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IndyPendant

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  1. Like
    IndyPendant got a reaction from Rtannu in The IACP can't truly balance Skirmish without swarms   
    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.
  2. Like
    IndyPendant got a reaction from Grruberr in The IACP can't truly balance Skirmish without swarms   
    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. ; )
  3. Like
    IndyPendant got a reaction from Grruberr in The IACP can't truly balance Skirmish without swarms   
    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. ; )
  4. Like
    IndyPendant got a reaction from Grruberr in The IACP can't truly balance Skirmish without swarms   
    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.
  5. Like
    IndyPendant got a reaction from subtrendy2 in IACommand 2020 Tournament Kit   
    I just wanted to give credit where it's due:
    I received the three kits I ordered about a week ago, and @Tvboy, I am very impressed!  The cards are easily professional quality, and the medallion is -far- larger and flashier than I was expecting.  So thank you for the time and effort you put in on these, I'm a fan. ; )
    If you ever decide to make any more kits, I'll be sure to order some for our local community again!
  6. Like
    IndyPendant got a reaction from Mandalore of the Rings in IACommand 2020 Tournament Kit   
    I just wanted to give credit where it's due:
    I received the three kits I ordered about a week ago, and @Tvboy, I am very impressed!  The cards are easily professional quality, and the medallion is -far- larger and flashier than I was expecting.  So thank you for the time and effort you put in on these, I'm a fan. ; )
    If you ever decide to make any more kits, I'll be sure to order some for our local community again!
  7. Like
    IndyPendant got a reaction from Tvboy in IACommand 2020 Tournament Kit   
    I just wanted to give credit where it's due:
    I received the three kits I ordered about a week ago, and @Tvboy, I am very impressed!  The cards are easily professional quality, and the medallion is -far- larger and flashier than I was expecting.  So thank you for the time and effort you put in on these, I'm a fan. ; )
    If you ever decide to make any more kits, I'll be sure to order some for our local community again!
  8. Like
    IndyPendant reacted to cnemmick in Andrew Navaro Q&A & FFG OP Support For IA   
    After Andrew Navaro dropped the truth bombs on us today, I asked in the Twitch chat how long FFG OP is planning on supporting Imperial Assault.
    The Twitch Chat Moderator replied: "OP support for it will be winding down. More information will be available soon."
    I recall seeing FFG OP posts on Facebook that mentions IA World 2020 at Adepticon. I think we can reasonably expect that, if IA Worlds 2020 happens, it may be the last official FFG OP event.
    If you'd like to continue playing competitive skirmish, the IACP will be organizing events in 2020. Stay tuned for more information.
  9. Like
    IndyPendant reacted to cnemmick in [IACP] Season 2 Content Finalized and Testing League #1 Starting Soon   
    The IACP has finalized our Season 2 content. We reduced the number of changes based on some concerns that there were too many. You can read more about which cards we removed and why on our website.
    The IA Skirmish Vassal Module and TableTopAdmiral.com have been updated with the latest Season 2 content. Now is a great time to sign up for our Vassal Testing League #1. It is a 6-week event where you and your opponent play sometime within a 7-day window. Registration ends August 19th, so don't delay!
    Join us in making Skirmish fun, fresh and worthy of your time!
  10. Like
    IndyPendant reacted to DTDanix in [RIAST Rules] The other community driven rebalancing project   
    This mostly looks like huge nerfs to merc (Jabba, pirates, greedo, Vinto (really?), scheme, rebel support) and some nerfs for empire (jets, DP) while buffing a few things that will still be irrelevant (heavy storms at 4 speed are still not playable.  ewebs at 7 and 5 is still a joke, eTrandos at 9 are still too weak).  Pretty much all buffs on the rebel side of things (Luke at 10 wow) yet they didn't have any of their commonly played pieces nerfed (sabine, gideon, 3p0, hera).
    I do like the idea of readying deployment cards can only be done on your turn and not as last activation.  That's a good nerf to the stupidity of luke/IG.
    I'd have to play with the round/init changes to get a better idea, but at first glance it seems like it has potential.  I don't know if there are any weird things that crop up from doing things this way though, like always getting to go first in a round if you have less guys.
    I'd be very worried han/drok or rangers type lists are just going to be unstoppable.  Merc lost everything they had to compete and empire looks like they're stuck with Vader unless someone can get the ATs to work, but jets basically got removed from the game.
     
