Costing of Spear-elves compared to concept

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    But you need to remember that this reservist who has dedicated themselves to flower arranging to a degree as to make a swordmaster look sloppy in his bladework, is actually a super special snowflake who actually wants to stab stuff with a spear and just never realised it.
    "The combination of lemon and habenero peppers was confusing to me. I will pay for this tomorrow i think." - Rosanjin Scholar, Iron Chef
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    @Fleshbeast I think you're mistaken, at least according to this post

    On top of that, AWSW won't be fully implemented until the AB redesign, at this stage no army is supposed to "gain" ground that goes against it (Sea Guard gaining Vanguard, as an example)

    Furthermore, AWSW are not a fully ironed out case... as an example, there was discussion on replacing "Small arms" strength with "combat defense" (a sprinkling of armour, special saves, and avoiding hits).

    @Konrad von Richtmark You make an interesting point, but if there's one thing I've learned its that units can only come down so much in points... I fear if we just toss fier and keep the rest as is they will forever be too expensive and not accomplish much. Background wise I understand your points, but rules-wise we will never have the numbers or support Empire has, and so our units have a need to be pretty elite. I'm all for exchanging it for, say, Heavy Armour and first turn distracting though.

    I'd be all for Lancers and Archers gaining a little something too (to address your point on Spears having an additional ability and they don't)
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    If Citizen Spears lost FiER and got a significant points discount, I think that'd make HBE a more versatile armybook. It'd expand downward the range of eliteness available to the army. There's plenty of elite units in your armybook already, I'd think that having a bulkier option that can actually amass ranks (relatively speaking, they wouldn't and shouldn't be outright mass horde infantry) might add synergies and add up more options, even. Such as making it more feasible to get Steadfast, or negate Steadfast through ranks of your own.

    The rules for Citizen Spears are a bit of a paradox at the moment. Their combination of equipment and rules is one that requires deep formations to properly take advantage of, but a deep formation like that raises their points cost to elite unit levels, in which case you'd usually be better off taking an actual elite unit.
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    I disagree, here is my counter argument

    First off, practically speaking even right now Citizen Spears toe the line of over-priced (while definitely being over it at larger units). The things I have seen internally make me think removing fier (and thus making the units output pitiful) would not result in an appropriate price decrease

    Second off, it's really hard to half @$$ anything in competitive games. I use Hearthstone all the time but it's often my best example, so I'll try my best to make sense/be brief. In Herathstone, there were two types of Warlock. Zoolock, which worked by rushing your opponent down with a lot of cheap minions and Handlock, a very slow paced deck that wanted lots of value (it worked by stalling/controlling the game with board clears and slapping down massive minions). Blizzard tried to push a third archetype, Demonlock. Despite the synergies, it failed. The reason is that Demonlock fit in a place where it could not rush the opponent as well as Zoolock, but could not control/out value better than Handlock. It tried to do both, but it did both worse. This is what I fear will happen to Citizen Spears (it already kinda is). They will try to be cheap like humans but still more expensive and so fail in that role, and try to do stuff/be elite but won't actually be that elite so will fail in that role.

    I also am not certain such a unit (cheap steadfast breaker/SCR) would have a role in our army. We don't really need steadfast breakers. We've got plenty of shooting/horde removal, between that and chopping the enemy unit the rest of the way to bits we do just fine. We don't need the SCR, we win off of normal combat res. In an AB overhaul, could such a unit have a role? Perhaps, but like I said I think it would take an overhaul, and my fear with my third paragraph would still stand.

