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Darth Sanguis

Loose thoughts on squads

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30 minutes ago, Darth Sanguis said:

but to pretend FFG didn't drop the ball on squads by heaping these daft little half-effort bases on us is laughable. 

Really?

 

I see them as a Homage to the somewhat "traditional" big ship game mechanic of Ordnance.  They're not ships.  They're not used like ships.  They don't conform to ship rules, and they are ultimately expendable, because what is important to the game is your ships.   

 

I think that essense was captured in multiple ways - in fact, I think the only main problem I have with them in that thematic sense is that Rieekan works on Unique Squadrons.  If he worked only for ships, then their expendability would still remain...

 

You do have a choice to use them, but your choice is your choice, and your choice shouldn't effect anyone elses choice or decisions on the matter...  Squadrons are, in effect, still secondary.  To ignore them is your peril, but just the same as you shouldn't ignore a long range torpedo barrage :D

 

Certainly, I feel the game will continue to evolve somewhat.  The interactions between Squadron and Ship have shifted quite a bit since Release anyway.  

There is no need for anything as drastic.  Honestly, I feel half-assing the Squadrons onto a Ship-Style Base and using some of the ship rules is more half-assed than the half-assed bases we have now - because at least half-assed in this way, they feel like expendable assets.  As they should be.

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3 minutes ago, Drasnighta said:

 Honestly, I feel half-assing the Squadrons onto a Ship-Style Base and using some of the ship rules is more half-assed than the half-assed bases we have now - because at least half-assed in this way, they feel like expendable assets.  As they should be.

One of the few situations you and I just ain't gonna see eye to eye on. 

The Star Wars universe hinges on squadrons. They are not just expendable assets. Both Death Stars were destroyed by squadrons, the trade federation command ship, and star killer base as well. I feel FFG properly represents the danger they pose in firepower, but completely missed the mark on development and representation in a fleet. It almost feels like the lack of finesse on squads was an overcompensation to make sure people didn't think this was just x-wing 2.0, where in reality, squads could have used some of that system and turned out for the better. 

 

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Just now, Darth Sanguis said:

One of the few situations you and I just ain't gonna see eye to eye on. 

The Star Wars universe hinges on squadrons. They are not just expendable assets. Both Death Stars were destroyed by squadrons, the trade federation command ship, and star killer base as well. I feel FFG properly represents the danger they pose in firepower, but completely missed the mark on development and representation in a fleet. It almost feels like the lack of finesse on squads was an overcompensation to make sure people didn't think this was just x-wing 2.0, where in reality, squads could have used some of that system and turned out for the better. 

 

Certainly.

You can be important and still be an expendable asset.  

You're just getting **** done before you're expended.

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Just now, Drasnighta said:

Certainly.

You can be important and still be an expendable asset.  

You're just getting **** done before you're expended.

In that sense every ship is an expendable asset and trying to discern between the two types of expendable is petty. 

 

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37 minutes ago, Darth Sanguis said:

see this:

I don't like squadrons because they don't feel like a fully integrated part of the armada system. I believe, quite firmly, that FFG should have either made them a little more finessed by having the features I stated in the OP ( or ones similar) or by another extreme, completely reduced  the need for player involvement and simply add them as a token system. 

And I believe that being forced to sacrifice activation count or a even a basic fighter screen to kit a large ship is logical nonsense. When they kit out aircraft carriers they still come with the aircraft.... It's not like the military goes, "ohhhh sorry, we spent too much on the guns so no planes for you, good luck!" Or, "hey you have to choose between having jets on your carrier or bringing the rest of the fleet, sorry, budget cuts".

Utter nonsense.

That is an issue the military has to content with, actually.  The Navy has a budget.  An Arleigh-Burke costs ~1.8b.  An F-35 appears to cost ~121m.   If they want a new Arleigh-Burke, they aren't getting 15 F-35s. 

You're probably looking at this from an American point of view, as well.  Our budget is enormous, so the kinds of extreme cost-savings you're envisioning aren't something we have to deal with.  Other navies, however, do have to decide whether they want to have an awesome new carrier or whether they want a less capable carrier and still have money leftover to afford the aircraft that will go on it.

