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LordUrban

Is there any room for campaigns or narrative play?

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My buddies have been pushing me to get into this game for a while. My initial impressions though have left me with some reservations. I'm not into hyper competitive tournament play which seems to be the dominant playstyle in my area. Are there any resources for playing games within a campaign? How about missions with mechanics that focus on being creative rather than being perfectly balanced?

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The only campaigns so far are fan-made, with Heroes of the Aturi Cluster being the most famous.  Edit:  If you are just getting into X-Wing and especially want a more co-op experience, I HIGHLY recommend HotAC.  I have played three complete campaigns so far and am working (solo) on a fourth to test out a few house rules.  It is a greatly enjoyable experience and there are plenty of other players on these boards to offer suggestions and assistance.

 

There are definitely cinematic missions which focus more on objectives than on straight up dog fighting, which are usually included with the large base ships.

 

There is also epic play, which I have not yet played, but in my understanding is very differently balanced than the standard dog-fight format and generally more full of wacky hijinx as well.

Edited by streamdragon

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There's some narrative campaigns included in the epic ships... We're playing the Gozanti missions out and they seem pretty good. Ok, a friend and I played the first mission twice, both times being very close and both Rebels and Imperials came out with a win. Er... you may want to avoid the Corvette's missions, judging from the results Shuttle Tyderium has been providing.

 

Yes, there is definitely room for a good narrative campaign. HotAC is very good. Got two campaigns of that on the go right now too. One is nearly finished.

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My buddies have been pushing me to get into this game for a while. My initial impressions though have left me with some reservations. I'm not into hyper competitive tournament play which seems to be the dominant playstyle in my area. Are there any resources for playing games within a campaign? How about missions with mechanics that focus on being creative rather than being perfectly balanced?

While not included I. The game, I have played a lot of classic RPGs and I assure you this game can absolutely be played in that matter. Heroes of the Arturi cluster is a great spring board for your own missions. As for hyper competetive play, much as I love the forum, you need to take it with a grain of salt, as most here seem very concerned with the competetive scene, but casual play even in 100 point 6 rock dogfights is alive and well. That's how I typically play because it's quick and readily balanced but I don't frequently play or play against the meta.

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Greetings and welcome!

 

There are many ways to play this game without ever going near the 100/6 death match/tournament form. As others have mentioned there is a narrative co/op campaign in Heroes of the Aturi Cluster (HotAC) that is my personal favorite way to play. It can be run solo as well, so there is that option too. You should really check that out immediately.

 

There are also missions contained in the core sets and large base ship boxes; while the Epic ships contain small campaigns. In addition, check out the Mission Control on FFG's web site for many other excellent player-made missions.

 

Finally, you really really should listen to an episode or two of "The Shuttle Tyderium" podcast, it's totally casual play and has reinvigorated my love for this game. (Get ready, I have invoked Heychadwick and Babaganoosh...they WILL appear soon)

 

This game is a true joy in these non-tourney formats, I hope you decide to have fun too.

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There is plenty of room for that type of play.  It's just that it can't easily be broken down into "crunch" and is rarely highly portable to a larger community.  You and your group may do all the campaigns/narrative play you want but that generally doesn't translate easily to a larger group which is one of the things you find here on the forum.

 

 

One thing I'd say about campaigns and narrative play is that they my become very hard to "balance" and unless you have a mindset where you're ok knowing you should win/lose they can become frustrating to play.  In your various RPGs the GMs set up the challenges yet those challenges are rarely "balanced" in the sense that either side has an equal likelihood of winning.  If your odds are only 50:50 how many times do you suppose you can flip heads in a row to keep a narrative going if a negative outcome means "game over" for good?

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I'd recommend HotAC for you; at the moment it is hands-down the best way to play in the way that you describe.  

