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On 6/2/2019 at 12:02 PM, FrogTrigger said:

Honestly I never ever thought I would play Legion, then some friends got into it and now here I am. I can't even remember how much fun IA is because I have to much fun playing Legion.

It's funny, because I'm not in to dissimilar a boat from @FrogTrigger. I recently found some Armada ships/squadrons on Craigslist and was nice enough to throw in a Legion core for $25 (which basically makes it free when you consider the already steep discount I got the Armada stuff for). I've been playing around with it and been enjoying it. I never really enjoyed skirmish for IA, a lot of that comes from the analysis paralysis from all the command cards and Legion does quite a bit to simplify squad building.

That being said, I love love love IA campaign mode. It's still my favorite game of all time and I would never pass up an opportunity to play. I don't know if that will change after I play enough games without any new material, but I don't see it happening any time soon. Esp. as my children grow up and can play with me.

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8 hours ago, thestag said:

It's funny, because I'm not in to dissimilar a boat from @FrogTrigger. I recently found some Armada ships/squadrons on Craigslist and was nice enough to throw in a Legion core for $25 (which basically makes it free when you consider the already steep discount I got the Armada stuff for). I've been playing around with it and been enjoying it. I never really enjoyed skirmish for IA, a lot of that comes from the analysis paralysis from all the command cards and Legion does quite a bit to simplify squad building.

That being said, I love love love IA campaign mode. It's still my favorite game of all time and I would never pass up an opportunity to play. I don't know if that will change after I play enough games without any new material, but I don't see it happening any time soon. Esp. as my children grow up and can play with me.

Yea I never got the appeal of IA Skirmish from the command cards. I prefer Legion for that. IA Campaign is great to play (Co-op or 4v1)

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Posted (edited)
On 6/4/2019 at 4:27 AM, TallGiraffe said:

Yea I never got the appeal of IA Skirmish from the command cards. I prefer Legion for that. IA Campaign is great to play (Co-op or 4v1)

Basically I think the devs finally owned up to the fact that IA Skirmish was always a secondary, poorly-planned, badly-balanced offering, and now they're pretty much dropping it entirely.

Imperial Assault is a dungeon-crawl-type game, neither more or less.

 

The unfortunate side-effect of this is that the desire for a head-to-head objective/character-based story-telling game must now go unfulfilled. Legion is combat. IA is co-op. There's really nothing in between.

😢

Edited by ClassicalMoser

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17 hours ago, ClassicalMoser said:

Basically I think the devs finally owned up to the fact that IA Skirmish was always a secondary, poorly-planned, badly-balanced offering, and now they're pretty much dropping it entirely.

Imperial Assault is a dungeon-crawl-type game, neither more or less.

 

The unfortunate side-effect of this is that the desire for a head-to-head objective/character-based story-telling game must now go unfulfilled. Legion is combat. IA is co-op. There's really nothing in between.

😢

I feel I've got to defend skirmish a bit here.  Yes it started as an afterthought, and yes Spectre was a mis-step (which happened to come at the worst time, just as they stopped releasing content), but by and large they've actually done a pretty great job making the game fun, interesting and competitive.  The pre-Spectre meta was absolutely fantastic, and if they'd kept it up with regular additions of things like Thrawn, Hondo and Loth-Cats I don't see any reason why it couldn't have continued to be great.

 

The problem with skirmish, IMO, has always been a problem with their marketing/sales/OP departments, not with the game design.  The game itself has been fantastic, it's just never received the regular updates and support that a competitive game needs to grow.

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1 hour ago, ManateeX said:

I feel I've got to defend skirmish a bit here.  Yes it started as an afterthought, and yes Spectre was a mis-step (which happened to come at the worst time, just as they stopped releasing content), but by and large they've actually done a pretty great job making the game fun, interesting and competitive.  The pre-Spectre meta was absolutely fantastic, and if they'd kept it up with regular additions of things like Thrawn, Hondo and Loth-Cats I don't see any reason why it couldn't have continued to be great.

