Jump to content
nickv2002

Skirmish Meta Balance Discussion (Post Droid-Reinforcement, Pre HotE)

Recommended Posts

One thing I really like with the auto-focus buffs to figures like IG-88 and BT-1 is the fact that making lists with these 'will' be different from other lists. If your run IG-88 and eJawa for BT-1 and perhaps C-3PO you probably don't want Jabba as two of your prime hitters are already always focused. So Scum have the Jabba + Hunters (and/or whatever goons) and they have the Droid theme that probably doesn't run Jabba at least. Those are very different lists. This may have been an intentional or just a lucky stroke of genius.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
48 minutes ago, Fightwookies said:

The way the game is now, negation is automatically held until your opponent plays Take Initiative. If you don't bring TI, your opponent will just sit on negation while other 0 cost cards swing the game in your favor. I didn't bring TI to a couple recent tournaments and I noticed that negation was never played against me. It doesn't even cross a lot of players minds to use it on a positioning advantage that takes out a strong figure before they can activate. 

But that is their decision. In the tourney I played in this past weekend, negation was used on my celebration. I wasn't too upset given that I had Take in my hand, but that is still a solid use for negation if you ask me. A for sure block of 4 pts. vs the possibility that extra damage or loss of a figure(s) occurs. My point being that the decision still has to be made. 

Even if I knew for a fact that no one was ever going to play Take again, Negation makes my hand every time. And as many have pointed out, now that its so expected to have Take, its a nice strategy to drop it so that you have 1 more card for other uses. I like the strategy that that brings.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, wannabepudge said:

But that is their decision. In the tourney I played in this past weekend, negation was used on my celebration. I wasn't too upset given that I had Take in my hand, but that is still a solid use for negation if you ask me. A for sure block of 4 pts. vs the possibility that extra damage or loss of a figure(s) occurs. My point being that the decision still has to be made. 

Even if I knew for a fact that no one was ever going to play Take again, Negation makes my hand every time. And as many have pointed out, now that its so expected to have Take, its a nice strategy to drop it so that you have 1 more card for other uses. I like the strategy that that brings.

Right, negation makes the hand regardless, but my point is that a lot of players don't consider using negation on anything but Take Initiative. In a tournament, I know I have to put a lot of brainpower on auto pilot looking for triggers. It may not have even crossed your opponents mind that he could negate your celebration, so no decision was actually made. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, Fightwookies said:

Right, negation makes the hand regardless, but my point is that a lot of players don't consider using negation on anything but Take Initiative. In a tournament, I know I have to put a lot of brainpower on auto pilot looking for triggers. It may not have even crossed your opponents mind that he could negate your celebration, so no decision was actually made. 

Not my problem haha.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, yourmomlies said:

I don't think take the initiative is a problem - please don't change it!  Please don't nerf it!  It's practically a core mechanic.

Is Son of Skywalker/Blaze of Glory into Take the Initiative a huge swing?  Heck yes it is!  You're not investing 12pts into Luke or Iggy to have a slighly superior unit.  This unit has to be 2x as good as eQuays.  Focused & hidden eQuays can cripple or potentially kill Iggy or Luke in a single activation, with NO command cards.  Investing another 2-3 points and 2-3 card slots on top of the unit's cost for a devastating combo is huge, but taking it away from the beast units isn't the answer.

Take is also a card that can lose value fast as the game draws on.  It's also a card that once it is played by your opponent, the game becomes more predictable - once you've weathered the storm, you know where you stand.  Don't over commit!  Plan on your take getting negated, plan on not being able to negate theirs.  

So many command cards are on the power level of Take and Take is the easiest to play around.  Changing the mechanic of how it works as suggested makes it practically unplayable (I despise playing cards that allow my opponent to decide if they trigger it - it's like, hey, here's a comm disruption that you can only use against this card - I'm going to play this card, will you comm disruption it?  I'd argue its a far worse snow-ball effect for your opponent - already losing, I can give you initiative, or I can exhaust one of my two remaining units...  Now, at least you pay the price for taking the initiative.

There are other command cards with that kind of power, sure, but they're also not 0-pt cards.  (Even just increasing the cost doesn't actually help things, though, because then you can't use negation).

