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Ceynuundra Aelvari - Elven High Command


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#1 All-Terrain Monkey

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Posted 18 November 2004 - 09:14 PM

Leaders of the Aelvari in Almirithil:

It has come to my attention that, even as we currently field the greatest number of fighting companies across the lands of Taltos, we are currently only progressing satisfactorily in the province of Khazareen. Due to the provisionally marginal support at best given to a cohesive plan of attack upon those that would hinder our causes in Taltos I have taken it upon myself to rectify the situation.

First and foremost it has come to the collective attention of the High Council a disconcerting deficiency in the regard certain units of our forces are held in. While it is true the might of our bows can make the most stalwart balk we do not have the luxury of the Elven High Guard to guard our lines, as they are most needed in Tirithilia proper. Even though to this point we have fought skirmishes against leaders possessing varying degrees of experience from the other factions in Taltos it is only a matter of time before they adjust to our tactics and being to inflict greater casualties upon us, which we can ill afford.

Allow me to illumine the current doctrine recommended from the High Council which fully utilizes our strengths to full advantage.

750 Point Core Force

Troop One:
Selwyn
4 Deathseekers
2 Vale Archers
Standard, Musician

Troop Two and Three:
Meridh
4 Vale Warriors
2 Vale Archers

As you can tell this is a greatly varied force from our previous doctrine of massed ranged attack upon an unready foe. However, as they other factions begin to compensate the effectiveness of our massed ranged attacks will become harder to keep at optimum levels. Approaching the field of battle with three troops allows us to capitalize on the precision archery that has become the hallmark of our forces. While other companies vie to protect their arcane or divine casters behind a wall of steel we can use the archery skills our leaders and Vale Archers possess to alternatively severely wound a blocking soldier and subsequently follow through with a different troop to remove the largest threats facing us before they have an opportunity to wound us.

The largest change from current rosters we have noted are the presence of warriors and the vaunted Deathseekers. As every Elven life is dear and we can ill afford a protracted war of attrition the Warriors are not intended to engage the foe directly. Adopting a defensive stance, they will only strike at an opponent if the odds are greatly in their favor or if they are attacked first. The reason they withhold their attacks is their trust in the Archers behind them to efficiently mow down the foes before them.

For the truly horrific threats to our forces the Deathseekers are the answer. When allowed to choose the time and place of their attack a concerted effort by our more... selectively sane brethren can topple even the most fearsome battlefield apparation. Not three days hence three Deathseekers exemplified themselves by facing and defeating an Avatar of Sekmet who had only taken a minor wound before their valorous charge. Had the Avatar been able to smash into their ranks before they were prepared I fear even their zeal for battle would have been surely tasked.

Using the combined strength of our armies thus we can easily defend our footholds upon all the regions of Taltos regardless of the cover provided to our enemies by design or fortuity.

In larger engagements supplementing these forces is simplicity itself. Lysette is often eagerly employed in our engagements; she readily enjoys the huddled masses of warriors praying to whatever gods they possess our arrows will miss them, as their close proximity assures any offensive magic utilized by her will have greatest effect. Likewise the Ranger Niriodel has been instrumental in aiding the Deathseeker forces upon the field, for while they seek a glorious death even they do not wish to allow the enemy to pay lightly for it.

I would be remiss if I did not also approbate the enlistment of one of the Erhwydnn or a Centaur to whatever goal you are striving for. The skills both can add to our forces are innumerous and immeasurable.

This concludes the current advice of the High Command to all current forces of the Aelvari. May Almirithil continue to be the roots upon which the strength of Tirithilia rests.

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#2 All-Terrain Monkey

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Posted 18 November 2004 - 09:32 PM

Ok, all mucky muck aside:

While our archery is very strong and players unused to fighting ranged offensive armies are still learning to combat the strategy it is only a matter of time before the players we face will be able to circumvent the massive archer force.

The true strength of the Elves lies in the Sure Shot special ability an all-Elven force possesses. No other faction can consistently fire into close combat with impunity; while it is true we gain the uber line of sight corridor savvy players will realize they can fire at guarded targets as well, even though our forces gain the +2 Heavy Cover when their line of sight is partially obstructed.

Remember Murphy's Laws of Combat; if you can fire at the enemy, it means they can fire back at you.

