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Ship Stats: Which is More Important, Role or 'Realism'?


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#1 R22

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 01:26 AM

So in another thread I pointed out my thought that the A-wing suffers because it gets stuck between being a TIE/F and X-wing. In terms of 'realism' this makes sense -- the A-wing is manueverable like a TIE but stronger like a X-wing. Except at the end of the day this is a game played on a table. FFG has done a great job balancing the gameplay mechanics with the spirit of SW dogfights. But the A-wing got me wondering, do you see ship stats governed by role (swarm, tank, support, etc.) or realism (it's place in the SW universe). For instance, would future ships' stats prioritize fitting one of these in-game roles or living up to its in-galaxy character? Because they'll never fit perfectly and trying to satisfy both seems to create a ship that isn't true to the game or SW galaxy.

 

It's a game. So dynamic simplicity is important. Swarms, tanks, and such are inevitable and necessary. But do you think ship stats are or ought to be made with an eye toward certain fixed roles -- in which the A-wing and TIE/Adv can't seem to make up their minds -- or have their in-galaxy realism catered to even if it means bending the in-game system?

 

Sticking with the A-wing example. If we go by roles, it seems lost and is so considered largely to be in need of tweaking. If we go by realism so to speak, should we then give it perhaps +1 attack but -1 hull/shield? The latter approach plays up the A-wings more robust yet fragile in-galaxy reality but slightly breaks the in-game roles by "equating" its 2 lasers with an X-wing's 4.

 

Thoughts? I'd personally rather prioritize in-galaxy character over the in-game roles because, with so many ships, they'd create unique combinations inevitably and keep each ship playable in itself. Otherwise we just get pretty models that amount to different versions of 5 swarm vs. 1 support/2 attackers. Roles vs roles instead of X-wings vs. TIE, A-wings vs. TIE/Int, etc.


Rebels: 5 X-wing, 2 Y-wing, 3 Z-95, 5 A-wing, 4 B-wing, 2 E-wing, 1 HWK-290, 1 YT-1300, 1 GR-75, 1 CR-90

Imps: 5 TIE/Ln, 5 TIE/In, 3 TIE/B, 2 TIE/D,1 TIE/Adv, 1 TIE/P, 1 Lambda, 1 Firespray-31

*1 Imperial Aces, 2 Rebel Aces included within total*


#2 Rakky Wistol

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 01:44 AM

Role a d game balance no question. Tie advanced and awing have thief own little quirks but remember, the developers are probably not even out of their original plans yet.

The only ship hat doesn't see play right now is the advanced. Awings show up still and continue to improve as missiles do.

Star Wars universe only matters more to hardcore fans and they don't much care about the minis stats as much anyway. Maybe not very "hardcore" as I'm sure others will be pointing out in 3.26 seconds or so.

Balance in game is infinitely more important than "has 2 lasers compared to 4 so must be only half as good"

#3 HooblaDGN

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 03:21 AM

I love A-Wings just as they are. They are not as straightforward to play as tie swarms or x-wings but over the last few weeks I have learned to fly them as pests that cannot be ignored and in this role they are great ships. They can absolutely ruin your enemy's day and as long as people underestimate them they will be surprisingly good at killing things with sheer agility (though I don't know about running a full squad of them, never tried it).

 

As for which is more important? There is no realism because we're dealing with Star Wars. Whatever makes it fun, I'd think.


Edited by HooblaDGN, 19 October 2013 - 03:37 AM.


#4 Gazerfoxie

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 03:39 AM

Balance in game is, indeed, very important.

However, I don't think game balance is necessarily dependent on ships fitting into arbitrary roles like swarm/tank/support, nor is game balance mutually exclusive with living up to the in-universe characteristics and 'feel' of the individual units. in the mechanics of the tabletop game, much of the minutiae is lost into abstraction for the sake of simplicity in any case.. We don't -have- to say that 'the a wing has only 2 lasers compared to the x-wing's 4 so it must be half as effective' in order to respect the spirit of the canon, particularly considering the attack/defense dice are a heavily simplified abstraction of many factors.

 

If you really wanted to break it down, as an example, we could go on to say that yes, the x-wing has 4 lasers, the a-wing has two, but then, the a-wing is more maneuverable than the xwing, and the lasers are mounted much closer to the cockpit and to each other, compensating for the lower number some by improved concentration of fire, which was something I recall from the X-wing PC game, the x-wing had more lasers but shooting at a TIE fighter, you were most likely to land only 2 bolts on a target in a single burst.

 

At the end of the day though, we aren't going into that level of detail, fighters in our game have huge, abstract firing arcs, agility/defenses/accuracy/fire concentration/weapon power/durability and reliability all get boiled down into a handful of simple dice and hit points, and yes, some fighters may not perfectly fit into an assigned in game 'role', but hey, in reality there really aren't that many military craft or weapon systems that are truly optimal to begin with.