The problem to my mind isn't necessarily that it's game-breakingly powerful, but rather that it's so powerful compared to its cost that you include it in literally every single deck you make.  Sure you could say the same about SoS or Blaze of Glory or Blaise's command card, but those are only auto-includes if you're bringing those particular figures.

Edited by ManateeX
spelling

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
43 minutes ago, wannabepudge said:

But that is their decision. In the tourney I played in this past weekend, negation was used on my celebration. I wasn't too upset given that I had Take in my hand, but that is still a solid use for negation if you ask me. A for sure block of 4 pts. vs the possibility that extra damage or loss of a figure(s) occurs. My point being that the decision still has to be made. 

Even if I knew for a fact that no one was ever going to play Take again, Negation makes my hand every time. And as many have pointed out, now that its so expected to have Take, its a nice strategy to drop it so that you have 1 more card for other uses. I like the strategy that that brings.

Negation is a great card. And sometimes, using it to negate Celebration is the right choice, especially late in the game. But that's the keyword here: choice.

There are many, many great 1 point cards and there are only more being introduced. With Take Initiative as intrinsic to the meta as it is, Negation is mandatory. There is no choice, not for competitive play. Statistically, the odds will kill you. But if one rjigs Take Initiative, suddenly Negation has more in common with Tough Luck. An exceptional card, one nearly every list can benefit from... But one you can still afford to swap out.

Edited by mellowthello

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Command cards swing the game, it's what they do.  Part of what I enjoy about IA-skirmish is the triple random quality of dice, command cards and match-up - Take doesn't remove strategy from the game, it is just another element of it.  JT, SoS or Blaze can end an opponents game, so can Take.  Take is just the most readily accessible and I argue, the easiest to counter.  That seems balanced to me.  Is it so powerful that you might be a fool not to take it?  Yeah, probably.  I just don't see what's so bad about that.  

I don't see it as intrinsic to the meta, but as one of the more important game changers in a command deck - seriously, win or lose we have a less enjoyable, less variable game if all we do is back and forth with no changes or at least threats to who controls init in a given round.

Take isn't the problem - it may multiply the power of some of the mor-power-creepy cards, but is Take really the problem in that scenario?  Rd1 of the last store champs I went to, saw Luke SoS murder IG-88 after the scum 3PO used his activation to devotion for Blaze of Glory.  Both of our take initiatives were negated in that game, which was just as much a game changer as either one of them going through would have been.  That's the intensity, the razor's edge excitement that Take & Negation bring to the game - and I'd posit that's the reason they're auto-includes as much as anything else.  They are fun!

Edited by yourmomlies
grammar

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Thanks for all the comments everyone.

Besides Take Initiative are there other areas of the game you find frustrating and do you have fixes in mind?

One thing I've seen mentioned multiple times is the strength/number of Hunter command cards that add damage.

IMO, I think they can be problematic because they are powerful and plentiful. Stacking 2 or 3 cards amongst Assassinate, Tools for the Job, Heightened Reflexes, and Priority Target (plus the generic Positioning Advantage, Element of Surprise, Blitz, and Wild Attack and some Unique cards like Shyla's that add more) make deadly powerful attacks that you can't really play around or mitigate. Even a spy-based controlling list can only hope to Com Disrupt or Intel Leak 1 or 2 of those per game.

If you have thoughts on those I'd love to hear them.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
1 hour ago, yourmomlies said:

 Changing the mechanic of how it works as suggested makes it practically unplayable (I despise playing cards that allow my opponent to decide if they trigger it - it's like, hey, here's a comm disruption that you can only use against this card - I'm going to play this card, will you comm disruption it?  I'd argue its a far worse snow-ball effect for your opponent - already losing, I can give you initiative, or I can exhaust one of my two remaining units...  Now, at least you pay the price for taking the initiative.

I understand the sentiment. I hate playing cards that give my opponent the choice as well, but I don't feel that's what I'm describing here. In fact, as @ManateeX suggested, there's actually a lot of room for intrigue here. How important is initiative for you?

