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Heroes of the Aturi Cluster - What's Wrong?

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I'm a very competitive person, and have no problem playing a full day of 100/6 tournament games. However, many of my friends (and community at large) are huge fans of co-op games. As such, I printed HotAC and have been having a great time with it. While professional, it has a few flaws that I've picked up on so far:

 

1: The A-wing. 2 Attack dice and a lack of secondary weapon options means you'll never keep up with you're teammates EXP winnings. Sure it's fast, but it needs a damage boost, or some other way to remain competitive. The HWK and X-wing suffer from similar drawbacks near the end of the campaign.

 

2: While the Imperial aces are super powerful (my pet-hate is the HLC Defender - at PS 6 he is a wrecking ball, and PS 8 is just ridiculous), they lack a lot of theme. I'd much rather face Soontir Fel or Rexler Brath himself than an ability with their namesake.

 

3: The Rebel ships are super limited. I understand that this is due to late-campaign balance issues, but it's very disappointing when the best turret ship available is a Y-wing. I'd appreciate taking a K-wing or 2 Z-95s as an option. I could live without the E-wing, admittedly.

 

While HotAC is a great game, this trio of problems is what, in my view, stops it from being as fantastic as the X-wing platform itself. I'm planning on fixing these problems, and I've got a few ideas. However, I'm still new to the campaign, so if anyone has found some fixes to these problems, or encountered any other problems with the campaign, I'd like to hear it.

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For HOTAC you really need to get into an RPG mindset with the imperial ace pilots, you get out what you put in in terms of fluff.

For ships though: my friends and I house ruled an inch of extra ships for us to use based on the available data. Starting can also be a z-95, by you get extra xp and an illicit slot, upgrading ships so you can go into a khiraxz (actually really good with the levelling system) or k wing or anything.

Then we also had a semi permadrath system where we printed out a certain amount of ship cards and if you lost your ship it was dead and gone, upgrades were stuck on the ships in your garage, you could integrate the astromech but then it was stuck in that ship etc...

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I don't have drop box account so I couldn't get it yet.  :(

 

Still I would like to see an AI system for Scum and Rebels. Although you might have to make adjustments as Rebels will act differently against Scum then they do for Empire.

Edited by Marinealver

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One thing the designer suggested about your first point is to have collective group XP that gets evenly split among everyone. This also cuts down on people angling to get the killshot away from the person who did most of the work.

lol beware the dark side of the force. And a HotAC falls to the Dark Side thus starting the Imperial Campaign.

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The point of the limited ships is that it was intended as an OT only romp. No K Wings, E Wings or whatever. We allowed an E Wing in our first play through and it just got ridiculously powerful.

And remember, you're playing the game from the point of view of the Rebel pilots. They don't know who is in the ships flying against them, although I can see how including a 'nemesis' ship for the Imperials could add some flavour.

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I like the idea of sharing Experience points between players. That would help out the A-wing in that regard. However, it doesn't solve the problem of an A-wing being inherently less useful than other ships during the missions. I think if they had a second missile slot it would go a long way towards helping them.

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Awings may not be lethal to Imperials but it's great for breaking up formations and getting objectives. Remember the point isn't always destroying all the enemy fighters.

 

This

 

I ran an A wing that at higher levels was chucking 7 defence dice in some circumstances (stealth, Gemmer Sojan, through a roid at range 3), backed up with Autothrusters and an almost permanent focus! i also had Ten numb and Etahn's abilities so  uncancellable crit each turn plus whatever the other dice rolled!

 

Was great fun and i actually was forced to Eject in one mission but the crit pulled on the space cow, plus it being stressed and bumping meant he couldnt stop his Consile fire and ended up damaged for 4 turns (and dying) after my A wing was dead!

 

A wings are great for objective grabbing, scanning, protecting stuff (actions) and destroying emplacements with Prockets and extra munitions

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One thing the designer suggested about your first point is to have collective group XP that gets evenly split among everyone. This also cuts down on people angling to get the killshot away from the person who did most of the work.

This. ^

 

It will improve the game a lot.

