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Lava Elf racial introduction

 
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chuckpint
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PostPosted: Fri Nov 07, 2008 6:30 am GMT    Post subject: Lava Elf racial introduction Reply with quote

Introduction
Lava Elves have a lot of dice with a wide distribution of magic, maneuvers, melees, and missiles, but many of their dice are weak on saves. This wide distribution makes them more difficult to predict how they will perform on any given roll, which can surprise an opponent or disappoint their owner, given the fickleness of dice – so they might be viewed as more of a “finesse” army.
At a Highlands terrain, Lava Elves count maneuvers as saves, which compensates for their weakness in save icons. The Highlands terrain is the only one that has red, which would permit the doubling of red magic, so for both magic and save considerations - a Lava Elf player should strongly consider using a Highlands terrain.
The Highlands terrain has 3 magic faces, only 2 missile, and two melee faces. This is a favorable terrain die for an army that is designed for using magic here. This is one of a few races that can defend their home terrain from the enemy at the beginning of the game. Choosing your 8th face warrants a careful decision. Standing Stones can help an all Lava Elf army or one combined with Firewalkers by allowing access to gold magic. A Tower could be chosen for a Missile-oriented army, but consider if that would also benefit your opponent. The City will allow you to bring back units faster. The Temple will allow you to bury units a bit quicker, and the protection from black magic’s a big plus if you are not planning on using it yourself.

Lava Elf Racial Ability
As their only special ability, Lava Elf units count their maneuvers as saves when at a Highland terrain.

Lava Elf Unit Summary
Commons…
Bladesman [missile, save, melee, melee, melee x2]
The Footman is a good melee Common, concentrating mostly on melee, with one missile and one save face.

Scout [maneuver, maneuver, melee, melee x2, missile]
More maneuvers than the Bladesman, but sacrificing saves.

Fusilier [maneuver, missile, missile x2, melee, save]
The Fusilier is a “Jack-of-all-trades” Common, concentrating mostly on missile, with one maneuver, melee and save face.

Spider Rider [maneuver, maneuver x2, melee, melee, missile]
The Spider Rider is the most maneuver-heavy Common. In a Highland terrain, the Spider Riders can rely on their maneuvers as saves.

Adept [maneuver, save, magic, magic, magic x2]
The Adept is a good magic Common, with a maneuver face and a save face.

Uncommons…
Duelist [maneuver x2, save x2, melee x2, melee x4, missile x2]
The Duelist is a “Jack-of-all-trades” Uncommon, concentrating mostly on melee, but with a maneuver, missile and save face.

Spy [maneuver x1, maneuver x4, melee x1, melee x4, missile x2]
The Spy has a 50% chance of scoring a maneuver or melee face.

Dead-Shot [missile x2, missile x2, missile x4, melee x2, maneuver x2]
A good missile Uncommon, but has no saves.

Scorpion Knight [maneuver x3, maneuver x2, melee x1, melee x4, save x2]
The Scorpion Knight is a great melee unit in the Highlands, where its maneuver icons count as saves.

Warlock [melee x2, maneuver x2, magic x2, magic x2, magic x4]
A good magic Uncommon with a melee face and a maneuver face.

Rares…
Conqueror [melee x1, melee x5, missile x2, save x3, Smite x4]
The Conqueror got a little short-changed, compared to all other Rares with only 18 “pips” across all six faces (vs 19 “pips” for all D6 rares). Which side missed its “pip”? The missile side is most likely, considering the patterns of the other melee-heavy Bladesman and Duelist, but it won’t be missed in a melee. The Conqueror is strong in melee (especially with the Smite face) and saves.

Infiltrator [maneuver x1, maneuver x5, melee x1, melee x5, Counter x4]
If you can live with that wide disparity of results, the Infiltrator is actually a great light melee unit, especially at a Highlands. It maneuvers and is strong in melee, and its Counter SAI will cause an opponent to think hard about starting a melee or counter-melee.

