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dezzmont

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  1. Jake, yes, simply by virtue of being one of the better support ships in the game who basically can go on almost any list. Arvel, however, is an extremely meta dependent ship. Arvel is just an A wing+, and he lives or dies on if an A-wings stats are 'worth it' in a current meta as a filler ship. If 2 dice single modded or unmodded attacks are viable damage increases, Arvel does ok. He is great at bullying larges. But if your up against a lot of defensively strong ships (especially ones that get defensive resources for free, like pretty much all of the current meta lists) he kinda sucks. Its why he saw almost no play in the current meta: Boba and Sep Swarms were so absurdly dominant and he just doesn't do anything vs them. Those lists legitimatley do not care about 2 dice single modded ships. we do indeed have the 'Largepocalypse' Arvel will do his thing and bully the crap out of Han and Dash. If not, and the sep swarms or Boba and friends aren't dislodged, he will probably continue to see no play, because your either taking Jake first and don't want to have two A-wings in case you go up against these lists, or you don't plan on having an A-wing at all. This is part of the A-wing's problem: It is so feast or famine on if it can even do anything. In a way this aspect of Arvel is good. Arvel is a well designed tech ship that bullies low maneuverability ships that are badly affected by bumps and who have low defense dice. It is always great fun to see him absolutely trash a stacked Lambda twice his points. But tech ships only make sense when the meta is either what they are teching against, or if the meta is diverse and it isn't the end of the world when you go up against a list that isn't vulnerable to your tech.
  2. It is a bit late for that, and I don't even think 'double ion' is too bad as long as the setup is dangerous enough to justify how devistating it is. After all, if your not spamming a thousand cuts ion list with stuff like Y-wings, the ionized ship is actually probably going to die (Unless its a large or something) the turn after it is ioned UNLESS the ship's teammates can make it too dangerous for your list to 'all in' the ion'd ship. Without follow up, landing an Ion doesn't... do much, and if your follow up is to just take more target locks and fire more ion missiles or torps into the ship with enough ships to ensure it lands, your probably out of Ions at that point anyway and also probably lost. Even vs a relatively low damage output list like aces, you can't safely show your butt to both enemy aces to pounce without serious cost or without engaging cleverly, unless your fighting something like a dummy thick Ion torp Y-wing list and manage to land in multiple arcs so they can get you on the follow up turn. In which case... your aces, how the heck did you let that happen? I just think that 'hard control turrets' are a bad idea, because the point of control is to basically say 'don't do this thing you want to do' and forcing your opponent to hold off on it while they find a way to do the thing they REALLY wanna do. Ion turrets have a problem where they don't really allow you to find the opening to do the thing you want to do. Sure, facing down a wall of ion torps or missiles facing you that make it hard to find a gap to engage is spooky, but its doable, and the lists that are most negatively affected by control (aces) are also the best suited for cracking that nut. There isn't much you can do to stop spammed turrets from hitting and locking you down. One of the archtypical weaknesses of control in most games is that, paradoxically, they are putting your opponent in the driver's seat, because your playing reactively and letting them make the mistakes and your skill is more trying to cover your own weaknesses and make any mistakes that occur as devastating as can be, but Ion turrets never do that. In addition to the fundamental problems of a control turret, the ion turret also is a weird version of control in that its also the high value direct damage option. The entire reason they are so meta as the turret most ships that want a turret take is they are just a consistent 1 damage and possible ioning that has extremely good arc coverage and fires out the side, rather than the front, which is usually better to do anyway. The Dorsal Turret is just so non-threatening vs many ships despite having a theoretically higher damage cap simply because it misses way too often, so despite being a 'control' tool the fact of the matter is the ion does more raw damage than the dorsal in almost every situation. I think the fix for ion turrets is probably more just to push them up, create a new 3 attack 1 max damage turret with a GREATLY reduced control effect for extra damage on top, and call it a day and Dash ion turrets. Bombs and lock on mechanics are where control 'should' live, along with bumps or pseudo-bumps like the new A-wing card, which are all much more interactive
  3. This is just a problem with X-wing's design philosophy that problematic combos should come out of the upgrades, rather than the ships, to make the upgrades bad on anything outside of the combo. There is a strange desire to just hardcore prevent any ship from having 'staple' cards that they aren't explicitly designed to use that forces an ever increasing number of upgrades out of the game, while problematic ships keep being problematic, like with how Whisper managed to break by themselves some odd 5 upgrades who all went up in price and didn't do anything to stop the ship from being completely oppressive. I call it the Whisper problem: Generally a ship strong enough to break an upgrade in a game where upgrades are deliberately undertuned by default is just too strong in general. Sometimes they get it right, like with Droid Fighters, but often an upgrade is placed on a sacrificial altar when in reality a ship's mechanics just aren't good or fun. While force points+regen en-mass was indeed really toxic, that really was more of a sin of them deciding to release a faction that can spam force-point swarms, not the R2s, and honestly I think it is fair to say that, despite the Republic being bad, force is sorta a... failed mechanic, and needs a core systems rework, which would allow republic ships to be a bit more aggressively costed without creating a huge NPE problem where you just can't take out anything because you need to maintain 2,-4 fire arcs on one ship to even start landing damage on it, depending on if your firing with 2 dice or 3 and if your focused or not, and they aren't even an aces list where you outnumber them.
