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X-Wing Co-Op Campaign is Here!

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he T-70 X-wing, starting with 2 XP, would also probably be fine in terms of balance; my issue with it is that it's strictly superior to the T-65. While other ships require you to trade off some of the things the X-wing can do, the T-70 does everything better. I'd go so far as to say you might as well ditch the T-65 altogether if you're allowing the T-70

Most of the deficiencies of the X-Wing are addressed by the HotAC game itself with modifications and such. I don't even see the point of including the T-70 at all. You pay 5XP and get 8XP worth of upgrades for free, the Tech slot, and an upgrade to the movement dial, and you get two modification slots back (Shield Upgrade and Engine Upgrade).

 

*snips a lot of overenthusiasm*

 

Unless you're massively altering the way the missions are configured for Difficulty Level, allowing players to use higher tier ships is basically setting the game to Easy Mode. A PS6 player with an E-Wing is going to wreck shop, since he likely has Boost, Barrel Roll, Evade, 5 Shields and 2 Hull, Regen, a System, and two Elite skills/talents (swap a shield for Autothrusters by preference).  His X-Wing buddy with the same card selection has Boost, Regen and 3 Hull/4 Shields and 2 Elites. It's not even comparable, lol.

That's rather vitriolic and VERY negative - and there ARE other ships. I personally can't imagine playing anything but my Moldy Crow focus passer; now THAT'S going to be OP once I get Garven's ability!

 

But if they aren't balanced against the regular ship, we can MAKE balance. Perhaps the straight better ships - T-70, Starviper, E-Wing, K-Wing - can do one of the following:

 

1) Pay double XP for any upgrades to restrict their options early on

 

2) Pay 3x the cost of new PS levels to upgrade, which would slow them down versus other ships and make time spent in the 'lesser' ships attractive

 

3) Get fewer EPTs in order to make the other ships more attractive for comboing abilities

 

4) One of those 'advanced' ships counts as .5 players on a team, and if two of those ships show up then it's +1 player with all that entails for more Imperial ships...

 

But SOMETHING can be done.

 

Giving up and saying, "They can't be balanced! You're crazy for including them!" is pretty defeatist and cuts against my grain as a designer.

 

I think I like 2, 3, or 4.

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I think you took it too personally, lol. I was just demonstrating how ridiculously overpowered they are compared to the normal ships, and presenting the fact that they can't be balanced at just +5 XP (or 26 points minus as a starter craft) because they are superior to the "standard" ships in every way. The suggestion was also made that the E-Wing Knave is overpriced at 27 points, which might be true for the regular Vs game, but is completely false in HotAC where it very quickly becomes the most cost effective ship in the game. Likewise with the T-70. If it is allowed as a starter ship at 26 points minus, with all other rules the same, there's zero reason for anyone to be anything but a T-70 (until they can switch to an E-Wing I guess).

 

That doesn't mean they can't be balanced at all. Your suggestions are workable, but complicated to truly balance. They're just game-breaking the way the rules are written. Which, coincidentally, was why they were left out in the first place. So, to balance them out, there needs to be significant changes to the system, or just an acknowledgement that they are breaking the game and you don't care. I mean, it's all in fun and nobody is going to kick your door down for having the wrong kind of fun. It just needs to be pointed out for the un-involved potential readers of this thread who are trying to retain the challenge to the game that the E-Wing and T-70 will break the standard rule set, very quickly by being the overwhelming and obvious choice because of their significant XP discounts.

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Actually, they were left out because he wanted a thematic, pre-Endor campaign of just basic snub fighters versus the Empire - unless you can quote differenlty from the thread, but I DID read through it all recently and that leapt out at me as a good, fun idea.

Edited by iamfanboy

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All download.

discussion is fine, but please keep it civil. Theory building customizations to the HoTAC rules is ok as well, but just since the customizations are all home rules if the other party disagrees with your point on a custom rule there's not really any point in arguing it. Not like you're playing on that table.

Hope That makes sense. Need coffee bad...

Edit: please don't take this as an accusation either... Just looks like a discussion between two very different beliefs without much room for give.

Edited by LagJanson

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Thematically, the campaign is set before Endor.

I don't believe this is arbitrary. Star Wars space combat is all about WWII air combat, up and until Empire Strikes Back. From that point on, the EU starts a weapons race of starfighters that move more and more away from that WWII flavor and more into jet super fighters and missiles of today's air combat.

