Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Top shelf wargaming: Warhammer Dark Elves

Men Only Elf Witch?

Egged on by both my little boy and my daughter I have started assembling some Games Workshop Dark Elf plastic warriors. I sort of feel faintly guilty about this! Recently I have been trying to sort out my vintage Playboy collection; a magazine that the better sort of women doesn't object to (certainly not my wife). But in doing so I have come across a few old Men Only magazines from 1976. By today's standards they reach high levels of "artistic" photography and excellent graphic design; but whilst I wouldn't mind my wife looking at 1976 Playboy I would not be so sanguine about Men Only. And this sums up my feelings about Warhammer and Warhammer 40,000. If Perry Miniatures are Playboy then Warhammer is Men only. Just as much effort and skill goes into a high quality product but one is acceptable and one is not. Another test is that my immediate boss, the CEO, knows I am a wargamer and indeed we have had discussions about colonial warfare and WW1 but I wouldn't want him to know I am painting Warhammer figures. So even as I glue them together (no flash, very faint mould lines, beautifully crisp figures that go togther perfectly) I still feel that I should be doing it with the curtains shut and the door locked. All of this comes down to the simple fact that I see fantasy wargaming as, literally, child's play and historical wargaming as a justifiable activity for someone approaching his fiftieth birthday.

However, as I start to read the various rules and army lists for Warhammer of both incarnations I realise that much of this is really complex. Nevertheless I will fight my way through all the stodgy fluff to see if I can work out what a Dark Elf army should look like. I have come to a few conclusions already:
  • If I am going to do a fantasy army I might as well go the whole hog and include lots of scantily clad women and Dark Elf armies have the splendidly nubile Elf Witches.
  • Dark Elves rely on lots of missile troops and artillery.
  • I really want to make a corsair boat (preferably one I can use for Lord of the Rings as well).
  • I'm going to have to get over my prejudice against magic.
  • I don't like monsters and it seems the Dark Elf ones are pretty useless.

But, all this said, I am really looking forward to having a go at painting these figures which must be a good sign!


  1. In one sense, Warhammer etc is harmless fun, a kind of tabletop Teletubbies, but in another it is a definite bad influence. Leaving aside the ghastly mangling of English (I wonder how many kids think that the plural of "boy" is indeed "boyz"), Warhammer encourages kids to paint semi-naked females and 40K encourages them to buy into a dark, fascistic vision of the future. Or at least that's one view of it.

    I liked your Perry/Warhammer analogy. Another point of difference and comparison is that Perry figures are realistically proportioned whilst GW go in for their rather irritating "heroic" sizes (so ensuring you can't really use their figures with other ranges) - just as Playboy (I believe) had a reputation for "natural" ladies whilst Men Only used, er, "enhanced" models....


  2. I confess to being a 'dark elf' fan! really the only Warhammer I intend to carry on with some pics on the blog in the next few months