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Funk Fu master

Just played X-Wing for the first time since Armada was released

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By power gamers, I mean people that bring top-tier competitive lists in a non-tournament setting. We generally gear leagues and campaigns as more of a "have fun" type deal, but obviously winning is part of it. The problem is there is a decent chunk of the community who bring their absolute best lists. This means that everyone else would have to do the same, and we all know there are certain squadron builds and even some entire ships you can't field in a competitive environment. So now the non-competitive players have to either field the ships they want to field and lose every game, or also bring a competitive list and not use a chunk of their collection. So I suppose not quite WAAC, but highly competitive players who bring their highly competitive lists into what are supposed to be more relaxed environments. So then our "just for fun" players stop coming, because they don't enjoy getting thrashed all the time and they want to bring the ships they want to bring. Even if your opponent is perfectly pleasant, a lot of people won't have fun losing multiple games a week for a month or more.

 

So, you're saying that your leagues are not there for people who play to win, but the people for whom those leagues are meant, will take their marbles home if they lose. That seems paradoxical.

 

But maybe I misunderstand what you mean by a league. I understand a league as essentially a longer-run tournament. That's at least how leagues are run in my area, and if you win more you get more swag from a tournament kit. That's not really a 'just-for-fun' set up the way that you're describing.

 

In terms of a campaign, I hear what you're saying. In a campaign the competitive spirit should give a bit of way to the common enjoyment of a narrative.

 

However, all of these events should focus on building community. It sounds like from the start your idea of leagues and campaigns is intended to exclude people with that competitive spirit, implying that their style of play is not appreciated. That doesn't build community.

 

I think that there should be room for catering to preferences, but if you're going to do that then you should make it explicit what itch you're trying to scratch with the activity. Don't bait and switch.

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I'll admit Mikael, I've found most of the leagues around here devolve between the two extremes, but in theory they work the way Reegsk described: it's not really so much a tournament as a 'get out and play with new players, using a new list, and with new models' kind of thing.  The 'escalation league' is popular, and if I'm not mistaken, culminates in a tournament at the end of the league season.

 

The aggressive 40K league I know of around here essentially has a '2 tier' format, with the high competitive borderline WAAC players in one category, and then the other comprised of the 70% 'casual' players that arrange match restrictions ahead of time. Community spirit is all well and good, but there are those 'nice to your face, stab you in the back' style gamers who simply want to win to say 'they topped the league'.  Just because the devil grins doesn't mean he's not after something.

 

Complete agreement on the purpose being to build a community though. 

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don't claim that Armada is any different from X-wing in this respect.

I uh, I didn't?

 

 

Read your post again, put Armada instead of X-wing and tell me you would have made that statement. Tell me you said X-wing was "out of control" and "bloated" with no possible insinuation that Armada was better.

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I think the issue with X-Wing in my area is that it's become 40k. You can't have a casual league or campaign, because it ends up overloaded with power gamers who want to stomp faces instead of having fun, so the casual players just stop showing up.

 

I'm hoping that Armada's higher cost of entry and greater length of play will keep that from happening. At least in my area 40k tended to have the WAAC players where Fantasy had the more dedicated players out for fun that didn't involve power builds and min/maxing in pickup games. But who knows? Give it another year or two and a few more waves and I'll likely be saying the same thing about Armada.

 

EXACTLY what I have been arguing a little about over the last year. Chill hates that I call out this crap but yeah give me FUN Games of STAR WARS X-Wing. This meta/win/viable-ships crap... I... HATE... IT!!!

;)

 

 

The difference between me and you is that you hate my way of enjoying the game and go out of your way to say it, while I have no problem with the way you enjoy the game. Heck, I also enjoy the game the way you do, at times. I am currently planning an Epic game with "only X-wings and TIE Fighters" upwards of 400 pts.

 

Just because you don't like the tournament scene in X-wing doesn't mean that it's ruining X-wing in any way. It's certainly not ruining your X-wing, so your comments were completely gratuitous.

 

 

edit: OMG First it was a CCG, now it's just like 40k. Next up, X-wing is killing our children! Will nobody think of the children?! Surely they will become WAAC'ers if they are less than 1ft away from that deathmatch game!

Edited by chilligan

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I'll admit Mikael, I've found most of the leagues around here devolve between the two extremes, but in theory they work the way Reegsk described: it's not really so much a tournament as a 'get out and play with new players, using a new list, and with new models' kind of thing.  The 'escalation league' is popular, and if I'm not mistaken, culminates in a tournament at the end of the league season.