 

I guess the point I'm trying to go after here is, I don't see that one side is 'infinitely more important' than the other. Yes, game balance is important, the game needs to stay fun and playable. But the story, the experience, is for me almost as important, and if point values are roughly balanced, and the 'feel' of the individual ships is respected, I'm cool with that. A big part of the enjoyment for me is the immersion in what is a rather heavily developed universe.

 

I'm not going to start complaining to FFG because the A-wing isn't the perfect little swarmer I want it to be, because I'm the pilot. It's -my- job to make my tactics conform to the ships I have. It's my job to determine what the strengths and weaknesses of my bird are, and to pit my strength against the enemy's weakness. If by some fluke we finally do get a product that is a ridiculously game breaking powerhouse under a broad range of conditions, yeah, I might change my tune there, but I don't see that we've hit anything that egregious yet, and I just don't see it being that difficult to respect the immersion in the canon and keep things balanced.

 

It's a poor craftsman that blames his tools. [admittedly, occasionally justifiable when one gets stuck trying to drive nails with a nerf™ hammer, I just don't think we've hit that point yet]


"Do a Barrel Roll! Use the Boost to get through!" .. .. .. Wait a minute. Is this the right game?


#5 Joker Two

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 01:56 PM

Universe fluff but game balance.

 

One thing I try to keep in mind is that X-Wing is a fairly simple and abstract game system (in comparison to other tabletop miniature wargames, at least).  A lot of the differences between ships come down to the margins.

 

Maybe an A-Wing is a little more well-armed and agile than a TIE Fighter, but is it powerful and agile enough to get that third attack and fourth defense die?

 

Do some TIE Interceptor pilots rig power feeds to their chin lasers, probably.  But most don't, so they are the exception, and Expose can represent that trade-off pretty well.

 

On a side note, part of the reason I think people view the A-Wing as a weaker choice is the tendency to min-max.  People see a defensively-oriented fighter and try to make it more defensive (Stealth Device) to maximize its specialty.  This makes it so hard a target that it gets overlooked for offensive ships (X-Wing, B-Wing) with offensive upgrades (Proton Torpedoes, Heavy Laser Cannon).

 

I try to give offensive ships defensive upgrades, and vice versa, so that my ships are all equally valuable targets.  Missiles or aggressive Talents on A-Wings, TIE Fighters, and TIE Advanceds.  Defensive modifications, astromechs, or system upgrades on B-Wings, and TIE Bombers.



#6 StevenO

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 02:23 PM

A "offensive" upgrade I'd almost like to see for the A-Wing to reflect how it playing in the video game would be a "missile bank" type of upgrade that would give multiple (unlimited) missiles out of the one slot.



#7 yoink101

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 03:13 PM

I love that they have stuck with the cannon relatively well and still used points and abilities to keep the game balanced. The only issue I've seen so far is the tie bomber. I think it is sinful that it has better manueverability and more defense dice than the y wing or the b wing. The tie bomber has a single purpose. To deliver massive loads of ordinance to their targets. They might even be less maneuverable than the star wing gunboat, as they are technically designed for surface assault.

This is from the wiki page "Due to their distinctive dual-hull shape, TIE bombers came to be referred to occasionally as "dupes" or (albeit indirectly) "sitting ducks" by enemy pilots. The latter nickname was due to its bulky structure making it much slower and far less maneuverable than other TIE craft."

But it is a small complaint in a sea of praise for me.

I think the a wing works as it is supposed to. It is a dogfighter, able to maneuver with the best of the TIEs, while the x wing is a heavier, multi-role fighter.

(Edit, I need to preview my pages...)

Edited by yoink101, 19 October 2013 - 03:26 PM.


#8 Garven Dreis

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Posted 19 October 2013 - 07:18 PM

I love that they have stuck with the cannon relatively well and still used points and abilities to keep the game balanced. The only issue I've seen so far is the tie bomber. I think it is sinful that it has better manueverability and more defense dice than the y wing or the b wing. The tie bomber has a single purpose. To deliver massive loads of ordinance to their targets. They might even be less maneuverable than the star wing gunboat, as they are technically designed for surface assault.

This is from the wiki page "Due to their distinctive dual-hull shape, TIE bombers came to be referred to occasionally as "dupes" or (albeit indirectly) "sitting ducks" by enemy pilots. The latter nickname was due to its bulky structure making it much slower and far less maneuverable than other TIE craft."

But it is a small complaint in a sea of praise for me.

I think the a wing works as it is supposed to. It is a dogfighter, able to maneuver with the best of the TIEs, while the x wing is a heavier, multi-role fighter.

(Edit, I need to preview my pages...)

 

But compared to the other TIEs, the Bomber is a sitting duck. It's got the lowest agility of any of the TIE variants released thus far.






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