Author Topic: The Chad Ellis Ravenwood Review  (Read 42174 times)

NegativeZer0

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The Chad Ellis Ravenwood Review
« on: March 18, 2009, 03:23:29 PM »
[see below]
« Last Edit: March 19, 2009, 07:02:50 AM by NegativeZer0 »
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Chad_YMG

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Re: Still need a Ravenwood Review
« Reply #1 on: March 18, 2009, 03:43:48 PM »
I'll take a shot, although I prefer not to use the whole star ranking system.  :)

Swordsmen and Spearmen.  These are just solid men.  Their 3/1 stats make them resistant to missile fire and about average in hand-to-hand.  Nets make them slightly above average for hand to hand -- enough that they can win fights but not enough to make them amazing damage units.  They are the archetypical core unit.

Centaurs.  One of my favorite units in the game, both from a design perspective and in terms of value for money.  Centaurs just get better as you get better at Battleground.  They are one of the few cavalry units that actually enjoys matching up against Spearmen because they can get in their face and throw javelins at them, then maneuver to threaten their flank.  Quite often the Spearmen will actually have to charge -- which is NOT why you match them up vs. cavalry.  :)

Wolfkin.  These guys will not hold up well as a line unit, so you have to maximize what they're good at -- speed and the flank.

Wolf Pack.  They don't really hit hard enough to be a significant threat on their own, and their hit profile means they will often flee the first turn someone yells at them.  That means they have to be used carefully -- but any relatively cheap unit that moves 7" has to be respected.

Bearkin.  These guys are very solid.  The one thing I really don't like about them personally is that adding a 2/2 profile to your line of 3/1s will often mean that your opponent gets a better use for their Mights and Forces.

Bear Pack.  I wish we'd made these guys so that the Command Card restriction wasn't absolute.  It hurts them; they're a fine unit, but you really want them to muscle through and not being able to play cards really hampers this.

Treant.  His offensive profile is only slightly above average but he's a great tank.  A tree in the middle of your line will often provide a tremendous anchor.  Play Aspect of Oak on him and even charging Knights aren't going to do much.  (Not that Knights should generally charge trees.)

Stag Cavalry.  This is another great unit and the only reason it doesn't stand out more is that it has Centaurs for competition.  Cavalry often suffer to missile fire but this guy is almost impossible to hit.  He hits hard for his point cost and is a great guy to play Aspect of Stag on.

Brownies.  Brownies are cool because they're so cheap and their courage often means that your opponent actually has to kill them.  One of the best speedbumps in the game.

Bowmen.  6/5 is a really nice profile for archers and this unit's synergy with Spirit Guidance is probably the best unit/army-ability synergy in the game.  They can't match the really elite missile units in the game but point-for-point they are great.

Bowmasters.  Great archers but usually I think the Bowmen are better value.

Overall and tactics.  The strength and weakness of Ravenwood is variety.  It has good cavalry, good missiles and a range of front line troops but it isn't the best at anything.  My Ravenwood armies are often fairly flexible with a mix of cavalry, archers and infantry and I then adapt to what my opponent is doing.  Don't assume that you're going to use Aspect of Wolf on a rout check -- it can be absolutely devastating as +1MC when your opponent has exposed himself without realizing that's a possibility.  Even the threat of that will often force your opponent to waste command actions avoiding pinches.

Ravenwood is probably the most maneuverable army short of the High Elves.  Your archers give you good mid-range firepower, you have two good cavalry units and you have a good number of guys who move more than L and no one who is slow.  You have to use that, especially if you happen to have some forests on the battlefield.
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RushAss

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Re: Still need a Ravenwood Review
« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2009, 10:04:19 AM »
Odd that this has not received any responses yet.  The Ravenwood Elves where my most recent purchase and I have to say that they are quite fun.  In addition, I've seen them in action lots as Brook plays them often and they are a really neat faction.  More variety here than in any other faction IMO.  But while the units vary greatly, they all seem to work together well and you can get at least reasonable use out of every one of them.  Except for maybe the Bowmasters, which seem a little steep for what they do.  They are clearly a finesse faction, but they have some beefy, bruising units as well.  My only negative thing that I have towards them is that I sometimes find their faction specific command cards (most aspects) difficult to use effectively.  This is probably at least partially due to my lack of experience as I've only played them a few times myself.  I'll add a few thoughts on some of the units.


Swordsmen and Spearmen.  These are just solid men.  Their 3/1 stats make them resistant to missile fire and about average in hand-to-hand.  Nets make them slightly above average for hand to hand -- enough that they can win fights but not enough to make them amazing damage units.  They are the archetypical core unit.
I'm a big believer that a faction is only as good as it's core units.  These guys are a great deal points-wise when compared to other core units like Orc Swordsmen.  Both are core units I can actually be excited about fielding instead of merely feeling obliged to field them because they are core.

Centaurs.  One of my favorite units in the game, both from a design perspective and in terms of value for money.  Centaurs just get better as you get better at Battleground.  They are one of the few cavalry units that actually enjoys matching up against Spearmen because they can get in their face and throw javelins at them, then maneuver to threaten their flank.  Quite often the Spearmen will actually have to charge -- which is NOT why you match them up vs. cavalry.  :)
This is a filthy, filthy unit.  You are a very naughty man Chad.