 

The problem with skirmish, IMO, has always been a problem with their marketing/sales/OP departments, not with the game design.  The game itself has been fantastic, it's just never received the regular updates and support that a competitive game needs to grow.

Even so though, there's stuff that's never been good (Twin Shadows or Return to Hoth, anyone? Or AT-ST, Repulsor Tank, Fenn, Garkhaan, Loku, etc. The list goes on and on.), and the whole sales model of $10 per figure (in a pretty poor plastic) is a little gross.

I actually really, really want to love skirmish; it's card-driven, fast-paced, objective-based, character-heavy gameplay, sort of like capture the flag in board game form. It sounds like such a great idea in theory, but the meta of the game was always too strong, whether it was 4x4, Ugnaught spam, or Scum Hunters. Gideon and Threepio were always autoinclude for both Rebels and Scum because their value was absurdly good for their cost. We kept hoping for fixes and overhauls that never really came. Iconic figures like Dengar, Boba, etc. were never good, and some that were good at first were quickly eclipsed (like the Grand Inquisitor or Maul).

Unlike Armada or X-Wing 2nd edition, there was never a meta where everything (or nearly everything) was viable in some sense. At the best point in the game, maybe 30-40% of legal deployments saw more than very limited use.

I'm holding onto my painted models hoping for a one-day-someday overhaul and 2nd edition to really, actually fix the problems that were there from Wave I, but I'm pretty sure it's a pipe dream and Legion is intended to fully replace IA Skirmish. It's a shame because it really doesn't scratch the same itch. I'm telling myself I'll get into Legion when they come out with the hard plastic models they're talking about (FFG's plastics department is getting better but this would be a BIG step forward IMO). This may or may not actually pan out.

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18 minutes ago, ClassicalMoser said:

Even so though, there's stuff that's never been good (Twin Shadows or Return to Hoth, anyone? Or AT-ST, Repulsor Tank, Fenn, Garkhaan, Loku, etc. The list goes on and on.), and the whole sales model of $10 per figure (in a pretty poor plastic) is a little gross.

I actually really, really want to love skirmish; it's card-driven, fast-paced, objective-based, character-heavy gameplay, sort of like capture the flag in board game form. It sounds like such a great idea in theory, but the meta of the game was always too strong, whether it was 4x4, Ugnaught spam, or Scum Hunters. Gideon and Threepio were always autoinclude for both Rebels and Scum because their value was absurdly good for their cost. We kept hoping for fixes and overhauls that never really came. Iconic figures like Dengar, Boba, etc. were never good, and some that were good at first were quickly eclipsed (like the Grand Inquisitor or Maul).

Unlike Armada or X-Wing 2nd edition, there was never a meta where everything (or nearly everything) was viable in some sense. At the best point in the game, maybe 30-40% of legal deployments saw more than very limited use.

I'm holding onto my painted models hoping for a one-day-someday overhaul and 2nd edition to really, actually fix the problems that were there from Wave I, but I'm pretty sure it's a pipe dream and Legion is intended to fully replace IA Skirmish. It's a shame because it really doesn't scratch the same itch. I'm telling myself I'll get into Legion when they come out with the hard plastic models they're talking about (FFG's plastics department is getting better but this would be a BIG step forward IMO). This may or may not actually pan out.

I guess it depends on what you mean by balanced.  If it's "I can use every unit in a competitive list" then, no, IA had too many old units that were no good and that wasn't going to happen.  But if by balanced you mean "I can choose from a variety of lists in each faction, several different faction archetypes and there is room to get creative within those archetypes" then IA was absolutely there.

