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Dark Elf

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Unit Details
Dark Elf
Classification
Type Diplomatic
Race Elves
Class Thief
Level Advanced
Specifications
Capability Steal basic and
advanced resources
Effectiveness
31
Attack
Fighting strength when on the offensive
Attack
29
Defense
Fighting strength when on the defensive
Defense
Visibility unknown
Speed 25
Rate of movement speed
Expressed in tiles per hour
Tiles per Hour
Theft Capacity 54
Cost
To Train
Gold
Primary resource
Gold
Horses
Advanced resource
Horses
Books
Basic secondary resource
Books
Saddles
Advanced equipment resource
Saddles
6121
Train Time
Measured span of time
either expressed as components ([Ad] [Bh] [Cm] [Ds])
or one to three ordinals ([[hhh:]mm:]ss).
Times are always exact to the second.
Time
15m at Consulate (20)
Upkeep 6
Rate of gold consumption
Expressed in units per hour
Gold per Hour
Prerequisites
Research Thiefmastery
Building Consulate (11)
Thief Units - Diplomatic Units
Elven Units - Advanced Units - Units

Dark Elves are the Elves' advanced thief unit.

Use

Advanced thieves can steal any resource except mana and research (because they are intangible) and siege blocks (because they are too heavy). Their speed and strong attack make advanced thieves ideal for long-distance and siege support roles.

Dark Elves fare better than rogues against defended cities and also are capable of harvesting enough resources to earn their keep if kept busy. However, attacking thief parties can be lost to a man while defenders never take losses. This--combined with various additional defensive capabilities like killing and seeking runes and defense bonuses based on population relative to attacker count--progressively drives thievery out of feasibility as opponent cities become more developed. At the same time, geometric growth of natural resource gathering rates and tendency to bring home only natural resources also diminishes their value to a developed attacker.

One noteworthy use, however is as an alternative to transportation. Small cities that are under attack and needing to evacuate valuable resources and equipment can be cleaned out by the thieves of neighboring friendly cities. Overall, Elves have the poorest thieves.

Economics

While having them on hand can be invaluable in various operational situations, advanced thieves are not useful consistently enough to justify maintaining a permanent large force.

Direct Cost
Gold
Primary resource
Gold
Horses
Advanced resource
Horses
Books
Basic secondary resource
Books
Saddles
Advanced equipment resource
Saddles
6121
Base Cost
Wood
Natural resource
Wood
Clay
Natural resource
Clay
Iron
Natural resource
Iron
Food
Natural resource
Food
Gold
Primary resource
Gold
Research
Primary resource
Research
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