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Do command tokens unbalance the game in favor of MSUs?

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22 hours ago, Gadgetron said:

Keep in mind, point for point 3 cr90s have more hit points and more combined firepower than 1 ISD.  You also get more activations. 

Large ships are at an inbuilt disadvantage in Armada.

The whole idea behind command value was to act as a double edge sword. With a higher command value you can stack up on command tokens but again it takes more time to get dials. Also starting at 0 command tokens isn't that good for large C3 ships. It will take half the game to stock up on tokens but by then you would be better off just trying to plan dial by dial. Also dial/token is better than combo-tokens. So often the best maneuver is to token then dial the next round with the token combination.

Now if you were able to stock up on tokens on turn 0 instead of waste 2 or 3 turns to bank them it would be better.

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Why are you hoarding tokens with CR90s in the first place? Low command value means you should generally be using the dial to full effect. Why reroll when you can add another die entirely? 

 

That said you're right about how CR90s get a better "value" out of squadron tokens, but again why are you even doing that? One early attack from a squadron seems less valuable than another die on your attack or the maneuvering power of a Navigate dial. You may get better value for your Squadron token than an ISD, but you still didn't get much out of it. And as other people have pointed out, three CR90s have more health in total but the ISD laughs off five to the hull while the CR90s lose a full third of their firepower (possibly more, if there were any upgrades involved). The CR90s also have to position themselves very carefully if they're actually going to get more than one double arc attack without crashing into each other or the ISD, and the ISD can handle a faceup damage card much better than a CR90. 

 

Also, keep in mind that by your own logic the CR90s are getting screwed on upgrades. The ISD pays one 6 point investment for Navigation Officer, if that's what it wants. To do the same, the CR90s spend 18 points. With no upgrades the CR90s might have a chance but once you start equipping things the ISD will soon be cheaper than the corvettes and can throw in a Gozanti to offset the activation disadvantage. Maybe even a Raider if the CR90s are buying a lot of upgrades. And it bears repeating that the most likely outcome of a fight between three CR90s and one ISD-II is a dead corvette, maybe two and a wounded but living ISD. Once you get into an actual game scenario the ISD will have a small ship or two available to smash up CR90s while it fights contributes with side arcs. The front arc will probably have better things to do, but the CR90s are ****ed if it actually does get a medium range shot from the front at one of them. 

 

Short version: It doesn't matter if tokens provide a higher "percentage" of value to small ships because they should be using the dial, big ships are the ones that can hoard tokens. The slight hull and firepower advantage is offset by the fact that they can easily lose firepower whenever enough damage is dealt to the same target while the ISD doesn't. Activation advantage is real but manageable in an actual game by adding flotillas or small ships and positioning well or using objectives that force confrontation. 

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4 hours ago, Gadgetron said:

So, X+1 IS 2x in this case.

Yes, X is a variable, and large ships are paying significantly more points for a significantly lower variable, this is a blatant inherent advantage given to small ships.

You see that x is the squadron value not the token effect. Of course an ISD is paying more for a higher value but what those big ships are paying for the token effect is probably the same as the effeft is the same. We don't know how the designers rated these things. The only reason to pay more for those tokens is the fact that an ISD can bank 3 but it depends on the command value not the squadron value.and don't forget that an ISD can resolve 4 commands per round thanks to those "unbalanced" while a cr90 resolves 2.

From all the things that could produce an imbalance in the game the tokens are one that I never thought. The benefit are exactly the same with navigation, cf and squadron and the engineering one is better on big ships. We must add that they give flexibility to those big ships while offer not to much to the tiny ones. As I said what a cr90 gain for a squadron token is the same +1. What you are talking about is a relation between two numbers of the number line, not about the real effect of the token. I could argue that an ISD activates 4 what is the same that 2 cr90 with token. Adding a token that I am not paying you will need another cr90. Now I am paying 0 for this +1 activation while you pay 39. And I can activate 4 every round while you need a 20 (transport with coms net) points investment to guarantee the tokens what would be stupid as 18 of those points can activate the same that your 39+20 does. Again all these is just a relation we are establishing between two number and we can do are lot of this.

