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The latest issue of the 9th Scroll is here! You can read all about it in the news.

  • My fellow Princes and Queens!

    Today I have the honor of revealing to you something that is at the very heart of all of us here at HbE HQ, our hereditary spell!!

    Designing a racial spell is not an easy task, as it needs to reflect through magic the identity of the army. Most of the teams spent a significant amount of time in this task, and the HbE team was no exception to this either. And considering that magic is at the pinnacle of our civilisation, this was even more important.

    The team brainstormed about different concepts, the majority of them focussing on concepts related to magic control and protection which we believed to be the more fitting.
    • In relation to the concept of control, we wanted to show the aspect of HbE mages to have control of the environment, control of the elements and, most importantly, control over magic.
    • The HbE mages would then utilise this mastery of control to bend the environment, the elements and the magic in a way that protected friendly companions. And in order to represent that, the control needed to come from its source, from the mage, and not just its application on a single part of the battlefield.
    In the initial steps of design we explored various different effects, including ability to re-roll charges, Dispel magic, protection tokens, etc. It looked though as a very complicated spell when we where trying to achieve too much, and at points it seemed a 4-in-1 spell. In the end we decided to focus in a single aspect, so we could then introduce more meaningful effects in it (rather than multiple weaker effects). This resulted in the spell that you can find later in this post.

    As you will see, both the control and the protection concepts where very important to its implementation, as rather than focusing on protecting a specific unit, the Higborn mages will be able to protect any unit that is within their range, as they are the ones executing the control over the environment. Games-wise that is relevant as it will allow to support large and small blocks equally.

    With all the above said, one of our esteemed colleagues created a wonderful piece of fluff to focus our minds into a pinpoint to ensure that we created the spell that speaks to you in the most highborn of ways;

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    "As the swirl of melee unfolds, the control that the Highborn Elf masters of spell craft exert on the battlefield leaves many an enemy dumbfounded, seemingly distorting and warping the reality itself. An elf they clearly saw impaled on their spear now sidesteps it, delivering a death blow he himself evaded, a marksmans arrow striking true for the eye of a great dragon shatters to a thousand pieces, a cannon shot plowing towards a shining knight vaporized into dust.... Sigils prepared in advance make a powerful tool in the hands of a wizard skilled in their usage, and there are none more adept at the fine art of sigaldry than the Highborn masters of magical art."

    So with that fantastic little excerpt, I give you your Hereditary Spell!

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    Glowing Sigil [ name is WIP ]
    Caster, Lasts one turn
    Immediately after successfully casting the spell, add two Veil Tokens to your Veil Token(*) pool

    When a unit within 18" of the caster would lose a Health Point, one Veil Token may be discarded instead (this is done after saves and Devastating Blow multipliers) and the Health Point loss is ignored. For Standard Infantry, up to 2 HP losses are ignored per token (provided that they are suffered simultaneously). A maximum of two Veil tokens may be spent per game phase for such purpose. Characters and Gigantic models can only ignore a single lost HP this way per phase.

    (*) For those who haven't read the new scroll, in addition to magic dices, the new magic phase also has Veil Tokens. Veil tokens can be exchanged to get magic dice on a 3:1 ratio. These can be saved for subsequent phases, and also some armies will have different uses to interact with them. As long as the Glowing Sigil spell is active, the wizardmay use those tokens to further fuel the effects of the spell. Not only this, but the Glowing Sigil spell generates tokens on its own (so you don't need to save them in advance if you don't want to). Also, should you not get to use the tokens for any effect, those two tokens generated at casting the spell become part of your Veil Token pool in your next magic phase

    As your wonderful minds are probably able to deduce, the spell is incredibly multifaceted. It allows us to mitigate ranged damage, magical damage, combat damage and gain resources as it allows you to generate extra Veil Tokens. A spell that you will be able to use from Turn 1 until the end of the battle

    You will also find through future sneak peaks that there are other magic items, which still haven't revealed, that provide further synergies which this concept; those, combined make the Highborn Elf magic phase a powerful force to be reckoned and place the Highborn elf mages amongst the most proficient practitioners of magic in the world.

    Rather than dissecting the effects of the spell in this post, we'll leave you to absorb its effect and to find out the many subtleties it has.

    Do not hesitate to ask your ACS team for any clarification or doubt you may have about it.

    Raise thy magical prowess!
  • Display Spoiler

    Masamune88 wrote:

    Hail, Highborn!

    Today I bring you two pieces of news.

    Before that, my Chamberlain would like a word.

    Display Spoiler
    *Ahem* It is to be known that this news to be shared by Papa G, forthright known as Lord Gio, is subject to change. Though these items in particular look to be stable in their current iteration, anything and everything may look different come the new book. Furthermore, it is with great emphasis that Lord Gio wishes you to not worry about points cost. Nothing is final before release, and if anything is found to be too costly, or otherwise, your feedback will be held in the highest esteem to correct this come open beta.

    Our first item is a legendary suit of armour. You wanted Highborn craftselfship to be envied by others, and with this we will finally be in the forefront of personal protection!

    Like with all things worth savoring, some dialogue to set the mood. I present you with a tale, as tragic as it is triumphant.

    [the below is official background, hot off the press of our awesome BGT!]-

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    Before Sunna, before the kings and queens of the Napaat valley, before even the Elves reached the serenity of the White Isles, there were five great Elven Princes, the mightiest and noblest of their kind beyond the boughs.

    It is said Dorac was so taken by their virtue that he could not bear the thought that these exemplary Elves might perish in defence of their budding nations, so he forged for them helms, shields, scale and plate like the world had never seen before. Each piece was a tapestry of engravings that proclaimed the majesty of the Elves to all who dared cast eyes upon them, lighter than the plumage of a Giant Eagle, yet of such craftsmanship it put the finest Dwarven artifice of the age to shame.

    When the Princes again took to the field of battle to face the barbaric hordes they shone as bright as the giant brazier overlooking Aldan. Personifications of Elven noble heritage and the right to rule the world they blinded their savage foes with august brilliance of their donned gifts. Many were felled by their keen blades, for who would dare strike such regal splendour?

    Nothing is eternal save maybe death, and in strange aeons even death may die. So too came the hour of doom for exalted ones. From the east it came in a shape of a man, a warrior, a warlord, a conqueror. Jewels of a dozen sundered kingdoms glistened upon his troubled brow and the skulls of their kings adorned his standard. Pride goes before the fall, or so the saying goes, and the Elven Princes went to war. One by one they faced the raven haired murder, and one by one they were broken beneath his iron boot, their divine gifts shattered and blemished.

    For their failure and shame the names of the Princes were erased from memory while that of the bronze skinned butcher still haunts the dreams of the wise. A phantom of destruction who may yet one day return to finish what he started.

    An age later in a time of great calamity when brother fought brother and daughter slew mother the first Prince of Ryma beseeched Dorac to reforge his gifts into a single suit, so that he may defend his people from the madness that had engulfed them. Though bravely he fought eventually pride got better of him on the blood soaked fields of Erle and the gift of the gods passed into the hands of Queen. To this day her annual champion is granted the honour to don a special suit of armour that many claim is the one and the same as the Dorac’s panoply of “Forgotten Kings”…

    Without further ado, I give you, Panoply of the Forgotten Princes [Name WIPtm]!

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    Panoply of the Forgotten Princes - Models on foot only.
    Heavy Armour enchantment (includes Dragonforged Armour).
    The wearer gains +2 Armour and +2 Defensive Skill

    That +2 Armour is cumulative with the base armour bonus, which can be either Heavy armour or Dragonforged Armour. So you have the option of having an armour that grants a total of +4 armour, +2 Defensive Weapon Skill, a 6+ ward and fireborn. It's time for our armour to be envied

    And now some insight into the design of this masterpiece -

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    From the get-go, the goal was an armour worthy of an individual who took to the field on foot. Dragonhide is known to burn out after a number of years, and so our Princes and Commanders needed a legendary suit of armour to take up this task. The team also recognized how the Royal Huntsman lacked the shoulder-space to don a lion fur and drake flesh cloak at the same time and so wished to address that problem. So, in a truly brilliant move a simple +2 Armour, rather than Innate Defense, was proposed.

    At first distracting was proposed to go along with the armour save, but after some pricing concerns and the willingness to be able to stack with Distracting, it was decided that +2 Defensive Skill (weapon skill has been split into offensive and defensive) would still bring out our defensive nature, while not breaking your personal coffers. Another advantage of Defensive Skill over Distracting is it possesses some nice synergy with our new magical Banner, Grey Watchers and Scrying spell from Divination.

    Now, why should you be excited for such an item?

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    For the first point, remember that the to-hit table has been reworked. In 2.0, if your DS (Defensive Skill) is 4 points higher than your opponent’s OS (Offensive Skill), they will be hitting you on 5’s. This means that a Commander wearing this will be hit on 5’s by OS 4, and even more amazingly a Prince will be hit on 5’s by OS 5! You can throw in an enchanted blade with a shield (or enchanted shield) and with the new Parry (adds +1DS if your DS is higher) you can finally attain DS 10 on your Prince!

    For the second point, I wish to remind you that as part of the 2nd Edition updates to Magical items, armour and shield enchantments no longer interfere with one another. I said did not say our armour is to be envied lightly ;)

    But still you may rejoice! A Highborne party does not end until the wine no longer flows, and I still have some fine vintage to share!

    I bring to you, the renowned Reaver Chariots!

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    While it is well known that while our Reaver riders do not lack for employment, whatever those Charioteers feed to their steeds currently costs a little too much for what they bring to the table. For this reason, it was pretty clear that they deserved a redesign.

    The problem was viewed thusly: the Reaver chariot is a light support piece in the Special section of an army with a Core of light support. Effectively, the choices were to increase its physical impact in the game, or make it exceptional enough in its support capabilities to warrant the use of Special points.

    Many ideas were explored, such as being a leadership support piece (extending inspiring presence), an infantry support piece (if either this or an infantry/Core infantry/Sea Guard makes a successful charge on the same target, they both make the charge), “Reaver Charge” (a sweeping attack, effectively), even having them as a bound spell platform. The community's ideas were represented as well, from increasing armour and damage, to being allowed in Core with each unit of Spears/SG, to magic banner access, to counter-charging with Spears/SG (ala EoS).