Wolf Pack.  They don't really hit hard enough to be a significant threat on their own, and their hit profile means they will often flee the first turn someone yells at them.  That means they have to be used carefully -- but any relatively cheap unit that moves 7" has to be respected.
I think these guys are kinda cool.  If you have a build where you don't have cavalry, these tail-waggers can fill in as a poor man's flanking unit even without Wolfkin around (which suck).  Their auto-rally ability saves you a command action.  They strike me as a sexier version of the Ghoul Pack.  Not only are they occasionally useful, but I think they are one of the best flavor units in the game.

Bear Pack.  I wish we'd made these guys so that the Command Card restriction wasn't absolute.  It hurts them; they're a fine unit, but you really want them to muscle through and not being able to play cards really hampers this.
Control issues if you don't take the Bear Kin as well and inability to have cards played on them hurts them.  But gee wiz these guys are beefy!  And they hurt!  They are like Dwarven Battle Axemen on growth hormones.  I am tempted to include them in any army I field.  And taking Bear Kin to help them along is not that bad of a deal because they are a decent line unit in their own right.

Treant.  His offensive profile is only slightly above average but he's a great tank.  A tree in the middle of your line will often provide a tremendous anchor.  Play Aspect of Oak on him and even charging Knights aren't going to do much.  (Not that Knights should generally charge trees.)
I believe this is the best tanking unit in the game, period.  He lasts forever and is as brave as Gene Simmons propositioning a groupie.  Yes he's super expensive, but often times the Treant is one of the last units remaining at the end of the battle.  And he actually hurts as well.  Spirit Guidance works well with him.

Stag Cavalry.  This is another great unit and the only reason it doesn't stand out more is that it has Centaurs for competition.  Cavalry often suffer to missile fire but this guy is almost impossible to hit.  He hits hard for his point cost and is a great guy to play Aspect of Stag on.
While overshadowed by the Centaurs (who isn't?), these guys still strike me as one of the best units in the faction.  Nets and Spirit guidance can work wonders with these guys.  3 Green hit boxes is also nifty for a light cavalry unit.  I consider these guys as good as Antonians.

Brownies.  Brownies are cool because they're so cheap and their courage often means that your opponent actually has to kill them.  One of the best speedbumps in the game.
Everybody needs a fodder unit.  These guys won't do much damage and won't survive long at all.  But for an 80 point weenie unit, that 13 courage is truly excellent.  If you have an extra 80 points or so, you won't be hurting yourself at all by tossing in a unit of these little critters.  Excellent backup units for the points.

Bowmen.  6/5 is a really nice profile for archers and this unit's synergy with Spirit Guidance is probably the best unit/army-ability synergy in the game.  They can't match the really elite missile units in the game but point-for-point they are great.
Expensive for bowmen, but very effective as well.  Opposing bowmen only annoy me most of the time.  I actually fear these guys.
"You can never break the chain - There is never love without pain
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lazyj

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Re: Still need a Ravenwood Review
« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2009, 10:10:58 AM »
I believe this is the best tanking unit in the game, period.  He lasts forever and is as brave as Gene Simmons propositioning a groupie.  Yes

That right there is why this forum rules. Cheers to Rush!  :D

lazyj

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Re: The Chad Ellis Ravenwood Review
« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2009, 10:17:59 AM »
I do have to say though that I disagree with Rush on the Wolfkin. If you treat them as a front-line unit you are going to be disappointed. But they are quite good as flankers - and as the Wolves are a poor man's cavalry, these guys can be a poor man's skirmishers. Funny, I never thought of the Wood Elves as being poor or men...

Anyway, the main point of Wolfkin is to exploit the gaps and flanks of your opponent's line. Second point is to allow better control of the Wolves. Occasionally you can also pull some shenanigans like intentionally exposing them to a pinch and hoping they break. They survive bad situations better than anyone provided they *fail* their rout checks.

They're interesting, but certainly should not be the center of your strategy.


RushAss

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Re: The Chad Ellis Ravenwood Review
« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2009, 01:06:33 PM »

Anyway, the main point of Wolfkin is to exploit the gaps and flanks of your opponent's line. Second point is to allow better control of the Wolves. Occasionally you can also pull some shenanigans like intentionally exposing them to a pinch and hoping they break. They survive bad situations better than anyone provided they *fail* their rout checks.

Hmm.... I had not thought of that.  Apparently this place is good for something other than lame KISS jokes ;)
"You can never break the chain - There is never love without pain
A gentle hand, a secret touch on the heart
A healing hand, as secret touch on the heart"
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RushAss

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Re: The Chad Ellis Ravenwood Review
« Reply #6 on: April 01, 2009, 08:57:58 AM »
Since we have these tactics threads for all the factions now, that means we can post our army builds in these instead of the general army build thread.  Right?

