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Im fairly new to fantasy, I've played a small dark elf force for a little and liked the whole system. but now I want to get more into the game and start fresh with a new army.
I want to start either wood elves, vampire counts, bretonians or start a new dark elf army
anything that would help me make my choice easier would be helpful
I am sure you have heard about the mega-changes coming with 8th edition and many reasons to wait until we see what will happen to the individual armies. Most of the rumours have been (somewhat) confirmed, so you can get a pretty good idea. Supposedly, there will be errata sheets for each army to fine tune them a bit for the new rules until they make the actual changes to the army books.
However, I play armies that I enjoy building and painting - not merely because they are the most powerful army at the moment. I have the good fortune of 3 sons that all play, so with 2 armies for all of us, and me being the main painter/artist, I have put together and played many! Although the new changes may alter some of the present advantages with some armies, here is my basic take on your named choices:
Dark Elves - These guys are pretty powerful now and always a fairly good contender. They have so many tricks up their sleeve with special choices. The dark elves are a pretty safe bet to remain a good army after the changes. I also think the cold ones cavalry are an awesome sight. Their crossbows are deadly and spear ranks may have gotten a huge boost. Some people think some of the changes will hurt, but I think they make these guys stronger rather than weaker.
Wood Elves - Some of the anticipated rule changes won't be kind to the WE, so you have to wait and see what happens. WE will always be a tactical movement army where how well you can move your troops around. They do require different tactics that may take getting used to. They have a very different battle style than most elves, but the Glade Guard longbows will always be a very powerful weapon.
Vampire Counts - I don't have a ton of experience with these guys, but they revolve around the main character (general) that must be protected at all costs. The anticipated nerf to Fear and the magic changes may hurt these guys a lot. I do like the look of the shambling horde, but you really need to be in love with death and vampired to build and play.
Bretonnia - My first and favorite army! They will undoubtedly be the most colorful army to paint and collect, but I fear Bretonnia is one of the worst hit armies with the new changes. Their main strength in battle looks like it will be nerfed significantly, so they very well may fall to the very bottom of the competition list, unless there errata sheet provides a lot of help.
Whatever you choose, make sure you love the look and the background first, in my opinion. Most games are friendlies anyway, so unless you are just going into tournament competition, you need to love and identify with your army, not just play them because they are the strongest - all of that seems to change with each change to rules and the latest army book!
Id make the choice based on the character and background of the army and the look of the models! Just which one you like the most character wise
I agree with both responses. I chose my empire army because I liked the idea of row upon row of state troops holding back an onslaught of nasty enemies with nothing more than a halberd, some strategically hung bits of cheap tin, and their faith in Sigmar. My TK, on the other hand, were chosen because I love the models (well, except the priests, those are horrible!), especially my TK in chariot. Neither one was chosen for WAAC reasons, and I'm happier for it.
IG since 1999 __ DA since 2002 __ Tau since 2005 __ SoB since 2007
Brets 1997-1999 __ TK since 2009 __ Empire since 2010