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Hot Fixing the elves


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#21 Freeman

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Posted 22 January 2013 - 08:52 AM

Budgernaut said:

I think Knapik was suggesting that the Elves need to be the last player, not play Forest Guardian last. By being last player, they can get the most out of the Reinforcements event card and hopefully get the Forest Guardian.

Yes, I understood that part, but I was not adressing the comment about profiting from Reinforcements, but the one I specifically quoted: "The trick to playing the Elves is to get Forest Guardian as quickly as possible, as it is the best unit in the game (if the best isn't Beastmaster). It's unkillable, it makes two very good units (Darnathi Warrior and Pegasus Rider) unbelievable, and it shuts down the ever-frustrating Stasis Rune (amongst other cards)."One of the listed advantages of the Forest Guardian isn't really working unless one of you (or both) is an inexperienced player, as I said, and for the reasons I mentioned. 

 


#22 Knapik

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Posted 26 January 2013 - 09:25 PM

Of course every instance doesn't make Forest Guardian trump Stasis Rune, I was only stating that as an example of its efficacy. If your opponent has one Stasis Rune, and they know you have a Forest Guardian, it should rightly affect their play. There are myriad instances where you would both want to play Stasis Rune as your opening play and even more where you would want to play Forest Guardian after your first play (assuming you aren't head-to-head with the Orcs.) If you've played enough, you've already encountered these circumstances many times - especially the Stasis Rune scenario - but here is a bit on Forest Guardian vs. Stasis Rune:

Say you are playing Elves and have one Forest Guardian in your 10 card deck. Your opponent has a Stasis Rune in hand. The opponent has to consider the possibility you are holding the Guardian and will, of course, wait for you to play your Forest Guardian to play his Stasis Rune. If you lead as the defender with Forest Guardian, your next unit will die to Stasis Rune. However, if you read your opponent correctly (and have influence free), you can wait and neutralize the Stasis Rune. The best part of all this - you are altering and almost controlling how your opponent plays (specifically with Stasis Rune) by just having Forest Guardian somewhere in your deck. Awesome.

 



#23 Freeman

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Posted 29 January 2013 - 05:07 AM

Knapik said:

Of course every instance doesn't make Forest Guardian trump Stasis Rune, I was only stating that as an example of its efficacy. If your opponent has one Stasis Rune, and they know you have a Forest Guardian, it should rightly affect their play. There are myriad instances where you would both want to play Stasis Rune as your opening play and even more where you would want to play Forest Guardian after your first play (assuming you aren't head-to-head with the Orcs.) If you've played enough, you've already encountered these circumstances many times - especially the Stasis Rune scenario - but here is a bit on Forest Guardian vs. Stasis Rune:

Say you are playing Elves and have one Forest Guardian in your 10 card deck. Your opponent has a Stasis Rune in hand. The opponent has to consider the possibility you are holding the Guardian and will, of course, wait for you to play your Forest Guardian to play his Stasis Rune. If you lead as the defender with Forest Guardian, your next unit will die to Stasis Rune. However, if you read your opponent correctly (and have influence free), you can wait and neutralize the Stasis Rune. The best part of all this - you are altering and almost controlling how your opponent plays (specifically with Stasis Rune) by just having Forest Guardian somewhere in your deck. Awesome.

 

 

Sorry to disagree, after more than 100 plays, I can't see a myriad instances where this will happen. In your example, you didn't adress a very important fact: which faction is your opponent playing? Does he have killing units in his deck? Do you know for sure he has a Stasis Rune in his hand? You can't advice any strategy withouth having all these things in account. If your opponent went heavy on killing units, playing any other thing but the Forest Guardian is giving away one of your units for free. Your only way to stall with the Elves is playing the Forest Guardian as your first unit (of course, you could also play the Pegasus, but then you're being not very clever, because stalling this way would be harmful to you)). If you played first a Leonx, and you target your opponent, you are actually giving him a better hand if he is the defender. If you target yourself, you are wasting influence. If you play first a Darnati, you are putting him into play without an interesting target. If you play a Pegasus, you don't know what you're doing. And if you play a Deepwood archer or a Sorceress, I would question why this two units are in your 10 card deck, lacking efficiency…

For the same reason, I, as the attacker, will wait to play the Stasis Rune, or simply save my killing units. There's no sense in playing otherwise.

