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Engine modifications overpriced?


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#1 magadizer

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 04:56 PM

I am a big defender of the genius of the point system of this game, and the simplicity and economy of the balance between factions, and of ships.

I won a Falcon this last weekend at a Kessel Run in Houston (hopefully I can post up a report about the tournament soon) and so I got to see the power of boost when I played with the A-wings.

I have only had a chance to play one game at home with my new ship and cards though. I played against my sons as imperials, and I helped them construct a squad which included the engine upgrade on one of his TIEs (I think on Mauler Mithel).

Boost is really good, but it doesn't seem like it's worth the same number of points as a shield upgrade (where 4 points is obviously the right cost). Especially when you can have Stealth device for only 3 points.

I think this card should be 3 points. Upgrading an Academy TIE to an Alpha Squadron pilot basically gives you an extra attack die, better maneuvers, and boost, for only 6 more points. An additional attack die alone is worth the 6 points. Boost is just a bonus.

I think this card and Marksmanship are the only cards with imbalanced point values. (Marksmanship, as a poor value card except in very limited cirumstances should only cost 2 points)

I love the idea of Vader or Backstabber or Mauler Mithel with Boost, but it seems these points would be better spent elsewhere, unless you are just trying out the card for fun, like we did the other day.

Anyone else with thoughts on this?


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#2 Qapla187

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Posted 07 January 2013 - 05:41 PM

I think it may be four points due to the fact you can use it on the big ships. I always run it on my Falcon, and when she boosts it's crazy sometimes.  Just play around with it and a few TIEs and you'll see.  

Not sure if it's over costed, but it doesn't seem terrible for the price.  



#3 hothie

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 12:03 AM

I think Engine Upgrade should be 3 and Stealth Device should be 4, but they are what they are, so I go with it.



#4 magadizer

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 12:48 AM

Glad to see you agree Hothie, as I know you have had these cards for a while and have played with them a bunch.

It certainly doesn't break the game or something, but it does make a fun card seem to be not viable for competitive purposes, in my opinion.


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#5 Vorpal Sword

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 02:21 AM

hothie said:

 

I think Engine Upgrade should be 3 and Stealth Device should be 4, but they are what they are, so I go with it.

 

I'm right about here. At 4 points, there aren't many upgrades that are more expensive. I don't think there's a serious argument that Boost is as good for your survival as Chewbacca, or that it's more likely to lead to a win than Push the Limit.

Every time I put together a list I start wanting to put Stealth on everything, and I keep looking at Engine Upgrades and thinking "Boost is so good, but…" That's a good sign that one is too cheap and the other is too expensive.



#6 cleardave

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 02:39 AM

I think it's hard to judge the relative points cost value of the upgrades, since they can be taken on any ship, both existing and in the future.  With Boost, it really is a piloting skill.  What I mean by that is you can look at something like Marksmanship, and love it or hate it, you'll be able to suss out exactly what it's best used for.

Boost is trickier, because it comes down to your ability as the player to really exploit situations where the Boost action will be most optimal.  I never use Backstabber, for instance, but I see the value in giving him the Boost action, so he can make a better correcting move to get out of an arc for a kill shot in a way that a Barrel Roll may not allow for in the moment.

For someone like Wedge, it could be that extra inch you need to get him into Range 1 and have a firing arc on a target ripe for the picking.

Even for Biggs, if you're using him to soak damage, you can fine tune his positioning to make sure he's optimally placed to be everyone's target while your squadron gets into position to deal some hurt.

Combined with R2D2, you can regenerate shields on your green movement decision, then Boost to keep up with everyone else, or get out of the way of more incoming fire.

I abuse the Boost action all over the place with Soontir Fel, combined with Push the Limit to make sure he's always where he needs to be, to make with the killing.  While everyone else wouldn't get the free Focus token that Fel would get, it's still a pretty sweet combo to pull off when you need to get a good strike in.