The E-Wing, the TIE Defender, the TIE Phantom, and even the K-Wing and the T-70 X-Wing are less and less like WWII planes dogfighting each other, and more about being superspecialized weapons that can wipe out entire squadrons of enemies in matters of moments. (Have you tried a K-Wing with Deadeye, Guidance chips and Assault missiles against the formations of TIEs in this campaing?)

 

Those fighters are superweapons, and don't really belong to a "party of ragtags that cooperate to overcome a superior enemy", that is the RPG scent that HotAC has and makes it so immersive and addicting.

You experience a sense of progression when you evolve your puny T-65 X-Wing or Y-Wing to something really awesome.

It is not at all the same if you start already with something much more advanced, like an E-Wing or a T-70.

 

I think these advanced fighters should be handled by just appearing as cameos during some missions (in the same way that the TIE Defender is appearing now as a mission related ship). Or at least, they should count as 2 ships for the difficulty level.

Edited by Azrapse

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The T-70's in much the same boat. From a balance perspective, there HAS to be a reason that the X-Wing is worth choosing over its newer brother - and perhaps the same solution as the K-Wing, killing the PS5 EPT, would cover that. Rules-wise I'd say that if you switch over to a K or T-70 and have a PS5 EPT, you lose it until you reach the next PS that gives an EPT slot.

 

Not that switching ships around is a good thing to do a lot of anyway, with its prohibitive XP penalty.

 

You could take away one mod slot on the T-70.  Would kinda off set it having boost and T-65 not.  Or paying 1pt to reload any discard upgrades (more complex ship takes longer/harder to refit)?  Not sure if these would work but it's what I can come up with right now.

Edited by Salted Diamond

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My group's been running some variants to allow people other ships with decent success.  Here's the basics:

 

Rebel or S&V ships, but must select the faction at the outset and only use pilot abilities in faction

 

Z-95 - 13 starting XP with an illicit and TWO modification slots => Free upgrade to A-Wing or Scyk at PS 4

T-65 X-Wing - Includes integrated astromech for free without taking a modification slot

Prototype T-70 X-Wing - Upgrade for 5 XP and does NOT get the free integrated astromech.

Attack Shuttle - Upgrade ship at PS 4 (testing)

Kihraxz - 6 starting XP

Scyk Interceptor - Upgrade ship, but starts with TWO modification slots

Starviper - Upgrade ship, but borderline OP.  Similar to a B-Wing in a lot of respects but less health and better agility... and no cannon or crew.

E-Wing and K-Wing - Not used because they're OP.  E-Wing mostly because of the evade action + 3 green dice + astromech + system.  K-Wing mainly because of all of the upgrade options.  K-Wing is less OP than the E-Wing though.

G-1A - Upgrade ship, but the power level is still a little up in the air/undergoing testing.

 

For large ships... testing says that they are OP if allowed counting as 1 ship and underpowered if counted as two ships.  We're doing an in-game achievements/medals system similar to the one in this thread many many pages back.  One of those is to unlock a large ship after certain requirements and one Rebel campaign victory point is achieved.  Only one large ship per squad is allowed (equip the Medal), increases the average PS of the squad by +2, and all elite enemies with the normal attack AI change to "Strike" AI vs. the large ship.  We may also require it 4 hits/hyperdrive tokens to jump.

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Bump for printing question:

Those who went commercial printer route, who did you use and how much did it cost?

Right now printing is the one thing holding me and my xwing group back from getting going.

My print cost me $15 canadian at Staples. I did not print double sided and everything was printed heaviest paper outside of special card stock. I just run the rule book on the iPad, did not print it.

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We actually printed it using an inkjet printer on cardstock - maybe it's a touch blurrier than it would be from a laserjet cardstock printing, but it meant we had it right away.

 

 

Okay, back to the T-70, E-Wing, K-Wing, and Starviper. Are those the ships everyone would agree are straight better than other ships?

 

If so, would losing the EP5 or EP7 slot, as well as one Mod slot (probably the Mod6 slot) be enough to 'balance' them, as you'd lose combo opportunity in exchange for other options? I think I'd try that first, as it would be less drastic than other options - and some of the extras they give you are given by Mod or EP slots.

