ancient elf empire of Ravilla married magical might with military discipline.
Unfortunately for the military tradition, the chaos of the decaying
empire rewarded personal initiative more than nobly following orders
to their deaths; proper military conduct led only to glorious defeat.
Those who had the wits to flee in the proper direction survived.
give the elves their due, they value individual initiative instead of
overly structured command systems. Either way, the fact is that Ravillas
continued cultural preference is for mobile units that can command themselves,
such as Wood Elf Rangers and Snakestrike Duelists, rather than for highly
trained battlefield commanders who can maneuver and rally large numbers
Consequence: A Vacuum at the Top
has a 5-point commander (not to mention a 4). Ahmuts Legion has
a 4-point leader. Mordengard has a pair of 3-point commanders. Even
Drazens Horde and Naresh each have at least one 3-point commander,
but the best that Ravilla can muster is the 2-command-point Gray Elf
isnt a problem for Ravillas many independent models, who
are by definition always under command and able to maneuver and rally
themselves freely. But lack of commanders doesnt pan out so well
for Ravillas other troops, notably the four powerful but headstrong
trooper models who have the Difficult Troop x2 ability. Three of these
models are Felldrakes, and one is the Centaur Trooper. Thanks to the
Difficult Troop x2 ability, these models require 2 command points to
be placed under command. To maneuver or rally any of these models with
a Ravilla warband, you need a Gray Elf Wizard.
Profile: Gray Elf Wizard
to some of the other commanders in the game, the Gray Elf Wizard can
be a challenge to use effectively. He has a couple offensive spells,
but nothing like the sheer firepower of the Human Sorcerer. He has a
defensive spell, but nothing that will keep him alive through a serious
touch on each of the Gray Elf Wizards three 1st-level spells to
detail the best tactical options.
might find yourself tempted to use the Wizards magic missile
on the first available target. Resist that temptation. Save the Wizards
one magic missile for a situation in which a point of damage
matters: to knock down an enemy model, or force a big enemy model to
make a morale save.
opposing model that ends its activation next to a sleeping model automatically
awakens all sleeping models it is touching. That means enemies who dont
want to be affected by sleep tend to cluster together. You probably
wont be able to break them of this habit until elf wizards who
cast glitterdust and fireball make it to the gaming table!
patience is once again your best bet. The most effective use of the
Gray Elf Wizards sleep spell is to wait until Ravilla models
that are immune to sleep have engaged in melee with enemy models that
are not immune. Use the spell in the middle of the melee, where the
enemy cannot count on maintaining freedom of movement or simply keeping
the models bases in contact. You dont even have to count
your models with the Immune Sleep ability as potentially affected by
the spell. An enemy model that falls asleep will become vulnerable to
an automatic double-damage hit from the next one of your models that
Note: if your model is already touching an enemy model knocked
down by the sleep spell, your model (unless its a Wild
Troop) can just stand still and swing at the downed enemy. Or you can
put your model under command and maneuver it to touch the downed enemy.
The thing you dont want to do is let your uncommanded models just
run away from the sleeping enemy toward the nearest standing enemy model
they can see!
armor +4 only brings the Wizard to an armor of 15. When the Wizard is
out of spells and forced into melee, it usually becomes a question of,
"How quickly will he die?" rather than, "Will he survive?"
Therefore, the best way to use the Wizard once he has cast his three
1st-level spells is to keep him just beyond melee. Run him around the
edge of the combat, casting his four 0-level daze spells where
they will be most effective. A failed saving throw against daze,
especially by an enemy commander, is more likely to help your cause
than the Gray Elf Wizards -1 melee attack.
the Centaur Kite
a very slow enemy who lacks missile weapons, in a battle fought
above ground, the combination of the Gray Elf Wizard and the
Trooper can completely spoil your opponents day.
Keep your Centaur moving and shooting, constantly under the
Gray Elf Wizards command. If your enemy has a living
commander, however, you may have trouble keeping the Wizard
alive. If youve managed to kill all the enemys
commanders, the Centaurs speed combined with clever
use of terrain can allow you to kite the enemy indefinitely.
