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Dangerous grounds (but I have some criticism)


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#1 sejestephan

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 06:32 AM

First of all, I enjoy x-wing. It's fun, fast paced and starfighters are cool. That said, I feel like there are some inherent flaws in the game from a game design angle. 

First of the problem that over half the pilots are useless. Pilot skill is not that important, surely not important enough to pay for (apart from a few instances) Wether you have skill 2 or 4 doesn't matter much, so why would I ever get a red squad pilot over a rookie? (Pro tip, I wouldn't) the pilots that are worth fielding are the ones with good abilities and fair costs, like Howlrunner. Now, I love my fluff and I'm so disappointed that both super badasses of the empire; Fett and Vader, sucks. Why would I ever get Fett? That banking shenanigan is cute, but it's not very good. Vader has a lot of stuff going for him, three actions with PTL is cool and you do all kinds of fancy maneuvering and then you fire with your mighty 2 dice … Not worth more than a third of my army!

It's just bad game design. My opponent has x hit points I need to chew through, I have x dice pr round to take them from him. This is the gist of the game and therefore economic pilots are always better than expensive ones. Dark Curse doesn't kill any more models than my Academy pilot, hell, VADER doesnt kill more than an academy pilot and surely not as much as 3 of them! Abilities that boost other ships are for some reason not as valuable in point costs as abilities that generate more attack dice. This is why Howlrunner with Swarm Tactics are amazing. She pays 6 points for an ability that boosts your entire army and 7 points of pilot skill AND the option of getting a pilot upgrade. 6 points! The ability to once pr. game shoot 4 dice on long range and make an eye die to a crit costs 4 points AND a target lock action … How was this even tested?

upgrades can be good. But again, it's like 25% of them thats worth it. The rest is just wasted cards but why would I even get them? If I equip all my x-wings with proton torpedoes and astromechs (which is standard for them in the fluff) I am missing out on another x-wing. Thats 3 or 4 extra dice to kill enemies with each turn and 5 extra hit points. It's NEVER a good idea.

upgrades and pilots are crap in this game, i have no idea who playtested it but they did not do a very good job, it's waaay to expensive. How can Fett have to pay 6 points for +5 pilot skill and a terrible ability when Howlrunner pays the same for more skill and a much much better ability? It feels like the designers have just made up some random abilities and slapped them on cards without thinking about internal balance. And that is my main problem with the game, it's not balanced, it's as if they don't have a balancing system for abilities and pilot skill and that really bugs me. 

How do you guys feel about named pilots and upgrades contra nameless rookies and a lot of them?



#2 Stormtrooper721

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 07:06 AM

I've used Vader twice and have posted both video batreps in the battle report section of these forums. Both times Vader was well worth the points. He was nigh impossible to kill and destroyed Rebel starships before they could attack. At range 1 he shoots 3 attack dice (usually before anyone else) backed up by a target lock and Focus. As well, he is just killer with Homing Missiles, being able to target lock and focus those as well.

"Dark Curse" is a staple in my squadrons and I've seen many all named pilots used quite effectively. Some are better than others. Like you, I prefer quantity over quality so I play a lot of Academy Pilots, but I have seen others pay extra to get their shots off first and there is nothing wrong with allowing them that option though it is not a preference of you or I.


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23 Victories, 1 Defeat, 0 Draws - 69 kills versus 46 losses


#3 nimdabew

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 07:20 AM

I want to play against you. You seem to have the entire game figured out. It will be a good game.



#4 sejestephan

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 07:28 AM

How do you equip this unkillable Vader? 



#5 Keoki

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 07:30 AM

sejestephan said:

 

First of the problem that over half the pilots are useless. Pilot skill is not that important, surely not important enough to pay for (apart from a few instances) Wether you have skill 2 or 4 doesn't matter much, so why would I ever get a red squad pilot over a rookie? (Pro tip, I wouldn't)

 

 

I agree with you here - I've never understood the point of Red Squadron Pilot, unless you have two squad points and absolutely nothing else to do with them. Unless there's some special tactic with them I'm missing. I wish they could take elite pilot upgrades.

sejestephan said:

 

Why would I ever get Fett? That banking shenanigan is cute, but it's not very good. Vader has a lot of stuff going for him, three actions with PTL is cool and you do all kinds of fancy maneuvering and then you fire with your mighty 2 dice … Not worth more than a third of my army!