    The team wanted to avoid increasing the durability and damage output of the Reaver Chariot. This would simply lead to overlap and competition with the Lion Chariot, and most likely one would be favored over the other. This also would lead into problems with the “decrease complexity” design slot used. Furthermore, as awesome and fun as some of the ideas were, many of them seemed too complex and would not necessarily guarantee a success in the redesign

    It was decided to offer a slightly different function within the army, the Reaver Chariot would become a cheap-and-cheerful highly mobile front-line support piece, somewhat in line with what people want their sibling Reavers in Core to be . The units march rate was increased from 9” to an impressive 14”. Though we needed to give up vanguard (in line with army weaknesses of special deployment). At the same time, to further differentiate them from the rest of the chariots, its light-chariot concept was further emphasized by reducing its wounds to 3 (from 4). Fear not though, for all of its offensive capabilities have been preserved (i.e. S5 hits). Additionally, to make larger units interesting they have gained access to full Command options, which open up different tactics use.

    So, what will their resume look like?

    Some personal thoughts on their new role, and where I see them being taken -

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    I know that ultimately Reavers are light support in an army with plenty of light support in Core, but I think they’ve gained two key changes. The first is their price tag. Cheapness is a strength, and for the points they will make mincemeat of light units, as well as offer no small amount of impact hits for important combats. The second is the additional march movement. Losing Vanguard is losing Vanguard, but even with a 12” head start, a 9” march simply isn’t enough to respond to the battle like a mobile light unit needs to. At 14” of march, though it is 4” behind the marching speed of our cavalry, with Light Troops it should just about even out. This is truly a unit that can be where you need it, when you need it.

    I see Reaver Chariots being taken in cavalry armies, where they can avoid with the best of them, while offering a cheap unit to throw wherever you need them. Gaining the option for command is only a good thing as well. Our Dragon riders always want more champions on our side, and anyone who's read of @Herminard's use of TVI knows the power of banner spam.

    Well there you have it! The last drop of my Erle Moscato. I know each vintage may have not had the savor you wish it had, but as the infamous Empire General Valin once said, “They may have magic to distort time, their General may have killed a regiment of Imperial Guard, and they may have two bloody Dragons, but we’ve got numbers. By Sunna, there’s a quality to quantity”. May his soul find solace in the quality of that falsehood…

    Peace, fair Prince/sses.

    The post was edited 1 time, last by PapaG ().

  • Hello my fellow Princes and Queens,

    After the massive response to the poll of which entries to unveil next, it was very clear that all of you where looking after the MoCT and OotFH, and here they are.
    Edit: As it turns out, the MoCT entry needed such a lengthy review that we have decided to split the post into 2, to make it more manageable. You will receive that shortly after you have digested the MoCT ;)

    But before, as usual:
    Display Spoiler

    All of these changes are still subject to change. Yes, the RT has approved it, but it still has multiple steps to pass through. First, it must go through playtesting, and if anything is flagged as broken, or overpowered, or underpowered, we will go back in and fix it. The end result should be a book that is playable, and expands the options currently available.
    Additionally! There are no points yet, points won't be truly final until after all the books have been tested and the balance team can assess the game as a whole.

    The first thing to bear in mind is that this entry was not selected for a full redesign. All armies entries which related to the magic phase were available for a free redesign due to the changes to the magic phase of the 2nd Edition updates. The scope of this free redesign was limited, though, to only the magic rules and equipment of the unit, and not to other non-related rules or mounts.

    For the MoCT this meant for example, that considering adding Griffon as a mount, or exchanging Sword Sworn with Distracting, was out of the free redesign scope. If we wanted to change further, we needed to utilise one of the redesign slots. As this would have meant not being able to redesign Grey Watchers, etc, the HbE Task Team decided that the free redesign scope would suffice.

    So, while we know many of you may have been expecting something on this direction (part of ACS feedback), this is the reason why you will not find such kind of design updates.

    With this set, let’s start the party then!

    At the start of the redesign, the task team was given a guideline which the design should follow: the MoCT would have the “Protean Magic” Rule which would replace the spell selection rules that the model has in 1.3. This rule is defined so that the Wizard knows the level 1 spells of the paths he has access to, and may exchange one for the army Hereditary spell.

    I leave you some seconds to think about what this means.... Let’s go slowly here. Please sit down. And if you are unconscious enough to be reading while driving, you should definitely stop the car on a side

    So, what does it mean:
    An MoCT in 1.3 knows 3 magic paths and has full spell access to each of them with quite a lot of mix & match. In 2.0, with Protean magic as presented, he would now only have access to 4 spells (Hereditary + 3 Lvl1 spells). This would mean that, should no further action had been taken, HE army would lose wide access to Druidism and Alchemy, and MoCT would be struck with a rather lacklustre spell selection.

    So, obviously, something had to be done.
    • First of all, the TT requested for Alchemy and Druidism to be granted as magic paths available to normal wizards. BGT evaluated the request and suggested, instead, that it would be more fitting for the OotFH to gain access to Alchemy (in addition to Pyro), instead of normal Wizards, and RT accepted adding the on-foot option to the OotFH (so Alchemy was not unlocked just through a Dragon mounts).
    • Druidism, instead, was not deemed fitting by BGT to normal Wizards or to the OotFH, as within the elven races it is SE where this path, and only for the MoCT it makes sense to learn Druidism spells due to its study if the arts represented by the Divine Daughters (more below). Thus, the request of Druidism for normal Wizards was not granted.

    With that information at hand, the TT proceeded on to the design updates to the MoCT, starting with conceptual design discussions around the MoCT background. BGT has done some truly awesome work around this character, breathing unique and deep flavour through every inch of its skin. In a way, this was a much needed boost of morale and inspiration after the news around the magic paths.

    Here is some official background material that BGT has been kind enough to provide us to accompany this publication, enjoy!
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    Honoured headmaster,

    I am writing to you with my latest findings into the investigation of the demise of your nephew in the battle of Tulpenfeld during the Silver Stoat incident. At a recent audience in a mansion of one of the Aldan nobles I had the dubious honour of meeting one our elven 'colleagues' and the displeasure to be quite rudely schooled for my apparent ignorance on the subject of Arandai institutions of learning. Though it is no secret to anyone who deals in elven lore that they possess universities akin to our own, the level of ideological divide between them has to date, as far as I am aware, been completely unknown. Our esteemed institutions do bicker and squabble yet our differences seem petty in comparison, focusing on tithes and coin rather than the very soul of a civilisation. My ‘tutor’ relished the opportunity to ‘educate’ me on the matter.

    As far as I was able to comprehend, around the time of the Holy Maiden there was a schism at the fabled university of Asfada. A group of individuals, that my interlocutor named as apostates, accused the rest for the calamities of the preceding ages due to what they saw as the abandonment of what it truly meant to be an elf. These ‘misguided’ souls decided to debase their calling by reintroducing the teachings of elven feral ancestors and opening their minds to the heretical ideas from across the western sea in their foolish quest for perfection. To conceal their heresy they wrapped their path to enlightenment in religious dogma, claiming that through their actions they honour the gods – Amhar, Meritaur, Meladys, Amryl and Nab – and maintain the balance of the elven spirit.

    Yet my ‘tutor’ claimed they failed completely in their quest and only managed to tarnish their elven nobility by inviting savagery into their hearts and minds, no longer being worthy to be called scholars but slaughterers and conjurers of cheap tricks. The picture I was painted of these so called Masters of Canrac perfectly matched the reports from Tulpenfeld and the description of the flaxen haired whirlwind who carved a bloody path through the burgermeister’s retinue, yet there was nothing cheap about her ability. The level of gusto with which the Asfad mage flung dirt at his rivals casts doubt on the veracity of his story. I have put a petition before the relevant offices of the Pearl Throne to be allowed to contact Canrac or gain access to one of the elven libraries in Aldan and learn the truth for myself.

    I hope this letter finds you well and the perpetrator of the crime against you will be brought to justice soon, even if it would only be elven justice.

    Yours faithfully
    Gunther Faust

    The paths currently given to the MOTC are linked to Elven deities and philosophies associated with them: Amryl - healing - Druidism; Meladys - magic and learning - Cosmology; Nab - bladecraft - Alchemy; rather than general cultural elements associated with HE civilisation. In relation to the 2.0 updates, BGT informed us that there was basis in the background to associate the Master of Canreig Tower to the paths of the parents of the divine daughters, instead of just those of the Divine daughters. With this approach, the path access would represent that of the divine pairs of mother and father and provide a manifestation of combining these arts into a single disciple, thus becoming both warrior, wizard and healer.

    Amhar father of Meladys, Nab and Amryl can be linked to Shamanism (Cadaron aspect), Witchcraft (Yema aspect) and Cosmology (Wymaig aspect) while their mother Meritaur can be linked to Alchemy (Beccam aspect), Druidism (Naram aspect) and Witchcraft/Evocation (Tula aspect).

    With Cosmology, Alchemy and Druidism already represented through the paths associated with their daughters around which the current MOCT concept has been build, access to Shamanism and either Witchcraft or Evocation would complete the divine pair of the parents.

    Based on this support from BGT, the TT requested and got approved access to Shamanism and Witchcraft, in addition to the current paths, which overall grants the Master of Canreig access to Healing Waters, Quicksilver Lash, Altered Sight, Awaken the Beast, Raven Wings and the Hereditary Spell. This made for a more reasonable spell selection, which the TT believed was a solid basis for design.

    So, what did the TT do design-wise when the path spell selection was established?

    First thing we did was to define its magic level and choose whether it’d be considered an apprentice, adept or master. As the MoCT aims for balance across its three disciplines (warrior, wizard and healer) it seemed natural that he would be a wizard adept, rather than be able to match the mastery of wizards who dedicate their studies entirely to magic only.

    With the warrior art covered (Lord of the seas profile, Sword Sworn) and the Wizard art also covered (adept, Lvl1 spell 5paths access), only the Healer art was lacking [specially important since wide access to Druidism would become unavailable].

    The TT wanted any chosen MoCT configuration to reflect the three aspects equally, as a reflection of its constant seek for balance, and regardless of the players spell selection. And in order to represent the healing component in the Master of Canreig design, the TT agreed on:
    • The Master of Canreig always knows the Oaken Throne spell
    • Fountain of Youth becomes the Attribute Spell for all non-bound spells cast by the model, replacing the spells' corresponding Attribute Spells where applicable.

    With the above, any single spell cast by the wizard will have both the Wizard and the healer component, enabling the self identity it deserves based on its fascinating background.

