Thoughts and Opinions on HbE Identity and Design

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  • Thoughts and Opinions on HbE Identity and Design

    @Masamune88, @Calcathin, @PapaG, @Vespacian
    @Aegon
    @ArchangelusM
    @Giladis
    @AlexCat
    @ferny
    @Emgies
    @SirMC2015

    This is something I've been pouring thought into lately (when I have a once a week drive that's 1h15min to work, I've got time to ponder 9th Age once other topics are done with). I've been thinking about "What Should the Highborn Elves Be in Ninth Age?"

    I remember a long time ago, Someone, I think @Calcathin, asked for the community to provide 3 concepts that they would use to "Define" the army.

    The first two, which were basically unanimous, were:
    Dragons
    Magic

    The last one had two variations. The first was "combat". The second was "Defensive".

    Taking these three together, you have the concept of Highborn Elves that the community (at least the online community) want being:
    Masters of Dragons
    Masters of Magic
    Defensive Fighters

    The other defining trait of Highborn Elves, though not one that was brought up, is their elite nature. Nobody wants to fight with or against shiny goblins. This gives us a starting point for the faction in terms of the direction. The community wants dragons to be intrinsically linked to the faction's identity and mechanics, while also desiring for magic to play a strong role in our background and on the battlefield. Finally, people want Highborn Elves to be about defensiveness and tanking.

    I believe @AlexCat suggested that "Magic Defense" should be more about having access to strong defensive spells for magic, and be able to craft strong protections for our forces in the magic phase (my apologies if that is not the case). Many people have complained about the more passive/static playstyle of the Protect The Castle lists. So we see that the desire is not necessarily for a defensive playstyle, but for an aggressive playstyle where defensive attributes are the most extraordinary.

    Looking through this, we come to the following statement:

    The Direction that the Highborn Elf Community has expressed for their desire to move forward is an army that uses strong magical support and powerful defensive combat attributes to fight in an aggressive fashion, ideally supported by dragons and shooting.

    It is important to take into consideration that this does not mean that the army will gain in its ability to tank damage. This would be a trade off with its ability to deal damage. In short, trade away SOME of our ability to kill enemies in exchange for the ability to survive.

    I believe that this would be a great direction to take the army for a few reasons:
    1) It creates an elven army that is unique to 9th Age because it seeks to outlast enemies and essentially grind them down, rather than simply "kill everything that moves".
    2) It creates variety within the elven armies! Dread Elves would be an aggressive army focused on dealing damage and mobility. Sylvan Elves would be a guerrilla army focused on dealing damage and picking fights properly. Highborn Elves would be an aggressive army focused on surviving damage and forcing unfavorable fights for its enemies.
    3) It fulfills the wishes of the community while taking the army in an exciting direction.
    4) It gives a MASSIVE design space to work with for the Highborn Elf ADT, while also opening up design space for the Dread Elf and Sylvan Elf ADT's by making HbE focused on defensive ability instead of offensive one.

    Opinions and Thoughts?
    My army has rocks, papers, and scissors. The reason you lost this war is that you thought we were playing checkers at every battle. - Anon. Highborn Elf Prince.
    Highborn Master of the Infantry and aspiring Equitaininan Champion of the Lady.

    Playtester

    DL Army Community Support

  • An important part of 9th Age armies as a starting point is "available playstyles" for the army. The goal being that each army should have a set of lists that it plays optimally (even if other lists can be played SUBoptimally).

    The Highborn Elven community has been expressing for some time that they would like the ability to play more aggressive playstyles, rather than the current optimal style of Protect The Castle.

    The First Playstyle Should Be:
    - Aggressive Combined Arms: This one should focus on using elite combat units with exemplary defensive attributes to push forward and force combats on the enemy. The goal of this list is to have shooting and magic support the combat elites to attain victory. Its building blocks should be the elite combat units we can field, with the rest of the army book acting in support.

    The Second Playstyle Should Be:
    - Nobody Walks: Many players have expressed a desire to have a highly aggressive and mobile playstyle. This one should combine Core and Special cavalry with our chariot units and flying monsters to create a highly mobile list that is focused on picking its fights correctly and forcing the right combats, in the right spots at the right times. This doesn't necessarily mean "everyone is on a horse and has M9/2+". It should also include Lion Chariots, Reaver Chariots, Eagles, Phoenixes, Dragons, etc. Essentially, this is a playstyle that is all about speed, mobility, and skillfully picking the right fight at the right time. Magic and shooting play a significantly less important role here because your mobility should already be winning the fights. It should have the lowest amount of models of any playstyle.

