Green Knight

The state of Armada Q3 2017 (CLICK-BAIT WARNING!!!)

67 posts in this topic

Posted (edited)

Ok, so a bit of a click-bait there, but you WERE warned :P

Anyway. To business.

Armada has matured.

Gone are the days of the GenCon Special. Ackbar is no longer OP. Neither is Sato. But Sloane TOTALLY is :D

We have 6 waves to play with, and we got our first nerf-FAQ not long ago.

Me, I'm having more fun than ever. 

That said, there are obviously (to me at least) some cards that are a bit too good - and quite a few duds.

But nothing I can't live with or that ruins the game.

EXCEPT...

Objectives.

Or should I say: the total lack of VARIETY in viable objective picks.

It's been the Achilles heel of this game for a LONG time (CC objectives helped a little). I'm sure not all of you agree, not with all my assessment anyway, but it's not just my personal feelings here - statistical data support it.

For a objective to be good it has to fulfill 3 criteria:

  • a real tactical advantage to the second player
  • low chance of fallout for the second player
  • bonus points, skewed to favor the second player

The below analysis is slightly simplified for brevity. If you really want I can analyse in more detail (but I'm sure other bloggers have done so better elsewhere).

RED

  • The only really good Red objective is MOST WANTED. It fulfills all 3 criteria. You'll se this as the Red for AT LEAST 50% of all lists.
  • The other two that crop up a bit are Advanced Gunnery and Station Assault. Both are a bit higher on the fallout scale, so not as good as MW, but decent in some builds.
  • The rest of the objectives are usually weak on fallout and/or doesn't give a big enough advantage/bonus points. 

YELLOW

  • The big winner here is CONTESTED OUTPOST. It's not as universal as  MW, but about 1/3 of all lists will have it.
  • Fire Lanes is a strong one IF you bring Strategic - even better than CO.
  • Between them they TOTALLY dominate the yellow scene.
  • Other viable picks included Hyperspace Assault (Strategic can complicate matters, and no bonus pts) and Fighter Ambush (niche, plus deployment disadvantage, but bonus points).
  • Capture the VIP gives a modest VP bonus and is fairly low on fallout, but offers no real tactical advantage.

BLUE

  • SOLAR CORONA continues to be extremely popular. The deployment advantage is significant and fallout is low, but it gives no extra pts and against many list the tactical advantage is slight. As a result this Blue one will OFTEN get pciked over Reds or yellows. As such it's a worthy successor to Dangerous Territory.
  • Actually DT continues to be a decent blue. It fulfills all 3 criteria, but isn't super-strong in any of them. If I have MW, CO and DT (or SC) you know which one you'll be picking.
  • The finally two are Superior Positions and Sensor Net. Both are super strong. the former favors squadrons and fast/agile long-range ships, while the latter brings strategic.
  • Personally I quite like Salvage Run over Sensor Net. Dictate place of engagement, extra obstacles, free nav tokens, 80 pt skew for me, doesn't have to chase them tokens as much...what's not to like?
  • I also count Intel Sweep as a good objective. All you need is ONE Strategic and you're more or less 75 pts ahead. Can be run with less squad cover than many of the other blues.

If I have one wish for the celebration of the birth of Christ/pagan midwinter feast (in Norway we didn't even bother changing the pagan name - it's still called Jul, not Kristusmesse) it's this:

Can FFG please do a full rework of the objectives, so that more than a couple of each category are even semi-viable in competitive play?

If nothing else I'm just sick of playing the same objectives over and over.

Edited by Green Knight

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Interesting, I'm am quite low on the games played scale compared to most of you I would assume.  That said I have noticed that there are a pile of objectives that I have never seen played or considered playing and a much smaller number that are played consistently.

Kind of hard to see an all out change though seeing half the objectives are less than a year old.

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Agree in general. Although part of list building is either mitigating or taking the risk of "fallout" if someone has a better list against your objectives than you do. For example superior positions can backfire horribly if someone has a better squadron option than you do!

I think strategic has made it feasible to take three strong second player objectives that can give you a nice points boost.

In particular, I think Most Wanted needs a change - make it either the points bonus or the extra shots, but not both.

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The problem with objetives is that either some can easily favor the first player, hence you wont put them on your list ever as second player. The the other few favors the second player massively. Id say 80% of my matches as second player ends up being contested outpost, simply because everything else either doesent help me enough as second player or is so punishing nobody in their right mind would pick them.