    Finally, in order to further differentiate the design of commanders and Princes, commanders will always know 3 spells (plus Oaken) and Princes always 5 (plus Oaken), to be selected in list based on the available spells. By doing so, both for commander and Prince designs, the MoCT keeps balance between the three arts (prince is better warrior than commander, so it must also be better wizard than to maintain balance across the disciplines). The added benefit is that lorewise, only princes are able to unlock the knowledge of both parent and mother deities, where Commanders may only fully learn either the father, the mother or the daughters paths.

    With this decision, the design of the MoCT was completed and is summarised in attached image below.

    *Master of Spellcrafting is the reworked “Master of Balance” AWR, of which we will talk you in a separate update

    We hope you like it!!

    Raise thy Sword and Magic!
    Always a Highborn Elf, here or somewhere else
    The HbE Hotfix- My view
  • Hello my Fellow Princes and Queens,

    Today we are writing you about the second entry we wanted to share with you on the previous post alongside the MoCT. As it turned out to be too length we split it so each post will cover one entry. And as promised we are delivering it to you within 2-3 days ;)

    But before, as usual:
    Display Spoiler

    All of these changes are still subject to change. Yes, the RT has approved it, but it still has multiple steps to pass through. First, it must go through playtesting, and if anything is flagged as broken, or overpowered, or underpowered, we will go back in and fix it. The end result should be a book that is playable, and expands the options currently available.
    Additionally! There are no points yet, points won't be truly final until after all the books have been tested and the balance team can assess the game as a whole.

    As you are probably also aware, we wanted to share OotFH with you already some time ago, but had to put it on hold due to some redesigns we had to do to it. Today we will also talk you about this.

    Good, let’s start then:

    The design of this model was one of the most complex ones we had to work with. As with the MoCT, this model had to see its rules updated as a result of the core rulebook magic phase and spell selection updates.

    As we explained in the previous post on MoCT, as a result of the changes to the MoCT and the loss of wide access to Alchemy that this would have resulted on, the OotFH will be gaining the option to be on-foot and it will also gain access to Alchemy (in addition to Pyromancy).

    Note: The OotFH will not gain option to be on-horse: this was not part of the scope of the redesign, and gaining the “on-foot” option was an exception to allow a non-dragon mounted Alchemy wizard.

    The HbE ACS team had very clear indications from you (the community) of which were your preferences and we passed those onto the Task Team we were part of: to boost the combat output potential of the entry by either giving the OotFH mage a commander attack stats profile or making the OotFH an upgrade from a commander and not mage).

    However, one of the reasons this task was more complicated than originally envisaged is that this approach is not really compatible with the background concept of the mage, and thus some creativity and brainstorming was required.

    The background of the Fiery Heart model establishes that the mage is not more capable at physical combat than a normal mage but rather that he is able to channel the powers of magics he casts to. This meant that its profile stats should remain unchanged. It also establishes that the OotFH is, first and foremost, a wizard; this ruled out the option to make it an upgrade from commanders.

    On the bright side, some of developed background on Dragons establishes that magic influences its abilities. And thus, the HbE Task Team saw in this an interesting point of departure to introduce some synergies between the mage and its mount as part of this redesign. So, with that we started working in our conceptual design and brainstorming.
    • We wanted to keep the ability to cast into combat, as we found this represents very well the ability to influence combats with magic as indicated by its background and builds on the topic of a combat mage.
    • We wanted the model to have a respectable combat potential, and the mage profile was really limiting on that aspect. We initially thought on triggering some combat hits theough the spend of Veil tokens, but finally found a true source of inspiration from the magic influence into dragons. Whenever the mage would cast a spell, it would trigger a boost on its mount and through that its combat potential would increase.
    • A key goal of the design was to keep the Alchemy on foot wizard as affordable as possible, as Alchemy is a great magic support tool for our army. Thus, we didn’t want to bloat the on-foot mage with loads of rules, and only the minimum was kept. Having the bonus trigger of spell casts on the model only was a key enabler of this.
    • The imagery of a model is also very important, and we wanted players to perceive this model as kind of an Avatar of Flame. A model which burns anything it touches. And because of that, the entire model was given flaming attacks. Games-wise this creates some interesting ingame tactical decisions and counters (fireborn vs regeneration enemies). This makes the Alchemy version more fit for combat while Pyro has the superior ranged damage. The choice is yours and starts straight from list-building!
    Once the design was done we went on to adding the final equipment details, as this was a must due to the core rulebook updates. For example, while in 1.3 the model could purchase a magical shield, it would not be able to do so if we hand’t added Shield as mundane equipment option (Reminder: in 2.0 you enchant the mundane equipment)

    Because of these reasons the task team decided to:
    • Add shield and heavy armour, to enable access to BRB related enchantments
    • Add Paired weapons, for access to some minimal mage combat potential through Hero’s Blade enchantment
    You can find the full approved package in the image below

    Some of the word-colouring and strikethrough are updates from the initial version that the TT alproved which had to be revised.

    The initial approved version allowed all Alchemy spells to be cast into combat. That created a balance issue where this was deemed very powerful and BLT added an additional cost to the Alchemy version. This made the on-foot Alchemy mages very unattractive from a points cost point of view, which was against the original design intentions from the TT. Overall this resulted in Alchemy magic access seriously compromised in list-building, as some of our Playtesters may be able to testify. As a result, some redesign was applied so that Quicksilver Lash and Silver Spike could not be cast into combat, which were deemed the worst offenders. Molten Core (slightly boosted in 2.0) was allowed to be cast in combat, both for powerlevel but also because it represents well the Avatar of Flame concept. This should make Alchemy spell selection interesting (anyone mentioned the MoCT overlap on Quicksilver lash was not interesting? You may be happy after reading this).

    After performing those design updates, the TT got confirmation from BLT that with these changes the “Alchemy upgrade cost” would be removed.

    as a side note, as you can see in strikethrough in the screenshot, another minor tweak we applied in this review was around the dragon boost. Initially it could stack up to 2 times, but it gave only +1 attack. To simplify the need of tokens bookkeeping, and to further promote the combat aspect, now only one boost applies but it grants the +2A on the mount straightaway (at the expense of not being able to achieve the +2/+4” fly move boost with second cast

    Let us know what you think of the OotFH!

    Raise thy Wings!
    Always a Highborn Elf, here or somewhere else
    The HbE Hotfix- My view
  • Masamune88 wrote:

    Masamune88 wrote:

    Masamune88 wrote:

    Princes! Princesses! Lend me your ears!

    I come bearing news of our fantastical and ancient allies, those stalwarts of the sky with flaming pinions streaking overhead striking terror into the hearts of our foes!

    As always, those more inclined to want everything in writing have asked for the following to be said in conjunction of the changes made to our allies and as they have the ear of the Queen, one must obey.

    Display Spoiler
    All of these changes are still subject to change. Yes, the RT has approved it, but it still has multiple steps to pass through. First, it must go through playtesting, and if anything is flagged as broken, or overpowered, or underpowered, we will go back in and fix it. The end result should be a book that is playable, and expands the options currently available.
    Additionally! There are no points yet, points won't be truly final until after all the books have been tested and the balance team can assess the game as a whole.

    So with the fussing of those quill pushers out of the way, we get down to the business of the council.

    Our phoenixes have been intrinsic to the play-style of many an elf since they appeared in the annals of our history, however in their previous iterations there was quite a swing in the ability and power of each of the versions, with Fire being ascendant and purging the filth in the latest versions we are currently playing.

    As with all other redesigns, our point of departure started with the entry background concepts. After careful evaluation of the background we realised that, whilst the Fire Phoenix is a magical and mythic creature, the Frost Phoenix is an Avatar, a creature not unlike the DE Medusa or SE Tree Spirits. Or in other words a merger of a creature of the mortal realm with the one from the immortal realm.

    In the T9A world there is a set of (design) characteristics that define Supernals, of which the key ones are identified by having Ward Save, Magical Attacks and Fearless (Immune to Psychology). With this information in mind, we started our redesign.

    From a games design Point of view, the HbE Task Team felt appropriate to explore streamlining of the Phoenix entries to make both entries follow a similar design pattern. Since the background supported that both Phoenix types have the same "base mythic beast" in common, that made even more sense. By following this design approach, we would be able to make Frosty more attractive by exploring adding some of the suggestions provided by the community in the ACS feedback.

    Thus, the following design decisions were taken:
    • Both entries will have the same common base profile of the current Fire Phoenix. This means Frosty loses 1A but gains Fly 9/18"
    • Both being mythic beasts means that both have magical attacks, and both will also have Rebirth
    • The Ward Save is a trait from the Supernals and, therefore, Fire Phoenix will no longer have a Ward Save.
    • Where before both Phoenixes had the same Ward Save an only the Frosty had Armour save, in this redesign we went then the other way around and made the two Phoenixes have the same Armour save and only Frosty have a Ward save. As a result, the base Phoenix profile (shared) will have Innate Defense (4+), which is slightly better for Frosty than 1.3 and generally worse for the Fire Phoenix (as it loses its ward save)
    • Frosty-specific: As part of following a similar design-approach for both (but with a different role!!), the TT implemented one of the highly requested community feedback. Frosty is gaining a non-damaging sweep attack by which it will be able to make models become "Frozen" (*) through the sweeping attack, which is the same "Frozen" effect that enemy troops engaged in combat with it will suffer.
    • Fire-specific: In order to give the Fire Phoenix a combat-relevant rule, in order to promote its role into combat (not just pure avoidance), the TT introduced Grinding attacks to the model. The Fire phoenix is now less resilient but more deadly in combat
    (*) Frozen is an effect that enemies suffer when affected by Frosty. In 1.3 this effect grants -3Agility, -1S and -1AP. In order to limit some of the strong-synergies that the -1S had with Dragons (which basically prevented Dragon + Frosty at 4.5k) the HbE TT decided to slightly alter the effect for two purposes:

    • Make it less of a strong-synergy with Dragons by removing the -1S component (which in many cases provided no benefits to infantry or cavalry vs S5 enemies)
    • Make it a better utility for its combat and ranged sweep-attack in combination of the rest of the elements of the army
    As a result of those changes, the Frozen effect will cause an affected enemy unit to suffer -3 Agility, -1AP and -1 to their Armour Save. This means that:

    • our core shooting (after a sweep attack) will become more effective against that target
    • our low-strength units will be able to more reliably wound enemies in combat with the Frosty (which now has an effective T5 3+AS in combat, instead of an effective T6 and 5+AS)
    • an enemy unit Frozen through a Sweep attack will have a -2 Agility bonus (-3Agi + 1 for charging), -1AP and -1AS if attempting to charge next turn
    It also means that, after confirming the latest unit costs, an HbE army will be able to field a Dragon character and a Frost Phoenix at 4.5k game size.