Using combined arms is a consistent way to beat any force on any mix of terrain. Tying up their hand to hand with Warriors who don't attack on their own intiative phase allows us to fire into the gaps between our forces to damage their troops without reprisal. The RAV 3 greatly outstrips any gains our MAV 1 grunts possess. The strategy I utilize most is to resolve my ranged combats first and use both Non Combat Actions to loot any corpses from those actions.

The Deathseekers are pricey at 33 points a model, but their two attacks more than makes up for it. I had four Deathseekers charge an Avatar of Sekmet who had one wound; because of Horrid only three made it in (got a 1 on my discipline roll; the standard raising Deathseeker Discipline to 8 usually helps ensure that doesn't happen), but those three with one Warrior in support were able to get the four wounds needed to topple that sucker.

In a battle versus Crusaders I allowed the warriors from the sergeant troops to block points of advance between buildings on a city scape while my archers in the middle fired at both fronts easily. When a squad of battle nuns fully committed to trying to break through the lines of warriors the Deathseekers made short work of them.

Which brings me up to the other strength of the Elven forces; speed. The extra inch (on average) Elves possess really makes itself felt on the field, especially on terrain with forestation and rough ground (Asylum people, you know which table is my favorite :) ). The only caveat to this is the lower defense granted to our troops to allow them to move so quickly and quietly (though having any kind of cover makes Elven armor very respectable indeed). Being able to consistently get your troops in the best position for the moment has been critical several times in my games.

The choices of Selwyn and Meridh are no-brainers as well. Both have good melee plus respectable ranged attacks. I would keep them with the Archers and use them as such during the course of the game, only charging into combat to buy more time for the Archers or to plug a hole that's threatening to cave in.

Another hugely important piece of advice is know the forces you are playing and their vulnerabilities. If you're facing a squad of Templar Knights and Battle Nuns bearing down upon you break those habits; the lower DV will make your archery more effective and getting rid of those dual-attacking sisters will outweigh any small gains you make against warriors.

The only other advice I can give is pick your fights well and use your archery, spells, and melee to utmost advantage. Focus your archers on one or two warriors in the front of a rank to ensure a kill in order to allow another troop's archers to capitalize on it to strike a formerly protected mage or cleric. If the opposing army is all melee spread your shots across as many units as you can to avoid the chance of causing two wounds to a single track model. Use your Ranger ability to set up perfect shots during the opening rounds of the game. Hold your Deathseekers in reserve and pair up against foes to ensure the foe drops and fewer retaliatory strikes upon their relatively low armor.

This is my $0.02 on the Elven Army; what do you fellow Elven players think?

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#3 Spike

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Posted 18 November 2004 - 09:43 PM

*speaks up from a darkened corner in the back of the great Elven hall*

I want to be the first to congratulate you on your Elven victory.

Soooo..just give a shout if you ever win one and I'll be there with bells on and wearing my prettiest pink pyjamas! HAHAHAHAHAHA!

(Sorry Kelly.. teasing.. I'll be a good orc from now on)

Congratulations on being the first-runner-up in our match last weekend. Elves, just like any army, take a getting-used-to. I am still fine-tuning my orcs, especially the 1,000 point army. It's all a matter of finding what works and what doesn't..and it's also true that what works against one opponent doesn't necessarily work against another.

So whadda you Elves of the Tagarthos Province say to a treaty with us orcs?..at least until we get rid of those hill-diggin' Dwarves?

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#4 Jeneki

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Posted 18 November 2004 - 09:52 PM

Related to the 'pretty' elves: In the Vale Archers pack, is there a specific bow-hand for the female fig, or are the all the same? (more proof elves are girly men) ::P:

Hands are for signing surrender forms, not giant death-robot gun platforms of doom!

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#5 Feanor

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Posted 18 November 2004 - 10:37 PM

Well I was gonna call it something else (The nature of war) but I am happy to add what I have. My record is now 11-0-2 so why is that mere luck? I'd like to think not :unsure:

We have the greatest strategic potential in all of Taltos. With two spy models, loads of rangers and the fastest grunts we should always start out one step ahead.
Use a spy card one you archers, these are obviously our greatest weapons and must be used to the fullest to achieve victory. Now consider you opponent is he grouped up tightly ::P: or is he scatered about ::P: ::P: either way is fine, but adjust you super shooters of doom accordingly IE in volley formation or spread thin to take as many targets of opportunity. Another good thing about them being spread out is you are faster than you enemy and if they are spread about we can destroy them a piece at a time while he runs to give support to his outnumbered grunts we have already done our job and buggered off again to ready the next assault.
Remember:
Be fast
Hit hard
Patience is a virtue

