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Stefan

[HotAC] K-Wing playable?

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This is a question akin to the oftenheard E-Wing discussion. Whereas I'm pretty convinced by all the learned arguments in this forum that the E-Wing is too strong to include, I have yet to hear an argument about the K-Wing. Is it also simply a better version of the B-Wing? Or is it, the time contuinity issues aside, a viable choice in the campaign?

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It's not so much a better b-wing as a better Y-wing. More ordinance (including the otherwise a-wing exclusive missiles), a crew slot that generally outperforms the astromech slot, an extra shield, and slam will often be stronger than a k-turn without something to give the Y-wing an action while it's k-turning.

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This is a question akin to the oft-heard E-Wing discussion. Whereas I'm pretty convinced by all the learned arguments in this forum that the E-Wing is too strong to include, I have yet to hear an argument about the K-Wing. Is it also simply a better version of the B-Wing? Or is it, the time continuity issues aside, a viable choice in the campaign?

 

There was some good discussion over on this thread: https://community.fantasyflightgames.com/topic/226055-hotac-new-ship-inclusions/

 

I point out my concerns here: https://community.fantasyflightgames.com/topic/226055-hotac-new-ship-inclusions/?p=2331757

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Flew a K-wing at PS 6 Sunday for the Miners Strike scenario along with an E, A, Arc and a B-wing. Won the match a little too easily. The E-wing acted as my escort and he claimed at least 6 Ties on his own. Most of my damage, if not all, came from the turrets.

Just based on this one game, I think the E-wing is too strong for the game. The K-wing is a little too good mostly in the amount of ordnance it can carry. At one point a bomb drop did 8 points of damage to ships and emplacements. A well timed Assault Missile destroyed a four emplacement cluster in one shot.

The ARC was a good fit, comparable to a deck out Y minus the BTL-A4 modification and torps.

One way to balance the game when using these non-standard resources would be to artificially boost the average PS of the rebels so the Imperials get more ships or elites.

This Sunday is The Pride of the Empire. I've played this twice and got beaten badly both times. This time, I hope, will be different. Better pilots is the key. Not higher PS but smarter ones. The non-regulation ships will be a big asset but won't make up for dumb pilots.

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honestly, the better question would be "is HotAC playable?"

 

because it'd be pretty **** worthless if you can't fly around in the glorious drunken albatross

 

HotAC?

Heroes of the Arturi Cluster. It's a fanmade campaign that's a great change from the 100 point death match. It's a free download from Docking Bay 416.

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Really could do with an update and some more streamlined rules but is otherwise a feat of cooperation and playtesting.

Reasons I couldn't get into it: limited and slow progression and not being able to Dungeon Master (control) the Imperial units.

Now there's a third - no K-Wings.

Imagine the bomb efficiency of a decked out K-Wing in some of those missions.

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For the K-Wing you should just reduce the amount of MOD slots and EPT slots you have so the total amount of equipment stays the same, e.g. a Y-wing has 4 slots (Astromech, 2 Torpedo/Bomb, Turret), a K-Wing has 7 slots (Crewmember, 2 Torpedo, Missile, 2 Bomb, Turret), so start losing slots.

You use 3 slots more than a y-wing so lose 2 EPT and 1 MOD slot to make up for that.

 

So a K-Wing has only 3 MOD slots on lvl4,6,8 and 2 EPT slots on 7,9, that should be more balanced.

Just enough to make it a dedicated ordnance carrier with Advanced SLAM + Guidance Chips + Extra Munitions and 2 EPT like Trick Shot (Nera Dantels ability) and maybe Push the Limit or all time favourite Predator.

If it's still overpowered, remove more upgrade slots.

 

That's the same way I'd go with the E-Wing. Just remove MOD and EPT slots until it's not overpowered anymore.

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I don't think it's the K-Wing itself, but the TLT which makes the campaign a bit easier.

TLT ships can exhaust the AI tokens quickly and push through damage (dice permitting) more easily every turn without flying for positioning purposes. Plus the XP gained for damaging a ship is easy to accrue.

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The problem with the E-Wing and the K-Wing (but also the T-70 X-Wing) is that they are ships that not so much fulfill a different role, but that just are a better version of an existing ship.

Roughly speaking, the K-Wing is a better Y-Wing, and the E-Wing is a better T-65. Again, roughly speaking. These ships can do basically most of what the old ships could, plus more.

The only time I would take a Y-Wing over a K-Wing is when I want to bring R3-A2, but stress dealing mechanics are much less impactful in HotAC than in the standard format.

 

HotAC is basicaly X-Wing with RPG progression, where instead of dungeon-crawling, there is "mission-crawl". In that sense, the different ship types serve as the different character classes in the classical RPGs. 