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55 minutes ago, Darth Sanguis said:

 

As I've said before, these changes are obviously never going to happen, but to pretend FFG didn't drop the ball on squads by heaping these daft little half-effort bases on us is laughable. 

That's a rather bold statement, which you have failed to support adequately 

There is a very large reason for the dichotomy between how ships and squads operate and the primary is scale.  They don't have arcs as they are so small they are facing where they need to, same goes for their free movement.  It is also this dichotomy is mechanisms that makes the game now interesting as you are playing in 2 minds.

 They are also so much smaller they are further abstracted (abstraction in games is important to keep things moving as efficiently as possible).

Here's the thing, miniature games are fiddly by nature.  Armada is very intuitive and simple compared to many others due to things like the maneuver tool and standardized rulers, set base sizes, 3 types of dice, etc.  Various forms of abstraction all seeking to make the game less of a slog, without becoming trivial.

Squads are fine, I dare say excellent the way the are.  Enough has gone into them they are clearly not an oversight/tossed in item.  The synergies, strategies made viable, and game state manipulation they provide is brilliant, without being bothersome.  The mistake ffg made was not giving us all segmented distance rulers, those are invaluable (cog o two are awesome ones)

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6 minutes ago, Valca said:

You're probably looking at this from an American point of view, as well. 

I was thinking Galactic Empire actually lol slightly bigger budget from what I hear ;D

But yes, even from an American PoV ( which is often compared to the Empire) it makes no sense to send a fleet out under furnished. They'd hold the fleet until they could properly outfit it. What's the point of carriers if they don't have planes? 
 

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Just now, Darth Sanguis said:

In that sense every ship is an expendable asset and trying to discern between the two types of expendable is petty. 

 

Any more or less petty than actively encouraging a discussion on a topic where you openly state you dislike the mechanic, state a set of changes you know will never be implemented, which would fundamentally change core concepts of the game, and then continue to advocate your position as the "right" one? :D

I jest, of course :D  I mean, I'm here arguing too, right? :D

 

 

And I wouldn't say its petty.  I'd say its a simple case of numbers......   Kill a Fighter, and 1, maybe 2 people die...  Kill a Squadron, that means what, 12-24 people die (If we are to make that base assumption, which, of course, we know to be questionable....).

 

Even the most basic Corvette seems to have a crew that outnumbers that...    I mean, even in Lore, we're putting a lot of weight on perspectives.......   Specifically, the Rebel One.  As you say, Squadrons take out both Death Stars...   Which is good and all - if you're a Rebel.

I mean, we are basically informed that the Empire doesn't care about their Squadrons.  They fly TIE fighters because they are cheap and multitudonal...  That's basically the cornerstone of Expendable.  By the very fact that we only learn the fact that TIE pilots have Names and callsigns through background material is telling in that regard, too.

 

So if we are going to use that metric as a benchmark for how "Squadrons" operate - how do you determine the differences between Rebel Squadrons, which are of great importance, and Empire Squadrons, which - along with their Stormtroopers - are eminently disposable and expendable?   

To Quote Rex and Kallus, in Canon:

"I hope you bought a better class of Soldier than those...  Stormtroopers."
"They serve the Empire well, and I have a great many of them."

 

Personally, I look back at some of the baseline interviews with James Kniffen way back when Armada was first being primped and primed...  And how they basically said that they "Learned a lot from the mistakes of X-Wing" and were trying harder with a different format.   I appreciate that.  Not to say X-Wing is not a successful game beyond its 'mistakes' (a lot of which, I just don't see - but I'm neither an Armada nor X-Wing Designer).

In short.  I don't directly oppose your changes or mechanics.  I think they have a place.   I just don't think their place is Armada, but that could simply be because I am content with what we have for the most part.  I enjoy the loose and free Squadron Play versus the Rigid Inertia of the Ship Maneuver.  It feels right to me.  I'm sure it doesn't feel right to you, I mean, that's why you created this whole thread, right?

I guess I was okay leaving this thread go until you made the comment that, basically, "anything would be better than what we have right now" with your comment that included "dropped the ball", "half-assed" and such...  Or rather, that you presented it as fact, rather than opinion.  That the alternative was laughable.

 

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15 minutes ago, Darth Sanguis said:

In that sense every ship is an expendable asset and trying to discern between the two types of expendable is petty. 