    The Final Playstyle Should Be:
    - Protect The Castle: As we Meme in Spanish, "La Vieja Confiable". This playstyle is certainly a valid one, and has been associated with the army throughout 9th Age. Several of our units are well suited to it, and it is well liked by a segment of the community. Giving the ability to retain this playstyle is, IMO, important to help differentiate HbE from DE. Whereas their short ranged shooting should be unable to play this out, forcing them to always aggressively seek the enemy, HbE should have the option of making their lists capable of forcing the enemy to come to them (preferably while dealing damage to the enemy!).

    Suboptimal Playstyles:
    - Flying Circus: Not a True flying circus. It is essentially a variant of Nobody Walks where Dragons and Phoenixes are maxed out for more "combat centerpieces". It should include 2-3 flying monsters (either 2 Dragons or some variant of Young Dragons and Phoenixes that adds up to 3). This playstyle should REQUIRE going heavier into dragons and Dragon Riders (cough, CAVALIER, cough) to be playable.
    - Combat MSU: lots of units from our elite fighters. Should be made suboptimal because our units are focused on surviving damage rather than dealing it. Essentially, their power comes from being in greater numbers (solidarity) than alone. The lack of damage output and sheer mobility (as our strength should be in moving fast, not changing direction), should disincentivize the playstyle even if it is still available.
    My army has rocks, papers, and scissors. The reason you lost this war is that you thought we were playing checkers at every battle. - Anon. Highborn Elf Prince.
    Highborn Master of the Infantry and aspiring Equitaininan Champion of the Lady.

    Playtester

    DL Army Community Support

    The post was edited 1 time, last by Aenarion43 ().

  • So looking through ASAW, there's obviously a discrepancy between what the community wants and what is currently slated. It's important to keep in mind that "adjusting ASAW" has been stated to be a current goal of the project for HbE. Here, I'll take advantage of the post to evaluate how that could be done.

    Let's look at the current ASAW of HbE:

    Strengths:
    1) Small Arms Fire
    2) Medium Arms Fire
    3) Leadership (Bubble)
    4) Leadership (Independence)
    5) Speed
    6) Magic (Casting Spells)
    7) Magic (Stopping Spells)

    Weaknesses:
    1) Leadership (Ignore Morale)
    2) Character support
    3) Strength In Numbers
    4) Toughness
    5) Special Deployment

    So looking at the weaknesses, we see that they are all "intrinsic" weaknesses. In essence, they are everpresent and cannot be ignored or circumvented. This is good, as is it as it should be. The weaknesses of "Toughness" and "Numbers" are a racial weakness of elves. Character support helps provide differentiation to Dread Elves, who will be focused on synergy with their units.

    As to how well these are represented:
    1) Strength In Numbers: Well enough. The army is elite, and shows it on the table. It can shift between one of the lowest model counts in the game to a below average one when spamming spearmen units.
    2) Toughness: Our "Heavy" chariot is T4 instead of T5. Our characters and knights/infantry are T3 universally. The only area that I would like to see it more represented would be with the Young Dragon and Gryphon going to T4 in exchange for extra defenses in other fashions.
    3) Special Deployment: We have Fast Cavalry and a single 0-1 Scout (which to my understanding was kept for thematic reasons). That's pretty much it. Honestly, the Task Team did a very good job of enforcing this weakness during the 2.0 redesigns.
    4) Ignore Morale: Valiant and Flame Wardens both need to lose their "Fearless/Ignore Fear" for this to be fully enforced. Overall, it's not a big deal, but there's some room for improvement.
    5) Character Support: Some chaff to gut here. Queen's Companion needs to trade QtF for something else. Royal Huntsman should stop conferring Valiant. High Warden's MR(1) should go. The Frost Phoenix. . . . . I think this would be the only one to keep if only because it's a good way to differentiate between Phoenix types.

    Looking through strengths, we find the first problem:

    The Combat Elite Army has NO COMBAT STRENGTHS! Per the preliminary ASAW, HbE are supposed to be an elite combat army, yet it has no strength that it can lean into in combat! An army that is looking to get into combat needs to have advantages IN combat. As it stands currently, the HbE should only be shooting enemies.