 

The aggressive 40K league I know of around here essentially has a '2 tier' format, with the high competitive borderline WAAC players in one category, and then the other comprised of the 70% 'casual' players that arrange match restrictions ahead of time. Community spirit is all well and good, but there are those 'nice to your face, stab you in the back' style gamers who simply want to win to say 'they topped the league'.  Just because the devil grins doesn't mean he's not after something.

 

Complete agreement on the purpose being to build a community though. 

 

Well, I have no position on 40K leagues. I haven't touched a GW game for a very long time (unless it was to caress my Warhammer RPG books, which were originally published in the 1980s).

 

I have also not really played in many of our local leagues, though I talk with the people who do. I really haven't felt much bifurcation in the community over this. Your community is clearly different. I'd be curious to learn what makes a community separate or hold together like that.

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I think the issue with X-Wing in my area is that it's become 40k. You can't have a casual league or campaign, because it ends up overloaded with power gamers who want to stomp faces instead of having fun, so the casual players just stop showing up.

 

I'm hoping that Armada's higher cost of entry and greater length of play will keep that from happening. At least in my area 40k tended to have the WAAC players where Fantasy had the more dedicated players out for fun that didn't involve power builds and min/maxing in pickup games. But who knows? Give it another year or two and a few more waves and I'll likely be saying the same thing about Armada.

 

What makes these people "power gamers," the fact that they run strong lists or their actual behavior and attitude?  It doesn't exactly take a tactical genius to identify things that are "good" in either X-wing or Armada, and I can't really support the idea of penalizing people just because they are exploring the game's limits and not intentionally handicapping themselves.  If you want to play by different list building rules that's fine, but it needs to be made clear what the boundaries are rather than peer pressuring with some imaginary honor code and assuming they know what it is.

 

By power gamers, I mean people that bring top-tier competitive lists in a non-tournament setting. We generally gear leagues and campaigns as more of a "have fun" type deal, but obviously winning is part of it. The problem is there is a decent chunk of the community who bring their absolute best lists. This means that everyone else would have to do the same, and we all know there are certain squadron builds and even some entire ships you can't field in a competitive environment. So now the non-competitive players have to either field the ships they want to field and lose every game, or also bring a competitive list and not use a chunk of their collection. So I suppose not quite WAAC, but highly competitive players who bring their highly competitive lists into what are supposed to be more relaxed environments. So then our "just for fun" players stop coming, because they don't enjoy getting thrashed all the time and they want to bring the ships they want to bring. Even if your opponent is perfectly pleasant, a lot of people won't have fun losing multiple games a week for a month or more.

Let me lay it out there up front: I've never played X-wing, so take this for what it's worth.

So one of our FLGS' here addresses this issue at their Armada league nights by having weekly or bi-weekly "challenges"--sort of "achievements" for the game, to encourage players to use different lists, play their lists differently, etc. You might a challenge that you kill one ship using only ship battery armament and another using only squadrons in the same game.

They also give out incentives to change up your list from week to week. You might get some promotion points for switching from Rebel to Imperial from one week to the next, or having X% of your list change, or whatever.

Something like that might work in your league to help spice it up? Give out challenges that either can only be accomplished or are dramatically easier for lower-tier lists, give out promos to people who change up their lists frequently, etc.

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I think the issue with X-Wing in my area is that it's become 40k. You can't have a casual league or campaign, because it ends up overloaded with power gamers who want to stomp faces instead of having fun, so the casual players just stop showing up.

 

I'm hoping that Armada's higher cost of entry and greater length of play will keep that from happening. At least in my area 40k tended to have the WAAC players where Fantasy had the more dedicated players out for fun that didn't involve power builds and min/maxing in pickup games. But who knows? Give it another year or two and a few more waves and I'll likely be saying the same thing about Armada.

 

What makes these people "power gamers," the fact that they run strong lists or their actual behavior and attitude?  It doesn't exactly take a tactical genius to identify things that are "good" in either X-wing or Armada, and I can't really support the idea of penalizing people just because they are exploring the game's limits and not intentionally handicapping themselves.  If you want to play by different list building rules that's fine, but it needs to be made clear what the boundaries are rather than peer pressuring with some imaginary honor code and assuming they know what it is. 

 

 

EXACTLY what I have been arguing a little about over the last year. Chill hates that I call out this crap but yeah give me FUN Games of STAR WARS X-Wing. This meta/win/viable-ships crap... I... HATE... IT!!!

;)

 

I have always respected your enthusiasm for the game and its subject matter, but sometimes your disdain for competitive play confuses me.   Obviously a large part of the appeal for most people is playing star wars, but it's also a star wars game.  I find that the mental aspect of exploring the game and trying to improve your skill and strategy as well as the "pew pew I like to fly spaceships around" aspect are both essential to making a game fun as well as mentally engaging in the long-term.

