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IndyPendant

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  1. Okay. With apologies: let's try a bit more constructive feedback. (Or at least, add to my response which kind of amounts to "Hey cool, you missed a spot!", so, yeah, sorry about that. ; ) Again, still no playtesting, but first impressions: --I'm pleased with the quantity of fixes. I wasn't expecting so many, but they seem for the most part relatively easy to track. It does feel rather like a new Wave of toys to play with, so yay! Most of the fixes look pretty good as well. --Boba Fett looks neat. I'm concerned he will remain underpowered, but eh if so he can be tweaked a bit in Season 3, and better to go a titch low than too high. And good job making him feel different than Scum's other queen piece! --I like the cost reductions on RGC and eRoyal Guards. eGuards are probably still going to hit like wet noodles though, even with Pierce 1; 9 points for two weak-hitting stunners is a bit high. Maybe a reroll on attacks? RGC could use a reroll as well, or perhaps Reach. Minor quibbles though; I'll almost certainly try these out a few times, see how they play, I've always loved these guys and hated that they were unplayable. --Jyn/Fenn/Gaarkhan: These are all interesting, although I'm mildly concerned about so much Strain-cost abilities showing up. And a minor detail, but for consistency's sake these cards (and Diala's) should be grey, not red; Skirmish deployment cards are grey for all Campaign Heroes. --Chewbacca was a surprise! I'm not opposed to it, I just didn't realize he was considered weak enough to need a fix like that. --Vehicles, yay! I like the Skirmish Upgrade as well. Overall, well pleased, and rather eager to give these fixes a try and see how things shake out.
  2. Well yes, but they give 9 points to the opponent when killed. That's what I'm going on. (And I could have been way more precise in my commentary. *clears throat* ; ) Like I said, I could be wrong on these figures, and they can always be further fixed later even if I'm right. I am saying though that based on absolutely no playtesting whatsoever, for me at least there's enough new toys to play with that those two deployments won't be among them.
  3. Okay, first impressions, obviously unplayed: I like most of the changes. The biggest question marks I see are the updated eRebel Troopers not being worth 9 points, and -DEFINITELY- not 10 with an attachment (and most likely but less certain: eStormtroopers still not being worth 7 or 8); and the eTrandoshans at 5 points each, with 8 health, no defense boosts, and needing to get up close and personal for best results: hard pass on both, I'll let others playtest them, maybe they'll surprise me.
  4. Fixes to Nexus and RGC? Well now what do I do?!? ; )
  5. A focused R2 finished off my Rancor in one (casual) tournament game. That was funny!
  6. Way too late of course. But can I just put some retroactive additional votes in for for fixed Nexu, Wampa, and RGC? Yesyesyes! : )