What about the flotillas vs cr90? Who is taking more benefits from the tokens. With your logic cr90 still improving its squadron value a 100% while the flotilla only gets a 50% but the cr90 costs 39 while the transport costs 18. And if the transport have HB the token improves only a 25% what is even worse!!! But it activates 4 vs the 2 you do and for 23 points. What we should look? the relation between 2 and 1 what means the cr90 duplicate its squadron value for the same cost or the relation between 4 squadrons per 23 points and 2 per 39 what means that the transport is duplicating the squadron value with a discount of 40% and remember that the transport's token is "less" effective.

All these are just number games and this is what Math is. To avoid confusion go to the words: what tokens do? Exactly the same no matter the command value of the ship. So no imbalance.

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2 hours ago, Hockeyzombie said:

Why are you hoarding tokens with CR90s in the first place? Low command value means you should generally be using the dial to full effect. Why reroll when you can add another die entirely? 

 

That said you're right about how CR90s get a better "value" out of squadron tokens, but again why are you even doing that? One early attack from a squadron seems less valuable than another die on your attack or the maneuvering power of a Navigate dial. You may get better value for your Squadron token than an ISD, but you still didn't get much out of it. And as other people have pointed out, three CR90s have more health in total but the ISD laughs off five to the hull while the CR90s lose a full third of their firepower (possibly more, if there were any upgrades involved). The CR90s also have to position themselves very carefully if they're actually going to get more than one double arc attack without crashing into each other or the ISD, and the ISD can handle a faceup damage card much better than a CR90. 

 

Also, keep in mind that by your own logic the CR90s are getting screwed on upgrades. The ISD pays one 6 point investment for Navigation Officer, if that's what it wants. To do the same, the CR90s spend 18 points. With no upgrades the CR90s might have a chance but once you start equipping things the ISD will soon be cheaper than the corvettes and can throw in a Gozanti to offset the activation disadvantage. Maybe even a Raider if the CR90s are buying a lot of upgrades. And it bears repeating that the most likely outcome of a fight between three CR90s and one ISD-II is a dead corvette, maybe two and a wounded but living ISD. Once you get into an actual game scenario the ISD will have a small ship or two available to smash up CR90s while it fights contributes with side arcs. The front arc will probably have better things to do, but the CR90s are ****ed if it actually does get a medium range shot from the front at one of them. 

 

Short version: It doesn't matter if tokens provide a higher "percentage" of value to small ships because they should be using the dial, big ships are the ones that can hoard tokens. The slight hull and firepower advantage is offset by the fact that they can easily lose firepower whenever enough damage is dealt to the same target while the ISD doesn't. Activation advantage is real but manageable in an actual game by adding flotillas or small ships and positioning well or using objectives that force confrontation. 

What SHOULD be done and what IS done are two entirely different things, the base points between the ships and the core abilities provided by the game are what matter.  The ISD costs more than 3 cr90bs, those cr90bs provide more of just about everything (Hull, Firepower, Activations) than the ISD, this grants an inherent bonus and edge to smaller ships.  I haven't even brought up how much more useful 3 ships are when objectives come into play.  Unless they start allowing ships to hold multiple of the same token, or the tokens to tie into a stat, the core rules provide an (additional) in-built advantage to smaller ships over large via the rules regarding tokens.  Even then, fixing tokens would just be one step in solving the larger problem.

Yes once you get into a game the ISD will have ships to support it, but so will the opponent, its not just one player who gets a 400 point list, both get equal points (CC games outstanding.)  Just because the ISD gets a Gozanti and a few upgrades doesn't even the playing field, because now the cr90s get upgrades and a flotilla of their own.  Sure they don't all benefit from the same upgrade on one ship, but this just means the points are spread out whereas the ISD is a juicier target.  The ISD may kill a corvette or two, but as long as that last corvette kills the ISD it doesn't matter.

Short version: In all respects but upgrade costs, small ships have an edge over large.

11 minutes ago, ovinomanc3r said:

You see that x is the squadron value not the token effect. Of course an ISD is paying more for a higher value but what those big ships are paying for the token effect is probably the same as the effeft is the same. We don't know how the designers rated these things. The only reason to pay more for those tokens is the fact that an ISD can bank 3 but it depends on the command value not the squadron value.and don't forget that an ISD can resolve 4 commands per round thanks to those "unbalanced" while a cr90 resolves 2.