I'll post more as time permits
I shall return

#6 Euthanatos

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Posted 18 November 2004 - 11:53 PM

**A disembodied voice echoes through the augery mists**

I can assure you, good Kell, that you have friends in the place the humans call Barthos Province. Be concerned not for recent mercinary activities there, for they are mearly our marionettes. For now, our foes are bedazled by them, wasting their efforts striking at what they will find in their exhaustion, after we've cut the Merc's strings, is little more than tinderwood. Meanwhile our Eldersteel blades will be nipping at their throats and Lady Sun herself will be blocked out by our feathers.

I am similarly pleased to report that soon the Orcs will be falling into your plans too... though not of their own accord, mind you.

I would also like to congradulate our brother GoldenEagle, your early victories against our foes have crippled many, and sent many scores more back to the war-room to discuss what to do about you and your bowelves. May Mossbeard bless you in your endevours.

-Euthanatos
-Calling the Good Death down from above.
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#7 Saint of Sinners

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Posted 19 November 2004 - 12:44 AM

Maybe the elves, have teeth after all :huh:

I'll have to work on a counter strategy for the dwarves...

Just to show there is no hard feelin', I'll share a bit of strategy I've pick up from my years of traveling wit' cha elves. Get a pair of centuars, deck dem out wit' Magic protection and improved protection upgrades and then send dem skritting up the sides of the battlefield while yer main force charges in through the middle. With their speed the centuars should be able to flank yer enemy and have free reign on attacking any caster and/or range models.
"Mercenaries are like prostitutes. You don't pay to lay with them... you pay them to leave."

#8 All-Terrain Monkey

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Posted 19 November 2004 - 02:52 AM

I actually used to poo-poo Centaurs until I realized for 58 points you get a model with 10 defense (huge for Elves) plus good melee and ranged. I prefer to keep them ranging around the field parallel to my forces harrying wherever I need it; with the move it can get back to where it needs to be in a hurry.

So, in good faith I'll share the wealth as well. If you're fielding King Thorgram keep him behind a wall of shieldmaidens and blast away with Scrye Shot; it should be easy for him to hit those pesky Overlord casters and Reven clerics. Since you're already sinking points into the King a RAV upgrade would be really beneficial too.

If you happen to be fighting an archer heavy force from any Army (since there are nastier archers than we about) your best bet is create a wall of 4 shieldmaidens, some piercers, and have a cleric in the middle (with a musician also; that's a no-brainer upgrade for all Dwarven forces IMO). Use Mountain God's Breath, charge from the edge of your deployment zone (assuming 12" for a 4'x4' table), and park those piercers in the middle. From the middle of a table (assuming average cover) you should be able to reach all but the most scampering ranged armies, and since you can move and fire it should pose no problem to keep focusing on one group at a time until they're dead.

Another good time to use Mountain God's Breath is for a steadily retreating enemy who's sure he's juuuust beyond your charge range. Cast your MGB, declare your charge, and your warriors with Bloodlust/2 (and musicians, gotta love those musicians) can charge 18 inches in one move ((4 inch move + 2 inches for musician + 1 inch per movement action from MGB x 2 + 2 inches for Bloodlust plus 2 inches for base charge bonus) if you can get into base to base contact. If not, you're still 14 inches in. Since most Archers have low discipline you're bound to have a few that either can't break melee or get shaken and only one move away, so on the next turn it's archer hewin' time.

Good ranged plus good defense plus that nasty, nasty, nasty Bane ability (nasty tricksy false we hates it) puts Dwarves in a better position than most in those kinds of situations.

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#9 Feanor

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Posted 19 November 2004 - 11:28 AM

What does everyone think of this.
Long thorns are cheaper than warriors but does that cost make them the better choice for blocking an opponent
pros cheaper, faster
cons lower armor no tough

I wonder what others thoughts are on this
thanks for any advice
I shall return

#10 Ler

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Posted 19 November 2004 - 02:02 PM

I've still not gotten the rulebook yet but I have a few questions about elven force makeup. I've always been a person to focus on grunts, never make much use of heroes or individuals unless necessary.