  7. Good work, DerBaer! You found the joke!
  8. The scenario you're describing requires the rStormtrooper group be perfectly positioned, so that exactly one and only one figure is taken out from the group by the end of the round, that this happens twice over two entirely separate rounds, and that the player has both Reinforcement cards drawn by the end of Round 2 (or at most, Round 3). With (sincere!) respect, this is extremely unlikely to happen, and I don't see it as a valid counter-argument. That's like saying "Hunter cards need to be fixed because they would allow a Focused and Hidden eWeequay to play Assassination, Tools for the Job, and Heightened Reflexes to have a decent chance to take out IG-88 in a single attack! That's an unfair trade!" That having been said, I'm not insisting that my option #1 is a great idea; I suspect it isn't, and I agree it's almost certainly not a good first step in an attempt at balancing troopers. A more moderate alternative should probably be tried beforehand. It's a good first step, and certainly worth a try (with as you say, the point cost reduction). One immediate flaw I see: Reinforcements becomes all-but worthless here, since it's far more likely to just hand the opponent a free 2 or 3 extra points, than any other result. May I suggest instead combining it with mine: "When a figure in this group is defeated, if there are least two other figures in this group still in play, that figure is worth 1 VP." Edit: Upon re-read, there were aspects of this post that were unnecessarily worded in a manner that could have given offense. I have (hopefully!) removed that wording. ; )
  9. Thank you everyone for your comments! Some interesting conversations here, happy to see them. : ) For now, I'm going to focus on a few key points relevant to my original post: At the risk of taking this out of context, I'm going to focus in on this snippet for now. I have a few concerns here: First, one of the advantages of a swarm is that many/all of the units possess the exact same stats. Varying the deployments while keeping the figure count up is almost like keeping the worst of both worlds; the game -will- almost certainly slow down at that point. If we're trying to make swarms viable, I'd actually rather recommend against this method, frankly. Second, what's wrong with 4 rStormtroopers? If I understand correctly, I think you're saying your concern is that in this scenario, rStormtroopers would become like Spectre Cell: just those, some support, and we're done. However, I'm not sure that's fair if so: unmodified, 4 rStormtroopers represent 24/40 points. Zillo Technique and rOfficers aren't auto-includes in a swarm list, so that leaves a full 16 points to play around with. I expect there would be variation. Third, and most importantly: a 'mini-swarm' of Elites does literally nothing to mitigate the current Build/Smash meta we have. eStormtroopers are worth focused and/or hidden attacks, to be certain of removal. eJets and eRiots have 7 health each and a minor defensive bonus; their opponent almost certainly will find uses for their powerful hunter cards, and IG-99 will easily recoup his point value attacking 3 and 4-point figures, etc. Nothing will have changed except that the swarm figures are more likely to be removed in one Build/Smash attack. (Which is, btw, I think why we haven't heard of any success stories yet with the reduced-cost eStormtroopers. 7 points for Deployment is still 9 way-too-easy kill points for the opponent to collect.) Now, here I have to operate more on theory than experience, because we haven't seen very many swarms in action. It seems to me like you've had a game against swarms in a tournament setting, and it was a NPE primarily due to the swarm player taking longer than normal. If so, I have a few comments about the snippet I've quoted above: First, that is anecdotal. I may still be wrong, but one tournament does not counter my theory. My theory is untested--but it can't be tested until and unless swarms become viable. Second, your argument seems to be that swarms will take more time because in Build/Smash lists, the order of activations are often obvious: build then smash first round, and smash then (if anything is left) build second round. Consider though that in a Build/Smash list, the slowdown happens in the second half of the round, because positioning the queen pieces is crucial to winning. In a swarm list, the fewer activations left, the faster the round can become, since it often doesn't much matter which particular swarm unit is taken off the board. (Not always, but often.) Again, I do think that any slowdowns from swarm playing is due to unfamiliarity--on both sides!