    Don't get me wrong, I think the unit needs work. But I don't think simply cutting fier and reducing points is the way to go. What we really want is a unit that does stuff. It doesn't have to be uber, it just needs to do something.
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    PapaG wrote:

    @Fleshbeast I think you're mistaken, at least according to this post

    On top of that, AWSW won't be fully implemented until the AB redesign, at this stage no army is supposed to "gain" ground that goes against it (Sea Guard gaining Vanguard, as an example)
    good point. :)
    "The combination of lemon and habenero peppers was confusing to me. I will pay for this tomorrow i think." - Rosanjin Scholar, Iron Chef
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    PapaG wrote:




    Furthermore, AWSW are not a fully ironed out case... as an example, there was discussion on replacing "Small arms" strength with "combat defense" (a sprinkling of armour, special saves, and avoiding hits).
    Well, so keep discussing this point and bring the defense point as a strong army strength
    Who are you going to believe: me, or your own eyes?
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    @Nopuiiidorl All in due time :)

    Believe me, when it’s time to iron this out your ACS wants this change just as much as the community. I known it’s been brought up and responded to favorably too.

    (And to clarify why not now: ASAW is not crucial until the redesign, we did get changes assuming this switch (distracting banner for example), it’s simply not the priority and RT has plenty on their plate right now)
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    PapaG, I bow to your superior knowledge of the HbE metagame. I can't but help to wonder though, might you not be committing the error of thinking in terms of how HbE are currently played (which is a consequence of the armybook as currently), rather than how it could be if other options, such as significantly cheaper spearelves, were available?

    Lorewise, it feels to me like its proper power level would be one where it would lose to enemy elites but win with a fairly safe margin against similar core infantry of non-elite armies. It'd do so even if it didn't have FiER. Against human or vermin spearmen they'd hit on 2+ and be hit back on 4+, and thus come significantly on top, doing 67% more damage than receiving. Against orc spearmen they'd be slightly equalized by the difference in toughness, but still come a bit out on top with 11% due to hitting better. Against dwarf spearmen they'd lose, but dwarfs are another close combat elite army so it'd only be appropriate.

    They'd kind-of be a counter to enemy core like that, able to come on top in a direct grind. At the cost of being too expensive to simply tarpit enemy elites, but be able to hold for a while, deal some back while doing it, and deal some more back when your elites (hopefully) come to the rescue before the spearelves would break. Still, given the intended nature of the army and ASAW, they should be less points-efficient than truly cheap core at jobs that don't require that much fighting ability, such as occupying space on the field, anviling/tarpitting, or extending the reach of your line to either envelop the enemy or preventing him from doing it to you.
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    Konrad. I think you are hittinh the nail right there with both arguments.
    The ASAW is based on a poll were people were asked; what is the armys strength and weakness. Not what do you think should be the armys strength and weakness.
    and I still believe; Light infantry should fight and shoot in 3 ranks, Imperial Guards should have weaponmaster, and that halbardiers should wear heavy armor. For Sunna and the Emperor!!
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    @Konrad von Richtmark we've already done a lot of calculations re Spearelves and what the data has come to is that even with the current iteration, they lose in an equal points fight against 70% of the core units out there.

    And your suggesting we make them weaker to pray for a discount? It wont happen. Mainly due to ourselves having a weakness in numbers for a start but also because thematically having sparkling gobbos is not good for business.

    Think of spear elves as a conduit. they have potential to be amazing with the right application of force, that force being our magic. With the designs we have created around the magic phase and its applications, a mage can effectively make these troops into something to behold at a key point in time which will take a lot of opponents by surprise as they think of our specials choices being the only threats.

    Not to mention, if we made them any cheaper, SE and DE would riot, and I get enough crap from them as it is
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    Masamune88 wrote:

    Think of spear elves as a conduit. they have potential to be amazing with the right application of force, that force being our magic. With the designs we have created around the magic phase and its applications, a mage can effectively make these troops into something to behold at a key point in time which will take a lot of opponents by surprise as they think of our specials choices being the only threats.
    That might work out very nicely indeed, even a cheap unit of 20 can be turned into a horrendous threat against the right targets with a single casting of Flaming Swords for example. I'm also excited about the prospect of using some of our new magical banners with Spears, Trains was talking about playtesting min-sized units of 20 with the new War Banner of Ryma which he found out to be quite effective.

    Min-sized units of 20 are currently pretty decent because they're dirt cheap for what they can do. Although min-sized Spears are great for scoring, disrupting and area control purposes, larger units are hamstrung by the rather expensive price. They're becoming a bit weaker with the loss of Lethal Strike and AP2 isn't as effective against highly armored targets so a tiny bit of pts reduction for models after 20 would be great.