 

I'm not an ultra competitive player but I do try to find a good balance between things I want to play and what actually works.  I'm not averse to playing a game with restrictions if the opponent wants to try something different, but I'm also not going to take issue when someone shows up with a top tier competitive list.

 

It's not my intent to particularly attack either of you guys, but I have seen quite a few posts in FFG forums and other communities from people who seem to think that "playing for fun" and "playing to win" are mutually exclusive.  People have fun in different ways, and while some people with a genuine "I MUST win at all costs" mentality can be unpleasant, the other end of the spectrum can be equally distasteful.

 

 

WH40K is very badly balanced. It also depends heavily on list building whereas whilst it might be possible to build a bad list in Armada, player skill is a huge factor and even unlikely looking fleets can be victorious if the player knows how to use it and has a plan in mind.

 

The consequence of WH40K's atrocious game-balance and frequent churn of latest-greatest army codex, is that game balance has to be enforced at the community level. Games Workshop wont help you. Thus the WH40K community has fractured into those who want to play competitively such as myself (and it sounds like you would be such as well), and those who want to play casually. It's resulted in a very toxic community. Those who wish to play "casually" call their counterparts WAACs players - meant insultingly - for violating the implicit compact of friendly play by using auto-win lists. For want of a better term, at least. They see it as 'Oh, you're just going to spam wave serpents? You're not interested in the game, you're just interested in feeling superior to other people'. From their point of view, it does make sense I suppose, but it misunderstands the mindset of the competitive player. I don't want to play competitively because I want to look down on other people, I want to play competitively because I want to see what I can do and be the best at something that I can. I LIKE a challenge. But similarly I have trouble understanding their mindset. My natural tendency is to view it as boring and self-limiting. Ultimately, the division is probably that they (the casuals) have accepted that WH40K is grossly unbalanced and flawed and think the activity is about just enjoying a game. They think the players have a duty to "make the game work" and if someone doesn't do that, they freak out and think the other has some sort of 'screw the fun, I want to win' mentality. The competitive players, conversely, want a battle and try to get one.

 

Perhaps in their way, the casual players have the more accurate view. WH40K is easily, easily broken. And yet we competitive players keep trying to play it as an actual game that we try our best at. You have something that should be like a boxing match, but is so flawed that in practice it's more like a sword fight - prone to easy killing blows. One group wants to still treat it like a boxing match, trying their best at a match of skills and yet ends up with a game of sudden death. The other wants to treat it as a sword fight but turn it into a ritualized fencing match with a whole load of considerations and "fouls" that you shouldn't do. When the two groups meet, we almost immediately hate each other. By instinct. Our views are utterly antithetical. Plus they call us "WAAC" players which we don't like. ;)

 

Armada isn't like that. It has superb balance and game-structure. It depends very much on player skill. So you can try your best against an opponent and yet not be "cheating" by using unbeatable lists. Even Clon the Unstoppable can, I suspect, be stopped. ;)

 

So I really hope the WH40K concept of "WAAC" types, and competitive versus casual, doesn't make its way to Armada. I mean yes, you get tournaments and such where you might expect more competitiveness. But it's respectful and if you're anything like me, you ENJOY coming up against someone better than you. There might be the odd Armada player that gets upset if they don't win (though I haven't met one nor heard of one), but nobody is going to say something like "two ISDs? You're a WAAC player who just wants to compensate for their own psychological inadequacies". Which, yes, is more or less what I have had said to me in the WH40K community. You can pick what list you want in Armada and people will find it interesting, not a violation of the spirit of the game.

 

WH40K community is toxic over this issue. Let's not get any of it on us over here in Armada land, please! :/

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and we all know there are certain squadron builds and even some entire ships you can't field in a competitive environment.

I don't know this. I don't know this at all.

 

but highly competitive players who bring their highly competitive lists into what are supposed to be more relaxed environments.

I also, quite genuinely, don't see what is in conflict between playing to win and a relaxed environment. I absolutely try hard to win a game when I'm playing. That in no way equates to not having a relaxed mindset or remotely being unfriendly to my opponent. In fact, I have usually found it makes it more fun for both of us.

