Pixie and Sprite
|• No enemy retaliation
"Within the land of Antagarich, Pixies and Sprites have found a home within the walls of the Conflux. These flying creatures are usually found in large numbers and possess great quickness. Sprites strike so quickly, they prevent their enemies from counterstriking." AB manual
- The portraits of Pixie and Sprite got minor changes.
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According to Jennifer Bullard's development documents, they joined the Rampart armies after the Dwarves joined Bracada and the Centaurs started complaining about 'tree-hugging wimpy druids' and left too. It should be also mentioned that the Conflux was disbanded at that time, having fulfilled its scope given by the Ancients, which was to get rid of the Kreegans on Antagarich, the Pixies/Sprites and Phoenixes not wanting to return to the Elemental Planes.
Pixies and sprites are useful first level creatures. Despite their very low health and defense, Sprites are the fastest first level creatures in the game, and their ability to strike without retaliation is very important. They can be a key attacker in early battles for the conflux until Ice Elementals and Storm Elementals join the ranks.
Both Pixies and Sprites have the smallest health and defense value for a faction-aligned creature, the Halfling and the Goblin sharing the same defense as them. However, their trump card is the no retaliation ability and their speed, which helps them not take hits, if using a wait-attack-retreat tactic (as in flying away from the enemy).
While the Pixies have only 1-2 damage, the Sprites have 1-3 damage. Considering their very high growth (50 with Castle and Garden of Life), no retaliation ability and high speed, they can be an offensively strong troop, which is the reason why Sprites are considered to be one of the best level 1 units, together with their cheapness.
Efficiency and cost
The base dwelling requires 3 of each ore and wood , together with 300 gold . The upgrade of the dwelling is 1000 gold , which means you will be able to recruit the Sprites from the 1st or 2nd day for a very low price. However, in Horn of the Abyss, the upgraded dwelling requires both the Mage Guild level 1 and Garden of Life to be built for balance reasons, making it more expensive to build and taking longer to acquire.
They are also the cheapest town-aligned creatures, only the Sprites having the same cost as the regular Gremlin.
Pixies should be upgraded to Sprites as soon as possible, since Pixies don't have the ability of disallowing retaliation, therefore being almost useless in a battle. The main tactic for Sprites is to wait in the first turn, attack at the end and retreat next turn. This allows them to retain numbers while dealing much damage, at least in the early game. They can also be used as a decoy against relatively slow units to allow the Storm Elementals and/or Ice Elementals to finish them by ranged attacks. Due to low hit points, Sprites are easily resurrected, and rising hundreds of slain Sprites suddenly in the end of the battle may help you a lot, causing major troubles to the enemy.
Against Sprites, you should prioritize killing them if they come in really big numbers or are a threat to your shooters, especially in the early game. However, once having received a full attack from a decent enemy troop, this unit perishes easily, its numbers going down faster than you would expect. If their numbers are low, you should instead concentrate on other threats, like Storm Elementals, for example. Sometimes AI plays with Pixies which makes a battle freebie, since prior to their upgrade, Pixies are unsuitable for anything. Possibly the only situation in which you aren't obliged to turn them into Sprites is when you play for Necropolis and get Pixies, as Skeleton Transformer turns both units into Skeletons.