With the advanced gunnery faq, only rebel list would pick this. This makes everyone pick most wanted, because the advantage to second player is so big, that again nobody is gona agree to pick it. So just like advanced gunnery you simply make red a non option. 

All thats left is Blue or Yellow. Blue you can easily eliminate too, its either Superior position if you have squad or Corona if you dont. Both are literally the same instant advantage of knowing exactly how to deploy vs anyone.

So in the end people will pick yellow and hope you dont make too much points.

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33 minutes ago, Ophion said:

Agree in general. Although part of list building is either mitigating or taking the risk of "fallout" if someone has a better list against your objectives than you do. For example superior positions can backfire horribly if someone has a better squadron option than you do!

I think strategic has made it feasible to take three strong second player objectives that can give you a nice points boost.

In particular, I think Most Wanted needs a change - make it either the points bonus or the extra shots, but not both.

Yeah, I'm generalizing here.

MW is possibly (probably?) the biggest problem, but I think it's bigger than that.

These days I try to build lists that think 1st player is cool, but are equally strong as 2nd.

And more often than not it goes like this:

Red: MW

Yellow: Fire Lanes (because why wouldn't I want strategic to begin with AND a million extra points???)

Blue: Sensor Net (or Salvage Run - cuz I likes it) or Sup Position if I'm squad heavy Imp.

Maybe I'm limiting myself... but the statistics seem to support my feelings.

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2 minutes ago, mintek917 said:

The problem with objetives is that either some can easily favor the first player, hence you wont put them on your list ever as second player. The the other few favors the second player massively. Id say 80% of my matches as second player ends up being contested outpost, simply because everything else either doesent help me enough as second player or is so punishing nobody in their right mind would pick them.

With the advanced gunnery faq, only rebel list would pick this. This makes everyone pick most wanted, because the advantage to second player is so big, that again nobody is gona agree to pick it. So just like advanced gunnery you simply make red a non option. 

All thats left is Blue or Yellow. Blue you can easily eliminate too, its either Superior position if you have squad or Corona if you dont. Both are literally the same instant advantage of knowing exactly how to deploy vs anyone.

So in the end people will pick yellow and hope you dont make too much points.

But Contested Outpost is a trap! :D

I usually collect from 60-80 and up to the full 120 from it, while also getting to dictate place of engagement and a slight advantage in obstacle placement. Sure, it's not THE strongest objective out there, but compared to most of the other yellows it's super-good.

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Posted (edited)

7 minutes ago, Darth Sanguis said:

Strange that Opening Salvo isn't seen more. Especially with the regular usage of large ship builds... Folks who run Mc80s at our LGS LOVE some OS to counter ISD builds. 

Used to love it, but most wanted is so strong its pointless to go with anything else. You simply guarantee nobody will ever pick red against you. You then get to have either perfect deployment blue objectives or free points up the butt yellow station and force the other player to come to you to stop your earnings. Either way i really love going second when i have something like Sloane or Sato. Simply because going first doesent really matter in squad/long range stuff unless you dont have 4+ activations, then yeah youll be in deep **** going second.

Edited by mintek917
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Posted (edited)

So I'm going to argue something:  Assault (red) is too stale and too locked down.  There is only one truly "must-take" objective (Most Wanted) and only one solid backup objective (Advanced Gunnery).  This is one of the reasons why flotillas have continued to dominate the meta, they make your red objective a no-brainer and force most players to choose the yellow or blue objective.  It also means that many of the very interesting red objectives aren't actually playable in competition.  Blockade Run, for example, should clearly be a Navigation objective yet was shoehorned into Assault.

I would argue that the following objectives need to be reclassified:

Blockade Run:  Reclassify to Navigation

Superior Positions:  Reclassify to Assault

Capture the VIP:  Reclassify to Navigation

Jamming Barrier:  Reclassify to Defense

-edit- Just so I'm equally clear, this has also lead to fleets being too good at all three objectives.  Most Wanted + Fighter Ambush + Superior Positions makes a high-activation high-squadron fleet simply too efficient in objective selection, which is on of the reasons this archetype has done so well over the past 2-3 waves.