--and not from any inherent flaws in playing swarms. Consider that in X-Wing, swarms are used all the time, often with multiple types of ships, and while people comment they can be harder to fly, rarely are there complaints that they're slower to fly. (There are differences: swarms often choose the same maneuver, allowing them to behave as one ship, for example. But there are certainly enough similarities for the comparison to be valid!) Third, I actually disagree that figures that vary wildly in power level are easier to choose to activate in later rounds. This is often an agonizing decision! ("Do I activate my focused and wounded Onar and hope he takes out the wounded Hater Vader that is threatening my IG-88? If I succeed, nothing else can kill my IG-88 before it activates, attacks, and flees. However, if Onar fails to kill Vader, then I probably lose both of them! If I activate IG-88 first he will probably survive, but then Onar will be an easy kill for my opponent before I can activate him. And then there's Greedo and Palpatine to consider...") These are hard choices to make--but over dozens, often hundreds, of Build/Smash games, we've learned to make them reasonably quickly. Again, I turn to Spectre Cell: think back to your early games playing with and against them. Did those early games with those complex, unique, and intricately-interactive figures bog down so that you were lucky to get past Round 2 within the time limit? Mine sure did! And Ugnaught Swarms were a thing for a while; no one seemed to be complaining they were slowing the game down. (Again, not advocating a return of Ugnaughts. ; ) My primary (but not only!) motivation for promoting swarms is to try to mitigate the single-strategy Build/Smash meta we have. Swarms of Elite deployments will not do anything for that. (And I'm not even sure they can ever be viable as swarms, unless either their cost is reduced so they effectively become Regular deployments, or their attacks are buffed which effectively changes them into hard-hitting center pieces. Either way though, Elites have enough hitpoints that the Build/Smash meta remains essentially unchanged.) Now this idea I think has legs. However, I do see an issue with (again) forcing variation into a Swarm list. Swarms can have variation of course, don't get me wrong--but variation is by definition harder to play, and therefore usually becomes slower. My concern here is the following imaginary scenario: the IACP tries buffs swarms a bit so they're at least possibly viable, but keeps a 2-rDeployment limit; players play swarms of (for example, assuming adjusted point costs permitted) 2 rStormtroopers, 2 rSnowtroopers, 2rRiots, and 2rJets; games slow way down because players have doubled/tripled the figures on the board while maintaining the same degree of Deployment variance; the playerbase concludes "Swarms aren't viable!". How about this: can we try it? Make some adjustments to make only rTrooper swarms viable: Stormtroopers/Wing Guards/Rebel Troopers. See if Swarms do cause issues with the game; if they do, analyze the issues and try to determine if Swarms are inherently NPE, or if those adjustments need tweaking. I'm not sure what could do this, honestly. But here are some off-the-cuff ideas that are probably flawed, but might get players thinking toward a better, more viable option: 1) Have these Deployments cost 5 instead of 6. These figures gain the ability "Cannon Fodder: When this figure is defeated, if there are two figures remaining on the map belonging to this Deployment Group, your opponent gains no VPs for this figure." 2) Again, Deployments cost 5 instead of 6. These figures gain the ability "Push Them Out Of The Way But Stand There Like A Chump And Take The Shot Yourself: When a space adjacent to you is declared the target of an attack that could target you, the attack targets you instead. Limit once per round per Deployment Group." 3) Deployments cost 5 (running theme). The Deployments gain the ability "Beta Testers: Attachments do not cost any additional points when attached to these Deployments, nor do they provide additional VPs when the last figure in the group is defeated." (Again, there's probably flaws that can be exposed in each of these options. My goal is to get us thinking about making Swarms viable, not necessarily to say that these specific ideas should be used. ; )
  10. Okay, a couple things first off: I'm making this a forum post in the hopes of getting community feedback; it's always possible my reasoning is flawed after all; and if others agree with me (and perhaps provide additional reasoning in support of my argument), then that will provide greater incentive to the IACP to change their stance. Second, I would again like to take a moment to sincerely thank the IACP for your efforts. As I've posted here before, if IA Skirmish is still being played in a year or two, I firmly believe it will be largely due to your efforts. You don't have to do this, it takes a lot of time and effort, and you'll never be able to please everyone. So, seriously: thank you again. And tonight, I'm going to take on the role of a displeased player. ; ) I've seen a few posts now by IACP members, basically making statements that apparently can be summarized as: the IACP does not intend to ever balance regular deployments, or reduce the costs of too many of the low-cost