 

I think it's pretty commonly accepted that Jabba's realm set a new power level for the game (which is around the time a new team took over), and since that release they did a frankly pretty amazing job with their new products.  From Jabba's realm onwards, how many units are there that can't still be found in a competitive list today?  The Rancor I guess, along with Gammorreans and maybe Shyla?  Maul is pretty much the only non-competitive figure from heart of the empire (mostly because his traits just doesn't work with well with his faction), and I haven't seen much of either CT or Shyla from Lothal (although the fact that they dropped along with Spectres didn't help their case).  Otherwise, though, everything either sees regular play or can find a niche.  That's a pretty fantastic track record given the resources FFG gave them to work with, and until Spectre Cell and the slowing (and eventually complete stopping) of further content I had very few complaints about the state of the game.

I don't think we're actually too far apart, however, in general.  I would love to have seen an X-Wing app where they could balance costs on the fly, which could have brought a number of the old deployments back to a competitive place without needing to resort to new editions, big erratas, etc.  It's really a shame that they didn't put more work into something like this (or into the marketing/production of the skirmish game itself), because as a game system I've never played anything that I've enjoyed so much.

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Posted (edited)
23 minutes ago, ManateeX said:

I guess it depends on what you mean by balanced.  If it's "I can use every unit in a competitive list" then, no, IA had too many old units that were no good and that wasn't going to happen.  But if by balanced you mean "I can choose from a variety of lists in each faction, several different faction archetypes and there is room to get creative within those archetypes" then IA was absolutely there.

I guess I'm pretty hardcore. I really prefer the 1st definition; it seems dumb that you can spend $100 on the core box and another $60 on the figure packs to go with it... but you still won't have a single viable deployment until you get HotE (except for Gideon who's in every single rebel list except spectre cell). It's a crying shame because I prefer to build my lists around thematic concepts. It's kind of a party-killer when you show your friends the cool Royal Guards and AT-ST models but... yeah, they're definitely not worth playing. Neither are Stormtroopers, or Rebel Sabs, or Probe Droids, or E-Webs, or my awesomely-painted Trandoshans, or... anything from the core box except Vader, Han, and Chewie, and they need a cumbersome attachment card that negates half the text on their deployment card...

It's really a pretty broken game. I have Jabba's realm and HotE too, but come on. I'd love to make a good list with Palp, Vader and Royal Guards, or do a thematic Endor list of AT-STs, E-Webs, and rStormtrooper spam. Or a "Rural Tattoine" list of Tuskens, Jawas, and a Bantha Rider? Or even "Ezra's Friends": Hondo with Weequays plus Maul and Ezra? If this were X-Wing or Armada, I'd be able to figure out a similarly thematic build that I could still take to a tournament and do 4-2 with or better if I got lucky. But in Imperial Assault, you'd be lucky to go 1-5 with any of these lists, or for that matter, anything that isn't some variation of the top 2-3 meta lists right now.

 

Edited by ClassicalMoser

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3 hours ago, ClassicalMoser said:

I guess I'm pretty hardcore. I really prefer the 1st definition; it seems dumb that you can spend $100 on the core box and another $60 on the figure packs to go with it... but you still won't have a single viable deployment until you get HotE (except for Gideon who's in every single rebel list except spectre cell). It's a crying shame because I prefer to build my lists around thematic concepts. It's kind of a party-killer when you show your friends the cool Royal Guards and AT-ST models but... yeah, they're definitely not worth playing. Neither are Stormtroopers, or Rebel Sabs, or Probe Droids, or E-Webs, or my awesomely-painted Trandoshans, or... anything from the core box except Vader, Han, and Chewie, and they need a cumbersome attachment card that negates half the text on their deployment card...

It's really a pretty broken game. I have Jabba's realm and HotE too, but come on. I'd love to make a good list with Palp, Vader and Royal Guards, or do a thematic Endor list of AT-STs, E-Webs, and rStormtrooper spam. Or a "Rural Tattoine" list of Tuskens, Jawas, and a Bantha Rider? Or even "Ezra's Friends": Hondo with Weequays plus Maul and Ezra? If this were X-Wing or Armada, I'd be able to figure out a similarly thematic build that I could still take to a tournament and do 4-2 with or better if I got lucky. But in Imperial Assault, you'd be lucky to go 1-5 with any of these lists, or for that matter, anything that isn't some variation of the top 2-3 meta lists right now.

