2. Perhaps heroes should be included under the purchasable factions. What I mean is you get the heroes to start with that apply to your faction. For example, if you start with Lothlorien, You start with Celeborn, Haldir, and Galadriel available. After you summon help from Rivendell, you can now purchase Glorfindel, Elrond, and Arwen, and after Mirkwood, Thranduil and Legolas. Maybe tone Mirkwood up a little bit, too, since they'll start with one less hero - or not, that could be considered "part of Mirkwood's 'Style' as opposed to the other two sub-factions"
Come see my topic about a new map!
I am reaaaally for this concept. The Elves are awesome but I think it would be even more cool (and realistic) if the subfaction's heroes weren't available until their alliance was purchased. It adds more strategy to which team you choose to start with and also makes it more imperative to ally with the subfactions.