Has anyone else had balance issues with the game? A friend and myself played several games this past Sunday and the Imperials won every time. You could chalk it up to my stellar piloting (;p), but we switched sides back and forth (I didnt want my opponent to dislike the game after one or two tries). Still, Empire won every time. Our last game I was Empire again, eight TIE Fighters (4 Academy, 4 Obsidian). He was using three X-Wings and two Y-Wings with various upgrades (yes, he was over on points by 20-30, we realized later), but that only makes my point worse. Most of my ships ended up damaged, but I didn't lose any.
Even when I played Rebels (smaller games), the Empire won.
However, I haven't seen any claims of imbalance, though I have seen some folks say the Rebels are powerful (?!). So why is our experience so different than most other people's?
They key from the little information gathered is it seems that the Rebel side is spreading his fire over multiple TiEs. That would very much explain why. That is the exact last thing a player can afford to do against TiEs especially the TiE swarm.
I have played 16 100 point games. 15 of them as the Rebels. I've won 13 of those games. So from a certain point of view I'm sure I have friends saying the opposite.
So from a certain point of view I'm sure I have friends saying the opposite.
Did anyone else kind of feel like Bill Clinton was a big Obi Wan Kenobi fan when he had to give all those testimonials under oath?
Anyways, I don't think there's really a cry for imbalance, you just have to recognize that in many ways, the game is asymmetrical in nature. You can't play Imperials the same way you'd play Rebels. The closest thing, in terms of ship stats, would be squads of TIE Advanced vs X-Wings;
Similar maneuver dial
Focus, Target Lock, Elite Talent upgrade cards (on certain pilots)
Same Hull/Shield Rating
X-Wing is Attack 3/Agility 2
TIE Advanced is Attack 2/Agility 3
X-Wings get Proton Torpedos and Astromechs
TIE Advanced get Cluster Missiles/Concussion Missiles
TIE Advanced can also Barrel Roll and Evade
So even with a comparable "frame", both ships have dramatically different options to execute each turn, and you just need to leverage them correctly.
I think there are some "cheap" combos, like Luke/R2 and Vader/Marksmanship/Cluster Missiles, but both sides have their killer setups, so I don't think its game breaking. It could potentially be a problem at a tournament, if you are limited in options by the ships you bought, for instance only buying TIE Fighters as the Empire, and never picking up a TIE Advanced, but assuming you had access to all the ships/cards in a 100pt match, you'll be able to have an answer for anything on paper.
With TIE's, I find that oversaturating the Rebels with multiple targets is great, because even though your ship is more fragile, the Rebels won't have as many craft to shoot you down. Even in a 2-1 chicken match, both your TIE's can't be shot down, so you'll still have something to answer with. Try and create situations where you force a wounded Rebel ship to engage in a head-on with a pair of TIE's and don't be scared to send one of the members of the Emperor's "Entire Legion of Best Troops" to a fiery death, because there's plenty more where that came from, but an X-Wing off the board is a huge loss.
With Rebels, you really do need to focus on concentrating your firepower on taking one TIE out a time. Spreading around 10 points of damage over 5 TIE Fighters still leaves 5 TIE Fighters to kill you, barring any interesting Critical Hit results, where if you concentrate it on a couple of ships, you can remove a couple of them and start tipping the odds in your favour. TIE Fighters are in trouble in a 1-on-1 match against X-Wings, so make sure that if you're in a battle of attrition, you're staying well ahead in terms of damage output, because your limited numbers will sink you fast if you don't watch it.
My advice, from an Imperial perspective, is don't look at something like Luke/R2 as a priority target. R2 and Luke's pilot text are defensive actions. The only thing he could do, offensively is use a Elite card like Marksmanship, or Torpedos to be an attacking threat, but overall, it's nothing you can't handle with Evade. If you focus on taking out the non-Luke ships first, the Rebel player isn't making use of Luke's best asset, which is R2's shield regeneration ability, because you aren't bothering to attack it, and Luke's defensive pilot ability similarly goes to waste. When he's all alone, Yavin-style, then you bring your superior numbers to focus on him and send him packing. There'll be no Han to save him…yet
I think on the Rebel side, Wedge is your friend, as he can cut into TIE Agility with his pilot skill, so he should be your point man in focusing on taking out the TIES. For a TIE Advanced, pair him up with another X-Wing that is running torpedoes but with lower pilot skill. Have Wedge soften the target's shields up, ideally removing them, and then use your other X-Wing to Torpedo it into oblivion. Those critical hits can make mopping up a lot easier. I don't have too much practical experience with the Y-Wing yet, as these ship expansions are just flying off the shelves in Toronto.
Speaking of that, where are you, Toronto players?!