Author Topic: High Elves Units and Tactics  (Read 22896 times)

Kevin

  • Playtester
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5139
Re: Repost: High Elves Units and Tactics
« Reply #30 on: February 07, 2014, 05:24:51 PM »
And here's a more apples-to-apples comparison:

Quote
High Elf Swordsmen (5) 6/5 3/2  R-0 C-13 M-3.5" Maneuver Mastery/Precision/Sprint  299 points

Dark Elf HighBlood Duskblades (5) 6/6 3/1 R-0 C-13 M-3.5" Pain Touch/Fearsome 299 points

These units have an identical price.  If these units fight each other, they both get 5 dice at 3s and 4s to hit the other.  They have identical hit points and courage, and both have faction abilities.

The only difference in this head-to-head match is that the Dark Elves also are Fearsome, while the High Elves are not.

However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results. - Winston Churchill

Hannibal

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4559
Re: Repost: High Elves Units and Tactics
« Reply #31 on: February 07, 2014, 07:19:24 PM »
Look at these comparisons.  How are the High Elf units so much more expensive?  Look at the HEEB vs. DEHD comparison specifically.  Is the High Elf unit 53 points better?  I'm thinking no way.  What boosts up the cost of the HE units?  Is it the "unsexy target" or MM or both?  Just curious.

High Elf Swordsmen (5) 6/5 3/2  R-0 C-13 M-3.5" Maneuver Mastery/Precision/Sprint  299 points
Dark Elf Highblood Blades (5) 6/5 3/1 R-0 C-13 M-3.5" Pain Touch/Fearsome 255 points

That's a 44 point difference.


Maneuver Mastery, Sprint, and Pain Touch do not factor into the cost of units at all.  The theory is that army abilities should be holistically balanced.

Most of that difference is the Toughness.  If you made the Highblood Blades Toughness 2, they cost 302 pts.  That's within 1% of the HE Swordsmen.  Which makes sense, because the Fearsome is 4% and the High Elf "unsexy target" modifier is 3%.

That T1 vs T2 really matters too.  I ran the DE and HE swordsmen through the combat simulator and the High Elf Swordsmen wins 66% of the time (28% DE win, and 6% is a draw).  The HE Swordsmen have a pretty substantial advantage from just that single point different.


Quote
High Elf Elder-Blade Swordsmen (5) 6/6 3/2 R-0 C-13 M-3.5" Maneuver Mastery/Precision/Sprint  352 points
Dark Elf HighBlood Duskblades (5) 6/6 3/1 R-0 C-13 M-3.5" Pain Touch/Fearsome 299 points

That's a 53 point difference.


High Elf Elder Blade Battle Squads (3) 6/6 3/2 R-0 C-13 M-3.5" Maneuver Mastery/Precision/Sprint 220 points
Dark Elf Standard Bearers (3) 6/6 3/1 R-0 C-14 M-3.5" Pain Touch/Fearsome 202 points

That's an 18 point difference.

Same thing here.  If you made Duskblades and Standard Bearers Toughness 2, they'd cost 355pts and 240pts (respectively).  The Standard Bearers have a different Courage, which matters as well.


Also, the comparison is based on the assumption that the Dark Elves are balanced, which I'm of the opinion they are not.  Fearsome is much better when spammed like it is in that list, as instead of having 1-2 units taking a Fearsome check (i.e. when you take 1-2 monsters), you're forcing 5-6 checks, almost guaranteeing that someone somewhere will fail that check. 




RushAss

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 3816
  • Eat your beets - Recycle!
    • My Facebook.  Where you can see my, uh... face.
Re: Repost: High Elves Units and Tactics
« Reply #32 on: February 27, 2014, 10:52:52 AM »
Brook and I where having a discussion about Cygnets last night.  We noted how rarely they pop up in High Elven builds.  I don't think they are a bad unit per se, but they certainly don't seem to fit in well with the rest of the faction.  I figure that if you have one it's almost always worth it to spring the extra 10 points to get a Battle Squad.  Does anyone ever use this unit much?
"Art as expression, not as market campaigns
Will still capture our imaginations"
-Rush, Natural Science

gull2112

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4197
  • From the RUSH faction
    • Meditations on Brain Injury
Re: Repost: High Elves Units and Tactics
« Reply #33 on: February 27, 2014, 11:03:34 AM »
I would really appreciate it if one of our scroll heads with greater facility with numbers than I could generate some side by side comparisons with Cygnets and EBs. Specifically, expected turns of survival before breaking, and damage per turn until said final event.
"Rules are only as good as the book they're bound in."
http://gullsbattleground.blogspot.com/