 

You don't build fleets that have disposable ship in them? Like Raiders and CR90s? I find it easier and less stressful if I know I'm going to lose the ship so I try to trade up or set up an attack that let's me trade up.

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10 minutes ago, Darthain said:

which you have failed to support adequately 

I disagree, but that's completely subjective anyways.
 

10 minutes ago, Darthain said:

 They don't have arcs as they are so small they are facing where they need to

Which to me would make sense except they interact with ships, which means at some point they either are or are not facing a ship. An inherent weakness on the tail side and at least a front arc for bombing runs should be part of their use. Maybe you were watching an different movie, but in episode 4 they made it brazenly clear that fighter that focus on bomber runs die quickly. Squads are not dead cats, they can't be in two places at once

 

10 minutes ago, Darthain said:

Squads are fine, I dare say excellent the way the are.  Enough has gone into them they are clearly not an oversight/tossed in item.  The synergies, strategies made viable, and game state manipulation they provide is brilliant, without being bothersome.  The mistake ffg made was not giving us all segmented distance rulers, those are invaluable (cog o two are awesome ones)

They're fine.... excellent seems like a stretch. I find them extremely bothersome, especially with those daft little carboard dials and sliders, but again, subjective. 

Edited by Darth Sanguis

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30 minutes ago, Drasnighta said:

Any more or less petty than actively encouraging a discussion on a topic where you openly state you dislike the mechanic, state a set of changes you know will never be implemented, which would fundamentally change core concepts of the game, and then continue to advocate your position as the "right" one? :D

Oh but admittedly I am the KING of petty. lol

 

 

30 minutes ago, Drasnighta said:

And I wouldn't say its petty.  I'd say its a simple case of numbers......   Kill a Fighter, and 1, maybe 2 people die...  Kill a Squadron, that means what, 12-24 people die (If we are to make that base assumption, which, of course, we know to be questionable....).

 

Even the most basic Corvette seems to have a crew that outnumbers that...    I mean, even in Lore, we're putting a lot of weight on perspectives.......   Specifically, the Rebel One.  As you say, Squadrons take out both Death Stars...   Which is good and all - if you're a Rebel.

I mean, we are basically informed that the Empire doesn't care about their Squadrons.  They fly TIE fighters because they are cheap and multitudonal...  That's basically the cornerstone of Expendable.  By the very fact that we only learn the fact that TIE pilots have Names and callsigns through background material is telling in that regard, too.

 

So if we are going to use that metric as a benchmark for how "Squadrons" operate - how do you determine the differences between Rebel Squadrons, which are of great importance, and Empire Squadrons, which - along with their Stormtroopers - are eminently disposable and expendable?   

To Quote Rex and Kallus, in Canon:

"I hope you bought a better class of Soldier than those...  Stormtroopers."
"They serve the Empire well, and I have a great many of them."

Is a really good point, but that also kinda stresses how valuable they are. Sure, they're not particularly talented, but the empire knew from a defensive perspective that they were essential in the defense against the rebels. In someways, to me, that means that even if they're crap, they knew they couldn't go without them so they made tons.

 

 

30 minutes ago, Drasnighta said:

I was okay leaving this thread go until you made the comment that, basically, "anything would be better than what we have right now" with your comment that included "dropped the ball", "half-assed" and such...  Or rather, that you presented it as fact, rather than opinion.  That the alternative was laughable.



Whoa Whoa Whoa, I never said that. It's a good system, but it seems really clear that they are lacking. An aspect this important in the star wars universe, even if seen through the scale of larger ships, honestly, should never be forced on a player to skip to balance the ship side aspect. 

And I present it as fact because at my core I follow the philosophies of Nietzsche, there is no truth, only what you make the truth. 

"From my point of view the Jedi are evil"

and to be fair, I am laughing as people suggest they aren't a half effort so in some sense, that's actually true. lol

Edited by Darth Sanguis

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19 minutes ago, Undeadguy said:

You don't build fleets that have disposable ship in them? Like Raiders and CR90s? I find it easier and less stressful if I know I'm going to lose the ship so I try to trade up or set up an attack that let's me trade up.

