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Winter79

Help I have a problem, I'm finding armada at a competitive level surprising boring, and I'm alone

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Edit : I can't edit the title and its missed off a section. Should say ,and I don't think I'm alone.

I'm sticking with the game out sheer determination to make it work. I love the theme and what the game does well, it does really well. The range of ships, upgrades and squadrons is brilliant. I love fleet building and I love the love the ffg design team have given this games options. It puts other games to shame and continues the high quality of x wing. I just wished they had play tested more.

I have a problem and after playing some 80 odd games, it's not going away. I hoped wave 2 would help, but after some 20 odd games it's not. I want this feeling to go away because when armada is fun, it's really fun.

I'm also struggling with the fact that a lot of other players say the same thing about armada and its struggling to get the attention it deserves. I can't convince new players who quickly point out the games issues, that they aren't problems with the game when I can't convince myself. X wing is still king and most players are going back to it as there only Star Wars game.

I think an x wing player friend hit the nail on the head at an Armada tournament. 'I'm really trying to convince myself that this is fun'

I think the basic game is a bit slow and can be surprising uneventful if two players pass each other and then move out of range. (After all round 1 and commonly round 2 are used

mainly just move close enough to shoot each other) I think wave 2 is helping with more points, boosted comms and bigger ships, although it's not solving the issue. in 6 turns you can quite easily spend two hours moving towards each other passing and exchanging fire and then running away. And the game doesn't really have an answer to running away.

What has worked and is fun is this - lists that contain a variety of different ships, squadrons and upgrades with a random mission card that encourages fleet engagement. These are great fun both from a competitive game perspective and theatrical setting. But they aren't tournament competitive.

This game is not balanced. I have pounded and destroyed balanced variety list with great ease to the point I've started apologising for winning. I've got bored of winning. I'm not the worlds best player, but I've won a few tournaments and I probably played this game competitively far more than most. But I'm only average at other games. The thing is, that when I play an opponent and I take a balanced variety list ( a nice mix of ships, squadrons and upgrade cards) and I give advice with their power lists (because I've played a lot) I'm really struggling to win, in fact it's frustrating difficult to win. It's not me that's good, it's the list.

And the lists that do well in this game are boring. Armada suffers from an age old war game problem with free game builder systems. Over exploit one aspect of the game. Variety doesn't pay.

Its was a problem in fantasy battles for example but I really don't think the solution is the age of sigmar approach of tossing competitive play out the window and just not bothering anymore. I have far more respect for ffg than gw.

Let's start with the worst but now very common lists. However after analysing and thinking it over for far more hours than I should, the game is not a million miles from actually being competitive and fixed. i think a few changes would make a massive difference.

The 2 biggest issues are actually with the rebels.

Arkbar highly mobile gun lines. This in my opinion is almost going to ruin this game for many players. In the hands of someone who can nativgate AF s and CRs these will easily beat 90% of lists with long range firing. 4 AF with gunnery teams are highly effective, but boring as hell. Invest too much in squadrons and these guys have far less ships to get through before your squadrons go puff into thin air. The carrier ships required to make the slow squadrons competitive go down too easily. The mobile smaller ships that can get away are no good at activating squadrons. And raiders/victories, don't make me laugh. I might as well just hand over the points.

All ship rebel list with an A wing swarm. The easy answer to 90% of empire list that bother to take squadrons and are quick enough to actually be useful against empire ships. But the real problem is this. The answer to the empires superior ships should be balanced by effective rebel bombers. A swarm of bombers (and the Rebs have a nice selection) should take down an unprotected star destroyer forcing the imp play to really consider the importance of a fighter screen. In reality good manvouring is that that is required because empire ships can just fly away.

Imps

Empire heavy all ship lists. The problem that dogged wave 1 but has been lessened. However this has been achieved via Ackbar. With out Ackbar 3ISD are a boring yet highly effective solution to most rebel lists. Demolisher is still the best if ackbars not around. But demolished is actually fun to play. Maybe if his ability was not so unquie amongst ships.