I wonder if perhaps there are simply some people who don't distinguish (or have trouble seeing the distinction) between competition and antagonism. People for whom another person trying to beat them at something simply gets received by them emotionally as aggression. It would explain a lot. I have played a lot of competitive sports. Even when my opponent is aggressive towards me, I'm usually fine with that. I'm just aggressive back. But if you're someone who is very aggression averse, or regards any attempt to be better than themself at something, as a social status challenge, then I suppose competitive play must appear as something antagonistic to relaxation. I'm just throwing ideas out there to explore why this might be so, because as I wrote at the start, I genuinely see no conflict between a relaxed environment and competitive play.

Edited by knasserII

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Well, I have no position on 40K leagues. I haven't touched a GW game for a very long time (unless it was to caress my Warhammer RPG books, which were originally published in the 1980s).

 

I have also not really played in many of our local leagues, though I talk with the people who do. I really haven't felt much bifurcation in the community over this. Your community is clearly different. I'd be curious to learn what makes a community separate or hold together like that.

Aye, most of the time the 40K is more or less is the general 'pool' of wargamers around here.  Yeah, there's exceptions of course, but from what I've seen, about half of the players in the leagues that play 'miniature games' are, or have been recently involved in the 40K community.

 

That may be the main issue: the attitudes of the greater 40K community have a strong tendency to bleed into other game systems just because it's the same player base. That said, I will say that compared to the present 40K tables, the Armada tables are less 'loud', though the lingo is essentially the same too.  (I'm not including my Ceknell group, that's a 100% crossover but a small-ish sampling). 

 

It's bascaly what Knasser II said, except I'm on the other side of the argument as one of the fluff-bunnies with the pricy forgeworld/OOP force: "Wave serpent allied gravstar leafblower spam again? uuuuugh."  The mindset is different (it's a game, the objective is to win, the point is to have fun and to enjoy something that roughly matches the aesthetic and themes of the setting in question.  For most of the casuals I know: It's not about just 'playing a game' and being good at it, as much as it is an outlet to indulge in the iconic themes and premises of the setting.)   But because that game is so atrociously balanced, the natural stratification of gaming styles meant to offer something of an unofficial balance becomes self propagating communities. Armada doesn't seem to have that problem, the most I get is a few lingering prickles from '40K tech talk' that you get with most wargames.

 

Armada fleets still generally feel like a Star Wars fleet so far, and the difference in generalship often comes down to actual play skill rather than exploiting gamey loopholes inherent in the system that feel 'out of step' with the themes inherent in Star Wars itself.  The 'no fighters, all Screed all the time' thing in Wave 1 was close, but it's nothing compared to what's out there, lurking beyond the fringes of Wild Space..

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Well, I have no position on 40K leagues. I haven't touched a GW game for a very long time (unless it was to caress my Warhammer RPG books, which were originally published in the 1980s).

 

I have also not really played in many of our local leagues, though I talk with the people who do. I really haven't felt much bifurcation in the community over this. Your community is clearly different. I'd be curious to learn what makes a community separate or hold together like that.

Aye, most of the time the 40K is more or less is the general 'pool' of wargamers around here.  Yeah, there's exceptions of course, but from what I've seen, about half of the players in the leagues that play 'miniature games' are, or have been recently involved in the 40K community.

 

Okay, so in essence you're talking about our tabletop game(s) having imported a tribal culture from 40K.

 

But that means that we would see the same thing being true in any locale where this happened. I think in my area most of the members of my community also came in from 40K, which - if true - would contradict your theory. But it's an interesting theory to explore. I'll have to ask around.

 

(I played it a little in the late 90s, but I don't think that really counts.)

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That may be the main issue: the attitudes of the greater 40K community have a strong tendency to bleed into other game systems just because it's the same player base.

 

This. The 40k group in my area has always been the larger one. With the great imbalance between 40k armies, the competitive field boils down into who can exploit the printed rules (not bend or break them, but just realize where GW clearly didn't playtest) to win. And in a tournament, I'm fine with that. But we would do things like map campaigns where almost everyone save for a handful would bring themed lists or lists with units they just wanted to field, not armies that were essentially auto-win builds.

 

Let me give you an example of the types of players I'm referring to from my personal experience. We were playing a map campaign with a strong, regularly updated backstory. Everyone was on board and bringing fluffier lists and having a great time. Then one player decided to start bringing a Daemons of Chaos list with Fateweaver, Skarbrand and the Changeling, with the other best units from the codex. For those unfamiliar with 40k, think of a list with three ISD-Is with the Demolisher title (yes, it felt that broken). The list was perfectly legal. But no one could beat it with their campaign-themed armies. As a side note, I eventually realized that I could stick a Librarian with Null Zone inside of a Land Raider and kill his entire army. He stopped playing when every Space Marine player did the same. But until that point it put a damper on the fun for a lot of players.

