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t7thunders

Do turret weapons make us dumb ?

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Before I gave up my rent money last month to buy this game (I joke)

I did quite a bit of research on what ships to buy first, what is good for beginners etc.

One of the recurring suggestions that was put forth was "buy a yt-1300" they a re a good ship for beginning players due to their 360 arc of fire.

Also suggested were the Y-wing's with ion turret.

Now I can see the merit of this, and I agree that its mostly good advice. Some new people might have a hard time with the whole "line em up in your sights" approach that most of the other ships use.

However, this got me to thinking : is this really the best way to get people introduced to the game?

I ask this because in my opinion after you get used to having the freedom to shoot whomever the hell you want, it sometimes frustrates people when they switch to the more complex ships and have to really start relying on their actual ability to pilot their ship and thus. ... The training wheels are off.

So what do the rest of you all think?

Should we continue to suggest the 360 line of fire as a good beginning, or should we maybe examine our teaching credentials and perhaps go with another de-facto ship as the best beginner.

There is obviously pros and cons to this topic, I could list a metric crap ton of them, but I was trying to keep it from becoming a wall of BOOORRRING text ...zzzzzzz

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I can definitely see the turret weapons as being a crutch, aye. Annoyingly, their sheer existence is a nerf on mobility, which is otherwise an incredible factor.

Heck, if we got rid of them, the Tie Advanced might actually be worth playing.

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Well, Y-wings with ions have benefits unrelated to their turret-ness; they're control ships, and I don't actually regard them as particularly beginner-ey. The Falcon definitely is a bit easier to learn to fly, but it has a learning curve of its own: it's easier than many ships to fly competently, but it's just as difficult to fly it well.

 

So I guess… I think X-wings make a good on-ramp to the game for one reason, and a Falcon for other reasons.

DraconPyrothayan and IvlerIin like this

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X-Wings and TIE/Ln units are straight out of the box and perfect for learning how each faction works without getting into more nitty gritty details. If turrets are a crutch, then you simply have to learn to fly better than the ships with the turrets. With the exception of Horton Salm, Y-Wings suck at range 3 for fighting capability (before anyone mentions torpedoes, that's an exception that any other ship can take.)

Stone37 and Hrathen like this

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Some x-wings vs some ties seems to me to honestly be the best units to start with- whoda thunk? :)

Honestly x-wings are probably the best balanced ships in the game, plus every beginner knows what they are. I think it's better to wait and introduce the uber-yt1300 of doom and then it seems more impressive.

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Honestly I'd say the B wing should be the de facto beginner ship. It hits hard, has a decent dial and is very forgiving as far as tankiness goes without having a turret.

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I suggest beginners start with 4 shuttles without engines.

...

In unrelated news, I appear to be out of friends.

Thank you for this. I chuckled out loud quite a bit.

 

I think it depends on the kind of gamer;

Hardcore gamer with a knack for strategy and stacked odds? Hand him/her the core ships (or something more difficult if he/she's up to the challenge) and see what he/she does with them.

Casual gamer who's strategy consists of "Do I, or do I not buy Park Place?"? Maybe give him something easier to fly to see how much he/she enjoys it.

 

That being said, I think there is a reason they didn't release the Falcon or Turrets in the base set.

The Tie fighter and the X-Wing seem the perfect ways to learn to fly (at least for me, my wife, and all my friends who have learned to play with me)

They also leave plenty of room to appreciate bonuses and drawbacks of the other ships XWM has to offer.  

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I have been told that Y wings are harder to fly, that's why the turret is highly suggested.

I think the key word here is "crutch". Some folks like to look for an "I win" button, or they use turrets to take one less

Equation out of the game thus kind of creating a peusdo auto pilot for thier lists.

Now don't get me wrong, I love me some Falcon action it was one of the first ships I got and flew well.

But I kind of had a harder time of things when my A wings arrived and I wanted to go into different lists.

This is what got me to wondering what this kind of info does for other beginners.

