Sylvan Elf LAB Brainstorm/Ideas thread.

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  • I would like SE to focus around guerilla, shooting , avoidance to some extent. This is against core mechanics of the game, objectives in particular. So it would be interesting to introduce some objective shananingans as one of the army main theme. Objective denial tools - specialistic harras units negating oponents scoring units near by or some obajctive change tools like moving marker points - representing SE illusion abilities.

    I know its adding new mechanic, and more special rules but we already see it with other LABs. After all we dont want 16 same armies, and SE always was and should be something unique.
  • raulmartinv wrote:

    Probably the rule must be sharpened. Let's say that being objective, only elf troops on foot might benefit from this rule - a slow thicket beast will not avoid friendly arrows, neither would do it a kestrel or a sylvan horse.

    I would also understand that the rule must be restricted to some range (only short range? only 12", such that a potential overrun might be used against the sneaky archers?). Lastly, the effects of this special shooting shall not be used for CR.
    Thinking:
    Sylvan Elves shooting into combat feels more like a Sniper type effect.

    You know the pathfinder Lord is pretty difficult to design him to want to see combat? ...maybe he doesn't need to join combats, and he's the guy the gets to snipe.
    I'd put the restriction that he would have to not move though. Probably some other conditions.
    Path finders could get the same rule too.

    It's something the LAB could explore. I suspect it's something that can't really be brainstormed effectively and would reworded a number of times with testing.

    ---------------

    Although a cooler idea for the pathfinder lord is that he gets to actually snipe. But just with regular bow shots. If he takes a magic bow then nope. So mostly he's killing champions and cheap wizards.

    It's like the Dread Elf Assasin gets to snipe in close combat. But the Sylvan Elf Assassin(pathfinder) snipes at range.
  • The main obstacle right now is that background wise SE just does not fit into a game centered on huge pitched battles.
    @DanT put forth a great question: how would sylvan elves approach a pitched battle?
    @Giladis answered that they would almost never fight that kons of battle.
    If the army deaign is background driven then won’t that create an army that either won’t participate well, ie. Avoid as much as possible at the risk of being annoying to play against or completely change identity to better fit with the overall aestethic of 9h age battles and risk becoming the redundant elves.

    personally I would love an army fighting style that fots the background. For me, that would mean a msu style kind of army with lots of mobillity, centered around close combat with some light shooting. Balancing this to not be annoying to play against and not too rps will be the tricky part.
  • Why is everyone here inventing more special rules? Why is that necessary? Is it the way the game is going? Will it lead to more and more and more special rules until each unit has a minimum of 20?

    Pathfinders and pathfinder Lords should have some rule since we want their shooting to matter, but I do feel that some ability like scouting limit of 6 inches and hard target 2, or traps can be implemented. Something to make them worth their high price without additional damage rules. Make them want to play close. Lord can be sniper sure, that was something that was always present in an SE army and never was seen as op.

    I always envisioned SE shooting to be good enough to have first strike on other shooters and this was important with such delicate elves in the roster, this is achieved by simply having a good ballistic skill, very silvany to aim through hard target of some crazy shooting machines that kill a whole expensive unit of us very easily and into fields and ruins with ease, which are newer additions to the game.

    Most SE troops don't need many special rules, even if they tradionally were the ones with the most special rules, since low res and low armour and high cost. High res and high armour units should never have as many special rule as they do now.
  • I have been reading this thread from the beginning and like some of the stuff people is suggesting but at the same time think that some people is just suggesting stuff because they don't know how to get SE performing. I am pretty happy with the book but I wouldn't mind if it's getting stronger.
  • Ok so I keep seeing this point come up that SE should "not be annoying to play against" but there is already a lot that's annoying to play against in 9th.