    We believe those changes will be incentive enough to make both the Fire and the Frost Phoenix useful for the army, each in its unique role/function.

    And Rebirth:

    Capture 3.JPG

    Oh, we forgot to mention the Warden's Bond, right? Ok, so what is this Warden's Bond thing and what does it mean for the army.

    Let's give some context:
    When the design of the Phoenixes was close to completion, the TT asked themselves what to do with the Mounted version of Phoenixes. Phoenix mounts were generally not used partly because one could take two monsters for the price of one, with a far higher ratio of effective wounds/ points invested. The other reason is the complexities of pricing, which make it difficult to price as the effects are very difficult to balance across on-foot and mounted, resulting in suboptimal price for both. Finally, it became apparent that having them as mounts options was limiting our design freedom of the normal entries (as we had to consider 4 design combinations instead of 2).

    The TT looked at those reasons, looked at how bloated the mounts secion of HbE is, and we asked ourselves whether we should instead have the mounts section more focused on Griffons and Dragons (more inline with desired army identity), and instead offer an upgrade option to the Phoenixes entry. At the expense or removing the mounts (both from mount and from HWotF option).

    After much deliberation, we decided to implement the change: remove the mounts, grant the upgrade option in the Phoenixes (to keep ridden-models playable) and let Griffons and Dragons be our key army monstruous mounts, with a focus on identity and less design overlap. By taking the decision to remove the mounts, it allowed us to explore interesting concepts around the non-ridden Phoenixes, which we wouldn’t have been able otherwise. This is how the Warden’s bond concept was born

    The Warden’s bond is an upgrade to regular phoenixes by which a Flame Warden champion rides the Phoenix to battle. By doing so, the model gains Martial discipline and +1 Leadership from the rider, the rebirth mechanic becomes more reliable, and it adds 2S4 attacks to the model. Note that the upgrade does not grant the Champion rule*

    *The TT explored concepts of making the Model be a champion, but it didn’t pass the RT approval. We also explored concepts of bound spells on the ridden phoenix, but from a BGT PoV it made more sense that it was the Phoenix who had the ability to cast spells; it was considered to add it to the base Phoenix rules, but it was becoming too rules-heavy, so finally settled to not incorporate the spell part ( although in a full army rework this may be something to reconsider )

    So as you can see, a final summary is:
    Base profiles are streamlined with 4A, Fly 9/18, innate defense (4+), magical attacks, and Rebirth. Only Frosty retaining the Aegis save with his supernal nature, and gains Fearless
    Both phoenixes have a sweeping attack and a combat effect: Frosty gains a non-damaging sweep attack which applies Frost Aura to enemies (Frozen, exchanging current -1S for -1AS) and Fire Phoenix gains Grinding attacks.
    New upgrade (Warden's Bond) replaces options for Mounts. It adds movement and leadership reliability (Martial Discipline, +1LD), survival (Rebirth on 3+) and damage output (2S4 OS5 attacks).
    Today we will also share you the Gleaming Robes. This time we will do slightly differently than in other updates and we will provide you both a beautiful piece of unofficial fluff from our resident scribe @PapaG and the item rules directly. The design rationale for this item will be provided in detail in the next update, where we will cover other magical items and magic-related topics

    Here is the story:
    Display Spoiler

    *The hall is not a ball. Beastman and Nobleman alike throw glacial-cool glances and ravaging glares. A toxicity is in the air. Clearly what is needed is more than fanfare*

    A billowing blue and red ribbon slips through the door and uncoils into a very unkempt Elf.

    “Aha! I see your minds deserve a break from these hostile halls, focus them here! I bring with me a bauble, or should I say artifact, and in personal protection it does not lack”.

    An angry Dwarf rises “Ey fook off! That’s some spidersilk there, it’s no tougher ‘en some hair!” and with that unhelpful proclamation threw a feast covered fork straight for the unkempt Elf’s silk.

    Not a strand on the (presumed) Wizard’s robes gave, nor a hair on their head sway, as the forked is splayed by a burst of energy, and falls into a pool of gravy.

    “A ward, strong and true. It was at Asfad designed and rigged. Not for you though,” they cheer at a rival standing near, “it will not protect a traitor from Canreig, lest the balance of the universe be blown. A noble steed though, will you not find by this enchantment thrown”.

    Just then, a Knight rises. His posture great and his heraldry greater, with the greatest of anger lets bellow:

    “Why, just look at this fellow! With fancy robes that against the treatise of balance they clearly go. Pompous and slick, he couldn’t hold a torch up to my Grandfather Rick! Torch! Torch those cheaply made robes down. Light the heel, so this Elf may fall to the mud of the peasant world these cruel laws force me to feel”.

    Ruckus fills the halls, as Nerdy Nobles list their vowels. A screeching and a scratching to be sure. A pointed tone pokes the anger pure.

    “Look at you all! Why, you’re just jealous of our hair. Down a steep staircase I hope you fall, with no protective trinkets at all!”

    This defense does nothing to the rage. In fact it turns the atmosphere thick like burnt sage. Choking on their own hatred everyone lets loose a howl.

    As the unkempt Elf fights back a scowl.

    They raise their staff to the sky, it reaches on for what seems to be leagues high. An ancient invocation through lips is hissed, as a golden glow rains down like a mist.

    But unseen to most a goblin has through the practitioner's purse parsed, and the furiously thrown fork had mischievously found purchase right up their…


    Gold turns to grey, as splendid array flees to wild and grave. The crowd grows silent as their fate seems unfortunately reliant. All know of the witch’s fire, and the fate of the cloth armoured fools it will soon consume. Prayers and tears rush to meet the impending doom.


    Amidst the fear, with a puff and a cough, the now-more-frazzled Elf lets out a jovial cheer.

    “You think some shielding sparks are all there is? Protection by miscast is the wow of these robes of the Wiz. By half shall you find any explosion or detonation while donning the protection of this invention”.

    They turn to the Dwarf, with his beard in a knot:

    “Please curtail your anger, sizeable as it may be. While sometimes comforting, even for me, ultimately it is good for naught”.

    They turn to the Equitan, with tempers in the sty:

    “You seem like a nice guy. Would you rather not have your own craziness, and rejoice when another army has an exciting choice?”

    They turn to the Elf, with tears in their eye:

    “And I beg of you, my noble brother. When another comes to you with negativity and hate, do not let it even rate. A better future we all wish to create, the path of understanding is the one which can be great.”

    Without further ado, these are the redesigned rules for the Gleaming Robes Armour enchantment for mages

    Clarification: Armour set to 1 means Armour Save(6+) which can't be improved, and Mages only means that this armour can't be used by MoCT

    What do you think? How do you find the changes? Let us know in the comments!

    The post was edited 2 times, last by Masamune88 ().

  • Hello my fellow Princes and Queens,

    Today I will talk you about the Prince if Ryma and the Nova Flare Lance enchantment.

    But first, the usual disclaimer:
    Display Spoiler

    All of these changes are still subject to change. Yes, the RT has approved it, but it still has multiple steps to pass through. First, it must go through playtesting, and if anything is flagged as broken, or overpowered, or underpowered, we will go back in and fix it. The end result should be a book that is playable, and expands the options currently available.
    Additionally! There are no points yet, points won't be truly final until after all the books have been tested and the balance team can assess the game as a whole.

    Let’s get started!

    Prince of Ryma
    (new name Queen's Cavalier or, in short from now onwards, "Cavalier")

    This honour had some fundamental flaws in v1.3 which made it one of the most disliked entries in the HbE book. Basically, the drawbacks it imposed in list building where larger than the benefits it provided and it had a lack of focus in flavour. Moreover, the cavalry version was hit even harder due to even smaller benefits gained.

    When we went on to redesign the entry, we looked very carefully at the ACS feedback. Even though we may not have been able to implement it fully, we wanted to make sure the key concepts were addressed.

    Lets go by parts, starting by Games-wise concepts:
    Display Spoiler

    • One of the significant wins in 2.0, even before starting with the PoR redesign, is that Grey Watchers are now in Elder Service. Skirmisher troops fit better in monster-mobile armies than static shooting, and these are not only mobile but also offer some very interesting support to Dragons through their new rules.
    • Secondly, regarding the cavalry version, we listened your clear ask to make the honour usable for the cavalry version. There were several discussions on whether the cavalry option might be dropped or not, in order to focus the entry mostly around the dragons. The rules and design teams listened to the ACS feedback, which indicated the Cavalry version was deemed equally important by the community, and consensus was reached that the cavalry version would be part of the honour.
    • Lastly, regarding the Dragon-mounted concept of the honour, there were several design ideas given from the community and, amongst all: To make double dragon builds feasible. This became the main design direction of the Task Team.

    Now, what about Background?
    Display Spoiler

    From a background point of view only some details were fleshed out for this entry at the start of the redesign. Reason being that this honour was created back in time to allow the list differentiation option, but it hadn’t been ratified as to whether it would become part of the official background or not (it was seen as a bonus entry which may be lost further down the line).

    As a result of the discussions for the 2.0 updates and the conceptual designs which were discussed, the Queen’s Cavalier (new name of Prince of Ryma) will become part of the official background, which makes it more feasible to remain part of the options of the book during the future full book redesign.

