Delf Help Manual: Dark Elves For Blood Bowl

Typical Dark Elf. Posing facing the camera when there's an entire team of orcs behind him, waiting to smash his face in.

I haven’t actually played much Blood Bowl since finishing off the Skaven Blighters’ season, but I’m pleased to hear that Cyanide have finally released the long-promised Dark Elves patch for the game. You may remember that they were unlocked in the game by some modders around release, before being swiftly patched out. Still – good to finally see the bad guys back in play. You can get the patch from here and see their intro video below…

The Witch Elves! They iz mentalz, etc.


  1. DMJ says:

    To the dug-outs!

  2. Andy says:

    This will get installed in the vain hope that I’ll play it but the likely-hood of me being released from Dragon age in the near future is very slight indeed.
    Still kudos to Cyanide for releasing it as a patch rather than DLC.

  3. Heliocentric says:

    Yeah, this game could easily have company of heroes side unlocks in expansions without ruining the balance. Nice to see they didn’t go for the jugular straight away. But if they have one with other races i would still likely buy it.

    I have kind of held off buying blood bowl, at first because of price and now its available for £12 because i’ve been told by my girlfriend to wait for christmas before buying games. I still want this game bad though.

  4. Ian says:

    So how to they play? Like Wood Elves but more capable of looking after themselves? I’m incapable of playing as flimsy/flashy teams and not getting mangled so I’m not sure if these’ll be any use to me.

    • Ian says:

      Meant to add that whether they’re an “use” to me for playing as or not, I applaud the way the race has been added and the release of more races in general. :)

    • Choca says:

      They’re closer to Skaven (only tougher) than to Wood Elves to be honest.

      Their main strategy is to carry the bowl and to dodge through opposition while their special players (stab happy Assassins and bloodlusty Witchelves) clear the way.

  5. Vinraith says:

    I’m happy to see Cyanide keeping their promises, they’ve been good about continuing to patch and support the game as well. I do wish they’d make the AI a bit more of a priority, though stw402’s mods are pretty much single-handedly saving the single player game anyway.

    Here’s hoping the Undead are forthcoming, as that was the other team that was supposed to turn up free after release.

    • bill says:

      so is it finally worth picking up for single-player gamers now? I really want to play Blood Bowl again… but as I doubt i’ll play much MP, the AI issues have been putting me off.

    • Vinraith says:

      I don’t really know how to answer that question for you. I picked it up primarily for solo play back when it first came out. I didn’t find the AI to be as terrible as some have made it out to be, but neither will I claim it’s great, and the campaign became very uninteresting after about 20 hours because my team radically out-valued all the opposition teams. Very little has been done to resolve any of this by the devs in the intervening time.

      However, there is a very active modder in the community, stw402, who’s created a series of mods aimed at making the SP experience considerably more interesting and challenging. As far as I’m concerned, he’s succeeded to a remarkable degree and in many ways has done more for the single player side of the game than Cyanide has. He’s improved the AI to the degree possible for an end user (limited) and populated the campaign and competition modes with well built, challenging AI teams to get around the AI’s problems with team building. The general consensus is that SP is worth playing under those circumstances, and even veteran players are finding at least some challenge with this mod (for my part, I get the tar beaten out as often as not by the new AI teams).

      So, if you’re a fan of the board game, and want a way to play it on your own, this is quite simply the only show in town. It’s not perfect by any means, and I really wish Cyanide would show some more support to the single player side of the game, but the community is doing its damndest to fix the problem on their own and making some solid headway doing so. For my part, I think that, with the mods, SP is a lot of fun now. Take that for what it’s worth, I suppose.

  6. groovychainsaw says:

    They look (in the LRB, at least) like slightly more expensive wood elves, with more starting skills and more initial player types (but no treeman!).

    With my league commissioner hat on… this patch kicks off season 2 for RPS Proving ground league D -we are after 2 new players to join us after 2 drop outs from season 1. Look in the forums to join!!

    Now back to your regular comments…

    • Choca says:

      Nah, Wood Elves are all about the long pass, Dark Elves play a running game.

  7. Choca says:

    I’ve been playing them for a few days now, and they don’t really click with me.

    Plus I don’t really like expensive team since In tend to lose players pretty often.

  8. shon says:

    Praise Nuffle. I enjoy the game but the lack of Dark Elves always felt weird to me. They were my favorite tabletop team and I missed them greatly. I am delighted to see an Assassin in play; I doubted they would have that.