 

As far as PvP campaigns and narrative events are concerned, these are both projects that I'm actively working on.  The Shuttle Tydirium podcast is going to be hosting a narrative event at Gencon 2017.  We're working on that event right now.  The best way to experience that will be at Gencon itself, but we do plan to eventually release the rules packet and hold a web-based event some time after Gencon.  The Gencon event looks like it is shaping up to be a blast, and we're getting great prize support so far.

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The only campaigns so far are fan-made...

 

Not true.  The linked missions in all the Epic ships are called Campaigns.  They are linked missions where each outcome affects the overall game.  These are spotty.

 

Personally, I say there are a lot of things you can do with X-wing beyond the tournament games.  There are many people that are stuck in that mindset, but you just have to find a crew of people to play the way you want to.  I've dedicated all my X-wing to Casual gaming.  I've even started a podcast that is all about Casual gaming.  We get over 1000 downloads an episode, so I know there are people out there who feel the same way.  Check out the links in my signature to find out about it.  

 

Mario Kart X-wing is also something that has lately caught on.  

 

Heroes of the Aturi Cluster is AMAZING and well worth getting into the game.  

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My buddies have been pushing me to get into this game for a while. My initial impressions though have left me with some reservations. I'm not into hyper competitive tournament play which seems to be the dominant playstyle in my area. Are there any resources for playing games within a campaign? How about missions with mechanics that focus on being creative rather than being perfectly balanced?

 

I was going to say listen to http://shuttletydirium.podbean.com/, they give a great review of different missions and are burnt out on competitive play. There is a huge amount of people that dont care about tornys and just want to have fun. Your not alone with this thought.

Edited by Cubanboy

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I think we need to talk about the types of play for a moment; in particular ‘casual’.  Casual for me includes; missions, campaigns, cinematic, Mario Kart, narrative, Epic and so on.  To me the nick-name ‘casual’ is a misnomer if it means “without definite or serious intention; careless or offhand” or the more disparaging “a person who plays games that do not require much skill or time commitment”.  (The idea of the ‘casual player’ gets more confusing when used to refer to the non-pro tourney player.  I’m not talking about them.)  I’m coming from the perspective that the casual player is looking for fun that is not dependent on winning or even competing.

From my perspective the non-competition types of play are where you can get the full value from the diversity of ships in X-Wing.  There are ships that are falling out of favour in the 100 point death-match world that are great fun for scenarios!  I know that the rules seem to be optimized for the dogfight but I don’t see anything incompatible with the casual modes listed above.

I have great admiration for those who run campaigns; the amount of work required is anything but ‘casual’ and requires a lot of skill and commitment.  (HOTAC – Wow!)  The negative comments about Epic play seem to revolve around the extra time required for prep & setup and the time commitment to see a full game through.  Missions, cinematic or scenario play can be as simple or complex as you want.  Nothing ‘casual’ about any of that!  This is where the serious Star Wars fan can play & replay scenes from books & movies to their hearts content, limited only by their imagination and stock of ships & game aids.  Do you really have to know anything about the intricacies of the Star Wars universe to play a 100 point tourney list?  You certainly do if you are going to write a convincing Star Wars scenario.

There is a lot more about “The Clash” here; https://community.fantasyflightgames.com/topic/222864-competetive-vs-casual-why-the-clash/and I don’t want to rehash that.  I was amused when one tournament player said. “I play fun games from time to time”, when referring to non-competition play.  I have nothing against tournaments and there is value there.  But some support for the other forms would be appreciated.

There was a thread some time ago that suggested a separate sub-forum for “casual” players who don’t get a lot of love on this site - https://community.fantasyflightgames.com/topic/221707-should-epiccinematic-play-get-its-own-subforum/?hl=cinematic .

There are many threads spread throughout this site that would benefit from being in the same place.  Example: https://community.fantasyflightgames.com/topic/234968-skirmish-missions-and-campaign-generator-advice-needed

I have two points:
1. I would like to see a different label for the non-tournament modes of play other than ‘Casual’.
2. These forms of play are rich & diverse and would definitely benefit from a forum where people could share ideas and support without getting flamed by the tourney diehards.  Maybe it has to be some place other than the FFG site though.