If you let the K-Wing and the E-Wing in, you are basically dooming Y-Wings and X-Wings because there will be little reason to keep playing those, in the same way that nobody would pick a Mage in an RPG if they could pick instead a SuperMage.

 

Also, HotAC storyline happens at a point in Star Wars history that is previous to the introduction of these ships. One of the missions presents the TIE Defender as a prototype, so it basically frames the campaign between the end of Episode IV and some months after the end of Episode V. 

It makes no sense that there are K-Wings, E-Wings and T-70s around that time. Unless LFL reintroduces the E-Wing and the K-Wing to the original trilogy era in the new canon, these ships will be as anachronistic as having First Order ships around.

 

Finally, the campaign is designed around the idea that players will be using X-Wing, Y-Wing, B-Wings and A-Wings. I guess ARC-170s are not so substantial power creep over B-Wings or X-Wings. But K-Wings and E-Wings definitely are (again, in the context of HoaTC).

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HotAC is basicaly X-Wing with RPG progression, where instead of dungeon-crawling, there is "mission-crawl". In that sense, the different ship types serve as the different character classes in the classical RPGs. 

If you let the K-Wing and the E-Wing in, you are basically dooming Y-Wings and X-Wings because there will be little reason to keep playing those, in the same way that nobody would pick a Mage in an RPG if they could pick instead a SuperMage.

 

Well if you see it that way, RPGs also have level ups, skill progression and some also have upgrading to an advanced class that can do more. So during the play after reaching a certain level, you could upgrade from Warrior to Templar or from Mage to Archmage or whatever. In that sense people may have earned their "upgraded" craft after they played long enough, e.g. reached PS6/7. But then again, enemies also get harder the more you level up, so you'd have to increase the power of the enemies if you upgrade to a better class or do something else to keep the AI on par.

As said above, I'd just cut enough MOD and EPT slots off the K-, E- and maybe the T-70 (basically cut 2 mod slots for engine upgrade and shield ugprade compared to the T-65, not sure if the tallon rolls are worth an EPT slot to cut).

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I think the K-WIng falls into the same realm as the E-Wing. It's just plainly an upgrade over an existing ship. The E-Wing will replace all of your X-Wings and A-Wings and the K-Wing will replace all of your Y-Wings, since the E & K aren't lateral moves, they're clearly better than what they would be replacing. Which, of course, means it's going to lower the difficulty level of the game substantially since the difficulty progression was designed with A,B, X, Y, HWK in mind, all of which are ships on more or less the same tier of power.

 

But, that's not a bad thing. I mean, if you just want to play Star Wars and be heroic and blow up TIE Fighters, then there's really nothing wrong with them. 

If you're trying to maintain the difficulty level of the game, you just need to houserule offsetting disadvantages for them. Either by counting them as PS +2 for the purposes of Average Pilot Skill, or as an extra ship for the purpose of enemy squadron deployment. Probably should take away some of their low-level mod slots, too, to offset the clear gains they have with superior dials, upgrade types, etc. A T-70, for example, has 3 shields compared to the X-Wing's 2. It loses the free mod slot to account for the Shield Upgrade. The E-Wing has 3 Attack and an extra shield over an A-Wing. It would lose the free mod, and the Level 4 mod slot to account for them. 

 

In the end, there's no right or wrong way to do it. You just have to decide what you want to get out of HotAC. Because while HotAC works really well when you play it as intended, it's very easy to "break". Somebody in another thread talked about how they'd intentionally not leveled their pilot skill. Sounds like no big deal, right? The problem is that it doesn't take long for the Average Pilot Skill of the group to be affected so much that it will bring down the level of the Elite pilots, who are balanced in the game scenarios with the idea that they're going to be higher PS than the group, and have a pile of nasty abilities. Once the players are better than the Elites, the scenarios that include Elites become significantly easier.

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HotAC is basicaly X-Wing with RPG progression, where instead of dungeon-crawling, there is "mission-crawl". In that sense, the different ship types serve as the different character classes in the classical RPGs. 

If you let the K-Wing and the E-Wing in, you are basically dooming Y-Wings and X-Wings because there will be little reason to keep playing those, in the same way that nobody would pick a Mage in an RPG if they could pick instead a SuperMage.

 

Well if you see it that way, RPGs also have level ups, skill progression and some also have upgrading to an advanced class that can do more. So during the play after reaching a certain level, you could upgrade from Warrior to Templar or from Mage to Archmage or whatever. In that sense people may have earned their "upgraded" craft after they played long enough, e.g. reached PS6/7. But then again, enemies also get harder the more you level up, so you'd have to increase the power of the enemies if you upgrade to a better class or do something else to keep the AI on par.

As said above, I'd just cut enough MOD and EPT slots off the K-, E- and maybe the T-70 (basically cut 2 mod slots for engine upgrade and shield ugprade compared to the T-65, not sure if the tallon rolls are worth an EPT slot to cut).