This is what we do. It's helps to diversify the team so you can have support ships like the hawk handing out tokens and then use the A wing to draw away fighters from your objective. It makes it more tactical and fun that way.

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We have Z-95's in our group (I fly one of them) and we have been campaging the GM to allow us (ok me) to upgrade or downgrade depending on how you look at it to a ARC-170. We all agree the campaign is a lot of fun, yes you need to work as a group or squadron in this case but that what makes it fun. Hoping they (FFG) will release a revised HOTAC/

Edited by Ghostrider58

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I don't have drop box account so I couldn't get it yet.  :(

 

Still I would like to see an AI system for Scum and Rebels. Although you might have to make adjustments as Rebels will act differently against Scum then they do for Empire.

Try again, friend.  When you click 'Download' it does ask you to sign in with your Drop Box account or to create one, but there is a small button at the bottom that says 'No, thanks.  Continue to download'.  Click said button.

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I like the idea of sharing Experience points between players. That would help out the A-wing in that regard. However, it doesn't solve the problem of an A-wing being inherently less useful than other ships during the missions. I think if they had a second missile slot it would go a long way towards helping them.

Extra Munitions counts as a Modification upgrade, so A-Wings can have 2 shots with their missile.

With their extra EPT, though, I think there's plenty of ways to give them more damage potential. Most of the other ships will be looking for action economy (Sabine + PtL is a common choice) but an A-Wing isn't tied to that.

Also, many of the missions have elements that a fast ship can be very useful to take care of, which don't always depend on attack dice.

Lastly the A-Wing will never get hit by the Decimator when you put Autothrusters on it, so you'll feel invincible in that mission.

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I've run several campaigns and the problem with using ships not specified, IMO, is in the later scenarios. The ships become way too strong vs the Imperials.

The scenarios are meant to be winnable but not an automatic victory. They're winnable through co-operative play not brute force. Yes the newer ships look cooler but the game wasn't balanced for E-Wings or ARCs. It becomes a Turkey Shoot, while fun, isn't as satisfying as a hard fought victory.

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You don't need a Dropbox account to download things. Just close that popup.

 

A-Wing is Hard Mode. All of the things it is used for in the regular game don't really do much in HotAC because nobody is sacrificial, and it came out in the game before the advent of the System and Tech slots so it doesn't really fulfill any alternate support roles. You just have to really want to be an A-Wing for the fun of it. Personally, my opinion is that the A-Wing shouldn't be flown until PS7, but that's just me. As a starting ship, it is way under-powered. Before you can stack EPTs on it, it is way underpowered.  After you stack EPTs on it, it is way underpowered, lol.. The A-Wing will always be inferior to other ships in the game. It's not really "great" at anything, other than not getting hit, and I say this as a routine A-Wing pilot. There are a handful of alternate roles it can do (breaking up formations and grabbing some objectives), but it's really only "great" if for some reason you needed to do a 5 straight and boost, lol. Otherwise, you could probably have been an X-Wing and done the same thing. Success in HotAC is about planning more than anything else. With the A-Wing, you're just planning how you can do all sorts of wacky things to stay out of arc, and maybe Outmaneuver so that your attacks are almost as good as an X-Wing's, lol.

 

 

Don't agree with the assessment of the X-Wing. All of the limitations the X-Wing has in the regular game disappear in HotAC once you start stacking EPTs and Modifications. The X-Wing, piloted and upgraded properly, is the best ship in HotAC. It just has a more pronounced difficulty curve than the Easy Mode Y-Wing (take TLT, don't die) and the Point and Shoot B-Wing.

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The scenarios are meant to be winnable but not an automatic victory. They're winnable through co-operative play not brute force. Yes the newer ships look cooler but the game wasn't balanced for E-Wings or ARCs. It becomes a Turkey Shoot, while fun, isn't as satisfying as a hard fought victory.

 

 

I agree with this. However, I believe that introducing new ships in the later missions (Decimator, TIE Punisher loaded up, etc) will balance it again. In the standard HotAC campaign, an E-wing is ridiculous, no doubt about it. I believe that an ARC is almost balanced, though.