  4. I don't think they are, and I think they are edging that back with some of the changes. The problem with historical ion control lists is they were based off double tapping Y-wings for the most part, and the Ion Turret is a really bad implementation of a control mechanic in a lot of ways because its a bit too easy to apply repeatedly, in a way that doesn't exactly resemble control. Ion Missiles were already on the edge of not just viability, but being quite good, and lack a lot of negative aspects of the ion turret in that you can't effortlessly keep a large amount of them on uptime with a target that just got ion'd. At 3 points, I suspect they will start sneaking into lists on 2 attack dice filler ships because they give them some non-damage pushing teeth on turns where they are just a bit too free and open. On top of that, on small bases, ions are basically a way to get a gun that does 1 damage more consistently and increasing arc coverage, rather than a 'control weapon.' A healthy control archetype wants to limit the good options an opponent has, but can't actually tell them 'you don't get to play' which is sorta what ion turret spam did. Ion missiles and torps, if they were good, would enable a fair control list that do control shenanigans without crushing your opponent's soul, because you need to telegraph the threat with a TL, can't easily follow up with a second on a flyby, and won't generally be constantly ioning ships but instead creating windows where your opponent loses options, which is a healthy control archetype compared to a complete 'jail' archetype like ion turrets were, which is why almost every 'telepgrahped payload' ion upgrade is creeping down. Your ace being inside a target lock and now having to try to avoid losing control from an ion missile on a critical turn is kinda fun and should be a viable list archetype, someone constantly rotating and focusing turrets for flybys was not and should not. TL;DR: Ion turrets taught people that control is 'inherently bad' when in reality it more is bad when it gets too over-saturated in both number of times taken and how often it can be applied, and control is more fun as a suspense mechanic that creates a lot of tension and unusually high costs to misplays in small windows of play.
  5. I noticed a methodology issue in the favorite list archetype (it presumes those are all the archetypes, and while there are some, while not competitive, may be someone's favorite, like I really like flying synergistic jank), and it assumes you are excited about specific upcoming products and want specific ships to come in from a list. I had... ok backup answers, but I woulda preferred to say different things for those, because it assumes a positive desire for these specific things. I am somewhat excited for the future of X-wing, but those questions about the future felt off because I am not hype for much of any product and I definitely don't really care about any of the ships from that list aside from an absract 'nice for other people to have I guess' sorta way. I believe that survey software allows an "Other" on dropdown to create a manual entry field. Though that may be rough on you for data collection, so I get not including it.
