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Specialised Damage Decks - A Missed Opportunity?

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The original damage deck was notorious for - apart from Direct Hit - either doing nothing or ruining a list. Soontir Fel with Damaged cockpit is brutal (To say nothing of damaged engine and so on), but Soontir Fel with munitions failure is laughable. The Force Awakens damage deck moved towards fixing this, but remained a tad unbalanced (Damage engine on a Lambda, and damaged cockpit helps academy Pilots). It's currently a minor point of the game - beneficial critical hits are nice, but not something to be worked into your strategy (sans Kylo, Leebo and Maarek).

Huge ships have shown how brutal specialised decks can be, and I think the game would be better off with a specialised deck for each ship, making critical hits more thematic and/or powerful. There is a lot of unused space in even the small blister expansions, and a 15 card damage deck can be produced for mere cents. Here's an example deck (or two...).

TIE Interceptor (15 cards total) - Direct hits are 1/3 of the deck, and the others are just as nasty on PTL, fragile interceptors.

5 x Direct Hit - this card counts as 2 damage. (ship)
2 x Shredded Wing - immediately receive one stress token, then flip this card facedown. (ship)
2 x Ion Reactor Breach - when you are assigned a stress token, assign an ion token as well / Action; flip this card facedown. (ship)
2 x Stealth Device Malfunction - when you are defending, the attacker may treat the range of the attack as 1 / Action; roll a die. On a [hit] or [crit] flip this card face down. (ship)
2 x Cracked Cockpit - Treat your pilot skill as 3. (ship)
2 x Damaged Engine - Treat all turn maneuvers as red. (Pilot)

TIE Defender (16 cards total) - A lot of maneuverability based crits, plus a bone thrown to the TIE/D title in disconnected link.

4 x Direct Hit - this card counts as 2 damage. (ship)
2 x Fire Control Glitch - you may only declare attacks on ships you have a target lock on / Action; flip this card face down. (ship)
2 x Structural Damage - when defending, you must change all [focus] results to [blank] results immediately after rolling defense dice / Action; roll one attack die, on a [hit] result, flip this card face down. (ship)
2 x Etheric Rudder Malfunction - you must treat all bank maneuvers as red. (ship)
2 x Disconnected Link - you cannot perform [cannon] attacks / Action; flip this card face down. (ship)
2 x Energy Discharge - treat all [straight] maneuvers as white / Action; roll one attack die. On a [hit] or [crit] result flip this card face down. (ship)
2 x Pilot Interface Breach - treat your pilot sill as 0. (pilot)

Jumpmaster 5000 (17 cards total) - Dengaroo is torn apart by this, and a lot of other JM5K builds suffer. Targeting Error would be particularly vicious...

5 x Direct Hit - this card counts as 2 damage. (ship)
2 x Wounded Pilot - when you would receive a stress token, instead receive a face down damage card. (pilot)
2 x Autonav Malfunction - treat all white maneuvers as red maneuvers / Action; flip this card face down.(pilot)
2 x Targeting Error - You cannot perform primary weapon attacks / Action; roll 1 attack die. On a [hit] result, flip this card face down.
2 x Compromised Cockpit - You cannot perform the actions listed in your action bar / Action; flip this card face down.
2 x Structural Damage - when defending, you must change all [focus] results to [blank] results immediately after rolling defense dice / Action; roll one attack die, on a [hit] result, flip this card face down. (ship)
2 x Misaligned Thrust Systems - when you reveal a maneuver, your opponent may rotate your dial to an adjacent maneuver. If they do so, remove one stress token from your ship / Action; roll one attack die. One a [hit] or [crit] result, flip this card facedown.

So there you have it. Some custom damage decks for each ship. You'd be required to have 1 per ship at tournaments, but that amounts to very little storage space required. Cards are dirt cheap to make (especially without much artwork), so the price might be increased by $1 per expansion, but I think it'd be worth it.

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That's a great idea, and you make good examples of possible damage cards.

 

Also, 33 damage cards are not really necessary. I do see the problem with distributing these to the players. Would they have to be bought? (I wouldn't mind, but I can already hear the outcries)

 

Edit: to comment on this:

"This sounds like a horrible idea when you're running more than a couple of ships at a time."