    The second problem is that two of our strengths, Leadership Bubble and Leadership Independence, are contradictory. One of them wants to group the army around two characters, the General and BSB. The other wants to spread the army out to function independently.

    A third one comes from the fact that the Small Arms Fire strength cannot actually BE a strength. Small Arms Fire requires huge numbers to inflict damage through toughness, shooting modifiers, and saves. By having a weakness in Strength In Numbers it is impossible to have Small Arms Fire be a REAL strength.

    A fourth problem comes in the fact that "Stopping Magic" is a dud strength. The RT has explicitly stated that they want SOME number of "magicless" armies to roam around. Essentially, a small percentage of armies should run around "magicless". It's important to keep in mind that "having an extra 600 points to spend" is in itself a huge advantage of going magicless. This is especially true when there is no dispelling disadvantage to NOT packing a mage. This means that, in the world that the RT want to create, there are some points in which "stopping magic" becomes a tax that you can choose to pay in some matchups. As such, nobody would pick the strength because the points may be wasted.


    So while the weaknesses are all acceptable for HbE, out of their strengths we find that:

    Speed
    1x Leadership Strength
    Medium Shooting
    Magic - Casting Spells

    are valid strengths that can be used. Meanwhile:
    1x Leadership Strength
    Small Arms Fire
    Magic - Stopping Spells

    are not viable strengths. One is an "opt in" strength that will never be chosen because runs the risk of being a dud. One conflicts with an intrinsic weakness of Elves. And the last one doubles up on a conflicting strength.

    That means that we could drop three strengths to replace them with something more in line with what the community would like. So what would *I* change in ASAW to try and bring it more in line with the community:


    Strengths:
    - Leadership Bubble
    - Medium Arms Fire
    - Magic - Casting Spells
    - Speed
    - Magic - Defensive Spell availability
    - Strong Defensive Attributes (Armor, Special Saves, Avoid Hits)
    - OPEN (I can't think of one right now to add in, honestly)

    Weaknesses:
    - Ignore Morale
    - Toughness
    - Numbers
    - Special Deployment
    - Dealing damage

    So why the changes? First, let's talk about the Rock Aurochs in the room:

    WHY A DAMAGE DEALING WEAKNESS?!
    - The answer to this is because of two things. Number 1, it allows us to decrease offense in our units and be in line with ASAW. This would allow us to trade off some damage dealing potential (e.g. Sword Sworn, Lion Guard's Multi-wound rule, etc.) in exchange for improving defenses in our army overall (e.g. Lion's Fur simply granting +2 Armor, Distracting/Hard Target on Sword Masters, etc.). The second is that it allows for a significant differentiation between Highborn Elves, Dread Elves, and Sylvan Elves. It grants the army a unique flavor, while opening up design space and giving us a massive breadth of room to work with in designing our army.

    Why drop "Buff Wagons/Character Support" as a weakness?
    - It allows us to keep elements that support the army currently, but violate the ASAW of the army. The Queen's Companion and Frost Phoenix are the two main examples that I can think of. Because the Royal Huntsman and Valiant violate ASAW anyway (Ignore Morale), they should go.

    Why remove Leadership Independence and keep Leadership Bubble?
    - Martial Discipline is the only real manifestation of Ld Independence. It's a rule that may once have been useful, but is now just a poor copy of Cold Blooded. It may have its place in some builds (extreme MSU or Flying Circus?), but in the proposed (and intended currently) vision of the army, it would be a bit player if it was relevant at all (as HbE are seen as having medium to large units of combat blocks/shooting blocks). In short, Ld Independence only supports Martial Discipline (as Ld8 is part of the identity of the Highborn Elves, and falls under their "Numbers" weakness and cost). Contrarily, Ld Bubble gives us Ld10 generals, and opens up bonuses such as the Fleet Officer's Minimized Rolls rule. So I believe that in my vision of Highborn Elves, Leadership Bubble is a better strength.

    Why remove Stopping Spells?
    - As above, it is a strength that is "opt in" with the potential to be a dud strength that doesn't play a role in a game.

    Why remove Small Arms Fire?
    - It contradicts our Hard Weakness in Numbers. Given the intrinsic characteristics of "Small Arms Fire", it was not a viable strength with Numbers being a hard weakness.