Overall, the Boost action is a great correcting move, which is something the Rebels are lacking in, and for TIE's that already have Barrel Rolls on deck, it makes them even more nimble and able to get out of trouble.

At the end of the day, it's one of those tools that comes down to how you use it, and I suspect, as we get more experienced with the game, we'll see it being used in some interesting setups, and the points won't seem so steep.  Like any upgrade in the game, some may be more situational than others, but the points are still what they are for a reason.  If you get into that corner case where it pays off, you'll be glad you had it, but there are always more conservative, "all comers" upgrades and pilots that might work better in a tournament environment.

Whether or not Engine Upgrades becomes a tournament staple card is irrelevant to me.  I will be playing at home, for fun, far more often than I will in a tournament environment, so having more options, even if they're just for flavour, is never a bad thing in my opinion.  Sometimes it's nice to run lists like the Battle of Yavin Dream Team (Wedge/Luke/Biggs) for fun, even though I don't feel it's a "top tier" loadout for the Rebels.



#7 magadizer

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 03:09 AM

I agree with your analysis cleardave in the sense that I'd rather have the card than not.

I also think that using boost in all the situations you describe does prove it's a powerful action.The example of Fel you used doesn't contribute to my point however, because obviously Fel gets boost for free.

I think that this card, maybe Stealth device given the recent discussions here, and marksmanship are the only mispriced cards in the whole game so far. 

I disagree that it will be used a lot but I could be wrong. Certainly with Imperials, wouldl you rather put boost on a regular TIE, or just upgrade to an Interceptor? I'm speaking of competitive list building now, and not just building for fun.

Let's look at it this way: If you have only 4 points left to put on a Rebel list, would you take an Engine Modification, or would you rather have another card/cards? I think I would take it over a proton torp or a concussion missile personally, but not over R2D2 if that's an option, or even over R2F2 and any other 1 point card, or over Expose, or a Shield Upgrade, etc. etc.

I think you have to have a good reason to need to add boost at this cost. You could put Expert Handling on two ships and get added maneuverability along with loosing target locks.

Thanks to everyone for contributing to an interesting discussion so far.


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#8 magadizer

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 03:13 AM

What if the Engine Modifications cost 4 points, and gave you boost but also increased your pilot skill by 1?

I realize that this is mixing skill upgrades with ship upgrades, but then at least the points would work out.


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#9 cleardave

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 05:15 AM

magadizer said:

I agree with your analysis cleardave in the sense that I'd rather have the card than not.

I also think that using boost in all the situations you describe does prove it's a powerful action.The example of Fel you used doesn't contribute to my point however, because obviously Fel gets boost for free.

I think that this card, maybe Stealth device given the recent discussions here, and marksmanship are the only mispriced cards in the whole game so far. 

I disagree that it will be used a lot but I could be wrong. Certainly with Imperials, wouldl you rather put boost on a regular TIE, or just upgrade to an Interceptor? I'm speaking of competitive list building now, and not just building for fun.

Let's look at it this way: If you have only 4 points left to put on a Rebel list, would you take an Engine Modification, or would you rather have another card/cards? I think I would take it over a proton torp or a concussion missile personally, but not over R2D2 if that's an option, or even over R2F2 and any other 1 point card, or over Expose, or a Shield Upgrade, etc. etc.

I think you have to have a good reason to need to add boost at this cost. You could put Expert Handling on two ships and get added maneuverability along with loosing target locks.

Thanks to everyone for contributing to an interesting discussion so far.

The point I was making with Fel was more about the combo power of Boost and Push the Limit, with Fel being a good example.  You can, however, use it with someone like Mauler Mithel, who can now Boost to move into Range 1, then drop Push the Limit to Barrel Roll out of your opponent's arc, Focus if you're already safe, or Evade if you're not.  Is it the best way to use Mauler?  I couldn't make that claim, but it certainly gives him a good amount of options to ensure he gets that Range 1 kill shot.