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The scenarios are meant to be winnable but not an automatic victory. They're winnable through co-operative play not brute force. Yes the newer ships look cooler but the game wasn't balanced for E-Wings or ARCs. It becomes a Turkey Shoot, while fun, isn't as satisfying as a hard fought victory.

 

 

I agree with this. However, I believe that introducing new ships in the later missions (Decimator, TIE Punisher loaded up, etc) will balance it again. In the standard HotAC campaign, an E-wing is ridiculous, no doubt about it. I believe that an ARC is almost balanced, though.

In the last campaign we allowed Arcs, Ks and E-Wings. One guy ran an ARC at PS 8 I believe. It was pretty ridiculous. The Ties stood no chance what so ever and the Imperial "specials" were just mauled. I think that the 3 guys running the E and 2 ARCs could've taken the last couple of missions by themselves.

I have to say that the guy running the E was our resident Super Ace. He had 40+ kills! No, he wasn't hogging the field. Just supernatural dice throws. Most of the kills were done with the 'lowly' X-wing. I have never seen so many Ties one-shotted in my life. And no, his dice weren't loaded as we were using a dice pool. When he transitioned into the E he brought the luck with him.

The disparity in ship abilities is very pronounced at the higher skill levels. The Academy Ties become clay pigeons. Can't even call them canon fodder. You may be right about new Imps with different loadouts in the later missions balancing the game but I think that using newer Rebel ships swings the balance of power too far towards the Rebels. Since you can take multiples of the same upgrade like shields, you can be looking at a T-70 with 6 shields or a B with 8. Or a K with what, 7 or 8? If that's not enough you're also stacking EPTs. Imagine a pilot in a T-70 with Tycho and Hera's ability. While beefing up the Imps may help I think there's more that needs to be done to balance the action if newer Rebel ships are allowed.

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Yeah, loaded TIE Defenders. Another transitory error of the old EU was a lack of modernising TIEs and making new craft to fill the gaps from normal lines and interceptors to Advanced/Avengers and Defenders.

By that point, if you aren't houseruling enemy shields or putting targeting computers and tracers/concussion missiles on the enemy TIEs that normally don't have them, don't use new gen craft or just stop playing.

Edited by incinerator950

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For the aces, I believe a Decimator Elite would be substantial enough for an E-wing to face, potentially with expose, experimental interface, general hux and VI, in that order. I also think that the TIE advanced in particular is superbly useless as an ace - it just doesn't do damage. Therefore, I could see the end of a mid-campaign arc being "capture a prototype [E-wing], under guard by the Aturi Cluster's finest TIE advanced squadron" where winning gives the players access to the E-wing [PS-6 unlock], and takes all the TIE advanced pilots out of the elite pool. Then, a future mission could introduce Decimators as elite enemies, leading to decent escalation. Additionally:

 

1. TIE Advanced could be replaced by TIE striker.

2. TIE Bomber could be replaced by TIE punisher.

3. TIE/ln could be replaced by TIE/fo.

4. Lambda could be replaced by Decimator [late-campaign].

 

I think that these bonuses should occur in the next mission of an arc after the players acquire a new ship. That way, they get a chance to play with a new toy before being countered by a new threat. You're right that the E-wing, in particular, is incredibly strong. Imperial forces would recognise that too. Perhaps a rule stating that all non-ace imperial ships will select an E-wing as their primary target during the combat phase would balance out their strengths.

 

Since you can take multiples of the same upgrade like shields, you can be looking at a T-70 with 6 shields or a B with 8. Or a K with what, 7 or 8?

 

 

I'd be more afraid of an E-wing with six shields and R2-D2...

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About a year ago, I had a "nightmare mode" progrssion that would fit with newer upgrades and ships better.

 

PS4, replace all squadron of 3 Tie Fighters with 2 Tie FOs, with updated actions and Comm Relay

PS5, Replace Tie Bombers with Tie Punishers with Extra Munitions and Sensor Jammer.

PS6, All generic intercepters are elite

PS7, Shuttles are replaced with Decimaters

PS8, ALL Tie fighters are replaced with CommRelay FOs on a 1-1 basis

PS9, Double elite spawns.

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