In conclusion; there is no “one real” way to play X-Wing.  Just rich diversity if you choose to widen your thinking beyond winning a 100 point dogfight.

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I have to say that I like Casual.  I like it so much I named my podcast the Shuttle Tydirium in an effort to reinforce the casual concept.  To me, Casual games are ones that you can take it easy with.  It's for fun.  Oh, I get competitive, but I'm not flipping tables if I lose a game.  The tournament folk (including myself at times) can get bent out of shape when tournament games don't go their way.  The idea of Casual is that it's more beer & pretzels.  Or...the time commitment isn't a problem.  We have all day to sit around and recreate the forest moon of Endor and then play a game on it.  Yes, it often takes even more time to do these things than 100/6 (100 pts and 6 obstacles), but I'm OK with it still being Casual.  

 

I also hate to drudge up some threads that are over a year old.  There were some clashes of opinion on the subject, but things have really mellowed out since then.  There is a lot less....tension betwen the two groups.  At least from what I've seen.  

 

The idea of a sub-forum for non-competitive X-wing is terrible to me.  It relegates us to some dusty sub forum that few will ever look in.  Whenever you comment in a main forum thread you will get blasted to keep your opinions in the stinky Casual ghetto.  The real forum is for real X-wing.  That type of thoughts.  I've seen a lot more non-tournament discussion on the main forums in the past year and am very pleased with it.  

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My favorite way to play X-wing is Epic 300 points. The grand scope of these games is amazing, but it does require a lot of ships, and may not be easy for a new player with a smaller collection to get into. I wouldn't call it casual because I like to play this competitively, giving it everything I've got. I usually win locally, but they aren't into this format as much as I am, so there is a highly unbalanced skill level. I prefer to play with other Epic enthusiasts.**

 

However, Team Epic with 2 players per team, and 200 points per player is a blast! Probably even more fun than 300 point, but it depends on who you're playing with. It's not long before a new player has enough ships for a 200 point squad, and your teammate will probably let you borrow ships, too. I love the social aspect of making a plan together, and learning how your teammate analyzes different board states and makes their decisions. Very enlightening, and very fun! Many laughs are had on both sides of the table.

 

**Part of the problem is that sometimes in 300 point matches there is a snowball effect, where as soon one player gains an advantage, it escalates, and is difficult for the opposing player to make a comeback. I don't mind so much when I lose that way because I am playing to learn to get better at it, but if you're playing to have a relaxed, good time, this can often result in the opposite.

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@ heychadwick - You are the God of Casual and thanks for the work you put into the Shuttle Tydirium !!

 

I put in the links to the old threads in the hopes people would not start those discussion over again here.  I don't really see this as a being two separate groups of people, more different styles of play.  There is probably more player overlap than either 'side' will acknowledge.  Maybe this is why things are mellowing.

 

Another reason I'm in favour of a 'Casual' forum (not using the word 'casual' would be important) is exactly because of what you said about seeing "a lot more non-tournament discussion on the main forums in the past year".  To find those discussions, I have to weed through a lot of threads I'm only marginally interested in unless the thread title makes it obvious like this one.  And there already is the flamer who blasts the non-tournament discussions as being irrelevant to the 'real' game.

 

Maybe simply renaming the existing "X-Wing Mission Control Technical Support and Feedback Forum" to "X-Wing Mission Control" or some similar name would attract more detailed discussion and highlight the type of play we are talking about. That is the least used forum.  Might this stimulate expanded FFG support?

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@ heychadwick - You are the God of Casual and thanks for the work you put into the Shuttle Tydirium !!

 

 

OK...I am telling the Mrs and teenage daughter that someone used the word "god" to describe me and it was in a positive manner.  They will either laugh or not believe it, but I thank you!

 

Mission Control is very disappointing.  I wish they would make a few updates to it.  If they just added a category system (or tagging system) to make searching easier, then it would be a godsend.  It would make it usable.  Then there are a number of ships / tokens that need to be added to it.  It was a great idea, that just died.  