  6. Sorry to claim you were new! I just assumed because of the low post count!
  7. dezzmont

    The Paradox Of FFG

    To be clear, I mean good one time purchase in that 'they are a fantastic way to get into a faction.' I think they knocked that aspect out of the park, I am razzed to try resistance. And I really am excited for Starbird Slice, because its the exact kind of card I like. I also like a lot of points changes: It feels like FFG wants to experiment with a 'midrange control' style of X-wing rather than pure aces or swarms magdumping you, and I want in. I think 2 is the magic number for a card intended for a ship that you at most run 4 of. Case in point: I also got two packs. I actually saved the cards because I sometimes run the game for children and having backups is... wise. 2 S-foils is kinda the perfect number because most lists that run B-wings run 1 or 2, but you COULD run 4. So for the vast majority of players, you only need one, and that is fine, but if you really want to crack open listbuilding a second is necessary. That feels very fair, but looking at the Resistance aces pack it seems like that won't be the case, as it looks like card count is already known and only a few cards have an x2, let alone the x3 they would need for A-wings. For example, the ideal number of Starbird Slashes to let you quickly fill out a squad with 2 purchases (especially because as an upgrade it 'wants' to be spammed) would be 3. This also is a nice number for rebels, as an A-wing swarm is 6 but a mini swarm of 3 is a common point of experimentation. But it seems to come with a singleton, which fills me with dread, and does mean that a full squad of them for a 6A tournament play list, would cost, assuming it costs 50 bucks which I feel is a fair 'guestimate,' 300 dollars, and even a casual 'I wanna run 3 slash A-wings' would run you 150. That is... bad. Again I don't intend to pay that exhorbitant price, nor do I intend to wait a year for a card pack to actually get rebel cards in numbers needed to actually get new rebel content to table. So if I wont buy, and won't wait even longer... I only got one option then don't I? I know some players will just swallow their pride and do it, but as someone who was on the 'why didn't they put new cards in the A-wing re-release camp, if these numbers are accurate and are going to be accurate for phoenix as well... I feel extorted after being left in the lurch for 2 years, and that isn't a fun feeling that makes me want to continue X-wing despite that hype. Again, we are in a 'Roses and chocolates and give me one more chance' phase for FFG, not a 'buy to support all they do for X-wing' phase, for single faction OT players. I get that is hard to understand because so many players feel like X-wing is really strong right now, but really empathize with what OT players are kinda going through right now and the prices they are staring down if this info is true to get more stuff, to really grok how utterly screwed up the current status quo is and how not acceptable a solution the aces packs seem to be at introducing new content to under served factions. Hence why I think the sweet spot is to treat reprint box cards as 'mini cardboard expansions.' I am cool with subsidizing such an expansion with a plastic purchase as long as it basically has a similar number of copies and a decent amount of cards (Ex: I think rebel A-wings getting support to put them on par with new ships would mean that they need at least one more talent options than slash, probably an extra 5-6 pilots, and maybe a new missile. This would mean 14 cards for that one ship alone, maybe), in addition to the reprint cards for new players. That isn't nothing, but it would far and away help justify me buying another few X-wings and A-wings when I legitimately do not need or really want them.
  8. dezzmont

    The Paradox Of FFG

    I don't even mind having to buy A model as long as I can get a playset. If Phoenix Cell comes with extra copies of the new cards so I can also use them with my old ships? Fantastic, I might even be persuaded to get 2 if they are cheap enough. If not? RIP X-wing. But I am not willing to drop... what... 200 dollars to get 4 cards? No. Hard pass. I am on a teacher's salary, I play X-wing once a week. I can't afford to pay 200 dollars on plastic to get 4 cards. The main value of X-wing as a product in the first place is that it is very easy to buy game expansions that significantly change how you play for 30 bucks. Part of the appeal of X-wing is that you can expand your collection with small purchases and you will get everything you need for 30-60 bucks depending on ship size, and if you like it get a ton