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Lobokai

[Blog] What the meta is and isn't

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Meta analysis on my little blog

I feel like there's a bit of insight here that's not standard fare... but looking for your thoughts... nothing groundbreaking... trying to articulate to new players in my area what is "good" and "bad" right now in the meta and more importantly why.

Edited by Lobokai

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Imperials are only good when they're not being Imperial anymore.

 

Spot on.

 

Side-note, X7 Defenders; while solid, don't even feel like Imperial Ships.

Instead they feel like PTL'ing generics who are forced to fly fast. Not that you can't fly slow, but with the red dice creep and the amount of turrets out there you really can't - most of the time.

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I feel that you've neglected to speak of proactive control elements (stress, ion, tractor).

Admittedly, control lists are in the minority at the moment. But why is that? Everyone knows that tractor beams are strong. Why aren't more Quads, Shadow Caster titles, or TB-TIE/Ds used?  Why don't we see many Ion Cannons or ICTs?  

Stress is the most commonly-used control element, largely because there are many options by which it can be applied without the need for an attack, or an attack to hit (in the case of Gunner Braylen, you actually want the attack to miss, which is a win-win). Spacetug Tractor Array gives a means for tractor tokens to be applied in similarly green-dice-immune fashion, but its only platform is an otherwise pathetic gimmick ship. Still, the design space is opening up towards tractor beam mechanics. Right now, the only ion applicator that doesn't rely on attacks hitting is the ion bomb. It suffers from finite quantity and "dodgeableness". I believe that current deficiencies indicate that there will be at least one upgrade (crew, system, tech, illicit, or modification) in the near future that will assign ion tokens, and more faction-accessible tractor token generation. Stress control needs to not be the only control.

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1 hour ago, Lobokai said:

but I agree. I'd like to see some sort of effective control mechanic that large ships are more susceptible too instead of less. 

Honestly they just need to REMOVE the Tractor/Ion immunity that Large ships get. Make them movable via tractor, and ionized with 1 ion. It's not like Large ships pay any premium in points for that immunity. Look at the JM5k- 25 points lol.

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12 hours ago, Keffisch said:

Spot on.

Side-note, X7 Defenders; while solid, don't even feel like Imperial Ships.

Instead they feel like PTL'ing generics who are forced to fly fast. Not that you can't fly slow, but with the red dice creep and the amount of turrets out there you really can't - most of the time.

"Imperial Doctrine" was lots of cheap ships with skilled pilots to keep them alive.  Ergo, swarms and aces.  Both of which have been in the crosshair of "change the meta."  It worked; they killed swarm so thoroughly that FFG could not even resurrect it with the Gozanti cruiser aces.  Unless and until they create some sort of squad mechanic that benefits large numbers of generics, Imperials are going to have to fly tanks like the rest of the other factions.

Would love to fly squints, but for the points my choices are really limited to Defender, TAP, and TIE/sf, IMHO.

It's really the same as for the Rebels: the classic ships have been out classed.  No X-, B-, Y-, and no /ln, Int, or /fo.

Edited by Darth Meanie

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Spot on @Lobokai, enjoyed the read. I'm not completely sold out on the idea that all this amazing flying, token issuing, turret using, stress controlling,  large base craze was designed to bring arc dodgers to heal....I think it was a business decision to sell units. "Great flying, iconic pilots and ships be damned if we can move units." Perhaps not, but if our iconic pilots suffer too long, and the supposed iron fist of the galaxy languish in unused and unfeared obscurity, the game will die.

Edited by clanofwolves

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29 minutes ago, clanofwolves said:

Spot on @Lobokai, enjoyed the read. I'm not completely sold out on the idea that all this amazing flying, token issuing, turret using, stress controlling,  large base craze was designed to bring arc dodgers to heal....I think it was a business decision to sell units. "Great flying, iconic pilots and ships be damned if we can move units." Perhaps not, but if our iconic pilots suffer too long, and the supposed iron fist of the galaxy languish in unused and unfeared obscurity, the game will die.

I pretty sure it is not maliciously intentional; the classic ships were designed first, and the game has blown by them.  And if they don't move any units, the game is dead anyways.  I do agree, OTOH, if they keep making waves like XI, a lot of people are going to wander away from the game. . .it needs to be a good game, but for a lot of people it also need to be Star Wars.  TIE/AG has a great new mechanic for the game, but the TIE Interceptor is what we bought the game for.