 

Fluff-wise it could be explained by saying these ships are so new that it's difficult to upgrade them properly, and the control interfaces are harder to use, or something like that - but really it's a balance issue.

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Okay, back to the T-70, E-Wing, K-Wing, and Starviper. Are those the ships everyone would agree are straight better than other ships?

And Tie Defender, Tie Punisher, and every large base EXCEPT the Imperial shuttle.

Edited by Rakaydos

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Well, the Decimator is used as a miniboss, so I'm not sure I see a problem; a whole mission line is based around the Defender and how awesome it is; the Punisher canonically exists just after Yavin so it SHOULD be in the campaign; and really I prefer keeping it to small base fighters anyway and make the large base ones like the YT1300 really special when you get one as a friendly.

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In my opinion, the main factor here is the AI. The most frequent AI enemies you find during the campaign is PS1 TIE Fighters. The AI is good at basically aiming at were you are, and moving there (or doing something totally unexpected or silly, to keep it from being too predictable).

In that sense, the AI work well with "traditional" dials: straights, banks, turns. As soon as you start doing talon-rolls, segnor loops, or SLAM past them, they will be totally clueless and the challenge will diminish quite greatly.

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In my opinion, the main factor here is the AI. The most frequent AI enemies you find during the campaign is PS1 TIE Fighters. The AI is good at basically aiming at were you are, and moving there (or doing something totally unexpected or silly, to keep it from being too predictable).

In that sense, the AI work well with "traditional" dials: straights, banks, turns. As soon as you start doing talon-rolls, segnor loops, or SLAM past them, they will be totally clueless and the challenge will diminish quite greatly.

...But the TIE/LN is already clueless in aiming for where you WERE rather than where you will BE. It's already quite possible to outfly the AI just with boosts or barrel rolls - and in many of the missions, the TIE/LNs are either irritants or have other goals like the YT1300. 

 

And 'totally clueless'? Those maneuvers are still just banks and turns, with the biggest 'change' being the way the turning ship's guns are pointed and the Stress incurred from performing them. The most point I'll give you is the K-Wing's SLAM, and even then it's an even trade - yeah, the TIE may not shoot at the K, but the K can't do any firing back, and in aiming for where the K started it's not very likely the K can drop bombs with Advanced SLAM in a way that will catch the TIE/LNs and still escape their arcs.

 

So far, with two players in T-70s, the TIEs have been doing fairly well keeping them in arc, and even massacred them in the Sensor Net mission. TPK, I blame myself for not being there with them.

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We actually printed it using an inkjet printer on cardstock - maybe it's a touch blurrier than it would be from a laserjet cardstock printing, but it meant we had it right away.

 

 

Okay, back to the T-70, E-Wing, K-Wing, and Starviper. Are those the ships everyone would agree are straight better than other ships?

 

If so, would losing the EP5 or EP7 slot, as well as one Mod slot (probably the Mod6 slot) be enough to 'balance' them, as you'd lose combo opportunity in exchange for other options? I think I'd try that first, as it would be less drastic than other options - and some of the extras they give you are given by Mod or EP slots.

 

Fluff-wise it could be explained by saying these ships are so new that it's difficult to upgrade them properly, and the control interfaces are harder to use, or something like that - but really it's a balance issue.

The easiest way to balance them is to make them available at PS 8; that way, they're only coming in at the end of the campaign when everyone has OP combinations anyway.

Anything else really requires you to decide WHY you want to include them. I honestly think they'd be better balanced individually rather than with a "one size fits all" solution. For example, letting the K-wing open up ordnance slots instead of some of its mod/EPT slots would probably be fine. The Starviper is fine if you disallow the Virago title.

The T-70 isn't overpowered so much as it is a no-brainer compared to the T-65. I'd say there isn't really room for both in the campaign; just use the stats for one or the other and be done with it.

The E-wing is pretty much superior to either the A-wing or the X-wing. Having it as an option makes those ships obsolete. If you really must include it, it needs significant trade-offs like a permanent PS penalty, loss of multiple EPT/mod slots, or something else. It seems to me that the stories sometimes featured malfunctions with the E-wing; maybe make the ship suffer an automatic crit every time it rolls three evades or three hit/crit results, which you can mitigate by discarding an equipped upgrade? That could reflect its experimental nature while making it something less than a strict upgrade to the other ships.