Kevin

  • Playtester
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5139
Re: Repost: High Elves Units and Tactics
« Reply #34 on: February 27, 2014, 01:24:56 PM »
Relative to Battlesquads, Cygnets do better vs. something smaller/weaker than they are, but worse vs. things tougher than they are.  With only 3 dice, a Battlesquad wil take a while to kill a twerp.

The problem is that in the typical game most opponents' typical units come in around 200-250.  Since you expect mostly uphill fight, you'll take mostly Battlesquads.

If I were playing a low-point-density game (e.g. 1500 open map) and I knew my opponent had a lot of sub-170 units they were likely to take, and I wasn't scared of range attacks, I'd likely find myself borrowing Cygnets.  That's a pretty rare combination, though:  vs. Umenzi or Rome or maybe Orcs (if lots of goblins are expected).  Maybe vs. some Alexander/Persia units once they come out, and one or two could be good vs. the Wuxing Salvaged & Fu dogs.
However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results. - Winston Churchill

Hannibal

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4559
Re: Repost: High Elves Units and Tactics
« Reply #35 on: February 27, 2014, 05:30:00 PM »
I would really appreciate it if one of our scroll heads with greater facility with numbers than I could generate some side by side comparisons with Cygnets and EBs. Specifically, expected turns of survival before breaking, and damage per turn until said final event.

Ask and ye shall receive:


These matchups were plugged into the combat simulator and run 500 times each.  So it's not super exhaustive but if I ran them 2000 times each, I'd be there all day.  So accept that there's about a little fudge factor in these numbers.

The "Turn (loss)" column is the average turn when the other unit beats the Battle Squad or Cygnets (either rout or destroyed).  The "Loss %" is a combination of the percentage of losing outright or both units routing/destroyed.

And this chart pretty sums up why the Cygnets often stay in the box:  the Battle Squads are just better when you're trying to tank.  There's relatively few times where the Cygnets win fights (i.e. have a lower "Loss %") at any significant percentage.  Yeah they more often in a few matchups, but we're mostly talking 1-2%, which is well within the margin for error.

But more importantly is that the Battle Squads take a lot longer to lose.  In all of the above cases, the Battle squad takes an average of 1.3 more turns before they die/rout.  And if your Battle Squad dies on his turn, that's a full extra turn of his guys standing there during your turn (vs. being able to pinch & final rush).


Figuring that Cygnets would chew through chumps faster, I ran a few chump matchups:


Now the columns mean the opposite of above:  "Turns (win)" is the average number of turns for the Battle Squad or Cygnets to win and "Win %" is the percentage chance of the Cygnets/Battle Squads will win the matchups (i.e. not lose or not get a "both rout/die" result).

What is interesting is that although the Cygnets win faster (an average of 1.3 turns faster), they actually have a lower chance of winning.  That said, this lower chance is within the margin for error.

So, IF you know the other guy will take chumps and IF you can get the Cygnets matched up on them, then they are slightly better than taking Battle Squads for the same thing.  But if he doesn't take chumps and/or you can't get the Cygnets matched up on them, then you're better off taking the Battle Squad.

Then there's the context of the command cards.  Many of the HE command cards add extra dice, which can mitigate the primary weakness of those Battle Squads.  Further, the one thing the High Elves lack is a reliable Courage card (i.e. a reroll).  If I have to rely on Oathbound for when things get hairy, I want to stack it with a Cge 13.  But also, because I only have 2 Oathbounds in the deck, I may find myself having to take an unmodified Courage check and that's where being Cge 13 vs Cge 12 matters.