    Ok, time to delve into the depths of the redesign:
    Display Spoiler

    During the conceptual design stage, the TT decided that the Dragon-ridden Cavalier would provide a strong imagery of a squad of monstrous-ridden characters going into battle. With this direction clear, and with the guidance of what was acceptable from a Rules and Balance PoV, the following considerations where established:
    Display Spoiler

    • Double-dragon well-equipped character lists would be allowed (as long as none of the Dragon-pair was an Ancient Dragon)
    • Ancient Dragon + Young Dragon well-equipped character lists would be allowed
    • Double Dragon or AD + YD lists would need to chose between Prince + Prince, Prince + BSB, Prince + Mage or Mage (general) + BSB character set-ups. (Option for Prince, who was both general & BSB were discussed, but didn’t make the cut)
    • Three Young Dragons (or 2 YD and griffon) could potentially fit in the army, but it was acknowledged that this may not allow maxed-out characters.
    • A Dragon + 2 Phoenixes should not fit in an army

    So, with these in mind, the TT went on to its redesign starting to look first at:

    Lifting some of the v1.3 restrictions that felt unnecessary:
    Display Spoiler

    • The Cavalier honour will now be accessible to Commanders, who will be able to mount Dragon and Young Dragons
    • The Cavalier honour 0-1 restriction is lifted
    • Dragons become 0-2
    • Characters allowance was raised to +10% (instead of just +5%)
    • The “list changing” aspect of the honour does not apply when the Cavalier is mounted on horse

    Restrictions that were kept:
    Display Spoiler

    • Peacekeepers continue to not be allowed in the army, although now only applies to Sloops and Sea Guard Reapers, as Grey Watchers are in Elder Service now.
    • Ancient Allies kept at +5% (25%). This is not a restriction, but is worth mentioning as some had the expectation to increase this. It was felt that 30% allowance would have allowed some of the options which did not meet the guidelines initially given for this redesign

    A new limitation is introduced:
    Display Spoiler

    • If a Cavalier is mounted on Dragon or Young Dragon, then the rest of the characters must ride a Cavalry or Beast of Large or Gigantic size. This basically means that all characters will need to be in either of Eagle, Griffon, Young Dragon, Dragon or Ancient Dragon. This is what builds towards the Air-Squad Characters squad concept of the honour, and by introducing this, other restrictions were allowed to be lifted.
    • Note that the above limitation does not apply if the Cavalier is mounted on horse (neither does he alter the army composition percentages)

    Once all the key army composition concepts were laid out (which none applied to the horse-version), the TT went to explore which rule should be given to the Cavalier that would be both flavour-ish and useful games-wise.

    At a first stage, the team decided that a Cavalier would grant Charge re-rolls to the model and its unit. However, after re-checking with the army identity concepts, it was acknowledged that this was moving the character into the direction of granting “unit support rules”, which HbE characters should not. Instead then, after more deliberation, the team decided on rules which made it better reflect the fear and carnage that this character may inspire on the charge: A Cavalier gains Devastating Charge (+1Att, Fear)*

    *Note that Devastating Charge rule now reflects any bonuses a unit gains on the charge. So, the old Thunderous Charge, in 2.0 it will be represented as Devastating Charge (+1S, +1AP)

    This set of rules make an on-horse Cavalier a very interesting option for our cavalry units to break enemies on the charge (-1Ld), and it helps balance out the cost for the Young Dragon and Dragon options (which instead bring the army listbuilding benefits).

    And with this, the redesign of the unit was completed. You can see the summary in the image below

    Aaand right after that we want you to know about a perfect complement for the Queen’s Cavalier. A new lance enchantment which the most brilliant minds of the Arandai Empire mastered to craft, which is kept as one of the most profound secrets of the Highborn race: the Nova Flare

    Nova Flare:

    Something the Task Team agreed early on is that, with the increased number of magic enchantment slots, it was about time to have a weapon enchantment that delivered a long-time pending community desire. A Lance worth fielding a Horse-mounted and a Dragon-mounted Highborn Prince.

    This is one of the very few (or the only maybe?) where the community suggestions were deliberately disregarded. Many of the suggestions we had gathered from you were based on the old. And as the name indicates, the old had to be left on the past and make way for the new.

    Additionally, the TT looked at the list of Lance enchantments available for the “Lance Empire” (KOE) and decided that the Highborn Lance should not step in the existing designs for KOE but rather follow a distinct path.

    From a Design Point of View, Highborn characters with lance have no effective ways to be meaningful at combat after the initial charge (assuming they get the charge). With 4 S4 attacks only, and no meaningful ways to increase their performance outside magic allowance, investing on a Prince with Lance feels too large of an investment for its points, making options such as Hero’s Blade (or even a GW) preferable. With this in mind, the TT went for an approach that allowed the Lance Prince to sustain a high output damage for an extra combat round.

    As a result of that, a one-use-only effect was added to the Lance enchantment that will trigger all Devastating Charge effect that apply to the bearer. This includes mundane lance bonuses on the charge, Devastating charge effects of Warbanner of Ryma, and also Devastating charge effects of the new Queen’s Cavalier and of the Nova Flare enchantment itself.

    As you may have noticed, this effect does not allow to stack extra power on the charge, but rather as this “second round effect” (which, by the nature of how it works, is suitable to be triggered also if being charged).

    Wait, is that all? No, not really. Considering this is “the Lance for Princes”, the lance should have added effect on the charge, as this is the natural usage of a Cavalry character. A 4 S6 attacks lance didn’t feel like this and, based on the feedback known by the community (high Strength, high number of attacks), this had the potential to miss the mark.

    After different proposals being discussed, the TT decided for the following effect:

    And with this, the Queen’s Cavalier (new Prince of Ryma name) and the brand new Nova Lance are revealed.

    Let us know what you think of those!

    Raise thy Lances!
    Always a Highborn Elf, here or somewhere else
    The HbE Hotfix- My view
  • The atmosphere is thick with pipe smoke, the smell of alcohol accents the air. An Elf, bags heavy but eyes strong meets your curious gaze.

    Hail Highborn! I must say, this Dwarven stout is something! But alas, you are not here to discuss hops.

    Of course, before I impart my information-

    Display Spoiler

    Anything and everything in the following is subject to change. Prices especially are preliminary, as a major goal of open beta is to find the delicate balance that is army budget. I ask that your remain rational and patient, and know that your time for action is near.

    First up, we have our new artifact-

    Display Spoiler

    A few effects pertaining to the magic phase (including Bound spell) and wards were initially proposed, but they had overlap with previous and current effects and for various specifics were not chosen: Our characters were going to have access to protection through first round Distracting Banner and Ward Save items, and our Magic phase already had 3 magic enchantments at our disposal.

    A more unique and “trickster” effect was sought, and the idea of an enchantment which negated certain type of enchantments was born. After discussing the different options, and keeping in mind to have distinct designs across different armies, Artifacts (trinkets) enchantment type was selected.

    In the interest of power level, it was decided that the ring would be purely beneficial but limited to being in contact only. That is, it would only nullify the enemy and not any allies. We’re far too sophisticated for such unrefined effects anyways.

    Furthermore, each Elven faction has its own ring. Our ring was decided to be a gift from our Queen (may she rule for an eternity), and its effect would reflect the superiority of our people overwhelming any feeble enchantment our enemies may hope to bring to bear, which ties nicely with the theme of being the Masters of Spellcrafting (and uncrafting!): The time-warping hereditary spell, the Drain Magic bound spell from Asfadmages, and now the ability to temporarily nullify effect of enemy artifacts in contact.

    Thus, was the Ring of the Pearl Throne born-

    However, I have too much respect for you, reader, to end this passage here.

    Display Spoiler

    At the time of Design our team expected the item to be a relatively accessible item in terms of cost, due to Artifacts not being the most powerful type of enchantments, and due to the being in direct contact limitation. There where, however, a few combinations that brought concern to our esteemed Balancing Team and thus price will be an issue moving forward with this item. Dragon-ridden characters are an example of this concern, where these characters may nullify multiple characters Artifacts due to its wide base.

    This is where you come in. We need you to report your feedback, to find the true power level and impact of this item. Your ACS needs you to remain calm and rational with this enchantment, so that one day the signet of our beloved Queen (may she rule for an eternity) will strike the fearof our great nation into the hearts of the most opprobrious of opponents.

    Now we’ve come to the Lion in the room, the Royal Huntsman.

    First, let us discuss why this option was slated for a “nerf” (nerf meaning an overall reduction in power level and not necessarily less competitively viable. A goal shared by all parties is for all units to be competitively viable).

    Display Spoiler

    First off, it is believed by the team that the unit was over performing in relation to the rest of the choices of the army. However, points could not fix this because the true flaw lies in the design. The Royal Huntsman is meant to be our anti-monster specialist, and yet in 1.3 the unit was our premier zoner, possessing a strong combat threat and strong mobility and a large charge zone, as well as our premier tank and grinder. On top of that, being Ld10 Stubborn against fear-causing enemies meant that the Huntsman would stick in most combats, tank, grind and kill. For an anti-monster specialist the unit sure had a lot of “sub-specialties”. So, the goal was to reduce some of these other strengths while maintaining (if not improving) their anti-monster capabilities. All that said, it was recognized that the Royal Huntsman was not that ahead of the curve.

    Before I continue, I wish to make a point. I think the #1 problem with the Royal Huntsman was that they pushed out our other character choices. This unit is by far one of, if not the, most popular in our army. If this were to remain true in 2.0, we would lose a lot of valuable testing with all our other cool characters, and that could very easily hurt the overall quality of the book. Therefore, it is my opinion that it is better to go a little too far with the nerfs and bring the Royal Huntsman up in open beta, than to under do them and find our other choices continue to be under-represented.

    Now on to the changes!

    Display Spoiler
    I know several avid members have pointed out how large an impact the loss of Bluffer’s Helm is, and this was recognized by the Task Team as well. In addition to this, the TT also acknowledged that the changes to Old Dusk Stone (now linked to shield, which RH can’t use in combat alongside a GW) and disappearance of a BRB 4++ ward item would further affect the unit.

    However, it is also true that there are a new host of magic items, both in the form of much improved Great Weapon enchantments, good BRB armour enchantments that synergize well with the mounted LC and the army-specific HbE enchantments.

    Modifying common rules with Lion Guard and Lion Chariots were also discussed as other ways to change the Royal Huntsman. Things like axes becoming Hand weapons with +2S +0AP, Higher Strength hits on the chariot but with slower movement, reducing LG max size to lower their peak power, etc. However, as the unit was not the goal of the redesign, but rather the character entry, we opted for a less intrusive approach.

    With that in mind, the focus went into the Lion fur and Valiant rule.

    Lion fur was updated to not provide the additional armour while mounted. This is a change that has no impact on the R&F infantry and unitchariots, and it limits the Armour save of the RH to a 2+AS in combat (assuming using GW). What lion pelt is large enough to cover a chariotanyways?

    Valiant was also changed. The effect of the Royal huntsman honour (immunity to fear and terror) was moved into the rule, instead of granting stubborn against fear. This was a change that was deemed to make more sense specially for the Lion Guard unit. This change removes the ability for the RH character to be stubborn (and this addressing part of the all-roundedness issues with its design), but does not directly nerf the units as Immunity to fear and terror is also very valuable. Note that the RH will still convey immunity to fear and terror to a unit it joins

    As part of those changes, the Bodyguard rule was also updated as it was not fully aligned to the background of the Lion Guard. Lion guards are commonly hired for the personal protection of nobles and princes and, thus, it made little sense that Bodyguard applied to vanilla and RHcharacters only, so this was changed to instead provide bodyguard to a High Prince general of the army

    Now, you may have noticed that I have not mentioned any significant changes to a Royal Huntsman on foot, despite the unit being vastly underrepresented. Your task team did bring this up and tried to brainstorm solutions, but ultimately due to being a “nerf” redesign slot, and not wanting to use a “buff” (or increase in on-table power level) slot, these changes were outside the scope of what we could accomplish. This may sound like a missed opportunity, but we need to respect the limits of our redesign slots. And, to be honest, the On-foot RH has received indirect boosts with a much better access to GW enchantments and through the Protection of Dorac (Armour of the Forgotten kings) which is a perfect fit for this character.