Assassin [missile x1, missile x3, missile x5, melee x3, Bullseye x4]
The Assassin is a very reliable missile unit with 5 faces counting for missiles. It has no save face, but a strong melee face.

Wyvern Rider [Fly x1, Fly x5, melee x2, melee x4, missile x4]
The Wyvern Rider is a “Jack-of-all-trades” melee unit with 3 faces counting for melee, 3 faces counting for maneuvers or saves, and two faces for missiles.

Necromancer [melee x3, save x2, magic x5, magic x2, Cantrip x4]
A fairly reliable magic unit with 4 faces counting for magic, the Necromancer also has a melee face and a save face.

Monsters…
Drider [Web, Web, missile, maneuver, maneuver, melee, melee, save, save]
The Drider is a “Jack-of-all-trades” monster, focused mainly on melee, but with maneuvers, missile and saves. It’s 2 SAI’s (Web) make it a relatively weak monster.

Hell Hound [Flame, Flame, maneuver, maneuver, save, save, melee, melee, melee]
The Hell Hound is focused mostly on melee, but with some maneuvers and saves, but no magic or missile. It’s 2 SAI’s (Flame) can be an unpleasant surprise to some opponents, but only affects 2-health worth of enemy.

Rakshasa [Illusion, Illusion, Counter, magic, magic, save, maneuver, melee, melee]
The Rakshasa is an interesting magic unit with maneuver, melee, and saves, but no missiles.

Beholder [Illusion, Stone, Charm, Confuse, Flame, magic, melee, save, save]
The Beholder is another interesting magic unit. It’s 5 diverse SAI’s make it unpredictable to both sides of any conflict and tough to decide where it should be employed.

Lava Elf SAIs
Bullseye (Assassin): During a missile action, each Bullseye result immediately inflicts one point of damage. The total damage may individually target one or more units in the defending army as the acting player chooses. Each target unit must immediately generate saves against the damage assigned to it. During a dragon attack or missile avoidance roll, Bullseye generates missile results.
Cantrip (Necromancer): During a magic action or magic negation roll, Cantrip generates magic results. During any non-magic action, save roll or non-maneuver avoidance roll, Cantrip can be used to purchase spells that are immediately resolved.
Charm (Beholder): During a melee attack, immediately choose up to four-health worth of units in an opposing army to add their results to the results of the acting army. The affected unit(s) return to their owner’s control immediately after the defender’s save roll. Their owner may choose charmed units as casualties, but their results are still added to the army containing the unit with Charm.
Confuse (Beholder): During a melee attack or missile action, after the defending army rolls for saves but before they apply any unique or special resolution SAIs, choose up to four health-worth of units in the defending army and force them to roll again. Selected units ignore their original roll and apply the new roll instead.
Counter (Infiltrator): During a melee attack or melee avoidance roll, Counter generates melee results. During a save roll, Counter generates save results. During a save roll in a melee attack, Counter immediately generates both save results and melee results upon the attacking army or unit. Only magical saves protect against this damage. During a dragon attack, Counter generates save and melee results.
Flame (Beholder, Hell Hound): During a melee attack, choose up to two health-worth of units in the defending army to be immediately killed and buried with no save possible.
Fly (Wyvern Rider): During any roll, each Fly result generates one maneuver or one save result.
Illusion (Beholder, Rakshasa): During any action, immediately choose any of your armies. Until the beginning of your next turn, this army cannot be targeted by any missile or magic effect.
Smite (Conqueror): During a melee attack, each Smite result immediately inflicts one point of damage on the defending army or unit; no saves (including those provided by spells) can stop this
damage. During a dragon attack or melee avoidance roll, Smite generates melee results.
Stone (Beholder): During a missile action, each Stone result immediately inflicts one point of damage on the defending army; no saves (including those provided by spells) can stop this damage. During a dragon attack or missile avoidance roll, Stone generates missile results.
Web (Drider): During a melee attack, choose up to four health-worth of units in the defending army to be webbed unless each targeted unit immediately rolls a melee result. Target units that fail their avoidance roll cannot be rolled until the beginning of your next turn.

