Anyway I don't feel these arguments are very strong, for several reasons. First of all teleport would probably be an advanced spell, one that you will end up casting regularly only in larger maps, but since I personally only play huge maps it definitely ends up being something that affects all my games a lot, and the games of people like me who are more interested in the epic aspect of the game, rather than in a quicker magic duel.
I play on the largest map sizes, too. Further, the above comment is pointless and shall be disregarded for the rest of my argument.
1) In large maps after many turns the mana pool will be extremely rich, so the cost of casting spells I doubt will be a limiting issue.
Again, global mana pool. Casting one spell weakens the whole of your casters. I can't imagine the game being so imbalanced that you can cast 15 mana and then regain it by the next turn, and if that DOES happen, I believe it'll be an error on the part of Stardock, rather than a direct line to make Teleport OP.
2) Armies "need to still fight" but the attacker can decide where and when, so by being able to jump around a player deciding to abuse teleport will be always in a winning position and all the strategic subtleties of terrain and movement become useless. I just don't see how that point could be dismissed by just simply saying "armies still need to fight".
The attacker cannot decide where and when. Do realize that they have a soft time limit, that of the enemy armies in their territory. Again, abusing teleport weakens all other casters, making it a fairly stupid move. The 'strategic subtleties' of terrain and movement will not be useless, as a clever invading force would not be caught in the open.
Let me try to explain my reasoning in a simplistic manner.
- An army, at the moment, has a cap to the number of units. Thus, a caster who is not in combat will mean that the army has one less than the max, resulting in an inferiority of numbers.
- Thus, any teleporting force will have fewer numbers, and an attacking force, unless utterly stupid, has anything less than a full-sized army.
- Even with teleportation, the end result is the same: to fight. Teleporting an army in and losing the battle means that I wasted mana and soldiers in a battle where I was, in some capacity, fighting a losing battle.
- Your arguments, again, seem to stem from the illusion that I can drop an army to counter anything that is thrown at me. Well, last I checked, armies had to be built, over many turns. Furthermore, I can't just teleport and automatically shut down an enemy army. If the enemy army manages to beat my teleporting army, then lo and behold, I lost an army. There is no way to instantly counter an enemy army in such a way that I can crush them without any losses. An attacking army is more than likely going to be very strong and with the best soldiers they can bring out.
- Armies still need to fight. Understand that if I just drop an army down, it does nothing in and of itself. It means nothing. Thus, someone with better soldiers, better TACTICS, and who is CLEVER will ultimately win. It does not matter if teleportation is used or not, because teleportation decides absolutely nothing.
3) It's NOT "a gamble" at all compared to the gamble of advancing in enemy territory, knowning that wherever the enemy is it can probably be ready to attack you whatever your clever (oops sarcasm ) plan was!
See, I'm one of the people who actually thinks that planning for an enemy that can teleport in on my armies is part of the strategy.
4) Besides since one teleports into his territory to defend one of huis own cities, even if the hero who used teleport becomes useless because he spent all his mana his army will probably still be able to find a replacement in that area (it's their land). So even assuming that attacking a 11 unit army with your 10 unit army were a big disadvantage (which by the way I don't agree on) that still wouldn't happen.
This argument is based upon the following things: that every hero can cast spells, that each spell cast depletes individual mana vs. global mana, that fighting at 90% is equal to fighting at 100%.
The first two factors I will ignore, because they are simply irrational. Next, I refer to my above point, where armies still need to fight. An attacker in an enemy territory will be using no less than their best forces, and when two elite forces are engaging each other an extra unit can and will be a factor. Yes, I've defeated enemy armies that are greater than my own in terms of number. I have also lost to forces of inferior number. I blame that on a tactical failure on my part. Yet the same holds true - two armies that fight against each other, in this instant, will be at their strongest, and it is sensible to assume that tactically speaking, two forces of equal strength soldiers but inequal numbers will result in heavy casualties to both sides, and the side with the greater numbers will ultimately suffer the least.
5) mana cost in my opinion is not an issue anymore in epic games, at least that is my experience with Age of Wonders, but that depends on the game balance.
This is not AoW, for one thing. That game is quite different from Elemental. And given that I can easily lay out several potent spells for 15 mana, such as buffs or debuffs, all of which heavily alter the playing field, I personally view it as a large thing to take into consideration.
I have really seen teleport applyied in every possible way in my life and while it becomes irrelevant in single player because usually by the time you get it you have already won a game, in multiplayer it is always a terrible thing. What it's worse is that it tends to affect the best games, those that manage to get to a realistic balance between players after a long extenuating war. When you finally get to the point where you feel you have a real empire and a real war going on full of strategic options... there comes Mario Bros jumping around with his superstack and the game becomes an arcade!
I fail to see the point of this statement, and shall thus disregard it.