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Initiative... so... why strive for it.?

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Ok been playing for a while and i get how you determine initiative.

 

I also get that the guy with initiative moves and fires first when PS is tied.

 

Also that activities are resolved in their favour first but this doenst actually seem that great a deal to sacrifce points over.

 

I used to play battletech, in that if you had the init you moved *second* iirc, which made sense as you could see what your opponent had done.  

 

Now i get in xwing that you chose your dial in secret so you cant react to a move quite thr same way but a lot of abiities let you modify your move to a different one (boba fett or stay on target for example) so its actually better to see where your opponent has gone.

 

So am i missing something massive and being a div?

 

At the moment i cant see what i'd want to drop a 2 point upgrade to chance for initiative.

 

If fire wasnt simulatanenous i could see the point but as a destroyed ship gets to fire back at an equal ps ship before burning up it just doesnt seem that big a deal.

 

so what am i reading incorrectly here...  or is it just not that big a deal?

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If your ships are low enough in PS they can still get there actions when blocking. Any criticals dished out affect the return shot in a simultaneous fire situation. If you have missiles/torpedoes you would want your opponent to move before you so you can TL better.

 

Winning initiative allows you to pick who has it- you or your opponent. If you need it you have it if you don't want it you can give it away.

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At the moment the biggest reason to take initiative is linked to your PS relative to your opponent.

Certain ships like interceptors and phantoms have a lot of post dial maneuverability, but are fragile. They live and die by the arc dodging.

The player with the least points gets to CHOOSE if they want to keep initiative or pass it to the opponent, and with pilots like Soontir, you want to be moving after Wedge so you can get out of his arc.

Phantoms also want to choose. Against opponents they can dodge they choose to go second. Against opponents they can't (Han) they want the extra defense provided by the free cloak, so move and fire first.

In the end I think certain builds can benefit more from the bid than others but it's one way, and not the only way, to deal with specific threats.

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cheers guys, i forgot to mention i'd considered blocking.

 

You learn something every day, while i've read the rules a dozentimes i've clearly always missed the bit that says you can choose to pass initiative on.

 

that makes loads more sense.

 

Question answered thanks all.

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Having initiative definitely helps when you're shooting first.  Especially if you can cripple the other ship with some decent critical damage effects.

 

I thought if you shot an equal PS skill pilot he got to shoot back before being destroyed.  I suppose a critical that affects the target weapons is taken into account *before* that 'simultaneous' shot then?

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Having initiative definitely helps when you're shooting first.  Especially if you can cripple the other ship with some decent critical damage effects.

 

I thought if you shot an equal PS skill pilot he got to shoot back before being destroyed.  I suppose a critical that affects the target weapons is taken into account *before* that 'simultaneous' shot then?

Yes it is.

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Cool, while initiative has never really been an issue this is all food for thought.

 

sam and I were playing the other day and at first it just seemed to be a sub optimal thing that his force had initiative.

 

I never realised you could give it away.

 

Makes a difference :)

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Sometimes I think there can be an over emphasis on initiative. It doesn't function in X-wing like it does in most other games. It's really only a timing resolution mechanic, as pilot skill determines most things anyway. The simultaneous attack rule tends to nullify some of the benefits, it might have granted. It just doesn't have the impact that most other games usually put on initiative, and most gamers that have played other games where it is more important, will generally find it's not quite the same.

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i've clearly always missed the bit that says you can choose to pass initiative on.

That's a fairly recent change and it's only in the tournament rules.

 

i'd rather put a two point EPT or upgrade on a ship than win init

Some lists need init, most don't but some do. But mostly I think they want it for the sake of firing first in simultaneous fire situations.

That said, by and large you're better off being the one without it.

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Ah that would make sense, i only really read the FAQ if we have an issue with a card or a situation.  Playing mainly social games nothing really balances too much on the outcome so if we disagree we tend to toss a coin and go with the winners interpretation then check it up later.

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Ah that would make sense, i only really read the FAQ if we have an issue with a card or a situation.  Playing mainly social games nothing really balances too much on the outcome so if we disagree we tend to toss a coin and go with the winners interpretation then check it up later.

 

The only time I really worry about it is with Phantoms. With ACD, having initiative means you have 4 defence dice against attackers with the same PS. Not having initiative means you have 2 dice. Conversely, that also means you should think about initiative when playing against phantoms. if neither side has a phantom, it's far less relevant.

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With some squads, especially those that contain large-based ships, it's sometimes to your advantage to let your opponent place asteroids first. This lets you respond to their asteroid placements by placing your own asteroids in way that might create more open lanes of traffic, making it easier to maneuver your large ships through the rocks.

