Dark Elf Teams are made up of the evil Dark Elfs, a splinter faction from the High Elf civilization now inhabiting the icey land of Naggaroth. They are one of the oldest teams in the Blood Bowl game, having appeared in the first edition of Blood Bowl in 1988.
The Dark Elfs one of the most notoriously evil teams in the Blood Bowl setting, known for underhanded tricks, dark magic, and the occasional sacrifice of losing coaches, opposing teams, and even fans! Historically, they are known for malevolent, spiteful behavior and an aggressive running game.
The Blood Bowl Competition Rules v6 classify the Dark Elfs as an Advanced Team. The general consensus is that the Dark Elfs are the most aggressive of the Elf teams, which requires a slightly more advanced coaching style, given the physical limitations of the Elven racial characteristics.
ON SPELLING: It should be mentioned that the Dark Elfs are also referred to as "Dark Elves" in the same documents where they are often called "Dark Elfs," and the terms "Elfen" and "Elven" are used interchangeably in Games Workshop fluff. The official reason for this is probably just a difference of style, but the longstanding rumor has been that the term "Elves" was originated by JRR Tolkien in his Lord of the Rings setting and was, at least in the early days of the Games Workshop fantasy setting, claimed as a property of the Tolkien estate. Whatever the case, it is certainly no longer a major issue, as the term "Elves" has become widespread in multiple forms of fantasy media. Note that these spelling irregularities also occur in the case of the Elf, High Elf, and Wood Elf teams.
0-16 Dark Elf Linemen
0-2 Dark Elf Runners
0-2 Witch Elves
Assassins were added as a player type in the v5 rules. Prior to that, Dark Elf Assassins were available only in the form of Star players - most notably Horkon Heartripper.
The Star Players which may be induced by a Dark Elf team include Eldril Sidewinder, Horkon Heartripper, Ithaca Benoin, Roxanna Darknail, Hubris Rakarth, and Morg 'n' Thorg.
Play Style and Tactics
As mentioned above, the Dark Elf team is rated as an Advanced Team, and may not be suitable for beginners. Unlike the other three Elf teams, the Dark Elfs do not have any access to catchers, and are less well suited to a passing game than their cousins. On the other hand, they are perhaps better suited to aggressive blocking and attacks than other Elf teams, and when properly coached, they are capable of doing a great deal of damage to an opposing team. Like all Elfs they begin with Agility 4, a nice advantage in the game of Blood Bowl.
That said, the chief weakness of the Dark Elfs is related to their physiology. As Elfs, they are simply less well protected and hence, more vulnerable, than most of their opponents. In addition, they are, as a team, slower moving than other Elf type teams, and are therefore less able to avoid protracted bashing sessions than their faster cousins.
Dark Elfs should be categorized as an Agility Team.
Famous Dark Elf Teams
The most famous Dark Elf team, appearing in the earliest Blood Bowl fluff, would undoubtedly be the Dark Side Cowboys, a name which parodied the Dallas Cowboys of American Football fame. The Naggaroth Nightmares are another famous Dark Elf team from Blood Bowl lore.
Games Workshop produces an official Dark Elf team. It is currently in print and available for direct order from Games Workshop.
There are a few Alternative Miniatures suitable for use in Dark Elf teams, although not as many as one would think. The most common variation upon the Dark Elf theme has been to sculpt an all female Elf team with a slightly chaotic look. Teams created along these lines can be acquired from Impact Miniatures and Shadowforge, among others. Alternative "Evil Elves" particularly suited to Blood Bowl but not made up entirely of females are less common. One possible source for a "different" take on the Dark Elf look is the High Elf/Human team produced by Black Scorpion . A more "primitive" looking Dark Elf team, with a tribal/barbaric feel, can also be found in the "Shadow Elves" range produced by Impact Miniatures.