Author Topic: High Elves Units and Tactics  (Read 25524 times)

Hannibal

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Re: Repost: High Elves Units and Tactics
« Reply #45 on: March 05, 2014, 02:23:53 AM »
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.

With all due respect, I reject that false dichotomy.  We do not have to choose between undesirable units and the factions being to similar.  In fact, in this case, having the Cygnets be Courage 13 would actually make them more unique than they are now.  Currently, they're the bog standard "human" profile with -1 Yellow box. 

And I'm actually not advocating that we errata the faction.  I'm just saying that if I had either a time machine or the resources to do a 2nd edition of High Elves, the Cygnets would come out different.  I'd make them Cge 13, remove Maneuver Mastery, and probably make them Standard instead of Core (my reasoning being there's not enough young High Elves for them to be Core).

You'll note, this Cygnet unit would not end up filling the same role as Battle Squads.  When it comes to tanking, Battle Squads would still be better.  However, Cygnets would be a nice line unit that can put out moderate damage against a D:2/2 unit.  They'd fulfill a different role in the High Elf army, a role that I believe they were intended to fill, but just fall flat.

And I don't believe in the mantra that "every army has stay-in-the-box units" makes it okay.  Stay-in-the-box units are bad, fully stop. If you can avoid them as a game designer, you absolutely should.  And I certainly don't believe that the two choices are:  accept stay-in-the-box units or all factions will be the same.


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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. 

In this, we are in violent agreement.  High Elves are without a doubt one of the power factions.  What keeps them from being broken is that they don't have a very good Courage card.  Which is why I think its bat$#!@ insane to modify Oathbound to make it better.  The only thing that keeps High Elves from being too good is they lack a Courage reroll.


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

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

I couldn't support that.  A card that is 2/3 as good as Ferocity on two units, and you could play a Red card on top of it?  W
ay too good.


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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.

Wow, that's freakishly unbalanced.  Cold Blooded provides a reroll at +1 Cge.  This would be insanely better.  And the only thing that keeps High Elves from dominating is that Battle Squads don't get a reroll.


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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. 


Okay this one isn't on the wrong side of the power curve, but it'd make the card pushing the very bleeding edge.  Aspect of the Stag (which I think is too good in its eratta'd form) gives a unit about +1.4 dmg and this would give +1.25 dmg (assuming the same statline).

However, Subtle Mastery does provide a High Elf unit a +.83 damage, which is quite good.  So while I don't think the fix is broken, I don't think anything is wrong with the card such that it would need to be changed.


Sorry Brook, your love for the High Elves has blinded you, my friend.  They're quite a strong faction as is (even with the lame Cygnets) and neither they nor their cards need a single change.

Kevin

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Re: Repost: High Elves Units and Tactics
« Reply #46 on: March 05, 2014, 10:38:31 AM »
At Championship I'm letting Oathbound be pitched to auto-pass (pre-roll) one rout check or its regular function.  It really sucks that when the first Battlesquad hits the yellow you have to either take that 1/4 that your line gets a hole blown into it...or you play a card that won't even help half the time.

But that aside, the High Elf cards are fine.  If you think Subtle Mastery needs an upgrade it means you aren't taking enough Elder Blade Battlesquads.  That card is pure murderous beauty when played on those guys!



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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.


Okay this one isn't on the wrong side of the power curve, but it'd make the card pushing the very bleeding edge.  Aspect of the Stag (which I think is too good in its eratta'd form) gives a unit about +1.4 dmg and this would give +1.25 dmg (assuming the same statline).

One correction here.  Wuxing's Ensure Victory gives (+1) +0/+0 and changes a to-damage die to a 1.  Assuming 5 dice with 3s to hit and wound, it doesn't average 1.25 damage.  If you get 2 hits, there's a 25% chance that both of the hits damage before any die modifications, in which case changing one die to a 1 is worthless (except that it'll prevent "Roll with the Blow" from being playable).  Even with 3 hits there's a still a 1/8 that they all damage and changing to die to a 1 is all-but-worthless.   The exact calculation is a beast, and I'm feeling lazy, but the card should average between 1.0 and 1.1 damage, not 1.25.

Being able to play it on either the hit or the damage is incrementally better, but not much.  You're still facing the choice of whether the probability that your extra hit doesn't convert to damage is bigger or less than you not being able to get an extra damage.