 

I guess that happens when your mental concept of 'gaming' and 'playing a game' calcifies into 'having a chance to win at highly competetive "gaming" events'. IA is a "really pretty broken game" only from a pretty narrow point of view. Are you still able to play game with friends, or does everything revolve around competition and META? I'm honestly curious, because the way you worded your post makes me worry you are no longer able to do the former.

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Posted (edited)
4 hours ago, Fourtytwo said:

 

I guess that happens when your mental concept of 'gaming' and 'playing a game' calcifies into 'having a chance to win at highly competetive "gaming" events'. IA is a "really pretty broken game" only from a pretty narrow point of view. Are you still able to play game with friends, or does everything revolve around competition and META? I'm honestly curious, because the way you worded your post makes me worry you are no longer able to do the former.

Personally, I've never played in a tournament or OP scene whatsoever, and that goes for all games. I've never been part of any OP environment in my life. I have only begun visiting my FLGS very recently (past 3-4 weeks). All my games are with friends and family. I don't play to win tournaments, but we do try to win our games, and we (or at least I) become deeply invested in "learning the game" I am a student of game design and a beginning/aspiring game designer myself, and there are elements here that just say "bad game" (I refer only to skirmish here, not to campaign).

• The first is the business model; the figure packs are mainly for organized players (I can't relate) and completionists/collectors (I definitely can). It's very disappointing to get the core set, and then to realize that you need to shell out another $30-50 to get Han, Chewy, IG, and maybe Weiss (and probably want to get more). It's a very poor ROI and just feels bad to spend so much for so little. Each wave costs more in figure packs than in the big box.

• The second is the obvious balance issues; if you're just playing with the core, using the "cool" things (Vader, Han, Chewy, AT-ST) is shooting yourself in the foot. Even with just the core set, it's obviously apparent that the deployments are nowhere near balanced, even for a casual game. Intentionally setting up opposing squads to accommodate this can work, but requires a pretty good knowlege of each one's power level which was the whole reason for points in the first place!

The third is power creep; every wave that came out introduced something that raised the bar just a little, leaving certain deployments in the dust. The play testing of this game is not rigorous and never has been (Vader never would have cost 18, nor the AT-ST 14 if it were). The only way to make sure a game was not DOA was to introduce something new that bent the game. If you get Heart of the Empire so you can play with your favorite toys from the core box, suddenly you can't play with almost any of your other toys from the core box. I'm not saying this because it's true at the OP level; I'm saying it because it's readily apparent when you go to build even a casual squad. Why use an E-Web when Sentry droids are strictly better? Why use the AT-ST when you have an AT-DP? It just makes no sense.

• The fourth is the learning curve; by the time you understand the strategy, you already understand the problems with the game. I still don't really know how to build a combat card deck or use it effectively, but it is obvious that piling up a bunch of hunter cards to take a major figure out in one fell swoop or double/triple-tapping with Luke Skywalker would work out enormously to my advantage. The costing of the combat cards is kind of weird as some of the best are free (Take Initiative, Negation) while some of the ones that cost 3 are nearly useless. It's very difficult for me to get new people to play with me as I have to explain how the basic combat and movement mechanics work, and that the cards are essentially in-turn bonuses you can get (I've done this with my wife and brother a few times). But then either I haven't set the squads up well so one side just steamrolls, or else something weird happens in the combat cards that leads to a major NPE, or whatever else happens. It can take a long time to convince someone to play again.

Again, I really, really want to love Skirmish; it's so many things I've wanted games I've played to be. But there are too many issues with the game for me to get much enjoyment out of it.