I do, but losing a ship like a raider or cr90 is a big deal when you only have 4 ships, and one of them if big and christmas tree-y lol I don't like losing activations

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3 minutes ago, Darth Sanguis said:

/thread

I just wish they could be a little more or a little less. lol

I get it. I just don't think changing the entire way squads work is the way to make squads better. Personally, I like the ship upgrades that give benefits to squads. Flight Controllers and Chiraneau make squads feel way different than without. Or Ruthless Strategists. Or BCC. Or the synergy between all the squads. 

I think the real issue is the vast amount of keywords available to squads, but the downside is if you remove keywords, you start to lose the specialty of each squad. 

I don't know how to improve squads. I think FFG went a little too far with their squad love and the only way to go is forward with what we have. I enjoy the diversity, but I also understand not everyone likes it either. 

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18 minutes ago, Undeadguy said:

I get it. I just don't think changing the entire way squads work is the way to make squads better. Personally, I like the ship upgrades that give benefits to squads. Flight Controllers and Chiraneau make squads feel way different than without. Or Ruthless Strategists. Or BCC. Or the synergy between all the squads. 

I think the real issue is the vast amount of keywords available to squads, but the downside is if you remove keywords, you start to lose the specialty of each squad. 

I don't know how to improve squads. I think FFG went a little too far with their squad love and the only way to go is forward with what we have. I enjoy the diversity, but I also understand not everyone likes it either. 

well, the key bits of the system in the op, the parts I feel should be worked out somehow were mainly
a.) squad allowance, I can't think of a logical reason the rebels or empire wouldn't have squads...
b.)pairing for activation, makes losing a none essential ship less devastating, and it's not unheard of for ships to wait for a squads to move first
c.)some form of squad forward arc and rear weakness, as I stated in a post above, as "a new hope" made it clear, squads that focus on bombing runs die, very quickly, there should be an inherent weakness there. 

But yeah, these are all just loose thoughts, I don't hate squad play so much that'll it'll ever shake me from the game. especially now that the jendon/stele combo is a thing :D

Edited by Darth Sanguis

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I don't mind squadron play as is.  I can understand why people are upset with current squadron set up though as capital ships are extremely helpless against them.  Maybe some upgrades to have captial ships do more damage to fighters would help but isn't necessary 

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16 hours ago, Darth Sanguis said:

see this:

I don't like squadrons because they don't feel like a fully integrated part of the armada system. I believe, quite firmly, that FFG should have either made them a little more finessed by having the features I stated in the OP ( or ones similar) or by another extreme, completely reduced  the need for player involvement and simply add them as a token system. 

And I believe that being forced to sacrifice activation count or a even a basic fighter screen to kit a large ship is logical nonsense. When they kit out aircraft carriers they still come with the aircraft.... It's not like the military goes, "ohhhh sorry, we spent too much on the guns so no planes for you, good luck!" Or, "hey you have to choose between having jets on your carrier or bringing the rest of the fleet, sorry, budget cuts".

Utter nonsense. 

Like I stated here:
 

The system I stated in the OP would make fleet building only a little more complicated, and lets face it, it's nothing anyone here couldn't handle. It would also allow for more thematically balanced fleets. What military would forego a fighter defense because they also bolstered their destroyers? None. It allows for a more dynamic activation sequence, and takes squads seriously enough to justify the level of damage they do in Armada. 


As I've said before, these changes are obviously never going to happen, but to pretend FFG didn't drop the ball on squads by heaping these daft little half-effort bases on us is laughable. 

To be clear, I generally agree with you OP: fighters seem to be the least refined mechanic of the system (though I also must admit the "football-esque" way fighters and their effect bubbles work is getting deeper and satisfying in its own way).  However, they DO remove plenty of things for carriers: over the course of ww2 more and more guns were removed so that more aircraft/fuel/aircraft munitions could be taken as it became clearer and clearer that the era of big gun sluggers was now past.  Modern US carriers are essentially unarmed save for maybe some CIWS guns for last ditch air defense.  On later models of Arleigh Burke destroyers, one of the CIWS guns was removed for similar reasons.  Everything is a tradeoff: lots of things that dont make sense from an "efficacy" standpoint find their cause in logistical/practical reasons.  Why can't we still run Iowa class battleships?  They cost too much and we wanted to get more destroyers (must be for activation advantage ;) )

In short, though this doesnt really have anything to do with the mechanics side of your opinion, thought I'd point that out about real wet navies.