    Why Add Defensive Attributes?
    - This one bears a bit of explaining. The Strength means that the army can, on a unit per unit basis, reach the same level of "Strength" that another army with the specific strength has, but cannot reach the same potential as an army. So for example, in terms of Armor:
    - The army may have 2+ Knights, but be unable to make an ARMY out of 2+ knights.
    - A single character may be able to reach 1+, but only with 1 build, very specific circumstances, and likely with some tradeoffs in terms of what else it can add in.

    In short, this is a way to allow specific units to hit what they NEED to have (e.g. Flame Wardens can keep their 4++), while allowing specialization because no one defensive attribute can be exemplified throughout the army (so no "make an army of 4++ that is competitive, no 1+ or 2+ saves for the entire army, etc.).

    Why add "Defensive Spell availability"?
    - This makes the defensive army even stronger in that aspect. It's important to keep in mind that this doesn't mean that we can only pick defensive spells. Just that we have more of them available than the average bear. It also includes unique defensive spells like Asfad's bound spell (which is very strongly defensive!). It would allow us to add spells like the old Smoldering Embers (+1T, Fireborn, 5++) through some form of paywall (OotFH for example), and help further cement the identity as "defensive/grindy" elves.


    So what do you all think of this ASAW

    Strengths:
    - Leadership Bubble (Ld 10 general available, bonuses when within BSB/General bubbles)
    - Medium Arms Fire (QG, Sloops, Reapers)
    - Magic - Casting Spells (Master of Spellcraft represents this beautifully. Add an "Adept" level casting boost Item with Masters using the Book of Meladys, and we'd be golden).
    - Speed (Pretty well present. :) )
    - Magic - Defensive Spell availability (strong selection of defensive spells, unique bound spells/Honor spells that provide defensive bonuses)
    - Strong Defensive Attributes (Armor, Special Saves, Avoid Hits) (granting the ability to open up units to the level of a "strength" in the specific selection WITHOUT the ability for the whole army to represent that strength)

    Weaknesses:
    - Ignore Morale (Hard Weakness)
    - Toughness (Soft Weakness)
    - Numbers (Hard Weakness)
    - Special Deployment (Hard Weakness)
    - Dealing damage (Soft Weakness) (manifested as some form of "Per unit" weakness in some form of pushing through damage, be it having lower number of attacks, low AP, low strength, or some combination of all of the above)

    Under this ASAW: Units would be specialized in defense, trading combat OUTPUT for survivability (e.g. Losing Sword Sworn, FiER on spears, Multi-wound on Lion Guard). Characters would be specialized for specific purposes, and be individually strong. They would, overall, not support their unit, but be able to "pull their own weight".

    So what do you think of this? Please keep in mind that I DID NOT trade the strengths on a 1 to 1 basis (indeed, my ASAW has 1 strength less than the current one) because I believe that the "Defensive attributes" strength and "Defensive spells" strengths are stronger than the combination of small arms, stopping spells, and leadership independence. Conversely, I think that the "Dealing damage" weakness is a stronger weakness for the army than "buff wagon effects".

    HOWEVER, if needed we could always add in 1 more strength for differentiation and flavor/uniqueness. That being said, I don't think it's necessary. :)

    Thoughts?
    My army has rocks, papers, and scissors. The reason you lost this war is that you thought we were playing checkers at every battle. - Anon. Highborn Elf Prince.
    Highborn Master of the Infantry and aspiring Equitaininan Champion of the Lady.

    Playtester

    DL Army Community Support

    The post was edited 1 time, last by Aenarion43 ().

  • Eyeballing those playstyles, my thoughts (just given as an opinionated sod :) :(

    1) Since #1 and #3 appear to both not involve fast troops, while #2 is not about shooting, this indicates that (key*) fast units and shooty units should come out of a single category. Alternatively, it could be a list-design level choice; tick box A to be able to field a complete fast list, tick box B to access significant shooting.

    2) What's the difference between #1 and #3?

    Serious question. "Combat blocks + shooting, with good magic support" appears to be both, with the difference being "how you play it" and "what you're playing against".

    What does an army that always plays aggressively with it's combat blocks, but supports them with shooting, even look like? Why wouldn't you sometimes just decide to corner-castle "just for this matchup, because it's a tough one and a losing draw is okay"? What if the enemy is playing an aggressive rush list with NO shooting - they're already aggressively getting in your face, so do you just play like a castle list?