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I know this is kind of a tangent, but I have another X-wing Campaign party coming up.  The only thing that bothered me about the last party was we had to break into two groups due to their being 10 of us.  If possible I'd like to keep everyone on one board.  Anyone have a systematic solution for scaling beyond 6 players?  Do you all think I'd have to expand the board space to 4' x 4'?  Could push two maps together and have two missions running simultaneous with the possibility of crossing into each others missions.

 

Thank you!

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I think that your second option (two of the same mission simultaneous) sounds the best... and sounds like a lot of fun to try.  The main issue to that would be enemy squads that should start or arrive on the "border" of the two games.  That seems simple enough to solve on a mission by mission basis though if you have someone looking at each mission beforehand to work it out.

At the same time, this would really slow down the game (so many ships to move/act between turns).  It'd be fun, but games could easily go 3-4 hours.

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Thanks Griff for the input.

 

Yeah that is the problem...extended time for so many people.

 

I think you're right perhaps running the same mission simultaneously on two maps would be worth a try.

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We actually printed it using an inkjet printer on cardstock - maybe it's a touch blurrier than it would be from a laserjet cardstock printing, but it meant we had it right away.

 

 

Okay, back to the T-70, E-Wing, K-Wing, and Starviper. Are those the ships everyone would agree are straight better than other ships?

 

If so, would losing the EP5 or EP7 slot, as well as one Mod slot (probably the Mod6 slot) be enough to 'balance' them, as you'd lose combo opportunity in exchange for other options? I think I'd try that first, as it would be less drastic than other options - and some of the extras they give you are given by Mod or EP slots.

 

Fluff-wise it could be explained by saying these ships are so new that it's difficult to upgrade them properly, and the control interfaces are harder to use, or something like that - but really it's a balance issue.

The easiest way to balance them is to make them available at PS 8; that way, they're only coming in at the end of the campaign when everyone has OP combinations anyway.

Anything else really requires you to decide WHY you want to include them. I honestly think they'd be better balanced individually rather than with a "one size fits all" solution. For example, letting the K-wing open up ordnance slots instead of some of its mod/EPT slots would probably be fine. The Starviper is fine if you disallow the Virago title.

The T-70 isn't overpowered so much as it is a no-brainer compared to the T-65. I'd say there isn't really room for both in the campaign; just use the stats for one or the other and be done with it.

The E-wing is pretty much superior to either the A-wing or the X-wing. Having it as an option makes those ships obsolete. If you really must include it, it needs significant trade-offs like a permanent PS penalty, loss of multiple EPT/mod slots, or something else. It seems to me that the stories sometimes featured malfunctions with the E-wing; maybe make the ship suffer an automatic crit every time it rolls three evades or three hit/crit results, which you can mitigate by discarding an equipped upgrade? That could reflect its experimental nature while making it something less than a strict upgrade to the other ships.

 

I want to include them for a simple reason: If a player wants to play a specific ship BECAUSE it's their 'favorite ship', whether it be the humble Y-Wing or the brutally efficient E-Wing, they should not be punished or rewarded for that choice, or feel as though they HAVE to switch over just to keep up the. All choices should be as even as possible.

 

That's why I discarded the notion of XP penalties or paying more for upgrading to the ship later; the first one hits the punishment button for choosing the better ship and the second just makes it a case of, "Save up a little more to pay the price for the better ship, d00d."

 

Giving the 'weaker' ships more slots to make up for that seems like the most rounded choice. Yes, if you want to play the better ship with the better dial, you get that reward - but if you want to play an oldskool Y-Wing because your pilot doesn't hold with all this newfangled snubfighters, the Y-Wing was good enough in the Clone Wars and it's good enough today dagnabbit then you can and get enough of an edge by virtue of extra slots that you're not crippled for doing so.

 

Or, while still removing the EPT slot, what about adapting the mod slots unlocking ordnance to the E-Wing & Viper's System and the T-70's Tech slots? Have it unlocked at 4 or 6, so that they're 'losing' the extra Mod slot but still keeping up with a power level by having different options.

 

Any thoughts on if the Scum ships should be restricted to Scum pilot abilities, with HWK and Z's choosing either Scum or Rebel paths? Would make some interesting design space.