more. Aces packages are a great single time purchase. If, with phoenix cell, they were like 'Here is an A wing, an X-wing, and an attack shuttle, and also here are 6 copies of this A-wing card.' To paraphrase Ebak: I am not a god **** charity. I am not going to, and this is essentially your argument, subsidize the bad choices of FFG in terms of plastic production in order to keep the game artifically alive if it doesn't care at all about the value I percieve I am getting. This is a transactional relationship. The fact that it is convinient to you, a faction hopper who likes to get everything, that I would basically be funding the entire line by being forced to buy reprints that already had all of their production costs paid off besides running the factory and plastic, that I don't want to get new cards, doesn't mean its a good idea, that players are going to do it, or that it is good for X-wing. I would rather YOU pay an extra 10-20 dollars per ship, or for the aces packs for existing ships to be dirt cheap so that FFG could pass those savings on to me a bit. If FFG wants to nickle and dime me over every single copy of a card intended to support my faction with new options, I ain't gunna play, and a lot of people won't play, and you will have a problem. So like... yeah. No. Screw that opinion, this is not a 'wah' problem. I think it is completely fair to want new ways to fly existing ships that doesn't require me to spend 200 dollars to get the content for my lists. I would be willing to spend maybe 40 bucks to get a nice amount of cards in numbers needed to outfit a reasonable number of ships as a pure cardboard pack. I would be willing to spend 30 bucks to get a playeset of new cards with ONE plastic figure. But I am not made of money, and if X-wing literally requires us to be buying reprints in those numbers so that a playset of 2-3 new cards costs 200 dollars, I hate to break it to you, but its already dead, because it is fundamentally non-profitable. I 100% get the need to adapt reprints to be something people will actually buy. I am telling you I do not intend to buy reprints if I need to buy a ton of copies of them to get the cards, and that is bad news for you, and that I think most of the people who aren't buying reprints are telling you exactly why they won't and you don't want to hear it. I WILL buy heralds of hope, because to me it isn't a reprint. I probably won't buy a rebel reprint pack unless its low key also a cardboard pack as well (As in: full playsets, not just enough cards to run the pack, and stuff to actually breathe new life into the faction).
  9. dezzmont

    The Paradox Of FFG

    I think there is a middleground between '3+ years to seriously get a support pack for rebels at this rate' and 'Tons of new rebel pilots and cards every wave yaaay.' Like I get FFG needs to make money and holding back and being a bit of a tease is part of that. In other scenarios where Hotshots and Aces had really strong pilots and maybe we got one new ship in the last year, I would be more than happy to wait a year to get an affordable way to get a x3 of important cards that were in a 60 dollar 3 ship product. Rebels in theory have the most support of any faction, we could 'suck it up.' But the content drought is so bad that the current plan of 'A 1x of card openly intended to help the rebels in what will likely be a 60 dollar non-rebel product' feels... totally unacceptable and signals a huge disconnect with the problem. A big part of the current scenario that makes things hard is the current situation is so terrible FFG basically... needs to make bad short term choices here in order to pull the 'Put out a boombox playing my fave song near my bedroom window holding chocolates and flowers in the rain' play, before pulling back to a more reasonable level of teasing and being coy with products so I will buy juuust a biiiiit more.
  10. This is a bad take chief. Message unbolded and re-bolded for emphasis. So like... some guy with 200 posts and 100 + votes kinda screams 'new excited player excited to share stuff and their feelings' and who is generally an EXTREMELY positive member of the community. Reading into excited takes that are different as your as 'shouting/ranting' is a personal problem. Be like the FGC and view every opportunity as a chance to be a rad mentor who makes people like the game more, even if someone has takes that aren't great, or are informed by inexperience. Everyone is on a journey, and when you see someone on a step you perceive as earlier than yours being too... overly enthusiastic or missing the point angrily at worst, and slapping them down, your helping make X-wing a worse game to play for EVERYONE.