    Any army with Druidism.
    Undead armies that keep bringing back the models you shoot the previous turn.
    VS toxic attacks.
    Armies with multiple cheap chariots.
    Armies that can ambush more than SE.
    Shrieking Horror's shooting and CC scream attack.
    DL spamming Spear of Infinity.
    Armies with hereditary spell magic missiles that are stronger than missiles in most lores.

    That's all I can come up with off the top of my head - I want some annoying mechanics too and I really enjoyed the "Loec" trickster fluff of older editions. I personally came to SE because I liked messing with people, but don't feel like the current book let's me do that very well.
    I play SE, EoS, DH, UD, and KoE and use the units I like, not necessarily the best ones

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

  • RomanRagnorak wrote:

    Ok so I keep seeing this point come up that SE should "not be annoying to play against" but there is already a lot that's annoying to play against in 9th.

    Any army with Druidism.
    Undead armies that keep bringing back the models you shoot the previous turn.
    VS toxic attacks.
    Armies with multiple cheap chariots.
    Armies that can ambush more than SE.
    Shrieking Horror's shooting and CC scream attack.
    DL spamming Spear of Infinity.
    Armies with hereditary spell magic missiles that are stronger than missiles in most lores.

    That's all I can come up with off the top of my head - I want some annoying mechanics too and I really enjoyed the "Loec" trickster fluff of older editions. I personally came to SE because I liked messing with people, but don't feel like the current book let's me do that very well.
    SH should be free points if you take sentinels :)
  • Bogi wrote:

    Somebody asked when should SE loose?

    SE should never loose, why should they?
    In world setting terms only when they choose to.

    However in game, who cares, why should an army have a way to loose be built into it's design. SE will loose when opponent outplays the SE player, just like with every army. What is important is to facilitate a nice playstyle for SE players.

    If you want to know how to beat any avoidance and often old SE avoidance, and I played it a lot, lost when they got cornered and the field was closed around them, when the battle line closed in and showed no flank and opponent controlled all landing zones/disallowing flyers to land behind other troops. Often the nurgle wall of doom was able to do this effectively in 8th as high res and special saves was impossible to shoot down and when no flank was presented it was hard to charge in and not die from return attacks.

    SE always tried to turn flanks of certain units, set up units that when they flee the enemy would be facing the wrong way. It would created stale mate situations where the enemy is not happy about declaring charge, but is being shot at the same time. This was counterplayed by other units being there to force more charges or cover those exposed flanks. All of this is possible without having a ton of special rules it only requires other armies to start taking more battleline troops and take less troops with lateral movement, too many special rules and units with lateral redeployment have diluted tactics and strategies, this is in all armies. Now you have ID that can turn to face and suffer no penalty instead of having more or fire weapons. They turn and decimate any shooting unit trying to come and shoot from the flanks. It has become more 40k more than a game of outmanuvering your opponent. In this game SE need more special rules to keep up to other armies since flanking has become less and less important and the easier ability to flank carries less rewards. This leads to SE wanting to stay as far away as possible.

    In general I was trying to say that SE should be more rewarded for being able to shift their opponents army out of formation. If this is to be done without further stacking special rules, then there needs to be a reversal of the ID book as the ability to get in short range into the flank of other shooting units needs to be worth more.

    I quite feel the same. Every army now seems to have multiple stand alone threats with 360 degree movement that can catch us in our playground. On top of that it seems that there is a special rules creep which kind of worries me. Where does this go? Are even more special rules the answer? I don't think so. I also don't like the direction that now nearly every army can field at least 1 units of monstrous infantry - heck even dwarves now can...
  • RomanRagnorak wrote:



    VS toxic attacks.


    Armies with hereditary spell magic missiles that are stronger than missiles in most lores.
    My current VS roster has 3x15 toxic flail guys... I admit it is bonkers. More then their dmg output it is the light troops that make them so good.

    VS also have a very strong hereditary spell.