    Finally, it is worth mentioning that, after the redesign of this army had completed, the core BRB rules for Chariot characters got an update which will prevent Chariot-mounted characters to join non-chariot units. While this is something that makes sense from an immersion PoV and there were general requests to look at that topic, the reality for this entry is that it represents a further nerf to its design, as it now can’t hide in units like Lancers.

    So, when the dust has settled, what has changed?

    Lion's Fur

    *Note: wording of Lion’s fur will be clarified to mention that it does not grant the protection, but that it “can be taken” (as RH honour comes with it)



    So, how will a Royal Huntsman in 2.0 compare to 1.3?

    Display Spoiler

    In 1.3, one of the most popular Royal Huntsman has a 1+ Armour save, a 4+ regen, Divine Attacks, and successful to wounds needed to be re-rolled. (Other being 4++ ward at the loss of divine attacks)

    In 2.0, the best Royal Huntsman build looks to have a 2+ Armour save in combat (1+ against ranged with shield), a 4+ regen and Divine Attacks with re-rolls failed to-wound rolls, with still 45pts left which can, for example, be spent in the halve-first-MW shield + one-time Armour save re-roll cheap artifact.

    All in all, better at killing monsters, less tanky but still tough (halving first multiple wound is pretty nice though). Losing stubborn against fear for immune to fear and Terror bombs is perhaps a slight nerf, but makes much more sense from a background perspective. No more fleeing from the monsters they need to be slaying!

    As it stands, the Royal Huntsman cannot gain a 4+ Aegis (ward) save, due to the inability to take Dragon Forged armour alongside the lion fur, which combines well with a yet-to-be-revealed Aegis(+2) charm). However, in recognition of the loss of a 1+ in combat, removing this restriction (from Lion fur) is not an impossibility in the future. Between that and points adjustment, I have hope for this Hercules of heroes

    As for Lion Guard, I got super pumped when I saw the new bodyguard! Now you can stick a HWotF beat-stick or a MotCT buffer/fighter and have a unit that will hold beyond the end times. Throw on the new distracting banner, and you have a true anvil (with a punch).

    Adieu, Elves.
  • All the glory of the writing of this post goes to @Masamune88 . Posting it directly myself after review to ensure you read this ahead of this evening's Advent post. Enjoy!

    Hail my worthy Princes and Princesses!

    This will be our last spoiler before the drop for HBE and 2.0! As such we are going to review the final few changes that affect the Highborn Magical abilities and Banners.

    Display Spoiler
    Disclaimer: Yes we have to do this again, but its the last time I promise. All the aforementioned changes have been approved by multiple channels however they are still subject to changes during the public beta and beforehand if and as required by the project as a whole.

    So, let's get right into it!

    1. Wizard Magic Hierarchy

    Display Spoiler
    As you have most seen by now, armies in 2.0 will have three Tiers of mages: Appentices, Adepts and Wizard Masters (in increasing order of aptitude)

    When the TT discussed about the magic levels of wizardy for Highborn Mages, there was strong support to emphasize the greater aptitude of the Highborns into magic, as a staple of one of the key identities of our race. There was the desire for our Magic hierarchy to feel unique as well as to have the right "toys" to enhance our magic in subtle yet effective ways.

    After some initial discussion, the team unanimously agreed that it would feel more unique for the identity of the army that there would not be low-skilled Apprentices going into the battle. Such is the proficency and the self-protection of our army, that Wizards would only be graduated from the Wizardly schools and be apt for battle when they become Wizard Adepts. Wizard Apprentices is a thing of the lower races and is not a level of profficiency that any highborn would consider acceptable.

    As a result of that, the Highborn elves Magic Hiearachy levels will be also Three, but distinct: Adepts, Wizard Masters and Asfad Scholar.

    With this, Highborn elven magic reflects a "level up" in the magic hierarchy than that of all other races, which is a step forward in making the army be more unique in this aspect and have a stronger magic identity.

    Some of you may say: "Wait a second, this is a nerf! We already had Asfad Scholar and you just decided to remove an option for the army which other armies have (Apprentices)". While this may seem true at first glance, it is not the true result for the army. When creating a stronger identity in magic, not having Apprentices also allowed more design flexibility an space in the future redesigns.

    How? Apprentices will be the lowest-costed mages and, as such, the cheapest way to access certain Magic Artifacts to enhance magic. They would also be the lowest-costed way to mount the Fiery Heart mage (if allowed). This was recognised during the discussions and it was accepted that certain design options could be made more rich in rules and also more "generally available" as a result of not having access to the lowest-costed mages. A good example of this is the Amethyst Crystal, which was allowed as a non-dominant item thanks to not having the cheapest-mage to benefit from it. Another example is the Banner of Becalming and the general access to core banners... which you will get to know more on this later in this post ^^

    Overall, the task team felt it was the right decision to implement both from an army identity Point of view and also for the related-rules changes. So, whenever you look at our mages from now on, think about our mages as
    • Adept: Finished Wizardly Degree
    • Master: Finished Wizardly Degee + Masters Degree
    • Asfad Scholar: Finished Wizardly Degree + Masters Degree + PhD

    2. Sky Sloop Magic upgrade

    Display Spoiler

    Another magic redesign the task team had to review is the Sky Sloop magic upgrade.
    This review was done prior to the changes on Cosmology happened, but the outcome of our decision would have likely stayed the same.

    Before starting, a short general overview:

    The highborn magic choices in 2.0 is not meant to fully reflect what it will look like in the full book redesign. We did some little steps in this update to bring the magic identity closer to what it should be, but not necessarily reached the end goal of what it will be (or should be) in the full book redesign.

    The Highborns have limited magic options currently outside the character section, with the Sky Sloop being the only option with a bound spell and we have no wizard conclave option. This is likely to change during the full book redesign, where there will likely be some appetite for additional magic options either through mounts, monsters or army options. But this was not part of the scope of this update, and therefore it was not even discussed.

    Why do we mention that? We do mention it because the team took the decision to remove the Bound-spell option of the Sky Sloop, and this should not be seen as a trend of how the book will evolve in the future, but rather a tactical decision now which allowed some design space in this 2.0 update and will allow more in the future.

    The Sky Sloop with Reaper is a version which is in a sweet design spot and the team felt that it was Ok for it to stay as-is and do nothing to compromise its utility or cost in regards of the shooty version. The Bound Spell option was not used in 1.3 and it will likely not be missed much in 2.0. Although the later changes to Ice and Fire are sweet ( ! ) they could have messed up with the entry from a cost PoV, which is exactly what the task team was aiming to avoid with any redesign of the Spell version. This creates the space in the book in the future for other more fitting entries to gain access to magic, either as bound spell options or as wizard conclaves.

    What does that mean then for 2.0?
    • Sky sloop will only keep the shooty version. There will no longer be potential army list confusion on which option is the one chosen for the list, either as unit or mount, there is only one: the reaper option
    • This was used as part of a simplification redesign slot in exchange for one positive army option update which you will read about later.

    3. Magic weapon enchantments for Champions

    Display Spoiler

    There was a time where Champions of certain Highborn elite units where able to wield magical weapons of limited power. This will no longer be in 2nd Edition.

    As part of the 2.0 Armybook update, the Highborn society has shifted their efforts from empowering the magical equipment of few individual champions, to strengthening the magical equipment of the core of their armies. As a result of this change, the army identity trait of superior magical equipment craftmanship and access is not only kept, but is now being increased to levels that only imagination could dream of.

    • Highborn elite unit champions will not have access to magical weapon enchantments.
    • Instead, Highborn Core units with access to magical Banners will have access to up to 75points of magical enchantment allowance (instead of just 50)

    4. Banners and Banners enchantments

    By now you already know what the big changes for our banners are. The task team used a simplification redesign slot to simplify some options in the army (see above) and shift the superior magical equipment craftmanship of the Highborns into something that the team felt was much more needed for the army:

    Display Spoiler

    Increased Banner allowance for the core of our army up to 75pts

    The Highborn army has, for long time, lacked the ability to field competitve combat blocks in the battlefield and, with the scope of the changes of the 2.0 updates, this was not something that could be addressed fully. Instead, the team felt that giving greater access to enchanted banners could be a way to further promote the mixed arms contribution of the core units to the elven armies.

    Balance Team was consulted to confirm if they say any potential risks to army balance by implementing this chance, and confirmed that there was no unit in the HbE army for which this change could pose an external balance threat. And thus the change became a reality.

    This change would be good on its own, even if there hadn't been any other changes to our army. This would, for example, grant Citizen Spears units access to the Rending Banner (AP1). The even better news are, though, that the Highborn army now has access to THREE magical banner enchantments which are ALL a very good complement for our core units and, at the time of the release, are ALL priced at 75pts or lower for them to be within our core units Banner Enchantment allowance.

    (Pause to Breathe)

    Let's go and have a look then at the Magical Banner enchantments!

    War Banner of Ryma
    Display Spoiler

    The banner will now grant Swiftstride in addition to the 1.3 effects.

    This was a simple, yet emphatic change that we made to the banner to make it much more usable by the majority of our forces, rather than just running on our KoR, and really enable significant use with MMU infantry blocks as well. To this end, we added the simple solution of Swiftstride to the banner. And with the core banner allowance changes this is now available to Highborn Lancers block units (so you no longer need a BSB in them to gain access to it!)

    This enables a much more aggressive style of play for our infantry, allowing them to push with the rest of our high mobility forces and really force the issue on our terms as well as creating zoning potential out of our very handy repertoire of elite infantry (and pending costs our core)

    Navigator's Banner
    Display Spoiler

    This banner has been brainchild of much internal discussion for several reasons that we will share today in this post.

