A Lesson in Geography – High Elves v. Dark Elves
After two episodes of mind boggling cartographic messes today we step into the realm of perfection. If the designer of the Empire v Chaos pairing cut up the map and chose places with pretty names, and the designer of the Dwarf v Greenskin pairing was a sadistic bastard who had no concept of distance and wanted to make the most oppressive RvR lakes, then the designer of the High Elf v Dark Elf pairing was either someone from Games Workshop or someone very lazy who wanted to keep it simple. Irregardless, the Elf pairing is the only map that makes sense! I suspect the main reason for this is that the two campaigns run side by side in the same direction unlike the other two campaigns which run in opposite directions and criss-cross. I suppose in the EvC and DvG pairings War is truly more visible as you cross paths and compete in conflict PQs, but the result is a campaign map which is… well… what you saw. In the HEvDE pairing your storyline never goes into the opposing faction – in fact the maps are so divided that it is often a task to find an access point to the opposing factions PvE lake. Here is the map –
Now this ones straight from the High Elf army book so we know its legit. For some reason paint wouldn’t let me do colored dots so you’ll have to forgive me and accept black=evil=destruction and dark gray = conniving = order.
- Tier 1 – The entire campaign is essentially a progression south towards Lothern, the High Elf capital, and naturally it starts in the north, as every Dark Elf invasion does. So for this storyline the invasion begins in the Blighted Isle – sight of the Shrine of Khaine (our beloved scenario) and continues south to Chrace. If you take the time to read the entire High Elf storyline (I don’t have any destro toons so I can’t comment on their storyline, although I’d love to see it) the entire campaign is a defensive retreat until you hit more or less Caledor. You secure the Blighted Isle but have to move south to Chrace because something isn’t right with the ley-lines. My only beef with the entire High Elf story is that all the cool locations in High Elf lore are on the Destruction side, and we never get to defend them. The first victim of this Mythic plan is Tor Achare, capital of Chrace and home of the White Lion Charioteers, but alas Order has no hand in the fight for Tor Achare.
- Tier 2 – Moving south continuing with the retreat/tactical offense we enter the Shadowlands with the dreaded city of Anlec, which is again on the Destruction part of the storyline. My biggest beef with this map is the gates you fight over, which if you look on the map you will see their locations. Five gates to hold in the evils of the Shadowlands, and somehow Mythic managed to shift them making the Dragon Gate Order’s entrance into Ellyrion. You know what, fine its a little bit off, I’ll forgive them… Moving south we head into Ellyrion with its capital of Tor Elyr, once again in the Destruction storyline.
- Tier 3 – The retreat turns into guerrilla warfare as we enter Avelorn, home of the Everqueen. Destruction is trying to find her, lo and behold so is Order! You never do find her in the storyline until you hit the big 40 and enter Lost Vale and save her from N’Kari, which is actually located in Avelorn! No great leaps and bounds across maps to access the dungeon. Order moves south to Saphery to seek the council of wise mages and Destruction moves south to find and assault the Tower of Hoeth – which in lore you can’t find if you are not pure of heart. How the Dark Elves find it when it is shrouded in powerful magic only Mythic knows.
- Tier 4 – Order heads to Eataine, right by Lothern to rally the troops in the final battle and Destruction heads to Caledor to start the invasion to smash Lothern. Dragonwake consists of the mountains between these two provinces where the armies meet, both with the goal of hitting the Isle of the Dead and unleashing the Vortex within, which would destroy Ulthuan. All in all this campaign is straight forward, no backtracking to capitals or crossing other tiered zones. However, it isn’t until Saruthil sacrifices his life to seal the Vortex and Order enters Caledor that the storyline slightly picks up, but in truth it never really does. Even the last pq is left in limbo with some type of rhetoric that essentially says ‘I hope we can win outnumbered 10 to 1’.
Geographically, I am happiest with the progression of the High Elf v Dark Elf storyline. It is a clear progression and the paths never cross (take that Empire!), my only beef is that all the cool places are on the Destruction half of the storyline and I wanna smash their faces and defend the Tower of Hoeth.