Edited by ClassicalMoser

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Posted (edited)
On 6/11/2019 at 12:22 PM, ClassicalMoser said:

 Unlike Armada or X-Wing 2nd edition, there was never a meta where everything (or nearly everything) was viable in some sense. At the best point in the game, maybe 30-40% of legal deployments saw more than very limited use.

I can't speak to Armada, but as somebody who has been watching the X-Wing 2.0 meta very closely since it started, the assertion that "nearly everything" is viable in the competitive meta is false. As has happened in 1.0, each X-Wing Tournament format is dominated by 2-4 list archtypes. Then FFG switches around some costings and/or introduce new ships and players find the next 2-4 archtypes that dominate competitive play. What FFG has done a better job of in 2.0 is ensuring ship & ability designs don't apply too much control over opponents' ships, so that each player is allowed to fly their ships and rely on their skills more. 

Currently Rebel Beef is the Spectre Cell of X-Wing: too efficient in abilities, survivability and cost. Quad Phantoms are like the IG-88 Hunter lists that dominated IA before the Heart of the Empire meta: they have insane positioning and can focus-fire an opponent's ship right off the board in one turn. 

I don't disagree that Skirmish was the "bonus game" and, because of it being secondary, FFG did not make it affordable to play Skirmish as a competitive game like X-Wing or Destiny or Legion. That's one of many reasons why Skirmish never caught on as big as those games.

However for those of us who play Skirmish regularly, we feel the game is something really fun to play and different than all the other properties. (I own, play and enjoy Legion; it is a fundamentally different experience than IA Skirmish.) And those of us still playing Skirmish are also picking up the job of improving the faults of Skirmish, like fixing older deployments to be more viable, balancing existing deployments and creating new deployments & Command cards. (Improving the Core Set is something I'm personally heavily interested in, and I hope IACP will allow that to be the focus of Season 2.) So that folks who have invested heavily into IA can enjoy Skirmish more and more.

Edited by cnemmick

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2 minutes ago, cnemmick said:

Currently Rebel Beef is the Spectre Cell of X-Wing: too efficient in abilities, survivability and cost. Quad Phantoms are like the IG-88 Hunter lists that dominated IA before the Heart of the Empire meta: they have insane positioning and can focus-fire an opponent's ship right off the board in one turn.

The comparisons are quite a stretch. I guess I am mostly a casual player, but Rebel Beef is mainly dominant because it is a very forgiving list to play and because Leia is absurdly underpriced right now (and works well with the archetype).

Any game will have competitive min/maxing, but all of the following are common in the competitive scene:

• "Rebel Beef" (with variants UBBX, UBXX, UBAX, UBXY, etc.)

• Quad Phantoms

• Guri/fenn

• Imperial Aces (Duchess, Soontir, Vader)

• Inferno Swarms

• Vulture Swarms

• Maul/Dooku

• 2 Jedi/2 Torrents

• Handbrake Han with Jake or someone else

And someone just won a SOS in Germany with a DECIMATOR!

A few examples aside (the Outrider and Ghost, the Jumpmaster and Kimogila, maybe the Starfortress) you can find a working list with almost any ship you want and be at least moderately successful. Maybe it's not 100% but it's sure close to 80 or so. When's the last time Imperial Assault could say that, or that this many list archetypes were found in a typical tournament scene?

A lot of what's missing in X-Wing is desire to experiment because this meta's hung around for a while and people are getting fidgety for new points.

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Not to get too far afield in discussing the X-Wing meta, but 1) Handbreak Han won a UK event because all top players made an agreement to not run Rebel Beef (and Quad Phantom, I think?) & 2) I seriously disagree that 80% of ships are comparatively viable, else you would see much more variety from the Rebels, Scum, Resistance & First Order factions -- Rebel Beef and Quad Phantoms have dominated since the last points change, giving players plenty of time to build counters.