I would also debate your statement about the Forest Guardian being the best unit on the game. It's not that good on coop., except if you happen to have both on your hand, and I can't find a lot of  situations where 2 Barrow Wyrms aren't even better, even on versus. For instance, if your first Barrow Wyrm gets killed by the Stasis Rune, not only it doesn't matter, because you can retrieve it with your second Barrow Wyrm, but you've actually stalled, giving you the edge; this won't ever happen with the Forest Guardians…



#24 Valdemart

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Posted 14 October 2014 - 09:02 AM

Hi all, I know this is an old thread, however I felt the need to jump in and share a thought that I haven't seen until now.

 

Everyone I have been playing for now have exclaimed that they think the elves are underpowered. Now all of my friends, including myself, are new to the game, playing it for two months now. So I wasn't quick to jump to conculsions and tried to think logically about the elves, and some other races in particular:

 

- As this is a "Save the elves" campaign, I will start with them. The main reason for the elves to feel underpowered has been pointed out - card draw. They have few early card draw cards, and the Pegasus is so damn expensive, compared to the rest of the races. Yes, dwarves can't draw units, but they can draw gold, which fuels their ranks, and gives them combat advantage even early on (not regarding PvE or PvP, bare with me). However, the true reason the elves feel so slow is different, and it could not be changed by any expansion. It was also pointed out, but not discussed enough. Here it is, my fellow deckbuilders: The Deepwood Archer;

 

- So what has the poor archer done to be so neglected? Well, let's take a few steps back and look into much wider perspective, going beyond card games and board games, let's just think about games. Why is every piece in chess valuable? Because it works in synergy. Some are stronger, some are weaker/slower, but you need ALL of them, for they give you positional advantage. Therefore we can say they are balanced (strength to numbers). But the archer lacks something, and it is kicking power. For 1 strength the ability you get is really situational, and works well only with high-influence cities which are hard to get early on. So they are not viable early-game unit... But are they worthy in late-game? Doubtfully yes, as 1 or 2 in your deck can serve as cheap cannon fodder as well as help you refresh a 2/3 influence cost city to purchase another card or save a few valuable ones while still gaining something before that. Yet they still clutter the deck and almost every other card, even the one-gold piece is better than them in 90% of the cases.

 

- So, I have played at least 20 games in a row with the elves in the vanilla game (do not say that the expansion fixes them, beacuse a) it doesn't completely, b) a faction must be balanced in every version of the game because all individual units must be balanced by themselves) as well as the expansion and tried every strategy I thougt. And I hadn't had a single case in which I would like to buy more than 1 archer for the whole game, even while throwing them at the attrition die monsters. Compared to the rest of the cards in the deck they are just... lacking, as a single sorcerress is marginally better than two archers, in terms of combat strength, deck speed and influence gain (yes, it is hard to get 2 cities with the long-eared guys so you can get more than 3 influence from 2 cards). This is the place to mention the best strategy I found - buy sorceress, use them early to take strongholds, spend influence to keep them in hand, destroy them at turns 4-6 for two 3-gold cards. There - the early strength for strongholds/ neutrals is covered with them, you clear the deck later on and get to 5-gold hand by turn 5. And this strategy allowed for a small deck that does not require ANY cities to get in the zone. So... no cities, no great archer value.

 

- OK, so this was vanilla, and I was really looking forward to taking the expansion and be proven wrong - that there is a synergy. And then I saw the Forest Guardian and my ships sunk - no, it is amazingly beasty card, but negates the importance of archers even more. So now a single guardian allows for a pegasus + 2 darnatis combo for 1 influence... alright, let's not jump to conclusions. Maybe archers are good for the elves economy? The mercenary cards seems to give more sense to refreshing influnce, but then again, why shouldn't I just get a sorceress? The deck will be smaller, I will have the 2 additional influence I need so badly for whatever reasons, and also I will have a 2 strength unit. So, my point is not that the Stormy chick is good, that she is, but that the archers do not represent enough value by themselves. They have seen a couple of ok turns, where they allow me to take one neutral card and refresh my stronghold to be able to keep a card in hand. Doesn't sound like much, now, does it?

 

As I really like the elves, I tried, and compared them to the others. Bottom line - I think you are right to say they are amazingly good race, but none of it is thanks to the archer. I would really like to see a strategy, involving mass archers in a reliably working deck, so if someone thought of something, please share.

 

Now, that I have shared my point, I think that the archers need a bit of a rework to be viable. Will this make the elves too strong? I like one of the solutions suggested above - change their ability to spend 1 influence for 1 strength. It will allow them to get a bit more descent early game, without breaking the late game, and will certainly reduce the incoming damage from early player aggression against them. Please notice that any analysis I have made does not make a gameplay comparison to the other races for each must develop well on their own and not be compared like "in battle Forest Guardian is better than the Giant Troll because...". If we can reason why a unit is good by itself and for the rest of the deck, it is enough for the balancing act.