elite deployments, because that would potentially lead to "swarm" play, which they consider to be a NPE (Negative Player Experience). (And for any that may not know: a swarm list consists of multiple, small-cost activations. In IA, that would basically look like around 10 or more activations of low cost deployments such as regular Imperial Officers, regular Stormtroopers, regular/elite Probe Droids, etc.) In my opinion, that stance will severely hinder any balancing efforts for IA, and quite probably make it literally impossible. Most lists right now (and for a long time now) include a Queen Piece (Hater Vader, FotK IG-88, Jedi Luke, Ezra, etc) that deal a ton of damage and are hard to put down. The remaining figures largely fall into three main categories: secondary figures that can deal a disproportionate amount of damage for their cost (eRangers, Onar, Greedo, eSentry Droids, etc), support figures that can make the hard-hitting center pieces hit even harder and/or help protect them (Jabba, C-3P0, R2-D2, Hera, etc), and one or two low-cost "camping" figures that are designed to sit beside terminals or gain map points (rOfficers, rHired Guns, rSmugglers, etc). Those damage-dealing Queen Piece figures need to be taken down as fast and hard as possible; Hater Vader with one health remaining is almost as big a threat as Hater Vader undamaged. Thus Command Card decks tend to be crammed with as much direct damage-boosting and extra-attack cards as possible. The remaining pack of cards tend to consist of very good damage mitigation (On the Lam), indirect damage increases (Element of Surprise, Take Initiative), and cards that help the Queen Pieces get into/out of the ranges required (Fleet Footed, Force Rush). The meta becomes what I call "Build-Smash": spend a few activations building up tokens and Command Cards to spend on 1-3 massive attacks as late as possible in the round (or perhaps as early as possible next round), specifically designed to try to take out the inevitable Queen Piece figures your opponent is fielding. Every. Single. Game. of Skirmish. currently plays around this central tactic. There are no viable variations. So long as swarm lists are discouraged, this problem cannot be resolved! Swarm lists are the direct counter to these Queen Pieces and Glass Cannons (among other things). They almost always have been, in most miniatures games, and probably always will be. When (for example), your largest figure has four hit points, your opponent's hunters will often be hard-pressed to even find a use for Assassinate or Primary Target. When the most Hater Vader can do on his activation is take out one or maybe two 2-VP figures, then Take Initiative isn't quite so powerful a card. (It's still very very strong, but its power is at least weakened slightly--even more so when you consider that if the swarm player has initiative, he might at most be able to activate three regular Stormtroopers anyway!) I've seen posts calling playing against swarms an NPE. -Of course- they are! Every list nowadays is tooled up to deal, and perhaps survive, a frankly -absurd- amount of damage per individual attack. A regular Stormtrooper doesn't care if your attack deals three or thirteen damage to it; it's dead either way. Suddenly IG-88 has a little more of a struggle to justify his 12 points. It's no longer automatic to focus Greedo and throw him in the middle of things, or Hondo so that he can do a bazillion damage before he inevitably dies. The way we've been playing the game, for something like two or three years now, will need to change. This is a good thing! Bring swarms back, and players will have to build their lists with swarms in mind. The rush to the most damage per attack will be lessened, if only a little. Strategies that were pushed back will become more favourable, and figures on the backburner could become more viable even before changes are applied. Blast becomes a more appealing option as the figure counts go up. It becomes at least an option to include figures such as eStormtroopers, specifically to help take out swarm units with three separate attacks. Cleave and Blast make a comeback. A new form of gameplay is introduced. Instead of a race to deal or mitigate the most damage in a single attack, there's a race to try to decrease your opponent's quantity of figures, while he tries to use them to whittle your pieces down bit by bit. Or, better, he uses the swarm to gather map VPs as much as possible. If swarms are viable, and your list does not include at least something to handle them, then you will lose. Also a good thing! Suddenly it's no longer 100% a race to the maximum damage. Now we're faced with a difficult decision: how much build-smash, and how much balanced attack against swarms? Should I add a few regular deployments myself, that can run off to grab map VPs as well? The game opens up. Now we have options. Another concern I've seen expressed is that swarms slow the game down. Too many options, or something. Honestly, I don't think this is a valid