In that regard, I don't see a TIE Interceptor that really duplicates that for the same points;

Mauler with Push the Limit and Engine Upgrade is 24 points and is Pilot Skill 7

Saber Squadron TIE Interceptor with Push the Limit is 24 points and is Pilot Skill 4

I would take Mauler over the Saber Squadron on the strength of the higher Pilot Skill, personally, but there is something to be said for Saber's extra Attack dice at Range 2-3 that Mauler can't duplicate.  So for the exact same points, you have two ships with similar qualities;

Boost Action, 4 Attack Dice at Range 1, but you're going to trade off attack versatility for Pilot Skill, and it comes back to personal preference.  I couldn't objectively say which of the two is "better", but a personal choice would be to take Mauler, and thus the advantage of later action selection and earlier shooting priority.  So in this case, yes, I would rather put the Boost on a regular TIE as opposed to taking another Interceptor.

This of course is talking about the ship in a vacuum and in a faster list of all Interceptors, maybe Mauler wouldn't be able to keep up, but if you're using a TIE Fighter heavy list, or wanting to get the most of Howlrunner support, it might make more sense to go that way.

On the Rebel side, I don't really see much use for Engine Upgrades outside of the examples I gave above, specifically with Wedge.  I usually have some kind of Y-Wing presence in my list, and for 4 points, I would sooner take Torpedoes for Horton to exploit over an Engine Upgrade.  The thing is, that's not to say anything negative about Engine Upgrade, or its points cost, just that for my specific purposes, I am not that excited about it in a Rebel list unless I attach it to a YT-1300.

Again, going back to the simple question asked in the thread title, I don't feel 4 points is too much for Engine Upgrade;

-It provides some decent flavour in "just for fun" matches without being over 5 points

-It provides some interesting TIE Fighter/Advanced alternatives

-The use of Boost is so versatile that the cost balances off attaching it to any existing craft in Wave 1 and Wave 2, and has the potential to be used well in the Wave 3 world and onward.

-There may be a Pilot card now or later that just gets ridiculous with Engine Upgrade that people may think that it becomes underpriced if some power creep comes into the game down the line.

 

 



#10 magadizer

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 05:49 AM

A good analysis, cleardave.

I still don't think it's worthwhile to speculate about the value of the card in relation to future, unknown releases, but your point is valid as far as it goes.

For my own play, I also wouldn't want to use Boost on the Falcon as much (though I confess I haven't tried it yet) because I think with the 360 degree arc you don't need it for offensive positioning much. 


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#11 cleardave

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 08:57 AM

magadizer said:

A good analysis, cleardave.

I still don't think it's worthwhile to speculate about the value of the card in relation to future, unknown releases, but your point is valid as far as it goes.

For my own play, I also wouldn't want to use Boost on the Falcon as much (though I confess I haven't tried it yet) because I think with the 360 degree arc you don't need it for offensive positioning much. 

The Falcon boosting is more to clutch out a move that puts you out of someone's firing arc, or behind an asteroid or something like that.  It's more of a defensive tool in that application.

That's kind of what I'm getting at; it has a variety of applications, so at 4 points, I'd say it can provide great value, in the right circumstance.  It's more corner-case than say the Stealth Device in my opinion, but it can do it's job in the right hands.

I always prop up Proton Torpedoes in the hands of Horton, or even Wedge (picking of TIE's at Range 3 where they defend with only 2 dice vs your 4 with the extra critical hit chance), but on anyone else, I'd agree that there's a better way to spend 4 points.

Such is the wonderful world of list building in a fairly balanced game; you really get to try many different load outs and still feel like you have a chance at winning a serious match.  I don't think in the Wave 2 world, there is one "killer app" build for either side that's going to make organized play stale.



#12 Cid_MCDP

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 09:11 AM

For trying to get out of Slave I's firing arcs though, it'd still be pretty useful on the Falcon- just not on the attack end of things.

Crazy as it may seem, I've been considering putting it on a Y-Wing simply because it's not got a ton of actions available to it anyway, and that little push might be the difference in 2 TIEs firing on me instead of 3, or making one of them range 2 instead of range 1. On a ship that can't move much to start with and isn't sacrificing a bunch by performing an action, it's not a bad deal. 