And when youre shooting for 2 damage per ranged attack,
"indefinite" is finite and in your favor.
Profile: Gray Elf Warsinger
Command Points: 0
Gray Elf Warsinger isnt a commander. So what is she doing here?
The answer: Inspiring Courage in every Ravilla model within 6".
Warsinger cannot put another model under command, so she cant
maneuver or rally troops. But all other Ravilla models within
6" of the Warsinger get a +2 bonus to their attacks and +2 to their
morale saves. The best Thalos commander can only give a +2 bonus to
two models each turn, but the Warsinger can offer +2 to as many Ravilla
models as you can purchase for your warband and fit within 6"!
This includes even the Ravilla troopers with the Difficult Troop x2
ability; Ravilla commanders cant give them a bonus to attack or
morale because they lack the command points, but the Warsinger can-do!
practice, this means the most powerful Ravilla archer warbands are built
around a Gray Elf Warsinger instead of around one of Ravillas
leaders. Cluster as many Elf Scouts as you can around the Warsinger,
and youve mustered a lethal songfest of feathered death. Add at
least one Wood Elf Ranger to handle maneuvering a Scout or rerolling
Initiative, and the Warsingers warband is complete.
course, what works well in aboveground battles isnt as much use
belowground. Even when the light conditions are normal, and line of
sight is 24", the denser terrain underground works against ranged
attack warbands. The news isnt all bad, though -- there are few
things that a ranged attack army likes better than setting up on a Sacred
Circle and getting another +2 bonus to all attacks.
before you get too excited about the Warsinger, remember this one fact:
A second Warsinger in your band doesnt stack its bonuses with
the first ones song. It just gives you a wider spread where you
can send your other models and still receive the bonus.
Attack Warbands and the Problem of the Final Engagement
youre playing a ranged attack warband, you want to put
as much space between your models and the enemy as possible.
Usually that means you keep your models at the edge of the
board. Playing Ravilla, you find that the elves high
speed sends them sprinting straight out of play after one
failed morale save. And with elves low health, you can
count on your models being forced into morale saves if the
enemy ever manages to put damage on them. Solution? Figure
out where you want the toughest fighting to occur. Then deploy
terrain that will slow down your models on their likely routing
paths away from that spot.
Models: Who to Draft
the Ravilla faction needs most are models that inflict a lot of damage
in one swing. Your best bet is probably the Stonechild from Mordengard.
Hes not a Difficult Troop, so he only requires a 2-point command
from your Gray Elf Wizard to maneuver or rally (1 point plus the 1 point
cross-faction penalty). The Stonechild inflicts 3 points of damage and
he has high armor, so hes got what your skinny Ravilla types dont.
Hes also great against undead thanks to his Magic Stone short
ranged attack. Thats important, because if theres one thing
that most Ravilla armies cant handle, its high-health zombies
and hard-to-damage skeletons.
that the one type of model you probably cant draft, if you want
to play a warband thats technically Ravilla, is a commander, because
warbands are defined by the faction that gives them the most command
Models: A Ravilla Warband Flying a Different Flag
go ahead and ignore what I just said. Take a powerful commander from
another faction. Fill the warband out with as many Ravilla models as
that commander can afford as cross-faction troops. For 4 command points,
either the Aasimar Cleric or the Human Paladin can maneuver or rally
the Centaur Trooper or one of the Felldrakes.
Aasimar Cleric makes a fine commander for a Gray Elf Warsinger accompanied
by three Wood Elf Scouts, for a total of 54 points. That leaves you
16 points to play with in a 70-point battle.
Heinsoo has been working in the adventure gaming industry as a writer
and game designer since 1994. He worked on the Shadowfist trading
card game and the Feng Shui RPG at Daedalus Entertainment, helped
direct the world of Glorantha at Chaosium, and helped put together
the King of Dragon Pass computer game at A-Sharp. Rob joined
Wizards in 1999. He joined the Chainmail team after writing
D&D products for the Forgotten
and working as the lead writer on the Legends of the Five Rings