    That's my first impressions from scanning the changes more in depth.
  11. Like
    IndyPendant got a reaction from Mandalore of the Rings in [IACP] Season 2 Announcement   
    Fixes to Nexus and RGC?  Well now what do I do?!? ; )
  12. Haha
    IndyPendant got a reaction from cnemmick in [IACP] Season 2 Announcement   
    Fixes to Nexus and RGC?  Well now what do I do?!? ; )
  13. Like
    IndyPendant got a reaction from ManateeX in [IACP] Season 2 Announcement   
    Fixes to Nexus and RGC?  Well now what do I do?!? ; )
  14. Like
    IndyPendant reacted to cnemmick in [IACP] Season 2 Announcement   
    Boba Fett? Boba Fett?! Where?!
    https://ia-continuityproject.com/2019/07/29/announcing-season-2-the-core-set-strikes-back/
  15. Like
    IndyPendant got a reaction from Mandalore of the Rings in [IACP] Season 1 Voting Concluded! Results Within.   
    A focused R2 finished off my Rancor in one (casual) tournament game.  That was funny!
  16. Like
    IndyPendant got a reaction from cnemmick in [IACP] Season 1 Voting Concluded! Results Within.   
    A focused R2 finished off my Rancor in one (casual) tournament game.  That was funny!
  17. Like
    IndyPendant got a reaction from cnemmick in [IACP] Season 1 Voting Concluded! Results Within.   
    Way too late of course.  But can I just put some retroactive additional votes in for for fixed Nexu, Wampa, and RGC?  Yesyesyes! : )
  18. Like
    IndyPendant got a reaction from ManateeX in [IACP] Season 1 Voting Concluded! Results Within.   
    Way too late of course.  But can I just put some retroactive additional votes in for for fixed Nexu, Wampa, and RGC?  Yesyesyes! : )
  19. Like
    IndyPendant reacted to cnemmick in [IACP] Season 1 Voting Concluded! Results Within.   
    The last article that is reviewing the Season 1 Vote results is up. We take a look at what topics (e.g. Improving Core Set Deployments, changing Gideon to Focus Rebels only) our voters asked us to make a priority for Season 2. We also reveal some teasers for what is being planned for Season 2. http://ia-continuityproject.com/2019/07/23/hes-no-good-to-us-dead-voters-selections-for-season-2-content/
    Hint: There's a picture of Boba Fett!
  20. Like
    IndyPendant reacted to cnemmick in [IACP] Season 1 Voting Concluded! Results Within.   
    @Jaric256 thanks for the kind words! 
    I agree: Buffing the Conspire ability on the Clawdites would make it easier for Mercenary players if Gideon was changed. When a Regular Clawdite is giving out at least 2 power tokens per round for the same price as Gideon + Temporary Alliance, that could be considered a real option -- especially where Doubt can only remove one of the two power tokens distributed. I don't think the Steering Committee has room for addressing Clawdites in this Season -- we're shooting for about 20-25 changes, and there are some fixes that we feel are more urgent and less invasive. But we will have Clawdites on the list for potentially being in Season 3 or in line with any change we make to Gideon.
    We're happy to listen to constructive criticism about the project. And we have received criticism, not just from you or other members of this message board; many of our playtesters have passionate concerns in every step of the project. The Steering Committee has been sharing what we hear in our blog posts on the website, even when the criticism is shared by just a handful of players.
    In fact, we have already published concerns others have shared with us about selection bias in the vote. In the Season 1 Feedback post, we mention that for Season 2, we're evaluating changes to make in the final community approval vote so that we can gather better data on voter's agreement with approval. We wouldn't have thought to address this if it wasn't for several of our players speaking up concerns about selection bias.
  21. Like
    IndyPendant reacted to ManateeX in [IACP] Season 1 Voting Concluded! Results Within.   
    As someone who has no affiliation whatsoever with the IACP, I have to ask - um, what?? Is this comment at all helpful? 
    You seem to be implying that the IACP steering committee intentionally designed this survey in such a way that it told them what they "wanted" to hear.  Just think about that for a second.  Why would they do that?
     