The problem isn't with the number of mods and epts but the ship itself. The cheapest E is 6 points more than the cheapest X with a drop in PS. An extra agility, an extra shield and better dial (5 straight) over the X. Imagine a E-wing in Rescue the Rebel Operative. I think that's the scenatio with the HWK on one side being chased by a bunch Ties and the Rebels on the other end of the mat. An E with engine upgrade will cover that distance faster than an X will. That extra ship length makes a big difference. Throw in a barrel roll for dogfighting and a choice of two k turns and a savvy pilot would have no problems taking on a squad of 4 Ties.

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Surely it could be fixed by removing some slots from the K-wing and E-wing. Remove the PS3 EPT slot and the PS4 Mod slot from both to counter their extra upgrade slots and attributes. It makes thematic sense too, as the pilots would be less experienced with piloting and modifying newer state-of-the-art ships.

Edited by CRCL

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This is a question akin to the oftenheard E-Wing discussion. Whereas I'm pretty convinced by all the learned arguments in this forum that the E-Wing is too strong to include, I have yet to hear an argument about the K-Wing. Is it also simply a better version of the B-Wing? Or is it, the time contuinity issues aside, a viable choice in the campaign?

 

Having played through several scenarios with and without expansions ships, I am of the opinion that it really doesn't make a difference. The FAQ give some great suggestions on how to handle some of the big ships. As far as the K Wing or any other ship goes, if you're group is finding the game too easy just ramp up the number of pilots when laying out imperial forces. If you're playing with two players in K-wings use the 3-player AI setup.

 

HoTAC is non-competitive, fan made, and supposed to be fun. Just PLAY for fun. In my group, when we make mistakes or want to pre-measure something we don't care. We always joke that our opponent is welcome to challenge our actions. Play it for fun.

Edited by ObiOneToo

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About the E-Wing/K-Wing/T-70 being overall better, to the point of being unbalancing, I agree with everything stated.

 

Another point is that all of these would be the nail in the coffin for A-Wings (and HWKs).  Why would you take an A-Wing over an E-Wing?  It is hard enough to justify taking an A-Wing as it is.  An E-Wing (with Engine Upgrade) is vastly superior to an A-Wing (with Vectored Thrusters).  Even a T-70 X-Wing is far better than an A-Wing; trading a 5 forward and a green die for 3 attack, an Astromech slot (plus Integrated Astromech), and a T-Roll is a great deal.

 

The poor A-Wing needs something to make it work taking.  It is under-powered, as reflected by its point cost. (Ex. PS 2 X-Wing is 21 points vs. "PS 2" A-Wing would be between 17 and 19 points (15-17 being closer to balanced).  Yes, at high PS with the right Elites it can be effective, especially during escort missions.  But 2 Red attack dice aren't great, and a single missile slot doesn't do much to help.  Two hull and two shields require a lot of arc dodging; one mistake and it goes pop.  You can take Mods to offset its flimsiness and Elites to give it some punch, but it always seems like it is playing catch-up to other ships.

 

Then there is the HWK-290.  It gives up a lot (hull, shields, attack dice, Astromech slot, K-Turn) to get a Crew slot and an Illicit slot.  With the K-Wing in play, the HWK would see even less play.  Even the ARC-170 (a fine ship for HotAC) overshadows the HWK.  With Extra Munitions being a Modification in HotAC, the K-Wing would be an Ordnance juggernaut.

 

If I had a fix for the A-Wing and HWK, I think giving them an extra starting Modification slot would help a bit.  Taking an extra Hull Upgrade, a Shield Upgrade, or other Modification would help a lot with durability.

 

If one were to allow T-70s/E-Wings/K-Wings, then one would need to upgrade the enemy.  Some starting TIEs would be at least TIE/fos.  Upgrade the occasional TIE Bomber to a TIE Punisher with more ordnance.  Add some TIE Adv. Prototypes here and there.  But I think adding all of this would distort HotAC beyond what it was meant to handle.

 

This all being said, I look forward to trying an A-Wing in our next HotAC campaign.  It will give me some great practice flying a fast, nimble ship.  I will miss my Y-Wing. :)

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My analysis after having played the whole of HotAC and two seasons of Battlestar Gozanti is the following:

The Y-Wing remains a viable ship throughout the whole game.

The B-Wing, ditto.

The X-Wing starts to hit a ceiling at around PS6.

The A-Wing is never viable, only maybe (!) beyond PS7 for some really weird combos, but that's more of a challenge or achievement.

The HWK290 is simply too weak.

T70, E-Wing, K-Wing are too strong, even if you have to pay 5XP to switch.

 

So, what gives?

