Yes, the system works, but it's shallow.
Your Elites come in essentially on a timer, which feels cheap and a bit gimmicky.
Additionally, it further compounds the present meta game by making use of Low-point elites and quickly pumping them out in the opening stages. This system is why you see players almost always opting for Early game elites over late-game elites. If you are dumping everything into early-game rush aggro (say, 5x Tact Marine), you may as well get a "free" 2-point Elite to press it home. If the opposing player dares to not take an early game elite, he is at a big disadvantage. Simple game theory, and is why every competitive game is filled with 2-4 point elites.
Essentially, the opportunity cost (a key concept in deciding what builds to go for in Strategy games) is very low in getting early game elites. There's almost no reason not to (what? you're gonna save for late game elites? Good luck bro.).
Rework Elite unit balance - nerf Early game elites (and buff some late game ones?)
- If Relic wants use to utilize these "free" Elites off of a timer, they shouldn't be so strong. Think of the impact a Stormboyz squad, A Weridboy, A Macha, a Gorgutz has on the game and then think about the impact of 7 or 9 point elite has. Yes, theoretically, those 7 and 9 point elites are far more powerful than their 2-4 point elite counterparts. However, they are also coming out at a point in the game where there are a lot of units and firepower being brought to bear. So an Imperial Knight Paladin, in reality, has a lesser impact in terms of VALUE than a weridboy or Chaplain does.
Make Elite Points similar to the "red" resource from DoW2.
- What I mean by that is, every time you kill an Elite, it shaves off time from generating your next EP, based on the value of that Elite. IMO, this will make utilizing early game Elite aggression more risky - if they die, your opponent gets ahead of your in this manner.
Have Elites cost Requisition/Power on initial summon and/or revival.
- Pretty Self-explanatory - utilizing Elites means you have less resources for anything else, and thereby removing that gimiccky feeling of having the Free-cost badasses running around and smacking every unit they see. Additionally, it will promote that opportunity cost I mentioned earlier that is lacking in this game atm.
I will compare Elites to WC3 Heroes - both are units that are critical to your survival. However, the tension in trying to keep a Hero alive in WC3 is far greater than trying to keep an Elite alive in DoW3. In WC3, killing a hero significantly reduces army strength, grants a lot of EXP for your hero, as well as costing both TIME and MONEY to revive (ofc, you can pay a premium to reive at the tavern at 50% HP/mana). It's not uncommon for Pro matches to be decided purely on the basis on losing your main hero.
Compare this to Elites - yes, killing them is important to reduce the army strength of your opponent, duh. But, there's almost no other benefit for killing them. You don't get any direct reward for killing them (you basically have to push super hard before their revival timer countsdown), nor does your opponent get behind in economy because they are free.
I would like to see All 3 of the above suggestion implemented. I think it would improve both the pacing of the game (by reducing that "gimiccky" feel of elites crushing your armies) and further promote interesting and deep strategies. Relic has been doing a good job with past changes in reducing the potency of some Early game Elites, but they are still clearly quite potent.