From all the things that could produce an imbalance in the game the tokens are one that I never thought. The benefit are exactly the same with navigation, cf and squadron and the engineering one is better on big ships. We must add that they give flexibility to those big ships while offer not to much to the tiny ones. As I said what a cr90 gain for a squadron token is the same +1. What you are talking about is a relation between two numbers of the number line, not about the real effect of the token. I could argue that an ISD activates 4 what is the same that 2 cr90 with token. Adding a token that I am not paying you will need another cr90. Now I am paying 0 for this +1 activation while you pay 39. And I can activate 4 every round while you need a 20 (transport with coms net) points investment to guarantee the tokens what would be stupid as 18 of those points can activate the same that your 39+20 does. Again all these is just a relation we are establishing between two number and we can do are lot of this.

What about the flotillas vs cr90? Who is taking more benefits from the tokens. With your logic cr90 still improving its squadron value a 100% while the flotilla only gets a 50% but the cr90 costs 39 while the transport costs 18. And if the transport have HB the token improves only a 25% what is even worse!!! But it activates 4 vs the 2 you do and for 23 points. What we should look? the relation between 2 and 1 what means the cr90 duplicate its squadron value for the same cost or the relation between 4 squadrons per 23 points and 2 per 39 what means that the transport is duplicating the squadron value with a discount of 40% and remember that the transport's token is "less" effective.

All these are just number games and this is what Math is. To avoid confusion go to the words: what tokens do? Exactly the same no matter the command value of the ship. So no imbalance.

If the designers are the same as X-Wings designers.... :unsure:

Even if the ISD can bank more tokens, the cr90s STILL get the same number (absent outside influence) they just don't bank unused at the same rate.  The effect of those commands and tokens (engineering excluded) is the EXACT same, if large ships could bank multiple of the same token, then I'd say that would even the score a bit.  

The identical effect of navigation, concentrate fire, and squadron tokens IS what causes the imbalance! You are paying MORE for LESS!  Unless they tie the tokens to a stat like they did with engineering, the tokens are inherently in favor of cheaper, spamable ships. 

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1 hour ago, Gadgetron said:

What SHOULD be done and what IS done are two entirely different things, the base points between the ships and the core abilities provided by the game are what matter.  The ISD costs more than 3 cr90bs, those cr90bs provide more of just about everything (Hull, Firepower, Activations) than the ISD, this grants an inherent bonus and edge to smaller ships.  I haven't even brought up how much more useful 3 ships are when objectives come into play.  Unless they start allowing ships to hold multiple of the same token, or the tokens to tie into a stat, the core rules provide an (additional) in-built advantage to smaller ships over large via the rules regarding tokens.  Even then, fixing tokens would just be one step in solving the larger problem.

Yes once you get into a game the ISD will have ships to support it, but so will the opponent, its not just one player who gets a 400 point list, both get equal points (CC games outstanding.)  Just because the ISD gets a Gozanti and a few upgrades doesn't even the playing field, because now the cr90s get upgrades and a flotilla of their own.  Sure they don't all benefit from the same upgrade on one ship, but this just means the points are spread out whereas the ISD is a juicier target.  The ISD may kill a corvette or two, but as long as that last corvette kills the ISD it doesn't matter.

Short version: In all respects but upgrade costs, small ships have an edge over large.

If the designers are the same as X-Wings designers.... :unsure:

Even if the ISD can bank more tokens, the cr90s STILL get the same number (absent outside influence) they just don't bank unused at the same rate.  The effect of those commands and tokens (engineering excluded) is the EXACT same, if large ships could bank multiple of the same token, then I'd say that would even the score a bit.  

The identical effect of navigation, concentrate fire, and squadron tokens IS what causes the imbalance! You are paying MORE for LESS!  Unless they tie the tokens to a stat like they did with engineering, the tokens are inherently in favor of cheaper, spamable ships. 

How much is the ISD paying for the tokens? If you know it I would like you shared the info.

If your attempt is that ISD pays 120 while the cr90 pays 39 I would say that the ISD pays 30 per squadron activation while cr90 pays...39!! so 9 points cheaper x4 activations make the ISD 36 points more efficient than the cr90. The ISD-I is cheaper that your 3xCR90b and works as an ISD-II what happens then?

Is the token imbalance you talk about a rule or depend on the situation?

Is the cost of the token effects a percentage of the ship cost or is a fixed number?

Is the imbalance of the tokens effects bigger than the imbalance of the capacity of resolving 3 or 4 commands in a single activation? The capacity of banks more tokens for the later game?

I see hard to judge all this in a vacuum and when I go to the real game I see how 1 ISD-II kills with a single activation all the screen fighter that 3 cr90b could manage and then blow up 1 cr90b with one shot. But then we are going to anecdotes.