 

Because of this mentality of always bringing your top-tier army all day every day, people who don't want to play at that level just stopped showing up. So as more people got recruited in, that's the environment they learned in and that's how they played the game. Again, I'm not saying this is bad, but if you're someone who doesn't want to play at that level, why show up?

 

And that seems to be what happens with X-Wing leagues/campaigns around here. There are two levels of players - those who play on a tournament, competitive level, and those who prefer to fly casual and field whatever ships they like. And I'm not accusing the competitive players of any wrongdoing. They are playing they way they enjoy the game. But it makes it hard for the other camp to enjoy themselves in any open-to-all event when they know they're probably going to lose, but don't want to change their play style.

 

I think the reference to boxing/swordfighting is somewhat similar, but I would tweak it a little bit. In boxing, one guy might have reach and size, but the other guy might have speed. In 40k, one guy might have speed, but the other guy has an AK-47. Sure, the main rules say that guy can't have an AK-47, but the new book that just came out allows that guy and only that guy to have an AK-47.

 

FFG does a much better job of balance than Games Workshop ever has (which is why they've kind of given up), but there are, naturally, some ships that are better than others. The issue is that, when you have one group of players that stay on top of newer builds and want to bring that top-tier force, then you have the other group that just wants to collect the ships they think are cool, then you try to put them into some sort of event outside of a tournament, it can make for a bad scene. As I said before, even if your opponent is a delight to play against, it gets a bit disheartening to get stomped week after week.

 

Personally, I enjoy a good loss. I lost two out of three games at the last store championship I went to. But I learned a lot and I was glad for the opportunity of testing myself against other competitive players. But when I show up at my regular LGS, I'm not looking for a tournament-level game. I just want to push some miniature spaceships around a table and throw some dice with a decent chance of winning without min-maxing.

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I think the issue with X-Wing in my area is that it's become 40k. You can't have a casual league or campaign, because it ends up overloaded with power gamers who want to stomp faces instead of having fun, so the casual players just stop showing up.

 

I'm hoping that Armada's higher cost of entry and greater length of play will keep that from happening. At least in my area 40k tended to have the WAAC players where Fantasy had the more dedicated players out for fun that didn't involve power builds and min/maxing in pickup games. But who knows? Give it another year or two and a few more waves and I'll likely be saying the same thing about Armada.

 

EXACTLY what I have been arguing a little about over the last year. Chill hates that I call out this crap but yeah give me FUN Games of STAR WARS X-Wing. This meta/win/viable-ships crap... I... HATE... IT!!!

;)

 

 

The difference between me and you is that you hate my way of enjoying the game and go out of your way to say it, while I have no problem with the way you enjoy the game. Heck, I also enjoy the game the way you do, at times. I am currently planning an Epic game with "only X-wings and TIE Fighters" upwards of 400 pts.

 

Just because you don't like the tournament scene in X-wing doesn't mean that it's ruining X-wing in any way. It's certainly not ruining your X-wing, so your comments were completely gratuitous.

 

 

edit: OMG First it was a CCG, now it's just like 40k. Next up, X-wing is killing our children! Will nobody think of the children?! Surely they will become WAAC'ers if they are less than 1ft away from that deathmatch game!

 

 

I hate that it often upsets cool people. These people leave the game because of that terrible type of person.

 

That X-Wing vs.TIE game sounds like great fun!

:)

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[snip]

 

Okay, so in essence you're talking about our tabletop game(s) having imported a tribal culture from 40K.

 

But that means that we would see the same thing being true in any locale where this happened. I think in my area most of the members of my community also came in from 40K, which - if true - would contradict your theory. But it's an interesting theory to explore. I'll have to ask around.

 

(I played it a little in the late 90s, but I don't think that really counts.)

I

I'd be interested to see if it carries over and how much it carries over. I know that the North West has a very strong and diverse gaming presence, things are typically more sparse here: and it has definitely derived its ethos from 40K's tribal attitude. Still, I'd like to see how the theory pans out abroad.  A local store seems to be advertising a start up league for X-wing, I might check it out to see how that is.

 

-laughs- Aye Reegsk, all you had to say was 'Daemons' and Fateweaver and I knew where it was going :P I'm fortunate that I didn't have to deal with anything like that in the campaigns I played since Eye of Terror. But I absolutely relate to that. 

 

Armada just doesn't seem to have the same degree of mechanically induced problem, so even if the attitude of the players haven't changed greatly, the opportunity to abuse the system is more limited.