(In the case of Wuxing, the fact that the die is often Reliable cuts both ways:  it makes the extra die better, but makes the probability that turning a die into a 1 is worthless higher, basically canceling out.)
« Last Edit: March 06, 2014, 08:28:37 AM by Kevin »
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RushAss

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Re: Repost: High Elves Units and Tactics
« Reply #47 on: March 05, 2014, 11:03:27 AM »
There is nothing wrong with having a few sub-optimal units purely for the sake of faction diversity, IMHO.
While I agree, I'm thinking that when factions are released nobody says "this unit sucks, but let's leave it in anyways".  It usually comes to light later that certain units aren't useful.  For the record I don't think the Cygnets suck, I just feel that they are an oddball fit in the High Elven faction.  Sort of the same way that I feel Halfblood Levies are an oddball fit in the Dark Elven faction despite the fact that on their own they are a fine meat-and-potatoes type unit.

.....to rally allies for a campaign to exterminate all Elves and Elf-Lovers!
Is it illegal in New York to be an Elf Lover?  Or do you have to keep it behind closed doors and hope your conservative neighbors never find out?
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Hannibal

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Re: Repost: High Elves Units and Tactics
« Reply #48 on: March 05, 2014, 11:19:01 AM »
It really sucks that when the first Battlesquad hits the yellow you have to either take that 1/4 that your line gets a hole blown into it...or you play a card that only won't even help half the time.

I used agree with this sentiment, but I've found that there are a couple of ways to prevent this from being game-ending for the High Elf player.  Keeping a Battle Squad behind your line as reserve can deal with that, but also you can set up objectives (and or maneuver) to put enough space between units that you can't get pinched the next turn if one of your Battle Squads blows a check and routs.  The latter is much easier to pull off now that the flank-from-front has been banished, and I have successfully defended the whole board with just 7 units this way.

Even the simple act of when you engage matters.  Its usually worth it to spend a CA to delay the fight to make him final rush.  Delaying taking that check by one turn is the difference between him pinching immediately or not.  

My experience is that lacking a better Courage reroll is pretty much the only thing that keeps Battle Squad-spam in check.

RushAss

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Re: Repost: High Elves Units and Tactics
« Reply #49 on: March 05, 2014, 11:42:24 AM »
...but also you can set up objectives (and or maneuver) to put enough space between units that you can't get pinched the next turn if one of your Battle Squads blows a check and routs.  The latter is much easier to pull off now that the flank-from-front has been banished, and I have successfully defended the whole board with just 7 units this way.

Would you happen to have an illustration of that in one of your past session reports?  I've seen Niko do this and I've done it from time to time myself using different factions, I'm just curious to see your spin on it.
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Hannibal

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Re: Repost: High Elves Units and Tactics
« Reply #50 on: March 05, 2014, 12:24:58 PM »
Sadly, I can't find a clear-cut example.  There's a few, but they have some extenuating circumstances.  For example here, I pull it off, but my opponent was using a refused flank strategy, kinda cheating to say you did it when the other essentially grants you half the board.   ;)

RushAss

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Re: Repost: High Elves Units and Tactics
« Reply #51 on: March 05, 2014, 05:41:49 PM »
I hear ya on that.  Thanks for looking!
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Dave-SWA

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Re: Repost: High Elves Units and Tactics
« Reply #52 on: March 05, 2014, 10:33:35 PM »
Brook Villa is an Elf-Lover!
 :o
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gornhorror

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Re: Repost: High Elves Units and Tactics
« Reply #53 on: March 06, 2014, 07:18:29 AM »
Brook Villa is an Elf-Lover!
 :o


Sure am.  I admit it.  You say that like it's a bad thing........ ::)
Where's this shade, that you got it made?

Dave-SWA

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Re: Repost: High Elves Units and Tactics
« Reply #54 on: March 10, 2014, 07:13:34 PM »
Thank you to Ron for creating a new thread, "Unloved Units", to continue the discussion beyond High Elves.
Found here:

http://yourmovegames.com/forum/index.php?PHPSESSID=qtahf9p3eao7hun4e38tiena72&topic=9803
« Last Edit: March 10, 2014, 07:53:49 PM by Dave-SWA »
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gornhorror

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Re: Repost: High Elves Units and Tactics
« Reply #55 on: July 08, 2014, 02:14:47 PM »
The High Elf card Oathbound totally sucks.  This card needs some sort of tweek.  Something that gives a reroll for a failed courage check. 

I know that over all the High Elf units have good courage, but they PAY for it. 
Where's this shade, that you got it made?

Hannibal

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Re: Repost: High Elves Units and Tactics
« Reply #56 on: July 08, 2014, 03:28:47 PM »
The High Elf card Oathbound totally sucks.  This card needs some sort of tweek.  Something that gives a reroll for a failed courage check. 