argument. (Sorry!) Again, literally -no one- plays swarms nowadays, because swarms are just not viable. So no one has experience with swarms, so playing with and against swarms is slower as players try to figure out what to do with this unfamiliar beast. Familiarity will increase speed. If it doesn't, call a TO over and force the swarm player to speed up, until they do. The thing about swarms is: most of the figures have the same (or at least, very similar) stats. Four rStormtroopers consist of twelve figures...all exactly alike. How many games did it take players to become familiar with Spectre Cell--just six figures, but each with their own completely different set of attributes, attack and defense styles, and special abilities? Twenty? Fifty? Swarms do not take inherently longer to play than other lists, if players are familiar with playing with (and against) them. It's also worth noting I'm not advocating a return of the specific Ugnaught Swarm list that very briefly threatened the meta, here. The vast majority of players hated Ugnaughts, and had some valid reasons for this. But we can have swarms without Ugnaughts. It's unlikely that Ugnaughts will make a comeback anyway, with the current maps that don't favour them and the proliferation of popular deployments that can handle them reasonably well or are almost impossible for the Junk Droid to hurt (Hater Vader, Jabba, Sabine, Drokatta, etc). And there already exist natural counters to (non-Ugnaught) swarms. A swarm player will have a very hard time taking out Hater Vader, or avoiding a Bantha Rider trampling them by the handful. Swarms will struggle winning on maps without recharging VPs (such as the Gangster side of Maul's Alley map). A well-placed Grenadier or Parting Gift can utterly ruin a swarm's day. Vinto is almost overpowered against swarms. Jabba loves all the bonus VPs. There are many many more examples I could cite, if needed. Swarms are not a NPE; it's just that, because they don't allow us to play with all the tools we have been conditioned to include in every single list, they seem to take away our toys, and we never like that. What swarms provide are new gameplay options that help mitigate--or even directly counter--the current meta that consists exclusively of piling on the absolute maximum damage we can into one attack or a small handful of attacks. Edit: mostly typo corrections.
  11. Heh. Thanks. Rereading that definitely brought back a lot of fond memories! : )
  12. I think as long as the IACP remains anti-swarm, eTroopers (along with a great many other figures) will never be viable. I'm going to make a post about that soon-ish, opening discussion and including my reasoning in some detail.
  13. I won a Store Championship around a year and a half ago with Jabba, rHired Guns, 2 eNexus, and 2 eGamorreans. I even did a write-up about it:
  14. I had a thought along these lines: "All Troopers except Rangers gain the following ability: Fodder: When you are defeated, if there are two other figures in your group still in play, your opponent gains no victory points." Again, wording probably needs cleaning up, but it means that 7/3 eStormtroopers now gives a default of only 6 VPs to the opponent. If you can play Reinforcements while you still have two figures in play, then he gets zero points for the next kill, again. And it would theoretically make (for example) rStormtroopers a reasonable option in some cases, over rRiots. My only concern: it still might not be enough to bring 3-figure trooper groups up to par.
  15. My (main) concern here is that this house rule would consistently give initiative to exactly the types of lists that would most benefit from it. Lists with fewer deployment counts would have more points in each of those deployments (such as Vader/IG88/Rangers/etc), and thus would theoretically be able to do the most harm by reliably going first. Lists with multiple deployments would then essentially be doubly punished (at least, after Round 1). Also, most support figures would be passed over, because the cost of losing initiative each. and. every. round. would be far too great. And there would be more 'fortress' single-figure deployments (taking Jedi Luke instead of Rangers) because a Rangers deployment with one figure still counts as a full deployment for activation (and, therefore, initiative) purposes yet hits with one-third the power, while a Hater Vader with one hitpoint is still almost as big a threat as he would be unwounded. At least with alternating initiative, you don't have to worry about that single ranger -also- acting essentially as a "Take Initiative" for your opponent! This rule would just exacerbate the current issue in that it's almost always best to concentrate your points into a few hard-hitting deployments and the minimum support that makes them hit harder, rather than spread squad points around among multiple units. (I call it the "build Build BUILD BUILD SMASH!!!" meta.) This is a bad idea, imo.
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