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I agree with all the points about 40K, balance is very bad at the moment, the worst I can remember it being, but to be fair to Games Workshop they have pretty much publicly declared that Warhammer, in all its guises, is not a competitive game.  It is about two or more gamers coming together to see their pretty models on the table to immerse themselves in the rich and dark setting of 40K to create story in front of them.  Play testing the rules would appear to be an after though.  Models first game second.  If i remember rightly they have now abandoned any support for an official tournament scene. 

 

FFG have a completely different attitude, which is refreshing, but it should also be noted that 40K when compared to Armada/Xwing is vastly more complicated game with far more moving parts and factions to gel.  One of the reasons that I think GW in the end threw in the towel and said 'we are a model company'. 

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That may be the main issue: the attitudes of the greater 40K community have a strong tendency to bleed into other game systems just because it's the same player base.

 

This. The 40k group in my area has always been the larger one. With the great imbalance between 40k armies, the competitive field boils down into who can exploit the printed rules (not bend or break them, but just realize where GW clearly didn't playtest) to win. And in a tournament, I'm fine with that. But we would do things like map campaigns where almost everyone save for a handful would bring themed lists or lists with units they just wanted to field, not armies that were essentially auto-win builds.

 

Let me give you an example of the types of players I'm referring to from my personal experience. We were playing a map campaign with a strong, regularly updated backstory. Everyone was on board and bringing fluffier lists and having a great time. Then one player decided to start bringing a Daemons of Chaos list with Fateweaver, Skarbrand and the Changeling, with the other best units from the codex. For those unfamiliar with 40k, think of a list with three ISD-Is with the Demolisher title (yes, it felt that broken). The list was perfectly legal. But no one could beat it with their campaign-themed armies. As a side note, I eventually realized that I could stick a Librarian with Null Zone inside of a Land Raider and kill his entire army. He stopped playing when every Space Marine player did the same. But until that point it put a damper on the fun for a lot of players.

 

Because of this mentality of always bringing your top-tier army all day every day, people who don't want to play at that level just stopped showing up. So as more people got recruited in, that's the environment they learned in and that's how they played the game. Again, I'm not saying this is bad, but if you're someone who doesn't want to play at that level, why show up?

 

And that seems to be what happens with X-Wing leagues/campaigns around here. There are two levels of players - those who play on a tournament, competitive level, and those who prefer to fly casual and field whatever ships they like. And I'm not accusing the competitive players of any wrongdoing. They are playing they way they enjoy the game. But it makes it hard for the other camp to enjoy themselves in any open-to-all event when they know they're probably going to lose, but don't want to change their play style.

 

I think the reference to boxing/swordfighting is somewhat similar, but I would tweak it a little bit. In boxing, one guy might have reach and size, but the other guy might have speed. In 40k, one guy might have speed, but the other guy has an AK-47. Sure, the main rules say that guy can't have an AK-47, but the new book that just came out allows that guy and only that guy to have an AK-47.

 

FFG does a much better job of balance than Games Workshop ever has (which is why they've kind of given up), but there are, naturally, some ships that are better than others. The issue is that, when you have one group of players that stay on top of newer builds and want to bring that top-tier force, then you have the other group that just wants to collect the ships they think are cool, then you try to put them into some sort of event outside of a tournament, it can make for a bad scene. As I said before, even if your opponent is a delight to play against, it gets a bit disheartening to get stomped week after week.

 

Personally, I enjoy a good loss. I lost two out of three games at the last store championship I went to. But I learned a lot and I was glad for the opportunity of testing myself against other competitive players. But when I show up at my regular LGS, I'm not looking for a tournament-level game. I just want to push some miniature spaceships around a table and throw some dice with a decent chance of winning without min-maxing.

I don't disagree with any of that, except one small part, and I feel for you with the person showing up and destroying a themed / campaign league. That's a very different situation and that person should not have played the way they did, by the sounds of it. Unfortunately, trying to patch the WH40K rules for balance is next to impossible. I thought about writing an alternate rules system for it. Of course GW would try their best to shut it down if it ever became popular.

The two little bits I differ on, for what it's worth, are the bit about GW giving up on game balance. I actually think it's deliberate. The constant latest broken codex helps them sell their miniatures. I have a set of Striking Scorpions and other miniatures from around two decades ago. I even have the original Avatar when he was still human-sized. If it were all balanced, why would I need to buy new miniatures. But produce a wave serpent that can stomp all over enemy forces, make a new Avatar that is 4m tall (to scale), and now I "have to". You give GW benefit of the doubt. I'm afraid I can't. It's too much in their interests to keep this constant power churn.