I can see some workarounds.

- combine different damage decks (1 for each?). Maybe this could be abused by including ships just for their deck?
- you get to choose 1 from the different decks based on the ships in your list. Which defeats slightly the purpose
-  have one for each ship. I don't like this version because it complicates things during the game.

Edited by GreenDragoon

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run a 5 ship a wing list and watch the multiple decks take up half the avaliable space! (god help the Tie Swarm guys!!!)

I think if there is something that knobbles one ship (like Munitions Failure or something) and you are running a ship that would cause serious issues (like Outrider) then swap to the new deck. i just keep to the original damage deck. 

 

I can see the specialisation making for a more thematic experience but i can see it slowing down games and causing much headscratching.

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At first I liked the idea, but then yeah the added bookkeeping for what would be minimal change... it's not worthwhile.  The vast majority of damage is dealt facedown anyway.

The best way to do it IF you were going to do it would be to package each ship with it's damage cards equal to their hull value, so just like you've got a TIE Bomber dial you've now also got the 6 damage cards specific for that TIE Bomber.

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4 minutes ago, thespaceinvader said:

Except you'd have to pack hull value +1 for the people who use Hull Upgrade...

And it would still be fiddly as heck, very open to losing cards, and really annoying to run at the table.

Yep.  And a TIE Interceptor would be +2 for Hull & Shield Upgrades.  It's why I emphasised the 'if' as much as possible!

Edited by Stay On The Leader

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2 hours ago, GreenDragoon said:

That's a great idea, and you make good examples of possible damage cards.

 

Also, 33 damage cards are not really necessary. I do see the problem with distributing these to the players. Would they have to be bought? (I wouldn't mind, but I can already hear the outcries)

I ran a 4x Bomber list the other day, and managed to mill through 2/3rd of the deck by the end of the first game. I've seen double Deci lists almost empty it. A deck of 33 is not at all excessive, and is - for the sake of keeping the draw truly unpredictable - necessary.

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While the result would be great, seems far to clunky to realistically play at the table. Some casual nights I might run 3 squads, so no thanks.

 

Maybe this, a standard deck that has effects based on the ship it's applied to.

These are terrible examples, with terrible names but just to get the idea,

 

3 conditions, only resolve for the first condition that applies to you.

 

Medium sized Explosion.

  • Ship
  • Condition 1: [Bomb] equipped; Roll 1 attack die, and suffer any [hits] or [crits] rolled. Then discard 1 [bomb] upgrade
  • Condition 2: Large based ship; Roll 1 attack die. On a Hit result,  suffer 1 critical damage.
  • Condition 3: Small based ship; Roll 1 attack die. On a Hit result, suffer 1 damage.
  • Then flip this card facedown.

That is one card though, too much? Probably. Shooting the bombs of a K-Wing, priceless. 

 

 

 

 

 

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I'd have entertained the idea of a customizable damage deck or even one that you create and your opponent has to use it. There could have been methods to implement that, but only if it was done on day 1 when the game first released. This seems a little too complicated. It's already a lot of stuff, and the extra damage decks for epic add to clutter and are a little annoying. Can't imagine one for each small or large ship in every game you play.

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This seems like it would be a headache. I got +30 something ships. That's a lot of card to keep track of. 

 

I always thought they missed an opportunity with not having an Ion damage deck, but an individual deck for each ship.

Edited by Jo Jo

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I personally don't like the idea of adding specialized damage cards for specific ships versus developing counter builds and Tactics for those ships.  I went to a 26 player tournament this weekend where a Tomax list won overall, while Paratanni, Dengaroo, Tie Defenders, and other normally dominant lists were in a play.

Tie Interceptors have become scarce on the table due to the multitude of things that can cause unavoidable damage.  If I was required to go get specialized damage cards or buy the expansion again- then I would never want to run it.

The logistics of distribution to existing ships would be problematic and I do not think $1 to add 15-16 cards would be seen as sufficient for FFG to a justify the addition. 