 

As for a sub forum, you run the risk of only catching a small group.  Take the Mario Kart thread for example.  That's one that has drawn in a wide variety of people.  Even the normal tournament type has actually seen it and looked at it.  So, if you create too much of a sub category, then you run the risk it never getting a wider audience.  

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...

 

**Part of the problem is that sometimes in 300 point matches there is a snowball effect, where as soon one player gains an advantage, it escalates, and is difficult for the opposing player to make a comeback. I don't mind so much when I lose that way because I am playing to learn to get better at it, but if you're playing to have a relaxed, good time, this can often result in the opposite.

 

 

The snowball effect can happen in any game depending on how things are set up.  You note how "support ships" are said to be a lot more useful in Epic but the same things that make them more useful also boost that snowball effect.  In Epic taking out those support ships can result in a far more crippling effect than taking them out in a 100 point game may especially when they are supporting more ships.

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"Is there any room for campaigns or narrative play?"

 

Yes. On your dining room table.

 

My friend, the SKY IS THE LIMIT with the creative, cinematic, epic levels of fun you can have in this game beyond the tournament death-match forum.  While it's true that there are no "official'' campaign scenarios, constructing your own scenarios is as easy as your imagination allows.  Heroes of the Aturi Cluster (previously mentioned several times), has a pretty good "AI" for controlling Tie Squadrons.  Just writing your own scenarios onto that mechanic should give you enormous space for campaign building.   For myself, I like to play with fairly large groups of people. So it's almost always EPIC games.  Here's one of my favorite battle reports: 

 

https://community.fantasyflightgames.com/topic/218940-the-bounty-hunters-of-ord-mantell/

 

 

In a nutshell, if you can't have fun with this game, "Yer doin' it wrawng".

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There are campaigns in the four (five once the C-ROC is in stores) epic ships, there's also fan-made campaigns, and you could even decide to just make up your own campaign if you wanted to. Have fun with the game, the 100/6 style is nice, but i wish people would want to do more than just that, i have all sorts of missions from large base ships i want to play because they look like fun, but everyone where i play wants to just do 100/6 style. There's nothing wrong with it, it just becomes a little stale. One thing i kinda wanna do is like HOTAC but more of an RPG with one person controlling the empire (and scum, i'd find a way to fit scum into it)

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No you weak hippie scrub learn to get good and win tournaments. Campaigns and casual gaming is for pansies who don't know how to fly and blame there losses on balance.

Obviously sarcastic even though I pretty much do only play competitve, it's generally not hard to find casual games and people willing to do campaigns.

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SMACK MYSELF IN THE FACE!

 

Right. So in my brain the word "Campaign" is triggering thoughts of large operations like HotAC or the Correlian Campain for Armada.  I completely forgot about the Capital Ship campaigns WHICH I HAVE PLAYED.

 

Also - anything larger than a small-ship blister pack has themed missions in the accompanying rulebook.  It would not be hard to string some of those together around a narrative either.

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Also - anything larger than a small-ship blister pack has themed missions in the accompanying rulebook.  It would not be hard to string some of those together around a narrative either.

Any of the large boxes (other than most wanted) basically

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i have all sorts of missions from large base ships i want to play because they look like fun, but everyone where i play wants to just do 100/6 style. There's nothing wrong with it, it just becomes a little stale. One thing i kinda wanna do is like HOTAC but more of an RPG with one person controlling the empire (and scum, i'd find a way to fit scum into it)

 

Please share your ideas ! !  :D

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i have all sorts of missions from large base ships i want to play because they look like fun, but everyone where i play wants to just do 100/6 style. There's nothing wrong with it, it just becomes a little stale. One thing i kinda wanna do is like HOTAC but more of an RPG with one person controlling the empire (and scum, i'd find a way to fit scum into it)

 

Please share your ideas ! !  :D

It's not a full idea, it's just a thought right now, no idea what to do for leveling or anything like that

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