The other thing I differ on, though I wont make a big deal of it, is that I still think you're incorrect about some ships or squadrons being OP or not worthwhile. There are a few things I tend not to use as is true for everyone else, but I can still see the value of them. Even Demolisher which when it came out was considered OP, game breaking, etc. I've learned to deal with in a game quite effectively. We had whole threads about how OP it was. We had the same situation with Paragon. I laugh at Paragon now - it's so easily dealt with. Not wishing to start a tangent argument, but I genuinely don't see any significant balance problems in Armada. All too often people think something isn't worthwhile like Vader. And then you get a whole thread of people saying it works great for them. It's the best balanced game I've ever played (with the exception of Go or Chess, if I want to be silly).

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@knasser - I'm more referring to X-Wing with that as it stands right now. In Armada, with only the two waves, they've done a fantastic job of rules balance thus far. Hopefully that'll continue. So right now every ship is included in viable lists (of course, each faction only has four or five). But in X-Wing, there are definitely specific lists that come to dominate, at least for a time, and operate on a much higher level than other builds. Now FFG does a great job of responding to the meta and course correcting. For example, I feel like Y-Wings were not very competitive for a long time (partially because their non-unique pilots couldn't take Elite Talents), but look at them now! Still, in the gap between what they were and what they are, someone who wanted to field a lot of Y-Wings would get chewed up by someone playing a much more powerful list. I wouldn't say any ships are useless, but some are far more competitive.

 

And with the 40k community, we started with a handful of players similar to the Daemons guy. Then there were a few more. Then more. Then the casual players showed up less and less, so now it's almost all highly competitive players. Then that bled over into X-Wing when everyone started to play that. There are still X-Wing tourneys and pickup games in my area. The game is still very popular. But you don't see any leagues or campaigns because of that divide between the hyper-competitive players and the less competitive players.

 

Glad to see that's not the 40k community nationwide, though. And I would agree that's why GW switched to their "we're a modeling company" argument. Whether or not the imbalance was an intentional thing to sell models, or if they were trying to go back to their roots of "Hey, I just bought these five Terminators. Why don't you take out all of your gene stealers and let's see how long they can survive!", at least they acknowledged the problem. And hopefully, since there are a lot more games that are very popular (X-Wing, Warmahordes) and gear themselves up as competitive games, maybe 40k will one day return to that base of fun versus competitive, so you don't have to worry as much about the sheer imbalance between armies.

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Another factor may be that some communities may not divide into tribes because the faction that Joe Boss Red Seven represents had a harder time getting off the ground.

 

Playing less competitively and more with an eye towards narrative takes a lot of organization, imagination, entrepreneurship, and time. the 100-point-6-asteroid-death-match is an easy default. That is helped by having small, regular groups. My community is large and somewhat shifting. Also, many people simply want to focus on the competitive aspect over the narrative aspect, and it's frequently too much work to alter that dynamic or to offer something different.

 

Well, maybe this summer after Regionals.

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Oddly enough Star Wars: X-Wing is what influenced my purchases of Star Wars: Armada.  For Armada I purchased, pretty much, one of everything and that is where I intend to stop.  I don't want another game that keeps growing and growing.

 

 

Star Wars is not a Collectible Card Game (CCG), per Fantasy Flight (FFG) it is more like a Living Card Game (LCG).  In an LCG FFG will continue to come out with expansions but unlike a CCG there will be no hidden expansions or the idea of uncommon, rare or collectible.  i.e. the collectible part of the game is not used in this model.  FFG has said this.  So it has similarities with a CCG just not the collectible (rare, uncommon) part.

 

 

 

but I have seen quite a few posts in FFG forums and other communities from people who seem to think that "playing for fun" and "playing to win" are mutually exclusive.


That is at least semi-common. I think it's in part due to what some people think Warhammer 40k is like, and what it actually is like.

A good % of the people paying these games never played 40k or other miniature games but heard the horror stories and have an at least somewhat unreasonable fear it will happen here.

But you're right of course, anyone who thinks you can't both play to win and have fun are wrong, and anyone who thinks play to win = WAAC is quite frankly delusional. I mean there are people out there who don't find competition fun, but there are also people out there who can't have fun without it.

If you don't enjoy competition then stay clear of tournaments and play how you want. But I too get tired of the superior attitude some of those types seem to have.

 

 

I agree that is fairly common.  I was taking to a game reviewer and he gave away all of his X-Wing stuff.  I asked why.  The two reasons he gave was A) it is too hard to keep up with.  Too many expansions and still going.  Also that there are two kinds of players.  Tournament type and Casual.  You see it at the game stores.  A casual player just cannot compete with a Tournament type player and in Local Game Stores (LGS) that takes some of the fun out of it for many players.