  9. Pedwarpump says:

    They’re a pretty powerful team once they get rolling, like all the elf teams can be a bit fragile early on, though they are considerably more resilient than the Woodies. Witch Elves can become scarily good with a couple of attribute bonuses, and the AG4 all round means they can vary their game to suit the situation.

  10. Srekel says:

    So when will this game come to Steam?

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      Most likely when it’s finished & passes VALVe’s QA so not in the near future unless they’re secretly finishing the game while they release really minimalist patches possibly to torment the people who’ve already paid for it in some sort of sado-masochistic customer relationship.

      It crashes on launch if you try to use the Steam overlay with it (it doesn’t let you alt-tab either) so that’s one major hurdle not even taking it’s half-finishedness into account.

  11. Serondal says:

    They really need to add halflings to balance out the goblins imo but this is great regardless

  12. Serenegoose says:

    This game was on sale?! oh man… :( Still, glad to see the other elves in the game now. Stupid temptation making me want to buy games….

  13. Railick says:

    I’m going to have to reinstall this game now :( Dark Elves are probably my favorite thing in the world thanks to R.A. Salvatore. I know they aren’t the same Dark Elves but still ;)

  14. JM says:

    I’m amazed at how long they’ve taken to release this patch, given that the skills for the Dark Elves have been ingame since release. Where’s the GUI overhaul they promised?

  15. Taillefer says:

    The list of skill issues put me off. I know it’s being patched and it was still playable, but originally only implementing about two skills properly is pretty awful. Uhm, go dark Elves!

    • Malibu Stacey says:

      Same here. After reading Mr Gillen’s excellent match/season reports I’d happily stump up the cash for this game if it wasn’t so horrendously bug-ridden & under-developed.
      They didn’t even have to design or balance the game, it’s already been done for them in LRB5. All they had to do was implement it & put a decent UI on it yet they still have issues after apparently 2 years+ of development.
      I find it hilarious reading posts on their forum regarding Steam release. Most of it is either fanboys calling VALVe various not-very-nice things or the dev’s themselves saying “takes ages getting any replies from Steam”. Perhaps submitting a finished game for public sale rather than a beta might help grease the wheels a little?

  16. Railick says:

    I can alt-tab blood bowl fine . . .

  17. Garg says:

    Have Cyanide fixed any of the clunky interface and lack of clarity type issues that Kieron brought up in his match reports yet? I’m interested in the game, but I worry that without any prior Bloodbowl, or indeed table top, experience I’d find it hopelessly confusing without an intuitive interface and rules system.

    • Choca says:

      The UI gets improved every patch but it’s still not that great.

      It’s not as terrible as most people make it to be though.

  18. Railick says:

    After having played a lot of Fumbbl I can tell you Garg that the Cyanide version is a lot more intuitive then people give it credit for. It clearly warns you when something you’re trying to do is going to cost you a roll (the squares turn red or yellow depending on the situation, if they are green you know you’re in the clear) IF you just play the single player matches for a while you’d very quickly understand how to play the game. It doesn’t really teach good tactics however you have to learn those on your own :) having never played blood bowl before I learned how to play on Fumbbl and then purchased Cyanide’s verison afterwards and wished I had started there instead (I still like fumbbl better mind you, but I make far more stupid mistakes there like dodging without meaning to)

  19. Mac says:

    Any decent prices for this – or is it still the silly £25?

  20. thefanciestofpants says:

    I’m in the same boat as Railick there. I never had any issues with the interface, and I learned the rules elsewhere.. certainly the game could do a little more to let you know that your about to throw a both down on someone with block and what that means.. but still.. it SHOWS the skill in the little box and you can mouseover to see what it does.

    Also I’ve never accidentally clicked on the end turn button; but I use the keyboard to move my camera around so *shrug*.

  21. Choca says:

    I’d like to point out that Cyanide stated : “The Blood Bowl community is constantly growing everyday and already has a lot to celebrate. They will be celebrating even more as we announce many more big surprises already planned for the coming months!” when they released this patch.

    So I’m guessing they’re working on getting the others races into the game. Let’s hope they’ll be free too (one can dream).

    • Vinraith says:

      When the game first came out, Cyanide said they’d be releasing the Dark Elves and Undead teams for free down the line. They’ve made good on the first one, which is reason enough to trust they’ll make good on the second one I think.