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I used to think not having initiative was clearly the best option, being able to choose a barrel roll/boost maneuver based on "current" information is a huge advantage. Then the Phantom happened... having an ACD Phantom shoot first is absolutely brutal. Plus getting to "force" your action against an equal PS pilot is pretty good when they have to make a guess on where you are going to be to be able to maneuver without bumping.

 

So I'm now of the opinion: Both are good, both can be built around, and it is situational.

 

If I am running Swarm and my opponent has swarm, I am better off with initiative so that my minions can active block his.

If I have Tie Phantoms with ACD I absolutely MUST have initiative, it can be the difference between a win or a loss if your opponent has an equal PS pilot to your phantom.

If I am running 3/4 Strong pilots I would try to give initiative to my opponent so my heavy hitters can make an informed decision with their actions (the difference between TL/Focus can be huge)

If I have any Boost/BR actions I would give initiative to my opponent so I can adjust for a shot or escape an arc.

If my opponent has a ACD Tie Phantom I would consider taking initiative just to remove it from my opponent.

I'm sure there are many more situational aspects to initiative I havent even found yet. You could even argue getting to place the first/second asteroid might come with some kind of advantage/disadvantage.

Edited by Tenka

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Action or token passing can make all the difference if you have initiative.  For instance, Cracken can attack, pass an action to Dutch, who can then TL, then allow someone else to TL who is about to shoot at you.  You could potentially nerf combos like that if you got a killshot on someone with a lower pilot skill down the line.  

Edited by cody campbell

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All good replies guys

 

it did seems to me it was 'six of one, half a dozen of the other' as i could see why at times having or not having init would be a bonus but i couldnt see an overiding reason to *want* to go for it all the time.

 

Now i've got a better idea

 

Question answered, many thank to you all for your erudite replies :)

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So the passing of initiative happens each round? My friend and I who recently started playing were told this but then were told the player with initiative can decide to give it to the other player before the start of the game and then that's it. Then we were told it's decided by a dice roll. But that may have just been tournaments. Someone please set the record straight.

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Initiative is determined at the start of the game and is then set. It doesn't change.

By the book the imperials have initiative in even point matches, most people however have adopted the tournament rules (or something similar) and randomly determine who has the choice of initiative. Whoever wins the dice roll/coin flip/whatever can choose whether they will have initiative in that game.

In the event of uneven points, whoever has the lower point total gets to choose.

And of course, scenarios may specify one side or the other having initiative.

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great questions and answers. i always thought the same thing.. still do. but coming from a "war game" background  initiative was waaaaay more important. so you could basically wait and see what your enemy was doing and then react. particularly useful if your on somebody's six...  X-wing doesn't work like that and the whole Initiative thing had me befuddled...As in why care about it..  Now i am going to really have to look up and find out why its so important for phantoms with ACD!!  however what if X-wing DID work like that.. you determine initiative each turn by a combo of pilot skill and firing arc position. If somebody is on your 6 so to speak YOU have to move first and the pursuer can then change his or her dial to reflect that they get to see what your doing? or would that really mess up the game mechanics too much? Dont get me wrong I love the game as is. but it is different from most every other "War game" when it comes to initiative.. I do have an old war game called "Sopwith" which had a control panel thing that you would set up your movements ahead of time. This game kind of reminds me of that. however it was hex based which is good and bad. as in good you don't need templates bad you have less choices.But i am dragging this post OT so feel free to ignore it..lol  Also if somebody wants to elaborate why the Phantom with ACD NEEDS it please do...  Thanks.

Edited by Swedge

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Also if somebody wants to elaborate why the Phantom with ACD NEEDS it please do...  Thanks.

Basically, ACD means you cloak after you fire. So if you get shot after you've fired, you have 4 agility dice. If you get shot before you fire, you only have two and phantoms don't have the hit points to tank many shots. Having initiative means you get to shoot before you get return fire from pilots with the same PS.

As a practical example- I have a few times run the "buzzsaw" phantom- Whisper with VI, ACD, FCS and Gunner. How this works is this. (Almost) Every turn I decloak, move, and take evade as my action. VI means I have PS9, initiative means I shoot before everyone except pilots of PS10+ (ie, PS8-9 pilots who also have VI). I shoot with 4 unmodified dice (and probably miss). Gunner kicks in to give me another shot at the target, but this time with a TL (because of FCS). I will probably hit, giving me a focus from Whisper's ability and recloaking from ACD. Now any return fire is against 4 focussed agility dice + an evade, which should be hard to get even a single hit through. Next turn, I'm already cloaked so I can repeat the process.

The only ship that really concerns me with this build is Han with VI, because the decloak options mean I should be able to stay out of arc of almost any other ship that can fire before me (at least in theory).

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