 

 

Me I'm on the side of I like playing and not so much squad building.  I know that is a big part of the game.  But if FFG published pre-built squads like MJ I think that would help the casual crowd a bit.  Also I agree that X-Wing is not a lot to keep up with.  Too much I think.  I know I've said this before but I'm looking for a good time to get out.  I though, except for the Gozanti, Wave 6 was it.  But I liked some of the card.  Now with Wave 7 Long Range stuff, Guidance Chips and the upcoming Imperial Veterans I'm in until the Veterans.  I'm kind of hoping that Rebel Veterans are close on the heels of the Imperial Veterans.  Then I can say my bombers, Defenders and X-Wings are fixed I'm out.

 

I may never be competitive but I can play at home.  It'll just take 3-4 hours to setup the game (deck building).

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OP

you hit it dead on. Why after playing a demo of X wing I never so much

as thought of buying any of it. Way to much junk on the table and to keep track of.

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@Mikael - You make an excellent point there. Narrative play takes a lot of upkeep. But I'm also speaking generally for a league, even without a strong narrative, that there can be conflict between groups. There are players who treat every game as a regional tournament in terms of competitive play, and there are those that don't. I'm fine mingling with both groups, as long as I know what to expect. But the issue as the event organizer is how to communicate that? If you want to appeal to the competitive players, that's pretty easy. Simply say the league is going to be competitive. The issue really lies on the other side. How do you create a league where anyone can play, but you try to steer people away from tournament level competition so newer players and casual players don't get clobbered every game? Some people will love the challenge of coming into a game fresh and immediately playing against the best in their area so they can practice against that and shoot up to the top right away. And some people won't want to do that. How do you communicate to the competitive players that they can participate, but they need to tone it down because a lot of people are new or casual.

Edited by reegsk

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There are players who treat every game as a regional tournament in terms of competitive play, and there are those that don't. I'm fine mingling with both groups, as long as I know what to expect. But the issue as the event organizer is how to communicate that? If you want to appeal to the competitive players, that's pretty easy. Simply say the league is going to be competitive. The issue really lies on the other side. How do you create a league where anyone can play, but you try to steer people away from tournament level competition so newer players and casual players don't get clobbered every game?

 

I think the league organizer can communicate that by introducing changing rules per league night. If they mix it up and don't do the standard-play setup, then people who only want to do that for practice will get the hint.

 

For my own sake, I don't think that competitive players are a problem at all. I think it's the notion that competitive players are friendly, which I have not found to be true. It might also be that narrative players want their narrative to be respected, and the failure to get that has a diminishing return on their happiness. I know that I have felt that when my narrative was not followed.

 

But if you want narrative to be respected, then you need to gear your events around that narrative - make it explicit.

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I bought into Armada. It's a great game. But I realized it's a casual game only. It takes too long to play a tournament in one day. It takes up a lot of space for just one match. Most game shops can't commit to either of those. But it did take everything that is wrong with X-Wing and improve on it. But after so many month of no competitive play I ended up selling out. I do kind of miss it though.

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I bought into Armada. It's a great game. But I realized it's a casual game only. It takes too long to play a tournament in one day. It takes up a lot of space for just one match. Most game shops can't commit to either of those. But it did take everything that is wrong with X-Wing and improve on it. But after so many month of no competitive play I ended up selling out. I do kind of miss it though.

Compared to what though? I'm going to a 40K tournament next weekend that runs for two days, with 20-40 players all on 6x4 tables. It's eminently possible to run two-day tournaments and a 6x4 is pretty much the wargames standard for table size.

With X Wing (and to a less extent Armada) the main problem I see with the competitive vs casual crowds is that there are effectively NO third party tournaments. All events are FFG events, and all FFG events are run the same way.

To contrast with 40K, this weekend the event I'm attending is 1500 points.

I don't know what the scenarios will be. There will be a briefing before each mission start to explain the mission, and each mission is unique to the event. An event run recently was at ~1300 points. Many events run at 1850 points and some were running at 2000.

There is a lot of scope and diversity in competitive 40K so even players preparing for competitive events can get some variety and different scenarios into their games. Unlike X Wing where you always play the same scenario, with the same points size, and the same terrain. Armada at least has Objective cards but has the same problem of always playing with the same terrain on the same board and the same sized battle.

When I arrange a game of 40K I ask my opponent what sized game he'd like to play, and then we randomly select a scenario. This makes the gap between competitive and casual play much smaller than it is in X Wing and Armada, and that's something that FFG should be doing. Their biggest sin, IMO, is their tournament format.

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