RHYMER ball/fire ball. Not as bad as Ackbar and not as boring as a heavy imp list this just over exploits a particular ability way above the effectiveness of other imperial squadron combinations. It's makes the rebel bombers look even more ineffective. How boring to think that you need 4 fire sprays and dangar when we have all those other ships to use.

What I think is needed.

Faq Ackbar. I agree with a commander that can improve firepower, but he is not far from ruining the competitive scene. He really will put off all but the most experienced imp player from returning.

Make rebel bombers better, it's not ackbars red dice that the Rebs need to compensate for less fire power and hit points, but improved bombers that can terrorise unprotected imp SDs. They need to be much more effective at chasing down unprotected ships and doing real harm. Not just chipping away. This in turn would force imp fighter counter lists making for much more variety. Why are they so slow? In the films they are flying all over the bigger ships. Could the answer be that bombers can engage ships and actually stay with them. Maybe only at speed 4 should they get away or with engine tech. Or can we just provide abilities to make them faster. Squadrons are already penalised by 1) limitations on points you can take 2) inability to hold objectives 3) auto die if all your ships are destroyed 4) having to use squadron activation commands.

The ability to provide rogue upgrade cards for squadrons. After all the x-wings of a new hope didn't need a command ship to take the Death Star out.

Improve small ships for reb list and imp lists with better at anti squadron, to give them more of a role in protecting big ships.

Give more ships the ability to move and shot to help speed up the game and provide more options. This should be limited as shooting first and then moving should remain the most effective. E.g. An upgrade card that allowed small ships to move and shoot, but only if they shot once. Or even a card for SDs or MCs that gave reduced armament after movement. Again limited to prevent swarm abuse.

Of the 3 mission cards selected I think the first player should randomly select to induce more variety. This really helps stop the same bloody cards.

Ideally the game would massively benefit from a cap of no more than 2 ships of the same type or 4 squadrons. I understand why ffg wouldn't to do this, so I think more named cards that are unique or limited upgrade cards (say some cards are limited to 1 per 200 pts would really help).

In summary

Faq Ackbar

Improve rebel bombers instead of red dice as the balance to imp ships. A helping hand to other fighters would not go a miss.

Improve small ship anti squadron to provide better big ship protection role.

Inject limited number of move and shot abilities to help speed up the game

More named cards and limited qty's on upgrades to support variety.

Random mission selection from 3 to open mission selection up.

This doesn't sound like much, but it's an all too common observation and compliant. Die hard fans may disagree, but I think most less invested players wouldn't and they are simply not playing this as a result compared to other games (x wing in particular)

The game is far from doomed, but to be a real success I just feel it has some underlying issues that can make armada, well bit boring at a competitive level.

Edited by Winter79

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I'm sticking with the game out sheer determination to make it work. I love the theme and what the game does well, it does really well. The range of ships, upgrades and squadrons is brilliant. I love fleet building and I love the love the ffg design team have given this games options. It puts other games to shame and continues the high quality of x wing. I just wished they had play tested more.

...

...

(text)

 

A lot of reasons why I avoid the competitive scene. I've seen the love for more than one game murdered by it.

 

And don't get me started on what the PvP scene almost inevitably does to electronic gaming every chance it gets.

 

I consider it fun's kryptonite.

Edited by Deathseed

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Uhh. Dude your meta is inbred. Get out.

Take a family trip and go to another state and play.

Also you're completely missing the squadron problems I see around here.

There's two really potent anti squadron combos right now for imps. And we haven't been able to get around it.

Also none of our games have been a pass. Our maneuvering is sideways to the board and forced chase and conga lines and stabbing ISDs down someone's throat.

Ackbar though is **** effective.

I've been asking on the boards for more imp help to beat him. Currently haven't gotten an answer that would work against me.

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I agree with some points but not with others.

 

> I have not seen Ackbar dominate every game

> I have seen Imperials and Rebels win an almost equal amount of games

> I have not seen generalizations such as these in a long time.. the game is not just Ackbar MKII gunlines, triple ISD, Fireballs or A-Wing swarms.  If you look at our Vassal tournament alone, you'll see a huge diversity in lists.