    Based on the preferences clearly expressed by the HbE community, we wanted this to be a banner that provided the Defensive identity aspect that has been very much requested for our army: Defensiveness, and we wanted a Banner that promotes infantry lists (including MMU also). Part of the design process included using this banner as an early test of what could become in the fullbook redesign a special rule for Citizen Spears and Sea Guard. Finally, it is well known that our on-foot characters were not in a good spot in 1.3, and any help they could get their way would be welcome.

    With that in mind, we picked one of the suggestions that was earlier given in the ACS feedback for Citizen Spears and Sea Guard, and built it into the banner: First turn Distracting.

    At the begining of is inception, this was thought to
    Not be possible to combine with the benefit of the Grey Watchers arrows (this still stands true)
    Stack in the defense of our characters with the Armour of Forgoten Kings (new name Dorac's Protection). As you will see this is no longer true
    The key areas of internal discussion started after the BLT pricing review, where it was seen as a concern the ability to easily spam 3 Navigator banners in the army (if available to core) alongside offering Characters protection and the potential of the promoting too much elite infantry "deathstars".

    There have been different "small" variants and iterations for this banner, some which made it available to elite units only and affecting characters, others where the price increased to become BSB-price-range only and, the final version, which made it affect R&F models only and got price within core-unit domain.

    Considering the challenges around its design and cost, the task team felt very positive about the final outcome of this banner, even at the cost of dropping the characters protection. While it is not ideal that our characters can't benefit from it (as opposed to what we had told you before), the benefit is that now it WILL be available to all our core units as it now falls within 75pts allowance. This final update unlocks a world of new possibilities for our core section configuration, specially when you consider that this magical banner is 0-3!

    Banner of Becalming
    Display Spoiler

    This banner plays directly to our strengths in magic, both defensively and offensively, as well has having one very unique effect "borrowed" from he 1.3 Amethyst Crystal and adapted to the powerlevel of the new magic phase. We're quite positive this will be a favourite of many: who doesn't like thieving from your opponent during his moment of power to then increase your own?!

    Original desings were considering making this banner a 0-2 option. After consultation with BLT consensus was that 0-1 could remain within core magic banner allowance but, if made 0-2, it would fall outside core magic banner allowance. After unanimous vote by the task team, it was decided to be 0-1.

    It reads simple and its effects are subtle, but try it out and you will soon realise of how large the utility of this banner in both boosting your magic and spoiling enemy's magic phase which was counting on achieving "Threshold" of veil tokens per phase. What makes it truly shine is that this banner enchantment IS available to core.

    The astute among you will also realize that this also plays into the Favour of Meladys, granting you a possibly crucial Veil token for the spells effects at a time when your opponent would really rather hope you didn't have. The stealing of the veil token happens during the enemie's phase, and you are not restricted to the 3 veil tokens maximum at that stage (only in your phase after you generate them and after having the chance to exchange them). With this banner, the maximum amount of veil tokens which can be used to boost your Favour of Meladys spell will be increased by one, in addition to hampering your enemy's magic phase

    Thats it for the banners! Questions and comments are very much welcomed!!

    Oh and I suppose I'll drop this here as well :)

    Raise thy super-enchanted Magical Banners!
    Always a Highborn Elf, here or somewhere else
    The HbE Hotfix- My view
  • Hello my fellow Princess and Queens,

    The 2.0 Edition BETA book for the Highborn Elves is out, go check it out here:

    Advent Day 20: A Dwarf, a Human and an Elf walk in to a Bar...

    As this is a large step forward for the both the project and also for our army, you will have seen that our forum structure has been reshuffled a bit. These are the key Threads you want to be keeping an eye on and post your feedback and ideas:

    HE 2.0 Release - Summary and Key updates:
    This thread summarizes the key updates that our book has gone through in 2.0 update. Some of the post structure in there will be made more clear, but it is good enough for now. This thread is closed, which means you can't post in it. Raise any questions directly in the General Discussion Thread

    HE 2.0 Release - Q&A (Not Discussion):
    Thread to post any rules question or clarification you need on the 2nd Ed HbE BETA book

    HbE 2.0 Release - Erratas
    Thread to post any erratas that you find in the book (grammar, incorrect wording, etc.)

    HE 2.0 Release - Feedback (only):
    Thread to post feedback on specific units, or whole book review, of the 2nd Ed Hb£ BETA book

    HbE 2.0 Release - Show us your Lists:
    Thread to post your Army list ideas!

    BRB 2.0 Release - Feedback (HbE community):
    Thread to post feedback on rules updates of the 2.0 Ed core Rulebook in relation to how you see those affecting the HbE army

    In some weeks from now we will be creating some more formal feedback gathering threads/polls with some targetted questions and specific feedback requests, but for the time being we are more interested in your initial impressions and also in supporting you with any questions you may have.

    For the time being we will keep the General Discussion thread active as is, although we may consider creating a new one as a "reset" for 2.0. We will keep you informed

    Make sure you use the above threads properly!
    Always a Highborn Elf, here or somewhere else
    The HbE Hotfix- My view
  • Hello my fellow Princes and Queen's,

    The first official HbE community survey thread is ready and available for you to fill in. You can find it here:

    HbE 2.0 update - Questionaire - Beta 0.201.0

    Go and fill it in and also let your gaming group members know that they are most welcome to give their feedback also.
    The more the better!

    Fill thy Surveys!
    Always a Highborn Elf, here or somewhere else
    The HbE Hotfix- My view
  • Hello my fellow Princes and Queens,

    As you may already be aware, as part of the BETA playtesting feedback there are some planned updates in the upcoming months where we may see different tweaks to the armies designs and point costs.

    In relation to HbE, the most relevant updates for us are planned in February (known as "The Hotfix") and then a later update in May when there is more information available. Today's post relates to "The Hotfix"

    The Hotfix is meant to cover mostly only critical issues of the army. Those critical issues may be identified through different sources, such as:
    1. Design errors/misses which the design Task Teams realised only after files where already frozen for the 2.0 release
    2. Balance oversights identified after files where already froxen for the 2.0 release
    3. Design/costing issues identified through ACS and community feedback after the release (or during the pre-release spoilers)
    4. Design/costing issues identified through Experts Council reports

    The ACS teams have been asked to provide by the 14th Jan a summary report with the key issues of the army books, limited to up to 5 overperforming and up to 5 underperforming issues only.* This report aims to cover, primarily, points 1 & 3 from the above list.

    *The rationale for limiting those to "up to 5" is because this fix should be for critical stuff only; it is not meant to address minor point adjustments which may have limited impact in the BETA testing. It is meant to be a quick and early fix for big stuff which may negatively affect the next-month's playtesting.

    The purpose of this post is to share with you openly the report that we have just submitted. A report that have been crafted based on the community survey, based on the day-to-day discussions we have in these forums, and based on the own internal feedback that wasn't addressed prior to the release. Additionally, we also share with you some ongoing discussions we are having about the Nova Lance (as the discussion is ongoing, we can only share at this stage the initial post, for you to be aware of the topics being discussed).

    By the way, here are the result of the Community Survey we initiated a week ago

    Without further ado, here is the ACS Hotfix report (first) and the discussions around Nova Lance (second).

    ACS Hotfix report
    Display Spoiler

    The 2.0 Army book update has been generally well received by the community. We have recently completed a Survey report which has reveived 75+ responses and has provided us with some very valuable insight, of which you can see the results in the link below:


    From this report (both looking at global and at individual responses), from the regular day-to-day interactions with our community, and from our ACS own experiences and discussions, we draw the conclusions which are explained in this report.
    • The magic and magic items redesigns have been mostly well received and seem to have helped improve the internal balance of the army (in many ways, thanks to the infantry-focus of some of the redesigns).
    • Regarding the unit redesigns, we are receiving some more mixed feedback: While Grey Watchers have been well received, Sea Guard, Reaver Chariots, Phoenix Rider Warden's Bond, Ancient Dragon and Lion Chariot Redesigns have had more negative feedback. In many cases we believe that the negative reaction has more to do with the perception that those options have been overpriced, and we fear this may cause the units to not be used as much as we would expect during BETA, and thus failing to gather the much precious feedback of this phase.
    For this very reasons, the "critical" issues that we will be reporting are in regards to those disliked redesigned units, as we believe this is where the biggest value is to be found. As a negative side-effect of this, due to the limited feedback slots we are allowed to report, we will postpone until May reporting some of the feedback we are quite confident about some magic items pricing that we believe to be slightly off (i.e. Glittering Lacquer, Gleaming Robes, Nova lance, etc being slightly too costy, or Spear of Blazing down which may need to go a bit up or limit its AP to 4).

    Each entry we discuss below will have an indication of the support it has from the survey, with the tag "Survey"

    Key issues to report:

    As a general approach we believe it's best to look mostly for price adjustments only at this stage, and we only suggest redesigns where we believe there is a very strong reason for it.

