|-20 people per turn.|
Available on Shore:
Most Dark Elves have at least a basic Magical Ranged Attack and a high Resistance score as their racial bonus. These bonuses come at a price, namely, higher Construction Cost and higher Upkeep Cost. Their technology level is fortunately suited to their needs.
Each Dark Elf citizen also contributes 1 power to the power base of its ruling Wizard.
Physical Features Edit
Master of Magic features two strains of elves: the High Elves of Arcanus, and the Dark Elves of Myrror.
Dark Elves have slender and delicate builds, with violet-colored skin and flowing white hair. Their eyes vary wildly in shape, size, and luster. Elves are the human form perfected, but Dark Elves give a decidedly exotic, even alarming, twist.
Dark Elves have prodigious intellects and make formidable magi and occultists. Unnatural and dangerous energies run through all members of the race, and cities of Dark Elves can generate vast amounts of Mana. Their armies sport a wide range of marvelous powers.
Dark Elven civilization is advanced and retains all the ancient forms of elven culture, just with a strong dose of profanity. At some point in elven history, a gifted faction penetrated Myrror and began colonization, and it is unclear whether these elves fell under the world's corrupting influence or married themselves to it willingly. Most denizens of this plane have a cruel nature, but Dark Elves are without a doubt the most sinister race of them all.
If personal excellence is the core ethic of the elven people, the Dark Elves wrote a version of it which discards frivolities like wisdom and sanity in favor of the one-track pursuit of greater magical power. Magic fosters their will to dominate and enslaves them in turn. It governs their society, family life, and every waking thought.
Like High Elves, the Dark Elves live under a caste system where family clans, or Houses, control the guilds and military. Unlike their cousins, their slow, -20 people growth rate is not generally blamed on boring night life, but instead comes on account of the warfare within and between these clans. High-born Dark Elven children routinely murder their parents, siblings, and retainers to consolidate their House's legacy for themselves. This is sanctioned behavior, believed to cull weakness and keep Dark Elf societies under powerful, ready leadership.
Subjugated races usually receive the same level of respect Dark Elves accord to their own lower castes. This encompasses pretty much every form of methodical injustice, oppression, and cruelty. Dark Elves consider most other sentient beings to be pond scum. They only have genuine regard for their most dangerous adversaries, the Dwarves and Trolls, and for their High Elf cousins, who seem to give them competing urges for indoctrination and genocide.
Army List Edit
Below is a comparative list of all Dark Elf Normal Units. This list shows all units at their first Experience Level, with no additional modifiers or magical effects.
|Dark Elf Spearmen||25||1||8||1||1||1||2||7||1||Ranged Attack x4|
|Dark Elf Swordsmen||50||1 1||6||1||3||1||2||7||1||Ranged Attack x4, Large Shield|
|Dark Elf Halberdiers||100||1 2||6||1||4||1||3||7||1||Ranged Attack x4|
|Dark Elf Cavalry||100||1 2||4||2||4||1||2||7||3||Ranged Attack x4, First Strike|
|Dark Elf Priests||200||1 4||4||1||3||6||4||10||1||Ranged Attack x4, Healing Spell, Healer, Purify|
|Dark Elf Settlers||150||1 3||1||1||1||7||10||Create Outpost|
|Nightblades||120||1 3||6||1||4||3||7||1||Invisibility, Poison Touch 1|
|Warlocks||240||1 5||4||1||1||7||4||9||1||Ranged Attack x4, Missile Immunity, Doom Bolt Spell|
|Nightmares||160||1 4||2||3||8||5||4||8||10||Ranged Attack x4, Scouting 2|
|Trireme||60||1 2||1||2||6||4||4||10||Transport 2|
|Galley||100||1 2||1||3||8||2||4||6||20||Ranged Attack x8, Transport 5|
|Catapult||100||1 2||1||1||10||2||4||10||Ranged Attack x10, Wall Crusher, Long Range|
Force Composition Edit
After an extensive buildup, this race is equipped to tackle anything that lacks Magic Immunity. Strive for diversity when building Dark Elven units, and tune to the demands of specific encounters when deploying them.
Their Invisible or Flying units can investigate most encounter zones safely. Warlocks, Dark Elf Priests, or even big teams of the 8-Figure Dark Elf Spearmen can get the drop on extremely dangerous monsters by pounding them with their Ranged Magical Attack.