    While fielding my VS army I feel I can happily take most people on with little fear, some match ups are great but there is no real bad match. I was first on the table in most of my etc rounds with them and I did it with confidence.
  • Hi everyone!
    I've just been playing SE or the former names of these elves for about 20 years, which from an elven perspective means I am a mere child.
    Having said that I miss some of the things we had and some of the things the game owes us...
    Back in the days there were treemen who knew by memory to hate the small ones with beard, interestingly enough, the greenskins too. There were dryads with aspects, strong as an oak or flexible like a willow. There was this champion of the dancers, who would hit every enemy who would be keen enough to stand in the first row once in a game... A game that only knew one row of attackers.

    We didn't win too much combats, my first and for a long time single opponent crushed me most of the time with his orks, cause I couldn't withstand the idea of facing his hordes straight on..

    My opinion is, that would be a way to develop for LAB. An army that has all the tools to be not predictable, besides not to be able to face down a foe in the open.
    My interest lies in an army that could really do harm in shooting, which is just now forbidden by pricing, restriction of bows and by enemys just way outshooting us while being more resilient.
    It should also be an army being able to sneak upon an opponent relatively unharmed as long as we stick to cover (which would have to be also a thing against auto-hits, I suggest a -1 to wound for soft cover and a -2 for hard cover)
    This while remaining an army than can dish out an amount of damage in the first round if not being countered wisely (we can do that now, hell yeah, we can, there is not a single of the awesome characters or monsters I haven't slaughtered in one round the last years, even if some where killed by chance).

    Last I would like to have the tools to break enemy ranks, at least if I get combo charges on them. No more killing 30 rats in a first round and being slaughtered 3 rounds later, because I just had light troops to do so...

    On top, I would (call me a masochistic idiot) like to be punished for the things I do every so often like just pushing my 50 spearmen with offense and defense 5 right in the face of someone just knowing they wouldn't dare to charge me..

    This to some extent is my idea of the elves as natives to the ground where they fight. They know it and they are depending on it. The spirits could GI with this, too. What about a dryad unit, that would be light troops if they started a turn in the forest? They would be steadfast, they could turn in any direction, they wouldn't have stupid ranks (how on earth would a spirit of shrubs or streams be ola disciplined fighter and form ranks??). And on top, they would suffer by not being steadfast or getting rank bonuses if they dare to charge out of a forest. If they are there, they would stick to each other and form frightened and somewhat unwieldy units, getting ranks now from sheer need to stick together.

    Having read so much good ideas and cool approaches I think there night be some people reading this who think in similar ways, what do you think?
  • I feel like the answer with our shooting should be that it is good against certain things (preferably the things that stop us engaging) not against others (preferably the things we have to engage with), so we have to have a more balanced list to deal with other balanced lists, and we have to actually fight to win a battle over objectives.

    So basically our shooting should excel versus lone or detached elements we can hunt individually (Chaff, monsters, warmachines) and be not very effective against solid cohesive ranks of well armoured troops.

    So a SE list that relies heavily on shooting will lose vs cohesive mutually supportive blocks of troops that march forward and stand on objectives, but will tend to win against lots of light mobile things or lots of single scary models who we are very used to hunting with bows in the forest anyway.

    To me that feeds into @CariadocThornes idea that we should have good light mobile shooting - which is very good at taking out light mobile elements like chaff who would otherwise stop us moving into the combats we want, but won't make a dent in anything more solid - so maybe lots of accurate shots with no AP. And secondarily some powerful single or low number of shots things that likely come from steadier, less mobile platforms to hunt scary single things like monsters and war machines. This could take the form of modified units (The Pathfinders as bolt thrower stand in idea) or from characters allowed actually effective low burst shooting magic items, or from big trees that throw rocks or perhaps even a number of other ideas.

    To beat blocks of good troops in formation who march forward and take the objective we should have to take out their support, then outmanuever and engage them, likely defeating them in detail with superior positional play on the table (i.e., we should lose on balance if we just YOLO charge them from the front, or let them do that to us in the open).