    Perceived to be Underperforming:
    1. Sea Guard: Recommendation: Cost reduction, significant reduction for min.size.
      • Survey: +90% of results highlight the unit as very likely to be overcosted, which is inline pre-release ACS and PT internal report. If there was to be a single 1 thing to address in this Hotfix, this would be our choice
      • We recommend at this early stage to only look at its pricing component in this Hotfix and keep the current design as is. We are largely worried that if this is not addressed, very limited BETA feedback will be available, defying the purpose of BETA. Their high cost (which also limits greatly Elder Service) is a deterrent which makes players prefer Spears as the better combat-dedicated block, and archers as the ranged- threat thanks to the extra +6"range and its shooting-dedicated role.
    2. Ring of the Pearl Throne: Recommendation: Redesign.
      • Survey: +70% of results highlight this item as very likely to be overcosted. 80% of the responses either dislike its design (40%) or consider it too weak (40%)
      • This item has a design issue by which a larger base may contact more characters than a smaller base, and is priced for best case application where instead it may often find no suitable targets, thus being subpar for most character setups. The item offers no new character playstyle and feels very situational for the price cost it has. The ACS team believes that, under the current design, BLT will not consider lowering the price to a value low enough that is felt playable by the community (around 40pts mark). That is why, under these circumstances, we recommend a redesign to give it a clear role (i.e. affect Weapons --> tank role, not available to Gigantic) or redesign into a bound spell (i.e. Hereditary bound spell).
    3. Reaver Chariots: Recommendation: Minor redesigns / Cost reduction.
      • Survey: 45% of results highlight this item as likely to be overcosted (+30% of results for Reaver chariot mount)
      • Single models are considered too risky for panic check "bombs", while larger units (3+) failt to compete against Knights of Ryma due to having a similar price tag but being non-scoring its large footprint and the inability to carry on and protect characters. As with Sea Guard, we fear limited playtesting data at current prices. We recommend to either lower its cost or to increase armour to 4+AS. In addition to this, we recommend to add magical banners allowance, which the TT forgot to discuss at the time of the redesign.
      • Regarding the Reaver Chariots mounts: With 3W this is unlikely to see play at current cost due to only 3W and lack of access to the "Hard Target" item; and lowering it too much may lead to undesired spam lists. The recommendation is to allow Reaver chariot units to offer ranged protection to Reaver Chariot mounted characters (only) with 3 or more models in unit (instead of 5). As an alternative, bring back to 4W [less preferred as it is a loss on the flavour of the redesign]
    4. Ancient [lexicon]Dragon[/lexicon]: Recommendation: Cost reduction.
      • Survey: 50% of results highlight this item as likely to be overcosted
      • A very badly received nerf from the community, which kept the same upgrade cost despite an overall reduction in power due to loss of T7. The overall cost of the model (1200pts) feels too high for a model that doesn’t cast and has seen the close combat threats increased [High Str & MW2 weapon enchants, T6, Potion of Strength]. Its upgrade cost (200pts) seems to only consider the attribute upgrades and not much at how much of a large drawback the big base is and thus we recommend a price reduction on its upgrade cost
    5. Warden's Bond (Phoenix upgrade): Recommendation: Cost reduction
      • Survey: 30% of results highlight this item as likely to be overcosted
      • Rated by the community as a too-expensive upgrade, gives a sad perception to the fact that this is "the replacement" of the Phoenixes as mounts, giving a negative perception to the redesign. There is risk of very limited BETA feedback at current prices. Recommendation is to reduce cost of the entry to make it more attractive.
      • Something to consider maybe in May: Remove the 3+ rebirth effect (keep as 5+), and instead increase Strength of the rider by 1 (S5 attacks with halberd), to give a clearer role as wizard / hero-level character hunter to Frosty, which is currently perceived as too weak for the points it costs

    Perceivef to be Overperforming:
    1. Warbanner of Ryma: Minor redesign / cost adjustment.
      • Survey: 42% of results highlight this item as likely to be undercosted
      • This banner has been very well received from the PoV of promoting aggressive multi-block infantry lists (thanks to 0-3 & swiftstride additions), many of them from core, which is a breath of fresh air into HbE listbuilding and variety in core. This banner by the community is rated amongst the best changes of the army because of its ability to open up such playstyles and we would want to preserve that.
      • We think units losing access to this banner (i.e. core, cavalry...), or the 0-3 (enables multiblocks) or swiftstride (enables aggressive infantry lists) being modified, will be very negative towards the variety and quantity of builds available in this book, and would be a large negative impact on player fun and freedom. "This book has so many builds, I'm having so much fun list building" has been said a lot, something that is support in and of itself.
      • We believe concerns have been raised because of how good this banner is on Swordmaster units, in which case we would propose that the banner gives no AP to Greatweapon models, and thus limiting its effect in best-case application: "Unit gains devastating charge (swiftstride, +1S and +1AP). Model parts with greatweapons gain instead devastating charge (swiftstride, +1S)"
      • We would also recommend to consider removing the "Harnessed" restriction should the price of the banner be increased, as a way to keep it good value for cavalry.
    2. Hereditary Spell: Casting value increase to 9+.
      • The survey shows a 8+CV is slightly preferred over a 9+CV, but based on detailed forum discussions and feedback, the ACS team believes that the Hereditary spell feels strong at 8+ and thus would recommend to increase its casting value to 9+ to bring it into 3-dice casting territory. We would not recommend any design changes at this stage, as the design is generally liked, and would rather evaluate in May with a 9+ CV
    3. [lexicon]Master of Canreig Tower[/lexicon] [lexicon]Commander[/lexicon] price: Cost increase
      • Survey: 20% of results highlight this item as likely to be undercosted
      • The design of this Honour is liked and we do not recommend changes in this area that early into BETA. The cost of the commander version, though, feels undercosted for the value it brings and we recommend a slight increase in points. The lord-level version though seems fairly priced, and thus we recommend to lower the lord-level upgrade of the honour to be lowered in cost by the same amount by which the honour base cost is increased (to maintain final value)

    Note: Spear of the Blazing Dawn: we believe it is too early in BETA to determine its performance, despite some claims about it. We want to observe it through some months of playtesting, as we don't want to mess too early with this important asset which helps promoting infantry builds.

    Suggestions to address issues

    Below is a compilation of detailed suggested point costs / redesigns for consultation:
    Display Spoiler

    Likely to be Underperforming:
    1. Sea Guard: Reduce points
      • 285-300pts for starting size (15) + 21pts per additional model
    2. Ring of Pearl Throne: Redesign (up)
      • Resedign a) Affect weapon enchantments of a single enemy model in contact. Can't be taken by Gigantic models
      • Redesign b) Bound Spell: Favour of Meladys (Hereditary)
    3. Reaver Chariots: Reduce points and minor redesign (up)
      • Add option for magical banners enchantments AND
      • Price cost reduction to: Initial model cost 120pts (-5pt), and additional model cost to 100pts (-20pts), or instead increase armour to 4+AS
      • For reaver chariot character mounts, allow offering ranged protection with 3 models (only to the reaver chariots mounts, no other chariots)
    4. Ancient [lexicon]Dragon[/lexicon]; Reduce points
      • Ancient Dragon upgrade: 150pts
    5. Warden's Bond: Reduce points
      • Warden's Bond upgrade: 50pts
      • If redesign: Remove 3+ from rebirth and instead increase Phoenix Rider profile strength by 1
    Likely to be overperforming:
    1. Warbanner of Ryma: Minor redesign (down)
    2. Hereditary Spell: Increase Casting Value
      • Increase CV to 9+
    3. [lexicon]MoCT[/lexicon] [lexicon]commander[/lexicon]: Increase points
      • Increase honour cost to 150pts (+20pts) and decrease upgrade cost to 65 (-20pts)

    Nova Lance discussions
    The below is some discussions around Nova Lance, which didn't make it in the list of the key 5 issues (because of reasons explained in the summary report), but which we believed worth raising as part of normal established internal Q&A procedures.

    Display Spoiler

    We're finalising the Hotfix HbE ACS feedback summary and there is something we wanted to check with you. We have done a survey with the community (HERE), which we are using as one of the inputs for the Hotfix. (Feel free to have a look if you're interested, it will be included also in the ACS feedback)

    As we understand, the Hotfix is for really important stuff only. As a result of that, we find ourselves at a crossroads regarding the Nova Lance:
    • In the survey, 50% of the responses indicated they'd like to see a cost reduction of 5-10pts to enable some item combinations which seem to have been limited on purpose. We (ACS) agree with this feedback. This item has currently 1-2 interesting builds (i.e. Nova + Diadem of Protection) and thus it may not seem "critical" to address, but we believe it would be healthy and good to implement this change now to enable more list variation as it seems way too restrictive (especially for competitive Griffon builds with Nova), and to allow more playtesting time.

    • What do you think will be the stance of BLT on this item pricing during the Hotfix review?
    • Do you believe it is likely that BLT would consider the reduction of 5-10pts in May, when there is no more patches before ETC, if it is not looked at now in the end of January review?
    Thanks in advance for your time

    We will keep you updated of further developments on the above

    We hope we have been able to summarize the community input into a report that represents, as best as possible and with the established limitations, the key issues reported since the release. We are aware it does not cover all the options that you would like to see fixed in the February Hotfix, but that is the nature of the Hotfix scope. Most of the stuff will need to wait till May, when there is more data to base our decisions on.

    Let us know what you think of it, as we like to know your opinion.

    Raise thy Spears!
    Always a Highborn Elf, here or somewhere else
    The HbE Hotfix- My view
  • Calcathin wrote:

    Hello my fellow Prince and Queens,

    Things seem a bit quiet around here, so i guess it was about time for us to share some information of what’s going on internally.

    As you well know, the 0.202 update (a.k.a. Hotfix) is planned to be delivered around mid February (no exact dates available yet). This update will deal with things that are believed to be most urgent, in an attempt to improve the key offenders so that more varied lists are used and we have more info available for the update in May

    So where are we now in this process?
    The rules team asked a couple of weeks ago for feedback both to the ACS teams (the summary we shared publicly) and to a group of selected experts across the globe. After this, a number of items where flagged for a price review (BLT) and others for a design review (RT).

    Those related to design, if deemed urgent, have been shared internally with the ACS and the Design Teams for discussion, suggestions. Those are things that have a reasonable chance to see a design update, although this is not a guarantee. This morning was the deadline for us (ACS) to submit internally our suggestions/answers to the topics requested by RT. These suggestions/answers will now be evaluated and RT will take a final decision on which to implement changes on, and which to leave for now. When complete, those will be forwarded to BLT for repricing, alongside the items which were flagged initially as urgent for repricing. This is where the Experts group will be consulted again for advise.

    BLT will then ultimately decide the final pricings, which will take them a while, provided there’s 16 armies.

    From that point is really only a countdown until we release, and is really the time it takes for us to update all documents. Roughly, not over a week.

    I would like to give you an update on the details for our army, but it would be a biased update as:
    - we don’t have the re-pricings view
    - we don’t have the outcome of RT deliberations on our summary

    The only thing I can mention at this stage, is that HbE is considered to be amongst the top3 armies in regards of powerlevel based on the Experts report and I’m sure many of you would be able to take an educated guess at which topics have been the centre of the attention on the last days.

    I can also mention that RT and BLT have made every effort to listen to our feedback and suggestions, and have been very collaborative at mentioning their concerns, aiming to find a common way forward.

    More information will follow as soon as there is something a bit more solid than what we have now.

    Raise thy cloaks!
    Always a Highborn Elf, here or somewhere else
    The HbE Hotfix- My view
  • Hello my fellow Princes and Queens,

    Today's news will be brief and dark, as this is my last post as your ACS.

    I have decided to stand down from being a staff member of T9A. This hotfix update has been a painful personal experience and there are decisions that go far and beyond what I find to be acceptable to stand for.

    Being HbE ACS has been an exciting and passionate experience. It has been a true honour to serve you and represent this fantastic community. I will miss you, God knows how much. Today I've dropped a tear for each one of you. Tomorrow I'll be gone. When the wounds have healed I may come back, but it'll take a while and it will probably not be the same.

    I love you all,
    Always a Highborn Elf, here or somewhere else
    The HbE Hotfix- My view