 

Yes, the game does need more diversity.  Personally, I don't know how you folks enjoyed the game outside of Wave 2.

 

Yes, the tournament point system does need a revision.  I especially don't like how you can just escape with 1 hull point on an ISD and be OK.

 

Yes, random missions might help diversify objectives, but I would rather see new mission cards with hopefully, a new TFA core.

 

Yes, the game has higher level of entry, but the newer players (however competitive) will not experience the things you are describing unless they are playing at a competitive level.  Now, I don't know about you, but I don't know a single competitive player in any genre of gaming that will purposely gimp himself in ships, upgrades and whatever else, to fight against competitive lists and then complain that he lost.  I've dropped some hard cash on this game so I can play competitively, against similar-minded opponents using the very best lists.  A competitive player crushing a newer player like you described shouldn't even happen.  It's a **** shame that it does happen, and that is the real reason why people get "turned off" from the game.

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I am really sorry about feeling, I have a 14 month old and have gotten in 2 armada games in the last 12 months so I can't relate but I hope that the problem above works it's self out. Right now there is not much variety see we have 5 ships for rebels and 4 for imps. Give it some time and new waves and the game will feel fresh again. X-wing has so much more to offer but that's because we are at wave 9.

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Thanks guys for your response. My negativity is passing, I've made a real effort to play this game a lot because I see the potential. I've avoided vassal because I'm surrounded by several clubs within 30 miles and thus I pretty much get a couple of games a week in. On a recount it may be closer to 60, but I've attended several tournaments. Wave 2 tournament season is starting in full swing. Or maybe I just need to play another game for a bit lol. I guess players better than me (and those I play against who I respect a lot) need to explain the other list that work. Hopefully I'll see other talented players show me these other competitive lists. My complaint is about competitive play, not variety of play. I'd love to see a game were a well flown Ackbar mobile (not conga) is beaten. Any examples?

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A competitive player crushing a newer player like you described shouldn't even happen.

 

While I play in a very small group I know that we are highly competitive and we all spend as much time talking about the results of the games and the list choices and tactics that worked or didn't. I find it usually takes me a while to get good, but I am starting to see the effect of my choices and when playing the game I am starting to better develop a sense of how the game will play and what I should be doing to play at my best. Now I just wish I had more people playing with me and I could play more often, a bigger group has more variety of personalities and hence a wider range of fleets being played, and if they are all helping each other become better players they achieve more.

 

As a competitive person I want my games to be as challenging and close as I can have and there is an amount of involvement that I must take to ensure my opponents improve and interestingly enough they are equally as responsible to me to ensure I improve and play better.

 

I really like this game, I am engaged and making decisions all the time. Hard choices, for the most part, activation order, relative speeds and attack angles, commands and defensive tokens. The game actively engages me almost the entire time, even when my opponent is doing his activation I get to be involved at the same time.

 

I look at the fleets you list and feel there is nothing in them that with help, determination and experimentation I couldn't challenge or beat.

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One of the things I tell the students at school, is that if your friends don't help you learn and grow, get better friends.

 

You should consider getting better opponents.  Find a Star Wars 'nerd' and teach them the game as their first war-game, and play it with them in your house, for fun, with snacks.  Don't play the bitter vets at the gaming shop.

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It's kind of ironic to me and my experience because the OP brings up how people are flocking back towards X-Wing because it's a deeper experience. When X-Wing originally came out with FFG's generally glacier pace (not really a dig at FFG; I prefer they do it right than quick) of releases people in my area "flocked" to Star Trek Attack Wing. As the game developed and more releases came out a lot of people, if not most came back to X-Wing because it was just seemed to be a better developed game and it just matured better.

 

When it comes to Armada, we've really had one release which is Wave 2, while Wave one was just separate releases of the core set. The game is young. Very young even though its been out a year due to development and shipping delays. People will learn how to play and get better. Every release is also going to shake things up.

 

Also noticed that aggressive play is finally is finally happening more with the ISD and Raider hitting the scenes. I found that in the beginning in wave 1 players tended to play rather pensively and set the speed dials lower, especially with VSDs. Thank god that's changing quick. Combat is happening faster and its far more vicious now.