The Dark Elf Settlers' only advantage is a rather-high Resistance score, which may save them from enemy magic but will not keep them alive for long in most battles. Dark Elf Settlers are 2.5 times as expensive as the baseline template, and have a higher Upkeep Cost as well.
Dark Elf Spearmen cost 2.5 times more to produce than the "baseline" Spearmen, though this still only makes them about as expensive as the common Swordsmen, and they are significantly more effective. They make up for the extra cost thanks to the common racial benefit of Dark Elf troops: the ability to make Magical Ranged Attacks.
Dark Elf Spearmen can use this attack up to 4 times per battle. This attack has an initial strength of only 1 per Spearman, but will improve fairly well with Experience. As a Magical Ranged Attack, it does not suffer from distance penalties, and thus can be expended early in the fight before the Dark Elf Spearmen's advance.
On top of this, Dark Elf Spearmen are quite Resistant to enemy spells and various ill effects.
Dark Elf Swordsmen cost 2.5 times more to produce than the "baseline" Swordsmen, though this still only makes them about as expensive as the common Halberdiers, and they are significantly more effective. They make up for the extra cost thanks to the common racial benefit of Dark Elf troops: the ability to make Magical Ranged Attacks.
Dark Elf Swordsmen can use this attack up to 4 times per battle. This attack has an initial strength of only 1 per Swordsman, but will improve fairly well with Experience. As a Magical Ranged Attack, it does not suffer from distance penalties, and thus can be expended early in the fight before the Dark Elf Swordsmen's advance.
On top of this, Dark Elf Swordsmen are quite Resistant to enemy spells and various ill effects.
Dark Elf Halberdiers cost a whopping 2.5 times more to produce than the "baseline" Halberdiers, and have an Upkeep Cost of 2 per turn. However, they make up for this thanks to the common racial benefit of Dark Elf troops: the ability to make Magical Ranged Attacks.
Dark Elf Halberdiers can use this attack up to 4 times per battle. This attack has an initial strength of only 1 per Halberdier, but will improve fairly well with Experience. As a Magical Ranged Attack, it does not suffer from distance penalties, and thus can be expended early in the fight before the Dark Elf Halberdiers' advance.
On top of this, Dark Elf Halberdiers are quite Resistant to enemy spells and various ill effects.
Dark Elf Cavalry costs a whopping 2.5 times more to produce than the "baseline" Cavalry, and has an Upkeep Cost of 2 per turn. However, they make up for this thanks to the common racial benefit of Dark Elf troops: the ability to make Magical Ranged Attacks.
Dark Elf Cavalry can use this attack up to 4 times per battle. This attack has an initial strength of only 1 per Cavalryman, but will improve fairly well with Experience. As a Magical Ranged Attack, it does not suffer from distance penalties, and thus can be expended early in the fight before (or during) the Dark Elf Cavalry's advance.
On top of this, Dark Elf Cavalry is quite Resistant to enemy spells and various ill effects.
Dark Elf Priests are more comparable to other races' Magicians in terms of combat use, since they get an innate +2 Magical Ranged Attack bonus. This makes their Ranged Attack quite dangerous, and they may be able to wipe out or seriously injure a few enemy units right at the start of the battle.
On the other hand, Dark Elf Priests are extremely expensive, costing twice as much to produce as the "baseline" Priests, and having a very high Upkeep Cost or 4 per turn. Due to the high cost, it is advised to keep them back on the battlefield and not engage enemy units in Melee combat if possible. The Dark Elf Priests' defensive properties should keep them somewhat safe as long as they stay back.
The higher costs also mean that Dark Elf Priests should be used only for combat and front-line duties: if you have access to any other type of Priests or even Shamans, use those for Purifying instead of the Dark Elf Priests.
Nightblades are a Melee Attack unit, possessing similar combat characteristics to the common Halberdiers. However, they possess two important abilities that basically define their entire role on the battlefield: they are Invisible, and perform a Poison Touch attack that is deadly to low-Resistance targets. While other Dark Elf units are busy showering enemies with their Ranged Attacks, Nightblades move stealthily behind the enemy to take out Ranged Attack units in the rear or ambush other weak enemy units. Like all other Dark Elves, Nightblades are highly resistant to magic. Nightblades require an Upkeep Cost of 3 and 1 to maintain.