 

 

Again, agreed. Fett's ability typically doesn't get much use and, in my opinion, is not worth the points. I like Vader's ability, but I think the points could be spent more effectively.

sejestephan said:

 

Dark Curse doesn't kill any more models than my Academy pilot, hell, VADER doesnt kill more than an academy pilot and surely not as much as 3 of them! Abilities that boost other ships are for some reason not as valuable in point costs as abilities that generate more attack dice.

 

 

Now here I have to disagree. Dark Curse can often kill more enemies than Academy Pilot for the simple reason that he tends to live longer. Dark Curse can be frustratingly hard to hit.  In fact, he's usually one of the last ships targeted because of his ability. And the longer he lives, the more shots he gets.

sejestephan said:

 

upgrades can be good. But again, it's like 25% of them thats worth it. The rest is just wasted cards but why would I even get them? If I equip all my x-wings with proton torpedoes and astromechs (which is standard for them in the fluff) I am missing out on another x-wing. Thats 3 or 4 extra dice to kill enemies with each turn and 5 extra hit points. It's NEVER a good idea.

 

 

Depends what squad build you're talking about. If you're looking at three decked-out x-wings versus four x-wings, then I agree - I'd rather have the fourth x-wing, too. If you already have four x-wings, however, you may have some points left over that aren't enough for a fifth. For example, in a 100-point game, you can have four bare-bones Rookie Pilots for 84 points. The 16 you have left are not enough for a fifth ship (yet), so you might as well spend them on upgrades. Personally, I like having that option.

I'm no game designer, but so far the game seems pretty balanced to me. While some squads are always going to be more synergistic and better than others, I have yet to see any "broken" squads that are unbeatable. I worry about the Lambda-class shuttle coming out this summer, though.



#6 vyrago

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 08:23 AM

Another 'problem' with Howlrunner, is that your opponent can kill her and you lose not only her ability, but swarm tactics as well.  Shes no more survivable than an academy pilot.  Vader on the other hand, is survivable.  

as for Boba Fett, his ability might not seem that great but being able to change your move, with PS 8 can mean following that enemy pefectly or laying down a bomb/mine exactly where you need it.  

 

Here's a fun little list i'd like to try.

 

Total Squad Points: 100

Pilot: "Winged Gundark"
Tie Fighter (15)
Upgrades:

  • No Upgrades Selected

 



Pilot: Academy Pilot 1
Tie Fighter (12)
Upgrades:

  • No Upgrades Selected

 



Pilot: Academy Pilot 2
Tie Fighter (12)
Upgrades:

  • No Upgrades Selected

 



Pilot: Academy Pilot 3

Tie Fighter (12)

Upgrades:

  • No Upgrades Selected

 



Pilot: Boba Fett
Firespray-31 (39)
Upgrades:

  • Veteran Instincts (1)
  • Proton Torpedoes (4)
  • Slave-1 (0)
  • Weapons Engineer (3)
  • Siesmic Charges (2)

 

 

 



#7 VanorDM

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 08:27 AM

Keoki said:

I've never understood the point of Red Squadron Pilot,

 

The point of them is that they have a higher PS then any of the un-named Tie pilots, or at least tie with them which means the Imps go first.



#8 DrStranglovin

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 08:32 AM

Vader, as I have seen him play out, seems to be the hype man of squads. His expense is usually not worth the pts, but he tends to be the immediate target of the opponent. Lends itself to some good flanking oppertunities by said cheaper and quantiful academy pilots.

#9 Norsehound

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 08:36 AM

The reason my favorite TIE Swarm list (7 craft) uses Obsdian pilots for filler is because they'll be able to shoot before Rookie pilots, which is what I would presume most Rebels fly with over  Squadron pilots. Most higher-level initiative Basics you take to have an advantage over the cheaper, lower PS pilots.

