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How to choose, and use, the Elf Army.

Posted August 10th, 2008 at 04:49 PM by Eckels
With the release of wave 8, the Elven army is now one of the most complete and cohesive armies in the game; Joining other large sub-groups such as the Marro, the Orcs and the Samurai. With lots of bonding capabilities, and a long and diverse list of attacks and stat boosts, the Elves give a lot of options to the player controlling them.

For the same reasons they're so flexible, they also demand a rather specific strategy to be successful.
First, lets examine the individual Elves, and which ones you should choose when building your Elven army.

The list of Elves:

Elf Wizard Heroes
Ulginesh - 150pts (the order marker receptacle)
Emiroon - 80pts (mover of elves)
Kyntela Gwyn - 20pts (the warping def. buff)
Arkmer - 50pts (the Elven defense shield)
Jorhdawn - 100pts (firepower - stronger vs. Squads)
Chardris - 90pts (firepower - stronger vs. heroes)
Acolarh - 110pts (essential when using elf squads)

Ancillary Elf Heroes
Sonlen 160pts
Syvarris 100pts
Morsbane 100pts

Elf Squads (Common)
Warriors of Ashra 50pts
Aubrien Archers 70pts

Other figures that work well with the Elves:
Otonashi 10pts (tricky movement bonus)
Venoc warlord 120pts(frenzy bonus to archers)

If you're simply interested in playing all of the elves, then have your opponent choose 1320 points of figures and go at it! (that's 1 of each hero and 3 of each common) Chances are, that you'll be playing a game with a much lower point limit, so you'll have to be a bit more picky about which elves will be right for the game. We'll examine the figures in the order that they should be drafted, but the same principles will apply whether you draft or not.

The first figure to be drafted should be Ulginesh. With his Mind Link Special Ability, and his price tag of 150 points, he is the obvious keystone of the Elven Wizard army. This choice will indicate to your opponent that you are planning on using an elf army, but without Ulginesh available, your opponent is unlikely to choose elf wizards as a counter-draft (with a few exceptions, but we'll get to them later.)
For most of the game, your order markers will spend their time firmly planted on Ulginesh. He is to be protected at all times!

The second figure to be drafted should be Emirroon. The combination of Ulginesh's mind link, and Emirroon's Summoning Spell allows for lots of mobility
for multiple Elf heroes - a trait unique to the elves. Ulginesh and Emirroon together are the “legs” of the Elven army. They’ll be used to move most of the elves around the board.

From here, you can take several paths with the army. At this point in the draft, the army that you'll be facing should start to be clear. Is it an army with lots of common squads? Heavy hitting heroes? Fast flyers? Long-ranged fighters? If you need to see your opponent pick another figure before you can make an accurate assumption of their army type, you can draft Kyntela Gwyn now, as a way to stall until the next round of drafting. You should be including her in your army anyway, but there is no real rush to grab her. She'd be useless to your opponents.

Next, lets consider the map we’re about to play, and what kind of defenses we'll need. If the map is congested, traffic points are narrow, high grounds very isolated, or you have a low total point limit, then Arkmer should be your next draft. He functions as a solid front line in tight areas. During play, he should be positioned in front of any pathway that melee fighters would have to use to get to your core group of elves.

If the map is wide open, with few constricted routes, then draft squads in place of Arkmer. If there are scattered, smaller areas of high ground, or its clear that early range will be an important factor in the game, then choose the Aubrien Archers as part of your team. If there is a large high ground area of about 7 spaces or more, then select the Warriors of Ashra.

The archers lend themselves better to an aggressive style of play, and should be played early, keeping them on offense until there is less than a full squad left. The best defense is a good offense with these guys, and frenzy is particularly effective here, when it works. Don't forget to roll for Frenzy! When you have less than one squad left, the remaining archers should be positioned as engagement/pathway blockers and left to tie up oncoming fighters.

The Warriors of Ashra act as a melee defense line. Their one-shield adjacent defense make them a tough line to break with swords or fists. During the game, they should be positioned as an "engagement line" surrounding the large piece of high ground occupied by the rest of your elves. Once in position, they can be left there to defend, unless you need to move your Elven mass again.

Regardless of which squad you choose, if you DO choose a squad, your next draft should be Acolarh. Keep him positioned within sight of your squads, and his Leaf of the Home Tree Aura may grant them additional lives. His Aura also works to save the lives of your nearly-deceased heroes, but when you consider that he has a chance of essentially doubling or tripling (or better) the number of lives for each of your squad figures, you'll see why he's there mostly for them.

By now, if you've chosen squads, you may be nearing your point total, so your options may be limited from here on, but I will continue to list figures in recommended drafting order.

Now it's time to choose your "big shot" attackers. Your first choice should be between Jorhdawn and Chardris. If points allow, having both is just fine. Both Elves essentially perform the same task, with small differences; so if points limit you, just choose one.