    Access to new banners, more reliable magic support and a points reduction for larger units would all be welcome solutions to last us until the FAB redesign and would also alleviate the loss of Lethal Strike against 90% of the 1+/2+ targets out there in exchange for an extra pip of AP for an unimpressive S3 AP2 when charged and the I7 which will be overkill most of the time.
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    Masamune88 wrote:

    @Konrad von Richtmark we've already done a lot of calculations re Spearelves and what the data has come to is that even with the current iteration, they lose in an equal points fight against 70% of the core units out there.

    And your suggesting we make them weaker to pray for a discount? It wont happen. Mainly due to ourselves having a weakness in numbers for a start but also because thematically having sparkling gobbos is not good for business.

    Think of spear elves as a conduit. they have potential to be amazing with the right application of force, that force being our magic. With the designs we have created around the magic phase and its applications, a mage can effectively make these troops into something to behold at a key point in time which will take a lot of opponents by surprise as they think of our specials choices being the only threats.

    Not to mention, if we made them any cheaper, SE and DE would riot, and I get enough crap from them as it is
    "Equal points fight" being the keyword here. IMO, they should be balanced to win against most core in an equal number of models fight, something they do atm, and still would if they lost FiER. Consequently, they should cost more per model, but not so much that they'd lose an equal number of points fight against other core, like you say they do atm. They should probably have a points value where they slightly win such fights, to compensate for the disadvantages of being pointswise less efficient than cheaper core at occupying space, holding ground, holding the line being steadfast, soaking up enemy magic/shooting, or doing multiple-cheap-unit (MCU? is that a thing?) swarming and enveloping, or protecting your more expensive units from said.

    Now, these objectives could be met either with or without them having FiER, but my previous arguments for dropping FiER are consistent with them and thus stand.
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    We ran the numbers, yes. First thing we learned was horde formation wins in close combat - if one unit is a horde and the other isn't, the other unit wins.

    Second thing learned was that bigger was better. Big blocks of CS are better than small ones, point for point, because the sheer volume of models fighting.

    And yes, they might lose - but generally only by 1 or 2. The margins were not huge and mostly pointed to being a point or two per model overcosted.
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    I would add, as an empirical datapoint as to the utility of a spearelf unit that's just a notch above the common core of other armies: WFB 6e. Dark spearelves there were pretty much what I suggest for high spearelves here, while high spearelves had FiER. Yet, due to their lower points cost, dark spearelves were considered a solid unit choice, while high spearelves were thought overpriced. Dark spearelves had just enough of an edge over the common core of other armies, and still cheap enough to use for static CR against enemy elites, against which dark spearelven WS4 was a defensive advantage due to decreasing the likelihood of being hit on 3+.
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    I appreciate your respect. I curtsy in recognition of your passion and understanding of this game, as well as your exceptional ability to articulate your points.

    @Masamune88 hit the nail on the head on the points cost. Even if they are only slightly over-costed at the moment, that's at least 1ppm. But then to reduce fier, that is a further discount. A more hefty one than you may think as well, because you are taking a unit that in the new book can reach relevant offensive power levels and relegating it back into the realm of mediocrity (the cut to attacks is not insubstantial) after all the aid we can apply.

    Practically speaking, I fear overstepping my boundaries in saying much more, but internally I have seen the implementation of cutting a unit's abilities down for an appropriate points cost, and I have not seen this tactic so far work. Let's assume that we prove the unit is balanced at x points and get it there. At what point do we violate our "strength in numbers" weakness? The resulting needed points cost may be that point.

    This leads me into my next point: I would like to refute that our current Citizen Spears, from a background perspective, are too elite over human core military (I shall use EoS Heavy Infantry).