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16 hours ago, Darth Sanguis said:

 

Firing arcs on squadrons would be awful. It also doesn't make a ton of sense thematically, since the game is on a large enough scale that it can be fairly assumed that the squadrons move enough to face the enemy without a need to move the miniatures. There's also no need to give out bonuses for attacking from behind since most dedicated bombers in this game are garbage against squadrons already. 

The "Pairing" rule basically renders squadrons commands obsolete. I mean, why use a dial when I can have my Rhymerball launch a full salvo and delay my ISD activation? 

I do wish the bases were a little nicer, but the only improvements I can think of would make the game more expensive. I don't like most of your suggested changes but I agree that some kind of change might be good here. 

I wouldn't be opposed to a "fighter budget" in the actual rules but at the same time I kind of like having the option to spend those points on flotillas or upgrades instead of being required to spend them on fighters. 

16 hours ago, Darth Sanguis said:

And I believe that being forced to sacrifice activation count or a even a basic fighter screen to kit a large ship is logical nonsense. When they kit out aircraft carriers they still come with the aircraft.... It's not like the military goes, "ohhhh sorry, we spent too much on the guns so no planes for you, good luck!" Or, "hey you have to choose between having jets on your carrier or bringing the rest of the fleet, sorry, budget cuts".

Utter nonsense. 

Um, what? You understand that the military doesn't operate by the same rules as a miniatures game that uses points to impose balance, right? And it's not like real carriers are good at direct combat. They didn't spend money on guns, they spent it on planes that will act as the guns for the carrier. Most of the "carriers" in Armada have incredible amounts of firepower compared to what a more true to life carrier would ever have. The Quasar looks to be the first exception, since it has something like RRB at best. But yes, if you want your fleet to be good at one thing it's generally going to be worse at other things. That's game balance. 

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Okay think of it like this.

Imperial II Class Star Destroyer
Command 3
Squadron 4
Engineering 4


How much do we have to spend extra to field an ISD II with a proper command crew? Nothing... because it would be stupid to take a warship to war without the proper command structure.

How much do we have to spend extra to field an ISD II with a proper engineering crew? Nothing.... because it would be stupid to take a warship to war without a means to keep the ship functioning.

How much do we have to spend extra to field an ISD II with a proper number of Squadrons?  Minimum of 32, and that's just to facilitate squadron 4 at bare minimum, if you want squadrons than can at least hold up to an X-Wing? 48, or more... <--That's the stupid part IMO. 

The logic of the Empire, an insanely well funded military regime, taking it's most iconic destroyer/carrier into war without bringing the personnel  required to meet the design functions of that vessel. Makes no sense. At all. 

There should be a fighter allowance, and at the bare minimum it should mirror the total squadron value of the fleet. Because sending ships deigned to carry fighters.... without fighters.... would be like sending a ship out without a navigation or engineering crew and hoping for the best.

Edited by Darth Sanguis

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21 hours ago, Drasnighta said:

Really?

 

I see them as a Homage to the somewhat "traditional" big ship game mechanic of Ordnance.  They're not ships.  They're not used like ships.  They don't conform to ship rules, and they are ultimately expendable, because what is important to the game is your ships.   

 

I think that essense was captured in multiple ways - in fact, I think the only main problem I have with them in that thematic sense is that Rieekan works on Unique Squadrons.  If he worked only for ships, then their expendability would still remain...

 

You do have a choice to use them, but your choice is your choice, and your choice shouldn't effect anyone elses choice or decisions on the matter...  Squadrons are, in effect, still secondary.  To ignore them is your peril, but just the same as you shouldn't ignore a long range torpedo barrage :D

 

Certainly, I feel the game will continue to evolve somewhat.  The interactions between Squadron and Ship have shifted quite a bit since Release anyway.  

There is no need for anything as drastic.  Honestly, I feel half-assing the Squadrons onto a Ship-Style Base and using some of the ship rules is more half-assed than the half-assed bases we have now - because at least half-assed in this way, they feel like expendable assets.  As they should be.