Every time I watch an episode of Rebels I think "Where's Thrawn?  Where's Darth Maul?  Where's Governor Pryce?"  I want to field these characters because I want to feel like I'm playing Star Wars.  I'm not against EU stuff; I'd love to see a Chiss Clawcraft or even the Gunboat.  But I do think the game is getting less Star Warsy and more "insert new game mechanic here" with every wave.  When people say a ship is not needed mechanically ("the N-1's role is already filled," "what's the point in having Blue Squadron pilots"), I think, "who cares--I want to put one on the table!"

If the Imperial need a new niche that is not TIE swarm, then we need something that is a bit like Palp-Aces. . .a strong Imperial officer that makes his or her TIEs the feared fighters they should be.  In truth, X-Wing can't really pull off the best Imperial iron fist: an massive ISD filling the viewport of Rebellion ships and belching out clouds of fighters.  But what's on the table should feel like that.

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18 minutes ago, Darth Meanie said:

Every time I watch an episode of Rebels I think "Where's Thrawn?  Where's Darth Maul?  Where's Governor Pryce?"  I want to field these characters because I want to feel like I'm playing Star Wars.  I'm not against EU stuff; I'd love to see a Chiss Clawcraft or even the Gunboat.  But I do think the game is getting less Star Warsy and more "insert new game mechanic here" with every wave.  When people say a ship is not needed mechanically ("the N-1's role is already filled," "what's the point in having Blue Squadron pilots"), I think, "who cares--I want to put one on the table!"

If the Imperial need a new niche that is not TIE swarm, then we need something that is a bit like Palp-Aces. . .a strong Imperial officer that makes his or her TIEs the feared fighters they should be.  In truth, X-Wing can't really pull off the best Imperial iron fist: an massive ISD filling the viewport of Rebellion ships and belching out clouds of fighters.  But what's on the table should feel like that.A

AMEN. Thrawn. Maul. Pryce. Inquisitor Crew. These are crew cards that could turn Imperials around, and we need them sooner rather than later. Imperials are so behind the curve on upgrades it's not even funny. So many of the interesting, powerful, and iconic cards are SCUM AND REBELS ONLY and that SUCKS. They basically need to make a stand alone card deck at this point, say 10-15 cards, that are ALL Imperial only and sell it separately for $10-15. Then they could fix a number of Imperial issues without us having to wait until Wave XVII until Imps are good again.

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I'd like to see an imperial/rebel only crew - maybe double sided - for Fulcrum!

I think Kylo, Darth, Palp, Kallus, LWT & MKIIs are all pretty great upgrade cards myself. I don't think Imperials are as far behind the curve as you guys think, it seems. I'm looking forward to what can be done with an aggressor, and with a joust-scimitar (LWF & UM for 20pts). I think the imperative of knocking out tlts quickly may play very nicely into the flanky-lategamey imperial ace playbook, and so we might get some great new lists to try out. 

Edited by banjobenito

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4 minutes ago, banjobenito said:

I'd like to see an imperial/rebel only crew - maybe double sided - for Fulcrum!

I think Kylo, Darth, Palp, Kallus, LWT & MKIIs are all pretty great upgrade cards myself. I don't think Imperials are as far behind the curve as you guys think, it seems. I'm looking forward to what can be done with an aggressor, and with a joust-scimitar (LWT & UR for 20pts). I think the imperative of knocking out tlts quickly may play very nicely into the flanky-lategamey imperial ace playbook, and so we might get some great new lists to try out. 

I do love an optimistic spin sir, thanks for pulling our gaze out of the pit.....there is a lot ridding on the Agressor, let's hope it's dial is wicked awesome in comparison to recent "almosts." Crap, I went sour again. Let me rephrase, the new TIE is going to be fantastic!!! I'm preordering four!

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7 minutes ago, clanofwolves said:

 I'm preordering four!

Yeah, me too.  I am not opposed to the TIE/AG, just not inspired.

But for Wave XII, I want the Sentinel-class shuttle.  And I want it to be an Imperial-officer-toting pseudo-Epic battlefield management ship:  Coordinate, Jam, and lots of crew slots for Imperial officers that manage (read: augment) the abilities of the starfighters on the table.  It has had so much screen time in Rebels that it is pretty much a sin that I can't field one!

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2 minutes ago, Darth Meanie said:

......I want the Sentinel-class shuttle.  And I want it to be an Imperial-officer-toting pseudo-Epic battlefield management ship:  Coordinate, Jam, and lots of crew slots for Imperial officers that manage (read: augment) the abilities of the starfighters on the table.  It has had so much screen time in Rebels that it is pretty much a sin that I can't field one!