  11. I love how when someone brings up that the X-wing community has a huge problem with being super unfriendly to players who aren't already super into the tournament meta because anyone with an offbeat opinion gets reacted to with naked hostility, that there is any confusion onto if this is true. Be better, and fly like 5000% more casually. Thank you to being the Gallant to these Goofuses and helping 'jump a player in' to a deeper understanding and level of play of X-wing. Unironically super classy behavior here I love to see. To add to your point on why Crack Shot is so good: Most bullseye talents reward you for being able to maintain bullseye up-time on demand on a target, because they are repeating low impact effects. Crack shot only requires you to get crack shot once to get 1 bonus damage, and did this for 1 point. Even if your not at the level you can push for bullseyes when you want, if you practice for a bit you can probably force it to happen at least once a game with a ship before it dies. At that point, Crack Shot is 1 extra damage over the course of the game. This doesn't just create problems for other talents that need to compete with 1 nearly guaranteed damage, but for anything that pushed damage. Like advanced proton torpeedos change your 3 dice attack to a 5 dice attack, which pushed your damage from 1.7 to 2.5, so LESS than crack shot, despite costing 6 times as much, with the only benefit being a crit. If you somehow could double mod for free, you were still only getting .9 damage. This meant a torpeedo which had more strict requirements in some respects than crack shot (You need to basically 'call the shot' with a target lock, which often comes at positioning disadvantages, while crack shot lands any time you directly align with a ship), had a worse damage effect and was paying 5 points for an auto-crit. A lot of elements of the game that either were more specific or similarly had changes were heavily de-valued by 1 extra average damage output over the course of the game being so guaranteed. Now, crack shot had virtues as being one of the few upgrades in the game that were clearly good, while still not being taken universally, which I think is the ideal upgrade balance point, but it had the problem of making it really hard for any other upgrade to hit that point. Crack shot at 2 points for 1 extra damage over the game feels like a decent spot when you compare it to missiles and bombs, and creates room for other upgrades to add value without being too crazy because they don't need to force 1 damage in an extremely low effort usage of them to be 'worth it.'
  12. dezzmont

    The Paradox Of FFG

    Yeah. 40k made 'epic the default' in a really subtle way that made it possible to make 'deluxe' things like Imperial Knights (A paired down version of apocalypse only stuff like Titans) and superheavy tanks viable in the default mode, and made 'scaling point games' feel normal. You still played 2,000 points most of the time, but it wasn't a 'wacky special thing' to play 1,500, 2,500, 3,000, or 4,000. They also had a mode called combat patrol, which was basically a more focused and balanced method of playing small point games in 30 minutes. I don't think Epic needs to be the default, but there are clearly problems caused by X-wing being a 'one format' game. I don't see X-wing making it long haul when so much effort has been put into it being an almost pure plastic product (which was a mistake for a game with a 'collection limit' per player), without making 'wanna play a 300 point game?' or 'Want to draw a scenario?' seem more normal. Part of why scenario play is a good idea is that it makes larger games that take the same amount of time roughly easier. A 4000 point game of 40k doesn't take twice as long as a 2000 point game, its like half an hour to an hour longer. Ancestral Recall is so broken it is banned in Vintage and Legacy. It isn't a 'not needing to be that guy' card. It is so broken that even existing as a 1 of in a deck makes it way too strong. You can't balance a game by printing absolutely busted stuff and then saying 'pretty please don't do things that are clearly in your benefit.' That isn't how games work. You need to account for optimal play rubbing up against sub-optimal play. Printing super strong chase cards in products that mandatorily have most of their price put in plastic as a design choice isn't an attempt at balance, it is an attempt to money gouge, and its famously hated. I don't think FFG is doing that at all mind (in fact, they go out of their way to make cardboard so 'meh' that it tends to be a 'feels bad' moment in its own way) but that used to be a problem with 1.0: 3P0 was a 'chase' card for example that caused a HUGE amount of resentment because 1.0 3P0 was so strong that lists that didn't run it were just plain not viable. One of the promises of 1.0 was no super expensive chase cards like 1.0 3P0. I suspect single faction players would be a lot more patient if the faction support in X-wing wasn't so comically imbalanced. A lot of this sentiment I think comes from the "Its been 84 years" effect: What is low key going to be the most popular faction with I would suspect most star wars fans has gotten no real support for the entire history of the edition holy ****. That isn't a minor issue. That is a 'How the **** did they think this was gunna go? Did they really expect stores not to get mad that they are mostly putting out reprints no one is buying because OT factions have too much plastic out there already? Did they really expect casual