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I'm a relatively new player and I love the challenge of flying X-Wings and other craft without turrets so learn how to get/keep the target in my firing arc. I've only recently added Y-Wings with Ion Cannon Turrets and still haven't gotten around to flying my YT-1300s. I figure I will be a better player by learning how to deal with fire arcs.

AdmiralThrawn likes this

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The reason that I recommend the YT-1300 to newer players is based on several criteria. Yes the 360° arc gives you attacking advantages but it's much more than that. It's also very forgiving in its durability. 13 total hit points means it has some staying power against most opponents. Mostly I simply think they are fun. It's also not a bad idea to get the feel for how the large ships fly sooner rather than later.

On the flip side I definitely wouldn't lead new players to Y-Wings w/ ions. They are fine but there are much better ships imo.

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If people have a problem grasping the concept of only being able to shoot in the direction you're facing they might not be the right people for the game. Everybody in the world must be familiar with the concept thanks to any number of films or tv series and it's not that difficult.

Teaching players by using the Falcon and you start by teaching them about turrets, crew, actions, firing arcs, titles and the stuff the Empire can do (who don't have turrets anyway), instead of the ease of teaching in an X-Wing.

Edited by Dagonet
drylndsurf likes this

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Use of turrets is as tactical as any other aspect of the game. You've got to maximize your capabilities and minimize your deficiencies. Do they require as precise flying? Not necessarily, but you still have to be able to gauge your opponent's moves, and make the right choice to put your ships in the right place.

 

I personally love turrets, they're a great way to deal with flankers and low-agi enemy ships. But to each his/her own. 

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Whenever I demo to new players, I always start with only X wings and TIE fighters. For other wargamers, I do 50 points followed by 100, and for complete newcomers I do the core set followed by 100 points. For simplicity sake, I find it helps to just joust against them. They spend the first few turns learning the turn order and how dials work, then after the first pas shake it up on them a bit, sui they begin to learn how to turn and pursue.

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For me, the advantage to starting someone out on the Falcon is that it is so forgiving for them.  When my wife first expressed interest in playing, she asked if she could use the Falcon and to me, it made perfect sense.  It's cool, it's big, it's durable, and it's beginner friendly.  This was all particularly good for me since my wife is not exactly a gamer.

 

When we started playing then, she made a couple of "sketchy" moves.  Moves that didn't really make sense and which would have put her in a horrible position had she not been running the Falcon (i.e. she would not have had anyone in her arc).  If she had not been running the Falcon, it would have been a thrashing.  Instead, she was able to continue to complete and recover from the mistakes and she had a lot of fun.

 

Now, that being said, now that she is enjoying the game, she has specifically been avoiding the Falcon because she wants to get good at maneuvering, etc.  Plus, she seems to like the Darkside.  lol  I am noticing; however, that she is struggling with some of the more subtle aspects of the game still.  She's been struggling with the interceptors for instance because she hasn't quite figured out how to combine boosts and/or barrel rolls so as to get my ship in her arc while placing herself outside of mine. 

 

In the end, I think it really comes down to each particular person, but I sort of equate it to would you teach a new driver on a Camry or on a Lamborghini? (a bit of an exaggeration I realize).

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The interesting thing is that there is a difference between flying-easy and flying-well.

True, a turret does let your flying get sloppy and you still get to shoot. But, the finesse in using a turret is choosing the maneuver that gets you out of your opponent's firing arc, and then using the turret to keep your shot.

I love it when I can fly my Y-wing parallel to my opponent. It is such a sweet feeling when the drive-by works....

Edited by TnT
LeoHowler, Bohrdumb and polmoneys like this

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The only people I know who cry about turret weapons are the ones who do not understand them, how they work, and how to play with/against them.

 

There is no 'shame' to use a turret weapon, it is not a 'crutch', it's just another srategy that has it's own strengths and weaknesses. Anyone who puts you down for your choice of ship/weapon is not worth playing with.

IvlerIin and LeoHowler like this

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I don't think playing the first games with a YT is bad but a character does need to branch out so it doesn't become old habbit.