    * - 'key' means that you need these units to effectively run fast aggro. This is where the misguided policy of "limited buffwagons" bites the project in the backside; conditional synergy is amazingly good at making X viable without also allowing Y.
  • Okay seriously guys, as far as I can tell there are three approaches to shooting:

    1) Defend the Castle. You have relatively immobile shooty troops who thus need defending so they can keep shooting.
    2) Shooty Avoidance. You have mobile shooty troops who protect themselves by moving away from melee units.
    3) What Shooting?. You have no shooting.

    So short of not fielding shooty troops or becoming Sylvan Elves Redux, how can HBE NOT be about Defend the Castle?

    Like, what army actually works the way people would like HBE to?
  • @WhammeWhamme

    The difference between #1 and #3 is simply the proportion dedicated to each aspect in the army's list. A list focused on "Protect the castle" would likely max out its shooting power as much as possible, getting close to 100% of its available points of Naval Ordinance and Queen's Bows.
    This list would be looking at the shooting to do the heavy lifting, with combat elements to do mop up.

    Conversely, an aggressive/fighting list would be looking to use a much lower proportion of shooting in exchange for combat power. It would be using its shooting to win the chaff war, tilt the scales in its own favor, or handle threats that the combat elements may not be able to handle. You are correct in that both lists are able to play aggressively or defensively. This is because both are, in essence, subsets of "combined arms" lists that focus on using a mixture of shooting, magic, and combat to achieve victory.

    The biggest difference between the styles is the percentage of the list dedicated to each aspect. In situations where the opposing list is extremely passive, the Castle list may push its "mop up" combat element(s) forward to put pressure on opponents and gain the advantage. In games where the enemy is playing a Warriors Style "Rawr Facepunch!" list, the combat list might sit back and take advantage of its shooting.

    In essence, If you go by the broadest definitions, the playstyles would be:
    1) Combined arms, with the ability to separate into "aggressive lists that push forward" and "passive lists to protect the castle"
    2) Mobile mounted lists focused on zoning and high impact damage.

    For the purposes of this thread, I separated the "subspecializations" of the Combined Arms playstyle.
    My army has rocks, papers, and scissors. The reason you lost this war is that you thought we were playing checkers at every battle. - Anon. Highborn Elf Prince.
    Highborn Master of the Infantry and aspiring Equitaininan Champion of the Lady.

    Playtester

    DL Army Community Support

  • I have some issue with the suggested direction. I'm a little biased, having played a majority of my games versus HBE (and versus a very skilled player). If your army always swings first and hits all the time at S4/5/6, they HAVE to be fragile. Or prohibitively expensive. I'm not opposed to HBE being elite at everything, but that should be paired with an alternative method to beat them besides out-fighting them (because they are designed to win their combats and not die). Elves are traditionally a long-lived race in decline. Every dead elf is a tremendous loss. The question with elves in a battle shouldn't be whether they will succeed, but whether they will risk themselves and help in the first place. Give HBE all the offense and defense and discipline you want, but give them a low threshold for "F- this, we're out." Make all unsaved wounds suffered by HBE count as 2x/3x for combat res and Panic Tests. This might need to be paired with a penalty to rally following break/panic so they don't auto-rally every time on a rerollable 10.
  • So, i think defensive combat is definitely the way HbE should roll on fighting. I think Navigator's Banner should be the 0-2 banner, not WBoR.

    I think the HbE close combat mantra should be tank and spank. March up into their face, take the charge (and redirect to get a sweet flank with your hammer unit). That means aggressive combat lists probably want Flame Wardens with Relentless Banner and CS with Navigator's as their anvils. And if Flame Wardens are going to see play, it means there needs to be a core unit that can hammer - probably lancers. So WBoR should have been focused as a lancer banner. Otherwise, KoR and SM are both excellent hammers.

    I think LG are super-problematic, because they can tank and they can hammer. And they probably shouldn't be allowed to do both.

    I don't have a role for Sea Guard here. They can't do Defend the Castle, because their shooting is too inefficient. Which means they probably should fit into aggressive combined arms somehow, but I'm honestly not sure how. Assuming they keep their support fire ability, they can't be a tank - because you want someone else being charged for them to fire in support of. That means they probably need to become more of a hammer (which would help out with Flame Wardens need of a core hammer).
    Just because I'm on the Legal Team doesn't mean I know anything about rules or background in development, and if/when I do, I won't be posting about it. All opinions and speculation are my own - treat them as such.

