Back when I picked up the my High Elf army book, I also grabbed the Uniforms and Heraldry of the High Elves book. I haven’t seen the contents of these types of books for the other armies, so I didn’t really know what I was in for.
The book contains some interesting extensions of the High Elf background. It contains 95 different elven runes. While runes had been included in old versions of the army books, they were absent from the 8th edition book. However, the 95 represent a huge extension of the previous set. Also, included toward the end of the book is a Pantheonic Mandala, which shows symbols (and names) for all 22 of the High Elf deities.
The bulk of the book contains lots of pictures for the 10 different kingdoms of Ulthuan and the 5 Gates (Phoenix, Eagle, etc). Various blurbs of background info are splattered amongst the pictures. It was interesting (for the purists) to finally get some ‘official’ guidelines for what kingdoms would include in their heraldry. Each section shows various different uniform patterns, along with shield and banner designs. There are also some Famous Regiments of Ulthuan that are interspersed amongst the kingdoms.
Overall, it is a nice little book to have for High Elf fans and a good source of inspiration. I feel that the asking price for the book is a bit steep for what you get, but maybe I am a bit cheap. I was a little disappointed that it didn’t have any pictures of real models in it (i.e. painted models). It was mostly just basic spearmen, archer, shields, or banners that had been colored in. That being said, some of the shield and banner designs are very detailed. I can understand taking extra time to paint a really cool banner, but trying to reproduce a complex shield design on an army-wide scale would definitely need to be a labor of love. Maybe that is why they released the transfer kits, to help people achieve more easily achieve the highly detailed shields? It’s too bad that they are so expensive.
Also, I just noticed that even though I haven’t looked through the book very much, the binding is coming undone. Maybe I could get a replacement…