Edited by thecactusman17

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Ackbar has been never OP. In fact he has suffered and indirect nerf through the type of ships released after MC30. Liberty, Pelta, Loltransport, HH...

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12 minutes ago, Darth Sanguis said:

Strange that Opening Salvo isn't seen more. Especially with the regular usage of large ship builds... Folks who run Mc30s at our LGS LOVE some OS to counter ISD builds. 

Except the fallout chance is pretty big. Not huge mind you, but larger than most. Also the scoring conditions don't really favor the 2nd player much.

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2 minutes ago, xerpo said:

Ackbar has been never OP. In fact he has suffered and indirect nerf through the type of ships released after MC30. Liberty, Pelta, Loltransport, HH...

During wave 2 for a little while he was def too much. But yeah everything else after that keep indirect nerfing him or simply power creep to be better. I think Sloane is fine too, shes on the powerful side for sure, probably under priced should be around 30, but its kind of the imperial thing now where their ships cost more, but their admirals are cheaper. Rebel can easily put a fleet up to contest Sloane too. Just put an Jan Ors bomb into play, yt-1300 and kill the ties. Sloane is a blood bath empire vs empire thought.

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Posted (edited)

11 minutes ago, xerpo said:

Ackbar has been never OP. In fact he has suffered and indirect nerf through the type of ships released after MC30. Liberty, Pelta, Loltransport, HH...

Then you didn't get the reference/haven't been around long enough.

When Ackyboi was revealed...the screams of OP could be heard all across the globe. Sato too.

(and now they are calling Sloane OP)

Edited by Green Knight
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Posted (edited)

5 minutes ago, Green Knight said:

Then you didn't get the reference/haven't been around long enough.

When Ackyboi was revealed...the screams of OP could be heard all across the globe. Sato too.

(and now they are calling Sloane OP)

Out of the 3 Sato looked the most balanced into the wave he came out to be honest, he looked nice, about as useful as JerJer Binks in the same wave. I think thats more my optic of things. How does one compare to the same wave so both sides gets new toys. Even if the game didnt have the errata it needed. I think Sato/Jerjer was a pretty balanced pair. Wave 6 Sloane is just clearly above Leia. Wave 2 ackbar was just the clear winner, but he go weaker as new stuff game out and imperial wave 2 admirals keep getting more useful with the new stuff.

 

But like you said, i can live with most of that stuff, the objectives are problems because its the gameplay of the entire match and even if we have more fleet diversity right now, we still end up playing always the same **** lol.

Edited by mintek917
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3 minutes ago, Green Knight said:

Then you didn't get the reference/haven't been around long enough.

When Ackyboi was revealed...the screams of OP could be heard all across the globe. Sato too.

(and now they are calling Sloane OP)

Yeah I got it. Just wanted to make that clear.

Curious though, that the one that never became really OP, only the hysteria by the end of his own wave and the release of the next, was the one nerfed. Our beloved Rieekan.

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Just now, xerpo said:

Yeah I got it. Just wanted to make that clear.

Curious though, that the one that never became really OP, only the hysteria by the end of his own wave and the release of the next, was the one nerfed. Our beloved Rieekan.

That's another funny story actually: Rieekan was considered crap for a while. Anyone taking an admiral that rewarded you for dying were either dumb or rookies :D

Note to self: maybe someone will discover how to make Fleet Ambush work for the 2nd player and prove it's the Rieekan of objectives!? :P

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Posted (edited)

 

9 minutes ago, Green Knight said:

That's another funny story actually: Rieekan was considered crap for a while. Anyone taking an admiral that rewarded you for dying were either dumb or rookies :D

Note to self: maybe someone will discover how to make Fleet Ambush work for the 2nd player and prove it's the Rieekan of objectives!? :P

Its not even that Rieekan was OP, if the game was like his original wave still, he wouldnt have even needed the nerf. Its all the flottila and unkillable idiocy ace that rebels got that made rieekan edge out in the end. But its kinda harder to nerf a bunch of squadrons over a single card. Its kind of the same with Rhymer nerf, do you keep making all the imperial squadron badly optimized and only one dimensional all the time or nerf the one guy that would make them too broken if you want to give imperial more intesting squadrons mechanics.