I think that Cge 12 on the Cygnets is probably what hurts them the most.  They're a Cge 12 unit in a Cge 13 faction (i.e. one that doesn't get a lot of Courage bail outs).  If the Cygnets were Cge 13, that would be a huge difference.  Cge 13 Cygnets vs Hawk Swordsmen would go from losing 70% of the time in 3.6 turns to losing 59% of the time in 4.0 turns. 

(Note:  again, losing here is defined as "not winning."  If you take out draws, the Cygnets only lose 47% of the time vs winning 41% of the time and getting a draw 12% of the time).


The long and short is it usually makes sense to take the Battle Squads as a default.  If I'm playing against Orcs, the Battle Squad is the safer bet.  I have to worry less about matchups and I can count on my Battle Squads to have about an equal chance of winning.  The only thing I sacrifice is I'll win slower.  But if I'm taking Battle Squads, I'm not heartbroken if they end up in a never-ending fight, because that was the whole plan anyway.

gornhorror

  • Playtester
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1722
  • Goony goo-goo!
Re: Repost: High Elves Units and Tactics
« Reply #36 on: February 28, 2014, 10:42:39 AM »
Well, I think that I used Cygnets once or twice when I first started playing Battleground.  After reading the information that Corey just provided, I don't think I'll ever field them in my armies again.  The Battle-squads just perform their role so well, and for just 10 points more.  If the Cygnets somehow were around 100 points then perhaps they would be played more.

What about this?

Cygnets  (5) 5/4  2/1  Courage 13 Move 3.5"

Their value would be higher if the High Elven command deck had better courage cards also.  Not having a 13 courage makes them more likely they will rout in an army where units just can't rout without it being devastating.
Where's this shade, that you got it made?

Hannibal

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4559
Re: Repost: High Elves Units and Tactics
« Reply #37 on: February 28, 2014, 10:53:22 AM »
I think 100pts is too low.  If I could mulligan this unit, I'd probably make them Cge 13 and take away Maneuver Mastery (but let them keep Sprint).  That'd put them at about 179pts and you'd think about taking them for their 5 attack dice sometimes. 

At that point they'd do certain things differently.  They'd be more of a mainline unit and not really a tank.

gull2112

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4197
  • From the RUSH faction
    • Meditations on Brain Injury
Re: Repost: High Elves Units and Tactics
« Reply #38 on: February 28, 2014, 12:39:59 PM »
I like Hannibal's suggestion for making them Courage 13 and getting rid of maneuver mastery. It makes for good flavor.

As an alternative, you could just take away maneuver mastery and give them a lower point total, but I don't like fudging with point totals because too little a difference and no one will care and too big a difference and people will care too much.

What if you run those numbers again with Courage 13 cygnets? (and, by the way, I really appreciate the effort)
"Rules are only as good as the book they're bound in."
http://gullsbattleground.blogspot.com/

Kevin

  • Playtester
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 5139
Re: Repost: High Elves Units and Tactics
« Reply #39 on: February 28, 2014, 07:28:05 PM »
I'd cut the Cygnets to 3 or 4 dice and keep everything else the same.  That would put them on the tanky side, like Battlesquads, but would make them considerably cheaper.

Of course, I'd also make Oathbound suck less.  Oh wait--I'm doing exactly that in 3 weeks!   :)


Quote
Cygnets  (5) 5/4  2/1  Courage 13 Move 3.5"

Didn't we discuss this one?  This stat bar implies that the elves gave their young ones rusty knives and leather armor and sent them off to die.  I suppose you could call it retroactive Elven birth control, but I'm skeptical.   ;)
However beautiful the strategy, you should occasionally look at the results. - Winston Churchill

gull2112

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4197
  • From the RUSH faction
    • Meditations on Brain Injury
Re: Repost: High Elves Units and Tactics
« Reply #40 on: February 28, 2014, 11:06:29 PM »
Ultimately there doesn't seem to be an obvious fix, and the faction doesn't suffer overly because it doesn't have a cheapo infantry. The tricky matter of trying to imagine flavor wise WHY an HE army would have cheapo units. They would do just what they do, have a few do the job of many. I'm in favor of backing off on this until somebody develops a compelling reason why something needs to be done with the Cygnets, and maybe at that time the solution will be more apparent.