players to run out and buy 3 N-1 starfighters to get passive sensors on the Imps, forget about Rebels who really haven't gotten any good cards out of the other factions? Is Starbird Slash REALLY going to be a singleton in a 3 ship pack with ships I don't care about that probably is going to run 60 dollars? Are they really gunna try to tell me that for X-wing to survive I need to buy 180 dollars worth of Resistance ships to run 3 A-wings with that in rebels? Or 5 copies to run it in a resistance swarm for 350 flippin dollars? For 6 pieces of cardboard? If so? Hard pass, good luck sustaining the game on people willing to do that, hope it was worth trading the ability for the game to have a casual player base at all and putting it 'all in' on the whales. But I don't believe that is required. I believe this is an attempt to get me to pick up one resistance pack while I wait for the card pack. Which I would be willing to do and think is a fair way to try to subsidize the cost of the design of new ships... in another circumstance where it hasn't been 2 freaking years for rebels to get access to 5 new pilots in one pack. No thank you. Please, just give me an option to make a reasonable investment to update my collection. And I get the desire to create a sense of a 'limited time offer' on getting new cards for old factions based on packs coming out well after the card is released. But, I must stress again that Rebels and Imperials have been waiting for any level of support for over 2 years. I would be willing to get a resistance pack for 'early access' to a singleton copy of a card that was also meant for rebels if I got anything of note in the last year outside of H&A which is mostly 'dead' cardboard. I am not willing to wait what is likely to be over a year because they aren't going to release a new cardboard pack with 3 cheap copies of Starbird Slash at the same time they release a singleton or duo copy in Phoenix pack, which I am also probably not going to buy because I don't want to spend 50-60 bucks on more X-wings and A-wings. That isn't entitlement. I don't want to be forced to buy plastic I don't want to 'subsidize' the game. I am paying money to get percieved value from objects which are ultimately valueless because I WANT to support X-wing, but I am not going to do that if X-wing, at a time where it needs to be giving me chocolate and roses and holding up a boombox outside my bedroom saying 'Sorry for all the reprints and silence' is trying to force not just more reprints on me, but get me to buy them with super expensive products. 40k is an applicable comparison because its the most succesful wargame on the market and has avoided a major problem X-wing has had to keep product moving, exploiting 14 year olds and churning through its playerbase after players get dissolusioned of making gameplay flexible while keeping structures in place. I actually left 40k myself. However, 40k had its own '2.0 esque' renascence' which was a major part of why it got the number 1 spot back from X-wing, after major leadership changes and changes to their model that were less focused on a super young playerbase and constant overturn. There are still things to really not like about it, but a goal of theirs in the 'modern 40k era' was to preserve collection value while encouraging new collection, and a few ideas really clearly give it a leg up on X-wing, such as how 'single army players' are rewarded, not even through chase cards, for starting new collections because every 40k army is in theory compatible. It isn't perfect by a long shot. And X-wing is a fundementally different game so some of these implementations wouldn't work (Ex: Being able to run Boba with Vader to encourage cross faction 'exploration' to get people to be willing to pick up their favorite cross faction ships knowing they could use them prooobably would come at the high high cost of the competitive scene completely collapsing) but there are still lessons to be learned from GW going from 'The bad guys' to honestly pretty reasonable. Like a good lesson is that 'going whole hog' on Epic probably ISN'T a good idea, but making epic pieces 'less special' is, if that makes sense. Apocalypse worked because it allowed for truly ridiculous stuff, like the famous 'donut game' which was this giant 18 table ring of games. I remember my first apoc game was combined with Battlefleet Gothic and was a 'table hopping' game as you moved from combat zone to combat zone on different planets. But it was this 8 hour indulgence that could never be normal. Instead they took the parts of Apocalypse that were useful to the main game that didn't seem like they would traditionally 'fit' like fortifications, mixed faction armies, and super-heavy units, and changed the army building rules to make them playable even at 2,000 point standards with the detachment rules. Epic probably shouldn't be standard, because while its less of an indulgence (Having players 'jump' from table to table to reinforce other 'sectors' would be fun though!) it still is a big one. The things to take from Epic to get the benefit of extending collection longevity per faction can work even if they are very specific in scope. Like making an objective app that is part of the 'standard game' where 'competitive mode' is one mode and 'standard' mode is another that creates an objective, and then asks for point limit, is a subtle way to keep 200/3 the primary competitive mode while still making '300 points, secure the cargo' more 'normal' to see, which just so happens to make owning 7 X-wings valuable!