  22. Railick says:

    I don’t know really what they’re comparing the UI to in this case, it isn’t great but it works fine. The only gripe I have about it is the end turn button floating over the freaking field (Which has cost me about 4 entire turns now) If they just added a “are you sure” button it would fix that problem or even easier just move it up about 1 inch :P Maybe there is a mod out there to fix it though I dunno.

    • Vinraith says:

      I’ve still never had this problem, help me understand why everyone else seems to. I mean, what’s your mouse doing at the top of the screen if you’re not trying to access the menus?

  23. wiper says:

    Ah, finally, the lightly armoured anti-lightly-armoured-team team enters play.


  24. thefanciestofpants says:


    I’d say Undead are in order next.

    They’re the one fantasy faction that’s not represented at this point, apart from High Elves.. but seriously, do we need more elves?

  25. Sunjammer says:

    All i want from a future patch at this point is a spectator mode. Honestly, how effing retarded is it to have a league final match go on and all you can do is sit and wait for the game to finish. How hard can this be to implement!?

    Honestly, if spectator mode isn’t on their future plan i’ll be hugely, hugely disappointed.

    DE are neat by the way. I like the way they can utterly gangfuck a cage with assassin+leap, and take down big guys like there’s no tomorrow. Definitely my second favorite team after skaven.

  26. Sunjammer says:

    (if this shows up third time in a row; sorry. Commenting system is messing with me)

    All i want from a future patch at this point is a spectator mode. Honestly, how effing retarded is it to have a league final match go on and all you can do is sit and wait for the game to finish. How hard can this be to implement!?

    Honestly, if spectator mode isn’t on their future plan i’ll be hugely, hugely disappointed.

    DE are neat by the way. I like the way they can utterly gangfuck a cage with assassin+leap, and take down big guys like there’s no tomorrow. Definitely my second favorite team after skaven.

  27. invisiblejesus says:

    And it’s available on Steam for preorder, coming out next week. Pretty awesome, provided they don’t leave SecuROM on it I’ll be picking this bad boy up as soon as I can swing the cash. I’ve missed Blood Bowl.

    • Vinraith says:

      What’s the asking price on Steam? This is the only game I’ve ever bought with a nonsense install limit on it, for I am weak and powerless in the face of the beloved games of my high school and early college years, but it’d be nice to have a SecuROM-less copy so I might actually buy it twice.

      Honestly, it’s not like I haven’t gotten more than twice my money’s worth out of it already.

  28. TheMuffinMan says:

    According to the steam site it says they will release it on november 26th with the dark elves expansion. Ive been asking myself the same question regarding a steam release and I am glad to have a definate date. US price = $44.99 for steam preorder.

    link to

    • Vinraith says:

      Ouch, that’s a little steep. In the US, regularly has boxed copies on sale for $25.

    • Mac says:

      Pre-order is £31.49 in UK – that’s just taking the piss

    • lePooch says:

      Hah! Look at you griping about a measly $45 dollar sale price. When this first got released people(including me) paid SIXTY, and they were the gang that had to put up with a messy product with half a dozen ways to game the system.

      The bugs burnt out my monitor because the game kept forcing the refresh rate to 75Hz(on an LCD rated for 60Hz), which meant I had nothing but a blank screen on start up. I gave up playing online around the time people found how to modify the injury tables to completely avoid death.

      To those who still play regularly, has there been any improvement in the rampant cheating in the online mode? Or do you just play with people you trust?

    • Vinraith says:

      I bought it a month after it came out for $30 from GoGamer, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to want to pay less than that for a second copy. :)

      I don’t know about cheating in the public league, my only online games have been with people on RPS. There are quite a few leagues going, if you want to give that a try.

  29. malkav11 says:

    Hmm, I’d download the patch but the link errors out.

    • Vinraith says:

      Just let the game update itself from the launch menu, there’s really no need to update externally.

  30. invisiblejesus says:

    So RPS peeps are still playing this regularly? I usually have at least a few gaming buddies picking up games I’m interested in, but as of now only two of my friends have or want to have this game. Can I reasonably expect some league action here once I re-learn the ropes (been a while since I played BB tabletop)?

    • Vinraith says:

      Have a look under the “RPS Social Club” heading in the forum, the results will speak for themselves.