Edited by ovinomanc3r

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 Win what? A deathmatch? Armada isn't this. Vacuum comparisons and declarative statements are useless. 

I can play this game too!

I use my 'inefficient' squadron token on my ISD I to send 5 squadrons as an alpha strike vs your dripped 2 squadrons via 3 CR90s. My alpha strike on average cripples your squadron element so badly I always win the squadron fight because you can't activate them because they are dead because you thought you were being efficient.

The firepower comparisons are fraught with issues. My ISD can actually destroy your CR90 outright in a single shot and all of your dice that count to bring you up to the ISDs power will never actually be brought to bear as the most your B throws is 3 front, 2 side + potential CF. If I bring my two best to bare on you, as you did, thats 12 dice. Don't play this game. It is not constructive.

As for the issue of tokens causing imbalance no I don't think so. How do you qualify that a cmd 3 ship can issue 4 command effects in a turn vs two on a small ship?

 

Edited by Trizzo2

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I am not sure as I do not know what MSU stands for, when trying to look it up came up with between 200 - 300 different meaning for it, I stopped looking after about the first 100, only thing that even sounded like it would apply at all and did not really fit was "Make Something Up", most of the others were school names or medical procedures. Having said that and seeing as how people are talking some about the point cost of things, I think/feel but can not point to any evidence that would prove it that the Rebels pay fewer points for the same stats than the Empire.

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5 hours ago, Gadgetron said:

None of those links address the variable disadvantage you are quoting.

Perhaps you need to review the argument.

Perhaps you need to look at the issue rationally instead of evaluating individual mechanics without context to try and justify why the game is broken in a way that tournament results have shown us is not the case.

Your argument boils down to "more ships is better because tokens have a constant value and are generated on a 1:1 basis with activations, thus to maximize the power of a list, you must maximize the number of tokens you can generate, which necessarily means maximizing the number of activations."  This is not so.

First of all, it is fallacious to say that the value of tokens does not scale with the ship's value.  

"But smaller ships get to reroll more!"  This is true, but the flip side is that larger ships are more likely to need the reroll.  Consider the difference between rolling a CR90's 2 reds and rolling and ISD2's 4.  Say you only reroll reds on a blank.  2 reds have a 44% chance of coming up with at least one blank.  4 are 68% likely to have a blank.  You're 24% more likely to need that CF token on the ISD as the CR90, meaning the value of the CF token is increased by 24% on the ISD in this example.  Many have brought up that each incremental increase to an individual ship's squadron activation is inherently better given the alpha strike gameplay of the squadron game.  Engineering scales directly with the ship's engineering value.  Even a single nav token is more useful on an ISD than on a CR90 because you're using it to reposition 120 points of stuff rather than 44... a whopping 170% increase in value!

When you've considered that, you can start to understand why those upgrades I linked mitigate the slower overall token generation of larger ships.  

Tantive IV and Comms Net let you transfer a token from a CR90/flotilla respectively, where it is on average less valuable, to a large ship, where it is on average more valuable.  Mitigated.

Garm's token generation scales directly with the total command value of the fleet.  Mitigated.

Tarkin almost always generates excess tokens early in the game when you can't spend them anyway, except for Command 3 ships which may be able to join combat before they're token capped, meaning they get more benefit.  Mitigated

Raymus, Wulff, and Veteran Captain increase token generation in different ways.  If you've built wisely and put them on a ship that can maximize the value of that token, you have created a synergy by increasing the benefit you derive from them for a constant cost.  Mitigated.

I don't understand why the doomsayers in this thread keep qualifying hypotheticals with "of course this is doesn't all take place in a vacuum" and then ignoring all the other stuff that make it not a vacuum.  All that stuff matters, because this is a very complex game that can't be just boiled down to "moar tokens = better."  If it could, it would show in the tournament results, which are the results of 200+ people all trying to find ways to break the game to their benefit.  Instead, as shmitty posted above, the results show a remarkably balanced performance between ships of all sizes.

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7 hours ago, Gadgetron said:

So, X+1 IS 2x in this case.

Yes, X is a variable, and large ships are paying significantly more points for a significantly lower variable, this is a blatant inherent advantage given to small ships.

Now you're cherry picking to prove your point.

