Wednesday 18 September 2013

The Rumour Mill presents: Dark Elves

Why do I want this rumour to be true? BECAUSE THIS!
Of course, no sooner do I make a commitment to concentrate on one army than rumours abound of GW getting around to Dark Elves, an army I've wanted for years but where the models always put me off. There aren't any leaked pics yet but a supposedly genuine leaked release list of plastic box sets has been doing the rounds:

New Dark Elf Warriors (making spear, sword and crossbowmen)
Witch Elves
Cold One Chariot/“Scroungerunner” (one assumes a typo of something like “Scourgerunner”)
Executioners/Black Guard
Dark Riders/Warlocks
Cauldron of Blood/Blood Throne

It does look like a wish list but I'm inclined to believe it, not in spite of its unlikeliness but because of it. Let's face it, predicting what GW is going to do is a mug's game nowadays. Not too long ago an Army Book or Codex every month would have been unthinkable let alone some of the madness they've pulled out model-wise. So let's run down the objections to this list and see if we can adjudicate them based on GW's past behaviour (act of madness though that may be):

Yes, the first item in that list is a re-sculpt of a core plastic but since the ultimate GW sacred cow, the Space Marine Tactical Squad, just got a re-sculpt that's hardly a barrier to believability. Core re-sculpts are rare, I think the last Fantasy ones were the Empire State Troops in 7th edition, but they do happen.

Yes, it's seven plastic kits but Warriors of Chaos didn't get much less. Admittedly, that was a two-wave release but since the Chapter House ruling has put GW off the idea of staggered waves they might be in a mood to try a large release.

And let's face it, Dark Elves need a large plastic release. Some of these kits can make new units but all of them at least include options to make existing units, mainly ones that exist now only in prohibitively expensive metal or Finecast. Appropriately enough the Dark Elves are quite similar to the Dark Eldar before their last Codex: a model range in need of a massive, top-to-bottom revamp.

And if you're resigned to the fact that such a huge amount of work has to be done on an army (and I think “has to be” is a good characterisation since all that Finecast can't do much for the army's commercial viability) what better release slot than the one announced the day before Games Day and released the weekend after? GW can showcase the new models at the convention, wheel out the games developers and sculptors to talk design philosophy, flash some glimpses of the new Army Book and get some good buzz going over the internet to help offset the higher-than-normal R-and-D costs of the release.

And then I can finally have the Cult Of Pleasure army I've been considering on-and-off since Storm Of Chaos but could never previously afford.

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