Let's say you're both running IG-88. Hell, let's say you're running a mirror match. You play Take Initiative and you're faced with a choice: do you exhaust 7 points of eWeequay Pirates? Well, you have Squad Swarm, so you don't want to do that. You also have On the Lam, so you're not worried about IG-88 offing your squad. But maybe your goal isn't init at all. Maybe you actively WANT your opponent to exhaust his eWeequays. You can bluff him this way.

On the flipside, maybe you suspect your opponent has Squad Swarm. You watch him agonize. Whatever he chooses, be it Weequays or IG-88, or nothing at all now you know he has it.

Third scenario, same cards: you choose to exhaust 12 points with IG-88 because you have Squad Swarm but you didn't draw Blaze of Glory. He DOES have Blaze of Glory, however, so he doesn't sweat it: he taps his IG-88, keeps init, and plays Blaze of Glory. Yes, your card was negated, but it won't save him. If he attacks with his IG-88 more than once, with your Squad Swarm and On the Lam, he's dead.

I could go on. There's an infinitesimal more player choice in a situation like this than there is simply "do you negate my take initiative?"

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, nickv2002 said:

One thing I've seen mentioned multiple times is the strength/number of Hunter command cards that add damage.

IMO, I think they can be problematic because they are powerful and plentiful. Stacking 2 or 3 cards amongst Assassinate, Tools for the Job, Heightened Reflexes, and Priority Target (plus the generic Positioning Advantage, Element of Surprise, Blitz, and Wild Attack and some Unique cards like Shyla's that add more) make deadly powerful attacks that you can't really play around or mitigate. Even a spy-based controlling list can only hope to Com Disrupt or Intel Leak 1 or 2 of those per game.

I agree that the power of hunters is too much at the moment, but only due to a (necessary, I think, given the massive rules change that was points per figure) re-balancing of the game as of the Jabba wave.  I have faith that this is merely the baseline IA's developers are currently striving for. I expect to see equally powerful Force User / Brawler cards in the coming wave.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

@mellowthelloSure!  Let's cost it at 2-3 points (because it basically says, exhaust an enemy unit of the opponents choice), name it something else, and have a potential second initiative changing card in the game.  I'm all for that.  

(I play X-Wing as well, I'm a little scarred and I get concerned when I hear the call go out for a sacrifice to the nerf/ban hammer.  IA is so much better in terms of balance and power creep than X-Wing, and as I have cried into the darkness with the X-Wing crowd, when you change one thing, the ripples often have much greater and often unknown effects on game balance which often just make other cards look OP instead.)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 minutes ago, yourmomlies said:

@mellowthelloSure!  Let's cost it at 2-3 points (because it basically says, exhaust an enemy unit of the opponents choice), name it something else, and have a potential second initiative changing card in the game.  I'm all for that.  

(I play X-Wing as well, I'm a little scarred and I get concerned when I hear the call go out for a sacrifice to the nerf/ban hammer.  IA is so much better in terms of balance and power creep than X-Wing, and as I have cried into the darkness with the X-Wing crowd, when you change one thing, the ripples often have much greater and often unknown effects on game balance which often just make other cards look OP instead.)

My main problem with TI is that it limits choices exactly like has been mentioned before. I'd love to be able to actually choose all 15 of my cards that go into my command deck. There are many really good command cards but only TI is so good and so cheap that I can't ever see running a list without it(assuming you have something to tap)

I'm all for a fix for it but I doubt it'll ever happen so let's stop beating a dead horse and talk about the meta. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
11 minutes ago, yourmomlies said:

(I play X-Wing as well, I'm a little scarred and I get concerned when I hear the call go out for a sacrifice to the nerf/ban hammer.  IA is so much better in terms of balance and power creep than X-Wing, and as I have cried into the darkness with the X-Wing crowd, when you change one thing, the ripples often have much greater and often unknown effects on game balance which often just make other cards look OP instead.)

I totally agree. That's why I think anyone who screams "BAN TEMPORARY ALLIANCE" is out of their damned mind :). I do think there's room for nerfs in the form of a scalpel instead of a hammer though ;).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

My store champs had 7 scum lists and 10 people.  1 rebel, 2 imps.  6 of 7 scum lists had 2 eQuays, all but one had Gideon & Threepio (the one that didn't had Gideon and Jabba).  I hear Temp Alliance is on the chopping block to be outright banned or otherwise nerfed into oblivion.  Rebel Care Package and 2 eQuays is incredibly efficient.  I think the meta is more fun than the trooper/spy meta and I agree with anyone who says that the scum lists (specifically IGGY+2 eQuays) are more efficient and easier to do well with than anything the rebs or imps can muster right now.  The game is fun to play as it stands, and both rebs and scum lists have a lot of variety outside of the auto-includes.

