From Ex illis wiki
Creating a muster is one of the most exciting aspects of miniature war games. You prepare a strategy, you weigh the pros and cons and you carefully choose the miniatures you will include in your army.
In Ex illis, the technological side of the game does justice to our philosophy “easy to learn, difficult to master”. Creating a muster can be done in ten minutes and a few mouse clicks, but you can also spend hours studying the different parameters in order to improve your strategy.
Assembling an Army
When you register a starter kit in your account, three musters are automatically added to your profile: the defenders of the Brec’Helean, the raiders of the Broken Wing and a muster made up of your whole army. You can access them in the Muster tab of your ex-illis.com account. These first musters are a good starting point if you are a new player but you can modify them as you please as you get more confident with the system.
The muster screen enables you to visualise all the musters you have created until now. It shows the muster’s name, its Type, its number of points, its faction (represented by a coat of arms) as well as a shape which gives you an overview of its composition.
By moving your mouse over one of these shapes, different abbreviations appear. They show you in which categories you have the more points.
Every unit and Hero possesses one or more Muster Category.
The Muster shape fills up gradually as you add new miniatures to the army, based on the amount of points paid.
If a unit counts for more than one category, its full point value is added in every category.
The army Type (common, grand, legendary, etc.) represents the minimum and maximum levels of the miniatures taking part in it. They are categorised by groups of 10 levels as follow:
*These games do not earn the player any BP
Different scenarios are also under development to help you add a story element to your games and change the strategical approach to a battle.
Creating a New Muster
To create a new muster, click on the button “New” in the screen’s top left corner. You should then specify the Type of army (min-max level) and name it.
It should be noted that the Type of army which you can create depends on your Player level. It is impossible to lead a Homeric army if you are only a level 12 player... You will need to earn a few more stripes!
Inspecting an Army
If you click on an army or create a new one, you enter its edition screen. It is divided into three parts:
- general information in the top section;
- army composition in the middle section;
- the units left to add in the bottom section.
The general information shows the army’s name, its General (if you selected one), its Type and the number of points it costs. This value represents this army’s strength. Like most miniature war games, Ex illis uses a system of points to make sure the battles are fun and balanced. A simple soldier can be worth 4 or 5 points while a Hero might be worth 30 since this kind of Character is far more powerful than an ordinary warrior. The more miniatures you add to your army, the more points it will be worth and, therefore, the more powerful it will be.
When you plan a game with someone, you agree on the point scale both players will have to respect. To give a starting point to new players: half a starter kit is worth about 250 points at level 1 and a full starter kit is worth 500.
In the section showing the army’s composition, you can see the army’s graphic as described above, the army’s faction (if you chose a Hero to serve as General) as well as all units included in this army. For each one of these units, you can see the number of miniatures in it, their Level and its cost in terms of points.
Finally, the last section shows the units and the Heroes you have at your disposal in your collection and which you have not yet added to your army.
Modify an Army
To add a new unit to your army, simply click on its image in the “units” section at the bottom of the page. It will be added to the army automatically at the highest Level it can aspire to and the army’s points will automatically be recalculated. To remove a unit, you can simply click on the “X” button in the top right corner of the unit box.
Adding or removing Heroes is done the same way. The only difference is that they must always be linked to a unit in the game. You must therefore click on the Hero’s image first and then on the one of the chosen unit. Associating a Hero to a unit is a choice for advanced players since it has impacts on the morale and because special rules called Heroic Powers will be applied to the unit.
A unit can never play a higher level than the one it has reached, but it can always be demoted if needed. This function is particularly useful if you play against a friend who has a lower Player Level than yours. It also enables you to adjust the number of points a unit is worth in your muster.
A unit’s value in points doubles every ten level, but most of its characteristics only increase by 33.3% for the same bracket. The gap is filled by the combined effect that some characteristics have, by the new skills the unit develops and by the specialisation points you benefit from. Generally speaking, high-level units hit their opponents more easily, defend themselves better and are more intimidating in combat for their enemies. They enable you to attempt more audacious attacks. Make sure, however, that they touch their target since the opponent will be able to launch twice as many attacks for the same amount of points.
Is it better to field less high-level miniatures or many low-level ones? The answer depends on two main aspects: your mastery of the new skills acquired with the higher levels and the importance of this unit in your global strategy. Do not spend points on levels from which you will not profit, but do not hesitate to invest to gain a skill close to your heart that will be hard to counter for your opponent.
