The other day I went to GW and purchased a High Elves Battalion since my family had loaded me down with a bunch of Special and Rare choices as Christmas presents but nothing to go in the Core slots. Having built five Spearmen I swear I have never been closer to rage quitting an army before...
Okay, I was aware going in that collecting a High Elves army would be an exercise in frustration but I didn't expect to feel it so early. I expected the flip-the-table moment to come when I tried to paint the white robes (there is no more evil colour) not when I started building the basic troops.
I should probably have anticipated it, though, but I guess I got spoiled. Vampire Counts have a very modern range, almost all of it from the last two editions. High Elves do have a lot of modern kits just not, unfortunately, in their Core choices. Spearmen, Archers and Silver Helms are all positively ancient and I didn't realise how far GW's design philosophy had come until I tried building some.
Why do the Spearmen have separate torso and leg components? Posing them isn't just unnecessary, its impossible. Turn them at the waist and not only will the unit look weird their legs will get in the way of their weapons. The banner is four separate components by itself with some positively tiny connectors. Worst of all, though, are the shields, which are not in any way sculpted to match the arm they theoretically attach to: straight arm, curved shield, pour glue on and pray!
In addition to all this is an instruction manual that tactfully omits to tell you the angle you're meant to put some of the legs on the bases, which was all kinds of fun to work out, let me tell you.
The Archers at least look simple enough, though I foresee issues similar to those shields with their quivers. The Silver Helms, however... ugh, separate tails for horses. I remember those and all the tail-less horses that used to result from them.
If nothing else I am now determined that this Battalion will constitute all the Core troops for the army (possible exception for some Lothern Seas Guard if I buy an Island Of Blood set) as there's enough frustration waiting for me when I come to paint this army.