Edited by mintek917
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4 minutes ago, mintek917 said:

 

Its not even that Rieekan was OP, if the game was like his original wave still, he wouldnt have even needed the nerf. Its all the flottila and unkillable idiocy ace that rebels got that made rieekan edge out in the end. But its kinda harder to nerf a bunch of squadrons over a single card. Its kind of the same with Rhymer nerf, do you keep making all the imperial squadron badly optimized and only one domensional all the time or nerf the one guy that would make them too broken.

Rhymer and Demo took 6 waves to get nerfed, for Rieekan was only 2. That proves that it was all hysteria, like it was with Rhymer and Demo back in the days. But we got used to them, they did not need a nerf IMO. Problem is that cryers all over the world didn't give time to people to get used to Rieekan, it was in a matter of few championships in a couple of months all happened so fast, so he was bat nerfed along. Honestly I think the nerf to Demo and Rhymer was just to justify the nerf to Rieekan and keep everyone happy.

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6 minutes ago, xerpo said:

Rhymer and Demo took 6 waves to get nerfed, for Rieekan was only 2. That proves that it was all hysteria, like it was with Rhymer and Demo back in the days. But we got used to them, they did not need a nerf IMO. Problem is that cryers all over the world didn't give time to people to get used to Rieekan, it was in a matter of few championships in a couple of months all happened so fast, so he was bat nerfed along. Honestly I think the nerf to Demo and Rhymer was just to justify the nerf to Rieekan and keep everyone happy.

That's it! The Rieekan nerf was an inside job!

 

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7 minutes ago, xerpo said:

Rhymer and Demo took 6 waves to get nerfed, for Rieekan was only 2. That proves that it was all hysteria, like it was with Rhymer and Demo back in the days. But we got used to them, they did not need a nerf IMO. Problem is that cryers all over the world didn't give time to people to get used to Rieekan, it was in a matter of few championships in a couple of months all happened so fast, so he was bat nerfed along. Honestly I think the nerf to Demo and Rhymer was just to justify the nerf to Rieekan and keep everyone happy.

No both the Rhymer and Rieekan nerf were justified and both are gona be better for the health of the game in the long run. Rhymer was nerfed right during Sloane annoucement. She would have been pure cancer with medium range rhymer. The problem with things like Rieekan and Rhymer that just DO stuff on everything super strong, is that when you introduce new mechanics, you then have two choices, make the mechanics weaker so that the old stuff dont become OP, but at the same time making your new stuff less interesting. Nerf to rhymer means any future squadron for the empire have a chance to have some more versatile choices and more ship offensive power. There was no way to give the empire the amout of anti ship Sloane gives with Rhymer or any kind of Bwing type damage with him.

Same goes for Rieekan, things like Biggs transfering damage to dead aces. Imagine when we gotten squadron pack 3, if the rebels had 2 more powerful ace with good hull, reekian was just gona power creep endlessly, unless they made all the future squadrons feel average. Same for the empire, they had to keep imperial squadrons one dimensional, because anything close to rebel versatility would make rhymer power creep the same way. Imagine using Rhymer on the rebel side with luke, dash and all the other strong at anything squad. 

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44 minutes ago, thecactusman17 said:

So I'm going to argue something:  Assault (red) is too stale and too locked down.  There is only one truly "must-take" objective (Most Wanted) and only one solid backup objective (Advanced Gunnery).  This is one of the reasons why flotillas have continued to dominate the meta, they make your red objective a no-brainer and force most players to choose the yellow or blue objective.  It also means that many of the very interesting red objectives aren't actually playable in competition.  Blockade Run, for example, should clearly be a Navigation objective yet was shoehorned into Assault.

I would argue that the following objectives need to be reclassified:

Blockade Run:  Reclassify to Navigation

Superior Positions:  Reclassify to Assault

Capture the VIP:  Reclassify to Navigation

Jamming Barrier:  Reclassify to Defense

-edit- Just so I'm equally clear, this has also lead to fleets being too good at all three objectives.  Most Wanted + Fighter Ambush + Superior Positions makes a high-activation high-squadron fleet simply too efficient in objective selection, which is on of the reasons this archetype has done so well over the past 2-3 waves.

I really like the movement of these. Jamming Barrier is already a defense objective though. 

 

Most wanted needs a big change I think. Its just too good for anyone to ever pick. Even limiting it to non flotillas it's still so many extra dice at an expensive target. 

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