This is the oldest army in my collection, started twenty years ago when I first discovered Warhammer Fantasy Battle. My first purchase was the starter set containing single pose plastic elves and goblins, some of which eventually got painted as part of my High Elf army. Not that I jumped in straight away and painted to this level! I had painted up some undead and various other figures before attempting the elves as they seemed particularly challenging. The plastic spearmen and archers were probably about five years into my Warhammer love affair.
I have enjoyed many a game with this force. My earliest gaming was just me and my brothers with the boxset contents, plastic grey single pose figures with cardboard cutouts for monsters, artillery and characters. How we complained about snipping all the bits from the sprue, we couldn't even comprehend painting them. Prior to this we had played boardgames like Talisman, Cosmic Encounter and Heroquest, so this was a whole new world for us.
Slowly my collection expanded, often at Games Workshop store opening events. At this time (mid to late 1990's) they would offer 3 blisters for the price of 2, discount vouchers and sale bins to entice the crowds. I can remember buying blisters of the old dwarf metals at £1 each, so 25p per figure. Given that armies at that time contained regiments of 10 to 15 troops, it was easy to pick up a regiment for £5, an army for about £50. Those were the days!
Of course most of the time it was a case of saving up money to buy metal regiments at full price, back then 3 figures for £5 was at the high end of the hobby. The army built up slowly over time and I used it in many a game, by this time I had joined a gaming club and even attended tournaments. In fact, my one and only painting award was won by this army at a tournament in Sheffield. My other claim to fame is that it was "spotted" and photographed by the GW bods, though sadly never published.
Eventually I played less and less with the army. I think it was the introduction of Intrigue at Court that killed my enthusiasm for the pointy-eared ones. Elf infantry has always been a fragile proposition (less so in the modern game), partly offset by good leadership, so randomising the general really hurt my game. The elves were usurped by Chaos, then Dwarfs and Undead, as my main army. And so they have sat in my glass cabinet for the past decade, relic of a bygone age. I have said many a time that I will get back to them, but that's unlikely now that the game has gone the way it has, so for me it's time to potentially say goodbye.
They are listed on ebay, with a fairly high starting price. If they sell at this price, I will have enough hobby funds to keep me entertained for a couple of years at least. If they don't sell, I will probably rebase them at some point and maybe use them in other rulesets. Element based games like Hail Caesar or Impetus are on my to do list, maybe they will resurface as my first army in those systems at some stage. In the meantime, writing this post has gotten me quite nostalgic. Here's the picture that grabbed my attention all those years ago, I bought my first White Dwarf on the strength of this image on the cover, the rest (as they say) is history.