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16 hours ago, shmitty said:

 

 

    All Bottom 1/4 Top 1/2 Top 8 Top 4 Winners
Fleets Containing Large Ships 52% 57% 50% 49% 49% 53%

At least in tournament results, there does not appear to be any significant advantage or disadvantage to playing with a Large ship in your fleet.

 

 

SCIENCE!

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What the OP is also failing to realise is, there has to be some advantage to taking a smaller ship that has, less health, less damage dealing capacity, less ability to activate squadrons, and less ability to remove damage, or you would never ever use them, you would always take the large ship.

As others have eloquently stated, Armada cannot be examined in a vacuum, because there are too many variables inherent in the system. You can build any sort of fleet in this game, and so long as you have a goal that is achievable with your chosen build, and you practice, you can win games. What you cannot do is refuse to look at potential weak points of your build, do nothing about addressing them and say there is a flaw in the game when they get exploited  by your opponent.

I really really disliked VSDS back in wave 2, slow, cumbersome and very very easily out maneuvered, hell you could park 3 B-wings in front of one and it could not move far enough to not overlap them,  so they could just shoot every round, and you end up giving your opponent a free move to put them back where they needed to be. So I switched to Raiders, when everyone was saying how garbage they were, I was running them with Gladiators so I didnt have that vulnerability to be exploited by my opponents faster more maneuverable ships, the flip side being that the 3 B-wings that needed several rounds to kill a full health Motti VSD, only needed one lucky round to kill a full health/Shield Raider.

Which is why and how the game is balanced.

Edited by TheEasternKing

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On 2/23/2017 at 3:55 AM, Gadgetron said:

What SHOULD be done and what IS done are two entirely different things, the base points between the ships and the core abilities provided by the game are what matter.  The ISD costs more than 3 cr90bs, those cr90bs provide more of just about everything (Hull, Firepower, Activations) than the ISD, this grants an inherent bonus and edge to smaller ships.  I haven't even brought up how much more useful 3 ships are when objectives come into play.  Unless they start allowing ships to hold multiple of the same token, or the tokens to tie into a stat, the core rules provide an (additional) in-built advantage to smaller ships over large via the rules regarding tokens.  Even then, fixing tokens would just be one step in solving the larger problem.

Yes once you get into a game the ISD will have ships to support it, but so will the opponent, its not just one player who gets a 400 point list, both get equal points (CC games outstanding.)  Just because the ISD gets a Gozanti and a few upgrades doesn't even the playing field, because now the cr90s get upgrades and a flotilla of their own.  Sure they don't all benefit from the same upgrade on one ship, but this just means the points are spread out whereas the ISD is a juicier target.  The ISD may kill a corvette or two, but as long as that last corvette kills the ISD it doesn't matter.

Short version: In all respects but upgrade costs, small ships have an edge over large.

 

Except that again, the CR90s are likely to be completely wiped out in three or four attacks. They cannot repel firepower of that magnitude. The ISD can throw some Engineering commands down and laugh his way to victory. CR90s are better more objectives that require mobility, but a full 400 points should include other ships to do that. The ISD is not there to collect objective tokens. It's there to kill things. It may have less health and firepower than the CR90s combined, but it's more efficient at dealing and enduring damage. 

 

And AGAIN, this game is not played in a vacuum. I'm well aware that the Rebels will also be adding more ships when things escalate to 400 points. But if we're looking at a vacuum then flotillas are the most worthless things in the game. I'm also pointing out that this provides the Empire more ways to offset the activation advantage, and more ways to quickly kill those fragile little corvettes. Realistically the ISD list will have fewer activations at first. But it will also have little trouble swatting a couple flies, especially if there's an Arquitens or a Gladiator that can swing by and deal some damage to the CR90s (the Gladiator can probably kill them outright with Screed and the right upgrades). Gunnery Teams could make it possible to kill two corvettes in one activation, though it's more likely they would be massively damaged and something else would finish them. I'm not saying big ships are unstoppable, just that I don't trust small ships to win a fight against big ones without some help. 

 

Well, I trust Gladiators but that's just blatant favouritism there. Favouritism and Assault Concussion Missiles. 

Edited by Hockeyzombie

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To a certain extent, small ships should be at an advantage in either damage output per point, or survival per point.  In a theoretical "spherical cow" world, if a basic ship takes 3 turns to kill an identical ship, then a ship with 1/3 the cost and survivability needs to do 50% more damage per point to have the result be evenly matched.  Now, how much of that advantage should be in dice, as opposed to maneuver?  That's the tricky question.

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