Monday, March 16, 2009

The 4 Elements of Battle

Hey all. I figured I should write about the 4 elements of battle. This has been around for a while now and has some variations so what I'm about to write is my view on it.

Alright so the 4 elements are Earth, Wind, Fire, and Water. Also while I will give examples of armies that fit these types that doesn't mean they may not also qualify for other elements. These are just what comes to mind the quickest.

Earth armies are generally armies that are hard to kill or generally are strong on the defensive (ie: gunline). They can sometimes be slow to reposition and tend to favor shooting. Tau, and Chaos Nurgle marines are good examples of an earth army. This does not mean that they are static armies but rather that they are adept at surviving or defending.

Air armies are armies that are fast and/or maneuverable. Able to move fast usually goes hand in hand with maneuverability but it is not necessary (Drop pod Marines for example are not very fast moving but can position well). Dark Eldar, Eldar jetbikes, and ravenwing are examples of this type of army. These armies tend to either be fragile or small in number and so they rely on there ability to move and good positioning to win the battle. These armies can be harder initially to start playing because they usually are more unforgiving then others armies.

Fire armies are armies that are all about raw aggression. Getting in there and getting it done. They tend to be straightforward armies with a clear fighting style. Now while fire armies are typically assault heavy armies they can also be shooting armies as well (ie an aggressive moving tau shooty list could be considered fire). Orks, Khorne beserker marines, Blood Angels, Salamanders (due to there preference for close range firefights) are all good examples of fire armies.

Water armies are those that for one reason or another are more about the battlefield and the enemy your fighting then about there own talents. What I mean by this is a water army is about preemptive planning and having the ability to react to the changes in the game. Water is hard to define really because by the nature of this type of army almost any army can and does play this way. Good examples of water heavy armies are: Grey Knights, Necrons and Dark Angels. Good solid armies but either for lack of numbers or a drastic drawback they cannot just be aggressive like fire or defensive like earth. Also Air armies can tend to play similarly to water but the distinction is air is about the speed and maneuvers while water uses the terrain and its own special abilities to deal with an overwhelming or fast threat.

Well there you have it. My play style tend to be heavy on the waterside with fire tendencies. Feel free to comment with your style of play. While some elements may be harder to initially learn no one element is the strongest amongst them in my opinion. Sometimes you just gotta slam into the enemy to get the job done while others you gotta fall back to win.

Well until next time.


RonSaikowski said...

By definition, my Eldar would be Air. I think I try incorporate some water principles where possible as I don't have the ability to be earth or fire really.

I may have some potential as fire but I need to learn how to harness it first.

Cawshis Clay said...

Pretty cool post with an interesting breakout on the elements of battle. Interestingly, certain elements don't really work well together…like playing a Water army as Fire. It fails to deliver…I'm thinking Death/Ravenwing armies. You can't win simply by marching forward as a Fire…you need to play as water. Same for Air and Earth…rarely is your gunline going to be moving…every turn moving is a turn not shooting!

Another interesting take is that certain army lists are flexible enough to play as multiple elements. Though the Tau could be very viable as Earth (gunline), I think also they have a several strong lists that would play more as Water or Air…taking advantage of their maneuverability and speed in Skimmers/Jet Packs to own the field. It's the lists that exist in a single element (Dark Eldar in Air?) that are a challenge to learn to play effectively!

Neat post!