Lava Elf racial spells
Lava Elves have access to black and red magic, each of which have defensive / offensive spells and the ability to bring back units from the DUA, but lack any spells that influence maneuvers – so a Lava Elf army could be vulnerable to another army that uses blue or gold magic and is pursuing a maneuver strategy. The three Lava Elf racial spells each have value.
Fearful Flames (3 red): Target one health-worth of enemy units. Immediately inflict one point of damage on the target unit. The target unit must generate saves against the damage. If the unit saves against the damage, it must generate another save or immediately flee to the reserve area. Multiple castings increase the number of health affected and the damage inflicted.
Flaming Armor (4 red): Target one of your units not already under the effects of a Flaming Armor spell. The target unit’s save results are doubled. This spell remains in effect until it is used by the unit or until the unit generates non-SAI save results needed by the army. Multiple castings target multiple units.
Necromantic Wave (4 black): Target any army. Until the beginning of your next turn, all magic results in the target army may be counted as melee results. Multiple castings target multiple armies.

Fearful Flames can be used to eliminate or disperse an enemy. Flaming Armor can double saves, which can be especially important when Lava Elves are not at a Highlands terrain. Necromantic Wave turns the results of magic icons into melee results (and that applies to non-Lava Elf magic units in the target army as well). Necromatic Wave is especially convenient for use as a Cantrip, and can surprise an opponent that thought he could melee an all-magic LE army without significant retribution.

Other spells available to the Lava Elves
· Ashes to Ashes can bury units in their opponents DUA, permitting the Lava Elf player to pursue a battle of attrition by denying opponents the opportunity to bring back their dead;
· Spark of Life allows you to return even multi-health units back to the game, which is an important advantage in a battle of attrition;
· Ash Storm is an inexpensive “penalty” spell, reducing an army’s ability to generate normal magic, maneuvers, melee, missiles, or saves, but it affects all armies at the target terrain. It can be very effective as a magic, maneuver, missile, or save suppression tactic, even when the opponent holds an 8th Face – since deductions occur first (and if you are trying to out-maneuver with Mammoth Riders, the Trample SAI is unaffected by Ash Storm or Transmute Rock to Mud);
· Finger of Death is among the most effective offensive spells to kill off small or annoying units without allowing a save;
· Open Grave can be another effective spell in a melee or battle of attrition, sending your units to the Reserve instead of the DUA, but recognize that this only works for normal damage to the target army and does not apply to unit-targeting damage and damage from Smite;
· Palsy can be a useful “penalty” spell, reducing an enemy army’s ability to generate normal magic, maneuvers, melee, missiles, or saves;
· Deadlands offers an opportunity to double black magic, instead of relying on units being present in anyone’s DUA, but remember that it is lost when the face of the terrain is changed;
· Burning Hands can be an effective spell in a melee by doubling the normal melee results on your units, but recognize that this won’t work with SAIs;
· Dancing Lights is also a useful magic and missile suppression spell that targets the army;
· Dragon summoning is important as a means to whittle away your opponent’s forces, and both Black and Red Dragon breath are very effective, especially against large armies; and
· Summon Dragonkin can provide important protection for your magicians, both in saves and the ability to melee, and remember that Dragonkin are eligible for promotion at a City 8th Face, a dragon’s Treasure Chest, or after a dragon has been killed. A Dragonkin Champion can have an important effect in the game. Dragonkin are like bonus units, but can’t move from the terrain they have been summoned at.