 

While the YT-1300 may have that turret primary you still CAN make sure it is aware of its fire-arc and how important it can be.  One way is to put a missile on the the ship although I'll need to admit that one missile doesn't always compare well to a 360 degree primary backed up by Gunner.  The other thing to throw in to at least may the YT owner aware of the firing arc is Backstabber; yes, he may get shot down right away but player should learn that if he's within that wedge he's only attacking with 2 dice instead of 3 if he is attacking from somewhere else.  I'm not sure how many apply to the Falcon but some upcome abilities also seem to care about the firing arc for things other than attacking.

 

Summary:

1.  Turret = Good for first taste but should move one to avoid it becoming a crutch.

2.  Make sure firing arc is important in other ways besides just shooting the primary weapon.

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Turrets are always attached to low agility ships.  Focused fire brings them down quickly.  Yes, the YT has a ton of hull and shields, but only one defense die.  Three interceptors with focus and/or TL shooting at it every round is going to make short work of it if only the YT can fire back.  The key, for rebel players, is to protect your turrets with harder to hit fighters.  There is a reason why HSF has two X-wings in the build.

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I maintain that the YT isn't just not the best beginner ship. It is hands down the worst beginner ship by several miles. You're better off starting with a Lambda (a support ship requiring you to understand the mechanics well enough to understand how it affects them) than a Falcon.

 

The Falcon's a good beginner ship if you're out to win those early games. It's tough, it's forgiving and it's easy to use. However, if you're out to learn how to play the game, it's awful. The Falcon is so easy to fly because it completely disregards a major game mechanic: the firing arc. With this mechanic stripped out, you won't learn to fly the rest of the game's ships, and neither will the person flying against your Falcon. At a beginner level and/or with very few ships on the field, introducing the Falcon can easily turn your game into little more than a "who rolls the best dice results" match.

Avoiding and lining up arcs is near meaningless to the Falcon. It can't be outmaneuvered or flanked because anything that can hit it it can hit back. It's a beast against TIEs, which is pretty likely to make up the entirety of your opponent's beginner squad, and your opponent won't be learning how to stay of of arcs (because with the Falcon they can't) any more than you'll be learning how to get ships in them. Even the choice of maneuver on the dial, which makes up a whole phase of the turn, is pretty much moot to the Falcon unless it hits something, at least at beginner level.

Don't get me wrong, the Falcon isn't a bad ship and using turrets doesn't make you a bad player, but if you're a beginner or teaching a beginner, don't touch the YT with a 5,000 ft pole. You will not learn the game flying with or against the YT at all. Don't go anywhere near it until you're confident with X-wing. To give a car analogy, the Falcon's an automatic and all the other ships are manuals. You can drive an automatic after learning on manuals but not the other way around.

The best beginner ships are the ones in the starter: the X-wing and the TIE fighter. For the price of the Falcon, you can get the X-wing and TIE fighter expansions to go with the starter, which gives you a good range of options in squadbuilding, a fun set of ships to fly and you'll learn the game while doing it. Most of the stuff I know about playing X-wing came from those early, smaller scale X-wings versus TIE fighters matches.

Edited by Lagomorphia

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It's a great ship to get people interested with. People discussing the fact it's a crutch and dowsn't teach skill are arguing that the best way to teach someone to swim is to kick them off the cruise ship three miles off the coast. The Falcon teaches the game rules without being frustrating, and has a whole lot of cool factor to go with it. Once players are familiar with actions, turn order, avoiding asteroids, and the like moving them to a more advanced setup(maybe three games in) will help garner their interest and makes for a great beginners course.

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of course the Falcon is a good beginner ship, because .. well .. it's the Falcon....

 

For a game, which is heavily based on its Star Wars theme, the Falcon is ideal for demos, intros  and the beginner phase.

It's less about being an easy/good/or too easy ship as it's about being an iconic piece from the movies. 

Besides, the learning curve has more to do with the question if people stick with the game or not, and I think the Falcon good for that.

 

As a free bonus you get a large ship with distinctly different ship,dial,weapons,crew ... , and it's a good way to open up the possibilities.

 

as a side note, if they stick with the game after playing a bit with the falcon, I would bet that's not the last piece bought anyhow. ;)

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