The second way to modify the number of points a unit costs is to use a partial unit rather than a full one. You can remove miniatures by clicking on them, as long as you use the majority (50% + 1). Thus, a unit of 8 archers can use from 5 to 8 soldiers while a unit of 4 knights can use 3 or 4 miniatures. However, miniatures cannot be removed from a unit of 2 Soffrances (the majority rule would not be respected).
A unit’s cost decreases proportionally to the number of miniatures in it. Thus, if 8 Longbowmen cost 40 points, a unit of only 5 miniatures costs 25 points. Note: the number of points is always rounded off if needed.
However, partial units still take the same space in a zone (often limited to three units), which is a disadvantage in large melees. Moreover, Morale penalties linked to casualties are proportional to the unit’s Bulk and it is therefore worst to lose one miniature out of 5 than one out of 8. Players facing several partial units can use morale as a tremendous weapon to cause their enemies’ failure.
Elite vs Mass
Playing elite or mass armies are two strategies which can be valid under the right circumstances. It is all a matter of style.
Elite armies have a good Morale, cause great damage when they hit and can take tons of punishment. However, units play less often (simply because they are fewer in number) and thus adapt less easily to a shift in situation. Mass armies play often, can suffer many losses and have the advantage of being able to attack the enemy’s flank repetitively.
If you have difficulty overcoming an opponent using masses, you should lean towards an army specialised in shooting. The great density of enemy miniatures will make sure your arrows almost always hit a target. However, if your opponent insists on playing elite, make him face a strong close combat army. The enemy warriors might be better than yours, but sooner or later, Fatigue will affect the miniatures and your horde will be able to beat them black and blue.
In Ex illis, calculating points is done based on units. At first, we determine the unit’s basic cost, then we add the Shortage penalty (based on the army’s shape), and finally we take into account the Faction rules brought by Generals with their factions.
The unit’s basic cost shows the relative strength of a unit compared to that of others of the same Level. For example, at level 1, most units cost about 30 to 40 points while some “mass” units such as the Vileins are worth a meagre 24 points and the “elite” ones such as the Franc Chevalers are worth 56 points.
This basic cost doubles every ten levels and is multiplied by the number of miniatures present in the unit. Finally, the result is rounded up to the closest whole number. The exact calculation is:
Thus, we can say that the basic cost for a unit of 6 Billmen at level 8 is calculated as follow:
Unit's Cost = Basic Cost X 2^(Level/10) X Number of miniatures
Unit's Cost = 40 X 1.7411 X (6/8)
Unit's Cost = 52
This cost can then be affected by a Shortage penalty. This penalty represents the idea that the more you use a same kind of troops, the further you have to go to find them and thus the more expensive they are! You can graphically see the Shortage with the army’s shape.
Each category in the shape has a first threshold which we use to consider a Shortage. If the army exceeds this threshold, the shape turns yellow and every additional point costs two. If the army exceeds a second threshold, the category turns red, indicating the state of Critical Shortage. In that case, every additional point costs three! If you pay penalty points for a unit, its cost will be shown in red.
|Categories|| The cost doubles |
for each point exceeding ...
| The cost triples |
for each point exceeding ...
You can move your cursor on the number to see where the Shortage costs come from.
Tip: The Shortage system is a flexible mechanism which allows you to create any army that comes to your mind, as long as you are ready to pay the price. Balanced armies will be more efficient since they will not be paying penalty points for any miniature. However, if you have a particular strategy in mind and that you think it is worth a certain penalty, do not hesitate to let your imagination run wild and try it on the battlefield.
The last aspect of point calculation is the presence of faction rules. When a Hero becomes General, his/her faction is attributed to the whole army and the faction rules can affect each unit’s point calculation.
A few factions have access to great quantities of a certain type of units, thus paying a lower cost for them. For example, the French Crown pays less Shortage penalty for the Franc Chevalers and benefits from a discount on French or Generic units.
Other factions will, on the contrary, pay more for a certain type of units, but get a substantial bonus. It represents the additional practice a unit may receive when it comes from a particular region.
| Number of units and Heroes |
in the army
After a game, both armies receive Battle Points (BP). These indicate that the miniatures participated directly or indirectly to a fight and that they will be better prepared for the next one.
Each army brings a certain amount of Battle Points to the game. The more imposing the battle is – i.e. the more units and Hero participating–, the higher the amount of Battle Points will be.
Once the game is over, both players earn the total amount of Battle Points the game is worth and this, whatever the issue of the battle is. For example, if Player A fields an army of 6 units and 2 Heros (so 2 BP) and Player B fields an army of 8 units and 2 Heros (so 3 BP), both players receive 5 BP at the end of the game.
No Battle Point will be given for a Practice, if the battlefield is less than four zones by four or if a difference of 15% separates both armies.