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I think it would be much more of a pain to deal with for the small improvement it makes on the overall game. I mean trying to keep track of, storing, moving, etc of a ton of decks would not be a lot of fun. Plus you increase the issues with losing or damaging another card, and with greater consequence. A nicked up upgrade is fine, but if it was part of a random deck there is a new issue. And all this for something that only adds a little to the overall gameplay. As is the crit deck is already random and having more randomness inside really isn't that bad.

 

I could see this working in the next generation of miniatures games once all the card business is moved to a companion app then we can give everything custom everything, but as is, the cost-benefit just doesn't seem to be there.

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While the idea sounds good i think this would get really, really annoying having to deal with so many decks.

In Epic, its annoying enough having 3 damage decks to deal with (worse if you go big enough for multiple huge ships).

I totally clicked on this expecting a deck builder idea for damage decks. Glad it wasnt that lol. That would get out of hand uber quick....

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Problem is that it puts more clutter on a board that has more than enough cards on it not to mention more components to misplace or lose. Having each ship have their hull or 2 times their hull value in specialized damage cards might work better in terms of simulation or simplification but will not work in the gameplay as it would simply clutter the board.

Here's a video explaining my point and if you watch it you will see how your proposal makes the game impractical. Sure it is on table top games not board games and it is discussing damage as related to people not machines but I am sure you can take what you hear here and apply it to other games with damage systems. 

 

Edited by Marinealver

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If it's a "missed opportunity" it's one I've very happy they made.  So much added clutter to the table and things to keep track of.

Had they done such a thing I'd say each ship should have had at most hull+1 cards which would be selected from when you needed a face-up card otherwise damage would otherwise be via simple tokens.  There is certainly no point in have a 15 card "deck" for a TIE Interceptor that would never have more than 3 cards on it for more than a moment.  Of course such small decks really makes the "randomness" of the deck somewhat pointless.

Now if they had made damage cards with If/then/else conditions that would have given it more punch as you start with a specific "if then" condition (discard secondary weapon) and if that can't be me then you do something else.

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It seems like there are three primary objections:

1. During game play, multiple damage decks clutter up space.
2. They'd be a pain to store.
3. They don't have much randomness in such small decks.

I don't have an answer for (1), but my FLGS does have ample room, even during tournaments. I could see premier competitions running unbearably tight, though. (2) is almost an innate flaw in the X-wing packaging system - it's efficient, but you can't store the stuff you bought in there. The only solution I can think of would be to make blister expansions a little bigger and put all the custom damage cards in a little plastic/cardboard box so you can store them together.

Quote

Of course such small decks really makes the "randomness" of the deck somewhat pointless.

This is a strange statement, all things considered. While a deck of 33 does give more pure"randomness", it's ineffective randomness. Munitions Failure on a TIE is laughable, as is Damaged Cockpit. It's unfortunate that my three examples had between 3 and 5 hull each - my idea was to have about 4 cards for each point of hull on a ship. Decimators would get a 40-something card deck, but meh. On an Interceptor, there's very little difference between the randomness of a 15 card deck and a 33 card deck - about a doubling.

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I'm sorry but this idea is just a total wtf

 

custom decks for each ship type?

lets see that's storage issues

plus buying a pack for every freaking ship you own, god help you if you are running swarms

ever been to regionals or a big tourney, good luck finding room for all those decks on the table space provided

lets not even freaking mention the potential pitfalls of individuals who would try and abuse this system by having wrong decks, or extras of the crap hits and none of the major ones

do you want to shuffle all those decks before each game, I sure don't....heck just getting all your decks set up and shuffled and in place etc etc would be a massive time waste

try to get new players involved, yea good luck "hey bob great to see you're interested, well here's this ship that needs this deck, and that ship needs this deck, don't forget you need a core starter, dice, templates and don't bother with the deck in there already it's worthless now cause we have these awesome new custom hit decks for every ship!".....

that right there will make new players go see ya quicker then you can get whiplash

 

sorry, but been playing since day 1 of the game, the game did need an updated damage deck which has been out for a year now, FFG even allows you to choose which one you want to use....we do not need all that extra added into the game

 

x wing is a great game because the mechanics are simple and you can get started very easily and everything you need for a new ship is in the ship booster itself and not sold piecemeal

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