 

Cheers and happy playing!



#25 Valdemart

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Posted 16 March 2015 - 07:59 AM

It has been a while I posted (nearly half year, that is) and even though I am not ready with the final modifications (due to work, many other games and outright laziness :lol: ) I would like to give you a few ideas on which I have been working, so that you may try for yourself if they will make the game more interesting or balanced in favor of your specific game group.

 

To keep it short: after a lot of thought my changes to the factions were compressed to the 'light' side: Daqan, Elves and Dwarves:

 

- For Daqan, I was not really happy with the Siege machine, but for now, I have left it like this. If it is not very popular, you can always experiment with discard/destroy text instead of plain discard for the ability. I do not recommend it, though.

 

- For the elves, I got the best result by changing the archer's text to: You may discard Elven Archer from your hand or from this battle. If you do, reduce the influence cost of your next spend influence action by 1. Also, this goes with the Sorrcerress changed ability - Action/Combat action: Destroy a card in your hand. If you do, you may refresh a stronghold or city you control. If you decide to try the game with the above changes, keep in mind that you should increase the Darnatti Warrior's ability cost to 2 influence. This combination of abilities reintroduced the archer to the game, while making the deck balance for the elves really interesting and providing interesting choices for your opening game. Try it and tell me what you think.

 

- For the dwarves, after many tries, I decided that no card draw will be better for the faction overall, so I changed the Forgemaster like this: You may treat this unit as a gold card worth 1 gold (it was already possible in over 95% of the cases to buy the Digging machine on your first turn, so not a big change, but one that allows you to keep those dwarves as your front line and later on discard them for positive effects like destroy an enemy or even remove them with the mythical). The bigger change and the one I am really proud of, is the cahnge to the Demolitionist. The original way he worked actually made taking 2-gold cards a bad strategy overall and was cutting off a few good deck types, while the only bonus provided was to look the hand of the oponent (which, honestly, was dumb - it removed the thrill of battle and helped little besides the push or pass decision). Instead, along with the changed Forgemaster, try this to see the mindgames that can be played now - Demolitionist: When Played: Choose an opponent player. Reveal 2 cards from the top of his deck. If no gold was revealed, return them in any order. Otherwise, you may claim one of the revealed gold cards (return the other card on top of the deck) as a Reward that reads: "You may use this card as if it in your hand. Instead of discarding it, destroying it, or at the end of your turn put it into your opponent's discard pile instead". Tyr it and thank me later ;)

 

I also worked on modifications over other cards (like the runes for example), but those I haven't tested out enough to include it. If you wish, you may test my best choice - Tact and Diplomacy: Exhaust this card and discard a unit from your hand to reduce the cost of your next spend influence action by 2. Now cities are no longer that hard to take back and you still get the primary bonus for which the card was good - the early influence surge. I repeat - not tested at all, so it might proove to be considerably better/worse than necessary. Anyway, feel free to experiment with the above ideas and of course, I am open to suggestions.


Edited by Valdemart, 17 March 2015 - 02:31 AM.


#26 EternalBeing

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Posted 04 May 2015 - 02:08 PM

I'm rather surprised to see that noone talked about the Leonx Rider unit here. While indeed Elves don't really draw before getting the Pegasus Rider, they can make the opponent discard cards, which is the same in terms of card advantage for PvP (but I agree that it doesn't help take cities or get more gold).

 

I won lots of game with Elves by playing the Forest Guardian, then (depending on what the opponent played):

- using the Darnati to destroy a strong unit if he played one

- using the Leonx to make him discard a card from his hand if he didn't

 

Either way, strong units end up destroyed or discarded. And of course a discarded unit does not get to use its "when played" ability. Also, Leonx Riders are especially effective against humans (who need every card) or Orcs (to make them discard the Spirit Speaker)

 

In my experience, the only problem with Elves is the early game, where they seem really underpowered. I am under the impression that when the Elves take a city during the early game, it is almost certain that you can take it back from them if you attack it during the next round. My explanation for this would be that spending gold to buy Storm Sorceresses and then destroying them for influence results in a deck that has a comparatively lower ratio of units when compared to other factions (and mostly 1 gold units), making it weaker on average.


Edited by EternalBeing, 04 May 2015 - 02:12 PM.