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gamblertuba

Alternate Reality: Actions are Selected During Planning

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This is purely a speculative question, not a proposal for changing the game.  Would you enjoy the game more or less if actions were selected during the planning phase and revealed with the maneuver?  I expect it depends a great deal on whether you enjoy flying the "Ace" ships or not.

If you played the game during the "Phantom Menace" of waves 4 and 5, you remember how ridiculous it was to play against Whisper that could decloak, move, and barrel roll all at PS9.  Personally, I think it's similarly frustrating for Fenn, Soontir, whoever to decide whether to boost, barrel roll, or both with perfect knowledge of the board state.  I understand some folks like this.  I further understand that a PS9 pilot may have superior combat instincts or whatever.  For me, however, I think this reactive positioning with zero hidden information saps a lot of the fun out of the game and is a big reason why generic ships are struggling.  Surprising and out-guessing your opponent is really only helpful if you can block their ship which loses you a gun for that round.

Imagine, you can transport yourself to a hypothetical alternate dimension that is the same in every way except for the following:

  • X-wing dials allow you to set a maneuver and choose an action during the planning phase.  (Imagine we have had double dials like Runewars from day 1.)
  • The first action that you perform each turn will be the pre-selected action (unless it is specified like evade action from X7).  Any subsequent actions are up for grabs.  (I realize that PtL becomes a really strong option here but compared to Mindlink it seems OK at 3 points.)
  • You may choose to perform a different action at the cost of receiving a stress token.

Would you make the switch?  What if Miranda had to choose to SLAM before seeing where all of your Tie Fighters end up?  I don't think this would make any ships unplayable.  PS killing is still a huge deal and most of the high PS pilots already have stunningly good pilot abilities.  I admit my own personal bias as I love flying generic ships but I would make that switch in a heartbeat.

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11 minutes ago, gamblertuba said:

This is purely a speculative question, not a proposal for changing the game.  Would you enjoy the game more or less if actions were selected during the planning phase and revealed with the maneuver?  I expect it depends a great deal on whether you enjoy flying the "Ace" ships or not.

If you played the game during the "Phantom Menace" of waves 4 and 5, you remember how ridiculous it was to play against Whisper that could decloak, move, and barrel roll all at PS9.  Personally, I think it's similarly frustrating for Fenn, Soontir, whoever to decide whether to boost, barrel roll, or both with perfect knowledge of the board state.  I understand some folks like this.  I further understand that a PS9 pilot may have superior combat instincts or whatever.  For me, however, I think this reactive positioning with zero hidden information saps a lot of the fun out of the game and is a big reason why generic ships are struggling.  Surprising and out-guessing your opponent is really only helpful if you can block their ship which loses you a gun for that round.

Imagine, you can transport yourself to a hypothetical alternate dimension that is the same in every way except for the following:

  • X-wing dials allow you to set a maneuver and choose an action during the planning phase.  (Imagine we have had double dials like Runewars from day 1.)
  • The first action that you perform each turn will be the pre-selected action (unless it is specified like evade action from X7).  Any subsequent actions are up for grabs.  (I realize that PtL becomes a really strong option here but compared to Mindlink it seems OK at 3 points.)
  • You may choose to perform a different action at the cost of receiving a stress token.

Would you make the switch?  What if Miranda had to choose to SLAM before seeing where all of your Tie Fighters end up?  I don't think this would make any ships unplayable.  PS killing is still a huge deal and most of the high PS pilots already have stunningly good pilot abilities.  I admit my own personal bias as I love flying generic ships but I would make that switch in a heartbeat.

I personally think that would be great. It definitely adds a sense of realism into the game, like you are in a real dogfight. Maybe there could be an action, such as hack, that would let you see the opponent's action dial so that you could see it.

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21 minutes ago, thespaceinvader said:

Seems like the ability to declare Target Locks on ships outside range and get your action back would make Target Lock a very strong default action in a lot of cases, as well as things like Seismic Torpedoes that can fail and let you change to another action.

That's why we invent an upgrade called "Contingency Protocol" or an EPT called "Lightning Reflexes 2.0" - only with those cards (12 points each lol) can you change your action...

But you're right, the idea would need some further fleshing out. I like it. 

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32 minutes ago, Rogue_Group1 said:

I personally think that would be great. It definitely adds a sense of realism into the game, like you are in a real dogfight. Maybe there could be an action, such as hack, that would let you see the opponent's action dial so that you could see it.

Intel Agent would let you see either movement dial or action selection of opponent :)

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1 hour ago, thespaceinvader said:

Seems like the ability to declare Target Locks on ships outside range and get your action back would make Target Lock a very strong default action in a lot of cases, as well as things like Seismic Torpedoes that can fail and let you change to another action.

think the rules would have to be if you choose TL and have no valid target, you get no soup unless you want to take a stress.

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3 hours ago, TasteTheRainbow said:

Neat. Hard on tie swarms though.

Yeah, but it represents a real dogfight. Another way that it could continue to represent dogfights is for each person to control 1 or 2 ships, by that I mean multiple players on each team who can't show each other their manoeuvre dials, if they all don't have a communications link established.

Edited by Rogue_Group1

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This would not be a good idea. It would kill Aces even more than they already are. They're supposed to have an advantage with their actions. That and shooting first is the benefit of high pilot skill.

They also have an extremely high skill ceiling to play, so it's not like arc dodging aces are easy mode. Mindlink crap and Sabine k-wing bombs are easy mode.