Both figures have the same base stats and personalities; It's their special attacks that set them apart. Jorhdawn has a slight advantage against squads. Her RAIN OF FLAME SPECIAL ATTACK can affect multiple figures at once with a maximum attack of 4 dice, at a range of 7 spaces. Chardris has a slight advantage against heroes. His FIRE STRIKE SPECIAL ATTACK has a slightly higher possible dice total of 5, but a slightly shorter range of 6. Both figures require proper placement to be effective, because both of their special attacks rely on being adjacent to other elf wizards to get the maximum attack roll.

In my opinion, Jorhdawn is a far better value than Chardris. At 100 points, Jorhdawn costs only 10 points more than Chardris, but gives the player the ability to target a group of figures at once, from a further range.

If you haven't already drafted Kyntela Gwyn, draft her now. During play, she should almost never be used for an actual turn. Her purpose is solely to boost other elves. Position is important - she should always be at the center of your elf grouping. She gives all adjacent elves a defense boost, and an attack boost to certain others who are buffed by adjacent Elf Wizards. Move her into position using Ulginesh or Emirroon, and then leave her there. Try to position her away from ranged attackers if possible, as she is a likely first target for your opponent.

Now, if you've got the points left, you can move on to choosing the auxilliary elves.

First, lets consider Sonlen. Sonlen is a formidable fighter, and one of the very few figures that can heal others. As an elf ARCHMAGE, he doesn't give bonuses for those figures who rely on nearby elf WIZARDS, but he can still be moved by Emirroon, buffed by Kyntela, saved by Acolarh, and give a defense bonus to Arkmer. Not to mention, that during any given turn, Sonlen can attack twice AND heal. He’s a suitable addition to any army, but at 160 points, he’s hardly got a “filler” price. Use him when you can afford to, but not at the expense of a vital Elven Wizard.

Morsbane and Syvarris act as "special teams".
Morsbane is the only Elf wizard that I haven't previously discussed. He gives and gets all the typical buffs afforded to elf wizards, but the value of his special ability is directly dependant on the army he faces. During his turn, he's got a 20% chance of negating all special abilities on an opponent's card, as well as a 5% chance of destroying the figure. These odds aren't fantastic. His base stats are fair, but nothing more.

Against an army crammed with inexpensive common figures, it would make little sense to draft Morsbane. Against very powerful unique heroes, especially marvel superheroes, the 25% possibility of nailing his special ability roll may be worth it. Consider drafting Morsbane only as a counter to heroes with very strong special abilities.

Syvarris is an excellent counter-draft for ranged figures. Keep him on height, and you can pick off just about every squad figure there is, before they're even within range of hitting you. He gets and gives all of the same bonuses as Sonlen.
Syvarris is extra useful on a map when Arkmer is effective. If the mass of the opponent's army can be filtered into a narrow space, then Syvarris can sit behind the group, out of range, on height, and pick off figures at a distance.

Your army has been chosen, and now it’s time to take them to battle!

The Elven strategy, in a nutshell, is “Let them come to you”. Early rounds are entirely about getting into position, and, if all goes well, later rounds are spent picking the opponents off as they charge your formation.

On your first round, place all your turn markers on Ulginesh. If you’d like to place your X elsewhere, so be it, but you’ll be spending your first three turns on Ulginesh.

The first step is to locate the high ground, and get your figures there.
Turn 1: Use Mind Link to activate Emirroon.
Move Emirroon into position, then use his Elven Summoning Spell to move up to three figures next to him. Choose Ulginesh, Kyntela Gwyn, and Arkmer, in that order, if you can.
After Emirroon’s turn is over, use the second half of the Mind Link special ability to move another elf.
Turns 2 and 3 will be spent the same way, until all of your Elf Heroes are together in a group, occupying the high ground.

Depending on your dice luck, you may have all your elves together after two turns, or after two rounds. Regardless of how long it takes to accomplish, you MUST get the elves together on high ground.

From here on, the strategy becomes “Hold the High Ground”. Let the opponent come to you, and use Ulginesh’s Mind link to give your heroes multiple attacks per turn. If you’ve chosen the Aubrien Archers, you should be using them to charge the enemy from up on high, but for the most part – you’ll have to let the fight come to you.

You can try to slowly move forward as a group if necessary, but it’s important not to break the bonds that make the army strong. Attack and defense buffs are essential to the elves and require correct positioning to be effective. Even when playing another “Come and get me” army, such as the 4th Massachusetts Line, it’s vital that you don’t give in and charge. Your strength comes from being an Elven Blob.

–E
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S1R_ART0R1US's Avatar
Very informative and a good summary overall. It gave me a new view on Sonlen.
Posted August 11th, 2008 at 02:55 AM by S1R_ART0R1US S1R_ART0R1US is offline
 
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