    One may look at a unit of Heavy Infantry and think they do not offer much, but this would quite deceiving. The strength of Humans is their cooperation, their spirit, their ability to be inspired/response to the taskmaster's whip

    -Heavy Infantry, to represent their training and cooperation, have Parent/Support
    -Heavy Infantry, to represent their response to a strong leader, may execute a diverse array of Orders
    -Heavy Infantry, to represent their outstanding faith, respond very strongly to religious leaders (Prelates)
    -And of course, to represent the Human's excessive breeding practice, can field large numbers at little cost

    Now, I know that these are not things included in a units base cost, but we are comparing them from a background perspective. Alone a human is a weak thing, it is their cooperation, adaptability and strong faith that make them so powerful. Humans exceed Citizen Spears in these regards. From a points perspective, it is my opinion that an equal amount of points of Heavy Infantry to Citizen Spears fight the Citizen Spears should win. It is when an equal amount of Heavy Infantry and Support fight Citizen Spears that the Humans should ultimately win the fight (not quite 1:1 simple, considering support can affect different units that need it, as well as can offer flexibility, but in theory/roughly).

    Now compare Citizen Spears to this
    -we have higher Initiative, movement, weapon skill and lightning reflexes to represent a combination of our longer lifespan and heightened senses/agility. This may sound like a lot, and it is many rules, but in practice is not as much as you would expect. +1 movement is an advantage, but an incremental one, and this unit is nothing if it cannot strike accurately. Plus LR and the weapon skill chart is a whole can of worms, one I would agree wouldn't hurt to look at, so may we agree it is outside the scope of this debate?
    -We have +1 Discipline and Martial Discipline to represent our exceedingly large pride as well as exceptional training (we are longer lived and fewer in numbers but also very wealthy, from a background perspective it is strongly my opinion that a Citizen Spear should at the minimum receive on par training compared to Heavy Infantry, if not superior)
    -And then of course fier, which would also be represented in our training

    Both entries have their strengths, and they fit what the units should be. A Citizen Spear's training focuses on making each unit as superior as an Elf is born to be, while Heavy Infantry hone their ability to be flexible, cooperate and follow.

    To come to the core of this argument, we do need to ask what the spirit of Highborn, and by extension all, Elves are. Elves do not win fights by dominating the field with bodies. We do not win by the decimal of a niche of an advantage. If we apply ourselves to a fight we shall win it, for we are the epitome of what a being can be. If we lose a fight, it is because we did not try (and instead send our Eagles).

    Let's assume that your proposed change goes through and an appropriate points cost is assigned. Where would such a unit fit in? I see myself taking many units of 15 to delay my opponent control the board with bodies and to stack combat res... but this is not how an elf fights. So then do we take large and deep units, hoping to bog an enemy down, or in the case of "vermin" races such as humans and rats, have a very incremental edge (but of course very much lack support, remember outside of magic this is not the way of our army, and we cannot commit all of our power dice to make our Core simply perform)?

    I know our community may not always be very articulate in their feelings, but I know they would not have fun playing such a unit. I consider myself very open minded when trying to give units a chance, and even were I to write a list where in function such a unit would perform, I feel no excitement at the prospect. And do not mistake me for a power grubber: Empire was my first love. In an army where I wish to win with dirty grunts, to find victory in budget choices and plentiful synergy a big hunk of grimy Halberdiers gets me going. But I love Elves because I love the adrenaline of walking the fine line of victory and defeat. Acting as a pansy, p*ssing my opponent off with my bull$sh*t. A breath from losing the game, only to get that charge with my Sword Masters into his critical unit and steamroll that into a victory, and I do not see how such a unit will benefit this. That is why I play Elves, that is why I enjoy this army. A wise Sage has taught me how this is the point that truly matters.

    And still, after all this, I still do not see such a unit having a superior place. I fully admit it could be short sightedness on my part, perhaps without more evidence we will simply have to agree to disagree. But speaking in practice, while I openly admit that my experience with theory-hammer far exceeds tabletop experience, almost all that experience has been with 2*20 Citizen Spears. They frustrate me with their ineptitude in 1.3, and losing fier for 3*15 would aid them in no significant way I feel. Though admittedly it would be a marginal improvement, it would still violate our numbers weakness and our mmu playstyle, and thus is an improvement in the wrong direction and the unit would still be insignificant in its impact. However, in 2.0 it would actively make the unit worse (comparing to the excitement and relevance I feel looking at what I plan to play). And taking a single unit of 50... that is not right for an elf, and still I would prefer the ability and coverage of their current iteration.

