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DavronERC

Fixing the "meta" problems without changing a single card

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Hi All

 

Looking about I've seen a lot of posts about how the meta is broken and how there are only two viable factions etc etc.

 

To me who has come from a Flames of War background, I was amazed that the competitive tournament format is the 100pt death match. Most other game systems have a set of missions which you have to take into account when you build a list. Not every mission can be won by simply killing the opposing squad ASAP. And herein I feel lies the source of most of the frustration out there with our current "meta".

 

Currently a player simply has to build a list which efficiently dispatches the opposing list in the shortest possible time. As a community we make it very easy to define what these efficient lists are. Games are streamed and dissected move by move. Podcasts theorize about the most efficient builds and combos. Forums users post lists and other users suggest tweaks and enhancements. So now we are in a position where many people that if you are not flying a Palp ace list, a Dengaroo, a Crack Swarm or a U-boat list, don't bother turning up to your local event.

 

Ok so it may not be that bad...... but it's getting close.

 

So I've been looking back at these other game systems with their various mission formats. For example Flames of War where you have to build a tournament army list which has to be able to be competitive when playing any of the ~12 standard missions. This poses the player some interesting challenges during the list building phase, "how many points do I invest in defensive assets, knowing that in at least 50% of games I could be forced to attack?".

 

We don't have this conundrum in X-wing, one mission, one objective "kill em all and let (insert favorite deity here) sort them out"

 

What if we did?

 

What if there were 4 missions.

 

1) Defend the shuttle (yep that thing we got in the 1st core set...)

Players set up in opposite corners. A shuttle token is setup in a third corner and has to make its way to the opposite corner safely under the control of one player while the other tries to kill it.

 

2) Recon  

A satellite token is set up in one players deployment zone. The other player must get a ship into range 1 of the token, spend 2 actions to download the data, then get the ship that downloaded it off the board through the friendly deployment zone.

 

3) Destroy

A space station token is set up in the defenders deployment zone. The attacker must destroy it. It could even have a turbo laser etc if balance is needed?

 

4) Capture and board

Like mission 1 but the defender doesn't have control, the shuttle must be ioned, boarded and the attacker must get the cargo off the friendly board edge.

 

Now you have created a "meta" where a squadron must do all of these things well. No squad list will be perfectly suited to doing every mission well and better yet we don't need to use the nerf bat on a single card. Meta getting stale? oh that's easy make up a new mission for the new tournament season. Got a card that's too OP? oh that's easy make up a new mission that removes that card's advantages.

 

The way I see it the "meta" is in the state it's in due to tournament missions being 1D. If we add new missions to the tournament format we will see the meta becoming a multi dimensional multi faceted beautiful thing!   

 

 

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I much prefer a standardization among all tournament games. 

 

Yes correct, we can't just grab a few of the missions which come with the various sets and call it "the new tournament format".

 

Every mission which is included in the tournament format needs to be play tested and balanced carefully. Even more important, the set of missions needs to be carefully balanced with each other to ensure that a single archetype doesn't dominate.

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What if there were 4 missions.

 

I loved this aspect in Malifaux, however I think that with variable missions in X-Wing you require a much larger squad to "tech" for/against certain objectives. For instance there might be a mission that requires you to touch all 4 corners of the map, you might want to include a fast ship otherwise be screwed out of it.

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Hi All

 

Looking about I've seen a lot of posts about how the meta is broken and how there are only two viable factions etc etc.

 

To me who has come from a Flames of War background, I was amazed that the competitive tournament format is the 100pt death match. Most other game systems have a set of missions which you have to take into account when you build a list. Not every mission can be won by simply killing the opposing squad ASAP. And herein I feel lies the source of most of the frustration out there with our current "meta".

 

Currently a player simply has to build a list which efficiently dispatches the opposing list in the shortest possible time. As a community we make it very easy to define what these efficient lists are. Games are streamed and dissected move by move. Podcasts theorize about the most efficient builds and combos. Forums users post lists and other users suggest tweaks and enhancements. So now we are in a position where many people that if you are not flying a Palp ace list, a Dengaroo, a Crack Swarm or a U-boat list, don't bother turning up to your local event.

 

Ok so it may not be that bad...... but it's getting close.

 

So I've been looking back at these other game systems with their various mission formats. For example Flames of War where you have to build a tournament army list which has to be able to be competitive when playing any of the ~12 standard missions. This poses the player some interesting challenges during the list building phase, "how many points do I invest in defensive assets, knowing that in at least 50% of games I could be forced to attack?".

 

We don't have this conundrum in X-wing, one mission, one objective "kill em all and let (insert favorite deity here) sort them out"

 

What if we did?

 

What if there were 4 missions.

 

1) Defend the shuttle (yep that thing we got in the 1st core set...)

Players set up in opposite corners. A shuttle token is setup in a third corner and has to make its way to the opposite corner safely under the control of one player while the other tries to kill it.

 

2) Recon  

A satellite token is set up in one players deployment zone. The other player must get a ship into range 1 of the token, spend 2 actions to download the data, then get the ship that downloaded it off the board through the friendly deployment zone.

 

3) Destroy

A space station token is set up in the defenders deployment zone. The attacker must destroy it. It could even have a turbo laser etc if balance is needed?

 

4) Capture and board

Like mission 1 but the defender doesn't have control, the shuttle must be ioned, boarded and the attacker must get the cargo off the friendly board edge.

