I've kept a lot the same. Firstly, it uses the elements to describe how a unit or army plays. Beatdown and Control are EXACTLY the same in Silents concept as in mine, the difference is that with my system its easier to determine what/who the Beatdown is.
You realize that by "refining" Silent's system, what you've done is
-Change the terminology
-Change the fundamental defining characteristics
-Change the concept of the Beatdown/Control
-Change the tactics used by each element
What have you kept the same?!?
but let's try to keep it civil, okay?
Not at all if you re-read his definition of "who's the beatdown" it remains the same. While I could have put it more clearly (the beatdown is the army who is farthest from the origin) and the control is the army who is closest to the origin.
Beatdown and Control has nothing to do with any elements, or any pair of elements. It has to do, fundamentally, with which army needs to act fast to assert its victory condition, and which needs to deny the enemy's ability to do so in order to take a longer time setting up its own. If you change that to simply mean the "opposite" element, you've changed the concept completely.
You've described them exactly.
As for your challenge, I don't know much about Orks, so this is slightly difficult because two of your examples are Orks. I assume the first is something like an all-biker spacie list or a destroyer-heavy Necron list in that it's very fast and very shooty, with little CC power. And I assume the second is a lot like a footslogging 'Nid horde list. If either of those is wrong, please let me know.
So, here is where Silent's system requires a full paragraph, whereas the obvious answer here is water. You've already used air, earth and fire, right?
2) In Silent's original system, this would be a combination of Fire and Earth, though mostly Fire. It's offensive, mobile (though not fast), and prefers CC, all indicative of Fire. However, with the ungodly numbers it can muster, it will be able to outlast most opponents, especially if it can get into CC where its numbers will be more of a protection, and that makes it Earth-like. I will admit right now that I don't know where this would fit into my linear system. I'll come back to that later.
All the other definitions perfectly match my defintions, so they can't be too different can they?
All of these are hybrids. You can determine that easily by the "with" clause at the end of them. BTW, the reason that people don't field "pure" element armies is that they are too dependant on not meeting the opposite. But, as I'm as good a sport as the next guy, here goes.
All right, my turn. Your system defines whole armies by how fast they can move and at what range they deal damage. It sounds like your system only works on homogenous armies. What about the following?
1) Blood Angels, with static long-range shooting and also fast CC units
2) Daemonbomb, with very fast units (with mid-range weapons) "dropping off" fairly slow CC units
3) A Mech IG list, with very long and very short ranged shooting
1) Earth with fire elements (lava?)
2) Fire with Water elements (steam?)
3) Fire with Earth elements (lava again)
Examples 1 and 3 would actually be very similar in play. You'd have static long range (generally anti-tank) units, along with units that zoom up and shoot/bash the ba-jeezus out of stuff at close range. The Death Company and the Armored Fist units would perform (believe it or not) very much the same roll in both these armies. They are both rapid response to deal with enemy dangerous to the static shooty elements in the list.
First you have to look at the primary component of the army. That determines generally how the army playes overall. Therfore the MechIG and the Daemon bombs will both play most similarly, run forward without getting shot up, then dump your short ranged death and hope that it's enough. This is because (or why? ) they are both primarily fire based with other elements.
Correct me if I'm wrong, but by your method of categorizing, all three of these armies would end up very near the center, if not directly on it.
However, these three armies will have undeniably and unmistakeably different playstyles (as well as different compositions). How can you justify a system that lumps these three armies together like that?
The BA army will stand back and shoot (primarily) and then counter-assault with anything that gets into range. This is because (or why) it is primarily earth based.
Adding other elements to an army does dilute the purity of the original army concept, and by adding equal amounts of the elements will get you closer to the origin. The difference though is that Silent recommends that every UNIT be close to the origin. This way it's not possible to out-assult the shooters, and outshoot the assaulters.
Hehehe, I guess I should have read further down before my previous statement! I'm leaving it this way as it helps to illustrate not only my train of thought, but also the fact that I get where you're coming from. Having origin UNITS is superior to simply having an origin ARMY. I think we're agreeing on that point precisely.
Water is not just an army with mid-range speed and mid-range offensive effectiveness. It is an army in which most, if not all, the units are flexible enough that they can act in battle in whatever way best suits the present tactical situations. I don't know how much you've followed the conversation earlier in this thread, but we discussed at length how a "conglomeration" army, made up of various different specialist units, does not act at all like what Silent described as Water in his tactica. Water has its own unique playstyle, and its own, unique unit types.
I think that any concept within Silents system can be more clearly defined in my system in a more precise and elegant way with less ambiguity. Further, it could almost be done with a simple find/replace algorythm. Simply search for "water" and replace with "origin". Then write a section detailing that water elements have low mobility and low range.
Again, I'm going to re-think my linear system, as it does seem to have at least one problem. I urge you to look at your system as well, and ask yourself if it really does match up with what Silent described. I'm not saying your system isn't interesting; I very much think it is. However, it isn't anything like Silent's system, and that's what we're interested in for the time being.
Silent's original definitions run into problems with even the most basic army archetypes. Right now Earth is overloaded, as the footslogging Orks example illustrates. Air and Fire are overloaded yet can't reliably indicate the difference between Mech Shooty armies and footslogging Close Combat armies.
What seems like Fire to one person is actually Air, and vice-versa. For a jargon or language to be truely successful, the meanings need to be reproduce-able to everybody that uses them.
Certainly I could re-define my system. There would be Earth, Air and Fire (which nearly exacty correspond to Silents definition) and add the additional element of Daffodil. Then instead of "origin" I could use "water". This would almost precisely match the previous definition, and I'm not kidding! The only difference would be the addition of the Daffodil element!
Or, I could redefine Silents "Water" to be "Balanced" or "Origin", and add a (much needed) element called "Water".
Personally, I think that the second is more logical and doesn't run the risk of people thinking I'm a tree-hugging eldar player!
And to over-make the point, it'll be sad to lose the "Way of the Water Warrior" alliteration, but it doesn't really make any sense.