Jump to content
Sign in to follow this  
Stormtrooper721

Fighting on your own terms - the importance of underbidding your opponent.

Recommended Posts

Underbidding is the deliberate act of using fewer points than your opponent in order to gain an advantage. In X-Wing Miniatures, players often underbid in order to gain the initiative in moving and firing first. In Star Wars Armada, the importance of underbidding is even more important - it allows a player to choose to be the first or second player and thus control whose objective cards will be used.

 

Why is this so important? As an Imperial player, at 180 points I have a Victory II class Star Destroyer with Tarkin and Yularen, Howlrunner, and four TIE Fighter squadrons. My fleet is perfect for a slugfest, so I choose Advanced Gunnery, Minefields, and Fleet Ambush as my three objective cards because the only way to get points in each scenario is to destroy your opponents ships and squadrons.

 

My opponent, a Rebel player with a Nebulon B, a Corvette, and several X-Wing squadrons, has chosen Most Wanted, Fire Lanes, and Intel Sweep as his objective cards. I definately don't want to play any of those missions.

 

Most Wanted allows his ships and squadrons to roll an extra die every time he attacks my Victory II. Yikes! No thanks! 

 

Fire Lanes allows a ship to collect victory tokens for controling one of three objective tokens. The Rebel player has more ships than I do and his ships are faster. He can control the board better than I can and can collect victory tokens at twice the rate that I can. He could win the game without ever even firing a shot at me! Nope, I don't want to play that mission either.

 

Intel Sweep rewards the player whose ships travel the board collecting the most objective tokens with 75 points at the end of the game. Again, the Rebel player has twice the number of ships I have and his ships are faster. Once again, he could win the game without ever having fired a shot at me and I'm unlikely to chase him down and catch him in six turns. So, that mission is just as bad for me.

 

At 178 points, I underbid by 2 points and, if my Rebel opponent is smart, he will have underbid by more than me, say around 6 points under, coming in at 174 points. The Rebel player must now choose to be First or Second Player without looking at my objective cards. The Rebel player realizes that my chosen objectives are most likely slugfest objectives that give my slow and powerful Star Destroyer the advantage, so decides to force me to be First Player and choose from his objective cards. He gains an advantage any way I choose. With Most Wanted, his ships and X-Wing squadrons will get the extra die every time they attack my Victory II and with the other two objectives he will not have to even engage me at all to win (the wisest course of action for a frigate and a corvette up against a Star Destroyer).

 

The importance of underbidding cannot be understated in Star Wars Armada. I would suggest underbidding by anywhere from 2 to 9 points in a 180 point game and more in larger games. Fight on your own terms. Don't let your opponent force you to fight a battle that your fleet is unsuited for. Choose your objectives well and may the Force be with you.    

 

   

Edited by Stormtrooper721

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I think objectives offer a completely different goal than X-wing where it is solely based on destroying your opponent. However, I hope that over time and at higher point totals the objectives will be balanced. Right now I am worried.

 

NO game is fun when all you do is run from your opponent.

Edited by An Irishman

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Especially this early in the games life when both sides lack a lot of tactical flexibility, underbidding is HUGE. I'm guessing it will continue to be important, too, as it's much easier to underbid when you have hundreds of points to work with, and with the added emphasis on underbidding to pick objectives, not just get initiative.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

agreed. not only can the rebels not engage in a straight slugfest with the imperials, it is very difficult to even destroy a VSD in six turns even when playing aggressively. currently the only balance i see for the rebels is playing an objective that favors speed and maneuverability. 

 

i hope this does not become the primary strategy for the rebels, as it would be a very boring game.

 

currently, the only units that get destroyed in the games i have played are the squadrons, unless a ship drives off the map. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Right at this time the VSD is the only ship that an Imperial player can chosem, so the strategy of the game is rather limited. If you field 3 VSD's and find that your opponent runs away and that creates a boring game then the question begs: Why play Imperials? Why not face off against the 3 VSD's and have the white knuckled dash around the board gaining objective VP? If you play such an army why should your opponent joust it and lose?

 

Beyond that I noticed that the points spend of teh fleet was a silent auction between players that determined the missions. The question is, say the OP spends 10 points less is it worth it for me to spend 15 points less?

 

Then at some point the metagame here will snap back. You spend 25 points less and I just go back to the full spend and try and take advantage of having a slightly more robust fleet.

But all in all I agree ith the OP, playing fewer points can be advantageous. The trouble is at the Moment the fleets have two strategies and these are quite different to each other. With Wave 2 there are some rebel ships that look like a VSD and an Imperial Ship that plays like a Nebulon. Once the players start having overlapping strategies then the idea become even more interesting. Can I play a 400 point Imperial Fleet that can cope with a Rebels choice of missions? Then of course what if the rebs bring a Gun to a Knife Fight or take the equivalent to the VSD?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Personally I feel like the underbidding only now is a mandatory thing, as both factions can only field a rather limited fleet which heavily relies on a specific advantage (Imps = tankiness/close range, Rebs = speed, maneouvrebility, long range). However, with wave 1 available (and even more so once wave 2 is on the board), fleet building will become much more diverse with speedy imp ships and more sturdy rebells, let alone the different fighters which will grant even more flexibility. Underbidding will still remain a viable tactical approach, but not as gamechanging as it is at the moment. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

In the 300 pt games I've played, we have usually underbid by 6-8 points, but I would consider going to 10. Any more than that and you risk weakening your forces too much.