Edited by BadMotivator

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I think if the actions were "Categories" it could work. For instance, you dial your manuever and set an "attack action" (focus/target) "defense action" (focus/evade) or "movement action" (boost/barrel roll/slam) "support action" (card and pilot ability actions). So, you have PTL, you can set a movement and defense action. Then when you move, you can choose one of the movement options available to your ship, then you have to select a defensive option. That way, if you take a TL and cant get it, you get a focus action. If an ace wants to turtle up, they have to decide to before seeing the board state, but if they choose two movment options, they can choose the order, so Soontir can still b-roll and boost, or boost then b-roll. Fenn has to boost before knowing he is range 2 or not. Could be fun!

Edited by wurms

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4 hours ago, Rinzler in a Tie said:

That's why we invent an upgrade called "Contingency Protocol" or an EPT called "Lightning Reflexes 2.0" - only with those cards (12 points each lol) can you change your action...

But you're right, the idea would need some further fleshing out. I like it. 

FFG already as a game with movement dials and action dials. So the idea is plenty of fleshed out on basic mechanical level. :)
As you said, runewars is a thing. 

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How many actions are out there now?  I think you would just have an "Elite" icon and a "Crew" icon to cover all of those.  The rare cases where you have more than 1 of an upgrade action wouldn't be a game-breaker.

  1. Target Lock
  2. Focus
  3. Evade
  4. Reinforce
  5. Jam (epic only currently)
  6. Recover  (epic only currently)
  7. Cloak
  8. Barrel Roll
  9. Boost
  10. SLAM
  11. Rotate Arc
  12. Elite
  13. Crew
  14. Illicit
  15. Bomb
  16. Torpedo (Seismics)
  17. Modification (Spacetug)

Edit to add cloak, modification and rotate arc.  Starting to get to the limit of what could be done as a generic dial for all ships...

Edited by gamblertuba

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I don't like it. It feels too much like Armada. In Armada it makes sense because planning ahead represents the chain of command. This makes no sense in a space dogfighting game where decisions are made in the heat of the moment. Plus it kills aces. Please don't remove the dogfighting feel of this game anymore than its already been done.

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23 minutes ago, gamblertuba said:

@Jetfire @defkhan1

I'm wondering if you could explain how choosing an action during the planning phase is substantially different than choosing a maneuver.  Would it be even more "Dogfighty" if each ship chose their maneuver when they activated?

Higher-skill pilots are priced with their ability to reactively take actions in mind.

I think this change is pretty awful because it gives essentially complete advantage to moving first.  The earlier you take an action, the more complete your information.

Bombing K-wings become even better, for example, because higher PS pilots can't even react to your bombing run to avoid a bad position for the next one.

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I'd actually prefer if actions were performed after attacks.  You'd need to change it so tokens don't drop obviously (I'd actually completely redo focus, fwiw) but a lot of the actions feel like they'd be more interesting if done prior to the maneuver.  For example, you couldn't benefit from a Target Lock unless you kept the enemy in your sights during a maneuver (I'd probably make it so locks don't drop as well) and you can get more of that hit and run sense by having an Interceptor shoot and then boost past the target.

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Personally, I'd rather change the format for activation.  Rather than activating ships in ascending order of PS, I'd like to see opponents alternate activation of ships without regard to pilot skill.  Doing so adds a new dynamic for blocking, bombing and target locks.  If you haven't tried it before, do it for fun as it changes your strategy paradigms.  

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You get action dials equal to your pilot skill and have to set them in order. lol.

Actually for X-wing I don't see the "action" dial as a thing because it would just kill boost and barrel roll as good actions for high pilot skilled players. In a matter of fact it would make PS1 Swarms the only viable list. Now the whole Runewars dial set up might be good for Armada but like X-wing it is just too late to do anything else. Still I am not exactly sure actions dial mechanics would be the way to work. If so then you would need a separate phase between activation and combat in Pilot skill order. Also you would have to get rid of the whole bumping/stress gets rid of actions.

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11 hours ago, Rogue_Group1 said:

I personally think that would be great. It definitely adds a sense of realism into the game, like you are in a real dogfight. Maybe there could be an action, such as hack, that would let you see the opponent's action dial so that you could see it.

We'll call it the guidry action.... ;):rolleyes: ok, i'll see myself out.

Edited by FlyingAnchors

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7 hours ago, gamblertuba said:

@Jetfire @defkhan1

I'm wondering if you could explain how choosing an action during the planning phase is substantially different than choosing a maneuver.  Would it be even more "Dogfighty" if each ship chose their maneuver when they activated?

They are entirely different. Choosing a maneuver is a test of your ability to predict the board state before ships have moved. Actions are what you do once you've already moved. Low PS ships have perfect knowledge of the current board state and can move accordingly, but may end up picking a suboptimal action because they don't know the final board state. High PS ships have imperfect knowledge of what the board state will look like once they move, but they have perfect knowledge of what actions to take once they do move. It's a nice balance, one that does not need to be upset.

And no, choosing maneuvers on the fly would not be more "dogfighty". If we're treating this like a dogfighting simulation, it makes sense to pick maneuvers in advance. Ships move fast and there isn't enough time to change course instantaneously, thus the maneuver you choose represents where you think a ship is going to be rather than where it currently is, which is realistic. Actions represent decisions you make in the heat of the moment. For instance, Soontir Fel notices an X-wing's guns pointed at him and reflexively dodges out of the way via a barrel roll. The current system is more realistic with regard to simulating dogfighting and is frankly more fun.

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8 hours ago, defkhan1 said:

The current system is more realistic with regard to simulating dogfighting and is frankly more fun.

I understand your points better thank you.  Although the idea of more fun probably depends on whether you fly the high PS arc dodgers or not.

Off topic but I just now realized how terrible the term dogfighting is...  Never made the connection between air combat and actual for real Michael-Vick-style actual dogs, you know, fighting.

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