 

Now you have created a "meta" where a squadron must do all of these things well. No squad list will be perfectly suited to doing every mission well and better yet we don't need to use the nerf bat on a single card. Meta getting stale? oh that's easy make up a new mission for the new tournament season. Got a card that's too OP? oh that's easy make up a new mission that removes that card's advantages.

 

The way I see it the "meta" is in the state it's in due to tournament missions being 1D. If we add new missions to the tournament format we will see the meta becoming a multi dimensional multi faceted beautiful thing!   

 

this already exists its called Armada and its Awesome.

 

 

would be nice in X wing tho. but will never happen :(

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I don't really see how these scenarios really encourage you to do anything differently than usual, and while Flames of War had twelve scenarios, you didn't really have to think about them beyond a few principles(use an even number of platoons, etc.).

 

Most ships that are already good in this game can do things like get from point A to B pretty quickly or dispatch the opponent before they can kill something you have to protect, etc.

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This idea has been bounced around every now and again on the forums.  I like the idea and have seen it done to WHFB at a time when all the tournament people said it would kill the tournament scene.  It actually grew after that, so I don't believe those nay-sayers.  I've played FoW, as well, and I like the missions.  

 

For those that don't know how missions would change things, it would be based on the missions themselves.  They would have to have a number of balancing factors that would hurt certain play style lists.  Some missions would play better if you have several ships instead of just 2 or 3.  Other missions would hurt you if you take a swarm.   The missions wouldn't be auto lose if you went this way, but the lists that would end up being most viable to all missions would probably be around 4-7 ships of different types and skill levels.  So, you take more of an All Purpose list.  If the game moves beyond just "kill each other" than lists like Palp Aces don't become the most efficient for the task at hand.  

 

I'm all for it, but I don't think it will happen any time soon.  I was kind of excited when they talked about shaking up the tournament scene this year and I thought this could be it.  No, they just introduced more world wide tournaments that were same old.  

 

It was a while ago, but a bunch of people even started coming up with mission types and all that.  Yeah, it's an idea that gets bounced around.  You have the bunch that really want to see it happen and you have a bunch that really don't want to see it happen.  People talk about and debate it, but FFG doesn't change anything and the subject dies for 6-8 months.  

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I went to one "tournament" about 2-3 years ago for a small local gaming group. Me and 2 other regulars show up and we have our standard 100pt list with us. After sitting around for 45 min the organizers decide they are going to do missions instead of the standard dog fight. They have 3 different missions and our list are maybe suitable for one mission each. I went 3-0 for the day (I had an Imperial build so I just had to kill for victory), but some how got third place behind 2-1 players, it has left a bad taste for mission tournaments for me. Mission tournaments would be rough to start, they could be fun but I think the turn out would be low to start and I think most organizers would concede to dogfights before they took off.

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As noted multiple times... you just developed Armada.

 

Yes, but instead of saying "that's just Armada", seeing it done in Armada should be a signal to how it can be done in X-wing.  Yes, Armada does it and it works.  It can be done with X-wing, too.  

 

Armada doesn't have scenarios or missions. It has objectives.  Most of the time, these just modify existing rules, i.e. one of your ships can fire twice at the same target, or changing the deployment rules for this game.  A few missions provide bonus points based on some requirement.  The only objectives which are close to missions are the ones which give you bonus points for being somewhere on the map.

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People just want mindless death match. Look at CoD and the majority of people run around playing death match and only death match. It's dull, it's stale and it's all people want. Many in this community have been begging for years for something real in the way of a campaign but all we hear is crickets. I have played many of the in box missions but they seem like they are just an afterthought thrown in so the box can be checked off. Armada has shown the objective gameplay works and is very fun but many of us want to use our X-Wing ships for that kind of official game play. I know some of you are going to say that we should all just go play Armada but that game feels completely different in pace and style. X-Wing is much faster and I enjoy the system much better then Armada. Also after spending the money to amass a fleet of over 100 ships I am not about to start in a new game that would require hundreds more. At least we have HotAC doing what FFG won't do and give us what many many in the community want.

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There will always be people that want to do nothing but deathmatch.  I just hope they open up some alternative type of play, as well.  Make it an official event or even just release a fun based campaign would be nice.  I know GW used to do world wide campaigns back in the day that would introduce special characters and scenarios for the event.  You could report in your game results and it would affect the overall campaign storyline.  It was pretty cool.  I'd love to see them do something along those lines.  

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I actually think this is a really good idea. I find it interesting how much negativity others have towards this idea. I have played attack wing too where they have missions in the tourneys which can at times make things far more interesting.

 

To the people who say that tournament attendance would decrease due to the lack of dogfights I would disagree. No one is saying we have to nix the dogfight imo. In fact, one mission can be the standard dogfight. With missions you have to potential to make things like generic fighters more useful in some instances without having to retroactively release cards to make them better.

 

Additionally, I would argue (as some others have already stated) tournament attendance would actually increase. Part of the reason we all love x wing is that we love the thinking aspect about it right? We like planning, and trying to outmaneuver opponents, and thinking about the unique facets and combinations of squad lists right? Missions would only serve to increase this aspect which we love about the game and make it more enjoyable, not less.

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So the problem with missions like these is that usually the most efficient way to complete them in a game type without respawning is just a deathmatch.  What's the best way to protect a shuttle?  Blowing up all of the enemy ships as quickly as possible.  You see it in video games all of the time.   Any objective-based game mode without respawns almost always ends because the enemy team died, not because you completed the objective.  

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