The Empire doesn't have many ships with high attack values, but the point of the Empire is to swarm with many ships. Some elite Imperial builds exist but the drawback to this is that they don't have the resiliency the Rebellion does. Vader, while he only has 2 attack, has a higher defense value than every other small Imperial craft in the game along with his other advantages. I've been happy with him whenever I've fielded him in battle though usually I run large squadrons with generics when I play the Empire.

Fett's ability is mostly to help in Dogfighting situations. You use the Opposite banking to avoid collisions and be able to counter-attack with the rear-shooting guns. Until the Navigator upgrade card comes out for the Lambda, Fett is the only pilot who is able to change his movement direction after the planning phase. That's an advantage in itself.



#10 jetsetter

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 09:27 AM

And the navigator will only allow you to change the speed of your maneuver not the direction.



#11 sejestephan

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 09:41 AM

jetsetter said:

And the navigator will only allow you to change the speed of your maneuver not the direction.

but Fett can change the direction, so it's all good



#12 DailyRich

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 10:01 AM

vyrago said:

Another 'problem' with Howlrunner, is that your opponent can kill her and you lose not only her ability, but swarm tactics as well.  Shes no more survivable than an academy pilot.  Vader on the other hand, is survivable. 

Howlrunner might as well have a big SHOOT ME FIRST sign on her back.  Nearly every time I've seen her hit the table, she gets dogpiled right out of the gate.  Same with Wedge and Biggs.  And if you've based your squad around having those pilots around for the long haul, all your synnergy just fell apart.



#13 COM 2D

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 10:07 AM

sejestephan said:

why would I ever get a red squad pilot over a rookie?

 

 

Reds move after and shoot before Greens, Obsidians, Bounty Hunters and Avengers. Rookies don't. Yes, if you play the same person all the time and all they bring are named pilots, there is no effective difference between Reds and Rookies. That means you can tailor your list to them and save points.



#14 executor

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Posted 18 June 2013 - 02:29 PM

nimdabew said:

I want to play against you. You seem to have the entire game figured out. It will be a good game.

 

i second this notion


Current Fleet

Rebellion: 5 X-wings, 4 Y-wings, 5 A-wings, 3 B-wings, 1 HWK-290, 2 YT-1300's, 2 E-wings, 1 Z-95, 1 Rebel Transport, 1 CR-90

Empire: 8 Tie Fighters, 2 Tie Advanced, 9 Tie Interceptors, 3 Tie Bombers, 1 Lambda Shuttle, 3 Firespray 31's, 2 Tie Phantoms, 2 Tie Defenders


#15 Keoki

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 03:47 AM

VanorDM said:

 

Keoki said:

I've never understood the point of Red Squadron Pilot,

 

 

The point of them is that they have a higher PS then any of the un-named Tie pilots, or at least tie with them which means the Imps go first.

 

 

True, but then if you end up facing named pilots instead, you've just wasted points by choosing Reds over Rookies. So it's quite a gamble. But I see your point.



#16 VanorDM

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 04:09 AM

Keoki said:

True, but then if you end up facing named pilots instead, you've just wasted points by choosing Reds over Rookies. So it's quite a gamble. But I see your point.

Yes that's true, a lot of it will depend on if you know what you'll be playing against.  If you know the other guy uses nothing but named pilots that's one thing, but if you're in a tourny or something you will have no way of knowing.

 

Plus the point difference isn't that huge, consider the following.

4x Rookie X-Wing pilots = 84 points.

4x Red Squad pilots = 92 points, so 8 more points for pilots that beat all un-named Tie pilots, moving last, shooting first is a huge advantage in this game.

Also it's not like you can get a 5th ship in your list by using rookies.   All you're going to get is 4 pts of upgrades on each rookie x-wing, which may or may not be a huge deal, again depending on who you are up against.



#17 VanorDM

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Posted 19 June 2013 - 04:16 AM

DailyRich said:

Howlrunner might as well have a big SHOOT ME FIRST sign on her back…    Same with Wedge and Biggs.

 

This is true of any high value target on the map.  If you bulid a list based on having a given pilot around for the long haul, odds are the other guy will figure that out and try to remove that ship first or at least ASAP. 

This isn't an issue with Howlrunner, it's an issue with every ship in the game.  People are going to look at what you have and build a priorty list based on what they think will cause the damage to your plans.






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