  13. Hopefully it will have a LOT more new cardboard than the standard pack, yeah. Unless they start printing "X reinforcement packs" for the non-prequel factions to get stuff out without ships, I don't think my heart could take them getting like 3-4 new pilots, 2-3 upgrades, most of them ending up being bad, one of them a reprint from the Resistance one (or, nightmare scenario, 2 of them reprints, Hondo in theory COULD fit into the Phoenix Squad pack), and then having to wait another year for anything new.
  14. dezzmont

    The Paradox Of FFG

    X-wing has a problem compared to some other minis games: People can't easily mix and match factions, or even pieces within a faction, because the power disparity between pieces can be so stark. People pick up random Land Raiders or Hammerheads in 40k because they like how they look and want to give them a try sometimes, and 40k supports that really well because armies are so big its pretty trivial to just 'toss something in' or to play jank, because the effect it has on your list is so small. If you already own 3 land raiders (A silly amount of land raiders, for reference, its like owning 3 VCXs in that you technically can use them all but its not a good idea, though note it isn't all you can run unlike 3 VCXs) you can totally pick up a 4th. As well as variant land raiders. Did I mention that people really like Landraiders? They sell like 6 variants of them and I know people who have two of each, and it doesn't come across as exploitative because the sculpts are very different and the way 40k works is different. So X-wing has a more limited scope of collection than 40k. On top of that, its a licensed product and can't just invent new things (Hi Primaris Marines!) to help sell stuff for a faction people own a ton of things for, so it can't release new things for an army, which is also really bad for sales because most players will want to 'main' a force, even if they aren't singleton players, and you need stuff to sell them. So I think X-wing needs to make SOME changes to stay a living game. It just can't primarily make its revenue source re-sculpts and ship buys for cardboard from heavily established players that already own enough ships to make 20 lists, that isn't ever going to be sustainable. The first big change would be to make points scale better and essentially make epic 'default' which 40k has (wisely) done. 40k used to have its epic variant be called Apocalypse, and while there are still specialized apocalypse rules, they instead made structural changes to how the listbuilding works to allow both mixed faction armies, scaling army point limits, and alternate objective modes all in its competitive mode, which helps force the meta to not stagnate, and helps foster collection. A big limiter to how many ships X-wing can sell is the just... sheer fact you can't use more than 5 X-wings at 99% of tournaments, and if you try to start collecting another faction, your starting from zero. So obviously epic as is shouldn't become the tourney standard, but slowly 'scaling up' the game and making the cut off between 'standard 200/3 vs 200/3 single faction' may be a way to help move product: If my local tournament has 300 point limit 2 faction nights, I both have more reason to get that pack with more X-wings when I own 5 already, or to get some random republic ship I need to get an upgrade card I am interested in, because hey maybe 2-3 clones/Jedi are just what my republic list needs for the Objective mode tournament. It also makes it easier to justify using bad ships: In Epic your less likely to lose a game 0 to 200 because you took one 'meme ship' for funzies, just like in 40k your less likely to get stomped because you got 4 land raiders, as you still have like 9 other units to pick up the slack. This alone would solve a LOT of FFG's problems, which is why it was so wild that Epic was not at all a priority for X-wing till, apparently, now. A randomized objective play as a more normalized mode of play, with 'serious' tournaments being the current deathmatch mode, is basically what 40k does (save for it uses an objective mode for its tournament, just a single standard one that is very well balanced, to prevent the game from being a boring matchup of super efficient units vs super efficient units) and it works pretty well: It keeps casual tournaments fresh because every game feels different and the structure of an objective mode means the unfun need to wipe points of the board is sidelined for the fun of struggling for control across different areas of interesting in a manner which ensures that even if your behind your still probably getting some dopamine as you manage to retake 4 of the 6 points you need before losing one or two again. More frequent (but not overly frequent) balance patches until the metagame is more diverse ship wise could also help: I am not interested in buying more ships simply because the ships I like mechanically I already own, and the ships I like because I am a star wars nerd are bad. One update every 6 months is fine for a more casual wargame, but for one this cut-throat it leaves ships and factions just out of any game for quite a long time because if they 'get left behind' an update because 