Strategy
Lava Elves have significant advantages at a Highlands, but if they move to another terrain type, the composition of the army must take the absence of these advantages into account.
Units like the common Fusilier, uncommon Duelist and Scorpion Knight, and the rare Wyvern Rider have maneuver, melee, missile, and save faces, so they can always contribute to a maneuver, melee, missile, or save action.
Many armies focus on one to three abilities, such as maneuver, melee, and saves. A Horde army designed for maneuver, melee, and saves might consist of common Spider Riders, uncommon Scorpion Knights, rare Infiltrators, and maybe a Hell Hound or two. A magic-oriented Home army could be assembled with common adepts, uncommon Warlocks, rare Necromancers, and maybe a Rakshasa or Beholder. A missile-oriented army should include the rare Assassin, as well as some of the other nine missile-capable units – but while Dead-Shots might be preferred, such an army might benefit from some of those multi-capable units, in the event your army is forced to be competitive with maneuvers or melee.
A Dwarven tactic that can work with the Lava Elves is a “Dragon Victory”. Mass your army at a terrain with magic or an 8th Face (a Highlands Standing Stones will grant access to gold spells, like Path and Transmute Rock to Mud) and protect yourself while casting Dancing Lights and summoning Dragons to the other players' terrain, placing as many Ash Storms at that terrain as possible. Let the Dragon(s) do the work and once it kills off enough units, Path one or more Wyvern Riders to the terrain if your have an 8th Face Highlands Standing Stones, while slowing the other players with Transmute Rock to Mud spells. If you’re not at an 8th Face Standing Stones with the gold color, you will need to move the Wyvern Rider to Reserves, and then to the opponent’s terrain. Ash Storms can also be cast at the terrain that the Wyvern Rider is at, which will affect your opponent’s units that generate normal maneuvers, but won’t affect the Wyvern Rider’s Fly SAI. (Fly, Rend, Teleport, and Trample SAI’s are unaffected by spells cast on the army or the terrain, so these SAI’s will still grant maneuvers after any spell effect.)
Another magic option for Lava Elves is to use Ashes to Ashes to bury the opposing players' units whenever they are present in the DUA if it looks like it’s going to be a game of attrition, or the opponent has the ability to bring them back into the game through magic or Regenerate.

Army Construction
Pick strengths to match your strategy or game-plan. This 36-health Lava Elf army is based on magic, melee and maneuvers:
2 Wyvern Riders
3 Scorpion Knights
2 Infiltrators
2 Necromancers
3 Warlocks
4 Adepts
1 Rakshasa or Beholder
Highland Cities or a Standing Stones for the magicians are a good choice for this army. This provides you with a good balance of units and health. The Rakshasa’s Counter SAI, Illusion SAI, and magic icons should be helpful for the magicians.

This 36-health army is based on maneuvers, missiles, and melee:
2 Wyvern Riders
2 Assassins
2 Infiltrators
2 Scorpion Knights
2 Dead-Shots
2 Duelists
3 Fusiliers
3 Spider-Riders
The Wyvern Riders provide extra saves and Infiltrators provide the Counter SAI, but maneuver as well as melee. The Counter SAI will make an opponent think twice about melee with your army.
Lava Elves are a good race to combine with another race. Most combinations are with a second race that shares a color with the Lava Elves, such as Firewalkers, Goblins, Dwarves, Scalders, and Frostwings, which will expand magic spell options, but still allow the combination of the two races’ magic points to cast high-cost or multiple spells of the color they share in common. Other considerations for combining two races in an army include terrain advantages, racial abilities, complementary strengths, and compensating weaknesses in one race with advantages from the other.

Conclusion
Lava Elves are more prone to the “fickleness” of the dice, since they have a wider range of values than most races, but when they are “on”, they can beat the average roll and pack a punch (in melee or missiles) or out-maneuver an opponent. Lava Elves can be combined with another race and do well, since Lava Elf racial spells can benefit your non-Lava Elf units. Some considerations must be made when planning to fight at a non-Highlands terrain.

