BigThingWithHolesInIt wrote:That was referring to big battles that last 4+ rounds, when the opposition army is beefy and led by a good hero. It's clear your Elves are eventually going to be engaged here and there's not much you can (or want to) do about it. The only thing you can do is move them away from the unit that has struck them, and usually this just wastes a turn because they are not lightning fast.
Griffins and Dragon Flies on the other hand can still fly around, pick targets, use their specials. Cerberi can't fly but their special gets better when the battle gets more dense, and no enemy retaliation helps keep them alive until and beyond that point.
For the record, I mainly based my pick on experience with large maps, and custom maps like the Battleground series, because there the little details and the durability of your forces really matter. But if you prefer small maps with just a few decisive battles, Grand Elves are likely the best level 3 unit you can have.
You shouldn't be moving the Elves at all; if you're doing that something serious has gone wrong. With Dwarves, Dendroids and the Centaur Captains to defend them, it will take time for any non-ranged unit to get through, unless they are the uber-fast Archangel / Phoenix kind that risk the ire of your entire army by rushing over on turn one.
But I don't see why this makes Dragon Flies, Royal Griffins and Cerberi superior. Dragon Flies can perhaps put Weakness on the Archangel stack or something, or kamikaze across the map to block ranged shooters like Titans, but not Royal Griffins or Cerberi. Royal Griffins will probably deal more damage over the course of the entire battle than Grand Elves, that much is certain. Cerberi will stay alive longer than Grand Elves too, that's obvious (unless they get annihilated by stuff like Meteor Shower or Armageddon or a Black Dragon's breath attack). But I don't see how that makes them good.
As I wrote before, if you compare Master Gremlins vs. Archmagi, the Archmagi are obviously the much superior unit. Yet if you play a fight against Tower, the Archmagi are going to die first, or at least lost some 90% of their numbers, before the Master Gremlins come under direct attack (that is, they are explicitly targetted). Why? In the same vein, Titans are going to die faster than Archmagi, even though they are again the superior unit with many times the HP. Why?
I'll conclude by saying that just because Cerberi live longer than Grand Elves in a final fight does not make them superior - in fact, I'll argue that it shows they are inferior, in a player's mind. Royal Griffins dealing more damage is a good point, but again they are dealing more damage because they aren't getting targetted quickly. Dragon Flies are versatile units that have their uses, but I personally prefer the destructive power of Grand Elves.
For the record, my Heroes 3 games typically end before the end of the second month. In a 2-player game it might last to the start of the second month; in a larger / more players game it will usually end by mutual agreement to fight a battle and finish. If it's a very long game then I can certainly see Dragon Flies weakening 100-strong Archangel stacks as the best level 3 unit, but otherwise I'll stick with Grand Elves.