an extension of the Evoke, Inspire and Inform mission. They embody particular aspects of the army, perhaps inspire a particular force composition and their stories tell a part of the greater story of the army. Their power level is related to their prominence in the Warhammer world. A pivotal leader of nations such as Malekith or Emperor Karl Franz is going to be a powerful Lord-level character, while those that are exemplars of more specific ideas and images are Heroes or Champions. Some date back many editions and their powers and wargear is fairly set. With new characters it’s the same as any other troop type – you try to find the balance between distinctive role, points cost and impact on the game. Preferably the inclusion of a Special Character is weighed up not on some absolute power scale, but on what they can bring to a force that perhaps cannot be done by other means, just as including other character types or units adds a different dimension to the whole. The more powerful the character, the greater the influence on the army’s dynamic and the character’s attendant points cost.