 

I know this is kind of a tangent, but I have another X-wing Campaign party coming up.  The only thing that bothered me about the last party was we had to break into two groups due to their being 10 of us.  If possible I'd like to keep everyone on one board.  Anyone have a systematic solution for scaling beyond 6 players?  Do you all think I'd have to expand the board space to 4' x 4'?  Could push two maps together and have two missions running simultaneous with the possibility of crossing into each others missions.

 

Thank you!

If you want to have a huge game, than two missions simul is about your only option - but IMHO you may as well run two different games at two different tables.

 

There's a certain point at which a game reaches unwieldy mass and you're losing more time by having a huge game than is gained by having everyone together.

 

Alternately, you could do a mission using the Raider stat card where you have to work together to shoot it down before it gets from one end of the table to the other... with its full escort, of course.

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So this may be a dumb question, but can you Target Lock emplacements?  The rules for Target Lock cover enemy ships, but emplacements are terrain; there is no special line in there about target locking them.  It seems like you should be able to Target Lock them; after all Luke starts to use a Targeting Computer to target the thermal exhaust port on the Deathstar!  Is there something I'm missing, or am I reading too much into the Target Lock rules?

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Or, while still removing the EPT slot, what about adapting the mod slots unlocking ordnance to the E-Wing & Viper's System and the T-70's Tech slots? Have it unlocked at 4 or 6, so that they're 'losing' the extra Mod slot but still keeping up with a power level by having different options.

 

Any thoughts on if the Scum ships should be restricted to Scum pilot abilities, with HWK and Z's choosing either Scum or Rebel paths? Would make some interesting design space.

It's a lot of slots to "balance" an E-Wing. Mathing it out (against an X-Wing since that's the logical starting ship for an E-Wing player).

An A-Wing is +5 points. In trade, it Gains Evade and Boost, 1 Defense, 1 EPT, better dial, Missiles, loses 1 Hull, 1 Attack, Astromech, Torpedoes. It gains 2 Actions and an EPT, but loses 1 Modification. The tradeoff is speed for fragility with less Hull and no Regen.

A B-Wing is +5 Points. In trade it gains Barrel Roll, 3 Shields, Cannon, 1 Torp slot. It loses 1 Defense, Astromech, Worse dial. It gains 1 Action and a System, and an extra Torpedo, becomes a little sturdier, but loses Regen and is slow.

An E-Wing gains Evade, Barrel Roll, 1 Shield, 1 Defense, 1 System, better dial, loses 1 Hull.  So its tradeoff is +2 Actions, Swap of Hull for Shield, A extra slot for System, a better dial, and an extra defense die. It loses nothing.

 

So you have to figure it loses a Modification Slot for keeping its Droid since the B-Wing trades its Mod for a Crew. The System Slot becomes a System/Modification slot forcing a choice (Net 0).  But then it still has + Barrel Roll, + Evade, + 1 Defense, and the Shield/Hull advantage, and that's probably worth an EPT at least. Probably a Modification too.

 

E-Wing (Req PS4)

AstroMech

Torpedo

System/Modification

 

PS3 EPT

 

PS5 EPT

PS6 Modification

 

 

PS9 EPT

 

 

Some people could playtest it, but that's probably as "balanced" as you're going to get for an E-Wing if you insist on a "non-punitive" +5 Point cost. That still allows for the same fun EPT combos that other ships get, but results in a tangible tradeoff (better stats, less flexibility). Spreading out the "lost" Modifications and EPT means it won't be as harsh on Low PS players, but ultimately has a back-end cost at the higher levels. "Do I want that Boost and Autothrusters, or do I want a System Upgrade and a Shield?"

 

Really though, the problem with a "non-punitive" format like this, is that you're just going to end up with the E-Wing pilot griping about having all that extra XP, and nothing to spend it on. You've basically traded one complaint for another. You don't want to punish players by making them pay more XP for the ship and its upgrades. You just want to punish them by giving them less things to buy with their XP, and no rewards when they advance in PS.

 

Ultimately, the E-Wing isn't "balanced" with the other ships. So something is going to have to be punitive in nature if you want to keep the E-Wing from being a case of "Keeping up with the Joneses". At no point will you be able to create an E-Wing that isn't either "overpowered" or features a "punishment". It's a Pick 1 scenario. Either the E-Wing becomes the default "Best Ship", or there has to be a significant cost associated with it so that players have to weigh "Do I want to be an E-Wing, or do I stick with the X-Wing?" Which is pretty much what A and B Wing Pilots do now.

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