I've not used it yet, so I'm firmly talking out of my rear end here, but I think the reason Boost is as expensive as it is goes along with what cleardave was saying- you can put it on any ship. It's not a Pilot Talent and it's faction agnostic- right off the bat, I think that's probably worth something. Honestly, I think it's more for the Rebs than the Imps as it's sort of a mitigator for all the barrel rolls.

Will I put it on every single ship in my Squadron? Nah, course not. But to increase survivability in a Y-Wing, lulz with Wedge, or to just plain old keep people guessing? Sure, why not? 

Is it overcosted? I don't know. I think if I could wave a magic wand and make any card in the game cheaper, I'd pick Proton Torpedoes over Engine Modification. Would I use it more if it were 3 instead of 4? I usually pick upgrades after I've picked ships, so it just depends on what number I'm already at for the total. Of course, that may be some of the difference here- it seems as though you're an Imp player and I'm mainly Rebel- none of my ships are identically kitted out. If you're looking for upgrades you attach to every single version of a particular ship, maybe that's where some of the difference in perception is coming in. 



#13 Parakitor

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Posted 08 January 2013 - 01:26 PM

Cid_MCDP said:

Crazy as it may seem, I've been considering putting it on a Y-Wing simply because it's not got a ton of actions available to it anyway, and that little push might be the difference in 2 TIEs firing on me instead of 3, or making one of them range 2 instead of range 1. On a ship that can't move much to start with and isn't sacrificing a bunch by performing an action, it's not a bad deal. 

Not to mention the fact that you can prevent those annoying cases where TIE fighters laugh at you from your flank at range 3 so you can't use the Ion Cannon Turret or your Primary weapon. A slight bank in their direction may be enough to stop their laughter cold.


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#14 Cid_MCDP

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 01:45 AM

Parakitor said:

Cid_MCDP said:

 

Crazy as it may seem, I've been considering putting it on a Y-Wing simply because it's not got a ton of actions available to it anyway, and that little push might be the difference in 2 TIEs firing on me instead of 3, or making one of them range 2 instead of range 1. On a ship that can't move much to start with and isn't sacrificing a bunch by performing an action, it's not a bad deal. 

 

 

Not to mention the fact that you can prevent those annoying cases where TIE fighters laugh at you from your flank at range 3 so you can't use the Ion Cannon Turret or your Primary weapon. A slight bank in their direction may be enough to stop their laughter cold.

I'm tellin' ya!

It'd make for an expensive Y-Wing to be sure, but for me at least, the major hurdle with the Y-Wing is it's lack of manuverability and low attack value. Engine Modification mitigates one of those to a certain extent. 

I'm not 100% sold on it yet, but using it on a Y-Wing is something that jumped out at me when I first saw the card. 

God, if only they'd given Horton Salm access to Pilot Talents. I'd totally drop the mandatory Ion Cannon Turret for Engine Mod and Expose (same points) in a heartbeat just to mess with people's minds. It'd totally change the usage of that ship.



#15 Parakitor

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 03:47 AM

Yeah, but if Horton had an Elite Pilot Talent slot, I'd equip him with Expert Handling, which is a bit cheaper than Engine Upgrade. Then again, Engine Upgrade doesn't result in a Stress Token every time you Boost, so maybe it's worth the points.


"That starship won't fly, Bastila."


#16 Cid_MCDP

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 04:05 AM

Wonder why they didn't give him access to the Elite Talents? He's an 8 like Luke is…

Anyway, I'm kind of getting off topic here. Apologies to the OP and the Mods. 



#17 cleardave

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 05:02 AM

Cid_MCDP said:

I'm tellin' ya!

It'd make for an expensive Y-Wing to be sure, but for me at least, the major hurdle with the Y-Wing is it's lack of manuverability and low attack value. Engine Modification mitigates one of those to a certain extent. 