Well, so far I have Caerwyn, Lysette, a dozen Vale Archers and half a dozen Vale Warriors. Oh, and I also have Prince Thingy (I forgot his name, I don't really intend to use him much =P). I also have a couple of figures to use as a treemen, the GW one and a metal Mage Knight Wood Golem (which is a nice figure btw) until I get a proper one.

Anyway! I was planning on just getting more archers.... and thats it.. I just want an army with lots of grunts. Question is, is this feasable? Could I field lots of archers/vale warriors and just the mandatory command choices and still perform well on the field? or am I going to have to bite the bullet and diversify? (bah!)

#11 Euthanatos

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Posted 19 November 2004 - 02:52 PM

Ler,

Your idea of focusing on archery will work... for a while. It will work only so long as your opponents are baffled as to how to get around it. I can think of a few ways myself, but I'll keep them to myself so as to help minimize elven casualties.

Once your local player base has figured out a strategy or three to work around your bowelves, you're going to have to look to other modes to victory. This is the entire thrust of Eternal Golden Eagle's comments... comments I happen to agree with.

-Euthanatos
-Calling the Good Death down from above.
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#12 All-Terrain Monkey

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Posted 21 November 2004 - 03:20 AM

Looking at your models Ler you have a good backbone for your forces. Caerwyn is a great model with fantastic abilities, but you're paying for every point of it. If you're aiming to utilize the infamous Pie Plate o' Doom attack she's a no brainer; park her juuuust around a building or a copse of trees, get your millimeter of LOS width, string out all the rest of your archers in a lump behind her, and wail away.

Thanks Euthanatos for the vote of confidence; while I love the Elven Lawnmowers as much as the next Elf it's a one trick pony, and the elves have much cooler things to ride around.

Long Thorns are cheaper than Vale Warriors Feanor, but for my money I would go with warriors for their defense alone. The Elves are already a lightly armored army, so those few extra points you pay in cost and slightly less MAV works out better in the long run.

I just got back from a weekend full of Warlord (demoing, so don't be looking for any huge numbers in Khazareen) and I can't stress enough the importance of not splitting your forces unless you absolutely have to. While you do need to keep an eye out for enemy casters you really should keep your forces close enough to support each other (as the situation warrants, of course).

Look at military history and tradition; to paraphrase Sun Tzu, the wise general only enters combat when victory has already been certain. Most doctrines suggest at least three to one odds when attacking an opponent. If you've ever played Risk you've unwittingly learned the fundamentals of this concept. You don't want to go into a battle with an even match, you want to bring the cannon to kill a fly.

However, in a miniatures game by setup you're fighting an even battle. From the start of the game your focus is to kill off as much of the enemy as possible while keeping the maximum number of your troops alive. Charging in to grandly wipe out a few hundred points of an opposing force does nothing for you if those troops are strung out and vulnerable giving your opponent more points in return. Carefully picking your fights and matching your grunts two to your opponents one with healthy doses of Elven surgical archery will help keep your forces alive.

Getting back to Elven Strategy; one of the things I can't stress enough is studying the other Army's forces and learning their strengths and weaknesses. There is nothing worse than thinking you have a situation under control only to find a group has runner or a higher bloodlust than you thought, or an ability you didn't expect (like First Strike on Ironraven; savvy Elven players will have already noticed a fun little SA relating to him, 10 points if you can tell me why we'd get a kick out of it). The other benefit to knowing about your enemy without constantly bugging them for stat cards is figuring out 1) what they might take to the table ahead of time and 2) what strategies they will employ. Needless to say a lightly armored army is going to scoot around cover while throwing a flyer or burrower at your lines to buy time for the grunts; likewise a heavy defense army will try to screen troops while beelining straight for you. Knowing this will help you tweak your army lists to take advantage of it.

So there's $0.02 more for you; don't worry, I'll keep the tab open :).

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#13 Froggy the Great

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Posted 21 November 2004 - 11:00 AM

Heh, yes. The best place for Ironraven or any other first-strike equipped model is on the end of a looooong spear.

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#14 All-Terrain Monkey

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Posted 21 November 2004 - 12:49 PM

Noooope, not First Strike....

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#15 Froggy the Great

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Posted 21 November 2004 - 12:54 PM

Well, reach cancels First Strike, yes?

"Τὸ πλοῖόν μου τὸ μετεωριζόμενον ἐστι πλῆρες ἐγχελέων."   

 

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