Imps are lagging on the power curve because their hunter options are limited and slightly sub-par in most lights and the droid lists are as finicky as they are cute.  

Temp alliance may be part of the "problem" but without the Imp TA, I don't think the imps have a legit tier 1 list (or half the droid shenanigans that are at least fun to play casually).

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
18 minutes ago, nickv2002 said:

One thing I've seen mentioned multiple times is the strength/number of Hunter command cards that add damage.

IMO, I think they can be problematic because they are powerful and plentiful. Stacking 2 or 3 cards amongst Assassinate, Tools for the Job, Heightened Reflexes, and Priority Target (plus the generic Positioning Advantage, Element of Surprise, Blitz, and Wild Attack and some Unique cards like Shyla's that add more) make deadly powerful attacks that you can't really play around or mitigate. Even a spy-based controlling list can only hope to Com Disrupt or Intel Leak 1 or 2 of those per game.

I don't mind Hunters card-stacking -- and I say this even though you killed my IG-88 w/ Assassinate & Positioning Advantage the other night. :D I think once the rest of this new Post-Jabba's Realm adjustment is out, Hunters should still be feared for doing a lot of damage at the drop of a few cards. It just feels so heavy because it is *so much different* than anything that's came out prior.

I'm looking forward to seeing how the designers flesh out other traits in this Post Jabba's Realm world. A hint may be a card like Take Position, where a Vehicle or Guardian has a choice in two special actions to get a defensive buff that lasts until the end of the round. With the Force User A/V wave coming, I think we can expect at least one thing to make running a melee-only Force User list viable, if not multiple things for that. Same has to be for Spies & Troopers.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Metas tend to develop slowly as well.  In a game that, at least in my experience, has a fairly small player base and winds up being under-documented when compared to other miniatures games, I assume the meta should be even slower, but potentially more diverse.  I think we're still adjusting to the droid wave a bit, and things are not solidified yet. 

Chopper should, at least in theory, really put the damper on stacking command cards.  Jedi Luke & the Alliance Rangers squads can add Chopper and RHC - which should lead to Jedi Luke drawing into SoS before the hunters can stack all their beef or draw into Blaze of Glory.  A scum list can splash Chopper and put Headhunter on him for a different flavor of card advantage shenanigans.  The Chopper meta, but at least in my region, people are mostly planning on playing around him rather than playing with him - I think that's a mistake and have adjusted my lists accordingly.

Hera is AMAZING.

BT-1 has wild variance - he's amazing when that variance breaks your way, but inconsistency for damage AND range make him not great.  Blast 1, can mess with your opponents head and strategy, but still  - not bad but not great.  He has some level of synergy with Inqui, who's also not bad, but not great.  15 points of not bad but not great that melts a little too fast doesn't cut it when you're facing down 12 points of focused hidden eQuays.  0-0-0, I think is actually better than people give him credit for, but still winds up being not great.

Jawas are fun.  Haven't faced down an Utinni swarm yet, but I have enjoyed the 2 pointer over Greedo/Hired Guns as the bellhop in my scum lists.  The eJawa is really a great piece, who will shine even brighter if temp alliance is neutered - and gives scum access to Chopper, and Chopper access to Headhunter.

I actually really enjoy this "meta" and look forward to more fixes for iconic characters that have fallen behind the power curve (Han/Chewie/Boba) or never lived up to expectations (Inquisitor/Dengar).  I don't love the one-wave day-in-the-sun that we're seeing for characters like Bossk - a force to be reckoned with until he wasn't but still "good-enough" as a piece yet minor enough of a character that he won't get buffed back up to starting line-up status.