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Thanks guys for your response. My negativity is passing, I've made a real effort to play this game a lot because I see the potential. I've avoided vassal because I'm surrounded by several clubs within 30 miles and thus I pretty much get a couple of games a week in. On a recount it may be closer to 60, but I've attended several tournaments. Wave 2 tournament season is starting in full swing. Or maybe I just need to play another game for a bit lol. I guess players better than me (and those I play against who I respect a lot) need to explain the other list that work. Hopefully I'll see other talented players show me these other competitive lists. My complaint is about competitive play, not variety of play. I'd love to see a game were a well flown Ackbar mobile (not conga) is beaten. Any examples?

 

Do you see ship-heavy lists in your meta?  I ran a really mean all-ship build with Ackbar for a while until I noticed how RPS it was to field in a competitive setting.  I've seen a good amount of people do well vs. Ackbar when fielding balanced lists featuring with ISD-II, Glad-I and Raider-I with a good arrangement of fighters.  My ISD-II, Glad, 2x Raider build has been doing well vs. Ackbar as well.

I'd like to further stress the maturity of this game in terms of development compared to X-Wing.  It's to note that X-Wing is on Wave 8 and this game is on Wave 2.  I'll stick to my statement before:  I don't know how anyone could play/stay with this game before Wave 2 was released.  It was literally bare bones with almost nothing to offer, hence why I jumped into X-Wing in a later wave as well, Wave 2 I think.

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Combat is happening faster and its far more vicious now.

 

Ozzel is the king of this.  ISDs, Glads and Raiders with nav commands every turn are fast, manoeuvrable and can with between going full throttle and turning on a dime.

 

Ozzel is my favourite commander of wave 2.  The 'will he Ozzel or will he Motti' dynamic going on in the Imperial side is quite fun at the moment.

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Honestly I just want more of a laid back fun scene over a competitive one. Competitive games are fun to do once in a while but if you get stuck in the competitive scene all the fun will be sucked right out. Fun lists with the laid back "Ah that's close enough" feel where you're enjoying the company of your opponent gets lost. Then you see the same lists with the people who are climbing on the table arguing over weather you bumped your squadrons or if the movement tool is perfect.

Play a Honerable game as a good sportsman, then there will be no need for questioning how close your squadron was to its original position.

Edited by Beatty

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I have heard xwing players say there is no variety to armada cause you only have the mc80, mc30, guppy, neb and corvette to choice from. Vs xwing where you have more combination.

Told him you can make a complete different fleet just from the same ship. Like carrier built guppies to gunnery team or a mix of the two.

Sadly the just see the number of models and not the upgrades.

But taking alittle trip to get out of your meta and experience different approaches helps alot

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Yeah all of this after 6 posts was blah blah blah to me. The answer to why the game may be getting stale for some is simple as someone who has gamed many systems, in that we have 2 armies. They each have 12 and 13 unit options, and both sides share almost all of the upgrades. I personally see the same issues in xwing, but it took longer because i started around a year into so there was loads to explore for me. FFG needs to realize that its problem is itself. They need more releases to keep interest, and need to vary those releases. A simple solution would be next wave do 1 ship per side, a combo reb/imp fighter pack with 2 new options per side and call it there. Do something like this every 3 months tops until both sides have about 8 ship and 8 squadron options excluding R&V. If they want to go longer between release then they need to add more cards as packs we can buy. I have talked to people and asked if they would be interested in a booster pack system even. Warhammer/40k got as long as they did due to variety and even in what is arguably their twilight times sales are still good enough to keep pumping out kits and books monthly. Same with warmahordes, dzc, and a bunch of other games which all feature a half dozen or more unique factions. I even think adding a pirate/mercenary fleet of more unique ships and maybe another faction that represents something more along the lines of a traditional military force but could be considered unattached towards the other factions, like Hapes from the old EU. I just dont see any way FFG can get enough variety on the table without adding new factions or just putting out more models than they are obviously capable of per quarter.