Heh.  I respectfully disagree.  I think High Elves are quite a powerful faction, contending with being the strongest faction in the game.  I thinking giving them a post-roll Courage reroll would push them over that edge.  They don't need help, IMO.

gornhorror

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Re: Repost: High Elves Units and Tactics
« Reply #57 on: July 08, 2014, 05:00:35 PM »
Well you're entitled to you opinion but I respectfully disagree with you.   The High Elves need a courage bailout more than any other faction in my opinion.  Especially if you don't spam Battle-squads.   It makes sense to me that keeping your engagements and not routing would be MORE important to factions that usually have less units than their opponents.  Do you ever see High Elves having back up units?  If you have, I bet it was a rare occurrence. They just don't have the units to spare for that kind of thing.  That is why I say, it would be nice if two cards in the deck were courage rerolls, which would usually mean you could save one engagement a game.  In my mind this is totally fair.  Geez, look at all of these historical armies that have come out and that are coming out.  They all have cards that help with courage.  Almost all of Alexander's command cards help with courage and quite a few of the Persia faction have them also.  How about Rome and Carthage?  Yup, they got it where it counts also.  I guess some of the people that created these armies considered it pretty important not to have units rout.  All I'm asking is for two cards in the deck to help with this. Even the Dark Elves have a courage bailout card, and it happens to be one of the best.  Everyone seems to think that a 13 courage across the board is really strong, but it's not as strong as having the ability to save a unit that just rolled a 13(or worse) on it's first rout check.

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

Hannibal

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Re: Repost: High Elves Units and Tactics
« Reply #58 on: July 08, 2014, 05:30:14 PM »
Do you ever see High Elves having back up units?  If you have, I bet it was a rare occurrence.

Well, most of my games that you see here are playtest games and spanned the pow-charge-to-dice-charge transition.  Taking all that into account, its ended up being about 1-in-3 games that are posted on this forum.  Not common, I'll grant you, but not exactly rare either.


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That is why I say, it would be nice if two cards in the deck were courage rerolls, which would usually mean you could save one engagement a game.  In my mind this is totally fair.  Geez, look at all of these historical armies that have come out and that are coming out.  They all have cards that help with courage.  Almost all of Alexander's command cards help with courage and quite a few of the Persia faction have them also. 

Actually, Persia only has 2 Courage cards.  Which you have to play in Movement & Command Phase.

Alexander has more, but there's a couple of caveats there.  First, most of those Courage cards are +1 Courage to a unit.  Yes, there is a dedicated reroll, but that's only 2 cards.  And this sort of thing is thematic to Alexander.  Second, many of Alexander units are flimsier than High Elves.  The Cge 13 cavalry are D:1/2 or D:2/2.  The Core infantry are all Cge 12.  Granted the Foot Companions have a good defensive stats and a lot of boxes, but Alexander lacks both a solid unit like HE Swordsmen or a cost effective tank like Battle Squads.


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How about Rome and Carthage?  Yup, they got it where it counts also. 

True, but again, these factions also lack the things that High Elves get. 

What I'm saying is that just because Faction A gets something is not (by itself) justification for Faction B having that something.  You need to demonstrate that the faction is weak because of that absence. 

It'd be like arguing Carthage needs to get Sprint because High Elves, Orcs, and Dwarves all have some special rule that gives them a +1 MC.  And that the creators of those factions decided that +1 MC is important, therefore Carthage should get it as well.  But the rebuttal is "well, is Carthage so crippled that it's an unplayable faction by its absence?"  If no, then the faction doesn't need that +1 MC ability.

That's what's going on here.  Yes, Oathbound is kind of a lame card (most of the time).  But the faction doesn't need a Courage reroll because its an incredibly powerful faction as is.

Can I ask what happened over the weekend that caused you to post your opinion?  Did you lose a game because you either held the card in your hand?  (That happens to me a lot:  there's an urge to not play it to benefit just 1 unit, but then I fail that important check by 1-2). 



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Even the Dark Elves have a courage bailout card, and it happens to be one of the best. 

Well...I'd say that in most cases the Dark Elves shouldn't be used as precedent for anything.

gornhorror

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Re: Repost: High Elves Units and Tactics
« Reply #59 on: July 09, 2014, 01:14:37 PM »
High Elves have expensive units, so that means that you will have less units.  Therefore, it is more important for their units NOT to rout.  A High Elf Elderblade Swordsmen unit routing is catastrophic and a unit of goblins routing usually isn't.  Factions that have many cheap units(i.e historicals) with command cards that help with courage, in my opinion have a great advantage over factions that don't.   That's where the trend is obviously going in this game.  All you have to do is look at the factions coming out to see it.  Having good units with 13 courage isn't enough to compete with that.  Just like you said, it would only be two cards in the deck.  Oathbound should be changed.

My suggestion would be:

+2 courage for three units(before rolling courage)

or

a reroll for one unit that fails.



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