Edited by yourmomlies
BT-1 and Inquisitor are 15 points together, not 19 as originally posted.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I'd be extremely bummed if Temporary Alliance gets nerfed. Yes it is usually used for Gideon and 3PO, but who cares. Everyone is doing it so it all evens out. That said, a nerf could mean no longer being able to bring other Rebel figures and kill some of the potential variance. In regionals last February, I ran a list that did quite well in an 18 player field that didn't include gideon. I used my other rebel add for eRangers. Made top 4 among some great players (several who made top 16 at worlds this year). I other words, Gideon and/or 3PO aren't necessary to be competitive. You CAN still make good lists without one or both of them. 

Cross faction lists are a lot of fun and I'd hate to see that part of the game changed.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
50 minutes ago, wannabepudge said:

 

Cross faction lists are a lot of fun and I'd hate to see that part of the game changed.

don't eliminate options, increase the effectiveness of other options.  I think(hope) they are trying to do this and feel like this is happening slowly over time. Jabba's Realm is Step 1. Droids is Step 2. Hopefully, HOtE will bring brawlers back into a complimentary role, so my Wookiees, Nexu, Jedi will all be worth taking again.

 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
5 minutes ago, buckero0 said:

don't eliminate options, increase the effectiveness of other options.  I think(hope) they are trying to do this and feel like this is happening slowly over time. Jabba's Realm is Step 1. Droids is Step 2. Hopefully, HOtE will bring brawlers back into a complimentary role, so my Wookiees, Nexu, Jedi will all be worth taking again.

 

Don't forget the Tuskens and little Piggies. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
4 hours ago, wannabepudge said:

I'd be extremely bummed if Temporary Alliance gets nerfed. Yes it is usually used for Gideon and 3PO, but who cares. Everyone is doing it so it all evens out.

If you are interested in a balanced game, you should care.  The fact that "everyone does it" is the reason it's problematic from a design standpoint.

4 hours ago, wannabepudge said:

That said, a nerf could mean no longer being able to bring other Rebel figures and kill some of the potential variance.

Wouldn't it be better for variance to actually have that variance shift to people actually playing the Rebel faction if they want to make use of good Rebel units?  I'm seeing the distortion just about every wave.  Rebels get new toys, they immediately get incorporated into Mercenary lists.  Hera is already a staple of Merc lists in my area.  That is not good for the state of the game.

4 hours ago, wannabepudge said:

I other words, Gideon and/or 3PO aren't necessary to be competitive.

Sure, that's true.  But it's also true your Merc list is almost certainly better if you cut 5-6 points from it to include some combination of Hera/Gideon/C-3P0.

The Merc version of Temp Alliance needs to go for the sake of the game.  As a fan of the mercenary faction, i'd like to see this crutch be done with.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
13 minutes ago, miguelj said:

Hera is already a staple of Merc lists in my area.  That is not good for the state of the game.

That being bad for the state of the game is an opinion that I just completely do not understand. Hera is great and fun.

I would argue that the flexibility to bring good and fun characters to a variety of lineups is good for the state of the game. 

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

As players, when we say one thing, we can understandably (we're not all designers, after all) mean another. When players say "ban temporary alliance," what they really mean is "focus is too powerful." Since mercs have access to 3PO and Gideon, they can flood already powerful figures with an even more powerful buff. Nobody is complaining that Obi Wan or Jedi Luke or an Alliance Smuggler can be tossed into a merc list, nor is there an issue with bringing any of the current merc figures into an Imperial list.

Focus is the issue, not temporary alliance. IA's designers are clearly cognizant of this though, what with Hera, self-focusing figures and HotE's token stacking and free attacks. Maul is also designed to slot perfectly into an Imperial list. I'm actually really excited to see what kind of diversity the next wave brings with temp alliance.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I would also wait to "ban" something. One of the reasons 3PO was taken so often was for cheap deployments as well. The hired guns should have been individual all this time or even 3pts for 2 IMO.  The basic Jawa has eliminated the need for3p0 to fill that gap. The Imperials have had regular Officers all this time that serve a similar purpose, and you've already started seeing some variation with Hera and others jumping into Merc lists.  I love the variation.  The Droids have almost become their own faction if you like. The elite Jawa acts like a temp alliance. Saska is priced like 2 Temp Alliances have been added to her, just because she was poorly planned shouldn't mean the end of all crossover to begin with.  Temp allianace allows for great thematic lists as well.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...