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I have to agree with the OP to a degree.

 

There is an unfortunate tendency in the game to field "the list that works" 

 

I think the best and most fun aspect of the game is playing balanced lists, but frankly in a competitive environment balanced lists will get pasted by min/maxers. This happens in almost all competitive strategy games, however.

 

No clever use of upgrade cards, no pre-thought gambit will stand against these joy-killing lists you can easily find on the internet. Its a pre built list with a paragraph of instructions and the game dies a boring death competitively.

 

My abiding hope is that this game is not nearly fleshed out yet. I hope what we see now are the bare glistening bones with a little bit of sinew and muscle. By wave 4 we might have the balance and variety needed to create a truly dynamic strategy meta.

 

Sorry, but x-wing is a good example of how long it takes to mature, even like 7 waves in the meta was "bring some pancakes" and thats it, we are on wave 2....nuff said.

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Yeah all of this after 6 posts was blah blah blah to me. The answer to why the game may be getting stale for some is simple as someone who has gamed many systems, in that we have 2 armies. They each have 12 and 13 unit options, and both sides share almost all of the upgrades. I personally see the same issues in xwing, but it took longer because i started around a year into so there was loads to explore for me. FFG needs to realize that its problem is itself. They need more releases to keep interest, and need to vary those releases. A simple solution would be next wave do 1 ship per side, a combo reb/imp fighter pack with 2 new options per side and call it there. Do something like this every 3 months tops until both sides have about 8 ship and 8 squadron options excluding R&V. If they want to go longer between release then they need to add more cards as packs we can buy. I have talked to people and asked if they would be interested in a booster pack system even. Warhammer/40k got as long as they did due to variety and even in what is arguably their twilight times sales are still good enough to keep pumping out kits and books monthly. Same with warmahordes, dzc, and a bunch of other games which all feature a half dozen or more unique factions. I even think adding a pirate/mercenary fleet of more unique ships and maybe another faction that represents something more along the lines of a traditional military force but could be considered unattached towards the other factions, like Hapes from the old EU. I just dont see any way FFG can get enough variety on the table without adding new factions or just putting out more models than they are obviously capable of per quarter.

Yeah I was thinking adding another faction might help.

 

If you look at some of the fan created stuff, however, you can see how many clever things can still be done within this system. It seems to me FFG hasn't even started flexing their brains on this or is starting it off nice and easy.

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I'd love to see a game were a well flown Ackbar mobile (not conga) is beaten. Any examples?

 

Assault Frigates? Engine Techs and Double Rams with APT thrown in for measure....

 

 

I haven't seen WELL FLOWN ackbar congas beaten.  Only poorly flown ones.  Where they fly directly into the enemy, across the board.  

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I'd love to see a game were a well flown Ackbar mobile (not conga) is beaten. Any examples?

 

Assault Frigates? Engine Techs and Double Rams with APT thrown in for measure....

 

I haven't seen WELL FLOWN ackbar congas beaten.  Only poorly flown ones.  Where they fly directly into the enemy, across the board.

At the same time I have yet to see a well flown ISD list beaten. Oh it could happen but those games are far few and between.

On a side note. . . How do we know ow what is considered "well flown"? It's not like X-Wing where the game has been out forever and everything has been mapped out.

Hmmmm I think I have another idea for a discussion Time thread!

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I'm sticking with the game out sheer determination to make it work.

I think an x wing player friend hit the nail on the head at an Armada tournament. 'I'm really trying to convince myself that this is fun' .

I appreciate your tenacity but can't help thinking that this game is just not for you. The reason I say this is that in my small group of friends that play, our experience couldn't be more different.

I have fun just watching Armada games. (Heck, Hero, I was one of the folks that had a blast with Wave One.) if you aren't having fun I would give it up now because it can get very costly, especially if you like XWing or other games).

I think the game is incredibly balanced. There are of course things that work well such as Ackbar but Acbar is 38 points. I've seen and been in games where Ackbar almost didn't come into play. Maybe it is just a stale group?

Again I really appreciate you playing and sticking to it but I say get out before you spend more on it.

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