    Legal

    Playtester

    Chariot Command HQ

  • So short of not fielding shooty troops or becoming Sylvan Elves Redux, how can HBE NOT be about Defend the Castle?
    I can see this problem possibly resolved by following 2 principles:
    1. Keep shooting as mobile as possible.
    2. Make them fight narrow list of threats, the main bulk of the army struggle against.


    If your army always swings first and hits all the time at S4/5/6, they HAVE to be fragile.
    OP proposes to make High Elves somewhat more resilient (hopefully by some elegant non conventional means) in exchange for making them less killy.
  • @CariadocThorne, @DJWoodelf, @Arhain, @'KiRaHyuU’

    As fellow elven players, this may interest you. What are your thoughts on this?

    PS. @Everyone, the post with my opinions and thoughts on ASAW is updated! So only the segment with examples on how to move the armies in this direction is missing. :)
    My army has rocks, papers, and scissors. The reason you lost this war is that you thought we were playing checkers at every battle. - Anon. Highborn Elf Prince.
    Highborn Master of the Infantry and aspiring Equitaininan Champion of the Lady.

    Playtester

    DL Army Community Support

  • @Aenarion43

    As much as I agree with you about ASAW, dealing damage as a weakness is a BIG no no for me personally. I agree with making Hbe less "killy", but I do not see Elves having a problem with dealing damage. It's not fluffy and it is certanly not the reason I am playing Hbe. Sure, make them less of a killing powerhouse, but don't make them weak in something that they should not be weak at.

    Nevertheless great write up about ASAW.
  • Aenarion43 wrote:

    The Direction that the Highborn Elf Community has expressed for their desire to move forward is an army that uses strong magical support and powerful defensive combat attributes to fight in an aggressive fashion, ideally supported by dragons and shooting.
    I like this statement. I will admit that I am not someone who was drawn to the High Elves of Warhammer due to Dragons, so this is an unimportant aspect for me :)

    However, I did hate when Phoenixes as a unit were made, and continue to dislike their involvement, as they will always compete in some way with Dragons. I would much rather open up interesting design space for dragons by getting rid of phoenixes, but there are many that would dislike that.

    As far as what "powerful defensive combat attributes" means, I don't like the idea of HE being the "armored" elves, although I can see the appeal of this as being a way to differentiate them. I have always liked, as you quoted:


    Aenarion43 wrote:

    I believe @AlexCat suggested that "Magic Defense" should be more about having access to strong defensive spells for magic, and be able to craft strong protections for our forces in the magic phase
    Also:

    Aenarion43 wrote:

    - Dealing damage (Soft Weakness) (manifested as some form of "Per unit" weakness in some form of pushing through damage, be it having lower number of attacks, low AP, low strength, or some combination of all of the above)
    I see what you're trying to say, but I believe T9A's track record of implementing ASAW would mean that you should stray away from having something like this in weaknesses. This is open to so many misinterpretations, and someone would quickly say something stupid like, no HBE unit should have over S4, oh and Lightning Reflexes helps them do dmg, so get rid of that. Access to Great Weapons helps do dmg, so let's get rid of those. Seriously, those conversations would come up if this kind of thing isn't tightened up. If you wanted something to capture this, I would say that HBE should struggle to beat large units (which is a function of a lower kill count). Again, not sure how to word it, but the way Army weaknesses are implemented, I would just stay away from this.

    Army Community Support

    Follow my "first" T9A Army - TEH WOLFKIN
  • Ihaveaferrari wrote:

    @Aenarion43

    As much as I agree with you about ASAW, dealing damage as a weakness is a BIG no no for me personally. I agree with making Hbe less "killy", but I do not see Elves having a problem with dealing damage. It's not fluffy and it is certanly not the reason I am playing Hbe. Sure, make them less of a killing powerhouse, but don't make them weak in something that they should not be weak at.

    Nevertheless great write up about ASAW.
    This! It would finally destroy the army for me.
  • As DJWoodelf says, it might be worth keeping in mind all three elven factions whilst discussing this, and thinking about how they would be different from each other and similar to each other.

    E.g. is there to be any such thing as a defensive elf faction (from a playstyle point of view)?
    If not, why not?
    If HBE and DE are both aggressive and supported by shooting, what makes them different?
    Ask not what the project can do for you, but what you can do for the project :)

    Don't forget that however convinced you are of your opinion on something in the project, or something it should/shouldn't do, there is someone out there holding on to the opposite belief just as strongly :D