I think it's fair to say X-Wing 2.0's meta is so much better than 1.0 and you are correct in that the IA Skirmish meta has never been as diverse. But we agree that it never really had a chance to be, given FFG's lack of focus on Skirmish early and then sharp changes to make Skirmish better late. That's significantly different from the resources afforded to X-Wing's reboot.

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4 hours ago, aermet69 said:

W00t. We actually got an updated FAQ... wow.

That is exciting. But sad at the same time because there is no news or even a statement to accompany it...

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I never played X Wing or Legion or Armada.  In theory, they look fun but they are too far from the type of casual games I've been into for the last 20 years.  All the typical board game geek fare/Euro games or whatever you want to call them, with lots of card games thrown in there.  I can bring those kinds of games to the table with just about any of my friends.  So, when a friend introduced me to IA, I thought it was so fun but thought I'd never get it.  Finally got it a year or so later, used, and thought I'd never play anything but campaign.  Love campaign.  Quite like the app now too.  But a couple summers ago a friend and I tried skirmish and we really enjoyed it.  We introduced it to the other expats that live around here and they liked it enough to have a couple local mini tournaments (with LOTS of proxies :) ).  Anyway, came for the campaign, stayed for the skirmish.  Love me some skirmish, (and still love campaign). 

Not sure what my main point is, but I wanted to join in and defend IA Skirmish.  Great game.  And IA itself is (IMO) way more accessible to non-hard core war gamers (is that a term?) than Legion.  I can see Warhammer fans or whatever easily getting into Legion but your average Puerto Rico/Pandemic/Power Grid/Euchre/Bohnanza player (like me) probably isn't going to go for it.  So that's something in favor of IA Skirmish.  Accessibility.  Not to mention value for money!  (You know, the old campaign, app, 2 player skirmish and 4 player skirmish argument-- another win in IAs favor.)

Not sure if that all makes sense but I wanted to defend IA and specifically IA skirmish.  Great game. 

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6 hours ago, Mandelore of the Rings said:

I never played X Wing or Legion or Armada.  In theory, they look fun but they are too far from the type of casual games I've been into for the last 20 years.  All the typical board game geek fare/Euro games or whatever you want to call them, with lots of card games thrown in there.  I can bring those kinds of games to the table with just about any of my friends.  So, when a friend introduced me to IA, I thought it was so fun but thought I'd never get it.  Finally got it a year or so later, used, and thought I'd never play anything but campaign.  Love campaign.  Quite like the app now too.  But a couple summers ago a friend and I tried skirmish and we really enjoyed it.  We introduced it to the other expats that live around here and they liked it enough to have a couple local mini tournaments (with LOTS of proxies :) ).  Anyway, came for the campaign, stayed for the skirmish.  Love me some skirmish, (and still love campaign). 

That's pretty much my exact story.  I still enjoy the campaign, no doubt, but I tried a local skirmish tourney on a whim and LOVED it.  It's just the right amount of skill/thoughtfulness/randomness for me, not to mention the fact that the list-building gives me something to think about at lunch times :P 

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I suppose anything is better than nothing. I am really holding out for a HotE app campaign soon. 

I also think that they could develop FULL app campaigns out of the mini campaigns (Twin Shadows, Bespin, ToL). I’m a little surprised that more effort hasn’t been put into that yet. If TS and Bespin were given app campaigns, I would be willing to bet all of the players that have yet to buy either of those two campaigns would pick them up to play them. 

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It's happening AGAIN!!  We are getting something "new" every week!  First the new FAQ which nerfed SC, last week, and now a new app mode (raid mode) and a new map made from TWO different small expansion boxes! 

I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say we'll be getting a new wave of blister packs next week, (including 4-LOM and Zuckass, among others) and a new big box expansion the following week (based on Endor, with Ewoks of course).

(kidding, obviously, but nice to get something at least, and I'm happy with both the SC nerf and the raid mode)

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