(Edited by dburkley, July 5, 2009.)
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Last edited by chuckpint on Tue Apr 27, 2010 8:34 am GMT; edited 1 time in total
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Jula
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PostPosted: Mon Mar 08, 2010 3:31 pm GMT    Post subject: Re: Lava Elf racial introduction Reply with quote

chuckpint wrote:


This 36-health Lava Elf army is based on magic, melee and maneuvers:
2 Wyvern Riders
3 Scorpion Knights
2 Infiltrators
2 Necromancers
3 Warlocks
4 Adepts
1 Rakshasa or Beholder
Highland Cities or a Standing Stones for the magicians are a good choice for this army. This provides you with a good balance of units and health. The Rakshasa’s Counter SAI, Illusion SAI, and magic icons should be helpful for the magicians.

Actually this is a 38-health army. (Maybe one Warlock less...)
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 8:24 am GMT    Post subject: Re: Lava Elf racial introduction Reply with quote

chuckpint wrote:

Necromancer [melee x3, save x3, magic x5, magic x2, Cantrip x4]
A fairly reliable magic unit with 4 faces counting for magic, the Necromancer also has a melee face and a save face.


This should be:
Necromancer [melee x3, save x2, magic x5, magic x2, Cantrip x4]

The Necromancer does not, unfortunately, have 20 'pips'.
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 8:34 am GMT    Post subject: Reply with quote

Fixed.
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First Place at the first ever Daemon Dice™ sealed starter tournament.
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Single Race Champion GenCon 2008-2009, Sealed Box Champion GenCon 2007,2009,
My collection is 21,500 Dragon Dice™, 20,000 Daemon Dice™, and others (too many to count).
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PostPosted: Tue Apr 27, 2010 5:48 pm GMT    Post subject: Re: Lava Elf racial introduction Reply with quote

chuckpint wrote:

Conqueror [melee x1, melee x5, missile x2, save x3, Smite x4]
The Conqueror got a little short-changed, compared to all other Rares with only 18 “pips” across all six faces (vs 19 “pips” for all D6 rares). Which side missed its “pip”? The missile side is most likely, considering the patterns of the other melee-heavy Bladesman and Duelist, but it won’t be missed in a melee. The Conqueror is strong in melee (especially with the Smite face) and saves.


To politely disagree, I'm not so sure that the Conqueror got shorted a ranged 'pip' - it seems much more likely to me that it got shorted a melee 'pip', which is a bit more painful to accept. I reach this conclusion by comparing the Lava Elves' Heavy Troops to the Coral Elves' Heavy Troops - looking at them, they're almost identical from Common on up to Rare:

Common:

Fighter: I.D., melee, missile, melee, maneuver, melee x2
- 5 melee 'pips', 2 missile 'pips', 2 maneuver 'pips', 1 save 'pip'

Bladesman: I.D., save, melee, missile, melee, melee x2
- 5 melee 'pips', 2 missile 'pips', 2 save 'pips', 1 maneuver 'pip'

Uncommon:

Trooper: I.D., save x2, melee x3, maneuver x2, melee x3, missile x2
- 8 melee 'pips', 4 missile 'pips', 4 save 'pips', 4 maneuver 'pips'

Duelist: I.D., save x2, melee x4, maneuver x2, melee x2, missile x2
- 8 melee 'pips', 4 missile 'pips', 4 save 'pips', 4 maneuver 'pips'

Rare:

Protector: I.D., missile x2, melee x4, save x3, melee x3, Smite x4
- 10 melee 'pips', 4 Smite 'pips', 6 save 'pips', 5 missile 'pips'

Conqueror: I.D., missile x2, melee x5, save x3, melee x1, Smite x4
- 9 melee 'pips', 4 Smite 'pips', 6 save 'pips', 5 missile 'pips'

The congruence in the average number of 'pips' of each type between these two races' Heavy Troops (with the only differences being saves v. maneuvers at Common and the lack of a melee 'pip' on the Conqueror at Rare) suggests to me that the Conqueror is missing not a ranged 'pip', but one of its melee 'pips'.
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