Warlocks possess one of the strongest Ranged Attacks of any Normal Unit. This attack is powerful enough to do damage to almost any other unit, and will easily wipe out enemy low-tier Normal Units. Furthermore, Warlocks possess the ability to cast the Doom Bolt spell once per battle, causing exactly 10 points of Damage to a single target regardless of its defenses! Warlocks are also extremely Resistant to magic, and are constantly surrounded by a magical barrier that provides Missile Immunity.
On the downside, Warlocks are very easy to kill, and are also prohibitively expensive - having one of the highest construction and upkeep costs of any Normal Unit. They require an Upkeep Cost of 5 and 1 to maintain.
Nightmares are the Dark Elves' shock-cavalry. Flying, fast, and heavy-hitting, they can control the battlefield rather easily against other Normal Units, and pose a significant threat to Fantastic Units as well. Nightmares can be used either for eliminating enemy Ranged Attack units quickly, or for assisting ground forces in the destruction of heavier Melee Attack units. They excel in both tasks. Nightmares also possess a remarkable Resistance score. Nightmares require an Upkeep Cost of 4 and 1 to maintain.
The Trireme is a Ship which can transport up to 2 Walking units across bodies of water, and can travel at a fairly good rate. Early in the game, Triremes can help empires expand rapidly across short continental gaps or large inland seas. This is very important for Dark Elf empires, particularly when looking for suitable races to conquer before the mid-game phase occurs.
Triremes are not very effective in combat. If one is lost, and units it was transporting at the time will sink with it, so it is important to avoid combat. Try not to rely on these for long trans-oceanic journeys.
The Galley is a strong transport Ship, which can carry up to 5 Walking units across Oceans quite rapidly. This is a good ship to have in the later game, when an empire is expanding into or has gained a foothold on another continent. This will be important for more Dark Elf empires as they run out of races to conquer on their home continent, or for rapid colonization across the water.
Galleys are fairly good in combat, is quite tough, and can be relied upon to transport troops over larger distances. Nonetheless, if a Galley does sink, all units it was transporting will immediately drown.
All Dark Elf Towns contain Dark Elf citizens. These match the output of most other citizens, at 2 Food, 0.5 Production per Farmer, and 2 per Worker. However, each Dark Elf citizen also produces an extra 1 Power--even the rebels!
Dark Elf citizens look like this:
Dark Elves can build all structures but the Cathedral and the Maritime Guild. This race is meant to dig in for a long haul: they have difficulty expanding, producing large armies, and governing other races, but enjoy staggering per cap gains from large populations. A sprawling Dark Elf city is a powerhouse of magic and wealth and easily one of the most dangerous tiles on the map.
The following table compares the total potential output of Dark Elf citizens to how they begin initially, taking into account the full extent of the race's Town Building development branches, and assuming a Tax Rate of 2 Gold.
|Dark Elf Farmer||2, ½, 2, 1||3, 1¼, 6, 1|
|Dark Elf Worker||2, 2, 1||5, 6, 1|
|Dark Elf Rebel||1||1|
The Building Chart Edit
The chart below shows all Town Buildings that can be constructed in Dark Elf towns, as well as the buildings that cannot be constructed. It also shows the requirements to construct each building.
|= Not available|
|= Available only if the town is constructed next to a Shore|
|= Has no prerequisites.|
Interracial Relations Edit
Dark Elves generate the highest level of Unrest and will need a large number of garrison units and religious buildings.
The table below breaks down all race relations regarding Dark Elf empires. The same values are used for Dark Elf towns controlled by empires of different races.
Complementary Magic Edit
The Dark Elves' extensive capabilities and magical nature mean that they will serve any Realm or combination admirably. They are, themselves, best-served by the Life Realm, which is a shotgun solution to their shortcomings.
The Myrran Retort is, of course, required to select Dark Elves. This bars the wizard from starting with an especially-intensive assortment of spellbooks to complement the strongest races.
Life is the most popular companion for Dark Elves, despite the roleplaying dissonance between the realm and the race. Just Cause and Stream of Life run at their maximum effectiveness. The Unit Enchantments also grant Dark Elf troops much-needed resilience.
The other Realms can capitalize on Dark Elven magic. In general terms they present ends, whereas Life is a means. Colored spellbooks may prove more useful (and perhaps even essential) in high-stakes Myrran node combat, projecting power through Very Rare spells, granting new abilities to heroes and the Dark Elven racial units, or bringing in these abilities through creatures of their own.