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
Tactics and info
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 it's 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 Magic University to be built, for balance reasons, making it relatively hard and expensive to build.
They are also the cheapest town-aligned creatures, only the Sprites having the same cost as the regular Gremlin.
The main tactic for them (especially the faster 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.
Against Pixies and 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.
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.