If you charged him in the back, in the flank, AND in the front, there is no way in hell you should have lost. Yes he will strike first but you will outnumber him, and have a rear bonus(+2), and flank bonus(+1) and a rank bonus (presumably +3). I can't remember off the top of me head though if the bonuses for Rear and Flank charges stack. And you would also negate his rank bonus for charging him in the flank and rear. You are already up +5 or +6(depending on if Flank/Rear bonuses stack) in Combat Resolution. Unless you charged with Skinks or Goblins, I don't see Strength 3 Elves killing 6 guys, let alone every model in the front rank of three DIFFERENT units. There is no way you should have lost that combat, I just don't see that happening.
As for High Elves and Always Strike First, I think it is a balanced rule. High Models are a little bit more expensive because of it. It's not as bad as people seem to think it is.
Allow me to explain with statistics:
Unit 5x4 Grid:
= 5+3+3 Swordsmasters attacking
= 22 attacks +1 champ = 23 attacks total.
They got 11 kills. (average for them in this case would be 10.0188).
I have 6 on the front and 5 on either side, for a total of 16, I lose 11 of my models giving me 5 left to fight back, with a 50% chance to wound and hit.
I will kill on average one elf and I did.
So let's do a tally of combat resolution:
Outnumber : 1
His victory: 2
NOTHING else in the game would have survived so many charges at once. This ASF rule, basically gave this elf unit the advantage as if it had just charged 3 units simultaneously
. It also pretty much completely negates cavalry.
As for using chariots to counter High Elves? Good luck on making that cost effective.
I have skaven and tomb kings, My chariots cost enough each so I need to kill 3 swordsmasters to get that back, impact hits at d3 S4....lol.
This new rule is complete shite, just admit it
If they were spears they would be strength 3, but they're swordsmasters, they have two attacks and are strength 5 and don't cost much for it. Their ASF rule applies to their great weapons also naturally.....
It's just a case of Gamesworkshop tailoring the rules to sales again, make a popular team powerful so they can up the sales like they did with space marines for awhile (or still do?).
Try using any of the armies that are either lightly armoured or cavalry based against elves, your only option is ranged weaponry, fie upon you if you don't have that....
FYI Lizardmen have woeful initiative and lower speed than elves, they would usually always strike last anyways, they are MEANT to strike last, so they are hardly a relevant means of comparison to whether the new rule is/isn't balanced.
What this ultimately means, is I will just refuse to play skaven versus HE at all, period. No point, it's either his fun or mine and I'm not playing games that end up like that.
Edited: Do not post individual points costs of models, it is against forum rules - squeek