I'm not 100% sold on it yet, but using it on a Y-Wing is something that jumped out at me when I first saw the card. 

God, if only they'd given Horton Salm access to Pilot Talents. I'd totally drop the mandatory Ion Cannon Turret for Engine Mod and Expose (same points) in a heartbeat just to mess with people's minds. It'd totally change the usage of that ship.

The Y-Wing's sluggish movement is offset by the Ion Turret's ability to hit anything within Range 2 of the ship, regardless of facing.  If you're talking about running a naked Y-Wing, then I agree, it would be sluggish and have a horrible ability to output damage.

Even with Boost, I can't imagine running a Y-Wing without the Ion Turret.  Even Dutch, who's really there to donate Target Locks, still works well with the Turret, since you have to Target Lock something anyways to make him work, you might as well get an Ion shot it, and not have to worry about your own fire arc.

I would like to hear more on any in-depth talk of using Boost with Y-Wings, beyond corner case scenarios though.  I always like learning new tricks in a game.



#18 herozeromes

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 06:08 AM

I see boost as a great way to get ships to Range 1 for attacks. Just don't overestimate the distance or you will overlap and won't get to attack ;)



#19 Carist

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 06:27 AM

herozeromes said:

I see boost as a great way to get ships to Range 1 for attacks. Just don't overestimate the distance or you will overlap and won't get to attack ;)

 

Just like Barrel Roll, you cannot Boost if it would cause the base to overlap another ship or an obstacle.  



#20 Cid_MCDP

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Posted 09 January 2013 - 04:14 PM

cleardave said:

Cid_MCDP said:

 

I'm tellin' ya!

It'd make for an expensive Y-Wing to be sure, but for me at least, the major hurdle with the Y-Wing is it's lack of manuverability and low attack value. Engine Modification mitigates one of those to a certain extent. 

I'm not 100% sold on it yet, but using it on a Y-Wing is something that jumped out at me when I first saw the card. 

God, if only they'd given Horton Salm access to Pilot Talents. I'd totally drop the mandatory Ion Cannon Turret for Engine Mod and Expose (same points) in a heartbeat just to mess with people's minds. It'd totally change the usage of that ship.

 

 

The Y-Wing's sluggish movement is offset by the Ion Turret's ability to hit anything within Range 2 of the ship, regardless of facing.  If you're talking about running a naked Y-Wing, then I agree, it would be sluggish and have a horrible ability to output damage.

Even with Boost, I can't imagine running a Y-Wing without the Ion Turret.  Even Dutch, who's really there to donate Target Locks, still works well with the Turret, since you have to Target Lock something anyways to make him work, you might as well get an Ion shot it, and not have to worry about your own fire arc.

I would like to hear more on any in-depth talk of using Boost with Y-Wings, beyond corner case scenarios though.  I always like learning new tricks in a game.

Yeah, I realize that Y-Wing's movement is offset by the 5 points everyone pays for an Ion Cannon Turret. I also realize that virtually no one anywhere runs a Y-Wing that doesn't provide that exact same one-trick-pony functionality. Hell, outside of a few brave souls who run Salm with 2x Torpedoes, even the Dutch and Garven BFFs list functions in essentially the same way. 

Admittedly, you still catch a few people off guard with a Y-Wing, especially if you don't generally utilize one, but most Imp players have learned ways to mitigate the Y-Wing as again, it really only ever gets used in one specific role. 

That's where I think Boost could actually be utilized to give the Y-Wing a slightly more engaging offensive role than just floating around the edges of a fight, trying to stay away from anything too dangerous lobbing in ion shots. 

I mean, it's not a game-changer by any stretch, but like I said before, using a Boost action on a ship that only has two items in the Action Bar to start with, it's not like you're giving up a ton of Action functionality to begin with. It's more a tactic to catch a player off guard than anything. It's something personally I'd try out a time or two in a friendly setting, then shelve it until the Regionals or something when most folks will be going with tried-and-true lists they've played (and have been played against) numerous times. 

 

 






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