The Wood Elves are in dire need of an update to their faction mechanics and story. As it stands now: the Wood Elves are forced to expand like every other faction, by conquering settlements, to get replenishment, more Amber etc. The problem is that the outposts are extremely vulnerable and useless compared to other factions settlements and this traditional method of expansion does not gel with the Wood Elves fast, raider/hit and run playstyle.
I propose a way to revitalise the Expansion options of the Wood Elves by Changing how the outposts work. Instead of conquering settlements as the Wood Elves, their outposts could work like a hybrid of settlements and Pirate Coves/Under Cities. They don't exist within settlements themselves but they still have garrisons, building chains and so on.
When you capture a settlement as the wood elves you could be faced with new options:
- Sack and withdraw
- Sack and occupy (similar to the Vampire and Skaven option of keeping the enemy settlement intact, but creating an underway/cove/outpost within that province as well)
- Raze and Occupy (destroy the enemy settlement but establish an outpost in the region)
Instead of having the Wood Elves occupy the ruins of settlements like the Skaven’s do, Wood Elf Outposts would be their own structure, hidden somewhere within that region (preferably on a forest tile)
The Wood Elf outposts would be Invisible to all other factions, which would make them far less vulnerable, give the Wood Elves a better foothold outside Athel Loren and it would work better thematically as well.
How could other factions find these outposts?
As of right now: heroes are able to investigate settlements for Under Cities or Pirate Coves, but these new Wood Elf outposts would be completely invisible and outside the city so how would other factions find them?
This would be achieved by changing the way heroes investigate. Instead of clicking on the settlements to investigate: the hero could have a button that activates the Investigation when they are standing within the province (Like how "cleanse corruption" and other hero abilities worked in Warhammer 1)
I also think that, instead of it working 100% of the time, this investigation mechanic should have a certain chance for success each turn, or it should take a certain number of turns to complete the investigation. This gives time for the faction with a hidden Cove, Underway or Outpost to react and plan ahead.
The Worldroots and How to expand upon Outposts
I’m not sure if you’ve ever played Endless Space 2 or Endless Legend, but I think CA could take Inspiration from the Vaulters and the Unfallen from those games.
The Unfallen are a race of tree people, who can extend the roots of their world-Tree to adjacent regions (this is a prerequisite for their colonisation of other regions). The Vaulters on the other hand can Teleport between their settlements.
There are multiple ways this could be implemented, but I think the Wood Elves Worldroots should function the same way: with the player able to extend the Worldroots to other regions from turn 1.
You would be able to conquer where you want, as normal, but you aren't able to properly upgrade your outposts until you extend the Worldroots to that same region. (Wood Elf armies could also get some passive bonuses to being/fighting in regions where the Worldroots have been extended)
Perhaps you could even terraform other regions into becoming a part of the Magical Forest after a while.
Extending the Worldroots to a region with an outpost would also allow you to construct a special building in that Outpost. This building allows you to teleport garrisoned armies to Other outposts with the same building chain or back home to Athel loren.
this teleportation mechanic might sound a bit OP, but you could restrict it in a similar way to the Geomantic web: so, you can only Teleport to settlements that are connected to yours in a sequence. (perhaps you could get technology later on to Transcend this limitation)