    Secret IACP Steering Committee Master Plan (Confidential)
    Step 1: Change imperial assault skirmish in a way that suits us
    Step 2: Convince the dozens, nay, perhaps SEVERAL HUNDRED people worldwide who might play IA without FFG support that we are correct by posting nefariously misleading surveys. (Insert evil laugh here)
    Step 3: ???
    Step 4: Profit?  World domination???
     
    Haha I'm not trying to make light of your comment (well, not completely) but I seriously just don't understand where you're coming from.  What do you mean by "YOUR" community vs "THE" community?  Since before this began they've done nothing but ask for feedback over and over.  Here, on the big facebook group, on every IA podcast under the sun.  Exactly how do you propose that they reach THE community at large that they haven't already tried?  ****, they have asked the community for suggestions on how to improve the surveys themselves.  This does not sound like the work of madmen bent on total IA domination, but rather a group of people taking real time out of their lives to do the best they are able to keep the game we love alive.
    As for smothering criticism, if someone who's not even affiliated with the project saying "*sigh*" on a message board is enough to counter whatever point a person is making, I'd have to ask how good a point it was to begin with.  Not to mention the fact that this voter feedback survey had a place at the bottom for comments about what you might like to see, and the IACP published each one of those suggestions in their feedback report.  If there are any great ideas out there waiting to be found, wouldn't that have been a great place to put them so that the community could later vote?
    So if you have suggestions for how to fix IA, let's hear them!  If you have suggestions for how to better solicit or tally community feedback, let's hear those!  And sure, I guess if you just want to complain and be sad, you're welcome to do that, too
  22. Like
    IndyPendant reacted to Majushi in [IACP] Season 1 Voting Concluded! Results Within.   
    You could provide some constructive criticism on the proposed changes instead of bashing people who are having a disagreement.
    but hey, you’re super good at whatever it is you do and the IACP don’t know anything about what they’re doing.
    good for you
  23. Haha
    IndyPendant got a reaction from DerBaer in New Stuff; kinda.   
    Good work, DerBaer! You found the joke!
  24. Like
    IndyPendant got a reaction from Stompburger in What can IA learn from Gloomhaven?   
    Played both, and imo, in brief:

    Gloomhaven's the better game because: the entire game is far, far (far, far, far, FAR) more balanced, in terms of heroes, maps, units, abilities, scaling, like just everything; it has scaling difficulty settings that actually work rather well; with dozens of optional sidequests available, each campaign can last pretty much as long as the players want it to; the maps rely much less on "gotcha!" moments; the card draw system is significantly less random with individual attacks; and RAW there's much less opportunity for quarterbacking.
    IA Campaign's the better game because: just about every campaign's story is far, far better than Gloomhaven's generic fantasy setting; IA Campaigns are much less of a slog ("Oh look, it's our 287th Bandit Guard--only this one is level five!  Whee!"), the Rebels develop from zeros to gods far faster, and you can complete an entire campaign in as little as five sessions if you can get two maps in each session; there are tons of dramatic "gotcha!" moments in every campaign for the Rebel players; the dice inject a level of angst and uncertainty to every attack; there is soooooo much more flavour and style in IA; and of course: it's Star Wars (and actually captures that whole Star Wars "feel"--a plucky band of rebels fighting against the unlimited resources of tyranny--much of the time)!
    The games scratch entirely different itches, imo.  I like both, for almost completely different reasons.
    They're also almost completely incompatible with each other. ; )
  25. Like
    IndyPendant got a reaction from thestag in The IACP can't truly balance Skirmish without swarms   
    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.
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