    Trees should more or less be our own troops who can march forward and take (root on) objectives, but to have them we need to sacrifice some of the other things, and then in that case it's our opponent who needs to outmanoeuvre us with superior positional play, defeat in detail etc to win.

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

  • One concept I have been experimenting with in my personal homebrew is a change to Master Archer:

    Instead having the best of both worlds (Either +2 to-hit or +2 AP) I changed it to simply be +1 AP & Lethal Strike. I then added Accurate to Pathfinders and removed Sylvan Sentinels entirely. So instead of trying to balance two separate skirmishing archer unit entries you have a single unit that fills the role of both.

    This version of Pathfinders isn't as effective vs their current targets, reducing their RPS slightly and they are now capable of reliably harming Cowboys & models like a Steam Tank. They are unlikely to one shot these types of models but are able to threaten them, soften them up for combat units, and zone. Creating pressure for the other SE units to exploit. The unit is still very good at harming hard to-hit targets and still threatens knights quite a bit, but it isn't as one-sided as the current iteration can be sometimes, which makes pricing a bit easier.
    A Sylvan Elves Homebrew Full Army Book - last updated May 28, 2020
  • And dont forget about restrctions. Our army book is full of that. Some of them will stay anyway like unicorn loosing light troops, but there are much more that can be revised.

    1.Why heath riders cannot ambush?
    2. Why hailshot cannot be taken by pathfinder?
    3. Why pathfinder cant be a bsb?
    4. Why our naked archers are so pricey?
    5. Why cant we drop a mirror and seeds to get actually usefull artifacts?
    6. Why SE dont have any artifact for druid?

    If they dont want us to spam bows its more reasonable to limit models but not making them expensive as hell.

    I would gladly drop 1 ap bonus on sylvan bow on the long range if they would allow us to be more mobile
  • So without special rules are, how do you guys purpose units being very similar and their roles being basically the same? And most units not being used because of this?
    example: The kindreds for Lords might have different stat changes and no special rules, but people ONLY take the hunter Lord because stat changes alone simply do not affect the game enough.
    If you don't think these things will happen, can you provide examples? The only example I see is the game Kings of War.

    Are you Ok with stuff like pyro being an RPS matchup? Leaving it up to the players to use magic resit banners, crystal bal, and binding scrolls?
  • funkyfellow wrote:

    One concept I have been experimenting with in my personal homebrew is a change to Master Archer:

    Instead having the best of both worlds (Either +2 to-hit or +2 AP) I changed it to simply be +1 AP & Lethal Strike. I then added Accurate to Pathfinders and removed Sylvan Sentinels entirely. So instead of trying to balance two separate skirmishing archer unit entries you have a single unit that fills the role of both.

    This version of Pathfinders isn't as effective vs their current targets, reducing their RPS slightly and they are now capable of reliably harming Cowboys & models like a Steam Tank. They are unlikely to one shot these types of models but are able to threaten them, soften them up for combat units, and zone. Creating pressure for the other SE units to exploit. The unit is still very good at harming hard to-hit targets and still threatens knights quite a bit, but it isn't as one-sided as the current iteration can be sometimes, which makes pricing a bit easier.
    Your book is brilliant. I could see it being an excellent resource for the LAB honestly. Maybe even a basis.

    Actually I have been absorbing the latest SE book and maybe I was a bit too critical. It's much better than last I played SE, even a great book I realize that now. But I am still frustrated with some aspects. The wording the odd restrictions and the RPS issue. But I found SE is still a natural affinity of mine.

    I like the idea of ranged units specializing against support units, and maybe lone models in general. Lethal strike arrows with 6s are mw2 (single models, characters) could be a way to represent that on pathfinders.
    "When a man lies he murders some part of the world.. These are the pale deaths which men miscall their lives. All this I cannot bear to witness any longer. Cannot the kingdoms of Equitaine take me home" -Merlin/James Hetfield/KOE "To Live is To Die"