 

When building your fleet, consider if an upgrade is essential or would underbidding those points be more advantageous. A good example is say I want to include Jaina's Light as a safeguard against the Dangerous Territory objective (i.e. if I play it as player 1, I have a ship that can collect objectives and not take damage, almost balancing the scales). Say this card takes my total to 292; dropping it vastly increases my odds of winning the bid and forcing my opponent to choose one of MY objectives, in which case I won't need Jaina's Light anyway (sure its a nice card but not essential to my strategy).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

It looks like at 180 points the objectives have a huge effect, particularly in rebel vs imperial games. This is probably down to how one dimensional and inflexible both builds are given the points and ships available.


 


It starts to balance a lot better at 300 points (even with core only ships and upgrades).


 


Its also worth considering mirror matches. For example an imperial player with a triple victory list might like having advanced gunnery against rebels, but it might be bad facing another imperial player with two (but more heavily upgraded victories), as such maybe they are better off picking a halfway objective like opening slavo?


 


Wave one is also going to shake things up massively. Take a rebel list using most wanted, if they come up against an imperial list with a corruptor + rhymer + bombers list they basically have to keep their objective ship out of the game otherwise the bomber wing is going to annihilate it! Suddenly its not a no brainer choice for the rebels at all. Similarly an enhanced armament Paragon can match the firepower of a victory while being faster, having a wider optimal arc, and having that wonderful evade token, do the imperials really want to make that an advanced gunnery ship?


 


As such, with the release of wave one and onwards I think having a more flexible fleet able to compete moderately well in many objectives will become more important than having a very specialist fleet that really wants x or y objective.


Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

After playing the other night I have been thinking a lot about the importance of this choice. I mistakenly choice to be player one and regretted it the whole time. Definite learning experience though and hey it was out first game for all four of us. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I also think its very important to underbid, at least with the Imperial side. It massively sucks as the second player when your an Imperial as your already outnumbered and the rebels can effectively go with a ship twice before you can even get a shot off. At least If you win initiative you can eliminate that possibility.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Right now it's critical. Once wave 1 hits both sides gain some thing they are missing, a ship with firepower with solid health for the rebels and a ship with speed for the imperials, not to mention the fighters. Underbidding will matter considerably less. Yes having your objectives chosen gives you an advantage, but it doesn't necessarily greatly disadvantage your opponent. Also going first is an advantage if you have more ships or lean on fighters.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

This is something that always bears consideration while you're assembling your force, for sure, but I also suspect it can be a bit of a trap to be overly concerned with capturing the low bid.

 

First and foremost, when it comes down to it, both 1st and 2nd players have their own advantages built into the roles. Sometimes it's easy to forget that the first player has any, since the focus is on these very interesting objectives, but picking the lesser of three evils and being able to go first has its own attraction.

 

What do you lose in your quest for the low bid? If the answer is a Nav Team or something similar, okay, fine. If we're talking about losing a squadron, or the Dominator title, I think it's much less attractive. I suspect people will fall in the 289 - 300 range for their points, as no one's going to avoid taking a CR-90 for example to capture the bid. With that being the case, just assemble the force using the things you absolutely want in it and let luck decide whether or not you're 1st. Don't hamstring yourself in order to get the pick. By about turn three, it's reasonably powerful to have a tricked-out Star Destroyer able to activate before any of the Rebel ships, which is what we're saying is the "penalty" for taking a 300 point list and letting the other player choose the 2nd player slot. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I really like this discussion.

 

I have a tournament Saturday and I underbid my armies by 2-3pts.

 

I am going to practice them a bit tonight and tomorrow hopefully.

I think if you are going to underbid you have to be very conscious of the  scenarios you are selecting.  You should be anyway but if you plan to take advantage of first player vs second player, those 3 cards may be as important or more than your actual list.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

What do the rules say about knowung what your opponents objectivesvare before 1)building your fleet and 2)choosing first or second.

Plus if i decide to underbid 10 points how will you know?

Edited by Eyeless1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IMO, Imperials WANT to be 1st player as much as possible, especially at lower point values.  If you bring a Victory I vs Rebels and you're player 2, you're never going to get to use those black dice unless your opponent messes up. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

IMO, Imperials WANT to be 1st player as much as possible, especially at lower point values.  If you bring a Victory I vs Rebels and you're player 2, you're never going to get to use those black dice unless your opponent messes up. 

By the same token though, being first player, your ship VIC1 will have moved first and the opponent knows where they need to go in order to stay out of close range. If they mess up THEN you can shoot with the blacks. 

 

Overall, a VIC1 in a 180 list that doesn't have an objective where you can force the rebels to get close to you is going to be extremely difficult.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I disagree I think I would want to be 2nd player so I can ensure I get my objectives as the chosen ones. This is what screwed us the other day in a 300 point game, we went first and Rebels had missions that were not good at all for our Imperial fleet. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I feel like pretty much everything has been well said already, just want to echo my support for the feeling that underbidding will always be important, but is currently extra strong due to the lack of flexibility in fleet builiding while we wait for waves one and two

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Sign in to follow this  

×
×
  • Create New...