I would have to agree with Darth Sanguis on one point here...If you watch any of the movies, all the ships AND squadrons were used for were to cover the incursion of a single fighter or a ground assault. Even the admirals in all the movies are quoted in saying that the fleets need to hold on for as long as they can in order for the mission to succeed, which didn't have anything to do with keeping the fleet alive. 

 

Otherwise, I disagree that FFG had the squads as an after thought. I see through the waves that they have used the fighters as a cog in the machine, and added more cogs in a very efficient way in order to make the machine run better. I'm personally amazed that they have released as much as they have and not had to errata more in order to fix things. 

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I'm rather against customization of squads. Maybe an upgrade called Veteran, that gives a small benefit. Can only go on a generic, and isn't unique. But a bunch of upgrades would be too much to track. If you want big games of individually upgraded ships, X-Wing Epic is the way to go. 

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There's no reason to give firing arcs to squads.  Think about it: when two or three squadrons are engaged, that's an entire X-Wing 3x3 table in those couple of square inches.

 

Squadrons are fine how they are.  The focus in Armada needs to stay on the ships, and their customization.

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2 hours ago, AegisGrimm said:

There's no reason to give firing arcs to squads.  Think about it: when two or three squadrons are engaged, that's an entire X-Wing 3x3 table in those couple of square inches.

 

Squadrons are fine how they are.  The focus in Armada needs to stay on the ships, and their customization.

To broaden this conversation: 
Imo, I think Armada's focus should be on variation on gameplay, as opposed to just focusing on ships or squadrons.  I'd love to see objectives matter more, much much more impetuses for spreading the game out instead of simply concentrating forces as best as you can on one target.  
I don't agree with the OPs suggested changes. 
However, I think squadrons in this game are really odd and not the best way to handle things. I was hoping squadrons would offer more specific damage due to mobility or ways of strategically crippling ships, but instead they just mathematically do the most damage in the game and blow things up in a concentration of force style.  (ie.  Squadrons are not that well designed in this game) 
Caveat and counter to that is that I think, while Wave 1-2 squad play was kind of stale, the new squadrons really increase the diversity of strategy for squadrons.  However, this is mainly in non-damage spike squadrons:  VCX/Shuttle strategic, Jonus buffing ships not suqadrons, Ewing Snipe, Decimator and rogue freedom, while not being utterly efficient via bomber, relay allowing more spread out games, as opposed to blob vs blob.   (i.e.. Squadrons are too mathematically efficient, and I still haven't had anyone acknowledge the statistics of this.)  (best squadrons diversify the game, instead of blowing things up faster. ) 

I don't agree with arcs, however, I also don't agree with the concept of 360, any way any time mobility.  This occurs in world of warships for the simplification of Carrier airplane AI.  What it does is create really annoying and unrealistic ways that airplanes in that game can destroy ships and other airplanes.  Its wholly unrealistic in real life also, where airplanes and their pilots are incapable of turning at the anything even remotely near the games' choice.  This is the same in armada.  Without difficulty in moving, the game becomes simpler and not as skillful, and becomes more based in total efficiency.  Again, see world of warships.  Also see Air units in Starcraft 2 (while considered the best army, they're the most easiest to use army and the least counter able due to movement ease).  In warships it also becomes an issue of simply who can get all their planes attacking another enemy plane at once.  From there its a snowball effect of air supremacy.  

So 360 movement of squadrons in armada is simplistic and unrealistic and boring and causes a ballooning of efficiency to matter. Something I was very unhappy to hear seeing the unveiling of the game. 

That said, the cool ships were way tooo cool to not play, but gods, there are so many things about Armada that are clumsy and play into gimmicks like turn order, here known as activation order.  

 

Its one thing to say the game is bad ded game don't play.  Its another thing to say. this game has some poor design choices from its inception that we wish weren't there. 

Its also another thing to respond to this angrily and simply assume BB has nothing useful to say and he should L2P vs squads.  Its another approach to consider that one can love something and still be keenly aware of its shortcomings.  

All I offer here is a concept of awareness that this game could possibly be something other than blob of efficiency vs blob of efficiency, and turn order advantages.  
I've cited my comparison and made my case with reason and examples.   But I'm still going to get unbudging angry responses. 

Edited by Blail Blerg

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