Ravenwood Creatures of the Woods

3 x Bears
3 x Bearkin
1 x Wolves
1 X Wolfkin
1978 points

This is a straight up melee build.  You may want to set your entire army at 3.5 M except for the Wolves.  Or stager your 5 movers with your 3.5 movers with the 5 movers starting an inch or two from the edge of your deployment zone.  The weak link on this 7 unit line is obviously the Wolfkin, so you may want to place the Wolves behind him and also save your defensive cards for him.

Not a "take all comers" build by any means, just a fun little theme army.  Try them out!
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A gentle hand, a secret touch on the heart
A healing hand, as secret touch on the heart"
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MonkeyGoose

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Re: The Chad Ellis Ravenwood Review
« Reply #7 on: April 08, 2009, 09:39:49 PM »
Only problem with this build is what are you going to use your points on.  No Spirit Guidance on your tough & hard hitting units and can't play cards on half your army.  I have tried a 3 Bear stategy in the past with little success.

NegativeZer0

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Re: The Chad Ellis Ravenwood Review
« Reply #8 on: April 09, 2009, 12:21:32 AM »
I'd have to agree with MonkeyGoose as your cutting your options too thin for command actions.  It looks like a fun theme army but doesn't seem like a solid build otherwise. (on a sie note: I build theme armies all the time, they are fun to play but you will usually lose which is not always a bad thing)
Quote from: Chad_YMG
Cards are definitely good to have, but I like punching my opponent in the face, too!

RushAss

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Re: The Chad Ellis Ravenwood Review
« Reply #9 on: April 09, 2009, 08:53:40 AM »
Well, yeah.  I know it's not an ideal build.  And I know you can only spend command actions on the Kin units.  So that means that they will benefit from tons of command cards, at least.  For a theme army I feel it's reasonably competitive.  I'm not claiming it will win a lot of games.

Unless you play it against an even worse theme army :P 
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A gentle hand, a secret touch on the heart
A healing hand, as secret touch on the heart"
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gornhorror

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Re: The Chad Ellis Ravenwood Review
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2009, 11:27:09 AM »
Three bear packs can't be wrong.  Not to mention the fact that the Bear Kin are pretty beefy.  I think this army would be ok. Not dominating, but ok. 
Where's this shade, that you got it made?

Niko White

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Re: The Chad Ellis Ravenwood Review
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2009, 05:33:16 PM »

How about this revision?  Still not superpowered, I think, but interesting:

2x Brownies
1x Ravenwood Swordsmen
1x Bearkin
3x Bear Pack
2x Ravenwood Archers
Total: 1998

I toned down on the strength of the melee line, putting in two Brownies as stall units, but in exchange I picked up two archers.  The idea here is to use Spirit Guidance on the Archers very aggressively, taking advantage of the fact that your Bear Packs can't use cards to pump out the automatic damage with the Ravenwood Archers.

RushAss

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Re: The Chad Ellis Ravenwood Review
« Reply #12 on: May 21, 2009, 09:01:20 AM »

How about this revision?  Still not superpowered, I think, but interesting:

2x Brownies
1x Ravenwood Swordsmen
1x Bearkin
3x Bear Pack
2x Ravenwood Archers
Total: 1998

Neat build.  I'm thinking that if you want a more solid line, drop one of the Archers, a Bear Pack and both of the Brownies.  Replace them with 3 Spearmen.  Suddenly we have a pretty rockin' Infantry thing going on.  Yeah I know, we're now miles away from where we started ;)

Having fiddled with this faction a bit more, I'm becoming more and more intrigued by the Wolf Kin and Wolf Packs.  Paper thin, but their speed is useful and the auto-rally ability is incredibly cool.  Deploy this pair on the flank and you have a pinching threat for a total of 320 points.  I made it work reasonably well in this battle here:

http://yourmovegames.com/forum/index.php/topic,879.0.html

Anybody have some Wolf shenanigans they wish to share?
"You can never break the chain - There is never love without pain
A gentle hand, a secret touch on the heart
A healing hand, as secret touch on the heart"
-Rush, Secret Touch

lazyj

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Re: The Chad Ellis Ravenwood Review
« Reply #13 on: May 21, 2009, 11:17:00 AM »
I posted some ideas earlier especially about the Wolfkin.

I've always liked the mobility available with the Wolves and Wolfkin. Like you said, tissue paper in a stand up fight, but they're mobile enough that you can you usually have them gang up on folks in the flanks. And they are also very useful when they *fail* courage checks.

I think pairing Wolves with Healers would be quite effective, as they can slash out ahead, get beat on, run away successfully, rally and heal, then charge back in. They do a decent amount of damage and can really get places in a hurry.

Quelmotz

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Re: The Chad Ellis Ravenwood Review
« Reply #14 on: May 31, 2009, 10:40:15 PM »
It appears ravenwood isn't as "hated" as some of the other factions  :P

I dug up a thread somewhere, where Niko mentioned that everyone hates Ravenwood. So you better eat that comment up, Niko (if you can find it, that is...)!

Back to topic, I'm thinking about buying the Elves of Ravenwood later this year, and so does anyone have any hints or tips to give me?  :)
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