And I could still see a campaign game special rule where due to desperate circumstances children are thrown into the lines.
"Rules are only as good as the book they're bound in."
http://gullsbattleground.blogspot.com/

BubblePig

  • Guest
Re: Repost: High Elves Units and Tactics
« Reply #41 on: March 04, 2014, 11:27:03 AM »
I cannot remember a single time I took Cygnets out of the box, nor even a time when I thought Cygnets would be good in this situation if only... Corey's analysis shows that Cygnets are better at winning against chumps which is helpful in illuminating when they might be worth the points, but I agree that this is so highly situational that as is they are doomed to be the eternal benchwarmers. Even more so than T-Rexes and Hydra, which because those units were so sexy they got fixed. I guess I am in a minority; I am such a miser that my eyes sparkle over the cheapo units more than the boutique units. I do not think a rule tweak is called for to fix unloved cheapos, but I would love love love it if cygnets and rat swarms got freed from the cobwebby part of the box.

gull2112

  • Administrator
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 4197
  • From the RUSH faction
    • Meditations on Brain Injury
Re: Repost: High Elves Units and Tactics
« Reply #42 on: March 04, 2014, 01:26:26 PM »
If it comes to a fix I could see them being cheaper as both units are flavorful, just actually not worth the points. The question then becomes, "How much?" They are right where the formula says they should be, so any reduction is arbitrary.

The real question is, at what point will the reduction in cost open up other opportunities, thus making the cygnets worth the sacrifice of taking them?

I'm guessing 15-20, but I'm not a big HE player.
"Rules are only as good as the book they're bound in."
http://gullsbattleground.blogspot.com/

Dave-SWA

  • Sr. Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 386
  • The Schenectady Wargamers Association
    • The Schenectady Wargamers Association
Re: Repost: High Elves Units and Tactics
« Reply #43 on: March 04, 2014, 10:35:25 PM »
Jeez, this whole discussion is getting my blood pressure elevated!   >:(

If you take every faction's least 'sexy & desirable" 1-2 units, and tweak them to be more powerful/courageous/hardy/whatever, then eventually you will have a game where all the factions are too similar.  The online debate will then shift to which faction's special ability and/or unique command cards are over/under-powered, as that's all that will be left to discuss.

There is nothing wrong with having a few sub-optimal units purely for the sake of faction diversity, IMHO.

And what makes me even more annoyed is the mere thought of giving the friggin' High Elves a bump.  Maneuver Mastery is such a powerful ability (in the hands of a skilled player), it makes the HEs clearly one of the strongest overall factions.  The only thing that might keep them in check is a modest Rock-Scissors-Paper phenomenon between a few factions.

... Yet another reason that Lord Mortimer of Hawkshold is sending emissaries to other nations of the Battlegrounds, to rally allies for a campaign to exterminate all Elves and Elf-Lovers!
Schenectady Wargamers Association
An Adventure Gaming club serving the Capital District of upstate New York for over 40 years.
Council of Five Nations (Sept 29 - Oct 1, 2017) - this is our 40th, the Ruby Anniversary.  It will be extra special this year!
www.swa-gaming.org

gornhorror

  • Playtester
  • Hero Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 1722
  • Goony goo-goo!
Re: Repost: High Elves Units and Tactics
« Reply #44 on: March 04, 2014, 11:10:43 PM »
Dave, Dave, Dave........

Thems fighting words........I hope the Elves dominate this tourney.  Muuuuuwhahahaha!!!!


Some things I would change in the high Elven Deck if I could:

Attack Storm: Give two of your attacking units (+2) +0/+0

OathBound: Give all of your units +2 courage for the turn OR If one of your units fails a courage or rout check you may re-roll the check at +3.

Subtle Mastery: Your unit gets (+1) +0/+0 this attack.  After you roll to hit or damage you may change the result of one of the dice to a 1.  



 
Where's this shade, that you got it made?