I haven't seen Rebels, but I've heard a lot about it. I think Kylo's Shuttle was kind of intended to be such a thing, but the lack of Rebel and Scum K-turn or S-Loop on a large base ship technology keeps it an almost great ship like the Lambda. I wouldn't mind getting a title upgrade card for Imperial only Shuttles that adds (2) crew slots and some red maneuver that turns the b***hes around like every other d**n large base ship you see played these days. I cannot for the life of me see the logic FFG, if the things can't have a turret like almost all Reb and Scum large base ships, then why not allow it to flip around?? They do it in the ? 

.....I need a beer.

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2 hours ago, Darth Meanie said:

It's really the same as for the Rebels: the classic ships have been out classed.  No X-, B-, Y-, and no /ln, Int, or /fo.

X and Y at least see play, especially at the top tables, albeit in severely limited scope (Biggs and stresshog). If /ln and Int had such counterparts in the Empire I'd feel a bit better.

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Just now, Sparklelord said:

I feel that you've neglected to speak of proactive control elements (stress, ion, tractor).

Admittedly, control lists are in the minority at the moment. But why is that? Everyone knows that tractor beams are strong. Why aren't more Quads, Shadow Caster titles, or TB-TIE/Ds used?  Why don't we see many Ion Cannons or ICTs?  

Stress is the most commonly-used control element, largely because there are many options by which it can be applied without the need for an attack, or an attack to hit (in the case of Gunner Braylen, you actually want the attack to miss, which is a win-win). Spacetug Tractor Array gives a means for tractor tokens to be applied in similarly green-dice-immune fashion, but its only platform is an otherwise pathetic gimmick ship. Still, the design space is opening up towards tractor beam mechanics. Right now, the only ion applicator that doesn't rely on attacks hitting is the ion bomb. It suffers from finite quantity and "dodgeableness". I believe that current deficiencies indicate that there will be at least one upgrade (crew, system, tech, illicit, or modification) in the near future that will assign ion tokens, and more faction-accessible tractor token generation. Stress control needs to not be the only control.

The main issue with the Tractor Beam is that it barely affects large ships, which also happen to be the best ships right now. 

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Agreed on the game passing the Imperial icons by

Fighters, Interceptors, Firesprays, even a non-palp shuttle, really need help.

Love the idea of a card only release. Truthfully Awings, Z95s, 2400s, X-Wings, Khirax,  Starvypers, and a few others could use a soft boost too. 

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5 hours ago, Lobokai said:

Agreed on the game passing the Imperial icons by

Fighters, Interceptors, Firesprays, even a non-palp shuttle, really need help.

Love the idea of a card only release. Truthfully Awings, Z95s, 2400s, X-Wings, Khirax,  Starvypers, and a few others could use a soft boost too. 

I wouldn't mind that at all.  I would love to see an update pack for all the older ships to bring them in line with the newer releases, but still keep their original flavor.

Things like a title for the standard TIE Fighter.

"Imperial Training.

Imperials Only. TIE Fighter Only.

You may only equip this title if your ship has a Shield Value of 0.

When attacking with your primary weapon, if there is another TIE Fighter within Range 1 piloted by a non-unique pilot, you may roll one additional attack die."

Keeps the swarm flavor of the standard TIE, by only buffing them when in range of generics. Doesn't add a whole mess of new trick or buff Snap Shot, just massed firepower.

Edited by NH Gunsmith

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2 minutes ago, Estarriol said:

so much salt...

Most of it whining, but concerns for the iconic Star Wars ships I feel is a legitimate concern if not beaten into the ground recently.

When I get people into X-Wing that aren't hard core Star Wars fans, they just enjoy Star Wars, the first things they buy are TIE Fighters, Bombers, Advanceds, X-Wings, A-Wings and Y-Wings. A lot of them haven't read a lot of the EU books or watched Rebels.

Once they start to figure the game out and want to improve themselves, a lot of them are a bit disappointed the pilots and ships they want to use are underwhelming. For some it really doesn't feel like a Star Wars game when watching competitive battle reports if they want to go to events, or if they get spanked by somebody else that shows up to the local store with some wacky looking ships.

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I don't think there is much wrong with the tie swarm beyond people not willing to invest the time and mental effort into learning how to fly them well. They still place reasonably when flown well, and there's nothing Fenn can do that's much different from when the Phantom first came out.

Fel and Jax are both still pretty strong when flown well, though I'll concede the triple Interceptor list I'd sadly dead in this era of spike damage.

All in all, I don't really see that the imperials are really in a much different space from last year except they have some tankier fighters in their tool boxes.

Then again, I flew Defenders pre veterans so maybe I just take going into battle as the underdog for granted ;)

Edited by Estarriol

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