    As for encouraging different unit sizes, would removing fier for Heavy Armour and first turn distracting not promote this in much the same way, while also allowing the unit to perform? I see myself taking multiple small or one large of such a unit and being happy with its performance. Our community would be happy with such a change, and it would fit still fit within the background template I lay out. As for internal eliteness, again boosting other units would make our community happy and could boost relevance (fier for Lancers, as an example).

    I think I understand where you are coming from. Perhaps it is the Empire player in me, but when I imagine your concept from a "feel" point of view, I do like it (even if it may not be my preference). Some bodies to aid our army, control the board, while our Special does the work. But I think about all the logistics, compare the specifics of the proposed unit to now, and ultimately for the reasons mentioned I do not see it working. I do think Citizen Spears should be our cheapest infantry, but I do not think that exact proposal is the correct iteration.

    Edit: As I wake up refreshed, I realize this to be a convoluted answer, and may not satisfactorily address your most recent arguments. So, allow me to ask this: what would the strength of your most recent proposal be? As of 2.0 (though I want to remind everyone that the War Banner of Ryma's current iteration is unstable due to a multitude of power level flagging), Citizen Spears have a quantity of fast accurate attacks. Generally they are mediocre (s3 t3 5+ as is a heavy handicap), on the charge (with the banner), they reach moderate power levels, on the charge (with the banner) with proper magic support (I mean 1k to truly reliably achieve this, not underpowered I feel but you've gotta invest) they can achieve powerful power levels. Reducing attacks makes these buffs questionable (you start over-investing and you get less mileage out of them), and what then is their strength (and every unit needs some sort of strength)? Pricing will be a huge energy investment to push, and it will never be cheap. They are not durable, they will have an underwhelming volume of attacks. I did not play 6th, so unfortunately such a comparison is lost on me (nice as it sounds, I admit :) ). Were the strength of 6th spears they were a bargain for what you got (so points efficiency as a strength)? Do you think there were relevant meta and core rules differences that lead to their success? Were they perhaps taken less because the unit was good, and more because other core was not good?

    The post was edited 3 times, last by PapaG ().

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    Konrad von Richtmark wrote:

    PapaG, I bow to your superior knowledge of the HbE metagame. I can't but help to wonder though, might you not be committing the error of thinking in terms of how HbE are currently played (which is a consequence of the armybook as currently), rather than how it could be if other options, such as significantly cheaper spearelves, were available?

    Lorewise, it feels to me like its proper power level would be one where it would lose to enemy elites but win with a fairly safe margin against similar core infantry of non-elite armies. It'd do so even if it didn't have FiER. Against human or vermin spearmen they'd hit on 2+ and be hit back on 4+, and thus come significantly on top, doing 67% more damage than receiving. Against orc spearmen they'd be slightly equalized by the difference in toughness, but still come a bit out on top with 11% due to hitting better. Against dwarf spearmen they'd lose, but dwarfs are another close combat elite army so it'd only be appropriate.

    They'd kind-of be a counter to enemy core like that, able to come on top in a direct grind. At the cost of being too expensive to simply tarpit enemy elites, but be able to hold for a while, deal some back while doing it, and deal some more back when your elites (hopefully) come to the rescue before the spearelves would break. Still, given the intended nature of the army and ASAW, they should be less points-efficient than truly cheap core at jobs that don't require that much fighting ability, such as occupying space on the field, anviling/tarpitting, or extending the reach of your line to either envelop the enemy or preventing him from doing it to you.
    Most enemy core being played are natoriously T4 with 3+ or 4+ AS. so, less spears in combat, (no fier) means a much weaker core unit for HbE.Our poor chaps will get butchered all the more quickly. and for less damage to the other buggars.
    I am a student. I will always be a student. Because I am always studying for better ways to do things.