I found that taxing the T70 as an upgrade to the T65 for a total price of 25XP really works well. It throws you (and the group, if you pool XP) back considerably and makes the upgrade a real choice. The E-Wing would likely work the same way, but I didn't try that yet. I expect that the K-Wing could work as an upgrade on either the Y-Wing or the B-Wing, but consensus here seems to be that it is more akin to the Y-Wing. So all you had to do was to compare what you gain, what you lose, and tax it. Then you have to think hard about getting a K-Wing because not only does your group lose much XP in the upgrade, you also need a LOT of ordinance to make it useful. On the other hand, with Extra Munitions, this thing will never run out of ammo.

 

There is also this thread there:

https://community.fantasyflightgames.com/topic/230927-40-years-of-speed-a-fan-made-expansion-for-a-wings/

I think if you include them titles, the A-Wing definitely becomes a viable choice. The only thing that really needs fixing then is the HWK.

Edited by Stefan

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While I am not a fan of the E-wing or K-wing, I get why people would want to fly them. Limiting the slots seems like the best way to balance them. Perhaps a mission series could be wtitten that allows for one player to unlock and fly one of these. Provides no rebel victory point, but failure can earn a imperial victory.

As someone that has flown an x-wing for the whole campaign, they can be quite viable, but my build is decent. While I would love to fly the t-70, thematically, it doesn't fit.

I feel that A-wings should be a starting ship, especially with the Rebels canon shift. A trainer a-wing that loses boost and gains a crew would be awesome.

As for the HWK-290, I think the best way to balance it, and make it viable, is to allow more illicit upgrades. As more of them show up, the ship gets some fun versatility. Allow, in place of a modification, an illicit.

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One thing that someone suggested somewhere along the lines was that if you wanted to switch to a T-70 or K-wing, do so at PS 6 or so instead of PS 4.  It means you have to wait later in the game.  

 

Also, another suggestion was to force someone to lose all the modifications and upgrades they have bought before this. You lose all the upgrade slots from lower PS, as well.  No, you don't get any points back for selling your older stuff.  So, if you go from X-wing to E-wing, you lose the starting modification and the PS 4 modification.  You only get a modification at PS 6 and then at PS 8.  That's it.  

 

The idea is that ships like the E-wing are just even crazier powerful when you add in all the various EPTs, Modifications, and other upgrades.  So, if the only thing you keep are your EPTs, it's not as powerful.  If the X-wing and Y-wing get 2 modifications more than the other ships, it might not be as bad.  It might be a better playing field that way.  

 

Also, if the K-wing has to then buy back all the Torpedoes, Turrets, Bombs, and Missiles that it lost, it would take a while.  It would lose Extra Munitions, which makes it more reasonable.  

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While I am not a fan of the E-wing or K-wing, I get why people would want to fly them. Limiting the slots seems like the best way to balance them. Perhaps a mission series could be wtitten that allows for one player to unlock and fly one of these. Provides no rebel victory point, but failure can earn a imperial victory.

As someone that has flown an x-wing for the whole campaign, they can be quite viable, but my build is decent. While I would love to fly the t-70, thematically, it doesn't fit.

I feel that A-wings should be a starting ship, especially with the Rebels canon shift. A trainer a-wing that loses boost and gains a crew would be awesome.

As for the HWK-290, I think the best way to balance it, and make it viable, is to allow more illicit upgrades. As more of them show up, the ship gets some fun versatility. Allow, in place of a modification, an illicit.

 

i Love my a wing (the build i have works nicely too) and would Adore flying an E wing (both A + E Wings are my 2 favorite ships)

 

Thematically though i will stick with my A wing as and A + B team up (that we have at the moment) works nicely (i fly just ahead of my B wing friend and soak up the fire with up to 7 green dice :) )

 

i do like K Wings but again the amount of ordnance they can carry (with Extra munitions as a mod slot, Nera Dantels ability and FCS) feels broken to me and doesn't fit the underdog fighting the imperial machine feel.

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The K-Wing is definitely too powerful, for all the reasons listed above by other posters. I think the ARC-170 is the only new ship that is appropriate for inclusion in HotAC.

 

Regarding how to make the K-Wing/E-Wing fit... artificially boosting PS for calculating Imperial ships doesn't work for me as if the Rebels are already maxed PS then there is no detriment.  Artificially boosting number of Rebel ships for calculating Imperial ships doesn't work either as if there are already 6 Rebel players then there is no detriment. Removing a Modification slot and Elite slot is the better idea I think. The lost Mod is effectively -1 Hull/Shield so helps to compensate for them being naturally stronger ships. The lost Elite slot is a real killer as it reduces the super combos and utility you get by having 4 Elite skills. I'd be interested to hear from anyone who has playtested the ships at -1 Mod and -1 Elite.

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