'the problem may be fixed by other changes' they can be SOL for an entire year. Finally, I think transitioning to mostly focusing on cardboard products and slowing down ship production to mostly filling out factions and reprinting out of stock stuff like the Resistance Falcon or Bomber, Star Wing, K-wing, ect, is inevitable. Endless collection expansion isn't going to ever be a good primary model after a wargame reaches the level of veterancy X-wing has, and while reprints and maintaining ship stock is important, it isn't going to work long term for both keeping players engaged and buying. The problem is that, unlike 40k, I don't believe FFG can just manufacture boxes as needed, hence the waves. So I am not sure the fix there, maybe they will just be forced to do the aces packs, which I am fine with because they also are a great onboarding tool and way to jump to a new faction, which is kinda what new plastic is for anyway in a game this old. That said, it... really is obvious they need to at have a cardboard pack AT LEAST every other wave filled with stuff for factions that aren't getting love, ships that have too few options, and to collect the generic upgrades. Hotshots and Aces (in my local area) did STUPID WELL (I have never seen a new product sold out at my local Barnes and Nobles, forget about TWO, and its apparently out of stock and 40 bucks on Amazon so... yeah... lotta people ate that up), so there is clearly a lot of demand for the ability to get a fat stack of new cards and exciting pilots for old ships. Combined with the fact that the reprints are just not moving and have resulted in multiple product cancellations probably caused by stores being told they should order more Saws Renegades and Imperial Raiders responding with "The **** I will!" and it becomes clear the future is cardboard. I get the feeling there is some awareness there are a few problems based on how the current announcements both included stuff for epic and a commitment for epic support in packs (because 'non objective play single faction 200 points limit games being 99% of X-wing games' is probably the biggest obstacle to them justifying the sale of more minis), and the fact that the aces Packs seem like legitimately good value for starting your collection in a new faction, and I think easing into this is wise. It is also hard not to notice that the design of the PT era factions encourages you to get LOTS of the same ship: Jedi Starfighters are super cheap but have a expensive variant so you only need 3... but you COULD fly a swarm. Droid Starfighters? Swarms of 7 or 8 are viable even if they aren't meta. The Naboo Handmaiden+Padme combo means you can totally justify 3 of the Naboo Starfighter, even though it normally wouldn't be swarmed. Ect. But there is definitely something... low key wrong with X-wing even still. There is a severe content drought if your not a faction hopper that makes maintaining engagement very limited, and heavily limits the potential growth of the game. I don't even think they need to commit to '1 cardboard pack a year' or anything so much as introducing it as a concept that can be done as a one off. A 20 buck "Rebel Reinforcement" pack with new pilots for underserved ships would be a great addition to a wave that opens options up for other factions but doesn't require them to do anything special all the time on a set schedule, without removing the 'chase card' aspect of off faction ships, as they can just do their thing with a new cardpack collection down the road as one big hyped bundle, rather than removing the attraction of going cross faction to get cards now.
  15. I dunno. Rotating guns seems weird and while they certainly rotated a bit the rear fire thing distinguishes the RZ-2. I would rather the RZ-1 gets good pilots, and maybe a config that helps their offensive consistency in some way (The fact that their sensors are really good so they can get detailed information while boosting about is something I forgot and could justify getting calcs somehow!) so that they aren't just... junk ships would help. The RZ-2 is annoying and kites better, the RZ-1 generally has better mods so when it has uptime its better sorta deal. I definitely get that feeling. Rebels have some strong ships that would love, in a sense, getting Wedge's ability vs their target. Some might say... Beefy ships. Running 2-3 A-wings with a cheap upgrade and 2-3 beef ships is very possible, and something that gives the A-wings value even when they don't hit super hard is great and kinda what they need. I thought this as well, but that is prooobably like 6 points on the ship and that is too much for this sorta thing. I think it is probably going to be more a 'sidegrade' that moves the risk from bumping and likely being in enemy arcs, to landing in an arc after moving through and still being in an arc, or your opponent dialing a blue to deal with it. It is more control oriented in that it has a stronger effect on enemy ship behavior, because they can't avoid the effect if you are I1 by just planning to move over you. So instead they have to either dial a blue move to avoid the strain, which makes them more predictable, or take it.
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